Guide to Building Your First Mobile App

Why do you want to build a mobile app? Do you want to ride the wave of other entrepreneurs, or did you come across a problem that you feel you can resolve? The answer to this question will determine whether your app will be successful or not.

Here is a guide to get you started, but note it may not work for everyone. This is drawn from our experience working for years with entrepreneurs, helping them build and market their mobile apps. Take from it what suits your strategy best, or follow it to the hilt. The important part is to get started.

Get an idea or a problem:

If you already have an app idea, move onto step two. If not, read on. Want to build an app but don’t have an app idea? What you really need are problems, and they’re everywhere!

Successful entrepreneurs solve problems in a way that we could not have imagined. When you look around you, every product and service you use were all created to solve a problem. You wanted to get from one place to another faster, you got a car. You wanted to get from one country to another faster, you got planes.

So look for problems in your daily life and list each one of them. Once you have an exhaustive list, then start to think on how you can resolve them and shortlist the ones that make most sense.

Identify the need:

Validation will prove that a demand exists for your app. You can validate your idea by using the Google Keyword Planner tool to look for the number of people seeking out what you’re trying to do. You could also build a landing page that broadly highlights your app idea and seek user interest through an email signup.

Lay out the flow and features:

Validation of your app idea means that you’ve got something that people want to use. Now is the time to detail your product onto a document, or if you want to go the extra mile, use a wireframing tool.

When putting your idea down on paper, remember to be as detailed as possible. Include the flow of how the user will navigate the app as well as all the features envisioned. This will help your developer to clearly understand your expectations.

Remove non-core features:

From the flow and features document you prepared, start looking closely at features that you can remove. Offer only the core value of your app idea. Do not build features in the first version that are “nice to have” and can always be added later as an update. This will help keep the initial costs of development down and also help you get to market quicker.

Put design first:

I have heard many entrepreneurs saying they want a very basic design and want to focus on just developing an app. They are so wrong! Design is not just about how your app looks, but it’s about how a user will experience the app. Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures best explains it: “Design is a way of making technology useful.” So look for a developer who puts design (user experience and graphics) first.

Hire a designer/developer:

Seek a development company that has great design talent and a solid development team. While hiring a developer, go online to check on their credibility and the apps that they have created. If you really liked an app they created from their portfolio, chances are, they could be the right one for your product.

Create developer accounts:

You must register for a developer account with the respective app stores to be able to sell your app through their platform. Google’s Android charges $25 a year and Apple charges $99 annually. You have the option of registering as an individual or as a company, if you already have one formed.

Integrate Analytics:

Analytics help you track downloads, user engagement and retention for your mobile app. Make sure you use tools such as Flurry, which is available for free, and Localytics, that has a free and paid version.

Get feedback quickly and improvise:

Once your app goes live on the app store, the first set of customers’ usage and behavior will give you insight into how to improve and enhance your app. Enhancements and changes are constant, so keep an eye on user feedback and keep building.

Introduce features:

You built version one with limited features and only the core offering. Now is the time to evaluate and introduce the remaining features that were left out in the initial version. You will know through analytics and feedback whether the features are relevant anymore.

These steps are not sacrosanct, but rather a guideline to building your app in the most effective manner based on my experience. Once you’re ready to start, you must also know that building a mobile app is the easiest part. Getting customers is where the challenge lies.

Interested in building a Mobile App with Urbansoft? Use code URBANMOB for 10 percent off.

Contact Us:
Email: contact@urbansoft.co

 

Why Mobile Apps & Not Websites?

We cannot deny the fact that we live in the mobile era, and the number of mobile users exceed the number of desktop users. Realizing the shift in trend and understanding the compatibility of mobile apps and websites for its users, businesses have turned their marketing strategies to mobiles to best suit their purposes. Though this may seem true, not all companies can afford both. So, they choose the greater of the two. To help you understand why a mobile app is better than a mobile website while trying to showcase a business to your customers, we have put together a few points here.

 

Improves Personalization:

Have you ever gone to a website and tried to sort things in the way you like to see them? Well, you wouldn’t have dared try that as there isn’t such an option. Well, things are not the same with a mobile app. It helps users personalize their experience on the app based on their location, interest, affordability, usage behaviour, and more. Now, that’s the kind of experience that all customers are looking for. Added to this, customers are constantly reminded of their pampering through notifications, helping improve the conversion rate.

