The iOS App Store is quite the volatile place. Even if you manage to fight your app up to the top of the charts, keeping it up there is an entirely new challenge. You’ve got to know exactly what’s working with your users — and more importantly, you’ve got to be able to mix things up quickly when you find things that aren’t.
Alas, mixing things up quickly on the App Store is inherently a bit difficult. Even if you can crank out everything required for your app update in a week or two, you can never be too sure if Apple’s review process will take a day, a week, or a month.
This morning, PlayHaven is launching a new platform that allows iOS developers to launch and test content campaigns within their apps without requiring another trip through the approval arena.
The idea is pretty simple, but it’s a clever one: PlayHaven’s platform lets developers design and fire off what they call “Dynamic Overlays”, which are essentially quickly customizable HTML5 pop-ups that engage the user and can fire off underlying code.
Now, what the hell does that mean? Here’s some examples of what you can do:
Rewards: Want to give your users a bit of in-game currency for playing on Christmas? Or Easter? Or Secretary’s Day? Tuck in PlayHaven’s APIs, drop in your code to allow currency rewards, and submit those changes — once it’s approved, you can schedule/change/cancel rewards on-the-fly without requiring updates each and every time.
Announce updates: PlayHaven can detect when a user is using an old version of an app, then automatically pop up a graphical alert explaining why they should update.
Game promotion: Launching a new game? Toss up an alert in your currently available games letting players know.
These are the most obvious ideas, but there’s plenty of room for creativity here. These Dynamic Overlays can be triggered by just about anything: scheduled dates, version number, accessing a specific part of the application, etc., which should make them pretty flexible.
PlayHaven also makes it pretty simple to figure out what’s working and what’s not, with a full analytics dashboard sitting on the backend. So you launched a campaign in your crazy space shooter advertising your new zombie flower-planting game, but no one is clicking? Tweak the graphic to make the zombie a bit bloodier and your flowers a bit brighter, push the new overlay, and measure the changes in click-throughs and conversion rate on-the-fly.
PlayHaven has quickly found some pretty serious traction for the platform, already naming heavy-hitters like Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja), DistinctDev (The Moron Test), and Glu (with their bajillions of games) as committed partners.