What Is SaaS App Development?

SaaS app development has been gaining momentum in recent years. With the proliferation of cloud services, a growing number of developers are taking advantage of these. And the big winner has been the user who can now access powerful applications without a hefty upfront cost. But what does this mean for enterprises and developers considering a SaaS? Below, we delve deeper into the fascinating world of SaaS mobile app development.

1. Understanding SaaS

Back in the 80s and 90s, enterprises and desktop users requiring specific software would have to purchase it in physical form. Many popular software packages came in big boxes and featured thick manuals and one or more floppy disks or CD-ROMs. With online access becoming more common in the 2000s, software distribution switched from physical media to digital downloads.

But over the past decade, users have gradually made the switch from digital downloads to cloud services. Many developers have taken advantage of this proliferating cloud infrastructure and offer their applications as a Software as a Service (SaaS). The main draw of SaaS is that users can access these applications without needing to download them. Since SaaS applications run in the browser, users don’t have to worry about compatibility issues and updates.

And unlike packaged and downloadable software, SaaS users don’t have to pay a steep upfront fee. The majority of SaaS offerings operate under a subscription model and usually offer a free tier. However, one of the key advantages of SaaS is that all data is stored directly on the cloud. Enterprises have extra surety that they won’t lose data due to employee error or neglect. And since cloud services have become so robust and ubiquitous, they’re perfectly suitable for mobile app development.

2. How SaaS App Development Differs

Every developer embarking on SaaS app development should consider how it differs from custom app development. SaaS is a good choice for smaller developers that need to make an impact in the market. It’s easier to attract paying customers with a SaaS with a limited development and marketing budget. Furthermore, it’s usually quicker to deploy a SaaS than a more monolithic application or custom app.

But every paying SaaS user expects constant updates and the introduction of new features that enhance workflow. Thus, developers need to respond quickly by updating their SaaS at a regular cadence. They may also need to upgrade their cloud infrastructure to deal with the additional demand when necessary. Custom app developers usually don’t have these cloud-centric considerations. And they prefer to offer solutions that better integrate with an enterprise’s existing software.

3. How Do SaaS Mobile Apps Scale

SaaS mobile apps scale incredibly well, and it’s a key reason why so many enterprises use them. And given how powerful and robust cloud infrastructure has become, it’s possible to serve millions of users concurrently and continuously. So, any enterprise that plans to grow its business and reach new users should consider deploying SaaS mobile apps.

But how do custom apps hold up to mobile apps in this regard? Well, unless a custom app’s built to handle huge traffic spikes and high computational loads from the get-go, it will struggle to deliver satisfactory results. Furthermore, it becomes challenging to scale a custom app at a later stage.

4. SaaS Mobile Apps Have Limited Integrations

While SaaS mobile apps offer plenty of pros, we should discuss a few of their cons. Most enterprises use several applications for the smooth operation of their day-to-day business processes. Sooner or later, an enterprise will need to integrate all these applications with their flagship SaaS. But most SaaS platforms usually lack all the integrations and APIs to make this possible.

That’s why enterprises that use many applications should consider custom mobile app development. The developer can create integrations for each piece of software and make these work flawlessly. Therefore, enterprises can run all their applications without experiencing downtimes at regular intervals.

5. Maintaining SaaS Mobile Apps

In a general sense, it’s easier to maintain a SaaS mobile app than a custom alternative. However, this doesn’t mean that the SaaS solution is always ideal. Think long and hard about all the updates and upgrades that you’ll need in the foreseeable future. And the reason why this is so important is that most SaaS providers only offer a limited amount of updates and upgrades.

It’s never a good idea to have your enterprise applications so dependent on third-party vendors. They can change their roadmap and terms of service (ToS) whenever they like, and these changes can affect your business adversely. With a custom solution, you’ll be future-proofing all your mission-critical applications by ensuring that all updates and upgrades are always implemented when you want them done.

6. Why SaaS App Development Timeline Isn’t Better

Don’t jump into SaaS app development because you’ve heard that it’s faster to implement. While you may save time and money initially, your SaaS may fail if it doesn’t line up with your business needs. Take the time to carefully plan your app and determine whether to go with a custom or SaaS solution. Consider how secure your data system should be, and choose custom app development if you need maximum security.

7. Creating All In One SaaS Mobile Apps

If you’re planning on developing an all-in-one SaaS mobile app, you’ll need to consider a few things. Large, complex applications are difficult to pull off, especially for smaller and inexperienced teams. Furthermore, your SaaS should run flawlessly on a variety of devices. Some users may not have access to a smartphone and may prefer to access your app via a desktop or smart TV. It’s vital to accommodate all these users to ensure the success of your app.

Ensure that your all-in-one SaaS mobile app brings unique and valuable features to the table. And optimize these features so that they provide users a more efficient workflow. Ultimately, you’ll want to give users plenty of reasons to keep using your app over alternatives.

8. How SaaS App Development Affects Business Productivity

The success of SaaS applications largely depends on how well they onboard new users. And every good SaaS should also enhance existing business processes and facilitate productivity. In a best-case scenario, an enterprise should find a SaaS platform that suits its needs.

