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Apple’s App Store generates $1B a week

On average, Apple generated more than $1 billion a week from the half-billion-plus people visiting its App Store every week in 2019, new data shows.

That’s $54.2 billion in the year.

Chasing the (long) tail

There’s lots of reasons for this, principally a successful push toward subscription-based business models and rapidly growing consumer acceptance that there actually is a value in digital products.

This renaissance in digital engagement is also generating new opportunity for enterprises who seek to meet customers where they are with digital-first experiences.

Subscription revenues increased in 2019, with more developers offering to let users try their apps before paying for the full feature set, according to SensorTower data. Growing subscription revenues prove shoppers will pay monthly fees for apps.

Nurturing this kind of perception has been one of the big challenges for the tech industry. In the early years, the success of Napster and file-sharing showed what can happen to industries when people don’t value digital product.

The later success of iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime and services like iCloud and Dropbox helped most users recognize digital value.

Now it’s generating massive money. User spending at the App Store climbed 16% year-over-year from $47 billion in 2018. Games accounted for a mighty $37 billion of this, while entertainment apps hoovered up $3.9 billion more.

We’re also seeing physical product sales become more deeply digital. 

“People are more connected today than ever before,” said Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product and platform at Adobe.

“We all have a smartphone in our pocket, and that is really what is driving the uptick in mobile commerce and e-commerce overall. You can literally think of something you need, and just purchase it right that second.

“This always-on and always connected trend will continue to accelerate, especially as the definition of mobility continues to expand to new devices and modes of accessing the Internet.”

Best in store

Apple recently announced that App Store developers had earned more than $155 billion in App Store sales since 2008. The company added that “over a quarter” of these sales came in the last year and confirmed customers spent $1.42 billion at the App Store between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 2019 — up 16%. The App Store store generated $386 million in sales on New Year’s Day 2020, Apple said – up slightly on the $322 million generated the same day last year.

The trend isn’t merely visible on Apple’s App Store; even Google Play also saw increased revenues – though the sum generated by iOS was 85% greater than the $29.3 billion spent on Google Play.

The digital value chain

This flurry of statistics proves perception of digital value is growing. (This is also proven by news that Pokemon Go generated nearly a billion dollars in revenue on in-game purchases alone last year.)

That is something that should matter to enterprise professionals attempting to identify and deliver new services and business models.

Consumer willingness to pay for digital services shows business models such as “information as a service,” expansion in digital channels and sponsorship of key digital experiences are more likely to build revenue, attract customers or enhance relationships than before.

In an intensifying competitive environment, delivering such services may be mandatory – and there may be some way to go, given Gartner’s analysis that 84% of consumers using digital tools and services in 2018 reported “underwhelming” experiences.

This matters.

  • 60% of enterprises that have engaged in digital transformation projects have also built new business models.
  • 78% of customers use mobile channels to communicate with brands.
  • 80% of millennials are more likely to purchase from companies that have a mobile customer services portal.

The attention economy isn’t at all stable. A better product or service can come along and quickly steal away hard-won hearts and minds. This has always been true in business, but the rapidity with which digital solutions can be developed and distributed means competition is rapid – and response must be more agile.

It’s an intense environment.

“By 2022, 72% of customer interactions will involve an emerging technology, such as machine-learning applications, chatbots or mobile messaging, up from 11% in 2017,” Gartner predicted in 2019.

It is interesting that Calm and Headspace became the biggest-grossing apps in the health and fitness category across both Apple and Android platforms in December.

Perhaps all those ‘digital first’ executives badly needed some time out as they grappled with the challenge of continued transformation?

Though on a more serious note, this also reflects consumer willingness to invest in a huge array of tech-driven services, even those we don’t usually associate with “digital.”

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple’s App Store generates a billion dollars a week

On average, Apple generated over a billion dollars a week from the half billion plus people visiting its App Store every week in 2019, the latest data shows.

That’s $54.2 billion in the year.

Chasing the (long) tail

There’s lots of reasons for this, principally a successful push toward subscription-based business models and rapidly growing consumer acceptance that there actually is a value in digital products.

This renaissance in digital engagement is also generating new opportunity for enterprises who seek to meet customers where they are with digital-first experiences.

Subscription revenues increased in 2019, with more developers offering to let users try their apps before paying out for the full feature set, according to SensorTower data. Growing subs revenues prove shoppers will pay monthly fees for apps.

