Gaurav Chandra Gaurav Chandra   August 11, 2020

You do not need a native app in 2020

I was hired by my old client on retainership 1 month ago. They have a native android app which they got developed from a company and wanted a senior person to take care of their security. Since, I do not make native android apps, I only took the work of managing the project and doing server side coding. They had got the app developed in java for android. And the problems started.

Problem 1: App crashes

They have been getting lot of crashes in the app. Why? Native code does not work consistently on all device configurations and manufacturers. In fact this is the number 1 problem of developers which results in headaches. Xiomi or Redmi phones are notorious for crashing your apps due to their own customisation to Android OS. They add their own code which results in incompatible code for the app. If the developer does not test on these devices, the app crashes very frequently. For iOS this is not a problem because Apple devices are already in sync and use same code base across.

Problem 2: Slow development

Yes, native development is very slow. You would need to write 10 lines of code which can be done in 1 line in a hybrid app. And you need to test the app on multiple devices so that no crashes occur. If your app has a complex design, it will take more time to create it as the design needs to be tested simultaneously on many device screens. In case of hybrid apps, it is write once and run every where.

Problem 3: Slow updates

Have a bug in your app? Is it critical? Sorry, your update will only go out when the app stores deem fit. Sometimes it will take 7 days for the app to update. During this time your users will keep on leaving and giving 1 star review. In case of hybrid apps, we can bypass app stores and deploy updates instantly.

Problem 4: Very costly development

Due to above 3 problems, the whole development time will stretch and it will increase your cost substantially. You will be stuck with a native app which has band aid fixes and takes a lot of effort to maintain.

So, how does hybrid app mitigate all these? Simple: Hybrid apps do not need to hook into the device features too deeply. Push, camera, bluetooth etc. are accessed using plugins which are available for both android and ios. The design is rendered in a web view (google chrome for android and safari for ios) on the device and you will not know that these hybrid apps are not native. 80% code is shared across android and ios thus resulting in faster development. We have a technology from Microsoft which enables hybrid apps to update instantly without re-submitting the app to the app stores. Thus, critical fixes are instantly available to all your users. No more 1 star review due to bugs. Crashes also do not happen as there is minimal native functionality used.

95% of the apps on app stores do not need to access device functionality at the core level. They do not need to control the screensaver or change settings of the phone. Your app might be used to consume content or might be a dating app like tinder and data might be stored on the server.

Yes, there are 5% use cases where you would definitely need a native android or ios app like Airtel. Airtel engineers can configure your modem/router right from their android app or change configuration by connecting via bluetooth. They need a native app as their requirement is very different.

You do not need native apps in 2020. Invest in hybrid app and you will see the difference.

Gaurav Chandra Gaurav Chandra   June 9, 2020

Difference between other mobile app developers and me

Once of my close friends asked me to help his client who wants a mobile app developed. Since, I do not do native mobile app development (I am going to start soon) I decided to contact other mobile app developers or mobile app development companies.

I contacted many via their website contact form. Except one none responded. I contacted them on phone and one thing which every one wanted was a requirement document in detail which involved each and every functionality so that they can assess the cost even before meeting or knowing what the prospect wants. I was taken aback a little because when I approach a prospective client, I listen to them and the problem first, instead of asking for requirement document at the very first meeting.

Many of the clients do not know what they want. As a service provider or mobile app developer, it is my duty to first understand what they are trying to achieve and then I will create the requirement document for them so that they know what they want. This approach makes them trust me more as they get a feeling that I am not there only for money but I want to make sure that they succeed in achieving what they want via a mobile app.

This is the difference between me and other mobile app developers or companies. I think only about your interest. Money will automatically follow as a consequence. If you are happy, you will happily pay for my services.

I think it is time for us as developers or software development companies to treat clients or even prospective clients as people rather than an ATM.

