Is Now the right time to

Build a Mobile App?

The world of mobile app development is undergoing a radical transformation. As micro-processing technology improves, you'll soon be able to run mobile apps on various devices. For instance, in the near future, mobile apps will work perfectly on PCs. Additionally, apps created with Flutter or React Native will run on various platforms, including Android, iOS, Mac, and PC.

To better understand how mobile app users invest their time, lets take a look at some usage statistics.

2022's Mobile Application Development Lifecycle

 

With over 3.5 billion people using smartphones throughout the world, it's safe to say that the mobile industry is thriving and there are no signs of slowing down. In addition, research reveals that people check their smartphone every 12 minutes, with 10% of those people doing so every four minutes or less frequently.

 

What is Mobile App Development?

 

Mobile application development is creating mobile applications that operate on smartphones and tablets. They can be pre-installed or downloaded and installed by the user. They use the device's network capabilities to access computational resources through the internet.

 

Platforms for the Development of Mobile Apps

 

Apple Inc.'s iOS and Google's Android are the two most widely used mobile app platforms. Apple's iOS is a mobile operating system designed exclusively for the company's iPhones. Android, on the other hand, is available on a wide range of mobile devices, including those made by Google.

 

However, even though there are numerous similarities between the two, SDKs are utilized for distinct platforms. The iOS operating system is used solely by Apple's devices, but Android is available to third-party developers that meet specific criteria. Up to this point, nearly 1.5 million apps have been created for these two platforms.

 

Develop apps in other ways

There are four approaches to approach mobile app development:

 

  • Native Mobile Applications
  • Cross-Platform Native Applications
  • Hybrid Mobile Applications
  • Progressive Web Applications

Why Develop Native Apps?

 

When you want to take advantage of the platform's built-in features, a native app is the best option. To provide a richer user experience, native apps can utilize the device's built-in hardware capabilities, such as GPS, camera, and microphone.

 

 

Why Develop a Cross-Platform App?

 

iOS and Android have nearly a 50/50 share of the market. Your ideal customer may be on one or more of these platforms or even on both simultaneously.

 

There are several benefits of using a cross-platform development approach: you can have a single development team working on both platforms, and you can save time and money by not having to design two different apps from scratch.

 

Why Develop a Progressive Web App?

 

It is possible to write Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) using JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and other web languages. These apps can only be accessed by using your device's browser.

How are Mobile Apps Built?

Let's take a step-by-step look at the mobile application development process  and learn the systematic approach to building an functional mobile app.

01

Strategy for developing mobile apps

Make sure you have a plan in place for your mobile application development process so that you can bring your vision to fruition. This money can go a long way toward expediting the process of creating an app. To have an app-specific impact, you must follow the same guidelines that everyone else follows when developing mobile apps.

Mobile application development requires the following strategic considerations:

  • See how many people use the app.
  • Do a thorough investigation of your competition
  • Set your goals and objectives for the creation of mobile apps.
  • Make sure your app runs on the right mobile platform.

 

The average cost of creating a mobile app exceeds $100,000, and the process typically takes between four and six months. As a result, developing a plan is essential if you want to keep your app idea-focused and clear at all times. As a result, you won't have to second-guess moving forward with the next stage of mobile application development.

02

Mobile App Development Process Analysis and Planning

It's at this point that your app begins to take shape or the actual project begins. Phase one is all about defining use cases and a clear depiction of the app's functional requirements for the mobile app.

 

Prioritizing the app needs and aligning them with delivery milestones are the next steps in creating a product roadmap for mobile app development.

 

Your initial launch should be focused on the essential features of your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).You'll also need to find out what mobile app development abilities you'll need throughout the planning stage.

 

If you want your app to be available on both iOS and Android devices, you'll need to use a separate set of app development tools and technologies. For each app store, conduct thorough research to ensure that you don't end up with the same name as an already-existing app.

03

UI / UX Design for Mobile App Development Process

Make sure your app's design is polished and provides a smooth and easy user experience. A seasoned UI/UX design services firm can guarantee you’ll get the right design you’re looking for.

 

UI / UX design is all about creating an exceptional user experience that includes your app being interactive, accessible, and user-friendly.

Information Architecture & Workflows

 

How a user interacts with the finished product, as well as how other features are used within an app, are all influenced by the first stages of designing mobile apps.

 

For a mobile app, there are specific set roles and privileges or rules that are crucial to its information architecture when creating it. It is highly recommended to utilize flowcharts to identify all possible user interactions within an app and its navigational framework.

 

Wireframes

 

In the mobile app development process, app designers create wireframes, essentially digital sketches. You can use wireframes to develop low-fidelity mock-ups of your app's visual structure and conceptual layouts, both of which are terms for the same thing.

 

As a result, wireframes are more concerned with the app's aesthetics and user experience than its color schemes and styles. As a quick and inexpensive solution, you should take into account device-specific design along with a multitude of devices to create intuitive user interfaces tailored to each device.

 

The Style Guide

 

Style guides are "active documents" in which the style principles of an application are set throughout the mobile app development process. While working on mobile apps, style guides are an invaluable resource for formulating a strategy. When done early on in the process, this sets a style guide for your mobile app developers to help them work more efficiently.

 

Mockups

 

These are your app's final designs, sometimes referred to as high-fidelity designs in the world of mobile app development. You can create mockups by including your style guide in your app's wireframes. Information architecture, workflow, and aesthetics may be changed after the app has been designed and finalized. You may create high-quality mockups for your mobile app development process using Adobe Photoshop, the most widely used program in the industry.