Nurturing this kind of perception has been one of the big challenges for the tech industry. In the early years the success of Napster and file-sharing showed what can happen to industries when people don’t value digital product.

The success of iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime and services like iCloud and Dropbox helped most users recognize digital value.

Now it’s generating massive money.

User spending at the App Store climbed 16% y-o-y from $47 billion in 2018. Games accounted for a mighty $37 billion of this, while entertainment apps hoovered up $3.9 billion more.

We’re also seeing physical product sales become more deeply digital. 

“People are more connected today than ever before,” said Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product & platform at Adobe.

“We all have a smartphone in our pocket, and that is really what is driving the uptick in mobile commerce and e-commerce overall. You can literally think of something you need, and just purchase it right that second.

“This always-on and always connected trend will continue to accelerate, especially as the definition of mobility continues to expand to new devices and modes of accessing the Internet.”

Best in store

Apple recently announced that App Store developers earned over $155 billion in App Store sales since 2008.

The company added that “over a quarter” of these sales came in the last year and confirmed customers spent $1.42 billion at the App Store between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 2019 — up 16 percent. The App Store store generated $386 million in sales on New Year’s Day 2020, Apple said — up slightly on the $322 million generated the same day last year.

The trend isn’t merely visible on Apple’s App Store, even Google Play also saw increased revenues – despite which the sum generated by iOS was 85 percent greater than the $29.3 billion spent on Google Play.

The digital value chain

This flurry of statistics proves perception of digital value is growing. (This is also proven by news that Pokemon Go generated nearly a billion dollars in revenue on in-game purchases alone last year).

That is something that should matter to enterprise professionals attempting to identify and deliver new services and business models.

Consumer willingness to pay for digital services shows business models such as ‘information as a service’, expansion in digital channels and sponsorship of key digital experiences are more likely to build revenue, attract customers or enhance relationships than before.

In an intensifying competitive environment, delivering such services may be mandatory – and there may be some way to go, given Gartner’s analysis that 84 percent of consumers using digital tools and services in 2018 reported “underwhelming” experiences.

This matters.

  • 60% of enterprises that have engaged in digital transformation projects have also built new business models.
  • 78% of customers use mobile channels to communicate with brands.
  • 80% of millennials are more likely to purchase from companies that have a mobile customer services portal.

The attention economy isn’t at all stable. A better product or service can come along and quickly steal away hard-won hearts and minds. This has always been true in business, but the rapidity with which digital solutions can be developed and distributed means competition is rapid and response must be more agile.

It’s an intense environment.

“By 2022, 72 percent of customer interactions will involve an emerging technology, such as machine-learning applications, chatbots or mobile messaging, up from 11 percent in 2017,” predicted Gartner in 2019.

Within this it is interesting that Calm and Headspace became the biggest grossing apps in the health and fitness category across both Apple and Android platforms in December.

Perhaps all those ‘digital first’ executives badly needed some time out as they grappled with the challenge of continued transformation?

Though on a more serious note this also reflects consumer willingness to invest in a huge array of tech-driven services, even those we don’t usually associate with “digital”.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Meet the app that’s helping causes streamline their outreach

The key to productivity is structure, but many organizations use fragmented systems to reach people. Their donor list may be in one database while their volunteer list is on a separate Google Doc. This wastes too much time that could be spent engaging your audience. If your nonprofit, political campaign, or advocacy group is looking for a holistic solution that puts people at the center, look no further than Nationbuilder. 

It all starts with a website. With NationBuilder, your organization can choose from a library of premade templates to create a website within minutes. From there, you can manage event RSVPs that are synced with Facebook, create custom donation pages, open volunteer signups, and more.

NationBuilder provides tools that make engaging your new supporters easy. This includes personal auto-responses whenever a supporter makes a donation, signs up to volunteer, or pledges to vote. You’ll also get text and email blasting to send a message to all of your supporters at once. Alternatively, NationBuilder features list segmentation that lets you engage specific communities among your supporters. 

Once your website is up and running, you’ll have access to integrated, real-time data to learn more about your supporters. For example, you can track fundraising, petition, and volunteer progress straight from your goals dashboard. You can also sort your data with custom fields to paint a better picture of the of your community.

Fragmented data puts unnecessary overhead on your organization, but NationBuilder gives you the tools to streamline your outreach in one simple package. Sign up now for a 14-day free trial and get one free month of NationBuilder after your trial ends. Click here to learn more. 

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Soon every enterprise will need its own App Store

Digital transformation isn’t just a single wave, it’s a series of them, each one transformational – it’s an environment in which change is a permanent feature.

