Mobile App Developers In Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, in North Carolina, is a populous and exciting city. It currently has a population of approximately 899,000 inhabitants and is ranked as the third fastest-growing city in the United States. Not bad, considering it had little more than 11,500 inhabitants in 1890. 

But where does this bustling metropolitan area get its name from? Surprisingly, it owes its name to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a German princess who became the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761. And even the local public school education agency is named after this Queen.

While Charlotte boasts a fascinating past, it’s also a city set to succeed now and in the future. And that’s because it’s a major financial hub, with Bank of America, Truist Financial Corporation, and Well Fargo & Company having headquarters here.

Furthermore, all these financial institutions have embraced mobile app technology wholeheartedly. And to serve their clients efficiently, quickly, and safely — all three institutions have released mobile apps of extraordinary quality.

However, Charlotte’s not only a wonderful home for banking giants but also for other key players. Adecco Staffing, American Airlines, Atrium Health, Daimler Truck North America, Duke Energy Corporation, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowe’s, Novant Health, and Wal-Mart all have a strong presence here.

All these companies, and even smaller businesses and startups, require the services of reputable mobile app developers to remain competitive. And since NS804 has an office in Charlotte, we can conveniently offer our expertise and services locally.

But what should businesses expect from one of the leading mobile app developers in Charlotte, NC? Below, we’ve compiled a list of what we can provide to all our clients.

1. Cross-Platform Development Experience

One of the perks of working with NS804 is that we’re a cross-platform mobile app developer. And beyond that, we also specialize in native app development, which means that we can deliver maximum performance to both your iOS and Android apps. Moreover, we ensure that the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) remain native to the target platform.

2. Custom Apps That Suit Your Business

NS804 develops apps predominantly for small and mid-sized businesses, including startups. And we have a deep understanding of what makes these businesses tick and what kinds of apps will help them succeed. Should a store owner need a retail app to serve clients, we’re able to build a custom app that’s crafted to the store owner’s specifications.

3. Expert Implementations

Whether you need to integrate a relational database or implement an application programming interface (API), you’ll need the expertise of a professional studio. These implementations are complex and can pose a significant security risk if not done correctly. So, never go it alone, and instead, rely on the expertise of a professional developer to handle these tasks for you.

Why Mobile App Developers In Charlotte, NC?

If you’re located in Charlotte, then it’s better and more convenient to work with a developer established in your city. But more importantly, you need to work with a mobile app developer that’s built a reputation for professionalism and quality. Contact NS804 today to learn how we can help you create phenomenal apps that will help boost your business!

Agile And Waterfall Methodology: 5 Things To Know

As a business leader, you’ve probably deliberated over the differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology. And if you’re an app developer, you’ve likely adopted one of these two methodologies to complete your projects. 

But you’ve probably heard project managers and industry insiders throw the terms ‘Agile’ and ‘Waterfall’ quite liberally. Thus, often giving the impression that both are similar, even though this isn’t necessarily true. 

Sure, both are popular methodologies that involve the planning, realization, and keeping track of projects as they advance. However, there are several glaring differences between the two that we need to understand clearly.

So, what are the differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology? There are several, but we’ll focus on one key difference right now. 

Agile relies on continuous iteration whereby the development team works simultaneously on a project, making it a flexible model. However, Waterfall requires the team to complete each stage of the project linearly, and thus, it’s way more rigid. 

But let’s be clear about one thing, neither methodology is better than the other. Project managers must pick the one that best suits their needs. And to better understand the differences between the two and which to pick, we’ve compiled this handy list below to help you make the right decision! 

1. Agile Methodology In A Nutshell

Due to the more strict nature of Waterfall, it soon became necessary for an alternative. And thus, Agile made its way into the world of project management to address a common problem. Since it often takes many years to complete most common software projects, technology undergoes tremendous change. Henceforth, development teams cannot realistically complete their projects while keeping up with customer demand with the Waterfall methodology.

But with the flexibility of Agile, it’s easy to make changes, even late during the timeline of a project. Moreover, company stakeholders, management, and customers may request changes or new features. It’s even possible to implement these additional changes or features without hindering the project significantly. 

And that’s because Agile allows the team to complete several phases concurrently and frequently. Another benefit of Agile is that the team determines the project’s direction instead of the project manager. Ultimately, this energizes the team and helps increase productivity, but it also calls for more team independence.

2. Understanding The Waterfall Methodology

Projects with a known outcome benefit immensely from the Waterfall methodology due to its linear approach. Before a team can move forward, it must first meet the set requirements and complete the deliverables of the current stage of the project.

However, the project lead must have a well-defined vision for the app. More importantly, no major alterations may occur during the development process, as this will likely derail the project. Unlike with Agile, it’s difficult and costly to course correct with the Waterfall methodology.

And before a project commences, the project lead must have a clear picture of the budget and timeline. Any deviation from this during the development process will put the project at risk. However, this does not necessarily make Waterfall projects riskier than Agile projects.

3. Agile And Waterfall Methodology Impact Client Involvement

Depending on the scope of your project, you may decide to involve your clients. If that’s the case, then Agile is a great choice. And according to the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, customer collaboration plays a vital role. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration between developers and business people and face-to-face discussion on a frequent basis.

