Have a Smile, or Kittens, Puppies, or Bebes on us! And if you like it, help us spread the word. Just use one of the following promotional codes to get your free copy
(US iPhone App Store only). Each code is valid for one copy, so it is first-come, first-served. Don't wait too long because these codes will expire on June 6th. Enjoy!
| Smile|| Kittens|| Puppies|| Bebes|
was approved for sale yesterday afternoon and shortly afterwards appeared on the App Store. This morning Bebes was listed on the first page of the Entertainment category. This was our first app to manage the delicate timing required to appear on the first page of the app listings (when sorted by release date). I am looking forward to verifying whether the appearance does make a big difference.
Apple gently replied to my complaint about release dates snafus. As it turns out, things work the way the work by design. The app is released to the App Store at the later date of Apple's acceptance and the release date chosen by the developer. The Released date appearing on the App Store pages and used to sort the apps by release date is computed as the earlier of Apple's acceptance and the release date chosen by the developer. The result is that any difference in those two dates will result in the app never appearing at the top of the listing sorted by release date. Maybe that was an unforeseen side-effect, but that is how Apple designed it. This side-effect is really damaging to developers and I fail so see any advantages for end-users either.
, the third app in the family, was released last night, May 4th. Again, there were unexpected glitches with Apple's posting of the app and I am starting to form a theory of how the release dates may really work.
The app was approved for sale by Apple on the evening of May 4th and tagged with a release date of May 3rd (the release date I had chosen). Last night, the app could be found on the App Store using search, but was not listed under the Entertainment category nor listed under the FXT Labs app group; everything did appear this morning, so it may just be a matter of that info propagating through the store. But that is really another issue.
Back to release dates. This time, the situation was reversed compared to that we went through with Smile. For Puppies, the app was posted to the App Store as soon as Apple approved it for sale because my chosen release date (May 3rd) had passed before the app had been approved. That's how it should be. The problem, again, was that the app is tagged with a release date of May 3rd and that meant that once again we never made it to the first couple of screens of the listing of most recent apps (listing sorted by release date). We started at the bottom of the third screen this morning and disappeared to later pages soon afterwards.
So, here is the theory: an app is posted to the App Store at the LATER of the release date chosen by the developer and the date Apple approves it for sale, BUT it is tagged with a release date equal to the EARLIER of the two dates. If this theory is correct, the only way to ensure that you can make it to the first couple of pages of the latest releases is to keep adjusting your release date in iTunes Connect to be the date of the current day. That way, your release date will be equal to the date of Apple's approval for sale and it will not matter whether the app is tagged with the earlier or later of the two dates because they will be the same date. Of course, this is a bit tedious and mine is just a theory. But we have got one more app approaching release to try out this strategy. Stay tuned.
We released Kittens 1.0
, ahead of our planned schedule, on May 1st. After seeing how Smile went by unnoticed because of the mistake in the release date label on the app (see previous post), I rushed to move up the release date of Kittens so that it would be available as soon as Apple approved it for sale. As it turns out, this all happened on May 1st. I actually did not know that Apple had approved Kittens at the time because they never even sent us an e-mail to notify us of their approval (which they had done for Smile). I found out the following day when I logged onto iTunes Connect to see how Smile had been selling; well, the report was showing a sale of Kittens! Surprised, I started iTunes and saw that Kittens was indeed for sale on the App Store.
Appearing on the first pages of the app listings (i.e. being show in the new releases) does make a difference. In the first two days, Kittens has sold a couple dozen copies across the United States, Canada, U.K., France, Switzerland, and Australia, while Smile has kept its anonymity, only appreciated by a few of our friends.
for iPhone and iPod touch first appeared on the iTunes App Store late on April 30th. Everything looked like it had gone perfectly well until I went to look for the app in the category (Entertainment) listing sorted by release date. I had chosen a release date of May 1st for Smile and expected to find it on the first or second page of the sorted listing since it was just the evening of April 30th. To my dismay, my app was not there. Eventually I found it on the 25th or so page and realized that Apple had marked it as released on April 22nd, the date of their approval for sale. This mistake cost me dearly because appearing on the first pages of the listing is one of the very few ways in which you can hope to make anyone aware of your app existence; there just are too many thousands of apps for people to browse through but the first few screens. Anyways, I am glad our first iPhone app is up on the App Store and am looking forward to seeing how many people will enjoy it.
|Here is where you will be able to read about new and exciting stuff happening at FXT Labs.|