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Creating An Enterprise App That Focuses On Security And Compliance

Building an enterprise app that’s secure and compliant should be the priority of every serious developer. Users need enterprise mobile apps that won’t leak sensitive information or be at the mercy of hackers. We’ll briefly touch upon why security and compliance should never be an afterthought.

1. Why Security Matters In An Enterprise App?

Nowadays, many enterprises use collaboration apps that allow their employees and remote teams to get work done. A few examples include Google Docs, Slack, and Trello, which are cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings. Furthermore, these apps make life easier for IT managers since they no longer need to maintain and manage their own servers.

While a typical enterprise app offers convenience, it’s not entirely secure. Hackers love to target small or large enterprises through their collaboration apps. For example, a savvy hacker can launch a phishing attack via an enterprise’s messaging app instead of relying on email. And since employees trust communications within the company’s messaging app, they’ll likely click an URL or download files containing malware or malicious code.

The malware may contain a keylogger, which records user keystrokes such as login passwords and sends them back to the hacker. Thus, the entirety or part of the company’s online infrastructure will be compromised. The hacker can now steal valuable company information, install viruses, launch a ransomware attack, and that’s only the beginning. That’s why all applications, including enterprise mobile apps, should have enhanced security features from the get-go.

2. How To Ensure Enterprise Mobile Apps Are Compliant?

With 38% of iOS mobile apps and 43% of Android applications having high-risk vulnerabilities, it’s time for developers to take security seriously. The most common problem is insecure data storage, which puts correspondence, financial data, passwords, and personal information at risk.

So how should you tackle enterprise app development with security in mind? You’ll need to focus on the client-side since 60% of vulnerabilities are found on the client, and 56% can be exploited without administration rights.

Look at your insecure interprocess communication (IPC) and reduce its usage. And don’t use third-party keyboards in your enterprise mobile apps, as these can leak sensitive information, such as user passwords. Finally, mask sensitive on-screen information with a custom background image or filter.

3. Why Should You Use A Professional App Development Company?

Don’t make the mistake of trying to build your enterprise app for free. While there are many app builders and resources to help you make an application, you won’t get the desired result. You may not complete your app, or if you do, it may cost you more than anticipated.

Whether we like it or not, enterprise app development is a serious endeavor. You’ll need to work with a professional app development company that will deliver an app that functions properly and meets all safety criteria. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build secure enterprise mobile apps.

Is Freelance App Development More Budget-Friendly?

As a business leader, you could be deliberating whether to hire developers for several upcoming Android freelance projects. And you’ve taken notice of the many online job marketplaces where you can find freelance developers. But is freelance app development more budget-friendly than working with an agency? We answer that question in more detail below.

1. App Developer: Freelance Or Company

If you’re planning on developing an app, then you’ll need to answer an important question. Will you hire a freelancer or a company to make your app? You may think that this is an easy question to answer, but this isn’t the case. We recommend that you consider the following differences between freelancers and agencies before forging ahead.

Now, it’s never been easier to find freelance developers online to work on your project at competitive rates. But many freelancers have set skill sets, meaning that they specialize in certain types of apps. If you’re developing a broad range of apps or have specific requirements for an app, then you may run into roadblocks with freelancers. However, if you work with an agency that employs developers with varied skill sets, you’re more likely to complete your projects successfully.

Also, consider how you’ll scale your projects in the future. For example, you hire a developer or two for your Android freelance projects, and they do good work. Then, you decide to port these projects to iOS but discover that these developers lack the necessary expertise. But if you were working with an agency, cross-platform development wouldn’t be a problem.

2. A Look Inside Freelance Costs

According to Freelancer, hiring a freelancer is the most cost-effective solution. The median cost of hiring such a developer is $ 543. But do keep in mind that these developers are based in different parts of the world. And many are from third-world countries where salaries are lower, and English isn’t their first language. Thus, the quality of work may vary, and communication may prove difficult, depending on who you hire.

3. Pros And Cons of Android Freelance Projects

You’ve decided to launch several Android freelance projects and have started perusing online job marketplaces. Sites such as Gun.io, Hired, Toptal, Fiverr Pro, and X-Team all vet their freelance developers to ensure their competence. But you’ll want to hire the top-rated freelancers that have already proven themselves. However, these freelancers are in high demand and may not respond to your job posts.

Therefore, it’s easy to find freelance developers on these sites, but you’re not guaranteed to hire your preferred candidates. And given the popularity of Android, you’ll find more freelancers specializing in this platform than iOS. So, when you decide to port and scale your app, you’ll find yourself in a disadvantageous position.

