Mobile Apps Properly Done

Anyone who is keeping up with mobile marketing knows by now that the app is key. The app is a business’ way of keeping up with its customers. And it takes the marketing efforts of that company from an annoying pop-up ad to a potentially fun, customer-oriented experience.

Any business looking at the numbers could be sold on the idea of an app. In the first days of the app business, when Apple launched the store, the company saw two million downloads per day, making a million dollars a day. Clearly, no smaller business could hope to generate that kind of revenue, not initially. But the potential for that kind of earning power is enough to get any entrepreneur thinking.

It is easy to think, then, that all the company has to do is to make an app. Any kind of app will do. Maybe put a game in it, have it all tie back to the product being advertised, and call it a day. Put it up for sale in the app store of your choosing, then sit back and watch the profits roll in. Right?

Sure. If it was two years ago.

Jim Bruene wrote an article for Net Banker back in August of 2008. This was one month after apps initially hit the market, when the future was yet unclear. Apple had just added a Finance category, to compile the most popular banking applications on the market at that point. What he found was that, out of the top twenty applications at the time, only four of them had a user rating above 4.0, on a five-point scale. Three apps had scores below 3.0, including two of the most popular ones.

What did these apps offer to their users? Not very much. Some of them were tip calculators. Others were for things like calculating loan payments, expense/check registers, and personal finance. Not particularly advanced, as Bruene noted, and yet these were the most popular.

It would be easy to read this and conclude that this whole app business is easier than it sounds. Nothing could be further from the truth. This research was done in the earliest days of the app phenomenon, and that was two years ago. The game has changed rather drastically since then. Such simple applications were popular then, quite probably, because there was nothing else available. Bank of America’s app was little more than a landing page on the mobile phone screen, and yet it was the third most popular app at that point.

That just does not work anymore. Applications not only have to exist for a business, but they have to provide a real and tangible benefit to the consumer.

Here is an example: Ron Callari, writing for Inventor Spot, wrote about how hotels are finally getting into the business of apps. This industry – the hospitality industry – has a much bigger stake in the business of whether or not its apps succeed, because it is a non-essential business. That is, hotels are a business that can fail whilst the country continues on its way.

Hotels, as commercial businesses, thrive on drawing in customers. Callari noted the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin application, which features maps, photos, videos, even restaurants. The Omni hotel chain allows users to check into the loyalty rewards programs, check the daily offers, and even check-in to a room whilst traveling. The Choice Hotels chain has a similar service going on for all 5800 of its hotels.

This could go on at length. But there is a key difference that needs to be noted. Whereas, in the beginning, apps could be unbearably simple and still expect success, it is simply no longer true. These apps, being done by relative newcomers to the business, are well-done, providing real service to their users.

That is the key characteristic. Nobody wants to spend money on something that offers no value.

Another example: Geico apps. This is another example of what a business has to gain by doing apps right. Geico apps allow users to pay their bills and check their insurance rates. Users can even get help for those times when they lock themselves out of their cars. There is also the Accident Helper feature, which lets consumers store photos of the accident scene for records and claims, and Roadside Service for nearby gas stations and towing services. Also, it serves as a quick contact point between the users and Geico when necessary.

They even have videos of the gecko, the cavemen, everything.

Let it be clear – the market has gone to work on applications. It is no longer enough just to have the things for a business and be available. Applications now have to add a significant value to their users. They have to do something that makes it not a waste of time to have them. In other words, it has to be a real and proper application.

What about the local laundromat, for instance? Should there even be an app for that? Of course there should! And it should be more than just a landing page on a mobile phone! A laundromat owner who wants to make an app for his business needs to think about what exactly would be useful to his clientele.

Would games be good for him? Possibly, but probably not. This is a laundromat, after all. Something much more useful would be to give quotes for dry-cleaning bills, a list of services, the ability to set appointments, the address of the store, etc.

Small business owners need to remember, no matter what, that the app is not what gives value to the customer. What gives the app its value is its ability to be properly utilized so as to serve the consumer in whatever way is viable for the business.

So, if you run a business, retailing your products through other businesses, have an app that shows off your products. Give a list of your shipping dates, and to which stores the products will be shipped.

In short: let your app be whatever it has to be to benefit the consumer. If it is properly done, an app can be a great source of revenue for your business.


What Does iOS 10 Bring for App Developers?

