Tag Archive for: Android

Android Studios: Are There Any Experienced Mobile App Developers In Charlotte?

If you’ve been feverishly searching for experienced Android studios in Charlotte, North Carolina — you’ve come to the right place! Not only is NS804 one of the leading lights of the mobile app development world in the Queen City, but we’ve also received many accolades

And while we pride ourselves on being one of the most prominent Android studios in this dynamic city, we’re experts at cross-platform native app development. That means that we know both Android and iOS platforms intimately and are renowned for creating engaging and performant apps for either platform.

However, you may not be interested in iOS and only care about targeting Android for your upcoming project. Or you’re thinking of releasing an iOS version of your app at a later stage but want to focus on Android for now. Whatever scenarios you’re currently contemplating, we’re here to help you make the right choices and accomplish your goals.

But now you may be wondering what to expect from one of the most prolific mobile app developers in Charlotte. And if you’re embarking on your first app project, we understand you’ll have many questions. Also, we know there isn’t enough information available about what Android studios can offer their clients. 

So, to make things easy for you, we’ve prepared this in-depth article to demystify a matter that may seem obscure. Read on to learn more about what one of Charlotte’s most talented Android studios can do for you!

The Best Android Studios Go Native 

We’re now living in the era of powerful cross-platform development frameworks. These include the likes of Flutter, Ionic, and Reactive Native. While the latter framework promises native performance, it’s still fundamentally a hybrid development toolkit. Furthermore, it requires a significant degree of optimization to create performant apps. 

Now there’s nothing necessarily wrong with using these platforms, especially for startups on a tight budget. Cross-platform hybrid frameworks make app development cheaper and faster but not necessarily better. And by better, we mean that hybrid-developed apps seldom reach the quality and performance levels of native apps.

However, if you’re targeting a single platform, especially Android, there’s little to no reason to opt for hybrid app development. And the best part is that Google offers exceptional native development tools to create engaging Android apps. 

They offer the Android Studio integrated development environment (IDE) and several robust tools free of charge. Furthermore, these include well-written documentation, tutorials, and even training videos to help anyone commence their app development journey. 

Therefore, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of all these free resources. But if app development seems too complex or beyond your capabilities, consider partnering with NS804 to complete your Android project. Our deep knowledge and expertise of Google’s entire Android development stack put us in a position to deliver apps according to your exact specifications.

Creating The Perfect Android User Interface (UI)

There are considerable differences between the UIs and gesture navigation systems between Android and iOS. Yet many cross-platform mobile app developers attempt to make them similar when targeting both platforms. Unfortunately, this is a massive oversight that worsens the experience for users in the general sense. 

That’s why we continuously stress the importance of native app development, as it impacts the overall quality of an app. It’s not just about performance but also how the app looks and feels. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced UI/UX designer on the team with intimate knowledge of Android’s native UI. 

Moreover, this designer should feel at home with Jetpack Compose — the official Android UI development toolkit that integrates fluidly with several Kotlin application programming interfaces (APIs). And what makes Jetpack Compose so powerful is that it helps designers make engaging UIs for small and large screens. 

Let’s not forget that the Android ecosystem is larger and more varied than iOS. When targeting Android, you must consider the multiple screen sizes of smartphones, tablets, foldable devices, smartwatches, smart TVs, notebooks (Google Chromebooks and Windows 11 PCs), and vehicle dashboard systems (Android Auto). 

But the most experienced Android studios know how to create responsive UIs that work with any device flawlessly. They can foresee when and where issues may arise while working on an early wireframe UI or prototype. Then, implement the solutions to deal with any bottlenecks to avoid costly and time-consuming workarounds that may occur later on.

Working With Firebase

Without any doubt, you’ll likely need a backend developer for your upcoming Android project. You may need to store client credentials on a database, authenticate users, or even keep track of scores on a leaderboard if you’re creating a mobile game. In most cases, you’ll use either an SQLite or NoSQL database and work closely with the backend developer.

But you may want a more elegant cloud-based solution that minimizes the need for a backend developer. In that case, you may opt for Google’s Firebase solution, which includes several powerful analytics tools. Therefore, you can spend most of your resources working on and improving your app without worrying as much about the backend elements. 

Another reason why you’d want to use Firebase is for its Crashlytics feature, as it’s a lightweight crash reporting tool. It will give you real-time reports with in-depth insights into the health of your app. And it’s possible to conduct A/B testing and remote configurations via Firebase, which means you’ll cut down on tools for these additional tasks. 

Of course, if you’ve partnered with one of the leading mobile app developers in Charlotte, you won’t have to go it alone. You can rely on NS804 to integrate Firebase into your app development toolchain.

Making Mobile Games For The Massive Android Market

In 2023, Android ranks as one of the largest and most important gaming platforms. It also overshadows iOS significantly, even though Apple Arcade has made great strides as a game subscription service. Nevertheless, Android dominates, with 75% of all smartphones and tablets in the world powered by this operating system (OS).  

Then, there are Android gaming smartphones available in the marketplace, such as the Asus ROG phones. And devices such as the Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro gives gamers a console-like experience at an affordable price. Moreover, Microsoft’s Windows 11 OS can run Android apps and games from the Amazon Appstore. Thus, there’s no shortage of devices capable of running Android games, making it a truly all-encompassing platform.

And the world’s most popular game engines and tools vendors have responded in kind. Construct, GameMaker, Godot, Unity, and Unreal Engine all offer Android export modules. And Unity takes things several steps further by having the capability to run and export to Chrome OS (Google Chromebooks). A key benefit of Chromebooks is that they can run Android, Linux, and Windows apps and games. 

