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App Development & Design in 2016 Overview | 8-Bit Avrin Apps

27 Jan
2017

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2016 was the first year since releasing my first app in 2011 that I didn’t release a new app. Instead, most of my app development time was spent working on updates, some major and some minor. I began the year finishing the big update to Ultra Fortune Ball, which was the first app that I ever developed and released. The other major updates I worked on and released were for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard, Professor Piggy Bank, Quiz of Medicine, Motivational Quotes to Inspire, Chinatown Fortune Cookie, and my suite of Word Owls Word Search apps. I also released somewhat minor updates for several other apps which included; Saving Bunnies, 8-Bit Eagle Smash, Zompy Jumpy, Detective Deep, Strike the Goal, & Jumbo Egg Hunt.

I really like working on new apps, but I also really like improving my older apps especially when the updates are voluntary. A few of the minor updates I did were mainly because of the new Apple App Store Review Guidelines but all of the other ones were updates that I wanted to work on and made exclusive time for. I like having the ability and authority of providing users with free improvements that can enhance their experience. Some of my most downloaded apps received great updates in 2016 so it feels good knowing that thousands and thousands of people out there are using better versions of my apps. As a creator, improving something that you’ve created is also just an overall great feeling too.

When I began developing apps it was just a hobby. However, as I started to get better and release more apps my download numbers increased which resulted in more income. Now I’m not rich and money still isn’t the main reason why I develop apps, but it is nice getting additional income from a creative endeavor. So this year with Apple iAds dissolving I decided to take a more serious look at monetization with my free apps and try different ad networks. After researching, implementing, testing, and viewing results I decided to go with Google Admob as my main ad provider and then Chartboost and Revmob as secondary ad providers. I had an issue were Admob wasn’t working well enough on my Amazon apps so I decided to use Chartboost as my main ad network with Revmob as secondary for those. Anyways that’s enough talk about monetization.

Below I’ll list my top downloaded apps and top countries that downloaded my apps. After that I’ll write a summary of what I worked on each month and what I plan on working on in 2017 and upload some images of some consumer app reviews I received in 2016.

 

Top 5 Free Downloads

  1. Quiz of Medicine
  2. Ultra Fortune Ball
  3. Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  4. Zompy Jumpy
  5. Chinatown Fortune Cookie

 

Top 5 Paid Downloads

  1. Professor Piggy Bank
  2. RX Quiz of Pharmacy
  3. Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  4. Word Owl’s Word Search – First Grade
  5. Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard

 

Top 5 Countries for Downloads

  1. United States
  2. Mexico
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Canada
  5. Australia

 

Broad summaries of what I worked on each month….

January: Worked on and finished the big update for Ultra Fortune Ball.

February: Worked on screenshots and promo graphics for Ultra Fortune Ball. Worked on and finished an update for Quiz of Medicine. Tested and implemented new ad networks….this also continued off & on throughout the year with some of my other free apps.

March: Ported a free version of Ultra Fortune Ball to the Amazon App Store. Did a lot of work on the major Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard update. Started working on an Easter edition of Word Owl’s Word Search….haven’t worked on it since though….no sure I’m going to continue due to lack of time and other projects.

April: Finished the update to Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard and put together new screenshots for it. Worked on an update for Chinatown Fortune Cookie.

May: Continued working on the Chinatown Fortune Cookie update. Started working on the big Professor Piggy Bank update. Created a new main promo image for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard.

June: Continued working on the updates for Professor Piggy Bank. Finished the update to Chinatown Fortune Cookie. Started working on an update for Motivational Quotes to Inspire.

July: Worked on and finished app updates for Motivational Quotes to Inspire & Saving Bunnies. Ported Savings Bunnies to the Google Play and Amazon app stores.

August: Worked on & finished updates for 8-Bit Eagle Smash, Professor Piggy Bank, Quiz of Medicine, Ultra Fortune Ball, & Zompy Jumpy. Started working on a new Finance app.

September: Worked on & finished updates for Word Owl’s Word Search Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grades, Christmas, & Halloween editions. Did a small increment of work on the Finance app.

October: Worked on gathering more data for the finance app. Updated some of my free apps on Amazon to change ad network providers. Continued working on the finance app.

November: Continued work on the finance app. Worked on and finished minor updates to Detective Deep & Strike the Goal on iOS because of Apple new review guidelines. Ported Word Owl’s Word Search 1st Grade & Christmas editions to Google Play.

