Tag Archive for: Android or iOS development

iOS Vs. Android: Which To Use?

When choosing the ideal mobile platform, we often jump into the common iOS Vs. Android debate. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we should attempt to weigh the pros and cons of these two leading platforms.

But we know what some of you may be thinking: it’s a done deal, iOS is the better platform, and we should move on. After all, it’s no secret that iOS is the slicker and more user-friendly platform with many satisfied users worldwide. However, it’s wise not to rush to conclusions without investigating the Android platform rigorously.

Due to the open nature of the Android platform and the need to support devices from different manufacturers, the user experience isn’t as polished as on iOS. But Android presents developers and users with a few advantages unique to the platform. 

The ability to distribute and sideload apps on Android outside of Google Play is a boon for enterprises and open-source developers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about iOS, as Apple prohibits sideloading and app distribution outside the App Store.

Another benefit of Android is the sheer size of its global market share, which stands at 69.74% as of January 2022. And that’s not surprising considering the wide availability of cheap Android devices that appeal to users in developing countries. So, it’s an important platform that no developer that wants to target a global audience can ignore.

But there are many more considerations in the iOS Vs. Android debate that we need to look at in more detail. Below, we reveal what those are and how they may impact your choices as an app developer.

iOS Vs. Android: Don’t Allow Fanboyism To Influence You

We all have biases, and these often influence our choices in life. But these biases may prove detrimental, especially when making crucial business decisions. As an appreneur, developer, or business leader, you need to think clearly about the types of apps you plan to make and what platforms you wish to target. 

In most cases, the answer is simple: you will likely target both Android and iOS. But there are situations where you should target a single mobile platform. And the mobile platform that you ultimately choose should align strictly with your business goals.  

So what does this mean exactly? Ideally, you want to maximize the reach of your app by targeting the platform where it will likely find its target audience. 

Thus, your decision-making process should consist of reliable mobile platform statistics and rigorous research of your target audience. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort to maximize your app’s success.   

And the last thing you should ever do is base your decision on platform fanboyism. Perhaps, you love Apple and all its products and can’t wait to develop an app for iOS. Or you’re the proud owner of high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones and only want to target Android.

No matter how much you love a brand or product line, don’t allow this to cloud your judgment. Instead, put the interests of your business and users first!

1. Foldable Devices

The introduction of Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip & Fold devices have revolutionized the smartphone space. And that’s because the additional screen real estate helps enhance productivity. 

Consider how much better apps such as Office 365 or Trello work on foldable phones than they do on standard smartphones. Users now have additional workspace to get work done far more efficiently. And that’s because they won’t need to scroll as much as they would on non-foldable devices.

So if you’re developing a productivity app that targets foldable devices, you’ve only got one choice — Android. Currently, Apple hasn’t released any foldable iOS devices, but they have announced the iPhone Flip. But there’s no set release date yet, though it’s speculated for a 2023 or 2024 launch.

2. Hardcore Gaming

Both Android and iOS are excellent platforms for gaming, especially for casual pick-up-play titles. But in recent years, there’s been an emergence of hardcore mobile games and gaming smartphones. 

Manufacturers such as Razer have been instrumental in pushing forward powerful devices that utilize high-end components. And that’s resulted in their devices featuring impressive GPUs and high refresh rates reaching 120Hz and beyond. Given their proficiency in manufacturing powerful PC gaming laptops, much of that know-how has gone into their Android devices. 

But what does all this mean for mobile gaming? Firstly, this shows that the mobile gaming market has matured significantly, as users crave experiences close to those found on PCs and consoles. And secondly, it’s the Android platform leading the way in hardcore gaming device choice and titles. 

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t release a hardcore game on iOS. But you’ll need to target Apple’s flagship smartphones, as these have the specs capable of powering intensive games. And that’s a limited market segment given the high cost of these flagship devices.

3. Marketplace Diversity

When it comes to iOS, there’s no marketplace diversity as users can only download apps from the App Store. And from a user’s point of view, it’s great to have one convenient and secure place to get hold of apps. 

But things are different on the Android platform. Users can download from several stores, such as Google Play, Amazon Appstore, APKPure, Aptoide, and F-Droid. Furthermore, Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Store cater to those using devices from the respective manufacturers. 

And given that it’s a relatively simple process to sideload apps on Android, there’s no need for an app store. Any developer can distribute their Android apps directly from their website or another channel.

The freedom to distribute apps in such a manner should appeal to developers that create custom apps for enterprises. Or even enterprises that want to install their in-house apps on employee phones without relying on any app store.  

4. Security Considerations

If you’re developing an app that needs to be on a more secure platform, then iOS is a good choice. Due to the closed nature and tight integration of iOS, it’s an operating system that offers higher security than Android. However, this doesn’t mean that iOS is hack-proof or not susceptible to malware and viruses. 

And given that Google and Samsung have gone to great strides to improve security, the gap between iOS and specific Android devices isn’t as wide as it used to be. But iOS still has an edge in the security department for the time being.

