The set of techniques and procedures involved in building software for small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and other hand-held devices, is known as mobile application development. Mobile application development, like web application development, has its roots in older software development methods. Mobile apps, on the other hand, are frequently designed particularly to take advantage of the unique capabilities of a particular mobile device. For example, a game app could be created to take advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer, or a mobile health app could be written to take advantage of the temperature sensor on a smartwatch.
Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are the two most popular smartphone platforms today. Apple phones and tablets come equipped with key apps, such as a full web browser and access to the Apple App Store. Similar apps come preloaded on Android devices, and you can download more from the Google Play Store.
Mobile application types
In the early days of mobile app development, the only way to ensure that an app would run well on any device was to create it natively. This necessitated the creation of fresh code tailored to the processor of each device. The bulk of mobile apps built nowadays is device agnostic. In the past, there was little, if any, code that could be reused from the initial development project if an app needed to be cross-platform and run on various operating systems (OSes). Each device, in essence, necessitated its own mobile app development project with its own codebase.
PWA content is downloaded in stages, similar to YouTube videos, giving the end-user a better experience than a typical website with responsive design. Instant mobile apps are another name for progressive web apps. You must first decide the type of software you will create before you begin developing it. Here’s a rundown of the various sorts of mobile app development technology, along with some background information on each.
Apps that are native to the platform. Integrated development environments (IDEs) and languages for mobile OSes such as Apple iOS and Google Android are used to create these apps. Native apps give you the ability to tailor required features, but they are more expensive than alternative technologies.
Web apps that are progressive in nature. A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website that looks and acts like a mobile app. Web technologies such as Facebook React are used to create these apps. Apps that are encapsulated.
A container app runs an encapsulated app. The Microsoft Power App drag-and-drop app creation tool, for example, allows even inexperienced developers to quickly create a mobile application. However, the lack of isolation from the core OS, OS lock-in, and newness may cause issues.
Frameworks and libraries are two types of software. You can use someone else’s reusable code to speed up the development of your mobile app.
Developing a mobile app costs
The cost of producing an app can range from practically nothing to millions of dollars, depending on the app’s design and intended usage. The following is a breakdown of the price ranges for developing a mobile app:
Builders of apps that don’t require any coding. If the program only has minimal feature needs, a developer does not need to know how to code. GoodBarber, Appery.io, Shoutem, Appy Pie, and BuildFire are examples of free tools that allow you to create apps without having to learn Swift or other programming languages. Although the capability of these tools is restricted, and they cannot be used to develop a game using no-code apps, the no-code method will fulfill the demands of most organizations.
Apps for businesses. With technologies like Amazon’s HoneyCode, Mendix, and Microsoft Power Suite, the concept of Citizen Developer, where anybody can build a mobile app, is expanding. These devices feature drag-and-drop interfaces for connecting to data sources and controlling content flow. The cost is usually associated with a monthly subscription that costs less than $50.
A website that is mobile-friendly. Although it’s best to create websites for both desktop and mobile devices, the website content management platform you’re using is likely to have mobile-optimization plugins you can buy for less than $100.
Apps that are difficult to use. A native app will very certainly be required for capabilities like 3D, gaming, or sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI). A complicated software can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $300,000. The cost is proportional to the shortage of mobile app developers
The development of a mobile app involves six processes.
1. Develop a strategy based on the following questions:
- What is the goal of your application? What issues will it address?
- Is this a function that already exists in an app? If that’s the case, what do they excel at? What is it that they are missing?
- For whom is the app intended?
- Will you hire developers or rely on an in-house team?
- What kind of business model do you have?
- How much money are you willing to put towards the development of this app? Will you be able to attract investors?
- How long would it take you to develop this app?
- What marketing plan do you have in place?
- Do you plan to submit your app to one of the app stores? If that’s the case, do you have the proper licensing agreements in place, as well as design and testing criteria?
2. Put together your team. Do you need to employ a developer if you’re making this app yourself? Are you a marketer? Will stakeholders from various departments (e.g., C-level, marketing, sales, IT) be involved in the development of this app if it’s for your company?
3. Consider how your mobile app will address the issues you’ve identified, as well as the features and functionalities it will provide. Prototyping can be as easy as sketching ideas on a whiteboard or piece of paper or utilizing software like InVision, Balsamiq, or Adobe Experience Design. When creating your vision, keep the user experience in mind. Design, usability, security, and performance are all factors to consider.
4. Using the information from the previous step, create a product roadmap. You’ll be able to establish a step-by-step procedure for evaluating your priorities and deliverables as a result of this.
5. Choose app development tools that meet your needs.
6. Start working on the app. When it comes to developing apps, an agile approach is ideal. When developing the software, adopt a DevOps approach. DevOps is a modern delivery technique that incorporates crucial features like:
- Wherever possible, automating;
- Utilizing cloud computing services
- Utilizing open-source software;
- Communication with the team on a regular basis; and
- Checking the code on a regular basis
7. Create a prototype of your app so that you can show it to investors or other stakeholders. Use their suggestions to improve the app’s development and testing. This includes evaluating the site’s functionality, performance, and convenience of use.
8. Once the app has passed these tests, it’s ready to release to the public for official beta testing. Before developing a deployable version of your software, you must go through numerous rounds of review and incorporate user fixes.