Tag Archive for: iOS

Android or iOS Development – Which Costs More?

A report by Top Design Firm states that almost two-thirds of enterprises that developed a mobile app for less than $30,000 (63%) were exclusively for android applications, compared to 41% of companies that developed IOS apps. Top Design Firms surveyed managers and small businesses to determine the cost of developing both the IOS and android applications. The data shows that it is cost-effective and way cheaper to develop for Android than IOS. In addition, it was cheaper to outsource the app development services than to conduct in-house development.

The exact cost of android or IOS app development varies significantly based on each enterprise location and needs. Dawei Lei who’s the outsourcing director for Aloa.com states that developing for android provides massive cost savings while IOS apps have better inclusion in the App Store.

Below we examine why android and IOS app development costs differ and their respective cost drivers.

IOS Development

Apple’s flagship and iconic mobile operating system has inherent benefits. Granted, due to its reputation in the US and across Europe, your business can leverage returns on investment in these regions. The spending habits of this demographic guarantees a higher ROI.

Premium value

With IOS development, you take a bite of that juicy apple and enjoy a western audience. And while you’ll enjoy the value and thrill of a reputable brand, you’ll also be expected to spend substantially more on this inner circle. IOS apps can be written in Objective-C or Swift which both come at a premium cost. In some cases, IOS mobile app development costs can reach 15% more than their java counterparts.

Top minds

In every mobile app development exercise, skills are a must, together with tight app development requirements and considerable restrictions on what you can or cannot add to the IOS environment. Developers will need specialized software such as XCode. Not only does this app come at a premium, it runs exclusively on Mac. App software is such that if you’re looking to develop for iPhones, you will need another piece of technology to support this addition. So, IOS apps are considered well-crafted by highly skilled specialists.

Skilled but manageable condition

IOS has strict operating conditions but is possible to manage. As a first-time developer, you can face redevelopment costs when carrying out app launches due to errors in the production criteria. Missed production criteria can be due to Apple App Store’s tendency to reject applications deemed unusable or irrelevant. The benefit is that there is a limit to the number of software updates. With IOS irregular updates, it’s possible to gain traction with your creations and develop an app that’s relevant for a long time. Apple tends to reject support for old software, meaning that new apps must respond to the emerging needs of new users – nothing archaic!

Limited customization

IOS can present limitations in terms of how many updates it can support and how many features it can add. IOS can also present issues on the ability to customize an application’s interface. In this case, it’s impossible to apply additional features if they need interaction with third-party software. Ultimately, these unwanted limitations can be beneficial, which can shorten development time considerably.

What will you get with IOS app development?

  • Exploring western and US markets – If your business has a special interest in European and the US markets, IOS apps will be a clear winner here.
  • Monetization based on direct charges – IOS device users statistically spend substantially more than android users. If you’re planning to create a paid app or to monetize your app through in-app purchases – IOS is ultimately the winner. App Store’s revenue is much higher than Google Pay even though Google Play triumphs twice in app downloads.

Android Development

Android is the most popular mobile application and it spans the whole world, in any language. Among its most popular markets in Australia, Africa, and Asia. Android allows you to explore a wealth of opportunities worldwide, with flexibility and convenience in the world’s genuinely affordable OS.

Universally affordable

New mobile applications are developed using Kotlin, with Java still famous for carrying out long-running development projects. However, even long-running projects are migrating to Kotlin as transitions are difficult to undertake. With Kotlin, developers are expected to pay a one-time fee of $25.

Average expertise

Expertise is needed in android-supported applications, but without diving into complex projects. The versatility of working with android is thanks to the wide availability of free-to-use information, which keeps cost to a minimum. Google offers an extensive knowledge base to developers, including interactive materials, practical exercises, and the entire training modules for every level of developer.

Highly flexible

Kotlin and Java are versatile programming languages supported by Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. This allows developers to execute Android apps regardless of their machine’s OS. However, as there is a wide range of Android endpoints in circulation, you can encounter compatibility issues for specific technical functions. For example, apps designed with fingerprint scanners may not be featured in the device of end-users.

It’s important to note that this flexibility presents serious issues to some legacy systems. With Android offering support for software versions ranging back to 2012, your application may need adjustments to work with a long list of problematic software versions. This way, the cost of app development may go up as the need for continuous development arises.

Easy customization

Android extends a world of personalization to programs, thanks to market ubiquity. Android changes are due to the multitude of devices using Android. The drawbacks of this are a diverse set of specifications across multiple handset brands. With different screen sizes from different manufacturers, developers must support a list of consumer segments.

What will you get with android app development?

  • Dominates Africa, Australia, and Asia – Android holders outnumber IOS holders worldwide, heavily dominating in Asia, Africa, and Australia.
  • Monetization is based on advertising – Android users have a lesser will to pay for mobile applications, partly because of overall income levels and payability. If you plan to design a free app and you want to monetize your application by advertising – Android is a solution here.

Android vs. IOS – Final Cost Verdict

While IOS offers a sleek development environment replete with rules of engagement, it has far less customization. Precisely, the skill set required raises development expenditure. However, later development stages can lead to lower expenses in the medium term, as the development environment is less prone to complications.

Android app development presents lower entry barriers, unlimited personalization options, and a wealth of development information. These factors are what keep the costs down especially in the immediate term. Where expenses diverge from the IOS, they can emerge in later development phases, involving re-development and testing to attain its substantial user segment.

