Leading Mobile App Development Frameworks in 2021
The COVID-19 forced social distancing and lockdown policies are driving a steady rise in mobile usage. In Q3 of 2020 alone, 33 billion new apps were downloaded globally, according to a recent report. Mobile users worldwide have spent 180 billion collective hours each month of the third quarter, with a whopping spend of $28 billion on technology apps. Undoubtedly, the pandemic would have a lasting impact on mobile app development trends and technologies going forward, just like how it transformed the consumer mobile behavior.
It is true that a well engaging and standout business app will enhance branding and retain customers. Every business that wants to sell its products, extend assistance, offer service, or share information will definitely strive to make its mobile app user-friendly and accessible to customers. Besides identifying how your mobile application will function or what resources you’ll require, it’s important to figure out which mobile development platforms or technology in mobiles will serve your needs better.
Watch Video: How to choose the right mobile app development approach
Let it be Android mobile apps development, iOS, hybrid, or cross-platform, you need to familiarize yourself with the mobile development application tech in vogue.
Five major programming languages used to develop mobile apps today
The five major programming languages that are largely used for mobile app development include:
If you are building something specific to Apple OS (native to Apple), Swift is the language to seek. Swift is a popular iOS application development language that offers advanced features with minimal coding that can be easily maintained. Swift is a powerful and intuitive language loved by Apple developers who use it for macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and so on.
C++ forms the simplistic base for most of the programming languages and possesses the power to create dynamic technology apps. C++ is highly sought after today to develop multi-platform apps. You can write code in C++ to develop the application once and use it on different platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows) without sacrificing the app’s performance or security. The simple and effective compiler-based approach makes it a versatile tool that can be used for multiple platforms. Its sister language, Objective-C, was earlier used for app development in Apple systems, prior to the introduction of Swift in 2014.
Since the introduction of Android in 2008, this object-oriented programming language has been the popular and official language for Android mobile app development. An extremely versatile language, Java helps keep your app flexible, modular, and extensible. Java is easy to handle and many open source libraries are made available for users to choose from.
There is no better technology to use than HTML5 if your organization is looking at developing web-frontend applications for mobile devices. Organizations that consider cross-platform mobile app development as a daunting task often resort to HTML5 as it helps you deliver the right functionality and exceptional user experience. The “write-once-run-anywhere” advantage offered by HTML5 accelerates your time to market, improves your app’s visibility, makes development affordable, and supports offline browsing.
A rather easy language to learn, PHP is object-oriented and uses a three-layered model to help create dynamic mobile apps and web applications. It is highly suitable for apps that require database integration. Popular PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Lumen, CodeIgniter, and Symfony are being used extensively for building mobile apps that require complex backend and exhaustive data migration. Large scale app projects prefer this open-source language a lot as it simplifies caching, authentication, and even routing.
A host of advanced technology tools are available for those who are looking forward to creating their own mobile apps using these programming languages. These developer tools are perfect for building mobile apps from scratch and even offer multi-platform capabilities for reaching larger audiences.
Top tools that can help you get started with building your own mobile app
Case Study: Explore how a Video Making Mobile App developed by Fingent transformed our customer’s experience. Click here to download the case study!
Leading mobile application development frameworks that developers need to explore in 2021
2. React Native
This cross-platform framework with coding advantages of C# uses single code across iOS, Android, Windows, and other platforms. With the benefits of code sharing, Xamarin builds applications that render exact native app experience. It is the most time and cost saving framework for mobile app development. Xamarin allows you to deliver native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with a single shared .NET code base. The framework offers access to the full spectrum of functionality exposed by the underlying platform and device, including platform-specific capabilities.
Felgo, previously known as V-Play Engine is a popular cross-platform development framework used to create mobile games and apps. Felgo uses Qt as its core framework which simplifies the development of games and apps. With Felgo, you can create flexible and modern apps compiled natively from a single code-base for Android, iOS, Desktop, Web, and Embedded platforms.
7. Mobile Angular UI
Mobile Angular UI is an open source mobile framework that combines the best features of Angular js and Bootstrap 3 syntax, including the missing components of Bootstrap. It provides fresh UI components such as navbar, sidebars, modals and overlays, switches, etc. Since it makes use of Angular js and Bootstrap, it’s easy for developers to learn the framework and get started. Mobile Angular UI allows businesses to build HTML5 hybrid mobile and desktop apps with less effort.
Are you looking forward to building an innovative mobile app to boost your revenue?
Trends that will dominate the mobile app development arena in 2021
- Chatbots and voice assistants will automate the most frequent human interactions. AI integration will improve user engagement and save businesses a lot of money. It’s reported that by 2025, 95% of all customer interactions are expected to occur via channels that support Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Statista reports that by 2022, the global AR headset shipments will cross 30 million units, which is 12 times more than the figures recorded in 2020. As Augmented Reality becomes highly pervasive today, critical industry fields such as training, safety, industrial maintenance, education, and healthcare will have to adopt AR-powered mobile/tablet apps.
- Increasing initiatives undertaken by e-commerce players in the recent years have spurred the growth of mobile wallets/ digital wallets such as Apple Pay, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. In the United States alone, mobile wallet market size is set to register a CAGR of 15% during 2020-2026. Convenience, ease of use, availability of inexpensive smartphones, and extensive promotion from banking service providers are some of the reasons that encourage shoppers and consumers to adopt mobile wallets.
- The increasing consumer demand for faster data speed, low latency, enhanced user experience driven by Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), UHD videos, seamless video calling, and gaming experience will forcibly drive 5G adoption in 2021. Research discloses that the 5G services market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 43.9% during 2021-2027, with a revenue forecast of USD 414.50 Billion by 2027.
- Loading time affects your bottom line terribly. An e-commerce site that makes $100,000 a day will lose $2.5 million sales annually, even if there is a 1-second delay in its loading time. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) plugin launched by Google is becoming a mandatory factor that determines your mobile site’s ranking. AMP-optimized web/ mobile pages will rank faster and better and own the double-chance of converting visitors into customers.
