Agile vs. Waterfall Development

When it comes to software development, you may have heard the terms agile vs. waterfall development. Not sure what they are? No worries, because we will cover both methodologies and compare and contrast the two so you can get a better idea of both.

What is the Waterfall Development Methodology?

Also known as Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model, this is a model that only moves to the next step of the development when the previous step has been completed. The team develops and tests each step of the design thoroughly and when the step has thoroughly been completed, the team moves on to the next step. Waterfall methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures quality but at the cost of time. 

What is Agile Development Methodology?

Unlike the Waterfall Methodology, both testing as well as development are worked upon side by side. This model allows for more communication between all the parties involved, i.e., developers, customers, managers, and testers. Furthermore, this model is collaboration-centric, which means that communication is the key here, and the tasks are broken down into smaller tasks which are then given a deadline to finish by. Agile Methodology is more flexible than the former, as it allows for the scope of the project to change once the development has started. 

What are the benefits of Waterfall Development Methodology?

Some of the key benefits of Waterfall Development Methodology are as follows:

  • This method is one of the simplest to use. Each step has precise objectives and an evaluation process because of its nature.
  • It tends to work well for small tasks with simple to understand specifications.
  • Quicker execution
  • The method and output are well recorded.
  • Capable of adapting equipment method
  • This Methodology for managing project constraints is effective.

What are the benefits of Agile Development Model?

  • The customer process is focused on. This ensures that the customer constantly participates during all phases.
  • Agile groups are highly self – motivated so that the development plans can produce a better outcome.
  • This method ensures that development quality is maintained, and the process is based entirely on progress. 
  • The customer and team, therefore, know exactly what is or isn’t complete. In the development process, this decreases the risk.

Drawbacks of the Waterfall Development Method

  • Not the perfect model for a complex project.
  • It’s a less efficient method if the requirement is not clear at the start.
  • Changes in the previous phases are very hard to move back.
  • After the development has ended, the testing process starts. Therefore, there are high opportunities for bugs in development that are costly to fix afterwards.

Differences between both the models

Agile

  • Well-known for its flexibility
  • Project development life cycle is broken down into individual milestones
  • Follows a step-by-step approach
  • The entire development can be viewed as an amalgamation of different tasks
  • Is flexible, and can be changed should the need arise
  • The members of the Agile Team work quicker and are thus interchangeable. Project managers are also not needed, because the whole team manages the projects
  • Agile development model works with time & equipment or unspecified funding exceptionally well. In fixed-price scenarios, it can increase stress.
  • Agile incorporates a product perspective in which the software satisfies its customers’ needs and changes according to the requirements of the consumers.
  • This methodology is a repetitive development approach and may be used several times due to these phases of planning, development, prototyping and other software development.

Waterfall

  • Isn’t as flexible and is rigid in nature
  • Each step of the development is broken down into different phases
  • Is a sequential design process
  • The entire development model is viewed as a single complete project
  • Is rigid, and cannot be changed or tweaked once the project has started
  • This model displays a vision of the project and focuses entirely on the achievement of the project
  • Decreases risk in the company’s fixed price contracts by obtaining an initial risk agreement.
  • The Waterfall model once completes all the project development phases such as design, development, and testing.
  • The process is always straightforward in the waterfall method, so the team leader plays a vital part in every phase of SDLC.

Agile vs. Waterfall: The Bottom Line

After deciding between agile vs. waterfall, it can still be a little tricky to assess how well a solution will work for you. Here’s what you can do to make sure you make the best decision. 

  • Use trial versions and explore all the available features.
  • Ask a lot of questions from the sales team and make a list of what you need vs what a particular software has to offer
  • Find software reviews online and see if there are any red flags. Customer reviews are sometimes more informative than the software reviews posted on different websites.

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation. 

How to Create a Chatbot

Chatbots are present on almost every website that is selling a product or service nowadays, and it is a great way to quickly assist your site visitors who may have questions regarding what you offer. Many companies are looking to incorporate a chatbot on their site to get more leads, and here is everything you need to know about how to create a chatbot.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a virtual assistant that greets the visitors when they visit your website. It is an especially effective tool to have as it enables the users to have constant communication with the app developers and makes them feel important. In addition to this, chatbots are either free to make or cost very little money for a basic chatbot that greets the visitors when they visit the website. Chatbots are powered by AI and are governed by rules. They are designed to learn and mimic human conversations to the maximum possible extent. In addition to this, the more chatbots are running, the more they learn and adapt to the conversations that humans initiate. 

What are the benefits of having a chatbot?

Having a chatbot present at all times is a great way to let the customers engage with the app and allow them to be heard. Furthermore, as the users have the majority of their needs being met via Instagram, Facebook and other platforms, it is pointless to develop a new app just for the sake of having a chatbot. A smarter way to approach it is by integrating the chatbots into the poplar platforms and learning from their interactions with the users.

In addition to being proactive when it comes to customer service, chatbots come in handy when the customers come on to the messenger to talk to someone. If you do not have a customer service executive available, the customers can engage with the chatbots, keeping them on the line. By doing so, the customer service executive can then take over the conversation by then, 

If the app is gaining traffic but cannot convert it into sales, then the chatbot can reach out to the customers with a form to ask them why they did not purchase anything. By doing so, the developers will have a clear idea about the reasons and have the data necessary to ensure that they can work on those issues and convert the traffic into sales. 

Here are some additional benefits of having a chatbot.

How to create a chatbot?

If you are a coding geek, you can code a chatbot framework into existence; however, if you have no clue about coding and want to create a chatbot, you can do that too. This article will go over both coding and non-coding options to create a chatbot.

Non-coding options

Several platforms are quite popular when it comes to creating a chatbot and are easy-to-use. Every step of the way you’ll be asked to enter relevant information which will be used to determine how the chatbot will perform. Follow the following steps to better help you understand what your chatbot needs to be:

1. Know the kind of chatbot you want – This is where you ask what the chatbot needs to achieve. It can either be a simple chatbot that responds to greetings and is governed by rules which dictates how it performs. On the other hand, it can be an adaptive AI-powered chatbot which enables the chatbot to learn from the user interactions and grow.

