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

Part two

Continued from Part One.

A few more statistics and thoughts about Puck Head, an Android app made with Andromo that I uploaded to the Android Market. All part of my attempts to understand what makes an Android app popular, and what app makers can do to get more people to use their apps.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Well at this point the Puck Head has been out for almost one week, and the downloads seemed to have stagnated at nine active installs, which isn’t that impressive yet. On the plus side according to my AdMob statistics someone is actually using the application. That makes me happy hopefully there is someone out there that actually likes and hopefully uses the app.

Another plus is that I’ve actually got two people to rate the application. One person gave it 5 stars and the other person gave it two. I’m not concerned about the ratings themselves, what does please me is the fact that people have actually taken the time to rate the app.

So far I have done the following to promote this app:

  1. I tweeted about it: tweet
  2. I blogged about it in: part one of this series
  3. I posted a note about the blog post on google+
  4. I tweeted about the blog post: tweet
  5. I started a thread about the app on the Andromo forums: thread

Really this isn’t that much in the form of promotion, but it does get the link out there to a handful of the people that follow me, or pay attention to what I write.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We released Andromo 1.5 on December 8th with the Custom Page action and numerous bug fixes so I decided to upload a new version of Puck Head. I didn’t add any new activities to the app, I simply built with the new version of Andromo to give my users access to the fixes once they updated the app.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I tweeted another link to the app in the market
Tweeted about it again: tweet and posted a quick note on google+. I’ve been too busy working on Andromo to do much more!

Monday, December 12, 2011

So the app has been in the market for about 19 days, so let’s see where are are:

So far Puck Head has been able to get 59 people to install it in total and 32 that actively have it installed on their device. Not terrible, but not really that great either. Looking at everything that I’ve done (and it really hasn’t been that much) the one event that seemed to have the most impact was when I published version If you look at the above screen shot you can see that the biggest spike was when I updated Puck Head to in the market on December 8th. That got me an additional 7 users, which doesn’t sound like that much but accounts for about 22% of my user base.

What I’ve Learned So Far

I don’t know if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s been too soon, and the numbers are too small. But I have two theories so far:

  • People notice when you update you app: I think it has something to do with some of the app scraping websites out there, but when you release an update it seems to attract people.
  • Screen shots help: Putting a little bit of time an effort into the screenshots you put in your Android Market listing. When people see screenshots I think that they trust the app a little bit more than those apps without screenshots. I know it’s a bit of work, but we have a tutorial for that. Plus if I’m right it will help you get a few more users.

To be continued when I get some more results…

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.