Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fifty Thousands Downloads

Update: As a response to user feedback from the next version on NewsRob will not collect any stats anymore for the time being.
*If* I will turn it back on I will do so in a *loud* way and will ask the users for feedback *first*.

I am very happy to announce that NewsRob now has been downloaded more than 50,000 times from the Android Market. Thank you!

I have been frequently asked about different stats on NewsRob. I think this is a good time to share some data.

NewsRob was published to the Android Market in the mid of January 2009, but I just started tracking the number of active users in May 2009. So here are the active users since then:

The ups are when a new version was published, except for the last one, that was the introduction of the Droid. The downs are the weekends.
Active users are unique users on that particular day, think visitors. Passive NewsRob installations that just sync, but the NewsRob UI was not launched, are not taken into account.

This is the geo distribution of NewsRob users:

Interestingly Spain is the single largest NewsRob user base in Europe. Muchas gracias.
The top four European countries combined are about the same population as the US alone, but that wasn't surprising ;-)

I personally find the following interesting:

The average time of a NewsRob session is 20 minutes and on average the NewsRob GUI is launched three times a day by a user.

When taking the number of users of a single day, say 8,000, multiply it by the number of sessions, say three, and by the average session length, you'll get 8,000*3*20/60/24 = 333 days of usage per calendar day.

If you continue that example you'll get to 25 years of usage for November, or 19 year for October as seen above. Pretty cool I would say. It far out weights the time I spent working on NewsRob.

Last not least here are some technical parameters you may find interesting:

Roughly every 5th NewsRob user runs cyanogenmod:

In case you are curious, this data is provided by flurry.

Bonus: Walking Down Memory Lane

Ok, you made it until here, so there is a special treat for you. Tim Suh posted a video of NewsRob nine months ago on YouTube. I think it's interesting to see that today. There are still some elements left that are in today's version of NewsRob.



  1. i guess your bug with cyanogenmod is fixed :)

  2. I don't know. I didn't change anything in the db access code for a while, but at least I haven't got anymore cyanogenmod bug reports anymore. None at all. Very strange.

  3. yes, strange, but if u have users using it up to recent versions, with no bug reports, then its fixed.

  4. Hi Mariano, great program. I have a problem with notifications options(HTC Magic 1.6 DRC9), I´ve Enabled AutoSync, Sync Interval 30mins (Could you please add 5mins and 15 mins?), Enabled Notifications and Flash LED, Sound and Vibrate... When I open up NewsRob I have unread news... but I never get a sound, vibrations or flash led. I haven´t the notification icon either with numbers of unread items. My news are all from Google Reader. Last week I installed latest version from google market but problem was not solved.

    Thanks for your time and good work ;)

  5. Jaime,

    thanks for the praise.

    NewsRob doesn't want to annoy you by notifying you of any new article, but just the ones that are from feeds that have a special meaning for you, so that you want to be notified.

    Go to an article of the feed you want to be notified for and select "Manage Feed" from the context menu. Set your checkmark for the notification and you are good to go.

    Even though NewsRob tries to sync as incremental as possible it can only do as much as the GoogleReader API provides. Unfortunately there is still overhead involved with syncing, so a very short sync interval would run down your battery much faster as the phone won't get time to sleep in between syncs and it will eat more bandwidth.
    Besides blogs and GoogleReader are for the most part not setup for breaking news. I guess twitter would be more helpful here?

    More questions? Come and see me on the mailing list:

    ;-) Mariano

  6. All cristal clear. Muchas Gracias por todo :)

  7. Fantastic app... I'm thrilled with it. Two comments for you:

    1) I'm completely OK with statistics capture to be used by the developer - please don't take it out as I feel it likely provides useful feedback. however, as you mention some people have privacy concerns, just allow people to opt-in/out of the stats.

    2) I'd gladly pay a few dollars for this app - is there going to be a paid version, or at least a donate $ link on your site??

  8. Danno,

    thanks for the feedback. I am actually really happy to hear that.
    The discussion on the mailing list quickly got very heated and I didn't have the feeling that it was of any use to continue it, so I yanked the feature.
    I understand that it was not up to me to decide what kind of usage stats are potentially a problem and what are not and that I am not the benchmark for that.
    If I will try again, I will keep that in mind.
    And yes, I miss the settings data already.

    Quite frankly I was also startled by the reactions. If this would have been after I worked on NewsRob for a month, and nobody would have known me, that would have been one thing ... but the way it is, I would have expected less personal attacks and less expectations of ill intentions on my part.

    But that's a lesson I learned and I don't really want to think back to it really.

    Regarding the payment. I am not sure how I will proceed with that, but it's not a priority for me at the moment. I am caught up with features to implement and documentation to write/record.
    Thanks for mentioning it though.