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The Toolbox of The Appreneur

The Tricks Of The Appreneur Trade Start With The Tools

Every trade has masters to look to for exemplary work. However, an important aspect to keep in mind when admiring these great achievements, is where those masters began. They certainly didn’t start their journeys creating masterpieces. In most cases, the greatest successes have modest and humble beginnings. Simply learning any trade takes years, and mastering a trade is a whole different story. There is hope, though. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell theorized that it only takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to master any skill. In other words, practice does make perfect, even for an appreneur.

Before anyone masters anything, however, the fundamentals need to be conquered; and this is true regardless of industry, practice, or trade. In the context of appreneurs, though, it means reaching a deep understanding of the tools and resources available that will guide your application development process. From data to the complexity of the app stores, pitching investors, and much more, let’s start filling your appreneur toolbox so you’re prepared for your first day on the job site, so to speak.

The Importance of Learning The Appreneur Tools

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that there is real value in developing a deep and meaningful understanding of the tools used by appreneurs. By taking the time to learn and understand these various tools you’ll have the wherewithal to set out on meaningful app-development projects. Learning these tools will also help prevent you from making the same mistakes as others before you. The app market is a relatively tricky one, and starting with a comprehensive knowledge base gives you an immediate advantage.

One of the most valuable aspects of having this knowledge is the mistakes it helps developers avoid. For instance, creating a relationship with and utilizing these tools helps developers and programmers from creating clunky apps; it provides insight into red flags for which to watch out on the development journey; and it will help you tune into the needs of your consumers and users more easily.

The MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Most app-journeys begin with the ‘aha’ moment. The moment that the great idea was born. However, this is far from the point at which investors are taking a stake, or there’s any sort of buzz about your app. No, at this stage; it’s almost always just you and your good idea.

Enter: the MVP. While this may sound like a deus ex machina, in fact, it is not a most valuable player to save the day – but rather, the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product is an early form of an application that displays its basic functionality, core concept, and some design elements.

Much like a prototype in more traditional markets, the MVP is absolutely vital. One of the main reasons it’s such an important aspect of an application’s journey and development is that it often generates funding. MVPs are commonly the first introduction that investors and other potential partners are going to have to your application. Therefore, developing strong MVPs that garner and accelerate interest is vital to success in app development. The MVP sort of acts as both a teaser and a proof of concept; and it’s no secret that first impressions last.

App Store Data

The next tool to add to the box is data. Specifically, app store data. The app stores are important for appreneurs for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they represent the main marketplaces in which users can actually purchase, download, and discover applications. However, there’s much more to its value for an appreneur than that. For appreneurs, the app stores are rich mines full of data that covers a whole spectrum of categories.

Following the app store from week to week, for instance, sheds light on multiple factors. Firstly, it gives insight into the app store’s algorithm that rolls through and ranks apps. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, it paints a portrait of user behavior and consumer trends. No matter which market you find yourself in, consumer behavior is one of the most telling elements that helps identify the next big success.

There are plenty of places to look within the app stores to find pertinent and valuable data. One of those places being direct competition.

Learning From Competitors

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And for good reason. The same principle is why crafty appreneurs take the time to look at their direct competition before jumping into app development, or even MVP development. Since applications are designed to basically be as accessible as possible, appreneurs can use this to their advantage. By downloading and learning the ins and outs of a competitor’s application, you’re able to take notes on what you would improve as a designer or developer in your own version. The learning doesn’t stop there though.

Going a level deeper, examining user feedback, both positive and negative, will provide an elevated level of insight into the elements for which users in your specific niche market are looking. These elements include but are not limited to, functionality, design, the look and feel, the overall usability, and much more.

Taking lessons from the competition will give you and your team insight into features to be sure to include, as well as features that certainly should not be included. This sets your application on the right path, as you’re already taking consumer demands and needs into consideration before you’ve even released your first iteration.

The App Launch

Once you’ve built your all-star MVP that’s garnered enough interest and investment to take your app idea from concept to reality, it’s time for one of the most exciting stages in any app’s life. The app launch. The app launch is exciting for a myriad of reasons, but most notably, because it’s the first time that your application will actually be live on the app stores. Users will start seeing it in their feeds, and with the right marketing plan, downloads will begin in no time.

The app launch isn’t all fun and cocktails, though, as it’s another opportunity for your team to promote the app. After all, you’ve worked this hard to bring it here, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit hyped up. Taking the time to plan an app launch, even a virtual one in this remote economy, helps push the word out about your app, drives early downloads, and theoretically builds an initial userbase that has a slightly higher sense of loyalty.

