Help needed

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by psonice, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. psonice, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    My latest iPhone app is selling very poorly, and I need some help to figure out why. Maybe you guys can help?

    It's not a bad app I think, I spent a lot of time developing and polishing it and feedback has been excellent, so one of the following must be true:

    1. I'm wrong, it's a bad app
    2. This kind of app is just not popular
    3. I'm presenting/marketing it badly, so people aren't interested to look further (i.e. bad description, screenshots, making it for the wrong group of people etc.)

    If you'd like to help, please take a look at the itunes page and let me know what you think:

    If you want to try the app out, please PM me and I'll give you a free download code (as long as I don't run out anyway).

    About the marketing: I've done the same for this as I did for my last app (true nightvision). Based on that, I can rule out "not enough marketing", because that app sold well afterwards, while it's had minimal impact on this one.

    *edit* Just wanted to add: be completely honest, don't spare my feelings - I need to know :) (and I have a tough skin too)
  2. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Your screenshots are a bit disturbing and the app icon is too busy.

    Couple that with it's been done before by many other apps predating yours and I can see why it isn't selling.
    Also, sprinkling the ratings with five star friend critiques is easily spotted and is poor form.
  3. psonice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Hmm.. ok, see what you mean about the screenshots. The icon I felt had some 'stand out' factor, maybe you're right and it needs simplifying a bit. I'll look into that.

    Yep, except that this hasn't been done before (or at least this is quite different from the other kaleidoscope apps). I need to figure out how to explain the difference. Mind if I send you a download code, so you can tell me what you think on that point?

    Agreed. There are a couple (of course I give friends a copy to test / feedback, and often they review it.. I think this isn't a major issue so long as it's not organised + widespread and the app is terrible, which I see quite often ;(), but most are actually not from friends. As I said, feedback has been really good for this app. Normally at this point there would be a bunch of reviews on there and any 'friend reviews' would be long lost, but that hasn't happened.

    Thanks for your help!
  4. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    I get a lot of app review requests but developers rarely ask for feedback in this manner, so kudos to you for requesting it.

    First, I haven't tried your app though I don't see myself every buying it, to be honest. Kaleidoscopes are neat but when I spend money on an app, it's because it promises to do something that will enhance my productivity (e.g., reminder apps), provide a useful function (e.g., turn-by-turn navigation apps), or entertain me for more than a few minutes (e.g. Angry Birds). Perhaps I'm the wrong demographic for your app, but I see no long-term utility or entertainment in an app that modifies images like this.

    Your app will let me take a picture with a kaleidoscope effect and share it with my friends. While the pictures may look neat, the subject of the picture may or may not be clearly identifiable to my friends. The pictures I most want to share with my friends are those of actual events/things that are funny or mean something to us (or serve a purpose, like showing a lamp I'd like to buy to my husband to make sure he likes it first). A kaleidescope image is simply not a type of image I want to capture or share. I'm not trying to be harsh here but only trying to clarify how many users may approach your app and decide whether or not to buy it.

    Even if this app were to be free, I could see myself downloading it to try it out once but then never opening it again.

    Don't get me wrong - I know there are others who would be interested in your app. For example, I can see a parent buying your app to show their young child when a physical kaleidescope isn't on hand (I found kaleidescopes fascinating when I was a kid).

    In short, without having tried your app but considering whether or not I'd be interested in buying it, I'd say your conclusion #2 applies for those who look at purchasing apps in the same way I do.

    Also, please don't bump your threads - this is prohibited per the forum rules. :)
  5. psonice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Yep, it's not a 'useful' app as such (although it might be useful to people who need unusual images/textures). But then neither are fart apps ;) I definitely need to find the right demographic.. if such a demographic exists.

    The photos are fun rather than realistic. You wouldn't want to show an object with it, but you might take a photo of yourself with it and post it on facebook for a laugh (it tends to add a beard, and sometimes additional eyes :)).

    Yeah, I've had a lot of apps like this. It's not long-term entertainment, like a decent game. It's something you have fun looking at with some friends for a while. That unfortunately makes it unsuitable as a free app, but at $1 reasonable entertainment value perhaps.

    Noted :) (And not something I'd do for an announcement thread!)

