May 28

[New eBook] Download The No-nonsense Guide to App Growth

Originally posted on the AdMob Blog.

What’s the secret to rapid growth for your app?

Play Store or App Store optimization? A sophisticated paid advertising strategy? A viral social media campaign?

While all of these strategies could help you grow your user base, the foundation for rapid growth is much more basic and fundamental—you need an engaging app.

This handbook will walk you through practical ways to increase your app’s user engagement to help you eventually transition to growth. You’ll learn how to:

  • Pick the right metric to represent user engagement
  • Look at data to audit your app and find areas to fix
  • Promote your app after you’ve reached a healthy level of user engagement

Download a free copy here.

For more tips on app monetization, be sure to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter and Google+ pages.

Posted by Raj Ajrawat, Product Specialist, AdMob


Android Developers Blog

Apr 07

Android Developer Story: Shifty Jelly drives double-digit growth with material design and expansion to the car and wearables

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Pocket Casts is a leading podcasting app on Google Play built by Australian-based mobile development company Shifty Jelly. The company recently achieved $ 1 million in sales for the first time, reaching more than 500K users.

According to the co-founder Russell Ivanovic, the adoption of material design played a significant role in driving user engagement for Pocket Casts by streamlining the user experience. Moreover, users are now able to access the app beyond the smartphone — in the car with Android Auto, on a watch with Android Wear or on the TV with Google Cast. The rapid innovation of Android features helped Pocket Casts increase sales by 30 percent.

We chatted with co-founders and Android developers Russell and Philip Simpson to learn more about how they are growing their business with Android.

Here are some of the features Pocket Casts used:

  • Material Design: Learn more about material design and how it helps you create beautiful, engaging apps.
  • Android Wear: Extend your app to Android Wear devices with enhanced notifications or a standalone wearable app.
  • Android Auto: Extend your app to an interface that’s optimized for driving with Android Auto.
  • Google Cast: let your users cast your app’s content to Google Cast devices like Chromecast, Android TV, and speakers with Google Cast built-in.

And check out the Pocket Casts app on Google Play!

Join the discussion on

+Android Developers


Android Developers Blog

Aug 08

Your next growth market on Google Play: launch your title in Russia

Posted by Dmitri Martynov, Business Development, Google Play

For many international developers Russia is considered to be an opportunity to
grow their app or games business. According to the 2017 report on the ‘Mobile
Internet Economy in Russia [PDF]‘, Russia’s population is young with 45% of
people being under 35 years old.1
The report also found that mobile subscriptions are at 160% of the population of
146 million people, meaning people with data plans have more than one on average
– considerably higher than other well connected countries.2
Last year Android accounted for 84% of all smartphones in Russia and smartphone
shipments are still growing with demand up 11% in early 2017 compared to 2016.

Russian people are very engaged in terms of smartphone mobile usage, Russia is
one of the top countries in terms of apps downloaded per person3.
Half of the population are gamers; their favorite game genres being strategy,
builders and farms, shooters, puzzles and fighters. The most popular app
categories are dating (with strong local developers), music & video, social &
messaging and shopping.4

Tips to help you successfully localize for Russian

Along with understanding Russian mobile trends, there are market specific best
practices which can help you tailor your apps and games for a local audience to
increase your chance of business success.

  • Language localization
    • Proofread and quality assure your entire app or game after translating text
      resources and visual assets. After localization, you should quality assure your
      app or game as a whole and not just text resources.

    • Use proficient native speakers. Contextually relevant translations are best
      done by native speakers familiar with mobile apps or games terminology.

    • Localize all content where possible. Aim to provide as much localized
      content as possible, providing a similar level in the local language as the
      original.

    • Ensure consistent language and style. Semantically check the translated
      text in the context of the whole app/game experience to make it look and sound
      relevant to local users. Ensure use of consistent language style (such as
      formal/informal addressing) and use of the same terms or names across all the
      text and visual assets.

    • Don’t forget language rules. Follow language rules on
      quantities, gender, word breaking, acronyms, etc. If the user gender is unknown,
      consider making a careful choice of words so that to omit specifying user’s
      gender or use a passive voice.