With Waterfall, if you’re the project lead, you’ll hold weekly or monthly meetings with your development team. And you may share progress reports with company stakeholders, but you won’t collaborate with clients. Furthermore, you’ll only share information on a need-to-know basis with the right people in your team.

4. Rigid Versus Sprint Planning

With the Waterfall methodology, the planning phase takes far longer than with Agile. And that’s because the project lead and company stakeholders must evaluate the feasibility of the project. In most cases, the budget will be higher, as a Waterfall project must be completed in its entirety before it’s shipped.

Furthermore, there’s very little wiggle room, if any, for changes at a later stage. Any decisions taken during the planning phase must be adhered to during the entirety of the project. And to ensure that the development team remains committed to the project, the planning phase also includes the monitoring procedure.

Agile is an entirely different beast, which doesn’t prioritize planning. Instead, projects are broken down into sprints, and decisions that will impact the project occur before each sprint. These sessions are also known as sprint planning. And while Agile offers plenty of flexibility, major project changes may not occur during an active sprint.

Keep in mind that Agile requires constant engagement by the project manager and team members. Therefore, stand-up meetings have become customary for teams to stay informed. All attendees must meet regularly for small durations and must stand while the project lead updates the team in front of a whiteboard. 

Stand-up meetings may occur every day or several times per week. In most cases, stand-up meetings work remarkably well. But difficult to implement with large teams spread across multiple locations. Also, holding too many stand-up meetings may disrupt the workflow of the team. 

5. The Waterfall Methodology Is Losing Popularity

As you’re probably aware by now, Agile seems to have advantages that make it very attractive to development teams. And given the shift to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) from packaged software, Agile makes perfect sense. But it doesn’t end there, as many mobile app development teams rely heavily on a continuous iteration process.

Most savvy mobile app developers start with a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP). And if these gain traction with users, then they’ll scale up to a full-fledged product. But given the constant introduction of new mobile devices and app store requirements, most mobile apps are not truly ever done.

And let’s not forget that users have become accustomed to receiving features that will keep them engaged after each app update. Therefore, the Waterfall methodology isn’t suitable for most mobile app development purposes. It’s better to adopt the Agile methodology and introduce new features and updates during every active sprint.

But don’t write off Waterfall entirely, as it may prove useful if you’re developing a premium mobile game. Most paid mobile games have high-quality visuals, gameplay, and features that make them closely resemble console games. And thus, it’s unlikely that you’ll introduce new content and features later unless these come in the form of downloadable content (DLC) or in-app purchases (IAP). 

Even so, most premium games have a limited lifecycle, so don’t necessarily require continuous iteration. Their high budgets, long development cycles, and the necessity for specialist team member roles make the Waterfall methodology the right choice here. 

In Conclusion

Understanding the key differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology places you in an advantageous position. It allows you to opt for the right methodology that best suits your project. However, company stakeholders will also affect your choice.

For example, if these stakeholders will support the project long-term and closely involve themselves, Agile is the way to go. But if these stakeholders prefer a more hands-off approach, consider Waterfall instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you complete your upcoming project on time using the most suitable technologies and methodologies.

Which Comes First When Developing A Mobile App — iOS Or Android?

Should you choose iOS or Android for your next app project? Well, that largely depends on your goals. And that’s because these goals will help you determine which platform you should develop for first.

But you may have heard that it’s cheaper and faster to develop for iOS. And that’s true, but this is seldom a good enough reason to opt for iOS over Android. It’s better to consider the target audience and what platform they predominantly use. 

Ultimately, always consider where your app will likely succeed first. Below, we reveal a few handy tips to help you choose iOS or Android — but to do so wisely! 

1. When Developing A Premium App

It’s no secret that iOS users spend more on apps than their Android counterparts. Moreover, they prefer premium apps and are willing to purchase apps instead of watching ads like Android users. And that difference is significant, as users spent $85.1 Billion in the App Store versus $47.9 Billion in the Google Play Store in 2021.

So, if you’re planning on going premium with your next app, then iOS is the clear winner. The same applies if you’ll be monetizing via in-app purchases and subscriptions, iOS still leads the way here. But be careful with utility applications, as these tend to do better on Android and don’t engage iOS users as much.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

One of the most crucial factors that will determine whether you’ll choose iOS or Android for your upcoming project is your target audience. And then, you’ll need to determine their demographics, locations, and preferred platform.

Outside North America and most Western territories, Android reigns supreme, especially in the developing world. Android has a 72% market share, and iOS has 26% of the mobile audience. So, if you’re aiming for maximum downloads, especially with a freemium app, Android’s your best bet!

Since most Android users reside in low and middle-income countries, you’ll be reaching a diverse audience. And that means you’ll need to spend some time and money on localization.

3. Starting With iOS Or Android For Mobile Game Development

Between Apple and Google, the latter has historically been the more game-friendly company. But that’s slowly changing, especially after the introduction of the Apple Arcade subscription service. However, Google remains competitive with Google Play Pass and Instant Play games.

And then, there’s the wide variety of platforms and storefronts that Android reaches. Android apps and games run on Chromebooks, and Google Play Games (still in beta in some regions) now run on PC. Furthermore, the Amazon App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Samsung Galaxy Store, and several other stores host Android games. 

Thus, Android offers developers many more opportunities to reach gamers than Apple. And specific genres, such as arcade, puzzle, and racing games, tend to earn more as freemium titles, which suits Android perfectly.

