Smartphones have transformed the way that we interact with the world around us. The app stores today have almost every product or service that somebody could ever want is available at their fingertips.
From ordering food, doing laundry, booking a cab, searching for a job, to doing chores, there’s a specific app for everything out there. The idea is to create something that will perform a specific task or function for the user.
As the market has evolved over the years, so too has the variety of apps available to users. From social media and eCommerce apps to games and fitness trackers. This increased smartphone penetration the world over has forced businesses to adopt mobile app development in a big way as their main channel of doing business.
Due to the exploding popularity of smartphones and tablets, iOS and android app development are progressively becoming the popular medium of software creation. As a matter of fact, mobile apps have become a crucial element of most businesses, and revenues are estimated to hit almost $600 billion in 2020.
This productive and growing industry has attracted businesses from every single corner of the marketplace as consumers detach themselves from desktop computing and turn to their mobile devices. At present, the average American adult spends around 3 hours every day browsing through mobile phones.
The increased usage of the smartphone makes mobile app development a central channel for every business. Before digging further let’s find out what mobile app development actually is:
What is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is a process for creating mobile applications that run on mobile devices and other hand-held devices. These applications can either be pre-installed or downloaded by the user later. They employ the network capabilities of the device to work computing resources remotely.
Hence, the mobile app development procedure needs developing software that can be installed on the device, and allowing backend services for data access through APIs, and testing the apps on target devices.
To build scalable mobile apps, you also need to consider screen sizes, hardware requirements, and several other characteristics of the app development process. With a growing number of jobs in the mobile app development industry, it is crucial that the process is well defined and understood by entrepreneurs, startups, and specifically developers.
What Is The Purpose Of a Mobile App?
You might be wondering why someone would opt for a mobile app in the first place. Shouldn’t a website be worthy enough? It’s a logical argument, but it misses one of the most significant points about mobile apps – They’re convenient and add value to our lives. Let’s discuss some of the areas where they benefit us.
Next time you browse your favorite mobile apps, consider this: You have access to thousands of years of information, all at your fingertips. Mobile apps serve as brilliant educational tools. You can learn languages, strengthen your coding skills, take online courses, and so on.
Mobile apps have fundamentally transformed how we consume entertainment. Apps like Netflix and YouTube allow users to stream high-definition video whenever they want. Additionally, mobile apps have changed the face of gaming as well. The games industry now generates more revenue from mobile games than it does with PC or console experiences.
And with smartphones becoming more powerful, users have more entertainment options to choose from. Now, full-on PC and console games like Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are accessible on mobile devices.
To Aid Productivity
Today’s smartphones are so advanced and feature-rich that they can handle numerous tasks and add value to your lives. It’s now possible to create presentations via PowerPoint, type up reports through Google Docs, or even consolidate your data through PieSync while you’re stuck in the traffic.
What Are the Different Types of Mobile Apps?
Before developing an app, you need to decide which type of mobile app you’ll be creating based on your requirement. Here’s a breakdown of types of mobile app development technologies with information about each.
Native Mobile Apps:
Native mobile apps are designed to be native to one specific platform, whether it’s iOS, Android, or Windows. The native platform can be beneficial because it tends to enhance the user experience. Because it was developed specifically for the platform, it can operate more rapidly and intuitively.
Additionally, the native applications are built using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for designated operating systems. Major tech giants like Google and Apple provide their interface elements, specific development tools, and standard development toolkit (SDK). Considering these factors most of the companies prefer native mobile app development.
Hybrid Mobile Apps:
As the name suggests, Hybrid Development works on various operating systems and still acts similarly to native apps. A hybrid mobile app is made of a web app and a native app. Hybrid apps are installed on a device like a native app, even though it is similar to a web app. Basically, a hybrid app is a web app that offers access to added native app features.
These apps can be installed just like native apps, but they run through web browsers. All hybrid apps are developed with the HTML5 programming language. However hybrid apps are not as fast or reliable as native apps, they have a better capacity for streamlining the development process. Because you don’t have to develop and maintain apps for separate platforms, your business can save time and resources. It’s perfect for apps that mainly deliver content.
Responsive websites switch to an altered design when they are accessed from a mobile device. Adaptive web applications, instead, scale to fit the different screen sizes of mobile devices. For these applications, the design doesn’t change. Web apps are developed utilizing the most popular programming languages, but they can’t use hardware on mobile devices or be sold in any app store.
