Tag Archive for: Appreneur

What We Learned From Building The PreVue Dating App

At NS804, we love developing apps like PreVue that positively impact users. PreVue is a dating app that breaks the mold of what users have come to expect from online dating and modern dating applications. Nowadays, popular options include the likes of Bumble, OkCupid, Tinder, and many others. And while these have revolutionized modern dating by allowing users to meet those outside of their ethnic backgrounds, social circles, and even geographic locations — they’ve also introduced a lot of problems. 

The founder & CEO of PreVue — Lucanus J. Grady — briefly described these problems in his mission statement: “Dating app profiles had become just this fabrication to attract a quantity of candidates like it was a game. And it’s just hard, right? So I just kept thinking, there must be a better way! How do we filter out all the nonsense, cut through the heavily-doctored pictures, the wordy biographies, and just the genuine lack of honesty?”

Grady’s assessment regarding the current state of the modern dating app holds true, and there’s a real need for a fresh approach. Fortunately, Grady did approach things differently when formulating PreVue, a video-based dating platform. With PreVue, users take a short 22-second video without filters, showing off their true selves. The nuances in their facial expressions and mannerisms provide a far more authentic picture of who they are than edited photos, biographies, or text messages. 

We helped bring PreVue to life and feel privileged to have worked closely with Grady on his innovative dating app concept. Our partnership on this exciting project has been a relatively smooth process. However, we did learn several important lessons that we’ll discuss in greater detail below.

Modern Dating In Crisis

Now, you may think that there are already too many dating apps flooding the marketplace — and that’s true. But have you asked yourself if these apps help or hinder users from dating successfully? And if you’ve been out of the dating pool for a while now, you may be shocked to learn that the modern dating scene isn’t very healthy, to put it lightly.

While apps such as Tinder make it incredibly easy for users to find matches in their area, that doesn’t mean these are quality matches. If anything, Tinder and many similar dating apps facilitate hook-up culture, where sexual encounters are at the forefront, and long-lasting relationships come last. Gen Z and Millenials in the younger age range may only be looking for short-term relationships or ‘situationships.’ And that’s perfectly fine for some but completely wrong for those wanting deep and meaningful relationships. 

Furthermore, things don’t look rosy for most American men under 30 who remain single. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, approximately 63% of men in this age bracket find themselves single compared to 34% of women. And if that wasn’t bad enough, fewer single American men are looking to date now than before the Covid pandemic (42% now versus 49% in 2019).

Things get worse still, as an overabundance of online pornography and OnlyFans models grab male attention and interest at a disturbingly high rate. And while we hope this trend will change at some point, it’s definitely an ominous sign that we can’t afford to ignore. From a societal and economic standpoint, it isn’t good if young men forgo dating and relationships, as this will lead to a demographic decline in the foreseeable future. 

How Does PreVue Solve Notable Problems?

The best and most successful apps solve problems that users often encounter. And as we’ve already covered in significant detail, modern dating is in crisis mode with plenty of problems. Moreover, the creator of PreVue, Lucanus J. Grady, has experienced the pain points of modern dating apps firsthand. With most dating apps, it’s too easy for users to enhance their looks via filters and present a false self through their biographies. 

And that’s why he set out to offer an alternative that allows users to date with intention, where they can see, hear, and get the vibe from a potential candidate before taking things further. Thus, it’s difficult for users on the PreVue platform to present themselves inauthentically, as the short form 22-second videos are great at conveying subtle changes in facial expressions and voices that accurately reveal the candidate’s appearance, emotions, and desirability. 

But another reason why video is such a powerful medium is that it’s become the number one way to distribute and consume content today. Platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have carved a path for creating and sharing short-form videos effectively, and it’s time that dating apps catch up! 

How Does PreVue Work? 

PreVue offers users a dead simple onboarding process that’s as frictionless as possible. This dating app only requires the most applicable information from the user, their location, and their dating preferences. Then, it’s time to film the 22-second-long video with no filters or uploads permitted. Once done, the user may access the portal with all candidates that match their criteria. Furthermore, PreVue will match users based on what they said and even the backgrounds in their videos. 

PreVue officially launched in Boston, MA, due to the city’s vibrant and ethnically diverse culture. This works well, as dating with intention is something that the people of Boston want in a dating app. And it’s a great success thus far, with over 7,000 downloads and 1,200 active users over the past two months. 

