I'm Brett Slatkin and this is where I write about programming and related topics. You can contact me here or view my projects.

04 December 2010

Two weeks after publishing an Android app

My Screen Filter app has been doing pretty well. AppBrain provides a nice view.

Some highlights:
  • Diversity without problems. Users have so many phones and carriers in a variety of countries-- and it works!
  • Fragmentation. Some people complain because their menubar is white and wouldn't dim, others have HTC Sense or MotoBlur so it's black (that issue's now fixed for everyone). On the Dell Streak (?) my app supposedly doesn't work at all.
  • Distribution. From 0 to 2500 installs in 15 days. Fastest reach I've ever gotten with an app.
  • Feedback. 7 personal emails, 118 ratings, 50 comments in different languages.

How does it feel for me as a developer? Well, very positive encouragement to keep working on the app and make it better. I've pushed out two bug releases in the same day because of this. Definitely more satisfying than a lot of other stuff I've built, even though this app is thoroughly stupid in what it does (dim the screen?).

"I think the big thing here is that the expectations of users have changed with mobile app stores" -Captain Obvious. But really, it's like users now see a positive connection between their feedback and the developer's efforts. With website widgets like Get Satisfaction, people just don't comment very often or they complain a lot. Much of the feedback you see out there is normally negative bug reports and trolling. With app stores the tone has really changed.

So perhaps monetization is only one aspect of why Apple is moving to an App Store for Macs. In the end I think the results will be developers getting helpful feedback, actively responding to user requests, and making everyone feel good about their participation: the virtuous cycle. Hopefully the same will happen for the Chrome Web Store and Mozilla's Apps.
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