Tag Archive for: Apps for Business

What Can Your App Metrics Tell You About Your Customers?

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

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

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

Learn More About Customer Device Specs

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

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

Mobile App Metrics Reveal Customer Engagement KPIs

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

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

Monitor Customer Spending Habits

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

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

In Conclusion

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

Education Apps and Your Business: The 4 Signs It’s Time to Consider One

Education apps are an exciting avenue that more businesses should explore. And by business entities, we mean all types, from small home-based businesses to large international enterprises.

But what are education apps, and how do they benefit businesses? In short, they function primarily as powerful learning tools. They help to fill in knowledge gaps that business leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, and even clients — in specific cases — may have. And in more extreme cases, these apps may cover an entire staff training program of an enterprise.

More importantly, given the interactive nature of education apps, they offer a more engaging learning path. Quite understandable considering that wading through thick employee training and development books or watching cheesy training videos may put off most people. Furthermore, education apps can become considerably fun with well-implemented gamification features, making learners look forward to upcoming sessions.

Now you may be wondering if these apps are right for your business. Short answer: you likely do if you require a cost-effective and effective way to train staff. And you most certainly do if your staff works remotely and across various time zones. However, there are several more reasons you should consider developing one or more education apps for your business — read on!

1. Education Apps Enhance Existing Training Materials

If you’ve been in business for some time, you likely have a sizable amount of training materials already available at your disposal. And your staff has likely become accustomed to learning from your existing training modules and their respective formats. These formats could include books, documents, or even audio and video lectures and presentations, to name a few.

So developing an education app might make you think that you now have to replace the above. But that wouldn’t be wise, especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time and money on these. And that’s especially true if your staff enjoys learning from these training materials, and they do so effectively.

However, it’s worth developing an education app to serve as the central repository for all your training materials. And you can start by converting all your training books and documents into a Portable Document Format (PDF) or a proprietary format. Then, you may store these digital documents on your servers, and your app will retrieve these when the user requests them.

Furthermore, you’ll have complete control of the dissemination of these files. For example, only your sales staff will have access to sales-orientated training materials, and your technical staff won’t have authorization. You may also decide to limit the time staff will view these files or keep track of how long it takes for each staff member to absorb new or existing learning materials.

You can also digitize all your analog-based audio and video presentations and upload them to your repository. But if you’re worried that these contain company secrets that could leak out to competitors, you can secure them. Apply a Digital Rights Management (DRM) lock to all your content, considerably limiting what an unscrupulous employee can do.

2. Run Live Training Sessions

Perhaps your business specializes in a highly technical field that changes regularly. A good example would be a custom PC building company, which deals with an ever-evolving range of computer parts that regularly hit the marketplace. But the latest computer parts often require additional know-how to install correctly without damaging any components.

High-end cooling components, graphics cards, motherboards, and power supply units (PSUs) can be finicky and expensive to replace if damaged. And things get more complicated every time AMD and Nvidia release their latest graphics cards or when manufacturers have to update their motherboards to stay compatible with the latest central processing units (CPUs).

An experienced technician may have little trouble putting a system together, but inexperienced staff will likely struggle. Ideally, you want these staff members to level up their skills to be as competent as your expert technician. And you want them to gain knowledge of the latest installation methodologies every time a manufacturer releases a new component.

But how do you keep all your staff up to speed? And what happens if you have staff that comes into your workshop and some that work off-site?

You can solve both issues with an app that helps you run live training sessions. Your expert technician can live stream himself working on a new PC build while explaining each step of the process. The other staff members will follow the stream and use the app’s built-in chat function if they have any questions.

And this gives the expert technician the opportunity to explain things further and interact with the other staff members. Furthermore, the other staff may be working on their own builds concurrently and now have the ability to receive help directly from the expert technician even when not in the same building.

3. Engage And Teach Your Clients

Believe it or not, you can engage and teach your clients with the right type of education app. Moreover, you can further build brand loyalty. But how do you do this with an education app, and is it even possible?

Well, you should evaluate whether or not your product or service offering requires teaching. If you’re running a dropshipping business, there isn’t much need for an education app that will interest your clients in any conceivable way. But if you own a popular restaurant with meals prepared by a renowned chef, there’s plenty of potential for such an app.