However, if you want to be featured in the App Store, you may want to hold off on the Android version momentarily. The cool thing about the App Store is that it’s curated by humans who take an interest in titles that stand out. And if you provide them with a unique game that’s timed-exclusive, it’s possible to be featured, leading to many downloads and sales.

The Bottom Line

Both iOS and Android are fantastic platforms that offer developers plenty of solid opportunities. But you need to develop apps first for the platform that lines up with your goals closely. Avoid fanboyism and the hype surrounding a particular platform, and focus on the platform that will deliver the results you want instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deliver phenomenal iOS or Android apps to your users! 

The Best YouTube Video Downloader Apps For Mobile Phones

There are many good reasons why you’d want to track down a YouTube video downloader

Firstly, there’s content on YouTube that you’d like to store to watch later on. Secondly, if you’re a content creator, you may need to download trailers and promotional videos to edit and reupload later. And thirdly, you may need to show video snippets at a company meeting presentation. Instead of awkwardly searching YouTube to find those videos during the presentation, it’s better to have downloaded them beforehand.

But is it legal to download YouTube videos? The short answer is no unless you have permission from YouTube or the initial copyright holder of the videos. And the law is very stringent about this matter in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. However, you may legally download those with a creative commons license, public domain works, or copyleft videos. 

When companies release promotional videos and trailers, it’s best to visit their official websites. Here, they’ll usually make available a press kit for the media and content creators and often provide links to videos for use.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s actually possible to download YouTube videos without a dedicated downloader but with a few caveats. YouTube allows mobile users to download videos in certain countries and regions for up to 48 hours. If users want to retain these videos on their phones, they need to reconnect to a WiFi or mobile network within that 48-hour period. 

It’s hardly an ideal solution, so you’re better off finding a versatile YouTube video downloader. Therefore, we’ve listed several of the best apps in this category below.

1. Dentex YouTube Video Downloader For Android

Developed by Samuele Rini, Dentex is available as an APK file from the developer’s GitHub site, so you’ll need to sideload it onto your device. You can also find it at APK Combo, APKPure, BestForAndroid, and Uptodown. But we recommend you download it directly from GitHub, as it’s easy to donate there if you’re happy with the downloader. 

And it’s definitely one of the better downloaders available due to its ease of use. The user interface (UI) makes it easy to search for videos, set the format and quality of the download, and view previously downloaded videos. Furthermore, it’s possible to extract audio snippets from the videos and subsequently convert these to MP3. 

However, it only supports Android 5.0 (API 21) or higher, which means those with older devices are out of luck. It’s also a little buggy, and videos won’t always download correctly or stop without warning. But its biggest letdown is that it’s unavailable for iOS — a missed opportunity!

2. iTubeGo

One thing immediately noticeable when running iTubeGo is how incredibly slick and polished it’s when compared to its counterparts. Undoubtedly, the development team behind this app has gone the extra mile to deliver a quality product. It’s free for Windows, Mac, and Android, but users can upgrade to the PRO version to unlock additional features.

Once again, there’s no iOS version, which is an oversight that the developers need to address. But what makes iTubeGo so compelling to make it in our list of best YouTube video downloader apps? 

Apart from being incredibly polished, iTubeGo also offers tons of download options. Not only can users download from YouTube but also from AudioBoom, Bandcamp, Bilibili, Coub, Dailymotion, Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud, Niconico, TikTok, Twitter, SoundCloud, Vevo, Vimeo, VK, and more. 

Moreover, it features lossless technology that replicates the original video quality, regardless of its resolution. And it also has a 320kbps MP3 downloader, multiple format support, external SD card storage capability, batch downloading, and a smart link detection tool.

3. NewPipe

NewPipe is yet another Android-only APK download and is supported by donations. With over 6 million downloads at Uptodown, it’s a testament to its popularity and versatility. But what makes it so good when compared to other YouTube video downloaders available today?

For one, it’s incredibly lightweight at only 2 MB, making it resource-efficient. And secondly, it isn’t dependent on the Google framework or YouTube API, so it can function perfectly without Google Services. In a nutshell, it’s designed to run on any Android device (even a De-Googled phone running another operating system such as Calyx or Graphene) with privacy in mind. 

And if users need that extra layer of privacy, downloads and traffic can go through Tor (a browser renowned for its anonymous communication capabilities). Furthermore, it will run on Android TV and can seamlessly download videos or audio while having them play in the background. 

It doesn’t have any ads whatsoever, which should please most users. But since this is a one-man project, support isn’t the greatest. And the app does lack some of that polish found in commercial alternatives, so it’s not an entirely smooth experience. It’s known to suffer from occasional errors and unsuccessful downloads.

4. Snaptube YouTube Video Downloader & MP3 Converter

A common theme throughout this list is the lack of iOS YouTube video downloaders. It seems as if Android has the lion’s share of these apps, and iOS gets the crumbs. Well, that’s largely the case, and that’s due to Android being a more open system. And this allows developers the freedom to create apps that may not always be welcome in the App Store.

But iOS users shouldn’t feel disheartened as downloaders such as Snaptube more than compensate for the lack of options. While Snaptube isn’t exclusive to iOS, as it’s also available on Android, it does provide the functionality users want in a YouTube video downloader.

