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How To Choose The Best Tech Stack For Your App

One of the most important choices you can make as a developer is opting for the right tech stack. The right technologies allow you to complete your apps on time and within budget. However, the wrong choices will derail your projects and make you miss milestones. Below, we reveal several of the best tools for developing compelling enterprise apps and when to use them.

1. Understanding The Different Types Of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development is a complex beast that requires foresight. And the reason for this is that both Android and iOS are fundamentally different. Each platform has its own unique Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), development tools, and submission guidelines. Thus, targeting both platforms presents a plethora of challenges to even the most seasoned developers.

So before embarking on a mobile app project, it’s essential to choose the right tech stack for the job. And what a tech stack brings to the table is a suite of tools, which usually consist of a database, back-end and front-end tools, frameworks, and programming languages. In the case of game studios, they’ll often use an off-the-shelf engine, such as Unity or Unreal, that handles cross-platform development.

However, when choosing a tech stack, it’s also critical to understand the different types of apps you can develop:

  • Native Apps – These applications offer the best app store distribution, performance, and user experience. Developers will use programming languages and tools that specifically target Android or iOS.
  • Cross-Platform Apps – Apps made for Android, iOS, and even the desktop offer reasonably good performance and a user experience. However, these will still lag in terms of speed and performance to their native counterparts.
  • Hybrid Apps – These rely on web-based technologies and utilize a native app shell to run on mobile and desktop devices. They make it possible for web developers to target multiple platforms but at a significant integration, performance, and speed penalty.

2. Choosing The Right Tech Stack

Before choosing a development solution, carefully consider whether you’ll be making a native, cross-platform, or hybrid app. Then, take a hard look at your team’s capabilities and available resources.

For example, you may want to develop a native app to provide customers with the best possible user experience. But you don’t have enough team members, or they’re not skilled enough to handle native development for both Android and iOS. Your team may have proficiency in Apple’s Xcode and the Swift programming language but lack experience in Android Studio and Java or Kotlin.

Now, you could seek the services of native development specialists, such as NS804, to bring about the desired result. But if that’s not an option, you could use a cross-platform suite, such as Flutter, React Native, or Xamarin. However, your team’s success with these tools will largely depend on how proficient they are with their respective programming languages, namely: Dart, JavaScript/TypeScript, and C#.

If you’re still uncertain of which cross-platform tech stack to choose, then consider the following aspects. Flutter is a good option for fast development and comes with a wealth of widgets. But it’s still a relatively new tool with limited functionality and libraries. Alternatively, there’s React Native, which offers excellent mobile UI and modern features yet won’t deliver a native-like look or performance.

Then, there’s Xamarin that’s capable of accessing native APIs and providing near-native performance. On the downside, it’s not the most popular cross-platform solution, and since it’s part of Microsoft’s .NET stack, developers must understand its complex framework and runtime.

Finally, there are hybrid app technologies such as Apache Cordova and Ionic Framework. These are the perfect solutions for budget-conscious developers proficient in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML but willing to sacrifice performance and a native-like experience.

3. Using The Right Tools For Making Enterprise Apps

If you’re developing enterprise apps, you’ll need to use tools that are best in class. Quite often, these are the very same tools provided or recommended by the platform holders. In Apple’s case, they want developers to use their Xcode Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for creating apps for all their devices. And in Google’s case, they prefer that developers use Android Studio and associated software development kit (SDK).

Furthermore, Apple’s Swift is a powerful statically typed programming language ideal for modern application development. And since it’s a type-safe language, the result is cleaner and safer code that’s less prone to runtime crashes. Also, Swift handles memory exceptionally well thanks to its Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) memory management. What this means is that it’s an excellent language for developing performant and secure enterprise apps.

And in the Android camp, Google has been encouraging developers to switch over to Kotlin from Java. While Java has been a stalwart programming language in the enterprise space since the mid-90s, it’s verbose with a steep learning curve. Kotlin, on the other hand, offers developers similar features to Java, but it’s easier to learn and allows for both object-oriented and functional programming. With such flexibility and power, developers can release polished enterprise apps far quicker than before.

