Social Media App Development: The Overview and Trends

The social media revolution has dominated the first ten years of the online world. Therefore, there is no doubt that with the widespread use of smartphone devices and the advancement in tech solutions, people want to create a social media application.

Users across the world are active on social networking platforms. Users are keeping in touch with distant relatives and friends, sharing professional information on LinkedIn, and exchanging all sorts of information. Social networking has emerged as a new frontier in the online space. In recent years, the situation continues to take a fresh turn due to an increase in the number of smartphone users.

In 2020, the world has gone mobile with 3.5 million mobile users globally. Just 200,000 shy of the world’s population uses their mobile phones to play games, surf the internet, and most importantly communicate and share information with other users. Targeted social media platforms have already transformed the development field. This has caused a surge in social media usage across the world.

The extremely high demand for superior social media apps results in new products being developed at every turn. In addition, new apps are being launched on the market daily. The revamped competition combined with the presence of big boy brands like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram forces start-ups to seek new solutions. Furthermore, it forces enterprises to keep up with new trends to win clients.

Overview Of Social Media Development

For time immemorial, humans have always been social creatures. As such, people have developed ways of communicating with one another – from the use of smoke signals to advancements ushered in by the ever-growing internet use. All these styles of engagement make up the history of social media development as demonstrated by the following sequential stages. So, let’s take a quick glance.

  • Ancient History – Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians used smoke signals by day and beacon fires at night to convey information. The first regular postal system was established in Iran in 550 BC.
  • Beginning of the 18th – 19th Century – The use of the telegram system in 1792, pneumatic post in 1865, radio 1891, and telephone 1890 were the main highlights of this century.
  • 20th Century – Christened “the dawn of the new century”, the 20th century ushered in exciting developments. These developments included: Extensive of Email 1966, Arpanet 1969, Usenet 1979, Six Degrees 1997, LISTSERVE 1986, and Blogger 1999.
  • Millennium – The millennium was the cornerstone of 21st-century communication. This period saw massive developments in innovative technologies such as Wikipedia 2001, LinkedIn 2003, Friendster 2002, YouTube 2005, Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006, Netlog 2009, and Google+ 2011.

The social world has solidified the definition of social media as to where social interactions are powered by the online world. Social media provides a digital space that facilitates online engagements, making it possible to build small communities of friends and peers.

Social Media Development Trends

To design a social media app that will be competitive, you need to equip it with trendy features that will make it stand out. These trendy features and designs are becoming a necessity particularly for start-ups that want to ignite touches with online users. So, what important social media development trends should you look out for?

Let’s take a look:

1. Messengers Outdo Mobile And Desktop-oriented Applications

In 2020, the creatively adaptive design of social media websites is not adequate to cut it anymore. Communication resides in messenger – rapid, mobile and focused around a specific product feature that distinguishes each from other available apps. A desktop version of your social media app will find its audience. However, the focus must be shifted towards rounding off the corners of your mobile version to reap maximum benefits.

2. Virtual Social Platforms

In the past decade, virtual and augmented reality features embedded in social media apps used to be quite unfathomable. However, in 2020, with the advent of KitKat and the ARCore for android, app developers now have a classic opportunity to introduce virtual elements. In social media, the demand for virtually supported social media elements is on the rise but there’s still a lot of space for innovation since these technologies are at their nascent stages.

3. P2P Payments

Online payments systems are being integrated into virtually all pieces of software due to their convenience. A social media application might seem like the least likely place to benefit from. However, peer-to-peer payment systems are an incredible feature particularly when you want users to interact with other people. Snapchat, Skype, and Facebook messenger are already using embedded online payment systems, with WhatsApp planning to incorporate the same.

4. Cross-Platform Development

Native development has its advantages. Unfortunately, it also has its downside and costs that businesses can avoid if they opt for cross-platform development. Unless you want your social media application to be tailored specifically to a particular platform, you can access platforms like Xamarin, Flutter, React Native and other tools to see if they can suit your needs. Most importantly, platforms make the design process faster and easier without compromising on the quality of your design. For app development solutions from experienced vendors, you can contact platforms like NS804, your development partner from conception to completion.

