lucrul la propriul produs digital sau maturizarea unei companii de IT

Lucrul la propriul produs digital sau maturizarea unei companii de IT

Mă preocupă de ceva vreme subiectul produselor digitale/online proprii și cred cu tărie că viitorul IntelligentBee depinde semnificativ de acesta. Deși noi am pornit la drum drept o companie de servicii și outsourcing, am integrat dezvoltarea de produse proprii în viziunea și misiunea companiei.  Progresele noastre în această direcție s-au concretizat o dată cu înființarea propriei noastre echipei de Product.

Cât despre oportunitățile celor din industria IT locală în contextul dat, acestea sunt surprinse în detaliu în interviul de mai jos, pe care îl redau în întregime:

 

Dat fiind întregul proces de globalizare tehnologică, tot mai multe companii software își îndreaptă atenția spre dezvoltarea de produse online in-house, diferențiindu-se astfel de competitori. În acest context, tot mai mulți oameni de online doresc să contribuie la această diferențiere, doresc să își pună amprenta asupra pieței. De aceea, una dintre cele mai pregnante dileme cu care se confruntă cei care au reușit să bifeze întreaga listă de cunoștințe și abilități posibile în cariera lor, este: Și acum ce urmează?

Pentru a-i ajuta în elucidarea acestei dileme, am vorbit cu Costi Teleman, CEO IntelligentBee, companie IT ieșeană, aflând astfel o serie de insight-uri utile.

Costi, ne poți spune de ce apare această dilemă în rândul persoanelor cu o experiență îndelungată în digital?

În general, cariera unor astfel de persoane este construită într-un continuu curs ascendent. Au parte de posibilități nenumărate de a învăța, sunt ghidate de persoane experimentate în arii specifice, parcurg o ierarhie bine stabilită, se bucură de siguranță financiară și beneficii de recreere. Dar apare și un moment în care consideră că sunt capabile să se implice într-un proiect asupra căruia își pot pune semnificativ amprenta. Unul de care să fie responsabile în totalitate și în care fiecare zi de muncă să fie o aventură.

De aceea, tot mai mulți oameni de online, atât experimentați, cât și începători, își doresc să fie parte a unui start-up cu o viziune de business pe termen lung ce include dezvoltarea propriilor produse digitale, în detrimentul companiilor bine stabilite pe piață.

Ce perspectivă profesională ar avea ele în acest caz?

Pentru cei care simt că au atins punctul culminant în carieră și doresc să își folosească abilitățile pentru a dezvolta un proiect care va aduce un aport important pe piața tehnologiilor web, e important să știe că tot mai multe companii hotărăsc schimbarea direcției de business și își dezvoltă propriile produse digitale.

Care ar fi avantajele unui astfel de business?

Avantajele implicării într-o astfel de echipă sunt multiple.

În primul rând, există mari șanse ca nimeni din acea echipă să nu aibă cunoștințele tale, expertiza pe care ai dobândit-o sau modul în care gândești. Așadar, vei aduce un aport semnificativ atât în dezvoltarea produsului respectiv, cât și a echipei cu care lucrezi, pentru că împreună sunteți responsabili de succesul acestuia. Pe unii, această situație i-ar putea speria. Dar pentru alții, nu poate exista o motivație mai puternică. În special, pentru cei ce își doresc să împărtășească din cunoștințele lor și pentru care viața lor profesională capătă sens atunci când reușesc să formeze oameni.

De asemenea, ca membru a unei astfel de echipe, ești un inițiator pentru industria IT prin produsele dezvoltate. Această poziție îți va permite să dezvolți un produs cu un timp de execuție mai redus, să livrezi bazându-te exact pe ceea ce știi să faci, dar și să înveți noi principii în ceea ce privește produsele digitale și consumatorii cărora li se adresează.

Mai mult, vei realiza acel tip de activități pe care erai atât de nerăbdător să le începi, cele prin care îți poți pune amprenta în mediul digital pe termen lung. Pentru acest ultim tip de activități ești dispus să faci compromisuri, să îți sacrifici un weekend sau să faci un sprint de lucru mai îndelungat pentru a vedea rezultatele dorite.

Unde ar putea fi găsite astfel de echipe?

Cea mai des întâlnită opțiune pentru a găsi compania ce poate oferi provocări de acest gen ar fi părăsirea orașului sau a țării. Dar acum, oamenii de online din Iași, dar și din restul orașelor Moldovei, au șansa de a rămâne acasă deoarece companiile software ieșene au început să-și dezvolte echipe de Product Development. Și IntelligentBee se numără printre acestea. Până în acest moment am dezvoltat o serie de produse proprii și dorim în continuare să oferim pasionaților de digital șansa de a-și pune amprenta asupra pieței prin skill-urile lor.

Ne poți spune mai multe despre IntelligentBee?

IntelligentBee este o companie de outsourced software development & technical support din Iași. Oferim, de mai bine de 7 ani, echipe dedicate de engineering și suport tehnic care reușesc să se alinieze rapid la obiectivele de business ale clienților, devenind o extensie a departamentelor interne a acestora.

În plus, am integrat dezvoltarea propriilor produse digitale atât în misiunea companiei, cât şi în viziunea noastră pe termen lung. Astfel, IntelligentBee a construit propriul departament de Product. Este format din oameni ce nu mai doresc să “joace” în siguranță, ci doresc să se facă remarcați prin produsele digitale construite. Dorința acestui departament e aceea ca produsele pe care le realizează să adauge valoare industriei din care fac parte.

Dar, viziunea pe termen lung a companiei nu include strict doar acest departament de Product, ci și creșterea industriei IT prin produsele pe care le va dezvolta.

Cum ai descrie echipa de Product IntelligentBee?

În primul rând, echipa de Product, la fel ca întreaga companie, este construită din oameni buni în ceea ce fac, stăpâni pe know-how-ul lor, capabili să livreze încă din prima zi. La aceasta se mai adaugă și cele 4 valori după care ne ghidăm activitatea, cei 4H, cum ne place să le numim: Honest, Happy, Humble and Hungry.

Astfel, echipele IntelligentBee sunt formate din oameni deschiși, sinceri, ce își recunosc greșelile, își asumă responsabilități și oferă mereu feedback constructiv. Aceștia acceptă fiecare provocare și sărbătoresc orice reușită. Sunt adevărați jucători de echipă, reușind să înțeleagă fiecare perspectivă și dorind să fie mai buni în ceea ce fac, zi de zi. Mai mult, sunt avizi după cunoaștere, fiind în permanență în căutarea de lucruri noi pe care le-ar putea învăța.

Ce avantaje pot găsi cei interesați în a lucra în astfel de echipe de Product?

  • Își vor dezvolta abilitățile de coordonare
  • Vor lucra cu o echipa care înțelege pe deplin întregul proces tehnic de dezvoltare a produsului
  • Vor lucra pentru un proiect în care calitatea primează în detrimentul limitărilor temporale
  • Posibilitatea de a-și expune propriile idei și perspective asupra procesului de dezvoltare a produsului și asupra tehnologiilor folosite
  • Libertate de decizie în ceea ce privește procesul de dezvoltare a produsului
  • Pot dezvolta un produs prin care își pot pune amprenta asupra pieței
  • Posibilitatea de a lansa idei inovatoare în echipa din care face parte
  • Vor fi implicați într-un segment al pieței în dezvoltare și se vor număra printre puținii care fac acest lucru în Iași: dezvoltarea propriilor produse digitale
  • Vor face parte dintr-o cultură organizațională în care eficiența proceselor se îmbină cu sentimentul de familie
  • Nu vor lucra pentru noi, ci vor lucra alături de noi pentru dezvoltarea propriilor produse digitale

În concluzie, ce fel de specialiști caută IntelligentBee pentru echipa sa de Product?

Eu cred că orice companie care a decis să investească în produse proprii caută asta, nu doar IntelligentBee. Dar dacă e să vorbim de noi, căutam atât oameni pentru execuția produselor pe care dorim să le dezvoltăm, cât și oameni cu know-how-ul necesar în promovarea acestora. În principiu, oameni dispuși să iasă din zona lor de confort și care doresc să își pună amprenta în piața digital.

 

Tu ai lucra alături de o echipă compactă pentru propriile produse digitale, în detrimentul unei companii multinaționale? De ce?

