Quick Tips: Developers Edition

So I wanted to share some tips with Developers of Applications & I am mainly targeting the ones new to the Android scene here with this article but I am sure even the most skilled developers can relate to these tips.

Now I am not a developer, I am a supporter who has seen many reviews on applications some here on AA & those small (& sometimes harsh) market comments on the official market so I have picked up a thing or two from that so lets get some Quick Tips out there for developers shall we.

The big tip I have is with advertising, most users hate advertising, so much so they uninstall a application just for that reason alone, even if the application is the greatest application ever (I see it as a way for a developer to generate a little money for their hard work & to bring better features to their application, but that’s just me).

Take ChompSMS for example, the developer added ads to generate some cash for the time & effort they put into that application & when they added the ads the normal 5 star ratings it was getting dropped down to a chain of 1 star reviews with comments like “Ads” “Not Updating” & “Ads, Uninstalling” (see harsh) but here is tips to reduce that type of “backlash” in reviews.

  • Add Ads from the get go – Don’t add Ads on a application that you put on the market Adfree for even one release, if you want ads add them before releasing on the market.
  • So what if your application is on the market already & you want to add ads? Well its simple just add them but put that you added ads in the market description (many like honesty) & make a Adfree version & put it on the market for $0.99c so those who love the application can use it Adfree all while showing you support.
  • Last resort for those who can’t sell apps on the market (such as the case with the developers of ChompSMS) is use PayPal (http://www.paypal.com) & get donations with the donator getting a copy of your application Adfree including all updates, it can be a long process but if you care about your application enough it is worth it.

So that covers ads the number one supporter killer on the market now lets deal with “tags” or “keywords” in descriptions, I recommend using keywords or tags as it gives your application more exposure to users when they search on the market so lets get some quick tips here.

  • Add tags or keywords in the description but ensure they are relevant & match your application not just to get noticed as it will get your application noticed but when users install & see you used tags/keywords that have no relevance to your application chances are they will let others know via the comments along with a 1 star rating.

Let me give you a good example of bad use of tags/keywords using a made up application here:

Title: Animals Soundboard (For Children)

Description: A application targeted at children containing 37 High quality Animal sounds, Nice graphics (just click the animal to hear its sound), Many different animals to choose from & more coming just make a suggestion via email or comments below.

lion, porn, dog, cat, zoo, sex, farm, child, baby, girl

Version 1.1  1.55MB

Notice there are relevant tags/keywords there such as “lion”, “dog”, “cat” & “zoo” as well as “farm”, “child”, “baby” & “girl” which maybe pushing it for relevance but I admit have some relevance being animals found on a farm along with a well known fact that most children, babies & girls love animals, but then you have the “glory” tags which are easily spotted here & those are “sex” & “porn”.

Now lets be honest sex & porn are great ways to get your application noticed (its a great way to get a lot of things noticed, come on you know its wrong but you know I am right) but to have those tags placed along aside “child” & “baby” is very, very wrong indeed (it may even give sick minded people the wrong idea) & lets be honest what are the odds of a Animal Soundboard (For Children) having sex & porn? If it does its clearly not a child’s application.

Right back on track with tips (although I never really went of the subject).

  • Try to blend in tags with the description rather then singling out words at the bottom (they get lonely otherwise) for example say I made a application for SMS sending & receiving this would be my description (bold words = tags).

Title: MindcentSMS (lame cover for Handcent I know)

Description: MindcentSMS offers a cool new way to send & receive messages & is much like Handcent SMS & ChompSMS with a few unique differences such as the feature that not only speaks your SMS using TTS (Text to Speech) but can sing them to you also in a array of voices such as Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Ke$ha (or Kesha!?!) & even Eminem (Rap) along with our unique mind reading feature which accurately reads your mind & places what your thinking into a SMS message as text so you will never have to speak or type again but the option is still there if needed, PLUS MMS support is now included in versions 1985462653 & up.

Update: Added Ads (Adfree version also now available now for $0.99) & added MMS support, Fixed major bug (turns out a bloody centipede got into the code, it’s a long story).

Version 1985462653  100237.25MB

That is how I would set it out, of course your description wouldn’t be exactly like mine as my SMS application is one in a million.

My next lot of tips comes from both my knowledge & personal background

  • Use a change log – I think its all well & good you update often (twice a day even) but please include a change log in your description so we can see why you are updating (even if you only update once a month include a change log). Its all well & good to think its fun for users to try finding new features but chances are we will miss something & it maybe of great use to us so stating it in the description on the market will help users understand the changes & if they don’t like the changes they know not to update just yet, A short change log like mine above is great & include a full detailed one in the application if you know how, users like to see what’s changed or what’s new.

Right my last tip for Developers to ensure you keep supporters happy & get the credit you deserve is…

  • Update often but try not to update to often.

By this I mean add new features to keep the users interested (& maybe score a few new supporters) but don’t update just to get your application to appear in the “Just In” section on the Android Market as doing that may get bad reviews via comments like “What’s Changed??” + 1star & if there is a massive bug then update fast until its fixed but include a change log for each update to state what you did that changed from your last release (15mins ago) if there is a few “bugs” of low priority leave it for the time being until you get more reports or until you add a few new features & focus on bringing out a update with a “massive fix” or “major update” rather than 100 annoying updates in the space of a day.

Right so developers I hope I help you all here, please leave a comment if I have helped you in some way & to show it has been worth all the research & all this writing here as I love showing my support for developers as much as I can as does many other Android supporters.

With that I wish all developers luck with their application development as well as hope that with this information their application succeeds in the market & becomes the best it can possible be & furthermore I hope that you find Android to be even easier then you may of originally thought with the information above to aide you.

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