While it’s still early days, users have responded positively to PreVue. Many are happy with how much more natural matches feel compared to other dating apps in the marketplace. It’s also easier for users to initiate conversations due to how PreVue manages profiles, and there’s a refreshing lack of spam accounts and creepy users. 

And similarly to other dating apps in the marketplace, there’s a free version of PreVue available. However, users can opt for in-app purchases, such as PreVue Premier 1 Month at $19.99, Unlimited Connections 24h at $6.99, and Video Chat 1h at $2.99. 

What Surprised Us About The Target Demographic Of PreVue?

PreVue successfully eradicated issues commonly found in other dating apps, such as catfishing. And so far, it seems that users are having more meaningful interactions in PreVue than with other alternatives, which was one of the primary goals of this project all along.

However, we initially anticipated that college users between the ages of 20 and 25 would make up our target audience. But we resonated more with the young professional demographic instead.

At first, this was surprising, but it makes sense since younger professionals are more likely to seek long-term partners for fulfilling relationships. And PreVue’s video-based approach facilitates the pursuit of these types of relationships, as users can easily screen out the chancers, players, and other disingenuous candidates.

What Was The Development Process Like? 

The development process went smoothly, but we could have benefited from an entirely Agile approach. In hindsight, it would have been better if we released smaller feature sets since we’re now making changes on the fly based on user data and feedback we’ve obtained. 

That’s why at NS804, we always recommend that our clients scale back on their concepts to get their apps to market quicker. Users will always reveal what they want, and we can always pivot quickly based on user feedback. 

However, we did proceed with simple and clean code that was modular and flexible from the early stages of the project. If there’s one thing that every developer should know is that planning proper architecture saves a ton of time.  

Our development team includes four members, two founders, a marketing team, and a public relations (PR) team. While the development team may seem small, it’s actually the right size for this project and managed to complete it successfully. The build process took 12 months, which included a very long BETA to ensure we gathered enough feedback to launch the best product possible. But without the BETA and the additional scope, it would have taken around eight months. 

Which Programming Languages Did We Use During Development? 

NS804 is fundamentally a native mobile app developer. That means we use programming languages, frameworks, tools, and APIs for creating native apps for Android and iOS. We could choose hybrid mobile app development tools like Flutter or React Native to reduce development time and cost. However, that would result in lower-quality apps lacking the native look, feel, and performance users have come to expect. 

And given that PreVue is a dating app that must deliver video content regularly and consistently, we had to go native since performance is imperative. Thus, we chose Swift for developing the iOS version and Kotlin for the Android version.

Both Swift and Kotlin are modern, high-level, and statically typed languages that are easier to debug and maintain than the languages they’re gradually replacing, namely, Objective-C and Java. A side benefit of using Swift and Kotlin is that they integrate flawlessly with the latest user interface (UI) toolkits, such as SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose UI. And that allows us to create attractive and responsive UIs that look and feel native on a wide variety of modern mobile devices.   

We also used the Structured Query Language (SQL) for our back-end relational database. And Node.js, as it’s an efficient and powerful runtime environment for creating servers, modular applications, and even video streaming apps such as Netflix. It’s written using the JavaScript (JS) programming language, which has played a pivotal role in front-end web development.

How Crash Reporting And User Journeys Helped Us?

While we did not have any bugs reported, we did implement crash monitoring and user journeys built into the app. So we know if any issues arise before users report these to us, which allows us to take a proactive approach and fix these issues. 

The user journeys allow us to see where users may drop off during the process. And this allows us to refine and tailor our offering that will best suit end-user needs. The ultimate goal of the user journey is to determine the optimal path within the app that will enhance the user experience (UX). Ideally, users must reach their goals quickly and easily without being stumped by an unintuitive UI or other questionable design choices.

Due to our user-centric approach to design, we’ve regularly updated the UI to meet users’ needs. To date, our users benefit from a clean, slick, modern, and highly intuitive UI. And this allows them to engage with our dating app in a fun way without breaking their flow since the screen isn’t cluttered with text and any design elements that cause confusion.

What’s Next For PreVue?

PreVue has made a notable impact in a short space of time, and the future bodes well for our dating app. As we’ve already witnessed, there’s a real need for a platform that makes the dating experience much more honest and meaningful.

So, what have we got planned for PreVue moving forward? Currently, it’s only available in Boston and Washington DC. But we will open availability to new markets and expand our international footprint. Furthermore, we’ll use Machine Learning (ML) to enhance our existing matching algorithm. We started with a basic algorithm designed for maximum matches while the user base scales. 

