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When Should You Create A New App Versus Updating Apps?

When deliberating over updating apps versus creating an entirely new app, appreneurs face a serious dilemma. Will updating their existing apps continue to excite users, or will a new app take their business to the next level? We take a deeper look at both and answer several questions that you may have.

1. Should You Ever Stop Updating An Old App?

There are several reasons why you’ll want to stop updating an old app. For one, it’s so old that the user base has dwindled significantly, and it’s no longer feasible to provide updates. Secondly, it doesn’t run well on newer hardware, and an app update won’t take advantage of modern chipsets. Thirdly, your codebase has become bloated and unmaintainable that your app would benefit from a complete rewrite.

Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll disappoint your loyal users if you stop supporting a much-loved app. Ensure that you don’t alienate these users by communicating that you’ll create an entirely new and improved app that will replace the older app. And make it easy for them to move to the new app via an effective onboarding process.

If you’ve invested heavily in an older app, it’s not necessary to abandon it. You can still refactor the codebase and keep releasing it to your existing customers. But even if you do a complete rewrite of your app, you can still launch it with the same bundle ID and app name, and your users would get it.

2. Is Updating Apps More Time Consuming Than Starting Over?

If you’re working with an experienced development team, then updating apps shouldn’t take much time. The team should regularly provide minor and major updates throughout the year to keep these apps relevant. And these updates will take the form of additional content, bug fixes, enhanced functionality, new monetization options, platform compliance, and security patches, to name a few.

However, it’s important to mention that it takes several weeks for Apple’s App Store and Google Play to approve bug fixes and updates. A competent team will make several fixes before submitting a revised app to the stores. Thus, saving valuable time and ensuring that users have the most up-to-date app available.

3. Are Your New App Design Ideas Limited By Old Code?

Whether we like it or not, a piece of software will always face obsolescence at some point. No matter how advanced and innovative your app is, it’ll become obsolete eventually.

For example, you may want to implement new app design ideas that take advantage of the bigger screen real estate of foldable phones. But your older apps were designed for smartphones with single and smaller screens. You decide to roll out an update that resizes your app for foldable phones, but users complain that it feels shoehorned and that the User Interface (UI) doesn’t feel native to their phones or that the User Experience (UX) doesn’t feel quite right.

You may be able to implement these new features with an app update. If you’re refactoring your codebase and following software best practices, then you should be able to make the necessary changes. However, if this isn’t the best solution, consider rewriting your app to take advantage of the latest smartphone features.

4. How Often Are Users Updating Apps?

Every time you release an app update, ensure that you’re monitoring how often your users are updating your app. Why this is so important is because it tells you if users are still interested in your app. If they’re not regularly updating, then it’s likely that interest is waning.

Furthermore, you must gather and analyze user feedback to determine what users truly want. Perhaps, they’ve grown tired of your app, as it no longer provides them with features they find valuable. Or your app’s lagging behind competing offerings, and you’ll need to create an entirely new app to remain relevant.

5. Is A New App More Profitable Than Updating?

It largely depends if your app can retain user interest over a long period. Consider the costs associated with updating your app every year, which is approximately 20% of your initial development costs. Within five years, you would’ve spent about as much on updating an existing app as you would on a new app.

If an existing app can retain profitability over five years or more, then updating makes sense. But if an app doesn’t retain a sizable user base over this period to ensure its profitability, it’s better to create a new app. Moreover, you’ll likely attract more potential users and expand your user base with a new app, provided you also properly market and promote it.

Another side benefit of releasing an entirely new application is for listing purposes in the app stores. When you launch an app for the first time, it will get listed in the ‘what’s new’ section. Inevitably, this will enhance your app’s visibility and help you draw new users that you could never reach before.

6. Did A Major App Update Perform Well Or Not?

A major app update will increase brand loyalty as long as you provide users with the features they want. But it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. When you’re implementing additional functionality, this inevitably increases your costs. Ideally, you’ll want to monetize these extra features, especially if users find these valuable. However, it’s also possible that users don’t want to pay for these features, meaning that you won’t see a meaningful ROI.

7. Can You Transfer User Settings To A New App Easily?

Do keep in mind that there are often compatibility issues when attempting to run older apps on new hardware. But compatibility issues don’t end there. If an older app uses a different file format from a new app, transferring user settings will prove difficult.

