The statement “There’s an app for that” reigns true.
Whether it’s social media apps, shopping apps, or even games to help the time go by, most people spend hours on various mobile applications every day.
The average American spends over three hours on their phones every day. This is why more companies have looked to app stores to support and expand their business the increased marketability and accessibility to customers.
The development of mobile apps has led to an increase in accessibility to users. To stay competitive on the Appstore, you need to keep in touch with the top technologies in app development.
As a company CEO, manager, or owner it is important to be well versed in enterprise application development technologies, so you can best work ongoing digital to expand your clientele. Here is some information on mobile app development technologies to stay up to speed with the ever-changing digital market.
Why Mobile Apps are Important
Mobile apps are accessible and can be used for a multitude of purposes. Whether it’s a public or private app it can be used to further develop your company or business.
A private or enterprise app is similar to a public app, however, it can only be accessed by authorized users. For example, a private app may be used for a company’s internal operations. Public apps are the apps you are used to finding on your iOS, Android, or Windows stores.
Mobile Apps Can Lower Your Company Expenses
Mobile apps can expand a company’s market and clientele at the touch of a button. Through effective mobile advertising and apps and in-app purchases, you can increase your companies revenue and brand recognition.
The use of enterprise apps within a company can increase productivity. Through streamlined communication and clear-cut steps, it is much easier for workers to maximize their time and increase output without an increase in payable hours.
Additionally, the use of in-house enterprise apps can help lower the cost of team training in different certifications by taking all of these processes digital. This saves the company money by not having to bring in a professional and allows the company to build in an incentive program for employees and increase internal company accountability.
One of the most common uses of in-app training is employee onboarding. This introductory training is usually a financial loss to the company however, with digital programming this expense can be cut.
Not only can enterprise apps lower your company expenses but sometimes they can be used to generate revenue. By selling advertising space within your company app you can generate a profit by selling advertisements.
Enterprise Application Development Can Streamline Operations
The use of mobile apps in a company’s daily operations can help to consolidate information and connect different departments of a large company. The use of an enterprise app should help to make a company more efficient.
When creating a business model for your app developer, strive to make something that is both profitable and efficient. Through the use of an enterprise app, you can work on consolidating company resources and make working easier on the go.
By making everything accessible in one location, you’re able to remove the waste of resources typically spent sifting through digital company clutter. Most enterprise apps also come equipped with an internal communication widget, this works like instant messaging and can make communication across departments effective.
The customer experience can be enhanced when businesses implement a mobile app. Mobile apps enable you to further foster a connection with customers by providing constant contact, intentional user engagement, and personalized services.
Customers feel appreciated when they know that someone is always on-call. It can be frustrating when you try to use the Help button on an app and just get an answering machine giving you business hours. It makes users feel as if they are valued, that’s why providing an on-call business representative feature can further cultivate the client to company bond.
Another way to increase user engagement is by embedding gamification features within your mobile app. Gamification is a marketing strategy used to add points and incentive systems into an app.
Through gamification not only can you give points or rewards to employees who are hitting deadlines and exceeding expectations, but you can also provide rewards to customers who have exhibited customer loyalty. These types of reward programs make the user feel appreciated.
A great way to further connect with your clients is to show that you could be adaptable to them. By making their experience with your company tailor-made you can make their interactions with your company more enjoyable.
Through regular data collection, you can help to personalize someone’s experience by showcasing specific features of your company. This personalized experience makes a user feel more comfortable in your app and increases the likelihood of positive engagement with your company.
You want to work to ensure that app users have built enough trust with your brand that they feel comfortable that you will keep their data secure.
Steps to Develop Your Mobile App
Developing an app can be overwhelming. From formalizing the content to mapping out specs to long-term maintenance it is a lot for a company to take on. That is why software development companies can help you even after the mobile application has been published.
Through an introductory consultation, mobile app development companies can help you define your goals, draft prospective features, and build out a long-term maintenance plan. Developing an app should be looked at as an investment by a company. Most companies benefit from the professional use of an app, however, without a well-strategized development plan likelihood of success is minimal.
