It is a very familiar scenario. You want to stay competitive and agile, you want your company to be able to quickly react to the changes that happen around you but your systems and applications which were once “cutting-edge” slowly turn into monolithic legacy applications. You have spent years and decades testing and building those systems and applications and they serve you well. You cannot get rid of them and start from scratch. Your attempts at agile development and delivery flounder. Your application becomes too large for a developer to fully understand. Fixing bugs and implementation of new features becomes difficult, risky and time consuming. So what do you do? How do you adopt the latest lean development practices without the risk and cost of re-platforming? You go for Microservices which are based on serverless architecture.
UI matters. If your app offers a sleek, intuitive and simple UI, it will automatically click with users.
If the UI is confusing or complicated, users will leave immediately. Not only that, they won’t mind bad-mouthing your app and pendown negative reviews at the app store.
Just like in the case of a website where the overall aesthetics matter. According to a study, 88% of consumers don’t return to a site if the website offers bad experience.
So I repeat, UI is crucial, even if the app boasts of good value proposition. An app offering great value proposition but an annoying UI, would definitely witness high deletion rates.
There are five fundamental tactics to keep in mind while developing an app.
#1. Personas: In other words, think off some fictional characters to determine what will drive them to use your app. The closer the fictional characters are to your real target audience the better. If possible, undertake a research; it could be surveys and interviews, to create your personas. This will help you build an accurate user persona.
#2. Make-belief scenarios: Think of different scenarios on how the user will act. The scenarios will act as perfect guide posts to help you design an almost perfect UI.
#3. Know-how maps: Here you need to work out all possible situations from a single interaction standpoint. You need to focus on each step that user is most likely to take. This will help you have better insights about emotions and circumstances that surround each step.
#4. Use common UI patterns: For this you need to check out popular interfaces and study their patterns. This will make users comfortable. Agreed, it could give your app a copied-versioned look. Avoid this by layering your app with your own creativity.
#5. Use signifiers accurately: For instance, you know that an underlined text would lead the user to new pages. So use signifiers correctly so that users don’t have to think what each UI exactly offers.
In case your app is already available in the market you could use the following tactics to ensure greater user retention
• Use analytic tools: If you already released your app, use analytics tools such as Flurry and Mixpanel to help you understand how users interact with the app thereby helping you identify the problems that otherwise wouldn’t come to your attention.
• Use MyCrowd: If you are short on time and budget to conduct surveys, you can rely on tools like MyCrowd, to get real user data on app’s usability.
• Use feedback and response time: Feedback by the mobile app development company helps users know whether or not the task has been completed. You could use a simple beep, if coming up with a modal window is too much a trouble for you. Whatever the case may be, ensure that your feedback is friendly, human and timely. For more on this you can check out timing guidelines by Nielsen Norman Group.
A good UI not only makes your app appear good. It also ensures that your app is highly intuitive so much so that users won’t mind opening it again and again, and also share it with their friends and family. Not to mention leave positive reviews at the Play Store or App Store.
Ideas run the world. Someone years ago felt the need of location tracking apps and now you can find different kinds of location tracking apps in the Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Many Mobile App Development Companies located across the globe have invested their time and energies in developing useful location tracking apps. All these apps work on Geo-location API on the concepts of Geo-fencing and tracking of time. What are the different kinds of location tracking apps? Let’s find out about a few.
#Apps to track Your Kids
There are several location tracking apps in the market that help you keep a track of your kids even when they are away at schools or in parks. Apps track the kids on the basis of the signals emitted. Either the child carries a GPS tracker with him or has a smartphone with him. Parents who are always worried about the well being of their kids once they are out of their sights can use such apps.
#Apps to Track Your Employees
There are apps that can help you see what your employees are working on. Some apps can help you track time. You will know when they are goofing or when they went out of office campus. You can monitor which project of theirs takes how much time and if your employees are managing their time well.
