Mobile platform User Guide for Product Managers
Here's a short summary of how things are structured on both Android and iOS platforms
As PM, how do you visualize mobile platform opportunities ?
You probably have a mobile monitoring fed by readings on tendencies, specialized blogs or competition analysis which give you an idea of potential features you can use to improve your product.
Do you use directly the mobile platform documentation ?
Probably not, Android as much as iOS, have a very technical oriented documentation. Websites are mainly promotional and targeting smartphone users, then hardly actionable to get an overview of possibilities. The entries toward platform documentation are “Developer” links (yet less accessible if you are a product person) and real product pages are lost in it.
Using a few selected sources is a first level which will make the job most of the time, but 🐰, reading only indirect articles can have some drawbacks : delay, level of detail, coverage : possibility of missing an opportunity.
In this article, I give you a short summary of how things are structured on both Android and iOS platforms 🚀
First, as said before, Android.com and Apple.com are both promotional websites fort smartphone users, the app documentation is on the developer part
Android starts with technical related content : “Whether you’re an experienced developer or creating your first Android app, here are some resources to get you started.” Apple is better structured at first with a more product oriented home, but, when you are searching for an easy-to-digest list of platform possibilities with a product/business perspective you have to dig into the store page on both platforms, not really easy for a non technical person.
- 🚀 “Google play” menu option for Android : https://developer.android.com/distribute
you first have a listing of Play Store related products before a far but interesting “Guide” menu option. Here (“best practices” section), you have a really product oriented documentation structured by business concerns, concise and understandable by non technical people (but limited to Google products and non exhaustive, eg ARCore is not present).
- 🚀 “Distribute” menu option for Apple : https://developer.apple.com/distribute
you have to go into the “promote your apps” page, then on the “feature” menu option, then you have the list of marketing features offered by the Apple Store then a quite raw list of iOS technologies available to use (likely exhaustive but non including third-party possibilities). There is no equivalent to the product oriented structure given by Google.
To sum up on the provided documentations, the structure is still traditional : apps are for developers to support marketing. With the progressive dominance of mobile first products and a more product-led approach (lean innovation),
we can hope that one day we will have a true product oriented documentation in the continuity of what Google proposes : a business oriented feature catalog but more accessible, more exhaustive (maybe enriched by third-party possibilities), maybe even less technical, maybe enriched by other facilities for PMs like rough development estimate, dependencies, etc.
Meanwhile, for your use cases with mobile platform documentation (eg entering into mobile products, feeding your creativity for product and marketing innovation, optimizing UX for a better platform coherence, etc.), I propose a short user guide 💼 (adapt it to your needs) :
Mapping platform opportunities for Product and Marketing
Level 1 : continue to follow your existing blogs in particular for platform new versions and dig it with your engineer
Level 2 : review your “catalog of available feature” at regular intervals to feed your creativity
* Product, maybe 1x / 6 months
- Android : https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/#best-practices
- iOS : https://developer.apple.com/app-store/features
* Marketing, maybe 1x/1y
- Android : https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/grow
- iOS : https://developer.apple.com/app-store/promote
Level 2.5 : subscribe to the platform newsletters for regular updates (also including coming deadlines) 📰
UX smoothing (maybe 1x/1y)
Level 3 : if you want to be coherent with platform guidelines, review UX guidelines to see potential improvements and better collaborate with your UX designer
- Android : https://material.io which has its newsletter
- iOS : https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/ios/overview/themes
Beware, as said before, this listing does not cover all possibilities of mobile platforms, you can also use a wide set of third-party SDK or web APIs, and even IOT to feed your product creativity. Maybe for a future article … 🍺
And, don’t worry, features are still used to address user problems in a business perspective. 😵
Mobile Product Manager — my curation on Mobile Product, Growth, UX and Agility — https://mobileproduct.substack.com/