According to an eMarketer study, an average US adult spends three and a half hours daily using mobile applications. Moreover, the latest statistics show that the market share of mobile traffic has exceeded desktop usage in February of 2021. With an increasing number of smartphone users across the globe, connecting to people via mobile devices has become very efficient.
Mobile app development allows realizing an extensive functionality and utmost user experience, which drives the market further. Modern technology provides a way to build high-performance applications with diverse features and advanced functions like Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. In this article, we will discuss essential and best mobile application features that help business owners build high-functioning applications and appeal to the demands and expectations of new audiences.
The cornerstone of mobile application development is user experience. A good app is one where customers effortlessly find the desired features and achieve targeted results with a minimum number of actions. This also entails removing redundant actions and functions that clog up the interface and make the learning curve steeper. Finally, a good application comes with intuitive navigation that caters to the needs of the majority of the target audience.
Another key performance metric that determines the app’s outcome is speed. Users tend to abandon applications that do not load fast enough, which is why working on your speed indicators is vital. If some actions require processing time to complete, make sure to add something to distract users from waiting. For example, slowly display the intermediate results or provide users with something to read or interact with.
Among the characteristics that define a good mobile app is also reliable customer support. Users may need to clarify some functionality, ask questions or even report bugs. Good work of customer support greatly enhances user loyalty and helps gather user feedback on the app.
Last but not least, it’s essential to mention that a good app should be 100% compatible with the mobile platforms it works on. Good apps usually employ maximum native features of the platforms they work on and avoid those that don’t fit; they comply with Material Design guidelines for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for IOS to guarantee the best user experience on the platforms.
In this section, we will dive into the top eleven app features examples that will enrich your mobile solution and provide a great user experience.
Although user signup is one of the key features of every application, many apps didn’t enforce it right away. Allow your users to browse through the app and check out the functions before registering. Besides providing the traditional email and phone number signups, offer to get an account in one click via social media networks. Depending on your product, it might be Google, Facebook, and Twitter, or industry-specific channels like LinkedIn for job hunting or GitHub for tech specialists.
User-generated content is the type of content that app users can contribute. Additionally, it could be data collected from a user and analyzed by the app in the form of dashboards and graphics. Let’s take a look at the features of a mobile app that fall into this category.
For example, in a banking or investment app, users can discover their spendings and earnings in the past month by looking at a concise dashboard. They could also showcase the recent purchases in a shopping application or the latest scores in a gaming app.
The ability for customers to alter their personal, contact details, and financial information. Additionally, the customization feature can be implemented to provide a more personal experience for customers within the app.
The activity feed is not a must for certain app types, but it would definitely enrich a social media network, gaming apps, travel solutions, etc. Being a type of in-app forum, activity feed allows users to share news and insights, post comments and updates. Such feeds are known to spark up users’ curiosity and incentivize them to update it over and over again in search of new interesting and entertaining information.
The easy-to-use and secure file upload feature is essential for many application types such as banking, social media, messengers, eCommerce, and many more. The feature usually includes images and PDFs but can also be extended with video, audio, and other formats.
Video processing is a handy feature for educational apps. Teachers and students worldwide can connect via a video chat application with high-quality processing; telehealth apps also adopt the feature to improve patient-doctor communication and conduct online appointments. However, it can also be implemented for other app types like gaming, messengers, business communication tools, etc.
Ratings and reviews allow buyers to share their experiences with other customers and help them make purchasing decisions in the oversaturated market of today.
Location management opens up opportunities for business owners to engage with users and promote their products. By enabling their geolocation, users allow apps to track their surroundings to send more personalized and thus relevant notifications. For example, when a user is near your brick-and-mortar store or office, send them a discount or special offer to entice them to visit the location. In this section, we will expand on mobile app development features associated with locations, calendars, and booking systems.
Hotel booking applications or educational portals are the perfect examples for the calendar feature. Upon booking an appointment or a hotel room, users will automatically see the available dates on the calendar and receive a reminder right before their trip. Any appointment your customer makes through the app can be automatically uploaded to the calendar to help them manage their schedule efficiently.
Travel applications employ a booking management system to handle guests’ check-in and check-out information. Additionally, booking management is used by healthcare and fitness apps to manage visits.
