Apple selected my app, Spend Stack, to be in its retail demo program in the U.S.
Hey all –
In the middle of last year I released my running total list app, [Spend Stack](https://apps.apple.com/us/app/spend-stack-smarter-lists/id1329068268). Starting (as far as I can tell) last week, Apple rolled it out to their retail demo program!
This means it’s on iPhones and iPads at Best Buy’s, Apple affiliate stores and Apple Stores. This was a very exciting process for me, and it feels great to have it across the U.S. I went into Best Buy with my wife, and we took a bunch of selfies with the phones running Spend Stack like we were proud parents (we call the app our fourth child) 😆 – some photos [here](https://twitter.com/jordanmorgan10/status/1228785423759151104?s=21). This has definitely been a career highlight, there’s nothing like walking into a store and seeing your app running on the demo hardware. I try hard to make an app that’s a great platform citizen, so in a way it feels like some validation I’m on the right path there.
If you’re interested, here are some common questions I’ve had:
– Did you apply for the retail demo program?
No, Apple reached out to me last December. As far as I know, there is no avenue to apply for this program and it seems like they curate these apps in house. I’m not sure if they are part of the same App Store editorial team or not. It’s interesting, because I’ve not been featured too much on the App Store. For example, I’ve been asked for promotion art a few times but as far as I know it’s not been used up to this point. So there doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation there.
– Where all is it at, and for how long?
I’m not entirely sure, and they don’t really say. The person I talked with at developer relations was really kind throughout the process, but I never really had any information about where all it’ll be at, which territories, stores, etc. From just poking around, it seems like there are about 4 different retail demo lineups. But, some apps show up on all four of those, while some don’t. In my case, it seems like either Lifesum or Spend Stack show up on most of these (but not together). That is to say, if Lifesum is on the demo unit then Spend Stack isn’t, and vice-versa. They are also in the same spot.
– Has it helped sales?
Yes, it has! There aren’t a lot of us doing paid up front anymore, but it has given the app a boost. Most downloads come from search still, but it seems some recent spikes have occurred right when I noticed Spend Stack was rolling out across stores. It’s not from marketing, as I’ve been heads down on a large update for the past few months, so I’m guessing it’s from this.
– Do you have to create a specific version for it?
Also yes. You get a 15-20 page pdf of the requirements. They aren’t too bad. Most of the time I spent (after making the build) was getting it uploaded to the App Store because you’ve got to do it a bit differently than normal. I ran into a few hiccups along the way, mostly technical. For example, it took Spend Stack five seconds to launch at first because I was creating all of the demo data when it booted. This obviously wouldn’t work, so I ended up shipping a pre populated database with it that’s read at launch. Much better! You’ve also got to wipe this data when the app is no longer in use, which made multiple windows support tough since the API reports that your app was backgrounders while a new window is being opened.
Anyways, it has been such a cool experience and I thought I’d share. If you have thoughts or questions, I’m happy to answer them. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read this if you made it this far