Why Doesn't Your Mobile App Strategy Work? 5 Killer Steps To Avoid A Failure
Are you planning to develop your own app? Software development companies can come to the rescue when you face certain pitfalls on your way. But before choosing the app development company, first, you must determine what your app should be. That is you need to find the correct strategy applicable in your case.
There is no a single good and unique mobile app strategy that would be appropriate for everybody. You should remember that everything depends on your specific requirements. Considering and analyzing them, you can find something special for you app development. Are you ready to find out?
Step 1: Native app vs hybrid app or why not a cross platform?
Let’s start from the very beginning - that is from the selection of the app type. What platform you will choose, and what platform type will be more acceptable for you.
Mobile website, mobile app - they are different. Each of them serves it's goal, but the app can be more advantageous at the expense of wider capabilities and high responsive interface. This interface makes it possible to interact with a smartphone or tablet in a more comfortable way. Furthermore, such app can work without a permanent Internet connection.
See how much does it take to create an app. Read How much does it cost to develop an app?
For today, there are native and cross-platform mobile app development alternatives. Each of these approaches has it's particularity that critically affects a final result. Let’s check strong and weak sides of these two approaches to understand what technology is better.
What is a native app? Native apps such as an Internet browser, address book, media player and other software installed by default provide a basic level of a smartphone using.
The app can be called native when programmers use one specific language for the specific platform - Java for Android, Swift for iOS etc. Native apps can interact with all services and options of a smartphone like a camera, microphone, geolocation, accelerometer etc. In a short, these apps are in their element.
Cross-platform app development
Think about a mobile website that doesn’t need to connect to the Internet all the time. As for it's design, it is closer to cross-platform. Therefore, it can be referred to a mobile app instead of a website.
However, if we speak about the solution of specific tasks, it would be much more efficient to combine these approaches - apply cross-platform advantages of HTML for a content design, but create native control elements and menu spending not so much money and time. That is what hybrid apps are.
Let’s check out hybrid apps example. A customer needs ordinary news feed where only images and text will be available. Considering it, a developer decides to apply a cross-platform alternative. However, when a client needs his app to contain a huge amount of data and process sound and graphics, the process turns out to be more complicated. To implement it, developers need to write a native code for each specific platform. Thus, a cross-platform app turns into a hybrid app.
What app type is better?
So what is better?
You should develop a native app if:
- your app must have a free interaction with all smartphone services;
- you need to have an app with high responsiveness;
- your app must function in offline mode;
- the hardware part of devices must be used in a most efficient way.
You can create a cross-platform app if:
- you don’t need a high app response;
- an app doesn’t have complicated animation and doesn’t make calculations;
- an app needs an instant Internet connection to upload a content;
- you need to convert your website into the app for not a high price.
Considering all the above, you can see that you should understand what aim you follow when you want to create an app. It will help you choose the correct app type, no matter whether it be cross-platform or hybrid mobile app.
But if you are still hesitating, our developers can help you choose the best alternative for your project and turn it into reality as well.
Step 2: Responsive app and how to increase responsiveness
But If you made a decision and have a strong intention to create a native app for the mobile device, then you must pay rapt attention to the app responsiveness. It is very important and now we will explain it to you in detail.
What is an app responsiveness? Website interface must function very quickly. Beyond any doubt, long waiting for a web page loading annoys everybody. That is why it is necessary to take care of quick loading of the page.
Also, responsiveness means some type of cooperation with users. In other words, it means that an interface should inform users about what happens. For instance, you push a “Send message” button. If the message is sent with the help of AJAX, it would be preferable to display a status like “Sending...” or “Sent”. When users see the process, they feel more comfortable.
See how to choose between adaptive and responsive web designs. Read Responsive web design vs adaptive web design?
If we speak about Android operating system, there is a feature when the system shows ANR window (App Not Responding) if an app doesn’t respond. The window suggests the user shut down the app or wait. But when you develop an app, responsiveness requirement is critical for it to cut out an ANR dialog window appearance as much as possible. So your app launch strategy should include this point in any case.
App Not Responding window
Usually, the system shows ANR if an app doesn’t respond to the user’s actions. As a rule, response time in 100-200 ms is a threshold for the perceptible slowing of the app.
There are some hints how to avoid ANR and make your app responsive in a higher grade:
- If your app is performing some tasks, let it display progress status showing how much is done and how much is to be done. You can use such widget as ProgressBar;
- If your app has a long initial phase of launch and initialization, consider a capability to show a splash screen or make the rendering of the main page faster showing that loading is in the process and meanwhile fill all required information. In a short, users want to see that app is working, not lagging, and they should know that the process will be finished soon successfully;
- Use performance tools to determine weak points in your app responsiveness.
