The new generation has already stopped making sports a trend, now it is an integral part of daily routine. It’s no secret that all areas of our life require some kind of orderliness and control from the outside to achieve visible success. To do this, we use a variety of simplifiers: trackers, phone notes, diaries, etc. The field of health and sports also requires structuring. It is easier for us to do sports and monitor our daily activity using special apps. Accordingly, health and fitness app development continues to gain momentum.
However, this area has a lot of complexities and ambiguities. Despite the fairly crowded market, startups still have a significant chance to successfully occupy this niche. The success of an app depends on whether the goal conceived before its creation was achieved or not. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of health and fitness app development for a startup, pros and cons of different OS for development, problems that can arise during the creation process, and what features should be implemented to stand out among the many apps.
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Fitness and health apps for startups
Mobile fitness and health apps can hardly be called a new niche for developers, but partly because of the pandemic, attitudes towards health and sports have changed. It means that new opportunities are opening up for developers to cover new needs from users.
There are several main points that all startups in the field of health and fitness app development should pay attention to: an improved basic version, the absence of intrusive advertising (or more accurate selection of it), a high-quality unloaded interface, and a balance of functionality. However, we will talk about the fullness of this type of app a little later.
The app is one of the most convenient formats for planning workouts, forming habits and monitoring activity throughout the day. The reason why this field is still open to startups is the large number of low-quality heath and fitness digital products. When high-quality products do not appear with growing demand, the niche is empty.
The market requires new viable ideas, and new ideas are about startups. There is a very real opportunity to make a statement, but all new projects require deep analysis and careful preparation from both a technical and aesthetic point of view.
OS for health and fitness app development
Health and fitness app development is not just an idea, it’s a well-executed backend and front end that makes it easier and better to use the app. There are dozens of operating systems (OS) on the mobile device market today, but we’ll talk about the two most popular ones that have captured more than 80% of the market – iOS from Apple and Android from Google. The choice depends on your goals and capabilities.
Let’s start with the fact that Android is a very popular OS compared to its Apple competitor, so the benefit of using this platform is simple and obvious – a wide audience and high download rates. However, any popularity has its pitfalls. As for Android, this is a strong fragmentation of the platform – hundreds of thousands of devices with different technical characteristics work on Android, which complicates testing and debugging the app. But developers really enjoy the ease of use of the development environment from Google – Android Studio based on Intellij Idea.
Apple, despite powerful high-quality advertising, is not the most popular OS among mobile users. However, one indisputable advantage follows from this curious aspect. OS from Apple is a definite focus on the premium segment. As for the graphical part, Apple developers have tried and created a simple and easy-to-learn interface, and the Objective-C or Swift programming languages are already a proven compiled object-oriented programming language. It will be honest to talk about the disadvantages of this platform: the obvious high cost and long – up to two weeks – moderation in the App Store.
Thus, the choice of health and fitness app development platform always depends on the goals pursued and the opportunities available: target audience, team experience, finances. However, we are talking about startups. When creating a new application, it will be logical to try it out on a “cheaper” platform, i.e. Android, and you will always have more time to switch between these two platforms.
If your sport app goes into the stream, then it makes sense to create it for both Android and iOS. You can go the first way – first develop a separate native app for Android, and then for Apple, or vice versa. You can also make a choice towards cross-platform and cover both operating systems with one code.
Pitfalls when creating an app
When creating any new product, we evaluate the possible risks and pitfalls. The most obvious and simple thing that “strikes” when creating a fitness and health app is the huge number of these apps on the market. But as it was said earlier, quantity does not always go hand in hand with quality. The real majority of the presented products are not viable and do not achieve their goals. Thus, health and fitness app development is not at all easy as it might seem. What should startups pay attention to, and what should they be prepared for when developing a health and fitness app in order not to enter this sad majority?
First, you should decide on the functionality and type of application that you want to create: for workouts planning, nutrition control, activity tracking, habit formation. It is not a better decision to fit all possible functionality into one product. You can decide on one idea and choose those features and functions that will help you achieve your goal. It’s better to fully implement a running tracker, like Runtestik, than to cover all the features without being able to compile them accurately.
Commercial components are also one of the main problems of this type of app. Paid services are justified with appropriate quality, and we can check the quality on the available basic version. Accordingly, the paid version of the application may not be an issue, provided that the functionality of the free version covers the functions necessary for convenient use.
For example, you download the free version of the calorie counting app: navigation is simple – you weigh food and enter data into the app. Features such as the ability to measure parameters, counting proteins, fats and carbohydrates reasonably belong to the pro version. However, often such a thing as a water tracker is also paid, which is not entirely justified, since accounting for fluid intake plays an important role when counting calories. The functionality of the free version is cut down, and the user either downloads a separate application for water tracking, and if it is impossible to synchronize two applications, then downloads an app where both functions are available.
Another significant aspect that can be both a problem and an advantage is design. This actually applies not only to health and fitness app development, but to the creation of any mobile product. It is preferable to create the interface not according to our feelings and tastes, but for the convenience of users. So, it is necessary to analyze the tastes, needs and interests of the target audience.
Useful features to stand out
After the analysis of the target audience has been carried out, the functionality has been defined and one or two important ideas have been singled out, you can proceed to the stage of choosing cool features so that your application is downloaded and tested. Everything that was before this step is the base, which is understood to be done with high quality. Everything after that is a narrow customization, i.e. all those things that a potential client will pay attention to while using your fitness app.
Here are the main features that can be used, from the obvious to the more specific. In fact, there are a lot of them, and your goal is to find the ones that will shoot.
Content personalization, which many projects resort to, can significantly increase conversions and trust. Personalization includes personalized training plans and personalized meal plans.
The social aspect is a great motivator, so don’t be afraid to add things like chat, social network simulation, the ability to do sports together, etc.
Such a feature as gamification works very cool as well. Rewards, points, badges and other types of rewards encourage users to achieve certain results, and process graphs allow you to track activity.
It is also worth implementing the function of synchronizing a smartphone with smart devices (Apple Watch, Smart Watch) in order to track physical indicators.
You will clearly benefit if you can realize the function of doing sports under the guidance of personal mentors who can set the right direction for work.
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