Tag Archive for: iOS Apps

Multi-Platform App Development Myths, Debunked

Sooner or later, every appreneur has to consider multi-platform app development. And that’s scary, given the complexities involved in such an endeavor. But are things really that bad, or are we jumping to conclusions — too soon? It’s a bit of both if we delve deeper into this subject.

Let’s start with the hard part first. Yes, multi-platform app development is challenging! Having to develop for Android and iOS concurrently means you’ll have to deal with the peculiarities of each platform. You’ll need to design, develop, and test your apps for a variety of hardware, feature sets, and screen resolutions. 

If you only focus on a single platform, your development costs and time-to-market (TTM) drop significantly. However, the number of your potential app users drops in tandem. It’s perfectly okay to release on one platform early on, especially if you’re testing the market with a minimum viable product (MVP). But if your MVP proves successful, there’s no point in limiting yourself to a single platform.

Moreover, there’s never been a better time to target multiple platforms. And that’s because today’s development tools facilitate this so perfectly. Most popular development suites make it easy to target Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and even the Web — from a single codebase!

The same applies to game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, which support the above platforms, game consoles, and even AR/VR headsets. So, if you begin with a multi-platform development strategy, it will give your app almost limitless potential. 

But we won’t stop there, as we’re about to debunk more myths about this subject matter below!

1. Multi-Platform Development Results In Buggy Apps

The quality of an app largely depends on the abilities of the developer. An inexperienced or negligent developer will produce shoddy apps, regardless of whether they target a single platform or several.

However, it’s not uncommon for a developer to release a flawless app for one platform and a substandard app for another. And that’s likely due to the developer having more experience developing for one platform over the other.

2. It’s Important To Have Platform Exclusivity

This only matters if a platform holder strikes a deal with you in advance so that your app appears exclusively in their store. In all likelihood, this won’t happen if you’re a new developer unless you’re creating a unique or outstanding app. 

And that exclusivity deal better be worthwhile to make up for the loss of revenue gained from supporting additional platforms. In most cases, it’s more profitable to take the multi-platform route. 

3. Targeting One Platform Allows For More Optimization

While this is true, it’s still not a valid excuse for supporting only one platform. A developer’s mindset should always revolve around optimizing apps proportionately across all platforms. And that’s because it’s never a good idea to treat users of a specific platform as second-class citizens.

Simply put, there are no better or lesser platforms. An experienced and reputable developer — such as NS804 — views all platforms and their users holistically.

4. Users Prefer Platform ‘X’ — So Why Bother With Others? 

Sadly, fanboyism and popularity contests cloud the tech space. Android and iOS fans like to debate online about their favorite platforms and can often sway opinion. And it doesn’t end there, as smartphone manufacturers will regularly tout their latest sales figures and build up hype.

All this may leave you in a precarious position where you’re second-guessing which platform to support. But don’t ever do this, and look at the truth that’s right in front of you instead! Both Android and iOS remain hugely popular, and this trend will likely continue in the foreseeable future. So do the smart thing and support both if you have the budget and technical capabilities.

5. Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Only Run On Smartphones And Tablets

This may have been true over a decade ago, but no longer applicable. Apple and Google have grown and enriched their respective ecosystems beyond smartphones and tablets. Today, both tech giants also offer wearables, smart TVs, and even in-car options.

Furthermore, it’s now possible to run iOS apps on Mac and Android apps on Chromebooks and Windows 11 — but with a few caveats

6. Apple’s Tools Make It Difficult To Target Other Platforms

There’s indeed some level of lock-in with Apple’s development tools. These tools work great when developing for iOS and macOS but are poor choices when targeting other platforms. However, developers don’t need to limit themselves to Apple’s development tools only.

Embarcadero, Google, JetBrains, Microsoft, and The QT Company all offer excellent development suites for multi-platform development. And most popular game engines are designed with multi-platform development in mind.

7. Monetization Can Get Messy With Multi-Platform Releases

It’s likely that you’ll implement different monetization strategies for Android and iOS. And the reason for this is that the user base for each platform differs considerably. Android users love free apps and don’t mind watching ads to unlock features. But iOS users prefer premium apps and don’t mind paying for them as long as they don’t have to deal with ads.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll adjust monetization strategies during the lifecycle of your app in any case. So, don’t expect to keep everything uniform, as tweaking and experimenting are part and parcel of the app development process. 

8. Web Apps Make Multi-Platform Mobile Apps Redundant

That’s not true at all, as web apps can never replace mobile apps — especially native ones. And that’s because users expect apps to run quickly and smoothly on their devices. Unfortunately, the web app experience comes short unless it’s a small and simple app we’re talking about. 

But complex apps need to tap into the processing power of the devices they will run on, and not intermediary web technologies. 

