Tag Archive for: app development

Is An App Really Worth The Investment?

How do you know if your upcoming app project is worth the investment? Well, there are no easy answers if you don’t know what indicators reveal the potential success of your app project. And given the propensity for media hype to center on the most popular apps, this only muddies the waters.

One way to test whether your app idea will hit the mark is by creating a minimum viable product (MVP). But this isn’t always a feasible option, especially if you’ve already started developing a fully featured app. 

Or you may already have released an app that was languishing in the app marketplace. Then you decided to update it and noticed an uptick in downloads and user reviews. However, you’re still unsure whether this updated app warrants further investment. Below, we reveal several of the most pertinent reasons for whether an app is worth the investment

Invest In An App To Stay On Brand

If you’re trying to promote the company brand or an appreneur that develops apps for brands, an app is worth the investment. And that’s because you’re trying to reach customers in as many avenues as possible. Furthermore, you want your brand identity and messaging to be uniform across the board. 

But how would you stay on brand with an app? Well, it’s likely that your company already has a website. It’s also likely that the graphic design, photography, and user interface (UI) reflect the identity of the company brand. 

So, when you decide to develop an app, you’ve already got a blueprint of the design language. The colors, gradients, fonts, icons, user experience (UX), and art assets should follow a standardized format. Once you release your app, customers already familiar with your website will have an easy time navigating your app.

Apps With High Retention Rates Are Worth The Investment

We may have entered the post-COVID-19 phase of the pandemic, but the work-from-home trend continues. That means that many workers won’t be going back to the office or have little desire to return. And that’s a good thing for appreneurs, as having millions of people working from home opens up many opportunities.

Not only that, business, education, and fitness apps boast the highest retention rates. And if you’re targeting any of these market segments and solving a real need, your app may be worth the investment. Moreover, since users will spend significant time with your app, it’s yet another opportunity to promote your brand and stay on brand.

Take Advantage Of New Hardware Features

Smartphones and tablets constantly evolve, especially when manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung release their premium models. Users of these devices expect developers to take advantage of their additional features and innovations. 

And it’s now possible to deliver content and experiences that wouldn’t seem out of place on a powerful desktop PC. So, if you’re a boutique software developer specializing in specific app niches, consider if these are a good fit for premium devices. 

For example, you could be developing an illustration app that takes advantage of the 120Hz refresh rates of these devices. The higher refresh rate allows for smoother drawing when using a stylus, which isn’t possible on 60Hz screens found on lower-end models. Such an application would attract and satisfy professional users willing to pay for using your app.

The Bottom Line

Companies that invest in apps can further increase the stature of their brand across the web and mobile. And new hardware and the work-from-home movement offer appreneurs many opportunities to spread their wings and develop apps that truly are worth the investment. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop apps that will excite and satisfy your users!

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. 

How to Achieve App Store Success: Tips and Tricks

Even seasoned developers need a few tips and tricks to succeed in today’s crowded app marketplace. According to Statista, there are approximately 2.2 million mobile apps on the App Store and 3 million on Google Play. Now, let that sink in!

But if you go in prepared with a well-conceived plan, you can enjoy phenomenal success in 2022 and beyond. There’s no reason why the mobile apps you’ve worked so hard on should fail to find their audience. Below, we provide several helpful tips and tricks to make app store success a reality.

Have An App Store Optimization Checklist Handy

One of the most crucial tools at your disposal is the app store optimization checklist. And that’s because it will help you focus on the key processes that lead to success. Without this checklist, you’ll waste valuable time figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Here are the ten things your app store optimization checklist should contain:

  • App store SEO tools
  • Keyword research
  • Adding local keywords of the target market
  • Checking on competitors and their keywords
  • Creating engaging icons
  • Creating impactful videos
  • Capturing screenshots
  • Picking a catchy and distinctive app name
  • Updating app description
  • Encouraging user reviews

Tips And Tricks On Getting Featured On The App Stores

The above checklist will go a long way in securing some level of success. But if you want your mobile apps to steal the show, there’s only one way to do this — and that’s by getting featured on the App Store and Google Play. While this isn’t easy by any stretch, it’s more than worth the effort. 

