Android App Development Trends 2024

The year has barely begun, and we’re already seeing significant shifts in the mobile app space. Moreover, 2024 promises many exciting Android app development trends that will turn heads. But how can we be so confident that notable changes will occur on the Android platform this year? We see a stronger emphasis on quality, a greater adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and a higher number of foldable smartphones hitting the market.

The Android platform has matured and is no longer the avenue to push out low-effort cash grabs. Recently, Google updated their app testing requirements for all developers with new Android personal accounts. These requirements force developers to take the production and testing of their apps a lot more seriously before submitting them for publication. 

While these requirements will help increase the quality of upcoming Android apps, it’s not the only significant trend of 2024. Apps powered by large language models (LLMs) will hit the market with more ferocity this year. 

In 2023, ChatGPT and other LLMs managed to amaze, excite, and even scare many with their near-otherworldly capabilities. But in 2024, many developers will capitalize on these LLMs by integrating them into their Android apps. Some of the mystery and hype surrounding LLMs has diminished, so there’s a greater focus on their practical use in mobile apps.

Another trend that will further impact Android development is the rise of foldable phones. While these are not new, they’re enjoying wider adoption, so developers can no longer avoid developing apps for these devices. Of course, Android app development trends don’t end here, so we’ll delve deeper into what you should expect in 2024 below. 

 

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Low-Code and No-Code Solutions Will Enjoy Rising Popularity

If you’ve dabbled in Android app development, you’ve come face-to-face with a high learning curve in building apps for the platform. And that’s because Java and Kotlin are complex programming languages that require several months of your time to learn the basics and years to master. But the challenge doesn’t end there since building, testing, and deploying to a wide range of Android devices is a nerve-racking experience. 

Fortunately, Google has made Android app development a bit easier with their latest tooling. Yet, even these tools won’t diminish the need to gain competency in Java or Kotlin to build quality apps. As a studio that builds native Android apps in these languages, we highly recommend you take the time to learn these languages. Alternatively, consider partnering with a studio like NS804 to create your Android app that will comply with Google’s best practices and guidelines. 

If you can’t hire a studio when your team doesn’t have the necessary coding skills — what then? You can rely on the myriad of low-code and no-code development platforms that have hit the market in recent years. Platforms like BuildFire, GeneXus for Super Apps, and Moxly help developers build cross-platform mobile apps rapidly. 

But will you enjoy the same results as that of native-built apps? While these platforms promise impressive results, it’s unlikely that they’ll deliver the performance, consistent user experience (UX), and scalability of their native peers. Therefore, we only recommend you use these solutions if you have tight budget constraints or plan to build a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP).

Stricter Requirements Will Bring About Better Quality Apps

One of the Android app development trends that will massively impact the Android ecosystem may have caught many developers by surprise already. Google Play and many third-party Android app marketplaces have become inundated with buggy, low-quality apps that hurt the user experience. Given the accessibility and low bar of entry to develop Android apps, many freelancers, hobbyists, and unscrupulous developers have pushed out apps of dubious quality onto Google Play.

Google has identified and addressed this issue by introducing new app testing requirements. All personal developer accounts created after November 13, 2023, must comply with these new rules. And one of the most controversial requirements includes an elaborate closed testing process. Thus, it’s now necessary to test an app with over 20 users who have opted-in for the closed test for no less than 14 continuous days. 

Only once developers meet this requirement can they submit their app for production access. It seems like an extreme measure, but one that we’ll welcome if it means that better and more secure apps will reach Google Play from now on. It forces newcomers to recruit and engage with testers and no longer treat the testing process as an afterthought. Furthermore, developers who comply with these requirements will significantly reduce low ratings and bad reviews. 

AI-Powered Android Apps Will Proliferate During 2024

If you followed the news in 2023, you probably felt overwhelmed by all the hype and fear-mongering surrounding AI. Either AI will bring forth a golden age where humanity no longer has to do any drudge work, or AI will inevitably take over most jobs and make us redundant. The latter is a scary thought but a plausible outcome if governments don’t implement regulations to limit the damage AI may have on job markets. 

Fortunately, we’re still in the early stages of the AI cycle, which inevitably presents numerous opportunities for savvy Android developers. While AI-powered apps are not new, LLMs are still novel in the mobile app space. But Android users love their LLM apps, with ChatGPT enjoying over 50 million downloads and a rating of 4.8 at the time of writing. Other popular alternatives include Bing, Chat AI, and Perplexity. 

But are LLMs only appropriate for chatbot functionality? This functionality is only the tip of the spear, with writing, image generation, and code generation enjoying wide adoption within a short span of time. You can build all types of generators and analysis tools with ChatGPT and other similar LLMs. Then, you’ll train your AI models using your own datasets, images, and code to avoid litigation from the original copyright holders. 

After you’ve trained your AI models, you should test these thoroughly via an internal testing process. Once you’re happy with the results, integrate these into your Android app via ChatGPT’s (or your preferred LLM) application programming interface (API). The process is involved but will make your app more engaging and profitable since users can generate text, images, and music that exceeds their capabilities.  

Deploying Android Apps To PCs And Chromebooks

What makes the Android ecosystem so compelling is its sheer dynamism and versatility. Most users engage with Android apps on their tablets, smartphones, and via Android media players and TV boxes to a lesser extent. But lately, more users enjoy the same apps on their PCs and Chromebooks.

Microsoft and Samsung’s close working relationship helped integrate Samsung’s devices with Windows. That’s a wise move because many of Samsung’s flagship mobile devices are used extensively in enterprises.

Furthermore, Amazon Apps, which are Android apps — can run on Windows 11 PCs via the Windows Subsystem for Android. And recently, Google launched Google Play Games (beta) for PC users who want to enjoy their mobile gaming fix on their desktops. So, one of the hottest Android app development trends is ensuring your Android apps or games make their way to the PC.

Don’t stop there, as there’s another growing market that you can no longer ignore. Google’s ChromeOS and Chromebook laptops have already captured much of the US education market and even the small business community. As of December 2023, ChromeOS has penetrated 3.13% of the North American market and overtaken Linux, a far older operating system (OS). 

You can deploy your Android apps to supported Chromebook devices. There’s some setup and tweaking involved, especially if you need to deploy your app across multiple devices in your organization. But once done, you have a secure pipeline to deploy custom business apps that must run on mobile devices and Chromebooks in tandem.

More Affordable Foldable Smartphones Will Hit The Market

Android foldable phones have been around for several years, but they’ve always been pricey for most consumers. It’s not uncommon to pay between $1,800 – $2,000 for a flagship foldable device nowadays. That price point is acceptable for executives and power users who require a powerful yet compact computing device for productivity. But for the average consumer, that’s way too expensive when lower-end smartphones under $500 offer adequate functionality and performance.

However, the foldable smartphone market is growing and maturing, leading to a greater diversity of products. More manufacturers are offering budget foldables like the Motor Razr at $700, which makes it affordable enough for the average US-based Android user. So, one of the defining Android app development trends of 2024 is a focus on apps designed for foldables. 

It’s crucial to create apps that run perfectly on single-screen devices and utilize the additional screen real estate of foldables. These apps must make the most of adaptive and responsive design to adjust the user interface (UI) and screen page for every type of screen size. Moreover, it’s essential to offer multi-window support so that users can run multiple apps on their foldables since this is one of the core features of these devices.

Of course, if you plan to target ChromeOS, you’ll have additional screen sizes to consider. But making your apps run smoothly across multiple devices and screen formats will expose your app to a higher number of Android users. And if you add a cloud component to your app, you make it easy for users to switch between the foldable and ChromeOS versions without losing their work. Thus, they always stay productive and satisfied with your app and won’t seek alternatives that offer this functionality.  

Android Mobile Game Development Beyond Unity

Most Android mobile game developers use Unity to create their eye-catching hit games. Unfortunately, their overreliance on this game-making software wasn’t a smart move, especially after Unity Technologies announced their runtime fee late last year. The fee drew the ire of game developers and forced Unity Technologies to backpedal and revise their pricing policy. Developers weren’t willing to pay possibly business-crippling fees accrued by each installation of their games. 

But even with Unity Technologies making concessions to their users, many developers lost trust in the company. There was a sudden exodus of developers to competing game engines like Construct 3, Godot, and Unreal Engine. The biggest winner of the three was Godot, which enjoyed a sudden spike in users and even received a $100,000 donation from Re-Logic, the developer of Terraria. Also, cross-platform game frameworks like FNA and MonoGame received funding soon after the Unity installation fee controversy. 

Apart from FNA, you may use any of the engines mentioned here to develop Android mobile games. And since Godot and MonoGame are open-source with liberal licensing agreements, you don’t have to pay anything or risk facing litigation.

But what if you want to avoid complicated cross-platform game engines and want to develop exclusively for Android? If you have C or C++ coding skills, you may opt for Google’s Android Game Development Kit (AGDK). It consists of tools and libraries that integrate with Visual Studio via the Android Game Development Extension (AGDE). It also integrates with existing popular engines like Cocos, Unity, and Unreal Engine if you prefer to take that route.

 

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Passkeys Will Make Android Apps More Secure In 2024

Ordinary passwords are no longer safe, and two-factor authentication (2FA) isn’t hack-proof. Nevertheless, we always recommend you secure your apps and websites with 2FA as a minimum precaution. So, what should you do to offer a significant protection layer for your users? The good news is that Google has partly solved this issue by introducing passkeys for Android and Chrome. 

If your apps run on Android 9 and higher, as they should, then you’ll have passkey support via the Credential Manager. The Credential Manager offers users multiple sign-in options and is available as a Jetpack API. We recommend you become acquainted with this API to understand its safety features and prerequisites. 

Users no longer have to sign in by inputting complex passwords they’ll likely forget. Instead, they can sign in via the biometric sensor, pattern, or smartphone PIN. It’s a far more seamless method for signing in that will keep your users returning to your app, even if they’ve forgotten the password.

Android App Development Trends That Will Define An Entire Year

We’ve covered some of the most significant Android app development trends you’ll encounter in 2024. The Android market has matured but has not peaked yet, with many unique and innovative apps still to appear on the horizon. 

Many of these apps will have some LLM implementation, while others will offer advanced features geared towards foldables. But there will also be a greater emphasis on security, which passkeys will solve to a certain extent. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you with your Android app development goals!  

Mobile App Maintenance: The Importance Of Regular App Updates

Few first-time appreneurs and developers consider mobile app maintenance when laboring away on their debut projects. And that’s reckless, to put it mildly, as app development is a long process that doesn’t end at launch. Users and the app stores expect apps to receive regular updates months or even years after their initial releases. 

But why are app updates such a pertinent issue that appreneurs and developers must never ignore? The primary reason is that no app is perfect on release and will likely never be during its lifetime. There is a certain quality threshold that an app must meet before it offers a satisfactory user experience. Not meeting this threshold will cause users to uninstall the app and leave negative reviews and low ratings, hurting the prospects of the app. 

That’s why the savviest appreneurs and developers have a mobile app maintenance plan from day one. They know that they must set aside resources for the continuous upkeep of their apps. These resources often include the funding, staff, analytics, tooling, and training required for app maintenance. Furthermore, it’s necessary to have dedicated staff or contractors to handle communications, compliance, documentation, user experience (UX) testing, quality assurance (QA) testing, and user feedback. 

Now, that’s a lot to unpack and only drives through the message that app development is a long, costly, and challenging endeavor. But we don’t want to dissuade you from trying your hand at app development, especially if this will be your first attempt. Instead, we encourage you to move forward, partner with an experienced and reputable studio like NS804, and consider the helpful pointers listed below. 

 

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What Does Mobile App Maintenance Entail?

Mobile app maintenance is an ongoing process that involves multiple tasks that result in the continuous improvement of apps. These tasks include gathering user feedback, data, and analytics. These factors will let developers know whether or not their apps meet changing customer expectations. 

If apps don’t meet customer expectations, developers must modify their apps to bring them in line with these expectations. However, this is only possible by rolling out app updates at regular cadences. In the case of app-breaking bugs or security vulnerabilities, developers must release patches timeously. 

And even if an app runs smoothly and reasonably bug-free, it’s still necessary to respond to current market trends. For example, 2023 was a big year for artificial intelligence (AI) that the market couldn’t ignore. Soon after the launch of ChatGPT and other similar services, mobile app developers quickly launched new AI apps or implemented AI features in their existing apps. 

