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Guide to Getting the Most from Your CRM

To some, a CRM is an overpriced email solution—like Outlook on steroids. To others, it’s a toolbox for keeping your business present in the eyes of your existing customers as well as on the radar of potential clients.

The world of CRM applications can get a bit cloudy if you don’t know what you’re looking for. While all CRMs are designed to manage your relationships with customers, some tend to favor certain aspects of your business.

There are CRMs designed to manage leads, others are better suited for contacts, and still, others place more emphasis on conversions.

Regardless of the reason you chose your CRM application, it’s important to find ways to maximize its potential.

Who can benefit from a CRM?

The name CRM can be misleading to some. Because of the terms “relationship” and “management,” some may think it’s best suited for the customer service departments. But, that’s not the case at all. A CRM has its place in every department of your business.

Sales and marketing teams benefit tremendously from what CRMs can offer. In fact, studies show that 80% of CRM users say their sales and marketing teams have access to the system—and for a good reason.

CRMs are powerful tools that not only track clients from prospect up through closing, they also keep your eyes on the sales funnel, so you know when to follow up with customers and what to say.

In addition to tracking the sales funnel, marketers can benefit from the tools offered by CRM by looking at the data associated with clients. Designing a personalized marketing campaign when you have personal data can make marketing much simpler.

The bottom line is simple—all departments benefit from what your CRM has to offer.

  • Accountability
  • Efficiency
  • Collaboration
  • Data

The key is showing your staff how it’ll help them with the role in your business.

1. Offer Training

Knowing that your CRM can benefit many different departments in your business means that you should make sure there’s training available.

One thing that many companies often overlook when it comes to training is that it needs to be often. A one and done session on a CRM will not benefit your staff or your business.

Keep offering training so that your team learns the ins and outs of the system. You’ll be surprised, the more you show them, the more you’ll learn from them.

They’ll start to realize ways that they can use the application that you didn’t think of.

Because of the nature of learning and because natural connections are bound to occur, it’s important to keep offering training so that staff members can share how they are using the application with others.

After all, you’re all out to achieve the same goal.

2. Keep it Up to Date

Contact information is only as good as where it leads. If the information you have about clients is dated, your customer retention numbers are going to decrease.

On the same note, if the information you have on your leads is incorrect you’ll either contact the wrong person and waste your time, or you be armed with inaccurate information when reaching out.

In either case, it makes your business look bad. An easy fix to avoid looking under prepared in the eyes of potential customers is keep your records up to date.

3. Integrate with Mobile

Now that you’ve armed your workforce with a solid understanding of how your CRM works and what it can do, you can start to integrate it into your mobile operations. After all, it’s the 21st century, if it’s not mobile, it’s not helpful.

To begin, you need to make sure you have a mobile CRM app to take advantage of the mobile benefits. Aside from the basics—having access to everything you need on the go, mobile CRM apps make it easy to stay in the loop.

Odds are you don’t have all your leads stored in your phone’s contacts. When you start to integrate a mobile CRM into practice, you have access to all of your leads’ information.

So, if you get a reminder on your calendar to follow up with company XYZ, you can do it while you are on the go.

One of the biggest benefits of mobile is push notes. With a mobile CRM, you send yourself reminders—not like the email ones that you stare at in your inbox and feel guilty for ignoring.

When you get a push note, and you have the means to send off a quick email from your phone, the benefits of your CRM become seamless.

Push notes are just the start. We all take calls on the go. Remembering to write down what you learned or when to follow up when you get back to the office is highly unlikely.

When you integrate mobile CRM solutions into your daily operations, you make staying in contact with valuable information easy to do.

Conclusion

CRMs are powerful applications that are necessary for running a business smoothly. If you can invest the time into training your team on how to use every facet of it, you are setting your business up for success.

Just remember, do not underestimate the benefits of training. There’s a reason the cliché “knowledge is power” has hung around.

The more your staff knows the better off your business is. Keep in mind the push for mobile CRM apps. As the times change, so do our means of communication.

Keep mobile at the forefront of your thoughts when you are considering any type of CRM solutions. It’s best to get ahead of the game, and mobile is what’s on deck right now.

The Top 7 Simple App Ideas that Made MILLIONS for their Owners

Every app entrepreneur seems to share a very similar reoccurring dream.

At the beginning of this dream, you own a mobile app, and it is mentioned in a single Facebook post. Then, people begin to share this Facebook post with their friends.

Shortly afterwards, a major news outlet picks up on the story of your beloved app. You find out that the news outlet has already written an article over your app, and has shared it with their massive network of readers. Your app begins to receive mind-blowing levels of media attention. Even bigger news outlets begin to cover your app’s story.

Then, you turn on the television in your living room and realize that your app is being featured on the World Business Report. It goes absolutely viral. Your app becomes ranked in the top 10 of its category within a matter of days, and eventually breaks into the #1 spot.