4. Why It’s Easier To Count On An Agency

An agency has far more experience developing a wide variety of complex apps and respecting intellectual property rights and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Furthermore, an agency is more likely to implement best practices in developing, testing, and deploying apps. Freelancers may ignore these steps, which can jeopardize the quality and security of your projects.

While freelance app development may seem more budget-friendly at first, you’re likely to have more satisfactory results working with an agency. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can turn your ideas into engaging apps that amaze users.

What An App Development Company Offers Over A Freelance Developer

Are you thinking of hiring a freelance developer for your upcoming app? While this may seem like a good idea, there are several pitfalls that you need to consider. Moreover, consider the benefits of working with an app development company. We delve deeper into why this may be a better option for your app development endeavors.

1. The Difficulty Of Finding The Right Freelance Developer

With a big project coming up, you’ve decided to trawl the web to find freelance developers. And, you may feel confident that you’ll find the right people due to all the freelance and gig websites available. Sites such as PeoplePerHour, Toptal, and Upwork make it possible for recruiters to hire a plethora of talented individuals. And yes, many of these individuals have impressive portfolios and skill sets that make them seem very promising.

But are these freelance developers the right candidates for your project and enterprise? Well, that largely depends on how seriously you take app development and the stature of your organization. After all, your app represents your company, and a shoddy app can hurt its reputation.

Freelance developers can potentially handle smaller and simpler apps, but seldom can they pull off more ambitious projects. Moreover, many freelancers only work on projects within a set timeframe and then move on to the next gig. If you run into problems with your app, these freelancers may not be available to fix these issues.

Another problem you may encounter is that many freelancers only specialize in popular programming languages and frameworks. If your company uses niche or in-house development tools, these freelancers can’t assist you in any meaningful way. Thus, it’s a massive risk relying on freelancer developers, especially if you’re creating apps on a professional basis. But you can mitigate risk and achieve positive results by working with an experienced app development company.

2. Work With An App Development Company That’s A Good Fit

While you may have eschewed that potentially promising freelance developer to work with a development company, this doesn’t mean that you should rest easy. You may have tracked down a renowned studio that’s made several impressive apps that have done well in the app stores. But this doesn’t mean that this app development company will be a good fit for you!

For example, this renowned studio may specialize in mobile games and have little experience developing enterprise apps. Therefore, if you’re planning on making an enterprise app, it’s better to look for a development company that has actually developed enterprise apps on a long-term basis.

We advise that you practice due diligence before hiring a development company by doing your homework. Start researching companies by visiting Clutch.co, which is a B2B directory of IT businesses and developers. Moreover, read tech blogs and journals to learn more about existing and up-and-coming development companies making waves in the app world.

Create a shortlist of companies you’d like to work with, then gather referrals, request demos, and conduct interviews with all of them. These procedures will give you adequate information about which company will suit you best.

3. Software Development Best Practices Are Important

Work with an app development company that adheres to software development best practices. A competent developer will ensure that your app works flawlessly across devices and doesn’t put user data at risk. Also, they’ll be well-versed in both Android and iOS development and capable of meeting all criteria set by the platform holders.

Keep in mind that apps can be rejected after being submitted to Apple and Google Play if they don’t meet their respective standards. And such a scenario will only increase delays and drive up development costs.

4. Why You’ll Get Better UX Design From An App Development Company

The average freelance developer will only have a limited amount of skills. Most likely, they’ll know several programming languages and frameworks but lack adequate design experience. They may be able to handle some rudimentary UX design work but won’t deliver the kind of design that will make your app truly stand out. Therefore, you’ll also need to hire an experienced UX designer to ensure you’re making a well-rounded quality app.

Now you’ll have to coordinate both your developer and UX designer, meaning that you’re creating more work for yourself. But if you’ve hired an app development company, they’ll handle all development and UX design. Thus, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your app business. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver cohesive UX design on all target platforms and screen sizes.

5. Tackling Both Android & iOS Development

Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that can handle both Android and iOS development. It’s not uncommon to find freelance developers that only focus on a single platform. Even if they develop for both platforms, they’ll usually have more experience developing for one over the other. And they may even cut corners by using frameworks that make it easy to target both platforms with a single codebase but lack native-like performance and UX.

An experienced development company, such as NS804, delivers native apps for both Android and iOS. Our know-how, skills, and tools allow us to squeeze out maximum performance from both platforms.

