Monthly Archives: January 2018

15 Mobile And App Trends For 2018 To Watch Out For

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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app trends in 2018

 

 

Last year, nearly 198 billion mobile applications were downloaded by smartphone-owners – ~18% more than the corresponding figure in 2016. To keep up with the high demand levels, the availability of apps is also spiralling rapidly. By December 2017, the total count of apps in the Google Play Store was in excess of 3.5 million. The Apple App Store, on the other hand, had 3.1 million+ applications (including games) in 2017 Q3. Given the high revenue potential of the global app ecosystem – more and more coders are taking up app development as a profession. At last count, the App Store had close to 500000 app-makers, while nearly 970000 developers were working on the Android platform. In today’s discourse, we will do a roundup of some interesting facts and trends related to mobile apps for 2018:

  1. Money matters

    For all the speculation about the worldwide app economy slowing down as it enters early maturity, the revenue potentials of this sector are set to remain high in the foreseeable future. By the end of 2021, total revenues from mobile apps will edge close to the $190 billion mark – more than 2X the revenue figure in 2016. Not surprisingly, games will continue to grow in terms of adoption and profitability – with the share of gaming applications in the total app revenues rising from 23% (in 2016) to 32% (in 2021). In the United States alone, the ‘net-to-publisher’ app revenue will jump to $74 billion by the end of this decade – nearly a three-fold increase over $27 billion figure in 2015. Well-made, well-marketed, user-focused applications can be financially rewarding in a big way.

  2. Smartphone adoptions

    A recent Forrester report has revealed that less than 47% of the global population had access to smartphones in 2016. In 2017 Q2, the total smartphone shipments added up to ~366 million (Android 321 million; iOS 44 million) – and the market is expected to steadily grow over the next few years. By mid-2019, over 2.7 billion people will become regular-users of smartphones – with each person having 32-35 apps installed on their devices. Interestingly though, the share of the world population to own a smartphone will remain relatively flat – with minimal rise in percentage points on a YoY basis – till 2020. Revenues from smartphone sales have continued to soar – with $478 billion coming in from shipments in 2017 (in 2014, smartphone sales brought in ~$380 billion).

Note: In terms of profitability of the smartphone market, China takes top spot, with around 25% share of the total annual revenues. The United States comes in second.

  1. Enterprise apps on the rise

    By the latter half of 2017, more than half of all small businesses in the US had created their very own enterprise applications on the mobile platform. This trend is set to continue in 2018 and beyond, as more and more startup-owners/entrepreneurs realize the importance of having a strong presence in the mobile space – and the opportunities (engagement, leads, etc.) available here. Significant increases in sales and high-quality customer service have been the two biggest drivers behind the growing popularity of business applications. Among companies which do not have apps yet, many have plans to invest on them this year. Interestingly, nearly 48% of all companies prefer building their apps in-house.

Note: There is a direct correlation between the size of a business and the likelihood of it having an app. Companies with relatively young owners (18-34 age group) are also the most likely to invest resources on app development.

  1. iOS and Android to remain (by far) the biggest platforms

    Taken together, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android make up nearly 99.6% of all smartphones in active use at present in the world. Android has a yawning lead over iOS as far as market share is concerned – although the gap has slightly shortened over the last couple of years. In the US, almost 66% of all new activations in 2017 were for Android – with iOS accounting for a relatively low 31% of activations. In general, iOS has the edge in the more developed nations in the world (by virtue of it being positioned as a ‘premium’ product) – and iPhone users are more likely to: a) have more disposable income, and b) spend more on apps, than their Android counterparts. Traditionally, iOS was always a fair way ahead in terms of revenues – but that advantage is also gradually disappearing. In 2017, the revenue from the App Store was $40 billion – which is roughly equal to the revenue from Android applications downloaded from Play Store and other third-party Android stores (Mobogenie, Aptoide, Amazon Appstore, etc.). It has been estimated that this combined Android app revenues will rise to $78 billion in 2020 - comfortably more than the projected $60 billion earnings from iOS apps.

  2. Facebook continues to be the most popular app

    Among the young crowd (age 18+), Facebook is easily the most popular mobile application with a whopping 81% penetration rate. Facebook Messenger, with 68%, is also at the third spot – with the YouTube app (70% penetration) sandwiched between the two. Instagram is in sixth, while Google Play and Gmail occupying the eighth and ninth spots respectively in popularity charts for 2017. However, in terms of usage, it is Amazon that users in 18-34 age group (millennials) deem to be the most important, followed by Gmail and Facebook. Whatsapp, somewhat surprisingly, is in the ninth slot – and Snapchat is not in the top-10 on either list. Clearly, while the demand for social networking apps is high – millennials ‘cannot live without’ the more functional, utility-based applications.

  3. Games attract the most downloads, but what’s next?

    In January 2018, mobile games have accounted for 1 out of every 4 downloads from the App Store. Business apps, with nearly 10% share of the downloads, is the second-most popular category on the platform – with the next three positions taken up by education/learning apps, lifestyle apps and entertainment apps (travel apps, with a measly 3.9% share in downloads, is at the seventh spot). In the Play Store, however, productivity tools have the biggest reach to end-users, while travel and local applications also have an impressive ~95% reach (placing the category in the fourth position). The other most popular app categories on the Android platform are communication and video players/video editors. The demand for business apps is much lower on Android in comparison with iOS – while shopping applications, for all the hype around them, also have lots of scopes to expand their popularity and adoption.

  4. Digital media rules, and mobile apps score over tablet apps

    The average adult in the United States spends nearly half of the day (12 hours+) interacting with different forms of the media. Digital media is the clear winner here – with people spending approximately 5.8 hours per day on computers, smartphones (excluding call operations) and other connected ‘smart’ devices. At a more micro-level, mobile devices – with a 3 hours+ daily engagement plan, is easily ahead of desktops/laptops (with sub-2 hours engagement rates). Once again, it is the group of millennials who are the heaviest users of mobile digital media – and users in this age group have a clear preference for smartphones over tablets (in a month, 93 hours are spent by an individual user with a mobile app. In comparison, the interaction time with a tablet app is only 27 hours). While this preference is much less pronounced for older users (those above the age of 65 spend 42 hours with mobile (non-voice) and 23 hours with tablet, on average) – the mobile platform is still the chosen one.

