The process of mobile app development involves developing applications that run on mobile devices by generating installable software bundles (code, binaries, and assets). It helps implement backend services such as data access with APIs and testing the application on the targeted devices.
Development Approaches For Mobile Applications
- Native Mobile Applications – These are written in the programming language and framework provided by the platform owner. They run directly on the device’s operating system, such as iOS and Android.
- Cross-platform Native Mobile Applications – These can be written in different programming languages and compiled into a native application running directly on the device’s OS.
- Progressive Web Applications– offer alternative approaches to traditional mobile app development by app store delivery and installation. PWAs are web applications that utilize browser capabilities like offline working, running a background process, and adding a link to the home screen, giving the user a web-like experience.
Each approach has its pros and cons. For developers, choosing a system depends on the desired user experience, computing resources, app features, development budget, development timeline, and the resources available for app maintenance.
An idea for a mobile app can be brilliant, fulfilling a market need and something that users will appreciate. It’s a good start, but unfortunately, few apps are successful. To ensure that the idea of a great app gets translated into a successful app that is routinely used. Users love it for its UI, and user experience – a comprehensive app development process needs to be followed.
Key Stages of the App Development Process:
- Ideation or confirming an idea
- Market research
- App testing
- User interface testing
- Beta launch
- Final launch and post-launch activities
At this stage, the following points need to be straightforward to ensure that the idea behind the app is worth pursuing and is worth the time and effort.
App objective – The app’s goals must be identified, whether the app is being developed from a consumer or an enterprise point of use.
- What issue or problem does that app help solve?
- Who are the target users?
- What results will the app achieve?
- What is the USP or the core appeal of the app? What is the differentiating factor of the app?
- Competitor analysis. Is the app being developed better to use and does it solve issues that a competitor app may have?
- Investment analysis.
- Marketing the app. What would be the promotional strategy?
The second leg of the development journey is market research. It helps show the actual demand or interest for the app. The study can give an insight into the market requirement and modifications, if any, are needed. Some advantages of market research are –
- It helps in getting a clear picture of the customers.
- Get a market overview of competitor apps.
- App assessment before development and launch.
- Identify business opportunities.
- Find the actual market requirements, needs, and demands of the app.
A wireframe is a type of blueprint for the application. It provides a clear overview of page structure, layout, information architecture, user flow, functionality, and intended behavior. Some of the steps in wireframing are –
- Mobile frame – Helps ensure that the frame has the dimensions of the actual device. The structure acts as a natural constraint, helping to avoid too many elements on one screen.
- Design pattern – Familiarity with user interface design helps users interact with an app. iOS and Android have native design patterns that help simplify the design process.
- Ensuring that the content scales well – This helps ensure that the design looks and feels consistent across different models and platforms.
With the design phase, the development phase of app development kicks in. It is typically made of the backend and frontend parts. This process covers the coding and realization of the app.
- Backend or Server Technology – Database and server-side objects are essential for supporting the functions of a mobile app. At this juncture, selecting the appropriate programming language and setting database engines and the hosting environment are done.
- Application Programming Interface – An API specifies how the software components interact and consist of a set of practices, protocols, and tools for developing software applications.
- Frontend – The frontend or client-facing side of the app interacts with the users. It implements the required structure, design, animation, and behavior that users see and interacts with.
Mobile App Testing
The app testing begins once the development stage is completed to ensure that the app is bug-free, stable, and secure. The stages of mobile app testing involve
- Functionality – The features of apps are tested and checked to ensure that they function as required.
- Performance – Performance testing checks the app responsiveness and handling of surge capacity.
- Security – User data and general safety are the cornerstones of any app, without which even the best-performing app can be sidelined. The app should be able to meet all the security standards and developers should ensure that there are no loopholes in the system.
A Beta version of an app is essential to mainstream the app. Early adopters of beta apps can help give app usage feedback about its working, security, UI, and UX. This feedback can be used to refine the app if needed and also give an idea about the app’s acceptance.
Final launch and post-launch activities
Once the app is ready for its final deployment into the market, different distribution channels can be looked at. An app can be launched using the app store or through private distribution.
Once the app is live, post-launch activities take over and some of the more critical KPIs that can be checked are
- App download volume
- Active users
- Average visit time
- Churn and conversions
- Ratings and reviews
In conclusion, the app development process is lengthy. However, a well-designed app fulfilling the market needs is a dream fulfilled for anyone looking to develop an app. A mobile app development services company with experience and resources can help convert an idea into reality and help deliver a state-of-the-art experience to users.