If your objective is to offer mobile-friendly content to an extensive range of audiences then you should consider developing web apps. Also, they are cost-effective which will help you to introduce your product to a lot of users. A bottleneck with this kind of app development is increased load times for small images if the network connectivity is poor.
Why Do Businesses Require Mobile Apps?
Let’s discuss some of the insights on the value that a good mobile app can bring to your business:
- Reduce the wait – With a mobile app, your customers will never have to wait. They will be able to explore your products, review the most recent offerings and make purchases at their convenience. Push notifications will notify you about any request or inquiry from the customers which you can attend to, without wasting any time.
- Direct Sales Channels – Mobile Apps are the direct channels of sales that are becoming progressively more common among businesses every day. It puts your customers directly in your contact and eliminates the requirement for any middlemen.
- Market yourself – Mobile Apps are wonderful marketing tools. You can use organic app marketing and app store optimization to make your app and your brand more recognizable.
- Social platform – Mobile Apps are a great medium to connect with your users and create a community to support your product. You can share blogs, forums, and other media to talk about your products, vision, and values
- Engagement and value – Mobile Apps offer many methods of effective customer engagement without raising any additional cost. Higher client engagement will help you in knowing your target audience better and make plans consequently.
- Enhance brand visibility – You can enhance your brand visibility through various campaigns spearheaded through your app. For example, you can make special offers and discounts, run a contest or offer rewards to veteran users.
Mobile App Development Lifecycle
The development process comes after the setup of the complete timeline for app development. It consists of different steps to develop an app that plays a crucial role in managing the development cycle in a given timeline. Here are the stages that one must keep in mind while the development process and determining the mobile and web application building timeline.
The initial aspect that you must keep in mind is to research the market in which you are going to launch the app. Behind the idea of an app, the thought should be to stay in the market for the long run. Hence, it is crucial to know the market well and the issues that the market is facing before stepping into the planning phase.
It has a huge impact on the mobile app development timeline as it contains all the processes and scope of the project. This is the stage where all the preparation takes place. Here, the app entrepreneurs sit with the team of mobile app developers to look back at the user demographics, competitors working in a similar domain, and the vision that they have planned for their mobile application.
Once the basic idea of the application is recognized and assembled, the next step in the mobile app development process is the creation of prototypes and wireframes. At this stage, you have to convert the requirements you have gathered into a flow based upon the creation of user stories.
The prototype you would create at this stage is something that would help the designing and development phases. The entire wire framing and prototyping process takes up somewhere about 2 to 3 weeks to get a proper overlay.
Next to the coding and technical development is the app designing procedure. Usually, the ratio looks somewhat like 1:3, with 1 part designing and 3 parts development. While a good portion of the entire app UI/UX process is attended to in the Wire framing process itself, there are several others strung along with the complete mobile app design.
There are three main parts of the mobile app development process – UI, Frontend, and Backend. The mobile and web application building timeline of all the three processes combined is something that consecutively depends on several factors – A list of features and functionality, the complexity of the design, setting of architecture, integration process, type of technology that the app would be powered on, etc.
Apart from these, the platform that you select for your mobile app development also inclines to carry its impact on the time it would take. While iOS app development is still less time-consuming, the time it takes to develop an Android app is much higher.
After the design and development process is attended, the next thing to plan for when accounting for the time it takes to build an application is mobile app testing. Where you check your app for bugs to ensure that it performs to its best, no matter what the situation is and how users are working around the application.
The final stage of the app development process is the app launch in the App Store and Play Store. There will be several things that you will have to consider before you launch your mobile application in the market.
Things like – SEO for App stores, branding, and curation of communicating content to make the app appealing for the users, and then following the submission guidelines of the stores for becoming a successful app launch in the first time.
Mobile App Development Pricing and Costs
The cost of mobile app development is one of the frustrating parts of the development procedure. It is not just about the development process but ways of determining it. The cost of developing an application isn’t fixed, particularly when you are creating a complex mobile app. The industry is expanding steeply in the market and businesses are brainstorming ideas to surprise the users with other unique and innovative applications.
They are also getting involved in mobile app development projects and prefer to make their brand impact in the market. The key cost- drivers of app development vary about its building strategy, development platform, app functionalities, device compatibility, security, testing, hosting, and maintenance.
What Are the Factors Affecting App Development Costs?
The cost to build an app depends on several factors and varies from app to app. It mainly depends on app type, platforms, design, number of pages, features, and more.
Let’s discuss some of the significant factors influencing the cost of making an app.
