Monthly Archives: July 2014

What To Expect From Google In The Next Few Months?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Google has an interesting set of products and device upgrades lined up for the second half of 2014. The following piece focuses on some of the most likely offerings from Google in the near future.

Sometime back, we did a piece on the gadgets and accessories that Apple was likely to release in the second half of this year. One of its chief rivals, Google, also has a fairly large number of products waiting in the pipeline – some of which were showcased at the 2-day Google I/O conference in June. Android-powered ‘smart’ devices, predictably, dominate the list of gizmos that are expected to be released by Google by the end of 2014. We will here highlight some of the stuff you can expect from Google in the coming months:

 

  1. Android Auto – Created as a direct competitor of CarPlay, Android Auto comes with seamless pairing properties with all smartphones running on the Android platform. The built-in screen displays maps, directions and other navigation information – while music files and other mobile apps can also be accessed on it in a hands-free manner. Users will be able to make calls via this high-end in-car OS as well.
  2. Nexus TV – Nothing is known for certain about this one, but for making a mark in the smart television market – Google has to look beyond its under-performing Google TV or the newer, small-scale Chromecast. A powerful Nexus TV would give the company a solid tool to fight it out with Roku and, perhaps more importantly, Apple TV. The set-top box is not expected to have live streaming properties, but would support all forms of Android gaming.
  3. Android L – Apple has brought in close syncing features between iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite – and Google is striving to achieve the same between Chromebook and its all-new mobile platform, Android L (that’s right, it is yet to get its final name). The successor of Android Kitkat boasts of a host of standout features – ranging from the revamped material design and personal unlocking, to better battery backup and convenient Android For Work support. Dalvik has been dropped in favor of Android Run Time (ART), in a bid to ramp up the operational speeds of devices powered by Android L.
  4. New version of Chrome OS – Given the positive response that the Chromebook Pixel has received in the American and British markets in particular, it won’t be surprising if an improved version of Chrome OS hits the markets before the year is out. The ‘Scroogled’ advertising campaign (by Microsoft) might also give an additional spur to Google developers, to start working on this project. The new OS, of course, has to offer more than the latest Windows and Linux desktop/laptop platforms – to become a success.
  5. Chromebooks compatible with Android apps – This would end a lingering complaint of Android fans across the world. Professionals from the domain of mobile app development have welcomed the news that popular applications like Vine, Flipboard and Evernote will become accessible on Chromebooks. In addition, users would receive notifications about incoming messages and calls to their Android phones. Google is clearly making a bid to strengthen its Android ecosystem further.
  6. Google smartwatch – Wearable technology is the new ‘in-thing’ in the smart devices sector – but surprisingly, none of the smartwatches released till date have been that successful. Sony Smartwatch 2 has been a major disappointment, while Samsung’s Gear Fit and Pebble have not exactly set the sales charts alight. Google has plans to grab this opportunity to launch its very own Android smartwatch. The only thing that might bother the senior personnel at Google is whether the smartwatch would provide Glass any unwanted competition.
  7. New Google Nexus phone – Although Android Silver has been in the news for some time now, Google has no plans to pull the plug on its Nexus line of phones yet. In fact, many smartphone market forecasters and mobile app developers had expected the Nexus 6 to be unveiled at this year’s I/O event itself. Well, that didn’t happen – but there is a strong rumor of it making its debut in the final quarter of 2014. There is no news on when Android Silver would be formally announced though.
  8. Expansion of Google Plus – With the closure of Orkut in September, Google is all set to give its G+ platform even more fillip than before. The integration with Google Play and YouTube services last year was a clearcut confirmation of this. Users will be encouraged to bring all the Google features and apps they use under the same hood – while Google is likely to keep promoting Plus as a worthy alternative to Facebook too. The last bit has not worked out that well till now, however!
  9. A Better Chromecast – Apple TV’s AirPlay has received the thumbs-up from worldwide users. In Chromecast, Google has a television dongle that can help it gain a foothold in this sector too. The Chromecast would need a holistic makeover though, with more user-friendly features, compatibility with more Android apps, and better channel availability. Since Songza, HBO Go and Pandora are already available for streaming, it should not be too tough for the relatively cheap Chromecast to find a ready market.
  10. Making Google Glass available in more countries – The reviews from developers have been mixed, but there is plenty of anticipation about Glass among techies all over the world. Till now, this smart wearable device has been put on limited sales in the US and the UK – and before the year ends, Google would probably make it available in several other countries. It will be interesting to see how Glass is phased out, particularly if an Android smartwatch is indeed launched soon.
  11. Rollout of Google Fiber – Google Fiber, presently available only at a few select locations in America, can potentially make Google one of the top internet service providers over time. There is a rollout plan for Fiber already in place, and it might well become available outside the USA by December 2014. If Google Fiber is a hit, that would add more sheen to the company’s already well-diversified portfolio.