First and foremost, you’ll need to create a high-quality app that’s meaningful to users. That’s an app that runs smoothly and takes advantage of the latest OS and mobile phone features. Furthermore, you’ll need to quash any bugs and closely follow the developer guidelines set by Apple and Google.

Then, put in the time and effort to localize your app for all target markets. Optimizing for local languages and cultures not only wins over new audiences but also increases your chances of getting featured in foreign app stores. 

More importantly, listen to your audience and update your app regularly, as this will improve your ratings and downloads. Both Apple and Google take performance metrics seriously and will usually only feature apps with 4.5 stars or higher.

Network And Build Relationships

For the majority of developers, getting featured is a long-term process. But it’s possible to speed things up by networking and building relationships with key people in Apple and Google. That’s why you should always budget for travel expenses and ticket costs to attend Apple’s WWDC. Currently, Google keeps its Android Dev Summit a free online virtual event.

Attending such events helps keep you informed about upcoming developments that will benefit your endeavors. But they also present opportunities to connect with the right people that can play a decisive role in your success. Familiarize these people with your company and the apps you develop and build a relationship based on your mutual interests in releasing amazing apps

If it’s not possible to attend these events, always reach out via LinkedIn and other social media channels. Better yet, try to locate the app store contact responsible for your local or target market.

The Bottom Line

The tips and tricks we’ve provided will help narrow the gap between an app fading into obscurity and one bound for success. It’s hard work creating mobile apps that connect with today’s audiences and breach those vaunted top app store rankings. Contact NS804 today to learn how we can help you develop apps that rank and succeed. 

Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Pros And Cons

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

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

Cross-Platform Versus Native App Development Environments

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

Pros:

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

Cons: 

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

Creating Cross-Platform Mobile Games

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Consider The Costs Of Your Development Tools

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

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

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

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

Open Source Solutions Are Viable Options

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

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

In Conclusion

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

iOS Development Tools To Build Better Apps

Apple’s ecosystem is great for developers, especially with the many powerful iOS development tools at their disposal. The first tool that comes to mind is Apple’s Xcode integrated development environment (IDE). But Xcode alone isn’t enough to create the quality apps that users expect today.

There are several third-party tools that every developer should have in their toolbox. These include analysis, debugging, libraries, plugins, and UI design tools. So, what benefits do these tools bring forth? Firstly, they enhance the developer experience by filling the gaps where Apple’s tooling falls short. And secondly, they help developers build apps quicker and more efficiently than before.

1. Xcode IDE

One of the most crucial iOS development tools you should have installed is the Xcode IDE. And that’s because it’s the most up-to-date IDE for developing cross-device apps on Apple’s platforms. It will allow your team to develop apps using either Objective-C or its more modern counterpart — Swift.

Also, it’s a fantastic tool for code analysis, debugging, and UI design. And since it’s an official Apple product, you’ll have easy integration of the latest SDKs that your iOS apps need. If your team is more comfortable programming in other languages, consider CodeRunner. It has a comprehensive list of features and allows developers to code in C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, and Python, to name a few.

2. Swimat

One way to make Xcode even more versatile than it already is — is by installing plugins. There are many great plugins to choose from, and one that immediately comes to mind is Swimat. And what makes Swimat so handy is how rapidly it formats blocks of code.

As we all know, code often becomes messy the longer it gets, resulting in readability and maintainability issues. And even the most organized programmers can sometimes write sloppy blocks of code. But Swimat will reformat and reindent sections when necessary.

3. SwiftUI Inspector For Figma

How good your app’s UI design turns out will depend on the talent of your designers and the tools they use. Figma is a powerful UI design tool that can create impressive UIs in the right hands. It’s capable of producing basic shapes, color styles, components, drop shadows, frames, layout stacks, and text labels. But to integrate your creations into your SwiftUI workflow, you’ll need the SwiftUI inspector for Figma.

4. Hero

Perhaps your team is pressed for time but still needs to build the app’s interface and controller transitions. They’ll use Apple’s UIKit, which isn’t the most intuitive framework and may further slow things down. That’s where Hero comes in, a library that sits on top of UIKit’s more complex transition APIs. Thus, allowing your team to create eye-catching animated transitions quickly and efficiently.

