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First anniversary – Come by and win a … price :)

Rear View Mirror
Rear View Mirror; © Vijayanarasimha (CC0) Source: Pixabay

Early in 2014, Ive started building up this site – its initial publical launch was on April 6, 2014. Almost a year ago – which makes this a good time for a resumée: What did it start with, how did it improve since, what might come in the future (if we can tell that yet)?

And what about that „price“ mentioned in the title – was that just to lure in visitors? Well, sure that was one of the intentions. But there is more to it. I hardly can offer you a pricey gadget here, as the site doesn´t earn me any money. But still there are things I can and will offer. Read on, and you´ll find out!

App Listings

That was the first thing, and one of the (original) main reasons1 to start this site: My app lists at AndroidPIT had grown pretty long, and where hard to maintain in a forum like that. Especially as the changed forum structure would have meant a complete rewrite anyway. There I had to keep every single record up-to-date manually, which consumed far too much of my time. Here at IzzyOnDroid, updates to recorded app data are mostly automatic: accessing the playstore API (and similar resources), availibility, ratings, votes, and prices are updated regularly in the background – so I only have to see there are no glitches, take care to organize them neatly into real-life categories (and groups within those), plus add/update links to additional material such as reviews, videos, and other useful links to them.

Originally, apps were linked to Google Play, AppBrain, and AndroidPIT – with the latter two just being „different windows“ to the same place. Meanwhile, two other sources are covered: F-Droid and the manually curated „Apps“ repository of Aptoide (see: Android Markets: How safe are alternative sources?). When AndroidPIT closed its „App Center“ on the new year´s eve to 2015, the lists no longer linked apps there to, of course. But instead, there´s something you probably like even more: links to directly download .apk files of the apps, wherever possible.

Meanwhile, the app lists include more than 11.000 apps from 3 different sources, scattered across more than 220 categories divided into almost 1.000 groups. And the number is still increasing2. Not to forget the search engine added, were you can search not only by category, but have several other criteria available. Especially when you are concerned about what permissions apps are requesting.

Speaking of which: They are always listed along, so you not only get an idea of what app might be best rated, but also which one is most permission-friendly. And moreover, those permissions are always linked to …

Permission details

IzzyOnDroid features the probably most comprehensive explained list of Android permissions you can find on the web. If you ever asked yourself what stands behind their cryptic names, and were not satisfied with the short explanations the stores list along – this is the place to look. It was pretty hard work to set that up, as (to put it nicely) any documentation is hard to find (and often does not even exist, see Why do some apps request too many permissions?) Wherever possible, I´ve included „good cop – bad cop“ examples, or tried to explain possible risks by other means (if there were any, and I was able to figure them out). I really hope you´ll find that a useful resource!

Articles

Mid-July 2014, this was the next „section“ going live. Articles not coming up as frequently as you see it with „the big players“ in this field (keep in mind I´m only a single person) – but all of them have real content which should be useful longer than their publication dates: not just a „flash in the pan“, no „fancy news“ noone remembers tomorrow. I aim for top quality here rather than for quantity, and don´t want „boulevard titles“ to lure in readers for some ad revenue (which unfortunately has some not-so-positive side-effect obviously).

Of course all articles here deal with Android. A main focus are security and privacy related topics, as you may have noticed already. But there are other articles on apps as well, and even the one or other review (not necessarily on some app – but if you´re a developer and want a review on your app, feel free to ask me). Topics around the Android markets and some interna like this one complement the collection.

Downloads

Not that there are any apps hosted here – but still, a download area was added, offering you a little but (hopefully) useful collection of things to help you with your Android device. Be it the files needed for a minimal installation of ADB, or my own little Adebar (also see, here on the site, Bash and ADB: Adebar helps you backup, document, and restore your device – and keep in mind Adebar has been improved a lot since that article) – you might wish to take a look and find out. More things might be added there in the future, suggestions are welcome ;)

Statistics

Way up since the beginning. Currently about 5.000 hits by more than 400 unique visitors daily. Google Webmasters counts almost 1.500 impressions (i.e. results from IzzyOnDroid show up to the user on a search he initiated) with about 50 clicks – again each day, with the tendency „up“. Admittedly low even compared with my free eBook library3, but still already encouraging.

Funding

That´s the weak point here. I refuse bloating the site with ads – content is what´s important to me. Still, the site needs funding. There´s money to pay for the server to be kept running – and almost nothing to cover that. Within the year this site is up, it received just a single Flattr. So either this site is too bad (and I should close it right away), or none of its visitors is using Flattr. I´ve put some very decent hints to articles on the left borders, always fitting the topic of the content. Using my Amazon partner ID, they were supposed bring in enough money to cover server costs. They do not half as much – so I not only have the work to fill this site with content, but also have to pay for it. Not that motivating :blush:

So I have to come up with something else, hopefully more predictable. Not that I expect to get rich from that (no objections, though  :D ) – but at least the costs should be covered. From now on, IzzyOnDroid will offer pre-paid ads which you can book. If you have an app, a book, a good blog, a gadget, or anything with a relation to Android you think should fit on this site – let´s make a triple-win (www  :D ) situation out of that: You can feature your product while supporting this site and helping others to find good content! Some of such „ads“ you can already find here to see how they look like (basically, like the Amazon ones on the left border of the page). And here comes the price-to-win I mentioned in the start: Amongst the first to contact me on details on this for their product, 3 will get a place for one free month. One of them even with the „premium“ label to stick out. As I wrote: details on request ;)

interna


  1. A second reason was to provide the askers of „Is there an app for X“ questions at Android.StackExchange (which is off-topic there) at least with a pointer, so they don´t feel simply „kicket out“ ↩︎

  2. If you are a dev, and miss your app here: Let me know. Similarly, if you are a user, and miss a category. Some categories I´ve left out intentionally (e.g. games stuff) – but I´m pretty sure there are others which I simply missed. ↩︎

  3. Izzy´s Public Domain Library currently offers about 7.000 German eBooks to download for free, mostly using the EPUB format. Furthermore about 1.000 English eBooks of the categories Science Fiction and Judaica to the same conditions. ↩︎

2015-02-09