In today’s startup era, having a robust online presence is essential for attracting better visibility and staying ahead of the competition. Whether your startup is product-based or service-based, leveraging every opportunity to showcase your business through a company website and following a thorough mobile app development process is crucial.
And, according to statistics, every 1 out of the 3 youngsters is planning a new startup idea.
But we can take it even further. If you enter the realm of mobile app development, your ticket to unleashing your startup’s full potential is already booked. Yes, it’s not a lie!
Think about it: a compact, user-friendly application residing on countless smartphones, always within arm’s reach. With just a tap, your customers can access your offerings, experience your brand, and engage with your business effortlessly. It’s like planting a seed of curiosity that blossoms into long-lasting customer relationships. Isn’t that amazing and interesting to hear about?
So, don’t just settle for visibility, rather, strive for prominence, captivate your audience, and make waves that will leave your competitors in awe. Since the possibilities are boundless, and the rewards are waiting for those bold enough to embrace them.
But now, we come to the question: what exactly is a mobile app development and what are its processes? Well, to clear the air of doubts, I’ve come up with this article that will reveal all of this more easily and understandably. So, without any delay, let’s explore in detail…
Coming on the mobile app development topic, with millions of apps being scrolled on the app store; you need not have to think twice if your business really needs an app. Apps are the essence of a scaling business or even a start-up that is in its initial phase. Companies are supposed to make things easier or say THE Easiest for their customers, thus, only a mobile app cannot do the needful, instead, a well-planned, well-optimized, and user-friendly app is the need of the hour.
But, the major quest that every entrepreneur is facing is the comprehension of the app development roadmap. No one can explain the process better than somebody who has actually been through the same. So, here I am – Vinay Krishna Gupta – CEO at Antino, writing about all my experiences in app development for start-ups. Let’s start it right away.
Starting with the most important one! Mobile apps have offered a simple and pocket-friendly approach for both sides. Businesses can conveniently leverage the benefit of omnipresence and customers are comforted with the appropriate solutions to their needs eased through modern technologies and app inventions. This offers us a significant gist i.e. the strategy is not only to build an app but to offer a suitable solution to a problem by getting into the shoes of the user.
Today’s generation is all about smartphones. According to statistics, 3.5 Billion+ people are actively using smartphones to keep themselves hooked on the outer world. More than 95% of our screen time comprises mobile apps being scrolled either for entertainment purposes or for finding solutions to our daily problems/daily routines. These data figures themselves imply how crucial is a mobile application for business. It allows your business to target your customers from every point possible.
In 2020, global revenue from mobile apps increased to over 318 billion U.S. dollars. This was an increase of over 60 billion U.S. dollars compared to 2019. The strongest segment that year was the mobile games segment with a revenue of over 200 billion U.S. dollars, followed by social networking mobile apps, which created revenue of around 31 billion dollars. The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that revenue across most segments will increase over the next few years and overall will reach around 613 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
In this developing era of innumerable apps, not every app can be perfect. Each iteration teaches you distinct challenges and best practices to be analyzed and properly implemented throughout your process. Thus, try learning from the ones who’ve already fallen before. So, here are some challenges and best practices you need to consider before running to the app development phase.
Just hurrying up on application development only because your competitors or the industry as a whole is using an app to increase its reach can never be a valid reason to start the app development phase. Before actually running to the developing team, make sure you have your objectives, USPs, target audience, approaches, plan of action, and resources clear.
The worst to start or proceed with is not having a clear, measurable as well as a feasible vision of the product. Every plan of action should start with SMART Objectives! Where SMART implies:
Thinking you can get the best with the lowest budget possible is the most redundant approach to start with. Either you will have to compromise with the quality or will have to broaden your budget constraints. Keeping up with a low budget implies access to an incompetent team, an inappropriate tech stack, and of course, an undesirable outcome! So, be specific with your goals and plan of action to ascertain the appropriate budget for the same.