Your clients may want to know how your chef prepares that tasty dish of pesto pasta. And quite possibly, many other items on the menu. So, you can fulfill that wish by creating an app where clients can access cooking videos and even live training sessions. They can follow your chef’s pre-recorded or live-streamed videos and prepare these meals from their homes.

Now, you may think that it’s unwise to share the recipes of your restaurant’s choice dishes. After all, you don’t want to reveal secret recipes or have clients stop visiting your establishment. But you don’t need to give away your most valuable recipes. A small sampling of menu items or slightly altered recipes should please most clients. And you may decide to put these behind a paywall or allow access via a subscription fee if the training sessions prove popular.

4. AR & VR Are The Perfect Education Technologies

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) work incredibly well as educational tools. That’s due to their ability to simulate real-world environments, objects, and scenarios. Furthermore, they offer a more convincing and immersive experience than any other technology.

Thus, if you need to train staff and put them in realistic or stressful situations, VR will do the trick. A VR application can have your staff repairing gas lines, operating heavy machinery, or undergoing mine training. In all these scenarios, staff won’t experience any physical risk, even though the training sessions closely emulate real-world dangers and possible outcomes.

And an AR app can help staff gain greater insight and awareness when training in a real-world environment. A staff member may need to change engine parts on an actual car. But may have difficulty remembering the names of all car parts and where each part fits. The AR app will overlay the relevant information inside the AR/VR goggles, AR glasses, or on the smartphone screen while still providing a clear view of the engine.

The Bottom Line

Businesses constantly evolve, so they need to train staff on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, education apps make this possible, as it’s more cost-effective and easier to create training programs in digital form than the more traditional methods. And mobile apps are the perfect vehicle for disseminating and accessing training content. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you develop phenomenal education apps for your business today!

4 Ways Service-Based Contractors Can Benefit from a Mobile App

In industrialized economies, service-based contractors grease the wheels in the market segments in which they compete. They allow enterprises, large and small, to outsource vital business processes to function more smoothly and cost-effectively. And that’s great, but how do contractors reduce their costs while increasing efficiency?

A way to change gears and turbo charge any service-based business is with a mobile app. And why that’s the case is because a mobile app helps automate various crucial tasks. Thus, reducing or cutting out staffing overheads almost entirely. Furthermore, a mobile app never sleeps and provides service around the clock.

And if you’re a contractor, all this may sound very enticing. But a mobile app doesn’t only help automate things, as it’s also capable of so much more. Below, we’ll go into greater detail about what mobile apps can do for service-based contractors.

1. Reporting Tools For Contractors Working Out In The Field

Let’s consider for a minute that you run a data center maintenance service in your area. And you have several technicians that drive out to these data centers, many of which are out of town. Now, you want all these technicians to keep you informed and report on all the maintenance work done at these sites. Preferably, you’ll want to have all reports submitted as quickly as possible to inform the client of any issues that will impact business.

But how do you do this without having your technicians come to the office or engage in costly phone calls?

Well, the most efficient way is by implementing powerful reporting tools in a mobile app, which may run on a tablet or smartphone. And this app may also include a checklist, which technicians need to check off to show that they’re working within established maintenance protocols. Furthermore, technicians can conduct security audits and report any breaches and discrepancies.

Once they input this information, the app will immediately send it to your servers and update the client’s maintenance report in real-time. In case of a breach, you can respond immediately by sending out a cyber security specialist and notifying your client. The quicker you respond, the higher your chances of dealing with a security breach and keeping your client’s data safe.

2. Enhance Collaboration With A Project Management App

It matters not if you’re running a data center maintenance or a packing service, as you’ll be dealing with customer demands, deadlines, and staff management issues. So, you’ll need tools that make collaboration a breeze, regardless of whether your staff comes to the office, works remotely or both.

A well-designed custom project management app will empower you and your staff to make the right moves. It should have an easy-to-understand user interface (UI) that your non-tech-savvy employees can navigate easily. But user-friendliness isn’t what this app is all about, as it will also need several vital features.

It should have a task tracker that can handle multiple projects, even thousands, if necessary. Moreover, it should accurately track and record the following: assigned staff, client information, due dates, project status, task descriptions, and task priorities. To better organize tasks, use a Kanban board combined with advanced filtering features to sort through multiple projects quickly.

