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How to build an Android Gaming App That Is a Huge Success

A crazy figure of $134.9 billion was generated through global gaming market in 2018 which tells us everything about the huge success the related businesses could grab. While you look at the success, you might wonder what is the secret sauce behind rolling such an app in the market. With the ever-advancing technologies in mobile app development realm, a common user is blessed with a lot of efficient applications assisting them through out the day. You will be amazed to know that out of all the types of applications available for Android, 21-25% are gaming apps. 

If you want to get on the gaming app action, you must understand that it is not going to be a cake walk. It is not something that could be an element of interest for your circle, but you will be there on app stores among a huge crowd. You are thinking to build a large piece of digital art. Hence, you need to get acquainted with a good amount of knowledge about planning, development, platforms, technologies etc. In this blog, we will specifically talk about how to develop a Gaming app for Android

You need to get your technical stack ready in order to start with the development. It does not mean you have to learn the supporting languages like Java, HTML, CSS etc. You can hire a mobile app company for the goal accomplishment or can also start it on your own through online development tools. Download Android Studio before you strike the development part. Out of all, your first step has to be a good idea generation and effective planning towards it. 

Develop an app idea: 

Google Play store is piled up with a number of games but what they lack on is a good amount of creativity and uniqueness.  People often encounter similar things on different applications. If you want to stand out, you have to come up with a strong and interesting idea that can allure users. We agree that getting a great idea cannot be a regular task for you. You need to brainstorm along with your team in order to generates something unique. 50% of your task gets completed if you get that best idea. 

To get an idea, you have to look at the trends and statistics of mobile app gaming industry. Look at the games which are increasingly becoming popular among masses and followed blindly by users. PUBG is enough to show the craze people can have for a game. You go to college, you get people talking about it. You go to office, people just cannot resist mentioning it at least once or twice in day. Social media is full of memes that are being circulated and shared like anything. 

Next, you can think of the latest technologies hitting the market. E.g. AR, VR. How can you make them enhance your app features? Do you remember the times of Pokémon Go? Wasn’t it a big hit? 

Do not rush as the idea cannot be compromised due to lack of time or resources. Give enough time to this process so that all your further efforts can pay a good return to you. No idea gets a go-ahead at one go. You have to think of one and then refine it. Keep improvising it till you get a feeling that yes, it will certainly create a buzz in the market after launch. You can also consider taking consultation from industry experts so as to know the risk involved. 

Story creation: 

Take an example of highly acclaimed game Clash of Clans. It could get a gigantic number of downloads because it has a story to tell. Story is something which keeps your users engaged and at the same time curious. Another buzz, Coin Master does have a story too where you have to put efforts in completing your village. If you create a story around, users would be curious to know what helps next and to know that, they simply have to come and play the game. Your story becomes you USP and there is no one other that you who can tell your users what happens on the next step.

While creating the story, you have to keep in mind that it has to be ongoing, but levels should be of small spans. Give users rewards after they complete every stage or level so that they can be excited while playing. Also, make sure to use the modern designing and animation methods enough to make a good-looking interface. You can also create a theme and follow the same though out the lifecycle of the players. If there is a special character playing a main role in the game, it can support a good level of branding as well. 

Make your game addictive:

Two things can make a game additive. First is Storyboard and next is Rewards. If you have a great story and you reward users after he/she crosses various levels, your players would not go anywhere. Make sure that levels are not too long. Keep the length average so that users do not get bored and just give up. 

Have a great design: 

Enchanting users in this era is not so easy. They have a lot of other options. Even if you have a great idea behind your app, make sure your app is presented well keeping all UI and UX things mind. Designing plays a major role in creating engagement through a game. Your designer has to keep in mind the story, characters and other art work to be used in the app. Your app should not look cluttered on any device. The graphics used in the app should go in line with the logic of the game play. In all, you have to ponder over the designing equally because it is as important as the logics used. Users would be able to go into the logics only after they find the app appealing and good enough to go ahead with. 

Create Monetization strategy: 

More than 90% of the entrepreneurs want to earn great out of their efforts and valuable time. Moreover, rolling out a game in the market demands its development, hosting and marketing which cost dollars. You have to make a balance between your outgoing cost and the inputs. This is the reason why you have to frame a monetization strategy. Most common way of making money out of an app is using freemium model where you offer certain set of features for free while user has to pay to get additional things. Here are some of the other common ways. 

1. Advertisement: You can run advertisement over your gaming app based on pay per click model. It’s like when the player clicks on an ad, you get paid by the advertiser. Do not just pile up your app with ads. Allow a little number at starting which can be grown as you expand or put them in rotation. Running ads can be annoying for the users for which you can also allow them to enjoy an ad-free experience by subscribing to a higher plan.
Advertisement is highly used monetization strategy for online businesses. Once you reach a good amount of traffic, you will get brands requesting for placement over your platform so that they can get exposure. 

2. Paid levels: Keep the game free for a certain number of levels and if the user want to play more stages, he/she needs to subscribe for a paid plan. Bingo! Now, for this your game has to be really engaging and addictive so that users get willing to pay. You can also choose to give clues to users regarding how the next stage is going to look. What are the perks they are going to get? Any reward or something else? 

3. In-app purchases: In-app purchases is a great approach to earn from a gaming app. You can users to buy a certain set of diamonds, bullets, coins or something else associated with the game to unlock the next stage. Plan out what is the thing that can excite them the most while playing. Trigger that point and make the purchase those additional things. For example, in a game if the user has collected a certain number of coins, let’s say, 80 points. Ask them to purchase 20 more points to instantly reach the next level or may be to kill a monster inside the app story. 

Deciding technology stack: 

Android apps are powered by Java. If you are going to use any additional technology inside the application, you have to prepared with the resources having good hands on that. Approach a game development company and share your features in order to get consultation over the technology choice. Use the right SDK to accomplish the task related to your gaming App for Android, thus making it scalable and rendering high performance.

What kind of games you can go for? 

If you are a smartphone owner and ever got in touch with games, you must be knowing that there is huge variety of games running online. Gaming industry has made some huge numbers last year, but it does not mean all the types of games contributed equally. If you are coming up with a game in the market, you need to know what kind of games are actually a huge demand in the market these days. Framing your idea according to the demand would be beneficial for you at the end of the day. Here are some of the popular kinds of games which can create an instant buzz in the market. 

A. Puzzles: It is one of the most popular genres in the world of gaming apps. People like challenges which is why puzzles and word problems can become a great area of interest for them. From an easy jigsaw puzzle to complex mathematical puzzles such as Sudoku, puzzles rack the highest engagement percentage among users. Such kind of games have maximum life and a recent study has also revealed that 38 million monthly users are playing puzzles. This figure can be enough for you to understand the potential of such an app. Puzzles have power to keep users engaged for hours since every minute they think that who knows the problem can be solved in the next minute. 

B. Strategic games: Two of the great examples of strategic games include Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Such games have an addictive model which keeps the user bound to the platform. 

C. Casual games: This kind of games often find space in user’s phone but are not played very frequently. Casual games have power to appeal users only for the first two times. For example, Talking Tom which was a buzz once but now opened only when you have to engage children, that too rarely. 

D. Arcade games: Such games do not put much focus on story instead focused on coming up with different difficult levels. Arcade games get a lot of traction due to the added real-time factor. 

Is it possible to build a gaming app for free? 

Anything we get for free gives us immense delight. If you are wondering if there is any way to build an app for free or low cost, here is the information. There are plenty of Android SDKs and tools available online which can support the whole development and important integrations. Lets us know what these tools are all about. 

i. Construct 3: Construct 3 is powered by an intuitive GUI through which the developers do not have to remain entangled in coding part. They just need to put their creative best forward. You can create an app just by dragging and dropping elements through this tool. 

ii. Unity: Unity is a free to use platform which is widely used for game development purposes. It supports the development of both 2D as well as 3D games. It is flexible platform which can provide a great aid when you do not know anything about programming. 

iii. Game Maker Studio 2: Game Maker Studio 2 provides a platform interlacing programming with drag and drop capabilities which makes the tool apt for both coders and non-coders. If you have a unique idea that is not there in the scope of Game Maker Studio, you can frame your game using a scripting language like C. You can go through its developer documentation before starting so as to get acquainted with enough amount of knowledge regarding the same. It would tell you about versions, installation, updates, release notes, licensing and a lot more things. You will get a lot of assistance in project configurations, source code integration, advanced debugging etc. 

iv. Unreal Engine 4: It is said to a mature and futuristic tool for game development as it supports some of the next level features. This tool is flexible enough to make itself an apt choice for all the team sizes. It is a huge suite of game building tools designed to meet various artistic versions. It is a leading, powerful and trusted tool to develop mobile games. You can complete the whole process without having to use any third-party tool or plugins. It also offers immersive AR and VR experience for product designing and architecture. 

v. Godot Engine: Godot is a go-to platform for most of the developers for the creation of both 2D and 3D games. Godot provides a wide range of tools so that the creators can only focus on developing the game without having to remain entangled in solving the bugs of platform. It is cost free and open-source under the MIT license. It provides you a detailed documentation with all the essentials associated with the game. You can also report if you find any kind of problem with the engine and quick solution is provided.