Note: As the average user starts getting on in age, (s)he is likely to prefer using slightly larger, two-handed devices.

  1. Ad-spending and ad-blocking

    By 2021, the total ad spending on the mobile-platform will breach the $200 billion mark – marking a three-fold increase from the current figure. Already, more than half of the total expenses for digital media advertisements is contributed by the mobile platform – and this share will continue to grow rapidly. Nearly 500 million smartphone users regularly use different types of ad-blocking software on their devices. Researches have shown that there has been a ~90% increase in the adoption of mobile ad blockers over the last couple of years. The challenge for app developers lies in creating and displaying such ad content that will capture the viewers’ attention, without disturbing them in any way.

  2. Driven by Android Instant Apps, app streaming to become more mainstream

    App streaming, when done well, can deliver a great deal of convenience for app users. The latter can quickly check out/use a set of features in the app they need – without having to go through the whole hog of actually downloading/installing the software. Android Instant Apps, announced at the Google I/O 2017, have shown the way in this domain – and at present, the technology is supported by well over 500 million handsets. Many third-party Android app developers are also coming up with ‘Instant’ versions of their applications (in the Play Store app listings, Google has added a ‘Try it now’ button). By 2020, there will probably be more than 100000 Android applications available for such ‘instant previews’. One thing is for sure: more and better app streaming options will help in bringing down the much-talked-about ‘app abandonment’ problems.

  3. Core group of apps

    It is fairly common for a smartphone to have 25-27 third-party apps installed on it. A recent US-based study found that, 62% users in the country had at least 20 applications installed on their phones - and they used ~30 apps in a month. However, as far as actual usage is concerned – the average user spends nearly 49% of his/her ‘mobile time’ with only one app, and 77% with his/her core group of top three applications. Broadening the results further, ten apps take up around 96% of the time of the device-owners. On the other hand, there are many apps that are never used after being downloaded, while 25% of all newly installed apps are abandoned after single use.

  4. Growth in IoT to be a major factor

    Back in 2015, the total number of connected devices was just a shade over 15 million. Cut to 2020 – and that number will have doubled, with the count of smart IoT gadgets expected to reach ~75 million by 2025. Right from smart homes and autonomous cars, to security, education and healthcare – IoT-based applications are finding rapid adoption in various domains, and developers are making a definite attempt to seamlessly integrate the technology in their newest apps. Before the decade draws to the close, IoT will become a $456 billion industry, with the CAGR for the 2016-2020 period hovering around the 29% mark. This year, it can be reasonably expected that IoT will play an important role in many instances of mobile app development. Smart agriculture is yet another field where the opportunities are huge.

Note: Semtech’s LoRaWAN has emerged as a key driver of IoT technologies worldwide.

     12. Location services will be on the rise

Any decent smartphone offers fairly accurate location-based services (LBS), or GPS. Apart from helping the users with general navigation, the technology is also being used by third-party developers to come up with diverse types of applications that deliver real-time locational information. Although the adoption rate of Beacon technology (iBeacon) had been flat (at best), apps with built-in GPS support are fast gaining in popularity. Location services are, in fact, core elements in many travel apps, mobile security tools, retail shopping apps, payment channels, mobile indoor mapping tools, and the like. The overall GPS tracking market will grow exponentially between 2017 and 2023 – and more and more apps will depend upon it for full functionality.

Note: The only point of concern over here is the greater battery drain caused by constantly using GPS. It will be interesting to see if the OEMs are able to offer a viable solution for that.

     13. How much are the app developers making?

While the potential revenues from top-ranking apps can be amazingly high – both the iOS and the Android marketplaces are remarkably ‘top-heavy’ when it comes to earnings. Around 33% of developers do not manage to generate even 10000 downloads of their applications, and nearly 57% of them have sub-$1000 monthly earnings. The top-heavy nature of revenues in the app marketplaces is best accentuated by the fact that only 25% iPhone developers, and 16% Android developers, manage to earn northwards of $5000 every month. It is also worth noting that 3 out of every 4 developers prefer working on the Android platform over iOS.

      14. VR/AR/MR in app-making

In their bid to come up with unique products and stay a step ahead of the competition, developers are constantly trying to come up with apps that deliver more immersive, engaging experiences. While virtual reality has been in the picture for some time – augmented reality and mixed reality are the technologies that are likely to take the standards of mobile app development a couple of notches higher in 2018 and beyond. The recent IDC report showed that this year, the total spending on VR/AR will be just a tick under $18 billion by 2020. The so-called ‘reality apps’ will be changing the way in which we interact with software systems as well as our smart devices. Pokemon Go showed the way – and 2018 might well be the year when AR finally comes of age in the field of app-making.

      15. Why do people uninstall apps?

Given the alarmingly high rates of app-abandonment, it is extremely important for developers to know what exactly causes people to turn away from any software application. As mobile technology is becoming increasingly advanced, the concerns over app security is growing – and according to Gartner estimates, a whopping 75% of applications do not satisfy even the most elementary security parameters. Apart from this, other common causes for app removals include technical glitches, unavailability of updates, and an ad overkill (disrupting the overall UX). Given the sheer variety of apps available in the stores, it is also not really difficult to find similar applications (competitors) with better features and functionality. If an app takes up too much of memory space and/or is a battery hog – it is bound to fail as well.

Note: If the ‘need’ for an app is not strong enough, a person can even forget that (s)he had downloaded it. Too many notifications is yet another no-no, while problems in in-app navigation also cause many people to get rid of certain apps.

With the arrival and growing popularity of Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home (Apple HomePod is also in the offing), personal home assistants in particular, and voice technology in general, are fast coming into focus. 2018 should witness a meaningful rise in the number of voice-enabled mobile apps, making things more convenient for final users. The importance of delivering optimized user-end experience is also becoming more important at present than ever before. The jury is still out on whether the global app market is past its peak or not – but it can be safely said that this market is not going to become completely mature and static anytime soon.

 

Innovations and new technologies?

Yes please!