Therefore, when you start developing your app, you must understand that if your app is slow and lagging, it will never attract users. It will only gain bad reputation since users don’t like to wait. They want everything to get quickly, mind it.
Step 3: Extend your app experience
We already noted that the app is usually created for specific device and platform. it means that if you develop it for smartphones - you mind all technical details required for a smartphone OS version. If the app must be acceptable for both a smartphone and tablet, you should not forget about the difference in screen sizes. But what if you need your application to be deployed in other devices than just smartphone or tablet? Let’s figure it out to clarify the third step of app marketing strategy.
For example, when you use Android devices, you know that today not only mobile phones and tablets can have Android OS installed. OS from Google includes much more in it's list:
Smart TV for watching movies and surfing the web. Your app can also be installed after relevant approval;
Android Smart TV with mupltiple features
Smartwatches and other wearables like fitness trackers allow other people to make use of your app if it is acceptable for them;
Android smartwatch - follow the map route using watch
If your app is multipurpose and can be beneficial even for drivers, you can try to add it to Google Play after detailed review for compliance with driver distraction rules.
Not bad option, yeah? But you didn’t get the answer to the main question - how is it possible to do one app for all Android devices and extend application experience? This is where Multiple APK support comes in.
This feature makes it possible to create different APKs for your app that are designed for many devices. Thus, Google Play makes it possible for the developers to publish many APKs using one application listing. So, when we do it in the development process, we add configuration support into each APK manifest file to all devices our customer needs and then, after release, Google Play sorts this app out to suggest it's installation on different devices like Android Watch or Android Auto.
Step 4: Define your MVP app features
You finally decided what app type you will have and what device it will be used for. Now you know what your users will benefit from.
Learn how you can profit with MVP. Read Minimum Viable Products as a start of your business
The fourth step is a selection of main features your app will contain. But depending on your business model, a number of these features can reach up to a few dozens and even more.
If your budget is unlimited, then you can afford to create a really powerful app. But while creating startups, developers often have a specific amount of funds they cannot exceed. So it is necessary to choose minimum viable product features your app cannot exist without.
Take all your features and rank them in accordance with their significance like “must-have”, “good” and “applicable”. You will see that there won’t be too many must-have features. Therefore, you’d better start with these essential features and add new features later after the first presentation to the public. It is a good way to create an app.
Moreover, if your app will be interesting for first users even with MVP features, it will mean you did everything right. In the near future, you can integrate more features. It will prevent you from wasting money on the app development.
Step 5: App indexing and it's importance
The last one but not the least fifth step - indexing of your app in the search engine.
It is very convenient if you can choose how you will find the website - using the app on your phone or via mobile search. For today, mobile search results can also show you the content of mobile apps.
Google simply uses bots surfing your website and look for new information. Google index contains all this information, and you can get access to it when you enter your request. So what is app indexing? Indexing is all new information available for search.
Until 2013 Google indexed only desktop and mobile networks while mobile app remained outside the Google influence. But then the situation has changed and Google provided users with new tools to make their app indexing available.
App Indexing example using Google
Google Webmaster Tools is the tool that Google uses for indexing of app content via website map. If users are looking for the information that is accessible in the app, and this app is installed on their phone, they can see this content only via the app without a necessity to use a mobile web page.
To display such external links in search, Google should immerse in your app and identify information. You can do the following to make it possible:
- Install Universal Links support for iOS. These are HTTP-links containing unified URL-address that is opening both in a specific website and in the app;
- Make indexing of apps in Google with the help of App Indexing API for Android system or apply UIApplicationDelegate methods for iOS;
- Convert web pages for browsing via mobile apps using layout scheme.
Google evidently relies on search via mobile devices instead of PC since company considers it more perspective. Indexing app integration definitely proves it.
Apps also include information that can be useful for the users. And processing of this information by search engines will help improve the quality of service in future.
Find out how to develop software using Agile methodology. Read Simple clients’ guide to Agile development methodology
All listed strategies are the cornerstones of any app development. When you follow development business strategy, app should include all 5 points mentioned above. But let us repeat again: it is impossible to find one solution that will be acceptable for all apps. Each app requires an individual approach. Our company has enough experience in the mobile and web development so we can help you find the best solutions.
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