So I actually tried out this service today for the company I am working at.
I do not see much value being created from the current offering. Sure, it makes a pretty page and gives you analytics for people being sent to that particular page. This really doesn't solve a problem though. I would say that about half the people discover apps through the app store itself. Developers needs analytics in the app store, not on some redirect page. As it stands, this is just another layer.
I really did like the feature that a user can send an SMS to their phone number for an install link. And that button can be replicated anywhere. This is pretty useful. Everything else, I don't see why appstores can't integrate those features into their appstores.
What value is this creating for me as a developer? A custom app landing page? I could have done that myself. Analytics? I can throw Google Analytics onto a custom landing page. Can I track how many people hit my app.net/domain page and then proceeded to install? Nope, but Google/Apple can certainly create that value (and maybe even charge for it).
Edit: I eat my words below because I didn't know what I was talking about. Thanks for pointing out bruceboughton and mbarr.
<uninformed>The "send to phone" button on app store webpages is a simple feature Google and Apple can copy straight from Amazon's Kindle playbook. If I couldn't send book samples to my Kindle while browsing Amazon on my computer, I'd miss out on checking out and buying a lot of books.</uninformed>
I think what some people forget is that there are only about 500K iphone apps in the app store (about the same for Android? not sure on that), and the store is barely three years old. Over the next few years I bet that number is going to explode, providing a huge opportunity for a service like app.net.
The site is really well done, and the selection of launch partners is great. I like the App.net app pages much better than the Apple app pages that try to launch iTunes. I don't think it matters much whether it's nameofapp.app.net or app.net/nameofapp.
I never knew that Google takes you directly to the official website of a product. What I know is that google ranks websites based on keywords, links, content... (SEO) and show you (typically) the 10 first most pertinent results.
Being the first on Google doesn't mean that you are the official/legitimate website of that product.
Having recently built a mini site to host info about an iPhone app I can appreciate where the idea is going... unfortunately their pricing seems fairly out of place with what's being offered.
I built a small supporting site and tossed it up on Google Apps (really just plain HTML) for free hosting... yes, I needed to set the template and Google Analytics code myself but is that really worth the $2.50 - $4.00 a month?
Might I humbly suggest a small change... bump the free level to 5 apps so that I get hooked on the ease of use and simplicity of your model then group together upgrades in wide bands... maybe 5-10 for the second tier and 10-50 for the third tier.
Oh, and get Windows Phone support in there... there likely isn't much demand but it is my preferred platform and I'd like it to succeed. :)
This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I was going to hire a designer to make a simple splash page like this for my app but it probably would have costs a lot more than "free" just to get that done including the hosting.
So I just tried out the service and am debating whether to use it or not. I've been looking for something like this, but dealing with the domain issue and providing a bit of automation for icon/image grabbing would go a long way for me. Also wondering if there are plans for multi-platform support? My company has many apps that exist on both iPhone and Android.
We are building tools to help app developers gain insight and drive engagement. There are myriad issues around creating alternate app stores, so we are very intentionally trying to build on top of existing atores.
In terms of how a user that hits one of the pages and actually get the app on their phone, we have a couple of novel approaches (in addition to the standard iTunes link): click "get the app" and you will see a place to SMS a link to the phone, email a link, etc.