Ultimately, both operating systems work out to be effectively the same. Each aspect accounts for the labor and time costs involved in developing the application. When looking to optimize costs, consider outlining your app’s objectives early and budgeting your time well. You may not be able to change your IOS or android app but your approach needs to be more proactive and profitable.

 

Intro to Android App Development

Android is a reputable computing platform that is based on the popular Linux operating system. The initial android version hit the market in 2008 in the form of a mobile phone platform, at a time when the most popular mobile phone was a Blackberry, when Apple was making waves across different sectors.

For over ten years since it was first released, Android has effectively earned the most popular operating system by several measures. Despite the flashy brand and unmatched capabilities of the popular iPhone platform, Android global shipments meaningfully outpace Apple’s offerings – a clear indication of the potential of Android in the OS market.

Learning Android app development may seem like a daunting undertaking, but it can bring a world of possibilities, especially if done well and diligently. You can create the next “hit app” that will change the way we interact or work. By learning android app development, you could gain some skills that could land you a great job, or develop a tool that you can use to improve your workflow.

So, let’s jump right in on how you can develop an Android app.

  1. Download the tools you need for android app development

Firstly, you need to create your development environment. This is to ensure your desktop and workstation set-up support your android app development goals. For that, you will require Android SDK and Android Studio. Luckily, the two come packaged as a single download, and you can always access it anytime.

Android Studio is an integrated development environment IDE. This is essentially a platform where you can enter your code (primarily Kotlin or Java). It’s where you access all the necessary tools for development. Android Studio allows you to access APIs and libraries from the Android SDK, thereby giving you unlimited access to native development functions of the Android OS.

  1. Start a new project

Once you have successfully installed Android Studio on your desktop, now it’s time to initiate a new project. While this is a straightforward process, you will need to make some serious decisions that will impact your android app development journey going forward.

Go to File>New>New Project you will select a Project Template. The template defines the UI elements and the code present in your application when it loads.

  1. Kotlin vs. Java

One of the critical decisions you’re going to make as an android app developer is whether you will learn Java or Kotlin. Both languages are officially supported by Android and Google Studio, but they have some distinct variations. Google has supported Java for the longest time. It’s what developers have been leveraging to craft Android apps for decades.

  1. Minimum SDK

Additionally, you will need to consider your minimum SDK. This refers to the lowest version of Android that you want your app to support. The lower the SDK, the highest number of audiences or users that your app will target. Kindly keep in mind that there is a relatively lower adoption rate for the latest Android versions, so sticking to the latest Android version will prevent many users from trying your android creation.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the files

You’ll be baffled by the large number of files when you try android development. When you load Android Studio, you will be surprised at just how many different types of files there are. There are different files, multiple code layers, folders, and many more. This new realization would be miles away from the single blank file you’re used to working with QBasic or Python.

  1. Test your app

The first thing to do when familiarizing yourself with any new programming language is to create an application that says, “Hello World.” Thankfully, this is an easy step in any development exercise. If you look at the XML, you’ll notice a small label that reads: Hello World!

Learning Android App Development

When embarking on your first android app development project, remember that the key is not to learn all of Android app development but to set your sights on a realistic first app development project. You will keep learning as you add new features and as you try new things. Having a goal will keep your learning process focused and structured. And before you know it, you’re an expert.

Which Programming Language Is Right For Your iOS App?

Choosing a programming language for your upcoming iOS project may be an easy or difficult decision. If your team already has a tried and true workflow using one or more programming languages, then it’s a no-brainer. For example, your team develops exclusively for Apple devices and uses Swift and Objective-C on an ongoing basis. And since they’re so experienced in these languages and deeply embedded in Apple’s ecosystem, they may have little need to explore alternatives.

But what if your team wishes to target multiple platforms or develop mobile games? Well, it’s possible to do this using Swift or Objective-C, but it’s not an ideal solution. You’ll need to use cross-compilers and translation tools to target non-Apple platforms. Furthermore, there are few game development engines and tools that support both these languages.

So if you want to forge ahead with iOS app development without these limitations, you do have plenty of good options available. A quick look at the TIOBE Index reveals a plethora of languages that are way more popular than either Swift or Objective-C. And while you should never judge a programming language by its popularity, it’s still important to ascertain how well it’s adopted and supported by the industry. Below, we reveal the languages that you should consider and their use case.

1. Swift

The development of the Swift programming language is a collaboration between Apple and various open-source contributors. It’s a powerful multi-paradigm language that’s block-structured, functional, declarative, and object-oriented. Introduced in 2014 as an alternative to Objective-C, Swift has gradually surpassed its predecessor in popularity. And unlike Objective-C, the primary focus of Swift is on safety and a dot-notation style using namespaces, bringing it closer to other object-oriented languages such as C# and Java.

While Swift massively improves on Objective-C while retaining its core concepts, it’s not without its shortcomings. As stated earlier, it’s an excellent language for iOS app development. But game developers will feel limited with the frameworks and tools available for Swift. Apple’s SpriteKit may be handy but not on par with tools available for other languages. 

2. C#

Introduced by Microsoft in 2000, C# was designed by Anders Hejlsberg, the original author of Turbo Pascal and chief architect of Delphi. C# shares many similarities with those two languages and also closely resembles Java. To run, it requires Microsoft’s .NET that consists of a rather elaborate series of frameworks, runtimes, and SDKs. For newer developers, the .NET ecosystem is undoubtedly complex, with a steep learning curve. Furthermore, C# programmers must learn to tame the .NET garbage collector (GC) for optimal results.

