Every time we venture into the blogosphere for inspiration, we’re almost overcome by all the latest news and hype surrounding Apple’s App Store. As TechCrunch recently noted, even the Android success stories tend to involve apps that were popular enough for Apple that they warranted multi-platform development. However, if you’re a developer considering a product for Android, take heart; there are plenty of rags-to-riches stories out there that will warm your heart and keep you motivated.
- Zlango. This text-messaging app basically allows users to replace text with icons. It’s fun, it’s goofy, and like most successful apps, it targets a specific demographic – young people, who are more comfortable than the rest of us are with their emoticons. Zlango hit one million downloads in the first four months after its release, and today boasts over five million users worldwide.
- Car Locator. Developer Edward Kim was initially excited when this useful little app started earning about twenty dollars a day. Just four months later, however, Car Locator was raking in about $13,000 a month. This just goes to show that an experience as frustrating as looking for your car in an airport parking lot can be a source of highly profitable inspiration. The best mobile apps out there are the ones that see to our little nagging needs.
- Advanced Task Manager. While it’s neither goofy nor sexy, Aaron La’s ninety-nine cent app manages smartphone tasks, closes unused applications, speeds up the phone, and maximizes battery life. As of August 2011, this app had earned its developer $77,000, which is no mean feat in an Android market that struggles with its monetization models. La used his app to arrive at some useful conclusions about the Android market: 1) he should have started at a higher price point; 2) much of his sales volume depended on releases and upgrades in new smartphones (the Droid in particular); and 3) the wild-west, open sourced nature of the Android market can lead to logistical headaches that affect sales significantly. La concludes, reasonably, that the Android Market “is in desperate need of stabilization and easier payment options.”
So if you’re considering developing a mobile app for Android, it’s worth taking a closer look at these happy anecdotes; if it’s worked for others, it might just work for you?