Although Microsoft made its Office for iPad apps free to download for viewing documents, to edit existing or create new documents, spreadsheets and presentations, customers must subscribe to an Office 365 software rent-not-own plan. Those plans can be obtained through a number of non-App Store outlets: Consumers, for example, can purchase a subscription from Microsoft’s website or at retail, while businesses can obtain Office 365 from Microsoft directly or from one of its channel partners.
By building for two years’ worth of Android (as we did originally with 4.0+), you’ll support about 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone install base. Removing 4.0-4.1 support leaves you with one year’s worth of OS compatibility, and that number drops to 12.5 percent.
Apple will continue to take its cut from those subscriptions in upcoming years, as the Office 365 Home plans purchased from within a Microsoft app will be “automatically renew[ed] within 24 hours prior to the end of the current subscription period” and again charged to the customer’s iTunes account.
But what of the conventional wisdom that Android users won’t download apps? We looked at the data and didn’t see it. Android users were less likely to pay for apps, to download games, and to pay for in-app content. But they were certainly downloading. Android had more users globally, and was on track to surpass the iOS installed base in the U.S. (It has since done so.) Android’s UX was improving, and a few high-profile influencers were switching to it from iPhone.
In the year since we moved to Android, it’s become more popular to launch Android-first. And for some products it may very well be the right answer. But consider the trade-offs carefully. We’ll never know how things would have gone had we stuck with iPhone from the beginning. But here’s my guess: we would have launched our beta in April (not July) and our 1.0 in August (not October). We’d be building more functionality in less time. Our UX would be more polished, we’d have fewer bugs, and our addressable market would actually be larger.
That doesn’t mean Emu will get more users on iPhone; it merely describes the total number of people who can install our app if they want to. We have more specific hypotheses about how switching platforms might affect our ability to reach target users, but they’re still hypotheses. We’ll write more once we see whether our iPhone launch confirms or refutes them.