OptiSol Business Solutions

USA: 9554, N Bexley Drive, Strongsville, OH 44136, USA
ODC (Chennai): 87/4, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai – 600026. India

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  • +44-20-3769-0869
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  • +91-44-42136061

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http://www.optisolbusiness.com | info@optisolbusiness.com

How to build? – Development platform options

App Development Platform

The mobile application development platform denotes the software platform which assists the organization to build, test and deploy mobile apps (for smartphone or tablets). This also allows the developers to design and develop the app as per OS standards and comply with the expectations of each devices and their operating systems. There are a wide array of options available for mobile app development and there are increasing new players in the market. Microsoft has enhanced its latest Visual Studio version to support mobile application development on a hybrid model.

The mobile application development platform provides assistance for development and ensures that the application complies with mobile operating systems and hardware needs.

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The startups or business owners should completely understand the importance of getting the big picture right before implementing the projected solutions. Therefore OptiSol engages with our clients to work on strategies, policies and business process changes regarding mobility initiatives. This may include:

Feature mapping and evaluation

Fitment with mobile device features with long term orientation

Excellent usability experience

Enterprise architecture for mobility

Mobility security standards and policies

We at OptiSol believe that each application should be built using the most appropriate technology and we make right recommendations on the web backend and web service layer development (Detailed in further sections)

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PLATFORMS AND BENEFITS

HTML5 Mobile Website

HTML5 platform is more cost efficient way to bring your application on to a smart phone or tablet PC. This platform allows the user to access the application in any browser-enabled device (Apple, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices) and enjoy the website from anywhere, anytime. It is NOT equivalent to mobile app and it is just a HTML5 web app.

Cross Platform Framework

As we all know, the biggest challenge in mobile development is variation in devices and emerging mobile operating systems. The business case always enforce development in all available platforms to reach maximum audience but there has to be a trade-off against cost and time. From maintenance perspective, it is implied that we need to have different code for different OS.

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This lead to an increasing demand for a single code base that can be ported/packaged to various mobile platforms and it resulted in evolution of cross or hybrid platforms. In simple terms, ‘code once and package to different mobile OS’. OptiSol recommends Phonegap cross platform though there are other options like Appcelerator/Xamarin. The major advantage of cross platform development is cost and maintainability and major disadvantage is around certain usability issues.

Native Platform Framework

Some use cases may rely on mobile device hardware/OS features and will have extensive usability challenges. In such circumstances, it is right choice to build the application on the native platform (Swift or Android SDK).

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We at OptiSol, have immense experience in building software for iOS, Android and Windows via native development tools. Through this development strategy, we can build tailormade and optimized solutions which provides the best user experience for that specific device and platform. These applications use the in-built features of the device to full extent, thus providing better user experience.

How to choose a right Platform

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WEB SERVICE LAYER (API)

Web service layer?!?! – Do I need that?

Typically, while sharing your concept with the technical team, they might provide ideas/suggestions about web back end and web services. whereas the plan is to only build a Mobile application.

Mobile applications (independent of platforms) may need a web backend and web service layer and this is driven by the set of features that you are planning to build.

Features that may require a web backend/Web service layer:

In simple terms, when there is a need for interaction between two or more individuals (like chat/social networking/job portals/crowd applications/challenge games etc.)

Data storage needs to be remote and not in the mobile application

When there is a need to integrate with third party application via APIs

When the content is aggregated centrally and needs to be pushed to mobile app dynamically

In most cases, the web backend for mobile app will be built with access restricted only for the admin users and there will be very minimal or no functionalities accessible via user interface.

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A web service provides functionality similar to the business logic layer in the application and it is not tied to User Interface and can be reused for different cases. Web services are built with standards like Restful API via JSON.

The web backend can be built in any programing language (like php/java/.net) and web service layer can be developed on that. The web application needs to be hosted on a server and you will need to factor that as part of budgeting.

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LOCATION BASED SERVICE (LBS) FOR MOBILE APP

What is Location Based Services (LBS)?

Personalization of solution offering is vital for any business vertical and many companies are focusing at consumerization of technology by targeting specific individuals. Technology has a major role in this personalization and from mobile technology perspective, LBS is a key offering that any organization can leverage.

Location-based services (LBS) shall leverage the user's physical location to provide an enhanced service or experience. For example - (or)Examples - Navigation and Mapping, etc. workforce tracking, finding points of interest, and getting weather information.

