I Think I'm Becoming an Android
Android Market Fragmentation Sucks Print E-mail


The differences between the Google Android Market and Apple's iTunes App Store has been widely discussed.  Being an Android developer is generally not a lucrative undertaking.  Theories on the reasons for Android's lagging application market are many, including piracy, differences in market demographics, fundamentally different business objectives between Google and Apple, black helicopters, and the list goes on.

Development groups focused on Android application sales for revenue are very hard to find.  Now don't get me wrong, I love Android.  As a developer, I love everything about it.  The APIs are navigable and consistent, the documentation is comprehensible, the development environment is productive.  It is a pleasure to write software on this platform.  Google has some absolutely fantastic engineers that are evolving the platform at an amazing pace.  I develop for both iOS and Android, and I am also a user of both platforms.  Android wins for me, hands down.

At the same time, however, I'm becoming more than a little skeptical of the simple "write app, sell app" business model on Android.  KeyesLabs is one of the very lucky few to have attained any kind of commercial success in direct application sales on the Android Market.  We're not talking about buy-a-house success, more like buy-a-Prius success.  Screebl Pro is one of only 245 apps to have broken the 10,000 sales barrier.  That's 245 out of 48,107 paid applications.  With the average purchase price of Android apps being $3.27, another way to say this is that there are only 245 apps that have earned in the neighborhood of $30,000 or more total during their tenure on the Android Market.  Using the same average sales price, there are only 31 apps in the Android Market that have lifetime earnings in the $150,000 range or more.  Don't quit your day job...
Breaking News: iPhone NOT Headed to Verizon Print E-mail



It's been widely reported (most notably by John Gruber) that Apple will begin selling iPhones through Verizon sometime early in 2011, most likely announced in January at CES

This isn't going to happen.  Sorry to burst the bubble of every tight-jeaned fanboy out there suffering from chronic coverage envy, but it's just not.  Here's why...

Cool New YouTube Transcript Capabilities Print E-mail

I use YouTube videos in my Android applications (such as Screebl Pro) to explain the purpose of the app, and also as a promotional mechanism on YouTube.  One challenge has always been my lack of ability to create videos that serve the international market.

YouTube recently rolled out better transcript support that among other things makes it easy for users do real-time translation from English to a variety of other languages.   The picture here shows my transcript being translated to Korean.

Adding the transcript to my video was super easy.  I just had to type out what was said in a plain text file and submit it.  YouTube took care of the hard work of lining up the transcript with the video using speech recognition.  It appears to have worked flawlessly, and now international users will have some clue what the scary looking guy holding a phone standing in the woods is talking about!

Android -- The Perfect Piracy Storm Print E-mail



Piracy has become rampant within the Android ecosystem.  In the case of my own apps, I was appalled to see piracy rates hit as high as 90%.  I interpreted this as "lost sales", and spent a considerable amount of time trying to turn pirates into patrons with Automatic Application Licensing. This licensing technology is now included in my own apps and a growing number of other applications being sold on the Android market.  The ultimate effect on sales remains to be seen, but so far things are looking good.

Digital piracy is nothing new.  It has been around since the commercial sale of digital goods began.  But what is driving software theft to the epic levels that it is reaching on the Android platform?  There are several key contributors to this perfect storm of application piracy that has engulfed Android...

I'm All A-Twitter - Let's Socialize Our Mobile Apps! Print E-mail



Promoting a mobile application is not easy.  It's getting more difficult every day as the market gets flooded with new apps, the majority of which are crap.  It's very, very easy to get lost in the market noise.

The basic pattern that most of us follow in releasing a commercial application looks something like this:

  1. Create a "Lite" version of an application.  Release to market, promote, get reviewed, tweak, improve, develop strong and loyal user base.
  2. At some point in the future, release a "Professional" version of the application and charge for it.  Add compelling features not available in Lite version, and make it easy to upgrade for existing user base.
The Fight for Your TV Print E-mail

Let me get right to the point.  Apple and Google are already the two dominate players in the consumer electronics space.  That may be a bold statement, but I don't think that it's to far off.  Many are expecting Android to hold the #2 spot in mobile operating system deployments by 2012.  Most analysts throw Symbian and RIM into the mix based on current market conditions, but I think that things are going to change very rapidly over the next year.

Android on Blackberry? Print E-mail

I've been browsing my Flurry stats for Screebl lately (an app that controls power-saving features based on orientation), and have noticed some interesting things.  One was the recent arrival of the Google Nexus One (or the "GPhone") as a user of Screebl.  That's exciting.

But I also recently noticed an entry for two different models of Blackberry.  What?  Has someone hacked android onto a RIM device, or is there a BlandroBerry in the works?


Google Nexus One is Using Screebl Print E-mail

My Flurry stats for Screebl are reporting as of late yesterday that users of the Google Nexus One devices are downloading, installing, and using Screebl (see here for information on Screebl, my app that keeps the phone screen on based on orientation). Curious to see how many users I get, and if there are any error reports on the new hardware...


Who wants to buy some Screebl? Print E-mail

Now that ADC2 is over and Screebl has been polished up for the most part, with the most often requested features added and most of the biggest defects squashed, the question remains:  what to do with Screebl now?

I'm currently shopping Screebl to a number of manufacturers, trying to get the technology behind Screebl bundled with core mobile distributions.  Things are at a very early stage, but there is some interest from a few fronts.  There are a number of reasons that integrating Screebl with the core platform would make sense.

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