Saturday, March 31, 2018

Writing Tip for April

If the road to hell is paved with adverbs, then once you get there you will find yourself surrounded by Tautology

Tautology - the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g., they arrived one after the other in succession ).

  • I went to see him personally.
  • He is always making predictions about the future.
  • She was a dark-haired brunette.

    But then there are the funny examples, some intentional and some not.
  • "It's deja vu all over again." - Yogi Berra
  • “Our nation must come together to unite.” - George W. Bush

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Apple and IBM are colluding on a Childhood's End vision!

Apple is banking on the future of Core ML (machine learning) and ARKit (augmented reality) working together. It's a grand vision. But there is another player sneaking into the mix and that is IBM Watson.

Apple's machine learning framework for IOS has extensive features for deep learning with over 30 layer types: face tracking, speech, bar code detection and so on.

Then with ARKit and the new A9/10/11 processors, it's possible to create vast VR experiences of any physical world on mobile devices.  Combining ML and AR has crazy potential.

But then consider the problem you have with a mobile device implementing Artificial Intelligence. There is no access to big data, the true driving force of real artificial intelligence. The place where the singularity will emerge.

So now consider the subtle partnership between IBM Watson and Apple Core ML and AR. What these two giants are up to is fascinating. Take the simple task of image recognition. With Core ML, you have a limited model that has learned image recognition. But to update that model, it gets tricky. So along comes IBM Watson and you are able to upload your photos to the cloud with big data and constantly learning models.

But what these two giants decided to do was use the A11 processor on the mobile devices and when connected to the internet, update their Core ML models from Watson in the cloud. That's right. No need to upload the photos for image recognition, ever! It's like some creature from another world tapping into our power source getting smarter and smarter!

Now consider all three in combination; Machine Learning, Augmented Reality and Big Data AI kindly making the mobile device smarter when convenient with it's yummy power. Now that is thinking outside of the box. There are some smart people at Apple and IBM colluding on a Childhood's End vision. And this same idea can apply to drones or humanoid robots. Welcome to the future.

by contributing author: Rob Adamson

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Now there’s a Product Hunt App

Stay up to date in the latest tech products

How do you find the latest and greatest products?  One way is Product Hunt And now the folks at Product Hunt have built an app called Sip (or Sip Stories) for users looking to stay up to date on breaking news and the latest products from the world of tech. Avoid obnoxious generic notifications. Each day, Sip delivers a story filled with the latest activity. Explore or ignore what you find interesting. (iOS) (Android)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Silence a gun, but not these kids

Best Camera supports the March for our Lives Movement. For the kids.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Watson-coreML Coupling in New App

There is new App being developed right now using the Watson-coreML Combo. This team understands the value here and their App, though playful, could be addictive and viral. It’s fast smart and will keep getting smarter without the need to update the App in the App Store. It’s taking advantage of the speed of local native and the power of enterprise server side.

But what is important is that new Apps, using this friendly combo of Watson server side and Apple coreML native device side, will bring great value to users in a wide range of industries.

Here are the steps taken by developers in merging these two AI technologies from two industry giants. First a developer signs up on the IBM Cloud. Then they use the new Watson Studio tool to train and deploy a coreML model to the IOS App. Then they run the App on the IOS device to classify images using CoreML. Finally, they get feedback from the users and send the feedback to Watson in the cloud for more training.

I will keep you posted on the progress of this App. It's out of this world. I so want to tell you what the App does. Just need permission first.

The Current Problem with Facebook

Never install Facebook Apps or login to anything with your Facebook account. Also disable Facebook facial recognition from your settings. Third party developers are not properly controlled by Facebook because Facebook wants their retargeted Ad money. Apple, on the other hand, has strict developer guidelines so far and could serve as an example for Facebook. 
Only 270,000 people installed the Cambridge Analytica App that provided Trump and Heritage with illegal data from 50 million users (friends of the 270). Russia used a similar scheme; a hackers playbook, and Facebook didn’t care. Cambridge created a Facebook App called "thisisyourdigitallife" that had you sign in with your Facebook account and take a survey.

Can we handle the truth?

