Does Your Business Really Need to Get On The iPhone and Android App Bandwagon?

Smart phones now account for 27% of the mobile phone market led by nearly 50 million iPhone or Android purchases in the last quarter of 2010. Those seemingly smart consumers want to be able to communicate, buy and enjoy, whatever they want, whenever they want. As a result, more than 400,000 mobile applications or apps have been developed in the last three years.

Does your business need a mobile app?

The most used apps are for games, news, sports and weather, social networking and music. But there are a number of successful business apps too.

The Domino’s Pizza app generated more than $2 million by making it easy to order and offering the chance to win prizes.

Nike Training Club targeted women with a full-body training app featuring workouts and drills.

Amazon’s app compares prices from local retailers for over a million products sold on Amazon.com.

These and other success stories show how apps can help companies:

1. Brand-Many “first to app” companies have famous brands like Nike and Domino’s. Apple pretty much created the app space. There’s a cutting edge or coolness factor associated with having an app.

2. Satisfy-Consumers want convenience. Apps make their lives easier with valuable, timely information, increasing customer satisfaction.

3. Connect-Think in terms of the Nike Fitness app. The user has an ongoing, positive connection and the company achieves marketing touches in a non-marketing manner.

4. T.O.-No, not the football player/reality show guy. Track & Optimize. When customers use your app, you have information to track. Plus, apps help with Search Engine Marketing in that your company name is online one more time.

Before you jump on the app bandwagon, consider your options. Today’s smart phones support both regular websites and mobile versions. You might achieve your goals in a more cost effective way by creating a mobile version of your website. If you decide to move forward, here’s your app checklist:

• Identify the target market for the app and why they would use it.

• Provide fresh, updated content that adds value.

• Build an app for each mobile phone platform.

• Make sure the app isn’t just a mobile website. Otherwise, why make the investment?

• Provide a compelling reason to use the app and get the word out through multiple mediums like email, text and twitter.

Your business may or may not need a mobile app today. But you definitely need to enhance your mobile presence in the future.

Offshore Android Application Development – Hire Android App Developer Or Find Freelancer?

Google’s Android has revolutionized the mobile apps market. For a while it seemed that iPhone would completely dominate the smartphones market, but the skyrocketing popularity of Android OS has changed the game. Programmers and developers love Android as it makes it easier for them to develop dynamic and groundbreaking apps. Professional android app developers also love the fact that Android OS is a free, open source software.

Android application development has rapidly gained ground in the mobile app development market because it delivers what the mobile users want. This platform is perfect for the development of feature-rich, speedy, dynamic, attractive and efficient apps. Consequently, a number of people opt for Android application development.

Offshore Android Development: When and Why?

If you decide to develop an app for Android, and you do not have the skills and workforce required for Android development, you need to get someone else to do it. If the person you hire doesn’t do a good job, your app is doomed to obscurity.

Also, an experienced professional android app developer may prove to be too costly. If you do not possess a deep pocket, you cannot ignore the cost advantage of outsourcing your project. When you outsource your project, you can either find a freelancer or hire a professional app develop from a software development company.

‘Freelancer’ and ‘Hired Developer’: What do These Words Really Mean in Terms of Android App Development?

A number of freelancers post their profiles on diverse sites that help freelancers connect with potential employers. Many of these freelancers are professional developers with full time jobs, while quite a few of the profiles are created by agents who try to grab projects and then pass on to developers for a commission.

A hired developer is a person who already works as a full time developer in a software development company (usually an offshore location). You pay the company a certain amount and ‘hire’ the services of the developer for a specified duration or for a particular project. The company takes responsibility of the project, and it promises to provide infrastructure and technical assistance to the hired developer.

Pros and Cons: Freelancers and Hired Developers for Android App Development

If you choose a freelancer for your Android application development project, you may end up waiting for a lifetime for him/her to finish the project. The problem is that you do not know a thing about the freelancer, and in absence of a legal agreement, there is not much you can do if the freelancer delays your project indefinitely.

Also, it is not easy to find freelancers for Android development, as this field of development is not yet as popular as iPhone developer in offshore locations. But you may get lucky and find a dedicated freelancer: in this case you can get good work done for a dirt cheap price.

As long as you entrust your Android development work to a professional developer from a reputed company, you do not have to worry about quality or timely delivery. While this approach ensures quality development, it costs a little more than freelance.

What should one do then?

Freelance Android app development is a rather risky venture, but if you know a reputed freelancer who has already worked for your friends or acquaintances, you have struck gold. However, if you crave security and surety that your Android application development projects finishes on time and on cost, you are better off hiring an app developer from a reputed mobile development company.

Android Apps Development Ideas – 6 Points to Keep in Mind

Android is currently the most popular OS for smart phones, with an estimated number of 300 million plus, users worldwide. For developers this opens up a large market for promoting their apps, but there is also fierce competition in this segment with around 450,000 apps on Google Play. Unless an app stands out from its competitors on the store, the chances of cashing in on this opportunity are meagre.

Here are 6 ideas for developing Android apps that will set your cash registers ringing.

1. A Unique Idea – Whether it’s a gaming or a utility app, in order to succeed on Google Play, it should be unique and indigenous. Rather than trying to emulate the success of an existing top grosser like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and apps like Instagram, it is better to come up with a creative new approach to entertaining the user or find a niche segment that is still unexploited. Dmastore’s Italian Cooking app for Android is a good example of an app that has tapped into a niche by providing traditional Italian recipes in Spanish to the large Spanish speaking population throughout the world.

2. Good User Interface – In a market place that is crowded with offerings, an app should have excellent design coupled with a good ‘User Interface’ in order to increase its chances of getting noticed. The design should not be complex. Some apps such as Smart AudioBook Player have seen success just by concentrating on a simple design and user friendly interface that gives customers exactly what they need.

3. Rich features – Since there already are a large number of apps on Google Play, a new app needs not only to be unique but also feature-rich in order to witness a large number of downloads. In a market which already had several well-known sports related apps, Apppli’s Cricket World Cup 2011 app was successful because of the multiple features that it offered users. Besides live updates and the latest news about the Cricket World Cup, the app provided users with a range of options such as ball-by-ball commentary, listing of match fixtures and results, which other sports news apps lacked.

4. Continuity – As unique or feature-rich an app might be, there will come a time when the user gets bored with it and wants to try something new. In this scenario, it’s a good development strategy to look at the long term and offer content with continuous updates. Many apps, including Angry Birds, have used this technique by offering a free app as well as a continuous stream of new versions for which the user has to pay.

5. Be Social – With social networking becoming almost a way of life, having an Android app development idea that can benefit from the use of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter can help in increasing the reach of the app while satisfying a customer need. Instagram and Viddy are two apps that have leveraged the use of social networks for sharing photos and videos, which has resulted in a large number of downloads.

6. Customize for Android – Even though iPhones are considered to have a superior user interface, Android presents flexibility by offering features such as alternate keyboard formats and automation. When developing an Android app, rather than just adapting it for the android system, looking at how to incorporate some of its cool features into your app can result in success on Google Play.

You can develop your Android app with either one of these ideas or by using a combination of them. While trying to come up with a unique idea for an Android app, keep in mind that the user also has to see a need for it. For instance, having an app that does trigonometric functions for students may not help if they aren’t allowed to use mobile phones in the classroom. Similarly, an app that merely replicates a popular social app by offering better features may not work.
By keeping the consumer in mind while using these guidelines you could see your app sales soaring on Google Play.