But every business is different, with its unique challenges, demands, and needs. And it may become difficult to find a SaaS platform that fulfills these needs. Therefore, it’s better to go with a custom solution designed for a specific business. Not only is this a more robust solution, but it can lead to better productivity since the custom app tightly integrates with existing processes and workflows.

9. Main SaaS App Development Issues

Mobile app development always throws a curveball or two, and the same applies to the creation of SaaS apps. Since every SaaS is reliant on the cloud, developers should always prioritize security. They’ll need to take extra care in how they store data and how they authenticate users. Any data losses or security breaches will tarnish the reputation of their SaaS and subsequently lose users.

Developers should also ensure that data synchronizes properly between their mobile and desktop apps. Moreover, calendars, documents, and task lists should synchronize without causing any conflicts or errors. The last thing you want is to frustrate users and ruin their workflow if the apps they use most don’t synchronize or work properly.

In Conclusion

SaaS mobile apps have been growing in popularity in recent years. And while they offer plenty of pros, they’re not always ideal for all enterprises. If your business has unique needs and requirements, you may want to go with a custom solution. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop versatile apps that solve business problems.

Improving Remote Team Communication For Remote Workers

Improving Communication and Collaboration for Remote Workers

The digital era saw a hyper acceleration through COVID-19 and the events of 2020. Because of the pandemic and the major shift toward a digital era, remote workers and remote staff quickly became the norm. This subsequently forced businesses and organizations to embrace a digital world with remote workers. Before the pandemic, there was already a lot of buzz and excitement around the future of remote work. In fact, some companies like NomadX sought out to create entire business plans based around planning travelling work trips for the remote-worker. In any case, whether prepared for the digital era or not, the transition started in the blink of an eye.

Now, remote work and remote workers seem absolutely normal. As if it were always the way things were. However, many organizations and businesses are still adjusting to the new remote landscape and digital economy. And the companies that were already in position for a digital transition, are still looking for ways to improve their current remote-work environment.

One of the most important aspects in a business is communication; internal communication between teams, external communications with partners, suppliers, and consumers, and internal communication between staff and management as well. Especially in a remote-work-environment, then, prioritizing effective and efficient communication tools is more than necessary.

Keeping Remote Workers Looped In

Remote workers need to be able to communicate. Plain and simple as that. Yet, communication can mean a lot of things; and in today’s world businesses utilize everything from social media platforms, to email, IM, and phone calls to correspond and communicate. Therefore, building a suite of communication tools that keeps your remote staff in the loop is a daunting task.

When addressing the communication solutions for your remote workers it’s important that you keep their needs, workflows, and operations in mind. You don’t want to give a carpenter a painters toolbox and the same applies to your remote workers. Building an enterprise application from scratch for your organization won’t only help you customize the features and tools that your remote staff can access; but will also lead to boosted efficiency and higher rates of productivity from your staff.

Encouraging Communication

While developing your enterprise business application to address the communication needs of your remote workers; consider push notifications to encourage and boost communication efforts between team members. By enabling push notifications at a reasonable rate, your enterprise application will become more than a simple business tool. Rather, it will add value to the c0-worker relationships that exist and develop within your firm, boost productivity, and lead to higher rates of efficiency from your team.

In addition to boosting important business KPIs; having an organization-wide enterprise application for communication supports team-building and team bonding. By acting as a medium and platform for digital and remote team-building exercises, by investing in a custom enterprise application, you’re really investing in the people of your firm.

Wrapping Up

The era of the remote workers is upon us, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Even with vaccinations rolling out world-wide, the pillar of remote work is likely here permanently.

For more information on managing remote workers, enterprise application solutions, or anything else app development, keep browsing NS804.

Creating An Enterprise App That Focuses On Security And Compliance

Building an enterprise app that’s secure and compliant should be the priority of every serious developer. Users need enterprise mobile apps that won’t leak sensitive information or be at the mercy of hackers. We’ll briefly touch upon why security and compliance should never be an afterthought.

1. Why Security Matters In An Enterprise App?

Nowadays, many enterprises use collaboration apps that allow their employees and remote teams to get work done. A few examples include Google Docs, Slack, and Trello, which are cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings. Furthermore, these apps make life easier for IT managers since they no longer need to maintain and manage their own servers.

While a typical enterprise app offers convenience, it’s not entirely secure. Hackers love to target small or large enterprises through their collaboration apps. For example, a savvy hacker can launch a phishing attack via an enterprise’s messaging app instead of relying on email. And since employees trust communications within the company’s messaging app, they’ll likely click an URL or download files containing malware or malicious code.

The malware may contain a keylogger, which records user keystrokes such as login passwords and sends them back to the hacker. Thus, the entirety or part of the company’s online infrastructure will be compromised. The hacker can now steal valuable company information, install viruses, launch a ransomware attack, and that’s only the beginning. That’s why all applications, including enterprise mobile apps, should have enhanced security features from the get-go.

2. How To Ensure Enterprise Mobile Apps Are Compliant?

With 38% of iOS mobile apps and 43% of Android applications having high-risk vulnerabilities, it’s time for developers to take security seriously. The most common problem is insecure data storage, which puts correspondence, financial data, passwords, and personal information at risk.

So how should you tackle enterprise app development with security in mind? You’ll need to focus on the client-side since 60% of vulnerabilities are found on the client, and 56% can be exploited without administration rights.

