Tag Archive for: Appreneurship

Is An App Really Worth The Investment?

How do you know if your upcoming app project is worth the investment? Well, there are no easy answers if you don’t know what indicators reveal the potential success of your app project. And given the propensity for media hype to center on the most popular apps, this only muddies the waters.

One way to test whether your app idea will hit the mark is by creating a minimum viable product (MVP). But this isn’t always a feasible option, especially if you’ve already started developing a fully featured app. 

Or you may already have released an app that was languishing in the app marketplace. Then you decided to update it and noticed an uptick in downloads and user reviews. However, you’re still unsure whether this updated app warrants further investment. Below, we reveal several of the most pertinent reasons for whether an app is worth the investment

Invest In An App To Stay On Brand

If you’re trying to promote the company brand or an appreneur that develops apps for brands, an app is worth the investment. And that’s because you’re trying to reach customers in as many avenues as possible. Furthermore, you want your brand identity and messaging to be uniform across the board. 

But how would you stay on brand with an app? Well, it’s likely that your company already has a website. It’s also likely that the graphic design, photography, and user interface (UI) reflect the identity of the company brand. 

So, when you decide to develop an app, you’ve already got a blueprint of the design language. The colors, gradients, fonts, icons, user experience (UX), and art assets should follow a standardized format. Once you release your app, customers already familiar with your website will have an easy time navigating your app.

Apps With High Retention Rates Are Worth The Investment

We may have entered the post-COVID-19 phase of the pandemic, but the work-from-home trend continues. That means that many workers won’t be going back to the office or have little desire to return. And that’s a good thing for appreneurs, as having millions of people working from home opens up many opportunities.

Not only that, business, education, and fitness apps boast the highest retention rates. And if you’re targeting any of these market segments and solving a real need, your app may be worth the investment. Moreover, since users will spend significant time with your app, it’s yet another opportunity to promote your brand and stay on brand.

Take Advantage Of New Hardware Features

Smartphones and tablets constantly evolve, especially when manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung release their premium models. Users of these devices expect developers to take advantage of their additional features and innovations. 

And it’s now possible to deliver content and experiences that wouldn’t seem out of place on a powerful desktop PC. So, if you’re a boutique software developer specializing in specific app niches, consider if these are a good fit for premium devices. 

For example, you could be developing an illustration app that takes advantage of the 120Hz refresh rates of these devices. The higher refresh rate allows for smoother drawing when using a stylus, which isn’t possible on 60Hz screens found on lower-end models. Such an application would attract and satisfy professional users willing to pay for using your app.

The Bottom Line

Companies that invest in apps can further increase the stature of their brand across the web and mobile. And new hardware and the work-from-home movement offer appreneurs many opportunities to spread their wings and develop apps that truly are worth the investment. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop apps that will excite and satisfy your users!

iOS Vs. Android: Which To Use?

When choosing the ideal mobile platform, we often jump into the common iOS Vs. Android debate. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we should attempt to weigh the pros and cons of these two leading platforms.

But we know what some of you may be thinking: it’s a done deal, iOS is the better platform, and we should move on. After all, it’s no secret that iOS is the slicker and more user-friendly platform with many satisfied users worldwide. However, it’s wise not to rush to conclusions without investigating the Android platform rigorously.

Due to the open nature of the Android platform and the need to support devices from different manufacturers, the user experience isn’t as polished as on iOS. But Android presents developers and users with a few advantages unique to the platform. 

The ability to distribute and sideload apps on Android outside of Google Play is a boon for enterprises and open-source developers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about iOS, as Apple prohibits sideloading and app distribution outside the App Store.

Another benefit of Android is the sheer size of its global market share, which stands at 69.74% as of January 2022. And that’s not surprising considering the wide availability of cheap Android devices that appeal to users in developing countries. So, it’s an important platform that no developer that wants to target a global audience can ignore.

But there are many more considerations in the iOS Vs. Android debate that we need to look at in more detail. Below, we reveal what those are and how they may impact your choices as an app developer.

iOS Vs. Android: Don’t Allow Fanboyism To Influence You

We all have biases, and these often influence our choices in life. But these biases may prove detrimental, especially when making crucial business decisions. As an appreneur, developer, or business leader, you need to think clearly about the types of apps you plan to make and what platforms you wish to target. 

