Tag Archive for: apps

As promised, Google is launching ads in Android search results which will allow users to test out games before deciding whether to download them. Google announced the feature was coming in the next few weeks during its Developer Day at Game Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

With the launch of AdWords Search Trial Run Ads, app advertisers can now create ads with a “Try now” button as well as a download button. If Android users choose to try out the app, they will be able to preview the app for 10 minutes before deciding if they want to download it from the Google Play Store.


Google has been testing out the feature since December, however, those app previews were limited to just 60 seconds. The longer trial period should allow test-drivers to get a better feel for the app and make a more informed decision.

The new feature is aimed at helping users choose to download only apps that will actually be used. According to Google, just one in four apps are ever used after being downloaded. Hopefully, the test-drive feature will increase the chances a user will stay engaged with the app beyond the time of install.

During the conference, Google also announced that Portrait Video Ads in mobile apps will be coming shortly. The company says 80 percent of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are viewed vertically, however, the majority of ads are created to be viewed in landscape orientation. Early tests suggest the new ad orientation significantly improves both click-through and conversion rates. This leads to lower cost per install and more installs overall from Portrait Video Ads.


Android users will soon be able to install apps to their smartphones directly from Google search results. According to Android Police, Google has begun testing the new feature which will let users bypass the Play Store and directly install an app by performing a Google search.

To try out the feature, open the Google app on any Android phone and search for any app you want to install. Within the Google card, which previously directed users to the Play Store, you will now see an Install button.

If you press the Install button, your phone will ask for the normal permissions that appear with all Play Store app download. If you accept, the app will immediately begin downloading and installing.

The feature hasn’t been rolled out to all Android phones, so there is no guarantee you will be able to directly install the app. Many users are still being directed to the Play Store.

Ryan Whitwam of Android Police speculates the feature is just in testing currently, and will see a wider rollout in the future. He also suggests the feature is likely to be available only in the Google app and not through Chrome.


While apps have become the hottest trend for smartphones, the market for apps can be incredibly competitive and hard to break through. Mobile users have limited space on their phone for apps, so they can be hesitant to try out new apps, especially if they are new or relatively-unknown. Even when users do download apps, they often only use it once and forget about it.

Now, Google has launched a new service to let users try out any app they want without having to use up their precious hard drive space. The company has launched a new streaming mobile ad feature that allows users to access a short 60-second or less version of the app that responds just like the full app.

Sissie Hsiao, Google’s head of product for mobile ads, says the goals of this new feature is to help app developers connect with the right users. In a statement to TechCrunch, she explained:

“You can buy ads, you can get apps installed. But a lot of apps are used once or they’re never used, even after they’re installed. We found that 1 in 4 apps is never even used, and there’s often this ‘try once’ experience, and then [the app is] never used again.”

The new streaming mobile ads, called “Trial Runs” allow users to try the app without downloading, which will hopefully help limit the number of “one and done” app downloads. Instead, it will motivate developers to focus on targeting a more refined audience who will be more likely to gully engage with the app.

The new feature is currently available to a limited number of testers, with no word of when to expect a full rollout.

As online marketing tries to adapt to smartphones and social media, another burgeoning opportunity to establish a brand is growing. Apps are quickly becoming part of every day life for many people, and a new analysis from Localytics shows that people are spending more time with them than ever. In the past year, time spent with apps has risen 21 percent.

Another recent report from comScore also suggests app usage now makes up more than half of the total time people spend with digital media.

According to Localytics’ report, app session has remained fairly constant since the past year, but users are checking in more often. People are not opening apps 11.5 times per month vs. 9.4 times in 2013.

The question most pertinent to readers is whether an app can benefit your business. That answer depends on a few factors. Even local businesses can benefit from apps if they have a tech-savvy audience and they work in the right industry.


The chart shown above shows which app categories have seen the biggest increases in usage over the past year, while the graph below compares average session length (orange) number of app sessions per month (blue).

Unsurprisingly, social networking apps have the shortest session length, but the highest number of app openings. However the music category saw the most growth in time spent over the past year which shows that users are expecting apps with depth to them in that market.


While the app store may seem to be already flooded with apps, it is clear that smartphone owners are trusting apps more and investing more of their time viewing content through them. But, users are only looking at apps that are relevant to their on-to-go needs and interests.

If you have content or a service that users want on a day-to-day or immediate basis, an app could likely be a smart investment for your brand.

A little over a year ago, Google brought apps into advertising through the use of app install and app re-engagement ads, which made their way to Google’s mobile AdMob Network this June. Today, these ads also became available on Google Search and YouTube globally.

If you haven’t gotten familiar with app install and app re-engagement ads, Ginny Marvin gives a great explanation in her article for Marketing Land.

Google is attempting to bridge the gap between apps and normal internet use, and it appears their first step is to make apps part of the search results for Android users. When logged in, you will also be able to see what apps you have and search the content within them.

“Starting today, Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search. Google Search can make your life a little easier by fetching the answer you need for you – whether it’s on the web, or buried in an app,” Scott Huffman, VP of engineering, announced on Google’s Inside Search blog.

Google App Search Graphic

These results won’t be ads for apps. Instead, when the best results for a query come from an app, Google Search will include the app in the result and make it easy to download or access. If you already have the app, you will just have to touch “Open in app” and you will be taken to the relevant content.

