That is the Question You are now almost ready to start building the first version of your app

A great approach is to focus on one platform and make it a success

To iOS or to Android? There is one more decision to make before you get going: which platform you build your app for first. This decision is important for a number of reasons. One is that iOS and Android users are actually quite different – in terms of likelihood to spend money on their smartphone, in terms of demographics and even in terms of geography. Another important reason is that the design pattern – namely, how your app is designed and interacts – is quite different between the two platforms (this determines the designers and software developers you recruit first). And perhaps the most important reason is that, at this point, you need to stay focused – don’t double the effort (and cost) on Day One by trying to support two operating systems. Instagram hit the billion-dollar mark with just an iOS version of its app (though the successful launch of its Android app did help seal with the deal with Facebook). Similarly, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Hailo and Angry Birds all launched on iOS first. They then focused maniacally on making one platform successful – before undertaking the additional effort and cost of supporting a second one. It is worth remembering that each platform has an enormous and very loyal user base. That means users are accustomed to the specific way their ‘preferred‘ platform works – and that means you need to respect and understand those specificities to win over the users of each platform. Irrespective of which platform you focus on first, you should become an expert on both platforms, so carry both an Android and an iPhone. Use them both religiously. You’ll become accustomed to both quickly, and start to appreciate how different they are. Armed with this first-hand knowledge, you will create a better product – a better app – for your users. And, for a founder, that is one of the key responsibilities. One at a time, please – but which?

Supercell – creators of Clash of Clans – actually launched their company with an all-platform strategy

So how do you decide between the two platforms? Let’s have a look at the decisions made by our model citizens – the Billion-Dollar App Club. WhatsApp decided to launch on iOS first. Its logic was that iPhone users also disliked mobile advertising – and didn’t want their app experience to be junked up with intrusive ads. WhatsApp also reasoned that iPhone users spend more on premium apps – in fact they were spending 2.7 times more than Android users.1 Apple users accounted for 73 per cent of the total spent on the App Store and Google Play as of mid-2013. The WhatsApp go-tomarket business model payday loan laws in Utah was to charge users $0.99 for the download and offer free messaging for ever. It worked: iPhone users were happy to pay $0.99 for the download – and did so in the tens of millions. With big revenues rolling through the door, WhatsApp was ready to launch an Android app. WhatsApp launched on Android with precisely the same business model: a $0.99 download and free messaging for ever. In a complete surprise, download numbers struggled to such an extent that the team ended up quickly ditching the $0.99 price point for Android users, and made the app free. Downloads rocketed, the user base continued to grow and amazed iPhone users were still happy to keep paying $0.99 to download the app. For almost precisely the same reasons, Rovio released its Angry Birds game exclusively for the iPhone in . It offered both a free version with a limited number of levels, as well as a premium version where you could pay $0.99 for more levels. Its focus was entirely on delivering the best experience to users on that platform, and, as a result, it built up huge demand for the game on Android. It launched it almost a year later and by its CEO announced Rovio had hit 42 million downloads2 – 12 million of which were paid, and on iOS. What about iPads? But what Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell, and his team realised ever so quickly was that, if you don’t build your games from the ground up for a specific platform, you’re not going to build the best games: ‘We started from this online web product, and how we actually discovered tablet was when we started to create a version of the game for the tablet, and we realised, “Hey, it’s not going to be a good game!” Unless we actually start from the tablet, we’re never going to create the best games for this platform.’3 When billion-dollar app Flipboard launched its business, it completely

That is the Question You are now almost ready to start building the first version of your app

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