WHAT IS AN APP ?
The term app “application” originally referred to any mobile or desktop application, but as more app stores have emerged to sell mobile apps to smartphone and tablet users, the term has evolved to refer to small programs that can be downloaded and installed all at once. They can fulfil a multitude of functions from weather and news updates, to tracking fitness and keeping up to date on social media. There are thousands of apps designed to run on today's smartphones and tablets. Some apps can be downloaded for free, while others must be purchased from an app store.
Many apps have programs that can run on desktop or the internet, but the key to a mobile app is that it uses the device it’s run on, gives a more intelligent experience and is simple to use. Hence, it must be made to specific specs held by a variety of mobile devices (screen size, touch functions etc).
Where can I download apps for free?
Regarding mobile apps, these are obtained via app stores which each platform has such as Apple’s App Store, Google Play for Android and Amazon’s Appstore for Android, and Windowsapps Microsoft Store. Here you'll find a selection of free and paid apps to select from. You can download these through your device.
Increasingly small and mid-size businesses are taking after the mobile trend, understanding that a successful mobile strategy includes more than just a mobile-friendly website which their business needs a mobile app. In fact, these days you’ll notice that numerous small businesses you connected with on a frequent basis have their claim committed mobile app. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their digital promoting to the following level.
The idea is to create something that will perform a particular task or function for the user. As the market has developed over the years, so as well has the variety of apps available to users. From social media and shopping apps, to games and fitness trackers.
When creating an app, it’s important to think about why your business might need one and what benefit it will have for you and your customers. Consider the following:
?What is the service you offer to users that no other app does?
? Will your current offerings be more efficient with an app?
? Can you enhance the experience of your customers with an app instead of a website?
? Do you want to create a community via your app?
? Do you want to increase your brand’s visibility with an app?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
When creating an app, it is important to think about how it will benefit your business and your customers. As the use of smartphones has increased over the years, so too have the number of apps available to users. But there are a series of factors to consider when making an app, and whether or not it will be worthwhile for your business such as target audience, budget, features and purpose.
Apps are a great way to reach out to new customers and keep engaging with current ones. Here are just a few of the benefits to making an app for your business:
- Communication – An app can help you increase your communication with customers. You can promote your services through an app and build up a community through it
- Support – You can provide extra support through an app so that customers can get help wherever they may be
- Convenience – Having a link to your services at the user’s fingertips will prove to be invaluable to them as they’ll no longer be tied to a computer to access your offerings
- Visibility – An app offers increased visibility of your brand. Users and potential customers will be able to access your services from anywhere
- Efficiency – An app can allow you to manage your business dealings with your customers more efficiently and directly, improving the business’s processes and potentially reducing costs in the long run.
WHAT MAKES AN APP USEFUL?
There are so many reasons for which mobile apps become so useful for the users. The user-friendly feature of an app helps the user to navigate the application easily and save a lot of time. The simplicity and an attractive appeal of an app attracts the users and makes an app useful. The adequate speed of the application and the step to step direction makes the app useful for the users.
From a functional point of view, you should think about why you’re making the app and
consider the hardware functionality that makes the app worth making. Will your app need to use the phone’s camera or microphone? Will it need the phone’s GPS functionality?
App stores will consider this when it comes to reviewing the app for submission. For example, Apple’s criteria for minimal functionality in an app includes some of the following points:
? It should include features, content, and User Interface that lift it beyond a repackaged website
? It should provide a long lasting entertainment value
? An app shouldn’t primarily be marketing materials, advertisements, web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links
? Your app should work on its own without requiring installation of another app to function.
Essentially, in case your app concept could work as easily on a website or other stage, your app may not be acknowledged by the app stores. So it’s important to really think about the features it'll use on the device it’s loaded on to and how unique the experience will be for the user.
A few other factors that make an app useful:
? Target Audience – The requirements of the audience should be considered in arrange to create an app that they need to use. Conducting user research should help you in what it is that a user would need and how they might use it
? Efficiency/ease of use – The client ought to be able to use the app easily, and it ought to be an enjoyable experience when utilising it
? Doing the basics – In case for an existing item, the app should do all the basics and hopefully in less time
? Stability and speed – It’s important to create an app that not only performs well and quick, but is strong and doesn’t crash
? The better details – Once you have the shape and function down, think about how you'll perhaps finesse the app. It’s the little details that can frequently make an app stand out from sound effects delivered by certain functions to animations.
