Appy Pie App Development: Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Appy Pie App Development

Little in life comes without compromise. Evidently, this is to say that there are pros and cons to nearly everything. Likewise, there are pros and cons to different app-development solutions. Good ideas in the app industry certainly aren’t exclusive. Everyone and anyone obviously has the potential to come up with impressive ideas. On the contrary, however, not everyone has access to the tools or knowledge needed to execute on those ideas. As such, many have started researching do-it-yourself options for app development. One of the most popular choices for DIY app development is Appy Pie.

Appy Pie is an app-development software that has a variety of options for users to choose from. This software presents their users first and foremost with a spectrum of plans to choose from – each with their own series of add-ons and extra features that the basic free plan doesn’t include. This is important to note because if you’re aiming to develop a sophisticated application; Appy Pie may not offer the tools necessary. There are plenty of ways for someone with a good idea to pursue app development. Even without the domain knowledge. The main ways are hiring a developer, learning the knowledge and developing the app yourself, or using a platform such as this one.

Each of these solutions, however, come with their own challenges, obstacles, and pros as well. In this article, we’ll take a specific look at the pros and cons of Appy Pie.

Getting Into The Pros and Cons of Appy Pie

As mentioned earlier there are pros and cons to everything in life. App development software is no exception to that rule. In taking a closer look at app development through this Appy Pie a clear pattern emerges swiftly. That pattern is one of limited features, outdated themes, and 3rd party reliance. In other words, Appy Pie, even in their highest tiered plan is truly better suited for simple applications that require little-to-no sophisticated features.

The types of applications easily built on this platform are mainly quizzes, or little informational applications. These apps don’t require sophisticated features such as AR, or other more advanced types of technology. Furthermore, the themes and templates available for users feel and look outdated. While they make it easy to use, for simple builds, and ecommerce links, any additional or more robust features require 3rd party coding anyway. Finally, it isn’t always clear how to get the more robust features to function.

Overall, however, the customer-support is timely, and normally helpful.

Final Thoughts

While Appy Pie may offer one of the more inexpensive app development solutions; their limited features make them a difficult option for serious app developers. Appy Pie may very well suit a small business, or someone looking to deliver a quick quiz or informational. However, for more advanced applications, hiring a developer may be a stronger option, as trying to rely on the limited features of Appy Pie would require 3rd party help anyway.

For more information on mobile app development and how to bring your app idea to life, visit NS804 today.

How Do I Update An App: Your Guide To Updating

Updating An App: How, When, and Why

Hardly anything in life is complete. Even when asking famous artists or storytellers, most often they feel work is never complete. Rather, they’ll say something like, “it’s as finished as it’ll ever be.” That’s because eventually; they need to release the work. The same is sort of true with an application. However, the difference is that while applications are also never truly complete; they have the benefit of live-updates. As an important part of the process, developers need to learn how to update an app.

Like with anything, there are a few tricks to the trade. Understanding that the user experience is as at the core of your goal as an app designer will help you make strong design decisions in app development. There are many reasons to run an app update, however, it’s integral to realize that running app updates too frequently pose just as large of a problem as not updating your app enough. There is a sweet-spot for app developers to rolling out app updates on a schedule that’s regular enough to keep things current, without being too constant to deter users.

Update An App With Purpose

There needs to be a clear purpose behind your app updates. This will benefit your user base and elevate user experience if there’s a clear reasoning for updating the app. This is important too, because there are other updates that your team may want to make. However, they can then fold those into that same more vital app update.

Using strategically timed updates will make it easier to control the growth of the application, ensuring that each additional layer is fully functional along the way. Having this ability for redundancy and bug-fixing is vital. It allows your team to build a comprehensive app with a minimal amount of errors.

Some of the main reasons that developers will update an app are for major additions to functionality, major improvements on graphics or designs, or fixes to major bugs or errors that occur. There’s a whole library of other reasons that developers will update an app. Again, however, it’s wise to fold these more minor updates into a more significant update. This is for the users benefit, and ensures that your team is approaching the update process strategically rather than haphazardly.

Feedback

Finally it’s vital to garner feedback after developers update an app. This is for the sake of the application, the development team, the producers, and really everyone involved as a stakeholder. Understanding how users react to your updates is an integral aspect of taking the right developmental steps in the future. It also acts as a way to learn about any bugs that may have been missed, or caused by the updates.

It’s important to update an app regularly, but not constantly. Finding this balance can take a little practice, but then again, practice has always made perfect. For more information on mobile app development or how to update your applications successfully, visit NS804 today.

