Mobile app development is a complex process involving a variety of professionals, from back-end developers and artists to testers and system administrators. Each specialist performs part of the work, and the result is a full-fledged application capable of performing the functions assigned to him.
The people involved in the creation of mobile software are required to have knowledge in certain areas. Most often – the ability to work with several programming languages. Knowledge of SQL, networking protocols, multithreading skills, and experience with design patterns are encouraged. Due to the high requirements for knowledge, a mobile application developer is one of the highest paid professions in the 21st century.
Where do you start learning and how to learn application development?
To begin with, it is recommended to cultivate certain personal qualities that are highly welcomed in the field of developing applications for Android and iOS:
- Ability to work in a team. In the process of creating an application, specialists from different fields are often forced to interact with each other, so extroverts are welcome in this area. It will be more difficult for introverts, but if a person is ready to leave the comfort zone in order to achieve a result, there will be no problems.
- Analytic mind. During development, you have to analyze many things, draw conclusions and predict how certain changes will affect the application in the future.
- Attention to detail – this skill is especially important, because the more attentive the developers are, the less problems will pop up during the testing phase and after the release. A high degree of care – minimum bugs and maximum stability.
- Constant self-development. The mobile industry is striding into the future by leaps and bounds, trends are constantly changing, as are the guidelines. The in-demand developer of mobile applications is one who is constantly brewing in his topic and understands all the nuances.
You can even start learning development on your own – for this there are hundreds of books, textbooks, paid and free courses, master classes. There is a lot of information, but without a mentor it can be hard to figure out where to start. That is why it is recommended that you first go to courses with a specialist who will competently guide a beginner from the basics to a solid foundation, and then show you how and where to develop in order to become a cool specialist.
There are full-fledged guides on the Internet to help newbies get their bearings. To get started, decide if you want to learn iOS app development, or want to develop mobile software for Android – that’s the first thing. The difference is that Android developers first need to learn Java, Kotlin, Python, C / C ++, while for iOS developers, knowledge of Objective-C and Swift is vital. This is the base. Then look for guides that will acquaint you with the basics of programming and tell you where to start and in which direction to move in order to master the necessary knowledge to the fullest.
When you are sure that this is right for you, and that you are ready to spend precious months or even years on training, you can look for paid courses from practicing developers – this will speed up the learning, because live communication with an experienced specialist is always more productive.
Finally, we recommend that you study the classic literature on the topic. Specifically the Stanford Mobile Development Course, which is in English. The University of Toronto has an excellent “iOS Development Course in Swift” for those who want to work for the Apple ecosystem. Also from the interesting it is worth noting “Android Basics: User Interface” by Google – cool material for developers of mobile applications for Android.
What is mobile application development for?
There are two main platforms around which 95% of the mobile market revolves:
- Apple’s iOS. Publishing your own application in the App Store is a dream of many companies that target an adult and solvent audience.
- Android from Google. The Google Play store is profitable from the point of view of mass scale, almost all large retailers and companies promoting services are represented on this platform.
If we evaluate the entire market as a whole, then, according to statistics for 2020, the share of Android was 74.43% of the total number of users. IOS accounts for 24.99%, which is almost three times less.
But don’t jump to conclusions, because this is only the number of users. From the financial point of view, the situation is exactly the opposite: App Store revenue in the first half of 2020 was $ 32.8 billion, while Google Play’s revenue was only $ 17.3 billion. This suggests that iPhone and other Apple device users are much more willing to buy. applications and order various services.
As you can see, it will be most profitable to order the development of an application for iOS and Android together, that is, for the application to be presented on both platforms. Android’s advantage is massiveness and accessibility, while iOS is beneficial in terms of potential profit. That is why specialists who know how to develop cross-platform applications are highly valued.
How to develop mobile apps?
To begin with, gather a team of developers who can complete the intended task. And before starting the development of a mobile application from scratch, you need to answer a number of questions:
- What problems and client pains your application will solve. In other words, why would a person install it on his smartphone?
- Will the mobile application sell, advertise something, or is it created for a more subtle and closer interaction with the target audience.
- Your target audience – who are these people, what is their mindset, age, needs? It is extremely important to study the target audience for the correct building of a promotion strategy.
- What offers, services and products are most popular with your competitors.
- What result do you want to see after the release.
Analytics and the pre-production stage are extremely important, as they allow you to correctly prioritize the development process in order to get a better result, minimize financial costs and determine with high accuracy what tools a developer needs to implement certain ideas.
What should the terms of reference look like?
Drawing up the technical specification is a very important stage, without it adequate software development is impossible, just as it is impossible to build a spacecraft for a flight to Mars without appropriate drawings. The terms of reference spell out all the key points:
- ✔ goals and objectives of the future application;
- ✔ design and interface features;
- ✔ description of the structure;
- ✔ development nuances for the target platform (Android, iOS);
- ✔ type of layout (landscape, portrait or adaptive);
- ✔ prescribed features of the server side;
- ✔ the nuances of integration.
