Agile And Waterfall Methodology: 5 Things To Know

As a business leader, you’ve probably deliberated over the differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology. And if you’re an app developer, you’ve likely adopted one of these two methodologies to complete your projects. 

But you’ve probably heard project managers and industry insiders throw the terms ‘Agile’ and ‘Waterfall’ quite liberally. Thus, often giving the impression that both are similar, even though this isn’t necessarily true. 

Sure, both are popular methodologies that involve the planning, realization, and keeping track of projects as they advance. However, there are several glaring differences between the two that we need to understand clearly.

So, what are the differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology? There are several, but we’ll focus on one key difference right now. 

Agile relies on continuous iteration whereby the development team works simultaneously on a project, making it a flexible model. However, Waterfall requires the team to complete each stage of the project linearly, and thus, it’s way more rigid. 

But let’s be clear about one thing, neither methodology is better than the other. Project managers must pick the one that best suits their needs. And to better understand the differences between the two and which to pick, we’ve compiled this handy list below to help you make the right decision! 

1. Agile Methodology In A Nutshell

Due to the more strict nature of Waterfall, it soon became necessary for an alternative. And thus, Agile made its way into the world of project management to address a common problem. Since it often takes many years to complete most common software projects, technology undergoes tremendous change. Henceforth, development teams cannot realistically complete their projects while keeping up with customer demand with the Waterfall methodology.

But with the flexibility of Agile, it’s easy to make changes, even late during the timeline of a project. Moreover, company stakeholders, management, and customers may request changes or new features. It’s even possible to implement these additional changes or features without hindering the project significantly. 

And that’s because Agile allows the team to complete several phases concurrently and frequently. Another benefit of Agile is that the team determines the project’s direction instead of the project manager. Ultimately, this energizes the team and helps increase productivity, but it also calls for more team independence.

2. Understanding The Waterfall Methodology

Projects with a known outcome benefit immensely from the Waterfall methodology due to its linear approach. Before a team can move forward, it must first meet the set requirements and complete the deliverables of the current stage of the project.

However, the project lead must have a well-defined vision for the app. More importantly, no major alterations may occur during the development process, as this will likely derail the project. Unlike with Agile, it’s difficult and costly to course correct with the Waterfall methodology.

And before a project commences, the project lead must have a clear picture of the budget and timeline. Any deviation from this during the development process will put the project at risk. However, this does not necessarily make Waterfall projects riskier than Agile projects.

3. Agile And Waterfall Methodology Impact Client Involvement

Depending on the scope of your project, you may decide to involve your clients. If that’s the case, then Agile is a great choice. And according to the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, customer collaboration plays a vital role. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration between developers and business people and face-to-face discussion on a frequent basis.

With Waterfall, if you’re the project lead, you’ll hold weekly or monthly meetings with your development team. And you may share progress reports with company stakeholders, but you won’t collaborate with clients. Furthermore, you’ll only share information on a need-to-know basis with the right people in your team.

4. Rigid Versus Sprint Planning

With the Waterfall methodology, the planning phase takes far longer than with Agile. And that’s because the project lead and company stakeholders must evaluate the feasibility of the project. In most cases, the budget will be higher, as a Waterfall project must be completed in its entirety before it’s shipped.

Furthermore, there’s very little wiggle room, if any, for changes at a later stage. Any decisions taken during the planning phase must be adhered to during the entirety of the project. And to ensure that the development team remains committed to the project, the planning phase also includes the monitoring procedure.

Agile is an entirely different beast, which doesn’t prioritize planning. Instead, projects are broken down into sprints, and decisions that will impact the project occur before each sprint. These sessions are also known as sprint planning. And while Agile offers plenty of flexibility, major project changes may not occur during an active sprint.

Keep in mind that Agile requires constant engagement by the project manager and team members. Therefore, stand-up meetings have become customary for teams to stay informed. All attendees must meet regularly for small durations and must stand while the project lead updates the team in front of a whiteboard. 

Stand-up meetings may occur every day or several times per week. In most cases, stand-up meetings work remarkably well. But difficult to implement with large teams spread across multiple locations. Also, holding too many stand-up meetings may disrupt the workflow of the team. 

5. The Waterfall Methodology Is Losing Popularity

As you’re probably aware by now, Agile seems to have advantages that make it very attractive to development teams. And given the shift to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) from packaged software, Agile makes perfect sense. But it doesn’t end there, as many mobile app development teams rely heavily on a continuous iteration process.

Most savvy mobile app developers start with a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP). And if these gain traction with users, then they’ll scale up to a full-fledged product. But given the constant introduction of new mobile devices and app store requirements, most mobile apps are not truly ever done.

And let’s not forget that users have become accustomed to receiving features that will keep them engaged after each app update. Therefore, the Waterfall methodology isn’t suitable for most mobile app development purposes. It’s better to adopt the Agile methodology and introduce new features and updates during every active sprint.

But don’t write off Waterfall entirely, as it may prove useful if you’re developing a premium mobile game. Most paid mobile games have high-quality visuals, gameplay, and features that make them closely resemble console games. And thus, it’s unlikely that you’ll introduce new content and features later unless these come in the form of downloadable content (DLC) or in-app purchases (IAP). 

Even so, most premium games have a limited lifecycle, so don’t necessarily require continuous iteration. Their high budgets, long development cycles, and the necessity for specialist team member roles make the Waterfall methodology the right choice here. 

In Conclusion

Understanding the key differences between the Agile and Waterfall methodology places you in an advantageous position. It allows you to opt for the right methodology that best suits your project. However, company stakeholders will also affect your choice.

For example, if these stakeholders will support the project long-term and closely involve themselves, Agile is the way to go. But if these stakeholders prefer a more hands-off approach, consider Waterfall instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you complete your upcoming project on time using the most suitable technologies and methodologies.

Which Comes First When Developing A Mobile App — iOS Or Android?

Should you choose iOS or Android for your next app project? Well, that largely depends on your goals. And that’s because these goals will help you determine which platform you should develop for first.