How would your customers know what solution you are offering until you spread the word? Thus, App marketing is crucial for not only letting people know about the solution being offered but also for brand building. Consider different aspects of app marketing including paid marketing campaigns and organic campaigns like App Store Optimization (ASO). You need to understand the app store algorithms to appropriately rank the app in the App Store ranking.
No one can sustain in any industry if he is ignorant of the industry research irrespective of how beneficial or how unique their offering is!
Understanding your competition and the market trends of the industry you are intending to grow, is of utmost importance to analyze what your consumers want, how would they react to price changes, how would your competitors react to a sudden market change, and how you need to refer to these situations for future references! And the list never ends…. An EIC approach i.e. Economy – Industry – Company analysis approach is among the best methods for research purposes!
Just like any other business project, the process doesn’t end with the launch. Instead, the main undertaking has just begun. Constant evaluation, revision of strategies, SWOT analysis, and appraisals are required to keep the app updated in the technical as well as fundamental environment to consistently align with your long-term and short-term goals.
One thing that must not be overlooked is to always and always align your short-term goals with the primary objective of the app/organization!
It won’t be possible to define a specific technology that should be preferred for app development. For the fact that every app has its distinct features, functionalities, and development requirements, technology should be specific to these requirements! Thus, consider a consultation from an experienced app development company about the project tech essentials!
Some of the top technologies used to develop mobile apps include Swift, Java, MySql, Objective-C, Flutter, React.js, React Native, Node.js, and much more. Consult an app development company, specify your objectives and they will efficiently let you know what tech resources to consider and what not!
The actual cost of any mobile app development cannot be predicted based on a brief description of the app. Numerous factors are taken into account for defining a range for the specified project. These factors are as follows:
Your objective should be clear regarding the devices and operating systems to be used for your app. Correctly instruct the developer if you want your existence to be on Android, iOS, or both! And the version of the operating system taken into account is also a crucial factor for cost estimation. Thus, your final cost will constitute which platform and OS you require!
The features and distinct elements to be embedded in the app keeping in view the primary objectives are also a major determinant of your final cost. If your app involves only a basic version of features, it will obviously cost less. But, an app that needs all the advanced features like voice recognition, image personification, chatbots, app personalization, in-app purchases, social media integration, and much more, will cost more!
The design development phase is not just about the outer design visible to the users but entails the most important stage of designing – user experience (UX). User experience is a lengthy process and is also the deciding factor about the success of an app. The better the user experience, the better the overall development. Thus, where the project requires deep insights into user behavior, the cost will be comparatively higher in comparison to the ones having limited research requirements.
The scale of the project is a crucial determinant for the cost estimation because the wider the target audience, the more will be resources required! Thus, get your objectives and scalability factors sorted beforehand to estimate the total cost of the app development.
The project cost will also be affected if your mobile app requires a Content Management System (CMS) or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Developing a custom CMS or a CRM needs a lot of extra effort and resources, directly implying an increase in project cost!
The app development cost structure majorly depends on after-maintenance requirements. As stated previously, you cannot just leave your app after the launch, it is to be constantly reviewed, evaluated as well as improved to keep it working. Thus, your maintenance needs will affect your final cost structure to a great extent!
Each phase in the development process is equally crucial. Depending on the scale and the requirements of the project, efforts, time, and money invested in the phase may vary accordingly. Do not forget to appropriately plan the phases beforehand to eliminate the trial and error strategies!
Find out what people think about the proposed app. You could create a simple landing page, documents that can be downloaded for free, or a mailing campaign to collect data that will be used to determine the app’s true market demand.
You’re all sorted with the app ideas and the market research, but your app is still in its early stages and you need to decide on the starting point! Begin by defining your MVP. A design sprint is an excellent tool to determine an MVP. It is a week-long or much longer series of workshops including all relevant app stakeholders, culminating in the design and testing of a design with real users.