6. Developing Complex Apps

Complex apps require a highly skilled developer to make them come to fruition successfully. Hiring a solo freelancer developer to handle such an endeavor would be a big mistake. Any app with a significant amount of complexity requires a lot of code and content, which is way too much work for a single developer. An app development company will have enough staff on hand to complete a complex app on time.

7. Scaling Your App

Perhaps you’ve hired a freelance developer to create a simple app or minimum viable product (MVP). But you need to scale and turn it into the app you’ve always envisioned. However, your freelancer has moved onto other projects and isn’t available to help you grow our app. And even if they were available, it’s unlikely they can handle projects beyond the scope of a solo developer.

You’ll need to hire several freelance developers or work with a development company to handle such a monumental task. But you’ll have more peace of mind working with the latter since a company can offer further assistance even after you’ve scaled your app.

8. Meeting Goals And Milestones

Never lose sight of your most crucial goals and milestones. When working with freelancers, you can never be sure that they fully comprehend these. And if these freelancers work remotely in different parts of the world, this only complicates matters. But if you work with a development company that operates as a registered business, then you’re dealing with a more accountable entity. Moreover, they’ll help you meet your goals since they’ll want to build an ongoing business partnership with you.

9. Assurance Of Quality And A Smooth Development Process

Ultimately, you want your app to be a testament to the quality that your company can deliver. While it’s possible to achieve adequate results by hiring freelancers, it’s not the smartest choice. You’ll achieve better results and enjoy a smoother development process by working with an app development company. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop outstanding mobile apps that never fail to impress.

When Should You Create A New App Versus Updating Apps?

When deliberating over updating apps versus creating an entirely new app, appreneurs face a serious dilemma. Will updating their existing apps continue to excite users, or will a new app take their business to the next level? We take a deeper look at both and answer several questions that you may have.

1. Should You Ever Stop Updating An Old App?

There are several reasons why you’ll want to stop updating an old app. For one, it’s so old that the user base has dwindled significantly, and it’s no longer feasible to provide updates. Secondly, it doesn’t run well on newer hardware, and an app update won’t take advantage of modern chipsets. Thirdly, your codebase has become bloated and unmaintainable that your app would benefit from a complete rewrite.

Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll disappoint your loyal users if you stop supporting a much-loved app. Ensure that you don’t alienate these users by communicating that you’ll create an entirely new and improved app that will replace the older app. And make it easy for them to move to the new app via an effective onboarding process.

If you’ve invested heavily in an older app, it’s not necessary to abandon it. You can still refactor the codebase and keep releasing it to your existing customers. But even if you do a complete rewrite of your app, you can still launch it with the same bundle ID and app name, and your users would get it.

2. Is Updating Apps More Time Consuming Than Starting Over?

If you’re working with an experienced development team, then updating apps shouldn’t take much time. The team should regularly provide minor and major updates throughout the year to keep these apps relevant. And these updates will take the form of additional content, bug fixes, enhanced functionality, new monetization options, platform compliance, and security patches, to name a few.

However, it’s important to mention that it takes several weeks for Apple’s App Store and Google Play to approve bug fixes and updates. A competent team will make several fixes before submitting a revised app to the stores. Thus, saving valuable time and ensuring that users have the most up-to-date app available.

3. Are Your New App Design Ideas Limited By Old Code?

Whether we like it or not, a piece of software will always face obsolescence at some point. No matter how advanced and innovative your app is, it’ll become obsolete eventually.

For example, you may want to implement new app design ideas that take advantage of the bigger screen real estate of foldable phones. But your older apps were designed for smartphones with single and smaller screens. You decide to roll out an update that resizes your app for foldable phones, but users complain that it feels shoehorned and that the User Interface (UI) doesn’t feel native to their phones or that the User Experience (UX) doesn’t feel quite right.

You may be able to implement these new features with an app update. If you’re refactoring your codebase and following software best practices, then you should be able to make the necessary changes. However, if this isn’t the best solution, consider rewriting your app to take advantage of the latest smartphone features.

4. How Often Are Users Updating Apps?

Every time you release an app update, ensure that you’re monitoring how often your users are updating your app. Why this is so important is because it tells you if users are still interested in your app. If they’re not regularly updating, then it’s likely that interest is waning.

Furthermore, you must gather and analyze user feedback to determine what users truly want. Perhaps, they’ve grown tired of your app, as it no longer provides them with features they find valuable. Or your app’s lagging behind competing offerings, and you’ll need to create an entirely new app to remain relevant.

5. Is A New App More Profitable Than Updating?

It largely depends if your app can retain user interest over a long period. Consider the costs associated with updating your app every year, which is approximately 20% of your initial development costs. Within five years, you would’ve spent about as much on updating an existing app as you would on a new app.

