1. srlake's Avatar
    Hey Guys/Gals,

    This is a bit of a plug, as I created the app, but I've heard a lot of good feedback from users, and I thought some of you here on Crackberry might be interested. I've released a nice-looking bubble level for the Playbook. A lot of detail was put into the graphics to take advantage of the nice screen on the playbook, and shows off the accelerometer capabilities of the device nicely.

    https://appworld.blackberry.com/webs.../48992?lang=en

    Check it out and let me know your thoughts or improvements!

    I've heard that some users want it a little more sensitive - that's something I might change in the next update. I'd love to hear a bit more feedback - if you'd like it more/less sensitive, or left as-is!

    Cheers
    07-04-11 01:47 PM
  2. dcscott's Avatar
    From what I can see on AppWorld you've done a great job and provided a nice looking app. But, what does your app offer over the one by Rigid that is free. I don't ask to be cranky, but rather if folks knew what made yours better they might be more willing to purchase it.
    07-04-11 02:49 PM
  3. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    From what I can see on AppWorld you've done a great job and provided a nice looking app. But, what does your app offer over the one by Rigid that is free. I don't ask to be cranky, but rather if folks knew what made yours better they might be more willing to purchase it.
    Believe me, I completely understand your question.

    But, as a developer I could never understand why some us undervalue our work by offering flagship apps for free. I try to make a living using my particular skill set. It is my job and no one I know can put food on the table without earning an income.

    It is my experience that an inferior offering will seriously outperform even the most feature-rich paid app. In my own case, I have been getting 200+ daily downloads on my no-frills free version. But yesterday only 6 people decided to purchase my full-featured version. It is priced at a mere dollar and is getting rave reviews. I am thinking of withdrawing my free version so that I am not competing with myself!

    In the long run, I feel that the consumer's desire for free apps is one of the main reasons why there are so few really good apps available in App World. It does not matter how wonderful or complex your app is, the most you can ask is $1.00 - and even at that price there are no buyers. If developers can't make a living, they will go elsewhere to ply their trade.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    07-05-11 07:30 AM
  4. dcscott's Avatar
    I've also done some development work and the intent of my question was not to promote free apps over paid apps but rather to suggest stronger marketing. Most people would gladly pay the modest fee if they understand what the paid app offers that the free one doesn't. The Rigid app, as an example, is advertising the Rigid brand. But it is doing it in a non-intrusive fashion which most people don't mind. If, in his product description, SRLAKE can give us some idea why his version might be better (faster, more accurate, easier to read, has sound output,....whatever) then people might be more likely to purchase it.

    When you offer two versions of an app, one paid and one free, how you present them can have an interesting effect on the consumer.

    I've been burnt enough times on flaky software that I appreciate having a trial or free version. Perhaps I'm different from most consumers but if you give me a valid reason to upgrade I'll do so without question. But if you try and get me to upgrade by irritating me with constant popups or advertisements, you just might lose me as a customer.
    07-05-11 10:17 AM
  5. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Perhaps I'm different from most consumers but if you give me a valid reason to upgrade I'll do so without question. But if you try and get me to upgrade by irritating me with constant popups or advertisements, you just might lose me as a customer.
    Just curious - My free version has a "nag screen" at startup that indicates how much time is left in the demo period. It has two buttons: one linking the user to the paid version at App World, the other lets the user continue using the fully functional app.

    The nag screen provides the list of features that will not be available upon expiry of the demo period.

    When the demo period has expired, the nag screen continues to appear at startup. It displays the features that the user will get back if he upgrades and also displays the same two buttons. If the user does not want to upgrade, he can use the scaled-back version as long as he likes.

    Would you consider this strategy intrusive and irritating?

    After the demo period expires, the nag screen pops up whenever the user attempts to use one of the advanced features. Would you find this approach intrusive and irritating?
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 07-05-11 at 12:15 PM.
    07-05-11 11:43 AM
  6. jsp5000's Avatar
    In the long run, I feel that the consumer's desire for free apps is one of the main reasons why there are so few really good apps available in App World. It does not matter how wonderful or complex your app is, the most you can ask is $1.00 - and even at that price there are no buyers. If developers can't make a living, they will go elsewhere to ply their trade.
    I can feel your pain. My app was in the top 20 purchased position and yet the number of purchases during that period was only around 20+ per day... Perhaps things would get better when RIM provides the API for in-app advertising.
    07-05-11 12:07 PM
  7. dcscott's Avatar
    Just curious - My free version has a "nag screen" at startup that indicates how much time is left in the demo period. It has two buttons: one linking the user to the paid version at App World, the other lets the user continue using the fully functional app.

