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9 Things You’ll Only Get With Custom App Development

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

1. Completely Custom Look Unlike Any Free Templates

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

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

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

2. Extend Specific Business Functions

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

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

3. Give Users Something New

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

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

4. Increased Compatibility

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

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

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

5. Improved Security Features

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

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

6. The Latest Custom Mobile App Features

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

7. Make Changes When You Want

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

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

8. Match Your App And Business Goals

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

9. Professional App Developers

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

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

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

How Do I Update An App: Your Guide To Updating

Updating An App: How, When, and Why

Hardly anything in life is complete. Even when asking famous artists or storytellers, most often they feel work is never complete. Rather, they’ll say something like, “it’s as finished as it’ll ever be.” That’s because eventually; they need to release the work. The same is sort of true with an application. However, the difference is that while applications are also never truly complete; they have the benefit of live-updates. As an important part of the process, developers need to learn how to update an app.

Like with anything, there are a few tricks to the trade. Understanding that the user experience is as at the core of your goal as an app designer will help you make strong design decisions in app development. There are many reasons to run an app update, however, it’s integral to realize that running app updates too frequently pose just as large of a problem as not updating your app enough. There is a sweet-spot for app developers to rolling out app updates on a schedule that’s regular enough to keep things current, without being too constant to deter users.

Update An App With Purpose

There needs to be a clear purpose behind your app updates. This will benefit your user base and elevate user experience if there’s a clear reasoning for updating the app. This is important too, because there are other updates that your team may want to make. However, they can then fold those into that same more vital app update.

Using strategically timed updates will make it easier to control the growth of the application, ensuring that each additional layer is fully functional along the way. Having this ability for redundancy and bug-fixing is vital. It allows your team to build a comprehensive app with a minimal amount of errors.

Some of the main reasons that developers will update an app are for major additions to functionality, major improvements on graphics or designs, or fixes to major bugs or errors that occur. There’s a whole library of other reasons that developers will update an app. Again, however, it’s wise to fold these more minor updates into a more significant update. This is for the users benefit, and ensures that your team is approaching the update process strategically rather than haphazardly.

Feedback

Finally it’s vital to garner feedback after developers update an app. This is for the sake of the application, the development team, the producers, and really everyone involved as a stakeholder. Understanding how users react to your updates is an integral aspect of taking the right developmental steps in the future. It also acts as a way to learn about any bugs that may have been missed, or caused by the updates.

It’s important to update an app regularly, but not constantly. Finding this balance can take a little practice, but then again, practice has always made perfect. For more information on mobile app development or how to update your applications successfully, visit NS804 today.

COVID Shows Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

The Time Has Come: Every Restaurant Needs A Mobile App

COVID-19 changed a lot. Importantly, however, it also illuminated a lot. In other words, COVID-19 uncovered some truths. One of those truths is that restaurants need their own mobile app. While many industries struggled through the COVID-19 lockdowns, restaurants have been hit especially hard. With limitations on sit-down meals many restaurants aren’t even allowing sit-down customers. On the flip side of that, the mobile app industry is one of the very few that have thrived through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind that it’s far from over for the restaurant industry. A small hiccup in supply chains, and limitations on sit-down customers are merely roadblocks. While the restaurant and service industries might be in a small period of downturn, there’s always a path forward for the innovative, the brave, and the inventive. The restaurant industry is not dying. Rather, it’s shifting. Restaurants are now catering to curb-side-pick-up orders and delivery orders like they have never had to before. However, the environment dictates, to a certain degree, our operations, and the times have called for stronger remote service; even from restaurants. The way to provide this is through a custom app.

Developing A Mobile App For Your Restaurant

As a restaurant there are plenty of options outside of developing your own mobile app. For instance there are services like Ubereats and GrubHub. However, these 3rd party services cut into your profits from delivery and pick-up orders. Not only that, but with their umbrella-service business model, customers can become frustrated as they attempt to get updates about their order. The problems only get worse if something with the order is wrong. On top of that, with these services you don’t have dedicated drivers; meaning food can show up late and cold – reflecting poorly on your restaurant.

