jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Go2 and the Mac App Store

Yesterday, Go2 was one of approximately 1000 applications available on launch day of the Mac App Store. It’s been a nerve wracking experience, but overall I’m pretty happy so far with the way its gone. I’ve been able to identify a couple of last minute bugs and get their fixes incorporated into version 1.1, which I’ve had in beta testing for about a month now.

I’ve created a new version of Go2 in iTunes Connect, and I’m waiting now for Apple to let me know that they are ready for me to upload. Once I do, the new version should take a week to two weeks to be approved, and will then be available in the Mac App Store. Thats being optimistic, but so far my experience with the MAS has been very positive, and I’m expecting for it to remain positive in the future. I won’t go into any numbers, mainly because they are all very small, but I will say that I’ve sold twice as many copies of Go2 on the first day of the MAS than I did for the entire four months of running my own store.

However, simply being in the MAS is not enough, I still need to be better at marketing, and getting Go2 in front of people. Wording in the short explanations of Go2 provided is important, and getting the definition of what Go2 is right, and getting it brief is important. I’ve started marketing Go2 with a tagline suggested by a friend “What the Finder’s Connect to Server Should Have Been”, but I’ve already had at least one person download Go2 thinking that it was an FTP client like CyberDuck or Transmit. It makes me wonder how many others have thought the same thing and simply didn’t say anything. (Note to all non-spammy types: you can always get ahold of me, I’m a friendly guy!)

I’m confident as people use Go2, they’ll see that it’s a great app and really like it. I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting, but I am very proud of Go2 and very happy with how it turned out. There’s still a great roadmap for the future of the app, and the eventual suite of apps I’m planning on building, in which Go2 plays a big part, but for version 1.1, I’m happy with it. The biggest challenge for Farmdog Software right now is getting noticed. I’ll be working on press releases and contacting people I respect and seeing if they are interested in Go2.

I also developed a “Go2 Lite”, a version of Go2 limited to only six bookmarks and intended to simply be an introduction to what Go2 is. My original intention was to submit Go2 Lite to the MAS and see it alongside Go2, one for $4.99, and the other free. However, I tweeted about this and was promptly reminded that Apple recommends against (read: will reject) demo or lite versions of apps, and they recommend hosting demos on developers web sites, like here at Farmdogapps.com. A secondary discussion popped up about needing a free demo version of a five-dollar app, with the general consensus being that it’s not really necessary. Which brings me back to my original problem: press and marketing coverage. Having Go2 Lite in the MAS might have encouraged people to download and try the free version, just to see what it does, then, if they liked it and wanted to use it, they could download the full version. Ideally, Apple would support a limited trial and in-app purchase to the full version, similar to the original Go’s 30 trial period. Is five dollars enough of a barrier for people unsure of the purpose and functionality of the app? I’m not sure, but it might be. It’s a problem I’m working on.

I’m also still waiting for promo codes to allow the original users of Go to upgrade to Go2, but so far Apple has not provided developers with the codes. I’m hoping that they will, soon, and as soon as I have them I’ll be sending them out in email.

I’ve been quiet on the Farmdog Blog, but that’s because I’ve been neck-deep in Objective-C, writing code and getting Go2 ready. Farmdog Software is in it for the long haul, and the MAS is a great step in the right direction for our tiny, independent company.

Thanks for stopping by.

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