Tag: iPhone App Development

4 Budgeting Tips for Mobile App Startups

As an entrepreneur venturing into the mobile space, you must make important financial considerations. It’s no secret that app development is a significant financial investment, so careful planning is absolutely paramount. We’ve put together some quick tips to help you get started.

Test Your Idea in the Market

“In a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions” – Steve Blank

You might be in love with your idea, but does the market feel the same? Before you even start budgeting, you should make sure the investment you are about to make is viable. The only way you’ll know is if you go out and ask your potential customers directly. You may want to consider conducting interviews with people within your network who you have identified as your target market. If no-one fits the description, you can use the internet to connect with people who may be suitable choices for interviewees.

You will derive the most value from interviews if you keep in mind that the purpose of conducting market research is to LISTEN to the problems and UNDERSTAND the needs of users. Since this is not an investor pitch, ensuring that your questions are non-specific to your idea is very important. An awareness about ‘confirmation bias’ is also important. This is the unconscious tendency to agree with already held beliefs. Welcome constructive criticism, it will only make your product better.

Consider Creating a Minimal Viable Product

If the potential users are showing interest in your mobile app idea, this is when you should be starting to build an app you can use to test your idea. It is recommended that you begin with the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Building an MVP involves creating an app that only has the most essential features. You are then able to release this app to test if your app actually resonates with the market. Many successful apps, like Twitter and Foursquare, started off with this approach.

As part of your budgeting considerations, it is may also be important to keep in mind that creating for Android and iOS platforms is completely different. From a development perspective, it is double the work, therefore, double the price. It may be an option for you to build for just one platform first and invest in the other platform after you have tested your idea in the market.

Set Different Revenue Projections

First, it is important to work out HOW you will make money from your app. In-app purchases, advertising and charging a payment are the most common ways apps make money.

During the revenue projection phase, you should be looking at your sales and marketing capacities. In addition, it is important to also consider consumers and their buying patterns. How do they make decisions and how can you leverage this behaviour? Of course, being honest (and perhaps skeptical) about your capabilities will keep you level headed while you are working on your venture.

Setting modest revenue numbers is not to say that you should not think big. After creating the ‘conservative’ budget, you should also create a budget with more ambitious revenue targets. This is primarily an exercise in motivation, as you aspire to bigger goals, you work harder to achieve them. However, pragmatism should be practiced when looking at these numbers.

Consider all the services that you might require

The focus of your budget lies mostly in the expenses you will have. Some costs are often overlooked because they are non-obvious. If you make sure you cover everything, there will be less surprises while you are in the middle of app development. Below are some of the common expenses you may encounter as an app development startup.

  • User Experience and Interface Design
  • iOS Development + Additions to Project Scope
  • Android Development + Additions to Project Scope
  • App Maintenance
  • App Submission
  • Marketing (i.e. professionals and services)
  • Legal fees
  • Insurance
  • Financial Advisors

Conclusion

Having an understanding of the business side of your mobile application idea will prepare you for the road ahead. It is important to understand that there are always surprises along the way, but having a solid base will definitely help soften any unexpected costs.

Application Battles: Web, Native and Hybrid

You have the most brilliant idea for an app and you’re about to take the brave step of bringing this idea to life. You probably have 1000 questions, but let’s start with what kind of app you’re wanting to build.

In this article we’ll be breaking down the different options you have when it comes to deciding how exactly you’ll be able to execute your million dollar idea!

Here are your options:

  1. Web application – an app that you can access straight from a web browser.
  2. Native mobile application – an app that you download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, that uses iOS and Android proprietary development tools.
  3. Hybrid mobile application – an app that you download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, that uses web development tools.

We’ll help you dissect the pros and cons of each of these options, so you’ll be able to make the most informed decision possible.

Web Application

Web applications are those that you are able to use from a simple web browser. They’re simple but versatile, so they are quite powerful. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros:

Cheapest Costs:

Since web applications simply require web technologies, they are less complex to build compared to mobile applications. So, comparably it will be the cheapest option.