It’s not uncommon for appreneurs and developers to abandon apps if they’re no longer feasible. The app stores are incredibly competitive — if not downright brutal — making it difficult to justify the cost and effort to maintain underperforming apps. 

Yet, this is not the case with custom apps, especially those aimed at internal company tasks and business-to-business (B2B) applications. Mobile app maintenance is crucial for custom business apps, as regular security and feature updates are essential for the smooth functioning of organizations of all sizes.  

Why Do Users Care About Regular App Updates?

Today’s smartphone users are app-wise and can easily discern a good app from a bad one. Moreover, today’s users are part of a mature market gradually reaching its growth limits. We only need to look at the US smartphone market to understand the staggering difference between today and a decade ago. In 2013, there were approximately 173 million smartphone users in the US, but today, it’s edging closer to 315 million.

While we may be reaching the peak of the smartphone era, this doesn’t mean the app market is going away. It only means that there’s an increase in user demands that you must respond to if you’re going to succeed. But how can you succeed in such an overwhelmingly crowded market where users uninstall apps on a whim? The first step is to create an app that addresses a problem that users have and to make it sticky.

Of course, that’s not easy, and few developers get this right on their initial attempt. But let’s assume you are addressing a problem users are experiencing, but they’re still uninstalling your app — what now? 

That’s where your mobile app maintenance plan comes in, as you’ll focus tightly on your app’s performance and user data. Your analytics will let you know if your user journeys and flows are succeeding or failing. You’ll also know if technical issues make your app function inadequately. These are the most common reasons why users drop apps like hot potatoes and why post-launch analytics are so crucial.

Once you know what’s holding your app back, you can address all relevant issues. Then, plan your roadmap to release the necessary fixes and updates. And establish an effective communications pipeline to gather user feedback and inform users of new updates.

Why A Lack Of Updates Will Hurt Your App? 

Even your most diehard users will lose interest in your app if you don’t update it regularly. They will assume that you no longer have the interest or resources to roll out updates and will eventually move on to apps that seem more promising. There’s nothing worse than losing users due to not providing them with the features competitors have provided already. The current state of the app market requires that you respond to user needs rapidly. 

Look at the leading mobile apps in your segment, and you’ll find that all these receive regular updates. Every app update helps to reinvigorate interest, especially with those users who have started to drop off or become bored. But it’s also a great way to draw new users and media attention when app updates include innovative or highly desired features. 

A lack of updates will also hurt your app’s stability and usability, especially when users upgrade their devices. Furthermore, Apple and Google demand that developers update their apps to meet the requirements of their latest operating systems and APIs. Failing to do so will result in the removal of any un-updated apps from the App Store and Google Play. Third-party Android stores also have specific app update policies that you must follow if you publish on these. 

Security concerns around hacking and data breaches have become the norm recently. Since many people use mobile apps for financial transactions, you must ensure that your app never has any security vulnerabilities. Even if you’re developing a mobile game, you must never take security issues lightly since hackers exploit these also to gain access to user credentials. So, always roll out patches and updates as soon as you know of or encounter a new vulnerability.

How App Updates Help Keep Your Tech Stack Current?

You may be proud of your studio for using the latest technology stack to create your apps. But technology moves forward rapidly, especially in the mobile space. What’s trailblazing today can quickly become outdated in a matter of months. Therefore, you never want to stick to the current versions of your integrated development environments (IDEs), APIs, frameworks, game engines, backend technologies, testing, and deployment tools. 

Sure, your programmers may want to use long-term support (LTS) releases for a more stable development environment. But eventually, you’ll need to pull the plug and move on to the latest supported version. Your team may whine about such a decision since they will feel more comfortable with the older tooling. But ultimately, they must use the tooling that increases stability, usability, and quality.

The beauty of mobile development tooling vendors is they have close relationships with the device manufacturers. Thus, they build their tools according to current and future hardware specifications. And that’s fantastic because this means you’ll often gain a free performance boost and increased stability when building your app with the latest tools.

Furthermore, you’ll be future-proofing your app since it will run adequately on devices about to hit the market. So, you’ll have the assurance that your app will run on devices you haven’t tested for yet. But this doesn’t mean that you should ignore testing altogether. Always test on an emulator if you lack access to a specific mobile device. 

As part of your mobile app maintenance processes, ensure that you keep up to date with what your tooling vendors are releasing. Read their blog posts and release notes regularly, and update all your development tools timeously. 

What Are The Different Types Of App Updates? 

There are several kinds of updates you can roll out, but not all will be suitable for your app. We explain which app updates are best suited for which purposes here: 

  • Feature release updates: Your users will provide feedback about features they want, so you should roll out feature release updates with these additional features. If your app proves popular, you may need to implement these kinds of releases several times a year.
  • Functionality updates: You should roll out functionality updates when upgrading an existing function. The frequency of these updates will depend on how often you need to upgrade the functionality of your app.
  • Maintenance updates: If your app suffers from vulnerability issues due to a cybersecurity threat, you must release emergency hotfixes immediately. You may also release a preventative update for potential attacks, an adaptive update to deal with upcoming changes, and a corrective update for patching up quality issues.
  • Monthly updates: All new apps need monthly updates to gain and retain user trust. Also, it’s necessary to release weekly updates if your app suffers from serious usability, stability, and security issues.
  • Updates for watershed events: You can surprise and delight your users by releasing an update to celebrate the first year of its release. The update must include a significant change or improvement to set your app apart from competitors. 

How To Implement Mobile App Maintenance Successfully?

All the stages of the mobile app development process are challenging. But you can make the maintenance process of your app more manageable by following these steps:

  • Document your mobile app maintenance plan: Always keep notes and documents produced by all stakeholders involved in your project. Ensure that all team members can retrieve these documents easily when necessary.
  • Prioritize training: Ensure your team is up to speed with the latest app update procedures and technologies. 
  • Establish effective communications pipelines: You want to keep all stakeholders in the loop at all times. Keep your communications open and secure for all the relevant parties, and keep everyone informed of any crucial events that require their attention.
  • Keep ahead of compliance and policy changes: The app stores constantly alter their guidelines and policies, so you must adhere to these to avoid any nasty surprises. Furthermore, stay current on regulations in the different territories you publish.
  • Regularly test the effectiveness of your app’s UX: Always be mindful of the end-user experience by testing your app’s UX. More often than not, a bad UX is why most users uninstall apps, and it’s fixable with an update. 

 

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Why Do You Need To Partner With A Reputable Studio?

As you can tell, mobile app maintenance requires hard work and sticking to a tried-and-tested plan. If you already have prior experience with the processes mentioned earlier, you know what to expect. Yet, you may still need the assistance of a talented mobile developer to help you deal with all the complexities involved with regular app updates. And if you’re new to all this, partnering with a studio is undoubtedly the right choice. 

A highly acclaimed and reputable studio like NS804 will help you deploy your app updates on time and within budget. We’ll look at your plan, goals, and requirements with an analytical eye and offer solutions that will drive your app down a successful path. 

Furthermore, we’ll help you evaluate methodologies and development technologies that will lead to the best possible upkeep of your app. We’ll also help you implement new features, fix bugs, and optimize your app so you can focus on other aspects of your app development endeavors.

In Conclusion

Mobile app maintenance is a crucial part of the entire app development cycle. Never ignore this part, as your users expect you to deliver updates that will keep them stuck to your app. If you do this right, you’ll extend the potential lifespan of your app, driving additional revenue and business. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you plan, prepare, and deploy app updates like a pro!  

Mobile App Development Mistakes: Impact Of Choosing The Wrong Developer

One of the costliest and most disastrous mobile app development mistakes you could make is to hire the wrong developer. Unfortunately, it’s an easy trap to fall into, given the plethora of app studios and freelancers vying for your projects. These entities will try to convince you they can complete your projects quickly and cost-effectively. 

In some cases, this is true, yet it’s the more established and experienced developers who make good on these promises. You can check if they’re up to the task if they have a comprehensive portfolio of completed projects, positive customer feedback, and even acquired awards for their work. Established mobile app developers like NS804 tick all these boxes, as we’ve built a reputation for creating phenomenal apps for our clients and have the acclaim to prove it. 

However, many developers are not in our position and are willing to oversell to secure client work. While we can all understand why they do this — it’s not in your best interests to work with them — and here’s why. 

With freelance developers, many are in the process of learning fundamental skills and building up their portfolios. It’s common for newcomers to follow several Udemy app development courses and then set up an account on Fiverr to sell their services to unsuspecting clients. These individuals are neither professionals nor comprehend software development best practices.

Then, many overseas and fly-by-night studios offer competitive rates but have poor code quality and less-than-stellar support. The potential cost savings, if any, will lead to a frustrating and stressful app development experience. As a busy appreneur or business leader — you don’t want this — so avoid the following mobile app development mistakes listed below.

 

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Misunderstanding The App Industry Leads To Costly Mobile App Development Mistakes

About a decade ago, anyone with rudimentary coding skills could release a fun and quirky application in the app stores. The barrier of entry was so low that bedroom coders and startups released tons of apps at negligible cost. Of course, the quality of these apps was often questionable, but these early efforts helped developers earn money and stardom. 

Most app users during that era were willing to put up with subpar apps since smartphones felt novel. Thus, they would download and try out the latest apps regularly, which created a near-endless demand for new apps. But the allure would fade since too many cruddy apps started ruining the user experience. 

Eventually, users became picky about what apps to install and soon lost interest in low-quality or uninspired efforts. Smartphones and tablets also became more standardized, leading to a homogenized look, feel, and feature set among brands. While consumers never truly lost interest in smartphones and apps, they did lose some excitement. But this is not necessarily bad, as it signals a maturing market. 

Sadly, many who wish to enter the app industry today haven’t fathomed these changes. They assume that the barrier of entry is still low and that a simple app developed in a few days or weeks could lead to vast fortunes. 

They haven’t considered the increased demand for quality from users and the app stores. App development today requires testing, a better user experience (UX), and a greater focus on marketing. Then, there’s the high cost and effort associated with user acquisition (UA), which is unavoidable in today’s super competitive app marketplaces. Therefore, it’s better to partner with a reputable studio to help you navigate the app industry as it is today. 

The App Stores Have Raised The Bar To Deter The Wrong Developers

Apple and Google don’t mess about when it comes to increasing trust with users. Both tech giants have taken bold and long-needed steps to diminish the number of low-quality apps from reaching the App Store and Google Play. They’ve long been aware of the glut of buggy, poorly developed, and opportunistic cash grabs filling their app stores.

Besides, many apps from unscrupulous developers also pose significant security risks, which have no place in app marketplaces. There’s always been a troubling amount of apps with malware and trojans available that unsuspecting users download onto their devices. Considering that many users do banking on their smartphones, these infected apps threaten their financial security and privacy. 

One of the most detrimental mobile app development mistakes you could make is to hire such a developer on a lark. The damage to your reputation and business would be monumental, not to mention the legal action against you from users. The developer you hire may not even be malicious but overlooks potential security vulnerabilities that could lead to a similar outcome.

Due to these issues, Apple and Google have constantly improved security measures in their respective app stores, operating systems, and software development kits (SDKs). But they’ve also raised the bar on what they expect from developers with tighter regulations. 

A good example is Google Play’s recent requirements for new Android app developers and those with personal accounts. These developers must have 20 or more people test their apps for at least two weeks before release. Understandably, many developers are venting their frustrations on Reddit and attempting to build test groups on Discord. But studios that have set up effective mobile app testing pipelines won’t face any issues with compliance.

Mobile App Development Mistakes Due To Unsuitable Tooling

You may work with a developer who uses no-code tools to build your app. The developer may insist on using such tools due to the increased speed they offer or because they lack programming experience. Either way, this isn’t necessarily a good idea, as no-code platforms often introduce performance bottlenecks.

While newer no-code app builders offer performance improvements, they still don’t produce apps that hold up to native-developed apps. And if your brand’s reputation hangs on the quality of your app, you shouldn’t cut corners. Work with a studio like NS804, renowned for building apps using native languages like Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android. 

The snappy performance, consistency, and native user interface (UI) make the additional cost and effort to produce native apps worthwhile. It’s also much easier to debug, test, and scale native-built apps than those made with no-code solutions. 

One of the drawbacks of no-code solutions is that they’re rather esoteric and often made by smaller niche tool developers. Thus, documentation, code examples, and support are not on the same level as that provided by Apple and Google. It’s also harder to find tutorials and other training materials from third parties and online teaching platforms. 

