Tag Archive for: custom mobile app

4 Reasons Why Retailers Should Be Using Mobile Apps

Retailers don’t have it easy, as they need to navigate a competitive and uncertain business environment. And considering how much Covid-19 has impacted the retail space, the old ways of doing business no longer apply.

So what should business leaders do to sail the rough seas and come out ahead on the other side?

Firstly, all business leaders should learn about and embrace the latest mobile technologies. Secondly, they should assess how these technologies will fit their business needs and fulfill goals. And thirdly, they should work with an experienced developer, such as NS804, to create the right solutions for their needs.

For retailers, mobile apps can radically transform their businesses for the better. These apps can automate and enhance specific business processes, excite and expand the customer base, and introduce several m-commerce opportunities.

But it’s not only brick and mortar businesses that can benefit from mobile apps but also online retailers. And by online retailers, we don’t only mean those that sell and ship physical goods but also those that sell digital products. The versatility of mobile apps makes them ideal for a variety of businesses.

Now, we understand that it’s not always easy to pinpoint how mobile apps can serve your business. So we’ve compiled this handy list to help you identify the pain points your business and customers may experience and how mobile apps can mitigate or solve these issues.

1. Build An Ecosystem That Serves Your Business Entirely

Have you noticed how big tech companies have built walled gardens to herd their customers? Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others have gained tremendous leverage by locking users into their platforms. And even smaller players such as Funimation, Netflix, and Spotify have monopolized specific segments of the media streaming market.

Sure, all these platforms offer numerous opportunities for savvy businesses. But consider for a minute that you’re running an indie record label that has signed up several promising artists. You decide to make available recordings of these artists on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube Music. And this isn’t necessarily a bad move, as all these platforms have huge audiences you can reach.

However, you’re also driving business to these platforms, diminishing your brand, and limiting your potential revenue. And that’s because your customers can only get hold of your music on these platforms and not directly from you. Furthermore, the branding of each platform holder will always overshadow your brand. And with streaming services such as Spotify, you’ll receive a pittance every time a user streams songs from one of your artists.

The good news is that you can avoid all these issues by building a mobile app that your customers can download. Within the app, you may allow your customers to download or stream music and even purchase physical copies (on CD, tape, and vinyl) of albums. And any time you release a new album, you can notify your customers via in-app and pop-up notifications.

Ultimately, you’ll establish an ecosystem that serves your business and yours alone, which means that your customers remain yours. And a third party doesn’t get to determine how much you can earn, how you market your music, and how you reach fans.

2. Increase Your Cross-Selling Capabilities

Let’s stick to the indie record label example for now. And let’s consider how a mobile app can increase cross-selling of your products.

But you may ask, “How does cross-selling benefit a record label?”

It’s likely that fans will want to purchase merchandise such as caps, t-shirts, and posters of their favorite artists. It’s even possible to upsell, such as enticing a fan that has added a digital album to the cart to purchase the limited-edition vinyl release at a reduced price.

And how you go about cross-selling merchandise can take several forms with a mobile app.

You may notify fans with in-app and pop-up notifications whenever you have new merchandise available. And if these fans have opted in to receive emails, you can cross-sell merchandise via this additional avenue. When done right, an email marketing strategy can effectively drive customers down the sales funnel.

But since your mobile app will also have a database on the backend, you’ll have an accurate record of all your customers’ purchases. For customers that have bought one or more albums of a particular artist, you can target these customers specifically with merchandise. Thus, you don’t have to waste your marketing efforts on customers that prefer other artists or don’t bother purchasing merchandise.

Another way this data may aid you is by identifying the locations of your most loyal customers. And if you have the necessary funds available, you may decide to have artists perform gigs at these locations and set up a merchandising table at all live venues.

You may also set up a pop-up shop at a fair or mall for short-term selling and cross-selling purposes. In all cases, your app will serve as the hub to inform fans and merge your digital and physical endeavors.

3. AR & VR Benefits Clothing Retailers

Now let’s shift gears and focus on a more traditional business, such as a clothing retailer. If you’re running such a business, it’s likely that you’re operating out of a physical location such as a store in a mall or shopping street. And most, if not all of your customers, need to visit your store to try on and purchase your clothes and accessories.

