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A Quick Intro To iOS App Development

Many aspiring appreneurs need to have an understanding of iOS app development. Fortunately, Apple has made it relatively easy for novices and experts to develop for their key platforms. With powerful tools such as Xcode and the Swift programming language, there’s never been a better time to create unique apps for iOS.

1. The Many Faces Of iOS App Development

While the Apple ecosystem may be pretty cohesive, this isn’t necessarily true for app development. And what we mean by this is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing apps for iOS. Quite frankly, this isn’t a bad thing, as developers often require more than one toolchain or methodology to complete their projects.

Now, for most projects, Apple’s proprietary Xcode IDE and Swift programming language are good enough. And this is especially true if you plan on developing native-only iOS apps. Furthermore, utilizing Apple’s development tools and closely following their guidelines will allow you to create high-quality and performance-oriented apps, which would be difficult to achieve using third-party or cross-platform tools.

But what if you’re a small team with a limited budget that wants to support both iOS and Android? Then, you have two options that you should consider carefully. Option one: develop the native iOS app in-house and seek the assistance of a professional studio, such as NS804, to handle native development for the Android version. And option two: use a cross-platform framework such as React Native or Xamarin to develop for both platforms entirely in-house. We firmly believe that you’ll achieve better results with the first option.

2. Beyond The Standard Toolchain

As we mentioned earlier, Xcode and Swift will suffice for most purposes. However, your iOS app development needs may vary, and you may require an additional or more powerful toolchain. Perhaps, you’ve decided to create an augmented reality (AR) app or a mobile game. And then, quickly discover that Xcode isn’t the most efficient tool for the job. What then?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent frameworks and game engines to help you achieve your goals. One of the most popular solutions for developing AR, VR, and mobile games is Unity. And if you require the best possible visual fidelity, you may want to consider Unreal Engine. But do keep in mind that both engines are bloated and heavy on system resources, especially Unreal. So, if your project doesn’t require the latest 3D rendering techniques and particle systems, then you’re better served elsewhere.

For example, if you’re developing a simple 2D game, you may want to use an open-source framework, such as MonoGame. This framework offers developers the bare-essential functionality and integrations with APIs to make fun games for iOS and several other platforms. But if you require a full-fledged engine that’s also lightweight and open-source, then consider Godot. A key benefit of Godot is that it regularly receives updates and optimizations from its vibrant developer community.

3. Understanding APIs And Why They Are Necessary

For better or worse, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are essential components in developing apps. Fortunately, Apple’s APIs are among the best in the industry and help make the development process a lot easier.

But what exactly is an API, and why should you care? In a nutshell, an API acts as a messenger or intermediary between various hardware components and software instructions. We may have an API that generates graphics on the screen based on draw calls in a computer program. And we may also have an API that transfers user data from a smartphone to a server. Thus, developers can accomplish various complex tasks, as these APIs handle most of the heavy lifting.

APIs bring forth many obvious cost and time-saving benefits, and you should use them when necessary. Apple has wisely introduced several useful APIs that every iOS developer should familiarize themselves with:

  • Apple Music API – Geared towards apps that require data about albums, artists, chart rankings, music videos, playlists, ratings, reviews, songs, and user-generated content. Also, developers may utilize Apple Music API when creating Android apps and websites.
  • Metal – An API that facilitates 3D rendering and data-parallel calculations by utilizing the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on Apple devices. It’s used extensively for games, visual-oriented apps, and extensive scientific calculations.
  • StoreKit – For developers that need to support in-app purchases in their apps. StoreKit also integrates with Ad Network Attribution, Apple Music, and Recommendations and Reviews in the App Store.
  • SwiftUI – A powerful and developer-friendly UI (User Interface) suite, which uses AppKit and UIKit. It allows developers to create modern-looking apps with as little code as possible.

4. The Bare Minimum Requirements For iOS App Development

It’s essential to own at least one Apple Mac computer, which you’ll use to develop your iOS app. Preferably, it should be a recent model for quicker compile times and better compatibility with newer versions of Xcode. You should also own at least one iPhone and iPad to test your app on, even though Xcode provides a simulator. As good as the simulator may be, it’s always good practice to test your app on actual hardware.

After you download Xcode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the integrated development environment (IDE). And if you have prior experience with Objective-C or a similar programming language, the transition to Swift should be easy. But developing for iOS isn’t just about learning Swift, as you’ll also need to comprehend the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK consists of several APIs and frameworks, which are essential for your app development journey.

You’ll also want to register an Apple Developer account and become a member of the Developer Program. A key benefit of joining this program is that you’ll gain access to resources that will help you with deployment. Furthermore, you may want to sign up for the Xcode Cloud, a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service. Xcode Cloud will allow you to automate your workflow, build in the cloud, and initiate parallel testing.

