AppRaisin: Time to say goodbye

On November 17th, 2015 we’ve launched AppRaisin – an app and a service to help Windows 10 enthusiasts discover new apps and games. On August 10th, 2016 we decided to stop active development for reasons I described in a lengthy blog post. On May 6th, 2019 AppRaisin’s story will come to an end…

Since we stopped development the usage went down slowly but steadily. Yet, the distribution between mobile and desktop users didn’t change much – AppRaisin is still de-facto mobile-first app even though Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform is not really an active thing anymore. We tried to maintain and moderate the service for as long as it provided value for the community and wasn’t a big strain for us. In recent months it just doesn’t feel like we are providing an adequately sized value for the effort.

Even though our efforts were limited in recent years, AppRaisin managed to maintain a 4.8-star rating in the Store which means that many people still find value in it that the official Microsoft Store and 3rd party websites can’t satisfy. So, while this decision was on our minds for more than a year now, we knew that it will upset some people and just couldn’t find the courage to pull the plug. It’s time though…

I would like to thank everyone who worked on AppRaisin over the years, everyone who used the app, submitted and upvoted app news, rated it in the store and provided valuable feedback, every developer who made great apps that enabled AppRaisin to have content, and every person and media outlet who helped us spread the word about our little project.

Thank you!

Alan Mendelevich.

In Memory of Atta Elayyan

Most likely you’ve heard about the horrific attack in New Zealand that took lives of 50 people. Despite being a horrible event in and of itself it hit us much closer to home than we may have ever expected.

Our friend and partner Atta Elayyan who designed the whole user experience of AppRaisin, and created such classic Windows and Windows Phone apps like MetroTube and Tweetro was killed in the attack.

I remember meeting Atta and Mike at Build 2012. They embodied what I consider to be the quintessential indie developers – super talented humble geeks who developed beautiful experiences, yet remembered to pay attention to the business side as well. They stood there in their MetroTube t-shirts and hats that invited other people to start the conversation – a brilliant introvert move. As an awkward shy introvert myself, I passed them a few times until I finally found the courage to approach and talk to them.

Later on, we’ve interviewed Atta on our (now defunct) AppBizDev podcast and kept in touch on Twitter and subsequent Microsoft events.

When in 2015 we came up with the idea for AppRaisin and realized that we don’t have the necessary design expertise, I knew exactly who I would want to do it, provided they were available and we can afford it. Luckily, the stars aligned and some months later AppRaisin has seen the light of day. Once the initial design and development phase was over, we brought all of it in-house but I was sure we will work with Atta again…

Unfortunately, this will never happen. This opportunity was taken from us, but our loss doesn’t even begin to compare with what Atta’s family is going through.

Atta’s friends have set up this campaign to benefit his wife and daughter and I ask you to consider helping as much or as little as you can.

Thank you and please keep Atta in your thoughts. We will miss him immensely.

Use your AdDuplex balance to advertise on AppRaisin Spotlight

It is very important to use combined marketing strategies to gain new users for your apps and games. So from now on you are able to use your AdDuplex balance to promote your app on AppRaisin too.

AppRaisin is a leading source of news, updates, deals and discoveries for Windows Store apps and games. And you can boost your app downloads by putting your app on AppRaisin Spotlight, on top of all the hottest Windows Store app news.

Simply go to AdDuplex client area and submit your app for AppRaisin Spotlight. Note that, if approved, the funds will be automatically deducted from your AdDuplex balance.

AppRaisin Spotlight

And for those who still doesn’t have any credits on AdDuplex account – here are few easy steps to get your news in the Spotlight :

  1. Post a news about your App or Game on AppRaisin;
  2. Press “Promote” from within the news article;
  3. Choose a period your news will be promoted in Spotlight;
  4. Pay via Windows Store In-App purchases;
  5. Your news will be promoted in Spotlight for a selected period of time.

Promote your apps now! Submit it for AppRaisin Spotlight on AdDuplex or download AppRaisin app and share some hot news about your apps and games.

AppRaisin is now accessible to Windows Phone 8 and non-Windows users


AppRaisin is a community-driven Windows 10 UWP app that enables users to discover the top of the crop app and game releases and updates from the Windows Store.

One of the big requests for AppRaisin team was the support for Windows Phone 8 devices. But since it’s pretty hard to scale down the UWP app we carried out another way to expand the reach and released a mobile web version of AppRaisin service instead. Currently it is in read-only mode, but still it enables a large number of WP8 and non-Windows users to keep up with the latest Windows Store app and game news around the world.

AppRaisin Web

So jump to and pin it to your start screen –> explore what’s new and hot in Windows Store for Apps & Games!

AppStretch Supports Web Apps and Non-Store Apps Now


From the first day AppStretch went live we have been getting your requests to support web apps, and other apps and games that are distributed by other means than one of the app stores. Today I’m happy to announce that you can start collecting feature ideas for your web and other apps, and run crowdfunding campaigns to fund the development of these ideas.

Add your app today. Make sure that your app’s site has relevant contact information (preferably email address). We will use it to verify your ownership of the app. Once that process is complete you’ll be able to start taking your app to the next level with the help of your loyal users.

Additionally, there’s just a little bit more than a week left to verify your app and participate in sweepstakes to win an ultimate developer laptop. So, don’t wait up. Add your app now!