2. Select the platform for the chatbot’s use – Where is the chatbot going to be deployed? Facebook, Instagram, or will it be hosted on your website? In any case, know where it is going to be deployed, and again, it all boils down to the goal that you are trying to achieve with the chatbot.

3. Opt for the right technology stack – Once you have decided what the chatbot is going to be doing and where it will be working, you can move on to the next step, which is choosing where and how to build it. You can either opt for a chatbot developer to design the bot for you or use the DIY platforms available online. 

4. Design the Conversation – This is where you teach the bot what to do, and if you have opted for chatbot development options of a developer, they’ll get it done for you. But if you have opted for DIY chatbot platforms, then the process is as simple as dragging and dropping. Once done, then you can move on to testing and then deploying the bot in the field.

Coding Options

If you decide to code the chatbot into existence, you can opt for Python, which is the most popular option for most chatbot developers. Developers opt for Python because it is equipped with Artificial Intelligence Markup Language, which makes life easier for developers when they create syntax for complicated chatbot features. In addition to this, Python is used to create all the conversational aspects hosted by the server.

If you do not know anything about coding and are not happy with the no-code options, you can hire a reputable software company that offers chatbot development services. Let the developers handle the entire process from start to finish as you tell them what exactly you are looking for in a chatbot.

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation. 

What is PaaS in Cloud Computing?

PaaS stands for Platform-as-a-Service, a ready-to-use platform that keeps the architectural structures behind the scenes so that the programmers can focus solely on coding. It enables the developers to keep their attention on the coding aspect without spending time on the infrastructure needed to develop and launch apps. The service is similar to FaaS, which is function-as-a-service. The PaaS service allows the developers to use their servers’ hardware and software, which frees up the developers’ time. In addition to this, many organizations view this as a good option which enables them to operate cost-effectively. 

What does PaaS provide?

PaaS will not transform the existing IT infrastructure of a company for developing the software. It is supplied with the hosted infrastructure of a cloud service provider. Developers often use a web browser to access the services. To provide solutions like hosting an application and Java development, PaaS can be delivered through public, private and hybrid clouds. This includes other PaaS services:

  • Coordination of development teams
  • Development of applications
  • Evaluating and implementation of applications
  • Integration of Web Services
  • Safety of information
  • Integration of the database

The main advantage of PaaS is user-friendliness and convenience. A large number of infrastructure and other IT services are provided by the PaaS provider, which users can access through any web browser. The pay-per-use option allows companies to reduce their operating costs for hardware and software at the premises.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PaaS

Accessibility of service or consistency may be an issue for PaaS. If a provider suffers a service breakdown or other infrastructure breakdown, this can negatively affect clients and lead to expensive productivity deficiencies. Even so, PaaS providers are reasonably busy. There is also a possible issue with organizational change to a PaaS product. For instance, if a PaaS provider does not support the current programming language or chooses to use another set of design tools, it can have disruptive effects on users. 

To know the implication of the provider’s plan on their environment and capacity, customers must adopt the PaaS service provider’s blueprint. Lock-in vendors are another significant issue since many of the knowledge and programs from one PaaS product to another competing product cannot easily migrate. When selecting a PaaS provider, users must assess the corporate risks of service downtime and vendor lock-in.

PaaS products are aimed at the development of software. The platforms provide computer and storage facilities and text editing, versioning, compilation and evaluating services that allow developers to efficiently and decisively develop new software. A PaaS item also allows project managers, irrespective of geographical position, to cooperate and work together.

PaaS architectures hide from developers and other users their underlying infrastructure. This means that the cloud provider handles and operates the server and controls the distribution of resources, which is similar to the serverless computer and function-as-a-services architecture. 

Types of PaaS

The different types of PaaS, are as follows:

  • PaaS Public
  • PaaS Private
  • PaaS Hybrid
  • PaaS Communications
  • PaaS Mobile
  • OpenPaas Open

The most suitable and viable option for developers is Public, as it has enabled them to public cloud applications. Public PaaS allows users to control the deployment of software, while the cloud provider manages the delivery of all other major IT components required for hosting applications, including hardware and software, databases, servers and networks of storage systems.

Public PaaS retailers offer middleware that increases the scope, without the need for infrastructure setup, configuration and control of database servers. PaaS consists of several main processes for cloud infrastructure such as servers, networking systems, hardware and software, storage services, micro-ware, and databases. The PaaS service provider owns, sets up, and manages all of these various technologies.

These managed solutions reduce the client’s administrative burden of IT and provides customers with an attractive financial argument. This is mostly a good option if the developers cannot invest in these essential IT elements to not use them to the most significant degree. PaaS also offers tools like development tools, languages for programming, libraries, database management systems and other such devices that are needed to operate the cloud systems. 

Since PaaS is a cloud-based service, it has many risks involved such as security threats. PaaS is built on the notion of using common resources like networks and servers. Therefore, security risks include installing sensitive data in this setting and stolen data from hackers or other wrong actors because of unauthorized access and attacks. However, the leading cloud services have been better able to prevent such violations than the typical data center. The risk of information security is not what many in IT loathed at first.

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation. 

5 App Interface Mistakes to Avoid In 2021

With the ever-changing landscape of apps, the needs and demands have changed as well. Keeping this in mind, the most important aspect to note when developing an app is ensuring that the users have an easy time navigating the app. However, if the user interface is too buggy or complicated, then chances are that the users will not return to use the app anymore, and all the time, resources, and energy spent will go to waste. This article highlights five app interface mistakes that developers need to avoid in 2021.

1. Being oblivious to the demands of the users 

One of the most common mistakes that developers make is that they do not know who their users are and who the target audience for the app is. No matter how good the app is, if it is not marketed to the right people, then random traffic will start to visit the app, and the developers will not be able to gain anything out of it as the app will not reach the people who are supposed to be using it in the first place.

