Tag Archive for: Business Apps

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!

The 13 App Ideas That Could Change Your Business

Mobile apps have transformed many things, among them user browsing experiences and online shopping patterns. Mobile apps have reinvented business communications allowing businesses to optimize on financial and operational performance.

In addition, mobile apps continue to accelerate digital retail practices, especially as online retailers view mobile apps as a frontier in mobile commerce. There’s no doubt that mobile applications have dominated businesses, from small enterprises to large establishments.

Mobile apps continue to push boundaries in business process developments. So, if you’re looking to build your first app, here are some app ideas that could change your business.

1. Scan and Shop App

The “scan and shop” app lets users scan items they find physically so that they can order them online. The scan and shop app allows users to physically translate their physical shopping experiences to online. The app allows you to scan items and track them back online by images. This approach allows customers to buy products easily from online stores. Scan and shop apps allow vendors to add more features to make the app experience interesting. Businesses looking to transform their online shopping experiences can invest in scan and shop apps.

2. Mall Navigation

Although the Covid-19 pandemic saw shrinking mall spaces following social distancing measures in public areas (stores and malls), digitization has the potential to debunk this anecdotal talk with mobile commerce. Mall navigation apps will secure the digital maps of all the physical malls in a specific area, allowing users to locate specific stores in malls.

These apps allow shoppers to physically locate a store and use navigation to physically visit and shop. This app can navigate directions and maps, check restaurants, stores, bathrooms and locate parking spaces. So, if you’re a business enterprise or an individual running a commercial building, a mall navigation app is a must-have.

3. Restaurant Booking

Among the most hit businesses by the pandemic was the hospitality industry, hotels and restaurants being the biggest culprits. Luckily, the pandemic revealed that apps could bridge gaps in customer service through graphical restaurant reservations.

Nowadays, couples, families, individuals, and groups can use mobile apps to book hotel reservations. To what’s known as the graphical restaurant reservation, this booking app gives you access to a restaurant’s physical layout and general appeal. Graphical restaurant apps allow you to select your preferred dining spaces (and tables) for a specific time.

4. Supermarket Checkout

Supermarket checkout apps let users compare prices in different product categories. In addition, these apps let you automatically scan products and make purchases using e-payment gateway integrations. Integrated e-payment options provide improved shopping capabilities and superior experiences for prospective customers. Businesses can use this app idea to bolster online retail experiences.

5. Health Check-up and Food Planner

Health is a priority today more than ever. That’s why health insurance has skyrocketed in the last decade with rising emphasis on disease prevention and management. The health check-up and food planner app checks your health on a daily basis and suggests the meals that you should consume to remain healthy.

Health check-up and food planner apps incorporate temperature measures, body mass indices, blood pressure, body weight, and calorie count metrics. Collectively, these metrics can be used to boost your dining experiences, especially if you run a fast-food, groceries, hotel, tours and travels business.

6. Voice Translation App

There’s no doubt that business is about communication and agreements. In the contract management process, a central part of negotiation is establishing clear communication that supports all procurement needs. Businesses engage in “buy-and-sell” processes that often involve communication between people of different cultures.

A voice translation app understands the rising globalization and multiculturalism. This app responds to differences in languages, especially between employees, customers, professionals, and associates of different cultures. A voice translation app is a superior tool if you’re looking to foster communication in a multicultural workforce environment.

7. AI-Based Picture Translation

We all have challenges translating road signs, pictures, images, and signatures – especially when traveling to another country or exploring a foreign culture. So, just like Google Translate or Lens, an AI-based picture translation app allows travelers to translate pictures, texts, images, and objects. AI-based picture translation apps would transform business experiences, especially enterprises looking forward to transforming and reinventing how they communicate to multicultural audiences.

8. Criminal Alert App

Businesses in warehousing, logistics, and procurement definitely need a guaranteed security solution. A criminal alert app is embedded in warehousing computers, personnel devices, and procurement endpoints to detect any anomalies in inventories. A criminal alert app is important for monitoring inventory inflows and outflows, and monitoring warehousing activities. This app provides end-to-end visibility to procurement processes, enabling store owners and warehouse floor supervisors to keep track of inventories.