WHAT CAN AN APP BE USED FOR?
Mobile apps are used for many things including providing general information about a product, news services, ticketing services, shopping, travel information, weather, messaging and much more. Here are just a few examples of some of the areas apps can be used in:
Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have had apps for years permitting ease of use when on the go. Adding to those are Snapchat, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, along with apps for blogging platforms such as Tumblr, and a fair portion of the app utilisation is taken up by social media. The key feature being able to remain in touch whilst on the move.
In recent years, supermarket chains have ventured into the app world to help make shopping a more efficient experience for their customers. For the likes of Sainsbury’s whose app enables you to shop online from anywhere, this has taken the requirement for having to be at home by the computer or at the shops out of the equation. Other stores such as Waitrose have introduced an app that allows you to scan your products as you go, leaving you to pay at the till and then go. From grocery shopping to buying tickets, companies such as Train Line and Lothian Buses have got in the app game and make it easier for customers to buy tickets when on the go. Because the tickets are stored in the app, there’s now no need to worry about losing your ticket as it will be in your phone.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
As the interest in health and fitness has increased in the digital age with the rise of health blogs and fitness accounts on Instagram, so too has the availability of health and fitness apps. Users can monitor their stats when out running or cycling with apps like Strava. Not only can it track your progress, but it enables you to connect with like minded individuals, creating a community. From running and other forms of fitness, to mindfulness and meditation, Headspace has become a popular app for those looking to take time out
from a busy day.
ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC
Streaming services have increased in popularity over the years with the rise of mobile technology. Having a music app like Spotify, or a video app like Netflix on the go has become useful for those who commute.
Mobile banking has become very popular as there’s often a need to manage money when on the go. Most major banks have an app with a simplified version of their services
from transfers and payments to offers and branch information. Some apps such as Monzo offer a handy alert system that keeps you up to date with your spending habits.
IS IT THE RIGHT OPTION? (IE WOULD A MICROSITE OR SOMETHING ELSE TO THE JOB?)
If you’re unsure an app is suitable for your business or if you create an app and it isn’t accepted into an app store, there are other options you can look into such as microsites and
progressive web apps, which can potentially cater for your needs.
Microsites usually consist of a page or set of pages and are an offshoot of a brand or company’s site. The nature and purpose of these sites often lend themselves to be a little more creative in style, with a more visual element to them. Microsites can be a good option for the following reasons:
? They're a good outlet for telling the story of the product or campaign more creatively, and make more of an impact
? They can reach a target audience in a more direct manner as the content will be tailored to them.
? Due to their size, they can be developed more quickly and can suit a short campaign.
It is worth noting that although a useful alternative to creating an app, the cost of creating and maintaining another site on top of an existing one should be considered.
PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS
A progressive web app (PWA) is essentially a mobile-optimised site, which offers an app-like experience for the user. These can be accessed from a browser so don’t need to be downloaded to a mobile device.
If an app isn’t right for your business, then here are some of the main benefits of going with a PWA:
? The design is responsive and can adapt to different browsers and fit across different screen sizes
? PWAs are fast, providing a good performance
? They don’t use as much data as a mobile app
? They can be accessed and shared via a URL link
? Although web based, they can provide as much of an engaging experience as a native app.
A PWA might be a better option if you’re working to a limited budget or you want something that can work well across a variety of platforms. This option may end up being more flexible for your business.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER IF YOU ARE GOING TO CREATE/ COMMISSION AN APP?
There are many things you would like to think about when creating an app such as the following:
The requirements for the app – as mentioned already, it’s key to think about the craving for an app, for both your business and your users or customers. Conducting research into this should help recognize whether there's a gap in what your business provides and whether or not an app can bridge this gap.
The budget – You would like to consider the budget for the app, which will depend on the scale of the app – How much content will the app have? Will it need a huge team to build? How do you need to advertise it?
