11 Mobile App Development Trends to Watch in 2020/2021

With the development of mobile technology, our lives are changing for the better. Various mobile applications provide a huge number of possibilities for both users and creators. Using a smartphone, we can learn, communicate, buy, have fun, and make money.  But experts assure us that this is not the limit and we should expect more. Recent events have made mobile development experience new transformations. So, what are the trends in the mobile app development market right now, and what’s the next big thing in mobile technology? Find the answers in this article.

Table of contents:

  1. Is mobile app development still in demand?
  2. The hottest mobile app trends of 2020
    2.1 AI/ML-based apps
    2.2 Cloud-based applications
    2.3 M-Commerce growth
    2.4 Mobile payment apps
    2.5 Blockchain and decentralized apps
    2.6 Beacons technology
    2.7 IoT-enabled mobile apps
  3.  Mobile app trends to watch in 2021
    3.1 5G Technology
    3.2 Instant apps
    3.3 On-demand apps
    3.4 Protecting the privacy of user data 
  4. Wrapping up

Is mobile app development still in demand?

Mobile development is in demand as never before. The number of smartphone users is growing every year, and the lockdown associated with the coronavirus pandemic this year has only enhanced this trend. Various studies confirm this. According to Statista, there are 2.87 million apps on Google Play and 1.96 million apps on Apple’s App Store available for download and there were 240 billion downloads of mobile apps worldwide back in 2019. At the same time, according to the App Annie report between February 2020 and April 2020, combined downloads of apps and games across iOS and Google Play increased from 9.1 billion to 12 billion. 

The golden rule is that demand generates supply. The number of mobile applications is growing. Developers are looking for new ways to meet the needs of society adopting new technologies, and companies are trying to make their services more accessible and strive to reduce the distance between a company and customers thanks to mobile apps. So, despite the economic crisis, the mobile app development market was not affected and according to Statista, worldwide mobile app revenues will grow to $935.2 billion by 2023.

Mobile app revenues 2014-2013

The hottest mobile app trends of 2020

In 2020, the popular technologies of recent years have continued to evolve. The unexpected pandemic and related events shifted the focus of industry development, but in general, it created good conditions for the emergence of new innovative software solutions. Here are the hottest mobile development trends in 2020.

AI/ML-based apps

AI and machine learning have become major trends in many industries in 2020. AI-powered features in apps are doing more than just increasing engagement with stickers and filters. They also enable the capabilities of detailed analysis of users and predicting their future behavior to deliver more personalized services. For example, chatbots allow you to provide uninterrupted real-time communication with clients. By analyzing data about a user and the history of his interaction with the app, a chatbot can come up with the best solution within minutes. Also, voice and face recognition are becoming integral security features in mobile apps. 

Even more, smart technologies help not only protect data but also improve security in the real world. For example, we used AI and V2V technologies to build Nexar. This is an AI dashcam app for iPhone and Android, that instantly detects dangers on the road and provides “watch out” life-saving warnings. 

AI-powered mobile solutions also provide an improved user experience by adding interactivity and innovation to mobile applications. Recognition of speech, text, and pictures, voice assistants, location-based app suggestions, automated photo classification, and this is not a complete list of options for using artificial intelligence. That’s why AI and ML are used to create educational, financial, medical, entertainment, travel apps, and more. According to Statista, revenues from the AI market worldwide will reach $3061 billion by 2024. So we will definitely hear about new AI-powered mobile solutions in the coming years.

Cloud-based applications

One of the main challenges of mobile development is to create a functional application that wouldn’t take much device power. By downloading apps you take up memory and use the system resources of your smartphone. Cloud-based apps have become the solution. They use cloud computing technology instead of the device’s hardware, so all data is stored and processed in the cloud. 

Cloud applications are cost-effective and reliable. This is one of the best options for building a cross-platform app. It is also easier to manage such an application. All you need to do is implement a cloud management platform (CMP) solutions. CMP allows you to manage cloud apps and services deployed across multiple cloud environments. To do this, CMPs use an extensive catalog of APIs to extract data from the entire cloud environment and transfer it to an integrated system. Soon, increased use of 5G will strengthen this trend by providing new power for the development of cloud computing. According to Report Linker, the global cloud computing market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023.

Usage of public cloud platform services
Usage of public cloud platform services running apps worldwide 2020 (Source: Statista)

M-Commerce growth

Selling and buying products via mobile apps is gaining popularity. Until recently, smartphone purchases were available through web applications, but native apps are more user-friendly, which increases the likelihood of a purchase. Unsurprisingly, m-commerce has become the preferred direction for merchants. According to Business Insider Intelligence, mobile commerce will reach 44% of e-commerce in 2024. 

49% of consumers use their smartphones for shopping, as reported by BrizFeel. Why do users choose mobile shopping apps? First, they make it easier to browse products. Secondly, apps provide an improved user experience. For example, an application collects data about a user, which means you can create customized offers for each customer. Also, such apps remember transactions and allow them to be carried out faster when buying again. Sellers are also encouraging customers to buy using mobile apps by offering special pricing and terms when shopping in apps. Together with such solutions as AI, cloud computing, 5G, mobile payments apps m-commerce has a great future ahead.