And it’s necessary to implement a timer that accurately tracks the duration of all tasks. You may record this information and make it available in a timesheet. It will also help you determine the completion of projects, bill clients, and pay staff. Furthermore, you can integrate multiple payment processing platforms such as PayPal and Stripe for all digital transactions.

So, you can effectively turn your project management app into a central hub for handling the most crucial business processes. And when you grow your service-based business and need additional features, you have options. You can either add these to your project management app or develop another app that integrates with your existing systems.

3. AI Chatbots Apps Make Contractors Available 24/7

Clients hate it when they can’t reach their contractors on the phone or have to wait for an email response. They expect to speak to a company representative immediately to help them with any issues they may encounter. But as we all know, that’s not always possible, especially if the contractor is small in size without enough staff on hand. Or can’t afford to hire a call center to handle all incoming calls.

However, neither is a good excuse as to why contractors of any size can’t respond to their clients. Not only is this unprofessional, but it will also cause clients to reconsider working with contractors that don’t seem helpful.

So how do we solve this problem and provide clients with a 24/7 response channel? Well, a mobile app can act as a viable communications channel. And if we implement AI chatbots within the app’s messaging service, clients can have their queries answered by these chatbots immediately. In fact, AI-powered chatbots will seem so convincing that many clients won’t even realize that they’re not conversing with actual humans.

Furthermore, the beauty of chatbots is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can make them conversational so that they can be more engaging. Alternatively, they can operate as virtual assistants and be very informative to help clients with deeply technical issues.

And from a development standpoint, all the major technology companies have a chatbot or virtual assistant platform. Apple has Siri, Google has Dialogflow, and Microsoft has Azure Bot Service.

4. AR & VR For Interactive Training Sessions

Perhaps your company offers online and offline training services to clients. But you want to stand out by providing them an interactive and meaningful experience they won’t get anywhere else. And the best way to do this is with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) mobile apps.

You’ll opt for an AR app if your training sessions require interaction and representation of the real world. For example, you may be training a client’s employees to detect and repair gas leaks on actual gas pipes. The AR app will aid them in correctly identifying the fittings, piping, and tubing as they pass the smartphone camera over these. And on the smartphone display, a description of the part with a visualization of the tooling and repair methodology will pop up.

But you may opt for a VR app if you need to simulate various dangerous scenarios related to gas leaks. Perhaps, you need these employees to fix gas pipes located in areas with highly combustible materials nearby. But you don’t want to put these employees in harm’s way, so it’s preferable for them to receive training in a virtual environment that’s completely safe.

The VR app will show a realistic 3D representation of the test environment with the pipe fittings. And each employee will wear a VR headset made exclusively for smartphones, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Then, the app will use a smartphone’s accelerometer to track head movements and the VR device’s controller to execute actions. For most employees, the experience won’t seem much different from playing a game from a first-person perspective.

The Bottom Line

Service-based contractors have become indispensable in modern economies. They help businesses of all sizes achieve their goals by providing services that are beyond the capabilities and scope of these businesses. And with the right kind of mobile apps, contractors can meet and surpass the expectations of even their most demanding clients.

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create outstanding mobile apps for your service-based contract business!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Do Your Users Face Too Many Choices? 

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

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

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

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

The Bottom Line 

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

What The Metaverse Means For Developers

If you regularly follow tech media outlets, you’ve likely heard of the metaverse. But even if you haven’t, recent announcements by the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, turned heads. He launched an ambitious initiative that will transform the social media giant into an all-encompassing metaverse company. Now that’s big news that no developer can ignore!

But will the metaverse live up to expectations, or is it only hype? While we don’t have a crystal ball to predict its future, many big players want to make the metaverse a part of our lives. We’ve seen how the internet, smartphones, and cryptocurrencies gained support early on and now enjoy wide adoption. Thus, the metaverse may enjoy a similar fate and open up many exciting opportunities for developers.

What Exactly Is The Metaverse?

If you’ve played an immersive 3D game or tried out virtual reality (VR), you’ve experienced something akin to the metaverse. A better example is Second Life, an online virtual world dating back to 2003. It combined gameplay aspects from massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and social space for users to interact with each other. 

Yet what made Second Life so compelling is how users could craft clothes and other goods for their 3D avatars and sell these to others. Many savvy content creators took advantage of this and started selling their virtual goods within Second Life’s marketplace. Thus, giving birth to an early model of a digital economy that functioned independently from exterior influences. 