In most cases, the answer is simple: you will likely target both Android and iOS. But there are situations where you should target a single mobile platform. And the mobile platform that you ultimately choose should align strictly with your business goals.  

So what does this mean exactly? Ideally, you want to maximize the reach of your app by targeting the platform where it will likely find its target audience. 

Thus, your decision-making process should consist of reliable mobile platform statistics and rigorous research of your target audience. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort to maximize your app’s success.   

And the last thing you should ever do is base your decision on platform fanboyism. Perhaps, you love Apple and all its products and can’t wait to develop an app for iOS. Or you’re the proud owner of high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones and only want to target Android.

No matter how much you love a brand or product line, don’t allow this to cloud your judgment. Instead, put the interests of your business and users first!

1. Foldable Devices

The introduction of Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip & Fold devices have revolutionized the smartphone space. And that’s because the additional screen real estate helps enhance productivity. 

Consider how much better apps such as Office 365 or Trello work on foldable phones than they do on standard smartphones. Users now have additional workspace to get work done far more efficiently. And that’s because they won’t need to scroll as much as they would on non-foldable devices.

So if you’re developing a productivity app that targets foldable devices, you’ve only got one choice — Android. Currently, Apple hasn’t released any foldable iOS devices, but they have announced the iPhone Flip. But there’s no set release date yet, though it’s speculated for a 2023 or 2024 launch.

2. Hardcore Gaming

Both Android and iOS are excellent platforms for gaming, especially for casual pick-up-play titles. But in recent years, there’s been an emergence of hardcore mobile games and gaming smartphones. 

Manufacturers such as Razer have been instrumental in pushing forward powerful devices that utilize high-end components. And that’s resulted in their devices featuring impressive GPUs and high refresh rates reaching 120Hz and beyond. Given their proficiency in manufacturing powerful PC gaming laptops, much of that know-how has gone into their Android devices. 

But what does all this mean for mobile gaming? Firstly, this shows that the mobile gaming market has matured significantly, as users crave experiences close to those found on PCs and consoles. And secondly, it’s the Android platform leading the way in hardcore gaming device choice and titles. 

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t release a hardcore game on iOS. But you’ll need to target Apple’s flagship smartphones, as these have the specs capable of powering intensive games. And that’s a limited market segment given the high cost of these flagship devices.

3. Marketplace Diversity

When it comes to iOS, there’s no marketplace diversity as users can only download apps from the App Store. And from a user’s point of view, it’s great to have one convenient and secure place to get hold of apps. 

But things are different on the Android platform. Users can download from several stores, such as Google Play, Amazon Appstore, APKPure, Aptoide, and F-Droid. Furthermore, Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Store cater to those using devices from the respective manufacturers. 

And given that it’s a relatively simple process to sideload apps on Android, there’s no need for an app store. Any developer can distribute their Android apps directly from their website or another channel.

The freedom to distribute apps in such a manner should appeal to developers that create custom apps for enterprises. Or even enterprises that want to install their in-house apps on employee phones without relying on any app store.  

4. Security Considerations

If you’re developing an app that needs to be on a more secure platform, then iOS is a good choice. Due to the closed nature and tight integration of iOS, it’s an operating system that offers higher security than Android. However, this doesn’t mean that iOS is hack-proof or not susceptible to malware and viruses. 

And given that Google and Samsung have gone to great strides to improve security, the gap between iOS and specific Android devices isn’t as wide as it used to be. But iOS still has an edge in the security department for the time being.

5. User Demographics And Engagement

Android enthusiasts may not like to hear this, but the hard truth is that iOS users are a lot more valuable. And that’s because iPhone users fall in a higher income bracket and spend more on apps. Not only that, but they also engage more with apps, especially in the entertainment and games categories. 

However, Google Play is where most new apps get discovered and downloaded at a higher rate. And generally, Android users prefer to download and engage with social apps such as TikTok. 

If you’re planning on developing mobile games or paid apps, iOS should be your first port of call. But if you’re launching a social app, you’ll find your audience on Android.

