If a developer takes the time to make a mobile app, it's reasonable to think consumers might be willing to pay for it. In the last few months, however, several experts are wondering if the traditional model for paid downloads is nearing its end.
Revenue remains an elusive dream to 40 percent of app developers, according to a survey released by organizers of the upcoming App Developer Conference taking place in Los Angeles in early November. The show's producers surveyed 250 people for its first-ever State of the Industry 2013 Results report.
Consumers usually want the same things from their carriers: fair prices, good wireless coverage, a wide selection of cutting-edge smartphones and customer service lines that won't leave them near tears. Few of us look to carriers to provide the best apps, too.
When developers submit an app in Google Play, they know what consumers will end up seeing: a name, an icon, a description and maybe some screen shots. Which is fine for the average Android app, but as the use cases for Google Glass begin to explode, the world may need a lot more detail about what's available for download.
I'm sure developers get their ideas from everywhere, especially when they're not sitting behind a desk, but I wasn't expecting to come across some inspiration while watching an episode (okay, several episodes) of HBO's Girls on a recent cross-country flight.
Developers need only three years, on average, to start seeing real money from the apps they create, according to a recent report from Toronto-based App Promo. The company conducted its second annual survey between March and April and got responses from more than 365 developers from around the world.
When you're deeply immersed in a mobile game or app, what would you rather see, an ad that pops up and blocks your view of the app's main interface, or some URLs that run somewhere on the periphery? Perhaps more importantly, if you're a developer, which would you rather your users see?
If you're not making at least $500 per app each month, Vision Mobile says you're below the "app poverty line," a zone that includes 67 percent of all developers, according to the firm's Developer Economics report.
There are lots of ways an app developer can feel like a winner: attracting tens of thousands of downloads, getting featured in a major app store or earning real money through advertising or in-app purchases. And if none of those things happen, you can always try to win a contest.
When I first heard about the idea I was immediately suspicious: A company that is offering to mine developers' user data for cash by collecting location information for "market research purposes?" This had the makings of a class-action lawsuit if ever I heard of one, and it would be up to me to expose this nefarious scheme for what it was.