Turning Raw Ideas into a Profitable Business

Turning Raw Ideas into a Profitable Business

Shaping raw ideas into a finished product is a real challenge. Just knowing the idea is not enough, it is important to dive deep into the edge of it. There are various questions that strike the team during the round table.

Ideation is the first phase and the most vital one as it helps the analysts to visualize the concept of the product and define the requirements. This, in turn, helps the designer to decide the app flow and design the prototype.

The mobile app development companies in Texas opts proactive approach to finding the appropriate solution to the business problems. During this phase, the designers, the developers, project manager, ensure to pull out as much information as possible from the client that is useful in understanding the concept.

Conceptualization is the base of the developing process as it involves long discussions and brainstorming that helps in finalizing the idea which the team needs to start working on. Laying a strong base is very important. It helps developers and designers to implement the perfect solution that meets the needs of the business.

Sitting at the round table discussing ideas, screening the existing problems and challenges, identifying the stakeholders and connecting with them embraces the idea.
The information converged is analyzed by the analyst team and the salient features of the app are then defined.

Brainstorming is a creative process that aims to perfect product idea. This involves lengthy discussions, mail chains, and various app references which is difficult to track. Therefore, in order to streamline these processes at one place, the companies use tools like JIRA, BaseCamp, Slack, etc… and connect clients. These tools are not only useful in discussion but also keeps the record of tasks done and undone.

Usually, in order to turn raw idea into a profitable one requires a lot of hard work. The analyst team along with the UI/UX designers draws a rough sketch that includes all the technical specifications for the application. Further, the team scrutinizes each and every use-case defined while planning the application design.
However, the foundation should be strong only then the implementation will show the anticipated outcome.

Discussing on idea is a repetitive task. New things keep on hitting until the completion of the development process which needs to managed and sorted out. Hence, consultative approach becomes a must.

Various app development companies in Texas follow this step-by-step approach helping startups, and businesses to overcome their challenges and increase their productivity 2X without much ado.

Why iPhone App Developers choose Swift over Objective-C?

Why iPhone App Developers choose Swift over Objective-C

iPhone app development is enhanced using the easy-breezy programming language, Swift. You may be surprised reading that 2048 game, WordPress iOS or FireFox iOS browser, all these applications are developed using Swift and not Objective C.

Gradually, Objective-C is losing its shine. The lengthy lines of code, manual memory management, the use of pointers and headers. And, one more thing, the use of semicolon at the end of each statement which made the life of app developers hell, are the things of the past. Seriously, it did not let the developers sleep for days or months if missed.

Swift is glowing. It has simplified manual memory management with automated reference counting. Meaning,  the memory of defined variable will be automatically managed. Further, it has come up with a new syntax, Dot notation syntax which structures the code and makes it easy to read.

Swift is not that old as Objective-C. It was introduced  in the year 2014 but the features it offers to the developers has made it rank in the top 10 list of programming languages.

Swift-vs-Objective-c

 Source: TIOBE Index

Today, 9 out of 10 applications are developed using Swift. Only a few clients who already have objective C as the codebase stick to it because it becomes expensive to rewrite the entire application code.

The reason for this shift is simple. Swift is,

  • Newer
  • Open Source
  • Easy to read, iterate and inspect
  • Not iOS oriented
  • Faster
  • Structured
  • Cost-Effective
  • Less bug prone
  • Easy compiling
  • Less coding required
  • Type-safe language

Ending Note

iPhone app developers are falling in love with Swift and why they should not. It has indeed reduced a hell lot of pains and helped them to structure the code base. Using this effortless programming language, developers can create apps for macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS and Linux. On the other hand, Google is also thinking to use Swift for developing Android applications.

It would be illogical if we write on any technology without first using it. We, at OpenXcell- the leading mobile app development company use Swift to develop iPhone apps and our clients are impressed with the work we delivered.

