Mobile Application Development 2018-04-25T04:20:04+00:00

Mobile Application Development – Native and Cross Platform Apps for Businesses and Consumers

Go mobile to reach your customers anytime, anywhere

You need to be where your customers are, and more and more of your customers are using mobile devices. Mobile apps provide the best experience for your customers and prospects to interact with your brand. We’ll work closely with you to create, publish, promote, and maintain engaging mobile apps that meet the needs of both your organization and your customers. Whether you’re looking to publish rich content or develop a mobile commerce platform, we’ll apply our expertise in developing apps for mobile phones and tablets for all platforms.

We are experts in cross-platform technologies like Xamarin and ReactJS – helping keep development time and costs down. And if you need complex integrations – with, for instance, ERP services, authentication services, third party data services and the like, then there can be no better partner than us.

FEATURED WORK

Pearson System of Courses - K-12 Mobile App

Pearson System of Courses – Bringing Digital Content to K-12 Classrooms

Pearson System of Courses - K-12 Mobile App
Pearson System of Courses - Early Learners Mobile App

Pearson System of Courses for Early Learners – Digital Content and Apps for K-1 Education

Pearson System of Courses - Early Learners Mobile App
HR Mobile Apps Connected to SAP

DiscoverSimple HR – Integrated Mobile Apps for Human Resource Teams

HR Mobile Apps Connected to SAP
Fresh Direct Mobile Apps for Grocery Shopping
Online Grocery Store – Porting Mobile Apps to Xamarin Cross-Platform Technology
Fresh Direct Mobile Apps for Grocery Shopping
NY State Monuments Mobile Apps

New York State Monuments – Mobile Apps as Tourist Guides

NY State Monuments Mobile Apps
My Air Force Life Mobile Apps

My Air Force Life – Social Mobile App for Air Force Veterans and Families

My Air Force Life Mobile Apps
SkyM8 - In flight social connections

SkyM8 – In-flight social networking app

SkyM8 - In flight social connections

TECHNOLOGY STACK

Some of the frameworks and tools that our development teams have used recently. A list that grows by the day.

RELATED RESEARCH

Relevant, interesting and current curated research content in the field.

What Goes into Creating a Successful Mobile App?

September 30th, 2020|Categories: Mobile Development, Web Development, Marketing, SEO|Tags: , |

If you’re thinking of creating a mobile app for your business, then you’re already ahead of the game. Mobile internet use is on the rise, and users flock to applications in droves as long as they serve a purpose and are functional. In fact, 57% of digital media usage stems from the use of smartphone applications.

In today’s consumer climate, it has become more important than ever to have an app for your company. Apps give users a dedicated platform to connect with the products and services that they enjoy without having to worry about web browsing.

But, you’re not the only business to realize this. The mobile app market has become fiercely competitive, with hundreds of companies vying to be the top dog in their industry. That’s why it’s important to know what goes into creating a successful mobile app, to give yourself a jump-start advantage over the competition.

By entering the app development phase armed with a working knowledge of what exactly makes an app work, you can maximize your downloads and increase your profits immediately upon deployment.

Here are a number of ways in which you can get a leg up on your competitors by developing a smart, focused, and functional application that has a wide appeal for your target audience.

Solve a Specific Problem

Who is this app for? What’s your target audience? And, most importantly, what problem is your app solving for them?

All apps need to solve a problem. Whether it’s for fitness, shopping, or just a game to stave away boredom, you need a purpose. You need a problem to solve.

That problem can be as simple as “how do I pass time while in the waiting room at a doctor’s office?” or it could be something more complex like, “how do I effectively budget my monthly income?”

This problem should directly relate to your audience. You need to pull demographic information first. Identify who they are, what issues they face in their everyday lives, and how your app can help them.

You need a clear vision in your mind before the development process even begins. An app without a clear purpose becomes irrelevant. Understand the pain points of your demographic. Identify the barriers that they place around purchase decisions. Then, use those insights to determine the problem that your app is intended to solve.

Have a Clear Focus

Apps that try to do too much end up failing miserably. A successful app does one thing, and it does it exceptionally well. Unnecessary features tend to make the user experience cluttered and frustrating. For example, if you’re a weight loss tracking app, you don’t need games in there. Focus on weight loss tracking, nutrition tips, food diaries, etc. Everything needs to come back to that initial problem that you’re trying to solve. Save your resources and focus them on the task at hand. Doing so helps to solve a specific need and deliver value to your users.

