how often you should update your app

How Often Should You Update Your App?

So your mobile app is now built and available in the app stores. Users are downloading it, using it and you are receiving feedback from happy clients. But what’s next?

The journey has just begun! It is now time to think about maintenance for your app (if you haven’t already) and about the next versions (iterations).

But how often should you update your application and why?

Why Is It Important To Update Your App

The app market is constantly evolving. The expectations of apps keep getting ratcheted higher and higher. New technologies are emerging and operating systems are being improved.

If you don’t want your app to appear tired, obsolete or dead, you should take care to update it regularly. And, by the way, regular updates are a great way to keep users interested and engaged.

Here are the most common reasons why you should update your application:

#1 People love novelty

People love new features in their apps so you should regularly offer your users interesting and helpful app updates. Plus, by updating your app, you have a great excuse to send pop-up notifications to show your users that you care about their requirements.

#2 Remove or replace everything that has lost relevance

Mobile apps get outdated over time. This is inevitable due to the constant evolution of mobile tech. It’s important to select any old and unnecessary elements and remove or replace them with new, up to date features or information that meets the users’ needs.

#3 Date of last update

Users can always see when the application was last updated on Google Play or App Store. If your mobile app doesn’t have frequent updates it will lose credibility.

#4 Improvement of the user experience

Improvements, based upon user feedback, mean that the app is always providing greater utility to the user. The app becomes more relevant, more engaging and more useful. The more closely aligned the app is to audience requirements, the more it will be used and the more revenue it will generate.

#5 Increase Downloads

Constant maintenance positively impacts the rating of the mobile app in the markets. This makes it easier for users to find and more likely to be downloaded.

So, summarizing: your app needs to be updated to keep it on top. But what is the recommended frequency of app updating?

How Often Should You Update Your App

As mentioned, applications are more valued when they are updated frequently. Not only by customers but also by Apple Store and Google Play.

But be aware! Excessive updates can result in user fatigue. Even though users like to see fresh updates and features on their favorite apps, getting update notifications too frequently can get tiring. The frequency of updates greatly depends on users’ feedback and app performance statistics.

update your app

We can talk about three different new release strategies…

  • regular updates: there is a planned, periodic sequence of new releases
  • out of necessity: bug fixing, new feature release, and so on
  • at will: you update your app whenever you want, without any schedule

Generally speaking, a good number is 1-2 small improvements per month. By improvements, we mean minor upgrades, redesigns, and new features. Regular, incremental improvement is better that sporadic overhauls of the app.

However, the frequency of app updates can differ depending on your goals and app’s functionality.

Don’t forget that every new release needs to be submitted and approved by the app stores. Apple, in particular, can take weeks to approve updates. This needs to be considered when planning new release scheduling.

Factors to Consider When Scheduling New Releases

#1 App Bug Fixing Updates

Unfortunately nothing is ever perfect. Particularly when it comes to tech!. Even if apps are rigorously tested prior to release, things can go wrong. Some bugs can be elusive and only become evident after release.

Needless to say, bug fixes should be dealt with as soon as possible and, once resolved, the apps should be resubmitted.

#2 App Feature Release Updates

As we mentioned above, people love new features. To keep your audience actively engaged, it is good practice to plan, schedule and release new features with regularity.

#3 Enhancing the app UI/UX

The functionality of the application, its operating speed,  its performance stability – all very important. But the first thing a user notices when launching your product is what it looks like. So the app’s design is critical.

What are the reasons to change the design, update and enhance it?

  • change in corporate brand guidelines
  • overly complicated and confusing user interface
  • non intuitive user journeys
  • modernise / freshen design

#4 Operating System updates

All operating systems are being regularly improved to provide users with better experience. But, unfortunately, when an OS gets updated, it can affect the performance of your app: information transfer speed can be lost, some features can refuse to work properly, etc. To avoid it, you should release a system update that will ensure the application is working correctly.

#5 User feedback

This is critical.

There are several ways to receive user feedback.

Users often leave feedback for apps on the app stores. They submit opinions on bugs, defects, performance issues and potentially missing features. App owners should react quickly to this type of feedback and, when the feedback is valid, resolve the issues.

App owners can also proactively generate feedback by engaging directly with users (and potential users). If you genuinely want your apps to deliver the best experience and value, your users opinions are pure gold. What do they like / dislike, what would they add / remove, what would make them use the app more / less, what makes the app better / worse than other apps etc.

Obviously it is impossible to use all user feedback when designing future releases. Some opinions will differ or even be contradictory. Some features will be impossible because of budget. Some opinions will not be congruent with the values of the business.

You need to find the sweet spot where a consensus of opinion overlaps with business goals and the return on investment model works for the business.

Conclusion

Whether you intend to make spontaneous changes based on market trends, scheduled updates, or both, it is important to have a strategic plan. Create an action plan for app updates, and ensure that you deliver on schedule. Having a plan is critical to keeping your app fresh and safe as you continue to make improvements.

Considering the speed at which the market evolves, there is no time for long, complicated processes in order to make app updates. Regular, incremental updates, based upon client based intelligence work best.

At Appify our team is highly skilled in mobile app development. We have a huge experience with long-term and successful projects. So, if you think it’s time to maintain and update your app, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free conversation with our experts!


augmented reality app

Best Augmented Reality Apps in 2019

Today you can see your home fully furnished well before buying any furniture and see how that new car looks parked in your garage even before signing a contract. Wondering how that’s possible?