5. User Demographics And Engagement

Android enthusiasts may not like to hear this, but the hard truth is that iOS users are a lot more valuable. And that’s because iPhone users fall in a higher income bracket and spend more on apps. Not only that, but they also engage more with apps, especially in the entertainment and games categories. 

However, Google Play is where most new apps get discovered and downloaded at a higher rate. And generally, Android users prefer to download and engage with social apps such as TikTok. 

If you’re planning on developing mobile games or paid apps, iOS should be your first port of call. But if you’re launching a social app, you’ll find your audience on Android.

The Bottom Line

When we deliberate the iOS Vs. Android question, we’re often looking for an easy answer. We covered several of the most critical factors when deciding on a platform. And we pointed out where one outshines the other and where they’re almost equal. Therefore, you’ll need to consider all these factors and how they’ll line up with your upcoming app project. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create stunning apps on either iOS or Android. 

Android Or iOS: Which Is The Better MVP Platform?

Deciding between Android or iOS for your upcoming minimum viable product (MVP) project can be daunting. Both platforms are massively popular and have generated billions of dollars in revenue. So the answer should be simple, right? Why not release on both platforms? Yes, but only if it’s financially feasible and in line with your goals. 

But you could be wondering why financial feasibility plays a role at all. Aren’t MVPs supposed to be cheaper and quicker to develop than full-fledged apps? Unfortunately, that’s a common misconception when considering the funding and work required to complete MVP projects. 

There’s still a considerable cost involved, between $5,000 to $35,000 if you hire a company. It’s best to be prepared from the get-go to ensure that the project won’t run out of funding during development. Furthermore, it’s vital to understand what the development process entails and what you’ll need to consider when deciding on an MVP platform

1. Choosing The Most Feasible Platform For Your Project: Android or iOS

In the mobile development space, there are only two choices worth considering. That’s either Android or iOS, the two platforms that have redefined smartphones for more than a decade. And even with the emergence of Linux-based smartphones, these are too niche to make a dent in the market.

But must you choose between these two market leaders? Ideally, you should develop for both platforms for maximum reach. The benefits of making your app available in both the App Store and Google Play are immense. Both digital storefronts are established, organized, and quality-driven. Moreover, both facilitate the efficient and safe distribution of apps to over two billion users globally.

And while it’s wiser to release on both platforms, we understand that’s not always possible. Your team may not have the capabilities or resources to release on both platforms simultaneously. After all, cross-platform mobile app development costs could easily exceed your budget. Or perhaps, you’re developing a custom enterprise app that only needs to be made available on one platform.

However, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to target one platform when commencing a project. And this is especially true if you’re planning on developing an MVP. Your team may want to test an idea and deliver it to a territory where one platform enjoys market dominance. For example, your upcoming video chat app will do much better on Android if you’re targeting the Indian market.

Market forces will almost always play a primary role when deciding on a platform. However, there are other factors that you should also consider before coming to a decision. 

2. Apple’s Flagship Programming Language Saves Development Time

In most cases, your mobile app development costs will directly correlate with the amount of time it takes to complete your project. And if you’re a startup, it’s crucial to keep costs down to remain feasible in the long haul. So, you’ll want to target the platform that facilitates a speedy development process. But does one platform offer this distinct advantage over the other? Well, the answer is not as clear-cut as we’d like it to be, but we’ll aim to provide one.

Several years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to choose Android over iOS if development time was at a premium. And there’s a good reason for this, given how well-thought-out Apple’s ecosystem and development tools are, compared to its rivals. With Swift, Apple’s flagship programming language, developers can craft impressive native apps in record time. The language is modern and slick, making it easy for developers accustomed to object-oriented languages to pick up quickly and be productive.

And when compared to Java, the language commonly used for Android development, Swift seems like a breath of fresh air. That’s because Java feels cumbersome since it’s an older, more complex, and verbose language. Thus, Java developers often need to write more lines of code than their Swift counterparts to achieve similar results. From a productivity and time standpoint, the clear winner is Swift. At least, that was the case until now.

3. Google Moves Beyond Java

At Google’s I/O ’17 developer conference, the company announced that it would officially support Kotlin for Android development. And in 2019, Google took things further by announcing that Kotlin would become the preferred language for Android development moving forward. Undoubtedly, this news was met with much fanfare by Android developers, who welcomed the introduction of a more modern language.

And Kotlin is indeed a great alternative to Java because it’s far more expressive and allows developers to achieve similar results with less boilerplate code. Not only that, Kotlin is similar to Swift in that it offers an easy-to-learn syntax, plenty of built-in features, and a more functional feel. Moreover, both come with excellent declarative UI toolkits: Jetpack Compose and SwiftUI for building native UI quickly and efficiently. 

Ultimately, this means that the time and productivity gap between creating an Android or iOS app has narrowed significantly. The introduction of Kotlin has been a game-changer, and Android developers no longer need to lag behind their iOS counterparts. Therefore, choosing one development environment over the other is more a matter of preference than enjoying real productivity gains.

