Fitness enthusiasts are increasingly using fitness apps to enhance their exercise regimes.
Boxing, a highly popular sport, is no exception. There is a growing global demand for fitness apps, including boxing apps.
Are you an entrepreneur planning to tap into this lucrative market? If so, then you need to know how to build a boxing app, and that’s exactly what I will explain in this article!
A growing market for fitness apps
Boxing apps belong to the category of fitness apps, which have a growing market. Take a look at the following statistics, to understand how promising this market is:
- Top health and fitness apps have millions of users. As of May 2018, Fitbit had 27.4 million unique users in the US, while MyFitnessPal had 19.1 million users in the country at the same time. Read this Statista report for more information.
- Mobile users spent $203 million on the top 10 fitness apps in 2017. In 2018, they spent $327 million on the top 10 fitness apps, i.e., a whopping 61% increase! Read “Healthy growth: revenue from top 10 health & fitness apps increased 61% in 2018 to $327 million” for more details.
Examples of popular boxing apps
When you plan for a boxing timer app or a boxing streaming app, reviewing popular apps might help. You can get quite a few excellent ideas. The following boxing apps are worth reviewing:
Mayweather Boxing is a highly popular boxing app, with the following features and advantages:
- They have a free version, and there is a subscription option.
- You can get an Android as well as an iOS app.
- The app offers streaming boxing lessons at different expertise levels.
- Users can create their communities, and get answers to their questions.
- This app offers in-app purchases.
Boxing enthusiasts have many reasons to love Boxx. It offers several features and advantages, e.g.:
- The app isn’t limited to boxing. Yoga fans and other fitness enthusiasts can also use it.
- Boxx has a 14-days free trial period, and users need to pay after that to use it.
- The app is available on the web, Android, and iOS.
- As a boxing streaming app, it’s noteworthy due to the quality of training sessions available.
- Boxx offers in-app purchases.
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- In addition to a web app, they have iOS and Android apps.
- Users can get streaming training sessions at different levels of expertise.
- Boxing enthusiasts can buy accessories like boxing gloves.
- The app offers in-app purchases and payment gateway integrations.
Features desired in a boxing app
Consider offering the following features in your boxing app:
- The app should offer high-quality streaming of training sessions.
- Training sessions should cater to different levels of expertise.
- Users should be able to buy accessories and training courses.
- You should offer a web app, an Android app, and an iOS app.
- Users should be able to use the app as a fitness tracker.
- A great user interface (UI) is important.
- The app needs to send push notifications for user engagement.
Read more about the importance of these features in “Top 12 boxing apps for Android and iOS”.
Steps to build a boxing app
It’s time we dive deeper into the boxing app development project. This project involves the following steps:
1. Agree on a project scope
You should undertake a discussion with your business stakeholders and finalize the project scope. I suggest the following scope:
- Build a web app, an Android app, and an iOS app.
- Incorporate the features I have described above, and target one geography.
2. Use the Agile SDLC model
Your project will likely play out as follows:
- You might launch a “Minimum Viable Product” with the above-mentioned features.
- This will help you in gathering credible market feedback.
- You will then enhance the app based on the feedback.
Agile is the right software development life cycle (SDLC) model for this kind of iterative development, and I recommend you to use it. You can read “What is software development life cycle and what you plan for?” for more insights.
3. Project team formation
Build a project team as follows:
- Onboard business analysts (BAs), UI designers, web developers, Android developers, iOS developers, testers, and project manager (PM).
- Look for web developers with Node.js skill, Android developers with Kotlin skill, and iOS developers with Swift skill.
- Use the “Scrum” technique, which is a proven technique to manage Agile projects. The PM performs the role of a “Scrum master”, and forms small, cross-functional “Scrum teams”. Read more about it in “How to build a Scrum development team?”.
4. Plan for future expansion into other geographies
You are targeting one geography now, however, you might expand into other geographies later. You should design and develop in a manner that facilitates such future launches. For e.g.:
- Keep code separate from content.
- Code in a manner so that the app picks up content from different files depending on the geographical regions.
This approach is called “App internationalization”, and you can learn more about it in “The ultimate guide to mobile app internationalization”.
