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Gummicube is Attending Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco, CA

We are thrilled to announce that we will be exhibiting at MWC Americas in San Francisco from September 12-14, 2017.

In addition to exhibiting we will be sponsoring Mobile Growth House’s “Aha Moments in App Marketing” on Thursday, September 14 at 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM. Also, we will be a stop on the MWC Americas Tour of Mobile Advertising & Apps Tour.

Gummicube is very excited to have the opportunity to exhibit and attend along with some of the top mobile leaders in the industry. We look forward to having transformative conversations and plant seeds for meaningful partnerships with our co-attendees.

We will be located in booth 616 on the first level of the West Wing. Gummicube co-founders Anh Nguyen and Dave Bell, as well as some of our senior account managers, will be representing Gummicube to engage with customers and partners.

About Mobile World Congress

MWCA is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.

Spread over a time of three days MWC will be a stage where mobile innovators will have the opportunity to connect, discuss pressing matters and showcase their product.

gdc 2017

What to Expect for Mobile From GDC 2017

The annual Game Developers Conference has become the premiere hub of knowledge for experienced and up-and-coming game developers. The expansion of the conference into the mainstream has coincided with the massive growth of mobile gaming on iOS and Android, making GDC the perfect place to top-up on mobile knowledge.

Last year’s GDC focused heavily on VR, with the announcement of the PlayStation VR device dominating the show. Even so, many impactful announcements were made for mobile, including the Indie Corner for Google Play, updates and figures for the Unity engine, and marketing insights from major figures at Spry Fox and EA.

GDC 2017 promises to be bigger than ever for mobile. Here are some major items to expect when the conference rolls into town this March.

  1. Revenue Forecasting Panel

Revenue forecasting is essential for any business. Without a proper forecast of how much your app could make at both the low and high ends, you won’t have an understanding of whether your app is worth developing in its current state. Mike Gordon from Iron Horse Games (hired developers on Tap Hero, Solitairica and more) will lead a panel on how to forecast revenue for your app. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, this is an essential first step in the development process.

  1. Eastern Expansion

China represents the world’s largest gaming market, with $99.6 billion in revenues last year. A whopping 37% of that money came from mobile games. ZPlay’s Randy Barenscott will lead a session discussing how to work better with developers in China. This includes how and when to work with Chinese publishers, how to improve monetization in Asia, and why Chinese companies want to work with companies in the west. If your company is interested in eastward expansion, this panel could be essential.

  1. Tons of Indie Stories

Independent gaming tends to rule the panels by sheer numbers at GDC, and this year will be no exception. If you are considering going into independent game development on mobile, there are a number of panels you may wish to attend. During multiple Indie Mobile Game Dev Stories panels, you will hear stories from indie studios like PikPok (Rival Stars), Taco Illuminati (Looty Dungeon) and more. Elsewhere, you’ll learn how independent studios can make their mobile games go viral with a limited budget.

  1. Focus on Retention

Mobile developers have long focused on acquiring users, but not as many are as concerned with retaining players. Retention will be a major topic for mobile at this year’s GDC, with Tamalaki Publishing (Shards of Memory) owner Martine Spaans leading a panel specifically focusing on retention tactics. Spaans intends to apply tactics from Tinder and Wish, among others, to the gaming industry. Outside of this panel, expect design workshops to begin emphasizing retention tactics a little more heavily.

As GDC approaches, it’s clear that there are numerous important topics for mobile developers to address. This year’s conference should be bigger than ever for mobile games, so if you’re a developer or considering entering the field, pay close attention.

Let us know if you’ll be headed to GDC this year!

App Store Search Ads

App Store Search Ads – Top 5 Strategies for the Best Search Ads

Apple’s new Search Ads initiative has opened up a whole new route to the top of search results. Bidding on a Search Ad is easy, but don’t think that just because you paid the highest amount you’ll suddenly see a huge increase in downloads. To fully take advantage of App Store Search Ads, your app needs to be optimized.

Here are the top five strategies for creating a successful App Store Search Ad.

 1. Target Popular Terms

Deciding which terms to target should be the first step for each of your App Store Search Ads. While it might seem simple to pick and choose terms that are relevant to your app, stop for a moment to consider what exactly your potential users are searching for in the App Store. The terms most closely tied to your app may not always be the terms that will drive the most high-quality traffic to your page. The idea terms are both relevant to your app, and frequently searched by users in the App Store.

2. Establish Relevance for Your Terms

While you do want to target frequently searched terms, remember that Search Ads are ultimately based on relevance. That’s why Search Ads and App Store Optimization often go best together.

Say you have a workout coaching app. The most relevant terms for your app would primarily be fitness and health related – you could get away with targeting “free workouts” or “personal trainer”, for instance. On the other hand, don’t expect to land any terms that aren’t related to your app, like “free games”.

