Wow, it’s been a ride.
Exactly three years ago, our first app was released, the Multi Lang Dictionary for Android. Since then, we had a multitude of updates, major releases and over 8 new apps also released.
Today, on this very special Christmas day, we would like to take you on a journey of how MLD got to where it is today. Also, we would like to say some of the lessons that we learned throughout the adventure.
For MLD, it was a very bumpy road. Days after we bought our first testing device, the original Dev version HTC G1, we got to work on the MLD. At first, it wasn’t at all clear what we were going to make. We wanted to make something simple and practical so that not only people might use it, but that it might also have use for us as well. It’s primary purpose though was still to make an app that will help us learn the ropes on developing on mobile. We chose Android because it is significantly cheaper, since the dev tools and the OS itself is open source.
In the next few months, we pushed numerous updates, adding features that you may read about in our earliest archives such as new languages. As our numbers of users grew, we learned too that customer testimonials do matter, so we listened. We added features like copy, share and translate, etc. In the first year, with MLD on the Android Market, we were placed in the top 15 of the reference category.
The users really turned out to be invaluable to us as they were the ones who would be using it more practically than we would, and through their feedback, we got to learn how they use the app practically. This was crucial as it let us keep in mind how the average person would use it. Thanks everyone!
With MLD as our guideline, we made several new apps like the English-Arabic Translator, and Mini Info for Android, which were also pretty successful. But at this point, we were thinking of expanding our business and trying to find other ways to push our products. With Android becoming more mature, and with a slew of hardware and software updates, we decided on something that we were considering for a while, which is to make MLD cross platform. Then, already a year old, MLD was available on the iPhone.
The iPhone and the App Store were great. It provided us with great visibility and we eventually broke top 50 in the reference category, which was great! And surprisingly, its download numbers even overtook Android’s. We quickly realized that this was going to be our flagship program. As a result, we invested a good amount of time with each update, to make it just right, staying till the wee hours to fix some bugs, with bucket loads of coffee waiting the next morning.
After about half a year, we took a step back and analyzed why MLD iPhone was such a success. The answer was simple**. **We had created something that was absent. This might sound cliche, but it is absolutely true. In order to stand out, be different, be better. At the time, there were no dictionaries that supported multiple language lookup, without being crazy expensive. That is why we created the MLD, to fill the void that multilingual people need, and that is why it progressed so quickly.
Since then, we have also built an iPad universal version as well as several Pro features and new dictionary sources. We certainly do not plan on stopping here though.
That’s the story of MLD’s nativity, we hope that you may have a festive, loving and joyful holiday season! For hardcore MLD followers, you might have realized that an update was pushed (4.5.0), more info like the full release notes coming shortly!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays to all!
The MLD Team