My way to Motorola SHOP4APPS or “Where is the money here?”

    So yes, the day before yesterday the Event happened - my Android application PDFMyWeb Pro was finally missed into Motorola's SHOP4APPS. And this is after 7 months of torment, more than a dozen attempts to post it there, heaps of time spent and nerves. But, in general, this happened and now I will try to conduct a small analysis of whether the game was worth the candle.


    It all started a long time ago (oddly enough, but almost all the posts about getting to various sites selling mobile applications I start with this phrase. Super-simple never was, as far as I remember).

    Last December, the first version of my SMSMyFile utility for file sharing via SMS was releasedand after successfully entering the Android Market, it was decided to conquer new horizons. One of these “new” ones was the Shop4Apps Motor Market. There was very little information about him (mainly because Motorola has some strange policy regarding new products - they are available only by pre-registration, accepting an NDA heap and finding information on something on their website is not so simple), but I found how to register in their program for developers. Registration there, I tell you, is not so simple. Not only do they ask for a bunch of personal information, almost a blood type and the nickname of their wife’s favorite dog, they also definitely need a valid PayPal account, without which they need to submit paid applications (and any applications, as I understand it ) out of the question. What is it for? I could post free software without PayPal, but no, you can’t.

    But okay, PayPal is a profitable thing (I already wrote how to get an American PayPal account ), so the registration went more or less smoothly (but for a long time, I remember, I waited about about my information to be reviewed and released in the Developer Program one and a half weeks, even then it terribly enraged me, and, as it turned out, was not casual).

    In general, after a week and a half, I finally got access to resources for developers. Of the pleasant moments, it can only be noted that the specifications of all Motorola phones are available for developers, including those that are only planned for release, as well as add-ons for the Android emulator for all devices from Motorola.

    The first pancake is lumpy

    But alright, after playing enough with the skins for the emulator, I decided, nevertheless, to get down to business and post the application, at least just “to see” how it works and whether it makes sense.

    The process of submitting applications was no less long and tedious than registration. So what do they want:
    • Installer (.apk file)
    • Specify the type of application (program, widget or program + widget)
    • The name of the application in English (restriction - from 3 to 50 characters)
    • Support website o_O
    • Full text description (restriction - no less than 200 and no more than 400 characters, that is, just “My program does such and such a thing” cannot be written)
    • Short description (restriction - not less than 100 and not more than 200 characters)
    • Application category (you must specify 3 categories)
    • List of Supported Languages
    • Indicate the list of sites for which the application will be available
    • For each site indicate the price
    • Specify the types of devices for which the application will be available (you can select all types or checkboxes separately CLIQ and BACKFLIP - apparently, only for these devices their market is available)
    • Indicate where o_O screenshots will be taken from (only one option is available for some reason, which indicates that screenshots will be loaded when submitting the application ... I still do not understand the deep meaning of this option)
    • Once again for each market name
    • Once again, for each market, the support address is
    • Once again for each market a full description
    • Once again, for each market, a brief description (my brain is a fact! I’m already tired of typing all these texts with my hands!)
    • License agreement (by default a standard is offered, but you can specify your own. This innovation has appeared recently - you had to introduce your own before)
    • Splash-screen 240x240 PNG
    • Three (necessarily 3) screenshots with a size of at least 203x176 (firstly, where the hellish sizes come from, secondly, and if I only have one screen and a program with one button “Pysch!”, What should I do?)

    It took me about 6 hours to figure out their submission form (all this immeasurable pile of information is on one page and to find something that you might have forgotten)! And this despite the fact that I’ve already gotten used to the dreary submission procedure in the Palm’s market ... But all right, you won’t return the time, I successfully filled in the data and now it's time to post.

    If you think that this process of torment ends, then you are mistaken. Besides the fact that you took the time to enter all this information, voluntary-forced automated testing will be organized for your application (well, or not very automated, but it will definitely be).

    The fact of testing makes me personally nervous. For some reason, I immediately remember the App Store and the comrades who had been waiting for Apple's app for half a year. In fact, Motorola has never been better in this regard.