It’s all because of augmented reality apps.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive technology that, with the help of electronic devices, can enhance real objects with computer-generated perceptual information. Simply put, AR allows you to visualize things that aren’t physically present. We’re talking about creating a modified or enhanced reality.

Organisations are using augmented reality to enhance the customer experience. This is now making its way into our everyday lives. Augmented reality apps are available for everyone to download and benefit from. All you need is a smartphone and you can enjoy experimenting with new interior layouts, a pair of shoes and many other things.

Here are a few sectors where augmented reality apps are making a major difference:

Augmented Reality App for Retail Sector

While you may have heard of AR making games appear much more realistic, offering training through life-like 3D models or allowing space enthusiasts to witness constellations, AR apps have also found their way into use in the retail industry.

AR can turn out to be a game-changer for the retail sector by allowing the buyers to virtually try a product before making a purchase. They can visualize the look and feel of a product, and how it fits in their current environment. Customers are much more likely to buy an item if they’re able to try it beforehand and have an enjoyable experience. No words or pictures can market a product better than a great real-life experience.

Here are some of the most interesting augmented reality apps in the retail sector:

IKEA Place AR

Have you ever experienced the nuisance of buying the furniture piece of your dreams from IKEA only to realize that it doesn’t sit well with the rest of your furniture? The countless hours spent in deciding, purchasing and finally assembling the piece have now gone to waste.

Well, IKEA has come up with the perfect solution.

IKEA Place is one of our favorite AR apps. It improves the overall buying experience for IKEA customers.

The IKEA augmented reality app enables customers to visualize a wide range of furniture pieces in their own homes. Just scan an area where you’d like the piece to fit, choose the furniture, and you’re done!

The furniture piece will appear exactly where you’d actually be putting it. You can move it around a bit to see if it fits, try different colors and designs, and even play around with the dimensions.

Just scan a specific area, select the design of the furniture you like and you’re done!

All you’ll need is a working smartphone and the IKEA Place app.

Wanna Kicks

Another good example of augmented reality apps in the retail sector is Wanna Kicks.

It’s not uncommon for people to order a pair of shoes online, only to go through the hassle of returning it because of choosing the wrong size.

Wanna Kicks augmented reality app allows people to virtually try on a pair of shoes before making the purchase.

This app has the potential to revolutionize the online shoe shopping experience for the better. Just frame your foot with your iPhone’s camera and try on shoes from leading brands like Adidas, Stella McCartney, Nike, New Balance and many others.

Sephora Virtual Artist

Sephora Virtual Artist is the best friend of every woman. To date, it’s the best augmented reality application in the beauty industry.

With this interactive app you can try on different makeup looks simply by snapping a picture of your face.

Choose from countless products and see what the results will look like on your specific features and skin type. With this application, you won’t ever have to return a perfect foundation just because you chose the wrong shade.

But that’s not it, this app is great for makeup amateurs and professionals alike for experimenting with different makeup looks and buying the products that seem to deliver the best results.

Augmented Reality App for the Tourism Industry

In recent years, augmented reality has become increasingly popular in the travel industry.

It enables hotels, resorts and venues to present their physical environments to potential customers within the comfort of their homes; thus encouraging them to plan an actual visit.

Here are some of the AR apps that, we believe, are very helpful for our fellow travelers:

Momondo (available for Android & iOS)

Momondo ar check hand luggage

You are about to leave for a trip and you need the choose the hand luggage to take with you.

It’s simple, except every airline has its own baggage policies which can get a tad confusing.

Momondo is a famous online search engine for flights, hotels and car rental offers. They have implemented an AR feature in their app which allows users to virtually measure the hand luggage.

Just point the app to your suitcase as instructed and you’ll have the exact dimensions in no time. Furthermore, the app will also tell you which airlines will allow you to carry your preferred suitcase.

Well, the app would’ve been perfect if it could also weigh your bags for you. Unfortunately, that’s something you may have to do manually!

Google Translate AR app

Break down the language barriers with the Google Translate app!

Google’s text and audio translation tool has been one of the best travel buddies for years. With time, it’s only getting better and more interactive.

First, it introduced voice search and now, it has augmented reality, real-time visual translation feature as well.

All you have to do is scan a text with your smartphone camera, and Google Translate will provide real-time translations of words and phrases.

You can also download the language packs, which allow you to enjoy offline translations for when you are travelling to remote regions.

We believe it is a must-have for all travelers (and non-travelers, too).

Augmented Reality App for the Gaming Industry

Augmented reality gaming is still in its nascent stages. And yet, who hasn’t tried playing Pokémon Go, the game in which you can capture wild Pokémon’s scattered in the real world.

Augmented reality games have already become a trend in the gaming industry, and their popularity keeps on growing.

With AR, gamers can experience fighting aliens, capturing fantastical creatures and defending kingdoms like never before. The gaming experience now feels more real than ever.

So grab your AR-enabled smartphone or console, and enjoy some of our favorite picks:

Knightfall AR

Knightfall AR game

For us, this offers the best augmented reality experience.

This game takes you inside the world of The Knights Templar. Your role is to defend the city of Acre from an invading army and protect Christianity’s most prized relic, the Holy Grail.

