Mobile applications have become highly pervasive in recent years. Their quality is essential since application failures can lead to serious consequences, such as damage of corporate reputation or financial loss. The goal of this work is to identify and expose approaches that address the issue of quality assurance for mobile applications. In order to drive our systematic mapping study, we derived eight research questions based on the stated goal. Ultimately, we systematically identified 311 articles based on 4607 captured records. We created clustered views to answer the research questions and used existing surveys to complement our overview of current challenges. The results show an overall upward trend of publications since 2003. Hot topics include automation of GUI tests and assurance of nonfunctional qualities. Aspects of future research could be the integration of review techniques into existing approaches and focusing more strongly on defects addressing the specific characteristics of mobile applications.
Secure Mobile Applications
In most cases, mobile applications are developed to be an interface to the standard application. The mobile application sits between the standard application and the mobile client, and it handles communications between the mobile client and the standard application. There are, of course, exceptions where a mobile application is developed independently, but the security controls will remain the same.
Mobile Application Security Controls
One of the biggest mistakes that mobile application developers make is assuming that only mobile devices will interact with the mobile application. Assuming the mobile application server is network accessible, any system with access to the network will be able to attack that application server. So, for example, let’s consider the Chevy Volt OnStar mobile applications again. Users will be able to use an iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid, or most mobile Web browsers to remotely control certain functions in their Chevy Volt car from anywhere. 9 In order to provide this level of access, the mobile application server(s) will be Internet accessible. Thus, any system with an Internet connection will be able to attack that application server.
Mobile applications will need to be able to defend against traditional application attacks, including those described in Chapter 7 , “Attacking the Utility Companies.” The following resources provide detailed information regarding how to develop secure applications:
The OWASP Top 10 ( www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Top_Ten_Project ) can be used as a good starting point to understand the types of attacks that the mobile applications will face. Many organizations use the OWASP Top 10 as the only criteria for assessing their application security posture and only concern themselves with the ten items in the list. The OWASP Top 10 is intended to provide awareness on the top 10 Web application security flaws, 17 thus it is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
When developing mobile applications , it is tempting to offload encryption to the network provider. So, for example, if the developers intend to support only cell phones, they may make the justification that the cellular network will encrypt the data in transit, thus implying that SSL will be a waste of resources. However, Chapter 7 , “Attacking the Utility Companies,” discussed attacks against encryption used in GSM networks. Additionally, a large number of cell phones now include Wi-Fi radios, so there is no assurance that cell phones will even be using the cellular networks to communicate with the mobile application server. Making these types of assumptions can lead to critical vulnerabilities in applications.
The effectiveness and moderators of mobile applications for health behavior change
The number of mobile application –based health interventions has grown along with an increasing proportion of mobile phone users. However, findings related to the effectiveness of such interventions have been inconsistent, which leaves unanswered the question of whether mobile application–based health interventions are more effective than comparison conditions. Additionally, the conditions under which mobile application–based health interventions are most effective have not been investigated via moderator analyses. This metaanalysis synthesizes result from studies of mobile application–based health interventions by calculating an overall effect size and analyzing potential moderators of effectiveness. The positive effect size and statistically significant moderators provide important theoretical and practical implications for mobile application–based health interventions.
Key mobile app development technologies
What are native apps? Such apps are built for a single mobile operating system. That’s why they’re called native – they’re native to a particular platform or device. The majority of mobile apps today are built for systems like Android or iOS. To put it simply, you can’t install and use an Android app on iPhone, and vice versa.
The main benefit of native apps is their high performance and excellent user experience. After all, developers who build them use native device UI. Access to a broad range of APIs also helps to accelerate the development work and extend the boundaries of app usage. Native applications can only be downloaded from app stores and installed directly into devices. That’s why they first need to pass a strict publishing process. 32157
The most important drawback of native apps is their cost. To build, support, and maintain an app for Android and iOS you basically need two development teams. As you can imagine, this may result in a higher price tag on the project.
Since all of the personal databases will be saved on the server, users can only use the application if they have an internet connection. This is the main drawback of web apps – they always require a good internet connection. Otherwise, you risk delivering a subpar user experience.
Moreover, developers don’t have that many APIs works with, except for the most popular features like geolocation. The performance will be linked to browser work and network connection as well.
