How To Create A Social Media App

Social media applications have taken up a great part of our lives and dominated the application market. With the rapid adoption of smartphones worldwide, there have emerged opportunities for social media apps with superior, advanced features.

As a result, many entrepreneurs cannot miss the chance of being part of something big and that’s why many are thinking of building a social media application to join a wave of successful enterpreneurs. So, if you’re one of these people, you’re right to be reading this post. I will tell you exactly how to create a social media app for your target audience.

What are the Different Types of Social Media Apps?

Let’s first identify the different types of social media applications. This will help you know what specific niche you’re going to venture into and what big competitors are waiting for you. So, the following are the most common types of social media to know about:

What are the Specific Types of Social Media Applications?

  • Social network apps – These help you connect and interact with other people online. For instance, social networking apps can be used for personal needs (Twitter and Facebook) and professional needs (LinkedIn).
  • Media sharing networks – Media sharing networks help users share different kinds of media files such as photos, images, documents, and GIF files.
  • Networks for consumer reviews – Used by customers to find and review brands and businesses they have used before.
  • Community and discussion forums – Great avenues for asking questions and receiving honest reviews.
  • Blogging and publishing platforms – Allow users to create their pages, publish and manage their content.
  • Bookmarking and content curation networks – These networks allow users to create their content, view and save the content of other users.
  • Interest-based networks – These networks unite people with similar interests.
  • Anonymous social networks – These are synonymous with teens. These apps let teens convey information and communicate with each other. Some of the apps in this category include, Steams, Yik Yak, Whisper, Popcorn Messaging, and After School.

How To Create a Social Media App

In this section, we review the best practices for social media app design. So, the following are the simple rules you should follow when creating a functional social media app.

  • Shades of blue – It’s advisable to use shades of blue because they are considered less offensive and less annoying.
  • Navigation consistency – Use the same navigation bar with notifications, search functions, and profile icons throughout the app and on every screen.
  • Similar to any device – The design of the social media app must be adapted to a specific platform for users to feel comfortable using the apps on different devices or endpoints
  • Smooth switch – Smooth switch from a web app to a mobile app design, therefore making the user experience similar across all platforms.
  • Round profile pictures – Round profile pictures help focus on the user’s image, thus making it easier to remember or distinguish them from others in the social media list.
  • Infinite scroll of posts
  • A simple search of relevant content and users
  • Quick sign-in and entry without signing up

Why Choose NS804 Social Media App Builder?

NS804 is a leading app builder that helps developers and typical users create a compelling social media app. The social media design platform helps users evaluate their needs and instantly create a social media app. In addition, the NS804 offers customer-deployed, intuitive tools that are most favored by developers. So, you may check NS804 and find what mobile app development services you can use for your next app development project.

Mobile App Development Process [10 Steps Detailed Guide]

As mobile app revenue nears the 1 trillion annual revenue mark, more businesses are looking to develop and launch their own enterprise app. Business apps increase the productivity of employees, by reducing paperwork and improving internal communication. They also enable workers to access important functionalities from a central place. When apps are built for customers, they improve the customers’ experience of the brand’s services. They can quickly request a service, follow up on progress, and request support in case of an issue.

The mobile development landscape, however, can prove quite a challenge for many businesses. The budget can be quite a constraint. Determining what constitutes the Minimum Viable Product requires an exhaustive analysis of organizational workflow. Another challenge lies in getting together the right development team. Before getting started, it’s important to understand the mobile app development steps. This step-by-step guide can help understand why most apps take at least four months to develop and launch.

1. Business Strategy Discussion

All app development processes begin with ideation. This is a discussion of why the business needs to develop an app. The users must be identified. If there are other apps already in the market, the business must identify how the new app will differentiate itself from the others. If the app is expected to bring in revenue, the business model should be discussed. The business has a chance to differentiate itself from the competition by charging different prices by applying a freemium model. The first step is important in deciding whether a gap exists in the market. If not, there is no need to commit resources to the project.

2. Analysis and Discussion of MVP

If indeed a gap exists in the market, a discussion about the Minimum Viable Product will happen. What should the app be able to do? How many users should it support? What should the User Interface look like? Some of these requirements can be pegged against competitor apps. At this point, the business must have an internal lead for the project.

If the business has brand colors used on other company assets (business cards, books, websites), then these should be used to develop a style guide for the app. Does the company have fonts? If yes, then these also go into the app.

3. Estimate Cost and Time

The third step in mobile app development is getting an estimation of how much the project will cost and the time to complete. A business consultant familiar with the app development landscape can help with this process. The business can invite several software developments teams to put together proposals based on the requirements agreed in step 2. Costs will vary depending mainly on the location of the software development team. Software developers in North America charge five times what developers in Asia do. The time will depend on the complexity of the project.

