In March this year, Apple introduced its App Accelerator program in Bengaluru. The event was then officially inaugurated by the company’s senior vice-president Phil Schiller. The program is aimed to provide specialized support for developers to build tools for the iOS platform. Each week, Apple’s team guides developers to design best practices and refine their skills to create iOS apps. The App Accelerator is capable of hosting 500 developers per week, and the registration and attending the sessions is free and open to everyone.
Now it’s been three months since the program began and it has really started to shape up. Gadgets 360 spoke to a few developers attending the program, and the reaction by and large has been positive. With just under half-a-million registered Apple developers in the country, India is among the most active markets when it comes to making apps for Apple’s platforms.
Alvin Varghese, founder of Swift India Developer Community said, “The experience at the App Accelerator has been really good; Apple really wants Indian developers to be part of the global players. We are glad that Apple is doing this.”
Apple’s App Accelerator, which holds sessions between two to four hours, have “evangelists” from the company that are getting developers up to speed with the newest technologies, and guiding them to improve their apps and make the best out of the available resources. Developers say that they get to understand what new technologies Apple specifically recommends they target, with SiriKit being one such example. ALSO READ: Apple iOS 11 with ARKit to turn iPhones, iPads into ‘largest AR platform’: Is it the future of Mixed Reality?
This program comes in as a blessing for the developers as many said that Indian companies often take long time in leveraging new features Apple introduces. Only a small number of companies have shipped any iMessages extensions, for instance, even though the company announced support for extensions in Messages last year.
However, the most valued lesson the developers learnt at the sessions was to rethink their target audience. The evangelists tell them to make apps that serve to the needs of the local market, instead of focusing their energies in chasing the Western audience. “What will work in the US or elsewhere may not work here. Don’t copy any app. Try to think of your own use case and your users’ needs. Study other apps but be original,” Mayur, a Delhi-based developer recounted Apple’s message. ALSO READ: Apple OEM partner Wistron gets BIS certification for iPhone SE production in India
As Apple pushes to find its next big market in India, the company would need the help of these developers. Apps that cater to the local market, leverage new technologies, and are built with right coding practices could create the best user experience for Indians.
“Over the last few years, it’s grown dramatically in importance to us. This is a very exciting change, we see the opportunity for a huge market and a very young population and we want to be important here. We want to make products that this market loves. Our driving ambition in every market is to be the best, and not the cheapest, with whatever that means to customers. In India, we want to be the best provider of the things we do. We have started asking ourselves what it means to be the best in India – how is it like other markets and how is it different. Distribution can be different, network infrastructure is different,” Schiller said at the time of the program’s inauguration in the country. ALSO READ: Phil Schiller at Bengaluru App Accelerator: ‘India has grown dramatically important to us’