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Semaphore Mobile, founded in 2002, specializes in the development of custom application software for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

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Characteristics of a Good Mobile App

When it comes to mobile apps, there is a lot of competition. Google Play carries more than 2.1 million apps, and the Apple App Store features over 2 million selections. As you can see, the market is very fierce. However, if you create an app with the best features, there’s no reason why you can’t climb to the top of the list. When developing your next mobile app, be sure to keep these characteristics in mind.

Attractive user interface

Attractive apps do better in the long-term so it is important to strive for a user interface that is both beautiful and functional. The first impression the user gets when they open the app will be the determining factor as to whether they choose to keep or delete it.

Remember, some users have tablets with larger screen but the majority of users view apps from a smartphone. Choose graphics and text that works on a small touchscreen. The user interface needs to be simple and easy to navigate.

Speed and loading times

Treat a mobile app as if it were a webpage. Fast-loading apps outperform those that lag.  If it takes too long to open or move ahead, the user is likely to abandon it so it’s essential to test the app many times to make sure it takes less than five seconds to load.

Since some larger apps, such as social media apps, take longer to load, you need to entice the user not to leave. Adding a “loading” prompt or interactive graphics will keep the user interested so they don’t close the app.

Operating system flexibility

Flexibility is a key component of well-designed apps as not everyone uses the same operating system. It’s crucial to design your app to be compatible with iOS (Apple) and Android devices. The more operating systems you serve, the more users you’ll have.

Although the coding won’t necessarily change between the various operating systems, you may need to tweak the interface a bit. Make sure the app works properly with different screen sizes and resolutions before you submit it to the public. While it’s relatively easy to list your app on Google Play, you’ll have to send it to Apple in advance for review before selling it on the Apple App Store.

Push notifications

Some users download countless apps each month and simply forget about them. Enabling push notifications is a great way to reconnect with users to make sure they stay engaged with your mobile app. These simple messages let app owners connect with users to notify them of updates, offers, or to remind them to open the app.

Navigation and search features

There’s nothing worse than trying to figure out your way around an app without a map. The most successful mobile apps integrate helpful navigation and search features to lend a hand. If the content isn’t easily accessible, your customers will find another app that’s more user-friendly. A navigation toolbar, search bar, and help feature will ensure your users remain loyal.

Social integration

While a mobile app is great for scaling a business, there are other ways to connect with customers. Be sure to include social integration in your app so users can follow you on different platforms. The more engaged your users become, the more often they’ll return to your app, and likely your company.

Feedback and support

App users like to know they have a voice. That’s why the top-rated apps have a place for users to provide feedback or ask for upgrades. Take the feedback seriously because your customers may stumble across a bug or security flaw. Having a customer support team is also crucial. If you want to retain your customers, be sure to respond to any questions or concerns within a few hours.

Regular updates

Antiquated mobile apps fade away with time. If you want to keep your users excited and engaged about the content you provide, make sure you include regular updates. Some updates may address user issues, while others may introduce new features. If any security issues arise, work on an update as quickly as possible to keep your users out of harm’s way.

In conclusion

There is no shortage of mobile apps and entering into this cluttered market can feel overwhelming. Since adding all the features will affect your development budget, it’s important to pick and choose which ones are essential to the growth of your business. If you take the time to create an app that meets the demands of your customers, they’ll likely remain constant for years.

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