4. UI/UX Design

The first thing the development team will seek to understand is how users of the app will interact with it. What will the app display to users? What data will users provide? This will inform the different screens the mobile app will have. All these are then drawn on paper as sketches then digitally as wireframes. Wireframes should include styling from the style guide given so that they are as realistic as possible.

The design team can also prepare clickable mockups on Figma or Invision to simulate the user experience. The business’s project team can then provide better feedback.

5. App Development

Software developers will now begin to code the functionality of the app. The architecture of the app includes a server, APIs, and the front-end. Developers will pick an appropriate technology stack depending on the different platforms the app will launch on (iOS, Android, Windows). The coding process can take weeks or months. Therefore, there should be milestones where meetings will occur for updates purposes. It’s important that the business’s internal lead can understand the significance of these milestones. If not, the business might need an external project manager.

6. Functional and Performance Testing

Once the coding is done, testing begins. The first tests will mostly be visual to find whether the app looks like what was in the mockups. The workflow should match clickable wireframes on Figma of Invisio. The app should use the style guide fonts and colors consistently. The navigation should also work properly. The next step should be functional testing, to ensure users can access all the app’s functions. Testing should happen on all operating systems.

Once all features are tested, the app’s performance should also be tested. Performance testing involves checking screen load times, bandwidth consumption, app size, effects on phone battery, incidences of memory leaks, and so on.

7. Quality Assurance and Security Testing

The next step will be testing the ability of the app to withstand security threats. The development team will most likely have standard security testing procedures for the app. For instance, the app should be able to terminate user sessions if a user stays too long without activity. In some cases, the app will require to store user credentials for easy login. Data leaks should not happen in such instances.

8. Deployment of the Mobile App

Once issues detected in the testing phase have been fixed, the app is now ready for launch. The app will be submitted to the major stores and subjected to a review process. Clearance might take a few days or weeks. It’s important to write the app’s metadata correctly during the submission process. This metadata includes the app’s name, description, category, icon, and screenshots. Make sure to include the important keywords in the description for App Store Optimization.

9. Publicity

Apps are either meant for the mass market or a certain specific niche. Businesses, therefore, need to get word out to their target market that their app is available. One way to do so is to invite journalists and industry thought leaders to try out the app and review it for their audiences. This will help to not only get feedback but also publicity. The company should also use its other avenues such as social media to generate a buzz for the app. In most cases, they will release trailers, explainer videos, and a blog forum for discussion.

10 . Feedback and Improvement

As people download the app and start using it, it’s important to keep track of certain metrics. The most obvious will be the app’s average rating on the different stores. Are the specific issues that people are complaining about? Is there a feature that’s not working? There are deeper and more indicative metrics, though, such as the retention rate- the number of users using the app after their first experience. It’s indicative of the fact that they find the app useful. The company will also want to see how the Daily Active Users number is growing over time.

Getting Mobile App Development Right

The best way to approach mobile app development is to understand the intricacies of every step. The right software development partner will explain each step in detail. The business must not rush. The business model must be clear. The app must offer something different from the competition. Only when this happens should the actual app development proceed.

If your organization needs help with mobile app development, get in touch with NS804 for a comprehensive package. We help businesses build apps for both iOS and Android platforms. Get in touch with us today.

How To Create A Food Delivery App Like DoorDash

Online food delivery platforms such as DoorDash make it easy for users to purchase food from their favorite restaurants. This expertly designed app facilitates convenient and frictionless online food ordering transactions in multiple territories. Below, we reveal what you need to know about creating a food delivery app.

1. Online Food Ordering Is Enjoying Phenomenal Growth

It’s a decision most of us have made. We opted to spend a quiet Friday evening at home instead of standing in line outside our favorite eatery. But we still craved that tasty pizza or sushi from the restaurant across town while we watched Netflix. So we did what most savvy consumers do nowadays and whipped out our smartphones. We ordered directly from the restaurant’s website or app or via a third-party food delivery app.

Our order arrived in record time, and then we munched down on our delicious meal. We barely gave a thought about how quick and convenient online food ordering has become. Yet, what makes this industry segment so compelling is how frictionless it has made the food delivery process. With just a few clicks, taps, and swipes, hungry customers don’t have to leave home or their place of work to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And this combination of technology and convenience is making a considerable impact. Consider that the food industry has an annual growth rate of approximately 3.7%. However, online food delivery has achieved annual growth rates of 15-20%, which is impressive. And much of this business is driven by platforms such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

2. Enter DoorDash

The platform that we’ll focus on from here on out is DoorDash. It’s a technology company based in San Francisco and founded by Stanford University students in 2013. Today, the company serves customers in Australia, Canada, and the United States across 4,000 cities. And what DoorDash does so well is connecting customers with a myriad of eateries in their vicinity.

