What we’ve learned from the thousands of Android developers that we’ve helped is that there is always a way to increase a developer’s revenue. Improvements to their mobile monetization strategy might be as complicated as A/B testing ad formats and encouraging advertisers to propose direct deals. But optimization can also be as simple as avoiding these five basic mobile monetization mistakes. READ MORE »
As you may have noticed, the website was down for about 24 hours earlier this week. This is because some lovely person decided it would be fun to hack the site.
So What Actually Happened?
On Tuesday morning I woke up to find the homepage for the Blog, Forums and Gigs website replaced by a “hacked” message. Immediately I took the website offline, and setup a temporary “under maintenance” page which I pointed all the DNS records to while assessing the damage.
At a first glance, it appeared the hacker had only replaced the “index.php” files with a defaced version, but left everything else intact. This would have been quite easy to fix with minimal downtime.
Unfortunately further examination found several copies of a backdoor had been installed, including remote shell access. Given this information, I felt it necessary to migrate the entire site to new servers, and restore from a known backup.
Was Any Information Stolen?
Potentially everything. The hacker obtained access to vBulletin using a zero-day exploit which allowed them to create an administrator account. With an admin account and remote shell access, they could have accessed email addresses, private messages, hashed passwords, and any other information on the site.
There is no indication this was a targeted attack. Dozens of other sites have been compromised this week with exactly the same symptoms. However, it is still possible that any/all of this information has been stolen, and I’m operating under the assumption that this is the case.
How Does This Affect Me?
There are a few precautions you should take to minimize any potential impact:
- Change your forums password immediately.
- If you use the same password on other sites (such as your email account), be sure to change them as well.
- Assume that any information you sent via PM on the forums has been stolen.
- Let me know via email ([email protected]) if you notice anything suspicious on the website, or have any concerns you’d like to discuss.
What’s Happening Now?
- I am continuing to investigate the circumstances which led to the hacking, and ensure that all vulnerabilities have been patched.
- In the near future the blog will be moved to more secure WordPress hosting.
- I’m working with security professionals to ensure this site adheres to best practices for security moving forward.
- Ongoing monitoring will be established, so that any future hacking attempts can be noticed and mitigated more quickly.
I’m very sorry to have to share this news with you. While websites are hacked all the time (and a large number seem to have been affected by this particular zero-day exploit), I feel a personal responsibility to protect the information you’ve trusted me with by joining this community. Please be assured I’m doing my best to resolve the situation, and prevent anything like this from happening again in the future.
I’ll keep you posted, and update with more information as soon as it becomes available. In the mean time, you can get in touch with me using the email address above, if you have any queries or concerns. Thanks for your continued support and patience!
Update: I’ve posted a further update about this incident on the forums.
This is a guest post written by Jason Haddad, who works as a tester for wellresearchedreviews.com.
Often I have been asked whether or not it’s possible to really make a living from Android apps alone as an individual, and always my answer gets a surprised response when I give it. Not only is it possible to make a full income from Android apps alone, but it’s also actually pretty easy and you don’t even need any marketing. As overly simple and straightforward as it might sound, it’s actually entirely possible to release a paid app onto the Play Store, do nothing to market it or advertise it, and then just watch as the money pours in. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s unnecessary to bother with other more complicated forms of monetization (such as in-app billing, or ‘freemium’ apps) and that in this case the most straightforward approach really is the best.
How do I know this? Simple: because I released an app on the Play Store about 10 months ago and have so far racked up nearly £15K from it (that’s roughly $30K – I’m a Brit y’see). I never did any advertising, I’m not exactly what you’d call a ‘pro’ and I didn’t even own an Android until 6 months before. But I have managed to repeat the process since then…
Of course though to make this work you also need to know what you’re doing and you still need some strategy. Fortunately I’m about to share with you what made my apps a hit and what some of the secrets to success are. Follow these tips and you too can start earning a living from Android apps. READ MORE »
This is a guest post written by Michael Essany, senior editor of Mobile Marketing Watch.
Rarely stated but universally accepted, mobile apps have played a pivotal role in creating the market duopoly that iOS and Android now enjoy.
Without their enthusiastic and prolific developer communities, it’s unlikely that iOS and Android would collectively account for a staggering 93% of worldwide smartphones today.
Curiously, the exceedingly important factor of developer platform preference is almost never taken into consideration when the future of mobile advertising is discussed. Instead, the headlines continue to reflect the present edge iOS retains over Android on mobile advertising revenue.