#Apps to Track Your Car
Parking remains a perennial problem, whether you are out for a movie, a dinner or a concert. You try and find a parking spot and proceed for your movie or concert. When you come back, you are in for some really anxious moments. You are somehow unable to find your car from the rows and rows of cars parked there. There are apps that geo mark the location of your car on the map and when you access them can take you to your car.
#Apps to Locate Your Devices
You are at a vacation and you come back to your hotel room to find your iPad missing. What do you do? You search the room. You complain to the hotel desk as soon as you can. But you know you can start a bit of sleuthing on your own. How? By checking on your smartphone, the apps that have the location of all your devices; you had the foresight to install the device tracking apps in advance to secure your devices.
#Apps to Locate your Friends
Generally most of the time during the day, we are away from home – on the move. How do you then keep a track of your close friends? How do you then find out where they are? You would love to get together if they are close by but how do you locate them without messaging them? Use apps that are designed to do this. Simple. Yes, there are apps that can display the location of your dear friends all the time. They enable you to stay connected so that if on a Friday night you are all in the same neighbourhood, you can all come together and grab a beer.
We at Openxcell, have several of such location tracking apps in our portfolio. You can check out apps like G.P.Us Friend and Come Get Me which are based on the principle of location tracking. We have expert teams of developers who can build the kind of app you want – based on your idea. They are experienced, skilled and know the right technologies. So do not hesitate. If you want more information about app development you can call our sales teams who would be glad to help you out.
Once you decide to have an app for your business, you start scouting for good mobile app developers. You read reviews of app development companies, you go through their work portfolios and try to gather as much information as possible. You cannot let fancy presentations alone sway you. Before finalising the partner for app development however it would be prudent to ask them a few questions. Once you know the answers you would be better informed to make a decision regarding the app developer you want to choose for the development of your app.
So what are those questions you must ask? Let’s go through them one-by-one.
#1 Can you share details of 3 of your best apps?
Answer to this question can tell you a lot about the company. The apps the company submits as best work need not be super successful ones in the market but they will give you an idea about the development capability of the team. The app should be easy to use. Jumpy UX and UI should be considered warning signals. The logo, the color palette, icons used, navigation etc. will give you fair idea about the designing and development team.
#2 Is the development team that will work on my app in-house?
Some mobile app development companies outsource the complete app development work or a part of it. When the work is outsourced you do not have ways and means to monitor the progress and really know what is going on with your app. A project always goes through a few roadblocks and a few corrections while in development. It is better to keep everyone in the loop. With a team that is not in-house things can get complicated.
#3 What will be the communication procedure during the development?
Depending on your convenience you can tell the app development company details on how you would like to be communicated. If you are an email person or you prefer getting on with the team on Skype – you need to set the standard procedure of communication beforehand. Decide the day, date and the time you can be contacted at – it is important to discuss this in case you live in different time zones. You can set guidelines for resolving conflicts too. Line of communication should be clear. The team should be able to incorporate feedback as a part of the process.
#4 What will be the after launch app maintenance policy?
The job doesn’t get over with the app launch. In fact the journey of users starts after the app launch. Make sure you and the app developers reach a clear understanding about the journey of the app, which would invariably include updates, post launch.
#5 Will you transfer the codes, files and documents to me after the project is completed? How?
You would be paying the app development company for the project. You own the source codes, the related files, databases, web systems and documents. A good mobile app development company should have no problem in handing it all over to you – should you ever want it, once the project gets over.
These are some questions you can ask the app developers before finalising on the one you are most comfortable with. Do not hesitate to add more questions if you have doubt regarding any aspect of app development. Good partnerships are built on good open communication. Hope you find the right app development partner for developing your app. Good luck!
Mobile App Development currently includes three major approaches –Mobile Web Apps, Native mobile apps and Hybrid mobile apps. Well, if you are confused to formulate your mobile app development strategy and wondering which approach would best suit your business, then, all you have to do is to take time to understand the purpose of your app. This homework will help you to decide on the approach. Venturing into this business without truly understanding the purpose will create problems.