Look at your insecure interprocess communication (IPC) and reduce its usage. And don’t use third-party keyboards in your enterprise mobile apps, as these can leak sensitive information, such as user passwords. Finally, mask sensitive on-screen information with a custom background image or filter.

3. Why Should You Use A Professional App Development Company?

Don’t make the mistake of trying to build your enterprise app for free. While there are many app builders and resources to help you make an application, you won’t get the desired result. You may not complete your app, or if you do, it may cost you more than anticipated.

Whether we like it or not, enterprise app development is a serious endeavor. You’ll need to work with a professional app development company that will deliver an app that functions properly and meets all safety criteria. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build secure enterprise mobile apps.

How To Start Your Own SaaS Business

If you’ve been planning on starting a SaaS business, then there’s never been a better time in embarking on such an endeavor. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) enterprises have emerged in the past decade and have successfully left their mark in the industry.

Established tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made available their own SaaS offerings. And users have been reaping the benefits of accessing these cloud-based applications cheaply and easily. Now, we’ll look further into what it takes to start your own Saas enterprise.

1. The Rise Of The SaaS Enterprise

The internet has radically transformed the way we do business and consume. Enterprises can release powerful apps far quicker than before, while users can access these applications almost effortlessly. And digital distribution has played a vital role in making this possible over the past two decades.

But even digital distribution has its fair share of bottlenecks that impedes the accessibility and evolution of software. In many cases, users have to pay a steep upfront cost and download and install files on their computers. And in the case of freemium or mobile apps, users may not have to pay a cent, but they’ll likely have to watch ads or whip out a credit card to access certain functionality.

Nowadays, users don’t have to relegate themselves to any digital distribution platform to access powerful and useful apps. With the rise of the SaaS enterprise, users can try out web-based solutions directly from their browsers.

So, what exactly is a SaaS enterprise? Well, it’s a company that develops an application or a series of applications meant to solve specific problems. These applications are hosted on a cloud service either by a third-party or on the company’s own servers. In the latter case, the company needs to update and maintain its SaaS applications and hardware. But that’s a boon for end-users since they don’t have to worry about updating their apps. And they no longer have to trawl forums or contact support when an update or installation goes wrong.

We’ve seen that this SaaS business model has been gaining traction in recent years. If you’ve used MailChimp, Slack, or Zoom, then you’ve used a SaaS product. But it won’t end there, as we’re bound to see many trailblazing SaaS enterprises emerge in the coming years.

2. Why You Should Consider Starting A SaaS Business

Whether you’re an appreneur or leading an enterprise, you’re likely coming up with cool and unique ideas. A few of these ideas could be solutions to problems that most people encounter in their day-to-day lives or enhance existing business processes. Either way, for these ideas to come to fruition, they’ll need the right vehicle to drive them forward.

One of the best ways to do this is by starting your own SaaS enterprise. And the good news is that it’s entirely possible with a small investment and a bit of sweat equity. Online marketing expert, Neil Patel, managed to launch his SaaS business based on a call-tracking idea for under $ 40,000. With his organized approach to building web-based businesses, Neil found a designer and a developer, built his product, and then focused on marketing and sales.

While we’re not insinuating that building a SaaS is easy, it’s doable with the right approach. Furthermore, you’ll benefit by establishing an enterprise that’s entirely your own without requiring a substantial investment. And, if your SaaS proves popular, it won’t be difficult sourcing venture capital (VC) to grow your enterprise further.

3. Choose The Right Funding Model

If you want to have maximum control of your SaaS enterprise, you should consider personally funding the entire endeavor. But if bootstrapping isn’t possible, then you could borrow money from friends and family. A word of warning, if you haven’t planned and validated your SaaS idea, you’ll be risking these funds on a project that could potentially fail.

However, if you’ve done your homework by conducting a competitive analysis, creating detailed financial forecasts, writing a lean plan, and validating your idea, then your funding options widen. Now, you’ll be in a position to seek funding from financial institutions, angel investors, and venture capitalists. But you’ll be giving up some control, and your business decisions will have to line up with requirements set by these entities.

4. A SaaS Business Starts With Proper Planning

Every serious entrepreneur draws up a business plan from day one. After all, no financial institution or angel investor will lend money to an enterprise without a business plan. And when building a SaaS, it’s essential to get your ideas on paper as quickly as possible.

However, it’s not necessary to draft a long and complex document initially. Start with a one-page pitch that briefly describes your business, unique value proposition, competitors, target market, sales forecast, expenses, milestones, and schedule. You can go into more detail once you’ve solidified your business model and SaaS proposition.

5. Creating A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Determine whether or not users have an interest in your SaaS. Moreover, validate if these users are willing to pay to use your app. Without releasing a full-fledged product, you’ll never know for sure. But by creating an MVP, you’ll be able to quickly gauge if users are genuinely interested in your offering before building a SaaS.

6. Building A SaaS

Ideally, you’ll have talented developers on your team that will help bring your SaaS ideas to life. While you’ll probably do most of your development in-house, you may need to outsource some work. For a smooth collaborative process, it’s always better to work with experienced developers such as NS804.

Be sure to start small and choose the right software development methodology for your project. Then, get a beta version of your SaaS out the door as quickly as possible, and don’t add any unnecessary features before launch.

