Like everything in this world, mobile application development starts with an idea. It arises in the head of a person, he imagines common features, but so far there is no talk of any specifics. At the stage of forming an idea, a person must clearly understand what problems his target audience has, and how the future application should help solve them. It is necessary to sort out the options and study the market until a niche is found that could be occupied and form a really useful service for people.
It’s best when developing an Android or iOS app starts with a brainstorm. So that people in the process of discussion put forward non-standard ideas and theses, including frankly stupid and delusional. Brainstorming has been and remains the best way to generate and evaluate ideas.
What services are included in the development?
When you have an idea and a rough understanding of how it will all look in the end – that’s when the development of mobile applications begins. There are three main services within this process:
- iOS application development. The platform on which absolutely all owners of Apple mobile devices sit. As a rule, this is an adult and solvent audience, which is a tasty morsel for everyone who is targeting the premium segment. Development tools for iOS provide an opportunity to intelligently optimize the product and bring it to almost perfect condition, which in the long term will have a positive impact on the experience of your users. A polished and polished app is a powerful and often overlooked driver that helps promote services and products.
- Android application development. It is the most popular operating system – the share of smartphones with Android is estimated at about 70% of all devices on the planet. That is why most large companies are targeting this market in one way or another. The advantage of development for Android is the availability of a convenient Developer Tools Kit with support for automated testing and with its own graphical interface designer. Among other things, the Play Store is famous for the low cost of app placement – only $ 25 and only once at the time of registration. In the AppStore, you have to pay $ 100 every year.
- Application development for VR and AR. When creating software for augmented and virtual reality, slightly different devkits and principles are used, therefore this is taken out in a separate paragraph.
How relevant is mobile app development?
It is more relevant than ever, because, as of January 2021, there are about 5.22 billion people in the world who actively use smartphones, and about 4.65 billion people regularly access the Internet. Of all these people, another 4.2 billion use social networks at one time or another – Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok, VK and others.
The gross revenue of the mobile apps market has already passed the $ 200 billion mark, and this figure is constantly growing. Therefore, yes, if you want to stay in trend, if you want to be competitive and want to reach the widest possible audience, you will have to order the development of an application for iOS and Android.
It is not so much about relevance, but about the fact that this is the only right decision for business development in the current realities. In the near future, the role of smartphones in human life will only increase, and in order to have a connection with the target audience, you cannot do without your own application. This is a reality to which you need to adapt. Or step aside and quietly stagnate – but we are not even considering this option.
What are the features in the development of mobile applications?
The development of mobile apps for Android and iOS is a complex process that requires the collaboration of many specialists, from UX designers to testers who are able to polish the product to the state of perfection. Mobile development requires a solid investment in terms of finances and time, especially if it is done by experienced professionals who understand modern tools and trends.
An important role is played by the ability of specialists to competently optimize and adapt the application for all existing devices. The design should be responsive and user-friendly no matter from which device the user launches the application, be it a budget Android smartphone or a top-end iPhone of the latest generation. It is important that the design of the application is responsive and clearly adapts to different screen formats and different versions of operating systems.
This is the main feature of the development of mobile applications – experienced specialists are guided by current trends and know what standards it is necessary to optimize software for.
Among other things, during the development process, it is important to make sure that the application complies with the provisions of GOST:
- a free trial period if the product is distributed on a paid basis;
- no critical security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers;
- the ability for users to contact the developers in any convenient way to get help;
- if the application collects personal data of users, then users should be informed what data is collected and for what purpose.
Compliance with GOSTs is not a mandatory requirement, but this is a huge plus, because in the event of any unexpected situations, it avoids a lot of problems. And this is another feature of mobile app development that needs to be taken into account.
Stages of mobile application development
Most web development studios have their own algorithms and principles of work, but, as a rule, the creation of applications for Android and iOS consists of 7 stages:
- Analytics is exactly what we talked about at the very beginning, an idea. The client comes to the contractor with an idea, voices all his wishes, and the studio starts collecting analytics. It is about analyzing the market, studying existing solutions and examples of implementing similar ideas from competitors. The data obtained allows us to identify critical problems of competitors and their strengths – this approach allows you to correctly highlight the key points in advance and do everything “according to your mind”. The analytics stage is extremely important, as it avoids overwork and, in general, strongly affects the final result.
- Drawing up technical specifications. The second stage, which compiles a detailed description of the functionality of the application, its design and other features. TK is what specialists will work with, who will be directly involved in the development and implementation of functions, design, security, interface, etc.
- UX design, design. It happens that a client comes with a finished design project, but most often the UI / UX is created from scratch. Drawing a map of screens, working out graphic elements, prototyping software, taking into account various scenarios of use – all this is done here. It is critical that the design is convenient, simple and understandable for most users, and this is not as easy to achieve as it might seem at first glance.
- Application development. Actually creating an application for Android and iOS – writing code, connecting the application logic with the server side and creating functional, working software.
- Testing, optimization and bug fixing. Specially trained guys interact with the application in every possible way and look for any possible bugs, errors, shortcomings. The same guys compose reports and send them to the developers, who will fix everything and fix it with the next update. This is already polishing the final product and bringing it to a usable pre-release state.
- Publishing to stores. After the app is reviewed and approved, it is added to the app stores – App Store on iOS and Google Play on Android.
- Support for further development. The first six months to a year after the release are important, as they allow you to make final adjustments, if the need arises.
Methods for developing mobile applications
The first method for creating mobile software is called Agile – it is a flexible system that implies the prompt implementation of changes in an ever-changing project at the development stage. This methodology simplifies the process of creating and optimizing an application due to several basic principles:
- Everything must be completed on time – this ensures a continuous process of product improvement.
- The client and the contractor must constantly communicate and discuss the strategy so that both parties are happy with the result.
- Only motivated people who are interested in the result are involved in the development.
- Questions regarding the development of a mobile application should be discussed face to face.
- Competent design is a criterion that determines the quality of an application on release.
The advantage of this approach is flexibility, since changes to the design or functionality of the application can be implemented at any time. But, on the other hand, the Agile method involves a certain amount of chaos in the development process, which is not always good for deadlines and budget, which can greatly increase due to rework.
The second popular development method is called Waterfall, or waterfall. It implies that at the end of each development stage, specialists move on to the next stage. From analytics to technical assignment, then to UX design, etc. That is, the software development process should be consistent, structured and logical. Returning to previous stages after switching to a new one is impossible, and if something needs to be changed, then the entire development cycle must start over. The Waterfall method is strict and does not forgive mistakes, but the result in the final, as a rule, turns out to be beyond all expectations – but only on condition that specialists are involved in the development of a mobile application who probably know what to do and how to do it.
Simply put, Agile is a more versatile method and suits everyone, both novice and experienced web studios. Waterfall is a more rigorous and utilitarian approach, it requires serious experience and qualifications from each participant in the development.
How much does it cost to develop a mobile app on average?
This is a question to which there is no answer, because the cost of developing a mobile application is formed in a complex way, depending on the scale of the project, the technical complexity of the implementation of the idea, the timing of development, the number and level of qualifications of the employees involved.
Due to the large number of factors that can affect the price of creating mobile software, it will be difficult to voice approximate figures. If you want to discuss the issue in more detail, based on specifics, leave a request on the FlexReality website. We will contact you and discuss all the details personally and directly.