December: Made a promo gameplay video for Word Owl’s Word Search Christmas Edition. Worked on and finished an update for Jumbo Egg Hunt on iOS due to the new Apple review guidelines. Continued researching and organizing data for my finance app.

In 2017 I plan on finishing and releasing two apps. One of them will be the finance app I’ve been working on and the I’m not exactly sure about the other one. There are a lot of app ideas in my head, but I’m not sure which one I’m going to pull out to start working on after the finance app. In 2017 I also plan on working on an awesome new start-up. It’s app related but it will be seperate from Avrin Ross/8-Bit Avrin Apps….more details on that later and eventually it will have its own site too for even more details. I’m very excited about this start-up and my goals for it. So far all my apps developed by Avrin Ross of 8-Bit Avrin Apps belong to a range of various genres, but my next company will be more focused and branded overall.

2016 was definitely the year of updates for me, and I’m glad I used the majority of my little app development time to work on them, but I’m also very much looking forward to working on new stuff. I plan on organizing my time better in 2017 so that I cut a bit down on my little leisure time and increase my app development time. Family is incredibly important to me so I’m still not going to take away much time from them for my apps no matter how hectic app dev lands may get.

Massive thank you to everyone who downloaded one of my apps! Every single one of them had a lot of work put into creating it. I hope you enjoyed them! If not, I’m sorry, but on the bright side you only wasted a little time and maybe like .99 cents if it wasn’t free, so not a big deal at all. Judging from the number of downloads in combination with only a few negative reviews though I’m guessing most users are satisfied overall so that’s awesome. Speaking of reviews, most people don’t leave reviews but below are some of the positive consumer reviews left in 2016 for some of my apps. Thank you to everyone who left a positive review and the people who helped spread the word about my apps too. Until next time ∞

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2016 reviews on Google Play

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2015 Overview – 2014 Overview – 2013 Overview – 2012 Overview

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Farewell Nook App Store…. (Barnes & Noble shutting it down on March 15 2016)

14 Mar
2016

The Barnes & Noble Nook App Store is set to shutdown on March 15th 2016. I first made some of my apps available and joined the Nook App Store on March 6th 2013. My relationship with the Nook App Store during those two years was positive overall. There are things that I liked and disliked about the app store, but overall I’m definitely glad I put in the work to release some of my older and new apps on it. One of the main aspects that I liked about the Nook App Store was its focus on educational apps for children. It was the only app store that had several specific categories for different educational segments like time & money, writing, math, memory, geography and many others. Another thing that I really liked about the Nook App Store were their seasonal promotions were they would let developers submit their seasonal apps for consideration to be a part of a special temporary seasonal section. Several of my apps were approved for these promotions in the past and one of them(Jumbo Egg Hunt 2) got extra recognition by being selected for inclusion on promotional banners.

I also like that the Nook App Store didn’t have a ton of low quality apps and clones of popular apps that could get in the way of high quality original apps being discovered. It had it’s fair share of those lower quality apps but it wasn’t incredibly overbearing like it often is on other app stores. However, the customer base of the Nook App Store wasn’t nearly as large as the Apple, Amazon or Google Play app stores so even though there was less competition there was also less of an audience to seek. Also, in regards to customer service towards developers. I didn’t have to contact them often but they were nice & informative when I did need to, although not nearly as timely compared to other platforms. Editing/updating metadata wasn’t as smooth and quick as Amazon & Google Play either.

The Nook App Store was never my primary app store, but overall I will miss it. Apple is and has always been my primary app store, with Amazon being my secondary since I joined them. However, in 2016 I’ll continue to focus more on Google Play also which pairs well with the Nook App Store closing since Nook users will be and have been directed towards Google Play for their app needs. I’ll end this little goodbye post with some screenshots of my apps being featured, customer reviews, and my apps that were available at the time of this post on the Nook App Store.

Farewell Barnes & Noble Nook App Store, and to all Nook tablet users, please look for and check out my apps on Google Play or any other app stores that you may have devices for like Apple, Amazon or Windows. Take care!

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My apps that were available as of March 2016.

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Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 was selected to be featured on the Season’s Best Apps promotional banner during the Easter season.

Seasons Best on Nook app store Dec 2013

Light Up The Tree & Gift Wrap Difference included in the Season’s Best Apps during the Christmas season.

