Advanced Task Manager

Aaron La, the developer behind Advanced Task Manager, has opened his books and gives us some interesting insight into the Android Market, profitability and his own opinions of the market.We'll let Aaron break down the numbers for you, but some interesting points:

  • The free version of ATM can bring in as much or more advertising revenue monthly than straight sales of its 99-cent counterpart.
  • Aaron hasn't quit his day job, but an average of $10,000 a month is quite a lot of pocket change.
  • Google Checkout and the Market app themselves are a couple of big anchors holding back Android. (And that's a sentiment certainly echoed by a whole lot of people).
  • The 24-hour return policy isn't evil.

Give the entire blog post a read. It's a good one. [ via @romainguy]


Reader comments

Developer: Android is a viable revenue stream, posts numbers to prove it


It probably doesn't hurt that just about every Verizon in-store rep will recommend and/or install ATM any time someone brings in an Android device that is having problems.

Yup, the 24 hour return policy is awesome - it actually gave me confidence in buying a couple of apps I wouldn't have bought otherwise, for lack of being able to try them (or to try the full features).

Amazing how Google has hedged their model. If you choose to release a paid version, Google gets 30%. If you choose to release a version with ads via AdMob, Google owns that too. I think it's a smart move. The only thing I would get scared of, as an app developer, would be Google releasing their own app or service that eclipses your app's capability. In this case, maybe a firmware update with better task management options, rendering your app obsolete.

Side note: I'm actually surprised at how much Arron La was able to make from ads. I helped launch a relatively successful website recently, and the owner made very little at the start on the ads. The site is now being acquired, so it paid off - but it seems crazy that mobile ads are pulling in that kind of revenue. I guess there are fewer popular apps on the market than popular websites on the internet - but I'm just surprised that many people are viewing/clicking mobile ads.

(this is my first comment, just joined the forums too)

You got to realize that the screen is smaller, therefore, a ton of people could just be clicking ads by accident... Ad Free FTW

Get that money while it's good, guys! It really amazes me this whole mobile market has gone on for so long. First Apple's app store nets developers six figure salaries for writing an app that makes a gun cocking noise, or shows a cartoon animal taking a dump. Three years in and there is no shortage of adolescents (or wannabe adolescents) who will pay for fart apps.

Now on Android we see a deluge of apps that, while well thought out and written, really do stuff that should be part of the OS to begin with. Will Android turn into a base layer for paid or ad apps? I for one would like to see the phone do as much as possible in the core and only require apps for specific outside functionality. If we really do see third party apps take the lead for everyday functionality like desktop, keyboard, task management, etc. it will become a nightmare to keep everything in balance and we will see quality suffer.

I just downloaded the free version, only to have his app tell me that because of the way 2.2 handles closing apps (and devs can't close other apps procesess/services, he's morphing the app into something else.

I'm amazed there are so much money in the ad supported apps. I personally have never and will never click an ad on the phone. I just find them annoying.

I'm sure there is a component for click-throughs as well as each time an ad is loaded.

But when you look at the number of downloads (>250,000), that's a lot of views in a month. Let's say on average each user opened the app twice a day. That's 15,000,000 views per month. As far as advertising rates go, $10,000 for that much face time is a steal.

We have not had a big problem with viruses yet, but it is coming. We are on the precipice of a major change in the way we get our internet. Mobile is taking over and more and more of us are handling more and more of our day to day business through these devices. Microsoft has all but sewn up most holes in their operating system so where have the bad guys gone to get into our machines lately? Flash. What do our phones running 2.2 have? Flash. When Sprint and HTC closed down the Evo on their very first OTA how did we find the next way in? Flash. And that is only one easy way in. Most people will give the keys to the front door when loading a new app. I love this new way of doing things but people by nature are lazy. When they see those warnings one too many times when loading a new app they become complacent. Next thing you know they are loading an app blindly ignoring what the app is supposed to have access too. You can laugh at me all you want but the time is coming soon. With devices that are connected 24/7 it is only a matter of time the bad guys start attacking the new Microsoft of the mobile age. That people, is why I NEVER click on any mobile ads. I refuse to be the first dumb ass to be taken advantage of ;)

Viruses are pointless on a linux based system. All you have to do IF you ever got a virus is recover a backup from before the virus was there and you're set. Just another reason to have a rooted phone i suppose.

The word "virus" was used as a blanket term meaning virus, trojan. malware of any kind.

#1. The way Android is exploding the number of handsets out there not rooted will be very large indeed so reverting back to a previous version will not be an option.

#2. The handsets that are rooted will be even MORE exposed than those that are not. Great you will be able to roll back to a non infected version; after EVERYONE in your contact list has been infected and the bad guy got hold of all of your financial info. Yeah your one smart cookie.

Just to play devil's advocate here. In the market this app is either #1-3 in the download rank for free apps and usually in the top 10 for paid apps in the productivity category. When I went tl Verizon they highly recommended that I downloa it to help with battery life so I'm thinking millions of downloads. So the top productivity app only nets the developer around 10k a month. Honestly that's kind of pathetic. If you're the#1 free appin the app store the ad revenue is going to be 5 to 10 times more. Paid apps even more than that. With less devices. There's something wrong with that.