Mobile payment apps

Full-fledged purchases using mobile apps are impossible without payment applications, therefore, with the growth of e-commerce, the number of digital wallets is also growing. The secure transfer of funds from one account to another without involving third parties is called peer-to-peer transactions. P2P payment apps development is one of the main trends of the fintech industry. According to eMarketer, the value of P2P mobile transactions will reach $612.23 billion by 2023. And as reported by Statista, the total revenue driven by transactions over mobile phones is expected to hit $423.24 million in 2022. 

Revenue driven by transactions over mobile phones

Mobile payments are convenient for both users and merchants. A user can quickly and easily pay for a product or service using electronic money, and a seller receives payment directly to a card or account, no matter what the distance between them. There are several types of mobile P2P payment apps, including the following:

  • Bank-based apps, which involve a bank as a party to the payment.
  • Social media platforms that have built-in payment features to help transfer money without leaving an app.
  • Mobile OS systems, built-in mobile features of operating systems such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay.
  • Standalone services are independent providers offering their own payment systems.

The development of their own payment apps helps companies to improve the quality of services for customers, and also allows them to save on fees and international transactions. Some companies are even introducing cryptocurrency payment functionality, expanding payment options for their users. Xion is a great example of such an application.

Blockchain and decentralized apps

Blockchain is another promising technology of recent years that has been widely used in various areas of development. Companies are adopting blockchain to create a secure, distributed database that provides transparency and system reliability. In a blockchain, all data is stored in blocks linked to each other by cryptographic methods, which ensures the immutability of the database. I mean, no one can change or delete information from a blockchain unnoticed, all data remains in the system.

Blockchain is an effective technology for creating cross-platform applications. Since it doesn’t have a centralized hub that stores and controls data, users interact with each other, coming to a consensus, and transactions are approved. DApps, decentralized applications, are a great example of this. DApps work on the principle of smart contracts, but their applying is wider. One of their main advantages is the high level of user trust. Plus, they are easier to develop as developers don’t have to re-create the app structure, they adapt ready-made properties to project requirements. This makes an app easier, and the development time is reduced several times. According to a report by Daap Review, in Q1 2020, the total transaction volume on 13 blockchains was $7.9 billion, an 82.2% increase over the first quarter of 2019.

Beacons technology

According to Statista, the beacon technology market will reach approximately $56.6 billion by 2026. Another Grand-view study claims that the Bluetooth beacon market will be worth $58.7 billion by 2025. While beacon technology is not new, it is still an effective way of communicating between a brand and customers using mobile apps. With beacons, merchants can optimize the online and offline presence of their companies, better understand user behavior, and deliver the most personalized messages possible. Let’s remember how it works. 

How do beacons work
What are beacons and how do they work

Beacons are of great value for the marketing and promotion of mobile apps. As soon as beacons are connected to users’ devices, they can activate mobile apps and send information tailored to users’ interests and preferences. Beacons are also used to welcome visitors to retail outlets, which increases the level of customer loyalty. Plus, they can locate consumers and guide them to points of sale. This is a great way to increase user engagement. Experts say that beacons are really an effective way to increase sales, so this technology continues to be actively used in the development of mobile applications.

Even more, this year Google and Apple announced the COVID-19 contact tracing system, which uses Bluetooth to help reduce the spread of the virus. Nearby mobile devices with iOS and Android will exchange beacons with each other via Bluetooth, which include IDs, and then check them against information on the server about beacons of devices whose owners have tested positive for COVID-19. If a match is found, a user will receive a notification that he or she has been in contact with a new coronavirus patient, as well as advice on what to do next.

IoT-enabled mobile apps

The emergence of smart technology, including smartphones, smartwatches, smart home devices, has led to the idea to connect devices to create a system of information exchange and more efficient operation. Therefore, the Internet of Things is a popular topic lately. By connecting IoT with smartphones, we get a convenient tool for managing the entire smart network. With a network of interconnected devices, we can control the entire system using a smartphone remotely. Accordingly, the demand for IoT enabled apps will grow with the increasing popularity of smart devices. Statista predicts that the global Internet of Things (IoT) end-user solution market will grow to about 1.6 trillion by 2025.

Mobile app trends to watch in 2021

With a high probability, we can say that the listed trends will be relevant in 2021 and the coming years. But 2020 failed to fully unleash the potential of some other technologies, laying the foundation for their future development. Plus, the giants of the mobile development market also dictate their rules that cannot be ignored. So, here are some extra trends for 2021.

5G Technology

5G has already become a reality, but a wide use of the 5G standard is still coming. The increase in Internet speed and traffic capacity opens up new opportunities for creating software that requires more power than what was previously available. For example, 5G is expected to become a new driving force in the development of IoT, as well as enhance AI/ML capabilities and ensure data security. So, mobile app developers should be prepared for 5G to become the standard that apps must meet.

Instant apps

Instant apps are a great way to showcase an app without having to download and install it. Such applications are launched without taking up a large amount of device memory. They were first developed by Google in 2016 and have received positive feedback from both developers and users. In 2020, Apple also rolled out an instant apps-like feature called App Clips in iOS 14. More and more mobile app developers are adopting the instant app feature because it helps increase conversions by offering a better user experience.

On-demand apps

On-demand apps have become a lifeline for busy people. This is convenient when you don’t need to waste time looking for a particular product or service, and you can simply use your smartphone to quickly order what you need now. On-demand apps connect users and service providers. For example, Uber is one of the most successful cases of such applications. You can find on-demand apps for food delivery, car rentals, personal health services, and so on. Lockdown associated with the Covid-19 pandemic only increased the popularity of such apps, allowing users to order services from the comfort of their homes, and sellers have an additional channel to attract customers. According to Statista.com, U.S. consumers are spending $57.6 billion in the on-demand economy to cater 22.4 million users annually.