9. It’s Difficult Making Games That Run Well Across Mobile Platforms

Making games is difficult — period! If you’ve decided to make mobile games, then you’ve signed up for a world of hurt. And that counts double if you’re making a 3D game with large levels and complex artificial intelligence (AI). 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as modern game engines make life a lot easier for developers. These engines offer all the essential tools in a single suite to allow developers to hit the ground running. And cut down on development time, as it’s no longer necessary to worry about all the under-the-hood technicalities, which often hinder the game development process.

10. Maintaining Two Or More Codebases Isn’t Practical

If you’re developing native apps for Android and iOS, you’ll need to maintain two codebases. And that’s because your Android app will be written in Kotlin and your iOS app in Swift. And if you’ve decided to make a web app, you’ll likely code it in JavaScript, which means you’ll have to deal with three codebases. 

But if you can only maintain a single codebase, you can code it in C# if you require near-native performance on Android and iOS. Or use Dart and the Flutter software development kit (SDK) for creating robust cross-platform apps. 

And there are other options, such as the Ionic Framework, making it possible to build hybrid mobile apps using JavaScript or TypeScript. However, it’s not an optimal solution, as hybrid apps don’t offer the same performance as native apps.

The Bottom Line

Multi-platform development should always be a primary consideration for serious appreneurs and app developers. The days of releasing apps on a single platform are long gone, as users have embraced several platforms. Android and iOS lead the way in the mobile space, but with the growing popularity of dumbphones, more platforms will emerge that developers need to support. 

But we understand the challenges involved with developing and releasing apps on multiple platforms, especially for newcomers to the mobile app industry. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an experienced and reputable studio, such as NS804. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal multi-platform apps for the most relevant platforms! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Do Your Users Face Too Many Choices? 

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

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

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

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

The Bottom Line 

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

Differences Between An iPhone App And An Apple Watch App

The iOS ecosystem is not only about iPhones but also allows a developer to create the kind of Apple Watch app that will turn heads. But here’s the problem, Apple’s effective marketing machine has unintentionally convinced many that iOS apps are similar across iOS devices. However, that’s not true, and developers must ensure that they don’t fall into the trap of creating apps that don’t take advantage of each device’s unique features.

Due to its form factor, the Apple Watch has a far smaller screen than an iPhone. And thus, developers must take this into account and not try to shoehorn an iPhone app into the confines of an Apple Watch. Below, we go into greater detail about what developers should consider when building an Apple Watch app.

An Apple Watch App Should Show Key Data Points Clearly

Many consumers choose smartwatches over conventional watches due to how easily they can track their fitness levels. And the size of a typical smartwatch screen is large enough to display key health attributes effectively.

Take one of the leading fitness apps on iOS as an example. WorkOutDoors has some notable differences between the iPhone and Apple Watch versions. The iPhone app of WorOutDoors’s user interface (UI) has detailed maps, displays many workout routes, and includes a comprehensive list of settings.

However, that’s not the case with the accompanying smartwatch app, which has a far simpler UI. Key health data points, such as the miles traveled, kCal, and BPM, are displayed clearly with large fonts. A user can quickly digest this information with a casual glance at the smartwatch screen.

The Ideal Apple Watch App Offers The Most Relevant Features

Most iOS users utilize their iPhones or iPads for most of the things they want to do. Whether playing a game, online banking, or video conferencing, a smartphone or tablet works well for these purposes. On the other hand, the smartwatch is not a good option for these particular use cases.

So, when planning and developing a smartwatch app, always consider what features users will most likely use. Focus on the bare essentials, and only include any additional or ‘nice-to-have’ features in your accompanying iPhone app. But ensure that both your Apple Watch and iPhone apps synchronize correctly to provide your users with a rich and seamless experience.

Create Apps That Don’t Drain The Battery Quickly

While the Apple Watch is an impressive piece of technology, it has one notable flaw — it suffers from poor battery life. And users become easily frustrated with any apps that drain the battery quickly. Therefore, ensure that you follow Apple’s best practices and guidelines when developing your Apple Watch app.

And ensure that you’re making your app as lightweight as possible and utilizing native iOS development tools. Furthermore, if your app needs to run any background tasks, keep these to a minimum.

In Conclusion

The smartwatch has become incredibly popular over the past five years. And it’s easy to see why that is, considering all the benefits and features that smartwatches offer over conventional watches. Thus, it’s worthwhile developing a compelling Apple Watch app that takes advantage of its form factor and unique features. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create stunning iOS apps that will delight your users!

Best IOS Apps To Install on Your phone

You just unwrapped a shiny iPhone. That’s probably the best feeling to welcome the New Year, and something to smile about.

The next step is to install some apps to get you started. While you could just install the apps you’re familiar with, this is a great time to try something new. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rocking a new iPhone SE or iPhone 13; here are some apps that are just better than what came pre-installed in your iPhone.

