The CEO of Moxtra, a company providing mobile collaboration tools, believes developers need to recognise and add value to mobile users’ lives in order to improve the “stickiness” of their apps.

Speaking to Mobile World Live, Subrah Iyar said “it’s not only about driving discovery and increasing downloads. Research from Flurry suggests that after downloading an app, 25 per cent of people will use it only once and over half of all users stop using an app altogether after three months.”

Users have millions of apps to choose between, all vying for their attention, he elaborates. This means developers need to get creative and find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

“This offers opportunities as well as challenges;  mobile developers are ideally placed to disrupt the status quo and deliver innovative ways for users to engage with their apps that are built with a ‘mobile first’ mindset,” he said.

App discovery is hard, he admitted, but ultimately, longevity is key to survival.

So how can developers achieve this ‘stickiness’?
By adding value to their users’ lives and delivering a “well-rounded, intuitive experience” that recognises their needs as a mobile user, according to Iyar.

For example, in the case of a business app, developers must ask themselves: what features does their app offer to help users get their work done more efficiently than on a desktop?

Does the app require users to spend significant time clicking through screens and typing to complete the desired task? Is the app designed in a lightweight manner so it easily supports how a user can get a task accomplished on a small screen without sifting through unnecessary information and interactions?

What about wearables?
Iyar thinks thus far apps for wearables “have tried to combine several ideas and functions which have then resulted in a ‘crowded app’ or confusing functionality”.

“With wearables, there are a limited number of ways for users to navigate through the app and simplicity is needed in the design process to increase the usability factor,” he added.

The biggest difference between apps for smartphone and wearable apps is related to the timeliness of the information and the amount of information conveyed via a wearable. The delivery of updates, alerts and other notifications are ideally suited for wearable technology.

These types of ‘at a glance’ use cases will deliver on the promise of wearable technology in the various form factors, in his opinion.

How can developers integrate interactive conversation capabilities into their apps?
“New approaches now enable mobile developers to easily embed collaboration functionality into apps,” said Iyar.

“One such approach is through our own APIs which are fully customisable and easy to deploy, so that developers can integrate real-time interactive conversation capabilities into their apps.  This includes features such as messaging, on-demand voice and video meetings, and content annotation tools, which can all be added to existing apps with minimal development effort and upfront costs,” he explained.

Adding a rich communication layer, seamlessly integrated into an application, not only provides a route to increasing user acquisition but also gives users a reason to return to their app. All of which can be done in a way which needn’t be costly or complex, said Iyar.

And that’s where Moxtra comes in. Its SDKs can be embedded into existing software solutions for e-learning, ERP, and CRM. Apps powered by Moxtra, with collaboration built in, keep users engaged and productive regardless of location or device.

Future plans for Moxtra?
“These are truly exciting times and we have ambitious plans for advancing the state of the art in mobile collaboration for teams.  We live in an increasing mobile, on-demand era and we have developed strong partnerships with solution providers whom we are working with to bring legacy software solutions as well as native mobile apps closer to this new era,” Iyar said.