Do you know that there are 5 billion mobile users in the world today? From ordering online food to booking a taxi, mobile apps managed to restyle everything, making things a lot easier for folks.
If you are a business owner, undoubtedly your app is an expression of your business. But do you know what are the must-have app features that drive profitable customer behavior? No matter what you answer, any app that saves time & cuts costs, gets higher customer engagement.
7 Must-Have App Features in 2020:
- Offline Mode
- Voice Search
- Augmented Reality
- Machine Learning
- Personalized and Customization Experience
- Community Building
1. Offline Mode
Offline mode is one of the must-have app feature customers look for in an iOS or Android application. Making an app offline means it is able to work in two different modes, one is online and the other is offline.
The online feature is easy to create but managing offline mode can be a little complicated.
Many smartphone apps work by accessing a database located on the server and giving the requested data to the user. An offline approach is designing the app in a way that it has useful features even when it is not connected to the server.
The data is downloaded to the user’s device and can still be accessed offline. Well, the offline features depend on the type of app.
Do you know the qualities of a good app? If you have an app that is something akin to a large database that gives the user to look for specific information, the offline functionality will be useful.
If a smaller version of the database is downloaded to the user device, the app is not only useful but the user has access to the information even when the connection is abruptly ceased.
How to Create an Offline Mobile App?
The major task in creating an offline mode in the app is how the app will handle the absence of the internet connection to the database. There are three different ways of storing, syncing and updating the local data:
- Manual Replication
- Real-Time Data Synchronization
The easiest way to manage the local data is to simply cache it so that it gets accessible regardless of connectivity. If the app is simple, caching will certainly do the trick. However, if the app has the ability to edit data and apply changes, don’t consider caching in that case.
With the help of manual replication, the user can change the viewed data while staying offline and by marking objects as changed. When the app is connected to the server, the user can easily upload all the changes manually and download the new data.
This is a unique mobile app functionality that is more advanced than caching, manual replication and can crash due to problems. It is a bit prone to data conflicts and can cause the app to perform poorly.
Real-Time Data Synchronization:
This approach is quite similar to the manual replication but here the data is uploaded automatically and not manually. With the help of synchronized protocols, the offline app using this method can transfer the changed version and the actions that were made to edit. This allows the system to completely resolve the conflicts while enhancing the overall app performance.
Understanding the app capabilities is one thing, but making them clear to users is completely a different challenge.
What are the Mobile App Features and Benefits of an Offline App?
Poor connectivity won’t frustrate users: If you have an offline mode app then it is more likely to be used in areas of poor connectivity. Have a note of where your potential users will be during the day. See if people have limited WiFi or data connectivity. If so, your offline app increases user acquisition and retention rates.
Edge on the Competition: The app market is too huge and every app has one or more competitors. Consider Uber and Lyft or WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. If your business has an offline mode app in no network zone, you have a better chance of winning over the competition.
Gain Users Loyalty: When users know they can easily trust the app in poor connectivity areas, they are likely to become more loyal. Users like offline functionality apps due to the following reasons:
- Apps work without any delays due to internet connectivity.
- Sometimes, users want to access the app without using the internet.
- When locally stored, the data has little to no chance of getting breached.
- Offline mode apps are less likely to drain your device battery.
Note: 49% of users consider an app with high battery usage to be deal-breakers.
Best Examples of Apps with Offline Functionality:
- Netflix: Streaming live videos require high powered internet connection. Most of the apps can suffice internet connection but this is not the case with Netflix. Users can download content even if Netflix is used in poor connectivity areas or users having small data plans.
- Google Maps: Google Maps gives an opportunity to the user to download the pre-determined area of the worldwide map. Then, users can easily access the detailed map and directions anywhere. Many phones have GPS that works with no connectivity. Therefore, the users can navigate on Google Maps even with zero internet connection.
2. Voice Search
The Global Smart Speaker Market grew 187% in the second quarter of 2018. This is the increasing tendency for customers to depend on the personal digital assistant and speech commands in order to manage their search queries.