According to Influencermarketinghub,Newzoo released its gaming revenue predictions through to 2021 (revised in October 2018). By 2021 they expect total gaming to be worth $174.0 billion. They expect mobile gaming to continue to grow, reaching $91.2 billion in 2021, with 43% of the market smartphone gaming and a further 9% tablet.” You can see a huge potential in mobile gaming industry looking at these figures. It is the high time for you work on your idea so that you can launch your game in the coming year getting tremendous success for the gaming app owners. Due to high demand, there are chances for you to make an instant success by stepping in. 

We hope that this complete guide helps you through out the planning and development cycle. Make sure you do enough amount of research so as to narrow down important feature along with having a look at the risks involved. Moreover, the game has to be based on a story but its should not be much complex. You can take the example of Angry Birds which is based on an easy concept still could capture attention of masses. Get in touch with the experienced game developers in order to assist you with ideation, selection of tools and more. 

10 Unavoidable Benefits of Mobile Apps over Responsive Websites

The number of smartphone users worldwide has raised to a gigantic figure of 2.7 billion which becomes a great reason for businesses to focus on having an online presence running well on mobile devices. An easier version is called a mobile app. There are two ways you can serve the mobile users-getting a dedicated app designed from a mobile app development company or having a mobi-site i.e. mobile responsive website. To reach a mobi-site, we have to access browsers and even after reaching the website, we have to encounter low performance.

Number of studies by Oracle and MobileSmith have proved that over 60% users prefer mobile apps over mobi-sites to purchase online. Specially, if you hold an ecommerce business, you can lose on major sales for having a low performing and slowly loading mobile presence. 

There is not a single reason why ecommerce mobile apps are better than responsive websites. It is a big list of reasons. In this article, we will make you aware of the few major ones important to consider. 

1. Personalized content: Personalization is defined as presenting a tailor-made content as per user’s preferences and behavior. Mobile apps let users set their preferences and choices exactly so that they can enjoy the stuff which is exclusively made for them. The same reduces the time they have to spend in searching things on your app. On the other hand, if we talk about mobile responsive websites, they cannot be housed in your phone and hence there is a little or no scope of personalization. Mobile apps let you use the features of GPS through which you can show location-based content to the users and also let you send push notifications which serve as a great way of increasing engagement these days. The apps are capable of observing user behaviour and engagement to offer custom recommendations and filter updates depending upon their location in real-time.

2. Apps are faster: Mobile apps are 1.5 times faster than a mobi-site. With mobile apps, data retrieval happens in a matter of seconds as they store data locally on your device. Talking about the mobile responsive website, they have to pull data from serves which is a long process and hence takes time. The speed depends upon the server performance, network ad many other associated things. Apps run on frameworks whereas mobile sites use Javascript to run functions which is why apps are seen offer a seamless experience. 

3. Push notifications: Being an ecommerce business holder, it must be a every week’s work for you to release offers. By means of mobile apps, you can send important updates to the users using Push notifications. Push notifications are received in the notification tray of smartphones regardless user opens the app or not. Such notifications are effective when they are personalized and sent on right time. For example, if you know that a particular user visits your app in the evening then send notification at that time only to increase the conversion rate significantly. Push notifications that are sent at the optimal time for each user have a higher open rate.

4. Offline access: Mobi-sites would run under internet connectively while mobile apps also allow you to access certain features while you are offline. For example, if you want to read your favourite novel online, you would obviously not want any kind of disturbance in between. Mobile apps are seen offer seamless experience in such situations. Moreover, wherever you go, it’s not necessary you find a good network. Mobile apps are a saver in such time since you can access few or most of the features offline as well. 

5. Device features: Mobile app lets you use the features of native device such as GPS, Camera, NFC etc. which is an added advantage that you cannot get from a website. If you are a smartphone owner, you must be aware of importance of such operations for your business. The device features are seen to shorten the time taken by the users to start and perform an action. 

6. Added advantage in SEO: Nowadays, Google also ranks your in-app content and hence you have all the capabilities to modify your content inside your application to help your business with the website SEO. You can also optimize your presence on various app stores to avail good ranks and hence increased installs. In the case of mobile responsive websites, you are simply deprived of added benefits of app store optimization.  

7. User Experience: Think like your users! What do they need? Do they need a slowly loading content tending them to literally hit multiple taps? Obviously not! Mobile apps offer a seamless experience to the users since they have their own dedicated interface made to serve on mobile devices only. With mobile apps, you can offer on click buy, one click sharing and many other exciting features that a mobi-site might not offer. 

8. Designing capabilities: Where mobi-sites just call your website design and fit it as per the screen size, mobile apps are designed keeping in mind an added ease, mobile devices can offer. Mobile applications are designed to support a lot of gestures such as drag, pinch, hold, tap, double tap etc. with each of them performing a particular action which helps you increases user friendliness. You can freely design your mobile app without thinking about the browser elements and caching problems. 

9. Branding: Mobile apps support your branding. It can be always customized as per the company’s current branding. You can virtually change everything easily by just making a few changes to used colours and icons. 

10. Analytics: Mobile apps are seen to offer better analytics than websites. They are capable of increasing business productivity by 20 to 40% by presenting quick charts and reporting tools powered with a lot of customer data. 

Mobile applications are a lot more efficient to handle various aspects of an online business. Hence, it is high time to have one designed.

10 UI Mistakes Enough to Spoil All Your Mobile App Development Efforts

In easy words, User Interface is how your app looks. It has to be remarkable since it’s the mere connection between your target audience and your app. A typical user can immediately make an opinion regarding your services by just looking at your website or mobile app. User interface is more than just good looks. It takes into account a lot of other things as well like navigation, content, flow etc. Good UI designers choose to also inform users about what happening with the app. For example, users should know while the content loads and they have to wait. You need to make sure of using simple content and familiar language as per the target audience. Being such a wide term, it is most likely for you to make mistakes. Some have short terms impacts whereas other ones can annoy you users for life long. Here are some of the common mistakes that can spoil all your mobile app development efforts. 

1. Core problems are not addressed: We download any app as solution to the problems we are currently facing. For example, if pictures does not look good, we download photo editor. What do we expect out of it? It should provide us a wide range of filters and other editing options.
Your app’s UI design should be capable of addressing the core problems firstly before putting focus on other fanciful things. Do not make users move here and there to find something they are looking for. Come up with basic functionalities upfront. Do not hide away and make users play a guessing game.
Not putting core feature on fore foot would annoy uses and they might leave you immediately. To understand the aspect better, take Uber as an example which is transportation network giant. On its app, Uber instantly identifies your location and ask you for destination without showing the other less important things like its success stories, number of users, reach etc. The first aspect of a good UI is a consistent focus on core things. Your app design should complement the core features and the connected values. The success of your app depends greatly upon how you are solving the existing problems in the sphere. Since UI is the bridge between your app and its users, fuel it with all the required things. 

2. Using poor information architecture: Planning the information architecture of an app keeps a great importance since it lets your mobile app development company know how to structure the content. It generates an ease for the end users in finding anything effortlessly over the app. You must have spent days in the best and unique most content creation while putting it in a bad structure might ruin all your efforts.

Before you start developing the layout of your app, you need to know what all elements it would take in. The first stage of building an app’s information architecture is creating content inventory. The inventory generally consists of title, author/provider, meta elements, keywords, description, tags, copy, images, audio, video, and document files. It is going to assist your designer a lot at all the stages. He/she would be able to put things properly on place after getting to know the constituents. Wireframing is the next process where you define the flow. Work on organization structures to divide things among different categories for users to easily find something. Deciding the content organization model would be the next thing where you will need a proper consultation from an ace designer.
Companies are often seen skipping this part, but this little mistake can turn all your efforts to noting but waste. 

3. Cluttered elements: There is nothing worse than a cluttered app because it has the greatest potential to annoy users. You had a lot of things to tell and as a result you have piled up your app like anything. Now, when the user tries to access the information, before he/she reaches to the important one, he will get irritated and simply leave the app.

As a solution, the leading mobile app designers came up with an all new concept of progressive disclosure. Progressive disclosure means revealing the information when user reaches that particular section. Users would not see a messed-up app design at first sight. When the user hovers or clicks over the interface, more options are revealed. It’s a win-win situation for both users and admin. You have all the information there on the app and users can access the same whenever they want. Cluttering a user interface highly loads your user with a lot of information that might not be so useful for him/her. Every added button, text, and image makes the screen more complicated. Its wise to avoid it!

4. A lot of features: It is good to assist users for almost all the problems they are facing related to a particular arena but having too many solutions under one roof might distract them from using the core ones. It can definitely make you app sluggish and hence the overall performance would be seen degrading. Having too many features in one app makes it complicated and also heavy to load. You need heavy systems to support such kind of platform. Moreover, users would prefer to use three individual easy applications rather than one complex heavy one.
It is great to have basic features in place while you step into the market. When users start finding you reliable and get used to those features, you can come up with more. It will put a les burden on them. You can introduce the new features as updates later. Also, before pacing up too fast, you need to get aware of the acceptance of your concept. Spending all you funds at once for housing a lot of features might leave you empty handed if the idea fails in the market. Hence, always consider coming up with basic and core features and later add up. 

5. No design consistency: Following design consistency can be tricky for the team in the case of a heavy app with a lot of pages. Design consistency is not just about the maintaining the same header or may be colour combination on all the pages. You have to keep the font, buttons, animation and a lot of things similar. If you have given a certain kind of animation over the homepage then make sure to follow it while designing other inner pages as well. If you break the rule and bring inconsistency for any reasons, it might leave users in confusion which might decrease the overall performance of your app. Consistency keeps all your screens connected to each other and the users would feel a sense of connection while they are flowing through the app. Moreover, it would make your app look professional which is a way to attract more users to your platform. You should bind yourself with this principle but do not restrict yourself from innovating new things. Where it helps improve the user experience, it is also necessary for the designers to know where they can be a little inconsistent to be more consistent. 

