Review Instructions

Our goal is to make Pretty Cool Apps the destination for the most interesting and compelling reviews for mobile apps on iOS and Android phone and tablet devices. Readers should feel compelled to download the reviewed app, share the review across social networks and engage in online debate about the app, the review and even the reviewer. Pretty Cool Apps is about the discovery of amazing apps that users may not have heard about as well as providing an opinionated dialogue on popular and trending apps. Our reviews should aim to be of the highest quality writing are thought provoking, sincere, humourous, contentious and clever. We want to elevate the personal profiles of the reviewers and make #Prettycoolapps synonymous with the best app reviews to be found on the Net. Please follow these instructions when creating your app review.

Editorial Brief

Our expectation is that you have spent a fair bit of time with the app before you prepare your review. Good reviews offer a unique insight into the opinions of the reviewer – use them as an opportunity to inject your personality into the writing. We do not want reviews to be regurgitated press releases – be opinionated and encourage debate. Where possible:

  • Be descriptive about your experience with the main features and functions
  • Make the review personal

  • Do not plagiarise content

  • Compare it to other similar apps  (even provide links direct to the app store)
  • Provide examples of where and how you have used the application (eg. “the perfect game to play one handed on the bus”)
  • Highlight the positives, negatives and offer suggestions for improvement
  • Summarise your review and offer suggestions on who would find the app useful and in what situations
  • The review should encourage the reader to comment and add their “own review in the comments section below”

Choose an app then write a review and post in one of the following articles

Content Categories (Review Types)

Categories are based on attitudes for what users are looking for in a mobile app. There’s no right or wrong way to categories your review but aim to place it in a category that is mostly likely to engage the audience based on what they would be searching for. For example, a cookbook on Paleo Diets would logically fit into the “To Read” category but would be better placed in the “Healthy Living” category. The key is to think about the user first, rather than the more traditional category allocation. Play Games: Covers all game types and genres. Easily the largest and most popular category. Be Social: Dedicated to social sharing applications or utilities that have a strong focus on social sharing, social networking or even real-world hookups. Essentially for apps that bring people together online or offline #meatspace #IRL Be Entertained: Apps that offer news, media and other fun distractions such as entertainment, music, news & sports Be Productive: Reserved for utility applications that save time, improve processes or achieve specific tasks. E.g. weather, task management, navigation, motivational, business tools, measurement, tracking apps and so on… Live Healthy: Apps that promote healthy living including cooking, exercise & fitness, mental well being, spirituality, eco lifestyle, holistic medicine, western health and medical utilities. Get Creative: photography, video, illustration, writing and music creation apps. Topics could also include architecture, design, craft, carpentry and any other creative endeavour where the tools facilitate creative production or inspiration. Enjoy Life: These are for apps that are focused on tactile and emotional experiences. E.g. food & drink, cooking, live music, lifestyle, travel, exploration, groupon/coupon, event recommendations etc… To Read: Suitable for apps where reading and engaging in written content is the main function eg: ebooks, RSS readers, book stores, newsstand, education, e-mags and other curated content Make Money: Targeting users who are looking for apps to help them make more money: E.g. Investor news, stock tools, small business tools, motivational e-books, finance calculators, money transfer tools, betting apps etc…

Technical Post Requirements

Preparing your post for delivery requires some specific actions so that the content appears correctly. The PCA website theme uses “Articles” which are published into categories called “Review Types” (each Review Type corresponds with the content categories described above). Do not create your reviews using the default blog post functions. Make sure you follow these steps:

How to create a Review

  1. In the main navigation on the left side of your screen. roll your mouse over each Article type (e.g. Entertainment App Articles) to reveal the fly-out menu and select “Add new article”
  2. Enter the name of the app as the article heading (e.g. Angry Birds: Seasons)
  3. Save the article as a DRAFT.
  4. Write your review in the main copy area including screenshots, video or any other relevant media
  5. Prepare a short “Excerpt” that will act as a preview to the full article (requirements below)
  6. Add your ratings for the app in the “Rating Info” panel (requirements below)
  7. Ensure that all links to Google Play / App Store have affiliate links attached
  8. When you are finished, press the “Submit for Review” button

 

Excerpt (main panel)

You must create an article summary in the Excerpt panel, located in the main column of the article edit page. The Excerpt should be a teaser for the main review; it can be up to 50 words in length and contain no more than 175 characters (including spaces)

Rating Info (main panel)

  • The Positives and Negatives panels are used to illustrated a couple of key features that define the app. You will need to add at least two and up to 5 for each positive or negative points. Use <br /> tags after each point to start a new line.
  • Versions: this is used to inform the user of the exact version number of the app that was reviewed (e.g. “2.6.1”)
  • Seller is for the name of the developer. Make sure you wrap the the name of developer with a link to their website or app store profile (e.g. <a href=”http://halfbrick.com/” target=”_blank”>Halfbrick Studios</a>)
  • Star Ratings: Use the drop down menus to select your star ratings for the app. Each article type will have it’s own unique selection of rating paramaters.

 

Platforms  (right panel)

Tick the boxes for each platform the application is available on (even if it is not reviewed)

Target Audience (right panel)

Tick the boxes for each demographic that you believe the app primarily targets. Choose the more generic options if you believe the app is relevant for a wider audience (e.g. “All Ages”)

Price (right panel)

Use this to display the revenue model for the app (only choose one)

Devices

Tick boxes for each device the application is available on

Download high rez app logo  (iOS instructions)

  1. Open up the ‘iTunes Preview” App page in Google Chrome (here’s an example page)
  2. Right click on the app icon and choose “Inspect element” from the menu options. Now that you have access to the pages source code, the DIV class “Artwork should reveal the image URL which will look similar to this: http://a1.mzstatic.com/us/r1000/078/Purple/v4/db/de/ef/dbdeef84-c58d-1ffb-0b48-0ab1ca2cb035/mzl.jvyonmul.175×175-75.jpg
  3. Hover your mouse over this link, right click your mouse and select “Open link in New Tab”. Edit the file name in the url by replacing “175×175” with “512×512” – leave everything else the same.
  4. The page will reload with a higher resolution version of the app icon. Save this image to your local drive

 

Download high rez app logo  (Google Play instructions)

  1. Open up the Google Play App product page Google Chrome (here’s an example page)
  2. Right click on the app icon and choose “Open image in New Tab” from the menu options.
  3. Change the last three digits of the URL from “=w124” to “=w512” and press enter.
  4. The page will reload with a higher resolution version of the app icon. Save this image to your local drive

 

Set the Feature Image

Click the “Set featured image” in the Features Image panel box on the right hand side of the page editor. Upload the image 512px x 512px image you have just sourced following the steps above.