Of course, a competent developer will offer a workaround that allows users to transfer their settings. However, it’s always good practice to implement commonly-used data formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). All your apps should parse data with this format to make it easy for users to move to your latest app without inconveniencing them.

8. Is It Too Difficult To Add New Features To Your App?

It shouldn’t prove too difficult to add new features to a well-designed and engineered app. If you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, updating apps won’t be a problem. But if your app has become bloated after several updates or suffers from technical debt, it will become hard to maintain. Moreover, adding new features will only make your app more unstable while negatively affecting its usability.

It’s crucial that your projects allow you to implement your new app design ideas. Users are always looking forward to features and improvements that make their favorite apps more engaging. Therefore, an outdated codebase can become a liability if it’s hindering you from moving forward with your ideas.

9. Will A New App Boost Your User Base?

There are no guarantees that your latest app will succeed if you release it out in the wild. It’s always easier and less costly to promote an existing app than an entirely new offering. But if you want to know if your new app design ideas are feasible, then it’s best to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to measure interest. After all, it costs less and takes less time to make an MVP than a full-fledged app, which inevitably reduces your risk.

Once you’ve ascertained that your MVP has gained traction with users, it’s time to scale. You can now move ahead and implement more of your ideas that’ll differentiate your app in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to market and promote your latest app to reach new users and increase your user base. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create a new app that engages and excites your users.

App Store Optimization Checklist: 10 Things To Do For Success

Having an App Store Optimization checklist in place should be a top priority for every appreneur. The App Store, and even Google Play, require that developers closely follow their guidelines. When developers fail to do this, their apps will inevitably languish in store rank. Furthermore, this checklist breaks down all actionable steps we can take to ensure our app’s success.

1. Why Do You Need An App Store Optimization Checklist?

It’s easy to get caught up in the development process and forget about App Store optimization. And App Store optimization is itself an involved process that many appreneurs prefer to put off, to their detriment. However, keeping an App Store optimization checklist handy gives appreneurs and marketing staff a bird’s eye view of the entire process. By breaking things down into 10 simple steps, we replace unnecessary guesswork with a winning strategy.

2. What Are The Best App Store SEO Tools?

For favorable results, always use the best app marketing tools available. And when you’re targeting the App Store, then there are three excellent tools that you should consider using. We’re listing these below with a brief description of what makes them so great:

App Annie – An App Store Optimization (ASO) tool, offering marketers a wide range of data at their fingertips. It’s worth investing in the premium plan since it features detailed user behavior, demographics, download estimations, and retention. If you’re unsure about App Annie’s effectiveness, you can always start with their free plan to test the waters.

Gummicube – A comprehensive tool that covers the entire marketing funnel, from searches to conversion. It features powerful A/B testing tools and live user feedback groups to test your store assets on the App Store and Google Play. Do keep in mind that this is a paid tool with no free plan.

StoreMaven – StoreMaven makes ASO as painless as possible by offering accurate and quick metrics. Their built-in StoreIQ algorithm gives precise data points from a smaller sample pool than alternative methods. Furthermore, you’ll have access to a design studio for effectively designing all your store pages. They offer a 30-day trial before you’re required to switch over to one of their paid products.

3. Focus On Top Keywords

Nothing’s worse than releasing your app on the App Store, only for it to languish in obscurity. And this can happen if you don’t implement the top keywords. Start researching for high-ranking keywords by using the App Store’s search bar. For example, if you’re developing a music app, enter the word ‘music’ in the search bar. The store’s search algorithm will offer several suggestions, such as ‘music maker,’ ‘music editor,’ ‘music downloaders,’ and many others.

These suggestions are exactly what users are searching for in high volumes, making good keyword ideas that you should explore further. Also, consider using TheTool for searching and optimizing keywords and tracking the visibility of your store page.

4. Master App Marketing By Checking Out The Competition

There’s no shortage of App Store SEO tools that offer additional features useful to marketers looking for an edge. MobileAction provides a wide range of tools, ranging from ASO to keyword discovery, which allows you to spy on competitor keywords. Moreover, it’s possible to conduct an app competitor analysis, giving you a clear picture of your rivals’ performance.

5. Make Your Icon Simple And Engaging

Your app’s icon is the first thing users will notice when browsing through the App Store. A bland, busy, or unprofessional design will put users off, and they won’t bother installing your app. Instead, make sure that your icon’s design is clean and engaging with a focus on simplicity. Draw inspiration from popular apps, such as Discord, Flipboard, and TikTok, which showcase good design. If you don’t have the necessary skills, then hire a designer to make your icon, as it’s worth the investment for such a critical visual element.

