illigo : Singapore Mobile App and Web Development Company - Items filtered by date: December 2015

App Annie is one of the tech industry’s most important sources for tracking app trends and performance across the globe. For the first time, the firm is leveraging its extensive data to make predictions for the global app landscape in 2016.

Danielle Levitas, App Annie’s senior vice president for research, shared key insights from the company’s just-released report at Infinity Ventures Summit in Kyoto today and sat down with Tech in Asia to elaborate on her predictions for Asia.

Here are five things to keep an eye on in the coming months, from App Annie’s Top Predictions of 2016 report:

1. Asia’s ‘platform messengers’ will continue to lead in terms of average sessions and time spent in-app – but watch out for Facebook

Asia’s ubiquitous messaging giants offer more than cute stickers – they’ve evolved into all-encompassing wonderland of services in a bid to keep users in-app. Line and WeChat now offer ecommerce marketplaces, taxi hailing, games, and much more.

“[They] started as messengers and turned into platforms,” Levitas tells Tech in Asia. “There’s a dramatic difference between Asian and Western messaging apps, but Facebook wants Messenger to become a platform as well.”

App Annie predicts that average sessions per user will increase “incrementally” in western markets, but continue to trail competitors in Asia.

“Asian messengers have more than two-times as many sessions, and that means more opportunities to ultimately monetize,” she continues.

See: The amazing ways WeChat is used in China

2. Move over in-app purchases, subscriptions are the new hotness

Speaking of monetization, App Annie expects to see more loot coming from subscriptions, following the strong performances of music streaming apps, HBO Now’s on-demand video service, and dating kingpin Tinder’s premium “Plus” tier.

“In-app purchases have traditionally been a fantastic revenue driver […] but what we’re starting to see, and expect to see more in 2016, is subscription revenue through the app in the form of premium services and content,” Levitas says. “Dating apps, especially, have seen significant increases in subscriptions over the past year.”

More broadly, in-app advertisements are also set for a boost. Safari ad-blocking in iOS 9 is expected to push mobile ad publishers (at least those targeting iOS) deeper into the app ecosystem, which could translate to dollar signs for app publishers that rely on ads.

3. VR and AR will be big in Asia, especially Japan – but it’s still in the ‘hype’ phase

Asia’s rich gaming culture will likely translate to early adoption of virtual and augmented reality.

“Core gamers, especially Asian gamers, have proven to have a propensity for buying things before the general population does – broadband subscriptions, high-definition TVs and monitors, advanced peripherals,” Levitas says.

Samsung’s tie-up with Oculus is noteworthy, but she predicts the Japanese to dive into virtual worlds first.

“Japan has always been a country that adopts new technologies faster than other parts of the world,” Levitas says. “The Asian market, and specifically the Japanese market, wants virtual reality.”


She notes that mass adoption is still a few years off, but “hype” for VR and AR will continue to increase in 2016.

4. Consolidation coming to the crowded O2O space

App Annie’s new report says that the last two years represented the “innovation phase” of the online-to-offline (O2O) ecommerce industry. Growth breeds competition, and in the ecommerce world, competition often drives down prices. That’s great for consumers but it creates a spike in user-acquisition costs for ecommerce companies.

“The game space is constantly evolving, with new upstarts getting bought by big publishers – just look at Activision and King.”

For Japan’s notoriously RPG-heavy domestic gaming market, she says that acquisitions could help domestic publishers enter genres that are popular in foreign countries.

“If you think of arcade-style games, casino games, they do really well in North America and you don’t see them here,” Levitas adds. “In order to grow revenues outside of the home market, acquisition makes sense if you buy into genres that aren’t germane to the local market.”

5. All eyes on India

OK, we get it – India is hot, hot, hot right now. App Annie’s excitement adds substantial fuel to the fire.

“Globally, the market that we’re really focusing on is India. There’s been a lot of stagnation in mobile phone adoption in more mature markets, but India has had phenomenal growth,” Levitas says. “Given the sheer size of India, and with [smartphone] penetration still so low, it’s going to be an exciting market to watch.”

She points to fintech, news, and education as potentially hot verticals.

“Connecting individuals from a business and finance perspective, helping the average consumer get access to news and educational resources – the need-based market will evolve alongside the want-based app economy.”

Since mobile apps are usually free to download, we often think that these apps are free. But this is not the case.

To create great apps, an efficient mobile app development process requires a number of efforts, a strong foundation, excellent planning, an extraordinary ecosystem, and a perfect team with skilled human resource.

The cost of apps varies due to a number of factors and the market conditions at a particular point in time. It also largely depends on the type of the app which needs to be developed.

According to a survey in which almost 96 app developers were interviewed, the average cost of developing a mobile app is US$6,450. There are various components which derive the cost of an app and it may differ from market to market and product to  product.

Let’s take a quick look at the factors which can truly determine the cost of developing a mobile app:

1. Research

The first and foremost phase of developing an app is research. The success of your app largely depends on the amount of research done before the execution of the plan. Hence, it is the first area in which we need to invest in, and that too very cautiously.

