Introducing Aproov - A new and better app store for Android and mobile app developers


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  1. Polaris431

    Polaris431 Guest

    Dear Android Developer,

    Today I am thrilled to announce the initial release of Aproov, an exciting new app store built from the ground up to make the distribution, cataloging and search for mobile apps the way developers and customers have longed for it to be.

    Aproov is not just-another-app-store. It is not a "me too" store. It's not a dumping ground for hordes of apps in complete disarray. And it is certainly not a store that was quickly slapped together in a few months in order to make a quick buck.

    Two years in the making, Aproov was designed to address a huge number of problems facing developers and customers alike when it comes to distributing and finding apps. Aproov wasn't designed to be just an app store but a true ecosystem that provides developers the infrastructure needed to distribute apps to a global audience. Aproov is designed to separate the wheat from the chaff and help hard working developers rise above the noise that is so prevalent in all other app stores.

    Aproov is a totally web-based app store. Unlike Google's Marketplace, which requires the Marketplace app on a mobile device to download apps, Aproov only requires the mobile browser. The most exciting feature of Aproov though is that customers use their normal desktop browsers to browse, search and view product specs giving them a more comfortable and rich experience. Eventually browsing and searching will be available on the mobile device as well but customers have overwhelmingly indicated that they prefer to have a rich web application to search for apps than using a small screen on a mobile device.


    Key Features

    Aproov is built to handle what developers need most:

    • Support for multiple languages for their content meaning one app spec with multiple languages.
    • Support to offer customers a Free version of your app or optionally a Trial version or Lite version when a Paid app is offered - all from the same app spec.
    • HTML formatted WYSIWYG editor for creating large amounts of rich text content to better describe your product in greater detail.
    • Assign your app to multiple deeply nested product categories that have more refined names than simple generic names. If you have a shooting game, assign it to "Games and Fun > Action and Adventure > Shooting". Category names will eventually be translated to other languages allowing customers to browse the exact same catalog in their own native language.
    • Support multiple versions of your app with the possibility to rollback to an older version.
    • Indicate what operating system your app runs under (Android, Windows, etc), which version of the operating system (1.5, 1.6...), whether an OS version is supported or not, specific mobile devices that you have tested your app on and which devices it works on and doesn't work on.
    • Create a slide show of your app with lots of images. Include captions as part of each slide.
    • Include multiple videos and provide useful information about videos such as a description, audio language and closed caption languages. Users can rate videos.
    • A report indicating the reasons why your app was rejected. If your app was approved, you may receive a report indicating things to improve on in the future.
    • Customers can send you a message directly from the app spec without you having to reveal your e-mail address.
    • When customers write a review, they can separate the things that they liked about your app from what they didn't like.
    • Your app automatically appears in Google's Product Search thereby giving your app even more exposure.
    • Friendly URLs for navigating and bookmarking locations. URLs will eventually be translated to other languages.


    App Rank

    Aproov employs a powerful algorithm known as "App Rank" that is used to give an app a rating to indicate how valuable, important and relevant the app is in relation to similar apps. Until now, customers have had to rely upon the app's star rating, number of downloads and reviews to determine how good an app might be before downloading it or even purchasing it. There are several problems with relying upon these parameters alone, one being that they can be manipulated by the developer and the other being that the values may be skewed to certain age groups, race or gender.

    App Rank takes into account an array of parameters that are not easily manipulated by developers and are drawn from several sources and not just the app alone. What Google's Page Rank does to web pages, Aproov's App Rank does to mobile apps. Aproov's App Rank is what separates the wheat from the chaff. During Aproov's Beta phase, App Rank will be disabled. Once released, it will become the default sorting criteria by which customers locate apps.


    Product Properties

    eBay and Amazon allow customers to filter products on properties such as a camera's resolution, the speed of a computer, whether a mobile device has GPS support and so on. Customers searching through hundreds of thousands of apps need this ability as well. In Aproov, even the title of your app, its description and the images are internally created as properties.