Should you want to update or scale your app at a later stage and be unable to work with the same developer, you’ll be out of luck. You will need to rewrite your app entirely from scratch, preferably in a native programming language, to avoid this same issue in the future. You can diminish the potential for mobile app development mistakes by ensuring the developer you hire uses the tooling, programming languages, and best practices recommended by Apple and Google.

The Wrong Developer Relies Heavily On ChatGPT

You’ve probably heard of ChatGPT and the impact of the artificial intelligence (AI) platform on programming and other disciplines. As a tool to help developers write boilerplate code and conjure up solutions, it’s a fantastic time saver. But as some kind of silver bullet for developing complex, robust, and mission-critical apps, the answer is not so straightforward.

While ChatGPT can make all types of apps, even complex ones, it won’t necessarily deliver the best and most solid apps. That partly depends on how well the developer understands ChatGPT’s large language model (LLM) and what prompts to enter. Then, the developer’s comprehension of the code that ChatGPT generates also comes into play. 

If the developer can understand, tweak, and implement the code to fit the app project, the results will impress while cutting costs. But if the developer hasn’t taken the time to learn the nuances of ChatGPT, it will have the opposite effect. It’s also crucial that the developer has a good comprehension of the programming languages used in development, especially after the introduction of new updates and standards. 

Nevertheless, the developer should have the skills to complete apps without ChatGPT or any other AI platform. An overreliance on these platforms isn’t ideal, as the developer must know and trust the codebase. As impressive as these AI platforms have become, they don’t always generate the right solutions.

So, never trust a developer who relies exclusively on these AI platforms to make your app. Or a developer who gives a single glance over the AI-generated code before inserting it into your app during production. And you certainly don’t want your banking or internal business app to have code that hasn’t been thoroughly inspected and tested.

Partnering With A Developer With Little Mobile App Development Experience

It’s not uncommon for developers to jump across industries for various reasons. For example, web developers often become disenchanted with building websites and decide to try their hand at mobile app development. They may assume this route will be more fun or earn them more money. 

While web developers possess several skills used in mobile app development, it’s not always a smooth transition. App development is often more challenging than web development due to the differing hardware considerations and increasing requirements imposed by the app stores. The Android platform alone requires that developers test on a wide variety of devices, while web developers only need to test their websites on several browsers. 

Web developers use languages like JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and CSS to build websites. While it’s possible to develop mobile apps with JavaScript, it’s not a first-class citizen and will seldom deliver the performance of native languages. Another shocker for web developers is the higher costs and more involved procedures associated with app development. 

If you’re considering hiring a web developer who has recently transitioned to mobile app development, think twice before proceeding. You don’t want to work with someone likely to make common mobile app development mistakes. It’s also unlikely that this developer has enough expertise or understands the nuances between Android and iOS.

Instead, opt for an established app development studio that has dedicated Android and iOS developers on the team. You’ll have the peace of mind that your app builds will be equally good on both platforms. And when you need to roll out updates and patches, you have a team on hand to do the heavy lifting.

 

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Working With A Developer Lacking The Necessary Resources

Mobile app development is not cheap, so every competent developer must have the necessary resources to complete their projects. These resources include the funds, staff, office space, hardware, and development tools available to the developer. If the developer lacks these, they won’t be a good candidate for your next project.

But how can you tell if the developer has the necessary resources to tackle your project? It’s not possible to know every aspect of the developer’s business, but there are a few tell-tale signs you should look out for. 

Check if the developer operates from an office that you can visit if you’re nearby. If you can stop by the developer’s premises to meet the team and discuss your project, that’s a positive sign. And if the team lead gives you a tour of the office and a rundown of the development process, that’s extra reassuring. A well-run and properly equipped development studio means you’re dealing with a credible developer. 

But be sure to ask the developer what contingency plans they have in place should they fall behind schedule. Consider all scenarios that may cause delays, including outages, app store policy changes, API updates, staff turnover, testing issues, etc. Mobile app development mistakes often happen when teams haven’t prepared for unforeseen events or allocated the relevant resources to deal with these issues.

In Conclusion

Mobile app development mistakes often happen when dealing with inexperienced or incompetent developers. But you can avoid regretful outcomes by working with an experienced and established studio that has built a reputation for delivering high-quality apps. Contact NS804 today to learn why we’re one of the best app developers in Richmond, Charlotte, Denver, and beyond! 

Strategies For Effective Project Management In Mobile App Development

Project management is fundamental to the successful completion of any mobile app. But it’s a deeply involved process that requires careful planning, plenty of meetings with stakeholders, and constant collaboration. While there are several ways to approach project management, we’ve prepared this handy guide to help you focus on the most effective strategies. 

Why Project Management Is Crucial For Your Mobile App Projects?

Developing mobile apps consists of a series of laborious and complex tasks. To uninitiated developers, the opposite may seem true, considering the vast quantity of apps that hit the app stores daily. Yet, few of these apps make a dent in the marketplace due to a lack of project management planning. 

Successful mobile apps are seldom created on impulse or by solo hobbyists and freelance developers. Instead, they’re the products of visionary appreneurs who partner with talented app development studios like NS804. Quite often, other stakeholders like app publishers, businesses, and marketing teams will also contribute. Keeping all these entities on the same page is excruciatingly challenging — but necessary for the success of any app project.

That’s where project management planning comes in. It helps all stakeholders involved in your project understand its core concept, how much it will cost, and how long it will take until completion. Furthermore, the plan will detail all goals, expectations, resources, tools, and methodologies necessary for the project. 

Depending on the scope and needs of your project, the plan may include additional details. In all cases, it’s best to hash out a project management plan that is as detailed as possible. It’s also wise to detail a contingency plan or offer alternative solutions for project bottlenecks or missed milestones. Ultimately, the primary goals of project management are to deliver a completed project and reduce the risks associated with app development

 

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What Does Project Management Entail?

Project management includes all the details and specifications required to complete an app project. A common misunderstanding involves the ideation process of app development. Some team leaders will integrate this process into their planning, while others leave it out. So, which method is the correct one? Usually, it’s best to leave out the ideation process since this happens long before a development team will tackle the project. 

A good example is the appreneur who comes up with an app idea and commences with basic ideation on a handkerchief or piece of paper. Then, the appreneur approaches a development studio to discuss this idea, gain additional insight, and for further brainstorming. 

The studio will offer guidance and create a wireframe to flesh out the appreneur’s ideas. At this point, the appreneur and the studio’s development team have a basic understanding of what the app will look like. If necessary, the appreneur will greenlight the creation of a prototype for a better replication of the finished product. 

Once the appreneur is satisfied with the wireframe or prototype, it’s time to approve or abandon the project. If the appreneur decides to forge ahead, project management planning will take center stage. During this stage, the appreneur, the project lead, the designers, the development team, the marketing team, and any other stakeholders will commence a series of meetings.

Ideally, most initial meetings will occur face-to-face at the development studio’s physical premises. NS804 makes this easy as we have offices in Richmond, VA, Charlotte, NC, and Denver, CO. But we also make it easy for clients to stay in the loop via our Slack channels and to peruse the project management plan via Trello. 

Is Project Management Necessary For Mobile Game Development?

It’s essential to conduct project management planning before you start making your mobile game. Developing modern mobile games is hard, so it’s foolhardy to tackle such projects without a carefully conceived plan from day one. You must also prepare a game design document (GDD) that will contain the following:

  • A summary of your mobile game: This section includes details of the core concept, genre, target audience, and overall scope of your game. 
  • Gameplay details: In this section, you will describe all the objectives and challenges players will face. 
  • Core game mechanics: Describe all the physics, rules, and player interactions within your core game loop. 
  • Worldbuilding: This section will include information about your game’s characters, story elements, levels, and locales. 
  • Game assets: Describe the types of graphics, music, and sound effects that you will include in your game.  
  • Game development tooling: Include details about the game engine, graphic design software, and 3D modeling tools you will use during development. 

Set Realistic Milestones For All Stakeholders

One of the first and most essential steps of your project management plan is to set milestones. Ensure that all these milestones are realistic and that all stakeholders are on board. Conducting face-to-face meetings early on is a great way to confirm which tasks each stakeholder will handle during the development of your app. At times, it won’t be possible for everyone to meet physically, so you will have to rely on video conferencing. 

Verify that all stakeholders understand every phase of your plan and the timeframe of each milestone. You may use Trello, to-do lists, or spreadsheets to keep everyone on the same page. Regularly check to see that all stakeholders are meeting milestones, and message or email those that fall behind. If any team member isn’t meeting their obligations, remove them from the team and replace them with someone who will fulfill your plan.

Carefully Plan The Resources For Your Project

How you manage your resources will make or break your project. But what constitutes these resources, to begin with? These resources may include key team members, specific skills, hardware, software, and tooling. Additionally, include any cloud services, testing, and app deployment services you will use for your project. 

But be sure to assess only the resources you will use for this specific project and not for other projects you’re working on in tandem. You want to be as accurate and detailed as possible when you assess all the resources you will include in your plan. And that’s crucial because it will impact your project’s cost analysis. Many stakeholders, particularly investors, will eventually want a cost breakdown. 

Furthermore, conduct several meetings with the most experienced members of your team to pinpoint the most suitable resources for your project. Don’t assume that certain staff members or tools that proved effective in a previous project will also serve your upcoming project. Instead, be willing to switch things up based on deep and detailed analysis of similar projects, current development trends, and the current state of the app marketplace. 

Consult Your Team Lead To Set The Timeline

Ideally, you should have a team lead — but if you don’t — you must assume this role instead. But leading an app development project is challenging, so we recommend you work with a competent studio if you can fit this into your budget. 

Whether you decide to work with a team lead, hire a studio, or go solo, you must set a timeline. That’s because you don’t want your project to consume all your time and eventually burn through all your funding. 

But if you haven’t developed apps before, you may find it hard to determine an accurate timeline. More often than not, you’ll probably be way off in your timeline if you don’t consult a professional. Sure, you may watch several YouTube videos and read blog posts about app development, but nothing beats working with someone with hands-on experience. 

Your timeline must align with all your set milestones and be realistic and trackable. Also, consider all scenarios that will cause delays, such as staff members taking sick leave, holidays, internet outages, funding issues, API updates, backend integrations, troubleshooting, etc. 

Above all, hold all stakeholders accountable for meeting milestones on time. Stick to a weekly or bi-weekly routine to check everyone is committed to your project management plan.

Detail Usage Of All Communication Channels

Even the most rock-solid project management plan will fail without properly implemented communication channels. That’s because all stakeholders must communicate regularly during each stage of the development process. Any communication bottlenecks will delay or derail your app’s progress and even lead to a catastrophic outcome. 

To avoid all this, you must set up all the communication and feedback channels you’ll use during development and outline these in your plan. The good news is that there are many excellent paid and free communications services available, as follows: 

  • Chanty
  • ChatWork
  • Discord
  • Google Chat
  • Messenger
  • Microsoft Teams
  • NuovoTeam PTT
  • Trello
  • Troop Messenger
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp Business
  • Wrike

Some of these services also have integrated project management features. Take the time to assess the most suitable communications services for your app project. You may want to opt for an all-in-one solution to simplify your workflow. Alternatively, you may need more advanced or specific features, so you may need to rely on several disparate services.

Set And Follow Guidelines  

Project management relies heavily on team members following specific guidelines. You must decide on these early on and cover them in detail in your plan. These guidelines will cover multiple issues, like how your team will handle communications, app testing, and quality assurance (QA). 

Draw up guidelines that will facilitate a smooth app development process but also deliver a quality product. And ensure that you post these guidelines in all the places where team members will see them. Consider posting communications guidelines and etiquette rules in all your communications channels. 

Due to the complexity involved with testing, bug tracking, and app deployment, prepare documentation that covers all these aspects in detail. If there’s significant information that you need to cover, then consider creating several eBooks or PDFs. These will include guidelines and best practices that the relevant team members must follow. Most communications tools allow you to upload and distribute these files to reach the right people. 

You may decide to automate your testing process, especially if your team’s headcount is low. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set guidelines for such a use case. That’s because setting up automated tests is an involved process that requires troubleshooting. Once set up correctly, automated tests will run flawlessly and scale to meet project scope.

 

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Choose A Project Management Methodology For Your App

Eventually, you’ll decide on a project management methodology that best suits the developments of your app. There are five commonly used methodologies, so you must pick one listed below: 

Agile

Agile project management is one of the most common methodologies used by developers. It’s popular due to its flexibility since project tasks consist of shorter phases. Thus, teams focus on completing projects on time and within budget while allowing for bug fixes and changes at every stage of development.

