A Guide to Enterprise and Consumer App Development
Mobile app development industry is now well above a decade old. During this time, the industry managed to attain a number of remarkable feats which collectively lifted app development up to the contemporary level. The well-built apps are recognized by interactive theme, solid user experience, high efficiency, and strong compatibility with underlying platforms.
Over the years, a sizable number of categories have emerged with the two most generalized ones include Enterprise Apps and Consumer Apps. This article delineates the two categories including the subcategories in each before sharing Mob Inspire’s methodology toward mobile app development.
If you are already aware of your app category, jump to the methodology section.
Mobile App Categories
1. Enterprise Apps
These apps are organization-specific. In essence, they are designed to assist a company or its associates to perform official activities comfortably with optimized costs and in lesser time. These apps are usually unavailable in App Store and Google Play.
1.1 Enterprise Mobility Apps
Enterprise mobility is the practice of utilizing technology which enables employees to work remotely. Employees can access organizational data and perform a range of official activities using smartphone apps. It comprises mobile device management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Security Management (MSM), and Mobile Content Management (MCM).
Mobility in organizations is attaining more attraction owing to the lightning fast internet speeds and sufficient security apparatus for remote working. Apart from the ability to work from anywhere, enterprise mobility apps also increases the collaboration between geographically distributed teams as well as team members working at the same workplace.
Read more: Essence and Impact of Enterprise Mobility
1.2 Information Systems
The owners and executives need to know the progress of businesses by assessing various departments and key performance indicators. Information systems provide the periodic reports enriched with graphs, charts, tables, and other dynamic data visualization techniques.
Apart from executive information system (EIS), enterprises also utilize management IS, and decision support systems (DSS). Data processing is performed at the stage of DSS whereas MIS defines the corporate strategy based on the outcomes of DSS. The IS app development for mobile enhances the productivity by manifolds.
1.3 Enterprise Resource Planning
You must be aware of ERP solutions if you are a business owner. The remarkable success of these solutions and research in it over the years pushed us four years back to introduce mobile ERP as well. Like desktop-based and web-based applications, mobile ERP also offers high visibility of core business operations. They allow efficient resource optimization and information flow between various departments of business.
Accessibility of ERP tools through smartphones and tablets provide remarkable portability. Mobile ERP ensures real-time access and lowers operational cost significantly.
Read more: AI for Business
1.4 Customer Relationship Management
Like ERP, mobile CRM was also introduced in the middle of current decade. The growth of internet traffic from smartphones and tablets increased multiple times every year. Consequently, smartphones make up the major proportion of internet traffic amounting 55%. This percentage does not include the traffic from tablets and other smart devices.
Availability of mobile CRM is not only productive for employees. It also facilitates customers to seek your services from anywhere. For instance, a customer can make a query or place an order while traveling. Either way, enterprises enhance their reputation by improving relationship with customers.
1.5 Human Resource Management
It attained incredible success as employees are able to access their monthly attendance and periodic performance audit reports on mobile phones. Mob Inspire performed HRM mobile application development with varying features for multiple clients over the years. The variation in features depends on the client’s business requirements.
For instance, one of our clients wanted to incorporate automated candidate search by matching the resumes with intended job description. Mob Inspire experts developed the solution which prevents HR managers from exploring through hundreds of resumes for a single position. It filters out the irrelevant candidates and shortlists those with suitable qualification.
1.6 Product Management Apps
The product units in warehouses and delivery vehicles undergo extensive security checks to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent activities. Despite enormous time consumption and excessive spending of money, these checks are unable to ensure satisfactory efficiency. Nevertheless, the leverage of technologies including IoT, blockchain, and AI ensure remarkable efficiency – that too with high resource optimization.
One notable use case of IoT is the assistance in aggregate planning. Moreover, it also aids in transportation by verifying products without needing to unload them. Blockchain mobile app development makes money transaction highly transparent and secure with immutable distributed ledger technology.