Hybrid apps are easy and fast to develop, which is a clear benefit. You also get a single codebase for all the platforms. This lowers the cost of maintenance and streamlines the updating process. Developers can also take advantage of many APIs for features such as gyroscope or geolocation.
Types of mobile applications
- Gaming apps – this is the most popular category of mobile apps. You’d be surprised to learn how many users install games on their phones. Businesses invest an increasing amount of time and resources into creating games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games because it’s such a profitable market. According to a recent study, mobile games account for 33% of all app downloads, 74% of consumer spendings, and 10% of all the time spent using apps. The most successful mobile games like Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds become known all over the world.
- Business or productivity apps – these apps hold a large chunk of the market today because people are increasingly prone to using their smartphones and tablets to perform many complex tasks on the go. For example, apps can help them to book tickets, send emails, or track their work progress. Business apps are geared at boosting productivity and minimizing expenses as they allow users to complete a wide range of tasks, from buying new cartridges for office printers to recruiting a new office manager.
- Educational apps – this category includes mobile apps that help users gain new skills and knowledge. For example, language learning apps like Duolingo have become incredibly popular because they give users the flexibility they look for in learning. Educational game apps are an excellent tool for kids. Many educational apps turn out to be popular among teachers too, who use them to organize their teaching process better or educate themselves further.
- Lifestyle apps – this broad category of apps spans shopping, fashion, virtual fitting rooms, workout, dating, and diet apps. These apps basically focus on various aspects of personal lifestyle.
- M-commerce apps – the most popular shopping apps like Amazon or eBay offer the experience of their desktop versions to mobile users. Mobile commerce applications provide customers with convenient access to products and seamless payment methods for an optimal shopping experience. Learn more about mobile commerce definition and types of mobile commerce.
- Entertainment apps – these apps allow users to stream video content, search for events, chat, or watch content online. Social media apps like Facebook or Instagram are great examples. Moreover, video streaming apps such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video have become incredibly popular with users all over the world. These apps usually boost user engagement by notifying members about updates and newly added products.
- Utility apps – these are so obvious that we barely even realize that we’re using them. In fact, utility apps usually have the shortest user session times – people use them to get things done and then move on. The most popular types of utility applications are barcode scanners, trackers, or healthcare apps.
- Travel apps – the main idea behind this category is helping users to travel easily. Travel apps transform a smartphone or tablet into a travel diary and guide that helps users to discover everything they need to know about the site they’re visiting. Most of the tourists are digitally savvy travelers who know how to use apps to their advantage. Can you imagine what traveling would look like without Google Maps, Airbnb, or Uber? You may also like: How to Make an App like Uber: Process and Cost in 2021
- An average mobile app user in the United States has over 100 apps installed on their device. (Source)
- A typical mobile user will check their smartphone 63 times a day. (Source)
- 87% of users check their phone at least one hour before sleep. Out of those, 69% will check their phone at least five minutes before sleep. (Source)
- 79% of users will abandon a digital product after only one day of use. (Source)
- Mobile apps today account for more than 57% of all digital media usage. (Source)
- By 2021, almost 7 billion people worldwide will be using mobile devices. (Source)
- By 2022, the mobile app downloads number or year will reach 258 billion. This is a great increase from 2017 when that number reached 168 billion. (Source)
- By the same year, the app store consumer spending will increase by 92% to reach a smashing $157 billion all over the world. (Source)
Types of mobile application
Mobile gaming applications
This is the most famous classification of portable applications. You would be astonished to figure out the number of clients who install games on their telephones. Organizations invest/use a huge amount of time and assets into making games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games since it is a particularly lucrative market. According to a new report from Sensor Tower, mobile game downloads reach 12 billion, which is nearly 7 times higher than the second most downloaded category on Google Play. The share of the mobile games would reach 40% in 2020 in the total mobile application downloaded. Of all application downloads, 84% of casual games were downloaded, and the rest of them were spent on core game mobile applications. The best mobile games like Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds have become known everywhere in the world.
This category incorporates portable applications that help clients acquire new abilities and information. For instance, language learning applications like Duolingo have become staggeringly mainstream since they give clients the adaptability they search for in learning. Educational game applications are an incredible apparatus for youngsters. Numerous educational applications end up being famous among educators as well, who use them to make their teaching process better or teach themselves further.
