Reasons Your Magazine Needs a Mobile App and How To Monetize It

The year 2008 marked the beginning of the app revolution in tech, precipitating an influx of smartphone apps. Today, there are over 80 million apps in Android and Apple app stores. This app renaissance is part of every industry, including news consumption. 

Online magazine and newspaper owners now focus on ways to deliver the news as making money remains a key objective. Top news companies like Politico, The New York Times, and HuffPost now own apps for their publications. 

But is building an app a good business strategy for newspapers?

The answer is yes. 

On the surface, monetizing an app seems a far-fetched idea. But in reality, a newspaper can monetize its content in a myriad of ways. In-app ads and subscriptions are some of the most common app monetization models.

On the consumer side, paying for an app can be a huge pain. Research has shown that most people will only pay for an app if it is ‘absolutely necessary.’ Users also believe that any paid app should provide high value for money. Hence, Netflix’s popularity in the entertainment industry.

So, how can a newspaper or magazine create a lucrative app monetization model?

In this guide, we will discuss how to monetize an app, from the development stage to marketing the product. You will also find out the possible risks and rewards involved in mobile app monetization.

Why does your magazine need a mobile app?

developing an app for online newspaper

[Source: Pexels]

App development is a tiresome and money-consuming endeavor. So, any company that decides to make its app’s needs iron-clad, guarantees the app’s revenue potential. And, as a not-so-popular news outlet, your company’s skepticism is justifiable.

Can the company recoup the cost of building the app? Are customers interested in the app? Will app monetization kill user experience? Which app monetization method is most lucrative for news apps?

These are the pressing questions every company’s marketing department must answer before strategizing their app monetization strategy.

But you are in luck today since we have done most of the thinking for you. Let’s check out some of the main administrative and financial reasons why building and monetizing your app is a sure bet.

Relevance and brand recognition

Your magazine’s website gives you a public presence, but an app makes your product a household name. 

And why is that?

Nowadays, most users prefer browsing on their smartphones. This preference for mobile versions of websites makes a mobile app an outstanding idea. Besides, apps provide a personal connection with the user through push notifications, live support, and other features. 

With that in mind, a combination of your app and website’s usage will increase your magazine’s popularity and relevance in the industry.

Audience expansion

As the app becomes popular, the user base widens. And since the app users make up a new base, your magazine’s audience increases. Even if the same users are downloading the app, its popularity in Google Play Store will make it a top contender in the news and entertainment category.

Competitive advantage

As it stands, most companies are reluctant to invest in apps for their magazines. This presents an opportunity for your magazine to assert its dominance with a massive user base.

Capitalizing on this untapped market potential will help your business generate revenue. Any news or entertainment outlet that fills this void will become a dominant force in news. So, why not seize this golden opportunity?

Improved user experience

As mentioned earlier, apps provide direct access to content and exciting functionalities that a website cannot provide. Users can enjoy their daily (or weekly) dose of entertainment instantly.

Also, users can customize apps with default themes and get useful tips on how to use the app. At the same time, you can establish a personal communication channel with users, irrespective of location.

user experience for a newspaper mobile application

[Source: Pexels]

Most importantly, users can make in-app purchases and app payments from their smartphones. These app purchases are convenient for most users due to privacy issues associated with browsers.

Better marketing channels

The age of ‘standard marketing’ is gone. And we are not even talking about TV and radio ads. Those forms of marketing are largely ineffective to modern users. Moreover, modern companies don’t view them as avenues for making money.

mobile app usage by age

Graph showing mobile app usage by age. [Source MobiLoud]

Nowadays, users have short attention spans, which means that you need personalized mobile ad formats to get started. Consequently, these new methods of mobile advertising provide additional marketing channels that generate more revenue.

Increase in profit

Don’t worry about the cost of building the app: you can regain everything within a short time using ads. In fact, app monetization strategies, using any native or video ad, will maximize your profits.

Moreover, app data showing user analytics will give your business useful insights into effective business expansion strategies.

What successful magazines and newspapers created their own apps?

The news and entertainment sector has remained a relevant industry because of its ability to adapt to modern trends. And yes, people love news and entertainment. Nonetheless, top news companies have identified the market potential of every mobile app monetization model for their products. 

Still not convinced that you can combine news with making money? Check out the top newspaper and magazine apps according to data from Google Play Store and the App Store. 

  • The New York Times

The New York Times was early to grasp the idea of using a mobile app to make money. This early-bird approach helped the company establish and expand its dominance in news and entertainment. Today, app users are allowed limited access to news articles every month. But you can only access the rest of the services with a subscription.

  • VICE

This news outlet’s coverage of unorthodox events and news stories all over the world makes them the perfect go-to for news. And they have capitalized on this cultural relevance to develop an app.

  • The Huffington Post (HuffPost)

The award-winning publication has also invaded app stores space with an Android and iOS app. The app is free but requires login with an active Facebook account.

  • The Metro

The UK-based tabloid has a downloadable app that users can get for free. The Metro app offers you entertainment news updates from the world of sports and celebrity lifestyles. The paid version includes automatic media content downloads and a ‘Puzzles’ edition.

  • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Nothing is more refreshing than getting stock market and business updates on your phone every morning. The WSJ has created an application to address this need.

  • Politico

This app is perfect for the current political climate. The app’s design allows users to read breaking news notifications. But you need a subscription to read news articles from this service.

  • Economist Espresso

This app is the early-morning coffee version of The Economist magazine. Espresso gives you instant access to daily global news updates. The app is also free of charge for the first 30 days.

  • The Washington Post

The unprecedented events in Washington over the past months has made The Washington Post a top contender in news. As a result, the app is the perfect go-to for updates on current events in Washington and the rest of the world.

  • Bloomberg: Business News

Like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg’s app gives users financial updates on the latest stock market developments. The app’s free version is customizable and easy to use with features like ‘Watchlist’ and stock market data.

  • TechCrunch

A publication that prides itself on having the latest scoop on new technological advancements has no option than to develop a mobile app for its users. That’s how to lead by example.

  • Pocket

Pocket is similar to Medium in the sense that it is not an established publication. However, app users can save their favorite news articles for further reading. Pocket’s mobile app free version provides a remarkable user experience. The premium version allows users to change in-app settings.

  • News Break

This news aggregation outlet focuses on breaking news from around the world. You can customize your notifications to get insights on the latest noteworthy global events.

Some of these are free apps while the rest are paid apps, but they all use in-app purchases and other monetization methods to generate revenue. In essence, you can develop your monetization model to mirror these top publications.

How to monetize a newspaper mobile app 

monetization strategies for newspaper mobile app

[Source: Pexels]

Mobile app monetization is essential if you want to boost your magazine or newspaper’s relevance in the market. To level up with top newspapers, you need a mobile app. You can combine the mobile app with your website. 

most effective ways to  monetize your mobile app

 Most effective app monetization methods [Source: AdColony]

But you can’t dive in head-first without an app monetization strategy in place. You need to work on monetizing your app with a marketing team. Create a foolproof mobile app monetization strategy based on outstanding value propositions and excellent mobile experience. 

You can sell the app in app stores or use a subscription model. Placing the app in the Android app store and Apple app store is a great way to make money.

Here are some of the most lucrative mobile app monetization strategies to boost conversion and make money.

Paid apps

The main question is: “Who will pay for an app?”

Research has shown that less than 50% of app users are willing to pay for an app. And this number has been decreasing over the years in the news and entertainment industry. 

paying news app users

Paying news app users in Nordic countries [Source: Statista]

A magazine subscriber would not hesitate to download the app in the Google Play Store. However, some app users only download name-brand apps due to privacy concerns.

Nevertheless, you can generate massive app revenue by putting up your news app for sale.

mobile app purchasing and revenue

Comparison graph for app purchases and revenue [Source: Statista]

Subscription-based model

Mobile app developers are more incentivized to create free apps with a subscription-based model than paid apps. This app monetization model allows paying app users to pay for services at their discretion. It is just similar to paying for your monthly subscription to Reader’s Digest and other periodicals.

By the way, users would rather download an app and pay later, than pay upfront. This allows them to assess the app to determine the obtainable value from the mobile app.

