Newbie developer looking for some feedback - just launched 1st app

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by blhawk7, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. blhawk7, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

    blhawk7 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2014
    Deleting post

    Be easy on the the feedback as I literally coded this thing start to finish on my own with no previous background - ha

  2. AxoNeuron, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    I like your enthusiasm. It takes a lot of devotion to learn how to write code and then launch your first app on the app store. Its like your baby.

    But this app is not going to succeed, plain and simple. There are a few reasons for this. Most importantly, I cannot imagine anyone downloading this app for fun. People download apps for entertainment and occasionally utility or social reasons as well, this app performs neither function. The vast majority of tech-savvy people, who would be your primary user base, tend to stay away from anything that uses the words "free" and "prize", as no one likes advertisement apps whose only function is to serve advertisements. This is what your app does.

    Second, the quality of the app itself is very poor. For example, when you are holding down your finger (like if you were going to copy & paste something), it actually asks you if you want to open a URL. This is very bad, not something you want to happen in an iOS app if it's a menu button.

    Lastly, it isn't very clear what the app actually does. You call using the app "playing", but it isn't actually a game, and everyone is smart enough to know that. "Playing" in the app simply consists of erasing one image to show the image behind it, a coupon. No one is going to find this entertaining, and that is the final death blow to any app.

    The hard truth is that if by some miracle someone does happen to accidentally discover this app, they will open it once, become confused, close it again, and will never touch it again. My advise for you would be to abandon this app, immediately stop pouring ANY of your money in to it, and do something that will actually stand a chance of making you money.

    I am pretty impressed, however, that you were able to code this without any previous experience. But the sheer amount of time it would take you to learn Objective C, which is an absolute necessity with an iOS app, simply won't be worth it for you if you have hopes of ever actually making any money. A lot of developers have to find this out the hard way, I hope you don't.
  3. blhawk7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2014
    Thanks for the response and appreciate the feedback. I definitely hear you on the quality of the app in terms of the 'open url' that happens on hold down of certain menu buttons and other website like functions. Also, I realize that Objective C is the way to go with an IOS app of course. Went with a simple Cordova app as I knew I could learn HTML/Javascript quicker - trust me I know this is like nails on a chalkboard for any true IOS developer.

    I actually had a chance to manage the development of a few products while at Red Bull which is what inspired me to learn a bit myself. Ultimately, I want to get into product manage/love tech and figured the best way to become well versed was to get my hands dirty.

    Surprisingly enough I have managed to snatch up a few thousand users and the games in total have had over 300,000 plays in only a few weeks. I believe this is due to the fact that the people who are interested in it are not tech savvy individuals but rather bored people in the mid-west who get their excitement off the slightest possibility of winning something.

    Regarding spending money on it - I am not - simply my time which is a win win because I am learning something new. I have a new version sitting with apple right now where I actually coded a referral system into the backend - would love to have you check that out when it gets approved.

    Again - thanks for the feedback - appreciate it.
  4. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Thumbs up for the effort, but I have to agree with Axo on this one. I was under the impression that Apple didn't allow apps that were just advertising to win a coupon, but that itself could be a blurry line and it seems you've been approved.

    I would reconsider your goals with this project. If you want to make a long term project out of this, I'd drop it now because, as Axo said learning ObjC is not easy and it's a big investment for something that will end up being 1 of over 1 Million apps in the appstore.

    There's no telling what will catch and what won't as well as why some catch and others don't. Nobody would have guessed that FlappyBirds would have caught on and go viral and there's debate about fraud being used for that app. Point: everyone can take a shot, but I'd be concerned about investing much into this project beyond what you have now.

    The screen shots are not good, they don't tell people what the app really does, no way to tell what the game is that they'd be playing.

    If you do plan on going forward, I'd probably wait for Swift programming language to come out and learn that over ObjC as it's much simpler of a language.

    If this is a start to something different, used as a learning tool, then by all means continue, but don't expect too much from this app as it sits. Even the concept of playing for coupons itself is a hard business model to make money from.

