I'm about to start on a project which will involve developing prototype native mobile apps (iOS and Android initially) as well as a web-based admin interface and an API for these apps to communicate with. We've got a list of stories already drafted up, however a lot of them are in the format:

As a mobile user I want to be able to view a login screen so that I can sign into the app

If this were targeted for a single platform, I wouldn't see a problem. However, since we're targeting multiple platforms, I'm not sure whether these should now be duplicated eg "As an Android user" or similar. This seems like duplication, but it's work that will need to be completed separately for each platform.

This is the first mobile project we've gone native on - previously it was Phonegap and we lumped all stories in under "As a mobile user". Since essentially this was a web-based app wrapped in native code, this didn't present too much of an issue, but I'm conscious that wholly-native apps are a different ballgame!

  • This isn't really specific to mobile -- it applies to a project that must be delivered on multiple platforms, like a PC and Linux, or various gaming consoles. Should the title be changed? Mar 28, 2013 at 18:59

3 Answers 3


I don't see why you don't want to make separate user stories for each mobile application. Even though the stories sound similar, they have huge differences both from developers' and users' point of view.

If you're using a system like Jira, you could even create a separate project for each application. This approach is better especially if all applications are completely independent in terms of resources _ different developer(s), different computer resources, etc. It would be easier to make estimations for each of the tasks.

If you still don't want to make separate user stories, you could create tasks for each application under the same story. But this would be convenient if you develop all the applications simultaneously, so that every story would be completed almost at the same time.


(I asume you use scrum). If the product owner knows upfront that he/she will always prioritize the different mobile platforms equally. (Eg. because it is a company policy)

And if your user stories are small enough, so that your team can do at least four or five of them in a sprint.

Only then you should not split your mobile stories into a story per platform. Use the definition of done to state all expected platforms.

In all other cases: split the mobile stories per platform. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  • Thanks Kris - I take your point about them being small enough, that's definitely something to bear in mind when splitting them out (or not, as the case may be!) :-)
    – richsage
    Oct 11, 2012 at 7:32

For anyone that has pulled up this page, maybe this response can help provide an option for successfully developing an app for both iOS/Android platforms.

As a project manager that has managed Agile/Scrum projects the explanation above of developing the same application for two different operating systems would indicate two separate workstreams.

To do this successfully would require two separate projects. Each OS will have their own requirements. By mixing the two OS's in a single project you could potentially create confusion on what is to be developed in either OS. Thus, your team could lose valuable time deciphering which OS the requirement belonged. In summary.

I would recommend setting up two projects with their own set of user stories that are specific to the OS.

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