Have you updated your apps lately? Do you know what updates you need in your app before you publish it to the market?
Meaningful.. or Not!
Back during the good old just-in days, updating your apps had a very positive impact on your downloads (and ultimately your revenue of course). I was one of those update-whores, updating a different app everyday, making sure more than 7 full days had passed since my last update.
You see, releasing an update back then placed you at the top of the "just-in" list. You got good exposure for a few minutes, and done on the right time, you could get a very high download (hint: the US.. you've gotta target the US!). This was such a routine, that all I did for the "update" was to change the version details of my app, recompile, and release! Yes yes, I know, it was pathetic.
This all went bye-bye when Google removed the Just-In list. There was a huge outcry from the developer community, and I too was feeling down. I thought, there goes my chance of getting daily boosts from downloads. I changed my mind back then, and decided to not sit down and cry on this. I decided I'd work my way up, and get those darned downloads, with or without the Just-In list.
Right now, I don't release updates routinely anymore. But should I release updates?
Releasing updates these days does not give the daily boosts that I used to have back then. I have stopped making unnecessary updates, and only release a new versions with some real updates in it. And you should do too.
You see, when you release an update, a few things happen.
Firstly, your app shows up on external sites as updated. The external sites, such as AppBrain, still have listings of updated apps showing. You also should release your updates to non-Google markets. Checkout SlideMe and GetJar for example. (There are quite a number more out there, see what you like). These listings bring your app back to the top, and helps with some app download / exposure boosts.
Secondly, with some sincere updates, you add in new features. And these new features could gain you more new users. Update your description with the new features too, and they would help users find your app if they search with those keywords. New features also makes your app a more solid choice, plus, you'll be adding in features gradually, giving you less chance of a burnout.
Third, it acts as a reminder for your old users. Sometimes people forget that they have an app on their device. When you release an update, your app shows up in the Update Available list (or it shows up after the app has been auto-updated by the market app). People will notice your app, and re-use it again for a while, and in the process you might get a few more advertising revenue :D
So you see, updating your apps does have its good points. It helps keep your app fresh, helps you gain additional user base (excellent if you're using notification ads), gets your more $$$, avoids burnout with smaller managable updates.
And seriously, I am making way, way, WAY more now without the Just-In list!
So go on, release that update!
PS - Makes you wonder how a previous success story is also crying over the Just-In List (and these guys were one of my BIG inspirations!)