Why Android May Soon Be The Dominant Platform for Mobile Advertising

This is a guest post written by Michael Essany, senior editor of Mobile Marketing Watch.

Android PhoneRarely 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.

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Reply To Comments Enabled For All Google Play Developers

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.

Screenshot of Google Play developer feature - Reply To User Reviews

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.

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Google Play – The New Android Market

Google Play - Android MarketToday Google announced (in several places) that the Android Market is being rebranded “Google Play

The new marketplace (sorry, “play store”) includes content from four main areas – Movies, Music, Apps & Games, and Books. Of course, not all of these are available outside of the US yet, so folks in Australia will only get access to Apps & Games and Books for now.

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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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The Benefits of Positive Feedback

Have you ever downloaded an app from the Android Market, or App Store, and after using it for a few minutes thought “this is just awesome”? If you’re like me, the answer is yes. But was your first thought to contact the developer and tell him how happy you are? Or did you just keep using the app, happy to have something that works?

I was reading the comments on Tap That! Number the other day. Here’s the latest review by someone called Jake:

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How to make $250 a day (and get banned from the Android Market)

Logo for the Google+ Invites App

A few weeks ago I did something which, in retrospect, was probably rather stupid. But it was surprisingly successful while it lasted. As I wrote earlier, I’ve been using Google+ since the day after it was launched. I myself received an invite from a stranger who was offering invites publicly. For this reason, I’ve been keen to share invites with anyone else who’s looking for one. I put up a post on this blog offering free invites, and got a huge response from the Android community. In fact, there were so many responses that it overwhelmed my email after a few days. There’s no way I could have kept up with the demand.

Rather than stop accepting requests altogether, I wanted to make it easier to handle the load. (NB: At this stage there was no limit to the number of Google+ invites you could send.) My first thought, trying to work out a faster way to do things, was “hey, is there an Android app for this?” A quick search turned up a negative. No Android apps offering Google+ invites. So, why not make one? It seemed a pretty good idea, so I spent that afternoon writing a simple app that accepted an email address, and a description of the request. The data was sent to a PHP script on my server, so I could go through and invite the email addresses stored in a database.

Actually, it’s not that simple to write an Android app that POSTs data asynchronously to a server, checks the response, and handles errors gracefully. I re-used some classes from another unreleased project, but it was still a bigger job than I expected. But the actual coding is an issue for another day. The most interesting part came when I released the app on the Android Market.

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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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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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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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