Making games is hard enough, but supporting all these devices requires the expertise of a professional studio. While an Android game should run on all these devices without issues — this seldom happens. It’s not uncommon for mobile games to run great on specific devices and perform poorly on others. However, the most effective Android studios know how to optimize mobile games for a wide range of devices, even those not commonly used.

In Conclusion

There are several mobile app developers in Charlotte, yet NS804 stands apart due to experience and reputation. Furthermore, we’re one of the top Android studios in Charlotte but also have a notable presence in Denver and Richmond. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create Android apps that engage users on Google Play and beyond!

3 Signs Your Mobile Android App Development Strategy Needs Improvement

We cannot stress enough that mobile Android app development isn’t easy. It still stands as one of the more challenging platforms to develop apps for, even though Google has gone to great lengths to simplify the development process. And if you’re a seasoned developer or appreneur, you probably know this already. 

But that doesn’t change the fact that Android remains one of the biggest and most crucial platforms. So, deciding to forego mobile Android app development to make life easier isn’t an option for most. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t be made easier with the right strategy. Here’s what you need to do to look out for and fix if your Android projects are becoming unmanageable! 

1. Your Android App Suffers From Poor Performance

When running and testing your app, you may encounter serious performance issues. Never ignore these, and instead, proceed to fix them immediately. Your first step is to check that you’re running your app in release and not debug mode. While debug mode helps to detect problems, it introduces a significant performance overhead. 

If necessary, switch to release mode that uses the R8 compiler by default. The compiler will remove all unneeded code from your app, giving it a performance boost.

And if you use Jetpack Compose, you need to know that this library tends to slow down an app on startup when run for the first time. To mitigate this issue, you need to define baseline profiles. These profiles will include the necessary classes and methods within your APK. Once installed, only the most mission-critical code will undergo ahead-of-time compilation, speeding up your app’s launch times. 

But it’s not always possible to define a baseline profile that works as intended. Thus, we recommend that you get in the habit of writing Macrobenchmark tests regularly. The results of these tests should give you a clear picture of whether or not your baseline profiles are delivering the desired results. If not, you’ll need to revise these accordingly.

USE OUR APP COST CALCULATOR TO ESTIMATE THE COST TO BUILD YOUR APP!

2. Poor Choice Of Mobile Android App Development Environment

There are many third-party cross-platform development tools on the market today. And if you’re developing for Android, iOS, and several other platforms, you may want to use these cross-platform tools. However, many of these tools are a poor substitute for Android Studio, Jetpack Compose, and the Kotlin programming language. 

If you want native performance, a coherent user interface (UI), and all the latest operating system and mobile device features, Google’s official suite of development tools is the way to go!

3. Failure To Follow Google’s Guidelines And Best Practices 

Google’s mobile Android app development portal offers plenty of information to create robust and performant apps. We advise that you follow Google’s guidelines and best practices closely, especially if your project is languishing in development hell.

Learn how to implement the Jetpack Compose library in existing apps and use it in conjunction with other libraries. Furthermore, learn how to design systems and layouts for your Android app. And when and where to use animations, images, text, gestures, and other interactions. While there are many sources for this type of information online, much of it is outdated and may not follow best practices.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH AN APP DEVELOPMENT EXPERT TO GET A CUSTOMIZED QUOTE!

The Bottom Line

While mobile Android app development may challenge even the most competent developers, a sound strategy will always yield favorable results. It’s essential to set up the right development environment, run your app in release mode, write Macrobenchmark tests, and follow Google’s best practices and guidelines closely. 

But if you have any questions and need the assistance of a professional studio, contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal Android apps today! 

5 Android App Development Myths, Debunked

Whether we like it or not, development myths surround the Android platform. In a way, the Android platform is a victim of its own success, given its vast popularity. As the world’s leading mobile operating system (OS), it has evolved rapidly over the past 14 years. And with so many changes and new features introduced regularly, Android app developers have their work cut out for them.

It’s also necessary for developers to create apps that work well across a wide range of devices from various manufacturers. And there’s a need to test on more devices and spend additional time fixing bugs and patching apps.

These hoops that Android App developers have to jump through have led to several myths. One of which is that it’s far harder to develop for Android than iOS. And while there’s some truth to this, few realize that Android app development has become easier with the introduction of Kotlin and the Jetpack libraries.

But there are many more Android app development myths that we need to discuss. Read on to learn more about these myths and why we’re about to debunk them!

Myth 1: Android App Development Is Highly Profitable

During Android’s early years, many developers came on board to capitalize on this exciting new platform. And many of these developers found success, and much hype ensued about the Android platform. So much hype, in fact, that software developers specializing in other fields decided to pursue mobile app development. 

But as the platform matured and Google Play became inundated with an abundance of apps, Android app development became less profitable and far riskier. As of September 2022, the Google Play Store had over 2,6 million apps. But that’s significantly lower when the store peaked at 3,6 million apps in March 2018. 

So what does that bit of information tell us? It reveals that the golden age of Android app development has long passed. Developers and publishers have learned that it no longer makes sense to push apps onto the store on a whim. And that’s because the most successful and sustainable apps solve a problem and are high quality.

