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Little Moments App: Let’s talk Android!

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Today I wanted to share a little bit about a non-iPhone/iPad version of the Little Moments App, and where my thinking is at with it all.

I get asked daily about the Android/Windows version, so it makes sense to address it. This is long. Pour a cup of tea {or vodka} and consume it as you please.

Firstly, Apps are expensive to make and unless you’re the Candy Crush people, it’s not that lucrative in return. I’ve always been transparent and I want to be transparent with you guys about the App here. The App was never about making money for me, it was always about making playing Photo A Day easier and more fun, and fulfilling that need within my community. That was my dream.

Little Moments has been more popular than I could have imagined. To hear people saying they want it for their phones or devices is exciting to me. And if I won lotto tomorrow, I would make that happen for Android/Windows users. I wouldn’t even think twice about it {must buy a lotto ticket}.

Making an iPhone/iPad version of the App was a long and costly process, and to convert that into an Android/Windows version is much more costly and time-consuming. Because it needs to be created again from scratch and then made to fit all of those different types of phones. I’m not technical, and I’m not a developer so I’m explaining it in a way that hopefully you understand, because it’s the only way that I understand.

Creating the App for iPhone was a risk in itself, but it was a calculated risk. We’d checked how many of my readers use their smart phones to access my blog, and 98% of those that do, do so using an iPhone or iPad. The other 2% was other smart phones. We couldn’t calculate which types of phones were used to play photo a day though, we just couldn’t attain that data.

My developer has also made Apps for iPhones and iPads before. We knew people did pay for Apps, so we could recoup our initial investment over time.

Google Play is a mystery to us. To make the App for Android/Windows is around $50,000 {a rough estimate at this stage}, and then it needs to be updated regularly to add in new Photo A Day lists, new design lists and fix any bugs. Each update is around $2000, and then when you have to factor in all of the devices for Androids, it’s more like $6000 a time.

We’ve talked to people who have made iPhone versions of their Apps, and then Android/Windows versions and those people have said they wouldn’t do Android again. They didn’t recoup their investment, and the constant outlay is expensive.

Even A Beautiful Mess, who’ve sold 1 million units of their App, said when recently released their new App Party Party:

“So this is tough, because we know so many of our readers have Android phones and would love to support us and try out this app. Like we’ve talked about in the past, developing for Android sadly isn’t as simple as copying and pasting code to the Google Play store. It’s a completely different platform, so you’re pretty much starting from scratch. In other words, it’s a huge investment. And our A Beautiful Mess Android launch wasn’t able to recoup our investment. To put it in perspective, it sold 1/20 the amount iOS did. So right now, Android is too risky for us, but we’re definitely open to it in the future. We’re keeping an eye on Google Play for sure.”

So, where am I at with the Android/Windows version?

This is something I REALLY want to do. I want to make the App, but I don’t want to risk my family’s finances to make it happen. At present I HATE {and I hate the word hate} that I’ve divided the photo a day community and haven’t been able to bring everyone the App. When we were making it, Stuart and I talked at length about how it was a bit crappy that we couldn’t make it a well-rounded experience for everyone. That bit sucks. To be really frank, to hear people so upset and angry that I haven’t created an Android/Windows version has made my cry more than once. Yes, I’m a sook. But more so I hate disappointing people.

I do have a REALLY brilliant sponsor that I’ve talked to that want to part-invest in the App. They’re really keen and want to make it happen. My concerns is the ongoing costs of maintaining it. Because I think the only more disappointing than not having an App for the Android/Windows user, is having an App that I can’t afford to upkeep! Eeek.

We’ve talked about alternatively making a mobile-responsive website that you can grab your prompts and reminders from, and use to play Photo A Day… but I feel that you’d be disappointed in not having the whole Little Moments experience {i.e. being able to edit your pics and make them fancy!}.

A lot of people have recommended crowd-funding, which is a brilliant idea, but still the issue of maintaining and updating the App pops it’s head up. I’m not sure what to do.

So this is where I’m at. I would love to know from you, if you’re an Android/Windows user, if you are interested in a Little Moments App, and if it’s something you’d purchase from the Google Play store. It’s not about deriving an income, I’d just like to know so I can research as to whether it would make enough money to cover the costs of maintaining and updating. This feels like the only way I can figure out if it’s viable.

UPDATE: The survey response was huge, and I went through all the results and sadly only 2% of people said they’d pay for an Android version of the App if it appeared in Google Play. From our research and these results, we’ve found that the App at present isn’t something we can move forward on. We’re still always looking at ideas and seeing what we can do.