The app results will be grouped together, so don’t expect them to hurt many sites’ rankings or visibility. These results are just another option added for user convenience.
Currently only a few apps are compatible with the Open in App feature, including:

  • AllTrails
  • Allthecooks
  • Beauytylish
  • Etsy
  • Expedia
  • Flixster
  • Healthtap
  • IMDb
  • Moviefone
  • Newegg
  • OpenTable
  • Trulia
  • Wikipedia

“This is just one step toward bringing apps and the web together, making it even easier to get the right information, regardless of where it’s located,” Huffman wrote.

Search Engine Watch reports the new ability is currently limited to English version users of Android 2.3 or higher within the United States.


Source: Google

Smartphones have revolutionized how we browse the web, but most browsing still happens within the same web browsers we have all grown accustomed to. For the most part, we do our searches and actual browsing from Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, while we limit our apps to games, reading the news, or taking care of business. But, that all could change in the near future.

Google announced late last week that they would begin allowing Android app developers to have their app content indexed. That content will then be able to be opened directly through apps on Android devices. It is a large step towards a more seamless user experience on smartphones and tablets, rather than the disjointed experience we currently enjoy.

Googlebot has been improved to be able to index the content of apps, either through a sitemap file or through Google’s Webmaster Tools, though the feature is currently only in the testing phase. This means the indexing is only currently available to a small selection of developers, and signed-in users won’t begin to see the app content in their result for a few weeks.

The update means that searches will be able to return information from app content, which will then open directly in the intended app. For websites which tend to offer the same content on both their website and their app, such as news sites, it means users will be able to pick their desired experience, whether it be from within the browser or within the app.

Jennifer Slegg reports that app developers can sign up to let Google know they are interested in having their apps indexed by filling out an application of interest. Before you do though, you should know that your app must have deep linking enabled, and you will have to provide Google with information about alternate URLs either within their sitemap or in a link element within the pages of their site.

Indexing is only available for Android apps currently, and Google has yet to comment on when or if they will extend the capability to iPhone or Windows apps.

These days, everyone has an app. Apple has over 800,000 apps in their store, and Android is close behind. Search for anything you need an app for, and there is little chance you won’t find an option delivering the solution, quite possibly even for free.

With that many apps out there, making one of your own has more than a few risks. How do you attract users? How do you find a market not already covered? How do you improve over the already available options? You’re trying to get people to flock to your application when, according to Noupe, over 60-percent of apps in Apple’s store have not been downloaded a single time.

The truth is, getting your app in front of others’ eyes requires creating a quality product, then optimizing the heck out of it. App stores work just like search engines, and there is plenty of App Store Optimization to be done.

However, just like with SEO, simply optimizing a bad product isn’t going to get you far. There are numerous concerns you must address if you want your own app to stand a chance before you even get to the optimization stage. New Relic, an analytics service, recently released a new product specifically for Apps, and they accompanied the release with an infographic any App designer would be smart to keep around for their next project.


There are so many articles out there fawning over the design of Apple’s products. Starting with the third or fourth version of the iPod, every new product has gotten nothing but love for their revolutionary design, all the way up to the iPad. Every part of the iPad’s design, including the interface, have been broken down and critiqued.

There is one aspect of the iPad that Apple can’t control, however. Apple designs a few apps, but the vast majority are made by other companies. Sure, a good amount of them are cheaply designed, but there are also high quality apps made by designers that care, and it is in those apps that you can learn some of the best rules for modern design. Carrie Cousins collected ten things she learned from iPad apps at Design Shack, and they can be transferred over to any other medium today.

It all begins with an emphasis on simplicity, and Cousins pinpoints one of the most undeniable reasons why web design has taken a turn towards minimalism. Too much on a small screen can overwhelm the user, and simple, easy to use designs help the on-the-go user access what they want, when they want it.

Almost every major trend in web design is also observable through iPad apps. Simple color schemes, and flat designs are all the rage right now, reflecting the continued push towards simplicity on these small screens and it is hard to deny how effective the design changes are. Apple has never been a proponent of flat design, but recent redesigns by CNN and Facebook show that flat design looks great on tablet screens.


The unforgiving Retina Display of the iPad will also teach any lazy web designer a good lesson very quickly. You can’t cut corners on any visual aspect of an app. One low quality icon will stick out like a sore thumb on an otherwise crisp and clear interface, and one small shoddy image will destroy the value of your content just like a crack in the foundation of a house will one day destroy that home.

There are plenty more lessons to learn from iPad apps. Cousins has a few more in her article, but if you are critical of iPad apps as you use them, you’ll learn even more. The best part is, because apps are constantly updating their designs, and new innovative apps are coming out every day, you will be able to keep up to date with design so long as you keep killing time on your tablet.

Are you hoping to grow your business through Facebook? Chances are, if you’re here, you are trying to do exactly that. It seems like everywhere you turn there are articles dispensing advice about what you should and should not be doing to gain a fantastic ROI from your company’s Facebook page. Many of those articles give you fairly similar advice about engaging with your audience and posting interesting, engaging content. While those are certainly great ideas to get the ball rolling, it’s refreshing when you read an article that has something different to say.

Such is the case with the article posted on the unofficial Facebook blog, AllFacebook. Head over and check it out to get a rare perspective about how Facebook apps can help your business grow from an employee of an app company. There are some other tips as well, which, while useful, are mostly things you’ve heard many times before. Concentrate on the advice concerning apps. It’s a unique perspective you won’t find many other places.