One Year of Android.AppStorm!

After a few weeks in “soft launch” mode (with just a single roundup and a notice that we’d be coming soon), Android.AppStorm officially launched on January 24th, 2011. That was a whole year ago, and since then we’ve reviewed hundreds of apps and written dozens of roundups and guides for Android users everywhere.

In this post, we’ll take a look back at our first year…


Your Favorites

Biggest Hit

Roundups tend to be the most popular posts on any blog, and we’re no exception. One roundup in particular shows up as a huge spike on our traffic graph: Customize Every Aspect of Your Android Experience.

This was published just a few months after we launched, and at that time literally doubled our traffic across the whole site!

Most Consistently Popular Post

Android Home Screen Launchers: Six of the Best, on the other hand, didn’t make a particularly big splash when first published, but has brought in a steady stream of visitors month on month. It’s way overdue an update, so look out for that in the next few weeks!

Most Popular App Reviews

It may surprise you, but the app review that’s had the most visits is actually a piece of Mac software: Sync Your Android With Your Mac Using SyncMate.

Next up is our review of GetJar, followed by this writeup of Metro UI.

So, an app that lets Apple users sync music to their non-Apple phone; an app that lets Android users download apps from a non-Google Market, and an app that lets Android users skin their homescreen to look like a Windows Phone. You contrarians!

Most Popular ROM Reviews

10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod 7 and 5 Tricks to Stick With It is the most visited, followed by 10 Ways MIUI Is Awesome, and 5 Setbacks That Keep It From Perfection.

Given that CM7 and MIUI are probably the most popular and well-developed ROMs, that’s probably not a surprise.

Most Popular How-To Guides

Clear Storage Space on Your Phone Without Rooting was actually the first article I wrote for the site after it launched, and to this day it remains relevant (as evidenced by the comments – five more in the last week alone). I’d have expected the Contacts Storage bug to have been fixed by now, frankly!

After that is How to Set a Custom Android Ringtone, and then HTC Wildfire Performance: Hints, Tips, and Tricks.

Look out for another big roundup of Android tips early next month!

Most Popular Roundups

As you can probably guess from the above, customisation is a hot topic. Aside from the roundups already mentioned, 60 Beautiful Wallpapers for Your Android Phone, Five of the Best Calendar App Replacements, and Great Android Music Players have garnered the most interest.

Most Popular News Update

We don’t cover breaking news too often, but everyone was excited about the 2.3 Gingerbread overview. In my opinion, this is where Android really started to mature, and change from just another mobile OS to a real contender.

Most Popular Opinion Pieces

In a sense, all of our reviews are opinion pieces, but of course that’s not what I’m talking about. The first and third most popular op-eds are – predictably – about Android vs iOS: Android Market vs. iTunes App Store and Android vs. iOS: It’s About the Apps.

But at a very close second is an article specific to this platform: To Root or Not to Root?

Most Popular Hardware Review

Unlike our sister sites iPhone.AppStorm and Mac.AppStorm, we have plenty of opportunity to review hardware: handsets, tablets, and accessories. The most popular of these posts is our extra-long review of the Samsung Galaxy S II, which concluded, “The S II is, without a shadow of doubt, the best Android smartphone out there on the market right now.”

Most Shared

Remarkably, each of the social media services had a different favourite article. I guess this is evidence that they do all support different audiences.

Most Tweeted: 40+ Beautiful Android Application Interfaces and Icons

Most Stumbled: Customize Every Aspect of Your Android Experience

Most Clicked on Facebook: Translate on the Go With These Translation Apps

Most Google Plussed: 15 Essential Android Apps to Help You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Most Clicked on Reddit: Looking For a Smarter Note Tool? Try Springpad (see discussion)

Most Upvoted on Reddit: 60 Beautiful Wallpapers for Your Android Phone (see discussion)

The Team

We’ve had, in total, more than sixty writers, who together have written over 500 articles. I’m not going to cover them all here, but I want to acknowledge the current core team: those that have been with us for a long time and contributed a lot of articles.

Darren Meehan

Darren Meehan

Posts: 18
Twitter: @darrenmeehan
Google+: Darren Meehan

Imagine a year!! How to Get the Most Out of Your New Android Device is my favourite post; it’s something I’ve been able to send to friends new to Android and know they’ll learn some really useful tips.

Justin Stravarius

Justin Stravarius

Posts: 28
Twitter: @stravarius

Hurray! A year went by so quickly! So proud to have been one of the earliest contributors 😉
Personally I loved reading about all the wonderful apps from the Android ecosystem. But if I had to pick one post I really love, it would be 30+ Unique Apps Exclusive to Android.

I remember buying my HTC Wildfire shortly after I applied to write for the site (I believe it was just before the site was launched). I had only started writing for Envato sites and that was my first purchase using compensation i’d received from writing. It’s been a great year and I’ve loved writing for the site, especially the CES and event coverage I’ve done. That’s been fantastic. Here’s to another fantastic year for both the site and Android!