Notifications:

This is what we briefly discussed in the above paragraph. Notifications are of two types, Push Notifications & In-App notifications. Both of the types have their own benefits. Remember those days when you were so excited to receive an email until a business bombarded you with so many that you got sick of opening your inbox? Yes, emails used to be the better means of communication between brands and its customers until they started failing their purpose. The benefit of using notifications is that they can be provided at the user’s interest and not just stacked up for no use. Push Notifications are those that have had a 40% click- through rate in comparison with email marketing, and in-app notifications provide their customers with just what they are looking for based on customer preferences, enabling better conversion ratios.

Functional Even Off-Line:

This is one of the best aspects of having a mobile app. Websites are dependent on the internet for its use, whereas mobile apps support nearly 70% of its features even in the absence of the Internet.

For example: Banking apps are capable of performing the basic functions such as instalment calculation, tax calculation, determination of loan limit, and so on even in the absence of an Internet connection.

Apps Faster than Websites:

Apps are a lot quicker than websites when planned and designed appropriately. Since apps store their data locally on the mobile devices in comparison to websites which depend on servers, it cuts the data loading and download time increasing the user’s preference to mobile apps rather than websites.

Mobile App v/s Mobile Site — What Should You Choose?

It all drives down to this question. Though many businesses would like to have both, not all are able to afford the same. Depending on the budget and the business goal, you might have to choose any one of the same. Understanding that both do play roles well with specific pros and cons that are attached to the same; mobile apps do gain a better chance in achieving personalization and operational efficiency, along with multiple other exclusive features. Thereby winning the hearts of your customers.

We hope you enjoyed your read and look forward to having talks on even more interesting topics in the future. For more on mobile apps and our services visit urbansoft.co

 

 

10 Interesting Gifts for Smartphone Users

We live in a digital world and nearly two-thirds of its population own a smartphone. Keeping this in mind, shopping for gifts for our loved ones has never been easier. Based on experience of the crowd that I move with, I have picked out a few suggestions for my readers. Hope you enjoy your read.

 

  1. Gloves: Gloves for touch screens are the ones on focus now. They are affordable and every touch screen owner will love to have one.
  2. Door Bot: Little expensive, but quite useful. Can be used to view and talk to people standing at the door through a Wi-Fi camera.
  3. Reality Tee: There are bound to brighten up your shopping experience, you just point your phone or tab at the tee shirt of your choice and you have got a visual of it on your phone.
  4. Smart Phone Case: gift your love one with a customized smart phone case. It’s simple, choose your favourite picture and send it to an image site named Shutterfly, this site permits the user to carefully arrange the picture as per your taste and a case is created a and shipped off to your home.
  5. Sonar Fishfinder: If you love fishing or if you go out to sea often, you might want to get yourself this app. When installed to your smart phone, it helps to find fish below the vessel through sonar.
  6. Bluetooth Gloves: These help you to make and answer phone calls through a wireless glove that is in sync with your touch screen phone.
  7. Camera lens for smartphones: For those who are quite into photography, but are unable to carry a camera along everywhere they go, this would be a good choice as a gift. Amazon has a wide variety of camera lenses that you might want to check out.
  8. Headbands: There are a few who love to listen to music while trying to sleep, or just wear them to keep out disturbing noises like snoring, or other disturbances such as banging in the next room. 😉 These music headbands help keep out the noise, give you the pleasure of listening to music, and is also safe when compared to ear buds that everybody focus on using.
  9. Bluetooth Key finder: We all have done this at least once and some of us make it a habit of losing our keys, this is a best gift you can give someone who shares this problem. ME!! :p
  10. Thermoelectric Generator: This was very interesting, I was amazed when I read about this. For people who like to camp out often, this would be a good choice. All you have to do is fill the power pot with water and place it over any stove. Now connect your adaptor with your phone to your power pot and voila!! It charges.

 

How to Reduce App Development Costs?

The cost of developing a good and customized app depends on its functionality, type of the project, app requirements, and other factors related.  Nevertheless, whatever your app demands are, assigning your project to an expert team is the back bone to meeting your specifications, including the cost involved and the market standards. This requires maximum effort from the development team.  If you’re a young developer or a client needing an app to be developed, here are a few tips that could help you.

  1. Conduct a Research:

Research help provide recent know how of the industry and helps you plan accordingly. Prior to developing your app, perform a research and gather information about the app understanding all it takes to develop such an app along with the documents required. This will help you to position your user needs accordingly and develop and app that meets specific needs saving you time and money on development costs.