Read More: Mobile App Development : 4 Tips To Consider
Thus, we come to the conclusion that mobile apps have become the most convenient source of contact between businesses and customers. But when it comes to choosing the best technology to create exemplary mobile apps, there are multitudes of options. The best way is to have a ground plan and seek the help of a custom software development company like ours that offers full-cycle app development as per your requirement. Talk to our expert right away!
Concerned about app development costs? Here’s all you need to know!
There will be more people with access to smartphones in 2021 than with access to running water! Well, then there’s no questioning the fact that app development has become the need of the hour to capture the huge rapidly growing market. Investing in app development is valuable to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. As much as you would like to build an app, you might have many queries. One most pertinent question is: How much does it cost to create an app? This will be answered in detail in this blog.
How much does it cost to create an app?
Some people think that creating an app requires a gigantic investment and that the cost of app development is an expensive affair. The truth is, not all types of apps require a princely budget. There is a lot of thought and work that goes into building an app from scratch, so the cost may vary. But looking into what is involved will help us make a fair estimate.
It is important to understand that the cost to build an app depends on various factors like the type of app, the platform you choose, the design, and the number of pages required. For instance, an app that doesn’t require back-end features like an email subscription, calendar, or social login, and API integration will not need a huge budget. On the other hand, multi-lingual support, custom features, and real-time updates will need resources in terms of the development budget. Each app is unique and the cost of making an app is based on the time and effort required to build an app.
HackerNoon rates Fingent in the Top 20 when it comes to Mobile App Development Services. Our mobile team has years of experience working with a range of cost-effective mobile application projects. We’ve helped some of the world’s biggest companies create applications to enhance user experience and integrate new-age technologies.
What Are Some Major Factors That Affect the Cost to Build an App?
Let’s look at some of the specifics that we need to consider, that may affect the cost of building an app.
1. Functionalities, Scope, And Features of the App
The cost of building an app is going to depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Determining that will give a measure of clarity to the scope of the project. If the business is looking forward to a broader scope and returns from the app, it will have to be extensively developed with many functionalities. However, if the purpose of an app is to just establish a mobile presence and develop another channel to connect with end-users, then a limited feature app would suffice. When the goal and overall business purpose is clear to the development team, they will be able to accurately estimate the cost of developing an app.
Read more: Mobile App Development: 4 Tips To Consider
2. Number of In-App Pages
Another vital factor that determines the cost of building an app is the number of screens in the app. The more the number of screens, the more extensive the work required from the designers and UX experts. More screens would also mean higher interlinking of pages through the app, which requires adjustment of conditions so that users can easily access any particular in-app page. Such complex apps demand more time and effort from app designers and developers.
3. Platforms and Devices
The complete cost of developing a native app for a specific platform is different from developing a hybrid app that runs on multiple platforms and devices. Further, the app development cost also depends on the type of device the app is developed for.
Making an app for devices running on Android, iOS, Windows, or Blackberry needs different sets of integration for each type of device. Additionally, supporting different generations of the same device can be another factor that increases the cost of building an app. iOS apps will need to be built to support the latest as well as previous iOS versions. The complexity of the Android market adds to the difficulty in determining a single standard cost of developing an Android app.
4. Type of App Development Team
Based on the complexity of the project, the app development team may comprise a project manager, designer(s), developer(s), and quality assurance engineer(s). You also have the choice of opting for a basic team with a backend developer, admin panel designer, Android or iOS developer.
5. Elements of App features
- Third-party integrations: Mobile apps require third-party libraries, frameworks, and services.
- Backend development: Backend implements the app’s business logic enabling the exchange of data between the mobile and database.
- Hardware components: Identifying the right approach for communication between hardware and software components will make a difference in the cost of building an app.
Apps that allow end-users to upload videos, photos, and submit comments or reviews take more time in development. This would increase the complexity of an app because the user’s information must be stored and made available for future use. Obviously then, the app development cost and time for database-driven apps would be more.
7. Post-launch Expenses
The total cost of creating an app includes the money spent on actual programming as well as post-launch maintenance and updates like cloud hosting, backend server maintenance, and app marketing.
8. App Type
Choosing the right type of application for the project will have a massive impact on the overall cost to create an app. Apps can be categorized as:
- Web Apps: Web apps use a responsive design for smooth user experience across various screen sizes and operating systems.
- Native Apps: Native apps could be more expensive because they are optimized for high performance on a specific platform.
- Hybrid/Cross-platform Apps: This approach is best suited for the needs of a large audience across different platforms. The development and maintenance costs of this approach are lower when compared to the other approaches.
9. License and Legalities
Businesses that want to protect app features that could be knocked off by competitors may want to obtain a Patent, Copyright, or Trademark which increases the cost of building an app.
10. Support and Maintenance
Adding new features and refining existing features of the app will cost you. This is unavoidable because technology is constantly changing, and new updates will have to be made for your app to function seamlessly.
Are you ready?
As of August 2020, there are 3.50 billion smartphone users in the world. As mentioned in the outset, Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast says that there will be more people with access to smartphones in 2021 than with access to running water. Additionally, App Annie forecasts that consumers will be willing to spend a staggering $157 billion on mobile apps by 2022, an increase of 92% from 2017. Now, these numbers should leave you with no doubt that you must make full advantage of this trend by building an app for your business.
However, having a great idea for an app is one thing but making it available to end-users is another. This guide detailed the cost of making an app, with varying features, technologies, platforms, and more for you to make an informed decision, but if you have any questions or you want to get started on building that app, give us a call.
All that you need to know about React Developer Tools
React is an incredible framework for frontend development. It also facilitates mobile app development for multiple platforms. React was a game-changer for IT companies in the USA and across the world, and developers were thrilled when Facebook announced its launch. This post explores the features of React developer tools.
If you are into React development, you must have tried the official chrome React developer tools. This React devtools extension lets you debug your components and is available even as a standalone application. React developer tools help us smoothly create interactive UIs and React is able to reconcile changes to the DOM in a performant way.
The React Developer tool is undergoing constant development with new features added to it regularly. It is an essential instrument you can use to inspect a React application. This article lists out the features of React Developer Tools that you might like to try out and also discusses the best IDE for React.
