Chupamobile Blog

The App Source Code Marketplace. Buy Apps. Sell Apps.

26May

flash-sale-banner-70off

wordmix-newsletter

Did you know that 54 of U.S. mobile users play puzzle games? Yes, people love puzzle games! And word puzzles are one of the best choices for app publishers as they are extremely easy to customize. That’s why I have chosen WordMix for the Flash Sale of the week!

WordMix is a Premium Game Template created by one of our Top Authors. It’s worth $199 but, for a limited time, you can get it for only $59!

If you are not convinced yet, let’s have a look at its main features:

  • Universal app (iPhone, iPod, iPad)
  • Supports all iPhone resolutions (including iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus)
  • Easy to change the game skin (psd files included)
  • Puzzle and Package Configuration Tool
  • Purchasable Puzzle Packs with In-App Purchase (this feature will make the most revenue!)
  • In-App Purchases to buy game Coins
  • Puzzle configuration support
  • Game Power Ups: Hint and Ask Friends
  • Local Notifications: easy to configure and schedule as you wish
  • Sound control option
  • Flurry Analytics included
  • AppLovin, Chartboost and StartApp support included (a mediation layer is included)
  • AdMob and iAd included with Admob Mediation SDK
  • Easy to understand and update

An outstanding Game Template, isn’t it? Don’t miss this chance and get now WordMix at only $59. The countdown has started!

22May

I know you were looking forward to it and it has arrived. Here it is the list with the best App Templates and User Interface Graphic Assets of the week! Which is your favorite?

iOS App and Game Templates

Youtube Video Downloader: Internet Download Manager

youtube

Air Glow Hockey

air-glow

Social Box

social-box

Android App and Game Templates

Sudoku

sudoku

The Line Zen

the-line-zen

Photo Collage Inventor – Grid

photo-collage

Unity Game Templates

10×10 Puzzle (Optimized for Android)

10x10

Commando War Cant 3D

commando-war

GUI Assets

Forest Game GUI UI Graphic Assets

forest-game

If you need help with the choice, drop us an email to customization[at]chupamobile[dot]com and we’ll help you!

Good weekend to all!

20May

app-development-john-bura

We know that a huge part of the Chupamobile community are gamers and indie game devs. Believe me if I say that you are going to love this interview (plus we have an amazing present for you at its end!! Don’t miss it!).

Today we have the pleasure to interview a gamer with almost 20 years of experience in game programming. John Bura, that’s his name, is also one of the 10 highest grossing Udemy instructors and has founded a development studio that produces games for XBOX 360, HTML 5, ad-games and, of course, iOS and Android!

Yes, I can’t wait to pose him a thousand questions about a thousand topics so… let’s start!

Melissa: Hey John, thanks for being with us today! I’m sure many of our readers have taken your courses and, probably, some of them actually got started on game development thanks to you. But, for those who don’t know you yet, let’s give them a short self-introduction about you :)

John: It’s a pleasure to talk with you today. My name is John Bura and I am the CEO of Mammoth Interactive. We make games, apps and training content. The training content has been well received and I am one of the top 10 selling instructors of all time on Udemy.com. People from all over the world are enjoying the courses I create and it’s all very exciting.

M: Let’s talk about Mammoth Interactive. Do you have any game you developed that you’re especially proud of? Why?

J: My XBox 360 game Circa was one of my biggest accomplishments. Developing for consoles can be difficult and I got it on the store. It came after working for nearly a year on an Adventure RPG game about time travel. I wanted to get something out there and I did. It really got my career moving. The other is a game called Flashes of Color for iPad. The game mechanic that I used was changing the background color to solve puzzles. It was an elegant fusion of action and puzzle solving that I am really proud of. Currently, we at Mammoth Interactive are developing a sci-fi first person shooter. Stay tuned at Mammoth Interactive for developments on that game and other gaming news.

M: I know you develop Educational Apps and Games as well. We are aware of their importance on the App Store and we see a huge interest also amongst the Chupamobile community. Do you have any tips for creating and marketing Educational Apps?

J: One of the biggest tips I can offer you is to not make them free to play. There are two reasons for that. The first is that some parents will not download free apps for their kids because they don’t know what ads will be in them. I have had much more success with a paid model. If you are going to do a free to play model, I would have a demo or lite version of the app that features a paid app. With education apps, you have to remember that you are targeting kids and Apple recently changed the restrictions about apps that target kids. The second reason is that parents will spend money to make their kids better. If you make a math app that gets a kid higher math scores, parents will spend money on that. It’s a slightly different market for education apps. Education apps are an investment, not really a consumer purchase, so design your apps and business model accordingly.

M: I guess you made the right decision – 150,000 students cannot be wrong ;) – but I would like to know why and when did you decide to start teaching instead of keeping your focus on the development part?

