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Evernote公司谈苹果App Store对开发者的积极作用

日期:2011-01-21点击:938

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【51CTO编者按】Evernote(著名笔记软件)开发者Phil Libin分享了Evernote在苹果新应用商店Mac App Store跻身热门应用前五强的一些感想:1)走精英化路线(Macbook用户的安装需求)2)平台才是开发者成功的关键 3)跨平台的效能好(如和iphone)  4)绝不让用户体验大打折扣。

Evernote

Evernote

1.精英路线很正确

我在80年代早期上高中那阵子,读过一篇关于计算机的文章,里面有一项针对我们这些书呆子的读者调查,“你会为自己的电脑购买软件吗?”就是其中的第一个问题。答案选项分别是:A)经常会购买;B)偶尔会购买;C)很少,我情愿自己编程。C答案对那时的软件消费行业来说是一个很可行的选择,但这已经是过去的事情了。

在随后二三十年中,多数软件开发者都已在市场上站稳了脚跟,而且对后来者设置了很高的准入门槛,但随着手机应用的大量涌现,开发者的这种好日子终于到头了。

去年有70%的Evernote新用户是从手机应用商店过继而来的,多数人是iOS和Android手机用户。这种现象让我们意识到,对独立开发者来讲,手机是一个极富吸引力的产品投放平台。我们产品在上周的市场表现更是印证了这种看法,但我们的观点也有一些微妙的变化,那就是手机并非最关键因素,最有价值的应该是手机应用商店。在一周以前,几乎所有不错的应用商店都登陆到了手机平台,刚得到Macbook的用户想安装最热门应用的迫切心情,一点也不亚于iPhone新用户。

对开发者来说,面向一个没有可靠应用商店的平台开发应用软件,实在是一个巨大的挑战。如果要在这种平台上获得成功,开发商除了在产品开发环节上不能含糊,另外还得在拓展渠道、后勤工作、业务合作和广告营销上投入大量时间和金钱。只要一个应用商店在某平台上得势了,这个平台的软件市场就会向呈现精英化的发展趋势。这一点很难做到,但专注于针对某个应用商店创建出色的应用,这倒确实是最好的策略。在过去两年中,各种类型的软件开发者获得了了空前的发展机遇,也直接造成各种手机应用和服务的数量飞速膨胀,是时候让台式电脑也加入战局了

2.桌面应用软件重新得势

我们花了几个星期的时间,颇费了一番周折才把原有的Mac版本应用投放到了这个新应用商店。当时我们的开发周期非常紧张,12月份也并不是个理想的发布时间,但苹果工作人员为我们提供了很多帮助,应用审核流程也安排得很合理。

Evernote's new user registrations per day

Evernote's new user registrations per day

 

这一努力所收获的结果就是,Evernote首周在Mac App Store露面,就获得了32万次的下载量。其中有12万的用户之前从未使用过Evernote,这次下载都创建了新的使用帐号。也就是说,Evernote上周的新注册帐号增加了50%以上。Mac新用户注册人数之前还排在iOS、Android和Windows平台之后,但现在已经升到了第一位。

现在我们才知道,一个拥有出色应用商店的平台,才是第三方开发者获得成功的关键。如果你要说一个运营良好的第三方应用软件市场是这个平台获胜的条件,那也行……

我希望Windows也能迎头赶上,在该平台打造一个卓越的应用商店。

3.跨平台用户数量最为可观

Mac App Store新店开业不但为我们带来了更多客流量,也为我们原有的用户创造了更多价值。 Evernote在该应用商店第一周的32万下载用户中,新用户就占了12万人。另外还有8万人是从我们直接下载版的Mac客户端转过来的,或者说是他们下载了这款应用但并没有完成注册流程。还有10万人是原来的用户,他们之前在其他平台使用过Evernote(注:他们多数为iPhone用户),这是他们首次添加Mac版本的应用。

这种结果很值得玩味。它的有趣表现在两个方面:1)大部分用户都已经拥有Mac电脑;2)这些用户之前已经接触过Evernote的Mac版本,但一直到Mac App Store登场了才安装这款应用软件。它的重要性则在于,多数通过不同平台使用过Evernote的用户都喜欢先试用一阵子,但最终都会掏钱购买付费版本。这就说明,在免费模式的前提下,多数用户会选择购买自己需要的内容,他们在越多平台上使用过Evernote,就越容易对它产生依赖性。