While this is a common way clothing retailers do business, it’s not very efficient or forward-looking. But what will it take to change course and deliver a more convenient shopping experience to your customers? Thanks to the advent of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it’s now possible to serve customers that live far away from your store.

You can craft a mobile app with AR or VR functionality that contains accurate 3D models of all the clothes and accessories you have in stock. And if the app has AR functionality, it will utilize the accelerometer and cameras of the phone to detect the customer’s physical form, angle, and view orientation.

Then, the customer will pick a clothing item displayed on the app, which will then show the item superimposed on top of the customer on the phone’s screen. The customer will also have the ability to adjust the fit, size, and color (if available) of the item on the fly. Once the customer is happy with how the item looks on them, they can add it to their cart or initiate a one-click purchase.

Now, you can ship the order and conduct an in-app survey soon after the customer receives the item to ascertain their satisfaction or lack thereof. Having this information will help you make changes to the products you offer and service levels if necessary.

4. Mobile Apps Power Up Fast-Food Restaurants

Finally, let’s focus on fast-food retailers of all shapes and sizes. Mobile apps have already proven their worth in this particular market segment. And with the many excellent food delivery apps available, customers have a growing appetite for quick and convenient food purchases.

A well-conceived fast-food mobile app allows customers to view an outlet’s menu and place orders with as few clicks as possible. Furthermore, all food items, descriptions, prices, images, and UI elements must be clear and crisp so that elderly customers and those with vision impairments can easily discern these and place orders.

But this mobile app isn’t only for placing orders, it’s also a powerful promotional tool. Instead of printing thousands of expensive full-color glossy flyers, you can promote your latest gourmet burger directly inside your app. Moreover, you can utilize animations, motion graphics, sounds, and a step-by-step video of how you make your gourmet burgers.

Not only is this more impactful than using printed materials, but customers can also tap on this visual promo, which will take them directly to the checkout page to complete their order. And that’s powerful because fast-food restaurants rely heavily on impulse sales.

In Conclusion

Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses through to online retailers can all benefit from having their own custom mobile app. The examples we’ve described above present a few of the possibilities that help enhance businesses. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create a mobile app that can transform your retail business for the better!

Do You Need A Custom App? Here Are 5 Signs That You Do

Deciding if your company needs a custom app may seem like a no-brainer. Then you come across online articles that sing the praises of off-the-shelf solutions. And these articles may convince you that the cost savings and ease of implementation of these turnkey solutions will have you covered. 

But that’s not entirely true, especially if you need a solution that must address specific business processes unique to your organization. That doesn’t mean that you should never use turnkey solutions, but keep in mind that these have a one-size-fits-all approach. 

So, they may be good at addressing problems experienced by businesses in general. Yet they seldom solve problems exactly the way you want, as they pertain to your organization’s needs. Thus, there are many ways your business will benefit by going with a custom app, which we’ll cover in more detail below. 

1. A Custom App Will Address Unique Business Needs

Every organization is different, so why rely on generalist solutions? And that’s also a question you should be asking if you need to solve complex problems. 

Let’s assume for a minute that you need to develop a mobile app that must collect a lot of data. Not only that, you want the data made available in JSON, XML, and your in-house encrypted and proprietary file format. And you want to retrieve, store, and transmit these files seamlessly across all your existing systems. Systems that may be outdated but still serve your needs perfectly. 

Now that’s a cumbersome problem — but will you find turnkey solutions that will solve it? If you look hard enough, you may find several off-the-shelf solutions that may work. And you’ll likely need programmers to make these diverse solutions function correctly. 

But things will get messy, and you’d better hope your in-house programmers or outsourced team are up for the task. If competent, they’ll likely cobble together a workable solution, but one that’s a Frankenstein of a creation. But if that’s not the case, you’ll have sunk time and money into a failed project. 

However, you can avoid such an outcome by working with professional custom app developers, such as NS804. You can discuss and outline your needs and the specifications that the custom solution must meet. And you can rest assured that the finished app will have all the features you need while meeting and even surpassing your quality standards.

