Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.
Two weeks ago I published my first application to the Android Market. LibraryThingScanner is an extremely simple application that speeds up adding books to LibraryThing. The app launches the Barcode Scanner application to scan the ISBN, followed by the web browser to bring up the relevant LibraryThing search page. The app does so little I’ve been in two minds as to whether it was worth publishing at all, especially as the LibraryThing website does not work particularly well on an Android phone (for example continuously popping up the virtual keyboard).
Once I’d coughed up the required $25 for the privilege of publishing to the market I found the process very straight forward. There are certainly some quirks, such as being able to upload two screen shots or no screen shots, but the level of information required was very low. It’s peculiar that I find uploading my software to the internet at large, with a potential audience of nearly two billion people, a minor step, whereas publishing onto the market felt like a more significant thing, despite the comparatively small potential audience of a few million.
I’m glad that I did take the plunge. There was an initial spike in downloads as soon as I published the application, reaching 126 downloads and 97 active installs in a matter of a few hours. Since then things have levelled off and the application is averaging 17 new active installs per day out of 35 new downloads. I don’t know how accurate the statistics are for Android market application installs, but they are much more useful than any number of downloads for other software I’ve published online.
Seeing the number of active installs slowly creeping up, seeing the ratings (very slowly) coming in and now receiving my first comment (thankfully positive) makes the feedback loop from users much more satisfying than the very occasional email I receive regarding my other software. It’ll be interesting to see how things carry on longer term and what kind of reaction anything else I may publish receives.
Email: colin at owlfish.com