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Mobile software developments kits (mobile SDK) provide a set of software development tools that allow for a wide range of varied mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. An effective mobile SDK gives an app creator the tools needed to create complex and sophisticated apps as well as simple apps that are made in mere minutes.
App creators are able to tap into the robust features of the SDK without needing coding expertise and extensive software development skills. Broadly speaking, a software development kit provides a convenient method for businesses and individuals to easily create their app and get it published on Google Play and App Store marketplaces.
However, not all development kits are created equally. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you choose the right development kit for your needs.
Choosing the Right Mobile SDK
Choosing the best mobile SDK requires a careful evaluation of the functions and features an SDK offers. If app creators and developers do not have the tools needed to succeed, it is impossible to compete in the vast mobile app landscape. There are millions of apps populating the Google Play and App Store markets, making it essential that developers find an SDK equipped with the features needed to make a robust mobile app.
When choosing between mobile SDKs, immediately narrow the field of possibilities by focusing on dev kits with a proven record of capability, stability and performance. Without a stable and capable SDK, your app could crash at a moment’s notice, ruining all the hard work that went into the app’s creation.
Additionally, pay close attention to an SDK’s performance history. The typical iOS app contains seven third-party libraries, and it just takes one faulty SDK to destroy your app’s performance. In turn, shoddy performance leads to excessive battery consumption, an unresponsive device and frequent crashing for end users.
Other considerations when choosing an ideal SDK mobile app solution include:
- Data usage
Make sure your SDK of choice uses data efficiently, and just as important, that it keeps end users’ data secure. A company with a history of excellence will be able to put your mind at ease that its SDK offers proven results.
Benefits of a Mobile SDK
Custom apps built with a quality SDK allow developers to tailor a customized user experience, whether the app is needed for employees, customers or business partners.
Further, a proven SDK developer will make sure your app receives the benefits of having well-written, useful code. Regardless of whether you need an iOS app, an Android app or a universal app, a sophisticated SDK solution will give you the high-performing apps you need.
Red Foundry’s mobile SDK development team designs, constructs, tests, documents and launches SDKs for your mobile apps. Our team is well versed in the technical intricacies of software development, which is why we are capable of creating effective SDK solutions using Objective-C (iOS) and Java (Android).
Additionally, Red Foundry helps businesses with the following aspects of the SDK launch process:
- SDK documentation
- SDK versioning strategies
- SDK publishing/distribution
- SDK support
Contact our team to learn more about how our mobile SDK development services are the right choice for your business needs.
If you happen to be launching new apps or updating apps in the Apple App Store on a daily basis like we are, you may have noticed a significant improvement in App Store Review Times over the past few months. Reviews that used to take a week or two are now down to a couple of days! Well, apparently this is not a random anomaly. Rather, it is part of Apple’s intentional goals to further enhance the App Store experience for developers. And it’s not just tactical review times that are improving…
Apple is also expected to roll out much broader and more comprehensive improvements to the App Store including a new subscription model to incentivize a recurring revenue business model and also the introduction of paid search ads within the App Store. It appears that Apple’s goal is to allow app developers to generate more revenue while creating greater value to the Apple platform so Apple can further monetize the gigantic installed base. Industry analysts are estimating that App Store revenues may double within three years if subscriptions increase as part of the mix.
While some subscription-based apps already exist, the Subscription Based Model is not currently available on all app categories. In fact, as it stands today, app revenues are dominated by one-time purchases and only a few type of apps (news, dating, audio streaming) can offer users subscription pricing. Further, developers who are able to keep a subscriber for more than a year will see their share of subscription revenue increase from 70% to 85% in year 2, which will create a significant multiplying effect over time and will surely be celebrated by many an app owner.
App Store Paid Search also has the potential to have a material financial impact for Apple and open a realm of new possibilities for app developers. For context, last year paid search in the US alone added up to more than $29 Billion (across desktop and mobile) with Google taking the lion’s share. With so many captive App Store users, App Store Paid Search will surely be a financially boon for Apple while also giving developers the ability to pay to have their apps show up at the top of the result list when users search on certain keywords, which almost certainly will allow them to directly impact download volumes. A play out of Google’s playbook or a step in the right direction toward improving Apple’s App Store discovery challenge? For sure! A win-win all the way around? You bet.
