The app development landscape has changed significantly over the past few decades. The earliest mobile devices couldn't do much other than make calls, but manufacturers would bundle simple games like Snake and Tic-Tac-Toe to provide users with more functionality.
This allowed users to see these devices as more than just a method of communication, they began to see them as a source of entertainment. Fast-forward to 2020 and a world without apps seems like a pretty dark place to live in. We now use apps to order groceries, book flights, meet people and more. Our use of apps across different platforms will only continue to grow.
What does it take to develop an app?
App development has become simpler over the years but it doesn’t mean that just about anybody can do it. There’s still a certain level of skill required for app development, particularly if the use case is complex or the app is going to cater to a very significant user base.
It's important to understand that the app you develop, especially if it's one that you want to release for the public at large, should be worthwhile. Most people download and instantly delete apps when they find out that it doesn't do what it claims or simply doesn't look good enough.
You'd not want your app to fall into that category. So you'll need to take some time to really get a sense of how intuitive the design and how refined the user experience needs to be before you get down to the actual process of building it from scratch.
Types of apps
The word “app” is all-encompassing. It stands for application program and is largely believed to be something that you download on your mobile device. While that’s true, those aren’t the only kinds of apps that exist.
The nomenclature has changed over the years. While you’d download what was called “software” or “program” on your PC a decade ago, you’d now download the same thing except that it’s going to be called an app. The widespread popularity of mobile apps has driven this shift in perception.
As the name suggests, these are the application or software programs that are meant to be used on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Android and iOS are the two major mobile platforms so developers often create apps for both. If you want to create an app for your product or service, chances are you’d want to offer an app for both platforms.
The very first mobile apps were largely meant to help you out with routine tasks such as email, contacts, calendar and reminders. Since then, there has been a huge demand from the public for apps that can perform a wide variety of functions. Developers have followed through and now we have mobile apps for almost anything we can imagine doing on a mobile device.
A web app is fundamentally different from a mobile app since it doesn't require different codebases for different platforms. Instead, it uses web browsers to perform tasks over the internet.
Hybrid apps combine elements of both mobile and web apps. They're primarily coded in browser-supported languages and are then encapsulated into a native app shell. Startups often refer to them as the minimum viable product, in that they can test out their idea for an app quickly by releasing a simpler version as a hybrid app.
Since they're written in essentially the same way as web apps, as there's only one codebase to manage so it can work across different platforms. They're also easier to scale while also being able to access device features.
HTML5 apps are also web apps but they're often referred to separately because they're developed using this particular version of the HTML web content standard. It's more advanced and allows web apps to offer more complex functionality on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
So while conventional web apps might appear to be nothing more than browser-based content, HTML5 apps can offer rich functionality, be responsive all while retaining the best qualities of web apps.
Application development services
The app development process goes through several stages. It’s vital that the app developer you work with for your project puts it through these steps, otherwise, the end product might not be entirely what you envisioned.
User Experience or UX testing is a key part of the app development process. It helps you understand how the user will perceive your app and what sort of an experience they will have with it during and after they've interacted with it.
UX testing is also useful for figuring out if users could be overwhelmed by too many features and if they find the app too complicated to get the most out of it.
Custom design architecture
Any good mobile app requires a robust foundation and that's made possible by the design architecture. It's best described as the techniques that need to be followed in order to create a fully structured app. These requirements are based on the best industry standards as well as vendor requirements.
The three-layer architecture is commonly used by mobile app developers. The Presentation, Business and Data Access layers are the three most important layers of the design architecture.
However, developers can customize it based on specific use cases, and any good developer would be able to better guide you regarding the best custom design architecture for your project.
Cross-platform mobile development
Gone are the days when developers had to create apps for almost half a dozen different mobile platforms. The Android and iOS duopoly has stood the test of time and it seems highly unlikely that there’s going to be a third contender.
Billions of people across the globe use iOS and Android devices. Therefore, it’s important to have compatibility with both platforms for your app. Choosing one or the either would put it at a disadvantage as it would miss out on the significant user base of the other platform.
Quality assurance testing is absolutely required before mobile apps are rolled out. This is done to ensure that bugs that might cause problems with functionality are caught before the app is released to the public.
A full-service app developer will be able to provide QA testing services as well, in addition to handling all of the design and development work. This will ensure that when your app is released, it has been tested to the highest possible quality standards for your users.
Delivery to app stores
Creating an app is just one part of the story. Unless they’re submitted and are approved for listing on app stores, your app isn’t going to get off the ground. While it’s possible to distribute apps outside the Google Play Store, Apple doesn’t allow sideloading of iOS apps.
This means that any apps meant for the iPhone or iPad must be submitted to Apple and it’s only after the company approves them can they be listed on the App Store. Developers who wish to get their apps listed on the Play Store must also go through a similar process with Google.
The developer that you decide to work with should be well experienced with the app submission process for both of these platforms. They should be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that your app ends up being listed so that people across the globe can download it.
The right app developer for you is just around the corner.
As you may have come to realize by now, the success of your app really depends on the kind of developer that you choose to work with. One could be lured by the promise of cost savings and outsource the job to an off-shore developer, but that may not be the best solution.
Zibtek has long been a trusted app development service provider for both Fortune 500s and startup companies. Its developers are highly proficient in iOS and Android development in addition to Phonegap and hybrid development. Its developers are capable of handling the entire project lifecycle.
The company has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and also manages a global pool of talent from its offices in the United States. It also offers robust UX testing and quality assurance services in addition to being well accustomed to the best practises for getting your app approved for listing on the App Store and Play Store.
So whether you want iOS, Android or web development, reach out to the team at Zibtek today and learn more about how they can leverage their talent pool and vast experience in mobile app development to help transform your app idea from a concept to reality.