The DoorDash app is available for Android and iOS, and the core user base consists of younger time-strapped families. Thus, the app’s developers constantly refine the user experience and interface (UX/UI) to save customers time.

3. Key Features To Implement In Your Food Delivery App

Eateries that join the DoorDash program must upload their menus and images of food items. However, some establishments fail to upload relevant images, which frustrates customers. So, there’s an opportunity to improve on the concept by making image uploads a mandatory process. And several other features that you need to implement in your online food ordering app include the following:

  • Search box
  • Filtering
  • Food customization
  • Order history
  • Pre-order
  • Cashback and discount offers
  • Ratings
  • Restaurant address
  • Delivery & special instructions
  • Pick up
  • Push notifications
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Live chat

4. Craft Your User Flow

Users should discover interesting eateries in their area and make their way to the checkout screen as quickly as possible. Thus, you’ll need to map out all the steps users will take by drawing up a flowchart. Also, consider how they navigate your app via the search box and the various filter and sort options. Several of these options will consist of the following:

  • Rating
  • Under 30 min
  • Pickup
  • Vegetarian
  • Menu price
  • Group order

Then, design your app’s screens with wireframes before putting together a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). DoorDash, in its current form, has come a long way and utilizes advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms. But since you’re likely testing the market, it’s unnecessary to add complex features during the initial stages of development.

The Bottom Line

Developing a food delivery app such as DoorDash makes good business sense. Younger users are increasingly relying on their smartphones to book plane tickets through to ordering food. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create apps that make food delivery a cinch.

What Should You Know About Your App Analytics?

It’s now a lie that the growth of your social media app depends only on the value you bring to your customers. Today, more than ever, many factors determine app performance. These factors include: complexity, design, app testing, butterfly effect, and the list is endless. So, developers are careful about how they view and assess their apps. Therefore, without knowing how your clients react to different marketing strategies and which acquisition channels work best for them, you’ll never be 100% sure of how to make your app increase traction. Today, using app analytics yields countless possibilities and endless insight. However, there are special benefits that stand out.

Here’s What You Should Know About App Analytics

  1. App Analytics Drive ROI in Every Aspect of Performance

Millions of apps on the stores are competing for customer attention and better visibility. In this cut-throat contest, you can’t afford to have an acquisition strategy that lacks monetary goals. Marketing costs huge money. As such, you need to measure how much different channels deliver and compare with different acquisition strategies to determine what results in the best ROI. A winning app analytics strategy includes the following two points.

  • Looking at which channels offer the best customer lifetime value. Customer lifetime value LTV is calculated by customers generating higher revenue and higher possibility for retention.
  • A focus on in-app messaging. Hearing from prospects who have the power to connect to your employees at any time throughout your app experience is helpful to improving your strategy.
  1. App Analytics Help You Gather Accurate Data to Better Serve Your Customer

It’s hard to listen and serve your clients without looking keenly at their feedback and use patterns. Thus, app analytics help you to gain insight into customer data to serve them across all lifecycle stages. Many apps suffer the unfortunate fate of gathering a bulk of followers and failing to serve their needs adequately.

  1. Personalized, Customer-Focused Marketing

Creating an individually targeted and customized customer experience is now possible with app analytics. Customer-targeted push messages sent to specific people can make your app double its rates in a short time. It also converts up to three times better than traditional push messages.

  1. Tracking Individual and Group Achievements

Most app marketers rely on marketing strategies they’ve experienced before to drive results. But, using app analytics gives you a whole new set of customer data. Now, more than ever, app marketers can gain insight around small groups and individuals completing specific, directed activities within the app. What’s more, the possibility of using this knowledge is endless.

  1. Data-driven Results in Issues Concerning Retention

There’s a lot of buzz concerning customer retention these days. However, you can’t have a strong app engagement score if you don’t have many customers using your app regularly. The bottom line is that apps with higher retention rates enjoy better engagement, and more engagement and retention helps the app to gain customers and achieve growth. The most successful apps use analytics by focusing on high life time value customers and acquisition channels. In addition, app analytics close the gap between churn and retention.

Bottom Line

App analytics work in your social media background to enhance your app marketing efforts. It helps you achieve better growth and higher ROI. The above benefits paint a picture of how helpful app analytics is in today’s marketing space. And now, with NS804, you can create a social media app and collect app analytics in just a few clicks.


A Quick Intro To iOS App Development

Many aspiring appreneurs need to have an understanding of iOS app development. Fortunately, Apple has made it relatively easy for novices and experts to develop for their key platforms. With powerful tools such as Xcode and the Swift programming language, there’s never been a better time to create unique apps for iOS.

