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The mobile application development market is growing at a massive rate. In this ever-evolving digital landscape, investing in a mobile app is a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses.
As per Statista, in the third quarter of 2021, mobile users downloaded approximately 27.8 billion apps from Google Play. In contrast, there were roughly 8.3 billion downloads from the Apple App Store. These numbers project the unprecedented popularity and growth of the mobile app market.
In this mobile app development guide, we will dive into every aspect related to mobile app development, the benefits it offers to business owners and entrepreneurs, and the various types of mobile app development cost strategies that one can choose.
So, let’s begin with the article without any further ado!
Mobile app development is a process for creating mobile apps that run on smartphones. These applications can be preinstalled on the device, downloaded from a mobile store, or accessed through a mobile web browser. Typically, a mobile application uses a network connection to work with remote computing resources. Thus, the process of app development involves:
To develop scalable and robust mobile apps, you also need to consider hardware requirements, screen sizes, and other factors affecting the app development process.
Mobile apps have become a necessity for every business, be it a startup or an established business. As a business owner, you can’t afford to ignore its benefits. Below are some of the ways mobile app development is benefiting businesses:
In the past few years, the business landscape has changed significantly. Businesses now rely heavily on technology to initiate and complete transactions with consumers.
Mobile apps are an integral element of modern tech that is constantly changing how consumers shop and satisfy their needs. With the increasing pace of technological advancements, consumer expectations are also growing. Mobile apps have become a great channel for meeting those user expectations.
For instance, retail shopping is one of the key business categories that benefit the most from mobile apps. By shifting to retail mobile apps, you’re sure to make your goods and services more accessible and easy to use.
For instance, at Appinventiv, we built an ERP application for IKEA that gave customers the real-time status of products’ availability and collected their information to use as marketing assets. Our efforts led to the creation of a solution that is today getting adopted at over 7 more IKEA stores. The brand also touts the solution as one of the biggest sources of ROI measurement.
Modern consumer behavior prioritizes personalization and convenience, and apps make that available at the customer’s fingertips.
The more value you offer to your customers, the more interest they develop in your brand. However, it’s impossible to achieve a deep brand experience without deliberate branding efforts. This is where branded mobile apps come into the picture.
Mobile apps are becoming an innate part of our everyday lives. App owners can utilize this channel to their brand’s benefit. The more branding elements you get right within your app, the better the impact you can expect on brand marketing results. You can even collect data from this app to understand your target audience better and improve your brand marketing strategy.
One of the best ways to increase revenue generation and brand awareness is to focus on increasing the customer engagement level. If you successfully boost how frequently your customers engage with your brand, you will experience an increase in ROI, customer lifetime value, and other important metrics. For app owners looking to increase the engagement level, they need to include certain features in the app.
Perhaps the most important for them is segmented targeting. This includes creating multiple user categories and controlling the type of content delivered to each segment of users. User segmentation allows you to provide accurate recommendations, send personalized messages, and understand your customers’ journey better.
Other in-app elements that can help achieve higher customer engagement level include loyalty programs, continuous features updates, and discounts. Apart from the features, it’s crucial to pay attention to UI/UX design. A poor UI may compel your users to uninstall your app and move to a similar and better app.
In the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s pretty tough to keep up with your competitors. A mobile app gives you a significant edge over your competitors.
Compared to conventional websites and digital platforms, mobile apps do a much better task when it comes to offering speedy communication and enhanced customer experience. Considering the number of ways a mobile app strategy can improve your business processes, its overall effect on your revenue generation will eventually become evident.
Another area of business that can benefit a lot from a business mobile app development is the marketing department. The first and foremost advantage digital marketers enjoy when businesses opt for mobile apps is the direct access to user information.
The data collected from user sessions within the app can be very helpful in improving your marketing efforts and campaigns. Once your marketers get access to all the data they need, an app allows them to deliver more effective and personalized content to users as compared to other traditional marketing channels.