Below is the list of a few apps we developed;

Leader You: It is a game app that empowers individuals to develop their leadership skills on their own time—wherever they need help or wants to develop their skills.

Tenderfoot: The app falls under travel domain. It enhances your travel experience with a couple of things. 1. Check in to your hostel to access their digital suite of services. 2.  Socialise and meet new people via a communication platform.

Organiseme: It is a task list/todo list app that helps you get things done – in both your private and professional lives. Its Google-style design and integration with the Google G suite – makes it perfect for Google users.

EngageMobilize: The app falls under productivity domain. It delivers quantifiable efficiency, transparency, real-time analytics and improved safety compliance for service contractors. Further,  it also streamlines the process of ordering, managing and accounting for services and assets on your work site.

BigandStrong: The app falls under health and fitness domain. This app is specially designed for those who believe in stay fit and stay healthy concept. It contains the complete health program description followed by training sessions.

Live smart With Home Automation Apps

live-smart-with-home-automation-appsInnovation spans every nook and corner and to make your home spaces comfortable and convenient, mobile apps are delivering new automated facilities which lets you to personalize and simply plan and control several things remotely right from your mobile phones. Smart home is one of the promising areas in the Internet of Things.

Latest innovations in Smart Home Spaces are enabling us to interact better with technology and devices to make our life at home more simple and convenient. Mobile apps are designed to act as a hub to not only control but also keep you informed. Earlier products like Televisions, Vacuum cleaner etc were designed to be in compliance with apps, but today we see several products are designed considering IoT. The growth of Smart Home Automation systems market is attributed to several factors such as expanding IoT market, efficiently embedding mobile Apps and solutions and large number of companies expanding their product capabilities to include the facility of home monitoring from anywhere in real-time.

What’s latest?

Smart mirror

Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the news today???? Mirrors are not just to check your looks, they can be more productive. Apps are here to help this happen. Interactive experiences are built right on to your mirror. A simple mirror can be your latest notification hub. While you admire your looks, you can get the latest news, access social media, weather updates, upcoming calendar events, time and much more. The concept is straight out of sci-fi movies. Several companies have already started establishing their name in smart mirror market. To name a few are Lavie by Lenovo, Panasonic’s virtual image. Even Google’s top engineer Max Braun has come up with the same concept along with voice search interface.

Smart Furniture

Apps can now control your furniture too!!! Yes, this is the new fad where apps are designed to deliver truly individual experience at the click of a button. These apps are connected with specific company’s products and can be used to individually control seats of the sofa, the reclining positions etc. So, if you feel like having a foot-rest while watching your favourite TV program or would like to extend your seat depth, you can do that at the press of a button. Apps like these are designed to be intelligent to save several seating positions of sofa, cocoon chairs and other associated furniture. Aladin Sofa Control App is one such app.

Smart security

Apps can now help you watch your home and detect sound and movement 24/7 from anywhere in the world all real-time.  Nest, Logitech, Netatmo are few companies who have already explored this market and have launched their sets of security cameras that are associated with apps. These apps when downloaded can alert the owner when it detects motion, smoke or any conspicuous sound. These products are smart enough to recognize family members (works on the feed). Few of these apps can give a small recap video clipping of the entire movement that happened in a day. Smart eh!!!

Smart Electronics

Smart electronics include products that enable its users to control home appliances remotely in real-time. Whether you are at home or not, it does not matter; you can still operate your appliances through apps. Just say, schedule, check and protect all your electronic appliances via apps. Belkin’s WeMo is one such app that helps you control your lights, appliances etc with just a click.

These are the few picks. Many more are there in the home automation front which will help us live smarter.