Over time, the app will change and evolve, but it has to lay down the right framework to build upon. UCD or User-Centric Design is an approach that most developers take to understand the audience and keep in mind at every step of the development process. Market research will help the developers to understand the needs of the users and cater to them accordingly. 

2. Stuffing Features

Having an app that is focused on a specific use is what the developers must hope to achieve right from the get-go, and if they try to stuff it with loads of features, it will ruin the users’ experience. An app must know what it is trying to achieve and if it does not know that, it will try to do everything and end up doing nothing. An easy way of doing this lies in designing the app with the users’ intent in mind. Having an app that does everything is not necessarily a bad thing, but in that case, have a navigator tool in place so that the users are guided through everything that the app is capable of and how they can use it to achieve what they want to. In addition to this, make the app’s design easily understandable so that first-time users do not get caught up in the app’s intricate design.

3. Using technical terms that the users cannot comprehend.

It is understood that each profession has a specific language that is common among the communities of the practice. However, this language is not known by everyone, and if someone reads a language that they don’t understand the meaning of, they will be put off. It cannot be stressed enough that the app must be presented in a universal language for everyone and even if the need arises where you have to use such words, let the users know what it means. In addition to this, keep in mind that you are designing an app that will most-likely be used by people all over the world, all of whom come from different backgrounds and speak other tongues. The language may be known in the geographical region of the developers. However, if the app is designed for everyone everywhere, then this will not work. 

4. The app UI design is grouped.

When a user tries an app for the first time, the app should not throw excessive features and information in the user’s face where they don’t know what to do. Streamline everything and make everything linear so that the app users understand what they are doing and how to use it in the most efficient way possible. You do not want to have so many pop-ups about your sales that it causes hindrances for the users. Keep it simple, make it visually appealing, and you will have a successful app.

5. Unable to retain the newcomers of the app

The end-goal for every developer is to retain as many users as they can on the app. However, that may not always be the case for numerous reasons, but if the first impression of the app is designed smartly, keeping in mind the newcomers of the app, there is a good chance of retaining them. According to Localytics, 1 in 4 users never return to the app, and it is because they did not have an enjoyable initial experience. 

Let Sunvera build your next million-dollar app with the perfect app interface to attract users. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation. 

App Development Cost 2021: A Complete Guide

Mobile phones have become a necessity in our lives, and a phone without apps is a useless screen. Around 90% of the time people spend on their phones is on an app. With more than 2.9 million apps available for downloads, it is clear that apps are an effective way to engage the audience and build brand credibility. This comprehensive guide will lay down the roadmap of app-building costs and what route to take depending on your needs.

 

App Development Costs

When it comes to app development cost, there is no specific answer to how much it can be as the price depends on various factors. The average cost range of developing a mobile application is anywhere between $20,000 and $80,000.

 

When you set out to develop an app, you can take several routes to ensure that your project does not go over budget, and you can also opt for freelancers instead of going for development companies.

 

One of the most widespread beliefs in app development is that the more money you cough up, the better the app will be. This is not true because you could opt to work with a freelancer who would charge you significantly lower than what a company would. You could also talk to an app development company and look for areas that are not needed in your app at the moment and remove them, thus driving the cost down.

 

The cost of app development depends on where the developer is situated. For example, North America and Australia are some of the most expensive app development regions at $150-$200/hr and $168-$250 for iOS. In contrast, the most pocket-friendly options would be India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, each ranging between $11 to $70, respectively.

 

Average Hourly Mobile App Development Cost by Country
Average Hourly Mobile App Development Cost by Country

 

It’s Not Just About The Dollar Amount

If you have previously built an app, you know that it is just as important to capture the estimated number of hours that it will take to build your mobile app. The formula for calculating the price of app development is price/hr. X number of hours = total cost. With that being said, let’s use that formula to calculate the average cost of building each major type of app.

 

Types of Apps and Their Average Total Costs

A major point to take into account is the type of app you want to build. Yes, it’s true that different types of apps have different cost levels. According to Statista, here are the most popular app store categories as of August 2020, and their percentage share of active apps in the app stores. 

 

Most Popular App Store Categories, Statista
Most Popular App Store Categories, Statista
 

Here is a rundown of the top categories of apps and the average costs that they incur.

 

The Gaming App

Although it is one of the most popular categories in the app store, gaming apps generally require high-quality graphics and endless features. Games can be as simple as Solitaire or as complex as Fortnite, and with the rise of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), games are about to become more complex in features. Depending on the kind of gaming app you want to build, it will cost you anywhere between $50,000-$1,000,000 to build one.

 

The Business App

A personalized app for your business can cost you anywhere between $50,000-$200,000. Business apps should start by offering these five basic features for your audience: user-friendliness, social integration, feedback and contact, offline features, and regular updates.

 

The Education App

How simple or complex do you want your education app to be? If you are creating an education app as a simple resource for students or potential learners to refer to, the price could be as low as $15,000. For more engaging educational games and advanced features such as interacting with tutors, you can expect the price to bump up to $80,000, or even more.

 

The Lifestyle App

Everybody is looking for different lifestyle apps that can help them track their everyday activities, such as their diet, what to wear, their workout routine etc. The good thing about lifestyle apps is that everyone can use them, so there is a wide audience. Building a feature-rich lifestyle app costs $15,000-$50,000 on average.

 

The Utilities App

Want to build a powerful voice translation app or a reminder app? Similar to lifestyle apps, utility apps are also in high-demand all the time. And the good news is that you can build one in five figures! Typical costs range from $25,000-$80,000.

 

App Trends on the Rise

 

AR/VR

It took one game to make this mobile app trend go viral and now, the market is expected to reach $94.4 billion by 2023. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality apps are now spread across nearly every vertical and will soon take over the majority of apps in the app stores.

 

AI/ML

With increasing worldwide spending on emerging technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are now dominating apps. We will come to a point where many will not find an app desirable if it does not have some sort of AI/ML feature to make our lives simpler.

 

On-Demand Services

We have clearly seen how successful apps like Uber and DoorDash have been, and people now want on-demand service apps for just about everything. The interesting part is that there will be a lot of competition in this field as businesses build ‘the next Uber’ with more advanced features.