Those are just some of the reasons looking into developing your own mobile app for your restaurant is a wise business move. However, that doesn’t even begin to cover the major benefits that developing an app for your restaurant provides. Profit was mentioned briefly in the context that 3rd party delivery services cut into your profits from curb-side and delivery-services. The boost in profit is influenced by more than this factor alone though. By developing your own mobile app for the restaurant you’ve now created a tool to service all of your loyal customers directly.

This is beneficial not only to the restaurant, but for the customers as well. The custom app also provides your marketing team with a whole new platform they can leverage in marketing opportunities to encourage customer downloads. Additionally, this is great for struggling restaurants used to serving a full-house every weekend night. As we all work to maintain our own safety and the safety of others; it’s the simple truth that it is safer for some people to stay inside as much as possible. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant allows you to service this community without putting them at risk.

Even More Benefits

Improving the customer experience is the main focal point of nearly every business operating. The customer experience has become one of the vital elements to running a successful business, and therefore it makes sense that companies are emphasizing it so strongly. Developing a custom mobile app for your restaurant provides your company a platform capable of elevating your customer experience.

There is a myriad of ways that an app is capable of boosting your customer experience. For example, communication. Communication is integral to developing any relationship – especially the one with your customer. Having a mobile app specific for your restaurant provides you and your customers a direct channel to communicate. Beyond that, using a mobile app specific for your company means having a dedicated fleet of delivery drivers as well; ensuring that food arrives timely and piping hot. While it may sound expensive, the costs related to mobile app development are actually relatively low. The costs are far outgained by profits reaped in the first months after developing a custom mobile app.

Centralizing Management Through a Mobile App

There are other ways to make use of a mobile app in the restaurant industry as well. In addition to boosting profits, a mobile app can help you centralize your management of the restaurant. This includes making it easier to manage a limited amount of reservations and cancellations. Not only that, but it provides easier and more convenient ordering options for all of your customers.

Not only that, but you can even use a mobile app to launch a loyalty program for the customers who can’t get enough of your scrumptious food. All-in-all, developing an app for your restaurant makes you a more competitive restaurant amongst your peers. In a market place as fierce as it is today, any advantage helps.

A Recap on Restaurant Apps

There is a whole myriad of reasons to develop a custom mobile app as a restaurant. Rather than just listing your menu on a 3rd party service company like Ubereats or GrubHub, take control of your customer base by investing in a custom mobile app dedicated to your restaurant alone.

Eliminating 3rd party service-fees that eat into your profits, and replacing an undedicated fleet of drivers with a fleet that specifically services your restaurant will immediately boost profits. As well as the customer experience. On top of that, developing a custom mobile app makes ordering much more convenient for your customers. It also helps you manage pick-up, and delivery orders. All while making it easier to manage reservations.

Finally, beyond an increase in profits, and an uptick in the customer experience, developing a custom app is a strategic move for the future. As 2020 and the COVID-19 virus have shown us, the shift to a virtual age is already underway. Developing a mobile app for your restaurant doesn’t only help today. But it helps prepare you for success in the future as well. Providing a centralized place for your customers to reach you. To order from you, to cash in their loyalty points, and to even leave reviews.

There is really no reason to wait on developing an app for your restaurant. As more and more orders become curbside pickup and delivery, customers are looking for ways to support local restaurants while staying safe and staying inside.

Some Final Thoughts

Developing a mobile app for your restaurant helps centralize your activities, communicate with customers, and operate in a more virtual-world. It will give your customers a place to order and communicate with you, while also acting as a management tool for you and your staff. It’s a process, however, developing a mobile app that’s going to be just right for your restaurant, and your customers. For more information on development services, or how to build a mobile app, visit NS804 today.

NS804 is dedicated to delivering top-shelf knowledge and information on app development, mobile app development and trends in app design. Making mobile app development services more accessible to the everyday inventor with a great idea. Visit NS804 today to take the first step on the path toward developing your first app and turning your idea into a reality.