J: It’s really unbelievable. With the amount of students and sales of other products such as books and apps, I wake up in the morning and sometimes I can’t believe it all happened. Although, it didn’t happen over night. I have been a freelancer since I was 17 and sold my first products when I was 21. Mammoth Interactive has gone through many phases. When I started this business in 2008, back when it was Woolly Mammoth Productions, I was just focused on games, apps and consulting. In 2011, everybody was asking me how do you make apps and games. It was usually the first thing they asked me about when I told them my occupation. On a whim, I decided to make a 35 hour course on how to make HTML 5 games. It was very well received and people wanted so much more. This would be the start of Mammoth Interactive and what I like to call Mammoth 1.0. Since then, I’ve created a lot of courses and apps as well as consulted on occasion. We are coming to the end of Mammoth 1.0. There are a lot of really awesome products we are going to be rolling out. Mammoth 2.0 is going to be amazing and I am very excited about it.

M: Do you believe anyone can learn game development? How do you recommend wannabe-devs to get started? Any specific language that you would suggest?

J: Game development is getting easier all of the time. I remember when I wanted to make a fully 3D adventure RPG back in 1996 in my bedroom. Back then, it was really hard and really expensive. Even since the mid 2000s, games have been getting easier to make. I think games started to get easier after Game Salad was released. Game Salad was really really easy to use and it was refreshing coming from the C++ or C# / XNA world. Construct 2 makes game development really easy. That engine is simply amazing. I love making games in it and I love how easy it is to use. Even engines like Unity 3D make the back end of games easy. Exporting everywhere with a click of a button makes life easier.

I would say that most people could make a simple game if they wanted to. Often times, I feel that the barriers to success for some people is their own self doubt. Give it a try, and if you fail don’t worry about it. You just learned something useful.

If you want to make 2D games I would go with Construct 2. If you want to make 3D games, go with Unity 3D. Make a game and publish it first with these engines before you move to more complex environments.

M: On iOS, we recently witnessed the change from Objective-C to Swift. Do you think Swift means an improvement on iOS development?

J: I actually only started working with Apple products since 2011. A year before that, I was a die-hard PC fan and loved C#. Programming in Objective-C was like hitting a brick wall. It was so much harder than C#. Swift has been a long time in the making and it is a breath of mountain fresh air. I love programming in Swift. That’s why I put out the world’s largest Swift course. I want people to know how easy it is to make apps.

I see Swift doing two things. It will make development easier. Which is great, especially if you have ever programmed in Objective-C. By revamping the entire iOS platform it will make Apple apps even more reliable than they are.

M: Which are for you the strongest points about this new language? And what do you miss about Objective-C?

J: The strongest points about Swift are that it is fast and modern. Objective-C was more of an older style programming language and I really didn’t like using it. Swift is just better to look at and better to code in. Having said that, Objective-C is really picky and you can pick out errors much more easily. Sometimes with Swift you can make some errors that don’t show up in the compiler.

M: Now, mobile developers must get familiar with Watchkit. Which do you think are the biggest obstacles they are facing?

J: The biggest obstacle with WatchKit is the SDK itself. It’s really barebones at the moment (May 2015). There are some really basic functions you simply cannot perform. You have to really make sure that your App is simple yet effective. That’s both a design and a coding issue that you must make.

M: Which are from your point of view the biggest trends on app development? How do you see the situation 5 years from here?

J: One of the most refreshing trends I have been noticing is the revival of paid apps. Apple recently promoted a pay once section of the App Store. As a developer this is awesome. Not every game will work with free to play. I have also noticed that consumers are willing to pay more than 1 dollar for an app. This is also good. I’ve noticed the gaming community has been sensitive to developers actually making money. A few big studios go under and all of a sudden people want to start supporting games. Whether it’s on the App Store or through Kickstarter.

Demand for software is at an all time high right now. I see the demand for useful apps and games to grow.

M: Based on your experience, I would like you to give 3 tips to those that want to get started on the gaming business.

J: Make a game and publish it as soon as you can. Don’t worry about making a masterpiece right away. I wanted to make an adventure RPG in the 90s in my bedroom. That didn’t happen. I tried to do the same thing in 2009 and that didn’t happen either. Just get a game out the door to get used to releasing products.

Learn something new every day. You can do a tutorial a day and there are very few excuses not to. It doesn’t have to be game related, just learn something new everyday. Years later, you will be a guru.

Get your ideas tested. There are great services where you can get people to play your game. Listen to their feedback. I still do this today. It will make your products better.

M: Thanks a lot for your time and for your amazing tips!

J: Thank you for the interview. If you want to check out what my team and I are up to, you can go to http://www.mammothinteractive.com. We have a lot of exciting products that we are going to be releasing in the next few months!

apple-watch-bundle-free

Wow! Super useful tips, aren’t they? But here it comes what you were waiting for: For this special occasion, and because we want you to be successful on your App Business, we are offering you 3 Apple Watch App Templates for free! Yes, FREE! Download them here and share with us your reskinned apps on the comments section.

mammoth-interactive-newsletter-6

One more Bonus: Mammoth Interactive is offering 5 Swift courses for free to the Chupamobile community!

