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When it comes to designing your app, few things are as critical as the actual look and feel your customer experiences using your mobile application. In fact, it is not uncommon to see up to 75% of apps downloaded, deleting after first use due to an unforgiving or difficult first usage.

 

Navigation must be intuitive

Using recognizable patterns immediately identifies how a user can get around your mobile app. This is achieved through hamburger buttons, for example, using recognizable icons such as the ‘home’ icon for the home screen or a chat bubble to indicate messaging. When users have to think about navigating, they will lose interest and begin to disengage from the mobile app.

 

Seamless across all devices

All design elements must mirror one another, irrespective of the device used. Not only will this help the user it will also build brand trust in your company.

 

Focusing on user goals

Goals expected for a mobile user are or might be different from those on a desktop. Let’s use a restraint app for example. Mobile users may only want to see the menu, make a reservation or get directions as their main priority. Desktop users though may take the time to look for reviews, history of the restaurant etc. The desktop information can be hidden under sub-menus on the mobile app instead.

 

Allow for personalization

Personalization is always the key when it comes to mobile apps. Using this approach, pushes the user toward content that they were originally looking for and away from anything irrelevant to them at the time. This will eliminate distractions and allows for things like streamlining the purchase process.

Keep in mind that too much personalization can also be a trap to avoid. Levels in personalization need to match the level of user trust the customer already has with the company or the app.

 

Final thoughts

The above user experience design principles will create a better customer experience for your app. Designers have mere seconds to keep the attention of an unforgiving public on their initial first use. The bar has been raised. No longer can companies think of mobile design as an afterthought.

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In a recent survey by Gartner, the future of app development rests with multi-experience. This is based on user application touchpoints, changes in modalities and the expansion of device types coming to market.

 

Enterprise applications

Regardless of the popularity of browser base application touchpoints, mobile device apps are continuously on the rise. Smartwatches, smartphones and voice-driven devices, all immersive devices, permeate the industry today. Their modes of interaction; type, touch, gestures and natural language all expand across the digital user’s journey.

Out of enterprises who have developed at least three different types of applications (other than web apps), the most common one out of them is mobile apps, reaching 91 percent inclusion. Conversational applications are the second-most commonly developed application, coming in at 73 percent for voice apps and 60 percent for chatbots.

 

The tech behind multi-experience development

Among the most popular developments used to support multi-experience app development are cloud-hosted artificial intelligence (AI) services, followed by native iOS and Android development. As image and voice recognition grows so does the demand for these applications.

 

Business impact

It remains true that mobile apps are still in high demand. They are expected to remain in the lead for applications projected to have the most impact on business success in 2020. Following mobile apps are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.

 

Barriers to overcome

The top barrier to building a compelling multi-experience application is the need for companies and their IT to be in alignment. Over 25 percent of a recent survey noted that shortcomings in developer skills and user experience expertise posed a barrier. Skills gaps must be identified and addressed in relation to emerging technologies and digital initiatives. This may mean training for some and bringing in a developer with prior experience on contract or as a consulting third party to provide the solution.

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What is Agile?

Agile methodology is a practice used to promote continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) of a project. Think of these iterations as sprints. Each one takes you to the next as you work to completing the project.

 

Agile roles

 

Research:The goal here is to gather as much information as possible from clients to meet the requirements laid out earlier. Product needs are finalized at this stage.

 

Design:Usually one or two sprints are created for the client. The first is a prototype of the product that goes to the client to see what it will look like. The second may be in response to changes the client now wishes to add or formal development begins at this point.

The agile process is broken into individual models that designers can work on. This benefits the smaller projects of the app development which can be initiated and concluded quicker, being ready for integration to the main project application when it is time. Errors for each area are spotted much faster using small project groups focused on parts of the project software and not the whole software code.

 

Advantages of Agile in Mobile App Development

  • Focuses more on client process and requires continuous involvement of the client.
  • Teams are more motivated and self-organized
  • Assures that the quality of the development is maintained through sprints and check points along the way.
  • The entire process is based on incremental progress. Both client and teams are aware of what is and isn’t complete. Risk of communication issues is reduced.

 

Limitations of Agilein Mobile App Development

  • Not a useful method for very small development projects
  • It does require an experienced leader to make important decisions in the meeting
  • Cost of implementing agile is a bit more than other methodologies.
  • If the project manager is not clear in communicating the outcome they want, the project can easily go off track.
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It comes as no surprise that mobile apps have been reshaping business for years now and have become an essential part of the eCommerce ecosystem. Regardless of what the business is, every organization benefit from app technology to maximize growth and audience reach. With the evolution of smartphones alone, it became easier to millions of users on no time at all.

