Apps

Top 4 Features in Your Mobile App That Successful Bike sharing Startups like JUMP, Ofo and Mobike won’t Tell You

As cities get more congested, bike sharing has emerged as a feasible in-city ride with economic and environmental incentives. Here is what you need to succeed as a bike-sharing startup:

Metropolitans are stuffed with bike-sharing startups. If you live in any such city, there will definitely be one out there. And though the concept has mushroomed across the globe, there are few global success stories and even the unicorns of the segment are till now largely limited to cities like Beijing, Shenzhen, Washington D.C, San Francisco, and others of the same league.

Top 4 Features in Your Mobile App That Successful Bike sharing Startups like JUMP, OfoFor a startup looking to start a bike sharing service, there couldn’t be a better time- the market is neither so nascent that they would have to innovate and build the requisite technologies themselves nor it is so explored for the competition to burn them out. With enough success stories around and ample un-explored markets, the time is just ripe to build a bike sharing app. But before you rush to seize the opportunity, you need to understand that it is a rapidly moving domain and it is essential to get things right at the first go as you may never be able to find another chance. So, to help in the cause, there are 4 absolute necessities that you must incorporate in your bike sharing app:

1.Heatmap
Bike sharing essentially works by fitting bikes by GPS and displaying their location on a map in the app. The moment any users starts a ride, that bike is taken off the list of available bikes and isn’t displayed on the map. If you are building an app, it is almost certain that you would also use the same tech and method. But there is also a crucial addition you can make.
The problem here is that since the users don’t have to set a drop location before they start a ride, once all bike are taken, new users have no way of finding out when a bike will be available or when. To counter this, you can show them a heat map of all your bike activities. This will give them a clear idea of where they are most likely to find bikes at approximately what time.

2.Seamless Experience
Once the user gets to a bike, the process to start riding must be as seamless as possible. QR codes work best in the situation. Each of your bikes should have a QR code that the users can scan from their app to unlock it. While this adds convenience for users, you also get to fend off the intricate task of installing and maintaining any kind of software on the bikes.

3. Simple And Secure Payment
Payments are collected, once all users complete their ride Process should be as simple as possible and of course must be secure as well. A preferred way would be to use some popular mobile wallet that users in that area already use rather than creating your own- to minimize friction during payments. But you must also include traditional payment options like credit and debit cards for the non-tech savvy users.

4. Booking Options
The booking and availability in bike sharing have a crucial problem- a bike is stopped from being displayed on a user’s app the moment another user unlocks it by scanning the QR-code. Now consider this- you see an available bike a couple of yards away and when you are down half the way, it disappears (because someone else took it). Now imagine the same condition during rush hours at any subway station. The service would essentially frustrate more users than it would serve. To overcome, you need to offer users an option to book bikes in advance. They can just select a time and be assured that they will find a bike. Not only would it enhance loyalty to your service also help them occasionally book rides for others as well.

Now you may have some idea of how intricate it can be to develop a bike-sharing app that looks quite simple on the surface. But the startups are lucky in this regard as well because as these technologies go mainstream many app development agencies are starting to offer such services. Just hire an app development agency that fits in your budget and vision to start your journey.

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Responsive Website vs. Native App: Unique Solutions for Unique Needs

There isn’t much our phones can not do. It starts with the morning alarm, checking up on the calendar, catching up on news, navigating through traffic, a bit of shopping and entertainment, connecting with friends, and more. While it all brings convenience for users, it also represents limitless opportunities from a business’s perspective. After all, if you look at some of the most prominent brands in the market, most of them are either built around mobility or have mobility as a major business component. And that precisely what we are going to explore here- whether to build your application only for mobile, i.e native application or to keep mobile devices only one of the many possible dimensions.

Native App vs Responsive

It has been more than two years now since the traffic from mobile devices outstripped that of originating from desktops and the growth curve has only been rising ever since. To accommodate such swelling audience, developers devised a new method- responsive websites. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors and decide when each of those solutions is more suitable:

Usability

To access a responsive website, all you need is a device with a browser, working internet connection and the corresponding URL. For a native application, that list is quite long- a compatible device, enough data, and storage to download the application, willingness to share a host of data, and more often than not, creating an account.

The point here is, if you have a responsive website for your business, all the 3.5 billion smartphone users in the word are your potential customers. With a native application, that number is highly fragmented. If you have a native iOS application, your business would remain out of reach to eight out of ten smartphone users. If you choose to go with Android, you would miss out on the most lucrative set of users.

On a similar note, as easy it is for users to land on a responsive application, equally frictionless it is for them to bounce off. After all, the temptation to open a new tab is much higher and immediate than closing an application and launching a new one. But on the contrary, once they leave by the closing tab or uninstalling the app, the friction shifts on the side- making it more tempestuous to launch the website than installing the app.