Protecting the privacy of user data 

Apple announced that ‘nutrition labels’ will hit the App Store in December 2020. These labels give users an idea of ​​what data an app collects and for what purposes before downloading it. Nutrition labels are part of a series of new privacy features that Apple intends to implement to ensure the safety of its users. Everyone wants to know that his data is securely stored and an app doesn’t collect more information than it needs, especially when it comes to sensitive information in financial and medical applications. Regulation of this issue is in progress, and a step towards user safety taken by such a giant as Apple will definitely accelerate this process. So, data security and privacy protection will certainly become an important topic for mobile app developers in 2021. 

Wrapping up

The mobile app market continues to grow despite everything. This is one of the most promising areas of development that adopts the latest technologies to create new progressive mobile solutions. With the increasing level of digitalization, we are getting more interesting and functional mobile apps that allow us to manage many aspects of our lives using smartphones. In the coming years, mobile development will still be the epicenter of cool tech ideas for both developers and users. If you want to catch this wave and create an app for your business, we will be happy to help you. Visit our mobile development page to find out more about our services.

Also, we recommend reading How to Hire a Great Mobile App Developer by Toptal. Good luck with your project!

How to Build a P2P Payment App: The Complete Guide (2020)

P2P payment apps are powerful tools for transferring funds between people nowadays. We can pay for purchases and services without leaving our homes just using our smartphones. Merchants can receive payment directly to a card or account by integrating a payment app into their websites. More importantly, you have a choice of which application to use or you can even create a custom peer-to-peer payment app. According to eMarketer, the value of P2P mobile transactions will reach $612.23 billion by 2023, so this market continues to evolve and if your business idea is related to P2P payments, you have a good chance of success. To help you, we have compiled a P2P payment app tutorial in which you will find answers to questions of how to build a powerful and legally compliant peer-to-peer payment app. 

Table of contents:

  1. What is a P2P payment app and how does it work
  2. Advantages of peer-to-peer payment apps
  3. Must-have features for a peer-to-peer payment app
  4. Steps to build a P2P payment app
    4.1 Choose P2P app type
    4.2 Draw up a list of features for your app
    4.3 Choose the right technology
    4.4 Provide sufficient security of your app
    4.5 Regulatory compliance
    4.6 Create an effective design
    4.7 Find a software development team
    4.8 Test your app
  5. Where to start developing a P2P payment app

What is a P2P payment app and how does it work?

First, let’s figure out what are peer-to-peer payments from the technical part. Peer-to-peer transactions are electronic money transfers that are made directly from one account to another using a payment application. Probably everyone has used PayPal at least once, one of the first and the most popular P2P payment apps. So how does it work? 

How PayPal works

You create your account and link it to your credit card or bank account. Further, using an email address, phone number, or account of another person, you can send him or her money. Usually, the legitimacy of a transaction is verified using passwords or additional data about a sender and a recipient. P2P systems allow transferring funds between banking card owners without resorting to intermediaries, which means you save on commissions. These apps are often free, but small fees may apply depending on the source of your funds. To make payments, users need an app available via a smartphone or computer and Internet access. No cash confusion or bank lines. Everything is extremely simple. 

Typically, such apps allow you to transfer money between users of different banks, which makes transactions convenient. Payment processing times can vary from a few minutes to several hours depending on the payment type. P2P systems have a wide range of applications. You can pay for services using such apps, buy things on the Internet, send and receive borrowing requests, make cross-border payments, and more. 

Advantages of peer-to-peer payment apps

P2P payment apps are widely used not only by individuals but also by businesses. For example, it is much easier for merchants to receive payment for goods directly to their cards, so they integrate payment apps into their online stores. Moreover, by creating a payment app on blockchain, you can conduct direct transactions in cryptocurrency. Here are some more benefits of peer-to-peer payment apps.

Advantages for individualsAdvantages for business
+ You don’t need to withdraw cash to pay.
+ You can easily track your finances in your app.
+ Many applications support automatic conversion between different currencies.
+ You can pay from anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection.
+ You save on fees due to no need for intermediaries.
+ You will ensure affordable cross-border transactions and be able to reach a larger pool of customers.
+ No intermediaries to charge expensive services.
+ You can monetize your app and earn extra money on it.
+ You can receive instant payment for your services directly to your card or account.
+ You will increase the level of trust and user engagement.

Must-have features for a peer-to-peer payment app 

When creating a custom P2P payment app, you have many options regarding functionality and capabilities. It’s up to you. However, there are some must-have features that users expect by default when downloading a payment app. Therefore, when making a list of features for your future product, first of all, include the following there.

Digital wallet. A digital wallet is the main feature of any payment application. With the help of a wallet, a user stores his electronic currency and makes payments. Usually, digital wallets are integrated with payment card tokenization services from VISA and Mastercard and with external systems/services, so they can have wide functionality. Creating a digital wallet is a separate issue that should be given special attention before starting your app development.

Send and request money. The user should be able not only to send the desired amount of money but also to request money from another user.

