Tag Archive for: iOS

Which Comes First When Developing A Mobile App — iOS Or Android?

Should you choose iOS or Android for your next app project? Well, that largely depends on your goals. And that’s because these goals will help you determine which platform you should develop for first.

But you may have heard that it’s cheaper and faster to develop for iOS. And that’s true, but this is seldom a good enough reason to opt for iOS over Android. It’s better to consider the target audience and what platform they predominantly use. 

Ultimately, always consider where your app will likely succeed first. Below, we reveal a few handy tips to help you choose iOS or Android — but to do so wisely! 

1. When Developing A Premium App

It’s no secret that iOS users spend more on apps than their Android counterparts. Moreover, they prefer premium apps and are willing to purchase apps instead of watching ads like Android users. And that difference is significant, as users spent $85.1 Billion in the App Store versus $47.9 Billion in the Google Play Store in 2021.

So, if you’re planning on going premium with your next app, then iOS is the clear winner. The same applies if you’ll be monetizing via in-app purchases and subscriptions, iOS still leads the way here. But be careful with utility applications, as these tend to do better on Android and don’t engage iOS users as much.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

One of the most crucial factors that will determine whether you’ll choose iOS or Android for your upcoming project is your target audience. And then, you’ll need to determine their demographics, locations, and preferred platform.

Outside North America and most Western territories, Android reigns supreme, especially in the developing world. Android has a 72% market share, and iOS has 26% of the mobile audience. So, if you’re aiming for maximum downloads, especially with a freemium app, Android’s your best bet!

Since most Android users reside in low and middle-income countries, you’ll be reaching a diverse audience. And that means you’ll need to spend some time and money on localization.

3. Starting With iOS Or Android For Mobile Game Development

Between Apple and Google, the latter has historically been the more game-friendly company. But that’s slowly changing, especially after the introduction of the Apple Arcade subscription service. However, Google remains competitive with Google Play Pass and Instant Play games.

And then, there’s the wide variety of platforms and storefronts that Android reaches. Android apps and games run on Chromebooks, and Google Play Games (still in beta in some regions) now run on PC. Furthermore, the Amazon App Store, Huawei AppGallery, Samsung Galaxy Store, and several other stores host Android games. 

Thus, Android offers developers many more opportunities to reach gamers than Apple. And specific genres, such as arcade, puzzle, and racing games, tend to earn more as freemium titles, which suits Android perfectly.

However, if you want to be featured in the App Store, you may want to hold off on the Android version momentarily. The cool thing about the App Store is that it’s curated by humans who take an interest in titles that stand out. And if you provide them with a unique game that’s timed-exclusive, it’s possible to be featured, leading to many downloads and sales.

The Bottom Line

Both iOS and Android are fantastic platforms that offer developers plenty of solid opportunities. But you need to develop apps first for the platform that lines up with your goals closely. Avoid fanboyism and the hype surrounding a particular platform, and focus on the platform that will deliver the results you want instead. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deliver phenomenal iOS or Android apps to your users! 

The Best YouTube Video Downloader Apps For Mobile Phones

There are many good reasons why you’d want to track down a YouTube video downloader

Firstly, there’s content on YouTube that you’d like to store to watch later on. Secondly, if you’re a content creator, you may need to download trailers and promotional videos to edit and reupload later. And thirdly, you may need to show video snippets at a company meeting presentation. Instead of awkwardly searching YouTube to find those videos during the presentation, it’s better to have downloaded them beforehand.

But is it legal to download YouTube videos? The short answer is no unless you have permission from YouTube or the initial copyright holder of the videos. And the law is very stringent about this matter in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. However, you may legally download those with a creative commons license, public domain works, or copyleft videos. 

When companies release promotional videos and trailers, it’s best to visit their official websites. Here, they’ll usually make available a press kit for the media and content creators and often provide links to videos for use.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s actually possible to download YouTube videos without a dedicated downloader but with a few caveats. YouTube allows mobile users to download videos in certain countries and regions for up to 48 hours. If users want to retain these videos on their phones, they need to reconnect to a WiFi or mobile network within that 48-hour period. 

It’s hardly an ideal solution, so you’re better off finding a versatile YouTube video downloader. Therefore, we’ve listed several of the best apps in this category below.

1. Dentex YouTube Video Downloader For Android

Developed by Samuele Rini, Dentex is available as an APK file from the developer’s GitHub site, so you’ll need to sideload it onto your device. You can also find it at APK Combo, APKPure, BestForAndroid, and Uptodown. But we recommend you download it directly from GitHub, as it’s easy to donate there if you’re happy with the downloader. 

And it’s definitely one of the better downloaders available due to its ease of use. The user interface (UI) makes it easy to search for videos, set the format and quality of the download, and view previously downloaded videos. Furthermore, it’s possible to extract audio snippets from the videos and subsequently convert these to MP3. 

However, it only supports Android 5.0 (API 21) or higher, which means those with older devices are out of luck. It’s also a little buggy, and videos won’t always download correctly or stop without warning. But its biggest letdown is that it’s unavailable for iOS — a missed opportunity!

2. iTubeGo

One thing immediately noticeable when running iTubeGo is how incredibly slick and polished it’s when compared to its counterparts. Undoubtedly, the development team behind this app has gone the extra mile to deliver a quality product. It’s free for Windows, Mac, and Android, but users can upgrade to the PRO version to unlock additional features.

Once again, there’s no iOS version, which is an oversight that the developers need to address. But what makes iTubeGo so compelling to make it in our list of best YouTube video downloader apps? 

