Now a days developing an android app is a breeze, thanks to Android Studio and flexible android APIs. Once you have the app developed and available in Google Play Store, then comes the tricky part of promoting the app to get the required visibility for the app. Without appropriate promotion of your app, it is almost impossible to get a good rate of download and ratings for the app. And as we all know, without good number of downloads and ratings, your app will not be anywhere near the top of the play store's search windows when any one organically searches for a topic related to your app. With this necessity to have lots of initial downloads and ratings comes the echo system of companies that promise to help your app get to required number of installs/ratings at a price. Most of these companies (except very few established ones) will either try to cheat you or will just provide incest installs which just helps in increased download counts for your app in play store but they do not really help in increasing the rank of your app in Play Store due to quick uninstall of the same too. Below I have reviewed one such app 'Make Money-Cash Apps' which promises to provide guaranteed installs for your app. Read on to know in detail review of the app and see how good is it on its promises.
To start with, I have an android app 'All In One - Latest News' published on Google Play Store. I went through various blogs/posts/Quora Answers/YouTube Videos etc to find out how I can promote my app and get as many downloads possible in first few days. In a YouTube video, I chanced upon the app called 'Make Money - Cash Apps' and installed it to try it out. The result of the usage is mixed and below are the detail of my experience with this app so far:
- The app 'Make Money - Cash Apps' is pretty light and very simple one. Many of the similar apps in these category have the exact same layout, menus and feature. The app has a 4.5* rating from nearly 21K ratings (by the time this blog is posted) and more than 1 million+ downloads. So, from play store look, it seems to be a legit app with good overall rating. So, I downloaded it without much further thought :)
- How to Use: With initial login (you can login with any fake email id. The app does not really validate it), the app provides you with 2$ bonus credit to promote your android app through their application. Someone has already posted a you tube video which shows how to use the app for your own app's promotion, so I would not be going into detail of how to use it here. The app / video promises that you can get hundreds of installs for your app with couple of dollars but that does not seem to be the truth currently. So, I will focus on what actually the app does and does not do today.
- Packages of promo installs: You don't need to install any SDK or add any code to your app for promoting through this app. You have to spend money to promote your app and for that you can either buy credits of this app from play store (around 450 INR /150 downloads and gets cheaper with packages of 1500 and 3000 downloads) or you can keep sponsored apps from the inside of this app itself. Each installation of the Sponsored app gives you a 0.2$ of credit to your account. You can keep installing as many apps as you want till there is no more sponsored app at a given time. Keep checking in periodic interval to see if new sponsored app appear in this app.
- Cost per Install: Though the you tube video promises hundreds of install for your own promoted app in few dollars but in my experience that is no longer valid. Each installation of your promoted app by someone else deducts 0.2$ from your account. So, in practice you can actually get 10 installation of your app with the initial 2$ bonus credit and then 1 install per 0.2$ you earn through sponsored app installation.
- Uninstalls are guarded: This app also tries to take care of uninstalls. It deducts 0.1$ from your credit when you uninstall a Sponsored app for which you have earned 0.2$ credit. I have tried testing it by uninstalling one of the Sponsored app and it actually deducted 0.1$ from my credit. If you don't have enough credit to deduct for an uninstall, the app keeps a track of it and deducts the credit from your next earning. So, this seems kind of helpful for developers to promote their app as it has a safeguard against an incest install and uninstall for at least a week or so.
- Careful about the permissions: While using this app to install Sponsored app from Play Store, be careful about the permissions requested by the apps that you are trying to install. Most of the apps does not need any extra permission other than 'In App Purchases' but there are apps which need access to your phone calls/sms/videos/pictures etc. So, make sure you understand the permission requested by each app and decide accordingly whether to download it or not based on how sensitive the permission requested is. You can always by pass the app and go to the next app to earn further.
- Internet Usage Quota: Careful about the internet usage while using this app. Most of the sponsored app in it are games and hence have high installation size. The average size of installations are around 30 MB with heavier apps going to as far as 90MB+ download size. So, it is better to use Wi-Fi/ unmetered network while downloading the sponsored apps.
- Large memory footprint: As you will be installing as many app as you can to get maximum credit from it and average size of the sponsored apps are around 30MB, you should be careful about your memory in your device. It can soon run into occupying multiple gbs of your phone memory. (I have a HTC U11 with 128GB internal memory and 2TB external memory. So… space is not an issue for me 😎)
- Stop/Delete your own app not possible: Once you have your own app uploaded to this app for promotion, you cannot stop/pause the promotion or delete your app from this app. It will keep allowing other users to install your app till you have credits available. I have not found a way to delete my own promoted app from the application yet.
- Time the promotion to your targeted audience: Try running your app promotion and earning credits to use for the promotion during your target audiences appropriate time zone for maximum reach to target audience. Everyone using the app will install your app as a sponsored app as they want to get the 0.2$ credit out of it but then will also uninstall it soon after the mandatory preview period is over, as they are not the targeted audience for your app. Hence, better to run the promotion for your app during the day time of your targeted audience to have a better chance of retention, post mandatory preview period. Another downside of reaching out to non-targeted audience is that they can give you bad ratings in the Play store for no apparent reason. I have got my first and only 1* rating so far from a guy who left no valid feedback. When you get such bad rating with no valid reason or comment for it, then all you can do is request for a constructive feedback which can improve your app and leave it at it. No benefit to be gained by putting rude response to the bad rating. After all we are sensible android developers 😜.
- Second Device: You can always use your other devices to download the 'Make Money-Cash Apps' and promote your own app through it. It will give 2$ credit for each new device it gets installed in as it does not track your email id or any credentials. Just make sure you are not promoting same app in 2 different devices as it will not allow to add the app to the promotion list. You can use this method of multiple device, if you have multiple app to promote. Each new device gives you 2$ credit and all the Sponsored app show up again in new device even if it was installed in your other devices. I am collecting credit in my second device. Once I am done with my first device, I will uninstall the app from their and will promote my 'All In One - Latest News' app from the second device.
- Do not fall for Order Payment: Finally, if you are using the app just for earning money and not for promoting any of your app, then be cautious. Such apps almost never (never to use 'never' 🌝 ) pay the users anything. They will keep the terms and conditions in such a way that your will not reach the minimum threshold of asking for a payment. You will just spend hours of your valuable time downloading the apps, spending your internet quota, clogging up your device for no outcome. I am just staying away from this aspect of the app.
In summary, you can use this installer app for promoting your own android app across the world without having to spend any real money. Make sure you understand the pitfalls clearly and workaround it or stay away from it. Hope these details come handy in deciding whether to use the app or not and wish you all the best for a successful promotion of your app(s). 👍
-----Now a bit of self promotion 😊 ---
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