I’ve covered App.io a few times in the past. The service, which allows app devs to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS apps on the web, first launched under the name “Kickfolio” back in 2012. The goal for the company was originally to let devs bring demos of their apps to promotional webpages and it eventually expanded the platform to include Facebook and other channels. Today, and around 2 million interactive app demos later, the company is announcing that it’s bringing those same app demos directly to mobile devices as interactive ads.
The ads go a step beyond the interactive app-like experience that Apple promised, but never quite delivered, with iAd, and allows users to play a demo of the app before deciding to purchase/download or even visit the App Store at all. The ad starts off as a banner or like any other ad but turns into a demo version of a native iOS app that is fully playable for a set period of time before prompting the user to visit the App Store. The company tells me in its initial tests it saw “3-5x higher conversion rates than normal mobile ads.”
App.io lets developers simply upload a zipped version of their app (no SDKs, plugins or changing code), and the service spits out a link to a private test page displaying an interactive HTML5 and CSS version of the app controllable by mouse and keyboard in portrait or landscape. The company says the process of bringing the demos to interactive ads on mobile devices will essentially be the same for developers but it’s also made “a lot of optimizations” to get the HTML5 experience running smoothly on mobile devices.
Our ads are 100% rich media, so they work on most ad networks out of the box. We require no SDK integrations, so creating an ad unit is as simple as uploading a build of your app. We are 100% MRAID compliant, so we can run on any MRAID ad network. We track the entire ads funnel, from impression, first tap, length of interaction, tap to the App Store, device install, and in the future, day 1/7/30 retention and cohort LTV.
Up until now developers have been using the platform mostly for providing demos of mobile apps on the web for promotional materials and internal testing. App.io is officially announcing its new interactive ads today, but those interested in being part of the initial trials will have to contact the company at email@example.com. It’s also iOS only for now, but the company told me due to the demos being all HTML5, it “can easily run the same ad unit on android devices, and point to the Google Play store.”
Developers can also still sign up to to deploy their apps as HTML5 demos on the web here. A coiple of those demos are embedded below: