How to get your app into the top 100

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How to get your app into the Top 100 This is the question almost every app developer asks himself.

Every day, hundreds of new apps are released, and there are a million apps in the app store already. So how do you get your app recognized, that it makes it into the top 100?

Once you are in the top 100, chances are much higher that it stays there for a longer period. People look to the top apps. If others have downloaded it, chances are high that it is a good app. Others are more likely to give it a try as well.

If you make it into the overall top 100, chances are pretty high you are close to the top 10 of a specific category. Which also helps, as people like browsing the top 10 of specific categories when they look for new apps.

There are also categories that Apple has created to promote new apps. Apple is always on the lookout for great new apps.

Usually, it is rather easy to get into the “New” section in the category you have chosen. This is nothing that Apple curates; it is just new apps.

It gets more interesting if Apple likes your app and promotes it. The best possible way are the big banners on top of the App store. It is nothing you can buy; there are no ad spaces that big corporations can pay for. All Apps are equal (of course, if you have a big hit, Apple will pay more attention to your App).

We were lucky that Apple has put our “Vital” App on the front page under the category “Best New Apps.” This is something they curate and choose.

Swipe Vital App

If you make it to this spot, it means that your App is likely to go up really fast, and a top-100 spot is almost a guarantee.

How did we get there?

Vital is a women’s magazine that we just relaunched. We were faced with the task to develop something interesting that younger women would be interested in. Why not just do another e-paper where they can read the full magazine on a smartphone? No way. One of the most read categories in the magazine is the advice section on how to stay healthy. This is what we built the App on.

The App helps you to stay fit and gives you daily tips on how to do so. You can only do one tip a day and grow your points by doing so.

Swipe Vital App

We started work on it when iOS7 was released. For us, it was pretty clear it will support iOS new look and technologies from the start.

Swipe Vital App

We put a tremendous amount of time into the interaction concept and design of the app. Every detail needed to be right. The guide when you open the app for the first time, the colors, the icons, the navigation, the general interaction concept. How can the “avatar” look like and grow, the more points you earn? What about subtle animations?

It all looks so natural and easy if you look on it today, but it was hard to get it to this level.

Swipe Vital App

Of course you need an idea that people like and that people want to interact with. But it is a lot about the overall execution. There are so many badly designed apps out there. If you get yours right, you are ahead of most apps out there. People realize, if you love what you do.

Swipe Vital App

The app was released mid December and made it into the top 200 “by itself” through promotion in the magazine, social media, etc. (This is another topic in itself: how to market your app before, during and after launch!).

But as we put so much emphasis on the design, we were convinced Apple would realize this and reward us.

Swipe Vital App

We were lucky. Last week Apple chose the app to be one of the “Best new apps” in its german app store. From there, within a few days the app had made it to position 64 out of all of the German iPhone apps on the market, and to position seven in the category “health and fitness”.

Swipe Vital App

If an app enters the top 100 at least 1.000-2.000 downloads a day are needed. However, I can´t share official numbers here.

How do you stay on top? That is another story. But once an app is successful it will continue to be downloaded and talked about. Getting to the top is one thing. Staying there is much harder and needs continous marketing, steady updates and new features. And luck.

PS: If you want to know more about the app, check our portfolio site on

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