Category Application Development
Features In Mobile Apps Real-time apps engage more users as it mimics the behavior of the real world.

From being an optional feature to an inevitable part of an app, today real-time technology has become a basic requirement for mobile applications. The real-time technology delivers data to the end-users as it happens i.e., in the real-time scenario.

Now the active correlation between consumer experience and real-time explains the current state of society. Every mobile app developer is investing hours in enabling real-time exchange of data. Most of them have enabled certain features by exchanging data with the app server in real-time. And due to its multiple applications, real-time technology has taken over the web and mobile app development services.

Why do We Need Real-time Features?

If we look at the present-day scenario, the real-time feature is a must-have requirement for mobile applications. From emerging startups to well-established mobile app development firms, companies are focusing more on integrating real-time features in their applications to achieve a high level of digitalization.

Real-time features are also favored by companies, as well as, the end-users as they provide convenient, quick and reliable services. The inclusion has also led to an increase in the demand for real-time features in various industries including healthcare, travel & transportation, media, fintech, food and many more.

Benefits of Real-Time Features in Mobile Apps

Below are some of the main reasons why you should consider to add real-time features in mobile applications:

  • Real-time apps have the ability to gain more user engagement as they mimic the behavior of the real world. For instance, real-time apps allow users to handle multiple tasks at the same time, as booking a cab online while chatting with friends.
  • It enables the user to connect with other app users in a manner that seems more natural with respect to the real world. A few examples of such real-time features are sharing live locations, online messaging, following friends on social media platforms, etc.
  • Allows app developers to pay more attention to their core competencies such as interactive UX (User Experience), innovative inbuilt app features, improved UI (User Interface) and many more.
  • When it comes to including real-time services, now developers don't even have to worry about on-going maintenance costs and other additional investments, all thanks to cloud delivery networks.  

These are a few reasons why you should consider real-time features during the mobile app development phase.

Top Must-Have Real-Time Features

Here is a list of some of the top must-have real-time features that you cannot afford to miss:

Top Must-Have Real-Time Features

1. Push Notifications

Push notifications play a crucial role in the web as well as a mobile application when it comes to spreading awareness regarding the app and its features. For modern-day applications, the feature of push notifications acts as a strategic move to improve the user retention rate by informing the user about important updates.

According to, the user engagement with push notifications (when timed appropriately ) can be off the charts – as high as 80%. The app updates act as a means for encouraging the user to reopen the app and use the services.

The active use of push notifications in on-demand service apps, retail apps, travel apps, etc fetches up an important role for the users. In the case of on-demand services, the users get notifications about the current or upcoming offers, delivery personnel information, scheduled delivery, etc. It also extends its promising results in the highly competitive e-commerce market. The e-commerce retailers can notify the users about flash sales, order dispatch, pick up location, etc.

2. Multi-User Collaboration

Gone are the days when collaboration strategies were device-centric, now these are people-centric. People who opt to work from their places may be from home, restaurant, workstation, etc. Today, most of the app development services are unequivocally racking up their resources for collaboration apps.

Real-time features in mobile apps enable multiple users to simultaneously add, delete, update, and edit data. It further makes tasks involving various team members easier to execute while providing the option to give instant feedback regarding the updated data.

It enables workers from different remote locations to collaborate on the same project. The apps allow effective real-time collaboration between employers, employees, and freelancers. Apart from that, the employer gets empowered to have real-time access to multiple workspaces.

A quite popular example of this is Google Docs which is a real-time application i.e., a multiple-user collaboration editing tool that can be used by various people at the same time. Other examples can be Google Slides and Google Spreadsheets which operate in the same way as Google Docs.

3. Real-time Feed

People around the world rely on their mobile phones to communicate with others. Additionally, the integration of ‘advanced communications’ services is more effectual and visionary. The services like instant messaging, pre-calling, live video, and real-time file or photo-sharing have ratcheted up substantial acceptability.

The real-time functionality is currently what we see on some of the major social media platforms. Leading social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat offer the feature of real-time feed to their end-users. With the help of this real-time feature, users are updated immediately after content is published on the mobile app or platform.

For example, in healthcare apps, doctors and patients get connected on the same platform. They communicate unfeignedly over an enriched integrated real-time communication channel. It mitigates the problem of scheduling appointments, patient or doctor information, information about healthcare institutes, etc.

4. IoT Device Integration & Controllability

With the escalation of real-time technologies like COMET, WebSocket, BOSCH, etc. there has been a growth in the integration of real-time features in mobile apps. The Internet of Things (IoT), an emerging technology, is yet another great example of some of the most popular real-time features.

Let's take a look at the process of IoT technology, where information is transferred from devices/sensors to the end-users.

  • First, the data from the environment is collected by IoT devices or sensors.
  • Once the information is collected, it is then sent to cloud storage via a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • After the data is transferred to the cloud, the information is then analyzed by advanced IoT software.
  • Then the analyzed data is sent to the users as the final product.  

In case the sent data is incorrect or experiences any error then an alert message is sent to the users through different means like text messages, app notifications, emails, etc.

5. Live Streaming

Today's business enterprises have kept a much needed visionary perspective and the live-streaming app is one such example. The real-time video streaming apps are the result of a contemplative approach and enable a web or mobile application to generate as well as deliver information to the users for creating deep user interactions.

The social media users are well bequeathed with live data streaming. For example, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram offer a live streaming feature. 

Also, the integration of video streaming to social media apps and stock trading apps has proved successful. In the stock trading apps, real-time data exchange helps the user with updated stock prices, closing, and opening prices, the volume of shares, sale, and purchase, broker information, etc.

And if we talk about mobile gaming app development, there are various platforms that are currently offering the real-time features of live streaming like Twitch.

6. Real-time Messaging Service

Real-time data is what people are demanding nowadays and proves one of the main reasons why app developers are prioritizing the real-time features in their apps along with their functionalities. Next is the feature of real-time messaging which can also be referred to as the backbone of instant messaging.

Now we have access to messengers that are interactive and fast when it comes to sharing different types of media, voice calls, multiple group chats, voice calls, etc. Here, real-time technology has replaced the old and inconvenient form of text messaging with advances in real-time messaging.

7. Live Order Status

The live order status tracking feature is responsible for providing the extra edge to various industry verticals consisting of shipping and on-demand delivery companies. With the help of a live order tracking feature, users can keep themselves updated with the updated status of their orders.

This kind of real-time app can be further integrated with other functionalities like push notifications and location tracking to make the most of this real-time technology. It has also been reported that customers care a lot about the order status’ transparency and want smooth customer support regarding their package.

The enterprises dealing in logistics operation tracks the location of their delivery personnel or vehicle. For example, public transit mobile apps enable users to explore public transit routes, near-term arrival predictions, schedules, and connections. The feature of location tracking embedded with mobile applications exemplifies the importance of real-time information.

Challenges Faced In Developing Apps With Real-Time Features

Mobile application development is among the rapidly growing sectors. The consistent development in technology is being integrated with every successive mobile application. As a result, iOS and Android app development services have proved more capable to resolve routine or business issues.

Below are some of the main challenges that are faced by the app owners and developers while building the application with real-time features:

  • A major challenge faced by real-time mobile apps is load handling.
  • As the real-time applications are dynamic and not static in nature, the wireframing stage can become complex.
  • While developing a real-time app, huge fluctuations can occur with efficiency and the performance of the app.
  • Developers need to achieve a state where the app can provide an accurate response immediately. 

The main objective of real-time applications is to deliver the effective and robust output to their users as per the events that happen in the real world. We hope this article provided you with valuable insights regarding the topic of real-time features and challenges related to them.

Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

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