6. Incorrect content placement: Your content should talk to the users rather yelling on them. DID YOU UNDERSTAND? My last question might sound bold to you. Why so? Because, so far, we have maintained a friendly and easy tone and the sudden use of caps lock might be strenuous for you. This is how the content on your app works. Use the bold letter as and when required. Also maintain the contrast while putting the content. If your app is based on a dark theme, then prefer to use light coloured text all over so as to not put any stress in user’s eyes while reading. Another important measure is to keep the font size appropriate and consistent. Do not make it too big or too small. It ensures better readability and adds up a certain aesthetics to the design. None of your app screens can be free of content and hence displaying copy elements on an interface disorderly cannot reach effective UI and UX. Make a wise selection of font types, size and colour while putting your copy on to the screens. Also, you have to keep the responsiveness of the app in mind because people are going to use it on various devices. 

7. Absence of interaction feedback: Ever came across an app which reacts nothing against your interaction and you keep on second guessing your actions? There are a lot of applications that do not react when any action is made the user. It is very important to put an interaction feedback so that the user may at least know that yes, the app is working and is going to bring the information. You can highlight the chosen option, put a vibration as feedback or something else. Your feedback has to be appropriate and natural. Also, keep in mind that the more real the UI of an app feels, the more users perceive it easy to interact with.

8. Avoid user preferences: You are going to launch your dream project and you would obviously want it to be of your choice. This is how you fall in trap! A lot of business fail to understand that they are designing the app for the users and it’s the user whose designing preferences should be kept on top. It is not necessary that your choice goes in line with the market acceptance. We agree that creativity plays a major role when it comes to presenting some kind of uniqueness in the system. But at the same time, it needs to be aligned with the user preferences. We generally start with keeping users in mind but as we progress, we start doing things as per our choice. We do not put a particular colour because we hate it. We do not put the kind of buttons we don’t like. At this stage when users have a lot of options, it is not necessary for them to keep engaged with you when someone else is taking more care of their choice. 

9. Fail to use native design components: It keeps a lot of importance to follow OS guidelines while designing for native platforms. The same helps you get a design of high quality for your app. Every mobile OS has its own guidelines for UI designing that designers should follow. It is necessary because the users are used to with the interaction and design pattern of respective OS and any breakage or change in the flow might disappoint them. We aspire to bestow utmost ease to the users hence this measure should be kept in mind in order to offer a great user experience. 

10. Using wrong colours all over: Most of the designers or app owners fail to understand the importance of colours. There is a specific set of colours belonging to various industries and using the same gives users a sense of familiarity. Next most important thing is the contrast. Maintaining contrast is important for users to read the text without giving any kind of strain to their eyes. Use contrast in a way that the written text is easily distinguishable from the colours you have on the background. Moreover, do not use too much fancy colours and effects as it might take users away. 

It is not a one-time practice to understand how to improve UI. Choose expert designers to work on your project and trust their consultation. A good UI keeps the potential to bind users to a platform. When you scratch a little lower from the surface you would definitely realize that user interface is an intricate field involving many important things like anticipating the user preferences and then the right interface creation. One has to keep in mind the user’s choice and preferences while designing or improving the UI. A good User Interface is a necessity in the sense because it has all the power to make it easier for the target audience to clearly see what your products are.

How to Reduce Android App Size During Development?

The rising expectations of the users lead developers to integrate more and more things resulting into an increased app size. The large size applications often turn into storage-hoggers in our smartphones making them operate slow sometimes or hang in between an important work. One cannot stay with or without them which is why they often remain in a love-hate relationship with the users. Though, mobile devices now come up with large storage spaces ranging from 16GB to 256GB. Still, our dream of housing all the useful and entertaining apps in them cannot be turned into reality. In the realm of Android mobile app development, size is the major most issue. 

According to Google, if the size of an app is more than 150MB then installation chances reduce by 30%. The install conversion rate can drop by 1% if size grows by 6 MB. You might wonder, 

Is there any way to serve as it is with reduced size?

A lot of tech giants out there work on creating small apps or tools which can reduce the size of an app. Android App Bundle is a publishing platform through which users do not have to re-download items that are already there in other applications over Play Store. This platform is said to reduce the size of an app by 35%. Through this, users would be able to save much of the storage for other useful applications. 

An Android App Bundle is relatively new format of uploading which includes compiled codes and resources but at the same time differing in Signing to Google Play and APK Generation. App Bundles are basically signed binaries organizing the code and other resources into modules. Each module can be generated as separate APK. Google Play uses the app bundle to generate different APKs that are served to users, such as the base APK, dynamic feature APKs, configuration APKs and multi-APKs. 

App bundle cannot be the only way though, which is why we are here coming up with more ways to further reduce the size of your application and hence encouraging users to use it. 

1. Image optimization: It is most likely for you to choose best and high-resolution images for your app to appeal users and back the efforts of your designer. Because only good images can complement good designing. If you have the best design and pixelate images all over then all your designing efforts might go in vain. Images captured from good cameras are generally high resolution. We can reduce the image size by diluting the resolution for example, if you do not want to compromise on quality, you can convert .jpg or .png images to .webp. There are separate tools which can assist you for the same. For example, for .jpg compression, you have guetzli and packjpg where as zopflipng and more such tools are useful for png conversion.
Apart from this, you can ask your designers to implement vector graphics for the development of simple resolution-independent images. You can also use Vector Drawable objects which are capable of drawing required images dynamically at runtime. Draw 9 patch tool is another editor which lets you create bitmap images fitting various screen sizes and devices. It currently serves as one of the cool ways to edit images without hurting quality. 

2. Deleting dead code: The mobile app developers often comment codes as a shortcut to eliminate anything unnecessary with the hope that it might be useful in future though, most of that code is useless for life. You need to remember that the load on your app and memory it would us is directly proportional to the size of APK file. Any kind of code that does not have to do anything with the existing functionalities of an app just increases load on it. To keep your app free of load and always energized, get rid of such codes. If such codes do not form any part of the functionality then there would be no impact over the app whether you keep it or delete it. It also reduces the chances of bugs and improves the overall performance of the app by reducing its size and increasing speed. 

3. Elimination of redundant code: Redundant code is an unnecessary code which is written to recompute a value that has already been calculated or may be a code which has been executed but leaves no impact on the functionality of an application. The definition itself indicates that it is something useless which needs to be eliminated from the system so to make it load-free. Such methods or classes cannot do anything to the app, instead, they are just in place to increase the size of the app. Elimination of such code would help you a lot. 

4. Do not bother about all screen densities: Developers are generally asked to make such app which runs well on all the devices due to which they have to put extra efforts in taking all screen densities in picture like ldpi, mdpi, tvdpi etc. Though, all of them are hardly needed. Simply, do a survey to find out the percentage of users having devices with specific densities. Do not bother about the screen density with insignificant figures. In most of the cases, Android would itself enter automatically to scale the available resources associated with other densities. 

5. Remove unused resources: Android Studio comes up with a tool called lint which is the static code analyser. It is capable of detecting the unused resources and prints below message:
res/layout/preferences.xml: Warning: The resource R.layout.preferences appears to be unused [UnusedResources]
Unused resource fall in place while doing a lot of things like adding a library to the code. Gradle is another tool for the automatic removal of resources or classes. It comes to action when you enable code shrinking and allow it in the file called build.gradle within the app. Followed by Gradle, ProGuard would be the tool to remove unused code. 

6. Minimize the use of external libraries: Developers often make use of external libraries for some functions such as Android supply library is used to improve the UX in the dated devices whereas Google Play Services for auto-translation of app content. Since, these are built for servers or desktops as well, they come up with a lot of objects and methods which are not useful for app. You cannot eliminate the unnecessary code as well because to do that, you will need permission. So as an alternative, go for the mobile friendly libraries specifically so that you do not have to use any heavy modules. 

7. Avoid enums: Enumerations are known to accumulate at high speed when the system of complex or working on shared libraries, so you need to get rid of them. You can use ProGaurd to convert these enums into integers and as a result, you will get an app with reduced size.  

8. Use APK Size Anlyzer: APK Analyzer can help you a lot with much of the information about size of the APK. On the top of the screen, you will be able to see the Raw File Size which is the APK on-disk size. The Download size shows an estimate of how much data will used to download your app by taking into account compression applied by the Play Store. APK size analyser can be easily downloaded from plugin marketplace over Android Studio. Over the analysis report, you will find folders and files listed in descending order on the basis of their size. You can easily find of the things taking most of the space through this feature. It is also powered with Comparison feature through which you can see the size difference between old and new builds.

9. Downloadable fonts: Most of the applications over Play Store use same fonts so a lot of them are already contained by the App bundle. When a user runs multiple apps containing same fonts on one device, duplicacy is created. Google recognized the situation and introduced Downloadable fonts present in its Support library. Now, APIs do not have to bundle files, it can just request fonts. 

10. Offer multiple APKs: Sometimes users wonder if there was any way to download only the parts of an app which are useful for them but it is not possible to download half of an APK unfortunately. As a solution, you can upload your app over Google Play via Android App Bundles so that Google can enable optimized APKs as per the device configuration. You can also divide one onto multiple APKs, as a result, users would only receive APKs that are useful for them as per their device configuration. 