Announced at WWDC 2016, iOS 10 introduced a plethora of changes for the developers, the most significant revamp since 2013. The SDK for iOS 10 brings in new APIs and services that lead to new application types and features. In order to work on iOS 10, one would need to do the programming using Swift 3 and also download Xcode 8 for building the iOS applications. Let’s focus on the key developed related features that have been introduced in iOS 10.

Improved User notifications

iOS 10 marks the advent of the User Notification framework (UserNotifications.framework) and User Notifications UI framework and end to UILocalNotification. The User Notification framework helps in supporting and handling remote as well as local notifications. Developers can use the classes of the framework for modifying remote and local notifications as they are delivered to the device. The appearance of local and remote notifications can be customized with help of User Notifications UI framework. With help of these two frameworks, Apple has not changed the overall local notifications but has significantly improvised the functionalities.

The biggest change by the new notification system is that it brings in an intermediary between message arrival and device display- a notification service provider capable of end-to-end encryption with app receiving the encrypted message from Apple, decryption happening on the user device and displaying the notification in the notification center.

Enhanced iMessage

A plethora of APIs has been introduced in iOS 10 especially enhancements to Messages App. App extensions can interact with Message app and users can send media files, interactive messages, stickers. The Sticker pack brings in a set of stickers to the message content. iMessage app not only helps users search images but also provides a user interface within the app.

From the development perspective, the custom interface for the messages can be made with help of MSMessagesAppViewController. MSSession and MSMessage could help in the modification of the message, with former having built-in support for expiring messages. In order to provide a custom sticker browser to the message application, MSStickerBrowserViewController can be used.

As witnessed, the new and improved Messages extensions are better and more powerful.

Changes in Animations

In iOS 10, better control over animations is established. The capability to control animate properties like the resume, stop or positions are fine-grained in iOS 10. UIViewPropertyAnimator is the important class which helps in creating and triggering the animations.

Speech Recognition

A new API is brought in which supports continuous speed recognition. This helps developers in building new apps for recognizing speech and transcribing it to text. Most of the magic is done with help of APIs in Speech framework, especially with classes such as SFSpeechRecognizer, SFSpeechURLRecognitionREquest, SFTranscription etc.

Integration with Siri

Get integrated with Siri for most apps like messages, calling, payments, photos etc. iOS 10 now let users use their voice to perform actions and all these is achieved with help of Sirikit. The concerned domains need to be registered with response done.

For non-graphical intents, developers need to make use of Apple Maps whereas for graphical intents also known as Intents UI extensions, developers can extend the user interface for the interface design.

ReplayKit gets better

iOS 10 has bought new enhancements to the ReplayKit introduced in iOS 9 I.e introduction of live broadcasting of Replaykit streams, which means a user can broadcast media through other sites or applications and broadcast US extension which helps user sign into a service and set up a broadcast. Developers need to create RPBroadcastActivityViewController to allow users to select the streaming service that would love to use. The action would return RPBroadcastController that helps in starting, pausing live broadcasts.

There are smaller other improvements and some of them are

  1. Enable property for Safari content blockers in order to verify the content blockerhas been switched on by the user.
  2. The openURL() method of UIApplication is now considered as obsolete.application(_:open:options:) needs to use instead.
  3. New property set enabled for UIPasterboard for handling cross-platform clipboard between iOS and macOS.
  4. SKTileGroup class has been provided to SpriteKit in order to make square,hexagonal, or isometric tilemaps.
  5. For smoother scrolling, prefetchDataSource can help in preloading content.


Key Concepts of Android App Development

Android is an open source mobile platform launched by Google in 2008 and ever-since it became the favourite for people and developers around the world. Android is Linux based multiprocess and multithreaded OS. Google’s Android OS is not limited to phones but you can use it to build a DVR, a handheld GPS, an MP3 player etc.

Although Android platform is an open source and customizable, Android users and developers have become habitual to the constructs developed by Google for Android devices. The use of these Android concepts is vital for developing an application quickly.

Key Concepts of Android are:-

Apps and APK Files

Activities

Fragments

Views and ViewGroups

Layout XML Files

Intents

Widgets

Services

Sensors

I am giving you an overview of the Android key concepts. After having a basic understanding of Android’s key concepts you can go deeper into the various different topics.

