Story of an app launch (Saved - Budgeting and Expenses)

Published: 15 February 2014

Saved is the first retail app that I am involved in crafting from conception to launch full-time at Lentor Solutions.

We'd decided some time around November 2013 to dive into the production of high-quality commercial apps and I was delighted when the team decided to create a personal budget and spending tracker. Personal finance software had been a domain that I had been very interested in for many years.

The first version of Saved was released around the New Years Day holiday period of January 2014. We had no idea then what to expect, but here's the fun stuffs that happened.

3rd of January 2014 ~ HackerNews

We did the customary HackerNews share with a good title that @alding came up with and within minutes, we had Saved's first public scrutiny. We gathered some amazing comments and our web servers were getting a lot of traffic. @mkoppanen was especially glad he overkilled on the web server a little bit with mod_cache + mod_pagespeed + memcached.

3rd of January 2014 ~ Featured on the App Store and iTunes Home Page

Some hours later, we found that Saved was featured on the iTunes Home Page (Best New Apps) in 15 countries (Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam)! Here's the look in Singapore:

We were also featured in "New Year, New You" in South Korea, which was great as part of our intention to launch during this period was for users to pick up the app as they start making resolutions to get their finances in place.

5th January 2014 ~ Climbing the charts

We'd noticed from Google Analytics that the amount of downloads and screen views were increasing very quickly after the 3rd of January and started to relentlessly refresh Saved's App Annie listing. In about 2 days, Saved got to good positions on the charts (Downloads) of Asian countries (where it was featured).

(Chart screenshot from App Annie)

Here's how it looked like in Singapore and Malaysia :)

6th January 2014 ~ TechInAsia article

The nice folks at TechInAsia wrote about Saved.

10th January 2014 ~ Main Banner on iTunes Homepage in South Korea

Saved appears on the main banner of iTunes' homepage, with @alding's beautifully minimal artwork.

Over the next 2 days, Saved climbed 9 spots to 7th position on the South Korean App Store (Downloads, Finance Category).

First month of launch

Throughout the first month, we received tons of feedback via e-mail, gathering intelligence on how the app should evolve and the features that users like to have most.

In all, it was a heartwarming experience to had received intelligent feedback from the community (HackerNews, app reviews and user e-mails were especially helpful). Besides helping to guide future directions, it was just encouraging to experience the care that people place on the tool they use to enhance their daily lives. Our experience with Apple's App Store had also been very delightful, and we're grateful to have been featured as Best New Apps in so many countries. We learnt how important it is to produce high-quality apps and had our faith in the Apple App Store review and editorial process strengthened.