Whenever the word Windows clicks to the mind, we instantly think of its dominance. This is the leading operating system on the desktop though it’s still very rare on phones. Going by the latest data collected through various sources only 2.5 percent of all mobile phones sold are Windows mobile. Microsoft was the first to introduce smart phones and first cloud based phones.
By the year 2017, users will have downloaded more than 250 billion mobile applications. There are already more than 1.9 millions apps available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store boast more than 1.4 million applications. In a recent study, more than 50 percent of mobile app users confirmed that they experienced some glitches while using their app. According to a study by Localytics, the app abandonment rate after only using it just once is more than 20% for last 4 consecutive years, but the percentage is declining which is a good sign.
What do these numbers suggest?
The number of alternatives that a smartphone user have is more than ever. There are mobile apps for almost every need imaginable and in every category possible. Looking at the future of apps, as more and more people and companies are embracing them for their productivity, we can safely assume that the focus on quality will be of prime importance.
It is not enough to push a “cool” or fun-to-use and innovative app. Users are likely to reject any app, no matter how alluring the features or benefits are, if there are issues in basic functionality. And if we talk about more guarded app stores, like that of Apple, your app may not even pass the moderation phase if it crashes or has bugs.
Generally, more than half of the poor reviews (less than 3 star rating) cite buggy experience or crashes for the substandard experience.
Testing is as Important as Coding
With the rise of sole mobile app developers working in their silos, the concept of app testing has taken a backseat. Naturally, a lack of dedicated team is one of the reasons, but it is not uncommon to discover an obvious bug in some decently popular applications.
Developers sometimes assume that they are testing the app for every single circumstance, but the number of ways an app can go wrong are many.
Getting to The Basics of Testing
Ideally, the conditions of app testing must be similar to what users are likely to use. It can be vaguely termed as functional testing.
Functionality tests should include the search functionality and checks for submission forms.
Additionally, application testers should also examine media components such as video and audio playback, the compatibility of scripts and libraries, and any manipulations or calculations that the app is supposed to carry out.
Smartphone users are hard to please now-a-days. A functional app is just the bare-minimum. Make sure that your application is O.K. tested with strict quality checks.
So the maths is simple. 1 in every 4 websites is powered by WordPress, a Content Management System (CMS) and more than half of the CMS based websites use this publishing platform. WordPress was started as a simple blogging platform just like Blogspot by Google. It was better known as “WordPress.com”, a community of bloggers. Although the company maintains that its blogging platform is more than capable of creating, hosting, and maintaining any type of website, it is its self-hosted version, WordPress.org, that attracted serious businesses to its platform.
WordPress.org, just like any other free, open-source, and community driven CMS, gives complete control in the hands of the website owner. The owner is responsible for hiring third-party hosting services, keeping up with the security and bug-fixes (which are rare until you completely mess-up with themes and plugins), and other maintenance tasks. It also gives access of its source code to WordPress developers so that they can customize themes and plugins as they please.
In a day our team skims through hundreds of websites, sometimes for getting design ideas, the other times to know what marketing tactics are being used, and sometimes just to be sure about what don’t work. It is hard to predict the exact formula for a successful website (other than its association with a big brand). However, there are some very common elements that we see across all well-reputed websites. Keeping aside the SEO friendly website factors, there are many other factors which are at work.
Internet is inundated with the tips and advice on building an amazing site that visitors love, and most of the tips from reputable sources are worth implementing, but overhauling of your website design may send the organic traffic in comma if done incorrectly. Also, it is more work than you might assume before taking the plunge. But actually, these are not the reasons enough to justify your compromising with the website that you hate.
This is the fourth post in the series of Android Application Development articles. To read the previous post, click here.
Numbers don’t lie, and that’s why boring pie-charts, histograms, and tables (no offense to business analysts and data scientists) still hold an important place in the company boardrooms. If numbers are so important, why not to consider them before taking the plunge in entrepreneurship or appreneurship, which is probably a more suitable term to signify mobile app as a viable business.
Here’s the five stats that you must check if you are planning to or have already ventured into appreneurship.
Have A Look At The Sheer Volume
There are more than 1.9 million apps on Google Play Store, and it is fast approaching the 2 million mark.
Source: App Brain
The chart shows that the number of apps was close to 1.5 million at the start of the year 2015, and in the span of one year, it has grown by more than 30%. The competition is huge, and it is only going to increase in the foreseeable future, so the right time to develop an Android app is now.
Note: All 5 top spots of Android Smartphone are taken by Samsung. Make sure your app is responsive for screens of both smartphone and phablet.
Top App Category
Source: App Brain
This chart shows the total number number of free and paid apps in each category in Google Play Store. (Don’t confuse it for the number of app-downloads in each category.)