1. The Many Faces Of iOS App Development

While the Apple ecosystem may be pretty cohesive, this isn’t necessarily true for app development. And what we mean by this is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing apps for iOS. Quite frankly, this isn’t a bad thing, as developers often require more than one toolchain or methodology to complete their projects.

Now, for most projects, Apple’s proprietary Xcode IDE and Swift programming language are good enough. And this is especially true if you plan on developing native-only iOS apps. Furthermore, utilizing Apple’s development tools and closely following their guidelines will allow you to create high-quality and performance-oriented apps, which would be difficult to achieve using third-party or cross-platform tools.

But what if you’re a small team with a limited budget that wants to support both iOS and Android? Then, you have two options that you should consider carefully. Option one: develop the native iOS app in-house and seek the assistance of a professional studio, such as NS804, to handle native development for the Android version. And option two: use a cross-platform framework such as React Native or Xamarin to develop for both platforms entirely in-house. We firmly believe that you’ll achieve better results with the first option.

2. Beyond The Standard Toolchain

As we mentioned earlier, Xcode and Swift will suffice for most purposes. However, your iOS app development needs may vary, and you may require an additional or more powerful toolchain. Perhaps, you’ve decided to create an augmented reality (AR) app or a mobile game. And then, quickly discover that Xcode isn’t the most efficient tool for the job. What then?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent frameworks and game engines to help you achieve your goals. One of the most popular solutions for developing AR, VR, and mobile games is Unity. And if you require the best possible visual fidelity, you may want to consider Unreal Engine. But do keep in mind that both engines are bloated and heavy on system resources, especially Unreal. So, if your project doesn’t require the latest 3D rendering techniques and particle systems, then you’re better served elsewhere.

For example, if you’re developing a simple 2D game, you may want to use an open-source framework, such as MonoGame. This framework offers developers the bare-essential functionality and integrations with APIs to make fun games for iOS and several other platforms. But if you require a full-fledged engine that’s also lightweight and open-source, then consider Godot. A key benefit of Godot is that it regularly receives updates and optimizations from its vibrant developer community.

3. Understanding APIs And Why They Are Necessary

For better or worse, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are essential components in developing apps. Fortunately, Apple’s APIs are among the best in the industry and help make the development process a lot easier.

But what exactly is an API, and why should you care? In a nutshell, an API acts as a messenger or intermediary between various hardware components and software instructions. We may have an API that generates graphics on the screen based on draw calls in a computer program. And we may also have an API that transfers user data from a smartphone to a server. Thus, developers can accomplish various complex tasks, as these APIs handle most of the heavy lifting.

APIs bring forth many obvious cost and time-saving benefits, and you should use them when necessary. Apple has wisely introduced several useful APIs that every iOS developer should familiarize themselves with:

  • Apple Music API – Geared towards apps that require data about albums, artists, chart rankings, music videos, playlists, ratings, reviews, songs, and user-generated content. Also, developers may utilize Apple Music API when creating Android apps and websites.
  • Metal – An API that facilitates 3D rendering and data-parallel calculations by utilizing the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on Apple devices. It’s used extensively for games, visual-oriented apps, and extensive scientific calculations.
  • StoreKit – For developers that need to support in-app purchases in their apps. StoreKit also integrates with Ad Network Attribution, Apple Music, and Recommendations and Reviews in the App Store.
  • SwiftUI – A powerful and developer-friendly UI (User Interface) suite, which uses AppKit and UIKit. It allows developers to create modern-looking apps with as little code as possible.

4. The Bare Minimum Requirements For iOS App Development

It’s essential to own at least one Apple Mac computer, which you’ll use to develop your iOS app. Preferably, it should be a recent model for quicker compile times and better compatibility with newer versions of Xcode. You should also own at least one iPhone and iPad to test your app on, even though Xcode provides a simulator. As good as the simulator may be, it’s always good practice to test your app on actual hardware.

After you download Xcode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the integrated development environment (IDE). And if you have prior experience with Objective-C or a similar programming language, the transition to Swift should be easy. But developing for iOS isn’t just about learning Swift, as you’ll also need to comprehend the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK consists of several APIs and frameworks, which are essential for your app development journey.

You’ll also want to register an Apple Developer account and become a member of the Developer Program. A key benefit of joining this program is that you’ll gain access to resources that will help you with deployment. Furthermore, you may want to sign up for the Xcode Cloud, a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service. Xcode Cloud will allow you to automate your workflow, build in the cloud, and initiate parallel testing.

5. Become Acquainted With The App Store

As an appreneur, you’ll eventually release your app on the App Store, as that’s where your potential customers congregate. But before you launch, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the App Store for maximum success. You’ll need to research your target audience and craft an app and marketing message to appeal to these users.