5. Become Acquainted With The App Store

As an appreneur, you’ll eventually release your app on the App Store, as that’s where your potential customers congregate. But before you launch, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the App Store for maximum success. You’ll need to research your target audience and craft an app and marketing message to appeal to these users.

And if you’re releasing on both the App Store and Google Play, you’ll need to understand the differences between these two stores. After all, you’re dealing with two different audiences that have very different expectations. iOS users tend to earn higher incomes and are more willing to pay for apps that show promise. Android users, on the other hand, prefer free apps that are mostly monetized by ads.

Final Thoughts

iOS app development can be fun and very rewarding with the right approach. In most cases, you’ll want to utilize Apple’s proprietary tools, such as Xcode and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). But you can always integrate an additional toolchain when necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps.

How To Create An E-Commerce App Like Wish

Popular online shopping marketplaces such as Wish have taken the world by storm. And it’s easy to understand why that is, given that users can find the cheapest deals on the most popular and bizarre items available. Below, we briefly cover what you should consider implementing when creating an app similar to Wish.

1. Why You Should Build An E-Commerce Platform

The business landscape is in constant flux, and enterprises need to innovate to stay relevant. And much of that innovation will come from businesses that embrace a customer-first and data-first approach. Moreover, these will be entities that are agile and can scale quickly with increasing customer demand.

But what type of enterprise can adapt and evolve with changing market conditions? Well, in the current pandemic era, e-commerce platforms have not only shown resilience but are rapidly becoming the preferred avenue for purchasing goods and services. As there’s still much economic uncertainty and governments may continue to impose restrictions and lockdowns, brick-and-mortar businesses face many challenges that online enterprises can avoid.

2. What Makes Wish So Special?

Wish is a popular e-commerce platform, which was founded in 2010 by Danny Zhang and Piotr Szulczewski. The platform has enjoyed phenomenal growth and managed to generate $1.9 billion in 2019. It managed to do this by becoming the go-to app for shoppers looking for ultra-cheap items. These items include children’s pajamas, t-shirts, watches, sneakers, sex toys, and knockoffs of branded goods, to name a few. Wish doesn’t actually stock these but allows sellers to list these items in its marketplace.

A large segment of Wish’s users tends to be low-income shoppers and wholesalers seeking the cheapest deals on popular items. However, due to its growing popularity, it has also attracted bargain hunters from more affluent backgrounds. Another reason why Wish has gained attention is how items are promoted on Facebook and Instagram. Some of the most eye-catching and strangest products gain precedence with Wish’s algorithm, ultimately attracting bewildered and curious users.

3. Create A Mobile-First Experience For Users

So, you’ve decided to move ahead with development by building an app similar to Wish. However, you must understand that Wish is significantly different from other e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. Instead of utilizing a search bar to help users find products, an infinite feed of items plays a central role. Not only does this work well on mobile devices, given users’ propensity to scroll down, but mimics the experience of browsing for goods in a shopping mall, where there’s always the possibility of discovering obscure and unique items.

4. Add Gamification And Regularly Offer Discounts

It’s not just the great deals that keep users plugged into the Wish ecosystem but also its fun factor. Wish’s developers took a cue from the casual mobile gaming space and implemented a spin wheel mini-game that unlocks limited-time deals. Furthermore, users are incentivized with further discounts via popup notifications if they add specific items to their carts.

In Conclusion

Wish has gradually become a popular marketplace for bargain hunters and wholesalers seeking popular and strange items. If you want to tap into a flourishing market, then consider building an e-commerce platform. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create powerful mobile apps that drive a growing and sustainable business.

10 Features To Include In App Updates To Boost Growth

Every appreneur should be utilizing app updates to keep their applications relevant. Users quickly lose interest in apps that aren’t maintained, and there are many good reasons for this.

For one, it shows that the developer no longer cares about their app by allowing it to languish. Secondly, an app that hasn’t been updated in a long time is a potential security risk. And thirdly, the app no longer evolves with users’ needs, which leads to its irrelevancy. So, if you care about app usage growth, include these 10 features in your upcoming updates.

1. How to Use Ads To Increase App Usage Growth

Mobile ads are a powerful tool in the arsenal of an appreneur if implemented correctly. Very likely, your audience isn’t particularly fond of ads, as these often negatively impact the end-user experience. Moreover, there’s always a risk that you’ll lose users if your ads annoy them. And with 25 percent of mobile apps abandoned after being used once, you should take extra care with ads.

