Virtual is the new real! And real-time app features add on to the convenience and speed of the services. Want to have a quick check on that? You send a Whatsapp message, you see one tick (✓), meaning message delivered. And you instantly start waiting for the blue double tick (✓✓), meaning the message is read. Imagine how it would be if you did not get notified of the actions you have taken! Helpless, unromantic, and silence prevails if there were no typing indicators.
Life would have been much different if there was no proliferation of technology to comfort it. You would not be getting any notifications for your scheduled appointments booked through on-demand apps, for your food-delivery status nor your important calendar meeting updates. Well, today, we can say it would be impossible to imagine life without real-time features.
Millennials love to stay updated about everything that is happening, worth their interest. They love the "Live" Instagram feature and enjoy the entertainment in various forms. Technology has mitigated the waiting time for response and elevated the over-all browsing experience. Real-time features like real-time feed, messaging, order tracking, and more have become a vital necessity of on-demand app development. You may ask, what are real-time features?
Simply put, real-time technology allows users to stay connected and sends information across the device. It facilitates fast-tracking of every order placed and ensures that the user has super fast services. Real-time features give an actual-time scenario without letting the user wait for a response.
If you are a startup owner and wish to develop mobile apps, then it is inevitable for you to have real-time mobile app solutions. We know you would question, Why is it inevitable to have real-time features? How will your business benefit by including real-time solutions in the app? Find out the answer in the next section.
First, let's look at the history of the emergence of this real-time technology,
Stock market traders found it really difficult & time-consuming to close the trades and update charts. To conquer this challenge, the real-time feed was developed instantly to update the trade & stock information as it was updated.
Looking at this advantage, industry from various verticals started making the most out of real-time technology. Airbnb, Facebook, Instagram, and Uber covered themselves in this real-time feature umbrella. And there began the era of real-time messaging and chatting.
If you check out the most go-to applications on your phone or even the emerging startup applications, you will find out that all of them have integrated real-time features in their applications. Find out the reasons why?
The primary objective of any application is to have the highest degree of user engagement. Real-time features reflect the actions taken in the real world and allow the user to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Users enjoy freedom because they can order/track their food while having a chat with friends.
Connecting multiple users at a time:
Real-time features allow users to connect with other app users seamlessly and effortlessly. This enables them to share their live-locations, share videos, or online messages at their own time and comfort.
Stay ahead of the competition:
Real-time features allow users to stay updated and live with constant news and interactions. Additionally, the developers can focus more on the app's core competencies and introduce new features, build innovative and engaging interfaces, and more.
Needs less maintenance:
By using cloud delivery networks, developers do not have to worry about and invest in additional maintenance.
Along with this few other benefits of including real-time solutions in the mobile app,
Real-time features are exceptionally beneficial to travel apps. It is required to keep the users updated with the bookings and the travel dates;
There is a tremendous rise in the number of IoT devices, and it seems like real-time features will give complete control over the apps;
Also, people making online purchases are also rising, which means they would constantly need updates about their purchased products or orders. The real-time feature enables users to keep track of their orders;
It enables users to chat and find a quick solution to all the queries they have with regard to their problem.
Let us now discuss how real-time features will impact various industry-specific apps:
Real-time messaging apps:
Today, you might feel like this isn't something new, but real-time messaging apps looked like magic earlier. However, real-time messaging apps seem to have replaced the traditional SMS. A survey conducted by Statista confirms that a tremendous rise was observed in the number of real-time app users, and it is expected that the numbers will double by the end of 2020.
The penetration of real-time messaging apps has been into various industry-related apps, namely healthcare, taxi booking apps, on-demand delivery apps, eCommerce apps, and more. Read further to know more about the implementation of the technology.
Real-time messaging in healthcare:
The Healthcare industry observed immense change in the way it operates and performs things. The change was much needed because the errors in communication often led to severe medical issues. The Joint Commission, a legal authority carrying out medical accreditations and certifications, estimated that 80% of serious medical errors happen due to errors in communication.
Also, the American International Group blames negative culture, lack of teamwork, and poor communication for hindering patient safety in hospitals.
Hence, a mobile application with real-time features fills this gap and brings caregivers and patients on the same platform. A healthcare app with the real-time messaging feature can solve the following purpose;
Allows patients and doctors to have direct communication with each other;
The patient can share their medical reports or medical history as an attachment in the chat;
Patients located remotely can consult the doctor with a video call;
A real-time messaging feature allows the patient to find a nurse in case of an emergency.
Real-time messaging feature in on-demand apps:
If you check around, almost every on-demand app you are using on your phone today; you will find real-time features in various forms. You can chat with your driver or instruct them at the right location.
If you have ordered your food online, you can instruct them with the customization for your order. Also, you can track the food delivery or send any important information to the driver. In the same way, when you place the order on any on-demand eCommerce application, you can pass on information through real-time messaging features.
Messaging also sets up a seamless communication between the seller and the buyer and solves all the concerns related to the purchase. Hence, we can say, real-time messaging features, help us in multiple ways on various applications.