It’s important to always keep that focus in sight. But you also need to focus on your competition. How does your app differ from theirs? How is it superior? If you’re a fitness tracking app, what can you offer that current fitness apps can’t? Are you improving upon the concept, or just being a cheap knock-off?

To be successful, your app needs to have a differentiator from competitors. That might mean more features or just different features. Remember, you can learn as you go and update, but you can’t put out an inferior product at launch. You only have one chance to make a strong first impression, so don’t blow it immediately.

Simplicity

Better doesn’t mean more complicated. Your app needs to improve upon a user’s life, not make it more stressful by delivering a user interface that’s overly complex.

Remember, the purpose of a mobile app is to accomplish a task and declutter processes. That means that everything should be simple and straightforward. Put yourself in the shoes of an average user. You might be an expert in the use of your application, but the average user is not. Everything needs to be easy. The more that can happen with a single click, the better.

Provide your users with a clear path to work their way through your app’s functionality. A convenient and simple user interface that is easy to navigate will keep your audience engaged and lower your bounce rate.

Simplicity goes hand in hand with being user friendly. Ease of navigation and being visually pleasant are also vital to creating a successful app. Ensure that you’re meeting the pain points of your users in a way that is not overly complicated and you will keep them from straying and seeking value from your competitors.

Performance

Your app has to perform. I know this sounds like a fairly obvious point, but the app can’t launch with bugs and problematic issues that cause repeated freezing and crashes. Remember that negative user experiences will be reflected in your reviews on the Google Play store and the Apple App store.

Users will only be so patient with an app. If it can’t deliver on its promise, there is another app out there that will. That is both the blessing and curse of a competitive app market. You can catch users that are fleeing a poorly functioning competitor app, but if you’re not on top of providing excellent performance, then you’re pushing your own users right into the arms of your competitors.

Performance level is dictated by launch times, bugs, crashes, and speed. You want your app to boot up right away, or with very limited load times. Once on the user interface, users should be able to move freely around, navigating with little to no lag time. And, obviously, if you’re app is crashing every few minutes, that’s a huge issue that needs to be addressed.

Release on Android and iOS

Together, the Android and iOS platforms make up 99% of all mobile phone users. That’s more than an overwhelming majority.

Use cross-platform development tools to control the time and cost of development. Working on both at the same time will cut down your overhead costs and allow you to release your app in a more timely fashion.

In Conclusion

To stay competitive in today’s technological world, you need to have a mobile application. By adhering to these five key points, you can ensure that, at the time of launch, your app will be ready to go and make a huge splash in your industry.

Why Your Business Should Develop An iOS App

September 28th, 2020|Categories: Mobile Development, Web Development, Marketing, SEO|Tags: , |

With the widespread adoption of the smartphone, mobile internet usage has now surpassed desktop browsing, with 53.3% of the world’s total web traffic coming from mobile in 2019. 

Accordingly, mobile applications have become standard practice for reaching and communicating with customers, as well as providing goods and services. The accessibility of mobile apps has changed over time, from only being available to major corporations to now being obtainable and fruitful for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Businesses commonly wonder when developing a mobile app, “Which platform should we push our app out on?” Two platforms, Android and iOS, control more than 99% of the global app market. Android currently dominates the worldwide market share, owning 86% of the market share in 2019, while iOS possessed 14%. However, in the United States, iOS comprises 59% of the mobile operating system market share while Android accounts for 41%.  

Having the majority of the market share in the United States is especially valuable, however, the iOS platform possesses numerous other benefits that we cover below. And if you are interested in learning about the benefits of developing an app on the Android platform, discover what they are in our blog post here

 

1. Return on Investment 

When developing an application, businesses obviously desire a strong Return on Investment. After all, profit is one of the main goals of any business venture. 

Apple is the leader when it comes to paying customers. Users of the iOS platform have proven more willing to pay for an app than those using the more open-sourced Android. Android has more free apps on its store, so its users are less likely to pay for an app.

Also, the average cost of an iOS application is lower than an Android application (we dive into why in the next section). Therefore, the combination of availability and affordability help drive the return on investment for iOS applications. 