Apps and APK Files

An Android app is an Android Application. An app is packaged in an APK file i.e. Android application package. The APK file contains the compiled Java code and other resources like images and texts for the Android application

Activities

An Android activity is a GUI component. You can understand it as a window in a desktop application. As mobile phone screens are small, an activity takes up the whole screen. If you open multiple activities then they are stacked on top of each other. You cannot arrange activities side by side like you can do with desktop windows.

Activities are unique, focused actions which a user can take. As it is difficult to scroll, zoom in or click links on a small screen hence it is recommended that an app display only one activity per screen. This will present the most relevant information to the user and allows them to launch a new screen for additional information or click the back button to view the previous activity. The screen can expose multiple tasks but it should help the user complete just one activity at a time.

Fragments

In Android, a fragment is a fragment of a total user interface. A fragment only takes up part of the screen. Fragments are used in the activities. Fragments can also be used within different activities. Fragments contain Views and ViewGroups inside them.

View and ViewGroups

Android GUI elements come into three categories i.e. Activities, Views and ViewGroups. Activities are the windows/screens. Views are the individual GUI elements, like a TextView which displays a text, a Button that users can click on etc. ViewGroups are containers for Views. A ViewGroup actually groups a collection of Views together. Views and ViewGroups can be nested inside an activity or inside even a fragment which is nested inside an activity.

Layout XML Files

Activities, fragments and ViewGroups can use XML files to define their layout and contents. The layout XML files tell which GUI components an activity or fragment contains and also the styling of the GUI components i.e. The size, margins, padding etc.

Intent

If your app requires performing a function beyond its core capabilities like opening a photo, playing a video or looking up a contact then you should find out whether a tool that can perform that function already exists in the OS or in a third-party app. If yes then you can get the benefit of that functionality using intents.

For e.g. If your app accesses user contacts then you can use intent objects to launch the device’s existing Contacts application. This removes the programming duplication and also speed up the user’s interaction with the device as the user will not need to learn again how to add a contact to your app.

Widgets

Android Widgets are actually GUI components which can be displayed outside of an activity. For e.g. A weather widget which shows today’s weather is shown on many Android home screens. Widgets have been packaged and implemented as part of an Android application. Also sometimes Views in Android are also referred to as widgets. For e.g. Many GUI components are placed in a Java package called android.widget. GUI components are not same as a widget which can remain on the home screen of an Android device. Hence you should understand the difference between GUI components which can be used inside ViewGroups, Fragments and components which can be used inside ViewGroups, Fragments and Activities and also inside Widgets and Widgets which can remain on the home screen of the Android device.

Services

In Android, Services are background process which can be executed on an Android device even if no application is visible. Services do not require a user interface. For e.g. A Service can check a remote server for updates or backup data every hour.

Sensors

Android devices have many inbuilt sensors which you can access from your Android applications. For e.g the inbuilt GPS in smartphones is a sensor. Therefore you can get access to the GPS from inside your Android applications.


The Ultimate Savings Apps for Non-Savers

Building a savings is not only nice to have, it's a necessity in today's uncertain economic climate. However, putting aside money for savings can be a challenge for many of us. Whether it's due to living paycheck-to-paycheck, more expenses than there is a paycheck or simply not having the deduction to set funds aside, many people have given up on the thought of a savings and are content on simply surviving on what they have. If you find yourself in this category, then this article is for you.

The advent of digital commerce has created a plethora of savings opportunities for the undisciplined saver. Here is a list of the top four savings programs that help to enable those that can not seem to build savings with traditional methods and makes savings completely autonomous.

Digit

Digit works by analyzing your bank account and expenses. Once it has established a trend, it will make deposits to an FDIC-insured account based on what funds you have remaining after your expenses have been paid, typically between $ 5 and $ 35, every couple of days. The automatic savings deposits make Digit great for those that have difficulties in depositing savings themselves. The service is free for the first 100-days but a fee of $ 2.99 is charged monthly after the free period. Another great feature of Digit is how fast money is deposited back into your bank account once you make a withdrawal. In the event of a financial emergency, you can expect your deposit the next business day.

The downside to Digit is that you will have to keep an eye on your checking account since the amount withdrawn can vary week-to-week. If your account is overdrawn because of a withdrawal made by Digit, they will refund the overdraft up to two times. The app lets you set a minimum account balance that will prevent Digit from making withdrawals once your account falls to a specific amount. Another drawback to this app is that you do not earn interest on what you save, the company that runs Digit keeps the interest your funds have earned.

