Android Question Distributing an apk on my own web site

MitchBu

Active Member
Licensed User
I have been distributing Windows and Mac apps download on my own web site for decades.

I am working on getting the Android version in all platforms available, but they all grab they cut on the sales.

I would like to know if some of the group members are distributing on their own web site, and what the pitfalls are, beyond the advantage of retaining the full price.
 

JohnC

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
1) You will need to setup a MIME type for the APK file format on your server so the APK will be downloaded properly.
2) Users will have to "side-load" your APK, which means they have to enable installation from "Unknown source" (security risk).
3) EPIC's "FortNite" tried to distribute their APK on their own website for the very same reason, but after a year they recently gave up the fight and posted their APK in the Play Store because of various reasons:

 

MitchBu

Active Member
Licensed User
Fortnite was naive at best... Thinking that they could go against Google ... Makes you think of the Frog and the Ox tale...

I am aware of the technical limitations. I have so far applied to the Play Store, the Amazon App Store, Huawei Gallery, and Samsung's Galaxy Store. So my point was simply to get a feel of what it would mean to add a Paypal button, next to those platforms buttons, on my web site.

As I said, I have been selling Windows and Mac apps for decades. Since 2013, I have been selling on the Mac App Store, as well as in the Windows Store. Those great platforms have a lot of traction. On my web site, I display their buttons, as well as my own Paypal button. Yet, I do get sensible sales with the Paypal button.

Basically wondering if it was worth it to do the same.
 

Didier9

Active Member
Licensed User
Fortnite was naive at best... Thinking that they could go against Google ... Makes you think of the Frog and the Ox tale...

I am aware of the technical limitations. I have so far applied to the Play Store, the Amazon App Store, Huawei Gallery, and Samsung's Galaxy Store. So my point was simply to get a feel of what it would mean to add a Paypal button, next to those platforms buttons, on my web site.

As I said, I have been selling Windows and Mac apps for decades. Since 2013, I have been selling on the Mac App Store, as well as in the Windows Store. Those great platforms have a lot of traction. On my web site, I display their buttons, as well as my own Paypal button. Yet, I do get sensible sales with the Paypal button.

Basically wondering if it was worth it to do the same.
In my opinion, you are restricting yourself. It depends a lot on the kind of app you are trying to sell but some users are uncomfortable installing apps outside of the play store.
You are also losing a lot on the potential exposure that the play store offers, even though I have found the search to be of limited value if you app does not get significant traction, so it turns into a chicken and egg thing, no exposure -> no traction and no traction -> no exposure.
I was also distributing a free app through my web site. It was not a general public application, only for users of a specific type of equipment my customer sells. Even those customers were a little spooked that the app was not on the play store and that they had to go and change security settings in their device to install it.
 

udg

Expert
Licensed User
Hi, my experience is a bit different. I develop two kinds of sw/apps: free and bespoke. I don't use official stores at all.
For free apps I advice the visitor to allow "Unknown source" just fo the download then reset it to its original state, for security reasons. If they feel uncomfortable with it they simply move away, but afterall we're talking about a free app and I don't care that much (yes I know, free apps could be an huge advertising mean..).
When we come to bespoke sw, well, it is paid berforehand, there's a business relationship with the customer, legal agreements, etc. I put the sw in a restricted area of my server, give access credentials to the customer and .. forget about it.

Will things change in the future? Probably yes. A new customer is willing to distribute an app to his customers through the stores. But it will be a free app so no price cut is expected. From my perspective it will be just another bespoke app..
 

MitchBu

Active Member
Licensed User
In my opinion, you are restricting yourself.
.../...
I was also distributing a free app through my web site. It was not a general public application, only for users of a specific type of equipment my customer sells. Even those customers were a little spooked that the app was not on the play store and that they had to go and change security settings in their device to install it.
I have applied to the Play Store, to the Amazon App Store, the Huawei app Gallery, and the Samsung Galaxy Store. I would not call that exactly limiting myself :D

I was asking for experiences from others in the matter of distributing an apk outside of these 4 platforms. Thank you for sharing your insight.

I will stick to these 4 platforms, then.
 

MitchBu

Active Member
Licensed User
I develop two kinds of sw/apps: free and bespoke. I don't use official stores at all.
For free apps I advice the visitor to allow "Unknown source" just fo the download then reset it to its original state, for security reasons. If they feel uncomfortable with it they simply move away, but afterall we're talking about a free app
I may add a few free apps, and in that case, indeed, free is free, is free. I will simply make sure to post instructions how to install from unknown sources.
 
Top