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.

Mobile Apps & Customer Surveys: Tips for Creating Yours

The success of a mobile app is heavily dependent on the ability of the owners to respond quickly and effectively to users’ feedback. Hundreds of hours of the development phase will not mean much if a bug is not fixed quickly enough. Setting up mobile surveys within your mobile app makes is user-centric. It allows for the continuous collection of information on user experience which yields several key benefits.

Guiding App Development

Mobile app survey tools have become quite sophisticated to allow for targeted survey administration. Today, you can set up survey questions to appear only on particular sections of the app or to pop-up only to particular users. The feedback received helps to understand whether features are working as intended. This approach helps the developer to decide whether to build on those features or abandon them altogether.

Product Roadmap

Mobile app surveys are a great way to ask users what they would like to see next on the app. Knowing the most requested features takes the guesswork out of a product’s roadmap and improves the ROI of the development spend. It also keeps your users emotionally invested in the future of the app as they seek to get more utility from it.

Handling Negative Reviews

Getting negative feedback within the app is far much better than bad reviews on app stores or other external platforms. Issuing surveys allows users to express what they feel is not working. It allows the development team to fix these issues before users decide to uninstall the app.

Tips/Best practices

When designing and deploying mobile app surveys, it’s important to ensure that the survey does not ruin the user experience itself. It’s important that you do not administer surveys too often that they annoy users. Every few weeks might be considered as frequent enough. The surveys should also not pop up when customers are in the middle of something important. For most apps, the norm would be to survey users after they log in or just before they exit the app.

Another best practice is to ensure the app is completed within the app to avoid redirecting them to another website or application altogether. Asking people to visit another page to complete a survey is also likely to lead to a very low number of respondents as people are not willing to exert a lot of effort.

Finally, when thinking about questions to include in a survey, it’s good to use a mix of both closed and open-ended questions. The survey, however, ought to be short enough so that it does not feel like an inconvenience to users.

Types Of Questions

It is possible to classify your mobile app survey questions into several broad categories to ensure that you do not ignore certain themes. The first category would be questions on whether the app is meeting users’ demands. The next category is open-ended questions on problems users face while using the app. The other category would be on the product roadmap and improvements users would like to see.

You can come up with more categories based on the niche of your app.

If your business is seeking an app development partner, NS804 is your best bet. We are a world-class mobile app development company with hundreds of apps shipped to both small and large businesses. Schedule a call with us here

 

IOS Development Richmond, VA

IOS development is a critical step of any mobile app development process. That’s because there were more than 1.2 billion iPhone users globally at the start of 2022. And this number is expected to grow soon. The APP Store gives users from every part of the world the opportunity to discover and download apps that meet the highest levels of security, quality, and performance.

This is exactly why developing an IOS mobile app with quality in mind is critical. App Store prioritizes and gives preferences to seamless, smooth, and quality apps that answer the most pressing of customers’ questions. So, if you’re a mobile developer or running an enterprise that ultimately needs one, you’re in the right place.

This article will explore some benefits of IOS mobile app development and give you tips on how to approach mobile app development – of course from an expert. In addition, if you need some mobile app development services in Richmond, worry no more because we already have you covered.

Why IOS Mobile App Development Richmond?

1. Elegant user interface

The first impression of an app is critical in its adoption and overall usability. That’s why it’s the responsibility of every mobile app development company to provide a superior user interface that’s appealing and satisfying.

A smooth user interface works proportionally for the customer. The smoother and more appealing, the stronger the relationship between the business and its target customers. Therefore, if you’re looking for IOS mobile development, in Richmond, ensure that the development project delivers an elegant user interface.

2. Tech-savviness

The iPhone has clearly distinguished itself as a tech-savvy device for like-minded users. That means that the typical iPhone user is a tech-savvy consumer who’s attracted to and impressed by innovative products.

So, if you’re developing an IOS app, think of developing a product with robust features. iPhone lovers are highly receptive to innovative and equally evolving products and apps. Your goal in developing a mobile application is to produce a product that will cause turbulence in the market and keep your head afloat from the competition.

3. Strong security

One of the primary advantages of IOS development is the high-end security protection provided by IOS. There’s no denying that every app developer must consider the security safeguards that protect data against theft, duplication, and encryption.

The primary purpose is to protect customers against phishing and hacking attempts, thus preserving their data, privacy, and security. So, it’s the responsibility of every app developer – customers, developers, and companies – to prioritize security in the IOS mobile app development.

4. Capital returns

Did you know that IOS app users are more likely to pay for an app than Android app users? So, developing an IOS app gives you better monetization opportunities than Android. However, it’s always advisable to consider a cross-functional app that can function in Android and IOS.

