In February 2009, Arron La's $0.99 Advanced Task Manager was one of the first paid apps on Android, allowing T-Mobile G1 users to do what was then a novel thing -- close applications. (We immediately bought a copy.) Today, the app is all but obsolete, its functionality baked right into Android's core, but Arron's still making thousands of dollars a month. Why do we bring this up? Because nine months after Arron released the pay-first version, he unleashed an ad-supported variant as well... and since that day, each has contributed about the same amount ($30,000) of money. It's not exactly an object lesson in what's possible on the 70,000-application-strong Android Market, as this gentleman obviously had quite the head start, but it does show that when it comes time to monetize your best-thing-since-sliced-bread app, there's more than one option -- ads can be an equally good revenue source. Find rays of hope for indie development (and several stormy clouds for comparison) at the links below.

Update:
Did we say 50,000 apps? We meant more like 70K and counting as of July. Thanks to the astute commenters who pointed this out.

[Thanks, Shannon G.]