What You Need Before Commencing With iOS App Development

There’s much to be said about iOS app development. And that’s because it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences afforded to developers and appreneurs. Not only has Apple created an awe-inspiring ecosystem with over a billion users, but they have provided developers with excellent tools to create their apps.

Apple’s Xcode IDE and Swift programming language allow talented developers to bring their ideas to life — ideas that can potentially change people’s lives for the better. But creating amazing apps is only half of the battle. It’s equally challenging to plan, design, market, respond to market demands, and attain long-term user retention

Thus, it’s crucial to have a bird’s-eye view of the entire iOS app development process before forging ahead. No matter how fired up your team may be about the upcoming iOS project, it’s essential to have a clear picture of what to expect. After all, iOS apps cost a lot to develop and maintain, and you’ll want to avoid making expensive mistakes. Below, we take a deep dive into what you need to know before commencing work on your iOS app.

What It Costs To Develop And Market An iOS App In 2022

Developing an iOS app today is not cheap by any stretch. Expect to pay between $40,000 and $60,000 for a simple app and up to $100,000 for a native-developed app. And for a complex app, expect to pay $300,000 or more.

Then, you’ll need to consider the yearly costs of maintaining your app. The industry standard is about 20% of the initial cost of development. For example, if you’ve already spent $50,000 on your app, you’ll need approximately $10,000 per year to cover maintenance costs.

But in today’s highly-competitive iOS app market, developing an app and simply releasing it seldom leads to success. Without an effective marketing strategy, it’s unlikely that your app will reach its target audience. 

It costs between $5,000 and $15,000 to conduct app market research and up to $5,000 for beta testing. If you hire a marketing agency, expect to pay up to $25,000 for each iOS app. And if you decide to work with influencers, you may pay between $10,000 and $18,000 per month.

Also, there are app action costs that further inflate the marketing budget. Average Cost Per Install (CPI) and Cost Per Action (CPA) hovers at around $3.50 per install or registration. But after attaining users, it’s vital to focus on user retention. An effective way to do this is with push notifications that increase user loyalty and reduce churn. Expect to pay between $30 and $250 per month for push notification services.

App Updates Increase User Retention 

Apple always throws show-stopping events that delight its loyal fanbase and its competitors attempt to emulate. Savvy developers often capitalize on the fanfare of these events and whenever Apple introduces new hardware or app updates. These developers will tie their updates together with Apple’s to show their users that they’re staying ahead of the curve.

But app updates also act as a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. With each update, every developer gains another opportunity to engage and delight users. They can make announcements about their update via their App Store page, social media channels, and website. Furthermore, they can reach out to the press, bloggers, and influencers to inform their respective audiences.

If this update contains exciting and indispensable features, users will take notice. And may entice those that have never used the app before to download it out of curiosity. If the updated app meets or surpasses their expectations, it will increase the user base and drive further growth.  

Ultimately, these updates show that the developer is invested in the app and cares about providing value to users. Moreover, these updates remind users that the app still exists and is evolving with their needs.

Respond To Increasing Security Demands

Compared to many of its big tech rivals, Apple has a reasonably good track record regarding security. That’s commendable, considering the increase in cybersecurity breaches recently. And with more people working online, there’s a greater demand for hardened security solutions that will protect users from hackers.  

Apple has responded accordingly by implementing strong security protocols and taking the necessary steps to protect user data. However, Apple can only do so much to protect users. Developers should also do their part by closely following best practices for application security.

Also, it’s wise to develop apps based on iOS 15’s enhanced security features. These include iCloud private relay, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, HomeKit Secure Video, Mail Privacy Protection, Secure Paste, and Two-factor Authentication Code Generator (2FA), to name a few. And you can introduce these features in your existing iOS applications via app updates.

iOS users have come to rely on many of these features and Apple’s security standards. It’s also what keeps them going back to the App Store and confidently downloading new apps. Therefore, your iOS app development endeavors should always have a strong focus on security, especially when dealing with sensitive information and payment details.

AR & VR Present New iOS App Development Opportunities

Users always seek experiences that excite and inspire them. That’s why Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) present a golden opportunity for creative developers to shine. And with the recent announcements regarding Meta and the Metaverse, there’s greater interest in virtual worlds than ever before. 

