2017 accounted for a staggering 197 billion app downloads globally, as compared to the 149.3 billion downloads in 2016. While the momentum is only going to rise according to the data provided by Statista.
The situation is no different for travel mobile apps as well!
Travel mobile apps account for some of the highly-sought after tools in the app development industry. Given the rising demands by users to download and use Uber or any other top travel app, we are going to brief what it takes to do the job of creating a relevant app without losing the sight of your target audience or copying your competitor.
Here is a quick fact about Uber.
The team who created Uber didn’t protrude it from a single platform but is actually a blend of 3 different product, i.e., 1 app for the passenger, 1 for the driver, and an admin dashboard.
The basic features a passenger app is incorporated with are; registration, taxi booking, payments, push notifications, fare calculation, ride history, driver’s review, and rating.
While the advanced features include the pickup location, split payments, choosing the preferred vehicle, taxi tracking and interactive mapping, built-in chat box, discount promos, voice recognition, and different gamified features.
Here is an example of how the interface and few features of the best travel apps in the businesses look like.
Creating the best travel app in the industry is no fluke!
In order to create a top travel app for your business, experts highly recommend going for a native app development service provider, in other words, developing a powerful custom app to run on every operating system.
But why a native app specifically for a traveling or taxi business?
Native apps are known to provide speed, protection, and utilization of a plethora of inbuilt features of the phone such as geolocation, maps, etc., things that are obviously relevant for a taxi app to stay in demand.
The actual development initiates with a minimum viable product. MVP presents an app incorporated with both demand and supply along with the dashboard, however, with restricted functionality.
Time investment to consider when creating a taxi app
A number of things are taken into consideration when creating a taxi app. While taking each phase of the development process as a separate set of parameters with its own scope, timeline, and costs.
It is important both for the client and the developer to clearly anticipate the costs and timeline if they are to produce a quality worthy of getting listed at the top of iOS and Android store.
According to a Clutch survey, around 70% of the app development businesses feel that they require a discover stage before getting started with any project. While 51% of the surveyed businesses state that their discovery stage costs are about $5,000 or less.
As for this segment, let’s break down the amount of time a business will incur to acquire a fully-functional, taxi app.
Maps and location
As we know, the GPS tracking technology is employed to display the current location, find rides, track the route, and even the ride fare estimation.
In order to extract the most precise benefit from the technology, Google Maps are considered the best available option for any taxi app.
On an average, around 140 hours are normally required to incorporate the routing and geolocation feature, with tracking the ride consuming the most share of up to 75 hours.
A built-in payment convenience is a powerful feature that allows the user to make purchases directly from the app. Besides the time-saving aspect, the feature will enhance the app’s usability to a whole new level.
New technologies have enabled the developers to utilize such features for facilitating secure transactions between the app users and stakeholders without compromising the security.
In order to store and process all credit card data, the business needs to be PCI (payment card industry) compliance. Some payment gateway providers such as Stripe, Braintree, etc. can be acquired for safe payment channels.
Agreeably, payment integration is quite tedious, time-consuming process. For instance, only the payment gateway integration feature will eat up to 60 hours.
Log in and profiles
The need for authorization calls for various reasons including online payments, personalizing reviews and ratings, and eventually, refining customer satisfaction and improving retention.
The easiest way is to log through current social media channels or simply through an email and phone number.
At the time of creating the initial MVP, a push notification is sufficient to establish a connection between the demand and supply. Apple’s devices use the Apple Push Notification service, while Android phones have Google Cloud Messaging Service.
Reaching the next phase of the project evaluation, the option of SMS notifications is incorporated. For example, Uber’s app uses a Twilio telecommunication service, but there are also other options including Plivo, Nexmo, Sinch, etc.
Furthermore, a messenger could also be incorporated into the app so that the rider can communicate with the passenger. Understandably, the messenger feature requires a considerable amount of time before it is rightly incorporated.
Therefore, a wise option is to incorporate the feature after the taxi app is created and launched in the app stores.
An average time required to develop the push notifications and SMS integration features is 40 and 30 hours respectively.
Are you up to create a travel app like Uber?
In order to estimate the project and hunt the best travel app developer for your business, you need to clear out the following things first: the business model and market demand for your intended Uber-esque app, the number of stakeholders, and the types of platforms and value-added features.
Let’s not fall under the impression that creating a powerful, sophisticated app like Uber, ingrained with exclusive-only features, is the only option left. But a professional, aesthetically-pleasing, and client-centric app taking your business all mobile is enough if created at the hands of the right expertise.
On a quick note, initiating any project is always better when an initial MVP is provided to the client, which saves a considerable cost and time in the long run.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.