Tag Archive for: application development

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. 

How To Become The Next Big Appreneur

Steps To Take Toward Becoming The Next Big Appreneur

The next big idea is already out there. However, that doesn’t mean it’s realized yet. Rather, just that it exists. And with the right home, it could blossom into a world-changing concept. Innovators, inventors, and appreneurs alike dream big, and reach for the stars. Don’t lose hope, though. On the contrary, this should inspire you, push you to join the statement-makers and trend-setters and leave your mark on the world in the form of the next game-changing application as the next big appreneur.

Most of the greats start from humble beginnings. This is the same for mobile app developers and programmers as well, and to become the next great appreneur, it serves well to start at the very beginning: research. Research and data are two of the strongest tools in the toolbox of an appreneur. No matter the development phase. To get get on the right track to becoming the next big appreneur, here are some tricks of the trade to master.

Developing Effective MVP’s Quickly and Efficiently

Developing an MVP should be one of the first app development phases that you study and work to master. Unlike in sports, MVP in the world of application development stands for Minimum Viable Product. MVP’s are undoubtedly one of the most integral ingredients to recruiting interest in an application, and securing funding. As such, having a process in place to develop MVP’s quickly and efficiently will lead to a higher percentage of your application development projects taking off.

MVP’s are the first comprehensive representation of what an application will be. Therefore, they’re essentially responsible for the first impression that your application leaves on potential partners and other interested parties.

Be a Wise Appreneur – Only Work With Trusted Agencies

While some development firms take on the entirety of a development project, it isn’t often the case. More common, though, is the combination of internal and external developers working in concert. With that level of collaboration on development projects, trust is absolutely vital. Surely, trust is vital in any relationship, but this is especially true when it comes to business partnerships.

Working with trusted agencies for external development purposes protects your firm from a slew of liability. Shady development firms could leave you with an application that’s simply riddled with bugs. Furthermore, freelancers or under-reviewed development agencies may even falsely advertise the level of their programming and application development skills, wasting valuable time and resources both.

Know The In’s and Out’s of The App-Stores

Research, research, research. It was already mentioned earlier that data and research are two of a developers best friends. This is certainly the case when it comes to understanding the app-stores and your applications placement within them. The app-stores are real-time marketplaces that almost live in a bubble outside the rest of the economy. Operating with a completely different set of metrics and KPI’s than would be seen in certain more traditional markets.

Therefore, dedicating time and committing to learning the in’s and out’s of the app-store in depth will help you in placing and marketing your application. Ultimately, helping you climb the ranks as one of the influential appreneurs of today. Beyond understanding some of the current trends of the users in the app-stores, there are other metrics to look for as well when conducting app-store research.

Importantly, developers want to pay attention to the algorithms that app-stores are using. Now, these algorithms are hardly ever going to be publicly available, but if your development team can find some patterns, this too will lead to a higher rate of success on building the popularity of your applications in the app-stores, and therefore the popularity of your brand and development firm.

Be An Original Appreneur Or Risk Bad Press

As a true inventor, innovator, or appreneur, it takes more than just regurgitating what already works and what’s already popular. Rather, it takes a new and fresh approach to things. A re-invention of current technology or a spark of imagination that leads to something entirely brand new. While it makes sense that a lot of mobile app developers and appreneurs would seek to recreate the success of others. Afterall, thi is often how companies are built in other industries as well; one business person sees a way to improve upon something another business is doing and alters the methodology or the business model, and voila.

As an appreneur, however, the market is too saturated for this, and rather than helping build your reputation as the next great appreneur, it could lead to a slight setback in your path toward successful apprenurship. Especially if it’s viewed as a simple copy-and-paste approach.

Pay a Close Watch to New Mobile App Development Trends

This goes hand-in-hand with the earlier section about conducting in depth research into the mobile app-stores. While earlier we discussed the benefit of watching the mobile-app stores and letting your team attempt to decipher the algorithm, here we delve into users. Understanding the users that make up the mobile app store communities will yield impactful insights that are sure to help you and your firm market applications more successfully.

Gaining insight into the latest mobile app development trends will help your team in many ways. One way is by ensuring you’re building apps with features and designs to which users respond positively. Another way this helps is by reducing the bounce rate of users in your app. That’s an important metric, because it speaks to the sustainability and loyalty of your user base.

New Device Features

Each year our smart-devices are getting smarter. As an application-developer then, it’s vital to make sure you’re aware of all the latest device features. Since new features on the smart-devices themselves often lead to interesting, unique, and innovative new ideas for applications. Therefore, make sure your programming and development teams are all up to speed when it comes to what’s available on the latest smart-applications.

Take this a step further and encourage your team to start working on pitches for new applications based on new device features as soon as they’re reported.

App Review Research – In Your Niche Market

It really can’t be stressed enough how important accurate and current research is to app developers. Going back once again to understanding how to leverage the app-store, development firms can learn a lot from app-reviews on other applications in their same niche. This activity offers double-the-insight as well, since most of the applications in your niche market will also be direct competitors.

In other words, by actively researching reviews on applications in your niche market, your team can gain valuable insight. Insights such as, mistakes that competitors are making, what features customers are asking for, and what users like about existing apps.

Master Marketing – Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post Launch

Marketing has long been the pillar of a strong company. Understanding how to position products or services among the competition is an art. For an appreneur, this means learning how to market your application from concept to launch, and beyond. No matter the industry, marketing is truly a skill, and market trends are in constant flux. Become a master of marketing, and it’ll only be a matter of time until you’re the next big appreneur.

For more information on how to become the next appreneur, keep browsing the library of NS804. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person.

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.

Unique Challenges Of Developing Both An iOS And Android App

Challenges of Developing Cross Platform

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

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

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

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

Defining The Obstacles of Cross Platform

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

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

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

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

Wrapping Up on Cross Platform Development

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

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