5. Raygun

The built-in debugger and application performance analyzer in Xcode help developers monitor and improve their apps. And these are good enough for smaller and rudimentary applications in most cases. But professional developers will need more robust iOS development tools, such as Raygun. It’s a cloud-based solution that monitors application health and user sessions in real-time and delivers in-depth insights.

The Bottom Line

If you’re developing apps for Apple devices, then you’ll need the most effective iOS development tools. Fortunately, many good third-party tools and plugins can extend the functionality of Xcode. But there are also tools not dependent on Xcode, which also enhance the development process. Contact NS804 today to learn how we can help you create better iOS apps.

Free Mobile App Development Tools

The app development space is growing at an exponential pace, thanks in part to a growing number of phone ownership and rising internet penetration. Today, the app development market is one of the largest globally with an average release of 5092 apps on the Google App Store and 6140 apps on the Google Play Store.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things IoT are some of the technologies that are being incorporated in most apps. A virtual assistant is one such improvement in mobile applications. Looking closely, you realize that WhatsApp, TikTok, and Instagram apps are topping the chart of leading apps with the most downloads. Amazon Prime and Netflix lead the entertainment app market, and Candy Crush is at the apex of the gaming app development market.

It’s with no doubt that mobile applications have schematically modified human life. Quick navigation and exceptional UI through mobile applications have become a trademark. The projected number of mobile phone users is expected to cross the 7 billion mark by 2025. This growth will automatically bring a shift in app downloads. So, in this context, it becomes important and valuable to understand the best app development solutions prevailing in the market, with the current and future app development trends.

In this post, we delve into the top free mobile app development tools.

  1. PhoneGap

PhoneGap is a popular mobile app development application that allows you to create a hybrid of software. With PhoneGap, the user or developer doesn’t necessarily need to know mobile programming languages. Instead, they can kick-start with languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for app creation. PhoneGap allows you to create apps that will work on multiple platforms with a single codebase to reach the largest audience.

Features

  • Allows you to view and manage any changes in the app using PhoneGap
  • Easily integrates with various library integrations for easy app development
  • Operates on multiple platforms: iPhone, Windows, and Android

Pros

  • Rapid code testing and faster code deployment
  • A single codebase for multiple platforms

Cons

  • It lacks a user interface widget
  1. Outsystems

Outsystems is a comprehensive full-stack app development platform. By using connected, high-productivity, and AI-supported tools, developers can create and deploy a wide range of applications – from consumer applications to mission-critical business applications – faster, better, and for the future.

Features

  • It has a remarkable acceleration because no code or minimum code is required.
  • Easy integrations with other platforms
  • Easy to learn as it contains free training and learning material for everyone

Pros

  • The responsiveness of the member community allows for faster and efficient learning experiences
  • All members are open to sharing ideas, and these ideas are taken into consideration in further improving the platform

Cons

  • More explanation needed for some tools or widgets
  • No synchronization between consumer and producer modules, so users have to manage dependency frequently.
  • Better training material or documentation in forging components
  1. Flutter

Flutter is an open-source app development software that is best suited for hybrid apps. It’s one of the newest members in the mobile development market, and it’s written in C, C++, and Skia Graphics Engine. Flutter is a Google UI toolkit that allows users to create applications for web, mobile, and desktop from a single codebase. In addition, you don’t have to restart your application when testing your project. The application offers the Hot Reload functionality which makes the entire development exercise optimized and stress-free.

Features

  • Offers fully customizable widgets to render faster development of native apps
  • Incorporates critical platform differences like scrolling, navigation, fonts, and icons
  • Creates plugins using channels that can easily be used by every developer

Pros

  • Builds native apps in just minutes
  • Expressive and flexible user interface

Cons

  • Contains not-so-rich library collections
  1. Ionic

Ionic is one of the best free, open-source mobile applications for developing hybrid apps. It allows developers and users to build apps for various platforms including web, iOS, and Android using a single codebase. What’s more, Ionic offers intuitive UI components, thus accelerating the app development process. This app can be deployed almost everywhere. Ionic boasts of over 120 predefined elements, native device features, and a large community of members.