4. The Challenges Of Testing And Deploying On Multiple Devices

While Kotlin makes life easier for Android developers, they still have to jump through hoops when testing, profiling, and deploying on multiple devices. Unlike Apple, which produces a limited range of iOS devices and models, the Android ecosystem is an entirely different beast. A few brands that come to mind include Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Xiamoi. Yet the actual list of manufacturers is much longer than that, pushing the range of Android models to the tens of thousands.

Undoubtedly, Android developers have their work cut out of them. It’s a Herculean task to test and deploy when so much device fragmentation exists. Furthermore, this can increase mobile app development costs significantly if not handled diligently. And the hard truth is that no developer will have access to every Android device in the marketplace for testing purposes. Fortunately, there are tools available that make testing and profiling possible without having all these devices on hand.

Android Emulator, Android Virtual Device (AVD), and Genymotion make it easy for developers to set up and run virtual devices of any specification available. And while these aren’t the perfect solution, they’re incredibly accurate at emulating real Android hardware. But this doesn’t mean that developers should skimp on testing on actual hardware, regardless of platform. Nevertheless, iOS is the better platform for a quicker and more hassle-free testing and deployment experience.

5. Deciding On An MVP Platform Based On User Engagement

Before settling on an MVP platform, you should consider a crucial factor, namely, user engagement. The level of user engagement of your app will play a critical role in its success. If too few users engage with your MVP regularly, it means that they don’t find it interesting enough to warrant extended use. And, you won’t achieve the goals and return on investment (ROI) that your MVP was supposed to deliver.

Therefore, you must minimize risk by focussing on the platform that has the most engaged users. In this regard, iOS is the clear winner with an overwhelming difference. iOS users are not only incredibly engaged, but they’re big spenders too. According to AppleInsider, the App Store earned a whopping $72.3 billion in 2020 — almost double the revenue generated by Google Play. And games performed impressively, managing to generate $47.6 billion throughout the year.

Also, iOS is the better performing platform for apps offering registrations, subscriptions, in-app purchases, and one-time purchases. But you may want to consider Android if your MVP is an anti-virus, utility, or performance app, as these often do better on the platform. And while both Android and iOS users love discovering new content, iOS users engage and purchase more of it. So, keep these factors in mind when deciding on an MVP platform that best serves your goals.

In Conclusion

Choosing to go with either Android or iOS for your next project will be a vital decision. It’s necessary to consider your goals and what your MVP is supposed to achieve before concluding. In many cases, choosing iOS seems like the obvious choice, given the benefits the platform brings to the table. Its tightly integrated development tools, limited range of target devices, and high-quality users make it a platform you can’t ignore. 

But Android is no slouch either, boasting a rapidly improving developer experience and an ever-growing user base. It’s also worth considering if you want to create an antivirus or utility app, which Android users download in droves. Whatever your decision, do consider teaming with a professional development studio for the best results. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop a phenomenal MVP on Android or iOS.

Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Pros And Cons

Cross-platform mobile app development has taken the world by storm. But is it that great, or are you better off focusing on native app development? It’s not a question we can answer right away, as there are many considerations. 

Depending on the tools you use, you may experience a challenging or smooth development experience. Then, there’s the matter of how adaptable you and your team are at deploying to more platforms. And let’s not forget about the costs involved in using some of the leading cross-platform tools in the market today. We cover all these matters in more detail below.

Cross-Platform Versus Native App Development Environments

It’s tricky attempting cross-platform development, especially if you’ve been developing native apps for a single platform. And you may be wondering if it’s worth the additional costs and challenges. Will you find success developing for multiple platforms? Or will you get burned out dealing with a more bloated development environment and new technical requirements?

Pros:

  • Advances in cross-platform technology: There was a time when cross-platform tech stacks couldn’t compete with native solutions. But the performance gap has narrowed significantly, especially with the introduction of Xamarin.
  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): Having access to several of the world’s best IDEs is a huge boon. All serious app developers should have Android Studio, Visual Studio, and Xcode installed on their machines.
  • Single codebase: There’s no longer a need to write in multiple programming languages. Today’s cross-platform tech stacks make it possible to maintain a single codebase entirely in C# or JavaScript.
  • Transferable skills: If you’re already a competent Android developer, making the jump to iOS should be a quick process. Most mobile development skills transfer from one platform to another easily.

Cons: 

  • Additional hardware: If your studio only has Windows or Linux PCs for development purposes, you won’t be able to target iOS. So you’ll need to purchase at least one Apple Mac and various iOS devices to develop and test your apps.
  • Higher difficulty curve: Targeting multiple platforms is far more challenging than native app development. While cross-platform tools promise a ‘write once, run anywhere’ experience, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s necessary to write user interface (UI) code for each platform. 
  • Worse performance: One of the benefits of native app development is the better performance it brings to the table. Even the best cross-platform tools and languages don’t quite match native solutions. 

Creating Cross-Platform Mobile Games

The popularity of mobile gaming continues unabated. Moreover, the gaming market is massive yet fragmented since it encompasses PC, console, mobile, and the web. So, savvy game developers will want to target most if not all of these platforms. But there are several factors to consider before heading down this road.