    What makes Aproov's property concept different from eBay, Amazon and even Google Merchant is that our properties are language independent.This means that customers who don't understand English can still find your app by searching for properties in their language. This is possible because internally a property is simply an ID and the language portion of the property is kept separate. Amazon and Google do not offer this ability. Their properties are generally confined to a specific country version of their store and to a specific language.

    In Aproov, there is only one store for all countries and all languages. This maximizes your chances of reaching the largest audience possible. Customers stay in one store for the entire search. In an upcoming release of Aproov, developers will be notified automatically of new properties that we create for specific app categories and they will have the opportunity to set these properties to the appropriate values.


    Beta Release

    Currently Aproov is being released as a Beta version. During this period, only Free apps will be accepted. Please do not submit Trial versions. Aproov makes a clear distinction between Free, Trial and Lite apps. Lite apps can be submitted but will be considered Free.


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    Our primary business objective is to make money on selling apps and providing additional services that will help developers reach a global market in the true sense and give them the means by which they can position their app ahead of their competitor's. We have no intention on making money primarily on ads alone. In fact, the Aproov website is completely void of any ads right now.

    When ads are supported, they will not be Google Ads or something from a third party ad hosting company. We believe that ads should be few in number and relevant to the content in which they appear. Ads really should only be purchased by developers and not by organizations promoting products or services that have no relevancy to the content in which they appear. That means that developers will be able to purchase ads to promote their apps and decide where the ads appear rather than having them appear randomly in areas where they would have the least effect.


    The Approval Process

    Aproov is beyond doubt the cleanest looking app store on the Internet and we plan on keeping it that way. No only is the UI designed to be clean and easy to navigate with little or no scrolling, but the types of apps that will be approved must adhere to some moral ethics that we believe are necessary to give the store a higher degree of credibility and morality that is not found in any other app store. In general, we don't take anything even remotely associated with the "adult entertainment" industry and that includes wallpaper pinups of nude women.

    There are many other things that can get your app rejected and we publish these in the help documentation for developers. You will find our requirements stricter than most app stores but nowhere as strict as Apple's. Unlike Apple, we don't make biased decisions like "Flash is bad for the phone, so we reject it".


    Paid Apps

    Our long term goal of course is to provide developers the means to sell their apps to the largest global audience possible. Let's face it. Developers live all around the world. They speak and write in different languages. They want to make money in their currency. When I designed Aproov, I took all of these factors into account. My objective was to allow developers to create their content in any language, set the price of the app in any currency and be paid in that currency.

    To be paid in a currency of your choosing does mean however that we at Pomaris will take our cut of the profit at an amount that is pegged to your chosen currency. That means that on some currencies we make more profit and on others less. As long as we don't lose money on supporting a currency, we really have no reason to not support it.

    Providing support for multiple currencies is a complex issue that won't be resolved overnight but we will be working to achieve that goal.

    Now of course the big question? How much of a cut do we take? Taking 30% like Apple and Google seems pretty hefty. If you're a developer who makes his or her living off developing apps, taking 30% is essentially owning 30% of your business.

    A possibly better and more just amount would be a variable amount that is pegged to the volume of sales you make per month. For example, if you only sold a few copies, then perhaps a 25% cut would be justified. If you sold 100 copies, our cut would drop to say 20% and if it were a 1000 copies, possibly as low as 15%.

    Because we are currently evaluating how to handle paid apps, we would appreciate your feedback on your ideas. We are also currently evaluating various payment systems but are not quite sure as to what route to take. Initially, Aproov will be primarily used by Americans so it is important to have a payment system that will be most widely used by both American customers and developers. PayPal? Please let us know what your preference would be.


    Conclusion

    Aproov is designed to run with the most current versions of the major browsers (FireFox, Google Chrome, IE and Safari). If the pages don't appear correctly, please upgrade your browser to the latest version. We cannot afford to support older browser versions. We recommend Google Chrome. It has great performance for Javascript which Aproov uses heavily. IE has the slowest performance of Javascript. Your browser must also support cookies.