 

AI makes apps smarter

Not only does AI (artificial intelligence) make apps smarter, it also saves a lot of money for companies. Think about how companies have leveraged chatbots. According to Gartner, chatbots will have saved companies about $8 billion between 2018 and 2020.

AI will integrate with apps for more enhanced voice assistance to users in customer support circles. Think of Googles introduction of Duplex. This AI program can make calls on behalf of humans and will accept calls from humans looking to book appointments with local businesses.

 

IoT

IoT (Internet of Things)has become an industry unto itself. This technology allows people to control the non-IT equipment near them via remote controls in apps. This convenience has become essential to users lives, and making developers keep up the pace of making apps IoT friendly.

 

Wearable apps

Most tech giants now offer some type of wearable device, including smartwatches and fitness bands as the most popular. Most of these devices operate on their own OS keeping to a true mobile operating system. Developers will need to consider wearable devices separately when choosing the platform for their applications. Integration with smartphones will also need to be built-in.

Business Insider holds true to their claim that the wearable market for these devices will increase at least 35 percent by the end of 2019.

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Progressive Web Applications (PWA)is the bridge between mobile and web applications. They are built upon using standard web technologies. JavaScript, HTML and CSS are used to provide an app-like experience to the user. eCommerce businesses favor PWAs due to their app-like user experience, offline features and high-performance capabilities.

Key Features of PWAs

  • Reliable and work offline. Great when the network is unpredictable.
  • User experience similar to native apps.
  • No download required from a play or app store.
  • Fast, very responsive and do not occupy larger memory space.
  • Economical vs their native app cousins. Reduction in development and maintenance costs.
  • Platform independent. Compatible with multiple differing operating systems and device browsers.

Native mobile applications (a.k.a. Native apps) have already proved themselves to be great to work with. Developers have access to low level hardware that is not available in PWA. They’ve been largely developed for Android and iOS platforms and make use of Java for Android, Swift for iOS and C# for Windows systems.

Key Features of Native Apps

  • Easily integrated with mobile device hardware and software – Bluetooth, camera WiFi etc.
  • Uses built-in features like GPS, Camera, Sensor.
  • Auto memory management.
  • Auto-updates makes it more secure.
  • Play store offers variations of mobile applications easily discoverable.

So, PWA or Native apps?

PWAs are great for small businesses who look for a fast go-to-market solution that is easier on the budget. For those new to online presence, PWAs can help save on development time and cost. They’ve proven themselves very useful for some well-established businesses as well (Starbucks, Twitter, Pinterest, Trivago to name a few). If the goal is to publish outside the various app stores, then PWA is definitely the way to go.

Native apps on the other hand should not be ruled out so fast. PWAs cannot take advantage of device features nor can it surpass the high performance and security offered by native app development solutions. News publishers, blog sites, B2B eCommerce companies are a few whose best interest is in adopting Native application development.

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When you think about successful people and how they achieved success what comes to mind on how they were able to reach such possibilities? Do you think it was luck? Oh he was destined to be wealthy because of this or that? Do you really think wealth happens without earning it?I can’t speak for miracles but I can from personal experiences of putting in the hard work, day in and day out persistently. My friends and colleagues remember my first app published and are still in awe when they hear I’m still doing apps as if they thought I was going to quit years ago. Nope, I don’t give up that easily! I’m also not an expert but I am trying my best at what I do.

There’s something about writing a piece of code and watching these devices do exactly how and what you want it to do that amazes me.

Call it passion, obsession, or a habit of wanting to learn and try new things with new technologies and programming languages. I had my first light bulb moment when playing around with C++, but I finally have found my outlet in mobile app development. This all didn’t happen overnight, it took time of learning, trying new things, and taking risks.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

~ Calvin Coolidge

So let’s start today to put your idea in execution! Keep at it and let me know how it turns out in 5, 10, and 15 years from now. We have to remind people who want it now and quick, that success doesn’t come overnight. Those stories you read about “overnight success” is not the full story! Here are some examples:

James Dyson – created dyson vacuums, it took 5,127 failed prototypes and 15 years before his “overnight success”.

Gary Vaynerchuck – turned his families wine business from $3 million to $60 million in 5 years.

Colonel Sanders – the KFC guy got rejected over 1,000 times for his chicken recipe but still went for it.

So whatever your passion is go for it, don’t let family or friends tell you what to do because they failed in life, do what drives you so that success can find you. Don’t take advice from a quitter. If the person you take advice from never had a business, failed and gave up, or never take risks in life then its probably good idea to ignore it.

Cheers!