And you could also say that Second Life is the granddaddy of the modern metaverse. But there are a few differences, as the metaverse doesn’t rely on an MMORPG as its core component and doesn’t have the limited appeal of Second Life. After all, not everyone is a gamer, and many users would prefer to trade virtual goods or provide other services instead.

What Can Users Do In The Metaverse

We’ve already established the metaverse is like a giant virtual sandbox that allows for many forms of user interaction. And a key reason why Facebook is moving in this direction is that it’s a natural evolutionary process for the company. It already engages over 2.9 billion active users that interact with each other and conduct business directly on Facebook.

So every social media outlet and any business that engages with these outlets will give users the necessary tools to interact within the metaverse. In a way, they will democratize the creation process of virtual goods and services for the masses. 

Architects can create and sell virtual real estate, while artists and designers can turn their creations into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sell them at auctions. Furthermore, advertisers and fashion brands can use the floor space and shops within the metaverse’s virtual malls. And due to the easy integration of blockchain technologies, expect crypto transactions to become commonplace.

What Opportunities Should Developers Pursue? 

Developers should focus on blockchain technology and crypto APIs. These must work flawlessly with any virtual stores found in the metaverse. And make it easy for users to conduct transactions via any device, whether a smartphone or virtual headset.

But there are also many opportunities for creating the tools that will empower users. Easy-to-use 3D modeling apps, NFT minting tools, and secure crypto exchanges will be essential. On top of that, create apps that allow users to trade virtual goods, hire virtual laborers, and host virtual events.

In Conclusion

The metaverse is still in its infancy but promises big things thanks to the support coming from Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft. And it may very well become the next big thing that opens doors for creative and savvy developers. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create stunning apps for smartphones and the metaverse.

Free Mobile App Development Tools

The app development space is growing at an exponential pace, thanks in part to a growing number of phone ownership and rising internet penetration. Today, the app development market is one of the largest globally with an average release of 5092 apps on the Google App Store and 6140 apps on the Google Play Store.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things IoT are some of the technologies that are being incorporated in most apps. A virtual assistant is one such improvement in mobile applications. Looking closely, you realize that WhatsApp, TikTok, and Instagram apps are topping the chart of leading apps with the most downloads. Amazon Prime and Netflix lead the entertainment app market, and Candy Crush is at the apex of the gaming app development market.

It’s with no doubt that mobile applications have schematically modified human life. Quick navigation and exceptional UI through mobile applications have become a trademark. The projected number of mobile phone users is expected to cross the 7 billion mark by 2025. This growth will automatically bring a shift in app downloads. So, in this context, it becomes important and valuable to understand the best app development solutions prevailing in the market, with the current and future app development trends.

In this post, we delve into the top free mobile app development tools.

  1. PhoneGap

PhoneGap is a popular mobile app development application that allows you to create a hybrid of software. With PhoneGap, the user or developer doesn’t necessarily need to know mobile programming languages. Instead, they can kick-start with languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for app creation. PhoneGap allows you to create apps that will work on multiple platforms with a single codebase to reach the largest audience.

Features

  • Allows you to view and manage any changes in the app using PhoneGap
  • Easily integrates with various library integrations for easy app development
  • Operates on multiple platforms: iPhone, Windows, and Android

Pros

  • Rapid code testing and faster code deployment
  • A single codebase for multiple platforms

Cons

  • It lacks a user interface widget
  1. Outsystems

Outsystems is a comprehensive full-stack app development platform. By using connected, high-productivity, and AI-supported tools, developers can create and deploy a wide range of applications – from consumer applications to mission-critical business applications – faster, better, and for the future.

Features

  • It has a remarkable acceleration because no code or minimum code is required.
  • Easy integrations with other platforms
  • Easy to learn as it contains free training and learning material for everyone

Pros

  • The responsiveness of the member community allows for faster and efficient learning experiences
  • All members are open to sharing ideas, and these ideas are taken into consideration in further improving the platform

Cons

  • More explanation needed for some tools or widgets
  • No synchronization between consumer and producer modules, so users have to manage dependency frequently.
  • Better training material or documentation in forging components
  1. Flutter

Flutter is an open-source app development software that is best suited for hybrid apps. It’s one of the newest members in the mobile development market, and it’s written in C, C++, and Skia Graphics Engine. Flutter is a Google UI toolkit that allows users to create applications for web, mobile, and desktop from a single codebase. In addition, you don’t have to restart your application when testing your project. The application offers the Hot Reload functionality which makes the entire development exercise optimized and stress-free.