Some terms fall in between, though. The term “run”, for example, could refer to either a game or a fitness app. If you find that it is in your best interest to target a fringe term, or a term that isn’t explicitly discussed in your app description, you will need to create relevance for that term by optimizing your app listing. This involves establishing relevance through your description, among other things.

3. Show off Your App in the Best Light

When it comes to displaying your Search Ad, Apple affords you numerous options.

You can opt to show off merely a small Ad featuring only your app icon, title, developer and ratings, or you can include screenshots in a variety of layouts.

If you opt to include screenshots, the orientation does matter. Just like in traditional App Store search results, the best layout for your App Store screenshots depends on the layout and features of your app itself. You’ll get three times the number of screenshots in your Search Ad if you opt for portrait, but landscape is ideal for apps that are naturally landscape and need that space to show off additional information.

Similarly, make sure that your icon is polished and your reviews average is solid. Even if your app is placed on a pedestal at the top of search results, fewer users will bother with your app if they don’t like the look of the ratings or can’t tell what it does.

4. Optimize Your Screenshots

On that line of thinking, should your Search Ad include screenshots it is necessary to optimize them for conversion. This will enable users to see clearly and precisely what your app does and whether or not it is of interest to them.

Just as in traditional App Store search, your screenshots are essentially your advertising banners. Use this space to show off the key functions of your app.

There are several key differences in the presentation of Search Ads versus traditional search results that necessitate a few addendums to the classic rules. First, using portrait screenshots in a Search Ad affords you with three screenshots to show off instead of two (this includes your preview video, if you have one).

While this does put you at an advantage compared to traditional search results, consider how this difference affects the size of your screenshots on a user’s mobile display. Even with an iPhone 7 Plus, your screenshots will be smaller than they would look in search results.

Cluttered screenshots can lead to confusion on the part of the user as they try to make out what is happening in each image. Make sure that if you intend to use screenshots, the imagery and text in them is legible to users on both standard and Plus-sized iPhone screens.

5. Track Trends

Remember Step One, where you plucked out the search terms with the highest growth potential for your app? Chances are, those terms won’t always reign supreme.

Trends change all the time in the App Store, whether as a result of new app releases or external events. Consider a few trends that came and went in 2016 – from politics to Pokémon, many terms reached an astronomical peak before settling down to a more reasonable, albeit still often highly-searched, position. Your goal is to have your Ad at the top of search results when those terms peak, not afterwards when other developers are also scrambling to purchase Ads.

Whether you use software or simply devote time every day to tracking trends, be sure to stay on top of what’s hot in the App Store and how it can be relevant for your app.

E3 Games – The Biggest Announcements for Mobile

Just in case Apple’s huge WWDC announcements weren’t enough to whet your appetite for the next year of mobile, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) also kicked off this week, and brought with it a series of important gaming announcements for iOS and Android. The games collected below might just be the next big thing come this time next year.

Payday: Crime War Revealed

Payday has been highly successful on PC and consoles, and now it’s time for the crime-themed first-person shooter to hit mobile. The game will change significantly in its transition, though, and as the “Crime War” subtitle suggests it should be a more aggressive game than its predecessor. Unlike the PC version, which pits four players against AI-controlled police in a series of escalating heists, this new mobile edition will send four criminal players up against four police players. Gamers can unlock upgrades, gear and personalization options as they play. Payday: Crime War is set to release soon on iOS and Android.

Severed Brings Vivid Role-Playing to iOS

Severed is a unique role-playing game built from the ground up to take advantage of touch controls. Drinkbox Studios originally launched the game on the PlayStation Vita, but the responsive swipe-based combat and stunning visuals should be right at home on iOS devices, too. Players control Sasha the one-armed warrior as she explores dungeons, battles monsters and solves puzzles.

Deux Ex: GO Puzzles iOS Players

Square-Enix has successfully rebooted Hitman and Tomb Raider for mobile, and now it’s time for Deux Ex to get the “GO” treatment. Like the previous GO games, Deus Ex GO will take the world and mechanics of the PC/console series and repurpose them as a devious puzzle adventure game. Players will utilize unique hacking and combat abilities to thwart a terrorist plot in a futuristic world plagued by civil unrest. The first two GO games were financially and critically successful, and it wouldn’t be surprising for Deus Ex to follow in suit.

Fallout Shelter Adds Updated Quests

A big update is incoming for everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic bunker building sim. Developer Bethesda Softworks showed off a new Quest system by which players can send their Vault Dwellers out into the Wasteland, where they’ll do battle with enemies using a new combat system. The additions promise to be meaningful, but the real question is whether or not they’ll bring in lapsed players for a second go.

Minecraft Gets The Friendly Update

A host of new features, including cross-platform multiplayer and new animals, are coming to Minecraft Pocket Edition via what Mojang and Microsoft call “The Friendly Update”. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of Realms, persistent, private multiplayer servers from which you can invite other players, thereby mitigating a lot of the risk you might run into by allowing random players into your world.