Apart from being incredibly polished, iTubeGo also offers tons of download options. Not only can users download from YouTube but also from AudioBoom, Bandcamp, Bilibili, Coub, Dailymotion, Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud, Niconico, TikTok, Twitter, SoundCloud, Vevo, Vimeo, VK, and more. 

Moreover, it features lossless technology that replicates the original video quality, regardless of its resolution. And it also has a 320kbps MP3 downloader, multiple format support, external SD card storage capability, batch downloading, and a smart link detection tool.

3. NewPipe

NewPipe is yet another Android-only APK download and is supported by donations. With over 6 million downloads at Uptodown, it’s a testament to its popularity and versatility. But what makes it so good when compared to other YouTube video downloaders available today?

For one, it’s incredibly lightweight at only 2 MB, making it resource-efficient. And secondly, it isn’t dependent on the Google framework or YouTube API, so it can function perfectly without Google Services. In a nutshell, it’s designed to run on any Android device (even a De-Googled phone running another operating system such as Calyx or Graphene) with privacy in mind. 

And if users need that extra layer of privacy, downloads and traffic can go through Tor (a browser renowned for its anonymous communication capabilities). Furthermore, it will run on Android TV and can seamlessly download videos or audio while having them play in the background. 

It doesn’t have any ads whatsoever, which should please most users. But since this is a one-man project, support isn’t the greatest. And the app does lack some of that polish found in commercial alternatives, so it’s not an entirely smooth experience. It’s known to suffer from occasional errors and unsuccessful downloads.

4. Snaptube YouTube Video Downloader & MP3 Converter

A common theme throughout this list is the lack of iOS YouTube video downloaders. It seems as if Android has the lion’s share of these apps, and iOS gets the crumbs. Well, that’s largely the case, and that’s due to Android being a more open system. And this allows developers the freedom to create apps that may not always be welcome in the App Store.

But iOS users shouldn’t feel disheartened as downloaders such as Snaptube more than compensate for the lack of options. While Snaptube isn’t exclusive to iOS, as it’s also available on Android, it does provide the functionality users want in a YouTube video downloader.

It’s similar to Dentax in its user-friendliness, making it a relatively simple process to search for and download videos. Also, it’s a simple process to set video quality or to choose to download the audio only. And apart from YouTube, it can also download directly from Facebook, Instagram, LiveLeak, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Vine, and many others. 

Other notable features include its dark mode, floating video player, and ability to run smoothly alongside other apps. Users can check their email or chat while Snaptube completes downloads in the background, which is incredibly handy. 

5. YMusic For Android

Music lovers who want to listen to their favorite artists found on YouTube no longer need to watch or download bandwidth-heavy videos. What YMusic does so well is play only the audio of any artist’s YouTube content. Thus, saving up to 90% of user data.

YMusic utilizes the last.fm service to quickly detect artist and album details on the fly. Then, it downloads the content as an MP3 or another format. Users can also easily customize the app’s UI and utilize its 81 color combinations. And since this app functions as a media player, it also boasts custom equalizers, gapless playback, and screen widgets.

And users that already use the YouTube app can quickly navigate to YMusic via the Share button. Overall, this is a straightforward app that makes accessing, downloading, and listening to music a breeze. 

In Conclusion

Due to the legalities surrounding copyrighted content on YouTube, it’s not surprising that many downloaders aren’t available in the App Store or Google Play. But given Android’s open nature, many developers have made available their YouTube video downloader apps directly from their websites and various APK download sites. But we recommend you proceed with caution and only download and install APKs from trusted sources.

However, if you want to create a YouTube video downloader or a similar app that’s developed and distributed professionally, you need to partner with a reputable studio. Work with NS804, a mobile app development company with locations in Richmond, Denver, and Charlotte. Contact us today to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps using leading-edge technologies!

Want To Develop iOS Apps? Here’s How To Get Started

Most developers — even those not involved in the mobile space — want to develop iOS apps. And that’s because Apple’s renowned ecosystem is world-class. And with the recently released iPhone Pro 14, consumers have access to one of the best premium smartphones in the market. 

Of course, iOS apps don’t only run on iPhones but also on Apple’s phenomenal lineup of tablets — the iPad range. And with the introduction of Apple silicon (system on a chip based on ARM architecture), it’s now possible to run iOS apps on the latest Mac computers with no porting necessary. 

So what does this mean for developers? It means that their iOS apps can run on a variety of Apple devices from a single codebase. And that’s profound because Apple users love to spend money on apps far more than Android users. Thus, if you develop iOS apps, you’ll be entering a very lucrative market. And while success is never guaranteed — you’ll never know if you don’t try!

But what if you’re new to the Apple ecosystem as a developer — how do you even get started? First and foremost, understand that Apple’s ecosystem is called a ‘walled garden’ for a reason. And that’s because it’s a closed platform, similar to Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Switch consoles.

And that brings us to our second point: you don’t have the freedom to develop iOS apps on whatever hardware you like or skirt Apple’s guidelines. Like it or not, Apple has a stranglehold on its platforms, down to the development process. But we plan to demystify this process and help you get started — the right way!

1. Purchase Original Apple Hardware

If you don’t already own an Apple MacBook notebook or a Mac/iMac desktop, you’ll need to purchase at least one that fits your budget. Preferably, choose one of the latest models that features the M1 or M2 SoC instead of an Intel CPU. Apple’s latest chips are more power efficient and also future-proof, so worth the investment. 

