Sunday, 8 January 2012

Ramblings and the monster

After a great Christmas and new year, a fresh year has begun, for me one of my main goals this year is to earn some money, no matter how small, from utilizing my skills as a software engineer. This may consist of Android applications, website design (probably not), web application development, increasing the numbers to my blog and earning some ad revenue. Before Christmas I started work on a new small Android application which I aim to sell in some form, I say in some form as this brings me to my first set of questions for 2012.

What is best way to sell an Android Application?
  •  Should I sell the application only on the official Google Market place or use other providers such as Amazon etc?
    • Is this easily achievable, manageable, what are the common deployment processes and practices?
  • Do I create a trial version and a full version? 
    • This seems to be very common, does it not mean you have to maintain two copies of an application?
    • Am I missing something, can it all be configured to be part of the build/deployment process using one application?
    • I don't like the idea of giving the user two choices, can you force remove/override the trial version with installing the full paid version?
  •  Do I stick with a single application and utilize androids in-app billing functionality?
  • Do I not sell the application and make it ad-supported?
    • I have spent long hours learning and developing the application and as I have little experience developing ad-supported applications, I worry that this is not going to be fruitful enough.
    • Who is the best ad provider, I have once tried using AdMob (Google) with my first application "Whos Making The Brew?" and after a months usages and only several clicks, generating me about 20c, my account was banned, with no reason or rhyme?
If I ever work out answers to the above questions, Ill post them here along with any experience or findings.

As part of the my latest project I invented (probably defiantly not) the concept of a file.Its defiantly not a new creation but for me, it's a new way to plan out and develop the application in hand. What I have ended up with is a 200 line TODO file, which I think has surprisingly helped me keep on track. I always have a list, a list of tasks, a list of bugs, features etc, usually anything which I need to do I put in a list and software engineer is no exemption. Previously I have used Google Docs but now as I use GitHub to host all my projects I thought this was the perfect place to store/share and collaborate on the list of features. There are probably much better ways of doing this but personally, I don't need a big heavy weight system, no JIRA, BugZilla, FogBugz, Trac etc. They all take to much of my time and when time is the one think you don't have lots of, it seems stupid to waste it on them. To view a snapshot of the beast I talk about, click here.

That's enough rambling for one day!