Tag Archive for: Mobile App Development

10 Mobile App Development Questions, Answered

Mobile app development strategy is now a priority for most businesses. That’s because of the rapid uptake of mobile apps that has transformed the mobile app landscape.

However, for most businesses, small and large, successfully bringing an app to the market demands substantial research and strategic planning. So, there are several questions to consider when you begin the mobile app development journey.

Understanding these ten questions will help you identify the best mobile app development strategy for your enterprise.

1. Is a mobile website sound enough?

Your business objectives will guide your decision to design a mobile app or a mobile website. For instance, if your objective is to offer mobile-friendly content to a wide range of people, a mobile website can be an ideal choice.

Mobile websites present a great way to put valuable content in the hands of your target audience. Unfortunately, mobile website users have exceedingly high expectations of functionality and quality that sometimes these websites cannot deliver.

2. How feasible is my idea?

Most small and medium-sized enterprises struggle with this question. They wonder about the feasibility of their app idea, often struggling to understand whether they should put huge budgets on app development and maintenance.

Well, the best way to know whether your idea is feasible is to test it. You have to design a prototype, take it to your target market, and see whether there’s something valuable in it.

There’s no way to know whether your app idea will succeed if you haven’t taken it to the field of real prospects or at least seen how apps of similar nature have performed before.

3. Who is my target audience?

Most businesses and individuals fail to know who exactly is their target audience when developing an app. Always know your app’s end users before kick starting the app development process.

To know your target audience, conduct a comprehensive study of your app’s user demographics. Focus the research on identifying the users’ buying habits, age, challenges, and locality. In addition, research on how much time they spend on devices, their preferences, and interests.

4. What’s my mobile app category?

Knowing your mobile app category will significantly help you cut your mobile app development costs. While knowing your app’s category is a no-brainer, your app should be designed in such a way that it can fit into any categories available in both Apple Store and Play Store.

Knowing your app category will reduce your competitive research time. In addition, knowing the primary and secondary categories will help you narrow down the most appropriate or potential clients for your app.

5. How can I validate my app idea?

This is a question that’s asked by most mobile app developers. Individuals and businesses that want to integrate mobile apps into their digital strategy wonder how they can actualize their dreams and validate their ideas.

The answer to this simple question is: you can validate your idea by using a prototype, a Proof of Concept, or a minimum viable product. Alongside validating your idea, a Minimum Viable Product allows for client and stakeholder participation, eliciting new ideas and revealing new areas of improvement.

The prototype or minimum viable product ensures that the entire team contributes to the project through the product life cycle stages. So, if you want to increase the chances of your app’s launch and eventual success, using a proof of concept POC or a minimum viable product may help you attain that goal.

6. How will my app make money?

This is a question most individuals struggle to answer. So, making money with your app depends wholly on your app monetization strategy. Selecting the right monetization strategy or a combination of strategies will help optimize your app’s performance and usage.

As you seek to monetize your app, look for a model that will generate income without compromising on your app’s overall performance and functionality. For example, the subscription monetization model works based on music and video subscriptions, while the in-app purchase model is perfect for products and free-to-play games.

Carefully consider how you monetize based on your market research, user base, and product. Doing this will not only guarantee profitability but will substantially increase your success.

The most common app monetization strategies include:

  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • In-App purchases
  • Pay per download
  • Advertising base

It’s important to note that regardless of your app’s monetization strategy, it’s not an afterthought. Your initial plans must capture your app’s idea and its monetization strategy.

The last thing any individual or business wants is to invest in a product that has no long-term returns on investment. So, carefully define your app’s monetization strategy straight from the beginning.

7. Hybrid, native, or web?

Selecting web, native, or hybrid can make or break your app’s mobile strategy. In addition, deciding to build your app as either a native, hybrid or web involves many factors for consideration.

Benefits of Native Apps

  • Deliver the best performance
  • They’re interactive, intuitive, and smooth
  • Allows developers to access the full feature set
  • A superior user experience
  • Approved by its operating system, ensuring compatibility, quality, and security.

Advantages of Web Apps

  • Web apps are relatively easy to maintain
  • They’re less expensive upfront
  • Do not have to follow standard OS protocols
  • Web apps can survive in all operating systems and platforms
  • Updates are not done from a centralized store – web apps update themselves automatically when the app loads

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

  • Only one codebase is needed for hybrid apps
  • Hybrid apps have access to a device’s internal API
  • Hybrid apps don’t need a web browser

The initial cost of a native app may be higher. However, you’ll save money and time in the long run.

8. Should I outsource my mobile app development?

Many companies have many items to consider when starting with mobile app development. One of these questions is who’s going to build the product.

Outsourcing mobile app development comes with flexibility, experience, and expertise, alongside an in-depth knowledge of new trends in technology.

9. Are there similar apps in the industry?

Competition holds a special place, not just in developing a new mobile app; but also in determining or predicting the future of that specific app. The first step in the competitive analysis is to know whether there are any competitor apps in the market.

