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  1. yvrbs's Avatar
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    Default Question for developers-Why don't you offer more trials

    I know this topic has been brought up in the past but I would like to open it again and get some developers involved. As someone who developed PC software (average price about $29.95) up to about 5 years ago, I have to tell you when we finally offered trials, our sales tripled almost overnight. And protecting PC software from pirates is a lot tougher than protecting an app from what I can understand. Also, the numbers in mobile apps are huge and will only get larger.

    I am presently on the fence on a few apps, most of which are in the $4+ range. No big deal right? Yes, it is, because if an app doesn't deliver I feel I have been taken and pride trumps dollars-in this price range anyway.

    If a trial isn't offered, I have this feeling of why not? What's the developer scared of revealing? I can see why established apps with a lot of good reviews don't do it-but even some of the really good established ones (eg Files 'n Folders) offer a trial which I downloaded and bought as soon as I realized it did what they said.

    What about it developers? Why not more trial offers?

    I'm almost tempted to come out of retirement and get back into the game because marketing is where it's at as long as you have a decent product. Nahhhh-I'm having too much fun being a demanding consumer which is the reason I lost a lot of sleep at night when I was on the other side.
  2. Innovatology's Avatar
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    Good question. For some insane reason, RIM have recently pulled the plug on Try & Buy apps. They say too few vendors used that model. In my opinion, that means they should do more to promote it & make it easy for developers to adopt Try & Buy. Not deprecate it.

    We've reluctantly had to convert Files & Folders to separate try and buy versions, which is a step back both in user experience and app management.
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    It might help if developers could put a short demo on YouTube or their own site - I know several do this. RIM needs bigger screenshots too.
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    Well, as stated earlier RIM is getting rid of Try&Buy licensing. It's deprecated now, and developers can no longer add Try&Buy releases. But even when it was available, it did not work well. App World sometimes installed the trial version after customers paid for it, for example. One kind of app that never did free trials would be games: once you've played it, why buy it?
  5. yvrbs's Avatar
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    So I am seeing RIM being blamed for this problem. I'm not saying you're wrong but these kind of statements would be more credible if I saw some actual quotes from RIM about "deprecation." Regardless, developers should be doing everything they can to sell more of their apps and the suggestion about Youtube videos is certainly on the right track. I think developers need more sense of urgency when it comes to marketing. Right now the whole scene reminds me of the song "57 channels and nothing on."
  6. Innovatology's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yvrbs View Post
    I'm not saying you're wrong but these kind of statements would be more credible if I saw some actual quotes from RIM about "deprecation."
    From the App World Vendor Portal 3.1.4 release notes:

    Try & Buy License Type is now depreciated:
    You can no longer select Try & Buy as a License Type for new Products.
    If you have an existing BlackBerry Tablet OS Try & Buy Product, you will be unable to submit new Releases.

    There is a pretty critical thread about it here:
    PlayBook Try&Buy No Longer upload in App World - BlackBerry Support Community Forums
    Last edited by Innovatology; 07-21-2012 at 03:37 AM.
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  7. BuzzStarField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yvrbs View Post
    So I am seeing RIM being blamed for this problem. I'm not saying you're wrong but these kind of statements would be more credible if I saw some actual quotes from RIM about "deprecation." Regardless, developers should be doing everything they can to sell more of their apps and the suggestion about Youtube videos is certainly on the right track. I think developers need more sense of urgency when it comes to marketing. Right now the whole scene reminds me of the song "57 channels and nothing on."
    I think that it is too easy for armchair critics to make suggestions about how to increase my sales. Since I posted my app for sale at the lowest possible price a year ago, it has gathered over 300 really good reviews and a near five-star rating. I can tell you that I have been expending huge efforts in marketing my app. Even so, when it is not on the featured page, sales are dismal. Right now the whole scene reminds me of the song "15,000 apps but no one is buying".

    "Blame" is not the right word but until RIM starts selling PlayBooks and other BB10 devices in huge numbers, it really doesn't matter how good my app is or how many videos that I post on YouTube. Developers have a reasonable expectation that App World should be their primary marketing tool and right now it is not working out all that well for most of us. This is not a complaint - it is a fact.