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The services shall present a compelling new business opportunity for application developers, operators and content producers. Location awareness differentiate mobile applications from traditional PC and wired Internet services.

Major Aspects of LBS

With emerging technology and mobile usage, LBS offers you a cost effective way to streamline and simplify automated phone access to information, engage mobile customers,reduce costs and earn loyalty.

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Techniques for Identifying Location

Beacons and few other hardware tools have evolved around LBS. From services perspective, dating solutions, social networking solutions, deal promotion sites, eCommerce platforms are increasingly leveraging the LBS for various features and use cases.

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Emerging Areas of LBS

Integrated with various social media platforms provide innovative offering to mobile applications. A classic example of LBS integrated with eCommerce is, you receiving a push notification on deals happening your favourite products while window shopping.

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How LBS works?

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HOW TO PUBLISH YOUR APP IN STORE?

Every app is targets a specific set of audience or group, hence marketing tha app to making it reach target audience is highly important. We need to focus on submitting the developed mobile app in respective app stores. As the next step, we need to build marketing materials respective for each of the stores in order to publish the mobile app.

  • Posting Criteria
  • Submitting App in Stores
  • Approval Process and Duration
  • App Ownership in Stores
Step 1: Posting Criteria

Concise App Description: The best idea on app description is making the content brief and scalable since most of the users might browse store in their phone or tablet. So it is great idea to have description crisp and clear.

Brief about how the app works in first 2 lines since store hides rest of it with “More” link

Restrict the content characters to 700 or less

Use only short sentences

Include the best user and expert reviews as and when available

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Can list all the key features in bullets

Highlight the app’s user-friendly aspects

To show the app outstanding from other apps in google play, we can create a promo text which shall get displayed along with promo graphics on feature pages like Editor’s Choice.

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Listing Details
Apple App Store Google Play Store
App Name 255 character limit No limit
Description 4,000 characters limit. No impact in App store optimization but in SEO (of iTunes App page) 4,000 character limit. Taken in account by Algorithm.
Organization/Publisher Name Required, Searchable Required, Searchable
Keywords Required, 100 character limit Scattered throughout
Category Primary required, secondary optional. 2 category for apps & 3 category for games Required. 1 category for each app and game.
Screenshots Up to 5 Up to 8
App preview/Promo Video 15-30 sec long YouTube video of 30 sec for 2 min
URL to Help Content Required Optional
Support Information Email required Email, Phone, or URL (can provide more than one)
Privacy Policy URL Optional Optional
Marketing URL Optional Optional
Promo/Features Text or Graphics NA Optional. Accompanies promo graphic in featured spots
In-App purchase Searchable Searchable
Social Media Interaction NA Google+
Reviews & Ratings Heavy weight in algorithms Heavy weight in algorithms
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APP PUBLISHING IN STORES

Store Graphics: After content, concentrate on app graphics to be submitted in app stores. These marketing images can be used as key aspect to represent app in stores. In addition, these images or graphics need to be with high resolution. Give importance to app icon (for both stores). Whereas Google Play Store allows us to provide 2 extra promotional graphics other than app icon.

Apple App Store Google Play Store
App Icon (required) 512 x 512 px 1024 x 1024 px (for retina display screens) 24-bit PNG No transparency 512 x 512 px 32-bit PNG Max size 1024KB Transparency allowed
Promo Graphic (optional) 180 x 120 px 24-bit PNG No border No Transparency
Feature Graphic (optional) 1024 x 500 px safe frame of 924 x 400 px 24-bit PNG No Transparency

Though promo and featured graphics are optional in Google play, consider it as requirement. By setting an app with featured graphics, the specified app shall be featured anywhere in their app store and improves the respective app page.

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Screenshot: The app screenshots plays a vital role in the app listing which shall attract user to access or install the app. Each app store set limits for submission of required screenshots numbers.

Apple App Store Google Play Store
1 required 4 additional optional 960 x 640 px or 920 x 640 px 72dpi, RGB, flattened No transparency High quality JPEG, TIFF, or PNG Do not include iPhone status bar 2 required 6 additional optional 480 x 800 px, or 480 x 854 px 72dpi, RGB, flattened No transparency High quality JPEG or 24-bit PNG No borders Can show status bar

App Preview/Promo Video: The preview or Promo videos plays a vital role in the highlighting the app’s top features. The submission of video may differ with store. Suppose if we need to submit video to Google Play Store, initiate with uploading video (30 sec to 2 min) in YouTube and provide its URL. Whereas, Apple App Store does not allow us to upload video in app detail page and we need to post app preview video in app’s website (this website URL shall be published in app store page).

