Archive for month: March, 2017

Mobile App Development: 3 Common Mistakes

Building a mobile app for your business can always be a smart business move, whether you’re just a startup or an established company with no mobile presence. Apps are a way to get your brand out to a younger audience and encourage engagement.

For a startup, building an app can help get your name out to your intended audience and gain popularity. For an established company, creating an app allows you to remain current with trends and bring in a new generation of customers.

There are several common mistakes that a startup, or any business, can make when building an app. By avoiding these three common app-building pitfalls, you can launch your business app into success.

 

#1. Not Including Analytics.

The quickest path to success and increased profits is through tracking the product and advertising analytics. Keeping an eye on analytics can let you know which products or advertising campaigns are working, as well as which aren’t. When you make changes, such as in advertising platforms or campaigns, you can see how results differ from previous changes.

There are plenty of analytics services available that can help you make numbers-based decisions on designs, content and user experience. The more data that you can measure, the more successful you can be with your campaigns.

Here are some things you should consider monitoring:

  • Retention Rates
  • Number of App Crashes
  • Average Time Spent Within the App
  • Time of Engagement
  • Daily Active Users
  • Number of Subscribers

Through tracking and monitoring your analytics, you can find out lots of information about your company, your product and even your consumers. For example, you can find out what the best time of day to launch a new ad campaign is. You can even see the number of consumers viewing your app versus actually purchasing or downloading it. Analytics can also tell you where most of your traffic – or customers – are coming from. This information can help you decide which advertising platforms work best.

 

#2. Poor User Experience.  

When building your first mobile app, user experience should always be the first thing on your mind. However, too many app developers focus mainly on the features the app can offer. The first user experience a consumer has with your app is the first time they use it. If the user experience is poor then your app will most likely fail.

Another issue with poor user experience is that it is bad for marketing. Many consumers tend to leave bad reviews when they use an app with poor user experience. Good reviews are a crucial way to get more downvotes. Good reviews tell a consumer that your app, as well as your company, are trustful. The more good reviews you have, the more downloads you will get. The only way to get those good reviews is to have a good app.

Pricing is a big option to consider when it comes to user experience as well. You have two options to make money off an app: sales and advertisements. Advertisements can greatly affect user experience. Typically, offering a low-price app with no advertisements profits more than a free app with many ads.

 

#3. Marketing Your Mobile App.

When it comes to a successful mobile app, it’s not just about how well the app is made or if customers like it. First, customers have to find your app. If you do very little or no marketing, you will likely see fewer sales or downloads. There are thousands of apps in the app store, which means you need your app to stand out.

One of the best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Have a great app and people will start talking about it. But this tactic will only get you so far if you are a relatively new company.

For companies that are already established, advertising the app through their typical avenues – TV commercials, radio spots, etc. – is a great way to reach new and existing customers. Since most customers will already have an idea of who your company is and what it does, you don’t have to explain the idea of your app as much. For start-up companies, you will have to explain both the app and the company itself.

One of the best ways to target apps is through competitive mobile markets. You may consider using Facebook, Twitter and even other apps to reach a market that is already familiar with mobile technology.

You can even boost your app through ASO, or app store optimization. ASO, much like search engine optimization, helps improve the visibility of your app in searches. This is a great way to boost downloads for a new app.  Just like with SEO, there are numerous guides which explain how to increase app sales through ASO.

Developing and building your first app doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are plenty of published guides to easily guide you through the process. Come out ahead of the curve by avoiding these very common mistakes when building an app. Avoid these pitfalls and launch your first successful app.

iOS or Android – Which Should You Develop First?

Most app development projects will require a decision early in the design process on whether to develop on iOS or Android first. This is because it is best to get the app right on one platform before moving to the next. So, which should you develop first?

The question is one that prompts a lot of debate – with developers and app owners. In other words, there is no clear answer. Both options have technical pros and cons, and both options have marketing pros and cons. The user base, build process, and app store functionality are all things that should be considered.

 

iOS and Android User Base

There are about four times more Android users in the world than iOS users, although the breakdown differs when you start looking on a country-by-country basis. In the US, for example, Android is still the most widely used operating system but there is a larger proportion of iOS users than the global average.

