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How to collect future users before an Android app is launched

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 | By Rose Powell

Expenses management software company Pocketbook has this week launched an Android app to hundreds of eager users, capitalising on its two-month old iPhone app that has tens of thousands of users already.


Co-founder Bosco Tan told StartupSmart requests for an Android version made up a large number of the 50 to 100 pieces of feedback they’ve been receiving since launching the iOS app in August.


“We were keen to maintain the interest from Android users, so we encouraged them towards the web app. We found this worked pretty well in the interim, as the web version is useful to the extent it has all the basic functionality of the product,” Tan says.


Tan says they decided to focus on the iPhone app first because developing the Android app was always going to be more challenging.


“There are complexities with Androids such as different screen sizes and devices, so we decided to get the experience right on the iPhone first before inviting in another platform, so like most start-ups, it was about resourcing and getting the product right,” Tan says.


The apps are fairly similar, although Tan adds he and co-founder Alvin Singh, who developed the apps themselves, were aware of the differences between the platforms and user expectations.


“We’ve replicated the best bits of the iPhone app, but tailored it for the Android user,” Tan says. “Android and iPhone users are slightly different. Android users are potentially more focused on the details around the specifics of the app, rather than focused on the appearance and ease of use.”


Tan says they also worked out a way to speed up the way the app communicates the necessary databases of financial information, and they’ll be implementing this change in the iOS app also.


Pocketbook has recently returned from a financial start-ups pitching competition in Dubai. A New Zealand real-time international transfer start-up took out the top prize, but Tan says the app was well received and they’re exploring ideas for international expansion.