Mobile App Development Advice
In an age of smartphones and tablets, mobile applications have become integral for many companies. Developers have had some years now to acclimate to the process of creating an app. Nevertheless, there are several things that should be considered before, during, and after creating a new mobile application to avoid failing in the huge mobile marketplace.
Try a mobile website first.
Before you take any steps towards making a mobile app, you should start out by formatting a mobile website. This will help you to learn about the design, practicality, and user experience needed for app building. On the plus side, mobile websites can be updated naturally without any user effort. Apps, on the other hand, require users to upgrade for newer versions.
Weigh your options: Android or iOS?
If you decide to go forth in producing a new app, then you will most likely be caught between building for Android or iOS, unless you develop for both. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Android offers developers an easier experience because of its openness. There are a lot of different versions of its operating system, which can be good, but also confusing in decision-making. With iOS, only one version needs to be released, making construction somewhat simpler. Also, Android provides a rapid development environment because it is Java oriented. iOS uses Objective-C, a native code that requires a little more skill because of its lively quality and loosely typed language. However, iOS also has a more mature API and better documentation tools. Meanwhile, Android runs on a virtual machine meaning that it will always feel slower than iOS.
The Android Marketplace and the Apple App Store also differ greatly. Apps are more easily accepted into the Android's store, which is encouraging to developers, but that kind of openness also comes with risk. Because it is largely unregulated, users must be more wary of malware apps. The Apple App Store has strict conditions in which it allows apps in, but this provides safety to its users and ensures a secure phone environment.
Enforce consultation between design and development.
It's important to nail down all design elements before any developing occurs. It would be pointless to start development before all design issues were solved as this would only pile on your problems and create disorganization. Be sure to involve someone from every team in the making of your app. By working together, the quality of the app will surely be improved.
Test, test, test!
You can never test too much. It's a good idea to test outside of your office as well to make certain your app works anywhere. Also, before you enter into the Quality Assurance phase, confirm all front and back end aspects of your app. At this point, no more changes should be made as well as post-QA.
Get your app seen.
There are thousands upon thousands of mobile apps out there. How can you get yours discovered and downloaded? Before you even consider marketing your app, make sure it is approved and available in stores first. Nothing would be worse than spending time and money advertising your new app only to find it will not be available to consumers after all.
Granted your application is approved, the keywords you use to describe your app as well as the category in which you place it will contribute significantly to its success. Also key is the app's icon. This is your application's first impression to your consumers.
It's a good idea to give your app a webpage on your company website containing information about its features with reviews, screenshots, and links to download. You might also consider creating a video demo.
There are also plenty of websites dedicated to app discovery, such as Chomp, Appolicious, and Appsfire. These help you gain exposure for your apps. Remember, though, that while getting a lot of impressions is good, downloads are what matter, and for that you must have an app that is great and stands out amongst the rest.
Listen to your customers.
After your app has been out, read through the reviews and comments users leave. Search for the common denominator and make adjustments accordingly. This will keep customers happy and probably draw in new ones. Update your application often but not thoughtlessly. If 20% of your users requested a certain feature and you oblige, that leaves 80% of your users potentially unhappy.
Mobile app development is a long and laborious process, but if done right, the results are worth it. Follow these tips and your company is sure to produce apps that aren't just tossed aside by app users.
Has your company had success in mobile app development? Are there other pieces of advice that have helped you out?