Only around 1 out of every 10 smartphones sold today are on iOS platform. Bad news? Consider another figure- Apple app store accounts for 60% of the profit of the total mobile app industry. Now if you process these two figures combinedly, there isn’t a shred of doubt that though much fewer in numbers, iPhone users are indeed the goldmine for the app developers. But as users paying premium dollars, their expectations are equally high, which the iPhone application development must achieve if they wish to have a piece of that astounding success.
But there is also another side of the story. Though only around 1 out of every 10 smartphones sold today are on iOS platform, the number of apps are still around 2.2 million, very close to the number for the Android. This means, the competition to gain a user’s attention is virtually high for the App Store as compared to other platforms. iPhone app developers are somewhat aware of this challenge and hence are known to walk the extra mile when following coding conventions and ensuring quality. But to lead in this cut-throat industry, those conventional measures are simply not enough and require much closer insight. Here are 6 such aspects that you must consider and settle before you start developing your iPhone app:
1. Deep market research
Unless you are doing it for charity, chances are you would like to make money from your iPhone app. But as savvy and thrift spenders the iPhone users might be, they aren’t fools to buy apps that aren’t worth their time or money. So even before your app goes into development, you must conduct a thorough market research on the segment, your competitors, revenue patterns, user behavior and practically everything that can influence the success of your app. Also, it is essential that you come up with something original or at least something that brings value to your users. In the words of Apple’s guideline- “App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.”
2. Create a brand Image
Brand obsession is now officially a term that describes the affinity that people have these days with brands. Especially for high-end users, like those of iPhone, they don’t just use products but look for brands to associate themselves with. And this is the behavior that you must leverage to consolidate your position in the App Store and buildup a loyal user-base. There are many aspects of creating a brand image, the most importance of which are the visual stimuli like logo and icons, closely followed by innovative marketing. So, as important as it is to create an efficient app employing cutting-edge technologies, no less is the value of perception that it manages to create among users.
3. Speed is the key
No matter what your application does, it must do it fast. With ever shortening attention span and patience of users, a quarter of applications are reported to be uninstalled after a single use. Add to that the fact that most people close an application if it takes more than 6 seconds to load. While this problem has to be largely tackled at the development phase, there are steps which when taken at initial design and planning, can aid in the process. One such approach is adopting the minimalistic design and minimizing the apps dependence on network, while still keeping the size in check.
4. Get an early Start
The most common work-flow of creating an app goes from planning to development to marketing. Not many businesses realize, but this approach is now outdated and simply does not meet the modern industry standards. Marketing is now not something that you undertake after your product is complete but is something that runs parallel to the entire development process. From initial market assessment to creating buzz before and after launch, it is now a never-ending process that the sooner you start, the more benefits it will bring.
5. Clarity is essential
From specifying the target audience to fixing the project budget, every aspect of your app must be clearly defined and stated before even a single line of code is written. This, along with bringing in transparency, serves two major purposes- a.) fixing a target audience helps the team to zero-in on the design and features they must incorporate. And this further makes the job marketers much easier; b.) mobile apps can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 and even beyond depending upon design and features. Fixing the budget enables developers to focus on aspects that fit within the specified budget and not waste their time and effort on others.
6. Don’t over-sell
Apple has created a very robust ecosystem around its devices with minimum scope for noise. And for that reason, the least iPhone users expect from any application is being annoyed. Whether in the initial marketing phase with highly distracting ads, or flooding the users with notifications after they download your app, you must restrain from such practices or risk losing your credibility, lest creating a brand-image.
Developing an iPhone app is no less than walking a tight-rope. It comes with immense popularity and monetary benefits on one side, while on the other side of it there’s a risk of losing it to the chaos of 2.2 million odd apps. And the only thing that separates these two prospects are the fusion of idea and vision of businesses with the right development expertise and implementation approach of iPhone developers.