Features

  • Written in JavaScript, this application is covered by the MIT license
  • Includes mobile components, interactive paradigms, typography, and an extensive base theme
  • Allows Cordova based app building

Pros

  • Ease of learning and contains popular technologies
  • Wide range of library integrations

Cons

  • There’s no hot reloading capability
  1. Buddy

Buddy is an open-source mobile app development application that allows for seamless, change-set-based code deployment. Thanks to a plethora of dedicated, pre-configured services and actions, app automation has never been easier than now. Therefore, if you’re looking for a tool that will build, sign, test, and publish your android or web app effortlessly and in a single click, then Buddy is the ideal choice.

Features

  • Intuitive and clean UX/UI
  • Over 100 actions
  • A wide integration including Azure, Google, Amazon Web Services, and WordPress integrations.

Pros

  • It contains dedicated android actions: Ionic, Reacts Native, and Flutter
  • It supports all popular languages and task managers
  1. Kobiton

Kobiton mobile app development software makes the continuous testing, IOS, and mobile app development exercise a reality. This app also prevents bugs before pushing codes to test, thus perfecting your website or mobile app with functional, performance, and visual test automation. It also helps developers to resolve issues before the production release, and rapidly deploy tests with seamless CD/CI integrations.

Features

  • Allows you to test on real devices in the cloud
  • Cloudify all your local devices for remote access
  • It integrates with Jenkins, CircleCI, Travis CI, and so on.

Pros

  • Scriptless or scripted automated functional, performance, and visual testing
  • Commercial scalability with unlimited user policy
  • Access to real devices in your integrated development environment for rapid debugging.
  1. Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source mobile app development application founded by Microsoft in 2011. It’s a set of tools that enable developers to build apps for various OS like Windows, Android, and IOS, all in one programming language. One of the reasons that Xamarin is quite reputable is because it uses the C# programming language. Besides using the Xamarin Test Cloud, you can automatically test applications on around 200 real mobile devices.

Features

  • Easy integration with modern back-end services, native APIs, and components
  • Enables you to build stunning cross-platform user interfaces
  • Extends a real-time testing module to monitor and catch app errors when they occur

Pros

  • Full technical support by Microsoft
  • Flexible with .NET and C#

Cons

  • Not build for game development
  1. Buildfire

Another best in this category of best open-source mobile app development software is Buildfire. Buildfire offers a robust set of tools to build applications for web, android, or IOS. This software is well-known for its high-end custom app development capabilities, as well as its easy, intuitive DIY platform. In addition, Buildfire supports more than 10,000 applications and it’s flexible enough to scale as your enterprise grows. Users and developers cannot ignore the simple and functional drag-and-drop user interface, as it makes it easier to build the app faster.

Features

  • Offers an interactive and intuitive app builder where no coding is needed.
  • Allows users to build custom functionality with their developer SDK
  • Can be integrated with any third-party API or pre-built integrations

Pros

  • Has an excellent social networking feature
  • Includes advanced development features

Cons

  • Does not have a reliable customer support service

NS804 – Your Partner in Mobile App Development

Every app development software has its uniqueness and demerits. To understand a software better and to pick the one that perfectly fits your needs, consider the following elements:

  • Privacy and security.
  • Reseller options
  • Push notifications
  • Customer discounts and loyalty programs
  • Instant messaging
  • Geo-targeting
  • Social media integration
  • Third-party integration
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Admin control
  • Customer service

Now that you know the best open-source app development software, it is time to kick-start your app development journey. We always encourage you to contact or consult the experts anytime you’re stuck in your app development exercise. You can also contact NS804 for questions concerning mobile app development.

Intro to Android App Development

Android is a reputable computing platform that is based on the popular Linux operating system. The initial android version hit the market in 2008 in the form of a mobile phone platform, at a time when the most popular mobile phone was a Blackberry, when Apple was making waves across different sectors.

For over ten years since it was first released, Android has effectively earned the most popular operating system by several measures. Despite the flashy brand and unmatched capabilities of the popular iPhone platform, Android global shipments meaningfully outpace Apple’s offerings – a clear indication of the potential of Android in the OS market.

Learning Android app development may seem like a daunting undertaking, but it can bring a world of possibilities, especially if done well and diligently. You can create the next “hit app” that will change the way we interact or work. By learning android app development, you could gain some skills that could land you a great job, or develop a tool that you can use to improve your workflow.