To Wrap

B2B spending on IoT technologies, Mobile Apps and solutions will reach $267B by 2020, according to a latest report. As far as Smart home area is concerned, products are designed to include the ability to be in compliant with apps that can help in remote monitoring and management. More and more customers are getting familiarized with the facility of integrating with products in real-time remotely.  Mobile App Development Companies are working on cloud apps. To smartly connect to these apps, big players like Google, Apple have come up with voice assistants that can help you in connecting with these apps. So, go ahead to give your commands, tasks and instructions to integrate various services; remotely monitor and manage your home, security, temperature, lighting, media and many more with just few smart home automation apps. You just have to download apps that enable access to systems at home. Moreover, digital assistance like Google Home, Apple Home, Amazon Echo, and Sony Experia Agent are all rising to play their role to connect you with these apps and control everything smartly. Many less things to worry about now for you…. Time to live smart….

Three Major Approaches of Mobile App Development

three-major-approaches-of-mobile-app-developmentMobile 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.

Residing on a web server, Mobile web apps run both on mobile browser and HTML rendering components. Native apps are developed using mobile device platform specific software development kit (SDK). Hybrid apps use cross-platform tools. Built with HTML5 and JavaScript, the approach uses both browser interfaces and native components. It takes most of the good features from both mobile web and native.

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.

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Examples

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,

To Wrap

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.

 

4 Top App Onboarding Essentials

4-top-app-onboarding-essentialsFirst impressions stay forever. In the case of apps, getting the onboarding right is the only  way to get your first impression right.

As per a recent study by Localytics, 20% of the apps are used only once. So, it becomes all the more important to get your onboarding right.  A good onboarding ensures that a first-time user becomes an engaged, active user from the first interaction itself. For this, the onboarding should deliver on various fronts. It should provide the user a basic idea on how the app is going to serve his needs. Plus, the design should be intuitive and simplistic, not to mention visually appealing. Most importantly, the copy, concise and clutter free.

Here a list of features that ensure that your onboarding is right

#1.  Introductory content

App marketers get only a few seconds to impress first-time users. So make sure your app intro covers the core features.

The intro content could run in between first to three screens…and may go up to five screens as well. You can use your own discretion on this.

Nevertheless, keeps these five things in mind while designing your intro content:

# There should be length indicators. Users don’t like the content to drag on forever. So, you need  to provide them with indicators as to how long the content is. This will keep them going no matter what.

# Speak about benefits, not features – Speak about how the app is going to benefit the users and the value they would derive from it.

# Embed brand identifiers: This should include your brand logo and tagline. This would help users identify the brand right away.

# Make it visually appealing: Text should complement with images.

# Keep it short: It’s okay to run your intro from one to five screens. But then, the screen should contain only limited words. Don’t drag. Don’t ramble. No one is interested in reading your long stories.

# Option to opt out: Some users may like to opt out of intro…so make sure you embed that option as well.

#2.  Seek User Permission For Sending Push Notifications

The only way to offer value to your users is through push notifications and location tracking. However, before you send out your push notifications, the user needs to sign up for these features. This is where permissions come into the picture. Nevertheless, you cannot simply go ahead and seek app users’ permission. There’s a proper way do it.
Here are the four ways to seek permissions from users:

#1.  Leverage custom opt-in dialogue: This sort of permission helps you seek permission in your own personal way and at the same time helps you highlight your brand’s personality in the dialogue.

#2. Ensure to embed custom opt-in dialogue before the OS dialogue: This is because once the OS dialogue appears you won’t get a second chance to seek permission.

#3. Your users should know why you are seeking their permission in the first place. So, explain to them the benefits of push notifications and more.

#3. Nail Down User Intuition

User onboarding could be different for different apps. Say, for instance, for some apps, onboarding is straight forward.  Users don’t have to rack their brains to understand the app features and functionalities. However, all apps don’t share a similar onboarding trait. There are apps that come with less intuitive designs. For such apps, some sort of support system has to be put in place. For instance, in the case of gaming apps, the entry-level could serve as user onboarding. For service or eCommerce apps a tutorial could come handy.

Tips to create a perfect onboarding tutorial:

  • Keep it short. Users won’t spend more than a minute on it.
  • It should be easy to locate
  • The final step should ensure that users are still engaged with your app. So lead your users to actionable pages where they could update their status, take photos or something of a similar sort that keeps them hooked.