Obtaining this information will not only help you know what elements or items your app must have, but will give you insights on what you should consider in the future to remain sustainable.

10. How do I protect my app idea?

One of the most commonly asked app development questions is how to protect your app idea. Well, the truth is that you have control of your app until it’s launched in the market. However, once launched, competitors will copy whatever attributes they see fit. And some competitors may duplicate the entire app idea.

So, while you’re at the ideation towards conceptualization stage, you can protect your app idea by signing a non-disclosure agreement NDA with the app development companies you’re involved with.

At the end of the day, the best way to protect your app idea is to work on it before your competitors do. And working on it means constantly adding new features and looking for new ways to improve the app’s overall functionality.

NS804 – Masters in App Design, Development and Deployment!

NS804 is a leading and trusted provider of mobile app development. With vast experience in app design, development, and deployment, NS804 has helped thousands of clients meet their app development goals.

NS804 offers expertise from inception to completion, helping you transcend the app development journey.

Contact NS804 for timely mobile app design, development, and deployment.

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! 

App Performance: How To Tell If Your App Is Succeeding

If you’re not continuously monitoring app performance, you won’t have a clear picture of app quality and success. And that means you won’t know if your app meets or exceeds user expectations. Moreover, you can’t correctly evaluate your app since you’re not measuring its key performance indicators (KPIs).

So, what should you do to ensure you know everything about your app that matters? And more importantly, how do you do so without hurting your brand? After all, there’s nothing worse than releasing an app — even as a beta for testing purposes — that delivers a shoddy user experience. 

Read on as we’re about to reveal the steps you need to take to monitor app performance — the right way!

1. Implement App Performance Metrics For App Quality

First and foremost, you need to know if your app runs flawlessly or is a buggy mess that upsets users. Thus, you’ll need to implement the following app performance metrics that will furnish you with reports in real-time:

  • Crash analytics – To help you identify when and why app crashes happen
  • Performance – Collect data related to load speeds, device configurations, operating systems, and screen resolutions
  • In-app feedback and ticketing – An effective way to gain feedback and respond to app issues without hurting your brand
  • Testing – Use an SDK such as Firebase to build and test apps across multiple devices and platforms 

2. Measure KPIs That Determine App Success

You’ll also need to know how well your app is performing in the app stores. And there’s quite a bit of data that you’ll need to collect and analyze, such as follows:

  • Number of downloads – This is one of the most important KPIs and helps determine app growth or stagnation
  • Reviews and ratings – Positive reviews and ratings bolster downloads as users often look at these first before trying out an app 
  • Track active users – It’s crucial to know how many users continue using your app after they download it from the store
  • The average duration of user interaction – User engagement directly correlates with higher usage times
  • The frequency of user sessions – This is another important metric that determines user engagement
  • Retention rate – This metric helps determine whether or not users remain interested in your app
  • Churn rate – Another important metric that indicates how many users leave an app

3. Mobile Game Considerations

All app performance metrics discussed above also apply to mobile games. Given the viral nature of mobile games, it’s also crucial to measure the K factor. So, what is the K factor, and how does it impact a mobile game? In a nutshell, the K factor refers to the number of users that talk about your game and recommend it to others.

An easy way to work out the K factor is with this simple formula (i = average number of invitations sent by a user, and c = conversation rate of those invited): 

k-factor = i*c

In Conclusion

Always implement app performance metrics, as these will help you gain a 360-degree view of your app. The more data you collect about your app’s performance and how users interact with it, the better informed you’ll be to make the right changes — and when they’re necessary. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal apps that truly succeed! 

Best Programming Languages For App Development — Our Top 10 List

Every developer wants to know what the best programming languages are for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s always interesting learning about the languages that rank high on GitHub, Stack Overflow, and TIOBE Index. Secondly, high adoption rates of a particular language impact how easy it’s to find and hire skilled developers. And thirdly, knowing which languages are most suitable for specific market segments, helps us make better decisions.

Below, we’ve compiled a handy list that pinpoints the best-in-class programming languages for app development. A few of these choices may surprise you, but we laser-focused on the languages that are the most useful and relevant.

1. Kotlin

In 2017, Google announced that Kotlin would become a first-class citizen for developing Android apps. And during these past five years, Kotlin has become the preferred language for Android mobile app development. But what does this mean for Java — is it still relevant? Yes, many developers still use Java, and it’s still possible to develop Android apps using this language.  

However, Kotlin is modern and offers several time-saving features that help developers be more productive. And coupled with Google’s Jetpack libraries and easy-to-implement Kotlin APIs, there’s never been a better time to develop for Android. 

Given the popularity of Android on a global scale and its proliferation on a wide range of devices, it’s a platform that no app developer can ignore. Therefore, if there’s one programming language that will open many doors, it’s Kotlin. And that’s why Kotlin is in our number one spot in our epic list of best programming languages for app development!

