How to Make a Successful App? 5 Tips for Android DevelopersAndrei Klubnikin
Android smartphone market share has recently topped 86%. Half of mobile vendors prioritize the platform over iOS. There are over 2.6 million apps on Google Play. It seems that you can’t go wrong with Android. However, less than 0.01% of all mobile applications achieve commercial success. What makes a Android good app? Read on to find out!
How to make a successful Android app?
- Validate your idea. Although Google Play revised their submission guidelines last year, the Android ecosystem is still flooded with copycats. As Steve Jobs once said, “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”. Your Android app might not be 100% original, but it should solve a real-world problem and resonate with your target audience. Before you start with mobile application development, you should register an App Annie account and monitor your rivals’ chart performance. Define the features that help them stand out from the competition. Think of improvements that you’d make. Create a good-looking landing page to promote your future release and launch a Google AdWords campaign to collect feedback. Now you can address a reliable vendor, create an MVP and conduct testing to decide on the final feature set and deliver a better user experience;
- Follow Google Play requirements. That’s right, Google Play is not a control freak. The store accepts apps designed for displaying ad banners and blocks software that interferes with other apps’ performance. And yes, Google can easily give the green light to an adult application. Still, you should rate your app according to the Content Ratings Guidelines, adhere to Google’s intellectual property policy (which is the key reason why the store turns new entries down), avoid controversy and ensure great app performance. Easier said than done, right? Android fragmentation is still a thing. Only 0.4% of Androiders have switched to Nougat. Over 900 million Android smartphones are subject to hacker attacks. Is the game really worth the candle? Believe us, it is. The operating system dominates the emerging markets (including India, Mexico and Brazil) which saw the biggest growth through 2016. India, for example, has recently surpassed the USA in terms of Google Play downloads, although smartphone penetration still staggers around 30% in the country. You can potentially make huge money on ads and subscriptions there – and that brings us closer to another important question;
- Choose a flexible app monetization strategy. You’ve probably heard that the App Store makes twice as much money as Google Play. The latter, however, gets 200% more downloads. That being said, the global Android ecosystem is very diverse and features third-party app stores. In the near future, their combined revenue may help Google outpace Apple both in terms of downloads and revenue. Although nearly 70% of Android apps are free, traditional app monetization strategies including “paidmium” do work on Google Play. If you opt for upfront payments, make sure to leave room for discounts. Consider choosing the in-app purchases (IAP) approach? Provide real value to users. If you’re into games, make your app “free to play, pay to win”. Thanks to the strategy, Pokémon Go became the biggest game of 2016 and generated over $ 900 million in revenue. Alto’s Adventure – which is a paid app on the App Store – uses the IAP model on Android. You should conduct a comprehensive marketing research, create detailed buyer personas and choose the most appropriate app monetization strategy before a single line of code is written;
- Embrace innovation. The incredible success of Pokémon Go could not be solely driven by the power of nostalgia; it is Augmented Reality that makes users leave their stuffy rooms and walk the streets in search of pocket monsters. There are over 6 billion connected gadgets worldwide. The global Augmented and Virtual Reality market will top $ 120 billion in three years. As smartphones and sensors are getting cheaper, new mobile app use cases continue to emerge. Provided you address a reliable Android app development company with a good IoT portfolio (and create Proof of Concept, of course!), you can pull a Niantic and…drown in cash;
- Double your marketing efforts. Long gone are the days when developers could implement a “dark pattern” to boost app reviews and get thousands of downloads. Beginners who want to replicate Angry Birds’ viral success somehow forget that the so-called virality is also created by marketers. Today developers seldom succeed without Google Play/App Store interference and a solid marketing budget (which should comprise at least 20% of your projected revenue). That’s why you should craft a high-quality explainer video early on and…spread the word! Favorable reviews from websites like Gamasutra, Mashable and TechCrunch will create some buzz around your project. Participate in app development contests. Do some blogging. Track your app’s performance on a regular basis and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Due to fragmentation, building an Android app usually takes 30% more time (and money) and involves a lot of research and planning. Unless you have coding experience, you’d better trust the tech part to an experienced vendor and focus on marketing instead. Take your time, think big – and success will follow!