Send bills/invoices. For the convenience of a user, your app should have a function for generating a transaction invoice/bill that can be received by both a sender and a recipient. 

Currency conversion. Automatic currency conversion is a great feature that makes P2P payment apps so popular, so you shouldn’t give it up. By implementing this function, you will allow your users to make cross-border transactions, pay for services and goods using your application while traveling, and not think about converting. The best way to implement this feature is to synchronize your payment app with the exchange rate with the bank at the time of the transaction.

Unique one-time passwords or IDs. Security is crucial for payment apps. To avoid unwanted or accidental transactions, frauds, a user must confirm the unique ID and OTP (one-time-password). If you want to provide an even higher level of security, you can configure the need to enter an OTP every time a user logs in.

Transfer to a bank account. Users may need to transfer money not only from card to card but also from card to bank account. Give them that opportunity.

History of previous transactions. The transaction history will enable your users to keep track of their spending and money transfers. Try to keep the information as long as possible. Also, the function of generating statements, downloading, and printing transaction history will be a great solution.

Push notifications. Push notifications will be useful for both you and your users. You will be able to send notifications with new offers, promotions, or updates. And users will be able to quickly see messages if a card has been credited, for example. However, keep in mind that push notifications can be useful as well as annoying, so let users choose which notifications they want to receive on their phones.

Additional  features can include:

  • Chatbot. A chatbot in your P2P payment app can improve user experience. While interacting with the app, a user may have questions or problems. A chatbot will help to quickly resolve issues that may arise when transferring funds, incorrect debits from the wallet, and so on.
  • Fingerprint security lock. To minimize the risks associated with the security of your application, you can configure the fingerprint security lock. This way, only the owner of the account can access it.
  • Cryptocurrency payments. The value of cryptocurrencies is growing every day. According to Reportlinker, the cryptocurrency market is predicted to grow with a CAGR of 56.4% from 2019 to 2025. Many companies allow paying for their products and services using cryptocurrency. If you want to create a modern app that provides additional opportunities for users, think about the feature of making payments in cryptocurrency.

Steps to build a P2P payment app

Steps to build P2P payment app

Having dealt with the features of a P2P payment app, let’s move on to the main steps of developing your application. Before you start looking for a development team, you have to work on creating a concept for your project and drawing up clear requirements. So here’s what to look out for.

Choose P2P app type 

There are several types of peer-to-peer payment apps. The most popular are banking and standalone solutions. Depending on the business model you choose, you can stop at one of them, but you should be aware of all types of payment apps. So, we will give a brief description of each one.

  • Bank-based solutions. Bank-based apps involve a bank as one of the parties to transactions. Many banks are developing their own P2P payment systems to make services more accessible and convenient. These apps receive money and make deposits directly to bank accounts rather than a saved foreign currency account. Sellers, in turn, must have POS terminals to accept such payments. Banking apps make transactions easier for both banks and users. 
  • Standalone services. These are independent providers that offer their own payment systems such as Venmo and PayPal. Such applications allow users to create a digital wallet and use it to store electronic money and make payments. Typically, these apps support MasterCard and Visa cards. You should choose this type of application if you are going to build a business around it.
  • Social media platforms. Social media and messengers are also developing built-in payment features as Facebook did. This way social media users can send money to their friends without leaving the app. However, if you are not going to build your own social network, this type of P2P payment app will not be for you.
  • Mobile OS systems. Here, payment options are more of a built-in feature than a full-fledged application. Examples of mobile OS payment systems are Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay.

Draw up a list of features for your P2P app

Next, get back to the features. You need to make a list of the necessary features, which a development team can then estimate. Start with the basic ones and then add the additional features that you want to see in your app. In order not to miss anything, you need to study your target audience, create a portrait of your user and the user flow, path that users will go through interacting with your app. 

Don’t try to develop all the features at once, as this may be unreasonable and too expensive. Prioritize features, focusing on core ones, you can add new features later when you are sure that they are needed. 

Choose the right technology

The next step is the technology selection. The right technology will help you make a P2P payment app more functional and more interesting for users. And this is an important factor to survive the competition, right? FinTech gave us such innovations as NFC and biometrics ID, but we shouldn’t be limited to them. The financial sector continues to undergo digital transformation and new technologies are coming to the fore. For example real-time payments (RTP), unified platforms, Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain. Don’t hesitate to use trending technologies and tools to create your app, because the faster, more convenient, and more profitable your product is, the more chances you have to succeed.

One of the most promising technologies listed is blockchain. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global blockchain market will go up to $23.3 billion by 2023. Blockchain-based solutions are secure and they provide a high level of transparency that users can accurately assess. Thanks to a distributed storage system, information about all transactions are stored in blocks linked to each other. No block can be deleted or changed without destroying the entire system. Also, blockchain was originally created to build peer-to-peer systems without the involvement of intermediaries. Read our recent article Where to start implementing blockchain to find out more about adopting this technology.

Provide sufficient security of your app

We have already mentioned security, but when creating a peer-to-peer payment app it is better to think twice about it. All information about your users’ accounts and the history of their transactions must be reliably protected, as well as the process of transferring funds. The total cost for cybercrime committed globally will reach $6 trillion by 2021, according to the Cybersecurity Ventures Official Annual Cybercrime Report. I don’t think that you want your users to become victims of hacker attacks. How do you ensure the proper level of security for your application?

