Christmas greetings to all my Android friends! Here’s wishing you a happy & holy Christmas, and a productive new year in 2012.
Posts in category Uncategorized
Some of you have been asking lately – where the heck has David gone? There have been no posts for over a month now, and I apologise for disappearing without warning. Where have I been? Travelling the world, actually. At the start of August I left for a pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. We had a gathering of about 2 million young people from around the world, for an amazing and uplifting week. World Youth Day is the largest youth event in the world, and also one of the largest peaceful gatherings of people in all time. I was so inspired by WYD in Sydney 2008 that I decided to attend in Spain.
I was also able to visit the Holy Land (Jordan, Israel, Egypt) before WYD began, which was an adventure of its own. The culture is completely different to Australia or Europe. Israel is a very beautiful country that I would like to visit again some time. The old city in Jerusalem is fascinating, and Galilee has some amazing landscapes. Seeing the pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt has ticked off one of my “must-see” requirements as well! It was a pretty huge trip, I saw heaps of places and learned a whole lot of history too. It was definitely a worthwhile trip.
Now that I’m back, there are a few posts to catch up on, and a lot of development work. I’m currently writing up the latest income report (trying to remember what happened last month!). Also, there’s a special report I’ve been waiting to post for a while now. But I won’t bore you with details of the posts to come. This was just a quick message to let you know I’m still alive, and you can expect to here more from me soon!
By now you’ve probably heard of Google’s latest effort in the social space – Google+ (pronounced “Google Plus”). Based on the Google +1 concept, Google+ is more of a social network, integrated across all the Google sites. This includes Gmail, Google Search, Reader, and Buzz. You can read more about this ambitious project on the official blog post.
Anyway, this morning I managed to snag an invitation to the beta program. Google has opened up invites as of this morning (not sure if there’s any limits!), so I’m offering anyone an invite if you’re looking for one. Just p̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ download the Google+ Invites app or email me at [email protected], and mention why you would like to use Google+. I’ll do my best to invite everyone, but might run into a volume limit eventually.
If there turns out to be a limit, you’ll increase your chances of being selected if you download Tap That! Number and rate it on the Android Market Just tell me what name you commented with.
UPDATE: Vic Gundotra (Senior VP of Engineering at Google) just posted the following message on Google+:
We’ve shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand. We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way. Thank you all for your interest!
Hopefully invites will be re-opening again soon. Feel free to email me your requests still, I’ll process them as soon as invites open up again. See the details above if you’d like to be first in line.
UPDATE 2: Invites are open again! Also, I’ve released a Google+ Invites app for Android. If you have an Android phone, please use this app to request your invites, instead of emailing me. I’ve had so many emails it’s hard to handle the volume. By downloading the app you’ll help speed up the process considerably.
Up until now the RSS feed for this site has been showing article previews – a brief snippet of each post, but not the whole content. Many people (including myself) prefer to be able to read full posts from an RSS reader, rather than having to click through to the original website for every article.
The developer of Camera+ (for iOS devices) recently announced that their app has hit 2 million sales. This figure is a huge success, both numerically and financially. To celebrate this milestone, the developers have decided to share some of their stats publicly, including overall sales volume and revenue from in-app purchases.
One of the most interesting revelations in the blog post is the upgrade numbers. Over half of the people who had downloaded Camera+ also upgraded to the latest version when it was released. This indicates a high level of user engagement – users did not simply “download and discard” which is a common situation in the mobile app world.
Another noteworthy observation: revenue from in-app purchases was relatively low, compared with overall app purchases from the App Store. Only 98,000 in-app effects were sold in total – compared with 2,000,000 app purchases. At $0.99 each, these in-app purchases added up to a tiny part of the overall app revenue.
This is significant for any developers looking to make money from in-app purchases on Android. The target market for Android and iOS developers is relatively similar, so you can expect similar results in publishing an app to the Android Market. Referring to the use of in-app purchases as a primary revenue model, the Camera+ developers concluded:
it’s very unlikely that this can be an effective business model
So there you have it – in-app products might be useful to give a welcome boost to your revenue, but don’t base your entire business model around them. Better to stick with the tried and tested methods – paid apps, ad-supported, and “freemium”.
During development, it is often useful to be able to test the Android Market from a device other than your own. However, by default the Android emulator doesn’t include the Android Market – nor offer an easy method of installing it. This tutorial will show you how to setup an Android Virtual Device (AVD) running Android 1.6 and the Market application.
This tutorial assumes you have the Android SDK installed and functioning, and have downloaded at least the basic Android 1.6 target. If not, complete these steps before continuing.
First, you’ll need to download the Android 1.6 system image file from http://www.4shared.com/file/165624746/fc72c3ed/system.html (this can also be found on the HTC website – look for Android Dev Phone 1). This is close to 60MB, so it might take a while to download.
While you’re waiting, start the Android SDK and AVD Manager, and create a new virtual device. Choose whatever name you like, and set the target as “Android 1.6″. I recommend selecting a 2GB SD card, and booting up the virtual device just to test and make sure it runs correctly.
Replacing the System Image
Now find the folder where your Android 1.6 system image is stored (not the folder for your AVD). Under Linux this will be <android-sdk-folder>/platforms/android-1.6/images/. Notice there is a system.img file in this folder. Copy this to a backup location, and paste in the file you just downloaded. This replaces the default Android 1.6 virtual machine with our new custom image, which includes the Android Market pre-installed.
Setting up the device
Using the AVD Manager to start up the virtual device. If all goes well, it will boot directly into Android, and let you choose to setup the device. Click through the tutorial, and when given the option to enter your Google account, choose “Skip“. We’ll complete that part later*. Finish the wizard.
Now you should see the home screen. Click the grey arrow at the bottom of the screen, and find the Android Market icon. Click to launch it.
Now you can fill in your Google account details. Use a different account than you have on your primary device (you might like to create one specifically for testing Android apps). Accept the terms and conditions, and you should be able to browse and download applications just like on a physical Android device!
Note: The Android Market will automatically update itself some time after linking to your Google Account. Don’t be surprised if it suddenly closes without warning – just wait a while and start it up again to continue downloading apps.
* When I tried to complete the initial setup wizard, I got stuck at a screen saying “slide out your keyboard to continue”. By skipping this step, and setting up the Google account later on I was able to avoid the issue.