Android Income Report #3

ChartHere’s an interesting stat for you – this month, I made more money writing about Android than I did from Android apps themselves! How does that work? Well, this blog has seen a pretty steady increase in traffic since I wrote the first article at the beginning of April. A couple of weeks ago, that same article made it to the front page of Hacker News, which was a catalyst for this website – over 20,000 new visitors in one day. Thanks in part to the dramatic increase in traffic, my Google AdSense earnings were high enough this month to justify including them in this report. In fact, they exceeded my AdMob earnings by a significant margin.

Also, you’ll probably notice I’m no longer using the title “xx month on the Android Market”. That’s simply because from now on, I’ll be expanding beyond Google’s distribution channel, and trying out alternative app stores such as Amazon, GetJar and SlideME. The Android Market is still my first and primary focus though.

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CPU Usage Live Wallpaper – Launch Discount

Android Live Wallpaper
CPU Usage Live Wallpaper PRO (with gradient enabled)

My new app CPU Usage Live Wallpaper is now live on the Android Market. For the first few days I’m offering the PRO version for a special price of US$0.99 (or the equivalent in your currency). If you’d like try before you buy, check out the free version. It does the same job, but gradients & extra configuration options are disabled.

This simple wallpaper shows the current CPU usage on your phone, visualized by color. Light green indicates low CPU usage (about 0-20%), orange is medium usage, all the way to red which shows high CPU usage. There are more than just three colors though – this wallpaper cycles smoothly through the spectrum from green to red.

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Live Wallpapers, and PreferenceActivity bugs

Android Live WallpaperI’ve been working on a new app lately – a CPU monitor live wallpaper for Android. There are some great tutorials & sample code out there if you’re looking at starting with live wallpapers. I recommend the Androgames tutorial, as well as the official Android documentation, and CubeLiveWallpaper sample application. Both tutorials take a slightly different approach, so make sure you understand the concepts (especially threading) thoroughly before writing your own wallpaper. I started off using the Androgames model, but then ended up completely rewriting the code to optimize battery use. The end result is much more like the CubeLiveWallpaper example.

While coding the settings screen for this app, I ran across two pretty major bugs in the current Android SDK. It seems the implementation of PreferenceActivity is quite broken, and has been for several versions of the SDK. In particular, ListPreference and CheckBoxPreference each have outstanding bugs which nearly every developer will encounter when trying to use these classes.

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This Week in Android: Transdroid, Device Activations, Google+ and Nortel Bid

This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be writing, to highlight some of the most important Android news from the past week. Hopefully it’ll be a useful summary, and also provide some incentive for me to keep the posts coming 🙂 Enjoy!

Transdroid pulled from Android Market

Transdroid, the popular torrent client for Android is the latest app to incur Google’s wrath, as it was pulled from the Android Market earlier this week. This news seemed to slip under the radar in the wake of the Google+ launch. Still no word on why. Perhaps George Lucas noticed the word “droid”?

Half a million Android devices activated per day

Andy Rubin revealed in a tweet that Google is now activating over 500,000 new Android devices per day, and that this figure is growing by 4.4% week over week. This is a big step up from 300,000 late last year. Just think about it – that’s more than 15 million new Android devices each month. And that’s not even counting the unofficial forks.

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Second Month on the Android Market

Statistics bar graphThis post is a little late, but I’ll summarise the monthly stats here in order to present the full picture. My second month (9th May – 8th June) has been pretty straightforward, with Tap That! Number seeing regular growth in much the same pattern as the first month. I’ve now diversified a bit, releasing two new apps which has helped bump up the advertising revenue. Work and study commitments prevented me from spending a lot of time in actual development, but I did manage to push a major update to Tap That! Number – a new “memory mode” with hidden tiles. Read on for the full details from this month’s development, and a look at how the Flurry tracking service compares to Google Analytics.

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Hacker News: The Aftermath

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to submit one of my articles to Hacker News. I didn’t really expect anything to come of it, due to my previous experience with sites like Digg and Reddit. Well, I was wrong. The article hit the front page of HN within minutes, and stayed there for over 10 hours. By the end of the day (Australian time), this website had handled over 7,000 visitors – which is about 6,500 more than a normal day.

Today, the same article has been featured on Reddit, Twitter and The Next Web, resulting in another 20,000 visits so far. All that exposure has resulting in some very interesting comments from Android and iOS developers alike. I’ve previously been writing for a fairly small audience, it’s a bit of a different experience to get critical review from all over the web. So what have I learned? Two things – that WordPress scales well with caching, and that there’s always someone with a different point of view.

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Making Money with iAds – an iOS Developer’s Story

Apple iAd LogoThe developer of ProPassword (for iOS devices) has posted an interesting testimony on his blog. He released the app for free, relying on Apple’s advertising platform, iAd as the sole source of revenue. Over 15,000 downloads later, this developer decides that ad-supported free apps just aren’t a reliable revenue source.

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Available in Android Market – Official Badges for your Site

Google Android badge - Available in Android MarketLast night Google posted a tweet from @AndroidDev mentioning a new badge available for Android developers. If you’ve currently got an app on the Market, you can download the official badge titled “Available in Android Market” to place on your website. This is designed to help standardize the Android branding experience, and ensure your app marketing looks professional.

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Development Update

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is the most popular phone in Samsung's Android lineupThis blog has been pretty quiet lately. I haven’t been able to post anything for a while due to work and study commitments. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to get back into things, and post about my second month on the Android Market.

In the meantime, here’s a quick update on what’s been happening in the past few weeks.

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