Freemium monetization model

The term ‘freemium’ refers to free and premium mobile apps. Unlike the subscription-based model, this ‘app for free’ monetization strategy is the most common way that apps make money. 

free vs paid mobile apps statista

The number of paid and free apps over the years. [Source: Statista]

Free app purchases allow users a limited preview of the app’s functionalities before they can pay for it. And if they are impressed with the preview, they can pay for the app’s premium version. 

Free trial app monetization strategy

The free trial model is the best way to convince a user to buy an app or pay for a subscription. We all love freebies, especially when it allows us to test-drive our favorite paid apps. 

Popular news agencies allow users to read their content for free for a specific period. Some magazines offer a free month while others offer only one week for a free trial. In a manner of speaking, “you have X days to convince me to pay for this app!”

But how can you monetize this free trial?

wall street journal mobile application

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

Buy an app ad

The placement of mobile app ads is the most popular app monetization strategy today. This app monetization strategy compensates for free apps. You can use it as a way to generate mobile ad revenue based on impressions, clicks, and actions.

google ads manager for newspaper app monetization

[Source: Google Ad Manager]

The main categories of mobile ad revenue include:

  • CPM — Cost Per Mille is the amount of revenue you can generate for every mile (thousand) impressions. 
  • CPC — Cost Per Click determines how much app revenue you earn any time a user clicks on the ad. Cost per click advertising is quite popular in the ad space. 
  • CPA — Cost Per Action is a less-lucrative but valuable metric that determines how apps make money. You earn revenue whenever the user completes an action — an in-app purchase.

As a news company, you can make money from your app by placing different kinds of ads. In fact, most free entertainment outlets focus on ads for the bulk of their app revenue. However, you would need the help of ad networks like Google Ads to make money from any ad category.

Here are some of the app ads categories to monetize your mobile app and increase revenue:

  • Native ads app advertising

Native ads are relevant to consumer experience when using an app. These ads target specific user browsing habits when using an app for free or revenue. For example, app users interested in marijuana legislation can receive native ads on CBD Oil.

  • Banner ads app advertising

Banner ads are quite popular across various platforms. You can use banner ads for your news page on Facebook and other social media platforms. But banner ads in-app advertising can only sell if they are catchy and product-related, otherwise, they may disrupt the user experience.

  • Interstitial ads app advertising

These ads are similar to banner ads. However, interstitial ads cover the entire screen for the duration of the mobile ad display. This is often a user experience headache. But you can avoid the disruption by placing the ads between natural pauses.

  • Video ads app advertising

Video ads are responsible for the highest click-through rates (CTRs) in-app advertising because they are interactive. 

  • Ads with rewards

Most users hate ads, and forcing the ads won’t make the aggrieved user subscribe to use the app. They would rather skip the ad than sit through those annoying seconds. But you can give them a reason to watch the ad.

Just as Duolingo offers users new ‘Hearts’ for every video, your news app can encourage app users to sit through long and short ads. For instance, you can offer a free story for every viewed ad. This app monetization model will make you more revenue.

Your news publication can monetize your app by allowing purchases within the app. 

What features can generate money in-app? Will users pay for certain features and ignore others? How will I maximize app revenue?

The answer is: users only buy in-app features depending on their overall value. 

For example, The Metro UK’s app allows app users to buy the ‘Puzzle’ edition. In the same manner, your publication can earn revenue with a crossword puzzle or other mobile games that are only available for a certain price.

The ‘Subscription’ model is also considered an in-app purchase. The only difference is that you can focus app purchases on specific services rather than provide unlimited access to every service.

Partners and sponsors

Any news app or magazine making waves in the entertainment sector is an automatic magnet for sponsors and partners. So, app developers should always factor in the entertainment value that might interest the target audience. Most importantly, focus on brands that intersect with your user base.

In the same vein, you can collaborate with other media personalities or outlets for guest posts. If your outlet shows some promise in the market, brands will contact you for guest posting opportunities.

What are the essential features of any modern newspaper app?

You can cover your app with ads or use out-of-this-world fonts for the design. But none of these guarantees a successful app monetization model.

Old and new users should always be your main focus if you want to monetize your app. Don’t add any feature just for kicks. Maintain a high level of efficiency by stripping down the app to the barest minimum. 

At the same time, you need enough essential features to compete with other news and magazine apps. You just need to strike the right balance between creativity and utility.

Let’s check out the essential features of any modern newspaper app.

Comfortable user experience

Comfort is the most crucial deciding factor of the appeal of mobile apps to users. An average newsreader wants to pick their phone, lay back, and enjoy a news article without any stress.

And it all starts with the app’s design…

A modern app should have an exquisite and interactive UX design. The interface should allow easy navigation between pages. Also, the fonts and color scheme must be legible and appropriate for a news agency. A top mobile app designer will address these issues during the design stage.

Offline access

Of course, most magazine apps need an internet connection to function properly. But any mobile app with user acquisition aspirations must allow offline access to news articles. You can achieve this by using a caching method for news when the internet is available. Moreover, offline access increases user engagement as well as the app’s overall appeal.

Breaking News alerts

What is a news app without breaking news? The answer: a redundant periodical. 

If your newspaper app wants to become a top contender, breaking news alerts are compulsory.

Personalization options

Creating a personal user experience is necessary for both the user and your company. It allows the mobile app user to become part of a community. Users can also create profiles for engagement.

In the same way, your company will gain actionable insights into user experience and behavior. This data will fine-tune your marketing strategy to focus on niche app users. At the same time, you can get started on new expansion strategies for new users.

Sharing and connectivity options

monetizing a newspaper mobile app via social networks

[Source: Pexels]

Let’s face it; we all want to share interesting news stories to our Facebook and Whatsapp group chats. So, any modern mobile app must provide social media sharing options. More so, you need a ‘Copy link’ function for those who want to share the story without linking their social media accounts.

Sometimes you receive a news alert with a captivating caption, but don’t have the time to read the entire thing. In other situations, you read an enthralling article that you would love to read later. This is why a newspaper mobile app must have a reading list or watchlist.

Users can add stories to their favorites or bookmark for later reference. Alternatively, they would have to search for the content manually, which is a grueling task.

All modern newspaper mobile apps must be able to display images and videos. Ensure that the media player used in the mobile app is compatible with all devices.

What extra features can you add later to your mobile app?

The features mentioned above are must-haves for every news agency’s mobile app. However, you don’t have to stop there: brainstorm with app developers for more eye-catching add-ons for your mobile apps. 

These in-demand features pique users’ interest in all mobile apps.

  • AI algorithm for personalized article suggestions
  • Reading statistics
  • Text-to-speech
  • Night mode
  • Push notifications
  • Online translation
  • Fact check banners

AI-integrated mobile apps track the user’s interests and suggest articles related to those topics. At the same time, the AI gathers data on reading statistics and activity over a specific period. So, investment in AI features is essential.

In terms of interface, push notifications and theme customization features are excellent additions. After all, you need to get instant notifications on breaking news as soon as it happens. Besides, the night mode is important for users who want to avoid the glare from bright color schemes.

Translation services can help non-native language speakers to enjoy the news in their native tongues. Alternatively, you can provide several language versions of the same article. And in addition, the text-to-speech widget is a more convenient replacement for typing.

Most importantly, the current social climate demands a clear distinction between fact and fiction. The influx of fake news and alternative facts necessitates a feature that can give credibility to the facts stated in a news article.

How much does it cost to develop newspaper mobile apps?

calculating costs for newspaper mobile app development

[Source: Pexels]

Once you have made up your mind to build a newspaper mobile app for a global app store, you need to create a budget. Most mobile app budgets consider the following administrative and financial factors:

  • Coverage

The newspaper mobile app’s reach determines how much money you can invest in it. For example, ‘NYT-Esque’ mobile apps require a high standard of usability and functionality. At the other end of the spectrum, we have mediocre apps that won’t cost you too much to develop.

  • Number of features

Mobile apps with only standard features cost less to develop. Think of it like building a house: the more appliances and furniture you buy, the more expensive the overall cost.

  • Apple or Android

Companies often develop mobile apps for all app stores simultaneously, but you can always stick with the most advantageous option based on your financial budget. Alternatively, you can use cross-platform mobile app development tools like Flutter.

With these three factors in mind, let’s analyze the activities that affect mobile app budgets the most.

Marketing is an integral part of the app development process. Besides creating the budget for the app, the marketing team also works on the app’s publicity campaign. The size of the marketing team varies depending on the newspaper company’s objectives. 

