How to launch an app or mobile application is amongst the most trending research phrase on any search engine today. And why not? After all, the third quarter of 2021 recorded a whooping 21.5 billion U.S. dollars consumer spending on apps. But the sad part is that although the number of popular mobile apps downloads is increasing steadily, there is no improvement in the retention rate of these popular mobile apps. This statistical result provokes the business professionals to learn:
- Why is the retention rate of mobile apps so low?
- How can the new app launch be made better?
- How to start an application?
Therefore, this comprehensive guide is for all the mobile app developers and business professionals who have plans for mobile app launch in near future. Let’s begin by first exploring the trends that are reigning in the mobile app development market today. So before you proceed with the steps on how to prepare an app, get acquainted with the market updates and upgrades.
Mobile app launch trends of 2021
1 Mobile app for foldable OLED display
With foldable OLED displays on smartphones, Android has also upgraded its level to enhance its user experience. Way back in 2018, Android had publicly announced its support for foldable displays by the use of API attributes. Because foldable mobile phones are buzzing the mobile market since 2020, it’s time to mold the marketing strategies of the applications, as being foldable display friendly.
2. Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in popular mobile apps
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have sneak peaked and transformed all the digital applications for all good. Today apps like FaceApp and MyHeritage are the ones that are boasting of their usage and are trending in the market because of this unique attribute.
3. Use of augmented reality and virtual reality in mobile app launch
Soon you will be able to have a real-time view of directions on Google Maps, because of the AR integration with your mobile phone camera. Using AR and VR technology is the trending need for the mobile market. People are getting obsessed with a real-time view of their life on small mobile gadgets, and therefore the need for AR or VR-enabled mobile applications is rising.
4. Use of chatbots in the new app launch
Chatbot integration in mobile apps is a unique way of elevating the level of user experience. This attribute meets the needs of the consumers by offering them the needed self-help experience. ‘My Starbucks Barista’ is the chatbot of the Starbucks app, that helps to take orders, via messaging or even voice.
5. Exclusive applications for wearable devices
The adoption and usage of wearable devices are on the increase. This rise triggers the need to have an exclusive application market for wearable devices. However, Apple recently released its WatchOS update at the WWDC conference. The update stated that the wearable watch no longer required integration with an iPhone and instead has its own exclusive AppStore.
6. IoT enabled popular mobile apps
By the term IoT, we mean the integration of all the devices that are internet savvy. Google Home Voice Controller and Echo are such devices that are IoT-enabled. Soon Google will integrate its Fitbit with Nest to test every growing mobile application in the IoT market. As a result, there is soon going to be an increase in IoT-enabled applications for both Android and Apple.
7. Mobile wallet apps
Apple Pay and Google Wallet are the trending technological advancements of 2021. Tech giants like Apple and Samsung are offering convenience and security to their users by integrating these mobile wallets on their devices.
8. Security of popular mobile apps
The demand for digital security has been an evergreen trend since the last known. With Facebook, and Uber experiencing security breaches in spite of strict regulations, companies always struggle to come up with the best of security protocols for the application. With a security-first approach, the robust DevOps Strategy is soon going to trend the market like never before.
9. Beacon technology in the new app launch
The Beacon technology allows its users to connect with the brands in a highly contextual manner. Beacon-enabled airports, automated personal beacons, and mobile payments beacons are a few trending examples that offer a smooth experience.
10. Instant apps
These apps are native mobile applications that are more user-friendly and convenient to use. They are equally popular amongst their users and developers. Such apps come with the attribute of less loading time and better user experience.
11. On-demand popular mobiles apps
These apps are rising because of the rise in the on-demand market. The user can avail of any service on-demand after paying a nominal fee amount.
12. Cloud computing integration
With the increase in the number of mobile phone users and the equal increase in the number of mobile application downloads taking place every hour, it has become mandatory to integrate the applications with cloud computing. Cloud computing enables trustworthy and safe handling of the complex and mammoth amount of data in one place with no breach.
Steps to develop an app or How to start an application?
1. Conduct market research
Conduct in-depth market research to understand the need of your target audience. Study the already present and popular players of your mobile app segment. Study the retention rate of apps and identify the reasons behind their downfall, if any. Identify the pitfalls which you need to avoid to ensure a good retention rate of your application.