    • Be aware of the length of translated text. In Cyrillic languages words and
      phrases tend to be longer than English, and might not fit into a tightly
      designed UI. Be creative in finding alternative contextually and locally
      relevant alternative translations.

    • Use local date and time formats. Check the country specific date / time format which local users are familiar with.
    • Take note of the “you” translation. “You” translation is contextual and can
      be translated to singular (similar to early modern english thou) or
      plural form (when refer to multiple people or in polite form). And as a
      reminder, when choosing to address your user informally (“thou”), make sure to
      avoid specifying user’s gender, unless it is known.
  • Play Store assets
    • Provide localized store assets, such as the title (for example when title
      is not a universally known brand), store listing, screenshots and videos. Do not
      forget to localize the “what’s new” section if included.

    • Avoid keywords in your app or game title which attempt to improve its
      visibility on the Play Store.
  • Local pricing, price points, rounding rules
    • Avoid adding your own currency indicators (such as $ or £) as some markets
      use local pricing -
      find out more about local pricing. Use the Russian Ruble official symbol (₽)
      after the number with a space, and use comma as a decimal separator, e.g. 49,99
      ₽.

    • Generally, in-app, subscriptions, or paid app/games prices should be lower
      than in Western markets. Research industry best practices and experiment which
      price points are best for your app or game business model.

    • Make sure price rounding follows the “99″ or “49″ rules. Use
      the Google Play Console to set local prices.
  • Text resources
    • Avoid abbreviations, and if shortening is absolutely necessary, follow
      language rules to shorten words.

    • Avoid breaking single words and punctuation into a new line. Follow
      language rules of breaking words across lines (such as app- and -lication).

    • Ensure consistent font styles. Some font families may be displayed
      differently in non-English locales. Always check how your chosen font will be
      displayed on user devices in different locales.
  • In-game visual and audio assets
    • When appropriate and relevant, consider localizing visual assets in
      addition to text strings. Pay attention to splash screens!

    • Localize video and audio, and use native speakers to make it sound locally
      relevant.

For more guidance, read the localization
checklist.

Nominate your title for the “Now in Russian” collection on the Google Play
Store

On July 24st we launched the first Now
in Russian collection on Google Play, featuring 24 titles from international
developers such as Kabam’s
Transformers, GTarcade’s
Legacy of Discord, Yodo1′s
Crossy Road, im30′s
Last Empire – War Z and others.

We are planning to refresh the collection by the end of the year and we would
love to include your title! Submit
your recently localized title for a chance to be included.

How useful did you find this blogpost?








Android Developers Blog

Dec 18

Your next growth market: Realizing the potential of MENA

Posted by Mohammad El-Saadi, BD, Google Play

We know that many developers want to take advantage of growth opportunities in
new regions, but are held back by not knowing the most important areas to focus
on. That’s why we wanted to share stories from our partners in the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA). It’s a fast growing region for Google Play, and one
that already represents a sizable revenue opportunity. They’ve shared their
experiences, and some key things to focus on if you’re thinking of launching in
the region.

Middle East and North Africa overview

MENA is a diverse region in terms of disposable income, access to connectivity,
and smartphone penetration. However, it is possible to broadly group MENA into
two types of market:

Growth markets

  • Examples: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and the rest of
    the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

  • Very high smartphone penetration (on par with top western european markets),
  • Large disposable income
  • Robust growth in spend on mobile apps and games

Emerging markets

  • Examples: Morocco, Egypt and Iraq.
  • Large populations
  • Significant growth in smartphone (primarily Android) adoption.

Opportunities

Localization

If you want to be successful in MENA, localization is key. In Saudi Arabia 19 of
the top 20 grossing apps & games have their Google Play Store listing localized
and the majority of those have their actual app/game localized as well. By
localizing to Arabic, mobile app and game developers have found great success in
the region.