You already have a mental image of the app, but now you’re curious about user feedback and the user experience. Make an interactive prototype that looks exactly like the finished product, then hold a test session with prospective customers to gather valuable feedback.
The app is well-defined, and you are confident in its added value as well as return on investment. It is now time to begin the development phase. You should start with the following:
You need to take small steps at a time. The process doesn’t end with the launch. You need to keep an eye on all the processes and be responsible for all the updates being covered. Some basic regular tasks may include:
App development is a complex process that requires careful planning and organization. A flowchart is a powerful tool that helps developers visualize the entire app development process, from ideation to deployment. So, let’s take a look at the essential components of an app development flowchart and how it can streamline the development process.
The first step in creating an app development flowchart is to brainstorm and define the app’s purpose, target audience, and key features. This stage involves conducting market research, analyzing competitors, and gathering user feedback to create a solid foundation for the app’s development.
Once the initial planning is complete, the next step is to create wireframes and prototypes. Wireframes are basic visual representations of the app’s layout and functionality, while prototypes offer interactive mock-ups that allow stakeholders to experience the app’s flow. These visual representations help refine the app’s design and gather early feedback.
After finalizing the wireframes and prototypes, the focus shifts to UI/UX design. This stage involves creating visually appealing interfaces and ensuring an intuitive user experience. The flowchart should outline the design elements, color schemes, typography, and overall aesthetics to maintain consistency throughout the app.
The back-end development process involves building the server-side logic and database integration required for the app’s functionality. This stage includes creating APIs, handling data storage and retrieval, implementing user authentication, and integrating third-party services. The flowchart should illustrate the server architecture, data flow, and API interactions.
Thorough testing is crucial to ensure the app performs optimally across different devices and scenarios. The flowchart should include a comprehensive testing plan, encompassing functional testing, usability testing, performance testing, and security testing. Feedback from testers should be integrated into the flowchart to address any identified issues.
Once the app development and testing are complete, it is time to deploy the app. The flowchart should outline the necessary steps to prepare the app for release, such as configuring servers, setting up app store accounts, and optimizing the app’s listing. Additionally, it should include a plan for version control, updates, and bug fixes post-launch.
App development doesn’t end with the release. Ongoing maintenance and updates are essential for ensuring the app remains functional and up to date. The flowchart should incorporate a maintenance plan, including monitoring app performance, addressing user feedback, implementing new features, and releasing regular updates.
Mobile app SDKs serve as bridges between the app developers and the underlying platform, enabling them to leverage existing functionalities, access device capabilities, and integrate with third-party services. These SDKs act as building blocks, offering a wide range of features and tools that accelerate development, reduce coding effort, and enhance the overall user experience.
Platform-specific SDKs are designed for a particular operating system, such as iOS or Android, and provide developers with access to platform-specific features and functionalities. For example, Apple’s iOS SDK includes tools for integrating with Siri, utilizing Face ID, and implementing Apple Pay. Android’s SDK, on the other hand, offers capabilities like notifications, location services, and Google Maps integration.
Cross-platform SDKs enable developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android. These SDKs simplify the development process, as developers can use a single codebase to build apps for different platforms simultaneously. Popular cross-platform SDKs include React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter, each with its own set of features and advantages.
Analytics SDKs help developers gain insights into app usage, user behavior, and performance metrics. These SDKs enable the collection and analysis of data related to user engagement, retention, crash reports, and more. By integrating analytics SDKs, developers can make informed decisions regarding app improvements, feature enhancements, and user acquisition strategies. Well-known analytics SDKs include Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics, and Flurry Analytics.
Advertising SDKs facilitate the integration of various ad networks into mobile apps, enabling developers to monetize their applications through in-app advertisements. These SDKs offer functionalities such as displaying banner ads, interstitial ads, rewarded videos, and native ads. Examples of popular advertising SDKs are Google AdMob, Facebook Audience Network, and MoPub.