Over the past decade, C# has become the darling of indie and mobile game developers. Several excellent cross-platform game engines and frameworks, such as Unity, Godot, MonoGame, OpenTK, Stride, and Wave Engine support C#. Another good framework for cross-platform development is Xamarin, which offers near-native performance even when targeting iOS.

3. Java

Java is one of the most mature and battle-tested object-oriented languages out there. Designed by Jamie Gosling and introduced in 1995, Java has become a stalwart for enterprise developers worldwide. It’s also widely used by Android developers, even though Google is moving ahead with its successor — Kotlin. And as of September 2021, the language comes third in the TIOBE Index rankings, which is a testament to its popularity.

Moreover, Java is renowned for its verbosity, which may dissuade developers accustomed to more streamlined languages. But that doesn’t stop it from being a good option for Android-first developers that also wish to target iOS. It’s a more convoluted process since Apple doesn’t allow for dynamic code generation, which Java outputs via its just-in-time (JIT) compiler. Thus, developers will require several tools, such as a Mac build system, Xcode, OpenJDK, Zero interpreter, libffi, and libfreetype, to support iOS devices.

4. C++

First appearing in 1985, C++ quickly became adopted by programmers requiring a powerful language for creating resource-intensive applications. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup, primarily as an expansion to the C programming language with the addition of classes. And similarly to Java and Swift, C++ is multi-paradigm and object-oriented, meant for several use cases. 

But where it truly shines is in its performance, which is second to none given the language’s close-to-the-metal approach. Unlike other languages that require an interpreter or virtual machine (VM), C++ interacts directly with the hardware, giving it a tremendous speed advantage. While it’s not necessary or advisable to develop an ordinary iOS app using C++, it’s ideal for developing games. It’s possible to create impressive 3D mobile games and virtual reality (VR) experiences with Unreal Engine, which utilizes a C++ scripting component.

5. JavaScript

If there’s one language that’s impacted web development, then it’s none other than JavaScript. Introduced in 1995 and created by Brendan Eich, JavaScript is an event-driven, high-level, and multi-paradigm language. Furthermore, it’s part of the C-family of programming languages and uses a curly-bracket syntax. Many browsers come equipped with a JavaScript engine, allowing code to run on a user’s PC or smartphone. 

Initially, JavaScript served as a client-side and website programming language but eventually became adopted as a server-side language after the introduction of Node.js. And with the advent of frameworks such as Apache Cordova, NativeScript, and React Native, JavaScript programmers can target mobile devices too. So, if your team has a web development background, nothing is holding them back from developing an iOS app. But you’ll unlikely achieve equivalent results to a natively developed app from a performance and UX design perspective.

6. Python

Designed as a beginner-friendly language and released in 1991, Python was the brainchild of Guido van Rossum. And while it enjoyed minimal fanfare upon release, it currently ranks second place in the TIOBE Index. The language utilizes an interpreter and relies on indentation for easier readability. Thus, it’s a good option for Rapid Application Development (RAD) and smaller projects. And in recent years, data analysts and scientists have adopted Python for its excellent machine learning (ML) capabilities.

But the question you should be asking is — is Python a good choice for iOS app development? Well, that largely depends on the type of app you want to make. If you set out to create a minimum viable product (MVP), you’ll benefit from the quick turnaround that Python facilitates. And cross-platform frameworks such as BeeWare and Kivy make such an outcome possible. Also, Python is an excellent choice if you plan on implementing machine learning in your upcoming app.

However, it may not be the right choice for creating a complex app or an intense 3D mobile game. While Python has many positives, it’s not as performant and robust as Swift, Java, and C#. And many frameworks and tools for the language come from the open-source community. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but it’s more reassuring to receive support for your development tools from a reliable and registered company.

Always Choose The Programming Language That Best Fits Your Needs

No programming language is a silver bullet. Your team may have a favorite language, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every type of application. That’s why it’s crucial to have exposure to a wide range of programming languages and tools. And then, choose those that best fit the criteria for your upcoming project.

Apple’s development tools are great and should be your first port of call when targeting iOS. But never ignore the many excellent programming languages, tools, and frameworks available elsewhere. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps with the most up-to-date technologies.

A Quick Intro To iOS App Development

Many aspiring appreneurs need to have an understanding of iOS app development. Fortunately, Apple has made it relatively easy for novices and experts to develop for their key platforms. With powerful tools such as Xcode and the Swift programming language, there’s never been a better time to create unique apps for iOS.

1. The Many Faces Of iOS App Development

While the Apple ecosystem may be pretty cohesive, this isn’t necessarily true for app development. And what we mean by this is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing apps for iOS. Quite frankly, this isn’t a bad thing, as developers often require more than one toolchain or methodology to complete their projects.

Now, for most projects, Apple’s proprietary Xcode IDE and Swift programming language are good enough. And this is especially true if you plan on developing native-only iOS apps. Furthermore, utilizing Apple’s development tools and closely following their guidelines will allow you to create high-quality and performance-oriented apps, which would be difficult to achieve using third-party or cross-platform tools.

But what if you’re a small team with a limited budget that wants to support both iOS and Android? Then, you have two options that you should consider carefully. Option one: develop the native iOS app in-house and seek the assistance of a professional studio, such as NS804, to handle native development for the Android version. And option two: use a cross-platform framework such as React Native or Xamarin to develop for both platforms entirely in-house. We firmly believe that you’ll achieve better results with the first option.