Also, the marketing team has the longest lifespan in the app’s production chain. Their services extend from budget creation to the generation of app revenue. So, you can either go big with the marketing or limit your spending to the barest minimum.


In essence, you can monetize your app if it has a high-value proposition. Without app monetization, you are creating a revenue-consuming app revenue that will incur losses. Moreover, mobile apps improve your brand exposure and encourage customer engagement. You can also gain useful information on your user base, which will give you a massive competitive advantage in the market. And most importantly, you will make massive profits in addition to app sales.

However, you can only monetize your app by employing the right app monetization strategy. Follow the same app monetization strategies as top contenders like The Economist to maximize your profits. Strategize on the most effective app monetization model between app purchases and mobile advertising.

Ultimately, brainstorm with marketers and developers on app monetization to find out the standard and in-demand features for newspaper mobile apps. You can choose a subscription model or make your app free to download. In any case, don’t exceed your budget.

Case Study: iOS Augmented Reality (AR) Mobile App

Recently our team decided to brush up on the experience with augmented reality and geolocation, so we have created a custom-designed Augmented Reality navigation application for cafes and restaurants in the city aimed at foreigners.

The application shows real-time distance and time of travel for a particular spot and shows important information about a particular place of interest.

The augmented (as well as virtual) reality s market is growing rapidly and it’s only a question of time when it would skyrocket. According to Statista, it’s going to happen quite soon: in 2022.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Market Size 2016 to 2022

[Source: Statista]

Project Overview

Sometimes, all it takes to start a project is the sheer desire to learn something new. Places started like that. At the very start, it wasn’t even supposed to be an application – just a learning exercise for developers to get a grip on augmented reality. However, as time went by, it evolved into a fully-fledged application.

Places mobile app is specifically designed for those who don’t know the whereabouts of the city but want to visit its local restaurants. It is part discovery app and part navigation app. Places AR app consists of two modes:

  • Map mode where the user can see the entire area with pins;
  • AR mode where the user can see pins in accordance with the actual distance between user and place.

The application provides everything one needs to know about the particular place – where it is situated, what kind of meals it serves, price range, etc. The app also shows approximate distance and travel time towards a selected spot.  

In its current incarnation, the project required not a just tech-savvy team with solid expertise both in augmented reality and geolocation but also thorough business analysis and thought-through business model in order to launch successfully launch an app.

Our team was responsible for the project from start to finish. It was a result of refining of the skills gone so far it evolved into a full-on application.

Augmented Reality iOS Mobile App for Restaurants, Cafes, and Points of Interest

Camera Calibration

One of the biggest challenges our team had faced during the development of the project was adjusting the calibration and orientation of the camera phone in order to correctly depict pins and their distances. The challenge is that you need to know where the user is and how the phone is orientated as he walks around.

Due to the imperfections of mapping real-world device moves into a 3D scene coordinate system in ARKit, this procedure needed additional solutions and thorough testing. In order to pull this off, we set up the configuration in such a manner that ARKit would align the world both with gravity and direction (with regards to True North) which allowed a more accurate definition of the camera’s orientation on the application.

In order to avoid mistakes in the placement of the pins, we have developed an automated calibration solution that extracts pixel coordinates of the pinpoints and uses map coordinates to create correspondence. This provides precise placement of the pins on the screen with a realistic depiction of distance.

Coordinate Transmitting

Another big challenge was to maintain transmission of coordinates from Google Maps / Places to the phone so that it would be adequately depicted through the camera. We needed to secure the correct depiction of scale, distance, and vertical axis.

We created a link between the user’s device and Google Maps / Places so that it would depict nearby pins with correct distances. Complex calculations and vector transformations had been applied to place location pins in proper places.

Each place as seen on Google Places was transformed into the local 3D coordinate system on the device.

Read also: Business Cases for AR Navigation

Intuitive Design

In comparison with other challenges, the design wasn’t that big of a deal, but it definitely was a challenge of its own. Design requirements for such kind of project are extremely minimal and that required a completely different approach than we are usually applying.

Basically, we needed to figure out a design scheme that was both intuitive and engaging. In order to pull that off, we went through a series of tries and fails until we have managed to come up with the most effective and yet minimal solution.

During the development process, we have rearranged and streamlined the entire design scheme to a bare minimum – only those elements that were necessary were left. Everything else was nixed so that the user experience will be absolutely seamless.

Augmented Reality iOS Mobile App for Restaurants, Cafes, and Points of Interest

Read also: 8 Challenges with Augmented Reality App Development

Technology Stack

  • Xcode (the standard instrument for developing iOS mobile apps)
  • Cocoa Touch (standard iOS components)
  • ARKit (augmented reality framework for iOS)
  • Google Maps (well, the map itself)
  • Google Places (Google’s API that provides information on nearby places)

Find out What is Tech Stack and How to Pick Best One for Your Project

Our team consisted of:

  • Project Manager (manages communications and sets the tasks and priorities, what features are critical at the moment and which can be a part of the next iteration)
  • iOS developer (actually develops the mobile app)
  • Business Analyst (creates various use cases to think the architecture through and the features that ultimately would have to be developed)
  • UX/UI Designer (creates the designs and thinks the user flow through to make sure the users would actually know how to navigate through the app)


This local restaurant and cafe app for iPhone was a giant leap forward for our company. As first of its kind, it was a gamble that ultimately paid off in a form of a well-made application.

Over the course of the project, our team refined and expanded expertise on the subject of Augmented Reality and geolocation. This gave us several insights which we are eager to apply in future projects. This restaurant finder app was a great learning ground.

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The Devil Is in the Details: Terms and Conditions to Work out in the Contract

The signing of the contract is the defining moment between the client and the company. It is a result of a long and winding road made out of various offers, presentations, interviews, and considerations… But before signing there is one more step — clarification of the terms and conditions. 

It can be a bit overwhelming when you are doing it for the first time because there are many details involved. However, we have prepared a little guide for you to help you be prepared and cover all bases.

Why do Terms and Conditions matter so much?

The reason is relatively simple. As you know — the devil is in the details and it tends to mess things up badly. The thing is — the contract is the definitive document of the business relationship. You can’t just accept terms and conditions in the generic form – you need to go deep into the thick of it. The contract is the thing that determines how’s, what’s and why’s of the whole ordeal — the code of conduct, responsibilities of all involved parties, a model of cooperation, payment method, and more.

It is a big deal and it needs to be balanced out in a way so that none of the involved parties will have enough power to abuse their influence over another. But it is easier said than done. Since contracts are negotiated between humans — oversights can occur. 

What can go wrong with Contract terms?

You may ask “What possibly can go wrong?” The answer is — whole lotta things can go not as planned. You never know what is lurking around the corner and because of that, you need to be cautious and talk about every single detail.

Terms and conditions may apply to a variety of factors. Such things as monthly pricing and scope of work usually take front and center of the negotiations, while such sensitive subjects as contingencies for added work or emergency situations might be underdeveloped or even omitted in the overall fuss.

Let’s take a couple of examples.

You need to know what will happen if you deliver the product to the client, and he doesn’t like it? Or you need to determine whether further revisions after deployment will be for free or for an additional price. Also, what if your client will decide to reduce the scope of work at some stage — how it will affect the minimum monthly fee? The list goes on.

In other words — everything needs to be negotiated through in advance.

What will happen if not everything was talked through and something was left out for some reason? Let’s talk metaphorically. “Mess” is a four-letter word that describes a state of confusion, disorder, or disarray. It is definitely not very nice and it likes to bring her friends, the other four-letter words that are even less nice. If being more exact — an underdeveloped contract may cause some not so pleasant surprises to all involved parties.

In order to make everyone’s life easier and relieve anyone from needless stress — we have prepared a little checklist of terms and conditions that need to be worked out in advance. It can be used as a terms and conditions template for refinement of the contract.

Terms to Specify in Advance

The terms you need to specify will depend on what services you’re offering, the size of your client, the approximate budget of the project and some other factors. This is by no means a complete list, but these are some things to look out for as you draw up your contract.

Pricing & Payment

  • How much will the services cost?
  • How often will payments be made?
  • Will payments be made before the services are performed or after?
  • What happens if a payment is coming late?
  • How to handle the client’s request for additional services?
  • What if the client wants to reduce services or rearrange its order?
  • Is there a minimum value of services per pay period?
  • Is payment results-based or is it a fixed cost?