It’s similar to Dentax in its user-friendliness, making it a relatively simple process to search for and download videos. Also, it’s a simple process to set video quality or to choose to download the audio only. And apart from YouTube, it can also download directly from Facebook, Instagram, LiveLeak, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Vine, and many others. 

Other notable features include its dark mode, floating video player, and ability to run smoothly alongside other apps. Users can check their email or chat while Snaptube completes downloads in the background, which is incredibly handy. 

5. YMusic For Android

Music lovers who want to listen to their favorite artists found on YouTube no longer need to watch or download bandwidth-heavy videos. What YMusic does so well is play only the audio of any artist’s YouTube content. Thus, saving up to 90% of user data.

YMusic utilizes the last.fm service to quickly detect artist and album details on the fly. Then, it downloads the content as an MP3 or another format. Users can also easily customize the app’s UI and utilize its 81 color combinations. And since this app functions as a media player, it also boasts custom equalizers, gapless playback, and screen widgets.

And users that already use the YouTube app can quickly navigate to YMusic via the Share button. Overall, this is a straightforward app that makes accessing, downloading, and listening to music a breeze. 

In Conclusion

Due to the legalities surrounding copyrighted content on YouTube, it’s not surprising that many downloaders aren’t available in the App Store or Google Play. But given Android’s open nature, many developers have made available their YouTube video downloader apps directly from their websites and various APK download sites. But we recommend you proceed with caution and only download and install APKs from trusted sources.

However, if you want to create a YouTube video downloader or a similar app that’s developed and distributed professionally, you need to partner with a reputable studio. Work with NS804, a mobile app development company with locations in Richmond, Denver, and Charlotte. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps using leading-edge technologies!

Want Flawless API Implementation? Here Are 3 Tips

The application programming interface (API) is essential for all forms of software development, and that’s why you want flawless API implementation. But how do you do this with so many APIs in existence? And don’t you need vast knowledge to work with so many different APIs?

The good news is that you’ll only ever use a handful of APIs during your development endeavors. And no, there’s no need to know these intimately, as these change regularly or occasionally become deprecated. Though it never hurts to have relevant background knowledge and experience.

However, API implementation is something you need to do well and consistently. So we’re providing these few handy tips to help you with this matter below.

1. Check The Documentation Before API Implementation

The quality of documentation plays a crucial role in whether or not you should use an API. And that’s because poor documentation, or lack thereof, makes API implementation incredibly challenging. And in some cases, utterly impossible!

So, always check the documentation of an API to see that it’s clear, concise, and detailed enough. It should have enough information to help you implement it easily and quickly. Fortunately, most popular APIs, especially those developed by tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, come with well-written documentation.

But things can get dicey when dealing with open-source APIs or those made by amateur developers. Another common problem with open-source projects is that documentation will suffer once a project loses steam. At least with those backed by large companies, their documentation will regularly get updated, so long as these APIs aren’t deprecated.

2. Verify The Stability Of The API Beforehand

Always check the version number, release notes, and reported issues of an API beforehand. Also, search developer forums to see if other developers have experienced issues with the API you’re about to implement. Contributors of these developer forums will often provide solutions to known problems.

While no API is perfect or bug-free, you’ll want to avoid any API that will break your app. And you’ll also want to use APIs that offer a certain degree of backward compatibility. After all, you don’t want to rewrite your entire app just to get it to work with the latest version of an API.

3. Easier Is Always Better

API implementation should never be too difficult. Your team simply shouldn’t waste valuable time trying to implement an API when they could be working on the features that add value to your app. Thus, your preferred APIs should offer ease of use and flexibility.

And implementation must be so easy that it makes sense to use a particular API in your other apps when necessary. Thus, you won’t waste company resources learning new APIs or having to undergo yet another onboarding process.

The Bottom Line

Every mobile app relies on several APIs to make it functional. And there’s an API for every use case, from drawing graphics on the screen to transferring data to the backend server. Therefore, API implementation is one of the most important tasks that mobile app developers can’t ignore. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal mobile apps the right way!

Want To Develop iOS Apps? Here’s How To Get Started

Most developers — even those not involved in the mobile space — want to develop iOS apps. And that’s because Apple’s renowned ecosystem is world-class. And with the recently released iPhone Pro 14, consumers have access to one of the best premium smartphones in the market. 

Of course, iOS apps don’t only run on iPhones but also on Apple’s phenomenal lineup of tablets — the iPad range. And with the introduction of Apple silicon (system on a chip based on ARM architecture), it’s now possible to run iOS apps on the latest Mac computers with no porting necessary. 

So what does this mean for developers? It means that their iOS apps can run on a variety of Apple devices from a single codebase. And that’s profound because Apple users love to spend money on apps far more than Android users. Thus, if you develop iOS apps, you’ll be entering a very lucrative market. And while success is never guaranteed — you’ll never know if you don’t try!

But what if you’re new to the Apple ecosystem as a developer — how do you even get started? First and foremost, understand that Apple’s ecosystem is called a ‘walled garden’ for a reason. And that’s because it’s a closed platform, similar to Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Switch consoles.

And that brings us to our second point: you don’t have the freedom to develop iOS apps on whatever hardware you like or skirt Apple’s guidelines. Like it or not, Apple has a stranglehold on its platforms, down to the development process. But we plan to demystify this process and help you get started — the right way!

