Saturday, March 16, 2013

Android indie developers' blogs

I promised you something special this time and I hope I can live up to it. I've put a lot of work in preparing and writing this post, so I hope you enjoy it.

What made me start my Android adventure and this blog was other people and their experiences. I kept studying some crazy app ideas, income reports, success stories and pitfalls. Eventually, I thought to myself: "why don't you start doing something yourself instead of just following other people's stories and envying them their courage". And that's how it all began. So now, I would like to share what I've been reading with you to maybe give you a little push to take action or just let you know that you're not alone and there are others struggling to succeed by doing what they like the most - writing Android applications.

The order of the blogs mentioned is pretty random, although I start with the ones I know best and spare the ones that seem discontinued or abandoned for the end. I tried to contact the authors to write me a short description of themselves and what you can expect from their content, so whenever I got the answer, I included it as well.

Chris, the author, is a web developer, photographer and Android programmer. He's been publishing his income reports and various ways of making money online since April 2009. You can read about his slow progression from a freelancer who creates websites into a skilled mobile developer who earns about $7000 a month (as of hist last income report in November 2011). He's also the author of "Make money on Android" ebook (now discontinued), which helped many to begin their Android adventure and brought him a lot of money. He has his own Facebook pageYouTube channel and Twitter.

What I like about his blog is that he doesn't focus only on mobile business but gives you some other ideas of earning a decent income (like iStockPhoto, website flipping, ebook writing and affiliate programs). Through his blog I also found out about Patt Flynn and his, which I'm absolutely fascinated by right now and I'm in the middle of listening to the podcast series.

If you're interested in Chris's apps, you can find them on his Google Play profile. The most popular ones are X-Ray Scanner - a prank app pretending to x-ray scan your hand (between 5,000,000 10,000,000 installs!) and Cracked Screen - another prank app feigning a cracked screen (between 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 installs!).

Unfortunately, Chris's activity has gone down recently. His last post was published 14 Jan 2013. He remains active on Twitter though and it seems that he's trying to write iPhone apps now.

Making Money With Android

David Webb is an Australian web and Android developer. He started out in April 2011 with a goal of making $1000 per month on his apps. In November 2012 he made more than $5600. On his blog you can see his detailed income reports and follow the whole story as well as find tips that can be helpful when writing and publishing your apps. He also runs a forum where people share valuable information concerning development problems, advertising, promotion techniques, app ideas, income reports and much more. He has 19 apps on his Google Play account, the most popular ones are Fake iPhone 4S (between 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 installs), Fake iPhone 5 (between 1,000,000 5,000,000 installs) and Micro CPU Monitor (between 50,000 100,000 installs).

David's blog has been very motivating for me. It's always good to know that there are successful people out there and you have a chance to become one of them. His forum is definitely worth checking out, because it contains tons of valuable information and lets you connect with Android hobbyists having similar problems as you.


A blog by Johannes Borchardt - a former C# programmer, Android developer and founder of Andlabs. He started out in Arpil 2011 and his goal was very similar to David Webb's - to make $1000 per month on his apps. Right now he's almost there, having earned $962 (as of his last income report). He publishes his income reports regularly and sometimes throws in tutorials on some specific aspects of Android programming, such as loading GIF images or using AndEngine (OpenGL Game Engine). His best apps are AL Voice Recorder (between 500,000 and 1,000,000 installs) and 3D Invaders (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs). You can see the rest of them (6 total) on his Google Play account.

What I like about this blog is Johannes's transparency with the money. It's very helpful to know, how much you can earn having a specific number of installs, what kind advertising platforms people use and what profits they bring. Also, he was the reason why I started working on my own game (not finished yet). Hopefully, it'll be as popular as 3D Invaders.

Ziggy Games

Ziggy is a former C/C++ programmer with more than 15 years of experience. He decided to make Android games as a hobby when he got his first smartphone in early 2011. He uses libgdx for his projects, so if you're interested in learning some 2D graphics, you should definitely take a look. Ziggy experiments a lot with Google Play alternatives such as Samsung App Store, Amazon App Store and Barnes&Noble. He reveals very detailed income reports (he's making about $300 per month) along with publishing and marketing tips. All of his games on Google Play have been quite successful, even though they are rather simple and based on free graphic resources found online. If you want to see some examples, check out Neil Rajah (between 50,000 and 100,000 installs) and Bus Jumper (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs). Both of them have been reviewed by various Android game portals, so if you want to learn how Ziggy achieved it, that's another reason for visiting his site.

