Author: Scott Calonico

5 Tips for building Ionic Framework Apps


Remember when people kept telling you that learning HTML was a waste of time – especially if you were going to become a mobile developer? And then along comes Ionic Framework Apps.

With the introduction of HTML5 in 2014, HTML has settled in to stay and the good folks over at Ionic Framework recognised that right away. Which is one of the reasons they put HTML5 at the forefront of their native and hybrid app development platform. They mean what they say with their slogan “Build once. Run anywhere.”

Did we mention it’s easy, too? Here’s a short crash course on how to get started.

Using an open source SDK, developers can create Ionic Framework Apps for both iOS and Android (yeah, Blackberry is in there too). And don’t forget that the Kumulos Cordova SDK now integrates with the Ionic Framework so you have no more excuses for making lame apps.

With that in mind, here are five tips for building swesome apps with Ionic Framework.

1- Use Creator

Why make things harder on yourself? Don’t want to get down and dirty with code? Are you more of a visual developer? Then Ionic creator is for you. Ionic creator is a drag and drop interface that allows you to go from idea to app store with just a few mouse clicks.

With Creator, Ionic gives programmers a ready made library of components that they can arrange to their hearts content. Once the app is designed, it can then be shared with colleagues for comments and suggestions. All finished? Easily export your Creator project to native IPA and APK files for installation directly on devices.

Creator also makes it even easier to sell your Clients on an app idea – using built in features like Add a Friend, have clients (or potential clients) check out an app while its still being developed to offer their input. Not to mention its easier than trying to get a non-techie to use Testfight.

2 – Use the Docs

Everyone tells you to RTFM. But with Ionic, this has never been so true. Why? Because the Ionic docs are good. Really good. So good, in fact, that you can copy portions of the code in the docs and drop them directly into your app. Why spend time coding a display list for avatars when its right there in front of you? Sure, you might need to modify the code, but it’s a great way to quickly get the development ball rolling.

3 – Customize the Components

The component library in Ionic is a real timesaver. However, it’s a bit a double edged sword in that – because Ionic components are so easy to use – everyone will be using them. This can quickly lead to your app looking like everyone else’s. You can avoid this problem by introducing some custom CSS and tweaking some of the Ionic predifined classes to create your own styles.

4 – Let Ionic Take the Controls

The best part about Ionic framework apps is that you don’t have to do everything. Making splash screens for both iOS and Android (ok, yeah, and Blackberry) in a number of different formats can be a pain in the a**. It takes enough time just to design the right app store icon alone – you’ve got better things to do. No worries, using the Ionic CLI, you can easily generate both app icons and splash screens for both iOS and Android simply by placing the appropriate files – Ionic can work with .png, Photoshop and Illustrator formats – in the platform directory.

5 – Go Native

One of the best ways to give your app users an awesome experience is by making an app seamlessly integrate into the operating system. And with the Platform Device Class, Ionic makes this easier than ever. iOS, Windows Phone, iPad and Android all have their own specific classes to give Ionic apps a native look and feel when the app is running. These classes can further be broken down on iOS and Android between different OS versions.

That’s Not All, Folks

Of course, the highlights above aren’t all the bells and whistles built into Ionic. As they like saying their documents, “the possibilities with Ionic are endless.” But we hope its at least given you a few ideas on how to build awesome Ionic Framework Apps.

And, of course, you know that Kumulos is 100% Ionic friendly – we have a full function Cordova plug-in to assist with integration of Kumulos App Build, Push Notifications and Analytics features into your hybrid app.

Did we miss any of your favorite tricks? Feel free to leave a comment below or drop us a line on Twitter, our Facebook pages or in the Community forum.

Let’s Make Some Money

So you’re off to the races and, after reading our tips above, you’re ready to start building Ionic Framework Apps, right? Hold on – there’s more to the app business than just building apps. After all, you gotta pay the bills. No worries, it just so happens that we’ve started a Kumulos Webinar Series on this very subject. Our first webinar, How to Get Going with Recurring Revenue Services in the App Business, will show you the ropes of getting started with earning that all important monthly recurring revenue.

Spaces are limited, so be sure to register today!

How to Get Going with Recurring Revenue Services in the App Business 
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Setting Up a Monthly Subscription for Your App Development Business


In our last article, we talked about How to Get Going With Recurring Revenue Services in Your App Development Business. At the end, we came to the conclusion that the best way to do this was to implement a monthly subscription type payment plan with your customers. Easy enough to say, but how do you actually do it?

And that’s precisely what we’re here to talk about today.

Before we get started, here’s a short video from Google that talks about that very subject.

The setting up of a subscription style payment plan for your customers can be roughly broken down into four main areas:

1.    What are they paying?

Perhaps an obvious one, but it’s also the most important. Have a think about what services you’re planning to provide and decide on what you think is a fair price for them. Take a look around and see what similar developers or businesses are charging and price to match. Don’t sell yourself too low, be realistic about how much it costs you to provide your service and also how much you have to make to turn a profit on each subscription.

On the other side of the coin though, don’t get greedy. Charging too much right out of the gates will scare away potential customers straight to your competition. If you are intending to raise prices, for whatever reason, do it slowly and with explanation to your customers why the prices are going up. A little communication goes a long way.

2.   What are they getting?

This is directly tied into number one, but it’s worth mentioning on its own. Once you’ve decided a price, really think about what services you are providing for that price. What is bundled into the lowest subscription fee? Are there various tiers of subscription? If so, what are the benefits of each? Are you offering “bolt on” services like reporting and analytics, push notifications or app store optimization? What about those services are attractive to customers? Why will they want to pay more to get them?

3.   Choose a payment solution provider

If you’re just starting to introduce subscription as a payment option, you’re unlikely to have the infrastructure in place to manage the billing of your clients. This is where a payment solution provider comes in. For a small fee, they will handle the leg work of providing a subscription payment service to your customers whilst you concentrate on your business. The most recognised providers for this kind of service are Paypal and, although Paypal has the advantage of being a familiar service that most people have used at some point. Many app development companies use solutions like Recurly to manage this process.

