Why your business needs a Mobile App and a Mobile App development partner?
The Story of Mobile App Development
The world of Mobile App Development came into being in 2008 when Apple launched its App Store with almost 500 apps. Soon after, Android app market was launched with 50 Apps. The mobile world has never been the same ever since. Today, there are millions of apps across Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Today, mobile Apps have become an integral part of our lives. With 2.8 Billion Smartphone users i.e. almost half the world’s population, Mobile App usage across categories has been seeing a boost. Users love their apps and are bestowing their love on mobile apps by devoting 89% of their mobile time on Mobile apps.
It is no secret that we are moving towards a Mobile-only world.
Are you still wondering why your business needs a Mobile App?
The answer is simple if you do not want your business to be seen as one belonging to the dinosaur era you must go mobile.
Your customer is on Mobile and is searching for you on Mobile. If you reside elsewhere, neither you will find them nor will they find you. However, the loss is entirely yours.
Smart organisations across the globe are well aware of this reality and are taking steps to gear up for a mobile-only world. According to App Annie’s recent report App Economy is going to reach $6 Trillion by 2021.
Businesses across categories are contributing to the growth of Mobile Apps. Mobile Apps as a category is no longer exclusive to gaming and entertainment industry. Some of the Industries which are becoming mobile savvy are Retail, Banks, Airlines, Taxi-Rental firms, Hospitality, Health and Fitness,etc. there is no end to this list, and it will certainly keep growing in the near future.
So, your business needs a Mobile App, What next?
Now that we have established that why it is essential for businesses to go mobile, let’s look into the process of Mobile App development:
Mobile app development can be either done in-house, or it can be outsourced. However, most firms prefer outsourcing their app development work. According to IT Outsourcing Statistic Report, 53% of the enterprises with a Mobile App outsource their Mobile App development efforts, and reasons are obvious:
- You get a team of experienced app developers right away.
- You get a time-bound delivery schedule.
- Unlike, in-house resources you don’t run the risk of hiring an incompetent developer - since there will be enough case studies for any developer you are in the process of short listing.
There are millions of Mobile App Developers out there. However, there will be only a handful that will be able to understand your business and deliver accordingly. Though picking one may seem like a piece of cake, but if you want to be assured of picking the right one, it will need a lot of hard work more importantly a systematic approach.
If you are looking for a Mobile App Development Partner, who can understand your business, deliver on-time and within budget, you are at the right place.
We have a plethora of high quality Mobile App Development firms, listed with us. Rest assured that you will able to find one which suits your business purpose, budget and timelines.
What are the popular types and categories of mobile apps?
So, before you dive into mobile app development it is important to know the various kinds of mobile apps and which one fits the bill for your business.
There are around 2.2 million apps in the App Store and approximately 2.8 million in Google’e Play Store.
Mobile app development categories
All the apps in the app marketplace can be divided on the basis of technology and industries.
Mobile apps according to technology:
There are 3 different types of mobile apps basis the platforms and the technology used to build them:
- Native mobile apps
- Hybrid mobile apps
- Web apps/ responsive websites
Native mobile apps
Native apps as the name suggests are natives of the platforms they have been built for. Which means these apps are exclusively built for a particular platform and the same app cannot be used on a different platform, in simple words apps built for Android cannot be used on iOS or Windows or Blackberry and vice versa.
Native apps have the below advantages:
- High performance
- High speed
- Better User Experience (UX) and UI (User Interface)
- Have better reach compared to similar apps which are non native (Hybrid)
However, native apps are on the costlier side as the platform for which it is made is limited. If you have limited budgets one have to choose between reaching out on a limited platform with a native app or building a hybrid app (which may not compare as well with native apps).
If you have the budgets and you do choose to go for native apps take into account the time required to build a native app. As Native apps require more time, since one has to build separate apps for separate platforms.
Hybrid mobile apps
Hybrid mobile apps are multi platform mobile apps which are build using different technologies like HTML5, CSS, Java etc. Once you build a hybrid app it can be used on various platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.).
Basically, hybrid apps are web applications with a native app wrapper. Hybrid apps are built using tools that can enable communication between web view and the native platform. These are third party tools and framework like Apache Cordova, Ionic, React Native etc.
