Everything you need to know about our over-the-air changes, Flutter SDK, and public API

As competition becomes a global affair, go-to-market speed is emerging as the metric by which businesses wither or thrive.

To that end, we’ve released dozens of new features, big and small, over the past year, all of them geared toward helping teams like yours shorten the path between idea and release. We want to ensure localization processes are not a bottleneck by making them fast, inexpensive, and reliable.

Every organization has different challenges, which is why we’ve built an extensible, customizable, and flexible platform that adapts to workflows and technologies, not the other way around.

This blog post was co-written with Hugo Monteiro.

OTWhat?

A prime example of the above approach is our over-the-air (OTA) solution. 

Over-the-air localization is a lightweight way to instantly update the content in your apps. It’s particularly useful for fixing typos, finishing translations on the fly, and adding languages. Your customers will see changes without having to update, meaning you don’t need to make unnecessary app updates and resubmit to the App Store or Google Play.

Edward Cooper, Head of Mobile at Revolut, has joked that “it probably takes longer for Apple to review the app than it takes to actually get the translations done.” When the team at Revolut makes errors or needs quick updates, they can jump on, make the necessary changes, and release the update over the air.

As many businesses are delivering mobile-first, or even mobile-only, solutions to their customers, it’s not a surprise that OTA is a highly requested feature for localization-savvy companies. It enables them to implement changes and fixes in real time after releasing a new version.

Many features like this come directly from customer feedback, so we’ve been working to build the next evolution of our OTA solution. We will support more frameworks besides Android and iOS (did you say Flutter?!), and have a public API so you can implement our OTA service in any framework. Here are our favorite improvements. 

 

Support for Flutter

Flutter is an open-source framework that was created by Google. It is used to develop cross-platform applications that run anywhere – from Android and iOS to Windows and macOS – using a single codebase. 

Flutter has exploded in popularity in the last few years and is one of the features most requested by our customers.

Flutter popularity has skyrocketed to pole position in terms of market share

With upcoming upgrades to OTA, you’ll be able to easily integrate it with your Flutter-based projects. 

Enabling flexibility with a public API

That’s not all. Any customer that has more specific needs and wants to further optimize their tech stack will be able to use the new public API for our OTA service to implement it in any codebase.

This is extremely important for customers that require advanced control over their workflows or have apps that cannot use our existing SDKs.

This release goes hand in hand with our goal of creating a truly open ecosystem for our customers and partners to enjoy.

New system, new metrics

All the previously presented features are built on top of a new, more scalable OTA infrastructure. As demand for OTA has grown, we wanted to make sure that we can scale infinitely.

As we shift from a private to a public API, we also have to move on from our current way of tracking usage, monthly active users (MAU), to gigabytes of consumed data per month (GB/month).

Measuring OTA usage in GB/month is a value-driven option that is fair and easy to control – as you release more and bigger updates to a larger audience, you will be consuming more data  and, consequently, pay more for the service. However, if you optimize the size of your bundles, or push less frequent updates, your data consumption, and cost, will drop.

Previously, you would pay based on the size of your audience (monthly active users), even if you didn’t push any updates at all, resulting in minimal value gained from this feature. This new billing model gives customers better control over their spend while encouraging them to optimize their processes. 

We’ve always strived to make your localization life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive. As Lokalise continues to evolve, we’ll keep innovating OTA to stay ahead of the needs of our customers. We hope that these updates and pricing changes will give you more flexibility and control over costs. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us through our support channels: Intercom chat or via email at support@lokalise.com. We’ll be happy to help!

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