If you plan on creating an AR app for iOS, you may want to use Apple’s ARKit 5. It allows for the creation of impressive AR experiences in record time. Furthermore, it boasts advanced face tracking and motion capture features. And these are features that more businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies require for their apps.

Generally, there’s a growing trend of visually impactful apps reaching the market. Powerful tools such as Unity and Unreal Engine allow developers to create stunningly beautiful 3D visuals for their AR & VR projects. And with Apple’s rumored mixed reality headsets reaching the market in 2022, there’s never been a better time to explore this avenue.

Implement AI & ML In Your Latest iOS Apps

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will play a significant role in iOS app development moving forward. Until now, AI & ML were nice-to-have features in many mobile apps. But that’s changing since various industries require scalable self-learning applications to thrive.

AI & ML are indispensable for automation, cloud computing, chatbots, data analysis, deep learning, and facial recognition, to name a few. And there’s hardly a business or government institution that won’t use one or more of these processes to function effectively. These entities require intelligent humanlike decision-making to integrate with all their existing systems while operating at the speed of a machine.

In Conclusion

iOS app development continues to be fruitful for ambitious developers. But it’s important to embrace change and the many new opportunities that come with that. AI & ML, AR & VR, hardened security, and regular updates will play a crucial role on the iOS platform moving forward. 

And it’s equally important to plan and budget for your latest iOS app, as development is on the pricey side. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps within budget and on time.

5 Tips for iOS & Android App Development

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

1. The Latest Trends in App Development for 2021

 

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

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

2. Supporting iOS and Android

 

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

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

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

3. Leveraging Results on iOS

 

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

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

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

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

4. Leveraging Results on Android

 

Take your Android app development to the next level with these methods:

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

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

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

5. Finding the right partner for mobile app development

 

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

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

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.  

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

How To Improve User Retention By Studying The Competition

It’s tough out there. The app marketplace isn’t what it used to be due to incredibly high competition. Considering that there are over 2.8 million apps on Google’s Play Store and around 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App Store, app developers and publishers have their work cut out for them. And the same old strategies that worked in the past seldom work in today’s digital marketplaces. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom if you adopt the right strategies for pushing forward the next generation of engaging apps. Firstly, you’ll need to accept that an app building competition isn’t a bad thing, as this creates new opportunities. Secondly, implement a solid ‘update app‘ strategy that causes the user to follow through. Thirdly, think about how to improve user retention since this will help in increasing your ROI.

Finally, never fear competition, as there are several effective ways to develop successful apps in the current climate. Below, we provide a few handy tips about studying the competition and using that to your advantage.

1. Better Understand Your Audience’s Needs

It’s no secret that you can’t tailor a user-centric experience if you don’t know your target audience. Thus, take the time to learn as much as possible about your current and future users. Find out their age, gender, language, location, occupation, devices, interests, and marital status. 

Of course, you can delve deeper by finding out more about their behavior, habits, personality, and values. All this data will help you compile accurate user personas, which will give you a clear understanding of your audience’s needs.

2. Improve Upon Features Users Don’t Like

Even your most well-made app won’t please all your users. You may have released a messaging app that runs smoothly and boasts a ton of handy features. However, some of your users may find the available emojis unappealing and start looking for alternative messaging apps. Check out what your competitors are doing, and implement the necessary improvements when your users click the update app button.

3. Improve Overall UI/UX Design

Your production values make a massive difference in how users perceive your app. The quality of all your assets and overall UI/UX design will make or break the final product. All your visual elements, which may include menu icons, fonts, and the update app button, to name a few, are vital to your app’s success.

Furthermore, you should implement these five key elements for your UX design: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

4. Release More Purposeful Updates

Always delve deeper into how to improve user retention. It’s common for many developers to focus primarily on bug fixes for their update cycles. While this is good for app stability, many users may grow tired of using apps that don’t offer significant feature upgrades. With these regular updates, you ensure that your app remains modern and secure and that you care for your users.