4.   Tell your customers about it!

Again, this one seems obvious but it is also important. Once you’ve decided everything and have put your subscription service into action, make sure to tell all of your customers that it exists. You otherwise run the risk of confusing and frustrating new customers, who feel that they have not been given the whole picture, and at the same time alienating your current user base because they feel that they have been kept deliberately in the dark. Never underestimate good communication with your clients; it can be the difference between seeing your new monthly revenues run like clockwork or seeing your customer base (and your income) slowly trickle away.

So as you can see, there are a great deal of advantages for an app developer in terms of using a monthly subscription package. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below or drop us a message on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn. 


Ok, so you’ve read the post – and this recurring revenue thing seems pretty easy enough – but you have a few questions. No worries – that’s why we’ve scheduled a webinar on this very subject with the very catchy name of How to Get Going With Recurring Revenue Services in Your App Business on August 24, 2017 at 11AM EDT.

The best part? Its absolutely free. Following the webinar, there will be an open floor for questions, where you’re invited to ask anything on your mind (about the app business, that is). Seats are limited, so be sure to register early.


How to Get Going with Recurring Revenue Services in Your App Development Business


Monthly recurring revenue is an essential component of any app development business. Not only is it an essential way to manage your cashflow by being able to rely on money coming in each month it also has a huge impact on how much your business is worth when you come to sell.

Simply put, if you’re trying to sell your company, the buyer will want to understand your company’s ratio of one off project income to monthly recurring revenue. In other words, if 90% of your income is from one-time app development projects, the chances are this will be seen as risky by a potential buyer or investor. An investor will want to see an app development studio with a positive cash flow and healthy ratio of recurring to fixed revenue in order to minimise potential commercial risk. Your app development business should be scalable, solid, dynamic and robust enough to endure periods when new app development projects are hard to come by.

Monthly recurring revenue can be used to monetise hosting and support services for your app development business and give a linear perspective to your cash flow. As your app development business grows, the monthly volume of fixed recurring revenue will increase every time you engage a new customer. If you’re not already doing this, you should be charging a one-time fee for your app development services and an ongoing monthly fee for hosting, maintenance and support services. You should also be recording the time you and your staff allocate to projects so you can sift out the ones that are profitable, but that’s a different blog.

The entire notion of monthly recurring revenue started with magazines and has since spread to everything from window cleaning to video games, from Netflix to internet provision, and of course, mobile backend as a service technologies.

Kumulos, is no different. We use a monthly subscription model because it provides us with a solid and scalable business, so you can be assured your apps are always looked after in the future. In addition, it enables us to bill app developers for the API requests that are actually used and with no minimum contract tie-in. If you’re building a business on the sale of app development services, you should apply this logic and work on a business model that facilitates both types of revenue.

Why monthly recurring revenue?

As an app developer, on the most basic level, you’re selling a service. As apps are a small (normally) and (in relative terms) uncomplicated services, the feeling can be that the easiest way to make money is to keep churning out apps, charging a one-time fee and then only really going back to the app when there’s a reported problem or the customer wants an upgrade. In a perfect world, this would indeed be the easiest way to ensure good profit turnover, but as we all know, the world is far from perfect. Apps break, customers will make impossible demands and arranging constant one time fee transactions can be extremely time consuming, with a higher potential for incorrectly charging your clients for your services.

This is especially a problem if you are a commission based studio, taking jobs from third parties. After your initial fee, how do you effectively manage things like tech support and adding features? If you’re also hosting your client’s apps (which many commission based studios do), how do you go about charging them for that use of space in a fair way?

These are problems that the subscription style monthly recurring revenue model can fix.

Many successful service based companies and app development studios use monthly subscription fees or service level agreements (SLAs) for their clients. After the initial app development fee, the client pays per month for the hosting space, app maintenance and technical support that means the app can continue working properly. Our system at Kumulos is much the same with our mobile backend as a service technology. Clients pay a subscription that varies depending on API resource consumption along with “add-on” services such as App Store Optimization, Analytics, Push Notifications or a host of other features.

The benefits for the business are numerous, the most obvious being a predictable and regular income. As each client is subscribed, we know exactly how many clients we have and just how much they are paying per month. This allows us to see just how much we look to be making, how much we’ll have left after overheads, how much we can bank and also how much we potentially have in case of unforeseen disaster. If we know how long team members attributed to each project and know the cost, we can work out which projects are profitable and which projects will force you to lose your shirt (and your sanity).

This is an important thing to consider, especially for small developers who are just starting out. If your revenue stream is unpredictable, one major technology break or loss of data can potentially sink your ship before it saile. Something else to consider is that your customer numbers are not as likely to fluctuate using subscriptions. In tough and uncertain economic times such as what we’ve had the past few years, many people cut any new spending, especially if they consider it extraneous. This causes a problem for the single selling business because it becomes increasingly difficult to attract new customers, who are essentially their one and only way to make money.

ASO as a Service, unlocking monthly RRSubscription helps to avoid this for two reasons. One; it helps to promote customer loyalty. If you’re providing an ongoing service that the customer finds useful and is happy with, they are more likely to keep using it, especially if they have already factored in your monthly fee into their own overheads. Two; even if you are not attracting new customers, you still have a reliable revenue stream coming from your existing customers. On top of this, with the aforementioned loyalty creation, customers are more likely to accept rises in price, or to buy add-ons to their subscription to enhance their service.

Another benefit to the monthly subscription is that the barrier of entry is much lower. For example, if you’re a small app development studio with a tight budget, a recurring subscription of $12.50 a month is a much less daunting price than say a $150 yearly subscription, or a $300 single purchase of a service or software.

It’s the same mindset for your customers. In addition, the monthly subscription is something that is easy to drop in and out of. So not only is the prospect of joining a service much less daunting financially, there is also the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that if it isn’t working out, you can just unsubscribe, or drop out temporarily due to lack of funds, but re-subscribe once things are more stable.

Above all though, the ultimate benefit of a monthly subscription in terms of customers and expanding your user base is that it is a format nearly everyone is familiar with. As we mentioned before, nearly everything these days is done through a monthly subscription. It’s something many people have dealt with for years in their personal lives and perhaps in other areas of their business, so when you as a developer offer it, it’s something they immediately understand and are comfortable with.

So as you can see, there are a great deal of advantages for an app developer in terms of using a monthly subscription package, but how exactly do you go about setting it up? Click here to read the second article in this series, Setting Up a Monthly Subscription for Your App Development Business. Also be sure to follow us our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to get the latest posts – or subscribe to our RSS feed to get our posts in your favorite reader.