Leveraging and Implementing User Feedback

The app launch is in the past, the initial user base is cemented; you’re starting to wonder about what to develop next. Before you jump on that train, though, remember that applications are all about the user experience. User feedback, therefore, is one of the most valuable tools that any appreneur can access once their app is launched. By listening to the reviews that users leave, and giving strong consideration to the feedback provided by users, your team will have the knowledge they need to create valuable updates that don’t nuisance the users and continue to improve the user experience.

A Quick Wrap Up On Appreneur Tools

Learning any trade takes time, commitment, and practice. It’s no different with appreneurship. After reading this article though, you should at least have an understanding of which tools are important to learn, and why they offer so much value. For more information on mobile app development, appreneurship, or anything else app development-related; keep browsing the NS804 content library.

App Store Optimization Checklist: 10 Things To Do For Success

Having an App Store Optimization checklist in place should be a top priority for every appreneur. The App Store, and even Google Play, require that developers closely follow their guidelines. When developers fail to do this, their apps will inevitably languish in store rank. Furthermore, this checklist breaks down all actionable steps we can take to ensure our app’s success.

1. Why Do You Need An App Store Optimization Checklist?

It’s easy to get caught up in the development process and forget about App Store optimization. And App Store optimization is itself an involved process that many appreneurs prefer to put off, to their detriment. However, keeping an App Store optimization checklist handy gives appreneurs and marketing staff a bird’s eye view of the entire process. By breaking things down into 10 simple steps, we replace unnecessary guesswork with a winning strategy.

2. What Are The Best App Store SEO Tools?

For favorable results, always use the best app marketing tools available. And when you’re targeting the App Store, then there are three excellent tools that you should consider using. We’re listing these below with a brief description of what makes them so great:

App Annie – An App Store Optimization (ASO) tool, offering marketers a wide range of data at their fingertips. It’s worth investing in the premium plan since it features detailed user behavior, demographics, download estimations, and retention. If you’re unsure about App Annie’s effectiveness, you can always start with their free plan to test the waters.

Gummicube – A comprehensive tool that covers the entire marketing funnel, from searches to conversion. It features powerful A/B testing tools and live user feedback groups to test your store assets on the App Store and Google Play. Do keep in mind that this is a paid tool with no free plan.

StoreMaven – StoreMaven makes ASO as painless as possible by offering accurate and quick metrics. Their built-in StoreIQ algorithm gives precise data points from a smaller sample pool than alternative methods. Furthermore, you’ll have access to a design studio for effectively designing all your store pages. They offer a 30-day trial before you’re required to switch over to one of their paid products.

3. Focus On Top Keywords

Nothing’s worse than releasing your app on the App Store, only for it to languish in obscurity. And this can happen if you don’t implement the top keywords. Start researching for high-ranking keywords by using the App Store’s search bar. For example, if you’re developing a music app, enter the word ‘music’ in the search bar. The store’s search algorithm will offer several suggestions, such as ‘music maker,’ ‘music editor,’ ‘music downloaders,’ and many others.

These suggestions are exactly what users are searching for in high volumes, making good keyword ideas that you should explore further. Also, consider using TheTool for searching and optimizing keywords and tracking the visibility of your store page.

4. Master App Marketing By Checking Out The Competition

There’s no shortage of App Store SEO tools that offer additional features useful to marketers looking for an edge. MobileAction provides a wide range of tools, ranging from ASO to keyword discovery, which allows you to spy on competitor keywords. Moreover, it’s possible to conduct an app competitor analysis, giving you a clear picture of your rivals’ performance.

5. Make Your Icon Simple And Engaging

Your app’s icon is the first thing users will notice when browsing through the App Store. A bland, busy, or unprofessional design will put users off, and they won’t bother installing your app. Instead, make sure that your icon’s design is clean and engaging with a focus on simplicity. Draw inspiration from popular apps, such as Discord, Flipboard, and TikTok, which showcase good design. If you don’t have the necessary skills, then hire a designer to make your icon, as it’s worth the investment for such a critical visual element.

6. Capture Incredible Screenshots

When users discover your store page, the first thing that they look for is screenshots of your app. That’s why it’s vital to capture visually stunning screenshots that will wow your audience. If your app’s user interface (UI) already looks great, it should be relatively easy to take snapshots that look appealing. But if your app isn’t much of a looker, you should still capture crisp and high-resolution screenshots that depict what your app is about.

7. Show Your App In Action

Accompanying your screenshots, you should have at least one video showcasing your app. Show your users how smooth and responsive your app’s user interface is while highlighting its key features. And given that many users have low attention spans keep the duration of your video at under two minutes. Ultimately, your video should be short and concise while avoiding any fluff that will lessen its impact.

8. Pick The Perfect App Name

Believe it or not, your app’s name plays a significant role in whether it succeeds. Come up with a catchy, distinctive, and memorable name that best represents your app. Ensure that your title isn’t longer than 30 characters to keep in line with Apple’s regulations. Furthermore, use App Store SEO tools to research keywords that you can implement in your app’s name. App names that incorporate top keywords tend to rank higher in the App Store.