2. Beyond The Standard Toolchain

As we mentioned earlier, Xcode and Swift will suffice for most purposes. However, your iOS app development needs may vary, and you may require an additional or more powerful toolchain. Perhaps, you’ve decided to create an augmented reality (AR) app or a mobile game. And then, quickly discover that Xcode isn’t the most efficient tool for the job. What then?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent frameworks and game engines to help you achieve your goals. One of the most popular solutions for developing AR, VR, and mobile games is Unity. And if you require the best possible visual fidelity, you may want to consider Unreal Engine. But do keep in mind that both engines are bloated and heavy on system resources, especially Unreal. So, if your project doesn’t require the latest 3D rendering techniques and particle systems, then you’re better served elsewhere.

For example, if you’re developing a simple 2D game, you may want to use an open-source framework, such as MonoGame. This framework offers developers the bare-essential functionality and integrations with APIs to make fun games for iOS and several other platforms. But if you require a full-fledged engine that’s also lightweight and open-source, then consider Godot. A key benefit of Godot is that it regularly receives updates and optimizations from its vibrant developer community.

3. Understanding APIs And Why They Are Necessary

For better or worse, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are essential components in developing apps. Fortunately, Apple’s APIs are among the best in the industry and help make the development process a lot easier.

But what exactly is an API, and why should you care? In a nutshell, an API acts as a messenger or intermediary between various hardware components and software instructions. We may have an API that generates graphics on the screen based on draw calls in a computer program. And we may also have an API that transfers user data from a smartphone to a server. Thus, developers can accomplish various complex tasks, as these APIs handle most of the heavy lifting.

APIs bring forth many obvious cost and time-saving benefits, and you should use them when necessary. Apple has wisely introduced several useful APIs that every iOS developer should familiarize themselves with:

  • Apple Music API – Geared towards apps that require data about albums, artists, chart rankings, music videos, playlists, ratings, reviews, songs, and user-generated content. Also, developers may utilize Apple Music API when creating Android apps and websites.
  • Metal – An API that facilitates 3D rendering and data-parallel calculations by utilizing the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on Apple devices. It’s used extensively for games, visual-oriented apps, and extensive scientific calculations.
  • StoreKit – For developers that need to support in-app purchases in their apps. StoreKit also integrates with Ad Network Attribution, Apple Music, and Recommendations and Reviews in the App Store.
  • SwiftUI – A powerful and developer-friendly UI (User Interface) suite, which uses AppKit and UIKit. It allows developers to create modern-looking apps with as little code as possible.

4. The Bare Minimum Requirements For iOS App Development

It’s essential to own at least one Apple Mac computer, which you’ll use to develop your iOS app. Preferably, it should be a recent model for quicker compile times and better compatibility with newer versions of Xcode. You should also own at least one iPhone and iPad to test your app on, even though Xcode provides a simulator. As good as the simulator may be, it’s always good practice to test your app on actual hardware.

After you download Xcode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the integrated development environment (IDE). And if you have prior experience with Objective-C or a similar programming language, the transition to Swift should be easy. But developing for iOS isn’t just about learning Swift, as you’ll also need to comprehend the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK consists of several APIs and frameworks, which are essential for your app development journey.

You’ll also want to register an Apple Developer account and become a member of the Developer Program. A key benefit of joining this program is that you’ll gain access to resources that will help you with deployment. Furthermore, you may want to sign up for the Xcode Cloud, a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service. Xcode Cloud will allow you to automate your workflow, build in the cloud, and initiate parallel testing.

5. Become Acquainted With The App Store

As an appreneur, you’ll eventually release your app on the App Store, as that’s where your potential customers congregate. But before you launch, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the App Store for maximum success. You’ll need to research your target audience and craft an app and marketing message to appeal to these users.

And if you’re releasing on both the App Store and Google Play, you’ll need to understand the differences between these two stores. After all, you’re dealing with two different audiences that have very different expectations. iOS users tend to earn higher incomes and are more willing to pay for apps that show promise. Android users, on the other hand, prefer free apps that are mostly monetized by ads.

Final Thoughts

iOS app development can be fun and very rewarding with the right approach. In most cases, you’ll want to utilize Apple’s proprietary tools, such as Xcode and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). But you can always integrate an additional toolchain when necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps.

iOS App Design Ideas: How To Improve Patient Care

Healthcare presents fertile ground for implementing some of your best and most innovative iOS app design ideas. Today’s pandemic era has caused a greater need for solutions that only technology can provide. And moving ahead, we can see a bright future ahead for mobile medical apps given their growing popularity. According to Statista, the worldwide size for this market segment will reach $11.2 billion by 2025. So, it may be time to reevaluate your iOS app development goals to take advantage of the flourishing patient care industry.

1. Managing Treatments On The iOS Platform

The iOS platform provides users with a plethora of quality apps, including those geared towards patient care. Several useful apps help physicians make informed decisions about prescriptions and medical procedures. For example, Epocrates makes prescription easy thanks to its powerful drug interaction checker, pill identifier, and Rx and OTC monographs. Then, there’s SeamlessMD, which helps hospitals track patient recovery during post-surgery.

2. Make Scheduling And Contacting During An Emergency Easier

Many iOS app design ideas have the potential to become compelling applications. But in the medical field, where saving lives is crucial, your iOS app development endeavors should facilitate such outcomes. Thus, consider creating an app that enables patients to schedule appointments with their health care providers. And make it easy for patients to contact an ambulance or a personal doctor when necessary.