It’s a limited time offer – you have until Saturday 23 at 10 AM EST to enroll for free! Start learning Swift today: here the link.

18May

24h flash sale banner

apple-watch-bundle-6-FB

If you still don’t have any Apple Watch Apps on your portfolio, now it’s the time! I’m proposing you not one but six Top Apple Watch App Templates ready to be reskinned and launched.

You won’t find a better opportunity to enter the Apple Watch App business!

The bundle includes 6 Premium App and Game Templates:

  • SHOE-SIZE: Shopping abroad for footwear, shopping online, or having a friend to pick up shoes for you from abroad? Figuring out your shoe size in another country can be tricky! But not anymore. Shoe Sizes Converter is an Apple Watch app to convert shoe sizes and it’s always on your wrist wherever you are.
  • TRAVELERS WATCH: Watch application for hikers, tourists, travelers, athletes. This application provides location data, current speed, course, altitude and also the possibility to view the map.
  • LIGHTNING DISTANCE: Thunder & Lightning has (barely) one practical purpose: to measure your distance to a sound source. It works for thunder and lightning, fireworks, rocket launches, or other loud events visible from a (hopefully safe) distance away.
  • TAP-TAP TAP-TAP: A very simple but addictive game for Apple Watch. Use this template to build a good killing-time game.
  • RADIO APPLICATION: WatchRadio is a universal application, it works on Apple Watch, iPhone & iPad. Use it for making your own radio app for all devices or just to learn the Apple Watch programming basics and start making your own apps.
  • CARD GAME “WAR”: Well- known and simple card game called “WAR” for iOS devices. Its gameplay is super easy; who gets a higher card, gets the point. This version includes all 52 cards and chooses a random card for each turn.

This time you have only 24hrs to get the deal! Buy it now and kickstart your Apple Watch portfolio with 6 amazing Apps!

14May

good-app-description

Even if you have developed an amazing mobile app, nobody will buy it if you do not market it in the right way. There are a number of different ways to boost sales of your mobile app, but one of the most important is to write the right description in the app store. These descriptions may be the only opportunity you get to reach out to potential buyers, so you need to make them count. Use these simple tips to write a best-selling description for your mobile app.

Identify your unique selling point in the short description

What is your app’s USP? What is unique about your app when compared to any other on the market? Your short description in iTunes or Google Play must explain this in one sentence. Think of this as your tag line. It should be a concise, exciting statement that immediately commands the attention of your buyers. The short description may not be what sells the app, but it should be what makes your customers want to know more.

Quantify previous success

If this is an update to an existing app, quote any impressive sales statistics in the long description. If your app is the best-selling  in its class then state this. If you already have a million users, then mention that ‘1 million users already love this app’. If this is a new app, you can still link it to other apps that were very successful. Think along the lines of ‘from the makers of…’ or words to that effect.

Optimize search engine traffic with keywords

Keywords can bring potential buyers to your app, based solely on something they are looking for. Use online keyword tools to help draw out keywords based on what your app does. Place primary keywords in your short and long descriptions. Use them sparingly though. Focus on two or three critical keywords to focus the right users on your app.

Clearly detail all the app’s features in the long description

Use concise statements to highlight all the different features of your app. Bullet points can work well here. Use bold action words (verbs) to draw attention to these features. For example, an app may have location features. Simply stating ‘includes location features’ may not help your users. Instead, you could say ‘Location features identify exactly where you are and send targeted information directly to your iPhone’.

Compare your app with the competition

If your app offers more options than a competitor’s version, ensure this is clear in your description. Users may be making a comparison and struggling to work out which app is better or right for their needs. Make sure that, at the very least, you align with the feature descriptions of your strongest competitors. Ensure that you highlight all equivalent features so that it does not look as though your app is missing something.

Use correct grammar and punctuation

Sloppy grammar and punctuation will not sit well with users. If you cannot spell the words you are using, they may assume that your technical work is sloppy too. Thoroughly proof read all descriptions before you submit your text. If this is not one of your strengths, ask a colleague to help. You may even want to consider hiring a copy writer to do this for you.

Quote positive reviews

app-reviews

If a well-known blogger writes a positive review of your app, use quotes from that review to bring the description to life. Positive user reviews connect well with potential customers, especially if the people view the reviewer as an expert. Try not to use more than 2 or 3 comments at most, or you may start to lose your readers’ interest. Focus on the best reviews and use short, concise quotes. Sometimes a couple of words will do. It is more powerful to say “an amazing app” than to say, ”This is definitely an amazing app for finding the best deals on the high street”. Make every word count.

A mobile app description may be relatively short, but it can still be quite tricky to get it right. A great mobile description takes a lot of effort, but this soon pays off when you start to see the downloads increasingly rapidly.

