In a competitive landscape, branding is important, so I took the opportunity to insert the Intermission theme where I could without taking away from the core experience. The sounds are called “chimes” and the icon is a theater curtain. The headline on the landing page is “Take Direction Over Your Screen Time”. It’s not much, but the goal is to make it feel more than just an app, and give it some personality.
More Customization Features
The biggest advantage competitors had over Breaks For Eyes is customization. Time Out, the only direct competitor that sees more downloads, is extremely customizable to the point that I think it’s overwhelming for most people. A lot of the negative reviews for BFE, though few in number, strike at the point that BFE did not allow you to stray from the 20-20-20 rule. I wanted to add features that add to the value without unnecesarrily complicating the user experience, so I added the following:
- Customize how long breaks last and how often they occur
- Write your own message that is shown during the breaks
- Choose the sound that’s played at the end of your break
BFE was already localized to 5 different languages. I decided to add another: Hindi. India was the region with the largest number of downloads that the app had not yet been localized for. If there’s anywhere I messed up in this process, it was localization. I had never done it before, and it’s the only thing I would do differently if I had the chance. I ended up re-translating all of the copy across the entire app, for all localizations. I expect future updates will be addressing improvements here, but since a huge majority of customers are using the English version, I decided to release as is rather than spending more time perfecting the translations.
The new landing page describes Intermission as more than just an app, which I think will help if in the future I pitch it to doctors and business owners. The old landing page will continue to draw in existing traffic from backlinks.
I made some updates to the App Store keywords, and I hope they’ll yield some more traffic.
Raising the Price
It’s not really an improvement for the customer, but I want to test a higher price and gauge the reaction. It’s been at $4.99 but I have it set to change to $7.99 shortly.
Here’s what I spent time on that is not released:
- The iOS app. It’s very close to ready, but I’m just not prioritizing it right now.
- I tried having Intermission understand when the customer has Do Not Disturb turned on, but Apple does not share this information with Developers.
- I tried having Intermission automatically pause audio/video when a break begins, but again, Apple does not share with Developers if there is audio/video playing from another app.
I had fun working on this and I’m glad I purchased the app. When I did, I thought it was a good deal, and in hindsight it was a great deal. At the time of the sale, I was concerned about recent sales being unsustainable due to a holiday bump, but they’ve held up and even grown. In February, proceeds were $325, and in March they were $433. April looked to be on track with February, but fingers crossed the update and pricing change work in my favor.
Barring any breaking issues that appear, I’m going to let it sit for a bit. In a month or two, I’ll have some perspective on how existing customers responded to the improvements I’ve made, and I can evaluate how the App Store profile changes I made affect downloads and sales.
Other than that, I’ll let the response to my improvements dictate how much more time I put into Intermission. I will say that I’m excited to have this acquisition & improvement completed so I have the bandwidth to take on another of a similar size. I’m always on the lookout…