5. AI-Powered Functionality

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve user experiences, reduce expenses and improve business analytics. In social media applications, these technologies are most useful in technical support, chatbots, and other platforms requiring facial recognition. Embedding machine learning and AI-powered tools will yield better functionality in terms of security, user experience, and customer relationship management.

6. Content With A Short Life Cycle

The estimated concentration span for desktop content is 2.5 seconds, compared to mobile phone users who spend 1.7 seconds on any piece of content. The concentration span users have on social media continues to decline each year as documented by reliable sources. Keeping aside these statistics, account for this fact when developing any social media app. You need to account for both how large a piece of content is, and how long it’s available for viewing. Keeping the content focused and succinct will garner more viewership as targeted users browse the social media channel for feeds.

7. Functionality For Business Accounts

Content marketing is inevitable. So, businesses must learn to use available social media platforms to promote their products. Therefore, apps that embed this particular functionality are likely to win a broader audience and gain loyalty points. Business functionality can greatly vary depending on the type and nature of social media applications. Therefore, give your users sufficient tools to track likes, visits, reblogs, and similar activities inherent in your platform.

The Growing Relevance of Social Media Apps

Single-purpose apps offer a wealth of benefits particularly to enterprises that want to gain an edge. The first advantage is there is a 100% chance of hitting your target market. It’s also easier to find relevant and necessary information, whether product information, price, or promotional information.

The social media app is a convenient way to promote and to stay in touch 24/7. Social media applications extend a classic opportunity to connect and pool together brand enthusiasts, creating a group of like-minded individuals. For users, it is possible to create helpful, entertaining, and interesting media content, anywhere and anytime. You can share it with friends, colleagues, and anyone else – anytime.

Contact NS804 for a timely solution in your social media app development journey.

New App Design Ideas: Types Of Life Saving Apps

Coming up with new app design ideas can be a headache. It seems as though whatever idea you come up with someone has already done it, possibly very similar to your idea too. We’ve all been there, but a true appreneur and even enterprise level developers should see it as a positive challenge.

Don’t become too focused on coming up with a completely new app design idea or concept. Sometimes putting your own unique spin on an existing idea is exactly what the market needs.

1. Tracking Patient Data

Often users will favor an app because of a single part of its functionality. Tracking patient data apps are in abundance, but this can mean there is demand in the niche. Find out what users love about existing design ideas, and add your own unique value to the app.

Medication conflicts, auto suggestions based on symptoms entered or even statistics on if a patient’s visits are becoming more frequent. This will enable you to create a new app design idea from an existing one.

2. Health Monitoring With A Wearable

Similar to tracking patient data apps, health monitoring apps are everywhere. But many fall short of any real use case and don’t meet the requirements of users. How does someone monitor health effectively just using a mobile app? They require too much user input and don’t give enough information in return.

Generic push notification apps like those for this use case can become ignored and unnoticed, not useful if you have a health problem. An application can thrive by utilizing the extended functionality that monitoring with a wearable can bring. Wearables are no longer limited to just watches, there are many new devices bringing health monitoring to the next level.

3. Manage Specific Diseases

With the extended development into new wearables, there might be a demand for a specific disease or condition that can now be monitored effectively. It’s all about the niche, in modern app development trying to have a broad coverage leaves many lost in the pool of others.

Look into specific diseases and health conditions supported by new technology advances. Find out who is being left out, see what their struggles are and where the pain point lies. This will enable you to create an app with a good use case and be an early presence in the niche.

4. Personal Medical Reference

The actual app design in regards to UI and UX can also be a factor when creating a new app design idea. Medical reference apps that show first aid, cpr and allergy symptoms are already on the market. But often the information is not presented well and confusion could cause more harm than good.

Apprenuers might have the development capabilities, but design and user experience can suffer. Enterprise level development companies like NS804 are veterans and bring expertise that is highly important. A modern UI presenting the information in a clear way can be a new idea in itself. Especially when conveying crucial information about a topic such as life saving techniques like CPR.

