How Many Apps?


questionmark.pngThere’s sometimes a question as to how many apps an organisation/company should produce. Should you bundle all required functionality into one app or produce separate apps?

The overriding consideration is obviously cost. It costs a lot more to produce, test, support and distribute multiple apps rather than have everything on one app. So what considerations might make the added cost worth it? Here are some scenarios I have come across that have resulted in multiple apps…

  • Where having multiple apps will lead to more overall engagement. For example, an app used primarily for marketing might have functionality spread over several apps, over time, so as to spread and increase engagement over time.
  • When it’s known all the functionality won’t be ready all at once and it’s technically difficult to upgrade older functionality if it were all in one upgraded app.
  • When the functionality is totally separate and we don’t want users to know or care about functionality they won’t even use. e.g. Partitioning apps by enterprise job function (or this can also be done with one app by only showing functionality applicable to the user).
  • When the user experience for given functionality needs to be very different and placing all in one app would produce a confused app and confused users.
  • When functionality is monetised differently (e.g. Free vs Paid). A free app is sometimes used as a lead-in for a paid app even though the functionality of the two are different, yet related. e.g. A PDF reader app might be a free app that leads to a paid app that scans things and produces PDFs.
  • When it’s easier to monetise incrementally per app rather than multiple in-app payment. For example, content is often less visible embedded with other content within an app but it might be more visible if presented as an app in its own right. e.g. People might search for book topics, not a book reader.

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