The concept of a mobile-first approach is the new norm in today’s tech revolution. This comes from my personal experience in building countless mobile applications for businesses and solopreneurs who had nothing more than a life-changing vision with them. By taking a mobile-first approach, I have personally seen immense hikes in traffic, engagements and revenue. If you’re an aspiring businessman aiming to tap into the treasure chest called mobile applications, you need certain guidance and insights on how to go about it. And with this post, I will share everything I know that lets me build future-proof mobile applications users love. Just to put the entire mobile app development scene into perspective, understand that there would be over 7 billion smartphone users across the globe by the end of 2021. This is leaving the autonomous devices part of the Internet Of Things ecosystem. And by the end of 2022, the number of app downloads is expected to reach over 258 billion. No matter how motivating and reassuring these statistics sound, these are not the numbers you should focus on right now. What should matter to you currently instead is the fact that an average smartphone user in the US has over 100 apps installed on their phone. What’s more alarming? It’s the fact that over 79% of the users abandon downloaded apps after a day’s use. Does app development still sound glamorous? From my perspective, it does and it’s the sweet spot where you come up with fixes to your plaguing challenges. While these numbers can be threatening, these are also your opportunities to look into mobile app development aspects others have overlooked. From security angles to concerns on user interfaces, these abandoned apps would have ignored several key areas users need. As a compilation from experience, here are four Features you can’t afford to ignore when building a mobile app. Enhanced Security Security is still one of the major priorities of both the dominating operating systems in the market – iOS and Android. With developers adding layers to security and privacy of data with the introduction of facial and touch recognition, users are increasingly demanding this feature in the apps they use as well. Apart from using this feature to unlock phones, customers are looking at this as a form of a firewall that prevents unauthorized access. This feature becomes all the more crucial if you intend to develop a fintech app, where people can make fraudulent transactions by gaining access by brute force. One of the ideal ways of implementing this feature is by adding this as a layer to navigational areas that are more vulnerable to threats. For instance, the settings module of any app, where people could restore passwords, change primary details and more. A wall asking authorization access in the form of facial or touch recognition can prevent intrusions and thefts of data. Push Notifications Regardless of what your opinion on push notifications is, they are here to stay. While sometimes they can be overly intrusive with frequent messages and updates, they are often messengers of good things when they deliver us discounts, deals and special accesses to offers. From a marketer’s perspective, push notifications are used by companies with an intention to ● Retain customers ● Push frequent app usage ● Deliver personalized message for engagements ● Send real-time messages ● Increase customer interactions as an alternative to emails and more One of the primary reasons I’ve mentioned push notifications as an alternative to emails is because of the backing statistics. According tothis infographics, the open rate of push notifications is 50% which is higher than emails. Its click rate is 7 times the click rate of emails. Besides, over 70% users feel that they are useful. The good thing about push notifications apart from their personalization features is that you can run targeted promotions through them. With the power of data science and analytics, you can segment users depending on a number of factors and engage uniquely with each audience persona. For instance, if you run a food-delivery app, you can pull out data on users who have not used your app for a while. With this, you can send personalized messages with customized deals and offers to rekindle app usage. Alternatively, you can also reward your most active users. While there are several best practices you need to take care to ensure these strategies don’t backfire, push notifications are value-additions to your application. Offline Access This is the age of instant gratification. From instant search results to on-demand product deliveries, we have evolved into a generation that is willing to spend money to save time. With such a collective evolution of this mindset, it is imperative that your app has this philosophy at its fulcrum. While the internet is not a concern in third-world countries, developing countries are still implementing solid internet infrastructure. That’s why it becomes important to add key functionality to your app – offline access. Because of weak connections, it could be that users don’t get the information they are looking for on your app or access its features. This not only brings down the app usability but paves the way for its abandonment as well. That’s why your app should have a layer where users can interact with your app offline or during instances of weak connectivity as well. It could be cached content or alternate features that pop up only when the app is unable to connect to the internet. Users don’t want to look at a blank screen at any given point of time. To get some inspiration, think of Google’s most creative Dinosaur game, which pops up when your Chrome browser doesn’t connect to the internet. It not only retains users during service disruption but engages with them uniquely as well. Focus on Customer Needs Than Wants There is a definite need for something in the minds of your users. That’s why they access your app. During the ideation and development process, the focus should always be on fulfilling the needs of your customers than their wants. Consider an on-demand cab service app. Customers who use the app need a cab that could take them from point A to point B. For these specific few minutes, they are more focused on what they need and not what they want. Your app should deliver this hassle-free. But the case is different when they board the cab. The mind automatically switches to different wants once the need is attained. For inspirational purposes, you can consider your customers’ demographics, region, preferences, likes and dislikes, spending capacity and more to come up with a version of the hierarchy of needs. This will give you a significant idea on the priority concerns your app should solve and then move on to other problems if required. Developing a mobile application is an exciting and rewarding process. But along the way there are also tons of hindrances, pivoting, failures. Though they shouldn’t bother you, they should definitely teach you to develop a mobile application that users find useful. If all this sounds too daunting to you and if you feel, you only want to somehow get an app developed, reach out to experts in the industry. Anyprominent app development company would know the intricacies involved in developing mobile apps. Good luck!