5. Formulate a development approach:
I recommend that you use the following approach to expedite the development:
- Use managed cloud service providers for web and mobile apps.
- Integrate “Software Development Kits” (SDKs) or “Application Programming interfaces” (APIs) to incorporate features like video streaming, in-app purchase, online payment, fitness tracking, and push notifications.
6. Sign-up with the right managed cloud services provider
Entrepreneurs can take advantage of cloud services offerings, and avoid upfront investment in IT infrastructure. In this project, you should look for the following:
- “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) for the web app;
- “Mobile Backend as a Service” (MBaaS) for the mobile apps.
I have explained the advantages of using PaaS in “10 top PaaS providers for 2019”. Following is a summary of these advantages:
- PaaS providers handle cloud infrastructure, network, server, storage, etc.
- They provide the operating system (OS), middleware, and runtime environment. You bring your code and data.
- PaaS providers help you integrate application monitoring solutions (APMs), databases, auto-scaling solutions, DevOps, and 3rd party APIs.
You can read “How to choose the best Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)?” to understand the advantages of using MBaaS, which are as follows:
- MBaaS providers handle cloud infrastructure, persistent storage, etc. This eliminates the time-consuming processes to develop and manage mobile backend.
- You can easily implement user management, security features, push notifications, and 3rd party API integration if you use an MBaaS.
- MBaaS providers help you to navigate the complexity arising from the various mobile platforms and devices.
- Scaling a mobile app is easier if you use an MBaaS.
Let’s analyze which providers offer both PaaS and MBaaS, as follows:
- Google offers Google App Engine, i.e., their PaaS, and Google Firebase, which is their MBaaS. Their integration isn’t exactly seamless, and you can read more about it in “App Engine vs Firebase — welcome to Bizzaro world”.
- AWS offers Elastic Beanstalk, which is there PaaS. They also offer AWS Amplify, i.e., their MBaaS, and their robust cloud capability ensures that it’s easy to use them together. You need only one AWS account.
I recommend that you use AWS for this project.
Read How We Helped a Marketing Company to Build a Back-Office Custom Ads Dashboard
7. Get a cloud streaming solution
Wowza has a streaming cloud solution that’s a good fit for your boxing streaming app. Note the following quick facts:
- Wowza streaming cloud offers high-quality, low-latency video streaming.
- You also get the Wowza GoCoder SDKs for Android and iOS for free, when you buy this streaming cloud solution. This helps in development.
- You can check out their pricing plans here.
8. Sign-up for an eCommerce API
You need an eCommerce solution for the in-app purchase feature, and I recommend that you use BigCommerce. Their platform offers the following features and advantages:
- Their eCommerce API is easy to use.
- You will find it easy to create a catalog of boxing training courses and boxing accessories.
- The development team will be able to easily implement login, cart, and other relevant features.
You can access their pricing details here.
9. Choose a payment gateway SDK/API
Facilitate in-app purchase, subscription, etc. with a payment gateway integration. I suggest that you use Stripe. Note the following relevant information about their solution:
- You can get useful information about the Stripe payment gateway SDKs/APIs here.
- Integrate a card payment feature in your app with Stripe easily, by following this guide.
- In addition to APIs, Stripe has mobile SDKs. You can find their Android SDK here. Access their iOS SDK here.
10. Use a fitness tracker API
As part of building a boxing timer app, you would need to implement a fitness tracking solution. Google Fit is the right choice. You can get the following features and advantages:
- This “Internet of Things” (IoT) solution helps in collecting data from sensor-enabled devices, therefore, it allows fitness data collection.
- App users can keep track of their boxing sessions.
- Your development team read the detailed Google Fit documentation.
- Programmers can create apps for Android, iOS, and web platforms using Google Fit.
- Google Fit has an Android API.
- The Google Fit REST API supports other platforms.
11. Find the right SMS solution
Engaging app users requires a bulk SMS solution. I recommend Twilio, and I suggest you do the following:
You can find Twilio pricing plans here.
12. Web app development
Now that you have the necessary platforms and tools, the development can commence. I recommend that you use Node.js for web app development, which offers the following advantages:
- A boxing app needs streaming, and Node.js makes it easier to implement.
- This open-source runtime environment is performant.
- js supports asynchronous event-driven programming, therefore, you can scale your app easily.
