3 Ways Generative AI Will Help Marketers Connect With Customers
3 min read
If you’re checking the weather, sending or receiving a payment, or calculating a tip, there’s a strong chance you’re using a mobile application. Smartphone use now surpasses web time on desktop computers, with people spending 88% of their time on mobile apps. That equates to an average of about four hours a day per user, or half a day at work.
This heavy usage drives revenue for app developers. There were 255 mobile app downloads in 2022, with worldwide spending on mobile apps last year reaching $167 billion. Meanwhile, the barrier to entry for app makers is diminishing, thanks to the emergence of new tools that facilitate development.
Simply put, mobile app development is the process of building software applications for mobile devices, primarily smartphones and tablet computers. Forward-thinking IT leaders recognize its potential to generate a competitive edge, enabling businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences, streamline operations, and save employee time and headaches.
We’re well past the “gaining steam” era of mobile adoption. A strong mobile strategy and product offering are now table stakes. And yet, some businesses still hesitate to go mobile — but there’s no need for intimidation. Here’s a simple, seven-step guide to the mobile app development process, and a breakdown of the types of mobile apps, development costs, and tools.
Great ideas yield great apps. The most important step in any app development process is developing a clear idea for how the app helps your customers. Start by identifying what actions your customers and employees perform most frequently, then determine which tasks could be done easier, faster, or more efficiently with the help of a mobile app.
Banks, for instance, found that customers were wasting time visiting physical branches for simple tasks, like depositing checks, so they developed mobile deposit and transfer capabilities.
A solid mobile app strategy provides direction and focus, allowing you to set the stage before transforming your idea into a business asset. That means defining your target audience, researching your competitors, developing a marketing plan, and establishing concrete goals with quantifiable indicators of success.
Selecting your preferred platforms, especially low- or no-code app development solutions, is also a crucial step. Then, create a project roadmap that will guide your app to the finish line.
Creating a top-notch user experience requires talking to potential users about the features and experiences they’re after. Dive into the minutiae to understand what’s helpful and what isn’t.
For instance, if you were developing a food delivery app: do app users prefer photos of menu items? Would they rather have checkboxes or text boxes for order personalization? Asking detailed questions will allow you to create a personalized experience for your users.
Mobile apps have three main components:
But if you’re using a low- or no-code app development platform, you won’t have to worry about all that. These tools automatically code and configure your project’s components, allowing you to focus on the content of your app.
You have other things to worry about beyond app development. Here are the tools you need for a seamless dev experience.
There are five tests to run before deployment, each of them critical to a successful launch:
Developers can also consider soft-launching the app with beta testers. Either way, there will likely be additional work during this phase to fix any errors uncovered by testing.
Get ready for the most exciting milestone: your app launch! Successfully deploying your app involves two crucial steps. First, you’ll deploy into a cloud-based production environment so your app can perform and scale as its user base grows. Second, you’ll submit your mobile apps to the appropriate app stores.
Your work isn’t finished yet! It’s vital to monitor and track your app’s performance after launch, and continue developing based on crash reports, analytics, and user feedback. You’ll uncover new ways to improve, and those improvements will set in motion parts of the development process all over again. This iterative process, and the data you gather along the way, will be worth your time, helping you create an improved version of your app that offers a better user experience and deeper customer engagement.
Now that you have an understanding of the mobile app development process, let’s delve into some different kinds of mobile applications. Each offers different advantages, opportunities — and challenges.
Available on app stores, native apps are designed to run on a specific mobile operating system, like Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. The advantages include:
While there are certain advantages to native apps, it’s important to acknowledge their challenges as well. Users will also need to have enough storage space for the apps, and to download regular updates. Another barrier is the need for developers to create separate apps for Android and iOS, as native apps are tailored to specific operating systems. It’s worth noting that native app development generally demands a higher level of expertise and investment in engineering talent.
Web apps can resemble mobile apps, but they behave like websites. Their advantages are:
Yet the user experience of a web app rarely matches that of a native app. They rely on web browsers, require internet connectivity, and have limited access to a phone’s built-in features like cameras and facial recognition. As a result, they tend to be comparatively less capable and feature-rich.
If you’re unsure whether to choose a native or web app, consider a hybrid mobile app — hybrid mobile apps combine aspects of both to offer unique advantages. They live on your device and can operate offline, while having access to smartphone features such as the camera or contacts. And because much of their underlying code resembles website code, they can also work across platforms.
Mobile app development costs vary significantly, from $16,000 to over $120,000 — and many factors influence the final cost. Some key factors that influence the price include:
3 min read
6 min read
Mobile app development platforms help you focus on bringing your ideas to life without getting bogged down in the more technical aspects of building. They handle the code so you can focus on delighting the users of your app.
Feel ready? It’s time to apply your knowledge to develop your own mobile app. The first try might not be as effortless, but with modern app development platforms, the process can be relatively easy and overwhelmingly rewarding.
Get the latest articles in your inbox.