It will be a learning experience as we use tools that improve the matching process over time. Our goal is to ensure that PreVue users will only have candidates appear in their feeds that align perfectly with what they’re looking for in potential partners. 

And speaking of partners, Lucanus J. Grady shared a few thoughts about his experience working with us: “Top Tier communication. Excellent relationship with the CEO. Always extremely knowledgeable and eager to help. Has provided assistance outside of the scope of responsibility and is an intangible member of our team. The company and its founder are now personal friends due to NS804’s core ethos and incredible professionalism.”

The Bottom Line

Working on PreVue, coupled with our close and fruitful relationship with our client, has made the development process an enjoyable and eye-opening journey. Furthermore, it’s a privilege to work with talented people that have all contributed to a dating app that conforms with our client’s visionary approach. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal and trailblazing dating apps!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Market Research Is A Must! 

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

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

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

2. The Early Stages Of The Validation Process

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

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

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

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

3. Effective Ways To Validate A Great App Idea

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

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

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

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

4. Conduct User Surveys

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

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

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

5. Pre-Selling And Pre-Registration 

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

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

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

App Performance: How To Tell If Your App Is Succeeding

If you’re not continuously monitoring app performance, you won’t have a clear picture of app quality and success. And that means you won’t know if your app meets or exceeds user expectations. Moreover, you can’t correctly evaluate your app since you’re not measuring its key performance indicators (KPIs).

So, what should you do to ensure you know everything about your app that matters? And more importantly, how do you do so without hurting your brand? After all, there’s nothing worse than releasing an app — even as a beta for testing purposes — that delivers a shoddy user experience. 

Read on as we’re about to reveal the steps you need to take to monitor app performance — the right way!

1. Implement App Performance Metrics For App Quality

First and foremost, you need to know if your app runs flawlessly or is a buggy mess that upsets users. Thus, you’ll need to implement the following app performance metrics that will furnish you with reports in real-time:

  • Crash analytics – To help you identify when and why app crashes happen
  • Performance – Collect data related to load speeds, device configurations, operating systems, and screen resolutions
  • In-app feedback and ticketing – An effective way to gain feedback and respond to app issues without hurting your brand
  • Testing – Use an SDK such as Firebase to build and test apps across multiple devices and platforms 

2. Measure KPIs That Determine App Success

You’ll also need to know how well your app is performing in the app stores. And there’s quite a bit of data that you’ll need to collect and analyze, such as follows:

  • Number of downloads – This is one of the most important KPIs and helps determine app growth or stagnation
  • Reviews and ratings – Positive reviews and ratings bolster downloads as users often look at these first before trying out an app 
  • Track active users – It’s crucial to know how many users continue using your app after they download it from the store
  • The average duration of user interaction – User engagement directly correlates with higher usage times
  • The frequency of user sessions – This is another important metric that determines user engagement
  • Retention rate – This metric helps determine whether or not users remain interested in your app
  • Churn rate – Another important metric that indicates how many users leave an app

3. Mobile Game Considerations

All app performance metrics discussed above also apply to mobile games. Given the viral nature of mobile games, it’s also crucial to measure the K factor. So, what is the K factor, and how does it impact a mobile game? In a nutshell, the K factor refers to the number of users that talk about your game and recommend it to others.

An easy way to work out the K factor is with this simple formula (i = average number of invitations sent by a user, and c = conversation rate of those invited): 

k-factor = i*c

In Conclusion

Always implement app performance metrics, as these will help you gain a 360-degree view of your app. The more data you collect about your app’s performance and how users interact with it, the better informed you’ll be to make the right changes — and when they’re necessary. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps that truly succeed! 

Multi-Platform App Development Myths, Debunked

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Multi-Platform Development Results In Buggy Apps

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

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

2. It’s Important To Have Platform Exclusivity

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

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

3. Targeting One Platform Allows For More Optimization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Monetization Can Get Messy With Multi-Platform Releases

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

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

8. Web Apps Make Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Redundant

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

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

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

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

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

10. Maintaining Two Or More Codebases Isn’t Practical

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

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

What Can Your App Metrics Tell You About Your Customers?

App metrics will help you succeed as an appreneur or even as an enterprise releasing one or more apps. After all, it’s never a good idea to push out an app without monitoring its key performance indicators (KPIs). And that’s because you’ll be missing out on crucial information that impacts your app in its entirety.

