A local Calgary app has just hit a huge milestone, and we wanted to send our congratulations to the team responsible for its creation. Oilfield Lease Locator has hit ten thousand downloads. This is a huge milestone, just ask any local app developer, and one that deserves to be celebrated.
Efficiently locating leases has been an ongoing issue in the oil and gas industry, as GPS tools aren’t ideal because coordinates can’t be directly converted. Since everyone is now using Google Maps on their phones, employees were manually converting coordinates and then navigating to that general area through their mobile devices. This often lead to frustration because the location wasn’t accurate.
Oilfield Lease Locator is a simple solution as it converts LSD, NTS, UTM, and latitude/longitude inputs and then opens up in Google Maps directly on a worker’s device. The app accesses a database of over 20 million data points- essentially saving time and money. When Terraform came on-board with the team looking to develop Oilfield Lease Locator we knew it was a problem many people out in the field were experiencing, and we excited to be a part of the solution.
Companies struggling with wasted time, frustrated employees, and hard to navigate systems have saved face by using this solution based app. Available on all devices it is free to use for up to ten searches a month, or a $9.99 yearly subscription fee for unlimited searches. You can download Lease Locator on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
A new consumer report put out by Technology Strategies International reveals the top contactless payment methods Canadians are using when making purchases through their phones, and they might surprise you.
In TSI’s study almost half of respondents didn’t have a payment app installed on their phone at all, and out of those that did many were not a mobile wallet, but rather a single branded product. Paypal came in overwhelmingly at the most installed application, with Starbucks behind by almost half.
Apple Pay comes in at the 6th most installed app, with only 5% of the people surveyed downloading it. With the Apple Pay expansion announced recently, and with more phones in the future having the capability of using the Apple Pay wallet, we are sure to see these numbers rise.
In fact, the study says that by 2020, 90% of Canadians will have a smartphone, and three quarters of those phones will have NFC technology. This means in the next 5 years we can expect to see mobile payments ramp up drastically.
In 2015 alone contactless payments doubled in Canada, accounting for around $60 billion dollars worth of transactions. With technology only getting better at an alarmingly fast rate, and companies dedicated to making shopping easier for consumers with more focused payment applications, we are sure to see payment through mobile phones become an everyday part of our lives sooner than we think.
Six months after launching Android Marshmallow is still struggling to be adopted by it’s user base. In fact latest reports show a staggeringly low 7.5% of users are running the newest version of the operating system! Android notoriously has issues getting users to adopt new OS versions, and this causes many problems when planning to release new apps, because users running old versions may not be able to access certain features.
The issue is not only user interest and urgency, but also how and when the updates are being delivered to these users. Android’s hardware partners are responsible for administering the update, which leads to a plethora of release dates. In fact many devices still have not received the update, and some reports suggest devices more than a year old will actually never receive it. So basically, until you buy a new Android device, you won’t be on Marshmallow, or whatever the next operating system is.
Apple doesn’t have this problem, simply because they are responsible for their own hardware. This means when a new update is available they can push it out to all users immediately (and harass you until you download it). As of April 18th 84% of iPhone users have have adopted the latest version – iOS 9.
Back in 2015 when Marshmallow launched there was tons of hype about how it would give Android users the experience they were looking for. Some of these functions talked about were: Android pay, USB-C adaptability, and a smoother app experience. It’s all great to tout the features and get people excited about the product, but if users never receive the update, how can your message remain exciting?
Android OS adoption is absolutely an issue that needs to be addressed in the near future, especially with apps growing as a larger space in the mobile world. When 20% of users are still running a system from 2012, app developers can not plan for what functions and features every user should have. If it’s not a problem that is sorted quickly, Google Play will be affected and Apple’s App Store will reap the benefits.
Can you explain your app in 30 seconds? If the premise is too complicated, try to narrow the focus. You can always expand your mobile app, or develop a new one, once the main aspect takes off and you gain a user base.
2) Do I Need A Custom App?
Some app development companies have affordable app templates that may fit your needs. The cost will be significantly less, however a subscription fee is likely and you will not own the source code. If you business requires something simple a turnkey app may be the way to go.
3) What Platform Should I Choose?
The platform you choose for your app really comes down to a business decision. iPhone, Android or Universal? Native apps cost more but provide an amazing user experience. Universal apps reach a broader range of people, but will likely need to be re-developed once a large user base is established.
