Rock It With Technology
When external libraries and services fall short of our ambitions, we build our own technologies to solve the tough problems our hyper-competitive, ultra fast-changing market poses. Here are some of the smart solutions we’ve developed so far.
Swift Apps In A Swoosh.
Mastering all the facets of iOS development is essential to us. The way Apple suggests you structure your app is a good starting point, but it shows its limitations as an app grows ever more complex. The codebase becomes messy, difficult to debug, and hard to maintain. We thought it shouldn't be like that, so we've spent a few months studying all the latest and most appreciated design patterns adopted by developers on a variety of platforms. We used that knowledge to create Katana.
We believe that Katana is the one of the very best solutions out there to writing a mobile app. It's a modern and elegant framework, written in Swift, which allows you to give structure to all the aspects of your app. Using Katana your codebase will be predictable, efficient, simple to write, and easy to debug, even as it grows. We're so proud of it that we just couldn't keep it all to ourselves, so we decided to make it an open source project, available on our GitHub page. Developers around the world have shown their appreciation, and we couldn't be happier.
X-Ray Vision For The App Store.
What if we told you that nobody in the world knows as much as we do about the number of downloads and the revenue generated by every single product on the App Store? This superpower has a name: Crystal. Every hour we collect the App Store ranking position of more than 100,000 apps in 50+ countries. We then convert that information in number of daily downloads and revenue thanks to very accurate statistical models developed by our data science team, strong of an ex-Googler and an ex-CERN researcher.
All this data is presented on a web interface (our version of a crystal ball), which makes tapping into this knowledge embarrassingly easy. Crystal is an incredible competitive advantage for Bending Spoons: it informs our strategic decisions, helps benchmark our performance against the competition, and so much more. Crystal is the quintessential example of the crucial role data plays within Bending Spoons.
Insert Coin SDK
The In-App Mini-Games Revolution.
We were among the very first to bring virtual currency from games to apps in 2013. Using coins to unlock app features and virtual goods is preferable to direct in-app purchases, because it allows more granularity and prices cheaper than the minimum $0.99 supported by Apple, which are key levers to achieving top monetization performance. However, roughly 97% of users never spend, no matter the price. So we came up with the idea of embedding a set of mini-games in our apps. Users can accumulate virtual currency for free by playing (which is fun), and in exchange we get more engaged users and generate extra revenue through advertising.
We’re now at work creating a number of very high-quality games. Our goal is to provide mini-games for every taste, from fast-paced action games to brainy puzzles, from casino games to simple strategy ones. Users so far love them: we’ve recorded a staggering 30,000,000+ minutes of gameplay just over the first month. By the way: we decided to build this in the form of a highly-flexible SDK that both we and other developers can use (at a price, of course). We call it Insert Coin.
Big Data Answers Big Questions.
At Bending Spoons we ask our data big questions in the form of sophisticated SQL queries, queries that none of the many data analytics services we used in the past allowed us to perform. We often found ourselves spending hours getting dumps of all the user events they collected, before spending even more hours running many custom aggregation scripts. As we always do when available solutions don’t cut it, we took matters into our own hands, and we created Pico.
Pico is our end-to-end data analytics solution. Our apps send all their data directly to Pico (we’re talking millions of events per day), and they do so in a very flexible way: when a new event type is sent by an app, Pico automatically performs the necessary real-time database schema migration to support its storage. Under the hood, Pico stores data in Google BigQuery, a technology that enables us to perform SQL queries on petabytes of data in a matter of seconds. Pico gave us the guts to stop listening to our guts.