The Bottom Line

When we deliberate the iOS Vs. Android question, we’re often looking for an easy answer. We covered several of the most critical factors when deciding on a platform. And we pointed out where one outshines the other and where they’re almost equal. Therefore, you’ll need to consider all these factors and how they’ll line up with your upcoming app project. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create stunning apps on either iOS or Android. 

What Investors Want To See In An App Startup

If you’ve been wondering whether your latest idea could turn into a profitable app startup, then you’re not alone. Every day, developers reach out to tech investors to fund their projects. And a few succeed in attracting these investors and turning their minimum viable products (MVP) into the next big thing!

Of course, not everyone has such luck, with many developers left out in the cold. Their underfunded apps languish in the app stores, and user interest dwindles to a trickle. But with the right strategy, it’s possible to win over app startup investors, giving you the impetus to succeed rapidly. Here are a few handy tips on what you need to do.

Learn From Startup Success Stories

You could have the freshest and most unique app idea, but that doesn’t mean it will catch on. Whether we like it or not, market trends play a pivotal role in determining success. So take the time to investigate what apps do well in today’s market and attract investment.

Fortunately, there are many excellent resources to help you do just this. Start by reading tech-oriented news sites such as 9to5Mac, AppleInsider, Android Authority, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, The Verge, and Wired to learn about the latest and upcoming developments. Then, use analytics and data intelligence platforms such as App Annie and Apptopia to gain insights into competing and top-trending apps.

But you’ll also want to find tech investors and learn more about the startups they’re funding. And one of the best sites for this purpose is Crunchbase that features detailed information about acquisitions, angel investors, companies, funding rounds, private equity firms, and venture capitalists. If you do your homework, you’ll find potential app startup investors and key people to contact here.

Create A Marketable App With Monetization In Mind

If you want to attract investors, be careful about how you position your app. Ensure that you’re creating a quality product that fulfills the wants and needs of the target audience. Moreover, ensure that you’re offering functionality superior to that of competitors. Or that you’re introducing an innovative feature that makes your app indispensable to users.

You’ll also need to market the app properly to reach as many users as possible. Tech investors want to see ongoing user acquisition, even if your app is earning minimal revenues in its early stages.

Also, implement a monetization strategy that incentivizes users to upgrade to the paid version. This move will help convince app startup investors of the earning potential of your mobile app. Its financial feasibility will determine whether investors can achieve a good return on investment (ROI). 

Why An MVP Is The Right Choice For A Startup? 

Developing a full-fledged app to draw investors may be a risky choice for a startup. Not only is this option costly, but development will take longer, and your app will reach the market later. But an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to complete since it has the bare minimum functionality.

More importantly, after releasing the MVP, your potential investors can ascertain its viability. They’ll gauge market fit, target audience reaction, and overall feasibility. You’ll also have access to valuable analytics, which you can share with potential investors. And you’ll also have proven that you’re committed to the project and have a capable team able to release an app on time.

In Conclusion

Every startup company dreams of creating the next Instagram, Telegram, or TikTok and taking the app world by storm. While it’s not easy to develop an app that gains such massive traction overnight, it’s not impossible either.

One of the best ways to give your app a fighting chance is to attract the right investor to fund your project. And you can do this by creating an MVP that shows significant growth potential. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop apps and MVPs that turn heads!

Best Android Apps To Install On Your Phone

It’s never easy compiling a list of the best Android apps. After all, there are a plethora of excellent apps available for download on Google Play. But there are also many low-quality and gimmicky apps that are a complete waste of time. And then, some apps pose a serious cybersecurity risk, which you should avoid downloading in the first place.

Thus, the criteria for choosing apps to add to our list is straightforward. We focused on best-in-class apps that ooze quality, are snappy, and solve users’ problems effectively.

And we disqualified apps that have redundant features, lack regular updates, and suffer from ongoing issues. We also didn’t add any Google apps, as many come pre-installed with Android devices.

1. Brave Private Web Browser

Surfing the web has become increasingly risky recently. That’s because hackers use vulnerabilities found in browser extensions and websites to harm users. And given that the Android platform is often a target for these bad actors, most browsers don’t offer sufficient protection.