13May

app-development-made-easy

Once, launching an App or a Game was possible only for a few. Fortunately, companies like Bitfountain and Chupamobile have helped to democratize both app development and app publishing allowing anybody to launch an app or game on the App Stores. In this new paradigm of the App Business, indie devs reach the #1 place on the charts and non-devs are able to launch their own version of classic games in a few hours. Things have changed a lot – and we are extremely happy of it!

Today I have the chance to interview one of the players of this change, John Azzi, CEO of Bitfountain. Bitfountain is one of the leading learning platforms for iOS and Android development, with courses of different levels for those interested in entering the booming app business or, also, for those who are just looking for a new hobby.

(At the end of the interview, Bitfountain has prepared an amazing gift for you, don’t miss it!)

Melissa: Hi John, it’s a pleasure to talk to you today, I’m sure you have a lot of interesting things to tell to our readers. Let’s start with introducing Bitfountain and your role at the company.

John: I’m John Azzi, founder and CEO of Bitfountain. We offer the most advanced iOS development education online. Our intro course alone includes over 35 hours of video content, culminating with students building their own fully-featured Tinder clone. That course is for absolute beginners with no experience coding but we also offer immersive courses in iOS Game development, Apple Watch development, iOS Design, and many more advanced courses to come in the next few months.

M: How did you get the idea for creating Bitfountain? Where did the inspiration come from?

J: Bitfountain’s backstory seems really disjointed, but it was actually a very natural path for us to get where we are. We started out as an iOS app development agency, meaning we were coding apps for big companies. That was interesting for a time because we got to write a lot of code, work on high profile apps, and learn a ton about the contractor/client relationship.

We needed to grow as an agency, but finding developer talent is extremely difficult. Our idea was to train smart people who wanted to change careers and then hire them to work with us. We actually paid people to quit their jobs and learn with us! The idea seemed insane to quite a lot of people. Two of the graduates are now co-founders of the new Bitfountain, so the apprentice program was a huge success. While training these apprentices in our office, we had a lot of ideas on programming education, and specifically teaching code through the lens of iOS development. The apprentices, and myself, started to get really involved in the iOS community in New York City – we hosted the biggest iOS meetup in NYC at our office, and we were teaching weekend workshops at General Assembly on specific topics.

The combination of us having developed a method with our apprentice program, having a big community of learners around us with our iOS meetup, and having seen the un-scalability of in-person teaching at General Assembly led to a natural transition from an agency to online educators. We wanted to teach more students at a lower price point than we could offer with in-person teaching, while also making sure our online education was superior to our in-person workshops.

M: Wow, a very inspiring path! How long have you been involved in the world of apps? For you, which are the biggest challenges app developers and app publishers are facing nowadays?

J: I got into the app business pretty early on. By 2009 I had already started to learn how to code iOS apps, and by late 2010, right out of college, I had a job as an iOS developer in NYC.

In the early days there weren’t many apps on the market, so you could make a badly designed calculator app and still make some money. Today the competition is fierce. Releasing a top app could be compared to releasing a Hollywood film. The app has to be close to perfect from both a programming and design perspective. It needs to solve a real productivity problem and/or be extremely entertaining. Even the marketing of apps is a huge deal – building early hype with teasers, gaining an early loyal following, and then spreading through the media.

The good news is twofold: 1) Now that apps are a serious business requiring many people and parts, there are more jobs available (very high paying jobs!). 2) Although the indie market is extremely competitive, indie iOS game developers are still able to reach very high financial returns with little initial investment. Just look at Flappy Bird! By the way, our iOS Game Development course culminates with students creating their own Flappy Bird clone called Tappy Plane.

M: It seems that Android is surpassing iOS in terms of revenues thanks to the Chinese market. Do you think this trend will stay or will iOS take back the dominant place?

J: It will probably stay that way. Africa will gain ground in Android as well. That’s perfectly fine for iOS developers though. We’ve seen that Android users are much less likely to spend money on apps. Just look at how big companies move into mobile – they first launch an iOS app. It is rare to see a company launch an Android app without an iOS app. These companies know that they need to prove themselves to the iOS market before spending the time and money to move into Android.

M: How long do you think it would take to a newbie to learn app development? Is it possible for anybody to develop an app?

J: Three months. Two of the bitfountain founders went from absolutely no coding knowledge to junior developers in three months. And there are countless success stories from bitfountain students doing the same.

Anybody can develop an app. We’ve taught people who worked previous lives as construction workers, plumbers, high school students and dropouts, and even a blind girl. That was really an amazing accomplishment for us.

M: That’s awesome! Guess, I should get started as well! :) So, which is your favorite language for developing an app (if you have one)? Do you recommend multiplatform options like Unity or prefer native frameworks?