 

The $30M Apple-VRvana Acquisition Deal – What You Need To Know

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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Apple Inc. recently acquired Vrvana

 

 

 

The reports from Bloomberg, Catcher Technology and Quanta are all pointing in the same direction: Apple Inc is ‘secretly’ preparing a powerful new ‘headset-like gadget’, powered by augmented reality. Going by updates from the Nikkei Asian Review, the Apple AR glasses will have a 100% transparent system, and will be running on the breakthrough ‘reality operating system’ (rOS). Incidentally, the Cupertino company ventured into the AR space for the first time in 2017, with the ARKit platform for developers (launched with iOS 11).

The foray of Apple Inc into the field of AR is not much of a surprise though. For starters, the company has been looking for a worthy flagship product to follow up the iPhone (iPad’s fortunes are not looking up) – and CEO Tim Cook is also a big fan of the technology. In November, Apple splurged $30 million for the acquisition of VRvana (the maker of the unreleased Totem mixed-reality headset) – another thinly-veiled hint of the company’s planned investments on AR (the actual deal probably happened a couple of months earlier). Over here, we will take a look at some interesting points from the Apple-VRvana acquisition deal:  

  1. Size of the market

    In 2016, the value of the global augmented reality market was a little over $2 billion. By the end of 2021, this value is expected to swell to $83 billion – with the market growing at a CAGR of >55%. Combined together, the value of the AR/VR industry will be more than $108 billion – with mobile AR being the fastest-growing segment over here. The total earnings from the VR/AR are expected to double in each of the next 3-4 years, soaring to $214 billion by 2021. The immense growth and revenue potential of the AR technology is certainly not lost on Apple. The company wishes to have a strong presence in the market – and the takeover of VRvana is the latest endeavour in that context.

  2. Relative lack of competition

    Apple is not going to be first-mover in the AR space – but the absence of excessive direct competition is going to be a big advantage. The much-maligned Google Glass flopped hard in 2015 – and the current Glass EE (enterprise edition) is primarily targeted towards workers in factories. Microsoft Hololens has managed to get good reviews – but it is not a consumer product per se, and a dedicated ‘consumer edition’ is not expected to arrive till 2019. In such a scenario, if Apple moves (and moves fast) to launch cutting-edge AR glasses, that would make a lot of sense.

Note: Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated that the company was not unduly concerned about releasing AR tools before others (‘don’t give a rat’s about being first’). The focus, instead, is on making the best AR gadget in the market.

      3. More about VRvana

Will all the buzz on Apple’s ‘secret AR project’, curiosity is building about the VRvana company. The latter is a Montreal-based mixed reality startup – helmed by CEO Bertrand Nepveu (Marc-Olivier Lepage is the COO and co-founder). The company was founded way back in 2005, and was initially known as True Player Gear, Inc. Interestingly, the only product showcased on the official website of VRvana is the Totem headset. It remains to be seen how the technical expertise of VRvana is utilized by those up top at Apple.

     4. The unreleased Totem headset

VRvana’s Totem mixed reality headset has received a lot of praise from those who managed to check it out first-hand (the headset was never shipped). The product delivers immersive and highly engaging ‘extended reality’ experience to wearers – combining the best elements from both VR and AR technologies. At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017), Totem received the ‘best in mixed-reality category’ award – with professionals referring to it as the ‘most impressive product’ showcased at the event. The headset, however, never got beyond the crowdfunding stage – and was never released.

      5. The USPs of Totem

Totem has several interesting features, which make it a more powerful headset than similar products launched by Microsoft and Windows. For starters, the OLED screen (1440p) of the Totem headset has the ability to display truly opaque images – creating a distinctive environment for viewers. The graphics are rendered by pass-through cameras, and true-colour animations can be seamlessly displayed. Users can easily swing back and forth between virtual reality and augmented reality experiences with Totem. Unlike HoloLens, there are minimal lags in the VRvana product, and the latter’s camera-based operations are a cut-above the former’s projection-based functionality. Apple is reportedly keen on making its own AR headset – and Totem can easily serve as a handy point of reference for Jony Ive and his team.

Note: Inside-out positional tracking and hand tracking also feature among the most important features of Totem.

      6. Apple’s acquisition of VRvana is a first (and also, it isn’t)

Metaio, a German AR startup, was snapped up by Apple in the first half of 2015. The New York-based Flyby Media – a ‘spatial perception’ company – was acquired in early-2016. Other notable AR-related acquisitions by the Cupertino tech giant include Faceshift (November 2015), Emotient (January 2016) and SMI (June 2017). It is pretty apparent that Apple has been interested in AR tech for a fairly long time. Even so, the $30 million acquisition of VRvana is unique in the history of Apple – since this marks the first time the company has purchased a startup that is into making head-mounted displays (HMDs). ARKit on iOS 11 is a success – and Apple has plans to build further in this sector.

       7. Important for maintaining Apple’s position as a tech leader

The launch of the much-hyped Apple HomePod has been delayed, and it is not expected to arrive before another six weeks or so. That, in turn, is going to make it more difficult for the HomePod to fight it out with Google Home and Amazon Alexa – both of which are fairly popular. In essence, Apple is already late to the game in the personal voice assistant domain. The series of AR-related acquisitions indicate that Apple does not want to be a late-entrant in the augmented reality/mixed reality space as well. Over the years, the company has emerged as an undisputed consumer technology leader (iPhone revolutionized communications; iPad changed the face of music-listening). Staying a step ahead of competitors (qualitatively) is going to be crucial for Apple.

      8. Moving towards a stiff deadline

According to experts from the tech field, Apple is set to launch a new AR-powered headset/HMD in 2019, with a public rollout expected to happen the following year. Given that the HMD will have its own customized display, a new chip will have to be created (and tested), and it will run on the new ‘reality operating system’ (rOS). There is a lot of work to be done – and completing it all and coming out with top-notch AR glasses with high-end features by 2020 is not going to be easy. With acquisitions like VRvana, Apple is getting the talent and expertise ready on hand for the ‘big AR challenge’.

Note: One thing looks fairly certain: Apple is not going to simply rebrand Totem and release it this year.

       9. Focus on improving the quality of AR

There is considerable speculation on a future where we might find augmented reality being used as a product itself – instead of the technology being used as a feature in other devices. Tim Cook himself is a big fan of AR – but he has also expressed concern over the quality of the currently existing AR headsets (the way in which the HMDs have to be put on also has to be looked into). Totem resolves the lag-related problems in most other headsets – with its latency being as low as ~3 milliseconds. It has been pointed out, correctly, that the currently available AR products fall short of delivering optimal experience to users – and Apple is making an attempt to plug that gap.