5. Mental Health Reach Out

A hot topic currently. The pandemic of covid-19 has had a big impact on people’s mental health, and it’s a rising issue in general modern day already. Apps with instant messaging, video and other forms of communication that allow social connections are top of the app store.

Being able to reach out with confidence with a mental health issue to a support point can be exactly what people need. Providing an app that connects with professionals, counselors and others to aid in mental health treatment will be a powerful and helpful service in modern day.

6. Emergency Health Details

Diabetics have special jewelry designed to give details on their condition and people with certain allergies have similar items. There are an uncountable number of allergies; some people are even allergic to the medicine supposed to help. This is why there is a need for these items. Apps can also fulfill this role and there is a big demand for it, they can open it up for many more emergency health details.

Health details need to be available in case of an emergency, ER teams and first responders know to look out for this information. They even check phones for emergency contacts like relatives. Apps can support everyone, no matter what health condition Android and IOS app design ideas can support apps on lock screen.

7. Travel Medical Records

Health details are important. When travelling it can be crucial especially if you have a health condition to keep accurate details on what medication or allergies it entails. Medication and allergies can translate very well into a majority of languages.

Having an app that can store your medical records, and offer translations into other languages can be very valuable to many. Diabetic, asthmatic, allergic to paracetamol, for example, can all have very severe effects if the wrong medication is administered.

8. Symptom Tracking

Searching up symptoms can leave people in dismay. The results can often always point to the worst case and be unhelpful. A journaling style app could not only assess symptoms, but also track them across a time period and make suggestions based upon the data provided.

This can become a new app design idea, if you give the option to also change suggestions based upon location for example. Tracking diseases and illnesses could advise on a course of action in early stages that a hospital visit is required. It could alternatively insist medical advice is sought out from a pharmacist about helpful medication. (If you are concerned about symptoms, it is always best to seek medical help promptly).

9. Telemedicine

Telemedicine is becoming popular; it is even starting to be offered on benefit plans by companies. On top of medical apps available there are new app design ideas around this new innovative way to seek doctors’ advice. To a certain extent a doctor can make a good assessment of a patient’s condition over video as if they were in the same room.

The importance of remote health visits too is accessibility. They save time for everyone, and you could have a 15-minute doctor’s appointment before going to work in the morning. They can provide those with difficulties of getting to a doctor a much-needed way to get help and advice.

10. Nutrition Coaching

Forget diet apps. This is where you really need a unique spin on an idea in the oversaturated niche that is nutrition. Create a new app idea with customized approaches to improving overall nutrition based on current health and goals. Instead of dieting it can be a way of helping people understand what vitamins and other nutrition they are lacking or missing out on.

Tracking nutritional information like iron, magnesium, vitamin A B C and even fat or sugar intake can help with overall health. This avoids the app sounding like another conventional diet fad, and instead gives value where the user feels they are improving themselves and living healthy.

11. Custom Fitness Coaching

There has been a huge surge in downloads in custom fitness apps, this is mostly due to the pandemic. A new idea has sprouted and there is a common trend amongst the top downloaded. Both general fitness and customized fitness apps have introduced videos. This allows the app’s content to be truly unique from others on the market.

People use videos online for their fitness, the added benefit of an app is the extra functionality it can provide. Not only can it supply the videos, but the user can opt to tailor the course and content to their style and track certain metrics or statistics. The app can offer incentives like goals and achievements to boost morale, often needed to increase engagement and sustain continued use of the app.

At NS804 we understand the challenges of new ideas and user engagement. If you have an idea or are looking to discuss any app related development Get in touch. Let us turn your ideas into what could be a life saving app!

App Development Trends: The Rise Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has taken the world by storm. What has particularly led to the rise of m-commerce is the ubiquity of the internet, social media networks, search engines, and changing lifestyle patterns. Phones provide convenience and speed over tablets and laptops – turning them into the most preferred way to shop, bank, and browse.

What Is M-Commerce and How Is It Different?

