The idealists had always dreamt of a world where you could get your life managed at your fingertips. That very era has arrived! Mobile applications today have given us power beyond understanding, adding ease to everyday operations, such as shopping or education to sophisticated business management requirements to complete accounting functions. Today, mobile apps offer everything!
Here is a brief overview underlining the rising popularity of mobile apps.
- Mobile applications have the edge of over 3 billion smartphone users
- More than 204 billion app downloads were recorded in the year 2019, which are expected to rise over 300 billion by the year 2020
- Over 2 billion apps have been launched on each android and iOS application stores
- 90% of the users time spent on smartphones is using apps.
Businesses around the world are now shifting their focus towards having their own customized applications made. They seek to benefit further from this growing trend of mobile app usage and to amplify the customer loyalty towards their brand, products or services by communicating directly with their customers through their customer support, in-app purchases, personalized notifications and promotions which can boost the sales. However, the customization of a mobile app tailored to your needs can be a challenging task, with the good news that there is a lot of support and solutions waiting to comprehend your needs into the best AI shape offered by software development companies.
ABC’s of App Development Process
Mobile Apps are prominent elements that have provided the edge in success for many businesses. However, understanding the evolution process of mobile apps is of the key importance for anyone who wants to get into the mobile app world, which keeps on adding wonders to the world.
Here’s a short guide on the process and timelines of app development.
1. Project Brief
Project briefing can take up to 2 days to a maximum of a week in 90% cases. The aim of the brief is to give the developer or development company a better idea of your expectations. It usually comprises of:
- Project outcome and expectations
- Request for proposal, also known as an RFP
- Approximate delivery date to ensure the development time frame
- Budget range
- Non-disclosure agreement
2. Project Estimation / Time & Cost
This phase could take over 1 to 2 weeks maximum. This phase is executed solely by the developer who estimates the development cost and estimates the time for product delivery. In this phase developers often also share a prototype/mockup/dummy app for the client as well to show him/her how the final product will look and behave.
3. Application Design & Development
This is the longest and most productive part of the app development process. This is the part where actually your idea gets shape and gets converted to reality. It takes around 6 to 8 weeks in most of the cases where the goal is to deliver an MVP (minimum viable product) to the client. Based on this MVP the developer estimates the cost and delivery time as mentioned above. In this process designing of the interface happens, actual code gets written and testing of the expected app processes is done.
5. Launching Application
After the app is developed and is functional to be released to the public, the next thing is to put it up on the app stores so that people can download it. it takes up to 4 hours for android and maximum a week’s time for iOS.
6. Post-Launch Development
This is the phase where the development of the app STOPS and support for the app STARTS. Many mobile app development companies offer free 3 months, 6 months or 1-year support. It depends on the deal which you get with them. But support is a must, it is a kind of warranty for your app that everything is working as expected and agreed between you and the developer.
As a separate note, it is also worth mentioning here that if your app is a database-driven app then you might need to pay for a database server. In these days developers setup MS Azure or AWS Cloud-based accounts for mobile apps backend database which cost around AED 300 to AED 500 for database hosting per month or there are some free options also with no-SQL database like Google Firebase Firestore which works pretty well for small to medium level apps. Please also check the evaluation plans for MS Azure and Amazon AWS. You can also speak with your developer about this to get assistance.
The Factors Having Impact on Process Timelines
There are a lot of factors that can make the development process lethargic and it could be either from the developer’s end or the client’s end, mostly due to confusion in the explained scope. If the expectation is not stated clearly, it could confuse the developer about what is expected in the app.
The speed of development depends on numerous aspects, from the experience of the developer to the category of the app itself. Also, going cross-platform could save even more time and money as compared to making a different app for Android and iOS. But again, going cross-platform introduces new cons like the user experience is sometimes not very native. Prototypes save a lot of time as the application in the process is thoroughly checked at every step and is fixed, so each bug is removed as soon as it is detected.
It is always a wise to get at least 3 quotes from different mobile app development companies for the same idea and this will give you an idea that which company is best for you and which steps one company is missing and what extra another company is offering like free support, free mockup and so on.
Both! Because Android and iOS are popular operating systems being used worldwide.
Marketing! The better your marketing campaign is, the more attention it will get and more downloads it will generate. Secondly, give value to your user; if your app is adding someone’s life (mobile) they will download your app and share it with family and friends also.
It could take from 6 to 8 weeks to create a fully functional app and the cost could range from AED 12,000 to AED 15,000 or more (for both iOS and Android), depending on the required platforms and complexity of the app being developed
Discuss with your developer about an MVP (minimum viable product) start very small and then in each new phase add some more features. This way you will control the cost and deliver the new options to your end users fast. Plus your app will be less buggy.