9. Consistently Update Your App Description

Every time you update your app, you have a golden opportunity to change your app description. And so you should! Your app description should always be clear, concise, and informative. Take the time to craft the first sentence so that it’s impactful and avoid unnecessary buzzwords and keywords. And, we do want to stress that you should be regularly updating your app. After all, you want your app to run well on the latest devices, enhance its security, and continue your marketing endeavors.

10. Add Local Keywords If Applicable

If you’re targeting foreign markets, you’re probably investing in translation services to localize your app. But consider researching and adding local keywords for every region that you’re targeting. It’s a big world out there, and users prefer to conduct searches in their home language. So, put yourself in the shoes of a foreign user and how they’d go about searching for your app.

11. Understand Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of app marketing is understanding your audience. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, then your app won’t succeed. However, it’s relatively easy to ascertain if your app’s appealing to a specific audience through beta testing, focus groups, and outreach initiatives.

You may even run low budget ad campaigns to see how users of a certain age, gender, demographics, and location respond. The better you understand your audience, the better you can set up your store page.

12. Encourage Reviews

Ensure that you’re providing users with a fantastic app experience. And, if you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, then you’ll be able to deliver an app that will impress them. But that’s not enough, as you’ll need to encourage users to review your app so that it ranks higher in the App Store. Prompt them, through your app, to leave a review and rating on your store page. And utilize App Store Connect to respond directly to any feedback and questions your users may have.

In Conclusion

An App Store optimization checklist is a necessity since it keeps app marketers on track. Working down this list of 10 things to do will radically enhance your App Store page and help you acquire new users organically. Contact NS804 today to learn how our App Store Optimization (ASO) services can make your app stand out.

Latest Trends In Mobile App Design: Increasing Your Profits

While contemplating the latest trends in mobile app design, we decided to look further into this matter. Specifically, we wanted to explore how various mobile app monetization strategies play out. Should an appreneur implement ads, and if so, what type of ads work best? Or, would it be better to release a paid app or implement in-app purchases instead? These questions, and many more, are questions that we seek to answer below.

1. What Type Of Ads Work Best?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to monetize an app is via advertising. Whether you’re developing a mobile app or game, you should consider implementing ads as part of your monetization strategy. And there’s a good reason to take such an approach. According to Statista, mobile advertising reached $ 190 billion in 2019 and will reach $ 240 billion by 2022.

Nowadays, every apprenuer has several ways to include ads in their applications. We’ll cover the four types of ads that show the most promise:

Banner Ads – Relatively unobtrusive and small-sized ads, placed either at the top or bottom of the screen. They’re easy to implement and remain a popular method for monetizing apps.

Interstitial Ads – These pop up as full-screen ads at specific time frames and feature a close button on the top left or right corner. Interstitial ads work best when they show up only after the user completes a task inside the app.

Native Ads – Designed to naturally fit inside an app and promote an app, product, or service while being relatively unobtrusive. Usually, developers will implement native ads to promote their own products, but this isn’t always the case. The downside is that these ads don’t bring in as much revenue as alternative methods.

Rewarded Video Ads – These shorts video ads (usually a 30-second duration) are carefully integrated with an in-app reward system. Users will watch a video in exchange for points, prizes, and various kinds of virtual goods. Rewarded videos ads deliver high retention and revenue but work best in games or apps with gamification features.

2. How Cost And Profitability Go Hand In Hand?

If you’re an appreneur with a tight budget, then you may cut corners to bring your dream app to fruition. After all, there are several online marketplaces where you can hire freelancers to develop your app at low rates. But this isn’t a good idea, especially when taking into account cost and profitability factors.

Take a look at the highest-rated, popular, and most profitable apps in the App Store and Google Play. What you’ll find is that the top ten percentile of applications are incredibly slick and professionally made. The teams behind these apps have years of experience and comply with best practices in software development. Thus, cheap, low-effort, and unprofessional apps no longer gain traction in digital storefronts. It’s smarter to work with an experienced developer, such as NS804, to create apps that resonate with today’s users.

3. Are In-App Purchases Still Effective?

Yes, in-app purchases offer a robust revenue stream when appropriately implemented in the right type of app. For example, the Uber app offers in-app payments so that drivers can receive payments from passengers. In-app purchases also work great if you’re selling digital goods or have e-commerce functionality in your app. Furthermore, consider adding in-app purchases if you’re offering renewing and non-renewing subscriptions.

4. Should You Sell Physical Products?

Well, that largely depends on the ability of your app and brand to stand out amongst competitors. Fortunately, the latest trends in mobile app design make it easy to test the waters. You can reduce the risk by using Amazon’s self-service program to sell branded goods instead of having to order large quantities from a traditional manufacturer.