E-Commerce has been around for decades, but it may not be the next true frontier particularly as m-commerce continues to take shape and to become more popular among the millennials. But what is m-commerce and how does it compare to e-commerce? What particularly makes m-commerce quite discrete in the current changing wave of shopping?

Put it simply: m-commerce entails shopping through a mobile phone (or smartphone), while e-commerce entails shopping online through your tablet or the computer. What makes m-commerce different is that it hosts a range of technological advances that make it faster, convenient, flexible and affordable.

Indeed, m-commerce is poised to burst into fame and straight into the limelight courtesy of its exciting features and advanced developments that make shopping quite a rewarding experience. What precisely defines and distinguishes m-commerce is the speed, superior customer experience of viewing and selecting products, as well as the convenience of shopping wherever and whenever you want.

Types of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of small financial-based activities done online. The first type of m-commerce is mobile money transfers that entail broadly transferring or wiring money from one bank to another through mobile platforms. Mobile commerce also entails electronic tickets and boarding passes paid through the mobile phone.

Mobile commerce has revamped particularly due to the growing need to pay transportation fees and finance other ticketing activities solely through the mobile phone. Digital content purchases and deliveries as well as mobile banking are other unique types of m-commerce. Mobile commerce has made it possible for artists and creatives to sell and buy copyrights online as well as support other music distribution activities.

Other types of m-commerce involve coupons, mobile marketing, and in-app payments. For instance, cab-hailing services like In-Driver, Uber, and Bolt have leveraged mobile commerce through in-app payments that enable clients to disburse payments via smartphone devices. Technologists predict that mobile commerce has unmatched potential to become a major shopping channel, and transform consumer shopping habits.

Must-Know M-Commerce Statistics

Insights drawn from trending statistics show that mobile commerce sales will skyrocket to $3.56 trillion by the end of 2021. More than 1 billion mobile phone users use their phones for banking purposes. Mobile devices account for 67.2% of all e-commerce and approximately 68% of the world population owns a mobile device in 2021.

Additional statistics show that 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their phones. In 2020, mobile retail revenues accounted for 339.09 billion. 72.9% of all e-commerce will be mobile commerce by the end of 2021. These statistics show just how a reckoning force mobile commerce will be, particularly as the world ushers in a new frontier of mobile shopping, banking, and browsing.

The Need For A Mobile Shopping App

The sky’s the limit for mobile commerce. Consumers are shopping online, today, than ever before – and this statement holds true across all sectors and industries worldwide. It is no secret that mobile consumption has taken over our lives more than ever before. According to a recent study, 96% of the American population owns a mobile device, while 81% of the population owns a smartphone. Looking around, almost everyone has these devices glued to their hands 24/7.

As a business owner, you need to recognize this trend and adapt. How precisely can you use this new and exciting trend to communicate to consumers, advertise, deliver products, process sales, and receive consumer feedback? Well, here are some top reasons you need a mobile shopping app.

  • Mobile commerce is the new trend – Sales from mobile commerce have taken over the e-commerce industry.
  • Consumers prefer mobile applications – Mobile applications are ubiquitous, they offer speed and convenience thus a special preference for consumers.
  • Gaining a competitive advantage – The e-commerce sector is highly dynamic and ever-changing, making it privy to competitive forces from existing players. To differentiate yourself and make a mark, transitioning fully to mobile commerce will help edge out the competition.
  • Higher conversion – The e-commerce sector thrives primarily due to the ubiquity of markets, social media networks, and mobile devices. Transitioning to an m-commerce model will lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Improving marketing communications – Mobile commerce provides a unique capability because mobile devices rely on AI bots to predict consumer searches and make accurate predictions of future search trends. This automatically leads to improved marketing communications through targeted advertising.

How an M-Commerce App Complements Brick-and-Mortar

The e-commerce boom has transformed the way people bank, shop, and browse. In many cases, this boom has had a deleterious effect on in-store sales. 2018 saw a 3.4% increase in e-commerce sales and a 15% increase in e-commerce. These statistics are a clear indication of the disparity in growth between e-commerce and in-store sales.