    BTW, how do you make money from giving things away? Are the ads supposed to pay for the things you give away? If so, I'd wait and see who much you make from the ads, that money has been shallow for a while now. Just too many apps fighting for ad money.
  5. blhawk7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback on the screenshots and app in general.

    I definitely understand why more seasoned developers want to urge everyone trying to get into the app game to quit at once because it is a one in a million shot and you will never make money off of it. However, I am not trying to build the next instagram, flappy birds, #1 hit, etc. Instead, I am on a lifelong mission to learn and developing/building my app was just one thing on the list of feats I wanted to tackle - if I can be at a dinner table in 10 years and hold an interesting conversion because of the experience then it's all worth it.

    I will keep with it for a while because it seems insane to spend so much time learning to build something and then not have some fun trying to market it. That being said, I understand learning objective C is quite the task. If I were to continue with it down the line, I know some IOS developers that I would have rebuild a native version.

    Regarding making money - all the products on there were given to me at zero cost. The companies on the app spend thousands every year just to give products away in stores, at trade shows, etc so if they can give products away digitally for free it is a winning proposition for them. Making money could come in the form of traditional ads or affiliate revenue (I have actually had people use the 'coupon codes' to purchase).

    I believe there would be potential to make a small amount of money by switching to more of a product review platform that gives products away. IE - one new product review per day and one winner per day. Money off of ads and affiliate revenue from past products (like any product review blog on the web). This would involve having 200 + products and a way to sort by category/interest etc.
  6. AxoNeuron, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    If it does become successful, just remember that you promised me 10% of revenue for all of the wonderful advice I gave you that lead to your smashing success :p

    In all seriousness, I would invest very little in to this app from now on, and focus on other projects that you have more experience in. This app is not going to work. In order to advertise on the app store, you have to do it in a sneaky way. You have to distract the user, with some sort of game or utility. And then you have to learn enough about the user to serve them custom advertisements that will potentially appeal to them. Making advertisements a major focus-killer in an app disrupts the dopamine reward-pathway, and that is a death sentence for EVERY app (or any consumer-oriented software anywhere), because users will not open the app after using it once.

    Successful money-making apps on the app store will almost always have a very well-crafted look about them. In fact, developers should be spending an enormous amount of time obsessing over the tiniest little details of how the user interacts with the app to create a feeling in the user that the app looks "cool". But while looking neat, an app should do as much as it can to create open spaces in the app, a "minimalist" style. If done correctly, the app will look gorgeous simply because the designer was focused on removing buttons and labels, and not adding them. I can see the beginnings of this in your app, I love the fact that you used very self-descriptive icons for the UI. Apple lavishes enormous amounts of attention in to the way that it's premier software platforms look, and it is because of this exact same reason.

    Successful apps also create the perception in the user that they have invested a part of themselves in the app. This can be done by allowing the user to customize the app in some small way, whether it be choosing the color palette of the app the first time they launch it or uploading a picture. Microsoft discovered this secret a while ago, but they seemingly only realized how important it was with Windows 8, when they let the user choose the UI color theme the very first time they turn on the machine. And creating this sense of self-investment in the user is exactly why they did it, and it works extremely well.

    Lastly, and counter-intuitively, successful apps distract the user away from the advertisements, not towards them. Users are smart, they know when they are being manipulated and they do NOT like it when their focus is driven away from the app to an advertisement. Only once you have enchanted the user with your app should you even let them see an advertisement. Because your app basically is a marketing/advertising app (which is understandable given your life-experience) and because your app either completely misses or barely touches each concept, it will fail. Don't be offended, even most large companies miss these concepts and it is why even Apple has failed applications. It is very difficult to craft a successful application, and I am incredibly impressed that you achieved as much as you did with this app.
  7., Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014 macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2012
    I honestly think this sounds like a pretty good idea. This is def an app that would benefit from marketing (on most apps it's just a waste of time). Downloading and checking out now.

    After checking it out I think the base idea is pretty good but the "games" could be better.

    People love to win things and love to play simple games so you are good on that.

    I assume you are making some money off the ads which is good too.

    Only thing that throws me off is asking for a phone number right away I think that might turn people off a bit.

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