    Competition for your attention is fierce - it is a case of too many developers getting only tiny slices of a small pie. In such a saturated market, having "more sense of urgency when it comes to marketing" would be an exercise in futility. It is far more profitable for me to look to the long term and work on my BB10 offerings. This is where I choose to spend my time.

    I am still confident that RIM can turn their fortunes around. Ironically, their efforts to do so have affected my bottom line. Currently it is so easy for new developers to port their iOS, Android and open-source desktop apps to this platform that consumers now have several excellent astronomy apps to choose from - and more are arriving each week. I can only speak for myself but I suspect that my situation applies to most developers and most genres. It is a buyers' market and I hope that people will take this opportunity to search App World (even if it does take take a little effort) and perhaps purchase some of the bargains that are available.
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  8. torndownunit's Avatar
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    It's tough to bring this up without being accused of 'whining' about price. But the fact is a lot of apps are more expensive for Playbook (and I am not referring to games, I know HD versions are the same across platforms), and there are less options for each app. I constantly use the option to try trial versions of apps on iOS to decide what to buy. And there are apps that generally run under $2. So when it comes to buying apps that are running more in the $2.99 and up range, yes, I'd like to be able to try them out. No, it's not a ton of money, but that doesn't mean I just want to throw it away.

    Whatever the reasons for trial versions not being available, I'd have to guess it's a hinderance for people coming from other platforms when buying BB/Playbook apps because they are so used to having that option. I know it is in my case.
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torndownunit View Post
    It's tough to bring this up without being accused of 'whining' about price. But the fact is a lot of apps are more expensive for Playbook (and I am not referring to games, I know HD versions are the same across platforms), and there are less options for each app. I constantly use the option to try trial versions of apps on iOS to decide what to buy. And there are apps that generally run under $2. So when it comes to buying apps that are running more in the $2.99 and up range, yes, I'd like to be able to try them out. No, it's not a ton of money, but that doesn't mean I just want to throw it away.

    Whatever the reasons for trial versions not being available, I'd have to guess it's a hinderance for people coming from other platforms when buying BB/Playbook apps because they are so used to having that option. I know it is in my case.
    But as others have pointed out, RIM is making it very difficult for us to offer trials. I can tell you from experience that trying to maintain a free or cripple-ware or limited-time app as a separate entity is a royal pain. And this model is not a magical formula to increase sales or improve customer satisfaction.

    I hope that someday, RIM sees the wisdom of making it easier for consumers to get a refund within a very limited time-frame. Even this approach is not an "ultimate" solution to the problem unless and until RIM also fixes the review and support processes. I could talk for hours about this but the topic has been fully covered in other treads in this forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post
    I think that it is too easy for armchair critics to make suggestions about how to increase my sales. Since I posted my app for sale at the lowest possible price a year ago, it has gathered over 300 really good reviews and a near five-star rating. I can tell you that I have been expending huge efforts in marketing my app. Even so, when it is not on the featured page, sales are dismal. Right now the whole scene reminds me of the song "15,000 apps but no one is buying".

    "Blame" is not the right word but until RIM starts selling PlayBooks and other BB10 devices in huge numbers, it really doesn't matter how good my app is or how many videos that I post on YouTube. Developers have a reasonable expectation that App World should be their primary marketing tool and right now it is not working out all that well for most of us. This is not a complaint - it is a fact.

    Competition for your attention is fierce - it is a case of too many developers getting only tiny slices of a small pie. In such a saturated market, having "more sense of urgency when it comes to marketing" would be an exercise in futility. It is far more profitable for me to look to the long term and work on my BB10 offerings. This is where I choose to spend my time.

    I am still confident that RIM can turn their fortunes around. Ironically, their efforts to do so have affected my bottom line. Currently it is so easy for new developers to port their iOS, Android and open-source desktop apps to this platform that consumers now have several excellent astronomy apps to choose from - and more are arriving each week. I can only speak for myself but I suspect that my situation applies to most developers and most genres. It is a buyers' market and I hope that people will take this opportunity to search App World (even if it does take take a little effort) and perhaps purchase some of the bargains that are available.
    Buzz, I got your app early on when there were very few app of any type. But how do you get more/better exposure in appworld or elsewhere. I do not know the apple/android sales models but are they designed better or differently? How does their developers get exposure. I will say that the small images shown in appworld really don't do it when I don't already know the app.

