Top 10 Android Apps for 2018

Whether you are an iPhone or Android user, we all have gotten used to having apps on our phones to help with our daily needs and more. Sometimes you look and there are so many options out there, it’s hard to figure out which would work best for you. There are of course many great apps that are really popular on both iOS and Android. You can look at the top iPhone apps list to find ones that are also great for Android.

Without further ado, here is our list of the Top 10 Android apps you should be using in 2018:

#10 1Weather

I know what you’re probably thinking, “A weather app, c’mon”. However, this particular one goes above and beyond the others and is free. It’s designed incredibly well to make it easy to see the forecast for over 10 weeks. It is a really simple, sleek design making it the best one to use.

#9 Life Hacks

The name really says it all. This app gives you the ability to take any part of your life and see how to make it easier. You can simply choose from a list of categories and then the app provides all the hacks that match that category. Within seconds you can learn all sorts of tips and tricks for life. This is a unique little app but it is definitely worth the free download.

#8 WeDJ

You may have heard of this as it has been around a while but recently it became available on Android. Put your DJ skills to the test with this fun app that gives you a bunch of amazing features to edit and line up songs for a real DJ experience. There is definitely a learning curve so people who already have an idea how to DJ will really enjoy this most.

#7 Komoot

If you are into fitness and/or the outdoors this is an app you will really enjoy. The app will ask for a little information and then it will create a route for you to take out in nature. This app goes beyond just a simple mapping tool. It really lets you explore amazing places and even points out specific things you should check out. It truly is one of a kind and has so many great features for your adventures needs.

#6 Google Drive

This is certainly a big gun in the world of technology. If you have Android chances are you are primarily using Google products for many things. It is perfect for storing all your docs, spreadsheets, pictures, slideshows, and much more. It really has everything you want for business and personal. There really is no other app like it.

#5 Replika

Ok, this app is definitely one of the coolest and creepiest. This is a true AI app that seems to have a real personality. You basically just start chatting with the app, who then responds and starts asking you questions. After a little back and forth you can start having a real conversation and the app can actually discuss anything like a real person. It’s not perfect, but it’s it is free and certainly one of the cooler apps out there.

#4 Tubio

Casting to your tv has become normal nowadays. However, there is always some kind of issue with different devices, especially when trying to do it from the phone. Tubio makes it really easy to cast from your phone onto any device like chromecast and your smart tv. It’s a great option when you really want to cast from your phone without the hassle of trying to set something up and it not works.

#3 Rabbit – Watch Together

This app tops our list for entertainment. Netflix is the giant of course, but what Rabbit does is give users the ability to watch something together no matter where people are at, and you can all chat together about what you are watching. It is definitely an entertainment app that also allows you to discuss in a quick and seamless way.

#2 TouchRetouch

Pictures are “it” nowadays. Everyone wants to post their pictures in various places but only if it looks perfect. The editing tools on this app go beyond any others out there. You can remove unwanted people, get rid of a pimple on your face, fix to color, and much more. Because there are so many rich features it takes a bit to figure everything out, but once you do you will never stop using it.

#1 ADW Launcher 2

This is the ultimate app to customize your phone. There are so many of these Android apps but this one has it all in 1. You can customize icons, apps that appear on screen, the app drawer, and many other items on your device. The animation tools are vast making it easier than ever to create a unique experience and way of launching apps and other items.

There are many mobile apps out there that we could add here, but these should help get your new year started off right. If you have an app idea you think could make the list of top apps then contact SDI, Call on 408.802.2885 or email team@sdi.la to get your app development started.

UI/UX and Why it is so Important for Your App or Website

We live in the digital age where people rely heavily on the internet, phones, computers, and gadgets to provide information in a quick and seamless way. How the user retrieves and views that information needs to be both stunning and enjoyable. Everything should have the right colors, shapes, and functions to provide a high-quality user experience. That idea is what we call the UI/UX.

What is UI/UX

You may have heard someone say UI or UX in a conversation about apps or websites. Now it has become pretty common to mention it so more and more are becoming familiar with the term. However, if you are still unsure or just have a basic idea of what it is, no problem, you will be an expert after reading this article.

UI stands for User Interface and UX stands for User Experience. Both relate to the design of a website and mobile app but in 2 different ways. UI refers to how it looks; what the user sees such as colors, shapes, and the placement of each function. Think of it as the visual aspect. UX refers to how the user actually uses the product. The functions and how they go about making their way from point A to point B in the easiest way possible. Think of this as the touch.