No one size fits anyone any more

We know every single Fortune 500 firm now uses Apple equipment in their business.

We know that many enterprises now offer their own proprietary apps and business processes, and we also know that incoming technologies such as RPA will continue to transform business practise.

We recognize that, given the choice, most employees will choose Apple kit, and we know those employees who do may be more productive, cost less in tech support and less likely to quit.

We also know that not every task requires the same toolkit, and that the very notion of apps favours development of software to address one single task well, rather than multiple tasks poorly.

Modular everything

Think about your business.

It’s likely you have different business units engaged in different tasks, each one with different resources and varying practical needs. Maps, spreadsheets, presentations, data analysis, field service manuals, passenger manifests, cargo manifests, location detection systems, data analysis, pre-emptive maintenance, warehouse navigation — look around and you’ll find most business needs now enjoy access to an ‘app for that’.

Particularly on iOS.

The problem is that while Apple’s App Store is by far the most secure shopfront for apps, it’s still not perfectly safe (nowhere is).

This has led many companies to white list specific apps while banning use of others in managed environments.

This leads inexorably toward scenarios in which enterprises will begin to create and populate their own internal App Stores.

These will deliver a mix of curated consumer and proprietary enterprise apps giving employers control and insight and employees trusted environments of choice.

Businesses recognise that in an App environment in which even the most secure platform provider is grappling with threats, while other platforms offer slick marketing to hid inherent weakness, it behoves them to put together their own source of truth.

In the form of an enterprise app store.

None of this is new

But Enterprise App Stores will become far more commonplace.

Many already exist.

SAP has its own SAP Enterprise Store, for example, but a recent Gartner report predicts 40% of workers will manage their enterprise apps in this way.

The model will only extend as incoming employees arrive to market with their own technologically sophisticated needs built as a result of a lifetime engaging with digital tools and App Store distribution.

  • These tech-savvy employees will digital tools to be as easy to access as downloading an ‘app for that’.
  • They will want intuitive user interfaces for those apps, will want apps that work together and will not want to navigate through confusing UI elements in order to find the function they need.
  • We already know employees will quit if the tech they use is worse than what they use at home, so there’s an HR need spurring this evolution.

Ultimately, this means enterprise app developers will approach app design from a widget-like approach, splicing business processes up into modules.

This will enable employees — already used to piecing together a bunch of different apps in order to get things done in the consumer space — to adopt a similar approach at work: They will select the specific apps they need in order to transact the tasks their specific role requires.

Some will use more apps, some will use less, but the overall impact will be that the friction of app use will be reduced and autonomy and simplicity should unlock productivity.

Employees will also be equipped to use third-party apps that have passed through the IT support vetting process and have been whitelisted to work across a company network – while enterprises will be able to sandbox emerging solutions for use by authorized employees, enabling agile business users to choose to use new tools that may augment the business need.

This gives employees the autonomy to use what are for them the best available tools for their job (including emerging solutions), while also protecting the business from hack, attack and user security slack.

The impact?

Enterprise app deployment becomes a frictionless user experience, just like consumer App Stores.

iPhone-wielding workers can use the best digital tools for the job, and the collections of apps used by workers can be changed in response to changing needs, nurturing business agility and digital dexterity.

There is a downside to this digital dance.

Not every company has the resources to launch its own proprietary app store, but there are service providers who may fill that gap.

At JNUC I spoke briefly with Setapp CEO, Oleksandr Kosovan. He was there to evangelize the SetApp for Teams service, which offers Mac-based enterprises access to a collection of useful productivity apps for a set fee. The idea is that these apps are curated by his company and enterprises can scale their app deployments to demand.

While this service is only for Macs, it’s no great leap of imagination to add links to enterprise-approved iOS apps and distribution to proprietary enterprise apps to this kind of curated and branded store.

While Kosovan’s is a consumer play with a background in consumer markets, firms like Arxan and others also offer proprietary App store solutions for enterprises.

And it’s possible the good times for this segment of the enterprise services business have only just begun.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Food fight: Slack and Microsoft trade barbs, sling stats in collaboration app battle

Competition between Slack and Microsoft over their respective chat apps has intensified recently, as the two companies clash over new usage stats – with Slack’s share price tumbling last week in the wake of new adoption figures for Teams.

Even so, analysts say Slack’s stickiness and strong user engagement offer it an advantage as businesses begin to adopt workstream collaboration software more widely.