  1. Employ Expert Developers:

 The perfect way to hire good IT software experts is by browsing through their previous client reviews and recommendation online. Understand the firm’s kudos and rankings that they had generated over tome. If you find them competent and trustworthy, entrust your project to them and have nothing to worry about.  Getting a good developer will not only provide you the best quality work, but also reduce the cost of development as they know the best way to crack the cost.

  1. Develop based on Priority:

 We always advise our clients to develop their apps based on their business requirements and add extra features as their businesses expand.  Doing so will not only help you avoid accidental expenditure but saves you money for your next project. Take for instance, when developing a mobile app, you don’t need to develop everything in mobile. But do so based on the present specific needs of your target users, most especially when your product is new in the market and you’re not sure of the degree of sales at the initial stage.

  1. Monitor & Supervise:

 Ensure the development process does not stray from your client’s goals and objectives. Communicate with your development team and review each and every stage of the development. The earlier mistakes are rectified the better. If any error gets rectified at the end of the project, the app has to be redone and will result in additional cost.

  1. Maintain Consistency:

Inconsistency results in increased costs during development of an app. To avoid the same, ensure that you are stable with your requirements. This makes planning ahead very essential. Adjusting features during the process will generate extra costs.

  1. Select the Right Cross-Platform:

Working on multiple platforms is one of the biggest challenges that app developers face today. Moreover, when you have a skilled developer, using cross-platform mobile app development tools helps the development process to be effective, faster and easier all which would reflect on the final budget. Never neglect the quality of your app as you cut down your development cost.

At Urbansoft, we have an experienced and dedicated team of IT professionals who work closely with you in order to understand your business requirements, and utilize an appropriate technology to get you the best services for your esteemed business at a minimum cost.

 

Mobile App User Engagement & Retention – Methods

Obtaining quality mobile app engagement and user retention rates could be a hard thing to do, especially when your engagement, retention strategies and channels used are poor. The ability to keep users persistent in using the product after developing and launching is yet another challenge. However, statistic from 2015 up to 2018 shows a great improvement in user retention rates, enabling some businesses to engage and retain their target customers easily. What brings them success? Urbansoft shares a few methods that could prove to be successful in engaging and retaining your audience in cases of a business app.

  1. Mobile Personalization:

 Mobile app personalization is the key to connecting with your users and channeling your site to the specific needs of each user. It also offers a unique, and relevant experience to the users. The best way to personalize your site is by directing your social call-to-action based on your user personas. Mobile apps that leverage personalization comes in a variety of design styles, and colors to fit the taste of your target users, as well as providing a higher level of engagement simultaneously.

  1. Advertising:

 Mobile app advertising can be structured and utilized to keep the users retentive and retargeting. Display advertising and search advertising tools remind your users about your product and services while they are using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, etc,.  By using the deep linking option, you can engage customers in tons effortlessly and all at the same time. Display ads that show discounts, rewards, offers and more are enough to get your users intrigued. Search ads allow you to engage with the users when browsing for services similar to your business while using search engines.

  1. App Messaging:

Mobile app messaging enables messages to be sent and received instantly. While designing an app make sure to provide an in-app message service to gain the attention of your customers. These messages are to be easily found and could be placed on top of the screen such as banners, or on the whole screen to be visible to the customers. Alerting existing users on latest offers or deals with a pop-up message will get them familiar with the app.

  1. Product Alteration:

On alteration of a product or service, assure that you update your mobile app experience, add new content and personalize the same frequently so as to keep users attracted and engaged. Strive to get feedback from the users on using the app.  Track their needs to improve the value of the service you provide.

  1. Push Notifications:

 As app messaging is the key to keep users attentive and engaged in the business you provide, push notifications play an important role. This keeps users in a loop bringing them back to the app constantly. Always provide users with a compelling reason to come back to the app, either by reducing your prices or by adding more value.

  1. Linking:

Deep links along with content within an app can be shared to promote your business.  Create power-sharing links, ads, and emails to invite customers to get involve with your mobile app, also to achieve the best customer engagement and retention at all times.

Urbansoft is known as a leading Web and Mobile App Development company in Bahrain. With years of experience in creating large-scale, functional, engaging mobile and responsive web designs; there’s no doubt we stand out from the crowd. Do contact us for further assistance!

