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MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT · HUGH KIMURA · NOVEMBER 2014

7 Secrets To Google Play App Success

This post will give you the best tips from Google's latest guide on how to create excellent Android apps.

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Google recently released a new 81 page guide to help Android app publishers maximize their reach, make more money and retain more users. A lot of the tips in the beginning are pretty basic and you are probably already familiar with them.

But as we read deeper into the guide, we realized that there are a few tips that you may not be aware of. So in this post, we will highlight the tips and techniques that we feel are lesser known and most beneficial to app publishers.

We will also give you a link to the page where you download the guide for free. You can get it in PDF format or download it on Google Play.

Drive App Engagement Through Google Search With App Indexing

We wrote a blog post earlier this year on how deep linking can help Android developers, but it is worth mentioning again. Deep links allow Google to return your app's content to people who do web searches on Google or on your website.

This increases engagement with your app, even if someone didn't think to open your app first. If you use the App Inexding API, it helps users discover even more relevant information in your app by providing autocomplete suggestions.

Offer Over-The-Air Installs To Users Who Use Google Sign-In On Your Website

When you implement Google sign-in on your website, you can also offer one click over-the-air app installs. Since a user is already logged into your site, it makes them more likely to be interested in downloading your app. In fact, some app publishers have seen app installation conversion rates as high as 40%, when using this feature.

Personalize Your App With Google+

You can utilize the information stored in a user's Google+ account to create a more user friendly experience. This can be as simple as displaying the user's picture and name.

If you want to create an even more customized experience, you can utilize the user's settings, history, most used features and more. Allowing users to sign into your app with an existing Google+ account also makes it more likely that people will use your app. Having to create a separate login is one reason that people may not use your app.

Utilize Three Other Android Platforms

When you launch an app, many times you only think about how it will perform on a phone or tablet. But there are three other platforms that you may want to extend your app to. Doing this may give your app more exposure and allow you to provide more value to your users.

You have to opt-in to these services and get approval. Your apps will continue to be available for phones and tablets during this process.

Android Wear

Making your app available to Android Wear users can be a great way to expose more people to your app. It also gives you the opportunity to provide additional functionality that cannot be accomplished on a phone or tablet. Once your app is approved for Android Wear, you can display the Wear badge and it will be included in Android Wear collections.

Android TV

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If your app can be played on a big screen, targeting Android TV can be a great way to get more users. Your Android TV listing also allows you to add TV specific screenshots.

Google Play For Education

In order to get your app published on the Education platform, it has to be reviewed by a third party network of teachers. Once your app is approved, it will be available for students, teachers and education users.

Use Android Intents

Android intents allow your app to be the default app for certain functions that a user wants to complete. For example, you can offer your image editing capabilities to other apps that may need it, but don't want to crete it themselves.

Likewise, you can identify other apps that you want to be the default apps for functions that you don't want to include in your app. This allows you to outsource things that other apps do well, while focusing on your core capabilities.

Using intents can give your users access to more capabilities, by leveraging other apps. When you make your app's services available to other apps, your app will open automatically to complete certain tasks.

Reply To User Reviews

This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the Google Play review system has over the Apple App Store. You can personally respond to comments that users leave for your app.

Simply sign into the Developer Console to respond. Some users can leave unfair feedback about your app and this is an opportunity for you to clarify the situation and prevent bad publicity. It also gives you the opportunity to thank your loyal users for their kind words.

Monitor Google's Developer Channels

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This is something that can be overlooked, but is important to stay on top of any education and support material that Google releases. These resources will help you stay up-to-date on the latest technology and get help when you need it.

Conclusion

Those are just a few of the many tips that are provided in Google's new guide. If you are new to Android app development, we recommend that you download the whole guide and read all of the tips. To download the complete guide in PDF format or from Google Play, visit this blog post on the Android Developers blog.

Do you have any other Google Play tips to add? Let us know in the comments below...


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: November 2014

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