Microsoft last week announced that Teams now has 20 million daily active users, up more than 50% from 13 million in June. The publication of those user figures appeared to have an immediate impact on Slack’s share price, which saw an 11% drop the following day. In fact, Slack’s share price has fallen by more than half since its public listing in June – an apparent sign of investor concern over its ability to compete with Microsoft long-term. 

Launched by Microsoft in 2017, Teams is available at no extra cost with certain subscriptions of Office 365; the suite has more than 200 million monthly active users. It competes with Slack and others in a team collaboration software market worth $3.5 billion this year, according to IDC analysts.

However Slack – which announced it has 12 million daily active users in October (up from 10 million in January) – has frequently called Microsoft’s user metrics into question, claiming it does not measure daily use the same way.

Daily active use and the battle of stats

The upstart contends that its customers spend more time using its application productively each day, with individuals logged in for more than nine hours, on average. This includes 90 minutes of active interaction, the company said, such as sending direct messages or reading posts in public channels. 

“As we’ve said before, you can’t transform a workplace if people aren’t actually using your product,” a Slack spokesperson said in response to Microsoft’s user figures, which it claims are overinflated. 

Microsoft said it defines daily active use as “the maximum daily users performing an intentional action in the last 28-day period across the desktop client, mobile client and web client.” 

Examples of such actions include “starting a chat, placing a call, sharing a file, editing a document within Teams, participating in a meeting, etc.”  Microsoft said it removes “passive actions” like auto-boot, minimizing a screen, or closing the app from its calculations, and de-dupes all actions across a single user ID. 

The spokesperson added there were 27 million voice or video meetings held in Teams in October, and 220 million “open, edit, or download actions” on files held in Teams. That equates to 11 such actions per user each month, on average.

Slack meanwhile said there are more than 5 billion user actions each week, such as reading and writing messages, uploading and commenting on files and interacting with apps.

Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight, said that the focus on granular levels of app use amounts to more than just posturing by Slack, serving to highlight how central the app can be to team workflows.

As Slack contends, its app is often central to a range of team interactions and workflows.

Ashenden said that, while Microsoft’s adoption figures are certainly impressive, much of Teams’ traction appears to center on meetings, thanks to Microsoft’s decision to essentially move Skype for Business Online and its users into Teams, rather than supporting employee workflow, as Slack claims to do.

“At the moment, Slack definitely has the edge in true workstream collaboration, both in terms of capabilities and customer usage,” said Ashenden. 

“Slack’s discussion about active interaction on the platform might sound pedantic, but it does highlight how central its platform is to its users’ daily activities – it’s part of their workflow, and this makes it very sticky.”

She added that, while Microsoft has made moves to improve Teams as a workstream collaboration tool, with renewed focus on integrations and automation tools such as PowerApps and Power Automate, it still lags behind Slack. 

“Until Microsoft gets a better story here, in terms of its communication to customers as well as its third party integration and developer/partner support, Slack’s position remains strong,” she said.

The gloves come off

Rivalry between the two companies has existed since Microsoft first announced the creation of Teams in 2016. Slack’s response was to take out a full page ad in the New York Times, to “welcome” Microsoft as a competitor.

CEO Stewart Butterfield has been more publicly critical of the Microsoft in recent weeks. During an on-stage interview with WSJ Tech Live last month, Butterfield accused Microsoft of “surprisingly unsportsmanlike conduct,” claiming the company has offered to pay businesses to use Teams, and took Microsoft to task for releasing Teams adoption stats soon after Slack’s post-public listing, a federally mandated quiet period for the company.

“The bigger point is that’s kind of crazy for Microsoft to do, especially during the quiet period,” he said. He added that “I think they feel like we’re an existential threat.”

Butterfield also questioned the popularity of Teams among users, noting that most the popular Google searches for Microsoft Teams relate to ways to uninstall the application.

“All of the top searches are how to uninstall, how to stop it from popping up, how to get rid of it,” he said. “So there is a very aggressive push to get people in there.”

On Thursday, Slack’s PR team also hit back at Microsoft on social media, tweeting a video that compared promotional videos for their respective products to show clear similarities. The tweet text read “OK, boomer,” referencing a meme in order to mock the perception of Microsoft as old and out of touch.

Microsoft has also fired broadsides recently. In an interview with The Verge, Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365, said that Slack lacks the “breadth and depth” of Teams.

During a pre-recorded press briefing for Microsoft’s Ignite conference last month, Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of communications, also made a thinly-veiled reference to Slack when discussing Teams usage with Spataro.

