Earlier today thousands of cab drivers took to the streets for large-scale protests over the famous ride sharing company, Uber. Protests in London, Madrid, and Berlin over the use of a mobile app to handle payments have forced a gridlocked stop.
With all the commotion, however, Uber is seeing substantial gains in the App Store. As you can see in the chart below, the Uber app for iPhone has been climbing the App Store charts in major European countries immediately after the protests were announced.
The App Store’s fast reaction to the protests means even more new users for Uber, which recently raised a massive round of funding to fuel further global expansion.
Controversy of this kind is nothing new to Uber. This time it’s working in their favor. Remarks from Uber executives show they embrace the protests as a way to display the convenience and functionality of the service.
More than two full days after the strike and the Uber app is still holding on to its chart position.
It’s that time of the year again where iOS and Mac developers flood San Francisco’s streets for Apple’s biggest event of the year. Just like years before, we’ll be there too.
Our co-founder Ariel will be attending both WWDC and AltConf this year sporting an appFigures shirt so he’ll be easy to find. Ariel is very friendly so don’t hesitate to say hi.
Ariel will also be moderating a panel of experts on Marketing and discovery in the app store at AltConf. Join him and four experts discuss getting found on Thursday (6/5) @ 1pm.
This year we’re also doing something new:
The appFigures truck will be driving around the conference area from Monday morning to Thursday evening. Snap a picture of the truck and tweet/instagram it @appfigures with the hashtag #wwdc14 for a chance to win fun appFigures prizes.
We’ll announce different prizes every day so follow us on twitter for details.
One of our core features is showing you all of your revenue. Whether it’s app sales, in-app purchases or advertising, you need to see an accurate bottom line in a single place, without having to log into multiple providers. To make that happen, in the last few months we’ve been focusing on ad networks. A few weeks ago we rolled out two new integrations and today we’re rolling out four more: AdColony, Playhaven, RevMob, and Vungle.
To link your ad networks, open Account settings → Linked accounts and click the Link account button. Reports from the newly linked account(s) will be available within a few minutes on the site, as well as through the API.
We now support nine ad networks including: iAd, AdMob, InMobi, Chartboost, Tapjoy, Playhaven, AdColony, RevMob, and Vungle.
P.S – If you’re using a network we haven’t integrated yet, please let us know.
A couple of weeks ago we quietly added a new filter to the new reviews report: a date picker.
The report already has a bunch of filters so you can get to the reviews you really want to see but with a date picker you can now focus on specific dates.
Simple date selection
You’ll notice that this date picker is a slightly improved version of the picker we introduced in the featured report a while back. The new picker uses our natural language date parser so it understands terms like today, last 7 days, and even more complicated terms like last Christmas.
It’s always great to hear from our members, but when a Middle School teacher told us how her class uses appFigures to track downloads from an app the students built, we were thrilled. Many engineers will confess that they wish they’d started coding earlier, and with more efforts and initiatives than ever before bringing this subject to the forefront, it looks as though the next generation is getting an early start on just that.
We spoke to Karine Boulle Nguyen at St. Anne’s-Belfield School about how this unique project taught her students two languages when they developed an app while strengthening their French comprehension skills:
As a language teacher, I believe the most important skill one can have is to communicate with others, not just through language, but also through admiration and respect of others. Our app project gave my students those skills, and we didn’t know this would be the outcome.
Tell us about the app the class developed
The project started with the idea of teaching others French in a fun and natural way using the 2Lingua approach to languages. I wanted to incorporate the same thinking process that bilingual people use when they speak, where the flow between one language to the other is like a beautiful dance. No grammar rules, no verb conjugations, no translation needed, just context.
Our app includes a story written in English with about 250 French expressions incorporated in it (with beginner and advanced level). This is a non-threatening way of learning a language. You pick up expressions at your own level, at your own speed. No pressure. In the teaching world, we call this “differentiation.” In the end, you still understand what you read because the main story is in English, but you get a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The stories my 8th graders write are performed as a play by the 5th graders, for the 4th graders. Since our 4th graders do not know a word of French, it is important that the French expressions are included in a natural and logical way.