 

Representatives from software development and mobile app companies feel that Google is likely to follow an acquisition strategy – to snap up small startups that would add value. The company will surely continue to make its online search feature (that’s Google’s core feature, after all) more intuitive and self-learning. Apple and Google will be going blow-for-blow with a series of new tech products and accessories. By the time this year draws to a close, we will have an idea as to which of the companies is at an advantage.

14 Reasons Why Amazon Fire Phone Might Not Be A Big Success

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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After the first look of Amazon’s Fire phone in June, a lot of scepticism and speculation have crept in among techies, about the device’s chances of success. Let us here take a look at some of the main problems with the newly launched phone.

Last month, the well-hyped  Amazon Fire phone was unveiled by company CEO Jeff Bezos. The initial response among buyers has been surprisingly tepid though, with the device failing to excite users worldwide – as any new flagship Apple or Samsung device does. A closer analysis of the Amazon handset does suggest that it is probably not geared to be a big hit. Here are a few reasons why the Fire phone might prove to be a flop:

 

  1. The platform pales in comparison with iOS and Android – Amazon’s decision to go with Fire OS for its smartphone is undoubtedly a brave one – but only time will tell whether it has been a wise move. Mobile app developers and analysts point out that the lack of adequate number of applications on the Amazon platform might prove to be a problem. Google Play Store and iTunes have approximately four times the number of apps as Amazon does.
  2. Unattractive build of the phone – At a time when every handset-maker is coming up with slim and stylish smartphones, the physical structure of Amazon Fire has a tacky feel to it. It is significantly heavier than other handsets in the same price bracket – and the overall dimensions (particularly, the thickness) are not focused on user-convenience either.
  3. The Firefly feature does not offer anything new – Those at Amazon might be screaming their lungs out about the uniqueness of the Firefly feature. The fact, however, is, there are already plenty of iPhone apps that allow users to simply point their devices at any product (at select stores) to purchase it. Firefly would give the overall Amazon product sales figures a boost – but for that, the phone needs to have a large enough user-base, which, for the moment, does not appear likely.
  4. The pseudo-3D functionality disappoints – Apple had already made an unsuccessful attempt to introduce parallax scrolling in some of its earlier handsets. With its much-publicized ‘Dynamic Perspective’ feature, Amazon Fire phone is planning to go the same way. According to a report published in Ars Technica, this feature tends to malfunction whenever two or more objects (e,g., faces) are placed close to the phone. If Amazon had decided to give this feature a miss, probably the phone would have been priced at a much lower level.
  5. Way too expensive – Amazon Fire phone is a classic example of a mobile device which does not justify its price tag. For its off-contract price of $650, users can go for either Samsung Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5S – both of which boast of much superior tech specifications. If you opt for the 2-year contract option with AT&T, you will still have to shell out $199 for this device. The Kindle Fire Tablet could not create much of a ripple, even though its selling price was lower. Amazon, clearly, has not learnt a lesson from its previous failure.
  6. Lack of Google services will hurt – Amazon Fire phone comes with ‘Mayday’ – a feature via which your contacts can ring you up and ask for solutions to their tech queries. That, however, not does not come even close to being a decent substitute of good ol’ Google search. With mobile web access on the rise across the globe (both in terms of duration and number of users), Fire has every likelihood of being viewed as a backdated phone.
  7. Will the free membership to Amazon Prime be lucrative enough? – Amazon clearly wants people to buy more from its stores – and the one-year free membership offer to Prime is a clear indication of that. At the time of the device’s launch, Bezos harped on the impressive retention rates of Prime – which would be available for free to all new Fire phone users. However, mobile marketing analysts feel that it would have been more prudent if the phone had come as a bonus with a paid Prime membership – and not the other way round. In any case, it’s a limited-period offer, and is not going to sustain the sales of Amazon Fire over the long-run.
  8. Absence of a real point of difference – Firefly and Dynamic Perspective are not features (at least in the form they have been included in the Fire phone) that people are going to go ga-ga about. The 3-D effects on the display are not real – and what’s more, this feature places an excess pressure on the phone batteries. There is nothing about the Amazon phone that would actually convince potential users to believe that it is worth buying.
  9. Amazon Fire phone will not serve as an extension of the company’s website – With easy and enhanced mobile shopping support, Bezos and his team had strategized for a phone that would double up as an extension of the Amazon online shopping portal. What was not taken into account was that – the high price tag would practically defeat this purpose. For successful implementation of this strategy, what Amazon needed was a budget phone with the same features, not an exorbitantly priced one.
  10. Processor – While not one of biggest factors that would stand in the way of the Fire phone’s popularity, this issue also deserves a mention. Instead of including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor in the device, Amazon has gone with the older 800 version. Couple that with the 2 GB RAM space and the 1280×720 resolution level – and you get a perfect ‘mid-range’ phone, not a premium device.
  11. Contract with AT&T will not guarantee success – If it did, Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious ‘Facebook phone’ would have still been around. It had to be pulled out within a couple of months of its launch – and experts from many app development companies are apprehensive of the Amazon phone suffering the same fate. AT&T cannot shore up a phone that is, in itself, not good enough.
  12. Targeting the wrong end of the customer spectrum – Given the specs of Amazon Fire phone, it had a chance of carving a niche for itself in the middle to lower segment of the market. Instead, the company has decided to gun for the premium segment – with its supposedly ‘high-end’ features and of course, the stunningly high price. There is a high probability that Fire will not be able to gain a foothold in the sector where iOS and Android already have a strong clout.
  13. Camera features are nothing extraordinary – Everyone knows that megapixel-count is not the only thing that determines the quality of a mobile camera. Even then, general expectations were that Amazon Fire phone would have a 16MP camera, just like the Galaxy S5 (after all, it is only $100 cheaper than the latter). Instead, Fire phone comes with a slightly ho-hum 13 MP lens. To give where credit’s due, it takes decent-quality snaps in relatively weaker light – but that cannot really put Fire’s camera at par with the camera on the leading smartphones at present. Even LG G3 has a 13 MP camera.
  14. Buyer-loyalty could be a crucial factor – While the brand-presence and fan-count of Amazon is nothing to be scoffed at, it cannot hold a candle to that of Samsung or Apple Inc. Everyone is looking forward to the launch of iPhone 6, even after the dismal show of iPhone 5C. Similarly, it really does not make much of a difference to Samsung if any of its new handsets is not well-received. In the mobile phone market, Amazon does not have that much leeway.