You’re suddenly a multi-millionaire!

While this dream may seem a little bit outlandish to some, it’s actually become reality to a significant number app entrepreneurs who have stormed the mobile battlefield and fought through the masses en route to victory. They waged war on their competitors, and expanded their mobile brands into some of the greatest businesses which they could conjure.

Now, these kinds of apps don’t usually take off overnight.

But, what many of these app entrepreneurs initially shared at one point, was just a very simple idea.

They usually began their mobile ventures with the intention of solving a simple pain point, or by offering a genuine slice of value in the mobile marketplace.

We’ve provided you with a list of The Top 7 Simple App Ideas that Made MILLIONS for their Owners, so that you have an idea of what is truly possible with the most basic of dreams.*

1. Backflip Madness

backflip-madness



At a price point of $0.99 with just over one million App Store downloads to date – this app’s gross revenue just barely provides the publishers of Backflip Madness with the notoriously cool “million dollar app company” status.

BackflipMadness

For a game which simply requires users to make their character perform backflips, stunts and a series of tricks in different locations – it’s a concept that you’ll wish you’d invented first.

2. Minecraft: Pocket Edition

minecraft



It’s a classic game that still manages to somehow top the charts of the App Store. And we do mean that it literally tops the charts at the #1 spot of the App Store’s paid games list as of June 2015.

At a price point of $6.99, this wildly simple yet addictive game is able to bring in about $100K per day.

Minecraft Download data

It’s safe to say that the app’s Swedish owners who go by the company name of Mojang are doing extremely well for themselves.

3. Criminal Case

criminal1



This app is published by a company called Pretty Simple – who understands that it’s oftentimes the most playful, addictive and simplest of apps which manage to rake in the millions. Criminal Case is a free adventure game with in-app purchases which prompts users to solve a series of crimes, and essentially play the role of a detective.

Criminal Case data

The app is estimated to bring in a total of at least eight figures in revenue for their owners as of 2017 ($10M+).

4. InstaFit

instafit



Building a brand based around another company’s platform is a calculated risk that many people will ultimately still decide to make. This is a risk that the owners of InstaFit decided to take – and it has seemingly paid them in dividends.

InstaFit fixes a simple problem that Instagram addicts have been battling for years. InstaFit has solved the need to post pictures on Instagram without having to crop the photo first.

InstaFit data

With approximately 2M+ global downloads and a heavy utilization of in-app advertising, Bary Wyckoff is one happy appreneur.

5. Great Lightsaber

great-lighsbar



This is an app which presents a customizable lightsaber on your display screen for you to wave around, play with, and reenact your favorite scenes from Star Wars in your very own living room. Audio and all is included, as you wave your virtual, mobile lightsaber around.

Great Lightsaber data

5.5M+ global downloads and in-app purchases priced at $1.99 means that it’s more than likely that Byte Flux has hit the jackpot with this one.

6. Plant Nanny

plant



Plant Nanny has achieved well over 8M downloads in the App Store by reminding you to drink water throughout the day.

Plant Nanny data

It helps to solve the simple problem of accidental dehydration, and has made its owners of Fourdesire extremely well-off in the process.

7. Timegg Timer

timeeggjpeg



This is a timer app which counts down the clock for boiling eggs to perfection. It’s quite clear that this is an app which honestly couldn’t get much simpler.

Timegg Timer data

With 2.2M global downloads and an almost-perfect iPhone rating – we can say that Timegg Timer’s publisher John Jung is making a killing off of his ad-based revenue. He has likely won the App Store lottery by publishing one of the simplest ideas on the App Store, which ultimately made him a millionaire.

Something Equally Important:

And BTW, when you start creating your app, you will need to storing the app data on the webserver.

So, you need a very reliable web server for this as you can’t afford losing precious customer data.

For that we recommend eHost Hosting as that is what we have been using for last 8 years now, and have found them to be pretty reliable.

The Next Steps:

Got inspired to create your million $ app?

Yes?

Then we can help.

We have helped so many entrepreneurs like you to create 5 figure money making apps.

To get started, just fill in this form and we will contact you at the earliest.

 

*App Store revenues, figures and statistics in this article have been pulled from various public sources such as Xyo, App Annie and Think Gaming. Figures used are accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time of this article.

How to Split Screen on Mac OSX EI Capitan

In this article I show you how to do Split Screen on Mac.

If you have recently switched to Mac from Windows you would have surely missed one Windows feature and that is to split screen.

In Windows you just had to drag and the windows will snap to the corner on which you dragged the windows. It’s a pretty handy feature and came inbuilt since long time.

But in Mac, things are different.

