DevDialogue – Mygazine App Developer Speaks

In this DevDialogue, we talk to the developer of Mygazine for iPad. Mygazine for iPad curates content from different sources and presents it in a remarkable format that makes it easier for users to read. Every day, all content from your subscribed sources are combined and presented in a magazine like format. It is like the combination of Flipboard and Pulse. We take a look at the behind the scenes picture in this interview.

1. How did you conceive the idea for the App?

A. The idea came to me when Apple first announced the iPad. I wanted an app that can gather information from all kind of sources that I follow, read or want to read and assemble it and then present it to the user in familiar magazine style and hence the name ‘Mygazine.’

It took me a while to assemble my thoughts and come up with the requirements. The next phase was the painful one where I tried to find a developer to take my idea and produce a desirable product. It took almost a year to finish this product.

2. Do you think Apple’s offerings for developers for developing Apps is good? Are there any changes required?

A. Yes, I really admire Apple for their ingenuity in opening app development for 3rd party developers. App store provides a platform to both indie developers and companies to show off their talent and also generate an income stream. Although App store is getting really crowded and it is getting harder and harder to be discovered.

In my opinion, Apple needs to revamp their store to make app discovery easier. Also, they need to enhance their approval process and reduce approval times.

3. What is your marketing strategy? What marketing techniques do you use to promote your App in this heavily competitive application space?

A. I have tried multiple marketing strategies including banners via mobile platforms, ads on multiple sites, facebook ads etc. The strategy that worked for me the best was using TapJoy pay per install scheme. I am currently working on a social media campaign through Tapjoy that will go live in few weeks.

Remember you need a good product to make it work. If your product is not professionally done and polished, no amount of campaign will work. A piece of advice – spend money if needed on the app features like functions and graphics.

4. What are your plans for future updates, releases and more?

A. The work is in progress to upgrade app to support ultra-sharp graphics for retina display. Also I am adding support for iPad’s younger sibling the iPad mini. The newer version will use IOS6 enhanced features to improve user experience. Some features that are planned but not confirmed include support for Vimeo player and Instagram. The current app only supports YouTube player.

5. How did you come to decide the price that you would be charging users to purchase your App?

A. This is the trickiest part – The Mygazine Daily is based on freemium model. This means that user can download app for free to try. The free version allows user to try everything. The only restriction is that only one magazine can be created. If user likes it, he or she can upgrade to full version using in-App purchase for regular price of $4.99. I have in the past reduced the upgrade price to anywhere from $0.99 to $2.99 during various sales events which were well received by users.

Remember – Mygazine Daily is kind of Flipboard and Pulse combined in one.

6. What gave you the kick to convert your idea into reality? What kept you awake all night long?

A. Although there are few high budget products out there with millions of dollar to spend but there is no app that can do what Mygazine Daily can do!

I spent many sleepless nights trying to make this product better and better. I had one goal in mind – the app needs to have a wow factor from get go as few bad reviews can kill your app.

7. Your thoughts on paid marketing? Paid ads, reviews, sponsorship and more. What made your App’s marketing plan successful?

A. With over 700K apps in app store, it is getting really hard to get noticed! Gone are the days when developers were making money by just loading apps on store. In this competitive environment, more publishers are relying on conventional and non-conventional ways to market apps. As mentioned before, I have tried multiple channels to promote apps. I strongly believe in the power of social marketing using sites like facebook, twitter and other similar sites. You can create a buzz using these sites but remember that the best promoters of your app are users and for users to get excited, you need to design a product that provides a utility along with excellent user experience.