Steve Jobs was a believer in computers for good. A tool to help us be more cognitive and creative. A dreamer. This was what I liked about him. I was never  interested in writing software for the military or for targeted advertising. Its obvious that computers can be used for great good or great evil. But when computers exceed human intelligence, will logic finally prevail over human irrational tendencies? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Best Digital & Printed Greeting Card Apps for 2018

Greeting Cards for Every Occasion

JustWink (Digital, IOS, Android)
Awesome digital card maker. Share your 3D digital card with text, email or facebook.  In-App purchases for most card designs. Has a gifting feature. Fun and friendly user interface.

Rain Cards (Printed, IOS)
Provides the convenience of mobile and the power of desktop editing with a friendly walk through Wizard.  Personalization has never been easier. The App includes a fantastic 3D preview and a nearest Walgreens Store finder. All designs are free.

Inc Cards (Printed, Android)
Cards are printed on thick, glossy card stock at a resolution of 300. Many beautiful designs with personalization. 

Prediction - Better Batteries This Year!

We all want better, faster and longer lasting batteries for our smart phones and cars. But battery technology has not changed much in over a decade.

Best Camera predicts big changes in batteries this year!

Look for these new battery technologies soon:

Graphene, Solid State Lithium-Ion, Gold,  Nanowire, Foam Batteries, Over the Air Charging, Transparent Solar, Aluminum Air.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Best Camera Predicted IBM/Apple AI partnership

Best Camera predicted that IBM Watson would team up with Apple coreML. Read about it here and  also here

See prediction here: best camera post predicts coreML and Watson team up

Basically there are now IBM Watson Services for Core ML.  So it’s possible to build apps that access powerful Watson capabilities right from iPhone and iPad. The Cloud comes to the phone. 

That's one for the good guys.  

After I sent Rain Cards a Get Well Card?

After I poked fun at the ASO used for the Rain Cards App in the Apple App Store as a bad example, they have created a press kit that actually makes sense. I'm betting that with their next release, they might improve the ASO as well.

Remember in a prior post I talked about how to write an elevator pitch. This is classic.

Our Company X
Has Developed (describe your app and or service quickly)
To Provide for (your target customers)
By Solving (what problem does your App solve and why?)
With our Unique (what makes your App unique?)

Someone at Rainhut has been reading my blog after I poked fun at them. 

This is what I found here on their rain cards landing site   Just click the Press Kit button to see.

Rain Cards Press 

"Rainhut Inc has developed a native IOS Rain Cards App for mobile users to quickly create and print beautiful greeting cards for any occasion.

Rain Cards provides the convenience of mobile and the power of desktop editing with our unique and friendly Rainmaker Wizard.  Personalization has never been easier. The App includes an accurate 3D preview and a nearest Walgreens Store finder. 

Rain Cards comes with a gallery of thoughtful beautiful designs. New card designs and art published by artists to the Rainhut Cloud are instantly available to owners of the free Rain Cards App! Just pay for printing and shipping. Or just pickup the printed cards at any Walgreens same day."

They followed with a link to images that can be used by journalists writing articles and links for a couple videos hosted on youtube. Not bad RC, please accept my Congratulations Card. Keep this up and I might include Rain Cards in the review of the Best Greeting Cards Apps for 2018 coming soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Brave Ones

Where would we be without the Brave Ones. The entrepreneurs who followed their dreams and made the world a better place. The Brave Ones series is about these dreamers. 

Richard Branson loves to blend adventure with business. 

These are the people that inspire us all.

“I love to sort of tilt at very big companies and see if we can shake them up and keep them honest.”

The Brave Ones

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Winning Ride

Good photography

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wow! March 24 March for Our Lives

Bring your Smart Phones

Historic photos; over half a million smart phones will converge on DC for this March on March 24th.

Between 500,000 and one million are expected for the kids. Yet the government has banned them from the National Mall. Not kidding! They used this same tactic in the 60s to avoid an accurate count and photos of the mall full of protesters. But It’s not easy to ban a million people and they are all armed with Camera Apps, unlike the 60s. Do the feds plan to bring in troops? I hope this doesn’t turn into a Kent State. Will mothers pound on the doors of the capital building? Cameras are the great equalizer. They record the truth. 