Focus on app usage growth by incentivizing your audience when delivering ads, which are relevant to them. For example, if you’ve released a mobile game, ensure that your ads don’t ruin flow by appearing at short intervals. It’s better to space your ads out and then reward users with additional in-game coins or experience points (XP) to help them progress. With such a strategy, users will watch more ads and engage more with your app.

2. Why Users Want App Updates To Offer Offline Access

Your latest productivity app may boast powerful features that rely on a cloud backend. And you may have heavily invested in this backend architecture to make your app function as efficiently as possible. However, it would be shortsighted if users can only make the most of your app if they need to be constantly online.

Keep in mind that many of your users have limited bandwidth and can’t always be online or be in an area with poor connectivity. Furthermore, many users will appreciate having the ability to get work done while being offline. Consider those traveling by plane that may not have the opportunity to go online for several hours.

3. How To Make The UI More User-Friendly

When you roll out app updates, ensure that you’re regularly improving your app’s user interface (UI). Always look at ways to simplify the interface with a clean look that makes it easy for users to navigate. Then, keep all UI elements and typography consistent throughout the app. And implement colors and textures strategically to facilitate smooth navigation and highlight important features. Finally, make it easy for users to adjust settings and revert to default settings as quickly as possible.

4. Why App Updates Should Include More Security Features

With the deluge of data breaches happening lately, users have become increasingly concerned about app security. That’s why it’s vital to keep all your applications maintained by regularly rolling out app updates with patches and security features. Always stay current on the latest vulnerabilities affecting mobile platforms and devices, and respond quickly with fixes. Moreover, listen to user feedback and analyze crash reports to detect any app instability or peculiar behavior.

5. How To Boost App Usage Growth With Built-In Save Features

Having robust save features is essential for all modern apps, so never skimp on this. Ensure that all your apps can easily save manually and that users can quickly locate the ‘save’ button. Better yet, implement autosave functionality, as it’s common for users to forget to save. Also, allow users to save on the cloud, which is especially handy for those using multiple devices.

Implementing these powerful built-in save features will make your app indispensable to users. Moreover, they facilitate loyalty to your app and drive further app usage growth. And within an enterprise environment, these save features will solidify your app’s reputation as a professional package.

6. Why App Updates Need To Focus On New OS Features

Platform holders such as Apple and Google want developers to utilize the latest OS features. After all, taking advantage of these features helps enhance security, improves the user experience (UX), and unlocks additional power and features available in newer devices. More importantly, this stance from the platform holders entices developers to maintain their apps.

So, when developers ask themselves what app updates are supposed to accomplish, they should consider new OS features. And, also consider which updates they need to roll out and how often.

7. How To Choose App Update Ideas From Reviews

One of the benefits of nurturing a growing user base is that users will often leave reviews about your app. You’ll receive positive and negative feedback, and both are equally valuable. And sometimes, users may even give you new ideas that you can implement for upcoming app updates.

For example, you may have released an app that helps users quickly compile to-do lists. But these lists are exclusively text-based, and users are now clamoring for the ability to add emojis and images. So, this presents you with the golden opportunity to add these features in the next update.

8. Why You Should Look At New Competitor Features

Users are always trying out new apps and making comparisons with those they use regularly. If a new app comes with powerful features that aren’t available in existing solutions, users will inevitably make the switch to the newer app. Therefore, you should always be eyeing the competition to see if they’re implementing features that excite users. And if this is happening, then you should respond by rolling out equivalent features immediately.

9. How To Increase App Usage Growth By Adding More Personalization Settings

You could be deliberating whether to update an existing app or create an entirely new app. And it’s easy to run into this dilemma, especially when an app isn’t performing well. However, it may still have plenty of life left after receiving a visual facelift and additional personalization settings.

Many users love personalizing their apps so that they fit in with their tastes and personalities. So make it easy for them to change colors, textures, and typography. And give users total control over how notifications should appear, as some users find pop-up notifications annoying.

10. Why Include A Guest Account In App Updates

You may want users to sign up when using your app for the first time, but this isn’t always a good idea. Most users don’t want to provide their email and other personal details if they’re unsure that they’ll use your app long-term. Moreover, they’ll likely uninstall your app if a login screen is the first thing they see after running it.

A better strategy is to allow users to test out your app before asking them to sign up. So, provide users with a guest account in your next update. Offering them a ‘no strings attached’ option will drive up app usage growth if your app lives up to expectations.

In Conclusion

App updates can be powerful when rolled out correctly. It’s always important to release meaningful updates, which patch up security vulnerabilities, improve usability, and introduce features requested by users, to name a few. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop and maintain amazing apps.

Where To Find Innovative Mobile App Design Ideas

Are you struggling to come up with compelling mobile app design ideas that will make your upcoming project stand out? Well, we provide a few handy tips to help you get the ball rolling.