7. Employing Good UX Design

It’s just as important to have one or more competent designers on your team. After all, your SaaS shouldn’t only run well, but it must also look great! Users expect good UX design from their apps, and you must meet their expectations if your SaaS is to succeed. Your designers will need to have a solid grasp of the five key elements of UX designs, namely: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

8. Don’t Ignore Custom Development

While your SaaS enterprise may function amazingly on the cloud, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore custom development. Many users will appreciate accessing an offline version of your SaaS that runs natively on their computers or mobile devices. Furthermore, you can provide users with additional features, extended business functions, and improved security with a custom-developed app.

9. Should A SaaS Business Incorporate Custom Development?

Yes, every SaaS enterprise benefits from incorporating custom development. Many business processes require the speed, stability, and security that only a custom-developed native app can provide. And certain visually intensive apps only run well if they have direct access to a device’s CPU and GPU, which may require a custom solution.

In Conclusion

Every appreneur and enterprise should consider building a SaaS if they want to reach new users. While there’ll always be a market for native applications, many users enjoy the accessibility and convenience of today’s SaaS offerings. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you get your SaaS business off the ground.

Why Lower Cost Android Freelance Projects Aren’t Actually Cheaper Than Agencies

The True Cost of Cheap Android Freelance Projects Development

Cost is a funny thing because while there is always a cost, it isn’t always obvious. Hence, this is where the difference between value and cost comes into play. Since the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic started, the application market has been one of the few to not only survive, but thrive. As the world embraced a more digital economy, app developers capitalized on the robust influx of user-traffic. In turn, this created ample space for new appreneurs, existing developers, and first-time app designers to enter the market. While it may be tempting to contract a freelance developer for your android freelance projects, but before you do – make sure to conduct your due diligence.

Undoubtedly, when you compare prices between an agency development firm and a freelance developer; the freelancer will almost always be the cheaper of the options. However, as mentioned above, upfront cost doesn’t always paint the whole picture. When it comes to your android freelance projects, consider what will be best for the end result, and for the user.

Pulling Back The Freelance Veil

Freelancing is often a bit of a shadow-realm it feels. It doesn’t have to be, though. Freelance android developers seem an inexpensive option up-front, but in reality; that inexpensive cost comes with a much higher price. The average rate of an android freelancer is around $60/hr. This is a relatively low cost when compared to the prices of an agency, but this low of an hourly rate should raise a few red-flags.

Firstly, that low of an hourly rate in app-development likely means that the freelancer may be less experienced, or just simply not as talented as agency developers. In turn, this translates to a sloppy finished product that may be low-quality. All because the freelancer didn’t pay as much attention to the details of your android freelance projects as was necessary. A poorly designed application won’t help you gain traction or users, has potential to be riddled with bugs and errors, and will certainly end up costing you time and money, essentially all for naught. By choosing an agency developer, however, you protect yourself, and your project, against the freelancer liability with a quality guarantee.

Don’t get tripped up by the appearance of low-cost development, and remember that the true value is in the end result.

Up-Front Cost Vs. True Value

When it comes to app-development, quality and user experience are two of the highest priorities. Understanding this is integral to developing applications that are user friendly and attract a wide user-base. By creating a user-friendly application, the user-experience is immediately enhanced. An enhanced user-experience is good because it leads to longer log-times on the application, in addition to other important performance KPIs. A dedicated and robust user-base that consistently engages with your application is the ultimate goal for developers. To get there, though, takes more than just a good app-idea. It also takes strong execution.

Having a good app-idea is only half the battle, poor management or subpar execution on that idea might lead to failure. That’s why it’s important to know the implications of choosing your app-developer. While it may be enticing to bring freelance android projects to freelance developers due to their low cost of development, keep in mind what exactly it is for which you’re paying. Everyone, especially business owners and app-developers alike, are trying to save money where they can. Though, the best app-developers know full-well the areas that continue to need full-throttled-funding; and agency app-development is one of them.

The Vitality of Quality

Quality over quantity is one of the most common expressions of all-time. Simply put, this phrase emphasizes the importance of quality in our ventures and personal lives. In the context of mobile-app-development, this means putting the quality of the application over the upfront cost of the development.

Once again, while freelance developers come with an attractive rate, keep in mind that app-development aims to solve problems and deliver value to the end-user. You sacrifice quality by selecting a cheap developer for your android freelance projects. This, in turn, leads to an underdeveloped application that will frustrate users and send them to your closest to competitor. Worse yet, by developing a low-quality application, you may just open the door for another developer to execute the same concept in a much stronger fashion by paying more attention to user-experience and overall app quality.

Developing applications with an agency, on the other hand; comes with a quality-guarantee, continuous feedback rounds, and a dedicated team of experts. Meaning from start to finish, you application is in good hands. Not to mention, agency developers have insights into current user-trends and app store data. These insights allow them to build apps that will innately have a higher chance of success by leveraging app-store strategies and tactics from the onset of development.

Common Obstacles With Android Freelance Projects

Beyond quality and the true-cost of freelance android developers, there are other common issues that arise with freelancers as well. Since freelancers often work for themselves there is a much less rigid schedule to which they must adhere. Not only does this mean that they are likely taking on a handful of projects simultaneously; but that they may be rushing through some of those projects in order to ‘just get the work done’.