 

 

The Amazon Fire phone was in the making for more than five years – a telltale indication that developers were unsure about the features to include in it at first. Yet another factor that seems to have been overlooked by Jeff Bezos is that, Amazon services are accessible at present on most other top-bracket smartphones. The Fire phone could have succeeded if it had released 7-8 years earlier and had been similarly priced as the Nexus 5. In its current form, chances of it finding many takers look bleak.

 

14 Key Highlights Of Android L

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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The launch of Android L, the successor of Kitkat, was easily the standout point of Google I/O 2014. Developers’ preview of the new OS is already out (for Nexus devices). The following provides a brief rundown of the latest edition of Android from Google.

All the guesswork about what Google will name the next version of Android (after Kitkat) can take a breather now. At the recently concluded Google I/O annual conference, the latest Android version was unveiled – and for the time being, it has been named just ‘L’ (Lollipop and Lime Pie are the strongest contenders of being its final name, when Google makes it commercially available). We will here take readers through some of the chief noteworthy features of Android L:

 

  1. Holistic digital support – The new Android version is not about mobile devices only. ‘L’ would support Android TV, smartwatches and other wearable devices (via Android Wear). and even provide car OS support. Of course, all the latest Android smartphones and tablets would be powered by it.
  2. Revamped notifications management – Android has always stayed a step ahead of its main rival – iOS – when it came to managing notifications on mobile devices. Continuing with the good work, Android L now comes with even more seamless options. Users can view notifications without having to unlock their handsets. The lock screen and the shade of notification will be of identical color, and notifications can be checked from either place. In order to read the notification though, you will have to provide your PIN/do the pattern-unlock.
  3. Better element transition and animation – This feature of Android L has received a big thumbs-up from mobile app companies and software specialists all over. In the new Android OS, there will be a specific ‘elevation level’ for each application. On the side panels, shadows and seam display effects have been added. Cool new animations are triggered as soon as any app icon is tapped upon – thanks to the innovative ‘nested scrolling’ option.
  4. Material design – Since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android has not witnessed any significant overhaul in its user interface (UI). The equation has changed with Android L, which boasts of the all-new ‘Material Design’ concept. The 3-D rendering feature is probably the biggest highlight, and the overall flatter layout is also likely to garner appreciation among Android fans. KitKat already had a nicely streamlined interface, and ‘L’ has made things colorful and a whole lot livelier!
  5. Personalized and remote unlocking – On an Android L device, you might even completely bypass the PIN-protected lock screen. The OS picks up your (and your device’s) location – and allows voice unlocking. At Google I/O, the way in which a handset could be unlocked via Bluetooth was also demonstrated. As you use the device, ‘L’ starts ‘learning’ about the way in which you use it and the mobile apps that are regularly launched on it. As a result, user-authentication is nearly fool-proof.
  6. Improvements in multitasking – Although multitasking has been an important feature in all Android 3.0 (and higher) platforms – the rather convoluted nature was irksome. Android L does away with all such problems, by introducing the simplistic card-stacking feature. For instance, if you wish to flip from one app to another – the card corresponding to the one you opened earlier will be displayed behind the one you are using at present. A single Android app will be able to generate several such multitasking cards.
