Huawei’s global Apps UP contest is currently open for entries, giving developers across Europe the chance to win from a $200,000 USD prize pool.
Cristina Angelillo, who is the CEO and Co-founder of Marshmallow Games, entererd last year’s competition with Smart Tales, an educational app for children full of animated stories and interactive games to stimulate the imagination and passion for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Here, Christina shares her experience of Apps UP alongside advice for this year’s participants.
What is the most important part of creating an app?
The most important part is to create something that users really need, and then offering them the simplest solution, paying special attention to the user experience.
What are some of the mistakes or common pitfalls you’ve made or seen other developers make?
A very common mistake is not giving enough importance to data. In the first apps we developed we had integrated analytics, but they were not actionable, as they did not affect the evolution process of the app. In Smart Tales, our processes are data driven and allow us to have more control over what happens in the app and how we can improve both the user experience and the business goals. Over the years we have talked to many developers discovering that, even if in advanced stages, they did not measure anything or very little, and I think this is a big mistake.
What is your definition for the formula of a great app?
I don’t think there is a formula, I think the idea is to start by identifying a market opportunity, validate it with a prototype or with a very simple first version of the app and, if the feedback and data confirm the interest of the end users, continue development and work hard on its evolution and optimization. Finally, you must avoid falling in love with what you are creating, but rather listen to users and build the best possible experience for them.
What makes a great app developer?
Probably the most important thing is to have the right mindset, composed of passion, perseverance, and the desire to experiment and discover new things. Certainly, having hard skills is useful but we believe the ability to learn new things and put them into practice in a short time is much more important.
When developing Smart Tales, which HMS Core Kits did you integrate and what benefits or solutions did they bring?
We were committed in porting Smart Tales to AppGallery to take advantage of the fast-growing audience in the Huawei digital ecosystem. To achieve this goal, we decided to integrate the HMS capabilities that would allow us to have the full app functionality, like In-App Purchases and then Analytic Kit and Game Services in order to receive important information about app usage.
Which HMS Core Kit do you find most innovative?
I definitely see a lot of potential in the HUAWEI HiAI libraries. Thanks to the potentialities included, I think it will be very easy for developers to integrate cutting-edge features into their apps that allow to amaze the end user.
What HMS Core Kit are you excited to integrate or working on right now?
One HMS Core Kit that we would be interested in using is AR Engine which would allow us to integrate augmented reality features into Smart Tales that would expand the overall experience of our young users, engaging them even more.
What are the key trends you’re excited about or are looking forward to hearing about in the future?
One of the sectors that I expect to change the most in the near future is that of health. Changes in this field are slower as they require certifications and adhere to strict procedures. In recent years, however, significant investments have been made in this field and are continuing to grow, so I hope this can help improve people’s quality of life.
For those of you currently developing an app, it is important to keep in mind and consider the other aspects that coincide with developing an app other than coding. Promotion, marketing, product development, investment opportunities, growth scaling etc. are all part and parcel of developing a successful app.
Do you have an app that you would like to upload to AppGallery just like Cristina? Then look no further! Whether you have an existing app or a great concept for a new one, simply integrate HMS Core for a chance to win in one of our award categories, ranging from Best Game, Best Student Innovation, Tech Women’s Award, to Best Social Impact App (to name a few!). Register now for a chance to win HERE!