Just place the battlefield down on any flat surface near you, and your viewpoint then acts as a targeting reticule, allowing you to fire at enemy units as they come closer towards your walls.

Kill enemies and earn gold that you can spend on defenses and warriors to push the invaders back. It’s, indeed, a world of its own.

Other Applications

Apart from the sectors mentioned above, AR has found applications in several other categories as well.

Tapmeasure (available for iOS) or AR Ruler (available for Android)

TapMeasure app vs AR Ruler app

Here’s one of the simplest ideas for AR. These apps are a virtual tool that can help you in measuring anything and everything.

Some smartphones already have a similar built-in feature, however, these apps are much more sophisticated and accurate than those.

With these apps, you can mark a starting point and move the smartphone along the entire surface you want to measure.

It’s not just about simple, straightforward measurements; the apps can also measure angles, volume, and area. They even allow you to create a room plan from your measurements.

Unfortunately, this feature is not completely perfect as of yet, but nonetheless can still be highly useful.

Inkhunter augmented reality app

Sometimes we make decisions that have irreversible consequences like getting a haircut or a tattoo.

You may be convinced that a particular tattoo is great for you, but after all is said and done, you can end up regretting your decision.

With the Inkhunter augmented reality app, you can see what a particular tattoo will look like on you before actually getting it.

Just draw a boundary on your body where you’d like to have a tattoo, capture it with your smartphone’s camera and the app will automatically load the tattoo you choose.

BBC Civilizations AR

Who says you can’t use smartphones for learning?

With BBC’s Civilization AR app, learning becomes super interactive and fun for kids and adults alike.

This augmented reality app brings to you 40 works of art from human history across the many epochs and great civilizations of the past.

Each artifact can be viewed in lifelike 3D renderings using your phone as an AR viewfinder.

You can check out interactive features like x-ray views and narrations, and learn about the secrets, origins and history of these global cultural treasures.

Take advantage of the many opportunities offered by Augmented Reality

The applications in augmented reality offer numerous opportunities for companies belonging to different sectors (tourism, furniture, retail, beauty etc.).

In this article, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.

If you believe that an augmented reality app can expand the reach of your business, or you have an innovative idea for an augmented reality app, contact us to see how we can help and enjoy a free consultation with our experts.


on-demand app

15 Essential Features of On-Demand Applications

According to Harvard Business Review, the on-demand economy attracts more than 22.4 million consumers annually whose spending amounts to about $57.6 billion. It is one of the most used business models, with online market places being the largest revenue-generating category.

The statistics are invariably in favour of the new, on-demand era. And it’s not just for the young! On-demand applications keep consumers constantly connected to businesses. They conveniently cater to all sorts of needs with a few, easy taps.

And perhaps, that is the reason why they have managed to attract millennials, baby boomers and the older population alike.

But what are these on-demand apps?

On-demand service applications are that vital link between the end consumers and service providers that allows consumers to get the service they need with minimal effort on their part. The goal is to provide superior quality services and impeccable customer experience.

From start-ups to huge enterprises, everyone has jumped on the on-demand services bandwagon. From food delivery and taxi-booking to healthcare care and medicines, on-demand apps provide customers with instant solutions.

In fact, in today’s competitive market with rising customer expectations, failing to provide services on demand can put a business at a serious disadvantage.

Benefits of an on-demand app

on-demand app development

The benefits of on-demand applications are plenty, but the major goal is to match demand and supply instantaneously. When market competition is on the rise, speed and convenience can be game-changers.

Here’s what makes on-demand service applications really popular:

Convenience

Ordering goods or services has never been easier. Placing an order, making a payment, and tracking delivery, all can be done through smart devices without as much as moving from the couch.

In addition to the convenience of having needs met wherever, whenever, on-demand apps allow order tracking as well. Customers can know the exact location of their order along with the remaining delivery time through a map service.

For business owners, having customers connected to their services 24/7 means higher sales and better revenues. Offering convenience and speed can create a competitive edge in highly saturated markets. And in some cases, on-demand apps allow businesses to operate without having to invest in costly infrastructure; which is a win-win.

It also provides start-ups and SMEs the opportunity to compete with and win against much larger businesses.

Unlimited business opportunities

Service providers can gather invaluable customer data through on-demand applications such as contact details, interests, behaviours etc. This data can do wonders for a business through modern data analytics and business intelligence tools.

Businesses can engage with customers at a more personal level and send personalized offers to boost conversion rates and build brand loyalty.

Critical features of an on-demand app

If you area business owner thinking about developing an on-demand app, the first step is to assess your target audience. There will be some difference in a customer service app features, service provider app features and a management portal or an admin app features.

Here’s a list of some must-have features for various modules of an on-demand services applications:

1. Customer Service App Features

on-demand app for customers

Appropriate algorithm

Only a properly designed algorithm can ensure quick service delivery by relaying the task to the nearest available server.

Push notifications

On-demand customer service apps must incorporate a push notifications feature to update the customers regarding the delivery status of their order and also remind them of on-going promotions and limited-time offers.

Real-time GPS tracking

This allows users to track their order and estimate the remaining delivery time. Such a feature can save the customer service of businesses from the unnecessary burden of answering endless order-related queries.

