Posts Tagged ‘market’

How to get more than 100% active installs on Android Market

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Well, having a percentage of more than 100% of active installs on the Android Market seems a bit unrealistic to me. However, this is what it shows in my Android Market app listing. The one shown on the right is a paid application that had just been launched, so I guess the Android Market didn’t update its internal statistics properly yet.

The mix of ingredients to get a high percentage of active installs is fairly easy:

  1. Have a good app with as less bugs as possible.
  2. Provide a good app / user experience.
  3. Have a good presentation of your app on the Android Market (or other stores).
  4. Establish a relationship with your users (connect to them via Twitter, ask then to sign up for your newsletter, reply to their emails addressing their issues, questions and suggestions, etc.)
  5. Tell your existing users you have a new app available.

Though, I consider it common sense, I know that there are a lot of developers out there who don’t do that. Of course, there is a lot more you can do, but at least that’s a start. Most developers write an app, put it up there on a market (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry all the same) and then lean back and see. Folks, that’s not how the world works. App users are like you and me, if we buy a car we want to hear from dealer how good the car and what features it has. Once we bought it, we want to be sure, it does not break down at the first overland trip and we want to have an exciting experience every time we start the engine. Same counts for apps – as a user I need to love it and I need to be told to try it!

Protect Android Apps with the License Server via Android Market

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I am not a big fan of copy protection, DRM or anything that prevents the freedom me and how I handle products I bought in future. Is it an app I bought with the G1 and copying it onto my Nexus One, or an old LP that I want to use on my new LP player. Therefore, I am always kind of skeptical when it comes to copy-protection mechanisms. Of course, as a mobile application developer for about 6 years (that’s longer than people know the word iPhone) I have to admit that I thought about those kind of thing a bit in the past. However, IMHO my time is better invested in adding new features to apps, create new apps and hook up with all the users to figure out what the heck they actually want – rather than trying to punish them with copy-protection mechanisms that are just annoying.

With Google recent announcement of the License Server for Android I have to say, they put out a good piece for developers and for users. I haven’t used the License Server yet, but from what I read in the blog article and Android docs (see links below) it looks like a solid mechanism that allows developers some basic protection via verifying whether an app has been bought or not. And to be honest, that’s all you need!

Here is what it does:

Developers can now easily verify whether the current user (more specifically the current GMail account) purchased an app. Developers can implement such verification methods in a jiffy into their apps and after getting verification (or not) they can decide what to do after that. IMHO, this is a very open, very free approach to this delicate topic and I love it! Here is the official chart of how the procedure works:

License Server via Android Market

License Server via Android Market

By leveraging the Android Market infrastructure this library actually puts more value to developers if they use the Android Market. Honestly, the Android Market could use a major round-up upgrade of features and usability. However, it works so far and it gets better. Step-by-step, but hey, it gets better!

My conclusion:

Well done Google. I like this approach and I will definitely use it in future apps as well as in exsiting apps. It’s time for an app update week!

Android Market counting 20k Apps

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Android Market Icon
The Android Market just took the leap and jumped above the count of 20,000 applications. While the iPhone’s iTunes App Store is still ahead with about 100,000 applications, I have to say respect guys!

Hammering out 20,000 applications in such a short time without the devices and market power (like Apple has for example) is not that easy. I know there are still a lot of ideas in your heads (as in mine) which just want to be brought to paper life. So get started! Open your Eclipse, hack some lines into it, press compile, test, sign and upload it to the Android Market. No matter if free or paid, every new app brings more variety, more diversity and more attraction to the Android Market, every Android phone and therefore it makes the whole platform more attractive to users all around the world.

Get more about this on internetnews.com

Android Market: Commercial / Priced Applications available for Developers from US and UK

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Android Market Icon
There was just an article called “Android Market update: support for priced applications” published on the Android blog. The problem is that only developers from the US and UK are able to upload priced applications to the Android Market. While it is possible to create an Android Market from all over the world, selling applications for Android requires a Google Checkout account.

Google Checkout is widely known by now as an alternative to several existing online payment gateways. While the idea of Google Checkout is really great and I am looking forward to use; I have to say that I am very disappointed by Google with their Google Checkout strategy. Since Google Checkout has been started they were not able (or just did not want to) allow sellers from all over the world to use their system. A company that has “international” written in bold capitalized letters on their flags, should actually be a bit more international. Anyway, Google is still my favorite search / maps / image engine 🙂

Following the announcement of Eric Chu in the blog post, saying:

We will also enable developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, and Spain to offer priced applications later this quarter. By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support for developers in additional countries.