Pros:

  • Development tools: There’s no shortage of excellent game engines and frameworks facilitating cross-platform development.  
  • Device ownership: Most users own multiple devices and will likely play games on all of these at one point or another.
  • Esports: The phenomenal growth of mobile eSports presents new opportunities. Given the multiplayer nature of eSports, it’s only natural that Android and iOS users will want to compete against each other. 
  • Reaching new audiences: Releasing simultaneously on Android and iOS ensures that your mobile games reach as many users as possible. But it doesn’t have to end there when the web and desktop platforms have millions of potential new users.

Cons:

  • API integrations: The more platforms and storefronts you target, the more APIs you’ll integrate. Thus, increasing costs and time to market (TTM).
  • Different audience expectations: iOS users have different expectations from Android users. Creating mobile games that appeal to both groups will prove challenging.
  • Maintenance and updates: You will need additional team members to maintain and update your game on two or more platforms. And this is especially true if you’re creating live service games or rely on subscriptions and in-app purchases. 
  • Profiling and testing: It’s a lot easier to profile and test a mobile game when targeting a single platform. With cross-platform development, you’ll use additional tooling to test across devices with different CPUs, GPUs, displays, and memory.

Consider The Costs Of Your Development Tools

Targeting multiple platforms is not cheap, especially when weighing the costs of the development tools. Let’s start with the good news, both Android Studio and Xcode are free to use. Even Microsoft offers the community edition of Visual Studio for free. But now — the bad news — several cross-platform tools and game engines can get offensively expensive. 

And many of these tools are only available via subscription. Thus, you’ll need to consider how long you plan on using these tools to determine their costs. But be forewarned, it’s never a good idea to cancel a subscription after completing an app. You still need access to these tools as long as you’re maintaining and updating the app. So, make sure that you’ve planned for this eventuality. 

Now, let’s take a look at several popular cross-platform tools that could drive up your development costs considerably:

  • Embarcadero Delphi 11: It’s a mobile-first IDE aimed at developers comfortable with the Delphi language, which natively compiles to the target platform. The professional edition costs $1,599 for the first year with a $399 renewal.
  • Unity: As the most popular tool for mobile game development, Unity has garnered a massive community thanks to its free personal version. But professional studios and teams will opt for the pro edition costing $1,800 per year and per seat, or the enterprise edition costing $4,000 per month and for 20 seats. 
  • Xamarin: For small indie developers that want to write their apps in C#, Xamarin offers a subscription for $25 per month. Professional studios will likely opt for the enterprise edition, which costs $1,899 per year.

Open Source Solutions Are Viable Options

If you’re a startup, you may not be able to afford the steep prices of proprietary development tools. However, not all is lost as there are several good free and open-source tools for your cross-platform development needs. We’ll briefly look at several of the more popular solutions:

  • Flutter: It’s a versatile framework for creating apps for embedded devices, desktops, mobile platforms, and the web. It uses the Dart programming language, which developers coming from a mobile or web app background will pick up quickly.
  • Godot: As a close competitor to Unity, Godot has made significant strides in becoming the game engine choice for indie developers. Furthermore, it’s an indispensable and lightweight tool for creating augmented reality (AR) apps, virtual reality (VR) experiences, and mobile games. 
  • Ionic: Web developers should feel at home with Ionic since it utilizes CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. It facilitates rapid development and can deploy mobile apps and even Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). 
  • React Native: Like Flutter, React Native is a framework targeting many platforms and devices, including Windows Universal Platform (UWP). But the best part is that it allows developers comfortable with the JavaScript language to create impressive-looking mobile apps.

In Conclusion

If you’re considering cross-platform mobile app development, then there’s never been a better time to pursue this avenue. And the wide range of excellent paid and open-source tools make this path a lot more accessible. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deploy phenomenal native apps on Android and iOS. 

Which Programming Language Is Right For Your iOS App?

Choosing a programming language for your upcoming iOS project may be an easy or difficult decision. If your team already has a tried and true workflow using one or more programming languages, then it’s a no-brainer. For example, your team develops exclusively for Apple devices and uses Swift and Objective-C on an ongoing basis. And since they’re so experienced in these languages and deeply embedded in Apple’s ecosystem, they may have little need to explore alternatives.

But what if your team wishes to target multiple platforms or develop mobile games? Well, it’s possible to do this using Swift or Objective-C, but it’s not an ideal solution. You’ll need to use cross-compilers and translation tools to target non-Apple platforms. Furthermore, there are few game development engines and tools that support both these languages.

So if you want to forge ahead with iOS app development without these limitations, you do have plenty of good options available. A quick look at the TIOBE Index reveals a plethora of languages that are way more popular than either Swift or Objective-C. And while you should never judge a programming language by its popularity, it’s still important to ascertain how well it’s adopted and supported by the industry. Below, we reveal the languages that you should consider and their use case.

1. Swift

The development of the Swift programming language is a collaboration between Apple and various open-source contributors. It’s a powerful multi-paradigm language that’s block-structured, functional, declarative, and object-oriented. Introduced in 2014 as an alternative to Objective-C, Swift has gradually surpassed its predecessor in popularity. And unlike Objective-C, the primary focus of Swift is on safety and a dot-notation style using namespaces, bringing it closer to other object-oriented languages such as C# and Java.

