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According to a blog posting by Kim-Mai Cutler, Apple has once again changed the algorithm that it uses to create the Top Charts lists for both paid and free apps.  As one of the effects of the change is that Facebook is once again the #1 Free App, one theory is that actual usage of the app somehow plays into the ranking algorithm.  Previously, a weighted average of new downloads over the last 18 days played the largest factor in determining an apps ranking. Now, it appears, that high usage apps like Facebook and Skype have received a boost in the rankings while other apps such as Coin Dozer have had steep drops.

I question whether usage is actually being factored into the algorithm.  Instead, I think that the change in the ranking algorithm is mainly a defense against the pay-per-download marketing campaigns that attempt to game the popularity ranking system with less-than-honest downloads.  Something as simple as factoring in the percent of users who upgrade an app would provide enough information to send Facebook to the top.

The bottom line for developers is to create apps that have sticking power with users and aren’t just “download and delete” apps.  Whether the current App ranking algorithm works this way or not, it is an easy bet that Apple intends to tweak its ranking algorithm to reward quality apps that users continue to use.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New iPhone App Prepares Students for Upcoming SAT and GRE Exams

Austin, Texas – September 22, 2010 – IMAK Creations today announces Who Is The Smartest? (WITS) Vocabulary for iPhone and iPod touch users.  Fall 2010 marks the beginning of the college and graduate school admissions season with the next SAT and GRE tests scheduled for October 9 and 23 respectively.

With its game show-style theme, the new WITS Vocabulary app moves beyond flash cards and provides a fun way to review vocabulary words.  Integration with Apple’s new Game Center motivates users to keep studying to earn achievements and compare leaderboard scores with other players.  WITS Vocabulary has two modes of game play.  Game Show mode presents ten questions and challenges players to win $1 million.  Speed Champ mode allows players two minutes to win as much money as they can by correctly answering questions.

Feature Highlights:

  • 8 categories of questions: nouns, verbs, adjectives, definitions, antonyms/synonyms, spelling, word usage, and word roots
  • 3 difficulty levels of questions: easy, medium, hard
  • Over 1,000 words to learn
  • Over 2,500 questions
  • 2 game modes – Game Show and Speed Champ
  • Integration with Apple’s Game Center

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone or iPod touch
  • Requires iOS 4.1 or later
  • No Wi-Fi network required, except for Game Center functionality
  • 18 MB

Pricing and Availability:

Who’s The Smartest? Vocabulary is currently in review by Apple and will be released at an introductory price of $2.99 (USD), 40% off the regular price of $4.99.  It will be available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Word Games and Educational Games categories.  App Store promo codes are available upon request for press or professional reviewers (U.S. App Store only).

About IMAK Creations:

IMAK Creations is a family business based in Austin, Texas.  Since 2008, IMAK Creations has been developing educational applications exclusively for Apple iOS devices  IMAK produces educational and art-related apps. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Mason Weems
Sales, Marketing, and Programming
Austin, Texas USA
support @ IMAKcreations.com

IMAGES:

Who Is The Smartest? Vocab

Two different games!

Easy level word usage question

Don't forget your lifelines!

Blazing Whiz Achievement

Game Center Achievements

We received a new review on That Ain’t It! Trivia by Keri Honea over at examiner.com.  “It’s really quite addictive”, says Keri, “it’s a perfect little time killer for waiting rooms, standing in line, or waiting for the meeting to start.”

We just released a movie trivia edition of our top-25 That Ain’t It! Trivia game.  That Ain’t It! Movie Trivia is available in the App Store at a holiday price of $0.99.

To help promote it’s release, we have made the following apps free over the holidays.  These are normally paid and will all be priced $0.99 to $4.99 after the holidays. HodgePodge was just released last week. Hold On! has been on the store since it opened. The Brain Blaze apps are all flashcard apps.  Be sure to add some to your collection (HodgePodge for sure – we will be adding more mini-apps to it).

HodgePodge http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hodgepodge/id335949051?mt=8
Hold On!  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hold-on/id284963359?mt=8
Brain Blaze Word Roots http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-word-roots-flashcards/id325550553?mt=8
Brain Blaze WhichWord http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-whichword/id317789453?mt=8
Brain Blaze Math Flashcards http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-math-flashcards/id327729675?mt=8
Brain Blaze Multiply http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-multiply/id290620272?mt=8
Brain Blaze Divide http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-divide/id293689810?mt=8
Brain Blaze Add http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-add/id299485860?mt=8
Brain Blaze Subtract http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brain-blaze-subtract/id300097181?mt=8


Happy Holidays from the IMAK team,

Mason, Karen, Anthony, and Ian