There is no feature to split windows until El Capitan was launched. But before we dive into the details, just remember that there are two ways to split screen on Mac:

  1. Using Mac’s Inbuilt Split View Feature
  2. Using a Mac app called Split Screen

How to Use Split View in Mac OS X El Capitan

It took Apple long time to fulfil this much wanted feature on Mac and that is to split screen. Split View Feature on Mac was introduced in El Capitan version of Mac in Sept 2015.

So here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: First press & hold the Green full screen button of your window
    green-maximize-zoom-button-os-x-yosemite

 

  • Step 2: Once you do that your window will shrink in size and background will change to a darker shade as shown below.
     SplitView1
  • Step 3: Once you release the button and the window will fit in that darker shade. Now you can do the same thing with the other window as shown below:SplitView2

In order to make Split View work, you need to ensure:

  1. You are on El Capitan or higher version
  2. You must enable “Displays have separate Spaces” option selected in Apple Menu > System Preferences > Mission Control

Problems with Split View:

  1. It works on Full Screen Mode only. So, once you have placed two windows side by side, you cannot access your Dock. You will have to exit Full Screen Mode in order to use your Dock.
  2. You can place only two windows side by side. What if you are working with 4 windows. There is no option for that in Split View.
  3. You cannot use Keyboard to create Split View. It works only with mouse.
  4. You cannot use Split View in Dual Monitor Setup.

How to do Split Screen on mac by using Split Screen App

Split Screen App makes it really use to split windows on Mac.

The app resides in the menu bar and once it is there, you can use keyboard shortcuts to split windows the way you want.

Here’s what it can do:

  1. Drag and Snap windows the way you can do in Microsoft Windows.
  2. 10 Different ways to Split the screen
  3. You can even do 3 part window sizing
  4. It also supports Dual Monitor Setup
  5. You can easily configure Keyboard shortcuts
  6. It can even restore window to its original position before the split

Split Screen App is suitable for users who wants more than just basic window splitting.

Here is a short video showing how to do Split Screen by using Split Screen app

Conclusion

Split View is a wonderful feature of Mac. Although its free, it’s pretty basic and has limited functionality.

If you want complete window management then you should go for Split Screen App.

How to Speed Up Your Website Performance (Infographic)

We all want faster websites.

Here are few tips from HostingPill.com on how you can speed up your website and reduce load time.

How to Speed Up Your Website Performance (Infographic) By The Team at Hostingpill.com
How to Speed Up Your Website Performance (Infographic)
Source: How to Speed Up Your Website Performance (Infographic)

Good Site Speed starts with a good server. And good server comes from reliable web hosting company.

We know one – its called InMotion Hosting and you can get a good deal from InMotion Hosting from this link.

Good luck and great site speed ahead!

Not Making Money With Your Apps? Try This!

Making mobile apps is not an easy process – especially when you are starting from idea, right up to launching the app. Lot of steps are involved including brainstorming of ideas, short listing the functionalities, making prototypes, reiterating on the model and finally; there you have a working App.

To get paid back for your efforts, you have to make money out of it. The monetising strategy that you opt will directly influence the popularity of your app. Here are some smart ways with which you can make money quite quickly right after the app is ready:

1. Place Ads:

Place Ads

In-App Advertising is a convenient way to make money while providing the app for free. Free App makes the users happy and they won’t mind a few related ads on the screen. You will get paid based on the number of ad clicks or ad views. Most of the social media apps use this approach. Facebook and Twitter are clear winners!

This method will only work if you get substantial downloads from the users. Otherwise the ad revenue will be only pennies.

2. Make it Paid Apps

make paid apps

Making the app paid is the straight cut way to make money. Those who need it will pay, and use it. However, since most of the apps have their free competitors, you really need good design and impressive features in order to demand money out of user’s pocket.

There are three ways to make the app paid:

(a) In-App Purchase: Make the basic app free. And to access extra features pay individually for each. For example, to unlock a few features or to get new tools, pay extra and get them. This works best with gaming, utility and productivity apps.

(b) Completely Paid App: Make it a completely paid app. Thus every app download will get you the money upfront. In order to make decent money with this strategy would require you to do marketing to convince users to pay for the apps. If you can show value in what you are offering in terms of features, you CAN get users to pay whatever you like.

(c) Free Apps that can be upgraded to Pro: Make a Lite version of the app that the user can try and use for free. Once the user is hooked to the app and finds it extremely useful, he can upgrade to full version by paying.

The trick here is to offer the crux of the app in Lite so that the user finds it worthy to pay more for full features. Just ensure that Lite version is not complete in itself or the user will never upgrade to Pro.

3. Sell your App:

Sell your App

You can make good money by selling your app along with its source code, graphics and all rights, once it is decently popular among users. For example Instagram App was bought by Facebook and the developers made good money.

There are few marketplaces which can help sell your app. The one which I have used and which is quite popular is Flippa.

Although you may like this strategy, this will generate you money just one time – when you sell the app. However, if you use the next strategy you can make lot of money over and over again.

