The podcast for SaaS CEOs who want to create a mobile app version of their service. You'll learn about everything it takes to make a successful mobile app. You hear experts in fields like security, UX design, recruitment, product design, and more to help you move forward in your mobile app project.
#17: Growing an App From the Ground Up with David Eberle
Today I interview David Eberle, one of the founders of Typewise, the app that set out to redesign how we enter text into our phones. This presented many logistical challenges, from coding a keyboard in many languages to finding a way for the app to nest within other apps and be compatible with Android and Apple software.
David and I discuss the story of Typewise, from its inception as a two-person operation to where they are today as a 15-person company. David talks about his hiring process for the company and specifically for developer roles, going through all of the recruitment stages step by step, which is really essential knowledge for anyone thinking of bringing a full-time developer on to their team. David also talks about his experience of funding Typewise through a Kickstarter funding round, sharing insights on how to make a good promotional video and on getting the word out about the Kickstarter fund into the media to gain traction.
Once the app was launched, David and his team dealt with the blow of negative reviews of the beta phase of the app, particularly on iOS. Apple had recently launched the iPhone 6 which had a different screen rendering to the iPhone 5, meaning that the keyboard was the wrong size and some keys were hidden. Eventually, they were able to manage the problem by redeveloping the app, cutting out some of the more technical features to focus on creating an app that was more streamlined, which was better received by users.
This interview gives a great overview on launching a successful app, starting from scratch and building up towards managing a thriving company.
[00:22] David introduces himself and talks about Typewise
[01:44] The issues of creating a keyboard app
[02:44] The starting point for Typewise
[04:46] Creating an app that lives within other apps
[05:50] Pivoting Typewise’s strategy
[06:30] Distributing Typewise via app stores
[08:09] The three avenues that Typewise is using to grow
[10:31] Growing Typewise from a two-person company to a 15-person company
[15:34] How to hire good developers
[18:01] Putting new developers on a probationary period
[20:22] Crowdfunding Typewise through Kickstarter
[25:25] Dealing with poor reviews on iOS
David on LinkedIn
Mobile App Makers podcast website
#16: Mobile App Testing with Rachael Lovallo
In today’s episode of the Mobile App Makers podcast, I talk with Rachael Lovallo. Although Rachael stumbled into mobile app testing by accident after completing a degree in mathematics, she has gone on to flourish in the field. She now works as a senior test engineer at Pulsara, a software company in the healthcare industry, and will also give a talk and host a panel at this year’s Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC). Rachael has 10 years of experience in mobile app testing working on the web, desktop, and mobile projects and I was so happy to have a chance to pick her brains about it.
Rachael walked me through many aspects of mobile app testing, which is a crucial stage in app development. She shared her thoughts on the best ways to test apps in the pre-launch phase and gave me her number one tip on how to increase testing effectiveness. She also analyzed the positives and negatives of using automated testing software, which can really speed up the testing process but maybe doesn’t cover all of your testing needs.
At the end of the episode, Rachael gave some really useful advice about some of the more practical aspects of mobile testing, such as how to plan out testing when working with a fully remote team, which is something that a lot of app development teams have struggled with since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lastly, she also touched on the optimal app development team structure to make sure that your app is built with quality baked into the process. This is essential listening for anyone working in the field of mobile app testing, and anyone who has a mobile app tester on their team!
Rachael Lovallo serendipitously stumbled upon software testing nearly a decade ago, while trying to figure out what to do with a Mathematics degree. Since then she has been omnivorous, spending time at companies large and small in industries from financial services to healthcare. She has tested everything from desktop to web to mobile applications, as well as dabbled in backend testing. She’s happiest when struggling to find efficient and elegant approaches to new challenges, wearing many hats at work, and collaborating with her team. She currently applies her skills as a Senior Test Engineer at Pulsara, a software company that connects healthcare teams to improve patient outcomes in time-sensitive emergencies.
[00:38] Rachael introduces herself and talks about how she got into mobile app testing
[01:36] Rachael’s forthcoming talk at PNSQC’s annual conference
[03:01] What do app testers bring to a team?