Aș fi bucuros dacă mi-ai da mai multe detalii despre preferințele tale profesionale. Iar dacă ai curiozități sau nelămuriri, lasă un comentariu și voi încerca să răspund la ele cât de rapid posibil.


Firebase-integration-golang

Firebase integration for Golang

Since Golang is considering a lightweight programming language and Firebase is the next-generation Backend-as-a-Service, we think it could be a savvy combination to develop with ease both performant and secure microservices or stand-alone projects. Here are several advantages that could convince you to try this combo.

When it comes to Golang, it is as speedy as a compiled language, but it feels like an interpreted one. Moreover, as we mentioned in one of our previous articles, it has clean syntax with text-based workflow and clear language specification. Thus, you can write the code fast, and even faster compilation speeds are allowed for a rapid feedback style.

On the other hand, Firebase is an all-encompassing product that has everything you need to develop. From a real database to authentication modules. when you connect your app with Firebase, you’re not connecting through normal HTTP, but through a WebSocket which is much faster than HTTP and sends you new data as soon as it’s updated.

Firebase Storage provides a simple way to save binary files to Google Cloud Storage directly from the client thanks to its own system of security rules to protect your GCloud Socket from the masses while granting detailed write privileges to your authenticated clients.

Regarding Authentication, Firebase Auth has built in email/password authentication system. It also supports OAuth2 for Google, Facebook, Twitter and GitHub. Moreover, Firebase Auth integrates directly into Firebase Database so you can use it to control access to your data.

Last but not least, Firebase includes an easy-to-use hosting services for all your static files that serve them from a global CDN with HTTP/2 making your development particularly painless.

Firebase admin SDK for Golang

The Firebase Admin Go SDK enables access to Firebase services from privileged environments (such as servers or cloud) in Go. Currently, this SDK provides Firebase custom authentication support.

To install Firebase Admin Go SDK, simply execute the following command in a terminal from your $GOPATH:
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Firebase Admin SDKs enable application developers to programmatically access Firebase services from trusted environments. They complement the Firebase client SDKs, which enable end users to access Firebase from their web browsers and mobile devices.

And that’s only the beginning. To explore further, here are 4 Go libraries and apps for Firebase that we think you will find useful:

Go-fcm - Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) Library using Golang (Go). This library uses HTTP/JSON Firebase Cloud Messaging connection server protocol. Its main features are: send messages to a topic, send messages to a device list, message can be a notification or data payload, supports condition attribute (fcm only), instance Id Features

Examples:

Send to A topic

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Send to a list of Devices (tokens)

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Firebase-server-sdk-go - This is the Server SDK written in Golang for the newly announced Firebase suite of services. This SDK, like its Java and Node counterparts, supports the following functions needed on the application server: Authentication, Real-time Database, Cloud Messaging (FCM)

Examples:

Create Custom Tokens

To create a custom token, pass the unique user ID used by your auth system to the CreateCustomToken() method:
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You can also optionally specify additional claims to be included in the custom token. These claims will be available in the auth/request.auth objects in your Security Rules. For example:
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Verify ID Tokens

To verify and decode an ID Token with the SDK, pass the ID Token to the VerifyIDToken method. If the ID Token is not expired and is properly signed, the method decodes the ID Token.
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Fireauth - A Firebase token generator written in Go

cosn/firebase - This a library for invoking the Firebase REST API.

In conclusion, a combination of those two can lead you to solid and scalable application development. Golang might be the perfect solution to scale your idea, while Firebase has all that you could need to begin a worthwhile business solution or to launch your current configuration forward on the right track.


5 web development trends to look up in 2018

For succeeding in digital-based industries it's vital to accept tech changes and ride along with it. You can do this by exploring tomorrow's trends and seeking to integrate them into your business plan. And, when it comes to web development trends, sometimes they change faster than they can be implemented. That’s why it is important to be ahead of the game.

So, here are some in-demand web development trends that we believe you should look up this year:

1. Javascript

In our previous article, we underlined that Javascript continues to dominate on software development industry. Its position is strengthening even more in the last few years thanks to dozens of JS-related technologies existing and still in development. Now we are not just making small interactive elements in web pages anymore, we are building complex applications in JavaScript. And, it became more complicated to grasp the size and scope of the current JavaScript ecosystem.

One of the main items that benefit from the recent Javascript improvements, such as ES6 and ES7, is Functional Programming. Some useful improvements for functional programming are:

  • Arrow functions: Arrow functions reduce boilerplate when writing functions.

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  • Object/Array Spread: Object spread makes it really easy to avoid mutating objects because it is so much easier to create new objects that contain existing values.

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  • async/await: Their purpose is to simplify the behavior of using promises synchronously and to perform some behavior on a group of Promises.

ReactJS will also have an important role to play in 2018 thanks to its versatility. React keeps winning customer satisfaction surveys and according to indeed.com, React is the first library to pass jQuery in job popularity in a decade.

Moreover, the rise of Node.js has made JavaScript boundless. With the help of Node.js frameworks, JavaScript can be used in front-end, web server, desktop application, embedded system, databases and so on.  And, in 2018, there are some Node.js Frameworks that will stand out:

  • Express consists of features that assist in building a very powerful web and mobile apps as well as APIs. Extension package or plugins can be written in Express easily and be used quickly.
  • Sail.js (node.js mvc) is an ultimate solution as it comes with features that can build anything. It also makes database work easier irrelevant no matter what database is being used.
  • KOA handles flow control, error-handling and omits callback issues with the help of generators. It consists of modular approach and allows the user to write codes their own way to make it robust.
  • Meteor assists you build web and mobile apps through JavaScript. It has only one API which is utilized in both, client and server side. You can make a connection with anything with the database through its DDP protocol.
  • Derby.JS consists of Racer, a data synchronization engine, that assists in swift data sync amid database, sever as well as a browser.

2. Golang

Even though JS will still hold their superiority in 2018, Golang will strengthen its position - it is just the question of time.

Why is Golang became one of 2018 web development trends?

  • Development is fast, secure, and provides cross-platform support
  • The language is developed by Google and well-financed which guarantees its regular improvement.
  • Huge collection of open source packages and free official guides
  • It is the language of cloud infrastructure. Go is a part of Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS, Dropbox.

As we talked in one of our previous articles, Golang is a language of cloud industries and open source development. Both Cloud and OpenSource technologies are definitely going to grow in next 5 years - and Go programming is a perfect way of implementing these solutions.

Golang has 8 years on the market - so it’s relatively new. However, OverStack and GitHub statistics state that the number of Golang developers is already huge, and it is only going to grow.

3. Real-Time Apps

Real-time web apps, based on WebSockets, have been around for years, but they are getting more and more popular. The reason: users want fast interactions and real-time web apps are delivering on the need to share information instantly.

The main idea of real-time web apps is that a connection between client and server is left open, and the server pushes the new data once it’s there. Prior to real-time web apps, clients had to check back manually to find out if something new had happened.

While this has been very common in the world of Node.js, this trend is really spreading to other languages and frameworks as well. Even Ruby on Rails, a framework which has always relied heavily on server side rendering, and very long ignored the rise of Javascript single-page-applications, has seen the need for real-time (as you can see in Basecamp 3), and incorporated it under the name “ActionCable”.

4. Chatbots

As you probably noticed chatbots gained incredible popularity in 2017. And they will continue to evolve helping to increase communication online.

With chatbots, a company can provide a personalized experience that will enhance the quality of service through instant customer service 24 hours a day. In fact, many have predicted that 85% of all customer interactions will be done without human assistance by 2020.

It means that the customer service/care chatbots should turn into an essential aspect of every website this year. Nowadays consumers have become excessively demanding and want their issues to be resolved instantly, the customer service/care chatbots should top the priority lists of web development service providers.

5. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Not widely known, progressive web apps are similar to native mobile applications. Introduced in 2015, the concept of progressive web apps are anticipated to compete for the native mobile applications in the year 2018. This technology has many advantages, such as the ability to work offline, virtually no load time (because much of the information is stored in the cache of the phone), good reliability, and the ability to receive notifications. These progressive web apps can be designed faster than mobile applications, work for all users, and are generally easier to deploy and maintain, which is good for both the developer and the user.

This can maximize conversion rate by enabling the users to browse the Internet even when they are not connected to the Internet. However, despite being a relatively new technology, the progressive web application will continue to progress in 2018.

