By now, you must have realized a need for developing a mobile app. After the grand success and global recognition of Uber, Instagram, Snapchat, Candy Crush, Pokémon GO, it’s clear that a business with a mobile app is evolving rapidly than the ones you start physically. In fact, having a mobile app for your business signifies that your business is in the race, else you are left way behind your competitors.
Reasons are evident:
- Over 80% of world’s millennials own a smartphone
- Mobile is the quickest channel to reach to audience to any part of the globe
- Much of user’s everyday activities have shifted to mobile screens
- Number one platform to stimulate the audience to buy instantly from anywhere, anytime
Regardless of you having a great idea, you can’t be sure of building just the right app. To get that clarity, it’s advisable to hire an app development company with a team of experts in all disciplines- planning, wireframing, UI design, UX, core development, quality check, custom development as per app owner’s requirements.
For this, companies have to expend extra efforts and costs on recruiting skilled developers and designers who are proficient in all things related to mobile app development. You, as an owner, must have knowledge of working with multiple OSes, multiple coding languages, multiple platforms, frameworks that you will better know as you read further.
Consider Konstant Infosolutions for your next mobile app development; they have been globally recognized for delivering seamless and intuitive mobile apps since a decade.
However, your job is not done just by handing over the project to the agency. Now, it’s your turn to decide the mobile app platform, the technology, the type of app you are willing to build. You may make decisions after a discussion with the app developer or Project manager you have chosen. They guide you with the best solutions for your business, within your budget, timelines and requirements.
1. Choose a Mobile Device/OS
First and foremost- decide whether you need an iPhone or Android application. What’s a better selection that can bet value for money, best features, rich user experience, ease of use? I haven’t mentioned Windows and Blackberry here because they cover the least market share, which is also decreasing year by year.
Comparing iPhone app and Android app, there are differences in the app design, button styles, global elements, navigation, grid, icons, segmented controls, coding languages, icons and many other features. While both iOS and Android have their own pluses and negatives, all depends on your personal taste and understanding of the smartphone.
This choice can be made based on the geographical location and user’s inclination to a device. For instance, while iPhone has the largest market in China, Android devices enjoy more attention in the US, UK, Asia, Europe.
All things considered, it has been personally observed by our team that the business owners who approach us for an iPhone app in the start do visit us again to build an Android app for the same. Eventually, if the need arises, you can go for developing for both OSes.
2. Choose a Mobile Platform
There are three major platforms a mobile app can be built- native, cross-platform and web apps. Based on how you expect your app to behave, you can choose the most suitable one:
Native Mobile App Development
Native apps refer to independently built apps for individual platforms/operating systems (iOS and Android)- something developed ‘natively’ for a platform. Simply put, it is coded entirely differently for an Android app and for an iPhone app. A native app works as a standalone entity and is fully compatible with device’s hardware.
Developers have to invest individual efforts and time for developing a native app, except some of the common UI design elements. They have to write in their native languages- Java for Android and Objective-C/Swift for iOS.
With native app development, you can be 100% sure of your code running faster, the overall performance of your app, quick and easy integration of new features- an extremely fluid user experience. They will feel more confident, more satisfied while using your app services and traversing across multiple screens.
The best part- app owners will get full support from Android and iPhone experts if something goes wrong. On the contrary, the biggest botheration with a native app is the Cost. Since app owners have to get different apps developed differently for both Android and iPhone- double the investments, double the efforts, double the expertise double the time are needed.
If you have a native Android app built and later you decide to have iOS app for the same, you have to again invest 75% of the total cost as invested in the previous Android app (leaving the rest 25% for the common UI design elements.
An honest opinion #1: If you are sound in your budgets and investments, choose only and only native platforms for developing a business app.
Hybrid Mobile App Development
Ideally, a cross-platform app is the one that works on multiple platforms with a single code. One codebase, written once, can be deployed on more than one platforms- Android and iOS. Only few OS specific changes are made when deploying a second app, which involves 25% of the total cost, time and effort spent in the first once.
Over the past couple of years, the app development market has evolved and introduced new ways of building apps. Since there is a massive demand for mobile application development from businesses of all sizes, cross-platform apps have become a panache as it requires relatively lesser time, fewer costs and fewer resources to make the app live on multiple App Stores (Google Play and Apple).
Most importantly, with cross-platform apps, you can reach to large audiences in less time than native apps, without any reliance on the location and device type.
But cross-platform mobile apps have certain limitations- the biggest of all- agitated performance. While scrolling through a cross-platform app screen, users can notice discontinuity/unevenness in the way the app responds. They aren’t as reliable, fast, and seamless as native app. But they are affordable for small business groups that are willing to go mobile but lack when it comes to investing a decent amount.
All in all, the user experience is a little clunky.
An honest opinion#2: Only if you can afford a medium-range app, go for cross-platform development.
Mobile Web App Development
The last, easiest choice of app development is a mobile web app. Through responsive and adaptive web apps, you can reach to the global users in no time with least efforts and least costs. Most beneficial of all, they are built using popular programming languages and web technologies, which eases out the developer hunt as the talent is readily available.
- A mobile web app can’t use any device hardware (for instance, the geolocation, the camera or address book)
- It won’t be available on any App Stores so the discoverability confines to only web browser.
- Aren’t secure as there is no barcode scanning.
- App logins and sessions expire quickly.
- Push notification are not supported by all browsers
- Users have to dig deep to navigate them and require a different management process
An honest opinion#3: To keep pace with innovation today and put your first step in anything mobile for your business, a mobile web app is worth trying. But remember, this won’t be enough, you have to move forward either with a standalone native app or a cross-platform app.
3. Choose a Mobile App Framework
With the growing usage of cross-platform apps, technology experts have come up with advancements in the tools and frameworks the cross-platform technology has been using till date. To improve the app’s performance and render a comparatively smoother user experience, you can choose from the various frameworks below.
The usage of these frameworks also vary as per app owner’s priorities- while some of them focus in data security for business purposes, others specialize in gaming and the rest leverages your developers from the complex programming language and let them code in whatever language they know.
- Allows development in HTML5. Works across a heck of devices, mobile platforms and provides a lot of in-built components, saving time when writing code. The translation of the same code on Android and iPhone takes place using PhoneGap
- Most advanced of all, Xamarin app development uses C# code and delivers robust mobile apps. Some of the big brands like Microsoft, IBM, Fouraquare are using Xamarin in many of their technical processes.
- An open-source tool, Appcelerator Titanium’s SDK develops native iOS and Android apps reusing almost 60%-70% of the same code.
Here is a detailed description of all available cross-platform mobile app development tools.
A quick conversation with Konstant’s expert will give you more clarity on mobile app development approach, explaining you the technical and business elements of launching an app in greater depth. You will receive an unbiased, profitable opinion that will generate value for money.
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