How to be a Successful App Developer: Lessons from a Multi-Agent Simulation of an App Ecosystem and a Worldwide User Survey
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Who this event is for
T1.23, Turing, Wheatley Campus
Speaker: Soo Ling, University College London.
developers are constantly competing against each other to win more downloads
for their apps. With hundreds of thousands of apps in these online stores, what
strategy should a developer use to be successful? Should they innovate, make
many similar apps, optimise their own apps or just copy the apps of others?
Looking more deeply, how does a complex app ecosystem perform when developers
choose to use different strategies? To address these questions, we have
developed AppEco, the first Artificial Life model of mobile application
ecosystems. In AppEco, developer agents build and upload apps to the app store;
user agents browse the store and download the apps. A distinguishing feature of
AppEco is the explicit modelling of apps as artefacts. We used AppEco to
simulate Apple’s iOS app ecosystem and investigate common strategies used by
app developers. We evaluated the success of each strategy in terms of number of
downloads received, app diversity, and adoption rate by developers. To improve
the accuracy of user modelling, we conducted one of the largest surveys of
mobile app users to collect data on user adoption of the app store concept,
their app needs, and their rationale for selecting or abandoning an app. The
survey involved 10,208 participants from more than 15 countries, including UK,
USA, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, Italy, Russia, India, Canada,
Spain, Australia, Mexico, and South Korea. Analysis of the data revealed novel
insights and country differences that can inform app development.