What is App Development
The process of creating a software application that runs on a mobile device is known as app development. The lifecycle of the app development process involves creating installable software, implementing backend services, and then testing the app on target mobile devices.
Mobile Applications and Device Platforms
There are two major platforms in the smartphone market. One is Android from Google. The Android operating system is used not only by Google gadgets but also by many other manufactures to built their own smartphones and smart devices. The second is the iOS from Apple Inc. The iOS operating system powers Apple’s popular line of iPhone smartphones.
Even though there is the closeness between these two platforms while creating applications, Android, and iOS use different SDKs and tools. Google makes Android available to other companies in case they meet specific requirements such as including specific Google applications on the devices they manufacture, on the other hand, Apple uses iOS only for its own devices. We can build applications for millions of devices by targeting both of these platforms.
Ways to Build Mobile Applications
There are four major development approaches when building mobile applications
- Native Mobile Applications
- Hybrid Mobile Applications
- Progressive Web Applications
Each of these approaches to develop mobile applications has its own set of pros and cons. When choosing the right development approach for your project, we consider the development budget, time targets, the desired user experience, the computing resources and native features required by the application, and resources available to maintain the application.
Native Mobile Applications
Native mobile applications are developed for the target platform with the platform SDK, tools, and languages like Eclipse/Java for Android, xCode/Objective-C for iOS, and Visual Studio/C# for Windows Phone & run directly on the operating system of the device such as Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
- Best runtime performance
- Direct access to device APIs
- Multiple code-bases for each platform
- Higher costs when building and maintaining your application
Hybrid Mobile Applications
- Shared code base between the web and mobile apps
- Using the web development skillset for building mobile apps
- Lower performance compared to native apps
- Limited support for native device features
Progressive Web Applications
PWAs take advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps and skip app store delivery and app installations. PWAs utilize a set of browser capabilities such as running a background process, working offline, and adding a link to the device’s home screen to provide an app-like user experience.
- No installation required, accessible through a URL
- The same app is available both for web and mobile
- App capabilities depend on the browser in use
- Limited support for native device features
At this point you know what is mobile application development, now let’s see what you should know before actually getting your app developed.
Choose the Right Platform
You need to choose the right platform for your mobile application from Android, iOS, Windows, etc. While settling on the choice among the desired platform, think of a holistic UI that you can deliver specifically to your application.
Conduct Market Research
Before developing an application it is always advisable to do R&D. Conducting market research will help you obtain insights into the current market scenario and your competitors. Make sure that you involve the user’s review in your research. Ask your target audience what exactly they want in the application; evaluate the real demand and take all the adequate decisions.
Justify Reason for Developing an Application
Defining dissimilarities between the website and app offerings is important. There must be clarity on how distinctively will you offer the services through an app than the website.
Your vision for the application must be clear. And it must be in alignment with the business objectives and how the application will accomplish the same.
Build a Minimum Viable Application
Your must answer questions below to understand the essence of the application in a precise manner:
- What problems your app will solve?
- What are the steps your users will use to solve the problem?
- Which features make your app a must-have?
- Which is the most important feature in your app?
- What features your app must-have?
Determine How to Earn
It is wise to find out ways to monetize your application, before building the mobile app. There are few strategies – advertisements inside your application to start earning on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression basis.
Decide beforehand whether you will charge users before download or integrate an in-app purchase strategy. You can always go for a free download option in the initial phase.
Marketing the Application
It is equally important to market the application among your target users. To set your foot in the play store or app store and slightly influence audiences by letting them know that there’s something important in the play store or app store for them, you should implement mobile marketing and get things right for your business.