 

In conclusion, it's important for businesses to have both a strong online presence and competitive spirit, but also a flexible strategy based on web development trends in order to attract new customers, satisfy existing customers and encourage older customers to return.


7-programming-languages-to-learn-in-2018

7 programming languages to learn in 2018

Even if you are a student, a skilled techie or a professional, there are many coding trends to look out and now, more than ever, it’s really important for you to stay up to date with the most in-demand programming languages in the industry.

top-programming-languages

There are no secrets that many companies are expecting from you nothing but the right skills for developing the next functional web application and if you keep up with one suitable programming language, you can increase your value on the market.

most-in-demand-programming-languages

So here are 7 languages that you should bear in mind for 2018.

Javascript continues to dominate

JavaScript has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world and number 1 on GitHub in terms of pull requests thanks to the ubiquity of web browsers. Now, it’s used by over 80% of developers and by 95% of all websites for much dynamic logic on their page.

most-pull-requests-programming-languages

When you want to create interactive things for the web, Javascript is the way to go. You’ll see substantial results from your coding efforts in no-time.

Because of its core simplicity, more startups and tech businesses are starting to use JavaScript on the backend via the Node.js framework. Node is an open source run-time environment that allows JavaScript code to be run on the server side, allowing web developers to use one language for an entire web app.

Phyton is on the rise

Python is a general-purpose programming language used for web development and as a support language for software developers. Its popularity is driven by the continued growth and demand for machine learning developers, because is widely used in that area, as in scientific computing and data mining.

Because uses indents instead of curly branches for grouping blocks of code, the structure is extremely convenient and clean. That’s why Python is a great start for beginners and allows them to easily develop a project and further support it.

Python is a multi-paradigm programming language that means OOP and structured programming both supported. Also, it supports modules and packages which encourages program modularity and code reuse. Since there is no compilation step, the edit test debug cycle is incredibly fast.

Debugging Python programs is easy: a bug or bad input will never cause a segmentation fault. Instead, when the interpreter discovers an error, it raises an exception. When the program doesn't catch the exception, the interpreter prints a stack trace. A source level debugger allows inspection of local and global variables, evaluation of arbitrary expressions, setting breakpoints or stepping through the code a line at a time. The debugger is written in Python itself, testifying to Python's introspective power. On the other hand, often the quickest way to debug a program is to add a few print statements to the source: the fast edit-test-debug cycle makes this simple approach very effective.

Swift, a more approachable language

Swift drops legacy conventions. Thus, you no longer need semicolons to end lines or parenthesis to surround conditional expressions inside if/else statements. Method and function calls in Swift use the industry-standard comma-separated list of parameters within parentheses. The result is a cleaner, more expressive language with a simplified syntax and grammar.

Swift drops the two-file requirement. Xcode and the LLVM compiler can figure out dependencies and perform incremental builds automatically in Swift 1.2. As a result, the repetitive task of separating the table of contents (header file) from the body (implementation file) is a thing of the past. Swift combines the Objective-C header (.h) and implementation files (.m) into a single code file (.swift).

Swift has an edge over its competitors as it also hosts the Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), a well-known feature which tracks down and manages an app’s memory usage in real time to make sure it’s not taking too much memory.

PHP. Oldie, but goldie.

We know that there aren’t many fans of PHP, but it is still going to be really crucial in 2018 because it’s a flexible programming language that can be used to develop anything from a single-serving site to more complex web structures with the same ease.

Because many of you know how to write PHP, instead of talking about its traits, we would like to say something about one of it’s high-performance frameworks - Symfony.

Symfony is a set of reusable PHP components, enabling the developer to create scalable, high-performance applications. With 30 components from which to choose, the developer has the complete freedom to experiment and work in a RAD environment. Symfony APIs also enable easy integration with third-party applications, and it can be used with popular front-end frameworks, such as AngularJS.

Many popular projects, including Drupal and phpBB, also use Symfony framework. In fact, Laravel, the most popular PHP framework, is build off of Symfony.

Golang is a Go

As we saw in our previous article, more and more companies are going to start from scratch with Golang.

We believe that Golang demand will increase even more in 2018, so if you're willing to invest some time learning Go language, and become an expert, definitely it will be the right choice in your career path.

Golang is used in designing toolbox, documentation of browser, search engines, source indexing, analysis, and search. So, it will be beneficial for securing a good earning package by learning this language. Definitely, Golang is a great language for systems that need massive scale.

It’s also a garbage-collector language which means you don’t need to free up memory yourself. So you don’t have to do any memory management yourself. If you’re a C or C++ programmer, you know how tiresome it can get to manually allocate and free-up memory, so you don’t have to do any of that with Golang.

Ruby. The right choice for startups.

Ruby operates as a dynamic, object-oriented language and it makes the code easy to read. Its demand is increasing so much that’s become common within DevOps roles. i.e. engineers ensuring the reliability and efficiency of the servers running websites with high traffic.

But first, Ruby has an incredibly simple beautiful syntax that allows a developer to do more with less code. Secondly, thanks to Ruby on Rails, getting a web application up-and-running takes less time than in other frameworks. This explains why startups are so fond of the language: it enables the famous startup mantra, “move fast and break things.”

Obviously, you don’t have to know all of them. Pick one depending on your interest and get really good at it.

 

And, if you already know how to joggle with at least one of this programming languages, take a look of our available positions.

 


3-reasons-why-you-should-grow-with-golang

3 reasons why you should grow with Golang

Why Golang became the way for many companies?

Let’s start answering to this question through an imagination exercise. Did you ever confront with that kind of frustration of dealing with complexity generated by very large teams of people working on very large pieces of software written languages with large feature sets? Well, as you might know already, Golang was created to solve that kind of frustration. Then, why not using it to increase your business?

In the end, Golang is your friend, but not your friend at a party asking you to take a taxi back home, it is your friend at an intervention telling you that he’s thrown all the alcohol out of the window. BBC Worldwide enjoyed such a friend when it implemented Golang in different areas, as a backend for different games (mobile and social) in production and development, Social Media crawlers and scrapers for an internal analytics product and web services that front various object stories.

But how exactly will that kind of friend help your business? Let’s find out from other small and middle businesses that grew with Golang.

A faster development process

Golang has the speed of a compiled language, but the feel of an interpreted language. Moreover, has clean syntax with text-based workflow, minimalistic design, and clear language specification. Thus, you can learn a language and become productive real fast. You can write the code fast, and even faster compilation speeds allow for a rapid feedback style. And speedy development means saving time and money for your company.

For example, Dnsimple found operation Golang processes in production to be relatively painless. They used their own flavor of continuous delivery. Actually, deployment was a breeze, and they had the application running in production shortly after deciding to do so. Both memory and CPU usage are at least an order of magnitude lower than the Ruby application they used before Golang.

Another business that chooses to grow with Golang was Toggl. They decided to re-implement some part of their backend with it. So far, it has paid off, as the development process was fast, and deployment surprisingly simple. The resulting code was a big improvement in terms of speed.

Mender also discovered that Golang has more core languages features and libraries that allows much faster development of applications. This means that more Mender features had been developed for the community and users much faster than if C was chosen as the main language. As it is a compiled language, Golang runs natively and very efficiently on embedded devices. Moreover, it provides wide platform coverage from cross-compilation to support different architectures.

And one of Heroku favorite productivity gains was provided by Golang’s source formatter: gofmt. Deploying Doozer was satisfying simple. Golang builds statically linked binaries which means Doozer has no external dependencies.

In the end, you’ll have a product much more performant in terms of CPU load, memory usage and more. The reason is that Golang is focused on fast compiling and faster runtunes. For Digg, their average response time from their service was almost cut in half, their timeouts were happening on time and their traffic spikes had minimal effects on the service.

Minimum maintenance costs

Even if switching to Golang will cost your business in terms of initial development time, you’ll recoup that time in maintenance costs. Which is usually way more than the time to develop a feature.

Golang is lighting fast, and it’s perfect for serving up your applications. In fact, it’s so efficient that Moovweb not only built some small part of their platform in Golang, but now it is the heart of their tech. Their SDK is a compiled binary that they pack and send out to their clients and integration partners. Their production system is handling millions of pages a day and millions of dollars of e-commerce a month.  And as Digg was having difficulty with handle fast their requests for their platform, they moved to Golang as well. With their Golang upgrade, they’ve been able to handle 200 requests per minute and 1,5 million S3 item fetches per day.

