Let there be light! How to turn on your torch app users

Do you know which is the best-selling phone in history? The iPhone 7? The Nokia 3310? The Galaxy S6? No, no and no.

It’s the very basic and extremely ugly Nokia 1100.

This modest little device went on sale in 2003. It could store just 50 messages and 50 contacts, yet it notched up more than 250 million sales over the next decade or so.

Here’s one of the key reasons why: it had a built-in torch.

For millions of people in developing markets – where street lighting can be unpredictable – the touch function was fantastically useful. But in time, every phone would have a torch. Including smartphones.

Inevitably, that led to a fertile market for third party apps.

Today’s Android app stores still offer a range of torch/flashlight apps even though Google pre-loads the feature as part of its OS. Typically, clever developers have come up with a variety of extra functions to improve on what Google can offer.

So some torch apps include a strobe mode, while others support Morse Code. There are torch apps that reproduce a cigarette lighter or candle, so you can hold them up at Coldplay concerts.

Some sell themselves on the strength of their illumination. They activate a phone’s camera flash, keyboard backlighting, soft keys, and notification LED to deliver ‘peak flashlight’. And then there are the apps that include a hands-free ‘clap-on, clap-off’ function.

The torch may be the ultimate in utility apps. Today, it sits alongside a range of other fantastically useful products that help to make the smartphone such an essential companion.

In fact, some smart developers have now consolidated these tools into one product, which has become known as the Swiss Army Knife category.

Such utility apps typically contain a flashlight, a unit converter, timer, stop watch, compass, spirit level, calculator, magnifying glass, mirror, ruler and even a thermometer (it displays the outdoor temperature based on your GPS position).

Obviously, most of these features are available natively in Android, but by enhancing them and grouping them in one convenient location, these app makers have enjoyed significant success. Some products have hundreds of thousands of downloads.

The challenge for utility app makers is to keep users engaged with their products. It helps that there are so many features available inside these apps. So, the question is: what’s the best way to remind customers about them?

This is where Calldorado can help. Calldorado is a caller ID platform that displays helpful information about a person or business whenever a call is made or received. App developers can add the Calldorado SDK, so that information about their product is displayed on the screen too.

This ‘Engagement Field’ gives developers the chance to send users back into the app through deep-linking. If you offer utility apps, your users could see a visual reminder about your product several times a day. And the app doesn’t even have to be open for this to work. It is an efficient way of re-engaging active and inactive users.

Even better, Calldorado serves ads on the display screen. So, you can monetize it too.

Our studies show it works. Up to 10 per cent of users re-engage with an app when Calldorado is installed. And 70 per cent of them keep the Caller ID feature active, despite the option to turn it off.

And it’s entirely is free to developers. It takes just a few minutes to re-capture the attention of your users and super-charge your revenue.