As more people use Android devices, more Android apps are downloaded each month from the Google Play Store. However, apps on Apple’s App Store make more money.

 

The Build Process

Research by developers building apps on both platforms indicate that Android apps have more lines of code (about 40 percent more) and take longer to build (about 30 percent longer). There are also a greater number of variations that a developer has to deal with when working on an Android app.

The number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod models is small, and most devices run the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system. Android is a completely different story. Android phones are made by a number of different manufacturers, and they usually each have several models in their product ranges. As a result there is a plethora of different screen sizes and resolutions to deal with. The capabilities of each device can also differ too.

This problem on Android is compounded by the fact that many users are on old versions of the Android operating system. As a result developers have to test, debug, and maintain their apps for a much wider selection of phone options.

The development platform is also something that is considered by many developers, most of which like Apple’s XCode better than Android Studio. Android Studio is open source and more flexible, but it is behind Apple in terms of developer usability.

 

The Publishing Process

This is one part of the development cycle where Android comes out on top. This is because the Google Play Store is easier to deal with, and has more features and functionality that aid the development process. For a start, new apps uploaded to the store are made available for download very quickly. The approval process on the Apple store takes much longer. Also, the process of updating an app to a new version is quicker and easier.

Two other features make the Google Play Store appealing in certain situations. The first is the ability to upload both an alpha and beta version of an app. The beta version is not publically accessible, but it can be tested in a live environment to identify and remove bugs.

The second feature that developers like, particularly those working on apps with large numbers of users, is the staggered release function. When this is used a new version of an app is released to percentage of the app’s users. This means potential problems with the app are dealt with within that closed group of users before the app is rolled out to a wider audience.

So what is the answer to the original question – Android or iOS first? Despite the larger user base, the efficiency of the Google Play Store, and the open source nature of the platform, Android is still the second option for most app development projects. The user demographics and engagement levels coupled with the easier build process means most developers and app owners develop on iOS first.

What Are Your Chances Of Succeeding, Building Smartphone App Today?

When the App Store for the iPhone first launched in 2007, it offered creative programmers a revolutionary new way to market their creations. Many freelance programmers quickly became millionaires overnight.

Today, the app stores hold millions of apps that new developers need to compete against. It isn’t hopeless, though. If you have a hit idea, you do have a reasonable chance of making a success of it. You have to be organized in your approach, though.

 

It starts with the idea

One important reason many apps fail to make a mark is that they simply don’t have a great new concept. An app that isn’t based on the maker’s clear recognition of a new need cannot hope for success in today’s crowded marketplace. Finding a vacuum to fill and then filling it well has always been the way success is achieved in any crowded business. It’s no different when it comes to developing apps.

 

Explore the economic possibilities in an idea

Most apps don’t even break even. If making money off your app is important to you, you need to pick an area to serve that could be profitable.

 

The qualities that successful apps have

Once you have a great idea for an app that satisfies a real need, your success comes down to the way you execute the idea.

Beautiful design – Apple’s apps show exquisite design. People love smartphones just for the beautiful and intuitive ways in which they see their apps function – like they were living things. Great design, then, is critically important to the success of an app.

Build usability into it – Great design doesn’t just involve the creation of beautiful graphics, even if that is one part of it. It also involves designing an intuitive and thoughtful user interface. You need to test your app for usability.

Usability isn’t enough – People want character in their apps today. Everything needs to show wit, charm, grace and memorable character. It wouldn’t hurt if you could put humor into everything – the words, the moves and the sounds. Fun error messages, for instance, can help.

Work the touch – Apple’s users love their touchscreen products for the way everything responds precisely and yet beautifully. Your apps need to live up to the considerable standards that Apple sets for intuitive animation and touch. Everything needs to feel part of a whole.

Work hard for quality coding – The illusion that you hope to build with your app can come crashing down if your coding isn’t solid and dependable.

 

Getting it ready to sell

You cannot be successful without devoting as much effort to the marketing of your app as you do to its creation. You need to start thinking about marketing even before your app is ready.

Marketing an app isn’t simply about getting a couple of good reviews in some blogs. You need intense positive coverage around the time of the launch. The ranking algorithms that the App Store uses look at the kind of performance your app has in the first four days. If you don’t have much to show then, you could sink like a stone.