 

2. Efficient Developing 

Unlike Android’s platform, which is spread out over a wide array of devices, the iOS platform is only available on iPhone and iPad products. This makes it easier for app developers because they only have to focus on a limited number of devices, compared to the extensive Android list. Additionally, in late 2020 Apple plans to release Mac products with its ARM-based Apple Silicon chips, which will allow iPhone and iPad apps to run natively on Mac. This means developers can easily create apps across iPhones, iPads, and laptops/desktops at a reduced cost and requiring less time.

On the other hand, the Android device list increases the time spent developing the app and the testing period, thus increasing the cost of developing an app. Apple’s low device load allows developers to create apps and test them far more efficiently. The result is a fully-functional application that hits the market more quickly and ready-to-go.

 

3. Security 

It is predicted that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the globe $6 trillion annually. Therefore, consumers are rightfully wary of applications that request their payment information and private data.

Fortunately, Apple has a reputation for being at the forefront of security features. Their computers are commonly hailed as the safest in the industry, so it is no surprise that iOS also excels at keeping users safe throughout the entire platform.

A strong anti-virus and anti-malware shield surrounds all of the apps in the iOS app store, protecting both user identity and personal data. A safe app for users is beneficial for businesses because a hack or data leak can tarnish a brand’s reputation.

 

4. Usability and Experience

Apple regulates its application environment far more than Android, meaning the iOS interface demands a higher quality of service. This is beneficial because it holds app developers to a higher standard. To some consumers, an app will be their first impression of a business, so having a quality, performing app is a great introduction.

Apple users also rave about the iOS regulations that increase the app’s usability. The iOS platform ensures that all of its apps remain easy to use, improving the overall customer experience. Happy customers translate to positive reviews. Positive reviews lead to more sales and/or strong brand affinity.

 

5. Apple’s Reputation

Apple is one of the most respected companies globally, and the apps on the iOS store still maintain a level of prestige not shared by its Android counterpart.

The first iPhone resulted in the smartphone craze, revolutionizing the entire tech industry with its monumental innovations. Similarly, when Apple unveiled the iPad, the tech industry rushed to develop tablets to compete with its product.

Consumers know this, and Apple’s reputation has followed them to their app store. Consequently, some of Apple’s luster may rub off on your company through association.

 

Items to Consider

Although Apple holds the title for the most popular platform in the United States, the iOS platform has numerous other advantages as well. From increased security to a high return on investment and brand recognition, Apple’s platform is enticing to consumers, developers, and businesses. 

The ideal situation is creating an application that functions on both iOS and Android. This increases the volume of potential leads and customers for your business, as well as expands your business into different countries. This is important as certain countries tend to prefer one platform over the other. So when deciding which platform to build an app for, be sure to analyze all the pros and cons of the iOS and Android platforms to determine which is best for your business needs. 

Interested in developing a mobile app? Contact us at info@quantilus.com for a consultation and learn more about what Quantilus has to offer here.

3 Ways to Implement Machine Learning and AI into Small Businesses

August 26th, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Mobile Development, Web Development, Marketing, SEO|Tags: , , , , , |

Earlier this month, John Giannandrea, Apple’s head of artificial intelligence (AI), gave insight into how Apple is leveraging machine learning (ML) within their iOS and the future of machine learning at Apple. Anything from language translation to only sorting photos on your phone into pre-made galleries is made possible with machine learning. These various types of machine learning applications are becoming more and more common and essential.

However, a common misperception of AI and machine learning is that these advanced and sophisticated technologies are only for big brands with budgets that allow for experimentation and implementation.

A small business owner reading a report like Gartner’s 2019 survey of CIO’s would find that although 37% of organizations have installed some form of AI or machine learning, most of the CIO’s interviewed were from large brands. This type of survey may further intimidate small and medium-sized business owners into thinking the growing age of AI and machine learning isn’t ready for their company yet. But, you’d be surprised by how easily small companies can adopt cutting-edge technology without having to rely on an extensive budget.

Marketing

For small businesses, ML software as a service can be a great tool to utilize, especially in consumer and B2B marketing spaces. In fact, 40% of marketers prioritize AI and machine learning more than any other department and consider them critical to their success. 

One familiar and accessible ML tool marketers at small businesses can leverage is a chatbot tool for their website. Chatbots now utilize natural-language processing (NLP) that can interact conversationally with website visitors and collect information like preferences visitors have as they browse a website.

Chatbot tools like Botsify also allow for integration with several services and offer an easy interface to help customize your company’s brand into their templates.