3. Allow Symptom Tracking For Improved Diagnosis

Apple’s iOS platform encompasses iPhones and iPads, but also the Watch series of wearables. These utilize watchOS, which is an operating system based on iOS. For developers already accustomed to iOS app development, supporting these wearable devices has never been easier. Furthermore, wearables serve as the ideal platform for patients that need to track symptoms and diagnose their current condition.

4. Provide Notifications For Better Patient Care

One of the most powerful features you can implement in your patient care app is notifications. Popup notifications can appear whenever the patient needs to take their meds, schedule a new appointment, or stop eating before a blood test.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re planning on implementing appointment scheduling, electronic prescribing, or symptom tracking, you’ll want to tap into a well of compelling iOS app design ideas for your patient care projects. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create cutting-edge apps for the healthcare industry.

How To Choose The Best Tech Stack For Your App

One of the most important choices you can make as a developer is opting for the right tech stack. The right technologies allow you to complete your apps on time and within budget. However, the wrong choices will derail your projects and make you miss milestones. Below, we reveal several of the best tools for developing compelling enterprise apps and when to use them.

1. Understanding The Different Types Of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development is a complex beast that requires foresight. And the reason for this is that both Android and iOS are fundamentally different. Each platform has its own unique Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), development tools, and submission guidelines. Thus, targeting both platforms presents a plethora of challenges to even the most seasoned developers. 

So before embarking on a mobile app project, it’s essential to choose the right tech stack for the job. And what a tech stack brings to the table is a suite of tools, which usually consist of a database, back-end and front-end tools, frameworks, and programming languages. In the case of game studios, they’ll often use an off-the-shelf engine, such as Unity or Unreal, that handles cross-platform development.

However, when choosing a tech stack, it’s also critical to understand the different types of apps you can develop:

  • Native Apps – These applications offer the best app store distribution, performance, and user experience. Developers will use programming languages and tools that specifically target Android or iOS.
  • Cross-Platform Apps – Apps made for Android, iOS, and even the desktop offer reasonably good performance and a user experience. However, these will still lag in terms of speed and performance to their native counterparts.  
  • Hybrid Apps – These rely on web-based technologies and utilize a native app shell to run on mobile and desktop devices. They make it possible for web developers to target multiple platforms but at a significant integration, performance, and speed penalty.

2. Choosing The Right Tech Stack 

Before choosing a development solution, carefully consider whether you’ll be making a native, cross-platform, or hybrid app. Then, take a hard look at your team’s capabilities and available resources. 

For example, you may want to develop a native app to provide customers with the best possible user experience. But you don’t have enough team members, or they’re not skilled enough to handle native development for both Android and iOS. Your team may have proficiency in Apple’s Xcode and the Swift programming language but lack experience in Android Studio and Java or Kotlin.

Now, you could seek the services of native development specialists, such as NS804, to bring about the desired result. But if that’s not an option, you could use a cross-platform suite, such as Flutter, React Native, or Xamarin. However, your team’s success with these tools will largely depend on how proficient they are with their respective programming languages, namely: Dart, JavaScript/TypeScript, and C#.

If you’re still uncertain of which cross-platform tech stack to choose, then consider the following aspects. Flutter is a good option for fast development and comes with a wealth of widgets. But it’s still a relatively new tool with limited functionality and libraries. Alternatively, there’s React Native, which offers excellent mobile UI and modern features yet won’t deliver a native-like look or performance.

Then, there’s Xamarin that’s capable of accessing native APIs and providing near-native performance. On the downside, it’s not the most popular cross-platform solution, and since it’s part of Microsoft’s .NET stack, developers must understand its complex framework and runtime.

Finally, there are hybrid app technologies such as Apache Cordova and Ionic Framework. These are the perfect solutions for budget-conscious developers proficient in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML but willing to sacrifice performance and a native-like experience. 

3. Using The Right Tools For Making Enterprise Apps

If you’re developing enterprise apps, you’ll need to use tools that are best in class. Quite often, these are the very same tools provided or recommended by the platform holders. In Apple’s case, they want developers to use their Xcode Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for creating apps for all their devices. And in Google’s case, they prefer that developers use Android Studio and associated software development kit (SDK).

Furthermore, Apple’s Swift is a powerful statically typed programming language ideal for modern application development. And since it’s a type-safe language, the result is cleaner and safer code that’s less prone to runtime crashes. Also, Swift handles memory exceptionally well thanks to its Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) memory management. What this means is that it’s an excellent language for developing performant and secure enterprise apps.

And in the Android camp, Google has been encouraging developers to switch over to Kotlin from Java. While Java has been a stalwart programming language in the enterprise space since the mid-90s, it’s verbose with a steep learning curve. Kotlin, on the other hand, offers developers similar features to Java, but it’s easier to learn and allows for both object-oriented and functional programming. With such flexibility and power, developers can release polished enterprise apps far quicker than before.

You’ll likely need a database for your application, and there are several good options available. Both Android and iOS developers can implement the SQLite relational database to manage data. But if you’re seeking a more modern and scalable solution, then consider Realm. What makes Realm so compelling is that it integrates seamlessly with React Native and Xamarin. And if you prefer to work with Google’s tech stack, you may want to take advantage of Firebase.

4. When To Build An MVP

Building complex enterprise apps presents developers with plenty of risks and high development costs. There’s no knowing if it will achieve significant download numbers, engage users, and perform adequately. 