Access across all devices:

Web applications are not limited to just one device, all users need to access your app is an internet connection and a browser. That means that the app can be used on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Cons:

Limited functionality:

Web technologies are diverse and extensive enough to create many functionalities. However, these apps are not able to access mobile features such as camera, photo gallery, and notifications.

No offline storage:

The benefit of mobile applications is that they’re able to store data, so users can access the app offline if they want to. However, web apps rely on the internet, so no internet means no access.

Less convenient for the mobile user:

In order to access your app, a mobile user will have to enter your URL to their web browser. Comparably, a downloaded app can be opened from the simply tap of an icon on their home screen.

Examples of Web Applications:

MyInterview: https://ebpearls.com.au/portfolio/myinterview/

Hostmaker: https://ebpearls.com.au/portfolio/hostmaker/

 

Native Mobile Application

Native mobile applications are those that you can download off the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. They are developed using iOS and Android specific languages. What does this mean for you? If you’re after a powerful and high-quality mobile application, native is your answer. But let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

Best performance:

Since native applications are written specifically for the platforms they are placed on, they have been optimised for speed. In a world that is all about engaging short attention spans, this is a paramount advantage.

Extensive functionalities possible:

The iOS and Android platforms have been developed to include a huge array of features that take advantage of mobile software and hardware. This means that you’ll be able to integrate whatever features your heart desires.

Best user experience:

There are certain user interface design patterns that have been developed for each mobile platform, so users will feel quite at home using your mobile application.

Cons:

Most expensive to create:

The main reason native mobile apps are costly is because it requires developing on two different platforms and therefore requires two different programming skillsets. Additionally, increased complexity also means more components and more time to be invested to create the app.

Examples of Native Applications:

Hum Hospitality: https://ebpearls.com.au/portfolio/hum/

Tradepapers: https://ebpearls.com.au/portfolio/tradepaper/

Health Synergy: https://ebpearls.com.au/portfolio/health-synergy/

Hybrid Mobile Application

Hybrid mobile applications are exactly what you think they are – they combine the best of the web and native app development has to offer. It might be an attractive option for smaller scale projects.

Pros:

Feels like a native app:

Users download the app from their respective app stores and when opened, it looks exactly like a native app. Even though the app is written in web languages, no one is the wiser if your design is robust.

Access to some native capabilities:

Hybrid mobile apps have the ability to access native features such as the camera, gallery, calendar, and notifications. This means more capabilities than web applications.

Cons:

Slow performance:

Since hybrid mobile applications essentially add an additional layer on top of the mobile application, they will not perform as well as native applications. The lag time depends on the complexity of the app and the internet connection of the user. This is probably the biggest drawback of hybrid applications.

Uncertainty surrounding application approval:

It may not be a smooth ride for an app to be approved for release to the app stores if the app does not adhere to the rules set by Apple.

Takeaways

Here’s a handy little chart that summarises the comparisons between web, mobile, and hybrid app development:

hybrid web native comparison

 

If you’re in need of someone to create your web, native or hybrid applications, you’re in luck! EB Pearls is a full-service web and mobile app design and development agency. We can help you strategise, build and launch your brilliant app! Contact one of our representatives here or call us on 1800 857 679.

 

The Definitive Guide to Mobile User Experience

The perfect app? It starts with a beautiful design! The visual impact of your app has a lot to do with its power to persuade and its success on the market. But what does ‘beautiful’ really mean when it comes to app development?

What makes an app design great?

When it comes down to app development, great design is achieved through a lot of different techniques and strategies. Simply including eye catching icons and pictures does not make an outstanding app in terms of visual aesthetics because app development success is based on much more than that.

It is a common misconception that user experience is synonymous with user interface or graphic design. But it is something more than this.