But that’s where Brave Private Web Browser comes in. It’s fast, lightweight, and secure and doesn’t overwhelm users with unnecessary features. And its built-in blockers are very effective at dealing with those pesky ads, cookies, and scripts.

2. GitHub

Every appreneur and software engineer should have the GitHub app installed on their Android phone. With many development teams working remotely, it’s essential to have a tool that allows them to collaborate while using the world’s most popular code repository.

GitHub makes it easy to merge and review pull requests, respond to comments, and provide feedback. It’s also lightweight and boasts a clutterless and intuitive user interface (UI).

3. Microsoft Office: Edit & Share

We couldn’t make a list of the best Android apps without including Microsoft’s flagship productivity app. Microsoft Office: Edit & Share is the swiss army knife of productivity tools, as it allows users to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. It’s also great for taking notes and viewing PDFs.

And as a testament to its power and versatility, this very article was written entirely in Microsoft Office on a mid-range Samsung Galaxy. It’s such an essential app that every executive, office worker, or student should have it installed.

4. Todoist: To-Do List & Tasks

Todoist: To-Do List & Tasks boasts over 20 million users and has received Google’s Editor’s Choice in 2020. And while there are many good to-do list apps in Google Play, few have an equivalent and comprehensive set of features.

Its clean and simple UI makes it easy for users to organize tasks, set reminders, and keep track of progress. Moreover, it integrates flawlessly with Amazon Alexa, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Slack. And it’s designed to run on a wide variety of devices, including the Wear OS Smartwatch. With so much going for it, it’s little wonder that it made our best Android apps list. 

5. Viber – Safe Chats And Calls

There are many good voice chat and messenger apps on Google Play, so this was a difficult choice. But we opted for Viber for several reasons. For one, it’s renowned for its rock-solid end-to-end encryption, giving users high levels of privacy and security.

Secondly, Viber users can make low-cost international costs and even communicate with those using landlines. It’s a feature that makes it stand out from most of its competitors and a good reason for businesses to use it. And thirdly, it boasts a large and vibrant community of users and includes excellent group chat capabilities. And it even syncs and transmits messages to the Wear OS Smartwatch.

The Bottom Line

Our list of the best Android apps is short but squarely focussed on the applications that can unlock the true potential of your smartphone. You’re carrying a powerful device in your pocket that’s an indispensable business machine, provided you install the right apps.

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal Android apps to empower and engage your users.

How Much Does It Cost To Build An App Like Waze

Nowadays, many drivers plan their daily routes using apps such as Waze. And it’s easy to see why that is, considering how much it enhances the driving experience. A few of Waze’s features include enhanced Google Assistant integration, lane suggestions, and traffic notifications. All these give drivers an accurate visual representation of their trip, how long it will take, and when they’ll encounter traffic.

If you’re considering a real-time navigation app as your next project, Waze can serve as inspiration. But developing such an app is also complex and costly, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

A Brief History Of Waze

Waze has roots dating back to 2006 as a community project known as FreeMap Israel. The project introduced a free-to-use digital database and map of Israel. And its enthusiastic and growing community of users contributed significantly to its early success. In 2008, Waze was established as a company to commercialize the project.

The company then raised $25 million in 2010 and $35 million in 2011. And after updating the app, it presented users with curated points of interest in real-time. And in 2012, Waze offered advertisers and resellers the opportunity to advertise via a web interface. It also extended this opportunity to news networks in the US and Brazil.

All that hard work and growth did not go unnoticed. In 2013, the GSM Association awarded Waze the Best Overall Mobile App. But the good fortunes of the company didn’t end there. In June 2013, Google acquired Waze for the princely sum of $966 million. 

The acquisition drew attention from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) due to the similarities between Waze and Google Maps. However, the FTC did not challenge the acquisition, and it went through successfully. 

Key Features Of Waze

What makes Waze stand out is its effective collection and dissemination of crowdsourced information. However, it doesn’t rely solely on the information provided by users but also from the relevant state agencies. 

