03 August 2016

Why you should update your apps to UWP

Woe is us

No code this time, but a kind of a rant. Or some advice. Whatever you want to call it.

So we all saw the stories. Several pundits all over the world claim Windows Phone is going down, the Windows Store is going nowhere, it’s all going bust, blah blah blah doom and gloom, woe is us. I must admit I’ve been lazy converting my apps from Windows 8.x / Windows Phone 8.x to UWP too. Not out of defaitism, but, well, I got distracted. And for good reason too – there’s now so much fun stuff to play with. First there was IoT Core and some great IoT Azure features, then came HoloLens and UWP on XBox One - it’s hard to set priorities. Especially if you suffer from the shiny new toy syndrome like me ;).

A little confession

So far I have updated only one app to UWP, and submitted it to the store – good old Map Mania. It was my first serious Windows Phone application, dating back to the Windows Phone 7 days; it made it’s transition to 8, 8.1 and was languishing in the store. You can buy it for €0.99, although buying apps is an outdated model in these freemium days, right? And it was not even my most downloaded app – a little over 8000 downloads does not even come close to my more-or-less hit 2 Phone Pong. So why did I chose to update this app specifically? Well, mainly because I use it myself. It’s ability to show Open Street Maps is a great boon when making hikes in more rural places of Europe where the wife and me tend to go on holiday (although it was also great in finding spots around Rome). In addition, I think its ability to show WMS maps is also fun, a throwback to my years as a GIS programmer. And there’s sentimental reasons as well. Anyway, May 11th 2016 Map Mania Universal passed certification. Mission accomplished. I announced its existence with one tweet and forgot about it – because a HoloLens was on it’s way. That is why I am an engineer, not an entrepreneur– I know nothing of marketing, nor am I particularly interested in it.

Money talks. Numbers too

Now three months in, I browsed around some new Dev Insiders Pages on the Dev Center, and found these rather unexpected numbers in the payout pages:

image

Apparently, for every copy of Map Mania for Windows Phone 8.x, I am selling a little over 1.4 UWP copies. But well, ho hum, that’s nice. It’s not exactly breaking the bank.

I am going to share another number with you. Not one that I am very proud of, but what the heck:

image

The point is, look at the latest payout date. June 2015. In fourteen months I have sold for like €10 Map Mania 8.x. copies. But in three months I have sold UWP copies for an amount of  €14.69 . Ergo: I net about 71 cents per month on 8.x, and €4,90 per month on the UWP app. That’s almost seven times as much. It’s still quite not time to call the boss and give my month’s notice, but still - seven times as much. And these are new users - because if you upgraded from an older version, you keep owning it.

What the [redacted]?

How is possible in the light of all the doom and gloom stories? If I check the new download reports I see quite a few Windows 10 mobile acquisitions, a little less tablet acquisitions – but both of those are outnumbered by a bucket load of PC acquisitions. Whatever “PC” may be these days – since Surface saw the light of day, the borders between a laptop and a tablet have become quite hazy.

I’ve been discussing this on Slack with a few people, and with my fellow MVP Ginny Caughey, and we think there are apparently three things at work

  • Relative small store = relative high visibility
  • The huge number of Windows 10 on PC installs is apparently kicking in
  • Those new users are apparently willing to put down money.

Long story short

Update your apps! There is life (and money) in the UWP market. Learn new skills, earn a few bucks, and who knows, maybe you will sell an app to a HoloLens user. But an ‘ordinary’ PC user’s euros, dollars or whatever are currency too, right? There quite a lot more of those.

…and they are willing to pay, apparently.

2 comments:

Atley Hunter said...

The current.NET skill set is UWP, that and cross platform with Xamarin. If you have an existing WP app, it is definitely worthwhile going through the process of updating it to UWP, especially if there is a tablet use case. Windows has the numbers we all wish Windoes Mobile / Windows Phone had. If your app still makes the most sense on only a phone, I'd stick to 8.1 or do Xamarin and hit more than one platform.

Jarno Peschier said...

You are probably right, but all I can think about is taking the old WP7 apps I still have lingering in the store completely offline. Don't even think I have source code any more. And if I had, I do not feel like working on (mobile) apps at all any more. Industry has killed my hobby.