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It’s that time of year again where students prepare for back to school! Before you send off the kiddos, make sure they grab a few of these apps to have them be more organized and prepared for school.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links.

 

  1. Citation Generator by JG

When it comes to APA format essays, this app is your best friend! Citation Generator creates the in-text citations and references for your APA format essays. It features over 25 sources to choose from, tutorials, and template of an APA format sample document that’s already configured to meet all APA format document requirements.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store
  1. Thesis Generator by JG

This app goes hand in hand with Citation Generator as it helps speed up your thinking process and get the essay started. Ever get stuck trying to know what to say in your essay or how to start it? Then this is the app for you! It takes in your opinions and spits out a thesis statement, over 9 to choose from with essay outline guidelines. This is a must have for any essay writer!

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store Amazon App Store
  1. MLA Citation Generator by JG

For those pesky MLA format essay requirements, we have MLA Citation Generator! Not all school use MLA format but if they do, make sure to download MLA Citation Generator to help you generate in-text citations and references! Same features as APA Citation Generator with a template sample document to download. Very useful app to have.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store Amazon App Store
  1. iHomework 2 by Paul Pilone

This app is great at keeping you organized. Track your classes, teachers, and projects. Available on iPhone and Apple Watch. Give it a try, it might be a great solution for you.

Itunes App Store
  1. Flashcard Hero by Kitestack Software

The good old days have making flash cards on index cards are long gone. Flashcard Hero let’s you easily create cards and quizzes by syncing between Mac and iPhone.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store
  1. WiFi Scanner by AccessAgility

Nice app for the Mac that let’s you scan Wifi signals and can access all kinds of information. This app isn’t just great for trying to find wifi access at school but also for around town such as coffee shops.

Mac App Store
  1. My Grades & Homework by Roxanne Brittain

Cool grade tracking app for your iPhone!

Itunes App Store
  1. StudyBlue by StudyBlue Inc

This app does it all! Create flash cards, take quizzes, write and view class notes from other students.

Itunes App Store
  1. Notability by Ginger Labs

Notes galore! Very cool app that lets you write notes and be creative, check it out!

Itunes App Store Mac App Store
  1. Scanner Pro 7 by Riddle

Forget about this big machines that scan your documents, with Scanner Pro 7 you can scan any document and edit the text from your iPhone!

Itunes App Store
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The thought of having a business, solely based on simply creating mobile applications through our creative minds to then be pushed off to a driven company that handles the transactions and logistics is simply amazing. 

The Opportunity

According to Statista “The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019”. https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

 

That’s over 2.1 billion people using smartphones every single day! Just take a moment to think about this. There is over 2.1 billion people who are a tap away from downloading your app. If this doesn’t make you excited, as far as seeing a great opportunity, than I don’t know what will. In another view, we can examine what its like for a retail store to get exposure. The store is stuck at 1 location in one city. Unless its able to open new stores and be online, it still has a problem with people not able to find them. Now for apps they still have a discovery problem, this is where niche apps come into play. If your app fills a need it is better positioned as all it takes is a tap away rather than needing to drive to a single located retail store which seems inconvenient.

The App Store Risks

If your apps are only available in one app store, or even all the top 5 app stores (iTunes, Mac App Store, Google Play, Amazon, and Microsoft), you are at mercy to them. 

Any policy changes they make, which they do quite often, can either, raise your profits, keep them steady, make app discovery harder, or put you out of business altogether, overnight, most of times without notice. Not to mention some stores require annual fee’s to have the “privilege” to sell on their app store with of course a 30% cut from each app sale. The 30% cut the app stores take can be a bit hefty but for indie app developers like myself I see it favorable since they are taking care of the app transactions, refunds, and a online marketplace.

Because of the many risks it is always better to diversify through different app stores or if your brave enough, sell direct to consumers through your own personal website. Although you need to set in place merchant account to accept credit cards, transactions, refunds, ways to fight off pirates, more expensive website hosting services to handle the traffic, withholding taxes for every jurisdiction including overseas (app stores handles some of these), and advertising.

Conclusion

So the opportunity of over 2.1 billion smartphone users globally, this is definitely a great opportunity to be in for app developers. As with any type of business there is always some kind of risk, the risks outlined here are the risks associated with app developers. It is really easy to get into this type of business and if you have the drive and consistency to do it, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be successful. You need to create valuable apps but not depend on just 1 app. I’ve read plenty of developers complain how it doesn’t work for them or blame other circumstances instead of there own. It takes hard work and dedication to creating new apps. There are apps that make money, ones that don’t even get 1 download but based on your situation the best solution is to just make a better one and move on. Complaining about a situation doesn’t get us anywhere or make us into a better person either. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed but what is, is what we can control and that is our mind and how we respond to challenges and if we have the courage to solve them, results will show up. 