The m-commerce complements the brick-and-mortar model because, in in-store experiences, customers can view, buy the product and carry it home. However, what mobile commerce does is that it allows consumers to view the product, analyze the product features (for products that need analysis), and finally make an in-store purchase before the product is delivered. This means that mobile commerce bridges multiple gaps in customer viewing and purchases experiences, thus complementing the brick-and-mortar enterprises.

Android or iOS Development: Use One or Both?

Google and Apple both have fantastic app stores. However, Google is far much superior at app organization and letting consumers know about important information on the home screen. The Android app also hides less useful apps in the app drawer. In addition, Google app widgets are much more useful and functional than Apple’s.

However, due to the growing number of iPhone users, and the growing consumer hype around Apple devices, your mobile app development efforts must address both sides of the divide. This means that using both Android and iOS will ensure that consumers, regardless of their smartphone devices, can enjoy a personalized shopping experience.

Incorporating Secure Financial Transactions

The state of security for mobile commerce is an issue of strategic importance for mobile app developers. Just recently, TalkTalk and Vodafone suffered high-profile breaches making millions of clients privy to fraud and phishing attacks. The leakage of user credentials and personal information not only affects individual users, it impairs retailers who are affected by chargebacks on many fraudulent transactions.

There are three categories of services and applications that help businesses secure their mobile commerce transactions through user authentication. These include mobile environment security, mobile app security, and mobile-friendly user applications. Smartphone devices feature discrete security services and applications that seal them from potential, unauthorized access or infiltration. Incorporating secure financial transactions into the overall m-commerce architecture is a win for both retailers and consumers using mobile platforms.

E-Commerce, ERP And The Changing Face Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has marked a paradigm shift for e-commerce. Previously, e-commerce had dominated online sales and purchase activities, but with changing trends in mobile ownership, the ubiquity of smartphone devices, social networking sites, and changing lifestyle patterns, it is evident that e-commerce has been phased out. The enterprise resource planning will help enterprises to manage their mobile applications particularly as enterprises eye on m-commerce as the next new frontier. In response to this dramatic shift in m-commerce uptake, enterprises are likely to maintain m-commerce applications with changing trends.

What are you waiting for?

Hop into this new frontier for a time-to-value solution for your enterprise.

Current Trends In Mobile App Development: Mobile App Security

In today’s world, security has become paramount in mobile app development especially in securing the user’s data. A breach in mobile security could spell doom for large and small business enterprises as the hackers could gain access to personal data and banking information and live location of its users.

Consumers of Apps depend on organizations to thoroughly test their applications before deployment. They also trust that their data is protected not just from hackers but also 3rd parties like malware. Due diligence is of utmost importance for NS804 as they work to ensure customers have a great experience when using technology.

How to keep data on mobile business apps encrypted

Businesses must keep their data secure from hackers and competitors. These can only be done by creating the best strategy for safekeeping. A formal IT security strategy stipulates how data will be protected and what will be done should anything go wrong. An incident response strategy keeps the business steps ahead.

Good software could come in handy to protect data from malware. In addition to this, applying a firewall and keeping the emails clean from spam will help secure your business data. A business must invest in the best software as it saves you from data recovery costs.

The use of solid passwords would come in handy to keep the wireless network secure. This is done through numbers, letters, and special characters to make it difficult to guess.

Also, all passwords should be safeguarded and kept only by password managers. This action protects employees from remembering them or, worse, writing them down.

Software should be updated regularly and automatically to its latest versions. Hackers enjoy the opportunities that older versions of software pose to exploit vulnerabilities. Security systems should be updated to seal this loophole.

Moreover, it is prudent that the operating systems and other software are to their latest versions.

Lastly, data should be disposed of properly to ensure it does not land in the wrong hands. A Proper data destruction policy should be laid down to ensure data is unrecoverable. It is wise to use a tool that overwrites your data multiple times hence making it unrecoverable.

Why is App testing critical to security?

Mobile App testing is an active process that rigorously analyses an app’s weaknesses, strengths, and vulnerabilities. It is a dynamic process because hackers and potential intruders keep inventing new techniques.

As an enterprise in app development, one should be in touch with the latest design trends in app development. Their motivation could be recognition, money, and even fun.