1. Study Trending Mobile App Design Ideas

Coming up with new app design ideas may seem challenging, especially if you’re positioning yourself as a trailblazing appreneur. However, you can take the guesswork out of your brainstorming sessions if you study trending mobile apps. Always keep an eye on the highest-ranking apps in the App Store and Google Play, and closely examine all the elements that make these apps successful.

2. Discover New App Design Ideas Via Reviews

User reviews are a great source of information for just about any app. These reviews will tell you whether the app is engaging users and what features and unique ideas make it stand out. Furthermore, the most ardent users will contribute their own mobile app design ideas, hoping the developer will implement these in future updates. But these ideas could fuel your next project once you’ve determined that these are feasible.

3. What’s Something You Wish There Was An App For

As an appreneur, you’re likely downloading and evaluating a wide range of apps. Some apps are so indispensable that you can’t live without them, while others leave you wanting. If you find yourself wishing that an app had a particular feature that’s missing in action, then you may have come up with your next big app idea.

4. Find iOS App Design Ideas From iOS Updates

With all the quality apps in the App Store, you’ll want to come up with compelling iOS app design ideas. Look at what updates competitors are rolling out and what unique features they introduce. And given that the most successful apps are constantly updated, it’s essential to implement new ideas at a regular cadence to keep users engaged.

5. Dive Into Mobile App Discussion Forums

Dissatisfied users are another great source of new app design ideas. These users will often leave behind negative reviews or voice their concerns in forums or social media. So, engage with these users directly and find out what they truly want in an app.

And when you’ve collated all your ideas, seek out a professional studio to help you develop your app. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can turn your mobile app design ideas into reality.

How Appreneurs Boost App User Acquisition With Offline Mode

App acquisition is an important metric when determining the success of an application after its release. Appreneurs recognize that reviews on app stores are important in boosting user growth rate for any app. Data consumption is a major concern for a lot of users. An offline mode for any app is therefore always welcome for a lot of users.

21% of app users never use an app again after their first experience. Unique features, therefore, are always the best appreneurs have for user retention. When many competitors are making competing apps, an offline mode feature can be a competitive advantage. Offline mode an app allows users to use certain features (if not all) even without an internet connection. The developer has to figure out a way to manage data between the client app and the server. When a user takes certain actions, the app stores these changes and then synchronizes data with the server when an internet connection is available.

Why Does Offline Mode Boost User Acquisition?

Offline mode on an app allows users to use an app despite their location. The app is likely to be recommended to users who travel a lot such as truckers. The app is likely to perform greatly regardless of the quality of internet connection because syncing data between the app and the server does not have to happen constantly for features to work. Synchronization can be set to happen at a specific time of day or when connected to WiFi.

Appreneurs who design free apps draw revenue from in-app advertising. These apps can be quite annoying to a majority of users. Offline mode limits ads, which drastically improves user experience.

Limiting data usage is a great selling point for apps with offline mode. The cost of internet access varies in different markets. In markets where the cost is steep, users are quite sensitive to the cost of running specific apps. If an app can run just fine offline and save on data usage, the appreneur is likely to see rapid user growth in such markets.

Data Storage in Offline Mode

There are different approaches to data storage for apps with an offline mode. The first approach is to have all data stored completely offline. The other approach is to have app users make changes offline and later synchronize with the server when connected to the internet. The latter is the most common approach.

Offline mode on most apps will work seamlessly on both iOS and Android.It all depends on the appreneur having a team that can figure out the best implementation of offline mode so that the most important features of an app work as expected. Some of the technical hurdles will include the frequency of data synchronization, the method of synchronization, and handling of sensitive data that may need to be stored locally on the app.

Determining Growth

After including offline mode in an app, appreneurs can still determine user growth rate. The first way to do so would be to monitor new unique downloads. If the app was meant to target people in certain regions where internet connections are slow or expensive, they should see a bump in downloads there.Offline mode should also reduce the churn rate of app users. Tracking this metric would help measure the impact of offline mode on user experience especially without ads. Insights drawn can help further improve customer acquisition and retention.

How Custom App Development Improves App Security

Do you need to address security issues, or are you concerned about the spate of data breaches as of late? If that’s the case, then you should consider custom app development as it’s one of the best ways to improve your app’s security.

1. Why App Security Matters To End Users

As an appreneur, you take software development seriously and care about the end-user experience. Whether you’re targeting the consumer or enterprise market, you need to be at the top of your game. Meaning, that you shouldn’t only focus on the quality of your applications but also their security. After all, few things can hurt your reputation more than playing fast and loose with user data. And such a scenario can unfold if you don’t lock down security on every custom mobile app you develop.