Features and Functionality
Before you strive to know ‘how much does an app development cost? You need to find out the complexities of the application because the features and functionalities will decide your mobile app’s cost structure. The more complex features you’ve in your app, the higher the cost and the development time.
Do you want to build an iOS app or an Android one? If you’re thinking of developing an app, you must have a suitable platform in your mind. Since both the platforms demand a different amount and type of work; accordingly, having a different cost.
If you are developing an app for a single platform, it wouldn’t cost you much as compared to what it would be if you required the app to function on more than one platform. If you need an app only for one platform, go with native app development; however, if you wish to build apps for both Android and iOS, go with cross-platform or a hybrid app development approach. Yet, both native and hybrid apps have a different variety of costs.
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are crucial components of making an app effective. Creating a unique UX/UI design is an intimidating task and provides added expenses to your project. You must ensure to have a striking UI/UX design to persuade your users. Remember that the superior UX/UI components are used in the app development, the higher will be the cost compared to easier ones.
Back-end Infrastructure and App Administration
The backend provides developers with APIs to offer data exchange between an app and a database. Developers generally back it with analytics to track user activity and evaluate your customer’s performance using the app. The cost of back-end development for apps may vary depending on the number of parameters you will track and how detailed and exact the tracking will be.
Alternatively, the administration panel handles and manages the app content, statistics, and users. With so many choices to adopt from existing admin panel templates, finding a good one is not easy. Thus it’s vital to create a suitable panel to meet your business needs.
Once your app is ready to be installed by your potential users, you need to work out the best approach to put your app out there on shelves. However, different app stores have dissimilar charges. The iOS app store generally charges more for publishing compared to Google Play Store, and that’s how they earn money. The more the app gets purchased, the more money the app stores draw in.
The Cost of A Development Team
You can’t execute the app development project without the help of professionals, that is, a skilled team of developers, designers, testers, and other app development specialists.
Now the question is – should you hire mobile app developers or a team of freelancers for your development project. It all depends on your requirements.
Talking about freelancers, their hourly rates vary according to the location and experience. Hiring them will involve individual contracts with developers, designers, and testers. This can be a major disadvantage because you need to manage and coordinate with individuals, not a team, which can be a very hectic task.
One big advantage you may find is that you have no restrictions to stick with a fixed hourly rate as seen with professional companies. You can choose according to the individual solutions they offer and never bound to a specific service. It depends on the type of project you are thinking of building. Hiring a development team is an important step in mobile app development cost breakdown so take it seriously.
Location of your app development partner
Whether you want to hire a freelancer or an app development company, their location plays an important role in determining your app development cost. In case you are preferring to get quality services rather than focusing just on money then you might find some countries worth outsourcing projects.
The nearshore and offshore app development cost vary from each other. Choose wisely according to your preference, and ensure that your project is developed with quality.
Choose a Perfect Mobile App Developer
Choosing the right app developer is more significant than saving a few hundred or thousand dollars in developing your product. The right partner can add value in many ways than just development, which will help you maximize returns for your app business.
Let’s take a look at what you should look for in an app developer to make the right decision for your app business.
Choose a developer interested in your business, not just the development.
A good app development company should be capable of not only guide you through the process of development but also give you creative input on the basis of their experience with related apps. Good developers know what works and what doesn’t on the app store because they’ve worked with many clients.
Evaluate their portfolio.
A good developer must have exceptional U/UX skills. When looking at their portfolio, keep an eye out for attractive apps with brilliant user interfaces.
Check client references.
Look for developers who will readily extend client contact information so that you can get genuine feedback on their company.
Have a relationship with a developer to discuss your projects
App development is not a one-time activity. Apps have to get through many advancements and cycles based on continuous user feedback. Look for a developer who will stick with you through the complete lifecycle of the product and not abandon ship once the initial development is done.
Make design a top priority.
How a website or an app’s appearance is as significant as how it works. Go a step further and look at a developer who can add value to the usability feature of your website or mobile app, which will define how users intermingle with your product.
Tips to Select the Perfect Mobile App Development Framework
There are many criteria on the basis of which you can find out whether the mobile app framework is good or bad. Discussed below are some factors you should consider while developing your app.
• The Programming Languages
Selecting the appropriate programming language for your app is one of the most crucial things you should do. More often, experienced programmers generally have a preferred language. It is therefore advisable to choose a programming language that your developers or designers are already familiar with.