Now, you may come across instructional articles and YouTube videos that will show you how to build a Hackintosh — a cheaper and unofficial Mac/iMac clone system. As tempting as this route may seem, we don’t recommend it at all! You’ll need some PC-building skills, and the overall experience won’t be as smooth as using a genuine Mac once you’ve got your Hackintosh up and running. 

And no, you won’t be able to use a Windows or Linux PC to build iOS apps. But you can install Windows or Linux on a Mac and even develop apps for these operating systems. Moreover, you can install Android Studio on a Mac and develop Android apps, making it perfect for cross-platform development

You’ll also need to purchase at least one iPhone and an iPad for deploying and testing your app. And if you plan to release your app on Apple Watch and tvOS, you’ll need to purchase these devices too. Purchase the latest models of these devices, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few older models in the studio for backward compatibility testing purposes.

2. Enroll As An Apple Developer And Create An Apple ID

Now that you’ve rounded up all your hardware, you’re ready to become an Apple developer. However, we mentioned Apple’s closed platform earlier, and now you’re about to see why that’s the case. 

Apple offers an enrollment program, and it’s mandatory if you want to distribute your iOS apps. Furthermore, you’ll need to pay an annual fee of 99 USD for the Apple Developer Program and 299 USD for the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Choose the program that’s right for your studio.

Also, don’t forget to create your Apple ID, as it’s necessary to authenticate yourself as the user and to download development tools from the Mac App Store.

3. Download And Familiarize Yourself With Xcode

After that, download Xcode — Apple’s official integrated development environment (IDE). You can get it from the Mac App Store or Apple’s Xcode developer portal. This suite includes a code editor, debugging tools, and the iOS software development kit (SDK). While there are many other IDEs available in the marketplace, we recommend you stick to Xcode if you’re only now starting out to develop iOS apps.

However, if you’re developing mobile games and using a game engine such as Unity, expect your development environment to differ substantially. But if you’re developing non-gaming and line of business (LOB) apps, Xcode will suffice. 

We recommend you spend time familiarizing yourself with Xcode before you start to develop iOS apps. And that’s to help you and your team to become more comfortable with using the IDE and all its features. Furthermore, check out the Xcode documentation, videos, and forums at Apple’s developer portal.

4. Learn The Swift Programming Language

Swift is Apple’s officially supported and preferred programming language for creating iOS apps. It’s quickly replacing the far older Objective-C, but some developers still use it to this day. However, we recommend you use Swift as a new iOS developer, as it’s easier to read and write and more type-safe. 

But how long will it take to learn Swift? If your team already has experience with any object-oriented programming (OOP) language, they’ll pick up Swift in a matter of days. But if they have little or no experience, it can take two months or longer to gain a basic level of proficiency.

5. You May Need To Learn C++ Or C#

If you’re planning on developing an iOS mobile game, you can use Xcode. But we only recommend this route if you’re making a small and simple game. And that’s because Xcode doesn’t offer the tooling necessary to make complex 3D games popular with today’s gamers. 

Instead, you should either use Unity or Unreal Engine to make a compelling game with stunning 3D visuals. If you go with Unity, which is the more lightweight game engine of the two, you’ll need to learn C#. And if you go with Unreal Engine, you’ll need to learn C++ or Blueprint Visual Scripting.

Overall, C# is easier to learn than C++, and even shares some similarities with Swift. And that means if you already know Swift, picking up C# will be a cinch. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore C++, as it’s the lingua franca of the game development world. And apart from Unreal Engine, the vast majority of performance-oriented 3D game engines are either coded in C++ or have a C++ scripting component. 

Furthermore, if you need to develop a fast-paced game, such as a first-person shooter (FPS) or racing game, it’s preferable to code it in C++ to keep frame rates up. The problem with languages such as C# is that they use a garbage collector (GC) to avoid memory leaks. But every time the GC kicks in to clear unused objects in the memory heap, it can cause in-game stutters, which ruins the user experience. 

Of course, there are workarounds to avoid these stutters, but it’s still better to use a more performant language, such as C++. And given that C++ regularly outperforms managed languages such as C#, it’s the way to go for many use cases. 

In Conclusion

As we’ve revealed, it’s actually a relatively simple process to develop iOS apps if you’re just starting out. Initially, you’ll be faced with a high price of entry, especially if you don’t already own any Apple hardware. But once you have purchased this hardware, created your Apple ID, and enrolled in the developer program, you’re halfway done. Then, it’s a matter of downloading Xcode, familiarizing yourself with the IDE, and learning Swift. 

You may need to use other tools and programming languages if you’re creating mobile games, but this isn’t always necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 will help you develop iOS apps that engage users! 

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! 

iOS Vs. Android: Which To Use?

When choosing the ideal mobile platform, we often jump into the common iOS Vs. Android debate. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we should attempt to weigh the pros and cons of these two leading platforms.

But we know what some of you may be thinking: it’s a done deal, iOS is the better platform, and we should move on. After all, it’s no secret that iOS is the slicker and more user-friendly platform with many satisfied users worldwide. However, it’s wise not to rush to conclusions without investigating the Android platform rigorously.

Due to the open nature of the Android platform and the need to support devices from different manufacturers, the user experience isn’t as polished as on iOS. But Android presents developers and users with a few advantages unique to the platform. 

The ability to distribute and sideload apps on Android outside of Google Play is a boon for enterprises and open-source developers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about iOS, as Apple prohibits sideloading and app distribution outside the App Store.

