Kumulos 2016 Wrap Up
December 27, 2016 / Mark Petrie
2016 has been such a busy year for the Kumulos development team, you could be forgiven for not being able to keep up with all of the Kumulos features we have released.
Kumulos is now the most comprehensive mobile app management platform you can get. A bold claim, we know. We started the year helping you build “server-less” mobile apps lightning fast and we end the year helping you across the full lifespan of the app. We help drive more users into the app, with App Store Optimization. We help drive up App User Engagement, with our push notification feature. All from one easy to use fully rebrandable platform. No more juggling multiple tools just to get the job done.
And, of course we are all set up to make it easy for you to use Kumulos to deliver services to your app customers – services that help them get a better outcome from their app and services that help you get apps on retainer and build monthly recurring revenue for your App Development Business.
So 2016 has been a huge year for Kumulos. Lets now take a moment and give you a quick recap of all the great Kumulos things you now have in the only app management platform built for agencies.
In March, we released the new agency console – your single-pane-of-glass view of all of your clients and all of their apps. This is where you and your team can add and collaborate with clients on project specifications and designs, monitor apps, view analytics, report on audience and engagement, run push campaigns and enable and configure all Kumulos features as required across your app estate.
The agency console is already being used by hundreds of developers and marketers at agencies around the world to manage their clients’ apps.
In addition to giving your team access, you can also invite your clients to their very own client portal where they can see all of their apps, manage content, view analytics and reports, run push campaigns, analyze app store performance and collaborate on project specifications and designs with you. The client portal can be fully white-labelled at every touch point (right down to the login form) so it is your branding that your clients see, not ours.
App Agencies are using the Console to re-enforce their relationship with clients and helping them demonstrate the value their agency provides.
Earlier this year, we also launched our automated reporting feature. This lets you painlessly send reports to your customers summarizing how the app is performing. This lets you generate weekly and monthly reports for your clients, summarizing who is using the app, where they’re located, how the Apple and Google app store listings are performing, how engaged users are and how the app is responding.
Once enabled, you can run as many reports as needed, annotating the content if required prior to delivery to your client. The reports can all be branded up as yours and are the foundations of a post-launch optimization service you can deliver to your client, for a monthly fee. This keeps the conversation flowing as you help them make their apps more successful, get your clients on a retainer and generate recurring revenue for your business.
Within your Client Portal, you can upload files (e.g. proposals, specifications, designs, assets, test plans, prototype builds etc) and save links (e.g. Invision clickable prototypes, Trello boards, Google drive folders, store listings etc and more) relating to a client or app. A huge feature to help you stay organised and keep everything in one place. You can automatically notify your clients when a new file has been uploaded or link has been shared with them. They can also collaborate with you by uploading logos, brand guidelines and everything you need from them to deliver their app.
This is getting used in two main ways. By sales teams on first engagement to have somewhere to share proposals with new prospects. Secondly as a convenient way for teams and client to store, locate and access all of the resources relating to an app project. So everyone is working off the latest documents. No more scrambling around emails.
Our Push Notification Service was launched mid year and has already proved to be a huge hit with new and existing customers.
Kumulos lets you send unlimited push notifications to unlimited iOS and Android devices, for a fixed monthly fee. If you manage push campaigns for your client, your team can send notifications from the agency console via our intuitive UI. You can even let your clients send push notifications from their client portal where they can also see historical open rates, subscription rates and other important data.
With segmentation, you can target specific audience segments based on platform, operating system and app version, location and activity.
The push service can be programmed directly into the app itself and based on triggers will send push notifications when specific events occur in your app. The service can be used alongside our mBaaS, with another mBaaS by using our SDK. Alternatively you can simply consume the service via our Push API.
In the coming weeks, we will also be adding public and private channels to the growing list of Kumulos features so that users can choose what content each user should receive.
App Store Optimization
It’s one thing having an awesome app but there’s little point if no-one knows it’s there. App Store Searches make up around 60% of all app downloads, so getting this part right is important – really important.
So to help you, help your clients, get this critical stage right we launched our App Store Optimization feature towards the end of ‘16. This now means you can help your clients with the critical task of driving app users to the app.