    I know the Search is pretty awful in some cases if I put in part of a known app, I do NOT find it.

    But what else can be done - not that rim will enact any of your suggestions but I'm curious.
  11. PedroBorgas's Avatar
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    If i had to choose between two apps , and one has a trial or a lite version, its more likely that i would buy the one i tried(if i liked it,of course) rather than the other.
    Now, if both have a test version, i would try them both and then decide.

    It probably would delay the buy but would enable it...

    Pedro

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  12. BuzzStarField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F2 View Post
    Buzz, I got your app early on when there were very few app of any type. But how do you get more/better exposure in appworld or elsewhere. I do not know the apple/android sales models but are they designed better or differently? How does their developers get exposure. I will say that the small images shown in appworld really don't do it when I don't already know the app.

    I know the Search is pretty awful in some cases if I put in part of a known app, I do NOT find it.

    But what else can be done - not that rim will enact any of your suggestions but I'm curious.
    There is no doubt that RIM has to fix the search mechanism and make it possible for potential buyers to filter out stuff that they don't have any interest in. We have discussed the topic of unwanted app tonnage created by developers who flood the place with e-books and the like. We have also talked about improve the review and support processes so that they can be used effectively in marketing our apps. When users contact my support email address, I spend a lot of time explaining how to complete installations and deal with App World glitches and very little talking about problems related to my app.

    But even if RIM did the work required, the major problem is still a simple case of numbers of potential buyers - or more properly, lack of potential customers. Android and iOS developers obviously don't have the same problem that I do. Nor do devs who offer BB 6 and 7 apps

    RIM never misses a chance to tell us that there are 75 million BB users out there and that 13% of BB developers are earning over $100,000. Unfortunately for some of us, the user-base are still using an obsolete legacy operating system.

    The reason I am so upset at RIM's failure to deliver BB10 devices is that I have been anticipating a huge jump in sales with minimal additional work on my part. My marketing plan was to be ready for a user-base that has not materialized. So while PB users have several fine astronomy apps from which to choose, 9900 users, for example, have none.

    I am currently writing a Java version to mitigate the problem of lagging sales. It's tough to find time and my heart isn't really in it but I am making steady progress. It shouldn't have come to this but at least I have the skills required to take advantage of this "opportunity". Most other new PB developers are not so lucky.
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  13. torndownunit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post
    But as others have pointed out, RIM is making it very difficult for us to offer trials. I can tell you from experience that trying to maintain a free or cripple-ware or limited-time app as a separate entity is a royal pain. And this model is not a magical formula to increase sales or improve customer satisfaction.

    I hope that someday, RIM sees the wisdom of making it easier for consumers to get a refund within a very limited time-frame. Even this approach is not an "ultimate" solution to the problem unless and until RIM also fixes the review and support processes. I could talk for hours about this but the topic has been fully covered in other treads in this forum.
    I am only giving the experiences of one consumer (myself). 90% of apps I have bought for iOS, I have bought a Pro version after using a trial. I wouldn't have bought those apps if there was no trial. There are Playbook apps I have not bought because I can't try them first. It's a common topic, so clearly a lot of other people feel the same way. So it has to be having some effect on sales.

    I am not blaming the developers for this because I have read in other threads there are App World issues, just discussing it. It's a crappy situation.
  14. BuzzStarField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torndownunit View Post
    I am only giving the experiences of one consumer (myself). 90% of apps I have bought for iOS, I have bought a Pro version after using a trial. I wouldn't have bought those apps if there was no trial. There are Playbook apps I have not bought because I can't try them first. It's a common topic, so clearly a lot of other people feel the same way. So it has to be having some effect on sales.

    I am not blaming the developers for this because I have read in other threads there are App World issues, just discussing it. It's a crappy situation.
    I understand your perspective. Like you, I am also only relating my own experience for your consideration. When I had my separate trial app (the only option now available) a large number of customers downloaded it and for one reason or another felt compelled to write a bad review. In many cases, it was pure maliciousness. I got many 1-star reviews because the app didn't have "point and view" which was an impossibility at the time,. The app's deficiencies were clearly outlined in the description in App World, so people should have known exactly what they were getting. (and what was "missing"). In other cases, the user made an error of some sort and gave up (after telling the world that the app was useless). Nobody ever contacted my support email address for assistance with install problems. The average star-rating was 3.

