App developers can easily create a mobile app, but only few can build a successful one that actually grabs users’ attention and maintains their engagement. With user attention span decreasing, building a successful app is now more challenging than ever. According to Statista, users spent an average of 5.59 minutes in a media and entertainment app session and only 2.85 minutes in an e-commerce app session. Furthermore, competition in the app stores is quickly growing. As of February 2016, two million apps were reported available in the Google Play Store. Between 2009-2016 approximately 2.52 billion apps were downloaded, and this number is expected to reach 268.69 billion in 2017.
Source: Smarter Insights
So, what can you do to make your app successful?
After conducting all relevant research, building the budget, finalizing your business model, defining your target audience, creating a unique offering and establishing a strong marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some more pivotal factors that can contribute to the success of your app.
1) App Efficiency
- Download time: An app that takes too long to download will often be abandoned mid download or will be used less frequently. Use loading indicators and animations to assure users that the app is still working.
- Battery life: Create an app that uses data and battery life efficiently, so that your users won’t have to worry about battery drain. A battery-hungry app will likely go unused, so keep in mind the following:
- Many apps chew up data when the smartphone is using 3G and 4G, which also drains battery
- 65%-75% of energy in free apps is spent in third-party advertisement modules (Purdue University)
- Memory: Random-access memory (RAM) is a highly valuable resource on a mobile operating system where physical memory is often constrained. Manage your app’s memory usage wisely.
- Bitmaps: A great technique for reducing memory is caching bitmaps, which allows you to reuse the memory already allocated for bitmaps.
- RGB 565: Another tool is using RGB 565 format. This can improve the memory footprint of your app by up to 50% and is a great tool for thumbnails.
- Data serialization: It’s important to consider data serialization, as this also impacts memory. Android Authority words it well when it explains data serialization: “Passing data to and from the cloud, storing user preferences on the disk, passing data from one process to another seems to all be done via data serialization. Therefore, the serialization format that you use and the encoder/decoder that you use will impact both the performance of your app and the amount of memory it uses.”
- Threading: Threading is critical to your app’s performance. Make sure you are getting it right.
- Single thread or multi-thread? Using a single thread can be effective for a simple app, but it’s important to look at a more complex solution, if that’s what your app will require.
- Separating the thread: This can be done via bitmap decoding, networking requests, database access, file I/O, etc.
- Android Authority provides some insight, suggesting using a pool of worker threads plus some specific named threads, which do specific tasks. If your app has those two, it won’t likely need any other type of threading. If you need help on setting up your worker threads, then Android also has some great Processes and Threads documentation.
Source: Android Authority
2) User Engagement
Keeping your users happy is easier said than done. Users are constantly looking for the most effective and rewarding ways to fulfill their needs. Stay up to date with all the latest options to keep them engaged.
- Location-based customizations and Geospatial analytics: Location can be greatly used to increase engagement. Location Based Services, based on technologies such as Anagog Mobility Status SDK, can help you identify users’ mobility status, so that you can better serve their needs by customizing the user experience. Whether by providing mapping service, showing them where there is an available parking spot, providing them with personalized content and promotions at the right time in the right place, helping them find coupons, getting to places they want to go or simply share with their friends where they are.
3) The App Store Environment
It’s crucial to make your app stand out in the App Store, so that people will actually want to download it.
- App description: The description of your app must shine, because there is no second chance to make a first impression. The app store will usually display 2-3 lines of text before a “display more” button is visible. Make it clear, concise, appealing and intriguing.
- Keywords and ASO: Including keywords in your description will contribute to search results in the App Store and improve your ASO. A higher ranking can drastically influence your download numbers.
- Visuals: A picture speaks a thousand words. Use screenshots and video to create visual appeal for potential users. This can work strongly in your favor.
- Reviews and star ratings: The better your ratings, the more likely you are to get downloads. It’s especially important to pay attention to this section in the app stores and be proactive about it by asking users to rate you after spending a certain amount of time inside the app, after completing a successful support session or any other time, where it’s logical to ask the user to rate the app.
What It Comes Down To
After looking at these factors, you can now understand that your app’s efficiency, the engagement tools and technologies that you use to boost user engagement and the way your app stands up in the App Store, all play a major role in your app’s success. This is exactly where solutions such as the Anagog Mobility Status SDK can help you hit your goals. By utilizing tools like location-based services, geospatial analytics, and personalization, and by considering important aspects such as battery life, data serialization and threading, you increase your chances of success over failure with your mobile app.
An entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in engineering and product marketing- Yaron is the Co-founder and COO at Anagog.
Yaron has served in senior executive roles in several successful start-ups, including Extreme Reality, PortAuthority, Magnifire and Followap. He worked at the IBM Research Lab and at Intel Inc. as a senior software engineer. Yaron holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering, and a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.