Android TV and Apps

Did you hear about the new Android TV? These televisions have caught the fancy of people and offers a new way to watch television. Be it playing games or browsing the net, an Android TV offers a lot.

However, Android apps haven’t been that easy to make. So, if you are looking forward for developers to make apps for Android TV as well, you need to consider certain aspects first.

Here is a look at the difficulties developers face when designing an Android TV box app.

Developers work hard, putting in lot of thoughts, time and energy into making a great product. However, many developers fail to take a few key steps that can help them create that magical app. It has to be remembered that almost everyone has a smartphone today. While there are millions of apps for the Android smart phones, apps which are specifically designed for playing with Android TVs are still not that high in number. Developers need to meet different challenges to design newer and better apps. Creating the right product and managing to get loyal customers requires a good strategy.

All about apps

The app icon and the user interface should be clean and be easy to use. Users begin to form opinions about the app once they download it. Developers should read the reports from users to find out the requirements.

Determination of the demographics

Developers get vast information about app users and usage from users. If you are thinking to create a new app, you need to think like a marketer and critically analyze the market to determine your target demographic. For instance, if your app is targeted at low-income people within a particular age group, why would you concentrate on building apps for iOS?

Of course, if you do that, you will spend more money and energy building apps for the wrong audience. Android TV apps in particular, need to be more appealing.

Investing on metrics that can be quantified

Most developers don’t understand how to make proper use of app usage data. As a developer, you ought to read usage of app data by users on a daily basis. Developers should also use reports which show how effective their ads are and how much they can possibly monetize it.

Network for discoverability

Networking with other app developers is a great way by which you can take your apps to even greater heights. Utilize social networks and also guest blog about your app in other app developers’ blogs. You can also simply attend seminars or webinars where app development is the topic. Building relationships in the right circles can offer results that you never anticipated.

Conclusion

Developers require extra effort and research to come out with something innovative. If they are developing an app for an Android TV, they need to first know the audience well to understand the needs and preferences. There are several ways of doing this. As a developer, the end product should actually be user friendly for the users.

Types of Online Games for Kids

The internet has created an easy platform for gaming, something that even children have no problem figuring out and using daily. It can be accessed from nearly anywhere in the world with the right types of satellites or wireless devices. The games are relatively simply, but they come in all sorts of types so that kids can use them for many different purposes. Some of them are so advanced that adults will love them as well. The following are a few of the different types of online games for kids that can be found on the internet very quickly.

1. Games For Young Children

Some of the most simplistic games on the internet are aimed at young children who are still learning the basics about many different aspects of life. This is truly a shock to some parents who still do not fully understand the way that the internet works, but children who have grown up with it are able to find their way around with ease. These games will often ask children to match colors or do simple math.

2. Educational Games

There are more advanced educational games as well, and these are a great tool to use for children who are not fond of learning in a traditional classroom setting. Some of these include trivia games. The children will be asked to answer questions on their way to performing other tasks or just for the sake of answering the questions themselves. While some children may not enjoy this, others will find that playing a trivia game on a computer is much more fun that taking a test in class.

3. Games Based On Television Shows and Movies

Some of the most popular online games for kids are based on television shows and movies that the children already love. These games allow them to become the characters and take part in their world, something that every child does with his or her imagination while watching a movie but which could not be done in such a full-fledged manner without these games. The action will sometimes follow the plots of the movies or shows, allowing children to play through the same story lines. Other times the games will use the same characters while being unrelated to the movies themselves — the game might ask the child to answer trivia questions, for example, while playing as the character from a cartoon.

4. Problem-Solving Games

Still other games will force the children to use their natural problem-solving abilities. These games will often present puzzles or riddles that the children will have to work out before they can move on. These may ask them to perform tasks in a certain order, for instance, giving hints as to what the order may be and then asking them to work it out for themselves. This can be helpful in intellectual development.

5. Games Just For Fun

Finally, there are games just for fun. Some of the old games for the Nintendo Entertainment System have now been released online. These may not help children with intellectual gain, but they can still help them to relax, to have fun, and to build their imaginations.

Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.