You’ll likely need a database for your application, and there are several good options available. Both Android and iOS developers can implement the SQLite relational database to manage data. But if you’re seeking a more modern and scalable solution, then consider Realm. What makes Realm so compelling is that it integrates seamlessly with React Native and Xamarin. And if you prefer to work with Google’s tech stack, you may want to take advantage of Firebase.

4. When To Build An MVP

Building complex enterprise apps presents developers with plenty of risks and high development costs. There’s no knowing if it will achieve significant download numbers, engage users, and perform adequately.

So, the only way we’ll know if a project holds promise is if we test the market without investing heavily in a finished product. Instead, we focus our efforts on a minimum viable product (MVP), which includes the bare minimum functionality of the app we envision. Once the MVP gains traction with users, then we can proceed to scale.

5. Consider How Your Tech Stack Affects The Cost Of Development

The type of tech stack you use will affect the cost of development considerably. If you’re embarking on native development, you’ll need to have developers on your team capable of programming for both Android and iOS. Furthermore, you’ll need to maintain two codebases, which will only increase your development costs.

Don’t forget to account for the cost of your development tools. After all, it’s easy to forget about this with so many open-source and free options available nowadays. Many IDEs are available for free and primarily aimed at indie developers, open-source projects, and students.

But if you’re a professional developer or a company, you’ll need to purchase a license, either as a subscription or a one-off cost. Similarly, there are different pricing tiers for other tools, such as automated testing suites, back-end cloud services, and databases.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right tech stack for your app will allow you to complete it on time and within budget. In an ideal world, you’d opt for tools that facilitate native app development. But if that’s not feasible, consider the alternatives or work with a professional developer. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop amazing apps with the best-in-class technologies.

Why Android App Development is Becoming More Popular for Businesses

Taking a Closer Look at the Rise of Android App Development

There’s no such thing as a strictly domestic economy anymore. Rather, domestic economies are now a part of the international economy. In other words, in thinking about business internationally, one must consider a multitude of perspectives. While iOS systems are name brand, if you will, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in Android systems. In fact, Android systems are more popular on a worldwide basis for business purposes than iOS systems. There are a few factors that play into this. However, with the current rise of Android business applications, it’s important to consider why there’s been a rise in Android app development.

Factors Behind the Rise of Android App Development

First and foremost, one of the most appealing traits of Android app programming is the flexibility. While iOS systems are well known for their robust security programs, sophisticated aesthetics, and proprietary software; Android applications give the creator much more flexibility and versatility. This allows designers and developers to be more creative in the solutions they create and the applications they deliver. In turn, this also brings about a more unique user experience to various applications and systems built to run Android.

Additionally, Android applications are typically cheaper to develop. This is because of two main reasons. The first is that Android applications use multiple languages; unlike iOS systems that solely read python. Beyond the accessibility of development, however, Android app development is also generally cheaper because of the required expertise and the devices that normally utilize Android. In other words, cheaper equipment leads to lower costs.

However, saving money isn’t the only reason that businesses are choosing Android systems over iOS. Between the heightened flexibility of Android development and the lower costs involved, this makes it even easier to customize Android applications. Since the programming is slightly easier, and the expertise is lower, it often gives designers more time to run trials and truly pinpoint the end result they want.

Finally, there’s the global factor. As mentioned above, there’s no such thing as a domestic economy anymore, and this means that, to some extent, the majority rules. More precisely, this just refers to the concept of accessibility. Businesses and organizations want to be accessible to the people who rely on them. This not only means the stakeholders and consumers, but also the workers, employees, and staff. One way to boost accessibility, especially to a global audience, is by being available on the most globally popular operating system that exists: Android.

