Why Mobile App Development

Mobile devices have evolved from just a means of communication into highly versatile business tools. As technology advances by the day, so do users get addicted to their mobile devices and spend more time on these devices. According to a 2017 survey by a media marketing and analytics firm, an average American spends around 3 hours every day on mobile devices.

When the above estimate compounds over a month, it adds up to half the total time they spend on a full-time job during the same period. It’s emerging that the core functionality of mobile devices, other than making phone calls, is to run a whole suite of applications that serve unimaginable purposes.

Enterprises from all corners of the world offering a ridiculous range of services and products have begun transitioning from the physical world of printing leaflets, hanging billboards, and printing advertisements, to the mobile and digital realm. Most people think their businesses do not need a mobile app to sell products to their loyal customers simply because that’s been the case in the past.

However, if you want to prepare for the future and start seeing the benefits of going digital, you’ll need a mobile app. Are you still not convinced? Here are the top reasons how your business will reap by creating a mobile app for your customers.

Benefits of Mobile App Development

  1. Strengthens Customer Engagement

This is one of the most important benefits of mobile app development for individuals, brands, and businesses. A mobile app provides a direct marketing channel between your business and your customers, allowing effective communication. With a mobile app, you can communicate and send in-app and push notifications to as many clients as possible. If your notifications contain valuable and relevant information, customers will be attached and become loyal and opt for your offerings whenever they need them.

  1. Direct Communication

One of the reasons your business needs an app is to improve direct communication with your customers. With instant access to a wide array of information, business mobile application development has opened doors to a direct and clear communication channel between enterprises and customers. The information gathered from customers from these apps is invaluable, with buyer personas and shopping behaviors being incorporated to help with marketing strategies.

  1. Brand Awareness

One of the most crucial things a mobile app offers your customers is awareness of and communication with your brand. With a mobile app, you can foster regular interaction with your target market, thus fostering trust. The more your audience trusts your brand and your enterprise, the more likely they’ll be to listen to your sales pitches and commit to your products. In the same manner as calendars, disturbing fridge magnets, and other random memorabilia, mobile apps strengthen your brand and educate your customers.

  1. Marketing Channel

Custom mobile app development allows information and notifications to be sent to clients in an instant. If the information is relevant to the target market, for instance, containing information about exclusive offers and deals, it can help you market to loyal clients who value the app. The fact that information and notifications can be sent instantly implies that you can communicate to your clients anytime, thus fostering brand loyalty through targeted communication.

  1. Customer Connections

Customer service is no longer about face-to-face interactions between customers and smiling associates. Since 6.378 billion people currently have high-powered smartphone devices at an arm’s reach at all times, the ultimate game-changer in customer relationship management is mobile apps. Mobile phone ownership has escalated to 80.76% of the world’s population, meaning that businesses are restructuring how they approach customer service.

  1. Business Profitability

Apps increase sales by alerting customers about products and services they were not previously aware of and keeping connections with prospects while ultimately driving sales and increasing revenues. In a report by Flurry, revenues collected from mobile apps were estimated to be $25 billion by 2013. A study published by the research firm Deloitte found out that customers use shopping apps before and after shopping trips. Twenty-two of surveyed respondents acknowledged that they spent more money on shopping trips because of the information supplied by retailers via mobile applications. When business apps are integrated with social media applications like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, the amplifier effect can reach new clients.

  1. Attracting Customers

Integrating mobile applications in your existing applications allows you to meet and connect with customers on channels they already use. Mobile users spend a substantial amount of time on social networking sites, so interfacing your company’s mobile application with existing social networking channels has the potential to reach out to a large audience. By creating a mobile application for your business, you can control the environment of how the user learns and interacts with your product.

  1. Customer Service

Providing relevant content and empowering your customers to engage with your firm via mobile apps can free you labor to focus on other mission-critical activities. Since companies expect customers to be able to interact with products, it’s crucial to ensure that your organization’s mobile apps allow them to engage in ways they expect. Giving customers easy-to-find information and answers enables them to trace the information they require at their own time. While many businesses already have self-service features embedded in their websites, these same features do not translate to mobile devices. For these features to be seamless across mobile and web platforms, it’s necessary to develop custom mobile apps.

