When we were kids, we had the entire world at our fingertips. You could get lost in a series of hedges or dive into a rushing river and emerge hours later with mud smeared to your knees and clothes soaked through.
But as we’ve grown up, so has the mind-boggling number of opportunities available to us. It’s no wonder it can be hard to choose one job over another or decide which college to attend. And when you factor in the rise of mobile apps, your decision-making process becomes infinitely more complicated — because not only do you have the choice to commit to any career path imaginable; you also have access to thousands upon thousands of apps that can enhance your experience while exploring them all. So how do you make a decision?
How do you decide which apps are worth your time and money? You could try all of them, but that’s virtually impossible. Instead, focus on these five essential criteria when evaluating a mobile app development to get the most out of your experience.
1. Ease of use
A good user interface is key in any app you download, so keep an eye out for intuitive controls and aesthetically pleasing design schemes wherever you go. If an app takes more than 10 taps before it lets you in, put it down. If features are vague or hard to find, say goodbye. Remember: If getting started with an app is laborious, getting the best experience will seem like too much work — which is why ease of use is a crucial criterion for any download.
Looking to be entertained? Maybe you need a productivity app that will help you organize your workload or manage your budget. And if you’re not sure what kind of app suits your needs, consider the time you want to spend on it: If you want something simple and quick, choose from our list of best free iOS games. Looking for something more complex with hours of entertainment? We’ve got some great paid iPhone apps as well as some awesome PS4 downloads.
3. Price tag
The most expensive Android apps cost around $20 — but they can also offer the most value, depending on how often you use them and what features they include. You could pay ten times that, though, and if you’re going to go over a few bucks, you might as well get something that offers a great return on investment. If you only need the app once in a while or for one particular feature, it’s probably not worth paying more than $3 — but if you can’t live without it from day to daily, splurge.
4. Look and feel
We’ve all downloaded apps we thought looked great at first glance but ended up being slow, buggy messes. In other words: Don’t judge an app by its icon. Study screenshots and user reviews to see what other people think about how snappy their experience was before downloading — because while an app with a pretty interface might seem nice, it won’t matter if the underlying code is inefficient.
5. User reviews
This is your chance to get a more grassroots to look at how other people feel about an app, and trust us: Reviews can make or break a mobile download. Trustworthy reviews include specific comments on the user interface, the responsiveness of the app, bugs, and glitches they experienced — plus some explanation as to why they gave it a certain rating. If you see a lot of low scores with no actual feedback offered, move on. On the flip side, pay attention when someone rates an app five stars but doesn’t provide any meaningful insight into what makes it great. It might be that he just downloaded it and hasn’t gotten around to testing out its features yet — but it might also mean that he is a paid reviewer.
Stay on a Winner
This road map for creating a winning app should help you focus your search and maximize the value of every download — but what’s most important is to stick with apps from trusted developers whenever possible, so they don’t let you down or leave you vulnerable to security breaches. A little research goes a long way when it comes to protecting your smartphone experience!