2. Swift

Similar to how Google is replacing Java with Kotlin, Apple has a similar strategy. The company is heavily promoting Swift as its flagship programming language, even though it’s possible to develop for iOS using Objective-C. And that’s a good thing, as Objective-C is a dated language that not every programmer enjoys using. 

What Swift brings to the table is a cleaner and simpler syntax, which allows developers to enjoy substantial productivity gains. Therefore, if you were to start developing for iOS today, you’re better off choosing Swift over Objective-C. Not only will you complete your projects faster, but your code will be more readable and maintainable. 

Another advantage of Swift is that it’s native to iOS, which means it’s more performant than third-party languages. Generally, always opt for a programming language native to the target platform unless this isn’t financially feasible or there isn’t anyone on your team that’s skilled in the language.

3. C#

Microsoft may not have made a significant impact in the mobile space. After all, they failed to respond quickly to the rise of smartphones, and their Windows Phone failed miserably. But where Microsoft does shine is in their development tools and releasing the powerful and versatile programming language — C# (pronounced C Sharp and not C Hash).

Designed by Anders Hejlsberg — the author of Turbo Pascal and lead architect of Delphi — C# closely resembles Java but has more quality of life features. And similar to C++ and Java, it’s also an object-oriented programming (OOP) language, ideally suited for business applications and games. 

C# programmers that want to develop for Android and iOS can do so with the Xamarin framework. And it’s possible to achieve near-native performance on both platforms, as long as these programmers are skilled at taming the rather complex .NET garbage collector (GC). Mobile game developers can also use C# together with Unity to create stunning-looking 3D games.

4. C++

C++ is one of those languages many developers prefer to avoid using whenever possible. And that’s because it’s incredibly complex and hard to master. However, C++ is the lingua franca of the game development world. So, if you’re developing a game engine or using Unreal Engine for your next mobile game, you’ll need to know C++. 

And while Unreal Engine has the Blueprints Visual Scripting language, it has a steep learning curve and doesn’t offer the same level of performance as C++. But it doesn’t end there; Google recently released the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK), which allows developers to code in C++ while taking advantage of the Jetpack libraries. 

Another area where knowing C++ comes in handy in dealing with application programming interfaces (APIs). You’ll find a large number of APIs written in C++, and these can range from networking to app monetization modules.

5. OpenGL ES Shading Language (GLSL)

OpenGL ES is a free-to-use cross-platform API owned by the Khronos Group. Also, it’s one of the most indispensable APIs any Android developer will use, as this handles 2D and 3D rendering. That’s why having sufficient know-how of GLSL not only comes in handy; it’s essential for any graphically intensive apps. 

But what exactly is GLSL, and how does it work? GLSL is a programming language resembling C (a low-level language that precedes C++). Furthermore, GLSL commands will execute on the graphics processing unit (GPU) instead of the central processing unit (CPU).

6. Metal Shading Language (MSL)

Not to be outdone by its rivals, Apple has created a proprietary API for hardware-accelerated graphics for its platforms. Known as Metal, this API only works on Apple’s devices, unlike the OpenGL standard, which is cross-platform. But it’s possible to cross-compile GLSL to Apple’s MSL standard via the SPIR-V transpiler. 

MSL allows Apple developers to achieve similar results to what their Android counterparts can do with GLSL. And thanks to the Metal-cpp interface, C++ programmers can easily code for Metal or port apps and games from other platforms. Developers accustomed to Microsoft’s DirectX API and High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) shouldn’t find it difficult to adopt or transition to MSL.

7. Java

Java is a language that remains useful for Android and enterprise developers. And knowing the ins and outs of Java is still helpful for those getting to grips with Kotlin and even C#. Furthermore, developers may need to maintain existing Java apps or port these over to a more modern language, such as Kotlin. 

And surprisingly, Java is a decent language for mobile app development coupled with a good framework. The open-source libGDX game development framework is lightweight and versatile, making it relatively easy to develop 2D and 3D cross-platform games. However, libGDX also works with Kotlin, which is likely the better choice for newer projects overall. 

8. Structured Query Language (SQL)

Now, SQL may not seem like the most interesting of languages. And some may think that it should never have made it to our best programming languages list. However, if your app uses a database extensively — and most do — then knowing SQL makes sense.

The language is powerful and versatile enough to handle large amounts of data and complex queries. But it should be coupled with the framework that best suits your needs. And that’s the tricky part, as there are many flavors of SQL and NoSQL (not only SQL) databases out there, such as Amazon DynamoDB, Cassandra, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite, to name a few.

9. JavaScript 

Over 16 million developers use JavaScript, which often ranks as one of the world’s most popular programming languages. So why does it rank so low here? Well, JavaScript is a web-based language designed primarily for client-side web pages and never meant for mobile apps.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use JavaScript, as long as you don’t mind creating a hybrid app instead of a native one. You’ll need to use a framework such as React Native or Ionic Framework. And while these frameworks promise amazing results, it’s unlikely they can perform as well as native apps developed by professional studios such as NS804.