Hybrid apps are known to have below advantages
- Easy to build
- Cost efficient
- Time efficient
- Low maintenance
Though looking at the above points one may be skewed towards building a hybrid app however, hybrid app have their own set of disadvantages like:
- Low performance
- Lower speed compared to native apps
- Lower speed
- Probability of design flaws – since one single app may look and operate differently on individual platforms.
If your business demands building a hybrid app, do so keeping in mind the above disadvantages and making sure that the extent of these disadvantages are reduced in your app so that it does not effects user experience as much.
Web apps/ responsive websites
Web apps are basically responsive sites or applications that imitate the functioning of native app. Web apps run on the mobile browser. However, one of the major disadvantages of web apps is the huge memory consumption.
Also, web apps do not function well with a slow internet connection, causing a bad user experience. Given the fact that almost 89% of a users’ time is spent on mobile apps and not mobile browser it makes sense for business owners to choose between native and hybrid apps.
Besides all these apps there are apps which are also categorised as per the industries like – Utility apps (Google, Reminders Calculators etc.), Social media apps, Lifestyle apps, Games & Entertainment apps, News apps, Productivity apps (Docs, Sheets, Wallet/Pay, Evernote, Wunderlust etc.)
Though, each of the platforms be native, hybrid or web apps have their own pros and cons; native apps by far are known to give the best performance. However, given your budget and time you have for taking your product to market one can choose between any one of these. Irrespective of the platform you choose to go ahead with it is important to keep in mind that apps are developed for users and user experience is something that should be one of the most critical aspect which businesses should keep in mind while developing an app.
What are the best features of a successful mobile application?
As mentioned earlier there are millions of apps in app market place, may be hundreds or thousands in your category.
Today’s consumers download apps fast and abandon them faster, only 36% of apps are retained after one month of downloading and almost 77% of users do not use an app 72 hours after downloading
So, with so many apps vying for users’ attention what makes one app stand out over another.
Here are top 5 features which should be considered for the success of your mobile app:
- Intuitive and simple User experience (UX) & User Interface (UI)
As mentioned earlier, any app irrespective of the category or industry should be developed keeping in mind that it is meant for the end user and has to be simple and intuitive to use.
- Be present on relevant platforms
Android and iOS platforms cover more than 99% of the app market share. Irrespective of the platform you choose to develop your app in (Native/hybrid) it makes sense to be present in both these platforms.
In case you plan to build a native app, build an app for the Android platform first (which dominates over 75% of the app market place) and as time and resources permit go for an iOS platform.
- Speed and performance
According to a study almost due to lagging loading speed of an app. Therefore irrespective of the type of app you are planning to build it is important that it loads quickly and performs impeccably on the users’ device.
- Security is the key
With apps being used for almost everything in a users’ life from reminding them about their next meeting, to keeping a check on their health, shopping, banking so on and so forth; one of the major aspects that should be kept in mind is the security of your app.
Today mobile is an important place for users to store most of their critical data from passwords of their email, social media accounts etc. therefore it is very critical for every app developer to maintain a robust security of their apps. A substandard app security can not only adversely affect the success of your app but your brand reputation too.
- Keeping up with market trends and latest technology
Building a mobile app can be one time job. However, making sure to keep user engagement and user retention is an ongoing job. To make sure that you app drives high user engagement it is important to keep up with the latest technologies and updated content. Most importantly it must be integrated with social media, so that it can be shared easily and also provides ease of logging for users.
An overview of the Mobile Application Development Process
Just like any other product, mobile app development is not just about developing a technology; it needs a well defined strategy.
Here is what a 360-degree mobile app development process encompasses of:
- Define a clear objective or goal Given the fact that mobile-first is the new world order today, businesses would like to rush into mobile app development. However, to reap the benefits of your mobile app development it is critical to define – who is your target audience and what problem will your app solve for your customers.
- Wireframe development Build a blueprint of what your app will look like first. If you are an app developers get the wireframe approved by your client or management (if you are building an app for your company) before getting into design and development. If you are outsourcing app development efforts ask your mobile app development partner to share a blue print and jointly agree upon it to have a smooth app development process through out.
- Back-end development Once your wireframes are finalised, it will serve as a road map your mobile app development. Your Back-end app development will consist of the below 5 steps:
- Defining and setting up the building blocks of your app.
