Android Market Musings
Over the past few months, there have been hundreds of articles posted discussing the merits (and downsides) of the Android Market. Please allow me to add just one more. As an Android developer, I’ve been constantly trying to think of better ways in which to best promote my existing (as well as yet-unpublished) applications. Simply uploading them to the Android Market just does not cut it.
Once a developer has published his application to the Android Market (herein: “Market”), the application is shown at the top of the “Just In” section for the particular category the application is a part of. This is fine and well, but with dozens of applications constantly being published daily, you soon move further down in the listings. What should the developer do then? From my experience, I usually do not sift through pages and pages of “Just In” applications unless I’m utterly bored. I may go through the first page or so of new applications, but that’s about it. So… what now? The developer needs to augment his listing by some other methods.
There are a few methods which might help in bettering one’s chance of discovery. First, post a blog entry for the application. If your blog is listed in the Planet Android RSS feed list, there’s a good chance that readers will click through to your blog and find out more information about the application. Planet Android has about 1600 subscribers as per FeedBurner, so that’s a good start to getting the word out about your application.
Next, apply to have your application reviewed by the guys over at Android Tapp. I’m not sure of the amount of people who visit Android Tapp, but that site is great for reading up on different applications and their reviews. There are some other ways to get the word out. Youtube videos, buying ads on Google, and a host of things that can be done. I’m not a marketer, so I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to get the word out that I have not mentioned. All of this considered, I’m left thinking about Apple’s AppStore and how the Market compares to it.
I’m a Mac user at home. I have a Macbook Pro at home which serves me as a workstation and media center. I use iTunes pretty often to manage and find new music and movies. While I no longer own an iPod Touch, I did enjoy being able to have a dedicated application to browse through the AppStore’s multitude of free and paid applications. Apple definitely got the right idea with their implementation of the AppStore, and I wish Google would make some changes to not only the Market application on handsets, but also to the online marketplace. I do realize that the Market is a different beast when compared to the AppStore, as the Market applications can be segmented to only be able to be published for certain handsets for different countries, but I can’t imagine that this sort of thing is not capable of being developed by Google.
If there was an application or at least a web app for the Android Market that could really enable developers and their applications to be given the right amount of exposure to the public, I think there would certainly be more of a chance for them to be successful. Here’s hoping that Google works out some of these marketplace woes so that new and existing developers have a better chance to succeed!
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