Scrum

Scrum follows Agile’s principles with an emphasis on short team meetings held daily. There’s also a greater emphasis on assigning tasks to specific team members and completing tasks in order. Therefore, it’s a good choice for teams that require clearly defined roles and responsibilities.  

Extreme Programming (XP)

XP is yet another methodology firmly within the Agile camp. It’s aimed at experienced software developers who value simplicity and good communication pipelines. Do keep in mind that XP is unsuitable for new developers or teams that struggle with transparency. 

Kanban

Kanban relies on to-do lists, columns, and cards to visually present project tasks and completion. Popular platforms like Trello are based entirely on Kanban, so it’s easy to onboard and expose team members to this methodology. Kanban is a good choice for teams that must roll out bug fixes, patches, and updates regularly. 

Waterfall

Waterfall project management is the simplest but also the most inflexible method here. Teams complete tasks according to a pre-defined and ordered sequence that flows downwards, hence its name. Therefore, it’s only suitable for teams that will follow a rigid plan with no possibility of implementing changes at a later stage. 

In Conclusion

App development is often challenging, complex, and risky. But you can reduce all these factors significantly by implementing the right project management strategies for your app project. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you complete your app on time and budget! 

8 Ways The Right Mobile App Can Boost Lead Generation

Every organization needs to boost lead generation to remain profitable in the long run. If you’re finding that your business has trouble attracting prospects, you’re likely seeking solutions right now. While there’s no silver bullet for this problem, effective solutions do actually exist. 

Regardless of the nature and size of your organization and industry, you can increase lead generation with the right mobile app. Your sales team requires tools to make them effective at finding new leads and gradually driving them down the sales funnel. While there’s no shortage of turnkey solutions that do this, your business can benefit by building a custom mobile app solution. 

A custom mobile app will free your sales staff from their desks and allow them to operate without feeling confined by the workflows imposed by the big-name lead generation apps. Here are eight ways that the right mobile app can change the game. 

 

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1. Build A Lead Management App For Your Sales Reps

If you have sales reps operating out in the field, it can become prohibitively expensive for them to chase after unqualified leads. Instead, you want them to be closing deals quickly and cost-effectively. But this is only possible if your sales reps can effectively qualify, segment, and nurture leads. Moreover, you want them to score and track every stage of the lead generation process. 

A great solution is to build a lead management app to empower your sales staff. But what does such an app entail, and how will it boost lead generation? One of its most powerful features is its ability to tap into your existing customer database. Mainly because your database already contains a plethora of customer data that reveals who your cold, warm, and hot leads are.

The lead management app will let sales staff filter the most qualified leads. Now, staff won’t have to take any wild guesses on which leads to focus on. By removing the guesswork, your staff will inevitably save time while decreasing travel costs. Furthermore, the lead management app will contain the contact details of prospects who have expressed interest in your brand, products, and services. 

Sales staff may further drill down on this data based on customer demographics, geographic locations, and purchasing habits. Also, they can use the lead management app to close, track, and cancel appointments. You can also view this data in real-time and access detailed reports to help you best allocate performance bonuses and pinpoint sales strategies to improve.

2. Boost Lead Generation With An AI-Powered App

Your business may already use customer relationship management (CRM) tools. You could even be using one of the popular cloud-based solutions like Oracle NetSuite CRM, Salesforce, and Zoho CRM. And while these turnkey solutions are great, your staff may experience workflow issues.    

No matter how good off-the-shelf solutions have become, they seldom fit every organization perfectly. That’s because some solutions suit mid-sized and larger enterprises since these have more rigid structures. If you have a smaller sales team or have specific needs and workflows, it’s wise to go with a custom solution. And even if you’re using an off-the-shelf CRM, you can integrate it with your custom lead generation app. 

But how can you improve workflows on top of what popular solutions offer? Start by surveying your sales staff to determine what pain points they currently experience. To make this process easier, work with an experienced studio like NS804. We’ll draw up wireframes to map out the entire user experience (UX) so that your team will have a point of reference. 

But don’t stop there since we can radically improve your new lead generation app with artificial intelligence (AI). While AI is big news lately due to the popularization of tools like ChatGPT, AI is hardly novel. In the mobile space, AI-powered apps have enjoyed popularity for almost a decade. Yet, only recently are companies embracing AI for their mission-critical apps and software infrastructure. 

Your sales staff can boost lead generation by running powerful sales campaigns created almost entirely by AI. AI can help staff build marketing funnels, assist with neglected or cold leads, and accurately segment your target customers. And since your AI-powered app will save staff so much time, they can focus on prospecting leads and closing deals.

3. Power Up Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Even if your sales staff regularly conduct face-to-face meetings with customers, they probably use email for their marketing campaigns. After all, email remains a powerful channel for connecting with customers, even with the wide use of social media nowadays. The primary reason is that users retain their email addresses for long durations. 

Also, it’s common for users to quit social media due to physical or mental health issues. Some users neglect their accounts, reduce engagement, or flock to the latest trending social media platform. While your sales staff should never ignore social media, they can’t ignore email since it’s a more sustainable and direct channel. The best part is that email can radically boost lead generation if combined with a custom app.

This app will assist your sales staff to automate, personalize, and schedule all email campaigns. Then, you can seamlessly integrate your custom app with your favorite email clients and marketing platforms. Sales staff can effortlessly run campaigns from their smartphones while in any location or time zone. They can also collaborate with your office-bound and remote teams and share progress reports of all campaigns. 

But this is only basic functionality that’s enough to help your team get started. You can add additional features later to make your app an all-encompassing solution for your email campaigns. 

For example, you can add templates that allow sales staff to create impactful landing pages without the assistance of a designer. An additional A/B testing component will let your team fine-tune their split testing efforts. And with a live chat implementation, your team can communicate directly with leads to drive them down the sales funnel.

4. Enhance Sales Proposal And Contract Agreement Procedures 

Your top sales representative probably dislikes writing sales proposals and contracts. But you can reduce the paperwork and drudgery with the right mobile app. Nowadays, there’s little need for your sales reps to spend considerable time writing sales proposals and traveling across the country to have contracts signed. 

Instead, they can use templates that contain the company letterhead for proposals and contract agreements. Better yet, these documents can accept electronic signatures, meaning that clients can sign these directly on their mobile devices or PCs. This paperless approach is more environmentally sustainable and makes it easy to keep track of all documentation. 

Another benefit of this approach is that documents get to customers fast. This is crucial because leads often go cold if they wait too long for a proposal or contract. If your sales staff doesn’t get this documentation through quickly, customers may have second thoughts about doing business with you. Worse still, a rival may approach them during that time and offer a better deal. 

Your custom app can keep track of all outgoing and incoming documentation and issue alerts when customers view or sign these. The app must also have an auto-reminder feature to nudge customers to take action if they haven’t looked at or signed the documentation.

5. Use Mobile Surveys To Boost Lead Generation

Whether you’re targeting regular consumers or business-to-business (B2B) clients, you should survey them regularly. Not only will you gain plenty of valuable customer data, but surveys offer an opportunity to engage leads and drive them towards your brand.

Of course, not everyone enjoys completing surveys, so you’ll need to get creative. Ideally, create a fun and engaging app that your target audience will find appealing. 

If you’re targeting a younger audience, add quizzes and gamification features that remind them of their favorite video games. But if you’re targeting business professionals, ensure that your surveys offer fascinating tidbits and practical advice about the industry once they complete specific milestones.

You may also include polls to identify what interests your target audience the most. Furthermore, keep track of all these polls for longer-than-usual durations to determine changing trends. The more interactive your mobile surveys, the easier it becomes to boost lead generation due to greater user engagement and exposure to your brand via your mobile app.

6. Centralize All Contact Details

Keeping all the contact details of leads and customers in one place is challenging. The reason is that most organizations record customer contact details using several platforms like CRMs, databases, and email clients. Sales staff may note down contact details on Post-it notes or their smartphones. Under such circumstances, it’s easy to lose contact details and have duplicate entries. 

Therefore, it’s essential to have a central hub to keep an updated record of all contact details. A good solution is to build a mobile app that pulls all contact details across all communication channels within your organization. Sales staff should be able to review and update contact details directly on their mobile devices. They should also segment, filter, and list the customers and leads more likely to make a purchase. 

The app should also alert sales staff about customers or leads they haven’t contacted in a long time. Once a sales representative contacts a lead, the app must alert the other sales staff members so they don’t inundate and annoy the same lead with phone calls or emails. The primary goal of your app is to centralize and streamline contact management.

7. Add A Scanning Capability In Your App

Conferences and trade shows are often the best places to meet B2B leads. Visitors at these events usually carry business cards, conference badges, or other identifiers. If you regularly visit these events, you’ve probably become accustomed to collecting and giving away business cards. 

But you can simplify the process by scanning another visitor’s card. Your lead generation app will retain a copy of the scan and extract the text and contact details to store in your address book or contact management app. The scanning capability will prove a time saver if you usually collect business cards en masse. 

However, the app’s most powerful feature is its ability to disseminate these new contact details among your sales staff. Then, they can follow up with warm and hot leads within minutes if necessary. Or if you’ve placed specific instructions, sales staff will email prospects later about the products, services, or topics you’ve already discussed with them at the event.

The ability for your sales staff to create personalized emails based on your face-to-face interactions with prospects will help boost lead generation. Moreover, there’s a higher likelihood to win them over and drive them down the sales funnel rapidly.

 

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8. Track Cross-Channel Behavior 

Your customers and leads engage with your business both offline and online. They also interact with your business on multiple channels like email, social media, and company websites. But are you keeping track of all these engagements? Why you want to do this is to identify the channels that have the most traction and affect your bottom line. 

Perhaps your sales staff spends too much time on email marketing and lead magnets when most of your target audience is on social media. If you’ve identified this issue early on, your sales team can prioritize your social channels quickly. But if you’re unaware of this, your sales staff will miss out on lead-generation opportunities crucial to the profitability of your business.

Your lead generation app should have the capability to track cross-channel behavior. Understanding how leads behave across all channels allows your staff to fine-tune their marketing efforts, target qualified leads, and focus on prospects likely to spend more. But your app should also contain analytics that measure the effectiveness of your sales team’s actions.

The Bottom Line

Lead generation is somewhat of an art form necessary for the long-term survival of just about any business. And nowadays, there’s no shortage of solutions that facilitate lead generation. You can combine off-the-shelf solutions with a custom mobile app or go completely custom if that best suits your business. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you build an app to boost lead generation and take your business to new heights!

7 App Store Optimization Strategies To Improve ASO

When you reach the point of marketing your mobile application, you must apply the correct app store optimization strategies. These strategies help drive traffic and installs within the App Store and Google Play. While app store optimization (ASO) can never replace paid user acquisition (UA), you should use both for optimal results. However, we’ll focus on ASO for now, as there’s much to cover relating to this topic in this guide. 

If you’ve released an app before, you likely have some experience with ASO. Or you hired an app marketing team to handle ASO for you instead. But if your experience with ASO is limited or non-existent, you may wonder how it works in 2023. Or ponder if the app store optimization strategies that worked several years ago still work today.

The good news is that many strategies from a decade ago still have their place in 2023. Any prior ASO knowledge and experience you’ve acquired will not go to waste. But the same old, same old — doesn’t work either! For example, many ASO experts focussed primarily on keywords to gain in-store traffic about a decade ago. But nowadays, experts also optimize screenshots, analyze user reviews, and look at the user journey holistically. 

Of course, that’s a lot of additional work and complexity added to the mix. As a busy appreneur or business leader, you may find all this daunting or beyond scope. If that’s the case, we’d always recommend that you work with an experienced studio like NS804 to handle ASO for you. But if you wish to tackle ASO in-house, check out the tips below. 

 

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1. What You Need To Know About ASO

ASO shares many similarities with search engine optimization (SEO) for indexing and accessing content efficiently. A similar philosophy exists for increasing visibility for a website as it does for a mobile app. Furthermore, the biggest search engine, Google, also owns Google Play — and most users have witnessed similarities in both. 

