Insights from Google I/O 2013: How to Make Money from Android App Development

In comparison to iOS app, Android apps makes less money. Google may impress with its marketshare, but Apple is the leader when it comes to making money from apps. Google has been trying hard since a year and a half to create tools and systems to simplify the development and monetizing of Android apps. The Google Play Developer Console, launched in 2012, made the task of creating and publishing apps a little easier. But it was not enough.

Information shared in Google I/O 2013 shows that the company has been working hard to address the biggest issue plaguing the Android developer community: monetization of Android apps. This year, Google has done several things to increase app earning for its developers. While most developers are not making truckloads of money from app sales, in-app sales have skyrocketed – they have seen an enormous 700% percent growth during the last one year. Apps that generate revenue through subscriptions have also seen a 200% growth in just one year.

There is more than one way of making money on Google Play. A number of new tools have been added to The Google Play Developer Console. Most of these tools can be helpful in increasing app profits and they can also help you find new ways of making money through your android apps. Here are a few things that you, as an Android app developer, can now do to increase the profitability of your apps on Google Play.

Explore In-App Purchase or Subscription Revenue Models

It may be possible for iOS developers to make good money through app sales, but only a handful of top Android apps developers can hope to making money through app sales alone. Android users seem to expect free apps – most of them won't shell out money to install an app. But selling services or products through Android apps can help you make your app profitable.

As noted above, this revenue model is working pretty well. Subscriptions apps like Pandora can also help you make a killing on Google Play. So, for the bottom-line-concious developers, it is imperative to include an in-app purchase or subscription service to turn a significant profit.

Find Profits in Translation: Target the Global Market

This one is especially true for apps that provide information or content to the users. What sets Android apart from iOS is its reach: Android has made inroads in most of world markets. It is not limited to a few developed countries. Mobile markets in most high-growth economies are dominated by Android.

If you have an app that works well in US or UK, chances are that it will work quite well in European and Asian markets too. Google's App translation services are available directly from the Google Play Developer Console. You app will be translated by humans – not machines. This will enable you to provide a personalized experienced to users from diverse markets. The translated app may appeal to a broader audience and help you increase your profits.

Consider Creating a Tablet Version of your App

Although the iPad still rules the most lucrative tablet markets, Android has gained the upper hand in the global tablet marketshare. Developers building apps for Android can benefit from this trend by ensuring that their app has a powerful version for tablets. With Android Jelly Bean, the Android tablet experience is slick and powerful.

So, the imagination of the developers will not be shackled by a buggy operating system like Android Honeycomb. Now, with Android Jelly Bean, it is possible for you to replicate the app experience of Android mobiles on the tablets. If these reasons do not move you, just keep in mind the fact that tablets get more traffic than mobiles, and it is not wise to ignore tablets.

Use Staged Rollouts, Launch Perfect Apps, Target High Rating on the App Stores

One of the most important announcements made at Google I/O 2013 was that developers will now have the power to roll staged rollouts for their apps. This means that you can release your app to particular people: testers, team members, family, friends, clients, etc. before releasing it on Google Play. In addition to helping you with pre-launch app promotion, this will help you get feedback from a diverse range of users. If you make the best use of this feature, you can eliminate almost all the bugs in the app before you launch it to the general public.

If you launch an imperfect app, the users are going to give you hell in the reviews section. This means that even if there are just a couple of minor bugs in the app, your app will get bad reviews and you will be pushed to the bottom of the pile by other apps with better ratings. But, by launching an app that has been extensively tested and well-promoted, you will have a greater chance of impressing users and climbing the charts on Google Play.

Summing Up

Google is taking this matter seriously. In addition to the points we discussed above, it has also launched a section that offers optimization tips for your app and it has integrated Google Analytics right in the developer console to help you track revenue and find better ways of making money.

The new tools and information from Google I/O 2013 can help developers learn how to make their apps pay. There is more to succeeding on Google Play than creating great apps – you need to know how to market them and how to get the right audience interested in your apps. Selling apps or getting a good number of downloads is just the first half of the game – you will also have to learn how to convert the popularity of the apps into profits.

Author Bio: I have been involved in Android application and game development for a long time, and I feel that its is gradually becoming easier to make money on Android apps.