Gaurav Chandra Gaurav Chandra   August 26, 2019

Beware of Fake Reviews of Mobile App Freelancers or Mobile App Development Companies on Google

Recently I was contacted by an SEO company for doing SEO of my website. I asked them what they had to offer and they proceeded with their sales pitch. One point they stood out from their sales pitch was that they can get me fake google reviews which pushes the ranking up on google page. I was taken aback and decided to search for my own website ranking on google.

I found out many websites which copied my content or copied the style and heading of my content. To add to this they had lot of google reviews which pushed their website further up in google ranking. I proceeded to have a look at the reviews and within one glance I found out that they were fake reviews.

How to find out fake reviews?

  1. Look at the text of the review. Many times the reviews will have bad english. The reason is that the reviews are written by people who are not fluent in english. These are mostly the employees of the SEO company as for SEO you do not need fluent english
  2. Look for the length of the sentence. If the sentence is short or one worded, then it is most definitely fake. If you were my client, I would ask for at least a paragraph.
  3. Check with the website testimonial page. If there is a review, it would be on the testimonial page of the website, if they have it. It would not make a sense to not put the review on the website as google can, at any time, remove the review from the listing on search engine.
  4. Check the name of the person or email associated with the review. If the email is like "coolguy@gmail.com" or name is like "Vicky" or "Honey", then it most definitely mean that the user is not genuine. If the website owners claim that they made the software for a company, then in no way the company representative will use these type of emails.

Be very careful out there. With proliferation of internet, any person with no experience or know how can become or claim to be a mobile app developer. In fact, my own SEO personnel decided to create a competing website while he was being paid to do SEO on my website.

So, you need to be careful to whom you should give your contract or rather your hard earned money to.

Gaurav Chandra Gaurav Chandra   April 26, 2019

Please take note: Do not hire part time freelancers. Period.

Short Version: Do not hire part time freelancers or mobile app developers or web app developers. You will have lot of headaches in coordinating and the time to go live WILL overshoot your timeline.

LONG VERSION:

I am working on a project for a small company based out of Bangalore. They wanted a mobile app and a web based admin panel to manage the workflow. They are targeting end consumers. I was hired to do both but because of their aggressive timeline, they decided to give the web work to somebody else (part time freelancer and cheaper than me). Their go to market date was 1st May. Till now, the mobile app is complete 95% and web panel only 10%. Why? I was supposed to do the mobile app for ios and android along with server side php coding for application porgramming interface (API), language by which the mobile will communicate with the server database. But the other guy insisted on doing the API as he was too fixated on doing the things his way. My dependency is now on him. I completed my mobile app by 22nd March but till now I cannot release it to public because he is slacking on his part. He is supposed to give me the pending API so that I can finish my work.

I have been nagging him every single day to complete the work and he always comes up with an excuse. In short he is working full time for a big IT firm, and he freelances in the night where he can give max 3 hours per day. Due to working in night, the client cannot coordinate effectively with him or meet him. And he has multiple freelancing projects. He has a small family due to which he cannot take out time on Sundays.

Yes, he is cheap. He quoted half of the price which I did but now the client is angry that the project is delayed with no end in sight. They share their concern with me and I always say, "It is your fault.". They went with the cheapest option and they are paying a price for it. If I would have been doing the whole project, I would have completed all work by now.

I always keep my clients first. That is why I charge a premium. I am more expensive than other freelancers and sometimes a small company. I am a Mercedes of Mobile and Web App Development.

Gaurav Chandra Gaurav Chandra   January 1, 2019

Took a sabbatical for 4 months and developed a software to auto trade shares

I took a break from Web and Mobile Development to learn a new skill: Share Trading. Yes, I got fascinated with share trading and how it can be used to build wealth so, I took a decision for sabbatical for 4 months.

During these 4 months I studied various techniques for share trading and created a small software which would trade shares on intra day basis i.e., buy and sell the same day. It was a very good learning experience as I found out that trading shares intra day is very technical. It involves lot of reading and application.

Since, it the development is complete, I am back to Web and Mobile Development. If you want to get a web or mobile application developed, contact me.

Gaurav Chandra
Gaurav Chandra

Gaurav Chandra

I am available for work

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