Since Monday, Animal Puzzle for Toddlers and Preschoolers is the #1 Free Kids App at the Amazon App Store for Android! Let’s see how long that’ll last… Click on image to go to the top list…
After moving up & down for a while, as of today we have three games in Amazon’s Top 10 Free Apps for Kids, ranking at #2, #7 and #8. Check it out! (P.S. We also have a 4th game listed at #27)
— Information below is outdated and kept here for SEO —
When we submit our first app to the iTunes Connect, one of the most confusing things was understanding the difference between Availability Date and Release Date. There are many discussions about that topic and some of them thinks that as a “BUG” but in reality there is no bug, that’s just how it works. To get listed on top of the “New Releases” there is no need to set Availability Date in the future and change it back to same as the Release Date once it’s released. Once you understand the connection between two, all should be clear.
You may initially set that date while creating your app record in iTunes Connect for the first time, it’s also editable after that even if your app is live… By default, it’s set to the date of your app record creation. Or you may set it to a different date in future.
Simply, you have no control over this. When your app passes the review and it’s status becomes “Ready for Sale” your app is “released” by Apple at that date.
So, how those really works?
First rule is, only when the current date (today) is greater than the both, your app becomes visible on the AppStore. in other words, your app must be both “released” by Apple and “made available” by you. Otherwise, it won’t be listed anywhere.
You can use Availability Date to make your app appear on the store on a specific date. For example, if you are planning a marketing campaign and want your app to be available on a specific date but not before that, you can use that to make that happen. Only if your app is released by Apple prior to that date of course…
But there is one downside of doing that, you’ll miss the opportunity to getting listed on top of the “New Releases” section of your app categories.
If you want to be listed on top of the “New Releases’ simply do not change the Availability Date when setting up your app.
Let’s say the App is created on January 1st, you didn’t change the Availability Date so it is also January 1st. And let’s suppose your app waited a week for the review and released by apple at January 8th, which is also the Release Date. Outcome: Your app will be available on the App Store at January 8th and will be listed on top of the New Releases list…
Let’s say the App is created on January 1st, but you DID change the Availability Date to match your marketing release, so let’s say it is January 15th. And let’s suppose your app waited a week for the review and released by apple at January 8th, which is also the Release Date. Outcome: Your app will be available on the App Store at January 15th but it won’t be listed on top of the “New Releases”. It will be still listed, but among the apps released about a week ago, few pages back…
So there is no “BUG”, no need for hacks or fixes…
If you do not need a synchronised release with your marketing, do not change the “Availability Date” or if you do, make sure to set it to a date before Apple’s “Release Date”. You’ll get full possible exposure on “New Releases” list of your app categories.
Look for it on the Featured New Releases section of the Kindle Fire…
I’ve originally made this post to PWA forum but as it might also help to developers who’s not a member, I’ve decided to post it here on our blog too… While working on our first kids app, I’ve made some research and gathered some information on that subject. So, here it is…
- Do not use analytics or data collection tools, if you do make sure to follow COPPA guidelines
- Make sure app handles multi-touch well as kids tend to touch unused parts of the screen while holding it
- For toddler apps, lock menu access to parents (using press & hold buttons, etc.)
- For toddler apps, do not place settings, info, go back, etc. buttons to the bottom of the screen
- Do not use tilt & shake controls
- Do not use swipe controls, prefer arrow navigations placed on top of the screen
- Do not use pop-up rating dialogs & such
- Do not use social network or web links, unless it’s in parents only area
- For Android app permissions, the less the better. Or do not ask for any permissions at all (if your app is suitable)
- If your app is suitable, add settings that let adults choose the concepts or levels their child can access
- Use good music AND a mute button (or an in-app volume control)
- Try to use high quality graphics made by an artist!
- For toddler apps: make sure your splash screen has one big button that kids can find and then start the game/book without further selections
- Remember that not all children /parents understand English
Some web resources on that subject
- A Dad’s Plea To Developers Of iPad Apps For Children
- Designing Experiences for Young Kids : Child Proofing your Application
- iPad & iPhone Apps for Toddlers/li>
- 8 Features Found in the BEST Educational Apps for Kids
- Touch-based App Design for Toddlers
- 10 rules on how to create a high quality kids app
- Designing Apps for Kids
- Kids App Dev Tips
Well, that’s all I have for now. If you have something to add or objecting to something, please let us know so we can improve that list for the benefit of all…Thx to Carolina, Kristin, Scott and all the others who contributed to the original post on PWA forums…