J: Swift is my new favorite. I have to admit that I never loved Objective-C (the previous language used to develop iOS apps). The syntax was long and tedious. Swift is at least very concise to write. As for multiplatform frameworks, I’m generally against them for serious apps. The biggest issue is that the maintainers of the frameworks have to keep up with the changes to the native frameworks. If Apple changes the method used to do some action, then the framework needs to make that change immediately or things could break.

M: Chupamobile is a great option for newbies but also for those experienced developers that want to save time. Which do you think are the main advantages of using a template for building an app or a game?

J: A programmer should be spending their time on solving new problems. The advantage of templates is that the programmer gets to use the solutions to basic problems that another developer has coded. There are other advantages too, but I think this is the biggest one for developers who have some experience coding.

M: Apple Watch apps are one of the hottest business nowadays. Do you have already any courses of Bitfountain for developing Apple Watch and Android Wear apps? How do you see the future of wearable apps?

J: We do have a course on developing Apple Watch apps here.

Wearable technology is catching on fast. The trend is toward technology that is hidden and integrated into our lives; devices that constantly collect data and notify us with useful information at the proper time. I don’t know if Apple Watch will be the exact device representing the future of wearables, but it is definitely a great prototype that has gone further than any others in the domain.

M: Do you have any courses ready to launch? Which are your next milestones with Bitfountain and why should we stay tuned?

J: We have a bunch of new courses ready to launch. Our goal is to be the most advanced and immersive iOS training program anywhere (both in-person and online). We want to be useful to both newbie developers and people who are already developing iOS apps as a career. So our next wave of courses are geared at helping us achieve that goal.

M: I would like you to give us one app development advice for iOS devs and one for Android ones.

J: For iOS devs: be conscious of design. It’s hard to succeed on the market without a clean design. Android devs: learn iOS development :)

M: Nice ones! :D Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your ideas with us :)

bitfountain website

If you want to get started or to go deeper on app development, Bitfountain is giving $25 off to all the Chupamobile users. You just need to sign up and use the code CHUPAMOBILE to redeem your discount. Nice, isn’t it? :)

Good learning!

13May

the-easiest-way-to-kickstart-your-app-business

The gaming industry is growing and evolving rapidly. For today’s generation of gamers, there is an increasing amount of options and possibilities. Mobile gaming is taking the market by storm by increasing familiarity with game connectivity on portable devices, while still meeting the graphic and entertainment needs of the gaming consumer. It is through mobile gaming that developer’s deliver fun, exciting titles that give game enthusiasts hours of entertainment for a fraction of the cost of the expensive console and computer games.

Some of the most popular games on the market are a type that the user can revisit; to be challenged by it, and pass time wherever they might be. This can be done for free. Gamers are willingly opting to game on their mobile device as opposed to dropping hundreds of dollars for a console gaming system, and $50, $60 or even $70 dollars for one video game that they may not even enjoy. The sky is the limit for the gamer who chooses to mobilize their gaming and cut the cost. From traditional card games and retro arcade style games, to online action and adventure, the app stores have it all!

For a few dollars, the game you want can be purchased from your device’s app store, and it’s only a tap away. This is a great advantage for the gamer, but an even bigger advantage for the game developer. With thousands of games to choose from, there is little reason why online games would not be extremely lucrative. It has been done before, with games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga. Then, these popular games will have been imitated time and time again. As a result, the consumer gets to enjoy the game again, with a new twist and a new look.

Why reskinning?

Taking advantage of this demand are those developers that reskin app templates. Reskinning a game gives the developer an option of making an already great game even better. By improving its graphics, and tweaking the gameplay to something the consumer will enjoy, the developer doesn’t have to spend time or money to write the code, or create a game from scratch. They get to be in charge of their creative and aesthetic desires for their game, and create a new game based on the concepts of the original. The process of reskinning is just taking off, and the ground floor is here for those who want to create a great game, but also save time and resources. Reskinning is the perfect opportunity for the new developer to show what they’ve got and get their names out there!

How to get started in app reskinning

An interested developer should begin this process by going to sites like Chupamobile.com where they give the future game maker the code they need to create brilliant new titles at a fraction of the cost. This can be turned into profit overnight. Opportunity is there to create fun, marketable entertainment like Swap and Jump by Big Brother Studios (for the fans of quick hands games). This exciting game brings hours of entertainment and has been reskinned for the Apple Store.

Interested game developers have a variety of game genres to choose from on Chupamobile, with game concepts that are familiar. The idea is brilliant. It brings two designing worlds together; the creative ability of the developer, and the ability to use and improve already great games. With effort and creativity, you can easily become a skilled game developer. Reskinning is the perfect opportunity to take your ideas to the next level without the headache, cost and time consumption of building a game from the ground up. Why not check out the Chupamobile catalog?

If you want to save time and money without compromising your App’s quality, Chupamobile is the best alternative to build your Apps and Games. Watch the video below to learn more or visit this page.

