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Appreneur Dictionary – A Collection of Mobile Application Terms and Definitions

App Developers have their own language it seems when it comes to the terminology and talk of the mobile application world. This exhaustive list below is the most complete and concise collection of mobile application terms and definitions that you’ll find anywhere online.

Ad Integration
Process of placing advertisements in an app to be shown to the user.

Ad Network
A company that aggregates available ad space across a large number of websites and sells it to the advertiser. There are many types of ad networks, from the very large to those targeted on a particular audience.

Affiliate
A type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards a person or business for each visitor or customer brought by their own marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’, ‘brand’ or ‘app’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. For example, if you have an iOS app and choose to have a “more” screen where you advertise and market other apps not belonging to you, if someone clicks on one of those apps and purchases it (or anything else on the App Store) within a 72-hour period, you’ll earn an affiliate commission on that sale.

App Distribution
The process of publishing your app to the App Store. Keep in mind that you’ll need a developer’s license in order to distribute your app. Some App Stores are free, some will cost you a small annual or one-time fee.

App Store Search Algorithm
The step-by-step procedure for calculations that an app store uses to determine an app’s ranking. As each app store’s algorithm’s are not public knowledge, these calculations are highly speculated to be based off of, but not necessarily limited to app title, name, description, reviews, rating, keywords, screenshots, inbound links, inbound traffic and out-of-store “buzz”.

ARPU – Average Revenue Per User
Calculated as follows => Monthly Revenue/MAU = ARPU.

ARPPU – Average Revenue Per Paying User
Similar to ARPU but with paid users (Those who pay via In-App Purchases).

ARPDAU – Average Revenue Per Daily Active User
How much revenue you are bringing in per daily active user.

ARPMAU – Average Revenue Per Monthly Active User
How much revenue you arebringing in per monthly active user.

ASO – App Store Optimization
The process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in an app store by customizing certain elements of your app’s listing, which determine that app’s ranking.

Build
A version of your app. During app development, your app goes through multiple “builds”. If you’re dealing with outsourcers, make sure you always receive the code for your latest build.

Bugs
Software defects that cause interruptions, glitches, or crashes when using an app.

Churn Rate (aka Attrition Rate)
This value is derived by subtracting 100 from the Retention percentage. Example 100%-Retention Rate = Churn Rate. If you have 70% of your users retaining in your app or game from month 1 to month 2, then your Churn rate would be 30%.

Click-through
When a user clicks on an advertisement and follows it through to the resulting web page.

Conversion Rate
How many Free users are you converting to Paid users? This rate is calculated by taking all your current paid users and dividing them by your total user base over their entire lifetime in general. For example if you have 1,000,000 users, but only 10,000 of them are users that have made in-app purchases, then you have a Conversion rate of 1%.

CPC – Cost Per Click
Cost of advertising based on the number of clicks your ad received.

CPI – Cost Per Install
Cost of advertising based on the number of app installs that result from the audience who have viewed your ad.

CPA – Cost Per Action
Cost of advertising based on a user taking a particular action (such as a purchase, download, or sign up) in response to an ad.

CPM – Cost Per Mille aka CPT – Cost Per Thousand
The cost associated with 1,000 views of your ad. For example, if a publisher charges a $10 CPM and there were 10,000 views, the cost of your ad is $100.

Cross Promotion
A symbiotic form of marketing where customers of one product or service promote a related, but not competing product or service. This is a great and almost always free method of getting your app in front of another app’s audience, while exposing your audience to their app.

Duration
our duration is the estimated time you can expect a user to stay in your game or app before leaving. You can calculate this by taking 100 and dividing it by the Churn percentage. If you have a churn rate of 30% then 100/30 = 3.33 which means that your user would potentially be retained for 3.33 months before they leave your app or game.

DAU – Daily Active Users
How many users you have USING your app daily. For example if you have 1000 users who have installed your app, and you have 100 of them on average using your app every day, then your DAU would be 100.

eCPM – Effective Cost Per Mille aka eCPT – Effective Cost Per Thousand
Total Earnings/Impressions X 1000 = eCPM.

Engagement (aka Stickiness)
DAU/MAU is the calculation to figure out how engaged or sticky your users are.

F2P – Free To Play
A self-explanatory term which refers to an app which is free to download and play.

Fill Rate
The percentage of ad requests where an ad is actually shown to the user.

Freemium
A common app monetization method in which you make your app free to download and play, but you bake in ad networks to display ads at your discretion to display for the user.

Functionality
The capabilities of your application.

HTML5 App
An app that can be stored on the Web and can run across all mobile platforms and browsers.

IAP – In App Purchase
Purchases made from within a mobile app. Users typically make an in-app purchase in order to access special content or features in an app such as power-ups, restricted levels, virtual money, special characters, boosts, etc. The purchasing process is completed directly from within the app and is seamless to the user in most cases, with the mobile platform provider facilitating the purchase and taking a share of the money spent (usually in the range of 30% or so depending on the App Store), with the rest going to the app developer.

Iterations
Each new version of your app project is referred to as an “iteration”. Examples include adding new features to an app, fixing bugs to an app, etc.

Impressions
A measure of the number of times a banner ad is served to a user’s web browsers.