On the night of Thursday, Nov. 13, 1969, the “March Against Death” began. By the time that weekend was over, Washington, D.C., had seen more protesters than any single event in its history had drawn. Here we go again. 

Take some historic photos like this

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Best Quote for March

"If You're Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late"

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn

Friday, March 9, 2018

coreML vs Watson for Machine Learning

Why do I need to know about this?

Suppose you want an App with image recognition.

Basically, you want to use what is being called machine learning or artificial intelligence. You have two approaches: 1) Onboard and built into the App (coreML) or server side APIs like (Watson).

Ok that's easy enough for an App developer to understand. The advantages of onboard are obvious, it's faster and no need for an internet connection. However, one problem with the current implementation of coreML is that your trained ML Model files are not dynamic. You have to update the App in order to get a new version of your model.

Watson as an API is server based so your trained model is able to be updated at anytime without updating the App. Watson is also more accurate because it has access to more trained models.

The difference is important for App users to understand.  Depending on the marketing claims, see if your machine learning App is onboard or server side. They are doing some amazing things with onboard ML, but compared to the entire world? True artificial intelligence is tapped into big data. There is only so much you can do with embedded models.

But that is not to say onboard ML is not valuable. It can be extremely valuable for certain kinds of applications. coreML is a terrific addition to Apple's core SDKs. And Watson is an amazing feature in the IBM Cloud.

Best Camera Predicts a partnership here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Expose your App in the App Store

Find Me if you can!

ASO is App Store Optimization

Apple App Store 

What you want is to rank high when someone searches keywords in the App Store.  Well that's pretty obvious. But to do this, you need to understand the search engine algorithm. This is important because when someone is searching keywords, the first 5 Apps found are downloaded 70% of the time; the first two Apps found get 55% of the downloads.  And if you are found below the top 30, you will not likely get downloaded at all.

So how do you get found first? You can hire an ASO expert, but it's kind of important that you understand this search engine algorithm stuff yourself if you are an App developer or in marketing.

Let's look at an App I'm reviewing in the IOS App Store. This is a nice App and deserves to be found, but it would receive a F for App Store Optimization.  So let's examine the keywords they are using circled in red. What could they do to improve their ASO?

First of all, you only have 120 characters for your keywords, so do NOT put a space between the comma separator and the next keyword like you see here. They wasted enough space for another keyword.

Ok, next they are using the keyword "greeting cards". But the algorithm automatically creates all possible combinations and pluralities. So "greeting,card" would be more effective.

No live testing So you cannot alter your keywords in a live App. Apple only authorizes keyword changes when you update. So you want to get these right before you publish.

So you need to find good keywords and possibly a new way of marketing. Apple has a new service called Search Ads.  When someone searches for an App, it's possible for your Ad to show up, like this one

You can set your own budget and decide when to activate your Search Ad, if ever. But there is a nice tool with this service. They have a way to evaluate the popularity of keywords. Not kidding. You can try any keyword and Apple lets you know how popular the keyword is. So this is useful for setting up a potential Search Ad, but is also great for your App Store ASO search keywords. 

Here are some popular keywords I found, using this Search Ads tool, to replace this poor Apps useless keywords. But for the App we would use photo,editor and greeting,cards because the popular variation we see will be generated by the search engine. 

So just head over to 
Login with your Apple ID and play around with this service. This service can be especially useful for new
Apps that have no metrics or users yet so placing some ads can't hurt.  

Intro Video to Spike your App Store rating

I discovered that Apple rates your App in the store based on how long someone spends in the App. So
when you get a new user you want to keep them in your App for awhile. Well wouldn't it be great if you
helped get the new user started and also improve your App Store ranking?  I noticed that this Rain Cards App
has a nice 30 second preview video. What you can do as a developer, is embed your video and let the user 
play the intro inside the App. If you need to download initial content or otherwise setup your App, play
play the video at the same time.

Reverse Dictionary for keyword research

There are reverse dictionaries on the Web to help you with your keyword search research.
is a good example. A reverse dictionary is great for finding variations for a keyword idea. Take those
words and try them on Search Ads to see how popular they are.  I should mention that there are other ways
to test your keywords with paid services such as and

Good luck with your new ASO knowledge

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Press Release Secrets. Should I be telling this?