If an existing app can retain profitability over five years or more, then updating makes sense. But if an app doesn’t retain a sizable user base over this period to ensure its profitability, it’s better to create a new app. Moreover, you’ll likely attract more potential users and expand your user base with a new app, provided you also properly market and promote it.

Another side benefit of releasing an entirely new application is for listing purposes in the app stores. When you launch an app for the first time, it will get listed in the ‘what’s new’ section. Inevitably, this will enhance your app’s visibility and help you draw new users that you could never reach before.

6. Did A Major App Update Perform Well Or Not?

A major app update will increase brand loyalty as long as you provide users with the features they want. But it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. When you’re implementing additional functionality, this inevitably increases your costs. Ideally, you’ll want to monetize these extra features, especially if users find these valuable. However, it’s also possible that users don’t want to pay for these features, meaning that you won’t see a meaningful ROI.

7. Can You Transfer User Settings To A New App Easily?

Do keep in mind that there are often compatibility issues when attempting to run older apps on new hardware. But compatibility issues don’t end there. If an older app uses a different file format from a new app, transferring user settings will prove difficult.

Of course, a competent developer will offer a workaround that allows users to transfer their settings. However, it’s always good practice to implement commonly-used data formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). All your apps should parse data with this format to make it easy for users to move to your latest app without inconveniencing them.

8. Is It Too Difficult To Add New Features To Your App?

It shouldn’t prove too difficult to add new features to a well-designed and engineered app. If you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, updating apps won’t be a problem. But if your app has become bloated after several updates or suffers from technical debt, it will become hard to maintain. Moreover, adding new features will only make your app more unstable while negatively affecting its usability.

It’s crucial that your projects allow you to implement your new app design ideas. Users are always looking forward to features and improvements that make their favorite apps more engaging. Therefore, an outdated codebase can become a liability if it’s hindering you from moving forward with your ideas.

9. Will A New App Boost Your User Base?

There are no guarantees that your latest app will succeed if you release it out in the wild. It’s always easier and less costly to promote an existing app than an entirely new offering. But if you want to know if your new app design ideas are feasible, then it’s best to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to measure interest. After all, it costs less and takes less time to make an MVP than a full-fledged app, which inevitably reduces your risk.

Once you’ve ascertained that your MVP has gained traction with users, it’s time to scale. You can now move ahead and implement more of your ideas that’ll differentiate your app in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to market and promote your latest app to reach new users and increase your user base. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create a new app that engages and excites your users.

App Store Optimization Checklist: 10 Things To Do For Success

Having an App Store Optimization checklist in place should be a top priority for every appreneur. The App Store, and even Google Play, require that developers closely follow their guidelines. When developers fail to do this, their apps will inevitably languish in store rank. Furthermore, this checklist breaks down all actionable steps we can take to ensure our app’s success.

1. Why Do You Need An App Store Optimization Checklist?

It’s easy to get caught up in the development process and forget about App Store optimization. And App Store optimization is itself an involved process that many appreneurs prefer to put off, to their detriment. However, keeping an App Store optimization checklist handy gives appreneurs and marketing staff a bird’s eye view of the entire process. By breaking things down into 10 simple steps, we replace unnecessary guesswork with a winning strategy.

2. What Are The Best App Store SEO Tools?

For favorable results, always use the best app marketing tools available. And when you’re targeting the App Store, then there are three excellent tools that you should consider using. We’re listing these below with a brief description of what makes them so great:

App Annie – An App Store Optimization (ASO) tool, offering marketers a wide range of data at their fingertips. It’s worth investing in the premium plan since it features detailed user behavior, demographics, download estimations, and retention. If you’re unsure about App Annie’s effectiveness, you can always start with their free plan to test the waters.

Gummicube – A comprehensive tool that covers the entire marketing funnel, from searches to conversion. It features powerful A/B testing tools and live user feedback groups to test your store assets on the App Store and Google Play. Do keep in mind that this is a paid tool with no free plan.

StoreMaven – StoreMaven makes ASO as painless as possible by offering accurate and quick metrics. Their built-in StoreIQ algorithm gives precise data points from a smaller sample pool than alternative methods. Furthermore, you’ll have access to a design studio for effectively designing all your store pages. They offer a 30-day trial before you’re required to switch over to one of their paid products.

3. Focus On Top Keywords

Nothing’s worse than releasing your app on the App Store, only for it to languish in obscurity. And this can happen if you don’t implement the top keywords. Start researching for high-ranking keywords by using the App Store’s search bar. For example, if you’re developing a music app, enter the word ‘music’ in the search bar. The store’s search algorithm will offer several suggestions, such as ‘music maker,’ ‘music editor,’ ‘music downloaders,’ and many others.