2. Scale Your Custom App Only When Necessary 

Developing a custom app gives you total freedom to decide its future. Perhaps, you’re happy with your app and have no plans to scale up for the foreseeable future. But if you go with an off-the-shelf solution, you may not have this luxury. And the reason being is that many turnkey vendors like to lock in customers to the way they do business. 

Many operate as a Software as a Service (SaaS) and rely on subscriptions with a tiered pricing model. So, you may miss out on features or receive additional features that you don’t need based on your tier. Worse still, vendors may remove mission-critical features or enforce version upgrades at the most inopportune times while offering no tangible benefits. 

And then, there’s no guarantee that these vendors will be around for the long haul. You may want to scale up your app two years down the line but find out that the turnkey vendor has gone out of business. Or they may abandon specific APIs and toolsets essential to the continuous development of your app. In some cases, they may break compatibility with earlier versions of their own solutions or even operating systems, such as Android and iOS.

In a nutshell, relying on off-the-shelf solutions presents many risks. And if you’re a startup, you shouldn’t be wasting money on solutions that bring too much or too little to the table. It’s better to work with a custom app developer to scale up your app only when necessary, as this will free up funds that can go into other areas of your business.

3. Enhanced Security That Surpasses That Of Turnkey Solutions

As a business leader, you want your mobile app to have the tightest security possible. That’s especially true if you need to pass around valuable company data or handle payments. But that’s only possible if you have a clear understanding of the underlying technologies and security protocols. 

That’s the beauty of custom app development, as you’ll know exactly what technologies power your app. And there won’t be any hidden surprises if the custom app developer and your in-house security team work closely. Furthermore, they can further tighten security immediately after encountering a vulnerability. Something that’s not always possible if you were to rely on turnkey solutions.

Apart from the additional control over your security, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of improved integration. There’s no guarantee that off-the-shelf solutions will integrate with your existing systems. And even if they do, it’s unlikely that this will result in an elegant and optimally secure process.

4. Unlock A Plethora Of Marketing Opportunities 

Your mobile app won’t only help promote your brand but also give you a direct marketing link to your users. And you may decide to initiate your marketing campaigns via well-planned push notification strategies. After all, push notifications are powerful at delivering value, driving sales, and enhancing brand loyalty.

But if you take the custom app route, you can optimize your direct marketing endeavors. And you can increase or widen your marketing pipeline according to your needs and do this at any time. Furthermore, you won’t deal with any limitations imposed by turnkey vendors or wait for them to introduce the marketing features that you need. 

Another reason why you want to have complete freedom over your direct marketing channels is that you want to build long-term relationships with your users. Thus, you don’t want a third-party vendor to become an intermediary that gains access to your users and their data. There’s always the risk that they turn out to be a bad actor or suffer from security vulnerabilities down the line. And it’s not just their reputation that will suffer, but yours too.

5. Deliver A Superior User Experience

Nobody knows your users better than you do, so you’re in a position to create an app they’ll find appealing. So the most sensible choice is to develop a custom app that will meet or surpass your users’ expectations.

You want to create an app that allows users to complete tasks with as few taps as possible. A quality app with a well-designed user interface (UI) will reflect positively on your brand. Moreover, this will build brand loyalty and help with retention, so getting repeat business will be much easier.

And you can also improve the perception of your organization by allowing users to connect via the app. Thus, allowing them to communicate, give feedback, and lodge complaints, directly and quickly. If users see that they can resolve issues inside the app without being inconvenienced, they’ll likely keep it installed on their phones and recommend it to others.

The Bottom Line

Developing a custom app is usually the right choice for most organizations. And that’s because the end product will be far superior to that made with turnkey solutions. It will be more secure, run smoother, have better custom marketing pipelines, offer scalability when necessary, and deliver a better user experience. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create cutting-edge custom apps that will engage your users! 

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.

Android App Development Without Programming

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

1. Choosing An App Builder For Your Next Project

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

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

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

2. No Coding Solutions For Mobile Game Developers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Trends In Mobile App Development: Mobile App Security

In today’s world, security has become paramount in mobile app development especially in securing the user’s data. A breach in mobile security could spell doom for large and small business enterprises as the hackers could gain access to personal data and banking information and live location of its users.