Such a liquid schedule can lead to a few complications with your android freelance projects. For instance, if you don’t require any check-ins, or progress updates from your freelancer; there’s a chance that projects get delayed and pushed back several weeks, even months from their initial due dates. In fact, there’s a slight chance they never finish the project at all. Ultimately, leaving you to hire an agency after all.

On the other hand, since freelancers don’t always have a steady income, some of them have a tendency to rush through their projects and deliver accelerated timelines. This, while on the surface seems like a good thing, once again circles back to the lack of quality and attention that freelance developers are capable of dedicating to your project.

Wrapping Up: Freelance Development Vs. Agency

There’s a lot to consider before jumping into app development. However, anyone and everyone is capable of having the next great app-idea and becoming a rockstar appreneur. Yet, execution is just as important as the idea itself. Prioritize quality and the user-experience in your app development and you’ll see the true-value of your investment in the end-product. There are plenty of ways to cut-corners in life. Short-cuts if you will. Taking them, though, doesn’t always work out the way you expect. In app development, there are no short-cuts.

By choosing a freelance developer for your android freelance projects you take the risk of spending more in the long-run, hiring an agency to fix the poorly designed app or start from scratch, and opening yourself up to freelancer liability. Choose an agency developer and rest assured that your application will be designed with quality and the user experience as the top priorities.

For more information on app development, agency vs freelance developers, and anything else related to app development, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud agency of the everyday appreneur.

Is Freelance App Development More Budget-Friendly?

As a business leader, you could be deliberating whether to hire developers for several upcoming Android freelance projects. And you’ve taken notice of the many online job marketplaces where you can find freelance developers. But is freelance app development more budget-friendly than working with an agency? We answer that question in more detail below.

1. App Developer: Freelance Or Company

If you’re planning on developing an app, then you’ll need to answer an important question. Will you hire a freelancer or a company to make your app? You may think that this is an easy question to answer, but this isn’t the case. We recommend that you consider the following differences between freelancers and agencies before forging ahead.

Now, it’s never been easier to find freelance developers online to work on your project at competitive rates. But many freelancers have set skill sets, meaning that they specialize in certain types of apps. If you’re developing a broad range of apps or have specific requirements for an app, then you may run into roadblocks with freelancers. However, if you work with an agency that employs developers with varied skill sets, you’re more likely to complete your projects successfully.

Also, consider how you’ll scale your projects in the future. For example, you hire a developer or two for your Android freelance projects, and they do good work. Then, you decide to port these projects to iOS but discover that these developers lack the necessary expertise. But if you were working with an agency, cross-platform development wouldn’t be a problem.

2. A Look Inside Freelance Costs

According to Freelancer, hiring a freelancer is the most cost-effective solution. The median cost of hiring such a developer is $ 543. But do keep in mind that these developers are based in different parts of the world. And many are from third-world countries where salaries are lower, and English isn’t their first language. Thus, the quality of work may vary, and communication may prove difficult, depending on who you hire.

3. Pros And Cons of Android Freelance Projects

You’ve decided to launch several Android freelance projects and have started perusing online job marketplaces. Sites such as Gun.io, Hired, Toptal, Fiverr Pro, and X-Team all vet their freelance developers to ensure their competence. But you’ll want to hire the top-rated freelancers that have already proven themselves. However, these freelancers are in high demand and may not respond to your job posts.

Therefore, it’s easy to find freelance developers on these sites, but you’re not guaranteed to hire your preferred candidates. And given the popularity of Android, you’ll find more freelancers specializing in this platform than iOS. So, when you decide to port and scale your app, you’ll find yourself in a disadvantageous position.

4. Why It’s Easier To Count On An Agency

An agency has far more experience developing a wide variety of complex apps and respecting intellectual property rights and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Furthermore, an agency is more likely to implement best practices in developing, testing, and deploying apps. Freelancers may ignore these steps, which can jeopardize the quality and security of your projects.

While freelance app development may seem more budget-friendly at first, you’re likely to have more satisfactory results working with an agency. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can turn your ideas into engaging apps that amaze users.

Garnering and Implementing Feedback From Remote Teams

Developing Stronger Remote Teams Through Feedback

Feedback is an important element in any cycle. Especially in the context of business. Whether that feedback be between an employee and manager, between two colleagues, or from a company to a consultant; feedback is both necessary and valuable. In the last year, remote teams and remote staff quickly became the norm. This was, partially, due to the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and an economy already moving toward a digital age. Regardless of how we got here, though, here we are. By embracing newly established normals and the transition to a more remote workforce; it remains important to foster a comfortable, welcoming, and productive company culture.

One tactic managers and business leaders can use to nurture a functional culture, even remotely, is employee feedback. Employee feedback from remote teams is will highlight issues and problem areas in operations that could be easily overlooked by other staff with less intimate knowledge of that specific task or business activity. By encouraging employee feedback from your remote staff, however, your team opens the channel of communication allowing management and remote teams to address persistent issues together.

