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I am a teenage hobbyist in high school, and I mostly release my software as open source; therefore I have little experience actually selling software, let alone in a specific area -- Android phones.

Now, I have received requests from several users of one of my applications (basically, an advanced calculator) to create an Android version of it.

It is written in C, but I saw the Android NDK and it looks like I could port it relatively easily; also, I believe it would make a lot of sense to have such an app on a phone.

I do not have an Android phone myself, and so the incentive is simply potential revenue from the app. However, I have several questions that I am not able to answer myself.

So, first, do you think it makes sense at all? Would such an app generate enough revenue to compensate for the porting time? More generally, how much revenue can one expect from an Android app (just looking for a rough approximation, I really have no clue about this)?

Secondly, is such porting feasible without actually having an Android phone (I might get access to some for final testing, but I won't have it full-time), justing using the emulator?

And last, I have read the standard Google words that publishing is super-easy, etc. Is that actually true? For example, is it necessary to put in substantial advertising work to make the project a success?

Thanks a lot!

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Just do it. ;-) –  Mudassir Jan 28 '11 at 4:38
    
An advanced calculator...are you certain something like this doesn't already exist? –  Aaron McIver Jan 28 '11 at 5:04
    
Honestly, I couldn't think of a better excuse the buy the latest and greatest Android handset available on the market. –  user281377 Jan 28 '11 at 8:11
    
What platform is your application available for, currently? –  Marcie Jan 28 '11 at 13:41
    
@Aaron: probably, although I once looked on the Android market on a friends' phone and nothing as advanced as mine was there. –  houbysoft Jan 28 '11 at 20:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think probably if you think you can do it for not too much effort, you should do it just so you can show your potential employers in the (near) future that you released an app for Android while in high school.

That will demonstrate to them that you have what it takes to Get Stuff Done.

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May be not now but in future this is definitely going to help you out. Remember that programming is an art - the more your practice, the more you learn. I'm currently doing an internship at a very cool company. I got a call from the company because I rewrote one of their open source software and ported it to a different OS. I still suck at programming but I code a lot and learn something new everyday. So, just do it for the sake of practice, and who knows your app might be a hit and might earn good amount of money. Also, read this short, but very interesting article that is somehow related to this context: http://blog.fairsoftware.net/2010/11/10/how-to-land-a-job-at-google-or-elsewhere/

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Yes, make the android version. It'll be good experience, look good on a resume, and maybe make you some money and/or lead you to better money making projects. I'm not seeing what the downside is here.

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Nothing could possibly matter less than whether you make any money off this. You have decades ahead of you to weigh costs and benefits, to worry about supporting a family, maintaining a house, paying your dental bills, to be devoured by the minutae of life and commerce.

Right now, you have a technical problem to solve. If it sounds interesting to you, solve it. You'll gain more from just solving the problem, in the long run, than you could ever make off the app itself.

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