So you have a great idea for an app? There’s more to consider in mobile application development than how many angry birds it takes to conquer a pig pile. To get a head start, ask yourself a few preliminary questions:
1. What platforms are you looking to deploy the application on? Developing for more operating systems can be more costly, but can vastly increase your market
penetration. Individuals or organizations with multiple devices may prefer a single app that can work across iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone operating systems.
2. What is the business model of this app? Is your app intended to generate revenue directly, or just increase brand awareness? A free app that drives business to brick and mortar or browser-based sales is one way to go. Games are often pay-to-download or supported by ads. In-app purchasing puts users just a click or two away from creating revenue for you. Like any expenditure, you want to examine the return on investment.
3. What will the user experience be like? Will they use buttons, menus, or gestures to get around? Will your branding be everywhere or more subtle? Is it purely business, totally fun, or somewhere in between?
4. Does the app require specific hardware access? Anything involving the camera, accelerometer, GPS, or e-commerce functionality is important to note. It can add to the development cost but also the potential appeal of the app.
5. Does your app regularly have new content? Dynamic content keeps users coming back, but may require periodic updates or a constant connection to a back-end server.
6. Do you require any 2D or 3D animation? Games almost always require movement of some kind, but many apps can benefit from animated menus and videos. 3D animation can introduce another level of interactivity, and seemingly bring your product to life for its users.
7. Will you be supplying any of the graphics? Your logo or icon is just the beginning. With handheld screens, the perfect placement of every pixel is essential. You can design the interface and have us write the code behind it or let us handle the looks as well as the functionality.
8. Will the app have social media integration? The ability to post updates from the app to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social networks not only adds another feature to attract users, it can help spread the word about your app and your business.
9. What is your budget? Apps can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $1 million to develop. Animation, GPS location services, database connections, and other features can be costly to implement. The right balance will fit within your budget and implement your top functionality priorities.
10. How soon are you looking to have this in the app stores? The more complex the app, the longer it can take to get just right. Try to consider if the deadline is realistic with the goals you have in mind for the application and give yourself time to make any unforeseen adjustments.
With the right planning, an app for mobile devices can be a great way to create brand awareness, mobilize business processes or generate new revenue. Request a call today to speak with one of our mobile experts, we’d be happy to answer any questions you have!
Perusing the exhibit hall at PAX East 2012, one thing was unmistakable – game developers are finally ready to put their mark on mobile gaming.
As some of you may remember, Hello Games announced on April 1, 2012 that Joe Danger, the comedic yet challenging motorcycle stunt game, would be making its way to iOS.
The date they chose to announce this left many fans wondering, “Is this just an über cruel April Fools’ prank?” Nope! Not a prank - Hello Games will indeed be releasing a mobile version of Joe Danger, although they have yet to provide an inkling of a release date.
Ms. Splosion Man, the breakthrough hit from Twisted Pixel will soon be coming to a mobile device near you. Not only is this an iOS endeavor, but it will also be available on Windows Phone 7. Looks like someone leveraged the Window’s program that pays developers to get their apps on the fledgling OS! As for Android users? Sorry, no love for you yet.
Last, but certainly not least, Rockstar Games announced Max Payne is shooting its way into the App Store tomorrow, April 12. Android users can also rejoice, because it will be hitting the Google Play Store on April 26. Although they have yet to announce which Android devices will be supported, at least we know we’re getting something! Judging by the ridiculously long line at Rockstar’s booth this weekend, I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about Rockstar’s mobile initiatives in the months to come.
Were you able to make it to PAX East? What was your favorite part? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the event as well as the video games you’d like to see make their way over to your mobile device. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite shots from the event and I hope to see you there next year!
100 million Americans are relying on their iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry smartphones to get them through the day, according to Mashable. 47,000 apps are downloaded every 60 seconds. Our world is becoming more mobile by the minute and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
So it should come as no surprise that local governments have recognized the tremendous opportunity mobile apps present, and are eager to jump on the bandwagon. Whether it's promoting civic services or a call to community action, many municipalities have started implementing mobile apps. Here’s a look at five of the cities with mobile offerings.
1. Calgary, CanadaCalgary recently released five apps as part of their initiative, with The City of Calgary Pets being the front-runner. Users can find adoptable dogs and cats and get key information on licensing and responsible pet ownership.
2. Jefferson Parish, LouisianaThe Election Results app lets constituents access to election results in real-time. It also allows the user to search by election date, candidate, office or proposition.
3. Elk Grove, California Ask Elk Grove allows residents to submit and track non-emergency service requests by uploading a photo and sending it directly to the specified department, saving the dispatch team precious time.
4. Sparks, NevadaSparks, NV lets visitors search for restaurants, hotels and activities in the area. Residents also gain access to local news and the ability to connect with city officials.
All of the above apps are available on Android and iPhone; some are available on BlackBerry, too. Jacob George, manager of Corporate Marketing and Communications for the City of Calgary, makes an excellent point, saying: “Developing apps that run solely on one particular platform can end up alienating large segments of the population.”
Are you ready to get your city on the mobile app map? With our expertise across all mobile platforms, Zco is ready and willing to assist with your mobile venture. Call me at 603.881.9200 or fill out our “request a call” form and we can call at a time that is convenient for you!
As an Account Executive with one of the largest mobile app developers in the world, I am often asked, “How much does an app cost?” I never tire of hearing this question; I just wish that I could give a more definitive answer and not the classic politician’s response of “Well it depends on functionality, etc.” when, truth be told, it depends on a lot of factors.
If you approach a car dealership and ask, “How much does a car cost?”, they will need some additional information from you before the question can be adequately answered. The car dealership knows they can get you into a Nissan Versa for around $12,000 or, if you want the best of the best, you can roll out in a Bugatti Veyron for around $2 million. One is very basic, while the other is packed with luxury and features that cause the price to increase.
The same is true for apps. A simple app can cost as little as $5,000, while a more complex app can be upwards of $1 million. This may actually help answer the question a bit more as this is the range of what our clients paid for apps in 2011 (including, of course, everything in between).
My answer to this question will always have to be “it depends on functionality,” because that is the answer in its basic form. When you start developing an idea and have a realistic goal of what functionalities you’d like the app to have, I can definitely provide some solid numbers - much like the car dealership.
And one more thing! There are some key app functionalities I can mention that are known to increase the cost of an app, but keep in mind these are usually the same features that set the app apart from the other 500,000 apps in the app store. Here are some that come to mind:
Integration with a back-end database
Development on multiple platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)
Multiple levels of gameplay
I hope this helps provide some initial clarification. Are you cooking up an app idea? Starting the initial research on mobile development costs? I’d APPsolutely love to discuss your project needs! Call me at 603.881.9200 or fill out our “request a call” form and we can call at a time that is convenient for you!
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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