  7. Higher battery backup – If the Project Volta that was unveiled at Google I/O is anything to go by, Android L is set to lay down a new marker in the domain of battery life of smartphones. It has been claimed that the OS would give handsets a backup period of at least 90 minutes more than that available on standard Nexus 5 phones. To find out the apps and other software that are causing maximum drainage, users would also be able to avail the ‘Battery Historian’ feature.
  8. Cleaner graphics and enhanced device speed – Google has gone with the breakthrough ART runtime feature for Android L, ditching the previous one, Dalvik. The former is expected to double the speed of the mobile devices with the new OS. At 60 frames-per-second (FPS), the animations would look just that bit clearer and brighter. There also have been collaborations with Qualcomm and Nvidia – to ensure that the underlying processor of ‘L’ is absolutely glitch-free.
  9. Smooth integration with Chromebook – Experts from cross-platform mobile app development companies had predicted this – but the sheer quality and range of Android L-Chrome OS interactive support has been impressive. As showcased at the conference, apps like Vine, Evernote and Flipboard can easily be integrated from Android L devices to Google Chromebooks. The latter will also be able to auto-detect whenever a handset is in the vicinity. That, in turn, will make remote login much easier.
  10. Heads-Up – Getting distracted by repeated unnecessary notifications while playing your favorite mobile game? On ‘L’-powered devices, this will no longer be an issue. The Heads-Up notification option would enable you to view/swipe away notifications – without interrupting gameplay (yes, even in full-screen mode). As the name itself suggests, these real-time notifications will be visible in the top panel.
  11. Android For Work system – Android L will, finally, let users separate their work-related mobile applications from the home apps they regularly use. Separate profiles (for ‘Home’ and ‘Work’) can be set up – and more than one instance of the same app can be stored in a device. Most features of Android For Work would be compatible with older versions of the OS. Clearly, Google is keen on really enhancing user-friendliness.
  12. Card-based web searchability – Taking a cue from Google Now, Android L will incorporate the card-based mobile web search feature. All results will be shown in the high-clarity rich text format, and there will be picture carousels to pull out the best-matching visual results. The header tabs would shrink gradually, ensuring that the display screen does not get cluttered.
  13. Stronger security and anti-theft features – The Knox workplace security (from Samsung) has received mostly positive feedback from worldwide users – and Google has implemented it in Android L. As already mentioned, users will be able to unlock devices running on this OS in ‘trusted environments’ automatically. There will also be a ‘kill switch’ with Factory Reset Projection functionality. In case your device gets stolen, you can remotely activate it – and prevent unauthorized access of data.
  14. Presence of Chrome tabs – This is yet another important overhaul in the list of ‘Recent Apps’ displayed in Android’s newest version. The multitasking menu would appear smarter with shadow effects and rolodex-like navigation, with Chrome tabs present in the list as well. No longer will you have to note down every web page you visit on your mobile – the list will store all such details for you!

The developers’ preview for Android L has been made available only for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices – a slight dampener for those who wanted a first-hand feel of it on other handsets. The final build should be completed before the year runs out. There has been no official statement yet on whether ‘L’ would also be known as ‘Android 4.5’ or ‘Android 5.0’ though. Android Kitkat had great features but is still struggling with a relatively low (well below 20%) adoption rate – and it will be interesting to see whether the popularity of Android L reaches, or manages to surpass that of Jellybean.