9. Exam Study

Virtualization is changing traditional education with online distance learning opportunities. New learning platforms such as Coursehero, Coursera, Doordash, and Quizlet are at the center of traditional learning transformation. Already, schools are implementing software and adopting technologies to support this transformation. In responding to this shift, businesses in education and higher learning sectors may consider investing in these apps.

An exam study app is a virtual study app where students can meet virtually and revise for upcoming exams in a particular discipline. By using exam study apps, learning can be facilitated using discussions, study tools, and study materials. This app would definitely be a win for enterprises in research, academia, higher and Montessori curriculums.

10. Call Recording App

Cybersecurity is a rising issue in enterprise security especially with the uptake of digitization solutions in business processes. Unfortunately, despite the significance of cybersecurity in today’s online shopping, most customers still fall victims of phishing and spam calls.

Most businesses are investing and downloading call recording apps so that when they’re harassed by scammers, they can record, save and share the audio file with anyone. This app is critical for all enterprises that want to share scamming and phishing audio calls to internal personnel as a measure against cybercrime.

11. Tip Calculator

The tipping culture is forever changing and affecting businesses differently. This app has a calculator that allows faster entry of food bills when you’re dining with friends and family and you want to split the bill. The tip calculator calculates the total amount to tip. This app is a critical component for hotels, restaurants, and businesses in the hospitality sector where tipping is nigh.

12. Sell, Buy, Rent Apps

The sell, buy and rent app is just like the Facebook app but with added functionality. This app lets users hire products online, buy or sell. Apps like Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Vrbo, and Plum Guide let you hire properties for a specified duration. However, a sell, buy, or rent app allows active customer-buyer engagements, facilitating property and goods transfer either through buying or renting out.

13. M-Commerce Apps

Mobile commerce, popularly referred to as M-Commerce, refers to shopping on a mobile device, especially a smartphone, tablet, or wearable. The future of m-commerce is bright with customers turning to mobile shopping solutions. This means that for forward-thinking organizations, a simple m-commerce app can put you ahead of competitors.

Mcommerce allows you to operate contactless ordering and delivery applications. This improves the entire customer service experience by using innovations such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality. For instance, virtualization and mixed reality allows shoppers to try out new outfits before purchasing. That means that malls and fashion retailers must look at Mcommerce apps as the next frontier in retail fashion.

Contact NS804!

There’s no doubt that a superior digital retail strategy combines an intuitive, user-friendly digital store and a fully functional website. However, mobile apps are complementing digital retail strategies especially with the accelerated uptake of mobile solutions. Rising adoption of smartphones and infiltration of internet connectivity continue to define new shifts in mobile app adoption.

Contact NS804 to transform your business with intuitive mobile applications.

The 5 Features a Business Needs in App

All businesses will need apps in the near future, whether you’re a fast-food vendor or a fast fashion store. Small businesses are already using apps to communicate to customers. Big boy brands are leveraging mobile apps for brand positioning purposes.

So, mobile apps are adopted differently by businesses depending on the scope and the size of their business operations.

The adoption of mobile phones alongside high internet penetration rates dictates new developments in smartphone usage. Already, mobile apps are ushering new frontiers in web experiences by offering chatting, browsing, and payment services.

Mobile apps are transforming legacy communication patterns by providing digital avenues for communication. A classic example is the chat apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, Line, Skype, and WeChat.

Research shows that mobile applications could generate up to $930 billion in revenues in 2023 alone. Already, shocking estimates show the power of mobile apps, reinforcing the talk of why it’s critical to get started with mobile apps. For instance, users spent over 3 trillion hours on mobile apps in 2021 alone.

The ever-changing face of mobile applications and the desirability of mobile apps to young demographics make it a target for tech-savvy enterprises. Most importantly, young developers are embracing application programming as a new frontier of mobile usability.

While apps are crucial in transforming legacy enterprises and shaping customer experiences, it’s critical to identify particular features that make apps desirable.

Important features a business needs in an app:

1. Usability

Usability is a critical consideration in any app development exercise. That means that developers must approach any mobile app development process with usability in mind. The app must be creative, simple, and easy to navigate. Most importantly, the app must focus on robustness and intuitiveness by incorporating the things people see in apps.

2. User-friendliness

Always aim for a user-friendly app design that’s simple to navigate and highly responsive. Navigation and responsiveness are the cornerstones of any successful app design work. Therefore, ensure that your business app is user-friendly and responds well to the evolving user needs.