12May

exclusive-launch-offer

Pho Shot is live for the first time and, for 48hrs only, you can get it at 75% off! We inaugurate this promotion with a Universal iOS App Template for building your next outstanding picture editor app.

pro-shot-fb
Pro Shot is a Premium App Template full of features and sharing options, including live camera adjustment as tint, temperature and exposure. Read them all here:

  • In App Purchase to unlock Premium version
  • Custom camera controller with live Tint, Temperature and Exposure features
  • Photo adjustment tools: Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Exposure
  • Take a picture, pick a photo from Library or use the random background image
  • Awesome set of Filters
  • Nice set of Effects
  • Already localized for English and Italian languages
  • Blur tool, with Circle, Band and Normal options
  • Crop editor, with pre-made settings and freehand cropping tool
  • Tone Curve Stickers, Frames and Textures
  • Borders feature to crop your image into a square size for Instagram
  • Drawing tool
  • Text tool, with customizable fonts and colors
  • Multiple sharing options
  • Nice modern User Interface
  • Instagram button on the Home screen
  • Automatically save original photo into camera roll
  • Save images to custom Pro Shot album
  • Rate Us button
  • Tell a friend option
  • Send feedback button
  • Like us on Facebook option
  • Pro Shot Store button on the Home screen (to quickly access the IAP controller)

I would not miss this opportunity! Pro Shot Template will be soon listed at $399! Get it now at only $99 and launch your Photo Editor App!

04May

android-wear-moto-360

As everyone knows by now, Apple Watch will be available this month. I looked at them at a nearby Apple Store the other evening. They are very cool. But you know who else has a pretty cool smartwatch? A bunch of companies! Some are based on proprietary systems and focus on fitness. But there are several based on Google’s Android Wear, basically making them extensions of your Android phone. The integration works nicely. For example, if your Android apps utilize notifications, there is nothing you as a developer need to do to have those notifications appear on your app users’ wearables.

But there is a lot more you can do to extend the functionality of your apps to Android wearables. Should you integrate wearables into your Android apps? If so, how? To answer those questions, let’s learn more about the wearables market in general, what wearables are used for and then delve into Android Wear. In a follow-up article, we will dig into some code.

google-store-android-wear

What are Wearables and What Do People Do with Them?

The term “wearable” has evolved to just mean smartwatches these days. In fact, the Android Wear page on Google Play is subtitled “Information that fits your wrist as well as your lifestyle.”

Smartwatches have been around for several years, but are now evolving quickly. More often than not, they are still used to track fitness. This usually involves tracking your activity through a built-in pedometer and monitoring your heart rate. Many also have the ability to track your sleep patterns and are evolving to provide more and more functionality through hardware or software. In addition to being a watch (often with changeable faces), some of these devices also have gyroscopes, vibrations for notifications, microphones and more.

These devices connect to your Apple or Android phone through Bluetooth allowing you to view notifications and perform basic tasks quickly without having to pull out and fumble around with a phone. In fact, Google has stated this efficiency is a key goal of their pursuit of wearables so that people can be more engaged in the real world.

Interaction with smartwatches is very often in the form of notifications (covered in more depth below) but can range from giving you control of your music or Google Maps directions. Common uses include:

  • Weather – view current conditions and forecasts
  • Calendar – quickly see what meetings and events are upcoming
  • Timer
  • Texts and emails – read emails and, since most have embedded microphones and are voice-activated, you can dictate a text or email hands-free.

And the list of possibilities will surely grow as users and developers get more comfortable with wearables.  In fact, read on as there is a list of some of the more interesting and useful apps that have been modified for Android Wear.

Three Smartwatch Categories

You can categorize smartwatches into three buckets: Apple Watch, Android Wear and Other.  Let’s take a brief look at each.

Non-Apple/Non-Android Wear Bands/Watches

This category is mostly comprised of fitness bands and has been around for several years. Many began as basic plastic bands with pedometers, but over the last few years quality and functionality have evolved considerably. You can track your sleep and heart-rate and receive call notifications from your phone. Manufacturers include Pebble, Samsung, Adidas, Garmin, Jawbone and Misfit.

Manufacturers like Pebble are working to extend their devices’ functionality even further by creating their own app stores. Interestingly, the Pebble app store is accessible through the Pebble app which you install on your iPhone or Android phone. You get the Pebble app at the App Store or Google Play.

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Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is already being called the most ambitious smartwatch ever. At the time of this writing, you could pre-order an Apple Watch and even receive a demonstration in an Apple store. These devices start over $300 and extend to about $17,000. The breadth of watches is stunning, but as I understand it, the internal specifications and functionality are the same across all Apple Watches.

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Like Android wearables, most of your interaction with the Apple Watch is done via swiping and tapping as well as voice. The Apple Watch also has a “Digital Crown” on one site which can be spun to ease navigation. And there is a second button that pulls up favorite contacts and performs a few other functions.

Apple recently reported that over 3,500 Apple Watch apps had already been submitted. The rush is on. If you are an Apple developer/publisher, check out some of the fine articles on Apple Watch here at Chupamobile, including two tutorials by Jorge Jordán on how to extend your apps to the Apple Watch.