Qapital

Qapital works in the same fashion as Digit but allows for more control. You can establish various "rules" that control your automated savings. An example of one of the rules is that you can tell Qapital to roundup charges to the next dollar amount when you use your credit or debit card and deposit that excess into your FDIC-insured Qapital account. Qapital also lets you make lump sum deposits, great for when you have extra funds available. Other great features of Qapital include additional rules for increasing and controlling your savings and a social feature that lets your friends and family track your progress and to help encourage your savings growth.

While there are no fees associated with using Qapital, your savings will not collect interest. As with Digit, Qapital keeps the interest earned on your account as payment for providing you with their services. However, if you are the non-saver that is tech-savvy, this is the app for you.

Acorns

If you want an automatic way to save that will allow for more investment options, take a look at Acorns.com. Even though Acorns rounds your purchase to the nearest dollar like Qapital, it is different in that it is actually an investment app and not simply a savings platform. The money Acorn saves for you is placed into an investment platform and unlike Qapital and Digit, you keep the returns you make on the investments. The cost to use this app is only $ 1 per month as long as your account balance remains below $ 5,000. Once you have over $ 5,000 in your Acorn account, Acorn takes of of a percent of your account balance. An additional bonus to using Acorns is that if you make a purchase from one of their partner companies, such as Blue Apron and Hulu, the company will give a percentage of your purchase back to your Acorns account.

The downside to Acorns is that your account balance may go down since this is an investment platform and dips in the market where your money has been allocated will cause a decline. Also, withdrawing money from your account is not exactly fast. When you request for electronic funds transfer your invested shares have to be sold to cover the withdrawal. However, if you're serious about saving and investing but lack the discipline to do so, you might want to give Acorns a once over.

Stash

The final app we are going to cover, Stash, is another investment platform for the non-saver that really wants to build savings. Stash will "stash" your money into investments that will help you to achieve your desired goals. One of the best things about this app is that you can start with only $ 5 and they will match your initial $ 5 deposit. They also make investing super easy to understand so you do not have to worry about a large amount of invest lingo that can be very confusing to the new investor.

The fee for using Stash is pretty much the same as the fees you see with Acorns. Your first month is free but after that, you will have to pay $ 1 a month until your account balance reaches $ 5,000. At that point, your fee will be of of a percent of your account balance. Besides the service fee, you will not have to pay any management fees or any other fees you would find on traditional investing sites.

There you have it, four apps that can help even the non-saver build savings for future needs. So long as you let it grow and do not touch it, you should have no problems breaking the trend of not having a savings account, like nearly 50 percent of the adult American population. Good luck and feel free to leave any feedback.


Application Marketing – Interactive and Effective Marketing Technique

Application marketing is considered by many to be the most effective and interactive marketing technique ever invented. Unlike website marketing which requires pushing your information onto customers and clients, App marketing allows customers and clients to interact in ways that websites just do not allow. Understanding and making use of these marketing techniques will ensure that your app becomes the most effective marketing tool in your arsenal.

What Exactly is a Marketing App?

Apps are small software programs which can be downloaded onto specific devices and can interact with those devices in order to function and operate. Marketing Apps make use of some innovative features on mobile devices to allow customers and clients to interact with your business at the touch of a button. Apps are built to operate on different mobile device operating systems with Apple and Android being the two most commonly used. Blackberry, MSN and others are also popular, but do not have a large market share.

One of the most popular features of Apps, as opposed to websites, is the almost complete lack of advertising that you will see on an App. Apps tend to only supply you with the information that is important and as screen space is limited, you're guaranteed to only get the most relevant information on your App. Most Apps are built to make the interactive features interesting, easy to use, informative and fun.

Where Can I Get One for My Business?

Marketing Apps can be built on a pre-designed platform, custom built or a combination of both. Having a customized App developed for you can be expensive and building one yourself requires technical abilities. Due to the massive growth in the market, however, it is now possible to get pre-built to a functional level with the option of adding additional features once the app has been accepted into the App Stores. This is particularly useful for business owners who don't want to spend a great deal of money, but also don't have a great deal of time or technical ability and want a quality product without all the hassles. Building your own app on a pre-designed platform does not require a great deal of technical ability and is similar to what would have required to build a website, but it is important to understand all the costs involved and the time required to get your App built.

How to Get It Out There?

It is important to understand how the interactive features can be used to market your business and to get your app onto the phones and tablets of your customer base. Offering discounts and promotions for those who download your app is the first step to getting the ball rolling. The Tell a Friend features that you can include on you app will make it easy for happy customers to pass your app on to their friends and family at the touch of a button.