But how does this all impact your app store optimization strategies? As part of your app marketing campaign, your key performance indicators (KPIs) will not align with your SEO KPIs. But they must align with the following ASO ranking indicators:

  • App quality: The higher the quality of your app, the higher it will rank by the store algorithm. 
  • Uniqueness: Fresh ideas pay off, as app stores often reward unique apps with a higher ranking or a featured app placement. 
  • Scalability: The ability of your brand and app to scale to user demand will impact app ranking positively. 
  • Traffic: If your app proves popular, the algorithm acknowledges this and will ensure that more users see your app. Paid traffic will further boost your app’s ranking and won’t negatively impact your organic traffic. 
  • Categories: Your app can rank higher for specific categories or if it enters the top charts. 
  • Downloads: The higher your downloads, the better your app’s ASO ranking.
  • Ratings and reviews: When users leave ratings and reviews, it helps increase your app’s keyword rankings. Positive ratings and reviews also convince other users to try out your app. 

2. Do Research Before Formulating App Store Optimization Strategies

All your app store optimization strategies will be for naught if you don’t research the market beforehand. After all, you need to know which apps succeed and fail in today’s app marketplace. But that’s not all, as you must uncover what strategies successful competitors use for ASO purposes. Since this guide is not about formulating an app idea but app store optimization strategies, we’ll focus exclusively on the latter.

While this seems dubious, spying on competitors will help inform your app store optimization strategies. But if you avoid this path, your rivals won’t have any issues spying on the most successful apps, including yours. 

Thus, it’s pointless to reflect on the ethical ramifications of spying on competitors when it’s a common practice in the industry. Besides, we’re not referring to corporate espionage or anything illegal but a way to gain valuable insights by doing the following: 

  • Spot competitor weaknesses: Read the user reviews of competing apps and compile a list of all their pain points.
  • Discover the keywords of the top apps: Pinpoint the keywords that make successful competing apps appear during searches. 
  • Identify the keywords that drive maximum downloads: Determine whether branded or generic keywords lead to more downloads.
  • Check out competing app metadata: Keep a close eye on how often a competitor rolls out updates and metadata changes to determine their ASO strategy. 
  • Use the correct tools to analyze competitor ASO: Try free and paid tools from vendors, such as App Radar, AppTweak, and ASOMobile.

3. Use Search Ads To Improve Your ASO

In 2016, Apple introduced its advertising platform — Search Ads. It’s a paid platform renowned for its sheer power in targeting various app markets. App marketers, in particular, love Search Ads and have made it their go-to tool for advertising purposes. So, there’s little reason not to integrate it into your arsenal of tools that will work with your app store optimization strategies

But what does Search Ads do so well to make it essential? While Search Ads is a paid tool, it helps save app developers and marketers money. After conducting keyword research, you’ll likely have a long list of keywords you plan to use. But that’s counterproductive, as not all these keywords will drive a reasonable amount of traffic to your app. 

Therefore, you need to reduce that list of keywords to only those that will bring favorable results. That’s where Search Ads comes in, as it will help you pinpoint the keywords relevant to your app and its target market. You’ll quickly pare down your keywords, reducing ad spend and increasing the possibility of successful searches.

4. Prioritize Visual Quality Within Your App Store Optimization Strategies

Whether developing a mobile game or a non-gaming app, you must make it visually appealing. This makes your app more marketable and gives users more reason to leave favorable ratings and reviews. And all this helps with ASO in several ways that we’ll discuss in greater detail.

An app with high-quality visuals will please your users and provide you with plenty of assets for ASO and marketing purposes. Start by taking high-resolution screenshots and record clips for previews and instructional videos. If you wish to add any branding to your screenshots or edit them, consider working with an experienced graphic designer. Likewise, consider hiring a professional video editor to make all your videos slick and impactful. 

Look at ways to optimize your screenshots and videos for the App Store and Google Play. Ensure you arrange the screenshots to convey a coherent story about your app’s usefulness and core features. 

If your app is exclusively text-based, you may want to spruce things up with graphics that flow harmonically from screenshot to screenshot. Moreover, this may enhance the story-telling component of your app’s presentation and ASO, which will help draw user interest.

While these screenshots are crucial, your video preview must never take a back seat as it’s equally important. Create a 30-second clip that hooks the viewer within the first 10 seconds. This early part of the video must highlight the core capability of your app and later reveal two or three of its prominent features. 

Don’t forget to prepare a visually striking but comprehensible app icon. Ideally, work with a graphic designer who understands ASO, the app market, and your brand identity.

5. Focus On Localization At An Early Stage

Never draft your app store optimization strategies just before you launch your app. Instead, outline your ASO and localization during the planning stage of your app. It’s crucial to have clarity regarding the territories where you will launch your app initially.  

For example, if you target English-speaking territories from the get-go, you’ll limit your localization strictly to English. You may also limit your initial release to the App Store due to the higher adoption of iOS devices in these territories. Once your app achieves a reasonable amount of traction, you can target other markets.

You may decide to target Android devices that are predominant in developing economies. But if you’ve made provisions for additional localizations when hashing out your app store optimization strategies, you can move forward with the necessary translations. Most likely, you have budgeted for all your localization costs and decided on the localization team and testing process. 

Localizing your app to all target markets is worthwhile because it will enhance its visibility. Furthermore, it increases user trust, engagement, and conversions. Targeting multiple markets will inevitably expand the reach of your app and bolster its profitability with the right monetization strategies.

 

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6. Update Your App Page Regularly

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is to leave your app product page as is, even after a successful app launch. And even though you’ll spend many hours optimizing your page for your launch — that’s not enough. That’s because app marketplaces are very dynamic in order to respond to user demands and market trends. These marketplaces are also very seasonal, meaning that holidays help drive additional demand. 

It’s common for the app stores to run special offers during Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. So, you’ll need to update your keywords, screenshots, and icons to optimize your page for these holidays. And even though holiday-specific keywords don’t gain significant traction, they will still bring some traffic. 

But the real reason to put in extra effort during holiday seasons is to align your app page with app store seasonality. Users often have more leisure time during holidays to discover interesting apps and great deals.

Thus, these users are browsing the app stores with intent and have certain expectations that your app page must meet. If they’re browsing during Christmas, ensure that your app’s description, promo text, screenshots, video preview, and icons convey that quintessential Christmassy feeling. 

But be forewarned, your app’s category will play a crucial role in whether or not it gets a high number of downloads during the holiday season. For example, a travel app won’t do so well during Christmas, as most users spend time at home with few travel plans. However, a gift idea app will be in high demand during Christmas since most users will seek unique gift ideas.

7. A/B Test During The Entire Lifecycle Of Your App 

You’ll never truly know the effectiveness of your app store optimization strategies without testing them out. The best way to do this is with A/B testing during every phase of your app’s lifecycle. Your first A/B test will focus on finding the keywords that drive the most traffic. Then, subsequent A/B tests will focus on your app’s conversion funnel and how your strategies impact the user journey. 

You should also A/B test each time you change your description, promo text, icon, keywords, screenshots, and video preview. But you can also do A/B tests when entering new markets, during seasonal promotions, or when introducing new features. 

But how long should you run A/B tests to gain significant analyzable data? Run A/B tests as long as possible, but never less than seven days if you have time and budget constraints. Furthermore, run separate A/B tests for the App Store and Google Play. You’ll find that results differ widely between these two platforms due to considerable differences in user behavior and traffic. 

If you have a severely restricted budget, it’s better to pick one app store to launch and A/B test initially. You can also use your chosen store’s native A/B test tools to test and tweak your app’s page. Gradual improvements to the app page will improve your ASO. 

In Conclusion

Your app store optimization strategies are crucial to the overall success of your app. The app stores have matured, so finding the applicable keywords and making a few tweaks to your app page isn’t enough to drive traffic consistently. 

Every aspect of your app page will impact ASO, so you can’t ignore minute details. But if all this seems too much or too complex, consider working with an expert. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you boost your ASO and meet your KPIs.

6 Internal Company Solutions A Mobile App Can Provide

Internal company solutions often include communication, team collaboration, and project management tools. In most cases, these will be desktop or web-based applications and paper-oriented in more extreme cases. But, increasingly, more companies are shifting to mobile apps due to their versatility and widespread use of mobile devices. Below, we’ll look at what company solutions mobile apps facilitate in greater detail.

Bring Your Line-Of-Business (LOB) Apps To Mobile

Regardless of your organization structure, you likely use a suite of desktop LOB apps for most internal tasks. Also, you’re probably heavily invested in the Windows ecosystem due to its business-centric approach. And while many company solutions may run on Windows, this is not always the case. 

 

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It’s not uncommon for businesses to use macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, FreeBSD, or some other esoteric operating system (OS). There are cases when companies inevitably cling to legacy operating systems such as Windows 95 or DOS since these will only run on their older equipment and computer systems.

But what does this all mean for you, and how can your business benefit by porting your existing LOB apps to mobile? While desktops are great and allow for high productivity, they’re not the only feasible solution for your business. After all, most, if not all, your employees carry smartphones on them during the workday and after hours. And given the considerable computing power of most current smartphones, they’re also excellent productivity devices. 

So, it’s a wasted opportunity not to port several mission-critical apps to mobile, as this will allow employees to complete essential tasks when out of the office or late in the evening when necessary. Furthermore, most employees don’t like using a PC after hours, especially after staring at a computer screen all day at the office. 

But they’ll feel more comfortable with a smartphone or tablet, as these devices feel more personal and intuitive for use inside or outside the office. Thus, your employees won’t mind catching up on work at home or on the go, provided your mobile LOB apps have an intuitive and snappy user interface (UI).

How To Bring Your Internal Company Solutions To Mobile

Unless you have an internal development team, you should partner with a reputable mobile studio, such as NS804, to port your existing LOB apps. Founded in 2012, we have worked on over 100 mobile apps for Android and iOS and received acclaim for our hard work and commitment to excellence. We work with organizations of different sizes and industries, such as CarLotz, Dominion Energy, and Wells Fargo Advisors, to name a few.

But even if you don’t have any desktop or web-based LOB apps but need us to create mobile-first or mobile-only company solutions, we’re happy to assist. We have developed several notable business and productivity apps that you might have used or heard about, like the following:

  • Béné
  • CFO Sidekick
  • EntreConnect
  • Paxis Pro
  • Referral Buddy
  • Substation App
  • Text Surge
  • Transsporter
  • True Home Review
  • Yards4Yeardley

As a native mobile app developer, we use the best-in-class programming languages, tooling, and methodologies for Android and iOS. Ultimately, this guarantees we create apps that offer optimal performance, look, and feel on both mobile platforms. 

But what if you only need to release on one platform due to budget constraints? Which platform should you choose and why? Preferably, opt for the platform that enjoys the most use in your organization. For example, if most of your employees use iPhones, go with iOS. However, if there isn’t a dominant platform, Android is preferable due to its more open nature and ability to sideload apps easily. Android smartphones and tablets are also cheaper to acquire if you plan to equip all your employees with a device.

1. Automating Employee Onboarding And Training

As your business grows, you have little choice but to hire additional staff. But you’ll need to offer a comprehensive onboarding and training program. The only problem with this is that it can become an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. 

That’s because you’ll need training staff to teach newcomers the skills and methods to function effectively in your organization. And every time you hire someone new, you’ll need to repeat this process, which will inevitably increase your costs. It makes little sense to keep training staff around if you only require their services occasionally and at irregular intervals.

One solution is to outsource to a third-party training provider. But that’s not always a good idea, as their pricing may be higher than expected, or you may not want to share methodologies that reveal trade secrets. Instead, you should build a custom training platform that automates these processes continuously.

You’ll only need to hire training staff once to write documentation, film videos, and record audio training courses. Once you’ve assembled all this training media, it’s time to put it to work for you within the framework of a training app. The app will commence with the onboarding process consisting of a welcome video, your company’s mission statement, achievements, goals, and what you expect from new hires. 

Once they complete onboarding, the app will launch a training module specific to each new staff member’s position in the company. They will gain access only to the documentation and media suitable for their roles, then tested via questionnaires and multiple-choice questions (MCQs). The app will also send you progress reports and test results for each candidate so that you can better assess their suitability for their assigned roles.

2. Improve Staff Efficiency With A Team Collaboration Mobile App 

Internal company solutions often revolve around powerful collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello. And while all these are great, you may want a more custom solution geared toward the workflows and methodologies of your company.

Furthermore, you may want that extra peace of mind of having complete control of the privacy and security of your collaboration app instead of relying on a third party. After all, it’s not uncommon for popular apps to suffer security breaches and for hackers to steal user credentials.