 

eCommerce

The pandemic has been testing all sorts of waters for sure, and the tides have actually been very eye-opening for retailers. eCommerce has always been an attractive option to reach more shoppers, but many businesses thought it would never overpower the personal, in-store connection that shoppers get when they walk into their store. However, retailers are now finding that eCommerce is fast, easy, convenient, and there are many ways to personalize the customer experience with AR/VR, chatbots, automatic suggestions etc.

 

Types of Apps From a Technological Standpoint

 

Native Apps

These apps are specifically built for one platform (ex. specific to only iOS or only Android). Native apps are the most popular choice out of the three options (native, web, and hybrid) due to their fast speed. However, they are the most expensive as well. The reason being that you have to build 2-3 native apps for it to be optimized for each type of device and/or platform.

 

Web Apps

Web apps are basically ‘mobile websites’, however, they may showcase a different look and feel from the same company’s desktop website. The good thing about web apps is that they do not need to be downloaded to be used as they can be accessed via data or the Internet. They also do not need to be built for multiple platforms so they tend to be cheaper than native apps.

 

Hybrid Apps

If you mix native and web apps together, you get hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are similar to native apps in the sense that you have to download them from the app store. However, similar to web apps, hybrid apps are developed using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and are cheaper than native apps.

Hybrid, Web, and Native Apps
Hybrid, Web, and Native Apps

 

iOS Apps

iOS apps are built with either Objective-C or Swift programming languages.

 

Android Apps

Android apps are primarily built with Java and Kotlin.

 

What The Surveys Tell Us

GoodFirms broke down the average cost of app development into three categories: apps with a simple interface (least functionality), medium complexity, and feature-rich apps. The most simple apps cost anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000. Apps with a little more complexity can cost between $61,000 to $69,000, and the most complex apps range from anywhere between $70,000 to $100,000.

 

What all determines the cost of building an app

The total cost of building your app depends on MANY factors. Lets go over some of these.

 

Type of App

We will keep this one brief, since we mostly covered this topic, but the type of app you are aiming to build has a HUGE effect on how much you will be paying.

 

Complexity

How complex do you want your app to be? Is it a simple 2-3 screen app or a feature-rich application?

 

Design

If you are trying to build a simple utilities app for example, design won’t be a major cost for you. However, if you are trying to build a gaming app with powerful graphics, design will take up a large chunk of your total cost.

 

Vendor

Every software development firm has their own pricing range. It is good to get an estimate from at least 5-6 different firms before you make a deal. It is also important to keep in mind that there are other options such as freelance app developers, or you could even build your own app if you have the expertise to do so. All three of these options have different price levels.

 

Back-End Development

Almost all of the costs we talked about so far have to do with front-end app development, but you also have to include the costs for back-end development. You may ask “What is the difference between front-end and back-end?” Front-end is basically the app which the consumers will use, and all of its associated features. The back-end portion of the app is hosted on a remote server. Anything that happens in the back-end is not seen on the front-end app, and the back-end is used to carry out remote tasks that you don’t want your users to see, such as users’ vulnerable info or any other info stored in the app. Think of it like a restaurant. All the work happens in the kitchen, and only the final dish is seen by the customers. What happens in the kitchen affects the dish and the presentation of the dish.

 

Number of Platforms & Devices Supported

As for the number of platforms and devices you want your app to support, it is CRUCIAL to keep in mind that cross-platform and cross-device apps, also known as hybrid apps, are a lot cheaper as you don’t have to pay for additional costs in tailoring your app to each and every platform or device. We will go over this in more detail later in the guide.

 

Testing

Every app needs to be tested to make sure it runs properly. Testing costs anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 on average and again, it all comes down to your vendor and their average pricing.

 

Maintenance

App costs are not finished post-development. You have to take maintenance costs into account, which need to be paid every year. Maintenance costs are generally around 15-20% of the total development costs. Depending on the situation of your app, you will need different types of maintenance services and a certain amount of them as well.

 

Local Development or Outsource, which route to take?

There are pros and cons of both of them, but if you know what your app needs and what constraints you are working under, making this choice becomes more effortless.

 

If you opt to go for the outsourced route, then know that you will have access to a larger talent pool to choose from; you will get lower rates and much more flexibility. In addition to this, there are some cons with it as well such as communication problems which can be due to several reasons. One reason could be different time zones and it may get difficult at times to coordinate appropriately. Lastly, there is a lack of personal involvement, or as the saying goes, things may “get lost in translation.”

 

But, if you decide to go with local development, you get access to the developers, and you can meet them whenever you want as you will not be limited due to location. In addition to this, you can meet the team to communicate your ideas much more effectively. However, it can go against you if you are working on a tight budget because there may be little talent available, which may be expensive for you.

 

The Stages of App Development

 

Discovery Stage

The discovery stage is where all of the brainstorming happens. Ideas are conceptualized and goals as well as visions are communicated. Costs are calculated after taking everything into account.

 

Design Stage

The foundation for the UX/UI design of the app is laid out on this stage. This is a crucial stage for many apps, especially gaming and social media apps. The price range is quite broad as it depends on how complex or simple you want the design to be.

 

Development Stage

Your app is brought to life by the developer(s) and all features discussed in the Discovery Stage are implemented here.

 

Testing and Deployment Stage

An app is tested and deployed after the development stage to ensure that it runs smoothly on all platforms with no issues.

 

Maintenance

Wait! Just because your newly-developed app has passed the test and has been deployed does not mean it’s over. You have to remember the maintenance stage, which happens every year. Be ready to pay the fees to maintain your app and make sure it is updated every year.

 

How much time does it take to develop an app?

 

How long it takes to develop an app depends on a number of factors. How many platforms are you gunning for? What features are you trying to add to the app? The rough estimate of how much time is needed for an app to be fully developed is as follows:

  • A basic mobile app takes 400-700 hours
  • Apps that have advanced features can take up to 700-1000 hours
  • Highly complex apps that have technologies such as AI, ML, or VR development can take up to 1200 to 2000 hours.