If you’re building a mobile e-commerce portal meant to sell physical goods, then you’ll need a robust order fulfillment system to have products delivered to customers successfully. And, if you’re creating a mobile game that draws a fervent fanbase, then it makes sense to sell merchandise, such as caps, t-shirts, figurines, mugs, and posters within the game. But do keep in mind that revenue from merchandise may be inconsistent.

5. Are You Giving Users A Reason To Return?

When developing apps, you’ll undoubtedly think about cost and profitability. You’re investing resources into a project meant to cover its input costs and make a tidy profit.

However, that’s only possible if your app has high user retention and engagement. And to achieve this, you’ll need to give your users a reasonable amount of control. Users have no qualms about uninstalling apps that take control away from them. As with our own experiences, it’s never a good idea to force users to watch unskippable tutorials or input payment information without giving them the option to do so later.

That’s why it’s vital to employ the latest trends in mobile app design. Reduce the steps required to make things happen and allow users to make their own choices. Ultimately, this leads to more satisfied users that feel confident in using your app on an ongoing basis.

6. How Can App Updates Increase Profits?

Users expect regular updates that introduce new features and increase app stability. They want to see that you’re adding the functionality they want and that you’re offering long-term support. If you’re invested in your app, then users feel more confident in continuously using it. And the more time users spend with your app, the greater your profits. Moreover, users are more likely to recommend your app to others if you’re meeting their expectations.

7. Are Subscriptions Better Than Flat-Fee Apps?

Not necessarily. Subscriptions only work well with cloud services and music and video content providers. And the games industry is currently experimenting with subscriptions, but with limited success. App developers planning on using this revenue model will need to continuously innovate so that users keep paying their subscription fees. However, a carefully orchestrated subscription service can become a reliable and growing income source.

8. Will Improving The UX Help?

Yes, and it should be on the to-do list of every appreneur. Users expect a highly responsive UX that’s simplified. Don’t bog them down with a disorganized layout, endless options, and unnecessary complexity. Moreover, implement AI that enhances your app’s personalization component, which will inevitably increase user retention.

9. What Makes Users Want To Pay To Use An App?

Most users won’t pay for apps, but the few that do have high expectations. If you’re planning on releasing a paid app, then ensure that it’s high quality with a full feature set. Utilize the latest trends in mobile app design to make your application more usable and visually appealing. Then, rigorously profile and test your app so that it works flawlessly on a wide variety of mobile devices.

In Conclusion

When taking cost and profitability factors into account, it’s worth considering the various revenue models available to app developers. They can choose to monetize their free applications with ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and even physical products. Alternatively, they can eschew all these methods and release a paid app providing its high quality. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop amazing apps that increase your profits.

Mobile App User Acquisition: 9 Tips For Attracting New Users

Embarking on the path of mobile app user acquisition is undoubtedly challenging. It’s especially tough for developers launching their first app and have limited or no experience in marketing. And, even seasoned developers may struggle to attract new users in today’s competitive marketplace. To help demystify the process, we offer nine handy tips for attracting new users to your upcoming app.

1. Why Do You Need To Create An MVP First?

It costs approximately $ 37,500 to develop a simple app and over $ 500,000 for a complex application. Now, let that sink in! For many appreneurs and enterprises, it’s a significant amount of money that shouldn’t go wasted. The last thing you’d ever want is to invest in an application that fails to deliver ROI.

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence for many enterprises launching their apps in today’s marketplace. And this happens because they release applications without having a grasp of what users truly want.

But there’s a smart way to gauge user interest without spending too much time and money on a project. Focus strictly on the essential features of your app by developing a minimum viable product (MVP). If your MVP gains traction, then you know that your app has potential and worth developing further. A typical iOS MVP example is releasing an app only for iPhones on launch day. Once the app has gained traction, it makes sense to release a future iteration on tvOS with additional features that suit this platform.

2. Why Should You Focus On App Store Optimization?

A critical app marketing strategy that you shouldn’t ignore involves app store optimization (ASO). Now, why is that? In simple terms, over 50% of users who choose to download an app do so by browsing through the App Store and Google Play. Thus, spend time and effort optimizing your app store page as you would your website.

There are several key ways to go about this that will bring about positive results. Firstly, come up with a catchy title and tweak your description so that these resonate with your audience. Make sure to keep these simple so that it’s easy for users to remember and understand what you’re conveying. Secondly, ensure that your icon and screenshots are visually pleasing and that your unique selling proposition (USP) is on point. Finally, keep a close eye on your metrics and tweak your storage page when necessary.