But you may have heard that it’s cheaper and faster to develop for iOS. And that’s true, but this is seldom a good enough reason to opt for iOS over Android. It’s better to consider the target audience and what platform they predominantly use. 

Ultimately, always consider where your app will likely succeed first. Below, we reveal a few handy tips to help you choose iOS or Android — but to do so wisely! 

1. When Developing A Premium App

It’s no secret that iOS users spend more on apps than their Android counterparts. Moreover, they prefer premium apps and are willing to purchase apps instead of watching ads like Android users. And that difference is significant, as users spent $85.1 Billion in the App Store versus $47.9 Billion in the Google Play Store in 2021.

So, if you’re planning on going premium with your next app, then iOS is the clear winner. The same applies if you’ll be monetizing via in-app purchases and subscriptions, iOS still leads the way here. But be careful with utility applications, as these tend to do better on Android and don’t engage iOS users as much.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

One of the most crucial factors that will determine whether you’ll choose iOS or Android for your upcoming project is your target audience. And then, you’ll need to determine their demographics, locations, and preferred platform.

Outside North America and most Western territories, Android reigns supreme, especially in the developing world. Android has a 72% market share, and iOS has 26% of the mobile audience. So, if you’re aiming for maximum downloads, especially with a freemium app, Android’s your best bet!

Since most Android users reside in low and middle-income countries, you’ll be reaching a diverse audience. And that means you’ll need to spend some time and money on localization.

3. Starting With iOS Or Android For Mobile Game Development

Between Apple and Google, the latter has historically been the more game-friendly company. But that’s slowly changing, especially after the introduction of the Apple Arcade subscription service. However, Google remains competitive with Google Play Pass and Instant Play games.

And then, there’s the wide variety of platforms and storefronts that Android reaches. Android apps and games run on Chromebooks, and Google Play Games (still in beta in some regions) now run on PC. Furthermore, the Amazon App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Samsung Galaxy Store, and several other stores host Android games. 

Thus, Android offers developers many more opportunities to reach gamers than Apple. And specific genres, such as arcade, puzzle, and racing games, tend to earn more as freemium titles, which suits Android perfectly.

However, if you want to be featured in the App Store, you may want to hold off on the Android version momentarily. The cool thing about the App Store is that it’s curated by humans who take an interest in titles that stand out. And if you provide them with a unique game that’s timed-exclusive, it’s possible to be featured, leading to many downloads and sales.

The Bottom Line

Both iOS and Android are fantastic platforms that offer developers plenty of solid opportunities. But you need to develop apps first for the platform that lines up with your goals closely. Avoid fanboyism and the hype surrounding a particular platform, and focus on the platform that will deliver the results you want instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deliver phenomenal iOS or Android apps to your users! 

Want To Develop iOS Apps? Here’s How To Get Started

Most developers — even those not involved in the mobile space — want to develop iOS apps. And that’s because Apple’s renowned ecosystem is world-class. And with the recently released iPhone Pro 14, consumers have access to one of the best premium smartphones in the market. 

Of course, iOS apps don’t only run on iPhones but also on Apple’s phenomenal lineup of tablets — the iPad range. And with the introduction of Apple silicon (system on a chip based on ARM architecture), it’s now possible to run iOS apps on the latest Mac computers with no porting necessary. 

So what does this mean for developers? It means that their iOS apps can run on a variety of Apple devices from a single codebase. And that’s profound because Apple users love to spend money on apps far more than Android users. Thus, if you develop iOS apps, you’ll be entering a very lucrative market. And while success is never guaranteed — you’ll never know if you don’t try!

But what if you’re new to the Apple ecosystem as a developer — how do you even get started? First and foremost, understand that Apple’s ecosystem is called a ‘walled garden’ for a reason. And that’s because it’s a closed platform, similar to Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Switch consoles.

And that brings us to our second point: you don’t have the freedom to develop iOS apps on whatever hardware you like or skirt Apple’s guidelines. Like it or not, Apple has a stranglehold on its platforms, down to the development process. But we plan to demystify this process and help you get started — the right way!

1. Purchase Original Apple Hardware

If you don’t already own an Apple MacBook notebook or a Mac/iMac desktop, you’ll need to purchase at least one that fits your budget. Preferably, choose one of the latest models that features the M1 or M2 SoC instead of an Intel CPU. Apple’s latest chips are more power efficient and also future-proof, so worth the investment. 

Now, you may come across instructional articles and YouTube videos that will show you how to build a Hackintosh — a cheaper and unofficial Mac/iMac clone system. As tempting as this route may seem, we don’t recommend it at all! You’ll need some PC-building skills, and the overall experience won’t be as smooth as using a genuine Mac once you’ve got your Hackintosh up and running. 

And no, you won’t be able to use a Windows or Linux PC to build iOS apps. But you can install Windows or Linux on a Mac and even develop apps for these operating systems. Moreover, you can install Android Studio on a Mac and develop Android apps, making it perfect for cross-platform development

You’ll also need to purchase at least one iPhone and an iPad for deploying and testing your app. And if you plan to release your app on Apple Watch and tvOS, you’ll need to purchase these devices too. Purchase the latest models of these devices, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few older models in the studio for backward compatibility testing purposes.

2. Enroll As An Apple Developer And Create An Apple ID

Now that you’ve rounded up all your hardware, you’re ready to become an Apple developer. However, we mentioned Apple’s closed platform earlier, and now you’re about to see why that’s the case. 

Apple offers an enrollment program, and it’s mandatory if you want to distribute your iOS apps. Furthermore, you’ll need to pay an annual fee of 99 USD for the Apple Developer Program and 299 USD for the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Choose the program that’s right for your studio.

Also, don’t forget to create your Apple ID, as it’s necessary to authenticate yourself as the user and to download development tools from the Mac App Store.