A side benefit of having your own team collaboration app is that you’re not subject to the end-user license agreement (EULA) set by a third-party software vendor. And that’s because you may not like some terms within the EULA, or updated terms and conditions may pose potential legal risks to your business. It’s also common for vendors to introduce app updates that disrupt staff workflow and business operations. 

With your custom team collaboration platform, you’ll have a level of control to keep undesirable elements blocked off. But you’ll also have complete control over how, when, and where staff may use your app.

Perhaps, you want staff to communicate via text to save on data costs, or you want them to use the app during office hours only. Ideally, you’ll want to make use of what the best team collaboration apps bring to the table, such as video conferencing and the ability to share all types of files. 

3. Accelerate Digitization In Your Organization

Whether you create a communication, project management, or team collaboration app, these will boost digitization within your organization. These apps require you to convert all your physical-based data and media into digital form. All paper documents within your file cabinets are ripe for digitization, and there are many tangible benefits in taking this path. 

Having documents in a digital format will make it easier to archive, share, and update your organization’s files. And you can follow through with other media, such as 3D models, draft plans, illustrations, photos, videos, and audio recordings.

It’s also more cost-effective to store all these on your servers or the cloud instead of allocating significant office space for this purpose. You can also easily backup digital files within and outside the physical confines of your organization, ensuring you never lose this valuable data due to a fire or any other mishap.  

However, one of the reasons why you want to implement digitization for company solutions is to give your business a competitive edge. And that’s only possible if your staff has access to the correct information all the time. You want staff to access the information they need rapidly. Moreover, you want this data to be accurate and up-to-date. 

4. Enhance Supply Management With A Mobile Solution

Even if you already have supply management software for your business, do you have a mobile version? This is a crucial question because a mobile app can radically improve all supply management tasks.

If you’re relying exclusively on a desktop app, your staff is probably wasting valuable time moving back and forth between the office and the storeroom. They’re probably back checking on the inventory in stock and what appears on the computer screen or print out. 

Also, there’s no guarantee that they processed inventory information correctly the first time, as they probably ticked off or filled out a paper document before entering this information into the computer. That’s an additional step that wastes time and increases the probability of error.

With a mobile app, an employee can log all incoming inventory directly on the storeroom floor without needing to be near a desktop. The app will store all recent entries on the mobile app’s backend, and your desktop supply management app can query this data in real-time if necessary.

You probably want internal company solutions to handle your distribution and logistics pipelines. The mobile app can play a vital role here, as you can connect and monitor your drivers and third-party freight carriers and shipping companies to successfully fulfill all delivery obligations. You’ll also reduce the duration of delivery trips, paperwork, and the probability of items going missing in transit.

 

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5. Engage Employees With Social And Gamification Features

The last thing you want is for your employees to lose interest in their work and your company’s goals. Ideally, you want to keep them engaged and excited about coming to work so that they perform at their best. While you can offer them incentives like bonuses and paid company trips, you can achieve much more with the right type of company solutions.    

One good solution is to build a dedicated employee engagement app that functions similarly to a social media platform. It can act as a central hub where staff can gather, complete their profiles, connect with others, hold discussions, make announcements, read company news, and receive acclaim for meeting milestones. 

Furthermore, the app can facilitate your company’s emergency preparedness and response plans by providing staff with all relevant emergency numbers and a floor plan showing fire escapes inside company premises. You can further boost app engagement by including gamification features that reward staff with points and unique icons or emojis once they complete specific tasks within the app, such as completing their entire profile. 

And if you decide not to build such an app, you can still implement social and gamification features in your training, communications, and team collaboration apps. You may also share company news via your other apps and urgent announcements via push notifications. 

6. Take Charge With A Project Management Mobile App

Your organization needs a good project management app to plan and monitor projects from A to Z. If you already have one, that’s great, but you can achieve more with a mobile app. And that’s because you want staff to collaborate in real-time regardless if they’re in the office or out in the field.

You may also integrate with your existing team collaboration and communication tools to facilitate team project management. And depending on how you plan and execute your projects, you can optimize the app for Agile or Waterfall methodologies. You can take things further by including a Kanban board that allows you to schedule projects visually, making it easier for staff to follow all steps of the process.

The Bottom Line

Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to fulfill many crucial internal roles. These often work in tandem with existing desktop or web-based company solutions or replacing them entirely. If you’re currently sitting on the fence, there’s never been a better time to enhance or augment your internal company solutions with a mobile app. Contact https://www.ns804.com/ today to learn how we’ll help you develop a custom app to boost your business!

7 Reasons To Find A Mobile App Developer In Charlotte

As a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, or the surrounding regions, you may have attempted to find a mobile app developer in the area. And you may have become overwhelmed by the sheer number of developers available to tackle your project. Now, having options is always good, and we’d always recommend you explore these options.

But you may have also wondered if any of these mobile developers in Charlotte are any good. We don’t doubt that there are many competent developers in Charlotte, given the enormous talent pool of the city. With a population of almost 900,000 inhabitants, a bustling commercial hub, and home to banking giants, it’s a city that means business. That means developers must bring their ‘A’ game to stay relevant.

While all this seems great, it doesn’t mean every developer in Charlotte can help you achieve your app development goals. A freelancer or even a startup may not have the experience, funding, or staff to tackle your app project, especially if it’s ambitious. Freelancers, in particular, may not be available or willing to roll out bug fixes and updates after shipping your app. You don’t want to deal with such a scenario if you expect your app to have a long lifecycle

Thus, we recommend that you focus on established and reputable mobile app development studios in Charlotte. Whether you’re an appreneur, business owner, or executive, you want to work with a developer that will help you achieve your goals while meeting your high standards. And given the complexity and demands of modern app development, there’s no room for half-measures. Below, we’ve compiled a handy list pinpointing the reasons to find a mobile app developer in Charlotte.

 

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1. Find A Mobile App Developer With A Proven Track Record

What is one of the easiest ways to determine whether an app developer can deliver quality apps on time? Start by looking at the developer’s portfolio of completed apps. You should find these on the developer’s website, and the list of completed apps should be reasonably long since this shows the developer ships apps at a regular cadence. Be wary of developers that don’t have a portfolio or only showcase a few apps. These developers probably haven’t released enough apps to garner enough experience to tackle more complex projects.

As a leading app development studio in Charlotte, NS804 has tremendous pride in the apps we’ve released since 2012. We build 10-15 apps for our clients annually, targeting several categories and demographics. We’ve released apps for branding, business, communication, dating, entertainment, productivity, and web design, making our output well-rounded. Our portfolio speaks for itself since it consists of a compelling list of apps, such as follows:

  • Bat Flaps
  • Béné
  • Brew Trader
  • C5G
  • EntreConnect
  • Horse Logics
  • Impower
  • KnowUs
  • Live Bet Boss
  • Paxis Pro
  • PreVue
  • Simpatico
  • Social Auto Transport
  • Text Surge
  • Trivia Monsters
  • Virginia Beer
  • Watermelon Festival
  • Wine Swap
  • Yards for Yeardley
  • Zoomerang

2. Partner With An Award-Winning Developer

Most established studios can push out many apps in a short space of time, so it’s not always a reassuring sign. After all, it’s common for some studios to focus exclusively on reskinning mobile apps and games. In most cases, their primary focus is to make a quick buck without caring about the quality or originality of their apps. If you want to develop an app for your business, these are the worst kinds of studios to partner with. 

Instead, you want to work with a studio that’s meticulous and passionate about the app development process. The kind of studio that takes app development seriously yet continuously raises the quality bar. At NS804, we think of ourselves as such a studio, and we’ve received the acclaim and awards to prove it! 

We’ve appeared regularly in media outlets like DC Inno, Fox 5, NBC 4, Sun Herald, Technical.ly, and Washington Business Journal. And we’ve regularly been featured and awarded by Clutch in the following categories:

  • Top App Developers – Washington D.C. 2018
  • Top Mobile App – Developers 2019
  • Top Mobile App – Developers 2020
  • Top Developers – 2021
  • Top B2B Companies – Global 2022
  • Top 1000 Companies – Global 2022
  • Top App Development Company – Richmond 2023
  • Top Software Developers – Virginia 2023
  • Top AR/VR Development Company – Richmond 2023
  • Top AR/VR Development Company – United States 2023

Receiving accolades feels good, and it reassures our existing and future clients that they’re dealing with a development partner focused on quality. Moving forward, we plan on winning many more awards, but above all, meeting and surpassing client expectations.

3. Prioritize Native Mobile App Development 

It’s always better to find a mobile app developer in Charlotte that specializes in native development. But what is native app development, and why should you care? Think of native apps as those created using a manufacturer’s recommended programming languages, development tools, and methodologies. In the mobile space, Apple and Google set the guidelines and provide the tooling for iOS and Android development, respectively. 

Apple provides the Xcode integrated development environment (IDE) and the Swift programming language for creating apps for iOS devices. Similarly, Google provides the Android Studio IDE and the Kotlin programming language for creating apps for Android devices. A native app developer will use these tools and languages instead of third-party tools that facilitate cross-platform development. 

While cross-platform tools make it easier, cheaper, and quicker to develop for Android and iOS, there are several disadvantages that we need to discuss. One of the main issues with cross-platform development is that it always introduces a performance cost. In most cases, natively developed apps load faster, perform better, and drain the battery far less than cross-platform apps. 

Another issue that will impact the quality of an app is its user interface (UI). Many cross-platform tools offer non-standard UI components that don’t always comply with Apple’s and Google’s standards. While several cross-platform tools have improved their UI in recent years, they’re still not as good or consistent as native UI tools.

Ideally, you want your app to look and feel identical on both Android and iOS. And that’s only possible if you partner with a developer specializing in native app development. It may cost more and take a bit longer to ship, but your users will appreciate the slicker and smoother experience your native app will provide.

 

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4. Find A Mobile App Developer In Charlotte That Pushes The Envelope

The mobile app market has matured, meaning it’s harder to attract, engage, and retain users. As an appreneur or business leader, you’ll want to bring your best ideas forward to make an impact. If you’re a trailblazer or often come up with unique ideas, you’re in a better position to succeed in an environment with hard-to-please users. 

But coming up with ideas is only one small aspect of the app development process. You’ll want to find a mobile app developer in Charlotte to present your ideas and receive feedback on whether or not it’s realistic to turn these into an app. And if your ideas seem unconventional or difficult to conceive, an experienced developer will help to ground these. The developer’s experience with multiple app releases will inform further brainstorming and ideation processes based on what works and doesn’t.

While we can’t speak about other developers, NS804 has often embraced ideas that drive mobile apps forward. We’ve worked closely and built fruitful relationships with clients that have come up with ideas that truly help users. Our close collaboration with 3ADVANCE, LLC and Red Canopy Holdings, LLC helped birth the Béné app. 

Béné is a digital tipping application for the hospitality industry that allows guests to tip hotel staff. Guests scan QR codes printed on cards inside their rooms and other hotel areas to send cashless tips without needing to download any apps. The simplicity and reliability of this system have made Béné a winner and a testament to how good ideas help shape industries.

5. Work With A Developer That Builds Next-Generation Apps

We’ve already mentioned that users have become harder to please nowadays. It’s no longer easy or even possible to draw these users with apps that they’ve experienced a hundred times before. Moreover, a growing number of users, especially younger users, expect more from apps. Old and outdated-looking apps just won’t do, and it’s up to you to look at new ways to engage these users. 

Fortunately, mobile app technology keeps moving forward, which presents savvy appreneurs and developers with plenty of opportunities to create the types of apps that weren’t possible in the past. We’ve reached a point where there’s greater demand for more immersive apps that utilize video or contain an augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) component. 

Recently, NS804 worked on the innovative next-generation PreVue dating app that smartly uses video. Our client wanted to make the online dating process more honest and authentic, and that was only possible with video. PreVue users must upload a short video of themselves showing their body language, personality, and overall vibe. It’s now easier to build trust with potential matches since users can no longer hide behind fake bios like in other popular dating apps.

The short-form video format popularized by Snapchat and TikTok served as inspiration. We were willing to put in the extra time and effort to create a next-generation app that would resonate with today’s users. PreVue is gradually growing in popularity and delighting users disillusioned with how apps have approached the online dating experience thus far. This has shown us that implementing the latest technologies is essential for app success moving forward.

6. Collaborate With A Developer For App Store Submissions

If you haven’t released an app on the app stores to date, you may not understand how these work. You may even believe that it’s a relatively simple process to release apps on the App Store and Google Play. And while there’s some truth to this, it’s probably more involved and challenging than you’d expect. That’s because Apple and Google have strict guidelines that developers and publishers must follow when submitting apps. 