[05:15] What’s the best way to test a mobile app?
[07:49] The #1 way to optimize your app testing strategy
[08:27] Test parties: how to discover the end-user experience and bring new ideas to the table
[11:05] Organizing the ultimate test party
[12:07] The pluses and minuses of automated testing for mobile apps
[14:54] The hurdles of fully remote app testing, and how to overcome them
[17:03] How can a team lead the best support a mobile app testing and development team?
[17:48] The optimal team structure to make a great mobile app
[19:38] Where to go to find out more about Rachael and the PNSQC
Rachael on Twitter
Rachael on LinkedIn
Mobile App Makers podcast website
#15: Talking App Stores with Mike Hudson
In today’s episode of Mobile App Makers, I chat with Mike Hudson about app stores and app distribution. Mike has been involved in many areas of app development for over 15 years, beginning when he was still in school. Mike is now the CEO of GameBake, a game distribution software company that he co-founded.
Mike and I discussed how the world of app stores has changed, particularly in light of the recent rulings concerning antitrust lawsuits brought against Apple and the Google Play store. Today, the app store distribution market looks very different and Mike walked me through the global marketplace for apps, which varies a lot by region. This is essential listening if you’re about to launch an app, as targeting these different app store platforms could bring your app to a whole new audience.
Mike also introduced me to the concept of instant gaming, a huge development in distribution for mobile gaming apps. Instant gaming represents a massive opportunity for gaming apps to reach a wider audience and to increase social engagement between players. If you plan out your marketing strategy and integrate features from social media platforms correctly into your gaming app, you could be sitting on the next viral mobile game.
This is a great episode of Mobile App Makers for anyone who wants to learn more about where they should be listing their app to maximize install numbers.
With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Michael drives GameBake’s vision and builds relationships with world-class mobile game publishers, app stores, and advertisers as well as driving the company's operations towards success. He co-founded GameBake after experiencing firsthand the limitations of existing distribution and monetisation models for mobile games companies, ultimately causing him to shutter the development studios after more than decade of making games. This was the catalyst for GameBake, a powerfully simple distribution and monetisation solution that gives publishers the infrastructure and expertise to reach global markets and high-quality platforms beyond Google Play and the Apple AppStore, using only one simple open source SDK.
Michael’s passion for video games goes back to his teenage years when he created simple flash-based browser games from the bedroom of his family home. He subsequently forged a career in mobile games development, founding and leading his own studios. A massive fan of RTS games, Mike’s favourite video games come from the Age of Empire Series.
[00:44] Mike introduces himself and talks about his long career in mobile app development
[01:36] How the world of app distribution is changing
[05:13] The greatest barrier facing mobile app developers today
[07:50] How many app stores are there out there?
[08:18] The global market for app stores
[10:22] Instant gaming, the new app distribution channel
[11:33] Why add your app to multiple distribution channels?
[14:41] Should your gaming app be distributed via instant gaming or on an app store?
[16:55] Where to go to find out more about Mike and Game Bake
Mike on LinkedIn
Mobile App Makers podcast website
#14: App Store Optimisation with Diana Moura
In this episode of Mobile App Makers, I have the chance to sit down with the talented Diana Moura, who has built up more than 7 years of expertise in the field of app store optimization (ASO). Diana is the ASO specialist for Kurve, a digital marketing agency and consultancy, where she has created ASO strategies to maximize ROI for her clients’ marketing budget.
As she explained to me, even though ASO is crucial to promoting an app, some start-ups don’t put enough time into developing their ASO strategy or they ignore it altogether, which could decrease potential download numbers. Luckily, Diana shared loads of great tips on ASO with me, from the best time to launch an ASO strategy to how to nail your keyword research.
We also discussed some of the logistics around building a solid ASO process, such as how to test your app performance on an app store and how to use keywords in different languages, even if your app isn’t yet available in that language. Another core component of ASO is your app’s ratings and reviews from customers and here Diana had some fantastic insights on how you can make sure that you get top scores from your users. She also named some of the best tools available for different aspects of ASO.
