Mobile Development

mobile app development

The Truth About Building a Mobile App: 7 Things You Need to Know

Building a mobile app can be an adventure. Whether you write the code yourself or hire someone else to do it, you will enjoy a fascinating process. At the same time, if you get it right you can make a lot of money. At the very least, you will own something you can be proud of.

Many apps don’t turn out as planned. That’s because not everyone follows a proven process. There are critical aspects of creating an app that will increase your chances of success. Here are seven of them.

Choose the right audience for your app

The audience could make the difference between an app that makes money and one that doesn’t. Modern mobile users want apps that fit their specific needs. So you need to consider who will use your app before you start building it.

This bit is relatively simple. Think about the group of people who will benefit the most from your idea. Is it accounts, runners, or music teachers? Spend some time brainstorming potential users. Don’t worry about leaving people out. Once you’ve made your app perfect for one group, you can use the same ideas when you decide to expand your user base.

Choose a platform you’re comfortable with

What’s the best platform for creating mobile apps? That depends entirely on you. Your budget, experience, and what you’re trying to develop will influence your decision. However, you need to keep in mind that your platform has almost no impact on the success of your app.

What’s more important is the usefulness of your app. Focus on that. Then, choose a platform that allows you to create an app within your desired budget and time frame.

What problem are you solving?

When people download your app, they do it for one reason. They have a problem, and they need it solved. That applies to mobile games. When people are bored or need stimulation, they turn to games. Whichever way you look at it, your app needs to deal with some pain.

To succeed, start with a simple issue that your users are having. Find something that either improves their work processes or helps with a hobby of theirs. You can also find ways to help them connect with other people.

Once you’ve figured out what they want, write down the best way to solve it on a piece of paper. That will work as a blueprint for you and your team. As long as you focus on making your users’ lives easier, you will gain traction once your app is ready.

Write down the key features your app requires

Overlading an app with features is a widespread mistake. In the mobile world, less is more. Adding too many ideas will confuse your users and discourage them. Instead, focus on the core features. Your goal is to deliver a specific result. You should discard anything that doesn’t add to that.

This process will also expose problems you might come across when coding your app. For example, you may have underestimated the required costs. When you have a clear picture of the core features, you can spend your money getting them developed. As time goes one, you can then add on top of your core using the feedback you get from the marketplace.

Design and code the front-end first

Your users expect your mobile app to be easy to use. In most cases, they want to be up and running within a couple of minutes. Otherwise, they will abandon your app and start looking for another one. For this reason, you need to focus your initial efforts on building the front end interface.

Start with a mock-up. Using either pen and paper or a computer program create a layout of the final product. Adjust it until it feels right. Get some feedback from potential users to see how they think. Keep refining the front-end until you’ve designed a smooth and intuitive user experience.

Do you need an API?

If your app retains user data, you may need to build an API ( Application Programming Interface ). That will allow you to keep data accessible from various devices. In the event something happens to the mobile device, your users will be able to get back their info.

You can also use an API to integrate your app with other services. To top that, you can use a remote server for things like image or sound manipulation. In other words, you can add functionality that goes beyond what a mobile device can handle.

The critical thing to remember is that an API requires a separate set of coding skills. That means you may have to use an independent developer to handle that aspect of your app. Many apps fail because the developer has to divide attention between several technologies. Don’t let that happen to your project!

Promote your app!

Many people rely on the Google and Apple app stores to attract users. While that is an essential aspect of promoting an app, it is not enough to “dump” it and wait for traffic. You need to put in extra effort to ensure your app gets enough attention.

One good place to start is Facebook Groups. If your app solves a problem, you can benefit from exposure in relevant discussion groups. In fact, users are always on the lookout for ways to improve their lives. Your app could be the exact thing they’ve been seeking.

If you have a reliable business model, you should consider running ads for your app. Here is the trick:t just push people to buy your app. Instead, build a mailing list comprising of people who will benefit your product. This step alone can increase your chances of attracting more users. You can also make money by promoting additional products as an affiliate.

Following the above steps will reduce the chances of your app failing. Use them to build your strategy. Remember, you need to plan before even a single line of code is written. Above all, enjoy yourself and create something the world will love!

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Develop the right mobile app for your business

As more and more businesses pick up the need to cater for mobile technology, it’s increasingly the case that they look to mobile app developers to create unique services and flawless experiences for their customers. If you provide a digital service, or want a way to promote your other services via mobile, an app is essential.

Of course, this begs the question of how to make an app, and what method to use. iOS development is a very different beast to Android development, but it’s increasingly necessary to cater for both markets, as each has a significant share of users. So what is the preferable route to take for mobile app development? Should you go for an app native to your intended operating system, an app built on a platform, or a web-based HTML5 app?

Native apps

Native apps are the ‘gold standard’ in mobile app development – using the coding language native to the device’s operating system (Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS), a native mobile app can take full advantage of the features of the device, offering a smooth and fast experience. A native app will offer the most ‘solid’, flawless experience of the three options.

However, this performance comes at a cost. Given the specificity of each language, a larger development team may be needed for an app, and this may double in size if you want to offer the app across multiple systems – mobile app development for Android will be almost wholly different to development for iOS. As the apps are made native to device’s app stores, updating and maintaining the apps can be more expensive, too.

Native apps are a great option for a flawless user experience, but require a significant commitment to build and maintain.

Platform

More and more people are turning to platforms for their app development. Platforms often provide an all-in-one app development, maintenance and back-end solution. They allow for a single coding language to be used to build the app, which is then translated to the relevant operating system.

Platform-based apps often provide most bang-for-buck, insofar as they leverage the best technologies to create mature, reliable apps across multiple devices. As with native, platform app development is not the cheapest option, but it’s a very reliable one when cross-device compatibility, easy maintenance, and solid back-end are needed.

Web apps

Web apps are the new ‘up and coming’ contender. Much has been said (and will be said!) about the possibilities of HTML5, and it’s certain that this standard will only mature in years to come.

HTML5 apps are basically packaged websites, which means the skills required to produce them are transferable, and thus costs can be quite low. They’re more easily maintained than native and platform apps, and they are a good option for getting functionality across varying device operating systems.

However, the technology is still young, so there can be a number of drawbacks to using web apps – certain features on the device may not be accessible to web apps, and the app will almost certainly be less efficient, and slower than native and platform apps.

Look ahead

One thing that is certain is that the demand for apps isn’t going to go away. It’s important, then, to recognise that having an app developed isn’t a one-off affair, to be done quickly and forgotten about. A app is an integral part of how your customers and clients will interact with your company and brand, and expectations, both now and in the future, will need to be met, and standards maintained.

This means your mobile app development planning will need to account for the future. Not only will you want to make sure that your app will stand the test of time in functionality and looks, or, at least, that you are committed to updating these factors as and when they are needed, but you will also need to commit to the maintenance and updating of the back-end.

So always ask yourself, when choosing mobile app developers: ‘Will this stand the test of time? Will we be able to update it when necessary, and will the back-end services be maintained and relevant in the future? Will current development meet projected needs, and expected growth?’

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