New – The ABP Guide to Facebook’s Audience Network
App Research and Stats
- App Annie – an awesome way to keep track and your store downloads and revenue. The service connects directly to your iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon accounts to pull data. They are adding new ad networks regularly so can track ad revenues and spend as well. Also release monthly and qtrly reports that are well worth a read. Good place to start research on an app, publisher or store category.
- Google Trends – stay on top of the market’s interest and develop apps or offer features that your users and the app market wants. Good source of hot keyword or niche app ideas as well.
Design Tools/Mockups and Wire-framing
- Balsamiq – this is the tool i started with as it has actual, native iOS and Android elements – so it is easy to get going and learn along the way. There is a free chrome plug-in – but there is a mthly cost
- InVision – We really like this tool – and it is free. Share mockups, link designs together to create everything a developer would need to see to understand basic flow of an app.
- Google Docs – Hard to beat free and simple. Many a wireframe has been created using Google Doc’s presentation doc type. Boxes and circles and text? That is enough for me.
- AppCooker – some devs/pubs/agencies swear by this tool – and with many things – if it works for you – that is the tool to use. Has all the best of the other mock-up and prototyping tools, but also includes workflow and a ratings system for garnering feedback from your co-workers or network.
- Appbackr – again – another place to build an post an app specific crowd-funding request. I am not so sure this is such an amazing way to get market feedback on desirability of the app, but can be a great place to get a project funded.
- Kickstarter – much broader projects and funding sources – ideal for big app ideas.
- 99 designs – you create a project for designers to compete for – where you choose top 3 and then select a designers and have them make your designs just right. We have never used for App related designs – but not a bad way to get started is oDesk and eLance are just too much involvement.
- Angela’s App Service – a newer service that provides services for reskinned art work, ASO and a growing variety of services. We always suggest getting started with reskinning – but growing past outsourcing everything unless your business model can handle the additional costs.
- Elance – Popular freelance website for hiring and managing very specific talent from all over the world. Don’t underestimate hiring and managing people from other countries, cultures and often different 1st languages.
- Odesk – similar to Elance – although we find more luck with specialized talent. Odesk and Elance merged recently – although don’t know what result is yet.
- Fiverr – a very inexpensive place to find help for a wide variety of projects, from sounds for apps to animations to logos etc.. Remember – you often get what you pay for!
- AppMasters – masterminds, video courses, weekly hangouts from Steve of Mobile App Chat
- Dynamite Circle – not primarily a traditional mastermind, but one of the best places to connect with location-independent entrepreneurs. Joining a mastermind is one suggested way to get a ton out of membership.
- Testflight – the most popular and free way to share demos of your apps before submitting. Recently acquired by Apple.
In App Support/Crash
- App Clover – a very good resource for beginners who want to jump in and learn who and what is out there. They also offer a very nice magazine offering for those aspiring ePublishers.
- PRMac – from free to wide distribution Press releases. Very good customer support. We use on our bigger app releases.
- Google Mobile App Analytics – starting to more into mobile analytics – and where we have moved to from Flurry
- Apsalar – a very good paid option, with Cohort Analysis, links to in-apps and ads to measure monetization and many other features that many publisher rely.
- Flurry – very simple to get started, and still the biggest in Mobile app analytics. We find the dashboards and reporting clunky, and customization not super simple as well. A great place to start.
- Mixpanel – another paid option – we have never used but is very highly thought of.
- Theme Forest – if you plan to have a landing page for your apps, your portfolio or your company – don’t try and recreate the wheel. Thousands of amazing customizable themes.
- Apptamin – Sylvain and team have all sorts of good content, and they build custom ad videos – but what 1st got us was their mobile ready themes – specific for showing off your latest app – and the price is right (free). Tell him the #ABP sent you.
- Blue Host – a highly trusted name in hosting for your landing pages, company pages and list building sites.
- Leadpages – we just started exploring list building via mobile – and Leadpages is a great tool for landing pages that convert (into leads).
- Audience Network – Facebook’s mobile app ad network – 2m advertisers, global reach, custom native ads.
- Ad Colony – video ads, incentivized video and backfill. We use in all of our apps.
