The app stores of various platforms have over a million apps to download. But not all of them are financially stable. As a matter of fact, only a few are actually run efficiently. Gartner’s research on this topic seems to have found the same results as well. Though this may sound disheartening to organizations ready to invest in apps, it emphasizes the importance of understanding the factors that influence the success of a mobile app as a business.

Many businesses across the globe have been investing in mobile apps for a couple of years now, while the staggering development costs are deterring many others. However, mobile apps are only feasible if there is one or more specific business and financial goal.

Building an enterprise mobile app has been a hot trend for years, owing to which we now have a wealth of information like time-tested practices to ensure the success and stability of mobile apps.

Here are a few insights.

Platforms

Platform is one of the most influential factors when it comes to the success or failure of a mobile app. Among the two most popular platforms – iOS and Android, the former leads the race in respect of greater presence of apps that earn good revenue. But Android has started picking up pace as well being the platform with the most number of users. While the gap is closing between iOS and Android, Windows and BlackBerry are just faded images of what they used to be.

For a stable mobile app, a cross-platform development approach centered on a great native, device-specific user experience is a better investment compared to a more expensive native mobile app development or a risky one-for-all cross-platform development.

Lack of efficient distribution and marketing strategies

A great majority of apps, regardless of the platforms they are launched for, lack proper distribution and marketing strategies. The apps ultimately fail to reach its target user base, and soon fades away when similar, better marketed apps take over.

Successful apps adopt App Store Optimization (ASO) practices and pre-launch marketing strategies with a goal to get the target audience interested in the app and build up expectations. This way, when the app is actually launched, it will immediately get a lot of downloads. A good PR campaign can then leverage this exposure to garner even more success for the app.

User retention

For the app to keep generating revenue, it should primarily be capable of three things – entice, engage, and retain users. Once the app garners a decent user base, it can be upgraded based on their feedback to provide more value to them, thus retaining the user base over longer periods.

Apps that are not frequently used are at risk of getting uninstalled. To know what the users think of the app, analytics is important. Such analyses also give the development team insights on user behavior which can be helpful when devising user engagement strategies. Continuous engagement is the key to retaining users.

Conclusion

The growth of the mobile app development industry is evidently unstoppable. But such a growth also increases competition. Without a strategic, methodical focus on user retention based on user preferences, an app will most likely bite the dust as soon as it hits the market. If you want an app that will succeed, you need a developer with expertise. And you are at the right stop here at AOT. Contact us to learn how we consistently build successful apps.

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There are numerous ways to develop software in today’s age thanks to a wide array of development technologies and tools, programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. For mobile app development itself, there are methodologies and frameworks developers can choose from; each with their fair share of pros & cons.

For instance, developers can adopt an approach that either increases costs while eliminating risks or reduces costs while compromising on quality. There are practices that ensure optimal utilization of resources and more efficient project management. But development of an application is not where things end. Other aspects that are just as important as development are licensing and delivery of the application.

We will be discussing the benefits of one such licensing and delivery model in this blog – SaaS or Software as a Service.

SaaS Application

A SaaS application is a centrally hosted application that’s offered to customers as a subscription-based service i.e. the application will be running on the SaaS provider’s server and accessible to customers who’ve opted for paid subscriptions. So, users of the app are essentially ‘renting’ the app rather than owning it.

That said, let’s explore the key benefits of SaaS apps and SaaS app development.

A solution that improves efficiency

SaaS app development is to develop comprehensive, one-size-fits-all solutions so that businesses won’t have to spend money on multiple apps to serve various purposes. SaaS apps are tailored to suit various important needs of their target customers (businesses) including enhancing employee productivity and ensuring higher ROI. The solution improves the overall efficiency of a business.

Flexible pricing

For SMBs, the price tag of a SaaS application is a critical factor to consider. Many organizations have the resource to invest in in-house application development to build a personalized solution that perfectly aligns with their business goals. But this isn’t an option for many growing businesses especially SMBs.