5 Tips for iOS & Android App Development

Both iOS and Android have had an enormous impact on the business, entertainment, and tech sectors. And both platforms have been embraced by developers and users alike for over a decade. The good news is that the popularity of these platforms will unlikely diminish in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s still worthwhile pursuing app development and investing the necessary resources into applications that will excite users eager for new experiences.

1. The Latest Trends in App Development for 2021

 

Nobody can deny that 2020 was an eventful year, and much has happened in the app development space. Some of the latest trends in mobile app design include advanced animations, convenient voice search, robust aesthetic with rounded corners, and universal device UX.

But in 2021, expect app developers to kick it up a notch with improved design and powerful features. Some of the niceties users should expect; bolder and more colorful visuals, data-oriented design, embossed typography, Face ID integration, hand-drawn illustrations with more natural-looking graphics, and virtual reality (VR). Make sure to take advantage of these trends for your upcoming app to impress and retain users.

2. Supporting iOS and Android

 

In the second quarter of 2020, Apple led the US smartphone segment with a market share of 46%. Samsung came in at a close second with a 25% market share, with LG in third place at 12% and Lenovo Motorola at 7%. Generally, US consumers are satisfied with Apple’s and Samsung’s smartphone offerings. However, given Apple’s higher penetration in the US, you may want to focus on this platform initially to save on development costs if you’re targeting the American market exclusively.

But if you’re planning on releasing your app globally, then you’ll want to support Android. As of October 2020, Android has gained almost 73% of the global smartphone OS market. While it’s a compelling platform, it’s also incredibly fragmented. It’s challenging to offer all Android users the premium experience that they can get on Apple devices.

Unfortunately, most Android users don’t own powerful smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note20, which can provide a comparable experience to the latest iPhones. The hard truth is that the majority of Android devices in circulation are cheap and underpowered. Manufacturers such as Alcatel, Huawei, and Xiaomi regularly release budget mobile devices for the lower end markets. Today’s high-end apps experience performance issues on these phones due to their low memory and weaker CPUs

3. Leveraging Results on iOS

 

Make the most of Apple’s popular platform with these handy tips:

Integrate easy payment options – If you wish to sell products, services, or in-app purchases in your upcoming app, then you should make the payment process frictionless. Integrate Apple Pay and express checkout functionality to make life easier for your users.

Engage users regularly – Ensure that your app has push notifications to notify users about the latest products, promotions, and updates. Better yet, segment notifications to target your users more effectively. For example, you should send notifications to active users, inactive users, and subscribers to make your messaging more personalized.

Gain and track app reviews – Your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy will be a determining factor in the success or failure of your app. You’ll need to gain and track those vital appreneur system reviews from your users by implementing a Call-to-Action (CTA) and app review tracking API.

4. Leveraging Results on Android

 

Take your Androidapp development to the next level with these methods:

Utilize contactless payment options – Nowadays, many smartphone users enjoy the convenience of contactless payments. Integrate Google Pay and Samsung Pay into your upcoming app, and enable their respective Near Field Communication (NFC) features.

Implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) – With over 3 million apps in the Google Play store, it’s getting harder for new apps to stand out. But many successful and top-rated rated apps, such as Google Assistant and Swiftkey Keyboard, are renowned for their excellent AI.

Keep your app relevant – The Google Play algorithm doesn’t respond kindly to uninstalls and user churn. That’s why you should regularly send push notifications and emails to inactive users, encouraging them to try your app again after implementing features and optimizations that they want.

5. Finding the right partner for mobile app development

 

Developing an app that will find success on both platforms and showcase the latest trends in mobile app design is harder than it seems. However, you don’t have to go it alone if you find the right partner. Experienced developers such as NS804 can help you create an app that will cut through the noise.

Furthermore, we can craft an effective CTA that will convert users and gain those essential appreneur system reviews. We can also help out with nasty edge cases, such as dealing with an app rejection from Apple.