Note: While the Totem headset handles latency very well, its considerable bulk remains a minus point. It is certainly not something an average user would like to keep on for hours at a stretch.

      10. Will there be a new headset?

Topsy Labs, a promising analytics company, was acquired by Apple in December 2013. About two years later, it was officially announced that Topsy is going to shut up shop. There are several other instances of the Cupertino company taking over small startups to gain access to the talent and expertise – and shelve the acquired company’s product(s), or shut it down altogether. Although Apple does seem seriously invested in AR, there remains the outside chance of VRvana being acquired for similar motives. If that is indeed the case, new Apple AR glasses might not be in the offing anytime soon.

Note: More than $200 million was forked out by Apple, for acquiring Siri Technologies in 2010. There was a waiting period of around a year, before Siri finally debuted on the iOS 5 platform.

      11. Official confirmations

There have been none forthcoming (about this acquisition) from either Apple or VRvana. However, reliable sources (like Techcrunch) has reported the deal – and also, Apple generally mentions ‘series of acquisitions’ instead of coming out with dedicated news on a single acquisition. Another tell-tale sign of the acquisition deal going through is the fact that there have been no updates posted on the social pages of VRvana after August 2017 (the VRvana website is still active though). Most of the employees of VRvana have also shifted to California, to work for Apple.

      12. Diversification is the name of the game

With AR, Apple is probably looking for a new gadget that would have as big an impact as the launch of the first-generation iPhone back in 2007. In general too, the company has been constantly striving to diversify its field of operations – with recent acquisitions covering various advanced tech fields, like machine learning, security, processor power, cloud services, GPS/location services, and more. The takeover of VRvana is yet another proof that Apple wants to make AR one of its key business focus areas in future.

Note: In November 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, a 3D sensor company from Israel. The breakthrough Face ID feature of iPhone X has been created from that company’s technology.

The Apple AR glasses, as and when they are launched, are going to be pricey devices. Their prices can vary anywhere between $130 and $1300, depending on the precise configurations of the headsets. CEO Tim Cook has referred to AR as ‘profound’, Craig Federighi had touted ARKit as the ‘largest AR platform in the world’ – and the Cupertino company is clearly keen to make a mark in this field.

 

 

Dreamfactory Case Study – Eventify

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 dreamfactory tool was used to make eventify app building platform

Business Objective

To create a highly customized, fully scalable digital event app building platform. The platform would have its own business logic built-in – and coders as well as non-coders will be able to use it with equal, consummate ease.

Technical Challenge

Development and seamless integration of API services (backend-as-a-service), to enhance the performance of the product. From managing user roles and access, to ensuring high security standards and usability for the creation of custom mobile apps for all kinds of events – Eventify has to deliver cutting-edge functionalities. Generating efficient API services from database was also a challenge.

The Solution

In DreamFactory phpMyAdmin, a mySQL database was created. After connecting with the database and importing it, new API services were generated. Additional logic in pre-script and post-script were also added.

 

Priority 1:

  1. Create Eventify as a user-friendly digital tool for promoting and managing ‘paperless events’.
  2. Ensure that external API services (BaaS) can be generated from database and integrated to the platform.
  3. Manage user-login, access and permissions according to their roles – while maintaining proper security standards.

Priority 2:

  1. Add extra business logic in pre-script and post-script of APIs, for optimal functionality.
  2. Offer users (event planners) smooth drag-and-drop features, so that those with no prior coding expertise can use the platform with ease.
  3. Use Swagger for secure, continuous API documentation.


A Digital Platform For Building Mobile Event Apps

Eventify puts a fresh new spin to the task of promoting and managing events. The digital platform is highly scalable and comes with a wide array of personalized features – enabling users/planners to create custom mobile apps for their events, and maximize the exposure/awareness levels about the same. It has been created by Teksmobile – a leading mobile app and API development company, with 1000+ applications in its portfolio.

The Eventify platform can be used to create apps for practically all types of public and private events – right from conferences and trade shows, to business seminars, panel discussions, workshops and other personal occasions. For each event, a single app can be created. All pertinent information, like scheduling details, speaker bios and sessions, exhibitor information and sponsor details, can be added to apps created with Eventify. The platform also has ‘local’ and ‘global’ search capabilities.

The global event management industry is witnessing rapid growth. The total number of business conferences organized every year is going up – and we identified that organizers need to have a digital tool in their hands, to manage and promote their events effectively. Eventify is a platform that they would find very handy in this regard”, opines the senior manager of the project.

With the market for event management software set to grow by 8.4% in 2016-2020, and over 85% event planners already having apps for their events (in 2016), coming up with an all-features-included app building platform made a lot of sense. The platform also enables users to add real-time chat feature, include location maps and floor plans, and delivers excellent networking opportunities.

Integrating API services via DreamFactory

“According to early estimates, we had guessed that it would take around 8-10 weeks to create and launch the Eventify platform. Development and deployment of API services, in particular, looked likely to eat up a lot of time. We then came across DreamFactory…and things became a lot more organized, streamlined.”

– Programming Head, Eventify Project

DreamFactory was instrumental in smoothing the roadmap for optimized backend automation in Eventify. The developers created a mySQL database in the phpMyAdmin of DreamFactory (just like application tables), and then, imported that database to generate full API services (i.e., the required REST API endpoints). Objective-C was the programming language used to code Eventify, and APIs were essential for integrating the full business logic in the app. In essence, DreamFactory served as an efficient mediator to manage the database and the delivery of APIs.

With the help of DreamFactory, the Teks Team managed to significantly shorten the duration of the development cycle. Instead of having to manually code each API, the platform now had automated API solutions from the database. From the security standpoint too, using DreamFactory proved beneficial.

Managing the user login session tokens and API key validations became extremely straightforward with DreamFactory. While accessing all the features of Eventify (like bookmarking, chatting) requires the user to login – there are certain ‘view-only’ elements which people can check out, without logging in with their credentials. With customized API solutions, providing this selective permission access was also rendered easier.

Building The Business Logic

One of the main reasons for integrating DreamFactory in the Eventify project was the creation and implementation of robust business/operational logic in the latter. All types of data entry, as well as all the validations, were automated, for superior performance. The API helper tools offered additional advantages (e.g., the Swagger API documentation tool).

