Why You Should Include Real-Time Features In Your Mobile Apps?
app development

Developing Real-Time Features In Mobile Apps - Why You Must Do It

Learn about the importance of real-time features in apps with this quick guide.

Developing Real-Time Features In Mobile Apps - Why You Must Do It

From being an optional feature, today real-time technology has become a basic requirement for a mobile application. As the name suggests, real-time technology is here to deliver data to the end-users as it happens i.e. in a real-time scenario.

Over the last couple of years, real-time technology seems to have taken over the web and mobile app development industry. This evolution of real-time technology is quite evident if we look at some of the features that are currently being offered by the mobile apps. So without wasting any more time, let’s just start with the basics.

What are Real-time Features?

If we look at the present-day scenario, the real-time features are considered as a must-have requirement for mobile applications. From emerging startups to well-established app development brands, companies are now focusing 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 them with convenient, quick and reliable services. This 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.

At this point, it really doesn't matter which industry vertical or business niche your web/mobile app covers, but the implementation of real-time features will help your app to grow 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 your mobile applications:

  • Real-time apps have the ability to gain more user engagement as they basically mimic the behavior of the real world. For instance, real-time apps allow users to handle multiple tasks at the same time like booking a cab online while chatting with your friends.
  • In simple words, real-time technology enables us 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.
  • Another major benefit of using real-time features in mobile apps is that it 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 were some of the main reasons why you should definitely consider opting for real-time features in your mobile app development services.

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 under any circumstances:

Real-Time Features

1. Push Notifications

Push notifications play a crucial role for 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 main strategic move to improve the user retention rate by informing them about important updates.

According to Andrewchen.co, the user engagement with push notifications (when timed appropriately ) can be off the charts – as high as 80 percent.

These app updates act as a means for encouraging the user to reopen the app and use the services being provided by the app. In case, you are interested in knowing more about the role of push notifications and its importance, then you can take a look at this article for reference.

2. Multi-User Collaboration

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

A quite popular example of this is the Google Docs app which is basically a real-time application i.e. a multiple-user collaboration editing tool that can be used by various people at the same time.

A few more examples can be Google Slides and Google Spreadsheets which operate in the same way i.e. use Google Slides for creating presentations and Google Spreadsheets for creating spreadsheets while enabling access to multiple users.

3. Real-time Feed

This real-time functionality is currently what we see on some of the major social media platforms today. There are various leading organizations like Instagram and Snapchat that offer the feature of real-time feed to their end-users. With the help of this real-time feature, users are updated immediately after any new content is published on the mobile app or platform.

Nowadays, users can directly see and engage with new and real-time content on social media mobile applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc without the need of updating the in-app feed again and again.

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 advance 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

Live streaming is another innovative feature that is currently being used by various known mobile applications in different industry verticals including Entertainment, Logistics, Transport, Real Estate and many more. The real-time feature of live streaming enables a web or mobile application to generate as well as deliver information to the users for creating deep user interactions.

And if we talk about gaming apps and mobile game development, there are various games and platforms that are currently offering the real-time features of live streaming like Twitch. To gain more insights on the topic of movie streaming, video streaming or even music streaming, make sure to check out some of our previous articles.

6. Real-time Messaging Service

Real-time data is what people are demanding nowadays. That's 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 calling 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

Live order status tracking is next in the list of must-have real-time features in mobile applications. This feature is also responsible for providing an 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.

Challenges Faced In Developing Apps With Real-Time Features

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.
  • Last but not the least, 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 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.

Also, if you are interested in reading more articles about such interesting topics then make sure you follow MobileAppDaily. To stay updated with the latest news from the mobile app industry, all you need to do is click on the ‘Subscribe’ button and never miss another update again.

Twinkle <span>Product Strategist</span>
Written By

She is an experienced business and marketing consultant of the mobile app industry; advising on anything from the perfect branding to the latest tech releases. She is passionate about writing well-researched reports to help the app owners and the mobile app industry audience. She has a vibrant touch that goes well in her writing as well.

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