    In contrast, the paid version (exactly the same app) got a much higher proportion of good reviews and thoughtful comments. I received no reviews less than 4 stars. Unlike with the trial version, I got quite a few requests for support for installation problems and other App World glitches. It was obvious to me that the trial version was a net liability and so after much consideration, I removed the trial version. My sales actually increased as a result.
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  15. torndownunit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post
    I understand your perspective. Like you, I am also only relating my own experience for your consideration. When I had my separate trial app (the only option now available) a large number of customers downloaded it and for one reason or another felt compelled to write a bad review. In many cases, it was pure maliciousness. I got many 1-star reviews because the app didn't have "point and view" which was an impossibility at the time,. The app's deficiencies were clearly outlined in the description in App World, so people should have known exactly what they were getting. (and what was "missing"). In other cases, the user made an error of some sort and gave up (after telling the world that the app was useless). Nobody ever contacted my support email address for assistance with install problems. The average star-rating was 3.

    In contrast, the paid version (exactly the same app) got a much higher proportion of good reviews and thoughtful comments. I received no reviews less than 4 stars. Unlike with the trial version, I got quite a few requests for support for installation problems and other App World glitches. It was obvious to me that the trial version was a net liability and so after much consideration, I removed the trial version. My sales actually increased as a result.
    Your is a $1 app, which makes it competitive with apps on another platforms. And at $1, I would be willing to buy it without a trial. I don't want to get into too many details with your specific app, but I have SkyView on iOS which allows me to track objects like satellites and the space station as well as planets/stars etc, which I don't think your app does. That is the only reason I have not purchased your app. If I am wrong, or if your app plans to offer this feature, I will buy it.

    But many apps for Playbook cost twice what comparable apps on other platforms cost, or more. And when people don't even have the option to try the apps out in that price range, then that is going to make them hesitant to buy them. I am only pointing out that while developers can judge sales increase and decreases, they can't judge the customer base they might be missing out on because of lack of trials. When you get into apps in the $4.99 price range, people are going to be hesitant to buy them with no trial.

    And before people bring up the 'cheap' point, the price itself is not the point. When people know there are half dozen apps for other platforms for half the price, and trial versions, it's reasonable to wonder why the Playbook alternative is twice the price and be hesitant to buy it.
    Last edited by torndownunit; 07-21-2012 at 12:10 PM.
  16. PedroBorgas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torndownunit View Post
    Your is a $1 app, which makes it competitive with apps on another platforms. And at $1, I would be willing to buy it without a trial. I don't want to get into too many details with your specific app, but I have SkyView on iOS which allows me to track objects like satellites and the space station as well as planets/stars etc, which I don't think your app does. That is the only reason I have not purchased your app. If I am wrong, or if your app plans to offer this feature, I will buy it.

    But many apps for Playbook cost twice what comparable apps on other platforms cost, or more. And when people don't even have the option to try the apps out in that price range, then that is going to make them hesitant to buy them. I am only pointing out that while developers can judge sales increase and decreases, they can't judge the customer base they might be missing out on because of lack of trials. When you get into apps in the $4.99 price range, people are going to be hesitant to buy them with no trial.

    And before people bring up the 'cheap' point, the price itself is not the point. When people know there are half dozen apps for other platforms for half the price, and trial versions, it's reasonable to wonder why the Playbook alternative is twice the price and be hesitant to buy it.

    I'm with you on this one!

    There are some very expensive apps for PB which don't have a trial version, like Pacemaker(20), Pocket RPG(4,5) and much, much more that i cant remember right now...

    I bought the RPG at my own risk, but i will never do that again(not because of the game, because i loved it), since maybe next time i wont be that lucky...

    If u have a great app to show, a trial version would bring you more profit,even with some bad reviews, since everybody knows that trial/lite versions arent as good as the full ones...

    Trial supporter here

    Pedro

    Sent from a beautiful but old BB 8520 or a new and shinny PB 2.0
  17. yvrbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post
    I think that it is too easy for armchair critics to make suggestions about how to increase my sales. Since I posted my app for sale at the lowest possible price a year ago, it has gathered over 300 really good reviews and a near five-star rating. I can tell you that I have been expending huge efforts in marketing my app. Even so, when it is not on the featured page, sales are dismal. Right now the whole scene reminds me of the song "15,000 apps but no one is buying".