Great design is a synthesis of art and science, of usability, aesthetics and a deep understanding of user needs and behaviours.

 

What does improving app user experience mean to the regular customer?

The most important thing for a user is being able to benefit from all the features of your app, fast. In other words, the app is supposed to make the customer’s life easier and help them solve their problems.

Studies have shown that 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another one to complete their task. More so, it has been estimated that mobile users are five times more likely to abandon the task if the site they are using is not optimised for mobile. 

 

How can you improve user experience in your app development process?

If you want to make the most out of your app and bring value to your product or service, you need to take into consideration some specific steps to help you improve user experience and build customer trust.

Did you know: 71% of publishers say well-formed mobile content boosts user engagement, while 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. 

 

Here are some of the most effective techniques to help you achieve a powerful user experience for your app:

  1. Choosing the right features

A lot of people tend to make the mistake of believing that the more features they add to their app, the greater the impact this will have on their customers. But the truth is, keeping things simple and helping users navigate through the app easily is the most important part of this initial stage of the process.

You can decide to keep the features that are relevant to the app and the message you want your viewers to receive, and only build additional features once you see your their post-release reaction.

 

  1.   Maintain an easy flow and navigation

The aim here is to make the navigation more intuitive and make it easy for the users to flow from one screen to another or from one feature to another.

Bonus tip: 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they land on sites that are poorly optimised for mobile. 

 

  1.   Build customer trust

Make sure that you design your app in such a way that it promotes customer trust and loyalty. The most important thing to take into consideration here is the rightful use of privacy issues and spam.

Avoid:

  • collecting unuseful information for the user’s experience (keep only what is necessary).
  • uploading any content from their device onto your server without their permission.
  • unnecessarily spamming the user with frequent emails or push notifications unless otherwise absolutely necessary.

 

  1.     Make it social

Users should be able to reach your app through different social platforms. The most effective way to achieve this is by including links to your social networks on every page.

 

  1.   Build a feedback loop

The user’s point of view can be a definite turning point in the development of your app. The feedback you receive from them will make it easier for you to learn about the negative aspects of your app and also your best app features.

You can do this by making it easy for them to share their opinion and responding to your customers within 24 hours.

 

EB Pearls can help you develop intuitive, visually appealing and technically challenging apps for your business. We dedicate ourselves to becoming world class app developers in Sydney and Melbourne. Contact us here for more information on how to improve user experience for your app development and revolutionise your business process.

Understanding App Analytics Using Google Analytics and Other Tools

Mobile app development has been on a continuous growth path in Australia for the past years. It is estimated that, by 2017, the smartphone penetration rate will reach about 80% of the country’s population, while the spending for mobile ads will total an amount of $3.16 billion. (Source)

Having a mobile app for your business is an essential strategy every company owner should implement within their marketing process in order to increase the chance of becoming successful.

But how do you know if your mobile app is efficient? Does it manage to meet the demands of your marketing goals?

A quick overview of the importance of app analytics

According to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, there is a strong relationship between earnings growth and the strategic use of data. In the process of adapting to a data-driven world, the study shows how 74% of executives expect the range and types of data they collect to expand in the next two years.

But what do you really want to know about your mobile app? You can certainly look at things such as the number of people that download your app, how much money you are making or even the opinion of other users regarding your app. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to have a full comprehension of how people are using your app you need more information.

Make sure you have an answer to the following questions:

  • how are people using your app?
  • when do they most need it?
  • where are they most likely to use it?
  • what type of audience is using the app?

 

Why is Google Analytics so efficient?

Google Analytics for mobile apps provides metrics to analyse your app performance. The most important advantage it has over other similar tools is that Google Analytics has been used as the first source of information and measurement by the majority of users starting with the end of June 2012. This is the date that marks the start of the first Google mobile app analytic tool.

 

How can Google Analytics influence the overall performance of your app?

