Saturday, April 27, 2013

LeadBolt Experiment

Inspired by an article about various ad types offered by LeadBolt, I decided to give it a shot myself. Although I like AdMob - its ease of use and reliability, it definitely doesn't give you much choice over advertising methods. Displaying a small static banner nowadays is like having a commercial on TV showing an image along with some promotional pitch. Would you get interested by it? Probably not. Why limit yourself to just banners then when there's a whole world of possibilities out there? What are they - you may ask. Well, keep reading and you'll find out.


They are full screen overlays appearing on top of your app. They come in various themes (the one on the left is called Music), so you can make them blend in with your content much better and provide a seamless experience for the user.


You probably know them best. They come in various sizes, so if someone is using a tablet or another device with a large screen, you can make use of it. Your opitions are: 320x50, 468x60, 300x250, 640x100, 728x90. If you only want to improve your AdMob functionality without changing too much - that's something for you.


You can see and example one on the left. They usually ask if you want to download a free app. It's much more tempting than just a banner in the bottom. Especially because it takes your attention and requires an action to close it. Anyway, why wouldn't you try a free game if you're probably playing something similar right now?

Audio Adds

"You just found a secret passage. Shake your phone to unlock your prize." Wouldn't you shake your phone after hearing this, even if it was just out of mere curiosity?

App Walls

Give you an opportunity to download games and apps. They come in two versions: dark and light. Again, very engaging and definitely appealing to the user.


Do you want the user to be notified about new opportunities and promotions repeatedly at intervals controlled by you? It works even if your app is not open.


Install an icon on the device's main screen, opening an app wall which offers free games and programs. The user doesn't have to open your app.

Other overlays

There's much more LeadBolt has to offer: entry and exit overlays, rich media, text ads and other types of ads. If the only network you're using is AdMob then you should definitely check it out as an alternative. I think you know why now.

Ad Showcase

If you're interested in seeing all kinds of ads in action, you can download my free app Ad Showcase. It lets you see what you can achieve with LeadBolt. I wrote it because I wanted to learn how to use the API, but later I decided to release it on Google Play to let others experiment with it as well and perhaps decide what advertising techniques they want to use themselves. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Reviews and opinions

If you're interested in more reading about LeadBolt, its advantages and drawbacks, I recommend the following sites:

Try it yourself

If you now feel like LeadBolt is worth checking out, you can use my reference link to sign up for free or just click the image on the left. I will definitely try to use some of the ad types described above in my existing apps, because I believe there's a great potential in them and they might work much better than simple AdMob banners. If you already have some experience with LeadBolt, please share it with me and other readers, so we avoid common mistakes and make the best out of it. I promise to describe my results as soon as they appear, so you can learn from them as well.

Take care, create great apps and have fun in the process. Until next time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

FC Barcelona Live Wallpaper shutting down because of copyrights

About a week ago I got an interesting email that you can read below. What it said can be basically put in short like that: dear Sir/Madam, blah, blah, we represent FC Barcelona football club, blah, blah, you're using our logo and colors, blah, blah, they are registered as trade marks, blah, blah, we're kindly asking you to unpublish your app, blah, blah, unless you want us to be more persuasive.

Asking them nicely for permission didn't help. Apparently there was an FCB Apps Program a while ago that let developers introduce their app proposals to be accepted. Unfortunately it's over now and there's no information regarding the next edition. That's why I'm going to get the app out of Google Play really soon. If you were considering whether to buy it or not, you'd better hurry up.

The whole story definitely taught me a lesson. At the time of writing the app I didn't even think of copyrights and trade marks. Anyway I would have never expected that a live wallpaper with 12 installs could get me in touch with a football club that I really like. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I might even make the source code public, so you can learn from it if you like. Let me know if you're interested.

Here's the full email that I got, if you have problems sleeping:

Dear Sir/Madam,
We are contacting you on behalf of our client FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA.

FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA is the exclusive and legitimate owner of the well-known trademarks “Futbol Club Barcelona”, “FCB”, “FCBarcelona” and “Barça” (among others), registered as international trademarks, such as FCBARCELONA (Id. Number: 1051714), FCBARCELONA (Id. Number: 864540), FCBARCELONA, (Id. Number: 907675), FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA (Id. Number: 516357) FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA (Id. Number: 731062) BARÇA (Id. Number: 1081332) BARÇA (Id. Number: 516357), F.C.B (Id. Number: 633377), F.C.B (Id. Number: 717965), FCB (Id. Number: 864541), FCB (Id. Number: 907670).