Payment facility

In the era of e-Commerce, having an online payment feature is crucial for on-demand service applications. In fact, on-demand apps must integrate a variety of payment options to serve a wide audience.

Customers should have the option to pay through credit cards, debit cards, online bank transfers, e-Wallet and other mainstream payment methods. Otherwise, buyers may very well opt for another service provider that offers their desired mode of payment.

Reviews & ratings

On-demand apps should allow customers to leave feedback and ratings. While positive reviews can attract new customers, negative feedback can help businesses improve their services.

Review and ratings feature also creates a sense of importance in the customers, and they are more likely to use an app in which their opinions matter.

Wish list / Favourites

Sometimes customers are reluctant to make a purchase right away. They may need time to evaluate other products or compare with other providers before they finally settle on something.

Favourites and wish lists come handy in such cases so that the potential buyers can come back to the particular provider when they’re ready to place an order.

Wish lists also provide valuable intelligence about the customer.

Customer profile

In order to deliver better user experiences and also to gather customer data, offering a feature for creating personalized profiles is very important.

Gathering relevant information for business intelligence also becomes a lot easier with integrated social media pages, like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

2. Service provider app features

on-demand app for service providers

Push notification

Push notifications inform service providers when a user avails their services or products.

Accepting & rejecting requests

The service provider’s app must allow them to accept or reject a request. Sometimes, providers may even need to manually change some details regarding a request.

Schedule service availability

This feature allows service providers to schedule their availability and notify customers when they are out of service. It also includes the ability to identify out of stock items.

Track earnings

This feature allows the service providers to view and manage their earnings.

3. Admin app features

admin app

Dashboard

All admin apps need to have a dedicated dashboard. It must be easy to navigate and allow admins to effectively manage users and service providers, and efficiently monitor all business processes such as client orders, payments or customer queries.

Appropriate algorithm

The admin should be able to manually assign a service provider to the customer if the automatic assignment fails for some reason.

Analytics & report

The app should allow an admin to view statistics such as the number of services requested, cancelled, or if the business is doing well, in general, and going in the right direction.

Price and commission management

For the Admin module, another critical feature is commission management which allows admins to manage prices and commission charges. It should also allow admins to ensure smooth transactions.

How to get started?

If you have a great idea for an on-demand app, you can contact Appify to discuss it further with our team of professional app developers and designers.

At Appify, our experts accompany you through the entire development process and well beyond. As a first step, you can benefit from a free consultation with our team to evaluate your requirements. We start by analysing your market segment and figure out the best way forward.

From requirements specification to app designing and development, from quality assurance to publishing the app for you, we take care of everything on your behalf.

Takeaway

You could see that developing an On-Demand app for your business can be profitable and what benefits it can bring.

On-demand service applications are essential for meeting ever-increasing customer expectations. The ease and convenience of being able to get services at the door step can increase sales and revenue for businesses.

And this is only the beginning.

On-demand apps will continue to disrupt traditional service delivery and business models. Companies like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have revolutionized their respective industries.

And if you’re looking to build something similar to conquer your marketplace, Appify can provide custom on-demand mobile app solutions designed to meet your specific needs.

If you have an innovative idea and are looking for a partner to bring that idea to life, book your free consultation on +353 (0)1 482 6996, or reach out via email at hello@appify.digital.


Healthcare App Trends

Healthcare App: 7 Trends You Need to Follow

In the past few years Healthcare Apps have begun to add significant value in the healthcare sector, helping users to manage their medical conditions and hospital visits for example. Patients and doctors can both benefit from this technological revolution through mHealth apps, even if they deal with very sensitive data.

Healthcare solutions are becoming increasingly digital and this makes healthcare app development more important than ever before. The connection between patients and doctors can be made faster and more efficient. Mobile health services allows for improved patient monitoring, data management and it reduces time.

In 2019 users look for great and innovative tools to monitor their physical well-being. So if you would like to stay current in the healthcare market it is important to follow the latest trends and consider offering an up-to-date mobile app to assist with solutions delivery.

Let’s look at what to expect in the near future.

Healthcare App Trends in 2019

#1 Telehealth

telehealth

When it comes to mHealth, telehealth is one of the fastest-growing segments  in the industry.

Being proactive with technology in healthcare can change lives. Nowadays, we are so busy with work, family and leisure that personal health management can get deprioritised. Many of us only visit a doctor when things go wrong.

But times are changing. Now our health management can be only a click away from us. With personalized healthcare applications, we can gain a greater understanding of our own health status – right in the comfort of our own homes.

Telehealth encompasses the set of technologies and the personnel that are able to remotely monitor and assist patients and their caregivers. Telehealth apps often facilitate the transfer of particular health data and information to the doctors and the clinical staff who are treating the individual.

In this way we can easily monitor our medical conditions and key indicators and schedule an appointment or virtual call with our physician when actually required.

Thanks to telehealth there are no more excuses to forget about our health!

#2 Internet of Things (IOT) in Healthcare

IoT healthcare

IoT has a strong and growing impact on healthcare. Wearable technologies, like fitness bands, have already become a part of everyday life. Ongoing IoT healthcare app development will assist numerous activities like enhanced diagnosis, patient’s vital tracking, treatment and maintenance of health product inventories, among many other things.