Forrester’s 2016 report titled, “Native, Web, And Cross-Platform Mobile Apps All Have Their Place,” highlights on four key questions that one can ask when faced with choosing a mobile app dev approach. The questions are; who will be using the mobile app? Why do they need a mobile app? When and how will they use the app? What technologies best meet the needs of the app and its would-be users? Forrester says these four questions can help in deciding on the approach that best for a specific mobile app development project.
Apart from the above mentioned questions, have a look on few apps developed based on specific mobile app development approaches. These apps are successful because they were developed considering few factors that contributed to deciding or formulating on the approach. Appropriate assessment enables to choose the right one.
To help clear your confusion you can go through the following chart which specifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches.
Examples of Native Apps: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp
Examples of Hybrid Apps: Evernote, App Store, Gmail for Mobile in HTML5, Uber
Examples of Mobile Web Apps: mFacebook.com, mTwitter.com,
As we move towards a hundred percent mobility phase, the functionality and value of mobile apps has greater role to decide its acceptance and stay. Making and breaking the success of your app depends on the purpose of the app and the way it is approached. The above mentioned development options have its own purpose to deliver. It reflects the way you would want to deliver experience to your customers via your app. Whether it is hybrid or native, before you start building the idea, analyse and understand the weakness, threats and opportunities that lie with each strategy. Keep your strategies ready. Once this is ready, you will take less than five minutes to decide on the approach. Final say is use the approach that best fits your business.
Making a mobile app can be the best decision that you can make in 2017 to enhance your business income and client numbers. OpenXcell has been specializing in developing mobile applications on different platforms in view of its client require. Based on the target users, objective, and the budgeted investment for developing and maintaining an app, OpenXcell can help you choose the right approach.
A buggy app is a recipe for disaster. It is important that you test your app properly before launching. Many mobile app development companies have separate divisions that focus on app testing. If the app does not perform properly on the user’s device after he has put in all the effort in downloading your app and launching it, he will not hesitate in uninstalling your app and will give you bad reviews too. So what are the important things you should test your app for? Let’s find out.
#1 Test Your Device On Different Networks
Mobile apps behave differently in different network environment. It is difficult to achieve seamless connectivity. Sometimes there is lack of bandwidth, drop in packets due to re-routing and other glitches. Some apps crash when they are working from a specific location on a particular network. Testers need to find the vulnerabilities by testing the apps on different parameters like Uplink Bandwidth, Downlink Bandwidth, packet corruption, Loss percentage etc.
#2 Test your UX and UI On Different Screen Sizes
It is important that you test your app on different devices of different sizes. UX and UI of your app should perform well on the devices. All the elements should align perfectly with UI providing the right navigational maneuvering comfort it is designed to provide.
#3 Test on the OS and its Different Versions
Test your app for the operating system it is designed for and make sure you test it with all the versions available in the markets. Once up at the stores, your app is going to be downloaded by users who would have different versions of Android or iOS running on their phones. Make sure the apps follow platform guidelines. You want to make sure everyone who downloads your app has a good experience.
#4 Test Battery Usage
It is important that your app doesn’t drain battery. Many users uninstall apps from their devices because it drains the battery too fast. App developers need to ensure that the app is not too greedy. App testers have this responsibility to check the apps for battery drain.
#5 Test Your App With Different Devices
It is very disappointing when you are in the midst of using an app and you get a call which somehow gets disconnected. Your app should learn to work with different features of different devices. Ensure that the user is able to receive calls and notifications while he is in your app. It should be able to work with other apps in the device. Some apps request for permissions again and again after every update. It can be very irritating for the user. Have a way for your apps to remember the permission it has been granted.
#6 Test for localization
Our world is as diverse as it is alike. When you plan to release your app in different countries, you have to test it for localization. Language , context, images all need to be localized. A good tester ensures that the app is ready for the country it is going to be released in.
