Releasing 1 app multiple times

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Scott90, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Scott90 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #1
    I'm currently working on an app that I'm planning on releasing multiple times (possibly 10+ times). That is, the code is the same, but a few variables (titles, names, and some other stuff) are different in each app. I could of course create 1 app and have the user pick which data they want to use, but the issue then is that searching for that data in the app store won't work. The keywords field is pretty limited in size, and I definitely want to be able to do an App Store search for the data that is unique for each app.

    One of the obvious problems with this is when I'm fixing one tiny bug and having to create new versions for all the apps out there. Then it turns out that the bug introduced a new bug that's even smaller, and there I go uploading again. Far from ideal.

    Ideally, I release one app and have the user choose which data they want to use, while having more than the 100 bytes Apple gives to put in keywords that relate to all the variables. Anybody experience with this, or any ideas of how I might solve this problem?
     
  2. jnoxx macrumors 65816

    jnoxx

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    #2
    No. Just build it 10 times (which I think is really strange.. and might be an leap in your flow)
     
  3. Scott90 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Could be 10, could be 20, who knows. One bug/typo fix and I have to build it 10/20/... times, create as many new versions in iTunes Connect, upload it that many times..? Is there really no way to create one app but having more keywords?
     
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #4
    I would strongly suggest creating a single app and not becoming an App Store spammer. Apple might even close your account if you become too prolific about it.

    But first I'd like to ask: What kind of category/type of information is it that you want to fill up the keywords with? Is it something like locations? What?
     
  5. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #5
    This, a million times. I absolutely hate those "app series", and I've never once seen a successful one.
     
  6. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #6
    If you're making decisions about the design/features of your app based on App Store keyword optimization, you're doing it wrong.
     
  7. Scott90 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Ok, so it's pretty clear that 1 app has the strong preference over multiple :D

    I don't want to give out too much information, but it's about schools. I'm working on creating an app that could be used for a lot of schools and only needs minor modifications per school (school name and some other things). The school name is essential, as many people will be searching the app store for that name to see if there are any apps out.

    @admanimal: Now that you know a little bit more, how would you suggest doing it then?
     
  8. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Make the app so great that people will find it even if the keywords aren't 100% optimal. This might involve other forms of promotion.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #9
    So basically, you're planning to do something like "The Clemson App", "The MIT App", "The Harvard App", "The Cornell App", etc. Or maybe with the word "Football", "Baseball", or "Sports" added. In any case, you're branding your app with the brand of the school.

    If that's the strategy, then I think you'll have to resign yourself to keeping all those apps updated on the App Store. You should also consult legal counsel on whether you can do this without the permission of the school. Many well-known universities will require permission.

    The other approach is to allow your app to be customized to any school, such as by visiting a website afterwards that configures it for a particular supported school. The name of the app itself then becomes the brand, and configuring it for the school is secondary. You should still consult a lawyer about use of school names.
     
  10. Scott90 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5302b Safari/7534.48.3)

    I am all for the 1 app approach, it is in many ways the most favorable one, but unfortunately I have to heavily rely on App Store searches to get my app out, as I do not have the resources or time to promote the app on more than, say, a Facebook page. I'm doing this as a hobby to make a few extra bucks, not as a full time developer making a living out of it.

    If I do put multiple schools in one app, do I still require permission for the use of their names? Isn't that public information, just like when a newspaper writes about the school? I understand the name is copyrighted, and in the case of fully devoting an app to the university I can see how that could cause issues, but I can't imagine just mentioning the name to do any harm..?
     
  11. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #11
    Names can be more than copyrighted, they can (and often are) trademarked. Whether it's infringing or not depends on how and where the name is used.

    This is why you should contact a lawyer.

    Or just ignore the issue and take your chances. Worst case, you get sued for infringement and damages without even a cease-and-desist letter. Second-worst, your app isn't accepted to the app store due to potential infringement, or it gets pulled when the owners of the name complain to Apple.
     
  12. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #12
    And you know this how?
     
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #13
    If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the app developer is his own target audience, so that's how he knows. He tried looking for his own school, found nothing, and now would like to make one for his own and others. Just a guess. I know I searched for my own school, not a generic university app.

    My suggestion would be to just throw up flyers around campus advertising the app, maybe make a T-shirt for it, put up info on it on Facebook. It couldn't hurt to try.
     
  14. Scott90 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I don't know this. ArtOfWarfare is right: I did it for my own school, determined there was nothing out there yet, developed the app (and by giving that information out it's probably possible to figure out what I'm trying to do here), and now that it's "done" I'm ready to expand.

    The marketing I did was indeed by putting up flyers, and using Facebook. Although t-shirts aren't too expensive, they still cost money. Marketing the app got old pretty quickly though, as the flyers are taken down after three/four weeks. Facebook does a little bit, but not a whole lot.

    I understand good marketing is essential for the app (or any app, for that matter) to be successful. However, I'm not a marketing major, I'm an IT major with limited time on my hands. I think (no, I don't know) having the app come up when someone searches for their university name is the least time-consuming way to get your app name out there.

    I think that's how it works, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #15
    Maybe hire students (or alumni) at the schools of interest. Pay them a commission on each app sold.
     

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