The reports you receive from Google Analytics are organised in 4 different categories:

  • Acquisitions – allows you to know about who your new users are, with the possibility of tracking their location or how much in-app revenue they generated, for Android app users.
  • Mobile app audience – you can find out more about new and returning users, their country or language, the app version, etc.
  • Mobile app behaviour – you can use event tracking, get reports on speed, crashes and exceptions.
  • Mobile app conversion – you can set up goal, track the conversion of your objectives and see the goal flow.

 

What are the advantages of web vs mobile analytics?

The most important differences that set mobile analytics apart from web are represented by the possibility of capturing all offline actions with a more holistic understanding of in-app usage and behaviours.

In other words, mobile analytics are able to offer detailed insights regarding mobile user behaviors, engagements and purchases across different devices and locations, whereas web analytics can’t track consumers’ behaviors in apps and can’t get offline use metrics.

 

Other measuring tools that can help you boost your mobile app performance

Apart from Google Analytics, there are a great deal of other app analytics tools that can help you get all the information you need in order to boost the performance of your mobile app and ultimately your entire business.

 

Here are some of the most efficient tracking tools online:

  • Flurry Analytics – offers you the possibility of  using the “classic” dashboard or creating up to 10 custom dashboards for each app.
  • Apple App Analytics – works by having 3 key sets of data: app store data, sales data and usage data but the in-app analytics data is limited
  • Mixpanel – offers event-based analytics tools such as account creation, sharing, upgrade, purchase and so on.
  • Facebook Analytics for Apps – by using their own mobile analytics SDK, Facebook lets you track, events, funnels, cohorts, segments and integrations.

 

If you want to learn more about the power of app analytics and need professional assistance in attaining app growth, do not hesitate to contact us here. We can provide you with optimised solutions to cater to your every professional need.

The Essential Financial Planning Template For App Development Startups

You may think that starting your own company is a daunting task. Apart from the necessary planning and market research that needs to be done, the financial side of things requires a lot of focus and determination. Are you ready to be all in?

To ensure their success on the market, business startups also need a dedicated mobile app for complete customer reach and an increased profit. But an effective mobile strategy requires more than just a mobile-friendly website.

Did you know: According to a recent study by Knicket, there are approximately 40,000 new app releases every month, with an estimated 200 billion app downloads per year by 2017. 

Planning the budget for your app development startup

Financial planning is crucial for the successful outcome of any business. An efficient business planning template for app development should include ideas about:

  • how much money will be needed to get off the ground.
  • what to expect in the first few years in order to best allocate the available resources.

 

Additional planning for developing the app could include suggestions regarding supplementary staff, premises (or work-from-home) or any other type of additional software or equipment.

A short overview of the costs involved in the mobile app industry

84.5% of Australia’s mobile phone population has accessed the internet using their mobile devices in 2015, alone. This speaks to the powerful source of influence and conversion that the mobile industry is capable of.

Here are some interesting facts regarding the costs and revenues involved in app development:

  • 76% of Apple’s App Store revenue was made from in-app purchases in 2013.
  • 38% of iOS’ apps are paid while Android has 31% of apps as paid on their platform.
  • The App Store has approximately 20,000 apps which cost more than $6.99.
  • The average cost of an app is $1.47 on iOS, compared to $3.74 on Android.

Forecasting the real costs of your app development startup requires rigorous financial planning and a reliable view of the market. To get things started, you need to create a plan for business in the real world.

These are the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve just that:

Start-up costs – Depending on whether you are a sole trader or not, the start-up costs don’t account for a great deal of money. Instead, think about calculating costs based upon the situations presented below:

  • what your wage is
  • the marketing costs involved
  • the development costs involved
  • hiring an accountant
  • how will you raise startup funds (for example, through crowdfunding, banks, venture capital firms).

 

The budget for app development – In other words, what are the costs involved in the development of the app and the budget allocated for it. Think about the platforms your app will be launched on and the submission fees and processes included.

