An App in the Market or: The Story of a Puck Head Part One

Part one

Wednesday, November 23 2011

I’m on a bit of a quest, a quest to figure out what types of apps become popular on the Android Market. I know that games like Angry Birds are very popular, but I’m focusing on apps that can be made by Andromo. I’ve tried my hand at a few before and I’ve been relatively pleased at the results, but I haven’t had a runaway success yet.

Ideas for new, and more popular apps, are always bouncing around in my head. Different ideas I can try in order to add to my collection of data, helping me understand what makes an app popular.

After thinking for a while I decided, late Tuesday night, that I’d try my hand at creating an app for Hockey Fans. The hockey season was in its early stages so I thought that there would be enough time for NHL fans to find and download the app.

I had tried a sports app in the past European Football News but I was a bit concerned that the name I had chosen for the app was holding it back, “European Football News” doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue. And there was something about calling the app European that I didn’t really like. It felt as though it might be cutting off a large portion of the Android market right away – those people located outside of Europe. Even so, this was (based upon my AdMob statistics) my most used app by a long shot, hence my return to the sporting app world.

On the other hand, one thing that the title “European Football News” had going for it was the inclusion of the word “news” in the app’s title. My second most used, and most downloaded, app Developer News for Android also has “news” in the title. Did that help attract people to the application? Would calling it something like Puck Head be a benefit because it was slightly creative? Or would it make it harder for people to find? Does it matter? We’ll see…

So I spent my Wednesday morning rooting through the Internet gathering feeds and sites that would become the basis for my Hockey App. Finally after a few hours of work, and a few hours of working on my App I uploaded Puck Head to the Android Market, it was 1:30pm. Then all I had to do was wait for the downloads to roll in…

Friday, November 25 2011 10:00am

All right, it’s been two days which should be enough time for the Android Market to crunch the numbers and I should finally have some statistics. So I brought up the developer console to see how many people have installed my app:

Finally tally after two days: 5 total installs and 6 active installs. Now those numbers are a bit mixed up, which means that I probably have to wait a few more days for real statistics, but so far that’s all we’ve got. Total installs represent the number of times Puck Head has been installed, and active installs represents the number of devices that still have the application installed. Which is why having the app on six devices but only installed on five doesn’t make much sense. As I said the market still needs a few more days to give me “correct” data, but the results aren’t that positive.

I know it’s possible to get a lot of downloads; other Andromo apps have fared much better, and in less time. Here’s a list of a few Andromo Android apps with their install numbers from the market:

So what does an app need to do in order to be popular? Time? Promotion? Tweets? News in the title? We’ll look at that in Part two, where I get some more data, analyze that data, and attempt to figure out what makes an app popular.

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