Why is it required to reduce the App size? 

A. Low device storage space: You might wonder it is not an era of 8 or 16 GB we are living in, we now have 64GB, 128GB, even 256GB of hard disk space in our phones. Still, are you running out of space today? Most of the people would say “Yes”.  This is because we have some of the amazing applications and games hitting the market every now and then. Even after getting unlimited alerts over Low storage, we cannot control ourselves from being engaged on such platforms. So, if your app size is high, it would not be able to house in the user’s phone for a long time. 

B. Low conversion rates: It has been found in a study that for every 6 MB increase to an APK’s size, we see a decrease in the install conversion rate of 1%. If the user will see a huge figure in GBs, he/she would not likely to install your app on their already piled up phone. Even if they install, they will keep it only when it has a great value, maybe equal to Whatsapp or Uber. Around 70% of people consider size of an application while downloading it. Data cost is not a big factor nowadays but yes, if the same affect their phone storage or its overall speed, then yes, you will most likely lose on things. The download figures might also vary location to locations. For example, according to a report published on Medium, “there is a 10MB decrease seen in APK size has a larger impact in India and Brazil than Germany, USA and Japan. The removal of 10MB from an app’s APK size in emerging markets correlates with an increase in install conversion rate by ~2.5%.” 

C. Low internet speed: Slow downloading irritates users a lot which is why they can give up on you. High size applications generally take time to get downloaded and installed. It is not necessary that users always remain in high speed WIFI area while downloading any app. Some of the users do not even have access to Wifi, they operate on mobile data which is hard to rely on in the case of downloading something of considerable size like heavy games. May be, the market buzz, PUBG! Lite apps come to the rescue at this time which are the lighter versions of heavy apps. For example, we have Uber Lite which is simpler version of Uber capable of operating at the low network spaces and on any Android phone. It takes a space of less than 5MB. Its not like it is any lesser than Uber. Uber Lite does contain all the major features. 

 

For all the obvious reasons, you need to come up with an app acquiring low disk space. It increases the user friendliness of an application to a great extent. Apps with huge sizes fail to perform in the market until they offer the unique most platform. We agree on the maturity of disk space, but we cannot deny over maturity of mobile app spaces. With new innovations coming on board, developers keep on adding new features to serve and attract users. However, as an increasing number of features also lead to more SDKs, higher resolution images, better graphics and hence the larger APK sizes. 

10 Best Practices Adopted by Developers for Android App Security

Security is one of the most prominent concerns for users while being on any digital platform. People use mobile apps to perform a wide range of activities which might require them to bring off heavy transactions or share some sensitive information online. You have to maintain a good level of security even if your users are sharing just an email address with you because a loosely packed system is highly prone to malware attacks. According to a study, it has been found that 35% of the total communication sent by mobile devices are unencrypted. Ransomware attacks have been seen increasing from 2017 which is why Android app developers have to be cautious and carry out safety tests on regular basis. 

Here are the best practices to put in your checklist while developing any app to apply extra layers of security to it. 

1. Keep your code secured: Android app development companies should use Android SDK and not Android NDK in order to keep the native code secured. Data is received by the app when native code is integrated while the development process is going on. It can come from files that might be already exposed to security. Hence, your code has to be secured. 

2. Code Obfuscation: Code obfuscation is a process in which an executable is modified due to which method instructions and meta data might get changed but no changes come in the final output. The motive is to make the executable not useful for hackers and hence your application becomes safe from external attacks. With obfuscation, you can secure your application against various threats like trade secret (IP) theft, bypassing licensing, unauthorized access or any other kind of vulnerability. It prevent your app from reverse engineering as well which is why it is one of the most important security measures one should adopt. 

3. Use multi-factor authentication: Multifactor authentication is a method through which developers confirm the identity of the users multiple times before granting any kind of access to them. The rationale behind application of multi-factor security is to make hackers travel to a long path so that it becomes tough or impossible for them to breach the security and reach some sensitive information. Using tools such as JSON web tokens or OAuth 2.0, you can effortlessly set up an advanced authentication mechanism. It will ensure maintaining extra layers of security to your system. 

4. Encrypting data: Encryption is process of protecting data at rest or even in transit. It basically uses the algorithm that converts plain text into jumbled or unreadable codes. It can be used to protect files on server, database, communication channels, hard drives and other sensitive data storage. This way, you can keep the important information safe from the hackers. Obfuscation and minification are two of the commonly used measures which are important but not enough at this stage. You need to stick with some well-supported and modern algorithms powered by API encryption. 

5. Secure the server: Server and connected API are prone to attacks these days hence you need to combat this challenge by undergoing multiple rounds of code review or add firewalls. 

6. Code tamper detection: Tampering is malicious and generally done to gain some kind of control over few or more aspects of the software with an unauthorized modification  You need to protect your mobile app from the infected libraries or other vulnerable things which is why it is important to apply anti tamper mechanisms which might consist of various practices like adding anti-virus, signature verification and activity logs. 

7. Transit data protection: Ensuring the security of transit data keeps utmost importance in development of any application. The devices that are non-complaint should not be given access to any form of corporate data. Make sure the valuable data associated with the application does not go in fraudulent or wrong hands.  

8. Routine testing: There should be a routine testing of application once you start building it. According to statistical data, majority of Android devices use an Android versions that are old by at least two years. It clearly means that a lot of devices are presently at risk. Hackers take advantage of such vulnerabilities and hence you should perform a routine testing of your application to make it less prone of attacks. It is not possible for Google to lower down all such threats but yes Android keeps on releasing new updates which can mitigate theses risks. Safer side, regular testing is important for you while your application is under development and specially when it is live for public use. Another mechanism that is used by developers for server-side checks is penetration testing. 

9. Strong validations: Do not be lazy while putting validations as you never know when any data improperly makes its way into your sensitive information system. Data validation is basically a check applied on the inputs given by any user. To make your application completely secured, you have to take care of putting powerful validations. 

10. Confidentiality: The encryption key has to be at least 128 bits according to AES. Pinning certificate & hash key are used by the reputed developers to add extra layers of security to the system. It includes rebounding of a request that seems hashed string combined with a secret key. After that, this string is put forth and compared by the server with the request received so as to verify any alteration in the process. 

Connecting with a professional and experienced development company would let you get further consultation regarding appending security to your system. Security is one of the most important aspects for the success of your application as it makes you reliable and trust worthy. With the rising cyber-attacks, strong passwords are not just enough to guarantee a good level of protection. Keeping your platform safe from hackers is a thing that requires additional amount of efforts and right strategies now specially when you get immense success. People would be behind to steal your success!

Some Serious Tips To Increase Your App’s Downloading Figures

You hired the best mobile app development company and undoubtedly, it worked with tons of efforts and dedication in order to complete your dream app. Just testing is left and it would go live in about a month. Wait! Have you planned out its Branding and Marketing yet? These are two serious inputs without which your application can never do well in this highly competitive market.

Branding is all about letting people know what you are coming up with and basically, the name of your brand has to be highlighted at least in front of your target people. Side by side comes the marketing and other promotional strategies. Marketing has a lot of branches in this digital era. Gone are those days, when we used to get pamphlets in our hands or used to see big hoarding reflecting brand names in order to know that someone is coming up with something new. We are living in a digital arena now. Business now have to approach people on the platforms where they spend most of their time.

If you are launching an app, then your prime aim is to get as many downloads as you can get. Now, how to get involved in the various marketing tactics and know the correct platforms or channels which can get you the most of downloads? We are here coming up with some of the serious tips that you must include in your strategy in order to get a lot of downloads and increase your user base. 

A. Jump on creating a remarkable video: Launch video is the buzzword in the market. Good videos get viral with lightning speed over internet. You never know when your few viewers convert into millions. Launch videos can be of many types. For example, we were approached by a client who needed an animated video containing a lady explaining about how happy she is, browsing through that particular online store and purchasing its products. So basically she was kept in place to tell viewers about the USPs of the store. If a great video becomes part of your product launch strategy then it makes the same brilliant. The style and type of the video should be dependent upon the type of customer base such as teaser, explanation, promo etc. A great video has the potential to go viral and lot of people about your services in few seconds. 

B. Ask your users to Review: Over digital platforms, the users cannot see you and hence there is a sense of insecurity they feel about your products, services, payment etc. So, if you put reviews in place, they will be able to know how many people have you served successfully so far. Getting positive reviews is a way to build trust in the eyes of your customers. Reviews not only increases credibility but also gives your brand an opportunity to engage with customers. Number of total reviews and top reviews are the two metrics you should keep your eye on. Ask you Mobile app development company to set timely notifications to remind users for reviewing your application. For example, if you are running a taxi application, you can send them a notification to review your services right after they complete any ride. 

C. Give incentives to users for making referrals: Referrals demonstrate quality and trust which encourages users to download your app. By means of Referrals, you can convert all your users into your brand ambassadors. Why would they refer? They should get something in return in order to refer your brand to someone else. You can decide a gift price for them or add some extra amount into their wallet. You can also offer them discount over the category if their choice. Give something that becomes useful for them so that they wish to refer you. Just a boring 2-5% discount won’t work here. 

D. Make some real investment in content: Creating relevant and useful content has always been a key to increase engagement. Content is the thing that keeps your users engaged with your brand. The best form of content include videos, pictures, blogs, infographics etc. which gives regular updates about your brand to your customers. Also, allow users to share your content on social media so that the reach can be multiplied. You can also invest into sponsored content that can be published over other highly visited websites with a link to your app or website. 