5. Study User Feedback For New Ideas

Any app building competition can be a game-changer. Your users aren’t just using your apps, but also those released by competitors. That’s why it’s important to gather user feedback and study it carefully. Find out what they’re saying about your apps and those made by the competition. After gaining this valuable insight, discuss it with your team, and plan your upcoming updates accordingly.

In Conclusion

Learning how to improve user retention by studying the competition is a step in the right direction. You’ll need to follow a few important steps, such as understanding your audience’s needs, improving features users don’t like, improving UI/UX design, release purposeful updates, and study user feedback.

The result is an app building competition while engaging users. With years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve your business goals with professionally made apps.

Successfully Running a Mobile App Launch

A successful mobile app launch undeniably begins far before the launch itself. Generally, there is a wide array of tasks and activities that companies need to accomplish leading up to the mobile app launch. These activities contribute to the mobile app launch strategy. Therefore, helping to ensure the mobile app launch is a success.

Some of these elements relate to setting the stage for first-downloads, and first-reviews. Another element in a strong app launch is leveraging data from focus groups. In addition to traditional elements like PR, and outreach, an app launch can also benefit from tactics like a launch party and blogging.

Beta Testing and Focus Groups For a Mobile App Launch

One of the most crucial aspects of a successful mobile app launch is leveraging BETA test groups and focus groups. These groups offer your company an immediate set of initial users. The same users act as your first app downloads. Additionally, your company can prompt these initial groups of users for the first reviews on your mobile app.

Reviews are an absolutely crucial element to gaining the trust of new users that come across your app in the app store. Therefore, it’s vital for companies to prioritize gaining these initial reviews. Speaking of the app store, app store optimization (ASO) is another significant element to having a successful app launch.

An ASO campaign allows your app to perform to the best of its ability in the app store. Optimizing how many users are attracted to your app and choose to download it.

PR and Outreach/Marketing

Press relations and media outreach/marketing are two of the most traditional means of getting the word out about a mobile app release. Or any release for that matter. However, there’s a reason that these tried and true methods are still relied on today. The reason being that they’re effective.

PR, outreach, and marketing efforts are going to be major pillars in your user acquisition strategy. Marketing campaigns will often be the first introduction to the mobile app that many users experience. Building effective marketing designs that encourage conversions, and promote user engagement is vital to a comprehensive and powerful user acquisition strategy.

Launch Party, Blogging, Etc.

Nothing quite gets the buzz going about something the way a launch party does. Whether it’s an album from a music icon or the newest mobile app from an exciting new developer on the scene, a launch party brings the release to a whole new level.

Launch parties can be extremely effective at generating a whole new set of initial users. Inviting industry influencers to the launch party can be another impactful tactic that leads to a massive amount of app traffic.

Blogging and other forms of content marketing are also growing in popularity. These forms of more passive marketing strategies are influential in the way that they allow consumers to form their own purchase decisions based on trustworthy information.

For a successful launch powered by a comprehensive launch strategy, mobile app companies should utilize a variety of tactics. Tactics from BETA testing, to launch parties, content marketing, and everything in between.

NS804 is a premier source for everything mobile app development. Visit and get in touch today to start crafting your comprehensive launch strategy.

MVP Development: Competitive Analysis and Feature Sets

Developing a Successful MVP

Before developing a minimum viable product (MVP) developers conduct their due diligence to make decisions about the MVP prior to releasing it. That ensures the MVP includes vital features that display the core functions of the app. While there are many aspects to consider, two are especially crucial. Firstly, there is the competitive analysis.

The Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a way to determine the specific competitive advantage of the mobile app. In other words, the comparison of mobile apps in the same market. Mobile app developers find valuable insight from these comparisons. Insights that highlight differences between mobile apps.

These differences then become differentiating factors. Enough of these factors form a competitive advantage. A comprehensive competitive advantage then informs the marketing strategy.

Another important aspect to consider when conducting a competitive analysis is the product-market fit. The product-market fit helps determine exactly where in the marketplace any specific app fits. Thus, leading to important insights that the marketing team leverages into different marketing tactics. In turn, forming the overall marketing strategy.

Feature Sets

Feature sets are also incredibly crucial in the development of a successful MVP. The feature sets of an app are the high-level pillars of what makes the app viable. In other words, feature sets make up the core skeleton of the app.

