Mobile Apps

What's the best way to publish an App that is only relevant in a single city?

Oren Hod Product Manager, Growth at Facebook

March 2nd, 2015

To start testing the value prop, the app will only work for a single city (for example, think about Yelp for NY). I'd like to prevent unnecessary downloads and low reviews from frustrated customers who figured out the app wont work for them.
One option is to include the city in the app name - Yelp NY, for example. This will prevent unnecessary downloads and requires no extra dev work. Are there any issues with that approach such as later on when I want to change the name?
Any better approach?

Karl Schulmeisters Founder ExStreamVR

March 3rd, 2015

Well you could have the app identify the range of IP addresses or its GeoLocation and notify the user that it is designed to be used only "in City X"

Steven Schkolne Computer Scientist on a Mission

March 3rd, 2015

Last I checked, you can't change an iOS app name once it's released. So there is indeed a massive issue down the road when you change the name.

Like Clynton says, doing your initial customer development with named apps, and transitioning to a generic name when the app launches is valid *however* you have to be very delicate about not losing users if your app does succeed. An update with a popup directing to install the new app is easy, however old users may not update. Best to prepare for this NOW, by having your app check a file on the server to see if it's valid or not, with a link for the new install on the server in XML. That way, users won't have to update to know that their app is invalid.

For non-region usage during beta period, having a notification when a user is outside the area is good but - well it depends on the app -- I could live in NY and be traveling. etc. Tough to think through these use cases. Great if out-of-the-area users could subscribe to get a push when the app is made available in their area. That, and email are great ways to build a customer list. However, if you're looking at it as a beta maybe best not to worry about it. When you re-release with a new name, you'll free yourself from ay past bad reviews on your store page.

Clynton Caines SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies

March 3rd, 2015

You can create multiple apps in the app store - one with each name and not release the main one until you're ready. You can also make it doubly clear in the description what city is currently online. To really drive the point home, you can have some flare in the app, app store description and website to celebrate the launch region (i.e. each city). Like Karl said, you can use IP address/Geolocation to limit by location - but also display a count-down to an anticipated launch date.

You're probably launching a 1.0 MVP, but if there's any chance you're still in beta, then I'd say the latest TestFlight beta program looks really good. I haven't used it though. Good luck

Jonathan Poston | Medical Marketing Agency

June 2nd, 2015

ASO using local search terms, matching the app taglines, "navigating NYC bus routes in less than 30 seconds"