Wrapping Up With Final Thoughts

There are a lot of reasons that businesses are choosing Android app development over iOS. From the flexibility that Android offers both designers and developers, to the less expensive costs associated with Android development, and the unbeatable accessibility; it makes sense that organizations all over the world are choosing Android.

Join the modern era and prepare your organization for the coming wave of digitalization. For more information on Android app development, or anything else app development-related, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday appreneur.

7 Steps To Build An Android MVP App

Are you sitting on the fence of whether or not to build an Android MVP? Given the global proliferation of Android smartphones and other devices, it makes sense to support the platform. But it’s also a platform that’s harder to develop for than iOS, making some developers balk at the thought. While Android development does have its fair share of quirks, it’s still worth supporting in the long run. Follow these 7 steps to build an Android MVP app and reach users around the world.

1. Why You Need An Android MVP App

The market for Android apps is dynamic and ever-growing. Unlike Apple’s tightly locked iOS ecosystem, Android is truly open. While most users download their Android apps from Google Play, that’s not the only choice available to them. Popular Android digital storefronts such as Amazon AppStore, Aptoide, and GetJar are several good alternatives. And smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung have their brand-specific app stores, namely: Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Apps.

Also, the Android platform makes it easy to sideload apps, allowing users to download and install apps from any source, including directly from the developer’s website. Undoubtedly, all these storefronts give developers ample opportunities to leverage their apps and grow their respective audiences further. Moreover, these storefronts make the perfect testing ground to try out new app ideas.

What all this means is that you should be developing an Android MVP if you’re targeting this platform. An MVP will allow you to reduce your costs and risks by focussing strictly on essential features. Then, you can test the viability of your ideas on a variety of markets and audiences. And once you receive feedback and analyze all relevant data points, you can then iterate your app MVP accordingly.

2. iOS MVP Example Takeaways

While Android’s a platform that every app developer should consider supporting, we have a few takeaways regarding iOS. From recent findings, iOS apps have higher engagement and retention rates. Furthermore, iOS users buy more purchasable apps and spend more on in-app purchases than Android users. And from a developer’s standpoint, it’s usually a faster and smoother process to develop and test iOS apps. Thus, iOS is better suited for creating an app MVP in most cases.

And to give you a brief idea about what this entails, let’s go over an iOS MVP example. NS804 developed Brew Trader, which is an app aimed at craft beer enthusiasts. The app helps them track down fellow aficionados located nearby and trade bottles in an efficient manner.

To develop this app, we set out to make our MVP ideation as simple as possible. While we initially listed down plenty of cool ideas, we eventually narrowed these down to the most relevant. The Brew Trader MVP ended up with three screens: a map showing bottle locations and the latest offers, a user profile, and a messenger so that users can DM each other. We built this MVP using the modern Swift programming language and by implementing a view controller design pattern.

3. Start With A Clear Purpose

One lesson that the above iOS MVP example offers us is that having a clear purpose is vital. As we’ve already revealed, Beer Trader is a simple and incredibly focused app. And that’s what defines most of the best and successful apps in the marketplace.

Before embarking on Android MVP development, you’ll need to ask yourself what problem you’re trying to solve. Ideally, you’ll come up with a no-frills solution that solves this one problem exceptionally well. Never try to solve many problems in your MPV, as it will lack direction and suffer feature creep.

4. Define Your Audience

We’ve mentioned how Android’s wide variety of storefronts make it easy to target a large audience beyond Google Play. However, audiences vary widely from storefront to storefront, and they all have different expectations. For example, Amazon AppStore users are more accustomed to purchasing apps and games in particular. But that’s not true for Aptoide users, who predominantly seek free apps without any geo-restrictions. On top of that, Google Play’s audience is incredibly diverse given the popularity of the platform.

So, what’s a busy Android developer to do? As always, you’ll want to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to target all these users and stick to one or two app stores initially. If you’re developing a premium app with in-app purchases, it makes sense to target Google Play and possibly Amazon AppStore users.

