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At Google’s App Excellence Summit, focus was on building for billions

Vishal Krishna
2nd Aug 2017
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Google sets down guidelines to help developers learn about best practices to get their apps ready for a billion Android users; the tech giant believes engagement is the key to building great apps for India.

Google today announced the build for billions guidelines to help developers overcome challenges such as varying network connectivity, device specifications and high data costs. This billions playbook is a step-by-step guide for developers to learn about best practices to get their apps ready for a billion Android users.

“The next big thing is to get to the magical 10MB app size and taking friction away in any service, be it payments or data analysis,” said Purnima Kochikar, Director, Business Development, Games and Applications, Google Play.

“Developers should go out there and understand the next 300 million consumers who have so many different Android devices and consume services differently,” Purnima said, adding that engagement is the key to building great apps for India.

Google hosted 700 Indian app and games developers at its first App Excellence Summit in Bengaluru. The company shared tips and tools to help developers create the best Android apps that are also locally relevant.

The tech giant said more than 1 billion apps are installed every month from Google Play. The least amount spent on an app in India is Rs 100 today and it is poised to increase as all services all going mobile. The opportunities are in fintech, IOT, auotmobile and other consumer services.

Rajan Anandan, Managing Director of Google India, said with the arrival of Reliance Jio there had been an explosion of mobile-based services that could be built to scale in India.

The chief product officers of premier apps in India had a message or two for the millions of people wanting to build their own apps.

Ranjit Radhakrishnan, CPO of Byju’s, said a developer should know the domain-specific user experience of their consumer. “We are in education and we always think of making it easier for children to understand concepts faster,” he said. He added that a developer should identify gaps and create personalisation of content and adaptiveness of UI.

But perhaps the most difficult part for developers in India is to understand user habits.

“Dealing with demographics is the challenge. Most successful apps in their geographies have been close to the audience and learn constantly from feedback,” Ranjit said. He added that on-boarding users is a technical aspect and to get that right one must play around to provide the best user experience.

Puneet Gupt, COO of Times Internet, said developers should focus on voice platforms to enable local services.

“Build for each network and the app should automatically move as per the network. Never lead customers to settings, you will lose them in the process,” he said. He added that retaining customers was the biggest business challenge for startups and they need to focus on that.

Developers also need to keep in mind that they have to build something that can be used by several people. Amazon and Flipkart have cracked the model and have millions of Indians ordering on their apps.

Anshuman Bapna, CPO of MakeMyTrip, said developers need to be honest about their market. “Focus on intense usage by millions of people or by one person intensely,” he said.

The theme of thinking about the user base ran through the summit.

Mark Skaggs, Director, Moonfrog, told YourStory that Indian developers must believe in building services for the Indian market. “There have been great transitions in gaming, mobile and social industries, and India will see that change soon. Be part of that change,” he says.

Google is on the go and it has the pulse right on developers. The future, as Purnima said, is in “being closer to users” and Google already seems to be there.

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