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The application programmer Christoph Knittel and the founder of Loop Labs, Marcus Stadler, have developed the Geo Play learning app for iOS devices, in which users can guess where a country is on a map based on flags or capitals. And there is a pin that is used to draw a specific country on a map. The closer the user is to the country’s actual location, the more points are awarded. The developers’ motto is: “The fun way to learn geography.” “We not only wanted to offer a fun way to pass the time with the game, but also a sensible activity,” Stadler told futurezone.
The app is already very popular in the USA, but is not yet very well known in Austria. “Several teachers from America have written to tell us that they recommend the app to their students. As the use of smartphones is permitted and encouraged in the classroom in the USA, many students actually do use the app regularly to study geography,” Stadler said. The app can also call up background information on the individual countries on Wikipedia. “This allows them to gain additional knowledge about the countries, and tells more about a place that is presented in the game.”
Ad-free pro version
The app has already been downloaded over a half a million times, and version 2.0 with two additional play types (flags and capitals) and a new map, multiple jokers for help and an improved user interface design has already been released. The developer team now plans to offer iPad support and an integrated chat function. The app is available as a free version with ads and a paid version without ads. “We don’t want to coerce anyone with our app, for example by offering extra content that must be purchased,” Stadler explained. Instead, there is an ad-free Pro version that can be bought (it normally costs EUR 1.79, but is free until Thursday evening thanks to the five-year app store celebration).
Even though the app store is overflowing, the app makes it into the charts regularly through cross-promotion activities. According to Stadler, one reason for this is that geography is still a niche in which there is not yet much competition. Geo Play was already in the top 10 in Germany and America, and the number one game in over ten countries. The two programmers also want to develop Geo Play further. “The app is already paying off after two and a half years of development work. But there are still a few different ways to increase the return from an app in the geography and travel segment over the long term.”