GetJar: Rewarding paying users key to Android app success

Developers should hold back some features back from their free or ad supported versions

If you are a mobile developer and not making any money on your Android applications, don't give up. A good name, focus and offering paying users the right incentives can help, according toa blog post from application store proprietor GetJar.

Survey after survey confirms what anyone developing for Google's smartphone operating system already knows: Android users aren't currently buying apps at the same rate that iOS users are, according to GetJar. But apps like ADWLauncher EX, Car Locator and Robo Defense have shown success is possible.

While there's no clear path to becoming an Android millionaire, Getjar offers some tips to help developers move in the right direction.

First, doing one thing really well is better than doing a lot of things sufficiently. Developers should carefully consider app name and description. For example, Car Locator does exactly what you'd expect; it helps users find their car and it does that really well, according to GetJar.

To see what name works best, developers can test different options using cheap campaigns from AdMob.

Developers can't rely on the kindness of strangers, and assume that users will pay just because of their love for the app. They should make sure they hold some features back from their free or ad-supported versions, according to GetJar.

Owners of the full version of Robo Defense get more maps, reward upgrades, and difficult levels, making the paid version a completely different, more immersive experience that leaves users addicted, GetJat writes.

Car Locator developer Edward Kim has taken a different approach: users get 10 free tries and then they have to pay $3.99.

It also helps to first put out a free version to build a good reputation and test the product. A free version of homescreen app ADWLauncher EX was available on the market for months before the paid version came out, and by the time developer AnderWeb was ready to charge money for expanded features, people knew it was a quality product, according to GetJar.

To build a good reputation, developers can also search for people who are saying good things about the app on, for example, Twitter. These users already like your app, and giving them the paid version of the app will only make them love it more, GetJar writes.

Once a user has downloaded the app, taking advantage of social services like OpenFeint and Socialize can help keep users interested.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Tags smartphonesGoogleAndroidPhonesconsumer electronicsPhone applicationsGetJar

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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