Differences Between An iPhone App And An Apple Watch App

The iOS ecosystem is not only about iPhones but also allows a developer to create the kind of Apple Watch app that will turn heads. But here’s the problem, Apple’s effective marketing machine has unintentionally convinced many that iOS apps are similar across iOS devices. However, that’s not true, and developers must ensure that they don’t fall into the trap of creating apps that don’t take advantage of each device’s unique features.

Due to its form factor, the Apple Watch has a far smaller screen than an iPhone. And thus, developers must take this into account and not try to shoehorn an iPhone app into the confines of an Apple Watch. Below, we go into greater detail about what developers should consider when building an Apple Watch app.

An Apple Watch App Should Show Key Data Points Clearly

Many consumers choose smartwatches over conventional watches due to how easily they can track their fitness levels. And the size of a typical smartwatch screen is large enough to display key health attributes effectively.

Take one of the leading fitness apps on iOS as an example. WorkOutDoors has some notable differences between the iPhone and Apple Watch versions. The iPhone app of WorOutDoors’s user interface (UI) has detailed maps, displays many workout routes, and includes a comprehensive list of settings.

However, that’s not the case with the accompanying smartwatch app, which has a far simpler UI. Key health data points, such as the miles traveled, kCal, and BPM, are displayed clearly with large fonts. A user can quickly digest this information with a casual glance at the smartwatch screen.

The Ideal Apple Watch App Offers The Most Relevant Features

Most iOS users utilize their iPhones or iPads for most of the things they want to do. Whether playing a game, online banking, or video conferencing, a smartphone or tablet works well for these purposes. On the other hand, the smartwatch is not a good option for these particular use cases.

So, when planning and developing a smartwatch app, always consider what features users will most likely use. Focus on the bare essentials, and only include any additional or ‘nice-to-have’ features in your accompanying iPhone app. But ensure that both your Apple Watch and iPhone apps synchronize correctly to provide your users with a rich and seamless experience.

Create Apps That Don’t Drain The Battery Quickly

While the Apple Watch is an impressive piece of technology, it has one notable flaw — it suffers from poor battery life. And users become easily frustrated with any apps that drain the battery quickly. Therefore, ensure that you follow Apple’s best practices and guidelines when developing your Apple Watch app.

And ensure that you’re making your app as lightweight as possible and utilizing native iOS development tools. Furthermore, if your app needs to run any background tasks, keep these to a minimum.

In Conclusion

The smartwatch has become incredibly popular over the past five years. And it’s easy to see why that is, considering all the benefits and features that smartwatches offer over conventional watches. Thus, it’s worthwhile developing a compelling Apple Watch app that takes advantage of its form factor and unique features. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create stunning iOS apps that will delight your users!

4 Benefits of Incorporating Apps to Improve Employee Culture

Organizations think about workplace apps in terms of their influence on employee productivity. Apps are good for improving output or they are a hindrance to output. However, beyond productivity, apps can influence employee culture by improving collaboration and communication. Organizational leaders can be strategic about the type of information they share, the frequency, and the tone to influence culture.

Here are 4 benefits of incorporating apps to improve employee culture.

1. You Can Use Apps to Share Positive Content

When a business builds an internal app for employees, the type of content shared there can build positivity among employees. The organization can curate and share stories of people’s growth within the organization, their highlights, and what they are looking forward to. Such stories will inspire other employees to think about their own careers. Other common themes to focus on would be inclusiveness, customer service, innovativeness, and integrity.

2. Apps Increase Engagement with Employees

An internal employee app can be a platform for employees to share, discuss, and brainstorm on issues at the workplace. If a new tool is being introduced, the platform is a great place for people to share their thoughts, fears, and excitement. The management should strive to make the platform as democratic as possible. They can take the feedback and use it to improve the workplace experience for staff. Such platforms keep the employees engaged and can heavily influence the organizational culture positively.

3. Single Source of Information

In a big organization, misinformation can be highly detrimental to people’s morale, and it can quickly chip away at the culture of an organization.

The app can serve as a central place from where to disseminate information about happenings within the organization. Whether it’s good or bad news, an official statement leaves no room for rumors. In addition, sharing news openly with employees sends the message that the internal leadership of the organization is transparent and open to feedback. Employees are more likely to be forthcoming with information when the organization has already set a precedent for open communication.