FREE Webinar

Ok, so you’ve read the post – and this recurring revenue thing seems pretty easy enough – but you have a few questions. No worries, that’s why we’ve scheduled a webinar on this very subject with the very catchy name of How to Get Going With Recurring Revenue Services in Your App Business on August 24, 2017 at 11AM EDT.

The best part? Its absolutely free. Following the webinar, there will be an open floor for questions, where you’re invited to ask anything on your mind (about the app business, that is). Seats are limited, so be sure to register early.

How to Get Going With Recurring Revenue Services in Your App Business
Thursday, August 24, 2017


Top Netherlands App Development Companies


Widely known for tulips, stunning canals and “relaxing” coffeeshops, the Netherlands is also a country with a thriving tech scene, and home to some highly-renowned app agencies.

Often named alongside London and Berlin as a flourishing start-up hub, the capital city of Amsterdam is a fabulous place to do business. However, the country’s fast and efficient transport links mean that great agencies thrive across the land, with some choosing historic Den Haag or futuristic Rotterdam as their base.

With a wide selection of agencies across the country, all with unique attitudes and focuses, Holland is a great place to go looking for help with your next app project. (Geographical trivia: Holland is a region in the Netherlands.We’re still talking about the same country.) 

Ready? Grab that cup of “coffee” and let’s take a look at some of our picks for the top app development companies in the Netherlands


Based in modern Rotterdam and led by two Tim’s, Tim Nooteboom and Tim Pelgrim, YipYip develops for both iOS and Android and has a strong track record in apps, games and websites.

YipYip’s portfolio is varied and inspiring. It includes work for holiday group TUI, and the development of a “Rotterdam Pas” app for the agency’s home city.

As well as working on client projects, YipYip embark on their own technical endeavours, giving their employees plenty of opportunities to develop their own concepts and ideas. Those staff also benefit from an informal work environment, complete with unlimited fresh coffee and a “spectacular” daily lunch! YipYip’s Twitter feed seems to suggest this is a rather inspiring place to work.

Follow YipYip on Twitter.


AppFellas specialise in creating “app based businesses” from “proof of concept to finished product.” They work on all mobile platforms as well as “traditional” web, and have experience of VR apps.

Led by Michael Bevz, their completed work is impressive and includes some innovative apps, such as PartyWithALocal, which boasts 150,000 members.

Anyone looking for an agency who can help with app development over the full project lifecycle would do well to check them out. They’re based a stone’s throw from the water in northern Amsterdam.

Follow AppFellas on Twitter


Fenêtre, headed by CEO Eric Kruis, has been established for over a decade and delivers a wide-range of services to a variety of companies, including some household names. As well as developing for a range of platforms including iOS and Android, the company also provides consultancy and IT services, and has partnerships with the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.

Based in Den Haag, the home of the Dutch parliament, Fenêtre serves customers in a wide range of business sectors, from government and non-profit to sports and recreation. Among their portfolio, you’ll likely recognise names such as Tias and Allianz.

Fenêtre has a well-established record of corporate social responsibility, spanning donations, special initiatives, and discounts for certain organisations.

Follow Fenêtre on Twitter.

Budgeting for an App Development Project


Like any business project, or indeed any project, you’ll need detailed budgeting for an app to make it happen. How much an app costs to build is an area that we know many new developers struggle with, it takes years of experience to be able to budget well, and even then it’s still uncomfortable most of the time: budgeting isn’t called an “artform” for no reason. Much of the problem with creating a budget comes from the fact that it’s very hard to be exact. A lot of the math applied is fuzzy at best and all you’re usually left with is a well educated estimate when you start your project. One way is to make sure you are asking the right questions up front. Really understanding what is critical to include in the first version of your app will also make sure you focus your budget on the most important features. If you use an Agile Development Methodology, this is called your Minimum Viable Product or MVP.

So its tough, really tough, that’s why we at Kumulos have decided to take you through the most important things involved in making an app budget work, and the little things that can make a difference.

Identifying project costs

When it comes to identifying your costs, the main thing to look at is the project management triangle.

Its three sides are: scope, time and resources.

In the grand scheme of things, the budget comes under resources, but those three things are also essential to the first stage of budgeting which is identifying your initial project costs. Please note, your costs are not your project’s budget! They are just one part of it.

So, first you look at your scope. Hopefully you have a clear document that outlines the requirements of the project, whether it’s from a client or you’re working on an in-house project you should always have clear project requirements. Unclear requirements open the door to major scope creep, something you want to avoid. Your scope will detail just what you have to do, and from that you can start to plan out how long something will take with the resources available, which will then give you an idea of your costs.

If you’re a small app developer business, you probably don’t have more than maybe two teams of developers, and usually only one. This makes it easy as you know how many people are able to work on the project. Talk to your lead developer and get them to give you an estimate on how long it will take to create the app and use past projects as examples of individuals working speeds and ability to help you come to a number of man hours. Watch for people exaggerating their working speed, but don’t pad the hours as a “just in case” yet, that’s for the risk assessment phase.

Take into account things like planning time for creating the app, deployment, publishing fees (for example the $25 charge to publish to Android’s Google Play), integration, debugging and quality control. These things are often overlooked at the start of a project but they take time, and with things like debugging, can quickly take a very significant amount of that time if the problem is big enough. By including these things in your initial costs, you’re ensuring your budget plan is as realistic as possible, something you (and your client if you have one) will be thankful for later.

One last thing to bear in mind with your costing is future expansion of the app. It’s unlikely that the app you initially launch will be the absolute final version; instead you will likely want to expand its features as time goes along. Add in this estimated time into your costs, but don’t go crazy, you don’t want to scare away a client by posting a budget that’s way more than they thought it would be.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is, in a way, the padding of the budget, with the core being the initial costs. It’s there so you can have an idea of and plan for special circumstances of any nature within your project, of which there are usually many. Without RA, anything that goes wrong and incurs extra time spent or costs will be affecting your bottom line, something we’re sure you want to avoid. If you’re creating an app for a client, remember that risk assessment is part of your initial budget estimate and isn’t sales mark-up, it’s part of the costs for the project as a whole.