Ultimately, the Google Play Store still remains viable for those developers willing to go the extra mile. But newcomer Android developers will unlikely strike it rich with their first few apps. While there’s been a decline in apps available in the store, it’s still heavily saturated. Thus, it’s best to avoid being blindsided by claims on the internet about Android’s vast earning potential.

 

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH AN APP DEVELOPMENT EXPERT TO GET A CUSTOMIZED QUOTE!

 

Myth 2: The Android App Development Environment Is Inferior To iOS

That’s completely false and may even be the other way around. Google has gone to great lengths to improve the Android app development experience, and they’ve largely succeeded. Android Studio and the accompanying App Tools truly empower developers to make some amazing apps.

And if we’re to make a quick comparison between Android Studio and Apple’s XCode, we often find Android Studio’s code editor and layout designer more useful for handling larger projects. Some developers even seem to prefer Android Studio overall, but that’s also a matter of preference.

The only major downside of Android Studio is that it consumes far more memory than it should. Furthermore, it’s often a chore to configure and deal with the Android Emulator Hypervisor Driver. And this can get rather complicated if you’re using a system with an AMD processor. But once the Android Emulator is up and running, it truly gives you a feel of how your app will run on a wide range of devices.

Myth 3: You Need To Own A Wide Variety Of Test Devices

Preferably, yes, but it’s not necessary to own many test devices. The hard truth is that you probably don’t have the resources to own a large number of devices. Moreover, it doesn’t make sense to keep a bunch of older devices with deteriorating lithium-ion batteries in your studio, as that’s a potential fire hazard.

Instead, you’ll rely on the Android Emulator to give you a broad picture of how your app will run on devices made by various manufacturers. But you’ll still need to test on actual hardware, so you’ll use all the Android smartphones and tablets your team owns. And you can take things a step further by running an invite-only beta program where users with different devices can test your app.

You’ll implement analytics in your app to collect device and performance data. And you may also run a survey where you’ll ask your users questions related to the performance and smooth running of your app. Thus, you’ll gain a clearer picture of your app’s performance on a wide variety of devices. You’re also able to pinpoint the Android versions, manufacturers, models, and configurations that impact the performance of your app long before its official launch.

USE OUR APP COST CALCULATOR TO ESTIMATE THE COST TO BUILD YOUR APP!

Myth 4: You Need An Engine Such As Unity To Make Android Mobile Games

While Unity is a great choice for cross-platform mobile app development, you do have other options. There’s Unreal Engine if you need to create high-fidelity 3D games and AR/VR experiences. Then, there’s GameMaker and Godot if you want to make addictive pick-up-and-play 2D games.

However, if your team has the necessary skills, you may forgo a game engine. And instead, use tools and libraries such as Google’s Android Game Development Kit (AGDK). The AGDK libraries consist of the Android Frame Pacing library, Android Performance Tuner, and C/C++ game libraries. 

The latter libraries allow developers more comfortable with C or C++ instead of Kotlin or Java to create Android mobile games. And since many legacy games have been programmed in C and modern games have been programmed in C++, porting these to Android becomes a lot easier.

Myth 5: You Can Easily Release Your Android Apps On Windows 11 

Microsoft surprised everyone when they announced that Android apps would make their way to Windows 11. But it’s also one of the biggest app development myths to think this is as straightforward as it sounds. And that’s because Windows 11 users need to access the Microsoft Store and then download and install the Amazon Appstore. They’ll also need to sign in to their Microsoft Account (if necessary) and Amazon account.

That’s a very inconvenient process to gain access to Android apps only available on the Amazon Appstore. From a developer’s standpoint, it’s additional work to put an Android app onto the Amazon Appstore if it’s already on Google Play. It’s necessary to comply with Amazon’s guidelines and implement the Appstore SDK. Also, Amazon only accepts Android apps and not iOS apps, which may disappoint developers that support both platforms.

And while it’s possible to sideload Android apps on Windows 11 with Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), it’s a complicated process. Most non-technical users will likely struggle with this; thus, the Amazon Appstore will remain the more convenient option. However, it’s a straightforward process to run Android apps from the Google Play Store on Chromebooks.

Android App Development Myths And Misconceptions

The Android platform remains exciting while offering developers the opportunity to reach over 2.8 billion users. But the popularity and overall success of the platform has led to various app development myths and misconceptions. We’ve debunked several of these, but we expect many more to make the rounds. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal Android apps that will reach mythical heights! 

Questions About Android App Development? 9 Answers You Need To See

Every appreneur or forward-looking business leader wants to know about Android app development. And that’s because Android dominates the mobile OS market, at a whopping 71% as of November 2022. With such a massive market share, it makes good business sense to push your apps onto this vibrant platform. 

And while Android plays a significant role in the mobile market, it’s also a platform that many don’t properly understand. That’s because it’s a platform that will run with Google Play Services or without if a user wants to DeGoogle their phone. In some markets, such as Russia and China, Google services are no longer an option without a VPN. 

Furthermore, Android doesn’t only run on mobile devices but also computers, game consoles, IoT devices, TVs, vehicle entertainment systems, and wearables. And since it supports such a wide range of devices, Android comes in various flavors, not dissimilar to the Linux ecosystem. While this is great and a testament to the versatility of Android, it also complicates things. 

The hard truth is that Android isn’t locked down like Apple’s iOS platform. So, there’s no simple one-size-fits-all approach here. Not that’s necessarily always the case with iOS, but it’s far less open-ended than Android. 

And given Android’s open-ended nature, this presents many challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, this will cause some to ask many crucial questions about Android app development, which we’ll answer in more detail below.

