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The first thing to note about the difference between native and hybrid apps is that the native ones are developed for a specific platform like iOS or Android. Native apps are built with programming languages that are officially supported by the platform - such as Java and Kotlin for Android, while for iOS Objective-C and Swift or now SwiftUI. These usually perform faster than hybrid apps and are in keeping with other native apps on the device - making them easier to use and navigate. Native apps also utilise built-in capabilities of the user’s device, for example GPS, calendar or camera.
The main difference between a hybrid app and a native app is that these apps are accessible only on the stores for Android/iOS. Hence, it cannot be run on the web or desktop-like hybrid apps. But this is more secure as the app is fully tested by the store before being released. This gives an assurance to the users that native apps are safe.
The first step when it comes to monetising your mobile app is to build your user base. You should have a solid marketing strategy in place from the get go. Investing time and money into your marketing long before your actual launch date.
Once you have a large and loyal user base, you can think about monetising. We would urge you not to rush into this, as too much too soon can put off your users. Your number one priority should always be the experience of your users. Focus on the quality of your product, build trust and connect with your users. Listen to their feedback and how they interact with the app. This will prioritise your features and future product development. Once your users are engaged with your app, you can begin to think about monetising.
In-App Advertising: The simplest way to monetise a free app is through in-app advertising. With this type of monetisation, you only start to make money when large amounts of users download and engage with your app. Adverts should be non-intrusive and relevant - take it too far and you may find your users start to lose trust in your product.
Freemium Apps: A freemium app is offered to users free of charge but with limited features or content. Users can unlock premium features by paying either a one-off fee or a monthly subscription through an in-app purchase. This is a good option for many as it allows users to see and experience the value of your app before they part with any money and, if you opt for a monthly subscription, it guarantees you a monthly income.
Paid Apps: Users will pay just once to download the app. Other features and updates should be free. This is a good option for already established brands, but can be hard to pull off otherwise. There is no repeat revenue from your users, and you must ensure your app provides value from the first download.
Subscription Apps: Users will pay a monthly fee for ongoing usage of the app. The feature set of the app need to be engaging enough that users will keep coming back to the app and importantly they will want to share their experiences with otheres.
People are often surprised to discover the downloads don’t come flooding in once their app is launched. I know you and your team think the app is amazing. The reality is that your team, friends and family can only enagage to a point with the app. And the App and Play Stores are already heavily saturated. Now, having a good app is no longer enough to get large numbers of downloads.
Gap in the Market: Your product should be something that adds value and instantly makes the user feel as if it’s something they truly need. While your branding team and developers will help you, we do expect you to have conducted the necessary market research.
High-Quality Product: Once your lauch your app it needs to be bug-free, have a familiar design and instil trust in your user.
App Store Optimisation (ASO): Optimising your app for the App and Play Stores will ensure more people can discover your app. Not only do you need an engaging description and high-quality screenshots, you will also need to do some keyword research. Tools such as App Annie will help you decide which keywords to target. You will need to continuously monitor and adapt your keywords. ASO is an on-going process so ensure you keep up to date.
Marketing: Building a social media presence, running competitions, placing ads and engaging with both current and target users will get users on board with your app. Good planning is required here whilst the app is in development. Early releases are also an opportunity to get early adopters on board to test your app.
Android’s open Play Store marketplace is its greatest blessing and its darkest curse. Consumers have far more apps to choose from than on iOS’ App Store, but there’s a far greater chance that hackers can make it onto the platform to distribute malware apps.
Android claims to have made significant progress recently in an effort to reduce the amount of malware on its marketplace. In addition, Android users can also change their settings to allow apps from outside of the Android app store. This provides an even greater selection of apps, but opens users to an even greater risk of malware.
While launching on both platforms will mean you reach as many users as possible, costs and other factors can mean that, to start with at least, you may need to choose between iOS and Android.
One of the main factors to consider is the geographical location of the app. Developing countries often have more of a market for Android apps, as people generally have cheaper Android phones. However, it really depends on the purpose of the app. If you are promoting something high-end or luxury, even in a developing country, it makes sense to target iOS users who usually have more expensive phones.
Looking through the lens of revenue, iOS apps do better. According to the report, ‘State Of In-App Spending’, iOS users spend about 2.5 times more money. Nearly 71% of iOS users were also seen to be making at least one payment each month through their device. In contrast, just 4.6% of Android users made a payment every month.
Another major factor that plays a huge role in iPhone users spending more on apps is their brand loyalty. It is well known that iPhone users generally tend to be more loyal to their brand than Android.
If time is a consideration, then it’s worth noting that iOS apps generally take longer to develop than Android.
App Store: You or your developer need to have a developer account which costs $99 per year. This account does not guarantee that an app you submit will make it to the App Store. Apple have strict guidelines to ensure the quality remains high and quantity of apps for a segment on the App Store remains manageable.
Play Store: You pay a one-time $25 fee to create a developer account. Google have certain guidelines in place which your app must follow.
Using the house analogy, the length of time it takes to develop an app depends on the size of the project. Features like email authentication and push notifications will add to the timeline, while complex features like chatbots or machine learning will drastically increase the time needed.
Mobile app development can take anything from a few weeks for something very simple, to over six months for something more complex. A good app development agency will walk you through this during the initial consulting period.
This is the most frequent question we get. I liken it to building a house. If you go to an architect and ask how much will it cost? An architect will take you through a process defining what it is. Like a house, the cost of an app or website can vary hugely based on features, complexity and the platform used. Apps with a backend server will cost more, while simple apps which run on just one platform will be a lot cheaper. Other factors include the method of user authentication, database set up, hardware features such as access to a smartphone camera, API calls to other systems and custom functions.
You don't have an app or website built, then let it sit there. So rarely does an app development involve a one-off payment. Growth ambitions or are planning to monetise your app, there are further costs which you must factor in such as a marketing budget and app updates. Of which some of these are security or required code based changes. Apps that don't require a marketing budget are the ones built for internal use by a company or orgainsation.
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