These suggestions are exactly what users are searching for in high volumes, making good keyword ideas that you should explore further. Also, consider using TheTool for searching and optimizing keywords and tracking the visibility of your store page.

4. Master App Marketing By Checking Out The Competition

There’s no shortage of App Store SEO tools that offer additional features useful to marketers looking for an edge. MobileAction provides a wide range of tools, ranging from ASO to keyword discovery, which allows you to spy on competitor keywords. Moreover, it’s possible to conduct an app competitor analysis, giving you a clear picture of your rivals’ performance.

5. Make Your Icon Simple And Engaging

Your app’s icon is the first thing users will notice when browsing through the App Store. A bland, busy, or unprofessional design will put users off, and they won’t bother installing your app. Instead, make sure that your icon’s design is clean and engaging with a focus on simplicity. Draw inspiration from popular apps, such as Discord, Flipboard, and TikTok, which showcase good design. If you don’t have the necessary skills, then hire a designer to make your icon, as it’s worth the investment for such a critical visual element.

6. Capture Incredible Screenshots

When users discover your store page, the first thing that they look for is screenshots of your app. That’s why it’s vital to capture visually stunning screenshots that will wow your audience. If your app’s user interface (UI) already looks great, it should be relatively easy to take snapshots that look appealing. But if your app isn’t much of a looker, you should still capture crisp and high-resolution screenshots that depict what your app is about.

7. Show Your App In Action

Accompanying your screenshots, you should have at least one video showcasing your app. Show your users how smooth and responsive your app’s user interface is while highlighting its key features. And given that many users have low attention spans keep the duration of your video at under two minutes. Ultimately, your video should be short and concise while avoiding any fluff that will lessen its impact.

8. Pick The Perfect App Name

Believe it or not, your app’s name plays a significant role in whether it succeeds. Come up with a catchy, distinctive, and memorable name that best represents your app. Ensure that your title isn’t longer than 30 characters to keep in line with Apple’s regulations. Furthermore, use App Store SEO tools to research keywords that you can implement in your app’s name. App names that incorporate top keywords tend to rank higher in the App Store.

9. Consistently Update Your App Description

Every time you update your app, you have a golden opportunity to change your app description. And so you should! Your app description should always be clear, concise, and informative. Take the time to craft the first sentence so that it’s impactful and avoid unnecessary buzzwords and keywords. And, we do want to stress that you should be regularly updating your app. After all, you want your app to run well on the latest devices, enhance its security, and continue your marketing endeavors.

10. Add Local Keywords If Applicable

If you’re targeting foreign markets, you’re probably investing in translation services to localize your app. But consider researching and adding local keywords for every region that you’re targeting. It’s a big world out there, and users prefer to conduct searches in their home language. So, put yourself in the shoes of a foreign user and how they’d go about searching for your app.

11. Understand Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of app marketing is understanding your audience. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, then your app won’t succeed. However, it’s relatively easy to ascertain if your app’s appealing to a specific audience through beta testing, focus groups, and outreach initiatives.

You may even run low budget ad campaigns to see how users of a certain age, gender, demographics, and location respond. The better you understand your audience, the better you can set up your store page.

12. Encourage Reviews

Ensure that you’re providing users with a fantastic app experience. And, if you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, then you’ll be able to deliver an app that will impress them. But that’s not enough, as you’ll need to encourage users to review your app so that it ranks higher in the App Store. Prompt them, through your app, to leave a review and rating on your store page. And utilize App Store Connect to respond directly to any feedback and questions your users may have.

In Conclusion

An App Store optimization checklist is a necessity since it keeps app marketers on track. Working down this list of 10 things to do will radically enhance your App Store page and help you acquire new users organically. Contact NS804 today to learn how our App Store Optimization (ASO) services can make your app stand out.

4 Major Obstacles With Android Freelance Projects

Major Obstacles Emerge With Android Freelance Projects

When it comes to mobile app development there are a few paths you can take. A modern, and popular option is to go with a freelance developer. However, as with any freelancing industry; it can be difficult to find the right match. Almost like dating. This is specifically true in the Android freelance projects market. Since Android is such a versatile Ios that really allows developers a sand-box-like feel, experts can make Android apps that are top-notch. Unfortunately, though, the average Android developer is likely not an expert.

That’s not to say it isn’t worth pursuing app development for Android, rather, that if you hire a freelance android developer – you should take caution to vet them thoroughly, and require multiple references.