Some tricks to make your app user-friendly include:

  • Focus on your target audience
  • Offer superior design
  • Prioritize user security
  • Optimize graphic and font size
  • Make wise use of push notification
  • Aim for intuitiveness

A user-friendly app is highly adopted and has higher retention rates.

3. Chat and call-back

Your business app must incorporate chat and call-back options. Business communication is forever changing, making mobile apps the go-to platform for business communications. Alongside emails, chatbots, and web portals, mobile apps offer a unique avenue for users, mostly clientele groups, to communicate and interact with brands.

4. Intuitive user interface

All apps must incorporate an intuitive interface, and proprietary, discretionary privacy. Users must own their information and privacy for apps to make meaningful sense to prospective users. The fact that enterprises are accelerating their app adoption efforts means that enterprises must find new ways to retain customers. One of these ways is by offering discretionary privacy solutions, including the possibility for privacy notifications in mobile apps.

5. Payment gateway

Payment gateway integration is a no-brainer for any business app. As a business owner, you are involved in the “money” business. That means that your services and products are sold or leased out to customers, making payment gateway integration altogether important. Therefore, a payment gateway is a critical feature of your business app.

NS804 – Aiming for Excellence!

Other vital tips for business apps include:

  • User experience is your ultimate objective
  • Always aim to deliver a superior typography
  • Aim for smooth edges, soft app elements, and creative color
  • The logo is the centerpiece of your brand positioning. Keep it first.
  • Remember to keep users updated. Users must not feel lost.
  • Be accommodative in scope. Let your app encompass many features and functionalities.
  • Aim for an interactive design. You can do this by testing, fixing, and testing once again.

At NS804, we guide businesses in mobile app development.

Contact NS804 to get started on your business app development journey.

 

The 5 Features a Business Needs in an App

The adoption of mobile phones alongside high internet penetration rates dictates new developments in smartphone usage. Already, mobile apps are dictating new frontiers in web experiences by offering chatting, browsing, and payment services.

Mobile apps are transforming legacy communication patterns by providing digital avenues for communication. A classic example is the chat apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, Line, Skype, and WeChat.

Research shows that mobile applications could generate up to $930 billion in revenues in 2023 alone. Already, shocking estimates show the power of mobile apps, reinforcing the talk of why it’s critical to get started with mobile apps. For instance, users spent over 3 trillion hours on mobile apps in 2021 alone.

The ever-changing face of mobile applications and the desirability of mobile apps to young demographics make it a target for tech-savvy enterprises. Most importantly, young developers are embracing application programming as a new frontier of mobile usability.

While apps are crucial in transforming legacy enterprises and shaping customer experiences, it’s critical to identify particular features that make apps desirable.

Important features a business needs in an app:

1. Usability

Usability is a critical consideration in any app development exercise. That means that developers must approach any mobile app development process with usability in mind. The app must be creative, simple, and easy to navigate. Most importantly, the app must focus on robustness and intuitiveness by incorporating the things people see in apps.

2. User-friendliness

Always aim for a user-friendly app design that’s simple to navigate and highly responsive. Navigation and responsiveness are the cornerstones of any successful app design work. Therefore, ensure that your business app is user-friendly and responds well to the evolving user needs.

Some tricks to make your app user-friendly include:

  • Focus on your target audience
  • Offer superior design
  • Prioritize user security
  • Optimize graphic and font size
  • Make wise use of push notification
  • Aim for intuitiveness

A user-friendly app is highly adopted and has higher retention rates.

3. Chat and call-back

Your business app must incorporate chat and call-back options. Business communication is forever changing, making mobile apps the go-to platform for business communications. Alongside emails, chatbots, and web portals, mobile apps offer a unique avenue for users, mostly clientele groups, to communicate and interact with brands.

4. Intuitive user interface

All apps must incorporate an intuitive interface, and proprietary, discretionary privacy. Users must own their information and privacy for apps to make meaningful sense to prospective users. The fact that enterprises are accelerating their app adoption efforts means that enterprises must find new ways to retain customers. One of these ways is by offering discretionary privacy solutions, including the possibility for privacy notifications in mobile apps.