The in-house team at Teksmobile also utilized the server-side scripting feature of DreamFactory to good effect. Provisions were made for adding extra logic in the API pre-script (e.g., checking the validity of a user or an event ID) and the post-script (e.g., checking the returned data after the user has logged in). Emails, notifications, and all the other third-party services on Eventify were also automated with DreamFactory.

“Eventify is a platform that looks to deliver complete event management control in the hands of the planners,” says the CEO of Teksmobile. “The automated backend solutions available in DreamFactory made our task considerably easier.

The Future Of Event Management

Thanks to DreamFactory, the team in charge of creating Eventify managed to register big gains in terms of time-savings, business logic development, security, and data access management (according to user roles). The efficient automated architecture of DreamFactory made the task of expanding the functionality of Eventify easier than ever.

There is very little margin for error, when it comes to creating a dynamic app building platform like Eventify. Mobile apps are well and truly changing how events across the globe are being organized, promoted and managed – and this platform has the potential to emerge right at the forefront of this evolution.

Eventify

Eventify is a fully customized event app building platform, with a plethora of features and strong BaaS support – for smooth usability. Different types of public/private events can be created and promoted via the digital platform.

 

How To Make Your Mobile App User Acquisition Strategy More Powerful?

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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mobile app user acquisition strategies

 

 

The global app economy may have entered early maturity – but it is still a big-money sector. According to a recent App Annie report, total revenues from mobile applications will soar to $110 billion by the end of 2018 – with the annual growth rate hovering around the 18% mark for the next three years (till 2020). 1 out of every 4 iOS app developers make more than $5K every month – and around 16% of Android developers also have similarly high earnings. At first glance, the potential opportunities to make profits in the mobile app business seem immense.

Like most other things in life though, there is a flipside. For all the hefty revenues from a small number of apps – the fact remains that an overwhelming majority of applications turn out to be failures (the app market is remarkably ‘top heavy’ in terms of revenue). It has been estimated that a measly 0.5% of all mobile apps will actually manage to yield reasonable profits in 2018. Not having a large enough market is a common cause for the failure of apps – and if app companies do not have customized, well-defined strategies for acquiring users, that contributes to this problem. In today’s discussion, we will highlight a few effective mobile app user acquisition tips for 2018 and beyond:

  1. First, built a high-quality product

    In the United States, a whopping 73% of smartphone users do not download more than 2 mobile apps in a month (~50% download none). In essence, your app will be vying to be one of these two apps for capturing the attention of the end-user – so that (s)he can be motivated enough to download it and give it a try. There is no way on earth to be successful in this if your software is not of optimal quality to start with. Create a great app, identify and highlight its USP(s), and make sure it delivers top-class user-end experience (UX). Only when if you are confident about your product, can you market it well.

  2. Create a website; Optimize it well

    It’s been more than three years since the popularity of mobile apps went past that of mobile web (currently, the former is growing nearly 3X faster than the latter). That said, it is of paramount importance for every new application to have its very own, customized website. Make sure that the site is user-friendly, lists out all the key features/controls/benefits of the application, and has the store download link(s). Implement strong SEO practices to enhance the reach of your app website. It should also be linked as the ‘support portal’ of the app at the store. Presence of a dedicated app website is instrumental in building up a trust-factor with your audience – and that is vital for higher user acquisitions.

  3. Pay attention to App Store Optimization (ASO)

    On average, 6 out of every 10 downloads happen through search behaviour in the app stores. This, in turn, brings to light the importance of efficient app store optimization (strategies). Identify relevant keywords (avoid the ones with too much competition), and incorporate them smoothly (no stuffing) in the (max) 30-character app name, the (max) 170 character promotional text, and the product description section in Apple App Store. If you are working on the Android platform, optimize the 50-character app title, the 80-character short description and the 4000-character long description. Use HQ screenshots to showcase the most important screens/sections of your application. Create engaging and informative app preview videos. You have precious few seconds to get a person interested in your app – and the importance lies in ensuring a good first interaction with the app.

Note: Over 74% of all featured apps at stores have keyword(s) in their titles.

      4. Share your app’s objective

What does your app set out to do? Or better still, why is it in existence in the first place? If a professional app developer is not proactive about resolving such (very natural) queries in the minds of prospective users – the latter are simply not likely to feel any NEED to download a new application. Make apps that have a core functionality and solves an actual problem/requirement of end-users (fitness tracking, personal finance, social networking, and even gaming). Let people know why your application does a better job than other, similar apps already in existence. ‘Appeal optimization’ of an app is important – and it can be attained only when there is complete clarity over its purpose. A lazy, ‘me-too’ is bound to fail.

      5. Segment your users. Not too many segments though

A generic, ‘one-size-meets-all’ promotional strategy does not work well for most products, and mobile apps are not an exception. Identify the overall target audience for your new application – and divide this total user-base in different segments (on the basis of age, gender, geographical location, language preferences, etc.). Avoid making more than 3 such segments though – since too many user-groups can pose a problem for promotional strategy-making. Launch customized marketing campaigns for each of the target customer segments, to increase chances of positive responses.

       6. Use the reviews/opinions of existing users as pointers

An app development company should ideally make use of information on user-behaviour on their previous applications, while designing a new software. Find out what features people liked and what they didn’t – and chalk out the operations of the new product accordingly. Be particularly careful about people’s reactions to in-app messages, push notifications, advertisements, and the like. If there are unfavourable reviews on a particular app, find out the main reason(s) for its unpopularity – and avoid making the same mistakes again.

      7. The importance of strong content marketing

When it comes to maximizing the reach of a new application (basically, making as many people as possible AWARE about the app) – content marketing on the digital platform is a developer’s best friend. Start publishing short and informative blog posts and articles on popular online portals about your app, mentioning its objectives and features and the competitive advantages it delivers to final users. You can publish press releases (free or paid) as well, with the latest app-related news. Publishing classified ads is also an effective option. Keep in mind though, that the content you push out should not have an aggressively marketing tone (except, of course, the classified ads). The focus should be on seamlessly sharing information among likely users.