E. Engage on social media: Focus on to your social media marketing strategy as it is the platform which would bring you the maximum amount of users. The applications that come up with something unique generally choose social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram at first and spend in sponsored posts so that they can make their USPs reach people. There are many other ways in which social media promotes your app.

You have to use paid ads as organic reach over social media is declining significantly year after year. Then, there is Influencer marketing which is the buzzword. We agree that an average upcoming brand does not have enough budget to approach celebrities for promotion but we can use the power of micro influencers. These are the people with average amount of following over social media and they keep capability to influence the buying decisions of people. They belong to various niche and you will find most of them over Instagram. They can be related to Fashion, Travel, Healthcare or any other industry. The high number of followers is not the only reason to approach influencers but their clear understanding of the target audience and industry line encourages brand to reach them.

If you have an account on social media, people would generate a significant amount of content for it. Suppose you sell a dose for weight loss so if people lose a significant amount of weight is less time, chances are they would love to talk about your product and its benefits on social media. For example, may be sharing pictures of before and after effects of your product on their body. Your aim should be to show how your app can improve lifestyle of users, so you need to encourage such picture and video submissions which are able to highlight the practical benefits of your app. 

F. Perform App Store Optimization: It is one of the obvious ways to increase your app download figures. App store optimization or ASO is done to bring your app on top results of app store for some particular keywords. With more than two million apps over the app stores, making your app discovered is a big issue experienced by mobile app publishers today.You have to take care of using the right and relevant keywords in your app’s title, description and other content of the app. App store algorithm takes into account your app’s rating, reviews, content and many more things in order to analyse where to rank your app. It is not always great to spend on advertisements as they might eat up all your marketing budget at once. So, you need to show some real efforts to get organic reach which can be achieved by performing ASO the right way. 

G. Analyse and optimize: While adopting all these ways, you need to analyse constantly how users are actually interacting with your app. Are you getting the right type of users on your doors? Are you able to actually help them out? What are the roadblocks preventing you from monetizing your application? You need to make use of such insights in order to optimize your future campaigns and put your energy at the right place. There are some metrics that would help you out in measuring your efforts and success rate. Look at the session length, means the time that people spend on your app. Are they bouncing back to fast or enjoying your app features? Then, you have to look at the retention rate and most importantly the uninstall rate. You applied a lot of efforts in bringing users to your app and they end up uninstalling the same after one time use. If your app does have a high uninstall rate then you need to look at the reasons. Try to solve those things for your users in order to offer them a fantastic user experience. 

There are plenty of options available to users today so it’s really important to be competitive and offer a great User experience. We are sure that these tips will be useful for you in making your dream app reach the masses.

Ecommerce Roadmap | Steps to Start Your Own Ecommerce Business

In this highly competitive era, it is difficult to rely upon your 9 to 5 job. Whether you are heading a small team of two members or managing hundreds sitting at a managerial person, you just love the bossiness. Everyone tries to be their own boss which gives a lot of people a kick to run a startup. Now, if you will go on surfing about the things to get started with to earn a decent ROI, Ecommerce would be highlighting top over the list. If you are already aware of the amazing benefits an Ecommerce website can offer to you, here is the stop for you to know what are the things you need to start a productive Ecommerce business. 

What’s needed to start an Ecommerce Business? 

There are four things that you would require to make your online store successful. 

1. Provide high quality products and show clear images

2. Hire best Ecommerce website development company

3. Provide satisfactory customer support

4. Tell your USPs

Provide high quality products and show clear images:

Whether you are selling a product offline or online, the first thing which keeps utmost importance is its quality. If you are looking for returning customers then quality matters the most because a person can only return to your if you are offering the value for their money. Now, you want to showcase this quality over online platform so it can be done via good photographs. It is not necessary to use highly professional cameras for the same, you can also use a smartphone with good pixel camera. Your images have to be clear and clicked with the right colored background. Offer multiple images so that you users can see every side of the product before making any purchase.  

Hire best Ecommerce website development company:

Today we have a number of options available for website or mobile app development. You just need to search for the best one over the internet and you will get a of options. How to choose one among so many? Look at your budget and their portfolio. Once you find a great combination, consider that you have found the right partners. Your development partners might be two people sitting with their laptops or a big company but make sure you hire the one which has real qualities and experience. You can consider reading their client testimonials and see all the works done by them. 

Provide satisfactory customer support:  

Whether you are running a physical store or selling good digitally, it is important to achieve buyer satisfaction. Your buyers should be satisfied with the quality of your products or services. Answer their questions and help them out resolving concerns regarding your services. It is a key to client retention. If you make them happy, they will definitely return to you and consequently, you do not have to put extra efforts in making new customers. 

Tell you USPs:

On a daily basis, a lot of Ecommerce businesses open up and close down. Come up with something different! Is there anything unique about your products or services? Tell about it to your customers and encourage its use. For example, you are selling out apparel and rather than providing customers with same old size variants, you are offering them customized stitching. It would be exciting. Isn’t it? 

How to start a successful Ecommerce Business? 

The LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman once said that “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” What’s the catch here? You need to start quickly. If you are the one thinking about startup then you must be having some ambitions in your mind. Put them aside for a minute and just try doing some real work towards your dream. If you look for options around, you can start an Ecommerce website within an hour. Yes, it’s just a matter of an hour. There are many Ecommerce platforms which offer you readymade store and you just need to login and start uploading your products after getting the required domain and hosting. Your Ecommerce store might be developed in an hour or might also take a year. It depends upon its complexity and how much control would you like to have on it. We will talk about it in our further segments. 

Find Ecommerce Products: 

So, if you are not having any experience in selling like not having even a physical store, you must be wondering which product to sell out. It is definitely not an easy thing to decide as all your strategies would be dependent upon the type of products you are coming up with. There are plenty of options. You can sell clothes, electronics, books, jewellery, accessories  and many more things. And what if, you want to try out all these things and drop them in various categories over your store. This is what the major marketplaces do. But you need to understand that those are old goldies. They do have a lot of scope even if many of their categories fail to perform well in the market. 

How to decide what to sell?

Consult your family, friends, professional circle and other people in your contacts to see what is in high demand. Research about it over the internet and analyze statistics. See the reports of failed as well as successful startups. Analyse the reasons of failure and features that made success. Create a list of products in priority order ad read about every single category. Get to know about the manufacturing units or wholesalers that can provide you those products if you are not yourself manufacturing them. 

Ecommerce websites can be of many types running on various models. So, once you have decided on the product, your next question would be How to arrange products? Here’s how dropshipping comes into the picture. So, dropshipping is an Ecommerce model which is very much in trend as it does not gives you too much headache of storing products and shipping them to the end user. What dropshippers do is they just take product pictures and descriptions from the manufacturers or wholesalers, host them on to their website and once any purchase is made, the product is directly shipped from that manufacturer or wholesaler to the end customer. 

It is not necessary to be dependent upon Dropshipping you can also explore other business models. 

Once you have decided on to a model, you need to proceed ahead thinking about how you are going to have your own online store over which the decided products can be uploaded and sold. 

Research about other small scale online stores: 

Researching is always helpful if you are starting up with something new about which you are practically unaware. By researching, we mean that you need to carefully go through the other online stores in your niche and how they are operating. What is the cost they are investing in order to bring traffic. Do they post ads or they are able to get perks organically. What is the cost of entry? How much their products cost? Go through their social media pages and analyse the engagement. All this analysis would help you better divide your budget in development, branding and marketing of your Ecommerce website. 

How to build your Ecommerce store? 

You have already done any extensive amount of research regarding how other online stores work at their initial stage. Here are some things you need to know before deciding on to the development of your store. 

A. How many products would you upload at a time?

B. How many categories are there? 

C. What is your business model?

D. How will you push sales? 

E. What is your target market? 

Now, once you get answers to all these questions, you need to know about the various platforms and technologies that help you in the creation of your own store. 

We will start with low level. You have some websites offering you readymade website and you just need to sign up, pay them a monthly cost and run your ecommerce store on that. Since, your website is hosted on that platform, you obviously do not have the complete control. Next comes, the readymade CMS i.e. Content Management System. Examples are Magento, WordPress etc. which offer you readymade CMS and you just need to integrate your frontend design with it and your store is ready. These are low cost but generally come up with few restrictions. If you are looking for something different that does not fall under their default functionalities then customization can be done up to an extent only. But this is a go-to choice for many of the businesses since these are low cost and good. Next comes, core technologies and frameworks. Opting this would include some real coding for which you need good developers. Examples are core php, laravel, .net mvc etc. As you need coders, they need a good amount of time for the development and hence the cost increases. But yes, these come up with high level of security. You can also be rest assured of security in first two options with application of some good security modules but that needs a good amount of research. You might fall in trap of frauds as well. 

Apart from choosing the right technology, you also have to take care about the UI. The front-end of the website should offer a great user experience. Read about the tips and tactics to skyrocket engagement through your Ecommerce website design. Designing an ecommerce website is not a cake walk. Do not go into fancy terms. Simple is always the best! The more colors, banners, elements you have on your site, the more it works to take away people from your website and hence the sale closes down. For the business owners who want to build the trust and drive good sales with their ecommerce business, give some serious thought into your branding. Make your website design connect with your visitors. For this, you might have to think like your audience. The website should be well-designed, straightforward,  easy to navigate and hassle-free. 