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Professor Piggy Bank included in the Back to School Apps promo. (Not shown: some of my Word Owl Word Search apps were also included)

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8-Bit Avrin Apps 2015 Overview

20 Feb
2016

Releases in 2015 banner

First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an app, liked or shared a post, favorite or retweeted a tweet, spread news word of mouth, and/or anything else positive about my apps. It was a year full of changes, but I was able to develop & release five neat high quality apps, and also complete some great updates. I didn’t have much time to develop, so when I did have time I had to make sure to laser focus on the tasks I needed to complete. Here’s some lists of my top apps that were downloaded, top countries that downloaded my apps, and the best months for downloads. After that I’ll go into some more detail on 2015, 2016, and post some great app reviews received in 2015.

Top 5 Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard

Top 5 Free Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies
  • Survive in Hyperdrive

Top 5 Paid Downloads

  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search – First Grade

Top 5 Countries for Downloads

  • United States
  • India
  • United Kingdom
  • Philippines
  • Canada

Top 5 Download Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • August
  • May

In 2015 I had to rearrange my app schedule a couple of times to become more realistic, but I made sure to work on apps that I really wanted to release in 2015 that I could given the lack of time I had. Every month I write a sort of progress report of what I accomplished and worked on in the previous month and what I plan on working on in the future. Instead of going into detail of the apps I worked on in 2015 in this post I’m just going to put a link to every monthly progress report along with a note of the main apps I wrote about in that post.

January (Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard), February (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Word Owl’s Word Search, Ultra Retro Game Soundboard), March (Professor Piggy Bank, Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Quiz of Medicine),  April (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade), May (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, unfinished relaxation app), June (unfinished relaxation app), July (unfinished relaxation app, several minor updates, Survive in Hyperdrive), August (Motivational Quotes to Inspire, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), September (Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), October (Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), November (Word Owl’s Word Search Third Grade), December (Word Owls Word Search Third Grade & Christmas editions)

In 2016 I plan on releasing only a few apps due to my increasing time constraints, but thankfully now given the situations I’m in I’ll be able to focus more on creativity and less on monetization. For me developing apps has always been an outlet were I can be in total control of my own work and create something that’s truly unique. In 2016 I plan on taking more time on updates and new app developments to insure what I release is exactly what I want to do within my skill set without compromising anything because of lack of time. One of the greatest feelings is creating something and having random people all over the world use it and find the item you created useful and/or fun depending on what it’s purpose is. I hope I can continue to do that in 2016 and continue building upon this little indie mobile app empire I seem to have created. In 2016 I’m going to also try to increase marketing of old and new apps. One of my disappointments in 2015 was the lack of creating promo media, and other forms of advertisements that I didn’t do for my apps. That needs to change, because you can make something really neat and fun and/or useful but if nobody knows about it they can’t find out how great it is for themselves and possibly others.

One more thing. Most people who download my apps don’t leave reviews which I consider a good thing because people in general are quicker to talk about their dislike of something they didn’t enjoy instead of talking about something that they’re satisfied with. However, I do want to highlight some of the great customer reviews some of my apps received in a collage I put together below. I’ll also post a couple of links and images for professional reviews that were written about my apps below the customer review collage. Thank you to the people who wrote these great reviews on both avenues and thank you to everyone who download my apps, I truly hope you enjoyed them. Until next time ∞

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Some customer review highlights in 2015

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Professor Piggy Bank professional review from Jill Goodman at Participate Learning

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Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition professional review by Rob Klindt in Literacy Resources at Concordia Online Education

2014 Overview – 2013 Overview – 2012 Overview

8-Bit Avrin Mobile App Vines in 2014

8 Feb
2015

A compilation of my app videos that I made on Vine in 2014.

8-Bit Avrin Apps 2014 Overview

11 Jan
2015

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Well, 2014 is in the books. First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an app, liked or shared a post, favorited or retweeted a tweet, spread news word of mouth, or anything else positive for me. It was another busy all over the place year for me personally, but I was able to develop & release seven neat high quality apps that I’m proud of. My skills in app development and design continued to get better, I came up with some new app ideas, and some of the ideas I already had ended up transforming into something different. 