If you’re wondering how to develop an app or give an edge to your existing business with a new application, here are certain steps you should consider before the development begins. These steps are crucial to the success of your application, so don’t skip over them.
When starting with the mobile app development process, you must have clarity regarding your goals.
What are you setting out to achieve? What problems are you trying to solve with your application? Your goals will ultimately determine your entire app development process. If these aren’t clearly defined from the start, it’s easy to get lost along the way once you start building your app.
Don’t set any goals – set measurable goals. Otherwise, you won’t be using your time and resources effectively. You can set goals related to the end-users as well as your business. Every goal should have clear KPIs to measure and track its success.
For instance, let’s say you want to build an app for your e-commerce shop. Your goal might be to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates on mobile devices. To ensure that you achieve this goal, you must know your current abandonment rates to measure them against the numbers when you eventually launch your own app.
When developing mobile applications for your business, you need to conduct research and find out more about your target market. This will help you understand how consumers interact with brands, leading players, market dynamics, and more. You should also check user reviews for top apps in the market. This will help you come up with a better product.
You also need to understand your target audience. Learn about your users’ location, average age, and the types of devices they use.
It’s crucial to have the right features integrated into your app. You have to identify the features that are necessary to serve your users in the best possible way. While adding popular features to your app might sound attractive, unnecessary features may leave your users frustrated.
Furthermore, the more features you add, the more it will add to the cost and lengthen the mobile development time. So, it’s advisable to focus on simplicity in the early development stages.
What is the first thing your customers see when they open an application? It’s not the features but the way your app looks and interacts with users. User-friendly and easy control of app’s features is what makes it appealing to its users. The app functionality is useless if the app users are not able to actually implement it in real life. This will leave them frustrated, and they will move on to another application.
While user interface (UI) refers to how your mobile app represents itself to the user, user experience (UX) is how the user interacts with the app and gives commands to complete or solve the issues that the app was originally built for.
Your app’s effectiveness can be measured by the optimal combination of its attractiveness and functionality. Considering this, make sure your app follows the below-mentioned basic rules:
When implementing trendy mobile app design, make sure that it not only looks beautiful but interacts with the user and makes the use of the application fast and comfortable.
For instance, we recently developed an innovative mobile app for Pizza Hut for their Middle-East users. As a mobile app development company Dubai, we built an engaging UI/UX allowing users to easily navigate and order food in a few clicks. Furthermore, our team integrated unique features to automate food ordering and delivery right at the customer’s doorstep, eliminating unexpected delays. The app has been downloaded 50k times to date, and the conversion rate has increased by 30%.
[Also Read: 7 UX Design Mistakes That Can Deter Your App Success]
Hiring a reliable app development company will ensure that your app includes all the latest functionalities and features at affordable costs. A mobile app development company generally includes UI/UX designers, project managers, app developers, and market specialists who always consider your vision and offer valuable suggestions. The company also offers access to industry expertise and the latest technologies.
MVP is that version of the app that has the most primal features, which explains to the users what the mobile app is about but is not filled with all the various advanced level features. The idea behind MVP app development is that you get to gauge how the millions of app store users accept your app idea before you invest any more money into scaling the app for its next level.
The fact that MVPs give a very clear idea of the app’s worth at low development cost and efforts have made them the first step toward ensuring the success of the app.
A number of brands started off as an MVP and have now become top-notch businesses, such as Twitter, Dropbox, Airbnb, Spotify, and Groupon, amongst others.
To get a better hang of the idea, here’s a pocket guide on the minimum viable product. Apart from giving you an in-depth idea of what the concept is about, the guide will also give you the practical steps to be followed to develop an MVP.
When you decide to create an app, it’s inevitable to keep testing the app. Test everything from the app’s performance and content to user experience. Proper testing helps reduce the development cost and time, identify bugs, and greatly improve your reputation as a service provider.