Not to mention, an app enables organizations to send out information in rea-time to all employees simultaneously. Employees get to read the information at their own time, thus minimizing disruptions to their workflow.

4. Apps are Great for Branding

An employee app is a great channel for extending the organization’s brand. The colors, layout, and logo on the app should reflect the brand’s visual identity and they should give employees a sense of belonging. They should be able to login and track useful information about their relationship with the organization. This includes their pay and benefits, positions they have applied for, openings, upcoming events, and so on.

Analytics On the App

An employee app can have inbuilt analytics to track user behavior which can inform decision-making. The organization can see the number of users per day, week, or month. This can be a good measure of how engaged employees are. Declining user numbers might warrant a reaction by the organization, including a refresh of the content or a rebrand of the app.

If your organization is considering developing an app to foster employee culture, NS804 can help design and build the app. We will help craft an MVP with all the most important features to keep your employees fully engaged. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.

9 Must-Have Features in an Employee Engagement App

An employee engagement app is software built to enhance the level of interaction between a business and its employees. It’s built to make them feel they are an integral part of the organization’s activities and overall culture. The satisfaction drawn from such a feeling has a direct bearing on their level of productivity. The human resource department holds custody of the app and decides what features the app should have depending on the organization’s needs. However, there are certain must-have features for any employee engagement app. Here are a few of them.

1. Employee Engagement App Should Be a News Centre

Any company that has an employee engagement app must use it as a tool for the dissemination of news. The leadership has the ability to determine what gets featured as news and this can be a powerful tool to influence culture. Certain things can be given prominence as a way of instilling them among employees. For instance, by featuring stories of employees who went the extra mile to fulfill customer demands, the leadership can inspire more employees to give good customer service.

The app can also serve as a career planning tool by sharing the career stories of employees who have been at the organization for a long time. The app should have a job advertisement section where vacant positions are advertised internally.

2. Interesting Content

Besides serving as a news center, the app should feature other content that will resonate with employees. One way to do this would be to share stories about developments in the sector the business operates. The executive leadership of the organization can share thoughts and opinions regarding how they see the business positioning itself in light of changes and happenings in the industry. Such stories give employees the confidence that the business remains a going concern.

3. Employee Surveys

An app that is used by tens or hundreds of employees is a great tool for feedback collection. The app should have a polling feature whereby employees get a chance to share their opinions on matters that concern them. It’s crucial to collect employee feedback on things such as trainings, new tools, working schedules, and remuneration. Collecting feedback can forestall strikes in situations where people are unhappy about something.

4. Push Notifications

Push notifications is an important feature in any business app today. In fact, push notifications are great for increasing the amount of interaction between employees and an app. Push notification can be utilized to nudge employees to respond to messages, complete due tasks, or perform other important actions. Notifications can also inform employees of important urgent news such as abruptly planned meetings without being too intrusive.

5. Goal Setting and Tracking

Employee engagement apps should have a way to allow employees and their supervisors to set goals for a given period and track them. In fact, it should allow employees to track individual and team goals. It’s often when the goals are quantifiable, but qualitative goals can be tracked by having supervisors give ratings for work done. Goal setting and tracking is great way to align employees’ personal goals with those of the organization.

6.  Internal Communication

An app that has inbuilt communication features is great for boosting employees’ interaction with another as well as with the management. When employees have to use multiple channels for communication, it often leads to fragmentation and a breakdown in communication. However, an app can replace emails and texts by bringing all correspondence to one app. The app can also allow such things as document sharing. The goal should be to bring as much functionality as possible to a single platform.

7. Onboarding

Any business that has an employee engagement app should use it as an onboarding tool for new employees. In big organizations, employees can take several months before they are truly integrated. However, by having a singular platform where they can submit all necessary documentation and access training tools, the onboarding tools can not only be shortened but can be standardized. This way, no important step or information is missed and employees can learn the history, culture, and values of the company at their own pace.

8. Communities of Shared Interest

An important feature in the employee engagement app is spaces where people in different disciplines can share knowledge, brainstorm, comment, and collaborate. For a medium to large enterprise, these communities can have tens or even hundreds of participants. This feature would be akin to channels on a productivity platform where people can share links to stories, their portfolios, and much more. Young professionals can gain knowledge and contacts from their senior colleagues.