First, identify your risk items. These should include, but not be limited to, developer experience,  technological stability (as in, how likely it is one of your computers or any software, including the app, will break),  the distance and accessibility of your client, the app’s dependencies (does it need a database? Geolocation?) and also general unknowns. These unknowns can be anything, but it’s important to acknowledge that you cannot plan for everything and so set aside money in your budget to compensate for this.

Once you’ve identified all your potential risks, assign an estimated “scope” or resource drain that those risk might incur, and a percentage of your overall budget to cover the cost of that drain. For example, if one part of your development team is more fluent in Android programming but you’re making an app for iOS, they have a higher “risk” than those developers more comfortable with iOS.

Remember as well that all of you, at the end of the day, are human beings and that at some point you’re likely to make mistakes and forget things, or get ill or have personal issues that will affect work. These things happen, it’s just part for the course, so remember to assign a risk to that as well. Some developers recommend as much as 5% of your overall budget, but we say to leave it to your best judgement. If you have a good team, who have worked well and on time before, then perhaps adjust that percentage to less than 5.

By the end of your budget you’ll notice that risk assessment is taking up a noticeable chunk of your total, this is normal. On some projects it can be as much as 30% of the budget estimate going into risk assessment. At the end of the day though, you have to make a trade off; you don’t have unlimited funds to pad any and all problems, and you also can’t run without protection because things will always go awry somehow. As with the human element, use your better judgement, look back on previous projects and use your performances in them to get a good estimate of how you’ll handle this most recent one.


After you’ve had your budget approved and your project is rolling, you should always be keeping a close eye on your money. Keep tabs on overall spending and also specific details of where the budget is going. Are there any elements that are sucking down cash like there’s no tomorrow whilst others sit high and dry? What about employee hours? Are your team working within the budgeted man hours? These are some of the things that you need to always be aware of, which is why constantly reviewing your budget is important. It helps you, as project manager, keep control of your ship and to see which direction it’s heading in and to make sure you deliver your app on time and on budget.

Part of developing any app is working out what services it will depend on to work properly. Many apps these days require databases to recall from for example. Having your team of app developers create backend server solutions can put a lot of strain on your time and budget, so why not relieve yourself of that stress and talk to us at Kumulos today about using our Mobile Backend to not only help you make a better app, but to do better business.

WWDC17: What Apple’s New App Store Means for App Agencies


Word on the street is that most folks don’t seem to be all impressed with the new gadgets and technologies revealed at the first day of  Apple’s 2017 World Wide Developer Conference that opened on June 5 in San Jose, California.

Among the WWDC announcements, we got the inevitable intelligent speaker to compete with Echo and Sonos, a new iMac pro, a new iPad pro, a new WatchOS and a bunch of dev tools to make better and more immersive AR and VR.

Kinda cool, but what about those of us running app agencies?

App Store 2.0

The big news that will be of interest to those in the app world is the introduction a brand new shiny App Store. With the launch of the new store, it looks like Apple is making good on their promise to getnew_app_store_iphone_apps rid of all 32-bit apps. Just a few days ago, all the 32-bit app mysteriously disappeared from the App Store searches, only to reappear a few hours later. Industry scuttlebutt put this down to a test by Apple before the announcements of WWDC17.

It’s not like we haven’t been warned about this – we first got an inkling that Apple was up to something back in September 2016 when they announced a “purge” of abandoned and older apps from the App Store. Even before that – way back in December 2014, Apple was warning that all updates to software must include 64-bit support.

Bottom line? If you’ve got a client with 32-bit apps, now is the time to give them a call and update the app ASAP.

What Else is New?

Here are just a few highlights of some of the other changes that Apple is introducing in the new store:new_app_store_iphone_game_of_the_day

Today Tab – The Today Tab, which looks like it will occupy the most prime real estate on the App Store, is kind of like an “Editor’s Choice” for apps. The Apple team will use this spot to highlight an App of the Day, A Game of the Day and give developers to tell the story behind the creation of their app.

Enhanced Product Pages – New product fields, localization and three autoplaying video snippets will augment the app user’s store experience. Two of the new product fields include a subtitle section, which allows the developer to highlight the app with just a few keywords, and a latest news field, to give users the latest information and offers about the app. Key takeaway here is that video in the app store is going to be more important than ever, so now’s the time to start adding some shots of your app in action.

Revamped Searches – Now, in addition to the app name and keyword, users can search for apps by developers, categories, tips, collections and in-app purchases.

The Big Picture for App Agencies

Exciting stuff, right? But what’s it all mean for those of you running an app agency?

First of all, you need to convince your clients to stay on top of their apps and update them regularly so they don’t get pulled from the app store. Rather than a “set and forget” attitude of developing an app for a client and then walking away when it’s finished, sell the value of an App Store Optimization service (we can recommend a good one…)

Use an ASO tool to keep track of your client’s apps as well as their competitors, see app screenshots, check keyword rankings, see downloads and track rankings over time.

Another awesome app tool that will help you keep your client’s app as fresh as a new car smell is an App Analytics tool. Use App Analytics to see data such as where in the world your users are based, processing times of your app, and user engagement. Most importantly, an analytics tool will tell you what version of the operating system your apps users are running, as well as the app version. This lets you plan upgrades and updates to target your greatest number of users.


And to wrap it all up, present all this tasty data to your client in a Monthly App Report. At a glance, they’ll be able to see all your app services in one consolidated monthly report – branded as yours, not ours. Send the report out automatically as it is, or edit it to add your notes and suggestions for steps your client needs to take.

With the announcement of the new App Store, now more than ever it’s important to sell your clients on the necessity of keeping their apps updated, optimized and ranking in the app stores to avoid being part of the next great Apple cull. And the best way of doing is by using an awesome tool like Kumulos – App Analytics, Reporting, App Store Optimization and much, much more all in a single pane of glass – a one-stop dashboard for all your app needs.

If you haven’t tried Kumulos yet, why not take us for a free test drive today?

Top App Development Companies Berlin


Berlin is a city with serious “tech hub” credentials and a rampant breeding ground for successful start-ups.

Statistics from European Startup Monitor reveal Berlin as the largest start-up hub in Germany, producing 31% of the country’s new businesses. But the city’s credentials go far beyond Germany. EU-Startups identifies Berlin as second only to London for such firms across Europe – quite a feat for a city with less than half of London’s population!