Many great SaaS solution providers are open to negotiations when it comes to pricing. Some even offer convenient pay-as-you-go models for smaller, medium-sized businesses.

Minimum IT support

SaaS solutions don’t require a business to invest much in IT support which means they can focus their resources on core operations. The SaaS provider will handle hardware, software, OS, database requirements, maintenance, and other IT concerns associated with the SaaS application. It’s the provider’s responsibility to ensure that the business gets the best of what latest technologies have to offer.

Better accessibility & collaboration

Traditional applications will have to be accessed via the computer on which they are installed. SaaS applications are centrally hosted on the provider’s server which means that users will be able to access the application no matter where they are provided they are authorized to access it. SaaS apps also facilitate better collaboration as updates and changes are saved in real-time.

Conclusion

Though SaaS may be cost effective for SMBs, it’s not yet considered a great option for larger businesses with complex requirements. But the reasonable price tags and easy benefits have contributed to increasing the adoption of SaaS.

If you are reluctant to invest in SaaS, the next best thing would be custom application development which is our forte here at AOT. Get in touch with us to learn what your business needs to grow faster.

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According to Statista, by the last quarter of 2018, Google Play Store had over 2 million apps for download. With more businesses realizing that mobile apps are the best way to connect directly with their customers, the trend of developing mobile apps is only gaining more momentum. Through mobile apps, businesses can reach customers directly on their mobile devices, entice them to make purchases, reward them for their loyalty to the brand, gather feedback etc.

So essentially a mobile app allows businesses to

  • Build their brands
  • Stay connected with and engage their existing customers and new ones
  • Easily create loyal customer bases
  • Provide better support to customers and make things more convenient for them

Android App Development

With Android being the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, it’s no surprise that Android app development is a huge industry. Android developers practice a number of approaches when it comes to developing apps, with a more straightforward way being the use of Android Studio for development.

Android Studio is an IDE with all the necessary features to help developers build great apps provided they have the programming knowledge. Java is the most widely used programming language for backend development. Developers who are proficient in C#, C++, C or BASIC can use a number of SDKs akin to Android Native Development Kit along with Android Studio.

That said, this blog focuses on Android app development frameworks, and lists our pick of the top frameworks that every Android app developer should check out.

Xamarin

Xamarin made it to our list simply because of its huge popularity. It’s used by over a million users across the globe, and is the main framework of choice for C# enthusiasts. Xamarin offers a complete set of C# code base for app developers, both iOS and Android, to develop native applications. Xamarin for Visual Studio is also used by Android app developers to build native apps using .NET code base.

Ionic

Ionic is a free, open source mobile app development framework that became a smash hit in the app development community for a number of reasons. Licensed under the MIT License, Ionic is a cross-platform framework that allows one to build both progressive web apps and native mobile apps. It also comes with useful documentation features; something that can make things easier not just for rookie developers but experienced ones as well.

Kotlin

While Java is the most preferred language when it comes to developing Android apps, it isn’t easy to master. So Kotlin was introduced as an alternative, or may be a potential replacement deeming from how it was received by the developer community. Kotlin is easier to learn, and is interoperable with Java as it uses a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) i.e. codes in Kotlin can be run as Java code.

Despite Kotlin reducing the time and effort it takes to develop an Android app, many Java enthusiasts are still reluctant to invest in learning it. However, the developer community for Kotlin seems to be growing which could be an indication that Kotlin is already on its way to replace Java for good.

React Native

A name that’s certainly very familiar to experienced mobile app developers, React Native is the open source version of Facebook’s JavaScript framework. It’s used to build native mobile apps and is the first framework of choice for Fortune 500 companies like Tesla, Walmart, Instagram etc. One of the many interesting things that make React Native unique is that one won’t be able to distinguish between mobile applications developed using Java and React Native. It’s also possible to manually optimize native apps built using the framework by adding codes written in Swift, Objective C, or even Java.