Submission fees – If you want to submit an app to the iTunes Store, for example, you will need to sign up for a developer account first. Each platform has their own submission fees and additional benefits included in their program.

Monetising the app – From signups and emails to efficient advertising and multiple payment options, monetising your app is crucial in order to transform your startup into a profitable business.

The marketing process – This is what makes your app go viral! If you want to market your app accordingly, think about:

  • getting good reviews
  • having a good SEO
  • reviews from bloggers prior to the app’s official release
  • advertising through social media
  • having a great social presence

 

The successful outcome of your app development startup begins with a good financial plan. EB Pearls can help you develop a powerful and efficient financial planning template for your app development startup. We’ve got app developers in Sydney and Melbourne Contact us here for more information regarding app budget and revenue suggestions.

How Can a Mobile App Help Bolster your Position in the Industry?

We live in a world where quick access to products and/or services from a variety of devices is becoming the society norm. While the need to keep up with consumer demand is a constant pressure for businesses worldwide, the market for mobile app development continues to grow each year.

Did you know…? It has been estimated that nearly 1 billion smartphones have been sold in 2015, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Online Masters in Management Information Systems.

Developing a mobile app is no longer a compensation to your business, but a standard. Having a mobile app is most beneficial when it enhances customer experience. Mobile apps appear to be taking the lead in providing profitable results to business worldwide, given that 46 percent of app users report having paid for their apps in 2014 alone.

By 2017, it is expected that over 268 billion downloads will generate $77 billion worth of revenue, which means that people are not only living on their smartphones, but they are also interacting with some form of application on a daily basis. The only natural and market-wise thing to do is to take advantage of this situation so that it becomes profitable for both parties involved.

 

Mobile app strategies to bolster your business

Keep it simple: The best way to make sure you grab a prospective customer’s attention is to choose a mobile app that offers the perfect user experience. In other words, ensure people can figure out how to use your app within seconds to minutes without any guidance. A mobile app that has just one or two main functions is preferred, mostly because additional features may be rarely used while you simply add development cost and app size to an already effective product.

Providing convenience: Developing an app that makes your product or service more convenient for the consumer increases your chances for repeat business. As shown before, the easier it is for customers to complete their purchase, the more likely you are to make a sale. As a result, users will return to use the app, given the fact that it proved to be so convenient to them in the first place.

Quick and easy ordering: A mobile app development should allow customers to quickly place orders from the convenience of their tablet or smartphone. An example of this kind are fast food and restaurants, who are leveraging mobile order-ahead to attract more customers, intensify loyalty and drive additional incremental revenues.

Here are some quick facts regarding the mobile order-ahead system:

  • Quick-service restaurants are increasingly offering mobile order-ahead apps to drive higher revenues
  • Mobile order-ahead can drive higher average order values.
  • A successful mobile order-ahead program can only generate value when order flow is managed properly

Whether you are a big box store or a small retail establishment, you can increase your profit by making products and services convenient and accessible to your customers from mobile devices.

 

Mobile apps in numbers

The market for mobile app is continuously developing. While the numbers surrounding the increase of the mobile app in the marketplace are impressive on their own, the opportunities that lie within this powerful marketing tool seem to be endless. For a better overview of the opportunities your business can benefit from, take a look at the statistics shown below:

  • Estimated number of available apps: 1.2 million for iOS, 1.31 million for Android and 0.4 million for Windows
  • A 10th ranking free download app (in the US Apple App Store’s top overall free charts) generated an average of 72K downloads per day, as compared to the 4K downloads on average generated by an app in the paid charts.
  • The top 3 countries with the highest average revenue per download are: Japan with $5.32/download, Australia with $3.60/download and South Korea with $3.40/download.

 

What does the future look like for mobile app development?

We are already living in a world where the number of mobile gadgets exceeds the number of Earth’s population. There are officially more mobile devices than people. Furthermore, 1 in 3 consumer brands have features integrated payment in their mobile apps in 2015 alone. It is only fair to say that integrating a mobile app system into your business can help boost sales and enhance the customer experience, at the highest possible level.