So what type of information is reported to Waze? Usually, information about construction work and traffic events, likely to hinder travel. In some cases, users may report the locations of traffic monitoring cameras to warn other drivers. Furthermore, registered users may alter map data using the app’s built-in editor. 

But the range of features has grown significantly over the years. It’s possible to choose a navigation app voice from celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, DJ Khaled, and Kevin Darnell Hart, to name a few. Users can also record their voices to serve as navigation prompts. 

Moreover, Waze introduced trip suggestions, lane guidance, and specialized routes. The app isn’t limited to car drivers but also accommodates motorcyclists and those using carpools. 

More importantly, Waze has partnered with popular apps, media networks, and services. Users enjoy additional functionality due to Waze’s integration with the following: 

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Deezer
  • Google Assistant
  • iHeartRadio
  • NPR One
  • Pandora
  • Scribd
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • TuneIn
  • YouTube Music

Similarities And Differences To Google Maps

Google Maps and Waze are both owned by Google and may seem very similar. But given the strong branding and market positioning of Google Maps, most users will opt for this particular navigation app. However, we need to look at both apps in more detail to appreciate what makes each unique.

  • Advertising: Waze displays banner ads every time drivers come to a stop. These ads tend to distract and not to everyone’s tastes. Alternatively, Google Maps takes a more subtle approach by displaying small square icons on the map of businesses that have paid to advertise. 
  • Data collection: Both apps collect a plethora of data about road conditions and traffic events. But Waze relies on user-submitted information, whereas Google Maps taps into a wider pool of information, including historical data.
  • Navigation: Waze always tries to find the most efficient and quickest route to the destination. Alternatively, Google Maps will suggest the most eco-friendly and safest route instead.
  • Public transportation: Waze caters to drivers and not those using public transport. On the other hand, Google Maps greatly helps public transport users, cyclists, hikers, and pedestrians.
  • Road hazard and traffic notifications: An area where Waze truly shines is notifying drivers about upcoming road hazards and traffic. As long as enough users have reported these incidents, Waze will find the best route around them. However, Google Maps seldom provides a similarly time-saving route.
  • User interface (UI) design: Since both apps are Google products, they have good UI design. Waze has a cartoony appearance with a simple UI since it’s aimed primarily at drivers. Google Map’s UI is a bit more complex as it doesn’t only cater to drivers but also businesses. 

Cost Of Development

It’s possible to start creating a compelling navigation app with several core features and the right development partner, such as NS804. Here’s what features you’ll need to have basic functionality:

  • Authorization and user profile: It’s crucial to allow users to log in via their emails and social media accounts. Thus, it’s necessary to implement an integration pipeline with the Facebook SDK and Twitter Kit, at the very least.
  • Camera functionality: The app must work flawlessly with the cameras and file systems on both Android and iOS. Users will want to take photos of traffic incidents and store them on their devices or share them with other users.
  • Chat and user reviews features: Users will want to chat with other users, leave reviews and ratings about rides, and share road trip information with others on social media. All these features will require backend development to store and retrieve data on a server. Additionally, further social media integrations will be necessary.  
  • Geolocation mapping and navigation: Geolocation determines a user’s location, while navigation allows the user to pick the destination. It’s essential to integrate with Apple Maps (iOS only), Google Maps, and Mapbox Maps SDK to make this work.
  • Voice assistant: It’s potentially dangerous for drivers to look at the navigation map while driving. Therefore, it’s better to offer navigation coordinates by voice with API.AI, Google Cloud API, and Google Maps Directions API.

The cost of a basic navigation app with the above features will range between $40,000 and $60,000 and take four to six weeks to develop. But you’ll likely need additional features such as machine learning (ML), ridesharing, planned driver, Spotify, and ad integrations in the long run. As you add these features, expect development costs to reach $150,000 and beyond.

Development And Maintenance Considerations

Developing and maintaining a navigation app is a massive undertaking. After all, it relies heavily on data collection and sharing relevant data in real-time. And it must allow users to post photos of traffic jams and other road incidents. But it must also integrate with social media and a wide range of apps to increase its functionality. 

Then, to drive further engagement, the app may need gamification features. Waze offers a ranking system, incentivizing users to score points and gain a high position on the scoreboard. Thus, users can compare their level and score with their friends and other Waze users.