And if you’re releasing on both the App Store and Google Play, you’ll need to understand the differences between these two stores. After all, you’re dealing with two different audiences that have very different expectations. iOS users tend to earn higher incomes and are more willing to pay for apps that show promise. Android users, on the other hand, prefer free apps that are mostly monetized by ads.

Final Thoughts

iOS app development can be fun and very rewarding with the right approach. In most cases, you’ll want to utilize Apple’s proprietary tools, such as Xcode and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). But you can always integrate an additional toolchain when necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps.

How To Create An E-Commerce App Like Wish

Popular online shopping marketplaces such as Wish have taken the world by storm. And it’s easy to understand why that is, given that users can find the cheapest deals on the most popular and bizarre items available. Below, we briefly cover what you should consider implementing when creating an app similar to Wish.

1. Why You Should Build An E-Commerce Platform

The business landscape is in constant flux, and enterprises need to innovate to stay relevant. And much of that innovation will come from businesses that embrace a customer-first and data-first approach. Moreover, these will be entities that are agile and can scale quickly with increasing customer demand.

But what type of enterprise can adapt and evolve with changing market conditions? Well, in the current pandemic era, e-commerce platforms have not only shown resilience but are rapidly becoming the preferred avenue for purchasing goods and services. As there’s still much economic uncertainty and governments may continue to impose restrictions and lockdowns, brick-and-mortar businesses face many challenges that online enterprises can avoid.

2. What Makes Wish So Special?

Wish is a popular e-commerce platform, which was founded in 2010 by Danny Zhang and Piotr Szulczewski. The platform has enjoyed phenomenal growth and managed to generate $1.9 billion in 2019. It managed to do this by becoming the go-to app for shoppers looking for ultra-cheap items. These items include children’s pajamas, t-shirts, watches, sneakers, sex toys, and knockoffs of branded goods, to name a few. Wish doesn’t actually stock these but allows sellers to list these items in its marketplace.

A large segment of Wish’s users tends to be low-income shoppers and wholesalers seeking the cheapest deals on popular items. However, due to its growing popularity, it has also attracted bargain hunters from more affluent backgrounds. Another reason why Wish has gained attention is how items are promoted on Facebook and Instagram. Some of the most eye-catching and strangest products gain precedence with Wish’s algorithm, ultimately attracting bewildered and curious users.

3. Create A Mobile-First Experience For Users

So, you’ve decided to move ahead with development by building an app similar to Wish. However, you must understand that Wish is significantly different from other e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. Instead of utilizing a search bar to help users find products, an infinite feed of items plays a central role. Not only does this work well on mobile devices, given users’ propensity to scroll down, but mimics the experience of browsing for goods in a shopping mall, where there’s always the possibility of discovering obscure and unique items.

4. Add Gamification And Regularly Offer Discounts

It’s not just the great deals that keep users plugged into the Wish ecosystem but also its fun factor. Wish’s developers took a cue from the casual mobile gaming space and implemented a spin wheel mini-game that unlocks limited-time deals. Furthermore, users are incentivized with further discounts via popup notifications if they add specific items to their carts.

In Conclusion

Wish has gradually become a popular marketplace for bargain hunters and wholesalers seeking popular and strange items. If you want to tap into a flourishing market, then consider building an e-commerce platform. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create powerful mobile apps that drive a growing and sustainable business.

iOS App Design Ideas: How To Improve Patient Care

Healthcare presents fertile ground for implementing some of your best and most innovative iOS app design ideas. Today’s pandemic era has caused a greater need for solutions that only technology can provide. And moving ahead, we can see a bright future ahead for mobile medical apps given their growing popularity. According to Statista, the worldwide size for this market segment will reach $11.2 billion by 2025. So, it may be time to reevaluate your iOS app development goals to take advantage of the flourishing patient care industry.

1. Managing Treatments On The iOS Platform

The iOS platform provides users with a plethora of quality apps, including those geared towards patient care. Several useful apps help physicians make informed decisions about prescriptions and medical procedures. For example, Epocrates makes prescription easy thanks to its powerful drug interaction checker, pill identifier, and Rx and OTC monographs. Then, there’s SeamlessMD, which helps hospitals track patient recovery during post-surgery.

2. Make Scheduling And Contacting During An Emergency Easier

Many iOS app design ideas have the potential to become compelling applications. But in the medical field, where saving lives is crucial, your iOS app development endeavors should facilitate such outcomes. Thus, consider creating an app that enables patients to schedule appointments with their health care providers. And make it easy for patients to contact an ambulance or a personal doctor when necessary.

3. Allow Symptom Tracking For Improved Diagnosis

Apple’s iOS platform encompasses iPhones and iPads, but also the Watch series of wearables. These utilize watchOS, which is an operating system based on iOS. For developers already accustomed to iOS app development, supporting these wearable devices has never been easier. Furthermore, wearables serve as the ideal platform for patients that need to track symptoms and diagnose their current condition.