    They are testing using DeviceAnywhere. Testing is this - download the program, run, check that the main window has appeared. Hide the application, check that the window has disappeared, reopen the application, check that the window has appeared, close the application, check that it is closing, remove the application - check that it is deleted.

    Actually, the process is not dangerous.

    After testing, there is also a Content Review - I don’t know what they are watching there, but it was ... LONG !!!

    The first build of the application expected a review of 2 months! Damn it, I can’t believe that they have a whole huge queue of people who want to post the program to their unknown market and that because of this I had to wait 2 months! It hit the review on February 2nd, the answer came on March 30th! And the answer was that they added a splash screen (when I submitted the application, I didn’t have to specify it, otherwise the information would be incomplete and I could not send n certification), but since it wasn’t, they refused to accept the application to the market.

    Ok ... splash-screen is also a gain. Added by. By this moment, a new version of SMSMyFile was already available, and I changed the binary. Sending for testing again (it lasts from 10 to 14 working days, i.e. 14 - there is no sense in hoping before this deadline, usually they will send an answer on the 14th day). And og! Testing failed - the application did not start in the emulator!

    I didn’t really understand them about this. The application successfully lays itself in the Android Market, it works for users, even the previous version that I submitted normally worked, the certificates are the same, the changes compared to the previous version are minimal. Why it did not start with them is a mystery.

    After that, my interest in motorola faded. For some reason, it began to seem to me that these guys do not need money at all, they are doing everything possible so that the programs do not come to them.

    The second pancake ... also lumpy!

    Again, I had a desire when the PDFMyWeb application was released. Again, I had to go through the dreary process of entering information about the application, wait again for testing, and again the application did not pass testing. This time it was my problem - the application crashed when launched on Android 1.5. Corrected, posted again. I would also like to note that, among other things, Motorola has a very strict policy regarding the signature of .apk files.
    • You are building an application in Eclipse
    • Then create the binary via Android Tools -> Export Signed Package
    • This binary is accepted by Android Market.
    • But Motorola will not accept it because in addition to your certificate there is also a debug certificate

    Proper Workflow for Motorola
    • You are building an application in Eclipse
    • Open it with a 7-zip
    • Delete the META-INF folder
    • Hands through the command line and jarsigner sign the .apk file
    • Do optimization through zipalign
    • And only after that Motorola will accept your application

    It took me 10 more days to wait for the test results to find out the correct Workflow :)

    I had to think up everything myself. Texts describing the test results are somewhat informative , but people say that you can write to the support team and communicate with those who tested the application, they, theoretically, can tell what exactly was wrong (but I hardly believe it, but even more poorly believed in the speed of response).

    And so my application was finally accepted!

    Yes, everything is cool, but where is Profit?

    Well, yes, accepted, and then what? Yes, really, what's next? Where are the sales reports? How the hell can I find out that the money that (maybe) will be sent to me is exactly the amount that is due to me?

    There are no reports as such in principle ! I have to rely on the honesty of Motorola, but based on the past more than six months of experience using their service, it seems to me that this is simply an untouched field for fraud on their part. They may well say that in a month they did not sell a single copy of the app, but I can’t prove the opposite!

    Although yes, the ephemeral promises of some reports on their forum slip from time to time, but ... it's just promises and it infuriates many .


    And after all, I sit and think, but was the game worth the candle ... As for me, since the vendor puts sticks in the wheels and creates problems for developers, it might not fool him, but let them bend safely? Although the Motorola Droid is one of the best-selling Android devices, but apparently this market is not available to him and there is no chance that the application will be super-selling? On the other hand, I want to have some kind of additional sales flow, and, consequently, profit ...

    In general, mixed feelings after all this, but the negative is many times more.

    If one of the readers has success in the market from Motorola, then I would like to hear something about this.

    UPD:There are several innovations - sales statistics (as I understand it, only for the Chinese market). The list of available devices is different for different markets. The most comprehensive list for Brazil is DEXT, BACKFLIP, MILESTONE, QUENCH, FLIPOUT. There was a FAQ where more or less accessible it is described that yes, you can submit the program with the English description to different markets, though the price must be indicated each time converting the cost from dollars to local currency using a third-party service.

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