 

AppBoard Tuesday – 15 Things That Professional App Developers Must NOT Do

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Overnight rain, a hint of chill in the morning air, a cup of steaming coffee in front, and all set for our weekly chat! Hello and welcome to all of you to the 8th edition of AppBoard Tuesday. By now, you are surely aware of the grand opening of our Australian chapter – Teks Mobile Australia Pty Ltd. – last week? Well, since our international clientele would be expanding pretty significantly (fingers crossed!) – and also for the benefit of all other mobile app companies planning to expand their business overseas, here are certain things that can jeopardize your prospects of professional growth:

Not having registered office addresses overseas

You can shout at the top of your lungs about new offices being opened at various corners of the globe. However, unless your business website has the addresses and contact details of the same – your claims would have no credibility whatsoever. Publish posts, media releases and launch email marketing campaigns, to generate awareness among prospective overseas clients.

Not being prompt enough

Like it or not, there are zillions of mobile app development companies in the world, and each of them is a potential rival of yours. If someone asks for an Android or iPhone app quote – and you take your own sweet time (let’s say, a full week) to provide it, don’t expect people to stick around. At Teknowledge Software, we have this policy of providing detailed quotes within 24 hours (maximum) of queries.

Charging hefty advance payments

Even the richest individuals in the world do not want to have any uncertainty about their expenses. If you are not giving free quotes and/or are charging exorbitant app development fees, you can pretty well kiss your chances of business success goodbye. There is no dearth of companies which will be able to provide same-quality services at a more competitive rate, without trying to force clients into making heavy upfront payments. You need to take care of customers’ pockets too!

Not having optimized social media marketing strategies

 

As your business grows decentralized, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter gain in importance as vital elements of online marketing. Optimize your posts on FB in a way that, people from every country find them relevant (you can go for multiple posts – targeted to viewers from different localities). Don’t make the folly of turning your social media profile into a general news channel. On Twitter, follow the ‘#’ trends in each country, and find out whether you can incorporate them in your tweets. Don’t forget the importance of pictures and videos either.

Adopting a reactive approach

At the risk of sounding just a bit pompous, we will reiterate here that Teks started developing apps even before Steve Jobs had launched the first line of iPhones (Android, of course, was not present either). More recently, Amber Blumanis (the COO of Teks Mobile Australia) and myself drew up blueprints of how to establish a strong brand presence for Teknowledge Down Under. You need to be similarly proactive in your business strategy-making, to stay a step ahead of the game, always. When you are an entrepreneur, being a ‘laggard’ or a ‘follower’ never works.

Lose patience

Just because your iOS or Android app development company is at the top of the heap in your native country – you cannot expect similar success being replicated overnight in foreign markets. It must have taken months (in most cases, even a year or two!) to establish yourself as the market leader domestically – and in the international market, the competition is likely to be several notches higher. If your marketing campaigns are well-devised, your apps are flawless and engaging, and you offer great after-sales services, a positive buzz about your company will gradually grow. Do not feel frustrated if your app agency does not generate much revenue during the first couple of months or so. Stay patient, do the right things – and success will arrive in due course.

Making promises you can’t keep

A mistake that many corporate agencies make, when they venture out of their domestic boundaries for the first time. Let’s explain this with an example: We have started full-fledged operations as a mobile app company in Australia – and there are literally hundreds of rival companies we need to compete with. If we simply announce that we will complete projects in half the time taken by other companies, a healthy pool of interested clients will get in touch with us. Then, as we fail to live up to the tall promise, adverse word-of-mouth publicity would follow, and our chances of making a mark in Australia would be gone for good. That’s precisely why you should always stay away from making false claims and impossible promises to customers. They capture people’s attention easily – but can be the recipe for disaster pretty soon after!

Not doing adequate research about clients’ requirements

Mobile apps that work great in one country can fall flat on their face in another (of course, stuff like Candy Crush Saga, or WhatsApp, or Angry Birds are exceptions). People from different origins understandably have varying tastes and mobile functionality requirements. If you are an India-based company like us, you cannot hope for a Hindu devotional app to become hugely popular in the American or British markets. Take time out to study the nature of applications that find maximum favor in the nations you are planning to take your business to – and mold your app-making strategies accordingly. Our myVUWSA app – developed for the students of Victoria University (Wellington, NZ) – is a classic case in point in this regard.

