The world us is quickly advancing due to the power of mobile devices, as they nudge us towards an ever increasing “connected world” with mobile apps being at the forefront of this major shift. IoT solutions, wearable devices, micro controllers, beacons and smart sensors are also each playing a fundamental role in creating a world that’s more connected than ever before.
We here at Zemingo are at the forefront of mobile app development for connected devices, by developing some of the most intuitive & well connected mobile apps across all operating systems.
WHAT ARE CONNECTED PRODUCTS
Over the past few years, the phrase Internet of Things, or (IoT) has arisen to reflect the growing number of smart, connected products, connected to a larger scale framework, or the web in general. However, IoT is not very helpful in understanding the phenomenon of people connecting with physical products.
What makes smart, connected products fundamentally different is not the internet, but the changing nature of the “things.” It is the expanded capabilities of smart, connected products and the data they generate that are ushering in a new era of both opportunities and competition.
Smart, connected products raise a new set of strategic opportunities related to how value is created, as organizations can now shift their sales cycle from a ‘revenue per unit sold’ approach, to a longer-term ‘lifetime value’ approach, as companies now have more access to real-time user data, instead of waiting for information to the delay of having information relayed back from 3rd party vendors opening up now potential monetization streams.
6 KEY IDEAS FOR APPS OF CONNECTED PRODUCTS
In our previous post, we shared a 10 Point App Development Checklist for Connected Devices. If you haven’t downloaded the free guide yet, go ahead and get it. The fact remains that not every mobile app is a good app; however, there are principles that if put into proper use will go long ways in helping a business get the most out of their mobile app. To help give you the upper hand, here are 6 key ideas that you and your team should absolutely consider towards helping you build a successful mobile app enabling a connected device.
1 – ESTABLISH A TIMELINE
Creating a well-defined app development and launch cycle will take time, it’s essential to start at the top by putting a deadline on the launch of your consumer facing app. When would you like to launch your app? If you’re starting from scratch, the development process can take 3 to 6 months (at least). Set milestones for developers to keep the project on track. Document missed deadlines and calculate delays. If you’re not tracking the progress and deadlines, you’re leaving room for error, and that’s something no organization can afford. As a side note, it’s essential that your team sets scheduled meetings and calls with project management teams, who’s primary goal is to ensure your project is progressing smoothly.
2 – WIREFRAME AND USER FLOW
Typically, before development can begin, your app development team will need to see a comprehensive set of wireframes. Wireframes are product schematics or blueprints that detail each screen within your application and the general flow users will follow while using your app. Creating these design elements are critical during your discovery phase as they layout the what, why and how’s of your products key features.
3 – CONSIDER PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Privacy and security could not be overstated, this is a big issue that often gets overlooked. Will your app deal with sensitive information? If so, you’ll need to make sure that user data is protected. More importantly, the information your app collects need to be clearly relayed back to your end users, in order to stay as transparent as possible, Talk to your developer about potential security issues and solutions.
4 – TESTING FUNCTIONALITY
If your application requires the use of the following hardware features, you will need to thoroughly test for each use case.
HARDWARE KEYS – Ex. Camera application using a dedicated camera button, Task/Event Manager applications using hardware buttons to snooze a reminder, media players using volume and other keys etc. Some applications also use the power button to provide additional functionality / shortcuts to application behavior.
ACCELEROMETER – Applications that make use of accelerometer require testing to ensure that the readings are being recorded accurately and utilized correctly within the applications. This test case might be relevant to applications like Star Maps, Pedometers, Jump trackers, Games, 3D visualization applications etc.
GPS – How will your Navigation applications respond if the GPS is disabled or turned off abruptly during operation?
ANY OTHER SENSOR – If your app depends on additional sensors for temperature, luminosity or any accessory that provides additional functionality, then you need to ensure that you have tested for conditions when they are not available or do not function accurately.
5 – PLAN FOR SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
Almost all apps need version upgrades, regular maintenance, and other support. Handling these updates should never be left as an afterthought. Don’t wait until after launch to ask your developers about supporting bug fixes and minor improvements. Failing to plan for your upcoming features and improvements can set you back in terms of timing, budget and relevance amongst your intended user base.
6 – SET KEY METRICS
As mentioned at the top of this post, creating a mobile app centered around a physical product opens up a whole new world of data never before possible. This requires you think out of the box about the type of information you need to collect. As a general rule, if the data doesn’t help you improve your product, user behavior, or maximize revenue potential, there’s no reason to track the information. The last thing you and your team need is to be overloaded by analysis paralysis. If It doesn’t help move the needle, focus on the data that does.
TURNING IT BACK OVER TO YOU
Need practical guidelines on how to…
- App enable your consumer facing product?
- Plan and execute your app development roadmap?
- Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing and execution?