August 29, 2009

Proof: Why Everyone Needs a Ukrainian Friend

If you want to have wedding stories to tell that do not end up with you passed out in a hotel lobby, you need to get a Ukrainian friend.  When that friend gets engaged, you need to treat him to couple vodka and tonics, so you can stay on the invite list for his wedding.  After the wedding (of which you won't understand a word), you need to find a good seat near the dance floor.  Then grab yourself a vodka and tonic and watch the show.  You'll finally understand where you friend was going every Tuesday and Friday nights when he was growing up.

In the App Store: A Week at $0.99

"Naming your baby should be as much fun as making it. Well, at least as much fun as you can have with your iPhone." This is the tag line to the BabyBinks' iPhone application Stork Drop. After 2 months in the App Store priced at $2.99, we decided to conduct an experiment to see if we were leaving 'money on the table' with our pricing strategy.

The "Baby Names" Category
Currently, there are currently 53 applications returned when using "Baby Names" as the search query in the iTunes App Store. There is about a 50/50 split for free/paid applications, with only a few Lite versions of paid apps. In these cases, the Lite versions consistently rank significantly above the Paid versions.
The overall quality of the apps vary significantly. While I am biased, since my app is in this category, I would say only about 5 apps are well-designed and thought out attempts at creating a quality product. The others are simply table views of data with some sort of baby image on the front page. Given that all these apps (including mine) use the same data source (publicly available U.S. Social Security data), the presentation of the data is the only thing that allows the apps to differentiate themselves.

Interestingly, there are many apps that appear from the query "Baby Names" that don't have any baby naming functionality. These include: Baby Tracker: Nursing, Pet Names Plus, Toddler Flashcards, etc. This problem speaks more to some highly-discussed problems with the App Store indexing and the new keywords in iTunes Connect. I'll leave that for another day.

Our Place in the App Store

Stork Drop has enjoyed moderate success in the App Store. It has been consistently in the top 5 paid apps in the "Baby Names" category and typically floats around position 15 for all baby naming apps. Stork Drop is circled in the App Store search below. Monetarily, the word 'moderate' is extremely generous. I would put it in the beer money (or more appropriately baby formula) range.

From a feature set position, Stork Drop stands out as one of the only applications that provides any real interactivity or utilizes the iPhone as more than just for statics data display. For example, Stork Drop provides real-time statistics of name popularity by monitoring all users "Favorite Baby Names" lists through an external server (screenshot of this "Snoop" feature is shown). I would concede that some of the other apps have better graphics, but then again, every app (including Stork Drop) is based off a series of UITableViews.

August 28, 2009

Free Fridays

Here at BabyBinks we are always excited when someone emails to tell us that they used Stork Drop to pick their baby’s name.  To celebrate the birth of Lola Anne from Missouri, Stork Drop is free today! Please download, enjoy and rate it!>

Ditch Fridays

If you don't know what it is...find out.
If you know what it need to go.
If you've're smiling.
If you bring your'll have a lot of explaining to do.

August 21, 2009

Dollar Day Sale

“Stork Drop - Baby Names” is on sale today for $0.99 in the App Store.

August 20, 2009

Stork Drop Update 1.2.0 - In Review

A new update has been submitted for Stork Drop.  Here’s what’s new:
  • Twitter integration; automatically tweet your favorites list to your twitter account
  • United Kingdom and Canadian popularity statistics
  • Real-time name popularity statistics listed in Stork Snoop (see image)
  • More name lists (Athletes, Scholars, Celebrity Baby)
  • Over 1,000 new names, meanings and origins
  • User interface enhancements in Stork Drop game

August 17, 2009

There’s no looking back now.

Margret and I celebrated our 7th anniversary the way all parents should…without their children. Over dinner of sushi and saki, we regaled our respective stories of the first time we met, our first date, wedding planning, and life before kids. After that 5 minutes, we spent the remaining 2 hours talking about our kids…the way all parents should.

August 16, 2009

Proof: Kids Need Their Morning Coffee Too

What if I told you we secretly switched your formula for Folgers crystals?

August 15, 2009

New Apple Retail Store in Naperville

The new Apple Store opened in downtown Naperville.  Ava is bored, Grandma is excited to have someone help her with her computer, Daddy is ECSTATIC to have someone help Grandma with her computer.

August 13, 2009

Duh, It's When Everyone Know Everything

Ava: Duh, I can do it.
Dad: What did you say?
Ava: I can do it.
Dad: No, before that.
Ava: Duh.
Dad: Where did you hear that word?
Ava: At school. Rachael says it.
Dad: Well, that's not a nice word to say.
Ava: It's not a bad word.
Dad:'s not, but it's still not a nice word to say.
Ava: Why?
Dad: Well...actually, it's not even a real word. Do you even know what it means?
Ava: It's when everyone knows everything.
(dad stops to appreciate Ava's pretty spot on definition)
Dad: Just don't say it.
Ava: Ok.

August 12, 2009

The Upside of Stale Bread

While stale bread is a reminder of the wasteful lifestyles that many of us lead, the anguish can be alleviated by knowing that that bread is not going to go to waste.  Feeding ducks is not only a great way to reduce your waste, but also improves you hand/eye coordination and reflexes, as the ducks are pretty aggressive.

August 9, 2009

“I’m going to give you a sticker for not dancing with any girls or getting married.”
-Ava, congratulating daddy on his return from a bachelor party in Las Vegas