LeadBolt Introduces App Walls for Better Monetization

I’ve been using LeadBolt (an in-app advertising network) for a few months now, with mixed results. The rich media content unlockers offered by LeadBolt are very effective, especially if you’re developing a game where the interstitial format makes sense (e.g. a blocking advert between levels). However, their banner advertising hasn’t been as effective for me, … Read more…

New Forum for Android Developers

Roman Forum Today I’d like to announce a bit of a new direction for this website. I’ve just launched an official forum, associated with the blog. It’s available at http://www.makingmoneywithandroid.com/forum/.

There’s a couple of reasons why I decided to launch this forum. I’ve been getting a lot of email queries lately, which would probably be of general interest to many blog readers. Questions about how I developed an app, or details about the monthly income reports, as well as more general Android queries. Rather than communicating with people individually over email, it would make a lot more sense to post these questions publicly so everyone can benefit from them.

But also also I’d like to give others an opportunity to contribute their knowledge & experience in a public setting. Not everyone has their own blog, and even if they do, it might not have a large readership yet. My hope with this forum is to provide a place where Android developers can share experiences & code, with a focus on marketing and making a profit from their apps.

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Android Income Report #6 (September)

September was my first month back in the swing of things, after the August holiday. It was still pretty quiet, with no new app releases, but I was able to do a bit of groundwork in preparation for the coming months. I wrote a number of blog posts, and tried submitting my app to a few more alternative app stores. Revenues saw a bit of dip compared with August, but this was still my 3rd highest income to date.

This will be another short income report – I’m a few months behind already, so will try to keep things brief. Without any further ado, here’s the breakdown for September – my 6th month on the Android Market.

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Win an Android Tablet from elusivestars.com

elusivestars.com is a newly launched website, providing crowdsourced testing for Android app developers.

As any developer will be aware, it’s one thing to write an app that works well on your own handset. It’s a totally different story to create an app that will function correctly on the myriad of different Android devices out there, with completely different screen sizes, memory limitations, and OS versions.

Elusivestars aims to solve this problem, by connecting developers with real-life users who can test the app before launching publicly. You pay users a small amount to download & install your app, and they will provide feedback on a number of different topics including usability, appearance & stability.

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Android Income Report #5 (August)

Well, I’ve got way behind in my income reports. My last report (July 2011) is over 3 months old already. It’s good to keep the continuity though, so I’ll publish this post for my August revenue – even though it wasn’t a very exciting month. The huge revenues from my Google+ Invites app had diminished significantly, and I was travelling overseas for most of the month, so didn’t release any updates for my other apps. So mainly, this month’s report covers passive income from my existing apps, during a month of inactivity.

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Received My First Payment From Tapjoy

Today I received my first payment from Tapjoy. Just over $700 USD isn’t too bad 🙂 This is income from the Google+ Invites app, which is the only place I’ve used Tapjoy’s incentive advertising. I do recommend you check them out, if you’re writing an app that could make use of virtual currency. Tapjoy have … Read more…

I Won An iPad

Black Apple iPad 2You know all those “Win an iPad” competitions that seem to be so prolific throughout online advertising? I’ve seen so many of these competitions that at some point I just stopped paying attention, let alone entering the contest. I never knew anyone who actually won an iPad, so what’s the point of entering?

Well just last month, I saw my mobile ISP, Amaysim, was running a competition where you could win an iPad, and a 10GB mobile data pack. It caught my attention, since it was only available to people who had liked their Facebook page. Being a local Aussie company, there weren’t many people who fit this criteria. I might be in for a chance.

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Galaxy Nexus & Android 4.0

Google Android 4.0 LogoI watched the live Google/Samsung announcement of the Galaxy Nexus yesterday. The event was held in Hong Kong, and streamed live to the Android Developers YouTube channel. I wasn’t completely blown away by the hardware – seems pretty run-of-the-mill after being spoiled with the Galaxy S II. But I was impressed to see how much thought Google has put into the user experience for Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

I get the impression that this time, Google’s focused on the little things. Like zero shutter lag for the camera, rather than the megapixel count. Or streamlining the voice-to-text capabilities, as well as copy & paste. These “little things” are really the things that matter for consumers. Apple’s known this for a long time, and one of the selling points for Apple’s phones is the great user experience (even if the flexibility isn’t there). I think Google’s trying to take a leaf from Apple’s book here, and start building an engaging, “love-able” (their words, not mine!) user interface. An admirable goal, and from what I’ve seen, they have taken big steps in this direction with the latest version of Android.

But that’s the consumer side of things. For developers, Android 4.0 introduces a number of new concepts, including:

  • Unified UI toolkit – “A single set of UI components, styles, and capabilities for phones, tablets, and other devices”. So Android 4.0 has finally pulled together the Gingerbread & Honeycomb releases.
  • Rich communication and sharing – A bunch of new APIs, most significantly Android Beam, which enables NFC-based instant sharing between smartphones.
  • New lock screen – Not sure how much opportunity there is for developers to plug in here, but Google has introduced a new set of instant actions which can be accessed directly from the lock screen (camera & music controls).

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Tap That! Number v4.0

I’ve just released a new version of Tap That! Number for Android – version 4.0. It’s a major revamp, as I’ve completely re-written the high scores component. Instead of using ScoreNinja (a lightweight high scores library), I’ve opted for Scoreloop, one of the big social gaming platforms. This basically means the whole interface looks a lot … Read more…

Should I Write Sponsored Posts?

I’ve had quite a few offers lately from people who would like to sponsor articles on this blog. The basic understanding being, they pay me to write about a particular topic, or include a link to their product. It’s not an unusual situation in web publishing, but I know a lot of people have strong opinions on the ethics of this practice.

I’m not a big fan of blogs that post a “Message from our Sponsor” every week, with a blatantly promotional article full of links back to the sponsor’s website. I see this as a kind of intrusive advertising, that only takes readers’ time and offers nothing in return.

However, I do see benefits in writing a sponsored post which is of genuine interest to the blog’s target audience – in this case, Android developers. For example, say a mobile advertising company such as AdMob were to contact me, and offer to pay me in exchange for writing an article about their company. Obviously the company itself is of interest to this blog’s readers. In this situation, I think it would be appropriate to write the article, and accept payment for the time I spent researching and writing the post.

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