29. June 2015 · Comments Off on Creating a Blueprint for more App Downloads With ZERO Budget · Categories: App Updates, Apple, ASO · Tags: , ,

app downloadsGetting more app downloads starts with number crunching

Developers can create the best game in the world, but without putting on their marketing hat, the app will fail.

Oh, we do the minimum: some keywords; a nifty title; a Facebook post and a Tweet, but it’s not nearly enough to truly earn a high number of downloads, sales and ad revenues.

So, we decided to back up a little bit and create a simple blueprint on how to get more downloads for our apps. An “App Downloads and Revenues” Template is available here for you to download.

In our next series of blogs, we’ll walk you through our step-by-step process of improving downloads and revenues of three (3) of our apps.

However, the past month and past quarter, we wanted to see what three apps have been earning the most downloads.

Then, we wanted to see the top revenue numbers by ad companies (AppLovin, Chartboost, etc.). This told us that, perhaps, we were giving too many ad impressions to “Ad Company A” and not getting any clicks or revenues and that maybe we needed to dial down “Company A” and give more impression opportunities to “Company B” and so on.

Next, we ranked the Top 10 apps that created the most ad revenue followed by the Top 10 apps that were generating the most Apple revenue (i.e., in-app purchases; app upgrades, etc.).

This simple spreadsheet can offer a few surprises when you look at all the categories.

For example, our top game by downloads is also No. 1 in ad revenue, but it’s not No. 1 in Apple revenue, which means we should work a little bit on improving or promoting our IAPs within the game.

We also found out a few games were doing well in ad revenue, but are low in download numbers, so we need to increase the downloads, etc.

When you view the good numbers, try to figure out why IAPs are great in your top three games and see what you can do to improve your IAPs in the games that are ranked No. 8, 9 and 10? Why is your No. 1 game earning twice as many downloads at your No. 2 and No. 3 game? Ask yourself questions like these and then come up with a plan for moving forward with improvements.

What’s next?

We selected three games for improvements. Some of these will include minor updates, but our July 2015 focus will be primarily on App Search Optimization (ASO and sometimes called “App Store Optimization”) and marketing techniques. We also plan to roll out this entire improvement project with ZERO budget.

As we move forward, we’ll share more information with you as well as our work progress and download updates.

Download the worksheet here:

App Downloads and Revenues Template (Microsoft Excel version)


06. February 2015 · Comments Off on Spy Girl and the Man with the Unloaded Gun · Categories: Apple, Mountain Woods Media · Tags: , , ,

As app developers, we face different challenges every day when it comes to getting our games approved by iTunes Connect.Screenshot showing man with gun

The iTunes Connect reviewer (sometimes we love ’em and sometimes we don’t) follows a set of guidelines and, when we “break” the rules, our game will be rejected. We get over it; fix the problem and resubmit our app for another review. This process takes up to 10 days – or longer – to be reviewed. If you are rejected, then the review process starts all over again.

We can create a new game in less than a week, but then we’ll have to wait another week or so in order to see if the reviewer will approve our game. Obviously, this can be a stressful process, especially if you are running against a tight deadline and plan on submitting a holiday game 10 days before Christmas, etc.

Recently, we had a rough time getting a free game through the approval process as one of our screen captures (an action picture of the game) contained a character holding a gun. He wasn’t shooting the gun; he was just holding it. We’ve added the rejected screenshot to this blog post for your review.

Spy Girl Unstoppable Femal Secret Agent Espionage PlotNote: Our game “Spy Girl: Unstoppable Female Secret Agent Espionage Plot” is available starting today on the iTunes App Store. You can download it here: http://bit.ly/MWMspygirl

At first, we increased the recommended age settings for the game (due to the gun), but that didn’t work and we received another rejection. The player’s age had nothing to do with the rejection. Instead, it had to do with the screen shot of the villain holding a gun.

So, we deleted the screen shot – and we had to delete the screen shot in all 28 languages and stores that we had submitted the app.

Problem solved. Lesson learned.

