Making android apps is difficult, firstly because its just impossible get access to the hundreds of different kinds of phones that exist in the market today. The effort it takes to build a good Android app and make sure it works well on all phones is astronomical as compared to the returns you get even if you are a paid application.
We are Android developers and fully believe in the ecosystem, we built the best panoramic app on the Android market 360. If you have any idea what a panorama app does you will pity us for deciding to build it on Android. We also wanted to make it fancy by not doing the normal point – click-point-click and then stitch. We wanted to build it so that you could pan and capture a beautiful panorama. Our app needs to be a perfectly tuned machine with the camera, compass, gyroscope, JNI and hundreds of activities running complex stitching algorithms on varied processing speeds for it to even spew out a decent result.
When we started developing all we had was a lowly HTC-Wildfire – this phone at best is an economy Android phone. Our app was great when it worked on this particular phone and while we asked our friends to test the app we didnt realize how bad it was till we launched in the market. The day we launched we got killed – I think we had 20, 1stars in an hour and all from one phone the HTC DesireZ, now why we had so many DesireZ people download our app in an hour – I do not know but we were not happy. We kept fixing bugs but it was not helping, everyday some new phone and some new bug. The only solution was to have access to a certain number of phones that could augment the entire subset of Android phones. This is why we built Applover.
Applover is a community focused product that gives you access to 100′s of different Android phones and real beta testers. I shall let two graphs speak for the effectiveness of the this testing platform.
Lots of ppl rating:)yay!
We were stuck at 3.1 for over 3 months, everyday we would get equal number of 5 and 1 stars. Until we started actually using our testing platform for making our builds. today after 3 months of using our platform we are at 4.1 and still going strong.
We had more people rating our app because it did not suck. The total number of ratings almost went 5X in 3 months. A majority of which was 5 stars.
While we made a lot of changes in our application which you could document as the reason for this increase in ratings but the fact is that our iteration rate got better and better. We were able to push updates at a much faster rate and help build a better product and test faster.
If you are an Android developer or just someone who has an Android phone and would love to help us build this community of Applovers. Please follow us on twitter or register at www.applover.me.
Be a part of making android apps amazing.
We have been getting a ton of requests to add apps to Applover for testing and we have been slow on that front and it was a very deliberate and cautious step. We wanted to create a proper and meaningful onboarding process for apps so that all apps were given equal attention and we were able to provide a great service throughout.
So, if you are an app developer and looking to get your app on Applover you would pretty much go through the following steps
1) Apply for a developer account, send us a small message about what your app does with either a Google market link or a file download link.
2) We accept your app and add you to the review process. Our team here goes through the app to make sure it is virus free and works. We have 5 different phones inhouse so you get testing on 5 different phones even while being in the review process. It will be helpful if the developers can write a step by step procedure of what they wanted the users to test, this way it becomes easier to provide you with feedback.
3) You will have to invite some your own testers that are either currently testing your product so that they can test it through Applover. Our previous app developers invited approx 30 users that they were testing their app with on email to the Applover platform. This can be done privately through email. We do this to see how responsive and interested you are in building the community. For Applover to improve and get better so that it is useful to everyone in the community, it is important that the developers take the lead and engage well. If we find someone who is not responding to feedback that applovers are providing we may nudge them to do so.
3) Once you have invited a certain number of users then we open it up the app to the entire community and you can invite as many users as you want to start testing the app. We will also add you to our weekly email that showcases apps that need testing.
These steps have been added from other developer’s feedback and also to make sure the community gets high quality apps to test which I believe is important for this service to be useful in the long run.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet out to us @apploverme
Today I got a comment on this blog from Leif -
A really great project. The only thing I don’t like that much is the whole leaderboard thing for invites. Sure, this idea needs to get spread – but it won’t help when people just try to invite as much people as they can. Should be more based on the quality of feedback they give after first tests.
Just my opinion.
Looking forward to the start
I have received similar responses from a bunch of users and thought this is a topic that needs to be discussed and talked about. So here we go.
Why do we need a leaderboard ?
We strongly believe that while this may be a dickish move i.e rank people based on the number of invites, it is an important place to start. We are not going to keep this as the basis of rating and rewarding users for the rest of the time but at this point of time its important to get a critical number of devices in so that the developers can extract the most from the platform when testing their applications. We expect the points and invite based system to evolve where the leader board criterion will be more focused on engagement/quality of engagement/reviews etc.
I am hoping everyone understands where we are coming from and why we have the leaderboard. Its to not only highlight the users who have done well in engaging their community to join Applover but also the users who care enough to help us build the community. I would particularly encourage all Android developers to help us build an audience because the more people each of you sign up we can collectively benefit from access to their phones.
Without further adieu here is the link for the leaderboard - http://applover.me/leaderboard
We are signing up apps very fast but will be showcasing only the top 5 apps to start with. If you are developer and want your app to be a part of the launch or after that. Please send us an email at email@example.com
Finally the wait is over . As mentioned in this blog post we are creating an invite based system to give access to the early adopters.
What this means is that the users who are most enthusiastic will get into the system. We obviously have a very large wait list and this was the only way to trim out the awesome from the not so awesome.
So invite as many users as you can, if you invite someone then you both get and get 50 points. We will be selecting the top point leaders every 15 days and giving them access. This means that you have a lot of time to bring more people to this community.
Before I give you the link, I want to thank you for your participation. It is your love and support that will either make or break this product in essence making the life of android developers all across the world better and also make apps amazing.
Invite link – http://bit.ly/HKTgtW
Applover is all about the community and the strength of the product is proportional to the strength of the community. The more you add to it, the more it useful it becomes. This is key for us and hence we have spent a lot of time deciding how we should invite people to Applover without breaking the community and hence making it a ghost town.
While we have had a lot of interest in our waitlist, it only makes sense for us to first allow the most enthusiastic and passionate users, folks who love Android and would give the best feedback and help grow the community. I know this may sound harsh but it is a decision we have taken so that Applover is more useful in 6 months than right now.
So what does this mean?
This means that we will be very very selective with our invites. We will make it easy for everyone to participate and make their case in getting access. I shall be sending out specific instructions about how we will be taking this forward soon.
Leave your thoughts below in the comments.
Since our TechCrunch post we have had a LOT of inbound request, our waitlist is growing everyday and we could not be happier.
While we did envision this to be a problem with a lot of developers, the “you are our Savior” emails makes me feel like we are solving for something more than a small problem and we take that responsibility very seriously.
Right now we are figuring out how we will roll out the invites without breaking the social factor involved in this product. We shall have more updates soon.