So, the only way we’ll know if a project holds promise is if we test the market without investing heavily in a finished product. Instead, we focus our efforts on a minimum viable product (MVP), which includes the bare minimum functionality of the app we envision. Once the MVP gains traction with users, then we can proceed to scale. 

5. Consider How Your Tech Stack Affects The Cost Of Development  

The type of tech stack you use will affect the cost of development considerably. If you’re embarking on native development, you’ll need to have developers on your team capable of programming for both Android and iOS. Furthermore, you’ll need to maintain two codebases, which will only increase your development costs.

Don’t forget to account for the cost of your development tools. After all, it’s easy to forget about this with so many open-source and free options available nowadays. Many IDEs are available for free and primarily aimed at indie developers, open-source projects, and students. 

But if you’re a professional developer or a company, you’ll need to purchase a license, either as a subscription or a one-off cost. Similarly, there are different pricing tiers for other tools, such as automated testing suites, back-end cloud services, and databases.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right tech stack for your app will allow you to complete it on time and within budget. In an ideal world, you’d opt for tools that facilitate native app development. But if that’s not feasible, consider the alternatives or work with a professional developer. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop amazing apps with the best-in-class technologies.

Professional iOS App Design Templates: Don’t Let Them Tempt You

It’s easy to get hold of professional iOS app design templates online. Also, these templates tend to be affordable, which only makes them more tempting. But we’ll advise against taking this route since it’s all too easy to make mistakes when developing mobile apps. Here’s a quick rundown of why iOS design templates aren’t necessarily a good solution.

1. Professional iOS App Design Templates Offer Little Customization

You’ve briefed your team on how the user interface (UI) should look on your latest project. And since you’re in a hurry, a team member suggests using professional iOS app design templates to save time. Thus, you allow them to go ahead, hoping that this will help get your app out the door quickly. 

As the project progresses, you reach a point where it’s necessary to make changes to the UI. But you soon find that these templates are difficult to customize to suit your needs. Your UI doesn’t look cohesive and doesn’t fit the design language of your brand. That’s why it’s better to create custom iOS design templates to avoid such a scenario. 

2. iOS Design Templates Make Your App Cookie Cutter

The visual elements of your apps shouldn’t only look professional; they need to stand out. Many iOS design templates tend to look generic, which will give your app a cookie-cutter appearance. Moreover, plenty of low-effort apps in the App Store use such templates that only exacerbate the problem.

3. A Mobile App Design Template Might Not Offer Any Support

It’s easy to be tempted by the low upfront costs of a mobile app design template. And it might seem like a sound investment when starting a project. As any seasoned developer already knows, there comes a time when you need support. If you require making any changes to these templates, you’ll need to track down the designer. But they may no longer be around or not willing to fulfill your requests for changes.

It’s vital to view all app development endeavors seriously. Therefore, consider working with professional developers that can provide the support you need. If you’re willing to spend more on a tailor-made design template, this will result in a professional app that’s bound for success. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can create a custom solution that exemplifies your brand. 

Creating An Enterprise App That Focuses On Security And Compliance

Building an enterprise app that’s secure and compliant should be the priority of every serious developer. Users need enterprise mobile apps that won’t leak sensitive information or be at the mercy of hackers. We’ll briefly touch upon why security and compliance should never be an afterthought.

1. Why Security Matters In An Enterprise App?

Nowadays, many enterprises use collaboration apps that allow their employees and remote teams to get work done. A few examples include Google Docs, Slack, and Trello, which are cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings. Furthermore, these apps make life easier for IT managers since they no longer need to maintain and manage their own servers.

While a typical enterprise app offers convenience, it’s not entirely secure. Hackers love to target small or large enterprises through their collaboration apps. For example, a savvy hacker can launch a phishing attack via an enterprise’s messaging app instead of relying on email. And since employees trust communications within the company’s messaging app, they’ll likely click an URL or download files containing malware or malicious code.

The malware may contain a keylogger, which records user keystrokes such as login passwords and sends them back to the hacker. Thus, the entirety or part of the company’s online infrastructure will be compromised. The hacker can now steal valuable company information, install viruses, launch a ransomware attack, and that’s only the beginning. That’s why all applications, including enterprise mobile apps, should have enhanced security features from the get-go.

2. How To Ensure Enterprise Mobile Apps Are Compliant?

With 38% of iOS mobile apps and 43% of Android applications having high-risk vulnerabilities, it’s time for developers to take security seriously. The most common problem is insecure data storage, which puts correspondence, financial data, passwords, and personal information at risk.   

So how should you tackle enterprise app development with security in mind? You’ll need to focus on the client-side since 60% of vulnerabilities are found on the client, and 56% can be exploited without administration rights. 

Look at your insecure interprocess communication (IPC) and reduce its usage. And don’t use third-party keyboards in your enterprise mobile apps, as these can leak sensitive information, such as user passwords. Finally, mask sensitive on-screen information with a custom background image or filter.

3. Why Should You Use A Professional App Development Company?

Don’t make the mistake of trying to build your enterprise app for free. While there are many app builders and resources to help you make an application, you won’t get the desired result. You may not complete your app, or if you do, it may cost you more than anticipated. 

Whether we like it or not, enterprise app development is a serious endeavor. You’ll need to work with a professional app development company that will deliver an app that functions properly and meets all safety criteria. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build secure enterprise mobile apps.