While there’s nothing wrong with learning and tackling the entire submission process yourself — it will take time and may cause much frustration — especially if your app fails approval one or more times. If you’re running a business, there’s probably a significant opportunity cost involved in spending your valuable time trying to go through the submission process. It’s wiser to partner with a studio, such as NS804, to handle this for you instead. 

NS804 will ensure that your app meets all the criteria set by Apple and Google. We’ll look at your app content, quality, uniqueness, hardware compatibility, performance, security, stability, and styling, to ensure it passes submission. While Apple has the reputation of having stricter guidelines, it’s not uncommon to face significant challenges when submitting an Android build on Google Play. That’s because Android apps need to run on a wide range of hardware specs from multiple manufacturers.

7. Find A Mobile App Developer That Will Help You Scale

Perhaps your app’s meant to serve a crucial part of your business strategy. Or you’re planning on building an innovative music streaming service that will grow and grow. Therefore, your app’s never truly finished and will receive new features and updates regularly. But rolling these out requires that you team up with a reliable partner.

Ideally, you want to work with a studio that stays committed to your current goals but will also closely follow future roadmaps of your app. At NS804, we understand how important it’s to scale your app when reaching certain milestones and are willing to provide the necessary guidance to help you grow. We prefer to build a long-lasting relationship to ensure we always have a role to play during each phase of your app’s evolution. 

In Conclusion

If you’ve been trying to find a mobile app developer in Charlotte, you may have come across several studios. It’s likely that we’re one of these studios that have appeared during your searches or recommended by business associates. Whatever the case is, contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create the phenomenal apps that will engage and delight your users. 

Fintech App Development: 9 Must-Have Features

Fintech app development has become increasingly popular over the past decade. After all, many startups and development teams are working on innovative fintech apps, especially in the mobile space. It’s a rapidly growing global industry estimated at a whopping $110 billion in 2020 and will likely hit $700 billion by 2030.

But why the interest in fintech worldwide? There’s not a single reason for the meteoric rise of fintech, but several developments have helped to transform this industry. The proliferation of e-commerce entities with the mass adoption of smartphones has led to the widespread use of secure payment processors. These payment platforms and other solution providers have forged ahead with various cashless digital payments and mobile wallets. 

Furthermore, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, data analytics, and favorable government regulations have helped grease the wheels of the fintech industry. And the traditional banking sector isn’t sitting on the sidelines either, with many notable financial institutions investing heavily in mobile banking apps.

The banking sector must also replace and upgrade aging systems designed for an era when customers had to visit bank branches or automated teller machines (ATMs) to complete most financial transactions. Also, many banks are reducing their physical footprint and offering more financial services directly on their banking apps. These apps have become so compelling because they provide an A-to-Z approach for customers to manage their finances.

And that’s why fintech app development is so crucial. It empowers users when they have access to essential features. Now, let’s delve deeper into what must-have features today’s fintech apps should include!  

 

What Should You Know About Fintech App Development?

Fintech app development is a multi-disciplinary process that often requires expertise in several key areas: 

  • Mobile app development
  • Back-end development
  • Software engineering
  • User experience (UX) design
  • User interface (UI) design
  • Application and network security
  • Cloud computing
  • Financial software systems
  • Payment processing APIs
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Blockchain

Since fintech apps handle large amounts of financial transactions and sensitive user data, security must come first. Therefore, every competent fintech app development studio must have one or more security experts available on the team. These security experts must deal with all present and future vulnerabilities that may occur within the app, the network layer, the back-end server, and the payment processing APIs. 

As for the latter, it’s unlikely that the studio’s security experts can seal off all security holes in third-party APIs. But they should keep tabs on all known and new vulnerabilities and ensure they provide enough security features and defenses within the app to counter these. However, when dealing with open-source APIs with permissive licenses, they can rewrite parts of the compromised APIs or contribute additional code that will harden security.

What Is A Fintech Application?

As a broad description, a fintech app may include any application that simplifies and automates financial services. The majority of fintech apps are almost always the products of the fintech industry, which is in itself a broad term. In the fintech industry, it’s not uncommon for app developers, venture capitalists, and financial institutions to collaborate closely on products, such as banking apps, digital wallets, and money lending apps.

Several technologies that make up a fintech app may include AI, IoT, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and data analytics. In some countries, cryptocurrencies remain in a grey zone legally. Thus, fintech app development studios must comply with regulations in these countries and apply certain restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions. But most mainstream users will use fintech apps to manage their finances instead of trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.

Generally, fintech apps fit into the following four segments: Business-to-Business (B2B) within the banking industry, B2B bank clients, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) within the small business sector, and wholly consumer based. If you want to develop a fintech mobile app, you’ll need to focus on one of these segments before forging ahead. And that’s because trying to create an app that serves multiple business models seldom works when starting out.

Consider how PayPal began as a digital wallet for electronic payments back in 1999. And soon after this startup launched its initial public offering (IPO), it was rapidly snapped up by eBay — subsequently becoming the preferred payment option for users on the famous auction site. Over the past two decades, PayPal has grown by adapting to the needs of its users. Today, the company effectively runs a two-sided business model in handling financial transactions for merchants and consumers. 

 

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What Are The Most Popular Types Of Fintech Apps? 

One of the neat things about fintech app development is that appreneurs and developers can flex their creative muscles. That’s because there are already many types of fintech applications in the marketplace, and the list of categories will only grow in the foreseeable future. But if you’re new to fintech and wondering what type of app you should develop, then consider the following: 

  • Mobile banking app: You’re probably already using one or more banking apps right now. And you’re likely benefiting from the ease and convenience of handling many financial transactions through these. A side benefit of mobile banking apps is that they provide an indispensable service to formerly unbanked individuals, particularly in developing countries.
  • Investment app: People that don’t have access to large sums of money or a broker will use investment apps to generate some wealth. Several of the best investment apps provide tutorials and simulated stock markets to train new users.
  • Insurance app: Most people will experience at least one major mishap during their lifetimes. It may involve a car accident, a health issue, or lost luggage during travel. But even if insured, these are all stressful scenarios that cause people to hastily look for their insurance policies, wondering if they’re fully covered. Fortunately, today’s mobile insurance apps make it easy for customers to review their policies, make claims, and receive quotes.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending app: Financial institutions may not always provide loans at favorable interest rates or to individuals with a bad credit score. That’s where loan apps conveniently fill a gap in the market by bringing P2P lending to the masses. But to mitigate risk, these P2P platforms seldom loan out large amounts like the big financial institutions.  

Is Developing A Fintech Application Easy? 

No, fintech app development ranks as one of the more challenging categories in software engineering. Don’t be fooled by the plethora of fintech apps in the marketplace and the many freelance developers making bold claims about quick turnarounds on fintech projects. While the abundance of projects in this domain may make it seem easy, much can go awry by overlooking certain scenarios. 

The hard reality is that not all fintech products offer robust security or comply with mandatory financial regulations. Furthermore, freelancers don’t have the best reputation for tightening up app security or closely following the rules and guidelines set by regulatory bodies worldwide.

Since fintech apps deal with money, no developer should play fast and loose, especially with the law. Any security breaches that result in monetary losses may lead to jail time for the responsible parties, including the publisher or developer, for not following the necessary protocols. So, never place your trust in a freelance developer or a studio that doesn’t have a track record for quality apps and following best practices. Instead, partner with a multi-award-winning and reputable mobile app developer like NS804, which has already released over 100 applications.

Which Steps Must Every Fintech App Development Studio Follow?

We’ve already stressed how important it’s to closely follow best practices, government regulations, and security protocols. But what does that actually mean when developing a fintech application? Before adding innovative new features to your app, you should first ensure that your app adheres to several fundamentals. Be sure to include the following steps in your development process:

  • Legal requirements: Even during your early planning stage, you must know what shape your legal compliance framework will take. Moreover, you must comply with various privacy laws for different territories, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the European Union (EU) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Consult a trusted legal advisor during every phase of your fintech app development process to ensure compliance with all regulations, regardless of how obscure or complex these may seem.
  • App security: Security will play a central role every step of the way during your fintech app development process. Toughen security with mandatory biometrics, one-time password (OTP), and two-factor authentication features. Ensure that your team rolls out updates immediately to patch up any security vulnerabilities that may occur.
  • API administration: Your fintech app must communicate with other apps and portals for smooth functionality. Thus, you’ll use APIs to connect these disparate applications. But you must ensure these APIs comply with the most stringent security protocols since this will impact your app’s risk factor.
  • User support functionality: Sooner or later, users will experience issues with your app. Create an intuitive user journey to smoothen the onboarding process. Include built-in training tutorials to help users learn how to use your app and an AI-powered chatbot to respond quickly to their questions.

Before Implementing The Latest Must-Have Features

Fintech apps have evolved considerably over the past decade. Even the most rudimentary applications come with impressive features meant to engage users. While that may seem like a smart move, it’s never a good idea to flood a fintech app with unnecessary features. Instead, it’s better to offer basic functionality that does actually meet users’ needs. You can always add additional features when you roll out updates and when you scale. 

Before commencing on expensive and risky projects, we always advise our clients to build a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is ideal for fintech app development because the focus is strictly on basic functionality. Moreover, it’s the perfect vehicle to test an app idea by bringing it to the market cheaply and quickly. 

If users resonate with the MVP, that’s a good sign that it has the potential to become successful as a full-fledged app. And by monitoring and analyzing user data and feedback, it becomes easier to pinpoint the additional features users want. Below, we’ll discuss in detail the various must-have features you should consider for your upcoming fintech project.

 

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1. Gamification

Until now, gamification was more of a nice-to-have feature instead of a must-have feature. But user expectations have changed due to the interactive experiences they’ve had with gaming. There’s hardly a user that doesn’t become incentivized by leveling up their character, achieving a high score on the leaderboard, or unlocking an additional skill on the skill tree. 

Gamification includes all these game-like activities and many more. And these have found their way into all kinds of apps, from productivity to fintech apps. But the real draw of gamification is that it helps to increase engagement by offering users a more fun and rewarding experience. For example, an investment app could award cool-looking badges when users meet specific investment milestones. 

2. Push notifications

Push notifications are not new and are standard in just about every category of mobile app. But it’s not only a matter of having push notifications but how you’ll use them to engage users. The core principles of fintech app development require that you provide users with security and keep them informed of any app changes at all times. 

Consider how users will want their banking apps to remind them of outgoing and incoming payments. And remind them about upcoming bills and alert them of any unusual logins or activity on their accounts. Push notifications are the quickest, easiest, and most reliable way to alert users. Emails and SMS messages sometimes go undelivered, and users may not always check these timeously or regularly. This may put them in a situation where they can’t respond to a potential security risk in time.

3. User Profiles

It’s crucial to let users customize your fintech app to make it more personal and accessible. Users love using apps that feel comfortable and will continue using those that seem designed specifically for them. 

You can do this with user profiles, which will contain each user’s individual preferences. Of course, you may also provide presets so that users can get up and running with a predefined UI, font style, and theme that they’ll find appealing. But customization doesn’t only need to affect the appearance of the app but also how it functions. Users may set their budget and spending preferences and save these in their user profiles. 

4. Blockchain

While not every fintech app benefits from a blockchain implementation, it’s worth considering if your app meets certain criteria. If your app must handle cryptocurrency transactions, you’ll inevitably use a blockchain. But it’s also necessary if your users demand a transparent and secure system to record all transactions without a central entity, such as a large financial institution.  

Where blockchain technology truly comes into its own is with any P2P network. So, if you’re creating a P2P lending application, your users will want to have the surety that there’s a record of all transactions on a distributed database. This way, lenders and borrowers will trust all transactions on your P2P lending app. And if there’s ever any discrepancy, the database will always reveal what happened with any funds after a transaction query.

5. Smart contracts

If you move ahead with a blockchain implementation, you should also consider smart contracts. The best way to think of smart contracts is that of smaller programs that run on the blockchain and automate tasks based on an agreement. And in their more advanced form, they may work with a central securities depository (CSD) to handle fungible assets like stocks, options, and bonds. Also, note that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) operate as smart contracts or under such a paradigm. 

Therefore, if you’re developing a platform to trade NFTs, smart contracts will become central to your fintech app development process. You’ll also need to integrate various digital wallets, crypto exchanges, and NFT marketplaces with your app.