9. Inbuilt Analytics

Incorporating analytics into an employee engagement app can help employees learn more about themselves. In fact, analytics can be a career planning tool within the app. Employees should be able to see posts that they engaged with most, which can help them choose a specialization path. Inbuilt analytics would also help the business learn more about employees. By looking at the most visited pages and the most used features, the business is able to build upon and improve them. The business would also know those pages from where most users exit the app.

Benefits of An Employee Engagement App

If your organization manages to build an app that has most of the above-listed features, certain benefits will accrue naturally.

Better Communication

An employee engagement app that allows direct interaction between colleagues and the management is likely to boost an open communication culture. The app can provide channels to discuss particular projects as well as an open discussion board when any issue can be raised. Such an approach will encourage employees to speak out on things they might not be happy about.

Lower Attrition Rates

The lack of open communication channels is a major cause of high employee turnover. However, with open communication lines, employees can raise their concerns and employers can respond accordingly. The cost of replacing talented employees is almost always higher than the cost of retaining them. It, therefore, makes more sense to respond to concerns than to let good employees leave.

High Productivity Levels

The employee engagement app serves as a channel for employees to state what they need to perform optimally. The organization should treat the app as a way to deliver knowledge to employees to boost their performance. For instance, the app can serve as a knowledge portal where employees can access training manuals and consult one another. This is likely to boost their productivity levels.

The app can also function as a platform for employees to track their performance. Employees in the sales and production departments can benefit from this in scenarios where remuneration is directly tied to sales and production volumes.

Getting Started with Building an Employee Engagement App

When a business wants to build an employee engagement app, it has to be clear what objectives the app wants to fulfill. Those championing the app should make a convincing case to the C-suite executives for approval. The business has then to decide whether to build their own app from scratch or have a ready one customized for use. The budget and the intended use will determine this. There are other technical considerations, such as building a native app or a web app. A software development consultant will advise accordingly.

If your business is considering building an employee engagement app, reach out to NS804. We will help you determine the nature and features of the app you should build. Working with us helps you plan sufficiently for the cost and development time.NS804 has a long line of satisfied business clients. We are ready for you.

App Development Mistakes to Avoid in 2022

App development mistakes can have devastating effects on a company. When the app is part of a bigger company project and strategy, mistakes can stall the vision and lead to disillusionment of the team. Mistakes are also costly because more developer hours are required to fix them. App development projects are capital investments by the business and proper diligence is necessary to ensure nothing goes wrong.

Here are app development mistakes to avoid in 2022.

Failing to Build an MVP

A minimum viable product is an app that only contains the most essential features required. Any app development project should define what makes up an MVP and build that first. Starting with the most essential features first allows testing before auxiliary features are added. It ensures that the biggest chunk of the budget goes to the most important features.

A common mistake occurs when developers go out to build a feature heavy app, some of which app users never use. It leads to wastage and a bulky app.

Poor UI/UX Build

A poor user interface is one of the main reasons people uninstall apps. The app development team should figure out the most user-friendly UI/UX. It must be in step with the latest trends. The app should load correctly on the different hardware devices it gets installed on. This means that the testing must be thorough.

Poor Budget Planning

The main item take into consideration during app development planning is developer costs. However, there are many other costs involved which, if not well forecasted, could put the project in jeopardy. An example of an often-ignored cost is market research before the building begins. A preliminary study is necessary to find out what the MVP should entail. There are post-launch costs such as publicity, bug-fixing, and advertising. Projects need an experienced project -ead to help plan for and allocate funds rationally.

If you want to avoid app development mistakes, working with a trustworthy development team is crucial. NS804 can work with you to research, build, and launch your app. Reach out to us for a free consultative session. 


6 Unexpected Costs You Should Budget for After Launching an App

Over 75% of the global internet traffic is through mobile devices today. This shift to mobile phones and tablets has prompted businesses to build apps from where customers can interact with a business’ services. Managers are often quick to approve budgets to cover initial development costs for an app. However, they will often forget to budget for post-development costs.

The industry norm is to budget between 15 and 20% of development costs as annual maintenance costs. This can translate to tens of thousands depending on an app. However, the rapid evolution of technology and expectation of flawless service means that a business cannot slack on quality improvement each year.

What are the main drivers of costs after the launch of an app?

1. Finding Bugs and Fixing Them

Once people begin downloading an app and using it, they will naturally give feedback. A business must always anticipate that bugs may be discovered after the launch. Having a budget to take care of this ensures that the development team can quickly fix it. A bug that lingers for too long leads to a high installation rate, which undoes any publicity work that had been done. In fact, it’s harder to convince users who have uninstalled an app to reinstall it than it is to convince a totally new customer to try it.

