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What makes a popular Android app?

What makes a popular Android app?

In which I ask some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to take your app from merely being good to being popular.

Ade Oshineye

September 24, 2015

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  1. What makes a popular Android app? Ade Oshineye Everybody else’s

    presentation has been filled with answers. This one is going to be filled with questions. I want interaction and discussion. I want you to share your stories.
  2. Popular != good Assuming your app is good. Now what?

    Client says what and Google says how. What about why?
  3. Are you solving a problem that matters to lots of

    people? Larry likes to ask us if our apps are passing the toothbrush test: daily habitual and beneficial usage. Are your apps doing that? Why and why not?
  4. Are you a good toothbrush? Are you making users happy?

    Are they happy enough that they tell other people? Are you tracking your Net Promoter Score? Are you doing UX studies? Are you giving people ‘delighter’ features like nightmode and offline support? Or are you making a toothbrush with a blade for a handle?
  5. Are you learning from your peers? I maintain a portfolio

    of apps that do certain things very well. I keep that portfolio updated and share it with partners to guide them towards excellence
  6. Healthy beta programmes Are you listening to the people in

    your beta community and adapting based on their feedback?
  7. Staged rollouts that adapt because of feedback Don’t just begin

    a rollout without a plan for listening to users and a plan for handling problems with the app you’re rolling out.
  8. Getting discovered in the Play Store Have you had any

    trouble with this? What’s the answer?
  9. Featuring But only if you’re ready for it. Getting featured

    before your app and your company are ready to handle the traffic is a mistake since many of those users won’t give you a second chance.
  10. Social media This is a good way to help people

    discover your app, the problem it solves and the users who are happy with it.
  11. App install ads These can be an effective way of

    driving traffic to your app but you should do them after you’ve made sure your app will provide a welcoming experience.
  12. Meaningful and valuable notifications Don’t use notifications to spam users.

    If you mis-use then users will uninstall your app. Use them to inform and assist users. Don’t obsess about CTR (uninstalls could boost your CTR since the only people left will be those who don’t mind your notifications) but instead focus on if your notifications are informative and/or actionable.
  13. Naming and descriptions Make sure your app has a name

    that makes sense and a description that’s likely to match the kinds of things people will search for. Cryptic naming, dropping letters or clever jokes are likely to make it hard for people to find you.
  14. What’s on your home screen? Why? Ask yourself why you’re

    using these things on a regular enough basis that they’re on your home screen.