4. Sell source code of your app

Sell souce code of your app

Source code is the frame work of the app. Developing the code is the phase that takes lot of time and money. Often, smart app developers & entrepreneurs opt for existing source code as template to build on their apps.

Selling Source code is a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. Buyers save the time in launching their apps, as they get source code (which is already built and (hopefully) bug free) which they can use to build their apps.

Sellers (Apps developers like you) make money as they don’t have to worry about getting downloads for the app. Just put it on a marketplace and start selling.

Once such code marketplace that I have used is www.sellmyapp.com.

They have good number of apps for selling – so wide choice for the buyers and they offer good commissions if you can sell in good quantities. Plus they also offer affiliate income, which I think is a unique concept in the industry.

Apart from these, you can try out hybrid ways as well. For example, use place ads along with in-app purchases or use place ads with free version app. Or you can invent your own strategy to make money from your app. Just keep in mind that you should consider users’ preferences so that your strategy is accepted and your app is popular as well.

I hope I have given you enough info to start making money with your apps. So don’t let the apps just sit there in the Appstore, sell the source code, make ton of money and vacation in Bali.

 

Best 5 Parse.com Alternatives

One of the most popular Backend-as-a-Service providers Parse has announced its shut down.

Here below you can see official screenshot of Parse:

parse shutdown

Parse is simply the most widely used backend service provider. Tons of iOS apps uses parse as their backend; some of the reputed names that use Parse’s backend service are Vevo and EventBrite.

The news of shutdown took the whole community of developers by storm; everyone is in jiffy and is looking for alternatives that are equally efficient and secure. Facebook decided to shut down Parse so that they can focus on profitable business opportunities.

Parse’s shutdown will create a void in the lives of developers, while there are loads of alternatives in the contemporary market but only handful of them are trustworthy and reliable. Here we bring to you a list of best 5 Parse.com Alternatives.

The listed advantages and disadvantages of using these alternatives will help you select the best Backend-as-a-Service provider for your app development business:

1. Kinvey

Kinvey probably is the most popular enterprise solution. The services of this specific Backend-as-a-Service provider are pretty expensive but it provide developers with access to all the important tools, features and also ensures a high level of stability at all times.

Kinvey

Advantages:

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[fusion_li_item icon=”hand-up”]The utmost advantage of shifting from Parse.com to Kinvey is that it provides a Parse like infrastructure. You can continue with your development process without making a lot of change.[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”hand-up”]Secure mobile data, standardize backend integrations and secure identity are some of the favorable services.[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”hand-up”]The turn-on infrastructure allows easier turn-up or turndown option.[/fusion_li_item]
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Disadvantages:

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  • Kinvey is prone to following the path of Parse.com in a year or two hence the developers need to be on toe looking for alternatives at all times.

[/fusion_checklist]

 

2. Deployd

It is easier to setup Deployd using npm. One can add new features to this BaaS via pull request given Deployd is an open source BaaS. The hardware infrastructure needs to be managed by the developer. Deployd only provides Backend-as-a-Service and not hardware support.

Deployd

Advantages:

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      • It is an open source service hence developers can customize it according to their needs. Better hardware can be used for increasing efficiency and reliability.
      • It is here to stay; you can pay for hosting and ensure that your backend needs are fulfilled for years to come.
      • Deployd provides varied API integration services that make things easier on the users part.
      • Centralized Dashboard for managing resources and apps hosted on it.

[/fusion_checklist]

Disadvantages:

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      • A user needs to manage server maintenance and management on its own. The presence of Deployd is really uncertain, lack of community support puts it under the light of doubt.

[/fusion_checklist]

 

One of the strongest competitors of Firebase is now all set to lead the market when Parse closes its operation in 2017. Firebase is popular because it provides backend hosting for mobile as well as web applications.

Firebase is very much specific about their services; they never intend to be the Jack-of-all-trades and Master of None. They have always targeted specified services instead of trying to be an Umbrella of services. They have always focused on hosting and application services, which really makes them the favorite of developers.

Firebase

Advantages:

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      • They provide services specific to application and hosting, which makes them very much affordable.
      • Less services allows them to concentrate their processing power on important services thus guarantees great results.

[/fusion_checklist]

Disadvantages:

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      • The developer needs to manage a lot of sidekick services on his or her own.

[/fusion_checklist]

 

PushWoosh is one of the first companies to react on the shutdown announcement of Parse.com. They have devised a module that allows easier migration from Parse.com to PushWoosh.

Pushwoosh

Advantages:

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_checklist icon=”hand-up” iconcolor=”dark” circle=”no”]

      • Allows developers to access almost every function and feature that was there on Parse.com
      • Provides notification services along with access to analytical tools.
      • They have a well-developed module that allows developers to scale and segment with great ease.
      • Provides a similar platform like Parse.com, which ensures proper efficiency and reliability.