 

It is worth keeping in mind that these times are just estimates, and in reality, the times can go up or down depending on how swiftly the development teams are working on your app.

 

A Breakdown of the Basic Features of Your App

 

Search Option

Help your app’s users navigate to where they want to quickly with a search feature.

 

Social Integration

On the topic of convenience, your app should be able to seamlessly connect with social platforms to ease the sign up process. An added benefit of social integration is that users can share any particular post or other info in the app to their social channels with the tap of a button, which gives your app more exposure.

 

Push Notifications

Almost every app needs a notifications feature as they are helpful for many, and it is the best way to remind users of something. Push notifications also increase app engagement as people are likely to revisit it after receiving one.

 

Customization/Personalization

When you collect user data after getting their permission, you can create a personalized user experience to satisfy their needs better. For example, if you have an eCommerce app, you can showcase similar products to the ones that they viewed previously, and it is likely to increase sales. If your app is very design-oriented, allowing your users to customize their dashboard or overall layout can make them really happy, and they will want to use your app more.

 

Offline Use

It is very convenient when users are able to use apps offline in places where the Internet may not be available, so this is a great option to consider.

 

Security

Nobody wants to use an app that will not protect their privacy and possible sensitive data. App security is not optional, and a good app will invest a good chunk of their cash into building secure features to make their users feel comfortable. It is also a good idea to have Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) options.

 

Feedback

Allow your users to give you feedback! This is the only way you will know what needs to be improved upon to provide a better user experience. Even a quick star rating option is better than nothing.

 

Add-On Features

These are features that will obviously bump up the price of building your mobile app should they be included, however, will also improve the quality of your app. Keep in mind that not all of these features will be required for your specific app, but you can decide which of these you choose to incorporate based on the function of your app.

 

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality Integration

AR and VR mobile trends are on a rise, and will be more prominent in the coming apps. Although they are not required to make an award-winning app, it certainly scales your app to meet the growing demands of modern-day smartphone users.

 

Geolocation

Many apps need to be able to access a user’s location for them to use the app.

 

Ads Display

If your app will earn revenue through ads, you have to have this feature included.

 

Payments

If you are building an eCommerce app or any other app that requires transactions to be made through the app, you need to have a secure payment system enabled.

 

Chat

The chat feature is common in many social media applications, and is also a staple in telehealth applications where the patient may need to stay in touch with the doctor through the easiest contact method: text. These are just a few examples of many where a chat feature will be needed. Throw in a chatbot as well and this becomes one of the most valuable add-on features from our list.

 

Video Calls

Video (and audio) calls are a pricey feature to include, but the ROI is great if you are building a valuable app.

 

simple, medium, and complex apps features, time, cost etc.
Simple, Medium, and Complex Apps Features, Time, Cost etc.

 

Cross Platform App Functionality

A term you may hear quite often in mobile app development is cross-platform app functionality. Although this term may be overshadowed by its more popular opponent native apps, cross-platform apps or hybrid apps are underrated for a number of reasons.

 

First let us start off by saying that native apps are the go-to option for many simply because they are more reliable, and since they are specifically made for one operating system, all of the components of the native app are made to fit that one platform which results in faster loading speed. 

 

However, if you choose to go with the native option, you will have to pay up for creating the same app for other platforms, which ends up being very pricey for some. But not to worry, if you cannot afford to pay double or triple the amount you will already be paying for your app, cross-platform app development is here to save the day.

 

Cross-platform apps have their own benefits including less development time, more cost-effective, more exposure etc. On the topic of speed, this is actually debateable. Some say there is not a significant difference between the speeds of native and cross-platform apps, but others get very annoyed by cross-platform apps. 

 

This means you have three options: (a) develop one native app which has very fast speed, but sacrifice a good number of your audience reach (b) develop a cross-platform app that allows your app to be used by various devices and platforms, therefore giving your app more exposure, but sacrifice fast speed (c) develop multiple native apps, reaching a greater amount of people and providing them with a fast and high quality app, but sacrifice cost. 

 

How much does app maintenance cost?

When users download an app, they expect regular updates to improve the app and ensure that the app is compatible with all the latest versions of the operating systems. In addition to this, there are often bugs in the app that require sorting out to ensure that the user experience is up and up. 

 

When it comes to calculating how much it will cost to maintain your app, then a good rule of thumb would be to take the 20% of your app’s original development cost, and that will be the cost of maintenance.

 

When you maintain an app, you are not just paying for the cosmetic changes; you are also paying for the server costs, development costs, content costs, and other such features that ensure that your app is enjoyable in the longer run. Longevity is something that you need to go after because once you rack up those users, you want them to stay, and to do that, you need to give them constant updates. 

 

App Marketing

You built an amazing app with your hard earned money, now what’s next? How is your app going to earn revenue? Marketing your app should be a task on your to-do list if you want your app to be successful. You should set aside a budget for app marketing before you even get your app developed. But how do you determine the cost of marketing your app? Well, it depends on which and how many avenues you decide to use to your advantage.

 

Here are some common ways people market their apps, and the average cost to use these methods.

 

App Store Optimization

If your app is not optimized to rank high in the app stores, you will lose A LOT of potential traffic. That is why we advise you to focus on App Store Optimization first. Here are some tips to optimize your app for the iOS App Store and the Android App Store. You can also use an App Store Optimization (ASO) tool which will cost you anywhere from $30-$1,000 dollars/mo.

 

PR Outreach

You want your app to show up in various publications with maximum exposure to your intended audience. Get ready to do a press release and reach out to several PR agencies. The average hourly cost for a PR agency can be anywhere between $100-$300.

 

Influencer Marketing

Use your influencers! Let them try out your app and they can introduce it to a whole network of potential users. Remember to go for influencers that have followers/subscribers of your target audience. The average cost for this can be around $100-$300 per influencer.