“Everybody has a different way of measuring things; what success looks like for us might be different to somebody else. But I have wonder if, hypothetically, spending nine hours a day in a chat app is a good productive use of time,” said Shaw.

“We are not trying to replace email with chat,” responded Spataro. “If someone is spending nine hours in a communications tool, we wonder is that really where you should be? We look at Teams as this hub where its strength undoubtedly is the underlying Microsoft 365 workloads. That is what is all about.”

How will Teams’ growth affect Slack?

While such talk is par for the course between two competing companies, it shows how seriously the two firms are throwing rhetorical elbows. Last year, Microsoft, with a market cap of more than $1 trillion, listed Slack as an official competitor to its Office suite in its annual 10K report, placing it alongside Apple, Cisco, Google and IBM. 

And it reportedly put Slack on a list of internally banned apps, ostensibly for security concerns. (Slack’s CEO claims there are still pockets of use within the company.)

Perhaps the most significant sign of competition between the two  is the scale of Microsoft’s investments in building out Teams. In addition to deepening integrations with Office 365 tools, it has introduced a wide range of features, including capabilities to support “frontline” workers. At its Ignite event, there was a notable increase in the volume of Teams announcements, including the launch of private channels, an important feature Slack has had for some time.

And Teams has plenty of room to grow, too, with only a small proportion of Office 365 customers currently using the app.

Despite Slack’s swift uptake – it has claimed to be  the fastest growing business app of all time – and growing revenues, the company has yet to make a profit. It reported an annual loss of $138.9 million for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31 on revenues of $400.6 million. In its most recent quarterly results, Slack posted higher-than-expected revenues of $145 million. 

Slack has struggled at times since its public listing in June. Despite its swift uptake – it’s regarded as the fastest growing business app of all time – and growing revenues, it has yet to make a profit. It reported an annual loss of $138.9 million for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2019 on revenues of $400.6 million. In its most recent quarterly results, it posted higher-than-expected revenues of $145 million. 

Nevertheless, it has continued to attract more users in the past year as it has added automation capabilities, improved links with email (including Microsoft’s Outlook), while boosting security and management capabilities in Enterprise Grid, which is aimed at large businesses. Slack sees big potential in the long term, and estimated in its S-1 filing that the market has a potential value of $28 billion

While Slack and Teams play in the same market, the impact of Teams on Slack’s growth can easily be overstated, said Larry Cannell, a research director at Gartner. 

“Certainly, users in Office 365 enterprises are getting exposed to Teams, but that alone does not guarantee success,” he said. “Also, Slack has a fair amount of momentum all its own with some extremely passionate users.”

For many companies, this is not necessarily an “either/or” scenario; in many cases, businesses are using both apps.  (Computerworld employees have access to both apps.) According to Slack’s CEO, the majority of its customers also pay for Office 365 too.

Cannell added that, while it is natural for any company to be concerned when Microsoft offers up a successful competing product it is too early to see who will come out on top.  

“Successfully using either product requires changes in how groups operate on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “Each vendor is taking different approaches to encouraging or enabling this behavioral change and is too early to tell who will be successful.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Mysterious app keeps you from shutting down — or does it?

At last, we have a description of the mysterious shutdown-blocking G — and a fix for Microsoft’s G-generating bug coming in the next version of Win10, commonly called 20H1.

If you look online, you’ll see hundreds (if not thousands) of reports about Win10 shutdown getting blocked by a mysterious app called, simply, G.

g blocks shutdown Overflowbr on Bleeping Computer

Most people assume it’s a virus, some other sort of malware or a harbinger of doom. In fact, it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a bug in the way Windows reports a specific kind of hang, and the bug has been fixed in the latest versions of Win10 20H1.

The KB article associated with the first Windows Insider beta build 19013 release says:

Some of you have reached out about when trying to shutdown, seeing a message saying that an app named “G” was preventing shutdown. We investigated and found an issue where windows related to GDI+were only referenced as “G.” We’ve fixed this, so going forward, these will now have the name “GDI+ Window (<exe name>)”, where <exe name> will show the .exe name of the app using GDI+.

In fact, people have been “reaching out” to Microsoft about this bug for years. I easily found six complaints on Reddit (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) going back two years. General consensus on Reddit, and elsewhere, is that the afflicted machines are running malware of some sort or another. General consensus is wrong.