1. Purchase Original Apple Hardware

If you don’t already own an Apple MacBook notebook or a Mac/iMac desktop, you’ll need to purchase at least one that fits your budget. Preferably, choose one of the latest models that features the M1 or M2 SoC instead of an Intel CPU. Apple’s latest chips are more power efficient and also future-proof, so worth the investment. 

Now, you may come across instructional articles and YouTube videos that will show you how to build a Hackintosh — a cheaper and unofficial Mac/iMac clone system. As tempting as this route may seem, we don’t recommend it at all! You’ll need some PC-building skills, and the overall experience won’t be as smooth as using a genuine Mac once you’ve got your Hackintosh up and running. 

And no, you won’t be able to use a Windows or Linux PC to build iOS apps. But you can install Windows or Linux on a Mac and even develop apps for these operating systems. Moreover, you can install Android Studio on a Mac and develop Android apps, making it perfect for cross-platform development

You’ll also need to purchase at least one iPhone and an iPad for deploying and testing your app. And if you plan to release your app on Apple Watch and tvOS, you’ll need to purchase these devices too. Purchase the latest models of these devices, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few older models in the studio for backward compatibility testing purposes.

2. Enroll As An Apple Developer And Create An Apple ID

Now that you’ve rounded up all your hardware, you’re ready to become an Apple developer. However, we mentioned Apple’s closed platform earlier, and now you’re about to see why that’s the case. 

Apple offers an enrollment program, and it’s mandatory if you want to distribute your iOS apps. Furthermore, you’ll need to pay an annual fee of 99 USD for the Apple Developer Program and 299 USD for the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Choose the program that’s right for your studio.

Also, don’t forget to create your Apple ID, as it’s necessary to authenticate yourself as the user and to download development tools from the Mac App Store.

3. Download And Familiarize Yourself With Xcode

After that, download Xcode — Apple’s official integrated development environment (IDE). You can get it from the Mac App Store or Apple’s Xcode developer portal. This suite includes a code editor, debugging tools, and the iOS software development kit (SDK). While there are many other IDEs available in the marketplace, we recommend you stick to Xcode if you’re only now starting out to develop iOS apps.

However, if you’re developing mobile games and using a game engine such as Unity, expect your development environment to differ substantially. But if you’re developing non-gaming and line of business (LOB) apps, Xcode will suffice. 

We recommend you spend time familiarizing yourself with Xcode before you start to develop iOS apps. And that’s to help you and your team to become more comfortable with using the IDE and all its features. Furthermore, check out the Xcode documentation, videos, and forums at Apple’s developer portal.

4. Learn The Swift Programming Language

Swift is Apple’s officially supported and preferred programming language for creating iOS apps. It’s quickly replacing the far older Objective-C, but some developers still use it to this day. However, we recommend you use Swift as a new iOS developer, as it’s easier to read and write and more type-safe. 

But how long will it take to learn Swift? If your team already has experience with any object-oriented programming (OOP) language, they’ll pick up Swift in a matter of days. But if they have little or no experience, it can take two months or longer to gain a basic level of proficiency.

5. You May Need To Learn C++ Or C#

If you’re planning on developing an iOS mobile game, you can use Xcode. But we only recommend this route if you’re making a small and simple game. And that’s because Xcode doesn’t offer the tooling necessary to make complex 3D games popular with today’s gamers. 

Instead, you should either use Unity or Unreal Engine to make a compelling game with stunning 3D visuals. If you go with Unity, which is the more lightweight game engine of the two, you’ll need to learn C#. And if you go with Unreal Engine, you’ll need to learn C++ or Blueprint Visual Scripting.

Overall, C# is easier to learn than C++, and even shares some similarities with Swift. And that means if you already know Swift, picking up C# will be a cinch. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore C++, as it’s the lingua franca of the game development world. And apart from Unreal Engine, the vast majority of performance-oriented 3D game engines are either coded in C++ or have a C++ scripting component. 

Furthermore, if you need to develop a fast-paced game, such as a first-person shooter (FPS) or racing game, it’s preferable to code it in C++ to keep frame rates up. The problem with languages such as C# is that they use a garbage collector (GC) to avoid memory leaks. But every time the GC kicks in to clear unused objects in the memory heap, it can cause in-game stutters, which ruins the user experience. 

Of course, there are workarounds to avoid these stutters, but it’s still better to use a more performant language, such as C++. And given that C++ regularly outperforms managed languages such as C#, it’s the way to go for many use cases. 

In Conclusion

As we’ve revealed, it’s actually a relatively simple process to develop iOS apps if you’re just starting out. Initially, you’ll be faced with a high price of entry, especially if you don’t already own any Apple hardware. But once you have purchased this hardware, created your Apple ID, and enrolled in the developer program, you’re halfway done. Then, it’s a matter of downloading Xcode, familiarizing yourself with the IDE, and learning Swift. 

You may need to use other tools and programming languages if you’re creating mobile games, but this isn’t always necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 will help you develop iOS apps that engage users! 

These are The 14 Things Customers Want in an App

Designing a mobile app is not enough. Your mobile app must be able to communicate and interact with customers in meaningful ways. Think of a mobile app as a chatbot that talks to customers, responds to their questions, and executes commands.

