It is important for every client to know what he can get from mobile application development. It is for this reason we decided to do a little research for potential clients of development companies. You can consider it a kind of comprehensive guide. So let's analyze it in detail.
What is Mobile Application Development?
To answer the question of what is mobile application development in the first place, we need to dig into the history. The very first programs for mobile devices appeared back in the 1990s.
However, mobile development in its usual form began in 2007-2008, with the appearance of the Android platform, the launch of the AppStore for the iPhone, and the admission of third-party developers.
Only 16 years have passed since then, but the list of skills, knowledge, and technological capabilities required for a developer to create an application has grown several times over.
For a long time mobile development was considered the easiest way to start working in IT, but is it really that easy to create modern mobile apps today?
Top Mobile Application Development Platforms
There are many platforms for which all kinds of applications are developed. If we are talking about mobile platforms, in this case the list is limited to Android and iOS. Of course, it is also worth noting the cross-platform development, which can also be called a hybrid.
Latest updates are dramatically changing the approach to creating apps. For example, this happened with the recent introduction of Jetpack Compose, a tool for creating user interfaces in Android. The number of devices is growing. And it's not just smartphones and smartwatches.
For example, cash registers, ATMs, various wearable gadgets and so on run on Android. In the portfolio of a mobile developer, next to an online store project, there may well be an application for a smart home or car multimedia.
Creating such projects requires excellent knowledge of the operating system and the ability to work with various APIs.
In order to program in general and for iOS in particular, you need to know quite a lot. Mathematics and logic may not be needed at the beginning, but will be in demand later.
Modern technology has spared the programmer the need to know the architecture of the computer thoroughly, but an understanding of the basic mechanisms, such as number systems, their conversion, the speed of subroutines or the efficiency of algorithms (big O), is necessary.
At a higher level, an iOS developer needs in-depth knowledge of the macOS operating system and iOS itself. In addition, you definitely need to master the "apple" programming language. Knowing Delphi, C++, C# or VB.NET won't help you much.
Apple has its own ecosystem with its own languages: Objective-C and Swift. Of course, knowing C++ hasn't hurt anyone yet: programs and inserts in it can be found everywhere, even at Apple.
Google and Apple have long tried to increase the gap between their systems. Developers had to do the same job twice: create the same mobile app for use on different platforms.
The IT community found a way to make their lives easier - and started creating cross-platform development tools. They allow releasing applications with the same code base, working on multiple operating systems.
The development of cross-platform frameworks is great news, especially for Android developers, because the most popular frameworks are the easiest to master for the creators of mobile applications for the operating system from Google.
For example, Flutter, which Google actively promotes and supports.
Mobile Application Development Approaches
In short, cross-platform is the ability of software to work with multiple hardware platforms or operating systems. Native programs, in turn, are written to work on a specific hardware or software platform.
1. Native Mobile Applications
Native development is a classic solution that requires writing applications for each platform separately, using different languages and taking into account the specifics of each platform.
And Google's Flutter for Android, iOS, and Fuchsia apps uses the Dart language, which is also used for web programming.
2. Hybrid Mobile Applications
Hybrid, compile-to-native code - applications written using third-party development tools, programming languages, which have their own set of libraries that link the software interfaces of platform SDKs with their own interfaces or completely replace them.
With the same application logic on all platforms and a simple interface, hybrid development helps you get your product to market faster. And what is mobile app development, native and hybrid?
They have advantages and disadvantages that businesses and contractors consider when choosing technology. Among the most important criteria are development and maintenance time and cost, fit for purpose, security and perspectives, and the level of community development.
3. Cross-platform Mobile Applications
What is cross-platform development all about? When you need your application to run on multiple operating systems at once with minimal effort, this is the method you are most likely to resort to. One program is developed, one code is written, and it works on all supported platforms.
While coders who understand the specifics of their platforms meticulously build the core packages for any native application, their colleagues in the cross-platform arena may already be getting ready to release an MVP. Everything changes at the product maturity stage.
Mobile Application Development Process
The Mobile Application Development Lifecycle
The mobile app development life cycle is the process of developing a mobile app. It consists of a series of steps and activities that need to be performed to create a working product.