Business or productivity applications
These applications hold an enormous piece of the market today since individuals are progressively inclined to utilize their smartphones and tablets to perform numerous intricate tasks in a hurry. For instance, applications can assist them with booking tickets, sending messages, or tracking their work progress. Business applications are equipped to boost profitability and limit costs as they permit clients to finish a wide scope of assignments, from purchasing new cartridges for office printers to enlisting another office director.
The most famous shopping applications like Amazon or eBay offer the experience of their working assistant forms to mobile users. Mobile commerce applications furnish clients with advantageous admittance to items, as well as many consistent installment strategies for an ideal shopping experience.
This general classification of applications traverses shopping, style, virtual fitting rooms, exercise, dating, and diet applications. These applications essentially center around different parts of the individual way of life.
These applications permit clients to transfer video content, look for occasions, talk, or watch content on the web. Online media applications like Facebook or Instagram are incredible models. Additionally, streaming applications, for example, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video have gotten unimaginably well known with clients everywhere in the world. These applications help their mobile users with the various forms and versions of entertaining methods, along with the continuous modification to meet the demand of users.
The primary thought behind this classification is to assist clients with traveling without any problem. Travel applications’ users might change a cell phone or tablet into a movement journal status so that they would receive very helpful instructions, guidance, and preferences. The greater part of the sightseers is carefully sagacious voyagers who realize how to utilize applications for their potential benefit.
these are clear to such an extent that we scarcely even understand that we are utilizing them. Indeed, utility applications typically have the shortest user session times – individuals use them to complete things and afterward proceed onward. The most mainstream sorts of utility applications are standardized identification scanners, trackers, or medical services applications.
5 mobile app examples that brought success to well-known brands
It’s not enough to just create and launch branded business apps. Even though the opportunities seem endless, a lot of entrepreneurs have been out of their luck. The most successful ones share some common features.
Nike is a well-known sportswear brand that has extended its brand’s reach by offering its clients a more complete health and fitness experience. Firstly, in 2006, Nike created a membership program to increase the number of loyal customers. Then, Nike launched their fitness app, which is available for free to everyone. The app offers guided workout where and helps to drive the purchases of Nike’s merchandise.
And lastly, recently, Nike launched the Nike App. The platform grants members personalized access to the brand’s products in Southeast Asia and India. There are a lot of benefits that members can get from the Nike App, for example, exclusive access to the latest product releases.
Results: Nike is doing more than great right now. According to the report, the company’s revenue jumped 96% from the lockdown-impacted quarter a year ago to $12.3 billion, or up 21% from the fourth quarter of 2019. This shows that the company had a considerable rise ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, Nike’s direct and digital performance drove direct sales up 73% to $4.5 billion, which is a third of total revenue.
Ikea Place is an app where customers can take a picture of a place in their house and virtually ‘install’ Ikea furniture there to see how it gels with the room. That certainly generates interest and lets the customer make a beeline to the product when they visit the store. After selecting a piece of furniture by scanning a page of a printed catalog, users were asked to put the catalog on the floor, where it acted as an anchor for the 3D image of a piece of furniture.
McDonald’s leveraged not only a mobile app but also Instagram as one of the most popular photo and video sharing apps in the world, to interact with customers in a new way and advertise their products that were a bit neglected. Back in March of 2013, the company ran a promotion encouraging customers to take pictures of their favorite meals using the mobile application.
Results: McDonald’s also ran its sixth iAd campaign, which not only promoted the company’s products but took advantage of the device’s capabilities to offer a more interactive experience. Broadening McDonald’s Instagram presence was a real success because it brought fresh attention to older products. It also bolstered a ton of user-generated content, which tends to be more influential on customers.
Another famous brand that chose to create a mobile app for their business is Coca-Cola. By applying modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Coca-Cola analyzes data to understand consumer behavior from their buying patterns and how they respond to offers and campaigns.
Coca-Cola began its digital transformation in 2018 to understand its customers and satisfy their needs. The launching of a mobile app was part of their digital transformation campaign. Customers are now enabled to redeem loyalty points and get discounts on their drinks. Also, in some countries, customers can use loyalty app to buy bran’s soft drinks from the vending machines.
Results: Coca-Cola is another company from our list that managed to grow and make a higher profit than during the pre-pandemic period. T o be more specific , the company’s second-quarter revenue surpassed 2019 levels which is $10.13 billion vs. $9.32 billion expected.