Features

  • Offers fully customizable widgets to render faster development of native apps
  • Incorporates critical platform differences like scrolling, navigation, fonts, and icons
  • Creates plugins using channels that can easily be used by every developer

Pros

  • Builds native apps in just minutes
  • Expressive and flexible user interface

Cons

  • Contains not-so-rich library collections
  1. Ionic

Ionic is one of the best free, open-source mobile applications for developing hybrid apps. It allows developers and users to build apps for various platforms including web, iOS, and Android using a single codebase. What’s more, Ionic offers intuitive UI components, thus accelerating the app development process. This app can be deployed almost everywhere. Ionic boasts of over 120 predefined elements, native device features, and a large community of members.

Features

  • Written in JavaScript, this application is covered by the MIT license
  • Includes mobile components, interactive paradigms, typography, and an extensive base theme
  • Allows Cordova based app building

Pros

  • Ease of learning and contains popular technologies
  • Wide range of library integrations

Cons

  • There’s no hot reloading capability
  1. Buddy

Buddy is an open-source mobile app development application that allows for seamless, change-set-based code deployment. Thanks to a plethora of dedicated, pre-configured services and actions, app automation has never been easier than now. Therefore, if you’re looking for a tool that will build, sign, test, and publish your android or web app effortlessly and in a single click, then Buddy is the ideal choice.

Features

  • Intuitive and clean UX/UI
  • Over 100 actions
  • A wide integration including Azure, Google, Amazon Web Services, and WordPress integrations.

Pros

  • It contains dedicated android actions: Ionic, Reacts Native, and Flutter
  • It supports all popular languages and task managers
  1. Kobiton

Kobiton mobile app development software makes the continuous testing, IOS, and mobile app development exercise a reality. This app also prevents bugs before pushing codes to test, thus perfecting your website or mobile app with functional, performance, and visual test automation. It also helps developers to resolve issues before the production release, and rapidly deploy tests with seamless CD/CI integrations.

Features

  • Allows you to test on real devices in the cloud
  • Cloudify all your local devices for remote access
  • It integrates with Jenkins, CircleCI, Travis CI, and so on.

Pros

  • Scriptless or scripted automated functional, performance, and visual testing
  • Commercial scalability with unlimited user policy
  • Access to real devices in your integrated development environment for rapid debugging.
  1. Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source mobile app development application founded by Microsoft in 2011. It’s a set of tools that enable developers to build apps for various OS like Windows, Android, and IOS, all in one programming language. One of the reasons that Xamarin is quite reputable is because it uses the C# programming language. Besides using the Xamarin Test Cloud, you can automatically test applications on around 200 real mobile devices.

Features

  • Easy integration with modern back-end services, native APIs, and components
  • Enables you to build stunning cross-platform user interfaces
  • Extends a real-time testing module to monitor and catch app errors when they occur

Pros

  • Full technical support by Microsoft
  • Flexible with .NET and C#

Cons

  • Not build for game development
  1. Buildfire

Another best in this category of best open-source mobile app development software is Buildfire. Buildfire offers a robust set of tools to build applications for web, android, or IOS. This software is well-known for its high-end custom app development capabilities, as well as its easy, intuitive DIY platform. In addition, Buildfire supports more than 10,000 applications and it’s flexible enough to scale as your enterprise grows. Users and developers cannot ignore the simple and functional drag-and-drop user interface, as it makes it easier to build the app faster.

Features

  • Offers an interactive and intuitive app builder where no coding is needed.
  • Allows users to build custom functionality with their developer SDK
  • Can be integrated with any third-party API or pre-built integrations

Pros

  • Has an excellent social networking feature
  • Includes advanced development features

Cons

  • Does not have a reliable customer support service

NS804 – Your Partner in Mobile App Development

Every app development software has its uniqueness and demerits. To understand a software better and to pick the one that perfectly fits your needs, consider the following elements:

  • Privacy and security.
  • Reseller options
  • Push notifications
  • Customer discounts and loyalty programs
  • Instant messaging
  • Geo-targeting
  • Social media integration
  • Third-party integration
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Admin control
  • Customer service

Now that you know the best open-source app development software, it is time to kick-start your app development journey. We always encourage you to contact or consult the experts anytime you’re stuck in your app development exercise. You can also contact NS804 for questions concerning mobile app development.