6. Chatbots

We’ve already discussed why you should implement user support functionality in your fintech app. And we even mentioned the need for an AI-powered chatbot that will respond to user queries. Obviously, these kinds of chatbots are not new and are not only meant for fintech apps. But they’re essential to fulfill customer support roles, especially if you don’t have the budget and staff to provide support 24/7. 

Users will want to know how to set up and manage their accounts, get answers to technical issues, and learn more about new and specific features. And while they can find out this information by perusing your app’s docs or support forums, it’s better not to inconvenience them. Ideally, you want to keep users glued to your app and not look elsewhere, even your website, for information. 

An AI-powered chatbot can answer most user questions in seconds and in their native language. Users will feel more confident using your app, even its more advanced features, knowing that help is only a screen tap away.

7. Big Data Analytics

Financial applications live or die based on how well they handle large amounts of data. For example, the more data a banking app has about a customer’s spending habits, assets, and credit rating, the better it can assess risk for a requested loan. When an app feeds from the bank’s Big Data pipeline combined with analytics, it will know if the customer is trustworthy and may also detect potential fraud or malicious intent.  

Once everything is clear, the app can push through the loan request to the loan approval agent and notify the customer. And once the agent approves the loan, the customer will receive the fund in their account. This quick and frictionless way of applying for a loan without needing to call or visit a bank branch is only possible due to Big Data analytics. 

8. Machine Learning

It’s hard to think of fintech app development without becoming proficient at implementing machine learning. And that’s because there’s hardly a fintech application that doesn’t have a ML component in one form or another. Moreover, there are many ways that ML algorithms can aid various functions, even within a single fintech app. 

These algorithms can enhance an app’s fraud detection capabilities, predict market risks, and implement trading strategies. Bots powered by ML algorithms can also advise users on trades, upcoming investment trends, and market opportunities. However, it’s important to note that the quality and accuracy of the data these algorithms use will determine overall efficacy.

9. Multiple Digital Payment Options

No fintech app can function correctly without having at least one digital payment option. But users expect multiple digital payment options, so design your app for such a scenario. While it’s perfectly okay for your MVP or initial versions of your app to have one payment option, you’ll need to diversify payment options as your app matures. 

But what payment options should your fintech app have initially? Offer wire transfer, debit, and credit card payments from the get-go. Then, closely follow with PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Play, and Samsung Pay. 

However, some digital payment processors prohibit risky speculative trading and investment products from accessing their services. Ensure that your fintech app complies with the terms of service (ToS) of any payment processor you plan on integrating. You may also add cryptocurrency payment options if your app’s meant for the crypto market.

In Conclusion

Fintech app development has come a long way yet still offers many opportunities for forward-looking appreneurs, developers, and financial institutions. Users have become accustomed to handling all their finances on their mobile devices. They seldom visit a physical location or call an agent to do their banking, submit an insurance claim, or invest in stocks. Furthermore, fintech apps make most transactions easy, convenient, and quick. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you build your next fintech app for a growing and promising market! 

What We Learned From Building The PreVue Dating App

At NS804, we love developing apps like PreVue that positively impact users. PreVue is a dating app that breaks the mold of what users have come to expect from online dating and modern dating applications. Nowadays, popular options include the likes of Bumble, OkCupid, Tinder, and many others. And while these have revolutionized modern dating by allowing users to meet those outside of their ethnic backgrounds, social circles, and even geographic locations — they’ve also introduced a lot of problems. 

The founder & CEO of PreVue — Lucanus J. Grady — briefly described these problems in his mission statement: “Dating app profiles had become just this fabrication to attract a quantity of candidates like it was a game. And it’s just hard, right? So I just kept thinking, there must be a better way! How do we filter out all the nonsense, cut through the heavily-doctored pictures, the wordy biographies, and just the genuine lack of honesty?”

Grady’s assessment regarding the current state of the modern dating app holds true, and there’s a real need for a fresh approach. Fortunately, Grady did approach things differently when formulating PreVue, a video-based dating platform. With PreVue, users take a short 22-second video without filters, showing off their true selves. The nuances in their facial expressions and mannerisms provide a far more authentic picture of who they are than edited photos, biographies, or text messages. 

We helped bring PreVue to life and feel privileged to have worked closely with Grady on his innovative dating app concept. Our partnership on this exciting project has been a relatively smooth process. However, we did learn several important lessons that we’ll discuss in greater detail below.

 

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Modern Dating In Crisis

Now, you may think that there are already too many dating apps flooding the marketplace — and that’s true. But have you asked yourself if these apps help or hinder users from dating successfully? And if you’ve been out of the dating pool for a while now, you may be shocked to learn that the modern dating scene isn’t very healthy, to put it lightly.

While apps such as Tinder make it incredibly easy for users to find matches in their area, that doesn’t mean these are quality matches. If anything, Tinder and many similar dating apps facilitate hook-up culture, where sexual encounters are at the forefront, and long-lasting relationships come last. Gen Z and Millenials in the younger age range may only be looking for short-term relationships or ‘situationships.’ And that’s perfectly fine for some but completely wrong for those wanting deep and meaningful relationships. 

Furthermore, things don’t look rosy for most American men under 30 who remain single. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, approximately 63% of men in this age bracket find themselves single compared to 34% of women. And if that wasn’t bad enough, fewer single American men are looking to date now than before the Covid pandemic (42% now versus 49% in 2019).

Things get worse still, as an overabundance of online pornography and OnlyFans models grab male attention and interest at a disturbingly high rate. And while we hope this trend will change at some point, it’s definitely an ominous sign that we can’t afford to ignore. From a societal and economic standpoint, it isn’t good if young men forgo dating and relationships, as this will lead to a demographic decline in the foreseeable future. 

How Does PreVue Solve Notable Problems?

The best and most successful apps solve problems that users often encounter. And as we’ve already covered in significant detail, modern dating is in crisis mode with plenty of problems. Moreover, the creator of PreVue, Lucanus J. Grady, has experienced the pain points of modern dating apps firsthand. With most dating apps, it’s too easy for users to enhance their looks via filters and present a false self through their biographies. 

And that’s why he set out to offer an alternative that allows users to date with intention, where they can see, hear, and get the vibe from a potential candidate before taking things further. Thus, it’s difficult for users on the PreVue platform to present themselves inauthentically, as the short form 22-second videos are great at conveying subtle changes in facial expressions and voices that accurately reveal the candidate’s appearance, emotions, and desirability. 

But another reason why video is such a powerful medium is that it’s become the number one way to distribute and consume content today. Platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have carved a path for creating and sharing short-form videos effectively, and it’s time that dating apps catch up! 

How Does PreVue Work? 

PreVue offers users a dead simple onboarding process that’s as frictionless as possible. This dating app only requires the most applicable information from the user, their location, and their dating preferences. Then, it’s time to film the 22-second-long video with no filters or uploads permitted. Once done, the user may access the portal with all candidates that match their criteria. Furthermore, PreVue will match users based on what they said and even the backgrounds in their videos. 

PreVue officially launched in Boston, MA, due to the city’s vibrant and ethnically diverse culture. This works well, as dating with intention is something that the people of Boston want in a dating app. And it’s a great success thus far, with over 7,000 downloads and 1,200 active users over the past two months. 

While it’s still early days, users have responded positively to PreVue. Many are happy with how much more natural matches feel compared to other dating apps in the marketplace. It’s also easier for users to initiate conversations due to how PreVue manages profiles, and there’s a refreshing lack of spam accounts and creepy users. 

And similarly to other dating apps in the marketplace, there’s a free version of PreVue available. However, users can opt for in-app purchases, such as PreVue Premier 1 Month at $19.99, Unlimited Connections 24h at $6.99, and Video Chat 1h at $2.99. 

What Surprised Us About The Target Demographic Of PreVue?

PreVue successfully eradicated issues commonly found in other dating apps, such as catfishing. And so far, it seems that users are having more meaningful interactions in PreVue than with other alternatives, which was one of the primary goals of this project all along.

However, we initially anticipated that college users between the ages of 20 and 25 would make up our target audience. But we resonated more with the young professional demographic instead.

At first, this was surprising, but it makes sense since younger professionals are more likely to seek long-term partners for fulfilling relationships. And PreVue’s video-based approach facilitates the pursuit of these types of relationships, as users can easily screen out the chancers, players, and other disingenuous candidates.

 

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What Was The Development Process Like? 

The development process went smoothly, but we could have benefited from an entirely Agile approach. In hindsight, it would have been better if we released smaller feature sets since we’re now making changes on the fly based on user data and feedback we’ve obtained. 

That’s why at NS804, we always recommend that our clients scale back on their concepts to get their apps to market quicker. Users will always reveal what they want, and we can always pivot quickly based on user feedback. 

However, we did proceed with simple and clean code that was modular and flexible from the early stages of the project. If there’s one thing that every developer should know is that planning proper architecture saves a ton of time.  

Our development team includes four members, two founders, a marketing team, and a public relations (PR) team. While the development team may seem small, it’s actually the right size for this project and managed to complete it successfully. The build process took 12 months, which included a very long BETA to ensure we gathered enough feedback to launch the best product possible. But without the BETA and the additional scope, it would have taken around eight months. 

Which Programming Languages Did We Use During Development? 

NS804 is fundamentally a native mobile app developer. That means we use programming languages, frameworks, tools, and APIs for creating native apps for Android and iOS. We could choose hybrid mobile app development tools like Flutter or React Native to reduce development time and cost. However, that would result in lower-quality apps lacking the native look, feel, and performance users have come to expect. 

And given that PreVue is a dating app that must deliver video content regularly and consistently, we had to go native since performance is imperative. Thus, we chose Swift for developing the iOS version and Kotlin for the Android version.

Both Swift and Kotlin are modern, high-level, and statically typed languages that are easier to debug and maintain than the languages they’re gradually replacing, namely, Objective-C and Java. A side benefit of using Swift and Kotlin is that they integrate flawlessly with the latest user interface (UI) toolkits, such as SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose UI. And that allows us to create attractive and responsive UIs that look and feel native on a wide variety of modern mobile devices.   

We also used the Structured Query Language (SQL) for our back-end relational database. And Node.js, as it’s an efficient and powerful runtime environment for creating servers, modular applications, and even video streaming apps such as Netflix. It’s written using the JavaScript (JS) programming language, which has played a pivotal role in front-end web development.

How Crash Reporting And User Journeys Helped Us?

While we did not have any bugs reported, we did implement crash monitoring and user journeys built into the app. So we know if any issues arise before users report these to us, which allows us to take a proactive approach and fix these issues. 

The user journeys allow us to see where users may drop off during the process. And this allows us to refine and tailor our offering that will best suit end-user needs. The ultimate goal of the user journey is to determine the optimal path within the app that will enhance the user experience (UX). Ideally, users must reach their goals quickly and easily without being stumped by an unintuitive UI or other questionable design choices.

Due to our user-centric approach to design, we’ve regularly updated the UI to meet users’ needs. To date, our users benefit from a clean, slick, modern, and highly intuitive UI. And this allows them to engage with our dating app in a fun way without breaking their flow since the screen isn’t cluttered with text and any design elements that cause confusion.

What’s Next For PreVue?

PreVue has made a notable impact in a short space of time, and the future bodes well for our dating app. As we’ve already witnessed, there’s a real need for a platform that makes the dating experience much more honest and meaningful.

So, what have we got planned for PreVue moving forward? Currently, it’s only available in Boston and Washington DC. But we will open availability to new markets and expand our international footprint. Furthermore, we’ll use Machine Learning (ML) to enhance our existing matching algorithm. We started with a basic algorithm designed for maximum matches while the user base scales. 

It will be a learning experience as we use tools that improve the matching process over time. Our goal is to ensure that PreVue users will only have candidates appear in their feeds that align perfectly with what they’re looking for in potential partners. 

And speaking of partners, Lucanus J. Grady shared a few thoughts about his experience working with us: “Top Tier communication. Excellent relationship with the CEO. Always extremely knowledgeable and eager to help. Has provided assistance outside of the scope of responsibility and is an intangible member of our team. The company and its founder are now personal friends due to NS804’s core ethos and incredible professionalism.”

The Bottom Line

Working on PreVue, coupled with our close and fruitful relationship with our client, has made the development process an enjoyable and eye-opening journey. Furthermore, it’s a privilege to work with talented people that have all contributed to a dating app that conforms with our client’s visionary approach. Contact https://www.ns804.com/ today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal and trailblazing dating apps!