Ways to secure mobile application
Ways to secure your application

We have already talked about the need for sending unique ID/OTP when confirming operations and logging in. This will help avoid accidental payments or fraudulent actions. Try to use all the security features built into devices, such as fingerprint scanner, face recognition, or at least activate two-factor authentication. You also need to ensure the security of your digital wallet and prevent any chances of a personal data leak. Be sure to discuss with a development team what security features you can put in your payment application.

Regulatory compliance

Regulatory compliance is as important an issue as security. Your payment app must comply with payment standards. Experts say there is a lack of regulation of the FinTech industry, but different regions already have documents that need to be taken into account. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to think about the payment requirements of all regions and create a universal app that will meet all standards. Therefore, you should choose a target region for yourself and create a P2P payment app following its laws and recommendations.

Here are some examples of authorities with which you need to resolve legal issues by region:

RegionAuthority
ChinaFinTech Committee under the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)
KoreaFinTech Center under the Financial Services Commission (FSC)
AustraliaInnovation Hub by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
European UnionDirective (EU) 2015/2366 + GDPR
UKFinancial Conduct Authority.
USDepends on the state

Create effective design

In the pursuit of functionality and legitimacy, you shouldn’t forget about the design of your app. The correct structure of the user interface and an attractive look determine the convenience and user-friendliness of an app for users. Also, a memorable design will help you build great awareness and engagement. UX/UI design development consists of several stages. Let me remind you that the UI part is responsible for the look and feel of an app (colors, layouts, typography), and the UX is responsible for the process of user interaction with the interface, his overall impression. At IdeaSoft, our design team sticks to the following workflow.

UX/UI application design workflow
UX/UI application design workflow

Find a software development team

With the preparatory stages complete, it’s time to find an experienced development team to help you bring your ideas to life. Take the time to find and select skilled developers. You can use the ratings from Clutch, GoodFirms, TopDevelopers, Techreviewer, and others. Here’s what to look for when choosing a development partner.

  • Appropriate expertise. The experience and technology used by a company must meet your requirements. For example, does a company work with blockchain? Does it have experience in developing projects for FinTech?
  • Successful projects. First of all, you should be interested in FinTech projects as similar to your project as possible, so you can see how the team is coping with the tasks.
  • Customer reviews. You should read customer reviews. This will help you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of a company. Honestly, people don’t really like to spend time writing reviews, so it takes some effort to motivate them to do so. If a company doesn’t have reviews, then most likely it doesn’t care about its reputation, and it’s a bad sign.

2 more quick tips. First, if you want to reduce the cost of software development, turn to outsourcing and choose companies from Eastern Europe (the best match between price and quality). Second, choose companies that provide a full development cycle, so you won’t have to look for other partners for design or support.

Read our recent article How to reduce software development costs

Test your app

At the end of the project, don’t forget to ask about the testing results, but rather test the application yourself. It is better to find bugs early and fix them than release to the market a defective product. Testing helps to determine whether your app is working as it was intended, whether it bears the necessary load, whether it is convenient to use it. Test again and again until you are satisfied with the result. Here’s a quick checklist for testing your application. 

  • Make sure your app installs and runs correctly.
  • Ensure a user can perform typical operations.
  • Check if the app works the same on different devices and OS versions.
  • Check how the app behaves in case of special events (incoming call, low battery, airplane mode, etc.).
  • Test hardware connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, USB.
  • Test the app with real users to ensure there are no bugs and get feedback.
  • Decide who will be responsible for supporting and maintaining the application (dedicated team, outsourcing services).

Remember that a few clicks and swipes are enough for a user to draw a conclusion about your app and decide to use it further or not. According to Compuware, 48% of users are less likely to use an app again if they experience performance issues. Plus, users won’t forgive you for bugs in security, usability, functionality, etc. There are always alternatives. Testing can help you avoid dozens of risks, so never underestimate this step.

Where to start developing a P2P payment app

Now you know how the P2P payment app development process goes. You have to do a lot of analytical work, as well as decide what features your app should have, what technologies are better to use, and what requirements your product should meet. So where do you begin? Start by researching users and defining the functionality of your app. Your main task here is to describe your idea in detail and then discuss it with a development team, which will help improve it and implement it. Choose a skilled development team with a proven track record in developing fintech solutions. The quality of your application depends on the expertise of the software developers, so take your time to choose. 

Experts predict a great future for peer-to-peer payment apps, so catch the wave. Our team is always ready to advise you on the technical implementation of your idea. Feel free to contact us. Good luck with your project!

Angular vs React vs Vue.js: What is the Best JavaScript Framework for Web Development

A technology stack is the cornerstone of any project. Only by choosing the right tools, you can build a product that meets all your needs and goals. And it’s not just about programming languages. Frameworks help developers create features easier and faster, as well as determine the future structure of the system. So, before starting a project, as a customer, you should ask what technology a development team will use and how this will affect your future product. When it comes to front-end development most often the choice of framework falls on Angular, React, or Vue.js. So, we asked three IdeaSoft experts to study these three popular JavaScript frameworks and tell us about their advantages and weak points. In this article, you will find the top things about Angular, React, Vue.js to find out which one is the most reliable option for web development.