I Want To Build An App

I Want To Build An App – Where To Start and the Process

Now is the time to take chances. With the world where it is, so many unemployed, and so much rapid change, there is also a lot of opportunity. Opportunity for new products, new services, and of course, new mobile applications. The mobile app market is one of the few markets that have faired well during the ongoing pandemic. With so many people staying at home, and so much limited contact with one another, mobile app downloads boomed. Across all genres and markets. From mobile app games, to business and communication applications. The market as a whole saw a significant growth. This is great news for budding developers, and first-time app designers, as the market is flush and full of opportunity. However, much like the gold rush, the competition is intense. To build an app today doesn’t take much time – but being unique and valuable enough is tricky.

As mentioned above, the mobile app market is flourishing. However, this means it’s also more saturated than ever before. This translates to a slightly harder path to being a successful application, only because the competition is so fierce. Therefore, making the details of your idea the most important aspect.

In mobile app development, there are a lot of steps to take, even for the simplest of applications. Making the process as easy as possible on the developer means coming to your pitch meeting prepared and armed with tools.

What To Prepare For Your Presentation

The road to mobile app development is a long one, but it all starts with the precious idea. That’s one of the beautiful things that mobile applications and art share; while almost anyone can learn the technique or the style, it’s truly the muse of inspiration that provides a path to unique remembrance or success.

To get the right eyes on your budding mobile app monalisa, you want to approach the developer with a series of information already laid out so you’re able to answer questions they might have.

One of the first things you need to know is what problem your application is solving, or what value it’s providing to the user. This is essentially your value proposition, and can encompass your differentiation statement as well – which is the aspect that makes your mobile app different from others.

Understanding your value proposition will inform what the MVP (minimum viable product) of your application will look like. Having a process plan for the development of the MVP is a great place to begin. To build that plan, it’s wise to divide the development process of your application into various stages. This will also be a good document to present to the developer as it will help them see the various pieces to the puzzle.

Finally, flowcharts on app-functions, visual mock-ups, and user stories are all great additional materials to include in your developer presentation.

A Final Thought

To build a mobile app takes a lot of work, and as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It’s integral to differentiate your application from others on the market.

For more information on how to build an app or how to select a mobile app developer, visit NS804 today.

The Waterfall UX Process: Everything You Need To Know

When developing mobile apps, we need to consider various project management approaches, such as the Waterfall UX process. After all, we retain users by utilizing methodologies and strategies for UI/UX that work. And we want to reduce the associated risks of creating apps via a well-thought-out Waterfall software development process.

But you may be wondering if this is the right methodology for your upcoming project or considering alternatives such as Agile. Well, we’ll shed some light on these matters and compare both methodologies below.

1. What Is The Waterfall Methodology

 

The Waterfall methodology is a project management paradigm initially used in construction and manufacturing but later adopted by software developers. All project tasks are split into phases that follow a linear sequence that flows downwards, similarly to a waterfall, hence the naming convention. It’s a fairly straightforward process but far more rigid than alternative models such as agile.

2. Does The Waterfall UX Process Work

 

Users expect modern apps to have intuitive and responsive UX. And a few ways to keep these users satisfied is by simplifying the user journey, organizing content, personalizing apps, adding biometric authentication features, and minimizing data input. But how does a development team hash out their UX process to create engaging apps? The good news is that the Waterfall methodology works incredibly well for UX, which many developers utilize.

A well-trodden Waterfall UX process works as follows:

  • Initiate research and determine all core problems
  • Categorize all these problems
  • Generate journey maps and personas
  • Hold brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas
  • Create a prototype and test it
  • Begin developing the product based on the prototype
  • Release the product
  • Gather user feedback and return to the first phase

Overall, this process brings about satisfactory results as long as the UX isn’t updated regularly. However, many design-led mobile app developers prefer to update their UX in shorter cadences. In such a scenario, a Waterfall process isn’t the most suitable methodology. Thus, a growing number of developers utilize Lean and Agile methodologies instead.

3. The Main Parts Of The Waterfall Software Development Process

 

A typical Waterfall software development process consists of either five or seven phases following a stringent linear sequence. The naming of phases may vary, but these are the commonly used descriptors:

Requirements – Project managers gather all necessary customer requirements during this initial phase. Then, without further customer input, the remaining phases in the waterfall sequence are planned out.