In addition, every app in the App Store must meet stringent criteria of security, usability, and experience. This means that every app in the App Store is worthwhile and helpful. Investing in an IOS development project will not only give you returns on investment, but will help you retain a large chunk of your clients.

5. Superior user experience

50% of customers uninstall their apps a week after installing them because of usability issues. Fortunately, this is not the case with IOS mobile app development. Apple has built a superior product for its customers because of fantastic software, superb customer service, and faultless hardware.

In addition, the contentment that Apple users derive by using such a superior product cannot be downplayed when considering whether to invest in Android or IOS development. Investing in IOS development fits into Apple’s overall culture of quality, functionality, and superiority.

Mobile App Development Services, Richmond

Richmond is a thriving capital that boasts hundreds of small, medium-sized, and large businesses. As an independent city with slightly over three hundred thousand people, Richmond Virginia is the fourth most populous city, and thus a business hub in the region.

Running a business in Richmond demands thrust, creativity, and innovation. This is because Richmond is home to one of the world’s leading brands – Walmart, Amazon, Infosys, Deloitte, and many more.

Luckily, mobile app development services will ensure that your business gets both a digital and physical presence. Mobile app development has been lauded as one of the most creative elements of modern-age businesses.

This means that leveraging mobile app development services will enable you to succeed in your digital marketing efforts by capturing an upstream of online customers.

Some of the benefits of IOS mobile app development in Richmond include:

  • Target customers. IOS mobile app development enables you to zero down on high-value customers. That’s because Apple users are tech-savvy and highly receptive to innovation and evolving technologies.
  • Returns on investment. It has already been established that iPhone users pay more for apps than Android users. That automatically means that your IOS app stands in a better monetary position than a typical Android app.
  • Quality. IOS mobile app development process is complicated and requires the latest software version. However, the results of IOS mobile app development are superior and superb, giving you better functionality and app control than a typical Android app.
  • User experience. Did you know that on average IOS apps are better and more impressive than Android apps? Investing in IOS development gives your app an edge, especially in a highly competitive and ever-changing landscape.
  • Faster development process. Unlike Android app development, IOS app development is faster, easier, and less expensive. However, all credit goes to Apple’s excellent programming languages that make app development a rewarding experience.

It’s critical to note that IOS development remains the best mobile app development for new and upcoming owners who want to remain ahead of the pack.

NS804 – Trusted IOS Development, Richmond

NS804 is a seasoned developer of superior mobile app solutions for Android and IOS. However, our years of designing and experimenting with IOS apps enable us to prefer IOS apps to Android apps because of speed, functionality, reliability, and security of IOS.

So, if you’re starting or simply looking to reinvent an existing mobile app, you’re in the right place. NS804 works with talented software developers and project managers who can design your app from concept to completion.

In addition, we provide a minimum viable product allowing our customers to experiment with a prototype of the app before going full-flung. Part of our provision is a mobile app calculator that lets you determine how much you will pay for a specific type of app.

So, whether you’re starting or improving on an existing project, NS804 will support all your IOS development efforts with precision and expertise.

Contact NS804 for superior IOS mobile app development solutions.

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! 

10 Mobile App Development Questions, Answered

Mobile app development strategy is now a priority for most businesses. That’s because of the rapid uptake of mobile apps that has transformed the mobile app landscape.

However, for most businesses, small and large, successfully bringing an app to the market demands substantial research and strategic planning. So, there are several questions to consider when you begin the mobile app development journey.

Understanding these ten questions will help you identify the best mobile app development strategy for your enterprise.

1. Is a mobile website sound enough?

Your business objectives will guide your decision to design a mobile app or a mobile website. For instance, if your objective is to offer mobile-friendly content to a wide range of people, a mobile website can be an ideal choice.

Mobile websites present a great way to put valuable content in the hands of your target audience. Unfortunately, mobile website users have exceedingly high expectations of functionality and quality that sometimes these websites cannot deliver.

2. How feasible is my idea?

Most small and medium-sized enterprises struggle with this question. They wonder about the feasibility of their app idea, often struggling to understand whether they should put huge budgets on app development and maintenance.

Well, the best way to know whether your idea is feasible is to test it. You have to design a prototype, take it to your target market, and see whether there’s something valuable in it.

There’s no way to know whether your app idea will succeed if you haven’t taken it to the field of real prospects or at least seen how apps of similar nature have performed before.

3. Who is my target audience?

Most businesses and individuals fail to know who exactly is their target audience when developing an app. Always know your app’s end users before kick starting the app development process.