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Step 2: Submitting App in Stores

Publishing iOS app in app store, user need to have an active developer account by paying an annual fee of $99 with Apple. The user need to make yearly payment of $99 whether or not they publish app in store and whether or not they are profited from the app. With this payment, the user can post more than 1 app in the store within the specified validity period. Also the app store shall deduct 30% of the user’s sales profit from each app.

For Google Play, user need to access the ‘Android Developer Console’ and create account using Gmail ID. On successful profile creation, user shall be directed to the payment interface where they need to make one-time fee of $25. On successful payment, they shall be directed to the ‘App console’ where user can upload the APK file of developed android app and wait for approval. Suppose if the payment for registration fails, the $25 amount shall be saved in Google Wallet which can be used by the user for further processing. Also the Google Play shall deduct 30% of the user’s sales profit from each app.

Step 3: Approval Process and Duration

The submitted app should follow all the criteria mentioned in the ‘Human Guide’ for both the stores (App Store and Google Play). Only the apps which covers all these criteria shall get approved and published in the store.

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In App store, the approval process shall take around 1 week and for Google Play, the approval process shall be 5-6 hours.

Step 4: App Ownership in Stores

While build the completion of app development, initially the app shall be uploaded in the developer’s account and distributed to the Client for testing. On completion of testing, the client shall be requested to create their account in App Store or Google Play store or both.

On successful account creation, the client need to provide account details for the developer to move/publish the app in their account. The app shall be posted in the client name or in his/her business name.

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MOBILE APP ANALYTICS

App Analytics Overview

The usage of mobile app analytics tool plays the vital role in the success of any mobile app. Though you have developed a quality app, you need to incorporate some mechanism to maintain your app’s growth through careful monitoring and customizing the features or functionality based on your target audience’s needs. For this reason, you need to integrate the app analytics tools to increase the user traffic through the factors such as finding out exactly why and how people are getting to your app

Apart from monitoring of the users activities, you should also user the analytics tools to generate revenue, increase app installation count, purchases and rankings which shall result in getting acknowledgement in the competitor market. The main aspect of improvising the app’s user experience depends on how far you understand your app. If the user get impressed with you app, they shall communicate about your app to friends or their circle and use the app for long-time. As the result you shall increase your revenue via the in-app purchases.

“Around 40 apps installed on the normal person’s mobile phone and these apps range from
social media, games, retails and media apps.” – Neilson Survey

There are wide range of analytics tool for the mobile application and choosing the right one for you app and business shall be a long time analysis process.

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Need For App Analytics

With the emerging digital marketing, the traditional standards for the mobile app has got outdated and the need for analytics has become important.

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As the recent report, leading company achieved 11.6% increase in brand awareness with mobile analytics whereas the other company saw a decline of 12.9% without a mobile-specific analytics strategy.

Know the ROI of mobile marketing: Analytic technique shall provide the insight which are necessary for you to regulate your mobile app and its user contribution.

Measure important aspects: Have clear understanding on the mobile app engagement which shall assist you in making data-driven decisions.

Perform analysis of mobile activity: Ability to research and relate with your digital data from the app and follow immense analysis reports.

Mobile plays vital role in understanding your customer journey: You can analyze and associate customer behavior through your multiple digital channels. Based on these analysis information,you can improve the experience across the entire customer journey.

Trending Analytics Tools

As you develop a mobile app, it is mandatory to have any analytics tools integrated with it, so we have listed few of the trending tools for the mobile app analytics and tracking the application date. The reports generated via these tools guide you in making decisions and plan for the future marketing strategies. Here we have listed the checklist which you need to analysis while you are choosing a mobile analytics tool:

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Ease to integrate with the mobile app

Provide real-time data for monitoring and appropriate action

Consistent security features

Provide in-depth data on acquisition, activation, retention, referral and revenue.

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MOBILE APP MONETIZATION : How to monetize your mobile app?

Monetization Overview

Mobile Ads have now become one of the most efficient ways to promote your product or service. There are various approaches to mobile advertising which is used to fulfill the need of linking advertisers to websites. .

The proficient monetization of these apps provides revenue source for mobile app developers, which is crucial for the growth of developers. This is achieved with the ad solutions provided by different companies to promote their products on mobile devices

The ad networks provide these services to focus on serving ads on the mobile web and within mobile apps.