There are opportunities to work with a developer from goal setting to post-publishing. If you can find the right company that intends to carry your application past the finish line, the long-term support can be a major asset.
Define App Purpose
Before you get into coding and putting your app on the market, you need to conduct thorough research. Through market research, you can build a comprehensive brand, figure out a strategy for your app, and figure out how to best accommodate your target audience.
Your extensive market research may lead you to “shopping around” on the App Store. By shopping around, you’re able to compare your prospective app with your competitors’. With this kind of research, conducting marketing product test groups, and clearly defining the function of the app you can begin building your website.
By researching, you should be able to figure out what different pages and widgets you will need to embed into your app. It is important to have a clear plan so you can effectively develop your app.
Create a Timeline
The research and development phase of an app can take a considerable amount of time. Many companies complain that they’re not pleased with the extended process of app development. It is important during your first sit down with a developer to build out an ideal timeline.
According to Enterprise CIO, 76% of IT professionals say that mobile app development usually takes more than three months. Depending on the potential issues in app development and the desired capabilities of the software this timeframe can be extended as well.
Determine Features Needed
Once you figured out what you want the app to do it’s a lot easier to decide what features you need to be added.
If this is an internal company app, you might want to add things such as training, a company calendar, or a communication feature. If this is a public app, you may want to also embed a sign-in feature so you can easily personalize the user experience. Once you’ve determined your app’s purpose, it is much easier to decide step-by-step how to build your app.
Some features you may want to consider adding to your app include:
- Sign-in and login
- Company About Us page
- Mailbox integration
- Appointment scheduling
- Internal communication feature
- GPS tracker
- Virtual training
- Gamified incentive tracker
- Contact Us
Different features such as these can help to consolidate the user’s needs and help them to maximize the use of their time.
When creating a list of features and mapping out the specs for your mobile application, it can be helpful to enlist a developer for a consultation. You want to ensure that the developer you are working with understands your company’s internal structure and goals so they can also think intuitively about potential features to approach you about adding that may enhance the user experience.
By helping a prospective developer gain a move holistic view of your company’s purpose and company structure you can utilize their experiences in web development to generate a list of potential features that can help improve your app.
Draw Out Your App Budget
Building a budget for your app is one of the most important things to do to make sure that you’re staying on track and that your app is enhancing your business or company, not hurting it.
You need to factor in the cost of the initial development of the app and build a financial plan around long-term maintenance and potential future updates. This is why a long-term perspective on financing your mobile application is important. Some apps have to be stopped in the development stage because they weren’t properly funded.
When starting to build out your budget you need to complete a full financial analysis.
- How the app will financially benefit you?
- Will it lower the company’s overhead cost?
- Will you profit from add space?
- Are you charging for the use of the app?
Answering these questions can help to add some clarity on the potential long-term financial benefits of app development.
By this point, you’ve already done your target audience analysis and can hopefully determine which platform you should be developing your app for. Whether it’s Windows, iOS, or Android there’s going to be a cost difference between these three common application platforms.
The largest expenses come from app maintenance and development. There is usually a large cost difference depending on if you decide to outsource or produce and maintain your app in house.
App developers know that once an app goes live online there’s more to be done. Apps need updates, improvements, and fixes constantly. This is a big part of the long-term budget that needs to be factored in as well. Typically annual maintenance is approximately 15% of the original research and development cost.
Decide How To Do App Maintenance
After publishing your app on the App Store there is more work to be done.
If you choose to outsource your app development, you can inquire if the company also provides long-term maintenance services. If you choose to produce your application in-house, you want to ensure that you hired a well-qualified app developer who is committed to staying on long-term.
Apart from fixing glitches and providing routine updates, a maintenance team for an app is also able to compile user interactions with the app and create long-term data points. By keeping a record of user feedback, the maintenance team can create changes to further personalize users’ interactions with the app.
Coding Languages are Key
To develop an app, you need to learn to speak computer.
Computers have learned many languages, so to be an up to speed web development company it’s important to ensure that you can provide literacy in the top coding languages in use.