  1. Transforming Retail Experience

Mobile applications transform the retail experience, enabling retailers to remain ahead of customer expectations by delivering superior customer experiences. In addition, mobile apps drive the digital process and digital model that would ultimately cut down on storage costs and increase profitability. For instance, Walmart has bolstered its retail experience following the Covid-19 pandemic by offering seamless mobile shopping experiences. Customers presently identify this shift as a superior retail solution to the otherwise time-consuming and strenuous on-premise shopping. There are many retail stores built mainly on mobile applications. Transitioning from physical, on-store shopping reduces the overhead costs associated with typical brick-and-mortar retailers.

  1. Unique Payment Services

Mobile applications come with different features that match various sectors and industries. For example, if you’re in the service industry – healthcare, beauty, spa, salon, or online food retail – your app can be helpful for your target audience to book an appointment. The push notifications can be vital to update them on their appointment. There’s no doubt that mobile payment has become a powerful and popular means of making payments nowadays. Both small and large enterprises can integrate payment options in mobile applications that would be possible to receive payments from credit cards and debit cards. Mobile integrated payment platforms are fast, secure, and user-friendly.

Mobile Apps – The Next Frontier in Online Shopping

If these benefits have not yet solidified the importance of a mobile app, there are still more reasons to consider adopting a mobile app strategy to encourage more customer satisfaction and engagement. With mobile app development, you achieve the following for your business and your brand:

  • Inform prospects of new products, services, and exclusive deals
  • Stand out from your competitors who are yet to adopt mobile solutions
  • Reach out to younger and mobile-oriented demographics
  • Synch users’ social media accounts and emails

And if you structure your mobile integration carefully, you receive a ton of analytics on exactly how users interact with your app. These analytics range from how much time a user spends looking at your app to the amount of money you make from each online purchase. You can contact NS804 for any questions about mobile app development.

iOS App Design Ideas: How To Improve Patient Care

Healthcare presents fertile ground for implementing some of your best and most innovative iOS app design ideas. Today’s pandemic era has caused a greater need for solutions that only technology can provide. And moving ahead, we can see a bright future ahead for mobile medical apps given their growing popularity. According to Statista, the worldwide size for this market segment will reach $11.2 billion by 2025. So, it may be time to reevaluate your iOS app development goals to take advantage of the flourishing patient care industry.

1. Managing Treatments On The iOS Platform

The iOS platform provides users with a plethora of quality apps, including those geared towards patient care. Several useful apps help physicians make informed decisions about prescriptions and medical procedures. For example, Epocrates makes prescription easy thanks to its powerful drug interaction checker, pill identifier, and Rx and OTC monographs. Then, there’s SeamlessMD, which helps hospitals track patient recovery during post-surgery.

2. Make Scheduling And Contacting During An Emergency Easier

Many iOS app design ideas have the potential to become compelling applications. But in the medical field, where saving lives is crucial, your iOS app development endeavors should facilitate such outcomes. Thus, consider creating an app that enables patients to schedule appointments with their health care providers. And make it easy for patients to contact an ambulance or a personal doctor when necessary.

3. Allow Symptom Tracking For Improved Diagnosis

Apple’s iOS platform encompasses iPhones and iPads, but also the Watch series of wearables. These utilize watchOS, which is an operating system based on iOS. For developers already accustomed to iOS app development, supporting these wearable devices has never been easier. Furthermore, wearables serve as the ideal platform for patients that need to track symptoms and diagnose their current condition.

4. Provide Notifications For Better Patient Care

One of the most powerful features you can implement in your patient care app is notifications. Popup notifications can appear whenever the patient needs to take their meds, schedule a new appointment, or stop eating before a blood test.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re planning on implementing appointment scheduling, electronic prescribing, or symptom tracking, you’ll want to tap into a well of compelling iOS app design ideas for your patient care projects. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create cutting-edge apps for the healthcare industry.

How To Choose The Best Tech Stack For Your App

One of the most important choices you can make as a developer is opting for the right tech stack. The right technologies allow you to complete your apps on time and within budget. However, the wrong choices will derail your projects and make you miss milestones. Below, we reveal several of the best tools for developing compelling enterprise apps and when to use them.