 

To help create the ideal mobile app your business needs or find out more about bolstering your business with mobile apps, feel free to contact us here.

Swift: Future of iOS app development

Our iOS research team presented benefits of using Swift to develop iOS applications.

Background: Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, OS X, and watchOS. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next project — or addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C. Copied from http://developer.apple.com/swift/

In this presentation, Roshan from iOS team also explains the key differences between objective C and Swift. These slides may be too technical for you. However, if you are looking to build an app – do not forget to ask us about swift and its advantage.

Swift – the future of iOS app development from Roshan at EB Pearls research team

Build Your Next App for the Apple Watch

Apple watch is easily the most highly anticipated timepiece of the century, and by far the most versatile. In addition to the exceptionally customisable watch face, allowing user’s to view time on their own terms, its accuracy is unparalleled, self-checking and adjusting the time according to global standards, varying time zones, and daylight savings time.

Experts predict Apple watch will change the way users communicate, play, keep fit, stay organised, listen to music, and more. All apps begin as an idea, and when you’re ready to turn yours into a reality, understanding the apps development process, and choosing the right agency are the keys to your success.

 

The Apps Development Process

Apple applications are held to the highest standards for reliability, performance and content, and must conform to a rigid series of guidelines and a lengthy review process before being approved. This is where apps development experience counts, getting your idea to market in a timely manner, and helping to realise its full potential.

  1. Growth. Know your target market, and grow your idea into application that a wide range of users not only want, but need.
  2. Design. This is the area of apps development that sets your app apart from the competition, with the right combination of function and form. Third party apps for Apple Watch require two distinct files: one for the watch itself, and the other as a WatchKit extension, running on the users iPhone. While they work together as a team, each has it’s own unique function: the Watch app storing only those files associated with the user interface, and the WatchKit app serving as the brains behind the operation.
  3. Testing. A working prototype is designed to ensure the app works to specifications, and bugs worked out prior to entering the marketplace.
  4. OptimisationApple is notorious for their fast-paced, rapidly changing technology and platform updates. Once the apps development process is complete, you’ll want to extend the lifespan of your app through continuous optimisation and developer support.

mobile-apps

In anticipation of Apple watch, the market for apps development is on the rise, as the value and potential of this latest technology becomes more apparent. Because of the unique two-tiered approach needed to ensure the success of a Watch app, choosing an experienced, knowledgeable developer is crucial. Contact the experts at EB ePearls today to begin building your app, for the first wearable technology on offer from Apple.

Must Ask Questions Before Hiring a Mobile App Development Company

From past few years, there has been a continuous rise in the demand for smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices. The number of consumers who search, browse and make purchases from their mobile devices is also increasing. As a result, mobile devices are rapidly becoming the number one choice for conducting all forms of business. Business owners have realised that getting an app build, is getting a means to attract and retain the customers in years to come.

A successful app has the ability to increase sales and deepen customer engagement, but if done wrong, it can do significant damage to your brand. Therefore, selecting the right mobile app development company is very important to make your app a successful one.

In this article, we have discussed five prime questions, which the business owners should ask the app development company before hiring them. They are listed below, kindly read ahead to know more:

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Mobile Application Development Scenarios and their Demands in Australia

mobileapp
Mobile apps are becoming more and more popular nowadays. There are various innovative applications designed that ease the people’s daily tasks. With the emerging technology like iPad, iPhone, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows application, the demand for mobile application development has grown exponentially. Those windows applications and websites that were to be run on desktops before are needed to be run properly even on mobile phones now.

Australian Market for iPhone and Android Application Development

Many Australian mobile app development companies have specialized in creating latest applications that simplify hard tasks and interactive too. The iPhone app development in the market has greatly opened the windows of opportunity for Australian developers who want to display their mastery in apps creation.

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