Trey Smith Blog

Trey Smith isn't really an Android developer, but I found him while I was doing my research on blogs and I liked his page instantly. He creates iPhone games and he is good at it. He even runs a separate company that teaches people how to make them. How cool is that!

On his blog you can find useful information on how to outsource your work and monetize apps. Everything there is very professional and well designed. Just check out his welcome video and you'll love it! Trey's making some crazy money and he's totally out of my league right now, but his story gives me motivation and someone to look up to.

Martin's random and not so random knowledge

A great blog started in June 2011 by Martin - an experienced software developer and designer. He doesn't publish his income reports, although he does have some great apps in his portfolio such as Note l!st (between 10,000 and 50,000 installs), Wish l!st (between 5,000 and 10,000 installs) and a beautiful Linear Clock widget.

Here's what he writes about his site:

My blog is mainly about Android development in general. Although I have spent a few posts on links to other blogs that write income reports etc, it’s not the main focus point of my blog. I try to share useful tips and guides for other developers.

I couldn't really describe it better. If you're looking for professional tips on design or just tutorials helping you create your own app step by step, give it a try.


Here's what the author wrote about himself and the blog:

About me:
I am a hobby android developer. I was a Java (Swing) developer, but now I only manage software teams and don't code anymore.

About my blog:
I started last year developing android apps and decided to make my progress public through my blog. One of the goals of my blog is to show how the expectations which app will be successful and the reality greatly diverge and what apps will be the most profitable. I suppose that in this line of thoughts the most interesting part of my blog are the income stats...

Indeed, nenoff publishes his detailed income reports, earning up to $400 per month. He also reveals his conclusions about what kind of apps has a chance of being popular. He uses libgdx, so if you're interested in what can be achieved with it check out his Google Play profile. His apps with best revenue are: Russian Roulette Fart Revolver (between 10,000 and 50,000 installs), Moon Racer - 2D Retro Shooter (between 10,000 and 50,000 installs) and Orcs Invasion Tower Defence (again between 10,000 and 50,000 installs).

My Indie Story

A very well balanced blog created by Jörg - a successful indie developer. Let the autor's words speak by themselves:

I have been working in the german video-game industry for several years unil I founded my own company in 2011 to realize my own ideas.
My blog mainly focuses on my "monthly reports", which are basically small "post-mortems" that tell about stuff that I did in the last four weeks, decisions I have made, and the impact they had. I want to give other developers useful information and help them making money with their apps. I also sell an e-book that contains all the information from my blog combined in one PDF, with some additional information that cannot be found on my blog.

Great success story, crazy revenue, pretty apps (e.g. Bloo Kid with almost 500,000 installs). A must read.

Mobile App Tycoon

This blog is really weird... but still extremely good. The author is an 18 year old tycoon wannabe. His apps are making him about $10 per month and only one of them - MadLibs Word Generator has more than a thousand installs. So what's so special about the site?

Thomas (because that's the author's name) is going over the roof with promotion. He wrote his own free ebook on Android app ideas (you can get it when you sign up for the newsletter), he has a Facebook page and he even makes podcasts with a professional voice actor doing the intros. I haven't really had time to go through every single one of them (there have been five episodes so far), but I'll definitely do it, because they are extremely interesting. And so is the rest of the blog. There are market analyses, interviews with developers, income reports and productivity tips.

Is Thomas a prodigy? I don't know, but I definitely want to follow his progress and find out.

Marve Games

The site is soon to be replaced with the new one. At the time of writing this post it's still under construction, so I'm giving you the old address.

Steve started his adventure about a year ago and has created 3 games so far. The most popular one is Block Jumper (between 1,000 and 5,000 installs). All of them have a very cool retro style.

Steve's revenue oscilates around $30 per month, but his work looks promising and he seems very serious about promotion. He has a Facebook page and Twitter.

Here's a couple of words from the author himself:

My WordPress blog started towards the end of my final year at University. I wanted to make games and I thought Android would provide a platform for creating interesting, thought provoking, funny, simple and narrative driven games. I didn't really succeed with all these points but in the short period of time I did create and learn quite a lot. I just blogged about what I would want to read in Android developer's blog so income reports, market stats, coming up with game ideas and the pros/cons of different ad companies. After 3/4 months of the blog I got an awesome full-time job as a Java Developer. For some months now I stopped blogging and working on Android projects but I have recently started to put time back into game development not just with Android but with Flash, AGS, Unity and any other framework/engine that I like the look of. My new site can be found at

I hope he'll keep posting new content, because I'm curious how it works out for someone in a similar position as mine.