Another benefit of Android is the sheer size of its global market share, which stands at 69.74% as of January 2022. And that’s not surprising considering the wide availability of cheap Android devices that appeal to users in developing countries. So, it’s an important platform that no developer that wants to target a global audience can ignore.

But there are many more considerations in the iOS Vs. Android debate that we need to look at in more detail. Below, we reveal what those are and how they may impact your choices as an app developer.

iOS Vs. Android: Don’t Allow Fanboyism To Influence You

We all have biases, and these often influence our choices in life. But these biases may prove detrimental, especially when making crucial business decisions. As an appreneur, developer, or business leader, you need to think clearly about the types of apps you plan to make and what platforms you wish to target. 

In most cases, the answer is simple: you will likely target both Android and iOS. But there are situations where you should target a single mobile platform. And the mobile platform that you ultimately choose should align strictly with your business goals.  

So what does this mean exactly? Ideally, you want to maximize the reach of your app by targeting the platform where it will likely find its target audience. 

Thus, your decision-making process should consist of reliable mobile platform statistics and rigorous research of your target audience. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort to maximize your app’s success.   

And the last thing you should ever do is base your decision on platform fanboyism. Perhaps, you love Apple and all its products and can’t wait to develop an app for iOS. Or you’re the proud owner of high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones and only want to target Android.

No matter how much you love a brand or product line, don’t allow this to cloud your judgment. Instead, put the interests of your business and users first!

1. Foldable Devices

The introduction of Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip & Fold devices have revolutionized the smartphone space. And that’s because the additional screen real estate helps enhance productivity. 

Consider how much better apps such as Office 365 or Trello work on foldable phones than they do on standard smartphones. Users now have additional workspace to get work done far more efficiently. And that’s because they won’t need to scroll as much as they would on non-foldable devices.

So if you’re developing a productivity app that targets foldable devices, you’ve only got one choice — Android. Currently, Apple hasn’t released any foldable iOS devices, but they have announced the iPhone Flip. But there’s no set release date yet, though it’s speculated for a 2023 or 2024 launch.

2. Hardcore Gaming

Both Android and iOS are excellent platforms for gaming, especially for casual pick-up-play titles. But in recent years, there’s been an emergence of hardcore mobile games and gaming smartphones. 

Manufacturers such as Razer have been instrumental in pushing forward powerful devices that utilize high-end components. And that’s resulted in their devices featuring impressive GPUs and high refresh rates reaching 120Hz and beyond. Given their proficiency in manufacturing powerful PC gaming laptops, much of that know-how has gone into their Android devices. 

But what does all this mean for mobile gaming? Firstly, this shows that the mobile gaming market has matured significantly, as users crave experiences close to those found on PCs and consoles. And secondly, it’s the Android platform leading the way in hardcore gaming device choice and titles. 

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t release a hardcore game on iOS. But you’ll need to target Apple’s flagship smartphones, as these have the specs capable of powering intensive games. And that’s a limited market segment given the high cost of these flagship devices.

3. Marketplace Diversity

When it comes to iOS, there’s no marketplace diversity as users can only download apps from the App Store. And from a user’s point of view, it’s great to have one convenient and secure place to get hold of apps. 

But things are different on the Android platform. Users can download from several stores, such as Google Play, Amazon Appstore, APKPure, Aptoide, and F-Droid. Furthermore, Huawei AppGallery and Samsung Galaxy Store cater to those using devices from the respective manufacturers. 

And given that it’s a relatively simple process to sideload apps on Android, there’s no need for an app store. Any developer can distribute their Android apps directly from their website or another channel.

The freedom to distribute apps in such a manner should appeal to developers that create custom apps for enterprises. Or even enterprises that want to install their in-house apps on employee phones without relying on any app store.  

4. Security Considerations

If you’re developing an app that needs to be on a more secure platform, then iOS is a good choice. Due to the closed nature and tight integration of iOS, it’s an operating system that offers higher security than Android. However, this doesn’t mean that iOS is hack-proof or not susceptible to malware and viruses. 

And given that Google and Samsung have gone to great strides to improve security, the gap between iOS and specific Android devices isn’t as wide as it used to be. But iOS still has an edge in the security department for the time being.

5. User Demographics And Engagement

Android enthusiasts may not like to hear this, but the hard truth is that iOS users are a lot more valuable. And that’s because iPhone users fall in a higher income bracket and spend more on apps. Not only that, but they also engage more with apps, especially in the entertainment and games categories. 

However, Google Play is where most new apps get discovered and downloaded at a higher rate. And generally, Android users prefer to download and engage with social apps such as TikTok. 

If you’re planning on developing mobile games or paid apps, iOS should be your first port of call. But if you’re launching a social app, you’ll find your audience on Android.

The Bottom Line

When we deliberate the iOS Vs. Android question, we’re often looking for an easy answer. We covered several of the most critical factors when deciding on a platform. And we pointed out where one outshines the other and where they’re almost equal. Therefore, you’ll need to consider all these factors and how they’ll line up with your upcoming app project. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create stunning apps on either iOS or Android. 

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!

iOS Development Tools To Build Better Apps

Apple’s ecosystem is great for developers, especially with the many powerful iOS development tools at their disposal. The first tool that comes to mind is Apple’s Xcode integrated development environment (IDE). But Xcode alone isn’t enough to create the quality apps that users expect today.

There are several third-party tools that every developer should have in their toolbox. These include analysis, debugging, libraries, plugins, and UI design tools. So, what benefits do these tools bring forth? Firstly, they enhance the developer experience by filling the gaps where Apple’s tooling falls short. And secondly, they help developers build apps quicker and more efficiently than before.

