Mobile apps have become an integral component of every business's online presence in today's world. There are several reasons for this. First, mobile apps provide a great way to reach and engage with customers. Plus, they are easy and convenient to use. But, more importantly, users can access them from anywhere at any time.
Businesses that don't have a mobile app miss out on a valuable opportunity to connect with their customers and promote their brands. However, one of the reasons for this is the absence of in-house development teams that can create engaging and user-friendly apps for a company.
Xpeer solves this problem for companies by connecting them with top-level mobile development firms. We understand your needs and demands before matching you with a development agency to create a successful app for your business.
What is Mobile Development?
Mobile development refers to creating software applications that run on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. The term "mobile development" can also refer to creating web applications that work on a mobile device.
However, mobile applications are the most common type of mobile development. Mobile apps provide specific functionality or service to users. They can be downloaded and installed on a mobile device, and they typically use the device's native features and capabilities.
There are two main types of mobile apps:
- Native apps are written in the language specific to the mobile platform (Objective-C or Swift for iOS, Java for Android).
Currently, there are over 4.38 million apps on the Google Play Store. Meanwhile, the App Store has 2.22 million apps for users. The rise in mobile apps can be attributed to people spending more time on their smartphones than ever before.
A smartphone user uses 30 apps a month and ten apps a day. Interestingly, many of these are apps of companies the users shop from or interact with.
Mobile Development: Type of Apps
When it comes to mobile apps, there are different types that businesses can develop, depending on their needs and objectives. However, the three main types of mobile apps are:
Business Apps: A business app is a mobile application developed to help businesses promote and sell their products or services. Business apps can provide customers with information about the company and its products or services. They can also allow customers to order and purchase products or services from the company.
Educational Apps: Educational apps are designed to help users learn new things or improve their skills. Students can use these apps to supplement their studies or by professionals to improve their work performance.
Lifestyle Apps: A lifestyle app helps users improve their quality of life. Lifestyle apps can track fitness goals, manage finances, or find new recipes.
Game Apps: These apps are, as the name suggests, games. Games can be helpful for entertainment or to improve problem-solving skills.
Mobile Development Process
The mobile development process typically consists of the following steps. While it may differ from one company and one project to another, the standard steps remain the same.
Firstly, you need to determine what your objectives are for the app. What do you want it to do? What features do you want to include? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can plan the development process.
It involves creating a timeline, assigning tasks to team members, and setting milestones. You also need to determine the following:
- Platform: Do you want the app to be for iOS or Android?
- Native or Cross-platform: Do you want the app to be written in the language specific to the platform (native) or in a language that can be compiled to run on multiple platforms (cross-platform)?
- Development Environment: Will you be using an integrated development environment (IDE), such as Xcode or Android Studio, or a text editor, such as Sublime Text or Atom?
- Source Control: Do you want to use a source control system, such as Git or Mercurial to manage the codebase?
After the planning stage, it's time to start designing the app. It is where you determine the app's user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
The UI is the graphical layout of the app, while the UX is how users interact with the app. Both are important in creating an enjoyable and intuitive experience for users.
When designing the app, you need to consider the following:
- Layout: How do you want the app to be laid out? What buttons or icons do you want to include?
- Color Scheme: What colors do you want to use for the app?
- Fonts: What fonts do you want to use for the app?
All these aspects will depend on your branding. For instance, if your company has a specific color scheme, you will want to use that in the app.
After the designing stage, it's time to start coding the app. It is where the development agency will write the code that makes the app work.
If they are using a cross-platform framework, such as React Native or Flutter, they will write the code in a language that can be compiled to run on multiple platforms.
If they are using a native development environment, such as Xcode or Android Studio, they will write the code in the specific language for that platform.
After the app has been coded, it's time to test it. Testing is essential for the following reasons:
Identify Bugs: Before you make the app available to users, you want to make sure that there are no bugs. Otherwise, users will have a bad experience with the app.
- Ensure Compatibility: You need to ensure that the app is compatible with the devices it will be running on. For instance, if you're developing an iOS app, you need to ensure it runs on the latest iOS devices.
- Optimize Performance: You also want to make sure that the app performs well on the devices it will be running on. For instance, you don't want the app to crash or freeze on users' devices.
After testing, if there are any bugs, they need to be fixed before the app is released.