3. Download And Familiarize Yourself With Xcode

After that, download Xcode — Apple’s official integrated development environment (IDE). You can get it from the Mac App Store or Apple’s Xcode developer portal. This suite includes a code editor, debugging tools, and the iOS software development kit (SDK). While there are many other IDEs available in the marketplace, we recommend you stick to Xcode if you’re only now starting out to develop iOS apps.

However, if you’re developing mobile games and using a game engine such as Unity, expect your development environment to differ substantially. But if you’re developing non-gaming and line of business (LOB) apps, Xcode will suffice. 

We recommend you spend time familiarizing yourself with Xcode before you start to develop iOS apps. And that’s to help you and your team to become more comfortable with using the IDE and all its features. Furthermore, check out the Xcode documentation, videos, and forums at Apple’s developer portal.

4. Learn The Swift Programming Language

Swift is Apple’s officially supported and preferred programming language for creating iOS apps. It’s quickly replacing the far older Objective-C, but some developers still use it to this day. However, we recommend you use Swift as a new iOS developer, as it’s easier to read and write and more type-safe. 

But how long will it take to learn Swift? If your team already has experience with any object-oriented programming (OOP) language, they’ll pick up Swift in a matter of days. But if they have little or no experience, it can take two months or longer to gain a basic level of proficiency.

5. You May Need To Learn C++ Or C#

If you’re planning on developing an iOS mobile game, you can use Xcode. But we only recommend this route if you’re making a small and simple game. And that’s because Xcode doesn’t offer the tooling necessary to make complex 3D games popular with today’s gamers. 

Instead, you should either use Unity or Unreal Engine to make a compelling game with stunning 3D visuals. If you go with Unity, which is the more lightweight game engine of the two, you’ll need to learn C#. And if you go with Unreal Engine, you’ll need to learn C++ or Blueprint Visual Scripting.

Overall, C# is easier to learn than C++, and even shares some similarities with Swift. And that means if you already know Swift, picking up C# will be a cinch. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore C++, as it’s the lingua franca of the game development world. And apart from Unreal Engine, the vast majority of performance-oriented 3D game engines are either coded in C++ or have a C++ scripting component. 

Furthermore, if you need to develop a fast-paced game, such as a first-person shooter (FPS) or racing game, it’s preferable to code it in C++ to keep frame rates up. The problem with languages such as C# is that they use a garbage collector (GC) to avoid memory leaks. But every time the GC kicks in to clear unused objects in the memory heap, it can cause in-game stutters, which ruins the user experience. 

Of course, there are workarounds to avoid these stutters, but it’s still better to use a more performant language, such as C++. And given that C++ regularly outperforms managed languages such as C#, it’s the way to go for many use cases. 

In Conclusion

As we’ve revealed, it’s actually a relatively simple process to develop iOS apps if you’re just starting out. Initially, you’ll be faced with a high price of entry, especially if you don’t already own any Apple hardware. But once you have purchased this hardware, created your Apple ID, and enrolled in the developer program, you’re halfway done. Then, it’s a matter of downloading Xcode, familiarizing yourself with the IDE, and learning Swift. 

You may need to use other tools and programming languages if you’re creating mobile games, but this isn’t always necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 will help you develop iOS apps that engage users! 

Do You Have A Great App Idea? 5 Tips To Get It Validated

Coming up with a great app idea can seem easy at times. But what may not seem easy is ascertaining if that app idea is truly feasible. If most developers were honest, they’d admit they lucked out on some of their best and most profitable ideas. Instead, they’d like everyone to believe they’re geniuses for coming up with winning ideas.

Of course, some top-tier app developers have a methodology for brainstorming ideas and validating them. And that’s what we want to focus on right now!

We’re not interested in revealing tips aimed at opportunistic appreneurs and developers that want to make a quick buck from current trends. And that’s because this is not a sustainable way to push out compelling apps at a regular cadence.

Instead, we want developers to work systematically to achieve consistent results regularly. We also want developers to think of themselves as problem solvers and not simply studios that push out code.

While working with new technologies is always fun, we should never lose track of the fact that we’re here to provide solutions. Our goals should always align with those of our clients and users. And that’s to make life easier for them by solving problems that hold them back or impact productivity.

However, you may be at this point now where you have a great app idea that will solve a problem users experience. But how do you validate it to know for certain that it will serve your target market well? Read on, as we’re about to reveal several handy tips to help you through the validation process.

1. Market Research Is A Must! 

Never commence planning and developing an app without conducting market research first. And that’s because you need to know if your app is unique or improves on existing ideas. And if the market already has competitors, can you compete by offering something different or better?

Moreover, you should clearly define your app’s unique selling point (USP). Ask yourself what sets it apart from competing apps and how your users will benefit.

And possibly, create a prototype to show your team, company stakeholders, or even a small focus group. Then, ask them for feedback on what they think of the app and if they can pinpoint its USP and potential target audience.

2. The Early Stages Of The Validation Process

As a startup with limited time and money, going through the validation process may seem challenging. But we recommend that you don’t skimp on this step, as it will help determine if you have a great app idea or not.

We mentioned earlier about building a prototype and showing it to relevant parties. However, you can take things further by setting specific validation goals. 

For example, you may decide not to build a prototype but focus on pitching your idea to investors. If you manage to convince five or more investors about the virtues of your app idea, then that’s a good sign. Or you can work with another metric: if 100 or more potential users view your concept design on social media and react positively — you may want to greenlight the project. 

As you may understand by now, there are several ways you can go with this. And by setting several validation goals that you can measure, you can gain real-world feedback without breaking the bank. But only doing the above won’t be substantial for most projects, even though it’s a good starting point.

3. Effective Ways To Validate A Great App Idea

Real-world feedback is an ongoing theme with app validation. And that’s because there’s no better way to determine if there’s interest in your app concept or idea.

So, focus on ways to receive user feedback from potential users. But also ensure that you research the size and value of the market you’re targeting. And no matter how much you like your idea, don’t invest in developing it into a full-fledged app without thorough market validation. 

But how do you thoroughly validate the market? Well, one of the best ways to do this is with a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a stripped-down version of your app with the bare minimum of functionality. And the main advantage of this is that you can deliver an MVP to your users cheaply and quickly. 