Design – Design consists of a logical design and a physical design phase. Logical design involves the brainstorming and theorization of solutions, while physical design necessitates the establishment of specifications based on these theories.

Implementation – The development team’s programmers start writing code based on the requirements and specifications from the above phases.

Verification – During the verification phase, the customer receives the finished product to review. The customer will then ascertain whether or not the product meets their requirements.

Maintenance – The customer regularly uses the product and gradually discovers bugs and other faults. Then, the maintenance team makes the necessary fixes based on customer feedback.

4. Pros And Cons Of Waterfall

 

The Waterfall software development process has several pros and cons that you should consider before commencing any upcoming projects. Unfortunately, the Waterfall model has gained an undeserved reputation among many developers nowadays. They often claim that it’s inefficient and outdated due to its rigid structure. However, it’s still widely used in enterprise, game, and mobile app development.

Waterfall’s clear structure makes it easy for developers to understand and complete tasks. And since tasks must be completed in sequence, this diminishes the possibility of unfinished and unpolished apps. Furthermore, if the developer can commit to a set release date, then it’s easy to predict the end goal and production costs.

On the flipside, Waterfall’s rigid structure makes it difficult to implement changes. Any sudden change or revision will likely derail the project and extend the time to market (TTM). Another negative is that the customer or end-user doesn’t have a say during the development process and provides valuable feedback that benefits the project. Finally, testing takes place near the end of the process, which may lead to costly and time-consuming revisions.

5. Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile

 

Whether in the canteen or around the water cooler, it’s common for developers to engage in Waterfall methodology vs Agile debates. Since neither methodology is better than the other, it’s difficult to settle on a clear winner. However, they both have several notable differences that are worth discussing.

We’ve already gone over Waterfall’s rigid structure, which makes it difficult to implement changes. Well, Agile is the complete opposite and allows for a more iterative approach at shorter time scales. However, do keep changes to a minimum to avoid a budget overrun. After all, Agile lacks the predictability of Waterfall, making it less suitable for determining cost and time factors.

While Waterfall’s ideal for projects with clearly defined end goals, this isn’t the case for Agile. Customers are often uncertain about how a project should turn out and prefer to determine the result through trial and error. Agile’s flexible approach facilitates user feedback throughout the development process and fine-tuning the project accordingly.

6. What Projects Work Best With Waterfall

 

Waterfall works best for smaller projects and those that have a fixed budget, release date, and scope. It’s also a good choice for any application that doesn’t require frequent updates. And the team structure of the developer may determine if Waterfall is the way to go. For example, if contractors and remote workers will also be contributing to the project, then Waterfall’s clean and straightforward structure makes it suitable. Moreover, the customer may not have the time or inclination to follow the entire development process and only wishes to see the finished product.

7. Should You Use Waterfall And Agile Together?

 

It usually makes sense to deliberate over Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile, especially when embarking on mobile app development. But sometimes, depending on the project, it may be necessary to embrace both methodologies. Ideally, you’ll want to form a hybrid methodology that combines the positive aspects of both models but without any of the negative.

By implementing the Water-Scrum-Fall paradigm, it’s possible to have a hybrid methodology that works effectively. Project leaders operate within the Waterfall paradigm, but the development team functions in an Agile environment and only integrates with the Waterfall structure via the Scrum team. However, it’s challenging to run Agile and Waterfall processes concurrently. But worthwhile if you’re employing Continuous Delivery in your DevOps pipeline for your app development endeavors.

The Bottom Line

 

The Waterfall methodology has played a significant role in software development for many decades. It may seem outdated, especially for newer developers accustomed to an Agile environment. However, Waterfall still has its place and can be made to work with Agile if necessary. Contact us now, and find out how NS804 can help bring your mobile app ideas to life.

Choosing the Proper Tech Stack

The tech industry moves at a rapid pace, meaning that hardly a month goes by without us hearing about a new tech stack or two. But since current trends in mobile app development encourage the adoption of newer technologies, it’s vital to make the right choice. After all, not all tech stacks are created equal, and there’s a notable difference between native and hybrid app development. We’ll take a look at six tech stacks and reveal when and where they should be used.