However, it’s not just reputational damage that you need to worry about, but also legal ramifications for non-compliance. Nowadays, app developers and companies must comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The United States has its own regulatory framework, namely, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). And developers dealing with payment systems need to familiarize themselves with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

2. How Does App Security Benefit Business Goals

Even the most prestigious and trusted brands can overlook security flaws in their apps. Recent examples include the baked-in apps found in the Galaxy S10+ and possibly other Samsung devices.

Fortunately, Samsung was made aware of these vulnerabilities and has released security patches in recent updates. It was prudent for Samsung to respond quickly with fixes, as this mitigated significant security risks. Moreover, the company’s strong presence in the smartphone market means that its business goals are affected by how it deals with app security.

3. How Does Custom App Development Improve Security

In many cases, it’s wiser to develop a custom mobile app if security is a prime concern. Hackers and other bad actors often target applications and websites that have known vulnerabilities. However, a custom solution designed and developed from the ground up with tight security features will deter those with malicious intent. Furthermore, by maintaining your app and regularly rolling out updates and security patches, you provide users with a near hack-proof product.

4. How Can You Improve Custom Mobile App Security

No matter how nice and shiny your new app seems, there’s always room for improvement. And one of the areas you should focus on is tightening up its security. Thus, your custom app development endeavors should include cryptography, obfuscating source code, performing security checks, reducing sensitive data storage, and securing your backend.

5. Why Security Should Be An App Marketing Point

Users have become increasingly concerned about their security, privacy, and how tech companies and other entities use their data. And with stories about data breaches and ransomware making it into the news cycle regularly, it’s not surprising that users feel this way. However, this presents a golden opportunity for the savvy development team to market their latest custom mobile app. By putting security at the forefront and delivering a product that lives up to this promise, it’s possible to win over many new users.

In Conclusion

Custom app development should always be a consideration, especially when prioritizing security. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop high-quality and secure apps.

Increase App Retention: Why Users Abandon Apps

Every appreneur wants to increase app retention, especially in today’s highly competitive environment. And with more users becoming disenchanted with apps, no appreneur can rest easy. After all, it doesn’t take much for users to abandon apps, even moments after downloading them. Glitches, mandatory logins, and poor UX design can dissuade users from continuing their journey. Below are several things that can make your app unappealing.

1. How Poor UX Design Ruins A Great App

One of the fastest ways to lose users is with poor user experience (UX) design choices. After all, users have access to many slick and responsive apps with excellent UX. Thus, they don’t want to waste their time on any app that doesn’t deliver these expected features.

But let’s take a deeper look at what poor UX design is and how it hurts an app, even if it seems promising. When users launch an app for the first time, they expect a simple onboarding process. A complex and obtuse UX doesn’t facilitate such an outcome and will only hinder users from proceeding. Furthermore, users shouldn’t be exposed to any unnecessary information, as this only confuses them.

Also, UX designers should avoid implementing buttons and icons meant for the desktop on a mobile app. That’s because these aren’t sized correctly or have the correct design language for mobile devices. And a poorly organized user interface (UI) with low-quality images will put off even the most patient users. Ultimately, an effective UX minimizes the amount of data users need to input to proceed. Every appreneur and UX designer should always be thinking about how to increase app retention with great UX.

2. Why Mobile App User Retention Falls With App Glitches

Have you ever used a bug-ridden application that frustrated you so much that you uninstalled it from your device immediately? If that’s a yes, then you’re well aware of how a couple of glitches can completely ruin an app. And glitches only make an app look unprofessional, especially when compared to more polished alternatives.

As an appreneur, your reputation is largely dependent on the quality of your apps. That’s why you should quash as many bugs and glitches before shipping. And when users do discover a glitch, make sure that you respond quickly with updates and fixes. The more you approach development in this manner, the more likely you’ll increase mobile app retention.

3. How Focusing On The User Helps Increase Mobile App Retention

While a mobile app can help you achieve specific business goals, don’t do this at the expense of your users. For example, you may create an app that promotes a new clothing line with its unique augmented reality (AR) component. And your marketing team may want to capitalize on the wow factor of this technology to attract users. Yet only a small percentile of your users care about this when they’re clamoring for instant checkout within your e-commerce app.

Mobile app user retention is all about listening to user feedback and responding to their needs. Moreover, delve deeper into your analytics pipeline and carefully study user data. With a more user-centric approach, you’ll roll out the features and improvements that users want and won’t waste resources on anything unnecessary.