Education category has the highest number of applications followed by the categories Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Business. The number of paid apps is highest for apps in personalization category. In nearly each category the number of free apps is 10x more than the number of paid ones.
Top Applications (in terms of number of downloads)
Source: App Annie
These are the top applications till January, 2016, in the U.S. Social and chat applications are popular in free app category, while Games are a popular choice in the paid category. Naturally, the list of top-grossing has many popular game titles. All top-grossing apps have in-app monetization model.
Following are the top-10 Android Apps in Singapore:
The Importance of App Rating
Source: App Brain
The apps with less than 2.5 average rating have only 16% of apps that are downloaded more than 5000 times. On the other hand, 43% of applications with 4.0-4.5 star rating have been downloaded more than 5,000 times.
The reason why we are seeing contradicting figure for those apps that have been rated more than 4.5 stars could be “the number of total ratings” for those apps. There are thousands of apps on Google Play Store that have high but very few ratings. Users interpret these ratings as those given by friends and family and hence, don’t really believe the app to be of high-quality.
These are some new and important stats that you must consider if you’re somehow related to Android App Development space. There are some useful insights that can be drawn from these numbers.
Next Week we have a pretty interesting and important topic to cover i.e. How To Engage Users With Your Android App. A lot of good stuff is coming. Stay Tuned!
2016 is a big year for Virtual Reality. Some giant tech firms, backed by game studios, are placing huge bets in this space. And when there are companies of the likes of Apple, Facebook, and Sony are there, you can expect some big news and launch events round the year.
If you were on a digital-world sabbatical, let me tell you that virtual reality is an immersive computer-simulated environment with which a user interact. Many people have a myth that Microsoft HoloLens is a VR headset, but the fact is- in contrast with VR headsets, HoloLens doesn’t cut you off from the real-world but projects holograms in a 3-D environment of the real world. You can still roam around wearing the headsets which is definitely not recommended when you have a VR headset on. Hence, I am keeping HoloLens out of the league.
“Build a beautiful castle and people will come”, this is the myth that many new businesses and website owners may have. User engagement is a precious currency that is extremely hard to earn until you do most of the things right. Building an exemplary castle is fine, but you need to make sure that people know it exists somewhere. Reaching it is just a click away.
It is not uncommon to see a company investing a lot of resources into app and website building only to fight high bounce-rate and miserably low user-engagement at later stages. We have been working in the field of custom web design for more than 14 years, and know it inside-out. Here’s our take and tips:
1. Clear Navigation: Google has clearly mentioned in its guidelines that you should create content for the users and not for search-engines. “Crawlers” or “Spiders”, as google bots are commonly referred to as, are becoming more and more human like and are smart enough to know how user-friendly the content is.
Website development is getting increasingly easy. Now you don’t need to be a web developer or a technical genius to build an e-commerce website or a news aggregator or a portal from scratch. There are many website builders and CMSs services, both free and paid, available that warrant little or no expertise for creating an online avenue for your products, services and musings. Earlier “up-and-running-in-a-few-minutes” websites were limited to personal blogs and simple static webpage. But with the rise of powerful website builders and online services, the websites for as complex as e-commerce industry can be created in a few hours, if not minutes. But can these services replace website developers? Not really!
You Will Not Get Every Feature
You may have an excellent idea to engage new visitors, but unfortunately you cannot see the idea in action as there is absolutely no way to do the same without changing the code or writing it from scratch. Heartbreaking, right? But this is the truth. Website builders and CMSs provide you with limited tools to play around. Even if you get access to source code, customizing it requires a lot of efforts and coding skills.
Over the time CMS has become much more than a content management system. It is now widely considered a one-stop solution for building a website from scratch. The reason behind the popularity of CMS is that you don’t need to be a website development expert to create a fully functional and attractive website.
WordPress.org, Joomla, and Drupal are three widely popular CMS. When we talk about these CMSs, it is hard to single out anyone as a winner. First, let’s look at some of the similarities among them.
1. Free and Open Source: They are open-source and available for free to download. You can access the source code and customize. Themes and plugins can be created and uploaded to personalize the website.
2. Community of developers: All three platforms have a good backing of developers. This ensures future improvements in platforms in terms of features.
3. Plugins and Themes: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have many free and premium plugins and themes. These extend powerful features to the CMS-based websites.
4. Ease-of-use: I won’t say that Joomla and Drupal are as easy to use as WordPress but CMS’s don’t demand a strong grasp on web programming languages. Building a basic website from scratch is a cakewalk.
Having already observed a few trends and knowing that investing in Android App is rather a smart move, you must have started brainstorming about your app ideas seriously. That’s great! The best time to put your thoughts into actions is now. An Android app is your opportunity to make the lives of billions of people better thorough your creation.
But before you jump into Android app development bandwagon, there are a few things that you cannot afford to miss. This post is immensely helpful for the first-time Android app developers.