5. Payment gateway

Payment gateway integration is a no-brainer for any business app. As a business owner, you are involved in the “money” business. That means that your services and products are sold or leased out to customers, making payment gateway integration altogether important. Therefore, a payment gateway is a critical feature of your business app.

NS804 – Aiming for Excellence!

Other vital tips for business apps include:

  • User experience is your ultimate objective
  • Always aim to deliver a superior typography
  • Aim for smooth edges, soft app elements, and creative color
  • The logo is the centerpiece of your brand positioning. Keep it first.
  • Remember to keep users updated. Users must not feel lost.
  • Be accommodative in scope. Let your app encompass many features and functionalities.
  • Aim for an interactive design. You can do this by testing, fixing, and testing once again.

At NS804, we guide businesses in mobile app development.

Contact NS804 to get started on your business app development journey.

How COVID is Changing Custom Business Apps

Ways COVID is Changing Custom Business Apps Permanently

A recent study into the post-COVID business climate revealed some insight into the draining effects of Zoom meetings. Zoom, of course, is the popular video-conferencing application. Businesses and individuals have turned to using Zoom all over the world because of the pandemic. However, with such up-close pictures, and a limited range of mobility, Zoom meetings have proven to be even more stressful than their in-person counterparts. Zoom isn’t the only business application getting attention, though. Rather, custom business apps are becoming more and more popular as the work-from-home wave continues on.

Custom business apps are changing the way that companies and organizations operate entirely. Instead of being told what features are available in a one-size-fits all enterprise application; your company is king when it comes to designing a custom app specific for your organization.

Developing Your Custom Business App

After making the decision to invest in a custom business application, there’s a lot to consider before getting started. For instance, a major decision organizational leaders have to face is whether they want to go with a professional app designer, or a more cost-effective choice. Now, there are obvious benefits to both sides; cost-savings on one, and a more professional end-result on the other.

Keeping in mind the use-cases of your custom business apps, it makes sense to prioritize quality over cost when it comes to choosing a designer. Choosing a cheaper route could result in unnecessary bugs that bog down your application, or glitchy and unreliable operations. Either way: not ideal results for the application your remote teams are going to rely on.

Furthermore, choosing a professional app designer to build your custom business apps guarantees a more sleek, modernized, and updated application – ultimately boosting your remote teams instead of hindering them.

Must-Have Features

Once a designer or design firm is chosen; your team can begin looking at what features they want to include in their custom business apps. Depending on your industry, your business needs, and your general workflow; business apps can look vastly different from organization to organization. However, there are a few features that are pretty staple to include in custom business apps despite organizational or marketplace differences.

One feature that your team needs to include in your custom enterprise app, almost without saying, is an instant messaging platform. Instant messaging is a must have. This is because remote workers and teams need to be able to quickly and effectively communicate with one another. Not to mention management and business leaders.

Another must-have feature in your custom enterprise app is scheduling and video-conferencing. Folding project management and video-conferencing capabilities into your custom business apps will bring the tools that your team needs to them, no matter where they’re located. This is a huge advantage in the new economy, as the work-from-home and remote-work era is here to stay.

Wrapping Up

Custom business apps are a great way to build a framework in which remote teams and remote workers are able to thrive. As we’ve seen over the past year, a functional remote work-force is vital to long term stability. For more information on the impact of COVID and how it’s changing the economy; continue browsing NS804’s content library.

How to Build a Mobile App: Native vs. Hybrid Development

Every business and entrepreneur wants to push their product to market with the smallest investment of time and capital as possible, and for good reason. It makes sense as an appreneur to seek out the method of mobile development with the lowest cost, which is usually hybrid app development.

In our second installment of How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide, we’ll look into the pros and cons of both hybrid and native app development, and shed light on why when examining the entire lifecycle of an app, we believe native is the more cost effective choice.

It is important to note that this is a topic of debate with a wide and varied array of opinions and conclusions. Throughout my research on the native vs. hybrid debate, the overwhelming consensus is that “it depends on the developer.”

Developers and blogs are quick to espouse the pros and cons of native and hybrid apps that the tech industry has agreed upon, but there seems to be little supporting evidence as to where these findings originated, other than from their own personal experience. Articles, thought-pieces, and blogs have all come to contradicting conclusions based upon the same sets of data, and these conclusions seem to arise from the opinions and skillsets of the developers or authors themselves.

