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Universal Binary, yes or no?

02-28-2011, 12:51 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 51
Universal Binary, yes or no?

We have an app due out in a month and we can't decide whether or not to make it a universal binary. I would prefer to launch a universal binary because it is better for the user, they don't have to buy the same app twice, but I'm concerned about ranking and downloads. I'm not sure how apple ranks universal binaries.

If a user downloads the app on the phone and ipad will it rate higher in both stores, or is it similar to how updates work where the re-download doesn't count towards your ranking?

If we have a better chance of ranking higher if the app is actually 2 separate ones on the different devices, I would prefer that, but I can't find any documentation that explains how it all works.
02-28-2011, 02:08 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
for universal apps:
buys from an ipad contribute only to ipad sales charts
buys from an ipod, iphone, or itunes contribute only to iphone sales charts
you won't have any way to distinguish between your ipad and non-ipad sales

02-28-2011, 03:27 PM
#3
It's probably safe to assume a higher iPhone sales number though. Plus universal always pleases the customers.
02-28-2011, 04:01 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 184
Also with a universal, one thing you gotta watch out for is the size of your binary. You don't want too large that people have to use Wi-Fi to download it.

I'm not a huge believer in universal games/apps. I mean, i see it as, it's a different platform/device and usually some additional work had to be put into the app (design, code, marketing, planning, etc), so why give it away free? I know the iPad and iPhone are pretty much the same software platform, but usually at a minimum you may have some additional design cost.
02-28-2011, 04:14 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by pchukwura View Post
Also with a universal, one thing you gotta watch out for is the size of your binary. You don't want too large that people have to use Wi-Fi to download it.

I'm not a huge believer in universal games/apps. I mean, i see it as, it's a different platform/device and usually some additional work had to be put into the app (design, code, marketing, planning, etc), so why give it away free? I know the iPad and iPhone are pretty much the same software platform, but usually at a minimum you may have some additional design cost.
I build all my original work as vector art usually, so it is easy to scale. On the game we are launching april, the art is all pixel art, but with the 960 x 640 screen of the new iphones it isn't difficult to redo certain assets like backgrounds a little bigger.

I see what you're saying though, but if a universal binary can help with getting on the top 25 I would think that boost in sales would easily make up for not selling 2 different versions. I'm just not sure if making an app a universal binary will help with chart placement.
02-28-2011, 04:34 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Given that this is your first app, I would recommend releasing for iPhone-only first, and releasing an HD (universal) version later. The average user has no clue what the "+" means, and the iPad user base is much smaller than the iPhone base. By releasing an HD version later, you can get a 2nd chance to make a first impression. I can't imagine being universal making the difference in whether your app charts or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wossname View Post
I build all my original work as vector art usually, so it is easy to scale. On the game we are launching april, the art is all pixel art, but with the 960 x 640 screen of the new iphones it isn't difficult to redo certain assets like backgrounds a little bigger.

I see what you're saying though, but if a universal binary can help with getting on the top 25 I would think that boost in sales would easily make up for not selling 2 different versions. I'm just not sure if making an app a universal binary will help with chart placement.
02-28-2011, 04:38 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Given that this is your first app, I would recommend releasing for iPhone-only first, and releasing an HD (universal) version later. The average user has no clue what the "+" means, and the iPad user base is much smaller than the iPhone base. By releasing an HD version later, you can get a 2nd chance to make a first impression. I can't imagine being universal making the difference in whether your app charts or not.
This is my 5th app I think. In the past everything has been separate, iphone / ipad versions. This would be the 1st one that is a universal though, if we do that.

I've hit the top charts in the past, our last one got up to #3 but didn't make it past angry birds. I always wondered if it had been a universal app if that would have pushed it higher, but I haven't read anywhere where Apple states how that all works.

You stated that it depends where they buy the app that ranks it, but I haven't read anywhere officially that that is how it works. It is what I assumed though.

Last edited by wossname; 02-28-2011 at 04:46 PM.
02-28-2011, 08:04 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wossname View Post
You stated that it depends where they buy the app that ranks it, but I haven't read anywhere officially that that is how it works. It is what I assumed though.
https://devforums.apple.com/message/194026#194026

Posted by Apple staff.
02-28-2011, 08:08 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlue View Post
<3 thank you good sir
03-02-2011, 10:00 AM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by pchukwura View Post
I'm not a huge believer in universal games/apps, why give it away free?
I don't believe many customers would buy both app versions, they'd just pick the one they want (iPhone or iPad) and simply miss out on being able to use it interchangeably between their devices, all the while, in the back of their mind, quietly cursing the developer for being greedy and not making it a universal app.


wossname- Making it a universal app has no direct benefit to chart position, but it may have value in indirect ways. It may encourage a few more sales from dual iPhone+iPad users who appreciate universal support, it also simplifies linking to just a single app in terms of advertising, which benefits viral spreading of the app (e.g., an iPad user linking the app to their iPod touch friend), and I believe it tends to build a better brand image to your name.

I see more benefits to universal than separate, as you can probably see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
you won't have any way to distinguish between your ipad and non-ipad sales
You can get info on device usage with Flurry.

Last edited by EssentialParadox; 03-02-2011 at 10:07 AM.