Posts tagged Android
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developer, I’ve been constantly trying to think of better ways in which to best promote my existing (as well as yet-unpublished) applications.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!
Earlier this week I mentioned that I’ll be releasing my next version of Tip Calculator. Well, it’s here! Lots of folks asked for a way to calculate tips for individuals, and I listened. Version 1.2 now has an additional tab just for that! Currently it supports individual tip calculations for up to 5 people. I’ll be releasing a version later so that you can add more people, but this is a good first start I think.
To recap, here are the features for version 1.2:
- 1.6/2.0/2.0.1 support.
- Auto calculation and re-calculation.
- Reset/Quit via menu.
- Localized for German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Swedish.
- Basic tip calculation (Bill and tip split equally).
- Advanced tip calculation (Bill and tip calculated individually for up to 5 individuals).
- Custom tip percentage.
- Multiple screen density support (QVGA/HVGA/WVGA/WQVGA).
In addition to the free 1.2 release, I have also released a paid 1.0 release. The paid version is $0.99, and it has all of the features of the free version. The paid version is only for those who would like to donate and say thanks. If you decide to purchase my Tip Calculator, the money will go towards development costs for current and future applications that I develop. These development costs are things like improved application graphics and translation costs. Thus far all expenses have been out of my pocket. If you choose to donate, it will definitely go a long way to help keep me developing future applications!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Usually every day or couple of days I like to go into the Android Market and review my application’s user comments. Today was no different, with one awesome exception: My Tip Calculator has surpassed Bank of America’s mobile banking application! I am now proud to announce that my humble Tip Calculator is now the #1 free application in the Finance category of the Android Market!
In a little more than 1 year’s time, my application has been installed by over 350,000 Android users! I certainly did not expect such a high number, but I am most certainly thankful! This has encouraged me to continue developing applications for the Android platform, and I am getting close to releasing a couple more applications for the Android Market!
In the next week or two, I will be releasing version 1.2 of my Tip Calculator. This update will further solidify my standings in the Android Market, as well as make my application the be-all and end-all to tip calculators. I have been listening attentively to my users’ comments, and this new release will make a lot of folks happy!
Thank you all very much for your support and comments! Below is a QR code to navigate to my Tip Calculator in the Android Market, and below are just some screenshots of the application and the Market listing!
Update – 2009-12-19: I noticed this morning that my Tip Calculator is back at the number two position in the Finance category. Bank of America and I must be neck and neck… Well, at least I have screenshots to prove!
I would like to announce the upgrade to my old Tip Calculator! The 1.1 release is now Donut friendly! I have also made some minor UI changes based off of user comments from the Android Market. Below you can find the changelog of this current release:
- Donut friendly!
- Auto Calculates tip amounts
- Brought back landscape orientation
- Menu option to reset/exit
- Localized in the following languages: German, Swedish, Dutch, Polish, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian
I would like to announce the upgrade to my old Tip Calculator! The 1.0.2 release is now Cupcake friendly (yes, a little old, but I haven’t been able to do much of anything since before the 1.5 release). It also got a little UI rearrangement as I have had my application localized into several languages. I would like to thank the following people for their help in localizing my application:
German: Sabine Weiten
Dutch: Bieneke Berendsen
Italian: Meri Zeri
Swedish: Anders Loefgren
Portuguese: Sara Silva
Spanish: Rodolfo Castro
Russian: Dmitry Ivakin
One of my best friends has recently gotten the itch to develop an application for Android, but he had nowhere to start really. Sure, there is PLENTY of documentation, he could even mess around with the API Demos included in the SDK. Instead, he had an idea, and wanted to try and build it out in Android.
He successfully wrote his application in Java, but wasn’t sure yet how to make that into an Android application. I was focused on showing him the basics of an Android application, like how to detect when an object has been clicked, or how to make an object view appear/disappear. I even introduced him to some intermediate things like running threaded processes behind something else.
I wrote the application for him and gave him the working copy along with the source code so that he could see how he could transform his simple Java application into an Android application.