 

The prototype

 

Static designs are used in app development to show off the app's functionality through mockups. Tools like Invision and Figma can be used to create click-thru prototypes. Prototypes are essential for testing the app's user experience and workflow before the final product is released.

04

App Development

Planning is always the most critical component of this step. The first step in designing mobile apps is to ensure:

 

  • There are plans in place for the technical infrastructure.
  • A technological stack has been selected for you
  • Development milestones have been established.

 

Back-End/Server Technology

 

For a mobile app to work, this component of the development process relies on a database and other server-side objects. Adding mobile capabilities may necessitate making changes to existing back-end infrastructure.

 

Application Programming Interface

 

Application Programming Interface (API) serves as a go-between for your mobile app and the server or database it communicates with on the backend.

 

Front-End of a Mobile App

 

This is the mobile app that an end-user would use in the early stages of developing mobile apps. For the most part, mobile applications combine APIs with a back-end to manage data. The program can run without an internet connection in some cases.

 

Almost any web programming language and database can be utilized for app back-end development. For native apps, a technological stack must be selected, just as it is for any mobile operating system. It is possible to develop iOS apps using the Objective-C or Swift programming languages. Java and Kotlin are the two most popular programming languages for Android apps.

 

New mobile platforms are constantly being developed due to rapid breakthroughs in technology. In addition, new mobile gadgets are released every few months. Since mobile platforms and devices are continually evolving, mobile app development must be agile to stay on schedule and within budget. If speed to market is a priority, use an agile development approach. By using this approach, the software can be updated frequently and still maintain its complete functioning.

05

Testing

The development of mobile apps relies heavily on software quality assurance (QA) testing to ensure that the apps are dependable, functional, and safe.

 

To guarantee that your app goes through a thorough quality assurance process, you must first build test cases that cover all of the many aspects of app testing.

 

In the same way that use cases guide mobile app development, test cases guide mobile app testing. Test cases contain the steps of testing, the evaluation of the program's quality, and the re-testing of the repairs.

 

To implement best practices, your QA team should be included in the analysis and design stages of app development from the beginning.

 

User Experience Testing

 

During the testing and development stages of mobile apps, it is critical to guarantee that the final product is consistent with the user experience created by the app design team. The graphics, process, and interactivity of your app will be demonstrated to your customers. Your app's user interface should be easy to read and understand using a uniform set of typefaces and style treatments.

 

Functional Testing

 

Proper functionality of your mobile app's features is essential to its success. It's also difficult to forecast the actions and circumstances of each given end-user. As a result, the app's functioning should be tested by as many people as possible during the development process of mobile applications. You can be sure there are problems if two people utilize the same capability and get different results. Even when both users can fill out the same form, their data can differ, resulting in an error.

 

Evaluation of Performance

 

Several quantitative metrics can be used to evaluate the performance of your app:

 

  • Your app's ability to respond to user requests should be evaluated.
  • How long does it take for the app screens to load?
  • It's important to know if your program drains the battery or leaks memory.
  • Is your app efficient in terms of consuming network traffic?
  • When developing a mobile app, is the app larger than it should be?

 

Security Testing

 

Security is of the utmost importance in the creation of mobile enterprise apps. Hackers can take advantage of any flaw. Many companies use the help of outside experts to conduct rigorous safety testing. Your mobile app's data entry forms should also be adequately tested to ensure that no personal information is leaked.

 

Platform and Device Testing

 

New mobile devices are released every year with new hardware, software, and design. Mobile operating systems are also updated regularly. If your mobile application doesn't work well across several devices or device emulators, you may want to rethink your strategy.

 

Organizations prefer a single mobile platform because it simplifies the testing of various mobile apps, reduces maintenance costs, and makes mobile device management more convenient (and often provides mobile devices to their users). Most companies begin developing mobile apps for Apple's iOS platform and only build Android apps if they feel it's necessary.

 

The success of your mobile app depends in large part on how well you test it before you release it to the market. The development of a high-quality mobile app necessitates an all-encompassing testing strategy.

 

Testing your application is possible via many different means. IOS are tested using TestFlight, whereas those for Android are tested via email or OTA updates.

06

Deployment and Maintenance

You must submit your native apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play before releasing them. A developer account in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store is required before publishing your mobile app.

 

The preparation of metadata for the launching of an app in your app store includes:

 

  • App
  • Title
  • Description
  • Category
  • Keywords
  • Start-up Icon
  • App store screenshots.

 

As soon as they've been submitted, iOS apps go through a review process that can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the quality of your app and how well it adheres to Apple's iOS criteria for mobile app development. 

 

With Android, there is no review process, and the app may be seen in the app store within a matter of hours of being submitted.

 

Checking your app's ability in app stores, using mobile analytics tools, and analyzing the effectiveness of your app using KPIs are all essential steps in the development process. It’s a good idea to be on the lookout for crash reports and other user-reported issues.

 

Encourage your app's users to submit ideas and suggestions for improvement of your mobile app. The app's software should be frequently updated with essential fixes to keep its users engaged. Although web-based app patches can be made available to consumers right away, mobile app upgrades are subject to the duplicate submission and review process as web-based ones. With native mobile app development, you must stay up to date with technology advancements regularly and refresh your app for new mobile devices and operating systems.

Creating a mobile app involves an iterative process, which means that after the first launch, the app will be enhanced based on user input, new features and updates as needed. Knowing the right process for building a successful mobile app is only half of the equation for success. If you’re looking to build your first app or refresh an existing app, get in touch with a Blue People. We’re your local Houston mobile app developer with the right tools and the right people to build a functional, user-friendly, and engaging mobile app.