To better explain this, think about your car. When you look at your car you see the color, the shape, and all the little pieces that make it such as the wheels, rims, grill, etc. You chose that car partly because of how it looks and that is the UI of the car. Next, once you start up the car and actually start driving it, you see how comfortable or uncomfortable it is to turn the wheel, press the brake, and click buttons on the dash. The experience of driving the car is the UX.

User Experience

This should be the first thing you do when you decide to build your app or website. This pretty much defines the digital relationship your customers are going to have with your company. You have to think about every option the user has to get to their desired destination and then rethink how it can be simplified even more.

The more you focus on UX in the beginning of the project, the smother the development for your project will be. Whether you or someone else is developing your project, the most time should be spent on UX because that is what will give you your leads. When you hire app developers or a website development company make sure they know about both UI and UX as they should be well versed. You can speak with Rob at 408.802.2885 to go over UX needs for your project.

User Interface

This goes hand in hand with UX. You really can’t have one without the other. Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. When you decide your color theme, logo, and style of your app or website, it has to make sense and look amazing to your users. To truly know what the right design is, you must first think about who your users are. Once you determine that, then determining the design will be easier.

Each color and shape has an emotional tie to it so it is important to know what users will think when they see it. For example, if you choose the color red, people will think stop vs green which is go. For shapes, a square and a circle do have different meanings so choosing right shapes is just as important. Those are pretty straightforward but there are so many colors and shapes which elicits a different emotion. All of this should be taken into account before programming even starts.

Why is UI/UX Design so important?

Ask yourself why does a person like a particular app or website? Better yet, why do you like a particular app or website? More often than not the answer has to with how easy it is to use or how nice it looks. That, in the end, is the reason why they keep coming back and is what others use to build their product to become successful.

If you take your UI or UX seriously, it could at the very minimum double your web conversation rates (number of people who come to your website and turn into real leads/customers) and mobile app download/usage.

Remember that people’s attention spans have drastically decreased over the years. If we haven’t found what we want in a few seconds we exit that app or website to find what we are looking for somewhere else. Your UI/UX can make or break you.

If you want to learn more about UI/UX for a project you are thinking about contact us at team@sdi.la

5 Points to Consider When Hiring App Developers

Over the years technology has grown significantly and with that the number of technology companies. It seems there is a company for everything. One of the biggest technological advances over the last decade has been mobile apps. It has done wonders to make our lives easier as well as access information quickly, easily, and from anywhere.

Despite the high number of apps out there, people are still coming up with amazing ideas and creating successful apps. Whether you have a flicker of an idea or know exactly what you want to create and how you want it created a good app development company can help you. Once you start your search for app developers you will notice that there are a lot of app development companies to choose from. It can be hard to determine which one is the right one for you.

To help you decide if the companies you are considering is the best, consider the following 5 things:

1. Meaningful Discussion and Details

When you call and discuss your project they should provide you meaningful feedback and give you creative ideas to help make it even better. They should also give you details on the whole process of getting it developed so you know exactly what is involved. If all you hear is yes yes and yes, please pay and we will get started, its best to consider a different company.

2. Examples of Their Work

They should be able to show you examples of their work. Great companies have worked on many projects and have plenty of examples to give you. If they don’t provide you anything or if what they provide looks like it was made in the 90’s then they are not the company you want to hire.

3. Creating a Lasting Relationship

The company should be able to stay with you not only through the app design and development process but afterward as well. Really great companies offer services after your app is launched such as maintenance and hosting. Even better is a company that can help you market your app to get you traction. If they are there just to develop and move on, they are not focused on what is best for you and building a relationship, they just care about the money. Let’s be honest, who wants to work with someone like that.

4. UI/UX Focused

The company you find should not only be able to do the above mentioned but be able to provide a high-quality design for your app. They should fully understand how important UI/UX is to an app and its success. With that their creative team should explain the steps in creating the design for your project so you know exactly how it will be created. Of course, you will have the final say for what design you want but the team should be able to create beautiful options for you and work with you to make the user experience amazing.

5. Don’t Focus of the Cheapest Cost

Lastly, and probably the most important to most is cost. You have to make sure the development company can be a trusted partner and not a company who will take your money and give you the runaround. Many shop around trying to find the best price, unfortunately when it comes to app development, the right price can come with strings attached. One of the following things usually occurs when you go for the cheapest you can find.

a. You pay the upfront cost (which is usually 50% of the total project cost). The company then tells you they start work and after some time you try to contact them and they don’t respond back. You end up wasting money and time thinking they will finish but they don’t. Even if the company is working on it, it’s usually not exactly what you asked them to create, the code is bad, and you end up having to find someone else to fix everything. In the end, it ends up costing you double the amount of money.

b. You get your project started and the company seems to be creating your app, they provide fairly regular updates but at some point, they come back to you with a bunch of reasons why they need more money. Unless you pay that additional amount they won’t work on your app anymore. Usually, at this point, they drag out the project more and ask for more money multiple times. This, in the end costs you way more than you would have with a reputable company.