This is the edge of the total search revolution so it is important to get ready for this change.
Today, mobile development companies have realized that there are two elements on which the development of voice support feature is based.
The elements include Text to Speech Synthesizer (TTS) and Speech Recognition Technology (SRT) where TTS is utilized for reading the text as per user’s request while SRT for dictating a voice command to the app.
There are two deployment models while integrating voice technology in the smartphone app:
- Cloud: Test to speech or automatic speech recognition is in the cloud. With the cloud solution, the accuracy and app speed increases and the overall app is lightweight.
- Embedded: The complete app process id cone on a mobile device with embedded TTS or mobile speech recognition. The app then has the ability to work in autonomous mode with the embedded voice solution but it takes space. The best option is to choose cloud-based solutions.
Benefits of Including this Feature to your Mobile App:
- Convenience: When users don’t have to type and just speak for results, it is convenient. It is faster than typing search. Voice search and commands help users to search through items quickly, scribble notes, write emails and perform other functions. This clearly means there is no need to type a keyword to choose an item from the long pop up list. Instead, the voice command will save users time.
- Gives Variety: Unlike touch, voice search enables you to describe objects and terms of their characteristics and functions. This offers referral interaction with the device.
- Enhances Customer Satisfaction: For customer retention, it is essential to give them what they want. A huge number of people use voice search as an effective way to get information. Voice search avoids modality errors that provide appropriate smartphone app interaction. If you wish to rank high in the search result white grabbing new customers, integrate the technology in the mobile app.
- Expands the Mobile Boundaries: As compared to laptops and desktops, mobiles are not that convenient when it comes to navigation. With the help of a small screen, mobile devices won’t be limited. This is as the feature attached to the voice search expands the boundaries of the mobile app.
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3. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is the technology trend that gives an opportunity to the users to seamlessly combine the virtual and real world.
54% of consumers having eCommerce apps wish to use Augmented Reality Feature if it is available.
Industries that can Make the Best Use of this Must-Have App Feature:
- Retail: Virtual fitting rooms will help choose the right size and decreased purchase returns. The same is when you are confused between the colors of the car or furniture. The consumer utilizes a camera in its device to preview how a piece of furniture would look at a particular place. The technology can also be used for promotional campaigns.
- Manufacturing: Augmented Reality facilitate and accelerate the building process. Project Manager can monitor the work progress in real-time via AR marketers. This saves a lot of time with the help of digital maps and plants. Pointing the device shows how the machine piece will fit the final construction.
- Education and Training: There are unlimited possibilities in the education and learning process. Medical students can go for their surgeries without injuring patients.
- Travel and Tourism: GPs mobile apps having the feature of AR so they can show tourist routes and directions of the desirable destinations, translate road signs and give information about sightseeing.
This awesome concept of augmented reality helped “Pokemon Go” to become one of the most popular and successful gaming apps of all time. Adding an additional reality layer in a museum ensures users with a new cultural experience.
If you are thinking about developing a GPS navigation app, then think about adding AR feature as it will prove to be a competitive advantage.
IKEA Place gives an opportunity to the user to put life-size 3-D models in a real-time environment and InkHunter helps in previewing the tattoo on the user’s arm.
4. Machine Learning
Whether you are aiming at B2B or B2C, an eCommerce app integrates machine learning and boosts the user’s experience while saving money.
Ecommerce apps utilize the data science to predict the weekly demands, give recommendations, offer discounts-while keeping the inventory minimized. In order to create a highly customized app, you need help from a reliable technology partner.
Machine learning is used in apps in different ways: identifying different objects at which the camera is pointing at, giving battery-saving advice based on your mobile phone’s habits, suggesting emoji based on the content of the message.
Machine Learning App Feature is a very Multidisciplinary Technology Used in these Industries:
- Finance: It predicts future trends, bubbles, and crashes. This further results in the reduction of operational costs due to process automation and improved reinforced security and compliance.
- Healthcare: Medical diagnosis combines the doctor’s knowledge making the treatment more efficient and reliable.
