Getting to 1 million downloads

I’ve been away from this blog for a while and been very busy, but I’m back now with some really big news!

This month, my app network hit 1 million downloads!

I’ve been working on my app business for about 14 months now, developing it, learning from mistakes and applying the best low cost marketing techniques I could find and it seems to be working.

Hitting the 1 million milestone is huge for me since it proves that you don’t have to spend millions of dollars on marketing/be a huge corporation/have investors to be successful and reach so many people.

Best of all, this number means that over 1 million people around the world downloaded and enjoyed my apps and got value from them.

This number is for IOS only and doesn’t include a few 10′s of thousands of downloads that I had before I had to switch app companies and doesn’t include my android apps.

1 million downloads is pretty cool and really motivating for me, so soon I’ll be launching a few new apps I’ve been working on, so stay tuned!

Special thanks to my inspiring friends @amish_shah @rwenderlich @secrethqgames for the knowledge and inspiration to make it to this point!

Update: I’m already at 1.2 million downloads today, so things are a really moving fast!

Does size really matter? 3 tips to help you reduce your app file size

Size matters?

I have a confession to make, I’ve been very wasteful in the way I package my apps…

Until iPad 3, I never had any issues with file size for my apps. Graphics were small enough to keep universal app file size below 20mb (more on that in a moment) and life was good. Then came the “new iPad” and everything changed…

With the new iPad, and its retina display, file sizes started to become an issue. If I want to create a universal app (which is easier to manage if you’re creating a game for example that needs updates for iPhone and iPad), and have it run in retina mode, the file sizes start to get big… I ended up at 70 MB for my new game, guns of war <<< >>> and that was a problem.

Does file size matter?

On iPad, not that much. iPad storage sizes start at 16mb, and using them on Wi-Fi is fairly common since they are not designed to be in your pocket at all times. When it comes to iPhone though, it becomes an issue.

Apple imposes a 50mb download limit for app file size on 3g networks (no limit on Wi-Fi), so if your app is larger than 50 mb, people will get a message saying they need to connect to Wi-Fi to download it. In many cases, that’s not a problem, but why would you limit your customer base if you don’t absolutely have to? In my personal experience, most apps are more of an impulse purchase, so if I can’t download them when I want to, I’ll just forget about them and not get them.

Here are a few tips to help reduce your app file size:

1. Don’t make universal apps. It’s a bit disappointing, but it looks like graphics heavy universal apps are a thing of the past. If you want to fully support the HD functionality of the new iPad and have rich graphics, you’ll need to make separate iPhone and iPad apps.

2. File formats: some IOS files have to be in .png format, but not all of them. If you use backgrounds in your games or apps (and those are usually the bigger files since they cover the whole screen), you can use .jpg format, which is significantly smaller than the same file in png.

3. File quality: in my experience, you can reduce jpg quality down to about 50-60 percent without it being noticeable in an app. that means that you can get a file that’s several MB in .png format down to 200-400 kb in .jpg format. And this adds up if you have a few different backgrounds in your app. the same goes for audio files. In most cases, sound quality changes aren’t really noticeable to most users unless you go really low, so you can reduce the file sizes of sound affects you use by lowering the quality. This is more of an art than a science, so you’ll need to play with it until you get to a level that seems acceptable to you…

Also, make sure you check the file size after you prepare the archive for submitting to apple, the app file on your disk doesn’t accurately represent the file size apple puts on their app store.

Do you have any other tips on reducing app file sizes? Do you use any best practices you can share? Please share in the comments section below.

App business models that work for me: Advertising: AdMob review

Last time, I talked about mobclix and revmob and how I’m making money adversing with these service.

This time, we’re talking about a more “traditional” advertising source, admob, from Google.

admob is by far the least profitable source of revenue I’ve been using. I use it mostly in my Android apps, since I can’t use mobclix or revmob efficiently in them (they do support Android, but not the implementation method I’m using – long story for some other time…).

admob is a pay per click ad service, so they provide you with code that you put in your app and they serve banner ads to it.

It’s wasn’t really easy to integrate admob into my apps, definitely not as easy as revmob, but in the end, it’s still fairly simple once you figure it out.

