Mobile App Development: A Complete Guide
The mobile market is booming exponentially, and as new technologies come into the market, both the demand and supply of applications increase.
The mobile app industry will reach US$108.10bn in 2022. The in-app purchase revenue in the app market is projected to reach US$55.90bn in 2022. The total revenue is expected to see an annual growth rate of 8.77%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$151.30bn by the end of 2026.
The highly skilled and experienced app developers have adequate patience, investments, and technical expertise to create a mobile application. This article is an overall guide for mobile app development. Read on to know more!
What is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is a process of creating applications that supports gadgets like smartphones and tablets.
The procedure includes writing code to create and design the application.
App development is the same as other software development that includes web apps. The significant difference between app development and traditional software development is the mobile app’s ability to use native features.
For example, mobile apps can use GPS, Bluetooth, a camera, and other built-in smartphone features.
iOS and Android applications dominate the global market share for mobile app development. Most of the apps target these two platforms for their business. Several platforms can be used to develop applications per the business requirements.
What are the Mobile App Development Platforms?
The essential mobile app platforms are iOS of Apple and Android Google. iOS is Apple’s proprietary mobile OS which is built specifically for iPhones. However, Android runs on mobile devices manufactured by multiple OEMs, including Google.
Various software development kits are utilized for different platforms. Apple uses iOS exclusively for its own devices, while Google has made Android available for other industries that will meet its specific needs. Therefore, app developers have made millions of applications for both platforms.
Native Mobile App Development
This app development will create the mobile application for the particular operating system. If you intend to create an app for iOS, then the app developer will use programming languages like Objective-C or Swift. In contrast, the programming language used for developing android is Java or Kotlin.
Google and Apple provide app developers with interface elements and software development kits (SDKs). Many companies invest in native mobile app development due to the benefits they offer compared to the other types of apps. With to the booming mobile app development sector, it’s quite necessary to know about native mobile app development.
- Apps give excellent performance on the particular OS
- Responsive, smooth, and fast UI
- An application has accessibility to device features that will improve the app’s overall experience
- Marketers can make use of push notifications to increase usage and conversions
- It is easy to configure and with minor compatibility issues
What are Cross-Platform Apps?
Cross-platform mobile applications are mobile apps that are developed to function for various mobile platforms. These apps are compatible with more than one operating system, like Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, and many more.
With this platform, a developer can create an app that runs on multiple platforms with a single code system. Companies can release products faster and with better quality. This type of app can be made available to all.
Hence, the quality of rapid development, cost-effectiveness, and turnaround time will suit every strategy. Creating a cross-platform app will help you overcome many mobile application development challenges.
- It supports any platform
- It has a more extensive market reach
- Minimal upfront expenses
- One-time reusable source code across various platforms
- It offers quick prototyping
What is Hybrid App Development?
This approach will define you to make single mobile apps compatible with different operating systems like Android and iOS.
- Enlaces UX/UI design
- It has the short development time frame
- It is easy to maintain
- Enhances performance
What is the Progressive Web App?
This term refers to the new app development method, which will bring many opportunities. It will represent the further development of an existing format of the web app.
However, Google is constantly investing in developing the software, which means that the optimization will improve the likelihood of the PWA.
- It is a less expensive and time-consuming app development method
- It is easily accessible via a browser, so it does not have to be downloaded or installed
- Web APIs permit them to be installed and implemented into the deeper operating system
- It can access the device’s native functions like camera, geolocation, push notifications, etc
- PWAs are found through search engines and are linked through the web
- They are based on the closed ecosystem found in various app stores
Growth of the Mobile Application in the Market
The worldwide mobile application market was about USD 187.58 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% from 2022 to 2030. The mobile app market includes many application types such as gaming, mobile health and fitness, music and entertainment, retail and e-commerce, and others. The presence of smartphones, rising internet usage, and the utilization of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning create even more demand for mobile apps. Apps, as mentioned earlier, are usually downloaded from app distribution websites such as Google Play Store and App Store for iOS.