While Swift massively improves on Objective-C while retaining its core concepts, it’s not without its shortcomings. As stated earlier, it’s an excellent language for iOS app development. But game developers will feel limited with the frameworks and tools available for Swift. Apple’s SpriteKit may be handy but not on par with tools available for other languages. 

2. C#

Introduced by Microsoft in 2000, C# was designed by Anders Hejlsberg, the original author of Turbo Pascal and chief architect of Delphi. C# shares many similarities with those two languages and also closely resembles Java. To run, it requires Microsoft’s .NET that consists of a rather elaborate series of frameworks, runtimes, and SDKs. For newer developers, the .NET ecosystem is undoubtedly complex, with a steep learning curve. Furthermore, C# programmers must learn to tame the .NET garbage collector (GC) for optimal results.

Over the past decade, C# has become the darling of indie and mobile game developers. Several excellent cross-platform game engines and frameworks, such as Unity, Godot, MonoGame, OpenTK, Stride, and Wave Engine support C#. Another good framework for cross-platform development is Xamarin, which offers near-native performance even when targeting iOS.

3. Java

Java is one of the most mature and battle-tested object-oriented languages out there. Designed by Jamie Gosling and introduced in 1995, Java has become a stalwart for enterprise developers worldwide. It’s also widely used by Android developers, even though Google is moving ahead with its successor — Kotlin. And as of September 2021, the language comes third in the TIOBE Index rankings, which is a testament to its popularity.

Moreover, Java is renowned for its verbosity, which may dissuade developers accustomed to more streamlined languages. But that doesn’t stop it from being a good option for Android-first developers that also wish to target iOS. It’s a more convoluted process since Apple doesn’t allow for dynamic code generation, which Java outputs via its just-in-time (JIT) compiler. Thus, developers will require several tools, such as a Mac build system, Xcode, OpenJDK, Zero interpreter, libffi, and libfreetype, to support iOS devices.

4. C++

First appearing in 1985, C++ quickly became adopted by programmers requiring a powerful language for creating resource-intensive applications. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup, primarily as an expansion to the C programming language with the addition of classes. And similarly to Java and Swift, C++ is multi-paradigm and object-oriented, meant for several use cases. 

But where it truly shines is in its performance, which is second to none given the language’s close-to-the-metal approach. Unlike other languages that require an interpreter or virtual machine (VM), C++ interacts directly with the hardware, giving it a tremendous speed advantage. While it’s not necessary or advisable to develop an ordinary iOS app using C++, it’s ideal for developing games. It’s possible to create impressive 3D mobile games and virtual reality (VR) experiences with Unreal Engine, which utilizes a C++ scripting component.

5. JavaScript

If there’s one language that’s impacted web development, then it’s none other than JavaScript. Introduced in 1995 and created by Brendan Eich, JavaScript is an event-driven, high-level, and multi-paradigm language. Furthermore, it’s part of the C-family of programming languages and uses a curly-bracket syntax. Many browsers come equipped with a JavaScript engine, allowing code to run on a user’s PC or smartphone. 

Initially, JavaScript served as a client-side and website programming language but eventually became adopted as a server-side language after the introduction of Node.js. And with the advent of frameworks such as Apache Cordova, NativeScript, and React Native, JavaScript programmers can target mobile devices too. So, if your team has a web development background, nothing is holding them back from developing an iOS app. But you’ll unlikely achieve equivalent results to a natively developed app from a performance and UX design perspective.

6. Python

Designed as a beginner-friendly language and released in 1991, Python was the brainchild of Guido van Rossum. And while it enjoyed minimal fanfare upon release, it currently ranks second place in the TIOBE Index. The language utilizes an interpreter and relies on indentation for easier readability. Thus, it’s a good option for Rapid Application Development (RAD) and smaller projects. And in recent years, data analysts and scientists have adopted Python for its excellent machine learning (ML) capabilities.

But the question you should be asking is — is Python a good choice for iOS app development? Well, that largely depends on the type of app you want to make. If you set out to create a minimum viable product (MVP), you’ll benefit from the quick turnaround that Python facilitates. And cross-platform frameworks such as BeeWare and Kivy make such an outcome possible. Also, Python is an excellent choice if you plan on implementing machine learning in your upcoming app.

However, it may not be the right choice for creating a complex app or an intense 3D mobile game. While Python has many positives, it’s not as performant and robust as Swift, Java, and C#. And many frameworks and tools for the language come from the open-source community. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but it’s more reassuring to receive support for your development tools from a reliable and registered company.

Always Choose The Programming Language That Best Fits Your Needs

No programming language is a silver bullet. Your team may have a favorite language, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every type of application. That’s why it’s crucial to have exposure to a wide range of programming languages and tools. And then, choose those that best fit the criteria for your upcoming project.

Apple’s development tools are great and should be your first port of call when targeting iOS. But never ignore the many excellent programming languages, tools, and frameworks available elsewhere. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps with the most up-to-date technologies.