To know your target audience, conduct a comprehensive study of your app’s user demographics. Focus the research on identifying the users’ buying habits, age, challenges, and locality. In addition, research on how much time they spend on devices, their preferences, and interests.

4. What’s my mobile app category?

Knowing your mobile app category will significantly help you cut your mobile app development costs. While knowing your app’s category is a no-brainer, your app should be designed in such a way that it can fit into any categories available in both Apple Store and Play Store.

Knowing your app category will reduce your competitive research time. In addition, knowing the primary and secondary categories will help you narrow down the most appropriate or potential clients for your app.

5. How can I validate my app idea?

This is a question that’s asked by most mobile app developers. Individuals and businesses that want to integrate mobile apps into their digital strategy wonder how they can actualize their dreams and validate their ideas.

The answer to this simple question is: you can validate your idea by using a prototype, a Proof of Concept, or a minimum viable product. Alongside validating your idea, a Minimum Viable Product allows for client and stakeholder participation, eliciting new ideas and revealing new areas of improvement.

The prototype or minimum viable product ensures that the entire team contributes to the project through the product life cycle stages. So, if you want to increase the chances of your app’s launch and eventual success, using a proof of concept POC or a minimum viable product may help you attain that goal.

6. How will my app make money?

This is a question most individuals struggle to answer. So, making money with your app depends wholly on your app monetization strategy. Selecting the right monetization strategy or a combination of strategies will help optimize your app’s performance and usage.

As you seek to monetize your app, look for a model that will generate income without compromising on your app’s overall performance and functionality. For example, the subscription monetization model works based on music and video subscriptions, while the in-app purchase model is perfect for products and free-to-play games.

Carefully consider how you monetize based on your market research, user base, and product. Doing this will not only guarantee profitability but will substantially increase your success.

The most common app monetization strategies include:

  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • In-App purchases
  • Pay per download
  • Advertising base

It’s important to note that regardless of your app’s monetization strategy, it’s not an afterthought. Your initial plans must capture your app’s idea and its monetization strategy.

The last thing any individual or business wants is to invest in a product that has no long-term returns on investment. So, carefully define your app’s monetization strategy straight from the beginning.

7. Hybrid, native, or web?

Selecting web, native, or hybrid can make or break your app’s mobile strategy. In addition, deciding to build your app as either a native, hybrid or web involves many factors for consideration.

Benefits of Native Apps

  • Deliver the best performance
  • They’re interactive, intuitive, and smooth
  • Allows developers to access the full feature set
  • A superior user experience
  • Approved by its operating system, ensuring compatibility, quality, and security.

Advantages of Web Apps

  • Web apps are relatively easy to maintain
  • They’re less expensive upfront
  • Do not have to follow standard OS protocols
  • Web apps can survive in all operating systems and platforms
  • Updates are not done from a centralized store – web apps update themselves automatically when the app loads

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

  • Only one codebase is needed for hybrid apps
  • Hybrid apps have access to a device’s internal API
  • Hybrid apps don’t need a web browser

The initial cost of a native app may be higher. However, you’ll save money and time in the long run.

8. Should I outsource my mobile app development?

Many companies have many items to consider when starting with mobile app development. One of these questions is who’s going to build the product.

Outsourcing mobile app development comes with flexibility, experience, and expertise, alongside an in-depth knowledge of new trends in technology.

9. Are there similar apps in the industry?

Competition holds a special place, not just in developing a new mobile app; but also in determining or predicting the future of that specific app. The first step in the competitive analysis is to know whether there are any competitor apps in the market.

Obtaining this information will not only help you know what elements or items your app must have, but will give you insights on what you should consider in the future to remain sustainable.

10. How do I protect my app idea?

One of the most commonly asked app development questions is how to protect your app idea. Well, the truth is that you have control of your app until it’s launched in the market. However, once launched, competitors will copy whatever attributes they see fit. And some competitors may duplicate the entire app idea.

So, while you’re at the ideation towards conceptualization stage, you can protect your app idea by signing a non-disclosure agreement NDA with the app development companies you’re involved with.

At the end of the day, the best way to protect your app idea is to work on it before your competitors do. And working on it means constantly adding new features and looking for new ways to improve the app’s overall functionality.

NS804 – Masters in App Design, Development and Deployment!

NS804 is a leading and trusted provider of mobile app development. With vast experience in app design, development, and deployment, NS804 has helped thousands of clients meet their app development goals.

NS804 offers expertise from inception to completion, helping you transcend the app development journey.

Contact NS804 for timely mobile app design, development, and deployment.

Want Flawless API Implementation? Here Are 3 Tips

The application programming interface (API) is essential for all forms of software development, and that’s why you want flawless API implementation. But how do you do this with so many APIs in existence? And don’t you need vast knowledge to work with so many different APIs?