When Singapore-based Wego.com
localized to Arabic, they achieved over 200% YoY growth in
MENA
, grew their app rating from 3.5 to over 4.5 among Arab travelers
and increased Arab users’ retention rates by 200%. Today, MENA represents over
65% of their users.

To do localization well, here are a few things to consider:

  • Localize your store listing into Arabic including your video, screenshots
    and text. If you are targeting specific countries within MENA consider using
    local dialects, otherwise use formal Arabic. Consider using Store Listing
    Experiments to optimize your listing for local audiences.

  • If applicable, flip your app/game UI to be right-to-left.
  • Beware of common issues when localizing to Arabic: Arabic letters appearing
    disjointed or showing up in reverse order and the ordering of words getting
    mixed up when sentences contain both Latin and Arabic words

  • Localize pricing by showing appropriate local currency and rounding. Note
    that different countries in MENA have different currencies and
    affordability/willingness to pay.

  • Plan around major local events such as the holy month of Ramadan, when after
    fasting from dawn to sunset, families and loved ones gather for meals, laughs
    and stories. We’ve found that during this month usage of apps and games
    increases significantly in MENA.

  • Provide local customer support
  • Be culturally sensitive in your communication and content – avoid
    stereotypes and keep in mind the relatively conservative nature of users in the
    region

  • Leverage the power of YouTube to reach your audiences in MENA. Saudi Arabia
    for instance is the second largest market for YouTube globally in terms of views
    per capita.

Refer to our Localization
Checklist for some best practices when localizing for any language.

Gaming

Gaming is a high growth and revenue opportunity in MENA. Most countries in the
region have a median age of 30 or lower, smartphone growth will continue to grow
at double digits, which makes gaming a key segment for users in the region.
Today’s local top grossing charts and dominated by Midcore strategy games.
Interestingly, GCC countries have some of the highest Average Revenue Per Paying
User rates globally.

International titles, including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Mobile Strike and
Clash of Kings, have performed incredibly well in the region. In addition,
titles specifically targeting MENA have also seen tremendous success. Revenge of
the Sultans, by ONEMT, from China, has been the top grossing title across
several MENA countries for many months. Similarly, when IGG.com launched the
Arabic version of Castle Clash, they grew revenue from MENA by
58%
within 4 months.

As the market evolves, there is also a huge opportunity for other genres (such
as RPG, FPS, and sports) which are not present at scale in the region yet.

Google Play in MENA

We continue to invest in making sure that users are able to pay for their
favorite apps and games by launching locally relevant payment methods in MENA.
Today, we have carrier billing available with the major networks in Saudi
Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. We plan to expand coverage in more countries, including
Qatar and Bahrain, in the future.

We are also committed to increasing the quality and availability of Arabic apps
and games for MENA users, which is why we launched our Now
in Arabic collection
featuring apps and games that have recently localized to Arabic. This
collection will be regularly updated. If you’re interested in being included, submit
your localized app/game.


Android Developers Blog

Dec 16

Indie game developers in Latin America sustain growth after launch on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Indie game developers are some of the most exciting and innovative teams to work
with. While developers large and small exist on the same field, gone are the
days where you hit publish and turn your back, moving on to the next project. We’ve
gathered a few developer stories coming out of Latin America sharing experiences
and advice.

Oktagon Games

Ronaldo Cruz, Founder and CEO of Oktagon
Games tells us how “reviews provide great qualitative insight on the
game helping us identify problems that may not be caught by analytics.”


Tiny Bytes

Tiny
Bytes reduced churn by 5% using an in-game tutorial and analytics.

Impossible Apps

Cleverson Schmidt of Impossible
Apps shares how introducing in-app purchases helps diversify revenue streams
and “can make the game profitable and self sustainable.”


How useful did you find this blogpost?


Android Developers Blog

Dec 15

Five steps to achieve sustainable growth and boost your app’s long term success

Maxim Mai, Business Development Manager, Google Play

Maintaining sustainable growth is difficult for even the highest quality apps.
In this video and through the 5 steps below you can find out how some of our
leading Android developers are tackling growth.