Regardless of any opinion about native and hybrid development, the most important step you can take as an appreneur or business is to work with a developer you trust – but it is important to know how each method of development can influence your app’s future.

This is a debate that seems to be mainly fueled by opinions rather than stats – but we will provide as much insight as possible by using what case studies and supporting data are out there.

There are many different lenses from which to view this debate, but we will mainly focus on answering these questions:

  • What is hybrid development?
  • What is native development?
  • What do they mean for your users?
  • What do they mean for your business?

What is hybrid development?

Hybrid development follows the naming convention of most dev terms, and does exactly as its title implies; it utilizes a software development kit (SDK) to make an app that can run on multiple platforms (Android and iOS, for example) and is coded using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – as well as others.

A hybrid app’s code is passed through a “wrapper” that the OS can understand – like an English speaker using a phone to translate a conversation with a Spanish speaker. Hybrid apps rely on plugins to access your device’s functionality – such as the device’s native hardware, camera, mapping, messaging, and email functionalities. Plugins are built and supported by third parties, and a hybrid developer doesn’t have control over how a plugin functions – only when and where it is implemented.

In a similar vein, a progressive web app (a hot topic right now) uses the device’s native browser to access a website specifically designed to display information on a mobile device. It’s akin to clicking a hyperlink, but instead of taking you to a link, it takes you to the site where the app is hosted. The app isn’t visually displaying the browser layer, but uses the device’s browser as a way to connect the device to the app.

Relatively new to the development scene is React Native, which allows developers to code an app using the same UI (User Interface) blocks as a native app, but written in JavaScript and React. It’s basically a hybrid of native and hybrid development, giving developers the opportunity to mix web-based languages with their native counterparts – and provides developers with the option to use JavaScript and React for simple processes, and the device’s native code for heavy lifting and pages that must be tight and responsive.

What is native development?

Just like hybrid, native development’s name describes its exact method of app creation; apps are coded using languages native to a specific platform, such as using Swift to write for iOS, or JAVA for Android.

Native apps can seamlessly integrate with the native functionality on your device – this gives native developers the opportunity to focus on designing the main aspects of your app, rather than spending time working with third party plugins to achieve the same functionalities already included on your users’ device. Native apps are also more secure than hybrid.

What do they mean for your users?

Your users honestly don’t care if your app is built using hybrid, native, progressive, or React Native development. They care about solving their pain point – and how well your app solves that problem. Whether it’s Snapchat (a natively-developed app with a focus on iOS) solving the dearth of filtered selfies, or an HVAC engineer using an augmented reality (AR) app to run diagnostics on a broken system, your users care about how responsive your app is to their inputs, the intuitiveness of its UI, and the quality of the solution it provides.

Users want your app to feel like it belongs on their device; they don’t want to be forced to learn how to use your app. They want your app to work for them, and the easiest way to ensure your users are provided with an intuitive UX (user experience) is to natively develop your app.

When it comes to UX/UI, natively-developed apps will almost invariably perform better than hybrid. Native apps are not only coded for a specific platform; they provide a UI that is designed to the standards and conventions of that platform. To put it simply; using an iPhone feels completely different than using a Samsung. They both display interactive information across a touchscreen; and for a user, that’s just about where their similarities come to an end.

Over time, Android and iOS users have come to expect certain commands to perform specific functions, and both platforms rely on their users to interact with apps using different sets of intuition. Both platforms have released style guides for developers to follow, which can vary significantly in their principles of design and function.

Take, for example, the difference between the home screens of Android Pie and an iPhone X:

Android Pie and iPhone 12.1.2

Above (left to right): Android Pie, and an iPhone X running iOS 12.1.2

Have you ever borrowed a friend or colleague’s phone, only to be presented with an unfamiliar UI? It’s a jarring experience, and it’s an excellent example of the personal connection we share with our phones and other mobile devices.

Android users will intuitively search for the “hamburger” (three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other) style menu to access information, while iPhone users will expect bottom menu bar navigation. It seems pretty straight-forward to adapt to either system, but users quickly form strong opinions based on their first interactions with an app, and users are more likely to uninstall your app than keep it. Within the first 3 days of an app being downloaded, 77% of the users who downloaded it have already uninstalled.

