A Tale of Two App Stores: Google Play vs. Apple App Store

Apple’s App Store and Google Play have a review processes that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Google Play is often described as the Wild West. Typically, we will submit an app to Google Play and after an hour, we’ll be able to find it published on Google Play. There is no human involvement in the review process. This leaves for a lot of freedom and unfortunately a lot of abuse. Virus Shield was a top paid app on Google Play that cost $4 and sold 10,000 downloads. In reality, the app was a fake and did nothing. What’s worse, is that there’s an estimated 42,000 Android apps with malware on Google Play.

In contrast, the Apple App Store has an extensive review process that actually involves a human reviewer. An app typically sits in a queue for two weeks before it gets reviewed. If approved by the reviewer, that app takes a day to get published on the Apple App store. If the app gets rejected, the path to getting approved just got longer (and some apps don’t ever get approved).

I recommend that anyone that wants to get an app published become familiar with the App Store Review Guidelines before developing an app. In general, much of it is common sense (i.e. no porn) but there also are a few specific guidelines that deny specific types of apps like fart apps or DUI checkpoint apps. Knowing the guidelines can save you a lot of heartache. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of Apple rejecting your app, and the reason is unclear, my advice is to request a phone call with the reviewer. From our experience, the reasons for a rejection are typically canned responses. When you meet with a reviewer to discuss their rationale, they may give a better explanation on why your app was rejected and perhaps some suggestions.

As a developer, I love the ease of being able to publish on Google Play. As a consumer, I appreciate the quality control and confidence of apps published on the Apple App Store. In Q2, Apple and Android phones combined made up 96% of the smartphones shipped. So, if you are developing an app, you really should support both iPhone and Android and consequently be familiar with the policies of the respective app stores.

Apptology is Recognized by the California State Legislature as a 2014 Small Business of the Year Finalist

Apptology a Finalist for Small Business of the Year

Apptology a Finalist for Small Business of the Year

Apptology, an award-winning mobile applications development and mobile marketing company based in Folsom, was recently awarded as a 2014 Small Business of the Year Finalist by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (ninth assembly district) and the California Small Business Association.

Honoring outstanding leadership and exceptional service within the community each year, Assemblyman Richard Pan partners with the California Small Business Association to honor a “Small Business of the Year.” This year, Apptology was selected as a finalist “for their hard work and commitment to providing valuable services that has significantly contributed to the well-being of our region, thereby benefitting all the people in the State of California.”

“I believe that entrepreneurship and innovation is what makes America great and we are humbled to receive this recognition. This award is a source of great pride to all of us at Apptology,” said Rich Foreman, Apptology CEO and founder.

According to Foreman, in the past two years, the app market has “exploded.” In less than nine months, the Apple store reported over a billion downloads then doubled the number in half the time. The app craze has now spread to Android, Blackberry, and every other mobile market under the sun. Apptology has been serving clients for over four years and is unique in their service offering because they are the only company to offer a comprehensive suite of ReadyBuilt affordable solutions for the mobile applications industry for the SMB, according to Foreman. Their management team consists of entrepreneurs and industry pioneers from Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies working in mobile, interactive and new media technologies. Apptology also has a team of nearly 100 developers who have created hundreds of applications for various companies around the world on all mobile platforms.

On Jan. 24, 2014, Apptology was awarded the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce at the 21st Annual Installation and Awards dinner.

California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg described Apptology as “a company that exemplifies technology in the 21st century.”

For more information about Apptology, visit www.apptology.com or call 877-990-APPS (2777).

 

The App Store as a Search Engine

There’s an interesting trend where people are using the various app stores as a search engine.  To illustrate this, I’ll discuss the experience of a one of our clients.  Normally, for all our clients, I recommend that they have a marketing plan to promote their app.  However, in the case of the app, Drug Test Info, that we developed for the American Screening Corporation, this was receiving a high amount of downloads without any promotion on every app store (Apple App Store, Google Play,  and Blackberry App World) that it was published in.

There’s an App For That

It finally dawned on us that people were find the app by searching for “drug test” so the name of the app, “Drug Test Info,” clearly had an advantage.  Apples slogan, “There’s an app for that,” implies that there’s an app to solve every particular problem.  So, often, people are searching the various app stores to solve a problem.

A search for "Sacramento  Real Estate" only yields 7 results.

A search for “Sacramento Real Estate” only yields 7 results.

Searching Google vs. Searching the App Store

If you Google “Sacramento Real Estate,” on a browser, you’ll find literally hundreds of entries.  Compare that to doing the same search on the Apple App Store and you’ll find only 7 apps listed.   The search on the browser is dominated by ad sponsored entries and big named realtors.   Conversely, the apps found in this example were developed for local realtors (Swint Realty is one of our clients).

Caveats

However, in many cases, because there are so many apps in one category, you’ll be unable to find a specific app based on the key words.  Such an example is the mediation app we developed for a client.  Because there literally hundreds of mediation apps.

For the Apple App Store, you’re limited to 100 characters.  You have to be also very careful because once you submitted your app to Apple, you won’t be able to change the key words.

Recommendations

Here are some recommendations in being found easier in the App Store:

  • Name your app with the crucial key word.  For example the app we named developed for the American Screening Corporation was called “Drug Test Info.”  I think the name of the app is one of the big reason that it’s easily found
  • If your business is more regional, add the name of your city as a key word.  In the case of our client’s app, Swint Realty, one of their key words is Sacramento.  So, when someone searches “Sacramento Real Estate,” they are one of the 6 apps that show up.
  • Better yet, combine both above recommendations.  So if I were a realtor in Sacramento, I would name my app “Sacramento Real Estate.”
  • For more advanced projects, you may want to develop your Android app first.  Because Google Play has no restrictions on keywords (and how often you alter them), this will allow you time to optimize your keywords.  Once you figure out the optimal keywords, you can then publish your iOS app.

Being found via keywords on the app store, may be worth the price of admission, especially if your business is regional and you find  that your key words are competitive on Google.  Good luck.

Cheers,

Rich Foreman

CEO / Appotology