The mobile applications development process can be divided into five stages:
- Idea: This stage consists of brainstorming ideas, forming concepts and exploring different options.
- Design: This stage involves designing the user interface using layouts and wireframes, as well as defining the architecture and technical requirements of your app.
- Development: This phase involves creating the actual functionality and structure of your application.
- Testing: Testing should be done throughout development, but also at this stage; it includes testing for compliance and testing for usability issues.
- Deployment: In this phase, you deploy your application into production (if applicable), make sure it works correctly on various devices and platforms, and then run it publicly (if applicable).
The Mobile Application Front-End
The view controls how users interact with their device's screen - for example, how many buttons or links are available at any given time. The controller controls how those buttons and links function - for example, whether they open a new page or take the user to another part of an existing page.
The first thing to consider when thinking about the look and feel of your mobile app is whether you want to include animations or graphics in the design. This will help you decide what type of user interface (UI) you want to use.
There are many different types of UI, but some general guidelines are as follows:
- Make sure all buttons are clearly labeled so that users always know what they are doing.
- Use visuals to guide users through the process of completing a task so they don't need instructions.
- Keep things simple by using no more than two colors per page and making sure everything looks consistent.
The Mobile Application Back-End
The backend is the part of the mobile application that performs all non-user-related tasks, such as interacting with servers, storing data, and routing information. The backend is divided into two parts: the server side and the database management system (DBMS).
The server side interacts with the servers to send and receive data from them. This can be done through an internal API (application programming interface) or through third-party services such as Facebook or Twitter.
The server side also manages the databases used by the application. Database Management System (DBMS) - allows users to store and retrieve data from databases using SQL queries
- Messaging system - allows users to send messages to each other;
- File storage - provides storage of files on the device (e.g., images or videos);
- Authentication system - allows users to authenticate themselves with a username/password combination or any other method (such as fingerprint recognition);
- Security system - protects data from unauthorized access;
- Proxy server - directs requests from mobile devices to the appropriate servers.
Key Mobile Application Services
The mobile app industry has undergone many changes over the past few years. From the emergence of iMessage and WhatsApp as major messaging platforms to the advent of voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, there is no doubt that we are living in an exciting time for mobile apps development.
But if you're just starting your journey in mobile apps or want to take an existing app to the next level, you may feel overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start.
Authentication is one of the most important steps in the app mobile development process. It is also one of the most important steps in the life of any app. Without it, users won't be able to use your app or even log into it.
Authentication can come in many forms: username/password, fingerprint scanning, facial recognition and other biometrics, and more. Notification functionality is an important part of the user experience on all platforms.
Costs of Developing a Mobile Application
When you want to know how to develop mobile apps, one of the first things you want to know is how much it will cost. But what exactly influences that cost? The answer is: a lot of things.
The cost of developing mobile applications depends on many factors, including the features of your app, device compatibility requirements.
1. Features of The App
The features of an application affect its price in different ways. Unique or new features. If your app is the first to offer a particular feature or service, you may have to pay more to develop it than if it were similar to other apps on the market.
For example, if you create an app that allows users to order food from their phone and have it delivered within 30 minutes by drone.
Both apps achieve the same goal, but one uses technology that hasn't been used before and the other uses traditional delivery methods.
If a developer needs to create complex functionality, they will have to spend more time on it and therefore increase the cost of development.
2. Different Devices and Platforms
Today, it's important for every business to have an online presence. This is because the Internet offers many benefits to businesses, including reaching a wider audience. However, in order to take advantage of these benefits, it is necessary to have an app that can be accessed on a variety of devices and platforms.
The cost of developing an app can be affected by the type of device and platform it needs to run on. For example, if you want the app to work on both iOS and Android, the cost will be higher than developing for one platform.
3. Native or Cross-platform Development
When it comes to app development, there are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your project. One of the most important factors is the type of Native or Cross-platform Development. Native and cross-platform development have become the two most popular ways to create apps.
Native applications are created with a specific operating system in mind and are designed to work seamlessly with that operating system. Cross-platform applications, on the other hand, are developed using a single code base that can run on multiple platforms.