UPDATE: The new blog is up an running here:

Trilena Games

Two girls from Estonia writing Android games! Can it work? Yes it can. And not only work - they are excellent! I almost fell in love with them reading an interview on What is more, they make about $1000 per month (or perhaps even more now). Their apps look really good as well. They created Monkey Live WallpaperVodoo Live Wallpaper and Brained - all with more than 100,000 installs on Google Play. And that's not the only market they utilize. Hell, they're even active in China! Did I mention that they are still students? Anyone wants to sign up for a trip to Estonia?

Peter Reitinger from Spain makes Android games. Sometimes very popular ones, like Robo Miner (between 500,000 and 1,000,000 installs). All of them look very nice, even if they haven't won such a large audience. You can play some in your browser.

No income reports can be found here and it seems that Android programming is just Peter's spare time activity. He writes mostly about various environment news, gadgets, software and design. Very diverse content, but maybe that's what you're looking for.

Wolfgang studied computer graphics and digital image processing, so he knows how to make his apps look good. He's been writing a blog since September 2011 and has created 14 apps so far with more than 155,000 installs in total. You should definitely check some of them out: Scribble Racer (10,000-50,000 installs), GPS Widget (100,000-500,000 installs) or Wiener Würstel-Kompass (5,000-10,000 installs). I really like Wolfgang's style and wish him all the best for the future. He has just gained another faithful follower.

Making my way to live from passive income

Recently started (July 2012) blog by Steve. His first app didn't look very promising, but Fake iPhone 4s and Fake iPhone 5 Launcher seem to have turned the scale with more than 50,000 installs each. I can't wait for the next income report!

Here's what Steve wrote about his site:

Well I am a software engineer trying to live from apps exclusively and while it is definitely hard to do so it´s not impossible :). I don´t update my blog that much frequently since I have more important things to attend, I now only update it talking about themes that other android bloggers aren´t so familiar with like Google Analytics and stuff.

He might make the next success story, so don't miss it!

Android development and income Blogged blogging blog

Only 5 entries here by a Bulgarian developer coding for Android in his spare time. Nonetheless, his apps are very successful. Just take a look at Electric Screen (between 500,000 and 1,000,000 installs) or Electric Touch (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs). Although, there's not much to read besides app descriptions, the blog gives you some ideas about what kind of programs can be popular and proves that even simple ones can reach 1,000,000 installs. Hopefully, more content will follow.

UPDATE: I've just got a message from Ilyan. Get ready for his great come back:

So, my occupation is a software engineer, more specific - windows system programing and security, but I decided to give a shot with android at my free time. 1 month later I released my first app - aComb made using opengl. I expected nice profit after but ... it was a fail at all, so I put Java and Android away. Few months later I returned to them, I had fresh ideas and I was inspired by KreCi. Then I made my electric apps. I was reading almost every dev and income blog that I was able to found in the internet. I created mine blog with idea to share my income reports at the beginning but later I decide to keep that information away from audience and KreCi has fault about this decision. I think he had a law and tax problems with authorities so he stop to publish his reports long ago. (probably now he has a company paying all taxes and duties to the government). So I still keep it simple just to advertise my work, give some advice if needed and to give users a chance to contact me if they want to.
My success came when AppBrain list Electric Screen in their HOT 10 apps, a day after Google put me on their front page in trending apps. I reached near more than 20k+ active installations daily and ~300$ daily income. Bad thing was that this was for a short I was at the top of the mountain and falling down was expected. Now I am keeping average income ~400-500$ monthly and that is OK for me while at the meantime i am working on a bigger project - a game which will be released in a month I hope :)

Tim Mackenzie, the author, focuses on Android marketplaces and advertising platforms. He also sells his reports in the form of an ebook, promising to explain how to make $1000 per month on just one app. It only made me wonder, why he doesn't do it himself... Anyway, he does have some interesting apps: Droid Secret Tips (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs) and Droid Secret Tips Pro (between 1,000 and 5,000 installs - $2 each). You can find all of them on his Google Play profile. Apparently, most of his income comes from other Android marketplaces. Tim's reports look pretty decent and detailed. Especially ad network comparisons and descriptions of sites where you can publish your apps. Perhaps it's just my automatic scepticism turning on whenever someone tries to sell something to me.

Quakatoo | Games for fun

Someone is making a good job with writing games here. Not very popular yet, but they do look nice. Just check out Recombustor (between 10,000 and 50,000 installs). With such great potential, I wonder why he doesn't make more of them. He can definitely do better than $100 per month.