4. Provide Notifications For Better Patient Care

One of the most powerful features you can implement in your patient care app is notifications. Popup notifications can appear whenever the patient needs to take their meds, schedule a new appointment, or stop eating before a blood test.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re planning on implementing appointment scheduling, electronic prescribing, or symptom tracking, you’ll want to tap into a well of compelling iOS app design ideas for your patient care projects. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create cutting-edge apps for the healthcare industry.

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Restaurant App

Making an app for a restaurant unlocks numerous opportunities. The average person spends more than 4 hours each day on their phone. Having your app installed on their phone increases the number of times they will interact with your brand. On the app, you can send customers push notifications for offers, new items on the menus, and other important communication. The app will also enable them to place orders, even when in other cities where your brand is available. Customers can also give honest feedback about their experiences with your brand. Though daunting, investing in a restaurant app can help create a legion of loyal clients.

If you are thinking of investing in an app, here is a breakdown of how much it is likely to cost you.

Hiring the Right Development Team

The biggest determinant of your restaurant app development costs will be the location of the team you pick. Hiring a software developer in North America will cost upwards of $105 an hour. The project could take 3 months to complete, test, and launch. Hiring a software developer in Europe costs about $75 an hour, while one in India could cost $25 an hour. The difference is quite staggering. Taking time to find an experienced development team outside North America could slash your costs by more than 50%.

The Features

The number and complexity of the features on the restaurant app will affect the timeframe of the project, hence the costs. In an agile development approach, the development team will charge an hourly rate, then bill a certain number of hours for each feature.

A simple restaurant app will have a menu. The menu must have the proper product descriptions, quality images, and categorization. It could also allow users to customize their orders. In that case, it has to be responsive so that users see how customization affects their order total. The app should obviously allow online ordering instead of having to call in for delivery. A payment process integration is also a basic requirement. Most apps have online banking, Apple Pay, and PayPal payment options.

If your restaurant hosts eat-in clients, the app could allow people to book tables to save on waiting time when they come in. Push notifications are also a basic requirement for marketing reasons nowadays. Such a basic app could take 3 to 4 months to build until completion. Assuming 4 months or 16 weeks of work, it could cost around $64000 when working with a developer in North America. If working with a team in Asia, the cost could reduce to around $20000.

More Complex Apps

More complex apps have more advanced features that rack up development time and costs. For instance, being able to track the status of an order is a complex feature. Having non-conventional payment methods, such as accepting cryptocurrencies is another feature on quite several new restaurant apps. Most apps will have a customer interface as well as the backend where orders are accepted, and progress updated. However, it is possible to have an interface for waiters where they can see the tables they should serve, the status of a customer’s bill and so on.

Making the Right Choice

Before beginning the development purpose, it’s important to have a rough figure of the amount of money you are willing to put into the app. You can consult with a software development project manager to help you put together a team that can deliver your app within the budget. There are a lot of talented developers out there, however, you will need the help of a project manager to identify the team and track the project to completion.

To find out more on developing your restaurant app, check out NS804 service offerings.

How to Create A Social Media App: Complete Guide

Nowadays, it’s impossible to comprehend a world without social media and how it has impacted us. For better or worse, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have changed the way we interact with each other online. Perhaps they eat up more of our time than we’d like to admit. But on the other hand, they’ve revolutionized the way we consume and share content. Furthermore, these platforms are opening up many invaluable opportunities for creatives, developers, and businesses.

1. Why You Should Develop A Social Media App

Whether you’re an appreneur or running a large organization, it’s time to take a serious look at social media. And there are many good reasons why you’d want to do this, considering the current online landscape. Chances are you’re already active on one or more social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Moreover, you probably have family members, friends, and work colleagues that are plugged into their favorite social channels too.

If we briefly look at numbers, consider the juggernaut Facebook, which boasts 2.89 billion monthly active users by the 2nd quarter of 2021. With such extensive reach, Facebook has become the leading platform among relationship networks. Many people love engaging with friends and loved ones here, given the platform’s powerful features that facilitate user retention.

Of course, it would be a Herculean task to develop a social media app to compete with the likes of Facebook, especially for a startup. But it’s not necessary to copy Facebook to find success with a social channel. It’s best to find a niche that serves a need, which appeals to a sizable audience. For example, a corporate social channel could serve as an effective tool for connecting all workers within the organization. And users outside the organization won’t be able to access this channel, making it a manageable project for a smaller developer.