    The nag screen provides the list of features that will not be available upon expiry of the demo period.

    When the demo period has expired, the nag screen continues to appear at startup. It displays the features that the user will get back if he upgrades and also displays the same two buttons. If the user does not want to upgrade, he can use the scaled-back version as long as he likes.

    Would you consider this strategy intrusive and irritating?

    After the demo period expires, the nag screen pops up whenever the user attempts to use one of the advanced features. Would you find this approach intrusive and irritating?
    I personally would not find this irritating. I would appreciate the opportunity that you've provided to try out the full featured app and would thus be more tolerant then I might otherwise be.

    Let me give you an example of something that did turn me off. I downloaded the free version of DriveSafe.ly to my Torch. I really liked what the app offered but after reviewing what the paid version added (no trial available) I could not see any compelling reason to purchase the paid version. The added functionality simply was of no value to me. The free version would display a pop up several times a day asking me if I wanted to upgrade or continue using the free version. This always seemed to happen when I was in a hurry to place a call and had to clear that screen to get on with my call. It became such an irritant that I finally blew the free app off. You would think that I'd have simply paid for the upgrade but that popup always came at a bad time (driving) and by the time I got to where I was going I'd forgotten about it. I think, at least in their case, a nicely worded email might have been more effective.

    I really don't understand why people are unwilling to spend a measly $1 on an app if it provides utility. These same folks don't mind spending $3-4 on a cup of coffee. Go figure.
    07-05-11 12:27 PM
  8. dcscott's Avatar
    Just curious - My free version has a "nag screen" at startup that indicates how much time is left in the demo period. It has two buttons: one linking the user to the paid version at App World, the other lets the user continue using the fully functional app.

    The nag screen provides the list of features that will not be available upon expiry of the demo period.

    When the demo period has expired, the nag screen continues to appear at startup. It displays the features that the user will get back if he upgrades and also displays the same two buttons. If the user does not want to upgrade, he can use the scaled-back version as long as he likes.

    Would you consider this strategy intrusive and irritating?

    After the demo period expires, the nag screen pops up whenever the user attempts to use one of the advanced features. Would you find this approach intrusive and irritating?
    I personally would not find this irritating. I would appreciate the opportunity that you've provided to try out the full featured app and would thus be more tolerant then I might otherwise be.

    I really don't understand why people are unwilling to spend a measly $1 on an app if it provides utility. These same folks don't mind spending $3-4 on a cup of coffee. Go figure.
    07-05-11 12:28 PM
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I really don't understand why people are unwilling to spend a measly $1 on an app if it provides utility. These same folks don't mind spending $3-4 on a cup of coffee. Go figure.
    I think that this is the crux of the problem. I agree with you entirely that there are polite ways to nag and there are not so nice ways. I actually put a lot of thought ans sweat into how I approached the problem of trying to convert a download into a sale. It cost me a week's work to incorporate the pitch into the UI so that it did not affect usability in a negative way.

    A more cynical person would probably say "why bother" - either way you do it there is no sale! But I'm just not that kind of developer.

    So my advice to srlake is to hang in there and do your best to implement a functional app that is different in some way from all the others of its kind. Push the differences in your marketing strategies and hope for the best. Who knows, you might get lucky. But don't choose this line of work as your day job.
    07-05-11 12:53 PM
  10. mandony's Avatar
    Not to be critical in any way, just to get back to the first posting-
    how is the new level better than the free Ridgid app?

    Do you have other appz planned that are unique, meaning you are the only provider? Or, very different then any other appz. If you are a PB owner ask yourself, 'how many basic calculator apps do I need'
    07-06-11 01:20 AM
  11. madoon's Avatar
    Believe me, I completely understand your question.

    But, as a developer I could never understand why some us undervalue our work by offering flagship apps for free. I try to make a living using my particular skill set. It is my job and no one I know can put food on the table without earning an income.

    It is my experience that an inferior offering will seriously outperform even the most feature-rich paid app. In my own case, I have been getting 200+ daily downloads on my no-frills free version. But yesterday only 6 people decided to purchase my full-featured version. It is priced at a mere dollar and is getting rave reviews. I am thinking of withdrawing my free version so that I am not competing with myself!

    In the long run, I feel that the consumer's desire for free apps is one of the main reasons why there are so few really good apps available in App World. It does not matter how wonderful or complex your app is, the most you can ask is $1.00 - and even at that price there are no buyers. If developers can't make a living, they will go elsewhere to ply their trade.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    i have bought what's up, its an amazing app. (even emailed you a feature request a few days ago) but i could see why you have problems selling your product. I have NO knowledge about the stars in any way, (i would guess i fit the average PB user in that area) and bought your even though i only used the demo for 5 minutes.

