Start on Android and succeed on Google Play

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Posted by Karolis Balciunas, VC & Startups Business Development, Google Play

Early Access was launched at Google I/O 2016 as a destination
on Google Play for beta app and game titles still in development, and to attract
early adopters willing to test those titles. The results speak for themselves.
The program has helped over 350 developers launch their titles and generated
over 40M beta installs for their apps and games during just the short window
before their public availability on the Play Store. More importantly, the
average rating for titles that have been through Early Access is 4.3☆ once in
production, putting them in a strong position to be favored in search and
discovery on Google Play.

Early Access also generates positive awareness for new titles. Alumni like Simple
Habit and Digit
were chosen as finalists in the “Standout Startup” category at the Google
Play Awards this year.
Omnidrone’s game Titan
Brawl became the first game to reach 1M testers. Hear more about their
experience in the video below.



Early Access and our work with the venture capital community has taught us a lot
about successful startups. We know you seek rapid iteration towards
product-market fit and are thirsty for the same kind of powerful testing,
analytics, and user feedback that Google’s own product teams depend on to launch
successful products. When we know about your startup’s plans
well in advance of your launch date, we can impact your trajectory by supporting
you through this understood process of iterative improvement.

Start on Android

Earlier this year we launched Start
on Android
to identify the highest potential Android startups
earlier in their lifecycle and provide tools, perks, and guidance for those who
qualify. We’ve developed five components that have proven to be most impactful:

  1. Early Access participation enabling developers to recruit beta testers and
    respond to their feedback before it impacts an app’s rating on the Play Store.

  2. Pre-launch user interface and user experience reviews from the Play
    editorial team to help optimize onboarding experiences, material design
    implementation, business model execution, and user engagement.

  3. Access to Google perks like the Google Cloud Platform’s Spark Package which
    includes $ 20K in Google Cloud and Firebase credits, free 12 months of G Suite
    for up to 10 employees, and other financial incentives.

  4. Opportunities to participate in Google Play and other Google teams’ programs
    and special events including Google Cloud Platform,
    Google for Entrepreneurs,
    and Launchpad.

  5. Guidance in the form of videos and content on startup best practices
    available to all at StartonAndroid.com.

We are just getting started

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We’ve already seen a lot of developer interest and received hundreds of public
applications and referrals from venture capitalists and other startup
influencers. Below are a few accepted startups:

  • Socratic
    - A Spark Capital backed company that allows students to solve math problems by
    snapping a photo with their camera and using computer vision to return relevant
    answers and related concepts and video.

  • Astro
    - A Redpoint
    portfolio company that layers AI on top of your email to help intelligently
    manage your inbox.

  • Peanut
    - A Tinder-like app for connecting moms, funded by NEA and Felix Capital.

  • Gyroscope
    - A startup working on an “operating system for the human body”.

  • Empower – An exciting new money management
    app backed by Sequoia Capital, coming soon to Android.

We are incredibly proud of every developer we work with and grateful to our
friends within VC firms and the wider community who bring exciting new startups
to our attention.

Get in touch with us

If you would like to be part of Start on Android, complete the form at StartonAndroid.com. We’re looking for
developers who are planning to launch on Android soon, or have done so in the
past 6 months.

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