Read more: React Native App Development – React Native Or Flutter – The Better Choice For Mobile App Development
Inspect and Debug
It is possible to use breakpoints, step-through, and logging to debug a React app. But it can become difficult especially if you have to debug an application that you haven’t seen before. By installing React developer tools, you can overcome some of these challenges.
Installing React Developer Tools
You can install React developer tools on the browser you are using to run the application. One of which is the chrome React developer tools extension. It is available in the appropriate extension store. Once it is installed, either as a browser developer tool or as a standalone application, two new tabs will become available: Components and Profiler.
The Components tab allows you to see the root React components that were rendered on the page and the subcomponents that they rendered. You can inspect and edit its current props and state in the panel by selecting one of the components in the tree. It allows you to inspect the selected component, the component that created it, and the component that created the second component and so on.
While inspecting a React element, switching over to the React tab will automatically select that element in the React tree.
Read more: Web Development Stacks – Top 6 Tech Stacks That Reign Software Development in 2020
Best IDE for React
A good IDE for React is a must to get started with the React ecosystem. Selecting the best IDE for React from among the many that are available out there can be a daunting task. This section will help you make a choice from both the free as well as the paid IDEs.
1. VS Code
VS Code is a Microsoft product and is available for free under open-source MIT license. You can download and set-up VS Code on Mac, Debian, Windows, Ubuntu, Red Hat, SUSE, and Fedora. It can be used for various programming needs. Being the most used free IDE, it is loaded with many useful features.
2. Reactide IDE
Reactide is comparatively new but is gaining popularity among the community of React web app developers. It focuses on web apps development. It is entirely dedicated to React-based application development. It is a one-click setup that installs and runs a custom browser simulator. It spares you from switching between code files and the browser to check the changes made. It is a cross-platform, open-source, free tool.
Atom is among the most popular open source text editors for modern programming. Built by GitHub, Atom comes with Git control and hence fits seamlessly in the GitHub ecosystem. It is a desktop-based application that is used for building apps using web technologies.
4. Rekit studio
Rekit studio is focused specifically for developing apps using React. It works both as an IDE and as a toolkit that can be used for developing scalable web apps using React Router, React, and Redux. Since Rekit has its own Rekit studio, things remain simple and controlled. It is a favorable solution for small scale developments.
These are some of the features that we hope you will find helpful. If you have any questions on React Developer Tools or want to see how this can benefit your business, please let us know.
Choosing The Right Mobile App Development For Your Business
In this digital era of advanced business-technology trends, enterprise mobility is of prime importance. Mobile App developers are constantly on the hunt for the best platform for developing their applications. With more and more B2B enterprises adopting the mobile-first strategy, businesses choose the best mobile application development platform after evaluating their business goals and technical requirements.
Enterprise mobile applications are categorized into three, namely, Native applications, Mobile Web applications, and Hybrid applications. Native applications are built for a specific platform. For instance, Facebook has individual applications for Android as well as iPhone users.
Mobile Web applications, on the other hand, can be described as websites that are mobile optimized. Hybrid mobile applications, however, are a blend of both Native and Web technologies. Hybrid applications best suit cross-platform requirements and also ensures a cost-effective solution for businesses.
Why Opt For Hybrid Mobile App Development?
According to a survey by the Ionic Developer in 2017, 32.7% of developers among over 13,000 developers had completely abandoned native app development and were in favor of the Hybrid approach. What makes the native application development wane, compared to Hybrid mobile application development? It is the huge benefits of the latter, which we will be discussing below:
- Since hybrid platforms make use of a single code base to run on multiple platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows OS, these applications are platform-independent and require less development time.
- Hybrid mobile applications support offline features such as local storage capabilities as it supports SQLite database.
Instagram, Yelp, Uber, BaseCamp, etc are examples of hybrid mobile applications. The major hybrid mobile application frameworks widely used are Ionic, Onsen UI, React Native, Apache Cordova or PhoneGap. With the advent of these frameworks, mobile application developers can now write code once and run anywhere.
When To Choose Hybrid Mobile App Development
Hybrid mobile applications can be a great option to choose based on several factors. One should consider the functional advantages as well as impacts of the selected approach, implementation methods, challenges, etc. Other key parameters to consider are development, implementation, cost, time-to-market, usability, and so on.
The biggest advantage of a hybrid approach is that the shared code can be deployed across many platforms. This saves time and cost of application development. So when do you choose a Hybrid approach over native app development? Here’s what you have to ask yourself:
1. Are you testing a hypothesis?
Consider the initial phase of developing your application. Deploying a hybrid application can be a better cost-effective solution over a native application. The choice is significantly valid when it comes to situations where you are running short of resources, you require user validation and feedback, and when you are aiming at a quick go-to-market strategy.
2. Are you developing an enterprise application for internal use within your company?
The ‘Write Once And Deploy Anywhere’ functionality of hybrid applications is the best choice for internal users. There would not be a need to develop 2 separate applications, developed in each platform as the application requires just the basic functionalities. This also avoids the need to employ additional resources to deploy separate applications, as well.
Additional decision-making factors can be the following:
- If your objective is to target multiple mobile platforms.
- If you want to leverage additional benefits such as geolocation services, accelerometer, and so on.
- If the mobile application needs to be used even under offline circumstances.
- If advanced graphics capabilities are not major criteria.
Related Reading: You may also like to read about how to use mobile app data.
Advantages Of Hybrid Mobile Applications
1. Multi-platform Support
Hybrid applications can run on multiple platforms. It is just that a specific native container or a module must be developed for each platform. This could be challenging for old browsers as they do not support rich HTML features, hybrid applications can still make use of device detection technique to trim the feature for low-end devices.
2. Code Reusability and Duplication
A hybrid application utilizes the same HTML content for all platforms. Thus, it leverages common server-side components. This is unlike native applications where code needs to be rewritten for each platform-supported language. This is why native applications require quite a lot of code duplication, which hybrid applications do not.
Since hybrid applications are not platform-specific, it does not require to be tested and certified before hitting the market, unlike native applications. This saves time to develop and deploy.