Build Feedback Forms Into Your Custom Enterprise App for Remote Teams

With the entire economy embracing the digital era; many companies have invested in custom enterprise applications. These applications serve a variety of functions depending on the company and their specific needs, but many of them contain a strong focus on internal and external communication. However, these custom enterprise applications also offer a rich opportunity to further cement the lines of feedback between the company and its personnel. For instance, companies can build feedback forms directly into their enterprise applications. The forms can provide anonymity to users who submit, and can be a platform for feedback of any kind.

By presenting your staff and remote teams with conveniently provided feedback forms, there’s a much higher chance that those forms be utilized. This is also the case with anonymity. Often-times, employees and staff (humans in general really), are nervous or timid about bringing forward issues in the workplace. Whether those issues are strictly operational, or deal with colleagues and co-workers; regardless, remote teams need a clear and concise way to deliver feedback to their employers, managers, and organizational leaders.

Listen, Implement, Benefit

By taking the time to listen to your remote teams and remote staff; problems within operations, innovations, and other workplace conflicts will be more evident. While airing dirty laundry, so to speak, is never exactly fun; letting it fester is much worse. By hearing your remote staff and actually implementing solutions to the feedback provided, your organization will develop longer-lasting relationships with more loyal employees.

Right now, building a reliable and dedicated staff of remote employees and remote teams will bring long-term sustainability and long-term value to your organization. The era of remote work is far from over, by creating a superb remote company culture now; your team will attract higher-tier-talent down the line.

Wrapping Up

Feedback from managers to employees is vital. Feedback, also, from employees to managers and organizational leaders is vital. Show your remote teams and remote workers that you truly are dedicated to creating a culture around them by cultivating, hearing, and implementing solutions to feedback provided.

For more information on custom enterprise application development, or anything else related to app development, keep browsing NS804’s content library.

Choosing An Engine For Your Mobile Game, AR, Or VR App

Whether you’re making a mobile game, an AR, or a VR app, you’ll need to choose the right tools for the job. You may prefer to develop your own custom tools or opt for off-the-shelf solutions to save money and time. We’ll focus on the latter and reveal the game engines that can bring your app ideas to fruition.

1. Why You Need A Game Engine For Developing Interactive Experiences

Creating interactive experiences such as games, AR, and VR apps is usually a lot harder than developing standard applications. Developers often spend thousands of hours developing, debugging and testing their interactive applications before deployment. With the right tools, they can reduce their costs and time to market (TTM) significantly. And the most suitable tools for making interactive applications are game engines.

What a good game engine brings to the table is a suite of tools that properly integrate with one and another and third-party tools. These tools may include an animator component, audio mixer, content management system, scene graph, shader graph, scripting language, level editor, mesh editor, and tilemap editor, to name a few. While any talented development team can custom develop all these tools themselves, it’s a costly and time-consuming process.

But what makes modern commercial game engines so compelling is their ability to export projects to all the most popular platforms with a single click. Thus, it’s no longer necessary to use multiple programming languages and toolchains when targeting more than one platform.

2. Not All Engines Are Created Equal

The two most popular game engines on the market at the moment are Unity and Unreal Engine. And there’s a good reason for this, as both offer the most comprehensive and robust suite of tools than their competitors. Furthermore, the companies behind these engines, namely, Unity Technologies and Epic Games, are well-funded and invest heavily in their respective flagship tools.

However, the game engine development space doesn’t stand still, and there’s a growing number of alternatives in the market. In recent years, the open-source Godot engine has made significant inroads in this space. It’s a more lightweight alternative to Unity that offers comparable features and tools, especially for developing 2D games. Yet, it doesn’t quite match Unity’s 3D, AR, and VR capabilities and export to as many platforms.

3. Costs Of Using Commercial Engines

The game engine market is incredibly competitive, and that’s forced companies to rethink their pricing policies in recent years. Both Unity and Unreal Engine have a free tier aimed at indie developers that operate on a shoestring budget.

With Unity Personal, an individual or small team development team doesn’t have to pay a cent if they earn less than $ 100,000 in 12 months. And if they make more than that amount, they’ll have to upgrade to the Plus or Pro tier. Unity Plus requires that the developer pay $ 399 per year for one seat, and Unity Pro costs $ 1,800 per year for one seat.

On the other hand, Unreal Engine has an entirely different licensing and pricing model. Developers can choose either the Creators or Publishing License, which are both free to use. Those working on custom, free, internal, or linear projects should choose the Creators License. And for those developing off-the-shelve interactive experiences should opt for the Publishing License. The latter requires that developers pay 5% royalty if their products earn over $ 1 million gross revenue during their lifetime.

4. Cross-Platform Considerations

Most modern game engines make it possible to export to a wide variety of platforms. Both Unity and Unreal Engine development teams work closely with all the leading platform holders. When new game consoles, mobile devices, AR, or VR headsets hit the market, Unity and Unreal Engine will almost always support these from the get-go. So, if you plan to target multiple platforms and future-proof your upcoming project, then you can’t go wrong with either engine.

5. When To Choose An Open Source Engine Over A Commercial Game Engine

In most cases, you’ll want to work with a commercial engine vendor, as they’ll regularly provide the features, updates, and support you’ll need. But an open-source engine could have certain unique features and tooling that’s more suitable for your project. Ultimately, you’ll want to complete your project quickly and efficiently, so choose the right tool for the job.