Professional iOS App Design Templates: Don’t Let Them Tempt You

It’s easy to get hold of professional iOS app design templates online. Also, these templates tend to be affordable, which only makes them more tempting. But we’ll advise against taking this route since it’s all too easy to make mistakes when developing mobile apps. Here’s a quick rundown of why iOS design templates aren’t necessarily a good solution.

1. Professional iOS App Design Templates Offer Little Customization

You’ve briefed your team on how the user interface (UI) should look on your latest project. And since you’re in a hurry, a team member suggests using professional iOS app design templates to save time. Thus, you allow them to go ahead, hoping that this will help get your app out the door quickly. 

As the project progresses, you reach a point where it’s necessary to make changes to the UI. But you soon find that these templates are difficult to customize to suit your needs. Your UI doesn’t look cohesive and doesn’t fit the design language of your brand. That’s why it’s better to create custom iOS design templates to avoid such a scenario. 

2. iOS Design Templates Make Your App Cookie Cutter

The visual elements of your apps shouldn’t only look professional; they need to stand out. Many iOS design templates tend to look generic, which will give your app a cookie-cutter appearance. Moreover, plenty of low-effort apps in the App Store use such templates that only exacerbate the problem.

3. A Mobile App Design Template Might Not Offer Any Support

It’s easy to be tempted by the low upfront costs of a mobile app design template. And it might seem like a sound investment when starting a project. As any seasoned developer already knows, there comes a time when you need support. If you require making any changes to these templates, you’ll need to track down the designer. But they may no longer be around or not willing to fulfill your requests for changes.

It’s vital to view all app development endeavors seriously. Therefore, consider working with professional developers that can provide the support you need. If you’re willing to spend more on a tailor-made design template, this will result in a professional app that’s bound for success. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can create a custom solution that exemplifies your brand. 

Is Freelance App Development More Budget-Friendly?

As a business leader, you could be deliberating whether to hire developers for several upcoming Android freelance projects. And you’ve taken notice of the many online job marketplaces where you can find freelance developers. But is freelance app development more budget-friendly than working with an agency? We answer that question in more detail below. 

1. App Developer: Freelance Or Company

If you’re planning on developing an app, then you’ll need to answer an important question. Will you hire a freelancer or a company to make your app? You may think that this is an easy question to answer, but this isn’t the case. We recommend that you consider the following differences between freelancers and agencies before forging ahead.

Now, it’s never been easier to find freelance developers online to work on your project at competitive rates. But many freelancers have set skill sets, meaning that they specialize in certain types of apps. If you’re developing a broad range of apps or have specific requirements for an app, then you may run into roadblocks with freelancers. However, if you work with an agency that employs developers with varied skill sets, you’re more likely to complete your projects successfully.

Also, consider how you’ll scale your projects in the future. For example, you hire a developer or two for your Android freelance projects, and they do good work. Then, you decide to port these projects to iOS but discover that these developers lack the necessary expertise. But if you were working with an agency, cross-platform development wouldn’t be a problem.

2. A Look Inside Freelance Costs

According to Freelancer, hiring a freelancer is the most cost-effective solution. The median cost of hiring such a developer is $ 543. But do keep in mind that these developers are based in different parts of the world. And many are from third-world countries where salaries are lower, and English isn’t their first language. Thus, the quality of work may vary, and communication may prove difficult, depending on who you hire.

3. Pros And Cons of Android Freelance Projects

You’ve decided to launch several Android freelance projects and have started perusing online job marketplaces. Sites such as Gun.io, Hired, Toptal, Fiverr Pro, and X-Team all vet their freelance developers to ensure their competence. But you’ll want to hire the top-rated freelancers that have already proven themselves. However, these freelancers are in high demand and may not respond to your job posts.