A good proportion of these fresh, new companies need mobile apps, so it’s no wonder that Berlin is also home to a host of world class app development houses.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a quick video about how Berlin has become the tech hub of Europe.

In this article, we introduce you to some of the best. So, let’s get straight to the list (in no particular order):

DXY Digital GmbH

Originally established in Cleveland over a decade ago by Daniel Young, DXY Digital were quick to spot Berlin’s booming tech and design scene and established their main European base there in 2013.

DXY’s client portfolio reads like a “who’s who” of household names, both from Germany and across the world. The agency’s clients include Bosch, Aldi, FedEx and Nokia.

Like many progressive businesses, DXY maintain a flat team structure and have a focus on harnessing cutting edge tech. DXY currently specialise in apps focussed around medicine, business, and the ever-emerging Internet of Things (IoT) industry.

Find DXY Digital GmbH on Twitter.

Brandung GmbH & Co KG

Brandung GmbH is a large digital agency with offices in Berlin and Cologne.  Led by a three person management staff consisting of Max Heike, Michael Hacke and Niels Struckmeyer, Brandung has developed for clients such as Bugatti, L’Oreal, and Fujitsu. In addition to mobile app development, Brandung also offers online marketing, e-commerce and corporate communications in their portfolio.

Find Brandung on Twitter.


Founder and CEO David Svanidze started App3Null after spending time as a Fund Manager in Munich. Located in the heart of Berlin, App3Null specializes in “high-end” mobile and web solutions. They’ve developed apps for the fashion, transport, public service and financial sectors. One of their earliest successes was Genius Camp, the first real-time IQ Quiz in the world.


Novoda is another app agency that’s chosen Berlin as the prime position for a base in mainland Europe. The company also has a presence in the UK, US and Barcelona.

Novoda is also a Google Certified app agency with a very approachable vibe (they prominently display a phone number instead of hiding behind a contact form!) This communicative feel is also apparent in the company’s blog, which is updated regularly with industry info and interesting insights into how the agency works.

Like all the agencies on this list, Novoda has a client list to be proud off. Names that stand out include The Times, SoundCloud and CCleaner.

Find Novada on Twitter.


Autentek is a small boutique agency first established in 2007 and currently led by Immanuel and Johnnes Scheerer. But don’t let their size fool you, they’ve created custom apps for companies such as SFC Energy, the PALL Corporation, and the Melt!, Splash! and Berlin Festivals. They specialize in mobile apps and develop native apps for Android and iOS. They can also bind your app to a content management system so you can update content yourself.

Find Autentek on LinkedIn.

Luvago GmbH

A small agency operating from their offices on the fashionable Berlin street of Kurfürstendamm, Luvago counts global corporate brands like Redbull and SAP on their client list. Founded in 2012 by CEOs David Deickhoff and Bjorn Wagner, Luvago emphasizes transparency, quality and speed in all of their mobile solutions.

Find Luvago GmbH on Facebook.

Karlmax Berlin, gmbH

Established in 2011, Karlmax chiefly began developing for the Android platform but has since expanded into other platforms. Led by Karl Szwillus, Karlmax has authored apps for the German culture magazine ARTE, the Berlin International Film Festival and energy supplier enBW. They develop for iOS, Android, tablets and web.

FTWK GmbH & Co. KG

FTWK, as they say on their web page, is in the business of delivering the future. Led by Lutz Haase (who, as he proudly states on his LinkedIn profile “gets stuff done”), FTWK builds and develops apps for world known brands such as Toshiba, Red Bull, Bayer and O2. Employing agile development methods, FTWK works to deliver innovative MVP products that inspire and amaze.

Find FTWK GmbH on Twitter.


Describing itself as “smaller and more focused,” Berlin based nxtbgthng specialises solely in iOS apps. The company switched over to Apple’s Swift back in 2014 and hasn’t looked back.

They are open source fans, sharing some of their own work on Github for others to use. It’s great work too, trusted by companies that include Fiat, Volkswagen and Red Bull.

Via a partner agency called evenly, they also get involved in cross-platform work,

Follow nxtbgthng on Twitter.

Top App Companies Berlin

So that’s our wrap up of the top app companies in Berlin. What did you think? Were there any agencies we left out? Run an app agency and want to make sure you’re included in our next list?

Leave a comment below, drop us a line or reach out to us on Twitter.

14 mobile app metrics you should be tracking for your clients

Having a plan, the right metrics and managing the right outcome with mobile app metrics against that plan is the best way to ensure success. Gone are the days when your job stopped once your client’s app was live. Customers now expect you to be there, to support them, use your expertise and help them deliver success. You now need to think of yourself as the “Product Manager” of your clients app, working with your client to set the right target, the means to measure the performance of the app against those mobile app metrics and most importantly take the corrective action to drive success.

So where do you start? The problem comes when you’re faced with the hundreds of possible app metrics to report. Which ones are important? Which aren’t?

Also – numbers on their own often don’t tell you much. It’s the combination of the metrics and the inter-relationship or ratio between one mobile app metric and another that helps you build actionable insights for your customers.

So with that in mind, here are 14 metrics you need to be thinking about.


Start talking about app analytics with just about anyone and the first thing they’ll mention is downloads. Sure – it does sound impressive when you can brag about hitting millions of app store downloads – and it certainly looks good on the monthly report you give to clients – but downloads on their own is probably one of the most meaningless metrics. Why? simple – BECAUSE THE NUMBER NEVER GOES DOWN. Have a user who downloads an app and deletes it after seeing the splash screen? Doesn’t matter. It’s still counted as a download. Another important stat to keep in mind – up to 25% of users delete an app after one use.

That said – don’t throw this metric away. Its how you use the number that’s important. What’s important is to track two important elements of downloads. First the trend over time, is the overall download trend rising. Are more potential users finding your clients app and downloading it? If so, that’s good, of course. But were not done yet, that leads us to the second most important element, the ratio of downloads to installs (see next section). If that ratio is growing, by that we mean is a higher percentage of all the app downloads ending up as active installs, then you are on a winner. So don’t dismiss downloads from your KPI’s, just make sure you use them to give you meaningful insight.


