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Making your Android App known

This article describes how to get your android app known and how to boost the number of downloads.

So you have an app?

OK, you have just designed a killer application. What next? If not done already go to the android developers website to learn the ins and outs of publishing your Android app. Follow this link http://developer.android.com/guide/publishing/publishing.html to take you to the Publishing on Google Play page. Remember you’ll have to register as a Google Play Developer which costs about €20 (which is well worth it) and you’ll have to create a developer profile also.

Right, you’re all registered, your profile is all set and your app is on the Market, you’re delighted and you should be but wait, it’s not getting all the loving attention it should be? Your excitement is short lived. Don’t despair, there is still hope. We just have to get the app known. But how?

Android logo

Making your app known

It’s great having the next big thing since slice pan but if no one knows about it, it’s no good to anyone right? Well there are many ways of getting your app known, it may take a bit of work or indeed money if advertising on other apps is concerned but if you’d like your app to be successful then this is what you can do.

There is the obvious one which is word of mouth but that only gets you so far. This way is useful though to get your app known in your locality. To get chins wagging on a larger scale you can go to your android developer profile and choose to ‘Advertise this app’ under the word ‘Published’ on the far right hand side of the Google Play Android app listings. It shows you a preview of what the app will look like on other apps on clicking. When you click get started you are taken to the ins and outs of the advertising campaign, budget per day ($10 min), Group type, Targeting etc. This is very useful but it does cost money. Remember not everything in life is free but you can get your app known in various other ways that don’t cost money.

Targeting your Demographic

OK before we go crazy emailing every club, association etc. under the sun, take a look at your app. What does it do? Who will use it? Is it useful in daily life or for fun/passtimes? My app for instance The Irish Tin Whistle App (see https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fas.project.android&feature=search_result) is a music app which is also educational. It’s fun and would appeal to anyone with a vague interest in playing the tin whistle or anyone with an interest in traditional Irish music, music in general or indeed Irish culture. So taking all this into account I emailed various musical associations, primary schools etc. to see if there was any interest. Also I joined tin whistle pages, traditional music pages etc. in facebook to reach more people who were keen in playing the tin whistle. To my surprise there was great interest and my app is now teaching many people the basics of the tin whistle, which is great. Now enough about my app. Back to yours.

OK once you’ve emailed a few associations/groups etc. joined facebook pages, made it known on twitter and other social websites is there anything else you can do?

Additional steps to take

Now what else can we do? Remember to think internationally, would your app be more appreciated in specific countries for instance? If so, get in touch with sites, blogs etc. abroad. It is a good idea to make an actual facebook page to showcase your app. Many users will use facebook and they can leave comments about it, room for improvement etc. so it could provide a vital tool for implementation of version 2 of your killer app. Create anticipation for the next version of your app. Ask people to give you feedback in your emails, ask for suggestions on what can be included on the next application. It is a good idea to be thinking of the next version yourself while emailing people, how can you improve the app for them in the future?

You can utilise QR codes (Quick Response codes), these can be especially handy if you’ve created an app for a company and want to include them on posters or their website etc. A handy site I found to create custom qr codes is Unitag http://www.unitaglive.com/qrcode. You can even change the colour of them, add or logo etc. which is great.

Conclusion

Your killer app is completed and you have let people know about it. Now watch as the downloads rise from day to day. I found that checking the downloads in the evening is best as many downloads would not take place in the mornings. With my app even after I stopped emailing, joining pages etc. the downloads kept rising! Once your app is beneficial or fun for people to use they will download it.

So it comes back to how good your app actually is for the number of downloads. Saying that though there is no harm of letting people who would appreciate it know about it. After all that’s why you created the app in the first place, to be used and enjoyed by people.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that the number of your app downloads increase very soon.

Best of Luck,

Steve



Has designed and developed several android applications from scratch which are available on Google Play.

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