4. Usage Analytics
Working with hybrid applications makes usage logging easier. This is because the usage statistics of the existing web/ server-side applications can be used as such. This means that additional storage space to collect data, as a result of analytics performed, is not required. Thus, hybrid applications avoid the need for statistical data archival and purging tasks, unlike with pure native applications.
5. Future Enhancements
Improvising existing features are simpler in case of hybrid applications. This is because it does not require any client application distribution. This feature helps users continue using the application even in cases of app updates. It also saves users from facing the threat of security patches.
6. Security Features
Since enterprise apps are exposed over the Web, there are risks of data thefts. Hybrid applications utilize the HTTPS protocol and make sure no sensitive data is stored on the device.
Don’ts While Using Hybrid Mobile Applications
Writing code once and being able to use it multiple times is a positive feature. That being said, make sure not to rule out the following before deciding to develop on a hybrid platform:
- Do not intend to develop animated or graphic oriented applications.
- Do not integrate heavy plug-ins, libraries like JQuery, and frameworks.
- Do not try to load all views at once.
- Do not choose a hybrid platform to develop complex multi-purpose applications.
Effective deployment of hybrid mobile applications can serve you as a boon. Be sure to understand the key Do’s and Don’t Do’s while deploying a hybrid platform for your application.
Call our experts right away to learn more about why and when to choose a hybrid platform for developing your mobile application.
Are Progressive Web Apps A Better Choice Than Native Mobile Apps?
Mobile Apps not only dominate electronic space on our mobiles but also play a dominant role in our lives. Many people around the world tend to start their day not with a morning cup of coffee but with a mobile app. Decisions as simple as which fitness routine to choose to critical financial decisions are often based on information obtained from mobile apps. More than ever before, people are downloading and using a large number of apps which are not only helping them find what they want instantly, but also assisting them in accessing information, buying products, availing services, and staying updated about new offerings.
With apps dominating the market, it is no longer relevant to ask if your business needs a mobile app development. The question is which mobile app is better for your business. If a native mobile app is what you have, should you be concerned that progressive web apps might topple native mobile apps? This blog will discuss these questions in detail.
Are you looking forward to building an innovative mobile app to boost your revenue?
Why Choose The Right App Development Strategy?
Mobile apps are like route maps to your business. A wrong app design could confuse your customers. This either results in them losing interest in your product or worse yet, leads them right into the arms of your competitors. Therefore, choose your app development strategy carefully. Between a native app, a web app or a hybrid app, consider which of them would be appropriate for your business? The technology you select is what determines how your app will be developed and how users will interact with it. Choosing the wrong technology can be an expensive mistake resulting in inaccessibility or poor performance. Here are a few answers to questions that will help you choose the right technology.
What is a progressive web app?
Web Apps which blend the best features of Native and Web Apps are called Progressive Web Apps. They are called progressive because as the name suggests, they are progressing constantly, it is an evolving technology.
How does PWA work?
How does PWA have an Upper hand over Native Apps?
In the wrestle between Native and PW apps, many aspects give PWA an upper hand. Here are some of them:
Because PWAs are built with progressive enhancement, they work for every user, regardless of the type of browser used. It can automatically adjust to various types of devices such as a desktop, mobile, tablet and so on. In other words, PWAs are not limited to a specific platform. Therefore, you need not develop separate versions of the app for different platforms.
Updates are a data consuming and often frustrating aspect of any app. Progressive apps auto-update in the background without disturbing your in-app experience and with minimal data consumption.
Easy to Install
Without taking the user to an app store, PWAs allow users to install the website as an app on their home screen. The size of apps that we install from any store varies, but they are quite often in the MBs. With PWA, you don’t need to waste much-needed disk space and internet data because it takes up less than a megabyte of space and it takes less than a second to install. Also, they can be shared easily via a URL and do not necessitate complex installation.
In terms of app development and maintenance, the biggest advantage for an app publisher is the cost saving. Building a mobile app is not the most budget-friendly thing to do. It takes time and money to build a mobile app. And for it to be popular, it has to be present on all platforms, which further hikes up the price. The PWA alternative is not only, budget-friendly, but can be done in a relatively short time. As it is progressive, it will not need further customizations.
Web Push Notifications
PWA is capable of supporting Push Notification API. Studies show that push notifications have a 50% higher opening rate and 7 times higher click rate than email messages.
Perhaps, we have spent hours on an app looking for something that we eventually never found. If you want search results from more than one app, you will have to go to each individual app to search. PWA’s however, can be crawled by search engines. You can search for something on Google and get appropriate results from the content inside your progressive app.
Progressive Web Apps are available instantly. Since it is built on the app shell model it feels like a mobile app with app-style interactions. To ensure content is securely delivered it is served via HTTPS.
In a progressive era, such as this, we cannot ignore the importance of mobile application development. The variety of applications we have, suits all kinds of users whether young or old. The PWA market has solutions for each user. Advancement in technologies has also played an important role in the success in PWA. Whether it is business, entertainment, health or education, today each sector is experiencing the benefits of PWAs. PWA technology is improving every day with new functions and features in the making. Advancement in PWA and its technologies may one day pin down native apps.
Whether it topples native mobile apps or not, it is definitely a good tool in your business arsenal. If that’s what you want, give us a call at Fingent and allow us to help you implement it in your business.
Read More: Mobile App Development : 4 Tips To Consider
How Can You Successfully Build A Mobile App?
From the moment we wake up to the minute we fall asleep, mobile apps have become an indelible part of our lives. The number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion this year! With a consumer-driven economy here to stay, businesses must adapt to what the consumer needs and where he needs it – at his fingertips and at his convenience. Understanding this need, businesses have got on to the bandwagon and are going full steam ahead on mobile app development. While this is the way to go, remember that not every mobile app is successful. There are a few vital points to keep in mind when developing a mobile app and this blog will discuss a few of them.
Top Points to Follow While Developing A Mobile App
Developing a mobile app isn’t a small investment. Research shows that it could take an investment of more than $270,000 to design, build and launch an app and could be much higher depending on the complexity of the app. Considering the investment involved, you would think that it would be an automatic success. Yet, experts say that two-thirds of apps will fail to reach 1,000 downloads in the first year. Even more alarming is the research which shows that 23% of those who download the application abandon the app after a single use!