    "Blame" is not the right word but until RIM starts selling PlayBooks and other BB10 devices in huge numbers, it really doesn't matter how good my app is or how many videos that I post on YouTube. Developers have a reasonable expectation that App World should be their primary marketing tool and right now it is not working out all that well for most of us. This is not a complaint - it is a fact.

    Competition for your attention is fierce - it is a case of too many developers getting only tiny slices of a small pie. In such a saturated market, having "more sense of urgency when it comes to marketing" would be an exercise in futility. It is far more profitable for me to look to the long term and work on my BB10 offerings. This is where I choose to spend my time.

    I am still confident that RIM can turn their fortunes around. Ironically, their efforts to do so have affected my bottom line. Currently it is so easy for new developers to port their iOS, Android and open-source desktop apps to this platform that consumers now have several excellent astronomy apps to choose from - and more are arriving each week. I can only speak for myself but I suspect that my situation applies to most developers and most genres. It is a buyers' market and I hope that people will take this opportunity to search App World (even if it does take take a little effort) and perhaps purchase some of the bargains that are available.
    OK I hear a lot of probably justified frustration here and I get what you are saying. I don't think I qualify as an arm chair critic as I was in PC software development over 20 years and only got out because we sold the company a few years ago.

    All successful software developers spend as much or more time on marketing than on development. I know this both from personal experience and the dozens of conferences I've attended over the years. Social media is a godsend for marketing today and relying solely on RIM or any other hardware supplier to be your main marketing strategy is an invitation to disaster.

    I'll leave you with 2 quotes we had on posters all over our offices and I figure taking them to heart is the reason I could retire at 54:

    "Before you create any more great content, figure out how you are going to market it first."

    "Unrelenting, take no excuses testing is the last step on the road to financial success. Creative marketing is the first."
  18. mIsort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post

    RIM never misses a chance to tell us that there are 75 million BB users out there and that 13% of BB developers are earning over $100,000. Unfortunately for some of us, the user-base are still using an obsolete legacy operating system.
    Exactly, I've now dropped my app's from the store now because it's just not worth maintaining the PB releases at this moment in time.

    If I did offer trial versions for each app that's x2 PB apps to support for no gain. The most expensive was 1.99 ( the others .99 ) each with good reviews and youtube videos etc - So very doubt much trials would have had an impact at all really.

    But just general observation really - It's a bizarre world with software these days, people want trials/hours of game-play/many levels/additional free content for .99c (or even less).

    8 ( $12 ) on an film ticket that turns out meh is no big woop, but 2.50 ( $4 ) on some software that is scrutinised down to the last byte - and if not perfect in every way can bring torrent of 1 star reviews/scam/missing a feature that was never advertised so 1 star/refund me now/ from some very angry people
  19. torndownunit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mIsort View Post
    Exactly, I've now dropped my app's from the store now because it's just not worth maintaining the PB releases at this moment in time.

    If I did offer trial versions for each app that's x2 PB apps to support for no gain. The most expensive was 1.99 ( the others .99 ) each with good reviews and youtube videos etc - So very doubt much trials would have had an impact at all really.

    But just general observation really - It's a bizarre world with software these days, people want trials/hours of game-play/many levels/additional free content for .99c (or even less).

    8 ( $12 ) on an film ticket that turns out meh is no big woop, but 2.50 ( $4 ) on some software that is scrutinised down to the last byte - and if not perfect in every way can bring torrent of 1 star reviews/scam/missing a feature that was never advertised so 1 star/refund me now/ from some very angry people
    Pricing wise, I guess the issue stems from that people are used to paying low prices for very very good iOS and Android Apps. EG, I Tunein Radio Pro, an App I absolutely love on iOS, is what I consider to be pretty close to a perfect app and is $1. The only app that has a similar feature set for Playbook is Nobex radio which not only has a higher price, but charges a monthly subscription fee. But, there are also about 3-4 other very good internet radio apps in the same price range I could use for iOS. There isn't really anything on Playbook. I am a consumer, not a developer so I'll admit I can't understand the logistics. I only see what I am buying, and as a consumer it can be frustrating.