Mac App Store带来的另一种效应是,许多新用户是通过Mac App Store了解到这款产品,并将其下载到自己的手机上。在Mac App Store上线的同一个星期内,我们在iTunes的iOS版本下载量居然上升了54%,要知道这个iOS版本当时并没有进行更新,也没有提高任何曝光率。

4.绝不让用户体验大打折扣

假如Evernote的台式电脑版本客户端是用Adobe AIR编写的话,我就会有所担心。但Mac App Store以及iPhone App Store的超高人气,让我更加确信,用户在面临多种选择的时候,他们会更青睐那种提供全方位用户体验的产品。根据极不统一的技术标准开发跨平台应用软件真的很难,而让这款应用面向不同平台提供与原版本无异的用户体验,更是难上加难。

作为一家软件公司的CEO,我真希望这不是真实的说法。我其实很乐意创建在任何平台都能有效运行的应用软件,但我们实际上还是选择了针对Windows、Mac、Desktop Web、iOS、Android、BlackBerry、HP WebOS和Windows Phone 7等各个平台,开发不同的原版应用。这么做是因为这种策略可以有效保证产品质量,这一点对我们来说最为重要。如果我们选择一个统一的跨平台客户端,就有可能节省70%的开发成本,但同时也极有可能流失80%的用户。这样一来,我们就有可能被大部分应用商店拒之门外,就得开始担心产品发售渠道的问题了。

Mac App Store的问世是否意味着网页应用已经走到了末路?完全不是,但我认为最成功的网页应用应该是那些具有突出功能,可共享信息、促进沟通、集成内容,同时还能无缝植入网页的产品。顺便说一下,我们的下一个设计目标就是开发Evernote的网页客户端。

手机应用商店的兴起当然打破一些旧的行业惯例,但我很高兴我们并不采用那种禁止用户复制内容、发售现成软件、定期更新收费的运营模式。如果是在三年前,像Evernote这样的公司根本无法取得堪比现在的成就。但应用商店、云服务、跨平台用户和免费模式让这些都变成了现实。Evernote的下载量在第一周以后肯定会有所下降,但目前的状态还比较稳定,我只想说,Mac App Store必将持久地造福开发者。

注:原文来自 techcrunch;全文如下:

Four Lessons From Evernote’s First Week On The Mac App Store

Editor’s note: The following guest post is written by Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, which is currently the No. 5 app in the Mac App Store. It also didn’t hurt that the app has been prominently featured by Apple.

We just finished our first week on the Mac App Store and it might have been the most important week in Evernote’s history. Here’s how it went and what we learned:

1. Meritocracy is sweet

I remember one of the first computer articles that I ever read (maybe it was in Byte Magazine in the early 80s while I was in junior high). It had a little survey aimed at my fellow nerds. “Do you buy software for your computer?”, was the first question. The choices were, “A) Yes, frequently. B) Yes, sometimes. and C) Rarely, I prefer to write my own.” The fact that C was a viable choice pretty much sums up the early euphoria of the consumer software industry. You just had to make something great and the rest would follow. That was a long time ago.

The following twenty or thirty years brought us monopolies and barriers to entry and this happy state of affairs became a dim memory. Then came the mobile app explosion.

Over the past year, about 70% of Evernote’s new users came from mobile app stores, mostly iOS and Android. This led us to the understandable conclusion that mobile was the crucial thing that made a platform attractive to independent developers. Last week made us realize that the reality is a little bit more nuanced. It isn’t mobile that’s overwhelmingly important, it’s the app store.

Until a week ago, all the good app stores just happened to be on mobile devices, but someone with a shiny new Macbook is just as eager to get the best apps as someone with a shiny new iPhone.