Push notifications are mainly used to generate a sense of urgency amongst the users. They have become an important part of mobile and web applications, especially when you want to drive users to the app on a single click.
Stats by Localytics suggests that push notifications in an app increase the retention rate by two or three times. They are the major reason that defines the success of mobile applications. Push notification is the right approach if you wish to make your users aware of the latest products or services available on the app.
Push notifications are useful in various industries in different ways. Let's find out how?
Health & fitness apps:
Push notifications remind users of their exercise schedule;
Regular push notifications motivate users in achieving their set goals;
Push notifications remind users when it is time to drink or have specific foods based on the data fed in the app.
Real-time notifications are crucial for the functioning of the on-demand application. It has the potential to increase your sales in leaps and bounds. Push notifications are an active part of the app, which keeps the user updated about the app activities.
For eCommerce applications, it allows you to target specific audiences based on their purchase behavior. Based on that, you can promote your product/services or make them aware of the new arrivals. Push notifications also allow you to remind your customers about their pending purchase placed in the cart.
In the same way, push notifications put the users in direct connection with the dealer for on-demand taxi booking apps or any salon-booking app. It updates the user about their taxi driver arrival or sends notifications about their scheduled appointments. In other words, it lets you increase your reach as well as your customers who are using the app.
Real-time tracking and updates of orders:
If your business is dealing with logistics and transportation, you probably know the importance of real-time features in your app. Real-time tracking has pushed the transportation business to another level. Users can now know where their product lies and how long will it take to get it delivered at the doorstep. They can update their preferred time for delivery of the product and get timely updates about the same. This sets up trust between the user and the dealer and enhances the transparency on the platform.
For on-demand taxi-booking or food delivery apps, you can track and navigate your driver in a better way.
We all just love the live streaming feature of Instagram and Facebook a lot, don't we? It has been extensively used in different verticals of the industry, including, media, logistics, entertainment, and more.
It makes the user feel close to the virtual world and gives them a sense of belonging. The user can share video content on the platforms and outreach hundreds of thousands of people in no-time.
Social media apps:
You are well-aware of the influencer game going on over these social media platforms. You can market your product by just uploading a video content shot on your phone and broadcasting it to the people. This is a good way of marketing and engaging your customers at the same time. Trading and real estate apps:
Real-time features facilitated the trading industry to update the chart instantly as soon as the stocks were closed. Also, real-estate dealers can share videos of the project in real-time and attract multiple users on the page. During the live videos, they can also answer the questions related to the project.
Remote working in times of pandemic COVID-19 made all of us aware of the importance of team collaboration through virtual mediums. Real-time features in the mobile app allow the users to be on the same platform, work together, update/delete tasks simultaneously, and many more.
It becomes really easy for you to execute teamwork using the real-time feature, and people working remotely from different locations come together and work effortlessly.
Also, it allows startups and established businesses to be connected with the freelancers and trust their commitment to work. Real-time features maintain transparency, and businesses can easily monitor the progress of their work.
Call it magic, but you can instantly transfer data from one device to the end-users. It can boost the experience of the end-users in many ways. Firstly, IoT sensors collect data from available sources. This data can include anything from your body temperature to your weight.
Once the data is collected, it is transferred to a cloud infrastructure using various mediums like WAN, Bluetooth, WiFi, satellite network, etc. This data is further analyzed and processed by the IoT devices and finally made available to the end-user.
This feature is handy if you have a business in logistics. You can always have information about your vehicle, asset, and have complete control over your inventory by real-time mobile app development.
Amazon took another-level advantage of IoT devices. It filed a patent for IoT wearable wristbands for monitoring the working of the employees. These IoT wearables track the product bin and keep a check on their efficiency. If any of the workers go in a different direction, it notified the worker in the form of vibration.
When it comes to healthcare, this feature serves as a boon because doctors can send the X-rays, MRI, and other reports directly to the patients. Hospitals can also install smart alarms, which notifies them if a patient leaves the hospital.
Did you get excited about receiving a notification when a specific group or a friend updates a new post? Real-time feed notifies the user with such updates on the platform. This feature engages the user more and ensures that they do not miss upon any important posts.
What are the challenges faced in developing real-time features in a mobile app?
Real-time features in a mobile app definitely ensure the app's success. However, there are several challenges that a mobile app development company faces during app development.
It is difficult for them to handle the load on the application;
Since all these apps are dynamic, it is difficult to wireframe the app idea;
Development companies might face efficiency and performance issue with the app;
Developers need to ensure that the developed app is efficient to give prompt and accurate responses.
Real-time features make an app more powerful and robust. It ensures that the users get desired results in seconds and at convenience. These features have impacted various applications in diverse ways. No matter which industry you belong to, you can reap maximum benefits by integrating real-time features in your mobile app.
Today, it has become vital for the hired mobile app developers to develop mobile apps with real-time features for all of the above-mentioned obvious reasons.