Developers will insist on a maintenance clause to be included in the initial contract because they realize that bugs are often an inevitability in app development. Advising clients to budget for maintenance is good practice.

2. To Keep Up with New Hardware and Operating Systems

Users today expect to use an app seamlessly across all their mobile hardware devices. Apps, however, may end up having issues as new hardware and operating systems are launched. It’s upon the maintenance teams to carry out tests so that they preempt such issues before they become a widespread problem for users. The most common problems are UI-related where apps flicker or cannot launch properly. They can be fixed with minor updates on the business app.

3. Improving UI/UX

As app-building technology improves, the user interface and user experience on apps improve. The changes may be subtle but if you compare a popular app today with how it looked 5 years ago, the difference will be stark. Users may not consciously realize it, but businesses should strive to make improvements in their UI/UX each year. Customers will quickly notice when an app gives a poor experience compared to others, even when the two are unrelated. For instance, they may enjoy using their food ordering and taxi-hailing apps but experience poor service on their banking app.

App usage time is directly correlated with the ease of use of the app.

4. Building New Features and Integrations

Apps need to go through major updates every year or two. New versions of apps have new features built-in together with a fresh UI. New features result from new products the business has launched or new trends in an industry. For instance, a bank could launch a new overdraft facility for customers on a new version of their app.

Major updates also feature integrations with third-party services as a business aims to maximize the utility of the app for customers. Adding new payment options would be a great example.

It’s important for businesses to filter through app reviews to monitor customer sentiments regarding what features customers desire. Reviews ought to be a major resource in the research & development teams’ brainstorming sessions.

5. Marketing Activities

Marketing-related activities will form a big part of an app’s annual maintenance costs. The business will often have laid out publicity before or around the launch of the app. This includes paid social media campaigns, publicity pieces in mainstream media, and influencers. Marketing efforts must be sustained throughout the life of an app.

When new features are introduced in the app, it’s important to carry out a campaign to inform people of the feature and educate them on how to use it. The business needs a content strategy to cater to the different target audiences. While influencers might work for some audiences, there are people who prefer to read a long-form article on what the new version of an app offers.

Depending on concerns people might have about business apps, putting out content helps address such issues. If a discussion on data privacy and information security is trending in the business sector, the business might do well to allay fears that users might have around the same. Marketing activities can build up goodwill from the users of an app.

6. Servers, Analytics, and Notifications

Unless you are self-hosting, your business will pay for hosting services from a reputable provider. Working with first-class service providers offers the assurance of security and maximum uptime.

Your business app will use third-party analytics services, such as Google Analytics, to monitor traffic sources, app use time, and usage trends. This information is useful for the continuous development of the app. It would be useful to see the module from which most users exit the app. Perhaps there may be something wrong with it. The business will also see features users interact most with and build around them. The traffic sources inform marketing decisions and so forth.

How to Regulate App Maintenance Costs Post Launch

The costs of maintaining an app will heavily depend on the quality of work done during the development phase.

One of the main decisions made in development is whether to build a native app or a hybrid app. A native is built specifically for a particular environment, say Android or iOS. A hybrid app has one version across multiple platforms. The latter is great when building an app with few features. However, a feature-heavy app should have native versions built for different operating systems to ensure all features work as expected.

During development, businesses must determine what makes up their minimum viable product (MVP) and build around it. Including only the most important features in an app can reduce initial development costs. According to research done by the Standish Group, 45% of app features are not used while another 19% are rarely used. Building an MVP app, therefore, will lead to lower maintenance costs, by having features that add real utility to users’ experience.

As shown, developers will often advise their clients to budget for maintenance even before the development process starts. Following this route can significantly reduce the amount a business spends on maintenance. Having the team that built the app initially maintain an app throughout its lifetime reduces complexities and maintenance hours spent because they already understand its architecture.

Does Your Business Need Help with App Development and Maintenance?

If your business is looking to develop an app, we can help with the planning, development, and maintenance of the app. NS804 is a premier mobile app development firm, with great experience helping companies get the best from their business apps.

We will help you optimize your maintenance budget to improve your customer satisfaction rates through swift bug fixes, regular updates, and new features. For more information, reach out to us through our website.