1. Spark Mail

Listen, Apple’s mail app is perfectly fine. Google’s Gmail is marginally better. Microsoft’s Outlook is a favorite of many for a reason. But Spark Mail is solid, simple, and easy to customize. This mailing app gives you the option of toggling on smart notifications. You don’t receive notifications you subscribed to years ago.

2. Facebook Messenger

Whatever your take is in the social network of record, Facebook’s Messenger is without equal. Messenger can be used in any endpoint device; you don’t need a phone number to use it. The app works on every platform, unlike iMessage. Facebook messenger has many cool features like video chatting, audio calling, and mobile payments.

3. Widgetsmith

Apple makes it easier for users to customize their phones with iPhone 14, offering easier methods and new widgets for custom application icons. One of the biggest names around when it comes to the iPhone is Widgetsmith, which lets users add quotes, texts, images, and more. Widgetsmith can be integrated with smart icon swaps, and you have a perfectly customized iPhone.

4. Libby

The pandemic has made it hard to access libraries and physical bookstores. But if you have a smartphone, you can get to the best thing: Libby, which lets you borrow audiobooks and eBooks from the local library. The app is a superior reading application to enjoy books without a dedicated endpoint like Kindle.

5. TikTok

TikTok has exploded to become the most downloaded app on the planet, with everything from comedy sketches, internet memes, and a fully-fledged musical. Without a doubt, it’s the most fun place on the internet. When you add in an algorithm that marginally displays videos perfectly suited to your tastes, you’ve got almost unlimited content to watch.

6. Tweetbot

Twitter is a horrible way to spend your time these days, but if you can’t tear yourself away from Twitter, you’ll want a Tweetbot that makes Twitter less boring and interesting. Tweetbot displays the tweets of those you follow in the order they tweeted. There are no promoted tweets or ads and powerful mute filters to block noise. Thanks to Twitter-friendly API tweaks, there are no notifications to ping you to return to the app.

7. Strava

If you want to stick to your resolutions and be more active and productive this year, no app does it better than Strava. You don’t need a smartwatch or a fitness tracker; Strava supports many activities, including staples like walking, biking, and running. Strava has third-party integrations, making it easy to use and a hub for your exercise goals. Alongside challenges that allow you to earn points on fitness gears, Strava has several safety features and many ways to measure your progress.

NS804 – Gearing Mobile App Development Efforts

If you’re searching for an app for your brand, or a business looking to reinforce your brand and market positioning, contact NS804 for iOS app development solutions.

6 Interaction Design Tips For Your Mobile App

It’s easy to establish the quality and functionality of mobile apps. A clear sign of professional design work is when the usage is effortless and smooth that users don’t think twice when using it. But, if there are interactivity issues or problems, users will automatically recognize and won’t be pleased.

Mobile apps should be clear and smooth to be effectively used anywhere and anytime. The designer’s task is to create an intuitive and engaging interface that guides users within the app, helping them operate it without navigation or interactivity issues.

Below we look at essential interaction design tips for mobile apps:

1. Provide Simple Navigation

Simple navigation provides an obvious way to move between screens and find the desired items since users must navigate back and forth in the same window. App navigation design is like a GPS or a map that helps us navigate across places, and identify the specific features we’re looking for. A great navigation design makes you feel you are in control of where you’re going, letting you know where you’re headed and where you are at all times.

2. A Large Touch Surface

Ensure to create control areas or surfaces that are easier to touch by the thumb. Providing smaller touch areas may potentially annoy the user when s/he uses the app. The finger-friendly design provides ease of use, making it possible for users to hit their desired target icons with precision.

3. Eliminate Clutter

It’s unnecessary to display every icon and information on the app’s interface. Arrange and structure your content in a way that provides users with a comprehensive understanding of the features. Reduce clutter by keeping minimum content on the screen to enhance visibility and readability.

4. Display Large Texts

As a developer, keep in mind the small size of mobile screens and keep your app’s texts large and readable. One advantage of texting in the modern digital era is immediacy. Composing and conveying a text is easy and replying to a text is even easier. So, apps with large display texts provide convenience and easy readability.

5. Leverage Touch Controls

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of mobile app controls available in design. So, there’s no need to use web controls as they’re difficult to operate on mobile. Designers must keep interfaces sleek, smooth, and easy to use with mobile touch controls.

6. Leverage Simple Forms

Provide simpler forms where users can input details and information with ease and precision. Use form controls where there’s minimum typing. A simpler form saves users time, enables users to achieve easier navigation, and helps users to manage their information with ease.

Other interaction design tips for your mobile app include:

  • Take care of thumb position
  • Provide consistent user experience
  • Lead users towards the next step
  • Match interactions to your platform
  • Use clear simple icons
  • Apply recognition patterns
  • Add game mechanisms
  • Consider multiple holds

Luckily, with outsourced mobile app development, you can enjoy interactive designs for all your mobile app development projects. You can always contact NS804 for interactive mobile app design solutions.