The smartphone app industry is at its peak at the moment. With more than 3.2 billion active smartphone users, the industry appears to be extremely profitable. Teams of developers around the world are putting a lot of effort into creating a top-notch user experience. Designers propose bold interfaces, IT experts are continuously debugging, and marketing agencies work hard to make sure everyone knows about these apps.
As of the end of 2019, Apple App Store is home to around 1.84 million apps, and Google Play Store hosts more than 2.57 million apps. Altogether, the industry’s revenue solely for that year added up to $120 billion.
Such a large number of apps to choose from is not bad. On the contrary, it creates healthy competition on major app markets, where the best ones will rise to the top. However, to make an app that will be the best of the best is easier said than done. Let’s talk about this a bit.
The Right Idea Is Everything
Most of the consumers’ needs are often very apparent, so the solutions are easy to find. However, in many other cases, people are completely unaware that there could be an app for something they would love or need. Once they stumble upon it, they cannot imagine their lives without the app. That is why good ideas keep apps alive and reduce the churn rate. Churn and retention rates are some of the most important parameters to consider if you are a developer. On average, 71% of users stop using an app within the first three months. The retention rate will never reach 100%, and that is perfectly fine. Still, keeping the churn rate low should definitely be one of the top priorities. The idea should be followed by a firm concept that allows further development and improvement.
Less Is More
Apps with user-friendly interfaces that offer solutions and stick to their core features are normally the most successful ones. The simplest apps, focusing on one or a few things, are downloaded the most, according to Statista. Some of the most popular app categories include tools (99.8%), communication (99.3%), video players and editing (96.3%), productivity (91.6%), etc.
Focus on Your Target Audience
Different people focus on using various apps for different purposes. Some of these apps will likely take up more or less of a person’s screen time, especially if they are designed to do so. Without a shadow of a doubt, Gen Z-ers spend the most time using apps—as much as 3.2 hours on average, followed by millennials who spend some 2.6 hours. The app screen time gradually reduces as the age goes up.
It does not mean that developers should only develop apps to appeal to younger audiences. On the contrary, make the app enticing for everyone. That is not simple, yet it is far from impossible. Using core features and having a simple, yet effective platform gathers people of all ages—take Facebook or YouTube as an example.
Cross-Platform App Development Is Key
It is almost always detrimental to your business to have an app for a single platform, especially if it is wildly popular. While you may think that Google Play Store will likely bring you more success due to more people using Android, you might be wrong.
Even though Google Play Store hosts more apps than Apple App Store, the latter continuously generates higher revenue. That is why it is important to think about both iPhone and Android users and provide for both. Even though you will have to put as twice as much effort into development, more people will use that app if you make it available for everyone.
The Bottom Line
Those using apps for years already have some standards that you, as a developer, must maintain. When creating an app, there are certain points that you need to consider, such as a simple yet effective interface and a well-designed app that is available to everyone.
App usage is never the same for all age groups. Younger people are more into switching between apps and experimenting with them. Still, focus on creating quality apps that will resonate with everyone, regardless of their age. You will reap the rewards in no time.