So, I hear you ask, whats the difference between downloads and installs? They are the same, right? Well no. Installs pretty much does what it says – tracks the number of times the app has been installed on a device. The difference is between someone who actually downloads the app and then installs the app on a device. Typically this is measured by the firing of the first “app open” event. Understanding the ratio of downloads to installs gives you insight into how many folk download the app but never install. Increasing this ratio will have a huge impact on active installs.


Something to keep in mind when we’re talking about mobile app metrics. This is where things start to get a little tricky and you need to read the label. Some analytics products differentiate between “installs” and “users”, while others lump them into one or the other. An “active install” is an app installed on a particular device, for example, if you download and install Candy Crush on your iPad and then decide you can’t live without the joy of defeating self replicating chocolate and install Candy Crush on your iPhone, this is counted as two separate “active installs” by some analytics programs, while others would count this as one “active user”. There are pros and cons with both measures, you could argue that the key measure is the number of devices that the app is active on is a true measure of traction. Or you could argue that it should be all about the eyeballs and users is the critical measure.

Again, as with installs its the ratio between installs and active installs that important. Is this trend improving over time. Is the remedial work you are doing with your client driving up this ratio? Or, have big rises in new installs driven down the active install ratio, showing that the quality could be worse.


Retention rates are one of the most important mobile app metrics you can track for your clients app. In a nutshell, retention rates measure the number of users who opened the app for the first time and compares that to the number of users who return to the app over a certain period of time. For most apps, you’ll probably be seeing a good retention number for the first few weeks after an app is downloaded (everyone likes new and shiny apps) but how does this number hold up after two or three months, or even a year?

Critical here is to understand the different between retention rates and the expected usage patterns of the app. If its a seasonal app, say a ski app then you’d only expect it to be used for a few weeks of the year. So you have to measure retention over a long time span. If its a transport commuter app then you should expect daily week day use.  So context and setting the right targets here are important rather than taking a one-size fits all approach.


For some apps, location is important, for others it could just be “noise”. Where the app lends itself to a geographically diverse user base. Where activities are running to drive up traction in specific locations then of course tracking this is essential.

The questions you should be answering here are:

* Where are your users?
* Are they all coming from one country or from all over the world?
* If they’re just in one country, are they just in one specific region?

One of the most important data points you can get out of location is time zones. This can help you to optimize timings in sending out push campaigns. If the majority of your users are in California, there’s not much point in sending out a push notification at 2am Pacific Time. Knowing what your countries your app is operating is can also help you in planning for language localizations in the future.


You want users to keep using your app, right? That’s why you want to measure its stickiness – a term used to convey how often users are returning to an app and you could say a close cousin of retention rates. One of the best ways of looking at this is focusing on figures known as MAU (monthly active users) and DAU (daily active users). Let’s say, for example that you had 702 daily active installs. During the previous month, you had 4700 active installs. 702 divided by 4700 equals 0.149 or an app stickiness of approximately 15%.

Again, tracking the stickiness trend as part of your mobile app analytics data-set is important. Is the app becoming more or less sticky over time and what can you do to drive this number north?

Here’s further reading if you want to explore MAU vs. DAU statistics in depth.


This measure of mobile app analytics is important but can be tricky. Everyone wants their users to spend plenty of time in their app, right? In most cases, the answer would be yes. However, what if the reason that the reason that the user is spending more time in the app is because of poor app performance – hanging screens, interrupted sessions, etc. That’s bad. You’ll want to take a look at any kind of performance analytics and coordinate them with user time analytics to make sure that your users are spending more time in the app for the right reasons.


Sure, it’s handy to know how many iOS and Android (anyone mention Windows Phone?) users your app has, but this metric is a lot more important than that. It also gives you an insight into what versions of operating systems your users are using. This can help speed development times by showing you which versions you no longer need to support and where you should be putting your development resources.


This shows you which version of your app your users are using. Seems simple enough, but this can also help highlight any problems that users might have with upgrading in versions of the app. It’s also handy metric to use when targeting users with push campaigns to convince them to upgrade to the next version. Or – you can use a push campaign to ask why they haven’t upgraded yet.


What is the frequency with itch users are coming back to your app? Do users use your app every day? Every week? Every month? You can use session intervals to laser target your power users – those who are using the app every day (or in an X time period) and represent your app’s core audience. These are the users you want to keep happy. If the sessions seem to be dropping, you can target these users with a push campaign to get them back into the app. Remember that it costs 10 times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.


How this is broken down depends on your analytics package. No matter what it’s called, it’s a good metric to keep track of. The API traffic metric measures the number of API calls made by your app over a given time frame. API calls refers to the number of times that an API is used by an app while processing types shows the average response time for an API call. Generally you want to have about a 1 second response time for an API. Anything over 3 – 4 seconds and the majority of users (60%) will abandon the transaction and possibly delete the app out of frustration.


This shows the amount of data stored by users of your app. This is good to keep an eye on for planning future platform upgrades and features.


App crashes are bad. We all know that. Crash analytics can provide you with deeper insight into why an app has met it’s untimely end and help you answer questions to keep the app running its best. Are crashes happening only on a certain operating system and or version? Is it a memory issue? Or does the crash only happening with specific app versions?


At the simplest level, the Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) tells you how much each app customer is worth and also what you pay to gain that customer. The only problem comes when you have to sit down and derive a formula to determine CLTV. The nice folks over at Apptamin have an excellent post on the topic of figuring out CLTV. Suffice to say, once you get CLTV figured out, you’ll have a much better idea of if your ad spending is working or you need to try another direction.


So, mobile app metrics is a big subject, but too important to ignore. The key to gathering the right data is to use an awesome app analytics tool.

We hope you’ve found this article useful and  has given you some ideas on how to approach this with your clients, so you set the right measures and not just pick whats easy.

Did we leave any metrics out? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Top App Development Companies Boston


If you’ve been following this blog, you know that here at Kumulos we’ve been taking the time to highlight some of the awesome app work done by different mobile agencies around the world. A couple of weeks back, we turned our attention to Washington, DC and last week to New York. We’ve also highlighted agencies in Texas, the mid-West, Los AngelesSan Francisco, and the UK among others. This week, however, we wanted to turn our eye to Boston, Massachusetts and some of the great work being done there.