I probably won’t release as many apps in 2015 as I did in the previous two years, but I have a schedule in my mind of a few apps I definitely want to finish and release this year. In 2014 I became more organized and focused in my app development. I narrowed down the kind of apps I wanted to work on to specific categories; education, entertainment, health, & arcade games.  I’ll continue with those specific categories in the future but I’ll also be working on puzzle games & adventure games as well.  

In 2014 I continued the Word Owl’s Word Search series I started in 2013 with a First Grade & Second Grade edition. I really enjoyed working on these apps. They’re educational and I really like the cartoon wooden block design I went with. My Word Owl apps continue to acquire downloads, especially on the Apple App Store for iPad which is what they were initially designed for. I decided to make a couple of sound effects apps and include Ultra in the title to make it kind of like a series with Ultra Soccer Match SoundboardUltra Big Celebration Soundboard in 2014. Based on download numbers people seem to like my soundboard apps which is great because I enjoy designing them and working on the audio in GarageBand.

I also developed a medication quiz app(Quiz of Medicine) which has received way more downloads than I thought it would. I initially developed it to help myself and a few others learn more about medicine, but download numbers indicate that I’ve helped A LOT of people instead, which is awesome. I decided to develop Zompy Jumpy because I realized the fact that I have never created a game with zombies which I think is a requirement in the indie game developer world…….not really, I actually just wanted to make a quick challenging arcade game with dancing zombies, because why not?

I also joined a couple of game jams in 2014 as well. I liked the challenge of creating a theme specific game in a short time span so I’ll probably continue joining them in the future if they interest me. I created 8-Bit Eagle Smash in the span of a weekend during the Flappy Jam earlier in the year, and I also developed two other games during separate game jams. For those games I was able to make slim versions that were complete enough for the jams, but not complete enough for me personally to release officially. I’ll be working to make complete versions of these games in 2015, especially the numerical education one I’ve been referring to on different posts.

2014 also consisted of a few updates to some of my apps to increase performance or fix a minor issue. When something’s not working or looking right I always try to fix it as soon as possible, but so far I don’t recall ever releasing a broken app that needed an immediate fix. In 2014 I also started writing monthly progress reports where I give an overview of what I’ve been working on and what I plan to work on. I liked writing these post for various reasons so I’ll continue that in 2015. For previous posts feel free to use the category drop down on the top right of the website, search bar above the category section, or the archive section on the bottom right. 

Most people who download my apps never leave reviews, but I’ve made a little collage of a few reviews I received in 2014 that I’ll add below. First, here’s a few top 5 lists for my app downloads in 2014….

Top 5 Countries That Downloaded My Apps

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia 
  • Philippines

 

Top 5 Free Apps Downloaded

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • 8-Bit Eagle Smash
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies

 

Top 5 Paid Apps Downloaded

  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Rest, Relax, & Reflect
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search: Kindergarten

 

Top 5 Download Months

  • September
  • December
  • March
  • October
  • May

 

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“Awesome mobile apps, inspired by the past, from the future.”

8-Bit Avrin Apps | Avrin Ross

Until next time ∞

2013 Overview2012 Overview

8-Bit Avrin Apps 2013 Overview

18 Jan
2014

My App Releases In 2013 Banner

2013 was a year of great forward progress for my old and new apps. Some of my older apps received updates that improved their performance, and some of them received updates that added content and/or features. In 2013 I also went from being in three app stores to being in five by expanding into the Windows and Barnes & Noble app stores. My app development time in 2013 was all over the place. Porting apps to new app stores, updating apps with improvements, and developing new apps that were released in 2013. Definitely a busy and successful year.

2013 wasn’t by any means perfect though. I had a few set backs in development, and some of my apps didn’t perform as well as I thought they should. Marketing is still the hardest aspect to grasp in the mobile apps business for me. I still plan on concentrating mainly on the app itself though because if the app isn’t great it doesn’t matter much if the marketing is good. However, I did release some of my best apps ever in 2013, and some of them performed very well on some of the app stores. I’m very pleased with most of my new apps and the outcome of 2013 overall. I’m learning from mistakes I made as well as learning & thriving on the positive leaps and bounds I made. My development and design skills are continuing to improve greatly and they’ve shown through the apps I released in 2013 on the inside and outside.

Amazon and Apple continue to be the best outlets for my apps. However, things started off fairly bright on Windows and Barnes & Noble was definitely a nice addition for my apps. Below I’ll list the top 5 countries where I received the most downloads and my top 5 apps that were downloaded the most. As usual I won’t be posting any specific numbers because I don’t do that. I’m not rich though so don’t get that idea.

