You’ve worked very hard to create your first Android app/game but no one is installing it? Don’t worry, that’s what most app developers go through. With millions (literally) of apps and games in the Google Play app store, app discovery is tougher than ever. Most smartphone/tablet users have a dozen apps installed and regularly used, so imagine the competition.
What you have to do is to promote your app through any means you can and consider legitimate. Sure there are app developers that buy installs, fake reviews or use bots to artificially “boost app downloads”, but that means infringing the Google Play developer policies. Sooner or later Google will figure out and your app/game will be banned or even worse your entire account will be terminated. So it’s not worth the risk.
There are a lot of other ways you can legitimately promote an app, to name a few:
- App store optimization (ASO) techniques, which basically means creating a very good app listing on Google Play. This means a good title, description with some specific keywords as targets, excellent icon and screenshots.
- Real reviews from anyone you can reach, from your family to friends in your circles.
- Organizing giveaways/contests where you give something for free that otherwise users would have to pay for to get from your app (i.e. in-app purchases, removing ads).
- Focusing primarily on user experience rather than monetization. I strongly disagree introducing ads in an app/game before having any important traffic, as it just discourages users from keeping it installed. If your app/game gains traffic, you can monetize later any time.
- Having a site/blog where you keep a journal of what you did/will do so that users interested in your app/game can follow those updates. Not to mention that having a site helps you reach more users than relying solely on your Google Play app listing.
- Submitting an app review request to sites that publish reviews about Android apps and games. The idea here is to contact as many suitable sites as possible, because this way you increase your chances of getting listed on some. Say you submit a request to 175 app review sites, even if only 10 publish a review/listing it’s still more than you had before. And this might be the small competitive edge between your app and one of the other similar apps in Google Play.
Below I compiled a list of Android app review sites that app devs could use to contact. Just be sure and only submit a review request only to sites that are suitable, for instance don’t submit a game to a site that only publishes business related stories. Or the other way around. You can visit each site and look around for a Contact form to submit your app (for some sites I’ve posted directly the contact/submit app page).
There are currently around 175 app review sites listed, with 25 being displayed by default (use the next buttons to browse through the entire list).