- Popular PaaS platforms like AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports Node.js.
- Exceptional community support is a great advantage, and developers have created thousands of sharable open-source tools and frameworks for Node.js. This improves developer productivity.
I have explained the advantages of Node.js in “10 great tools for Node.Js software development”.
Developing a web app involves the following steps:
- Choose appropriate database resources. Read “Adding a database to your Elastic Beanstalk environment” to learn more.
- Integrate Wowza cloud streaming, BigCommerce, Stripe, and Twilio APIs.
- Code, test, and deploy the web app. You can get guidance in “Deploying Node.js applications to AWS Elastic Beanstalk”.
13. The mobile app UI design
It’s time to focus on the mobile app, and let’s start with the UI design. An attractive UI is imperative, and you can consult the following resources to design one:
- “Mobile navigation menu examples”: This will help you to choose the right mobile navigation menu pattern.
- “8 trends in mobile app color scheme”: Here, you can get guidance on how to choose the right color scheme for the mobile app UI.
- “How to design the perfect icon for your mobile app?”: Learn the best practices for designing icons for the mobile app.
14. Android app development, testing, and deployment
I recommend you to code the Android app using Kotlin, the modern programming language for Android development. This open-source language has many advantages, as follows:
- It has a concise syntax, therefore developers code less, yet complete their tasks.
- A smaller codebase naturally makes the maintenance of the app easier.
- Kotlin is a highly performant language, whose lightweight library reduces runtime overhead.
- Full compatibility of Kotlin with Java makes it easy for Java programmers, moreover, Kotlin uses all Java libraries.
- Kotlin facilitates bug-free coding with its approach to common errors like null pointer exception.
- In addition to having a thriving developer community, Kotlin enjoys solid backing from JetBrains, i.e., the company that created it.
- Google backs Kotlin, and Android Studio, the popular “Integrated Development Environment” (IDE) supports it fully.
Read “Kotlin vs Java: which is the best choice?” to learn more about the plus points of Kotlin.
Go ahead with the Android app development as follows:
- Code using Android Studio. Read “Get started with Kotlin on Android” if you need guidance.
- Integrate SDKs/APIs for Wowza cloud streaming, BigCommerce, Stripe, Google Fit, and Twilio.
- Test the app thoroughly.
- Publish the app to Google Play using this guide.
15. Code, test, and deploy the iOS app
Swift is the right choice of programming language for iOS development since Apple prefers this modern language for many of its platforms. Advantages to Swift are many, as follows:
- An English-like language, Swift is easy to read and that makes maintenance of the app easier.
- Apps coded in Swift are faster.
- Features like generics and operators like string concatenation make life easier for developers.
- Swift makes bug-free coding easier with its powerful features.
- Apple rewards apps coded in Swift with better “App Store Optimization” (ASO).
- IBM, another technology giant backs Swift to the hilt.
You can read “How to migrate your Objective-C project to Swift?” to learn more about the positives of Swift.
The development of the iOS app involves the following:
- Use Xcode, the popular IDE for iOS development. It supports Swift fully.
- Integrate the SDKs/APIs for cloud streaming, eCommerce, payment gateway, fitness tracking, and bulk SMS solutions.
- Test the app, and publish it to the Apple app store following this guide.
16. Use effective PM tools
Managing this project using scrum technique involves the following:
- A “Product owner” documents the requirements in a “Product Backlog”.
- The scrum team estimates the requirements and prioritizes them.
- They plan “Sprints”, i.e., iterations, in a “Sprint planning meeting”.
- The scrum master conducts “Daily stand-up meetings” to gather the status of the project.
- Business stakeholders review the app in a “Sprint review meeting”, and they approve the sprint if the app works as expected.
Use a modern Agile PM tool like Asana to manage these activities effectively.
Additionally, I suggest that you use a real-time dashboard for project management. I have earlier explained the benefits of using such a dashboard in “How a real-time dashboard can revolutionize your eSports development process?”.
Planning to launch a cool boxing app?
PaaS platforms, MBaaS providers, SDKs, and APIs can aid the development, however, a project to build a boxing app can be complex. Architecture, project management, development, and testing require considerable expertise. You might want to hire a software development company. Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you take that step.
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