These trademarks also protect FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA’S shield, as a logotype, and the Football Team’s official colours.

We have been aware that you are the developer of the following Application:

Código de Contenido: 022-002-00146
Url del Contenido:
Vulneraciones: Copyright and trademark FC Barcelona
Número de vulneraciones: 1
Detalles vulneraciones
- app: FC Barcelona Logo LWP
Dominio Base: htttp://
Administrador del Site: ---
Persona Jurídica: ---
Hosting: --

This Application infringes our client’s exclusive rights, in particular, its copyrights, trademarks, logotypes and image rights.

The Application is using signs which are identical or similar to F.C. Barcelona’s trademarks, taking unfair advantage of the Club’s reputation. This constitutes an infringement of our client’s trademark rights.

Additionally, the distribution of an application entirely based on F.C. Barcelona, without the Club’s authorization, constitutes an act of unfair competition.

Therefore, we kindly ask you, upon reception of this notice, to immediately:
  1. Withdraw the abovementioned Application from the distribution platform where it is being offered to the public.
  2. Delete from your systems the Application and any and all materials violating our client’s copyrights, trademarks and image rights.
  3. Stop and refrain in the future from using and/or reproducing materials (images, trademarks, videos, logotypes, etc.) that infringe FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA’S exclusive rights.

We believe in good faith that the abovementioned Application has not been authorized by our client, its agent or the law.

We declare under penalty of perjury that all the information contained in this notice is accurate, and that we are authorized to act on the behalf of FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA.

We remain at your disposal in case you would like to contact FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA for an official license for your product.

Josep Coll

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lifestyle design

Recently, I've become extremely interested in the subject of lifestyle design. It basically means taking conscious decisions about your life instead of letting the society influence it and forcing you into paths you do not want to take. It gives you more awareness and control over the things you do and lets you choose the ones that you value more in favour of those less necessary or perhaps totally inessential.

It always strikes me how many people are unhappy with the things they do, but are unable to get out of the situation, even if it requires only one simple action. They complain about their jobs, lack of time, being overweight, having no friends, feeling tired, but they never actually ask themselves what they can do to improve it and so never even take the first step. Sometimes it's very difficult to look at your life from the outside and judge it objectively as if it was someone else, not us, and we were trying to give that someone a piece of advice. That's why it's extremely helpful to see how other people overcome their weeknesses and alter their lifestyles according to their own design.

No one can tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but they can help you find the right questions to ask yourself and give you some tips on how to follow the right priorities. If you hate your job, maybe you should quit? If you still need money for your everyday life, then you could earn it in a different way or cut the expenses drastically? Do you really need a car, a big house or a TV set? Do you feel like you should take care of your health more? Why not get out right now and go for a jog? You can never find the right motivation? Ask someone to run with you, make a training plan and give yourself some rewards. You can't find the time for a hobby or something you love to do? Perhaps you spend too much of it doing other things that are not so important at the moment - watching TV, checking facebook, watching youtube videos or going out with your friends a few times a week. I know this is an oversimplification, but are you sure your choices are really your own and not something that simply has to be done or something that most people do?

Here's a video by Scott Dinsmore from Live Your Legend giving a speech at a TED conference. I found it really inspiring and I hope you will too.

If you want to read some more about lifestyle design, you should also check out the following:

What is Lifestyle Desing? on - describing in more detail what lifestyle desing is; you can check out the site itself, if you're interested in creating and marketing websites, podcasts and ebooks

The Blog of Tim Ferris - the author of "The 4-hour Workweek" bestseller, entrepreneur, speaker of 5 languages, Chinese kickboxing champion and a horseback archer giving out advice on how to be successful in life

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau - a medical volunteer in Africa, traveller (more than 150 countries) and entrepreneur being self employed for his whole life writing about "unconventional people doing remarkable things" - a guide to being happy be owning less and living in accordance with the Zen philosophy

The Minimalist - once more about getting rid of unncessary things in life, because "stuff ties us down"

The Smart Passive Income Blog - where Pat Flynn tells his story from a full time architect to an extremely successful online entrepreneur earnign about $50,000 a month on affiliate programs, ebooks, iPhone applications and websites; just listen to his podcasts and you will fall in love with them and the author himself