How To Create A Food Delivery App Like DoorDash

Online food delivery platforms such as DoorDash make it easy for users to purchase food from their favorite restaurants. This expertly designed app facilitates convenient and frictionless online food ordering transactions in multiple territories. Below, we reveal what you need to know about creating a food delivery app.

1. Online Food Ordering Is Enjoying Phenomenal Growth

It’s a decision most of us have made. We opted to spend a quiet Friday evening at home instead of standing in line outside our favorite eatery. But we still craved that tasty pizza or sushi from the restaurant across town while we watched Netflix. So we did what most savvy consumers do nowadays and whipped out our smartphones. We ordered directly from the restaurant’s website or app or via a third-party food delivery app.

Our order arrived in record time, and then we munched down on our delicious meal. We barely gave a thought about how quick and convenient online food ordering has become. Yet, what makes this industry segment so compelling is how frictionless it has made the food delivery process. With just a few clicks, taps, and swipes, hungry customers don’t have to leave home or their place of work to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And this combination of technology and convenience is making a considerable impact. Consider that the food industry has an annual growth rate of approximately 3.7%. However, online food delivery has achieved annual growth rates of 15-20%, which is impressive. And much of this business is driven by platforms such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

2. Enter DoorDash

The platform that we’ll focus on from here on out is DoorDash. It’s a technology company based in San Francisco and founded by Stanford University students in 2013. Today, the company serves customers in Australia, Canada, and the United States across 4,000 cities. And what DoorDash does so well is connecting customers with a myriad of eateries in their vicinity.

The DoorDash app is available for Android and iOS, and the core user base consists of younger time-strapped families. Thus, the app’s developers constantly refine the user experience and interface (UX/UI) to save customers time.

3. Key Features To Implement In Your Food Delivery App

Eateries that join the DoorDash program must upload their menus and images of food items. However, some establishments fail to upload relevant images, which frustrates customers. So, there’s an opportunity to improve on the concept by making image uploads a mandatory process. And several other features that you need to implement in your online food ordering app include the following:

  • Search box
  • Filtering
  • Food customization
  • Order history
  • Pre-order
  • Cashback and discount offers
  • Ratings
  • Restaurant address
  • Delivery & special instructions
  • Pick up
  • Push notifications
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Live chat

4. Craft Your User Flow

Users should discover interesting eateries in their area and make their way to the checkout screen as quickly as possible. Thus, you’ll need to map out all the steps users will take by drawing up a flowchart. Also, consider how they navigate your app via the search box and the various filter and sort options. Several of these options will consist of the following:

  • Rating
  • Under 30 min
  • Pickup
  • Vegetarian
  • Menu price
  • Group order

Then, design your app’s screens with wireframes before putting together a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). DoorDash, in its current form, has come a long way and utilizes advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms. But since you’re likely testing the market, it’s unnecessary to add complex features during the initial stages of development.

The Bottom Line

Developing a food delivery app such as DoorDash makes good business sense. Younger users are increasingly relying on their smartphones to book plane tickets through to ordering food. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create apps that make food delivery a cinch.

A Quick Intro To iOS App Development

Many aspiring appreneurs need to have an understanding of iOS app development. Fortunately, Apple has made it relatively easy for novices and experts to develop for their key platforms. With powerful tools such as Xcode and the Swift programming language, there’s never been a better time to create unique apps for iOS.

1. The Many Faces Of iOS App Development

While the Apple ecosystem may be pretty cohesive, this isn’t necessarily true for app development. And what we mean by this is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing apps for iOS. Quite frankly, this isn’t a bad thing, as developers often require more than one toolchain or methodology to complete their projects.

Now, for most projects, Apple’s proprietary Xcode IDE and Swift programming language are good enough. And this is especially true if you plan on developing native-only iOS apps. Furthermore, utilizing Apple’s development tools and closely following their guidelines will allow you to create high-quality and performance-oriented apps, which would be difficult to achieve using third-party or cross-platform tools.

But what if you’re a small team with a limited budget that wants to support both iOS and Android? Then, you have two options that you should consider carefully. Option one: develop the native iOS app in-house and seek the assistance of a professional studio, such as NS804, to handle native development for the Android version. And option two: use a cross-platform framework such as React Native or Xamarin to develop for both platforms entirely in-house. We firmly believe that you’ll achieve better results with the first option.

2. Beyond The Standard Toolchain

As we mentioned earlier, Xcode and Swift will suffice for most purposes. However, your iOS app development needs may vary, and you may require an additional or more powerful toolchain. Perhaps, you’ve decided to create an augmented reality (AR) app or a mobile game. And then, quickly discover that Xcode isn’t the most efficient tool for the job. What then?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent frameworks and game engines to help you achieve your goals. One of the most popular solutions for developing AR, VR, and mobile games is Unity. And if you require the best possible visual fidelity, you may want to consider Unreal Engine. But do keep in mind that both engines are bloated and heavy on system resources, especially Unreal. So, if your project doesn’t require the latest 3D rendering techniques and particle systems, then you’re better served elsewhere.