1. Purpose Of Choosing The Tech Stack

 

Current trends in mobile app development include the adoption of tech stacks that facilitate cost-effectiveness, efficiency, scalability, and speed. Tech stacks consist of frameworks, libraries, programming languages, and tools that aid the development process. Furthermore, one can find tech stacks for both front-end and back-end development. For example, React is a popular front-end JavaScript library, while Java is a widely-used programming language for back-end development.

2. React Tech Stack

 

React is a battle-tested open-source library that’s maintained by Facebook and various other companies and developers. It’s a web-based technology but has gained traction within the mobile app development space.

React Native, in particular, is a wrapper that allows developers to code in JavaScript while rendering to the native APIs used by Android & iOS. It compiles all UI components into the native languages of the target platform, namely: Java or Objective C/Swift. However, all non-UI specific code remains in JavaScript, meaning that it’s a hybrid and not a native solution. Thus, it’s a good choice for easy deployment to both platforms, but with a possible performance penalty.

3. Java Tech Stack

 

It’s usually a good idea to approach custom mobile app development with the view of supporting both Android & iOS. But we understand that’s not always possible, and you may only want to support Android. In that case, it makes sense to focus exclusively on native app development by using a Java tech stack. Development can be done almost entirely with Android Studio and its SDK tools, which are powerful and well-documented. And since all code is in Java, expect optimal performance due to the language’s excellent memory management and multi-threaded capabilities.

4. Kotlin Tech Stack

 

Java isn’t the only game in town for native Android development. In recent years, we’ve witnessed the growing popularity of Kotlin, which seems like a natural evolution of Java. Created by JetBrains, a company behind many popular IDEs and development tools, Kotlin improves upon Java in several areas. It offers better security, cleaner syntax, enhanced thread handling, and is more lightweight.

Furthermore, Kotlin’s cross-platform capabilities make it a good candidate for iOS development too. Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile allows developers to keep all their business logic in Kotlin and only write in different languages for platform-specific APIs and UI. While Kotlin does save development time, do consider all potential hidden costs, especially when cross-developing.

5. Swift Tech Stack

 

Swift is Apple’s flagship programming language, which allows developers to target iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It shares many similarities to its successor languages: C & Objective-C. However, Swift’s ease-of-use, modern features, and safety make it ideal for custom mobile app development on iOS. It also utilizes the renowned LLVM compiler that outputs optimized native code that takes advantage of Apple’s modern hardware.

Keeping in line with current trends in mobile app development, Swift is supported by several IDEs and code editors. Apple’s own Xcode is a popular choice, but some developers prefer JetBrains’ AppCode or an open-source alternative such as Atom. If you’re targeting Apple devices, then Swift is the way to go due to its excellent performance and rich feature set.

6. Progressive Web Apps Tech Stack

 

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are a cross between mobile apps and mobile websites while functioning similarly to native apps. It’s a relatively straightforward and quick process to download and install a PWA from a website. But what makes PWAs so compelling is that they run within the browser but can be installed on the user’s device and then accessed from the home screen.

They’re a good choice for custom mobile app development while avoiding some of the associated risks and pitfalls. Furthermore, developers can release their apps outside the walled gardens of the app stores. At NS804, we recommend native solutions for the best possible user experience, but there are cases where hybrid solutions have their place.

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

Tips For Higher App Store Ratings

Improving Your App Store Rating

To this day word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tactics available. This is because it offers the new potential customer an immediate sense of trust. Since the suggestion comes from a fellow customer, who gains no benefit from your business, it’s safe to assume there’s no ulterior motive. While the world is swiftly transitioning to work-from-home environments and remote operations, it may seem like word-of-mouth marketing is disappearing. However, it’s quite the contrary. Even in a virtual world, elements like app store ratings and yelp reviews serve as the vehicle for word-of-mouth marketing.

In viewing app store ratings as a version of word-of-mouth marketing, the value of a strong app store rating becomes apparent. Mobile app developers and producers understand that driving a strong app store rating yields a myriad of benefits. These benefits range from a larger and more loyal user-base to longer log-times, and even higher in-app purchase rates. Prioritizing a high app store rating is quickly becoming recognized as more and more vital to an applications long term success.