Stay tuned for forthcoming details from Apple over the coming months. Hopefully, we will get more scoop at the Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) next week.
In the meantime, if you are currently contemplating the app subscription model for your app, let us know if we can help.
Congratulations go out to Fodor’s Travel for being included in Apple’s “Best New Apps” category following the recent launch of the iOS9-optimized City Guides app.
Fodor’s City Guides provides 22 unique travel guides for your iPhone and iPad. So whether you are visiting Boston or Barcelona you can find information, book hotels, make restaurants reservations, or get a guided tour all from the comfort of the app. It doesn’t matter if it’s last minute or months ahead, this app has you covered.
Simplify your travel planning with features that are 100% curated and never crowd sourced:
– Insider tips and recommendations for the best sights, restaurants, hotels, and more
– Maps to discover what is nearby
– Booking tools to set your itinerary
– Trusted recommendations searchable by destination, price range, or category of interest.
Recently, Red Foundry was named a Top Chicago App Developer by research firm Clutch, based in Washington, DC. Clutch is known for offering both objective and extensive research coverage on mobile app development companies in various geographies.
Red Foundry is excited to be positioned so highly among the other companies in the Chicagoland area. In fact, over twenty app development companies were included in the study with Red Foundry topping the list.
Clutch analyzed Red Foundry’s previous work, client base, and overall ability to deliver on development projects, to map us against the other Chicago-based firms on their Leaders Matrix.
However, the most rewarding outcome of this study were the client interviews that Clutch conducted with five of our clients. One of the quotes that particularly stands out came from a current client of ours, FanAngel:
We’re always excited to be recognized externally for our work but really enjoy being able to take our years of experience in building amazing mobile apps and package it into solutions for clients like FanAngel while lowering the complexity and risk of building killer custom native mobile apps.
Apple Pay has been getting a lot of press recently and, generally speaking, there is a lot of confusion about what it means to consumers and, just as importantly, to app owners. Most articles and news segments describe Apple Pay as the latest way to pay at the check-out counter. Simply wave your phone in front of new Apple Pay readers and instantly – transaction complete. While this new feature of the phones is cool it is only part of a bigger story…. essentially, how Apple is positioning to revolutionize online commerce through mobile apps.
Entering credit card information for purchases has always been and still is a huge barrier for consumers using mobile phones to shop. Buying airline tickets requires entering your name, address, card number, expiration date, cvv, and more – all on a tiny screen. If users needed to do that every time they wanted to buy a new level in candy crush, or coins in farmville – they wouldn’t do it and companies like Zynga wouldn’t be worth billions of dollars. Apple knew that and years ago invented in-app purchasing for digital goods. Enter one password (or now just swipe your thumb) and complete your purchase in an app in one simple, painless step.
Similar to the way in-app purchases revolutionized the way we buy and sell digital goods on mobile phones, today Apple is about to change the way we buy and sell other types of goods using our phones. Study after study has proven the simpler it is to complete an order, the more money consumers will spend online and in mobile apps. Now, the promise is that out online check-outs will be simple and will happen with a single touch. No longer will you need to manually fill out lengthy forms or repeatedly type in shipping/billing information. Further, your actual card number will kept private and not shared with the online merchants.
See a new pair of shoes in the Nordstrom app – swipe your thumb and complete your purchase. Want to buy those tickets for an upcoming concert in the StubHub app, add them to your cart and swipe your thumb. Want to subscribe to a magazine subscription, swipe your thumb.
At Red Foundry we’re truly excited about the possibilities, and if you accept credit cards for anything in your business, adding Apple Pay and Touch ID to your app should be your number 1 priority to get ready for this major shift in commerce and take advantage of the increased sales due to ease of checkout.
If this sounds more like revolution than evolution, you might ask yourself…. Is your app ready?