The operating system – You should moreover consider what operating system you would like to have the app developed for – whether you go with Android or iOS, or make something for both. They’ll have their pros and cons so it’s worth looking into what can be a more appropriate stage for your app.
In-house or outsourced – Depending on the size of your company, you may have in-house developers who can create an app for you, or you may wish to outsource it to an agency or freelancer. This can often depend on the budget you have for the app so it’s good to consider your options across the board.
By having a developer on board, you will benefit from the skills and years of experience they can bring to the project. As can often be the case, business requirements can change over the course of a project so it’s useful to have the technical knowledge and expertise to hand. Security – This is very important to consider if your app will be handling user data. You should ensure that customer data is kept safe and secure at all points of collection and storage. As of the 25th May, the General Data Protection Regulation will come into force across Europe and this will affect how companies handle user data. More information about this can be found in.
HOW SHOULD I MANAGE PERSONAL DATA?
When making an app that requires any kind of personal information from its clients, it's vital to consider the need to collect this data, how it'll be utilised, and how it will be stored. Sensitive data must be protected and come the 25th May, an unused set of data security regulations will come into force across Europe. This is known as the Common Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for brief, and will direct how organisations ensure and oversee personal information of their users. These rules will apply to apps so it's critical to think about how you're reaching to oversee individual information when creating your app. Discover more about GDPR and how it can influence you in our direct here. Some focuses to consider when considering around client data:
WHAT KIND OF ACCESS WILL YOUR APP HAVE TO PERSONAL INFORMATION?
Consider what information is collected from your users and how it's collected. This can be information through a form or information such as location or camera data. Consider how
much information an app would need to get from a user in order to function.
SECURITY AND ENCRYPTION
Make sure any data collected and stored is encrypted. Your application should be fully secure and not have any vulnerabilities that could lead to a data breach.
HAVE YOU GOT CONSENT FROM YOUR USER?
Ensure you get consent from any users before obtaining their data, and request consent in a clear and easy to read manner. You should also be able to prove you asked for consent.
ARE YOUR POLICIES CLEAR ENOUGH?
It's important to make it clear to users what information you're asking for, why and how you intend to use it. They should have a clear understanding when they're giving you their
HOW DOES THE APP ECOSYSTEM WORK?IOS/ANDROID/WINDOWS ETC
It’s long been considered that Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android dominate the market and their own ecosystems have similarities and differences. A variety of
apps across different platforms and from different developers/providers can be found in each store. In terms of submitting an app, it’s best to look into each one and see which might work
for you and your business.
Apple’s App Store has often been considered the most popular store for app downloads, with the largest range of apps, many of them free or at least reasonably priced, and they have a variety of Google-produced apps including Gmail, Maps and
Android has more stores to choose from such as Google Play and Amazon’s Appstore, as well as some smaller stores. Often this kind of variety can be enticing to app developers as they have more opportunities to distribute their apps.
MICROSOFT STORE (FORMALLY WINDOWS STORE).
Microsoft has an approach similar to Google in that it creates apps (many of which are their core offerings) that can be available just about anywhere.
APPLE / ANDROIDSTORE APPROVALS
Once you’ve created your app, you’ll want to think about where to submit it. There are many stores around today each with their own set of pros and cons to go with them, so it’s
worth doing the research to figure out where might be the best place to submit. In this guide, we’ll look at the Apple and Android store approvals.
The Apple App store has a set of requirements for the acceptance of apps into the app store, so it is essential to familiarize yourself with these early on in your app development in order to increase your chances of getting the app accepted. They have recently published a set of
guidelines and you can find them here [https://developer.
apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/]. This document takes into consideration key elements such as safety, performance,design, business and legal.
Once you’ve reviewed the guidelines and ensured your app follows these, you need to register for an Apple developer account. You have to pay an annual fee of £59 for this account
but this includes access to features on the iOS Dev Centre,where you’ll find videos, documentation, forums and even code samples. The account also gives you access to an iOS
Simulator so you can run iPhone and iPad applications on your Mac desktop machine for testing and debugging.
