According to a 2019 survey, over six billion people worldwide use their phones daily, with Americans spending an average of five hours of screen time. Moreover, Statista’s study in 2020 shows that chat and social media applications are the most used mobile platforms.
Mobile applications, or apps, are software created to work on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Some come pre-installed on the gadget, while others can be downloaded free or on a subscription from third-party providers, application stores, or the business itself.
Besides keeping tabs on their social life, car owners must have likely downloaded one or two Android automotive apps to make their lives easier.
Whether you’re in the business of making one or are simply interested in car apps, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find some helpful tips for developing an automotive app.
1. Establish your objectives
According to research, automotive apps can be classified into eight categories. But most are under these categories: news and information, locating, car rental, and safe driving services. Buying and selling, driver’s communication, maintenance management, and expense monitoring complete the list.
Before initiating work, in-house or third-party developers and business owners must clearly understand the intent behind software creation. This includes knowing the app’s purpose and its target users. The project could fail without the main stakeholders understanding these two crucial aspects, like a car without a driver. Additionally, it’s vital to set measurable indicators about the software’s impact for continuous improvements.
2. Address your target audience’s needs
As with launching a physical product, an automotive application must address one or a few of its intended users’ pain points. You should conduct a survey and check out the frequently-used and most downloaded automotive apps to validate the demand for your end product.
For instance, one of the most ubiquitous automotive apps on a road user’s phone is a comprehensive platform that assists drivers in navigation and connectivity. As a new player on the market, you can develop software with better features while enhancing security. Some used car buyers have complained about phone and car connectivity risks.
3. Choose the right platform
After deciding on the purpose of developing vehicle-related software, choosing the best platform to release the product is another crucial consideration. Apps are mobile-dependent and won’t run unless they’re compatible with a device’s operating system.
Mobile phones are mainly driven by Android and iOS. As of the third quarter of 2021, 27.6 billion apps were downloaded on the former, according to Statista. However, the latter posted higher revenues, amounting to USD$21.9 billion.
Before the project, software creators must know which system the app must cater to. Besides needing different programming languages, businesses must consider the terms set by system providers.
For instance, one of the leading companies rarely offers free app downloads, so you may have to pay to make your app available on the platform. On the upside, users will have to pay you for every download. Hence, if your business wants an income boost, this may be the better platform. This holds whether the automotive software product focuses on vehicle parts and repair, safe driving and driving tutorials, and buying or selling.
4. Prioritize user experience
User experience is crucial in software development, as it could greatly influence how your target market reacts to your application. Providing a positive experience is necessary to keep your target audience engaged, making them return for more.
A curated list of user experience statistics has shown that 74% of users are likely to keep coming back to a site after a positive experience. Conversely, 79% of visitors who don’t find value in your content will explore other sites. In addition, almost half of those surveyed identified unresponsive pages as giving them a bad experience.
There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for this, and the key to providing app users with a positive experience is anchored on several elements. These factors include ease of use, responsiveness, information structure, added value, and visual attractiveness, to name a few. Moreover, enhancing user experience entails knowing your audience and keeping track of their preferences and behavior—whether developing a website or an app.
5. Work with a reliable partner
Software development takes time and continuous effort. That’s why even companies with an in-house team would rather consider outsourcing this project. Besides helping clients develop a product according to their needs, these firms are also aware of the emerging software development trends that help increase efficiency and usage without compromising speed and basic functionalities.
Besides racking up experience and expertise in the field, a software provider must emphasize communicating with clients. The project team must be able to walk through the processes with its clients, identify potential challenges, and suggest means to overcome these temporary snags.
More importantly, the team and client must ensure to test the app to identify areas for improvement. This essential stage of software development typically happens in two phases. The software’s alpha version is the initial prototype and is tested by the developer internally to ensure the system works well. A software’s beta version is sent out for use by potential audience members for further tweaking before commercial release.
Numerous automotive apps make it easier to monitor petrol use, lease or buy a car, explore strange territories with maps, and perform car repairs. Thus, it can be daunting for new players to gain a foothold in the industry.
If launching an automotive app, focus on adding value to your target audience and follow the tips discussed in this article. Doing so allows you to stand out from the competition and establish a steady and solid base of app users.