10. Python

Many newbie developers and script kiddies probably consider Python one of the best programming languages for app development. And there’s no shortage of YouTube tutorial channels that have generated much hype for Python. But it’s not the be-all and end-all of programming languages, not even close. 

Unfortunately, the fanboyism surrounding Python may cause some developers to opt for this language instead of more appropriate alternatives. And while often touted for its machine learning (ML) capabilities and ease of use, Python seldom matches the performance, look, and feel of native apps made with Kotlin and Swift.

But it’s not all bad, as Python is still a good choice for creating prototypes and minimum viable products (MVPs). And it’s possible to complete smaller projects using frameworks such as BeeWare or Kivy relatively quickly.

In Conclusion

Our top 10 list of best programming languages for app development was carefully considered. Mainstream popularity and hype didn’t affect our choices, as we focused exclusively on the languages that truly facilitate the app development process. And we placed languages native to a platform or offer near-native performance right at the top, and the least performant languages at the bottom. 

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create native apps with the best-in-class programming languages and tools!

10 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs a Mobile App

The ability to view, click, and order is on the rise. The ‘click’ trend is slowly taking a toll on almost every enterprise – from retailers to hoteliers. Today, restaurants are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, thanks to new mobile capabilities like online ordering and delivery.

The hotel industry has experienced a boom over the last decade due to a corresponding growth and uptake of technology. For instance, mobile apps are helping restaurants grow their brands in almost unimaginable ways.

In addition, e-commerce capabilities enable hotels to access fresh produce, thus powering up vital operations in traditional hotels and restaurants – from sourcing products to delivering them to consumers.

Reasons Your Restaurant Needs an App

So, whether running a small food kiosk at the corner of a busy city or handling multiple hotel chains across different geographies, having an app is mandatory.

So, here are ten reasons your restaurant needs a mobile app.

1. Online slot reservation

Today, mobile apps connect clients to their desired restaurants and provide adequate information to make a reservation. Restaurants are leveraging online forms to enable clients and customers to make reservation requests.

In addition, smartphone apps allow your customers to book reservations and identify whether there’s a slot or not. So, instead of traveling miles only to miss a seat, restaurants can inform potential guests of any available seats.

2. Digital menu card

Do you know that most customers wouldn’t mind accessing the menu digitally, especially when it’s easily accessible and with a good interface? Well, if you don’t know, consider making your digital menu card as appealing and attractive as possible.

Today, most restaurants (like Foodlitter) allow customers to place orders using digital menu cards. This capability enables users to make their orders online without much hassle and with just a few clicks on their phones.

Digital menu cards provide end-users with immense accessibility and a convenient experience. And while many restaurants have menus in their mobile apps, few have digital menus uploaded to these apps.

So, your restaurant needs a mobile app to enable digital menu capabilities.

3. Ordering online

Mobile apps are indispensable for restaurants that offer online ordering and online delivery options. For instance, fast-food chains like Mcdonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Checkers provide online ordering capabilities, filling hunger bites when they occur.

What mobile apps do is that they eliminate the role of mediator in booking orders and online reservations. So, you can directly go to your app and place an order. And immediately, you’ll receive a call confirming your order details and delivery information – location, address, phone number, recipient(s), and more.

4. Location-based deals

The location-based feature is a relatively new app feature but incredibly satisfying to restaurants that want to close fast deals.

For instance, Apple’s iBeacon uses this particular feature. This feature sends a push notification to a customer near your restaurant.

With this feature, you can tempt your customers by offering unbeatable deals on mouth-watering delicacies they can’t refuse.

5. Customer-friendliness

Perhaps the leading reason behind the adoption of mobile apps is that mobile apps are customer-friendly. Mobile apps offer a superior customer experience making apps a darling to many people.

Online ordering has enabled most restaurants to handle their peak hours efficiently. Online ordering reduces the pressure and queue, assisting restaurants with orders even when customers are seated at home or in offices.

And thanks to online ordering, most people nowadays can avoid the pain of standing in long queues waiting for meals. And with the option of ordering their meals online, they can easily order meals when they’re in traffic or when picking up their children from school.

So, there’s no denying that the customer-friendly nature of mobile apps in online ordering has been a feat to its adoption.

6. Customer outreach

Mobile apps provide ways to connect to new customers. By using mobile apps, restaurants can advise their offerings and reach out to new and existing customers.

And while there’s no proven way to connect to customers, you can always use mobile apps because they’re cheap, customized to customer needs, and less spammy. Mobile apps offer soft push notifications that don’t appear as a bother to consumers.

So, mobile apps remain indispensable in creating targeted communication with customers.

7. Brand positioning

You cannot undermine the power of apps in building a compelling brand image. Mobile apps exist on consumer devices, are easily accessible, and can be customized to address consumer needs using purchase patterns, purchasing behavior, and other operative metrics.

So, restaurants are slowly understanding the potential of mobile apps in building a good brand and image. Mobile apps act as your restaurant’s beacon outside. For instance, if a customer is not ordering directly from your restaurant but has your app installed, they can receive push notifications which ultimately build your brand.