COVID Shows Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

The Time Has Come: Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

COVID-19 changed a lot. Importantly, however, it also illuminated a lot. In other words, COVID-19 uncovered some truths. One of those truths is that restaurants need their own mobile app. While many industries struggled through the COVID-19 lockdowns, restaurants have been hit especially hard. With limitations on sit-down meals many restaurants aren’t even allowing sit-down customers. On the flip side of that, the mobile app industry is one of the very few that have thrived through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind that it’s far from over for the restaurant industry. A small hiccup in supply chains, and limitations on sit-down customers are merely roadblocks. While the restaurant and service industries might be in a small period of downturn, there’s always a path forward for the innovative, the brave, and the inventive. The restaurant industry is not dying. Rather, it’s shifting. Restaurants are now catering to curb-side-pick-up orders and delivery orders like they have never had to before. However, the environment dictates, to a certain degree, our operations, and the times have called for stronger remote service; even from restaurants. The way to provide this is through a custom app.

Developing A Mobile App For Your Restaurant

As a restaurant there are plenty of options outside of developing your own mobile app. For instance there are services like Ubereats and GrubHub. However, these 3rd party services cut into your profits from delivery and pick-up orders. Not only that, but with their umbrella-service business model, customers can become frustrated as they attempt to get updates about their order. The problems only get worse if something with the order is wrong. On top of that, with these services you don’t have dedicated drivers; meaning food can show up late and cold – reflecting poorly on your restaurant.

Those are just some of the reasons looking into developing your own mobile app for your restaurant is a wise business move. However, that doesn’t even begin to cover the major benefits that developing an app for your restaurant provides. Profit was mentioned briefly in the context that 3rd party delivery services cut into your profits from curb-side and delivery-services. The boost in profit is influenced by more than this factor alone though. By developing your own mobile app for the restaurant you’ve now created a tool to service all of your loyal customers directly.

This is beneficial not only to the restaurant, but for the customers as well. The custom app also provides your marketing team with a whole new platform they can leverage in marketing opportunities to encourage customer downloads. Additionally, this is great for struggling restaurants used to serving a full-house every weekend night. As we all work to maintain our own safety and the safety of others; it’s the simple truth that it is safer for some people to stay inside as much as possible. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant allows you to service this community without putting them at risk.

Even More Benefits

Improving the customer experience is the main focal point of nearly every business operating. The customer experience has become one of the vital elements to running a successful business, and therefore it makes sense that companies are emphasizing it so strongly. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant provides your company a platform capable of elevating your customer experience.

There is a myriad of ways that an app is capable of boosting your customer experience. For example, communication. Communication is integral to developing any relationship – especially the one with your customer. Having a mobile app specific for your restaurant provides you and your customers a direct channel to communicate. Beyond that, using a mobile app specific for your company means having a dedicated fleet of delivery drivers as well; ensuring that food arrives timely and piping hot. While it may sound expensive, the costs related to mobile app development are actually relatively low. The costs are far outgained by profits reaped in the first months after developing a custom mobile app.

Centralizing Management Through a Mobile App

There are other ways to make use of a mobile app in the restaurant industry as well. In addition to boosting profits, a mobile app can help you centralize your management of the restaurant. This includes making it easier to manage a limited amount of reservations and cancellations. Not only that, but it provides easier and more convenient ordering options for all of your customers.

Not only that, but you can even use a mobile app to launch a loyalty program for the customers who can’t get enough of your scrumptious food. All-in-all, developing an app for your restaurant makes you a more competitive restaurant amongst your peers. In a market place as fierce as it is today, any advantage helps.

A Recap on Restaurant Apps

There is a whole myriad of reasons to develop a custom mobile app as a restaurant. Rather than just listing your menu on a 3rd party service company like Ubereats or GrubHub, take control of your customer base by investing in a custom mobile app dedicated to your restaurant alone.

Eliminating 3rd party service-fees that eat into your profits, and replacing an undedicated fleet of drivers with a fleet that specifically services your restaurant will immediately boost profits. As well as the customer experience. On top of that, developing a custom mobile app makes ordering much more convenient for your customers. It also helps you manage pick-up, and delivery orders. All while making it easier to manage reservations.

Finally, beyond an increase in profits, and an uptick in the customer experience, developing a custom app is a strategic move for the future. As 2020 and the COVID-19 virus have shown us, the shift to a virtual age is already underway. Developing a mobile app for your restaurant doesn’t only help today. But it helps prepare you for success in the future as well. Providing a centralized place for your customers to reach you. To order from you, to cash in their loyalty points, and to even leave reviews.

There is really no reason to wait on developing an app for your restaurant. As more and more orders become curbside pickup and delivery, customers are looking for ways to support local restaurants while staying safe and staying inside.

Some Final Thoughts

Developing a mobile app for your restaurant helps centralize your activities, communicate with customers, and operate in a more virtual-world. It will give your customers a place to order and communicate with you, while also acting as a management tool for you and your staff. It’s a process, however, developing a mobile app that’s going to be just right for your restaurant, and your customers. For more information on development services, or how to build a mobile app, visit NS804 today.