Contract Duration

  • How long will the contract period last?
  • Can it be canceled at any time?
  • What are the circumstances under which the contract can be canceled?
  • How can the client cancel services?
  • How much in the advance notice should be given in order to start the cancellation of the contract?
  • What if the client wants to put the contract on ‘hold’ for some reason?


  • Does the client get the right to request revisions upon delivery? If so, are they included in the original price?
  • What if the client doesn’t like the delivered results even though it was already been agreed upon and produced? Who pays the extra charge?
  • Is there a limit to how many revisions the client of the project can request? 
  • If the company misses a deadline for some reason, what will happen?
  • Does the client get some kind of compensation in return? 

Scope of Work

  • What kind of work will you provide? What does this work include? 
  • In which manner the company is going to present the results of the work? 
  • Can the client increase/reduce the scope of work as needed? Should it be negotiated beforehand?

In Conclusion

The purpose of this list is to help to check whether every little peculiarity is included in the contract. You can use it as a shorthand while checking whether everything is covered or if there is something that needs to address. 

As you know – preparation is half the battle won.

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How to Make Your Mobile App Stand Out

Mobile applications are a hot commodity these days. The technology is in a perpetual improvement loop and it seems like nothing is static anymore. New functions, new gear, new design, new combinations of ideas — all “neat, neat, neat.”

However, the more things change — the more they stay the same. The gimmick may vary, but the essence is always the same old same old.

No matter how hard some companies try to differentiate themselves and their products — there are general conventions every application is bound to follow.

The trick is that while all of these conventions are obvious — it is still necessary to point them out. 

Because some people tend to have the ambition to reinvent the wheel for some reason (which is extremely counter-productive and non-cost-effective practice.)

These conventions are not rooted in hard science concepts or marketing pitches — they are based on common sense regarding the use of tools of any kind. You can’t go against human nature.

Here are the top nine tips to take into consideration while making mobile applications.

Make your app actually useful for your users

It is not a big deal to make an application. However, it is a big deal to make an application that will be useful in any comprehensive way and ultimately profitable for the developer. Some folks keep ignoring the latter part while pretending that banging head against the wall someday will come to fruition.

Check out our article: “How to Create an App like TikTok

To make your app USEful, think of your USErs.

In order to create an actually successful application, you need to keep a target audience in mind. Think about their needs and preferences. That is the starting point. With that thing locked down, you have half the job done.

Create use cases to explore what the target audience needs and wants from an application. Count on a wide variety of factors that affect their behavior. Look at the competitors — find a way to differentiate yourself and engage the audience with what you have to offer.

Secure lightning-fast learnability (aka teach your users how to use your app)

This one is hard to pull off. When we are developing an app, we see and talk through ideas so many times that it all seems simple and obvious. Yet, it’s not always the case. 

Imagine yourself a user. You have just downloaded an app. It is the thing you need. You start it up and you have no idea what is going on. While you understand the concept and you are really into it — you can’t really get a grasp on it. What are you going to do next? Delete that app and look for another one, i.e. bad news.

The first and foremost thing you need to think about when developing an application is how fast it could be mastered by the user. That is the key to the loyalty of the users. If it is easy to follow — it will be used a lot. If the learning curve is blown out of proportion — too long or too complicated, chances are the application will not be used a lot by its target audience and soon enough they will move on to something handier.

Onboarding Tutorial


There two solutions for this issue. One is providing the user with handy cues – so-called onboarding experience. The other is through audience insights — you need to know how much your user can take in one bite beforehand. It may be discovered through dry-run MVP or in close-quarter test runs or simply by looking at the competition.

Supreme usability saves (aka your app might be useful, but how easy is it to use?)

Another issue connected with learnability is the overall usability of an application. There is no point in making an app that is near-impossible to use without excessive frowning. The design scheme for your application must be goal-driven.

This can be achieved through building extensive user stories with various personas and scenarios so that you will have the complete picture of the user experience in mind while refining particular elements.

You also need to understand the context of use — how and why an application is used by the user and what should be prioritized for better performance.


Finally, you need to secure a reasonable response time for every function and proper feedback. Every action should be signified as such. For example, if the sequence is done it is noted through sound, image, or text. If there is some information that can be lost upon quitting the program — there must be a notification with a warning. The list may go on, but you get the idea 🙂

The main thing to keep in mind: know the purpose of your app and don’t try to squeeze all features you can think of inside the app. There is a reason why dishwashers cannot be freezers at the same time.

Adaptability above all (or think various screen sizes and devices)

The next thing you need to think about is the flexibility of design. There is no set “end all be all” standard for mobile phones. There are hundreds of various specifications on the market. All of them have a different set of features, display screens, and resolutions, some have a button while others don’t.

Because of that — you need to make the interface of your application adaptable to variations. Sometimes it means keeping the feature set to a bare minimum, other times it allows to add some more. Sometimes you can delegate functions to external buttons, in other cases you need to make it a part of the interface. Font size must be readable all the time with the function of manual adjustment.

Aside from that, the entire interface scheme should be adapting both to portrait and landscape configurations of the screen.

Also, — it is reasonable to include a variation of an app for left-handed people. While it may seem superfluous in a big scheme of things — at least it is a nice inclusive gesture.

Minimize action sequences (aka how many times people should click to reach the goal?)

There is something inherently wicked about an application that requires sophisticated dance routines for your fingers in order to perform basic actions. While it may be fun for those who like such things — the majority of users will be simply annoyed and will probably move on to another similar application.

The fewer actions it takes to do something — the better. That is the law. It is fair to say that it is Judge Dredd kind of law — beyond discussion.

Always look for a simpler way to do something. That is the key to making an application attractive to the target audience.

“Making every page or screen self-evident is like having good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better.” (Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think)

Side note: minimizing action sequences doesn’t mean you should put all possible banners and buttons on your home screen. It means simplifying the general user journey, but it’s never good to take it to the extreme 🙂

Allow feedback (listen to your users)

Feedback is the most effective way of polishing an application. It deals with real people and thus offers real results.

Usually, it goes both ways — you tell the users what is going on with an application and in return, you get some friendly suggestions on what is good and what can be improved.

For some reason, many developers are scared of suggestions from actual users. Nevertheless, it is a viable option that must be used for your benefit. Even bad feedback can be used to make your app better.

Introduce new features (gradually)

The gradual expansion of an application is a reasonable way of marketing your application. You start with an initial set of features that is completely fine and satisfies the majority of the target audience. But you can offer more time.

Not only that strengthens the engagement with the application – but it also is a sign of the good use of users’ feedback.

Monitor battery use (aka keep those phones alive)

One of the most challenging issues that exist in mobile application development is optimizing the use of battery resources. It is one of the things that plagues the majority of mobile applications – over time they simply drain the battery like hungry vampires from Transylvania. That is one of the reasons why users are moving away from some applications in favor of more reasonable alternatives.

How to deal with it? Through trial and error. In order to reduce battery consumption – you need to go through every functional element of an application and set performance restraints on them according to priorities. It hurts overall performance so there must be a balance.  

(By the way, we’ve developed an app for Android phones that takes care of exactly this problem – saving the user’s battery. Check out the Emberlow case study.)

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Make your app safe (be nice in handling user data)

Security is a sensitive issue at the moment. The majority of applications require users to share some sensitive data in order to operate properly. So it seems reasonable to keep that sensitive data out of reach of some treacherous individuals.

In order to do that you need to secure consistent monitoring and updates. Usually, the back-end team can work it out. It may be a routine update performed on a schedule or it may be a reaction to the current security emergencies.

Another issue comes with the disclosure of the purpose for collecting the information. Keeping users in the know why are asking their data is important in building trust.

Check out the top security issues for Android and iOS phones according to WhiteHat.


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5 Tried and Trusted Cases When a Free Mobile App Can Promote Your Business

The concept of “product free of charge” has substantially transformed over the last couple of years. Until recently, it wasn’t much of an option but merely a necessity for a small company with limited resources and a lack of credibility. After all, every company starts with something and this something is usually given away for free in mostly vain hopes of getting through.

But things have changed. Not only the understanding of the concept had evolved but the very business opportunities of the free products had substantially transformed in a positive direction.