[/fusion_checklist]

Disadvantages:

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      • Lacks authenticity. Reviews and experts have cited its success and popularity to the shut down of Parse.com

[/fusion_checklist]

 

Introduced in iOS 8 for the first time, this new data storage app service allows developers to store data on iCloud and access them in real time. The low cost option that it provides developers with will help in overcoming the lack of Parse.com.

CloudKit should be the one stop shop for all developers if data persistency is the top priority. The data usage limits get extended with the increasing number of app users, which makes it almost free for popular apps.

iCloud

Advantages:

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      • Subscription and Notification every time a specific data is created or modified.
      • Generous data usage limit that grows with the user base of your app.
      • User-friendly dashboard that ensures easier management of data and apps.

[/fusion_checklist]

Disadvantages:

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_checklist icon=”” iconcolor=”” circle=”” circlecolor=”” size=”” hide_on_mobile=”” class=”” id=””]
[fusion_li_item icon=”hand-down”]Not available for Android, limited to iOS based apps [/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”hand-down”]The developers need to use iCloud for data storage.[/fusion_li_item]

[/fusion_checklist]

By the next year Parse.com will shut down its functioning, a lot of developers will never have access to the most efficient backend service but someone needs to fill the shoes and keep the world moving. These alternatives are going to be really in demand because of their similar to Parse infrastructure or because of their increased efficiency.

Whatever may be the outcome the development procedure should not stop. The contemporary world needs more and more problem solving apps and the shut down of Parse.com should not be the disrupting factor.
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7 Tips to Improve App Store Optimization for your Mobile App

According Statista, there are approx 1.6 million Android apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million apps in Apple’s App Store, integrating all of which are used by near two billion smart phone users around the world.

These are enormous numbers. Have you ever thought how do you withstand with your competitors in this crowd? Most of all, how can your app rank high in an app store?

Here are 7 Tips to Improve App Store Optimization for your mobile app.

1. Make your app title pretty clear:

The title should be sweet, engaging and the most importantly, it should clearly indicate what the app does and what it stands for. The more your title is sparkling and attractive, the more the traffic will direct to your mobile app. Don’t try to use clever titles which only few users can understand. Remember you don’t what your users to think or guess what the app might be doing. Title should very well convey this without any second guess from the user.

Recent example of this is our Mac app for Disk cleaning. We initially called it “Space Lab” but it was not getting any downloads. We realized our mistake and then changed the title to “More Disk Space”, which clearly explains what the app does.

And the downloads starting coming in.

So, as a rule, which also matches a book title, users always expect the following: “Don’t make me think”.

Your app title should also follow this principle.

2. Be careful about the usage of the keywords:

Your app keywords are the words which the users will choose to search for your app. Make sure they are relevant to what the app does. The best way to find keywords for your app is to think what the user will type to find your app on the Appstore.

You can also check what keywords your competitor are ranking for.

Here’s a great tool to find your competitors keywords:

https://sensortower.com/

For iOS app, you just have 100 characters for your keywords. Make sure you use every character available. Even if you are left with say 2 characters, you can put in “,2” as many users search for second version of the app.

Sensortower provides a great way to manage your keywords and see which ones fit your app.

3. Pick the right category:

After keywords, next most important is the category. If you have the best app in the world and your are in the wrong category, then its not use. Its like showing Dancing with the Stars to bunch of monks. You should pitch your app to the right audience and that process begins by choosing the right category.

4. Your icon should be clear and concise:

Craft the icon design attractive and appealing. But… make it UNIQUE!!! Your app icon is the reflection of your mobile app. It is the icon that compels more number of users to download the app and use it.

5. Positive app ratings and reviews:

It can also build the clout with the users when they see others commenting the specific app. This will create a big, big difference. So, try to encourage and convince the highly-engaged users to leave positive reviews and ratings.

6. Update early and often:

Study before you act! Apply this schema and then step into the procedure. Perform your thorough research like the prevalent phrases or the tag lines, etc. and then try to build your own lines to set up a benchmark!!! Fingers Crossed!

7. Set a re-evaluate the schedule:

Your app ranking mostly relies on the quantity of the user engagement. So, re-analysis plays the pivotal role in this procedure. Check the keywords, description, title and icons, etc.

Having said that, I would like to hear from you what according to you is the best technique to improve ranking which proved very useful to you. We are all ears. Please share your comments below.

8 Must-Have Apps for Writers

Choosing to be a writer in the modern age of technology means that you’ll have to overcome some seriously sticky situations if you hope to flourish at your skill. There are numerous issues that you’ll have to face if you want to make it in the competitive world of freelancing, copywriting or penning stories!