You need to hire an app developer as your translator because you don’t have the time it takes to learn a foreign language and apply it to coding. To make things further complicated, there are many different coding languages that mobile app developers can use.
Java is one of the most commonly used programming languages, it’s fairly simple to learn and write and is object-oriented. Although this language is platform-independent and can be easily used between systems comparatively it is slower than other coding languages.
HTML5 is the up-to-date hypertext mark up language. It is commonly used on cross-platform applications and shows a lot of consistent elements between a mobile app and website development when in use. HTML5 does require a modern web browser to help support it, so it cannot be used for an independent app.
When it comes to platform-specific coding iOS apps tend to be created using Objective-C or Swift programming. The purpose of these platform-favored languages is to show consistency across all Apple devices. Apple created the iOS platform to be compatible with their range of devices.
Unlike Java or HTML, These coding languages are not universally used or taught. If you are looking to create an app that is custom-made for the iOS platform, you should seek a developer who has specialized in these iOS-specific languages.
Objective-C was iOS’s first programming language however since Apple added Swift as a programming language in 2014 developers have been slowly moving to Swift as it is a more compact language and can be more versatile.
Deciding which language you want to program in can have a lot of effect on the user experience. With your app’s goals in mind and communication with your developer, you can best decide what language would most enhance your app.
Different Approaches for App Creation
The three primary different types of mobile app development approaches are web, hybrid, and native. Each approach has its benefits and can be utilized differently. Your app developer must look into which development approach will be best to meet your goals and objectives.
Depending on the goals and prospective specs of your app going into development, your developer may choose to utilize a specific app development approach. Due to the different types of coding, you should keep in mind what coding languages your developers specialize in when looking into different enterprise application development approaches.
Think of a web developed app like a website. You can create a shortcut to your phone’s home screen but that is as close as it will get to be an icon on your phone’s home screen. Web developed applications also can not be found on the App Store, due to their ties to a web browser you are unable to install this application to your device.
These apps are dependent on a constant Internet connection to be fully functional. They are fully operative if they are to be used in an office setting or on a work phone with high-speed unlimited data.
The native development approach is designed specifically for the platform it’s going to be distributed on. By developing the app-specific to a platform developers can use premium features.
- iOS apps are developed using Apple’s XCode
- Android apps are developed through Java and Eclipse
- Windows apps are developed through Visual Studio
Native mobile app development grants the developer the optimum level of control over app performance. In terms of maintenance, your developer would have total access to handling glitches and troubleshooting.
The largest downside that comes from using a native development approach is that there is a very large expense in creating an app for multiple platforms. To make a versatile app, they must create the app in three different coding languages.
Given the contrast between the web development approach and the native development approach, hybrid shares characteristics with both.
Hybrid app development is highly used across multiple platforms. It allows you to build one code base and make edits for iOS, Android, or Windows platforms.
Hybrid apps are completely self-contained. They are not relying on an independent browser to support them like a web development approach and can be used on different platforms with minor changes.
Find the App Development Approach that Works for You
Selecting which app development approach is going to work best for you will be a balancing act. You will need to balance your audience’s needs and your budget.
When it comes to selecting which develop an approach is going to be best for your business, is important to factor in the cost. Although native approaches are going to be more tailor-made to the platform, if you’re trying to cater outside of one platform and have a limited budget this won’t be the right choice for you.
Why Not a Universal Code?
It may be frustrating from a business perspective that you have to produce three different apps for three different platforms.
However, using a universal code for your app development that can be used across iOS, Android, and Windows would lack a lot of features and be minimally adaptable for updates. The most refined apps are personalized to their platform to make the user experience pleasurable.
What App Developing Plan Will You Choose?
Building an app is not a one size fits all experience.
If you choose to work with an enterprise application development company, you want to ensure that they play an active role in creating your business goals and mapping out app specs. Professional insight can help make this experience more enjoyable as it can help to make research and development more effective.
Companies should look at enterprise application development as an opportunity for investment. Although it requires serious input on the front end, the benefits one finalized can pay dividends.
To get started on bringing your business to an App Store get connected with an effective mobile app developer.