NS804 is dedicated to delivering top-shelf knowledge and information on app development, mobile app development and trends in app design. Making mobile app development services more accessible to the everyday inventor with a great idea. Visit NS804 today to take the first step on the path toward developing your first app and turning your idea into a reality.

5 Tips for iOS & Android App Development

Both iOS and Android have had an enormous impact on the business, entertainment, and tech sectors. And both platforms have been embraced by developers and users alike for over a decade. The good news is that the popularity of these platforms will unlikely diminish in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s still worthwhile pursuing app development and investing the necessary resources into applications that will excite users eager for new experiences.

1. The Latest Trends in App Development for 2021

 

Nobody can deny that 2020 was an eventful year, and much has happened in the app development space. Some of the latest trends in mobile app design include advanced animations, convenient voice search, robust aesthetic with rounded corners, and universal device UX.

But in 2021, expect app developers to kick it up a notch with improved design and powerful features. Some of the niceties users should expect; bolder and more colorful visuals, data-oriented design, embossed typography, Face ID integration, hand-drawn illustrations with more natural-looking graphics, and virtual reality (VR). Make sure to take advantage of these trends for your upcoming app to impress and retain users.

2. Supporting iOS and Android

 

In the second quarter of 2020, Apple led the US smartphone segment with a market share of 46%. Samsung came in at a close second with a 25% market share, with LG in third place at 12% and Lenovo Motorola at 7%. Generally, US consumers are satisfied with Apple’s and Samsung’s smartphone offerings. However, given Apple’s higher penetration in the US, you may want to focus on this platform initially to save on development costs if you’re targeting the American market exclusively.

But if you’re planning on releasing your app globally, then you’ll want to support Android. As of October 2020, Android has gained almost 73% of the global smartphone OS market. While it’s a compelling platform, it’s also incredibly fragmented. It’s challenging to offer all Android users the premium experience that they can get on Apple devices.

Unfortunately, most Android users don’t own powerful smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note20, which can provide a comparable experience to the latest iPhones. The hard truth is that the majority of Android devices in circulation are cheap and underpowered. Manufacturers such as Alcatel, Huawei, and Xiaomi regularly release budget mobile devices for the lower end markets. Today’s high-end apps experience performance issues on these phones due to their low memory and weaker CPUs

3. Leveraging Results on iOS

 

Make the most of Apple’s popular platform with these handy tips:

Integrate easy payment options – If you wish to sell products, services, or in-app purchases in your upcoming app, then you should make the payment process frictionless. Integrate Apple Pay and express checkout functionality to make life easier for your users.

Engage users regularly – Ensure that your app has push notifications to notify users about the latest products, promotions, and updates. Better yet, segment notifications to target your users more effectively. For example, you should send notifications to active users, inactive users, and subscribers to make your messaging more personalized.

Gain and track app reviews – Your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy will be a determining factor in the success or failure of your app. You’ll need to gain and track those vital appreneur system reviews from your users by implementing a Call-to-Action (CTA) and app review tracking API.

4. Leveraging Results on Android

 

Take your Androidapp development to the next level with these methods:

Utilize contactless payment options – Nowadays, many smartphone users enjoy the convenience of contactless payments. Integrate Google Pay and Samsung Pay into your upcoming app, and enable their respective Near Field Communication (NFC) features.

Implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) – With over 3 million apps in the Google Play store, it’s getting harder for new apps to stand out. But many successful and top-rated rated apps, such as Google Assistant and Swiftkey Keyboard, are renowned for their excellent AI.

Keep your app relevant – The Google Play algorithm doesn’t respond kindly to uninstalls and user churn. That’s why you should regularly send push notifications and emails to inactive users, encouraging them to try your app again after implementing features and optimizations that they want.

5. Finding the right partner for mobile app development

 

Developing an app that will find success on both platforms and showcase the latest trends in mobile app design is harder than it seems. However, you don’t have to go it alone if you find the right partner. Experienced developers such as NS804 can help you create an app that will cut through the noise.

Furthermore, we can craft an effective CTA that will convert users and gain those essential appreneur system reviews. We can also help out with nasty edge cases, such as dealing with an app rejection from Apple.

I Want To Build An App

I Want To Build An App – Where To Start and the Process

Now is the time to take chances. With the world where it is, so many unemployed, and so much rapid change, there is also a lot of opportunity. Opportunity for new products, new services, and of course, new mobile applications. The mobile app market is one of the few markets that have faired well during the ongoing pandemic. With so many people staying at home, and so much limited contact with one another, mobile app downloads boomed. Across all genres and markets. From mobile app games, to business and communication applications. The market as a whole saw a significant growth. This is great news for budding developers, and first-time app designers, as the market is flush and full of opportunity. However, much like the gold rush, the competition is intense. To build an app today doesn’t take much time – but being unique and valuable enough is tricky.