In terms of ML digital marketing tools, a chatbot is just one of the many corners that can be explored. Also, consider implementing machine learning marketing applications for email marketing, ad targeting, voice search, or predictive analysis to help create your campaigns reach new, multiple touchpoints.

Security

Like marketing, cybersecurity is witnessing a fast-growing trend with investments into machine learning tools to help protect their own company and customers. ABI Research estimates ML, AI, and big data spending will increase to $96 billion by 2021.

Machine learning technology can track users’ patterns and make assessments of these patterns, such as the iPhone creating galleries from related pictures, as previously mentioned. This technology can be applied for security responsibilities by implementing security algorithms into something like your mobile application.

If your business relies on the consumer making financial transactions, it’s the company’s responsibility to keep any entered information secure.

Biocatch, for example, utilizes behavioral biometrics, a machine learning technology that tracks user behavior within an application as another form of security. Behavioral biometrics can identify when a different person uses an application by the way they move around the app or the way they type.  

Sometimes even just adding a single line of code can improve your mobile application’s security and add another form of authentication working in the background.

Accounting

Another aspect of any business that requires managing a ton of data, repetitiveness, and predictably is the accounting department, which means machine learning for accounting tasks is a relationship that makes too much sense to not explore.

The future of accounting is heavily entangled with AI and ML, and back in 2018, a report suggested tasks like taxes and payroll would eventually become fully automated. In 2020 machine learning is now applied to generating and processing invoices, even including specific requirements with each task.

Xero, a New Zealand-based accounting software company, provides a cloud accounting software that creates and processes invoices for small businesses. The machine learning aspect in the software enables the creation of invoices based on past behaviors for customers.

Whether you leverage machine learning through marketing, security, or accounting, the decision ultimately depends on where you possibly see the value and ROI of any machine learning tool. For a small-to-medium-sized business, where that value is found can vary.

More and more companies are tapping into or at least exploring how machine learning can impact their business as the machine learning market is expected to grow at 42% CAGR by 2024. While adoption of AI and ML may be daunting, machine learning models are proving to show increasing value to any business size.

Interested in implementing ML or AI in your business process? Contact us at info@quantilus.com for a consultation and learn more about what Quantilus has to offer here.

Apple WWDC 2020: One Seamless Ecosystem

July 1st, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Mobile Development, News and Announcements|

Image credits: Apple 

The announcements from this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference can be summed in three wordsefficiencyconsistency, and control. As software and app developers, Quantilus is keenly interested in Apple’s vision as it determines what we are able to create and build for clients on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. New features and capabilities mean new possibilities. The news with the most impact relates to the Mac but has broader implications across iPhone and iPad in the future.  

Custom-built Apple CPU: A Monumental Shift 

The significant announcement—and certainly the one with the most buzz—is Apple’s plan to transition Mac products from Intel processors to its homegrown ARM-based chips called Apple SiliconThe new silicon chips are similar to the processors Apple uses for iPhones and iPads. Apple plans to release the first siliconpowered Mac by the end of 2020, with the full transition of the entire Mac product line occurring over the next two years. But not to worry, Apple will continue to support and release new Intel-powered Macs for years to come, so it’s not exclusive (at least for now). It does send a clear message that Apply will not rely on Intel moving forward. The move will end Apple’s dependence on a third-party CPU, which tended to dictate what, when, and how of its product lineup. Apple will now have complete control and will reap efficiencies with the integration of hardware, software, and services across its entire family of products. As a result, Apple can build better products across the board.  

So, what does this all mean for developers, clients, and end-users? The fact that iOS and iPadOS apps can run natively on silicon-powered Macs is a key benefit because an app can now work across all devices. One common and scalable architecture across all the Apple devices makes it easier for developers to create software across Mac laptops/desktops (MacOS), iPhones (iOS), and iPads (iPadOS), which equates to reduced time and costs. Additionally, the new processors are faster and offer higher performance at lower power consumption, which means better processing, improved graphics performance, and longer battery life—all valuable features for end-users.  

MacOS Big Sur: Bridging the Gap 

Touted by Apple as the biggest design update since MacOS X, the release of Big Sur (MacOS 11) offers refreshed designs for all apps on the system, including calendar, notes, podcasts, and music. The new operating system also boasts a revamped Safari browser with improved tab management capabilities, new privacy features, browser extensions, and built-in language translationOther notables include updates to Messages that offer better conversation management and group messaging options and a redesigned Maps app featuring Guides from trusted sources and 360-degree views of destinations.  