Another powerful aspect of Golang is the way to which it hands object orientation. Golang has a notion of an interface used to identify a capability of an object and where it can be used. CloudFlare explored its advantage in their own work. Moreover, at CloudFlare, goroutines are now handling both the multiplexed Internet connections (of which there could be many between a single CloudFlare data center and their client) and the connections needed to get content from origin web servers and provide the content back to the nginx server that sends it on to the web browsers.

Golang and an easier HR process

When it comes to HR in a business focused on web development or depends on this activity, using a functional language make hiring and training new people more difficult. But not anymore, thanks to Golang because it’s concurrency makes writing software that must scale up and down very easy.

While the pool of Golang developers is definitely smaller from what we’ve seen, the people who are excited/knowledgeable about Golang tend to be developers who are truly interested in learning new things and pushing the envelope.

Because of the simple fact that is open-sourced and much more simpler than other languages, Golang makes developers feel that is in more control over the product that he is creating or maintaining. Golang has libraries for HTTP, raw network connections, URL manipulation, TLS, many different types of serialization systems, cryptographic hashing, compression, and the more mundane string manipulation, date/time, and logging. He will feel like in case of problems, he doesn’t depend on the creator to fix his issues.

For example, Movio discovered for the first time ever, that they actually can read the language spec when they were unsure of how something works. That’s how simple it is; the spec is readable. An approachable and complete guide to the language strengths developer confidence in making assumptions while following a piece of code and in justifying their decision-making rationale.

It the end, your business will gain in terms of time, reputation and money if your developers aren’t fighting the language they have to use in developing products. Take a look at Moovweb. They remote all their internal software in Golang and they saw how fast new users/employees have learned it.

 

In conclusion, Golang code tends to look ready for the public much sooner than most other languages, it provides a much stronger feeling of comfort to the developer, and the community embraces small-simple solution over big-sophisticated ones.

So, how about giving it a Go?


App monetization 101

App Monetization Strategy 101: How to Set Your App for Success

The first rule to find a good mobile app monetization strategy is that there is no one-size-fits-all kind of solution. If you’ve landed on this page looking for that, there is no miracle we can work out for you.

But if you have an app idea and you’re thinking of turning it into reality, there is a series of questions you should answer to first.

Before anything, you should know as much as you can about your target audience:

  • who they are
  • why they need your product
  • what kind of needs you can solve and
  • how they can be delighted in the long run.

App monetization 101

After you’ve figured out the way who your audience is and the best way to get to it, you should start thinking of app monetization strategies.

Many next-to-brilliant business ideas die before blooming because their creators failed to take the time to think of a good, old long-term plan before putting pen to paper. Approximately 80% of startups fail because they don’t pinpoint key points of the business plan.

In order for your app to gain traction, you will have to think of a business model that is based on user-added value. One of the most important indicators of this business model is the way you are going to generate revenue from your app.

At this moment, approximately 2% of the existing apps account for more than half of the money generated by app users. To count yourself in, you’ll have to come up with a solution that will answer some important long-term questions, featured below. As most of the American smartphone users still download zero apps per month, there is room to develop the app market even further.

Who is your target audience?

To answer this question, you will have to start building user personas for your app-to-be. As much as your product will provide a significant advantage to a niche audience, you can’t afford to have a single persona interested in your product.

A persona is a fictional person that represents an entire group of people, with the same characteristics that make it a potential client of your app. When promoting a product, marketing and salespeople use personas to make the communication more personal and to understand the reasons that would make a target segment consume your product.

Each persona will have a name, a job, a relationship status, interests and passions and everything that makes it real enough for you to relate to its needs.

Once you’ve established the problem that you are going to solve for each persona, communicating about your product will be much easier, as you can focus on efforts on offering a specific advantage.

If you’ve got an app idea that you think will be the next big thing among your target audience, but you can only think of one homogenous group of people who may take interest in that product, one of two things may be happening:

Create User Personas

A) You haven’t divided your audience well enough.

The way you segment your audience can become really important. While everybody who uses your product will get the same features, in the end, the advantages these features bring them can make the difference between choosing you over your competitors.

Because of this, it is highly relevant to position yourself differently for different parts of your audience. Suppose you have developed an app that identifies your location. While all the users will be getting the same thing out of your new product, their advantages differ significantly. Parents will be happy to know where their children are, teenagers will be glad to stalk that girl from class who they’re afraid to confess their love to, and young people will find it easier to catch up with their friends during lunch break.

Your product won’t appeal as much to young people aged 27 to 35 if you’re presenting your product as an app that allows you to stalk your crush from the comfort of your home. To make sure that you haven’t forgotten any audience segment, think of all the possible reasons why different people may enjoy your product.

Once you’ve done that, arrange these audience segments in the order of their importance. Who are the two or three personas that may make your app popular? Who is the persona that’s most likely to pay for additional features of your app?

Depending on the answers to these questions, you will later start drawing short-term and long-term objectives that you’ll link to different personas, as well as the concept that will best encapsulate your product’s identity.

 

B) You have only identified a segment of your potential audience.

If the entire audience you’ve identified consumes your product for the same advantage and you cannot differentiate between segments, you should start looking for other potential targets for your products.

There is virtually no product out there that can be consumed by one homogenous group of people. Once you’ve made sure that your audience can’t be broken down into more specific sets, you should think of other people who could take an interest in your app.

What is different about your product?

In order to make your product stand out from all the other millions of apps in the play store, you have to identify the advantage or set of advantages that would make users choose it over competitors’ products.

Designing a functional app simply isn’t enough if you have monetization in mind. The best start point for this is to chart your competitive position.

Look for all the actors on the market and see what they brought different to the table. Identify what’s missing for a better overall interaction of your user with the app, and try to provide it to your target audience.

Why is your differentiator a relevant advantage for your target?

A product that is just different will never generate revenue (or it will rarely do and everyone will be either amazed or appalled). Having a functional app that generates revenue is a matter of sweating and laboring and steady growth.

The reason this difference you ‘come up with’ matters is that your target audience should choose your app because of this specific feature that all the other apps managed to ignore, despite it being crucial for the user experience.

 

After you’ve gone through all these steps, it’s time to check the most important monetization strategies that you can use for your app.

Finding a strategy

In-app Ads

The mechanism behind this strategy works well for services that people don’t have the incentive to pay for. Depending on how much value it has or how industry-specific your application is, you may want to take this app monetization strategy into consideration.

 

Let’s see how it works:

  1. When downloading the application, users will provide data enrichment platforms with information about their behavior, interests and a general user profile.
  2. The platform sells user profile data to marketers who want to target specific kinds of audiences in their campaigns, in order to optimize ad relevance.
  3. Marketers place targeted ads into the platform, and they have to pay for app space and exposure, as well as other key performance metrics, such as the number of clicks, how qualified the leads are and how many people actually become conversions after having seen a well-placed, relevant ad.
  4. The advertising space is data driven and the exposure generates revenue to the platforms. At their turn, these platforms redirect part of their money to the apps that give them advertising space.
  5. Due to this economic mechanism, users have access inside the apps for free, while app creators can still generate revenue, charging marketers for advertising placement.

 

When not to use this app monetization strategy

Depending on the app you’re building, you may want to think twice before using this strategy. When deciding what app monetization strategy you should use, the most important thing to take into account is the profile of your persona.

More than just one persona will be interested in your app, as we’ve established above. In this case, you should consider whether any of the personas you’re targeting is willing to pay for the kind of service that you’re offering.

If the app you’re building provides a clean solution to a current problem that your users may experience, you could ask users to pay for a premium service. However, if your app is a small interactive game or a simple solution to a tiny problem that doesn’t interfere with your users’ day to day activities, then in-app ad monetization is a good fit for your business.

In-app ads

In-app Purchases

In order for this model to work, you will have to think of either digital or physical goods or services that you can offer the users who are willing to pay for them. The vast majority of games out there use this monetization strategy, because once a game becomes addictive, users will be tempted to pay for a better experience. Of course, other apps use it too, especially since this kind of monetization is favored by users.

Before getting started with this monetization model, you will have to come up with an elaborate plan for the types of products that you are going to be selling through your app.

If it ever so conveniently happens that your application is a fun, addictive game, your problem is half-solved. The user base will be interested in spending more and more time playing your interactive game and, once they start to feel the frustration of not being able to level up or evolve fast enough, they will be more than willing to pay for a little in-game help.