Should it prove popular with users, you can scale it into a fully-fledged app and implement the features that users have suggested. However, if it fails to gain traction, you can scrap the project or implement changes that may make it more appealing to users. The latter may be the way to go if there’s still middling interest and users have made suggestions.

4. Conduct User Surveys

Another good way to ascertain if you’re on to a great app idea is via user surveys. Start by creating a customer profile that represents your ideal users. Your customer profile may have the age, demographic, education, hobby, location, and spending attributes.

If your customer profile slants to the younger ages, you may want to find users on a platform such as TikTok. And if they’re older professionals, you may want to track them down on LinkedIn. Either way, you should have a clear picture of your target group so you can survey them properly. 

Ensure that you tailor your survey for your target group and use language and tone that appeals to them. Moreover, respect their time by not asking more questions than you have to or asking complicated questions that are too difficult to answer. Ideally, you want these users to complete your entire survey and not give up halfway through.

5. Pre-Selling And Pre-Registration 

Another effective way to test your app idea is by setting up a pre-selling landing page. This landing page will feature a description of your app, screenshots, and a promo video to create buzz. Furthermore, visitors can easily register and submit their email addresses to stay updated. 

What’s so compelling about this approach is that it’s a way to attract early adopters. And the higher number of these early adopters, the more validation you receive for your app. Moreover, it can act as a revenue stream if you need to generate income before launching your app officially. 

But if setting up a landing page and maintaining an email list isn’t your thing, there’s no need to despair. Google Play offers pre-registration for your app so that you can build hype and user relationships before launch. This is done directly on the Play Console and is implemented 3-6 weeks before the launch date. 

It’s an effective way to drive traffic to your app’s store page. And it’s possible for Google Play to automatically deliver your app to users and auto-install it on their devices on launch day. Thus, it’s almost certain that you’ll have users on day one with a limited amount of work on your end. You can also use Google’s pre-marketing tools to boost interest further.

The Bottom Line

When you have a great app idea, you’ll want to validate it as soon as possible. The good news is that there are several ways to go about this, as we’ve already covered above. However, there’s a bit of additional work involved, which may increase your costs and time to market (TTM).

But if you work with experts, such as NS804, you’ve got a partner to help you navigate this process. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you validate your best ideas and turn them into phenomenal apps!

App Performance: How To Tell If Your App Is Succeeding

If you’re not continuously monitoring app performance, you won’t have a clear picture of app quality and success. And that means you won’t know if your app meets or exceeds user expectations. Moreover, you can’t correctly evaluate your app since you’re not measuring its key performance indicators (KPIs).

So, what should you do to ensure you know everything about your app that matters? And more importantly, how do you do so without hurting your brand? After all, there’s nothing worse than releasing an app — even as a beta for testing purposes — that delivers a shoddy user experience. 

Read on as we’re about to reveal the steps you need to take to monitor app performance — the right way!

1. Implement App Performance Metrics For App Quality

First and foremost, you need to know if your app runs flawlessly or is a buggy mess that upsets users. Thus, you’ll need to implement the following app performance metrics that will furnish you with reports in real-time:

  • Crash analytics – To help you identify when and why app crashes happen
  • Performance – Collect data related to load speeds, device configurations, operating systems, and screen resolutions
  • In-app feedback and ticketing – An effective way to gain feedback and respond to app issues without hurting your brand
  • Testing – Use an SDK such as Firebase to build and test apps across multiple devices and platforms 

2. Measure KPIs That Determine App Success

You’ll also need to know how well your app is performing in the app stores. And there’s quite a bit of data that you’ll need to collect and analyze, such as follows:

  • Number of downloads – This is one of the most important KPIs and helps determine app growth or stagnation
  • Reviews and ratings – Positive reviews and ratings bolster downloads as users often look at these first before trying out an app 
  • Track active users – It’s crucial to know how many users continue using your app after they download it from the store
  • The average duration of user interaction – User engagement directly correlates with higher usage times
  • The frequency of user sessions – This is another important metric that determines user engagement
  • Retention rate – This metric helps determine whether or not users remain interested in your app
  • Churn rate – Another important metric that indicates how many users leave an app

3. Mobile Game Considerations

All app performance metrics discussed above also apply to mobile games. Given the viral nature of mobile games, it’s also crucial to measure the K factor. So, what is the K factor, and how does it impact a mobile game? In a nutshell, the K factor refers to the number of users that talk about your game and recommend it to others.

An easy way to work out the K factor is with this simple formula (i = average number of invitations sent by a user, and c = conversation rate of those invited): 

k-factor = i*c

In Conclusion

Always implement app performance metrics, as these will help you gain a 360-degree view of your app. The more data you collect about your app’s performance and how users interact with it, the better informed you’ll be to make the right changes — and when they’re necessary. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps that truly succeed! 

Multi-Platform App Development Myths, Debunked

Sooner or later, every appreneur has to consider multi-platform app development. And that’s scary, given the complexities involved in such an endeavor. But are things really that bad, or are we jumping to conclusions — too soon? It’s a bit of both if we delve deeper into this subject.

Let’s start with the hard part first. Yes, multi-platform app development is challenging! Having to develop for Android and iOS concurrently means you’ll have to deal with the peculiarities of each platform. You’ll need to design, develop, and test your apps for a variety of hardware, feature sets, and screen resolutions. 

If you only focus on a single platform, your development costs and time-to-market (TTM) drop significantly. However, the number of your potential app users drops in tandem. It’s perfectly okay to release on one platform early on, especially if you’re testing the market with a minimum viable product (MVP). But if your MVP proves successful, there’s no point in limiting yourself to a single platform.

Moreover, there’s never been a better time to target multiple platforms. And that’s because today’s development tools facilitate this so perfectly. Most popular development suites make it easy to target Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and even the Web — from a single codebase!

The same applies to game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, which support the above platforms, game consoles, and even AR/VR headsets. So, if you begin with a multi-platform development strategy, it will give your app almost limitless potential. 

