Switching App Builders
Written by Alexandra Soroka on Tuesday, May 17th 2016
Many people are intrigued by new app builders but are hesitant to make the switch due to the idea that moving to a new platform equals starting from scratch. Especially for agencies who have multiple apps running somewhere, the idea of this transition can seem like a huge burden.
When you switch app builders, it’s true that there is no way to avoid having to put in some time to recreate the app on the new platform. However, the real value of the app lies in the audience that you invest so much time in obtaining. Losing all of your hard-earned users and launching a totally new app in the stores is the bigger hassle for many, and luckily this can be easily avoided, as long as you have one key piece of information.
In order to maintain the same application in Google Play, you will need to ask your app builder to provide you with the Keystore file, which is the file that contains the private key of your Android app. Only this is what gives you the freedom to rebuild your app on another platform and publish the new version as an update to your existing app, without disturbing your users.
Some app builders give the Keystore files while others do not. Unfortunately, if you’re not able to get ahold of the Keystore file, you have no other choice but to create an entirely new app in the Play store, which your users will have to redownload. At GoodBarber, we do release this information upon request, so as to not lock you into anything in case your needs change down the line.
Updating the iOS version with your new GoodBarber app does not require any exclusive information as the Android version does.
Keep in mind you will need to have published the app under your own developer account (as opposed to that of your previous app builder). All the information you need to have on hand is your App ID and version number, available in the App Information tab of your iTunes Connect account.
Once the new version of the app replaces your old app in the stores, the only thing your users will have to do is update the app in their device, just like they do all the time when software or app updates are released. A non-intrusive notification will be displayed alerting them of this.
In order to avoid downtime between versions, we suggest you fully build and test the app on your new platform before ending the subscription to your old app builder. This way you can make a quick and smooth transition without leaving your users with a period of time where the app is neither running under your old subscription nor ready under your new one.
Whether you're rebuilding one or many apps on another platform, it offers a great opportunity to promote a new design, fresh features, and to keep you users engaged and interested—a good reason for a promotional campaign!
For more submission secrets and a step by step visual guide to publishing on both platforms, check out this webinar.