Lovely Charts iPad Edition now available on the App Store!



What a week!

Lovely Charts for iPad has now been out for a week.
Since this is the very first app I’ve ever released on the app store, I pretty much had no idea what to expect.
After a week, I won’t pretend I know much about the app store economics/rules, but I do know what happened with my app last week, and because a lot of people have been asking, I think others could be interested in learning how an app like Lovely Charts can do in the App Store
So here’s a quick update on how things are going, what I’ve learned so far, and what the plans are for the upcoming weeks/months.

App update

First things first, you’ll be happy to learn I’ve just submitted an update of the app, fixing a couple bugs here and there, and most importantly, adding an export to PDF option!
There will definitely be more updates in 2012, but I really wanted to get the first update out before the end of the year, mission accomplished (if it gets approved in time by Apple that is :)!

Sales

Yeah yeah, I know that’s all you curious bunch care about :)
So, here are the sales numbers for the Lovely Charts’ first week in the App Store:

Lovely Charts for iPad Sales - Week 1

872 sales in total.
As I said above, I pretty much had no idea what to expect, so I’m rather happy with how this turned out, thanks everyone :)
I have to admit the biggest surprise for me was to see how quickly sales dropped. I knew that was going to happen, but I guess I kind of hoped this would be a smoother fall :)
The App store is a cruel world, if you don’t make it to the top, be prepared to dive quickly in the abyss and stay there in the dark for a while…

Personally, I think that’s reasonable, and see this as an opportunity to fine tune and polish my app without being in the spotlights, overwhelmed by support requests etc. We’ll see later if and how swimming back up to the surface can be done :)

Small stores don’t count.

Before last week, I knew the US App store was definitely the most important, but I didn’t have any clue how that translated in sales.
When I saw Lovely Charts climbing to #5 Paid Productivity Apps in the Belgian store, just behind the usual Pages, Keynote and Numbers, I admit I got a bit excited :)…. But how many sales does that translate into? 21, doh.
In comparison, I sold 85 copies that day on the US app store, and that only took Lovely Charts to #29 in the Paid Productivity Apps charts.

Press matters

My biggest sales until now have been in the German App Store. Why?
Because it’s one of the biggest european stores
Because the launch happened at a “european time”, ie 11AM CET, which is the middle of the night for the US.
Because of that it essentially got retweeted by european twitter users.
Because then the app got reviewed by a bunch of german sites (danke!), and that brought Lovely Charts into the top 10 of the german app store.

Lessons learned: german people are awesome, launch when the US are awake, and focus on getting the US’ attention.

Reviews require thick skin and cold blood.

To be fair, I kind of like the App Store’s review system.
It’s often criticized because it’s pretty much a one way channel. You can’t respond to reviews, argue with commenters, defend yourself, and that is indeed a bit frustrating when facing unfair reviews.
On the other hand, it adds a certain distance and objectivity. Your app is out there on its own, and it has to speak for itself. That’s tough but that’s ok.

But it’s not perfect, and seeing one or two star reviews based on missing features that you don’t even pretend your app offers is indeed unpleasant :)
I have no problem admitting my app has flaws, and that there are features that are missing. It’s very true, it’s 1.0 (1.1 soon, PDF Export, check !), and it doesn’t pretend to be solving everyone’s problems.
But blaming it for not having features it doesn’t claim to have? That’s not fair.

The good news though, is that even the reviewers that left poor reviews seem to agree that the app works as intended, and that’s pretty much the most important to me.
Here’s a sample of what people who left poor (1) to average (3) reviews had to say: “It works as advertised“, “Drawing shapes is easy and works“, “Gestures are great. they make excellent shapes.”
I can live with “bad” reviews like that :)
Average is now at 3.5, with 8 out of 13 reviews scoring 4 or 5 stars, thanks everyone !

What’s next?

That all being said, there are indeed tons of things to improve/add/enhance, and I’m really really pumped up with motivation to transform what I consider a great start into a truly awesome app.

As I said above, PDF export is coming your way.
After that, I’m not going to commit to anything or tell you yet what will be next, but for your information, here are the most requested items on my list:

  • More libraries
  • Font control (size, color etc)
  • Undo/redo

I’ll see what I can do :)… Looking forward to 2012 with great plans for the app, I wish you all with a bit of advance an awesome christmas and happy new year!

9 commentaires

  1. Tom Bowden :

    Love the app! Does what it says it does so well. So easy to use - gets fast results. Thanks to the creators of this great app.

  2. Jérôme :

    Thanks Tom !

  3. anna :

    Could you please update chart with regard to this blog post?

    Thanks

  4. anna :

    Very polished and professional product indeed.

    May I ask you regarding desktop version sales figures?

  5. Jérôme :

    Hi anna,

    I’ll try to publish regular updates as to how sales are going, week per week or month per month, as time goes.
    As for desktop version sales, I’ll keep the numbers for myself :)… Not that I want to really keep it secret, but more because I don’t want to just throw numbers out there without any context.

    Cheers,
    J.

  6. Santiago :

    Love your program. Just bought it and it is just what I needed. Always the challenge with these things is to keep it simple and fun while providing enough functionality.

    I encourage you to keep working on it. Here are some of the features at first glance that I “wished” it had:

    -Copy boxes, not just the text
    -Undo
    -Titles

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Van :

    Indeed a lovely app. It brought me to rethink Adobe Proto’s gesture. Strongly encourage to add undo/redo at least in next update.

  8. Nannette :

    Ok help!! I purchased Lovely charts for my ipad and was working on an org chart nice nice nice, but then decided to email it to myself and found out it can’t be opened unless i purchase or download the program on my comp… so after downloading adobeair i now have the program on my comp but can’t figure out how to get the chart to open in the program… is the only way for this to happen to purchase the program?? if so how much is the program in $$ because I don’t see that anywhere???

    HELP!!!

  9. Jérôme :

    Hi Nannette,

    thanks a lot for your purchase, and interest in the desktop app!

    First of all, fyi, since version 1.1, a vector PDF export option is available. This means your exported diagrams can be opened in mainstream apps such as Adobe Illustrator etc.
    Now, the integration with the Desktop app should be pretty straight forward: export as Editable diagram produces a *.lcml file, which you can send via email, and then opening it in the desktop app is just a matter of double clicking the attachment in your email client. If you’re using a webmail type of client such as gmail, you’ll probably need to download the file first, but once it’s on your computer, you should be able to open it like any file by double clicking.
    If this doesn’t work, you can try to force the selection of the app via right-click > open with (could vary depending on your platform.

    Finally, there could be an issue with the Open… menu option with I think *could* be disabled in the trial version. Sorry about that :)

    According to Google, 59 euro is approximately 75$ today.

    Let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help,
    Best,
    Jerome

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