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How anyone can make millions from launching an app!




Have you ever used an app before and thought to yourself, “I could have come up with this idea, I can’t believe this has made them millions of dollars?" The truth is you could of, but you didn’t, but more importantly, you can. The secret is in understanding the trends of the market, the way people consume products and most importantly, start free! Yes, I said start free. I know your questioning the logic behind such a statement, how does not charging consumers make you millions? But here’s how.

Offering your app for free may seem illogical especially when you have spent money developing your product. You want to see a return and you want to see it now. Think about all the apps you use the most. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, all your favourite games, the list goes on. You downloaded them because they were free, it cost you nothing to try it and see if you liked it, there was no risk involved and you could just as easily get rid of if you didn’t like it. Now stop and look at the developers and creators of these apps. They are all multi-millionaires from selling free apps and here is the reason why.

Making an app free allows anyone to try it, it allows word of mouth to travel more efficiently, and it places instantaneous value for money. You are receiving something for nothing. Here is where you make the money. Once people love your product, offer a better version of it for money. If they love it they aren’t going to say no to a better version of something them love for a small sum of money. The important part is you are providing them with an option to upgrade, it’s not mandatory and that itself is a selling point. Additionally, advertisement, partnership, sponsorship and subscriptions  are all ways to earn substantial sums of money off of a free product. Here at LittleMonkey we are running our own app workshops aimed to help people turn their app ideas into reality. What are you waiting for! Walk in 2019 as a millionaire. 


What the Future holds for virtual reality (VR)


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Virtual reality has been the future of gaming and other entertainment for sometime now, however has not satisfied the huge hype and expectations of fans to this point in time. The huge appeal of Virtual and other augmented realties has investors substantially interested. In fact the market is predicted to grow from just over $9 billion in 2017 to whooping $215 billion by 2021. If this foresight is correct, the VR market will be the fastest growing market on the planet.


The market for VR technology isn't just restricted to the gaming community.


Current and future advances in VR gaming will provide an even more immersive and intense experience, elevating the potential of gaming for ever.


Despite the lack of enthusiasm from other non gaming related communities, VR has a place in many lifestyles and industries. One of the biggest markets VR will influence in the near future is the movie industry. 3D films have been around now for some time, some producers do it well and others are dramatically underwhelming. However, imagine being able to view the action from different angles, explore each scene at your own pace, experiencing everything on a new level. 


Another likely to be highly popular use of VR technology is travel. Everyone desires to travel in their lifetime, but obstacles such as time and money create restrictions for most. Imagine being able to not spend a fraction of the cost and still travel to those destinations from the comfort of your living room. Well with the correct development this is highly possible. We have all used Google Maps street view to get just slightly closer look at a location or to travel back to your old home, town or even your current home. Invision being able to remove the restrictions of the camera tool and immerse yourself into those curious destinations through your own eyes. The application of this idea doesn't stop at travel but can be implemented into other business. Real estate agents could show clients homes if travelling to the location is to far. Be in a board room in another nation or even virtually preview a product online before purchasing it.


Other interesting markets VR could positively improve involve medical and space science through training simulators and exploration. Medical training is a constantly involving process always working towards safer and more realistic simulators. However, VR simulation could be the next big thing within this industry allowing practicing medical staff and students to carry out complicated surgeries on other specimens besides plastic models and donated medical science subjects. This would widen the availability of training opportunities for medical staff around the world. Better trained medical staff is beneficial for all of us.


More than just a visual experience?


While VR has certainly advanced in terms of providing a more realistic and immersive visual reality as well as placing a stronger focus towards motion in recent years, there is still huge potential for VR's capabilities.


Sensory emergence is the next stage in the advancement of virtual reality. This revolves around the manipulation of smell, touch and taste. Paired with other VR endeavours, for example travel, a user could feel aspects such as a change in the temperature in a different countries climate. Imagine sitting in your house and instantaneous traveling to a beach in Greece, being able to feel the adjustment in temperature, the smell of the sea and the feeling of sand on your feet as you listen to the crashing of waves. All of this Is made possible through the infinite potential of VR.


Only time will tell what VR can do for society. 



The next big in the world of technology!



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In todays society technology is forever growing and changing in new and exciting ways. Over the course of the last 10 years the way in which we depend and interact with technology has influenced all aspects of human life from business to our social life's and hobbies. However, the next big thing is around corner and is something to be excited about!

This phenomena concerns the internet of all things, in particular, a sub sector titled "Edge Computing". Edge computing is something that has been under developed and used by a magnitude of businesses in predominantly China. Essentially, edge computing is the practice of placing some form of computer near gateways and routers in between the cloud and the user of the device that is receiving or access the data. This "computer" could range from a literal computer to a car or any other device connected to the internet. The purpose of this is to reduce bandwidth, communication lag times and help ensure that data remains private. This is achieved by completing more computations locally, establishing direct links and remote cloud storages. Research indicates that the industry will grow a substantial 30% from 2018 to 2022, 97% of business in Asia believe edge computing will be important to their work and the industry is valued to worth $3.24 billion by 2025. Despite most of this growth and investment conducting in Asia, so other companies across the globe are trying it. Among them is a telecommunications provider in New Zealand. 

Besides the already previously explained reasons for edge computing the main drive to help develop and implement edge computing is the cloud itself. The cloud has helped dig the path for I.T infrastructure creating vast opportunities ranging from the cloud storage to data analysis and management. As of 2020, over 20 billion unique devices will be connected to the internet, a increase of 42% from the previous year. The vast amounts of data that are being produced are now placing an enormous amount of pressure on the cloud infrastructure. New edge computing's goal is to help elevate the majority of that pressure and provide and eve faster and more capability system. Edge computing will help growing technologies such as self driving cars as they need much more that inconsistent cellular data to accurately communicate data to function safely. 

