Wednesday, January 28, 2009

AdMob for Android Quick start guide

While we wait for the Android Market to support paid apps, AdMob have come out with a product for Android that allows developers to get paid for putting ads in their apps. Below is a quick start guide for now to include AdMob ads into your app.

As suggested in the AdMob blog announcement sign up, fill in all the forms and finally download the SDK. 

Add the following permissions to your AndroidManifest.xml

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.RECEIVE_SMS" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" /> 

Add your publisher id (you can find this under Sites & Apps) inside the application tag of AndroidManifest.xml

<meta-data android:value="xxxxxxxxxxx" android:name="ADMOB_PUBLISHER_ID" />

Place the AdMob SDK jar file (currently admob-sdk-1.0-android.jar) into a lib folder in your project
Add the ad view to your layouts

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Released Zendesk Notifier on Android Market Place

jTribe has released an Android app for Zendesk.

The Zendesk notifier allows agents to quickly see how many tickets that have assigned, and how many new unassigned tickets exist in their help desk system. It also serves as a short cut for logging into your Help Desk 2.0 from the Android G1 phone.

It is pretty much the same as the iPhone Zendesk Notifier app and uses the same look and feel.

How to see what's popular on Android

We setup so we could see what cool new apps were popular in the Android Market. However the apps in the top 20 seemed to have cemented their place there and are hard to shift. What we really needed to see was which apps were moving up (and down) the rankings the fastest. 

So today I've pushed out several changes to that support this way of looking for popular apps and the results are looking good. The front page now contains the top 5 applications and top 5 games that are moving the fastest up the charts. We also show the top 5 apps and games that are dropping down the charts. The end result is a much better look at movement within the Android market place. 

We've made several other changes including displaying the app's description, category and movement (from last week and the previous day). The movements are updated daily, so come back and check often. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

See Android market movements online

The Android market place has been up until recently, a very closed place. Users (and developers) could only see the apps from the phone itself. Before the developer version of the phone was released, developers had no way of seeing the market place at all. We couldn't see if an app already existed or had the same name, then once released we couldn't see comments or test it directly. Having the developer phones has helped, but what we really needed was to be able to view the market place from a PC, online, from the web.  

Thankfully Jay from has made that possible by providing a website with all the applications, games, comments and ratings from the Android market place. 

We wanted to add to this and have launched a stats website - . This website tracks the rankings and movements of apps and games within the market place. Take a look and let us know what you think. We'll be making improvements over the next few weeks so come back and check often. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why 99 cent iPhone apps wont work for you

You are an iPhone developer. You are a small software company. You are not a large company like Apple, Nitendo etc. Then this information is for you!

Why can large or popular labels charge 99 cent for iPhone apps?
Larger companies like Apple can afford to release 99 cent iPhone apps like a remote control for Keynote. Very cool app and probabely similar quality as iTunes Remote. Where iTunes Remote was free Apple now starts to charge for these kind of apps on the iPhone. I have no problem wtih that. They should charge for good software. But, hey, 99 cent. What is the thing to learn here? When you are big you can affort to sell your iPhone app for "just" 99 cent.

They know that they will get the volumes of users downloading the app and thus will be making enough money with a small price tag.

Why 99 cent iPhone apps wont work for you!
Seriously, you wont get the volumes of users like Apple, Tabulous, etc. Try it. I can tell you right now that it is a waste of time. It does not mean that your app is not as good the apps from the large lables. It just means that your app is one of 15,000 apps in the AppStore and not enough people will download the app to make it worthwhile. Unless you developed a blockbuster app such as iFart Mobile 99cent wont wont work for you!

What works for us
jTribe has released so far nine iPhone applications and we tried different prices to find out what the optimum price point is. Prices ranged from free to USD 3.99. We changed prices to see what happnes. We do not develop more "niche" apps and not the blockbuster apps.

Price that work for us is:
  • USD 2.99 for a utility application (such as our PinPointMe app)
  • USD 3.99 for more complex solutions (such as our "Coming Home Soon" app)
  • Free for a platform app that is used to build niche products. We offer FirePin Trip Tracker for free. Then we use the same platform to build more complex but niche solutions we will charge USD 3.99 - 5.99.
  • Would we use USD 9.99 as a price tag. Maybe. Currently, I cannot think of a complex enough application on the iPhone to justify this price.
These prices work us as "normal" iPhone developers that are not producing blockbuster apps. If you are similar then these prices should work for you too.