Last week was an exciting one in the mobile world. Apple launched iOS 8 and started shipping the new iPhone 6. We at Treehouse were so excited about all the new stuff that we decided to release a few new things of our own including a few new mobile courses and two mobile apps. Here’s what we launched and a few things we’ve learned along the way that we wanted to share.
Now that iOS 8 is out we’re allowed to share what Amit and Pasan have been working on for the last few months. If you’re interested building an iOS app then checkout our 4 Swift courses.
Our students have been asking for it and now its finally here! Now you can pick up your education on-the-go. If you’re an Android fan be sure to checkout the new app in the Google Play Store.
If you’re an iOS user then make sure to take a look at the whole new version of our iPad app.
Launching an App
While launching a mobile app or two is a lot of fun, it can also be a lot of work. Here’s a few tips to help you make your launch more successful.
Test, test, and test some more
Once you finally finish your app it can be tempting to submit it to the App Store as quick as possible. But unlike web apps where you can deploy bug fixes on demand, issues in mobile apps are much tricker. Users must install and update their apps, and in the case of the Apple App Store, review times can often be over a week. Getting users to use your app before you release, also known as beta testing, can catch errors before you launch. There are multiple services that make this easier including HockeyApp and Crashlytics Beta. Apple recently launched their own service called TestFlight and Google allows you to use Google+ communities to manage testers.
No code is perfect, so when something goes wrong the first step is to get notified of the issue. This is why it’s important to include some type of crash notification system into your app. This way when a user experiences a crash you’ll receive a report with as much information as possible to assist in finding the bug and squashing it. While some of the beta testing servers also offer crash reporting, both of the Treehouse mobile apps use Crashlytics.
With so many apps in the App Store it can be really hard to stand out. Focusing on your App Store Optimization using a tool like SensorTower is an easy way to help potential users find your app. Micah, who handles our mobile marketing, says “SensorTower helped us identify a list of low-difficulty keywords that had an adequate amount of volume, and allowed us to maximize our allotted number of keywords we wanted to target. It’s a worthwhile tool for every ASO project.”
Now that your app is in the store and you’ve got someone viewing the page the last step is to encourage them to install it. The Google Play Store, and recently the Apple App Store, allow video previews of apps which is a great way to show off how awesome your product.
Soon OS X Yosemite will be released. One of the newest features is the ability to record your iOS app using QuickTime Player. MacWorld has a great tutorial in how to do this in the Yosemite Beta. While this is the easiest and simplest way to create an app preview video, there’s nothing stopping you from going all out. If you need one for the Google Play store then you’ll be interested in this video by Google.
Just because you’ve finished coding it doesn’t mean your app is ready for the world. Hopefully these lessons learned will help make your launch as successful as possible. If you’re planning on launching an Android app soon make sure to checkout Ben’s latest course Publish an Android App.