At the beginning of 2022, App Store had almost 4 million apps available*. That’s a lot, isn’t it? You’d think they are diverse, serve various purposes, handle bigger and smaller businesses. But do they have anything in common?
From the point of view of a developer, founder or a designer, finding key features most apps share is not a difficult job. In the last few years, almost every app included a few fundamental features. So what are these exactly? Let’s take a look at them, from the perspective of business and development.
Minimum business features
Your app needs a purpose. Period. You should consider what value you can bring to the end user. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s clicking rainbow cats or booking a hairdresser. Unless your target group will like it, you won’t scale your business or make money. Creating a new calculator or mailbox is just not enough in 2022. You need to ask yourself what difference you can be make. It’s also why I recommend creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and evaluating ASAP. I believe it’s still worth asking how it can help others.
Without good marketing you will remain unrecognized. End users will never know you’ve created something useful because Google or Apple just won’t show it. There are a few strategies you can follow. Generally, you should at least:
- Know who is your audience
- Precise your budget for reaching clients
- Establish communication channels with targeted users
The ideal situation is having a known person or label working with you. Start with planning and adding it to your milestones.
Okay, so your app is getting more popular. Have you considered how to earn from it yet? Why ads are not necessarily good for you? How can you increase user impressions?
You need to consider these questions before the app gets popular. Why? Some of the monetization pre-configurations require setting before the official release. What’s more, some are very hard to change on the fly.
Two disclaimers. The assumption is that you want to make money with your app. At the end of the day, you can be an amateur who just creates cool things and wants to share. You might also want to clone apps. It’s one of the best programming exercises. You just shouldn’t expect any income or downloads without further maintenance.
Minimum development features
When was the last time you saw a mobile app without a login? Or without at least one of the following buttons:
If you have, you’re lucky! Nowadays, almost every app identifies its users. Even if it’s not straightforward, you might still need to authenticate with your phone number or advertising ID and never even notice. Apps use authentication for storing users’ preferences, allowing communication and chats, tracking activity and many more. It’s hardly possible to deliver a fully functional piece of software without any form of authentication. You can take it for granted that your app will get connected to external APIs or services.
Local / Cloud storage
Everyday situation, you enter your home screen. Choose your favorite item. Change it according to your preferences. And someone calls you, you naturally close the app. Losing progress would be frustrating, wouldn’t it be? And how cool is sharing your preferences between your devices? Eventually, you can’t deny local database is just useful. And cloud storage even more so. At the end of the day, it’s an almost impossible job to complete business requirements without them.
Analytics & error tracking
Google and Facebook like them a lot. Recording users’ activities is a daily thing for the vast majority of the mobile app owners. You want to know which layout is the most interesting so that you can evolve your product according to the real needs.
Diving into error tracking, note how extremely important it is to monitor your system and see what works and what doesn’t. Let’s say someone is located 3000 km away from you and says deleting a photo is impossible. It’d be nice to diagnose the issue remotely. Add bug fixing on top of it.
Everyone associates push notifications with irritating advertising. But maybe it’s time to change that. Notifications are the way to communicate with your clients. It’s your safety fuse. Consider this – you’ve changed crucial data or you’ve stopped maintenance. Some users who forgot to update the app could lose the possibility to use the services they had bought! Responsibility means letting them know about the changes. That’s why you should implement the tools to stay in touch with them.
No matter whether you’re an amateur, a small company or a big fish, it’s very likely you’re going to implement the business and development features from this post in one form or another. The scale of your business doesn’t matter here. These are simply the essentials.
For more info, drop me an e-mail: email@example.com
* Read about it here: Number of available apps [...]