#ProTip: How to get users in the habit of using your app

Sally Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.
Sally Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf fishing for ProTips. It’s a rich hunting ground — it’s the world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers, the alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

It sounds counterintuitive, but for many iOS developers, the easy part is getting people to download their app from the App Store. The hard part is getting people to use the app. Ideally, developers want them to use the app regularly. They want them to get into the habit of using it.

How do you do that? Sally Shepard, an app consultant who spent many years working with big publishers, has a great little tip.

How to install El Capitan safely on your Mac right now

Hair Force One rocking the El Capitan reveal.
Trying out El Capitan on your Mac isn't too hard.
Photo: Apple

If you’ve got an Apple developer account and a Mac, you might want to instal the latest OS X 10.11, better known as El Capitan, onto your machine right now.

Until it’s out of beta, though, you might want to consider installing it on a second partition of your Macintosh, in case things get wonky. It is a beta, after all, and you should never rely on a beta for a mission-critical device.

If you’re un-daunted still, here’s how to install El Capitan safely onto another partition on your Mac to try it out without nuking your current install of Yosemite.

How to install Apple Watch beta ASAP

watchOS 2 is available to developers today.
watchOS 2 is available to developers today.
Photo: Apple

If you’re an early adopter of Apple Watch as well as a registered Apple developer, you can get the new watchOS 2 on your wrist right now. It takes a bit of effort, including getting into your copy of Xcode, but it seems like that might be worth it for those of us who like to get all the new stuff right away, as well as the folks that are making tomorrow’s apps for today’s it device.

Here’s how you get your Apple Watch beta set up.

How to install iOS 9 beta on your iPhone or iPad right now

New features and improvements are coming to iOS 9.
Photo: Apple

If you’re curious about the new changes coming to iOS 9 and you’ve got an Apple Developer account, you can head over and get the latest operating system for Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) from the developer website.

You’ll need to register your iPhone or iPad with the Developer website, first, then download the new iOS 9 beta and install it. Here’s the breakdown of getting iOS 9 onto your iPhone or iPad, which is required if you want to try and install watchOS 2 beta for your Apple Watch.

Weird Digital Crown fix will make you fear for your Apple Watch

Yikes! Water and electronics still freak me out.
Yikes! Water and electronics still freak me out.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

My Apple Watch is getting a little crufty. I wear it every day, including when I sweat a lot — like during a run, for example.

Recently, the Digital Crown started to get a little tough to turn. It took extra effort to spin the darn thing, and I wasn’t able to rotate it smoothly anymore.

Luckily, Apple had me covered — but I wasn’t prepared for what I had to do to get this Digital Crown fix to work.