Monday, 21 March 2016

Tips To Successfully Outsource Your Mobile App Development

The  mobile app ecosystem is already flooded  with distinct ideas to develop mobile apps.  Similarly, there is no shortage of qualified developers and designers to put the deal through. However,  the existence of hustlers and yes men (people who instantly agree to your requirements) among genuine developers makes it difficult for businesses to identify the right ones.

outsource mobile app development

Mainly startups or businesses with non-technical backgrounds or those who have limited technical knowledge end up having unpleasant outsourcing experiences. So, to prevent any such problems,  here are some important tips to keep in mind when outsourcing mobile app development to any service provider:

Define your App Idea and Scope: The first step of your project is to analyse and test the idea you have discovered. Once assured, prepare a document which includes the following:

  • Clear description of the services and customers you want to target through the app
  • List of features you require in the app
  • Examples of similar apps that exist
This will give  developer a clear idea of what you're exactly looking for and avoid  later-stage misconceptions. Also, don't consider this as a final copy as you may come across developer questions or suggestions that can add change your original idea.

Check Developer Portfolios & Reviews: Every company or individual providing app development services proudly showcases their portfolios and testimonials on their websites or through other online platforms. Check the previous work they may have done and feedback received from their clients. Do some additional research of developers you found relevant and see if they have their profiles, portfolios or reviews on any other online platforms as well. Study them in detail. Make a list of companies or individuals that possess the skills and qualities required to develop your app. Communicate with them and shortlist the ones that seem to be a good fit for your project.

Opt for a Fixed Budget: Cost is a very significant factor of the mobile app development lifecycle. Once you've prepared a list of developers you'd like to work with, go ahead with cost discussion. Some companies may propose profit-sharing or partnerships, which often seems tempting but has its  own pitfalls. So, the best option here is to consider aspects like technologies that will be used by developers, time required to accomplish the project, etc. and settle  for a fixed budget. You'll thank yourself later for choosing the fixed budget option.

Choose the Right Developer: Even though this is the last step of outsourcing mobile app development project, many businesses still make a mistake in choosing the right developer. Apart from the above-mentioned factors, you should also get the developer's confirmation or responses for things like timeline breakdown, signing NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreements), expecting transparency, punctuality, regular updates and communication. In addition to these, you can also ask your developer to do a demo task for you to ensure you can trust  them.

Finding the ideal developer for your mobile app development project can be a tedious process. However, it's worth putting your time and efforts into these initial tips to ensure your idea is crafted by the right people to help you save time and money in long run.

Do you have any tips in mind to outsource iPhone application development? Please share with us in your comments.

Monday, 14 March 2016

5 Best Practices For Cross Platform Mobile App Development

Enterprises are increasingly adopting cross-platform development technologies to build mobile applications. An infographic by Rishabh Software on cross platform mobile apps development exhibits that, "68% of enterprises developed the mobile apps using cross-platform development tools in past two years".

Cross platform development leverages single code base and multiple platform implementations to developers which reduces their code-writing workload across various operating systems. It has a quick turnaround and is cost-effective. This simplifies the development efforts used by developers using cross platform tools. Here are some best practices they must take into account while going with the mobile cross platform app development.

Best Practices For Cross-Platform App Development

1. Use Convenient Native Tools: Every mobile platform has its own programming language and SDK. For instance,  Android has Java with ADK, iOS has  Cocoa & Xcode, and Windows has with Microsoft Visual Studio. This makes it challenging for developers to use native development tools and technologies. In such cases, developers can opt for C++ and HTML5 as it offers full support functionality and quick access to new features of mobile operating systems along with easier app development and improved performance.

2. Adopt Virtual Machines to Improve App Performance: Virtual machines can run complicated environments without having a major impact on its performance. There are several benefits of using VMs and a couple of them are covered below:

Once you setup the development environment, you can save and share the virtual machine with your team. The maintenance of virtual machine is simple as you can archive and relaunch it with minimum effort and error ratio. Virtual machines allow you to test the codes changes quickly and frequently on all platforms.