Suppose your app is actually a carefully organized online store, you should answer a few questions before your application hits the play store:

 

a) Why should users buy from me and not my competitors?

When answering to this question, you should identify the key advantages that your product has by comparison with your competitors. Finding your unique selling proposition (USP) is a good and necessary starting point. Think of it as one advantage to rule them all.

 

b) Why should users buy from the app and not the actual store?

This is a legitimate question if you already have a store that you manage efficiently. If people enjoy spending their time browsing through your products inside the store, you should give them a reason why this entire activity should be reduced to a simple online-shopping method.

 

c) Why buy from the app and not the website?

If you also own a website that’s an e-commerce platform or at least offers users the possibility to purchase items directly from there, you should give them a good reason why they should switch to app. Maybe some promotions or targeting the app to extend your audience to the younger generation should work. Of course, depending on your product, the answer to this question may require more than an educated guess.

 

d) What upselling strategies can you use to increase your revenue?

Suppose that you are your own user and you’ve made a purchase through the app. You are now the happy owner of a product. The question that should automatically follow is what now?. You have to make sure that the user is delighted with your services even after making a purchase.

Creating an upselling strategy can help you overdeliver to your customer. Before doing this, however, you will also have to offer your customers perks that will keep them engaged. Very often, people who have installed an app for one punctual issue will immediately uninstall it when done. To make sure that this is not your case, find a long-term strategy to help you generate customer loyalty.

App monetization

Paid/Premium Apps

Premium services usually have a solution to a recurring problem that all the other existing apps didn’t manage to solve up until now.

The premium system allows users to install the app only after having purchased it from the app store. If this is the type of app monetization strategy you wish to go for, you have to make sure of two things:

 

a) That your differentiator is highly relevant to user experience

Some people are willing to try out new apps, especially if the products promise to solve a recurring issue that the customer has encountered with all free products out there. However, you have to make sure that your user base will continue to use the app after one month, and won’t end up paying for yet another service they don’t use.
The way you delight your customers through your services builds a strong community around your product, one that will work as potential brand ambassadors for your app.

 

b) That you have a long-term plan of how to scale your business

Review consumer life-cycle and see the logical path a customer will go through when using your service. Supposed your users paid the $4.99 to download the app. The question you should answer to is: what next?

Are you going to focus on building a large community of people who are willing to make a one-time payment for your app and then let them use it without any other process going on? Or are you going to come up with better, exclusive services, that will differentiate between the average user and the pro ones?

In other words, you should consider coming up with a plan to make upsells to the existing users. We’re not saying this is a necessary step. Depending on your business profile and model, it may not work at all. However, coming up with a long-term strategy is part of your business development job description, and you should figure it out before your app is live in the app store.

 

Freemium Apps

This type of app monetization strategy seems to be working quite well for a lot of business managers out there. Numerous digital products became successful while using a freemium monetization model. From MailChimp to Dropbox, all freemium apps have one thing in common: they understand user needs and have a sustainable growth mentality that drives engagement and credibility.

It is easy for the target audience to use Dropbox knowing that they can scale their business easily and, when that moment comes, they don’t have to switch services, but just upgrade to a paid subscription. The same kind of principle can be applied when it comes to mobile apps.

To know whether this app monetization strategy is suitable for your business, you have to go through three different questions:

Freemium App

a) Is the free app good enough to make customers want to try it out even if they don’t have to pay for it?

This goes further than vanity metrics. Generating a strong user base is not only relevant because of how much revenue they can generate once they decide to pay for your product, but because this builds credibility in your product and the awareness you need to scale your business.
When thinking of their product, many developers will focus on ‘saving’ the best features for the subscription users. While this kind of mentality can work up to a point, the free product should be challenging enough per se to generate a user base.

 

b) Is the app well enough optimized so that potential premium users will have a good reason to pay for the extra features?

Avoid the opposite pole. In your attempt to make sure that your app will be used by the vast majority of people who won’t pay for the service, you should make sure that the paid service will be valuable enough to generate sales and respond to a need your user may have, whether it is an in-app need (if you’re developing a game, for instance), or a real-life issue that you can solve.

 

c) With or without the paid features, how is your app different from all the other apps on the market you’re targeting?

This point is not necessarily specific to this type of app monetization strategy, but it is crucial whenever you’re about to develop a product.

Sponsorship

This model is generally used by developers who already have an insanely popular app that generated revenue, and who can prove their sponsors that they are worthy of the money. Sponsorship is the newest app monetization strategy of the app world, and it involves users being rewarded by different brands after having completed an in-app milestone.

However, if you’re just starting with your first app idea, this path may prove to be rocky.

Sponsorship calculation

Subscriptions

The main way that this monetization method differs from the freemium one is that instead of blocking a series of premium features, the app developers block most of the content. Therefore, people have the incentive to pay if they are interested in the preview and want to find out more.
Most of the media apps work under this kind of app monetization strategy, and for the giant actors on the market, it seems to work out just fine.

A good way to make this monetization strategy sweeter for your audience is to allow users to have a free trial, which will hopefully get them hooked on your product.

Just like sponsorship, this app monetization strategy is only recommended if you already have a loyal user base who is willing to pay for quality content.

Subscription

Key Takeaways

 

  • Developing an app is way more than just the code that makes it work. You have to think of a clear target audience that you will then divide into different personas.
  • Then, focus on finding the main advantage that makes your product distinguishable from your competitors (called unique selling proposition or USP).
  • Once this is done, all you need is a solid long-term plan to monetize your app.

 

Does app monetization bug you, too? Write us a comment or drop a line and let's chat.

 


App Business Guide: How to Get Started?

The average smartphone user spends at least 2.3 hours a day on their smartphones, and 80 to 90 percent of this time is spent using mobile apps. Just open any app store, and you’ll see how there are mobile apps for almost anything you can imagine—from productivity and utilization apps to games.

Users download an average of 8.8 apps per month, and the numbers keep increasing. In fact, the number of app store downloads increased by 15% from 2015 to 2016. Statista projects that by 2021, there will be a total of approximately 352.9 billion app downloads.

Revenue from mobile apps also increased by 40% from 2015 to 2016. It’s also forecasted that by 2020, mobile apps will generate approximately 188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising.

As such, businesses have adopted mobile app marketing strategies to keep up with the trend and take their own share of the market.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to start your own mobile app—from business planning to building and launching your new mobile app.

Phase 1: Planning

 

1.     Decide What to Build

So, you’ve decided to build an app. But, what app do you want to build?

It’s important to determine the specific goals and functions of your app before you even start getting into the nitty-gritty of mobile app development. After all, no business venture will ever be successful without clear goals and objectives.

First, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is my target market and what is my buyer persona? This will help you center the functions and features of your app towards what your ideal customer needs and wants.
  • Why are you building a mobile app? Knowing why you’re investing in a mobile app will help you determine your overall vision. Before you answer the different “whats,” ask yourself first the most important question of “why.”
  • What are the goals of my mobile app? Whether it’s to provide a more convenient channel where your customers can reach you, to increase your website traffic, or to generate more leads, you need to be sure of the objectives that your mobile app would achieve both for the users and for your business.
  • What problems do I want this mobile app to address? Chances are, you saw a need or a problem that you want to solve through a mobile app. By knowing the problems you want to address, you can properly determine the functions and features to include in your app.
  • How does this mobile app tie into my overall business goals and strategy? There are many business goals a mobile app can help you achieve such as brand awareness, customer engagement and loyalty, and increased revenue. You should know which business goal your mobile app wants to achieve so you would know how to measure its performance.
  • Who are my competitors? Do your research and look around the major app stores if there’s already an existing app that provides similar functions as yours. This will help you find your edge and set yourself apart from the competition.

Having all this information written down or documented will help you present your idea to potential stakeholders or partners. Create a sketch of your idea to help you visualize the mobile app that you want.

Once you have the answers to the above questions, you can then decide whether you want to build an app for Android or iOS or both. Building an app for Android and iOS simultaneously can be costly and risky, especially because you are still clueless about how the audience will receive your mobile app. Go back to your target audience to know which device they likely use to determine which platform to prioritize for your mobile app.

 

2.     Have a Business Plan

Diving in head-first without a clear-cut business plan would be unwise. Have a business plan to help you align your founding team around shared goals and even help you raise funding later on. A solid business plan will also allow you to prepare for risks and threats, and prevent future problems.