The good news is that you’ll only ever use a handful of APIs during your development endeavors. And no, there’s no need to know these intimately, as these change regularly or occasionally become deprecated. Though it never hurts to have relevant background knowledge and experience.

However, API implementation is something you need to do well and consistently. So we’re providing these few handy tips to help you with this matter below.

1. Check The Documentation Before API Implementation

The quality of documentation plays a crucial role in whether or not you should use an API. And that’s because poor documentation, or lack thereof, makes API implementation incredibly challenging. And in some cases, utterly impossible!

So, always check the documentation of an API to see that it’s clear, concise, and detailed enough. It should have enough information to help you implement it easily and quickly. Fortunately, most popular APIs, especially those developed by tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, come with well-written documentation.

But things can get dicey when dealing with open-source APIs or those made by amateur developers. Another common problem with open-source projects is that documentation will suffer once a project loses steam. At least with those backed by large companies, their documentation will regularly get updated, so long as these APIs aren’t deprecated.

2. Verify The Stability Of The API Beforehand

Always check the version number, release notes, and reported issues of an API beforehand. Also, search developer forums to see if other developers have experienced issues with the API you’re about to implement. Contributors of these developer forums will often provide solutions to known problems.

While no API is perfect or bug-free, you’ll want to avoid any API that will break your app. And you’ll also want to use APIs that offer a certain degree of backward compatibility. After all, you don’t want to rewrite your entire app just to get it to work with the latest version of an API.

3. Easier Is Always Better

API implementation should never be too difficult. Your team simply shouldn’t waste valuable time trying to implement an API when they could be working on the features that add value to your app. Thus, your preferred APIs should offer ease of use and flexibility.

And implementation must be so easy that it makes sense to use a particular API in your other apps when necessary. Thus, you won’t waste company resources learning new APIs or having to undergo yet another onboarding process.

The Bottom Line

Every mobile app relies on several APIs to make it functional. And there’s an API for every use case, from drawing graphics on the screen to transferring data to the backend server. Therefore, API implementation is one of the most important tasks that mobile app developers can’t ignore. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal mobile apps the right way!

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! 

The 5 Reasons Your Mobile App isn’t Drawing In Clients

Deciding to build a mobile app aimed at serving customers better is a significant step for any business that wants to grow revenue. Apps ensure businesses can are more available to clients and it is also an opportunity for the business to develop a better profile of individual customers by looking at the services they interact with most. However, businesses must remember that there are over 1 million apps that customers can download on iOS and Android platforms. For an app to stand out, it must serve specific needs and do so in a world-class manner.

If your business app is not drawing in clients at the rate you had projected, there are numerous things that you might have gotten wrong.

1. A Lack of a Clear Objective

You must make a strong case on why users need to download, keep using, and recommend your app to other users. The primary features of the app must integrate with users’ daily lives else the rate of un-installations will be high. For instance, an app that compiles all the important news on stock markets every morning is likely to be used heavily by people during their morning commutes. Features are less important than the utility.

2. Complicated UI

The simpler the user interface of an app, the more likely it is to appeal to a wide market. App users prefer apps that do not have a steep learning curve. Everything must feel intuitive and the experience should be quite similar across devices. Speak to a UI-expert for advice on whether this might be a stumbling block for users. Comments from users can also give an indication of the app’s experience after the first few hours or days of use.

3. Failure to Iterate the Mobile App

Apps are rarely perfect and there will always be quacks to fix immediately after you release the app. Your development team should be ready to fix bugs or to adjust features based on feedback from users. Staying too long without fixing issues will lead to the loss of goodwill from early adopters of the app leading to un-installations and bad reviews. Negative reviews will heavily impede the app’s growth despite there being genuine utility in using the app.

4. Poor Marketing

Your team must have a well-laid-out marketing strategy aimed at creating sufficient hype in the community of your target users. You might invite journalists and thought leaders in the industry to try a Beta version of the product pre-launch. Detailed reviews by such authority voices give your app credibility. You might also have a paid-ad campaign. In a market where thousands of apps may be aiming for the same market, a marketing budget is paramount.

5. Poor User Experience

Another reason an app may fail to take off is unavailability in multiple languages. Apps, just like websites, need to be customized for different markets. You must also consider the ease with which people can download, install, and begin using the app. An overly long sign-up process will cause some customers dropping off before completion. Your team must make the product very customer-centric.

NS804 is a world-class mobile app development company with decades of experience in shipping successful business apps. Reach out to us today for a conversation about turning a positive return on your business’s mobile app.

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!