It’s a bug in the way the Blocked Shutdown Resolver pulls the name of the program blocking a shutdown, and “G” may result when there’s a GDI+ program (a program that draws stuff on the screen) that turns belly up as you’re shutting down.

Raymond Chen, one of my favorite Microsoft explainers, has a detailed (if weighty) discussion on the Developer Blog.

At the time the GDI+ library was written, it needed to support Windows 98, which had very limited support for Unicode. Therefore, it was compiled as ANSI and consequently used the ANSI versions of functions like Register­Class, like Create­Window, and Def­WindowProc to create and manage its helper window. The lack of Unicode support in the helper window didn’t really cause a problem because the window never displayed any UI and never processed any text. The window was there to do things like listen for WM_SETTINGS­CHANGE messages so it knew when to invalidate its caches. A few years ago, the GDI+ team did a little cleanup, and one of the things they did was get rid of support for Windows 98 and Windows Me…

When a program prevents you from signing out or shutting down, Windows looks for a visible window belonging to that program and uses that to represent it in the Blocked Shutdown Resolver (BSDR) screen. But if the program has no visible windows, then the BSDR will take any window belonging to the program, visible or not. And sometimes the invisible window that gets chosen is the one named “G”.

So if you see that G is keeping you from shutting down, just go ahead and manually override it. No harm, no foul — and know that it’ll be fixed (finally!) when the next version of Win10 hits.

Thx, @b

Having G problems? Tell us about it on AskWoody.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Mobile App Website Inspiration: 20 Application Websites And Tips To Design One

App websites are sometimes neglected by app owners. The owners or developers set up everything in place for the app to go ballistic on the market, except doing the basic marketing step: designing an app website that converts your visitors to users.

But is it enough to create a random website for an app?

Nope.

If you do a rushed job, your website will be just as good as not having one. You’ll end up having visitors come to your site that you’ve been promoting and they’ll close the tab as fast as they’ve clicked on your link.

You can avoid this unfortunate situation if you take the time to create eye-catching and engaging app websites designed to consistently convert visitors into users.

It’s really not all that difficult when you follow these 5 simple steps.

 

5 Simple Steps to Creating the Best App Websites

Step 1: Choose a Mesmerizing Color Palette

Not everyone will necessarily agree with your idea of what a mesmerizing color palette would be. Maybe you’re not even sure what it should look like.

Not a problem. Stick to these 3 simple rules and your selection should be spot on every time:

  • Your palette should feature colors that immediately attract visitors’ attention.
  • Make sure it’s on brand so as not to detract from the message.
  • It needs to be visually supportive of the message as well.

Notice how the use of pastel color touches in this Headspace example are every bit as effective as bold, brash colors. Much more so in fact. They give the site a friendly, lighthearted look that helps to convey the message.

1

You can create a similar colorful app website with this Be Theme pre-built website that puts an eye-catching palette of bold colors to good use.

2

Magpie illustrates the result of creating a color palette that aligns perfectly with its brand – in this case, visually memorable pastels.

3

Muse’s subtle use of a natural, neutral color palette reinforces the message that their product line makes users more mindful and connected as they go about their daily lives.

4

On the other hand, the vibrancy of the BeApp2 color palette is designed to perfectly appeal to a large audience of physically active users.

5

Step 2: Feature Crystal-Clear Product Photos and Images

People don’t want clever hints as to what the app looks like. Anytime visitors have to try to figure things out you’ll likely loose them. They want to be able to clearly understand how easy or how difficult using the app will be; and above all how it differs from the other 400 similar ones on the market.

Bite for example, clearly displays how the app appears on a smartphone while giving the user a sense of how easy it is to work with.

6

You can create a similar app website with BeWallet. This pre-built website provides an excellent starting point for building a website designed for financial apps. Financial apps are in great demand; especially those that are both helpful and straightforward to work with.

7

BeSoftware provides an excellent foundation for creating a website that allows a visitor to navigate through the inner workings of the app.

8

The use of before and after examples is a simple yet highly credible way to demonstrate what an app is capable of. JibJab applies this tactic to near perfection.

9

Step 3: Give Visitors A Clear Picture Of How The App Works

Showing visitors what an app does is a necessary step, but it’s not enough. You need to show how the app works as well. One of the most effective sales drivers lies in the ability of an app website to allow visitors to imagine themselves as actual users of the app.

Video is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. PeekCalendar’s hero section includes such a video.

10

BePolyglot may not have been initially created only for presenting an app, but its product in use hero section is exactly what you need to offer the users a preview of your app.

