Archive for December, 2010
I don’t like ads in my mobile application; who does ? But developing application costs money; we need to host our websites, we need to buy test devices to ensure everything works alright, and of course, we need to eat. So we do have ads in our applications.
I don’t believe the Android Market is ready for micropayments. Most people won’t pay $1 for small applications. I’m sure some of them do want to support us, and do that by clicking our ads, but I would like for them to have an easier way, and a way that could send a message to the developers. For this purpose, I believe application developers could use Flattr (and I would like to see that integrated into Android).
(If you wonder what we do, check out our applications here: http://www.electric-goat.net.)
We already made a few bucks with ad revenue and various distribution deals with vendors. This means that, for some of our apps, there is a hope that we can reach a point where we feel they have been paid for. And we would love to open-source them. So we’re thinking about that: how we could make a page where you can see how much we earned from any given app, and how those apps could be automatically open-sourced when we reach a certain amount, say $500 or $1000 for a small app.
The big question is: would users care ?
Two things I noticed recently, and it’s possible they could be related:
- A while back, I noticed strange comments on the Android Market regarding some of our applications, and some of other people’s applications too. For example, let’s take BusinessBingo: it’s a fairly simple application, it’s just for fun, and most people wouldn’t find a use for it. So, it’s perfectly expected to receive some bad reviews. However, some of them sound strange. Someone complains that it’s difficult to control, but there is nothing to control, really, you just tap on words. Someone else complains that “audio doesn’t work”, but nothing in the application can make you believe that there should be sound. Those comments seem quite random and generic.
In a lot of applications, you can read uninformative comments like “Lame. Uninstall.” Even in very good applications. The user doesn’t explain what he doesn’t like, and the comment is always the same.
- More recently, I received an offer to buy bulk positive comments and rankings for our applications. Which made me think: if some people are willing to sell positive reviews by the thousand, why wouldn’t they also spam negative reviews on applications that don’t use their services ? It may sound paranoid, but if other developers have experienced the same, I’d like to have their opinion.