Comparison of App Development Platforms
Native applications are created using tools and SDKs, which platform owners like Apple and Google provide. These apps will run natively on the platform of your choice.
- These apps provide the best runtime performance
- It directly uses the platform’s data via platform-specific SDKs
- The cost of creating and maintaining the various codes for each platform is high
- Features have to be integrated distinctly based on the platform SDK tools
Cross-platform mobile applications can be written in multiple programming languages, and after that, it is compiled for every platform separately.
- It has a single codebase for distinct platforms
- It provides a unified user experience, even with different platforms
- As the native libraries are not available, the dependency is on third-party open-source libraries
- Cross-platform code is not written natively, it has to be completed and bridged, which has debugging
- The codebase is the same and shared in web and mobile apps
- The web development tool is used to create mobile applications
- It does not perform as native, but it is built using the technologies for developing the web
- Less or no support for native devices
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps did not need native or cross-platform development as they could skip app store installation and the traditional app delivery channels. They will work internally with a browser, whether it is mobile or web. The link is included on mobile as an app icon. These are web apps that also run on mobile devices.
- It runs on the web and mobile
- No requirement to install the app; it can be through a browser URL with a network connection
- No support for native devices, it runs using the browser’s capabilities
- If a network connection is not there, then there are chances that you may lose an app to a greater extent
Why Select Native App Development?
Opting for native app development will utilize the native capabilities offered by a platform. These apps can access the hardware capabilities of devices like cameras, microphones, and GPS, which will help in the faster execution of features, making building a rich user experience more manageable.
Push notifications are easier to integrate into the native development. For instance, push notifications will go via an iOS server (APNS) and Google’s Cloud Messaging platform. There are very few bugs in native apps, as the code is compiled in the native language.
Why Select Cross-Platform App Development?
The market is divided equally between the iOS and Android OS. Your valuable client can be on one or both of these platforms. Developing separate applications needs an extensive budget, and it is only possible for some companies.
If you want a great user experience across all the platforms, go with cross-platform development, as with the single development team, you can develop the apps for both platforms. It can be a manageable budget, and it saves time, though you must maintain these two apps separately.
Why Select Progressive Web App Development?
What is the Mobile App Development Process?
A mobile app development project has seven steps. This procedure may vary a little bit depending on the needs and goals of the individual solutions, but the sequence remains as follows:
Step 1: Strategy
The strategy stage will start with working on your idea. Here, you have to define your product’s goals and consider the needs for developing the application.
Your team will collect information about the market, competitors, and the targeted audience. The app developers will select the tech stack, platform, and app functionalities per your idea. In addition, the designers will come up with mobile app screens and UX concepts.
This is when you estimate an approximate cost of the application and select the monetization model which maximizes profits.
Step 2: Analysis and Planning
You have brief information about your mobile app’s market and potential users. Your programming team will analyze all this information and produce an accurate development plan. By the end of this stage, you will have your product’s roadmap.
Step 3: Mobile App Design
Now, it’s time that your team will move forward to the UI/UX design of the mobile app.
First, the designers will work on user experience. They will use an information architecture of your application. And that is the data and content in your product and how it will be viewed. This focus will always stay on user interaction.
After that, the designers will sketch the wireframes with the concept of your app design’s visual structure. While this is happening, experts are working on the style guide or design system. It includes all the information about the general look of your product, for example, fonts, buttons, etc.
Next, designers will come up with mockups of the app screen design and other visuals. But make sure that the design of your products is consistent. At last, create the app design prototypes.
Step 4: Mobile App Development
In this stage, app features are integrated with the technology you have selected for development. You will have the ready-made front-end and back-end of the mobile application.
Step 5: Mobile App Testing
In your project, after the design of your mobile app is ready and the developers have integrated front-end and back-end development, it’s time to bring your product to perfection by testing it thoroughly. For this purpose, you require QA specialists.
