A Client’s guide to mobile app development

 

Guide to mobile app development

There is no doubt that the realm of mobile app development is expanding at the rate of knots and has had a major impact on modern-day businesses. According to Statista, worldwide smartphone subscriptions are projected to reach 7.516 billion by the year 2026. Thus, there is no doubt that the industry is in a healthy state and thriving big time.

With the expansion of mobile app development technology, this is the right time to jump on the bandwagon and invest in app development. But to reap the rich benefits of the technology, you need to have more other than having just an ‘Idea’. As a client, you need to be aware of some deciding factors such as:

  • Purpose of the mobile app
  • Targeted audience
  • Basic types of features to be included in the initial phase
  • Budget of app development

Once you have basic knowledge about the above mentioned factors, it becomes a bit easier to carve your way through the world of mobile app development.

In this blog, we will study everything related to mobile app development from a client’s perspective. We’ll have an in-depth analysis of mobile app testing, mobile app design, cost of application development, etc.

Did you know the global mobile app revenue is expected to rise by 957.21% in 2023? It was $97.7 billion in 2014 and is forecasted to reach $935.2 billion by 2023.

Purpose of mobile app development

One of the main reasons businesses fail to crack the code of mobile app development is that they go by preconceived notions instead of facts and data. It is important that the app development process is tied to a goal. If the mobile app has an indefinite purpose or cannot cope with the changes required, it is a waste of money. Thus, it is crucial to understand the purpose of mobile application development before the inception of the app development process.

Moreover, it is always advisable to consult a trusted mobile app development company if you face difficulties defining the purpose of your mobile app. In other words, your development partner may help you define the scopes of your project. Such consultation, in many app development companies, are generally free.

To develop a successful mobile app, it should fall in one of the two below-mentioned categories.

Everyday use apps

Some apps can serve everyday purposes and apps in this genre add value to user’s life. Online video/text apps, food delivery apps, video-on-demand, etc., are some of the prime examples of everyday use apps.

Entertainment apps

Entertainment applications have the power to excel globally as they have the charm to engage customers for long periods. Gaming apps, Dating apps, etc., come in this genre and have been mighty successful.

Scope of mobile app development

Defining the scope of the application is very important in determining the time frame of mobile app development. Thus, as a client, you must address this factor as early as possible. A well-defined scope makes it easy for the mobile app development company to include additional features and shorten the app development lifecycle.

Some of the important factors included in the scope of an app development project are:

  • In-depth market research
  •  The demand of the apps that the client is planning to launch
  •  Competitor analysis
  •  Market share of the apps

Along with the above mentioned points, the scope of app development deals with its expansion as well. The clients can also include what new can be done in the app in the future.

Different types of mobile apps require a special approach for software development

There are a plethora of different mobile applications available on the market. Different types of such apps require a different approach to develop them.. The classifications of the mobile apps are based on their industries, functionalities, and industries. We have listed a few of the top classifications for your reference below:

Types of mobile apps bifurcated based on functionalities and industries

Types of Mobile Apps bifurcated based on Functionalities n business

 

  • Lifestyle mobile apps: fitness, food, dating, music, travel, etc.
  • Utility mobile apps: weather, flashlight, calculator, reminder, etc.
  • Social media apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
  • News or information mobile app: Buzzfeed, Linkedin pulse, Reddit, Yahoo News digest, etc.
  • Productivity mobile apps: Evernote, Wunderlist, Sheets, Docs, etc.
  • Entertainment apps: Netflix, Angry Birds, Subway Surfer, etc.

Types of mobile apps bifurcated based on the technology used to develop them

Types of Mobile Apps bifurcated based on the Technology

Native mobile app development

As the name itself suggests, the native mobile applications are developed for a specific platform i.e., Android or iOS. The programming languages used to develop these apps are supported by the native mobile OS . For example, Swift code is supported by iOS.

Native apps require a different set of tools for different platforms. For example, on Android, the leading app development tools are Java and Eclipse, while on iOS, the leading tools are Objective-C and Xcode.

Hybrid mobile app development

Hybrid apps can work on the mobile OS platform and will give a look and feel like the native apps. These apps are fast, have a responsive design and use a mixture of native APIs and web technology. The programming languages used to develop hybrid apps include HTML5, Ionic, Objective C, etc.

Web app development

Web applications are similar to native apps, but the only difference is that they can be accessed through a web browser from mobile apps. As these apps are web based, there is no need to customize them for a particular OS or platform.

Web-based apps are beneficial for a mobile app development company as it reduces the total development costs to a great deal.

What are the different types of mobile app development tools?