    I like my Playbook, and in the end I will pay more for a Playbook app and support someone developing for Playbook. But, I would LIKE that app to at least have a comparable feature set to the apps on the other platforms that cost less, and in a lot of cases they don't. And with no trials, it can be tough to figure this out.

    But, thanks to this thread at least now I know why there are so few trials available. Good info to know.
    Last edited by torndownunit; 07-21-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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    Its hard to cheat people out of their money when you offer trials.
  21. PedroBorgas's Avatar
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    For what i understood the major problem for devs is the lack of consumers(the major prob for users is the lack of apps; and there goes a loop...). A broader consumer basis should make the apps price go down.

    But that's not our fault! The ones in the active don't need to have questions marks in their heads everytime they look at a new(and maybe much needed) app.

    For now we need those trials.

    Maybe a 1h trial , depending on what the app should do.

    Or paid trials, where u purchase half of the features for half the price and then choose (or not) to upgrade to the full one. Its more work for the devs, but then again, no pain no gain

    And, the reviews should be changed too - The user should rate every(said to be) feature. This way, other users would be able the check if their most needed feature/s work fine or not. And the reviewer should also state their equipment - A lot of 5 stars apps dont work on my 8520.

    The stars and the descriptions shouldnt be changed of course.

    Has i stated , im a trial supporter, but still i try to see the devs side!

    Pedro

    Sent from a beautiful but old BB 8520 or a new and shinny PB 2.0
  22. torndownunit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroBorgas View Post
    For what i understood the major problem for devs is the lack of consumers(the major prob for users is the lack of apps; and there goes a loop...). A broader consumer basis should make the apps price go down.

    But that's not our fault! The ones in the active don't need to have questions marks in their heads everytime they look at a new(and maybe much needed) app.

    For now we need those trials.

    Maybe a 1h trial , depending on what the app should do.

    Or paid trials, where u purchase half of the features for half the price and then choose (or not) to upgrade to the full one. Its more work for the devs, but then again, no pain no gain

    And, the reviews should be changed too - The user should rate every(said to be) feature. This way, other users would be able the check if their most needed feature/s work fine or not. And the reviewer should also state their equipment - A lot of 5 stars apps dont work on my 8520.

    The stars and the descriptions shouldnt be changed of course.

    Has i stated , im a trial supporter, but still i try to see the devs side!

    Pedro

    Sent from a beautiful but old BB 8520 or a new and shinny PB 2.0
    I find the reviews absurd in a lot of cases. In many cases the reviewers are giving a 5 star review simply because an app is just available for Playbook. If you compared it to other apps in the same category available for other platforms though, there is no way the apps are deserving of a 5 star review. People hand out 5 star reviews like candy in app world.
  23. BuzzStarField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yvrbs View Post
    OK I hear a lot of probably justified frustration here and I get what you are saying. I don't think I qualify as an arm chair critic as I was in PC software development over 20 years and only got out because we sold the company a few years ago.

    All successful software developers spend as much or more time on marketing than on development. I know this both from personal experience and the dozens of conferences I've attended over the years. Social media is a godsend for marketing today and relying solely on RIM or any other hardware supplier to be your main marketing strategy is an invitation to disaster.

    I'll leave you with 2 quotes we had on posters all over our offices and I figure taking them to heart is the reason I could retire at 54:

    "Before you create any more great content, figure out how you are going to market it first."

    "Unrelenting, take no excuses testing is the last step on the road to financial success. Creative marketing is the first."
    I just hate it when someone you don't know and who does not know you gives advice like this. I don't mean to be ungrateful, but it is just a tad rude and condescending. Developing software for a device like the PB is NOTHING like developing traditional software for a PC. I know. I worked in the IT department of a large financial institution for 25 years before I was downsized, re sized and declared redundant. I found happiness in developing Java web apps and have been doing this for about ten years now. I have carried my habit of trying to predict future conditions and adjusting my marketing strategy accordingly. I never offer potential users a half-baked product - my apps always exploit the full potential of the platform that they are running on. My products always work exactly as advertised.

