I had a feeling that the Nexus 7, if successful (which apparently it is), would encourage developers later on to write apps optimized for Android tablets, something that the Android ecosystem is lacking right now. Although the developer of Instapaper itself has long delayed making his app available for Android, he finally allowed “others” to make an Instapaper client for Android, and split the revenues with them.
It seems that was a wise decision and it was made right on time, because the makers of the Android Instapaper client are claiming 600% sales growth in the days after the Nexus 7 launch. The Nexus 7 has just been released 2 weeks ago, selling out with some retailers, so how is it possible that it helped Instapaper sales so much?
Jeff Rock from Mobelux, the company that brought Instapaper to Android, thinks that the surge happened because the Nexus 7 is a much better device for reading than smartphones, so it makes sense that a lot more users of such a 7-inch device would be interested in getting Instapaper. Rock says that the $25 credit given by Google to all Nexus 7 customers also played a big role in the sales surge, considering that Instapaper is a paid app. A lot of people must’ve used some of that free credit to get Instapaper.
Rock says that an incredible 70% of their users are on Android 4.0 or later, so Instapaper users are clearly savvy Android users who either put custom ROMs on their devices, bought a recent Android 4.0 device like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One X, or of course, bought a Nexus 7. He also thinks that the Nexus 7 has energized the Android ecosystem, and it bodes well for Android developers and users:
“With the right product you may be able to ship an app for just the Nexus 7 and still do pretty well. I realize that Instapaper for Android is a very specific product with a very specific customer but this bodes well for the future of Android development,” Rock continued. “People are staying current, running modern devices and buying apps. Those are great signs of a healthy market.”
If you’re an Android developer, take Rock’s advice and start making tablet apps for the Nexus 7 as soon as possible. The hardware is very affordable for any developer and it’s a Nexus device, so it’s perfect for creating optimized apps for it.