1. Xcode IDE

One of the most crucial iOS development tools you should have installed is the Xcode IDE. And that’s because it’s the most up-to-date IDE for developing cross-device apps on Apple’s platforms. It will allow your team to develop apps using either Objective-C or its more modern counterpart — Swift.

Also, it’s a fantastic tool for code analysis, debugging, and UI design. And since it’s an official Apple product, you’ll have easy integration of the latest SDKs that your iOS apps need. If your team is more comfortable programming in other languages, consider CodeRunner. It has a comprehensive list of features and allows developers to code in C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, and Python, to name a few.

2. Swimat

One way to make Xcode even more versatile than it already is — is by installing plugins. There are many great plugins to choose from, and one that immediately comes to mind is Swimat. And what makes Swimat so handy is how rapidly it formats blocks of code.

As we all know, code often becomes messy the longer it gets, resulting in readability and maintainability issues. And even the most organized programmers can sometimes write sloppy blocks of code. But Swimat will reformat and reindent sections when necessary.

3. SwiftUI Inspector For Figma

How good your app’s UI design turns out will depend on the talent of your designers and the tools they use. Figma is a powerful UI design tool that can create impressive UIs in the right hands. It’s capable of producing basic shapes, color styles, components, drop shadows, frames, layout stacks, and text labels. But to integrate your creations into your SwiftUI workflow, you’ll need the SwiftUI inspector for Figma.

4. Hero

Perhaps your team is pressed for time but still needs to build the app’s interface and controller transitions. They’ll use Apple’s UIKit, which isn’t the most intuitive framework and may further slow things down. That’s where Hero comes in, a library that sits on top of UIKit’s more complex transition APIs. Thus, allowing your team to create eye-catching animated transitions quickly and efficiently.

5. Raygun

The built-in debugger and application performance analyzer in Xcode help developers monitor and improve their apps. And these are good enough for smaller and rudimentary applications in most cases. But professional developers will need more robust iOS development tools, such as Raygun. It’s a cloud-based solution that monitors application health and user sessions in real-time and delivers in-depth insights.

The Bottom Line

If you’re developing apps for Apple devices, then you’ll need the most effective iOS development tools. Fortunately, many good third-party tools and plugins can extend the functionality of Xcode. But there are also tools not dependent on Xcode, which also enhance the development process. Contact NS804 today to learn how we can help you create better iOS apps.

Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Pros And Cons

Cross-platform mobile app development has taken the world by storm. But is it that great, or are you better off focusing on native app development? It’s not a question we can answer right away, as there are many considerations. 

Depending on the tools you use, you may experience a challenging or smooth development experience. Then, there’s the matter of how adaptable you and your team are at deploying to more platforms. And let’s not forget about the costs involved in using some of the leading cross-platform tools in the market today. We cover all these matters in more detail below.

Cross-Platform Versus Native App Development Environments

It’s tricky attempting cross-platform development, especially if you’ve been developing native apps for a single platform. And you may be wondering if it’s worth the additional costs and challenges. Will you find success developing for multiple platforms? Or will you get burned out dealing with a more bloated development environment and new technical requirements?

Pros:

  • Advances in cross-platform technology: There was a time when cross-platform tech stacks couldn’t compete with native solutions. But the performance gap has narrowed significantly, especially with the introduction of Xamarin.
  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): Having access to several of the world’s best IDEs is a huge boon. All serious app developers should have Android Studio, Visual Studio, and Xcode installed on their machines.
  • Single codebase: There’s no longer a need to write in multiple programming languages. Today’s cross-platform tech stacks make it possible to maintain a single codebase entirely in C# or JavaScript.
  • Transferable skills: If you’re already a competent Android developer, making the jump to iOS should be a quick process. Most mobile development skills transfer from one platform to another easily.

Cons: 

  • Additional hardware: If your studio only has Windows or Linux PCs for development purposes, you won’t be able to target iOS. So you’ll need to purchase at least one Apple Mac and various iOS devices to develop and test your apps.
  • Higher difficulty curve: Targeting multiple platforms is far more challenging than native app development. While cross-platform tools promise a ‘write once, run anywhere’ experience, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s necessary to write user interface (UI) code for each platform. 
  • Worse performance: One of the benefits of native app development is the better performance it brings to the table. Even the best cross-platform tools and languages don’t quite match native solutions. 

Creating Cross-Platform Mobile Games

The popularity of mobile gaming continues unabated. Moreover, the gaming market is massive yet fragmented since it encompasses PC, console, mobile, and the web. So, savvy game developers will want to target most if not all of these platforms. But there are several factors to consider before heading down this road.

Pros:

  • Development tools: There’s no shortage of excellent game engines and frameworks facilitating cross-platform development.  
  • Device ownership: Most users own multiple devices and will likely play games on all of these at one point or another.
  • Esports: The phenomenal growth of mobile eSports presents new opportunities. Given the multiplayer nature of eSports, it’s only natural that Android and iOS users will want to compete against each other. 
  • Reaching new audiences: Releasing simultaneously on Android and iOS ensures that your mobile games reach as many users as possible. But it doesn’t have to end there when the web and desktop platforms have millions of potential new users.