1) Understand and define your app’s objectives

Depending on your product lifecycle stage you will most likely focus on these 3
growth goals with varying intensity:

  • Acquire new users
  • Increase engagement and retention
  • Grow revenue

2) Track and measure your tactics against each of your
objectives

List out the tactics you’re using to achieve each objective and keep track of
their performance. You can visualize it using a scorecard like in the example
below created by Mobile Growth
Stack.

3) Apply your growth tactics.

Here are a few examples of specific tactics developers have successfully used to
drive sustained growth.

Tactic: Clue,
a female health app, invests in the Play store listing to increase
conversions.

Results: 24% aggregate increase in install conversion rate over
a period of 6 months.

How they did it:

  • Built a continuous flow of global and localised store
    listing experiments.

  • Monitored changes in the user
    acquisition performance report for target countries and channels.

  • Gathered insights from what users are saying from the reviews
    analysis.

Which phone screenshot do you think drove increase in install conversion for
Clue?

Tactic: ShareTheMeal,
a non-profit app developed by the World Food Programme, uses public relations as
a free sustainable acquisition channel.

Results: 50% of their
total installs to date were driven by media coverage.

How they did
it
:

  • Developed an excellent messaging.
  • Boosted installs impact by combining PR with celebrity outreach and
    distribution partnership.

  • Learned that TV coverage has the highest impact on installs but print is a
    useful door opener to amplify TV coverage.

Tactic: Viral growth.
Virality is a core
growth tool for apps and games that focus on sharing and usually the mechanic is
built into the core user experience of the product. However, even if sharing
isn’t a key component of your app, you can still influence two key variables to
create an appropriate environment to encourage virality.

How to do it:

  • Increase the number of additional users that a single user brings to the
    app, by boosting the number of invitations sent.

  • Decrease your “cycle time”, how long it takes between inviting a user and
    that user sending out the next round of invitations to their friends.

  • Offer more incentives for users to share the app or its content while
    they’re using it will help shorten the cycle time and kickstart viral growth!

Tactic: Freeletics
Nutrition, an app to adjust your nutrition to your individual needs and
goals, uses cross-promotion to accelerate the launch of a new product.

Results: 96% of new Nutrition app sales generated by users who
originally registered for the developer’s Bodyweight
training app.

How they did it:

  • Surface meal advice in the Bodyweight app’s activity feed with the goal of
    raising awareness for the approaching launch of their new Freeletics Nutrition
    app.

4) Build a strong growth culture

To make sustainable growth work for your app, it needs to be a part of your
culture. Runtastic
is one of the leading health and fitness app developers in Europe and 95% of
their approximately 76M total app installs on Google Play have been generated
organically. Mario Aichlseder, VP of Growth, believes this is the result of a
strong growth culture and the growth principles according to which all teams
operate. For example, product managers, designers and engineers at Runtastic
deliberately chose a mixture of qualitative and quantitative feedback loops
during the app development process to ensure they stay true to their growth
principles.

5) Adjust along the way

It’s important to track your tactics against real metrics to measure your
impact. That will help you make decisions about where to increase or decrease
your efforts. Your priorities will also change based on the evolution of your
business and product lifecycle as well as due to external factors such as new
techniques becoming available, so be open to regularly adjusting your tactics.

Get more tips and best practices in the sessions from this
year’s Playtime events.

How useful did you find this blogpost?



Android Developers Blog

Dec 13

Five steps to achieve sustainable growth and boost your app’s long term success

Maxim Mai, Business Development Manager, Google Play

Maintaining sustainable growth is difficult for even the highest quality apps.
In this video and through the 5 steps below you can find out how some of our
leading Android developers are tackling growth.







1) Understand and define your app’s objectives

Depending on your product lifecycle stage you will most likely focus on these 3
growth goals with varying intensity:

  • Acquire new users
  • Increase engagement and retention
  • Grow revenue

2) Track and measure your tactics against each of your
objectives

List out the tactics you’re using to achieve each objective and keep track of
their performance. You can visualize it using a scorecard like in the example
below created by Mobile Growth
Stack.

