When we published our massive review on how much an app costs back in 2015, we had no idea it would become the top resource on the web. Two years later, that piece is still considered the definitive resource in our industry. It’s because of its popularity that I feel compelled to revisit this subject. Additionally, doing so will allow for some fresh perspectives based on what's changed in the app industry as well as another way to look at the topic.
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Another WWDC keynote has come and gone. 2017 saw Apple focus on six particular areas, including announcements for the Apple TV, Apple Watch, Mac, iPad, the new HomePod, and of course, iOS 11. All of these impact the work we do at Savvy Apps, but the most significant of all is iOS 11.
We often address questions that focus on our experience in certain industries or with specific kinds of organizations. Although we have worked with companies large and small, commercial and non-profit, technology-driven and technology-challenged, we regularly emphasize that focusing on industry knowledge is not a good lens for selecting a partner.
This year's Google I/O was all about AI and it’s computing power. Google showcased its 17-year focus in organizing the world’s information via the Google Assistant—previously Google Now—in products like Google Home and Allo. Its machine-learning demos were impressive and its custom chip focused on machine learning in AI servers probably didn’t generate the wow factor it deserved.
Design thinking has come of age. People are now more aware of look and feel than ever. Great design is becoming an expectation, and those who provide that in their products and services have a competitive advantage. The same is true with apps specifically. Today's designers focus on more than just aesthetics and function. They are now considering the emotions people feel when interacting with their product, and how those emotions drive them to take one action over another. The value we see in design is now placed on tackling more complex problems, like the promise of a certain feeling rather than only utility.
There’s still confusion in the marketplace about why the cost to develop an app can vary so much from one company to another. While Savvy Apps is a service provider, our company is made up of people who are also consumers of goods and services. We understand why a lower cost is attractive on paper. Like many, we also have experienced what happens when going with a cheaper or the cheapest option. With that in mind, here’s our attempt to highlight what separates apps built by companies like ours compared to lower or significantly lower cost options.
Like many in the app community, we've been big fans of Parse at Savvy Apps. We were more than surprised by the news last Thursday that the Parse service will shut down in a year. Parse allowed us to reduce the costs of backend development for our startup and early-stage customers in particular. Even some of our larger brand and media-oriented customers used Parse, especially for sending push notifications or for quickly standing up APIs.
If you're reading this post, a Savvy Apps team member, developer, or someone doing creative work has pointed you to it. As people who make a living creating apps, software, or comparable work, consider that you're reading our manifesto of sorts. It articulates our experience and position with regards to non-disclosure agreements.
App creators will get their chance to unveil updated versions of their apps for iOS 9 and watchOS today and Android 6.0 later this fall. Though the amount of effort needed to prepare your app for the latest OS releases varies, it's almost always worth it. By updating your app for iOS 9, Android 6.0, and other OS releases, you're improving your chances of being featured, as well as retaining valuable customers, attracting new users, and flexing your own developer skills to take advantage of new technologies. Read on to learn more about how updating your app to support new OS updates by launch day itself is worth the effort.
One of the common questions we hear from startups is if they'll be at a disadvantage without having a technical co-founder at their outset. Sometimes this concern truly does surround the lack of their technical knowledge. Other times, it's more about not having in-house experience in either technology or in starting a new venture.