Once your app’s testing is successful, you can submit your app to the Apple’s App Store or Play Store. However, when submitting an app on the Play Store or App Store, you need to comply with Google and Apple’s developer guidelines. Also, you need to align your monetization strategy with their requirements.
[Also Read: A mini-guide to successful mobile app launch]
After launching your app on Play Store/App Store, the next and crucial step is marketing it. If users are not aware of your app, then there is no chance that they will download it. To spread information about your app and convince your target audience to explore it, consider making informative and attractive videos that can display your app’s core functionality. And do not forget the potential of social media; digital platforms can help you reach every corner of the world. They will deliver people a glimpse of your app and highlight the key features that can simplify their life needs.
Now that we have seen how to develop a mobile application, it’s time to look into the types of app development for your business. So, let’s dive right into it.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages to building an application, no matter which app development approach you choose. By choosing an approach that matches your goals, you can achieve the desired user experience and build native features required for your application.
Here are the common types of app development approaches you can select depending on your requirements:
The idea of native app development is to have two apps individually for Android and iOS. Businesses usually invest in native app development because the objective they are looking to fulfill with their app is more in sync with one platform than the other.
Generally, when businesses are looking for a greater user base they opt for Android, and when it is revenue that they are after, they choose iOS app development.
Apart from fulfilling their aims, there are several other reasons why Native app development is a better solution for a business than cross-platform or web apps.
Whatever the number of reasons pushing you to the native route, the platforms you can scale to are only two – Android and iOS.
Next, we will look into both options individually.
Android app development – With a count of 3.48 million apps on the Play Store as of the first quarter of 2021, Android apps have emerged as the ideal solution for businesses looking to take their business to millions of active users globally.
There are many statistics that hint toward the growth tangent that Android apps are on –
These numbers and facts make Android app development for businesses synchronous to growth and access to the massive user base. The platform comes with the benefit of multiple revenue sources, the freedom to customize the app and a very low barrier to entry. All the benefits together make it ideal for businesses to invest in Android apps.
iOS app development – With over 2 million apps available to download on App Store, the iOS market is chosen by businesses not for its high user base but for its potential to generate high revenue for the brands who make their presence on the store.
Android and iOS app revenue reached $133 billion revenue in 2021, a 19% year-on-year increase. iOS was responsible for 63% of total app revenue in 2021. The reasoning behind this difference in revenue can be attributed to the fact that Apple has established its market in some of the most developed, economically sound nations like the US and Australia. And it is due to these factors that have brought in a series of iPhone app development benefits for businesses.
Apart from this, the strict guideline that Apple has set for the brands looking to make an appearance in the App Store, in terms of quality, is also something that the users are willing to pay for.
While native app development is about developing two separate apps for Android and iOS individually, cross-platform app development is about developing one app and publishing it on both Android and iOS together.
There are many advantages linked to cross-platform app development, such as code reuse, low development cost & efforts, and greater audience reach. But at the same time, they even come with a set of disadvantages, such as – differences in iOS and Android mobile app design, slow app updates, and lack of proper app quality.
The only way to ensure that your app is high on advantages and low on disadvantages is to make a wise decision regarding the selection of framework and iOS or Android library. For that, you can either go with the top frameworks that mobile app development companies are relying on or consult your partnered app development agency to get insights on which iOS or Android development framework would best suit your needs.
Apart from the native and cross-platform app development, this is another option that is soon marking itself as the best option for businesses looking to increase their reach while eliminating the restrictions coming in from the Play Store & App Store.
Here are a few advantages of progressive web apps:
Also, progressive web app development has established itself as the future of mobile apps by giving the end-users exactly what they want – Quick in and out time and saving the device memory size.
Hybrid app development is more cost-effective as compared to native apps. You just need to write the code once and then use it for multiple platforms. It renders user experience and performance close to native apps.
Comparison of different types of app development
|Native app development
|Cross-platform app development
|Hybrid app development
|Progressive web app development
|These apps run natively on the platform of your choice
|Cross-platform app development is about developing one app and publishing it on both Android and iOS together
|It is based on the web view which runs on a web application in a native browser
|Progressive web apps are hybrids of regular web pages and native apps
|Tools and technologies used
|Java, Kotlin, Python, etc.
|Xamarin, NativeScript, Node.js, etc.
|Objective C, Ionic, HTML5, etc.
|1. Greater user experience
2. Direct access to the device’s APIs
|1. Single code for multiple platforms
2. Easy to maintain app
|1. Only one codebase is required for a hybrid app
2. Access to device’s internal APIs and device hardware
|1. The same app runs on web and mobile. Hence, it has less expensive upfronts
2. No need to install or update as it is accessible through URL
|Fastest speed and efficiency as it is directly built on OS’s platform
|The need for an additional abstraction layer and rendering process makes the cross-platform app slower than its native counterpart
|Slower than native and cross-platform apps as they are not usually optimized for their platform
|Progressive web apps can be decently fast, but their speed is entirely dependent on internet connection
Now that we have seen the different types of app development, it’s time to look into the latest mobile app development trends that you must know in 2023.
You may like reading: How Much Does it Cost to Create an App Like Metrash2?
In this section, we will highlight the key tech trends in the app development industry and how they are playing a huge role in customer retention and enhancing customer experience.
The IoT refers to the growing network of devices connected to the internet, providing automated control and convenience to the users. Smart home technology is the perfect example of the rise in IoT in mobile application development.
Mobile apps can be used to connect to home security systems, adjust the thermostat in a house from a remote location, and lock or unlock a front door.
The global IoT market is expected to reach USD 1,842 billion by 2028 from USD 310 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 24.5%. According to Statista, the revenue from technology associated with the Internet of Things will reach 1.6 trillion by 2025. These stats indicate the steady rise and usage of IoT devices in mobile app development.
The rollout of 5G will have a major impact on 2023 app development trends. For developers and creators, this technology is poised to change the way apps are used and created. In 2021, there were roughly 3.5 times more 5G connections as compared to 2020. These connections will nearly triple in 2023.
How will it affect mobile app development? 5G will drastically improve speed and efficiency. In fact, this technology is expected to deliver a 10x decrease in latency while boosting traffic capacity and network efficiency. As compared to 4G, 5G will be up to 100 times faster, depending on the mobile network operator you choose.
The penetration of 5G will ultimately improve the functionality of mobile applications. This will allow developers to add new features and functionalities to apps without negatively affecting their performance.
Developers can also use 5G network speed during the testing and development stages of building an app.
Augmented reality is another crucial mobile app development trend to look out for in 2023. Mobile apps can make use of AR features for a wide range of use cases. Pokemon Go is one of the best examples that paved the way for AR in mobile app gaming. But today, the applications of AR have become more practical for other apps as well.
For instance, L’Oreal Paris is using AR for their Style My Hair app. With the help of AR technology, the app showcases different hair colors and styles directly on the user.
Google Maps also recently rolled out a feature called ‘Live View’ where users can see turn-by-turn directions on real-world imagery in real-time. By pointing the device’s camera at street signs and buildings, the app can tell the current location of the user.
Virtual reality is also shaking things up in the mobile app development world. The application of VR is majorly seen in gaming apps currently. VR technology can be connected with apps, smartphones, and wearables to enhance the gaming experience in mobile apps.
[Also Read: AR/VR Trends and Predictions For The Upcoming Years]
By leveraging technologies like machine learning and AI, predictive analytics can forecast events using collected data. Tech giants have been leveraging predictive analytics for years now.
For instance, Netflix makes use of predictive analytics to show movie recommendations based on what users have watched in the past.
In 2023, predictive analytics will be implemented for a wide range of mobile apps on a more mainstream level. The primary objective will be to enhance the UI/UX with an app. This will ultimately lead to increased customer retention and engagement.
