April was a very productive month in app development land, and I’m starting to feel even better about how this year is going even though my app dev to-do list is long and varied. During the first half of the month I ported three of my apps to Google Play. As I’ve stated before I’ve become more and more interested in the Google Play app store. The Android smartphones continue to impress me and the Google Play app store itself does as well as it continues to improve the developer console. Most of my free apps still do incredibly better than my paid apps on the Google Play and both still lag way behind my iOS App Store numbers so I’m still working on metadata and related marketing approaches to gain more invisibility. More on this later.
Since Easter is in April the first app I ported to Google Play was Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 and then after that Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard and Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade made their way to Google Play. Since I’ve already had Android versions of these apps on the Amazon App Store the development process wasn’t lengthy and testing went smoothly also. After testing the apps on non-Amazon Android based devices the next main process was creating store listings. Google Play doesn’t have a keyword section for developers like the iOS, Windows, and Amazon app stores but instead it pulls keywords from the app description. They also don’t give any specifics about word usage, primacy and etc so this creates a bit more of a metadata challenge but I guess it also provides more flexibility since there’s not a character limit keyword section. App titles on Google Play do have a smaller character limit than the other app stores which has made me unable to use the real full names for some my apps because I opted for using more search friendly words in the titles instead.
I’m still baffled at how Google search is so great, but search on Google Play is still often inefficient. I’ve often tested different words while searching their app store and received several unrelated results. So needless to say I’ll continue to do some trail & error scenarios with metadata on Google Play. I do this with other app stores on occasion but Google Play has provided more of a challenge in that regard when compared to other app stores. As a developer it’s frustrating when you search for something on an app store and see several low quality and unrelated apps somehow appear in the results before your app that would provide the consumer with a better experience. In correlation it’s also frustrating as a consumer to search for something and receive insufficient results. Search results are the biggest area where Google Play needs improvement, but with other areas that are great and a huge consumer market I will continue to have a notable presence there with my app availability. I do also wish Google Play would give developers & publishers the option of making app bundles like the Apple App Store does. I think it’s neat that Apple allows us to bundle 2 or more apps together at a discount. All the other big App Stores should include this option as well.
Ultra Fortune Ball is one of my apps that I randomly use sometimes personally. Sometimes somewhat seriously and sometimes as a novelty. If I’ve got a yes/no question that I’m asking myself and I’m at a toss-up of a response sometimes I’ll open the app and simply ask it the question. So yes like most of my apps, I’m not only the creator but also a user. Anyways, there’s a point to this. I began noticing that I didn’t like the animation the ball was giving me and I didn’t like how some of the text didn’t fit into the ball answer area. So during April I put my other app projects on hold and worked on and released the Ultra Fortune Ball 4.3 Update to give the ball a better animation and fix the text issue.
In April I also continued to work on my finance app. I finished the acronyms section which proved to be more time consuming than I thought it would be. I’ve got two more sections to finish and then I’ll be able to jump into the UI design process. I’ll be using a lot of code from a couple of previous apps for this app so that compartment shouldn’t take too long. Really looking forward to finishing the spreadsheet sections so I can jump into design and see all this data in action. In May I plan on mainly only working on this finance app and trying to continue to make great strides with its completion. Until next time ∞