Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of our lives. From ordering food to booking a cab or a railway seat, mobile applications have got it all covered. It is for this reason, that more and more developers are showing interest in creating such mobile apps to make the public’s everyday life easier, more convenient, and smoother. Through a software developer course, one can learn about the various categories of mobile applications ranging from education, gaming, travel, lifestyle, food, etc. Thus, this platform offers a diverse selection of options for developers to pick from.
Nowadays, even businesses are engaged in mobile app creation in order to be more customer-centric. This not only adds a personalized touch to their businesses but also makes the job of order placing and procurement easier and more centralized. Thus, imagining today’s ever-shifting world from offline to online without mobile phones is downright impossible.
A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile App Development
Just like any other process, developing a mobile application seems easier in theory than in practice. There are a lot of things to keep in mind while carrying out the implementation of it. Here, we have broken down the entire process into 8 easy steps that would enable a developer to design and create their own high-quality mobile application.
Determine the Purpose:
Mobile applications generally aim to solve the problems of their users for which no solution exists. Certain applications even address the problems that a user didn’t know he needed help with. Such apps are generally a huge success in the market. For example, an application like “Splitwise” helps users keep track of their expenses, especially when they are out with friends, and the amount spent needs to be divided among them. It proves to be very useful on outings and trips and eliminates the hassle of carrying a notepad and a pen to write down expenses.
Identify the Competition:
Since the technological breakthrough many decades ago, having a first-mover advantage in any business is next to impossible. In the arena of mobile app creation, too, mostly, all the great ideas have already been taken. So, before the development process, it becomes crucial for a developer to assess the competition and determine the key differences their product has to offer.
One can run a search on Google Play Store or Apple App Store to list down all the other applications that are similar in nature. This would help them create some value addition to the existing apps so that they stand out amongst the competition. In this process, the developer must ask themself the following questions:
- How is the given app different from my idea, and whether the difference is enough to generate value for the customers?
- How will this app’s pricing affect the pricing of my app? Will my app be free where this one is priced or vice-versa?
- Does this app have a better User Interface? Would my idea be different?
- Will the target audience for both these apps be the same?
- How can my idea serve as an improved version of this app so that the customers prefer it instead?
The Operating System:
Operating Systems are the platforms that support mobile applications and enable them to work. An application could be developed in either the native app development (that works on a specific operating system) or a hybrid app development (that runs on a variety of operating systems). This decision is based on the target audience, budget, specifications, etc.
This is the most important step in mobile development. A developer needs to specify how the application will be operated, how will the user interface look, the colors, themes, and templates of the application, the swipe functionality, menus, etc. The developer must roughly sort and sketch out these details at this stage.
The Development Plan:
Building a Prototype:
A prototype is the initial or beta version of the application. It depicts how an app would look and is made available to a select group of people like reviewers, shareholders, managers, manufacturers, etc. The developer invites comments and reviews from these people and makes the requisite changes in the app accordingly before launching it to the common public.
Testing is a vital step in the app development process. This testing can save a lot of effort, money, a company’s reputation, and security and preserve the customer’s brand loyalty. The app could be tested by all kinds of stakeholders like clients, employees, users, etc., and their feedback could be sought. The developer then needs to work on that feedback and improve upon their app to suit the target audience better. To understand how the app is going to be received, the developer could ask these testers some questions like
- What the best and the worst features of the app are?
- Are there any problems with the user interface?
- Is there anything that needs to be added or removed from it?
- Did the user encounter any problems while operating it?
- Is it easy on the eyes and creative to entice customers to use it?
After undergoing all these above processes, there comes the final step of launching the app in the market. The developer must thoroughly review the guidelines and requirements of Google PlayStore or Apple App Store. They also have to market their app to make the customers aware of its existence and benefits.
Mobile app development has been gaining ground for a long time now, and various developers have been in pursuit of that one idea that would solve the problems of the masses. Because of its popularity, developers need to set foot cautiously into this arena after thorough research. Notably, once the idea has been implemented and successful, it will reap many benefits.
1. Can mobile apps be developed both for iOs and Android?
Yes, generally, all apps are created to support both operating systems and make them more flexible for the users.
2. Will I own the source code after developing an app?
Ownership of the source code generally depends upon the agreement between the developer and the client. If the client so warrants, a developer can even own the source code.
3. Is it important to know the category of my app?
Yes, knowing the category in which your mobile app will be displayed in PlayStore or Apple Store is important as it will make it easier for the user to look for your app.
4. On what factors is the cost of developing the app based?
Many factors, such as designing, development, testing, coding, integration, etc., dictate what the final cost of the mobile app is going to be.
5. How often should I update my app?
Updating an app is a subjective matter and has no standard answer. It completely depends on the market trends and the activities of the competitor. A developer should always be concerned with delivering the best possible result to entice the customers to become loyal to the brand.