Matt Monday Gives Advice on How to Be Featured in the Apple App Store

For its first big networking event of the year, STRV took over a screening hall at Cinema City Slovanský dům on February 12 to share insider tips with local iOS developers and designers on how to get noticed by the editorial team of Apple’s App Store.

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“Design is crucial. You can’t skimp out on this,” explained the evening’s guest speaker, Matt Monday, the former head of the App Store’s editorial department and one of STRV’s earliest advisers. “Apple only wants to feature amazing apps.”

Apple sifts through some 3,000 new apps per week, according to Matt. In order to get noticed, you’ll not only need a cool design, but also a cool name and a compelling description.

Screen shots are also important. “You can usually tell with the first three screen shots if this is an app you want,” Matt said. The App Store review team spends a great deal of their time “just slashing through stuff and getting rid of apps that don’t look good right away.”

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So how can you make sure your app survives this slash-and-burn review? Well, the first thing you need to know is the basics, according to Matt: Who are your potential customers and what do they want? Find out if they’d pay for your app, and if they say “no”, ask them why?

“People will be nice to you. They are going to tell you what you want to hear,” said Matt. “What you want is for someone to tell you ‘no’.” Only then can you start to build a better product.

Oh, and be smart: don’t pay for good reviews. You’ll get caught. Instead, start marketing your app; take it to the press. “The press is a great way to get your app noticed by an Apple editor,” Matt said. “At the end of the day, Apple’s trying to just make sure their customers are happy.”

Matt was brought aboard in 2012 to help STRV market The Game, our successful multifaceted dating app that was recently acquired. He specifically helped us out with the app’s competitive analysis and rocking user experience design.

“I’ve seen firsthand STRV’s high quality and quick turnaround,” Matt said to the packed crowd inside Slovanský dům.

Added David Calabrese, CEO at HealthyCheats and another STRV adviser: “If you look at the US market, companies tended to be two to three years behind on app trends. STRV moves much faster than that. They have the ability to bring things to market in just 30 to 60 days.”

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Lubo Smid, STRV’s COO, announced the launch of STRV Labs, which will focus on developing internal apps. STRV developers and designers will be able to research and test features in this platform that they may be able to use on future client apps.

Lubo also announced STRV will be hosting a Hackathon this spring after the Apple Watch is introduced.

“We will be shipping 10 Apple Watches from the US, and you can come to our office and just hack on them,” he said.

Stay tuned for more details.