As mentioned above, the mobile app market is flourishing. However, this means it’s also more saturated than ever before. This translates to a slightly harder path to being a successful application, only because the competition is so fierce. Therefore, making the details of your idea the most important aspect.

In mobile app development, there are a lot of steps to take, even for the simplest of applications. Making the process as easy as possible on the developer means coming to your pitch meeting prepared and armed with tools.

What To Prepare For Your Presentation

The road to mobile app development is a long one, but it all starts with the precious idea. That’s one of the beautiful things that mobile applications and art share; while almost anyone can learn the technique or the style, it’s truly the muse of inspiration that provides a path to unique remembrance or success.

To get the right eyes on your budding mobile app monalisa, you want to approach the developer with a series of information already laid out so you’re able to answer questions they might have.

One of the first things you need to know is what problem your application is solving, or what value it’s providing to the user. This is essentially your value proposition, and can encompass your differentiation statement as well – which is the aspect that makes your mobile app different from others.

Understanding your value proposition will inform what the MVP (minimum viable product) of your application will look like. Having a process plan for the development of the MVP is a great place to begin. To build that plan, it’s wise to divide the development process of your application into various stages. This will also be a good document to present to the developer as it will help them see the various pieces to the puzzle.

Finally, flowcharts on app-functions, visual mock-ups, and user stories are all great additional materials to include in your developer presentation.

A Final Thought

To build a mobile app takes a lot of work, and as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It’s integral to differentiate your application from others on the market.

For more information on how to build an app or how to select a mobile app developer, visit NS804 today.

Boost Enterprise App Productivity With Offline Access

Building a compelling enterprise app can be tricky. It should run well under a wide range of scenarios, even when Internet access isn’t a given. Nowadays, company employees require a seamless online and offline experience in their apps to retain a productive workflow. That’s why every good developer should rise to the occasion by creating applications that have useful offline modes. Below, we provide several pointers on how you should implement offline access for your upcoming app.

1. Using An Enterprise App Anywhere

Developers go out of their way to support as many platforms as possible. Without a doubt, this is a smart move, as it maximizes the reach of their applications. Some users access apps via their desktops, while others prefer to use their mobile devices. But it doesn’t end there, as there’s a growing number of applications developed for the web.

If you’re embarking on enterprise app development, then you’ll want to follow a multiplatform strategy. After all, a company’s employees utilize a plethora of devices during their day-to-day work. But it’s vital to take things a step further by allowing for offline access. There’s nothing worse than for employees to have their work interrupted while the Internet’s down or when encountering connectivity issues.

2. Offline Access Is A Necessity

Even if your app’s online features are indispensable, always have a backup plan for when Internet access is unavailable. Furthermore, design your app to function when the Internet’s slow or when users experience connectivity issues.

Your enterprise app development strategy should encompass what apps company employees use throughout their day and how they use them. For example, some employees may need to make changes to data when offline. Developing the enterprise app with an offline-first design methodology means that it won’t need to access the backend server to implement these data changes.

Also, consider the many benefits that building an offline app brings to the table. Users prefer to retain apps on their mobile phones that have offline functionality. Offline apps load faster and use less battery than their online counterparts, which most millennials appreciate. Furthermore, users located in regions with slow or no access to the Internet can actually use your offline apps, giving you an edge over competitors that don’t have this feature.

3. Choosing Which Features To Offer Offline

During the enterprise app development process, you’ll need to prioritize certain features over others. And this is especially true when deciding what features must run consistently during your app’s offline mode. Making the correct design decisions can make or break your app, so choose wisely. Focus on mission-critical features essential to the smooth operation of the enterprise. Furthermore, study employee workflows carefully to determine what features serve them best.

If you’re developing e-commerce, file upload, money transfer, news, and on-demand delivery apps, then you should implement robust offline modes. When users lose Internet access, allow your apps to store mission-critical data offline. And when they gain access again, the apps will automatically complete or queue up all transactions and file transfers.

4. Handling A Push Notification App With Offline Use

When mobile users are offline, they won’t receive your push notifications. And this is unfortunate, as these notifications can help retain your existing app users. That’s why you’ll need to develop your push notification app with offline use in mind. Utilize a versatile analytics platform, such as Kumalos, which allows you to analyze how users engage with your app. By studying user data, you can carefully craft and schedule your push notifications so that they’re engaging and meaningful.

Alternatively, save user device information and whether or not they’re online in a server-side database. Detect when users get back online and run an automated request on your server to deliver the relevant push notifications they missed while offline.