6. Capture Incredible Screenshots

When users discover your store page, the first thing that they look for is screenshots of your app. That’s why it’s vital to capture visually stunning screenshots that will wow your audience. If your app’s user interface (UI) already looks great, it should be relatively easy to take snapshots that look appealing. But if your app isn’t much of a looker, you should still capture crisp and high-resolution screenshots that depict what your app is about.

7. Show Your App In Action

Accompanying your screenshots, you should have at least one video showcasing your app. Show your users how smooth and responsive your app’s user interface is while highlighting its key features. And given that many users have low attention spans keep the duration of your video at under two minutes. Ultimately, your video should be short and concise while avoiding any fluff that will lessen its impact.

8. Pick The Perfect App Name

Believe it or not, your app’s name plays a significant role in whether it succeeds. Come up with a catchy, distinctive, and memorable name that best represents your app. Ensure that your title isn’t longer than 30 characters to keep in line with Apple’s regulations. Furthermore, use App Store SEO tools to research keywords that you can implement in your app’s name. App names that incorporate top keywords tend to rank higher in the App Store.

9. Consistently Update Your App Description

Every time you update your app, you have a golden opportunity to change your app description. And so you should! Your app description should always be clear, concise, and informative. Take the time to craft the first sentence so that it’s impactful and avoid unnecessary buzzwords and keywords. And, we do want to stress that you should be regularly updating your app. After all, you want your app to run well on the latest devices, enhance its security, and continue your marketing endeavors.

10. Add Local Keywords If Applicable

If you’re targeting foreign markets, you’re probably investing in translation services to localize your app. But consider researching and adding local keywords for every region that you’re targeting. It’s a big world out there, and users prefer to conduct searches in their home language. So, put yourself in the shoes of a foreign user and how they’d go about searching for your app.

11. Understand Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of app marketing is understanding your audience. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, then your app won’t succeed. However, it’s relatively easy to ascertain if your app’s appealing to a specific audience through beta testing, focus groups, and outreach initiatives.

You may even run low budget ad campaigns to see how users of a certain age, gender, demographics, and location respond. The better you understand your audience, the better you can set up your store page.

12. Encourage Reviews

Ensure that you’re providing users with a fantastic app experience. And, if you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, then you’ll be able to deliver an app that will impress them. But that’s not enough, as you’ll need to encourage users to review your app so that it ranks higher in the App Store. Prompt them, through your app, to leave a review and rating on your store page. And utilize App Store Connect to respond directly to any feedback and questions your users may have.

In Conclusion

An App Store optimization checklist is a necessity since it keeps app marketers on track. Working down this list of 10 things to do will radically enhance your App Store page and help you acquire new users organically. Contact NS804 today to learn how our App Store Optimization (ASO) services can make your app stand out.

5 Tips for iOS & Android App Development

Both iOS and Android have had an enormous impact on the business, entertainment, and tech sectors. And both platforms have been embraced by developers and users alike for over a decade. The good news is that the popularity of these platforms will unlikely diminish in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s still worthwhile pursuing app development and investing the necessary resources into applications that will excite users eager for new experiences.

1. The Latest Trends in App Development for 2021

 

Nobody can deny that 2020 was an eventful year, and much has happened in the app development space. Some of the latest trends in mobile app design include advanced animations, convenient voice search, robust aesthetic with rounded corners, and universal device UX.

But in 2021, expect app developers to kick it up a notch with improved design and powerful features. Some of the niceties users should expect; bolder and more colorful visuals, data-oriented design, embossed typography, Face ID integration, hand-drawn illustrations with more natural-looking graphics, and virtual reality (VR). Make sure to take advantage of these trends for your upcoming app to impress and retain users.

2. Supporting iOS and Android

 

In the second quarter of 2020, Apple led the US smartphone segment with a market share of 46%. Samsung came in at a close second with a 25% market share, with LG in third place at 12% and Lenovo Motorola at 7%. Generally, US consumers are satisfied with Apple’s and Samsung’s smartphone offerings. However, given Apple’s higher penetration in the US, you may want to focus on this platform initially to save on development costs if you’re targeting the American market exclusively.