Just think for a minute that you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a food ordering app. Many users download it, but you receive very few orders. Having failed to add mobile app metrics, you’re left bewildered as to why this occurs. To top it off, you’re left guessing about what needs to improve, apart from a few negative user reviews.

The hard truth is that you should never have to guess what’s wrong with your app. Instead, you should know how it performs during its entire lifecycle. And app metrics will also help you learn more about your customers, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Learn More About Customer Device Specs

You should add metrics that monitor your app’s performance and user experience (UX) from the get-go. But why is this so important when your app runs fine on your test devices? Your test devices only offer a limited view due to the massive variety of devices available, especially in the Android space. It’s a technical impossibility to test your app on the thousands of different Android smartphones, tablets, and TVs that your users may own.

However, your mobile app metrics will let you know how your application performs after the user installs it. You’ll gain access to valuable data, such as the user’s device operating system (OS), screen resolution, load times, and crash reports. Moreover, you’ll have a granular view of this data to allow you to pinpoint issues and fix them. Occasionally, you may detect these issues before most of your users do.

Mobile App Metrics Reveal Customer Engagement KPIs

Is your app engaging users, or are they uninstalling it in droves? Believe it or not, that’s one of the most important questions you should be asking. But it’s also one that you should be getting answers for immediately. And that’s because engagement rates directly impact your app’s revenue, so never leave this to chance.

Your customer engagement KPIs should reveal the following: average number of screens per visit, session length, stickiness ratio, retention rate, and churn rate. Furthermore, you should have detailed data on daily, weekly, and monthly engagement per active user. 

Monitor Customer Spending Habits

Your app’s supposed to make you money, so you need to know if your customers are actually making purchases. Also, integrate the necessary application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate and monitor all payment methods. Nowadays, users like to make payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal — and several other payment services.

But what customer revenue metrics should you monitor? You’ll need to look at the following: average revenue per user (ARPU), number of purchases, time to first purchase, customer lifetime value (CLV), conversion rate, and cost per install (CPI).

In Conclusion

Mobile app metrics, when properly implemented, reveal much about your customers. And the data you collect and analyze will help you to pinpoint issues that impact your app negatively. Thus, allowing you to make fixes and roll out updates that actually make sense. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you integrate app metrics to unlock the true potential of your applications!

What Are The Most Profitable Apps In 2022

Knowing which are the most profitable apps is a huge advantage. After all, knowing what types of apps gain traction with users helps appreneurs pick projects that will likely succeed. And given the maturity of the app market, it’s wise to reevaluate what works in today’s marketplace, as what was popular several years ago may have fallen out of favor with users.

But what apps are truly profitable in 2022? It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Bumble, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, TikTok, Tinder, and YouTube lead the way. However, we should delve deeper to see what segments attract users and lead to profitable apps that become household names.  

1. Dating

Dating websites were somewhat of a peculiarity when they first appeared in the ’90s and were generally considered an avenue for loners and losers to get a date. However, that’s no longer the case, as we all know someone that has found love or even tied the knot through a dating site or app. And, likely, this person is neither maladjusted nor hopeless in love.

The truth is that dating sites and apps offer a convenient way for busy professionals, students, and even elderly persons to meet potential suitors. And given the popularity of Bumble and Tinder, many people find it easier to meet others through these apps than in real-life social settings. So, dating apps have become something of a necessity in today’s more atomized world.

2. Entertainment

Some of the most profitable apps revolve around entertainment. And it’s easy to see why that is, as smartphones and tablets have primarily become content-consuming devices. Users love watching movies through streaming services such as Netflix and listening to music on Spotify.

Even game cloud and streaming services have become popular recently. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass allows users to play Xbox exclusives for a monthly fee and without needing to own a console. 

 

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3. Gaming

The mobile gaming sector should reach revenues of $164.10bn in 2022 and $241.40 by 2027. While that’s impressive, it also gives us a clue about the feasibility and vitality of mobile gaming. Moreover, games offer several ways to generate revenue via ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and upfront purchases.

But making games can be difficult and risky, especially for inexperienced developers. Newbie, small, and cash-strapped developers will find that creating impressive-looking 3D games or content-heavy RPGs is overambitious. And the likelihood of completing such games on time is next to impossible without cutting corners.

Thus, new developers who want to make mobile games should pick a game genre that’s popular but also doable. It’s better to tackle a battle card game or a visual novel than to attempt to make the next Genshin Impact.