5. Reduce Enterprise App Frustrations

Users expect apps to run flawlessly, especially in an enterprise environment. While they can put up with the odd bug that will be fixed in the next update, they don’t like dealing with apps that break entirely or slow them down. Don’t allow company employees to miss important deadlines because your app can’t perform specific tasks offline.

Communicate what features users can access while offline through the User Interface (UI). Moreover, make it easy for users to quickly see what functionality they have available without breaking their workflow. Apart from updates, ensure that your push notification app delivers the latest notifications that users missed out on earlier.

6. Decide How Much Users Can Store Locally

Nowadays, most smartphones come with a generous amount of storage space. But this doesn’t mean that all that space is available for your enterprise app development projects. Most users store documents, music, and videos that eat up much of their smartphones’ available storage.

When building your upcoming app with offline functionality, ensure that you only store essential data locally. If you’re developing an e-commerce app, store the most popular products offline for users to peruse. And if you’re creating a money transfer app, keep details of the recipient on the phone until completion of the transaction.

7. Saving The Current State When Suddenly Going Offline

Internet outages often happen when you least expect them. So make sure that your enterprise app saves the current state during such a scenario. Implement a dynamic or static cache, or even both, depending on the type of data your app handles. Data that’s updated regularly is stored in the dynamic cache, while data that doesn’t change often gets stored in the static cache.

Many apps utilize real-time data synchronization, which works well when online but not ideal when offline. However, there are workarounds, such as implementing modern synchronization protocols that facilitate specific data updates during offline mode. Do keep in mind that data synchronization comes with its own set of challenges. Too much syncing will drain a device’s battery quickly, whereas too little syncing increases the risk of losing data and missing important updates.

8. Create A Seamless Online And Offline Enterprise App Experience

Take a look at some of the best and most-used apps, and ask yourself what they have in common? Whether it’s Google Maps, Netflix, or Spotify, all these applications provide users with excellent offline modes. Users feel confident using these apps because they offer a stable and seamless experience both online and offline.

Focus your efforts on unifying both the online and offline aspects of your app. And don’t skimp on the User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) either, as you’ll need a consistent look and feel for its entirety. Your users should never feel like they’re using a completely different application when they go offline. Instead, they should enjoy using your app both online and offline regularly.

Final Thoughts

Several of the most successful and widely-used applications function flawlessly when online and offline. While there are many challenges in developing apps that provide a seamless experience, it’s worth the effort to meet and surpass user expectations. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can help you develop engaging apps with powerful offline features.

4 Valuable Business Lessons To Take From COVID

One lesson that 2020 has taught us is that remote teams have never been more vital for enterprises. With the emergence of the COVID pandemic, many business leaders had to embrace strategies they hadn’t considered before. It was time to make rapid and radical changes to respond to the “new normal.” Worldwide lockdowns combined with a volatile political climate and civil disorder have defined the year. Inevitably, these events have transformed the world and the business environment forever.

Many organizations expanded their remote teams by moving their existing office staff into remote work positions. And while there’s always the possibility that staff will slack off when working from home, technology alleviates this problem. By implementing a work from home mobile app, it’s easy to keep track of assigned tasks that staff members must complete. Below, we share several business lessons that should prove valuable moving forward.

1. Remote Teams Can Be Just As Efficient

 

Traditional organizations with rigid top-down hierarchies aren’t usually enthusiastic about remote work initiatives. Unfortunately, they believe that their staff can’t be productive if they don’t come into the office. But with the emergence of agile environments and flat organizational structures, remote teams have become indispensable.

And these teams can be just as efficient as office workers with the right strategies. By clearly defining guidelines regarding etiquette and work processes, reducing the duration of online meetings, and utilizing the right applications for specific team functions, it’s possible to empower remote teams so that they surpass expectations.

2. Use Mobile Apps To Stay In Contact With Customers

 

Most of your customers own smartphones, which opens up many communication and outreach opportunities. And these customers are accustomed to downloading mobile apps from their favorite companies. They enjoy purchasing goods and services, receiving customized deals, and giving feedback through these apps. However, consider the latest trends in mobile app design to keep customers engaged. It’s important to give them the control they crave to increase user retention.

3. Businesses Need A Work From Home Mobile App

 

Remote workers need the right infrastructure to perform at their best. They require applications, such as cloud storage services, project management systems, team collaboration tools, time management trackers, and video conferencing apps, to name a few. However, consider developing a work from home mobile app that delivers unique functionality unavailable in existing solutions. However, don’t skimp on the User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX), as these increase user retention and satisfaction.

4. Prepare Flexible Business Models For All Scenarios

 

It’s no secret that 2020 has been incredibly tough on businesses throughout the world. But the smartest organizations have prepared flexible business models to deal with an unpredictable business climate.