The first issue that most writers must confront is an unsuspecting one – which slowly but surely impacts your health over a series of months. Sitting in a chair for 10-12+ hours per day. Yes – it’s as simple as that. Sitting has become a massive issue for both writers and many other professionals within tech.

Another common dilemma that plagues writers everywhere is known as “writer’s block” – which poses a significant threat to both your sanity and your bottom line.

However, perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a writer is the fact that you must continuously push yourself to actually keep writing. Writers often only have themselves available to remain accountable for staying productive.

So – what does all of this have to do with the mobile apps?

Well, the App Store and Google Play Store can equally help you in defeating some of the most common issues that writers must deal with.

Writing can be a tough gig. So, you might as well try using a few iOS or Android apps to help you in defeating writer’s block, remaining productive, or generating revenue from a laptop wherever you may be.

We’ve listed out the 8 Must-Have Apps for Writers to keep you motivated and pumping out quality content for years to come.

1. TextExpander 3 ($4.99 iOS)

textexpander3



A powerful mobile tool that helps you cut down on the time it takes to write content. TextExpander 3 syncs with other apps, and provides you with a custom keyboard that helps writers create content faster. Extremely convenient for publishing long emails or coming up with last-minute content on-the-go.

2. Noisli ($1.99 iOS)

Noisli - Improve Focus and Boost Productivity with Background Noise



This is one of the greatest productivity apps which writers can use to help eliminateNoisli writer’s block while simultaneously supercharging your “flow state.” It can be extremely difficult to get in that distraction-free state of mind – to where you’re completely focused on the task at hand. Noisli acknowledges this fact of life, and has made the ability to focus much more attainable for writers everywhere. Noisli provides users with the relaxing sounds of white noise, coffee shops, traveling trains and more to help you achieve ultimate focus.

3. Lumo Lift (Free iOS)

Lumo Bodytech - Makers of the Lumo Lift Posture Coach



This is the posture app that will keep you sitting up straight as you write. Writers have a tendency to constantly slouch and hunch their shoulders forward throughout the day, which can become extremely detrimental to one’s overall health. Lumo Lift allows you to attach a small digital clip to your body (must be purchased) which then vibrates when you need to readjust your posture – automatically reminding you to sit up straight! You can then track the progress of your posture through the Lumo Lift app for iOS.

4. Hemingway App (Free on Mobile Web)

Hemingway Editor



While this is technically a web app, and isn’t currently available for iOS or Android, it’s still accessible via any mobile web browser, and is one of the most helpful apps that writers can use. The Hemingway App allows you to input any block of text, and then automatically analyzes your content for grammar and clarity. It even shows you how to improve your sentence structure for maximum readability. This is truly a must-have app for writers.

5. Pomodoro Timer ($1.99 iOS)

Pomodoro Timer  Focus on your productivity and beat procrastination using the Pomodoro Technique on the App Store on iTunes



The Pomodoro Timer is an app which helps you use one of the most effective time-management techniques known as the Pomodoro Technique™. The app will encourage you to work (or in your case, write) for 25 minutes, and then take a 3-5 minute break. You’ll then work again for 25 minutes, and then take another short break. You’ll eventually be encouraged take a much longer break after continuing this cycle a few more times. It’s a great strategy to write in short bursts, so that you remain highly-productive as you write.

6. Split Screen ($6.99 Mac)

splitscreen

 



If you ever want to write on your Mac keeping two windows side by side then this app is just for you. Very easy to use and the resizing can be done by keyboard shortcuts as well.

7. Terminology 3 ($2.99 iOS)

Terminology-Main



Every writer knows that when it comes time to write, you’ll need to keep a handy thesaurus nearby to find just the right words. However, having a thesaurus in the form of a mobile app is just plain convenient. And Terminology 3 is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use dictionary/thesaurus combination apps on the market for iOS.

8. Evernote (Free iOS/Android)

Evernote



This is an ideal app for jotting down quick notes whenever brilliance happens to strike. You really never know when you’ll come up with a new story idea, article topic or catchy headline. Evernote makes it easy for you to capture your ideas whenever they occur, regardless of where you happen to be.

By using these apps in your day-to-day life, you can surely leverage your skill as a writer and limit time-wasting through the Pomodoro Timer, improve your sentence structure with the Hemingway App, and read during your lunch breaks using the Kindle app.

Many people still believe that the mobile marketplace mainly consists of silly games and flashlight-utility apps. However, the truth is that there are so many options available to assist you with your craft – that it’s almost unbelievable how extremely lucky we are to live in times like these.

The App Store and Google Play Store are fruitful utopias full of amazing tools to help you write better content in a more efficient manner than ever before.

7 Tips on How to Make Your Prototype Interactive

As mobile app UI designers, we are always trying to create interfaces that are intuitive and leave a lasting impression. Ideally we want our interface to be clear for future users and easily guide them to fulfill the final goal.

