We have three applications on the Android Market, AnyRSS reader widget (0.50 EUR), FML F*ck my life widget (Free) and Daily Stuff widget (Free). It makes for more than 60000 downloads, being F*ck my life the most downloaded application among them. We want to share our experience with the market for the last several months:
- According to our Flurry stats, the best day to update an application is Friday morning (European afternoon or evening). On other days, such as Wednesday or Thursday, you usually get more downloads. However, other developers don’t usually release new versions in the weekends, so your application stays longer in the top of the Just in section.
- At the moment, Android users are not accostumed to paying for an application. So, if you want to make money with your application, which strategy should you follow? Free and paid version? Free with ads? Our experience with a paid version is not quite as motivating as we expected (just a few hundreds Euros since September). Free applications with ads have more users but usually less money. The decision depends on many factors, and there’s no magical answer. We’ll probably do an experiment with our paid application, making it free application and adding some AdMob ads (Google Adsense is only available for apps with 100K daily pageviews).
- It is important to have good ratings during the first days as a new application in te market. Bad comments and ratings in the first days will make it difficult to start growing and get enough relevance to appear on relatively top places in the search results. Make sure your application is pleasant to use from the beginning: focus on reliability and stability rather than on advanced features. You do not want to annoy your first users.
- Add as many relevant keywords in the description that identify your application as needed: it is too optimistic to expect people to search specifically for your application name.
- Most of the users don’t care about the impact of a bad rating. If there’s any small problem, they will just throw in a bad rating/comment and uninstall the app. On the other hand, we must take care of the lovely users that suggest new features, report bugs, etc..
- Be careful with your update frequency: it is annoying for users if you update too frequently. In the Android market, each update goes to the Just in section, which has been really controversial in the Android world. There are many developers that abuse this by making frequent updates to get more downloads. On the other hand, getting visibility on the market through the search or the rankings is not easy, so updating is one of the best ways to gain more downloads: but with real updates, don’t be evil!.
In other posts, we will talk about the limitations of the Android market. If we are to compete with the App Store, the market should be one of the main worries for Android Core Developers and learn from its competitors. Yes, the UI is better and what not, but the visibility, the search and the average money (check this study) that you get with your applications is much lower than in the App Store. With tech companies such as Motorola investing a lot of resources in Android, there will be really powerful market competitors such as SHOP4APPS (seen in El Androide libre, in Spanish).