Smartphones have changed the world as we know it, and are used for virtually anything like staying up to date with work, taking courses, paying bills, connecting other devices, planning trips and ordering food, leaving the age of modest cell-phones which merely made calls and sent messages far behind. In terms of business, 25% of online retail is heading towards smartphones by 2017. App developers are aiming to identify or create needs for this rapidly expanding customer base and supply them with an easy to use, fast solution in the form of a mobile app.
The pre-production phase of app development is about planning out your app and selecting the platforms you can launch your app on. You don’t need to know necessarily know coding to release an app in the market. If you’re a startup without a development team and want to take advantage of this emerging market, a number of app development companies offer their services at affordable prices. While you work with your developer team, or if you’re developing it yourself, it’s always good to have a clear plan for your app. In this post, we’ll discuss the primary stages of planning out your app.
Step 1: Defining your goals
The first step to creating a successful mobile app is defining success – a set of goals your app will achieve in terms of
- Features– What will the app provide the user with?
- Customer base – How many users the app needs to be have to be called successful?
- Finance – How much revenue will the app bring?
Apps are one of the most competitive markets out there, and if your app falls short or has too many bugs, chances are it’ll be deleted or ignored. Apps need to be intuitive to what the user wants as well as easy to use.
The success of an app depends on its
- User experience
Keeping these factors in mind, chalk out a rough idea for your app and decide which features will pull the customer in.
Step 2: Selecting a platform
Choosing a platform is the next most important step /and will set the foundations for designing your app. Some app development companies specialise in one kind of development.
Mobile centric app (single platform) or Web based app (cross-platform)
Mobile centric app
Web centric app
Applications run natively on the phone
Offers greater flexibility as it can run on all platforms
|Access to a rich application environment with storage, networking, and a graphical user interface||Reduced development costs|
|Brilliant user experience||Graphics and looks match the level of mobile-centric apps|
|High performance and can handle a lot of processing||Doesn’t provide as many features or performance|
|Run on only one type of OS (Operating System) and need to be designed separately for Android and iOS||Requires internet connectivity to work|
A new, more popular approach integrates a native shell (different for each OS) along with the common web application called hybrid cross-platform apps. Eg. Ionic
Next, if you choose a mobile-centric model, you need to decide between Android or iOS based on your target market and the features you are offering.
Android-centric or iOS-centric
|Larger number of downloads (good for free or low cost apps)||Larger number of paid downloads|
|Earn 70% of sales from the app, and pay a one-time registration fee of $25||Earn 70% of sales from the app, but pay an annual fee of $99|
|Available on many stores: GooglePlay Store, Amazon||Only on Apple app store|
|More popular for customizability, notifications, and voice-to-text features||More popular for gaming, music apps and ease-of-use apps|
|No restrictions, can reach core components of phone||Restrictions on the app and fixed set of tools|
|Device fragmentation (over 80 models of phones) means testing takes longer||Less fragmentation (only 9 models of phones) Testing and deployment takes less time|
Platforms should be chosen carefully depending on the ease of development (some platforms are easier to develop on as they have more documentation or features), specific features your app requires and the consumer market you’re aiming at.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want your app to be like and your options to release it, you can either hire a professional app development company to build your app or go to the next stage – Design.
Click here to find out how to hire an app development company and how much it should cost.