Therefore, it’s easy to find freelance developers on these sites, but you’re not guaranteed to hire your preferred candidates. And given the popularity of Android, you’ll find more freelancers specializing in this platform than iOS. So, when you decide to port and scale your app, you’ll find yourself in a disadvantageous position.

4. Why It’s Easier To Count On An Agency

An agency has far more experience developing a wide variety of complex apps and respecting intellectual property rights and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Furthermore, an agency is more likely to implement best practices in developing, testing, and deploying apps. Freelancers may ignore these steps, which can jeopardize the quality and security of your projects. 

While freelance app development may seem more budget-friendly at first, you’re likely to have more satisfactory results working with an agency. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can turn your ideas into engaging apps that amaze users.

On The Other Side of COVID-19

The State of Things Post COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t completely behind us, we’re certainly close to coming out the other side. It definitely hasn’t been easy, as the road forward hardly ever is, and the last year will absolutely have a lasting impact. One way in which the pandemic impacted the world was through a swift acceleration into digitalization. With stay-at-home mandates, and health risks everywhere, much of society embraced a virtual expansion. Despite the sudden onset of the pandemic, a lot of the world was already prepared for a digital age. During the last few decades, society made giant technological strides. From the birth of the internet, smartphones, mobile apps, VR, AR, and so much more. Correspondingly, this technology already prepared many businesses to allow for remote staff and a work from home environment.

As the world reopens, though, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t simply just disappear. In fact, the pandemic may have changed the world forever.

Impact on the Application Market

One of the few markets that saw a boom during the majority of the pandemic was the application market. This boom resulted from the intersection of a few key variables. The first; timing. This isn’t the first pandemic that’s swept the world. However, it’s the first pandemic to sweep the world since the birth of smart-tech, loaded with capabilities. This presented opportunity. The second variable; accessibility. In recent years specifically, there has been a push of creating accessible technology. In this same push is the shift to a more technological basis for education that includes coding, script writing, and programming. Finally; free time and isolation.

With smart technology an integrated aspect of everyday life, and the push for more accessible technology all around, the last pair of variables that led to the app market boom were free time, and isolation. With the surge in unemployment, more and more people were looking for a way to spend their days. Not to mention, social interactions were kept to a bare minimum, and stay at home mandates were implemented all over the country. Enter smart, accessible technology, paired with the college of YouTube, and other free avenues through which to learn programming, and suddenly a whole new pool of programmers and developers hit the scene.

That’s only half of the coin though. On the other side of this same perfect storm is the influx of user-base, for all the same reasons the app market saw an increase in developers. New users flocked to applications all across the market, from enterprise, to gaming, to meditation. It was truly a gold-rush.

Spreading The Word

While the surge in app developers, programmers, and users isn’t going anywhere in the post-pandemic wake; applications certainly helped to encourage users to get the vaccine. Organizations in today’s economy have higher expectations to participate in the social atmosphere than they have in previous decades. Corporate America isn’t perfect, by any means, but some of the players are at least trying. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications specifically, helped to encourage users to get the vaccine. Many applications used advertisement slots on their own dime to inform users on where to get the vaccine for free. Even large name applications like Tinder, and others, offered vaccinated users an incentive, like a free premium trial, date-night specials, or other in-app incentives.

Beyond Spreading The Word

Applications and technology helped us through the pandemic in more than one way, though. Applications also saw a boom in usership as they worked to bring people together in dire times, unlike any technology has before. Video conference applications like Zoom saw unprecedented growth as families relied on it to commune with one another, long distance relationships only survived because of it, and businesses got by with it. Gaming applications became a way for communities to develop even while individuals dealth with physical or mental isolation.

Enterprise applications were another market segment to see an influx during the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses and organizations of all industries had to adapt to the virtual economy; many sought the help of enterprise applications. Business oriented applications designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between remote employees.

Beyond spreading the word, and bringing communities together, the technology available even helped in the actual creation and distribution of the vaccine itself. Discovering optimal distribution channels, running algorithms, and elevating scientific processes, the technology of today is, at least partially, responsible for the availability of the vaccine across the globe.

Looking Ahead

Moving forward, there is some question as to what the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be. However, there are some trends that certainly seem stickier than others. For instance, it’s quite possible that the majority of the workforce remains remote, as there seems to be little-to-no evidence that professionals were less effective working remotely. On the contrary, many studies found that the individual professional was more proficient working from home than they were in the office for a variety of reasons, and largely attributed to quality of work-life balance. Additionally, the lack of a commute to and from work, proved significantly beneficial to workers mental and emotional health, which ultimately led to stronger overall performance.