Another way to look at the feature sets of a mobile app is to define what solution the application offers the end-user. Essentially, what purpose does the app serve?

Defining the feature sets of the mobile app is an important step in the MVP development process for a spectrum of reasons. One of the most crucial is that some to many of the aspects defined as a feature set need to be included, to some capacity, in the MVP.

Moving Forward With The MVP

After determining the feature sets of the app the developer can begin designing and building the core of the application. Once the development process is a little further along, the app will be ready for the competitive analysis. Between these two components, an MVP is born.

While the MVP is being built behind the scenes, the marketing team surely is surely not sitting idly by. Once developed, the MVP needs groups ready to test it. These groups often include early adopters.

After the MVP undergoes testing, and the competitive analysis is complete, a mobile app is ready for it’s home-stretch.

At this point in the process, there is plenty of data readily accessible for mobile app developers to complete the app. Insights garnered from conducting the competitive analysis and the product-market fit. Additionally, extra aspects of feedback offered by test-groups from the released MVP.

Develop an MVP with NS804

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the people. NS804 brings mobile app development services to the everyday person with a good idea. With experience that spans the entire mobile-app marketplace and a team of expert developers and designers, bring your mobile app idea to life with NS804.

How to Plan a Mobile App Budget

Creating a budget for your mobile app is important because it helps you and your business stay on track. Not every app developer can evaluate each aspect of the app, especially the cost involved. This post gives you a brief overview of how you can prepare a proper budget for your app.

How to Identify the Purpose of the App?

One of the best places to plan the budget is to first identify the main purpose of your app. Let’s analyze some of the more obvious ones.

  1. You want to help your customers place an order at your store/website with an app. A good example of this would be Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Etsy.
  2. You have identified a unique money-making opportunity and you need an app to cash in on it. Examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash.
  3. You want your clients to easily engage your customer service team members via an app. Examples include the McDonald’s App.

If you need a rough estimate on the development costs, talk to a professional app developer. You can also use our online calculator to get an idea about the costs.

How to Choose the Right Platform for App Development?

As a general rule, the more platforms you develop your app for, the costlier it will get. You can save costs by targeting the most relevant platforms for your target audience. For instance, there’s no use building an app on Android if your customers primarily use iOS. Moreover, it’s more complicated to develop on Android due to the level of optimization needed for each device.

If you’re running out of ideas, survey your customers to identify the devices they commonly use. It is also worth your while to check in with your competitors to see their target platforms.

Which is Better: In-House Development or Outsourcing?

The answer to this dilemma depends on your goals and specific circumstances. Outsourcing and in-house app development have their own pros and cons. For the most part, you should choose them based on your own unique requirements. In-house development makes it easier to closely coordinate with your team and give them instructions. Additionally, you can directly instruct your team about new features in real time.

It is worth noting that in-house development involves software licenses, salaries, employee benefits, and more. Your next best option is to hire an app development team on a project-by-project basis. This is an economical move since you won’t have to deal with salaries anymore, and finding appropriate software is no longer your hassle.

Of course, you won’t be able to closely coordinate every step of the development process and this is where project questionnaires come in. They let you quickly fill your new team in on project briefs. In fact, experienced app development teams like the one at NS804 will work closely with you to build your app. It helps to think of us as an extension of your in-house team.

How Costly Are the App’s Features?

It’s time to identify which features have to stay and which need to go. Run a comprehensive market survey of your potential customers along with their needs and pain points. You should have a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. For starters, most apps should cover the basics such as integration with third-party platforms, social networks, and in-app purchases.

Create an MVP to Cut Costs and Estimate Future Profits

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) instead. There is no need to go into in-depth animation and complex UI/UX design. For now, it is important to get the app off the ground to gauge demand for it. Don’t sacrifice user experience! You’ll also get an idea about your projected profit and estimated income.

Building an app is an on-going process that requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. There’s usually no cookie-cutter approach to app building and no cut-and-paste template to work with. You’ll also need to set aside some budget for maintenance and regular updates.

If you’ve decided to build an app, then get in touch with the professionals at NS804.

