Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School With Artgig Apps

It’s that special time of year, where everything smoothly and seamlessly transitions from the carefree summer of fun to the new school semester and a more "regimented" approach to learning.

We think Artgig Apps provide just the right amount of learning and fun.

Here are some Back to School updates to help prove the point:

For starters, we just updated Mystery Math Museum to include all new characters you can unlock in the Art Collector Challenge. You’ll earn a portrait for your gallery with each completed challenge, and you’ll want to hear what these quirky cartoons have to say. The update will be available in the App Store next week.

Stan, the rapping mummy, needs help. What rhymes with sarcophagus?
And you may notice a family resemblance in this photo.

We’ve also updated all of our app icons to include a little blue “Artgig” bug, so it’s easier for you to find our apps in the App Store and on your device. You'll see the new icons in the App Store next week, along with the Mystery Math Museum update.

Finally, we’re planning some App Bundles that will launch soon to give you the biggest bang for your Back to School buck!

Monday, August 11, 2014

One Month Later (After The App Store Feature)...

Alternate Title: The Fragile Psyche of an Indie App Developer

Drive About has good visibility in the Education category
Today I write with a sense of great relief.
While lounging at the local pool with my family yesterday, I made the mistake of checking my email.
What I saw nearly spoiled what was otherwise a fine summer Sunday afternoon.
My AppFigures daily report was shockingly awful - slashed to a paltry quarter of already soft early August sales.
It was, to put it mildly, a little scary.

You see, as a small indie kids app developer who bootstraps every single app we make, I always feel like the ride is just about to end in a horrific, fiery wreck at the bend just ahead.
It could be any number of things that leads to disaster - but the reality is, initial success is no guarantee of future App Store stardom.
We mitigate the risk some because we are developers for hire and we do a fair amount of contract work, so it wouldn't be a death blow to Artgig if the App Store blew up tomorrow.
But it would really stink.
And I would be sad.
Because I really like making apps for kids.
And as I sat there, staring at our measly Saturday sales, I could only wonder "Is this it? Is this the beginning of the end?"
I swallowed my fears and put on a brave face as I rose to join my carefree family who were frolicking in the pool, none the wiser.

This morning when I checked the sales reports I saw a big banner in my AppFigures dashboard explaining that the Saturday sales reports coming from Apple were broken.
I checked my iTunes Connect dashboard and indeed, the Apple reports showed that Saturday was in fact, just another average summer sales day.
I exhaled.
It’s not the end...not yet.

That's a long lead in on a slow news day to a follow up report on our Drive About: Number Neighborhood app sales.
We were featured fairly prominently in the Kids category when we launched in June.
And I was pretty pleased to see our localization efforts paying off in Russia, where we realized 11% of our total sales.

Since then, the download/sales trend has been like a lazy water slide.

And Russia? Well, the decimal has moved a little bit to the left and now it's only .11% of sales - not even in the Top 6 Countries.

Of course, the first week is always the best.

Drive sales - launch to now
But here we are, nearly two months after launch and Drive About is still hanging around.

App rankings - the 2 vertical lines represent the Awards won at the end of July
Drive won a Parents’ Choice Award and received an Editor’s Choice commendation from Children’s Technology Review at the end of July, which doesn’t hurt.
I can't find the app in any of the Kids category features now but we've had a nice spot in Education for the last few weeks and it's still a top seller for us.

We have some updates planned this month that we hope will give us a little boost as Apple launches their Back to School promotions.

So, Drive About and Artgig live to see another day in the App Store.