These experts will test the product for functionality, security, usability, and performance. They will also check the compatibility of your mobile application with different devices and different versions of the operating system. Additionally, they will test the app among real users.
Your team must be able to identify bugs and limitations of your product and fix them before launching the app development.
Step 6: Mobile App Deployment
At this stage, you can release the mobile app into the market. Select the distribution models as per the application’s operating system. For example, Apple App Store or Google Play Store, where you can share your product to access real-time users. You can also create different marketing strategies to make your app famous among users.
Step 7: Post-Launch Support and Maintenance
It is the final but never-ending step. It needs the constant improvement and support of your mobile application. You’ll need to implement updates with the latest features, improvements to the existing ones, integration of any design changes, and error/bug fixes.
What is Front-End Development?
The front end of a mobile or web application is the part that interacts with the user directly. In other words, the “applications client side”. The front end consists of everything a user will view and interact with on websites or mobile applications, such as text, photos, tables, images, and much more. A front-end developer gives the structure, appearance, behavior, and content of every part visible on the browser screen when the websites or applications are opened. The central point in front-end development is responsiveness and performance. A developer must ensure that it is responsive and work perfectly on devices of all sizes. An app’s performance must be stable every time, no matter which device is used to access the application.
What are the Benefits of Front-End Development?
The latest front-end framework and technologies give great features and performance. An organization can provide better value to its clients and customers. Moreover, existing front-end development software has more numbers and also varied offerings.
Easy to Learn
The latest and advanced technologies are used in front-end development which is simple to use in the developing phase. The learning curve is minimal.
A site is developed leveraging modern technologies, responses, communications, and functions speedily and seamlessly.
As they use the latest technologies, they are less vulnerable to threats. Enterprise can get an extremely secure environment.
Shorter Development Period
Front-end development has achieved popularity in a very minimal period. The time which is saved can be utilized for other productive purposes.
What is Back-End Development?
The back end is also called the server side of an app or website. It will organize and store the data and ensure everything on the client side is working perfectly. Whereas the back end does not interact with the user directly, it plays an invisible role in the development phase by adding the primary functionality. With the proper back end, a front end will work properly. The back-end activities include writing APIs, creating the libraries, and working with system components without interacting with user interfaces. Hence, the core functionality of the web application is entirely managed by the back-end development.
What are the Benefits of Back-End Development?
Runs in Different Environments
Nowadays, Companies deploy websites and web applications in several environments. Many start-up businesses select sites that operate on database servers, and others install online applications in the cloud. Many companies are now merging with all hosting services to take advantage of improving scalability. Hence, the setup of a web server varies from network to network. The back-end programmers will distribute the workload server side over the multiple machines. A varying hosting environment customizes the website’s back end, which is necessary for programmers.
Share Information Faster
A back end has three major necessary elements of a website, i.e., database, web server, and application. For instance, a user can log in to her account and access the website’s user interface. A username ID and the user’s password are checked through the runtime. However, any details a user submits are processed in the back-end repositories. The back end will retrieve the data from the archive and transfer details to the web interface for an app view. Thus, the website’s back end will serve as the framework and enable knowledge-sharing.
Needs Code Logic
Many programmers now keep the website user interface and app’s logic separate as it will simplify their development and maintenance. An app logic also does the routine data processing, which is needed in each firm to incorporate the application’s domain and the infrastructure components. The back end of a website has application logic. So, developers must focus on the development of the back end and will make multiple user interfaces to access the app logic.
Adding a Functionality Utility to Front-End Development
While creating the website, programmers must write the back-end code that will include the utility of the functionality of every front end. For example, you must report the code using server-side programming languages to add the user login functionality to your app or website form. A back-end code will collect values when the user enters his login credentials and compare them with the stored login data in the databases. Hence, a website or app will only work with the quality of back-end development.