 

Mobile Apps in Small Businesses

Mobile Apps in businesses have always helped organizations get one step ahead of their competitors, and there’s no doubt why. With the advent of smartphones, people have been in more of a relationship with their device than with the people around them. A sad fact that Einstein quoted “I Fear the Day That Technology Will Surpass Our Human Interaction”. But, to our benefit, marketers of today have able to use the same technology and get their way to the top using mobile applications. However, small businesses on the other hand continue to hold back. Now let’s take a quick look as to why they should re-consider.

 

 

 

Why a Mobile App for a Business?

If you are looking to own a successful brand in any kind of business genre, the criteria that are expected to be on your list is OWNING A MOBILE APP. Yes, of course, and with today’s development in technology who wouldn’t want to follow in the same. The main purpose of owning an app is to improve your marketing efforts and increase your ROI. To bring more clarity to the statement, let’s take a quick look at a few reasons that support the same.

Increase Sales:

The year 2018 expects mobile app revenue to cross $ 40 Billion, and that’s because of the acceptance that apps are being received globally in the technological world that we live it. Looking at the stats, it shows that people prefer buying products in the app rather than browsing through a search engine. Besides, most adverts are sponsored in-app which helps promote the running of several apps; a good revenue generating technique that most app owners enjoy.

Increased Visibility:

Taking a quick look at the stats from 2015 – 2017, there has been a 20% increase in the usage of mobile devices, with users spending more than 5 hours of a day on their device. This comes to our attention as no surprise, with the number of hits received on Apple’s iTunes, and Google’s Play Store. This helps us come to the conclusion that the more your business is available as an app, the more the visibility.

Analyse Insights:

Most mobile apps come with customer insights that could be analysed and studied using special inbuilt tools. The best way to serve a customer is catering to their needs, and the only way to get that done is by understanding what they need.

Sending out Notifications:

The best way to keep your customer in the loop and prevent them from straying away with competitors is by sending out notifications (or as I call them “REMINDERS”). Customers tend to turn heads in the direction they are led, just like a child walking in the park. Sadly, we haven’t phased out of that even as an adult. Yes, the more tempting the offer, the quicker your customer will flee in the opposite direction. The key here is keeping them occupied by reminding them of what you have in your pocket, which will keep them coming back to you.

Extend your Marketing Arm:

Stats say that an average individual of age 18- 65 years spend more than 90 hours a month on a mobile application. This enhances the probability of downloading your app and increases your chances of gaining new customers.

All this comes down to the need for designing and developing an app that suits your business requirement. We at Urbansoft work with experts who share interesting ideas on the same. Click here to understand how mobile apps can serve you better.

 

Taking the Step to Becoming a Mobile App Developer

We all know that the application industry is doing not just well but exceptionally well. We see that Apple and Google have reached more than 700,000 mobile apps each and have turned a revenue of $46 billion in 2016 — up nearly $40 billion from 2011. Since of late many have started focusing on mobile application development and have even have started taking it serious in making it their career. Mobile app developers who have the right set of skills can make it in this multi billion-dollar industry. Though many are confused on a way to get it done, there is one reassurance that it can happen in more than one way.

Let’s take a look at the few but good ways to becoming a Mobile App Developer:

  1. ) Start by choosing a platform
  2. ) Get to understand the Language and Software
  3. ) Write Programs using
  • Java
  • C++
  • SQL
  • Objective c
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • Swift

4.) Find and Create a Career:

The thing about mobile app development is that companies that you apply for develop applications for more than one platform. The more you learn, the better your choices.

Platforms Languages Environment  

Devices

 

iOS Swift, Objective C Xcode iPhone, iPod, iPad
Android Java C++ Eclipse Multiple Vendors
Symbian C++ Multiple Choices Multiple Vendors
RIM Java Eclipse Blackberry
Windows Phone C++ Visual Studio Multiple Vendors

 

5.) The industry is expected to grow 32% more within 2020, and most popular platforms are expected to be iOS and Android

6.) 2020 will see 300,00 new openings for application developers

7.) Android has shot over iOS showing a growth of 110% in comparison to iOS which is only 54%

8.) A fact that Android developers are faster placed than iOS developers with a stats of 165% for Android and 54% for iOS will give you the right shove in the right direction.