These are a few of the things good testers from reputed mobile app development companies take into consideration while testing an app. Openxcell has experienced mobile app testers and can help you with testing your app.
Looking forward to higher app downloads and ROI this year? Leverage Referral Marketing.
Referral marketing is an organic form of marketing and it’s considered to be one of the most successful forms of app marketing. For instance, Uber, Airbnb and Evernote could attribute their success entirely to its referral marketing programs.
Dropbox witnessed 3900% growth, thanks to customer referral marketing programs. The company had 100,000 registered users in 2008, and within fifteen months it touched to a jaw-dropping figure of 4M users. Referral marketing is that powerful when used rightly.
Some facts and figures about App Referral Marketing
- App Referral Marketing is the best vehicle for word-of-mouth publicity and helps accelerates app downloads. According to a study by appvirality, in-app referrals increase downloads by 36%.
- According to Journal of Marketing, the lifetime value of referred customers is 16% higher over a non-referred customer.
- A referred customer tends to spend more than a non-referred customer. This is great news for cab or ride sharing apps with regard to revenue generation.
- According to research, 80.59% of the users try a new app if it’s suggested by friends or family.
- According to a Nielsen survey, word of mouth marketing is 92% more effective than any other form of marketing.
Tips to Leverage Referral Marketing For Apps
Focus on market segmentation for your referrals
Narrow down your audience to specific segments. Then among them, identify the highest lifetime value influencers, specifically those with highest number of social followings and engaged users.
Segmenting customers will help you build stronger networks for your referral programs.
Offer Reciprocal Incentive for More Referrals
Remember one thing, no matter what, customers would speak good about your company only if they get something back in return.
The very idea of giving your customer something back in return for a positive public referral is called reciprocal incentive. Say, for instance, Uber offers a powerful reciprocal incentive for its referrals. It offers both the referrers and the recepients a free ride.
Referral links should be personalised
This is important. That is, the personalization of referral links and codes. Referral links ensure that the user clicks on the link without much ado, thanks to known names referring the program to you. You could even try coming up with a landing page that displays the image of the referrer. These two simple tricks will add more weight to your app referral program.
In-app referrals should be promoted
Referral programs should be backed by proper promotional campaigns. Without proper promotion of your referrals, things might not work for you. Through push notifications, social media activities, promotion on websites and mobile sites, SMS, email newsletters and all, you could promote your in-app referrals.
Nail down the influencer for your referral programs
Nailing down the key influencer and then rewarding them in a huge way would give a definite boost to your in-app referral program. Take the help of known mobile app marketing/mobile app development companies to help you identify a key influencer for your app referral programs.
Nail down In-app analytics
In the case of in-app referrals, some metrics hold more weight over others. These could include invites sent by the referrer, clicks, installs, revenue generated and more could be tracked with the help of an app marketing agency.
Optimize your App for All Devices
A developer should ensure to optimize their app for all devices. More important than that, ensure that their feature is visible on the app’s home page as well.
Match your Referral Marketing with Industry Data
Mobile app trends keep changing at a significant pace. According to an Econsultancy post, ‘How consumers behave on ecommerce apps,’ higher chances of conversion for iOS apps is on Friday, while for Android apps it’s on Saturdays. This data should be borne in mind while promoting apps through different channels, be it through push notifications, emails, sms among many others.
Apps are the new website. Nearly 85% of shoppers choose an app over a website. Meaning, even your competitor is focussed on developing an app. So, the only way for your business to survive and thrive is to focus on the app and its promotion. And app referral marketing is one of the proven ways to promote your app and boost app downloads. It’s one of the crucial cogs of the app promotion and retention wheel.
As we stand at the verge of finishing all our tasks for 2016, it is totally understandable that many have promptly and ritually started gathering brand new resolutions and few ambitious challenges to take on at the beginning of a new year. Predictions on how the coming year is going to be keep racing through our mind. One thing that is surely going to attain new levels of efficiency in all spheres related to human life is IoT – Internet of Things. Not just transitional, but sensing the momentum, it is going to create transformational waves. Future generation is going to see a change in human life, in all respects. Yes, the emergence of IoT is going to be the evolution of a new God of all things.