Any ideas on how we can improve AppStretch itself? You can now request AppStretch features on AppStretch. A little meta, I know.

Verify apps on AppStretch with no changes to your store listings


We’ve made it easy to automatically verify your ownership of the app by adding a short string to the description in one of the supported app stores. However, if this was not something you are willing or able to do, you were out of luck.

Not anymore!

Now you can apply your app for manual ownership verification by submitting a request via the same form. Just make sure that the app store listing includes contact your information (email, Twitter, Facebook, or an official website with contact information). We will send instructions to complete verification via one of those channels and you will be one step closer to running your first campaign.

And, by the way, you can still win a MacBook Pro or a Surface Book by verifying your app until the end of June. And there are no more excuses not to. Add your app or game now.

AppStretch Update: More login options, Request filtering, Markdown support

We have just added a bunch of features and improvements to AppStretch. Here are the most notable…

New ways to login


In addition to Facebook, Twitter and a local login, you can now use Google, Microsoft Account and Steam. This should make it easier for your users coming from these platforms to vote on feature requests and campaigns.

Feature request sorting and filtering


The more active and outspoken app’s community gets, the harder it becomes to track all the feature requests. We’ve added a way to sort feature requests either by date or popularity (votes). Additionally you can filter requests by status – by default you will only see feature requests that are open (neither implemented, nor declined). You can always toggle an option to see declined and/or implemented requests.

We have also renamed the “Under review” status, which confused a couple of users and developers, to “Under consideration”. A new “Implementing” request status was added to signal that the feature is in development.

Markdown support for campaign descriptions


Structure and emphasize important information in your crowdfunding campaigns by formatting the description using markdown.

I hope you like how AppStretch is progressing. More updates are underway. Let us know if there’s something specific you’d like to see in the comments below.

AppStretch supports Facebook pledges now

It took a little longer than we initially expected, but app users can pledge their support for feature requests and campaigns for your apps and games with Facebook starting now.


Due to Facebook rules we cannot prefill the text that is shared and it will be up to users to provide the copy, but hopefully it results in even better and authentic recommendations to their Facebook friends. If this proves to be the case, we will consider reworking the Twitter pledges accordingly.

What other social networks do your users frequent? What type of social pledges should we add next? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via email.

And don’t forget to verify your app on AppStretch before the end of June to be eligible to win a great prize.

Support Feature Requests on AppStretch with Your Vote (and nothing else)


AppStretch was conceived on the idea of helping developers separate signal from noise by asking customers to put their money where their mouth is when requesting new features. That’s why the only way to vote on a feature requests was through pledging support with either money or promotion on social networks. This is what we want to encourage, but in a couple of weeks of real life use it became apparent that there’s one flaw in this model that we can’t ignore.

We have received several emails from developers complaining that users who don’t want to support the ideas in a way we envisioned it, still send them feature request emails instead of backing the request on AppStretch.

That’s why we’ve added an option to express “moral support” without pledging money or tweeting about it:


Note “I just want to express moral support” button at the bottom.

We still want to encourage users to pledge support with something more substantial. That’s why the button is understated compared to other ways of support. But at least you can see a signal from those users using the same system you use for all of your feature requests.

We realize that this addition is based on a number of requests from our developer community and it could be the opposite to what you want for your apps. If this is the case, please, let us know in the comments below or via email at and we will evaluate ways to make this optional.

Thank you for using AppStretch!

AppStretch – an innovative new way to crowdfund app and game features is now live!

I’m very happy to announce that AppStretch is now live.


AppStretch is our new service to help independent app and game developers crowdsource feature ideas for their great apps and games, crowdfund implementation of these features and crowd-promote their availability. Developers direct their loyal fans to AppStretch to provide ideas for the features they’d like to see in the future versions and vote by pledging support with either money or promotion via their social networks accounts. Based on these feature requests, or their own ideas, developers can launch crowdfunding campaigns to collect support for the implementation and derisk their time investment.

Some examples

We’ve been running AppStretch in a limited preview for a few weeks and some of the apps have already started using the system.

image[10]Our own app, AppRaisin, integrated AppStretch in the last update and have already collected 30 feature requests from our community.

Newsflow – a popular news reader for Windows 10 – have been asking users for feature requests for a couple of weeks, collected 28 of them, and have already started a crowdfunding campaign to implement category support. Please check the app out and support the campaign. Help Newsflow developer be the first to successfully cross the finish line!

Sensie – an app to track your movements – added a link to AppStretch to their about dialog, received 11 feature requests and implemented 2 of them already.

Available now

These are just a few examples from our limited release, but now every developer can join and start improving their apps with moral, social and financial support of their community. AppStretch supports apps in iOS and Mac App Store, Google Play and Windows Store. Support for other stores will be added in the future.

Additional benefits of joining now

We believe the benefits of joining are self-evident, however we wanted to reward early adopters so here’s our offer:

  • Join and verify ownership of your app before July 1st, 2016 and you can win a MacBook Pro or Surface Book (your choice)
  • Join and verify ownership of your app before June 1st, 2016 and we will not take a commission on your first crowdfunding campaign

Click here for details.

Help us improve the service and spread the word

Our goal is to help you be more successful in your app and game development business, but we need your help to improve the service and spread the word about it. Please share your feedback with us over email, Twitter or Facebook and please share this post or your opinion about the service on social media, blogs, forums, etc.

Thank you and let’s roll!