First founded by Puritan settlers in 1630, Boston, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the United States. But don’t that that lull you into thinking that Beantown is stuck in the past. As one of the 25th largest metropolitan areas in the US, Boston is also home to over 2,000 startups and ranks number one in the US in preparedness for the digital economy. Let’s not forget to mention that with so many world class universities present, such as Cambridge, Harvard and MIT, Boston has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of the one thing that every top app agency needs – talent.

So grab a bowl of clam chowder (here’s President Kennedy’s favorite recipe) and lets take a look at our picks (in alphabetical order) for some of the top app development companies in Boston.


Founder Sean Mahoney, a developer, started AndPlus in 2009 with one thing in mind – making custom software easy. Because of this background, at AndPlus the battle cry is “good code.” Mahoney has put together a top notch team of coders, designers and developers all in-house at AndPlus. That means no freelancers, no outsourcing and no sub-contractors. Because of this, there isn’t a framework or a language that the team there can’t handle. AndPlus develops native applications for both iOS and Android, and also cross-platform applications such as Xamarin and PhoneGap. As they proclaim on their website, AndPlus “doesn’t do Angry Birds.” Instead, they focus on the hard stuff. Which is why companies and brands like the Harvard School of Public Health, Bloomberg and Medica trust them with their app development.

Follow AndPlus on Twitter.


AMP Agency, led by CEO Gary Colen, begin life as a non-traditional marketing agency. Since then, they’ve transformed into a team of 100 creatives, designers and developers with services ranging from analytics, brand strategy, creative, search, integrated media, social and, of course, app development. Their clients include IcelandAir, Princess Cruises, Play-Doh, and and Samsung. Their full services capabilities means that they can cope with the full digital footprint of the brand making it a highly creative yet highly commercially focused one top shop.

Here’s an example of a game they created for another of their clients, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Follow AMP Agency on Twitter.


Hedgehog also makes it onto our Top UK App developers, with its roots in Newcastle England. Founded by CEO and former developer Sarat Pediredla when he saw the opportunity to build a company centred around software developers. Hedgehog helps companies prepare for a mobile future while, as their website says, “shunning politics and the typical bulls**”t” that permeates the corporate world. Their main focus is on app design and development for platforms like iOS, Android, Windows and HTML5. Hedgehog also develops apps for wearable devices, IoT and AR and VR technologies. In addition to their Boston office, hedgehog have a location in Austin, Texas, two branches in the UK (Newcastle and London), a European office in Copenhagen and another overseas branch in Hyderabad, India. As reflected by their diverse locations, Hedgehogs’ clients are global and include brands like B&M, Mitsubishi, the Financial Times and England Rugby.

Follow hedgehog lab on Twitter.


Like the other Best Boston Area mobile agencies on our list, Infrared5 develops for both iOS and Android, as well as other platforms. Where Infrared5 differs, however, is offering app development and integration with the open source Red5 media server – perfect for apps requiring streaming audio, video and other bleeding edge technologies. Founder and CEO Chris Allen is a leader in the open source community and co-author of the book The Essential Guide to Open Source Flash Development. With clients like Brightcove, Hasbro, Sony, NBC and StarWars under their belt, Infrared5 can handle whatever cutting edge technology is required to make that perfect app.

Follow Infrared5 on Twitter.


Raizlabs first appeared on our  Best North East US App Agencies list in 2015 and we’re happy for them to make a reapparance on our new Boston focused list. Initially founded in 2003 by Greg Raiz, a former Program Manager on Windows XP, Raizlabs began life as a user interface and user experience design firm. After the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Raizlabs shifted their focus to apps and shortly thereafter began their rise to the top when one of their apps exploded off the AppStore charts. Now with over 100 launches under their belt, Raizlabs can boast a team of over 70 people and develops not only for mobile, but for also for voice, IoT, AI, VR and more. In May of 2016, Raizlabs was the first agency in the United States to become Google Certified. So it’s no wonder that Raizlabs is trusted by  international clients such as Six Flags, AAA, B&H and Bloomingdale’s.

Follow Raizlabs on Twitter.


Rocket Farm CEO Dan Katcher comes from a background in wireless technology. Here he led teams that designed web sites for brands like the NFL, CBS and TMZ. When the smart phone industry began to explode in 2008, Katcher founded Rocket Farm to help companies capitalize in this new market. Rocket Farm develops world class apps for iOS, Android and mobile platforms  – everything from mobile games, enterprise, SKDs, mobile APIs and more. As Rocket Farm likes to say  – they’re prepared for platforms that don’t even exist yet.

Follow Rocket Farm on Twitter.


Rocket Insights was started by a group of developers and designers working for larger companies who wanted to bring their combined decades of experience to the agency world. As such, one of the key strengths of Rocket Insights is that they integrate closely with their clients existing development teams. If a client has a more experienced team, that means development goes twice as fast. Conversely, if Rocket is approached by a client with a junior development team, they can jump right in to bring everyone up to speed. At Rocket Insights, they love technology, but they’re not married to it – they’ll work with the best technology to deliver the best results for the customer. They do this by using sprint and MVP methodologies to help ensure their client’s apps are slim, sleek and out the door in a timely fashion. Rocket develops for Android and iOS, as well as the web. Some of their clients include Hulu, Weight Watchers, Virgin and Comcast.

Here’s a short video on some of Rocket Insights experiences working with voice and AI.

Follow Rocket Insights on Twitter.


ZCO Corporation appeared in our list of Best North East US Agencies in 2015 and we’re more than happy to give them a spot here in our best Boston Agencies list of 2017. Founded and led by John Olapurath in 1989 (when cell phones had to be carried in a briefcase) as a software development company, Zco has since then grown into one of the largest app development companies in the world. With more than 300 project managers, engineers and designers spread across 8 offices worldwide, Zco can handle just about any project that comes their way. Their mobile development services center on hybrid apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone and include platforms such as HTML5, PhoneGap, Xamarin, and Appcellerator. Besides mobile, their also develop for wearables, IoT and offer additional services like digital marketing, video and even 3D animation. As befits their status as one of the biggest and best app development companies out there, ZCo clients include Microsoft, BBC America and Motorola.

Here’s a look at their 2017 portfolio:

Follow ZCO Corporation on Twitter.


Well – those are our picks for some of the best and brightest app developers in Boston.  So many more great agencies that we wanted to fit in but just didn’t have the space for.

