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android app | Android and Burning Wheel thoughts


Jul 272011

Slightly long story here, please feel free to ignore – the important bit is that you can get a G+ invite if you download the Google Plus Inviter app.

The longer story:
I was lucky enough to snag a G+ invite from a good friend a couple of weeks ago. I joined, had a little look around and that was that. I never use facebook, never used myspace, rarely use twitter and don’t generally have a lot of time for that kind of thing.

G+ is a little different though. Firstly, it integrates into gmail rather well. I get notifications when I’m on gmail of important things happening on G+, which makes it so much easier to use. I don’t have to log into G+ just for the sake of logging into G+, but can get on with my life and get told when something has happened that I might be interested in, which is nice.

So I figured, why not share the love? I put together a really simple app in App Inventor (which does unfortunately make it rather large for what it does, but I’m still working on figuring out Java and all that) that just asks for an email address, then emails that address to me so that I can send an invite when I get time. I stuck a simple logo on it and put it in the market.

8 hours later, I had something like 400 requests for invites. There’s no way I could keep up with that, so I figured a good way to limit it would be to add a price. I took down the free app and replaced it with a £1 one, and labelled it clearly as a temporary measure while I dealt with the backlog. I also figured it might be nice to have some sort of payment for spending hours sending invites.

Over the next 3 days I dealt with the backlog. In all that time, a grand total of 17 people decided the app was worth paying for, and of those 6 promptly returned it for a refund. I made a little under £8, which works out to about half an hour’s work at my current rate. At about this time, Google suspended the app, claiming that it broke their rules. I emailed them requesting clarification of how it broke the rules – was it because people had to pay, or because it was sending invites? Neither of which were against the rules as far as I can see, but I figured it had to be one of them, as there was nothing else that it did. Google replied with a canned response that didn’t actually answer my email, instead saying “We appreciate the opportunity to review your appeal regarding the suspension of “Google Plus Invite (urgent)” from Android Market. After an
investigation, we affirm our initial decision and will not be reinstating your application at this time.”

Never mind. Deciding that it was safest to not antagonise them, I didn’t put the free version of the app back up right away, but have decided to do so now. I put it back on the market last night, and have sent nearly 150 invites this morning.

So anyone wanting an invite, go download it!

Apr 052011

Currently, according to the Google Developer Console, there are 101 people with the Android Offers (UK) app installed on their phone. In this post I’ll take a look at who exactly has it installed, based on what Google tell me:

The first thing they give me is a little chart saying how many installs I had on each day. There seem to have been a couple of periods of rapid uptake, as we went from 10 on the 17th of March to 32 on the 19th, then increased slower to 47th on the 31st, then we’ve increased all of a sudden to 69 on the 1st of April, 80 on the 2nd and 92 on the 3rd (with 101 on the 4th).

54% of people using the app have android 2.2. 33% have android 2.1, 5.4% each have android 1.5 and 1.6 and the remaining 2% or so is split between 2.3 and 2.3.3 (which I’d not heard of, but assume is some variant of 2.3).

The device type seems fairly well spread out. The top 2 devices are the Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire HD, with about 15% each. The HTC Desire is next at 14%, then the Xperia X10 (X10i) with 11% followed by the Samsung Galaxy tab with 9%. Below that are the Samsung Galaxy 3 (4%), SEMC Xperia X10 (SonyEricssonX10i) (3%), SEMC Xperia X8 (3%), HTC Hero (3%), LG Optimus One (2%) with “others” having a healthy 20%.

Installations by country are interesting. As the app only shows offers for UK based retailers (or the UK arms of international retailers) we’d hope to see most of them in the UK. The Developer Console reports that 77% of people with the app installed are in the UK. That’s probably a little below what I’d expect, but seems reasonable. 6.5% are in the US, 3% in Germany, 2% in Saudi Arabia, then 1% each in a whole bunch of other places, including France, Morocco, Bahrain, Russia, Greece and Argentina.

The last piece of data that we have is language. As we’d expect, they largely tally up with the countries, with 77% being English (UK), 5% English (US), 4% German, 2% Arabic, 2% French, 2% Spanish (United States), then the rest at 1% including Greek, Russian, Spanish (Spain), Swedish.

I’ll probably look at the stats in another month or so and see what’s changed 🙂

Apr 042011

I’ve made a few cosmetic changes to the Android Offers app and updated it in the market (click here for details). I’ve seen a number of people picking it up, with about 77 active installs at present, according to google. That said, I’ve yet to see any purchases made through the links.

Not sure about the new colour scheme – I may redo it. Would appreciate any feedback 🙂