I published my first Flutter Android app

I’ve been spending more time than I should playing video games with my friends during the COVID-19 lockdown(s). It’s been an easy (although sometimes frustrating) way to connect with my friends whilst having to spend time indoors. The game we’ve spent the most of time playing was Call of Duty’s Battle Royale: Warzone. It is for this game that we decided to create our first mobile application.

The Play store listing of our application: Warzone Meta

To get started I followed Dr Angela Yu’s course on Udemy titled The Complete 2021 Flutter Development Bootcamp with Dart.

It’s been a great way to learn Flutter and within a week or two I was able to get something of an MVP out of the door and into the Play Store.

Downloads

The application has been listed in the play store now for over 3 weeks. We have $8 worth of Google Advertisements per day to boost installations in the play store. So far we’ve spent around $200 on Google Ads. (We had some Google Ads coupons to burn)

This resulted in 5000+ installations, with currently 1000 active installations. About 50% of people that download the app also immediately uninstall it. However, we’re making so many changes that it is difficult to see the retention up to this point.

Importantly, we have also received 15 reviews up to this point averaging around a 4.0 score.

Engagement

We don’t track our users on the application and have no way of identifying what they are up to. However, the one thing we do have is a click counter on how many times certain items are clicked in the application. This gets sent in real-time to our Slack channel. And I can tell you: we muted it pretty quickly. Interested in how we got these messages in Slack? You can find the gist of it in this post. These line up to roughly 300 clicks per day currently.

Real-time click alerts via Slack

Monetisation

We had the idea to monetise the application with advertisements from the beginning to see if we could earn a little pocket money with it. However, getting those ads on the app turned out to be more work than expected.

Google Admobs was the worst integration experience I have had so far. It’s been a horrible experience because it kept denying my account without any explanation or help with how to resolve it. There’s no way to contact the team and after a week or two I just literally gave up.

With a little research, we identified Facebook’s Audience Network as a worthy alternative and implementing that was as simple as it should be. It took a couple of days to get the application validated, accounts checked etc but the process was well outlined from the start. When our documentation came short we were notified and got help on how to resolve it.

Lessons learned

We got 5000+ installs, with 1000 active users doing more than 300 clicks per day on our application. We haven’t received our first payment yet and will have to tell you about that at a later stage. We received 20 reviews so far with an average score of 3.8/5.

  1. Ask for reviews early. It wasn’t till a couple of weeks into production that we implemented a review pop-up into the application and started receiving ratings. Getting good ratings is rewarding and will help you with your organic reach.
  2. Get Google Ad coupons and use them wisely. We received $100 in Google Ads credits and used them before having a proper version of the application that could retain users. We knew our application had a market fit but the expansion would now be more costly.
  3. Monetisation processes are not fun. Make sure you check your providers early and get started with the process as soon as possible: it will not be as straightforward as one might think.

Have an Android device and are interested in checking out the mobile application? You can find it here.

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Mart Noten

A builder from the https://www.nbtl.blog writing technical articles focussing on cloud technologies.