Kiip works with thousands of developers, so it only makes sense for us to interview the masterminds behind the apps we integrate into. In this Q&A we meet Esteban Salsano, the Architect and Lead Developer of Aqualert. Check out Esteban’s responses below about the lessons he’s learned while developing and monetizing his app.
What is Aqualert?
Aqualert is an app that allows you to track your water intake to maintain your overall health. It gives you reminders and tips throughout the day to encourage you to drink more water.
Tell me about yourself and your role at Aqualert?
I’m a Software Engineer, I’m 35 years old and my background is in High Performance Clusters, PICs, Web to Mobile development. At Aqualert, I am the Architect and Lead Developer. I work with the designer to build the user interface and with the developers to produce the product.
What was the inspiration for creating Aqualert?
I had a goal of coming up with 10 great app ideas per day for two months. After the two months, I had 600 ideas and Aqualert was one of them!
How big is your development team?
Currently, the Aqualert development team has four members: one UI designer and three developers at the moment. We have other members on other ongoing projects.
What tools help you work?
For testing we are moving now to some device farms, we haven’t decided on one yet.
For follow up we use Sensor Tower, which gives us great insight on the ranking of our app compared with other apps.
For promotion and monetization we are using many tools: Kiip, Google Admob, Google Adsense, Facebook, Twitter.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned when building an app?
Monetizing an app is not easy. You need more than one or two good partners to maximize your revenue.
Any advice for developers creating their first app/game?
- Be sure that you want to build the project you have in mind.
- From the very beginning attack how the app is going to look.
- Hire a professional designer.
- If you think your app will be great and will have commercial possibilities make them native.
- Make a small group with close people to critique your idea. If you tell your idea to them and most of them love it–then it will work for sure.
- Release first on Google Play (have great tools to answer users feedback, something critical at the beginning).
- Follow your app closely, releasing it is only half of the work.
- If your app is doing well, invest in it.
- Find your main users and invest time in enhancing their experience.
Tell me about your experience with mobile monetization. What works, what doesn’t?
- Try to follow the user experience on your app. And on reward or happy points add the most intrusive ads.
- Show ads all the time but in places that don’t break the user experience
- Only a very small amount of users are willing to spend money to remove the ads (1%). So the main monetization should be purchase-ins and ads.
What do you like about moment-based rewards?
What’s great about moment-based rewards is they can live together with normal ads, it lets you to add the moments easily and people will don’t find them intrusive like other normal ads. In Aqualert’s case, we don’t have more room for ads but once we started working with Kiip we realized that reward moments were a way to have more monetization points.
What excites you most about the mobile space right now?
User behavior, it’s great to see how users react each time you release something new or exciting.
What emerging trends do you hope to see become commonplace?
I like the Android Studio and Swift. I like how they make it so easy to develop.
Also I love how google is improving and integrating technologies inside their google developer console.
What’s next for Aqualert?
We want to give more and more functionalities, we want to merge the latest trends with our user feedback. On the short term we plan to integrate with smart watch and increase the social interaction between users.