 

Social Media

First off, if you don’t create social media pages for your apps, what are you doing? Social media is one of the best ways to bring attention to your app. Along with company pages, you can also choose to do paid ads, which can cost as little as $20 to $1000/mo., depending on how long you want the ads to run and which platforms you choose.

 

Paid Ads

Lastly, you can choose to go the paid ads route as well with Google and Bing Ads. Similar to social media, you set the budget and the time you want the ads to run, so again, the price range is very broad. Paid ads can also cost you anywhere from $20-$1000/mo.

Keep in mind that your ROI will be a lot higher if you build a good app and market it 10x better.

 

Key Takeaways (TL;DR) 

Since we covered a boatload of vital info in this article, here is a quick summary of all the major points that we went over:

 

General

  • The average cost of developing an app is between $20,000 and $80,000
  • Every region of the world has their own price ranging with app development. You can pay as much as $150-$250/hr in the US and as low as $11-$70 in India and Pakistan. However, there are disadvantages to offshore development such as time zones, misinterpretation due to different cultures etc. 
  • The formula to calculate app development cost is price/hr. X number of hours = total development cost

 

Types of Apps

  • How much you need to pay to develop an app depends on what type of app you want to bring to life. A gaming app may go up to a million bucks while a lifestyle app typically tops off at $50,000.
  • Some current app trends which are likely to grow are apps that involve Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), on-demand services etc.
  • Technologically speaking, there are three major types of apps: hybrid apps, web apps, and native apps. Native apps are the most popular since they are known for being fast in speed. However, a more cost-effective version is hybrid apps, which don’t require additional development hours to fit different platforms/devices. Web apps are accessed via the Internet and use programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript. 

 

Determinant Factors

  • Type of app, from both a vertical and technological standpoint
  • Complexity
  • Design
  • Local or Outsourced
  • Vendor
  • Back-End Development
  • Number of platforms / devices
  • Testing 
  • Maintenance 
  • Complexity of Features
  • Level of App Marketing

 

Conclusion

We highly encourage you to use this comprehensive guide as one of your top app development cost resources when building your next-generation mobile app. Mobile app development is a complex process, but if strategically planned and carried out right, you are well on your way to becoming the next innovative entrepreneur with a powerful mobile application! Whether you want to build the next trend-setter app such as Uber, TikTok, or Instagram, or if you are looking to build a mobile app specifically for your business, whatever vertical it may be in, the most important part is choosing the right developer(s) who can handle your project.

 

Sunvera can build the perfect mobile app for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.  

Apps That Need To Be Invented

With millions of apps taking over the online marketplace, app ideas seem to be in shortage. Here’s a rucksack of ideas for apps that need to be invented. Give it a read and see how there is a gulf in the market that needs to be filled by launching these apps.

Design Your Room With AR

There have been times when we brought a piece of furniture home to find out that it does not go with the décor or that it cannot fit in our homes. To curb those issues, we can have an app that uses augmented reality to help us see whether the piece of furniture would look good or not. By doing so, we will be opening up a whole new pathway for the customers. You could also strike partnerships with furniture companies to let the customers access their wares from the app.

Camera PDF Converter

Converting pdfs is always a task that we have to go out of our way to do. However, there is a need for an app that converts the documents directly into pdfs and stores them for you. By doing so, you will be saving yourself the hassle of storing all the documents in a file and such. Another benefit that this app could be giving to the users is that it gives the users options to store their files as .jpeg files or as multipage pdf files.

Medical App Ideas

There are hundreds of interesting medical apps in the market, but there is also room for more apps that need to be invented. How about an app that looks after you by reminding you of the meds you need to take and what you should eat, keeping in mind your health restrictions? It can be a great app as it can provide the users with the healthy recipes they need; professional chef-bloggers could post recipes on the app and use those recipes. You can also filter out the recipes by letting the app know what health issues you face. For instance, if you suffer from high blood pressure, then the app lets you know of recipes specifically good for people with this issue.

Lastly, the app could be connected to the local grocery stores, and it provides the customers all the grocery stores that have the ingredients they need and if they are available to order.

Uber for Railway

We have apps for almost all modes of transportation. However, one mode that still lacks development are railways. Letting the users know what time the train will be at the station and what stations it goes to and the prices of the seats will greatly reduce the congestions and huge crowds that we often see at railway stations. This app has a chance to be popular because of the rush hour congestions that many countries face. These are two huge markets that the app could start from and then go from there.

Carpooling but Not in an Uber Way

We have many ride-hailing apps, but what we suggest is an app where people post about their trips, such as when and where they will be going, and the people can contact them and hop on to get a ride. There can be a payment method such as both the rider and the passenger can split the gas fare 50/50 or something else that works for them both. By doing so, both the passenger and the driver can get to their destinations without paying a lot for the fuel. In addition to this, this is a great alternative to Uber, where you would not have to pay as much as Uber.

Voice Translation App

One of the biggest barriers that we face when we go abroad is the language barrier. But what if there was an app that converted speech in real time like it listens to what we are saying and translates it into the language that we need. In addition to this, the app could also provide language lessons to the users who would enhance their language skills further.

An App That Helps You Figure Out What to Gift Your Friends

We have all been in the position of having to figure out what we need to gift our friends and family members. This app would be great for people who need help figuring out what to gift, and the app would scour their social media profiles, determine what their likes and dislikes are, and suggest you a list of gifts you could give them.

Sunvera Software provides effective and powerful mobile solutions for business. Whether you need an app to drive eCommerce sales, or attract more clients by providing greater flexibility and easy access to your products and services, we have a solution for everyone. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.

AWS Migration in 5 Easy Steps

What is AWS?

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and is a cloud-based solution that is provided by Amazon. AWS is currently being used by millions of customers, businesses, and government agencies. In addition to this, it has 175 web services with data centers across the globe. Furthermore, AWS is scalable, customizable, and innovative.

What is AWS Migration?

In essence, AWS migration is the transferring of data from one cloud service to Amazon, or it could also be the transfer of data from on-premises to the cloud. A lot of data that businesses generate every day and store on-premises is a costly and ineffective process, so transferring the data to the cloud is a much safer and reliable measure since AWS gives you tools to take care of the data, including AWS auto-scaling.