Consumers of Apps depend on organizations to thoroughly test their applications before deployment. They also trust that their data is protected not just from hackers but also 3rd parties like malware. Due diligence is of utmost importance for NS804 as they work to ensure customers have a great experience when using technology.

How to keep data on mobile business apps encrypted

Businesses must keep their data secure from hackers and competitors. These can only be done by creating the best strategy for safekeeping. A formal IT security strategy stipulates how data will be protected and what will be done should anything go wrong. An incident response strategy keeps the business steps ahead.

Good software could come in handy to protect data from malware. In addition to this, applying a firewall and keeping the emails clean from spam will help secure your business data. A business must invest in the best software as it saves you from data recovery costs.

The use of solid passwords would come in handy to keep the wireless network secure. This is done through numbers, letters, and special characters to make it difficult to guess.

Also, all passwords should be safeguarded and kept only by password managers. This action protects employees from remembering them or, worse, writing them down.

Software should be updated regularly and automatically to its latest versions. Hackers enjoy the opportunities that older versions of software pose to exploit vulnerabilities. Security systems should be updated to seal this loophole.

Moreover, it is prudent that the operating systems and other software are to their latest versions.

Lastly, data should be disposed of properly to ensure it does not land in the wrong hands. A Proper data destruction policy should be laid down to ensure data is unrecoverable. It is wise to use a tool that overwrites your data multiple times hence making it unrecoverable.

Why is App testing critical to security?

Mobile App testing is an active process that rigorously analyses an app’s weaknesses, strengths, and vulnerabilities. It is a dynamic process because hackers and potential intruders keep inventing new techniques.

As an enterprise in app development, one should be in touch with the latest design trends in app development. Their motivation could be recognition, money, and even fun.

Most business enterprises experience budget constraints in their lifetime. This is the top reason for the poor security of business mobile applications. Companies need to conduct extensive research when trying to cut costs, especially choosing offshore software developers. A breach in security could lead to customers losing their confidence in an organization.

Subsequently, this could lead to intense damage to a brand name. Reputation is vital even when selling an idea to potential investors. Remediation costs could even be higher than application testing costs.

The right building blocks help to cut down on shortcut costs and keep customers happy. It also eases your work as a developer.

Top 6 Mobile App Security Threats

Mobile application security threats could be classified into different categories: network-based threats, web-based threats, application-based threats, and physical threats.

  1. Insufficient authentication and authorization controls. If the rules are flawed, they allow intruders to execute functionalities in the backend server or mobile application.These modifications could ultimately compromise the backend services. Countering this threat could involve multi-factor authentication to validate a user’s identity on the platform. The use of security questions as well as one-time passwords could come in handy.
  2. Malware has consistently been a common threat affecting apps today because it constantly evolves and takes new forms. The best and easiest way to protect your devices from malware is to avoid getting infected in the first place.Combating this crisis would involve the use of antivirus software. Once installed, ensure it is updated regularly for efficiency. Also, look out for indicators such as Emails opened from unknown IP addresses as this could be a sign of an unknown malware in your computer.
  3. The choice of an operating system (OS) will ultimately affect its performance for the intended job. Small and medium enterprises may find OS expensive to buy and maintain. They are also not entirely secure; hence if an issue occurs, one might lose all the data stored in the system.It would be wise to install the right and secure OS for the intended work and budget for it to avoid shortcuts.
  4. Login security protocol has been a significant mobile app security threat. In mobile app development, it is necessary to provide consumers with a secure way to log in. The user interface should be not only friendly but also secure for its users. This is where trust is built.Also, when a gadget is lost or stolen, one should lock it remotely or engage the remote data wipe feature. The use of multi-level authentication and use of security questions comes in handy to protect consumers. When this is not done, one’s data could be obtained for identity theft, among other crimes.
  5. The Internet of things (IoT) could also present a mobile app threat, especially if a bug is embedded in the system. This is because other connected devices will become corrupted. Moreover, currently, there is no international standard of compatibility for IoT. It presents a problem for devices from different manufactures to communicate with each other.
  6. Lastly, switching between devices poses a security threat in the sharing of data such as passwords. For this reason, some of the best practices in mobile app development require one to secure the app and consumers’ data.In the event a person logs in from a different device, further authentication procedures should follow. End-to-end encryption of data ensures data is protected from unauthorized access.