1. When Did Android Debut?

Android 1.0 launched on September 23, 2008, and was made available on the T-mobile G1/HTC Dream phone. Surprisingly, it was feature-rich at such an early stage. It featured Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a browser, a camera, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and several other applications and features.

2. Is It Similar To Linux?

Android isn’t only similar to Linux but sports a repurposed version of the Linux kernel combined with other open-source components. Google releases Long Term Support (LTS) versions of these kernels under the Android Common Kernels (ACKs) name. 

But that doesn’t mean Android apps will run on Linux and vice versa. Users will need a tool such as Anbox, which will set up a container on Linux to run Android apps. And while it’s possible to run certain Linux apps made with Java on Android, it’s a messy process that often requires cross-compilation. Understandably, this isn’t a practical solution for most Android users. 

Furthermore, not all Linux app developers will use Java but another programming language instead. So their apps will only run on an Android device via a Linux emulator, but there are no guarantees that they’ll run smoothly, fast enough, or at all. The optimal solution is for these developers to port their apps to Android and take advantage of its touchscreen functionality.

3. Is It Better Than iOS?

No. Only fanboys, platform holders, and some tech publications and journalists play favorites. As an appreneur or business leader, you only need to care about the potential of each platform. In this regard, Android offers a massive user base and a mature ecosystem that has already outpaced iOS. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore iOS, either.

4. What Tools Will I Need For Android App Development?

You will require a recent Windows, macOS, Linux, or Chrome OS computer capable of running the latest version of Android Studio. You will also need at least one test device — preferably running the latest version of the Android OS. While it’s possible to test your app using the Android Emulator (part of the Android SDK), you’ll still want to run it on an actual device.

Furthermore, you should download and install the Android SDK, Android NDK, and Java SE Development Kit (JDK). You can download Android SDK & NDK directly from Google’s Android developer portal and the JDK from Oracle. Read through the documentation thoroughly to configure all of these SDKs properly. 

While it’s possible to use other IDEs, Google recommends and officially supports Android Studio. And if you’re planning on developing native Android apps, then it’s best to stick to Android Studio in the long term. Consider using other IDEs, such as Visual Studio, if you’re developing cross-platform apps or mobile games.

5. Which Programming Languages Should I Use?

For native Android app development, choose either Kotlin or Java. But it’s preferable to go with Kotlin since Google officially supports and recommends it for modern app development. However, if you’re a cross-platform developer, you may want to go with C/C++, C#, Dart, JavaScript, or Python.

6. Which Engine Should I Use For Mobile Game Development? 

We recommend Unity since it’s the most popular, versatile, and well-supported engine for mobile game development. Also, it’s a good option for 2D & 3D game development, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) experiences. But if you require a more heavy-duty engine for creating games with high-fidelity visuals, then you’ll need to go with Unreal Engine.

Either way, you’ll likely use Visual Studio as your IDE or each engine’s visual scripting component. If you want to use Android Studio for game development, you’ll need a game framework instead. One of the best frameworks for native Android game development is libGDX.

7. Will I Need Any Additional Tools For Game Development?

If you’re developing an intensive 3D game, you’ll probably put plenty of stress on the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Thus, you’ll need a way to analyze draw calls and monitor your game’s performance frame-by-frame. Luckily, most mobile GPU manufacturers and even ARM offer graphics analyzers and profilers for these purposes.

While it’s possible to ship a mobile game without using these profilers, you risk shipping it with undetected graphical issues. And given that your game needs to run equally well on devices that support different graphics libraries, such as OpenGL ES, OpenCL, EGL, and Vulkan, it’s wise to profile your app before release.

8. Should I Only Focus On Google Play Store?

The beauty of the Android platform is that you have plenty of options besides the Google Play Store. If you’re willing to acquaint yourself with the requirements and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of other stores, you’ll find many more avenues to reach new audiences. 

After the Google Play Store, you should consider the Amazon Appstore, which runs on Fire OS devices and even on Windows 11. And don’t forget that large smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei have their own app stores, and both have sizable audiences.

9. How Do I Get The Most Out Of My Android App?

One of the best things about Android app development is the free tooling that’s available. And one of the best free tools is none other than Google Analytics for Firebase. The Firebase SDK will give you access to a reporting suite that allows you to monitor up to 500 pre-defined events. Moreover, its analytics reports will give you a clear picture of your app’s performance, your marketing endeavors, and user behavior.

In Conclusion

Android app development is worthwhile even though it’s complex and sometimes plagued with difficulties. But it has become easier thanks to the introduction of Kotlin and an ever-improving Android Studio and tooling. Contact NS804 if you have any more questions about Android app development and how we can help you create outstanding apps. 

Troubleshooting Play Store Downloading

Android is one of the most popular operating systems with over a billion users spanning over 100 countries. In 2021, Google Play users downloaded 111.3 billion apps from 78 billion in 2018. Play Store, Google’s leading app marketplace, continues to enjoy a significant reputation among mobile app users, especially owing to its ability to offer free and paid apps.

So, if you’re a play store user and are stuck when downloading an app or your Google Play Services keeps stopping, here’s a basic troubleshooting guide.

1. When you can’t open the Play Store on your phone

If your app can’t load or crashes when it opens, check whether you have a strong network connection. You can also check your storage space and whether there are any Android system updates.

2. Troubleshoot problems with only one app

In most cases, you’ll be dealing with one app at a time. So, when faced with an app bug or problem, uninstall and reinstall the app. Firstly, check whether the app is available for your device, then install it. A simple uninstalling and reinstalling will do the magic.