… tells us some interesting fact about Google Checkout: Google Checkout will be opened to sellers (merchants) from the five mentioned countries and more other countries in this quarter. I am just hoping that my country will be in there sooner than later! I am sorry to be that direct: but I do not see any reason why this is not possible now. We are living in an international world, Google is an international company, the Internet has even international as a part of its name. There are not just developers in the – so called – rich countries who would like to share their products with others. Seems we have to keep publishing free software for a free world! 😎

Android Market: http://market.android.com/publish/Home

How you cannot earn money with the Android Market

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Remember my article How to earn money with your application through the Android Market? There are some greedy persons out there who might want to take advantage of the “free software” delivery of the Android Market. I will tell you below what is not allowed and why.

Smash Money

What you should not do
The article mentioned above described how you can get up a demo application on the Android Market. It is obvious that this provides possibilities to add a purchase link into the demo application so users can buy the product on your own site. Good idea in the first second, but be aware of the Developer Distribution Agreement you agreed to.

To be clear: This is not allowed.

You will create more of a mess than if you do not have your application available in the Android Market. Sooner or later your application will be reported by a user or another developer (god bless the community!) because you are violating the distribution terms other developers comply with. Don’t blame them – it is just unfair that you are violating terms while they are complying with them. Once your application has been reported to Google it will investigated. I don’t know exactly what happens then but I guess a nifty Google nerd will install your app on his phone and check it out. They will see that you are linking to your own shop and kick you out of the market. This does not help you in earning money out of your application. May be in the very short term while people are actually buying from you. However, in the long term you will not be able to establish a successful relationship with your users which will lead in less popularity and less sales in the end.

Want to do it right? Check out: How to earn money with your application through the Android Market

How to earn money with your application through the Android Market

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Android Market
Attention! Capitalistic content following!

Since the Android Market has been started it does support free applications in their store market. Though Google announced that we will be able to add commercial products soon — the actual question is: When?
US Dollar
Until now nothing happened at this front and therefore, I guess it might still take a while before developers can earn some money with their applications. However, the Android Market is being used very heavily already — free software is popular everywhere! So users keep downloading applications from the Market massively. In order to make some cents out of this in future (when commercial products can be sold) you must be up with your application already!

My point is: you need to start grabbing potential customers now, even though they do not spend any money on applications — yet.

Of course, I don’t want you to give your developed apps away for free. Most applications took a long time to develop and you (or your company) spent a lot of time and put in quite some effort to create this neat peace of software. This all creates costs on the developer’s side (if you are not a student who is programming for fun without the need to make a living — again: yet) which needs to be compensated at some point.

How you grab potential customers

The application you want to sell might be finished already (don’t forget to sign it!). It is too valuable to give it away for free but you want users already – for selling the full version to them later or just to get some feedback. The best way to get users using your application is the Android Market. Hence, you need to be in there!

Create a demo/trial version of your application. There are plenty of ways on how to create a demo version. However, as we do not know at which date commercial applications will be available on the Android Market I suggest to “cripple” your full version in order to demonstrate your applications capabilities. A time limitation might be possible too but due to the uncertain time line I would just prefer “crippling”. Though, I am not a fan of that, usually.

Once you have done this you can upload your application to the Android Market at: http://market.android.com/publish/

Android Market Installs / Downloads

Now you just wait and let the installation / download counter increase minute by minute (image above is 6 hours after program upload!). Once the Android Market supports commercial applications you can upload your full version, change the application’s preferences to “commercial” / “paid” content and charge a little fee like say $2. Let us do some maths here for getting a rough idea on what this can bring. In case you gained 20,000 active installations after 2 months, you are having 20,000 users of your application. Meaning: 20,000 users really like your app – though it is crippled. Let us assume half of them (10,000 users) would really spend $2 on the full version. Once you release your full version you will get $20,000 instantly with the release and you are a happy developer!

The Dollar Bill

To be honest, developing applications is not just about money. It is a lifestyle – an art! However, even artists have to eat sometimes or spend money on Absynthe in the evening; so we need some bucks too. I think $2 for a nice app is nearly nothing and everyone can afford this. Just to honor hard work of programming.

