AppSurfer, which was already present as a web app, has now launched a mobile app in which users can test out other Android apps before they buy or download them on their phones.
The AppSurfer platform enables app owners to upload their apps (i.e. the .APK file) on the AppSurfer site. Once this is done they immediately own an ‘app webpage’ that showcases their app on a virtual phone. This page can then be used to showcase the app to friends, colleagues and clients. Developers/Publishers can also embed the app on their blogs/pages, making it easy for consumers to actually see how the app works.
RainingClouds Technologies has now brought their AppSurfer app to Android as a mobile app which offers pretty much all the services on the website.
Just like on the web, the Android app of AppSurfer supports app features like GPS, rotation of the Android phone, Single tap or double tap, drag, accelerometer. The platform doesn’t support Multi-touch support or apps dependent on ARM native libraries.
When one opens the AppSurfer app for the first time after it from Google Play, one is prompted to sign up with a Google ID. The user interface of the app is very simple and one has apps listed on various pages like Popular Apps, Trending Apps, Recent Apps and All applications. Clicking on the AppSurfer logo or pulling in from the left hand screen will get a menu with the apps listed as Applications or Games. These are then categorized further.
On clicking on a particular app, a user is taken to an app page which apart from giving the details of the developer and the price of the app, also provides information on the permissions required by the app, related apps as well as a description of the app. Once can also like, comment or share the app from here.
On the top bar, one will find a link to install the full app on the phone from the Google Play store. So if a user likes an app he can download it immediately. To demo an app one just clicks on the three horizontal bars on top which takes you to a virtual phone and the app is displayed immediately on the emulator.
We tested out various apps in different categories and found the experience to be quite good and comparable to what AppSurfer provides on the web.
The app was displayed in a virtual phone, which occupied approximately 75% of our phone screen. On our Galaxy Nexus, this did not pose much of a problem. But on phones with screens below 4-inch you might be fumbling trying to press the buttons on the screen.
Another issue we faced was that there was no audio from the apps, but the developers says support for audio will coming in the next few weeks. The developers say that there could be optimization done for lower bandwidth connections in the future.
On a 3G connection the apps in the virtual phone functioned without much lag, though when we tested it with an EDGE connection there was a very noticeable lag. This is understandable as the apps are being streamed from the cloud.
Amit Yadav, who is the co-founder and business head, told us that AppSurfer now has over 5,000 developers signed up for the platform. They are also seeing over 60,000 unique users per month. There are presently 3,500 apps listed on AppSurfer. On an average AppSurfer enabled apps convert 40% leads to downloads, which is a pretty high percentage.
Amit also said the company which was till now just focusing on developers will be paying more attention to users of the service. Apart from the AppSurfer website, the embed codes for blogs and websites, AppSurfer can also be used on Facebook. If someone shares an AppSurfer app link with their Facebook status update, the app can be tested directly in their feed by any of their friends even if they don’t even own an Android handset.
The company also began supporting Android tablet apps earlier this year.
App Surfer received an early Rs 1 crore investment commitment from One97 Mobility Fund and has added Games2Win founder, Alok Kejriwal to its board. The company will be looking to raise more funds in a few months once its user base increase further especially with the introduction of the app. The service was orginially launched as DroidCloud at UnPluggd and later rebranded to AppSurfer which was showcased at the Appnomy conference.
You can download AppSurfer for Android here.