20. November 2014 · Comments Off on For Talk Like A Turkey Day – A New Texting App for iPhone · Categories: iPhone, Thanksgiving · Tags: , ,

Talk Like A TurkeyUnofficially, Thursday, November 27, 2014 is “Talk Like A Turkey Day.”

OK, really, it’s Thanksgiving in the United States, but you can have a lot of fun – and drive your friends and family crazy – with our second iOS chat texting app for iPhone “Gobble Gobble: Talk Like A Turkey.”

The app, which is available only for iPhone, is FREE. All in-app purchases are also FREE.

You can download our “Turkey Chat” app here:


Here’s how the app works:

When you open the app, you’ll see the Invite Screen. If necessary, tap the “square” button at the bottom of the “Gobble Gobble” window.

Tap the “&” button to open your iPhone’s Contact list.

Tap a contact’s name.

Save your contact’s name within the “Gobble Gobble” program (this will save you time when you want to send them another “Turkey” message).

Once you have saved the contact’s name, tap the “OK I’m done” button. You will now see your Friend has been saved to the “Choose Friend” screen.

Tap the Friend’s name and then tap an icon (such as the car or football icon) to get a message.

A new message window opens within your iPhone’s messaging program, complete with your Friend’s name in the “To” field and the message within the “Message” field.

Tap “Send.”

You’re done!

In all, there are 11 FREE, pre-written messages you can tap and quickly send to your friends!

This will help make your Thanksgiving holiday a little more fun!

25. October 2013 · Comments Off on Mountain Woods Media, LLC Releases New Version of ‘Splatz and Batz’ Game App · Categories: Apple, Game Design, Mountain Woods Media, Spring Games · Tags: ,

New version includes several game upgrades and integrates Nextpeer for head-to-head play and tournament competition opportunities.

Worldwide, October 25, 2013

Mountain Woods Media, LLC has released a new version of its iOS app “Splatz and Batz” with new game features including NextPeer multiplayer compatibility.

The free app, available in Apple’s App Store, is based on the concept of helping insects avoid busy, oncoming highway traffic in order to keep the bug character from becoming a “splat” on a windshield.

splatz-screen-capPlayers have the opportunity to choose from four bug characters – (all free) and can earn points by collecting leaves, dandelions and pieces of candy.

The new version (v1.2) adds:

  • Starting the game with additional character lives.
  • Opportunity to earn extra lives during game play.
  • Earn “Power Ups” during game play, which increase game speed and/or create additional scoring opportunities.
  • Game levels.
  • Social media integration with Facebook and Twitter.
  • Mute sound.

Apple’s Game Center and NextPeer’s Multiplayer are also included for head-to-head and tournament play. Players can turn off ads within the game and/or add a Kids Mode for invincible game play, for a small additional charge.

Mountain Woods Media, LLC is a mobile application (app) development company specializing in creating business, hobby, special-interest and game apps.

15. October 2013 · Comments Off on iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c · Categories: Apple, iPhone · Tags: ,

newiphone5For the first time this year, Apple unveiled two new versions of the iPhone at the same time: the top-tier iPhone 5s and the more budget-friendly iPhone 5c. While the devices have much in common, the 5s has several things to offer over the 5c, including a faster processing chip, a better camera, and a 64GB option.

Then again, you might prefer the 5c if you love color and don’t want to break the bank with your new phone purchase. Use the following information to determine which new iPhone is right for you.

  • Capacity – iPhone 5s comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage sizes; iPhone 5c only comes in 16GB and 32GB capacities.
  • Price – New two-year contract pricing for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is as follows:

16GB: $199 for 5s; $99 for 5c
32GB: $299 for 5s; $199 for 5c
64GB: $399 for 5s

  • Color – iPhone 5s is offered in three different color schemes: gold-on-white, silver-on-white, and “space gray”-on-black. The 5c comes in more bold color options: yellow, green, blue, pink, and white.
  • Construction – The 5s is has a durable aluminum chassis, while the 5c has a plastic shell, surrounding a steel-reinforced frame.gold-black-silver-iphone
  • Chip – iPhone 5s features the powerful A7 chip, which boasts significant speed and graphics processing improvements over the A6 chip that powers the iPhone 5c.
  • Identity Sensor – The 5s has Touch ID, a feature allowing you to access your phone using your fingerprint. The 5c doesn’t have this feature.
  • iSight Camera – Though both cameras are 8MP, the camera on the 5s features several improvements over the 5c camera, including a larger aperture for better low-light photography, True Tone flash for photographing people, Slo-mo video, and Burst Mode photography.