     8. Referral marketing can bolster app engagement

Uber is one of the many apps that does this brilliantly. For every new user signed up, the person who had ‘referred’ him/her to the app (i.e., shared the referral code) gets a nice reward. Motivate your existing users to invite more people to the app – and offer something in return (hints, coins, level up, etc.) for doing so. Having a referral program right within a mobile application (and ideally, on the app website too) gives a lift to its engagement levels, and obviously, can build up the total user-count as well.

      9. Promote apps on social media

58% of the entire adult population in the US have active profiles on Facebook. The corresponding usage figure for Twitter is ~34%. What’s more, the global adoption figures of these two social networking channels are rising exponentially. In such a scenario, there is no way your app can survive without having a strong social media optimization (app SMO) plan. Publish posts on FB about your application, share images and screenshots, and tweet about it on a regular basis. Join relevant Facebook groups and post over there (avoid spamming though; a healthy, constant interaction is important), use hashtags on Twitter, and use channels like LinkedIn and Google Plus to get in touch with potential new users as well. Come up with ideas to make your posts more interesting and engaging (for instance, polls).

Note: A mobile app should, of course, have its very own FB page and Twitter account handle.

     10. Early ratings and reviews are vital

Yes, registering high download figures are important – but you can make it your only objective at your own peril. It might well happen that people like what your app has on offer, go ahead and download it, discover a serious snag in it, and discard it soon enough. That’s precisely why you need to carefully track the early set of user reviews and ratings coming in. If someone gives a lowly rating, try to understand what factor(s) have caused this behaviour – and how you can fix the problem. Respond to every review (even the 5-star ones). Remember, the opinions of the early adopters give you a fair idea of whether your app will be successful in the long-run or not. 

    11. Factor in app localization

You create a mobile app that can be used by everyone – but then go ahead and release it in English only. Bit of a waste – since there are plenty of non-English speaking smartphone-users, and you are willingly passing up on the chance of reaching out to them with your app. Researches have shown that the download figures of an iPhone app can go up by as much as 760% by using proper, ‘localized’ keywords in different languages. Depending on the type of your app and its target audience – consider creating custom versions of it in other languages (e,g., French, Swedish, German, Russian, Korean, etc.). An app that has multi-language support automatically has higher user acquisition prospects.

Note: The ‘Download On The App Store’ badge is available in 40 different languages.

     12. Use video ads

To promote a new mobile application, short video ads are mighty effective. On average, 30-second app advertisements have an impressive 88% completion rate – indicating that people do check out videos that pique their interests. App developers have to determine the best possible section to place such video-ads – in a manner that they deliver the relevant information without hampering the mobile-using experience of individuals in any way. Keep changing the video ads to keep things fresh – and avoid making videos that are over a minute long. Apart from these in-app ads (helping in cross-promotions), you can also create, upload and share longer videos – explaining the features of your app – on Youtube.

      13. Invest on paid ads and campaign boosters

Once your organic app marketing strategies are in place (and your budget allows for it), consider turning your attention to paid channels. You can start app ad campaigns on portals like Google and Facebook – to gain greater visibility and (hopefully) higher downloads. Design and link a proper landing page with the ads, so that people do not feel confused after clicking on the advertisements (i.e., there should be no barriers to conversion). There are several great mobile ad networks/paid acquisition channels in place (Flurry, AdMob and StartApp, to name a few) – and you can easily start to use a couple of these platforms to spread the word about your ad. Be careful about the expenses and the ROI on your ads at all times. It has been noted that 39% of users who see banner ads on mobile can actually recall them.

Note: Interstitial ads are the way to go, if you wish to cut down on unwanted ad clicks.

      14. Showcase the designs

By the end of 2017, Behance had 10 million active users. In order to be successful, a mobile app needs to have the right mix of functional efficiency and visual appeal – and for the latter, showcasing designs on Behance is a preferred strategy among many app developers worldwide. Highlight the creativity that has gone into designing your software, display the most important screens, include animations, and add short, informative texts. Use tags wisely to gain greater visibility on the platform. Also, try getting your app featured in the curated galleries of Behance, for that extra leverage. Instagram and Pinterest are two other channels which you can use to visually market your product.

Note: In all your messages to the prospective app users – blogs and PRs and videos and design/creativity platforms – convey a definite ‘message’ to the viewers or readers. Do not adopt an overtly sales tone everywhere.

       15. Have retargeting ads with cookies

What if a person visits your app website, but does not download anything? In such cases, retargeting can be a useful method to ‘get back’ that prospective customer. The app website should have cookies (small internet files to ‘remember’ visitors) – which can be used to display retargeting ads to people. Find out at what time-intervals these ads should be shown, and make sure that people who have already downloaded your app are not shown the ads (that would be an irritation). Deep-linking in mobile apps is crucial for the success of mobile retargeting.

       16. Track the key metrics

Most mobile app developers make the mistake of tracking only the ‘installs’ and the ‘install rates’ of applications – and leave it at that. These metrics are obviously important – but more often than not – they provide an incomplete picture. To get a thorough idea about whether your acquisition/promotional strategies are performing as desired (or not!), you also need to monitor other key performance indicators (KPIs), like cost-per-installs (CPI) or customer acquisition cost (CAC), app retention rates, and the lifetime value of applications (LTV). Keep in mind that tracking only the CPI is not a good idea either – since there is a trade-off involved between CPI and LTV (10% of users acquired by CPI have a <$10 LTV). If possible, use screen heatmaps to monitor the real-time behaviour of people while using your app. Make changes, if required, accordingly.

        17. Email marketing is not dead

Marketing emails often have a sub-10% ‘open rates’. However, if composed well and shared with the right people, that ‘open rate’ can jump to 35%+ – clearly indicating that email marketing can still be a handy app user acquisition strategy. Create an email template with a brief but informative introduction about your mobile application – and request for an online or telephonic follow-up, at the recipient’s convenience. It would be even better if you attach a powerpoint presentation with the email – presenting the USPs and features of your app. It would be too naive to hope for very high response rates – but you can definitely gain some customers through this channel.

Note: If you can manage to connect with a key industry influencer and get your app promoted by him/her – that can be very helpful.

         18. Word-of-mouth is the make-or-break factor

Bad press can be the biggest app-killer out there. Actively seek opinions and feedback from your users – and find out the type of word-of-mouth (WOM) publicity that your app is garnering. If there are any perceived pain point(s) reported by these users, fix them as quickly as possible. Prior to launch, have a focus group (members should all be first-time users of the app) try a hand-on experience with your application. If a person is happy with your app, (s)he will recommend it to others as well – and your user-pool can start swelling quickly. On the other hand, if the WOM is poor…the consequences can be dire.