- Setting up user authentication and user management process
- Create a server side logic to set up the Back-end
- Integrating your mobile app with 3rd party sites like social media sites
- Building a push notifications strategy for building use engagement and user retention.
- Front-end development Once your wireframe and the back-end of your app is in place, it is time to get into the front-end of your app development process. Here are the below steps which are entailed in the front-end development of app development.
- Data caching – to improve the speed of your app
- Data synchronisation to make sure that the app data is also accessed offline.
- Building prototypes
- Testing the prototype and testing it again... and again
- UI and UX improvement based on testing
- Marketing the app Now that your app is fully designed, developed and tested it is time for it to go to market and face the user. However, before taking it to the market it is important to build a well-defined mobile app development strategy. A successful app development strategy consists of the below steps:
- Build an app icon and choose an app name which is unique and easy to remember.
- Keyword optimisation to make sure that your app is discoverable.
- Register your app in the app stores (this is elementary of course)
- Create a app video and screenshots to promote your app.
- Promote your app on social media
- Use email marketing to spread the message to your existing users
- Encourage users to give testimonials
- And if budgets permit...have a press launch
Moment of truth... How to choose the best mobile app development company for your business?
There are thousands of mobile app development partners out there ranging from big companies to medium size businesses to freelancers. There are also umpteen numbers of portals where you can search one just like our website.
You dig out a long list of these companies in matter of minutes, but choosing the one which suits your business requirements will require much more efforts.
Here are some tips on how you can choose the best mobile app development company for your firm:
- First things first – freelancer or a company You can be an individual looking for an app pr a company looking for an app. Depending upon your bandwidth and budget you must choose whether you need a freelancer or a company. Needless to say a company will definitely be costlier than a freelancer. However, you have chances of getting all the services from app development to app launch under one roof. Another quick way of short listing some developers are – look for the apps you like or the kind of app you would want to benchmark your app against, and check the source and the developer name for that. In the US market below can be the cost of apps development as per the size of the partners: a. Small teams – upto $100000 b. Development agencies – upto $4,50,000 c. Well known/big agencies - $1000,000
- Strikeout the ones that do not fit the bill There are a number of factors which we have listed below that will indicate that a particular partner is not right whether you are looking at a freelancer or a company. Watch out for those and straight away weed out the names which have these traits:
- They don’t have significant number of apps to showcase.
- Even if they have – the apps haven’t got any rave reviews or even decent reviews.
- They don’t understand your business well – brief them about your business in detail and question them to make sure they understand your business.
- If it’s a company – make sure they are not outsourcing any of your works to another third party.
- They are willing to work for you at a really cheap price and are willing to accept all kind of work for you – without grilling you a lot on the requirements.
- Check references Ask for references beyond the case studies and brand logos they show you. Ask for specific person-references. It is highly unlikely that if a developer has done a great job for their client they will defy providing these references. If they are not comfortable giving you person specific references ask them company names and find out the person in-charge on the web – LinkedIn is a great source. You can look at designations like – Digital Manager or IT manager etc. If you get to speak to these references ask them questions like
- What was their project?
- Were they responsive to iterations asked?
- How much time did they take to finish the project?
- If it is a company did they give you one single point of contact – a project manager?
- Ask for technical skills of the team Check whether the team working on your project have all the required skills. You would like to check on the below factors:
- If they have people who have skill sets on the platform required by you (iOS, Android, Windows or all)
- Do they have dedicated UI and UX specialists
- Will they oursource anything out a 3rd party team
- Will they provide after development services – branding, launch etc.
- Finally ask the right questions before signing the dotted line Before you finalise on a partner go beyond asking the basics – it’s not just about the work they do it’s also about the fact that whether they will suit your way of working or not. Don’t shy away from asking some tough questions to the partners you have shortlisted:
- What kind of results your previous apps have been able to achieve?
- What will be the team size and what is the technical expertise of the person who will be in contact with you.
- Do they have any experience in building apps in the same industry?
- What will be the realistic timeframe? What will be the plan of action if they are not able to meet the committed timeline?
- What kind of testing and quality control approach will they take?
Now that you have a fair idea of how to choose the best mobile app development partner for your business. Go ahead embark on your mobile app development journey. All the best!
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