An important thing to keep in mind is that your app is not the only one on a user’s device. There are most likely apps competing for your users’ attention, and those users are liable to switch to another app at any time – especially if it doesn’t provide the best experience possible. According to Dynatrace, a software intelligence company, 48% of users are less likely to continue using your app after a negative experience, 31% are less likely to purchase another app made by your company – and will spread negative word-of-mouth marketing to their friends – and 26% will give your app a negative rating.

This is why your development method matters to your users. An app with a hybrid design will run on both platforms – but it won’t run as well as a native app. A hybrid app will always be forced to sacrifice the aspects of the user experience that make each platform unique; and because of this, your app will feel less personal – and mobile’s strongest attractor is the personal experience it provides.

If your app isn’t responsive, and doesn’t flow seamlessly with the rest of the UI/UX a platform offers, users will grow frustrated – which can lead to them switching to a competitor, or giving your app a bad rating or review.

What do they mean for your business?

Simply put, hybrid development will almost invariably have a lower initial cost and faster development time when compared to native. This is for two main reasons: There is no extra cost to write code that runs on multiple platforms, and they are written using languages web developers already know.

This means that when developing for multiple platforms, hybrid development takes roughly half the time of native, and opens access to two markets for the cost of one. This method of development usually comes with a lower billable rate, as web developers make about 20% less than mobile developers and spend less time coding and testing (initially), as the app runs on every platform using the same code.

These factors indicate hybrid development has both a lower initial investment and opportunity cost when compared to native, and are extremely compelling reasons to choose hybrid over native; but the lower up-front cost and doubled market size are traps that can lead to issues down the line that can severely hamper your app’s growth and sustainability.

It was in 2012 when Facebook CEO and tech giant Mark Zuckerberg was quoted saying “the biggest mistake that we made as a company is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native,” in an interview with TechCrunch. “[I]t just wasn’t there,” he continued. “[S]ince we’ve done the iOS app we’ve seen double the amount of feeds people consume.”

The social media company had many reasons for switching to native development, which were presented in a post detailing the performance issues and limitations Facebook encountered with HTML5. Some of these performance issues include:

  • Lagging scrolling speeds
  • Janky animations
  • The overload of data in the feed would sometimes cause the app to crash

These were issues Facebook deemed important enough to spend the time and money on developing their app natively, and is a perfect example that no matter how large your market presence is, your UX is crucial to your app’s continued growth and success.

A hybrid app may have a lower initial cost than a natively-developed one – but a native app will provide a better experience, and only the best apps perform well on the App Store and Google Play. In 2016, the top 200 apps on the App Store had an average of $82,500 in daily revenue, while the top 8,000 apps had an average daily revenue of just $3,500, a stark decline that demonstrates the need to be the absolute best at providing the solution to whatever pain point your app aims to solve.

As another example, in 2016, AirBnB took a leap of faith and began development using React Native, a switch from their native development roots (a five-part, in-depth study into their experiences with React Native can be found here). Ultimately, AirBnB decided to switch back to native development for many reasons, including:

  • There were technical and organizational issues with React Native that hampered development, causing unexpected delays on projects that could easily have been completed using native code.
  • It turned out that while their app was created using React Native, only a small portion of the app was truly coded using React. In order to work effectively, bridging infrastructure was required, and the engineers were forced to add to their work load by supporting code on three platforms instead of two.
  • While build time iterations were an order of magnitude faster than native, debugging could take days.

When comparing the cost of developing an app for both iOS and Android, native development will always be more expensive than hybrid, as code must be written separately for each platform, leading to more billable hours – but keep in mind that companies like Facebook and AirBnB have deemed that investment to be worth it.

Web developer for Mozilla, James Long, even released a thought-piece in 2015 detailing why hybrid apps will never compete with native when it comes to performance and UX.

Your users decide whether or not your app is successful, and their decision is based on their experiences using your app. Your UX is largely determined by your app’s method of development, and native development almost invariably provides a better UI/UX.

In an interesting study, Alex Sullivan (a developer and writer for thoughtbot) created a simple stopwatch app for Android using three development methods: native, React Native, and Flutter (a hybrid development kit). When testing on a Nexus 5, the natively-developed app beat out both the React Native and Flutter apps by a “non trivial margin when it comes to performance,” and both CPU and memory usage were lower on the native app than the React Native and Flutter apps.