4. Why Users Hate Mandatory Logins

When users launch your app for the first time, they don’t want to see a login screen. Worse still, they don’t want to deal with mandatory or social logins. Users don’t want to feel compelled to use an app by signing in, as they may not commit to its long-term use. Furthermore, they may not wish to share their social data with you or don’t have a social media account.

And even if they have social media accounts, they may not have the same ones that you’re accepting. Since you want to increase app retention, you should always decrease the barriers to entry. Therefore, ensure that logins are optional and not mandatory and rigorously address security concerns.

5. Why Pestering Users Is Never A Good Idea

Today’s users are neither patient nor forgiving. They’ve downloaded a ton of apps and subsequently seen their fair share of ads and notifications. And the situation is so concerning that app fatigue has become a real problem. Users are no longer excited about the latest apps, and many no longer want to download apps.

Thus, if developers want to increase mobile app retention, they should stop pestering users with ads and notifications. Don’t inundate them with anything that wastes their time or uses up bandwidth, or you risk losing these users.

6. Are You Giving Users A Reason To Come Back

Users can quickly become bored with your app and eventually abandon it. Of course, you want to avoid such a scenario by giving users a reason to come back. Depending on your business model, it may be feasible to offer an incentivization or loyalty program. Alternatively, you could implement a robust communication system, making it easy for users to connect with your brand in a meaningful way.

7. Why You Should Always Listen To Feedback

Another good reason to have a robust communication system is that it allows you to receive user feedback constantly. However, you must respond to this feedback immediately and never leave your users in a lurch. And if you can’t roll out updates and fixes within a short amount of time, do notify users that you’ve listened to their feedback and provide them with a roadmap. Ultimately, they need assurance that you’ll provide the necessary support so that they won’t abandon your app.

8. Is Your Mobile App Too Innovative

Users have become accustomed to the UX and workflow set by the most popular apps. Now, you may want your app to stand out by implementing innovative features that competing apps don’t have. However, this isn’t necessarily a good idea because too much innovation can be counter-productive. You risk intimidating and scaring off users with features that seem too unfamiliar. Therefore, if you don’t want to negatively impact mobile app user retention, it’s better to play it safe!

9. Are You Offering Anything New

You should have a long-term strategy to increase mobile app retention. Look at how game developers implement season passes, in-game events, loot boxes, and prizes to keep their games fresh and relevant. By offering something new at regular intervals, users will keep coming back to your app. Furthermore, you’re showing your users that you’re still committed and invested in your app and care about the end-user experience.

But also introduce something new when the latest devices launch. Your app may work great on current smartphones but doesn’t take advantage of the extra screen real estate found on foldable devices. Inevitably, you’ll need to release an updated version of your app with an enhanced UX and additional features to keep the next generation of users satisfied.

The Bottom Line

As we’ve already revealed, there are several ways to increase app retention and keep users glued to your app. Nowadays, users have become increasingly disenchanted with applications because of mistakes that could’ve been avoided. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop brilliant apps the right way.

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.

How To Start Your Own SaaS Business

If you’ve been planning on starting a SaaS business, then there’s never been a better time in embarking on such an endeavor. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) enterprises have emerged in the past decade and have successfully left their mark in the industry.

Established tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made available their own SaaS offerings. And users have been reaping the benefits of accessing these cloud-based applications cheaply and easily. Now, we’ll look further into what it takes to start your own Saas enterprise.

1. The Rise Of The SaaS Enterprise

The internet has radically transformed the way we do business and consume. Enterprises can release powerful apps far quicker than before, while users can access these applications almost effortlessly. And digital distribution has played a vital role in making this possible over the past two decades.

But even digital distribution has its fair share of bottlenecks that impedes the accessibility and evolution of software. In many cases, users have to pay a steep upfront cost and download and install files on their computers. And in the case of freemium or mobile apps, users may not have to pay a cent, but they’ll likely have to watch ads or whip out a credit card to access certain functionality.

Nowadays, users don’t have to relegate themselves to any digital distribution platform to access powerful and useful apps. With the rise of the SaaS enterprise, users can try out web-based solutions directly from their browsers.

So, what exactly is a SaaS enterprise? Well, it’s a company that develops an application or a series of applications meant to solve specific problems. These applications are hosted on a cloud service either by a third-party or on the company’s own servers. In the latter case, the company needs to update and maintain its SaaS applications and hardware. But that’s a boon for end-users since they don’t have to worry about updating their apps. And they no longer have to trawl forums or contact support when an update or installation goes wrong.

We’ve seen that this SaaS business model has been gaining traction in recent years. If you’ve used MailChimp, Slack, or Zoom, then you’ve used a SaaS product. But it won’t end there, as we’re bound to see many trailblazing SaaS enterprises emerge in the coming years.