3) Apply your growth tactics.

Here are a few examples of specific tactics developers have successfully used to
drive sustained growth.

Tactic: Clue,
a female health app, invests in the Play store listing to increase
conversions.

Results: 24% aggregate increase in install conversion rate over
a period of 6 months.

How they did it:

  • Built a continuous flow of global and localised store
    listing experiments.

  • Monitored changes in the user
    acquisition performance report for target countries and channels.

  • Gathered insights from what users are saying from the reviews
    analysis.

Which phone screenshot do you think drove increase in install conversion for
Clue?

Tactic: ShareTheMeal,
a non-profit app developed by the World Food Programme, uses public relations as
a free sustainable acquisition channel.

Results: 50% of their
total installs to date were driven by media coverage.

How they did
it
:

  • Developed an excellent messaging.
  • Boosted installs impact by combining PR with celebrity outreach and
    distribution partnership.

  • Learned that TV coverage has the highest impact on installs but print is a
    useful door opener to amplify TV coverage.

Tactic: Viral growth.
Virality is a core
growth tool for apps and games that focus on sharing and usually the mechanic is
built into the core user experience of the product. However, even if sharing
isn’t a key component of your app, you can still influence two key variables to
create an appropriate environment to encourage virality.

How to do it:

  • Increase the number of additional users that a single user brings to the
    app, by boosting the number of invitations sent.

  • Decrease your “cycle time”, how long it takes between inviting a user and
    that user sending out the next round of invitations to their friends.

  • Offer more incentives for users to share the app or its content while
    they’re using it will help shorten the cycle time and kickstart viral growth!

Tactic: Freeletics
Nutrition, an app to adjust your nutrition to your individual needs and
goals, uses cross-promotion to accelerate the launch of a new product.

Results: 96% of new Nutrition app sales generated by users who
originally registered for the developer’s Bodyweight
training app.

How they did it:

  • Surface meal advice in the Bodyweight app’s activity feed with the goal of
    raising awareness for the approaching launch of their new Freeletics Nutrition
    app.

4) Build a strong growth culture

To make sustainable growth work for your app, it needs to be a part of your
culture. Runtastic
is one of the leading health and fitness app developers in Europe and 95% of
their approximately 76M total app installs on Google Play have been generated
organically. Mario Aichlseder, VP of Growth, believes this is the result of a
strong growth culture and the growth principles according to which all teams
operate. For example, product managers, designers and engineers at Runtastic
deliberately chose a mixture of qualitative and quantitative feedback loops
during the app development process to ensure they stay true to their growth
principles.

5) Adjust along the way

It’s important to track your tactics against real metrics to measure your
impact. That will help you make decisions about where to increase or decrease
your efforts. Your priorities will also change based on the evolution of your
business and product lifecycle as well as due to external factors such as new
techniques becoming available, so be open to regularly adjusting your tactics.

Get more tips and best practices in the sessions from this
year’s Playtime events.

How useful did you find this blogpost?



Android Developers Blog

Dec 02

Indie game developers in Latin America sustain growth after launch on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Indie game developers are some of the most exciting and innovative teams to work
with. While developers large and small exist on the same field, gone are the
days where you hit publish and turn your back, moving on to the next project. We’ve
gathered a few developer stories coming out of Latin America sharing experiences
and advice.

Oktagon Games

Ronaldo Cruz, Founder and CEO of Oktagon
Games tells us how “reviews provide great qualitative insight on the
game helping us identify problems that may not be caught by analytics.”


Tiny Bytes

Tiny
Bytes reduced churn by 5% using an in-game tutorial and analytics.

Impossible Apps

Cleverson Schmidt of Impossible
Apps shares how introducing in-app purchases helps diversify revenue streams
and “can make the game profitable and self sustainable.”


How useful did you find this blogpost?