    Thanks for the feedback here, it's been very helpful. Looking through, I think my main issue is that I'm not clear enough on who the app is for. If I can nail that down, the rest should follow.

    In the meantime, back to my next app, this time a useful one and specifically for ipad 2. Should be a bit easier ;)
  6. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    I see nothing wrong with it, besides it being, well, boring.

    Looks just like Kaleidoscope X; which also has a free version. This app has been around for over a year; thus most people who wants Kaleidoscopes would most likely already own it.

    Same as Crazy Kaleidoscope, or Live Kaleidoscope (free) or Kaleido, or KaleCam, Krazy Kaleidoscope - Free, Real Kaleidoscope, or KaleidoCam, KaleidoPix, or Photo Kaleidoscope, or one of the dozens of apps that show up when you search for Kaleidoscope.

    A few seeded reviews doesn't seem to hurt much long run; but overall they are kinda lame.

    The thing is, there is nothing here that makes me say, OHH that's cool, I need to spend money on it. Absolutely nothing. Sorry, I wouldn't give it a second glance. I'm not saying it is bad, but overall, it isn't something I would consider, especially in a crowded Kaleidoscope app field. I'd just download one of the free ones.

    If you do have something unique about yours, and I can't seem to find anything; it needs to be touted at the beginning. How about making a free version to show off this feature; but limiting it to one effect or something of that nature.
  7. psonice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    They're all totally different to this app. Instead of a fixed image/photo at the end of the kaleidoscope, I'm using live video from the camera, making it a video kaleidoscope. That totally changes it, because it's so much more interactive. None of them do anything other than mirroring a small part of the image either, while I'm using complex effects to combine different parts of the whole image (kind of difficult to describe unfortunately!)

    Yep, I think you got it there - perhaps I'm not explaining what is different about it clearly enough. I'll look at my description again.

    Thanks once again!
  8. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Still sounds like these :
    Live Kaleidoscope

    But I think you know, that they all seem to be basically the same or at least they sound the same. I don't know what people are looking for in a Kaleidoscope application.
  9. psonice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    None of these are anything similar. There ARE a few apps that manage live camera + kaleidoscope, but they're fairly simple. Anyway, point is I need to get across what is different, which you've made well :)

    As to what people look for in apps like this? Some people just love this kind of visual 'toy'. I have, since I was young. I'm involved in a few communities that make all kinds of funky but purposeless graphical stuff. I don't buy these things, but that's because I make my own :) And again.. fart apps. Quite what demographic buys them, I don't know.. but that demographic clearly does exist.
  10. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    I find this kind of stuff useless and thus would never spend $1 on it. I know that I had Kaleidoscopes growing up, but I always took them apart to figure out what made them work. I also never paid for one, I either got it at a county fair, or some place else, but never purchased one. Don't get me wrong, there may be a market for it, but I really don't see it being that big, and there are TONS of Kaleidoscopes out there right now. This means the market is really fragmented and it was small to start with. I wouldn't expect this to generate much revenue at all.

    Fart apps, yeah, they are childish, but I know my kids would have hours of fun with it. Then again, so would a lot of teenagers and even young adults. Beavis and Butthead, and Jackass proved there is a market for this type of humor. Again, not something I would ever buy, but I can see people buying it.

    I would update your description, make it as clear as possible that it is a realtime kaleidoscope unlike all the others. Make it sound as amazing as possible and then just leave it and move on to the next project. They call can't be winners.

    BTW, how are you marketing it?
  11. psonice thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Yeah, I'm not expecting to become a millionaire with that. And most of the work that went into was on the photo browser, sharing, and such that I need for other projects, so it's not like I need to sell a million to pay off the time invested (luckily!) But I think sales are way below what they should be, and it's better to learn why than make the same mistakes with a more important app :)

    Another thing I think I did wrong, is putting it in the entertainment category. I've noticed before that apps always seem to do badly there, then do much better in another category. Possibly you need a certain 'critical mass' in entertainment?

    Marketing: Posts on the forums like this one, announcing the app, plus various promo giveaways. Also a press release through PRMac, and a video on the main websites:

    Anyway, I have enough feedback I think, thank you all for your help!

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