Your business plan should include all the pertinent information about your mobile app such as the current and projected trends, budget, monetization, operations, promotion, and more. Writing a business plan is a tedious task, but it’s essential to launching a successful business.

Here are the core parts of a formal business plan:

Executive Summary

Chapter I. The Problem

  • Statement of the Problem
  • Solution
  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Objectives

Chapter II. The Company

  • Company Overview
  • Products and Services
  • Mission-Vision
  • Company History
  • The Team: Roles and Responsibilities

Chapter III. The Market

  • Target Market
  • Market Size
  • Market Trends and Projections
  • Competitors
  • SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

Chapter IV. The Marketing Strategy

  • Customer Acquisition Strategy
  • Promotions and Publicity
  • Advertising Strategy
  • Key Metrics

Chapter V. Financial Plan

  • Monetization Strategy
  • Startup Costs
  • Funding Required
  • Financial Projections

 

3.     Plan Your Funding Strategy

Once you have your business plan completed, it’s time to plan your funding strategy. Building a mobile app can be costly, so it’s important to have the funds ready to avoid unnecessary delays. Here are some funding strategies you can consider.

  • Get a silent business partner. A silent business partner doesn’t have anything to do with day-to-day business operations, but they will support your project by providing capital. Make sure that your chosen business partner can deliver on their promise and shoulder the necessary project expenses.
  • Team up with your colleagues or peers. When you come up with a brilliant idea for a mobile app, you’ve most likely discussed it with some of your peers. Ask them if they’d be willing to pitch in their own expertise and knowledge to make it even more profitable. Chances are, they’d see how your mobile app can generate revenue in the future, and be willing to invest their money and time in your startup mobile
  • Look for angel investors. Angel investors are affluent businessmen or organizations who are looking to invest their money in brilliant, new ideas in exchange for partial ownership rights or equity. Make sure to draw a clear contract before you sign any deal.
  • Apply for a bank loan. If you’re willing to make a personal or business loan for your app, then you can approach any of the major banks to get pre-approved. This is probably the quickest way to get funding. Make sure you have your business proposal ready to show the bank representative its potential for success.
  • Try crowdfunding. There are many crowdfunding sites you can sign up for such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, RocketHub, AppBackr, Patreon, and more. Here, you ask the general public to invest any amount to your project in exchange for a percentage in the profits. The downside to crowdfunding is that your app idea will be made available to the public. Your idea can easily be copied or plagiarized by another individual or group who have the funds at their easy disposal.

 

4.     Hire an App Developer

Now that you have your funding strategy in order, it’s time to hire a mobile app developer.

When hiring people to help you build a mobile app, consider their experience in the field. Look at their portfolio and the mobile apps that they have built thus far. Are the apps performing well? Check for references. If trusted peers recommend them, then you’re usually on the right track.

It’s crucial to remember that apps aren’t just built and released on the app store. There are regular updates and consistent bug fixes that need to be done throughout its lifetime. Work with an app developer who understands the maintenance needs of your app.

It may be tempting to hire a freelancer who claims to be an expert in both app design and development. However, a team of developers or a mobile app development firm like IntelligentBee who will collaborate with you will work best for your overall goals and objectives. More people working on your mobile app means that more people can catch mistakes and errors before it can negatively affect the whole project.

Lastly, make sure they understand your business plan, and what results you’re looking to achieve.

Phase 2: Building

 

1.     Choose Between Native vs. Cross-Platform Development

There’s no absolute best or better when it comes to choosing between native and cross-platform app development. What holds utmost importance is to create a fluid app with an optimum user design and interface. Coding your app right allows for high performance and the most up-to-date API support.

Each platform offers its own pros and cons that you need to weigh to determine whether your mobile app will work best on a native or cross-platform development.

Native applications are created for a specific mobile device operating system such as iOS and Android and has been the standard practice since mobile apps first emerged. Building native applications can be made easier and faster because iOS and Android provide native developer tools. Native applications can also access exclusive native APIs in the phone’s OS such as push notifications, camera, and in-app purchases.

However, if you intend to publish your mobile app on a different OS or app store, you need to rewrite the code and build it again from the ground up, which may delay your mobile app’s launch in another market and cost you more.

This is why some developers and mobile app creators choose hybrid or cross-platform development. Cross-platform application development also includes some native features by using a native harness or wrapper that acts as a bridge between platforms. Because its applications can also include native hardware features, it doesn’t just look like a mobile version of a website. Developers can also package the app locally or through a server to allow both online and offline access.

Cross-platform applications are relatively new, so there’s not a lot of published community support. The Apple App Store can also deny your application when it recognizes that it’s not a native app. When that happens, you’re limiting your app’s reach and potential.

When you’re hiring a mobile app developer, discuss with them the pros and cons of both native and cross-platform apps.

 

2.     Pay Attention to Design

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are paramount to a mobile app’s success. When building a mobile app, you should think like a user to make sure that your app is easy to use.

A simple app works best for users, especially those who are not too patient or tech-savvy. You don’t need to pack it with extra features that are unnecessary to your app’s main function. Go back to your goals you to avoid going off-track.

Here are some quick tips for you:

  • Less is more.
  • Use big buttons, big fonts, and big icons.
  • Use high-performance graphics.
  • If it seems like a flaw (instead of a feature), that’s because it is.
  • Design according to the overall theme of the app.
  • It should work on all known screen sizes.

 

3.     Test. Modify. Adjust.

Never launch an app without testing it. You and your team of developers should test the various functions, features, usability, compatibility, performance, recoverability, and security of the app. Test your mobile app on various devices of all known screen sizes such that they should look and function the same.

After addressing bugs and errors internally, ask people who fit your target market to test your mobile app. They can give you insightful feedback to make it better before you launch and market it on the app store.

Some developers release a beta version on the app store or play store, and ask beta testers to try them out and review the app. Or, you can release it to a chosen group of people who fit your target market and ask them for a detailed account of their experience.

 

4.     Register a Developer Account on App Stores and Submit Your App

Create a developer account on Google Play Store or Apple App Store and pay the annual app store fees of $99 for Apple and $25 for Google. The developer will be the one to upload the mobile app, but the account should be under your name or company to maintain control and ownership.

Once you submit your app, it will then go under review to determine whether it’s up to standards, which may take time. Your app can be subjected to revisions before it’s approved. Once approved, it will be available in the app store for download.

Phase 3: Marketing and Promotion

 

Your work doesn’t stop when your mobile app goes live on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You want people to download your app and use it, so spread the word about it.

Here are some things to include in your app marketing pipeline:

  • Be creative with your app store product description. Yes, people read those when browsing the app store. Write a catchy product description that tells the reader what your app does and include screenshots to show how beautiful and simple your design is. You can even make a short video and include it in the app description.
  • Get your app featured. Submit your mobile app to app review websites. Any review or feature article will help increase your online visibility and improve brand awareness.
  • Reach out to influencers that fit your target market. Ask them to try out your app and post a review on their social media accounts or blog.
  • Look into app marketing sites and app promotion groups. Websites such as AppShout!, AppBrain, and AppStorm are app marketing and promotion sites that you can consider. You can also try to organically increase buzz about your app through social media and word of mouth. Get your app out there!
  • App Store Optimization (ASO). Keep in mind that 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. Optimize your app so that it ranks higher on app stores. Higher ranking means more visibility and ultimately, more chances of downloads. Do your keyword research and place your top keyword in the title of your app and your product description.
  • Place a download link on your website. Take advantage of your website traffic and place a direct link for them to download your app. This will also help improve your ASO.
  • Include a download link in your email signature. If you have an email newsletter, include a call-to-action at the bottom to download your app. You can place a download link in your email signature so that anyone and everyone you correspond with can see that you have a mobile app ready for download.
  • Create a demo video. Distribute your demo video to various video sharing platforms and social networks. Make it short and simple, and include the most amazing features of your app.
  • Partner up with a digital marketing agency. If you have a budget, you can partner up with a digital marketing agency to help you reach your target audience and get your ROI faster.

Building a mobile app is no walk in the park. There are important considerations you need to make—from conceptualization to execution and sales, which is why it’s crucial to work with app developers who understand the importance of scalability and sustainability in this saturated digital market.

Stand out from the noise and make sure that your app is the best it can be. At IntelligentBee, that’s what we’re all about.

LOOKING FOR MOBILE APP DEVELOPERS? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US NOW!