Table of contents:

  1. The overview of Angular as a JavaScript framework
  2. The overview of React
  3. The overview of Vue.js as a JavaScript framework
  4. Comparison of JavaScript platforms
  5. Our experience

The overview of Angular as a JavaScript framework

Dmitry_Gulyaev

Reviewed by Dmitry Gulyaev, Front End Developer at IdeaSoft

 

Let’s start with the market leader. According to the statistics, Angular is the most common requirement among employers, which means this framework is used to create web products most often. Angular’s universality is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Created by Google in 2016, it has gained fame among JavaScript developers as a framework that can be used for building web, desktop, and mobile applications. Angular is good for projects of any complexity level, although it’s more commonly used for large feature-rich applications. 

One of the benefits of Angular is that it builds highly testable websites and applications. It allows end-to-end testing and unit testing (used for checking an app performance and verifying whether it works according to the client requirements) which makes debugging and testing easier. You can create high-performance, complex animation timelines with very little code through Angular’s intuitive API.

Discuss_a_project

Angular is written in TypeScript and is open source. The framework provides many built-in tools for creating applications. It’s a really large and complex web development platform that handles everything from project creation to code optimization. Some see this as a huge advantage for Angular, while others believe that it makes the framework unnecessarily complex. 

AdvantagesWeak points
+ Component-based architecture providing good scalability for a project.

+ Universal framework with a wide range of tools.

+ Provides good performance.

+ Uses TypeScript, which gives improved toolset and cleaner code.

+ It’s actively improving and has a large community, which makes the framework reliable
– The complexity of working with the framework.


– Not flexible enough.


– Frequent updates.

Advantages and weaknesses of Angular

When you should choose Angular:

  • For applications with dynamic content, where content should change based on user behavior and preferences.
  • For large-scale and feature-rich applications.
  • For real-time applications like chat or messaging apps.
  • For progressive web apps (PWAs).

The main idea is that Angular is best used for large-scale projects with sufficient resources since the architecture of the framework can be difficult for small teams and short-term projects. Also, you should avoid Angular if your goal is to create a website with further SEO promotion since this framework is limited in SEO functions.

The apps built with Angular: YouTube TV, Google Cloud, Crunchbase, Securitize.

The overview of React 

Dmitry_Ponizov

Reviewed by Dmitry Ponizov, Lead Front End Developer at IdeaSoft

 

React is not actually a framework, it’s a JavaScript library that is used for developing web and mobile applications. It was created by Facebook. This tool is more flexible than Angular, it can be used with many other libraries. React was made to improve application speed and scalability. It’s simple and allows us to reduce project development time while maintaining quality. React has virtual DOM which is responsible for the UI part and server-side rendering that provide fast and efficient changes. Therefore, it’s a great solution for apps that need regular content updates. Also, React is better optimized for search engines, so you can choose it if you need a website with good SEO performance. 

React_js_usage_2020

Like Angular, React is an open-source, so it also has a large community and popularity in the market. According to SimilarTech, most of all React is used in the USA and China, but its distribution is constantly growing. The developers prefer React because it’s less complex than Angular and easier to maintain. Another feature of React is that this library is used to build Micro Frontend architecture. Using this architecture allows you to view a web application as a set of functions belonging to different independent teams, which makes the development process more flexible and faster.

AdvantagesWeak points
+ Has a streamlined update process.

+ SEO friendly.

+ Flexible technology with good performance.

+ Has a virtual DOM that improves user experience.

+ With React Native, you can create mobile apps for different platforms using React architecture.
– Lack of ready-made solutions, you need to use additional tools.

– Poor documentation for developers.

– Frequent updates.

Advantages and weaknesses of React

When you should choose React:

  • For lightweight modern applications that need to be developed in a short time.
  • For enterprise solutions. 
  • For developing web sites with a flexible structure.
  • For developing cross-platform applications.
  • For expanding the functionality of an existing application.
  • For the development of content-oriented applications.

So React is more suitable for dynamic applications than static ones. This technology is flexible enough, but it has its limitations, for example, it won’t be able to provide all the necessary development tools, since this is a library and not a full-fledged framework. So you will need additional technology.

The apps built with React: Instagram, Netflix, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Nexar.

The overview of Vue.js as a JavaScript framework

anton_chernenko

Reviewed by Anton Chernenko, Front End Developer at IdeaSoft

 

Vue.js is a young framework created by Evan Yu after his work at Google using AngularJS on a number of projects. The first commit of the project’s source code was dated July 2013, and Vue was first released in February 2014. Vue is based on experience with Angular and React, so it combines the best of both technologies. Vue’s pre-coding framework allows you to quickly deploy an application without degrading its performance. Since Vue has a similar architecture to Angular and React, it doesn’t pose any problem to quickly switch from other frameworks to Vue. This framework is small in size, which allows for much better performance compared to other platforms.

vuejs_usage_2020
According to SimilarTech

Vue.js is supported by the open-source community, not by a specific company. This framework aims to solve the problems of previous platforms and provides a flexible and efficient tool for web development. Due to its similarity to React and Angular, it’s not difficult for developers to learn Vue in a short time and use its benefits for projects.

AdvantagesWeak points
+ Small size for increased productivity.

+ Flexibility to suit different business needs.

+ Easy to integrate with other platforms.

+ Easy to customize.

+ Easy to integrate into an existing project.

+ Good documentation.
– Lack of support due to the closed community.

– Limitations of built-in tools as it’s a young framework.

– Lack of stability in components.

– A lot of packages have only Chinese documentation.