    1- the demo is such an amazing app, the it feels like you have most of the features i need. Since i dont know anything about the starts looking at your app and seeing hundreds of stars, i felt overwhelmed with information, and did not think i would need any more in the full paid version.

    2-i only used the demo for a very short time so dont remember much of the experience, and have never used it past the demo expiration date(so dont know which features go away) it felt very much like a free app more than anything, the start up nag screen was completely not annoying!
    it seemed more like a remember author of the app, and if you have the decency visit app world and buy something.

    now my suggestions regarding these issues.

    - perhaps you remove some features form the demo or add new ones to full verson, not sure what you could remove. I dont think its fair that you remove stars, as that would hurt the user that only uses the demo once or twice a year, and might show your app as lacking.

    -make a NAG screen, im sorry but the thing i experienced in the demo does not count as a nag screen. These screens are designed to annoy and frustrate people into paying for the app just to get rid of the screen (forgeting the extra features) the app screen should pop back up after a certain time and remind you its a demo every 5 -10 mins, and be forced for 5 - 15 seconds

    - if you feel the that the annoying screen or less features are not you, perhaps you should find other ways to make money of these free people, add adds to the app. i have seen tons of apps on the ipad that have advertisements in the bottom, and since the app is still free, the end user does not mind it and you make a little money in, compensating you for what seems like a very complete app.

    -now i will be honest i have not used your application much since i bought it because cant see much stars where i live, and i knew that before i bought the app. but i still bought the app because of the price at $1 i felt it was cheap and i only paid the $1 to support the dev community than needing the app, i felt it may come in handy one day and i love having the info available any time i want. at least in my case if it was above $1 i would have thought for a moment before clicking buy, but at $1 it was an instinctive buy with zero expectations. (more of a comment than a suggestion)
    Last edited by madoon; 07-06-11 at 06:04 AM.
    07-06-11 06:01 AM
  12. srlake's Avatar
    Interesting debate over paid vs freemium models. For some, such as Evernote, Dropbox, and crunchSMS, the freemium model has worked well. If features can be differentiated in such a way that the free version gives the user a "taste" and gets them hooked, without giving them everything they want, then I think it can work. For example, Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage free, so that you'll start moving your files onto there, begin to like the functionality, then finally run out of space when the switching cost is high for you to leave.

    Advertising is basically not a revenue model, until you have real traction. At the $2-$3 CPM's we see in mobile, it takes a lot of eyeballs to make any significant revenue from pure advertising.

    In regards to the bubble level: a few have asked what functionality is offered over the free RIGID app. In truth, there isn't a big difference in functionality! Primarily, the difference is aesthetic. My level makes better use of the playbook's screen, auto-adjusting to orientation changes to display the correct level. The RIGID app displays all three at once, always. Furthermore, it just looks better! If you're willing to pay $0.99 for something that primarily looks and feels a little better, than this is for you! It's kind of like driving a Honda vs. a BMW to work: they will both get you there just as fast, but you'll feel a lot better driving the BMW'er!
    07-06-11 10:52 PM
  13. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Advertising is basically not a revenue model, until you have real traction. At the $2-$3 CPM's we see in mobile, it takes a lot of eyeballs to make any significant revenue from pure advertising.
    How right you are. And if you can't make money with them, it's just crazy to clutter up your interface with ads. I figure it's better to have a "crippled" freebee that's still installed, rather than to have a "cool app" that's been deleted because it's ugly and unusable. At least then you have a minimal chance of a sale down the road if your app is "shown off" to someone who wants the premium functionally.

    For the same reason, I think I'll pass on madoon's suggestion to replace my gentle nagging with in-your-face pop-ups all over the place.

    @srlake - I believe that functionality will trump pure aesthetics every tiime. I downloaded your app and it shows real potential. I'll email some suggestions to you.

    @madoon - thanks for your valuable feedback. I didn't receive your email and it's not in my spam folder - if the new release doesn't already reflect your suggestions, could you please re-send?

    @those who put suggestions in reviews: every one of the suggestions that I received in this manner was already on my to-do list and almost all of them have been addressed in the new release. The requests for "augmented reality" features will be implemented as soon as RIM makes it possible to do so. Thanks for your effort but I would have preferred that you had sent an email to my support address instead. I regret that you will not be able to review the updated app.
    07-07-11 06:09 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD