The Ultimate iOS App Development Guide for Business

Sudeep Srivastava March 10, 2022

The global revenue from mobile apps increased to over USD 318 billion in 2020, which was an increase of about USD 60 billion compared to 2019, as per a report by Statista. By 2025, the global mobile app market in terms of revenue is set to grow almost double to USD 613 billion, as per the same report.

This is a clear reflection of how the mobile app industry is growing, hinting at the larger business opportunities.  

When it comes to mobile app development, Android and iOS are the two most popular platforms. While both are popular for their own specific reasons, one thing that is common between the users of both the platforms is their expectation for a great user experience.   

In our iOS app development guide, we will focus on Apple’s iOS technology and give you answers for all your business queries related to the technology. Read on!  

What is iOS App Development?

iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system (OS) that runs on hardware including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. An iOS application is programmed in languages such as Swift and Objective-C and then deployed to the App Store for users to download.   

Why Choose iOS for Mobile App Development?

As in January 2022, iOS is not the leading OS platform in the world. The first place belongs to Android with a close to 70% market share with iOS holding the second place at roughly 25%, as per Statista

Despite being the second most popular mobile app platform, Apple’s iOS remains one of the most successful operating systems among its competitors worldwide. Here are the various reasons why you should consider developing apps for iPhone and other devices for your business. 

Powerful platform

iOS is a powerful platform that helps you build user-friendly applications. The platform offers great user experience and provides well coded apps for users. The devices are always in sync with each other and there are no compatibility issues.   

Great app speed and reliability

The iOS platform provides applications that are easy to use and have good speed, thus enhancing the user experience. Whether you have a small or large customer base, the iPhone users can have the experience of a small yet feature-rich app.    

Larger user base in the US

As reported by Statista in June 2021, iOS accounted for over 50% of the mobile OS market in North America and Android accounted for about 46% of the market. As per another report released by the same firm in March 2021, nearly 300 million people in the United States use a smartphone out of which over 113 million people use an iPhone, accounting for about 47 percent of all smartphone users in the United States.

Loyal users

Due to Apple’s goodwill and reputation in the market, the iOS platform has its own set of loyalists that choose the iOS app without any second thoughts. As reported by Statista, in a 2018 smartphone survey, over 40 percent of adult Americans bought an iPhone based on their loyalty to Apple.  

Apple users have a higher buying capacity

iPhone and iPad users tend to have higher incomes and spend more on technology as compared to Android users. This can impact actions such as in-app purchases and paid subscriptions, which play a huge role for a business model that depends on such user behavior. 

Apple users use the latest version

The majority of the Apple users run their device on the latest version, which makes programming and development easier as you can have a fair idea of what your app will be able to deliver. 

As per Apple, 72% of all devices introduced in the last four years use iOS 15 on iPhones. 

Also, 57% of all devices introduced in the last four years use iPadOS 15.

Types of iOS App Development

iOS development can be done for native apps as well as hybrid apps

Native iOS apps are the ones built specifically for the platform using iOS app development languages and tools such as Swift, Objective-C and Xcode. Unlike other web applications, a native iOS app does not run in the browser. You can only download the app from the Apple’s App Store.

Hybrid apps are a blend of native and web solutions. Here, the code of the application is written using languages such as CSS, HTML and Javascript. Once written, the app is then encapsulated within a native app. A hybrid app can be used on multiple platforms including both iOS and Android.     

iOS App Development Languages

Once the reservations regarding how and why iOS can be helpful in your business, the next question that arises is which iOS and iPhone app development language is best for the purpose. Here is a list of some of the best iOS programming languages for both native and hybrid app development.

Swift

iOS app development in Swift language is one of the most popular choices among businesses. It is used for building native iOS apps, is concise and has easy to use syntax. It is designed to work with frameworks such as Cocoa, Cocoa Touch and the extensive codebase written in Objective-C for Apple products. 

If you wish to develop a quick application that can be expanded later, iPhone app development in Swift language is a good choice.  

Objective-C

Objective-C is created as an extension of the C programming language. It is one of the oldest languages developed in the early 1980s by Tom Love and Brad Cox. It is a general-purpose language used for programming for Apple’s operating systems such as OS X and iOS and their APIs – Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. 

If you wish to create an app that is compatible with the older versions of iOS that Swift does not support, Objective-C is a good choice. 

[Also Read: Swift vs Objective-C]

Flutter

Launched in 2017, Flutter is an open-source development kit that can be used to create cross-platform apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Google Fuchsia.

It is one of the most popular cross-platform app development languages, which is best to use if you wish to create Android, desktop and web app versions of your iOS app.  

C#

C# is a general-purpose programming language used to write applications for Windows systems. Since the .NET framework came to Linux and Mac systems, it is possible to develop native software in this language for any platform, including iOS. 

C# is a good choice if you plan to create mobile apps for both iOS and Android users. 

 

HTML5

HTML5 is the latest HTML version that is typically used in combination with CSS and JavaScript. With the help of tools such as Apache Cordova and Visual Studio for Mac, HTML5 can also be used in developing iOS applications.    

HTML5 is the right programming language to consider if you do not wish to invest much time and resources and want to develop an iOS app quickly that can also be accessed offline. 

Factors to Consider before Starting to Develop iOS Applications 

Developing a good revenue-generating app is not an easy task and should be planned well. Here are a few pointers to be kept in mind on how to develop iPhone apps and iOS apps. 

Define the purpose

As the first step, it is important to define the purpose of developing the iOS app. You should be able to answer the questions such as: 

  • Why do you want to develop a particular app?
  • What is the problem you are trying to resolve through the app?
  • Are there similar apps in the market? How is your app different?

Identify target audience & conduct market research

Define your target audience by conducting a thorough market research. Conduct surveys and try to create a consumer persona to identify the type of users you want to target. 

Prepare a plan

Once you have defined the purpose and identified your target audience, the next step includes planning. Be as detailed as possible and try to answer questions such as:

  • What are your goals and objectives?
  • What activities and features will run on the app?
  • What is the price you are willing to pay for getting an iOS app developed?
  • Which is the best iOS or iPhone app development language and technology?
  • What security issues should be taken into account?
  • How will you measure the success of the app?
  • Do you wish to develop the versions of the iOS app on other operating systems?    

Decide whether to build the app in-house or outsource the development 

Many companies wonder whether to build the application in-house or outsource the development process. However, to remain competitive in the global marketplace, it is recommended to outsource the development services as it ensures the best possible product with reduced costs. 

How to Build iOS Apps for Business?

The iOS app development process usually follows the same pattern as for any other application. The process starts with planning followed by design, development, testing, and constant maintenance of the application. However, iOS mobile app development is not easy. You as a business owner have to keep in consideration the various rules set by Apple to ensure the best user experience. 

Here are some essential steps on how to develop iOS and iPhone apps:

Research

The mobile application market is extremely competitive, therefore, in order to stay ahead of the curve, it is important to conduct thorough market research to check which similar apps are already out there and what is your USP.  

Compliance with Apple guidelines

Apple has strict guidelines, which you or your hired mobile app development agency must abide by to ensure all the requirements related to design, user privacy and security are met. Apple only publishes those apps that meet all their requirements. 

Designing

The designing process includes the following steps:

  • Wireframing: Once the concept behind the application is clear, the next step includes documenting the requirements for the design team. The team then develops wireframes – digital sketches on how the app would look like.
  • UI/UX design: The main objective at this stage is to ensure a design that is not only visually appealing but easy to use
  • Software architecture: It includes three important components of the model view controller (MVC) paradigm – data, user and software. This step ensures the scalability and stability of the app.

[Also Read: Android vs iOS app design]

Development

This is the most critical phase of the iPhone app development as it is all about bringing the idea into reality. This stage has three different important parts:

Testing

Once the development is over, the next step is the QA testing of the developed product. The developer must test the app to ensure optimized performance, high security (including SSL pinning), thorough compliance and a seamless user experience. 

Deployment

Lastly, the application can be submitted to the App Store for final approval. Apple may take a few days to weeks to approve the application.      

Reasons to Outsource iOS App Development 

If still wondering why to outsource iOS app development, consider the reasons below.

Cost-effectiveness

Outsourcing the mobile app development can reduce the overall cost incurrence. Not only does it reduce the overhead cost but also help making considerable savings on resources and infrastructure. 

Increased efficiency

An iOS app development company has everything, starting from a dedicated team of developers to the state-of-the-art equipment required to develop a high-end application.  

Responsible for the entire workflow

The outsourcing app development companies provide end-to-end services in which they are responsible for the entire workflow. Therefore, by outsourcing, you can rest assured that you would not have to deal with guiding the workflow. 

Constant support

Developing an application is not the end of a project but just the starting. The outsourcing company that you hire gives you constant support and services even after the application is deployed on the App Store.

How to Choose an iOS App Development Company?

To build a successful iOS application, it is important that you hire a reliable company that deals with iOS and iPhone app development on a daily basis. With many options available in the market, it is not an easy task to choose an iOS app development company and find iOS developers that deliver exactly what you expect. 

Here are some quick tips to hire the right iOS app development company:

Strong technical knowledge

The developers of the company that you are considering hiring should have excellent command over the latest iOS development tools and programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C and XCode. The developers should also have the skillset to understand and then execute your requirements clearly.    

Reputation

It is important to check the reputation of the company in the marketplace. Checking the ratings and reviews of a company is a good way to understand the market reputation of a company. You can also try to figure out the following facts of a company to judge its reputation:

Skilled and adequate resources

The company should have a team that is specialized in iOS app development. The company should have a dedicated team for your project to ensure a seamless app development process and a top-notch final product.   

Agile development process

Agile is a customer-centric approach that allows you to see your product taking shape at every step of the development process. The methodology also allows changes in your requirements even if it is in the late development stages. Therefore, in order to ensure complete customer satisfaction, choose a company that follows an agile development process.    

iOS App Development Cost

Once you are certain on developing an iOS application, the next most important thing to consider is the cost required to develop the app. Estimating the right cost is important to have a proper iOS app development budget.

Here are a few factors to consider while deciding your iOS app development budget:

  • Size of the app: The size of the app directly impacts the development cost. When the app size increases, so do the features, resulting in higher development time and cost.
  • Complexity of the features: The iOS app development cost is impacted not just by the number of features but also by the complexity of features in an app
  • UI/UX cost: Various app designs take different number of hours to complete and thus have different costs
  • Native or cross-platform: There are two approaches to iOS app development – native and cross-platform. The costs of a cross-platform app are generally higher as they are deployed on both PlayStore and iOS. 
  • App testing: Testing is one of the most important aspects of any mobile app development as it ensures optimum performance, security and other factors. There are various types of iOS app testing, which impacts the overall cost of development.     

To have a rough estimate of the average cost required to develop an iOS app, you can use the following formula:

How Appinventiv Helped Global Brands Build High-End iOS Applications?

Appinventiv is a leading Android and iOS mobile app development company with an expertise of building high-end applications for startups and enterprises. With almost a decade of experience, we have helped many global brands till date achieve desired results in business through best-in-class mobile apps.     

We helped the largest pizza joint, Domino’s by redesigning their app through a transformative UI/UX strategy. The result? 23% improvement in conversion rate. 

We helped the retail giant, Adidas expand its digital presence globally by developing an end-to-end Android and iOS application for its Middle Eastern market. Our efforts led to 2 million app downloads and 500K new users for the brand.    

We helped Innovative Eyewear develop a social media application, Vyrb, that allows users to do voice posting on social media platforms using Bluetooth wearables. The result? USD 1 million funding for the app. 

We helped Asian Bank build a blockchain-based application that offers functionalities such as wire transactions with crypto, buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, wallet recharge, and so on. The result? Over 250K mobile app downloads and 50K cryptocurrency transactions. 

iOS App Development Trends to Consider in 2022 & Beyond

Mobile apps is a competitive market and you need to be aware of the latest market trends to have a futuristic approach to strengthen the app. Here are the top iOS app development trends to watch out for:

iOT

With the exponential growth of the iPhone market, the Internet of Things (iOT)-enabled iOS app market is bound to grow exponentially. Such apps will help smartphones easily connect with smart wristwatches, bands and other wearable devices.   

Cloud integration

Cloud technology promises to bring a lot of opportunities to the iOS app development industry. The iOS developers can leverage the Cloud platform to develop the apps, thus making the process faster and simpler.  

AI & ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are bound to rule the iOS app development industry in the coming years.  

AR & VR

iOS app development will continue to play a critical role in the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) world. The real-time and more intuitive applications enhancing the user experience will be possible even more easily through AR and VR.  

Chatbots

The trend of using chatbot technology for customer support services in different industries will continue to grow in the near future. The technology will be helpful in satisfying customers’ queries, thus helping them make faster decisions regarding the app.  

FAQs

Q. Why go for iOS app development?

A. The top benefits for choosing iOS application development for your business include:

  • Better customer experience
  • Higher ROI
  • Enhanced security
  • Better brand value  
  • Great compatibility

Q. Is it better to outsource app development?

A. Outsourcing the mobile app development is a recommended option as it is both a cost-effective and risk-free approach. The iOS app development company is responsible for the entire workflow and provides support even after the application is deployed. 

Q. How to outsource iOS app development?

A. Some tips to keep in mind while outsourcing the app development include:

  • Know your requirements
  • Ensure your outsourcing company is adept at all the latest iOS technologies and tools
  • Ask questions to ensure proper communication
  • Set clear expectations
  • Request a project plan
  • Plan the project cost      

Q. How much does it cost to build an iOS application?

A. Various factors such as the size, features and UI/UX impact the cost of an iOS application development. However, to have a rough estimate of the cost of the app development, you can use the below formula:

App Platform + UI/UX Development Hours + [Development Time x Developers’ Hourly Rate] = iOS App Development Cost

Q. Which languages are best for iOS app development?

A. For native iOS apps, Swift and Objective-C are the best programming languages. If you wish to create a hybrid iOS application, languages such as C# and HTML5 are the considerable options.

THE AUTHOR
Supeed Srivastava
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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