Sunday, July 8, 2012

Renaming an Android App

I started my Android Development by simply creating an app for my own use - I wasn't happy with existing battery monitors, and wanted much more detail.  So I created Badass Battery Monitor.  The name was a joke - but I liked it, and it was unique, so it stuck.

As the app has grown in popularity, I get frequent comments from users complaining about the name.  While Badass isn't necessarily a 'bad word', it certainly is considered vulgar in certain company.   Nothing in the app is at all risque or offensive in any way other than the name, so why risk alienating possible users just for the sake of the name?  If I could start over, I'd definitely choose a different name.  Can I rename the App in flight?

Yes - I'm going to rename the app and see how it works.  I run the following risks:
  1. There are numerous reviews, forum posts, etc. that all refer to Badass Battery Monitor.  A significant portion of download traffic can be attributed to this.  What happens when you change the name?  Can folks still find your app?  Will they get confused by the name change and think they haven't found the right app?
  2. Badass has a certain ring to it, and is very unique.  Type in Badass in Google Play, and the app comes up.  Google Badass Android and the app comes up.  How do I avoid losing that?  At least for a while, I'll have to prominently indicate that this is the App Formerly Known As Badass.


Choosing a new name:

It's important to be able to find the app in the Play store.  Generically named apps - something like 'Battery' are very hard to find, even if you know exactly what your searching for.  But you want your app name to be descriptive for users who are browsing, then can easily tell what your app does.

So I went with GSam Battery Monitor.  The name contains a strong description of what the app does, but also contains a unique term to help distinguish it from all the other Battery apps out there.  GSam is unique, and is already associated with the app (I develop under the name GSam Labs).   


Tracking the rename effect:

Fortunately Google and Amazon provide a wealth of download statistics.  So I know what my historical downloads are, and can track whether the name change has any major effects.  I'll update this post as time passes to show any changes.  This is all a big experiment - if my downloads fall off a cliff, I can always change the name back!

15 comments:

  1. I like the name change, and the fact that you did keep it unique by incorporating your developer name. :) Anyway, despite the fact that I have the paid Kindle Fire edition on my Fire, I decided to go ahead and purchase the Pro version for my mobile as well so that I could better support your efforts. Keep up the great work!

    PS left a review on the Google Play market too. :)

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  2. Thanks for your support! I'll edit the post above with other feedback on the name change - some amusing comments in the Play store...

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  3. I almost don't want to update the app so I don't lose the badass app name, lol

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  4. I was thinking the same thing as the person above, I hesitated to update because I liked the badass name. But I thoroughly understand your reasons for changing the name, I am perhaps in the minority compared to the average user. I appreciate the sense of humor. I'll give you account of what connotations went through my head when I initially saw the name of the app. I assumed it fell into 1 of 2 categories. Either this is a quickly thrown together app made by a developer mostly for him and his friends, or this is actually a great app, an app good enough that it doesn't need a professional sounding name because the quality will speak for itself, an app made by a skilled developer with a sense of humor and balls enough to not follow the herd. I quickly found it to be the latter. The reviews were good, the website was good, and I had already been directed to it by mentions in forums. Also, it was 1 of the first I found to use a workaround for the motorola 1% issue, which was a godsend. I had tried many battery apps and this was by far my favorite. I quickly purchased the pro version and never looked back. More battery apps may come and go, but I'm not shopping anymore, I'm sold. So thanks. Call it whatever you like, it's still badass. And you totally rock.

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  5. Amazing Post!
    I love it. Will come back again - taking your feeds also.
    Thanks.
    iCaption That

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  6. I originally downloaded your app because of the name making me laugh:-) I thought anybody with a sense of humor about a very annoying issue had to be good! Your app will always be BA Battery to me! You can always use that tagline you mentioned -- the app formerly known as BA! It worked for The Artist formerly known as Prince which you obviously knew! Thanks for the fabulous app and sense of humor! BTW , I'm 60 and wondering just how old are those people who were offended! And glad I dont know them!

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  7. As a parent who is teaching her son that using profanity is not necessary to get his point across. I found the name offensive,foul language is not used by me or my son because i do not allow it. I am glad the name was changed.

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  8. Im horrified that prudes made you change such a well known brand name which you created with ur application, a great name, which stuck!

    Sad really that these people exist.

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  9. Badass is MUCH better than any other name. I forgot the new name already ! How can I recommend it to anyone now ?! The new name is meaningless and really sucks. Only the developer understands it

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  10. Thanks for the name change. It is a testament to the quality of your app that I kept it on my system with the former name. I admit to being one of those almost alienated purely because of the name. Thanks for making a very useful tool.

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  11. I appreciate your thought process and explanation, but it's worth noting that with so many battery apps to choose from, the old name was what got my attention for long enough to recognize the product's quality. If you trend positively because of the name change, then more power to you, it's a great app. But if you do not notice an uptick, then I hope you change it back! Cheers for the sense of humor and not taking life too seriously.

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  12. unfortunately widget (showing battery) not working properly on Samsung Galaxy S 2. Always showing 50% and connect AC.

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  13. Is there any way to disable the "Charge Complete" notification? I was getting a loop of the sound that wouldn't stop until I rebooted my phone - Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3.

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  14. Great app!
    Question though.
    What I noticed that even if screen is off for 15minutes, GSam will show it was on for 9minutes during that test period.
    When I turn of screen for 10minutes it showed that screen was on for 6 minutes in that period.
    Is that a bug in application?
    For those 2 test times, screen was on for just couple of seconds, 30 at most.

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  15. There's an app that looks like yours created recently on XDA and available on play store :

    Battery Stats Plus Pro

    http://goo.gl/HDKKO

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