Android Wear – The Basics

Google announced Android Wear March 18, 2014 and the first watches were released that summer by LG and Samsung. There are currently five great watches available through Google Play, including devices from Motorola, Asus and Sony – all of which are less expensive than the most basic Apple Watch. The Android Wear OS was updated in December to add a watch face API to install third-party watch faces, and incorporate Android 5.0 Lollipop features such as checking battery status and storage space. For a phone to properly work with Android Wear, it needs Android version 4.3 or later.

The interaction with the phone is mostly comprised of Google Now and notifications.  In fact, once you have connected your watch to your phone, you will automatically start receiving notifications.  In order to install dedicated apps on your watch, you will need to install the Android Wear app on your phone.  Then access Google Play from your phone to find the app you want and it will automatically transferred to your watch.  Once an app is on your watch, you can launch it by scrolling or issuing a voice command.

Whenever you receive an email, a text, a Facebook friend request, or any other notification, the goal is to get the essential information quickly, without having to pull out your phone.  The basic finger-based interactions are similar to Android on your phone, but swiping takes on added importance.  For example, swipe a notification to the right to get more info about it or swipe right to dismiss it.

A closer look at the Moto 360

In order to better understand the Android Wear category, let’s take a closer look at one of the hottest Android Wear watches on the market today – Motorola’s Moto 360.  This is not a full review or list of features, but rather an attempt to help you understand certain aspects of Android Wear smartwatches.

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The Moto 360 is a beautiful watch, with a small bezel and a round screen, making it look more like a traditional watch than many smartwatches. Adding to the effect is a beautiful stainless steel outer body (in black or silver/gray) and a button on the side that will turn on the display and quickly access settings. It is water and dust resistant – NOT waterproof, but at least you do not have to worry about a little rain or splashing when you wash your hands.  It has all the basic functionalities, but lacks some of the impressive specifications or features of some Android wearables. But it seems to have found the sweet spot (relative to other Android Wear watches) by balancing form, function and price.

The Moto 360 touchscreen is 320 x 290 resolution and 205ppi.  Other Android Wear smartphones have even better screen specifications.  One interesting thing about the Moto 360 is that it has an ambient light sensor at the bottom of the screen which is intended to help you better manage brightness and battery life. The downside is that it takes a small amount of screen real estate and contributes to what some people have called the flat tire effect.

You are provided an array of software-based watch faces, and new ones are appearing on Google Play regularly. When your phone receives a notification, the watch lets you know visually and through vibration. You can swipe and tap the watch to dismiss or access notifications or use your voice. If, for example, the notification is a text, you can reply to the sender using the watch’s built in microphone and never touch your phone. Several reports indicate that the voice recognition on the Moto 360 and other smartwatches is considerably less than perfect, especially in noisy environments. Presumably, this will improve over time with software upgrades and hardware iterations.

The Moto 360 can connect to any Android device using Android 4.3 or higher.  It has 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM which is standard in the category, but uses a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor while most competitors are using a slightly snappier Qualcomm Snapdragon.

The watch has a 320mAh battery and includes a Qi wireless charging dock.  Like almost all smartwatches, the Moto 360 has a pedometer and a heart rate monitor. Some competitors such as the LG – G Watch R have built in accelerometers and gyroscopes.

The Moto 360, like most Android Wear smartwatches is still in its first iteration. I cannot wait to see what the next version holds. Although while working on this article, the price dropped on Google Play to $165, but is now back to $249.99.  Prices may drop for some Android wearables once the Apple Watch is available and Android Wear manufacturers start releasing new versions of their own devices.

Apps for Android Wear

To give you some ideas about what apps can do to take advantage of Android Wear, here is a short list of apps along with how their functionality has been extended to Android Wear.

android-wear-apps

Standard Google Android Wear Apps with some of functionality of each

  • Google App – set reminders, check information such as flight status, etc.
  • Google Fit – track your step goals and heart rate
  • Google Play Music – access and control your music
  • Google Keep – make to-do lists, save photos, save voice notes
  • Google Maps – turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic info

3rd Party Apps

  • Invaders (Android Wear) – “The Best Space Invaders game for Android Wear!”
  • Find My Phone – for when you know where your watch is but not your phone
  • Runtastic – offers functionality above and beyond the watch’s basic fitness app
  • Evernote – create a note with simple voice commands, check off to-dos, see calendar events
  • Todoist – manage your to-do list with taps and voice
  • WhatsApp – view and reply to messages by voice
  • Uber – check status of your ride (cannot yet call for a ride with your watch, but surely that is coming)
  • Sleep as Android – sleep cycle based alarm clock and tracker
  • Aeris Wear Weather – current conditions, forecasts, and even radar
  • ITTT – allows you to create custom rules to trigger events in certain situations
  • LookBehind – your watch will display whatever your phone camera is pointed toward
  • Wear Internet Browser – browsing is not optimal on a watch, but you can do it

For an even larger selection of Google “hand-picked” apps for Android Wear click here.

