LIVE FROM APPS WORLD EUROPE 2014, LONDON: Executives from Hailo, News UK and SlideShare noted the challenges of bringing apps to different international markets, with both technical and cultural issues cited.
Scott Potter, head of engineering at newspaper publisher News UK, said providing different language support is relatively easy but that iconography is where problems can arise.
“Graphics and icons potentially pose the bigger challenge. It’s incredibly easy to offend nations,” he said.
Discussing Hailo’s push into Asia, Valentin Kravtsov, an Android specialist at the taxi hailing app maker, said that the company has come across cultural variations in terms of functionality.
For example, in Japan, tipping is not a customary practice and so the ability for users to add a tip when paying for a taxi fare is not something that is relevant. “Having partners on the ground definitely helps,” Kravtsov noted.
In contrast to the others, Andri Kristinsson, mobile apps product manager for content sharing provider SlideShare, said technical issues are often the biggest challenge for his company.
With SlideShare’s apps being image heavy, mobile bandwidth is a key area in which the company has had to focus when entering new markets.
With just 11 per cent of SlideShare users based in its home market of the US, the company has had to address lower-end devices and less developed mobile broadband infrastructure through image optimisation, caching and offline saving.