Consider the Parisian restaurateur that feels like the walls are closing in on his business. The constant lockdowns have made him question his future prospects. Does he continue to stay open, shut down, or go on a temporal holiday? Or does he repurpose his restaurant for takeaways while marketing through digital channels? The latter option may save his business and make it even more prosperous than before. But he wouldn’t have been able to consider this option without deliberating all possible scenarios.

In Conclusion

 

The COVID pandemic has transformed our world and made us question the way we do business. Organizations, large and small, have had to embrace rapid digitalization to weather the storm. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can implement the latest trends in mobile app design for your upcoming application.

Must Know Mobile App Design Trends For 2021

Every appreneur needs to embrace the latest trends in mobile app design to stay ahead of the curve. Technology always brings about exciting developments that set the tone for the coming years. If we study the mobile app design trends for 2020, we concur that mobile apps have matured and become refined. However 2021 promises a lot more than just refinement, as we’ll reveal below.

1. Latest Trends In Mobile App Design

 

With the year coming to an end, we’ll quickly go over the mobile app design trends for 2020. Even though it was a tumultuous year, technology continued its evolutionary path. We all had the opportunity to enjoy advanced animations, convenient voice search, enhanced aesthetics, personalized dashboards, and universal device UX in our mobile apps. So, it wasn’t an entirely terrible year for either developers or users.

But what mobile app industry trends do we have to look forward to in 2021? We can expect further improvements in aesthetics and UX design, with better layering and use of art assets. But beyond the enhanced visual elements, mobile app technology will take another leap forward.

Further AI integration, adoption of mobile commerce, growth of 5G, improved security, marketing via instant apps, and more cloud-based storage options will define app development in the coming year. Furthermore, the number of target platforms will grow due to the gradual adoption of foldable and wearable devices. While the mobile app design trends for 2020 proved beneficial, we’re incredibly excited about what 2021 brings forth.

2. Incorporate AI Into Apps

 

AI has become commonplace in many mobile applications in recent years. But like all good mobile app industry trends, we can expect further adoption of AI in 2021. And there’s a good reason for this, considering that AI enhances a wide variety of useful applications.

Think about the apps that make your life easier and how they automate mundane tasks. Whether it’s autocorrecting your text, becoming your digital assistant, or sorting large data sets, AI has become an integral component. Be sure to incorporate AI into your upcoming apps to provide users with the functionality they crave.

Furthermore, you can enhance existing features with AI. For example, you can improve an app’s UI with the addition of conversational AI, which notifies users about new products and services based on their behavioral patterns via the UI.

3. Consider The Growing 5G Trend

 

We’re right on the cusp of the wide adoption of the fifth generation of cellular technology (5G). And it’s quite a big deal because it will radically transform all industries on a global scale. From the communications industry through to the farming sector, 5G will help solve many real-world problems.

But what does this mean for mobile users and developers?

Users can download high definition movies at rapid speeds and stream immersive gaming content that would only run on powerful devices. Undoubtedly, this presents opportunities for developers to create more engaging applications than ever before. Developers can now deliver compelling AR, VR, and XR experiences without worrying about network bottlenecks.

4. The Rise Of M-Commerce

 

It’s no secret that e-commerce has changed consumer purchasing habits forever. But it won’t end there. Many mobile users realize that they can enjoy the benefits of online shopping directly on their smartphones. And the statistics from the US market show a lot of promise about the future of mobile commerce.

According to Episerver, 53% of US consumers use their smartphones to shop online. And according to Statista, almost half of consumers prefer to conduct product research via mobile retail apps, while Emarketer expects US mobile commerce sales to reach $432.22 by 2022. Savvy developers should implement the latest trends in mobile app design for their upcoming m-commerce solutions.

5. Increased Interest In Folding Devices And Apps

 

The recent releases of the Microsoft Surface Duo, Moto Razr, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip have certainly raised eyebrows. These devices offer their unique take on the much desired folding capability, which enhances mobility and versatility.

Developers have started optimizing their existing mobile apps to take advantage of these foldable screens. But many users will probably delay buying folding smartphones until they’re cheaper, slimmer, and more durable. However, we should expect improvements in 2021 that will entice users to make the jump.

6. More Cloud-Based Storage

 

One of the most common mobile app industry trends involves cloud-based storage. While cloud storage is hardly new, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be relevant in 2021. Developers will continue to rely on the cloud to sync and store data for their mobile applications. Moreover, users enjoy the convenience of cloud storage, which allows them to use the same apps on various devices without losing their work once they switch to another device or run out of power.

7. Improved App Security

 

With an ever-growing number of users relying on banking and m-commerce apps, it’s essential to improve app security. And with the increased frequency of data breaches, users have become more discerning about what apps they’ll download. That’s why developers need to implement cryptography, encrypt their source code, perform security checks, reduce sensitive data storage, and secure the backend to mitigate security issues.