    The truth is that selling apps for a brand new device is bound to be a huge disappointment unless you go int it with your eyes wide open. You need to do extensive research into this business and more or less unlearn most practices that might have been useful in a previous life. You are competing with iOS and Android developers whether you like it or not and this is especially problematic if your chosen platform is less than perfect. You need to develop a thick skin and tread very lightly. When a customer tells you point blank that your app sucks in comparison to the iOS product, you have to take it on the chin and smile broadly.

    My skin is thinner than usual today and I do apologize but I feel that I must communicate some of the facts of life. Mistake one was to drop my initial plans to make a Java app and sell it to BB smart phone users. Mistake two was assuming that RIM would actually connect the magnetometer with an AIR API so that I could actually use it. It went downhill from there when I soon realized that RIM was not going deliver any great number of customers customers to me according to my assumptions.

    My point is this: Conventional wisdom that applies to a large mature market like iOS does not necessarily apply to a small transitional market like PB App World. I had already taken your advice about the importance of clever marketing even though at times it seemed pointless. Offering a trial was part of that strategy but that didn't work out so well.
    Show off PlayBook's magnetometer! Just point and see What's up.
    Visit What's up Sky Map on Facebook.
  24. torndownunit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzStarField View Post
    I just hate it when someone you don't know and who does not know you gives advice like this. I don't mean to be ungrateful, but it is just a tad rude and condescending. Developing software for a device like the PB is NOTHING like developing traditional software for a PC. I know. I worked in the IT department of a large financial institution for 25 years before I was downsized, re sized and declared redundant. I found happiness in developing Java web apps and have been doing this for about ten years now. I have carried my habit of trying to predict future conditions and adjusting my marketing strategy accordingly. I never offer potential users a half-baked product - my apps always exploit the full potential of the platform that they are running on. My products always work exactly as advertised.

    The truth is that selling apps for a brand new device is bound to be a huge disappointment unless you go int it with your eyes wide open. You need to do extensive research into this business and more or less unlearn most practices that might have been useful in a previous life. You are competing with iOS and Android developers whether you like it or not and this is especially problematic if your chosen platform is less than perfect. You need to develop a thick skin and tread very lightly. When a customer tells you point blank that your app sucks in comparison to the iOS product, you have to take it on the chin and smile broadly.

    My skin is thinner than usual today and I do apologize but I feel that I must communicate some of the facts of life. Mistake one was to drop my initial plans to make a Java app and sell it to BB smart phone users. Mistake two was assuming that RIM would actually connect the magnetometer with an AIR API so that I could actually use it. It went downhill from there when I soon realized that RIM was not going deliver any great number of customers customers to me according to my assumptions.

    My point is this: Conventional wisdom that applies to a large mature market like iOS does not necessarily apply to a small transitional market like PB App World. I had already taken your advice about the importance of clever marketing even though at times it seemed pointless. Offering a trial was part of that strategy but that didn't work out so well.
    I am hoping you are not referring to my comments with the "app sucks compared to iOS" comments. You were using your application as an example, and I was only stating why I personally had not bought your app yet. Your app looks as good as the iOS apps I have, but is simply missing a big function that they have (tracking other objects) at this point so in my case it wouldn't make sense to buy a 3rd app. If you are going to keep using your own application as an example, then is it fair that I reply? I don't think I was being rude in any way? If I was, I am sorry.

    And again, your app is not really a good example of 'the problem'. Your app is competitively priced and is clearly attempting to offer a product that matches up to products on other platforms. Your app is more an example of things done right. Most of us discussing the lack of trial problems here are referring to applications that cost several time what similar applications on other platforms cost. The App store generally offers horrible screenshots, what I consider to be a sub-standard review system, and very few trials. This makes it tough as a consumer to just throw money down on the apps because you have more of a chance of being burned.
  25. yllus's Avatar
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    I'm really just not convinced it's worth the effort. Ideally I could upload a normal, full-featured version of my app to BlackBerry App World, select "Trial for X days" and put in the price of my app ($1.99). The packaging by App World would then go ahead and let that app be used for X days, and then expire.

    However, as far as I am aware, that's not how it worked - it was up to the developer to write the code to enable trial mode. That's a lot of work. Instead I've decided to create a product website and am trying to get it featured in the store. It's hard to argue that with the limited install base of the PlayBook that it's really worth spending the extra time and effort.
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