Dean Sherwin

Dean Sherwin

Posts: 17
Twitter: @deansherwin
Google+: Dean Sherwin

It’s been great watching the site go from strength to strength. I’d say the article I had the most fun writing was my Death of a Droid post. Even if I lost a good pal in the process.I’ve no particular favourite article on Android Appstorm – every article I read by the other authors always seem to introduce me to new apps and open up the platform even further for me. For that I’m thankful.

Joe Casabona

Joe Casabona

Posts: 34
Twitter: @jcasabona
Google+: Joe Casabona

I was hoping for a while Envato would do an Android Appstorm so I was really happy when it launched, and even happier that I because a regular writer for it! I’m glad I can contribute to such a cool community.

Rita El Khoury

Rita El Khoury

Posts: 23
Twitter: @khouryrt
Google+: Rita El Khoury

I seem to notice that most of us here came to Android.AppStorm as readers first and then became writers. So I think I speak for all of us here when I say that it’s a great pleasure to write for a site that we love reading in the first place, because we know we share a common passion with the readers and we are always striving to make it better.

Asad Salman

Asad Salman

Posts: 6
Twitter: @AsadSal

This article is the reason why I fell in love with Android in the first place: Customize Every Aspect of Your Android Experience. I found this article through StumbleUpon and thought it was so awesome. It was also my first visit to Appstorm. I probably went through it at least 10 times and have a lot of those apps on my phone now!

Robert Iagar

Robert Iagar

Posts: 11
Twitter: @robertiagar
Google+: Robert Iagar

Would it be selfish if I highlighted one of my articles, specifically my Cover Art Downloader review? It’s the first application I covered for Android and it marks my start in application reviewing and how-to guides.

Sam Cater

Sam Cater

Posts: 43
Twitter: @samcater
Google+: Sam Cater

I’d like to recommend 10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod 7 – it encouraged me to try CyanogenMod and since then I’ve loved it! And I should mention how great it is to see the number of published postsgoing up, and up. When I started writing it was at about 100 or so. Since then I’ve seen it go from 200, to 400, and now over 500!

Ruairi O Gallchoir

Ruairi O Gallchoir

Posts: 8
Twitter: @ruairig
Google+: Ruairi O Gallchoir

I’m going to have to say this article is my favourite: Spark 360: Xbox Live for Android. I found it through a Google search one day and since then I’ve been a
loyal visitor of Android.Appstorm almost every day!

Caio Dettmar

Caio Dettmar

Posts: 8
Twitter: @luciebara
Google+: Caio Dettmar

I must say that 10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod 7 and 5 Tricks to Stick With It inspired me to install CM7! What makes any work better is liking where you work, whether it be a written work or any other, you must love what you do, and be a client yourself of the product you’re “selling”. Hail to the Android.AppStorm!

Paul Wilks

Paul Wilks

Posts: 13
Twitter: @PaulWilks
Google+: Paul Wilks

Aside from the thrill of being part of something very cool indeed, I love the way articles on Android.Appstorm both resonate with me personally and also manage to really get under the skin of a particular issue. Two items that really stood out to me have been 10 Ways MIUI is Awesome… and more recently The Problem of Choice…, both of which I found to be insightful and highly relevant to me and my own Android experience.

Ashish Bogawat

Ashish Bogawat

Posts: 31
Twitter: @abogawat
Google+: Ashish Bogawat

 

Ashish was one of the first to apply to the site after it opened, and has written some of our most popular (and most in-depth) posts. He’s got a particular knack for huge roundups: Customize Every Aspect of Your Android Experience and Outstanding Themes to Redesign Your Android are great examples.

James Cull

James Cull

Posts: 27
Twitter: @james_cull
Google+: James Cullasa

 

James joined us last April, and at that time he was the only writer with a tablet, so I assigned him all the Honeycomb and tablet app reviews! More recently, he’s been focusing on opinion pieces, like 8 Things I want in My Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

Rahsheen Porter

Rahsheen Porter

Posts: 12
Twitter: @rahsheen
Google+: Rahsheen Porter

 

Before writing this article, I thought that Rahsheen had been with us since the start, but it turns out he’s a relative newcomer, having only joined us last summer. Still, he’s written some excellent articles; my personal favourite is How to Make Your Android Self-Aware With Tasker, in which he took an incredibly powerful – and somewhat complicated – app called Tasker, and explained how to use it in simple terms that anyone could follow.

Here’s to Next Year!

The first year of a blog is always a little shaky: you’ve got no writers, you’ve got no readers, and you haven’t figured out what the tone of the site should be.

But now, we’ve got a solid team, we’ve had a ton of great feedback about what you readers want to see more of, and we’ve hit our stride. Combine that with Android’s continual growth and improvements, and I think we’re in for a great second year.

Thanks for reading Android.AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve got in store!