Most business enterprises experience budget constraints in their lifetime. This is the top reason for the poor security of business mobile applications. Companies need to conduct extensive research when trying to cut costs, especially choosing offshore software developers. A breach in security could lead to customers losing their confidence in an organization.

Subsequently, this could lead to intense damage to a brand name. Reputation is vital even when selling an idea to potential investors. Remediation costs could even be higher than application testing costs.

The right building blocks help to cut down on shortcut costs and keep customers happy. It also eases your work as a developer.

Top 6 Mobile App Security Threats

Mobile application security threats could be classified into different categories: network-based threats, web-based threats, application-based threats, and physical threats.

  1. Insufficient authentication and authorization controls. If the rules are flawed, they allow intruders to execute functionalities in the backend server or mobile application.These modifications could ultimately compromise the backend services. Countering this threat could involve multi-factor authentication to validate a user’s identity on the platform. The use of security questions as well as one-time passwords could come in handy.
  2. Malware has consistently been a common threat affecting apps today because it constantly evolves and takes new forms. The best and easiest way to protect your devices from malware is to avoid getting infected in the first place.Combating this crisis would involve the use of antivirus software. Once installed, ensure it is updated regularly for efficiency. Also, look out for indicators such as Emails opened from unknown IP addresses as this could be a sign of an unknown malware in your computer.
  3. The choice of an operating system (OS) will ultimately affect its performance for the intended job. Small and medium enterprises may find OS expensive to buy and maintain. They are also not entirely secure; hence if an issue occurs, one might lose all the data stored in the system.It would be wise to install the right and secure OS for the intended work and budget for it to avoid shortcuts.
  4. Login security protocol has been a significant mobile app security threat. In mobile app development, it is necessary to provide consumers with a secure way to log in. The user interface should be not only friendly but also secure for its users. This is where trust is built.Also, when a gadget is lost or stolen, one should lock it remotely or engage the remote data wipe feature. The use of multi-level authentication and use of security questions comes in handy to protect consumers. When this is not done, one’s data could be obtained for identity theft, among other crimes.
  5. The Internet of things (IoT) could also present a mobile app threat, especially if a bug is embedded in the system. This is because other connected devices will become corrupted. Moreover, currently, there is no international standard of compatibility for IoT. It presents a problem for devices from different manufactures to communicate with each other.
  6. Lastly, switching between devices poses a security threat in the sharing of data such as passwords. For this reason, some of the best practices in mobile app development require one to secure the app and consumers’ data.In the event a person logs in from a different device, further authentication procedures should follow. End-to-end encryption of data ensures data is protected from unauthorized access.

Manufacturers of mobile devices have gone a step further to secure their devices and give consumers a great customer experience. The use of phone locks has facilitated this. A person can draw a pattern, input their password or use their fingerprint to unlock a device.

Moreover, Android users have a feature to help them “find my device.” This has proven to be helpful, especially for clients in areas prone to theft of mobile devices.

Mobile App developers have also upgraded their data encryption to allow only authorized users access to the devices’ information. A robust hardware device will be best compatible with reliable software.

In summary, current trends in mobile app developments only require the best from app developers. Security ranks as a top priority in custom and business mobile apps development. Companies as well as individuals rely on these applications to process data and simplify work. We cannot let them down, and not in this century.

Incorporating User Testing Into Custom Mobile Apps

Creating compelling custom mobile apps is only possible when incorporating an effective Beta Testing program. It’s a difficult but necessary step that will help you retain users and further grow your app in a competitive marketplace.

1. What Is Beta Testing And Why It Matters

Whether you’re specializing in consumer or custom enterprise apps, you want to release quality products. But how do you know that you’re achieving this goal? Well, you’ll know if your app is truly high-quality when your users download it, evaluate it, and give you positive feedback. However, a rigorous Beta Testing process is essential to reach this point.

