There are millions of apps to help us solve problems, entertain us, keep us fit, on schedule, see the weather, set alarms, entertain our kids; we have so much app choice. We constantly want to do more with our apps, and if we don’t get what we want, we move on to an app that will meet that need. In fact, according to an article on Techcrunch today:
“New research on mobile behaviour…points to the growing struggle that app businesses face in establishing themselves as a must-have download on users’ smartphones. Today’s consumers are spending over 85 percent of their time on their smartphones using native applications, but the majority of their time – 84 percent – is spent using just five non-native apps they’ve installed from the App Store.”
Just think of that for a minute longer, most people only use five apps. So not only do you need a person to think your app is interesting, download it, and then try it, you need to make them into a repeat user, otherwise your app sits on the device unused, until it is eventually deleted.
App Pet Peeves
Put yourself in the shoes of an app downloader (we know you are already downloading apps so this should be a pretty clear visual):
- You read an article and think I need that app so I can shop at X store
- You visit the App Store, click on it, it downloads (you might look at the reviews before you do it so they better be good just in case)
- You open the app – is it fast or slow to load?
- You start swiping away – is the info up to date, slow to load or does the app crash when you dig in deeper?
- You want to make a purchase – is the app clunky or easy to use? Does it load the info quickly? Is it irritatingly slow and painful?
- Do you actually make the purchase or just visit the website, store or worse abandon it all together?
As I write this I can think of countless apps where I get to steps three-six and give up. As consumers, we have such a breadth of choice when it comes to downloading apps, if yours isn’t good enough, it won’t be one of those golden five apps that gets heavy use from consumers.
Getting Extreme about Data
Each point above can be improved by data because at the end of the day, your UI can be pretty, but if the data isn’t right, on time or makes the app crash, you most certainly won’t be a top five used app.
As end users are increasingly making mobile devices their primary connection point, and as home broadband and mobile network technology have improved (both in performance and price), expectations on usability, capability and performance of apps has correspondingly increased. However, the Internet has several issues, especially relating to consistency and capability. With network pressures and constraints, users can experience slow load times or dropped connections, varying greatly by geographic location. Major metropolitan hubs typically have great performance, but suffer from saturation. More rural areas are struggling to catch up, often still supporting 3G at best. However, end users expect to receive the same slick and responsive experience using an app when they’re out on the road connected over a 3G network as they do when they’re using their laptop at home and at work. Given these constraints, developers have been forced to become more intelligent about the quantity of data that is sent, resulting in a focus on data quality. Put another way, developers are now struggling to provide the best “bang for your buck” data, making app development slower and more tedious. Using technology that manages this intelligent data distribution saves countless development hours and cycles, bringing those performing applications much more quickly to market, with lower development costs.
What do you need to do?
Deliver extreme quality of service. When developing your app you must keep in mind that Internet connections can be unreliable and disconnection and reconnection can occur without warning. Internet connection speeds can vary between different clients and devices and different Internet-connected devices vary hugely in performance, form factor and technology speed. What’s required is a way to efficiently distribute data to employees, machines and customers through web and mobile applications without affecting your organization’s application performance. The aim of the game is to minimize the volume of data you need to serve your customers and lessen the strain on the network, all while ensuring you’re able to respond efficiently to volatility in demand. Sending the data that matters (typically only the data that has changed) becomes critical to a successful user experience. That means addressing the challenges of the network – bandwidth and network availability – head on. Ensure you develop your app with:
- Live data model cached at the edge of the Internet
- Continuous monitoring – and adjustment – to Internet roadblocks
- Continuous monitoring – and adjustment – of every connection (i.e. device)
- Instant reconnection when connectivity is lost
Getting smart about your data is just one way to be a must have app. What else do you need to do? You need to think about your app’s performance and scalability, amongst other things. Learn more about our flagship Diffusion product, click here.
The Diffusion Intelligent Data Platform manages, optimizes, and integrates data among devices, systems, and applications. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta-data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to fuel revenue growth, customer engagement, and business operations. The products, Diffusion® and Diffusion Cloud™, are available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration, to fit the specific business and infrastructure requirements of the applications operating in today’s mobile obsessed, everything connected world. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.