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I've always had this idea circling around until I am facing this issue.

We made an android app, it is ready, but we are planning to release the same app on iOS and possibly Windows Phone;

Now, should we just release the Android app and promise the clients that the iOS version is coming soon (create anticipation before release)
or delay the release until the iOS version is ready?

Same applies if we have a premium and free version, should we release the free version and promise that the better premium is coming soon, or release them both the same time?

EDIT: as requested, the APP is a social APP, it depends on people's activity to succeed, and the manpower is the same, we made the iOS version, but to compile it we are waiting for the company to get us better Mac Machines (will be in a week for most)

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3 Answers 3

On free / premium, it depends. If the free version is fully usable and is going to improve the user's life a lot, it might be worth getting the free version out there and building some hype. If the free version isn't that great, and it's just a gateway drug to the premium version then making them wait for the premium risks their moving off it and never coming back.

As to Android/iOS, it's not so much that it depends as I can think of a huge advantage and a huge disadvantage to either decision and you need to balance them off and consider which is most important to you.

If you release them together then you'll get combined hype, which is always good. People using the Android version will talk about it in earshot of people using the iOS version. That can only be good for you.

BUT it means that, if you have any bugs, you've got twice as many people clammering for a fix and twice as much negative press. In that sense, it might be worth getting the Android free version out quickly and calling it a Beta or EAP release.

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This is obviously a 'it depends' situation. You havent provided much context about the app and/or the business plan. For example, did you promise an iOS app along with the Android app? Do you multiple teams each which specializes in a particular os?

In general, if you release for one platform first, you can get some initial feedback from real users without being overwhelmed by having to make updates across multiple platforms. Much the way retail outlets do 'soft openings' so that they can work the bugs in their process out, software companies can do 'soft releases' to trickle out the app at first to make sure there's no major, embarrassing problems. Barring any specific business requirements that you have editions for multiple platforms available at the same time, thats how I'd do it.

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since there is two platforms, soft releasing both versions in the same time might help us get better feedback ? –  SAFAD Nov 4 '12 at 21:27

App purchases are often impulse buys. If you're going to have a free and premium version, you'd want to release them together so users can quickly convert to paid users.

As for whether to release Android now or wait for the iOS version, there's multiple things to take into account. Foremost, do you have the manpower to quickly respond to bugs on both platforms if they're released at the same time? Does your app gain value to users by having more other users (e.g. a social game or group scheduling app)? Does your company need the income from the Android version right now to pay for development of the iPhone version? Have you budgeted each release separately for advertising or do you only want to have a single push?

For anyone else out there reading this, this is the sort of basic business planning you should do before you start writing code on a project.

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