An open-source engine also allows you to view and change its code, which isn’t possible with most commercial game engines. For example, Unity feels like a black box to most developers because they don’t have access to its source code and can’t comprehend the engine’s inner workings.

6. Why Unity Is The Most Popular Mobile Game Development Tool

Unity has gained a reputation for being a beginner-friendly engine and attracts many would-be mobile game developers. And with the Unity Asset Store, it’s easy for developers to download free and paid 3D models, game kits, sprites, sound clips, scripts, and various other assets to complete their projects quickly and cost-effectively.

Nowadays, over 50% of mobile games have been made with Unity, solidifying the engine’s dominance in this market segment. Furthermore, Unity makes it easy to integrate a wide variety of ad APIs and monetization components and distribute Android games worldwide via a single hub.

7. How Unreal Engine Can Bring Your AR & VR Ideas To Life

Now, Unity’s an adequately powerful engine that should meet the needs of most developers. And the Unity development team has made great strides in improving its performance in recent years. However, it doesn’t quite match the performance and visual fidelity of the Unreal Engine, which is used extensively by triple-A game developers.

If you’re planning on developing an AR or VR app that requires photorealistic 3D visuals, then Unreal Engine is your best bet! And since Unreal Engine users have access to the Quixel Megascan library, it’s a relatively quick and painless process to get hold of various high-quality 3D assets. Moreover, the engine’s versatility makes it a great choice for developers working on architectural, automotive, broadcast, film, and simulation projects.

8. What Development Environments Are Available For ARCore?

With the growing popularity of AR, both Apple and Google have released powerful technologies to help developers. In Google’s case, they’ve released ARCore, which facilitates the creation of compelling AR applications. It’s designed so that developers don’t need extensive knowledge of OpenGL or rendering to bring their applications to life. Furthermore, ARCore seamlessly integrates environmental understanding, light estimation, and motion tracking components.

But what’s of great interest to developers is how ARCore works with their favorite development environments. It fully supports Android Studio and Android NDK and interfaces with Apple’s ARKit to provide iOS support via Cloud Anchors and Augmented Faces. Also, Google provides an ARCore plugin and SDK for Unity and an ARCore plugin for Unreal Engine.

9. Why You Should Work With A Development Partner

It’s no easy task creating an engaging mobile game or a trailblazing AR application. Thus, you’ll need the expertise of a development partner that understands the intricacies of custom development. The right partner will choose the right engine and tools to complete your project as efficiently as possible. And advise you throughout the planning, development, and deployment phases of your app to ensure its success. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create exciting interactive experiences using the latest technologies.

Mastering and Understanding the MVP

Mastering the MVP: Elevating Development Strategy

In every industry and marketplace, there are historically proven and tested tactics and tools. Looking to these proven tactics and tools, then, is helpful in painting a pathway to success in the future for new players in the industry. In the context of app development, one such proven tool, is the MVP. MVP, in app development, stands for minimum viable product. In other words, this is the smallest version of the product your team can produce while accurately representing the functionality of the concept. This sounds relatively simple, but understanding the full breadth of the MVPs role in app-development is vital to creating a strong reputation.

While it may not seem incredibly intuitive at first, the MVP is often what makes or breaks an application. This is because MVPs often act as an introduction to the application concept for any interested parties external to the development team. Therefore, the MVP is extremely weighty in forming opinions about your application prior to its launch. Furthermore, though, MVPs also leave a mark on your reputation as a developer; doubling down on the important role that they serve.

Defining The MVP

As was mentioned above, MVP stands for minimum viable product. This serves an important purpose as providing a universally accepted term for essentially small-scale versions of applications. Having said that, though, there is value to further defining what constitutes an MVP for your specific firm or development team. By further expanding what an MVP looks like for your specific team, everyone should be on the same page.

This type of team and vision alignment builds value into your firm, and will help you in producing more consistently high-quality MVPs that attract, and retain, attention. Further still, with your team aligned to the vision of the project; and everyone on board with what a finished MVP looks like, there will be a reduction in miscommunications.

Develop A Process

Like with any business practice in your organization; once done a few times successfully – it’s time to replicate the process, and the resulting success. This is the same principle behind developing a process for your MVP development. Once your firm or team defines their standards for a finished MVP, then you and your team can reverse engineer the process from there. Standardizing the MVP development process weaves consistency and quality assurance into your application development lifecycle.

A standard MVP development lifecycle is multi-faceted and contains more than a few steps. Commonly, the process begins with the birth of the concept. From there, the driving concept for the application gets nurturing and brainstorming between colleagues until a value-proposition is born. Now, with a driving concept and a value proposition, the real design work begins. This is where designers, developers and programmers start working on the general framework of the application.

These first lines of code, that will eventually compose the MVP, act as the foundation for the application and its entire future. Investing in a strong team of programmers, developers, and designers will ensure that your MVP comes out high-quality, with the important features on display and some level of user-experience design included as well.

The Importance

As should be obvious, the role of the MVP in app development is a robust one. Since the minimum viable product often acts as the introduction to the application-to-be, prioritizing its development leads to higher-quality results. Well, you may be thinking, if the end-user doesn’t ever interact with the MVP; does it really matter how strong it is? The answer is a resounding yes.