 

Benefits of Agency App Development vs. Freelancers

If you’re reading this blog, you probably typed “app development: agency vs. freelancer” on a search engine.

You’ve got a brilliant idea for an app and are now dealing with the most frustrating conundrum ever: who should I even hire? Putting together the right team is the first step towards bringing your idea to life.

This can be done in three ways:

  • Hiring an in-house developer
  • Hiring a freelancer on a project-by-project basis
  • Partnering with an app development agency

As for the first option, you will have to probably teach the new recruit a thing or two before expecting them to deliver results. Hiring a person is much more expensive in the long run due to salary, employee benefits, and software licenses, besides.

The second option, freelances, can be a hit and miss. There are literally hundreds of thousands of freelancers you can choose from. This means you’ll frequently run into quality issues before settling with a good freelancer who meets your goals.

Agencies, for the most part, are well equipped with equal amounts of talent and equal amounts of tools. They have all the experience and expertise needed to work on a large scale project. But not all agencies are built equal, those raving reviews you see on BBB can be faked.

In this blog, we’ve conducted an in-depth comparison of agencies with freelancers, so you can make a more informed decision.

1) Commitment

Freelancers: They Won’t Stick Around Long

Our biggest pet peeve with freelancers is that they’re like bunnies, always hopping from one project to another. They are not legally bound to live up to their end of the bargain which allows them to refund your money and bail. This is definitely the case with freelancers who are just starting out and don’t have a reputation to manage.

Freelance mobile developers often get bored easy, find a better paying client, or go on a holiday. You leaving a 1 star review on their Upwork profile isn’t cause for worry to most freelancers. We’re not saying all of the freelancers are like this, but there’s enough out there to cause a major source of frustration.

Agency

Agencies are far less agile than freelancers since they actually have a reputation to stick to. Agencies are held accountable by regulatory bodies and laws more strictly than freelancers. They’re held to a high standard. This means they cannot skip your project, put it on hold, or ignore it after taking your money. Violating contractual obligations can have potential legal ramifications that could prove to be both damaging to their reputation and expensive.

2) Time

Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer is easier said than done. There are thousands of freelancers out there, each boasting having a long list of credentials and satisfied clients. When you do post a job requirement on Upwork or Guru, you will get bombarded with thousands of resume submissions. The worst part is that they’re all automatic, which means that their requests will keep on piling one after another.

Agency

Agencies are much easier to look up and maintain a more considerable profile on social media and search engines. The best part is that you can easily talk to them over different media, including phone, email, and live chat without wasting time.

Speaking of time, agencies stick to their committed deadlines from the start of the project to the end. They will make sure not to miss their project deadlines because it gives you the perfect excuse to ask in for refunds.

Being professionals at what they do, agencies know their strengths and weaknesses, which means they won’t take your project if they know they don’t have the expertise. Freelancers on the other hand will probably take on your project even if they don’t have the necessary tools and skills.

3) Cost of Development

Freelancers

When it comes to app development, there is a rule of thumb you would do best to learn: you get what you pay for. Most freelancers are looking for opportunity and as such, they will charge you much lower than an agency would. Paying less doesn’t mean your project is going to cost you less. If anything, a single freelancer will take more time to manage your project than if you had an entire team of developers working for you.

Think of it this way, a single freelance has to work on thousands of lines of code, constantly communicate back and forth with you, and make prompt revisions when asked to do so. This ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach means that your project will take a lot of time, and we’re not even discussing the errors and potential mishaps that will lead to additional costs on your end.

Agency

Agencies that specialize in app development will have more tools and robust team members who will stay focused on your task. They will not get distracted and usually have someone else to do the communication for them. Organizations have different experts at various departments to execute tasks in parallel, which reduces the development time.

When it comes to app development, time is money. The sooner you can get your app pushed into the market, the better for you.

If you ask them to speed up the development process, it’s easier for organizations to put one more member to speed things up. Asking a single freelancer to speed things up is a bad idea because this will usually come at the cost of too many errors and quality issues.

4) Maintenance and Support

Freelancers

As we mentioned earlier in the blog, freelancers simply do not have the incentive to stick around for the long haul. They’re like nomads – always on the move. This means that once your project is complete, it’s on its own. And we all know that even the most carefully optimized apps will run into the occasional performance-breaking bug that needs fixing.