Secret PR Info

Here’s the secret spice for creating and submitting your press release.

1. Craft your Intro like an elevator pitch 

The most successful outline is pretty simple.

Our Company X
Has Developed (describe your app and or service quickly)
To Provide for (your target customers)
By Solving (what problem does your App solve and why?)
With our Unique (what makes your App unique?)

Remember, try to leave a lasting impression. Get straight to the point. Focus on why! It should be clear that you know your audience. Include a call to action.

Here's some press release examples from pros:

2. Use a PR agency - or not is a good service and you can signup for free. They help you create, distribute and track your news. But you can create your own press release and email it to journalists. Keep reading...

3. Find the right journalists for your App review. Search the web and read reviews. Google has a News tab. So search for something about your space and hit the News tab to find articles from journalists. 

4. Found your best journalists? Now lookup their email address. Should I be telling you this? You can find anyone’s email address here 

5. Try to establish a relationship with journalists

6. is a way inject yourself into the middle of journalists asking for help to review topics. This is rather sneaky. But it’s a targeted way to find journalists. And if you know writers, convince them to help write an article and include your App. Is this legal? No idea. 

7. Read what the experts say. For example this TechCrunch editor writes about how to pitch journalists here. He is pretty upset with all the crap submissions he receives and provides a pretty good outline of what he wants. I'm not suggesting that all journalists want what Mike wants, but he has some good suggestions:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Creativity Requires a Courageous Start

But you must start

“...she took her hand and raised her brush. For a moment it stayed trembling in a painful but exciting ecstacy in the air. Where to begin?--that was the question at what point to make the first mark? One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions. All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex; as the waves shape themselves symmetrically from the cliff top, but to the swimmer among them are divided by steep gulfs, and foaming crests. Still the risk must run; the mark made.” 
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The trade secrets for getting your first 500 Customers

Love It!

How do new Apps get their first 500 customers? To grow organically, you need those first 500. So you need to go to the end of the Earth to get those first 500 that love your App. Remember, your App is not for everyone. So provide value to those first users. 

Try these strategies

1. Email is still King to start.
So you need an email list. Where can you get a valid email list, not just a spam list? 
a) First include an Opt-In on your App landing webpage. Tell about new features coming. 
b) Build a facebook page for your App with something to get their attention. But include and email opt-in on your Facebook page. Facebook apps like the LeadPages app allow you to use their landing pages as Facebook forms to collect email addresses.
c) Also, collect emails from inside your App. If you have a signup, then you are good to go.

2. The psychology of persuasion.
What can you place on your landing page, your App Store intro or your emails that will influence the people that are a match for your App and to provide their email for new and exciting features. 

3. Blog about the creation of your App. One great place to build a simple but elegant blog is on So if you have a story to tell, then tell it. A timeline of your story on Medium can be valuable for attracting attention to your App. Try to get people cheering for you.

4. Content Marketing
Do you have free content in your App? Do you have ideas to share or strategies? Suppose you have a post card app. Do you have free content and do you have ideas you can share on how to create the best postcard?  If so, then talk about it on your blog, facebook page or even your landing page,

5. Get Hunted
a) There's a website called This is where people can hunt for new products or unique and early adopting products. Many important people go on the hunt here for new products. So signup and launch your app here. But there are hundreds of submissions each day. So to get noticed or featured, there is a 24 hour hunt cycle. So start at 8am.  Then see if you can get hunters to hunt for your product. Use Twitter! Use your famous twitter friends. Provide them with the name of your app, the url, tag line, platform, some images and brag about your goodies, your Aha! Getting your app hunted drives your visibility in all kinds of ways.

So who are the big influential hunters? Well there's a product hunt leader board here:  So look at the top hunters and see if you can find 30 or o that might be interested in your app and try to target them on twitter.

Producthunt has rules though. Never post your direct product hunt page on facebook or twitter. But you can tell people to hunt for your product on twitter or emails. If possible see if you can find a producthunt influencer to help you get started. If you end up on the front page, you will get tens of thousand of hits in the first 24 hour cycle.