1. Understanding The Different Types Of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development is a complex beast that requires foresight. And the reason for this is that both Android and iOS are fundamentally different. Each platform has its own unique Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), development tools, and submission guidelines. Thus, targeting both platforms presents a plethora of challenges to even the most seasoned developers. 

So before embarking on a mobile app project, it’s essential to choose the right tech stack for the job. And what a tech stack brings to the table is a suite of tools, which usually consist of a database, back-end and front-end tools, frameworks, and programming languages. In the case of game studios, they’ll often use an off-the-shelf engine, such as Unity or Unreal, that handles cross-platform development.

However, when choosing a tech stack, it’s also critical to understand the different types of apps you can develop:

  • Native Apps – These applications offer the best app store distribution, performance, and user experience. Developers will use programming languages and tools that specifically target Android or iOS.
  • Cross-Platform Apps – Apps made for Android, iOS, and even the desktop offer reasonably good performance and a user experience. However, these will still lag in terms of speed and performance to their native counterparts.  
  • Hybrid Apps – These rely on web-based technologies and utilize a native app shell to run on mobile and desktop devices. They make it possible for web developers to target multiple platforms but at a significant integration, performance, and speed penalty.

2. Choosing The Right Tech Stack 

Before choosing a development solution, carefully consider whether you’ll be making a native, cross-platform, or hybrid app. Then, take a hard look at your team’s capabilities and available resources. 

For example, you may want to develop a native app to provide customers with the best possible user experience. But you don’t have enough team members, or they’re not skilled enough to handle native development for both Android and iOS. Your team may have proficiency in Apple’s Xcode and the Swift programming language but lack experience in Android Studio and Java or Kotlin.

Now, you could seek the services of native development specialists, such as NS804, to bring about the desired result. But if that’s not an option, you could use a cross-platform suite, such as Flutter, React Native, or Xamarin. However, your team’s success with these tools will largely depend on how proficient they are with their respective programming languages, namely: Dart, JavaScript/TypeScript, and C#.

If you’re still uncertain of which cross-platform tech stack to choose, then consider the following aspects. Flutter is a good option for fast development and comes with a wealth of widgets. But it’s still a relatively new tool with limited functionality and libraries. Alternatively, there’s React Native, which offers excellent mobile UI and modern features yet won’t deliver a native-like look or performance.

Then, there’s Xamarin that’s capable of accessing native APIs and providing near-native performance. On the downside, it’s not the most popular cross-platform solution, and since it’s part of Microsoft’s .NET stack, developers must understand its complex framework and runtime.

Finally, there are hybrid app technologies such as Apache Cordova and Ionic Framework. These are the perfect solutions for budget-conscious developers proficient in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML but willing to sacrifice performance and a native-like experience. 

3. Using The Right Tools For Making Enterprise Apps

If you’re developing enterprise apps, you’ll need to use tools that are best in class. Quite often, these are the very same tools provided or recommended by the platform holders. In Apple’s case, they want developers to use their Xcode Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for creating apps for all their devices. And in Google’s case, they prefer that developers use Android Studio and associated software development kit (SDK).

Furthermore, Apple’s Swift is a powerful statically typed programming language ideal for modern application development. And since it’s a type-safe language, the result is cleaner and safer code that’s less prone to runtime crashes. Also, Swift handles memory exceptionally well thanks to its Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) memory management. What this means is that it’s an excellent language for developing performant and secure enterprise apps.

And in the Android camp, Google has been encouraging developers to switch over to Kotlin from Java. While Java has been a stalwart programming language in the enterprise space since the mid-90s, it’s verbose with a steep learning curve. Kotlin, on the other hand, offers developers similar features to Java, but it’s easier to learn and allows for both object-oriented and functional programming. With such flexibility and power, developers can release polished enterprise apps far quicker than before.

You’ll likely need a database for your application, and there are several good options available. Both Android and iOS developers can implement the SQLite relational database to manage data. But if you’re seeking a more modern and scalable solution, then consider Realm. What makes Realm so compelling is that it integrates seamlessly with React Native and Xamarin. And if you prefer to work with Google’s tech stack, you may want to take advantage of Firebase.

