Optimizing mobile apps for a new platform is not as difficult as it looks, says Tapjoy’s Chris Akhavan. However, you will need to get in on the game early and have a lot of patience.
BlackBerry (formerly RIM) has just launched its latest BlackBerry 10 platform, and along with this launch, developers are expected to come out with their own apps on the new platform. BlackBerry is not exactly the most popular mobile platform today, which is why the company has been encouraging developers to port their apps, giving incentives and bonuses along the way.
The 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps featured so far on BlackBerry World is testament to how “developers will continue to confront new and diverse platforms as the mobile market grows,” says Tapjoy senior vice president Chris Akhavan. However, as new platforms are launched, these come with “proprietary needs for customizing apps and added time to optimize.”
Given the extra effort needed to optimize apps for new platforms, Chris gives a few tips:
- Getting in early is a big advantage – Everyone wants to be first. If you’re one of the first, and can build a strong relationship with the platform, those relationships will pay off over time through things like being first in line when there are opportunities to be featured, and getting more up-to-date information about what’s in the pipeline.
- Porting won’t be as hard as it used to be – New platforms feel your pain; they want to make it easy for you. Try not to worry too much about it.
- Patience is key – If you believe in a platform, don’t get discouraged. Expect first 6-9 months to be unimpressive, but there’s value in sticking with it.
- Marketing – Success means different things on different platforms, and they require different approaches. For example, iOS is about quick bursts of installs where Android is more about engagement – expect your marketing strategy to need adjustment on any new platform you design for.
- Stick to basics – There are a few tried-and-true development approaches when it comes to designing for a mobile device. Be sure not to get too overwhelmed by the new platform so that those basics don’t change.
Tapjoy is a mobile ad and monetization platform that lets users opt-in to videos, services and other ads in exchange for virtual currency. In July 2012, Tajoy launched its US$5 million Asia fund, which offers monetary support and consultancy to mobile app developers, as well as inclusion in its distribution network of about 339 million monthly global users.