We've started adding app store badges to the web pages for our products that come with a smartphone app, and I wanted to make it easier to do so. Fortunately, I discovered that Apple and Google now provide badge generation tools to make this process easier than ever.
The iTunes Link Maker lets you create links or badges that link to content on any Apple web property, including the App Store. To create a download badge for your app, first select "iOS Apps" from the Media Type dropdown and enter the name of your app in the search field.
From the list of results, click on the iPhone or iPad link. This brings up a pop-up window which gives you options for linking with a large or small button or with text only. Here's how they look:
Text link only:
To create a badge that links to your app on Google Play you need to follow a similar process. Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as Apple's version. To find your app, you have two options. The first lets you identify it by the 'Package name'. "What's that?" you ask? Good question.
If you look in the package name input field you'll see default text that says 'com.example.android'. This actually refers to the ID of the app which is visible in the address bar of your browser when you are on the app page in Google Play (please let me know if there is any easier way to find this).
So, using Angry Birds as an example, when I am on the Angry Birds app page the URL in the address bar is:
And therefore the package name is com.rovio.angrybirds. I agree that this is about as unintuitive as you can get.
The alternative is to use 'Publisher name' but this causes your app badge to link to a search results page which doesn't appear to work. Try it for yourself — enter Rovio as the publisher name and see if you get any results when you click on the badge you've created once your click 'Build my badge'.
On the plus side, Google offers a handy online tool for making your app screenshots display inside a Nexus device. Apple does not offer an equivalent service, although FrameApp appears to do the same for a range of iOS and Android devices, and PlaceIt works similarly but embeds your screenshot within a stock photo that includes a smartphone or tablet device.
Posted on: March 23, 2013 | No comments
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