3. What Types Of App Marketing Work Best?

There are numerous ways to market your app, but you need to be careful about how you go about this. The type of app you make and the platforms you target will undoubtedly affect your app marketing strategy. Therefore, you’ll need to do extensive research before embarking on your marketing endeavors. Be sure to find out as much as possible about your target audience and competitors.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of ASO, which every app developer and marketer shouldn’t neglect. However, there’s more you can do to cut through the noise and get your app noticed. Start marketing early by publishing blog posts and creating videos showing how your app is coming along. A side benefit of this is that it allows you to gauge user interest and even receive feedback. Take things further by running polls and surveys to learn more about what features your potential audience wants.

Prepare both a physical press kit (PK) and an electronic press kit (EPK) to hand out to the appropriate groups, such as bloggers, influencers, and the media. These press kits should include a company description, staff bios, contact information, main features of your app, screenshots, relevant case studies, press coverage, and any awards received. Also, ensure that its graphic design is high quality and in line with your brand identity.

Distribute your PK to the appropriate parties at conventions and trade shows. And send your EPK via email or a file hosting service such as Dropbox. When approaching influencers and journalists, always establish rapport before sending your EPK in an unsolicited email. By reaching the right people in the industry, they’ll likely spread the word about your app to millions of potential users.

4. How To Encourage More Referrals?

Once you’ve launched your app, you’ll gradually start acquiring users and building up a fanbase. And it’s these loyal users that can potentially become ambassadors of your app. According to recent studies, approximately 83% of satisfied users would recommend a brand, but only 29% follow through. But that’s because most apps haven’t implemented the right tools to run a referral program. So, consider utilizing AI that identifies these loyal users and incentivizes them to refer your app to their friends and followers.

5. How To Increase Positive App Reviews?

Today’s users don’t have the time and patience to download or purchase lackluster or unappealing apps. Thus, they always read through reviews to decide whether or not to install yet another application on their smartphones. That’s why you must encourage your audience to leave a review after using your app. Include a pop-up notification that asks your users to leave a review and rating on your store page. If your app offers them a satisfactory experience, then it’s likely that they’ll leave positive reviews.

6. How To Improve Mobile App User Acquisition With Demos?

If you’re developing a paid app or subscription service, it becomes much harder to gain users. But you can sweeten the deal by offering a free trial or demo of your app, making users feel more confident to try it out on a whim. The trial version allows users to access all your app’s features for a limited period. Once the end of the trial period draws near, it notifies them to upgrade to the paid version so that they can continue enjoying the app’s key features.

7. What Are The Best Organic Mobile App User Acquisition Strategies?

Several effective organic mobile app user acquisition strategies can make a difference to your marketing endeavors. Start by leveraging all your social media channels by regularly engaging with your followers. Post engaging and relevant content that leads your audience to your store page. Furthermore, improve your website and SEO by creating articles, ebooks, infographics, and videos that provide value. Make sure to rank for the right keywords to drive traffic to your website and app organically.

8. How To Find Influencers To Test Your App?

Ideally, you want to find the right influencers and build long-term relationships with them. Not only will they promote your app to their followers, but they can also test your app and offer valuable feedback. Now, it’s relatively easy to find influencers on all social media platforms. But you’ll need to contact individuals that will actually be interested in working with you. Thus, only get in touch with influencers, which are in an industry or niche where your app will be useful.

9. Why Should You Create A Demo Video?

No app marketing strategy is complete without creating a demo video. Many users, particularly young adults in the 18-34 age demographic, enjoy watching YouTube videos. They prefer watching short and engaging videos instead of cable TV. Moreover, they’ve become accustomed to watching 30-second mobile ads and love to share videos on social media. That’s why it’s essential to create a short demo video for your mobile landing pages to drive interest.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to marketing apps and acquiring new users, it makes sense to utilize various methods. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach since your app, audience, and budget will largely determine the best course of action. Contact NS804 today to find out how we can help you acquire new users for your upcoming app.

How Much Does Firebase Cost And Should You Use It

Are you mulling over developer-focused questions, such as how much does Firebase cost? We’re well aware of how complex Google’s pricing structure for their flagship development platform can be.

Luckily, many of Firebase’s SDKs are free, and Google even offers a free tier to help you test the waters. And if you need to scale your app, there’s a paid tier that will give you access to the components you need.

While all this seems enticing, you may or may not be convinced whether to use it. Below, we delve deeper into Firebase to help you make an informed decision.

1. What Is Firebase?

Firebase started life in 2011 as a company specializing in development tools. Founding members; Andrew Lee and James Tamplin had previously established another startup called Envolve. At Envolve, they developed a chat service that many developers utilized to pass and sync application data. This occurrence spurred them on to create the Firebase Realtime Database API, which synchronizes data across mobile devices and the web.

In 2012, Firebase raised $ 1.1 million in seed funding from several venture capital firms and a further $ 5.6 million during 2013. The company didn’t rest on its laurels and later released Firebase Authentication and Firebase Hosting. And in October 2014, Google acquired Firebase and expanded its range of products and services.

