just wondering if developing free app with android or ios bring any money for developers by just adding ads to the app.
or is it better to sell the app?
I too am interested in when one should should use ads in their mobile app compared to selling the app for a buck.
Yes, you can make money with free apps. A common approach is to develop a sophisticated app that people will be happy to pay money for, and then give away a free introductory version, with just a subset of the features. You must make it easy (and desirable) for people to upgrade. Only a small percentage will upgrade, but if you get the economics right, you can still make money.
As you say, another possibility is to give away an ad-supported version of the app. I've no experience of this, but I would be dubious that it would pay. I imagine the click-through rate would be relatively small on a mobile device, plus the income per click would be low as well, since it is harder for the advertiser to convert clicks into sales. But it might be worth trying.
Either way, the key to success is to develop a genuinely useful, high-quality app - one that people will talk about and want to download. Remember, there's an awful lot of competition in these markets.
It depends entirely on what the app is.
To my knowledge, people rarely make a lot of money from mobile apps, even complex apps.
I don't know about that, tell that to Zynga. There's plenty of successful mobile apps out there.
Zynga is one company (one that is currently plummeting). There are millions of apps out there.
I'm not saying that it's impossible to make big bucks on apps, just that you're as likely to make good money on your app as you are on your website. A lot of people have fallen for the fairy tale and have commissioned expensive apps for little or no return. I know some agencies that turn over an incredible sum from solely making apps for iPhone and Android, and I've known software shops blow it all by giving into the iPhone hype and building complex apps that get no traction on the App Store.
The problem is that there are tens of thousands of developers trying to get on this bandwagon. All the obvious useful applications have already been covered, and the market leaders are all well established. To succeed, you need to think of some application that would be genuinely useful to a lot of people, that would justify a reasonable price, and which hasn't already been done to death.
I believe you can make money from these apps, but it won't be easy, and you'll never make enough to provide a reasonable income.
I believe that the mobile market can be treated the same as a lot of web developers. Find small niche markets, and produce a useful product
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