- Vungle – similar to Ad Colony – reporting is a little behind the times, but all that matters really are fill rates and eCPM – where we find Vungle lacking in both compared to A Colony. We backup Ad Colony with Vungle.
- MoPub – both an ad mediator and host to a real Time Bidding (RTB) exchange – we use MoPub for our static interstitial ad mediation – with their RTB network pulling in $4+ eCPMs.
- Chartboost – an ad network that every publisher with a portfolio of game apps seems to swear by. Custom campaigns, offer-walls, direct deals, ad swapping, lots to like here.
- AdMob – Googles offering. Also offers ad mediation – we have moved completely away from using AdMob in any of our apps – but we keep an eye on what they are doing because ….its Google.
- AppLovin – a newer ad network that supposedly offers more targeted ads based on your user’s in-app behavior – which may just mean they don’t show an ad if the user has seen x times prior and did not click. One great thing – they pay in 15 days.
- Playhaven/Upsight – another network well work looking into if you are have a game-heavy portfolio. Good ads for gamers, and better than decent analytics for those who don’t want to optimize their game but just see basics…
- SponsorPay – we are just starting to add these to our apps again. Video offer walls essentially are “Watch this video for X coins or the Green Hat”. Video resonate with users, and we have had a lot of luck with incentivized video – so a video offer-wall seems like a good next move.
- SuperSonic – similar to above. Israel based company with very strong customer and sales support.
- TapJoy – the oldest offer-wall company that we have dealt with – originally offered incentives for downloading games. Apple disallowed that – but they still have “Sign up for Time Magazine – get 100 coins” type of offers.
- Sensor Tower – it feels like we mention them every episode. I really like what the team over there does, and build all of our keyword practices around the information supplied. They are not the cheapest.
- Mobile Dev HQ – recently moved into full enterprise ASO – which is great as they offer a lifetime free level – well worth checking out if new to ASO.
- AppCodes – a very good low-cost option. I would recommend the paid account here for those that dn’t get benefit from Sensor Tower or have maxed out free from Mobile Dev HQ.
- Video Hive – need an app video? Have some skills? This is your place. Google Play has a field for videos, and why not get the exposure from YouTube as well? We should warn that Co-host Chris couldn’t figure this out without his Adobe proficient wife – so while you only add images, text and sounds – it is still somehow a bit complicated.
- Apptamin – Sylvain and team again. Check their portfolio of app videos out and see if their professional videos are a good fit for your app projects
- Apptopia – Mark Cuban backed start-up still feeling their way around. We have sold an app via Apptopia – but lots of the reporting is messed up, and their model focusing on paid listing vs best value seems a like not what’s best for users or best for clients. Recently got into selling reskin code.
- Flippa – several years being the primary marketplace for buying and selling existing websites, now providing a platform for buying and selling mobile apps. I suspect they will give Apptopia a run for their money as they have a much lower fee schedule and access to a much larger pool of buyers.
- App Business Brokers – for larger portfolio or complete business sales.
- Think Gaming – a newer entry – unique business model where they diagnose your app (game) and if it meets specific criteria, they connect you with an investor.
- Apptopia – the largest app marketplace – find anything from code to reskin to large portfolios with existing revenue.
- Chupa Mobile – another app code resource, from re-skinnable code to apps producing revenue. Their model is a bit lacking in that limited ratings system, updates are shaky etc…
- Blue Cloud Solutions – one of the 1st guys on the scene (the Godfather) of app flipping (to borrow from Real Estate) or re-skinning – lots of good code, with Carter’s own tweaks to max out retention and monetizaton.
- Chocolate Lab Apps – similar to Carter/Blue Cloud in that was/is a publisher that branched out to all sorts of services – including custom or unique app code for re-skinning. Has some popular Udemy courses as well.
- Code Canyon – another subsite of the same guys who own Theme Forest (for website themes), Video Hive and Audio Jungle.
Running an App Business
Our Favorite Blogs and Reports
Affiliate Disclosure: All eligible links contain affiliate links. We will never recommend a service that we either have not used 1st hand, or has anything less than an excellent reputation. If you find any service on our list that does not meet the highest of expectations – please let us know.