Advantages and weaknesses of Vue.js

When you should choose Vue:

  • For developing smart applications with high performance.
  • For small and lightweight applications.
  • To switch from an existing project to a modern framework with limited resources.
  • For scalable projects in “grow as you go” format.
  • For fast MVP development.

Many experts point out the advantages of Vue.js, but this framework is the most effective for simple and small projects so far. This, probably, will change in the near future, as the demand for Vue is constantly growing, which means the number of successful cases is increasing.

The apps built with Vue.js: Spendesk, Grammarly, Specify, Gitlab, Global Ledger.

Comparison of JavaScript platforms

Yes, there is a lot of information here. We should admit that Angular, React and Vue.js have their own strengths and weaknesses that can affect the success of a project. Now let’s try to collect data on all three technologies and compare them to see the big picture and find out when to use one or the other tool. 

angular_vs_react_vs_vuejs

So, to summarize:

  • Angular is a complex and complete framework with many built-in functions that is ideal for large-scale projects with many features. Flexibility is not Angular’s strong suit, but it does provide a robust and reliable application architecture.
  • React is a more flexible tool that helps you build effective apps with dynamic content. However, since React is a library and not a complete framework, you may need to integrate it with additional tools to create your app.
  • Vue provides the most flexibility and is a fast and highly scalable framework. You can use it both to create small, simple applications and to optimize existing ones.

Our experience

The IdeaSoft team has developers who work with all three technologies. We select the best tech stack for a client based on the goals of a project. The experience, proven by the successful implementation of more than 200 projects, allows our front-end developers to use this or that framework with maximum return for the final result. This article presents the most common scenarios, but the reality is not limited to them. To choose the most suitable framework for your project, we need to carefully study the requirements and compare them with the capabilities of the technology.

Feel free to contact us in case you need help with choosing the right technology stack for your project. We are always open for communication. 

Mobile Development Guide: How to Create a Mobile App for Your Business [+Checklist]

The world goes mobile. We are used to the fact that smartphones have become an integral part of our life. Communication, shopping, work, leisure, we use mobile apps for everything. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the number of mobile applications has been growing steadily and according to Statista, by 2023, revenue from them around the world will increase to 900 billion US dollars. Good news if you’ve decided to create a mobile app for your business, right? But these huge numbers also show a huge competition on the market. According to Fortune, more than 75% of users open an app once and never come back. 

So how to develop an app that grabs the attention of users, gets its fans, and helps your business grow, rather than becoming one of a thousand? We have prepared a detailed guide to mobile development for you to know what aspects need to be worked out while creating a mobile application. Plus, our specialist has put together a 37 point mobile development checklist so you don’t miss anything. If you are ready, let’s get started.

Table of contents:

  1. Business part
  2. Technical part
  3. UI/UX part
  4. Development part
  5. Testing part
  6. What’s next
  7. Get your checklist

The best way to build a mobile app

We can divide the development of a mobile application into several stages from the preparatory stage, which is the responsibility of the customer himself, to the final stage of testing and release of the product by the development team. Working through each of these steps in detail will help you develop a successful mobile app from scratch.

Business part

As Alexander Graham Bell said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”. And the business part is all about searching and planning. Before you start developing a product, you must understand what exactly and for whom you are creating. Who will be the user of your app and what problems will it solve for your target audience? Answering these questions, you can prescribe the necessary functionality of the application as well as lay the foundations for the further promotion of your product when entering the market. 

Try to draw up the portrait of your potential client in as much detail as possible: his or her age, place of residence, interests, problems, how he/she makes a decision. This way you can plan the development of an app that will meet the needs of specific people. That’s what you need. Then find and study your competitors, those companies that solve the same problems of your potential users that you do. Your task is to study the functions of their mobile apps to find out what features you want or don’t want to see in your product. You will probably notice the mistakes and shortcomings that you can avoid while creating your app.

The business part also covers basic budget planning and business idea development, which may include a proof of concept and more in-depth research. It all depends on your desire and capabilities. There is a user flow as a bridge between the business planning stage and the technical part. It’s a complete path that users take using your mobile app. Of course, you need to know exactly how someone will use your product, the algorithm of actions in order to correctly write the necessary functions at each stage. User flow will help you not miss anything and create clear requirements for your development team. To visualize user flows, you can use tools such as Wireflow, Timblee, Draw.io, and others.

Technical part

Once you start planning the technical part of your mobile app, you will have to learn more about app development because you will come across a dozen technical decisions. Starting from which platform your app should run on (Android/iOS/both), which operating systems, for which screen resolutions the app should be adapted, to the need for additional integrations. 

Start by choosing a platform. In many ways, the platform on which an app will run depends on the geography of its distribution. If you decide that the bulk of our users live in the United States, for example, you can choose developing an app for iOS, this platform is most used in the region. Whereas in most European countries, Android is in the first place. Don’t want to miss a single segment and plan to promote your app all over the world? Then you need a cross-platform product. Choosing a platform, you can decide on the type of your app. They differ in functionality, development time, and cost.