Different Tools for Mobile Application Development

 

As a client, before you begin a mobile app development process, there is a question that might concern you, ‘what are the different types of mobile app development tools available?’ Although if you consult a trusted mobile app development company, they will develop the apps with the best available tools, but it is handy to have an overall idea of the different types of app development tools.

Below is the list of app development tools that are currently popular in the market.

Android Studio

Android Studio is a free app development produced and developed by Google to build modern Android applications. The app development tool is simple and renders phone screen visualization, quick shortcuts, etc., to make the Android app development process easier.
Moreover, Android Studio has a drag and drop feature that assists in the faster layout design of the mobile app.

XCode

Xcode provides a myriad of opportunities to build innovative iOS mobile applications with the help of the Swift programming language. It is a free mobile app development tool that helps in developing visually appealing apps.

AppCode

AppCode is used to develop macOS/iOS applications and supports various web technologies such as XML, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, etc. AppCode can be a valuable asset for business owners as it increases overall productivity by automating mundane tasks.

How to find a dependable mobile app development company?

How to find a good Mobile App Development Company

 

After getting an overview of the top mobile app development tools, it is time to begin the quest to find a trusted mobile app development company. Clients should understand that no matter how good their app development idea is if they do not have a dependable app development firm, the app idea will fail.

Here are the leading tips that will help the clients to select the best mobile app development company.

Understand the requirements before you begin the search

Before you begin scouting for mobile app development companies, you need to be sure about what you want from the app. This is why it is important to define the scope of the mobile app, as it will help you begin your search process in the right direction.

Look at their portfolio

It is important to ask for relevant work samples from the app development companies. A good portfolio is a clear indication of the technical expertise of the company and its previous work. It will give the clients a clear idea about the work ethics of the company and if it has relevant experience in the required genre of app development.

Be upfront and clear about your approach while you are looking for a mobile app development company. It is important to ask the right set of questions to know the actual quality of the company. Clients should understand that the process of mobile app development is no smooth ride. So in the face of setbacks, a trusted mobile app development company will give you better results.

Some of the frequently asked questions are:

  •  Total experience of the mobile app development company
  • Will they deploy a team of dedicated developers or general developers
  •  Estimated timeline for the development of the project
  •  What kind of development method does the company use?
  •  What is your experience in developing high-end apps (if you have a complex app to develop)

Keep a keen eye on communication

Once you outsource your app development project, updates and regular contact becomes crucial. It will keep the clients on the same page throughout the development process to see if their expectations are met at every stage. But if the mobile app development company is lagging in communicating the right things at the right time, they are not the best fit. Moreover, the level of communication also describes their level of involvement in the project.

Maintenance and after-sales services

As a client, you should know every detail of the maintenance and after sales services of the mobile app development company. Ask them about the time-frame that the company will provide app maintenance services for. Also, find out about the range of mobile app maintenance and support services the app development company provides.

Importance of market research

There is an old saying in the tech world, ‘what is measured, improves’. Thus, it is essential to do in-depth market research to reap the rich benefits of the mobile app. A well strategized market research will help you find your target audience early. Moreover, it will also give you a clear idea about what your competitors are doing.
Moreover, while doing the market research, keep your focus on finding the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the main objective of the app?
  • Is your mobile app good enough to fit in the present market scenario?
  •  What platforms will you use and the size of your competition?
  • Who are the leading apps in your genre and their ‘X-factor’?
  • What will be the marketing tactics to promote the app?

Steps involved in the creation of a mobile app

Steps involved in developing a Mobile Application

 

Now that you have finalized your mobile app development partner, it is time to look at the steps involved in developing a mobile app. As a client, an overview of the steps will help you understand whether the app development process is going in the right direction.

Here are the steps

Making a definite plan

Having a definite app development strategy is essential for evolving your idea into a successful mobile app. Mobile app strategy is app-specific but there are still some definite things that it can address during the development process.

Having a concrete plan will ensure a smooth-sailing of the following things:

  • Conduct an in-depth market research
  • Identify the targeted customers
  • Decide the objectives of the app
  • Select the type of development technology (native, hybrid)

Planning and analysis

After making a definite strategy, it is time to analyze the requirements and make a solid plan. Make sure to set important milestones during the planning stage itself to have smooth sailing. Moreover, as a client, if you are concerned about the cost or resources, it is advisable to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) in the initial stage.

UI/UX Design

The success of any mobile application depends on how well its targeted audience is receiving it. Thus, having a neat and polished mobile app UI/UX design is inevitable as it makes the app intuitive, interactive, and user-friendly.