Related Post-  React Native: Building Native Mobile Apps with JavaScript

User experience

Because responsive applications are basically websites displayed appropriately on a smaller screen without custom navigation and other UI elements, the user experience they offer is average at best. Native applications, on the other hand, are built from ground-up to create a perfect user experience with custom elements suited for small screens. This is perhaps also the reason why native mobile applications offer much higher conversions- even more than desktops, followed by responsive websites.

Features

Web applications have evolved a lot over the years with many features like location access, notifications and more but there are still some features that can only be offered in a mobile app. Things like TouchID or mobile payments simply aren’t compatible with responsive websites. Though these obviously are drawbacks, their importance depends largely on how critical they are to your product or service. If your service needs to have a robust payment system, the mobile application is the only viable choice as responsive websites can offer limited payment options.

Cost

You may already know that building responsive websites costs is significantly less than developing native apps. Plus if you factor in their wider availability, it becomes even more appealing. So what you need to decide is how much worth is the user experience and performance for your service. If that cost exceeds, the monetary benefits of hiring website development services, native mobile apps will still be a better choice. If not, a responsive website will be better suited for your purpose.

Read Also- 6 Key Statistics That Show the Importance of Responsive Web Design

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why you should pick ios for enterprise app development

Why You Should Pick iOS Platform For Enterprise Mobile Applications

If you don’t already know, computers were first built for military and scientific purposes, which businesses later adopted and it finally trickled down to the consumer market. With smartphones, the flow is just the opposite. They were built for the consumer market but now are widely used by businesses to bring operational efficiency and transparency.  And just like computers, mobile platforms too have over time evolved to become a duopoly. That is, if a business wants to build an enterprise application, they have only two feasible options- Android or iOS.

While we won’t be delving into a detailed debate between the two platforms, the crux of the matter remains- Android yields lion’s share of app userbase but iOS has more secure and consistent market. That is, Android remains the preferred choice for businesses who need to reach a large number of users while iOS is tuned for businesses who need to deliver a superior and secure user experience. Upon that matrix, the enterprise applications clearly fall into the second category.  So let’s now take a detailed look at the benefits businesses can have by building an iOS app for their enterprise:

Simplicity

One of the key selling points of iOS devices is its simplicity- the ease of use for even the most technically naive person. And because businesses can’t expect all of their employees to be technically proficient, it is their responsibility to keep enterprise application as simple to use as possible. Not only does it ensure wider acceptability but also brings down the initial barrier of training. Especially if some application is going to be used across all verticals,

Userbase

Although it is used by less number of people as compared to Android, iOS platform claims higher usage in a very niche category of users- those financially well-off and reasonably educated, precisely the class employed by enterprises. That is, enterprises generally have an employee base that is already accustomed to the platform and so instead of introducing a new platform will be far less productive than building on what they are already comfortable with.

Security

Apple is renowned for its tight security leash on both hardware and software levels- making the entire ecosystem much less vulnerable to security leaks and hacks. For businesses that rely on enterprise applications not just for operational efficiency but also handing confidential data, this can be a major priority. While developers are still free to add extra layers of security, the inherent iOS security is alone enough to ward off most of the vulnerabilities.

Better Hardware And Software Integration

At its recent WWDC 2018 event, Apple demonstrated how valuable it can be to have tight integration between hardware and software. Not only most of its devices run the same version of iOS, but it even rolled out the latest update- iOS 12 to its five years old devices. For enterprise mobile application development environment, this is a major blessing. Unlike consumers, businesses do not frequently change hardware and are notorious for running legacy systems. But with such consistent and long-term update cycle, they can rest assured.

Ecosystem

Unlike consumer applications that generally work stand-alone, enterprise applications work in coordination with a host of other apps including cloud apps, system apps, and more. With iOS, you have the option to leverage the entire Apple’s ecosystem- which probably is the best available. Having almost all the solutions, it ensures all your business runs on a secure, stable, and feature-rich platform.

 

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10 Tips to Creating the Next Great App

10 Tips to Creating the Next Great App

With millions of apps competing for user attention, the road to success is really steep that only a handful of top mobile application development companies have managed to trace. So, no matter how great an idea you have, unless it takes the shape of an equally appealing app, there is little chance that you will achieve the desired success.

Here are 10 tips to ensure the success of your app, which isn’t left to mere luck:

1. Design to captivate

The first thing that a user experiences after launching your app isn’t its features or performance, but the design. And it is this first impression that largely determines the appreciation it evokes in users, that may later turn into loyalty. So, be it Android’s material design or iOS’s flat design concept, be sure to exploit the full potential of the powerful UI/UX customization they offer.