The TOR should list all the key requirements for the application and scenarios for its use so that developers clearly understand what is required of them. In a sense, the terms of reference for the development of mobile software can be compared with a roadmap, only, unlike the latter, the TK is a document in which there is a lot of technical and professional terminology, with which an ordinary person is most likely not familiar.
How to save money on mobile app development?
The topic is complex, multi-layered and extensive, but we will try to briefly describe the main ways to reduce the cost of developing an application for iOS and Android:
- Choose one platform. The creation of cross-platform software, which will be presented in both the App Store and the Play Market, will cost significantly more than developing an application for one platform. In the future, if the need arises, it will always be possible to port the finished product from iOS to Android or vice versa, so this is a very good way to save money at the start.
- Draw up TK on your own. As a rule, web studios charge an additional fee for writing a technical specification, because this is also a work that requires time and effort. If you can figure it out and write it yourself, then you will have to pay a little less.
- Create an application design from a template, based on successful examples of competitors. It will be cheaper.
- Keep your application data on the client side and not on the server side to save on server side maintenance. You can even implement a serverless architecture at all.
- Look for regional developer studios. Metropolitan studios, as a rule, charge a lot more for their work. And it’s not a fact that they will do everything better than their regional colleagues. Among regional developers, you can find options “inexpensive and cool”, but you have to look.
- You can use a special constructor for mobile applications.
- Make an easily maintainable product, with documentation, code review, autotests, well-developed architecture and refactoring. Yes, at first this can result in costs, but in the long term this approach can significantly save on support.
- Do not develop typical functions from scratch, rather use SaaS services and ready-made libraries.
These tips will help reduce the cost of developing an application for Android and iOS to varying degrees.
What brief is needed?
Brief is a document containing a list of project tasks and information about the mutual obligations of the customer and the contractor. This document prescribes questions from the contractor, to which the customer must answer. Moreover, all questions should be as specific, understandable and simple as possible so that the customer does not have to understand ornate terms.
The client fills out the brief in a free form and also tries to describe his wishes in the most detailed and clear way, without ambiguity. The brief, as a rule, contains the following information:
- ✔ contacts of the persons who are in charge of the project;
- ✔ brief information about the company;
- ✔ the purpose of creating the application;
- ✔ project tasks;
- ✔ overview of competitors;
- ✔ description of the target audience;
- ✔ design wishes;
- ✔ characteristics of software functions;
- ✔ estimated development budget;
- ✔examples of competitor applications that the customer likes;
- ✔ deadline.
This is all filled in in free form, and some points can be omitted if the customer cannot answer something in essence.
What is the salary of a mobile app developer?
As statistics show, in Ukraine, the development of applications for a smartphone can bring specialists from 600 to 2000 dollars. At the same time, the average salary is 800-900 US dollars. Salaries vary greatly by region – in Kiev, for example, the average salary reaches UAH 45,000, while in other cities it stays at the level of UAH 21-24 thousand.
The level of salary also depends on the qualifications of a specialist, his knowledge, skills and abilities. A professional with many years of experience can earn 3, 4, and even 5 thousand dollars a month. Today the profession of a mobile developer is considered one of the most demanded and highly paid ones.
How to make money on mobile app development?
To make money on applications and games, you need to come to a digital agency with a clear understanding:
- why and for whom software is developed;
- what methods of monetization you will have (advertising, promotion of goods, services, distribution on a paid basis, etc.);
- plan, how much you are willing to invest in development, and in what time frame you plan to recoup these investments, in order to eventually get a profit.
In general, there must be a strategy. Without a strategy, mobile app development turns into a blind journey, without clear guidelines and goals.
Let’s consider the most popular and effective ways to monetize:
- Displaying ads within an app or game. The interface of the application is initially designed so that there is a place for displaying banners. One way or another, the user sees this advertisement constantly with his peripheral vision, and if he is interested, he will follow the link. For each click, the app owner receives a small financial reward from the advertiser.
- Selling goods and services within the application for money. You can sell both goods that you then send by mail and digital content. For example, in mobile games, they sell all sorts of experience boosters, in-game currency, costumes, weapons – this content can bring a lot of money if you know how to properly interest the players.
- Paid subscriptions. For example, YouTube is distributed through this system – there is a free version of the application littered with annoying ads, and there is a subscription option, when for a monthly fee the user gets rid of ads and gets additional functions in addition to the appendix.
- Display of videos. The bottom line is that a person watches promotional videos for the opportunity to continue playing the game or using the application.
- Push notifications. The user of the mobile application receives push notifications with ads – and the message pops up on top of what is on the screen, due to which 100% attention is attracted. The disadvantage is that if you bend too much, you can cause irritation, as a result of which the person will simply delete the application from the smartphone.
In general, there are dozens of ways to help you make money on mobile app development. If you have ideas, you can go ahead and come up with your own, unique ways to monetize – no one is limited by the methods that most apply in their strategies. Be creative and always learn new things – this is the only way to achieve serious success in the field of mobile development.