While users and players may never interact or even see the MVP, potential investors, advertisers, and partners will all want to see your MVP; before making any sort of decision toward partnering with you or your application. Therefore, its vital to present a strong minimum viable product that accurately showcases the value proposition and core functionalities of your application.

Not only this, but MVPs should also contain a thought-out design and user-experience element. These don’t need to be nearly as thought out as the value proposition or the core-concepts need to be; but their presence will elevate your MVP greatly, and indicate that you’ve thought about these various important features and factors.

Who To Go To For MVP Development

Some appreneurs, however, come to the game without the technical savvy or coding know-how. This though; should never act as a deterrent from entering the application-development industry. Especially with the explosion of the mobile and web application markets over the past year. the opportunity is as bountiful as ever. For the appreneurs who fall into this category; there are plenty of options for you to pursue and launch your application.

There are, of course, freelance options who will come with relatively cheap development rates, and promises of quick turn-arounds. However, working with freelancers, especially on application development projects, always comes with a relatively high-risk. From missed deadlines, to projects that completely fall-through, or finished products that are low-quality or bug-ridden. Before signing on a freelancer, be sure you know the risks involved.

On the other side of the development wall are agencies. Agency developers usually come with a slightly higher price-tag, but their quality and deliverable guarantees are much stronger. Plus, with an agencies support, you will usually have additional support-options that assist you in taking your application all the way from MVP through app-store launch, and even updates and reiterations.

The Benefits of Strong MVPs and Presentations

MVPs are clearly a huge part of the application development world. Their role is expansive and they serve a myriad of purposes. So let’s explore a few more of the benefits that yield from prioritizing a strong MVP presentation. Having a well-developed and well-designed minimum viable product is half the battle; presentation is the other half.

Making sure that your MVP presentation does the value-proposition justice, emphasizes the core-concepts of the application, and brings its main features into the limelight is just as important as having an MVP in the first place. By prioritizing the MVP development, your application will start its journey with a leg-up on competitors. This advantage stems from the interest that strong MVPs garner from external parties, prior to app-launch.

Financing, Investors, and Interest

Financial support, investors, ad partners, and a generally bolstered level of consumer interest in your application all start with a well-developed and thoroughly thought-through MVP. The MVP is arguably one of the most important aspects in application development because of it’s direct correlation with building, generating, and maintaining financial interest from partners, sponsors, and investors.

Therefore, by prioritizing the MVP development in your firm by defining the standards of an MVP for your team, building an MVP development process, and properly packaging your MVP proposals, your firm will be well on its way to long term success with a strong reputation and a formulaic process.

Wrapping Up

There are many tactics and strategies that app developers use to garner support for their projects. The minimum viable product is by far one of the most powerful and impactful tools that developers and designers can produce. This is especially the case as a proper MVP showcases the value proposition and the main features of the application.

For more information on how to begin your app-development journey, or the importance of a strong MVP, keep browsing NS804’s content library. NS804 is the proud mobile app developer of the everyday person, more than happy to help.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A MVP

Ever wondered how much it costs to build a MVP? We answer that question in more detail below and demystify the process of developing a compelling app MVP. Furthermore, we provide a few tips on some of the pitfalls you should avoid.

1. Why The DIY Option Costs More

You’ve decided to build an app MVP but still pondering whether to do it yourself. You may think it will cost you nothing or very little if you forego freelancers or professional development companies. But have you thought about how much your own time is worth? Do you have the technical skills to build a MVP efficiently and complete it on time? And have you considered all the costs associated with designing, developing, releasing, testing, and analyzing data of your MVP?

A competent freelance developer will likely charge you between $ 4,000 to $ 6,000, while a development company will charge you between $ 5,000 to $ 35,000, depending on the complexity of your project. It’s unlikely that you’ll finish your project at a lower price, especially if you don’t have any prior experience.

2. Why Build A MVP Using Professionals

Even if you’ve built an MVP before, you benefit immensely by working with a professional development team. Not only will you have peace of mind that your project will be completed on time, but your MVP will comply with best practices. However, you’ll need to be vigilant about your user testing and quality assurance (QA) processes.

Ensure that your development team is fully collaborating with you throughout the entire development process. And ensure that they’re regularly testing your MVP and that they’re consistently collecting and analyzing data. The last thing you want is the unfortunate scenario where users lose trust in a technology that seemed promising.

3. How To Scale Back An App MVP

You’re likely targeting a niche market with your app MVP. And users in niche markets tend to be early adopters looking for solutions that solve specific problems. Thus, you won’t need all the bells and whistles to attract these users. Instead, focus on the bare minimum of features that your users will find beneficial to save on development costs.

4. How Long Does It Take To Build A MVP

It usually takes between two to four months to develop an MVP. But it can take longer if you’re creating a more complex application. And in most cases, you’ll spend the bulk of your development time building all your back-end systems. Therefore, ensure that your development team has the necessary skills to handle such tasks to avoid unforeseen delays.

5. Why An App MVP Saves You Money Overall

Developing and marketing a mobile application costs a substantial amount of money. But it’s always a huge risk releasing such an application, especially if you haven’t ascertained if it will be successful. That’s why building an MVP makes sense since it allows you to test out your ideas and gather user feedback at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged application. If your MVP gains traction and receives positive feedback from users, you can entice investors to help you scale your app.

Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build a MVP that engages users and impresses investors.