So, your mobile app must go beyond physical appeal and encompass deep functionality and usability.

This post looks at several things your customers want in your app.

1. Rich experience

You must offer a unique customer experience for your app to capture the right audience and to be downloaded everywhere. Without thinking carefully about your target audience and their needs, you may duplicate a mobile browsing experience in an e-commerce app.

So, ensure you do thorough research to identify how to offer the best user experience. Look at ways to do things differently and offer unique and rewarding experiences.

2. Intuitive and easy navigation

Your app must be navigable to catch the right audience and retain them. Creating an intuitive and navigable app means incorporating simplicity, eliminating clutter, and being selective about the most crucial features you want to include in the front interface.

Documented research shows the number one reason users gave for deleting an app was that they didn’t use it. But if you find users using your app regularly, that doesn’t guarantee that your app is safe from being deleted.

14% of app users admitted to deleting an app they found hard to use. The overall usability and intuitive navigation are key features users look for in mobile apps. And mobile developers must always be on the lookout for how to deliver superior mobile experiences.

3. Simple check-out

Nothing is more strenuous to online shoppers than the check-out process. Users find check-out processes poorly designed and difficult to navigate. Sometimes, check-out processes threaten to compromise users’ personal and financial information, especially when credit card information is not well-processed or the debit card is debited twice.

So, ensure that you seal all the check-out loopholes and make the check-out process easy and seamless. Indeed, reputable online shopping stores ensure that customers only key in their credit card information once during their first purchase.

The system automatically recognizes this credit card information anytime the user makes future purchases. So, ensure that your customers do not have to key in their credit card details anytime they purchase from your app.

4. Personalized experiences

Everywhere you go, online stores and business organizations strive to make their online customer shopping experiences more personal. So, it should be no surprise that personalization is a critical element of mobile shopping.

In an e-marketing survey, more personalized mobile and mobile app experiences were the leading user expectation for the future. And to stand out in the mobile app space, businesses must put personalization at the center of their mobile app development strategy.

5. Simplicity

You can do many things to your mobile app as part of your mobile app development efforts. However, unless those cool things align with the needs and wants of your target audience, you may end up doing more wrong than good.

So, cramming your mobile app with features that are not important for the end users may end up compromising overall usability and functionality. We all know that users crave intuitive app navigation, which means simplicity is vital in maintaining this simple and navigable capability.

You must make a simple, usable design a key guiding factor of your design.

6. Demo

Although your customers will not tell you, giving demos of products and services in your app will do more good than bad. Often, demos provide solid proof that a product exists and works as demonstrated.

So, ensure that your app can support product demos.

7. Tracking

If your website doesn’t provide order tracking capabilities, ensure that your mobile app has this functionality. Greater transparency and quick shipments are critical for your customers. So, your mobile app must have an order or product tracking feature that allows them to keep track of their products wherever they are.

8. Returns

All customers yearn for a convenient and flexible experience anytime they buy – before, during, and even after buying. Companies like Zappos incorporate easy returns within the app.

9. Reviews

Customer reviews are the epitome of proof, especially in online shopping. Social proof is a great way to boost sales, especially if your customers offer honest, unique, and transparent reviews about your products and services.

So, your customers want social proof that your products are authentic and credible. This certainty comes from giving positive and accurate reviews and integrating these reviews into your mobile apps.

10. Support

If you will offer discounts, demos, and returns in your app, support is not optional – it’s mandatory. Giving support means including direct lines to live chats and customer service to ensure your clients’ experiences remain perfect and untarnished.

The emergence of customer support systems has provided immense capabilities to address most of the recurring customer service issues. However, it’s important to note that offering live support through chats or even phone calls is a good way of keeping in touch with your customers – and ensuring they get the best customer service.

11. Security

Online and data security is a critical element and requirement for every online user. Every user needs online security anytime they want to use a new app. It’s advisable to take verified and prior measures to protect your app from malware attacks and hackers who may want to steal your customers’ information.

Remember that when you’re launching your app and when your app is taking off, hacker attempts and malware attacks may scare away potential users – and fail a promising app.

12. Image resolution

This attribute of a mobile app is overlooked, although it is a critical element of any design work. All your images must be crystal clear and with the perfect resolution.

A good image resolution is equally as important as easy and simple navigation. Proper picture display keeps the audience engaged. The quality graphics and fine detailing on your app help bring users closer to your app, making their stay worthwhile

13. Flexibility

All customers want to use your app in virtually all operating systems – be it ios or android. So, ensure that your app can operate in all operating systems and eliminate any restrictions.

That’s because there are many operating systems available for smartphones. So, make your app available on most of these operating systems to maximize your app’s output.

Always remember the different screen sizes and resolutions of different smartphone devices before uploading your app to keep your audience satisfied and engaged.

14. Notifications and updates

Last but not least, your app must contain notifications and updates. Notifications act as information networks that update customers on payment information, new products, demos, offers, and other important information.

In addition, notifications and updates help keep your app more relevant and fresh to your customers. You can keep your target audience engaged and notified of new features using notifications like SMSs, email, and social media.

You will keep your audience engaged and satisfied if you add revisions to your app.

NS804 – Keeping Customers Engaged by Acing Your App’s Performance!

NS804 is the leading provider of custom mobile app design and development. NS804 provides design and development solutions tailored to your unique business needs.

