From Runkeeper to Run Pee, there are millions of apps to choose from. 4.8 million, to be more exact. 2.8 million are available for Android users. And the second-largest app store is not far behind: Apple users can choose between 2.2 million apps.

If you are looking to make a quick buck by developing the next big thing to hit the app store, then we may have some bad news for you. Forrester recently released a study stating that 80% of users spend their time on only 5 apps! So you need to be up there with Facebook and Instagram if you want to play in that market.

This means that people might even install new apps, but when it comes to using them in the long run, they only stick to a few applications. And what determines if people will really use an app for a long time or not?

In this article, we give you our 5 top tips to make your app stand out from the crowd. Some of them might be a bit obvious to you, others might be a bit surprising. We hope you enjoy it.

1) Value – When we say value, we really mean it. One app has to do one thing and do it really well. There is absolutely no reason why a user would download an app if it does not either solve a problem or entertain. Your app can be a fitness timer, a game, or simply a tool that enables your customers to buy your product easily  – as long as it genuinely brings value to people’s lives, you’re good for the start.

2) Performance – We are not going to dive deep into technical details today, but the truth is: you need an app that is a great product by itself, and that performs well. A great app is fast and stable. Users don’t think twice before uninstalling an app that crashes or takes too long to load. In fact, 80 percent of users will delete an app due to poor performance. You have to make sure the technology for building your app is secure and enables a great user experience.

3) Native experience – Your app can be built separately for Android or iOs. Alternatively, you can choose to go cross-platform, what will save you time and money. The only thing that you need to make sure is that your app provides a native experience, which means, an app that can interact perfectly with the particular elements of the operating system. Xamarin is a cross-platform solution that enables access to the native User Interfaces of each platform. Because of that, any Xamarin app looks 100% native on any device.

For more information about the benefits of using Xamarin for your app development, click here.

4) Simplicity

Phone screens are not as big as a desktop (I told you we would say some obvious things, right?). Users don’t like to type on the small keyboard or have to tap multiple times to get where they want. A successful app needs to be simple and way less complex than a website. Remove things you don’t need, such as a feedback tab with lots of different questions, too many pages in the navigation menu, etc. Make it intuitive and make sure your app is properly tested multiple times. Don’t forget: keep it simple.

For one of our clients, the National Home Doctor Service, simplicity was even more crucial. The app was created to enable customers to book a home doctor. In emergency situations, it’s fundamental for users to be able to do things quick.

5) Marketing

App marketing does not start only after the release. Great apps are promoted even before they go the the app store. Especially if your app is consumer-facing, you can create teaser videos, blog posts and demos to spread the word about your app across your social channels and website. In the app store itself, ASO practices will help your app be discoverable. In addition, you can also have ads to grow your audience. Facebook’s advertising platform allows you to create ads that are optimised for app downloads, which is a great way to promote your product to the audience you want to target.

We hope you enjoyed our tips. If you want to discuss this or anything else with one of our Xamarin experts, please get in touch. Your feedback is always welcome.

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