Tools and Platforms Every Mobile Startup Should Consider, Part 1

Mobile technologies rule the world today. For startuppers and investors, this is an advanced niche not only because of the low entry threshold, but also because of potential profitability. According to AppAnnie, by 2020, profits from mobile applications are expected to double compared to the current year and will amount to over $ 100 billion. Yet, there’re certain factors that will have a tremendous impact on mobile revenues going forward. Speed of mobile application development and short time to market are some of the most decisive factors. We’ve reviewed some of the services and platforms that are both available and affordable for startuppers and can help them lead, not follow others when it comes to mobile solution monetization.

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App development stage

Speed is critical during the creation of your mobile application: both app launch speed and speed of making change to the solution based on user feedback. Do you have a developer on your team

who builds native apps with Swift, Objective-C or Java and have no time constraints? You’re very lucky! If you don’t have such resources on your dev team, you’ll have to start with cross-platform app development and take advantage of resources that are already available for your project!

Tools and platforms for cross-platform development

One of the most popular cross-platform frameworks is Xamarin which has recently been acquired by Microsoft. The code is written in C #, then Xamarin transforms it into a complete application giving full access to all features of the SDK platform and native mechanism of the interface creation (UI). If you don’t have C # developers on your team, but have those skilled in JavaScript – try Appcelerator, another cross-platform development platform.

Tools and platforms for web app development

The popularity of web app development is growing rapidly due to the fact that you don’t really need any specific skills or hard-to-find and expensive resources to build web apps. HTML, CSS, JS and any front-end framework would do! In fact, your application is going to be a web or mobile site that can be built by any average web programmer.

One of the best platforms in this area is Cordova that has become much more efficient and user-friendlier in the inventory in the past year.

Tools and platforms for application’s landing page

When your application is created, the first thing you will need to do is building an audience to increase your mobile product’s online visibility and search engine marketing. For this purpose you’ll badly need either an app’s website or a product landing page. This is one of the most popular and fastest ways to tell people about your app and what it does and, thus, attract user attention.

Good news is that there’s literally an abundance of free resources to facilitate creation of a landing page or website.

LaunchRock is a tool that’s very handy in use and that allows you to create a website for your application in minutes absolutely free. The trick is in the simplicity and basic functionality.

Launckit is one of the best solutions for creating landing pages. In addition to the website builder, this tool provides analytics such as reports on app downloads and sales, which makes it easy to monitor the feedback in the App Store as well as identify users who most often used your application. The basic version is rather limited, but free.

If you need something more than just a landing page, you can always use the good old Wix or buy the appropriate template from TemplatesMonster or ThemeForest and modify it to your needs.

Tools for user feedback collection

When an application is running it’s important to quickly organize a communication with the first users and quickly eliminate the slightest bugs. Firstly, you will clearly understand in what direction to develop the app further. Secondly, it helps reduce the number of negative responses and, thereby, increase the average rating of the application in the relevant app store.

To collect feedback, Instabug is one of the best tools to use. It’s fairly simple and very convenient for connecting users and application developers / owners. The name speaks for itself: the main function of the service is to enable the user to quickly inform an app developer about an error, attach a screenshot and description of the problem, to help you improve your product.

Another similar service is Apptentive that offers more robust functionality: in addition to the ability to communicate with users from within the app, you will also be able to conduct surveys and polls, promptly notify users about innovations, and also filter out those that like or dislike your product for further PR initiatives.

If your task is to establish a broad communication with customers across multiple simultaneous channels, Intercom is probably the best choice. It allows not only to carry out personalized marketing campaign, but also to analyze its effectiveness. Also, the product can be easily integrated with many other services that you might use to work with users.

If the above services are not enough, do pay your attention to Helpstack and Helpshift.

(to be continued…)

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