Staggering numbers, aren’t they? Cost issues, bad tech, competition, failure to understand the actual need of the customer and other factors contribute to this failure. This is why it is vital to have all your ducks in a row before you get to mobile app development. Here are a few tips to ensure that your mobile app sees success and doesn’t join the numbers as a failure.
1. Understanding Need
Customers are not going to use your app if they do not see the value in it for themselves. That goes much beyond simply displaying your products or services and giving them a way to buy it through the app. The important question is: Why will the user download the app, make space for it on their phone and use it to engage with your business? This will only happen if they have a use for it and an emotional connection to it. That involves understanding customer behavior and how to cater to it.
The Fogg Behavior Model is often mentioned in this context. According to this model, “the behavior of a person is influenced by his motivation to perform a particular action, his ability to perform it and finally, the trigger.”
Understanding what the needs of your customers are, will help you determine the motivation factor. Recognizing the features that make your app more user-friendly, will help you influence the ability of your app. Finally, using technology like machine learning to understand the right time and the right way to introduce the right product will lead to greater success. This will push them to engage with your app and consequently with your business.
Preparing a proof of concept is an important factor in understanding if there is a need for your app and the motivating factor for customers to use the app. What are the challenges faced by your customers? Are there solutions to these challenges and how will your application provide it? These are the first questions to be addressed before you start on development. The research will help you determine who your customer is, what they need and how you can provide it. This will help you plan the functionality and design of your app in a way that will encourage downloads and engagement.
2. Selecting the Right Platforms and Database
As important as it is to get the design and the code for the mobile app right, it is equally important to decide which mobile platform you will need to build your app on. This is the foundation on which your code will rest. Of the many mobile platforms that came and went, iOS and Android have made their mark among consumers and it looks like they are here to stay. Now taking these two as the base point, you will still need to determine which mobile platform your app will be used on. You should also consider if your interests will be best served if you design for both or opt for a hybrid platform.
Since the language used by the developers will have to be natively supported by the platform you choose, this factor is vital. Your budget, the time and resources you employ, and the ultimate success or failure of the app will be influenced by this decision so tread carefully. Give careful consideration to your customer demographic. Are they predominantly Android users or iOS? What are the costs of designing the app on each platform? Will it be better to consider native app development or close-platform? Choosing the right database is also an important factor to consider as this will be crucial to the performance of your app.
3. Design Goals
This is where it all boils down to – Design and functionality. A mobile form design should be intuitive, clear and engaging.
Specification: The first consideration should be about what you want users to do once they have the app open. Decide what you want to include and what might be redundant to users. Listing functional and non-functional requirements clearly is the start line of the development.
Visual Design: Information presented in a clean and focused manner is vital to draw the attention of users in the direction you want to lead them. Using single fields of input and optimizing the information, appears like a conversation you are having with your client is important.
4. Security Considerations
With mobile applications, collecting sensitive information and gaining access to other information on their mobile device, consumers want to know that their information is safe. They want to know that adequate measures have been taken to comply with data protection laws. Integration of payment gateways in the application adds another level of concern when it comes to security.
This is why the onus lies on you to ensure security. For this, you will have to secure the app’s code from the ground up. Encryption of the code, files, and databases, securing network connections on the back-end, enabling authentication and identification technologies, and other robust security measures are vital in mobile app development.
The success of a mobile application highly depends on the strategies and approaches implemented. Check out our Whitepaper to know how to select the best approach for Mobile App Development.
Ensuring the Success of Your Mobile Application
If mobile application development is on your mind, we understand if you might feel bitten off more than you can chew. Mobile app development needs careful consideration, but with the right guidance, it can be the best thing that has happened to your company. Connect with our IT consultants today and let us simplify it for you.
Best Retail Mobile App Features To Enhance Your Customer Experience
Speed, convenience, innovation, and customer experience – these are the elements that drive the retail industry today. With consumers becoming increasingly connected and demanding personalized services, retail brands can no longer sit back and expect a good product to do the trick for them. Newer, smaller and yet better tech-enabled retail players are pushing into the market and giving big brands a run for their money. Technology is thus the biggest competitive advantage in today’s digital age, and retailers are recognizing the importance of mobile app technology to communicate their tech-driven goals. In this blog, we will discuss exactly how retail mobile apps are helping retailers boost their business. We will also discuss 3 must-have features in retail apps.
Related Reading: Although mobile apps are a source for greater business success, it’s vulnerable to hacker attacks. Check out the top 8 security issues incurred in mobile app development.
How A Retail Mobile App Can Help Boost Business
The number of mobile apps available today is a testimony to the popularity of mobile apps across the globe. A report by Statista shows that as of the first quarter of 2019, Android users were able to choose between 2.1 million apps and Apple’s App Store had nearly 1.8 million available apps. The demand for apps keeps increasing every day, which proves that they are the preferred choice of interaction among consumers today.
Convenience is the factor that is tipping the scales in favor of mobile apps. E-commerce and online shopping brought shopping into the homes of customers, but mobile apps go one step further and bring it to their fingertips. Here are a few more reasons how retail mobile apps are helping businesses boost sales.
- Increases Reach
The most important aspect of sales and marketing is to reach customers where they are. That’s where mobile app technology brings the biggest advantage. Here are some statistics to show that mobile devices are the best way to reach customers.
- Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device.
- U.S. consumers’ time spent on mobile crosses 5 hours a day.
- Customers have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else.
- Mobile app usage for shopping grew by 54% in 2017 and continues to increase.
As these statistics show, mobile apps are where the customer is and that is where retailers must focus.
- Builds Loyalty
Mobile apps allow the customer to interact directly with the company quickly and on their schedule. Push notifications and recommendations on their mobiles keep them connected to your brand at all times. Many mobile apps incorporate loyalty programs and gamification features into their mobile apps. This helps in increasing engagement with customers in the way they prefer it.