3. Force close the Google Play

Sometimes force closing the Google Play Store app is all you need to get an app up and running. You can force close your Google Play App by swiping away on the multitasking app switcher. You can also do this through the settings.

  • Open app settings app
  • Go to apps
  • See all apps
  • Tap on Google Play Store
  • Hit Force Stop
  • Okay

Force closing the Google Play App is an effective troubleshooting technique if your Google Play Services keep stopping.

4. Turn on Airplane Mode

Turning the airplane mode on and off can get an Android app up and running. This is not a complicated process and it’s safe. So, next time your Google Play Services keep stopping, try turning on airplane mode.

5. Restart your router

You’ve fixed a Wi-Fi issue once or twice by simply restarting your router. While it may not make sense, give it a try and you may fix an app issue if your Google Play Services keep stopping. Restarting your router gives your phone a refreshed internet connection, allowing all apps to download and operate seamlessly.

6. Restart your phone

Something as simple as rebooting your phone may do magic. Restarting your phone may solve some serious smartphone problems and may only take a minute or two. So, next time you’re facing a serious app issue when play store downloading, try rebooting your phone and installing and reinstalling the app. This trick will automatically fix the problem.

NS804 – Fixing Play Store Downloading Problems

NS804 provides custom mobile app development solutions for both Android and IOS. We strongly believe that one of the most common problems with apps is poor design and poor implementation. That’s why NS804 is interested in individual developers, aspiring app owners, and businesses to deliver trusted app solutions.

So, if you own an app and you’re experiencing a problem, look no further. At NS804, we provide custom mobile app fixes, allowing your app to answer your customers’ most pressing challenges.

Contact NS804 for time-to-value Android mobile app development solutions.

Which Comes First When Developing A Mobile App — iOS Or Android?

Should you choose iOS or Android for your next app project? Well, that largely depends on your goals. And that’s because these goals will help you determine which platform you should develop for first.

But you may have heard that it’s cheaper and faster to develop for iOS. And that’s true, but this is seldom a good enough reason to opt for iOS over Android. It’s better to consider the target audience and what platform they predominantly use. 

Ultimately, always consider where your app will likely succeed first. Below, we reveal a few handy tips to help you choose iOS or Android — but to do so wisely! 

1. When Developing A Premium App

It’s no secret that iOS users spend more on apps than their Android counterparts. Moreover, they prefer premium apps and are willing to purchase apps instead of watching ads like Android users. And that difference is significant, as users spent $85.1 Billion in the App Store versus $47.9 Billion in the Google Play Store in 2021.

So, if you’re planning on going premium with your next app, then iOS is the clear winner. The same applies if you’ll be monetizing via in-app purchases and subscriptions, iOS still leads the way here. But be careful with utility applications, as these tend to do better on Android and don’t engage iOS users as much.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

One of the most crucial factors that will determine whether you’ll choose iOS or Android for your upcoming project is your target audience. And then, you’ll need to determine their demographics, locations, and preferred platform.

Outside North America and most Western territories, Android reigns supreme, especially in the developing world. Android has a 72% market share, and iOS has 26% of the mobile audience. So, if you’re aiming for maximum downloads, especially with a freemium app, Android’s your best bet!

Since most Android users reside in low and middle-income countries, you’ll be reaching a diverse audience. And that means you’ll need to spend some time and money on localization.

3. Starting With iOS Or Android For Mobile Game Development

Between Apple and Google, the latter has historically been the more game-friendly company. But that’s slowly changing, especially after the introduction of the Apple Arcade subscription service. However, Google remains competitive with Google Play Pass and Instant Play games.

And then, there’s the wide variety of platforms and storefronts that Android reaches. Android apps and games run on Chromebooks, and Google Play Games (still in beta in some regions) now run on PC. Furthermore, the Amazon App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Samsung Galaxy Store, and several other stores host Android games. 

Thus, Android offers developers many more opportunities to reach gamers than Apple. And specific genres, such as arcade, puzzle, and racing games, tend to earn more as freemium titles, which suits Android perfectly.

However, if you want to be featured in the App Store, you may want to hold off on the Android version momentarily. The cool thing about the App Store is that it’s curated by humans who take an interest in titles that stand out. And if you provide them with a unique game that’s timed-exclusive, it’s possible to be featured, leading to many downloads and sales.

The Bottom Line

Both iOS and Android are fantastic platforms that offer developers plenty of solid opportunities. But you need to develop apps first for the platform that lines up with your goals closely. Avoid fanboyism and the hype surrounding a particular platform, and focus on the platform that will deliver the results you want instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deliver phenomenal iOS or Android apps to your users! 

Do You Have A Great App Idea? 5 Tips To Get It Validated

Coming up with a great app idea can seem easy at times. But what may not seem easy is ascertaining if that app idea is truly feasible. If most developers were honest, they’d admit they lucked out on some of their best and most profitable ideas. Instead, they’d like everyone to believe they’re geniuses for coming up with winning ideas.

Of course, some top-tier app developers have a methodology for brainstorming ideas and validating them. And that’s what we want to focus on right now!

We’re not interested in revealing tips aimed at opportunistic appreneurs and developers that want to make a quick buck from current trends. And that’s because this is not a sustainable way to push out compelling apps at a regular cadence.

Instead, we want developers to work systematically to achieve consistent results regularly. We also want developers to think of themselves as problem solvers and not simply studios that push out code.