Those are 2 of the biggest issues facing those who are trying to find an app development company. That is not to say you can’t find a decent company whose pricing is low but it is quite difficult, so take precaution. Although it can seem off-putting, you can find plenty of great development companies to complete your project the way you want with a decent price tag.

A good balance of price and quality is a company that has their management office in the US (or country with similar business standards) and has their development team in India (or country with similar low-cost developers). This will give you a median price range but with a company, you can trust. Keeping all these points in mind when speaking with app development companies will ensure you choose the one that is right for you. Call Rob LaPointe on 408.802.2885 or email team@sdi.la to find some of the best and most cost-effective App developers.

Is it Better to Build an App on Android or iOS First?

That moment after you come up with your brilliant app idea you must ask yourself – should I build on iOS, Android, or both. More often than not people lean towards developing for both platforms. Although that seems like the best choice because you are allowing everyone with any device to use the app, it’s not that simple.

iOS

Let’s take a moment to review ios apps and their users. First, iOS is 1 operating system which means that when you build an app for iOS it will pretty much work and look the same for most because they are all Apple products running on the same system. Most will have the latest update and some may be on a previous version but for the most part, your app will provide a higher quality user experience for the majority of users.

Second, there is more pay to download apps because more Apple users tend to pay for apps than Android users do. That could be because iOS users tend to have a higher income than Android users. This is just an average and does not mean that high-income individuals don’t use Android because they definitely do.

The last thing to keep in mind is about Apple having stricter rules for app development. This can be a little tricky as the app has to follow their guidelines otherwise they will not approve it. Their list of rules is long and can seem overwhelming. So you have to be more conscious of this when creating your app.

Android

Now, we come to Android who dominates the global marketplace with about 2 billion devices where iOS is at about 1.3 billion. However, in the US they are a little more even. Developing an app for Android definitely gives you a bigger user base. Android also has fewer restrictions giving you more freedom to create what you want. The users of Android devices tend to prefer free apps as they don’t pay for apps as much as iOS users do. However, Android apps have more in-app banner ads for owners to earn revenue from.

Although Android has more users and less rules the biggest issue is the number of different devices and operating systems out there. There are over 1,300 different Android brands making thousands of different devices using different operating systems in the marketplace. When developing an app for Android it is much more difficult as it is almost impossible to create an app to cater to every device out there. That 2 billion shrinks quite a bit because the app will not work well or at all on some Android devices.

The user experience on these devices tends to be lower quality because each device is different. Android app developers tend to build for 1-3 of the top devices in the marketplace to give you the visibility in as many devices as possible. On these devices, the user experience is just as good as Apple. Most people do not build for more than a couple Android devices because it ends up being very expensive.

Both Platforms

To reach as many people as possible launching on both is obviously the way to go. Many don’t choose this route as it can be quite expensive. Both platforms tend to cost relatively the same to develop on. Of course, each app development company is different so it fluctuates slightly and some even offer discounts if you choose to develop on both rather than just one. Either way, it’s still not the most economical in the beginning stages.

Picking your Platform

Depending on your demographic or the type of app you want to create it is up to you which device you want to launch on first or if you want to do both. A good app development company like SDI can help with your decision and guide you on this. However, in general, the better platform to start with would be ios.

Why iOS? The reason is that iOS even with all their rules are easier to build on and a lot easier to determine issues. Trying to figure out issues on multiple devices on Android is much more difficult. Your app can easily be tested on a few devices but users have some many different types they will face issues due to various reasons such as brand, os, & screen size. For the most part, users are on the most recent operating system for Apple making it a lot easier to evaluate and fix bugs.

Beyond that, as mentioned there are higher income users with iOS and that includes influencers which can help gain your app traction. Unless you are building an app that is specific to Android only, such as being able to customize things in the OS, then build for Apple first.

Do let the strict Apple rules deter you because a good app development company knows them and will make sure your app gets approved.

If you are ready to get your app developed and need to talk to experts about the entire process you can contact SDI at 408.802.2885 or 408.621.8481