What An App Development Company Offers Over A Freelance Developer

Are you thinking of hiring a freelance developer for your upcoming app? While this may seem like a good idea, there are several pitfalls that you need to consider. Moreover, consider the benefits of working with an app development company. We delve deeper into why this may be a better option for your app development endeavors.

1. The Difficulty Of Finding The Right Freelance Developer

With a big project coming up, you’ve decided to trawl the web to find freelance developers. And, you may feel confident that you’ll find the right people due to all the freelance and gig websites available. Sites such as PeoplePerHour, Toptal, and Upwork make it possible for recruiters to hire a plethora of talented individuals. And yes, many of these individuals have impressive portfolios and skill sets that make them seem very promising.

But are these freelance developers the right candidates for your project and enterprise? Well, that largely depends on how seriously you take app development and the stature of your organization. After all, your app represents your company, and a shoddy app can hurt its reputation. 

Freelance developers can potentially handle smaller and simpler apps, but seldom can they pull off more ambitious projects. Moreover, many freelancers only work on projects within a set timeframe and then move on to the next gig. If you run into problems with your app, these freelancers may not be available to fix these issues.

Another problem you may encounter is that many freelancers only specialize in popular programming languages and frameworks. If your company uses niche or in-house development tools, these freelancers can’t assist you in any meaningful way. Thus, it’s a massive risk relying on freelancer developers, especially if you’re creating apps on a professional basis. But you can mitigate risk and achieve positive results by working with an experienced app development company.

2. Work With An App Development Company That’s A Good Fit 

While you may have eschewed that potentially promising freelance developer to work with a development company, this doesn’t mean that you should rest easy. You may have tracked down a renowned studio that’s made several impressive apps that have done well in the app stores. But this doesn’t mean that this app development company will be a good fit for you!

For example, this renowned studio may specialize in mobile games and have little experience developing enterprise apps. Therefore, if you’re planning on making an enterprise app, it’s better to look for a development company that has actually developed enterprise apps on a long-term basis. 

We advise that you practice due diligence before hiring a development company by doing your homework. Start researching companies by visiting Clutch.co, which is a B2B directory of IT businesses and developers. Moreover, read tech blogs and journals to learn more about existing and up-and-coming development companies making waves in the app world. 

Create a shortlist of companies you’d like to work with, then gather referrals, request demos, and conduct interviews with all of them. These procedures will give you adequate information about which company will suit you best.

3. Software Development Best Practices Are Important

Work with an app development company that adheres to software development best practices. A competent developer will ensure that your app works flawlessly across devices and doesn’t put user data at risk. Also, they’ll be well-versed in both Android and iOS development and capable of meeting all criteria set by the platform holders. 

Keep in mind that apps can be rejected after being submitted to Apple and Google Play if they don’t meet their respective standards. And such a scenario will only increase delays and drive up development costs.

4. Why You’ll Get Better UX Design From An App Development Company

The average freelance developer will only have a limited amount of skills. Most likely, they’ll know several programming languages and frameworks but lack adequate design experience. They may be able to handle some rudimentary UX design work but won’t deliver the kind of design that will make your app truly stand out. Therefore, you’ll also need to hire an experienced UX designer to ensure you’re making a well-rounded quality app.

Now you’ll have to coordinate both your developer and UX designer, meaning that you’re creating more work for yourself. But if you’ve hired an app development company, they’ll handle all development and UX design. Thus, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your app business. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver cohesive UX design on all target platforms and screen sizes.

5. Tackling Both Android & iOS Development

Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that can handle both Android and iOS development. It’s not uncommon to find freelance developers that only focus on a single platform. Even if they develop for both platforms, they’ll usually have more experience developing for one over the other. And they may even cut corners by using frameworks that make it easy to target both platforms with a single codebase but lack native-like performance and UX.

An experienced development company, such as NS804, delivers native apps for both Android and iOS. Our know-how, skills, and tools allow us to squeeze out maximum performance from both platforms.

6. Developing Complex Apps

Complex apps require a highly skilled developer to make them come to fruition successfully. Hiring a solo freelancer developer to handle such an endeavor would be a big mistake. Any app with a significant amount of complexity requires a lot of code and content, which is way too much work for a single developer. An app development company will have enough staff on hand to complete a complex app on time.

7. Scaling Your App

Perhaps you’ve hired a freelance developer to create a simple app or minimum viable product (MVP). But you need to scale and turn it into the app you’ve always envisioned. However, your freelancer has moved onto other projects and isn’t available to help you grow our app. And even if they were available, it’s unlikely they can handle projects beyond the scope of a solo developer.

You’ll need to hire several freelance developers or work with a development company to handle such a monumental task. But you’ll have more peace of mind working with the latter since a company can offer further assistance even after you’ve scaled your app.

8. Meeting Goals And Milestones

Never lose sight of your most crucial goals and milestones. When working with freelancers, you can never be sure that they fully comprehend these. And if these freelancers work remotely in different parts of the world, this only complicates matters. But if you work with a development company that operates as a registered business, then you’re dealing with a more accountable entity. Moreover, they’ll help you meet your goals since they’ll want to build an ongoing business partnership with you.

9. Assurance Of Quality And A Smooth Development Process

Ultimately, you want your app to be a testament to the quality that your company can deliver. While it’s possible to achieve adequate results by hiring freelancers, it’s not the smartest choice. You’ll achieve better results and enjoy a smoother development process by working with an app development company. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop outstanding mobile apps that never fail to impress.