Not adhering to high quality parameters

Remember, a high quality of service has brought you in a position where you can think of targeting foreign markets. If you slack off now (or become over-confident, which is not exactly a rarity), the apps you churn out will start garnering negative feedback, and ultimately fail. Monitor the quality standards being followed at every stage of app development processes. Oh, and don’t forget to let your overseas customers know that yours is a company that follows the best practices in the mobile industry. A good first impression can be the battle half won!

Not keeping clients in the loop during projects

Once again, let’s illustrate this with our company. Teks already has more than a handful of Aussie clients – but if we are to become one of the most prominent players over there, winning the confidence of every prospective buyer is an absolute must. A client from, say, Brisbane or Sydney, naturally would feel (at least initially!) that it is ‘safer’ to delegate a project to a company of Australian origin than to us. We will be tackling this by ensuring that each customer can keep track of their projects that are being handled by us. We will share wireframes, mockups, and, of course app prototypes with them. Meetings will be scheduled at regular intervals, to collect the clients’ opinions and ideas. If you are transparent and ethical in all your operations, the trust-factor would grow – and your company will no longer be considered as an ‘outsider’.

Glossing over the importance of teamwork

You have an efficient, hardworking team in India, another in Australia, and a third one in the United States. Since each of the mobile app developer team is dedicated and knowledgeable enough – there is no need for collaborations, right? You cannot make a bigger mistake! No matter how good your staff (at your home country office(s) and foreign office(s)) are, there has to be a single-point of leadership guiding every employee. People from one office need to be aware of what projects another office is working on – and they have to be prepared for working in tandem on the same apps too. A company is a single entity, it can have branches – but without proper, real-time communication among the latter, confusions can easily crop up.

Staying limited in your services

From the revenue perspective, iOS is the leading mobile platform, while from the market share angle, Android stands head and shoulders above all others. If you select any of these two as the only platform to develop for, you would basically be cutting your potential profitability figures in half. You can follow our cue and start specializing in cross-platform mobile application development (ideally, you should not ignore Blackberry either). Maximize the usability and compatibility features of your apps. That’s the only way in which you can make more money from this business!

Not paying attention to app animations and graphics

There are cultural differences across geographical borders. What looks ‘oh-so-cool’ to a person in Country A can seem gimmicky for someone in Country B. This, in turn, brings the issue of customized UI/UX designing for each of your new apps to the fore. Study the graphics and other display features of existing apps in the same genre, and chalk up your own design plans accordingly (of course, do not just blatantly copy someone else’s designs!). Be it splash screens, display panels, or any other component of the user-interface (UI) – one size certainly does not fit users from different locations!

Being afraid to innovate

Innovation is one of the most powerful tools in the hands of mobile app developers. Not all ‘new’ app concepts work – but you can learn something from them, and not repeat the same mistakes later. After opening a branch overseas, if you simply offer apps that most people over there already have – the interest about your company would soon die down. For a developer or a graphics designer, practically every idea can be transformed into apps – all that is required is the ability to think a bit ‘out-of-the-box.’ Your apps need to stand out from those being offered by others.

Being lackadaisical about mobile app testing

Well, this is a grave mistake even when you are operating in a single city – and when it comes to operating on international shores, app testing becomes all the more important. All the dollars or pounds (or whatever might be the currency of the nation you open a branch at) spent on advertising and marketing campaigns would go to waste, if your apps have technical glitches. Apart from getting rid of your applications, the concerned users would badmouth them – and your efforts to repair the damage by releasing upgrades might be of little use. Before launching any new app overseas, test it on devices, in the cloud network, and across focus groups. The first version has to be absolutely glitch-free.

To ensure long-term sustainability in the international markets, you need to actively conduct two-way communications with your foreign clientele (for feedback, recommendations, grievance redressal, etc.). Do not think that your task ends with creating apps and getting them approved at iTunes or Google Play Store. At the end of the day, its the appreciation of customers that makes a company tick – you need to keep that in mind at all times.

 

So, that was that for this week’s AppBoard Tuesday. Our Australian chapter, under Amber, has started its operations – and we are being very careful in framing strategies for our soon-to-be clients Down Under.

Teks Mobile Australia opened last week

If any of our readers are also planning for an business expansion beyond their home countries, they would also find the above pointers useful.

 

Nine weeks and eight editions of AppBoard Tuesday have gone by – it’s time you let us know what topics we should delve on next. If you have any specific queries about any of our earlier (or this) issue, feel free to contact us. ABT will be back next week…and till then…c’mon, you know what to do!