It also discourages customers from having to look elsewhere – the more they shop, the more they win and the more loyal they become. Rewarding customers for social sharing and referrals build loyalty to the brand as they feel included in the success of the business.
- Improves Efficiency
Mobile apps do much more than bring your products to consumers. They help in building efficiency along with providing ease of access. When it comes to helping customers, features like integrated shopping carts and payment gateways make the purchasing process much smoother and hassle-free.
From the operations perspective, this helps efficiently record, track and implement invoicing and inventory management. Mobile apps also offer features like employee scheduling, CRM, real-time inventory check-up and other functionalities that help employees better serve the needs of customers.
Contrary to driving business away from brick and mortar stores, mobile apps can impact and support in-store operations as well. With features that can help locate products in the store, Wishlist building, barcode scanners, and faster payment options, mobile apps can provide excellent support in-store as well.
3 Must-Have Features in A Retail Mobile App
Now that we’ve established how important mobile apps are in the retail business, let’s see what will get your app ahead of the competition. For a mobile app to be successful, it must be packed with features that are focused on making the customer’s journey hassle-free and enjoyable. As a start, here are some features that you absolutely must include in your mobile app.
1. Easy to Use Interface
This is one of the most important aspects to concentrate on when building a mobile app. This is the face of your company and the first point of interaction for a mobile app user. Logic dictates that this is where the customer will decide whether he wants to continue his journey with your brand or not. A few key principles to remember here are Simplicity, Ease and Brand Recognition. Do not overload your UX with too much information. Keep it simple. Ensure that the user can navigate through your site easily with simple drop-down menus and clear icons. Ensure that your brand colors, logo and other aspects of your brand image are clearly communicated in your UX.
2. Hassle-Free Purchase Options
Impulse buys are the most important advantage for retailers even when it comes to mobile apps. The best way to capitalize on this is to ensure that the customer is led through the purchase process quickly and without any hiccups. The moment customers face a glitch in the purchase process, the frustration caused could overrule their impulse to buy. The result is abandoned carts and loss of customer loyalty.
To combat this, it is important to offer multiple purchase options. In addition to cash and card on delivery, other options like debit and credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal must be included. This will allow the customer to make the purchase the way they prefer. Easy returns options are another way to ensure that the customer doesn’t hesitate to make the purchase. Ensuring that the inventory is up to date is also an important aspect of eliminating buyer frustration and improving customer retention.
3. Personalized Experience
Machine Learning has brought the online shopping experience a long way from what it used to be. Shoppers don’t have to deal with irrelevant spam emails or browsing through thousands of products to find what they want. Apps equipped with machine learning now know exactly what the customer wants when they want it and the best way to give it to them.
Apps are continuously learning customers’ buying preferences and finding ways to personalize the experience for them. Push notifications featuring the items they like and specialized offers for those products will give buyer’s added incentive to purchase from you.
Are you looking forward to building an innovative mobile app to boost your revenue? Get your FREE mobile app specification template here!
Go Custom with Retail Mobile Apps
While we have presented just three must feature to be included in your mobile app, there are many more that may be relevant to your particular brand and customer base. At Fingent, we specialize in custom-built mobile apps to cater to our client’s unique needs. Give us a call and let’s talk.
Read More: Mobile App Development : 4 Tips To Consider
Which Is The Right Technology Choice While Developing A Client Mobile App?
In this digital era where mobile applications are omnipresent for every single requirement, and with the wide adoption of smartphones, more than 5.6 million mobile-specific software applications are available for download via the marketplaces, Google’s Play store, Apple’s App store and Microsoft’s store. Knowledge of niche technology is crucial for an enhanced mobile app development capability. Businesses require robust and efficient mobile applications. For this, they prefer cross-platform mobile app development to leverage all essential features.
Industry’s Perception Of Cross-Platform Development
In 2012, Facebook had an issue with their cross-platform mobile application due to its unique complexity, scalability constraints and also not being able to meet user expectations. This made Facebook abandon their Hybrid-based cross-platform mobile application and take up Native cross-platform mobile application development, making the reputation of Hybrid mobile app development a debatable topic altogether.
When it comes to mobile app development frameworks, React Native and Flutter are those that compete with each other at the technological forefront, to prove their worth. React Native was introduced by Facebook and Flutter is Google’s new fledgling.
Now, to gauge the current pros and cons of both, it is essential to deeply know the important features of the host of cross-platform mobile application development today – Flutter for hybrid application development and React Native for native. To know more about features based on critical factors, adoption, the popularity of these platforms, and other critical aspects, let’s get started!
1. Programming Language Used
Flutter is a cross-platform framework used for mobile application development. It uses Dart language and is reactive, that is, it solves the problem of responding to incoming asynchronous data. It supports the ‘Hot Reload’ feature where your mobile application can be rerun that accelerates development. Visual Studio Code, Android Studio and IntelliJ Idea are current official supporters of Flutter.
Flutter being a newbie makes everyone confused about implementing it for their mobile application development. With more than 1450 packages available on Flutter, it seems to pick up more momentum. The main architecture of Flutter is the Business Logic Component or BLoC. The Dart framework that is adopted by Flutter makes use of Skia C++ engine that includes all protocols, and contents.
React Native is no beginner and the main architecture patterns being Flux, by Facebook and Redux, the option most preferred by the user community.
Flutter has widgets as building blocks which are ready-to-use widgets, but since these are not adaptive in nature, the difficulty lies in the need to make its adaptation manual. These widgets propose a material design, prompting you with the need to make changes manually.
React Native, on the other hand, provides a library of web components for development. Development with React Native is pretty simple as it the create-react-native-package that needs to be installed has a provision for Expo Integration. This means that the code can be run on your device as simple as just having to scan a QR code that appears on the screen.
Key Point: React Native allows you to write code once and components will have to be loaded depending on the OS. So first the decision to be made is whether your requirement is for an app that has to look the same on both operating systems or take the advantage of individual features of each OS.
Related Reading: Check out the top technologies used for mobile app development.
Flutter, being fully compiled by the arm C/C++ library, Flutter has got a good performance though there are many factors involved.