What’s Next?

According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, 6 percent of adults plan to by the Apple Watch.  The percentage of men in this category outnumbered women by almost two to one.  18- to 28-year-old males gave the watch the highest “cool factor” but males in their 30s were the most likely to actually purchase one.  So if your app appeals to men, uses notifications, and/or has elements that can be broken down into pieces easily digested on a small screen, then your app may be a good candidate for extension to wearables.

The Wall Street has estimated that between 10 and 32 million Apple Watches will be sold worldwide in 2015. Depending on your source, there were 720,000 or 1.2 million Android Wear watches sold in 2014.  So Apple Watch is poised to become the overnight leader in wearables. Will Apple’s performance have a halo effect on the whole category, increasing general acceptance of devices on wrists? Will Android Wear be marginalized or see a lift? Time will tell, but I suspect that like Android itself, there will be people who prefer Android. So if you have apps on both platforms, you might consider extending functionality to both Apple Watch and Android Wear simultaneously.

In a few days we will discuss how you as a developer can take advantage of Android Wear.  We will discuss alternatives and look at some sample code. Stay tuned. In the meanwhile, please use the comments below to share your own experiences with wearables.

04May

We made it easy to enter the Gaming Business, allowing everyone – even non-programmers “with 99 bucks and a free afternoon” – to launch a Mobile Game. You embraced this opportunity, creating and publishing a lot (really, a lot) of amazing Games in the iOS and Android App Stores; and now, you have helped to build something amazing:

together

Chupamobile has become, in 2014, the largest Game Publisher in the World!

Yes, that’s right. Here some numbers: last year, 138,000 Games were launched in the iTunes App Store, 25% of the 520,000 total Apps published; while on the Android scene,  91,000 were the new Games hitting  the Google Play store on 2014, according to Pocketgamer. On the Chupamobile side, Chupamobilers launched over 5,600 Games, 3,600 of them for iOS and 2,000 for Android.

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Source: poketgamer.com

Doing a quick math, this means that the 2.5% of the Games published last year on the App Stores were created by Chupamobilers like you (2.6% of the iOS Games and 2.1% of the Android ones). And we cannot be happier about this! More than 15,000 Top Games based on Chupamobile templates have already been launched in the iOS and Android App Stores so far. These outstanding numbers make You, our community, the largest Game publisher in the world!

The community of the long-tail app publishers…

With those 15,000+ Games live on the App Stores, the Chupamobile community aggregates the long tail of App publishers and reaches billions of users which generate billions of impressions per month. Actually, there’s a lot of money to be made on that long tail and you know it; above all if we consider most indie publishers like you work on app portfolios instead of single apps.

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The shape of the App Store based on one example: Overcast. Source: metakite.com

Advertising companies are fully aware of this huge money-maker potential and are fighting each other for that booty. Almost all Chupamobile publishers choose advertising as a way to monetize their apps and games, selecting the best and most performing ad network SDKs for their apps. Moreover, In-App advertising is forecasted to grow more than 10% per year while the number of mobile app downloads is expected to double within 2018. And the cherry on top is that the App Business is concentrated in gaming: according to Midia Research, 84.9% of the top grossing apps are games. Actually, mobile game revenue will top $30 billion in 2015, overtaking consoles. Yes! You are on the right track!

…that conquered the App Stores Top Charts

itunes-app-store-top-chart

The first positions in the App Stores Top Charts are usually covered by big publishing companies like King, Zynga or agencies like Supercell, that made $1.8bn in 2014 with only one game (Clash of Clans). But there are (many) exceptions, and those exceptions are frequently Apps made with a Chupamobile Template. Your Games have reached the Top Ten of the iTunes App Store in many countries like the United States, United Kingdom or Germany, and they have even reached the first position worldwide! This rate of success means a lot to us: it certificates the high quality of our app templates and confirms that the dream of indie publishers can actually (and quite easily) become true.

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Rank history of four Games created with Chupamobile Templates. Source: appannie.com

Congratulations to you, our amazing community of 100K+ Appreneurs

None of this could’ve been possible without you, our awesome community! More than 100,000 people connected with Chupamobile, all with a common passion: Apps and Games. A community of App and Game developers, gamers, publishers, marketers and Appreneurs from all over the World that keeps growing every day.

From the Chupamobile Team, we want to say “CONGRATULATIONS”  to all for what you have achieved: this means a lot to us,  a dream come true. And we know this is just the beginning! :)

congratulations

While you were reading this article…

The App Store never sleeps and the Gaming Business takes profit of this to keep growing. In the 3.5 minutes you spend reading this article, 3 apps were published on the App Store. One of them is a game, probably created with a Chupamobile App Template! Want the next to be yours?