The problem here is that admob (at least for my apps) has a very low fill rate since it’s very popular I guess, and that means that out of 100 times they have the potential to show an ad, they only show it 20-30 times. So 70-80 potential ad views are just wasted. Unlike mobclix, they are not an aggregator, so if there are no admob ads to show, your app is ad-less and you’re not making money…

They also pay very low per click, so while I’m making thousands of dollars in revmob and hundreds in mobclix, I’m only making pennies in admob.

I still make some money from this service, so it’s better than nothing, but it’s really not much and not something to build a business on unless you have massive volume that allows you to benefit from a few cents per click.

In summary, I wouldn’t recommend using this service if you have other options.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, do you use any other advertising services that make you money with your apps? Have you had different experiences with admob, revmob and mobclix?

App business models that work for me: Advertising: Mobclix review

Update: Mobclix sucks! They haven’t paid out in over 6 months and not answering support emails, I have a feeling they’re on their way to bankruptcy or something like that because I can’t imagine a public company behaving like that. Not sure what I’ll do about the $1000′s of dollars they owe me, I might sue, but if they’re out of business, I won’t get much. will keep you posted.


Last time, I talked about revmob and how great of a service it is. I actually received a huge payout from them this week which strengthens my strategy of making them a part of any new app I release.

Today, I want to talk about another revenue source, although not as significant as revmob, and that source is mobclix.

Mobclix is a pay per click service, that is, you show an ad they provide in your app and they pay you every time someone clicks on it.

They are also an ad network aggregator which means that they take ads from a lot of different sources and optimize for the best revenue.

Moblicx also provides some basic analytics, although not even close to the quality you can get from flurry.

The revenue from mobclix has been pretty consistent for me. I have a few apps with low downloads using it, and I get low clicks accordingly and I also have some high download apps that have it and I get better revenue from there.

Integrating mobclix is a bit harder than it is to integrate revmob. That may be because mobclix offers lots of customization and variety in the types of ads they show. It’s still simple enough to integrate them to your app and well worth the time, since they do generate a nice amount of money.

One problem I have with mobclix is their payout policy. It’s august now, and I have still not received their June payment (which pays for may). They have an apology posted on their blog, basically saying they are withholding payments to help their stock value (they recently went public), but as a developer, I really don’t care about their stock price and want to get paid for the service I provided…

I hope this policy of theirs changes and they realize that playing accounting games could lose them their revenue source, which is developers…

In any case, except for them not paying out in time, I think they are a good service, although if I had to choose, I’d definitely start with revmob and use mobclix as a backup.

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with mobclix beyond what’s described in this post and am not receiving any compensation from them for this post


App business models that work for me: Advertising: Revmob review

100 dollar bill - mobile fun apps review of revmob

In this post and the next few I’m going to share some business models that work for me and helped me turn my app business into a viable business.

First and foremost, and the method that makes me the most revenue, is advertising and particularly, Revmob.

Revmob is a pay per install ad service that refers users to social game apps and pays me for every install that comes from that.

Unlike pay per click, this type of model offers their advertisers a high likelihood of getting value for their advertising since they only pay when a user installs their app and not just for a click.

This also means that they can charge their advertisers more and pay out more to their developers.

I started using Revmob in May this year, and so far, I’ve earned thousand dollars from this source alone. This is more than I earned from IAP, banner/pay per click advertising, or app sales.

revmob sample revenue example

Integrating Revmob is very easy as well. Just import their library, add 2-3 lines of code and you’re done.

This service seemed too good to be true to me at first but I’ve already had eCPM on certain days of $83, and in most cases, I usually average around $15 eCPM*.

I started out with their pop-up ad model, but now I’m using full screen, since it has much better results.

They are also super responsive, I had some issues with their old SDK, and their CEO and I corresponded directly until my issue was resolved.

I highly recommend you try the Revmob service out. It will change the way you make money on apps.

I am not getting paid by Revmob for this review but the above link is an affiliate link and I do make some money if you use it. There is no difference for you if you sign up via Revmob directly or the affiliate link, so if you find this post valuable, please use my link so that I can get some benefit from providing you with this information.

* there is no guarantee of any earnings or profits from using any service mentioned in this post.

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