While working with new technologies is always fun, we should never lose track of the fact that we’re here to provide solutions. Our goals should always align with those of our clients and users. And that’s to make life easier for them by solving problems that hold them back or impact productivity.

However, you may be at this point now where you have a great app idea that will solve a problem users experience. But how do you validate it to know for certain that it will serve your target market well? Read on, as we’re about to reveal several handy tips to help you through the validation process.

1. Market Research Is A Must! 

Never commence planning and developing an app without conducting market research first. And that’s because you need to know if your app is unique or improves on existing ideas. And if the market already has competitors, can you compete by offering something different or better?

Moreover, you should clearly define your app’s unique selling point (USP). Ask yourself what sets it apart from competing apps and how your users will benefit.

And possibly, create a prototype to show your team, company stakeholders, or even a small focus group. Then, ask them for feedback on what they think of the app and if they can pinpoint its USP and potential target audience.

2. The Early Stages Of The Validation Process

As a startup with limited time and money, going through the validation process may seem challenging. But we recommend that you don’t skimp on this step, as it will help determine if you have a great app idea or not.

We mentioned earlier about building a prototype and showing it to relevant parties. However, you can take things further by setting specific validation goals. 

For example, you may decide not to build a prototype but focus on pitching your idea to investors. If you manage to convince five or more investors about the virtues of your app idea, then that’s a good sign. Or you can work with another metric: if 100 or more potential users view your concept design on social media and react positively — you may want to greenlight the project. 

As you may understand by now, there are several ways you can go with this. And by setting several validation goals that you can measure, you can gain real-world feedback without breaking the bank. But only doing the above won’t be substantial for most projects, even though it’s a good starting point.

3. Effective Ways To Validate A Great App Idea

Real-world feedback is an ongoing theme with app validation. And that’s because there’s no better way to determine if there’s interest in your app concept or idea.

So, focus on ways to receive user feedback from potential users. But also ensure that you research the size and value of the market you’re targeting. And no matter how much you like your idea, don’t invest in developing it into a full-fledged app without thorough market validation. 

But how do you thoroughly validate the market? Well, one of the best ways to do this is with a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a stripped-down version of your app with the bare minimum of functionality. And the main advantage of this is that you can deliver an MVP to your users cheaply and quickly. 

Should it prove popular with users, you can scale it into a fully-fledged app and implement the features that users have suggested. However, if it fails to gain traction, you can scrap the project or implement changes that may make it more appealing to users. The latter may be the way to go if there’s still middling interest and users have made suggestions.

4. Conduct User Surveys

Another good way to ascertain if you’re on to a great app idea is via user surveys. Start by creating a customer profile that represents your ideal users. Your customer profile may have the age, demographic, education, hobby, location, and spending attributes.

If your customer profile slants to the younger ages, you may want to find users on a platform such as TikTok. And if they’re older professionals, you may want to track them down on LinkedIn. Either way, you should have a clear picture of your target group so you can survey them properly. 

Ensure that you tailor your survey for your target group and use language and tone that appeals to them. Moreover, respect their time by not asking more questions than you have to or asking complicated questions that are too difficult to answer. Ideally, you want these users to complete your entire survey and not give up halfway through.

5. Pre-Selling And Pre-Registration 

Another effective way to test your app idea is by setting up a pre-selling landing page. This landing page will feature a description of your app, screenshots, and a promo video to create buzz. Furthermore, visitors can easily register and submit their email addresses to stay updated. 

What’s so compelling about this approach is that it’s a way to attract early adopters. And the higher number of these early adopters, the more validation you receive for your app. Moreover, it can act as a revenue stream if you need to generate income before launching your app officially. 

But if setting up a landing page and maintaining an email list isn’t your thing, there’s no need to despair. Google Play offers pre-registration for your app so that you can build hype and user relationships before launch. This is done directly on the Play Console and is implemented 3-6 weeks before the launch date. 

It’s an effective way to drive traffic to your app’s store page. And it’s possible for Google Play to automatically deliver your app to users and auto-install it on their devices on launch day. Thus, it’s almost certain that you’ll have users on day one with a limited amount of work on your end. You can also use Google’s pre-marketing tools to boost interest further.

The Bottom Line

When you have a great app idea, you’ll want to validate it as soon as possible. The good news is that there are several ways to go about this, as we’ve already covered above. However, there’s a bit of additional work involved, which may increase your costs and time to market (TTM).

But if you work with experts, such as NS804, you’ve got a partner to help you navigate this process. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you validate your best ideas and turn them into phenomenal apps!

Multi-Platform App Development Myths, Debunked

Sooner or later, every appreneur has to consider multi-platform app development. And that’s scary, given the complexities involved in such an endeavor. But are things really that bad, or are we jumping to conclusions — too soon? It’s a bit of both if we delve deeper into this subject.

Let’s start with the hard part first. Yes, multi-platform app development is challenging! Having to develop for Android and iOS concurrently means you’ll have to deal with the peculiarities of each platform. You’ll need to design, develop, and test your apps for a variety of hardware, feature sets, and screen resolutions. 

If you only focus on a single platform, your development costs and time-to-market (TTM) drop significantly. However, the number of your potential app users drops in tandem. It’s perfectly okay to release on one platform early on, especially if you’re testing the market with a minimum viable product (MVP). But if your MVP proves successful, there’s no point in limiting yourself to a single platform.