Unity

Unity is technically a game engine developed by Microsoft, and is primarily used for creating 2D/3D games. However, it can be a great asset for cross-platform development as well. As its IDE is similar to Android Studio, many developers combine it with C# for mobile app development. Apps built using Unity are on a different league when it comes to appealing features.

Cordova

The good people behind Apache realized that mobile apps are basically an extension to web apps. Based on this, they developed a mobile app development framework that leverages the combined potential of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and named it Cordova. The free, open source Cordova allows developers to build multi-platform mobile apps using a single code base. Though designed for online apps, Cordova still offers great support for offline scenarios as well making it a good choice to develop even desktop applications.

Titanium

Titanium may not be as popular as other frameworks in our list but it certainly has a dedicated following. The open source framework is all about mobile-first, and allows developers to create attractive apps that are native in look, feel, and functioning. The framework also provides free API Builder with Hyperloop.

PhoneGap

The people who made Cordova apparently didn’t stop with that. They built the easy-to-use Adobe PhoneGap. PhoneGap is basically a Cordova distribution with a lot of tools and plugins included. The framework allows experienced web developers to easily transfer their skills to mobile app development, and build cross-platform apps with a single code base. It became popular simply because it made things easier.

TheAppBuilder

TheAppBuilder is an online framework that allows anyone to build visually appealing apps without design knowledge. For an online app building framework, this one really does deliver. Apps built using this framework are appealing and interactive, and can sync instantly with almost every device on which the app user is logged on. App creators are also granted great insights on the app with the framework’s analytics features allowing them to retain features that users love and discard ones that are negatively impacting the app’s performance.

Conclusion

The selection of an Android app development framework is generally based on the preferences of developers, with the ultimate goal of creating a great app faster with the least effort. But just because a developer got the framework right doesn’t mean the app they build would be perfect in all sense. At AOT, choosing the right app development framework is just one of the first steps of crafting the perfect app. Contact us to learn in detail how our developers build apps.

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A long while back, the main objective of mobile app developers was to develop apps that would attract more users resulting in increased app downloads i.e. the success of an app then was defined by the number of downloads. Today, however, things have changed. An app’s success is measured by taking several other factors into account.

The present app market gives users a large number of options when it comes to apps that can perform a specific task the users are searching for. They can download a number of apps that perform the same functions, try each of them, and keep one of them. This behavior significantly impacts the economy of a mobile app development company. The companies have to surpass their competitors first if their app is to succeed in the market.

Under these conditions, the only great approach to stay ahead of the curve is to have a strategy in place to retain existing customers rather than investing more resources into attracting new customers.

That said, here are a few tips to make sure an app’s customers don’t discard an app.

Ensure a smooth onboarding experience

App onboarding is where users are introduced to an app. For starters, it should be enticing enough for users to consider downloading and using the app. The next step is to provide those users with a solid experience while they explore the app. If there is a long sign-up procedure to use the app, it may irk users who might then decide to ditch the app for a more convenient alternative. Frictionless onboarding is key to retaining new app users.

Use push notifications wisely

No matter how great the app was designed or how well it performs, developers shouldn’t take things for granted. The development team will have to put an effort into encouraging users to keep using the app. One of the best ways to do this is by using push notifications diligently.

Push notifications can be used to notify users that they haven’t opened the app in a while or that they have offers waiting for them when they log into the app next time. The notifications should be personalized and should not be sent endlessly till the user comes back.

Frequent updates

Releasing app updates frequently is another way to retain mobile app users. The updates can add more features to the app that users would want, or enhance the user experience. The objective is to keep the users interested and engaged either by adding new elements to the app or by upgrading the existing ones. The updates should be made after extensive analysis of usage patterns, user behavior, and their feedback.

Conclusion

App developers should be aware that their competition would be doing the same to retain users of their apps. It all comes down to the mobile app user retention strategy that the development company implements and the priorities of that strategy.