2. Keep it simple

In a rush to create the most appealing and responsive design of all time, do not underestimate the basics. The first rule of creating an elegant UI is to minimize the number of clicks that it takes to do any particular tasks. Expect for one-click solutions, conventionally, if it is more than 4-5 clicks to reach any particular page or task, it is evident that there is something wrong and you may need to take the design back to the drawing board.

3. Target all platforms

Unless you have some specific users in mind or your app performs some functionality that’s acceptable on any particular platform, your app must be available on all platforms. Be it Android, iOS or iPad, each of these platforms has their own set of users, any of which must not be missed if you wish to create a highly successful app.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to hit all those platforms at once and can take your time to test the feasibility and response on one platform and then use that knowledge for subsequent releases.

4. Keep evolving

As the technology evolves, your users expect your app to provide new features. Because if your app offers the same set of functions even after months or years after they installed it, they have every reason to come out looking for a better, more productive alternative.

5. Do not hesitate to experiment

It doesn’t mean you should force your whims on all your existing users. Be it a new feature or a design change, release them first to certain small test groups across different regions. And if the response is positive, you can proceed to a full-scale release.

6. Keep your goals in sight

Most times, in an effort to offer something refreshing, businesses tend to betray the core concept of an app, which as expected, irks the users. If you wish to offer a new service, a separate app is the better path to take and not treat the existing app as a testing ground.

7. Clear monetization strategy

There are instances when an app starts out as free and after a while, when the user base swells and they struggle with the revenues, they bombard the app with ads and in-app purchases. This is something you must not indulge into. Get your revenue channels figured out from the beginning else it will risk the credibility of your app.

8. Make it secure

Perhaps, this goes without saying- no matter what your app does, if it’s not secure, don’t even bother launching it. Especially, if it collects personal, sensitive information, employ the finest encryption methods and try to store data locally than routing it to servers.

Also read: How to Integrate Security in App Development at Early Stage

9. Go for offline

There is possibly nothing more annoying when an app goes useless the moment internet connection is turned off. Especially if your app does something important, try to make some functionalities available offline to help users when they are off-grid.

10. Retention is the key

If you know anything about mobile app business or even marking in general, you may know that referrals are in fact the cheapest way of customer acquisition. So, instead of burning your resources on acquiring users, focus more on retaining those who are already there. Because if you manage to delight a small number of users, they will work as a catalyst to bring new ones.

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How to Integrate Big Data into the Backend of Your Mobile App

How to Integrate Big Data into the Backend of Your Mobile App

A full-featured, sophisticated mobile application these days can have as many as 100,000K lines of code, which should be considered a feat in itself, but the fact is, it’s not. It’s common, not enough. If you know anything about the tech world, you must have come across the term AI-first strategy that aims to make everything smart. In that respect, the massive amount of data that users share with applications is far more valuable than the code it is running on. From social media habits to shopping patterns, apps need not only make those tasks easier but also learn from them.

 

So how do you create such applications? Or to be more precise, how do top mobile app development services integrate such features into their apps? Well, the process is much simpler than most people realize. You don’t actually have to write those long, complicated algorithms by yourself but simply use them according to your needs. Here is how:

Leverage cloud

As users interact with your application, they generate a lot of data that only grows exponentially as the popularity of your app grows. To handle such massive amount of data is a challenging task, but thanks to the advent of cloud services, it can now be managed just by a few clicks.

Services like Azure, AWS, App Engine, among others, can store and maintain the integrity and security of your data at a fraction of the cost it would take to create such infrastructure on-premise. Though all of these clouds offer similar services, there are subtle differences that you must carefully evaluate before subscribing to one.

Analytics

Mining big chunks of data for valuable information about customers isn’t a new thing but as these technologies become more accurate, cheaper, and widely accessible, their relevance has risen in the recent times. The data you store in the cloud is useless unless you are able to mine useful information from it, and thanks to the highly specialized and cutting-edge tools available, you won’t have to do it by yourself.

No matter which cloud service you used for data storage, there is a good chance that it would also offer analytic services. Depending on your business, you can use the data for many different kinds of analytics, each of which will reveal a different pattern.

For instance, if you have social media application, you can monitor the images any user shares and the corresponding response they get. This data, when analyzed for some time, can enable your application to offer customized suggestions before users share an image. From eCommerce to logistics to healthcare, this is one aspect where sky is the limit when it comes to inferring information from the available data sets.

Be Flexible

It is not necessary that what works for one application would also work for you. After all, how can one decide if Netflix’s recommendation engine is better or Amazon’s? Both of them have their own approach towards the same problem and both are fairly successful. So, when it comes to knowing your customers and creating a custom experience, the only rigid rule is to stay flexible.

 

Many businesses still find these features and capabilities that only the top enterprises with deep pockets can deliver. The truth is just the opposite. All these tools are now easily accessible on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means you only have to pay for what you actually use. Furthermore, top app developers from India are renowned for delivering such cutting-edge features at very reasonable costs.

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