3. Keep User Experience Intact: Difference in layout and navigation flow of your application can create a sense of uneasiness among the users. They will require some  time to learn new ways and  get acquainted with your app. The consistency in look and feel of the application creates familiarity across various platforms and encourages  adoption. Therefore, it is important to keep the user interaction and design consistent across all operating systems.

4. Minimize Use of Third Party Libraries: Most of the developers use  many third party libraries that makes the application difficult and heavy to maintain. It is better to focus on  custom libraries and specialized codes that help to minimize the app size and maintenance cost. Also, there are various custom libraries that are compatible with and offer required functionality for basic mobile app development.

5. Ensure App Security on All Platforms: Different mobile device manufacturers offer different levels of security in their devices. Same is the case with  mobile operating systems. Every phone operating system has  a custom environment that does not offer the same level of security features. This makes building cross platform mobile apps imperative by considering the compatibility of all mobile platforms in terms of security.

There are a number of factors that can affect the quality and success of a mobile application. It is however, in the best interests of developers to follow certain guidelines so that the chances of their app becoming a commercial success increase. So, follow the best practices above while developing your cross platform mobile apps and you will surely end up creating a successful mobile app.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Mobile Commerce Strategies for Online Stores

Mobile has become a new social marketplace with the increase in number of customers accessing online stores on their smartphones. Needless to say, m-commerce (mobile commerce) is a fast growing trend in eCommerce today.

Let us take a look at some eye-catching stats that support the fact as well as highlight  the significance of mobile commerce in the coming years:

“By 2016, the m-commerce market is expected to reach US $800 billion worldwide” – Ericsson

“We expect global mobile [payment] transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and we are forecasting a market worth $721 billion with more than 450 million users by 2017” – Gartner

“Over 2 billion mobile phone or tablet users will make some form of mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017, up from 1.6 billion this year” – Juniper.

The information above suggests that m-commerce will continue to grow in popularity. As mobile wallets, beacons and virtual reality headsets become a retail reality, businesses will need to make sure that existing innovative processes like mobile shopping are successfully used. Those retailers who are new to the industry will benefit from understanding the basic concept of mobile commerce and a few ways it can be implemented as a part of an organization's retail strategy.

With a  mobile commerce shift, it is equally important to consider certain techniques that help you maximize the shopping experience and drive more revenue. Listed below are some ways you can make the most of your mobile commerce strategy:
  • Daily and Seasonal Deals: Discounts, sales, and offers are things that can boost up your m-commerce ROI. Once the users have installed your app on their device, send them direct notifications for latest promotions and encourage them to act upon the discounted products. You can auto-schedule birthday, anniversary and seasonal discount coupons to uplift the customer loyalty and lifetime value in a customized yet automated way.

  • QR Codes: This is another  potential customer engagement tool for mCommerce mobile apps. Shoppers generally find QR codes a fun activity as it lets them scan and unlock the hidden goods.Take advantage of it as part of your mobile commerce strategy and make buyers  engage with your eCommerce store.

  • Geo-Targeting: Again this is another  way to increase your in-store sales using location aware devices. With location-based  targeting, you can inform a  customer about the latest deals and promotions when they pass by your store. This technology has an amazing  power to deliver your message to a customer who is just a few meters away from your product.

  • Express Mobile Checkout: Checkout and payment are the last but most crucial steps in an  online shopping transaction. This is where the customers finalize their purchasing decision. Eliminate the unnecessary steps while framing your web store development plan to make your checkout procedure brief and quick. This will prevent the customers from abandoning the shopping cart at the threshold of a sale and encourage them to continue shopping.

Mobile commerce is expected to gain momentum as it drives almost than 50 percent of the total eCommerce traffic. As smartphone usage gains futher momentum, what other m-commerce strategies do you expect to see in the coming years?