4) How Do I Choose a Developer?
Narrow your choices and interview a few mobile app developers. Ask them to provide you with a breakdown for all modules incorporated into your app. Get a cost and time quote. Review their portfolio and go with your gut!
BE WARY OF A DEVELOPER WITH NO PUBLISHED APPS!
5) What is the Potential Competition for the App?
Have you done extensive research for mobile applications with a similar premise? Ensure you find out how many users they have, and what the likes and dislikes about the current apps on the market are.
6) What is your USP?
Your app doesn’t need to be a completely unique idea, but it should have a unique selling point. What sets your mobile app apart from the competition? What will make people want to use your app over the others?
7) What is My Budget?
Quality does come with a cost. Ensure you know what your budget is for your mobile app, and talk with your developer about what to realistically expect within your app in return for your set budget. Have a bit of a slush fund for unexpected changes as you begin to see the app take shape..
8) What is the Visual Design of My App?
Do you have logos and a color scheme designed already? What is your taste when it comes to graphic or simple design? Where do you envision the placement of the buttons and menus on your app? It is a good idea to have all the visual aspects of your app thought out before development begins.
9) Do I Need a Wireframe?
Are you presenting your mobile app idea to investors or partners? Wireframes are visual representations of how a user will interact with your platform. Beyond the visual, wireframes are a resource to have the feasibility of your design and function tested before development begins. It is a good idea to have your developer draw up a wireframe to ensure your idea is technically sound.
10) What is My Marketing Plan?
Developing the app is just the start. Without a marketing and media plan, your app may not be seen by your target market. Start your mobile app marketing plan when you are still in development. This way you have a game plan when the app is complete, and you can hit the ground running.
With thousands of mobile apps competing for a user’s attention, how does yours stand out from the crowd?
Acquiring app users can be tricky, but if you set yourself up for success, and make a game plan, you will be prepared for the business of marketing, and feature your app to a very captive audience.
Beta Launch and Pre-Launch Users
Do not expect things to be perfect at the start. Once you are ready to launch your mobile app, do so on a beta platform, and get feedback from your users. This is some of the most important knowledge you can gather, so pay attention and transfer that information for future app users. Have a large mailing list of possible app users ready, so at launch time you have eyeballs on your product. Create social channels ahead of time, and invest in growing your following.
If your platform requires interaction, and a user downloads your app and finds nothing going on, they will not invest their time. Creating the in-app activity to begin with is not uncommon, in fact some very big names in the online world, including Reddit, did just that. Spend the time making that interaction interesting and valuable to the user, and you will not only acquire more app downloads, but user loyalty.
Narrow Down Your Target
Start your marketing campaign on a micro audience. Many successful apps or platforms began with a niche market or area. Don’t feel like you need to be worldwide from the get go. Focus on acquiring app users in a very specific section, respond to that growth when needed, and adapt your strategy from there.
Blogging increases your visibility online and brings people closer to your product. It creates awareness of your brand and can make you be seen as an active resource. Don’t get lost in only writing about your product. Target your market and give content they would be interested in. You never know what possible new user you will draw to your app with interesting relevant posts.
App Design and Performance
You can not underestimate the importance of the user experience within your app. The look and feel must be seamless. Acquiring app users with a buggy or counter-intuitive interface is almost impossible. Invest time in finding the right developer, and plan all aspects of your app before starting development.
Social Media and Organic Marketing
Word of mouth and a natural excitement in your user base is imperative to an app. Make it easy for people to share your product by adding an easy rating feature and share option within your app.
Acquiring app users requires paid advertising. Extend your marketing over a wide variety of networks, not just one or two areas. Think about not only paying for adverts on social media, but also creating a feature video, or acquiring an endorsement. Be broad at first, because different networks are going to speak to different people.
App Analytics & Tracking
It is imperative to track and follow your user’s habits. Get to know your users likes and dislikes. Adjust your strategy based on this data. Improving your platform will not only help you acquire more app users, but keep them engaged.
The most recent numbers as of September 2013 are in. With over 36% of users on Jelly Bean and 21% on Ice Cream Sandwich, you can see the move of the market over the past year. Most people are getting rid of their older devices and moving over to newer and more upgradeable devices. There is some new features in these newer versions, but the main thing you need to focus on it device hardware and your app performance. With the majority of the market in newer more powerful devices, we can push apps to do more and demand more from devices which still providing a very good user experience.