8. Marketing With Instant Apps

 

Android Instant Apps have increased in popularity because they allow users to try out apps without downloading them. All a user has to do is click on a web link on Google Search to open an Instant App. Furthermore, users can conveniently share pages from an Instant App via social media, which opens a ton of marketing opportunities.

Businesses operating in competitive markets can leverage Instant Apps to sell products and services due to their seamless nature. Apple’s iOS 14 introduces App Clips, which offers similar functionality to Android’s Instant Apps.

9. Designing For Wearables

 

When considering the latest trends in mobile app design, we can’t help but think of wearables. Nowadays, many people wear smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Samsung Galaxy Watch, to name a few. Even traditional watchmakers such as Fossil have introduced their own range of smartphones. And while Apple leads this market segment, we can expect Android smartphones to grow in popularity during 2021.

These wearable devices present many opportunities for developers to engage users in unique ways. After all, these users choose wearables because they like to stay connected while exercising, running, and swimming. They want to receive calls, messages, and social media notifications, even when they don’t have their smartphones nearby. Thus, developers should add functionality that facilitates ongoing communication for smartwatch owners in their upcoming apps.

In Conclusion

Mobile app industry trends present new opportunities and challenges for developers. 2021 promises to bring a plethora of exciting trends that we’ve covered in detail above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create mobile apps that engage and enthrall users.

What’s Involved In Maintaining A Mobile App?

Input cost is always a primary consideration when embarking on the app development journey. That makes sense when a simple mobile app costs about $37,500 while a complex app is north of $500,000. Undoubtedly, designing and developing an app is a substantial investment that company leaders need to comprehend. But they also need to understand the importance of maintaining their applications after releasing them.

User expectations have risen considerably, and they seldom put up with buggy, obtrusive, and unengaging apps. That’s why it’s vital to listen to user feedback and roll out the necessary bug fixes and content updates. However, this is an ongoing process that increases the likelihood of — keeping users hooked — when done correctly. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at what’s involved in maintaining a mobile app.

1. App Development Is Ongoing

 

Pushing an application out the door is only part of the app development process. And the reason for this is that an app is never truly finished if it’s going to enjoy long-term success. There’s no shortage of applications in the App Store and Google Play, which means that users have an almost endless amount of options. Therefore, they’ll quickly delete lackluster apps to make space for those that seem more promising.

Many users have no qualms about removing applications that have intrusive in-app purchases, poor UX, security vulnerabilities, technical issues, unnecessary features, and when they lack content or violate user privacy. However, you can avoid or reduce the frequency of these issues by regularly rolling out updates for your apps.

2. Hidden Mobile App Costs

 

Developing applications comes with its fair share of hiddenmobile app costs. Back-end hosting, gathering user feedback, keeping up with OS updates, maintaining a developer account, supporting new devices, and providing maintenance and support, all cost time and money. Since an app requires regular updates during its life cycle, the costs of maintaining and supporting it may exceed its initial development costs.

3. Listening To User Feedback And Requests

 

The apps that succeed are those made by developers that take user feedback seriously. That’s why you should always be listening to user feedback and responding to their requests timeously. Look out for reviews left by experts and regular users in the app stores, and always make sure to respond with the necessary bug fixes, updates, or replies.

Their feedback will also help shape your app since you’ll gradually implement features and improvements that users want. Furthermore, by understanding user behavior you won’t waste resources on unnecessary content and features.

4. Pushing New Content

 

It’s vital to keep users engaged so that they don’t lose interest in your app. A good way to achieve this is by pushing new content at regular intervals. And one of the most efficient ways to notify your users about these changes is with push notifications. But there’s a push notification cost that you’ll need to consider. While several analytics platforms and vendors offer a free tier to help you get started, eventually, you’ll need to invest in a paid service to increase your reach.

The Bottom Line

 

Maintaining a mobile app is an essential part of the app development process. And doing it right means that you’re ascertaining all the hidden mobile app costs and listening to user feedback. Furthermore, you’re taking advantage of push notifications and applying the right strategies to keep your push notification cost as low as possible. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop and maintain engaging mobile apps.

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Remote Teams

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Remote Teams During and Post COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 is far from over. In fact, we don’t yet know how far into the future the effects of COVID-19 will be seen. Some would say forever. Whether or not this proves true, one thing is certain: the shift to a remote workforce and the digital age is in a period of rapid acceleration. Therefore, businesses and organizations all across the globe have been making the shift to a remote workforce. With that shift, however, there are new workflows. New communication tools. And other new tactics that your company needs for managing remote teams.

First and foremost, with a remote workforce there are certain perks your company can use to their advantage. For instance, when managing a remote team, your company can utilize a much more flexible schedule. With employees at home, there isn’t as much pressure or urgency to get things done in a certain timeframe; and therefore tasks can be accomplished throughout the entire span of the day, and even into the night, without staff feeling overwhelmed.