There are 4 types of mobile applications:

  • Native apps are created for a specific operating system and mostly distributed through the app stores. These apps are very powerful, but keep in mind that you have to develop 2 apps for Android and iOS separately, which increases the development cost.
  • Web apps are similar to a website where users interact with a web server using a browser. These applications are easy to develop, but they can’t be distributed through app stores.
  • Hybrid apps and PWA (progressive web apps) use hybrid and web app functionality. Hybrid apps can be installed from the App Store or Play Market, and users can access PWA using any browser having a URL, and you can add PWAs shortcuts to smartphone screens to go back with one click.
Types_of_mobile_apps
Comparison of different mobile app types 

According to statistics, users usually ignore half of the application’s functions, which means their development was just a waste of money and time. Therefore, it’s so important to work on prescribing the functionality of your app. Based on the user flow, make a list of the main and auxiliary functions of your mobile app. Decide what data should be stored in your app, what integrations are needed (calendar, maps, etc.), whether you are going to send push notifications. Are there any special requirements that your application must meet? For example, if you are creating a payment app, it must comply with the regulatory requirements of the region in which you intend to distribute it. A clear plan of product requirements will help you quickly estimate the cost of the project to start the development process.

UI/UX part

Application design is as important as its functionality. Look at the apps you are using. They are probably simple, user friendly, and attractive at the same time. The usability and appearance of your product can attract or repel users. UI/UX is much more than just a picture, although corporate identity is undoubtedly important, it contributes to recognition. So think about what your app should look like and create a design. You can do this with the help of your designer, or resort to designing services from a development company. Keep in mind that your design must be culturally sensitive to the region in which you plan to distribute the app.

There are more questions to answer when designing your app than just what color and fonts to use. Among the priority decisions you will have to make are the following:

  1. Which orientation (portrait or landscape) the app should be designed?
  2. What gestures will the app use – tap, swipe, pinch?
  3. Should the app be monolingual or multilingual?

A good UI/UX designer will help you choose the best option for your product, suggest controllers and usability of your mobile application. As Alan Cooper, a software designer and programmer said, “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous, and helpful.” Don’t skip this step.

Development part

Once you have a business plan and app design, it’s time to move on to development. As we decided in the first stage, you need to choose the option of building a team, whether it’s your in-house team of engineers or you are planning to outsource the project. According to Statista, last year, the market size of information technology outsourcing reached $66.52B. Remember that outsourcing software development companies also offer different collaboration models. Each model has its advantages and features, also they differ in pricing and flexibility.

Among the main models of work with outsourcing software development companies are the Fixed price model, Time-and-Materials model, Dedicated Team. Find a quick comparison of the models in the table below.

Comparison_of_outsourcing_models

A fixed price assumes a predefined list of tasks and pre-set cost. There is not much flexibility in this model, it’s suitable for those who are sure about how the product should look and what features should be developed. The time-and-material model refers to the pay-as-you-go model, where you pay specifically for the work done. There is more flexibility in this option. But if you have experience in software development and managing in-house engineers, you can expand your team with a dedicated team model when all work is carried out on the customer’s side and you can manage the development process yourself, paying for the hours of work of specialists. 

Also, one of the most important tasks of this stage is to calculate how much time and money you are willing to spend on development. Check out the prices on the market and compare them to your capabilities. Having determined your cost range, it will be easier for you to select a development team and control costs. Development time also matters and can affect the type of app and the cost of building it.

If you’re unsure of where to look for a software development company, check out Clutch, GoodFirms, or CrunchBase. There you will find profiles of companies from all over the world, examples of projects, customer reviews, and prices for services. Don’t hesitate to start communication with companies, representatives will help you with technical issues and will estimate the cost of work, so you will have a chance to compare offers.

By finding a reliable mobile app development partner, you can confidently move forward and plan your product launch. Remember that in some cases it’s better to postpone the development of the full functionality of the app and start by building an MVP that includes the most important features for the first app release.

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Testing part

After completing product development, move on to the critical testing step. Today, a good application should not only be free of bugs but also be safe for users, which includes secure storing and transferring data. Timely identification of app flaws will let you to quickly solve these problems and provide users with a high-quality app. According to statistics, bugs are one of the main reasons why users can delete a mobile app.

  • Make sure the app installs and runs correctly. The installation of an application should proceed without significant errors. Make sure your app automatically starts correctly. This is, after all, the first stage of user interaction with your product.
  • Ensure users can perform typical operations.  Check out the main functions of your app. Make sure that users can perform basic operations provided by the app, for example, purchase, registration, etc.
  • Check how the app behaves in case of special events. It should be convenient for your users to use the app under any circumstances, so test its behavior under various conditions, such as incoming calls, low battery, airplane mode, etc.
  • Check if the app works the same on different devices and OS versions. One of the most common bugs is when an app doesn’t work right on different operating systems. Test your app on different devices to make sure everything works correctly.
  • Test hardware connectivity – Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, USB. If you need these functions, check the correctness of their connection.

Remember that testing is one of the most important stages of mobile app development. It’s better to spend time improving your app than delivering a low-quality product to your audience. 

What’s next

Well, you have fixed all bugs and now your app is ready for placing on the App Store or Google Play. But you know that this is not the last stage actually. The first time after launching the app, you need to collect user feedback to know where and how you can improve your app. We live in a crazy world where everything changes so quickly. Your app must meet the expectations of your target audience to remain interesting and attract new users. Therefore, first of all, decide who will support your mobile app, prepare updates, and make sure that there are no errors. 

Then listen to your users, implement new ideas, and improve your product. Step by step, you will create a successful mobile app that will bring new results and help your business grow. And if you need expert consultation, you know who to contact. We are always ready to help.

Mobile_development_checklist