1.7 Financial Management Apps
May it be invoice received at customers’ end or financial audit report at employers’ end, financial apps are vital for business processing. Although HRM and financial management applications are parts of ERP, yet Mob Inspire performs mobile phone application development for these software systems separately as well.
Financial apps provide the details of transaction and the shortcomings in the process. Fintech application development for mobile is bringing revolution to financial services and management. Most notably, Blockchain and Big Data modeling are the key innovations of the current decade and their integration within financial apps ensure substantially high efficiency in business operations.
2. Consumer Apps
Apps for consumers make up an excessively vast domain. Google Play alone has 60 categories out of which 17 are specific to various kinds of games and 9 for content particularly for families and children. Rests of the 34 app categories belong to a wide range of fields including medical, magazines, and weather among others. App Store also has 28 distinct categories.
Statista reveals that Games category makes almost a quarter of total apps available on App Store followed by business and education apps at 9.76% and 8.52%, respectively. Google Play also indicates similar results. Thus, some categories are more significant than others. Mob Inspire redefines the app categories as follows.
2.1 On-demand Apps
The on-demand mobile app development has caused more disruption in various industries than any other category. The collective valuation of companies whose business model comprises on-demand apps such as Uber is markedly higher.
In a span of less than 10 years, the valuation of Uber alone is worth $82 billion – as per independent reports. Scores of ride-hailing startups are emerging every year with cosmic funding. This on-demand business will continue to attract money for a couple of decades more before attaining sustainability. On-demand apps have entirely redefined taxi business by providing facilitation to customers without charging more.
2.1.2 Delivery and Logistics
The two most notable aspects of on-demand delivery services that distinguish them from traditional logistics is the last-mile and same hour delivery. The availability of apps ensures that businesses can transport perishable items as well. For instance, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and other food delivery services deliver the ordered meal in less than 30 minutes in most cases. These services are not confined to food delivery. The startups offering parcel delivery and grocery delivery like Postmates and Instacart, respectively are making substantial gains.
Arranging a doctor’s visit to patient’s home instead of the other way round makes on-demand healthcare highly attractive. Moreover, it also enables patients to seek services of physicians remotely. There are multiple kinds of businesses emerging in on-demand healthcare sector. The most notable ones include on-demand nurses, ambulance, and telemedicine. Global healthcare market is projected to reach $60 billion by 2020 with the current growth rate of 60%.
2.1.4 Home Services
Although all on-demand services are offering impressive opportunities for gig workers, yet home services are on top. The startups like Handy and TaskRabbit provide a marketplace for gig workers where consumers can seek services from most suitable workers. The success of these startups is a sufficient indicator to convince investors for investment in mobile application development for home services.
2.1.5 Laundry Services
Many service providers place on-demand laundry in home services. However, laundry services make multi-billion dollar industry alone. Thus, Mob Inspire places it into a separate subcategory of on-demand services. The success of laundry service providers like Mama Wosh indicate that on-demand industry is capable of raising millions of dollars for a startup by merely targeting the most tedious home chores.
2.1.6 Beauty and Wellness
The earning from provider services to consumers is not the only revenue stream for on-demand beauty apps. Such apps are heavily sponsored by local and international brands which offer cosmetics and skincare products. They use in-app advertisement as well as collaborate with service providers to increase their product sales. Thus, this advertisement enables at-home beauty service providers to significantly increase revenues.
Structure of On-demand Apps Platform
The most successful on-demand app development for mobile platforms comprises of an app each for consumer and agent as well as desktop-based dispatch and admin panels. These panels are integrated with mobile apps to ensure seamless services. Dispatch panel facilitates the connection between consumer and service agent whereas admin panel provides dashboards and real-time information to get valuable business insights.
2.2 Entertainment Apps
The second subcategory in consumer apps is entertainment. While on-demand apps make the highest combined valuation, entertainment apps attract the most number of downloads owing to the presence of Games category.
Games does not only make up the category with most number of downloads but also comprises multi-billion dollar worth of businesses. Pokémon Go currently values at $4 billion while PUBG Mobile made $1 billion in 2018. The size of these games is multiple gigabytes reflecting the fact that they require sizable investment for their mobile phone app development. However, many lightweight apps including Candy Crush and Angry Birds managed to remain on top of the charts as well. Some ultra-lightweight apps like Flappy Bird also made significant gains.