Sims FreePlay and SimCity BuildIt Updated

Two of EA’s big mobile brands are getting updated in conjunction with this year’s E3. First, The Sims FreePlay has received a Police Update which gives players two new career choices: Metro Police or Special Agent. These in turn will let players become the Chief of Police or… a Paranormal Agent? The next update is for SimCity BuildIt, and gives players access to “Future Cities” including new Omega items like Jetpacks.

 

With this year’s E3 games looking hotter than ever, mobile gamers should have plenty to look forward to in the coming year. And who knows – One of these games might be the giant everyone’s chasing after come next year’s convention.

WWDC 2016 – Apple’s Top 5 Announcements for App Developers

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off its 34th year with a host of massive announcements that will shape the landscape for app developers over the coming year. Over the span of a two-hour keynote, Apple laid out exactly what changes, improvements and alterations are coming to iOS 10. Just in case you don’t have a spare 2 hours, we’ve broken down the biggest announcements from this year’s keynote and how they could affect app developers moving into the future.

apple-sign-wwdc-2016-2

5. Siri Comes to Desktop in macOS Sierra

iPhone and Apple TV owners have been enjoying Siri’s snarky brand of personal assistance for a while now, but Mac users have been left out in the dust – until now, that is. Apple announced a new Mac operating system with a new naming scheme to match iOS, tvOS and watchOS. OSX – now called “macOS” – is getting a new update called Sierra, and with it Siri is finally coming to the desktop.

Siri on desktop should function as a supplement to Finder and Spotlight, allowing users to search for files, switch between active apps, browse the web, and perform math functions. These features are exciting on their own, but going into the future Apple is hoping to make Siri even bigger, positioning her as an intelligent household assistant that can help you through your day-to-day.

So how does this impact mobile app developers? Combined with new Siri updates on mobile, which we’ll cover more later, developers can now feel empowered to add Siri features to their desktop apps and increase feature parity between different versions of their apps.

4. Apple ‘Junk’ Apps Can Now Be Removed

That “Apple Junk” folder we all have on the last page of our phones can finally be cleared with the advent of iOS 10. Not all preloaded Apple apps can be deleted, but the 23 that can are:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Compass
  • Contacts
  • FaceTime
  • Find My Friends
  • Home
  • iBooks
  • iCloud Drive
  • iTunes Store
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Music
  • News
  • Notes
  • Podcasts
  • Reminders
  • Stocks
  • Tips
  • Videos
  • Voice Memos
  • Watch app
  • Weather

The apps you’ll have to keep around? Safari and iMessage, among others.

Now that Apple is allowing users to remove many of their official apps, it opens the door even further for developers to introduce superior alternatives.

3. Responsive Notifications Are Coming to the Lock Screen

Notifications can be a mixed bag depending on the app, but with iOS 10 Apple aims to empower developers to create more useful notifications. By utilizing 3D Touch, users will now be able to respond to or expand notifications from the lock screen.

Beyond that, Apple is also including the ability for developers to update their notifications in real time. Now, taxi apps can inform you when your ride gets close, news apps can update relevant stories as they happen, and sports apps can show you scores in real time. If your app utilizes notifications, you’ll want to start thinking about how they can be updated to take advantage of these exciting new features.

2. iMessage Gets Rich Links and Third-Party App Integration

Apple’s pack-in messaging service is about to get a lot bigger in iOS 10. Easily the largest update Apple has made to a core app in recent memory, the upcoming patch will add rich links, third-party app integration, larger emoji, effects and much more.

Let’s start with the basics: everything you love about iMessage is still there, with emojis now three times bigger than they were before. In fact, autocorrect will now prompt you to use emojis in place of words when applicable. The creative side of the app will grow from there, with text effects that can appear in your speech bubbles. Now you can make text larger or smaller, write in “invisible ink” that’s only visible after swiping over the message, or blur your text until the recipient taps it.

Beyond emojis, iMessage will now allow rich links, meaning that videos and music can be played without ever leaving the app. Similarly, third-party apps can now be integrated with iMessage, allowing you to send money, order food, and prompt all manner of activities from your messaging partners.

1. Siri SDK Lets Developers Add Siri to Apps

The biggest announcement for app developers at this year’s WWDC was definitely the big update for everyone’s favorite personal assistant AI. Apple debuted the Siri SDK for developers, which will allow anyone to incorporate Siri into their apps. WeChat, Slack and WhatsApp were named at the keynote as apps that will now support Siri voice commands, but that should just be the beginning of the Siri integration. With millions of apps on the store that can now follow your every voice command, Apple is positioning the iPhone as a serious competitor to personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, and Siri is finally getting the legs to support that weight.