Today, free apps are not just a fancy bow wow wow – it is a powerful tool with many benefits for your business. And many businesses are realizing this trend. Check out the Google Android store distribution of free and paid apps (according to Statista), keeping in mind there are 3,708,107 apps in that app store alone.

Here are five ways free apps can be beneficial for your business.

Trying Out New Ideas

One of the biggest and most important benefits from the development of free apps are opportunities. The biggest opportunity of all is to try something different, something new.

The development of free apps gives a chance to test and flesh out new ideas and develop new approaches to the old ones.

Free apps can offer even more. It is one thing to try things in a controlled environment. It is a completely different situation when you try out something on real users. The sheer force of the market can keep an idea grounded. It can also show what works, what is not, and what can be improved through user feedback.

An insight that the market can provide to the perception of the concept and nuances of its reception is invaluable and can seriously improve the idea and make it more feasible with each successive iteration.

A Showcase of Skill

With testing, ideas comes another big benefit. Any way you look at it – making a free app is a fine showcase of skill for your development team. Plain and simple. Each project, each function adds, refines, and furthers the skills. It gives the team a chance to test their mighty expertise and make it appreciable.

The reasoning is justified by two facts:

  1. Free apps are more likely to be downloaded and used by common users. More downloads bring more users. That results in exposure. This leads to another important thing – feedback;
  2. Users usually don’t expect much from free apps. Because of that – there is always quite a room for wowing an audience and making a splash.

Because of that, the stakes are relatively low and losses are easily retractable. So it is definitely worth a try even for sake of trying.

The biggest takeaway from making free apps is the honing of the skills “on the real battlefield”. It gives a taste of the real market, gives an understanding of the customer behavior and its reaction to the product.

That gives invaluable insights that will greatly help you in future endeavors.

Build a Reputation and Presence via Free Apps

Another important gain from producing free applications is building a reputation and developing a brand presence through actual products and not just loud and fancy words. A succession of useful products targeted at various audience segments can do a fine job of establishing a brand in an audience’s consciousness.

There are several ways you can make the mark:

  • Deliver gimmicky applications for niche audiences – it will provide a short-term presence in the newsfeeds and attract users through the sheer power of curiosity. However, the abandonment level is pretty high and so you will need to provide frequent updates and new products;
  • Deliver useful common needs applications for a mass audience – it will provide a firm place in listicle overviews and will gradually attract users who just need the stuff to be done nice and clean.

Both ways require a lot of skill and effort (see above) but if done right – in the long run, reputational gains outweigh possible monetary losses.

Brand Extension / Product Promotion

One of the most potent ways of making free apps work for your benefit is to use them as a part of a bigger scheme of brand extension and product promotion.

Let’s say – you have a Star Wars movie coming out and there is a big advertising campaign to raise awareness about its existence. How can you expand upon that?

  • You can make a mobile space flight simulator where you can play as a rebel fighter or imperial stormtrooper.
  • Or you can make available Chewbacca sounds pack because it is fun and can be used randomly.
  • Or R2D2-speak translator because interaction with droids might come in handy.

On the other hand, you can offer a different angle on the advertised product – with an interactive twist. For example, Fox’s recent VR campaign for “Alien: Covenant” where you can experience being a chestburster inside a human and in the process of bursting out.

Such little things derive from the primary product and further impressions of the users in various directions.

However, in order to pull this off, you need to have an established brand or association with an established brand first. Otherwise, an app will do little for your business.

One of the key elements of building a recognizable brand is making some sort of signature app. Let’s say you are providing some services


While “free apps” are called so because they are free (duh) – it doesn’t mean they can’t make money. Quite the contrary. In fact, free apps are quite effective in creating sweet-sweet revenue.

There are several ways of how free apps can make money. However, they don’t have much effect on their own. It is better to use combinations. Let’s make a short rundown of the most viable monetization options:

  • In-app adverts – a little banner or pop-up inside the application which will present some product – usually another app;
  • In-app purchases – optional ability to buy additional functions for the product. Works best with transformative applications such as text or photo editors. A couple of elaborate filters are always in demand. Works best with timely occasions such as Halloween or significant cultural events;
  • Freemium model – an offer to extend and expand user experience with the bigger & better version of an application. It means – free version offers a basic set of functions completely capable of doing the job while for a little pay there is a significantly expanded version of an application that can do the same and much more. In this case – the free app serves as a teaser of sorts;

The Takeaway

Despite being a viable tool for making a profit – there is still a persistent impression that free apps are just that – free apps free of any positive business consequences. This and many other myths about mobile apps need to be laid to rest. And this article is a part of this “myth-retiring” campaign.

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Business Analysis Process in Software Development

Business analysis is one of those services that are often underestimated. While you, as a person with an idea, would know your idea better than anyone else, often you need business analysis and analytics who would take a look at your idea from another viewpoint. 

Every project starts with a foundation. In software development it matters more than anywhere else — it is an extremely important stage that defines the subsequent faith of the project in more ways than one can imagine. Think about it in terms of constructing a building. You can’t do it without laying a foundation first. And if you do — expect things falling apart because of some minuscule issue jumping seemingly out of nowhere.

In software development said the foundation is laid by performing business analysis. While it may seem obvious to some, one can’t stress enough the importance of this discipline. If there is a thing to be called a “key to success” — then the business analysis is definitely that.

And yet, despite everything said — again and again, some question its role and try to downplay its importance in favor of more abstract and flashy fluff also known as “vision”.

But we are getting too far too soon. Let’s start with the basics. 

What is Business Analysis?

The general definition of Business Analysis (BA) is — set tasks and techniques aimed at determining and validating the needs, requirements, problems, and solutions of the project so that it would be possible to successfully realize it.

Long story short — BA does how’s, what’s and why’s of the project, i.e.:

  • makes sense of an idea;
  • fleshes it out;
  • lays it down;
  • maps it out;

In one form or another, the business analysis goes through every aspect of the project: from organizational nuance to system development to process improvement. It starts off with studying the structure of the organization in which the project will be implemented, goes through understanding the scope of work, and determining sets of tasks for the team.

Because of the intricate connection both to the client and development team — BA serves as a communication link between both. That helps to keep both parties on the same page and helps to avoid any misunderstandings that may occur in the process.

The purpose of performing the business analysis is relatively simple: it puts an idea into context and provides it with a background so that it is possible to evaluate its feasibility and potential on the market.

Otherwise, if an idea is not thought through and through, no matter how fresh and exciting it is — it will turn the ground beneath your feet into quicksand and you will drown and suffocate shortly after.

The direct benefit of business analysis is that through a variety of techniques it provides a clear and distinct picture of the project that can be easily monitored and adjusted if needed.

In turn, this transparency ensures that the project will be developed according to the plan and will be completed and deployed within time and budget constraints without unreasonable going over budget or stretching out beyond schedule. Avoiding the latter is important because developing a piece of software is rather expensive service.

Business Analysis or Business Analytics?

Just to make things clear before we delve into deeper worlds of business analysis, let me say this: business analysis is not the same thing as business analytics. 

  • Business Analysis is primarily concerned with processes and functions.
  • Business Analytics, on the other hand, is focused on data and reporting. 

Therefore, make sure you don’t confuse these two (and if you forget which is which, come back to this post) because they are fundamentally different and if you’re expecting a dashboard with data from your business, that’s analytics, not analysis. 

Anyway, let’s continue deeper into Business Analysis now.

Responsibilities of BA in Software Development

If being abstract — the business analyst in software development is always a middleman. His work can be described as filtering and facilitating the output from the stakeholders on the client’s part on one side and translating the results of the team to the other side.

From a business standpoint, BA’s global task can be described as delivering a clear vision of the project with a strict set of priorities and a concise plan for the realization of requirements.

From a technical standpoint, his task is to provide the development team with a precise and realistic sequence for the execution of requirements and implementing functions from iteration to iteration up to the project completion.

In terms of direct responsibilities, the role of a business analyst in software development depends on the stage of the project.

Let’s go through each of them.

Stage One: Groundwork

During the initial stage, Business Analysis is aimed at laying down the groundwork for the project.

In practice, it means:

  • understanding the initial business case and fleshing it out (if needed),
  • assessing its feasibility, expectations, and possible challenges,
  • Preparing information for the estimation of the project.