Why should we migrate to AWS?

As per the recent stats, it is predicted that more than 1/3rd of the data would go through the cloud by 2020. Keeping this in mind, there are other reasons as to why you should seriously consider migrating to AWS, such as:

  • Update your current IT base
  • Equipt yourself for the future
  • Minimal setting up costs
  • Security
  • Ramp up the business agility
  • Your website is now getting heavy traffic
  • Recover data in case of loss

How do we migrate to AWS?

Well, if it is an on-premises server that you used to store the data, then you can migrate your data to AWS using the following steps:

 

Step 1

Opportunity & Evaluation

It is well documented that 70% of IT projects cannot succeed, and an additional 60% of dev-ops are unable to achieve or bring nothing to the table. The problem can be rooted back to a lack of understanding in the planning process. It would help if you kept in mind numerous core things when you consider migrating, such as your property, the apps, the data, motivations, stakeholders’ goals, and the budget. One of the first things that you need to keep in mind is the Business Architecture Overview; to develop this, the following items need to be done:

  1. Understand the business requirements.
  2. The vision
  3. Stakeholder buy-in
  4. ROI and business plan

 

Step 2

Portfolio and Planning

In this step, you need to inspect configuration management databases (CMDBs) and tools like AWS Discovery Service or RISC Networks to understand better what’s in the environment. Once you have this knowledge, you can create a strategy to approach critical phases of migrations, i.e., Application and Data Migration.

  1. The licensing process is a complex one, and you need to keep this in mind with AWS migration.
  2. In case you operate a large mainframe, you might need to integrate them accordingly with an SOA/Cloud-Native Application, which will create a hybrid architecture.       
  3. If any of your apps are dependent on one another, then you may need to create a strategy to move them to the cloud without disrupting the order in which they are dependent.

 

Step 3 & 4

Designing, Migrating & Validating Applications

When migrating, you need to move the least complex app, learn the target platform as you relocate, and then slowly migrate all of your more complex apps onto the system. In addition to this, the team’s Cloud Centers of Excellence help the companies to migrate more effectively without running into any problematic issues. As you move towards the AWS servers, you need to test and decommission the old system simultaneously. These two systems need to be run parallel to ensure that everything is being tested in real-time.

 

Step 5

Modern Operating Model 

The best strategy to optimize AWS is to automate everything. In addition to this, DevOps is also a practical path that businesses can take to achieve this. Once you have done this, you need to go back to the ROI and the business plan to ensure that the stakeholders are satisfied. The end-users are happy that management changes have taken place to facilitate the shift of the DevOps-centric structure. Lastly, it would be best to evaluate whether you are using the AWS foundation architecture to transform the business because the business plan’s transformation is the primary goal of shifting to AWS.

 

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour AWS consultation. 

Applications of AI Across Different Verticals

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was formed in 1956 at a conference in New Hampshire, and since then, the world has seen a number of milestones with different adoptions of AI. From virtual assistants such as Alexa to self-driving cars, AI technology is helping consumers improve their lives and make everyday operations easier. But what about businesses? How will they be using AI to attract customers, manage their business, and save time? It turns out, different verticals have their own applications of AI to scale their business and overall growth. 

Artificial Intelligence Software Market Growth

As the world continues to adopt AI practices, the software market is growing, as expected. According to Statista, the market is expected to reach $126 billion by 2025. Applications will include natural language processing, robotic process automation, and machine learning. 

COVID-19 Propelling the AI Movement

A major question to address is: Has COVID-19 propelled the AI movement? The answer is yes. 

In a survey by RELX, more than a thousand senior executives were surveyed on the topic of AI adoption during the pandemic. The majority of respondents (68%) increased their investment in AI technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, 48% invested in new AI technologies while 46% invested further in AI technologies already in use at their companies. Similarly, 63% of business leaders polled reported having a positive experience with applications of AI technologies, as it helped their business stay resilient during rough times.  

However, it is crucial to note that the companies are using AI to increase worker productivity, not necessarily replace labor. That is not to say that AI is not being used to replace labor at all, it just means that those were not the results that were yielded from this survey. 

How AI is Being Used in Different Industries

Healthcare: As healthcare is rapidly transforming, especially during the pandemic, AI is increasing its presence in the vertical through various ways. Check out 5 Ways AI is Transforming the Healthcare Industry. Some other advanced healthcare methods that involve AI and ML are applying it to reduce diagnose errors, improving patient convenience, and assisting in delivering telehealth services.

Agriculture: The terms ‘smart farm’ and ‘farming 4.0’ are spreading fast within the agriculture sector. Both terms are synonyms for automation in farms which involve the application of AI. Robots are ready to take over farms and carry out various processes involved in the food chain including detecting weeds and packing. This will likely take over human jobs as mundane tasks will be handled by advanced technology. 

Manufacturing: Another sector which requires mundane processes to be handled, manufacturers are constantly looking for several tasks to be automated. Luckily, AI is here to save the day again. Common applications of AI include product development, price forecasting for raw materials, and customizing the look and feel of the products as well. 

Retail: Artificial intelligence is changing the way stores operate, both in-store and online. The main goal here is to improve customer service. Whether that is through helping customers find a product in a store, reduce long lines during checkout, or even robots that recognize customers by face and determine their likes and dislikes. The possibilities are endless.

Real Estate: You may have heard of various technology disrupting the real estate scene before, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) online tours. Well, AI is also transforming the way realtors do business in various ways. Realtors can take advantage of this technological shift by incorporating a chatbot to their site, examining Big Data to have more targeting marketing campaigns, and better manage their properties. 

I want to Incorporate AI Technology to My Business, Where Do I Start?

Artificial intelligence can get complex, so you need to partner with a reputable software development company that has decades of experience to examine your business properly and craft the perfect AI solution to scale your business. From AI strategy consulting to development, we got you covered every step of the way. 

Sunvera is one of the top AI companies in Orange County, and can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.  