          19. Provide ‘Play Before Pay’ options

A smartphone-user is just like any other regular shopper. He/she would love to get a feel of what your app does – before actually taking the trouble of installing it (if yours is a paid app, there is the question of justifying the expense too). Mobile app developers should ideally have a ‘play before pay’ strategy in place – providing users with live demos and previews of the app (Android Instant Apps have made this really easy). In general, consider providing limited access for free to first-time users, so that they can get an idea of the quality and benefits of your application. Once they are convinced that your app is a good ‘un, they will proceed to download it (free or not).

          20. Aim for virality

The purpose of having a definite, well-rounded mobile app user acquisition strategy is to make your promotional campaigns ‘viral’. In an ideal scenario (where your app has indeed achieved the much-desired virality), every person should bring along more than one additional user for the app. Provide easily accessible options for registered users to send out invites to their contacts, and have strong social media integration (sharing) features. An app that goes viral can continue to move along on autopilot – constantly registering high download figures.

A new app has to acquire close to 40000 new users in a day (i.e., have that many new daily installs) – for getting featured in the App Store. The challenge is big and the app marketplace is definitely overcrowded – but with the above tips, you can indeed take your user acquisition/marketing campaigns to the next level.

Swift 4 Is Here: A Roundup Of The New Features

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.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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Swift 4 was launched in 2017

 

Apple’s Swift programming language is showing signs of recovery, after going into an absolute freefall between July and November 2017. The language, which had broken into the top-ten list on the TIOBE Index for the first time in March, had 1.566% ratings in early-December (rank – 11) – slightly up from the ratings the previous month. Interestingly though, there has been a 0.57% fall in the ratings of Swift on a YoY basis (2.134% in December 2016). The fourth iteration of the language was released by Apple last September – with many experts predicting that it will help in shoring up the adoption rates of Swift. Over here, we take a look at some of the interesting new features in Swift 4:

  1. Migrating to Swift 4

    The latest version of the programming language has been launched along with Xcode 9 (Xcode is the IDE for coding apps on the Apple platform). Xcode 9 offers full support for Swift 4 along with the transitional Swift 3.2. This, in turn, eases the process of migrating any code written in version 3.x to the newest syntax. For projects that have more than one target, different versions of Swift can be defined for each target. The built-in Swift conversion tool ensures fast and secure processing of the migration – and developers might have to recompile their dependencies in Xcode 9. Once the target(s) in the project have been selected, the conversion can be initiated by clicking on ‘Edit → Convert → To Current Swift Syntax…’.

Note: Since the Swift Package Manager is still not quite robust enough, coders generally prefer using the CocoaPods dependency manager.

  1. Key value coding with keypaths

    Dynamic referencing of properties with the help of ‘keypaths’ is one of the most convenient features in Objective-C. However, till now – creating such references in Swift was not possible (users could create references to methods, since functions in Swift have ‘first-class’ type status). This issue has been resolved in the new version of the language. Now, there are keypaths that serve as ‘uninvoked references’ to properties in the code. For getting updated values, this referencing keypath has to be called/invoked later (after specifying it). On the other hand, the current value of the property at any point can be obtained by invoking the reference at any time. In Objective-C, coders often ran into troubles with the strings and arrays – and that problem is also tackled effectively by Swift 4, thanks to the ‘strongly typed’ keypaths in the latter. In future versions of the language, runtime creation of keypaths should also become available.

Note: With keypaths, developers no longer have to access with the underlying property values. The properties can be referenced directly.

  1. One-sided ranges in Swift 4

    This feature has been implemented in a bid to reduce the verbosity of the language, while performing slicing up to/from an index within a collection. To ease out the process of creating methods for different ranges, there is a new method called ‘RangeExpression’ – and the ‘missing’ side of the one-sided range is inferred to be the prefix or the suffix. Pattern matching is a classic use case where these one-sided ranges can be very useful (checking for conditions within a range). App-makers also have the option of defining ‘infinite sequences’ with a countable start index. The ‘RangeExpression’ protocol controls all the ranges in the code. If there are overloads that assume values other than ‘Range’ – they can also be quickly converted to generic methods that conform to ‘RangeExpression’.

Note: There are no resilience or compatibility consequences of using the one-sided ranges. This is because of the purely additive nature of the new types/operators.

  1. Arrival of the ‘Codable’ protocol

    Probably the most important new feature in the latest version of Swift. Custom data types might have to be serialized/deserialized at any time – and doing that wasn’t the easiest challenge in Swift 3.x. Developers had to either use classes (manual encoding/decoding required), or work with value types (which do not work well with NSCoding and other APIs in Obj-C). The ‘struct Language: Codable {  ’ line in Swift 4 offers a nice and easy alternative for these tasks. The codes for serialization are now auto-generated by the compiler (even for serializing to JSON). All the values/properties contained in the data types are encoded by the protocol – and ‘data’ objects can be converted back into strings (decoding) as well. It is also possible to support either encoding or decoding separately, in the following manner:

Struct EncodableTypename: Encodable { . . . }

JSONEncoder (JSONDecoder) and its corresponding method has to be called to encode (decode) anything. The Codable protocol includes both encoding and decoding capabilities.

Note: In Swift, both encoding and decoding are marked as ‘throws’. ‘Codable’ is a highly flexible protocol, and can be implemented in different ways (apart from the default implementation).

  1. Writing multi-line strings

    Adding multi-line strings in programs has become easier than ever, with the ‘multi-line string literals’ in Swift 4. Strings with text in any format (HTML, JSON) can be pasted without risks of value losses – and there is no need for any escaping either (as was required in earlier versions). The syntax is simple enough – a multi-line string literal has to start with 3 double quotes ( “ “ “ ), the string has to be pasted from the next line, and the literal has to close with another 3 double quotes on the following line (after the string ends). There are no limits on the length of the string that can be interpolated like this – and line breaks, variables and quote marks can be included too. The readability of long strings also gets a boost with these multi-line string literals.

Note: By putting backslashes at the end of lines, newlines can be escaped in these multi-line literals.