11

The best way to present a video is to invite the visitor to watch it (not everyone enjoys watching a video that automatically runs). BePay’s video is opened with a CTA button above the fold.

12

Tunity’s website uses a slider in the hero section to show several examples of how the product works. In fact, the entire website brilliantly presents the various workings of the app in great detail.

13

Step 4: Don’t Be Afraid To (Over)Use “White” Space On App Websites

An overly generous use of white space often does more good than harm, while sparse usage can have the opposite effect. Use just enough white space to highlight the main message on the page. Add a little bit more, and you’ll be in great shape. White space makes it easier for visitors to focus on a single message or element, or on several.

Curio utilizes a clean, fresh design that makes it ever-so-easy for the eye to focus on what’s most important.

14

The BeProduct4 or BeHosting2 pre-built websites can be used to create an app website that has the same, clean and fresh effect. Dark “white space” is used effectively in one example; white and pale blue in the other. The message is clearly presented in both examples.

15
16

SpellTower is an extreme example of white space usage. 90% or more of the page is white space, yet it is by no means excessive. The user clearly knows where to go or what to do next.

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Step 5: Use CTA Designs That Will Grab Visitors By The Eyeballs

The very worst thing you can do with a CTA button (with the possible exception of causing it to send a visitor to the wrong place) is to make it hard to locate. The simple fact is, you want to make it virtually impossible to miss and make your visitor feel compelled to click on it.

Bright and bold are the operative parameters.

The Splitwise CTA button clearly stands out. A visitor will first be drawn to the headline, next to the sub-headline, and the flow naturally extends to the CTA button which is easy to see.

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BeERP uses a bright green color to draw attention to the primary CTA button and a somewhat plainer color (black) to highlight the secondary button.

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As the BeKids example illustrates, it can be perfectly OK to use the same color for the CTA button as is used in other visual elements; in this case blue. Rather than being lost in the shuffle, the button stands out.

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Conclusion

Follow these 5 surefire steps and you should have little problem creating an app website that’s designed to turn visitors into customers. Your mesmerizing color palette and clean imagery will attract attention. Clearly illustrating what the app does and enabling a potential user to visualize how to work with it keeps visitors engaged. White space helps to make the user experience a pleasant one, and bright bold CTA buttons lead to conversions.

It’s important however to remember that the website presentation should be geared to making the intended audience want to use the app.

If you really intend to create as many app websites as possible (while avoiding Christmas Every Day or Groundhog Day issues) you might want to check out Be Theme’s gallery of more than 450 customizable pre-built websites. They’re functional and visually impressive, and they have intuitive navigation and everything else you need to create one attention-getting app website after another.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of Be Theme –]



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New Microsoft Office App for iOS and Android Combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – Review Geek

New Microsoft Office App
Microsoft

If you’re among the millions of people who get Microsoft Office work done on a smartphone sometimes, you will soon be able to access Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from the same app on your device instead of opening them separately.

In the interest of making mobile productivity more efficient when using Microsoft Office on a phone, the software suite has received an update that brings all of your Office documents together in one place. Along with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the new Microsoft Office app will provide easy access to Sticky Notes for saving quick thoughts, along with various mobile-oriented capabilities such as using your camera to scan documents.

You can also get recent and recommended documents stored in the cloud on your device and search for documents across your organization if using a work account. By combining all of these features into the same mobile application, it should reduce the need to switch between apps, and Microsoft says it will save storage space on your phone compared to having multiple separate apps installed.

The “Actions Pane” is another noteworthy addition. It provides quick access to tasks you might typically encounter on a mobile device such as creating PDFs with your camera, signing PDFs with your finger, scanning QR codes to open files and links, transferring files from your phone to a computer, and sharing with other nearby mobile devices.

You can get these features by updating your Office mobile app to the public preview that launched today for Android and iOS. The app can be downloaded for free and you just have to sign in with a Microsoft Account. Microsoft notes that Apple’s TestFlight program for preview software limits the public preview to 10,000 users, so you may want to hop on that sooner rather than later if you’re interested in trying the software on your iOS phone.

Note that the new Office app is only available for phones, with support for tablets coming later. As for the existing mobile apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft says it will continue to support and invest in the separate apps for everyone who prefers using those instead of the new all-in-one app. The company encourages everyone to submit feedback for the new Office app by going to Settings > Help & Feedback.