Starbucks app launched as early as 2009 allowed users to locate nearby coffee shops, learn about sorts, types, and coffee brews, and suggest their drinks. Two years later, Starbucks increased its digital presence by bringing its loyalty program to users’ smartphones with Card Mobile App.
Now, the Starbucks app offers their customers a wide range of services and functionality. They can order ahead for pickup or scan and pay in-store. The loyalty system is also a part of this mobile app – customers earn Stars (rewards) they can exchange for free food or drinks. Moreover, it offers useful functionalities like typing your barista or finding out what songs are playing at your local store.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App Right Now
Some business owners believe that mobile app development, implementation, and marketing are luxuries that only corporations can afford. Some believe that mobile apps are the easiest way to create the next big thing. According to other versions, mobile apps are the best option for a startup to gain momentum. Well, as it is known, the truth is out there, so let’s find out why your business needs a mobile app.
Mobile app development: why should you consider it?
Today we have no doubts about the popularity of mobile phones and apps developed for mobile platforms. We can think of so many charts and so many expressions proving that mobile is everything but just remember the feeling when you’ve left your smartphone at home. Feeling quite helpless, aren’t you? Can tell you more, users have no intention to give an app neither their mobile phones nor their convenience that is tightly connected with the user needs mobile apps address.
Speaking about user needs mobile app development should address. Let’s not forget that any business, be it a startup or a big corporation, should exist to serve users. So, user needs should be at the very heart of any business idea. It is an idea as a response to the user’s need that will be one of the major success factors. Though very often business owners go too far with the ‘brilliance’ of their ideas forgetting about the needs of their clients.
Mobile is everywhere and first in a user need
It’s a well-known fact that mobile devices today outnumber people in the world. It broadens horizons for mobile app ideas for your business by considering just mere numbers. If mobile devices outnumber people in the world so how many apps at least one mobile device can store?
Desktop sales have been decreasing for years now as users have made their choice for a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Statistics of mobile web vs. mobile apps also counts for the latter: even a year ago it was 15% to 85% where the winner is a mobile app.
Understand how and when your target audience uses their mobile devices, how they interact with other brands, conduct research, and make constant observations in any environment, at work or on vacation. With such understanding and analytical support, you have all chances to develop an attractive app that will be easy to interact with and share.
Your brand will be accessible from everyone’s hand
Following the previous ‘ mobile is everywhere’ statement, users will interact with your brand from anywhere, from their pockets, in their offices, in cafes and restaurants, and their homes, of course. Depending on a mobile app idea, the rate of customer engagement can be increased so rapidly that it will exceed expectations which are vital for any business.
At work or on vacation, be it New York or Shanghai, Cape Town or London, no worries, your brand will not be forgotten. Opportunities with a developed mobile app are almost infinite. The only two things you need are a brilliant idea and perfect software execution of this idea.
Creativity is a must for a great mobile app
You are ambitious and find popular business apps boring – fair enough – you’ve developed your company to stand out from a crowd, to make a difference, and to become an example of exquisite taste and great creativity. It’s up to you to choose will your mobile app be just for fun or a B2B solution, but it will have a number of creative elements as you will decide to include it.
Micro-interactions, elements of the game, or the completed minigame – think out of the box. It’s not only smooth UI that triggers the users. They need to be attracted, engaged, and retained by an unforgettable user experience. So just give users what they need to reach their goals by using your app with carefully designed experiences. Help them to achieve these aims as conveniently as possible.
Being creative and even bizarre won’t be out of place, too, according to the current design trends; it can become a successful way to catch the eye of your user, and once again this goal is attained much easier with the help of a mobile app than a web or desktop soft.
Demographic diversity with a bias for the younger population
No matter what your business is, you should decide on a target audience. If your target demographic covers teenagers or millennials, you should seriously consider the production of mobile apps. Only serving the needs of seniors if you are a mobile tech startup might not be the best option. In all other cases, mobile apps have become deeply ingrained into everyday lives, from children to adults.
Something to chat and to chat a lot; something to share tons of photos; something to watch videos and listen to music. Apps similar to Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Kik, and others can become real daily habits of teens on their mobile devices. But they won’t find much appreciation among millennials or the elder generation.