Moreover, there’s never been a better time to target multiple platforms. And that’s because today’s development tools facilitate this so perfectly. Most popular development suites make it easy to target Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and even the Web — from a single codebase!

The same applies to game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, which support the above platforms, game consoles, and even AR/VR headsets. So, if you begin with a multi-platform development strategy, it will give your app almost limitless potential. 

But we won’t stop there, as we’re about to debunk more myths about this subject matter below!

1. Multi-Platform Development Results In Buggy Apps

The quality of an app largely depends on the abilities of the developer. An inexperienced or negligent developer will produce shoddy apps, regardless of whether they target a single platform or several.

However, it’s not uncommon for a developer to release a flawless app for one platform and a substandard app for another. And that’s likely due to the developer having more experience developing for one platform over the other.

2. It’s Important To Have Platform Exclusivity

This only matters if a platform holder strikes a deal with you in advance so that your app appears exclusively in their store. In all likelihood, this won’t happen if you’re a new developer unless you’re creating a unique or outstanding app. 

And that exclusivity deal better be worthwhile to make up for the loss of revenue gained from supporting additional platforms. In most cases, it’s more profitable to take the multi-platform route. 

3. Targeting One Platform Allows For More Optimization

While this is true, it’s still not a valid excuse for supporting only one platform. A developer’s mindset should always revolve around optimizing apps proportionately across all platforms. And that’s because it’s never a good idea to treat users of a specific platform as second-class citizens.

Simply put, there are no better or lesser platforms. An experienced and reputable developer — such as NS804 — views all platforms and their users holistically.

4. Users Prefer Platform ‘X’ — So Why Bother With Others? 

Sadly, fanboyism and popularity contests cloud the tech space. Android and iOS fans like to debate online about their favorite platforms and can often sway opinion. And it doesn’t end there, as smartphone manufacturers will regularly tout their latest sales figures and build up hype.

All this may leave you in a precarious position where you’re second-guessing which platform to support. But don’t ever do this, and look at the truth that’s right in front of you instead! Both Android and iOS remain hugely popular, and this trend will likely continue in the foreseeable future. So do the smart thing and support both if you have the budget and technical capabilities.

5. Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Only Run On Smartphones And Tablets

This may have been true over a decade ago, but no longer applicable. Apple and Google have grown and enriched their respective ecosystems beyond smartphones and tablets. Today, both tech giants also offer wearables, smart TVs, and even in-car options.

Furthermore, it’s now possible to run iOS apps on Mac and Android apps on Chromebooks and Windows 11 — but with a few caveats

6. Apple’s Tools Make It Difficult To Target Other Platforms

There’s indeed some level of lock-in with Apple’s development tools. These tools work great when developing for iOS and macOS but are poor choices when targeting other platforms. However, developers don’t need to limit themselves to Apple’s development tools only.

Embarcadero, Google, JetBrains, Microsoft, and The QT Company all offer excellent development suites for multi-platform development. And most popular game engines are designed with multi-platform development in mind.

7. Monetization Can Get Messy With Multi-Platform Releases

It’s likely that you’ll implement different monetization strategies for Android and iOS. And the reason for this is that the user base for each platform differs considerably. Android users love free apps and don’t mind watching ads to unlock features. But iOS users prefer premium apps and don’t mind paying for them as long as they don’t have to deal with ads.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll adjust monetization strategies during the lifecycle of your app in any case. So, don’t expect to keep everything uniform, as tweaking and experimenting are part and parcel of the app development process. 

8. Web Apps Make Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Redundant

That’s not true at all, as web apps can never replace mobile apps — especially native ones. And that’s because users expect apps to run quickly and smoothly on their devices. Unfortunately, the web app experience comes short unless it’s a small and simple app we’re talking about. 

But complex apps need to tap into the processing power of the devices they will run on, and not intermediary web technologies. 

9. It’s Difficult Making Games That Run Well Across Mobile Platforms

Making games is difficult — period! If you’ve decided to make mobile games, then you’ve signed up for a world of hurt. And that counts double if you’re making a 3D game with large levels and complex artificial intelligence (AI). 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as modern game engines make life a lot easier for developers. These engines offer all the essential tools in a single suite to allow developers to hit the ground running. And cut down on development time, as it’s no longer necessary to worry about all the under-the-hood technicalities, which often hinder the game development process.

10. Maintaining Two Or More Codebases Isn’t Practical

If you’re developing native apps for Android and iOS, you’ll need to maintain two codebases. And that’s because your Android app will be written in Kotlin and your iOS app in Swift. And if you’ve decided to make a web app, you’ll likely code it in JavaScript, which means you’ll have to deal with three codebases. 

But if you can only maintain a single codebase, you can code it in C# if you require near-native performance on Android and iOS. Or use Dart and the Flutter software development kit (SDK) for creating robust cross-platform apps. 

And there are other options, such as the Ionic Framework, making it possible to build hybrid mobile apps using JavaScript or TypeScript. However, it’s not an optimal solution, as hybrid apps don’t offer the same performance as native apps.

The Bottom Line

Multi-platform development should always be a primary consideration for serious appreneurs and app developers. The days of releasing apps on a single platform are long gone, as users have embraced several platforms. Android and iOS lead the way in the mobile space, but with the growing popularity of dumbphones, more platforms will emerge that developers need to support. 

But we understand the challenges involved with developing and releasing apps on multiple platforms, especially for newcomers to the mobile app industry. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an experienced and reputable studio, such as NS804. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal multi-platform apps for the most relevant platforms! 