If you hired a freelancer to work on your app, you will be forced to look for alternatives.

Agency

Professional agencies that specialize in app development provide ‘after-market’ support. This may come at a price depending on the level of support required. For instance, it may be free if you’re asking them to fix bugs in the old software. It may come with a fee included if you want to update the software based on new hardware and OS upgrades.

5) Staying on Top of New Trends

Freelancers

Freelancers don’t usually have access to too many resources which prevents them from staying on top of technological trends. Android and iOS development is rapidly changing at a fast space and not being abreast of new trends is a surefire way of killing your app dead in the water.

Agencies

Most app development agencies depend on trends to boost their bottom line. Not to mention they usually have dedicated researchers who pick up on the latest trends and can offer contemporary solutions that freelancers can’t match. Agencies have access to advanced tools to keep up with the times.

To conclude, agencies offer far more robust and superior app development capabilities than freelancers can on their own – unless you’re asking them to develop Flappy Bird. But most functional apps aren’t Flappy Bird and require a ton of features with support.

Ready to hire skilled app developers for your new project? Get in touch with experts at NS804 for more information.

 

 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an Event App?

The event industry is evolving at the speed of light and one of the best ways to capitalize on its explosive growth is building event apps. Building an event app could be a bit expensive depending on the features you add. The typical price for an event app ranges from $5000 to over $500,000 but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. To make things easier for you, we’re letting you get an estimate on the price of your event app here.

Over 85% of event planners will make use of event registration software to facilitate faster registrations. It’s all about giving audiences an unforgettable experience while maximizing the event ROI – the best of both worlds.

At least 75% of event professionals who don’t use event applications plan on adopting them sometime in the future. Your competition as an event professional will increase; the sooner you have an event app ready, the faster you’ll capture your target audience.

And before you get started on Facebook for your event planning needs, take note that it only serves as a valuable promotional tool to create awareness about the event. The actual registration, planning, coordination, and scheduling will be done through the event.

Problem is, it’s not easy to build a fully functioning event app. Even a ‘normal’ business app with fewer endpoints will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $140,000 depending on their features and functions. The risks and variables involved when planning and developing an event app are simply greater. There is a ton of information that has to be managed in real-time, requiring developers to exercise precision and accuracy – both of which take time and money.

Most event planners will incorporate the following set of features in their event app:

  • Information on the list of speakers
  • Constant news updates about the venue, etc
  • Report briefings
  • Accurate event scheduling
  • Interactive maps for the venue
  • In-depth information on event sponsors
  • Integration with social media tools
  • Ratings
  • … And much more

Depending on the event planner’s needs and budget, the event app may also come with messaging capabilities that allow participants to communicate with each other. Some speakers also like having the ability to ask attendees questions for constant feedback, which is best done with polls.

Every extra feature will add to the amount of time spent developing the app which, of course, adds to your total costs. Below are the main factors that will affect the cost of creating an event app.

Which Platform Should I Choose for My App in 2020?

What will you choose? A web-based platform or a mobile app? Or maybe both?

If you plan on porting the event app to various platforms, including iOS and Android, the development cost and time will increase based on your needs. For instance, the Android platform development efforts will take at least 200 to 3,100 hours. This may be expensive for some businesses especially if they plan on adding all the bells and whistles.

For the most part, event planners will likely settle with hybrid application development because it is far more affordable and allows at least 70% of the code to be reused on other platforms once it has been developed for one.

GPS Connectivity

Smartphone users are becoming increasingly dependent on GPS connectivity to guide them through busy roads and streets as they struggle to find their destination. This is why event apps must also incorporate map-based GPS services to help users. While users can just as easily swap out the app with a more dedicated tool like Google Maps or Apple Maps, doing so only adds to the hassle.

The best way to maximize user interactivity is to provide them with GPS connectivity built in the app. This obviously increases the development time needed to implement the new feature in the event app.

Event Agenda

Think of event agendas as the heart and soul of your event app. Event agendas are a great way to help your guests get to the event on time. This is an essential feature that your guests will use and depend on. Most events such as conferences and seminars are characterized by multiple breaks that often occur at the same time. Attendees need to know which ones they can attend and which ones they should cancel in case it conflicts with their schedule.

