On Observing Trends in the Android App Development Market and Reacting to Them

Have you ever thought about trends projection and its impact on the market? For example, similar movies being released over the course of a couple of weeks? You start reminiscing about 2001: A Space Odyssey and suddenly you’re being attacked with Interstellar, Martian (Both are great. Really.) and all that bunch. That’s the trends movie studios observed, forecasted and acted upon.

The same rules apply to the mobile app development industry. Knowing the current trends can only help in building and successfully shipping your mobile app, whether you wish to follow the trends or not.

I won’t tell you what the current trends are. For one, trends are something that change practically all the time and I want to write something universal that will still be true 2 years from now. So here are my thoughts on observing the trends on the market and reacting to them from a business perspective.

Observe the market. Closely. 

Trends usually reflect user demands quite well. If an application with mediocre marketing and a rather sloppy technical execution becomes one of the most popular apps, that means there was an obviously high demand for what that application does. In many cases, these are simple micro-apps like filters for Instagram, shopping lists or Floppy Bird-like minigames. These usually base on a single peak of interest and become forgotten in a matter of weeks.

The other type are the real game changers – applications that answer the demands of millions or present a new approach to certain, specific topics. A good example may be a perfectly designed online banking app.

Now, everyone wants a part of cake. That’s why you may found dozens of “bootleg” application of suspicious origin released to the Google Play and Apple App Store hours after defining what will be extremely popular. Word of advice – when you start to see such apps it is basically impossible to cash in on yet another copy. For one, you need time to develop and test the whole thing, or you may just want to ship another crappy application. Either way, you won’t make the top spot on the most popular list (and you shouldn’t).

However, what you CAN do is to analyze the app and its target audience. Case study it. What issues does it resolve? How was it made? What marketing strategy did the developer use? Answering these questions can help you identify the qualities of most popular applications and, hopefully, help you in building your own.

Know about state-of-art frameworks

Properly knowing all of the little characteristics and quirks of an operating system version will give you an immense edge over your competitors. There’s a ton of people that follow every patch very closely. Still the best would be the official Android developers’ blog. There’s that, or our blog 🙂

Just as important as OS quality is to know about new trends in the development community. Also, don’t be afraid to test out new frameworks and libraries as soon as you can. Who knows when, and where, you might find something extremely useful?

One such framework is React Native – a JavaScript-powered mobile development framework created by Facebook and recently open-sourced – that has one very important feature: Both Android and iOS versions of your app will be using the same codebase. In practice, it means that as a developer you only need to write the application once, which is of course very time efficient.

Not convinced? Worried about a “Jack of all trades, master of none” type of situation? Luckily, React Native is old enough for people to find good ways of enhancing it and making it much more effective in what it already does well. I also recommend checking out React Native Log – a publication for those starting with React Native as well as those that know it quite well. 

Still not sure? What if I tell you that with Nativetap you can test your React Native app on any Android phone and kill any bugs faster than ever? Yup. We fully support application written in React Native. Feel free to give it a try with a FREE account! 

Know your hardware

As a promising mobile app developer you should know all about new upcoming models of mobile phones: what their battery capabilities are, how strong the battery is, how good the back and front cameras are, etc. Without it, you basically cannot land a perfect app. Especially if you invested a lot of time and resources into an application just to find out that it murders older phones. By being practically useless it becomes a dead app. A great way, of course, to see how your app works with other devices that you don’t have is with Nativetap.

Watch the Big Guys

Not just mobile phone developers and their new products, try some of the biggest multi-tech software companies. They tend to be quite rich and on their way to becoming even richer. In order to do this, they usually employ market specialists and do some thorough market researching (both technical and financial perspective). Moreover, they quite often publish their findings.

Why not use it? Plan for the future, not for “right now”. One such company and reports is Cisco and their Global Mobile Traffic from year 2017. In their report you can find info on mobile traffic forecasted for years 2016 up to 2021. From the contents of the paper, you may learn that mobile network speed grew almost three times during 2016. Always wanted to build that videoconference application but the network was too slow? You may want to reevaluate the idea.

Tip of the iceberg

Of course, what I discussed is just the tip of the iceberg, which is why we’d love to hear your opinion on tracing trends and all possible pitfalls. For more articles and videos on Android development, app markets and business around app development, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or comment down below.

 

 

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