But if you’re planning on releasing your app globally, then you’ll want to support Android. As of October 2020, Android has gained almost 73% of the global smartphone OS market. While it’s a compelling platform, it’s also incredibly fragmented. It’s challenging to offer all Android users the premium experience that they can get on Apple devices.

Unfortunately, most Android users don’t own powerful smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note20, which can provide a comparable experience to the latest iPhones. The hard truth is that the majority of Android devices in circulation are cheap and underpowered. Manufacturers such as Alcatel, Huawei, and Xiaomi regularly release budget mobile devices for the lower end markets. Today’s high-end apps experience performance issues on these phones due to their low memory and weaker CPUs

3. Leveraging Results on iOS

 

Make the most of Apple’s popular platform with these handy tips:

Integrate easy payment options – If you wish to sell products, services, or in-app purchases in your upcoming app, then you should make the payment process frictionless. Integrate Apple Pay and express checkout functionality to make life easier for your users.

Engage users regularly – Ensure that your app has push notifications to notify users about the latest products, promotions, and updates. Better yet, segment notifications to target your users more effectively. For example, you should send notifications to active users, inactive users, and subscribers to make your messaging more personalized.

Gain and track app reviews – Your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy will be a determining factor in the success or failure of your app. You’ll need to gain and track those vital appreneur system reviews from your users by implementing a Call-to-Action (CTA) and app review tracking API.

4. Leveraging Results on Android

 

Take your Androidapp development to the next level with these methods:

Utilize contactless payment options – Nowadays, many smartphone users enjoy the convenience of contactless payments. Integrate Google Pay and Samsung Pay into your upcoming app, and enable their respective Near Field Communication (NFC) features.

Implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) – With over 3 million apps in the Google Play store, it’s getting harder for new apps to stand out. But many successful and top-rated rated apps, such as Google Assistant and Swiftkey Keyboard, are renowned for their excellent AI.

Keep your app relevant – The Google Play algorithm doesn’t respond kindly to uninstalls and user churn. That’s why you should regularly send push notifications and emails to inactive users, encouraging them to try your app again after implementing features and optimizations that they want.

5. Finding the right partner for mobile app development

 

Developing an app that will find success on both platforms and showcase the latest trends in mobile app design is harder than it seems. However, you don’t have to go it alone if you find the right partner. Experienced developers such as NS804 can help you create an app that will cut through the noise.

Furthermore, we can craft an effective CTA that will convert users and gain those essential appreneur system reviews. We can also help out with nasty edge cases, such as dealing with an app rejection from Apple.

Unique Challenges Of Developing Both An iOS And Android App

Challenges of Developing Cross Platform

During mobile app development, developers face many challenges. Evidently, obstacles spring up throughout the entire journey. Generally, roadblocks and challenges pop up from the very beginning all the way to the end. Developing a mobile app is already a hefty task. However, that task becomes more complicated with more stipulations. In other words, the more robust a mobile app is – the harder it is to develop.

Developing an application that is cross-platform, for example, brings about a whole slew of development challenges. A cross-platform application is one that is functional on both the ios and the android operating systems. The reason so many developers prefer to build cross-platform applications is because of the market appeal.

In other words, offering the application to both android users and apple users essentially makes the marketing strategy much more inclusive and wide-spread. Essentially, this exposes the application to a much larger potential user-base and amplifies its chance for success. Improving an applications chance for success on the open market is significant, as the mobile app industry is already unbelievably saturated.

Therefore, one way to stand out, is to develop cross-platform applications that include the entire population of potential users.

Defining The Obstacles of Cross Platform

One of the main challenges of cross-platform application development is the coding language. Code is the structural building blocks that create enterprise applications, websites, and mobile apps.

Just like human language, however, there are various coding languages. The different languages apply to different operating systems. In other words, the difference between developing a mobile application for ios and android is no small difference. While the app functionality, look, aesthetic, and feel will end up being identical, the structural building blocks composing the applications are completely different.

Understanding that developing applications for both ios and android simultaneously is much more than a copy+paste type of activity, brings developers to the reality that developing functional cross platform applications takes a dedication to learning and mastering multiple coding languages.

On top of developing applications that are cross-platform and available on both ios and android, developers also need to build for various devices. Many applications are accessed from multiple devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and even tablets. This brings another slew of challenges into the development process as developers need to not only build for multiple operating systems, but also for varying screen-dimensions, and a wide spectrum of devices that consumers prefer.