But we won’t stop there, as we’re about to debunk more myths about this subject matter below!

1. Multi-Platform Development Results In Buggy Apps

The quality of an app largely depends on the abilities of the developer. An inexperienced or negligent developer will produce shoddy apps, regardless of whether they target a single platform or several.

However, it’s not uncommon for a developer to release a flawless app for one platform and a substandard app for another. And that’s likely due to the developer having more experience developing for one platform over the other.

2. It’s Important To Have Platform Exclusivity

This only matters if a platform holder strikes a deal with you in advance so that your app appears exclusively in their store. In all likelihood, this won’t happen if you’re a new developer unless you’re creating a unique or outstanding app. 

And that exclusivity deal better be worthwhile to make up for the loss of revenue gained from supporting additional platforms. In most cases, it’s more profitable to take the multi-platform route. 

3. Targeting One Platform Allows For More Optimization

While this is true, it’s still not a valid excuse for supporting only one platform. A developer’s mindset should always revolve around optimizing apps proportionately across all platforms. And that’s because it’s never a good idea to treat users of a specific platform as second-class citizens.

Simply put, there are no better or lesser platforms. An experienced and reputable developer — such as NS804 — views all platforms and their users holistically.

4. Users Prefer Platform ‘X’ — So Why Bother With Others? 

Sadly, fanboyism and popularity contests cloud the tech space. Android and iOS fans like to debate online about their favorite platforms and can often sway opinion. And it doesn’t end there, as smartphone manufacturers will regularly tout their latest sales figures and build up hype.

All this may leave you in a precarious position where you’re second-guessing which platform to support. But don’t ever do this, and look at the truth that’s right in front of you instead! Both Android and iOS remain hugely popular, and this trend will likely continue in the foreseeable future. So do the smart thing and support both if you have the budget and technical capabilities.

5. Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Only Run On Smartphones And Tablets

This may have been true over a decade ago, but no longer applicable. Apple and Google have grown and enriched their respective ecosystems beyond smartphones and tablets. Today, both tech giants also offer wearables, smart TVs, and even in-car options.

Furthermore, it’s now possible to run iOS apps on Mac and Android apps on Chromebooks and Windows 11 — but with a few caveats

6. Apple’s Tools Make It Difficult To Target Other Platforms

There’s indeed some level of lock-in with Apple’s development tools. These tools work great when developing for iOS and macOS but are poor choices when targeting other platforms. However, developers don’t need to limit themselves to Apple’s development tools only.

Embarcadero, Google, JetBrains, Microsoft, and The QT Company all offer excellent development suites for multi-platform development. And most popular game engines are designed with multi-platform development in mind.

7. Monetization Can Get Messy With Multi-Platform Releases

It’s likely that you’ll implement different monetization strategies for Android and iOS. And the reason for this is that the user base for each platform differs considerably. Android users love free apps and don’t mind watching ads to unlock features. But iOS users prefer premium apps and don’t mind paying for them as long as they don’t have to deal with ads.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll adjust monetization strategies during the lifecycle of your app in any case. So, don’t expect to keep everything uniform, as tweaking and experimenting are part and parcel of the app development process. 

8. Web Apps Make Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Redundant

That’s not true at all, as web apps can never replace mobile apps — especially native ones. And that’s because users expect apps to run quickly and smoothly on their devices. Unfortunately, the web app experience comes short unless it’s a small and simple app we’re talking about. 

But complex apps need to tap into the processing power of the devices they will run on, and not intermediary web technologies. 

9. It’s Difficult Making Games That Run Well Across Mobile Platforms

Making games is difficult — period! If you’ve decided to make mobile games, then you’ve signed up for a world of hurt. And that counts double if you’re making a 3D game with large levels and complex artificial intelligence (AI). 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as modern game engines make life a lot easier for developers. These engines offer all the essential tools in a single suite to allow developers to hit the ground running. And cut down on development time, as it’s no longer necessary to worry about all the under-the-hood technicalities, which often hinder the game development process.

10. Maintaining Two Or More Codebases Isn’t Practical

If you’re developing native apps for Android and iOS, you’ll need to maintain two codebases. And that’s because your Android app will be written in Kotlin and your iOS app in Swift. And if you’ve decided to make a web app, you’ll likely code it in JavaScript, which means you’ll have to deal with three codebases. 

But if you can only maintain a single codebase, you can code it in C# if you require near-native performance on Android and iOS. Or use Dart and the Flutter software development kit (SDK) for creating robust cross-platform apps. 

And there are other options, such as the Ionic Framework, making it possible to build hybrid mobile apps using JavaScript or TypeScript. However, it’s not an optimal solution, as hybrid apps don’t offer the same performance as native apps.

The Bottom Line

Multi-platform development should always be a primary consideration for serious appreneurs and app developers. The days of releasing apps on a single platform are long gone, as users have embraced several platforms. Android and iOS lead the way in the mobile space, but with the growing popularity of dumbphones, more platforms will emerge that developers need to support. 

But we understand the challenges involved with developing and releasing apps on multiple platforms, especially for newcomers to the mobile app industry. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an experienced and reputable studio, such as NS804. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal multi-platform apps for the most relevant platforms! 

What Are The 9 Best Education Apps for Children?

App developers are now capturing children’s imagination by making learning fun through cool, educational apps. Today, there are many educational apps for children that make screen time beneficial. Your children’s skills will increase across a variety of topics and regions with the aid of these apps. There are study apps for practically any subject, from science to social studies and foreign languages.

This post brings you the best 9 education apps for children:

1. Khan Academy

This app is free and packed with a number of programs for children of all ages. It is one of the best education apps for children. For the majority of disciplines, Khan Academy provides YouTube tutorials.

There are comprehensive visuals for different classes, including math, business studies, science, AP courses, arts, humanities and exam preparation. Students can work at their own pace and use visually appealing content like images, maps, and other visuals. Khan Academy is well-liked by students, parents, and teachers.

