Thursday, 18 November 2010

MomsWithApps 1year Anniversary

In the beginning there was a gut feeling, four women with iphone apps found themselves lost in the jungle of 200 thousand of other apps. Gut feeling that they should do something to make their apps more visible, to mobilize other people's energy and in a joint effort make their outcry - Hey, look we've got few nice apps for kids here. So they founded Moms With Apps Google group, started to utilize social media to attract more helpers, more members and the snow ball started to roll. It rolled and rolled (we were caught on in shortly after the launch), it went from kids apps to family friendly apps, it went form Moms to Moms, Dads, Uncles etc and it went from husband-wife teams to family friendly corporations. The idea is to attract attention to the apps we are making with our kids/families on our mind.

Now I'll start to be slightly controversial because I am not an American and I don't feel that bound with political correctness and equalities of so many kinds. The change came when dads become involved - they brought their left hemispheres into the process. So now we have a forum for sharing information with million threads with hints and tips of all kind, there is a written program of the group, we will have a badge for distinguishing better apps from the worse ones, the group is intertwined with the educational crowd, with critics and reviewers etc. I am just saying that's how this world works, the men take always over, for better or worse. And I like to watch it, women with gut feelings cooperating with men on a hunt for success.

The four women were Lorraine from My Little Suitcase, Lynette from PicPocket Books and Jill&Alesha from MomMaps, and their first blog post was this. Now the Momswithapps forum can be found here and is open for anybody. I am really thankful that I met this inspiring group of people because they helped us to gain confidence, they made us feel a part of a community not just standing helplessly alone in the middle of the app  storm and whenever we have a technical issue, there is an answer for that on the forum. So, having the thanks giving season around the corner, I am saying THANK YOU, MOMS WITH APPS.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

November is a busy month so far

 On Friday, we published another book for our subscribers called Kids Riddles and it is a selection of classic riddles with colorful pictures as answers. It is not exactly a book to read from the beginning to the end but we hope that in this rainy, fall weather it provides some quality entertainment for families cuddled on a sofa and spending time together.

Within the last two weeks, I attended two social meetings in the area. The first one was an official announcement of NookColor by Barnes&Nobles in San Bruno (they have their development labs down in Palo Alto). It will be really interesting to watch how their Nook will catch up on with other tablet readers and we are especially interested in their development program which will enable indie developers to sell their 'books' for that device. And it seems they really mean it with children content thanks to the hi-tech full color screen.

The second one was a meetup of Silicon Valley Kids Apps developers in San Carlos, held by Creativity Inc. It was a small event with Lorraine from MomsWithApps, which we are a part of, as a main speaker, followed by 5 people demo-ing their apps in various stages of done-ness. It would be interesting to take their place next time and show Okenko Books to this app-obsessed crowd to see what are their experienced comments.

As you probably noticed, Okenko Books also entered the big iDevices market and is now available on iTunes at for iPhone/iTouch/iPad users. We are very happy that we made it happen before the holiday season comes and we welcome iTunes customers among our subscribers. We released a PR on PrMac (here) on last Tuesday about this and it was followed by a number of news about Okenko on different channels. We also got a very nice review at and few more reviews are in progress.

Speaking of a holiday season, our developers are working on implementing a gift option into our website, so that relatives can easily buy a subscription for their grand kids, nieces and nephews just by paying for their books. The administration of the gift will be facilitated using a promocode which will be sent to the email address of kids' parents or carers. And regarding Thanksgiving, my next post will be a thanks giving one about the already mentioned supportive group of family friendly apps developers called Moms With Apps. Till then all the best, Jitka