Distribute your Android apps in more countries and offer priced software on Android Market

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I just received the following email stating the two major improvements of the Android Market:

  1. New countries added for country targeting of applications.
  2. Commercial paid content / application support.
    • Hello,

      Thank you for your participation in Android Market!

      Since we launched a couple months ago, the team has been working on several significant updates to Android Market. I’d like to let you know about these upcoming changes and what they will mean to you and other members of our developer community.

      Many of you have asked about international expansion plans. I’m happy to inform you that Android Market will become available to users to download apps in additional European countries starting early Q1 2009. Some of the countries we will initially support are Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands. As we add support for additional countries in Europe and Asia, we will send out subsequent notifications to you. In mid-January, we will update the Android Market publisher website to enable country targeting. Please start thinking about which countries you want to target and begin preparing your products accordingly (e.g., localization). Note that your apps will not become available in these new countries unless you specifically select them in the publisher website, after we update it.

      Additionally, I would like to confirm that Android Market will support priced applications starting early Q1 2009, as we’d originally stated last fall. Given the country-by-country work required to set up payment support for developers in different countries, we will enable priced app support in Q1 for developers operating in these countries in the following order: (1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3) France, Italy and Spain. By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support for developers operating in additional countries. Developers operating in the above listed countries should begin finalizing their priced applications, including determining the appropriate pricing strategy.

      Finally, please note that our team may need to occasionally contact you via email or the publisher website to collect necessary product information (such as screenshots and descriptions). This information would be used for the Android Market website, found at http://market.android.com, which gives applications a second channel of exposure via the web in addition to the normal on-device access.

      We will send out additional details on all these items in the coming weeks. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android Market.

      Check it out at: http://market.android.com

Android Market Kicks Off!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Android Market Kicks Off!
Attention developers! The Android market opened its doors and you can setup your apps in there now!

Android Market enables developers to easily publish and distribute their applications directly to users of Android-compatible phones including the T-Mobile G1.

Come one. Come all.
Android Market is open to all Android application developers. Once registered, developers have complete control over when and how they make their applications available to users.

Easy and simple to use.
Start using Android Market in 3 easy steps: register, upload, and publish.

Great visibility.
Developers can easily manage their application portfolio where they can view information about downloads, ratings and comments. Developers can also easily publish updates and new versions of their apps.

Android Market Publish: http://market.android.com/publish

Android invasion

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I just read this article on the Financial Times site of the FT Techblog:

Tech blog (Richard Waters): I have to confess: Google’s mobile phone platform is getting off to a much better start than I had expected.

The generally favourable reviews of the first Android phone, the G1 made by HTC for T-Mobile, showed how well Google had done from a standing start in just a year and half.

Now comes news that Motorola is about to throw its lot in with Android, using the Google software for its consumer smart-phones. Given Motorola’s slumping market share, it certainly makes sense to consolidate on three platforms.

It’s too early to declare Android a winner, though. Google still has to persuade mobile phone companies that it is friend rather than foe. The T-Mobile device works best as a delivery mechanism for Google’s own services. How many operators are ready to throw their lot in with Google to that degree?
Full text: www.ft.com/techblog

IMHO, Motorola announcing to take a deeper look to the Android platform and supporting it is a quite huge step forward for Android. Not so long ago Motorola was the second largest cell phone maker in the world and it was about to push Nokia from its throne as the world’s larget manufaturer. But since the amazing Motorola RAZR they didn’t do anything special in the market and their products just didn’t have any flair. I still have my Nokia shares in my depot and not Motorola. Nokia is still one step ahead and they have a more innovative flair.

However, I think Google and Android will kick off soon. There just need to be more devices available, more users, more developers and more interest in the platform. Until now Google did a lot of good things and making the platform and free of charge means that manufacturers can build phones with the OS without paying for the OS. This is a huge advantage in point of saving per product costs in the first place. Furthermore, they have the freedom to customize the OS to their needs (say manufacturer / carrier branding, etc.).

Regarding 3rd party applications (that is our field guys!) developers just love open source software. From my point of view not that much that it is mostly available free of charge but it provides the possibility to look into the original source code and get a clue how the heck Google made this or that. I don’t consider this stealing of code. It is just a hint to crash my mental blockade which I guess everyone of you might have experienced some time ago.

Anyhoo, it is getting more and more interesting by every day that passes by. Share your thoughts – share your code – just if you want to, of course! 🙂

What do you think about that?