So, whether you’re a start-up, a medium-sized enterprise, or a large corporation, you can rest assured that NS804 will provide superior mobile app design solutions that answer your customers’ more pressing questions.

Contact NS804 for time-to-value mobile app design and development solutions.

What Do People Want In A Health And Fitness App?

The health and fitness app has become a permanent fixture in most people’s lives. And you can tell that this is true by merely observing the people around you. Nowadays, most people wear smartwatches — but that’s not surprising — considering the global smartwatch market grows consistently by 13% year-on-year

But even if someone doesn’t own a smartwatch, they certainly own a smartphone. And most decent health and fitness apps will work on both types of devices. However, smartwatches are ideally suited for tracking health and fitness due to their wearable nature.

Yet our focus of attention isn’t on which device to use. Instead, we want to uncover what people want in a health and fitness app. And how developers can respond to these wants in a competitive mobile app marketplace.

1. A Health And Fitness App Must Have Personalization Features

All good health and fitness apps have user profiles. And these are necessary as every user has unique health attributes, exercise routines, and goals, to name a few. 

Moreover, these user profiles should protect the privacy of the user, especially if they share their smartphone or smartwatch with someone else. And make it easy to access health stats and progress reports via an intuitive user interface (UI).

2. Social Media Integrations

There’s no better way for people to stay motivated than by sharing their results with others. Some may like to brag when they reach a new milestone or break a performance record, but most prefer camaraderie and support from like-minded people. 

Thus, social media integrations are absolutely essential, as they’ll allow users to easily and quickly share results on their favorite platforms. Furthermore, developers can add chat and group-based activity features to further enrich their health and fitness app.

3. Streaming And Video Sharing Capabilities

Offering a live streaming capability is an essential feature nowadays. Fitness instructors can share videos with others that use your health and fitness app, to help them practice proper exercise techniques.

However, users can also share videos of themselves with instructors and health practitioners. These experts can then examine these videos and ascertain whether or not users are following proper health and fitness procedures. And then, offer feedback and suggestions directly to users via a live chat feature.

4. Gamification Will Enhance Your Health And Fitness App

Another effective way to motivate people to reach their goals is with gamification features. By offering rewards within the health and fitness app, most users will push themselves harder to reach set milestones. 

These rewards can come in the form of prize money if it’s financially feasible. Or they can take the form of virtual prizes, such as trophies and digital reward tags. It’s also possible to penalize users when they fail to reach certain goals, by removing rewards or lowering their score associated with their progress.

In Conclusion

The more people use health and fitness apps, the more features they’ll desire and demand. But the good news is that there are many ways to evolve these kinds of apps, and even innovate on existing ideas. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop a leading-edge health and fitness app that will help improve your users’ lives. 

Do You Have A Great App Idea? 5 Tips To Get It Validated

Coming up with a great app idea can seem easy at times. But what may not seem easy is ascertaining if that app idea is truly feasible. If most developers were honest, they’d admit they lucked out on some of their best and most profitable ideas. Instead, they’d like everyone to believe they’re geniuses for coming up with winning ideas.

Of course, some top-tier app developers have a methodology for brainstorming ideas and validating them. And that’s what we want to focus on right now!

We’re not interested in revealing tips aimed at opportunistic appreneurs and developers that want to make a quick buck from current trends. And that’s because this is not a sustainable way to push out compelling apps at a regular cadence.

Instead, we want developers to work systematically to achieve consistent results regularly. We also want developers to think of themselves as problem solvers and not simply studios that push out code.

While working with new technologies is always fun, we should never lose track of the fact that we’re here to provide solutions. Our goals should always align with those of our clients and users. And that’s to make life easier for them by solving problems that hold them back or impact productivity.

However, you may be at this point now where you have a great app idea that will solve a problem users experience. But how do you validate it to know for certain that it will serve your target market well? Read on, as we’re about to reveal several handy tips to help you through the validation process.

1. Market Research Is A Must! 

Never commence planning and developing an app without conducting market research first. And that’s because you need to know if your app is unique or improves on existing ideas. And if the market already has competitors, can you compete by offering something different or better?

Moreover, you should clearly define your app’s unique selling point (USP). Ask yourself what sets it apart from competing apps and how your users will benefit.

And possibly, create a prototype to show your team, company stakeholders, or even a small focus group. Then, ask them for feedback on what they think of the app and if they can pinpoint its USP and potential target audience.

2. The Early Stages Of The Validation Process

As a startup with limited time and money, going through the validation process may seem challenging. But we recommend that you don’t skimp on this step, as it will help determine if you have a great app idea or not.

We mentioned earlier about building a prototype and showing it to relevant parties. However, you can take things further by setting specific validation goals. 

For example, you may decide not to build a prototype but focus on pitching your idea to investors. If you manage to convince five or more investors about the virtues of your app idea, then that’s a good sign. Or you can work with another metric: if 100 or more potential users view your concept design on social media and react positively — you may want to greenlight the project. 

As you may understand by now, there are several ways you can go with this. And by setting several validation goals that you can measure, you can gain real-world feedback without breaking the bank. But only doing the above won’t be substantial for most projects, even though it’s a good starting point.

3. Effective Ways To Validate A Great App Idea

Real-world feedback is an ongoing theme with app validation. And that’s because there’s no better way to determine if there’s interest in your app concept or idea.