An Appreneur Guide To The App Store

Understanding The App Store Leads To Stronger Appreneur Performance

In every industry, there are techniques, tools, and tactics that form the foundation of operations within that industry. Therefore, any professionals starting a journey into a new career need to learn the applicable fundamentals. For instance; in the world of app development, the app stores and various markets that connect developers to users are beyond vital.  The app stores are important for an aspiring appreneur to understand because it’s where users find your app. Even apps with the strongest designs need to be positioned properly, and if they aren’t, users simply won’t find them.

This is important to realize because of the simple truth that no matter how good your app is; it still needs users to thrive. By understanding the app stores you, as an appreneur, can leverage stronger marketing techniques, speak directly to user needs, and ultimately climb the metaphorical leaderboard.

Key Distinctions To Note Between the Apple Store and Google Play

Now, before moving too far along, it’s important to know the differences between the Apple app store and the Google Play store. These two marketplaces have a lot of the same offerings to present to appreneurs. However, they also differ in distinct ways that alter the strategies and tactics successful appreneurs apply.

One of the most important differences between these two markets is the programming languages. In the Apple app store, applications run on a programming language, Python. Python is the language of the Apple operating system and is most well known for its rigid rules and strength in security. By creating an entire app store with a universal coding language; the applications that exist within that market come with a bolstered level of security. Additionally, this makes it easier for users to get an idea of the function and feel of your apps before they’re even downloaded. By standardizing the programming language, developers also benefit.

Developers benefit from the standard programming language because it creates universal understanding. In other words, programmers and developers working in the Apple app store have a slight advantage as they only need to learn and work with one programming language.

Getting Into Google Play

The Google play store comes with its own set of advantages as well, though. For instance, while the defining feature of the Apple app store is a universal coding language; the exact opposite is true of the Google Play store. The Google Play store thrives on creativity and flexibility. While this is often positive, it also brings with it a few drawbacks. One drawback in particular when it comes to the Google Play store and its flexibility in the programming language is that it opens up the door for a much higher percentage of faulty, bug-ridden, and less secure applications.

Since the coding is so much more flexible in the Google Play store, appreneurs don’t have to follow as rigid of programming rules. While this acts as a catalyst for innovation, technological exploration, and creativity in design; it also opens the door to higher security threats and a higher rate of finished apps that are full of bugs.

The App Store and Niche Markets As an Appreneur

The Apple app store and the Google Play store both represent app markets. By that, these are full marketplaces with a wide spectrum of industries and fields of practice. Think for a second about the wide range of apps that are available; from health and wellness applications to budgeting apps, to apps for pure entertainment, there’s an app for almost everyone doing almost anything. This means that as these markets continue to grow, advance, and evolve, applications will emerge for every niche market available.

For an appreneur, this is great news. As society further integrates technology into more and more aspects of everyday life, more and more opportunities for appreneurs will exist. However, it’s important to realize that, just like with traditional stores; the game changes completely when it comes to niche markets in mobile app stores.

When it comes to marketing your application in a niche market; it’s absolutely vital to conduct your due diligence in order to gain some insight on successful trends that already exist within that niche market. By discovering and implementing successful marketing tactics for your niche market application you’ll put yourself a step above the competition before you even launch.

Learning From The Competition

Watch, listen, and learn. This is a basic principle that applies to almost every aspect of life. By being still and observing carefully, you can learn mountains of helpful information without the risk of making mistakes yourself. Learning from the competition isn’t a new concept, not by any means. It’s a long-standing strategy that business professionals and innovators use to re-create success seen by other entrepreneurs.  By borrowing successful tactics and strategies from a wide range of sources you and your team have the ability to create a comprehensive launch and marketing plan that’s fast-tracked toward success.

Address App-Store Reviews

In the same vein as learning from the competition, another huge resource pool for appreneurs is app-store reviews. In today’s virtual world, consumers have more access to better information all-around. This puts a lot more pressure on sellers because consumers hold such a low tolerance for negative experiences. In other words, after a single negative experience with a company or application, most users are more likely to switch providers or companies altogether, rather than give them a chance to make it right.

As such, app store reviews are a rich reservoir of consumer insights: both good and bad. As a crafty appreneur, then, you can mine app store reviews for potent insights to apply to your own applications under development. You can see what features excite users about applications they love, and reviews will also pinpoint areas of failure and aspects desperate for improvement. All-in-all leading you down a pre-paved path straight to the top of the app store.

App Stores, Appreneurs, and Algorithms

It’s no secret that app stores run algorithms constantly. These algorithms, while seemingly random, are actually extremely precise. However, even the algorithms that the app stores themselves are using undergo rapid evolutions and reiterations. As such, it’s incredibly difficult to get an accurate reading of how these algorithms are built and run. However, you and your team can track patterns.  The patterns illuminate what types of apps are continually reaching the top of the charts. This information can then be used to inform the development process of applications you and your firm are working on launching.

A Brief Overview of An Appreneur Guide To The App Store

The world of application development is busy and bustling. Over the past year specifically, our society rapidly advanced into an era dictated by technological integration. Each and every day there is new technology and new innovation happening all around us. As a determined appreneur, understanding the app stores, how they function, and how to make them work for you will bring you a significant advantage in building and delivering top applications across markets.

For more information on app development or mobile app development specifically, keep browsing the NS804 content library. NS804 is the one and only proud application developer for the everyday appreneur.