2. How Much Does Firebase Cost?

The good news is that the cost of Firebase is flexible, which suits startups and enterprises operating on a budget. Google wisely offers developers a free tier dubbed as the “Spark Plan” for their various Firebase products. But do keep in mind that they do place limits on specific products. For example, Authentication services have a limit of 10,000 verification per month. The same services on their “Blaze Plan” paid tier costs $ 0.01 for phone verifications in the US, Canada, and India and $ 0.06 for other countries.

Firebase Realtime Database allows for 100 simultaneous connections, 1 GB stored, and 10 GB per month downloaded on the free tier. However, the Google Firebase cost on the paid tier translates to 200,000 per database, $ 5 per GB stored, and $ 1 per GB downloaded, while multiple databases per project are permitted. For both tiers, A/B Testing, Analytics, App Distribution, App Indexing, Cloud Messaging (FCM), Crashlytics, Dynamic Links, In-App Messaging, Performance Monitoring, Predictions, and Remote Config, are all free.

3. Are There Any Hidden Google Firebase Costs?

Yes, the cost of Firebase varies considerably depending on product and usage. It’s easy for costs to run out of control if you don’t keep an eye on Google Cloud pricing from day one. Moreover, cloud costs also vary widely according to location, which may have massive consequences for your project. As of January 2021, it costs $ 0.036 per 100,000 document reads for Los Angeles on Cloud Firestore. But it costs $ 0.06 per 100,000 document reads in South Carolina and $ 0.042 in Zürich.

Now, we know what you may be thinking. You don’t have the time and inclination to calculate tentative figures right now. Instead, you’d prefer a rough estimation of Cloud Firestore pricing.

Fortunately, Google does provide several handy price examples for your perusal. Expect to pay about $ 12.14 per month for an app with 50,000 installs and 5,000 daily active users. And about $ 292.02 per month for 1 million app installs and 100,000 daily active users, and approximately $ 2951.52 per month for 10 million app installs and 1 million daily active users.

4. What Types Of Apps Can You Create With Firebase?

Firebase’s wide range of components makes it easy to create almost any type of mobile and web app. You can mix and match all these APIs to add the functionality that you need.

Add AdMob and analytics in your upcoming mobile game, authentication and cloud messaging for your e-commerce app, and cloud functionality and storage for your peer-to-peer photo-sharing service. And as your app grows, it’s a relatively simple process to integrate additional Firebase components that your project requires.

5. What Are The Different Firebase Products?

Firebase has split up its product range into three segments: Build, Release & Monitor, and Engage. Carefully consider what products you’ll use when conducting your Google Firebase cost analysis.

Build products include Authentication, Cloud Firestore, Cloud Functions, Cloud Messaging, Cloud Storage, Firebase ML (BETA), Hosting, Realtime Database, and Remote Config.

Release & Monitor products include App Distribution (BETA), Crashlytics, Google Analytics, Performance Monitoring, Remote Config, and Test Lab.

Engage products include A/B Testing (BETA), Authentication, Crashlytics, Cloud Messaging, Dynamic Links, Google Analytics, In-App Messaging (BETA), Predictions, and Remote Config.

6. How Popular Is Firebase?

Firebase enjoys relative popularity in several industries, namely, art & entertainment, computer electronics & technology, and travel & tourism. Leading high traffic websites such as Flipkart, Quora, and Worldstar use Firebase, while Accenture, Instacart, and Twitch use it as part of their tech stack.

7. What Is The Cost Of Firebase For Monitoring App Performance?

It’s currently free on both plans.

8. Should You Try Using Firebase On Your Own?

No, the Firebase SDKs require experienced developers to make them work properly. We recommend that you read up on the pitfalls of developing apps for free or going it alone. Developing, testing, and marketing apps is best left to the experts. It’s paramount to have a solid background in several frameworks, programming languages, markup languages, and software development paradigms. First-timers and novice developers lack this deep understanding, which will put their projects at risk.

9. What Does Firebase Integrate With?

Firebase offers key integrations with AdMob, BigQuery, Data Studio, Google App Campaigns, Google Marketing Platform, Jira, PagerDuty, Play Store, and Slack. Furthermore, it integrates with popular frameworks such as AngularJS, Flutter, and React. Consider if you’ll be using any of the above integrations during your cost of Firebase analysis.

10. Is Firebase Right For Your Project?

Though Firebase started as a messaging API for mobile and web apps, it’s primarily aimed at developers seeking easy and reliable integration with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). So, if you rely exclusively on Google’s back-end infrastructure for your upcoming app, then Firebase is an apt choice. You’ll need to register for a GCP account, which will give you access to Firebase and Google Maps API. Google does offer a 90-day trial with $ 300 credit to help you get started.