Stage Two: Planning the Project

In the planning stage, the business analyst is tasked with defining and prioritizing the requirements. Another important element in consideration is an assessment of possible solutions. This helps to paint the big picture of the project out of which comes an understanding of the project’s real scope, limitations, and risks. Basic merit for every element is a cost-benefit correlation.

All this is laid down in technical documentation. It should be noted that the document must be completely disambiguated before being put into execution. Documentation serves as a backbone of the project and it determines the way it will be subsequently managed and developed (more on that here).

All this helps to shape the basic vision of the user experience for the program. connect the reality of the situation with the project’s concept.

Stage Three: Observing Others Do What the Plan Says

During the executing stage, BA takes a more backseat role in overseeing the project development in cooperation with the Project Manager. In practice, it means that BA leers in the background checking if every element in development is going according to the plan and within the set deadlines. He only comes to the front in cases of clients’ suggestions and subsequent adjustments.  

At this stage, there are three primary goals for the business analyst.

  • To break down the requirements into sets of tasks for the development team (i.e. backlog);
  • To maintain communication with the clients and soliciting feedback from them;
  • Implement feedback and formulate tasks;

In addition to that BA can be involved in developing test scripts for initial rounds of testing.

  • Improves the quality of design for the proposed IT system so that it meets the user requirements.

It is important to note that BA keeps refining and adjusting the descriptions of the functional requirements throughout the development stage. It is done so that by the time it will come to the development of the function it will be thoroughly described and adapted according to the current state of things.

Stage Four: Making Sure It Works

In the testing stage, BA is involved in developing and refining comprehensive acceptance criteria for test scripts of the various modules of the program.

It involves a combination of functional walkthroughs, user impersonations, and also user acceptance tests.

His primary goal at this stage is to ensure that the project meets requirements and is fully operational and ready for deployment.

Stage Five: Making Sure It Continues to Work

The monitoring stage usually runs concurrently with the testing stage. BA’s purpose at this point is to evaluate changes from initial plans.

On one hand, BA collects explanations for changes from the development team. On the other — he gets approval for implementing the changes.

Stage Six: The Closing Stage

During the closing stage, BA presents the project to the client and gains their approval. His next move is usually creating instructional guides for the program and final documentation for the project.

Another important thing is documenting the value of the project for the team in terms of “lessons learned”.

Methods of Business Analysis

A toolkit of the business analyst may vary depending on the specifics of the project but the general techniques stay more or less the same.

The whole process of BA is divided into three fundamental types of business analysis:

  • Strategic Analysis — relates to the initial and planning stages of the project. Allows to identify the challenges, assess possible solutions, elucidate business requirements, help to determine the global goals and local objectives of the projects. Attained information improves the management process of the project.
  • Tactical Analysis — goes through every stage of the project. Allows to choose the most viable solutions and ensure that everything meets the expectations. Used to flesh out the requirements and break them down into tasks inside the backlog.
  • Operational Analysis — relates to the business aspects of the project. Focused on studying the ways of managing the project and looking for opportunities for its improvement. Allows adapting the working process to maximum effectiveness by finding weak points and waste elements. Directly affects iteration planning.

In conclusion

It is hard to overestimate the role of business analyst in software development. The very existence of the project is largely dependent on qualified business analysis.

Without a clear scope, established requirements, intricate planning, and adequate communication — chances are the project will crumble on its weight before gaining substance.

Business analysts are key members of the developing team. Basically, they are the torchbearers. They bring order to the project and lead it to fruition.

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Money-Saving Ideas For Your New Online Business

Have you ever wondered how much money does online businesses generate? The answer will impress you. According to the research, it’s $1.2 million every 30 seconds. About a million dollars are done through desktops, and another $200,000 is in mobile.

All of the above proves that running an online business is a very promising field. In this article, we are going to share some secrets and business cost reduction ideas that will help to kick-start a business.

how to start a successful online business

How to start a successful online business

At the APP Solutions, we have a vast amount of completely different types of clients. Among them are stable companies, innovative startups and those, who only break the fresh ground. Based on this experience, we have collected five proven steps that will help to kick-start the online business.

Step 1. Find a need and fill this niche

A successful business is the one that ensures customers with the unique product or service. Once you have found this insight into customer’s need, focus on it. Some tips help with this searching:

  • Try to analyze your daily work and life routine and understand what product or service could improve them. Also, you can do a survey of your friends and their network to validate an idea.
  • Check online forums for some questions and problems other people are trying to solve.
  • Make a keyword research to find some popular request of what people are searching all over the world. It would be perfect to find a common problem that has no competing solution for it.
  • Make an investigation of your competitors and try to find weak sides in their service. Probably, you could fill the demand or just can offer better service.

Step 2. Identify an audience

Once you have decided on your product, you need to understand who is precisely your customer and build the portrait of these personas. After this, you need to focus on how to target this person and deliver information about your company. Finding people who might want to buy your product is the key answer to the question of how to run an online business.

Check out some important notes about the behavior of consumers online:

  • Search is one of the most important channels so far. More than 30% of users come to the website from organic search in Google, Bing, or Yahoo. For a long-term marketing strategy, it is crucial to invest in search engine optimization.Use organic traffic running an online business
  • When building a plan for an online presence of your brand, start with Facebook and Twitter as users spent more time than on any other social network. Also, use YouTube as an additional channel.
  • For e-commerce projects, the fastest-growing channels are mobile, CPC, and YouTube. Note that in the case of CPC campaigns, you need to track data closely to control your budget.
  • Focus on bringing traffic from Facebook more than from Twitter, as the average value of on customer from Facebook is four times more.
  • Concentrate on optimizing your website for iPhone and iPad first as they bring you 65% of all mobile traffic.

Step 3. Define a monetization plan

Right after you find out how to start a successful online business, you need to figure out how the income will be generated. Create a content and marketing strategy that agreed with a promotion schedule. Also, think about special offers to engage your customers.

Step 4. Test and refine

So, the website of your product or service is launched. However, it doesn’t mean that the job is done. Having an online business means monitoring the vast amount of data and implementing improvements every day.

It is crucial to gather and analyze information about your customers from all sources and take stock of what works and what doesn’t. Try different tools, products, and services to engage your customers.

Step 5. Increase customer’s lifetime value and make upsells

Developing the client’s lifetime value should become an important part of your marketing strategy. According to statistics, about 36% of consumers are going to re-purchase again after follow-up.

The most difficult part of the process is to close the first deal. To make customers buy again, you may try the following approaches:

  • Offer products or services that complement previous purchases.
  • Create an app with a gamification loyalty program.
  • Make special offers for holidays.
  • Encourage loyal customers with even more unique offers.

Money-saving ideas for your rising business

It is worth saying a few words about costs and recourses optimization. Here at The App Solutions we always try to help clients with cost-saving.

Outsource your web and app development

Ukraine proves to be one of the best outsourcing destinations all over the world. Of course, the primary reason is cost efficiency, and the chart below is the best illustration:
Average rates for app development services
However, outsourcing app development services also carry some risks, but with a reliable vendor, you can even turn them into benefits.

Start your project with MVP

Minimum viable product (MVP) is the first release of your project that contains the only main feature.

The advantage of such an approach is that you can launch the business quickly and test the idea on the market. We have created a handy tool to estimate the cost of the project. Check it out.

Calculate app development cost for saving your money

Cost-saving customer support

Customer support is the foundation stone of any business. Good support can save the situation while the bad one can screw up all efforts.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the 5% better retention causes a 95% rise in the profit. And customer support is the tool that helps you with that.

Inevitably, excellent service costs real money. But you can improve the cost-efficiency of outsourcing customer services and call center outsourcing. Our friends and partners WOW 24-7 provide frontline, backline, and back-office support at very reasonable prices. And you as a customer save some money on the room and all facilities, but at the same time will have as many employees as you need for the moment depending on the workload.

call center outsourcing to WOW


Starting an online business is easier than it seems to be. A fresh idea is an important part of the whole undertaking, but without a sensible strategy and the team a project may not take off. So, spend time and recourses on essentials and make wise cost savings.

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The Story Behind Emberlow Mobile App

Here we got another fascinating interview, now online, with Greg Golebiewski – active tech investor and CEO of Emberlow, the battery saving app built in cooperation with The App Solutions.

The matter of our conversation is obviously all things Emberlow:

  • how the idea of the project was born;
  • what it took to turn it into the actual unique product;
  • UX tricks that were used for this app;
  • challenges faced along the way;
  • insights for entrepreneurs launching their mobile projects.