Your next step should be to choose the right delivery and payment partners. These services provide you APIs that you can integrate over your website so as to automate the process. Choose the trusted partners so that even your buyers feel safe if they are being redirected to some other website for payment or other purposes. A person giving his credit card details to a website obviously needs to have some kind of trust on that. Yes, it is an era of cyber crimes where you should work as a shield for your customers against any kind of frauds or attacks. 

Know about Conversion optimization: 

You need to know that more than 70% of people might leave your website without purchasing. It does not mean you are doing bad, it is a good figure in this highly competitive arena. But yes, you should always aspire to do more and get more. Think if these people have not left your website and made purchase. Know the reasons why they had to leave as it would help you optimize their journey on your website. You can consider launching a cart abandonment email campaign through which you can gain those people back on your site.Also, a retargeting campaign can be setup. 

Your efforts do not end here. You have to market your model so well that people come to know you are coming up with values and uniqueness through your store. Run email marketing, social media optimization, Pay per click, search engine optimization and adopt other marketing tactics in order to make your store grow. Also, we want to know if you would like to know more about setting up an Ecommerce business. Reach out to us through comment section.  

How to Develop a Mobile App Like Instagram And Monetize it?

Most popular photo and video sharing Facebook owned application Instagram has taken social networking to an altogether new level. Getting inspired from its immense success, many applications like Snapchat, Flickr and Swipe tried hands on it, though varying in their core values and functionality. The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 3 billion by 2020 which would also give rise to camera users and getting great pictures, people would like to post more and more on platforms like Instagram. You will be amazed to know that around 95 million pictures are posted on Instagram on daily basis. Noticing such a great potential, you might tempt considering it as your startup idea. We are here to help you out! Let’s uncover how to develop an app like Instagram and monetize it.  

Evolution of Instagram: 

By the end of the year 2018, the number of users on Instagram rose to 1 billion which is one-eight of world’s population. It started with allowing users to post square images using few filters. The company could raise multiple rounds of funding experiencing a rising engagement. When Instagram took birth, we had separate tools for editing picture and posting them on social media while having both functionalities in one became the unique selling point for the company. The platform could make a user base of 1 million active users within two months. 

The app is free to use and available for both Android as well as iPhone users. The old users must have seen Instagram evolving through various stages. 

1. Photo Editing: Through Instagram editor, users can add a number of colourful filters on to the picture along with cropping it, rotating it, adjusting the balance and perform many more functions. When you try posting the image through your gallery on Instagram, it asks you whether you want to Direct it, post it in Feed or show it as Story. Posting a great picture on Instagram starts with taking a bunch of great shots in natural light so that you have choices. Pro tip would be capturing a square image already so that you do not have to cut any part of put glassy borders around. When it comes to choosing right filters, the taste varies person to person. Around 30% people are seen to post images using same filters because that’s what satisfies their taste and suit their colour tone or appearance. According to a US wide study, Clarendon is the mostly used Instagram filter.
Instagram also allows people adjusting the intensity of filters they use. There is separate window to manage filters from where one can select which filter, they want to keep editing future images. Besides, Instagram also allows multi image posting. 

2. Messenger: Apart from providing amazing photo editing capabilities to the users, Instagram also allows instant messaging services through which you can send messages to the people you follow. “Direct” serves as an integral part of the platform through which users can communicate with each other. If you send any message to the users you are not following, then it will appear in their message request box. If you message request gets approved, then all your future messages would be shown in the inbox. The Instagram Direct messages appear in the form of bubbles so that it becomes easy for you to follow along with the conversation.

The app sends a notification whenever you receive any message on Direct. Once you visit the app, you will see the notification displayed over the arrow icon shown in top right corner.
You can also tap the arrow button to reach your inbox and start writing a new message with + New Message. You just have to type the username you want to send your message to in the To: field. Instagram also gives you an option to give group messages a name. you have an option to mute incoming group messages as well. Instagram also allows users to share posts via Direct. Suppose you have liked a picture a lot and want to share it to your friends, you can do it by tapping on the Arrow icon below that picture. 

3. Marketplace: I personally love Instagram for being a platform full on innovations and fun elements capturing interest. We have seen Facebook not putting much efforts in its slow-paced marketplace feature while over Instagram we can see the constructive progress. Apart from letting the sellers showcase their products, Instagram also allows them to buy the products within the app. Sellers have often experienced losing customers due to following a long shopping journey whereas now they are relieved. Earlier, sellers used to just show products and when the prospects wanted to buy, seller had to redirect them onto their websites. Now, we can see the changes. From now on, the product catalogues can be connected to the Instagram accounts of sellers. Any item or offer can be purchased immediately through Instagram whereas payment is handled by PayPal. This functionality is currently available in US and is under beta testing. Instagram is moving more and more towards marketplace feature by introduction of shoppable post and even payment.

Marketers are making a rich use of Instagram marketplace as their search for capturing a huge chunk of audience ends here. We are expecting further advancement to the existing shopping features on to the platform like using AR and VR for visual presentation and improving user experience. Machine learning might power the text, visual or even voice search. Ecommerce website or app owners should keep an eagle eye on how Instagram is slowly stepping in the industry. Smooth searching and secured payment are the two aspects counted for the success of any marketplace and Instagram seems to work well on both. Now that Instagram has turned out to be a great marketplace, sellers would have a new platform other than Amazon, Flipkart etc. to work upon.  

New Features on Instagram: 

An ever-evolving platform like Instagram cannot stand still. You must have noticed small things coming in a matter of few days. Here we are listing out few latest features of Instagram. 

1. Chat stickers: The new Stories sticker on Instagram are called Chat stickers which lets people ask their followers to join a new group chat and then gives the poster the power to select who can join. It basically joins all the other types of stickers that Instagram has come up with so far like mentions, polls, question boxes, hashtags etc. The chat sticker is new and kind of straightforward. Instagram is placing this as a solution for users who would like to have a big group conversation for something like making plans. 

2. Ad placement in Explore section: Users generally visit the explore section to discover new accounts or brands to follow. When we tap on one image, we see similar posts by scrolling down. Now, the algorithm would detect your choice by the type of image you tap on and based on that ads would be shown to you. 

3. Storing content: Instagram app will have small tweak according to which it will allow Stories cameras to save content for 7 full days. This was historically held for 24 hours. 

4. Updated Ban policies: The accounts which violate the community guidelines of the platform are disabled. It is easy for troublesome accounts to get around if they’re producing a huge amount of content. Now, there would a policy according to which Instagram is allowed to shut down the accounts if they are responsible for a defined number of violations within specific window of time.

Astonishing Statistics related to Instagram: 

i. As of June 2018, the social network reported more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and the social media network’s daily active users stood at 500 million.

ii. With over 120 million active Instagram users, the United States are the photo sharing app’s leading market based on audience size.

iii. This statistic presents data on social media platforms used by marketers worldwide as of January 2019. During the survey, 73 percent of responding social media marketers stated they used Instagram to market their businesses.

Now that you have seen Instagram evolving through many stages, you must have understood that it is a tricky task to plan, build and execute a platform like Instagram.

How to develop an app like Instagram?

For starters, mobile app development demands a lot of preparatory work. Here is the process to get a successful photo/video sharing app built. 

A. Market research: The first and foremost step is to conduct a deep market research and analysis to define your target audience and their choices. Find out their needs and what they are not getting on the existing similar platforms like yours. 

B. Competitor analysis: Prepare a list of your competitors and analyse the features they are currently providing. Look at people’s reviews on them. Do they demand anything additional? What are the things that excite their customers the most? 

C. Unique app concept: In order to create a buzz, you need to have some kind of uniqueness in your app concept. Finalize your outstanding features so that you can let people know about how you are better than others. 

D. Define your goal: Define your strategy in terms of your goals with the project, budget, timeline and technologies.

E. App promotion: If you have the USPs ready in your hand, start the pre-launch promotion which would pique interest in users’ mind. Prepare your PR and marketing strategy as well. 

F. Communication channel: Build a communication channel with your users so that after the launch, you can instantly get reviews. 

G. Select a good and capable development agency having a fair amount of experience so that you do not face setbacks performing any of the processes. 

Collecting the preparatory materials, you need to start with MVP which is a basic sharing app containing core functionalities. Keep the following things in mind while proceeding. 

H. User friendly design: Users choose great pictures to upload so definitely they would want some great design to match up with. Your app design creates a special connection with your users. It should be memorable and visually impactful so that even after leaving, users would like to come again. 

I. Intuitive user navigation: Navigation is something which promotes an ease and efficiency in flow. It is not just about the design aesthetics. Consistency, clean interaction and simplicity should be the three things you must offer. 

J. Eye catching graphics: There should be eye catching elements in the app which can be remembered by the users even if they are out of application. 

K. Personalized content: In this era of AI and machine learning, users would definitely love to have a dedicated kind of content for them. Means, if they get to see what they are already interested in, they will be able to save much time. Suppose, there is a user who likes to browse through the traditional stuff, then show bunch of such things in the explore section. This way, you will be able to serve customer needs and also get some bucks from the associated sellers by advertising their products in your space. 

L. Well-functioning app: On the top of all the above mentioned requirements, you need to a have a fully functional bug-free application so that the users do not get irritated while operating it and would like to come again. 

Here’s how you can make a difference: 

-> Come up with unique filters, effects, textures and editing possibilities.

-> Assist users with some editing lessons for top notch editing.

-> Allow them to create themed photo albums and set the privacy.