Since app development is an ongoing process, it won’t be necessary to roll out all features from day one. But it’s crucial to maintain and update the app at a regular cadence for the best results. As we’ve seen with Waze, it was a project that started life over 15 years ago and then gradually introduced new features and partnerships. 

The Bottom Line

Waze is a prime example of how indispensable and life-changing the navigation app is in people’s lives. It’s not cheap to develop and maintain such an app, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor for developers and appreneurs that see the big picture and how lucrative it can be in the long term. Contact NS804 to find out how we can help you develop phenomenal navigation apps that will empower your users.

Android App Development Without Programming

Android app development can be challenging, especially for developers with limited experience in Java or Kotlin. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as it’s possible to create phenomenal apps with no coding. Below, we unveil several handy tools that will let you complete your apps quickly and easily. 

1. Choosing An App Builder For Your Next Project

Perhaps you’re a novice developer or don’t have team members proficient in programming languages, such as Java or Kotlin. But you have a ton of great app ideas that you want to see come to fruition. So what do you do? Well, you could seek the services of a professional development studio to help you complete your project. But if that’s not an option, then you could consider using an app builder.

Nowadays, there are a plethora of app builders available that make Android app development a breeze. They make it easy for cash-strapped or non-technical appreneurs to create apps without typing a single line of code. Here’s a list of several popular solutions for developing Android apps on the fly:

  • AppMachine – Slick and powerful, AppMachine utilizes several pre-coded building blocks that help simplify the development process. More advanced users can integrate JavaScript and web services that further extend the features of this app builder.
  • Appy Pie – It’s a cloud-based development suite that allows non-technical developers to create chatbots, mobile apps, and websites. The company has introduced Android App Maker, a drag and drop solution integrating analytics without requiring Google SDK kits.
  • GoodBarber – GoodBarber offers either a content management system (CMS) or shopping app solutions. Using its drag and drop interface, non-technical developers can easily target Android, iOS, and the web.

2. No Coding Solutions For Mobile Game Developers

If you’re a mobile game developer, then you’re spoiled for choice as far as game engines and tools are concerned. And that’s due to the rise of indie and mobile gaming over the past decade. Thus, creating fertile ground for a variety of developer-friendly solutions that democratize game development.

While it’s possible to develop rudimentary games using an app builder, it’s not the wisest choice. And the reason for this is that modern game engines come with all the necessary tools geared almost exclusively for game development purposes. Here’s a shortlist of commercial game engines that allow you to complete projects with no coding at all:

  • Construct 3 – An easy-to-use web-based game development suite that’s ideal for making 2D arcade-style games. It uses a visual scripting system consisting of an event sheet with optional JavaScript integration.
  • GameMaker Studio 2 – It’s the grandaddy of user-friendly game engines, which helped bring game development to masses of hobbyists. Nowadays, it’s a professional suite renowned for its proprietary Drag and Drop™ system that facilitates rapid development.
  • Unity – Boasting an excellent editor and powerful tools, Unity has become the world’s most popular game engine. Developers gain access to several indispensable tools, such as Bolt, a node-based visual scripting asset.
  • Unreal Engine – As the most powerful tool on this list, it is the best choice for projects requiring high-fidelity visuals. Thus, the engine is incredibly complex but features its proprietary Blueprint visual scripting system, allowing designers and non-technical staff to create gameplay systems quickly.

3. Take Your Android App Development Endeavors To The Next Level

While app builders and off-the-shelf game engines make life easier, they may not always be the right choice for you. App builders are often limited and not suitable for more complex or specialized projects. Likewise, many popular game engines have certain limitations and are only suitable for specific game genres. Therefore, carefully consider whether your Android app will benefit from a more custom-made approach

If that’s the case, then it’s best to seek the services of a professional studio that specializes in Android app development. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help take your upcoming project to the next level!

Why Emotional Design Is A Game Changer For App Developers

Implementing emotional design for your upcoming project can have a far-reaching impact. It can take your project down a path that will set it apart from competing apps. Instead of following the same trends as others, emotional design allows you to create an app that will leave users with a long-lasting positive perception. Below, we unveil what this concept encompasses and how you should apply it.