An event agenda gives your guests the ability to save sessions that they are interested in. It also gives them an easy way to view their favorite schedule. The last thing they want is to revisit an event or session that they already skipped before during their research.

Post-Event Surveys

Surveys help event planners measure the success of their event. Unfortunately, few event planners give due consideration to post-event surveys. In fact, at least 55% of event professionals believe they don’t properly measure the success of their events properly. This is where post-event surveys or feedback forms come in.

59% of event professionals listed down feedback surveys as the most important way to measure the success of their live event. All event planners want to know what features worked, what didn’t, and what went wrong. This is where post-event surveys come in. They let you collect honest feedback from guests who will be more than happy to voice their concerns and complaints if something goes wrong.

Once you have identified which areas of the app need improvement, you can start fixing themes right away. Most event professionals miss out on collecting this information because they send requests for surveys long after the event was held; at this point, fewer guests are willing to share their suggestions and feedback. To make your surveys quick and easy, give your guests the ability to send their reviews in real-time. It should ideally be done with a few taps instead of combing through long and drawn out questionnaires that waste their time. You can always add an optional section for longer reviews to let users share as much or as little of their feedback as they want to.

Social Features

No event app can survive without being well-connected with social media networks. This is the primary way to maximize user engagement and reach a large chunk of your target audience. Once again, users can always open another tab, window, or app to check their social media. But as mentioned above, most smartphone users would rather do this within the app to save time.

The best part about social media is that it is completely free of charge unless you are running ads. Adding social features to your event app will increase development costs and time. But this cost is definitely worth it since users will find it much easier to share information and post what they did at the event.

If possible, try adding support for multimedia features too such as photographs, videos, gifs, and more. Adding support for social media will increase your traffic as more users will download it out of curiosity.

API Interface Integrations

API interface platforms are extremely useful for event-based companies if they plan on selling tickets, merchandise, and collecting donations. APIs are responsible for point-to-point integration for the exchange of data, including payments. Once again, the idea is to provide access to users. This is best done by adding digital payment gateways so guests can purchase tickets without ever having to leave the app.

Adding this feature will obviously drive up the costs because of the extra number of additional hours and resources that your development team will put into API integration. The ideal event app should be compatible with most major payment processors including PayPal, Visa, bank transfers, and even cryptocurrency.

Offers and Discounts

Who doesn’t like having generous discounts that cut down the price by a significant margin? Most users love the instant gratification that comes with small discounts and the potential freebie. Instead of sending offers and promo campaigns into their inbox, you can send notifications directly through the event app. You’ll soon notice that customer loyalty will increase as users utilize more of your event services.

Conclusion

Can you make an event app at an affordable price while getting all your desired features? Yes, you can! The trick, however, is to find the right team to develop your apps at an affordable price that fits your budget.

If you are looking to create an event app for your business and wonder how much it will cost, then get in touch with our development team at NS804. We will offer you the best possible price while delivering superior event applications that will maximize your ROI.

 

How to Build an App That People Want (in 8 simple steps)

It’s official: most online users have an attention span of fewer than 8 seconds; that’s less than that of a goldfish. People want a solution to their problem and they want it now, like an impatient child at the toy store. It’s why Uber, Doordash, and Airbnb are so ridiculously successful because it takes mere seconds to make a booking and get stuff done!

All three apps reduce otherwise long and drawn out processes into a relatively straightforward booking; whether it’s a long commute, food cravings, or renting a place to crash for the night. The biggest indicator of success for any idea is instant gratification; because who has the time to wait?

So if your app can satiate the growing demand for instant gratification, then you have a market. But not all mobile apps become instant sensations. Users adore some apps and despise others. So, how can you build an app that people will want to use? In this post, we’ll unravel the thought process that goes into designing and building an app from the ground-up.

How to Build an App that People Want?

Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

Every good app must start with an idea. The app doesn’t have to be clever or reinvent the wheel. As long as it builds and improves upon an existing solution, it will resonate well with the target audience. Bonus points if it leverages instant gratification and speeds up an existing process.

