Surviving the Google Play Onslaught: When Droids Attack

by Colin Lee | at MinneBar 11 | 3:45 – 4:35 in Gandhi | View Schedule

Going live on the Google Play Store with your new Android app can be a thrilling experience for your startup in more ways than one. Countless developers launched apps expecting a similar experience to their iOS launch. Then the hordes arrived and discovered a broken experience that left them frustrated.

Thousands of Android device manufacturers sold tens of thousands of unique Android devices where many present unique difficulties. These are real numbers, not hyperbole. It's easy to underestimate the challenges of Android success.

However, it's also easy to underestimate the opportunity. The Google Play store represents 80% smartphone market share. To become a top app today, you cannot easily afford to give up Android users.

It's not only possible to succeed as a small startup on the Android platform. The Play Store may even be easier for a lean startup. Most great Play Store successes began with rough edges and dramatic failures, but grew because customers understood their value.

I'll explain how to:

  • keep user ratings above 4.5 stars

  • launch fast and learn fast

  • test your app cheaply and effectively

  • catch major flaws before they get out of hand

  • plan an effective revenue model

  • get featured by Google

All levels

Colin Lee

Colin is an experienced software engineer specializing in Android development. He worked for Mozilla on the Firefox for Android browser rewrite. He has worked for many successful companies in the past fifteen years, including Amazon, Flipgrid (acquired by Microsoft), Cray, Pearson VUE, and When I Work. He runs the Twin Cities Kotlin User Group in his spare time.

Colin has a strong background in infosec as both a former Amazon security certifier and as a security expert on the Android team at Mozilla. Lately, he's been conducting code security reviews for PullRequest.

He has been programming since he learned BASIC on the TRS-80 computer in his parents' basement at age six. He has been writing Android apps since soon after the first Android phone launched and has done so professionally since the last space shuttle landed. In that time, he's probably been pitched every silly app idea.