9.) Skills Expected of a Mobile App Developer:

  • Designing a UI (Create a Design for people on the go)
  • Capability in performing general computing skills (Security, database management, hardware interaction and more)
  • Design to be visible (Prepare to make your app visible amongst the first 100 of a category)
  • Achieve specific programing skills: Classic Programing languages, Cross- Platform Suites, and Web Development Languages

10.) Become a Developer:

  • Take classes on programs you decide to learn and continue to keep yourself updated using tutorials.
  • Create an app yourself and make sure you present it in a developer program

Lay your plans out and prepare to hit the industry in the most professional way. Good luck to you.

 

How to Minimize App Development Costs & Increase Quality

Minimizing the cost of your app development is very advantageous but the ‘quality’ of the app is the most valuable, and should never be neglected. While cutting down your app development cost, don’t be afraid of the quality.  You just need to entrust your project to a safe hand to help you get the best results with minimum cost. How do you develop an app with the least available cost? That’s easy! Find out below,

  1. Conduct App Research:

Do research before developing your app. Research will help you plan ahead and also reduce cost.

For example,

  • Get to know and understand similar apps in the market and what expertise it took to develop such an app.
  • Gather all the requirements you need to get the project done including the documents needed.
  1. Hire Expert App Developers:

The best way to get a skillful IT software expert is by reading through previous client reviews and recommendations.

  • Understand the vendor’s prestige and rankings that they have built for themselves over the years.
  • Identify if the company is satisfactory and trust worthy. Entrust your project to them and then have nothing to worry.
  • Working with a good developer will not only provide you with the best quality app but also reduces the cost of development. This is because the vendor is capable of identifying the best possible way to handle the cost, keeping in mind the final result as well.
  1. Develop Apps Based on Priority:

We advise our clients to develop their apps based on their present business requirements, always giving space to add supplementary features in the future as their business grows and expands. Doing so will help them avoid unnecessary spending and saves time and money to meet other needs.

For example, while introducing an app into the market for the first time, it’s better to keep the features limited and to the needs of the users only. This will prevent overload of features that would result in confusion to the user. Also, it gives the users a chance to explore and understand the app better without it being brushed aside as “useless or unfriendly”

  1. Monitor & Supervise App Development:

Ensure that development does not deviate from your business goals and objectives. This would mean that you would need to monitor the process.  Regular communication with your development team and review of each and every stage of the development would help promote superior app development. The earlier mistakes are rectified, the better. If any errors are resolved at the end of the product’s development, the entire app has to be re-worked on.

  1. Consistent! Consistent! Consistent! –

We stress on this point because many businesses have made mistakes in the past that cost them more money than required. Make sure that you are consistent with your requirements. That is why planning ahead is very essential. Altering changes during the process means additional cost.

As you cut down development cost, do not compromise on ‘quality’.

Mobile Apps in Health and Fitness

The whole world we live in has been harping on the needs of having a safe fitness regime inculcated into our daily lives. To make things easier, scientists say that the best way to accomplish the task without the slightest deviation from the routine is to have technology involved to keep giving you the necessary nudge.

Off late there was a new app released called MyBehavior that assists in fitness. The app helps by logging in details on your daily routine such as the food you eat and the list of energy burning activities performed for the day. The app also shares details on food choices that you could make and activities that you could perform to burn the necessary calories that you actually need.

Though there are many other fitness apps that count calories and keep you updated with information, MyBehavior actually focusses on the person’s behavior and customizes a routine based on the individual’s routine. The task accomplished here is customization, which isn’t seen on other apps.

An apps credibility can be identified by its achievements, and these can only be proved by results shown. A study had been conducted using 16 people on Android smartphones for a period of 14 weeks. As a result, the users reduced their intake by 150 cals/day and burned more than 45 cals/day. This created a staggering impact on the fitness of the individual proving the credibility of the app.

The app accomplishes its task by acting as a fitness trainer. It literally makes the person run that extra mile by talking him into it explaining the number of calories he/she would burn. It makes note of your missed physical activities and tells them on the efforts lost and calories gained. These act as positive reinforcements that push the person forward.

Besides focusing on your activities, the app allows you to take pictures of your meals to save as a food log. If the app finds that you frequently take to a particular dish such as a burger or a meaty stake. The app tries to put you in the right direction by sharing a few healthy options.

Who would have even have guessed that an app can serve you in such a methodic way. It identifies your fitness routine and acts as a personal trainer guiding you in the right direction. Well, if you have an app that needs to be branded or an app idea that you want to get developed give us a call.

 

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