Cat-Nav: How to guarantee an enthusiastic app review

Our stylish, informative and free-to-download Cat-Nav discovery app has proved to be a big hit with discerning iStory fans all around the world.

Persian Cat Press Marketing & PR Manager Sean Smith is responsible for commissioning the reviews on Cat-Nav, and here he talks about the thinking behind it.

“Like many of the best ideas, Cat-Nav is simple and straightforward: Once you’ve downloaded the Cat-Nav app, which is universal, a weekly update brings you six new reviews of the best picture book, graphic novel and other iStory apps around.

If you like the look of an app we’ve reviewed, you can immediately click through to the App Store and iTunes buy it in the normal way.

We download a lot of picture book, graphic novel and other iStory apps in order to keep up to speed with a very fast moving app market. We’re looking for the kind of features we put into Persian Cat Press apps – great stories, fantastic writing, vibrant artwork, beautiful music, evocative narration and stylish typography.

And, of course, we love the kind of smart interactive features that add to the story rather than take anything away from it.

There are an awful lot of poor apps out there, but we’re not particularly interested in them and we don’t think our customers are either. However, some of the apps we see are nothing less than little works of art and, in our view, people really need to know about them.

We’re certain that anyone who appreciates Persian Cat Press’ releases will appreciate hearing about apps of a similar quality. We believe that a climate where excellence in iStories for touchscreen devices is recognised and supported is in everyone’s interest, consumers, authors, and publishers and developers alike.

Cat-Nav helps us in our aspiration to establish a reputation for really knowing our stuff when it comes to these kind of narrative apps. We have a thorough understanding of what makes for a rich and rewarding interactive experience and what doesn’t – and we want to share that knowledge with as many people as possible.

Emily Becker at PadGadget wrote a great review of Cat-Nav that described the app as “like having a curated bookseller in the palm of your hand” and that sums up what we’re trying to do pretty accurately.

People are often overwhelmed by the choice in the App Store and they seem to appreciate the help we can give them in separating the wheat from the chaff.

I’ve been writing and commissioning arts and culture reviews of one kind or another for more than 25 years, while our two app reviewers Mina Dixon and Joshua Douglas-Walton are the archetypal ‘digital natives’. Without taking anything away from other app review resources out there, I think this combination gives us the editorial edge.

We pride ourselves on being absolutely fair and impartial in our reviews – and it’s worth pointing out that we pay for the vast majority of the apps we review. We’ll offer constructive and informed criticism where necessary, but the only reason we’re talking about these apps in the first place is because we like them. We’re fans. We have neither the time nor the inclination for negativity.

Having said that, when reviewing apps we employ the same exacting, rigorous quality-controls as we do in all other areas of the business – so if our reviewers feel that an app merits a score of less than seven out of ten, we prefer to highlight another app that is more worthy of your attention.

As new recommendations are added to the app, older reviews are archived on our homepage, with more than 100 on the site already. The content we’re putting out there speaks for itself, and Cat-Nav is building into an extremely useful resource for anyone with an interest in picture book, graphic novel and other iStory apps.

So, developers and publishers, how do you guarantee your app an enthusiastic review on Cat-Nav?

Simple. Just make beautiful and wonderful apps that engage, enthrall, amaze and inspire us.

We look forward to hearing from you.”

You can download Cat-Nav for free here.

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