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So a lot has changed in the smartphone market in the last year (Specifically Androids market share, OS updates and marketplace updates). Given these changes I think it is appropriate to ask this question again.

I would love to quit my job and write Android apps fulltime. :-)

Is this yet feasible for the average lone developer? What have volumes been like?

(Happy to turn this into a community wiki before all the Grinch's start moaning but looks like I don't have the option)

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It's definitely feasible, but will take some effort (as everything does!) I've made over $20,000 in the past 6 months from ads in my free Android apps. I'm blogging about it on my website, and getting a lot of feedback from other independent developers who are making similar amounts of money.

A few points that are worth considering:

  • It's much easier to produce a successful ad-supported (free) app than a successful paid app on Android. iOS is the opposite - paid apps rule the roost over there.
  • You need a lot of downloads to make much money from ads. And I mean a lot. Preferably millions.
  • It's a volatile marketplace. Nothing is guaranteed. I've seen my income skyrocket one day, only to collapse the next. Don't write apps if you're looking for a stable job.

Having said all that, it's definitely an exciting area field to work in :) I'm really enjoying being an Android developer, and while I haven't quit my day job, the income is a nice supplement.

See my answer to this question for some more info about what it takes to make a profit from Android apps.

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Maxim,

You should check this link, this, and finally this one from the same blog if you are interested in know how some developers are getting some cash from Android Market.

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There are many trash apps in the market. And its important to show the best among this junk. With good application you have a great chance to be at top-most positions and to have very good monetary profit.

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Do you have any specific data to back that up? Especially on the odds of an application rising to the top and making profit. –  Anna Lear Apr 13 '11 at 15:27
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I've been pretty successful on the Android Market, but still keep my day job. If I didn't have a mortgage, kids, other debt, then I would probably do mobile apps full time.

The fantastic thing about apps is that even with just limited success of 10-20 sales per day, the dollars add up because the app stores are open 365 days a year. So say you have an app selling for $1.99 and it sells 15 a day, that's about $7600 over a year (your cut).

Not a ton of money, but 15 a day is not a lot of sales either. So put out a few different apps and maybe one takes off and the others just earn a bit.

So it can be done. I could probably quit my day job now, based on sales that I had last year, but its still risky. The markets are fickle. A few bad reviews and your sales drop. Or competitors move in and offer a free version, etc. So definitely more risk than a 9-5 job, but it can be done.

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Android is the OS these days and its picking up very fast, Saying that Android is still in development mode and there is something new added in OS everyday so there will be lot of work and rework on existing applications.

Android already have more than 100,000 applications and growing everyday, there are lot of opportunities for good android developers and it will be at-least for next couple of years.

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100,000+ apps could also suggest an oversaturated market, which is no good for developers wanting to get a piece of the pie. –  Morgan Herlocker Apr 13 '11 at 17:06
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