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7Apr/120

Introducing Rookie Review, for Newbie Developers

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While we as users often revel in the growth of the Android Market/Google Play, proudly stating the 450,000+ apps available as a feature that no other platform, other than iOS, comes close to, the downside to this is the competition developers face to get their apps to the audience they deserve.

While there isn’t quite anything that drives downloads as getting featured, in whatever capacity, on the Store, you need to get noticed by the editorial team handling the Store in the first place. This isn’t much of a problem for larger brands, or the ‘Top Developers’, who have interacted with employees at Google, but for indie developers, especially those that have just started out on the platform, it can be quite an infuriating process.

However, there are other ways you can bring in a significant user base, and one very obvious one that I’m going to discuss here: pitch your apps to us.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had my latest app featured on the XDA-Developers’ Portal. Despite the general lack of interaction on the portal, when compared to the huge user-base on their forums, and the fact that the link to the app is only available inside the forum thread, my moment in the sun proved to be a huge boon. And I really want to share my experience with you to discuss exactly how much I’ve gained.

Prior to the post going live, my app had as little as 32 users. There were 4 ratings given, and just a couple of +1s. And I’m certain most of these users, and all of the ratings, were from my friends.

In 24 hours, I’ve had additional 616 downloads, over 50 new ratings (averaging at 4.5*) and the +1 count has risen to 20. Simply put, the effect has been staggering.

As a developer, who has struggled more than succeeded, I know the disenchantment that comes when your app fails to gain the kind of traction you expected. You’ve put in the hard work, but haven’t reaped the rewards. You’ve even pitched to blogs, but haven’t gotten the review post you crave (the blogger in me apologises for this).

Well, things are about to change a little around here regarding this. You deserve better. From this week onwards, I’m beginning a new series called the Rookie Review. This is to help new developers get their work noticed (it’s difficult to know exactly who is new, so I’m going to define those developers as rookies that have only one app available on Google Play. If someone has a better idea, shoot away in the comments).

Provide your pitches in by replying to a comment thread that I’ve started below (regular users, please refrain from participating in that thread). At the end of my shift on Sunday (typically 2 PM EDT), I’ll pick up a few apps to try during the rest of the week. I can’t put a finger on exactly how many, but I promise at least one. These apps will be featured the weekend after.

A few more qualifying requirements:

  • Your app must have short of a 1000 downloads at the time of submission.
  • If your app requires payment, you’d be required to provide a trial version that lasts a week.


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