2. Why You Should Consider Starting A SaaS Business

Whether you’re an appreneur or leading an enterprise, you’re likely coming up with cool and unique ideas. A few of these ideas could be solutions to problems that most people encounter in their day-to-day lives or enhance existing business processes. Either way, for these ideas to come to fruition, they’ll need the right vehicle to drive them forward.

One of the best ways to do this is by starting your own SaaS enterprise. And the good news is that it’s entirely possible with a small investment and a bit of sweat equity. Online marketing expert, Neil Patel, managed to launch his SaaS business based on a call-tracking idea for under $ 40,000. With his organized approach to building web-based businesses, Neil found a designer and a developer, built his product, and then focused on marketing and sales.

While we’re not insinuating that building a SaaS is easy, it’s doable with the right approach. Furthermore, you’ll benefit by establishing an enterprise that’s entirely your own without requiring a substantial investment. And, if your SaaS proves popular, it won’t be difficult sourcing venture capital (VC) to grow your enterprise further.

3. Choose The Right Funding Model

If you want to have maximum control of your SaaS enterprise, you should consider personally funding the entire endeavor. But if bootstrapping isn’t possible, then you could borrow money from friends and family. A word of warning, if you haven’t planned and validated your SaaS idea, you’ll be risking these funds on a project that could potentially fail.

However, if you’ve done your homework by conducting a competitive analysis, creating detailed financial forecasts, writing a lean plan, and validating your idea, then your funding options widen. Now, you’ll be in a position to seek funding from financial institutions, angel investors, and venture capitalists. But you’ll be giving up some control, and your business decisions will have to line up with requirements set by these entities.

4. A SaaS Business Starts With Proper Planning

Every serious entrepreneur draws up a business plan from day one. After all, no financial institution or angel investor will lend money to an enterprise without a business plan. And when building a SaaS, it’s essential to get your ideas on paper as quickly as possible.

However, it’s not necessary to draft a long and complex document initially. Start with a one-page pitch that briefly describes your business, unique value proposition, competitors, target market, sales forecast, expenses, milestones, and schedule. You can go into more detail once you’ve solidified your business model and SaaS proposition.

5. Creating A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Determine whether or not users have an interest in your SaaS. Moreover, validate if these users are willing to pay to use your app. Without releasing a full-fledged product, you’ll never know for sure. But by creating an MVP, you’ll be able to quickly gauge if users are genuinely interested in your offering before building a SaaS.

6. Building A SaaS

Ideally, you’ll have talented developers on your team that will help bring your SaaS ideas to life. While you’ll probably do most of your development in-house, you may need to outsource some work. For a smooth collaborative process, it’s always better to work with experienced developers such as NS804.

Be sure to start small and choose the right software development methodology for your project. Then, get a beta version of your SaaS out the door as quickly as possible, and don’t add any unnecessary features before launch.

7. Employing Good UX Design

It’s just as important to have one or more competent designers on your team. After all, your SaaS shouldn’t only run well, but it must also look great! Users expect good UX design from their apps, and you must meet their expectations if your SaaS is to succeed. Your designers will need to have a solid grasp of the five key elements of UX designs, namely: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

8. Don’t Ignore Custom Development

While your SaaS enterprise may function amazingly on the cloud, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore custom development. Many users will appreciate accessing an offline version of your SaaS that runs natively on their computers or mobile devices. Furthermore, you can provide users with additional features, extended business functions, and improved security with a custom-developed app.

9. Should A SaaS Business Incorporate Custom Development?

Yes, every SaaS enterprise benefits from incorporating custom development. Many business processes require the speed, stability, and security that only a custom-developed native app can provide. And certain visually intensive apps only run well if they have direct access to a device’s CPU and GPU, which may require a custom solution.

In Conclusion

Every appreneur and enterprise should consider building a SaaS if they want to reach new users. While there’ll always be a market for native applications, many users enjoy the accessibility and convenience of today’s SaaS offerings. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you get your SaaS business off the ground.

An Appreneur Guide To The App Store

Understanding The App Store Leads To Stronger Appreneur Performance

In every industry, there are techniques, tools, and tactics that form the foundation of operations within that industry. Therefore, any professionals starting a journey into a new career need to learn the applicable fundamentals. For instance; in the world of app development, the app stores and various markets that connect developers to users are beyond vital. The app stores are important for an aspiring appreneur to understand because it’s where users find your app. Even apps with the strongest designs need to be positioned properly, and if they aren’t, users simply won’t find them.

This is important to realize because of the simple truth that no matter how good your app is; it still needs users to thrive. By understanding the app stores you, as an appreneur, can leverage stronger marketing techniques, speak directly to user needs, and ultimately climb the metaphorical leaderboard.