For example, if you’re developing a simple 2D game, you may want to use an open-source framework, such as MonoGame. This framework offers developers the bare-essential functionality and integrations with APIs to make fun games for iOS and several other platforms. But if you require a full-fledged engine that’s also lightweight and open-source, then consider Godot. A key benefit of Godot is that it regularly receives updates and optimizations from its vibrant developer community.

3. Understanding APIs And Why They Are Necessary

For better or worse, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are essential components in developing apps. Fortunately, Apple’s APIs are among the best in the industry and help make the development process a lot easier.

But what exactly is an API, and why should you care? In a nutshell, an API acts as a messenger or intermediary between various hardware components and software instructions. We may have an API that generates graphics on the screen based on draw calls in a computer program. And we may also have an API that transfers user data from a smartphone to a server. Thus, developers can accomplish various complex tasks, as these APIs handle most of the heavy lifting.

APIs bring forth many obvious cost and time-saving benefits, and you should use them when necessary. Apple has wisely introduced several useful APIs that every iOS developer should familiarize themselves with:

  • Apple Music API – Geared towards apps that require data about albums, artists, chart rankings, music videos, playlists, ratings, reviews, songs, and user-generated content. Also, developers may utilize Apple Music API when creating Android apps and websites.
  • Metal – An API that facilitates 3D rendering and data-parallel calculations by utilizing the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on Apple devices. It’s used extensively for games, visual-oriented apps, and extensive scientific calculations.
  • StoreKit – For developers that need to support in-app purchases in their apps. StoreKit also integrates with Ad Network Attribution, Apple Music, and Recommendations and Reviews in the App Store.
  • SwiftUI – A powerful and developer-friendly UI (User Interface) suite, which uses AppKit and UIKit. It allows developers to create modern-looking apps with as little code as possible.

4. The Bare Minimum Requirements For iOS App Development

It’s essential to own at least one Apple Mac computer, which you’ll use to develop your iOS app. Preferably, it should be a recent model for quicker compile times and better compatibility with newer versions of Xcode. You should also own at least one iPhone and iPad to test your app on, even though Xcode provides a simulator. As good as the simulator may be, it’s always good practice to test your app on actual hardware.

After you download Xcode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the integrated development environment (IDE). And if you have prior experience with Objective-C or a similar programming language, the transition to Swift should be easy. But developing for iOS isn’t just about learning Swift, as you’ll also need to comprehend the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK consists of several APIs and frameworks, which are essential for your app development journey.

You’ll also want to register an Apple Developer account and become a member of the Developer Program. A key benefit of joining this program is that you’ll gain access to resources that will help you with deployment. Furthermore, you may want to sign up for the Xcode Cloud, a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service. Xcode Cloud will allow you to automate your workflow, build in the cloud, and initiate parallel testing.

5. Become Acquainted With The App Store

As an appreneur, you’ll eventually release your app on the App Store, as that’s where your potential customers congregate. But before you launch, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the App Store for maximum success. You’ll need to research your target audience and craft an app and marketing message to appeal to these users.

And if you’re releasing on both the App Store and Google Play, you’ll need to understand the differences between these two stores. After all, you’re dealing with two different audiences that have very different expectations. iOS users tend to earn higher incomes and are more willing to pay for apps that show promise. Android users, on the other hand, prefer free apps that are mostly monetized by ads.

Final Thoughts

iOS app development can be fun and very rewarding with the right approach. In most cases, you’ll want to utilize Apple’s proprietary tools, such as Xcode and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). But you can always integrate an additional toolchain when necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps.

App Development Trends: The Rise Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has taken the world by storm. What has particularly led to the rise of m-commerce is the ubiquity of the internet, social media networks, search engines, and changing lifestyle patterns. Phones provide convenience and speed over tablets and laptops – turning them into the most preferred way to shop, bank, and browse.

What Is M-Commerce and How Is It Different?

E-Commerce has been around for decades, but it may not be the next true frontier particularly as m-commerce continues to take shape and to become more popular among the millennials. But what is m-commerce and how does it compare to e-commerce? What particularly makes m-commerce quite discrete in the current changing wave of shopping?

Put it simply: m-commerce entails shopping through a mobile phone (or smartphone), while e-commerce entails shopping online through your tablet or the computer. What makes m-commerce different is that it hosts a range of technological advances that make it faster, convenient, flexible and affordable.

Indeed, m-commerce is poised to burst into fame and straight into the limelight courtesy of its exciting features and advanced developments that make shopping quite a rewarding experience. What precisely defines and distinguishes m-commerce is the speed, superior customer experience of viewing and selecting products, as well as the convenience of shopping wherever and whenever you want.

Types of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of small financial-based activities done online. The first type of m-commerce is mobile money transfers that entail broadly transferring or wiring money from one bank to another through mobile platforms. Mobile commerce also entails electronic tickets and boarding passes paid through the mobile phone.