Four Major Obstacles Faced in Android Freelance Projects

Getting to the heart of the matter, if you do choose to develop an Android project with an Android developer; you should be aware of these common obstacles that may emerge, and take mitigating preparatory steps.

Finding The Right Developer

This was already alluded to above, but there is an art to finding the right freelance developer, no matter the ios. In fact, there’s an art to finding the right freelancer period. Regardless of industry. However, there are ways to vet the freelance developers that you come across, such as requiring references and a proven portfolio.

Even with all of that, however, freelancers have a tendency to disappear. Create a written contract to further ensure yourself against the risk of using a freelance developer over an agency.

Ideas Don’t Belong To Anyone

While this may seem like a pleasant and idealistic statement, in the world of mobile app development, and western business in general, this is a very stark contrast to the way we operate. In some regions recreation or mockery, in the sense of copying someone’s success, is the highest form of flattery. However, in mobile app development – standing out and paving new paths is one of the best ways to be noticed.

No matter where you lay on the principal of the matter; protecting your informational property in the mobile app world is absolutely vital. Don’t let someone take your brilliance and make it their own.

Android Freelance Projects Take Longer

There is a library of reasons that freelance projects take longer in general, but specifically android freelance projects. Some of that has already been touched on in this article, with flakey developers who vanish, or timelines being extended beyond a reasonable limit. The list truly goes on and on. However, with the help of an agency app developer; your timeline will be strict and your app ready to launch before you know it.

Outdated Looks, Styles, Tones

Finally, the last risk that comes with hiring a freelancer for your android project is an outdated look, feel, and style to your finished application. This is simply because freelancers aren’t always up on the latest trends and preferences in the mobile app development market.

Final Thoughts

For more information on mobile app development through an agency vs a freelancer, visit NS804 today. NS804 is the mobile app development agency for everyday people.

9 Things You’ll Only Get With Custom App Development

Custom app development seems challenging, but it’s the best way to create amazing applications. While templates promise an easy and quick turnaround for mobile app developers, these seldom deliver optimal results. Businesses and professional developers don’t want to release apps that look and feel second-rate. Instead, they prefer to release apps that improve their reputation and enhance user engagement. We provide several reasons why you should custom develop your next app below.

1. Completely Custom Look Unlike Any Free Templates

When developing an app, it’s often a good idea to consider the options available to you. Do you build it entirely from scratch by taking the custom app development road? Or do you use free templates that will radically reduce initial cost and time factors? The latter may seem more enticing, but it’s not the wisest choice if you want your app to stand out.

Ideally, you want your app to be a showcase for your unique brand. You want your User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) to comply with the Visual Brand Language (VBL) that defines your company. Free cookie-cutter templates won’t do your brand justice, as the colors, shapes, and typography won’t match with your VBL. Thus, you’ll ultimately cheapen your brand and cause users to either question your design choices or disengage altogether.

But if you choose the custom development option, then you can make your app shine. Your application will fit your company’s existing product range, which reassures existing customers and makes it appealing to new users. Moreover, the development team won’t need to modify and shoehorn the boilerplate code and free templates. That gets messy, quickly! Instead, they’ll build the app from scratch and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner and more maintainable project.

2. Extend Specific Business Functions

Another benefit of developing a custom mobile app is that it’s easy to add or extend functionality. In particular, you’ll want to extend specific business functions that facilitate more efficient customer interactions.

At first, you may decide to release a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to test the waters. Then, once your app gains traction, you’ll want to add functionality that will bring users closer. These could include in-app purchases that allow users to buy products and services, a point system to build customer loyalty, and social media integration to allow users to share your company’s content in a fun way.

3. Give Users Something New

We can’t stress enough how important it’s to keep users engaged. Even after a successful launch, your app can quickly lose traction if users become bored. After all, they have tons of other cool and innovative apps to choose from in the App Store and Google Play.

Make sure to keep your app fresh with regular updates and by adding new features that excite users. Always listen to feedback since users often request features that will enhance their experience. However, only add new functionality that fits your custom mobile app and business goals. For example, some users may request the addition of Augmented Reality (AR) functionality. But this won’t work well with your e-commerce app and unnecessarily drive up development costs.

4. Increased Compatibility

Mobile devices and systems continuously evolve, which means that appreneurs should keep up with the latest developments. If we take a quick look at the global mobile operating system market, Android’s leading with a 72.48% market share while iOS comes second at 26.91%. This bit of information may entice you to support the Android platform for your upcoming custom mobile app.

