Mobile App Usage in COVID-19 and Beyond

Amidst this global COVID-19 pandemic economies everywhere are struggling. While countries and governments play a continual game of tug-of-war in an attempt to find the right balance between prioritizing public health, and re-opening markets; entrepreneurs and innovators alike are already looking toward the future of business. With remote-working likely to become the norm, an already bustling market-sector, the mobile app industry, are sure to be even more crucial in the day-to-day operations of businesses domestically and globally.

In the industries that are managing to continue operation during the pandemic, remote-working is already being integrated on a wide-scale effort. News anchors and radio-hosts are broadcasting from home, late-night hosts are delivering their entire shows from home, and musicians are holding virtual concerts. In these hard times people are proving resilient all across the world, adjusting to the new normals and banning together virtually to share hope.

The Future of Mobile App and In-App Spending

While many industries are feeling absolutely gutted by COVID-19, mobile apps and in-app spending are actually showing to be quite sturdy. According to Sensor Tower, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the in-app-purchase market was projected at 15.7% prior to stay-at-home orders, and other COVID-19 related impacts. However, the adjusted CAGR between now and 2024 is less than one percent lower at 15%, pointing toward an amount of $171 billion spent in apps and app-stores by 2024, which is double that of 2019.

According to the same report, mobile games will surprisingly see an immediate benefit from the pandemic over the next 9 months or so, with a startling 33% projected growth rate vs. as shallow as 10% growth in years past. The gaming industry, and more specifically the e-sports industry, was already becoming a major player in the global-market with e-sport world championships for games like League of Legends reaching an audience of 100 million in 2019.

As physical sports shut down across the globe, besides the NFL which is still planning for a full season, e-sports are even gaining popularity on betting-apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, adding to their fanbase, increasing their reach, and ultimately helping e-sports ‘step out of the shadows’. With Twitch seeing an increased viewership of 10-12% and Italy seeing a 70% increase in live-stream gaming; the e-sports industry remains a strong sector of the mobile-app market.

With consumer in-app and in-game spending remaining consistent, and an expected influx of mobile-app adoption in businesses and communities worldwide, plus the innate human-interaction available through gaming together: the mobile app industry is one of the few that looks to remain steady for years to come.

Developing Apps Amidst the Crisis

As the world rapidly shifts and adjusts to the volatile global environment, it might seem like the wrong time to pursue a venture like mobile app development, but looking at the data, TechCrunch estimates that first-time app downloads will be up 22% from 2019, reaching 140.3 billion in 2020. Mobile games are seeing a direct boost, with a year-to-year growth rate of 30% between 2019 and 2020 compared to 10.4% between 2018 and 2019. The growth should continue for years to come, as mobile games are projected to account for 41% of new installs by 2024.

Entrepreneurs are always the pioneers, and the future of business is the newest frontier. No one really knows what the world is going to look like after COVID-19, but a lot of companies never want to be blindsided like this again; meaning there’s a high demand for reliable mobile-apps that allow for businesses to operate as normal in a fully-remote environment. In the wake of COVID-19, remote-work will very likely be the norm; and getting an early jump on things is what being an early-adopter, entrepreneur, or market-influencer is all about.

Beyond companies and corporations, artists, performers, freelancers, entertainers, athletes, and independent-contractors across every market and every industry will need mobile-tools that enable their continued practice on a remote or semi-remote basis.

The Mobile App Market Stays Strong

The mobile app market is staying strong during the COVID-19 pandemic, and actually offers a lot of opportunity during these unprecedented times and economic uncertainty. There is never truly a ‘right time’ to pursue a new venture, and sometimes the idea itself is as valuable as the end product. NS804 recognizes that not every individual is equipped with the skills necessary to take an idea for an app all the way to fruition. In fact, it’s a very common reason app ideas are never pursued in the first place.

Creating accessible, consumer-friendly mobile app development is NS804’s specialty. Beginning as a game-development company before expanding into social, event, and business app development – the goal of NS804 is to allow anyone with a great app idea access to the help they need to see it become a reality.

TikTok and Zoom Boom During Stay at Home

Staying at Home and Working From Home Lead to Boom in TikTok and Zoom

While the impact of COVID-19 is being felt globally, and there’s no question of the longterm economic impact; one industry remains strong: mobile apps. Within this sector, there are plenty of examples of tech companies that have benefited in usership from the pandemic, such as Netflix, mobile app games, and social media platforms. Across the board though, there are two apps that stand out among their competition: TikTok and Zoom.

TikTok is a popular social media platform dedicated to bringing joy, and inspiring creativity through short-form mobile video, according to their mission statement. While Zoom is a video-conferencing, telecommunication software designed for business professionals, webinars, and personal communication.

“Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms.”
Zoom-

TikTok has seen astronomical growth since the start of 2020. While the mobile app and combined websites already had a growth trend, the increase in usage between January and March are case-study worthy. The TikTok app by itself saw 30.1% growth in unique visitors/month between January and March. The app also saw a jump from 19% to 27% of users from the 13-35-year-old market sector. Beyond usership, increased downloads, and other exciting metrics – one important factor to highlight is the amount of time being spent on the app.

Between January and March TikTok saw a 48.3% growth in time spent/visitor. A massive leap that highlights the extraordinary boom TikTok is seeing.

Zoom is seeing a similarly stellar growth rate, recently reporting that they now receive over 300 million daily Zoom meeting participants, which is a 50% increase from reports early last month, and an outstanding increase from the 10 million daily users back in December of 2019.

Take Aways From the Boom

In mobile app development, and in any trade really, the best creators copy and borrow from one another. Any entrepreneur should know it’s important to learn from others, and there are two strong mobile components that contribute to the TikTok and Zoom boom to consider in mobile app development.

Communication: Zoom is the clear winner here. Hitting 300 million daily users is a milestone in and of itself, but the ability to communicate remotely through Zoom’s platform is really the main factor driving the massive growth its seeing, despite a series of security issues that have been reported. Designing communication platforms into a mobile app should be a priority, especially in a time when the consumer market is aching for human connection, and businesses are searching for communication solutions while remote work swiftly becomes the norm.

Human Connection and Creativity: TikTok capitalizes on entertainment, and providing a human connection through inspiring short-form video. The community on TikTok is generally positive – which is another important factor in considering app-development during the pandemic, and beyond. Keeping the community friendly and welcome should always be a priority in apps that feature mass-communication.

TikTok and Zoom have not only kept afloat during COVID-19, but have managed to grow, and at an extremely impressive rate, and offer many lessons to current mobile app developers. For questions about mobile app development, or how to apply some of these tactics to a mobile app currently under development, get in touch with NS804.

How to Plan a Mobile App Budget

Creating a budget for your mobile app is important because it helps you and your business stay on track. Not every app developer can evaluate each aspect of the app, especially the cost involved. This post gives you a brief overview of how you can prepare a proper budget for your app.

How to Identify the Purpose of the App?

One of the best places to plan the budget is to first identify the main purpose of your app. Let’s analyze some of the more obvious ones.

  1. You want to help your customers place an order at your store/website with an app. A good example of this would be Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Etsy.
  2. You have identified a unique money-making opportunity and you need an app to cash in on it. Examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash.
  3. You want your clients to easily engage your customer service team members via an app. Examples include the McDonald’s App.

If you need a rough estimate on the development costs, talk to a professional app developer. You can also use our online calculator to get an idea about the costs.

How to Choose the Right Platform for App Development?

As a general rule, the more platforms you develop your app for, the costlier it will get. You can save costs by targeting the most relevant platforms for your target audience. For instance, there’s no use building an app on Android if your customers primarily use iOS. Moreover, it’s more complicated to develop on Android due to the level of optimization needed for each device.

If you’re running out of ideas, survey your customers to identify the devices they commonly use. It is also worth your while to check in with your competitors to see their target platforms.

Which is Better: In-House Development or Outsourcing?

The answer to this dilemma depends on your goals and specific circumstances. Outsourcing and in-house app development have their own pros and cons. For the most part, you should choose them based on your own unique requirements. In-house development makes it easier to closely coordinate with your team and give them instructions. Additionally, you can directly instruct your team about new features in real time.

It is worth noting that in-house development involves software licenses, salaries, employee benefits, and more. Your next best option is to hire an app development team on a project-by-project basis. This is an economical move since you won’t have to deal with salaries anymore, and finding appropriate software is no longer your hassle.

Of course, you won’t be able to closely coordinate every step of the development process and this is where project questionnaires come in. They let you quickly fill your new team in on project briefs. In fact, experienced app development teams like the one at NS804 will work closely with you to build your app. It helps to think of us as an extension of your in-house team.

How Costly Are the App’s Features?

It’s time to identify which features have to stay and which need to go. Run a comprehensive market survey of your potential customers along with their needs and pain points. You should have a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. For starters, most apps should cover the basics such as integration with third-party platforms, social networks, and in-app purchases.

Create an MVP to Cut Costs and Estimate Future Profits

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) instead. There is no need to go into in-depth animation and complex UI/UX design. For now, it is important to get the app off the ground to gauge demand for it. Don’t sacrifice user experience! You’ll also get an idea about your projected profit and estimated income.

Building an app is an on-going process that requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. There’s usually no cookie-cutter approach to app building and no cut-and-paste template to work with. You’ll also need to set aside some budget for maintenance and regular updates.

If you’ve decided to build an app, then get in touch with the professionals at NS804.