4. Social Media

Many users prefer to stay engaged online via their favorite social media platforms. And if you’re wondering what grandma and grandpa are doing on their phones, they’re likely checking in on loved ones on Facebook or Whatsapp. They might even make a few online purchases, buying goods or services from marketplaces inside these very apps.

The marketing and money-making opportunities of social media apps are almost limitless. Gone are the days when most users would scout the web, perusing forums and websites that interest them. Today, they can find everything they’re looking for on social media and rarely have to leave the platform unless necessary.

 

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The Bottom Line

Current trends show that the most profitable apps serve users in areas that truly make sense. In today’s atomized society, people have a greater need to connect. Thus, both dating and social media apps fill that void incredibly well. And people also require entertainment, which is where streaming apps and mobile gaming thrive. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create top-earning apps today! 

Mobile App Design Process: How To Get Started

The mobile app development and design process can become complex if you rely on disparate teams or freelancers to create your app. But if you work with an experienced development studio, such as NS804, it’s a streamlined process. At least, that’s the case on your end. Even so, it’s still crucial to understand what this entails to best plan your next move.

And whatever you do, you’ll need to consider your mobile app design process from the get-go and in its entirety. Don’t write a single line of code or start hiring developers without doing the following first!

Start By Asking The Hard Questions

You may have formed a mental picture in your mind’s eye of what your app will look like and how it should function. Moreover, you may be using a popular app that’s left a good impression and want to emulate its better qualities.

But is it wise to invest time and money in an app based on the above criteria? The short answer is a clear no!

Instead, you need to identify what problem your app aims to solve. You can start by asking yourself what problem you’ve faced in your daily life and how an app could solve it effectively.

But don’t stop there. Ask a series of questions that will help you identify all the possible pain points users may encounter and how your tentative app will solve all of these. And while this seems simple, it’s the first and most vital step in the mobile app design process, so don’t ignore it.

Design Your App

Now, it’s time to design your app, but it will likely take the form of wireframes, a series of 2D diagrams that act as a blueprint. And you’ll ignore elements such as colors, fonts, graphics, and styling for now.

However, you may need to build a more elaborate prototype if requested by stakeholders before they greenlight the app’s development. If that’s the case, you’ll likely spend more time on the prototype’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).

But you also need to understand that app design never ends, as it’s an iterative process. Thus, you’ll do this near the beginning of the mobile app design process and whenever you give your app a UI/UX refresh.

Conduct Market Research And Competitive Analysis

At this point, you have a vague idea of what form your app will take. But you’re still unsure if there’s a market for your app. And even if there is, you don’t yet know what will make it appealing to users. Furthermore, your brand positioning strategy and business considerations will impact the direction of your app.

So, you’ll need to conduct market research and competitive analysis that help answer the following questions:

  • What pain points are users regularly experiencing?
  • Does my app address these pain points?
  • What will make my app appealing to these users?
  • What market am I entering? (e.g., entertainment, productivity, social)
  • How competitive is the market segment that I’m entering?
  • What are the top performing apps in my category?
  • What makes my app better than these top performers?
  • What sets my app apart from those released by competitors? (not necessarily top performers)

And you can take things a step further by building user personas and asking the following questions:

  • What type of person will use my app?
  • Where does this person live?
  • What are the demographics of this person?
  • What pain points does this person regularly experience?
  • What are this person’s likes and dislikes?

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an appreneur or an organization releasing your first or hundredth app, you always start with the mobile app design process. And that’s because you need to know how your app will look and function early on.

Furthermore, you need to know whether your app truly addresses users’ needs and if there’s a sizable market that will make it feasible. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create best-in-class apps by following tried and true practices!

How To Create A Mobile App That Makes Money In Today’s Market

If we’re completely honest with ourselves, a key reason to create a mobile app is to make money. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, as developing an app is costly. Whether we like it or not, we need to recoup those development costs unless we have money left to burn. But most of us are not in that position and need our apps to turn a profit.

While all this may sound sensible, it’s not what often happens. Many first-time appreneurs decide to create a mobile app and release it on a whim, hoping it will become a huge hit. And then see the poor reception and low download numbers of their app quash their entrepreneurial dreams.

And even experienced appreneurs often have to come to terms with disappointing results. That’s because releasing several money-making apps doesn’t mean their next app will perform similarly. The truth is that it’s hard out there for app developers. Moreover, many users suffer app fatigue nowadays, whereby they’re not too keen to install yet another app.

So what should app developers do now? Should they stop making apps and move on with their lives? Or should they look at things from another angle? Well, it’s best not to be defeatist and start looking at apps differently and pragmatically.