So, let’s jump right in on how you can develop an Android app.

  1. Download the tools you need for android app development

Firstly, you need to create your development environment. This is to ensure your desktop and workstation set-up support your android app development goals. For that, you will require Android SDK and Android Studio. Luckily, the two come packaged as a single download, and you can always access it anytime.

Android Studio is an integrated development environment IDE. This is essentially a platform where you can enter your code (primarily Kotlin or Java). It’s where you access all the necessary tools for development. Android Studio allows you to access APIs and libraries from the Android SDK, thereby giving you unlimited access to native development functions of the Android OS.

  1. Start a new project

Once you have successfully installed Android Studio on your desktop, now it’s time to initiate a new project. While this is a straightforward process, you will need to make some serious decisions that will impact your android app development journey going forward.

Go to File>New>New Project you will select a Project Template. The template defines the UI elements and the code present in your application when it loads.

  1. Kotlin vs. Java

One of the critical decisions you’re going to make as an android app developer is whether you will learn Java or Kotlin. Both languages are officially supported by Android and Google Studio, but they have some distinct variations. Google has supported Java for the longest time. It’s what developers have been leveraging to craft Android apps for decades.

  1. Minimum SDK

Additionally, you will need to consider your minimum SDK. This refers to the lowest version of Android that you want your app to support. The lower the SDK, the highest number of audiences or users that your app will target. Kindly keep in mind that there is a relatively lower adoption rate for the latest Android versions, so sticking to the latest Android version will prevent many users from trying your android creation.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the files

You’ll be baffled by the large number of files when you try android development. When you load Android Studio, you will be surprised at just how many different types of files there are. There are different files, multiple code layers, folders, and many more. This new realization would be miles away from the single blank file you’re used to working with QBasic or Python.

  1. Test your app

The first thing to do when familiarizing yourself with any new programming language is to create an application that says, “Hello World.” Thankfully, this is an easy step in any development exercise. If you look at the XML, you’ll notice a small label that reads: Hello World!

Learning Android App Development

When embarking on your first android app development project, remember that the key is not to learn all of Android app development but to set your sights on a realistic first app development project. You will keep learning as you add new features and as you try new things. Having a goal will keep your learning process focused and structured. And before you know it, you’re an expert.

Which Programming Language Is Right For Your iOS App?

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

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

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

1. Swift

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

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

2. C#

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

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

3. Java

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

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

4. C++

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

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

5. JavaScript

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

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

6. Python

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

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

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

Always Choose The Programming Language That Best Fits Your Needs

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

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

Android App Development Without Programming

Android app development can be challenging, especially for developers with limited experience in Java or Kotlin. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as it’s possible to create phenomenal apps with no coding. Below, we unveil several handy tools that will let you complete your apps quickly and easily. 

1. Choosing An App Builder For Your Next Project

Perhaps you’re a novice developer or don’t have team members proficient in programming languages, such as Java or Kotlin. But you have a ton of great app ideas that you want to see come to fruition. So what do you do? Well, you could seek the services of a professional development studio to help you complete your project. But if that’s not an option, then you could consider using an app builder.

Nowadays, there are a plethora of app builders available that make Android app development a breeze. They make it easy for cash-strapped or non-technical appreneurs to create apps without typing a single line of code. Here’s a list of several popular solutions for developing Android apps on the fly:

  • AppMachine – Slick and powerful, AppMachine utilizes several pre-coded building blocks that help simplify the development process. More advanced users can integrate JavaScript and web services that further extend the features of this app builder.
  • Appy Pie – It’s a cloud-based development suite that allows non-technical developers to create chatbots, mobile apps, and websites. The company has introduced Android App Maker, a drag and drop solution integrating analytics without requiring Google SDK kits.
  • GoodBarber – GoodBarber offers either a content management system (CMS) or shopping app solutions. Using its drag and drop interface, non-technical developers can easily target Android, iOS, and the web.

2. No Coding Solutions For Mobile Game Developers

If you’re a mobile game developer, then you’re spoiled for choice as far as game engines and tools are concerned. And that’s due to the rise of indie and mobile gaming over the past decade. Thus, creating fertile ground for a variety of developer-friendly solutions that democratize game development.

