I have written an application and now it’s time to publish it. I’m wondering where to publish it (in Market or in my Website) thinking about future updates, are there any advantages I should know about when publishing on my site? What are the advantages or disadvantages if I publish it in Android’s Market or in my site? I hope I’m making myself clear.
I actually had the same question. (I’ve created my publisher account yesterday.)
Advantages of publishing in Android Market:
- most people go to the Market to search for apps (bigger publicity)
- you get more feedbacks/comments from users
- update management
- one-click install -> easy for users
- It’s not free to create an account ($25)
- Some guidelines (but these aren’t really strict)
The main advantage of the market is free publicity — it’s a single location that many people go to to search for apps. There are also 3rd party sites that will effectively publicise your app for you in an attempt to sell advertising on the back of it. On top of that it gives you a mechanism for charging.
Maintaining and publicising your own site is a lot of extra work that you probably don’t need.
Advantages to posting on the Android Market
- It is easier for the user to find
- It is easy for the user to upgrade
- It is hassle-free for you to sell the app
- The developer portal for the Android Market has stats for number of downloads, error reports and other useful details
Advantages to self publishing
- You don’t have to follow their policies
- You don’t have to pay Google a cut for your app if you sell it
- There’s a nominal fee to sign up for the market
I have published a free app in the Android Market and I am quite happy with the results.
- Requires no technical knowledge on the part of the user to install your app.
- Your app is available to all supported devices.
- Updates are seamless and tied to the notification system.
- App updates must contain the same signing key
- No distribution platform restrictions.
- Easier for the developer.
- Some carriers disallow sideloading applications, limiting your audience.
Note that these aren’t necessarily advantage or disadvantages, just the reality as I see it for each option. I don’t think you’d be surprised to hear that I don’t personally consider distribution outside of the marketplace to have any significant advantages for your potential customers.