David Smith has an analysis of long names in the App Store, as developers try to understand the scope of Apple’s upcoming cleanup changes. Don’t miss the text file of 255-character names he found, which are all ridiculous. I’d laugh if this kind of gaming of the store didn’t make me sad.
I’ve always thought that the title shown in the App Store should be the actual app name. Keyword spamming is clearly bad, but I personally don’t like even tag lines in the name. Of the 4 apps from my company Riverfold that have been in the App Store, the names in the store all exactly match what is shown on your home screen:
- Tweet Library
- Watermark Mobile
Maybe my sales suffered because of my refusal to add more words after the real name, but to me, these names are pure and gimmick-free. I don’t want my customers subjected to a truncated mess of words even before they use my app.
If tag lines and brief descriptions in the App Store name are so common (and they are), then Apple should complement the new 50-character limit by having a separate 1-line description field in search results. This was discussed on the latest episode of Release Notes. My worry is that Apple attempts to fight problems with new policy alone instead of also encouraging the right behavior with App Store features.
There is a story behind the name “Riverfold”:http://www.riverfold.com/, but it’s probably not a very good one and I won’t go on a tangent by telling it here. What I will say is that I hate domain names.
Maybe it’s because I remember when domain names used to be free (I do), or maybe it’s because I get some thrill out of typing in IP addresses (I don’t), or maybe it’s because I think domains should last forever, like a printed book in wide circulation. But in any case I decided not to register WiiTransfer.com when I first named the product. Five days after announcing and shipping 1.0, someone else registered the domain, for their own presumably evil purposes.
I’ve owned just a handful of domains over the years. During the dot-com days I registered MyEdit.com and started building a web-based note filing system (sort of like “Stikkit”:http://stikkit.com/, but not as good). Then there were the family web site and related domains.
I let all of them expire, except manton.org. I kept riverfold.com for “everything else”, and I’m pretty comfortable with the simplicity of that decision right now. It was probably foolish to pass up the domain for my own product. But how many people type in photoshop.com to go anywhere? No one who matters.
There is a thread on the MacSB mailing list about the rise of product-oriented web sites (the “DiscoApp.com”:http://www.discoapp.com/’s of this new era of glitzy Mac shareware), and it really made me second-guess my decision to not register everything. But at the end of the day, it’s one less thing I have to worry about, and I can focus on stuff that is more interesting.