What we say

October Update

Sorry about the lack of posts this month, things got busy and the updates suffered. So I’ll try to get everything in this one update.

Android Market Sales

Since our last post on Android sales numbers the new market client in Android 1.6 has rolled out to most users (we think). The new client prominently features the top paid apps, and allows for two screen shots. Our game Battle for Mars has been on the first screen of top paid games, or just off of it for most of the month. We definitely thought this would make a big difference since it’d now be one of the first games people would see when going to the market. In percentage terms it has made a big difference, we’ve seen a roughly 50% increase in sales! The bad news is that’s a 50% increase on not-so-good. So we’re up around ~$90 a day now it looks like. That isn’t super encouraging, but we’re still optimistic in general (as you’ll see in the next section). However, there remain some serious problems with the market that we hope get addressed soon:

  • 325 character app description limit
  • Applications inexplicably missing for some customers: Example support thread or look at these sad support search results. We get asked questions like this all the time in support emails, we can’t figure out what’s wrong.
  • Download failures. There’s several super long support threads about this that I’m too depressed about to go find.
  • Refunds (to a lesser extent). Here’s an example user comment on a game made by a friend of ours: “Great game, loved it. Beat it in an hour – refund.” The game is $2.99. As John said, that’s similar to hearing “Loved that movie, it was $12 but only 2 hours so I decided not to pay. Loved it though.”

We’re working on updating our games to support higher screen resolutions. The Android SDK support for this is pretty impressive, so hopefully we’ll have things working soon. Also, I want a Droid, so I have some incentive to make things work well. If the Verizon or Motorola CEOs are reading this (they definitely are) please send us several free phones. Also, I need to borrow (all of) the corporate jet(s).

Home Screen

Despite the less-than-stellar sales numbers, we’ve decided to finish our home screen as a product for eventual release in the market. After all the great feedback we got we really wanted to see it through. There are a couple compromises required to be able to release it as a market application, mainly relating to the system status bar, but I think we’ve figured out a way to make it work. As far as a release date, that’s definitely still undecided. We’ll post updates here as we get closer. We probably will want a new name for the project as well, if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments.

Update: I made it a little more clear that the home screen isn’t available in the market yet.

  1. 1
    dietrich on 10/30/09 at 16:44:04

    I could not find the home screen in the Market. Is it not out yet?

  2. Matt Hall on 10/30/09 at 17:01:13

    It’s not ready for release yet. I rewrote the first sentence of that section to make that a little more clear.

  3. 2
    dietrich on 10/30/09 at 18:03:29

    Thanks for the response. I’m very excited about it. If it’s as cool as the mockup, I will be evangelizing the crap out of it :)

  4. 3
    JokeyRhyme on 10/30/09 at 20:21:50

    Yeah, I’m super-interested in your Intelligent Home Screen. It’s a very clever idea and really breaks the mould. Every other Home screen is just a variation on a theme, “oh look you can put application icons _here_ now”. /yawn

    If you build it, they will come. :)

  5. 4
    Taylor on 10/30/09 at 23:57:19

    Too bad Sprint phones lack the new Android Market.

  6. Matt Hall on 10/31/09 at 00:17:08

    I didn’t know that. Looks like from the post on your site no word on when they might get 1.6 either. Ouch.

    Hopefully Droid busts this whole thing wide open and everyone will follow.

  7. 5
    James Pickens on 11/02/09 at 13:32:33

    myHome ? i don’t know, i wouldnt want to call it anything like iHome or anything relating to the iPhone but its a great looking app, very excited. just worried on how much the pricing for it will be.

  8. 6
    AG on 11/03/09 at 18:53:27

    Glad to hear you are moving forward with the home screen. It’s a perfect replacement for the home screen of the Motorola Droid, which I plan to get. I look forward to the Android Market release.

  9. 7
    AG on 11/03/09 at 20:17:53

    In reference to one of your earlier post “The ultimate version of this idea is a full customized version of most of the Android stock apps to integrate with and to look like the main design.” You also felt that “This kind of deep customization is not really possible if we were to release it as a home screen replacement via the market.” Since you now may release the home screen on the market, has the ultimate version been compromised?

    Or, since you hinted that Verizon and Motorola may be reading the blog, is it possible you have found a partner to help fully develop the UI?

    Of course I’m not asking you to discuss your business. I’m just giddy about the home screen!

  10. 8
    max on 11/08/09 at 21:28:33

    An idea for the home screen:

    I suppose there will be just just one main screen in the application. So while, with the usual screen of android, when be scrolling rigth or left you have acces to an other screen, do you think with that function you could create a quick acces to an application?

    For example: scrolling the screen to left will launch contact application and scrolling it to the right will launch the web browser.

    I hope i made myself enough clear.

    Anyway this will be a great app and ready to pay what will be necessary to get it !

  11. 9
    il_bulgaro on 11/13/09 at 10:18:09

    I’m so happy that you decided to complete the home screen…I home that it will be released on the market as soon as possible, cuz I really want to buy an try it….
    For the name i suggest you “screentellingent”
    xD

  12. 10
    Thomas on 11/20/09 at 06:16:42

    Larva! So incredibly excited the project will continue on to release! I will be buying this screen IMMEDIATELY at virtually any cost. Seriously, I’d be willing to invest money just to see this project through.

    Your mock-ups look beautiful, profound and very sophisticated. Please, please don’t change your mind on releasing. I have many of my friends and coworkers excited for the release.

    I have been and will continue to check back here often for updates. Great work!

    -Thomas

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