Manufacturers of mobile devices have gone a step further to secure their devices and give consumers a great customer experience. The use of phone locks has facilitated this. A person can draw a pattern, input their password or use their fingerprint to unlock a device.

Moreover, Android users have a feature to help them “find my device.” This has proven to be helpful, especially for clients in areas prone to theft of mobile devices.

Mobile App developers have also upgraded their data encryption to allow only authorized users access to the devices’ information. A robust hardware device will be best compatible with reliable software.

In summary, current trends in mobile app developments only require the best from app developers. Security ranks as a top priority in custom and business mobile apps development. Companies as well as individuals rely on these applications to process data and simplify work. We cannot let them down, and not in this century.

Incorporating User Testing Into Custom Mobile Apps

Creating compelling custom mobile apps is only possible when incorporating an effective Beta Testing program. It’s a difficult but necessary step that will help you retain users and further grow your app in a competitive marketplace. 

1. What Is Beta Testing And Why It Matters

Whether you’re specializing in consumer or custom enterprise apps, you want to release quality products. But how do you know that you’re achieving this goal? Well, you’ll know if your app is truly high-quality when your users download it, evaluate it, and give you positive feedback. However, a rigorous Beta Testing process is essential to reach this point.

So what is Beta Testing, and how does it benefit the development process? Firstly, it allows you to gain an understanding of the user experience before releasing the final product. Secondly, you can test your app’s compatibility across browsers, devices, and operating systems. Thirdly, you can quash bugs and fix any issues that testers find before making your app available to end-users. Finally, Beta Testing commences soon after the Alpha Testing phase, and the app should be stable and at least 90% complete. 

2. How To Test Custom Mobile Apps Remotely

You may have an in-house group that handles Beta Testing. But you may not have the office space and resources available to have in-house testers. Furthermore, you’ll likely not have access to the wide range of devices to test your app on, especially when dealing with the Android platform. 

But you can solve some of these problems by recruiting remote users that can test your app. And you’ll need to incentivize these users with money, gift cards, or freebies to make it worth their while. Ensure that you’ve defined your goals and all actionable tasks, and communicate these clearly to your testers. Moreover, regularly hold video meetings with all remote testers to discuss their user experience in depth.

3. How To Choose Testers For Customer Mobile Apps 

Ideally, you’ll want to build a community of beta testers loyal to your brand and excited to help improve your products. And you’ll find many capable testers on social media and software collaboration platforms, such as GitHub. You’ll also need to decide whether to run a public or private beta program, with the latter better suited for custom enterprise apps.

Make sure to create a beta page where testers can learn more about your beta program. Let them know what type of app they’ll be testing, the duration of the test, what you’ll require of testers, what types of tasks you’ll assign, how they’ll submit bug reports and feedback, and what will happen when the beta test ends.

4. How To Gather And Analyze User Feedback

Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to draw up surveys and Q&As for your testers to complete. If you need to beta test multiple custom mobile apps, create a beta program for each with an accompanying survey form. Then, ask your testers to fill the relevant forms after completing specific tasks.

You may also want to set up a Slack workspace, which will serve as your central feedback channel for all testers. Here, you can collate and analyze user feedback and manage your beta community.

5. How Often Should You Test Custom Enterprise Apps

Depending on the complexity of your app, the test period can range from two to twelve weeks. But even if you’re building a simple minimum viable product (MVP), make sure not to go below two weeks, as this won’t be a sufficient amount of time for Beta Testing. And the frequency of tests will depend on how often you release builds introducing new features that require testing.

Developing custom enterprise apps is a long and complex process. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help with your mobile development and Beta Testing needs. 

How A Custom Mobile App Widens Your Target Audience

Growing Your Audience With a Custom Mobile App

The information era is in full swing and is widely roaring forward. In fact, the last year acted as a massive accelerant into the age of digitalization. This is because, in part, so many people stayed inside during the breadth of the pandemic. However, even as things open back up, it’s unlikely that the age of digitalization subsides. Evolving, adapting, and going with the flow are some of the best traits that a business leader can exemplify. For businesses in the modern economy, this means preparing to go digital. One way to do this is by building a custom mobile app.