How Precision Farming Produces More and Better Crops

As the world moves towards Industry 4.0, so does the agriculture world. Farmers are becoming more technological with how they grow and sustain their crops, and many are turning to precision farming to be able to produce more crops which can be properly maintained. As a greater number of farmers are seeing great results by using this method, it is clear that this advanced method of farming will take over the agriculture industry in the coming years. 

What is Precision Agriculture?

 

Precision farming is a method where you use a management system to input every detail you apply to your farm (ex. how much soil is being used in a particular area, how often you water a specific crop etc.), which is then used to make more informed decisions in the future. So in short terms, precision agriculture is a greater level of farm management which yields increased productivity, sustainability, and can help you produce more crops while increasing your harvesting rate. 

Precision Farming Software Market

 

The software market for precision agriculture was valued at $993.24 million in 2019, and is expected to have a CAGR of 16.7% from 2020 to 2025. These stats indicate that precision farming is one of the fastest growing trends in agriculture. 

Precision Technology in Agriculture

 

On the more technological side, there are a number of tools that can be integrated with precision agriculture practices. Let’s go over the top three tools being used by farmers.

  1. Global Positioning System (GPS): No, a GPS is not just used for you to navigate through a new area. Farmers need them too! A good GPS system allows farmers to easily locate their crops. GPS also allows for farmers to collect soil samples, map out weed locations, determine what areas of their farm can be harvested, and a lot more. 

 

  1. Automation: As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to replace human workers with robots, the agriculture world is experiencing the same shift. Automation is quickly taking over farms to handle mundane tasks such as spraying, seeding, harvesting, and packing. 

 

  1. Sensor-based technology: Sensors are being implemented in farms to determine what actions should be taken based on weather patterns, temperature, pH etc. These further actions can be done either manually or with automation, depending on how technological your farm is. 

You can read about more farming technologies here. 

Where to Start?

 

Now that you have learned a little bit more about precision agriculture, one of the most important questions may come to your head. How do I implement it, and how easy is it to do so? The answer we have for you is: it depends. It all comes down to which software company you partner with, and how their reputation is. 

Our employees at Sunvera Software have 30+ years of software development experience and have worked with numerous agricultural clients in the past, helping farmers increase their crop production while lowering their farm management and operation costs.

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.  

A Guide to HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing

The COVID-19 situation has prompted thousands of healthcare organizations to turn to online video conferencing to serve their patients. With numerous video conferencing platforms that claim to be HIPAA compliant, many doctors and physicians do not think twice before switching to one. However, there is a lot more you need to know before making the transition to serving patients online through video. It turns out, the current video conferencing platforms in the market may not be HIPAA compliant after all, and the issue of privacy and security persists within these offerings. 

Let’s start from the very beginning so you can get a better idea of what HIPAA compliant really means and how you can securely implement it for your healthcare organization. 

Who Needs To Comply with HIPAA?

Covered Entities: There are three types of ‘covered entities’ under HIPAA. These are health plans, clearinghouses, and certain healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists, pharmacies, clinics, etc., as long as they transmit data in an electronic form that is in connection with a transaction for which HHS has adopted standards.

Business Associates: These are people or entities that carry out tasks involving the use or disclosure of protected health info on behalf of a covered entity or to provide services to them. Some examples are a CPA firm who needs to access protected healthcare info to provide accounting services to a healthcare provider, or an outside medical transcriptionist providing transcription services to a physician

Organizations That Do Not Need To Comply with HIPAA

According to ShareCare, the following organizations are not required to follow HIPAA guidelines:

  • Life insurers
  • Employers
  • Workers’ compensation carriers
  • Most schools and school districts
  • Many state agencies, including child protective agencies
  • Most law enforcement agencies
  • Many municipal offices

Issues with Current ‘HIPAA Compliant’ Video Conferencing Platforms

Zoom: As one of the most-used video conferencing platforms right now, whether it is for a family reunion or a telehealth appointment, Zoom has quite the reputation for being a reliable platform for communication. However, several issues about Zoom not being HIPAA compliant have come into light this year. From hijacking attacks to malware threats, Zoom has undergone a lot of stress trying to solve the various security concerns. Although they may have found a solution to some of the privacy concerns, this popular video conferencing platform is still not deemed entirely HIPAA compliant as there are still remaining issues to fix.

GoToMeeting: Another widely-used platform to schedule meetings online, GoToMeeting also fell prey to online security concerns this year, including a unique vulnerability that exposed its customers to a lot of risk. They were able to resolve it, but no one can predict when something like this can happen again. 

These are just some of the platforms that are deemed as HIPAA compliant, even though they pose numerous security issues. 

Skype and Facetime Are NOT HIPAA Compliant

It is crucial to note that Skype and Facetime, while they can be good platforms for informal communication, CANNOT be used for telehealth services. The reason is because they do not fully meet the criteria that we are about to cover in the next section. There are a number of healthcare providers who think that Skype and Facetime are reliable platforms when they are far from being HIPAA compliant. 

So How Do You Implement HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing?

Here are some components of HIPAA compliance that you need to know before implementing this technology.

End-to-End Encryption: When implementing a secure video conferencing for your healthcare organization, the very first feature to look out for is end-to-end encryption. This means that only the sender’s device and the receiver’s device can encrypt and decrypt messages sent back and forth, offering a much higher level of security. 

Business Associate Agreement (BAA): A step that covered entities often forget, you need to make sure you have a Business Associate Agreement in place to further protect healthcare info and comply by HIPAA guidelines. You can read more about BAAs here

Peer-to-Peer Sessions: For enhanced quality and security, you also want to check and see if the video is routed directly to the patient’s device, or if it involves a server. Direct peer-to-peer sessions without the need for a server is the best route to go. 

For best practices, your video conferencing solution should have all three of the features listed above. 

With that being said, instead of going forward with risky platforms that yet need improvement, it is best to find a good software development agency with decades of development experience including telehealth solutions to craft the perfect secure video conferencing platform for your healthcare organization, which meets all HIPAA guidelines. 

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your healthcare organization while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.