Once you’ve fully tested your app and feel it’s ready for publication, you can upload it to the App Store and submit it to the approval process. You’ll need to set the category it will be in, any keywords and the price band. Approvals can take anywhere between a week and a couple of months, so it’s important to factor in approval time to the project timing plan. If the app doesn’t meet the store’s standards, you will be notified via email of what needs to be adjusted. You can then resubmit when you’ve updated the app.You’ll need to consider how much your app might cost, and Apple currently have 85 price bands ranging from “free” to £599 which you can select from. Apple will take 30% of the selling price and will pay you the balance through a direct deposit once a month.If you’re updating your app for any reason, you will need to resubmit it for approval again.
Android stores operate under similar principles as Apple,there’s just more choice to go with. You have Google Play for Android, Amazon’s App Store for Android, as well as a series of
other stores for Android phones. The best option would be to target the most popular stores first as they’ll be more of a draw for potential new customers.Much like the Apple App Store, Android stores have a series of guidelines that should help with the submission process.Looking at Google Play’s set up, a user must familiarise themselves with these guidelines before signing up to the store. Once they have, a simple registration fee of $25 (around £18) is needed and there’s the option to set up a merchant account for selling through the store as well.When submitting the app, it’s important to test it against the quality guidelines ensuring the product has the basic
features and functions that an Android user would expect.The app should also be appropriately priced and described in the submission process as well so users gain a good understanding of what the app is about.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR AN APP TOBE APPROVED BY
THE APP STORE OWNERS?
As mentioned previously, the Apple and Android stores have a series of steps necessary to take in order to submit your app for approval on their stores. Here is a breakdown of some of
the requirements that are useful to note when submitting:
? Make sure the app works – Test your app for crashes and bugs and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible
? Supply correct information – Ensure that all app information and metadata is complete and accurate when submitting
? Keep contact information up to date – App review may need to get in touch with you so it’s important you supply the correct contact details and keep them up to date
? Provide test materials – An active demo account and login information, plus any other hardware or resources that might be needed to review your app (e.g. login credentials or a sample QR code), may be needed in the course of the app’s review
? Enable backend services – This is to ensure the app is live and accessible during review
? Include extra information – Your app may have a series of non obvious features or other qualities the store should know about. Be sure to include this information in the app review notes
? Double check – Does your app follow guidance supplied in other notes? Cover all bases and make sure it does.
ANDROID (GOOGLE PLAY)
? Google Play’s policy centre – Be sure to review this as it will give you an idea of what to expect when creating and submitting the app to the store
? Accurate description – Give the app an appropriate description ensuring it complies with the store’s metadata policy
? Image/Other content rights – Only use images,animations and other content you have the rights to
? Rate the app accurately – Be sure to provide an accurate rating for the app as this will act as a guide for users to what the content is like. This can be done by filling out a rating questionnaire on Google’s Play Console about the nature of the app’s content. The app will then receive a rating from multiple rating authorities.
? Advertising – Ensure any ads in your app comply with the policy guidelines.
? Restricted content – Double check the app for any restricted content such as adult content, drugs or violence. This includes any user generated content.
? Contact details – Keep your contact details up to date should the store need to contact you about anything.
HOW MUCH DOES AN APP COST TO BUILD?
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this. Appendix Development costs can vary depending on many factors.
? Project size
? Application complexity
? Team size required to create
? The speed of the developer making it
? Time taken to create
? Inspection time required
? Are there any long-term costs involved? Maintain/update It's worth researching the person or company that makes it. See what other rates exist for your application and its type. The application you want to create.
WHAT DIFFERENTAPPROACHES ARETHERE TO APP BUILDS? (NATIVE/NON-NATIVE FRAMEWORKS)
There are a number of different approaches you can take to building an app, and it often depends on the needs of your app.
Native apps are applications that are made by the device manufacturer specifically for the device they’re being used on. iTunes, iMessage, and iBooks are examples of native apps made by Apple for use on the iPhone. iPad etc. These apps are often considered to be the fastest and most reliable to use as they make use of the device features and user experience.