  1. Improvements in the Package Manager

    Ever since the launch of Swift 3 last year, there have been clamors among developers for a better, more flexible Swift Package Manager. While the latter is still not as resourceful as it might be, the Package Manager in Swift 4 does have certain significant improvements. Products can be built as libraries or as executables, there are new conventions that have to be used to declare targets, while the manifest API has undergone a revamp as well. A developer-friendly ‘dependency resolution’ feature has replaced the ‘pin mechanism’ of Swift 3.1. More changes in the Package Manager are expected in Swift 5 and later versions.

Note: The Swift Package Manager now also has built-in support for C and C++ languages. There is also a new ‘run command’ for building/running executables in the code.

  1. Smoother access control

    For all its other merits, the access modifier in Swift 3 (‘fileprivate’) was a pain point. This mechanism allowed other files easy access to members – with access being shared for type members located in the same file. The alternative was to use ‘private’ – but that did not work in cases where certain types did not have access to the required members. In an ideal scenario, ‘fileprivate’ should be used very sparingly, while ‘private’ should be used inside the member(s). In Swift 4, it is finally possible to have a type and its extension, and share the access control between them (of course, this functionality is valid only when the type and the extension are in a single source file). In essence, developers can finally use ‘fileprivate’ in the manner it was always supposed to be used.

Note: Coding in Swift typically calls for the creation of logical groups, with the help of code-breaking with extensions. ‘fileprivate’ is important for the purpose.

  1. Revisions in string operations

    Initially a feature of Swift, the need for Strings conforming with ‘Collections’ were dropped in the second iteration of the language. This conformance have made a comeback in Swift 4 – along with a series of other string-related updates. For starters, there is a ‘StringProtocol’ for writing extensions through ‘String’ and ‘Substring’. The ‘StringProtocol’, in turn, will follow ‘Bidirectional Collection’ – and both the ‘String’ and ‘Substring’ types will conform to the ‘RangeReplacableCollection’ protocol. For low-level Unicode operations, there is a new Unicode ‘namespace’ (enum Unicode {  ), as a caseless ‘enum’. The interop C string methods have also been tweaked around, with the new version of the language having 2 init (cString) and 2 ‘with cString’ operations. There are changes in the underlying transcoding support of the language as well.

Note: All the string-related new features in Swift 4 are part of the ‘String Manifesto’.

  1. Unicode 9 supported

    Full support for Unicode 9 is yet another high point for the latest Swift version. The language has traditionally run into troubles with the unicode characters – with iOS app developers facing problems, particularly while handling large programs with Unicode. In the latest iteration, there are no bugs or complications with the counting of Unicode characters, and once again, the readability is enhanced with the Unicode 9 support. Devs can now create correct grapheme collections for emojis (‘person + skin tone’, ‘four members of a family, etc.). These countings were, in many cases, erroneous in Swift 3.

Note: The ‘key value observing API’ has undergone an update in Swift 4.

   10. Strings have become collections (reversing an earlier change)

As mentioned earlier, Swift 2.0 had removed Strings as Collections – and Swift 4 has brought it back. While a relatively small workaround, this feature will be mighty helpful for coders – since most strings have either Unicode scalars or sets of characters – both of which can be managed as ‘Collections’. Other instances can be documented with API as ‘special cases’, and worked upon accordingly. With Strings becoming Collections again, a lot more can now be done with the former – right from character-on-character looping, to full reversing. Reiterations can be done directly on a String in Swift 4, and the need for having separate ‘characters’ arrays has been done away with. From ‘Collection’ and ‘Sequence’, more functionalities can be obtained inside ‘Strings’.

Note: There is a new StringProtocol too, for the purpose of declaring functions that had been declared earlier in a String.

   11. More powerful Dictionaries

Unlike in Swift 3, filtering a dictionary in Swift 4 actually returns a new dictionary (instead of an array of tuples). A dictionary in Swift 4 can be initialized with duplicate keys – ensuring that other key-value pairs do not get accidentally overwritten. A tuple (i.e., a sequence of key-value pairing) can be used for dictionary creation as well. Values can be mapped directly in the dictionaries with the new mapValues () method – while custom ‘Dictionary Grouping’ (from sequences) is also supported. In case a dictionary key is missing and a default value has to be assigned, that can be done directly in the latest Swift version – without having to depend on the often-troublesome ‘nil coalescing operator’. What’s more, developers can now filter new objects from both ‘Set’ and ‘Dictionary’. Swift 4 has made Dictionary operations more intuitive than ever before.

Note: Explicitly reserving capacity is another new capability of Dictionary. This operation is available in Sequence too.

E.g., variablename.reservecapacity (10)

   12. Limiting Objective-C inferencing

The @objc compiler attribute is useful. It can be used for handling Swift APIs on the Objective-C platform. That said, there are certain problems with using this Obj-C inference too – particularly in the form of increase in the binary size of the final software, and also the unforeseen creation of ‘selector collisions’ in the platform. In Swift 4, this referencing has become a lot more limited – with explicit inferencing required for only such instances where the entire dynamic dispatch capabilities are required. Classes derived from NSObject no longer need to use the inference, and the code lines that are not being used are not compiled (no redundant compilation). There are certain cases where implicit Obj-C referencing will be still required though (say, in declarations with an @objc attribute).

Note: With the limited Objective-C referencing, the size of a 20 MB app can be brought down to 16-17 MB.

Another new feature in Swift 4 worth a mention is the presence of generic subscripts. The ‘where’ clause can be used for associated type constraints, NSNumber Bridging is available to move away from errors in earlier versions (delivering greater consistency), and a new method – ‘MutableCollection’ – has been provided, for swapping elements from indices. There are several other small yet important additions to Swift 4 – all of them contributing to make the language even more developer-friendly.

Most new features in Swift 4 have backward compatibility (with codes in earlier Swift versions) – and in general, the changes are not as large as those introduced in Swift 3. The Swift Evolution community is constantly evolving (Swift 4.1 was released in October) – and the next version of the language is set to have ABI compatibility and stability, with libraries from different Swift versions being compatible with applications (the feature should be implemented by the end of this year). Swift’s soaring popularity apparently hit a roadblock in mid-2017 – and the new additions in Swift 4 can be instrumental in boosting its adoption among Apple developers worldwide.