It's been two months since the last post so we'd like to give you a quick update on the latest happenings.
We've released our first "serious" app for Android: BilbaoBus. This project was born because we love public transit and we think it's the most sustainable way of moving within a city. However, after having a look at the existing public transit apps for the city of Bilbao, we found that most of them were way too complicated to use. As passenger, my first and foremost problem is: "I'm here and I want to go there, show me how". The available apps didn't solve this question effectively. Here's where everything started out.
The first milestone we set was coming up with an algorithm to calculate routes using public transit. This was the feature that we missed the most in the existing apps. Once we had developed a good solution, we thought it would be useful to add more stuff: lines, schedules, CO2, streetView... and then we ended up with an standalone app. Despite the project was still unfinished, we thought that "ship early, ship often" must be the way to go, so we let the app see the light as Beta.
However, we're still halfway. We've got a bunch of ideas we haven't included, the user interface is rather spartan, neither tram nor subway are supported yet, etc. So we plan to invest more time on the project because our ultimate goal is to create the best public transit app.
Now it's time to listen to users and get as much feedback as we can.
Regarding to Archer Master, we had to postpone the second version while we were working on BilbaoBus. Furthermore, we weren't completely satisfied with the new scenarios we were designing so we decided to take a break, let our brains rest and make some room for fresh ideas.
In terms of downloads, we've got around 2000 per month from the Android Market and, so far, the total number reaches 12500. To the previous figures we've got to add the "unofficial" appstores, forums, etc, so we estimate 20K-25K downloads overall.
With regard to revenue, unfortunately we've lost all data because our Admob account was closed by Google. On November 2nd we received the following message:
"Your account has been disabled for invalid activity or repeated policy violations. Some examples include recurring manual clicks or impressions, violation of our content policies which can be found here, robots, automated click and impression generating tools, third-party services that generate clicks or impressions such as pay-to-click, pay-to-surf, autosurf, and click-exchange programs, or any deceptive software. If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information here."
We think it's been due to the bonus screen we introduced in 1.0.1 version. Truth is that the bonus feature was performing pretty well: generated revenue by 1.0.1 version was five times higher than the previous one.
Honestly, we knew we were walking on thin ice so the account closure wasn't totally unexpected. However, in our humble opinion, exchanging points by clicks is at least as fraudulent as placing ads strategically to provoke accidental clicks. The latter it's done by many famous games that are even marketed by Google as an example of spotless advertising integration.
Anyway, this is nothing but a tantrum. We're not considering suing Google yet :) We've learnt the lesson the hard way and now it's time to look ahead and come up with a different approach.
That's all for now. We'll keep reporting regularly in this blog.