Steps to Hire a Mobile App Developer
It began with understanding the objective of hiring and what sort of programmers are needed to develop your app. Now it’s time to decide whether you want a dedicated resource or a freelancer developer for building a mobile app.
Step 1: App Development Goals
Start doing significant research related to your application before you contact the app developers.
It includes the types of app and their revenue model. In the free app, you will get everything free. In the paid version, some of the innovative features are provided to whoever pays for it.
You can select the accessible version of the app if you are new and want to plant roots with your targeted audience. But, be ready for monetization by offering them in-app purchases after getting great user responses.
You should be very clear about the product concept, design, and functionality you want to add to your app. After that, draw easy templates and flowcharts for the work procedure, software functionality you may like, and the final items you will accomplish with the mobile app development.
Step 2: Know the Type of App and Development Platform
You must be very clear on the kind of app you want to develop, whether you will design the app for yourself or hire an app developer.
Step 3: Setting up an App Development Budget
The central part of any app business will lie in navigating how much it costs to hire an app developer. When recruiting an app developer, you must decide your budget based on your app development platform, i.e., Android or iOS.
Get a clear understanding of the production cost of the app. Once you get the idea of how to hire app developers, it will be helpful to set an app development budget based on their expertise and experience.
The spend estimation is necessary as it helps you determine how much is needed to invest in app development and what is required from your end to grow and succeed.
You make sure about the type of app, design, types of features, and many other criteria to decide the budget. Make sure you always leave some wiggle room for possible complications.
Step 4: Find the App Development Resources
Whether you hire an individual programmer or a full-service organization, ensure they are qualified and trustworthy.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when hiring a mobile app developer.
Do Your Research
Before handing your project to another, you might want to know the ins and outs of the enterprise. If you are new to the mobile app development field, consult with a few experts to understand how much it costs to hire an app developer.
It begins with learning everything that will go into building a successful mobile app programming language, how much it costs to app development on average, etc. These few points will help you select the right technology within your budget.
Check the App Developer Experience
You can check the developers’ experience, know where they came from, and see their previously developed apps.
An app engineer should be screened to make sure that they are qualified for the job at hand. Do not simply employ a skilled developer, but one who has experience with the particular technology needed for your project.
Examine the Expertise in Communication
This point is incredibly important while developing. Your technology partner needs to understand your needs. Otherwise, they will not deliver anything per your needs.
So, knowing how well they express and comprehend your mobile app development vision is imperative.
Conduct the Interviews
Whoever you are hiring, interview them rigorously. If you need, you can get assistance from a professional, who will set up the interview once you get in touch with them.
Step 5: Select the Dedicated Resource or Freelancer Developer
Hiring an app developer is tricky as it has pros and cons. You must have in-depth knowledge when hiring mobile app developers.
The level of expertise is the most important thing that needs to be considered whether you want an app as a freelancer or a full-time dedicated resource. The latter will give a more complete approach to growth which will help you in all circumstances.
If you hire a freelancer, they are very minimal in terms of availability. They are often not accessible for quick bug fixes and last-minute changes.
In contrast, you can go for hiring dedicated mobile application developers.
Step 6: Consider the Time to Create
The app development time can play an essential role in deciding the success of mobile apps. There is no doubt that the app market has millions of users worldwide. So, it is necessary to rapidly create the app launched by following app market compliances.
After you agree on the cost of hiring app developers and the onboarding team, you are ready to get the final delivery of the product within three to four months.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?
The cost of making the app ranges from $40,000 to $300,000+, depending on the app’s complexity.
Simple app development: $40,000 to $60,000 Duration 2-3 months
Essential app development: $60,000 to $150,000 Duration: 3-6 months
Complex app development: from $300,000 Duration 9+ months
There are several factors to get an estimation of your app project. The most reliable way is to contact the developers.
If you send the request to a development company, they will estimate custom app development without proper documentation and terms of reference, and the cost will be approximate.