8. Social media presence

No matter what sector your business operates in, it’s critical to have your presence on social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Declaring your presence in social channels is one way of going with the trends and ensuring you gain a competitive advantage. And provided you give it an effective online marketing campaign, your social media presence will surely attract a large following.

So, restaurants use mobile apps to strengthen their social media presence. Mobile apps can be integrated with social channels and portfolios, reinforcing a brand’s overall digital strategy.

9. Online promotions

There’s no denying that mobile apps have helped restaurants improve their online promotion approaches in numerous ways. For instance, through online promotion programs like ‘check-in’ features, clients or consumers can notify their friends and family about specific restaurants they’re dining in.

The check-in promotion feature helps friends, family, and workmates connect and meet in specific restaurants or locations.

So, if you’re running a restaurant and considering a mobile app, ensure it encompasses the ‘check-in’ feature to enable your restaurant’s clientele to tag in their friends and allies anytime they wish.

You can also use mobile app push notifications to notify customers about new offers and specials. That helps to improve your communication and ultimately increases your chances of improving your ROI on specials.

So, restaurants are now using mobile apps as leverage to improve the return on investment, especially on special treats.

10. Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs provide a win-win situation for the business and the customer. The programs help restaurants target and retain new customers while extending value to clients.

According to a study, 86% of consumers are likely to purchase from you if you provide discounts or offers periodically. To do this, you can give your clients discounts on every 10th or 5th visit, which will help enhance retention.

NS804 – Transforming Your Restaurant’s Digital Posture with an App!

NS804 is a trusted provider of superior and quality mobile apps. We have helped businesses across various sectors – hotels, restaurants, banks, insurance, healthcare, and education – design the best apps that answer their clients’ questions.

At NS804, we can help you identify your restaurant’s needs and design an app that best answers your clients’ questions.

So, do you own a restaurant, and would you like to transform its operations using a mobile app? Well, don’t worry, we have a solution for you!

Contact NS804 for mobile app development solutions – whether you’re running a restaurant or planning to own one.

Minimum Viable Products: How to Find Ideas & Innovate with Your MVP

Minimum viable products, when done right, can help companies validate products and new ideas with limited financial risk. Often referred to as MVPs, these products offer users bare-minimum functionality. Moreover, they’re implemented by startups to attract early adopters and to test their most feasible ideas.

But as an appreneur or enterprise, should you develop minimum viable products? The short answer is a clear yes! And that’s because you’re never sure if your next app idea will resonate with users. So, you don’t want to invest money and time into a fully-fledged app that has the potential to fail. Instead, you want to ascertain whether or not your app will succeed, and that’s only possible with an MVP.

Now, if you decide to forge ahead with an MVP — how do you find ideas and create an app that will stand out? That’s the challenging part, but we provide a few handy tips below to help you get started!

1. Minimum Viable Products Solve Real-World Issues

What are some of the most famous brands in the tech space that began as MVPs? They are Airbnb, Facebook, and Twitter, which have become multi-billion dollar enterprises. And all of these started from humble beginnings intending to solve a problem.

The founders of Airbnb experienced problems with renting apartments but eventually discovered that short-term accommodations were the way forward. Thus, they created the Airbnb platform to facilitate the convenient and relatively frictionless process of renting accommodations via their website or app.

Facebook allowed college students to communicate with each other and post messages on their boards. And while Facebook wasn’t the only network that did this, it was user-friendly enough to attract a wider audience and grow exponentially. Today, it’s the largest social media platform with 2.9 billion monthly active users globally.

And in Twitter’s case, it began as an internal micro-blogging platform for Odeo, a startup operating in the podcast space. The platform improved employee collaboration to such an extent that its developers decided to treat it as a stand-alone product.

A common trait of Airbnb, Facebook, and Twitter was that they all solved a unique real-world issue, and they solved it well. And what we can all learn from this is that the best MVP app ideas come as a response to pain points we experience frequently.

2. Never Assume, Always Test Your Ideas

You may have lucked out on a great and unique idea that would make your closest competitors green with envy. So you assume that if you forge ahead with development, you’ll end up with a killer app. Unfortunately, that’s likely wishful thinking, especially if you haven’t released an MVP and received feedback from users.

Even the most rudimentary features and updates should undergo testing. Don’t forget to implement analytics in your app while concurrently collecting user feedback. The more data you have about your app and users, the better informed you’ll be about whether your ideas work and if you need to make any other changes.

3. Follow The MVP Improvement Cycle

In order to innovate, you must move quickly and adopt the MVP improvement cycle model. And that’s especially true if you want to create apps that will sustain interest long term. Thus, it’s wise to commence with rapid development, conduct user testing, then continuously improve your app.

Along the way, especially during the user testing phase, you may encounter harsh criticism from your audience. Don’t be alarmed or discouraged, as this feedback may pinpoint serious issues with your app that you need to look into further. If you’ve become accustomed to the MVP improvement cycle, you’ll implement these changes quickly and possibly innovate on your base idea.