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App monetization models and strategies should be chosen and built into your app before its launch in respective app stores. When your brain has made up and app is completed according to the standards, you will face the need of some ad solutions in the market to reach the optimum place.

Monetization Options

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Freemium Vs. Paid Vs. Paidmium

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Monetization Roadmap

Using the Monetization techniques in Mobile apps, you can maximize your profits and increase the app demand in the market. Through this technology, you can deploy your mobile apps in the marketplace as App on sale in the store. The App monetization roadmap shall be as,

Free app with ads, Free app with in-app purchases, Free app with paid subscription and Free

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app with paid upgrade options. You need to have clear idea on the selecting the mobile app monetization option by analyzing whether,

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APPROACH AND ISSUES

Technology convergence has made the mobile phones as not just “phones” anymore with only voice and SMS features. Next to the PC and Internet revolution, the viral spread of mobile technology will have a dramatic impact on the lives of individuals and institutions. Convergence of internet and telecommunication technologies is increasing rapidly. We are at the age of mobility which is providing us the freedom of being independent of time and place.

The mobile eco system is closely bound with sensitivity to changes for each actor responses. Typically the mobile platform based solutions are initiated by three major actors:

Enterprises: Mobile Applications for their customers, sales force and other stakeholders

Individuals: Individuals with mobile solutions ideas and concept and collaborate with technology or marketing organization to commercialize their concepts

Independent Software Vendors (ISV): Organizations with IT related capabilities with expertise in mobile based technologies. They have capabilities to create concepts and technology or marketing bandwidth to commercialize their initiatives.

The technology ecosystem is predominantly driven or controlled by device manufacturers and their relevance in the market.

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Device operators control the application market via application stores. Some of the major differentiating factors across providers include:

Operating Systems

UI (User Interface) Differences and Controls

Availability of Applications in App Stores

Developer Friendly SDK’s

Upgrade and Maintenance Aspect

The developer eco system is affected by the changes around the factors highlighted above. Varied operating system limits their option to port their solutions unlike a quick fix that can be done in PC platforms. Though there are many players in the mobile application ecosystem, developers play a vital role and impact majority of other stakeholders. The strategies have to be planned around the technology limitations and options unlike the conventional PC paradigm.

Key Challenges
Diverging Technology Options

In conventional software programming scenarios, developers have multiple options for development languages such as Objective C, .NET, Java, etc. to create a Mobile Application.

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However, in the progress of mobile application development, due to complex structure of mobile ecosystem, there is a fragmentation in terms of different development languages and developer platforms.

Dependency on Devices/Operator Trends

Mobile phones have shorter life-cycle and new models with upgraded features keep flooding market. With upgraded OS, different providers and devices provide multiple options to users and they differ technically from end user perspective as well. Different device models support different functionalities such as Location Identifier, Gravity Censors, Camera Flash, etc. Hardware performances also vary between devices. In addition to that, some applications need to support external device functionalities.

Typical Development Life Cycle Challenges

Typical to any product development life cycle, building solution on mobile platform goes through multiple phases. The conversion of any idea into commercial product involves multiple stages and converting idea into concept is vital phase. The concept involves blueprint of solution approach where technical limitations are not taken considerations. The evaluation of technical platforms in terms of phone OS are done during technical implementation stage. Typical product development challenges:

Quick to Market Tradeoff with other factors due to High Competition

Ability to accommodate the delay between getting a new technology to market and getting it well-adopted from Financial Perspective

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Market Dynamics Scanning and Continuous Iteration

Concept to Product Conversion on a solid Technical Architecture and scalable Solution Framework

Productization than Project Orientation

Challenges To Opportunities

The spirit of entrepreneurship and enterprising opportunities lies in negotiating challenges and converting them into opportunities. The technology challenges with mobile platforms is throwing many innovations and opportunities to convert your ideas to commercial products.

Platform Portable Solutions: Cross-platform application development enables maximum market reach in the mobile software ecosystem. Since mass market applications are developed to target broad range of consumers using different mobile devices and thus different mobile operating systems, cross-platform application development is the best way to embrace the largest market share of application users.

Mange OS version dependencies and upgrades by diligent packaging and distribution

Orient towards OS than market trends on devices

Adapt innovative development life cycle with more focus towards testing and test marketing. The surprises are more towards the final stages.

Mange product life cycle efficiently by identifying specific phase requirements

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