6 Errors that you should avoid as an Android app developer when programming games
Becoming an Android app developer for mobile devices may be one of the most lucrative jobs in our current technological age. It’s certainly a very succulent industry, especially in Android’s case due to the market share it covers. Unfortunately, for every app millionaire there are thousands who will never earn a single penny. Yeeply wants to lend you a helping hand to ensure that the latter will not be your case and encourages you to read the following article by Ryan Morel.
Achieving to monetise an app in the stores has a lot to do with obtaining micropayments from users. Apple device users are more willing to pay for apps and content. However, as an Android app developer we must take into account that the mind-set of the Android user is somewhat different, so monetising an Android game will not be the same as monetising an iOS game.
In Google’s operating system it’s much more common to obtain revenue from advertising or in-app purchases. Therefore, it’s necessary to break with the past and find an effective way to achieve our goal – if achieving success in this saturated industry is what we’re after. In the world of apps, either you adapt or you die.
A lot has been said and written about programming mobile games for Android. However, do you know which mistakes should be avoided at all costs? Sure some are not new to you, but we want to gather them together so that it’s easier to take them into account. Shall we get started?
6 Errors that an Android app developer that you should avoid
1. Charging for downloads
Charging for downloading an app can be a huge mistake, especially when it comes to Android apps. However, this increasingly applies also to iOS apps. You may be thinking that if you set your app’s download price at € 0.99 and get about 5,000 downloads, you’ll end up with a turnover of approximately € 5,000 right? Well, it’s actually not that simple.
Despite how good your Android app or game is, experience tells us that users are not so willing to spend money just for downloading a game unless they have a good reason to do so.
Before resorting to this option it would be better to contemplate using the Freemium model. Under this model, downloading the app is free but there are subsequent charges within the app (either as in-app purchases or as a Premium subscription fee). We already discussed in another article from this blog the different options at our disposal for monetising our app or game.
2. Not having a business model
Game development should be part of our global strategic plan as much as app marketing. It’s useless to create a great app or game, upload it to the stores and then pretend that it will make it to the top ten by itself without any further support. No matter how good your idea is, you’ll have to set up a marketing strategy that will be divided into several phases:
- Obtaining downloads and acquiring users
- Disclosing your project on social networks and digital media
- Promoting your game by other means
3. Not adjusting to the differences between platforms
These differences start with game development itself, and then move onto design and app marketing. Aesthetics in Android and iOS are also not the same. Android offers us the advantage of being an open source language, so we’ll find much more documentation and materials for our app development. Similarly, it offers much more options and possibilities to explore when it comes to placing ads, as it’s the predominant mobile operating system.
Also, as an Android app developer you’ll already know that each store has its own terms and conditions that must be must fully complied with. This will affect your marketing plan and the way you monetise your game directly.
4. Invasive advertising
The best possible idea when it comes to Android game development is opting to monetise the app by showing ads in it. If your game engages its users, monetising all the time they spend looking at the screen for hours is a clever approach as an Android programmer. However, there are several things to consider. Be careful!
Never, ever, allow advertising to interfere with the game’s roleplay. There is nothing more annoying for a player than having to pause a game at the worst possible moment to remove a banner or a pop-up ad. On the other hand, it’s possible to show less invasive full-screen advertising. An example of this can be seen in Angry Birds or in Mr. Jump – which only display ads between stages, not while you are playing.
Your challenge as an Android programmer is to promote user loyalty while monetising your app without interfering with the game. You do already know how to achieve this?
5. Not meeting expectations
All apps have a section in the stores in which a description of their features and contents should be included. You can describe here what your game is all about and how it works. However, you should always be true and down-to-earth and avoid creating false expectations to obtain easy downloads.
If you do so, you’ll just get bad reviews and lower your game’s ratings in the stores. This will affect negatively your game’s ASO and its positioning in the app stores. Be honest about your game: it’s better to “underpromise and overdeliver”, i.e. promising the basics and then offering a high quality game that will come in as a delectable surprise to the user.
6. Not taking advantage of analytics
As an Android app developer you may have no idea about metrics. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to metrics and learn a few things about them. This is one of the most critical errors to be made because it’s essential to know what is happening within your game to be able to improve it.
Unlike in traditional off-line marketing where we were sort of “blindfolded”, digital metrics allow us now to see clearly what’s going on. So, don’t move around blindfolded and take advantage of analytics. They will tell you where are you failing and how can you improve your product and enhance its performance.
Are you making any of these mistakes? We have good news for you: you still have time left and it can be solved. But you have to get your hands on it immediately. We’ve all made some of the mistakes on this list… Which one was yours? How are you going to solve it? Please, let us know below.