To begin our project, we took a field trip to the French embassy in Washington, D.C. We interviewed a diplomat and toured D.C. In general, teachers take a field trip at the end of their unit to reinforce what they have taught. We did the opposite. We went on our field trip not knowing what we needed to take out of it, which forced my students to take notes and observe as much as they could. Any details they grabbed could be used in their story. When asked what was the best part of the project, some students said coding, others mentioned how much French they learned, but all commented on how special the field trip was! To use their words, they “felt free.”
We then started to work on our app. There were so many components to think about!
- The logo had to reflect the purpose of our app.
- The cover page and the title needed to show the theme of our story.
- Coding: students learned coding for the first time (CSS and HTML) and ended up coding the entire text. We then finished up the app using the Laker Compendium framework, the Baker framework, and custom code from 2Lingua.
- Our text needed to respect copyrights and could not include trademarks. The info boxes needed information provided by sites that allowed us to use their information for commercial use.
- The photo album included our own pictures, which we had to reformat for the app. We also had to make sure any other pictures we used were from Creative Commons (for legal issues).
- Our story needed to include cultural references, humor, interesting combinations of sounds to make the French more catchy, and suspense to make people want to swap pages.
- Spelling and punctuation had to be perfect.
- The recordings had to be perfect (or close to perfect) both for the beginner and the advanced level.
- There was also the “behind the scene” work, such as the description of our app for the app store, as well as which key words we needed to submit so people could find our app during their search.
- Finally, the whole product had to look professional.
What inspired you to teach the kids how to code?
Our kids need to be prepared for their future and as educators it is our responsibility to guide them in the right direction. Education is changing. Just like our world, it doesn’t have boundaries anymore. We cannot teach just history in one class, or just math. We need to combine skills with technology, so our kids can get the global experience they need, in order to live in a world without frontiers. My first goal for making this app is for people to learn a language for free. I also hope our story will inspire other educators in many different ways. Not everybody will make an app, but we hope educators and students will feel inspired to try something new in the classroom, step out of their comfort zone to include new essential skills, such as coding.
How did the kids respond to the coding lesson?
Our coding lesson reinforced the strengths and challenges that my students experience with learning a language (seeing patterns, following rules, attention to details…). Students with great writing skills understood coding right away, but students who are strong orally and struggle with spelling and grammar experienced more difficulties with it. Learning how to code was truly like learning a new language. Because coding was new to all, the whole class’ hierarchy ceased to exist. Quiet students emerged as leaders and ended up helping others. Through coding, my students got to see many other facets of their peers, which made them value each individual more.
The new talk in education is about “Project-based Learning” and “21st century skills.” Our project was both. Such open projects force students to brainstorm, communicate with each other, collaborate, listen to others, and show off their skills. When I asked my students what they got out of the project, the most surprising answer came from Henry D., who answered: friendship. They learned to respect other people’s opinion, verbalize their reasons for disagreeing, compromise, and appreciate other people’s talent.
What do you think other Middle Schools should do to promote Computer Science education from an early age?
Computer Science does not need to be promoted. It simply needs to be incorporated. In the world our kids are growing up in, Computer Science is an essential tool to acquire. In my mind, it is the pencil you need in order to transform your thoughts into words on a paper. I used to think that Computer Science was a completely separate subject, and it might have started as such, but now I realize how intertwined everything is.
What proved to be the biggest challenge in teaching such technical lessons to this age group?
The first year we taught coding, our biggest challenge was to simplify it as much as possible, so it would be accessible to Middle School students who had zero experience in the domain. We then realized that we did not need to simplify the coding process, as long as we explained the role of coding. We used Mozilla Thimble to show how to code and how the commands we gave to the computer changed the text. The program allowed my students to see the results as they were coding the text. Such instant gratification was the key to their success.
How is the app doing so far?