CROSS PLATFORM APPS
Cross Platform apps are made in such a way they can work across different devices, which means they’re more flexible in where they’re used. There are two kinds of cross platform
Native Cross Platform – These are similar to the Hybrid approach but remove HTML and CSS from the process and allow the packaged app to talk directly to the mobile Operating System. The apps can make use of the device user interface controls and can make development easier as this will enable consistency between devices.
The frameworks mentioned above have their pros and cons,so it’s worth considering your needs specifically and thinking about what might suit you. Some factors to take into account could be the speed of the app, the support for certain features,whether or not any of the frameworks carry particular risks, and how much it costs to develop with any of these frameworks.
SHOULD I CHARGE CUSTOMERS FOR MY APP?/ HOW MUCH SHOULD APPSCOST?
Considering whether or not you should charge for your app can be tricky. There are a couple of factors to consider here first such as how the app platform may affect any profitability, the industry your app is in and how your chosen audience may interact with your app. It’s worth looking into how other apps have been priced and what considerations were made.If you do decide to charge customers, here are a few options to consider:
? Advertising – Displaying third party ads can generate revenue via clicks, views or conversions but it should be noted that ads mustn’t be intrusive to the user’s experience. There are a range of ad options from video and banner ads, to native and interstitial ads. Each with their own pros and cons.
? Freemium – This allows the user to try out the basic elements of the app for free, with the option of paying for more content later on. It works as a good taster to an app.
? In-app purchases – This allows the user to pay for certain content or products within the app.
? Subscriptions – This method is already in use in some of the most popular apps out there such as Netflix and Spotify. By paying a small monthly sum each month,the user has access to plentiful content. It’s important to make sure that content is kept fresh and interesting so that users feel they have a reason to stick around month after month.
WHAT ARE THE ON GOING CONSIDERATIONS FOR AN APP? (WILL IT COST MONEY TO MAINTAIN)
It's important to retain your audience. Keep your app up to date. It can be anything: maintain and update content, explore opportunities for improvement; or Add functionality to your application. always cost money You can, but it's generally considered worthy of your goal. The audience is interested. In most cases, you can open the application. There is a lot of interest and then it goes away with time. Nothing will interest users in the long run.
? Make a plan – Having a content material method will allow you to devise in advance and maintain the content material sparkling to your users, consequently retaining them inquisitive about the lengthy term
? Improve functions – If you've got got functions to improve at the modern-day app experience, positioned finances apart to put in force these
? General updates – As the era moves alongside at a pace, it's critical to don't forget how this could affect your app. Make positive it's far updated and capable of handle new gadgets that come onto the marketplace each so often
? Consider safety and statistics handling – Make sure your safety preparations are installed efficiently and remain updated to make sure consumer statistics is secure from any hacks or safety breaches.
HOW SHOULD I PROMOTE MY APP?
Decide what application you want to build and You have to think about what you want to do and how you want to do it. promote it. There are several ways to promote your app.
Of course, your site should be one of the first. A place to post information about your application. It should Taken from the panel on the main page with descriptions And a link to every store it might be, a link to a dedicated page What is your application and why it will be useful Download someone.
Promoting your application will be easy through posting to Facebook and Twitter to social media channels LinkedIn to help your audience learn more about it. If you have an Instagram account, post more details. Links in apps and bios can and can work. In the "Record" section. These platforms allow you to invest in sponsored posts and Please help me figure it out faster. Worth the budget Sideways to get used to.
You can submit application information to the industry. Certain publications and websites to help you expand This is the area for people looking at your application. It is also worth your while Let people test your app, write a review, and share it.
This may seem like a daunting one as there are so many apps on
the stores today but you can carry out something called App Store
Optimisation, by ensuring the following:
? Your app call is specific and stands out
? Include key phrases so it's smooth to find
? Describing your app really and maintaining that information as much as date
? Including some screenshots or video photos so potential clients can get a sneak peek into how the app works
? Make positive your app features easily and customers enjoy the experience. That way, high quality scores must be smooth to get and consequently improve the visibility of your app.
Search Ads: Apple introduces mostly paid Search Ads App Store Ads. This means you can bet when a user searches for your app Applications appear first when using certain terms.