It’s not easy finding success in the app stores, as these are tightly controlled walled gardens. Furthermore, these app stores have a plethora of apps that seem to cover every niche. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new opportunities waiting for savvy developers to discover. Below, we go into greater detail on how to create a mobile app that will find success today.

Understanding App Monetization

A common mistake of first-time appreneurs is releasing an app without the correct monetization model. They usually either overvalue their app and release it as a paid app, or they undervalue it and release it as a free app with no clear monetization strategy further down the road. Thus, leaving money on the table that more savvy developers will grab!

Now, let’s quickly cover the paid app model briefly. Most developers shouldn’t consider this avenue unless their app is undoubtedly premium or a high-quality game aimed at true enthusiasts of the game’s genre or franchise.

Two good examples include Adventures of Mana by Square Enix and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City by Rockstar Games. These titles already have a solid fanbase and were developed by reputable companies. Therefore, users already trust these companies and want to play their games without the hassle of watching ads, so they opt to pay the asking price without any qualms.

However, most developers are not in that privileged position and must adopt different app monetization strategies such as:

  • In-app purchases: It’s a model where you provide the basic functionality free of charge, but users unlock extra features via in-app purchases.
  • In-app advertisements: Probably one of the most common ways to monetize an app using platforms such as AdMob. At regular intervals and on certain parts of the screens, ads will appear that the user may decide to tap. And you, as the developer, will earn money depending on the click-through rate (CTR) when ads appear.
  • Subscriptions: Users pay a recurring fee to enjoy the full functionality of the app or some functionality based on a tiered pricing structure.
  • Sponsorships: If your app serves a niche market, you can partner with a brand that will likely appeal to your audience.

When Should You Create A Mobile App With In-App Purchases?

If you’re developing an app or game that works well by offering functionality or additional stages gradually, then in-app purchases make sense.

For example, your drawing app could offer the most basic drawing tools from the get-go. These should satisfy most of your users as they get a feel for your app. But users that want to do more advanced things with your app will want to unlock its additional features.

You can also combine in-app purchases with advertisements, as long as this doesn’t frustrate users or inhibit the usage of your app. You don’t want a banner ad to cover part of your drawing app’s user interface (UI). Or have an ad pop up when the user wants to save an image. These are surefire ways to lose users at a record pace!

But avoid in-app purchases if you’re making a food delivery or any on-demand app. That counts double if this app represents your brand or one that belongs to your customer. And if there are any ads in this app, these should be related to the brand’s product offerings. After all, it wouldn’t make sense if your restaurant’s food delivery app displays advertisements from a rival.

Furthermore, the amount of in-app purchases will differ on Android and iOS, with the latter likely having more. And that’s because iOS users are more affluent and can afford to spend more on in-app purchases and even premium apps. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the Android market, as there are significantly more users, and you can tap into more app marketplaces.

In-App Advertisements Vs. Sponsorships

In-app advertisements are a viable option for most startups, as they’re a quick and easy way to monetize an app. But its ad revenue largely depends on the number of downloads it receives and the regions it’s made available. Western countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America have higher cost per thousand (CPM) rates than developing countries.

Furthermore, CPM rates differ depending on the types of ads shown and whether they’re on Android or iOS. Traditionally, iOS CPMs have been higher, but lately, it’s not uncommon for Android CPMs to surpass iOS.

But in-app advertisements may not be worthwhile if downloads are too low. An app with a few thousand downloads won’t likely recoup its development costs. So, it’s best to look at another monetization model, such as sponsorships.

However, sponsorships work best if the app serves a dedicated audience in a niche market. For example, you may have developed an app that helps fishermen locate good fishing spots in North American lakes and rivers. And these fishermen love using your app because of its easy-to-use UI and no-nonsense approach to delivering accurate information.

Given that you’ve amassed a small but dedicated group of users, a fishing shop or brand could make for a good partner. They can pay a fee to promote their brand or offerings within your app. And if you manage to establish a long-term partnership, it could generate revenue that far surpasses your development costs.

Create A Mobile App With Subscriptions In Mind

Subscriptions have risen in popularity recently, as users have become accustomed to paying a recurring fee for their favorite apps. Adobe popularized subscriptions when they shifted to the software-as-a-service model over a decade ago.

But will subscriptions work for your app? Well, that depends on what you have planned for your app long-term.