Build out your app empire and watch the market grow with your app journey.

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You either have results or excuses, which outcome would you prefer to live with?

I’ve noticed everyone has an app idea. Most are terrible but some are actually great ideas to pursue. However, it’s not the idea itself that matters but the way it is executed from creation to marketing. There is an app called “Yo”, all it does is send a simple yo message to your friends. According to Tech Crunch it was funded over $1.5 million from investors. I wouldn’t consider anyone’s app idea any less worthy of it’s potential success but this also doesn’t mean that every dumb idea will be successful funded either. Don’t make excuses on making that app idea of yours.

 

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn#inspire #NoMoreExcuses pic.twitter.com/on2XEk66oT

— Jonathan Gillman (@jonathangillman) May 7, 2017

 

So my advice is if your app idea gets you excited, go make it happen, whatever it takes. Let the market validate your idea, if it fails, learn why it failed, pick yourself up, and try another idea.

Welcome to appreneurship.

 

Check out 8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health

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Before I started making mobile apps I was known as the computer guy who friends and family automatically volunteered my time freely to help everyone with their tech gadgets. While I do love helping people, it was getting a little out of hand and had to put an end to that. Since I’ve evolved into creating apps everyone tells me their “million dollar app ideas” and how I should make it for them and we could split the profits solely based on them giving me an idea. Needless to say I do all the work while they wait until I publish and they collect their share right? Nope sorry! That’s not how I work around here. The thing is, everyone has some app idea that they believe is worth a million dollars. While I can agree some ideas probably are, the factor that determines if an app is successful isn’t how pretty it is but how the market responds to it. It also takes quite a lot of hard work and patience. Some apps don’t hit big downloads its first month or even 5th, I’ve seen some hit a year later.

I have tons of app ideas written down all around my office but only a few ever get chosen. The thing for me is I have to have the passion for the idea to work, this passion is what I need to fuel my drive to finish the app all the way through. The process of creating an app, as simple as it sounds can reach complexities in the backend code that not even the best software engineers can predict or fully know until we dive in. It’s not uncommon to have to change the look and feel of software based on limitations or certain features allowed per device. Being an app developer is very rewarding but also has it’s challenges where the coder has to make the best decision for the circumstances given.

Ideas are a dime a dozen but, execution is how you get it done.

When I first had inspiration to create apps, all I had was an idea. I took that idea, laid out plans on how to make it happen and did it! My advice to you is if you have a burning desire for that app idea then make it today. The only person stopping your progress is you. If you don’t know how to create an app, find out how, look it up on the internet, its all freely available. What are you waiting for? If there’s no burning desire then you don’t have enough fuel to pursue it. At this point just forget about it and move on with life.

Should I make someone sign an non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for my app idea?

Are you serious? The likelihood of someone stealing your idea is slim to none. Even if they do pursue it their version will be completely different than yours. You came up with the idea, you possess the creativity that the other person lacks so you will be ahead of them anyways.

Someone stole my app idea, now what?

Great! This just verifies that your heading the right path or at least there’s opportunities awaiting. Just because someone has same app idea doesn’t mean you can’t create your own unique version of it. Don’t copy it though, make it unique with your own features that drive value.

I have a few competitors who offer free versions of similar app features mine possess. Since they hit the app store I’ve noticed my sales increase. I might send a thank you letter to my competitors one day 🙂

My perspective on receiving app ideas almost every week.

I love talking to enthusiastic people! I try to network with others as much as possible and when I talk about apps I seem to always get some kind of app idea. I’ll try to give my honest feedback but I tell everyone the same thing: if you want to create an app, then do it yourself! Unless you have money to invest with but honestly you’ll gain more by learning the process and creating the app yourself. It’s not uncommon to hear how their app idea is better than X company and is worth a trillion dollars. That’s all great but until action has been taken anyone can exaggerate. Some of my apps that I thought would succeed actually failed while others that I didn’t have high hopes for is doing pretty good.

Should you Share your app idea with friends and family?

My answer is no! The reason behind this is they are too afraid to be honest with you. Also because depending on how your app performs isn’t what your friends or family thinks, it’s how the market responds to it. Is it in high demand? Does it solve a problem? Market research is a valuable thing to do prior to execution of your app idea.

Closing

So you have an app idea, the first thing to do is search up on how to make apps. Learn how to code, publish to app stores, and make it happen!

Let me know how it turns out. If all else fails you can always hire developers too. Maybe I’ll lend a hand for you. Good luck!

Cheers!