Some examples of things that are considered in the estimated cost:
- The difficulty of the design and the number of screens
- Process of development
- Quality assurance case
- Number of features and functions
- Complexity of features
- Complication of database
- The complexity of 3rd party integration tools
- Integration of security protocols such as GDPR and HIPPA
- Size and level of the development team
At 5D Spectrum, we follow a loop for the estimation process to determine the cost of a mobile application.
What is the Purpose of Mobile Application Development?
App development is vital for online business. App development is recommended if you wish to boost your sales with technology. Here are some benefits an app can provide:
Improves the Reputation of Your Brand
You will be perceived as a modern and innovative company that listens to its clients if you have a mobile application. They will appreciate your hard work and refer you to others to access your services.
Strengthen Customer Engagement
A mobile app will help the communication with its customers. For example, add features allowing the customers to contact you at any time, without waiting for business hours and without spending any money.
Increase the Visibility of your Brand
Integrating a social media platform will allow users to share app content with their social network connections. In this way, your company will gain visibility and new customers.
Keep your Customers Loyal
Developing the mobile app will assist you in increasing customer loyalty. It is an effective tool that carries outs promotional actions. For example, it can offer discount coupons, organizes contests, and send event invitations.
Boost the Sales and Revenues
Your company can benefit from getting sponsorships or using the advertisement within your app. Most consumers prefer shopping from the app rather than the website. In this way, you can increase your sales and revenue by creating an app that your customers will enjoy using.
Showcase the Items
Display your goods so that users can browse and purchase them from the comfort of their mobile devices. The mobile application will streamline a shopping procedure and make it simple to view your services.
But keep your mobile apps updated with the new product launches so that people become aware of that. It will also increase the sales of the product.
Which are the Leading Technologies Used in Mobile Application Development?
Mobile technology and app development frameworks are collections of tools and languages that support the experts in making robust solutions for iOS, Windows, or android mobile phones. It provides you with significant features and tools used throughout the app development process, from an initial design to the final testing.
Moreover, these pre-built solutions will make app development simple and easy. It means you can get the product in the market faster while maintaining high-quality standards. These mobile technology and app development frameworks have eliminated low-level code by allowing programmers to focus on the best.
React native is a cross-platform framework in which the developers can code without worrying about maintaining native iOS or Android apps.
React Native framework was developed by Facebook and Instagram to create apps on various computer technologies, including macOS and Windows. It offers greater flexibility in the app. How it will look and perform depends on the device or browser you are using. It also allows seamless scaling without a requirement for any codebase rewrites. The primary benefit of using react native is that it provides reusable components and fluency with third-party extensions.
The Flutter framework was established by Google and has made coding easier for developers without any prior knowledge or experience. It allows coders to build apps and games with only a single codebase on iOS and Android devices.
The best thing about this app development is that it is the best framework for small businesses and start-ups. Your pay is dependent on the revenue which your application generates.
Java is an object-oriented programming language that is developed to make high-performance applications. It is one of the oldest programming frameworks which is still used today. The cross-platform gives flexibility while developing the apps on various devices, including smartphones or desktops. It has enormous library modules, is easily scalable, and has a faster render speed.
Python is a powerful programming language and a great choice among developers because of its simple syntax and ability to work with large data sets. It manages heavy-duty tasks, including big data calculator and development of web applications with server-side rendering. It has the easiest learning curve, best for AI and machine learning-based smartphone apps. It also gives the number of pre-built models to speed up the processes and can fit with any of the other programming languages.
Ionic is the framework for making high-performance apps. It has all the essential features, variables, and functions, and even an in-built language processor.
This framework is easy to use as it is template-based meaning everything happens inside one file. There is no requirement for external libraries, as they are already included by default. Due to this, maintenance costs will be reduced in the future.
The primary benefit of the Ionic framework is that it helps the expertise to use the multiple UI components in the app framework, which includes filtration, inputs, views, and easy navigation. It also enhances performance flexibility and gives a consistent user experience.