Having experienced quite a number of IT product launches, Greg got some interesting details to share indeed.

The APP Solutions:

Greg, it’s nice to be in touch with you. Let me start by saying that we all are very curious about how the idea of Emberlow came into sight? How was the unique idea of the product shaped?


Well, actually I get to travel a lot and a lot of my friends-entrepreneurs do. And of course, we’re all the time facing this condition when you simply forgot to charge your battery overnight or simply used up your phone during the day and didn’t notice the battery is almost dead.

After some research, I realized there is no tool, which would not only prevent the battery from the fast outage but also save important docs like your boarding pass, presentation or notify people waiting for you before the telephone goes off.

So that’s the background of Emberlow – real-life situations, which moved me to create this mobile application.

The APP Solutions:

Thanks, I got that, Greg. Now let’s discuss the killer feature of the Emberlow app because it seems there are a lot of basic battery saving options out there. Is that right?


Yes, that’s correct. There are a lot of services on the market that aim at excelling the battery life or managing battery life and they are very good at that. What’s more, hardware manufacturers work in this direction too. So, of course, we included some of these options in the application as well.

But my main objective was to help people save their schedule and planned activities despite the unexpected death of the device on hand. They still need to be in contact with dozens of people, so simply preset alerts will help with that. The most recent GPS location or a short message about running out of battery will help you on the go.

We went even further – we launched so-called actions – if you don’t have a printed version of your boarding pass and your telephone dies. To restore it at the airport, you need to pay, and you can even not have time for that.

It also applies to many different situations. I personally have two teenage boys. And they do not really care a lot about charging their phones in time. So when I call and catch the voice on the other side telling me subscriber’s phone is offline. And I don’t like to hear that. I prefer to get an automated message from his phone with his location (in emergency cases) or simply telling “my phone is running out of battery, I’ll be there in 2 hours” or something like that. They set it up once and activate when the battery reaches the low level.

The APP Solutions:

That’s clear, Greg. Thanks a lot. And now moving onto some UX/UI tricks you suggested or you worked out as a team to simplify usage of this very app.


Yes, I understand. And here goes what we call the Folds – the system of alerts and actions for repeating situations. So basically, to spend less time in setting up different preventive measures within the app, you place those in one Fold and enable it with one single tap. For any kind of user – from a student to a housewife or businessman it’s only beneficial. And it works.

And by the way, that’s one of the major reasons for picking Android OS to build an app – a rather broad audience, literally every Metropolis citizen with a mobile phone. As of yet, there are more people globally using Android phones than ones with iOS.

The APP Solutions:

That makes total sense. What do you think was the biggest challenge from the perspective of a completed project?


Well, as far as I’m thinking of expanding the functionality of the app in the future and incorporate 3rd party services in it, we tried to figure out how Google allows working within the operating system.

It’s mostly about technical aspects of IoT solutions integration – if we could help users of Smart House systems or medical device apps prevent problems caused by the simple battery outage.

Also, from the starting point, the major question was how to implement my concept with existing development tools. So we spent time in continuous cooperation with The App Solutions team to overcome some technical questions and create a truly top-notch product from scratch. 

To you, Android lovers of the world, welcome to test out Emberlow mobile app – enjoy all the benefits and provide your feedback. It’s very much appreciated!

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Benefits of Using Chatbots for your Business

One of a trend that has shaped a previous year and definitely is going to influence the year 2017 is the increasing popularity of chatbots.
Chatbots is a program that simulates a real conversation with users by using artificial intelligence.

To understand this technology and find use cases that will fit your business and your customers` needs, let’s analyze the background that drives this trend.

Factors Influencing the Rise of Chatbots

  1. The exploding popularity of messaging apps is hard to deny. The GlobalWebIndex Statistics says that 75% of Internet users are adopters of one or few messengers. Also, take a look at the Business Insider statistics that shows how quickly growth the popularity of messengers:READ ALSO: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DEVELOP A MESSAGING APP LIKE WHATSAPP?
  2. The rise of artificial intelligence technologies brings chatbots to a new level. Together with natural language processing AI brings up to 90% the accuracy of machine parsing and understanding of requests. Another significant factor here is sophistication notifications that take into account the context of the situation and are always on across devices.
  3. The accelerated development of all kinds of sensors and wearables in addition to analytics and data science boosted the personalization of virtual communication and the capabilities of predictive assistance.
  4. Payment integration to third parties via APIs brings, even more, options to the chatbot functionality.

Adopting Chatbots for business

There is one interesting nuance you probably haven’t ever realized. In-app stores, you can find millions of different apps available. However, Forrester Research shows us, that users use about 24 apps per month wherein 80 percent of the time is on just five apps. Without any doubt among them are Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. That means that you hardly can shoot ahead with a new app for your business, but you still have high chances to integrate your chatbot into one of the platforms from your user’s everyday routine.

Of course, bots have not appeared just now, but at the Annual F8 Conference in April 2016 Facebook has announced its platform. That gave a massive impulse for the implementation of this technology for business needs.

Chatbot app development has all chances to be one of the hottest trends and a new challenge for companies and software vendors.

When Building a Chatbot Makes Sense

  1. You receive many requests that are similar to each other
    For every business, there is always a set of typical questions that your employees have to answer over and over again. You can gather all these matters in the FAQ form on the website or Facebook page, or you can create a chatbot for that. Also, chatbots are essential when customers need to get a consultation ASAP.
  2. Products you sell are low involvement
    Low involvement goods and services mean that the clients do not spend much time making a decision to buy or not to buy. Emotions dictate such purchases, and I bet you do not want to miss such a customer`s impulse by not providing info in time. By one single request bots immediately understand what the customer wants and offer it without human interaction.
  3. Your customers need information that is easy to provide
    Everything is simple. The more you can give to your client conditionally for free, the more loyalty you get. That is how your chatbot actually can become another channel of winning sympathy. From another hand, by providing info automatically also you save some money for human recourses. Also, take note that this information can be easily personalized.
  4. You work in a highly competitive niche
    Working in a field where products, services, and prices for them are mostly the same, it is hard to compete. Most likely that your customer will choose the vendor that requires spending fewer efforts to get a product. Moreover, again your chatbot is a winning strategy! First of all, your customer will get information regardless of the day of the week, time, holiday, etc. Secondly, no one likes to speak by phone nowadays.

5 Inspiring Chatbot Use Cases

Chatbots change the form of communication between the brand and the consumer. Of course, some of them will stay with us longer, and others are going to evolve further. Anyway, there is no doubt that both users and brands can get benefits from this technology. We have gathered five inspiring chatbot use cases.

1. Shopping

The percentage of consumers who prefer to buy online is inexorably increasing every year. Today this number tends up to 45%. At the same moment, there is another curious fact. 64% of consumers search online before making a purchase, which means that even those who prefer offline shopping spend some time looking online before this.

That is why chatbots can become one of the most important channels for your retail business. As it is written above, this model will better work for the products with little involvement like clothes or accessories. Furthermore, the chatbot helps you to ensure your customer with a personalized experience.

A good example of a retail chatbot is Shop Spring. You do not need to chat with it, only to pick up some answers from the list of questions to narrow down the options for the final choice. The main advantage of the bot before the marketplace is that it minimizes the number of actions and clicks that the user needs to do.

2. Payments

With the help of a chatbot, you can not only choose the product or service but also and buy it. At the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016, the Head of Messenger David Marcus has announced that bots are going to accept payments. So indeed, from late September 2016, Facebook Messenger users can not only initiate orders but complete them through payment systems like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree.

Of course, every financial operation requires a high level of privacy and security. At The App Solutions, we do know all actual threats and provide reliable fraud protection.

3. Restaurants & Delivery

The main point of any fast food is quick. Your chatbot here will win on all counts. It`s always online and ready to take an order in a few steps. A good example is Pizza Hut. “We are committed to our servicing our customers in the most convenient way and meeting them in the channels they already prefer,” said Baron Concors, Pizza Hut’s Chief Digital Officer.

Another great example is Domino. The system is more sophisticated. After the sign-up, the system saves contacts and a so-called favorite basket that the user can request later. This bot also has an excellent sense of humor 🙂

4. Healthcare

Same as in the financial sphere, any healthcare or hospital app requires a high level of security standards. The confidentiality of patient`s private data and HIPAA compliance are crucial.

