A Guide to Understanding the App Development Process
With billions of people using smartphones across the world; the use of mobile apps has increased over the years. According to current statistics, 1.96 million apps are available in the Apple App Store and 2.87 million apps are available in the Google Play Store.
So, with the use of these apps, revenue is expected to reach $935 billion by the end of 2023. To develop a new mobile app, you need to understand the ‘basic’ steps of the mobile application development process.
Successful mobile app development is a ten-step process. Thousands of apps are launched in the Play Store every day, and each of them is different. In this article, we would take a closer look at each step. Would you like to deepen your knowledge of the complete cycle of mobile application development? We have covered the whole process of developing a mobile app in this article.
However, before we dive deeper into the process, let us discuss mobile application development and its platforms.
What is Mobile Application Development?
Mobile app development is a process that creates software and runs on every mobile device. Once these apps are launched, the user can install the app from the app stores. There is a whole range of things involved in building a mobile app like design, features, platforms, etc. Before developing an application, you need to determine the technology and platform you want to use. Mobile app developers typically create one of the following types of apps:
- Native app
- Hybrid app
- Web apps
Let us learn about mobile app development platforms and how a mobile app development process works.
Mobile application development platform
The two most popular platforms are Android and iOS. Programming languages used to develop an iOS application include Swift and Objective-C. Similarly, an updated version of Linux for Android applications runs on an application framework, Java.Are you planning to develop an application to grow your business? This blog explains step by step how to develop an application. There is a standard process for creating a mobile app that includes concept, strategy, design, development, testing, deployment, and post-development support.
Developing an application requires constant upgrading according to your business needs. To better understand the detailed development process of the app, follow this article till the end.
Conceptualize the idea
As predictable as it may sound, every successful app starts with a concept or idea. It takes a lot of research to identify the market that will help solve half of your problems. If you are stuck somewhere, ask yourself a few questions like:
- What is the purpose of the app?
- How will this help users?
- What problems can a user encounter while using the application?
- Why will users continue to use your app?
Once you have gotten all the answers to the questions above, jump straight in to strategize the app for a clear vision. Learn about the latest market trends to understand what kind of issues users might be facing. It can help you fine-tune your strategies and create the best mobile app that will benefit users.
Analyze and strategize
So do you know why you need an app? Now that you have researched the market and your target audience, it’s time to strategize on what key features you can provide to users. Analysis and planning can only take place when you have captured the detailed requirements.
Prepare a product plan to understand the resources you need and the cost. If the cost exceeds your budget, define your MVP for the initial launch and then develop the final app development process. MVP is nothing but the minimum viable product; validated learning that comes from your customers, whether or not they buy your product. You can produce the actual product, which is managed manually, to observe the actual behavior of customers using the product or service you provide.
If you have your application developed by the mobile application development agency, you can have an NDA signed between the two parties to guarantee the security of your idea and the product developed.
The real work will begin after the signing of the NDA.
“The first impression is the last impression.”
The next step is to design the mobile application. Creating an application that gives the user a good impression can generate good income. This is where UI and UX come into play. Designers often start by sketching out a wireframe.
What is Wireframe?
A conceptual layout referenced a low-fidelity mockup to get a visual of the application’s functional requirements. A top-notch mobile app service is divided into several parts. As mobile app development has a process, even a UI/UX design has various processes and is divided into several parts.
The UI/UX is the main reason for the app’s success. Next comes the style guide. It defines the design strategy of the application and its implementation in the initial phase will improve the productivity of the application. Style guide essentials include colors, fonts, design patterns, graphics, buttons, and more.
It is the most integral part of the whole mobile app development process. Coding is the process that includes the frontend and backend of development, where the developer empowers the user interface functions.
However, a mobile application relies on three main components, Backend technologies, APIs, and Frontend Development. The functions used by the users on the frontend are operated on the server-side by the backend developers connecting the two applications known as APIs.
Confused? Let us give a brief description of the same. The main server is responsible for the performance and scalability of the application. Dozens of technologies are used here to create an API where many frameworks can be used. In short, any change made by the app owner trickles down to the user-side app.
The API provides access to third-party applications and bridges the gap between two digital environments.
An idea, as good as it is, is not enough to move on to the realization of your work and to make it a success, you must above all devote a brainstorming session at the very beginning of your project, to gather maximum information about the use of your application. This notably involves a study phase of the needs of its future users.
During this step, you must be able to:
- Write specifications (type of applications to be developed, design, the definition of the target, the functionalities of the app, etc.).
- Prepare the deployment of the strategy used throughout the mobile development process.
- Draw up the business plan and financing possibilities.
- Think of a marketing plan in case of monetization of your application.
- Set goals to achieve.
Once the first base of your application has been determined on the specifications during the design phase, take the time to draw the different screens that will bring your project to life, freehand or using suitable software. These are MockUps or Wireframes. This operation will allow you to have a high-level view of all navigation in your application.
If your application is native for Apple, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch devices, you must:
Prepare the right equipment to be able to succeed in your mobile development, namely a Mac and the iOS SDK.
Write or have written lines of code using Objective-C or Swift languages under Xcode.
On the other hand, if your native application is intended for the Google platform, regardless of the operating system of your machine ( macOS, Windows, or Linux ), the mobile development of an Android application for tablet or smartphone requires:
- The installation of Android Studio and the associated SDK.
- Learning the basics of Java or Kotlin.
If you have finished developing your program, don’t rejoice! There is still no guarantee that it contains no errors, hence the interest of this verification step.
To ensure the proper functioning of your product, Google and Apple provide their developers with tools to simulate the behavior of the application on a smartphone and to correct certain errors.
You can also deploy the program directly on your smartphone and test it in real-time. This test phase is extremely important; you will achieve good results by following usage scenarios and a detailed test book.
At this stage, you had to test and finalize your mobile application before offering it for sale on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store download platform. A paid developer account must be valid, as well as the information you will provide to the moderation service when submitting your application.
This is an exciting part of the process where you complete the concept you had in mind, with great graphics and well-placed text. To avoid any technical glitches after launch, keep testing the app rigorously.
Hire a QA team that runs multiple functional and non-functional tests to ensure the app is 100% bug-free.
What are functional and non-functional tests?
During the application development process, functional tests are performed first and then non-functional tests to check the speed, scalability, usability, etc. of the app.
Functional testing consists of describing what exactly the application does and non-functional testing to check the performance of the application.
Deployment and support
Deploying the application on the server and then deploying it on the App Store are the two main components of your mobile application. A few apps are developed separately for Android and iOS, and a few have been developed for both platforms.
To get confirmation of an app launch on these platforms, you need to follow specific guidelines, namely Google Guidelines for Deploying Android and iOS Apps. Once these apps are launched in the App Store, they are reviewed for a few days until the guidelines are compliant.
So now that your application is launched, everything is ready to be used by users.
As soon as users install the app and start using it, you can receive reviews and feedback that will help you improve and update new features and technologies. As soon as the application is launched, post-development support begins.
Here comes the end of the mobile app development process work. Mobile app development is an ongoing process that continues after launch as new technology updates become available. If you miss any of the steps in the app development process, your mobile app can go haywire. You may face many questions after looking into the mobile app development process. We hope that sharing the above information about the app development process can help you select the best mobile app development agency. They can walk you through the process and clear all your queries.