So what is Beta Testing, and how does it benefit the development process? Firstly, it allows you to gain an understanding of the user experience before releasing the final product. Secondly, you can test your app’s compatibility across browsers, devices, and operating systems. Thirdly, you can quash bugs and fix any issues that testers find before making your app available to end-users. Finally, Beta Testing commences soon after the Alpha Testing phase, and the app should be stable and at least 90% complete.

2. How To Test Custom Mobile Apps Remotely

You may have an in-house group that handles Beta Testing. But you may not have the office space and resources available to have in-house testers. Furthermore, you’ll likely not have access to the wide range of devices to test your app on, especially when dealing with the Android platform.

But you can solve some of these problems by recruiting remote users that can test your app. And you’ll need to incentivize these users with money, gift cards, or freebies to make it worth their while. Ensure that you’ve defined your goals and all actionable tasks, and communicate these clearly to your testers. Moreover, regularly hold video meetings with all remote testers to discuss their user experience in depth.

3. How To Choose Testers For Customer Mobile Apps

Ideally, you’ll want to build a community of beta testers loyal to your brand and excited to help improve your products. And you’ll find many capable testers on social media and software collaboration platforms, such as GitHub. You’ll also need to decide whether to run a public or private beta program, with the latter better suited for custom enterprise apps.

Make sure to create a beta page where testers can learn more about your beta program. Let them know what type of app they’ll be testing, the duration of the test, what you’ll require of testers, what types of tasks you’ll assign, how they’ll submit bug reports and feedback, and what will happen when the beta test ends.

4. How To Gather And Analyze User Feedback

Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to draw up surveys and Q&As for your testers to complete. If you need to beta test multiple custom mobile apps, create a beta program for each with an accompanying survey form. Then, ask your testers to fill the relevant forms after completing specific tasks.

You may also want to set up a Slack workspace, which will serve as your central feedback channel for all testers. Here, you can collate and analyze user feedback and manage your beta community.

5. How Often Should You Test Custom Enterprise Apps

Depending on the complexity of your app, the test period can range from two to twelve weeks. But even if you’re building a simple minimum viable product (MVP), make sure not to go below two weeks, as this won’t be a sufficient amount of time for Beta Testing. And the frequency of tests will depend on how often you release builds introducing new features that require testing.

Developing custom enterprise apps is a long and complex process. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help with your mobile development and Beta Testing needs.

SaaS Mobile Apps Vs Custom App Development

Weighing the benefits of SaaS mobile apps vs custom app development is worthwhile for several reasons. With rapid digitalization underway, every enterprise should consider what type of apps they need. They also need to look at costs, customization, integration, time to implementation, and scalability, to name a few.

Both SaaS and custom apps offer very similar benefits, which makes the decision-making process difficult. While a SaaS solution may be perfect for certain types of businesses, it may not be right for your enterprise. Below, we pinpoint the differences between SaaS and custom apps and what you should consider before coming to a decision.

1. What Are SaaS Mobile Apps?

Most of us know what mobile apps are and know how indispensable they’ve become. But what exactly is SaaS (Software as a Service), and why does it matter? Well, if you’ve used a modern cloud service, you’ve likely made use of a SaaS. Dropbox, Google Docs, and Netflix are good examples of popular SaaS offerings that users find valuable.

And since these services are cloud-based, users don’t have to download and install large executables and packages. Thus, they avoid installation errors and the possibility of their devices becoming infected with malware and viruses. Another side benefit is that users don’t have to worry about updates, as these are done in the cloud. So, enterprises that hire employees that aren’t too technical can hit the ground running.

SaaS mobile apps offer all these benefits to users who mainly or only use smartphones for their daily business activities. As long as they have a reliable connection, they should enjoy uninterrupted service most of the time. However, many SaaS offerings have offline modes allowing users to continue using these services without breaking their workflow.