Both AI and ML penetrated the mobile app development industry years ago. But we’re still lagging behind in utilizing these technologies to their maximum potential.
When we first think about AI, virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri come to our minds. However, the use cases go far and beyond this for mobile application development.
Last year, Apple released Core ML 3, an iOS machine learning framework that allows developers to integrate AI technology into their apps.
A few examples of AI features that can be implemented into a mobile app include
Now that we have looked into the different platform options that you can choose when developing mobile applications and the latest technology trends, it’s time to dive into the different issues or mobile application development mistakes that come attached to the mobile app development process, which can negatively affect your future in the mobile domain.
If your app doesn’t reach the target audience, it does not stand the chance of being downloaded. This is one of the biggest reasons why mobile apps fail. Therefore, it’s crucial to question and implement strategies rather than rush into mobile app development.
First thing is to understand the target market, the trends, and the usage statistics of your target audience. Second thing is to find out what your competitors are doing better and what they are lacking at. This helps increase the retention and installation rate of your application and interaction with the target audience.
Another common mistake to avoid when developing an app is not paying close attention to the UI of your app. UI or user interface is the face of your app which is responsible for the very first impression.
Since there are a number of apps available on the app stores, users are highly impatient when making a decision about keeping an app on their mobile devices.
In other words, a good UI is the key to user retention, which cannot be ignored. The mobile design process is a vital step in building an app that the users will embrace.
Following are some of the points to take care of while designing the app UI:
When developing an app, there will be costs incurred right from production to outsourcing a team and post-deployment. To make up for these expenses and generate profit in the long run, it is vital to choose the right monetization model. There are plenty of ways to monetize your application which include paid ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and more. Regardless of the monetization model you choose, ensure that it is profitable in the long run.
If you think that adding too many features will make your app more appealing to users, well, you might be wrong. Having too many features within the app makes it cumbersome and bulky in size without adding much value to the overall user experience.
In contrast, having few targeted and important features makes a mobile app easy to understand and useful.
In addition, having too many features increases the load time and makes the app slower. And not to mention the resources, time, and efforts that go into making those extra features. The best thing to do is include the main feature and other supporting features that make the purpose of the app complete.
An MVP presents you with a chance to test your product in real market conditions and get user feedback that helps improve your app’s performance. Developing an MVP as a preliminary product reduces the overall development time and costs. You can also receive valuable feedback from the market, make the required changes to your app’s model, and improvise the final product. Hence, it’s advisable to build an MVP for the success of your application.
When it comes to getting an app developed, you will have three viable options -.
Out of all the three options, outsourcing the service to an offshore mobile app development company is the most common one. It is estimated that around 47% of companies around the world outsource their software development services from offshore companies.
There are some prime benefits that come tagged with outsourcing app development services, such as –
If you look at the app development industry as a whole, the average per hour cost to develop mobile apps in countries like the US or Australia would come out to be somewhere between $100 – 150. But if you move East, the rates will show a huge difference. In Eastern countries like India, the cost to develop mobile apps would come out to be somewhere in the range of $60 – 80. With an accurate estimation of software development cost, it’s safe to say that outsourcing is an efficient option.
Since the offshore mobile app development agencies are used to handling projects coming in from different geographical nations, they are well versed in the market of different locations. This understanding of different audiences makes it possible for app development companies to develop mobile apps that are engineered to be a success in different locations.
Getting a great quality app at a low development cost is exactly what draws a business towards outsourcing mobile app development services.
Apart from these, there are four reasons that have become the answer to why outsource mobile app development services, including agility and a more concentrated app development expertise is so popular.
Now, even when it comes to outsourcing the custom mobile app development services, you have two options – Hire an app development company or hire a freelance mobile app developer.
Whether you are hiring an app development company or a freelancer, outsourcing in both cases does not come risk-free. There are a number of things that can go wrong in both cases.
Let us first look into the details of hiring a mobile app development company before we move on to looking into the hiring requirements for mobile app developers.