But which Android OS should you support since there are so many versions?

According to AppBrain, Android 10 leads with a 34.2% market share, Android 9.0 (Pie) at 23.1%, and Android 8.0-8.1 (Oreo) at 17.1%. By supporting these versions, you’ll inevitably increase compatibility with the most current devices and systems. It’s also worthwhile updating your older apps to run well on recent generations of operating systems.

5. Improved Security Features

In recent years, a plethora of high profile hacking cases has made the news. And with the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, more people are working from home than ever before, which has only increased the rate of hacking attacks. Thus, businesses and individuals have become increasingly sensitive to these types of incursions.

There’s nothing worse for your reputation if hackers use your app as an attack vector to illegally access users’ mobile phones. That’s why the custom app development process should always encompass the most effective security features. Include two-factor authentication that users can enable, giving them extra protection and peace of mind.

6. The Latest Custom Mobile App Features

Take the time to simplify your UI & UX to make your app more accessible to a wider demographic. Furthermore, include customization features whereby users can easily change background images, colors, and fonts. Don’t forget to add a night mode to protect users that suffer from light sensitivity. And include an offline mode so they will continue using your app during Internet outages.

7. Make Changes When You Want

Your app won’t remain static. It’s a dynamic product that will undergo change during the development process and after its launch. However, templates and platforms often hinder these changes since they come with existing assets and code. Therefore, development teams have to waste valuable time modifying code and templates to suit their needs.

But this isn’t a problem with a custom solution that’s more cohesive. Developers know how every piece of their application operates and to implement changes without introducing new bugs or breaking it altogether.

8. Match Your App And Business Goals

Always consider your business goals when embarking on the development process. And ask yourself what you want to achieve with your upcoming app. Very likely, there’ll be an overlap between the direction of your app and your business goals. But you’ll only be able to achieve great results with a custom solution since it’s hard to find templates that will match your business goals down to a tee. Keep your vision focussed, and build your app in a way that makes it entirely your own.

9. Professional App Developers

It’s easy finding freelancers on various job boards and freelancing platforms to develop your app. But is that a good idea? Well, if you’re working on a hobby project and just want to test the waters, hiring a competent freelancer could be feasible. But if you’re developing an app for your business and expect professional results, then you’ll need to work with an agency.

Freelancers will often play up their list of credentials to attain work. And while some freelancers do good work, they seldom stick around to offer support after the project ends. This leads to problems, especially when you need to fix bugs after you’ve launched your app. You’ll find that the freelancer has moved on to the next project and isn’t available for fixing bugs.

Agencies, on the other hand, are far more accountable to their clients. They have a reputation to uphold and must comply with various laws and regulatory bodies to stay in business. Any reputable agency won’t leave clients high and dry if they experience issues with a finished app upon or after release. They’ll offer their advice, expertise, and support during and after development. And if you’re seeking mobile app development in Virginia, then don’t hesitate to contact NS804 to assist you with your custom app development endeavors.

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.

Unique Challenges Of Developing Both An iOS And Android App

Challenges of Developing Cross Platform

During mobile app development, developers face many challenges. Evidently, obstacles spring up throughout the entire journey. Generally, roadblocks and challenges pop up from the very beginning all the way to the end. Developing a mobile app is already a hefty task. However, that task becomes more complicated with more stipulations. In other words, the more robust a mobile app is – the harder it is to develop.

Developing an application that is cross-platform, for example, brings about a whole slew of development challenges. A cross-platform application is one that is functional on both the ios and the android operating systems. The reason so many developers prefer to build cross-platform applications is because of the market appeal.

In other words, offering the application to both android users and apple users essentially makes the marketing strategy much more inclusive and wide-spread. Essentially, this exposes the application to a much larger potential user-base and amplifies its chance for success. Improving an applications chance for success on the open market is significant, as the mobile app industry is already unbelievably saturated.

Therefore, one way to stand out, is to develop cross-platform applications that include the entire population of potential users.

Defining The Obstacles of Cross Platform

One of the main challenges of cross-platform application development is the coding language. Code is the structural building blocks that create enterprise applications, websites, and mobile apps.

Just like human language, however, there are various coding languages. The different languages apply to different operating systems. In other words, the difference between developing a mobile application for ios and android is no small difference. While the app functionality, look, aesthetic, and feel will end up being identical, the structural building blocks composing the applications are completely different.

Understanding that developing applications for both ios and android simultaneously is much more than a copy+paste type of activity, brings developers to the reality that developing functional cross platform applications takes a dedication to learning and mastering multiple coding languages.