Healthcare chatbot patients can book an appointment with doctors, pay invoices for services, store and track all payments and medical care. Also, such a chatbot can perform as an instrument of patient education. Such a strategy helps healthcare providers to build stable and value-rich relations.

A great example of a medical bot is a HealthTap that instantly connects users to doctors. The database of medical staff includes 100,000 physicians from over 140 specialties.

5. Customer Support

Customer support and technical assistance are quite a resource-consuming part of any business. This process can also be improved with the help of chatbots. Once you analyze incoming requests, you will see that most of them are identical.

By creating a chatbot for business, you can automate repetitive requests. Your customer will appreciate the direct communication that avoids holding on the line and talking to strangers from support service.


Chatbots are a powerful tool for brand-to-customer communication that also helps to reduce costs and resources. The reason for such exploding popularity is the rise of mobile messengers and extension technology of artificial intelligence.

Vendors and retailers need to rethink their communication strategies to strengthen their presence in the channels where their customers prefer to be. For now, it is messenger apps.

Why Does your Mobile App Idea Need a SWOT Analysis?

Whether you are an app marketer, business leader, or client, you must understand mobile business basics. You must know that your app falls into a certain niche and is suited for a specific customer pool with exact requirements. Chances are, you already know that every business undertaking takes money, and if done wrong, may cost you users in the long run.

However, creating an economically sound app for companies is a challenging undertaking. You’d be surprised to know that the hit ratio of building creditworthy mobile apps is pathetically low – around 0.01%

Now the heart-balm.

You can dodge app failure by studying meticulously your brand insides – strengths and weaknesses. This is where a free SWOT application mobile analysis comes onboard.

swot analyze example


You shouldn’t underrate the importance of creating your mobile app project plan of action on a solid foundation. This refers to thorough management and addressing the ongoing operational tasks. Only after obtaining extensive data are you ready for decision-making. 

Therefore, a SWOT analysis is the best tool to transform your brilliant app idea into a tangible app. Otherwise, there is no point bothering developers and going for app development in general.


What is SWOT?

A SWOT analysis is a core element of any business and strategic planning that every company should add to their toolbox. The abbreviation stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or free project planning. 

swot analyze meaning


While strengths and weaknesses are deemed internal factors, opportunities and threats are considered to be external factors. 

A SWOT diagram analyzes an application or business undertaking by concentrating on each of these aspects, and makes analysis easy and accessible. The analysis usually consists of four boxes, each box describes a certain factor. However, the exact shape may vary depending on the design. It can be a box, circle, or any other convenient way that will help you conduct the analysis.


A free SWOT analysis comes in useful when trying to decide whether or not to engage in a certain project or strategy by picturing the for and against and pinpointing all the good, bad and ugly sides of a project. A SWOT analysis also facilitates decision-making regarding further moves.

This analysis will allow you to determine the aspects of your business that are doing great. These are the key success factors of your business that are strong and provide a head start. Outlining these assets will help you remain at a high ranking, and you will also need to find ways to leverage and build upon these strengths to expand your business.

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Next, you’ll want to identify ways to eliminate or recuperate your weaknesses. Weaknesses are the features that put you in a less favored position to your competitors. Figuring out what these weaknesses are, and taking measures to lessen them before they hurt your business, is vital. This stage calls for an elaborate and straightforward analysis of what is going wrong within your organization. 

Once you are done with internal factors, you can proceed by identifying your external impacts. By recognizing your weaknesses, you can overcome and escape threats.

But what’s in it for a mobile app development agency?

Well, it’s simple. Being a standard process, a SWOT analysis gives a closer look at mobile application development technology. Additionally, this method allows businesses to analyze and test the related potential and worthiness of their app ideas, targets, and app purposes, to find and assess challenges and experiences that may be influencing their company. 


Last but not least, it allows any app ideas to prove more successful for the end-customer and market needs. Gaining this insight can help deliver greater results and overcome threats for your mobile app project.

This was a quick walk through the process of carrying out SWOT analysis. Now let’s move onto the benefits this analysis entails for you and your business.

Benefits & Limitations

Before we dwell on the benefits, you must understand that a SWOT analysis does not give a ready-made solution. Instead, it facilitates analyzing the issues that impact your company or idea. A SWOT analysis is not a one-size-fits-all option for any application. Therefore, it is crucial to understand its main advantages and restrictions before you perform it.

SWOT Benefits

There is one thing that you should know – this type of analysis comes at no cost. However, if you cannot see the backside of your idea or business, it’s better to contact a professional analyst. We usually offer such a service to our clients.

Here is a quick overview of what benefits this analysis entails:

  • It allows better divergent thinking and an enhanced vision of your business;
  • By understanding weaknesses one can overcome and escape threats;
  • Its framework gives you a competitive edge and more opportunities. 

SWOT Limitations

SWOT analysis is not the panacea for your brand, it’s just one imperative stage of your strategic planning. Therefore, it only encompasses what its name implies – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

SWOT is not suitable for complex and intricate issues or aspects. For example, this technique doesn’t have a priority ranking and doesn’t bring you to the final action. SWOT analysis is an idea-generator, it doesn’t steer you toward the best option.


swot analyze best examples


Conducting a SWOT Analysis of a Mobile App Idea

Before taking the first steps, you need to outline the objective of your analysis. You can use SWOT on your companies, brands, mobile app ideas, minimum viable products, or any important features.

After this, you need to conduct profound research on your industry and the market. The data can be retrieved from both the online space and your team, business partners, or users.


As an initial step, study all features of your future app. There is a good chance that most of them will fall into the strengths category. Additionally, do some competitive research to define your competitors’ strengths. If you find some similarities, your business idea must adopt these strengths as indispensable elements.

Also, it is necessary to go through your advantages, unique selling proposition, unique resources, and the final goal regarding your sales.


This step requires a bold and honest look at your business idea. As there is always room for improvement, you will likely find some weak points.

Again, some competitive research allows you to compare your weaknesses to those of your competitors and get some answers.

Consider the following points:

  1. What new enhancements would you offer?
  2. Is there something you could discard?
  3. What weak sides do your customers point out?
  4. What product features hinder your brand success?



The top tip while assessing your opportunities is to take a hard look at your strengths. You need to think about how you can transform your strengths into new opportunities. 

Cutting-edge technologies and different trending patterns can allow you to do that.

Also, remember that federal police monitoring and behavioral models of your target audience can create new opportunities as well. 


If we are talking about threats and opportunities, there is one tool that helps identify the big picture. This tool is not new and is known as the PEST or PESTLE analysis. It helps analyze the Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, and Technological shifts in your business environment.

Let’s go over the best questions that will allow you to find your threats:

  1. What new challenges may you come across?
  2. What anti-threat techniques and tools do your competitors use?
  3. How do quality standards impact your product?
  4. Is your product ready for evolving technologies?
  5. Are you sure you won’t have any financing constraints?

However, when you use the SWOT technique it is crucial to use only credible information and explicit statements. In this way, you will get rid of the apparent new facts and prioritize the rest.


Another tip is to use the categories at the same level and not to mingle the points. Thus, you cannot use the idea’s weaknesses in SWOT on UX, etc. As we have stated above, to get a more extensive feature try other analytic tools like PEST Analysis, USP Analysis, Core Competence Analysis, and so on.

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Example of SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is the ultimate tool. You can use this technique for both your business idea or app and for your brand in general. It is also relevant for different categories like user experience. 

User experience cannot be crafted based on your friends’ or relatives’ feedback (well, it can, but we rather you didn’t). UX calls for better and direct feedback from genuine end-users.

Now let’s have a look at how you can use this analysis on UX:

Read also: How Does Business Analysis Work and What Are Its Benefits


A SWOT analysis is an unbelievably straightforward yet robust technique to help you build your new game plan.

It also outlines your objectives whether you’re building a startup or mentoring an existing company. One cannot underestimate the power of analysis and planning. SWOT analysis is among those useful tools that can get your product potential to a new level. It improves the performance and given resources at any phase of your SDLC.

This system also enables you to come up with the best tactic, define your challenges, and evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

You can also reach out for our assistance. Our BA will be glad to carry out a profound analysis and decide on further moves. Please, liaise with our manager to schedule a meeting.