More so than the new visual look, Big Sur represents Apple’s vision of a consistent experience across its family of productsIt is a look that Apple describes as “entirely new but instantly familiar.” While the modern user interface and user experience are new to the Mac, one can’t help to notice that it looks like iOS on a computerAdditionally, the unique experience of Big Sur includes some features, such as widgets, messages, and guides, touted in the next release in the fall for iOS and iPadOSThe underlying theme is a cohesive experience across devices for Apple customersThe average American household owns 2.6 Apple products, and that number jumps to 4.7 products for affluent households. Consequently, the familiarity here is a positive takeaway because of the universal apps and features means that the user experience is consistent. Users will not need to learn how to do the same task different way on a different device.     

iOS14 and iPadOS 14: Improved usability and access 

The news for iPhones and iPads focused on updates to system software. Apple’s next iOS and iPadOS release in the fall will offer users new and improved usability, features, and experiences with their phones and tablets. All great news for the 193 million iPhone users in the United States.  

Apple has wholly rethought apps management and organization on the iPhone. Common user frustrations are addressed, and app content will be served and customized to the user thanks to on-device machine learning. Consequently, developers, clients, and end-users will have better access and visibility for installed and/or frequently used apps.  

The new capabilities to look forward to with iOS14 include: 

  • WidgetsWidgets—offering timely content at a glance—can be added to the home screen based on your interests. Additionally, smartstack will surface the widget you’ll want to use next based on the user’s behavioral patterns of activity, time, and location. 
  • App Library: The new App Library will put an end to the endless sifting and search for apps across multiple screens. App Library will organize all the apps into smart folders  and in an easier-to-navigate view. And, like the widgets, the App Library will organize and predictively serve up the apps when you need it. 
  • Compact Call User Interface: No more full-screen takeovers while on a call or using Siri.  A new compact design for these interactions allows simultaneous access and use of your screen Additionally, picture-in-picture comes to the iPhone, allowing for multitasking while on a Facetime call or watching a video. Users now will be able to Facetime chat with friend about where to go for dinner while searching for restaurants on Google 
  • App Clips: Looking to pay for your parking or coffee with an app? App Clips allow users access to certain parts of product or service apps without downloading the full app through scan of App Clip code, QR code, or NFC tags. To leverage this capability, developers need only to create a clip under 10MB in size and ideally use sign-in with Apple and Apple Pay to ensure the user won’t need to login or create an account.  
  • Updated Messages: The new features for Messages offer better management, control, and communications. With the new release, users will be able to pin messages, seamlessly keep up with group threads, and further customize images, emojis, and Memojis.  

Most of the new capabilities in iOS14 apply to iPadOS 14, so best to focus on what’s going to make the iPad experience even better and users more productive and creative. These include:  

  • New Search Tool: With a new streamlined user interface, search on the iPad will look and perform much like that on a MacAdditionally, search on iPad will be more comprehensive and capable of finding anything on your device or on the internet. This indicates further convergence between the iPad and the Mac.  
  • Scribble: Apple Pencil users will be thrilled to know that their handwritten text will now automatically convert to typed text when scribed in any text field. Write a response with Apple Pencil to a text in Messages or a keyword search in Safari. Additionally, on-device machine learning will enable the iPad to distinguish between handwriting and drawing. Notetakers can now easily select, cut, and paste handwritten notes as typed text in documents.  
  • Enhance Augmented Reality: A new ARKit will allow developers to create augmented reality apps with such depth and precision that experiences will seem even more real. The capability will impact the ability to accurately depict virtual try-on experiences, interior design, and more. And the introduction of Location Anchors will allow developers to pin their AR experiences to a specific location anywhere in the world.  

The Bottom Line 

Picture a line representing user experience with Mac at one endpoint and iPhone/iPad at the other endpoint. Now, picture each endpoint moving toward one another, inching closer and closer togetherThe implications point to complete convergence in the future across Mac, iPad, and iPhone experiences. And while these will continue to be separate products with different use cases, it signals a warm welcome for those users who have use for two or all three products 

For Apple, getting consumers to buy into the ecosystem is what it’s all about. Luckily, the experience will be seamless for the consumers who do.  

 

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