The application market as a whole, is also likely to remain in a ‘boom’ period. While a large percentage of amateur programmers and developers might begin to drop off from the scene, there are bound to be a few who fell in love and stick around. Not to mention, the influx in the userbase is likely going to see a much softer dropoff. Therefore, there will ultimately be a higher user-to-developer ratio in the application markets than we even saw during the height of the pandemic.

The Virtual Economy

In addition to the trends that are likely to stick around, the virtual economy is likely here to stay. Permanently. Businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes faced a sobering reality during the pandemic. Supply chains all over the globe disintegrated into thin air, as a tragic number of smaller businesses closed their doors. The organizations that successfully pivoted from in-person operations to remote or virtual operations are the survivors. Larger organizations that took a financial hit also had to make the pivot from brick and mortar to remote operations. This is a lesson that won’t be soon forgotten. In fact, current and future businesses are more likely to offer remote services and virtual operations now, and moving forward, than any type of in-person services. If it’s possible to be digitized, it will be.

Of course, the entire world won’t stay virtual forever, with live-performances opening back up, and bars and restaurants inviting customers back indoors, a portion of society will always be personable.

A Brighter Future Beyond COVID-19

The last year+ of the COVID-19 pandemic really flipped the script in more way than one. Between the massive influx into the application market, and the push for a more digital economy; some of these soceital changes and trends are going to remain long after the last case of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the application market as it stands, or help planning out your next mobile app venture, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud developer of the everyday appreneur.

Enterprise Mobile App Ideas That Will Boost Your Business In 2021

As a forward-looking business leader, you likely have several app ideas that seem promising. And the right kind of ideas could boost your business in 2021. We delve deeper into this subject and reveal the mobile app development trends that will shape the year and beyond.

1. Why Mobile App Development Still Makes Sense In 2021

While the App Store and Google Play are inundated with apps, this doesn’t mean that mobile app development will go away. Quite the opposite, the app market is maturing and evolving and opening up new opportunities. There’s a growing demand for innovative apps that offer augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. 

As a post-COVID world gradually emerges, enterprises and users will be looking for the most sustainable solutions. Enterprises will want to offer AR & VR-based training simulations since many of their employees now work remotely. And users will want more virtual concerts and tours, knowing that this is a far more convenient and safer way to enjoy their favorite pastimes.

2. App Ideas That Enhance Business Processes

With almost 80% of the global population owning a smartphone, enterprises need to take advantage of this phenomenon. As a business leader, it’s no use standing on the sidelines if you want to add value and grow your enterprise

Enhance and restructure your existing business processes by utilizing emerging digital ecosystems. Furthermore, create apps that enhance customer loyalty, improve external and internal processes, and streamline communication between employees and clients.

3. Break Down The Barriers Between Your Staff And Clients

Take the time to assess how your staff and clients interact with each other. Are you happy with the results, or is the room for improvement? In a competitive market, you’ll likely need to tweak and improve your communication channels. 

You may need to develop a business app that makes it easy for staff and clients to contact each other while keeping track of all communications. Furthermore, you’ll want to collect data and receive feedback from both staff and users to ascertain how well they’re engaging with each other and the app.

4. An Effective Business App Improves Productivity

Focus your mobile app development endeavors on creating apps that increase employee productivity and communications. And ensure that every business app you develop integrates with all your existing systems. Moreover, implement analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) in your apps so that you can assess all data points effectively. 

Similarly to many companies, you’re probably sitting on a ton of unstructured data that’s making your business processes inefficient. But if you organize and analyze this data, you’ll discover ways to improve productivity in your enterprise.

5. Work With A Partner That Will Bring Your App Ideas To Life

Mobile app development is a lot harder than it seems, especially if you’re new to this field. And there are many vital aspects that you could overlook, such as eschewing the latest design trends, ignoring compatibility across devices, not integrating with existing solutions, or offering an offline mode.

However, if you work with an experienced development partner, you’ll be able to bring your app ideas to fruition. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create innovative enterprise mobile apps that will engage users in 2021 and beyond!

Tag Archive for: Apps for Business