Use a pen and paper to draw up a rough sketch of your app and what it should look like. Next, prepare a list of features for the app and divide them into ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ categories. The ‘must-have’ features are essential for your app. The ‘nice-to-have’ features serve as a plus point, but they are not crucial to the overall user experience.

Step 2: Create an MVP

Once you have determined which features to include in your app, you can create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP essentially focuses on the problem-solving features and the overall functionality of your app. All other items can be stripped or let out of the MVP to gain market exposure and gauge user demand. The MVP is the most basic concept of your app and lets you collect feedback early on. This will save you time when planning your next move.

Step 3:Design a Functional Prototype

It is good practice to make mockups or functional prototypes of your app to test with users on their phones. Simply put, a mockup contains the user interface, layout, and navigational flow of the app. It does not contain UI elements or complex color schemes. It merely gives you an idea of what the final app should look like without creating any distractions.

At NS804, we always use prototyping to help clients gain an idea about user journeys and to deliver a preview of what a final product may look like. No matter the scope of your project, having a functional visual reference makes life a lot easier. We often use Adobe Xd, Invision, and Balsamiq to create high-fidelity prototypes that look and work exactly how you envisioned.

Step 4: Get into Graphic Design

Once your project kicks off, it’s time to give more serious consideration to UX and UI. Both of these are often confused together in terms of app design. Simply put, UI stands for ‘user interface’. It is the graphical layout of your application and consists of the buttons users will tap to get from point A to point B, the text, images, text entry fields, sliders, and everything else the user may interact with.

This includes transitions, animations, layouts, and every tiny interaction on the app. This is mostly the job of UI designers who decide what the app is going to look like. They brainstorm ideas for the color scheme and button shapes, line width, and font size used.

In other words, UI is all about aesthetics.

UX stands for ‘user experience’. It defines how users interact with the app and all its assets. Is it a smooth and intuitive experience or clunky and cluttered? UX designers make sure that people efficiently accomplish the tasks they want to achieve without struggling. Success really comes down to how intricately woven the UX is with the UI – in other words, how easy or difficult it is for users to interact with the UI elements that the designers have created.

Improving UI and UX means going out of your comfort zone and investing time and money into graphic design. Your app should have high-quality graphics, crisp visual details, image assets, and even motion design- if needed. If you’re not very comfortable with graphic design, consider hiring an expert or using a graphics template.

Step 5: Hire an App Developer

Now that you have laid the groundwork for the app, it’s time to start building it. You can build iOS apps with Xcode to code in Swift or Objective C. You build Android apps with Android Studio. Consider using cloud-based servers like Kumulos Firebase to store data. Alternatively, you can seek a development company that has the right team to help you bring your ideas to life.

Step 6: App Analytics

Use Kumulos app analytics to measure your app’s performance. App analytics improves ROI in every aspect of performance because they allow you to create personalized, customer-centric apps. How users engage with menus, the time they spend on your app, the services that they like best, etc will help you optimize your app to drive up user engagement. There are many free and paid analytical tools that let you measure different user metrics such as the total number of downloads, app usage, bounce rates, etc.

Step 7: Conduct Market Research for the Perfect Launch

Like all products, your app will need a detailed analysis of your target audience. You’ll need to learn about their spending pattern and preferences. Even the most extraordinary of all apps will be of no use without if it doesn’t have an audience. Here’s what you need to ask yourself:

  • Who are my competitors?
  • Are there any alternative apps for potential customers to use?
  • What should I charge for the app?

Once you have the right information, you can optimize your app around your users’ pain points.

Step 8: Launch the App, Get Feedback, and Update

Prepare a suitable title for the app and submit it to the App Store and Play Store for review. Once Apple and Google approve your app, you go live. Now, your potential customers are ready to download and install it.

However, this isn’t the end of your app’s journey. You will still need to promote the app on social media and through PPC campaigns. Also, take user feedback into consideration and update the app accordingly. The best way to obtain feedback is by conducting surveys and interviews.

Building an app is an on-going journey and you will run into your fair share of ups and downs. The important thing is to stay on top of the latest trends and optimize your app based on user preferences.

Get in touch with the app development pros at NS804 to learn more!