Many developers choose Firebase mainly for its analytics and authentication components. But its other SDKs do integrate easily and make it possible to scale an app when necessary. Furthermore, recent enhancements to Firebase make it feasible as a cost-effective and robust serverless solution.

However, we need to offer a word of warning before using Firebase. In 2019, Google shut down Google Analytics for mobile apps and encouraged developers to use Firebase Analytics instead. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an easy switch since Firebase isn’t as straightforward as many developers had hoped. That’s why we recommend that you consider alternatives, such as Kumalos Mobile App Analytics, which powers a plethora of apps developed by NS804.

The Bottom Line

So, how much does Firebase cost? Free if you’re starting a small or hobby project. But expect costs to rise significantly, especially for medium to large applications that garner thousands and millions of downloads.

But should you use it? Well, that depends on how well you get on with Firebase’s various SDKs. If you need a more straightforward solution with powerful tools, then consider alternatives, such as Kumalos. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can develop your upcoming app, with all the necessary integrations to make it shine!

5 Tips for iOS & Android App Development

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

1. The Latest Trends in App Development for 2021

 

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

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

2. Supporting iOS and Android

 

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

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

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

3. Leveraging Results on iOS

 

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

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

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

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

4. Leveraging Results on Android

 

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

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

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

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

5. Finding the right partner for mobile app development

 

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

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

Must Know Mobile App Design Trends For 2021

Every appreneur needs to embrace the latest trends in mobile app design to stay ahead of the curve. Technology always brings about exciting developments that set the tone for the coming years. If we study the mobile app design trends for 2020, we concur that mobile apps have matured and become refined. However 2021 promises a lot more than just refinement, as we’ll reveal below.

1. Latest Trends In Mobile App Design

 

With the year coming to an end, we’ll quickly go over the mobile app design trends for 2020. Even though it was a tumultuous year, technology continued its evolutionary path. We all had the opportunity to enjoy advanced animations, convenient voice search, enhanced aesthetics, personalized dashboards, and universal device UX in our mobile apps. So, it wasn’t an entirely terrible year for either developers or users.

But what mobile app industry trends do we have to look forward to in 2021? We can expect further improvements in aesthetics and UX design, with better layering and use of art assets. But beyond the enhanced visual elements, mobile app technology will take another leap forward.

Further AI integration, adoption of mobile commerce, growth of 5G, improved security, marketing via instant apps, and more cloud-based storage options will define app development in the coming year. Furthermore, the number of target platforms will grow due to the gradual adoption of foldable and wearable devices. While the mobile app design trends for 2020 proved beneficial, we’re incredibly excited about what 2021 brings forth.

2. Incorporate AI Into Apps

 

AI has become commonplace in many mobile applications in recent years. But like all good mobile app industry trends, we can expect further adoption of AI in 2021. And there’s a good reason for this, considering that AI enhances a wide variety of useful applications.

Think about the apps that make your life easier and how they automate mundane tasks. Whether it’s autocorrecting your text, becoming your digital assistant, or sorting large data sets, AI has become an integral component. Be sure to incorporate AI into your upcoming apps to provide users with the functionality they crave.

Furthermore, you can enhance existing features with AI. For example, you can improve an app’s UI with the addition of conversational AI, which notifies users about new products and services based on their behavioral patterns via the UI.

3. Consider The Growing 5G Trend

 

We’re right on the cusp of the wide adoption of the fifth generation of cellular technology (5G). And it’s quite a big deal because it will radically transform all industries on a global scale. From the communications industry through to the farming sector, 5G will help solve many real-world problems.

But what does this mean for mobile users and developers?

Users can download high definition movies at rapid speeds and stream immersive gaming content that would only run on powerful devices. Undoubtedly, this presents opportunities for developers to create more engaging applications than ever before. Developers can now deliver compelling AR, VR, and XR experiences without worrying about network bottlenecks.

4. The Rise Of M-Commerce

 

It’s no secret that e-commerce has changed consumer purchasing habits forever. But it won’t end there. Many mobile users realize that they can enjoy the benefits of online shopping directly on their smartphones. And the statistics from the US market show a lot of promise about the future of mobile commerce.

According to Episerver, 53% of US consumers use their smartphones to shop online. And according to Statista, almost half of consumers prefer to conduct product research via mobile retail apps, while Emarketer expects US mobile commerce sales to reach $432.22 by 2022. Savvy developers should implement the latest trends in mobile app design for their upcoming m-commerce solutions.

5. Increased Interest In Folding Devices And Apps

 

The recent releases of the Microsoft Surface Duo, Moto Razr, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip have certainly raised eyebrows. These devices offer their unique take on the much desired folding capability, which enhances mobility and versatility.

Developers have started optimizing their existing mobile apps to take advantage of these foldable screens. But many users will probably delay buying folding smartphones until they’re cheaper, slimmer, and more durable. However, we should expect improvements in 2021 that will entice users to make the jump.