While it’s possible to develop rudimentary games using an app builder, it’s not the wisest choice. And the reason for this is that modern game engines come with all the necessary tools geared almost exclusively for game development purposes. Here’s a shortlist of commercial game engines that allow you to complete projects with no coding at all:

  • Construct 3 – An easy-to-use web-based game development suite that’s ideal for making 2D arcade-style games. It uses a visual scripting system consisting of an event sheet with optional JavaScript integration.
  • GameMaker Studio 2 – It’s the grandaddy of user-friendly game engines, which helped bring game development to masses of hobbyists. Nowadays, it’s a professional suite renowned for its proprietary Drag and Drop™ system that facilitates rapid development.
  • Unity – Boasting an excellent editor and powerful tools, Unity has become the world’s most popular game engine. Developers gain access to several indispensable tools, such as Bolt, a node-based visual scripting asset.
  • Unreal Engine – As the most powerful tool on this list, it is the best choice for projects requiring high-fidelity visuals. Thus, the engine is incredibly complex but features its proprietary Blueprint visual scripting system, allowing designers and non-technical staff to create gameplay systems quickly.

3. Take Your Android App Development Endeavors To The Next Level

While app builders and off-the-shelf game engines make life easier, they may not always be the right choice for you. App builders are often limited and not suitable for more complex or specialized projects. Likewise, many popular game engines have certain limitations and are only suitable for specific game genres. Therefore, carefully consider whether your Android app will benefit from a more custom-made approach

If that’s the case, then it’s best to seek the services of a professional studio that specializes in Android app development. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help take your upcoming project to the next level!

Best Language to Develop IOS Apps

IOS apps are highly renowned, respected, and secure because of the long-standing brand equity of the Apple brand. However, developing a functional, comprehensive, and responsive IOS app is a big deal that needs careful analysis and planning.

App developers and consumers must consider essential elements before starting on their IOS app projects. Firstly, define the main purpose. Then, conduct detailed market research and finally, prepare a detailed plan for your IOS app development. In addition, it’s crucial to take into account the app’s compatibility with other IOS devices. Also, evaluate your internal business capabilities before developing the application.

After you’ve satisfied the above requirements, it’s now time to decide your IOS app development language. But why is language selection important? Well, if your app is successful at its nascent stages, you will want to expand with a new feature set and introduce other devices. Selecting the best language for your IOS app development is crucial for your success.

   1. Swift

Swift is a programming language for developing iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS solutions. Apple created Swift language in 2014 as the immediate successor of Objective-C. Swift integrates with platforms like Cocoa Touch, Cocoa, and the extensive code designed in Objective-C for all Apple products.

The advantage of Swift is that it’s available as an open-source project. It has good scalability, interoperability, is easy to use, and provides regular updates. In addition, Swift provides a faster development process, it’s stable, and provides safety and superior development performance.

   2. Objective-C

Objective-C is a project created as an extension of the C programming language with objective-oriented features and capabilities. In addition, Objective-C is a general-purpose language used for programming Apple operating systems like iOS, OS X, and application programming interfaces: Cocoa Touch and Cocoa. According to a trusted popularity report, Objective-C ranks 20th, falling only three positions below Swift, and it’s used by 4.1% of developers worldwide.

   3. C#

Another programming langugage is C# which is an object-oriented, high-level, general-purpose language created by Microsoft as an upgrade to Java language. The C# language integrates with the .net platform that is both a runtime environment and a framework. Since C# was developed, it has always been applied to write Windows applications. In addition, since the .net came to Mac and Linux systems, it’s possible to create native applications with this language for virtually every platform including IOS.

Swift – The Final Verdict

Swift’s all-in-one solution and its diverse reach on multiple iOS applications – macOS, tvOS, and watchOS – make it a perfect fit for developing iOS applications. Other than having great scalability, Swift is easy-to-use, interoperable, integrated, and provides regular updates. Swift automatic memory counting capability, faster development process, stability, and superior performance makes it a best-in-class programming software for IOS applications. For more inquiries about app development language selection, contact NS804 for time-to-value solutions in all your app development processes.