In Conclusion

Minimum viable products truly do help appreneurs and enterprises validate their ideas without having to invest heavily. And if an idea does resonate with users, then the door is wide open to take the MVP to the next level. Meaning, that it can become a popular and profitable app that engages users worldwide. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you transform your best ideas into phenomenal apps!

Mobile App Upgrade: 5 Signs That Your App Needs Improvements

A mobile app upgrade may either excite or scare you. It may excite you if you’re eager to introduce new features and enhancements. And scare you if you’re anticipating many issues and roadblocks when upgrading your app.

Now, unless you’re not planning on sunsetting your app, it’s best to forego the fear and forge ahead with the upgrade process. And that’s because you want to keep your app relevant to retain existing users and attract new users.

1. A New Design Requires A Mobile App Upgrade

If you haven’t updated your mobile app in a while, it probably has an outdated user interface (UI). And that’s no good, as users may equate an outdated UI with a low-quality app. Furthermore, users accustomed to modern design conventions may have difficulty navigating your app in its current state. 

So you must have a proficient designer on your team or work with an established studio such as NS804 to refresh your app’s design. And then create an easy-to-navigate and modern UI that even non-tech savvy users can comprehend at a glance.

2. Performance Issues 

Most users won’t put up with a poor-performing app and will eventually uninstall it from their devices if performance issues persist. But how do you determine if your app’s performing poorly?

Firstly, you should be asking users for feedback and collecting and diagnosing your app’s crash logs. And secondly, you should be looking out for the following issues: app runs slower than intended, audio and screen glitches, device overheats when the app runs, memory leaks, ongoing crashes, and storage errors, to name a few.

3. The Codebase Is Outdated And Difficult To Maintain

You should move ahead with a mobile app upgrade if you have an outdated codebase. And the reason for this is that it’s a maintenance nightmare to keep code that’s old. Moreover, you may have difficulty scaling your app and introducing new features with an older codebase.

And then, you should also consider migrating to more modern programming languages. For example, an Android app programmed in Java can become more readable and quicker to type if rewritten in Kotlin, a modern counterpart of Java. The same applies to an iOS app if you plan to migrate from Objective-C to Swift.

4. Support For Additional Platforms And Devices

Perhaps your mobile app only supports Android smartphones and tablets. But recently, some users have requested that you target Android TVs and even the latest generation of flip phones. Furthermore, iOS users have heard of your app and have requested a port for their platform. Under such circumstances, it’s a good idea to move ahead with a mobile app upgrade that properly utilizes this wide range of form factors and screen sizes. 

5. Introduce New Features And Tighten Up Security

Every OS update of Android and iOS presents yet another opportunity to move ahead with a mobile app upgrade. And that’s because newer versions of Android and iOS boast new features and enhanced security. So, users will often upgrade to these versions, especially when they purchase newer devices.

Furthermore, users will expect your app to take advantage of the latest OS features and enhancements. And you’d definitely want to do that, especially if you have a premium or paid app and a user base that quickly migrates to the latest OS.

In Conclusion

It may be time to forge ahead with that all-important mobile app upgrade if you’ve noticed any of the five signs mentioned earlier. Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you handle this challenging but incredibly rewarding part of a mobile app’s lifecycle.

What Makes an Effective Company App? 12 Features

Mobile apps are transforming businesses by giving innovative solutions to legacy problems. With a well-customized mobile app, you can communicate directly to customers, improve customer engagement, and design a personalized marketing channel.

When investing in a mobile app, companies look forward to building robust apps that will attain success in the shortest time. But this is not always the case. Most mobile apps get drowned in the sea of apps out there. This is why it’s important to learn the ups and downs of building a great mobile app.

To ensure your app meets the minimum requirements and provides maximum value, you must be aware of features that make your app stand out. Below, our mobile app development team looks at features that make an effective company app.

1. End-User Simplicity

A great UX design is determined by superior navigation and a clear interface. Interface and navigation enable an app to rank higher among other alternative apps. So, if your app is well-customized and easy-to-use, potential users will not have to look for alternatives. The end-user simplicity is a fundamental characteristic of award-winning apps that collect and maintain a large audience or user base.

2. Integrates IOS and Android

These are two most common operating interfaces. However, a service provider can offer a cross-platform development as a marketing gimmick for targeted clients. The leading cross-platform frameworks are ReactNative, PhoneGap, and NativeScript. These platforms and frameworks enable businesses to save costs while entering the market with a minimum viable product MVP. The ability to integrate and cover both Android and IOS is a key element of a successful company app.

3. Performance

Performance is a critical attribute of any successful company app. Performance refers to the way the app functions according to set requirements. Optimum performance means that the app meets the highest levels of outputs and meets set requirements and expectations. On the other hand, a poor app performance means that the app negates its key responsibilities and expectations. The app must load faster and particular attention should be given when pages or objects take long to load. The latency time must be kept to a minimum with constant app optimization.