It is also possible to reward customer loyalty with built in loyalty programs. You can promote your business and app by getting customer to take photos of themselves enjoying your products and emailing them through the app – again with the touch of a single button, which can be used on your social media sites to generate more interest and more website traffic. Features such as GPS coupons, QR codes, push notifications, tell a friend, email photo and email recording are just a few of the integrated features which are fun for customers to use and will help build brand awareness.

How to Monitor Your Apps Effectiveness?

As with all marketing techniques, you will want to monitor the effectiveness of your new marketing tool and with Apps, this is very easy to do. There are a number of ways that you can measure the success of your app marketing campaign including how many downloads each of your platforms experience, how many new users you have, how active your App users are and which features they use most often. It is also possible to monitor the effectiveness of push notifications which are text type messages sent to all recipients of your app for free from your App control panel. Push notifications are sent out instantly and are great for promoting specific products. Seeing the interest in that particular product is a great way to assess the effectiveness of your push notification marketing.

The interactive nature of application marketing means that your target audience will be far more involved and will be far more inclined to spread the word about your business. Your responsibility is to ensure that your app is constantly updates, offering value to them and providing them with an easy to navigate solution to their needs. Application marketing is an interactive and effective marketing technique that puts local businesses in the pockets and purses of happy customers.


Why Should Companies Invest in Custom iPad App Development?

Did you know that the total number of Apple devices used around the world has surpassed one billion? The data is based on the number of devices that are regularly using the App Store and the iCloud. This means that if you currently do not have an app for any Apple device, like the iPad, then you could be missing out on opportunities to market your business and reach out to more customers locally and around the world. For this reason, companies must consider investing in custom iPad app development if they want to boost ROI and encourage customer loyalty. The iPad is the most popular tablet in the world. In 2014, the number of iPad users in the US was estimated at 61 million.

Your company should consider investing in custom iPad app development to reach out further to your consumers. To date, Apple’s App Store has more than 500,000 apps for the iPad. This means that yours must be unique and capable of standing out to beat your competition. A custom iPad app developer can make sure that your app is built according to your requirements and what your customers are looking for. With their help, your custom application can make the most of the iPad’s features, while ensuring user engagement, profitability, efficiency, and interactivity.

Developing an iPad app is not as easy as it seems, so it makes sense to hire a professional application developer that has been creating apps for iOS since the day the tablet was launched. Professionals follow a streamlined process for developing custom apps for the iPad. They typically start by defining your target audience, determining the purpose of your app, and the type of content the app must have. From there, they will design a good user interface that is easy to use and attractive to navigate. Developers are trained and experienced in arranging views in the app and develop the storyboard. They will handle the initial development, the alpha, and beta build, and finalize the build, too.

By investing in custom iPad app development, you can save a lot of time and money, and have the assurance that experts are developing your app. You do not have to hire your own developers to include in your payroll and for you to train to be a part of your company. Instead, you can outsource the job to professionals who can guarantee a high-quality app that Apple will approve and allow in its App Store. Likewise, you can be sure that the iPad app can help you forge a stronger relationship with people who will buy and download your app.


Mobile Website Or Mobile App: Advantages and Disadvantages Of Both

Here is a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of both a mobile application and a mobile website. This article should help you make a smarter decision as to which is best for your needs, or if you need both marketing tools.

Simple Definitions:

* Mobile Website: A website that has been specifically designed and built for mobile devices. A user can access a mobile website via the mobile web on any mobile device.

Please note: If you have a website that was designed for the internet and to be viewed on a desktop computer, it will display on a phone. However, it will be too slow for downloading, too hard to read, to difficult to use and/or not provide the information needed by a consumer on the move.

• Mobile Application: Software that is designed to run on mobile devices. A user downloads the application to reside on a mobile device. It tends to be limited to one operating system and device.

A. Mobile Apps

1. Advantages:

– Convenient: Provides fast and easy access for consumers as it resides on their mobile device.

– Fully loaded content: Easily handles in-depth content, rich media, and location of user/GPS functionality.

– Time: A user knows how much time is required to use an application after its first use.

– Analytics: You can add in tracking to discover the actions of the user.

– New idea: You can create a new concept that provides for an involving, entertaining, and/or productive experience for the user.

– Generate revenue: You can establish a price for a user to download your app.