In just a couple of weeks, we had more than 86 downloads from 22 countries. The map from appFigures representing which countries downloaded our app was an effective way to teach geography. That map also made an incredible visual impact when my students presented our project to Middle School parents and teachers. The daily report is extremely valuable, as it shows students that their project is not something they did in class that will be forgotten as soon as the test is over.
Google recently improved game discovery in the Play store by adding 12 new game categories. We’re now tracking all of those categories so you can easily check which apps are ranking high (with the Top Apps report) or how any app is trending (with the Ranks report).
Here’s the full list in case you’re curious:
- Role Playing
Today marks a huge milestone for us. Exactly five years ago we started building appFigures as a weekend project. No business plan, no launch party, just a useful tool we really needed to track our downloads.
It was 2009 and we had just launched our first iOS game. iTunes Connect didn’t have any reports and we had no way to track the game’s success. We agreed to spend a weekend building this report thing and continue to our next project the following week.
We never really got to that other project…
Using data to make more informed decisions
The problem of tracking performance on the web has been solved for quite a while now. When we started building our iPhone game however, there was simply no way to keep track of modern mobile apps. So we created the first service with a simple but powerful goal, to enable informed decisions by making data accessible.
From a single report to a platform
In the beginning it was all about scratching our own itch. It started with a simple chart of our downloads and quickly evolved into something more. Member feedback and our own needs for more reports resulted in better charts, more options, and a slew of new data sets.
No serious platform is complete without an API, so we built one. Several versions later, our API powers a variety of services and is integrated into hundreds of solutions, from dashboards to mobile clients.
Self-funded, growing, and profitable
We had a choice when we started: get some funding and figure out a business model later or figure out the business model now and keep the freedom to focus on our vision. We chose the latter. Five years later, it’s clear we made the right decision. We’re profitable, growing and we can’t be any more proud of our product and our team.
We wouldn’t be here without you
Your constant stream of suggestions, ideas, and feedback has shaped and transformed appFigures over the years. Be it praise or critique, your feedback tends to give us the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you know someone cares. When things go wrong you’ve always had our back. It’s a feeling we’ll never take for granted.
Today is a day we will never forget. We can’t wait for what’s coming next.
Ariel + OzHappy founders
Not too long ago we overhauled our exporting system to support two new common formats. Today we’re extending exporting support to a new format: Excel (.xlsx).
While at it, we also made exporting more flexible by adding a custom second breakdown. You can now export your sales and ads reports broken down by any combination of: products, countries, or dates.
FYI – With this update we also retired the legacy TSV format that’s been deprecated a few months ago.
We have great news for developers who are monitizing with Chartboost and InMobi. Today we’re rolling out integrations for both ad networks!
To link your Chartboost or InMobi accounts, simply go into Account settings > Linked accounts.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions about the new integrations.
More integrations are coming!
If Chartboost or InMobi aren’t the networks you use, don’t worry, we’ve got a few more integrations in the pipeline. We’re always looking for beta testers, so if you’d like to help just let us know.
Lots of services use our API these days. From dedicated mobile apps to multi-service dashboards. When we come across a new integration we take it for a spin and review it in the process.
Today we’re reviewing Geckoboard.
Geckoboard is a business dashboard that brings together a variety of metrics from different service providers to give you an overview of data that matters at a glance. Geckoboard is available on the web and also natively on iOS, which makes it really easy to use anywhere.
The guys at Geckoboard recently updated the appFigures widgets to work with the newest version of our API, which makes the integration even faster and more secure with OAuth.
Geckoboard implements almost every end point we offer in the API which means that your dashboard will have access to sales, ads, ranks, and even ratings. We found the widgets really easy to customize and filter to get a high level over view at a glance. The ability to compare the data to a previous date made the widgets even more meaningful.
Geckoboard offers a free 30 day trial so if you’re in the market for a new dashboard we recommend giving Geckoboard a try.
Note: All appFigures Geckoboard widgets are maintained by Geckoboard. If you’re running into any issues linking your account or pulling data please get in touch with Geckoboard’s support directly.