How did we do? Did we leave out a major player?

Let us know what you think by dropping us a line or a comment below.

Top App Development Companies New York City


The Big Apple! Home of the Yankees (Yes –
and also the Mets – we’re not trying to pick a fight here), the glittering lights of Broadway and, of course, the ubiquitous pizza slice.

New York has never had any problems with catching people’s attention – whether it’s all the tourists crowding into Times Square, or, in our case, a number of hard working app agencies who are looking to change the world one app at a time.

In 2015, we singled out some of the best app companies based in the US North East for recognition. We were all set to do the same this year, but after seeing all the awesome work coming out of NYC alone, we wanted to narrow our focus a bit and showcase some of (at least in our eyes) the rock star app development agencies based there.

So grab a slice of pizza and – if you were planning to do anything else for the next few minutes FUGGEDABOUTIT! Take a gander at our picks (in alphabetical order) for the top app development companies in NYC.


Appetizer Mobile bills themselves as a full service digital agency, and they mean it in every sense of the word. Led by CEO Jordan Edelson, a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur, Appetizer develops for both web and mobile across platforms including iPhone, Android, Unity, Windows, WordPress, HTML, and Xamarin. In addition, they also develop 2D and 3D games, as well as creating applications for next generation technology and devices like the Occulus Rift, Samsung Gear, Apple Watch and Apple TV.  Besides development, their services include social media consulting, marketing and search engine & app store optimization. Entertainment, sports and music are some of their chief clients, with names like the NBA, Epic Records, and Universal Music Group, along with artists like Lady Gaga and 50 Cent.

Here’s a trailer for one of their games, Portalball, the world’s first augmented reality sci-fi baseball game.

You can keep up with Appetizer Mobile on Twitter.


Founded in 2009 by CEO Alex Moazed with nothing more than three credit cards and an idea, Applico has since launched over 350 apps for clients including Disney, DirectTV and HP.  Applico bills itself as the world’s first Platform Innovation company. Their core service is Platform Design – or BCaaS – “Business Creation as a Service”.  Platform design involves working with their clients to figure out which platform is right for them and how it can best be exploited. They’ve detailed this process in a book, Modern Monopolies, authored by Moazed and Applico Head of Platform, Nicholas Johnson. Of course, as their business name implies, Applico also develops across multiple platforms including Windows Phone, iPhone and Android as well as Phonegap and Xamarin. We wrote about Applico in our Best North East US App Agencies article in 2015, but wanted to point out that since then, Applico Exec Johnson has become the World’s first Pokemon Go master.

Keep up with Applico on Twitter.


AppPartner is unashamedly Brooklyn based. Their headquarters, located in the heart of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, gives them access to some of the most talented designers and developers in the world. As they say on their web site, “We believe in doing the job right – and that means doing the job in Brooklyn.”  Lead by co-CEOs Drew Johnson and Justin Le Clair, AppPartner offers end-to-end mobile services for both iOS and Android platforms including consulting, branding, coding, testing and post launch optimization. They serve clients from all over the globe, such as B&H, Weightwatchers, AP and esurance.

You can follow AppPartner on Twitter.


Founded by brothers Thomas and Dominic Tancredi, Dom and Tom is world class mobile dev shop with offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. If that wasn’t enough, their logo is a twin headed robot (Editorial disclaimer: We like robots). They work in any language, on any platform for both mobile and web. Dom and Tom employ a user-centric process to help achieve their customer’s business goals. With over 250+ projects under their belt, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, and clients like Hearst, Priceline and Citibank, the team at Dom and Tom can handle any app on any platform all the way from inception to deployment and beyond,

Follow Dom and Tom on Twitter.


Another Brooklyn area firm, Five Agency is hard at work designing the next generation of mobile apps. Originally founded in Croatia by CEO Luka Abrus, where they still have a European office, Five handles big name clients on both sides of the Atlantic, including Squarespace, Rhapsody, Microsoft and MTV. Their development team experience ranges from native mobile (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) to web development with Ruby-on-Rails and Java.

Follow Five on Twitter.


Majestyk likes to say that they don’t have clients or customers – they have partners. They offer big agency results with boutique-style relationships. As with the other agencies on our list, Majestyk offers full stack design and development on just about any platform for both mobile and web. Beyond development, Majestyk’s catalogue includes pre-development services like discovery & ideation, competitive analysis and fundraising, all the way to post-development support such as content and integrated marketing strategies. Lead by founder Sean O’Shea, Majestykapp counts companies like Pepsi, IBM and Cognitoys among its partners.

Here’s a short clip of the Majestyk Apps team presenting their prize winning app at the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge.

Follow Majestykapp on Twitter.


Another one of our Brooklyn based Best NYC App Agencies (must be something in the pizza there), Tendigi is a first generation app development company founded in 2009 by former Apple QA Engineer Jeff Soto. Tendigi develops for a full range of mobile, wearable and desktop platforms. Their services include hardware prototyping, front-end web development, server-side (backend) development, embedded system design and – in keeping with founder Soto’s previous career – quality assurance testing. Since we highlighted them in our Best US North East App Agency list in 2015, they’ve added an impressive list of clients like Viacom, Comedy Central, the Home Depot and Ford.

Follow Tendigi on Twitter.


We highlighted Two Bulls in our earlier article on the Top US North East App Agencies and we’re more than delighted to award them a spot in our first Top NYC Agency list. It’s not hard to see why – if you’re looking to develop an app that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, these are the guys to go to. Founded by college pals James Kane and Noah Harlan in 2009, Two Bulls maintains a global presence with additional offices in Melbourne and Berlin. Besides mobile apps, they also develop desktop apps, apps for Augmented Reality and provide platform development and support for IoT devices. One of their specialized services is app store submission optimization, which helps ensure that app store metadata is validated properly so the app submission process goes as smoothly as possible.

Follow Two Bulls on Twitter.

Top App Development Companies New York City – Your Turn

With so many great agencies creating awesome apps all over the New York City area, it was hard to narrow our list of top companies down. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below or drop us a line on Twitter.

If you found this article helpful or interesting (hopefully both), check out our other Top App Agency lists for Texas, Washington, DC, San Francisco, BostonLos Angeles or the US Mid West.