2.2.2 Music Player
A massive number of music player apps already exist on application stores. More such apps make their ways every year. Despite this abundance, some of the apps manage to attain millions of downloads. Consumers look for apps which introduce innovative features without compromising performance. For this reason, some apps winning consumers’ attraction in the beginning fail in the long term. Thus, Music Player category is highly attractive if the app is good enough.
2.2.3 News and Magazines
Online publications are the main source of news for 44% of Americans. This percentage is above 60% in many countries. Moreover, these numbers are swiftly growing with rapid smartphone penetration and remarkable internet speeds even in the remotest regions. Apart from online magazines, blogs, and newspapers, eBooks are also making substantial gains owing to the availability of apps. With incredibly growing demand, there is a huge room for introducing more apps for news.
2.2.4 Video On-demand
The current market size of over $58 billion is projected to cross $91 billion by 2023. Although video subscription channels like YouTube and Daily Motion are the reasons behind initiation of this industry, yet Netflix and similar services are now the most crucial promoters. Mobile app development in VoD sector has the ability to earn more profits for entrepreneurs than social video sharing platforms because paid subscription generate a significant amount of money.
2.3 Education and Utility Apps
The apps providing online education and utility tools are rising in demand owing to the fact that students keep searching for ways that can optimize time. Consequently, the apps providing marketplace for tutors are also attaining consumer attraction. Utility apps are among the least costly when it comes to mobile phone application development.
Also read: Successful App Development Outsourcing
The excessive number of apps providing content specific for children and adolescents indicates their influence. Besides, the apps are also among those getting highest number of downloads. Although the presence in high numbers makes it tough to earn through paid subscription, yet advertisements work very well. These apps are now easier to locate since the introduction of Kiddle – Google’s search engine particularly for minors.
2.3.2 Health and Fitness
At-home workout training and guidance is one type of fitness apps which has already grown markedly. One of the most emerging types of health and fitness apps includes meditation for mental health. These apps are eliminating the need for keeping on-premises training centers. The business models also vary as many apps own the entire content while some of them offer marketplace for independent trainers.
2.3.3 Personal Task Management
One would barely use sticky papers when task management apps are capable of scheduling daily, weekly, and monthly plans. Mostly, these apps vary in the number of features with some app owners providing comprehensive management tools for social, academic, and professional activities. Thus, the investment does not carry any significant risk of failure even though failure probability is very low when app is built and marketed properly.
Many categories discussed earlier mentioned marketplaces. These are platforms which provide a gateway for consumers and businesses to connect. For instance, two consumers can use eBay to buy and sell their belongings. However, there are some business models where marketplaces are essential.
Marketplaces specific for online shopping can either sell company-owned services or it can be used by other retailers. Former is an example of B2C marketplace introduced initially by Amazon. If you are facing a financial crunch, it is wise allowing retailers to use your app to reach customers instead of spending extensively on starting your own retail store. Either way, marketplaces for shopping possess massive potential for global success.
2.4.2 Social Media
An impressive 89% of students in the US rely on social media for news (Statista, 2019). Although the concerns of fake news initially carried prospects that social media would not remain a primary source for news, yet the introduction of robust verification schemes by major networks including Twitter and Facebook are making these networks as reliable as traditional news networks. The widespread perception traditional media presents biased opinions push consumers more toward adopting social networks.
2.4.3 Real Estate
There are not only the real estate startups whose business model entirely stands on apps but traditional businesses as well. Realtor and Zillow are notable examples. Thus, the real estate professionals aiming to evolve their businesses need to invest in mobile app development for the purpose. Such apps do not only connect sellers and buyers but also provide gateway for safe, transparent, and quick transaction.