Which are the Best Practices for Mobile App Development?
Once a user installs the application, you should work on minimizing uninstalls, delivering the best user experience, keeping up with the competition, and will get the maximum financial advantages in the long term run. When you are regularly maintaining your mobile app, then it will create a sustainable brand image in the user’s mind. Here is the list of the best practices for long-term app development.
Monitor the performance of your mobile application. You must keep an eye on the loading types if there are any lags or responsiveness issues. It will help you to stay ready with your analytics report. You can analyze your retention rates and churn rates and make sure to understand the usage patterns.
Keeping the user interface updated is the way to maintain your mobile application. Customers can align themselves with the changing styles, trends, and other vital features of the apps which need continuous updating. If you keep an app interface the same, then there are chances you may lose our clients.
Make sure that your app supports advanced and latest software updates. A new version of the mobile operating system is released every year. However, a mobile device can be upgraded to the newest version of the OS and thus of the application.
Fix the bugs to win the customers, as no software apps are published without proper testing. However, errors and bugs are an integral part of mobile app development. Fixing the bugs will view its faith and dedication toward the app users.
Suppose you add new functionalities and features to your app from time to time. Then you can see how the users are interacting with the application.
How do we Make Apps Successful?
- Understand your requirements
- Identify the business goals
- Define how we will measure the success
- Apply a best-suited plan
- Engage experienced developers and testers
- Establish the procedure
- Keeps you updated with the weekly reports
- Conduct the manual and automated testing
- Make sure that your product is error-free
- Deliver the final product with a zero errors
- 24/7 support and maintenance services
- Keeps your product running and up
- Focus on expanding your business
What are the Engagement Models?
This procedure includes a fixed budget and follows a standard throughout the period.
- Pay for the quality, not the quantity
- Pricing is based on the needs
- No hidden cost
- High working standards
Time and Material
There is no fixed time and budget in this model. You have to pay only for the hours which have been taken by the developer to complete a task.
- Values for your time
- Discuss and understand
- Pay per hour
- Get the regular updates
It is a flexible method as you have a dedicated team for your project. It authorizes you to make real-time changes.
- Personalized team
- No deadline
- Real-time updates
Why Select Us for Mobile App Development?
We do complete research and the entire professional team gives high-quality service. Our methodologies are dependent on intensive research.
Design and Code
We deliver 100% hand-coded apps with validated HTML/CSS and the programming language code.
Launch and Manage
We handle the entire lifecycle of your project. We employ our expertise at the client’s end after deploying a solution for seamless delivery.
There is a lot to unpack with mobile application development. Whether creating cross-platform or native apps, you must always prioritize the user experience.
Your application’s functionality must meet the primary use case, and interactive features must be easy to navigate.
To put it into a nutshell, 5D has the no-code DIY solution, which is best for entrepreneurs. We provide a full-service solution and app development with post-launch maintenance and support.
Get in touch with us, and one of your app development experts will assist you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the limitations of mobile app development?
The drawback of mobile app development is that it is complicated to develop, cost, and make the developer available and the needs of its update and support.
How do apps secure data?
When we create our applications, we utilize Transport Layer Security. This protocol encrypts data and demands that the server and the application authenticate each other before exchanging any data. No data is exchanged between the app and the server if this issue occurs.
What makes the mobile app more secure?
A lack of high-level authentication will lead to security breaches. So, developers should make apps that only accept solid alphanumeric passwords. Beyond that, it is better to make it mandatory for users to change their passwords periodically.
What are the characteristics that will make the app good?
An excellent mobile app combines a great design with its functionality as the business needs it with long-term objectives as it improves business procedures and builds better customer relationships. Characteristics of good apps are well-design UI, faster loading time, strong data protection, excellent user support, and in-built integrations.
Which are the primary design areas to create a successful mobile app?
The primary design areas for mobile app development are product strategy, architecture, user experience design, and marketing.