All of this requires expertise and experience in app development and marketing. AOT possesses both. Let us know if we can help your business launch a mobile app that can stand the test of time. Talk to our experts today.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to transform a great many things after the world finally realized its technological merits and vast potential. Apparently, IoT has already started doing its thing transforming not only the way businesses operate but also how people live. IoT’s most recent evolution was triggered by the advancements in various technologies including the cloud, edge, AI, analytics etc. As of now, it is still considered to be in its infancy which makes it a gamble that many enterprises are reluctant to consider.

Forrester however sees great things in store for enterprises that are willing to invest in IoT. According to the famous research company, owing to the presence and influence of IoT, enterprises are on course for a major overhaul in 2019.

Here are 5 predictions from Forrester on how IoT will remodel enterprises next year.

Enterprises will make a big move to motivate the consumer market

Enterprises pitch IoT for the average consumer as a vision of a centralized, interconnected ‘smart’ home. But so far the response is lukewarm at best. Consumers are not just there yet and are exploring options for the so-called ‘smart home’ by buying one app-enabled device at a time. If it’s allowed to go this way, things will remain the same next year as well.

This is why Forrester predicts that enterprises would make a big move next year, most likely by bundling IoT services together and presenting them with discount offers to motivate the consumer market.

The focus will be more on use cases

At present, the Internet of Things is more of a hazy jargon for people – something that’s hyped to do big things in due course. Michele Pelino, the Principal Analyst of Infrastructure & Operations Professionals at Forrester, told TechRepublic that in 2019, the buzz around IoT will focus more on the actual use of the technology.

The conversations would be about the many use cases of IoT, the solutions, the applications etc. The world will be more aware of IoT’s true potential of combining different kinds of solutions in a secure, analytics-driven ecosystem to solve a problem.

More IoT platform partnerships and competition

IoT platform vendors will be targeting specific use cases next year according to the Forrester report. Business professionals won’t be looking for one single platform for managing various business processes in an organization, and would instead seek platforms with specific specialties.

The approach is already commonly practiced by organizations who did their fair share of research on IoT and the cloud. It’s safe to assume that major platform vendors would be putting in an effort to appeal to more people and outpace increasing competition by specializing in more use cases of the Internet of Things. We can certainly expect the birth of more IoT platform partnerships next year.

Managed IoT services market will flourish

With IoT expected to considerably influence how enterprises operate next year, many organizations with IoT expertise will attempt to capitalize by establishing a managed IoT services market. They will be focusing on helping companies manage their fragmented IoT assets.

The whole idea of managing the lifecycle of interconnected devices will be given more importance as more connected products are made available in the market. This would subsequently lead to more managed services opportunities. As the trend gains momentum, IoT will get some extra boost next year to go mainstream faster.

Cybercriminals will get more opportunities to cause damage

Cities have started becoming smarter by using connected devices to implement various ‘smart’ actions like smart traffic controls, smart lighting, smart transportation etc. Such an ecosystem with a variety of connected devices will most certainly have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This has always been one of the major concerns associated with the Internet of Things.

Forrester analysts expect targeted ransomware attacks next year by cybercriminals exploiting the vulnerabilities in successful smart city or smart neighborhood implementations. The attack can push back the growth of IoT and might give consumers second thoughts about using IoT devices. There will also be some disruption to services. The repercussions of cybercriminals exploiting security vulnerabilities of an IoT ecosystem will force the public to seek better security, while organizations invest more in beefing up security and minimizing the risk of cyber attacks.

Conclusion

IoT will be turning a lot of heads next year, and we will see enterprises not only competing to meet consumer demands but also teaming up to specialize in specific use cases and be more marketable in the process. IoT waves will also impact several other industries including mobile app development. For the connected devices to do what they are designed to do, an app should be overseeing them. IoT app makers have their work cut out for them.

AOT Technologies have been preparing for this scenario for a while now, slowly yet steadily polishing our skills with IoT and a number of other ‘new-gen’ technologies. Feel free to talk to us to learn more about IoT and IoT apps.

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