A platform without a well-formed app store presents a huge challenge to developers. To succeed on such a platform, the developer has to spend as much time and money on channels, logistics, partnerships and advertising as on actually making a great product. Once an app store takes hold, the software market on a platform starts moving towards a meritocracy. This is imperfect, of course, but focusing on building a great product is the best strategy for succeeding on an app store. This is a huge boon for software nerds of all types, and has resulted in the explosion of mobile apps and services in the past two years. It’s about time that desktops joined the party.

2. Desktop software is viable again

It took a few weeks of non-trivial effort to get our existing Mac application ready for the app store. There’s never a convenient time to take a few weeks out of a busy development schedule, and December is as inconvenient as it gets, but Apple’s developer relations folks were helpful and the approval process itself worked reasonably well once we’d worked out the kinks.

The results speak for themselves. About 320,000 people downloaded Evernote in the first week of the Mac App Store. Of this number, about 120,000 had never used Evernote before, and created new accounts. This represents more than 50% of all the new Evernote accounts created last week. The Mac platform—which used to be in fourth place for new user registrations behind iOS, Android and Windows—has now jumped to first.

It’s obvious in hindsight, but the presence of a well-formed app store is the single most important factor for the viability of a platform for third party developers. If you want to take this a step further and say that a robust third-party software market is the most important factor for the success of the platform overall, well…

I hope Windows gets a good app store soon.

3. Multi-platform users are the best kind

Not only is the Mac App Store getting us new users, it’s making our existing users more valuable. Neat, but how?

So 320,000 people downloaded Evernote in the first week and 120,000 of them became new users. What happened to the rest? Well, about 80,000 people were either switching their Mac client from our direct-download version to the app store version or had simply downloaded the app and didn’t complete registration. Another 100,000 people were existing users who had previously used Evernote from other platforms (mostly the iPhone) and added the Mac version for the first time.

This is both interesting and important. Interesting because the vast majority of these people must have (1) already had Macs, and (2) known about our Mac version from previous interactions with Evernote but hadn’t bothered to install it until the Mac App Store appeared. Important because people who use Evernote from multiple devices are much more likely to stick around and to eventually pay for the premium version. This makes intuitive sense and the data is clear: in a Freemium model, people choose to pay for what they love and the more devices they use Evernote from, the more likely they are to fall in love with it.

The Mac App Store effect works the other way as well: many of the new users who first found us on the Mac App Store went on to also download Evernote on their mobile devices. Our iTunes downloads for iOS devices were up by 54% during the same week that the Mac App Store came out and that’s without any new versions or noticeable change in iOS app visibility.

4. A strike against lowest common denominator

If Evernote’s desktop clients were written in Adobe AIR, I’d be worried right now. The immediate popularity of the Mac App Store, and the iPhone App Store before it, reinforces my belief that in a world of infinite software choice, people gravitate towards the products with the best overall user experience. It’s very hard for something developed in a cross-platform, lowest-common- denominator technology to provide as nice an experience as a similar native app.

As the CEO of a software company, I wish this weren’t true. I’d love to build one version of our App that could work everywhere. Instead, we develop separate native versions for Windows, Mac, Desktop Web, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, HP WebOS and (coming soon) Windows Phone 7. We do it because the results are better and, frankly, that’s all-important. We could probably save 70% of our development budget by switching to a single, cross-platform client, but we would probably lose 80% of our users. And we’d be shut out of most app stores and go back to worrying about distribution.

Does this mean that web apps are doomed? Not at all, but the most successful web apps will be the ones that emphasize unique benefits—sharing, communications, integrations—that are better implemented on the web than in native code. This is the main design goal for the next version of the Evernote web client, by the way.

Lost among all the gloomy economic news of the past few years is the fact that there’s never been a better time to be in software. Sure, the emergence and inevitable dominance of app stores will permanently disrupt existing industry practices—I’m glad we’re not in the business of preventing people from making copies of bits, shipping shrink-wrapped boxes or charging people for periodic upgrades—but a company like Evernote simply could not have attained a fraction of our current momentum even three years ago. App stores, cloud services, cross-platform users and Freemium economics made it all possible. The download numbers are certain to decline a bit as the excitement of the first week finds a sustainable steady-state, but the launch of the Mac App Store will have a major, and permanent, positive impact on developers.(source:techcrunch)

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原文链接:http://mobile.51cto.com/news-243729.htm
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