Aug 26 AT 11:06 AM Sean Riley 22 Comments

Advanced Task Manager developer is making up to $10,000 a month

In February 2009 Arron La launched an app in the Market called Advanced Task Manager (ATM), which at the time was only available for root users and made La on average $500 a month during its first four months. Near the end of that fourth month La was able to make the app available to non-root users which led to a substantial increase in profits averaging approximately $1,900 a month over the next five months.

In November of 2009 La made a free ad-supported version of the app available in the Market running ads served by AdMob and began to see additional profits through that model. While things got off to a rocky start for the ad revenues it quickly turned around and within a few months was competitive with the paid version and in June of this year the profits from the ad-supported version eclipsed those of the paid version.

Last month La made $10,600 from the two versions of ATM with 40% coming from the paid app and 60% from the ad-supported app. The month prior La made $9,400 and is on pace to see a similar total for the month of August. La continues to work full-time for IBM while supporting ATM, but obviously with this level of earnings someone could easily rely on it as their sole source of income.

Beyond the rundown of his earnings La had a number of points regarding the Market that he wanted to share with prospective Android developers; I’ll paraphrase here as La is a bit verbose.

  • First as his numbers clearly show Android can serve as a viable revenue stream even if it may not make you independently wealthy overnight. La believes that he would have seen greater profits had he priced his app at something more than 99 cents, but as he was both satisfied with his earnings and had competitors spring up he elected not to do so.
  • La stresses that while appearing in the top paid list certainly helped his sales that newer developers shouldn’t just assume they can’t make the list as Google’s algorithm takes into account many factors beyond pure sales.
  • La calls out Google Checkout and the Market app as being woefully inadequate as they stand. As many others have pointed out the options for discovery are limited and the availability of Google Checkout in only a little over a dozen countries are real thorns in the sides of Android developers. He is hopeful that these issues will be eased soon by the new Market tweaks that Google mentioned at I/O and the recent news that Paypal may soon be an option for Market purchases.
  • Offering the free version of the app with AdMob proved extremely successful for La and if your app is of a type that requires more than just an occasional reference it is an option worthy of your consideration.
  • La praises the 24-hour return policy in the Market as he feels it is critical that users feel protected by the Market.
  • The piracy issue is a real problem, but one that Google is taking steps to cure and it is not so damaging as to warrant shying away from developing for Android.

If you want to read La’s exact figures or find out a little more about the app you can hit up his blog via the source link below.

To any of the developers out there or those that are considering developing for Android hopefully this will encourage you to keep at it as there is money to be made and with 200,000 new activations a day the opportunities are are only growing.

Source: Arron La Blog

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website Eddie Android

    I got this app last Fall on my G1 and currently using it on my N1, best task manager yet.

  • http://Website Dan

    The amazing thing is, software like this isn’t even needed according to Google! LOL

    • Sean Riley

      La himself actually admits that the software isn’t necessary, particularly for devices with 2.2 and above, but he is working on adding some functionality to stay relevant. Of course it will probably be a year or more until all devices are on 2.2 or higher so there’s probably going to be a place for even the current feature set for awhile.

    • http://Website B

      Well it isn’t

    • Tebbe

      La mentioned in his blog post that his app wasn’t needed for Android 2.0 and up. But, when he wrote it, Android didn’t have a task manager or the manager couldn’t kill services, only apps, I don’t remember exactly.

      It would be interesting to find out what percentage of ATM installs are on 2.0+ devices.

    • http://Website Heldros

      That’s a fact. You don’t need TasKiller with Android 2.2. I’ve been using my Nexus One without TasKiller for 2 weeks and the phone don’t lagg anymore.

  • http://Website Derek

    This is the main problem with android… read this…

    And people wonder why Android apps suck compared to their iphone counterparts.

    • http://Website Derek

      My favorite line is this…

      “Once a day or so it hits me that I am writing Java, and I cry a little.” (Java is the Android programming language.)

    • http://Website Ryan McKay

      Did you read the end? Here I’ll help you.

      “Of course, Hewitt is prone to grousing. He’s not crazy about writing in the programming language Apple prefers, either. Basically, it looks like there’s no pleasing this guy.”

    • http://Website Geoff


      Sorry mate , but you really need to read articles properly.

      “Android tools are horrendous, OS is hideous, but the absence of big brother telling me what to do gives it a slight edge.”

      Has all these problems and STILL has an edge on iPhone?


      “Of course, Hewitt is prone to grousing. He’s not crazy about writing in the programming language Apple prefers, either. Basically, it looks like there’s no pleasing this guy.”

      Face it iPhone and Android (or any other OS/ phone) each have strengths and weaknesses.

      The people will decide.

  • http://Website zeeshan

    i wish god make made me as smart as this guy so I could be makin as much as this guy makes

  • http://Website Jason

    Too bad apps like those are useless in 2.2 and don’t really work! But hey, congrats on your dough developer guy.

    • http://Website Tony

      I completely agree, in fact they are useless on 2.1 as well.

  • http://Website tyler

    Im just glad this is a story. It needs to be brought to developers attention that money can be made with programming for Android.

  • http://Website JD

    I think the free version definitely motivates me to buy the paid version. I talked to friends in China who use Android and they all said they are willing to pay for it as long as it’s reasonable. There is a video player on the Market called Rock Player or something developed by Chinese developer and he asked for 10USD or 20RMB ( Back in June, at least) and a lot people in China are willing to pay for it. I would say 20 RMB ~ 5USD all things considered. and .99USD is definitely reasonable.

    I’ve used both iPhones and Android. Android apps does not suck and I hate I can’t find settings or can just find limited settings on the iPhone. I would take an iTouch at any time as a gameboy, but as a phone, Android kicks iPhone’s ass seriously.

  • http://Website vermaekansh

    just got it on my G1…
    though I dont think any requirement of any task manager..coz i hardly use it…but still to what’s in it i installed the free ATM.

  • http://Website Danny WOods

    Wow, who would have thunk it??

  • Benin

    We were unable to complete the request, please refresh the page and try again.

  • Sean

    Digg has broken an axle.
    We might have to sell some oxen but we’ll be back on the trail soon.

  • jeya

    With Digg life has become somewhat monotonous. We need some productive change now. Can’t tolerate this anymore.

  • Glust

    Please spare us. We wish to look forward to new things. Keep us out of the same routines everyday.

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