GDC: Google's Eric Chu Explains 7 Areas To Focus On For Successful Android Apps

Android is rapidly growing. With over 300,000 handsets being activated per day, questions about fragmentation still remain. At GDC, Eric Chu of the Android team shed some light on developing for Android.

Android is rapidly growing. With over 300,000 handsets being activated per day, questions about fragmentation still remain. At GDC, Eric Chu of the Android team shed some light on developing for Android. More after the jump.

Fragmentation

Android 2.2 and 2.1 represent 90% of the Android platform. Developers who can cater to 2.1 and 2.2 platforms will be able to take care of most of the issues. Secondly, there are 2 screen sizes that represent 96% of the volume. If developers care to support multiple screens, support is available via a single binary. Thirdly, Android is continuing to increase support for graphics. If you are looking to develop 3D graphics, OpenGL ES Versions – 75% versions support 2.0.

For ultimate control, Android Market offers a lot of filters. You can target by:

  • Countries
  • Carriers
  • Min and max platform version
  • Screen size
  • OpenGL ES version
  • ABI
  • Hardware and software features
  • GL texture-compression format
  • Screen size and density combos

Merchandising

Showcasing apps is becoming simpler, with Google having updated the Android Market client. Developers can showcase their apps on:

  • Tablet, phone browser
  • Expanded promotional areas
  • Richer app details, videos, descr.
  • “More” and “Related” lists
  • Continued fine tuning of ranking

Google wants to avoid letting users ‘buy’ their way to the top – instead focusing on showcasing good games. These are still ambiguous remarks as they do not spell out what ‘good’ game means – as this could depend on ratings which could in turn be exploited.

Android Market also has a website in which users can discover new apps – but Google hasn’t released any specific numbers about how many visitors are checking out the website.

Monetization

Google is continuing to add more buyers and currencies and plans to double buyer countries over the next 12 months. Developers can also set prices in local currencies for each market.

Google also has direct carrier billing partnerships with T-Mobile, AT&T and Softbank with 10+ new carriers partnerships under works in 2011. Lastly, licensing service and in-app billing is coming soon. Google is trying to mitigate piracy and encryption isn’t the answer. The best thing to do is provide a run-time check-in in which the app makes call to the Android market to check if the user is legitimate.

Reporting

Google feedback is provided with integrated error reports and stack traces. App stats which report number of installs by device, platform version, country and language will be available soon, according to Eric Chu.

Pricing

Improving Ranking

Getting featured

Conclusion

Developers looking to make it big on Android should build a great game that can gain volume. It’s important to support your game with proper marketing and monitor feedback from users, and respond accordingly. For more questions, please email us here at socialtimes: azam@socialtimes.com