Some important steps of mobile app UI/UX design are:

  • Workflow and information architecture: Information architecture will determine the role of data in the app and how the user journeys with the app. The workflow will identify the navigation structure of the app and user interaction.
  • Wireframes: It is a cost-effective approach as it focuses more on the user experience and aesthetics.
  • Style Guide: It will include the fonts, color scheme, and brand representation of the business organization through app design
  • Mockups: It is also known as high-fidelity designs created by applying a style guide on the mobile app wireframe to create look-a-like product on a very basic and initial stage.
  • Prototype: Prototypes are used explicitly for simulating the workflow of the app and the user experience that is expected from a high-quality finished product.

Development

Concrete planning is an important part of the mobile app development phase. But, it is essential to define three things before beginning the app programming process:

  • Pick the right technology stack
  • Technical architecture
  •  Identify relevant mobile app development milestones

Moreover, the clients need to know that a typical mobile app development project has three inseparable parts:

  • API
  •  Mobile app backend
  •  Mobile app front end

Testing

To ensure that the developed mobile app is up to the mark, comprehensive mobile app testing is essential. Moreover, to have good quality testing, it is important to prepare test cases that cover all the aspects of mobile app testing.

Test cases are crucial as they are used for recording the test results, evaluate the quality of the software, identifying the problem areas for retesting. Also, for the app to deliver quality solutions, it has to undergo the following testing methods:

  • Functional Testing
  •  User experience Testing
  •  Security Testing
  •  Performance Testing
  •  Platform Testing

Deployment

In the deployment process, some of the mobile apps based on its type and the business needs are submitted to the app stores, such as Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iOS, while some applications are also developed for internal business purposes. If the app is for the app store, you need the app’s release to be smooth. Hence, it is required to prepare some metadata as:

  • Title of the app
  • App’s description
  • Category of the mobile app
  •  Keywords about the app
  •  Launch icon of the app
  • Screenshots of the app

 

Factors that affect the mobile app development cost

Factors that affect the Mobile Application Development Cost

 

Several factors play an important role in determining the cost of mobile app development. Let us now figure out the essential factors in detail.

The after release expenses

The clients should understand that the money they pay for app development is for the app development process only. There are other important aspects such as used to scale up the app, maintain the backend servers, promote and market the app, legal support, etc. Thus, you need to understand all the after-release expenses while deciding the budget of the app.

Time taken to develop an app

The total time taken to develop an app will also play an important role in determining its overall cost. Although there is no specific time to develop a particular kind of app, some of the important factors that determine the time are:

  • Size of the app: small app (2-4 weeks), medium-sized apps (6-8 weeks), large-sized apps (10-12 weeks)
  • Total number of functions and features of the app
  •  Compatibility of front-end and backend design
  • Time taken to test the app to ensure that it is free from bugs

Size of the mobile app development team

The client can have a basic or dedicated mobile app development team depending on the requirement of the project.

The general structure of an app development team is as follows:

  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX Designer
  • iOS/Android mobile app developers
  •  Quality Assurance Team

Note that the number of members required in the team depends on the complexity of the mobile app.

Launching of the app

While, in general, apps are launched on the app stores and a few are meant for internal usage (within the organization and not available publicly). The local launching does not require any marketing, but apps launched publicly should go through certain processes to get accepted by the store and also reach the target audiences.

There is a common misbelief within the clients and the mobile app developers that it will automatically generate traction once the mobile app is launched. Generating revenues take time and the app owner would have to be patient in getting fruitful results. The launch of the app also affects its budget or cost.
Here is a list that will help you to perform a successful app launch and also keep the expenses in check:

  • Strategic pricing approach
  • Have captivating screenshots and branded screenshots for marketing purposes
  • Testimonials for app description can work wonders
  • Always have an outreach marketing strategy in place
  • Start promoting the app before it is live
  • Spread the word
  •  Proper analytics for measured improvements

How to evolve your app according to customer requirements?

The key to the rise in the realm of mobile app development is to respond to changes constantly. For clients, it is important to understand that no matter how much research you do, the customer requirements are bound to change. Thus, it is crucial to keep updating the mobile app according to the requirement of the clients.

Leading factors that will help in hassle-free evolvement according to time and requirement are:

  • Keeping track of the changing trends
  •  Using latest technologies like AI, AR, VR, etc. according to the requirement of the mobile app
  •  Closely monitoring the change in buying patterns of the customers
  • Having a flexible mobile app development approach
  • Carefully pay attention to the customers’ feedback and try to address their concerns periodically. You can do this by closely monitoring various channels such as in –app feedback section, app store, or social media.

Summing up

The clients must be on their toes and think on their feet if they wish to excel in the modern-day mobile app development world. From defining the scope of mobile app development to selecting a trusted mobile app development company, everything is vital in developing a successful mobile app. In addition, if the clients have basic knowledge of the latest app development technologies and mobile app development techniques it will help the client’s to have smooth sail through the app development process.

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