Social media SDKs allow developers to incorporate social media functionalities within their apps, such as user authentication, sharing content, and accessing social media APIs. By integrating these SDKs, users can easily log in using their social media accounts and share app content with their social network. Facebook Login, Twitter Kit, and Google Sign-In are well-known social media SDKs.
To be concise, any app’s timeline will depend on the complexity of its features and components. So, the app deadlines can be divided into three categories:
The basic app structure with only a few elements and negligible third-party involvements, 100-130 hours of work will be needed including the research, design, development, and deployment of the project.
A moderately featured app will take around 500 to 850 hours of work. The extended features may include chatbots, social-media integration, online payment integration, and much more.
An app to be framed on complex features like detailed content management and advanced data processing will definitely require more than 900 hours of productivity.
Promoting your application well is as important as the whole app development process. This guide to app development would have never ended without considering these highly prevalent mobile app promotion strategies!
As a newly built mobile application, influencer marketing should be considered the very first step to boosting up your word among users. If your target audience is already being inspired by an influencer, then why not use the opportunity to promote your offerings!
Your app can be efficiently promoted on news and media channels to generate quality leads as the existing audience is actually interested in the content being published/telecasted!
The most effective and affordable way to app promotion is by using search engine algorithms to promote your app and business. You can use SEO strategies like keywords, backlinking, website optimization, and much more to rank your page on search engines.
Just like search engines, your app needs to be app store optimized as well. 90% of people only go for the apps that appear in the top results in the app store. Thus, try using trending hashtags, meta tags, appropriate descriptions, and much more.
SEO and ASO will take months to achieve the desired results. But, with paid advertising on search engines as well as app stores, you can see the desired results instantly! Thus, in the initial phase, paid advertising can be used to spread your word instantly, but, in the later phase, SEO and ASO can be utilized or even a hybrid strategy can be adopted!
Will depend on your business and your objectives. If you are a large-scale company having a budget to afford in-house IT operations and the constant updates required after the launch as well, you can go for in-house app development. But, if you have just started up your entrepreneurship, it will be difficult for you to manage and afford an in-house development, hence, outsourcing will be the best option for that situation!
The most important one! Not every vendor understands your needs and not every vendor will alter their offerings for your better! Thus, it is crucial to understand what is good initially but can get worse later. Delve into these pointers to choose the best mobile app development company for your project.
Whatever app development company you choose, it should be reputable and experienced enough to handle all your project requirements with utmost accuracy and precision. Make sure that they already worked on a similar project or similar tech as yours can be the perfect match because it knows exactly what problems can arise and what corrective actions are to be taken!
The portfolio of the company you are referring to should be diversified enough. The greater the diversification, the better the expertise, and the better the chances for the success of your app. A company that has already worked on a wide and distinct range of projects, will have an upper hand in terms of expertise.
Look for a company that is more than just a supplier! Instead of someone who will be ready to dance at your fingertips and will have nothing to advise for, go for an app development company that knows what can be the best for you, is ready to put input, and will guide you throughout the development phase, and is ready to be a partner, adviser and so much more than just a supplier.
Thus, working on a start-up is tough. But, building a good app for your start-up and keeping it updated to the customers’ requirements is tougher! You need a lot of brainstorming, planning, and appropriate implementation of the strategy. This cannot be done alone without the help of experts.
At Antino, we have a strong team of highly experienced app developers with a successful record of delivering innovative apps to transform your idea into a secure mobile application with advanced feature integration. You can rest assured of any tech consultancy you will need while planning your app strategy as well as in your app development phases.
In 2023, you can create an app by following the standard software development lifecycle, which involves ideation, design, coding, testing, and deployment.
Apps can be written in various programming languages depending on the platform and desired features. For example, iOS apps are commonly written in Swift or Objective-C, while Android apps can be developed using Java or Kotlin.
Apps make money through various monetization strategies such as in-app purchases, subscriptions, advertisements, sponsored content, or by offering paid versions or premium features. The specific revenue model depends on the app’s purpose, target audience, and market trends.