1. Focus On The User Experience 

As an appreneur, you’re looking at ways to make your app appealing and sticky. And there are several ways to go about this, one of which is focusing on the user experience (UX). But to get this right, you’ll need to grasp what problem you’re trying to solve. 

For example, you could be developing a filter app that automatically touches up users’ selfies. And your target audience consists predominantly of young women who want to snap the most amazing photos of themselves. Furthermore, these women don’t care about the technicalities involved in fixing their selfies and are looking for a quick and easy solution. So, your app’s user interface (UI) should be clean and streamlined while being devoid of any complex features.

But, likely, your closest competitors are also treading a similar path. So what should you do to make your app stand out? Well, many developers are capable of delivering apps, which are slick and minimalistic. Yet, it’s all too easy to follow these common design trends set by popular apps in the marketplace. And thus, you’ll end up in a situation where you’re following the herd instead of being a trailblazer.

Sticking to tried and tested design principles may make sense. After all, your users have become accustomed to navigating apps in a certain way. They also have certain expectations in how an app should look and function, which you can’t ignore. However, having a better understanding of design fundamentals can help you take your app to the next level.

2. Enter Emotional Design

App developers not only need to understand their tools and when to use these, but they also need to broaden their horizons. They need to study human behavior and how people interact with everyday items. Objects such as a doorknob, foldable chair, or a hairdryer and how people engage with these offer many valuable clues into human behavior. Moreover, it’s people’s response to using these common everyday items that app developers need to observe closely.

But why is this so important? Primarily because people usually have an emotional response to their experiences. And these may be positive or negative, and people will inevitably associate their experiences with the respective objects and brands. And while app developers don’t make everyday items, this doesn’t mean that people don’t respond similarly to apps. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the app user interface to engage and retain your audience.

And if you manage to drive a strong and positive emotional response in users, then you’re onto a winner. Fortunately, the concept of emotional design can aid you in optimizing the interactions users will have with your upcoming app.

3. Understanding The Three Levels Of Emotional Design

Emotional design is a concept detailed in a book written by Donald Norman. Published in 2003, In Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, delves into how people interact with everyday items. The author reveals how all items have distinct personalities, even if that wasn’t the original intent of the designers of these items. And the same applies to digital creations such as websites and applications. 

Furthermore, the author reveals the three cognitive levels that designers will need to engage users. These include visceral, behavioral, and reflective, which can evoke positive responses in users if implemented correctly. And while it’s possible to use these three cognitive levels individually, they’re more powerful when used together.

4. Visceral Design

Depending on the visceral design of your app, you can jolt a positive user experience almost immediately. But what exactly is visceral design, and why is it so powerful? In a nutshell, visceral design involves all the visual cues in your app and how they affect the user. Visual elements, such as the colors, graphic design, fonts, and images, will profoundly impact your audience, even if they don’t understand why that’s occurring.

However, the savvy designer knows how to use these visual elements correctly and understands how they evoke a positive response. For example, bright colors and appealing graphic design often make users feel happy. On the flip side, a more subdued color palette and utilitarian design evoke a more serious tone.

5. Behavioral Design 

Unlike visceral design, behavioral design encompasses the value people derive from actually using the product. It encompasses all product functionality, performance, effectiveness, and expected behaviors from users when they complete certain tasks.

It’s possible to deliver a positive user experience if a user’s actions seem enjoyable and rewarding. That’s why your app must be fluid and responsive and make users feel empowered. And this experience needs to be consistent, even after updating your app, to build and retain trust. Moreover, ensure that users can achieve their desired goals with as few steps as possible.

6. Reflective Design

Lastly, we have reflective design, which focuses on users’ feelings after they use your app. Users consciously evaluate your app and try to ascertain all the pros and cons it offers them. And good reflective design will make users think about the app hours after they’ve stopped using it.

But how does one implement good reflective design? By utilizing gamification features that allow users to unlock achievements and attain badges. And while that’s a good starting point, you can further boost engagement and retain users by implementing social features. So make it possible for users to invite friends and share their achievements and experiences with others.