You may launch a mostly fully-featured app for free to grow your user base quickly. And once you reach a certain threshold of users, you can switch to a subscription model that offers additional features. However, these features must be so good that it incentivizes users to move from the free tier to a paid tier.

In Conclusion

It’s an exciting time when you get to plan and create a mobile app. But at the back of your mind, you’re wondering if it will make you money. And while there are no guarantees if your app will succeed in a highly competitive market, you can increase your chances with the right strategies.

Taking a hard look at your app monetization strategies early on and adopting the ones that best suit your app will make a huge difference. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop apps that succeed in today’s market!

Mobile App Upgrade: 5 Signs That Your App Needs Improvements

A mobile app upgrade may either excite or scare you. It may excite you if you’re eager to introduce new features and enhancements. And scare you if you’re anticipating many issues and roadblocks when upgrading your app.

Now, unless you’re not planning on sunsetting your app, it’s best to forego the fear and forge ahead with the upgrade process. And that’s because you want to keep your app relevant to retain existing users and attract new users.

1. A New Design Requires A Mobile App Upgrade

If you haven’t updated your mobile app in a while, it probably has an outdated user interface (UI). And that’s no good, as users may equate an outdated UI with a low-quality app. Furthermore, users accustomed to modern design conventions may have difficulty navigating your app in its current state. 

So you must have a proficient designer on your team or work with an established studio such as NS804 to refresh your app’s design. And then create an easy-to-navigate and modern UI that even non-tech savvy users can comprehend at a glance.

2. Performance Issues 

Most users won’t put up with a poor-performing app and will eventually uninstall it from their devices if performance issues persist. But how do you determine if your app’s performing poorly?

Firstly, you should be asking users for feedback and collecting and diagnosing your app’s crash logs. And secondly, you should be looking out for the following issues: app runs slower than intended, audio and screen glitches, device overheats when the app runs, memory leaks, ongoing crashes, and storage errors, to name a few.

3. The Codebase Is Outdated And Difficult To Maintain

You should move ahead with a mobile app upgrade if you have an outdated codebase. And the reason for this is that it’s a maintenance nightmare to keep code that’s old. Moreover, you may have difficulty scaling your app and introducing new features with an older codebase.

And then, you should also consider migrating to more modern programming languages. For example, an Android app programmed in Java can become more readable and quicker to type if rewritten in Kotlin, a modern counterpart of Java. The same applies to an iOS app if you plan to migrate from Objective-C to Swift.

4. Support For Additional Platforms And Devices

Perhaps your mobile app only supports Android smartphones and tablets. But recently, some users have requested that you target Android TVs and even the latest generation of flip phones. Furthermore, iOS users have heard of your app and have requested a port for their platform. Under such circumstances, it’s a good idea to move ahead with a mobile app upgrade that properly utilizes this wide range of form factors and screen sizes. 

5. Introduce New Features And Tighten Up Security

Every OS update of Android and iOS presents yet another opportunity to move ahead with a mobile app upgrade. And that’s because newer versions of Android and iOS boast new features and enhanced security. So, users will often upgrade to these versions, especially when they purchase newer devices.

Furthermore, users will expect your app to take advantage of the latest OS features and enhancements. And you’d definitely want to do that, especially if you have a premium or paid app and a user base that quickly migrates to the latest OS.

In Conclusion

It may be time to forge ahead with that all-important mobile app upgrade if you’ve noticed any of the five signs mentioned earlier. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you handle this challenging but incredibly rewarding part of a mobile app’s lifecycle.

4 Things You Can Learn About Your Clients From Their App Use

Every savvy appreneur should monitor app use to gauge whether an application meets your desired goals and expectations. And that’s easy to do due to the many excellent analytics and monitoring tools available today. Of course, users and various governing bodies, such as the EU, have expressed concern about how companies handle user data and privacy.

As someone that releases or plans to release apps, it’s your job to ensure that you comply with all regulations applicable to the target territory. But the good news is that you don’t need to harvest an extraordinary amount of data to gain a clear picture of app use. After all, you primarily care about your app’s performance and whether users easily complete tasks available to them. 

You don’t want to know users’ home addresses or pet names unless that’s necessary for the functionality of your app. But even for such cases, you’ll need to gain user consent via a mobile opt-in option. Ultimately, you want to operate under an ethical and legal framework that fosters trust with all your users.

We also understand that it’s not always clear what you must look for when monitoring app use. So, we’ve compiled this handy list to help you laser focus on the key indicators that will reveal more about your clients and users.

