Don of the Day

Don of the Day


Adventures in software development with Xamarin and the Web

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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Down To Zero App Update

Don FitzsimmonsDon Fitzsimmons

When I started developing down to zero I wrote about some of my experiences creating apps for Windows Phone. It’s been a little over 3 weeks since my app launched and I thought I’d post an update about the experience so far.

After down to zero was published in the store, things were pretty quiet for the first 2 days. I tweeted about the launch and many of my Twitter followers were kind enough to retweet and help me promote the app (here’s looking at you @alaskanjackson). I also submitted a short description and link to some Windows Phone blogs, but heard nothing back.

Then, on Valentines day it happened. My boss, a huge Microsoft tech fan, called me into his office and informed me that he happened to see a picture of my app on his WPCentral tile. Lo and behold, not only did WPCentral review my app, it was a video review and quite positive. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better promotion (my boss also informed me that I would be going to /build earlier that day, so it was a fantastic day).

That single blog post from WPCentral resulted in over 1,100 downloads in 1.5 days and the highest number of in-app purchases for upgrades I’ve seen yet. After that, I started receiving emails from Microsoft informing me that my app will be featured in various markets. In total, down to zero was featured 11 times in 25 different markets (no US appearances so far).

The app is at about 8,000 downloads and counting. Reviews have been really good, although I do get the occasional 1 star with a nasty comment because I dare charge an upgrade fee for secondary tiles and lock screens. The positive reviews and feedback have been really great and encouraging.

But now things have changed. I haven’t received any of those spotlight promotion notifications from Microsoft in a few days and downloads are decreasing significantly. The app is also no longer in good position on any lists either (it was very high in New+Rising for weeks). By all accounts, the party is over. It’s time for my app to disappear into obscurity.

Okay, not really. But I can see why so many apps just flounder and collect dust. It’s not easy to keep up the excitement for an app very long. What to do? What more can I do to market it? One review of my app really stood out to me. It’s a strange sentence and it reads, “Nice app, but we are expecting more.” What the hell does that mean? Who’s we and what more can a countdown app do?

But that review stuck with me. When I open my app on my phone, I like the way it looks. I like what it does, but I too want something more. I want to see it do something more. Along with implementing some user feedback, I’m going to make down to zero do something more. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. It’s going to do things that no other countdown timer ever dreamed of doing.

Maybe that’s a bit much, but it will be a more feature rich countdown timer, that’s for sure. Keep an eye out for version 2.0 of down to zero in the coming weeks. I think you’ll like the new changes.

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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