    The following are links for you to visit:

    Aproov
    www.aproov.com

    A sample of the Games and Fun category
    www.aproov.com/en-us/cat/Games_and_Fun

    Pomaris Accounts (You need one to download files and submit apps)
    https://accounts.pomaris.com

    App Manager (Where you submit apps)
    www.aproov.com/en-us/developers/app_manager


    You can also access the App Manager by clicking on the "Developer" link at the bottom of any web page which takes you to the Developer's homepage.

    Please note: When you click on a product in a category to view the product specification, the spec is opened in either a new browser tab or a new browser window. Also, when you hover your mouse over an app in a category, a tooltip appears that gives you a summary of the application.

    It is important that you become familiar with the concepts behind Aproov and read the documentation first before attempting to submit an app. When you visit the App Manager, there is a tab called "Help". Click on that to read everything you need to know to submit apps. While it may seem like a lot of reading at first, creating an app is very simple and can be completed in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes.

    I hope that you will be as excited about Aproov as I am. There are no doubt bugs that need to be worked out during the Beta phase but please contact me whenever you have problems, questions or suggestions.

    Finally, please forward this E-mail to fellow developers and help spread the news. Aproov may be starting out with humble beginnings but the intent is to grow it into a major ecosystem that helps making app distribution and searching a pleasure and not a plague as is today with other app stores.


    Thank you,

    Johann Blake
    Founder of Pomaris & Software Architect for Aproov

    Aproov - The way an app store was meant to be...

    [​IMG]

    www.aproov.com

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  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I'm extremely, extremely skeptical of this store. Angry Birds lists a developer as "Pomaris Showcase" instead of Rovio. Several other popular games are the same way. Do you have approval from the developer to market their apps in your store? If so, why not credit them appropriately?
  3. Polaris431

    Polaris431 Guest

    A.Nonymous: Relax. Aproov is a very credible business. The few apps that are uploaded are merely there to demo the site to developers. Those apps are not posted there to market them. They are only there for a few weeks and will be removed. Most of the developers of those apps have unknown websites or e-mail addresses and can always request that they be removed at any time.
  4. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member

    So, you don't have approval to use these apps?
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    So your policy then is to post apps and then remove them if the developer asks? Every app I've seen in the Android Marketplace has contact info for the developers. What attempts are you making to contact developers before posting their apps? Why do you post apps without notifying developers before hand? I'm not sure that you can legally use someone's app to market your site without their consent.
  6. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

    No doubt the apps on your site won't be able to be installed on any AT&T phones without sideloading enabled.
  7. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Angry Birds has 2 downloads. Apparently you are distributing games right now.
  8. skimminstones

    skimminstones Well-Known Member

    Seems very dodgy to me
  9. IndivisibleP

    IndivisibleP Well-Known Member

    well some valid questions have already been raised as to the legitimacy of this app store, but I must say on the whole that if nothing else, i agree with this idea in principle. This guy may or may not be representing this practice properly but I sure hope someone does.

    A selective app market is not a bad thing people. If all the created apps under the sun are still available and downloadable from another source (i.e the android market) how could someone object to another market only meant to host substaintially developed apps instead of anything and everything. Your freedom is not being infringed like iphone, just you have focused alternative to help you get quality apps you wont just delete 5 mins later anyway.
  10. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with a more selective store. Everything wrong with stocking it with stuff that's essentially pirated.
  11. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    I hate this. The Internet is filled with sites that will remove IP if the legitimate owner complains. I think any site that posts IP without written concent of the owner is bad. If you are simply testing your site, why not ask for permission? BTW, the idea that you cant find a developer's emal address or web site is NOT an excuse for copyright infringment.

    Bob Maxey
  12. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member

    Certainly makes the claims of "morality" ring a bit hollow.
  13. IndivisibleP

    IndivisibleP Well-Known Member

    yeah i would have to say this guy doesnt seem to be off to a good start. It seems he has already gotten himself banned from this site...

    At any rate I do hope that he is actually well meaning and just confused in his approach, which has caused him to get off on the wrong foot. If that is the case than maybe i will see this thing take off eventually, something which in my opinion there is a healthy need for. Either that or someone comes along and does this right in his place.

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