React Native, on the other hand, is not compiled by C/C++. React Native performs much faster and better than other hybrid applications such as Cordova.
5. Level Of Ease To Start Learning
The documentation of Flutter is pretty good and helpful, but it is difficult to start learning, which is pretty obvious if you are a beginner into development and Google tells you so when you ask it how to Learn Flutter.
6. Clientele Support
Flutter clientele support is not as much as that is available for React Native. The team for Flutter is present at the rate of over 30k stars on Github, over 740 users of a Google Group, 4.5k users on subreddit and of course on Stack Overflow.
React Native, on the other hand, is backed by the huge community support of over 9000 users, 68k stars on Github, 14.5k users on subreddit and even has more third-party plug-ins and libraries than Flutter.
Summary – Is React Native Superior To Flutter?
In a nutshell, React Native is more stable for mobile app development than Flutter as it showcases its page of apps that enjoy the support of a very large clientele and Flutter is still new in the technological forefront. Also, considering the aspect of a mobile application that interfaces with banks or large enterprises as such, Native stands in the front row.
Also, Security poses a critical factor as hybrid applications can access all features from the device’s hardware layer such as camera, GPS, microphone, etc.
Native applications are up-to-date in terms of platform changes, whereas hybrid apps have a sense of uncertainty. Also business would consider the resale value as a key factor as it is important that a potential buyer gets the feeling that the platform adopted for his mobile app is future-proof and will not require frequent re-coding.
As for all these reasons, React Native is considered a more viable option and is highly recommended for cross-platform mobile application development than Flutter. To know which mobile app development approach suits your business, get in touch with our tech experts today!
How to improve business efficiency with voice app?
Your company’s apps are losing attention. It’s not 2010 anymore. Simply telling your customers that you have a mobile app doesn’t impress anyone. It’s become a standard expectation. There are more than 2 million apps available for Android in the Google Play store and nearly the same number in the Apple App Store. As your app gets less and less use, your company is more likely to be ignored and your app uninstalled.
Three Traditional Mobile Best Practices That Dull Your Edge
Let’s review what used to work in building engaging mobile apps and why those tactics are no longer enough.
Releasing new features. An app that goes months without updates looks abandoned. So you should push updates for new features and bug fixes regularly. Unfortunately, every mobile app worth its salt is already updating frequently. Simply keeping up is not going to set you apart.
Responding to reviews. Monitoring the reviews end-users leave for your app is a good source of new ideas. Responding directly to end-user feedback by launching fixes is a good idea. It is also a common idea that most other companies have already implemented.
Staying current with security and privacy expectations. Consumer data privacy concerns have never been higher. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe and increasing regulation in the USA (e.g., the California Consumer Privacy Act 2018) means the minimum security standard is going higher. The good news: Apple and Google are doing some of the heavy lifting in mobile app security for you. Fall behind with security and you will lose customers. On the other hand, simply keeping up with security threats and updates will not make you stand out.
If keeping up with those outdated best practices is not enough, what can you do to keep users coming back for more?
Apps That Speak and Listen: Your App Opportunity
Instead of getting lost in the app shuffle, take advantage of the latest developments in voice interaction. Thanks to Apple, Amazon, and Google, we’ve all become used to interacting with technology by speaking. In fact, there are over 100 million smart speakers currently installed in American homes according to an NPR survey. The true number of voice-enabled devices is much larger than that when you factor in mobile devices. Voice interaction with a mobile app gives a new and more intimate customer experience. That’s why you should take advantage of this new capability.
Why does the growth of smart speakers matter for your company’s apps? The popularity of these devices means that you do not have to worry about hardware. You just need to deploy your app to one of those platforms. Voice interactive apps are still new but don’t worry – your company is not going to be the very first.
Before you speak with other executives about launching a voice interactive app, you should have some live examples in hand. Consider Capital One, the financial services company, which launched an Alexa skill (i.e., a voice interactive app made for Amazon’s platform) back in 2016. Other financial companies have since followed their lead. On the Google Home platform, AutoVoice lets you set up tasks and create personalized commands. You can use these apps to control your smart home, order pizza, check your bank balance and more.
How do you jump into the world of voice interaction?
There Are Two Paths To A Talking and Listening App: Which Will You Choose?
There are two ways to join the voice-enabled app revolution. (Hint: One is easier.)
You can either follow the path forged by technology giants like Amazon and Google. Invest heavily in building a top-flight team of developers and launch a testing program. This approach maximizes your control over the app and gives you the most options for integrating it into your systems.
Bear in mind that there are significant downsides to building your app development team internally. Structuring this kind of app development capacity internally takes months if not years and comes at a considerable expense. After all, developers are well paid — PayScale ballparks the median pay for Android developers at $82,000. Quadruple that amount and you will nearly have built your full team.
Working with a custom software development team to build a voice-capable app is a better choice in many cases. Your IT managers set the scope and retain oversight for the project. But there’s no need to use resources for recruiting or training since the team is already in place. By working with Fingent, you will benefit from our expertise in enterprise projects. We’ve collaborated with professional services firms like PwC and technology companies like NEC on development projects. So which path into the voice-enabled app revolution will you choose?
Any client needs to know how a proposed app is likely to work and impact their business. It will provide them with an insight into the functionality of the app and how it helps the end users. This is where wireframing comes into play as an essential part of mobile app development. A professional app development company can use wireframing as an essential tool for laying out the functionality, visualization, navigation, UI and preliminary function of an app.
Wireframes have a significant role in the design process. As yet, wireframing has been the most effective way to detect usability issues early on in the design process. Wireframes typically do not include color, graphics or stylized fonts so that the reviewer is least distracted and focused on the user flows and user experience. In what follows, we will highlight why wireframes constitute a vital part of the app development process.
App Designers consider Wireframing an Ideal Building Block
Wireframes are essentially a visual conception that illustrates the screen interface of an app. Usually conceived as black and white layouts, the wireframes outlines how different elements of the app like pages, navigation, and conversion portions are laid out. As a blueprint, a wireframe ensures the level of attention in design and UI so that it remains practical for the end user.