“Worldwide Internet of Things forecast from IDC indicates that by 2020, there will be a projected 30 billion connected things and a revenue opportunity of nearly $1.7T for the ecosystem.
# Factors contributing to the growth of IoT
Increased efficiency and lower costs are the two major factors contributing towards the growth of Internet of Things.
Hardware, software and other support systems working on IoT will enable deployment of applications that can connect anything within scope of internet of things. Connected devices will have huge role as they will be the heart of IoT. Smartphones, wearables, M2M devices etc will have a greater role to play. We have already started seeing the upsurge of Mobile App Developers working on all possibilities towards connecting the internet of things.
“The world is being re-shaped by the convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data, community and other powerful forces. The combination of these technologies unlocks an incredible opportunity to connect everything together in a new way and is dramatically transforming the way we live and work,” mentioned Marc Benioff, the very famous internet entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.
# IoT will be Pervasive. Be Ready
IoT is growing big. Predictions indicate that by 2020, nearly 6% of the economy is going to get directly affected by this growth. We can see objects communicating with each other automatically; we can see digital identity for each of us; we can see more of a transparent environment where everything works fast, direct and in real-time; we can see a unified approach towards everything – fusion of analog and digital world. Overall, we can see development of the economy in every sector. Prepare yourself and make full use of this development.
# Hip Hip, Hooray for Hybrid Mobile App Developers
Mobile connectivity is expanding its arms towards this new dimension and Mobile apps developers are going to hit sixes as they have bigger roles to play in helping people to stay connected in the IoT era. Apps bridge the gap between IoT devices and IoT ecosystem. Hybrid apps are going to dominate the market as they are capable of delivering cross-platform functionality.
Experimentation is On…
Embrace this new change. Internet of Things is in the development stage. Experts are still working in this model to ensure that everything is connected and working together. Smart homes, wearables, smart cities, connected cars are the existing trend. More surprises to come in the future days. Soon you will wake up to check that your coffee percolator has ordered coffee powder on its own, washing machine has sensed its duty, your car has gone to pick up your child and many more. Surprise yourself with the new wish fulfilment fantasy!!!
2016 is drawing to a close. And as a mobile app developer, I guess you already have an idea on the trends that will dominate the app development space in 2017.
Yes, it’s IOT, AR and VR, bots, DIY apps, to name a few. For a change, even DIY app development will catch the attention of the mobile app development companies.
Wish you to read more on the upcoming app development trends? Go on, here’s an elaborate take on the 4 top app development trends of 2017.
#1. App-enabled IOT devices
Turns out by the end of 2016, people all over the world will use almost 6.4 billion connected gadgets. Even Gartner predicts $2.5M per minute in IoT spending and 1M new IoT devices sold every hour by 2021.
Well, this means Internet of Things (IOT) will have a dominant role to play in the app development landscape, given that IOT solutions typically operate through an app. And the best part of it is, developers don’t have to put their money or mind where their mouth is because development of an IOT gadget is not unlike the usual app development process.
But then, what could plunge the IOT market into crises is the need for third-party services or special devices required specifically with IOT apps. This could lead to mobile app security breaches, in the health care IOT.
According to Gartner, 75% of mobile app security breaches happen because of misconfigurations. With regards to the healthcare market – which is considered to be the most potential IOT markets, with revenues expecting to touch $163 billion by 2020, chances of breaches are higher.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson discovered a loophole in their OneTouch Ping insulin. The Insulin Pump and meter-remote, besides checking the blood sugar, calculates how much bolus insulin you body requires and then pumps to deliver the dose. Now given that the pump is not even in view, hackers could easily increase or decrease the amount of hormone injected into a patient’s body, killing thousands of patients.
So, while building a custom IoT solution, make sure that your vendor conducts multiple security tests, provides Proof of Concept, and also encrypt communications between the hardware and software levels.