4. Security

Cyber-attacks are posing significant threats to protected networks and systems, including critical enterprise resources. The compromise of a critical resource like the enterprise mobile application may pose a significant threat to customers. For instance, compromise of mobile apps may reveal personally identifying information (credit card numbers and social security numbers), or even compromise the integrity of protected health information PHI. So, a successful company app must have the necessary security infrastructure and posture to detect threats and patch unprotected networks. Luckily, mobile app developers can design apps with robust security infrastructures, protecting information, networks, and crucial resources.

5. Personalization

A personalized application reinforces close relationships with targeted prospects. Personalized app experiences create loyalty, raising awareness and leading to higher user retention levels. Users love products (and apps) that offer lots of customization possibilities. For effective company apps, it’s advisable to offer users limitless possibilities for customization. Winner apps incorporate details such as flexible backgrounds, fonts, color, and settings.

6. Great Image Resolution

A great app balances speed, functionality, and resolution. Most importantly, you have to ensure that what’s displayed on the screen is clear enough to make the user experience delightful. The world is way past the blocky graphics and today users expect hi-definition, 3-D images and multiple colors. A great image resolution must also sync seamlessly with the overall app’s functionality to ensure a smooth and rewarding user experience.

7. Search Icon

Provide users with an easy way to search and locate items and objects. The search functionality particularly matters for software products with high complex content. Therefore, it’s advisable to make every page and content as clear and easy-to-locate as possible.

8. Feedback Systems

Providing feedback is a great way to build and garner a reputation. So, it’s advisable to let users report bugs, give comments, and feedback about the app’s functionality, products, or brands through an open app forum. Giving users an opportunity to air their views and give grievances about products and app’s functionality leads to enhancing credibility and trust.

9. Social Integration

Social integration is a critical component for users connecting in the app’s ecosystem. Integrating with social networking channels simplifies using the app by enabling users to easily sign-up in the app. In addition, social integration allows users to share posts about events thus remaining fully connected in their social channels.

10. Customization

The app design process must consider customization as a key feature of aligning app features with customer preferences. By customizing the system functionality, layout, and content, the app viewing experience can be tailored to meet and respond to users’ needs.

11. App Analytics

The app must provide clear and accurate statistics and metrics. Clear visibility of user browsing trends enable businesses to monitor customer behavior, thus adjusting business practices to respond to consumer needs. Analytics is a critical component for mobile apps of all sizes and sophistication. Analytics track your app’s performance and optimize the app’s functionality.

12. Offline Access

Mobile apps work best where there’s a stable internet. Although connectivity is great for apps, there are apps where offline access would be appropriate. As a company, you must predict a situation where internet access would not be possible and provide features that work without internet connectivity. It’s difficult to categorize apps based on features because a majority of them depend on industry and app type.

Classifying The Features of a Successful Mobile App:

A successful mobile app integrates these features smartly: user, market and product. These elements need to integrate seamlessly and sync seamlessly to provide users with great usability, unique value, and superior performance. In examining what makes a successful mobile app, the features discussed above have been classified into two: customer-centric and business-centric features.

Customer-Centric Features

Customer-centric features denote attributes that evoke a positive emotional response to customers and targeted app users. Customer-centric features include:

  • Nice and appealing design and layout
  • Well thought out user interface and user experience
  • Reliable and stable workflow
  • Sufficient data protection
  • Quick access to service desk
  • Cover needs and specifications based on user needs

Business-Centric Features

Business-centric features refer to attributes that satisfy key business requirements. Business-centric app features include:

  • Offer quick, hassle-free payments
  • Encourage user retention
  • Protecting data breach
  • Easy update procedure
  • Low maintenance and development costs

NS804 – Transforming Enterprise Mobile App Adoption

Mobile apps are at the forefront of the digital mobile revolution. Mobile apps provide diverse capabilities and superior functions – communication, interaction, emailing, purchasing, billing, and payments – all integrated into a simplistic app solution. That’s the reason most companies are accelerating their app adoption efforts to keep track of new industry developments.

Companies must ensure their mobile apps function effectively to meet evolving consumer needs even with the rising adoption of apps. A streamlined app experience will provide growth opportunities. There’s no doubt that mobile apps are proving as innovative solutions to bolster growth and build a competitive positioning.

You can contact NS804 for innovative mobile app solutions.

New to Apps? Tips For Beginners

Mobile applications are the new frontiers in technology. With the ability to support multiple functions such as messaging, social connections, interactions, payments, and banking, apps are proving to be an instrumental force in propelling the mobile revolution.

But, if you’re struggling with learning mobile app development, you’re at the right place. You don’t have to be an expert programmer or a coder to develop an app. With the right knowledge and a solid grasp of one of these programming languages (Java, C++, CSS, and HTML), you can ace any mobile app development journey.