Once the app has been tested and is free of bugs, it's time to deploy it. Deployment is the process of making the app available to users.
For iOS apps, this involves submitting the app to the App Store. It involves uploading the app to the Google Play Store for Android apps.
How Much Does Mobile Development Cost?
Mobile development costs can vary greatly from one project to another. The cost will depend on several factors, including the project's complexity, the size of the project, and the specific requirements of your company.
Generally speaking, mobile development projects tend to cost between $5,000 and $500,000. If you're looking for a more specific estimate, we suggest contacting a mobile development company for a quote.
When it comes to complex projects, it's often best to work with an experienced development team. It will ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget.
Native vs. Cross-Platform Development: Which to Choose?
Businesses can choose to develop a native app or a cross-platform app. Native apps are developed specifically for one platform, iOS or Android, while cross-platform apps can be used on multiple platforms.
There are a few things to consider when deciding which option is right for your business:
Cost: Cross-platform development is typically more cost-effective than native development.
Development Time: Cross-platform apps can be developed faster than native apps.
Device Compatibility: Native apps are designed specifically for one platform and may not be compatible with other devices.
User Experience: Native apps usually provide a better user experience than cross-platform apps.
Therefore, you should consider your business’s specific needs when deciding which option is right for you.
Post-Mobile Development Steps: Maintenance and Updates
Even after a mobile app has been developed and deployed, the work isn't over. To keep users engaged and ensure that the app remains relevant, it's essential to regularly push out updates with new content, features, and functionality.
Additionally, users may encounter bugs or experience other issues that need to be addressed through app maintenance. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining and updating a mobile app:
Keep track of app store ratings and reviews: Be sure to monitor what users say about your app in the app store. This feedback can be precious in informing future updates and changes.
Push out timely updates: To keep users engaged, it's important to push out regular updates with new content and features. Try to release an update at least once every month or two.
Address user issues: If users are encountering bugs or other problems with your app, address these issues as quickly as possible. The sooner you can fix the problem, the better.
Monitor app usage: Keep track of how users interact with your app. This data can be used to inform future updates and changes.
You can ensure that your mobile app remains relevant and engaging for users by following these tips.
What to Consider When Choosing a Development Agency for Mobile Development?
If you choose to outsource your mobile app development, choosing a reputable and experienced agency is essential. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a development agency:
Agency's Experience: Make sure the agency you choose has extensive experience developing mobile apps. If you have any specific requirements, check if the agency has experience developing apps with these requirements.
Check the Agency's Portfolio: Be sure to review the agency's previous work to understand its quality and capabilities.
Agency's Process: Ask the agency about their development process to understand how they work and what you can expect.
Communication and Transparency: It's essential to choose a communicative and transparent agency throughout the development process. This will help ensure that you are kept up-to-date on the progress of your project.
By considering these factors, you can be sure to choose a reputable and experienced mobile development agency that will fulfill your project's needs.
Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Mobile Development
When you outsource mobile development to a development agency, it's vital to avoid making these mistakes:
Not Defining the Project Scope: One of the most common mistakes businesses make when outsourcing mobile development is not defining the project scope. Be sure to clearly understand what you want to achieve with your app before you begin working with a development agency.
Not Checking the Agency's Portfolio: Another mistake businesses make is not checking the agency's portfolio. Instead, be sure to review the agency's previous work to understand its quality and capabilities.
Failing to Communicate: Failing to communicate effectively with your development team can lead to misunderstandings and delays. Make sure you establish clear lines of communication from the start.
Not Choosing Between Native and Cross-Platform: Don't wait until the project is underway to decide whether you want a native or cross-platform app. This decision should be made before the project begins to avoid potential problems.
Ignoring User Design: The user interface and user experience are crucial aspects of any mobile app. Be sure to work with your development team to create an app that is easy to use for your customers.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can have a successful experience working with a development agency.
Partner with Reliable Mobile Development Companies Through Xpeer
Outsourcing mobile development can save you time and money, but only if you do it correctly. One way to ensure this is to work with a reliable mobile development company that understands your project's needs.
At Xpeer, we find the right match for your requirements, saving you a lot of time and money that would otherwise be spent on finding the right agency for the job. Get in touch with us to tell us about your mobile development needs, and we'll find a development company to exceed your expectations.