-> Allow them to share photos between phones and other devices easily without signing up.

-> Give dedicated functionalities to users depending on their niche like separate windows for designers, animal lovers, food lovers etc.

Instagram Technology Stack: 

The coding language and framework used for creation of Instagram include:

>> JavaScript

>> Python

>> React

>> React Native

>> Java

Additional tools are also used for compilers, monitoring, server management and other important things. For example, the company uses cloud computing services such as Amazon, Amazon s3, Amazon EC2 and EBS. For such a loaded service and massive content, PostgreSQL serve as a great solution. 

Features you need to have on an Instagram-like app

1. Authorization

–> Creation of new account

–> Sign up via social media sites

2. Editing profile

–> Adding/editing/removing personal data

3. Posting

–> Uploading pictures using editing tools

–> Adding tags

4. Social features: 

–> Inviting friends

–> Social sharing

5. Feed

–> Like

–> Comment

–> Follow

6. Photo Editing

–> Filters

–> Adjustments

–> Cropping

–> Rotating

7. Messaging

–> Text

–> Pictures

8. Geolocation

–> Detecting location of existing image

–> Detecting current location

10. Notifications

–> Push notifications

–> Email notifications

11. Search

–> Search by username

–> Search by tags

Monetization of Photo Editing App like Instagram: 

A. Sponsorship and Advertisement: Businesses can turn into advertisers over the platform through promoting their products or services. They can share images, banners, videos and content related to their services and get followers. Nowadays, mobile ads serve as the easiest and common way to make money from a free app. According to statistics, 7 out of 10 apps have already embedded commercials able to generate payments for each display on per click, per impression or per install basis. 

B. In-app purchase: In app purchase can include a wide variety of things which are being sold out through the platform. For example, additional filters, effects or enabling users to sell their photos so that you receive a commission. 

C. Marketplace: Get an extension to your exiting income by including a marketplace over the platform through which you can earn a good amount of commission if the sellers are able to convert their clients through your app. Instagram currently does so by the introduction of Checkout. Checkout is the new Instagram shopping feature for shoppers which allows them to buy products directly through a built-in storefront. 

Besides providing an amazing platform to air pictures, being Instagrammer has also become a loved career option for people. You will get plenty of influencers over Instagram working in different niche like Photography, Fashion, Healthcare etc. Businesses approach such people to promote their products or services. Moreover, millennials are increasingly becoming tech savvy who don’t like to trust celebrity endorsements or any other kind of traditional advertising method. Though, they love to buy under the influence of micro influencer having not so less and not so great number of followers. Millennials are probably biggest generation using Instagram with 53% of the users aged between 18–29 and 25% aged 30–49. It is clearly a love for most of the youngsters out there. 

According to Statista, Industry analysts estimate that Instagram will grow to approximately 30 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue up until the end of 2020, with the majority of Facebook’s new revenue being generated through the photo-sharing platform.

Looking at the potential and revenue scope of such a space, you would definitely like to try your hands on it. Feel free to approach us through comment section to gain more insights. 

Shall I Go for a Free App Maker or Custom Mobile App Development?

You have to cover miles from the point you get an idea to the stage requiring its implementation in the real world. Upcoming benefits might fascinate you while the consistent thoughts of approaching challenges can get hard on your nerves. Though, ever-advancing technology has taken an impressive control and we are able to derive a lot of plug and play modules in our hands. Now you are just few steps away from implementation if you have already gotten that best idea for your upcoming app. You can use a free app maker to design your own app without having a grip on coding. 

How does online free app makers work? 

The development of a mobile app is a hefty process containing ideation, wireframing, analysis, UI design, tough coding part and many other things. Whereas, with an app builder, you will not have to follow this generic mobile app development procedure. It is more like filling up an online form where you just have to give your details and choice preferences; and screens get ready in a minute. You might get an application in your hand within a day but the types of application you can build by the help of app builders is restricted to a range. They have some set number of apps, out of which you can choose which type of application you want to proceed with. This sometimes end up making your app similar to the applications already existing in the market. Let’s have a clear look at the positive and negative aspects before you proceed ahead. 

Pros: 

A. Fast delivery: If you sign up with an online app builder, the complete process is just based on the selection of designing and features so you can get your app faster than any other means. In this high-paced world, these tools are a bliss for business owners who want to quickly try and test a model. 

B. No coding skills required: To operate an app builder, you do not have to know even a single line of code. The coding for certain functionalities has already been done at the backend. You just have to make a selection for designing as well as development of the features. This is one of the greatest advantages of an app builder that anyone with zero programming skills can also launch an app within some hours. 

C. Cost effective: One of the reasons why app builders are used is cost which is extremely low. If you hire an agency for the same, you might be charged somewhere around a minimum $2000 whereas app builders charge you very low. It can be great choice if you just want to try and test a launch in the real-life market. 

D. Multiple platforms: App builders are not restricted to only one platform. Rather than this, most of them offer app building in all the major platforms- Android, iOS and Windows. 

Cons: 

A. Restricted to some features: Using an app builder, you cannot create a complex and uncommon functionality. At the initial stage, you are generally given a choice for types of apps. Once you choose, the app offers you basic functionalities related to that domain. If you want something advance, then either you have to hire their developers for customization or seek a development company. 

B. Ordinary interface: As you get few templates and customization options, your app might end up looking like some other app already existing in the market. You do not have much abilities to make a difference. The interface seems very ordinary and common as compared to the latest mobile apps hitting the market. Especially if we talk about graphics, colouring, and fonts. 

C. Not so great UX: The user experience offered by these builders do not have anything special to offer. You have to rely on the same old things and if you are coming up with a similar thing in the market, your users might get bored. 

So, in all App builder are cost effective and fast but talking about innovations, they have least things to offer. 

 What its like to go for Custom mobile app development? 

Custom development refers to creating a new application of any kind or enhancing the functionality of an existing one. Fortunately, we have expert developers sitting at every nook and corner of the world to bring innovation in the market. They have all the zeal and skill set to convert your idea into a real-life application. Mastered on various technologies, such developers are able to provide completely customized solutions as per client’s needs. For custom development, you can either hire an independent developer or a good mobile app development agency. 

Hiring an individual or independent developer would bring you a comparatively lesser cost but a lot of stress. Mobile app development is not just about coding, you have to also go through ideation, planning, consultation and most importantly, designing. Going for a freelancer, you will have to hire separate resources for different kind of work. A high-profile developer would not assist you with a good level of designing or he/she might even hand over the designing work to some other person you are completely unaware of. If you go on hiring a designer as well then, he might not assist you with a good level of wireframing. Moreover, you have to remain deeply indulged in the process of project management as well. 

Going for a professional agency might or might not bring you a comparatively higher cost. These agencies are generally one stop shop for all your requirements such as designing, development, launch, marketing, promotion and a lot of other associated things. You will get a dedicated project manager who will act a communication bridge between developers and stakeholders. 

Both the above options would generally cost you more than creating an app using online app builders. Going for custom development has its own pros and cons which might affect your goals and budget for long term. 

Pros: 

A. Professional services: Hiring an agency would let you enjoy professional services. You will have experienced people working on your project which increases the chances of success. You will get a lot of consultation over the features, platforms, technologies etc. There would a dedicated project manager who will handle the project throughout by communicating the requirements with respective teams, arranging meetings, connecting with stakeholders and do all the documentation stuff. 

B. Access to latest technology: Through professional developers, you can gain access to cutting edge technology and make use of latest innovations happening in the industry. IT is a dynamic industry. What’s new today might not excite users that much tomorrow! Without bearing a huge cost, you can simply tie up with such professional agencies to not just make your product useful but also advanced. 

C. Rich portfolio: These agencies have done some of the fantabulous works in the industry and hence chances are that your product will also appeal users. You will understand the real meaning of user interface and user experience tying up a professional agency. 

D. Concerned about feedback: Companies working in all the sectors today are worried about client feedback as it plays in important role in getting more business. If these companies tempt for positive reviews, then they would definitely delivery satisfactory services. They are not just working to generate revenue but also keep equal emphasis on building a long-term relationship. 

E. Welcomes your engagement: The development agencies believe at engaging clients at all the steps of designing and development process. Agile is the methodology used by such companies which welcomes client’s engagement when any phase or sprint is completed. You can communicate with project manager or developers in order to get any concern clarified. 

Besides all these benefits, one reason that might make you move away from hiring professional services would be timeline or cost. 

Cons: 

A. High cost: Tying up with a development agency would generally bring you higher cost than going for an online app builder. This is because of the presence of experienced resources having great skill set and hands on cutting technologies. Moreover, you get customized things.  

The process of complete mobile app development includes a range of stages from requirements gathering to development, support & maintenance. If you just designing and development are needed, then a freelancer might be a better choice which can be hired from various platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer etc. However, if you want real involvement into the various stages of project lifecycle like gathering requirements, wireframing, designing, developing, prototyping testing, maintenance and other things then hire a professional entity. Going for an app builder can be your choice if you have a low budget or maybe you just want to try and test your idea before the real development occurs. However, such tools are never recommended by professionals due to high reliability on third party elements which is not good for security of data and model. Though, some app builders come up with good policies too if you do not want to hire a dedicated agency.

More Info: 

How to Build an AppClient Questionnaire for Discovery Phase of Mobile App Development 

# How do I make an app for my small business?A Detailed Guide To Publish Your Android App on Google Play StoreEverything We Know About Android Q’s Amazing Features So Far10 Best Android App Development Courses & Tutorials for BeginnersHow to develop mobile appusing Agile Methodology?