It’s getting used in 3 ways.
- To win new clients – targeting apps with sub-standard app store performance and winning them over as new clients
- To nail launch app store listing – put science behind getting the best launch app store presence
- Ongoing optimization – to make sure clients their full share of app store search traffic.
As you’d expect this is all tuned up to make it easy for you to offer on as a service to your clients. You help them drive more downloads and they pay you monthly for the good work you are doing. And of course it’s all supported by our automated monthly report.
With Kumulos ASO we let you
- Show how an app ranks for a range of key terms against your competition and track them over time.
- Perfomance in both Android and Apple stores side by side
- Analyze across different geographies
- Compares screenshots and store listings
- Track helpful reviews and recent reviews to measure the temperature of users.
Mobile Backend as a Service
The feature has been in Kumulos for a while, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been continuing to invest heavily in making it better and better. We have expanded and updated SDK coverage, launched Rest API, Staging Environments, User Authentication, Improved Database Encryption and a whole bunch of new cookbooks and code snippets for KScripts.
Just a sampling of some of the platform improvements we introduced over the year…
Swift is rapidly becoming the language of choice for iOS developers, so we’ve released a native SDK for Swift so you can add push notifications, get analytics and manage content in your Swift apps. This is the first of our SDKs to be made available open-source on GitHub so you can easily and quickly integrate into your app via Carthage.
New improved Android and Objective-C SDKs
We have updated our native Android and Objective-C SDKs to add push notifications and analytics as well as support the latest versions of iOS 10. So shiny, they still have that new SDK smell!
Trigger.io – MADP
And we’re not done there – oh, no! We also have an Trigger.io SDK on iOS that allows you to add Kumulos features to your Trigger.io apps.
The App Build feature in Kumulos is a great way to manage dynamic content in your clients’ apps. In addition to the many native and hybrid SDKs we have available in Kumulos, you can also use our new RESTful API to quickly integrate Kumulos with any mobile or web platform to manage the data in your clients’ apps.
Having submitted your app to the store, it can be useful to create a staging environment so that new features can be developed and tested in on a staging version of your app without impacting the live app. Therefore, once you have switched your app into production in Kumulos, you can now create a staging environment of your app ready for version two!
We’ve added support for JSON Web Tokens in our Kscript server-side scripting engine so you can now integrate Auth0 to add login and authentication functionality to your app. We have also added support for asymmetric AES encryption and bcrypt password hashing.
Parse Migration Guide
With 2017 just around the corner now and anyone who still has apps hosted on Parse or using Parse Push needs to migrate to another solution before January 28 when the Parse service will be shutdown. We’ve written a handy Parse migration guide showing how to migrate an app from Parse to Kumulos and our awesome tech support team are standing by ready to migrate your data for you.
Coming soon in 2017
So, 2016 has been a busy year for the Kumulos development team, but we’re not done yet – there are a lot more great Kumulos features on the way in the coming weeks.
In early 2017 we will be adding a brand new analytics dashboard to your agency console and client portal so you (and your client) can see and report on audience, behavior, engagement and performance analytics for their app – all by just dropping in the Kumulos SDK to your existing apps. This will give you a single-pane-of-glass view of how an app is performing and make it easy for you to deliver a post-launch optimization service to your clients.
This means you can include all the apps you’ve built into the Kumulos platform and let you offer them your monthly reporting and analysis service and get those clients on a retainer.
Channels for Push
Based on the feedback (keep it coming by the way) of all those customers who are using our new Push Notification feature, we will be adding support for public and private channels so your clients’ users can subscribe to different content categories and then you and your client can only send push notifications to relevant users.
Improved Content Management
Giving clients access to manage their content through their Client Portal is coming in early 2017. This will save you the hassle of building a bespoke content management site for each app, so you ship new apps faster with less development effort. And because it’s all part of your Client Portal, you look awesome in front of your clients, giving them one place to manage content, share documents, view monthly reports, run push notification campaigns, analyse App Store performance.
What Kumulos features will we be developing after that…?
You’ll just have to come back to find out more!
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