7. Methods To Boost Positive Emotional Responses 

Never lose sight that your audience consists of human beings with real feelings. And no matter how well your app solves a problem, you still want to evoke positive emotional responses in your users. Not only will this make your app more appealing, but more memorable too.

If appropriate, don’t shy away from using humorous elements in your app to make it more enjoyable. Add an Easter egg, which will surprise users since it’s something they didn’t expect. And if you have a knack for writing, add a few interesting story elements that will take your users on a journey. You can further enhance these elements with the inclusion of animations, illustrations, and special effects.

The user interface is yet another area that offers the savvy designer many opportunities to excite users. So add subtle or not-so-subtle cues in your app’s interface, which help improve its usability. And ensure that the design language that you’re using speaks to your target audience. Don’t use a bright and bold style if you’re targeting business users.

In Conclusion

Understanding how emotional design impacts users and how they perceive your app in the long term will only benefit your development efforts. And knowing when and how to implement the three cognitive levels will transform your app into an enjoyable and memorable experience. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal apps.

How To Create A Food Delivery App Like DoorDash

Online food delivery platforms such as DoorDash make it easy for users to purchase food from their favorite restaurants. This expertly designed app facilitates convenient and frictionless online food ordering transactions in multiple territories. Below, we reveal what you need to know about creating a food delivery app.

1. Online Food Ordering Is Enjoying Phenomenal Growth

It’s a decision most of us have made. We opted to spend a quiet Friday evening at home instead of standing in line outside our favorite eatery. But we still craved that tasty pizza or sushi from the restaurant across town while we watched Netflix. So we did what most savvy consumers do nowadays and whipped out our smartphones. We ordered directly from the restaurant’s website or app or via a third-party food delivery app.

Our order arrived in record time, and then we munched down on our delicious meal. We barely gave a thought about how quick and convenient online food ordering has become. Yet, what makes this industry segment so compelling is how frictionless it has made the food delivery process. With just a few clicks, taps, and swipes, hungry customers don’t have to leave home or their place of work to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And this combination of technology and convenience is making a considerable impact. Consider that the food industry has an annual growth rate of approximately 3.7%. However, online food delivery has achieved annual growth rates of 15-20%, which is impressive. And much of this business is driven by platforms such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

2. Enter DoorDash

The platform that we’ll focus on from here on out is DoorDash. It’s a technology company based in San Francisco and founded by Stanford University students in 2013. Today, the company serves customers in Australia, Canada, and the United States across 4,000 cities. And what DoorDash does so well is connecting customers with a myriad of eateries in their vicinity.

The DoorDash app is available for Android and iOS, and the core user base consists of younger time-strapped families. Thus, the app’s developers constantly refine the user experience and interface (UX/UI) to save customers time.

3. Key Features To Implement In Your Food Delivery App

Eateries that join the DoorDash program must upload their menus and images of food items. However, some establishments fail to upload relevant images, which frustrates customers. So, there’s an opportunity to improve on the concept by making image uploads a mandatory process. And several other features that you need to implement in your online food ordering app include the following:

  • Search box
  • Filtering
  • Food customization
  • Order history
  • Pre-order
  • Cashback and discount offers
  • Ratings
  • Restaurant address
  • Delivery & special instructions
  • Pick up
  • Push notifications
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Live chat

4. Craft Your User Flow

Users should discover interesting eateries in their area and make their way to the checkout screen as quickly as possible. Thus, you’ll need to map out all the steps users will take by drawing up a flowchart. Also, consider how they navigate your app via the search box and the various filter and sort options. Several of these options will consist of the following:

  • Rating
  • Under 30 min
  • Pickup
  • Vegetarian
  • Menu price
  • Group order

Then, design your app’s screens with wireframes before putting together a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). DoorDash, in its current form, has come a long way and utilizes advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms. But since you’re likely testing the market, it’s unnecessary to add complex features during the initial stages of development.

The Bottom Line

Developing a food delivery app such as DoorDash makes good business sense. Younger users are increasingly relying on their smartphones to book plane tickets through to ordering food. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create apps that make food delivery a cinch.

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.