2. Disadvantages:

– Limited reach: An application has limited reach as different apps are required for different platforms (such as iPhone or Android).

– Cost to develop: The cost to build an app can be high. Even low-priced developers price these services to start at $1,000.

– Marketing cost: There are millions of mobile apps in the marketplace. There is both the time and financial cost to stand-out from the competition.

– Life expectancy: A user who downloads an app deletes an app that is not used often enough or it can get lost in all the other apps that have been downloaded.

– Approval process: Even after developing the app, Apple must review and approve.

– Upgrades: User must download to have the latest application upgraded.

– Value proposition: While the prices to build an app continue to decline, the difficulty to stand out and be noticed has increased dramatically.

B. Mobile websites

1. Advantages:

– Broad reach: Reaches anyone who has internet access via a mobile device.

– Be found: Will appear in search results.

– Stand-out: Few businesses have made built a mobile site. This allows you to stand out from your competition and in your local search results.

– Consistent branding: Provides a consistent look and feel for your business.

– Do a traffic check: You have users that access your current website via mobile devices today. Check your analytics and discover the number of mobile visitors.

– Longevity: It can last you for as long as you are in business.

– Upgrades: No need for approvals or user downloads to improve or update your content.

– Marketing integration: Integrate your site into your mobile marketing promotions.

– Analytics: Learn more about those that visit you via the mobile web.

– Pricing is low: The prices is very affordable.

2. Disadvantages:

– Does not sit on a customers desktop like an app. It needs to be bookmarked to be found as quickly.

– Must be designed to work on all mobile devices.

– Flash does not work on iPhones.

– Requires you to make choices as to which information from your website will be included and how it should be presented.

Conclusion

Ask yourself these questions:

– What are your business objectives?

– What do you want your consumers to do when they come into contact with your business from a mobile device?

– What must you provide to get consumers to take that action?

– Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a mobile app and mobile site.

– What are the costs and benefits for your business?

Your answers to these questions will help to guide your decision.


Native App Vs Web App: Perhaps A Hybrid?

Hybrid mobile applications are functionally somewhere between native apps and web apps. As these two types of mobile software serve completely different purposes, standing poles apart, hybrid apps fill the space between them, and incorporate features of both sides. What makes them close to native apps, is their ability to utilize native features of a mobile platform. Hybrid apps are distributed through application stores, and may utilize such native feature as, for example, geolocation. On the other hand, it shares many useful features with web apps. It might be so that if you want to build an application, a hybrid one would be the best solution for you.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with web apps:

– Created upon web technologies (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3). That’s the main distinction from native apps, which presuppose all the further features. The most popular tools for creating hybrid mobile software are PhoneGap and Appcelerator Titanium.

– Easier and faster to build than native apps. This results in lower development cost.

– Cross-platform capabilities. A great advantage, provided by web technologies – you may create the app once for various mobile platforms. But keep in mind, that an app may not run the same on various devices, that is why quality cross-platform software requires comprehensive testing on a list of devices chosen by you. That’s how the possible problems are eliminated before deployment.

– Lower performance than in native apps. That is why more sophisticated apps will be affected by slightly lower speed and graphics. Consider the balance of features and speed carefully – users are quite likely to switch to another app, if they face delays. That’s why hybrid applications are not good for creating complex apps like games.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with native apps:

– Distribution through application stores (such as Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Store).

– Use of native device capabilities. That is an inaccessible option for mobile web apps. In case your software is going to depend on geolocation, camera, accelerometer etc. – a hybrid application will provide you with that.

– Offline capabilities. That’s a feature of the foremost importance for many apps. And that matters much to users – having what they need and what they like anytime, anywhere.

You may consult with your software developers to find out whether a hybrid app is really ‘the golden mean’ that will perfectly fit your project. That must be discussed and firmly decided before the development. The decision depends on the user experience you need to provide, the features of the project, and the market/user audience you chose to encompass and engage into using the app. Business apps that require native access or apps with moderate graphics – these are examples of a good choice for hybrid development.


Grow Your Retail Business With Implementation of Mobile Technology

The global retail industry is progressing fast while undergoing a series of transformations. However, having a mobile app for the retail operations is still pointless for many etailers and store retailers. However, the scenario has become quite different now. Operating a retail business without mobile app will lead entrepreneurs to face many difficulties in exploring the new opportunities in terms of wider customer connect.