2. Determine The Type Of Social Media App You Want To Create

As we mentioned earlier, your social channel must serve a need. Otherwise, you’ll waste resources on a project that won’t attract users and ROI. So, carefully consider what type of social media app will find its place with today’s users. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of apps you can create moving forward:

  • Bookmarking Sites – Users that enjoy consuming or curating online content make use of bookmarking sites regularly. These include services such as Flipboard, Mix, and Pinterest.
  • Discussion Forums – The granddaddy of social media platforms that have a proven track record for attracting enthusiastic users. A few key examples include Digg, Quora, and Reddit.
  • Media Sharing Platforms – Content creators, graphic designers, and photographers love to share their work online using media sharing platforms. A few popular services that can handle image and video sharing include Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
  • Microblogging Services – Bloggers and content creators enjoy the convenience of sharing their thoughts and content on these platforms. Popular services include Medium, Tumblr, and Twitter.
  • Relationship NetworksThese are among the most popular social media platforms due to their high user engagement. Users love to socialize and connect with others on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tinder.
  • Review Sites – Users have become accustomed to rating businesses, products, or travel destinations and leaving comments about their experiences. Review sites that facilitate this include Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, and Yelp.

3. Understanding Your Target Audience

When developing and releasing an app, it’s crucial to understand your audience as intimately as possible. Thus, it’s always a good idea to have target audience templates and examples handy. These templates will detail your potential users’ age, gender, demographics, education, income, hobbies, and interests. By conducting a detailed target audience analysis, you’ll likely craft a social media app that hits the mark.

4. Plan Your App’s Workflow In Detail

Social media apps are complex, which means that you shouldn’t skimp on any of the details. Furthermore, you’re aiming at creating an app with user retention in mind, so plan carefully!

Start by sketching a basic outline of your app, and determine the number of screens and subsequent user interaction. Then, wireframe your app so that your development team can accurately visualize how it will look and feel on mobile devices. If necessary, develop a prototype so that all stakeholders will know how the app will be like when released. And these stakeholders can then request changes and tweaks to improve the app further.

Finally, finetune the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) of your app so that it complies with current standards. Also, consider your target audience and what type of UX/UI best fits their needs and expectations. If you’re targeting a younger audience, they’ll appreciate a bolder and more colorful design language. And an older audience will prefer a more utilitarian approach to your app’s design.

5. Consider All The Functionality That Your App Requires

Earlier, we mentioned that social media apps are complex, and we weren’t kidding about this matter. To make your app palatable to today’s users, you’ll need to implement several essential features. And while it may not be necessary to integrate all these features listed below, you’ll probably need most of them:

  • App Management – Establishing a web portal for managing users and data via the app.
  • Customization – Allow users the ability to customize backgrounds, colors, profile pictures, and nicknames to improve user retention.
  • Data Sources Integration – Implementing data from existing and multiple sources.
  • Data Types – May include audio, video, and photo content, including data, lists, and text.
  • Geolocation – Acquire location data based on a user’s device location by integrating Apple’s and Google’s geolocation APIs.
  • In-App Communication – Allows a user to communicate with other users, comment on posts, and share content on social media.
  • Network Building – Implementing an algorithm and search features that make it easy for users to connect with friends, family, and like-minded people.
  • News Feed – Users can update their status and upload content on their news feed to share with others.
  • Payment Systems – If your app has a payment component, you’ll need to integrate various payment APIs. These may include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, to name a few.
  • Security – Enabling encryption to protect user data while complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Social Media Integrations – Make it easy for users to login into your app using their preferred platforms and to share content.
  • User Interaction – The various ways your app will communicate with the user: email, push notifications, or SMS.
  • User Management – Initiating the basic registration process by requesting a user’s email or social media account.

6. Implementing Analytics To Monitor User Retention And Engagement

Ensure that you’ve implemented analytics in your app to monitor its performance and user engagement. You’ll want to keep track of how many active users you have compared to your overall downloads. Also, keep tabs on your user retention and churn rates, especially when rolling out new features and updates. And determine user engagement by analyzing all the actions they take during each session.

In Conclusion

Creating a compelling social media app requires careful planning and extensive knowledge of the numerous platform-specific APIs and integrations. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop fantastic mobile apps and social experiences.

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App for Your Business in 2021?

Despite being more than 10 years old, both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store continue to see a daily increase in apps. More than 300 business apps launch in both of these stores. It shows that people are still investing in apps to reap the more than $139 billion customers are spending annually on and in apps.

However, the first question in investors’ and business managers’ minds is how much it will cost to build an app. Depending on where you look, you are likely to get figures ranging from $5000 to hundreds of thousands. Such a range is not helpful. A better approach would be to understand what really affects the cost of building business apps.

What Affects the Costs of Building an App?

The two biggest variables that affect the cost of making an app are the cost of labor per hour and the number of hours used. The number of hours depends on the complexity of the app, which we shall look at in some detail. The cost of labor depends on the location of the team you are going to hire.