Source: Microsoft





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Spotify’s New Kid’s App Curates Your Children’s Music So You Don’t Have To – Review Geek

The Spotify Kids Logo
Spotify

Spotify is testing a new Kid’s app for Premium Family subscribers, and it might save your sanity. The standalone app will feature human-curated music, playlists, and kid-friendly graphics. All while keeping music your little ones aren’t ready for out of sight.

Goodbye Sweeney Todd

Not sure I want my seven-year-old listening to Sweeney Todd and Moulin Rouge.

If you want to let your young children use Spotify, you currently have two basic choices: let them use your account or create an account for them and try to curate it by hand. Neither choice is great.

Choosing to share your account with your children means you’ll find your playlists and Daily Mix suggestions taken over by Disney music and TV show theme songs.

And creating a separate account isn’t great either. Spotify’s controls for children are less than adequate. It’s only recently that the service even added explicit filters, for one. And blocking explicit songs still isn’t perfect. You may encounter some songs that should be marked explicit but aren’t yet (that’s quickly improving). And just because a song isn’t explicit doesn’t mean it’s kid-appropriate.

The above screenshot comes from a seven-year old’s Spotify account. Spotify noticed he favors Disney music, so clearly, he likes musicals. Thus it suggested music from Sweeny Todd. That’s the problem with algorithm-generated playlists and suggestions; computers don’t understand context like a human can. And that’s where the new Spotify Kid’s app (available in Ireland to start, but coming to more countries soon) comes in to play.

A Shiny App with Human Curated Playlists

Spotify graphics showing kid-friendly avatars.
Spotify

The Spotify Kid’s app (available for iOS and Android if you’re in Ireland) looks completely different from the standard Spotify app. For instance, the colors are brighter, and your children get to pick a cute avatar that looks like something out of the Endless Alphabet app.

But more importantly, all the music your children will have access to is human-curated. Someone somewhere listened to the song and confirmed it’s child-appropriate. When you create your child’s account, you can choose from two age categories to determine what kind of music they can hear. The Younger Kids grouping sticks to music from Disney and children’s stories. Older kids get access to pop songs that are still family appropriate.

The app is also ad-free, and Spotify won’t sell data from it to third-party advertisers. The company did specify it will only share data to third-parties for select reasons, like connecting to your smart TV.
That makes the Kid’s app a better choice from a privacy standpoint than using a full-blown account on the official app. Spotify didn’t specify when the app will roll out to other markets, but you can keep an out at the Kid’s site for more information.





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Spotify Launches a Standalone App for Kids

Spotify has launched Spotify Kids, a standalone app designed for “the next generation of listeners”. This is Spotify built for kids. And it features a child-friendly UI and a collection of songs curated for even the youngest music lovers.

What to Expect From Spotify Kids

Spotify Kids is designed for kids aged 3+. There are thousands of songs available, all hand-picked by a team of editors. Younger children get Disney soundtracks and the like. Older kids can listen to pop songs from the likes of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.

The Kids app looks and feels different than the regular Spotify app. With a bright and colorful UI, and a cast of characters to choose from. The look varies by age group too, so the Spotify Kids app can evolve as kids grow up listening to Spotify.

Spotify Kids is exclusively available to Premium Family subscribers. This is partly due to the lack of ads. Spotify Kids is currently in beta, and only available in Ireland. However, it will be rolling out to all markets that currently have Premium Family.

According to the press release, Spotify has intentionally launched its Kids app in beta owing to “the sensitivities around content for children”. Spotify will use the beta to learn from “parents, caregivers and other experts as they begin to interact with the app.”

Download: Spotify Kids on Android | iOS (Only available to Premium Family subscribers)

Spotify Is Building for the Future

With the streaming wars starting to heat up, appealing to the next generation of subscribers could be the key to the longterm future of Spotify et al. If children associate a certain company with music, they’re more likely to stick with them as adults.

Whether you’re interested in Spotify Kids or not, you should check out our previous Spotify coverage. If you’re new to streaming here’s our unofficial guide to Spotify


Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide




Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide

Spotify is the biggest music streaming service around. If you’re not sure how to use it, this guide will walk you through the service, as well as offer some crucial top tips.
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. And if you’re a longterm user, here’s how to fix common Spotify problems


Spotify Not Working? How to Fix 8 Common Spotify Problems




Spotify Not Working? How to Fix 8 Common Spotify Problems

Like every other service known to man, Spotify is prone to problems that afflict millions of users. We have identified the most common problems, and found solutions for them all. You’re welcome.
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