Features:

  • Interactive learning path that supports learning at the child’s pace
  • Provides a wide range of topics
  • Suitable for basic and supplemental education
  • Junior version available for learners under five years

This app remains critically underpinning for offering diverse learning opportunities on a wide range of topics.

2. PBS Kids Games

The PBS Kids app is perfect if you want your child to experience learning through play. Kids can pick from hundreds of games that cover a range of topics, including arithmetic, reading, language, and science.

PBS Kids Games contains features that allow parents to be on the lookout for their children’s actions and performance. Parents can also manage their accounts to provide their kids with a safe and secure environment.

Features:

  • Regular updates with new games
  • Offline games available to play on the go
  • Friendly and secure playing experience
  • Relatable characters inspired by popular shows

This app remains the coolest app for experiencing learning through play.

3. Duolingo

How do you say “hi” in Portuguese? Children and adults can master many different languages that Duolingo presently provides. Children are kept interested and engaged through constant feedback and simple lessons with fun online learning material. One of the most well-liked educational apps available today is Duolingo. It has a system that enables children and adults to learn a new language at a personalized pace.

This cool app uses technology to provide individualized instruction and private tutoring for over 30 foreign languages. There are a variety of different games to play that will test your writing, speaking, and reading skills.

Features:

  • Uses scientifically established teaching techniques that promote long-term language retention
  • Tracking progress and achieving goals is made exciting with incentives and achievements
  • Fun characters and game-like courses make sessions productive and amusing
  • Ideal for children and adults

Duolingo is perhaps the most intuitive language app for honing linguistic skills in children.

4. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a programming app ideal for beginners to explore and learn the basics. The app allows children to design programs with vibrant characters using the drag-and-drop editor.

Kids can create amusing characters that move, change looks, and respond to commands using a comparatively basic platform. By selecting characters, they may personalize their programs. They can also save and share their creations with the Hopscotch society, as well as leave comments on and play other people’s works.

It is a fantastic method for children to express their creativity and begin learning about computer programming without worrying about complex, technical code language. Kids can go from this basic coding app to more difficult ones like Scratch on a desktop or laptop.

Features:

  • Child-based programming
  • Offers play-along video instructions
  • Supports creativity through art, tales, and games
  • Provides children’s privacy and security

5. Elmo Loves 123

Elmo Loves 123 is a great app for preschool, kindergarten, and older kids. With this app, children can learn to trace and recognize their numbers and eventually add and subtract, which makes learning numbers much more fun.

It is jam-packed with exercises and games. The app includes videos and coloring pages to enhance the joy and excitement of the experience. It also captures snippets from the original Sesame Street program.

Parents can also use a tracker to keep tabs on their kids’ academic progress. The latest version offers the highest level of parental security.

Features:

  • Children can discover new features by tracing favorite numbers
  • To unlock the number of games with Abby and friends, press the Abby button
  • Sessions include number tracing, object identification, and group object counting
  • Children can learn to solve problems, create art, and be creative

This app can make the difference between learning at home and attending conventional schooling. It offers far more content than what’s offered in conventional kindergarten schools.

6. Epic!

Children under 12 years can access this digital library on their mobile devices. Epic allows its users access to more than 40,000 high-quality books. Even more reading tests and educational movies are available in this infinite library. Kids may take this digital library with them everywhere they go, expanding their knowledge bank. This app is ideal if you wish to improve your child’s reading habits and skills.

Features:

  • Provides users with four customizable child profiles
  • Considers children’s reading preferences to provide individualized book recommendations
  • Provides multilingual books and read-aloud novels
  • Children can read both offline and online

The fact that children can read both offline and online makes Epic a darling for many.

7. ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse has numerous interactive reading, math, science, and art-related games, exercises, and movies. In addition, it is a multi-platform program that works on both computers and mobile devices. The program provides animated videos, games, novels, music, crosswords, and coloring pages. It includes the full curriculum. However, because it is not a formal educational setting, your child can progress at his or her rate.

Features:

  • Complete online curriculum
  • Step-by-step learning paths
  • Entertaining visual material and activities
  • Allows for progress tracking

ABC Mouse remains one of the most integrated and educationally-diverse apps for children.

8. Prodigy Math Game

Ideal for children at elementary level and over, the Prodigy app adopts a fun fantasy approach. The role-playing game encourages kids to tackle more math problems as they advance through the levels.

Students tackle curriculum-based problems to complete adventure quests, win battles and earn rewards. Prodigy Math Game’s flexible algorithm is designed to adapt to the student’s level of learning. The personalized approach ensures kids stay engaged and do not get frustrated by tough questions.

Features:

  • All lessons are in line with the curriculum
  • With more than 1,400 skills available, children can study more and become stronger in the topic
  • Parent accounts enable tracking of the child’s development and comprehension
  • While children practice math, there are possibilities for setting goals

Prodigy Math Game remains a leading app for honing mathematical skills in children.

9. YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids provides a more protected and secure setting for kids to view all the fun, educational videos they adore. They will learn new and interesting stuff, and you will feel more at ease.

Parental powers allow the limitation of children’s screen time. Adults can also control the information their children consume and sort according to age. The app is loaded with entertaining videos ranging from science activities to funny cartoons for different age groups.

Features:

  • Parental powers allow you to control how your child uses apps
  • Movies that encourage inner creativity and playfulness
  • For their children, adults can design a particular experience that is special
  • Guarantees security from inappropriate content

There is no doubt that children love spending time on digital devices. Most of the time is spent playing games or watching funny videos and cartoons. It is time to squeeze learning and fun into that screen time with these amazing education apps.

NS804 – Streamlining Your Educational Apps For Children!

NS804 is a trusted provider of superior mobile app design solutions. As experts in the design of mobile apps for organizations across multiple sectors – finance, insurance, manufacturing, legal, entertainment, healthcare, and retail – NS804 now provides children’s mobile app development solutions.

So, if you’re looking forward to developing the best education app for children, look no further!

NS804 is your number one, trusted mobile app developer!