On top of developing applications that are cross-platform and available on both ios and android, developers also need to build for various devices. Many applications are accessed from multiple devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and even tablets. This brings another slew of challenges into the development process as developers need to not only build for multiple operating systems, but also for varying screen-dimensions, and a wide spectrum of devices that consumers prefer.

Wrapping Up on Cross Platform Development

Cross-platform development is becoming the standard in app development. As both the ios and android markets are both soaring through the duration of the pandemic, it makes sense that app developers would want their applications to be as accessible as possible. This translates into taking the time to develop applications in multiple coding languages, and for multiple devices.

Get the help you need for cross-platform application development by visiting NS804 today. NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. As a premiere source for information and knowledge on mobile app development, visit NS804 today and get in touch to start realizing your mobile app.

What Will Make the Users Happy? Five Key Elements of Great UX Design

As a mobile app developer, your goal, like everybody else, is to create the best app without spending too much of your time, effort, and money. The same goes for users who expect their apps to be responsive, quick, and efficient.

Thanks to the free market, competition has soared. The increasingly cutthroat market is unforgiving to companies that churn out boring and shoddy apps. To keep your head above the water, you need to pass the bare minimum requirements. One of these is having a highly responsive UX or user interface.

An intuitive UX is the backbone of any app. It focuses on structuring an app’s components and elements appropriately to enhance the user flow. If your app doesn’t prioritize the end-user experience, it won’t last for long.

The problem is that user needs and expectations have drastically changed during the past decade. The need of the hour is for app designers to anticipate these changes to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s cover the five basic elements that make up great UX design.

1. Simplify the User Journey

Users engage withmobile apps with a specific goal in mind, which they want to achieve in the shortest time possible. Apps that have a good UX simplify a user’s journey by saving their time.

Here’s the rule of thumb: if it can be simplified, then it should. The idea is to reduce the number of steps users must take to perform their intended action.

Apps with a good UX do this by presenting information in a clutter-free dashboard that provides a smooth navigational flow. Some of the key things to keep in mind include:

  • Linear design: Linear design gives users an idea about the time it will take to complete their task. It gives users the ability to complete one action at a time, which is important for consistency.
  • Progressive disclosure: This strategy manages the complexity of user information by only showing the vital pieces of information to users when they need it. The idea is to reduce the overflow of information on their screens.
  • Anticipatory design: This fairly new UX pattern seeks to create a delightful user experience by eliminating needless choices and responding to user needs one step before they express those needs.
  • Visually-rich content: Visually-rich content can captivate users, simplify navigation, and inspire users to explore further.

2. Organize Content

Try to organize the content so that it appeals to users. Your goal should be to ensure that nothing gets in the way of the user’s exposure to your app’s content. This means eliminating unnecessary distractions and any visual clutter, shining the spotlight on the essence of the message you want to convey. Visual cues such as contrasting colors for CTA links are good at guiding users from point A to point B.

Try to eliminate irrelevant information that only seems to get in the way. This allows users to effortlessly pick up on useful information.

3. Personalize the App

Personalizing an app can be a time-consuming task that is also overwhelming, but one that ultimately pays off. Recent trends are shifting from generic experiences to personalized experiences because the latter save time and get more user attention. Researchers from McKinsey found that businesses that deliver personalized experiences can boost their sales by more than 10%.

Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning make this a walk in the park. Most companies do this by asking their customers to take style quizzes so they can obtain more information about their lifestyle and preferences.

4. Biometric Authentication

Many mobile apps are adopting biometric authentication because it minimizes the risk of getting hacked and makes it convenient for users to verify their identity. Moreover, biometric technology is becoming increasingly available because devices can recognize a person’s identity based on particular characteristics.

Instead of having a laundry list of passwords for different apps, biometrics allows users to verify their identity with fingerprints and even voice or facial recognition.

5. Minimize Data Input

Another important area of app UX is to minimize the amount of user input required. Most users have an attention span of less than 8 seconds, which leaves a very short window for designers. The more data a person must enter into an app, the more likely they are to abandon the app and move on.

It’s no big deal to fill out a form with three or four fields on a desktop, but expecting the same on a mobile app turns users away. Most apps do this by giving users the option to use one of their existing accounts (such as a Google, Twitter, or Facebook account) instead of signing up from scratch. The only thing users now must do is to tap on authorize access for a new registration.

Do keep in mind that some users are a little skeptical about linking their accounts and would rather take the time to fill out the form.

Are you ready to develop your app? We offer UX/UI design and development services with expertise in native apps for Android and iOS. Reach out to us on our website here!