# How to Create an App and Instantly Make Money?

How to Create an App and Instantly Make Money?

If you have an app idea, then here we are presenting the helpful information about how to create an app and instantly earn money from it. Creating an application can be tricky for you if your idea is not refined. Coming up with an idea might have been easy for you but figuring out what to do next is the real task. 

1. Understand the risk: With big idea comes big risk. Development of an app is not a hobby but a business move which needs to be taken ahead with a careful thought. There are multiple types of risks you have to ponder on such as product risk, financial risk, team risk, market risk, execution risk etc. Explaining what your product does and how it solves the existing issues can be tricky for you. Before the launch, you have to see which market section you would like to target. Which age group would find it most apt?
Talking about financial risk, it is the most stress giving factor. Thanks to innovation, we have platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter enabling crowd funding. Make sure you know key business milestones and schedules. You will be able to decide the milestones correctly if you articulate your business plan and growth path. Frame a team through resources according to their specialization and decide your own role as an entrepreneur. To understand the risks involved, you need to get the answers of below questions. 

a. How much money will you invest in this project? 

b. What time you can dedicatedly give? 

c. Do you have a sound team? 

d. What your target market looks like?

e. Would you be bankrupt if your business app fails in future? 

f. Do you have any backup plan? 

2. Draft a feature list: There can be n number of applications falling under one category. You might be a Fashion clothing seller while some one else from your industry line might be just telling people about latest trends to adopt through their application. So, the features of an application can go from one many. It is important to jot down the features you would like to have in your application. Through these features you will be able to decide the flow of your app. You will not miss on to anything if you have feature list in your hand because in the complex process of development, people often miss small details. You can start writing down your idea in the form of a high-level feature list and then convert it into low level one by including even the smallest details or sub parts. Feature list is important for the app owner as well as the company you are going to hire (if you hire) for the development process. The same would help them take out a timeline and cost for the project in advance. Also, they will be able to manage the project properly. 

3. Use online app maker: Once you complete the feature list, proceed towards the designing and development process. If you do not know how to code, you can go for Online app makers though which you can build you app in few simple steps. These app makers come with a number of templates from which you choose the suitable design. These tools generally work on drag and drop method to create powerful, professional, native mobile apps. Moreover, you can customize the themes with just drag and drop. For example, if you want to add a discount banner over your store, you have got a lot of options from which you can choose and place the banner as per your choice at the most visible spot over the website. You can change colors, fonts, button types and a lot of other things to fully customize your application as per your requirements. Apart from having a number of general features, these tools also allow you to implement advanced features such as Augmented reality, Artificial intelligence, Virtual reality, IoT and more. You also get a wide range of video tutorials from which you can learn how to create an app. 

4. Hire a professional: If you do not want to rely on some third-party tool, you have to go for a professional mobile app development company in order to get your app coded. This method is adopted by more than 70% of the businesses. Before approaching any firm, you need to decide which platform would you like to have your app on. Would that be Android, iOS or both? Get aware with their experience and if any similar work they have delivered to any of their clients. In the above-mentioned DIY methods, your app would be cost effectively developed but if we talk about the real development with coding and all then you have to invest a smart amount. Here, we are talking about the native apps which take due time and separate efforts for iOS and Android development. Though, we are also blessed with hybrid technologies through which only one resource has to be engaged and the same code base runs on Android as well as iOS platform.
While hiring a perfect company for your app, you need to also look for their UX/UI skills because that’s what interact with the end users for the first time. 60% of your application is about how a user interacts with it.
If not a company, you can also go for a single man army i.e. a freelancer who would certainly deliver you low cost services. Platforms such as Freelancer and Upwork lets you connect with a number of standalone developers who can do what a company does. But yes, there is a risk. If you do not connect with a high-profile genuine developer, then your hard-earned money might be at risk and your project might be on stake. So you have to cautious and once you get a good person to work with, you will have cost effective as well as satisfactory work done. 

After successful development and deployment over applications store, you need to focus on bringing people on your platform. 

How to bring users on your app?

A. Create a simple landing page: Your landing page would be the web version of your application containing just single page along with small description and one punch line for your app along with necessary CTAs. You can take inspiration from Tinder which has pretty simple but really alluring interface.

B. Use the power of social media: It has become one of the mostly used medium of marketing to capture most of the market. Be interesting through your posts so that people find your products and services engaging and worth spending on. You can even take benefits of social platforms while your app is still being developed. There is no need to wait until your app is finished to start promoting it. A promotional video is a good start which should be interesting enough so that people would love to watch it to end and share it.

If your business already has an online existence, lets say, you also run a website then chances are- all your social media pages must be already set up and you just have to pique interest in users about the app by posting banners or may be stories.
Choice of right platform is also important since Facebook cannot give you must of the professional crowd and LinkedIn cannot give you casual audience. If you understand your target market then think about which platform suits them the mot and invest in marketing over that only. Suppose you are coming up with a CRM solution then it is beneficial to post about it on LinkedIn. On the other hand, if you are launching a new photo editor then Instagram would be great medium as it is mostly about pictures only.
After the launch, Instagram contests is also a medium to get user engagement. It will make you collect user-generated content. Try to get your users to post their photographs promoting your brand on their personal profiles in order to enter the contest.
Paid advertisement over Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. can be your companion in the initial days of struggle. At starting, you won’t have much of the organic traffic to tell your story to so boosting the posts would help you make reach the new people. These platforms are powered with high level targeting features through which you can target the exact section of the market. 

C. Boost app installs through paid advertising: Google play search ads and ads over App store would serve as a way to get you quick traffic which is not possible if you keep on working on the organic strategies. Organic traffic takes time to come on your platform whereas spending on paid advertisements is a quick way to place you over your competitors. There has to be a smart amount of funds in your hand in order to spend over paid advertisements since your cash flows out with every click. 

D. Put your efforts in ASO: ASO is App store optimization which as to be done along with the paid advertising since you cannot rely on paid methods for lifetime. It is done to make your app rank on top in the app store results. There are more than 2.6 million Android apps in the Google Play store & above 2 million apps in the App Store used by billions of smartphone users around the globe and these figures are growing every year. With such a rising competition, your app might bury down the results.

App store optimization is a set of processes performed to bring your app on top results. Some of the prominent factors include using a descriptive title, high quality screenshots, keywords, picking the right category, get reviews, using analytics etc. 

E. Pitch tech blogs: If you are coming up with an amazing app, pitch some of the good performing tech blogs in advance. Prepare a list and email them about your USPs so that they will want to write about you. In return, they might or might not charge you an amount. 

F. Apply for app awards: This is an after-launch strategy through which you can approach many tons of organizations which give rewards to the new and innovative applications. Once you get featured, you will get mentions in press releases done by them on popular platforms. 

Talking about the statistics, according to statista, by the end of 2018, “the average cost to acquire an app user who registered with an app or created an account was 4.58 U.S. dollars. Mobile app user acquisition costs can vary widely between user action and operating system used. Compared to the relatively low acquisition costs of a user registration, the user action that had the highest average acquisition cost for both operating systems, Android and iOS, was subscribing. For Android this cost was 187.29 U.S. dollars, and for iOS it was 129.15 U.S. dollars.”

How to earn money through an app? 

We have mentioned the ways to develop your own application and market it, now its time to monetize it to get good returns. Here are the ways through which you can earn smart through your newly developed application. 

i. Advertising: First proven strategy to make money out of any good app is advertising. Allow advertisers to post Ads on your application and in return charge them a monthly or an yearly cost. Using ads to monetize app is very simple. All you have to do is to display commercial inside your apps and get paid from the ad networks. There can be many types of advertisements- Interstitial ads which are full screen pop ups, banner or display ads etc. Then, there are in-app video ads such as the user can get app currency, extra lives in games or additional features for watching video add. You can also rely on native ads in order to make a good amount. 

ii. Sponsorship: If you are creating an app on the behalf of other companies means you are creating a marketplace of your niche and can target other companies which have the same target audience as yours then sponsorship is a great way to make money. You can charge those companies for the featured placement which means if you have to show them above their competitors for a specific category of services. A great example can be Clutch which has several categories of IT services on its website along with a separate sponsored section which shows those companies who want to advertise themselves on the platforms. 

iii. In-app purchases: In-app purchases has potential to sell virtual items directly through app such as ability to watch premium content, unlock game levels, game currency, goods etc. In app purchases can have three sub-types such as Consumable, Non-consumable and Subscriptions. Consumable is the type of item that can be purchased and used only once inside the app. E.g. virtual currencies. Non-consumable would be a virtual item you have for the permanent usage where as Subscription-based would be those to unlock features and content for a limited period e.g. annual news subscription. 

iv. Affiliate income and referral marketing: App owners can sell affiliates’ services on their app for revenue split based on clicks and installs. Amazon store serve as one of the best examples to show how large the affiliate marketing can be. You just have to pick up a product, advertise the same to your app users and ultimately get revenue from all purchases through advertising fees. 

Final Words

Mobile app industry is clearly thriving with more than 2.7 billion users around the globe, so it is high time to re-think and give a boost to your mobile strategies. If you have got even a second to look at your phone in a day, you will see a lot of people online. Not even in phone, if you look around, you will see a lot of people have their eyes glued on mobile screens. Besides, mobile apps are expected to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020 so what are you waiting for.