Mobile commerce has revamped particularly due to the growing need to pay transportation fees and finance other ticketing activities solely through the mobile phone. Digital content purchases and deliveries as well as mobile banking are other unique types of m-commerce. Mobile commerce has made it possible for artists and creatives to sell and buy copyrights online as well as support other music distribution activities.

Other types of m-commerce involve coupons, mobile marketing, and in-app payments. For instance, cab-hailing services like In-Driver, Uber, and Bolt have leveraged mobile commerce through in-app payments that enable clients to disburse payments via smartphone devices. Technologists predict that mobile commerce has unmatched potential to become a major shopping channel, and transform consumer shopping habits.

Must-Know M-Commerce Statistics

Insights drawn from trending statistics show that mobile commerce sales will skyrocket to $3.56 trillion by the end of 2021. More than 1 billion mobile phone users use their phones for banking purposes. Mobile devices account for 67.2% of all e-commerce and approximately 68% of the world population owns a mobile device in 2021.

Additional statistics show that 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their phones. In 2020, mobile retail revenues accounted for 339.09 billion. 72.9% of all e-commerce will be mobile commerce by the end of 2021. These statistics show just how a reckoning force mobile commerce will be, particularly as the world ushers in a new frontier of mobile shopping, banking, and browsing.

The Need For A Mobile Shopping App

The sky’s the limit for mobile commerce. Consumers are shopping online, today, than ever before – and this statement holds true across all sectors and industries worldwide. It is no secret that mobile consumption has taken over our lives more than ever before. According to a recent study, 96% of the American population owns a mobile device, while 81% of the population owns a smartphone. Looking around, almost everyone has these devices glued to their hands 24/7.

As a business owner, you need to recognize this trend and adapt. How precisely can you use this new and exciting trend to communicate to consumers, advertise, deliver products, process sales, and receive consumer feedback? Well, here are some top reasons you need a mobile shopping app.

  • Mobile commerce is the new trend – Sales from mobile commerce have taken over the e-commerce industry.
  • Consumers prefer mobile applications – Mobile applications are ubiquitous, they offer speed and convenience thus a special preference for consumers.
  • Gaining a competitive advantage – The e-commerce sector is highly dynamic and ever-changing, making it privy to competitive forces from existing players. To differentiate yourself and make a mark, transitioning fully to mobile commerce will help edge out the competition.
  • Higher conversion – The e-commerce sector thrives primarily due to the ubiquity of markets, social media networks, and mobile devices. Transitioning to an m-commerce model will lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Improving marketing communications – Mobile commerce provides a unique capability because mobile devices rely on AI bots to predict consumer searches and make accurate predictions of future search trends. This automatically leads to improved marketing communications through targeted advertising.

How an M-Commerce App Complements Brick-and-Mortar

The e-commerce boom has transformed the way people bank, shop, and browse. In many cases, this boom has had a deleterious effect on in-store sales. 2018 saw a 3.4% increase in e-commerce sales and a 15% increase in e-commerce. These statistics are a clear indication of the disparity in growth between e-commerce and in-store sales.

The m-commerce complements the brick-and-mortar model because, in in-store experiences, customers can view, buy the product and carry it home. However, what mobile commerce does is that it allows consumers to view the product, analyze the product features (for products that need analysis), and finally make an in-store purchase before the product is delivered. This means that mobile commerce bridges multiple gaps in customer viewing and purchases experiences, thus complementing the brick-and-mortar enterprises.

Android or iOS Development: Use One or Both?

Google and Apple both have fantastic app stores. However, Google is far much superior at app organization and letting consumers know about important information on the home screen. The Android app also hides less useful apps in the app drawer. In addition, Google app widgets are much more useful and functional than Apple’s.

However, due to the growing number of iPhone users, and the growing consumer hype around Apple devices, your mobile app development efforts must address both sides of the divide. This means that using both Android and iOS will ensure that consumers, regardless of their smartphone devices, can enjoy a personalized shopping experience.

Incorporating Secure Financial Transactions

The state of security for mobile commerce is an issue of strategic importance for mobile app developers. Just recently, TalkTalk and Vodafone suffered high-profile breaches making millions of clients privy to fraud and phishing attacks. The leakage of user credentials and personal information not only affects individual users, it impairs retailers who are affected by chargebacks on many fraudulent transactions.

There are three categories of services and applications that help businesses secure their mobile commerce transactions through user authentication. These include mobile environment security, mobile app security, and mobile-friendly user applications. Smartphone devices feature discrete security services and applications that seal them from potential, unauthorized access or infiltration. Incorporating secure financial transactions into the overall m-commerce architecture is a win for both retailers and consumers using mobile platforms.

E-Commerce, ERP And The Changing Face Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has marked a paradigm shift for e-commerce. Previously, e-commerce had dominated online sales and purchase activities, but with changing trends in mobile ownership, the ubiquity of smartphone devices, social networking sites, and changing lifestyle patterns, it is evident that e-commerce has been phased out. The enterprise resource planning will help enterprises to manage their mobile applications particularly as enterprises eye on m-commerce as the next new frontier. In response to this dramatic shift in m-commerce uptake, enterprises are likely to maintain m-commerce applications with changing trends.

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