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In the modern world, technological progress goes really fast and brings many positive changes to our lives. Hopefully, individual health care has been growing in popularity for decades now too. So, it’s only logical that combining a healthy lifestyle with innovative technologies became a thing.
Today we have many different applications to help us monitor the performance, plan training sessions, and suggest new exercises. Running, as one of the most popular and accessible forms of sport, benefits from the tech a lot. Just look how common and affordable smartwatches and simple trackers have become.
Now you may think that the market for running-dedicated software is huge. And you’re right, it is. However, the number of truly useful and widely-used applications isn’t that high. That’s because most companies don’t have something unique to offer to win the competition with the market’s giants.
Another common point of failure is the lack of quality in the simplest functions. Runners usually require such main features as:
- GPS tracking and detailed maps;
- Route building, tracking, and checkpoints;
- Training plan creation and progress monitoring;
- Notifications about upcoming training sessions, current progress, start and end of the session;
- Easy-to-understand but informative visualization of one’s performance;
- Comparisons between user’s own results and other runners’ performance;
- Third-party services integrations (social media, other useful apps).
This is the most basic set of functions a good tracking software has, and even the smallest details should be flawless. For example, GPS tracking should be as precise as possible. Even a slight 30cm shift in a particular direction can end in a wrong turn or driving into a ditch.
The best option is to hire professionals to ensure the highest quality in every aspect. There are many Android development services on the market. Hiring them to cover the technical side of the project dramatically increases your project’s chances for success. The quality of all basic functions can be your winning point in the market competition.
For those who want to create such an application themselves, here’s an article that will teach you the fundamentals.
Software development is a technical process mostly. Yet, the program that is launched on the market always becomes a business. So, you can’t avoid following the basic rules of business, like market analysis. Unless you want to accidentally copy someone else’s outlay or design and end up in bankruptcy, play fair.
Start with analyzing the biggest players on the market. These are programs like:
- Run Keeper
- Adidas Running
- Asics Running
- Charity Miles
- Zombies, run!
As you can see immediately, almost half of these are owned by huge sports equipment corporations like Nike and Adidas. But don’t worry, they don’t always succeed in providing user’s what they truly need, and the quality of some features could be higher.
Pay attention to what aspects you find good, what you would improve, how it could be done, and what is unnecessary. Analyzing these will not only provide you with a comprehension of how popular software looks and works but also will give you some hints on what your winning points can be.
Now, it’s time to plan the program itself. What platforms will it be available on? What language will it be written in? What will it look like? What will the main features be? Who is the target audience: all runners, only enthusiasts, professionals, or amateurs? All these aspects depend on each other, so one should think carefully.
Start with determining the platform. Android is the most popular OS for mobile devices, so it’s a good choice, especially for beginners. Also, there’s a choice between developing a native app for this OS only or a hybrid one for cross-platform access. Most professional Android application development services would suggest the native one.
That is the best option because native software allows you to use all the benefits of a particular OS to maximize the usefulness and overall quality of the program. Also, it helps to determine the main programming language, as native software is done in the platform’s native language.
For Android, this language is Kotlin. You could also opt for Java, which used to be the main language for this OS, but one may find it somewhat harder to use and outdated in some aspects.
Come up with the general look of your product, outline the interface and create a design. This will help you to code more efficiently because you will already know where each part is located and how it should look. For the design part, generally, it’s better to hire expert graphic designers. They know what looks more appealing to the users and how to create the most simple yet functional design that will suit your particular program.
Front-end frameworks are the foundation of your code. Here are the ones most professional Android development services would recommend:
- React Native
- Ionic Android
- Flutter Android
- Native Script
These will help to simplify the whole process and even provide you with some templates and useful tools.
The easiest solution for the map feature of the program is to use Google Maps API. Its quality is proven by hundreds of thousands of apps that use it and the API itself. The most important part is to implement it as perfectly as possible. It determines how precise the location tracker will work, allowing users to create an ideal route and follow it.
However, for those who want to dive deeper into the development, creating a whole map service is an option. First of all, there are many tools that can help you out, such as MapBox. There are many maps and other tools available for purchase or rent, so you will only need to create the tracking software itself.
Developing good performance tracking software isn’t that hard. It just requires quite a lot of experience and knowledge to do it on a high enough level. So, expert coders can try doing it all themselves, while those who aren’t sure about their app development experience should try some ready-made solutions and templates.
- Google Analytics
They don’t only provide you with many useful features that will be used in analyzing user’s data and providing them with needed information but will also help to optimize the technical side of the program itself.
After the main features like location tracking and run analytics are done, one should consider adding some additional ones if it wasn’t planned beforehand. If it was—even better, just follow the plan and add what you need.
The key rule to remember: simplicity is crucial. Don’t waste resources on side features if the main ones aren’t perfected, and only add the former if they will be truly useful for the users. Implementing functions into the app just for the sake of it isn’t a good idea. It increases the chances of bugs, makes the interface less appealing, and takes extra space and resources.
After the application is ready, launch it on the market. Don’t forget about the marketing campaign too. It plays an important role in the project’s success on the market as the quality of the product itself. So, analyze and outline everything beforehand, focus on the main aspects, keep everything simple but functional, and always perform thorough tests to avoid huge amounts of bugs. Good luck!