2. Top SaaS Mobile App Benefits

You may be deliberating whether to develop a SaaS or a custom mobile app. We understand that it’s not always a clear-cut decision if the app should fulfill many vital business functions. Therefore, we’ve listed a few of the benefits that you should be aware of when developing SaaS mobile apps:

  • Fast Implementation – If you’re leading a startup or need to deploy services rapidly, then a SaaS is the way to go. A SaaS allows you to bring all your ideas to the market far quicker than taking the custom app development route.
  • Simple Customization – SaaS apps are far easier and quicker to customize than custom apps. Furthermore, features are likely to fit your enterprise’s needs since SaaS apps are updated at more regular intervals.
  • Integration With Other Apps – Your enterprise probably relies on several third-party applications to function smoothly. A SaaS allows you to quickly and cheaply integrate all these apps since you can access its built-in APIs (application programming interfaces). For a custom app, you’d need to handle all integrations during development and incur additional costs if you integrate them later on.
  • Easy To Scale – Small enterprises with approximately 50 employees use between 25-50 SaaS apps. And larger enterprises with over 250 employees utilize more than 100 SaaS offerings. Furthermore, almost 85% of small enterprises have invested in SaaS solutions. The adoption of SaaS is partly due to how easy it’s to scale for enterprises of various sizes.

3. How Does Custom App Development Differ?

Developing a custom mobile app is a more elaborate process than creating a SaaS solution. The developer will have to consider the costs associated with back-end hosting, setting up a developer account, operating system updates, handle user feedback, support new devices, and offer maintenance and support. Of course, some of these costs apply to SaaS mobile apps but to a lesser extent.

But what truly sets a custom mobile app apart is that it makes use of a smartphone’s unique features. For example, a developer can add functionality that takes advantage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 S Pen. It wouldn’t make sense to add this functionality in a SaaS since it’s meant to work on a wide variety of devices.

4. Top Benefits of Custom App Development

As we’ve already revealed, SaaS mobile apps offer a wide variety of benefits that you ought to consider. The lower costs and quick implementations certainly benefit startups and enterprises operating on a tight budget. However, it would be a mistake to forge ahead without looking at what custom app development brings to the table.

  • Full Customization – Both SaaS and custom apps can be customized. But a custom app offers deeper customization since the developer can access more of a device’s APIs, hardware, and operating system.
  • Fits Your Needs Perfectly – Your enterprise’s unique needs can’t always be addressed by a SaaS. For example, storing data on the cloud presents certain security risks that you’d like to avoid. But your custom mobile app allows you to store and encrypt data on the device or offline.
  • Takes Advantage Of Device Features – Today’s smartphones come with innovative features that set them apart from competitors. And users choose a specific brand and model because they find its unique features desirable or valuable. Thus, you can make your app stand out if you take advantage of a device’s unique features and grow your audience.
  • Changes With Your Business – SaaS apps often become monolithic as they grow and mature. When an enterprise’s needs change, it becomes a monumental task to implement changes in such apps. But that’s not the case with custom apps since they don’t require any significant platform changes to adapt to your business.

5. Which Development Strategy Is Best For Your Needs?

Last but not least, you must consider your development strategy that best fits your enterprise’s needs. Developing apps is challenging and is fraught with risk, that’s why it’s important to make the right decisions. We recommend that you look at your costs, time to implement, and customization factors in more detail.

  • Costs – Consider all the costs of developing a custom mobile app versus that of a SaaS. Additional features, higher complexity, and sleeker visual elements will inevitably increase costs. And the longer it takes to develop your app, the more expensive it becomes.
  • Time To Implement – One of the key benefits of SaaS is how rapidly an enterprise can deploy and implement services. In most cases, a SaaS is the smarter choice for startups and smaller enterprises that don’t have the luxury of time.
  • Customization – Smartphones have become more advanced and sport features, which were inconceivable a few years ago. Furthermore, user expectations have risen, and enterprises may want to take advantage of features unique to specific devices. In such scenarios, it’s necessary to develop apps with deep customization in mind. That’s only possible with custom app development because the developer works directly on the hardware and not the cloud.

In Conclusion

SaaS solutions have gained traction in recent years as more enterprises embrace the cloud. And many smaller enterprises have invested heavily in SaaS apps, and this trend’s bound to continue. But for enterprises requiring high levels of customization and the ability to take advantage of a device’s unique features, only custom apps will do. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can develop powerful enterprise apps that will boost your business.

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.

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.

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.