Native applications are more expensive to create because they require a lot of work on the part of the developers.
4. In-house Development or Outsourcing
The cost of application development can be affected by which development method you choose: outsourcing or in-house development. In-house development and outsourcing are two different ways of developing software.
They have their advantages and disadvantages, but they share the same main goal: to create a product that will increase your company's profits. Both methods are viable options for creating your application, but they affect the cost of development differently.
Outsourcing is when you hire a company outside of your organization to develop an app for you. This usually means that they have their own team and infrastructure, so they can provide more features and better quality at a lower cost than if you hired internal staff to do the same work.
Why Mobile Application Fail?
Mobile apps are ubiquitous, but not all of them are successful. In fact, a significant number of mobile apps fail to attract users and therefore fail to generate revenue for their developers.
There are many factors that contribute to the failure of a mobile app. Some of them include: inadequate market research, poor app design, ineffective marketing, and failure to implement a sound strategy.
1. Lack of Market Research
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring app developers make is not doing enough market research before launching an app. Before you invest time and money in developing a product, you need to make sure there is a market for it.
It is also important to do research on how other similar products are being used by their customers so that you can avoid making mistakes similar to those made by others in the past.
This is because they do not adequately consider the needs of their target audience. If a developer doesn't do enough research or doesn't do it well enough, then they don't know how best to meet those needs when developing their app.
2. Absence of a Robust Mobile Strategy
You can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, it will never be used! Make sure you have a strong marketing strategy. After all, another reason for failure is ineffective marketing strategies, such as poor advertising campaigns or no marketing at all.
This can cause consumers to lose interest in a new technology because there hasn't yet been a buzz around it (or worse: they may never hear about it!). Companies need to make sure they're doing everything they can to get their name out there so people know about what they offer before it's launched!
3. Poor App Design
Another reason for failure is poor app design or difficulty using the app. A well-designed app should be intuitive and easy to navigate so that users stay with the product or service long enough to make a purchase or perform an action.
It's easy to get carried away with all the "bells and whistles" when designing an app, but sometimes less is more when it comes to creating a great user experience. Make sure your app design is focused on providing users with useful information or services, rather than wowing them with unnecessary features that don't really add value to their lives or business processes.
4. Failure to Execute the Plan Precisely
Often companies fail to execute the plan precisely and therefore must implement strategies that work well together, so that everyone's efforts complement each other rather than overlap (or, worse, don't match).
A sound strategy involves identifying your target audience and developing a marketing plan based on their needs and preferences. You should also consider how much money you are willing to spend on advertising, as well as how long it will be before you start to see results from that advertising.
5. Failure to Market Your App
A poorly planned mobile app will be difficult to use and is likely to be frustrating for users who try to use it regularly. This can lead to them deleting it from their phone altogether.
Developers may also fail to conduct an effective marketing campaign to attract new users who might buy the app to use it regularly themselves, as well as recommend it to other users who might also be interested in it. Ineffective marketing can also be a factor in the failure of a mobile app-if you don't have enough money to promote the app, it is unlikely to be successful.
Finally, even if you have money for marketing, if you don't have a well-thought-out strategy, your marketing efforts will be wasted.
Conclusion: How Build Successful Mobile Apps
When we create an app for ourselves, we most often do not think about monetization, and in this case the whole process is very simple. As soon as there is a desire to make money, the development process immediately becomes several times more complicated.
There is a need to analyze the market, competitors, identify the target audience and much more. In addition to all these points, it is important to understand: the sphere of mobile development is one of the most rapidly changing areas in today's business.
Therefore, in order to succeed in this field, it is very important to constantly monitor new trends, features and requirements for applications - not only at the stage of creating the product, but also for its regular updating.
The better you understand current user needs, the better the product you create will be. There is another strategy for making money from apps worth mentioning. This strategy is to copy the most popular app, put it in the store and forget about it, and then move on to the next popular app, copy it, etc.
You don't need all of these steps for this tactic. However, if you want to create something of higher quality and uniqueness, as I wrote before, the process becomes much more complicated.