According to Accelerance, hiring a junior developer in the US could cost $105 to $111 an hour. In Latin America, it would cost $35 to $44 while in Asia, it could be as low as $18-$24. The same variance is seen in other roles as well. Your project might need a business analyst, a graphic designer, a lead developer, and a project manager.

Businesses that use offshore development teams can spend up to six times less on labor compared to one that uses a team in North America.

The hours variable depends on how much time goes into business analysis, UI/UX design, project management, and functionality coding or development. You might also want to compare using an agency or a freelance team with a project manager.

Business Analysis phase

Any app idea has to undergo scrutiny from a business analyst. The analyst asks questions to ensure all the core and non-core features are well captured in the documentation. They also compare those features with existing apps in the market to understand what differentiates the idea. They can also help decide on the best technology stack for an app. The analysts remain a core part of the project to ensure development best practices are followed throughout. Their job is to help create a quote or a clear brief for your development team.

At least a tenth of the business’ app budget should be set aside for this phase.

Creating Clickable Prototypes

The next phase after business analysis is prototyping. It helps you go through the app’s UX before actual coding begins. Your development team is likely to use tools such as Adobe XD and Invision to do this. A further 10-15% of your budget will go to this phase.

A way to reduce the time spent in this phase would be to provide screenshots of apps you like to the development team. This helps them understand more quickly what you would like.

Coding of the App’s architecture and Functionality

A bulk of your budget will go into hiring the core development team to code the functionality and architecture of your app. At the minimum, you will need a mobile developer, a UI/UX designer, a project manager, and a quality assurance engineer. Having a team take on their specific roles simultaneously shortens the time to market for your app.

The team you choose to work with should agree to an agile development approach. The project manager should involve you in weekly meetings with the team to check on deliverables. The project manager should be your point of contact and they should always communicate in a timely manner. The development phase takes around 60% of the total costs.

Extra Features That Might Affect Cost

Requesting extra features on your app directly impacts the total development costs. However, some of these features might be necessary for a business to have a ‘Minimum Viable Product’ based on the market you are targeting.

A good example would be optimizing the User Interface of your app for tablets. Many apps do not support tablets due to the high cost of optimization. However, if a tablet version will help add extra features or your app is so popular that a tablet version is inevitable, then you must budget for such optimization.

During the business analysis phase, you must decide on the oldest Mobile Operating systems you will support. More than 18% of Android Users are still using Android 6.0 Marshmallow or an older operating system. More than 15% of iOS users are using i0S 12.4 or older. The older versions your app will support, the steeper your development costs will be. On the upside though, you will cater to a larger demographic of potential users. If your app is really for a niche sophisticated market, you might not have to worry about this.

Including an offline mode for your app is also likely to rack up the development costs. The developers must design a way to sync app data with servers and this might cost anywhere between $8000 and $12000 more. If the app will have push notifications to increase user engagement, more hours will be added to the development phase. Other features to consider would be analytics, payments integration, in-app messaging, and mobile ads.

Behind the Scenes Costs

In planning for your business app development, you must factor in server costs. This will be the case if the app loads content from a database. Common server solutions include Amazon Web Services and Google’s Firebase. Costs can vary from $6000 to $28000.

You will also need to get your paperwork done correctly. An app is your intellectual property, and you should patent it. A legal team should help prepare the Terms and Conditions of Use as well as Privacy Policy.

In the planning phase for your app, it’s crucial to have a marketing strategy in place. First, you will need to publish your app in major stores and have it reviewed. A proper description together with images is essential for App Store Optimization. It would be advisable to publicize the app in tech communities, invite journalists and tech reviewers to test the app, and publish reviews on their platforms. You will need to publish your own trailer for the app on your social channels.

It is also crucial to take the cost of updating and maintaining your app into consideration. On average, these costs average out at around 15-20% of the initial development budget.

Ways to Cut Your Business App Budget

As seen, the cost of a business app development varies greatly depending on the nature of the app. The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a simple business app could take as little as 1 month with a proper team. Enterprise apps with complex features take around 3 months to complete. Scalable mobile apps intended for mass marker consumers can take more than 4 months.

To minimize your budget, you could opt for frameworks that enable cross-platform development. These include Ionic and Xamarin. Cross-platform development can minimize development budgets by 30%. However, consult with an experienced software developer to ensure that cross-platform development will not hurt your app’s functioning. Apps with a lot of animation are best developed using native frameworks for iOS and Android.

Other cost-cutting measures include coming up with a Minimum Viable Product first and then improving upon it as it is being used in the market. In addition, you can use off-the-shelf functionality solutions as opposed to coding everything from scratch. Always go for SDKs with official support and not just any code snippets.