Real-time monitoring via connected devices can save lives in an event of a medical emergency like heart failure, diabetic episode, asthma attack, etc. These devices collect data relevant to our medical conditions, like blood pressure, blood sugar level or weight, and stores it in the cloud.

We can set up alerts in case of life-threatening circumstances. Medical IoT devices gather data and transfer it to doctors or monitoring services in real-time. Critical data indicators can be set to trigger an emergency intervention.

#3 Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD)

PGHD

These days we want to know more about or health and better understand our medical data.

PGHD includes all data collected and recorded by the patient or his caregiver. It can include personal health records (PHR), treatment history, symptoms and lifestyle choices. Apps can make the collection, storage, analysis and interpretation of this information much easier that would otherwise be the case

Patient generated data is already playing an important role for doctors in monitoring patients’ conditions, particularly for sufferers of depression, cancer, diabetes, cholesterol etc. Doubtless the role of PGHD will expand as the potential of mobile apps can be further exploited to harness the available intelligence.

#4 Communication

book a doctor appointment

Another important trend in the healthcare industry is the improvement of communication channels. High user satisfaction can change the game, and  this is true also in the case of medical applications. Offering different ways of communication between doctors and patients can make a big difference. The more effective the communication, the greater the chances of treatment success.

The implementation of the following communication channels are recommended:

  • Traditional mobile chat – it allows the patient to communicate with a particular medical institution to pass information and receive medical advice.
  • Video chat – a modern and improved way of communication. Users would undoubtedly appreciate the personalisation of an almost face to face consultation with their doctors.
  • Chatbot – this solution gives users personalised real-time responses 24/7 or simply when doctors are busy with other patients. These and many other advantages make mobile applications with chatbots one of the main technology trends in the healthcare industry in 2019.

  • Booking system – this option allows users to make an appointment with a doctor online, at any convenient time, without having to call.
  • Emergency alert – this feature is essential for the most critical cases where the patient needs urgent help from a doctor.  With an emergency call button and using a geolocation option, it would be easier for patients summon immediate help.
  • Voice assistant – is another interesting new technology in healthcare in this year. Speech recognition and reproduction technologies are changing the healthcare industry. They can be applied in many areas including elderly care, support for patients with chronic diseases, and so on.

#5 Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more influential in changing peoples’ everyday lives, habits and work. AI and machine learning offer new possibilities to make detailed predictive analysis.

These technologies collect information, and, using specific tools, they look for a logic in the incoming data. In this way they are able to provide personalized alerts, suggestions or solutions to the user.

This year, major hospitals and drug manufacturers are likely to invest in Artificial Intelligence that can revolutionize the sector. According to Forbes, the total investment in AI in healthcare is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021.

In the coming years Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will be indispensable in many areas – from instrumental diagnostics to the development of new drugs, as well as an assessment of the risks for patients with various diseases.

#6 Data Protection

medical data protection

Data Protection is maybe the biggest challenge for healthcare apps because they work with sensitive data. In 2019 special attention is being dedicated to mobile security.

Protecting patients’ data is a priority for every healthcare institution.

During the app development process, it is possible to implement new technologies or tools to ensure the protection and safe storage of data. That’s why Blockchain has also become one of the healthcare trends of this year.

Blockchain allows for digitisation of various processes, using cryptography, creating unified rules for all network participants, and offers other similar innovative solutions that contribute to enhanced data protection.

#7 Geolocation

geolocation healthcare

Geolocation is already in everyday use in all kinds of technologies. Just think about a GPS application that allows us to find our exact location and tracks us along the best route to our destination.

GPS can save lives. Imagine the scenario of an emergency call in the event of an accident, natural disaster, heart attack etc. Using GPS, the exact location of the user could be detected by the receiver of the call at emergency services. This could trigger the dispatch of ambulances and other appropriate emergency services to the exact location of the incident.

Appify - Your Healthcare App Development Company in the UK and Ireland

Do you need a new healthcare app? Or are you planning to implement the newest trending technologies in your existing application?

In order to have an effective application able to excel in the healthcare market, you need to choose your development partners carefully.

At Appify, we are experts in medical app development.  From Healthcare Authorities to medical professionals to service providers, we’re already active in the sector and we understand well the requirements for a successful healthcare mobile app.

We can help you to create an innovative app to make your services more efficient, optimise user outcomes and to increase client satisfaction and loyalty.

Contact us or call us today at +353 (0)1 482 6996 and talk with our award-winning team about your healthcare app project.


java or kotlin for android app development

Java or Kotlin: Which Should You Choose?

So you have a great app idea for Android devices but you don’t know whether to use Java or Kotlin for the development of your app?

In this article we will show you the strengths of the 2 most famous programming languages for Android ​​so that you can answer the question.

Java or Kotlin?

When you think of Android App Development , which programming language comes to your mind first? It is likely to be Java, having over 20 years of history. But there are also other new languages like Kotlin that are challenging the leadership of Java.

This year, Google announced that Kotlin is now its preferred programming language for Android. It is a  relatively new language which is intuitive, modern and pragmatic.

At Appify, we’re here to help you decide which programming language (Java or Kotlin) works best for your next app development project. And since we imagine that you have heard much more often about Java, let us talk about Kotlin first.

Kotin: what is it?

Kotlin is an open source programming language designed and updated by JetBrains programmers.

This language is compatible with Java (says it all), designed to solve some Java development problems and to simplify the code for the creation of mobile apps.