Nowadays, you can do almost anything on your mobile device—from instantly messaging colleagues and organizing your work schedule to tracking your expenses. Mobile technology has become so advanced that there’s probably an app for almost anything and everything imaginable. Businesses have also been benefitting from the mobile app revolution more than ever. Up to 83% of marketers claim that having a mobile app is crucial in their marketing strategy. So, if your business don not have a mobile app yet, it’s time for you to hire a mobile app developer and start building one. 5 Reasons to Have a Mobile App for your Business 1. Increase Brand Visibility and Awareness People spend more than two hours a day on their mobile devices, and 90% of this time is spent on mobile apps. This means that a mobile app can help you reach your consumers wherever they are through their mobile devices. It can work in many ways. When users think of a service or a function that they need to address, they go to the app store and see what apps are available. Here, they can encounter your brand through your app. It can also happen the other way around where they find your website and see that you offer a mobile app. Seeing your brand on multiple platforms can increase brand visibility and awareness. Having a mobile app also shows your audience that your brand keeps up with the modern trend, constantly finding ways to provide convenient services. 2. Directly Market to your Audience When a mobile app is open on any device, it’s the only app visible on the screen. While smartphones and tablets have a multitasking capability, often, users use only one app at a time, which makes mobile apps a direct marketing channel. All the information you’d like your audience to receive is on one marketing platform. Sales and promotional messages is now immediately accessible to your audience. You can even send them push notifications to remind them about your products and services. 3. Increase Customer Engagement No matter what product or service you offer, a mobile app allows you to directly send and receive messages from your customers. This direct interaction is what customers value today. Users are more impatient now than ever, and a messaging system within your app allows your brand to provide real-time responses. Whether that’s a simple way for them to check your store hours or follow up on an order, a mobile app will go a long way in terms of increasing customer engagement and improving client service. 4. Improve Website Performance When a user searches for services to meet specific needs, your mobile app will likely be suggested to them, whether they’re doing this on a search engine or app store. Not only will you be attracting users to download your mobile app, but you’re also routing traffic back to your website. Once your mobile app generates buzz, your app and website can also earn backlinks and mentions on high-authority pages. Eventually, your website will rank higher on SERPs, and your mobile app will rank higher on app stores. 5. Collect a Vast Amount of Customer Data Mobile apps can help businesses collect priceless customer information and data. When customers are using your app, you can gather customer details and data that can help your business determine which regions and demographic segments offer the best ROI. You can also determine which features and functions of your app are more useful to your clients. When people try out your apps, they can post highly useful reviews that you can use to create a more profitable and helpful mobile application. Customer data can help you better address client needs, problems, and wants, thereby making your product and service more helpful to your customers. There are many advantages to creating and building your own mobile app for your business. A mobile app not only enables your business to keep up with consumer demands and business trends, but also help your brand stand out from an already saturated market. Consult with a professional mobile app developer today, and start building a mobile app that will help you reach your audience and increase your business revenue. At Intelligent Bee, you can be sure that your mobile app is optimized specifically for your target audience, and will exhibit a great user interface and experience.

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App to Grow

Nowadays, you can do almost anything on your mobile device—from instantly messaging colleagues and organizing your work schedule to tracking your expenses. Mobile technology has become so advanced that there’s probably an app for almost anything and everything imaginable.

Businesses have also been benefitting from the mobile app revolution more than ever. Up to 83% of marketers claim that having a mobile app is crucial in their marketing strategy.

So, if your business do not have a mobile app yet, it’s time for you to hire a mobile app developer and start building one.

5 Reasons to Have a Mobile App for Your Business

1. Increase Brand Visibility and Awareness

People spend more than two hours a day on their mobile devices, and 90% of this time is spent on mobile apps. This means that a mobile app can help you reach your consumers wherever they are through their mobile devices.

It can work in many ways. When users think of a service or a function that they need to address, they go to the app store and see what apps are available. Here, they can encounter your brand through your app. It can also happen the other way around where they find your website and see that you offer a mobile app.

Seeing your brand on multiple platforms can increase brand visibility and awareness. Having a mobile app also shows your audience that your brand keeps up with the modern trend, constantly finding ways to provide convenient services.

2. Directly Market to Your Audience

When a mobile app is open on any device, it’s the only app visible on the screen. While smartphones and tablets have a multitasking capability, often, users use only one app at a time, which makes mobile apps a direct marketing channel.

All the information you’d like your audience to receive is on one marketing platform. Sales and promotional messages is now immediately accessible to your audience. You can even send them push notifications to remind them about your products and services.

3. Increase Customer Engagement

No matter what product or service you offer, a mobile app allows you to directly send and receive messages from your customers. This direct interaction is what customers value today.

Users are more impatient now than ever, and a messaging system within your app allows your brand to provide real-time responses. Whether that’s a simple way for them to check your store hours or follow up on an order, a mobile app will go a long way in terms of increasing customer engagement and improving client service.

4. Improve Website Performance

When a user searches for services to meet specific needs, your mobile app will likely be suggested to them, whether they’re doing this on a search engine or app store. Not only will you be attracting users to download your mobile app, but you’re also routing traffic back to your website.

Once your mobile app generates buzz, your app and website can also earn backlinks and mentions on high-authority pages. Eventually, your website will rank higher on SERPs, and your mobile app will rank higher on app stores.

5. Collect a Vast Amount of Customer Data

Mobile apps can help businesses collect priceless customer information and data. When customers are using your app, you can gather customer details and data that can help your business determine which regions and demographic segments offer the best ROI. You can also determine which features and functions of your app are more useful to your clients.

When people try out your apps, they can post highly useful reviews that you can use to create a more profitable and helpful mobile application. Customer data can help you better address client needs, problems, and wants, thereby making your product and service more helpful to your customers.

There are many advantages to creating and building your own mobile app for your business. A mobile app not only enables your business to keep up with consumer demands and business trends, but also help your brand stand out from an already saturated market.

Consult with a professional mobile app developer today, and start building a mobile app that will help you reach your audience and increase your business revenue. At Intelligent Bee, you can be sure that your mobile app is optimized specifically for your target audience, and will exhibit a great user interface and experience.

NEED A MOBILE APP DEVELOPER? CLICK HERE TO INQUIRE!


Android vs. iOS App Development: A Comparison & Decision Guide

Android vs. iOS App Development: A Comparison & Decision Guide [Infographic]

There’s a revolution in mobile app development happening right now with the number of apps available for download in major app stores being at an all-time high. App developers are burying themselves in work, creating the latest software applications for mobile devices and hoping that their creations make enough money for them at Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. Apparently, the numbers are more than encouraging.

As of March 2017, the App Store had slightly more apps available at 2.2 billion compared with Play Store’s 2.8 million apps. Also in Q1 2017, combined iOS and Android app downloads were up 15% year-over-year, reaching a total of about 25 billion new downloads globally.

With re-installs, these numbers could go much higher. In terms of in-app purchases, revenue likewise increased 45% year-over-year for a staggering $15 billion across the iOS and Android systems running worldwide.

It’s definitely a good time for mobile app companies to continue hiring app developers to work on a wide array of mobile app products—from mobile music apps to instant messaging and mobile game apps. These apps are forecast to generate close to $200 billion in in-app and in-advertising revenues in less than three years’ time. But the question is, should you develop Android or iOS apps?

The following infographic gives you a comprehensive comparison between Android and iOS app development services in terms of demographics, the range of devices, time frame of development, hardware, publishing and restrictions, cost, and revenue. These are the factors you will need to consider as you decide whether to develop on the Android or iOS platform.

Android vs. iOS App Development A Comparison & Decision Guide Infographic

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The Android and iOS platforms both provide a venue for your mobile app development, but they have very distinct functionalities on their own. Sometimes, you get a clear-cut distinction between the two. However, there are also areas where they go neck and neck so you’ll have to rely on your judgment and preference when choosing the appropriate platform to develop your ware.

Demographics

Market share-wise, Android has a greater reach than its competitor, although iOS users’ income levels and spending capabilities may balance things out in the overall picture.

Devices

Screen and Resolution

The operating systems of Android and iOS differ from one another to a great extent. In designing your app, you need to factor in how your app will run given a particular device’s screen and resolution, the hardware compatible with the platform, and the individual features and capabilities of various phone models.