4. When To Build An MVP

Building complex enterprise apps presents developers with plenty of risks and high development costs. There’s no knowing if it will achieve significant download numbers, engage users, and perform adequately. 

So, the only way we’ll know if a project holds promise is if we test the market without investing heavily in a finished product. Instead, we focus our efforts on a minimum viable product (MVP), which includes the bare minimum functionality of the app we envision. Once the MVP gains traction with users, then we can proceed to scale. 

5. Consider How Your Tech Stack Affects The Cost Of Development  

The type of tech stack you use will affect the cost of development considerably. If you’re embarking on native development, you’ll need to have developers on your team capable of programming for both Android and iOS. Furthermore, you’ll need to maintain two codebases, which will only increase your development costs.

Don’t forget to account for the cost of your development tools. After all, it’s easy to forget about this with so many open-source and free options available nowadays. Many IDEs are available for free and primarily aimed at indie developers, open-source projects, and students. 

But if you’re a professional developer or a company, you’ll need to purchase a license, either as a subscription or a one-off cost. Similarly, there are different pricing tiers for other tools, such as automated testing suites, back-end cloud services, and databases.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right tech stack for your app will allow you to complete it on time and within budget. In an ideal world, you’d opt for tools that facilitate native app development. But if that’s not feasible, consider the alternatives or work with a professional developer. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop amazing apps with the best-in-class technologies.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Social Media App?

One of the most asked questions by businesses is how much does it cost to create a social media app. So, the average cost of designing an application like LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Facebook, can range from $15,000 to 50,000+ depending on app types, elements, features, design, complexity, and software development.

From Twitter to LinkedIn and Facebook to Instagram, all have become a social sensation that is booming the internet these days. Furthermore, with the projection that social media users will reach 4.6 billion by 2025 from 3.6 billion in 2020, it is fair enough to surmise that social media applications will take the world by storm. So, the existing social media platforms have revolutionized the way people communicate these days. And they are becoming an integral part of everyday life.

Cost of A Social Media App

In calculating the cost of a social media app, it is important to factor in three fundamental elements. These elements include; the complexity of the app, features, and the operating platform. The first level of complexity is the simple social media app. This level has embedded app features such as sign-in, text messages, profile editing, and push notifications. In addition, it provides access to in-device features like camera and storage. The simple social media app uses a single-platform operating system and costs $15,000+.

The medium app entails the following features: profile editing, sign-in, push notification, user profile, sharing stories, and video sharing, and costs $20,000+. The advanced social media app entails superior app features like text chat, voice notes, video sharing, push notifications, and more. The advanced app utilizes a cross-platform operating system and because of this, it costs $25,500+ on average.

Minimum Viable Product Cost

According to the best practices of mobile app development, it is important to start your project with a minimum viable product. The MVP will help you see whether your product meets the market demand because users interact with the minimum viable product. It provides an overview of how effective your marketing strategy is. The minimum viable product provides much output from the least input. As a result, developers and app owners can see the potential benefits, costs, and expenses of the social media app long before it is developed.

After determining the cost of the MVP, you can proceed to coordinate your marketing and development efforts with the results obtained from the MVP study. Essentially, an app MVP is a great tool for reaching out and keeping in touch with your intended audience.

This leads us to the question: So, if you build a minimum viable product for a social media app, how much will it cost?

Well, the cost will depend on a combination of factors like the set of features you want to implement. These features include; technology stack, deadline, project design, and the operating system. A simple ten-screen app is likely to be cheaper than a ten-screen application with a complex design.

Features of a Minimum Viable Product

Research shows that a minimum viable product with a basic feature set could feature the following functionalities:

  • Sign up
  • Private messages
  • Post feature
  • Personal profile
  • Feed
  • Search
  • Comment feature
  • Group

So, as you embark on your journey, remember that creating a successful app is not easy. Luckily with app development experts like NS804, you can take your shot. The world has witnessed small ideas materialize into great apps, your story could be similar. Visit NS804, your app development partner, to know how much it costs to create a social media app.

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.

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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.