2021 Step by step guide to successful app development
Smartphones invaded every aspect of our lives driving mobile apps to thrive as one of the most successful business investments with an unstoppably growing market share. The infant technologies in applications kept revolutionizing every industry and made every function and service easier and easier.
Wondering how those mobile apps are built under professional guidance and expert suggestions, here’s a full step-to-step guide for the mobile app development process.
With our 22 years of experience as a mobile app development company, we came to determine the best suitable practices to succeed in the app development process from discovery to maintenance and support to fit every idea and business strategy.
Let’s walk through it.
Understanding the Mobile App Development Platforms and methods
Mobile app development is a process for building mobile applications that run on mobile devices. Although the world came up with multiple operating systems powering our mobile devices, two are holding almost 99% of the mobile app market: iOS from Apple inc 27% and Android from Google 72%+.
Mobile app development can be done from four different approaches:
- Native Mobile app development
- Cross-Platform Native Mobile app development
- Hybrid Mobile Applications app development
- Progressive Web Applications development
Each has pros and cons depending on business conditions and resources. Choosing an approach that matches your strategy is a must in order to achieve the desired user experience with suitable features. You should always consider the fact that the iOS operating system only powers Apple devices only while Android one powers most mobile devices.
To develop scalable mobile apps, you should also consider targeted screen sizes, hardware requirements, and many other aspects.
What approach to opt for?
As mentioned previously, each development approach has pros and cons and is dedicated to a certain business strategy. The choice of the right approach can highly affect the fulfillment of your business needs as it directly affects the user experience behind it.
Known advantages of opting for native app development is benefitting from native capacities within the platform like GPS, camera, microphone allowing developers to execute quicker and provide a better user experience. Native apps are also less exposed to bugs and have easy to implement push notifications
Why choosing progressive web app development?
Why choosing hybrid app development?
Hybrid applications combine the best of both worlds, web and native applications as it optimizes the development cost, provides easy access to data, works offline, and scales to a variety of operating systems.
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Now that we understood different development approaches let’s dig into the steps of an effective mobile development process
2021 Mobile App Development Process
We can summarize the mobile development process into four main milestones: clarifying requirements, developing phase, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
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Understanding project requirement
The first step in the mobile app development process is to fully understand and define the project requirements:
- What problems will it solve?
- Who is the targeted audience?
- What is your business model?
- How much are you ready to invest in building this app?
- What is the best suitable revenue model?
Answering these questions is compulsory in moving forward with your mobile app development process.
Define needed features and technologies
The output of this phase is the development of an ultimate list of features and well-reported market research and a fixed choice of the suitable tech stack.
Define your Minimum Viable Product
A minimum viable product is the version of your app that has enough features to function and please your early customers in order to receive necessary feedback at minimum resources and move forward with the process.
The MVP should be:
- Well designed
Define suitable UX/UI design
How your mobile application looks and feels makes a great deal of impression on the minds of your users. Choosing the right user interfaces for the aimed user experience.
What customers see and feel about your product is the vital element to the success of your app: the design, accessibility, marketing, usability, system performance, ergonomics, HCI, and also the utility of the app should be visible and understood accordingly in order to penetrate the competitive market.
The UI/UX design process includes brainstorming, wireframing, defining aesthetic elements, and prototyping.
The mobile app development phase
There are 3 components to develop: front end, backend, and API
Every component has a technical architecture chosen for the tech stack. What your users will see is the front end. The development that is required from the side of the server is the backend.
Backend, front end development
Backend is responsible for storing, securing, and processing data.
Succeeding Backend and frontend development are crucial towards the functioning of the app and its informational flow although some apps don’t require a backend such as voice recording apps and calculators.
iOS applications can be developed using Objective-C, Swift Programming Language, Flutter, or React Native while Android Applications can be developed using Java, Kotlin, Flutter, or React Native.
While React Native isn’t the only technology serving dynamic businesses but there are 4 main situations where React Native is your best alternative for powerful app development
- Working prototypes
- Apps with streamlined UI
- Basic cross-platform apps
- Apps with heavy use of native APIs
Application programming development
The application programming interface or API in the abbreviation is a set of programming code, steps, instructions, and standards that connect one digital product or device to another to enable data transmission and the employment of external features or services. These APIs could be provided by companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, or others, or developed internally by the mobile app development teams as Most of the mobile API Development is done using RestAPI. You can either build it yourself or you can buy from an existing API provider.
Securing mobile app against cyber attacks
Accessing a mobile app is based on login logout credentials, personal info of users and when implemented it can contain important data that can drive an entire business to canyons if misused. CyberSecurity, also known as information technology security refers to the application of specific IT technologies against any unauthorized use or hacking of electronic data in servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, stocked data…etc
Mobile App Testing
There is absolute agreement that the quality of services & products is what brings any organization to success! Quality management has been part of many industries over history but was brought into software development cycles relatively late. Nowadays it is a survival component for every business! When it comes to software development companies, Quality Assurance is a part of software quality management held by a QA team that ensures the procession and delivery of flawless products that align with the business goals and regulatory standards.
After successfully finishing the development of an application, it is necessary that the quality of the application is ensured to be on-point.
Quality assurance testing(QA or QAT) is a continuous process of proactively identifying defects, bugs, and errors in developed applications, websites, or any software in order to take relevant measures and ensure the improvement of the development & maintenance processes, the consistency of products & brand reputation, the alignment with the initial requirements, application of regulatory standards and eventually the delivery of flawless software.
There are many tests to conduct before delivering an app including
- Functional tests: To ensure the app does deliver its tasks
- Performance tests: To ensure the app doesn’t bug
- UI/UX tests: To make sure the interface performs well
- Documentation testing: The app supports the necessary documentation
- Security testing: The app is secure against hacking
- Data recovery testing: in case of malfunction the app recovers the lost data
- Certification testing: the app follows the App store or googles store guidelines and standards
Launching and Maintenance
Once the practical development process is finished, the Mobile app deployment/ launch.
Steps to launch an app
Launching an app successfully is done through the following steps
- Optimizing codes
- Setting up a CI flow using Jerkins, Bitrise, CircleCI, Travis, or Bitbucket Pipelines in case of the ownership of a server.
- Conducting static code analysis
- Detecting crushes by using crashing tools like Instabug or Fabric
- Automating buildings like screenshots, beta deployment, App Store / Google Play deployment, and code signing
- Generating user insights through monitoring engagement
The launch of your mobile app isn’t the end of the whole process
Mobile apps do require high maintenance and numerous updates so it is important to keep necessary relation with your app development service provider