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 App Development: How To Store Data Locally

There comes a time when every Android app developer will have to figure out how to store data locally. Fortunately, the Android development environment does provide all the tools for achieving this goal. 

But why would a developer want to store data locally? Aren’t more apps taking advantage of cloud storage lately? Yes, cloud storage has become commonplace and works incredibly well. However, it’s always a good idea to store your app’s settings, media files, and sensitive data locally in most cases. 

Since the Android developer documentation already provides guides and code samples for data storage, we won’t include any code snippets. On top of that, we’d need to show both Kotlin and Java examples, which would make this article unbearably long and complex for most readers. 

But what we’ll do is reveal how a developer can store data locally and cover this topic from several angles. It’s also preferable to have some background knowledge of the Android app development environment to follow along.

Various Ways To Store Data On Android

The beauty of Android’s file system is that it borrows much from existing disk-based file systems. Thus, it’s both easy-to-understand and versatile for several use cases. 

But don’t go rushing in without understanding the various data storage methods and when to use them. Here’s a brief rundown of how Android can save your app’s data: 

  • App-specific storage: Store data only meant for your app. It’s possible to store this data in an internal storage volume using dedicated directories or within external storage using different dedicated directories. 
  • Databases: With the Room persistence library, it’s possible to store data in a private database. 
  • Preferences: For storing private and primitive data within key-value pairs. 
  • Shared storage: Storing files that your app will share, such as documents and media files.

Data Storage Considerations

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to shift focus. After all, not every data storage solution mentioned earlier is right for your project. And as an Android developer, you should be asking yourself several crucial questions, such as the following:

Can my app reliably access the data? 

That depends entirely on how your app functions. For example, you could be developing a visual novel that autosaves the user’s progression. Every time the user launches the app, they’ll want to continue playing from their latest save.

Therefore, the best place to place the autosave file is in internal storage, where the app can access it immediately and reliably. Storing this file in external storage, such as an SD card, isn’t reliable because the user may remove it at any time. So, when the user launches the app, it will either crash or notify that it can’t find the autosave file, ultimately ruining the play experience. 

How much space does my app need to store data

Always keep in mind the limits of internal storage. Even though newer Android smartphones come with a respectable amount of storage, many users still carry older devices with a severely limited amount of internal storage

Therefore, if your app’s data storage requirements exceed the limits of most commonly-used phones, then consider using external storage.

What type of data will I need to store for my app?  

If you need to store data that only your app will access, you should use app-specific storage. However, if you’re storing documents and media files, you’ll want to use shared storage so that other apps can access these also.

And if you need to store key-value data, you should use preferences, and for data containing more than two columns, use a database instead.

Understanding Storage Locations And Permissions

As mentioned earlier, Android devices come with internal storage and external storage. Although, the size of the latter varies depending on the capacity of the SD card or other storage device that the user decides to insert or plug into their Android device.

And the majority of apps get installed in internal storage, provided they are small enough in size. While Google Play has a 150MB size limit for apps, developers can exceed that limit when utilizing Android App Bundles, an advanced app distribution system. 

For apps that stick within the 150MB size limit, it’s best to store these in internal storage. And if you use the Files app on your Android device, you’ll see that ‘Installed apps’ and ‘System apps’ use the internal storage. But users can move apps from internal storage to external storage with a few simple clicks. And why users often do this is to clear up space on their devices for other tasks.

To store and manage data on Android devices, developers must use the following permissions: MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE, READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE, and WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE. 

And as of Android 11 (API level 30), the MANAGE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission allows write access to files outside MediaStore and the app-specific directory. In most use cases, apps no longer need to declare permissions. But developers should regularly read through the Android guides on how to manage the various file types, as methodologies often change with newer versions of the Android platform.

Know The Differences Between SQLite And Room

If your app needs to handle a large amount of structured data, you’ll want to use a database that utilizes internal storage. And you’ll also want to cache the data that’s most relevant to your app so that users can access it when they’re offline. However, it’s advisable to keep any cache files within the recommended size limit, preferably not exceeding 1MB. 

The good news is that the Android platform provides developers with two powerful tools for these purposes. Firstly, there’s SQLite, a database engine consisting of libraries that developers can embed in just about any app. And secondly, there’s Room, an abstraction layer that sits over SQLite and is a part of Android Jetpack’s libraries.

So, what does SQLite bring to the table that will benefit Android developers? It facilitates the creation of custom databases for developers knowledgeable in the Structured Query Language (SQL). And since Android provides complete support for SQLite from the get-go, most developers take advantage of this.

Renowned for its power and speed, SQLite is also a great choice if you require a comprehensive relational database. Also worth implementing if you anticipate that users will store data and run queries at regular intervals.

But what about Room, and why should developers use it when SQLite seems so effective? Google has made great strides in offering developers many handy tools as part of Android Jetpack. And for modern Android app development, every developer should consider using Kotlin and the Android Jetpack suite of libraries — and Room is one of those libraries.

Room offers the following advantages; annotations that reduce boilerplate code, simplified database migrations paths, and verification of SQL queries on compile-time. And due to these advantages, it’s recommended to use Room instead of directly utilizing the SQLite APIs.

The Bottom Line

Today, the Android app development environment is mature and offers developers many powerful tools. And these tools make it a relatively simple process to store data locally if it’s a requirement for your app to function as intended. 

Whether you need to store media files, sensitive information, or structured data, you have access to the tools and methodologies to do this properly. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal Android apps with the best-in-class tools!