When it comes to articles about app development, most of the focus remains on mobile games. To be sure, mobile games are the most popular apps, and they bring in a majority of the revenue across the app stores. However, this focus on mobile games comes at a cost to app developers who wish to develop different types of apps.
Productivity apps are a huge part of the mobile app market that is often overlooked. And, productivity app developers have it even harder than other developers because most mobile operating systems come with productivity apps built in. So, they not only have to compete with the other apps in the app stores, but they also have to compete with the development and design power of Google, Apple, and Windows.
So, below we offer 4 ways that productivity app developers can destroy the competition:
Better, Faster, Stronger
This may seem like a no-brainer, but your productivity app must be above and beyond all of the other apps that are offered. Remember: you not only want to compete with other productivity app developers on the app stores, but you also need to compete with the user’s default apps. Your app needs to be so good that the user will happily ditch their default to try something new.
To do this, you will need to find your niche. What feature or set of features can you offer that will completely set you apart from the other apps? It needs to be something that is easy for users to learn and that can be quickly and seamlessly embedded into their everyday lives.
Plan For The Long-Term
In the realm of productivity apps, a long-term vision is absolutely key. In order to effectively compete with default apps, you will need to anticipate where the technology is going and where the market is going.
This means that you need to stay on top of developments in the field, especially in terms of new third-party APIs or sensors that could take your app to the next level. You should also be in touch with your users. Ask them what they need and how you can make their life even easier.
Thinking long-term also means that you need to have a growth mechanism in place early on in the development process. If your app achieves success but cannot immediately keep up with the influx of users, it will hardly inspire confidence in any new users or in anyone who is willing to back you financially.
Cross-platform capabilities are no longer a feature that should be saved for the third or fourth version of the app. With productivity apps, users except cross-platform capabilities right from the start. Your app should transition seamlessly between mobile phones, tablets, wearables, the web, and PCs. This way, users can use your app while they are on the go and still access that work and data when they arrive at their offices in the morning.
Your app should also function seamlessly across operating systems. This functionality is almost never available with default apps and should give your app an immediate leg up over the competition. Give your users the ability to share, collaborate, and interact with their friends and colleagues even if one user has an iPhone and the other has an Android tablet.
Understand and Anticipate
This is arguably the most important of our 4 tips. Productivity app developers need to be in tune with what their users need and what their users want even more than mobile game developers. Productivity apps are meant to become an integral part of the user’s everyday life, so devs need to pay special attention to their user’s needs.
Embrace any type of analytics that you can receive from both your app and from the user’s device. Leverage third-party APIs and device sensors that can help you anticipate what your user will want so you can deliver it before they even ask. There is a fine line between being helpful and intrusive, but keep in mind that the users of productivity apps are actively seeking efficiency and may be more willing to accept some intrusiveness in order to streamline their experience. You should aim to always be one step ahead.