But you’ll need to narrow down your target audience even further. Perhaps you’re creating a VR architectural visualization app that depicts Brutalist architecture. In that case, you’ll want to target architects and designers based in Canada, the Czech Republic, the USA, the UK, Russia, Serbia, and Sweden, where this type of architecture is prominent.

5. Think About What To Scale Back

Scaling back and finding your true minimum is one of the most important things you can do. But you should be careful, as you don’t want your Android MVP to be so devoid of features that it becomes useless. Aim for the least amount of features but ensure that they all work flawlessly. Be sure to implement or retain all core functionality relevant to your app and avoid or remove any fluff. While there are no guarantees, most users will find such an app valuable.

6. Create A Detailed Explainer

Clients, users, and stakeholders will want to know what your app MVP is all about. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a detailed explainer. Carefully lay out your plans, even if they don’t all make it into the MVP. Also, consider adding a roadmap so that your audience knows what you have planned in the months ahead. And use video, especially if your MVP relies heavily on graphics and other visual elements.

7. Design The UI and UX

You’ve worked hard on creating the logic for your app, so don’t skimp on the design work either. Ensure that you’re following best practices and guides aimed at Android developers. As you go about building your user interface (UI), consider how your app bar, bubbles, dialog windows, menus, pop-up messages, and other UI elements work together. Ultimately, you want a clean and cohesive UI that flows naturally. And look closely at engagement and usability, as these correlate with your MVP’s user experience (UX).

8. Choose Your Language

A key benefit of Android development is that you can choose from several programming languages to create your project. Most developers will probably go with Java since this is the official language of the platform. However, in recent years, Kotlin has been gaining popularity since it’s similar but easier than Java.

For game developers, C++ is an apt choice, especially when optimal performance is essential. But Unity that uses the C# language has become a popular option amongst cross-platform and mobile game developers. And for simpler 2D games where performance isn’t a big concern, JavaScript and LUA are valid options.

9. Create A Testing Group

Try to create a community that backs your app as early as possible. Even if you only manage to gain a small following early on, these users can be invaluable. Entice them with competitions and insider early access initiatives to test your app. Then, set up a robust feedback pipeline so that these users can conveniently share their thoughts with your team. Keep track of all this feedback and ensure that your team makes the necessary iterations. Finally, always thank and credit your users for all their contributions.

In Conclusion

Developing for Android can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. However, it’s possible to overcome the more challenging aspects of the platform by following these 7 steps. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can make your next Android app simply amazing.

How Much Time it Takes To Learn Android App Development

Exploring More Languages: Learn Android App Development

It’s widely accepted that our prime time for language learning is in the formative years of our life. Because of this, young children who learn multiple languages early on, are often bilingual or trilingual for life. This is true in many cases. In general, the further along we are on our life journey, the harder it is to learn something entirely new. Coding languages are a whole different ballpark altogether. However, the same principle applies. As such, in the last few years, educators have placed a higher emphasis on STEM and computer sciences in the early phases of education. For many, though, it makes more sense to seek external help than it does to try to learn android app development from scratch.

There’s nothing wrong with challenging oneself; and in fact individuals who prioritize mental-fitness often retain a sharpness into their deepest years of life. But for anyone looking to produce android apps on a more efficient schedule, utilizing an android app developer might be the preferred avenue.

Trying to Learn Android App Development

Those curious enough to pursue fluency in coding may want to start elsewhere. In coding for Apple devices, developers use a language called Python. Python has a strict set of definitions and a rather formal dictionary. These elements make learning Python more accessible and easier for beginners to latch onto. With a more rigid structure and semi-less customizability, Python is a great language for novice coders to start with. Allowing them to learn the ins and outs of programming, and get into a natural flow.

In trying to learn android app development, however, there is a lot more flexibility. Rather than a single coding-language with strict definitions and a rather formulaic approach to running and writing code; android app developers pride themselves on thinking outside the box, and doing things a little differently.