Mills & Boon, the undisputed UK market leader in romance fiction publishing (think Harlequin romance novels), has decided to become disruptive by developing its own app that allows their fans to read eBooks on the go.
Digital supermarkets run by companies like Apple, Amazon and Kobo currently dominate the eBook market, taking a big slice of the profits-pie each time a book is downloaded.
In an effort to streamline the publisher-to-reader process, Mills & Boon has created their own app reader that users can easily download to their iOS or Android mobile device. The company is hoping that, since more people are reading eBooks on their smartphones and tablets, their big gamble will pay off.
The app lets users read eBooks from their own eBookshelf on the Mills & Boon website, as well as ePub and PDF books from retailers and libraries around the world. Electronic publishing has allowed Mills & Boon to double its output. It now releases more than 100 eBooks per month, more than in print, and sells more e-books than physical books. According to Tim Cooper, digital and marketing director for the publisher, “digital lends itself to the habitual nature of our content. Our readers finish reading one and they can download the next.” Author Sharon Kendrick’s opinion is similar: “[Mills & Boon] are an intense reading experience, and they can be read quickly. People read four to five in a few days so that’s a lot of books to carry around.”
But will they be successful and will other publishers follow suit? Tune in tomorrow…
Red Foundry is proud to announce that the Fodor’s City Guides app is a winner in the 2013 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking the gold in the Travel App category.
The annual competition, honoring outstanding print, online, and multimedia work, travel photography, and audio and video broadcasts, is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced across 25 categories Oct. 21 at the SATW convention in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The 29th Lowell Thomas competition drew 1,257 entries, which were judged by members of the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In honoring Fodor’s work, the judges said: “This app is the perfect companion for every aspect of a trip. It helps users plan the logistics by suggesting interesting places to stay and visit and allowing them to book it right in the app [and] contributes location-specific information that enhances the in-person experience. The app is everything you would expect from a Fodor’s guidebook in a great interactive experience.”
The Foundation distributes nearly $20,000 in prize money to individual winners. Generous donations by this year’s Underwriters, the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels and Travel Guard, help make the prizes possible.
The Fodor’s City Guides app can be downloaded here… cheers!
As the mobile technology landscape continuously evolves… so must our client’s apps. We make that possible by incorporating the best Red Foundry community submissions into our Solution Accelerators and standard libraries in Studio. Here’s an overview of some of the best of the best that we’ve added recently.
• Tumblr Post – Get your blog on.
• Flickr Image Upload – Upload images to everyone’s favorite vowel-dropping photo service.
• Google Place Search – Search Google’s well-maintained and crowdsourced database of locations!
• LinkedIn Sharing – Post links to the world’s most professional social network!
• Google Analytics – Red Foundry’s analytics are great, but if you’re already deep in the land of Google, you can easily use their analytics with this new featured Element!
• App Rating Request Prompt – Get more ratings from your most engaged users!
• Facebook Friends Selector – Picking teams? Want to see who makes the virtual cut? Retrieve a logged-in Facebook user’s friend list, and let them select!
• Slider – Use the slider widget to allow the user to pick between a range of values!
• Font Size Selector – Make your UI easily customizable for those of us who need to have larger text!
• Date and Time Picker – Pick a date, any date!
• UrbanAirship – Now the world’s most-customizable Push Notification service comes to Red Foundry! Use the UrbanAirship Element to register your users for highly-specific Push targets. Check out their service at www.urbanairship.com.
Keep your eyes peeled for new Elements!
Red Foundry gets to see a lot of great tools and services for mobile app developers. Here are a few of our new partners that are definitely worth checking out. Be sure to tell them you’re using Red Foundry!
• Keynotopia – Use Keynote and PowerPoint to create great app Prototypes before you start coding. Click here to visit Keynotopia.
• MobileDevHQ – A great service to help optimize App Store keywords and placement. Click here to visit MobileDevHQ.
As always, thanks for using Red Foundry! We’re here to build killer mobile solutions for our clients, so let us know if we can help in anyway. Contact us if you have questions, need support, or have a great mobile project that you need assistance with!