Cons:

  • API integrations: The more platforms and storefronts you target, the more APIs you’ll integrate. Thus, increasing costs and time to market (TTM).
  • Different audience expectations: iOS users have different expectations from Android users. Creating mobile games that appeal to both groups will prove challenging.
  • Maintenance and updates: You will need additional team members to maintain and update your game on two or more platforms. And this is especially true if you’re creating live service games or rely on subscriptions and in-app purchases. 
  • Profiling and testing: It’s a lot easier to profile and test a mobile game when targeting a single platform. With cross-platform development, you’ll use additional tooling to test across devices with different CPUs, GPUs, displays, and memory.

Consider The Costs Of Your Development Tools

Targeting multiple platforms is not cheap, especially when weighing the costs of the development tools. Let’s start with the good news, both Android Studio and Xcode are free to use. Even Microsoft offers the community edition of Visual Studio for free. But now — the bad news — several cross-platform tools and game engines can get offensively expensive. 

And many of these tools are only available via subscription. Thus, you’ll need to consider how long you plan on using these tools to determine their costs. But be forewarned, it’s never a good idea to cancel a subscription after completing an app. You still need access to these tools as long as you’re maintaining and updating the app. So, make sure that you’ve planned for this eventuality. 

Now, let’s take a look at several popular cross-platform tools that could drive up your development costs considerably:

  • Embarcadero Delphi 11: It’s a mobile-first IDE aimed at developers comfortable with the Delphi language, which natively compiles to the target platform. The professional edition costs $1,599 for the first year with a $399 renewal.
  • Unity: As the most popular tool for mobile game development, Unity has garnered a massive community thanks to its free personal version. But professional studios and teams will opt for the pro edition costing $1,800 per year and per seat, or the enterprise edition costing $4,000 per month and for 20 seats. 
  • Xamarin: For small indie developers that want to write their apps in C#, Xamarin offers a subscription for $25 per month. Professional studios will likely opt for the enterprise edition, which costs $1,899 per year.

Open Source Solutions Are Viable Options

If you’re a startup, you may not be able to afford the steep prices of proprietary development tools. However, not all is lost as there are several good free and open-source tools for your cross-platform development needs. We’ll briefly look at several of the more popular solutions:

  • Flutter: It’s a versatile framework for creating apps for embedded devices, desktops, mobile platforms, and the web. It uses the Dart programming language, which developers coming from a mobile or web app background will pick up quickly.
  • Godot: As a close competitor to Unity, Godot has made significant strides in becoming the game engine choice for indie developers. Furthermore, it’s an indispensable and lightweight tool for creating augmented reality (AR) apps, virtual reality (VR) experiences, and mobile games. 
  • Ionic: Web developers should feel at home with Ionic since it utilizes CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. It facilitates rapid development and can deploy mobile apps and even Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). 
  • React Native: Like Flutter, React Native is a framework targeting many platforms and devices, including Windows Universal Platform (UWP). But the best part is that it allows developers comfortable with the JavaScript language to create impressive-looking mobile apps.

In Conclusion

If you’re considering cross-platform mobile app development, then there’s never been a better time to pursue this avenue. And the wide range of excellent paid and open-source tools make this path a lot more accessible. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you deploy phenomenal native apps on Android and iOS. 

Android Or iOS: Which Is The Better MVP Platform?

Deciding between Android or iOS for your upcoming minimum viable product (MVP) project can be daunting. Both platforms are massively popular and have generated billions of dollars in revenue. So the answer should be simple, right? Why not release on both platforms? Yes, but only if it’s financially feasible and in line with your goals. 

But you could be wondering why financial feasibility plays a role at all. Aren’t MVPs supposed to be cheaper and quicker to develop than full-fledged apps? Unfortunately, that’s a common misconception when considering the funding and work required to complete MVP projects. 

There’s still a considerable cost involved, between $5,000 to $35,000 if you hire a company. It’s best to be prepared from the get-go to ensure that the project won’t run out of funding during development. Furthermore, it’s vital to understand what the development process entails and what you’ll need to consider when deciding on an MVP platform

1. Choosing The Most Feasible Platform For Your Project: Android or iOS

In the mobile development space, there are only two choices worth considering. That’s either Android or iOS, the two platforms that have redefined smartphones for more than a decade. And even with the emergence of Linux-based smartphones, these are too niche to make a dent in the market.

But must you choose between these two market leaders? Ideally, you should develop for both platforms for maximum reach. The benefits of making your app available in both the App Store and Google Play are immense. Both digital storefronts are established, organized, and quality-driven. Moreover, both facilitate the efficient and safe distribution of apps to over two billion users globally.

And while it’s wiser to release on both platforms, we understand that’s not always possible. Your team may not have the capabilities or resources to release on both platforms simultaneously. After all, cross-platform mobile app development costs could easily exceed your budget. Or perhaps, you’re developing a custom enterprise app that only needs to be made available on one platform.

However, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to target one platform when commencing a project. And this is especially true if you’re planning on developing an MVP. Your team may want to test an idea and deliver it to a territory where one platform enjoys market dominance. For example, your upcoming video chat app will do much better on Android if you’re targeting the Indian market.

Market forces will almost always play a primary role when deciding on a platform. However, there are other factors that you should also consider before coming to a decision. 

2. Apple’s Flagship Programming Language Saves Development Time

In most cases, your mobile app development costs will directly correlate with the amount of time it takes to complete your project. And if you’re a startup, it’s crucial to keep costs down to remain feasible in the long haul. So, you’ll want to target the platform that facilitates a speedy development process. But does one platform offer this distinct advantage over the other? Well, the answer is not as clear-cut as we’d like it to be, but we’ll aim to provide one.

