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Want to Develop an App? Here Are the Features You Need in 2021

KIJO Team

Author Image: KIJO Team
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Analysts predict that the worldwide app industry revenue will reach £2943m this year. App development opens up businesses to new markets, providing unique opportunities for monetisation and consumer engagement. App makers can transform your business, but developing an app requires some careful planning.

In this article, we discuss all the features you need for a successful app in 2021. We show you how to impress app users with interactive features and smart communications strategies. We also explain the lesser-known technical elements that are essential to keep your app running optimally.

As experienced app makers, we have worked with London-based businesses designing and launching apps to market and know what it takes to succeed. Curious to know whether we would be the right fit for you? Check out some of our completed designs for a detailed view of our project process. For more information on how KIJO can bring to your app development goals to fruition, drop the team a message.

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Where to Start with App Development?

First thing’s first. You need to decide whether to go for a native app or a web app. A native app is built for a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and downloaded directly onto that device. Web apps are accessible via internet browsers and customers don’t have to download a thing.

Which one you opt for largely depends on what your app will be used for and who will be using it. It’s important to consider your long-term business goals and conduct consumer research to figure out the ideal strategy. At KIJO, we use a combination of discovery workshops, marketplace research and brainstorming to understand what the app development process will look like for each client. 

Native Apps

Globally, over 80% of mobile usage is spent on apps. Developing a native app that compliments your browsing experience is therefore hugely important if you want to engage consumers on the move.

native app makers

iOS or Android?

Deciding whether to design for iOS or Android users or both, is a big decision. They are two completely separate operating systems that require dedicated apps. While it’s becoming easier to design for both simultaneously, you will still need to design, develop and launch two separate products.

In the UK, iOS and Android devices dominate the smartphone market. Android has a 53% share, just surpassing iOS with 46%. With such an even playing field, London businesses should strongly consider native app development for both systems. While it may increase your initial financial outlay it massively increases your return-on-investment potential.

app development london

What Are Web Apps?

Unlike native apps, web apps don’t require a download. Instead, users access them via an internet browser and web address. You can still deliver wide-ranging functionality and an excellent user experience. In our past projects, we have created form building software for the manufacturing industry and provided video consultation software for the healthcare sector with web apps.

What are the benefits of a web app?

  • They remove friction from the user journey as they don’t require a download.
  • Accessible from any connected device, web apps can be used on laptops and desktop computers via browsers. Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox are just some of the browsers that can support web apps. 
  • They are often cheaper and quicker to develop compared to native apps.

The Must-Have App Features for 2021

Now that you have decided between native and web apps, iOS and Android, it’s time to turn your attention to the most exciting part of app development – the features! You can now decide what your app will look like and how users will interact with it.

It’s equally important to decide on the back-end technical features that will ensure optimal app performance. Back-end app development is everything the user doesn’t see. The technology you use to build your app has a huge impact on app speed and functionality for your users.

Create Unforgettable Experiences with AR

Your average consumer is already equipped to enjoy AR (augmented reality) experiences, with most mid-range smartphones available today supporting advanced AR features. 3D modelling and AR open up a vast number of exciting opportunities for app developers.

AR has the potential to transform eCommerce, increasing sales, improving customer experience and reducing the number of returns. At KIJO, we have used AR technology to increase sales for home furnishing company, Crucial Trading. We built a native app for their customers to view customised 3D rugs in their home before committing to a purchase. 

The impact? A 988% increase in orders.

augmented reality
The Crucial Trading app, built by KIJO.

Gaming, education and manufacturing can all benefit from the use of AR technology. Pokémon Go smashed all app records when it launched in 2016, setting the Guinness World Record for the most revenue grossed by a mobile game in its first month. Far from a gimmick, the app’s success continues. In 2020, it broke all its previous records, making almost $1.2 billion (USD).

Whether you want customers to view products before they buy, overlay instructional information in a manufacturing setting, or create an immersive gaming experience, AR technology provides exciting solutions.

Deliver Targeted Communications with Push Notifications

Push notifications are a powerful tool for your app. You can use them to engage users, improve customer retention and deliver personalised communications. Users that receive push notifications for an app open it 14.7 times per month, compared to 5.4 times for users who did not accept push notifications.

push notifications

The most effective push notifications strategy will be tailored to your market and audience. Employed effectively, it can drive traffic to your app and ensure it remains at the forefront of your customer’s minds.

Make In-App Booking Easy

To boost the conversion potential of your app, make it easy for customers to book and buy services and products. At KIJO, we begin by gaining a thorough understanding of the user journey. Once we know how and where your users want to book, we install intelligent booking systems, fully integrated and accessible from multiple screens within the app.

Ensure Speedy Performance

The speed of your app determines how all of your features perform. AR capabilities, integrated booking forms and push notifications all need powering by sophisticated systems. Users will lose patience if features take too long to load and impede the app experience. If you are working with an app development company, it is worth asking about the technology and tools they build with.

app development

How do we create fast apps at KIJO? We use React. With it, we can build interactive platforms without slowing down your app. Apps built with React don’t need to reload each time data is changed, instead, they respond instantly, keeping the user-journey fast and frictionless.

The technology your app development company opts for can also impact time to market. Project cost and timeline are as important as the final product. Keep in mind that some software is quicker and cheaper to build with than others. We use the application framework Laravel to deliver top-performing apps without slowing down project timelines. It’s scalable, secure and a breeze to build with.

After App Development – What Comes Next?

Once the app development phase is complete and you have a finished product, it’s time to take it to market and monitor progress. How you launch your product has as much of an impact on its success as the app itself. Here’s how you make it happen.

Successful Market Launch

Having a great product is the first step towards success, bringing it to market is the second. Creating an app listing and market launch that goes ahead without a hitch requires careful planning. When looking for an app development company, London-based businesses should ask what support is provided during the app launch process.

app makers

Improve Your Product with Analytics

It may seem like the hard work is over but analysing your app’s performance once it has gone to market is a valuable opportunity to spot areas for improvement and new opportunities.

Ensure Ongoing App Management is Easy

Tracking revenue, monitoring usage and accessing information is made much easier with a dedicated app management tool. At KIJO, we provide our clients with access to an online admin portal where they can easily access and manage their app.

App Makers in London: How To Choose an App Development Agency

Deciding to hire expert help to transform your app idea into a finished product is a great investment. When choosing which app makers to work with, do the following: 

  • Take a look at examples of their work to make sure they are a suitable fit for your product.
  • Read client testimonials for a better understanding of how they work and what to expect.
  • Think about how much involvement you want in the process and ask about the level of communication you can expect.
  • Book a consultation to get a better idea of cost and project timeline.

Our talented team of app makers are in the business of building cutting-edge experiences every day. We have worked with clients across healthcare, eCommerce, gaming and beyond, delivering native and web apps that delight, educate and entertain users. Get in touch with the team for more information on our process and what we can build for you.