6. More Cloud-Based Storage

 

One of the most common mobile app industry trends involves cloud-based storage. While cloud storage is hardly new, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be relevant in 2021. Developers will continue to rely on the cloud to sync and store data for their mobile applications. Moreover, users enjoy the convenience of cloud storage, which allows them to use the same apps on various devices without losing their work once they switch to another device or run out of power.

7. Improved App Security

 

With an ever-growing number of users relying on banking and m-commerce apps, it’s essential to improve app security. And with the increased frequency of data breaches, users have become more discerning about what apps they’ll download. That’s why developers need to implement cryptography, encrypt their source code, perform security checks, reduce sensitive data storage, and secure the backend to mitigate security issues.

8. Marketing With Instant Apps

 

Android Instant Apps have increased in popularity because they allow users to try out apps without downloading them. All a user has to do is click on a web link on Google Search to open an Instant App. Furthermore, users can conveniently share pages from an Instant App via social media, which opens a ton of marketing opportunities.

Businesses operating in competitive markets can leverage Instant Apps to sell products and services due to their seamless nature. Apple’s iOS 14 introduces App Clips, which offers similar functionality to Android’s Instant Apps.

9. Designing For Wearables

 

When considering the latest trends in mobile app design, we can’t help but think of wearables. Nowadays, many people wear smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Samsung Galaxy Watch, to name a few. Even traditional watchmakers such as Fossil have introduced their own range of smartphones. And while Apple leads this market segment, we can expect Android smartphones to grow in popularity during 2021.

These wearable devices present many opportunities for developers to engage users in unique ways. After all, these users choose wearables because they like to stay connected while exercising, running, and swimming. They want to receive calls, messages, and social media notifications, even when they don’t have their smartphones nearby. Thus, developers should add functionality that facilitates ongoing communication for smartwatch owners in their upcoming apps.

In Conclusion

Mobile app industry trends present new opportunities and challenges for developers. 2021 promises to bring a plethora of exciting trends that we’ve covered in detail above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create mobile apps that engage and enthrall users.

The Age of The Appreneur

What is an Appreneur?

With more and more entrepreneurs focusing on mobile app development, coming up with the term appreneur was almost too easy and already feels natural. Appreneur is a term for any entrepreneur who built a mobile app as their business. This includes main stake holders in mobile app development companies, early investors in mobile apps, and the like.

There are plenty of household entrepreneurs that could be classified as an appreneur. Co-founders of Uber, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, serve as a pair of examples, Jeff Bazos, even with as much bad press as he receives, could be considered an appreneur through the creation of his Amazon empire. Bazos has successfully built a competitor to Netflix and Hulu, while also being the most popular e-marketplace around.

Also competing with grocery stores through their WholeFoods partnership, Amazon has an impressive run as a serial appreneur. Prolific early-investor and content creator, Gary Vaynerchuck could also be considered a serial appreneur as an early investor. Though his energy is often intense, his atmospheric enthusiasm for competition in the marketplace is refreshing.

The point Vaynerchuk makes is that there shouldn’t be a need to tear other people down in the pursuit of any venture. Yet that shouldn’t limit anyone’s growth potential. The sentiment is healthy competition, and an emphasis on strong brand reputation.

The Rise of The Appreneur

Appreneurs have been around for the better part of two decades, harking back to the turn of the century, bulky box-monitors, and the creation of Apple, a behemoth tech company and mobile app developer that exists in a tier so far above the rest; it’s actual competition is few in number and the market is considered by some to be an oligopoly. One competitor of Apple is of course, Google. The two pioneering tech and mobile app companies have provided some of the most incredible technological innovations in history, and each continue to dominate the mobile-app market. That said, history shows that all empires fall eventually, and who’s to say an app being developed today won’t rise to the challenge down the road?

With Apple and Google leading the way, they pave the path for other developers to enter the race through their platforms or mobile app stores. Simultaneously driving popularity to mobile apps and gaining organic traffic.

Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Zoom and TikTok, Uber, Skype, and countless other mobile app companies have been started by an individual appreneur, or a small group of appreneurs, before there was even a word for it. Today, mobile apps are seeing a huge growth in popularity as COVID-19 changes the way business is conducted, and how people conduct their day-to-day lives. With record first-time downloads across the Apple app store, and the Google Play store, the mobile app market is thriving in a time of economic uncertainty.

As interest rates approach 1% and even lower, budding appreneurs who have been procrastinating on developing their mobile app have an extremely rare opportunity to enter a thriving market within an otherwise suffering marketplace, which offers a significant amount of upside.

There are appreneurs in every market, and every industry, as technology and mobile apps have become a staple in business practices across the globe. To find out more about NS804 mobile app development, contact us, there’s no better time to develop than right now.