App discovery is broken and while there are different curation models that are being worked on, Pune based AppSurfer has launched a unique piece of technology that provides a ‘try before you buy’ model to app consumers.
The platform enables app owners to upload their apps (i.e. the .APK file) on Appsurfer site, immediately own an ‘app webpage’ that showcases their app on a virtual phone (like this) and then allow developers to share that page amongst friends, colleagues and clients. With just a few minutes of effort, developers can create a virtual, Internet presence of their app that otherwise remains buried in mobile app stores. Developers/Publishers can also embed the app on their blogs/pages, making it easy for consumers to actually see how the app works. That is, think of it as a Youtube of Android apps, enabling discovery/presence for app developers.
AppSurfer recently demoed at Appnomy Conference (the team earlier showcased their product, DroidCloud at the last held UnPluggd event, Pune). The company has received an early, Rs. 1 crore investment commitment from One97 Mobility Fund and has added Games2Win founder, Alok Kejriwal to its board. You can check out the platform capability by testing the PlanHound app (which also demoed at Appnomy Conference) towards the end of this article.
Given the global nature of the platform, Appsurfer is a very promising concept and here is a brief QnA with the team:
[Pluggd.in] Move from Droidcloud to Appsurfer – how did it happen?
Appsurfer: There were a few issues with the name DroidCloud. Firstly there are legal issues with the word ‘Droid’ from Lucas Films. We also didn’t have the direct domain name. And we felt we could really do a better job at naming the product. Our advisor Mr. Alok Kejriwal really helped us out with acquiring this domain.
[Pluggd.in] Too early to ask on Appsurfer’s business model, but what’s the roadmap like?
Appsurfer: Focus is on building the product and generating the usage for the platform. So the roadmap for product is set and in two months AppSurfer will have many more features and a lot more apps with global scale. We are of course iterating through the possible business models that could work with this. We are confident that we will get to a right model for us, and we will take our time deciding it.
[Pluggd.in] There are a few other services like BlueStacks which run Android apps on desktop – what’s the USP you are offering?
Appsurfer: BlueStacks is an awesome piece of technology. They are actually offering an added distribution for android apps.
In our case, we are actually targeting to generate more downloads and improving paid downloads in the current ecosystem itself. So for a developer, AppSurfer is something that helps him generate more downloads and more visibility for apps.
Creating a new distribution platform for apps on the non-android platforms is interesting. We are considering that use case, but our focus is on generating more downloads in current ecosystem.
[Pluggd.in] What about the legal implication of running the app inside Appsurfer container (given that developers have to submit the .APK files)?
Appsurfer: There are no legal concerns to our best knowledge. And AppSurfer container is basically an Android operating system itself running on a server, so there are no issues with the use of technology that we know of.
[Pluggd.in] You guys raised angel money very recently – how do you plan to put that money to use?
Appsurfer: The product itself is still evolving, and we need the angel money to support it. The main use of the money would be support the burn for the company. It would also be used for a global quality product design on various platforms.
If you are an app developer, do give Appsurfer a spin and share your suggestion/feedback with the team. This is surely a global product to watch out for.
Checkout the PlanHound app demo, running on Appsurfer platform: