Android apps for Fun and Profit


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“This presentation will walk you through how to optimize and measure your app’s performance in the Android market, and how to make your app generate (more) revenue. With over 300,000 apps in the market, even a great app needs to be promoted to reach its audience.

Various methods of generating attention for your app will be discussed and the importance of measuring your app’s performance in the market will be highlighted with code snippets and case studies where possible.

The last part of the talk will discuss the different options for monetizing your app, how to have a minimal impact on the user experience, and how to make the best choice between the different options.”

Mathijs Vogelzang co-founded AppTornado, which develops the popular Android app discovery platform and 30 other Android apps under the name “Swiss Codemonkeys” with a combined total download count of over 20 million. Mathijs has been building software for over 20 years. After competing in many programming contests Google hired him in 2007 to work on the YouTube team in Zürich, Switzerland. He and Uwe Maurer, one of his colleagues at Google, started to build fun Android apps together in their free time, and this lead to them leaving Google to found AppTornado near the end of 2008. Since February 2011 Mathijs is leading the Dutch branch of AppTornado based in Utrecht.

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Android apps for Fun and Profit

  1. 1. Creating Android apps for Fun & Profit ____________________________ Mathijs Vogelzang, AppTornado GmbH DroidCon Amsterdam 2011
  2. 2. Overview____________________________ ● Short intro ● Get attention! ○ Optimize your Android market listing ○ Generate buzz around your app ○ Measure your success & iterate ● Generate revenue ○ Paid vs. in-app payment vs. ad-supported ○ How to make a choice between revenue models ○ Best strategies within each revenue model
  3. 3. Swiss Codemonkeys & AppBrain____________________________ ● Android apps & AppBrain, app discovery and promotion system ● >40 apps, >25M downloads ● Started in January 2009, part time ● Founded company in November 2009 ● Team: 3 software engineers, 1 UI/UX designer
  4. 4. Swiss Codemonkeys apps● First app "DeskBell" in January 2009● Steamy Window● Funny Jokes, Love Poems, Android Forum● Live Chat● Camera Pro, Color Touch, Photo Effects● Camera Effects, Best Wallpapers●●
  5. 5. Get attention for your app
  6. 6. App discovery and promotion on Android is difficult ● Users are using apps 80-90 mins/day, download 9 new apps/month (source: Admob mobile metrics) ● Android market has grown to ~315,000 apps, 20,000 new apps / month, around 1/3 is of very low quality ● Discovery options are relatively limited (but improving recently) ● For users: difficult to discover good apps ● Developers: difficult to make apps stand out Source:
  7. 7. Rule #1: Listen to your users● Try to have rating > 4.0, investigate when the average < 3.5● Android market comments unfortunately not always helpful anymore...● Always investigate the crash reports on the Google dashboard Source:
  8. 8. What kind of user do you want toreach?● How is he most likely to hear about your app? ○ Discovery in the Android market ○ Hear it from other user ○ Read it on a blog / app magazine● What kind of keywords will the user use to search?● In which categories of the market will he browse?
  9. 9. Optimizing the market listing● First, make icon and title as descriptive and attractive as possible● Follow the official Android icon guidelines whenever possible com/guide/practices/ui_guidelines/icon_design. html● Do: "featured graphic", for low chance of being featured
  10. 10. Market app page
  11. 11. Build buzz around your app● Try to get reviews on important Android blogs● Leverage social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)● Even better: let users be your apps advocates, very easy to implement using SEND Intent.
  12. 12. Measure your success!● Track installs, keep track of phones & android versions Official market stats are useful, but are based on overall install base.
  13. 13. Its really about new installs
  14. 14. Even better: track sources And you get:
  15. 15. Plus: countries, languages, phones &SDK versions by usage
  16. 16. Build a quick stats check into your dailyroutine
  17. 17. Generate revenue
  18. 18. Three main models● Paid app ○ Pro: no implementation required! ○ Con: few users, high expectations by users● In-app billing ○ More difficult implementation, MUCH higher revenue potential● Free (ad-supported) ○ When not done right, can be very annoying ○ Fluctuating revenues
  19. 19. Top grossing apps: free + in-app billing!
  20. 20. Considerations● Focus on the average revenue / user● Does your app provide a value many users will want to pay for directly?● If not, ads are probably a better model ○ How many times does a user come back? How many minutes does he spend per session?
  21. 21. Paid app model● Users usually dont just buy an app out of nothing ○ -> good to have a free app from which to upsell users ○ free app should be a useful app by itself● Be prepared to release occasional updates with new functionality● A higher price point is usually a better choice
  22. 22. In-app billing ● Two modes: Managed and Unmanaged ● Managed: ○ Android market keeps track whether user purchased the item ○ User can only buy once ● Unmanaged: ○ More complicated: you have to keep track ○ User can buy many times (e.g., virtual currency)
  23. 23. Free ad-supported apps● Banner ads ○ +: Low effort ○ -: Low revenue, annoying to have on every screen● Consider the engagement of the user
  24. 24. Summary● A great app is most important● Track your different channels of user acquisition● If possible, use in-app billing or ad-supported model● Ad units: think about the context ○ good for banners: apps for reading & browsing, user looking for entertainment & new content ○ good for other types: users focused on completing a task, all screen space needed● AppBrain SDK is in private beta, sign up here:
  25. 25. questions?____________________________Contact: