The realm of mobile app development is expanding by leaps and bounds because of great innovation and new-age technologies. From business apps to healthcare app development, mobile apps have brought in a paradigm shift and are here to stay. Moreover, according to Mckinsey, more than 3/4th of the CIOs (77%) consider the mobile-first approach best for their business.
With the changing times, the process of mobile app development has changed. Business enterprises incorporate native app development, hybrid/custom app development, etc. according to their requirements. The new-age app development process has helped organizations cope with the dynamics of the business environment and the changing customer requirements. Mobile apps are the future, irrespective of the business domain. Therefore, it is necessary for the companies to keep their best foot forward in the mobile app development process. Thus, in this blog, we will have a detailed study of the step-by-step mobile app development guide. In addition, we will see what are mobile app development approaches, mobile app development lifecycle, and different app development practices.
What is mobile app development?
The process of mobile app development deals with developing mobile apps that run on smartphones and mobile devices. The applications can either be downloaded or come pre-installed with the device.
Mobile app development is much more than just coding native or hybrid applications. It is about strategizing the app development process, designing, and launching a successful product in the market. Moreover, mobile app development deals with enabling backend services for data access, installing software on the device, and testing the app on targeted devices.
For SMEs and startup enterprises along with established organizations, mobile apps are essential as it helps them to reach their targeted customers.
See More: How to Write a Mobile App Business Plan
Different phases of the mobile app development lifecycle
The mobile app development cycle has six different stages. These different stages are essential as they play an important role in determining the quality of the mobile app:
1. Discovery phase
In simple words, the discovery phase is the stage where the human language is translated into technical documentation. This means here the business organization researches their competitors, understanding the different features to include, setting the costs and deadlines and overviewing technical requirements, and more.
In the discovery phase, the business enterprise also maps the journey of the customers and identifies the parameters to measure their success.
2. Design of the mobile application
In this stage of the mobile app development cycle, the digital project is given its own unique look and feel. The mobile app designers work in three defined steps in this stage:
Here the wireframe of the mobile app is designed. The app designers prepare the concept of the application and then seamlessly turn their draft into digital format.
In this stage, the app design reaches its final stage and looks more or less like a finished product. The only thing that remains here is the actual content or the color scheme to be added.
This is the last stage in the design phase in the mobile app development cycle. Here, a clickable prototype is developed that looks like just a real app. This prototype can be used by potential clients or sponsors.
3. Development of the mobile app
As the design is ready, there is still work to be done to make the app into a fully-functional product. In this stage, the mobile app developers take center stage and code all the necessary features. The mobile app development process is divided into two steps:
The backend usually refers to the server-side of the app. This section guarantees the functioning of the entire system. Whether it is the calculations or the operations or the reliability of the app, a solid backend is essential for everything
This section of the mobile app development phase directly interacts with the end-user. The main aim of the front-end system is to render a flawless user experience.
4. Testing of the mobile app
Before advancing to the release of the mobile app, business organizations test the mobile app to minimize the risks. Systematic quality testing of the mobile app could potentially reduce 90% of the risks. This is why quality assurance is an important step in the mobile app development lifecycle.
Whether it is auto or manual testing, both are important to check the credibility of the mobile app. Moreover, to optimize the overall testing process some checks are done via automated while some are done via manual testing. Also, better quality assurance eases the process of bug fixation as well.
5. Release of the mobile app
In this stage of the mobile app development cycle, the mobile app is finally published into the app store/ play store. During the release phase, the organization has to understand that it is necessary to render exceptional quality to the end users.
6. Mobile app maintenance
After the release of the app, it is necessary to add new features and upgrades to make the app relevant to the market. Mobile app maintenance includes app testing & bug fixing, troubleshooting and re-engineering, app integration & migration, and more.
What are different mobile app development approaches?
There are four major mobile app development approaches such as:
- Native app development
- Hybrid app development
- Cross-platform app development
- Progressive web app development
Difference between Native vs Cross-platform app development, hybrid vs progressive web app
The battle to reach the zenith of mobile app development is four ways. The fight between native vs cross-platform app development, and hybrid vs progressive web app is so fierce that it is difficult to choose who is the best. All mobile app development approaches have their share of perks and perils. Therefore, for the understanding of our readers, we have made a simple bifurcation between all of them. Let us have a look:
Why should businesses choose native app development?
Native mobile applications are designed to work exclusively on a single platform. The apps made from this mobile app development approach are known to give emphatic service. The overall user experience is also enhanced in native app development as the visuals are according to the platform UX.
Therefore, business organizations who are looking to deliver the best user experience to their audience must opt for native app development. In addition, native apps are more scalable, have broad functionality and better store support. However, the cost of this mobile app development is high and it is time consuming as well.
Why should businesses choose hybrid app development?
The amalgamation of web solutions and native apps is known as hybrid mobile app development. These apps are deployed on the platforms and the downloading process is the same as native apps. This mobile app development approach is cost-effective and time saving and can be used on multiple platforms.
In hybrid apps, the mobile app developers write the code once and its performance and UX is close to the native apps. The application development environment is relatively simpler, has effective plug-in support and has greater portability.
Why should businesses choose cross-platform app development?
Both cross-platform app development and hybrid app development might seem similar, but in reality, that is not the case. The cross-platform mobile app development approach is robust, safe and simple to iterate. Like hybrid app development, it also allows developers to write the code once and use it anywhere.
The overall performance of cross-platform apps depends on the framework. Therefore, business organizations must be careful in choosing the app development framework when working with cross-platform apps. The overall UX of cross platform apps is similar to the native apps and that is why this approach is superior to hybrid.
Cross-platform mobile app development has a simpler testing approach, faster compilation and is very developer-friendly.
Why should businesses choose progressive web apps development?
The Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are gaining popularity as they are smooth, fast and lightweight. In addition, the business organization prefers them as they are cheaper to build, responsive and work on different screen sizes. Also, thanks to the push-notifications, it is easier to enhance customer engagement through PWAs. The business enterprises can build PWAs using common web technologies and also need fewer code-bases to maintain.
‘SMART’ mobile app development strategy
You have gone through mobile app development, different mobile app development approaches and the mobile app development lifecycle, etc. Now it is time to understand ‘SMART’ mobile app development strategy. Now, you may ask, what does ‘SMART’ stand for? Well, we will explain everything in detail:
1. S- Specific- always have your goals defined
It is necessary to have a clear road-map before beginning the mobile app development process. Your UVP ie. Unique Value Proposition (UVP) must be clear, concise and easy to understand. Moreover, the business enterprise must set goals for measuring performance standards and stick to them throughout the development process.
2. M- Measurable: always have realistic applications
Be on point while measuring the progress of the mobile app. There has to be astute magnitudes on which the progress of the mobile app should be measured. Moreover, business enterprise must make sure that the metrics should be according to the dynamic nature of the business and should evolve according to time.
3. A- achievable: always set goals that are achievable
It is essential for the business organization to know where they want to reach with their mobile app. Moreover, if their target is long-term, they must divide it into short, achievable goals and then strategize the mobile app development process.
4. R- Realistic: always have features that are usable
Along with having the purpose of the mobile app defined, the organization must know what their audience actually wants. Therefore, they must always employ the customer-centric approach after doing extensive market research. Also, include the features that would be actually worth for the audience and keep the app concise.
5. T-Time bound: always have a strict deadline
Your timing should be on-point if you wish to excel ahead in today’s business environment. Therefore, always have strict deadlines for the entire mobile app development project. Deadlines would allow the business enterprise to track the progress of the development process thoroughly and also accelerate the process as well.
Mobile app development is necessary to survive and thrive in today’s business environment. Whether it is for the bootstrapped startups or the established firms, mobile apps have been instrumental in scaling businesses of all kinds. But, it is necessary for the enterprises to understand the different mobile app development approaches before going ahead with one.
Now for better results, it is inevitable to hire the best mobile app development service providers. Third Rock Techkno has been instrumental in rendering the best mobile app development services to business organizations across the globe. And with our team of experienced professionals, we follow the mobile app development lifecycle thoroughly to deliver the best functioning app.