Good research does not mean more cost for sure – it depends on the type of research and the data collection methods. The primary purpose of research is to understand the market needs and demand.

The primary source of data collection is much more expensive compared to secondary sources, but is definitely much more reliable. You can also interact face to face with the users, which gives a better estimation of their requirement.

This helps in enhancing the quality of the end product. But for this type of data, we first need to identify our consumer segment, where secondary data comes in handy at a very reasonable cost.

Now, the ball lies in the smartphone app developers’ court to make the decisions of investment. Startups usually do not have sufficient time and resources to pay more heed to this very important segment, while already established companies can afford to make a huge investment in research.

2. Human resource

One of the most crucial factors which determines the cost of your app is the people working on it.

It is very important to understand this fact that skilled labor makes a big difference, although they can charge a bit more than the inexperienced, but then they come with a quality and guarantee.

The next element in this phase is to decide whether to go by the in-house developers, or get it done offshore. The cost varies widely between both these components. While in-house developers are a reasonable cost, offshore developers are expensive to hire.

Had I been in your place, I would have opted for a blend, a mixed team of all these different resources. A team of experienced developers for their skills and attention to detail, and a few fresh developers to put in those extra efforts and their innovative ideas.

This can help you to maintain the budget of the mobile app, while working with people who can get you to the timely completion and success of the app.

3. Regular updates/ maintenance

Whenever you see that a new version of an already installed app is available, you tend to update the app as soon as you can. Sometimes the updates is so minor that you wonder what has been updated.

But what is minor for someone may be important to others.  A team of developers are always working to provide the users with the best possible technology that they have.

It is one of those significant levers that enable an app to retain its position in the market. The average maintenance cost of even the smallest of projects is not insubstantial – it’s almost US$3000 per month. This is one of the lowest estimates. The size of the project and the cost of maintenance goes hand in hand, and could cost up to US$25,000 per month.

Again, it depends on the companies, and how often they update their apps. The cost will largely depend on this decision.

Almost 30 percent of the existing mobile apps are being updated at least once or more in a month, while another section of 52.8 percent apps are updated in a gap of six months.

4. Testing

Testing is a symbolic element to determine the cost. It is ultimately important to conduct an extensive testing before the launch of the app.

The first testing may not be the last testing. So there is a possibility of repetitive testing in case of non-achievement of the desired success rate. To add to that fact, you may need to make some changes based on external feedback.

This will add an extra burden to your budget, but it is hard to avoid this cost as it directly impacts the success rate of the app.

5. Mobile platform and devices

Defining the mobile platforms for which you are developing the app is sensitive in determining the cost of the app at large.  Four major platforms which are available in the market are iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. Each platform is different and will have different sets of integration.

Different platforms mean different costs. If you choose to develop an Android app, it will give you a pain in your neck as it has more than 18,000 different devices and screens and will pose a difficulty to ensure that the app is working fine on all the devices.

This segment needs multiple efforts to make the app available on all the devices, whereas iOS needs to support only a handful of devices, so Android apps are said to be the most expensive apps to develop.

6. Time

Time is another factor which can conclude the cost. The more extensive an app would be, the more time it will take. More time would definitely mean more cost as it requires an additional consumption of resources.

7. Native apps or hybrid apps

Native apps are those apps which are designed for a particular platform and can be installed through app store while hybrid apps are not designed for a particular platform.

It is said that native mobile apps are relatively faster but costlier to create than the hybrid apps, and thus both types of apps can hugely affect the total cost of developing an app.


There are no such definite factors which can lead you to calculate the cost of development of applications. Here, I have tried to quote all the possible factors which significantly impact the cost of development.

There could be different factors or different market conditions which have an impact on the cost and cannot be determined as such. The actual cost all depends on the time and the people associated with it.

Singapore-based social food review app Burpple expects to raise up to US$6 million in series A funding from Tembusu Partners, SPH Media Fund, and Triumph Capital, it announced today.

Tembusu is a private equity firm that invests in fast-growing companies, while SPH Media Fund is the venture capital arm of Singapore Press Holdings. Triumph Capital facilitates transnational investments between Australia and China as well as other Asian markets.

Launched in 2012, Burpple is a mobile app and website that helps users decide where to dine. But rather than simply building up its volume of food venue listings, the startup focuses on guided curation. In other words, it has “tastemakers” – both in-house and handpicked among its users – who create a guide to the best places to eat and drink in cities it covers. Right now, Burpple operates in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

“We are well positioned to match consumers to restaurants as our users are the very ones recommending the joints to other users. This is different from restaurants telling you themselves that they have the best food and that you should give them a try,” co-founder Dixon Chan says. Chan launched the service along with Daniel Hum and Elisha Ong. Ong has left the company, however.

Chan says they will use the money to enhance Burpple’s features, particularly the one that was designed to help restaurant owners track their performance on Burpple, manage their pages, and connect with users. They also plan to introduce complimentary dining services and hire engineers and product development staff in preparation for a regional rollout.

Burpple claims it has four million users for both the app and site, double last year’s number. It declined to say how many of them are active.