If your app does the same thing as a competing app, but the competing app does it one second faster, users will switch to your competitor. If there is a marked difference in performance for an app that only functions as a stop watch like Sullivan’s, its easy to extrapolate why companies like Facebook decided to switch to the more expensive option of native development; they were worried someone would do it better and faster.

Android Pie and iPhone 12.1.2

One of the most important factors in determining how successful your app will be is your app’s App Store optimization, which is colloquially abbreviated to ASO. ASO is used to boost your app’s ranking in the App Store and Google Play by utilizing trending keywords to catch users searching for a solution to their particular pain point.

In the future, we’ll take an intricate look at all the strategies you can utilize to perfect your app’s ASO.

Other than keywords, your app’s user ratings, reviews, and retention are the key variables used to determine your app’s ranking on the app store. Each of these factors has a direct correlation with your app’s UX/UI, and this is where the trap hybrid development sets becomes twofold; with a cheaper and more direct path to a multi-platform release, you set yourself up to fail twice as fast, and twice as hard. Beating another appreneur or business to market is all well and good, but as soon as a competing app comes into the picture, it only has to provide a slightly better UX/UI than yours to begin siphoning from your user base.

This is where the longevity of native and hybrid development really starts to split. All apps require updates throughout their lifecycle – sometimes due to the platform itself updating, security issues, implementing additional functionality, or improving UI to follow current design trends.

If your app is hybrid, when an update for a platform is released (no matter how small of an update), you must check every plugin to make sure it’s still functional. If a plugin isn’t functioning properly, the developer must wait for the third-party provider to update the plugin itself – this can lead to downtime that is both out of your control, and your developer’s.

Hybrid apps must constantly be re-worked and tweaked to function properly on different platforms, and you’ll often attempt to solve one issue on one platform, only to begin working on a different problem for the other.

The trap set by the initial low cost of hybrid development becomes exponential by this point; a hybrid app’s UX/UI will under-perform natively-developed apps on both Android and iOS, which in turn leads to lower user ratings, reviews, and retention on Google Play and the App Store. Even if your hybrid app provides the best user experience it possibly can, there’s most likely a native app out there that’s doing it better. If a competing app’s average user rating is a four, and your’s is a three, those ratings add up, and can lead to a significant disparity between the two apps’ ASO and overall ranking.

A hybrid app, by this point, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It may have been on the market for a longer period of time than a native app, but time on the App Store or Google Play isn’t the key factor in determining your app’s success: it’s ASO. The hybrid app will constantly be battling the low or mediocre user ratings it receives, which is a huge handicap to your overall ASO score. You must now weigh the options before you: constantly provide users with updates to keep up with competition and the standards of multiple platforms, or walk away before your sunken costs get out of hand.

A native app also has the added benefit that a large chunk of your app’s ASO comes from a passive source – those being user retention, ratings and reviews – and since those factors are already robust, it gives you the ability to focus purely on keywords (the lifeblood of successful ASO) and trending topics.

It’s like building a house; it doesn’t matter how pretty the paint is if the foundation isn’t sound. A house with good bones might have a higher initial cost and take longer to build, but throughout the years it requires much less maintenance, and updates to the home can add additional rooms rather than fixing extant issues.

Interestingly enough, while hybrid apps require more updates and usually have a higher rate of bugs and crashes when compared to native apps, 44% of hybrid developers don’t track errors and crashes (this stat comes from an article arguing hybrid is a better option than native).

The pros and cons of hybrid and native development

Hybrid pros:

  • Quick development cycle
  • Low initial cost
  • Multi-platform
  • Low initial billable rate

Hybrid cons:

  • Compromised UX/UI
  • Frequent updates
  • High maintenance costs
  • Handicapped ASO

Native pros:

  • Robust UX/UI
  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Longevity

Native cons:

  • Slower development cycle
  • Higher billable rate
  • Higher initial cost

If you’re considering building an app, and are worried about the up-front costs of native development, remember that you can always start with a natively-developed MVP, and build from there. Taking the extra initial time and cost to produce a native app will inevitably save you money if you plan on your app being around for more than a year, and it’s better to start with a solid foundation than trying to go back in and fill cracks later.

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