The outsourcing industry is filled with several horror stories of how companies shut down the project in the middle or how they fail to understand the project requirement and keep robbing you off in the name of developing a quality product. In situations like these, it is necessary to have the right set of questions that would help judge the quality of the app development agency.
Here are the five main questions that would help you gauge the authenticity of the mobile app development agency you are planning to partner with –
While these five questions would help you look into the clarity of idea that the app development agency comes with and the standard of the company, here are the 17 questions that you should ask before finalizing an app development company which would give you an idea of whether or not they have what it takes to become your partner.
The questions that you just read above would not just come in handy for the selection of a mobile app development company but also when you are aiming to hire an Android developer or an iOS developer on a freelance basis. In addition to these questions above, you will also have to ask the mobile app developer how they will handle the different mobile app development processes as a one-man team.
Lastly, whether you are looking for how to hire a top mobile app developer or a mobile app development company, it is of utmost importance that you look into their portfolio and talk to some of their past clients.
Once you finalize a mobile app development company or a freelance mobile app developer, you officially enter the circle of the mobile app development process.
Now that you are going to be a part of the mobile app development process, here are two things that you can expect (if you have invested in a reputed mobile app development agency)
A. They will follow an Agile app development process for the creation of your app
While there is a good number of active mobile app development companies that follow the traditional Waterfall model. But when you have to choose between Waterfall or Agile, the instances of faster delivery and quality app development are higher in the case of the Agile app development process. Here is a guide to Agile methodology in mobile app development backdrop, which would give you an idea of how the process works.
B. The first deliverable will be an MVP
MVPs are the initial version of the app with basic features. It will help determine whether your app will succeed or not. For a successful MVP development, your hired company will identify key USPs and must-have features and then develop mobile apps accordingly. MVP development also allows users to share their feedback, telling what functionality they would like to add to your application.
The last but most crucial part on which the entire mobile journey of a business is based is how much does it cost to make an app. In a nutshell, the mobile application development cost can range somewhere from $25,000 to $200,000+. This is a rough estimate because custom mobile app development cost depends on several factors such as the purpose of the app, mobile application development platform it is based on, level of complexity, size of the app development agency, and even the geographical location where the agency is based, among other factors.
Here is the exact cost breakdown structure of how much it costs to develop and maintain a mobile app. In the article, we have looked at the cost estimates that come tagged with the different process and app categories. It will give you an idea of the amount that you need to keep handy in the name of business mobile app development and post-launch maintenance.
At Appinventiv, we have worked on several unique and innovative mobile applications to help businesses create apps that customers would embrace.
For instance, we helped our client Innovative Eyecare to develop a social media application called, Vyrb, which enables users to send and receive audio messages optimized for Bluetooth wearables.
It also allows posting to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter using Bluetooth glasses. To date, the app has been downloaded over 50k+ times and received funding of $1+ million.
For another client Asian Bank, we created a core banking app to make crypto buying and selling easier for users. The app features support for wallet recharge and payments using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Our team’s primary objective was to widen the Asian Bank’s app horizon for the use of cryptocurrencies. The app has been downloaded 250k times and over 50k cryptocurrency transactions have been made.
So, if you’re also looking to create an app or want to know more about mobile app development guide, feel free to contact us. We will be delighted to help you!
A. Mobile app development is the creation of mobile apps that run on smartphones. These applications can be downloaded from a mobile store, pre-installed on a device or accessed through a mobile web browser.
A. Mobile apps offer a number of benefits to businesses and app owners. Some of these benefits include:
A. On average, apps can take anywhere between three and nine months to develop, depending on the complexity of the app and structure of your project.
A. Here are a few common mistakes one should avoid when creating an app:
A. The average cost of building a mobile app ranges from $25,000 to $200,000+. This is a rough estimate because custom mobile app development cost depends on several factors such as the complexity of the app, features and functionalities, and more.