Android is an open platform, and with openness comes diversity. Although most people equate Android with Google, truth is that more than 30% of Android devices don't even have the Google Play Store installed. These include nearly all devices in China, as well as several devices from OEMs like ZTE, Huawei, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, and operators like Vodafone, Verizon and Telefonica. Fact is for nearly 100 million Android users out there, Google Play is either not an option, or buried under layers of Menu options, while the app store of choice is well integrated and launched from the home screen. In addition, due to the overcrowding of apps on Google Play (800,000+ as of February 2013), several advanced Android users are already looking for apps on independent app stores like SlideME, Getjar or Mobango. If your app is not present on these stores, nearly 20% of the Android users are unreachable for you. As Charles wrote a few months ago, there are numerous reasons to include alternative app stores as a core part of your distribution strategy. That said, there are nearly 200+ alternative Android app stores, including all the options above. With finite resources, it is extremely challenging, if not impossible, to actually take your app to these multitude of stores. Here are some of the pain points:
Several of the App Stores are just hard to reach, and many don't have direct developer programs - a huge wall.
Every app store (and country) has its own legal and compliance requirements, terms and conditions and payment processes; a nightmare if you actually want to do business with multiple stores.
Every store has its own fashion of accepting submissions. Methods vary in terms of file formats, marketing languages, images, and proprietary packaging of app binaries - it takes many hours to work through this, and cumbersome to repeat one store at a time.
Post submission download tracking is varied - numbers might be delayed or hard to access.
Moreover, if your apps are paid downloads then there is a huge problem of collecting money from each store - almost impossible to scale! True to InMobi mission of Simplifying Mobile, we've been working towards an important product aimed specifically at eliminating all these pain points. After a successful beta program over the last 3 months, along with the team from Metaflow, we're pleased to announce the launch of App Publish. App Publish gives Android app developers a single portal to submit their apps to 130+ app stores, with a single, online contract, intelligently satisfied marketing requirements and combined, comprehensive download tracking. All of this is wrapped in an extremely intuitive and simplistic user experience. App Publish is now open to developers you can click here to register, or sign in with your existing InMobi account. To find out more about App Publish, please register hereand join me for the webinar Introduction to InMobi App Publish on Thursday, April 4, 10am-11am PST.