A story of reuse – Word of the Day widget

Android  |  July 23, 2012  |  2 responses  

About two weeks ago I published the Word of the Day widget app! This app is very similar to the Language Flashcards in that it uses a list of vocabulary words in several languages. The main difference is that as the widget it is, it just sits on your home screen and shows you a new word every three hours (so it’s not really a word of the day… it’s more like a word of the last three hours).

Basically, when you install it on your home screen you first see a config screen. There you can choose your native language, and select which categories you want the widget to display. Once you do this, the widget will sit on your home screen and show you a new word every three hours, and show you the category below the word. When you touch the widget, it will show you the translation.

There’s not enough info about widgets!

At first I thought making this app would be really easy, but I was wrong. There’s very little information about making widgets out there, and a lot of the tutorials are outdated. There were things I just couldn’t find how to do, or example making two widgets function independently (this means that if you place two widgets on your home screen and touch one of them, both will update).

The story of reuse

Something worth noting regarding this app is that I was able to reuse the really big list of translated words I have. I’ve invested a ton of time an some money in trying to get this list right, so reusing it as much as possible makes a lot of sense. I tried the same principal of code reuse in the GRE flashcards app I published a while ago.

I believe this is one of the best strategies to make more money with least effort. If you’ve already invested time developing your app, think of ways to modify it slightly in order to reach another market or serve another purpose.

No free version… for now

As I did with the Flashcard apps, I’ve created a free, limited version of the Word of the Day widget. However, I’m running an experiment in an attempt to see if the free version really helps bring in paying customers.

I say the free version does have this effect, as people will be more willing to pay once they’ve been able to test the app and see what it does. My wife, however, believes that people would download the free version and believe it is good enough, and not go for the paid version.

So we’ve decided to take a scientific approach, and not provide a free version for 1 or 2 months. Then I’ll upload the free versions and see if the sales change in any way during a similar timeframe. So far there are 8 purchases… we’ll see what happens in a few weeks.


Thanks for reading!