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Marketplaces for Your Android Apps, Page 2

  • April 20, 2011
  • By Lauren Darcey & Shane Conder
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Manufacturer- and Operator-Curated Markets

In addition to the big markets listed, device manufacturers, like Motorola (SHOP4APPS), Archos (AppsLib), LG (LG World), and operators, like Verizon (V CAST Apps), have launched their own app stores. Some of these stores are heavily curated, but they often allow developers to target more specific devices, or device brands. Operator markets often include special application categories for subsidized or featured applications; the downside: developers sometimes have less control over the price for their application and have to go through many more steps to provide an app for download and sale.

A Survey of Android Application Publication Channels

Smaller and Specialty Markets

You don't necessarily want to discount the numerous other app stores that deal in Android applications, either. Although many of these stores are small or carry only apps for certain target devices (e.g. tablets only), they have their perks. Why consider smaller markets? They sometimes offer deals and negotiation opportunities to the right developer for the right app, such as more enticing revenue sharing percentages or free marketing opportunities. One specialty market that there is a store for is the "adult" software market. MiKandi calls itself as the "World's First App Market for Adults."

A Survey of Android Application Publication Channels

Mobile App Self Publication

Finally, there's still the self-publication option: selling your apps apart from any market. This is the only option for those who don't want to pursue revenue-sharing publication modes. This option may be reasonable for certain situations: certain vertical market and enterprise applications, applications with very strong branding and loyal users, open source applications, and beta apps that are not quite ready for primetime. This option also provides the most control over delivery to devices. Only want to target a single device? Need your users to pay for your app on every device they install it on? This may be the only option available if you have strict distribution requirements. The downside, of course, is that by cutting out the middleman, you need to do all the legwork and marketing to reach users yourself. One notable company that primarily uses the self publishing option is Gameloft. Several of their Android titles are only available for download from their website.

A Survey of Android Application Publication Channels

Conclusion

Developers need to remember that they have many options when it comes to publishing their applications for consumers. Although Google's Android Market remains the most prominent application store for Android applications, it is certainly not the only publication channel available. Veteran app stores like GetJar have impressive selection of application titles and the recently unveiled Amazon Appstore is already making waves by offering popular exclusive titles to their already impressive user base. Specialty stores, whether they cater to specific device types, or simply different audiences, can help developers reach niche markets. Developers need not restrict themselves to just a single market, but should also weigh the cost of managing various developer accounts with different app stores and consolidating revenue data.

About the Authors

Shane Conder Shane Conder and Lauren Darcey -- Contributing Editors, Mobile Development -- have coauthored two books on Android development: an in-depth programming book entitled Android Wireless Application Development (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-62709-4) and Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-67335-0). When not writing, they spend their time developing mobile software at their company and providing consulting services.

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Lauren Darcey

Tags: Android, app stores, Android Market

Originally published on http://www.developer.com.

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