Mobile Application Development Methodology
The categories chart and its details indicate the wide variation in mobile apps. However, the app development methodology remains identical for each type of apps. The difference lies in the selection of frameworks and libraries. For instance, the apps integrating features of virtual or augmented reality require libraries of ARkit and ARCore for iOS and Android, respectively. Mob Inspire uses Agile Methodology for native app development.
Agile Methodology using Scrum Framework
Agile is the replacement of traditional software development methodologies. This methodology used by top mobile app development companies enables developers to carry out development and testing simultaneously so that there is least overhead of fixing bugs in the end. The traditional waterfall model is highly risky because the excessive number of errors may end the project in failure.
Agile is in practice at Mob Inspire for eight years. Our developers have made their own frameworks to cope with various situations. The 11 years long existence in mobile app development industry has allowed us to work on a wide range of projects in multiple industries.
The foremost stage is the understanding of objectives which you are trying to achieve. At this stage, the business managers would speak to you to seek every piece of information associated with the business idea. There is no feasibility study at this stage. Instead, the focus is to understand the goals. However, the managers duly inform you if there is anything wildly impractical in the tentative time and budget.
This stage involves development of feasibility study to ensure more clarity in the business model. The development team craft specific and distinctive use cases which can ensure achieving objectives. They define project workflow to associate responsibilities with each team member and time-scale network to estimate completion of project. Time-scale also includes the tentative deadlines to develop each module. In essence, scope refinement stage is a comprehensive blueprint of entire project.
Prototypes and Wireframes
The availability of scope enables designers to develop tentative designs of app pages. These designs called wireframes allow you to approve the appearance of pages including color scheme and theme. Wireframe development saves you a considerable cost and time which is consumed in making frequent changes to design. However, wireframes are only static images which are unable to demonstrate behavior of buttons and links. Prototypes enable you to evaluate behavior as well.
Development and Testing
Once you approve prototype, the stage of development kicks off. Under Agile Methodology, Mob Inspire experts perform development tasks in sprints. The total number of sprints depends on the scale of project. The experts aim to develop a predetermined number of modules in each sprint. One notable and highly effective strategy of Agile is the parallel testing. The testers and quality assurance team members work in collaboration with developers to perform testing side-by-side with development.
Launch and Maintenance
The deployment and launch of app must ensure that it integrates well with the existing business architecture. If there is an existing database, the datasets should be efficiently transformed to be accessible from app. Mob Inspire experts do not only ensure smooth launch but also provide limitless maintenance of app. Moreover, you can also assist you in scaling up the app with more features as required in future.
The years of experience in various industries enabled us to understand dynamics of a range of industries. Our marketing strategies ensure that you reach maximum audience from the relevant niches. Mob Inspire marketers help you in defining user persona and run the most effective business oriented marketing campaigns.
Native App Development
Although developing cross-platform apps is easier and less costly, yet Mob Inspire stopped offering such apps few years back. Platform independent apps have significantly less efficiency. The competition in market and the benchmark set by top apps indicate that efficiency in terms of speed and size is the top factor in success of apps. Thus, development of separate apps for Android and iOS platforms – usually referred to as native app development – is the suitable approach.
Kotlin for Android App Development
The developers at Mob Inspire use Kotlin language for Android app development. Google also recommends Kotlin as this language is highly compatible with Android Operating System. One of the most attractive features while using Kotlin is the ability to use Java libraries without wrappers and adapters. Thus, developers attain the simplicity of Kotlin and the power of Java. Moreover, Kotlin allows development with both object-oriented and functional approach.
Swift for iOS App Development
Swift is completely replacing Objective-C as the de facto language for iOS app development since its launch in 2014. Its widespread acceptance by global iOS community enabled it to make into the list of top 10 most sought-after software development skills as rated by TIOBE. Consequently, the number of apps annually developed using swift would bypass those by Objective-C in less than two years. The upcoming Swift 5 is about to release as iOS developers at Mob Inspire look forward to it.
The businesses from a wide range of industries are in collaboration with Mob Inspire to fulfill their software development needs. We would love to become your partner too. Contact us so that our professional mobile app development teams can assist you in aligning your business to the path of success.