Map integration allows users to trace their orders and know exactly where their package is. Customers can also track their location and detect the nearest offices or stores in their neighborhood, as well as get respective directions.
In-app messaging, chats, commenting section, and social sharing are essential items on the app development feature list that improve user engagement. These features allow businesses to distribute special offers, promote certain products, remind users of upcoming events or sales, and boost interactions between real customers and a brand.
Provide your users with a messaging option to allow them to chat with other users without leaving the application. However, in the abundance of popular messaging apps, creating a chat feature that provides a great user experience is quite challenging. To avoid this pitfall, consider integrating your app with Telegram or Messenger chatbots to optimize communication streams and offer instant solutions to common user problems.
Comments are a great way to boost engagement, user-generated content and add transparency to your business. Allowing people to quickly leave comments and share their thoughts about items and services builds a trusting and open relationship.
Help users share their experiences, post their purchases or achievements, and be active on social media while using your app. Besides, social sharing is also a free advertisement for your digital product and an opportunity to boost brand awareness.
This section is devoted mostly to eCommerce and subscription-based applications; however, secure payment options are vital to major commercial mobile solutions. Here are the common mobile app features that are responsible for sales processing.
When it comes to payment options, the essential aspect is a high level of security. If your app stores the users’ payment details for future purchases, make sure this data is safe. Additionally, provide multiple options offered by Apple Pay, Android Pay, and reliable 3rd party solutions, like PayPal, Stripe, debit and credit card, and sometimes even cash on delivery.
The shopping cart collects all the items that users have chosen to purchase to simplify the buyers’ experience and increase the average order value. Besides listing the selected items, allow users to remove and change the products, change the number of items in one click, discover the total price of the purchase, and choose a shipping method.
If you have a C2C business model, provide a user marketplace where people can list their items and sell them to other customers. This model is usually commission-based and generates revenue from each transaction.
An eCommerce app will also require an inventory and product management system to add, remove, and alter listings. This includes a catalog builder where users can manage their listed offers and make sure the information is up-to-date.
Admin panel is where all the behind-the-scenes of the application is happening. User management, data storage and analysis, marketing and sales tools, and more are managed via the admin panel of an app.
User management is about adding, suspending, and removing users and app admins to make sure your application is safe. This feature also helps app owners to manage user access levels and permissions according to their status, functions, or subscription plan.
Content Management System provides easy access to the app administration and customization. Modern CMS tools are user-friendly enough to allow non-tech people to make important changes and tweaks to the app interfaces and functionality.
Content approval is becoming a vital option, especially in countries with strict guidelines from authorities that regulate the appropriateness of online content. For example, you will need to identify and ban discriminatory sayings, calls for aggression, hate speech, and other harmful content. While maintaining a small audience, manual detection and removal of detrimental statements are manageable, but you will likely require AI-powered automated solutions when you grow bigger.
Most commonly, performance monitoring occurs in special Product Analytics systems that are based on BI technologies. These systems give you access to key metrics like user behavior data, conversion opportunities, etc., to provide the utmost user experience and engagement, app performance, load speed, and more.
Launching your application to different locations and countries requires providing multilingual support for every screen and interface, as well as customer service. You should also consider the cultural diversity of the app user base and compliance with the local laws and regulations.
Finally, the admin panel should include report generation that creates weekly and monthly snippets of significant metrics. Moreover, it should report bugs and significant events notifications in real-time.
Integrations are being exploited by the majority of applications to expand the app functionality, save resources, and add new app features like analytics, administration, social media signups, secure payment methods, etc.
You can connect with other services such as payment gateways, marketing tools, process automation functions, messaging features, etc.
Besides connecting other apps to your solution, allow other applications to partner up with yours. Providing such an opportunity can be an additional revenue stream as well as a way to expand the reach of your app.
Security is the cornerstone of any development process, as poor data protection leads to data breaches. There are three critical features common to mobile apps that will help you optimize the security standards for your application.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer certificate and allows for establishing an authenticated and encrypted connection between apps, websites, and computers to ensure the utmost privacy.
DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attack is among the most common causes for server outages and data breaches. Make sure to implement comprehensive DDoS protection solutions to prepare your application for such attacks and minimize the harm.
Besides enforcing a secure password, motivate your users to add an extra layer of account protection. For example, customers could add their phone number or email to the account credentials and obtain a doubled account security and ability to restore their account or password in case of urgency.
Multi-device sync provides real-time data synchronization across multiple platforms and devices. In case your user would be distracted from the app on their phones, they may continue the buyer’s journey on the app via web browser, desktop, or another device without losing progress.
Push notifications are key features of a successful mobile app as they drastically increase user experience but only if used wisely. Overloading users with notifications and alerts will likely discourage people from engaging with your application. Find the right balance between achieving your marketing KPIs and goals and maximizing the value that users can gain from the app with timely and helpful push notifications.
Accessibility features are the mobile app features that help you reach a wider audience with special needs. People with an unstable internet connection and users with certain disabilities have been long overlooked by app creators. Nowadays, including special features to make the application available and usable for wider user groups is not only a polite and inclusive gesture but also an opportunity to scale up your user base.
Closed captions are often automatically generated to allow users with hearing disabilities to enjoy your content.
Text to speech is a feature that converts any text content into audio format. The function is created for users with vision impairment to help them use your application easier. Voice control allows users to navigate through your app using only voice commands.
Some people do not have access to a stable internet connection, which is why offering some features in the offline mode will help your users get value from your app even without the internet.
We have mentioned the features of a good mobile app that will help you learn where to begin. NIX United is a team of app development specialists with years of experience and a clear understanding of how to build a well-functioning mobile application. Take a look at our clients who leveraged our custom mobile app development services.
The company has already had a web version of the lifestyle service but wanted to expand to the mobile app market. The NIX United team built a cross-platform application with native modules like maps and camera integration, high-quality video streaming, and secure Stripe payment capabilities. Our development team created a custom library to facilitate smooth camera and photo functions within the cross-platform development environment.
As a result, the client received a mobile app that allows users to schedule meetings, contact lifestyle professionals, and securely pay for the services. Finally, high-quality and quick video chat help to swiftly and smoothly connect users to lifestyle experts.
Our client, ThinkUp, has outgrown the capacity of their mobile applications and required a scalable solution to meet the growing demands of their customers. The NIX United team analyzed the legacy system and refactored existing apps on iOS and Android to adjust to the growing user base as well as extend the functionality of the apps to increase customer retention. Our application developers added customizable features like personalized affirmations and notifications and included progress tracking to help users understand their performance.
Both iOS and Android apps work faster and more stable due to the system’s scalability. Moreover, the additional features increased user retention and drew even more attention to the service.
The client is an industry-leading software provider that digitally connects patients and hospitals. NIX United was challenged to modernize web and mobile applications to enhance user experience on both platforms. Additionally, the applications have to be in compliance with HIPAA, a healthcare data protection standard. Our engineers improved the code to allow users to securely access all their healthcare data from one app. Hospitals can now better deliver their services and improve the patients’ care.
As a result, the application performance was improved significantly and is fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. On top of that, patients can receive personalized reminders about medications, track their health indicators like cholesterol and blood pressure, set up healthcare-related goals, and monitor the treatment process.
Building an application is no longer an option but a user-driven requirement for modern businesses. Mobile apps are essential for brand awareness, marketing activities, sales purposes, and ROI improvement. However, building an application from scratch or enhancing an existing one might be overwhelming. Whether you would like to convert an Android app to iOS, create a new application, or rethink an old one, contact NIX United to learn more about necessary app features and get an application project consultation.
In a nutshell, essential features of a mobile app include user registration, user-generated content, date and location management, messaging, payment options, and admin panel.
A good application consists of a few features that collectively solve a common problem that users experience. The features entail user registration and profile creation, user-generated content such as upload, reviews, comments, etc., and messaging functions or chats to streamline in-app communications. Some apps, for example, on-demand apps, should have data and location management features as well as payment integrations to provide secure transactions. Finally, every application requires an admin panel to oversee and control app operations as well as security measures to protect customer data. Additionally, you can implement features like push notifications, multi-device sync, and accessibility features to make your application stand out in the competitive market.
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