Custom apps are different than your everyday run-of-the-mill application. First of all, a custom mobile app is, well, customizable from the top to the bottom. Rather than using a template application that limits your creativity, functionality, and presentability, a custom app gives you full control. Plus, certain app templates won’t work across all devices and screen sizes.

Therefore, to ensure that your mobile app works for everyone, regardless of device type or size, it makes sense to go with custom.

Testing

Beyond scope, design, and function, a custom mobile app undergoes far more testing than freelance or template mobile applications do. A custom app designed and developed by a legitimate agency will be tested across a broad spectrum of demographics, target markets, and devices. This significantly widens the reach of your mobile application and in turn, grows your audience.

Final Thoughts

Bringing your modern company into the digital era is no easy task. Especially because keeping up with technology is going to be an ever-shifting strategy moving forward. Launching a custom app for your organization, however, is a great first step to take.

For more information on custom app development, keep browsing NS804’s content library.

Why Android App Development is Becoming More Popular for Businesses

Taking a Closer Look at the Rise of Android App Development

There’s no such thing as a strictly domestic economy anymore. Rather, domestic economies are now a part of the international economy. In other words, in thinking about business internationally, one must consider a multitude of perspectives. While iOS systems are name brand, if you will, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in Android systems. In fact, Android systems are more popular on a worldwide basis for business purposes than iOS systems. There are a few factors that play into this. However, with the current rise of Android business applications, it’s important to consider why there’s been a rise in Android app development.

Factors Behind the Rise of Android App Development

First and foremost, one of the most appealing traits of Android app programming is the flexibility. While iOS systems are well known for their robust security programs, sophisticated aesthetics, and proprietary software; Android applications give the creator much more flexibility and versatility. This allows designers and developers to be more creative in the solutions they create and the applications they deliver. In turn, this also brings about a more unique user experience to various applications and systems built to run Android.

Additionally, Android applications are typically cheaper to develop. This is because of two main reasons. The first is that Android applications use multiple languages; unlike iOS systems that solely read python. Beyond the accessibility of development, however, Android app development is also generally cheaper because of the required expertise and the devices that normally utilize Android. In other words, cheaper equipment leads to lower costs.

However, saving money isn’t the only reason that businesses are choosing Android systems over iOS. Between the heightened flexibility of Android development and the lower costs involved, this makes it even easier to customize Android applications. Since the programming is slightly easier, and the expertise is lower, it often gives designers more time to run trials and truly pinpoint the end result they want.

Finally, there’s the global factor. As mentioned above, there’s no such thing as a domestic economy anymore, and this means that, to some extent, the majority rules. More precisely, this just refers to the concept of accessibility. Businesses and organizations want to be accessible to the people who rely on them. This not only means the stakeholders and consumers, but also the workers, employees, and staff. One way to boost accessibility, especially to a global audience, is by being available on the most globally popular operating system that exists: Android.

Wrapping Up With Final Thoughts

There are a lot of reasons that businesses are choosing Android app development over iOS. From the flexibility that Android offers both designers and developers, to the less expensive costs associated with Android development, and the unbeatable accessibility; it makes sense that organizations all over the world are choosing Android.

Join the modern era and prepare your organization for the coming wave of digitalization. For more information on Android app development, or anything else app development-related, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday appreneur.

What’s Involved In Maintaining A Mobile App?

Input cost is always a primary consideration when embarking on the app development journey. That makes sense when a simple mobile app costs about $37,500 while a complex app is north of $500,000. Undoubtedly, designing and developing an app is a substantial investment that company leaders need to comprehend. But they also need to understand the importance of maintaining their applications after releasing them.

User expectations have risen considerably, and they seldom put up with buggy, obtrusive, and unengaging apps. That’s why it’s vital to listen to user feedback and roll out the necessary bug fixes and content updates. However, this is an ongoing process that increases the likelihood of — keeping users hooked — when done correctly. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at what’s involved in maintaining a mobile app.

1. App Development Is Ongoing

 

Pushing an application out the door is only part of the app development process. And the reason for this is that an app is never truly finished if it’s going to enjoy long-term success. There’s no shortage of applications in the App Store and Google Play, which means that users have an almost endless amount of options. Therefore, they’ll quickly delete lackluster apps to make space for those that seem more promising.