So, if you’re new to apps, here are a few tips for beginners:

1. Start with A Killer Idea

A killer idea is the cornerstone of any successful application. An app must be able to solve a real-life problem and provide an instant solution to a deep-seated problem. So, to get started with apps, draw out a sheet of paper and bring your idea to fruition. Write a list of features you’d like to incorporate into your app, and don’t get lost in the design details. It’s just the beginning!

2. Do Research

Unless you’re creating an app for your purposes, it’s important to ensure you’re providing an entertaining service or fixing problems for people. Find out what features people are looking for in apps and incorporate them to stand out from the competition. Usually, your research should be directed at finding out what’s missing in other apps. Try to fix an existing problem and provide new solutions.

3. Create Mock-ups

At this juncture of your development journey, you should know what you’re building, who it’s for, and what audience you’re targeting. This is the time to think critically about the build itself. Develop rough sketches of your layout known as mock-ups before you start hiring programmers.

4. Get Graphic

As an amateur developer, it’s crucial to be realistic with your programming strengths and weaknesses before you commit to building the first app. This is because you’ll need to hire expert programmers and developers to make your dream a reality. If you’re not a design expert, you can hire an expert developer or programmer. Many companies and agencies offer app development services. So, it’s advisable to select a service provider who offers excellent, quality, timely, and affordable app development services.

5. Lone Ranger

Use an app design template if you’re taking this programming journey alone. You’re free to use the standard design templates to create app features that you can customize later. Some great building block app templates include TETHR, NOW, Stark UI Kit, Apply Pixels, Phoenix, and Stitch.

App Development Journey

It’s important to remember that app development is not a one-off task but a journey. What you do today will impact your app outcomes tomorrow. So, remember that app development is a learning curve that requires patience, discipline, and consistency. Other crucial tips for beginners include:

  • Sort out your Google account. Your Google account will be linked with the app you want to create. So it’s advisable to create a new google account for a new app.
  • Master transfer tools. Most developers and manufacturers provide free (and paid) transfer tools to help developers move old content into a new interface. However, if you’ve been using a Google account before, the content will be transferred automatically without a hitch.

NS804 provides professional app development services.

You can contact NS804 to kick start your app development journey.

What Investors Want To See In An App Startup

If you’ve been wondering whether your latest idea could turn into a profitable app startup, then you’re not alone. Every day, developers reach out to tech investors to fund their projects. And a few succeed in attracting these investors and turning their minimum viable products (MVP) into the next big thing!

Of course, not everyone has such luck, with many developers left out in the cold. Their underfunded apps languish in the app stores, and user interest dwindles to a trickle. But with the right strategy, it’s possible to win over app startup investors, giving you the impetus to succeed rapidly. Here are a few handy tips on what you need to do.

Learn From Startup Success Stories

You could have the freshest and most unique app idea, but that doesn’t mean it will catch on. Whether we like it or not, market trends play a pivotal role in determining success. So take the time to investigate what apps do well in today’s market and attract investment.

Fortunately, there are many excellent resources to help you do just this. Start by reading tech-oriented news sites such as 9to5Mac, AppleInsider, Android Authority, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, The Verge, and Wired to learn about the latest and upcoming developments. Then, use analytics and data intelligence platforms such as App Annie and Apptopia to gain insights into competing and top-trending apps.

But you’ll also want to find tech investors and learn more about the startups they’re funding. And one of the best sites for this purpose is Crunchbase that features detailed information about acquisitions, angel investors, companies, funding rounds, private equity firms, and venture capitalists. If you do your homework, you’ll find potential app startup investors and key people to contact here.

Create A Marketable App With Monetization In Mind

If you want to attract investors, be careful about how you position your app. Ensure that you’re creating a quality product that fulfills the wants and needs of the target audience. Moreover, ensure that you’re offering functionality superior to that of competitors. Or that you’re introducing an innovative feature that makes your app indispensable to users.

You’ll also need to market the app properly to reach as many users as possible. Tech investors want to see ongoing user acquisition, even if your app is earning minimal revenues in its early stages.

Also, implement a monetization strategy that incentivizes users to upgrade to the paid version. This move will help convince app startup investors of the earning potential of your mobile app. Its financial feasibility will determine whether investors can achieve a good return on investment (ROI). 

Why An MVP Is The Right Choice For A Startup? 

Developing a full-fledged app to draw investors may be a risky choice for a startup. Not only is this option costly, but development will take longer, and your app will reach the market later. But an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to complete since it has the bare minimum functionality.

More importantly, after releasing the MVP, your potential investors can ascertain its viability. They’ll gauge market fit, target audience reaction, and overall feasibility. You’ll also have access to valuable analytics, which you can share with potential investors. And you’ll also have proven that you’re committed to the project and have a capable team able to release an app on time.

In Conclusion

Every startup company dreams of creating the next Instagram, Telegram, or TikTok and taking the app world by storm. While it’s not easy to develop an app that gains such massive traction overnight, it’s not impossible either.

One of the best ways to give your app a fighting chance is to attract the right investor to fund your project. And you can do this by creating an MVP that shows significant growth potential. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop apps and MVPs that turn heads!