In trying to learn android app development effectively, one can’t just focus on a single language. Instead, a developer needs to possess knowledge over an array of coding languages, in addition to understanding how those languages relate to and play off of one another. As such, the coding can quickly become complex, convoluted, and hard to read for novice developers.

Working With Professionals Simplifies Things

While everyone should work on learning something new and keeping their minds active; some things in life are just simpler with outside help. When it comes to your business or app development company, using a development firm or professional designers will simplify the process significantly. Where trying to learn android app development yourself is a long and trying process. Therefore, collaborating on projects with design professionals who already know the ins and outs of android coding, will streamline the process. Not only that, but using a professional designer or firm for your mobile app will ensure that there’s a minimal amount of bugs and glitches that infest your application.

Wrapping Up

The market for applications in all their forms is bustling right now. From enterprise apps to mobile gaming apps and mental-wellness applications; the app market is thriving. Get started on your app-development journey with the professionals at NS804, ready to make your ideas into realities.

What Are The Best Tools For Android App Development?

When embarking on the Android app development journey, you’ll need to choose the right tools. Google provides several excellent tools at no cost to developers to help them get started. But third-party vendors such as Microsoft and Unity also offer Android developers powerful and versatile solutions. We’ll be covering these in more detail below.

1. Choosing The Right Tools For Android App Development

The world of Android software development can be fascinating and rewarding, provided you choose the right tools. Fortunately, there are several mature and robust tools on the market that facilitate a smooth development process. Here’s a shortlist of tools that every Android developer should have as part of their toolchain:

Android SDK – The official software development kit (SDK) that makes Android mobile app development possible. It contains several battle-tested libraries and tools for building, compiling, debugging, monitoring, and testing apps.

Android Studio – All developers need an integrated development environment (IDE) to make their ideas come to life. And Android Studio is the quintessential IDE for Android developers, even though there are many alternatives in the marketplace. Moreover, it’s the official IDE for the Android platform and comes with an emulator, image files, and SDK.

Unity – If you’re developing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps or games, consider using Unity. It’s a versatile game engine, renowned for its powerful and user-friendly editor and ability to build games for the most popular platforms with a single click. To target Android, you’ll need to download the Android Build Support module together with Android SDK/NDK and Open JDK.

2. When To Use Another IDE Instead Of Android Studio

If you’re building native Android apps or targeting the platform exclusively, you’ll probably want to stick with Android Studio. But if you’re targeting Android, iOS, and Windows, you may prefer a cross-platform solution. And one of these is Xamarin, which utilizes Microsoft’s rich .NET ecosystem and tooling and offers native performance. However, Xamarin requires Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2019 IDE as a prerequisite.

3. Why You Should Consider Using Firebase

For a simple mobile app, you probably won’t need to access cloud services. But if you’re developing something more complex, you may require a suite of tools that allow easy integration to Google’s back-end infrastructure. And if you need analytics and authentication together with AdMob integration, then Firebase is a solid choice. Before forging ahead, consider Firebase’s pricing and hidden costs to see if it fits within your budget.

4. Always Profile And Test Your Mobile App

Your development team may be incredibly talented, but it would be a mistake to ship your app without profiling and testing beforehand. The good news is that both the Android SDK and Android Studio come with powerful profiling tools.

Android SDK includes the Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS) that allows developers to emulate phone calls, examine threads, profile methods, view the heap, and gather information about the CPU, GPU, and frame rate. And the Android Studio IDE offers real-time monitoring of the CPU, GPU, memory, and network.

5. Android Software Development Is Constantly Evolving

Without a doubt, Android app development will be around for a long time still. There’s a massive international audience with an insatiable appetite for innovative apps released on the Google Play Store.

And while most developers will want to support both iOS & Android, they can’t go wrong if they can only support Android at the start. Moreover, they’ll find that Android’s tooling will only get better and more diverse with time. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you with your Android software development endeavors.

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.