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Google Play, what else?

Added on January 28, 2013

We are a small group of so called indie developers. We work as freelancers in customer projects. This is, were our experience comes from. And we develop Android apps on our own, trying to make some money. It is also fun, but to be honest we have family and hence our time is rare. It cannot be just a hobby.

When you start distributing apps as a small team or even as a single developer, you might have no marketing budget at all. So you hope with the help of social media, review site, because your app is great etc., you get coverage.

To start when the market is already as big as it is now is hard. There are exceptions, but many cannot be explained easily. This is because mobile apps are based on the Internet and some things just get a momentum.

Therefore, for an indie developer team like us, it might heighten the chance to get recognized if you distribute also through smaller Android markets. (Hopefully, you still can write "Android Markets" without getting sued for.) For us, smaller markets are not a replacement for Google Play. No, because Google Play promises the biggest payout because it is a giant market with a giant user base.

Other markets

But getting recognized is the start. We publish on Google Play, Samsung Apps, SlideME, Amazon, GetJar, and AndroidPIT. We are not on any Chinese market, yet. However, this might be a good idea, too, because Google is not there with Google Play at the moment.

We would not use all markets for paid apps, but with our free ad-supported games, we see a lot of advantages. Moreover, publishing is very easy once you have an app and all relevant marketing material like icons, promotional images, screenshots etc. Many of the other Android markets use mostly Google's formats, but some have also their own format for certain things, e.g., promotional images. But once you have your material, it is quite easy to adjust it accordingly.

When you plan to include a "Rate me" function into your app, you should consider building a binary (APK) per market as this simplifies to link to the corresponding market. With a binary per market (you can use the same version code etc.) you can hard-code the URL to your app on the specific market without needing to build code which decides where to link the user at.

There are much more alternate Android markets; we surely do not know them all. However, we also tried and Camangi Market and others.

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