Several years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to choose Android over iOS if development time was at a premium. And there’s a good reason for this, given how well-thought-out Apple’s ecosystem and development tools are, compared to its rivals. With Swift, Apple’s flagship programming language, developers can craft impressive native apps in record time. The language is modern and slick, making it easy for developers accustomed to object-oriented languages to pick up quickly and be productive.

And when compared to Java, the language commonly used for Android development, Swift seems like a breath of fresh air. That’s because Java feels cumbersome since it’s an older, more complex, and verbose language. Thus, Java developers often need to write more lines of code than their Swift counterparts to achieve similar results. From a productivity and time standpoint, the clear winner is Swift. At least, that was the case until now.

3. Google Moves Beyond Java

At Google’s I/O ’17 developer conference, the company announced that it would officially support Kotlin for Android development. And in 2019, Google took things further by announcing that Kotlin would become the preferred language for Android development moving forward. Undoubtedly, this news was met with much fanfare by Android developers, who welcomed the introduction of a more modern language.

And Kotlin is indeed a great alternative to Java because it’s far more expressive and allows developers to achieve similar results with less boilerplate code. Not only that, Kotlin is similar to Swift in that it offers an easy-to-learn syntax, plenty of built-in features, and a more functional feel. Moreover, both come with excellent declarative UI toolkits: Jetpack Compose and SwiftUI for building native UI quickly and efficiently. 

Ultimately, this means that the time and productivity gap between creating an Android or iOS app has narrowed significantly. The introduction of Kotlin has been a game-changer, and Android developers no longer need to lag behind their iOS counterparts. Therefore, choosing one development environment over the other is more a matter of preference than enjoying real productivity gains.

4. The Challenges Of Testing And Deploying On Multiple Devices

While Kotlin makes life easier for Android developers, they still have to jump through hoops when testing, profiling, and deploying on multiple devices. Unlike Apple, which produces a limited range of iOS devices and models, the Android ecosystem is an entirely different beast. A few brands that come to mind include Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Xiamoi. Yet the actual list of manufacturers is much longer than that, pushing the range of Android models to the tens of thousands.

Undoubtedly, Android developers have their work cut out of them. It’s a Herculean task to test and deploy when so much device fragmentation exists. Furthermore, this can increase mobile app development costs significantly if not handled diligently. And the hard truth is that no developer will have access to every Android device in the marketplace for testing purposes. Fortunately, there are tools available that make testing and profiling possible without having all these devices on hand.

Android Emulator, Android Virtual Device (AVD), and Genymotion make it easy for developers to set up and run virtual devices of any specification available. And while these aren’t the perfect solution, they’re incredibly accurate at emulating real Android hardware. But this doesn’t mean that developers should skimp on testing on actual hardware, regardless of platform. Nevertheless, iOS is the better platform for a quicker and more hassle-free testing and deployment experience.

5. Deciding On An MVP Platform Based On User Engagement

Before settling on an MVP platform, you should consider a crucial factor, namely, user engagement. The level of user engagement of your app will play a critical role in its success. If too few users engage with your MVP regularly, it means that they don’t find it interesting enough to warrant extended use. And, you won’t achieve the goals and return on investment (ROI) that your MVP was supposed to deliver.

Therefore, you must minimize risk by focussing on the platform that has the most engaged users. In this regard, iOS is the clear winner with an overwhelming difference. iOS users are not only incredibly engaged, but they’re big spenders too. According to AppleInsider, the App Store earned a whopping $72.3 billion in 2020 — almost double the revenue generated by Google Play. And games performed impressively, managing to generate $47.6 billion throughout the year.

Also, iOS is the better performing platform for apps offering registrations, subscriptions, in-app purchases, and one-time purchases. But you may want to consider Android if your MVP is an anti-virus, utility, or performance app, as these often do better on the platform. And while both Android and iOS users love discovering new content, iOS users engage and purchase more of it. So, keep these factors in mind when deciding on an MVP platform that best serves your goals.

In Conclusion

Choosing to go with either Android or iOS for your next project will be a vital decision. It’s necessary to consider your goals and what your MVP is supposed to achieve before concluding. In many cases, choosing iOS seems like the obvious choice, given the benefits the platform brings to the table. Its tightly integrated development tools, limited range of target devices, and high-quality users make it a platform you can’t ignore. 

But Android is no slouch either, boasting a rapidly improving developer experience and an ever-growing user base. It’s also worth considering if you want to create an antivirus or utility app, which Android users download in droves. Whatever your decision, do consider teaming with a professional development studio for the best results. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop a phenomenal MVP on Android or iOS.

How Much Does It Cost To Build An App Like Waze

Nowadays, many drivers plan their daily routes using apps such as Waze. And it’s easy to see why that is, considering how much it enhances the driving experience. A few of Waze’s features include enhanced Google Assistant integration, lane suggestions, and traffic notifications. All these give drivers an accurate visual representation of their trip, how long it will take, and when they’ll encounter traffic.

If you’re considering a real-time navigation app as your next project, Waze can serve as inspiration. But developing such an app is also complex and costly, which we’ll cover in more detail below.

A Brief History Of Waze

Waze has roots dating back to 2006 as a community project known as FreeMap Israel. The project introduced a free-to-use digital database and map of Israel. And its enthusiastic and growing community of users contributed significantly to its early success. In 2008, Waze was established as a company to commercialize the project.

The company then raised $25 million in 2010 and $35 million in 2011. And after updating the app, it presented users with curated points of interest in real-time. And in 2012, Waze offered advertisers and resellers the opportunity to advertise via a web interface. It also extended this opportunity to news networks in the US and Brazil.