You maybe wondering what does this mean for the average internet user? This answer is simple. With edge computing, you will experience a faster and stronger connection in more locations, for rural users this is great news. Additionally, your data will be protected more effectively and the data used will also be reduced. 

Let us know how you feel about Edge Computing!


What is Flutter?



Flutter is a framework developed by google to make an app for both Android and iOS.
The app code is written in Dart, which is a C like language similar to Java.
One way in which Flutter is fundamentally different from other app frameworks is that the UI layout is entirely programmatic, that is defined in the same Dart code as the rest of the apps logic. This means that unlike Android or iOS there is not a separate file which defines the layout. Though this concept can be jarring at first for new Flutter developers it has some advantages. One of the main ones being that all the code for a given UI element is in a single place.
If you follow the practices of clean code then it potentially makes maintenance easier.

What are the risks of using Flutter?

Since Flutter is still technically in beta there may be some changes to the framework before official release. However word is that release my be very soon. This likely means they are not going to introduce breaking changes before the official 1.0 release.
There is no native 3D support so, for example, it may not be the best tool for games or Augmented Reality apps.
There are a number of companies big and small who have already release apps using Flutter. Another thing to consider is because Flutter is a fairly 'young' framework it may be difficult to source experience developers for on going work.
One other thing is because of the way Flutter works you can't easily use native visual components, such as google maps. Through for the maps example there is now a Flutter version available.

Why choose Flutter?

Though there are a number of cross-platform solutions for creating apps, Flutter is superior in at least two ways. It is easy to learn for even beginner developers and it is very easy to make a polished UI without the need for a designer.
Flutter is in some ways easier than both native platform sdks (Android and iOS), and you can build the same code for both platforms.
Though it's a fairly new framework (first demoed in 2015), it has a growing and passionate community. There are free to use and open source plugins which give a leg up for almost any feature desired.
And if they are not available it has a robust mechanism for communicating with both native platforms in a consistent way.
In general Flutter is an easy to use solution which provides a polished UI out of the box.
It may be the best and fastest way to make your application a reality.

You can find out more about Flutter here; https://flutter.io/




Why you should keep it simple when developing apps




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In the present-day marketplace, consumers are overwhelmed by products, decision making, and related choices. As the market for apps continues to evolve, the competition between developers increases respectively. This has evidently lead to individuals adopting the attitude that more is better and attempt to please the demands of all consumers via a singular product. The only product of this, however, is over complication and confusion and contradicts the purpose of apps in the first place. The intention of creating apps was to add convenience and simplicity to existing tools, such as emails, contact management, the weather, the list goes on. Applying the theory that more is better and trying to compete by offering an abundance of features excludes the possibility of the app being user-friendly, arguably the biggest attraction and selling point of apps.

If offering more than competitors isn’t a viable option, then what is the alternative solution? The answer is simple, literally. Simplicity should be the focal point for all those developing apps. Why should you keep it simple? In such a saturated and competitive market, the way to stand out and succeed over competitors is to appeal to a wider audience. This is not to be confused with attempting to match the demands of all consumers, alternatively, it’s to make what your offering interesting to all. Simplicity is appealing to every user of any app. Ease of navigation, simple processes, punctual data and delivery on what was advertised will always appeal more to any user. If we look at a weather app for example. The mass majority of users are wanting to have instant access to the basic variables and components of the weather, e.g. temperature, conditions, and date. This is why they most likely downloaded the app and therefore this is what should be delivered, simple yet expected. Simplicity comes into play in all aspects of developing an app. The purpose of the app should be simple, its functions, the branding and of course its marketing. It allows for effective and efficient change if needed, it allows for consistency and most importantly it allows for reusability and a high playback value.  

The key to understanding why simplicity is critical in app development is to place yourself in the shoes of the consumer/ target market. Excluding advertisement channels, the consumer will most likely find your app through the recognition of their need. Using the previous example, a consumer wishes to make plans and is depending on certain weather conditions. They then proceed to an app store. How do they select which app to download? Ratings, reviews, download statistics, these all, of course, bare a certain significant influence on the consumer's decision. However, they are most likely to make their decision based on the visual interface, how the app looks and performs. If the app is simple, well developed and satisfies their needs then it's highly likely it’s your app that they will download.

Keeping it app development simple benefits not only the consumer but the developer. If you start with an overcomplicated product it becomes harder to make changes in the long term. It's placing yourself in a niche market for the most part and demanding more time and resources in maintaining the overload of features. Start simple and grow with the demands of your consumer.




Gamify your workspace




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The majority of studies have shown the positive effects of Gamification. This includes increasing engagement, productivity, and learning. Gamification in the workplace can be used to improve your business processes. Though how this can apply will vary between workplaces I'll attempt to frame the applications in a useful way.

Some examples of application

Gamification generally assigns an added value to completing tasks or other actions.
For example you could have a high-score table in your workplace and have it so completing a TODO task gives the person one hundred points. Then at the end of each week give the person at the top of the high-score table a reward.
Gamification has also been shown to significantly improve training efficiency. This can be done by making mini-games which introduce and reinforce the concepts of the required training. This could be something as simple as a series of quizzes. This type of interaction makes it more present and memorable for the learner. Though the overhead of setting up and sourcing these types of games needs to be considered, the payoff can usually be seen immediately.

Key features of Gamification

Gamification revolves around using the concepts of games to improve interactions in non-game fields. It usually involves some kind of intangible measurement such as points or achievements. These measurements are tracked over time so improvement can be measured and rewarded.

LittleMonkey, Wellington, NZ

LittleMonkey is an IT development and design company, based in Wellington, New Zealand. We work with a range of clients throughout New Zealand and the world.

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