#2. Messengers apps boarded with bots
People spend 85% of their mobile time in apps. And the fact is only 5 messengers apps were heavily used in 2016, of which these three were highly popular – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. In light of this situation, brands have been developing bots for messenger apps in their effort to engage with customers on a new platform. Though quality brand apps may never die out, but then again, it will be messenger apps boarded up with bots, which will gain a lot of traction.
#3. AR and VR Gadgets Run on apps
According to Gartner, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) gadgets and apps will be more in demand compared to enterprise apps in 2017.
In fact, 2016 saw several brands unleashing their VR gadgets. In fact, Pokemon Go, an AR-driven mobile game, became a flag bearer of sorts for the AR industry when millions of gamers worldwide went berserk chasing Pokemon all around the globe. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of the game, several industries will be using it to add value to their business and will embed them particularly in their apps.
The VR-driven retail app will give buyers a complete walk-through of the store and at the same time will help buyers browse products through a VR-enabled transmission.
#4. Do-It-Yourself apps backed by citizen developers
The citizen developers, in other words, non-developers who wish develop their own apps, could make use of Microsoft’s PowerApps facility. PowerApps help you build custom apps effortlessly…thanks to some incredible features such as drag-and-drop functionality, ready-made project templates, prebuilt components and so on to boost low code DIY app development. The trend is picking up in a big way and, in all likelihood, would capture the fancy of the businesses, moving forward.
With mobile apps becoming an everyday affair, businesses both big and small who wish develop simple apps could leverage this technology.
Sure, these app developments are going to catch fire in 2017. If you wish to have a slice of the app development pie, start developing apps in line with above-mentioned trends.
Over to you
I have come up with just a handful of app development trends. Sure, there are many that need a mention here. Go on. Add to the list via comments.
Let me begin this article with a very generic line. Everything you come across in life always teaches you something, you only need to perceive it. Games can be a great learning tool too. Many full-fledged games have been based on history. Events have been recreated. What began as a concept turned into a major trend in the world of gaming apps. Mobile app developers have banked massively on this entire trend.
Though these games don’t 100% portray the related historical events, but their backdrop, story line and characters have a huge resemblance to serve the purpose. The adrenaline rush that arises from the experience of living the character has what made a majority of such games successful. And not-to-be-forgotten, the graphic designing represents as a backbone for the most important credentials. The sequences of events appear real-like and the life-like characters keep the gamer glued.
Let us take a look at certain console games which set this trend.
– Call of Duty, World of Tanks and Medal of Honour – Have accurate descriptions and situations relevant to World War II. They even have event wise precision of dates.
– GSC World Game: Stalker – Gives a close experience of Russian Chernobyl events.
– Return to Castle Wolfenstein – Briefs us about technological beginnings in the world of biotech, engineering and nuclear advancements.
– Europa Universalis – A detailed account of East European history with a gist of Western European phase.
– Victoria and Hearts of Iron – A close portrayal of people in the medieval and Victorian era through their characters.
– Apotheon – It has a nearly factual description of events depicting the Greek battles and Athenian warfare accounting to the famous Greek mythology.
– The entire Civilization series: Brief account of the development of society and colony formations.
Well, it is difficult to bring him such impeccable graphics for mobile gaming apps. But with the doors being opened to the AR/VR formats, mobile app developers have tremendous potential to bank on. The opportunities for creating something exceptional are umpteen. Moreover, the availability of hybrid developments and cross-platforms, the scope for encouragement is huge.
Currently, in the VR segment, a lot of adventure games have made a mark. A twist in the story and adding more characters to the development of a game will surely make it successful. A lot is yet to be done.
70% of VR gear users belong to the age bracket of 18 to 29. And the good news, 63% the gamers of the ones mentioned above belong to the 18-28 category. Hence, a blend of the technology brews a high probability for a rising new VR trend.
Good luck, mobile gaming app developers.
Hope you are reading this.