2. Define your goals
Set some measurable goals for your mobile app launch. These goals will help you identify if your approach is right or you need a fresh approach to reach your target. Some of the parameters that help you define your success rate are active install rate, number of ratings, average app store rating, and revenue generated.
3. Get ready for cross-platform and browser versions of the popular mobile apps
In today’s time, the single platform launch of an app will not drive a fruitful position in the market. For this purpose, it is always recommended to opt for cross-platform launch and multiple browser versions of apps. Not only do cross-platform launches guarantee more users, but it is also a long-term cost-effective approach. The use of the best IDE software accelerates the app development process and helps to create the web browser version of the mobile application.
As part of pre-launch, the developer needs to create an account on social media to generate interest in its application, by the use of teasers or ads. This step is led by the sole purpose of ensuring more and more downloads of your app on its launch. You can create pre-launch buzz to let the people get notified when the new app launch takes place.
5. Content creation
Get your content ready to be released as blog posts, social media content, website copy, press releases, and email marketing copy. This content will let the readers know what your app is all about and how is it different from many other such apps already trending in the market. Keep providing real-time updates to the public via social media posts, regarding the launch and updates of your application.
6. Mobile app demo
Now that content has been created, it’s time to show the world the user interface of your mobile application. For this, a demo video is to be created where all the operations of your mobile application are displayed. Such demo videos can easily be created by the use of user-friendly programs like Camtasia. This video is also of great help in telling the people why your application is unique as compared to other players in the market.
7. Launch an exclusive website or a webpage for the new app launch
If your mobile application is a complete business interface all by itself, then you should go ahead with the creation of an exclusive website for this app. But if your app is just an extended way of offering the pre-existing product and services to your clientele, then get a single webpage created for it. You can create early bird offers for those who will download your app on its launch.
8. Choose your app marketplace
Undoubtedly, the cross-platform launch is a beneficial option in the long run, as it is cost-effective. But when you are about to launch an app for the first time, launch it on just one platform. Observe your app performance. Once all the issues are solved, you can hit the other alternate app platforms too. In this way, you save a lot of time, money, and effort which otherwise gets wasted in handling the discrepancies on both platforms.
9. Use of app store optimization or ASO
ASO and SEO are two different concepts. App store optimization (ASO) is solely dedicated to optimizing the title and content of mobile applications. Therefore when you are about to launch an app, categorize it properly, so that the users can easily locate you when needed.
It’s always good to network with other app developers who have the same set of target audiences or whose features complement the features of your app. Two or more app developers can also work together with co-marketing strategies for a more focussed and cost-effective approach. Be sure to network with the developers who are rated good.
11. Get ready to pitch your app in the market
Get your mobile app demos and trailer videos ready, to be pitched in the market, few weeks before the final launch. The apps can be pitched while creating content for videos, blog posts, social media content, etc.
Take the help of bloggers and journalists in your network, and ask them to create a buzz about your mobile application in the market. Ask them to end their social media content with a link to your application. This group of networks can also spread the news of your new app launch through the demo video and App Store or PlayStore link.
13. Make use of paid advertisements
With good ASO and SEO content, you can surely drive in much organic traffic to your mobile app. But with this, you also need to invest a bit in paid advertisements, which will buy you top position space on every SERP. Paid advertising can also buy you space on social media pages like Facebook and other related applications with similar target audiences.
14. Opt for influencer marketing
Take the help of social media bloggers, influencers, and content creators who have a good number of followers to leverage influential marketing. Make sure that the chosen influencers are the ones related to the industry your app belongs to. For example, if yours is a food and recipe app, you can make well-known chefs your influencers.
15. Consider an invite-only beta launch
Before making a wide and full-fledged mobile app launch, it is advisable to launch only a beta version of your app. Because of this beta launch, you can identify and fix bug issues easily and also provide a good user interface. Make use of email marketing to send this beta version of your app to choose a segment of people from who you expect positive and real feedback.
When you are officially out in the market, it’s time to shout out loud. Place the download link of your app on all your social media posts, paid advertisements, and marketing emails.