Technically creating an app design is a tough process of sharing, discussing, testing and proofing. While the most convincing results might be collected after the product goes live. Or make your product look alive.

1. Think in terms of screens

Start with the basics. Every mobile application consists of a set of screens and interactions, initiated by the user or by the inner runtime process. If you map out all the content and user flow, you end up with the list of all possible screens. This way you can use a prototyping tool to construct interactive app model.

thinkintermsofscreens

2. Add fixed zones

Fixed zones is a teeny-tiny detail that adds life to your prototypes when you work with long mockups as they are transformed into scrollable screens on the device.

To make your page look realistic set fixed zones for navigation bar or tab bar. Thus when you scroll the page of the prototype these zones remain still. It is especially handy when you work with “Purchase” button on the product page.

3. Add standard animations to show the transitions between screens

Linking hotspots and screens is the core part of prototyping process. It allows to improve the understanding of the prototype by the customer, experience the behaviour of future application, make your prototype look and feel natural and lifelike.

Most of the prototyping tools allow adding standard transitions animations to browse between screens. This gives you loads of advantages, as you may:

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  • think over all the transition animations on the early stage of prototyping;
  • run sufficient UI test with the potential users and find bottlenecks;
  • present your clear prototype to developers without explaining in words all the app transitions and animations.
  • You may choose any tool that fits your goals the best: Redpen.io, Mockup.io, Fluid.ui, App.eal, etc.

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animations to show the transitions between screens

4.Work on extra animations

Wherever it’s possible add animated elements to your prototypes: dropdowns, loading processes, notifications, stand by mode. Instead of trying to explain these in words and emails to your clients or developers team, use GIF animations. This way you can pull the audience through the animated features. There are loads of tools to create animations like Adobe Photoshop or After Effects. Adding animated screens to the prototype is also possible with some tools, e.g. Mockup.io, Concept inbox, Marvel, Notism.io.

Work on extra animations

5. Keep your prototype structure clear                    (keep it in order)

When working over a big project one of the the key points is to keep you project clearly structured and in the tight order. It is really handy to use folders within one app prototype. You may group all the mockups for certain app state in a single folders. Or use folders for mockups versioning. This step drastically simplifies everyday work with extensive prototypes. One more tip – use tags to mark each mockup state (approved, in work, etc.)

6. Test your prototypes

One of the main advantages of interactive prototypes – you may test them in real life context with real people: colleagues, customers, friends or even within professional communities. To collect beneficial feedback all you need is to share your project. Interactive prototype sharing services, such as Mockup.io or Protoshare allow to invite others for further collaboration on the project or even simulate your prototype on the real device.

Most of the prototyping services also allow commenting on the mockups. Thus everyone in the project is aware of the opinion of other team members.

7. Start all over again

You have an opportunity to improve the future product by improving your prototype based on customers’ feedback. Your interactive app model is here to add all the changes and improvements quickly and save your client’s time and money. Since the prototype is tested and approved before the coding starts.

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App Reskinning – How to Do It and How to Profit from It

If you’ve made the decision to go into the business of app reskinning, you’ll likely find it to be a fun, scalable and even profitable venture, if you go about approaching it in the right way.

But, after deciding to embark upon your newfound journey of app reskinning, people may have attempted to stop you dead in your tracks – explaining that app reskinning has “died,” or that the market for reskinning apps has become saturated.

In reality, we can assure you that this is not actually the case. Saturation can actually be a great thing, once you’ve made a slight adjustment to your outlook on the app market (or maybe you even already have)!

The truth is that most aspects of the app market will be saturated in 2015 and beyond. It’s a basic reality that mobile entrepreneurs will have to face. This simply means that there are plenty of appreneurs trying to meet the needs of the hundreds of millions of app consumers worldwide. But, oddly enough, your heavy competition may even indirectly help you with your app business, by forcing you to launch reskinned apps that are more creative, laser-targeted, and generally extremely valuable, in comparison to the apps which may be bloating your niche.

There’s no need to worry about market saturation. App reskinning is alive and well, and will probably continue to flourish for years to come.

So now that we’ve reinforced the idea that you’re going to face significant competition in any niche app market – you won’t even need to worry about competitors for the time being. You’ll just need to focus on the following basic steps to build your OWN portfolio of reskinned apps which could create an excellent source of passive income for yourself for years.

We’re going to quickly provide you with an Introduction to App Reskinning – How to Do It and How to Profit from It to get you started right away.

App Reskinning

App reskinning is the efficient means of using an app’s source code (the foundation) to create “new” apps from that same code. By adding new graphics, themes and sometimes sounds to old source codes, you’re effectively “reskinning” old apps and creating new ones. You get to create a brand new app with a new name, by using old code – it can be a great deal.

You can think of app reskinning as buying a house, and then painting over it with a new color. It’s still largely the same house, but with a brand new appeal (and possibly even a higher value).