Make sure to listen right to the end of this episode to learn loads of great ways to improve your ASO strategy, whatever stage of app development you’re at. Plus, Diana and Kurve are giving away a free ASO audit just for listeners of the Mobile App Makers podcast, so make sure to find out how you can take advantage of this special offer and claim an ASO audit for your mobile app!
[00:58] Diana Moura introduces herself and discusses how she got into app store optimization
[02:49] What is app store optimization?
[04:50] Diana’s tips for keyword research
[06:36] How can you maximize your marketing budget to get more app downloads?
[08:50] When should you start optimizing your app store page?
[10:55] Optimizing for multiple app stores
[12:20] App rating and reviews: how important are they for your ASO strategy?
[13:16] The secret to getting good app ratings and reviews
[14:32] Diana’s favorite tools to use for ASO
[15:03] Testing, testing, testing: a key component of your ASO strategy
[16:38] How will Apple’s recent update to the Apple App Store affect ASO?
[18:00] Where to go to find out more about Diana
Diana on Twitter
Diana on LinkedIn
Kurve website (mention the mobile app makers podcast for a free ASO audit)
Mobile App Makers podcast website
#13: Monetization with Yoann Deshaies
Today I talk with Yoann Deshaies, a mobile app monetization expert who’s currently working as a product manager at Purchasedly, a company dedicated to building and optimizing in-app subscription funnels for developers and corporations. Yoann has been in the field of apps for a long time, beginning first as a developer and then moving across to roles in-app products, where he aims to understand app user needs.
Yoann used to work as a product manager at the popular dating app Happn. He joined Happn shortly after they switched from an advertising to a subscription model of revenue generation, which changed both the app and the business strategy. Yoann walked me through some of the considerations Happn had to take into account because of this switch, from localizing pricing models to the complexity of in-app purchases. Despite the extra work, Yoann outlines the advantages that come with a subscription-based app, from developing a better relationship with mobile app users to greater engagement and retention. Furthermore, auto-renewal subscriptions can be a great way to generate profit from the app, especially with family plans. Yoann also shared the top tip he would give to any CFO considering switching to a subscription app model, which is definitely worth listening to.
This episode of Mobile App Makers is a great way to get thinking about how you can maximize the profits from your mobile app, and includes a lot of useful insights about what this business model will mean for your app development.
Yoann has unique experience in the dating apps industry. At Happn, he took responsibility for two crucial topics for a successful app: activation and conversion. He faced the challenges of that highly competitive market to bring Happn to the Top 3 french leading apps in terms of revenues. Prior to that, Yoann spent several years as a test engineer and a product owner on the customer portal for major carrier companies in Europe: Bouygues Telecom and Orange. He is now bringing all those Product Management skills and In-App Monetisation expertise to Purchasely build exclusive features and helping premium customers get the most out of it.
[00:49] Yoann introduces himself and talks about how he got into app monetization
[01:32] Why did Happn switch from an advertising to a subscription revenue model?
[02:42] Why is a subscription model better than a single-purchase app?
[03:59] Yoann’s number 1 tip for switching to a subscription app model
[05:24] The downsides of in-app purchases in subscription model apps
[07:25] Localizing subscription apps for different markets
[10:07] How will family sharing affect in-app purchases on the Apple App Store?
[13:19] Where to find out more about app monetization and Yoann
Yoann on LinkedIn
Mobile App Makers podcast website
#12: Lessons learned building a video streaming platform with Olivier Chiabodo
In this episode, I interview Olivier Chiabodo CEO at The Explorers about his experience leading and creating the platform and apps for The Explorers.
We touch on:
His takeaway on building his teamHow he received the AppTV award from Apple in 2019How to do video streaming "right"What he learned about handling community submitted content on a video platformWhat his business model isHis plan to reduce the carbon footprint of video streaming =============Bio===============
Olivier Chiabodo is the CEO and Co-FOunder of The Explorers. After spending over 15 years working at one of the leading French television companies, he decided to start a company to create a video catalog of the world. As part of the voyage so far, his company received the Best Apple TV app award in 2019 and the apps have been featured multiple times.
The Explorers: https://theexplorers.com
The explorers on twitter: @_TheExplorers