What Can Your App Metrics Tell You About Your Customers?

App metrics will help you succeed as an appreneur or even as an enterprise releasing one or more apps. After all, it’s never a good idea to push out an app without monitoring its key performance indicators (KPIs). And that’s because you’ll be missing out on crucial information that impacts your app in its entirety.

Just think for a minute that you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a food ordering app. Many users download it, but you receive very few orders. Having failed to add mobile app metrics, you’re left bewildered as to why this occurs. To top it off, you’re left guessing about what needs to improve, apart from a few negative user reviews.

The hard truth is that you should never have to guess what’s wrong with your app. Instead, you should know how it performs during its entire lifecycle. And app metrics will also help you learn more about your customers, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Learn More About Customer Device Specs

You should add metrics that monitor your app’s performance and user experience (UX) from the get-go. But why is this so important when your app runs fine on your test devices? Your test devices only offer a limited view due to the massive variety of devices available, especially in the Android space. It’s a technical impossibility to test your app on the thousands of different Android smartphones, tablets, and TVs that your users may own.

However, your mobile app metrics will let you know how your application performs after the user installs it. You’ll gain access to valuable data, such as the user’s device operating system (OS), screen resolution, load times, and crash reports. Moreover, you’ll have a granular view of this data to allow you to pinpoint issues and fix them. Occasionally, you may detect these issues before most of your users do.

Mobile App Metrics Reveal Customer Engagement KPIs

Is your app engaging users, or are they uninstalling it in droves? Believe it or not, that’s one of the most important questions you should be asking. But it’s also one that you should be getting answers for immediately. And that’s because engagement rates directly impact your app’s revenue, so never leave this to chance.

Your customer engagement KPIs should reveal the following: average number of screens per visit, session length, stickiness ratio, retention rate, and churn rate. Furthermore, you should have detailed data on daily, weekly, and monthly engagement per active user. 

Monitor Customer Spending Habits

Your app’s supposed to make you money, so you need to know if your customers are actually making purchases. Also, integrate the necessary application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate and monitor all payment methods. Nowadays, users like to make payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal — and several other payment services.

But what customer revenue metrics should you monitor? You’ll need to look at the following: average revenue per user (ARPU), number of purchases, time to first purchase, customer lifetime value (CLV), conversion rate, and cost per install (CPI).

In Conclusion

Mobile app metrics, when properly implemented, reveal much about your customers. And the data you collect and analyze will help you to pinpoint issues that impact your app negatively. Thus, allowing you to make fixes and roll out updates that actually make sense. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you integrate app metrics to unlock the true potential of your applications!

Mobile App Design Process: How To Get Started

The mobile app development and design process can become complex if you rely on disparate teams or freelancers to create your app. But if you work with an experienced development studio, such as NS804, it’s a streamlined process. At least, that’s the case on your end. Even so, it’s still crucial to understand what this entails to best plan your next move.

And whatever you do, you’ll need to consider your mobile app design process from the get-go and in its entirety. Don’t write a single line of code or start hiring developers without doing the following first!

Start By Asking The Hard Questions

You may have formed a mental picture in your mind’s eye of what your app will look like and how it should function. Moreover, you may be using a popular app that’s left a good impression and want to emulate its better qualities.

But is it wise to invest time and money in an app based on the above criteria? The short answer is a clear no!

Instead, you need to identify what problem your app aims to solve. You can start by asking yourself what problem you’ve faced in your daily life and how an app could solve it effectively.

But don’t stop there. Ask a series of questions that will help you identify all the possible pain points users may encounter and how your tentative app will solve all of these. And while this seems simple, it’s the first and most vital step in the mobile app design process, so don’t ignore it.

Design Your App

Now, it’s time to design your app, but it will likely take the form of wireframes, a series of 2D diagrams that act as a blueprint. And you’ll ignore elements such as colors, fonts, graphics, and styling for now.

However, you may need to build a more elaborate prototype if requested by stakeholders before they greenlight the app’s development. If that’s the case, you’ll likely spend more time on the prototype’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

But you also need to understand that app design never ends, as it’s an iterative process. Thus, you’ll do this near the beginning of the mobile app design process and whenever you give your app a UI/UX refresh.

Conduct Market Research And Competitive Analysis

At this point, you have a vague idea of what form your app will take. But you’re still unsure if there’s a market for your app. And even if there is, you don’t yet know what will make it appealing to users. Furthermore, your brand positioning strategy and business considerations will impact the direction of your app.

So, you’ll need to conduct market research and competitive analysis that help answer the following questions:

  • What pain points are users regularly experiencing?
  • Does my app address these pain points?
  • What will make my app appealing to these users?
  • What market am I entering? (e.g., entertainment, productivity, social)
  • How competitive is the market segment that I’m entering?
  • What are the top performing apps in my category?
  • What makes my app better than these top performers?
  • What sets my app apart from those released by competitors? (not necessarily top performers)

And you can take things a step further by building user personas and asking the following questions:

  • What type of person will use my app?
  • Where does this person live?
  • What are the demographics of this person?
  • What pain points does this person regularly experience?
  • What are this person’s likes and dislikes?

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an appreneur or an organization releasing your first or hundredth app, you always start with the mobile app design process. And that’s because you need to know how your app will look and function early on.

Furthermore, you need to know whether your app truly addresses users’ needs and if there’s a sizable market that will make it feasible. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create best-in-class apps by following tried and true practices!

Launching a New Product? 11 Reasons to Have a Mobile App

The product life cycle stages provide a benchmark for understanding the product development process. The product life cycle stages include a market introduction, market growth, market maturity, and market decline.

The different stages of a product’s lifecycle pose discrete challenges. The commonly cited challenges with launching a new product include ideation, product roadmap problems, market viability, workflow management, product engineering issues, and the pace of innovation.

So, when launching a new product, you want to be careful not to miss out on any vital points that may affect its adoption. A mobile app is critical for launching a new product, be it software, hardware, consumer electronics, or merchandise.