6. Hacker News
Now this site requires some technical skills. But, as an app developer, that should not be a problem. So head over to hacker news, look at how others show their product and technology and show yours. If you get noticed here, you will get a ton of traffic. But if you don't get upvoted within the first hour, you are toast. So have some friends ready to upvote you when you launch here.

7. Press release your App.
I'll be writing a new blog just for this. But be sure to submit a press release for your new product.

8. Launch Again
When you have a new feature, use these techniques to launch again. 

9. Video Commercial
Now this is not for everyone. A great commercial can be expensive. But a viral commercial can be a game changer for your app. Especially if it is both informative and funny.

10. Cross Promotion
This is where you team up with another app developer and you promote each others apps. This can work sometimes, but I'm not a big fan of this. It's better to cross promote your own apps if you have more than one app.

11. Social Referral 
Ok, this is tricky. How do you get people to refer your app. You can offer discounts and other incentives. But if your app is used to send something to someone else, then find a way to make the recipient of the resultant want to get the app that created it. I'll be blogging about this later. I have some fascinating ideas. Be sure to add your email on this blog so you can be notified about some of then upcoming ideas :)  Now that is the psychology of persuasion. But there really is some cool stuff coming on this blog.

12. Social Media
Depending on the type of app, target the right social media. For visual or photos apps, target instagram. If your app is about current events, then target twitter. So what you want to do is share about your App on social media from within your App, your landing page, your blog, your facebook page. But make sure it is easy an enticing from within your app to share on social media.

Teach your App without Teaching

Onboard help is tough but so important. First-Time Use (FTU) is the most important part of app adoption. And so is a smooth flow. 

40-60% of users log in to apps one time.  So get the User to love your app before signing up. A good example of this is the Flipboard App. It gets users engaged before signing up. It's visually appealing and easy. And once a user tells you what they want, they have already invested into your App. 

I like these ideas:

1. Never ask for registration before offering something cool.
2. No need to force email confirmation at first.
3. Avoid making the First-Time User jump through hoops. I so hate that.

Provide the Bare Minimum of features at first.  Just get them to that Aha! Moment when they understand your App.

The dev lead for growth at Twitter, Joshj Elman found Twitter's Aha! Moment. Just get them engaged. Provide suggestions.

So how do you guide users to your Aha? You need a positive User Flow. Design your on boarding for when there is nothing to see. That is where you get the users up to speed. Get them from the onramp to the freeway fast. Your App should never start with a bunch of blank pages. If there is nothing to see yet, tell them why. What is this? What can I do now?


1. Ask for little work from FTU. You want them engaged first.
2. Give them a path to your Aha! Moment
3. Gather analytics to improve your flow
4. Take advantage of empty states. Get them on the freeway.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

What We Want to Know

What we want to know:

1. Does the App have an intelligent User Interface?
2. What’s to love about the App?
3. What makes this App different?
4. Have the developers identified a sound business model?
5. Is the App scaleable?
6. Can the App be complemented in one sentence?
7. Is there an obvious problem that this App solves?

How To make $8,000.00 in one day in the App Store

So a funny guy named Armin wrote this App that does absolutely nothing and put it in the App Store for $999. He sold 8 copies the first day to people wanting to show they were rich enough to buy it.  Then Apple took it down. It’s famous now and probably worth more than $999. Someone cloned it on Android. 

Now you know how to make money in the App Store.

Native Anywhere! Apple wants IOS Apps running on Desktop

What will all those mobile Apps running on a desktop do to web based html apps? A lot!

Native anywhere is one of the most significant changes Apple has made in a decade. And it's coming later this year.  Native has a dramatic advantage over HTML5 but the drawback for Apps is no access to desktop. All that will change this year.

From Bloomberg News and Axios . Apple's lead software engineer, Craig Federighi, has been clear on this to Apple employees, this goal is still on target.

The key to all this is the magic SDK. Apple's UIKit and AppKit frameworks provide the foundation  for iOS and macOS app user experiences.

This could be coming with IOS 12 and macOS 10.14. At Apple they call this project "Marzipan". Do not tell anyone!

So with the new SDK. IOS and macOS, developers could be cranking out Universal Apps quickly.