Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Little Disappointed with Some Android Users.

Alex M - June 6, 2012 - Samsung Galaxy S2 with version 1.9.2

Money making scheme

I've had this theme for a while, and only NOW do you add Leadbolt which is a shame as I enjoyed using this theme. Recently I've been uninstalling themes that implement ads as I see it just as a way to make us buy "pro" version that miraculously has no ads!! This theme didn't need ads or Leadbolt last week, so why now?

As mentioned on my blog last month, i have integrated a sponsored ad into my "Free Blue Neon Go Launcher EX Theme". This was due to the continuing drop of sales from my paid apps/themes. After noticing that "paid apps" is not really the best way to get some monetary support from the users, i dug around to see what else is there to do. It was a challenge from my end because it is a little hard to integrate an ad system to themes because of it's lack of user interface. There is really no place for me to place banners. Luckily! I have stumbled upon on Leadbolt Ad Network. One of the way you can advertise using leadbolt is through the user's notification bar.

I was very hesitant at first in implementing an ad through the user's notification bar. But I thought to myself, this is really not any more annoying than other types of ads shown EVERYTIME an app is opened (like wall blockers or banner ads). At least for the notification ad you would only see the ad ONCE a day and can be easily ignored/cleared. So i went ahead and tried it and set the settings so the ad would show up 12 hours after the app is installed and recurs ONLY once a day.

Just like my initial thoughts. Some of my users were outraged with the implementation of the sponsored ad. I received comments like "you're a scam", "this is just a spam", "you're a terrible dev for using ads". Really people, how hard is it to support a developer through a simple ad that does not get in the way if you don't want to pay for the paid version? I hate to say this but there are a lot of android users out there who are cheap and ungrateful. This might be the reason why the Apple Store has more serious developers.

Maybe all these disgusts by the users are just because this is something new to them. Maybe one day they will turn around and accept this as just another way of placing an ad. Maybe some of these android users will soon realize that we developers will not be able to keep doing what we're doing for free (totally free) for too long. Just maybe.

But for all those who still continued to support my work, I thank you so much! It is much appreciated. You guys are the reason why I am still able to keep on going =)

Antonio - June 9, 2012 - HTC Wildfire S with version 1.9.4

Nice theme! One of the best out there. Don't mind these cheap paranoid Android ...

Nice theme! One of the best out there. Don't mind these cheap paranoid Android users who can't support even with a simple non-obtrusive ad.

It makes me smile and not lose hope when I get comments like this.


  1. Good point of view. Some users just do not understand that we are not teenagers that are making apps by nights as a hobby and just for their pleasure. We need to monetize it some way. Good Luck!

    1. Right now it's a little early to tell. But i have been getting a lot of 1 star ratings, sadly. I will see how it stands at the end of the month. I'll update you with it. I just hope android users will offer their understanding. Good luck to us!

  2. I hate these kind of ads but, as a future Android dev, I appreciate that they are needed for revenue.

    It's as if some users think that all Android devs are paid by Google to make these apps or something. You even see some users posting comments like "FIX THIS!!" in all caps as if we are working for them. Very disappointing.

    Only thing I worry about is what happens when a lot of apps begin to implement notification style ads? Will the users get so annoyed that they begin a collective boycott of such apps? Time will tell I suppose.

    Right now, I'm not sure which ad system I'll go with.

    1. "Only thing I worry about is what happens when a lot of apps begin to implement notification style ads?"

      I thought about that myself also. But I feel like this kind of advertisement is very limited to apps that are unique. For example, my themes do not really have a User Interface where I can plug a banner advertisement. But to be honest, once I can figure out a way where I can just plug a banner instead of a notification ad then I would do it.

      I have multiple apps in the market but I only have 2 apps with this kind of advertisements. Putting them in all my apps would just be greedy and not ideal. I would not want to flood any users, who decides to download all my apps, with ads. With this kind of advertisement it takes a lot of planning and strategy I noticed.

      I do understand where some of the pissed off users are coming from. But I wish that they'd understand that it is not about greed but it is about getting something in return for our invested time. They need to understand that not all developers are lucky enough to make thousands of dollars on their paid apps. They need to understand that we, small time developers, need a lot of support from the users to keep on going.

      Do you have a link to any of your apps? I would like to check them out if you don't mind.

  3. it's not about accepting ads. it's about not being explicitly asked!

    also I'd recommend installing, let's say, 15 apps using airpush or similar technology (without warning) on your android device. let's see how long it takes till you'll be annoyed...

    maybe you could take a look at Tom Spring's article on that issue:

    never mind, cheers

    1. Hi,

      I do understand where the outrage is coming from. That's why in my case I fully disclosed that there is an ad notification implemented in the app (Which all devs should do). I disclosed this under "app description" and "update details". It is not within my control if the user reads the description or not, before downloading. I also included how to opt-out from the ads under the description. Also, I have an alternative paid version for those who are willing to shell out 99cents.

      Here is what i have observed though. After the ads implementation, 90% of the 1 star ratings are from USA. And 90% of the 5 star ratings are from outside of USA. I don't know if that says anything, but I see a little bit of a pattern. Seems like mostly US users are the ones bothered by it.

      With that said, i feel like my case is very different. My themes do not have a UI where I can place banner ads. I am currently looking for a way to implement ads a different way because my ratings are being affected.

      But for now, i'll take the vocal 1 star-rating minority. At least now i'm making a little something to support what I do.

      From my point of view. People are slowly getting used to this kind of ads. But i guess we'll see where this will head to.

      What about you? what's your stand on this matter? Are you completely against it? Or is it just the sneaky developers, who do not disclose anything, that bothers you?

    2. @avillardo Great themes, and you are right, no UI = use push ads. But it's true, lots of apps with push ads = "push nightmare". I would like to use push ads on my android apps, but I have a low number of installs (growing very slowly) because my apps are tools for biz people and not for STUPID teenagers under 25... and I'm sure 95% users would uninstall.... so I think my only option is Admob and publish more apps (lots of apps = lots of impressions = more clicks = more money). I need to reach 100 apps published. Yes, you make lots of money with leadbolt, but I'm sure you are not proud of your apps,... "ugly found app", "fake xray app", "fake cracked screen app"... come on... COME ON. And you think you can write a $30 "get rich with android apps" book... the title should be "get rich with stupid android apps for stupid southamerican teenagers".