According to this AWS article, mobile application development is the process of creating software applications that run on a mobile device, and a typical mobile application utilizes a network connection to work with remote computing resources. Hence, the mobile development process involves creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, assets, etc.) , implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices.
Like web application development, mobile application development has its roots in more traditional software development. One critical difference, however, is that mobile apps are often written specifically to take advantage of the unique features of a particular mobile device. For example, a gaming app might be written to take advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer or a mobile health app might be written to take advantage of a smartwatch’s temperature sensor.
The mobile development process involves creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, assets, etc.), implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices.
Who needs a mobile app?
More and more small and mid-size businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website and that their business needs a mobile app.
In fact, these days you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with on a frequent basis have their own dedicated mobile app—be it the corner coffeeshop or the beauty spa downtown. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their digital marketing to the next level.
In case you are still not sure why anyone would want to build their own mobile application, here are the top seven benefits of going down this path sooner rather than later.
Mobile Applications and Device Platforms
There are two dominant platforms in the modern smartphone market. One is the iOS platform from Apple Inc. The iOS platform is the operating system that powers Apple’s popular line of iPhone smartphones. The second is Android from Google. The Android operating system is used not only by Google devices but also by many other OEMs to built their own smartphones and other smart devices.
In the early years of mobile apps, the only way to ensure an app could perform optimally on any device was to develop the app natively. This meant that new code had to be written specifically for each device’s specific processor. Today, the majority of mobile applications developed are device-agnostic.
Mobile App Development Cost Calculator
There are many great (and free!) resources available to help you figure out a budget when it comes to developing a mobile app. Estimate My App is a popular and user friendly website that can easily put together a quote for your app development needs.
Pricing is typically based on the features of the mobile app, who the user will be, what integrations you will need, your monetization, maintenance and hosting, and buildfire services. While this list can be longer or shorter, this is a good basis to keep in mind when it comes to app development.
So where to begin?
Statistics show that the average American adult spends an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes on their mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind subconsciously records every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across.
To build an application, you need a step-by-step process that can help you build mobile apps quickly. There are three important steps:
- Understand the requirement
- Develop the Product
- Test the product.
Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.
One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers—including special sales and promotions—is right at their fingertips. Via push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.
While some big names such as Salesforce mobile app development, Shopify mobile app development or Flutter mobile app development may be at top of mind when it comes to app development, it is truly important to make sure your dev team is compatible with your existing business.
Mobile App Design Process
Designing is much more than learning how to use design software. You can learn to design your mobile application yourself or ask someone to help you. But above everything else, the design is about understanding the product inside out, and its capabilities, features, and functionalities. The design should always keep the end-user in mind. The design process we follow at OpenXcell is as follows.
- Building User Flow / Diagram for each screen
- Creating Wireframes
- Choosing Design patterns, palettes, and elements
- Creating mockups
- Creating an animated prototype and asking testable questions
- Give final touches to the mockup based on user feedback
This Free Code Camp article does a great job highlighting the importance of the mobile app design process.
Finally, when your app is finished and you are ready to launch, this is considered the scariest step for most mobile app developers: submitting your product to the Apple App Store or Google Play. By this point, your mobile app and all marketing material should be done and perfected.
Android apps submitted to Google Play are usually available for public download within hours of submission. Apple’s App Store, on the other hand, can take up to 10 business days to evaluate and approve your app. Apple is notorious for the high standards it upholds for its App Store. In fact, 30% of submissions are rejected from the App Store, usually because of problems that could have been avoided or addressed during the previous stages we’ve discussed.
It’s normal to feel like your mobile app is confusing and never ending. However, once you are ready to launch, a whole new wave of work begins. Your first wave of users brings invaluable insight into how you can improve your mobile app’s standing. So it’s important that you remain ready to fine-tune your app in response to this feedback.
This is often the trickiest step to building an app, and one that never truly ends. But if you adapt according to your audience’s needs, you’ll gain user traction faster and set yourself up for consistent growth and long-term success.