Importance of Mobile Apps in Retail Industry

Mobile technology has become an inherent part of human lives. Thus, having a retail mobile app will greatly help businesses to offer easy access to product and store information to the customers. The retail owners must start thinking about connecting customers by deploying the mobile technology. Customers will prefer buying products from your store when they will find:

  • Relevant product information which, are easy-to-access from their smartphones.
  • Easy and quick product availability status.
  • Estimated date of delivery of the product.
  • Smartphone compatible payment modes like Apple Pay and PayPal.

Having these facts in mind, a retail mobile app will greatly help customers to stay ahead in the competition and maximize revenue to a huge extent.

Following here are some of the paramount benefits of building a mobile app for retail businesses.

Mobile Coupons for Greater Customer Acquisition

While considering this connected and fast-paced world, we can find almost every product everywhere. So, the quest lies that how to drive customers walk into your retail store? The traditional advertising methods like sign boards or television are expensive indeed. On the contrary, you can easily reach a huge cluster of audience by promoting unique selling points and in-store discounts via a mobile app or website. The customers can redeem these mobile coupons at the point of check-out counter.

Personalized Service with Geo-based Technology

Geo-based Technology helps retailers to track location of the customers and figure what they have been actually looking for. Collecting this significant information will allow them to send push notifications to customers along with custom discount coupons. Implementing geo-based technology will help entrepreneurs to track the existing customers near to their physical stores and drive them to make repeat purchases.

Streamlined checkout process

Mobile technology works as a growth booster and helps retailers to build long-lasting relationship with customers. With the upsurge of eCommerce, the retail industry faced serious losses as because online shopping offers greater convenience to buyers. Visiting a physical retail store and standing in long queues to make payments is certainly quite tiresome. On the contrary, online shopping allows customers to buy by just making a few clicks. Considering this loophole, retailers implemented the mobile technology and introduced the mobile credit card readers and 'Scan & Go' payment apps for dispersing the queues.

Considering the aforesaid advantages of implementing mobile technology into retail business, etailers must build a mobile app for making the entire shopping experience more convenient and more fast.


5-Step Checklist to Devise Impressive Mobile Applications

The more the mobile technology is advancing, the more the market demands of diverse mobile apps are increasing almost following an exponential graph. Today, both iOS and Android platform has their own huge market and most of the mobile application developers are devoting themselves to build user-centric, feature-rich and business-driven applications for mobile devices. Here is a 5-step checklist that would help you to develop stellar mobile apps smoothly.

#1 Clearly Define Goals and Requirements

The first step is to set a well-defined and proper goal so that you can chalk out a plan on how to reach that goal. If you do not preset the goal clearly, you might get lost at the halfway! Once you know what you want in your mobile application, what features what benefits the users are going to get using your app, you can go ahead with the development process. Before starting with the development process, another important thing to decide is on which platform you want to build the application.

#2 UX Aspect

To build a successful mobile application, you need to pay special attention to the UX aspect. This defines or makes sure that the users can have a good app experience. Even if your app is top-notch at its looks, design and graphics, until and unless it can offer the app users a satisfactory experience, it cannot gain that much success in today’s vying market. For the mobiles that have a touchscreen interface, it is advisable for the developers to devise multi-touch gestures so that the app users can smoothly navigate it. Apart from being user-friendly, developers need to make that application aesthetically appealing as well.

#3 Development Process

This part is mostly about writing the coding part. Creating a proper prototype, gaining approval from clients in the case of building custom applications – everything is part of this development phase. The developers should have in-depth expertise in using the programming language along with the updated tools. According to your requirements, they can integrate different web services, can link the mobile app to cloud storage of backend along with integrating the social sites, payment gateway etc.

#4 Thorough Testing

There are several parts of this testing phase – QC Checking, UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and Unit Testing. With the help of a simulator, the developers and the designers can effortlessly test the developed application to check whether any error or any bug is present or not. Before launching the app in the app store, this thorough testing stage makes sure that quality of the app is as per the market standard and it is free from any kind of technical glitches.

#5 Deployment

This is the last stage of the development process. In this phase, the newly built app appears live in the app store. This step includes distribution of apps as well.

Well, another crucial thing is to market this newly launched mobile app. Without a well-planned and quality marketing strategy, even a feature-rich and impressive app fail to do satisfactory business that it should have in this competing market. Hence, jotting down a smart marketing strategy for the freshly developed application is utterly vital.