Alas, we are simply expected to believe that what is true today will somehow still be true tomorrow. But if you look closely at what developers have communicated to us with their actions, particularly during the last twelve months, a cogent argument can be made for why Android may soon emerge as the dominant platform for mobile advertising. READ MORE »
Over the past couple of years this blog has documented my personal journey developing and monetizing Android apps. The initial goal of $1000/month seemed lofty at the time – but since October 2011, I’ve continued to exceed this target every month. Now it’s time to move on to a new stage in the site’s evolution.
I’m now opening up the blog to accept contributions from the wider community. Not just my own story, but all of yours as well. Do you have a passion for Android development? Have you learned something from publishing an app yourself? Do you have tips for new developers looking to monetize their apps? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you’d make a great guest author.
My hope is to make this site an even better resource for developers, by publishing tutorials, monetization tips, step-by-step guides and personal testimonies from successful developers.
Would you like to contribute to this blog? Shoot me a line at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!
A few months ago we heard that Google had started enabling “reply to comments” for selected Android developers on Google Play. Unfortunately I didn’t get access at the time, and have been waiting for a chance to try it out ever since. Well it seems like today is the big day. According to the official announcement by Google, all developers can now reply to comments on Google Play.
This new feature is a big deal for many Android developers. Anyone who’s released an app on Google Play knows what it’s like to receive a negative review, complaining about problems which have already been fixed, or are simply the result of a misunderstanding by the user. This kind of thing happens all the time. And up until now, it’s been impossible to follow up with these users. READ MORE »
Forum member Gabriele (megasoft78) recently posted a thread about creating an IRC channel for this website. This would provide an avenue for realtime discussion, and another way of exchanging ideas with the people who already frequent the blog and forums.
The feedback so far has been very positive, so we now have a new hashtag on the Freenode IRC network – #makingmoneywithandroid.
I’ve added a new menu entry on the blog – “Join the IRC Discussion” – which points to an embedded web client. So even if you’re not familiar with IRC, or don’t have a desktop client, you’ll be able to join the discussion from inside your web browser.
The web client is quite easy to use:
- Visit the embedded client, or the standalone version
- Provide Nickname (any name you like)
- In Channels, type “#makingmoneywithandroid” (if it is not already set)
- Fill in the reCAPTCHA, and click Connect.
I’d encourage you all to drop by if you get a chance. IRC is a great medium for getting quick feedback on a new idea, or getting to know the other developers you’ve seen around the forums in a more open & spontaneous setting. Many thanks to Gabriele for sharing the idea, and setting up the channel!
Looking forward to seeing you on IRC!
In my October report, I described how this one simple app turned into an overnight success. Fake iPhone 4S brought in over $700 in October alone, helping to bring my total earnings for that month over the nominal target of $1000.
In November, these already fantastic results improved in every way. Total Active Installs went from ~140,000 at the end of October to over 400,000 by mid-November. By the end of November, I’d reached about 1.2 million total installs. This boost in downloads seemed to be mostly self-propagating. By reaching the top Trending charts for the Android Market, it was noticed by a lot of people, which in turn helped keep it in the top charts.
It still amazes me that an app which I created as a casual idea in my free time would reach this level of popularity. There’s no way I would have predicted this number of people could be interested in downloading a Fake iPhone. But I tried it – and apparently a lot of people do want this kind of app.
Anyway, this torrent of new users brought a proportional increase in revenue. In fact, during November I brought in an average of over $200 per day! This was an incredibly exciting month for me – and busy too, as I released a number of updates. READ MORE »
The Android Developers blog just announced an update for the Android SDK Tools and ADB. This new release, version 17, brings many improvements to the build process. Here are some of my favourite new features:
- Added check for Android API calls that require a version of Android higher than the minimum supported version. This will save you from having to test your app on Android 1.6 for example, only to have it fail due to an API call that was introduced in Android 2.1
- Added a feature that allows you to run some code only in debug mode. Builds now generate a class called BuildConfig containing a DEBUG constant that is automatically set according to your build type. You can check the (BuildConfig.DEBUG) constant in your code to run debug-only functions such as outputting debug logs.
- Added feature to automatically setup JAR dependencies. Any
.jarfiles in the
/libsfolder are added to the build configuration (similar to how the Ant build system works). Also,
.jarfiles needed by library projects are also automatically added to projects that depend on those library projects.
- Updated the resource chooser to show the resolved value for resources. For example, when selecting
@string/hellothe chooser displays a resolved value such as “Hello World”). The resource chooser also now allows you to edit the chosen value directly.
There are plenty more changes to be found in the SDK Release Notes and ADT Release Notes. The Android Emulator can now run x86 system images at native speed, thanks to contributions from Intel. Lint has also received a major upgrade, with 40 new rules checking for performance and code issues. READ MORE »