You need to build a website, create videos, work the social networks, write a book – market like you are running an important business. It’s the only way to succeed.

The Product That Sells Itself: Three Steps to Creating a Business Breakthrough

Every entrepreneur has fantasized about becoming the next Steve Jobs. After all, Apple has practically dominated the smartphone industry, at least among the higher-income bracket. It’s a brand name that is recognized throughout the world, seemingly requiring little to no advertising, especially among its loyal followers; millions of people purchase a new Apple device every year, despite its relatively expensive price tag. The main reason Apple is a trusted brand is because it continues to produce quality designs with each new addition to its product lineup.

Unfortunately, beginning entrepreneurs might be misled into thinking that quality is all that matters. Many businesses have failed because their owners have cloistered themselves in their offices in order to come up with outstanding product designs, all the while ignoring the outside world. There really is no such thing as a product that sells itself. When an item gains this kind of reputation, it is usually the end result of months or years of aggressive marketing. What seems effortless is actually completely engineered; it is like the audience marveling at the ease of a concert pianist without knowing how much hard work went into rehearsals behind the scenes.

In order to develop a “product that sells itself”, you will need to do the following:

 

Step 1: Anticipate a future demand and supply it

Traditional entrepreneurs supply current demand. A grocery store, for example, delivers food to hungry customers. Modern entrepreneurs, however, must create future demand. This means anticipating a consumer need before it even exists. All companies that are now household brands have done this. For example, the concept of downloadable “apps” is an ingenious idea that did not have an impetus other than the brilliance of its creator; there was never a public outcry to have “apps” on the mobile phone. Society wouldn’t even have noticed had “apps” not been introduced. It was only after the idea had been incorporated that many people suddenly realized that they couldn’t live without them.

By anticipating a future demand and supplying it, you will have managed to corner an untested slice of the market and basically have ensured a complete monopoly of that sector. Sure, others will eventually jump onto the bandwagon and copy your success, but for the first crucial months or years, you’ve got a head start on everyone. This will allow you to become the dominant brand in that sector and practically impossible to shake off – such as Microsoft Windows. Many trademarks became “genericized” because they were the only ones selling their unique services at the time.

 

Step 2: Feel the customer’s pulse

Closely related to the step above is getting to know what the public wants. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often think that their own desires mirror society’s desires. A business owner could spend years and thousands of dollars manufacturing a device that automatically plants seeds in a garden, only to realize that the majority of gardeners would rather do it by hand. The Segway is a good example of an excellent product that no one wants. If you really wish to identify a marketable niche, you would need to find out what your demographic needs.

One way to do this is through marketing. Advertising needs to be specifically calibrated to appeal to a particular group, and the statistics gained from testing different kinds of sales strategies can go a long way towards finding out what the consumers desire. Another strategy would be to scour message boards and forums on the Internet where people often air their grievances. Finally, a good one-to-one conversation with potential clients is still helpful today, despite the dominance of social media. Tons of ideas can be gleaned from these three tactics alone.

 

Step 3: Push forward with your idea despite resistance

When asked whether he consulted his customers prior to manufacturing the automobile, Henry Ford remarked, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

The truth is that genius is often unrecognized, even ridiculed, until it can no longer be ignored. No one ever welcomes a prophet, so be mentally prepared to face tough criticisms from everyone on the road to commercial success. Bill Gates no doubt had to face both external and internal doubts when he dropped out of Harvard in order to start a somewhat dubious endeavor in the nascent market of personal computers. It is only now that people look back and marvel at the unshakable tenacity that must have fueled his desire to capitalize on the industry.

Resistance towards a person pushing the boundaries of life will always be a fact. Rather than avoid it, you must embrace it. If enough people tell you that you will never succeed, take it as a sure sign that you are moving inexorably towards your goal.

 

The age of the underdog

Entrepreneurship has always been the avenue where the little guy shines. Because of the present freedom that comes with starting and owning a business, many downtrodden workers who had always considered quitting their jobs and becoming their own bosses now have a means to do it.

Failure is a constant risk. That is why it’s important to think ahead before you plunge into this venture. Nothing, though, ever compares to the feeling of seeing your business thrive. Whether or not the product sells itself, success is always a breakthrough.

Turn your idea into reality now!