Mobile apps allow brands and business leaders to actively connect and engage with their target audiences, building the base for future business. Mobile apps provide an interaction platform, connecting prospective customers (and markets) with brand owners.

So, here are eleven reasons to have a mobile app when launching a new product:

1. Customer loyalty

Enterprises operating in competitive market landscapes must go an extra mile to remain visible and competitively positioned. For brands starting in fresh markets, it’s important to think of something to stand out: a gem that distinguishes you from the rest.

Mobile apps can offer start-ups and brands leverage when launching a new product. For instance, apps can lead to repeat business and bolster referrals. In addition, apps can foster new product and service adoption, especially when users share promotions, new products, and new deals.

There’s no doubt that your brand can accurately forecast long-term business outcomes when it has a loyal customer base. So, aim for a well-designed and customized app for your target customers. When launching products, this app may make a difference between a successful product launch and a failure!

2. Improved communication

Mobile apps act as crucial avenues for marketing communication. With mobile apps, you don’t have to overburden your email support because you have an extra communication channel.

In essence, mobile apps can communicate to a wide range of stakeholders, internal and external. With tailored communication and strategic response forums, mobile apps provide the convenience and flexibility of responding on the go. So, regardless of whether you’re catching a flight or traveling by train, you can always follow up on crucial office proceedings with a mobile app.

3. Marketing outreach

Mobile apps are indisputably the best single source of marketing truth. With mobile apps, you don’t have to worry about reaching hundreds, maybe thousands of potential customers, brands, partners, and suppliers. You can do that at a go.

Mobile apps afford enterprises and brands the flexibility, convenience, and agility of connecting with markets and other brands. It’s through mobile apps that you can foster your marketing outreach. Today, most consumers are connected to digital mobile platforms, making mobile a frontier in marketing communications.

4. Online shopping

When launching a new product, brands specify authorized suppliers, including stores, malls, shops, and hypermarkets that stock these specific products. Unfortunately, traditional product launches relied on complex supply chain lines.

The unpredictability and uncertainty of global supply chains continue to impede successful product marketing and distribution. Mobile apps are bridging this gap by offering online shopping options. So, when launching a new product (or service), your mobile app can be utilized as a distribution frontier.

The digitization of supply chain downstream activities has made it easier for brands to connect with customers. Digitizing distribution, sourcing, and supply continue to close gaps between production and consumption, making production and manufacturing seamless and surprisingly rewarding.

5. Brand image

Mobile apps improve brand image by offering interactive and intuitive interfaces to display products. In addition, mobile apps encompass diverse audiences and outreach, enabling emerging brands to reach a diverse audience. Product launches that use mobile apps experience better brand images because of accessibility, outreach, and product scope.

6. Customer visibility

Mobile apps are critical tools for obtaining insightful and actionable feedback, including customer behavioral patterns. Evaluating customer feedback and use patterns is a primary part of launching a new product. However, few brands and enterprises can successfully collect, collate, and report customer behavior to improve product launches and adoption levels.

Mobile apps allow you to collect insightful metrics: customer use patterns, pricing options, user behavior, market adoption, and competition levels. With mobile apps, you can gather and record customer responses, and obtain nifty product usage metrics, including product defects, failures, and inefficiencies.

7. Employee loyalty

There’s no doubt that workplaces are evolving with new technologies – blockchain, virtualization, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics. The desire for employees to learn, adapt and evolve with time is propelled by new technologies that help organizations automate their workplaces.

Unfortunately, not all organizations are undertaking improvements in technology adoption. Published research shows that employees exposed to new, exciting technologies are more loyal and committed. In addition, the study shows that workplaces that adopt modern equipment, technology, and processes enjoy better employee loyalty.

8. Omnichannel shopping approach

Brands and enterprises are using the omnichannel shopping approach to give customers a seamless shopping experience across all their devices – smartphones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and smart TVs.

Omnichannel access lets customers shop remotely. This is because customers can access products on-the-go through smartphone devices. With omnichannel access, customers can shop for products online using their mobile phones. Mobile apps reinforce omnichannel shopping, helping customers access products without visiting stores.

9. Customer relationship management

The customer relationship management domain is forever changing. The emergence of technical support software and remote helpdesk support has changed the face of traditional CRM.

However, the most disruptive technology in the customer relationship management domain is the mobile app. The mobile app connects people, places, and platforms. Its interoperability with other channels, including digital social channels, volatility, and versatility make mobile apps critical for connecting customers with technical support teams.

So, when launching a new product, you must view an app as a strategic tool for managing your customer relationships. Brands and organizations are leveraging mobile apps to foster their approach to customer relations. Mobile apps help CRM personnel handle inquiries, process complaints, report issues, and provide timely resolutions.

10. Employee training

Human resources face the challenge of providing upgraded training and learning materials to employees, especially when introducing them to new products, technology, or markets.

However, you can eliminate these challenges by using e-learning apps that allow employees to learn about new products, new work models, and methodologies.

E-learning mobile apps like Huddle, Udemy, Skill Pill, and BoostHQ ensure that employees have access to similar learning materials, regardless of where they’re. So, when launching a new product, a mobile app can streamline the process of educating your workforce on the ins and outs of the product.

11. Fostering employee commitment

The Technology Acceptance Model TAM terms usefulness and ease of use as the two most important factors for successful tech adoption. Your employees or customers will uptake your new product if it’s easy to use and functional or practical to them.

When launching a new product, foster your workforce’s commitment with a mobile app. By deploying a mobile app, you show your employees that you care about modernizing your workplace.

Improving your employee commitment will go a long way in accelerating the adoption and use of a new product. As a result, it’s advisable not to decouple employee engagement from the product initiation and adoption processes.

NS804 – Transforming Enterprises with Mobile Apps

NS804 provides custom-built mobile apps. NS804 designs and deploys functional, easy-to-use mobile apps that answer the trickiest question your business has to ask.

So, if you’re looking to create your first mobile app, don’t hesitate.

Contact NS804 for quotations and inquiries about your next project.