Two years ago, in May 2017, Kotlin became a supported language by Google for Android and this was only the beginning of the competition between Java and Kotlin. Many developers loved it immediately and it began to grow in usage very quickly.

The increasing demand required the development of new versions which made it the ideal language for the development of multi-platform apps, for both Android and iOS.

Kotlin has found itself to be the preferred language not only by Google, but also by important brands that are famous in all over the world.

Amazon logo
airbnb logo
Uber logo
Netflix logo

But why did Google choose Kotlin?

The answer lies in the features of Kotlin that overcome the limitations of Java and that, today, represent an advantage for many developers.

Kotlin benefits

Concise

Kotlin is a faster programming language than Java. It requires less code. This reduces the probability of bugs and errors and makes the development process faster. Kotlin’s concise nature allows developers to read and modify code more efficiently which can reduce a project’s time-to-market. That’s the main reason why many developers prefer Kotlin to Java.

code Java or Kotlin

Interoperable

One of best features of Kotlin is its ability to interact and work with its rival, Java.

From the beginning, the goal of the Kotlin project was to use existing knowledge and skills to make every Java library available to Kotlin programmers.

This means that developers can use a series o Java libraries to create modules with Kotlin and, at the same time, thanks to a converter created by JetBrains, they can generate Java code from Kotlin.

Basically, the 2 programming languages can work together on the same project. The transition from Java to Kotlin is very simple for a developer due to the affinity of the two languages and the conversion tools available.

Safe

Another very important feature of Kotlin is the security of its architecture. It helps to avoid the most common errors that developers encounter in Java like the NullPointerException which can cause the system to block or crash.

Kotlin has eliminated the the possibility of having this error, reducing the possibility that Android mobile apps get stuck in the middle of an operation.

Java: what is it?

Java is a programming language originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystem in 1995, currently owned by the Oracle CorporationJava is considered one of the best languages for app development. It’s a reliable programming language, with many tools and open source libraries, used by many developers all over in the world.

Java development dominates the world of business applications, thanks to extraordinary features such as interoperability and flexibility.

Java is present almost everywhere: in laptops, video game consoles, smartphones, etc. And thanks to constant updates, the apps developed in Java are always protected and efficient.

Java programming language

Why to choose Java for Android app development?

This programming language is easy to learn and understand. It is flexible and it’s part of the Android SDK (System Development Kit). But let’s see what are its advantages.

Portability

Java programs can be run on almost any system thanks to the platform-independent Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Automatic memory management makes it usable on a wide range of devices, from large networks to personal PCs.

Great community

As Java has a long history,. It is evident that the number of Java developers is greater than those of Kotlin, which is a newer programming language. And as the community is bigger it’s easier to get support from other members. The Java community keep the programming language up-to-date and can, thanks to that, solve almost all the problems and bugs of their code.

Compactness

The apps developed in Java are compact and light compared to those achievable with Kotlin. Kotlin can require complex code processing which can slow performance.

Cross-platform

The Java programming language is not limited to the development of Android apps – it also supports cross-platform app development.

Java or Kotlin: which programming language to choose for your next Android app?

We have identified the advantages of both Kotlin and Java languages and the differences between them. Regardless of all the differences between the two programming languages, some features are better in Kotlin while for others Java is more advantageous. So should you use Java or Kotlin for the Android App Development?

Well, there is no right or wrong answer to this question.

But there is a solution: interchangeability.

These 2 languages are completely interpretable. This makes it easy to introduce Kotlin into a Java project, and at the same time, it allows the simultaneous use of the two languages ​​in any Android application development project.

But if you really have to make a choice, remember that it always depends on the complexity of the project you intend to carry out.

At Appify, we have an award-winning team of developers who have a deep knowledge in Kotlin and Java development. We are able to create Android apps for all customer needs. Our development process consists of 5 phases which allows us to carry out detailed and accurate projects that use the best programming languages ​​for the specific case.

For this we evaluate the project together with our clients to be sure that it corresponds 100% to their requirements.

If you’re still hesitating whether to choose Java or Kotlin, lean on our experienced developers!

Our professionals will help you develop your Android application on a reliable, safe and compatible platform. Feel free to contact us also if you need any level of Android support. We will contact you as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.


construction mobile apps

Mobility in the Work - Construction Mobile Apps

Creating Mobility Solutions in your business is not a problem, it’s an opportunity. In the coming weeks we will look at how Enterprise Mobility is reshaping how we run our businesses across various sectors.

Construction Mobile Apps!

This week we take a brief look at the Construction Sector.

With growth figures for the Global Construction industry predicted to reach a record high, the potential for the deployment of new technologies has never been better.

One of the first benefits of a Construction Mobile App is real time communication across multiple people, across multiple project sites, allowing management secure and fast delivery of key decisions. It will also provide the ability to initiate direct channels between workers, helping to solve simple on-site issues instantly.

This in turn leads to better productivity through more effective Project Management and the ability to input more effective workflow practices. It can become an effective tool for communication between all parties to a site, Architects, Engineers and Project Managers. Travel time can be reduced by direct contact and information sharing back to base or other sites.

Another benefit is access to real time data rather than the delayed reporting currently in place. This can include inventory on a site by site basis, timeline information relating to sub-contractors and payroll.