The application itself is called ‘Get Headers’. Very simply put, when you input a URL into the URL field and click ‘Get Headers’, it sends a request to the URL, and whatever comes back is displayed below the buttons. Here are some screenshots below:
I was considering releasing the code to the public in this post, but instead I’ll let my friend work at it, because I’ve intentionally left him a few gotcha’s that I hope he’ll find and fix. I’ve had and still do have some very serious things going on in my life right now, hence the lack of posts, but when I have something on my mind or if I have an application announcement, feel free to check in!
One thing I’m interested in knowing is.. how are you all finding the new 1.5 update in relation to the applications in the marketplace? Do you find that it has greatly improved the quality? slowed it down? made no difference at all? I’d like to know!
I read a really well put-together article this morning regarding marketing paid apps for Android. I liked how the author compared the Android Market to a catalog. The dynamics of the Android Market are quite different as compared to the iTunes App Store, so it’s really hard to make comparisons there.
One commenter mentioned that also, because the Android Market has had only free apps listed for some months, that most people are usually satisfied with what they have. Why pay for an app that you already have, and that works well? The only way to really compete with that is to release a product far better than what you have, and at a reasonable price on top of that. I can see a few things that could come out of that.
With this dynamic in place, app developers who want to earn money from their applications will really have to work towards making their app top-notch. This might drive out the tinkerers and hobbyists from the paid game, but perhaps some will overcome – I’m thinking a very small percentage. Another point will be pricing. The author of the article had a good point in saying that, even with one million or more handset owners, a very small fraction of them would be interested in paying for an application. This brings me to my final point.
It is currently difficult for Android developers to really sell their application, relying on the Android Market alone. There isn’t a snazzy “iTunes App Store”-esque interface which provides detailed descriptions, screenshots and app reviews all in one spot for any given application. So really, I think any real way for Android developers to sell their product(s) would be through blog posts, social media avenues, reviews, and a lot of work.
For now, as a hobbyist, I sometimes get delusions of grandeur in my head when I read articles about iPhone app developers who strike gold with their Apps, earning 250-600K for a single application, but I do come down and realize that the real world scenario I’m in as an Android developer may, or may not be that successful. We’ll just have to see. I’m really interested in finding out how things pan out over the coming months when we can see some useful reports on market sales.
Please, enough with the whole “iPhone is far superior to Android/G1″ schtick. People should really stop moaning about how less capable Android is than the iPhone firmware/software, it’s getting a little old. And for those who base their opinions solely upon the downsides of the G1, here’s some news: there will be some handsets coming along which will most likely blow the G1 out of the water! So what if Google/T-Mobile released what it did, when it did? It’s a 1st generation product, what do you expect?
I was reading an article on CNET about how Android/G1 users will be receiving a “less-capable” integrated voice search feature in the upcoming RC33 OTA update, and it sort of set me off. So many folks, such as myself, tend to read CNET articles religiously, so I’m sure by now already thousands have viewed the article. Hopefully, they read the comments below it. Josh Lowensohn (the article author) was probably just having a slow news day and thought (rather, didn’t think) to really consider the body of his article. From the article comments, one person makes the observation that, in comparing clicks/taps to get to this functionality, the iPhone and G1 are exactly the same amount. PLUS, the voice search will be available to tap from any Google search bar.
So what’s the problem? Is it really so much worse because the G1 doesn’t have a proximity sensor? Come on, get real. Hopefully, readers will take the article with a grain of salt, and intelligently decide for themselves what they consider better.
I just came across this pretty cool promotion that AndroidTapp.com is doing.. Giving anyone a chance at winning a new G1 in the color of their choosing! Shipping is taken care of by AndroidTapp.com, but any sort of service activation, data plan, yadda yadda yadda is up to you. I think this is a really cool idea, and as the cost of a G1 is still kind of high, and the economy being the way it is, this is a great opportunity to try and get one for free!
There are some really easy ways of getting yourself into the mix, just check out their website and enter in your name!
Who says iPhone users can have all the fun??! There’s a pretty cool iPhone app that grabs podcasts from 93.3 WMMR here in Philly and allows for playback and a whole bunch of other cool stuff. I think this might be one of my new fun projects I’ll start working on towards the end of the month. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get some airtime on Preston and Steve for this! Gadzooks!!