August 11th, 2010
Good [Urban Airship] things come in threes: Push for Android, AirDrop pushes your Android apps, and Glaspey pulls up a chair
Sure, sure. The world of mobile apps is in the midst of a veritable gold rush. It’s a market that has the potential to make individual developers and small businesses rich beyond their wildest dreams.
But just like the original gold rush, there are a few problems with getting to that gold. The primary one is a little problem people are calling “discoverability.” That is, in a world of apps, how do people find yours? The other is retention. Or once they have the app, how do you keep users using it?
That’s right. The company that has become synonymous with Apple iPhone push notifications is widening their proverbial footprint in the mobile market. And they’re doing it in a big way for Android developers.
Let’s take a gander at how, shall we? We shall.
Let’s take the last problem first: getting folks to remember that your app is there on their mobile so that they continue to use it.
One way to remind users to use your app is to send them relevant information when and where they need it. And one of the best ways to do that is through a “push notification.” It’s just a little message that is sent from within the app to the user of that app. A reminder, if you will, of something important.
And I’d venture a guess that no company—outside of Apple—has more experience with these types of notifications than Urban Airship. So it just makes sense that Urban Airship would start providing push notification services for Android based phones. What’s more, it provides cross-platform support.
Urban Airship also gives developers more flexibility with their messaging.… the service operates across iPhone and BlackBerry in addition to Android — if your app is available on multiple platforms, you can use the Urban Airship backend to manage your campaigns across all of them.
For more information, see Urban Airship’s documentation on push for Android.
So if the person has already downloaded your app, that’s one thing. But what about finding it in the first place? Well, that’s the problem with discoverability. When users have a bevvy of apps from which to choose, how do they find yours?
One way is word of mouth.
And there is no better place to start with word of mouth than your existing contacts. Your friends and family as it were. But how are you supposed to contact all of those folks to let them know about your awesome new Android app?
Introducing AirDrop by Urban Airship. It’s a new offering that allows you to “Send your Android app to your friends. Enemies. App reviewers. Anyone you choose.”
But that’s not all. AirDrop also lets developers track the activity of their would be users. To figure out who is downloading what.
Once you upload your application to AirDrop, you can create custom redeem codes and links to share and distribute. You’ll be able to see who has redeemed codes and, best of all, we make it extremely easy to get the application onto the user’s device.
If the user clicks on the redeem link from their desktop, AirDrop provides that user with some options on how to navigate to that link from their mobile device. Options for sending the url from their browser to their device include a QR code, Google Talk (aka Jabber), and email. Once the user clicks the redeem code from their mobile device the download starts immediately.
Just to complete the trifecta of good news, it’s important to note that Jason Glaspey—known around Portland for his work on Unthirsty, Bac’n, Paleo Plan, and the Portland Incubator Experiment—has joined Urban Airship.
In his new role, Jason will be helping the Urban Airship crew with product strategy and management, ensuring that the company continues to build apps that make developers’ lives easier.
It’s a big move for Glaspey and a win for Urban Airship.
“It’s an amazing company, full of people I know and respect,” said Jason. “And I’m looking forward to helping them continue to kick ass with whatever that phone stuff is that they do. Oh. I mean WE do.”