It can also aid in predicting end times for projects allowing the salesforce to gear up for the next job.

Other issues that can benefit from Construction Mobile App Solutions include:

  • Stock reporting
  • HR issues – Sick Leave-Health and Safety-Compliance
  • On-site reporting and inspection
  • Real time access to blueprints, permits and other critical information
  • No more paper!

There is no such thing as too small or too big. Whether you are a Plumbing Contractor or a Construction Industry leader, Mobility is the future…Are you ready for it?

At Appify we have a process to help you get ready…

Through a proven Workshop technique, we will help you to:

  • Understand you pain point and analyse how Mobility can work specifically for you
  • Review your current workflow procedures and analyse your existing infrastructure
  • Concept design and budget
  • Delivery of a World Class product

Get in touch for a free initial consultation.


mobile app development

A New Mobile App? It's Not Too Late

I’ve hijacked the blog… I need to get something off my chest…

Mobile apps are nothing new, they’ve been around a LONG time… Yet many enterprises are still not using them to facilitate growth in their business and improve efficiencies and are falling way behind. In a recent visit to a client it dawned on me just how many enterprises are STILL so far behind the times when it comes to deploying mobile apps to improve their business.

Our client is far from behind, they’re an innovator and have truly embraced technology. They are in the construction industry and their simple to use enterprise app has transformed their business to the point that other industry sectors within the construction sector, want access to their solution.

There are a lot of enterprises however, that have still yet to deploy enterprise apps and therefore massively losing out on opportunity to improve efficiency, increase productivity, improve employee happiness and not least have a competitive advantage.

I decided to take a closer look at some of the enquiries that have come into Appify over the last 6 months. I looked specifically at where enterprises had enquired about Mobile Application Development and proactively sought to address part of their Digital Transformation programmes by requested a costing on app development for an enterprise app.

We’d had plenty of enquiries and what’s interesting is that many of them are still in the pipeline. Why? Because they are still making a decision and not taking action.

When I dug a bit deeper I began to see a trend.

The trend was that most of these businesses were blocked on making the decision to take action, not due to budget, but simply down to a chain of people simply not making a decision for plethora of reasons, most of which, in my view, are nonsensical.

The trend was that most of these businesses were blocked on making the decision to take action, not due to budget, but simply down to a chain of people simply not making a decision for plethora of reasons, most of which, in my view, are nonsensical.

These are smart people, highly educated, very experienced and totally capable of developing a business case to prove their ‘App’ idea will be good for the business. Yet sadly many ideas sit on the shelf.

Back in 2012 apps were still a bit of a novelty, in 2013 and 2014 the phrase Enterprise Mobility and Enterprise Apps really came alive (there were even events dedicated to them), yet here we are in 2018 with a whole raft of new emerging technologies that are disrupting enterprises, yet many are still so far behind in the basics of deploying applications.

Solving the problem is about first identifying the problem, and in most cases its people and politics in large companies that are the inhibitors.

In addition to that, many companies are too focused on the day-to-day and the belief that processes and systems don’t need changing because, “things just work”.

They’re on auto pilot!

But therein lies part of the problem, most enterprises don’t realise there are areas of operations that can be massively improved.

If I were a CEO of some of these enterprises, I would mandate technology innovation and reward everyone who brought ideas and prototype solutions to improve processes. I would do it for the following reasons:

  1. Technology will empower our employees
  2. Technology can improve safety
  3. Technology will give us a competitive advantage, securing the future of our company and ensuring we can reward our people better than anyone else
  4. Technology will help us deliver higher value to our clients, ensuring the recieve world class service
  5. Technology will help us innovate, ensuring we stay at the forefront of our industry
  6. Technology will help find new business models, new revenue streams
  7. Technology will help us find efficiencies and drive cost savings

There are lots of reasons I can find, but these are just seven reasons I wrote down quickly. There will be many more…

In summary, there is still lots of opportunities for enterprises to improve and deploy technology, mobile apps in the workforce is just one area, but its an area many are still yet to truly embrace and transform.

If you’d like to discuss with one of our mobile experts on how you could utilising mobile apps in your enterprise, drop us an email at hello@appify.digital or alternatively call us on +353 (0)1 4826996.


innovation, ideas and execution

Ideas and Innovation Aren't Enough

In an industry like mobile app development, we have many people that approach us with amazing ideas and bountiful enthusiasm.

Ideas alone aren't good enough

This is the day and age where ideas and innovation are an absolute race against time before someone else is nipping at your idea’s feet. You have to be able to produce evidence in order to get the mobile app investment and traction that you will need to successfully launch the product/service.

Your idea might be something totally new and wacky (eg. a television in the 1920s) or something improving an existing product/service (eg. Uber’s take on the taxi market) but either way, you’ll need to prove to your prospective customers and investors that your innovation is worth their time and money.

For the vast majority of people, it is hard to truly understand how an innovation’s potential can be realised if you can’t see it, at least partially, in action.

You need to have the end product in mind and start to create. The more you create, the more evidence potential customers will have to want to buy into you, even if you end up with something different to what you initially envisioned.

Along the way, you will likely hit obstacles which require a change in direction, but you won’t know this until you get started.

Arguably, improving an existing product/service needs even more pushing and investment from the Founder’s side before trying to get other people to buy into it as it doesn’t even have the novelty factor of a totally new concept.