Interstitial Ad
Full screen advertisement shown between two screens in an app.

iTunes Connect
Website provided by Apple where developers upload their apps for review and manage their developer accounts.

Joint Venture
A business enterprise in which two or more companies/entities enter a temporary partnership to share resources/exposure/funding/talent, etc. Also known as a “JV”.

K Factor
The viral growth of an app or game.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator
Simply a term used to figure out what data indicators you are tracking. For example you can track MAU, DAU, ARPU, etc.

LBS – Location Based Services
Information, features, functions or services utilizing the device’s GPS software.

Localization
This refers to the act of creating multiple versions of your app’s text in different languages for users to be served up based on their location and language preferences, thus creating a better user experience for them, and increasing the user prospect-base for your app

LTV – Life Time Value
This is the amount of revenue you can expect from a user from the time they install your app or game to the time they un-install your app or game.

MAU – Monthly Active Users
How many users do you have USING your app in a month? For example, if 1000 users have installed your app, but only 500 people actually used it in January, then your January MAU would be 500.

Minnows
These are those users who spend small amount of money in your game or app, but they do spend something. Either they have bought a small coin pack every month of $0.99 or something small, or they do have some form of engagement. Usually Minnows are around $10 or less per month (This value varies company to company) and can easily turn into Whales. Figuring out how to convert a Minnow to a Whale can help increase your overall LTV of a user.

Monetization
Strategy for making money with an app. May include showing ads, offering in-app purchases, selling virtual goods, etc.

More Screen
An addition screen within your app’s menu which allows you to advertise or promote other apps, products or services of your choice. Typically this is done to monetize by being an affiliate for other aligned apps, to cross-promoting other apps, or to make an offer.

Nag Screen
An advertising tactic where messages are displayed via a nagware program to encourage the user to upgrade, purchase IAPs, or other upsells while using the app.

Native App
An app that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device in a particular programing language (think Apple as the platform and and Objective C as the programing langauge). Because native apps are written for a specific platform, they can interact with and take advantage of operating system features and other software installed on that platform, and generally function quicker than apps which utilize 3rd party cross-platform languages like PhoneGap.

NFC – Near-Field Communication
Using radio frequency to connect devices via wireless technologies. Typically used for mobile payments.

Premium App
Common terms for a paid app. Meaning an app you need to purchase in order to download and use or play.

Press Release
Announcement sent to news organizations and websites to publicize news.

Push Notification
Notifications or messages sent from an app to a device without needing to launch the app. Users must have push notifications turned on for your app in order to receive these alerts.

Retention Rate
How long will people from month 1 stay in your app or game in month 2, month 3, month 4, etc. Usually a percentage.

SDK – Software Development Kit
A set of libraries and tools which hold reusable code that you use to develop applications. Apple’s SDK is xCode which allows developers to create apps compatible with the iPhone or iPad. Each ad network and 3rd party software service you want to utilize in your app will provide their own SDKs for you to integrate.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization
The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. This affects the amount of traffic which lands on your app’s website.

Tire-kickers, Freeloaders, Rocks
These are the users who usually spend a LOT of time in your game, but spend no money in your game. They are monetized through other means such as ads or incentives such as sponsorship signups or offer walls.

Touch User Interface Gestures
Hand gestures for using a device via touch screen, including pinching, scrolling, zooming, swiping. Each platform has different and specific gestures.

UDID – Unique Device Identifier
An identification number assigned to each iPhone, iPad or iPod touch generally used to send a build for testing a specific device. You will be giving your UDID to your developers. Copy your UDID from iTunes or directly from your device by downloading a free UDID app from the App Store. Advertising companies used UDIDs to gather data on users. In 2012, the UDID was replaced with the IFA (Identifier for Advertisers).

UI & GUI – User Interface & Graphical User Interface
The visual representation of what the end-user of your app sees, experiences and interacts with. GUI is graphical user interface which uses images instead of text for commands (ex: arrows for “back”, icons) to create an easier user experience (UX).

UX – User Experience
Everything from the user’s perspective that they encounter with your app, from the moment they see your marketing, through downloading your app and playing or using it, to the follow up communications.

Universal App
An app that is created and bundled to run on both iPad and iPhone (or Android phones and tablets) without interrupting, or sacrificing the quality of the user interface or experience. One example is that images won’t be disproportionate regardless of screen size.

Wireframes
Visual drawings, renderings or representations that provide the framework of your application and how it will be laid out and function.

Whales
In general a whale is a user who spends around $100/month in your app or game. This value varies per company and can be as low as $20/month. In general a whale is a big fish user who loves your app or game and will spend good money in it.

Whale Life Time Value (Whale LTV)
In many cases you have people tracking the entire lifetime value of whales to gauge how big in general whales can get on average (from install to uninstall). Determining what the lifetime value for whales are on average in your app or game can help you to figure out ways to try and increase that even more. Whales LOVE CONTENT!

xCode
A suite of developer tools and resources for ultimately developing and delivering software on and to Apple devices.

appreneur-dictionary-3DIf you think of any other terms that might have been missed, please leave them below in the comments field and we’ll add them into the mix!

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  • appclover

    Great article as always, Nav :-) Please keep the content coming!