Monday, December 19, 2011

Badass Battery Monitor - Free vs. Paid & the Kindle Fire

We have released a paid version (currently $1.99) of Badass Battery Monitor.    The free version of Badass Battery Monitor is still free, and will continue to get updates.  Why a Paid version?  Read on...

Badass Battery Monitor has become quite popular on the Kindle Fire for monitoring the Fire's battery.
  • As of this post, it was #189 on Amazon Appstore for all free apps.  
  • 80% of the downloads from Amazon Appstore are coming from Kindle Fire users (for this particular App).
  • Badass Battery Monitor recently got written up by Sharon Vaknin in her c|net blog about the Kindle Fire.

Kindle users tend to be a different breed from the average Android user.  They have very different expectations, and are looking for apps that fit their particular device.  While the Kindle Fire is using Android as it's underlying operating system, it is a very unique device, and apps designed for Android Phones - particularly Battery Monitoring apps fail miserably on the Kindle.  Even though Badass Battery Monitor is popular on the Kinde Fire, we've received lots of enhancement requests.  Chief amongst those are:
  1. Time estimates are way off.   Because the kindle has no phone (who's radio constantly chews up battery on most Android devices), estimating the time remaining is very tricky.  You can't estimate based purely on how long the device has been on since last charged/unplugged, because the Kindle has a very long standby time.  Put it in standby for a day, come back, and you'll find it's lost maybe 1% of the battery (if that).  Telling the user they have 700 hours left isn't very helpful.  Technically they do if they leave it in standby, but they really want to know how much Active time they have remaining.
  2. The layout is optimized for a phone - make a version that fits my 7" tablet screen:  Designing for a tablet vs. a phone is very different.  We designed Badass Battery Monitor originally for phones.  How can we take advantage of the bigger screen size and make it more usable?
So why release a Paid version?

The Kindle users have been very vocal - it's a good thing.  Enhancing an application for a specific device however takes quite a bit of effort (not to mention having to get a hold of the device itself for testing).  It was time to recoup at least some of our development costs, and in-app advertisement is so annoying (and not particularly profitable).   We'll see how this works - it's our first Paid app.  Are the features available in the Paid version worth the $1.99?  Hopefully some people think so - if not, just think of it as a donation for work you appreciate!  The goal is to keep the free version ad-free...

Badass Battery Monitor (Kindle Fire Edition) available on Amazon Appstore (soon hopefully - pending their Approval) and Professional Edition (on Google's Android Market) address most enhancement requests we've received to-date.  Keep them coming!