Tips To Improve App Store Ratings

Mobile app developers often create store-rating strategies before the onset of a mobile app project. This allows the team to focus on developing a unique application with a unique interface while still delivering undeniable value.

Market Analysis

Firstly, in approaching the release of any mobile app the first step is to conduct a market-analysis. Through this analysis the mobile app producer takes note of the competitors living within the same sub-markets that they’re targeting. Beyond the initial market-analysis, the mobile app producer looks at the specifics of each of the competitors already in the space.

This is where the developer can put their app-theory to the test. If the ideation of the new application is too similar to any of its existing competition, adjustments need to be made. This is the point in the process where a developer is able to pinpoint the value-proposition of their mobile-application. Additionally, this is also the stage that reveals the main differences between the new app and competitors solutions.

Prioritize User Experience

Prioritizing the user experience is a multi-faceted chore. Firstly, this means delivering undeniable value to the user. This goes back to the idea of a value-proposition. However, beyond offering users some type of solution; mobile app developers need to be prepared for iterations and updates.

In other words, consumers aren’t going to stay quiet about issues or unpleasantries they experience. Therefore, paying attention to user feedback, and especially negative user feedback, will help your developers address major issues with the application. Addressing user issues swiftly and confidently is a sure way to push your app store ratings higher.

Beyond that, build a feedback prompt into your mobile application, and solicit users to leave your team a rating and feedback.

Final Thoughts

The app store is a vicious place. Users are as fast to delete applications as they are to download them in the first place. For more information on achieving a higher app store rating, and how to drive user-loyalty, visit NS804.

NS804 is the premiere knowledge source for everything mobile app development.

Mobile App Usage During COVID-19: Mobile Apps Seeing a Surge in User Base

COVID-19 And The Surge In Mobile App Usage

In March of 2020 the world began a period of rapid change. The COVID-19 pandemic swept over the globe, and society all over the world felt its impact. Not only that, but shortly after the onset of the pandemic, domestic turmoil erupted as well. With COVID-19 running rampant through cities and states all over the country, things shut down quickly. Additionally, unemployment rates began to skyrocket as businesses shut their doors to customers. Others still would transition to a fully-remote work environment. With businesses shut down, and the majority of people stuck inside, mobile app usage saw a massive surge.

The huge surge in work-from-home positions was just one of the significant shifts that the pandemic began. As companies realized it was no longer safe for employees to come into the office, those same businesses had to make adjustments to stay afloat in our new society. In order to keep operations running, many businesses got creative and found ways to serve their customers remotely.

Mobile App Usage Stats

In fact, in the second quarter of 2020 business app usage saw a massive increase of 220% compared to quarter four of 2019 in the United States. India, however, saw an even greater increase of 450% over the same time period. The significant increase in businesses app usage points toward a general trend in the way that businesses will be operating for the foreseeable future.

Businesses aren’t the only ones to see a huge increase in mobile app usage, however. In the last three months, July, August, and September, mobile app users spent 180 million hours on apps. The huge surge in mobile app usage is universal. In other words, it isn’t just businesses, or customers in a certain demographic that are spending more time on mobile apps.

Rather, it seems that the entirety of the mobile app market is experiencing one of the greatest volume-increases in history. Certainly, while some trends are just that, a trending phase or fad, the increase in the mobile app market seems like it’s going to be more sustainable than other phases.

This is because of two main reasons. The first is that the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to stretch far into the future. The second is simply the versatility of the market. From enterprise level apps that businesses use to conduct operations, to educational apps that are powering remote learning, and of course, even the silly mobile-app games that provide people with a sense of community in these dismal times.

Capitalize On The Surge

While the onset of the mobile-app surge has already come and gone, the massive uptick in mobile app usage is here to stay. Now is a better time than ever to start taking your ideas for a mobile app from concept to reality.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the ever day person. As such, we’re dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today and get in touch with the mobile app developer of tomorrow.