It lays out the skeleton of the app which portrays the page‘s interface (elements spacing, content prioritization, and functionalities) and how users interact with the site. Wireframes act as the vital link between the information architecture and the visual aspects of the design.
Moreover, wireframes act as a visual representation of how the user manages different scenarios and achieves the business objectives. It acts as a site architecture with links provided in each of the wireframes so that a clickable model is built for getting a full demo experience of the app.
Wireframing is the stepping stone for an app to become successful, which also have numerous other benefits.How to Create a Wireframe [Source: SmartDraw]
Wireframing Tools – Key to Navigating the Flow of the App
A wireframing tool will help you understand how to create an app or website essentially easier by visually paring the product down and focus on the functionality and user interactivity of your product.
Clients need to be educated on how your proposed app or website will work. A written or verbal explanation would leave major functionalities down to their imagination, giving way to more errors. This situation is not helpful for you or your client. It is here that wireframing tools can play a significant role in squaring that circle.
Wireframing tools differ with varying levels of functionality some of which can be used purely for simple wireframes, while others to create a working prototype. Some wireframe tools take you through the entire process of roughly sketching your wireframes, creating sitemaps, flowcharts, and storyboards; collaborating them with others, and building functional prototypes.
The Boons of Wireframing in App Development
What wireframing does is to create a visual framework of the entire app. It steers clear from complex flowcharts by substituting with an understandable model that eases the workflow and accelerates the app development process. The following is a check-list of the benefits of using wireframing in application development:
- A Walkthrough of the App
The blueprint of the app laid out through wireframes will give the client a clear picture of what the app is about and its functionality. Using wireframes, the client can suggest changes or improvements so that the final app design remains in accord with their goals. A proper wireframe is essentially a walkthrough of the app that guides the clients and developers to focus on building the app solely with the end user experience in mind.
- Improves Development Process
Wireframes aid real-time communication within the team, which helps speed up the development process. It eliminates design errors as the wireframes can provide insights into the workflows to be used by each section of the development team. The improved app workflow helps the team to focus on the responsiveness of the app using regular feedbacks. Such a method is very useful if a deadline is looming large.
- Aids Interactive Apps
Some apps need good animation display such as in case of a gaming app. An interactive app requires a blueprint for visualizing all the ideas, designs and features. Wireframing allows just that as it gives developers the means to preconceive the visual and moving elements within the app. This will give them an estimate of how the interactive elements of the app functions and the effect that it has on the user experience.
- Allows Easy Changes
With a wireframing tool, it is easier to make the necessary changes during the app development process. The wireframing model allows the clients to suggest the necessary changes during the actual development. Developers can then work on these suggestions easily by making the relevant changes to the app. Any changes made will instantly reflect in the app, which allows the development team to implement the client suggestions right away.
- Minimizes Overall Project Costs
Having a good wireframe for an app can cut down the costs involved in its development significantly. The client can request the necessary changes when previewing a demo of the app through the wireframes. This prompts the development team to work on these changes in the initial stages of building the app. Changes or additions during the final stages usually prove costly. A wireframe eliminates this and quickens the process of making the app ready for the launch.
Building a great wireframe
At Fingent, wireframes are a complete reflection of our client’s unique requirements. Our team makes it a point to understand our clients not just from a technical perspective but from an emotional perspective as well. This helps us address their requirements better so that the end results always remain fruitful. For that purpose, we employ a standard process of wireframing to build apps with rich user experience and responsiveness. Here are the major steps involved in our wireframing process:
- Understanding the client – Getting to know what the client wants from a technical perspective helps us in determining the right solution for them. But we go an extra mile to understand the client from an emotional perspective as well so that we can serve them better and do more than just provide a technology solution. We get to know what exactly is in the minds of our clients, which helps us in being proactive in our approach.
- Understanding the outcome – The first step in creating a wireframe is understanding what our client intends to do or convey through a particular app. That is, what the client wants his/her users to do. It includes finding out whether the client wants its users to do a particular action or read a particular thing or even feel a particular way after going through the page or app section.
- Creating user stories – We then create user stories which cover the list of features required in the application and also a brief description of the flow and functionality within each section. This helps us better in knowing what to use and where it is placed like whether it is best to use a checkbox or a radio button for a particular element on the page or to have a text box or drop-down menu for another element etc. While creating the wireframes, this can act as a quick reference.
- Designing the wireframes – After obtaining the required inputs from our clients, we then proceed with creating the wireframes by using a stencil kit or other simple wireframing tools depending on the complexity of the application. The wireframes that we create using this method are shared with our clients as well as our designers so that everyone can come up with better ideas and solutions.
- The user interface – While we go about the process of wireframing, we always keep in mind our client’s unique requirements. But we also make it a point to put ourselves in the shoes of the users of the app as well. This helps us understand and answer many questions that the users might have in their minds while going through the app. Together with the valuable inputs from our client, we create apps that are more user-friendly by applying the necessary changes. We preoccupy ourselves with questions during development such as ‘What does the user want?’ or ‘What will the user think?’ What we primarily ask ourselves while wireframing for apps and web pages is ‘What does the user want?’ or ‘What will the user think?’ with the aim of leading the users to what our client wants them to do.
In a nutshell, a good wireframe is a simplified visual concept of the future app. But they can also wreck a project if not done correctly. It helps build a mockup of the proposed app that contains its would-be features and functions.
It doesn’t give any idea about the design but helps to understand the functionality of the application, which is its definitive advantage. It enables the client, developer, and designer walk through the structure of the app without being distracted by colors or graphics.
Even though wireframing could take up some time before the development of the solution, it is always better to make your wireframes perfect and then get into development. At Fingent, we make it a point to wireframe every section of any app, as it is much more meaningful and safe for development later. Our experts assert the importance of wireframing as it allows in creating flexible workflows for easily incorporating changes. Moreover, it simplify the process for the developers and designers to begin executing once the core features and elements are confirmed.
Throughout the process of wireframing and development, we believe it is best to keep in touch with our clients on a regular basis. In this way, we are able to keep them updated on the developments and gather feedback to make sure that it ultimately meets their requirements. This approach not only helps us in our projects but also in building solutions that truly matter to our clients.