People need to understand, through visible proof, the differentiating factors of this new idea and why customers should be made to change from their current, comfortable habits.

James Dyson’s innovation: Dual Cyclone Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Billionaire James Dyson is the perfect example of an innovator taking an existing idea, improving it and executing it correctly to achieve great success.

He bought a Hoover in the late 70s and quickly became frustrated with the inefficiencies of it. The suction bags needed regular replacing due to dust clogging up the machine.

Upon a visit to Sawmill, he spotted the industrial stainless steel cyclones sucking up dust from the floor and had his eureka moment, that these could be applied on a smaller scale to household products.

He took the idea to all the larger manufacturers and no one was interested. (They made too much money from the suction bags!)

On his five-year journey until he achieved some success in Japan which started the upward propel for Dyson, he created over FIVE THOUSAND different prototypes with his own time and money. He was also heavily in debt at one point and, although we are not necessarily advocating this, shows how much he believed in his idea.

He personally provided the evidence to the market that they needed his product and that actually, whilst the initial outlay on the product was quite a lot higher, the gains in efficiency and not having to purchase suction bags over time made the value proposition apparent.

If you truly believe in your idea as profitable and the key to success, why wouldn’t you invest all of your available time and resources into making it happen? If you don’t totally buy into it, why should anyone else?


app trap

4 Questions to Avoid Falling Into the 'App Trap'

Businesses and brands are trying to ‘appify’ and digitise their services and products in order to differentiate their offering from competitors.

A number of these companies are falling into the ‘app trap’, developing applications for the sake of it and not considering what their users and customers actually want.

If you find yourself at a crossroads as to whether or not you should digitise your product or service, make sure you ask yourself the following four questions to avoid the ‘app trap’.

4 Questions To Avoid The App Trap

Why are we doing this?

Many organisations want to be seen as the leader in their industry and believe digitising their service or product is the answer.

In some scenarios, this is the case but it shouldn’t be seen as a one-size-fits-all approach. There needs to be more substance than being the first in your industry to make something into an app.

It’s crucial that you know what your business goal is in delivering this solution and surveying customers is a great place to start.

Will data be important?

Companies soon realise the data collected from an app can be extremely valuable. However, this data can often be ignored and not utilised the way it should be.

Having data doesn’t create value on its own, you have to do something with it and improve your offering using the data you collect.

Will it have the staying power?

It’s important to consider your app’s staying power and analyse whether it’s going to be seen as a necessity as opposed to a novelty.

Is it simplifying a task and how long will it be before an even better solution is developed? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself to ensure your app is used for a significant period of time.

Has it been done before?

Staying ahead of your competition is key to success, so don’t just copy your competitors’ solutions. This will only show your customers that you’re playing catch up.

Before launch, you should ask yourself what other improvements or offerings you can offer that show you’re one step ahead, instead of two steps behind the competition.


worst app ideas

6 Worst App Ideas We've Ever Heard

Top Tip – Sign an NDA before pitching your app idea to us. It stands for Non-Disgracing Agreement as well as Non-Disclosure Agreement

It’s a quiet day here at Appify so I thought I’d amuse myself by having a wander around the office and having a chat with everyone about the worst app ideas we’ve all heard. Working for a leading development agency means everyone always wants to tell you their million dollar idea, unfortunately, most of them are Pokemon-No rather than Pokemon-Go.

So we collected for you the worst app ideas we’ve ever heard.

The 6 Worst App Ideas

1. The app idea that's already been done - "I want to make iCloud but for Android"

Up at number one is my personal favourite category which is when people put forward ideas that have already been done. The best example of this is the gentleman who told us he wanted to made iCloud but for Google devices to which our consultant replied “What? Like Google Drive”.

iCloud alternatives

2. The technically impossible - "Well, can't Facebook give us the data?"

The other most common category is the apps which haven’t been done because they can’t be done. One gentleman asked if we could make an app that would notify users when other people screenshotted their facebook feed. He got quite upset when I informed him that A. Facebook don’t collect this data and B. even if they did, they wouldn’t make it available to other people!

Facebook data

3. The niche that doesn't exist - Mosqgo

As the app market matures there is genuine opportunity to be found by taking large, mass market ideas that are successful and optimising them for niches. However, taking Tripadvisor and specialising it for rating mosques certainly isn’t one of them.

Mosqgo

4. The niche that does exist but shouldn't - Doggr

On the other end of the scale is the spotting of a niche that does exist but no self respecting company would want to be involved with. Doggr was put forward as Grindr but for people who like dogging… suggested features included:

  • Top local dogging spots
  • Virtual bowls of car keys
  • Making the phone camera flash extra bright incase your headlights aren’t working

Doggr

5. The scam - Find-a-plumber

This was a work of genius whilst simultaneously being utterly ridiculous. One plumber approached us with an idea for making an app that helped you find a local plumber, so far so good. However, the twist was that no matter what the customer searched for he would be the number #1…

find a plumber

6. The plain ridiculous - Ipoo, "the Monopoly board of toilets"

The final suggestion here is probably my favourite as it’s so ridiculous I reckon it just might work. The concept was similar to Monopoly but all the squares on the board were actual public toilets in the UK. You played interactively with friends and claimed property on the board by visiting the public convenience and *ahem* relieving one’s self… genius.