Edward Kim - Personal blog

Edward's musings about his apps, revenue, piracy, app contests, etc. Last post is from March 2012. Maybe his Car Locator (between 50,000 and 100,000 installs - € 2,99 each) brought him so much money, that he decided to retire? It wasn't just one time luck though. He also made some other successful apps - just take a look at his Google Play profile.

Edward has another blog, where he writes about his product - Android Licenser, which is supposed to help you "Monetize Your Android App Better". Worth checking out, but again, the last post was written in August 2011, so it might be slightly outdated now.

A very interesting blog with income reports (most recent one revealing $20 per month) and monetization strategies. Unfortunately the latest post is from March 2012.

I was really surprised how many downloads some of the apps created by this guy got. For example Christmas Calendar 2012 has between 50,000 and 100,000 installs and Stop the Bomb - Memory Game between 10,000 and 50,000 installs. It's better than some games can ever achieve and these are only simple apps...

Android App Profits

Basically income reports brought to you by... I don't know who. He also claims he can teach you how to start your app empire... if you pay a certain amount of money. However, the apps are there on Google Play and some of them do have plenty of installs: Impossiballz (between 100,000 and 500,000), Buzz Cut Hair Trimmer Clipper (between 100,000 and 500,000), Police Stun Gun (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs). Most of the income is supposed to come from RevMob interstitial adds, which might be worth analyzing. The last post was published at the end of November 2012, so who knows if there's going to be more of them.

Code For Travel

Two guys, one blog, not so many posts. Seems still active. The last income report from November 2011 suggests a little less than $300 per month. Their apps are pretty simple - a typical example being Wolfenstein 3D soundboard with between 10,000 and 50,000 installs. Contains some technical tutorials. Nothing less, nothing more.

fiveHellions Development

Brian gives us very detailed income reports... and some relationship advice. Last posted in May 2012. Is he going to come back? He's done a 6-month break in the past, so who knows. He was earning about $80 per month on his 30 Day Relationship Challenge (more than 50,000 installs), DrunkGreenRobots Drinking Game and five other apps.

Wireless Toy

A blog by Lewis - a student from London. Seems discontinued, but definitely worth checking out, because it shows you that you don't need much education or experience to create a simple application and sell it with some success. Lewis made an app called Harry Potter Drinking Game, but it seems no longer available on Google Play. However, there's another of his creations: Gizmos Adventure - apparently a final year project.

My android income

Only 3 posts. The last one from April 2012. However, this guy has been extremely successful with his apps. Just take a look at his Google Play profile, especially at Amazing Broken Display (between 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 installs), Cracked Screen (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs) or Amazing Scary Display (between 100,000 and 500,000 installs). Not that I think his ideas are original. Apparently, there's still demand for broken screen apps and screemers...

Cris is trying to make money on Android apps. He gets to $120 per month and then he stops posting (June 2012). There's no information about his apps. There are some nice getting started tutorials though. Income reports are pretty detailed as well.

Android Hobby Development

Quoting the blog's description:

My Android Development Blog and Resources. Learn from my success and mistakes and you too can make a revenue from your android development hobby. Info on everything from Admob ecpm all the way through to coming up with ideas for your android applications.

The last post is titled "I'm not dead"... and it comes from March 2012. The author managed to reach $80 per month on his Drinking Game - Kings Cup (between 50,000 and 100,000 installs) and Pickup Mobile Wingman (between 1,000 and 5,000 installs). Well, too bad it actually is dead.

Droid Success

The title may be a little misleading here. The one and only income report on the site indicates the revenue of $1. That was before DayZ Mobile was released though and it scored between 50,000 and 100,000 installs. Anyway, the blog seams dead now (last post in June 2012). Read if you're looking for a diary of a wannabe Android developer with some OpenGL tips.

Final notes

I haven't realized there are so many good blogs out there. Although I had to spend a great deal of time reading the content, it has been a real pleasure. I'm definitely going to follow some people's progress. I might even mail some of them to ask for advice.

I hope you enjoyed reading and got interested by at least one site. If I missed an important one, let me know and I'll post an update. What other blogs do you read? Maybe you're writing one yourself and want to share? Speak up and let me know what you think!


  1. Thanks B. Starting to work through them.......hope I can be worthy of a mention in the future. WB.

  2. Brilliant list, has made sourcing good content for reading and blogging much better, also some great inspiration in there.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Those sites gave me a good chunk of motivation as well. Since the time of writing the post I've found more great resources, so perhaps I'll make a sequel one day...

  3. very nice blog. I regularly keep visiting your blog :). Keep up the good work. Waiting for more Android indie developer interview.
    Thanks again.

    1. Thank you Girija. I promise to do my best to keep the quality of the posts high. Perhaps I can interview you one day :)