Android Developers Blog

Nov 24

Your next growth market: Realizing the potential of MENA

Posted by Mohammad El-Saadi, BD, Google Play

We know that many developers want to take advantage of growth opportunities in
new regions, but are held back by not knowing the most important areas to focus
on. That’s why we wanted to share stories from our partners in the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA). It’s a fast growing region for Google Play, and one
that already represents a sizable revenue opportunity. They’ve shared their
experiences, and some key things to focus on if you’re thinking of launching in
the region.

Middle East and North Africa overview

MENA is a diverse region in terms of disposable income, access to connectivity,
and smartphone penetration. However, it is possible to broadly group MENA into
two types of market:

Growth markets

  • Examples: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and the rest of
    the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

  • Very high smartphone penetration (on par with top western european markets),
  • Large disposable income
  • Robust growth in spend on mobile apps and games

Emerging markets

  • Examples: Morocco, Egypt and Iraq.
  • Large populations
  • Significant growth in smartphone (primarily Android) adoption.

Opportunities

Localization

If you want to be successful in MENA, localization is key. In Saudi Arabia 19 of
the top 20 grossing apps & games have their Google Play Store listing localized
and the majority of those have their actual app/game localized as well. By
localizing to Arabic, mobile app and game developers have found great success in
the region.

When Singapore-based Wego.com
localized to Arabic, they achieved over 200% YoY growth in
MENA
, grew their app rating from 3.5 to over 4.5 among Arab travelers
and increased Arab users’ retention rates by 200%. Today, MENA represents over
65% of their users.

To do localization well, here are a few things to consider:

  • Localize your store listing into Arabic including your video, screenshots
    and text. If you are targeting specific countries within MENA consider using
    local dialects, otherwise use formal Arabic. Consider using Store Listing
    Experiments to optimize your listing for local audiences.

  • If applicable, flip your app/game UI to be right-to-left.
  • Beware of common issues when localizing to Arabic: Arabic letters appearing
    disjointed or showing up in reverse order and the ordering of words getting
    mixed up when sentences contain both Latin and Arabic words

  • Localize pricing by showing appropriate local currency and rounding. Note
    that different countries in MENA have different currencies and
    affordability/willingness to pay.

  • Plan around major local events such as the holy month of Ramadan, when after
    fasting from dawn to sunset, families and loved ones gather for meals, laughs
    and stories. We’ve found that during this month usage of apps and games
    increases significantly in MENA.

  • Provide local customer support
  • Be culturally sensitive in your communication and content – avoid
    stereotypes and keep in mind the relatively conservative nature of users in the
    region

  • Leverage the power of YouTube to reach your audiences in MENA. Saudi Arabia
    for instance is the second largest market for YouTube globally in terms of views
    per capita.

Refer to our Localization
Checklist for some best practices when localizing for any language.

Gaming

Gaming is a high growth and revenue opportunity in MENA. Most countries in the
region have a median age of 30 or lower, smartphone growth will continue to grow
at double digits, which makes gaming a key segment for users in the region.
Today’s local top grossing charts and dominated by Midcore strategy games.
Interestingly, GCC countries have some of the highest Average Revenue Per Paying
User rates globally.

International titles, including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Mobile Strike and
Clash of Kings, have performed incredibly well in the region. In addition,
titles specifically targeting MENA have also seen tremendous success. Revenge of
the Sultans, by ONEMT, from China, has been the top grossing title across
several MENA countries for many months. Similarly, when IGG.com launched the
Arabic version of Castle Clash, they grew revenue from MENA by
58%
within 4 months.

As the market evolves, there is also a huge opportunity for other genres (such
as RPG, FPS, and sports) which are not present at scale in the region yet.

Google Play in MENA

We continue to invest in making sure that users are able to pay for their
favorite apps and games by launching locally relevant payment methods in MENA.
Today, we have carrier billing available with the major networks in Saudi
Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. We plan to expand coverage in more countries, including
Qatar and Bahrain, in the future.

We are also committed to increasing the quality and availability of Arabic apps
and games for MENA users, which is why we launched our Now
in Arabic collection
featuring apps and games that have recently localized to Arabic. This
collection will be regularly updated. If you’re interested in being included, submit
your localized app/game.


Android Developers Blog