It might be a little more challenging to develop apps on the Android platform since you’ll be designing for different screen sizes and resolution. Meanwhile, iOS has a more uniform size range so that may free you up from having too many considerations to worry about.

Manufacturers

With Android, you’re developing not only for one Android-based device but thousands of other devices produced by different vendors. Since Android has an open nature system, you can leverage it to run your apps not just on mobile phones but also on smart TVs, wearables, or media streaming devices.

Since different Android devices have different capabilities that are unique from one another, your apps should be designed to allow compatibility with all Android devices. You have to consider the whole Android family—from low-range to mid- and high-range iterations when developing and designing your apps. Otherwise, you might be leaving out a large portion of the Android market from running your apps.

On the other hand, developing your apps for iOS means you’ll have fewer configurations to make, as you only have a limited lineup of gadgets at your disposal. This also means you’ll have fewer fragmentation issues developing your apps within the iOS system.

Development Time

As a developer, you’re naturally concerned about how much time it will take you to develop your app and put it on the App Store or the Play Store. Spending more time on app development may cause a dent on your resources and your chance to generate revenue for the company.

Testing your app across Android’s wide range of devices will naturally require more time as you look for and fix issues on one device after another. If the app works well on one Android device but not on another, you have to make the necessary modifications to the app.

Development Tools

Integrated Development Environment (IDE):

Android Studio replaced Eclipse, the previous iteration of Android’s IDE. Although Android Studio has been padded with improvements, iOS’s Xcode is deemed more mature. Specifically, in terms of debugging capability, the mobile simulator, which you use to build a prototype of your app for mobile, of iOS is deemed better than that of the Android simulator. However, Android Studio makes up for this by having a better autocomplete functionality for your coding work.

Programming Language

Java and Swift have a fairly similar structure. What differentiates them is that the former may be a bit complex if you’re just beginning to code, while the latter is based on Objective-C and touted to be generally error-free.

Publishing and Restrictions

From membership application all the way to submitting and publishing an app, it would seem like you’ll have to do a look-for-a-needle-in-the-haystack sort of thing with iOS apps, with no certainty whether your app will get approved on the App Store. In contrast, you can readily publish your app on the Play Store just by signing up and uploading your APK.

The strict quality standards of iOS may benefit users on the one hand but may scare freelance developers off on the other. That said, you’re more likely to have a better experience with Android’s mobile development policies, especially if you’re a startup developer and you’re not willing to spend on annual fees.

Cost and Revenue

Both the Play Store and the App Store put developers on equal footing when it comes to revenue generation, but the interplay of cost and revenue seems to favor iOS more. This may be attributed to iOS users’ willingness to spend on app purchases. Thus, iOS would seem to be the better choice over Android cost- and revenue-wise since it’s faster and less complicated to develop on the iOS platform.

Apple devices are known to be of premium quality and work well with a wide range of peripherals. These factors make the iOS platform effective for mobile app development as you need a shorter time to design, test, and release your app.

And the Winner Is?

After pitting Android and iOS against each other, both fared fairly the same.

Android may be your go-to platform in terms of compatibility with any hardware, more lenient rules for membership and approval of apps, and affordability of publishing fees. On the other hand, iOS shows better mileage in terms of uniformity in the screen size and resolution of devices for which the apps are intended, a more streamlined interface, shorter time frame of development, and cost and revenue model.

It’s a draw between Android and iOS when you consider market demographics, IDE features, and the nature of programming language used.

With all things considered, no one can claim to be better than the other. What one lacks, the other compensates for in another area of app development. It’s really your own choice to make, depending on your business goals and availability of resources.

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Best Solutions to Top Mobile App Development Challenges

Best Solutions to Top Mobile App Development Challenges

More than half of the world’s population now uses a smartphone. As the price of data plans continue to decrease all over the world, web traffic coming from mobile devices increases year by year. In fact, more than half of today’s global internet traffic comes from mobile devices.

People are spending more time on their mobile devices, thereby increasing the demand for mobile apps. Recent statistics show that 52% of the time individuals spend on digital media is on mobile apps. In 2016, global mobile app revenues amounted to 88.3 billion U.S. dollars, and it’s forecasted that by 2020, global mobile app revenues from app stores and in-app advertising will reach 188.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Indeed, mobile app development is a lucrative business, given the mobile and digital revolution.

But, for every venture comes a challenge. It’s important to know the potential challenges you may face and how to address them before hiring an app developer.

running

Tight Market Competition

The app market is overcrowded, and it’s becoming a challenge for a mobile application to get noticed. Apple’s App Store has over 2.2 billion apps and Google’s Play Store has over 2.8 million apps as of March 2017. That doesn’t even include the apps in Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Solution! Define your target market and the main goal of the app. These two details are fundamental to the overall design, UI, and UX of your mobile app.

Make sure to do your market research to study the apps that already offer similar functionality. Determine your unique selling point, and make sure that your app features a beautiful design and an easy-to-use interface.

Funding

So, you’ve already come up with a solid app idea, and you’re sure that it’s going to be a hit. It’s time to get the funding to get it built.

Mobile app development can be costly, depending on the design, function, and interface of the app. Prepare the funding before you hire an app developer to avoid delays in the launch. You should also take into consideration the cost of marketing your new app.

Solution! If you can’t personally fund your mobile app idea, there are many ways to get funding. You can try crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, AppBackr, and the like. You can also ask your relatives or friends to partner up with you. If you want your mobile app to be a solo venture, then you can try for a bank loan or personal loan from people in your social circle.

Device Compatibility

Screen Size and Device Compatibility

Users have a wide variety of devices that run on different screen sizes, operating systems and platforms. Make sure that your mobile app developer understands the importance of a responsive design. Your mobile app should work for devices of all screen sizes, from the smallest smartphone to the largest tablet computer.

Solution! OS is another aspect to consider. iOS, Android and Windows has its own UI and algorithms. Be prepared to encounter bugs and errors along the way. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to release a beta version.

Interactive UI and User-Friendliness

Poor user experience is one of the top reasons why a lot of mobile apps don’t succeed simply because it turns off users. Your mobile app must be easy to use and understand. It doesn’t need to have a wide plethora of unnecessary features.

Solution! Include a tutorial that users can go back to within the app itself. Also, mobile devices nowadays include high-tech sensors and hardware that offers a range of opportunities for creating an interactive app. Explore the possibilities, but stay true to the goal and function of your mobile app.

coding

Development Approach

There are numerous app development approaches that you can utilize, such as hybrid app development, cross-platform, native app development, or platform specific native app development. Also, you don’t want to waste time and additional resources in developing an app that wouldn’t work for multiple devices and platforms.

Solution! Strategize and decide on the tools and frameworks to use according to the UI and UX needs of your app. Platforms like OpenSourceSDK offers the ability to develop apps using C/C++ or HTML5. It also allows developers to incorporate single API across multiple platforms. Then, there are cross-platform developer tools that you can leverage for your mobile app venture, such as RhoMobile, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, Mosync, and WidgetPad.

Managing Mobile Content

Content is the life of a mobile app. Today’s mobile users demand rich content, image, and animation. However, you need to consider internet speed and bandwidth. Oftentimes, wireless network connection contributes to the failed delivery of mobile app content. As a result, users find it too bothersome to use mobile apps that don’t load quickly.

Solution! Choose a mobile content management system that simplifies content and optimizes bandwidth, such as AirWatch, Alfresco, and MobileIron. These tools can help you deliver rich content reliably.

Battery Life

Balancing Performance and Battery Life

It’s a big challenge to design a well-performing and bug-free app that contains rich media yet doesn’t consume too much battery life. Pokemon Go, for instance, is a great game with rich AR graphics and features. Users were hooked the moment they downloaded the app. But, most users are complaining that the game drains their smartphone quickly. Graphics, animation, content, and function should not compromise battery consumption.

Solution! Run tests to monitor the performance of your app.

Marketing and Promotion

Your mobile app is now among the millions of apps listed in the Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. How do users find it? Branding, marketing and promotions play a huge role in the success of your mobile app.

Solution! Platforms like AppTamin, AppScend , MobileDevHQ, and Smore can help you market your mobile apps. You can also take to social media advertisements to get the word out there. Create a data-driven strategy and consult with marketing professionals about how you can get your target market to download the new app.

It’s true that mobile apps are popping up like mushrooms in app stores. But, mobile app development isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3, launch! There are challenges that beset creators and developers. Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome with careful planning.

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