Friday, July 25, 2014

Send messages with AppBrain Cloud Alerts

Being able to quickly and easily send a message to your users helps to create a dynamic app experience.


To optimize the app experience for your users, we've just launched a new feature in the AppBrain AppLift SDK: AppBrain Cloud Alerts.

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A cloud alert is a message that you configure on the AppBrain Developer dashboard and that will then be sent through the cloud to your app's users. They will receive it the next time they open your app.

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With cloud alerts, you can easily send a message to all users of your app in 4 different formats: a dialog popup, a full screen interstitial, a subtle slide-in bar or a taskbar notification. Because the message only gets shown upon opening your app, there’s no annoying push notifications and no impact on battery use.


We’ve successfully used these notifications to
  • Notify users of our “Word Hunt” app that we’ve launched a new, similar game called “Word Snake” with a high conversion rate.
  • Ask users in a subtle way (using the slide in bar) to give us a rating and leave a comment on Google Play.
  • Give an explanation of a new feature that was added in the latest app update.
Of course there are many other possibilities.

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You can choose to add an action to your cloud alert. If there's no action, the alert will have just one button for the user to dismiss it. With a configured action, there will be a cancel button to dismiss and an ok button to perform the action. The action can be opening a link in the browser or forwarding the user to an app in the play store. 

The developer dashboard shows you a preview of your alert while you’re configuring it.


Try it now
If you’re a user of AppBrain AppLift already, you can directly configure your alerts on the AppBrain developer dashboard.
If you’re not using our SDK yet, you can get started on our info page.

To use cloud alerts, you need to initialize the AppBrain AppLift SDK in the onCreate() of your activity with “AppBrain.init(this);”.
Cloud alerts are available if your app has AppBrain SDK version 10.1 or later.

How would you use AppBrain cloud alerts?


Mathijs for the AppBrain team.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

AppBrain reports the monthly top downloaded Android apps


Which Android apps got the most downloads last month? Which apps got the best ratings?

We are happy to announce a new section to the AppBrain stats pages: The AppBrain monthly top apps.

This new page gives you a monthly overview of interesting things happening in the Android ecosystem. New apps and existing apps are ranked by download numbers during the given month. Additionally, we reveal the apps that gathered the best and worst Google Play ratings in the given period. You can change the selection of the data by changing filters at the top of the page. You can filter on application category (all apps vs. games vs. non-games) or on language (all apps vs. apps with English description only).


These monthly summary pages help you find the interesting movements and events around the world of Android. They are available starting from April 2014 until now, and a new list will be added on the first day of every month.


Let’s look at some insights from top apps in the last months (April, May, and June 2014):


  • Google’s dominance: Google dominates the ‘most downloaded overall’, as well as the ‘most downloaded developers’ lists. Moreover, two apps recently launched by Google made it into the corresponding ‘most downloaded new apps’ lists: Google camera (April 2014) and Email (June 2014). These observations underline the market power of Google at the time of writing.


  • App removal: Music downloading apps are extremely popular - there are such apps in all three most-downloaded-new lists. However these apps are frequently no longer available on Google Play, presumably due to copyright issues. Also, many apps from the April’s least loved new apps list are no longer available on Google Play now, because either the developer or Google removed it from the market.


  • App quality: The least-loved category is not reserved to novice developers. Once in a while we encounter an app by a well-respected organization there, such as QuizToWin by Microsoft (May 2014), Going Abroad by the European Commission (June 2014), or Air Canada (Beta) by Air Canada (April 2014, non-games, English).


  • External events: The April list nicely showcases how an external event such as the heartbleed bug can affect what apps are getting popular on Google Play. Also, the two soccer related apps in the June 2014 most downloaded list might indicate a relation to the FIFA World Cup 2014 (carried out in June and July 2014). Moreover, note how the Google I/O 2014 app made it into the most loved apps list in June 2014.


  • Rating outliers: Selecting the top rated apps over a month sometimes leads to somewhat puzzling results. For instance the best rated app for June, a Chinese Casino app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.new777.android has 50,000 - 100,000 downloads, but also more than 50,000 ratings, which are all 5 stars! It’s hard to imagine how this is possible apart from methods that are not allowed by Google Play (like incentivizing your users to rate, or using bots). Apparently Google doesn’t detect or take action against gaming of ratings in all cases.


We’d be glad to read how you interpret this data, and hope you can gain valuable insights from this new feature on our stats pages!