#4.  Use different color plays to guide users

Obviously, you should stick to the color scheme decided during the app development stages. But then, make sure to use higher contrasting hues and also bright colors to draw attention to where the users should actually navigate. This is one of the best ways to keep users visually engaged. By employing different color plays you could easily suggest users which option they should choose sans any explanation.

Final Thoughts:

User onboarding is not essential for all apps. Some apps are intuitive enough. And so user onboarding could turn out to be a pure nuisance for such apps. But then, some apps simply can’t  do away with them. So leverage the above-mentioned to tips to get started. However, make sure to keep testing your onboarding tactics and also consult some reputed mobile app development companies so to have a clear idea on what works and what is annoying to your users.

The How and Why of App Referral Marketing

tips-to-leverage-referral-marketing-for-appsLooking 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.

Wrapping Up

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.

2017 Top Mobile App Development Trends

top-mobile-app-development-trends2016 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.

Rounding Up

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.

10 Characteristics of Progressive Web Apps that Can Compete Against Mobile Apps

why-developers-are-afraid-of-progressive-web-appsWhat is progressive web app? A website built like app. A website that gives users an exact feeling of being an app. Users can install these apps, receive push notifications and can use them offline too. The only difference between Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and native apps is PWAs won’t be able to have access to all features of smartphones just like native apps.

With the rising technology, abilities of PWAs are also increasing at a high speed. And with the losing interest of users among apps, demands of PWAs are at high peek.

Data says that 50% of total smartphone users download 0 app per month which means zero progress in app download data. This is a sign to move on other technologies where PWAs and Instant Apps have fair chance to get adopted.

One thing we all clear about is web app won’t be able to deliver experience like native apps. But I repeat, technology is growing at high pace bringing permanent solution for brands that are willing to catch users’ attention at any cost. This cost also includes adoption of PWAs.

PWAs hold the power of website as well as app. According to top app development companies, PWAs have 10 characteristics to compete against mobile apps.

Here they are:

1. Top-Notch Performance

PWAs are wrapped up in latest technologies with efficient content and fastest speed because of which they perform better than other apps.

2. Security

Being served through TLS connections, PWAs are totally free from hacking, attacks, spoofing and other types of insecurities.

3. Working Offline

In spite of having web-like qualities, PWAs can work on offline mode too which is unlikely with Android Instant Apps. PWAs load content faster than websites and store that content at offline mode. So, whenever users need the content, PWAs can show the same at offline mode and at slow speed whereas website generally show errors when internet fail to work.

4. Home Screen Addition

Compared to bookmarking a site on browser, adding the particular page to the home screen is a lot easier. PWAs allow you to add apps on home screen so you can visit them every now and then easily.

5. Push Notifications

You can’t receive alerts or push notifications from a website. This area is under the cover of apps only – but no more. PWAs also hold the power of push notifications.

6. Improved Conversion and Retention Rates

Live example is: Flipkart recently released PWA version of app after which the company notified 70% increase in conversion and retention rates. That means users have started liking progressive web apps more than native apps.

7. Combination of App and web

Website doesn’t seek permission of users to get update and apps are well optimized for mobile screens – both these qualities are possessed by progressive web apps.

8. No Need to Get Through App Store

Just like website, you don’t need an app store to publish your progressive web app.

9. Search Engine Access

PWAs and its content have access to search engines as you can optimize all your content and keywords just like your website.

10. Quick Fix

Well, there is no need to take users’ permission for updates and no need to wait for weeks to get permission for app stores – all this makes you able to fix bug and release updates quickly.

Final Thoughts

Now, I got the idea of why developers are afraid of PWAs and their gaining popularity – because they carry the qualities of both an app and a website. App developers need to learn how to make PWAs as soon as possible because brands are thinking of extending their business through PWAs.