But, the most important aspect of app reskinning in the modern age is that you’re typically going to be targeting new niche markets with reskinned apps. This is because you don’t want to serve the same submarket with the same exact apps that are simply “dressed up” over and over again. That would likely make your valuable consumers a little bit upset.

So a good starting-strategy would be to reach completely different niche markets with your reskinned apps – as opposed to the targeting the exact market which your source code originally covered. This way, you’re actually providing consumers with “new” apps that they probably wouldn’t recognize. It’s a win-win for both you and your potential users.

In order to actually begin the process of app reskinning, you’ll need to find a good source code/legitimate license from one of the many genuine source code resellers online. A good source code marketplace for you to start with is Chupamobile.

Chupamobile


From there, you can find almost any source code that you can think of. From iOS photo editing apps, to social networking or gaming apps and beyond – you can choose from almost any code imaginable.

Children’s educational apps are a great style of app to be reskinned, because the sounds and graphics of these apps can be switched out to teach children a new skill – effectively creating a new niche for your app. For example, instead of teaching children the alphabet (by using the original source code), you could reskin the app into a new children’s educational tool that teaches kids the different planets of the universe, or maybe constellations in the galaxy. The possibilities are truly endless.

Another popular first-time style of app to reskin is the “quiz” app, or the “personality test.” If you have a basic understanding of human psychology, or even if you’ve interacted with enough people before in your lifetime (of course you have) then you should easily be able to create a “quiz” app.

iOS Quiz App

But, you’ll also need to get quite creative to come up with some of the greatest content that you can possibly create for your reskinned quiz app. Make sure to create clear questions and answers for your quiz app, that makes people want to continue using it. This usually involves creating hundreds or even thousands of question-answer combinations, which can definitely be a time-consuming task.

However, for your first app reskin, we usually recommend that you simply do your best to test the waters of app reskinning by using the fundamentals in your reskin (provide real value to a new niche target audience, use quality graphics and sounds). While we’d always encourage you to publish an excellent first reskinned app, you’ll also want to ensure that you’ll be able to at least attract some initial installations, otherwise you’ll only waste your time. And achieving any number of app installs would be considered a big win for your first reskinned app. Remember that this is a scalable process that can be repeated time and time again, to create a full portfolio of reskinned apps.

Once you’ve chosen and purchased a good source code with strong potential, you’ll probably want to get an Apple Developer’s account and a Google Play account as well, so that you can publish your reskinned apps (if you don’t have either of them already). You’ll also probably want to register with a mobile ad network such as RevMob or Chartboost which typically integrates into reskinned apps quite easily. This way, you can simply insert your ad ID into reskinned apps if you’d like for your apps to generate revenue through advertising, rather than using in-app upgrades or virtual currencies for monetization.

So now that you have your source code, Dev accounts, and you’re registered with ad networks – you’re almost home free.

Except that you still need to actually take care of the “reskinning” aspect of your app.

Outsourcing your actual reskinning work to a developer and/or graphic designer will probably work best for the novice reskinner. Of course, you could do this yourself, but you’d have to be a little bit savvy with Xcode and Photoshop in order to exchange an app’s graphics, add new sound bits, create a great app icon, and possibly edit small features of your source code.

However, we do recommend that you eventually learn at least the basics of Xcode and Photoshop as this will definitely help you on your journey towards making small app edits by yourself (for inserting ad ID’s or knowing where the important menu features are).

After you’ve compiled fresh graphics:

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[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]created a new app name[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]made small changes to your source code (if necessary)[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]designed an app icon[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]written your new app’s description[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]added new sound (again, if necessary)[/fusion_li_item]
[fusion_li_item icon=”star”]and spiced up your app with new text/content – then you’re just about ready to publish your first app reskin![/fusion_li_item]
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So upload everything to iTunes Connect or Google Play. Make sure that you choose good keywords for your app by “spying” on competitors with Searchman (saturation is good, remember?) and through using basic App Store Optimization (ASO) strategies.

SearchMan


After you upload everything, you’ll just have to wait to hear back from iTunes to see if your app was accepted or reject. While everything should go smoothly in theory – if your app is rejected, it’s typically not a big deal. You’ll usually just have to make a few quick fixes and resubmit the next day.

Hopefully, this has given you enough of an overview to help you decide whether you want to delve deeper into the world app reskinning. We believe that app reskinning will continue to play a large part in the future of the mobile marketplace – so why wouldn’t you want to get in on the action? You’ll have a very fair shot at learning, having fun and even profiting while competing in a cutting-edge marketplace that will only continue to grow. Thousands of apps are being downloaded by consumers every single minute. While your first reskinned app may not be a huge hit with the masses, there is great potential for those with persistence.

If you continue to reskin, learn, adapt and grow – you’re bound to come across App Store success in the very near future.