Why would anyone want to make an app like Uber? The answer is actually quite simple: because our phones are with us all the time. We have them in our pocket, on our desk, beside us when we sleep, and connected to our car stereo when we drive. Some of us even have more than one phone. Considering that we carry these devices around wherever we go, we would expect them to help fulfill our needs when we need them to. Apps such as Uber have taken the digital application marketplace by storm for this exact reason. If you haven’t heard of Uber, it’s a smartphone-based application which allows people to find drivers near them and hire them for a ride- like a taxi service, just more convenient, affordable, and efficient. Uber is used worldwide on multiple platforms and caters to the transportation needs of millions of people every day. With the increasingly frenzied lifestyles of those residing in the urban centres of the world, people require efficient, affordable and safe solutions for their everyday needs. Uber has seen great success in its short life so far, and it’s because it targets a specific need in the population and presents itself as an effective and easy-to-use solution. On-demand apps such as Uber have seen high rates of success over the past few years because they are so accessible, given the fact that pretty much everyone in any urban development has a cell phone. If done right, making an app like Uber is an effective way to bring your product into the palm of your customer’s hand, literally. Before we get into the general details about how to make an app like Uber, let’s first review the basics about smartphone-based applications: What’s the difference between an “app” and a mobile website? For anyone who’s trying to target their audience through smartphones, it’s important to understand the difference between an app and a mobile website, and which one can be most effective for your idea. A mobile website is similar to a conventional website, with different menus and pages which are optimized for a better user experience on a mobile device. Applications, or “apps”, on the other hand are programs downloaded directly onto your phone and are accessible without the use of a browser. Apps can be used to fulfill the same goals as a website, but in a more efficient, user-friendly manner. Apps also have the ability to pull information from your phone, such as location, which may provide a more “fine-tuned” user experience. Although apps have become the easiest way to access information and interact through smartphones, mobile websites are still pretty effective. But to make an app like Uber, the foundation of your idea’s success would lie in the experience of the consumer. Like we said before, on-demand apps meet the needs of consumers in a quick, effective and safe way. Uber uses location information to find the closest driver to you, provides a price, and even allows you to pay. The apps ability to use your phone’s information allows for less work and instant results for the user, something a mobile site would lag behind in. In other words, if your idea is to target an audience with on-demand needs, then a mobile app is the way to go. What’s involved in making an app like Uber? Now that we’ve understood the benefits of an app over a mobile website, let’s talk about what you need to consider when making an app like Uber. Assuming you’ve already thought of an idea that addresses a specific need in the population, you need to determine if your product will require one or multiple apps. If your idea involves interaction between buyers and sellers for example, then multiple apps might be required for the most-efficient user experience. Uber uses two different apps, one for drivers and one for passengers. The duality of the application allows for two individuals to interact and access different types of information based on their needs. Drivers can make themselves available, receive passenger requests, and receive payments. Passengers, on the other hand, can hire drivers, pay, and even leave reviews from their app. In this way, Uber has provided an easy and quick way for both parties involved in a transaction to interact and fulfill their needs. Regardless of whether or not your idea will require multiple apps, the process of development would essentially be the same for each app. To design a fully functional on-demand app, the development process would generally consist of two branches: Design & API For the best user experience the design of your app should be user-friendly, physically appealing, and accessible on multiple platforms. All of these factors are essential in perfecting the way the user interacts with the app. Everything from the logo, buttons, sounds, and even colours add to the user experience. When providing a service or selling a product, you need to decide how users will interact with the application and what data the app may need to pull from their phone. Uber, for example, uses a simple yet appealing interface which uses a phone’s GPS to show users a map of drivers’ locations near them, and also provides a quote and driver rating. With the click of a few on-screen buttons, you can be on your way in no time. When considering a design for your app, following Uber’s approach is a great way to go- straight-forward and effective with a trendy appeal. “API” stands for application programming interface. In short, this is the part of development which will allow for the programming of the actual app. Uber’s API allows for communication between passengers and drivers, as well as for administrators to overlook the entire process. This is one of the costly portions of app development, which we will talk about next. How much does it cost to make an app like Uber? As we talked about earlier, our phones are with us for a large portion of our day and we depend on them for school, work, and interacting with those around us. With that said, we would expect our devices to provide us with solutions to our everyday needs in an efficient manner- otherwise what would be the purpose of carrying around our phones, right? Smartphone users have the luxury to download any app at any time. Therefore, it’s important to attract their attention with your app from the start, or they’ll just simply download the next best competitor’s app. In order for your app to grab the attention of your target audience and provide a unique service or product, you have to be willing to make a financial commitment to developing your app the right way. Of course, different companies will advertise different prices for various app development services, but here’s some of the basic market prices to consider when developing an app for your idea: Design and general mockups (structure): This initial cost can range anywhere from $3000-$10,000 based on the level of intricacy, user interaction, and detail towards physical appearance. Of course the size of your application will also dictate cost- sophisticated, highly interactive applications typically would cost more. API: The cost to set-up an API and develop the application itself can range from $6000-$15,000. Further development for specific platforms such as iOS and Android may cost up to $40,000. Obviously, prices will vary based on whether the app is designed for one platform or many, as well as the time spent by engineers in developing the app. If you’ve got an idea for an on-demand application like Uber, hopefully some of this information was helpful. Today’s digital marketplace boasts plenty of potential for entrepreneurs and established industry alike to increase popularity of their product or service with an efficient and on-demand application at their fingertips. So make your customer’s say, “there’s an app for that!” Written by: Yasser Malik Date: May 28th, 2016 Was this information helpful? We want to hear from you! Call us anytime at (646) 668-5677


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