- Media and entertainment: Machine Learning helps the media companies to give relevant video content to on-demand platforms. These companies then utilize technology for building recommendation algorithms, creating custom artwork and analyzing customer behavior.
- E-commerce: Customer support and self-service providing tools like chatbots are in trend. This automated customer support makes it easier for you and your customers to have higher satisfaction.
Examples of Machine Learning Apps:
- Snapchat: The app uses a machine supervised learning algorithm. It finds faces in the photos to add fun elements like glasses, hats, dog ears, etc.
- Tinder: With the help of a smartphone feature, the algorithm increases the user’s chances to find the perfect match as per his/her likings.
5. Multitasking Feature
Have you heard of the recent YouTube feature?
Yes, it is a multitasking feature where the YouTube video keeps playing in the background and you can do whatever you want side-by-side. Although YouTube asks you to shell out $11.99 a month for the privilege as you should have a YouTube Premium subscription.
Multitasking is the best must-have app feature. It allows the user to open different applications at the same time. The current app you are using while the other runs in the background. This gives an easy switch option for instant access.
Why Multitasking is a Must-Have App Feature?
- Instant Switching: When the user opens a new application, the previous one doesn’t close until it is done manually. Instead, it stays in the background all set for a quick launch. It also helps to avoid the repetitive process of opening and closing various apps.
- Continue from Where you have Left: The application running in the background resumes from where the user paused, so it becomes easy to continue with what the user was doing earlier.
6. Personalized and Customization Experience
Personalized and Customization are two important must-have app features. Wherever you look, the different brand is looking for ways to make the user experience more personal.
There should be no surprise that personalization and customization are equally important.
Customers highly value the app that offers a personalized experience. No user wants to feel like just a number that is being added. Demographics information, geolocation, user’s past behavior make interactions feel natural and personal.
The sports team app uses a mobile marketing service to send parking updates, food ordering notifications and more. The users can create a wish list and then push notifications when the listed item is available.
For example, Spotify’s playlist customized to individual users. It includes discovering weekly, release radar and daily mix which have been a key draw for the service.
Users love customizing the app as per their personal preferences. They are accustomed to a particular layout on the screen and mobile apps. They wish to see certain information organized in a particular way on the screen.
There are a few users who want to receive some notifications but there are some who don’t. If users have this opportunity, it gives them a warm feeling that the app is working with them and not simply telling what to do and how.
For example, Dominos gives customer the opportunity to customize the pizza as per your liking and then order accordingly.
7. Community Building
This is the unique app feature that grabs the attention of the users with the awareness that many others are using and loving the app. Dieting, fitness, and health monitoring apps allow people to read and share progress reports and advice from fellow users.
Recipe and travel apps give the opportunity to the users to share comments and favorites. Apps have the ability to sustain engagement via community via different forms while inviting users to participate in surveys and games.
Here are the Two Main Reasons Why Community Building Feature is Worth Investing:
- Increases Retention: Building a social community within an app, where the users can challenge or get inspire each other helps to improve user engagement and retention.
- Understand your Users: Every business owner wants to have relevant information about their users. This helps in building more engaging products with better features. When the data is linked to specific user demographics within the app, you get a better understanding.
- After the “Fitr Woman App” added the social layer to their app and within a time span of one month, the retention rate increased by 35%.
- “Lose it” and “Fitocracy” are two more examples of fitness apps that have milestone sharing and community building features.
The Bottom Line
When you hone the design of your mobile app, always remember that the success of the app comes from the users that are using it. It all depends on if your app satisfies their goals and requirements quickly or not.
It is very important to exceed user expectations from the beginning with an engaging and intuitive landing screen that evokes emotions. The app should help the user effectively and effortlessly.
Mobile usage is exploding and the opportunities for apps are growing. The mobile app marketplace is cluttered with the high-level competition but that doesn’t mean it is difficult to create an out of box app.
When the must-have app features are added, your app and brand will certainly be loved by potential and customers alike. This is your formula for success and it will surely skyrocket your business.