Top 5 Counties That Downloaded My Apps:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Australia
  4. Canada
  5. Germany

My Overall Top 5 Downloaded Apps:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt
  2. Jumbo Egg Hunt 2
  3. Professor Piggy Bank
  4. Raven’s Hidden Hollows
  5. Ultra Retro Game Soundboard

I’m planning & working on some great things for 2014 and beyond when time permits, and I can’t wait to share more info on them. I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who has downloaded any of my apps, and another big THANK YOU to the people in my life that have been supportive. I develop apps for you random people out there and because I have a bunch of ideas that pop in my head that I need to eventually get out. Have fun!

2012 Overview: https://8bitavrin.com/2013/01/05/my-top-downloads-in-2012-etc/

My Top Downloads In 2012 & etc

5 Jan
2013

My App Releases In 2012 Banner_1024x512

2012 was an extremely busy year for me. I only develop apps part-time, when I have time. So I usually end up giving up sleep and/or my little leisure time in order to develop apps. I somehow ended up releasing ten apps throughout the year. One of those ten apps was a Spanish spin-off of my fortune cookie app, and one was a free version of one of my apps. However that still leaves 8 original “IPs”(intellectual properties), so yea that’s a lot of work.

I came up with the ideas for some of the apps in 2011 and towards the beginning of 2012. Some of the apps I developed happened kind of sporadically when ideas popped into my head throughout the year. I started development on Chinatown Fortune Cookie and Lightspeed Bit Bit in 2011, but development on the other eight started throughout the year. 2012 was a year of some success and also a bit of failure. One of the things I look into as I reflect back on 2012 are the amount of downloads I’ve received. Amazon & Apple turned out being the more successful app stores for me in 2012. We’ll see what the future holds for my apps on Google Play. Here’s the conclusions from some of the data I’ve gathered.

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Top 5 Countries That Downloaded My Apps in 2012:

  1. US

  2. UK

  3. Australia 

  4. Canada

  5. Mexico

(Countries that almost made # 5 – Germany & China)

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Top 3 Downloaded Paid Apps on Apple:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt

  2. Ultra Fortune Ball

  3. Lightspeed Bit Bit

(Sidenote: My two free apps on the iOS Apple App Store have received a ton a downloads, but I’m just considering paid apps for this list.)

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Top 3 Downloaded Paid Apps on Amazon:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt

  2. Raven’s Hidden Hollows

  3. Strike The Goal

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THANK YOU to everybody that’s downloaded any of my apps! It really brings a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart when my apps are downloaded. Developing apps isn’t easy, especially when you like to pay close attention to detail like I do. Also, thank you to the people who have helped spread the word about my apps in real life and on the Twitters with the retweets, mentions & etc. I’ve met several great people and fellow game devs through Twitter, so I’d like to give a little thanks to Twitter for being a neat tool for networking and marketing. I’ve learned how hard it is to market apps so every little bit counts. 

Also thank you to those of you that gave positive or constructive feedback. The majority of people who download my apps don’t leave reviews, but I’ll just take that as a compliment. People in general seem to be quicker to give negative reviews than positive ones, which is a shame, but oh well that’s the internet for you.

In 2013 I plan on releasing fewer apps, but they’ll be even higher in quality than some of my previous ones. I’m going to start concentrating more on my full-time career this year so I can do something I actually like at a company that I like and respect. It’s also important that I try to move my family to a better area, and it’s becoming increasingly important to me especially since I have a kiddo now. I want him to grow up and go to school in a better city than the one we currently live in and be surrounded by more opportunities. Also I really dislike this city, the cons outweigh the pros for me.

If developing apps becomes successful enough to become a full-time job than that’s great, but I’m not going to just automatically think that’s going to happen. When I first started developing apps it was just a hobby, but it eventually turned into a part-time adventure as well. I’m not ruling it becoming full-time out, but I’m not depending on that happening either. So I’ve got to dust off my degree, clean up my resume, and see what’s out there. However, I’m going to continue making time for app development. I’ve got several awesome ideas and I hope I’m able to bring some of them to life on phones & tablets throughout the world this year. If all goes well….. I’ll be releasing my first app of 2013 in a few weeks……..more details later……..OYE!