17. Mobile app launch through a digital medium like webinars
Organize a small new app launch party through a webinar where you invite your early bird downloaders, sponsors, influencers, and journalists. You can also announce special discounts for those who attend the webinar
18. Lay emphasis on feedback and reviews
Once the app has been officially launched, it’s time to expect all sorts of positive and negative feedback and reviews. This step also helps to identify the bugs and rectify them before it’s too late. On-time rectification of errors improves the user rating of the mobile application.
19. Publish app update log
Keep your app updated with new features and technological advancements. If your app will upgrade itself to take benefit of the growing digital transformations, your audience will never shift to your competitors or other new apps in the market.
20. Provide the wishlist or coming soon section
Users are the happiest when they are provided with customized solutions. Therefore, if your app has a section where the users can share their wishlist and you can show your to-be-added app attributes, your overall app becomes interactive and user-friendly.
Cost for new app launch
Mobile applications are of various types and so are the costs parameters attached to them. Applications that are complex and enjoy some prime attributes are the ones that are more expensive to develop and launch. However, there are a few common application costs factors that need to be learned, to have a complete understanding of – how do you typically discover new smartphone apps.
A glimpse of factors that influence the cost of mobile app launch and development:
- The function and features of the app are governed by the purpose for which the app is created. The category to which the app belongs, like education, games, business, etc determines its costs.
- If the app is to be integrated with a third party, there is an added cost to its development and launch.
- The platform for which the app is developed is also a big determinant of its costs. The apps developed exclusively for App Store are the ones that are more expensive to develop as compared to those curated for cross-platform or Android.
How to launch an app on Apple?
The launch of a mobile application in the App Store is a bit complex and tedious task. With more than 2 million apps in its kitty, the App Store has already redefined the ways apps exist in our routine life.
Apple, therefore, has set benchmarks and principles, which filter in only those applications that are safe and of good quality.
Apple Developer account
The first step for the launch of an app on the App Store is to create an iOS app and publish the same on the App store. The App Store account requires annual renew of the accounts. On creating an account, the developer can test his application on multiple devices.
Submission of application to App Store
We would suggest that you browse through the guidelines set by Apple before initiating the submission process. The apple review team reviews each application individually before accepting it. And if the application is not fulfilling the set guidelines, it does get rejected.
Remember, before the app submission, you are required to submit the related app information and metadata. The app description is very much essential for any app because only by viewing the top few lines of this description, the prospective user might accept or reject the application.
Finally, the reviewing of the application takes place for a few days, and then the developer is sent a piece of information regarding the public release of his application in an App Store.
How to launch an app on the play store?
Android is an open platform for app distribution and PlayStore is its prime platform for distributing apps.
Google Developer Account
The developer needs to get a Google Developer Account, to publish the application on the Android platform. The account is created after making a one-time payment of $25. Remember, the app information provided during account creation is the one that gets displayed to users on the public release of the app.
Submit the app to Google Play Store
Google Play is quick in judging if your mobile application fits its criteria or not. Therefore it is suggestive to make a compelling listing of the application. An attention-savvy listing does compel new users to download the app.
In the Play Store, the short description as provided during account creation is the one that is the first point of interaction with the prospective user. If the user finds the description compelling, he may proceed with the next step of app download. Therefore make use of ASO and attention-grabbing keyword content to describe the app features.
On the completion of the above formalities, the app can be uploaded to the binary file (the .apk file). Thereafter, you need to follow the guidelines as mentioned on Google Console for the public release of the app. Android makes use of the .apk extension to install and execute the apps. All of this takes just a few hours and then your app is good to experience the launch on Android.
Now that you are on the exit pole of this read, ‘how do you typically discover new smartphone apps’ is no longer an alien concept for you. You are all ready to launch your novel mobile application for the millennials of 2021. And if you sincerely adhere to all the above essentials, your mobile application retention rate will also enjoy an upward trend. But, remember, the app market is highly competitive. Almost 3739 new apps enter the Play Store platform every day. This means every app-launcher should be well-updated with innovations taking place in the market and also keep an eye on all the key players of their niche app segment.
Stay tuned for more comprehensive guides and their relative updates.