• Themes and User Interface
These are important parts that will need your attention and inputs during the complete designing process. A theme can refer to a kind of design element carried through every single screen of the mobile app. The themes are attached and focus on the effectiveness of the experience, this is to the extent that the user experience and interface are considered.
UI outlines a structural blueprint whereas the UX helps to shape the exterior of it. However, the theme is only created when the final product has been completed.
If you have observed, speed is a very important factor and its importance is increasing day by day. Even when it comes to users, they won’t take your app seriously when its loading speed is slow. Expect diminished market performance from an app that does not have a responsive design, which helps in scrolling speedily along with producing answers proficiently.
It is recommended that you research the modification and upgrade opportunities for the app in the future. How effortlessly your app can be upgraded and the usage of the mobile framework can be an intimidating task for your team, specifically when the documentation doesn’t outline what one can do with it.
• The Community Development
A popular framework will have a larger perspective compared to frameworks that are not popular. Engaging in frameworks with big community developments gives you admittance to essential tools that can make your app more extensible and safe.
• The Cost of App Development
When considering any type of product to buy, the cost always matters. In the same way, it is significant to consider the cost of mobile application development when choosing a framework for your mobile app development.
Which are the Top Famous Mobile App Development Platforms?
There are different types of mobile app frameworks. Let’s discuss some of them:
Ionic is an open-source platform that supports a cross-platform mobile app development process. This framework is very popular among mobile application developers. The Ionic framework supports UI feature components such as forms, action sheets, filters, tab bars, list views, and navigation menu when designing a User Interface.
Ionic Studio is the lightning version of Ionic and it is quite influential. You can install it locally to have a simple visual development environment. With its out-of-box features, ionic is always seen as a picture-perfect platform over the other mobile app development frameworks.
Some of the React Native features are mentioned below:
• Native UI components
• Faster development time
• Robust & stable development platform
• Community of 5M+ developers
• Full control over app building
There are several renowned mobile applications built with Ionic for example MarketWatch, Amtrak, and many more.
This is a cross-platform mobile development framework that is also recognized as Apache Cordova. It permits mobile app programmers to develop a mobile app that has been installed as a basic app through different devices. PhoneGap is one of the most commonly used frameworks as a single code base can be applied in developing various mobile app versions.
One of the major benefits of this framework is that it can support in-built features like the phonebook, storage, camera among others. There are several benefits of PhoneGap, some of these are stated below:
• Code Reusability
• No Hardware Limitations
• Plugin Library & Third-Party tools
• Strong Support System
• Compatibility with all the platforms
Some of the well-known mobile applications that are built on PhoneGap are – Wikipedia, Buildr, and TripCase, many more.
This is a smart approach to creating mobile apps because it allows developers to use C# for iOS and Android or make use of Universal for Windows mobile applications. Developers have recommended it for being a dependable tool providing flexibility and performance when building native apps.
Xamarin has about one million community developers. This framework is also supported by Microsoft technology further improving its reliability. The Xamarin framework is equipped with an outstanding user interface that allows developers to build an app with so much comfort and enhanced UX.
Some of the Xamarin features are mentioned below:
- A solid community of 60,000 contributors
- Multipurpose backend infrastructure
- Diagnostic tools
- Application loader
- Android SDK manager
- Storyboard files
- Google emulator manager
Some of the most popular mobile applications that are built on Xamarin are – OLO, Alaska Airlines, and many more.
Presently, React Native is one of the most popular frameworks is for Android and iOS mobile app development. This framework enables developers to build high-performance applications within smaller development cycles along with faster deployment times. React Native supports JSX, making it a one-stop-shop for developers.
React Native also permits creating platform-specific versions of several components allowing easy use of a single codebase across multiple platforms. This community-driven JS library was announced in 2018 by Facebook.
Some of the React Native features are mentioned below:
- Compatible third-party plugins
- Declarative API for predictive UI
- Supports iOS and Android
There are famous mobile applications developed with React Native such as Instagram, Uber Eats, Soundcloud, and many more.
This is a mobile app framework that supports developers to build solitary code bases that execute well with iOS, Nook, and Android. Some of the wonderful features of Corona SDK include high-resolution graphics and increased interactivity.
With Corona SDK, you can simply incorporate your gaming APIs into your app and quickly monetize it. Besides, you can also develop compatible applications for Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV.