So, focus on ways to receive user feedback from potential users. But also ensure that you research the size and value of the market you’re targeting. And no matter how much you like your idea, don’t invest in developing it into a full-fledged app without thorough market validation. 

But how do you thoroughly validate the market? Well, one of the best ways to do this is with a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a stripped-down version of your app with the bare minimum of functionality. And the main advantage of this is that you can deliver an MVP to your users cheaply and quickly. 

Should it prove popular with users, you can scale it into a fully-fledged app and implement the features that users have suggested. However, if it fails to gain traction, you can scrap the project or implement changes that may make it more appealing to users. The latter may be the way to go if there’s still middling interest and users have made suggestions.

4. Conduct User Surveys

Another good way to ascertain if you’re on to a great app idea is via user surveys. Start by creating a customer profile that represents your ideal users. Your customer profile may have the age, demographic, education, hobby, location, and spending attributes.

If your customer profile slants to the younger ages, you may want to find users on a platform such as TikTok. And if they’re older professionals, you may want to track them down on LinkedIn. Either way, you should have a clear picture of your target group so you can survey them properly. 

Ensure that you tailor your survey for your target group and use language and tone that appeals to them. Moreover, respect their time by not asking more questions than you have to or asking complicated questions that are too difficult to answer. Ideally, you want these users to complete your entire survey and not give up halfway through.

5. Pre-Selling And Pre-Registration 

Another effective way to test your app idea is by setting up a pre-selling landing page. This landing page will feature a description of your app, screenshots, and a promo video to create buzz. Furthermore, visitors can easily register and submit their email addresses to stay updated. 

What’s so compelling about this approach is that it’s a way to attract early adopters. And the higher number of these early adopters, the more validation you receive for your app. Moreover, it can act as a revenue stream if you need to generate income before launching your app officially. 

But if setting up a landing page and maintaining an email list isn’t your thing, there’s no need to despair. Google Play offers pre-registration for your app so that you can build hype and user relationships before launch. This is done directly on the Play Console and is implemented 3-6 weeks before the launch date. 

It’s an effective way to drive traffic to your app’s store page. And it’s possible for Google Play to automatically deliver your app to users and auto-install it on their devices on launch day. Thus, it’s almost certain that you’ll have users on day one with a limited amount of work on your end. You can also use Google’s pre-marketing tools to boost interest further.

The Bottom Line

When you have a great app idea, you’ll want to validate it as soon as possible. The good news is that there are several ways to go about this, as we’ve already covered above. However, there’s a bit of additional work involved, which may increase your costs and time to market (TTM).

But if you work with experts, such as NS804, you’ve got a partner to help you navigate this process. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you validate your best ideas and turn them into phenomenal apps!

App Performance: How To Tell If Your App Is Succeeding

If you’re not continuously monitoring app performance, you won’t have a clear picture of app quality and success. And that means you won’t know if your app meets or exceeds user expectations. Moreover, you can’t correctly evaluate your app since you’re not measuring its key performance indicators (KPIs).

So, what should you do to ensure you know everything about your app that matters? And more importantly, how do you do so without hurting your brand? After all, there’s nothing worse than releasing an app — even as a beta for testing purposes — that delivers a shoddy user experience. 

Read on as we’re about to reveal the steps you need to take to monitor app performance — the right way!

1. Implement App Performance Metrics For App Quality

First and foremost, you need to know if your app runs flawlessly or is a buggy mess that upsets users. Thus, you’ll need to implement the following app performance metrics that will furnish you with reports in real-time:

  • Crash analytics – To help you identify when and why app crashes happen
  • Performance – Collect data related to load speeds, device configurations, operating systems, and screen resolutions
  • In-app feedback and ticketing – An effective way to gain feedback and respond to app issues without hurting your brand
  • Testing – Use an SDK such as Firebase to build and test apps across multiple devices and platforms 

2. Measure KPIs That Determine App Success

You’ll also need to know how well your app is performing in the app stores. And there’s quite a bit of data that you’ll need to collect and analyze, such as follows:

  • Number of downloads – This is one of the most important KPIs and helps determine app growth or stagnation
  • Reviews and ratings – Positive reviews and ratings bolster downloads as users often look at these first before trying out an app 
  • Track active users – It’s crucial to know how many users continue using your app after they download it from the store
  • The average duration of user interaction – User engagement directly correlates with higher usage times
  • The frequency of user sessions – This is another important metric that determines user engagement
  • Retention rate – This metric helps determine whether or not users remain interested in your app
  • Churn rate – Another important metric that indicates how many users leave an app

3. Mobile Game Considerations

All app performance metrics discussed above also apply to mobile games. Given the viral nature of mobile games, it’s also crucial to measure the K factor. So, what is the K factor, and how does it impact a mobile game? In a nutshell, the K factor refers to the number of users that talk about your game and recommend it to others.

An easy way to work out the K factor is with this simple formula (i = average number of invitations sent by a user, and c = conversation rate of those invited): 

k-factor = i*c

In Conclusion

Always implement app performance metrics, as these will help you gain a 360-degree view of your app. The more data you collect about your app’s performance and how users interact with it, the better informed you’ll be to make the right changes — and when they’re necessary. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps that truly succeed!