All that hard work and growth did not go unnoticed. In 2013, the GSM Association awarded Waze the Best Overall Mobile App. But the good fortunes of the company didn’t end there. In June 2013, Google acquired Waze for the princely sum of $966 million. 

The acquisition drew attention from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) due to the similarities between Waze and Google Maps. However, the FTC did not challenge the acquisition, and it went through successfully. 

Key Features Of Waze

What makes Waze stand out is its effective collection and dissemination of crowdsourced information. However, it doesn’t rely solely on the information provided by users but also from the relevant state agencies. 

So what type of information is reported to Waze? Usually, information about construction work and traffic events, likely to hinder travel. In some cases, users may report the locations of traffic monitoring cameras to warn other drivers. Furthermore, registered users may alter map data using the app’s built-in editor. 

But the range of features has grown significantly over the years. It’s possible to choose a navigation app voice from celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, DJ Khaled, and Kevin Darnell Hart, to name a few. Users can also record their voices to serve as navigation prompts. 

Moreover, Waze introduced trip suggestions, lane guidance, and specialized routes. The app isn’t limited to car drivers but also accommodates motorcyclists and those using carpools. 

More importantly, Waze has partnered with popular apps, media networks, and services. Users enjoy additional functionality due to Waze’s integration with the following: 

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Deezer
  • Google Assistant
  • iHeartRadio
  • NPR One
  • Pandora
  • Scribd
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • TuneIn
  • YouTube Music

Similarities And Differences To Google Maps

Google Maps and Waze are both owned by Google and may seem very similar. But given the strong branding and market positioning of Google Maps, most users will opt for this particular navigation app. However, we need to look at both apps in more detail to appreciate what makes each unique.

  • Advertising: Waze displays banner ads every time drivers come to a stop. These ads tend to distract and not to everyone’s tastes. Alternatively, Google Maps takes a more subtle approach by displaying small square icons on the map of businesses that have paid to advertise. 
  • Data collection: Both apps collect a plethora of data about road conditions and traffic events. But Waze relies on user-submitted information, whereas Google Maps taps into a wider pool of information, including historical data.
  • Navigation: Waze always tries to find the most efficient and quickest route to the destination. Alternatively, Google Maps will suggest the most eco-friendly and safest route instead.
  • Public transportation: Waze caters to drivers and not those using public transport. On the other hand, Google Maps greatly helps public transport users, cyclists, hikers, and pedestrians.
  • Road hazard and traffic notifications: An area where Waze truly shines is notifying drivers about upcoming road hazards and traffic. As long as enough users have reported these incidents, Waze will find the best route around them. However, Google Maps seldom provides a similarly time-saving route.
  • User interface (UI) design: Since both apps are Google products, they have good UI design. Waze has a cartoony appearance with a simple UI since it’s aimed primarily at drivers. Google Map’s UI is a bit more complex as it doesn’t only cater to drivers but also businesses. 

Cost Of Development

It’s possible to start creating a compelling navigation app with several core features and the right development partner, such as NS804. Here’s what features you’ll need to have basic functionality:

  • Authorization and user profile: It’s crucial to allow users to log in via their emails and social media accounts. Thus, it’s necessary to implement an integration pipeline with the Facebook SDK and Twitter Kit, at the very least.
  • Camera functionality: The app must work flawlessly with the cameras and file systems on both Android and iOS. Users will want to take photos of traffic incidents and store them on their devices or share them with other users.
  • Chat and user reviews features: Users will want to chat with other users, leave reviews and ratings about rides, and share road trip information with others on social media. All these features will require backend development to store and retrieve data on a server. Additionally, further social media integrations will be necessary.  
  • Geolocation mapping and navigation: Geolocation determines a user’s location, while navigation allows the user to pick the destination. It’s essential to integrate with Apple Maps (iOS only), Google Maps, and Mapbox Maps SDK to make this work.
  • Voice assistant: It’s potentially dangerous for drivers to look at the navigation map while driving. Therefore, it’s better to offer navigation coordinates by voice with API.AI, Google Cloud API, and Google Maps Directions API.

The cost of a basic navigation app with the above features will range between $40,000 and $60,000 and take four to six weeks to develop. But you’ll likely need additional features such as machine learning (ML), ridesharing, planned driver, Spotify, and ad integrations in the long run. As you add these features, expect development costs to reach $150,000 and beyond.

Development And Maintenance Considerations

Developing and maintaining a navigation app is a massive undertaking. After all, it relies heavily on data collection and sharing relevant data in real-time. And it must allow users to post photos of traffic jams and other road incidents. But it must also integrate with social media and a wide range of apps to increase its functionality. 

Then, to drive further engagement, the app may need gamification features. Waze offers a ranking system, incentivizing users to score points and gain a high position on the scoreboard. Thus, users can compare their level and score with their friends and other Waze users.

Since app development is an ongoing process, it won’t be necessary to roll out all features from day one. But it’s crucial to maintain and update the app at a regular cadence for the best results. As we’ve seen with Waze, it was a project that started life over 15 years ago and then gradually introduced new features and partnerships. 

The Bottom Line

Waze is a prime example of how indispensable and life-changing the navigation app is in people’s lives. It’s not cheap to develop and maintain such an app, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor for developers and appreneurs that see the big picture and how lucrative it can be in the long term. Contact NS804 to find out how we can help you develop phenomenal navigation apps that will empower your users.