A Decrease In Time-Wasters Improves Efficiency

Additionally, a decrease in “time-wasting” activities that only affected in-person staff improves efficiency. One such example is the commute to-and-from-work. Without a daily commute, employees are able to spend more time with their families and in their own home. This, therefore, leads to a stronger sense of work-life-balance, and a happier employee overall.

On average, remote employees are happier and have a better sense of work-life-balance, which usually leads to stronger performances at work. The mood of a staff-member directly affects their productivity, meaning that in the case of managing a remote team, your staff, on average, could have a significantly higher rate of productivity.

Understanding Expectations When Managing Remote Teams

When hiring or transitioning to a remote workforce, one of the core principles is to establish expectations. This is the same as it would be with in-person workers. However, it’s important to have a clear understanding of expectations from the very beginning when managing remote teams. While communication is important in every relationship context, it is specifically vital to managing a remote team. There is a lot of nuance to communication in-person. Between body-language and other non-verbals. However, most communication in a remote environment is non-visual. Hence why communication is so vital to managing remote teams.

Additionally, since many companies are utilizing more flexible scheduling with remote teams; it’s logical that expectations need to be set on both sides of the coin. These details should include things like time-commitment, weekly tasks, compensation, and everything else that would define the employees role and their relationship to the company.

Emphasizing Communication

As discussed above, communication is an integral aspect to any and every relationship. No matter the context. In managing remote teams, communication is more than essential. It truly is a vital aspect of successful teams working remotely. Correspondingly, then, it goes to reason that companies shifting to a remote workforce would want to implement business applications for communication. There are a myriad of business applications that your company can choose to use for communicating internally and externally.

Internally speaking, Slack is extremely popular as a part instant-messaging and part-email communication solution. Zoom is another company that has blown up astronomically since the onset of the pandemic. With global companies, domestic companies, and everyone in between needing reliable and consistent video conferencing capability; Zoom saw an unbelievable amount of growth in 2020, and set some records for themselves while at it.

There are many other internal communication solutions that you can implement for your remote staff, and even softwares that allow you to set up incentives for your team. This lets the culture of your company thrive even in a remote setting post COVID-19. Some incentive-based-softwares for remote teams are all managed by the leaders and decision makers, while others encourage and promote inter-colleague connections.

In other words, colleagues and co-workers can reward each other on a job well done with an internal currency that can then be redeemed for prizes, gifts, vacations, or even donated to a charity of the recipients choice. These are all great solutions to keep your company culture alive, and incentivize your remote staff to keep working hard and hitting goals.

Providing Some Structure When Managing Remote Teams

While flexible schedules and a stronger sense of work-life-balance are great; business is business, and work needs to get done. To help provide some structure to your remote staffs workweek or work-day, and to ensure that tasks are being accomplished managers and team leaders can schedule regular check-ins.

These check-ins might mimic the exact structure of a daily or weekly check-in that you’d conduct in the office. The only difference being that these check-ins occur remotely. Whether that be via a phone call, or a quick video-chat, a swift one-on-one with each of your remote workers is a great way to not only connect about work, but also get to know your workers and ensure they’re doing okay during these trying times.

Encourage Team Building and Team Bonding

Just because the world is shifting to a digital age and a majorly remote workforce, doesn’t mean that team members can’t connect and bond with one another. There are plenty of options for managers overseeing remote work teams who are looking for ways to bond the team. Some examples might be a virtual film-showing, or a remote happy-hour. Another popular choice is the remote pizza party.

However, while there’s nothing wrong with any of the above choices, staff and employees often enjoy trying something new. Being creative with team bonding exercises has gotten a little harder with the pandemic limiting so many options. Yet, where there’s a will, there’s a way, as the old saying goes.

For instance, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) can be an excellent team-building and team-bonding activity. For starters, D&D is all about a group working together, and usually overcoming a few character flaws or group-issues as well. But beyond that, good D&D campaigns, or even one-shots, require the team to think outside the box, put together some creative solutions, and ultimately work together. All in the context of having a good time, and maybe a few drinks.

Use Project Management Tools

While there are some differences and adaptations to managing remote teams, there are some similarities too. For instance, your managers can likely use the same project management software or project management tools that they were using in person. Transitioning to a remote use of these project management softwares is really simple, and they are already built for it, making it an easy and simple transition.

Using project management software when managing remote teams will allow you to set daily and weekly to-do lists, and share updates on project timelines with the whole team.

Wrapping Up

The world is changing rapidly. The shift to a virtual age and a digital workforce is upon us. Many companies are already prepared for the remote environment. Many others are preparing for the shift. Either way, it’s important to be able to properly manage a remote work team and remote customers.

For more information on the shift to the digital age, or managing remote teams, visit NS804 today.