Key Distinctions To Note Between the Apple Store and Google Play

Now, before moving too far along, it’s important to know the differences between the Apple app store and the Google Play store. These two marketplaces have a lot of the same offerings to present to appreneurs. However, they also differ in distinct ways that alter the strategies and tactics successful appreneurs apply.

One of the most important differences between these two markets is the programming languages. In the Apple app store, applications run on a programming language, Python. Python is the language of the Apple operating system and is most well known for its rigid rules and strength in security. By creating an entire app store with a universal coding language; the applications that exist within that market come with a bolstered level of security. Additionally, this makes it easier for users to get an idea of the function and feel of your apps before they’re even downloaded. By standardizing the programming language, developers also benefit.

Developers benefit from the standard programming language because it creates universal understanding. In other words, programmers and developers working in the Apple app store have a slight advantage as they only need to learn and work with one programming language.

Getting Into Google Play

The Google play store comes with its own set of advantages as well, though. For instance, while the defining feature of the Apple app store is a universal coding language; the exact opposite is true of the Google Play store. The Google Play store thrives on creativity and flexibility. While this is often positive, it also brings with it a few drawbacks. One drawback in particular when it comes to the Google Play store and its flexibility in the programming language is that it opens up the door for a much higher percentage of faulty, bug-ridden, and less secure applications.

Since the coding is so much more flexible in the Google Play store, appreneurs don’t have to follow as rigid of programming rules. While this acts as a catalyst for innovation, technological exploration, and creativity in design; it also opens the door to higher security threats and a higher rate of finished apps that are full of bugs.

The App Store and Niche Markets As an Appreneur

The Apple app store and the Google Play store both represent app markets. By that, these are full marketplaces with a wide spectrum of industries and fields of practice. Think for a second about the wide range of apps that are available; from health and wellness applications to budgeting apps, to apps for pure entertainment, there’s an app for almost everyone doing almost anything. This means that as these markets continue to grow, advance, and evolve, applications will emerge for every niche market available.

For an appreneur, this is great news. As society further integrates technology into more and more aspects of everyday life, more and more opportunities for appreneurs will exist. However, it’s important to realize that, just like with traditional stores; the game changes completely when it comes to niche markets in mobile app stores.

When it comes to marketing your application in a niche market; it’s absolutely vital to conduct your due diligence in order to gain some insight on successful trends that already exist within that niche market. By discovering and implementing successful marketing tactics for your niche market application you’ll put yourself a step above the competition before you even launch.

Learning From The Competition

Watch, listen, and learn. This is a basic principle that applies to almost every aspect of life. By being still and observing carefully, you can learn mountains of helpful information without the risk of making mistakes yourself. Learning from the competition isn’t a new concept, not by any means. It’s a long-standing strategy that business professionals and innovators use to re-create success seen by other entrepreneurs. By borrowing successful tactics and strategies from a wide range of sources you and your team have the ability to create a comprehensive launch and marketing plan that’s fast-tracked toward success.

Address App-Store Reviews

In the same vein as learning from the competition, another huge resource pool for appreneurs is app-store reviews. In today’s virtual world, consumers have more access to better information all-around. This puts a lot more pressure on sellers because consumers hold such a low tolerance for negative experiences. In other words, after a single negative experience with a company or application, most users are more likely to switch providers or companies altogether, rather than give them a chance to make it right.

As such, app store reviews are a rich reservoir of consumer insights: both good and bad. As a crafty appreneur, then, you can mine app store reviews for potent insights to apply to your own applications under development. You can see what features excite users about applications they love, and reviews will also pinpoint areas of failure and aspects desperate for improvement. All-in-all leading you down a pre-paved path straight to the top of the app store.

App Stores, Appreneurs, and Algorithms

It’s no secret that app stores run algorithms constantly. These algorithms, while seemingly random, are actually extremely precise. However, even the algorithms that the app stores themselves are using undergo rapid evolutions and reiterations. As such, it’s incredibly difficult to get an accurate reading of how these algorithms are built and run. However, you and your team can track patterns. The patterns illuminate what types of apps are continually reaching the top of the charts. This information can then be used to inform the development process of applications you and your firm are working on launching.

A Brief Overview of An Appreneur Guide To The App Store

The world of application development is busy and bustling. Over the past year specifically, our society rapidly advanced into an era dictated by technological integration. Each and every day there is new technology and new innovation happening all around us. As a determined appreneur, understanding the app stores, how they function, and how to make them work for you will bring you a significant advantage in building and delivering top applications across markets.

For more information on app development or mobile app development specifically, keep browsing the NS804 content library. NS804 is the one and only proud application developer for the everyday appreneur.