1. Does Your App Use Data Reveal A Distracted User Base?

Unfortunately, in our information-rich world, attention spans have declined significantly. Digital and social media have played a significant role in reducing attention spans, and so has a constantly online way of life.

But what does this mean for your upcoming app project? Your app should have an easy-to-understand and easy-to-navigate user interface (UI). And keep it simple by making it easy for users to complete tasks quickly. Once you launch your app and monitor app usage, you should achieve favorable results by keeping users engaged.

If that’s not happening, you may have added features and UI elements that cause confusion or distraction. Users will often leave an app and even delete it altogether if they don’t understand how to use it or are not presented with the most crucial information as early as possible.

You’ll also want to know whether your app’s response times lag longer than usual. Therefore, you should monitor all response and system feedback times. If these exceed 50ms for response times and 400ms for web-based system feedback, you need to patch up your app immediately, as most users won’t put up with any application that seems slow and clunky or hinders productivity.

2. Where Are Your Clients Spending Most Of Their Time? 

It’s essential to track the time users spend on your app. And not only that, but you should also track how much time they spend on each page of your app.

For example, you may have created a food delivery app that promises users a one-click checkout experience. Now, users are excited about the prospect of quickly and conveniently ordering their food, so they flock to your app. But then, you notice that few users are completing orders timeously, and many abandon products in their virtual carts.

So you decide to check your analytics to determine what’s causing the bottleneck. You start by analyzing how much time users spend on the homepage of your app and right through to the checkout page. And the data reveals that users quickly find the products they want. Also, they don’t experience any noticeable problems when adding products to their carts. 

Everything seems good so far, but then you get to the data regarding your checkout page. Surprisingly, users spend three times longer on the checkout page than on the rest of your app. And this is not good because it negates the whole purpose of your app, which is to provide a hassle-free checkout.

However, you still don’t have enough information, so you decide to drill down to a more granular view of your data. And doing so reveals information that you didn’t expect, which shows that users spend an excessive amount of time filling in their payment information. Thus, you decide to improve the payment form and enhance its format by refreshing its credit card and other payment method icons.

3. Are Your Users Cheating And Ruining The Experience For Everyone?

If you’re a mobile game developer or creating a competitive and interactive app, you should care whether users cheat. Yes, you heard correctly; users will act in bad faith and cheat in mobile games. And that’s especially true for games that offer money prizes, gems, and in-app purchases. Furthermore, Android games are particularly vulnerable to cheating and game modification apps, such as Creehack, Game Killer, and SB Game Hacker APK, to name a few.

And while it’s common practice to hack and modify PC games, we should bear in mind that the PC is a fairly open platform. On top of that, some PC game developers encourage mods and even provide their own modification tools. And the reason they do this is that it helps extend the longevity of their games, as users will create and share additional content that’s mostly free. 

But even on the PC, hacking a game for the purpose of cheating is unacceptable, causing developers and publishers to ban users that attempt such an action. Therefore, mobile game developers should never take cheaters lightly, as they can cause monetary loss and reputational damage.

You should implement a pattern detection system that analyzes users’ device memory and storage for any cheat apps. Also, some popular cheat apps attach their debugger to a process, so make sure that you’re scanning for these. And if you’re creating a multiplayer game using the Unity engine, then use Guardsquare’s DexGuard and iXGuard to harden the security of your Android and iOS games.

4. Do Your Users Face Too Many Choices? 

The best apps often have a simple UI and are designed to serve a singular purpose. Therefore, you never want to create an app that tries to do too many things. Or it does one thing well but presents users with a plethora of features and options.

Ideally, your app should focus on a singular purpose and its features pared down to the bare minimum. And that’s because users struggle to navigate apps that offer them too many options. They may feel anxious when facing too many options, many of which may be unnecessary or be too complex. 

Furthermore, when users face too many choices, they’re forced to spend more time thinking before coming to a decision. But if they have less choice, users feel less burdened to engage in a complex decision-making process. And navigating the app feels like a more fluid and natural experience, especially if they can complete the most crucial tasks in a short amount of time.

And if users use your app to complete a complex task, then break it down into several smaller and manageable tasks. Always offer an enjoyable and straightforward user experience, as many users may not have the required technical skills.

The Bottom Line 

As we’ve seen, app use can reveal much about your clients, provided you’re using the correct monitoring and detection systems. And this information provides you with greater insight into what you’re doing right or wrong with your apps. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps that will amaze even the most demanding users!