Many users have no qualms about removing applications that have intrusive in-app purchases, poor UX, security vulnerabilities, technical issues, unnecessary features, and when they lack content or violate user privacy. However, you can avoid or reduce the frequency of these issues by regularly rolling out updates for your apps.

2. Hidden Mobile App Costs

 

Developing applications comes with its fair share of hidden mobile app costs. Back-end hosting, gathering user feedback, keeping up with OS updates, maintaining a developer account, supporting new devices, and providing maintenance and support, all cost time and money. Since an app requires regular updates during its life cycle, the costs of maintaining and supporting it may exceed its initial development costs.

3. Listening To User Feedback And Requests

 

The apps that succeed are those made by developers that take user feedback seriously. That’s why you should always be listening to user feedback and responding to their requests timeously. Look out for reviews left by experts and regular users in the app stores, and always make sure to respond with the necessary bug fixes, updates, or replies.

Their feedback will also help shape your app since you’ll gradually implement features and improvements that users want. Furthermore, by understanding user behavior you won’t waste resources on unnecessary content and features.

4. Pushing New Content

 

It’s vital to keep users engaged so that they don’t lose interest in your app. A good way to achieve this is by pushing new content at regular intervals. And one of the most efficient ways to notify your users about these changes is with push notifications. But there’s a push notification cost that you’ll need to consider. While several analytics platforms and vendors offer a free tier to help you get started, eventually, you’ll need to invest in a paid service to increase your reach.

The Bottom Line

 

Maintaining a mobile app is an essential part of the app development process. And doing it right means that you’re ascertaining all the hidden mobile app costs and listening to user feedback. Furthermore, you’re taking advantage of push notifications and applying the right strategies to keep your push notification cost as low as possible. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop and maintain engaging mobile apps.

“After” COVID-19 – Preparing My Company for The Next Pandemic

Learning From COVID-19

2020, if nothing else, has been a year full of change and lessons. Additionally, 2020 brought about a ton pof changes. Changes that businesses and consumers had to adapt to. Shortly after the onset of the pandemic many companies closed their doors. Other businesses still reduced their capacity significantly. However, the largest trend to emerge from 2020 is the move toward a remote working environment. Some organizations were ahead of the curve with their pandemic prep.

Companies need to prepare for the rest of the pandemic. Not only that, organizations also need to look ahead toward the next pandemic. Taking from the lessons learned from COVID-19.

Looking Beyond The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Companies are still trying to recover from broken supply chains amongst other things. Not only that, but the global market is under an incredible amount of stress. Simultaneously, companies are still coping and managing social distancing practices. Ultimately, that limits the amount of business they can serve at any given time.

However, it’s never too late to prepare for the next storm.

Many companies have had to find new ways to operate. In many instances this has included shifting toward a remote-working environment. Working remotely has become the norm of 2020. As such, companies need to prioritize the various aspects that make it possible for businesses to function remotely.

One of the ways to do this is to equip employees with the proper software and hardware. This allows employees to run modern software and applications. Another vital element is communication. Robust communication channels empower staff members.

Without proper internal communication deadlines are missed, projects fall off track, and collaboration collapses. The result is subpar performance, and a culture that allows for miscommunications regularly.

Other Solutions

Beyond shifting to a virtual environment and a remote-working world, companies have continued to be creative in finding new solutions. In a time where companies are facing many unique and specific challenges, custom applications have started to emerge as source of many solutions.

Now more than ever before, companies are turning to AI and custom enterprise applications in order to collect and manage data on a larger scale. Not only will data related activities happen on a larger scale, but they will also occur in a more efficient manner. Bringing your business into the modern world means adjusting to the new playing field.

Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that another pandemic could very well hit us down the road, now is the time to start preparing for an entirely digital experience.

Going Totally Digital For The Next Pandemic

The customer experience of tomorrow is completely digital. With more businesses transitioning into remote working environments, and turning to custom mobile apps, and AI based solutions for data management and collection, the economy is recognizing the reality of this pandemic, and the next one.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person, and is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today to get in touch with a mobile app developer and start turning your idea into reality.