Wrapping Up on Cross Platform Development

Cross-platform development is becoming the standard in app development. As both the ios and android markets are both soaring through the duration of the pandemic, it makes sense that app developers would want their applications to be as accessible as possible. This translates into taking the time to develop applications in multiple coding languages, and for multiple devices.

Get the help you need for cross-platform application development by visiting NS804 today. NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. As a premiere source for information and knowledge on mobile app development, visit NS804 today and get in touch to start realizing your mobile app.

What Will Make the Users Happy? Five Key Elements of Great UX Design

As a mobile app developer, your goal, like everybody else, is to create the best app without spending too much of your time, effort, and money. The same goes for users who expect their apps to be responsive, quick, and efficient.

Thanks to the free market, competition has soared. The increasingly cutthroat market is unforgiving to companies that churn out boring and shoddy apps. To keep your head above the water, you need to pass the bare minimum requirements. One of these is having a highly responsive UX or user interface.

An intuitive UX is the backbone of any app. It focuses on structuring an app’s components and elements appropriately to enhance the user flow. If your app doesn’t prioritize the end-user experience, it won’t last for long.

The problem is that user needs and expectations have drastically changed during the past decade. The need of the hour is for app designers to anticipate these changes to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s cover the five basic elements that make up great UX design.

1. Simplify the User Journey

Users engage withmobile apps with a specific goal in mind, which they want to achieve in the shortest time possible. Apps that have a good UX simplify a user’s journey by saving their time.

Here’s the rule of thumb: if it can be simplified, then it should. The idea is to reduce the number of steps users must take to perform their intended action.

Apps with a good UX do this by presenting information in a clutter-free dashboard that provides a smooth navigational flow. Some of the key things to keep in mind include:

  • Linear design: Linear design gives users an idea about the time it will take to complete their task. It gives users the ability to complete one action at a time, which is important for consistency.
  • Progressive disclosure: This strategy manages the complexity of user information by only showing the vital pieces of information to users when they need it. The idea is to reduce the overflow of information on their screens.
  • Anticipatory design: This fairly new UX pattern seeks to create a delightful user experience by eliminating needless choices and responding to user needs one step before they express those needs.
  • Visually-rich content: Visually-rich content can captivate users, simplify navigation, and inspire users to explore further.

2. Organize Content

Try to organize the content so that it appeals to users. Your goal should be to ensure that nothing gets in the way of the user’s exposure to your app’s content. This means eliminating unnecessary distractions and any visual clutter, shining the spotlight on the essence of the message you want to convey. Visual cues such as contrasting colors for CTA links are good at guiding users from point A to point B.

Try to eliminate irrelevant information that only seems to get in the way. This allows users to effortlessly pick up on useful information.

3. Personalize the App

Personalizing an app can be a time-consuming task that is also overwhelming, but one that ultimately pays off. Recent trends are shifting from generic experiences to personalized experiences because the latter save time and get more user attention. Researchers from McKinsey found that businesses that deliver personalized experiences can boost their sales by more than 10%.

Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning make this a walk in the park. Most companies do this by asking their customers to take style quizzes so they can obtain more information about their lifestyle and preferences.

4. Biometric Authentication

Many mobile apps are adopting biometric authentication because it minimizes the risk of getting hacked and makes it convenient for users to verify their identity. Moreover, biometric technology is becoming increasingly available because devices can recognize a person’s identity based on particular characteristics.

Instead of having a laundry list of passwords for different apps, biometrics allows users to verify their identity with fingerprints and even voice or facial recognition.

5. Minimize Data Input

Another important area of app UX is to minimize the amount of user input required. Most users have an attention span of less than 8 seconds, which leaves a very short window for designers. The more data a person must enter into an app, the more likely they are to abandon the app and move on.

It’s no big deal to fill out a form with three or four fields on a desktop, but expecting the same on a mobile app turns users away. Most apps do this by giving users the option to use one of their existing accounts (such as a Google, Twitter, or Facebook account) instead of signing up from scratch. The only thing users now must do is to tap on authorize access for a new registration.

Do keep in mind that some users are a little skeptical about linking their accounts and would rather take the time to fill out the form.

Are you ready to develop your app? We offer UX/UI design and development services with expertise in native apps for Android and iOS. Reach out to us on our website here!