One more thing to note: The iPhone 5c is essentially the same phone as the now discontinued iPhone 5, but with a plastic shell. The 5c does offer a couple small improvements over the 5, including a slightly longer battery life and a marginally better front-facing camera, but for a significant upgrade, iPhone 5 users will have to opt for the 5s.

08. October 2013 · Comments Off on iOS 7: New Features You Should Know About · Categories: Apple, iOS 7 · Tags: ,

os&iOS 7: New Features You Should Know About

In September, Apple released the latest version of its iOS operating software for the iPhone and iPad: iOS 7. Like every iOS update, the latest one introduces new features and functionality, and can take a little time to adjust to. If you haven’t updated your device yet or recently updated and want a tour of the latest features, read on to learn about the major changes introduced by iOS 7.

  • New look – The changes made to the iOS’ appearance with the latest update are more drastic than those introduced in any of the past few iOS updates. The revamped look includes colorful, flattened buttons and a new password screen, among other changes.
  • Control Center – This new feature provides easy access to essential settings and utilities. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Center, where you can toggle Wi-Fi on and off, adjust screen brightness, and access your alarm clock, turn on the flashlight, and more.
  • Improved Notification Center – Notification Center now includes a “today” section, showing you all of your notifications for the current date.
  • New camera features – Camera includes new photo filters that change the look of your photo with the swipe of a finger. Also, quickly change between shooting formats (still, video, panorama, and square).
  • Easier updates – iOS 7 introduces automatic App updating. App updates are downloaded and installed automatically during power-efficient times, such as when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Photo sorting – Now sort photos by time, place, year, collection (e.g., “New York trip”), or moment (categories within collections, e.g., “Videos from Empire State Building”).
  • AirDrop – This new feature lets you share pictures, videos, contacts, etc., with someone nearby using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • iTunes Radio –This streaming, personalized radio station service is new with iOS 7.
  • Safari improvements – Updates made to the Safari browser include an improved search bar and a new vertical tab view.
  • Improved Siri – Siri is now faster, checks more resources, is easier to understand, and performs more tasks. Siri will now return calls, play voicemails, search Twitter, control the new iTunes Radio feature, and more.
  • Better security – New features make it harder for someone who stole your device to use it. For example, turning off “Find My iPhone” or erasing your device now requires your Apple ID and password.

Don’t forget to back up your device before you update it to iOS 7, and keep in mind that you’ll need at least 3GB of free space to download the update directly (otherwise, you can install it over iTunes).

24. July 2013 · Comments Off on 10 Things You Can Do While The Apple Developer Website is Down · Categories: Apple · Tags: ,

As you may know, an intruder attempted to secure personal information through the Apple Developer website. Apple took down the site, which is preventing iOS developers (including us), the ability to create and test new apps; download code, etc.

Today, the Apple Developer site has been down for a week.

Therefore, we created this quick list of ideas developers can implement and not worry about “down time.”

  1. You can still build games. Just get as much ready as you can and then add the Apple ID code later.
  2. Look for ways to improve older games that have lost their shelf life, including a new icon; better keywords; writing a stronger app description; localization, etc.
  3. Work on Android apps. Set up your Google Play account, etc.
  4. Sign up for PlayHaven, AppLovin and other networks.
  5. Take a look at NextPeer.
  6. Create a social media presence for your apps business, including a Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.
  7. Research other apps. Look at trends and figure out why certain apps are in the Top 10, etc.
  8. Download and play other games. We always learn something new from other app developers.
  9. Read app blogs and watch online training videos. There’s plenty available online to learn new things in app development.
  10. Join other app developer groups in Facebook. There are several groups (including a reviewer group). Very helpful.

That’s a good start!

Now, everyone here should add to this list.  We’ll publish great comments below.

No. 11 ???