Some of the outstanding Corona features are:
- Lua-based platform, an effective & lightweight scripting language for games
- Various plugins for all needs
- Robust API support to integrate with any native library
- Faster development process
- Above 500,000 Corona developers
Flutter – developed by Google, is a UI toolkit to create native applications for the mobile, desktop & web platforms. Flutter is a cross-platform mobile app development framework that works on one code base to build Android plus iOS applications.
The framework offers a large range of completely customizable widgets that helps to develop native applications in a shorter period. Additionally, Flutter uses the 2D rendering engine called Skia for developing visuals and its layered architecture make sure the successful functioning of components.
Some of the most important benefits of Flutter are mentioned below:
- Delivers Full Native Performance
- Flexible User interface (UI)
- Offers Strong Widget Support
- Offers Built-in Material Design
- Fast Application Development
Some of the popular mobile applications that are developed on Flutter are Google Ads, Hamilton, SpaceX Go, Watermaniac, and several others.
Mobile Angular UI
Mobile Angular UI is an open-source mobile application development framework that combines the execution of Bootstrap and Angular framework. The framework comprises many UI components such as overlays, switches, navbars, sidebars, scrollable areas, etc. to deliver robust and striking user interfaces for the applications.
Some of the benefits of Mobile Angular UI are mentioned below:
- Responsive Framework
- Offers Interactive Components
- No jQuery dependencies
- Simpler conversion from the web or desktop application to the mobile app
There are several popular mobile applications built with Mobile Angular UI such as Hotelier News, iKeyBox, and many more.
Additionally, Framework7 offers an extensive range of UI elements and widgets such as action sheets, side panels, list views, form elements, etc. to create the development process more appropriate and effective.
There are several benefits of Framework 7, some of these are mentioned below:
- Easier Customization
- Provides several UI widgets and elements
- Paired with added tools like Electron & NW.js
- Rich Ecosystem
- Ease of Maintenance
There are several well-known mobile applications built with Framework 7 such as Wappler, Blokt, Kidoverse, and many more.
How to Earn Money from Your Mobile App?
There are several ways you can make your app a money-making machine regardless of offering it in a paid plan or free.
It is the easiest and popular way of earning money with your app.
- How it works: Allow the advertisements to display on your app.
- What you get: Paid for the total number of impressions the ads make or click they are receiving. You will get paid for the comprehensive type of ads you provide.
- Trick: A video ad fetches you more money than a banner ad.
- Precaution: Review whether the users are persistent to bear a video or not.
- Keep in mind: Importance/significance should be the basis to decide the length of the video ad and the frequency.
With more relevancy to the user’s perception, this strategy offers a variety of services at a higher level which would be unlocked after an update.
- How it works: Offers an additional bonus, premium content, games with virtual currency, or upgrade after each level.
- What you give: Users will acquire consumables and non-consumables.
- What the stats have to say: More than 50% of the apps utilize in-app purchases for earning money.
- Takeaway: A freemium model offers advanced features only on upgradation.
Highly effective and respectable money-making approach, the subscription model is a deal that is fair for both sides involved.
- How it Works: The app offers a subscription to every user. The user will be able to access some of the content for free. If they want to have more, then they must subscribe.
- What you get: All the users will acquire value-added services. After subscription, depending on the plans they have selected, they will get admittance to the contents.
After spending your savings on building an app, putting a tag on Paid Apps is justifiable. But as every coin has two sides, there are inconsistent views on this as well. As per research, if there is a price tag on your app, money-making will be tough. The reason is people choose free apps as compared to the paid ones.
A general platform where affiliation takes along advertisers and affiliates together.
- How it works-Normally, mobile advertisers are business individuals trying to do business by marketing their products or services through the mobile web. The role of affiliates is to bring advertising exclusively on performance-based to the advertisers.
- What you gain – You can earn money by being a part of the mobile affiliate network. You can advertise appropriate apps, several products, and services offered by the affiliates.
- Takeaway-The revenue of affiliate programs is in the form of clicks per ad or installs. This would give rise to your revenue generation.
The mobile app development process might appear overwhelming and complex. Since there are a lot of steps and difficult decision-making required along the way. But, it is an extremely rewarding process and can be quite beneficial. Mobile Application Development is an ongoing practice and will carry on after the initial launch as you get user feedback and build added functionality.
Being enlightened about the costs and total time connected with the application development is crucial. The major step in making app development a smooth procedure is by hiring a skilled app developer from an experienced mobile app development company which will not only help you to build an exclusively designed mobile app and will also ensure a successful launch of your app.