A lot of our clients worry about the same thing: they don’t have experience in technology, so how can they build a mobile app? That’s where Slingshot comes in, but it does help to know some overarching topics around mobile app development.

We don’t expect you to go out and become an expert at mobile app development after reading, but we do hope that this helps. This article will cover the most popular questions and answers surrounding mobile app development.

What is Mobile App Development?

Mobile app development is the creation of software that is specifically for mobile devices and tablets. It involves everything from coming up with an idea to supporting an app that’s been launched to the app stores and all things in between.

Which language is best for mobile app development? The most popular?

There is no ‘perfect’ language for mobile apps. Each language offers its own pros and cons. When it comes to the most popular, Slingshot mostly uses C# and the Xamarin framework: a cross-platform framework that allows a developer to write one code base that works on both Android and Apple phones. We recommend these because we feel it provides a good mix of code reuse and platform support without compromising performance.

React-Native is another popular cross-platform framework. When you hear “native development,” that means code is developed in Objective-C or Swift for Apple, and Java or Kotlin for Android.

Where do you start on mobile app development?

At Slingshot, our first step is research. This involves an in-depth analysis of the idea, the competitive landscape (what other similar apps are out there), and the potential users. We like to interview as many users as possible to make sure we understand what they need from the app and what problem the app will solve.

How much does mobile app development cost?

This is a complex question, since it depends on what your app needs to do. Prices can go as low as $30,000 and as high as $500,000. If you want to figure out what your app will cost, read our blog on what it costs to build a mobile app

How does mobile app development work?

We use a four-phase approach to developing mobile apps. We start with our research phase, which we discussed above. Next is the design phase, where we’ll create wireframes followed by high-fidelity screen designs that look identical to the final product. Development is when the coding occurs, and finally we’ll support the app post-launch. 

What is required for mobile app development?

At Slingshot, a team developing a mobile app would typically consist of UX designers, product managers, architects, mobile developers for Android and iOS, and back-end developers. It’s also very common to have a QA analyst. A QA analyst will test your application and log issues for the development team to fix, helping ensure a smooth launch.

How long will it take to build a mobile app?

Your timeline will be dependent on your specific app. Each project’s timeline is based on how extensive the app is. On average, a mobile app for both iOS and Android can take around 4-5 months. 

Is mobile app development right for my problem?

That really depends on what your problem is. Have you tried other ways to fix the problem? To ensure a mobile app is right for you, Slingshot conducts our research phase. We’re not afraid to tell you to go in a different direction, as we’ve done in the past. Solving your problem the right way is our top priority. 

Why is research in mobile app development important?

Your idea for a mobile app might be fleshed out, but you won’t know the in-depth details. You also will likely need to do research with potential users of the app to see if they are experiencing the same problems that your app is intending to solve. Through research, we can discover what is best for you based on your company, potential users, and competition. 

How does Design relate to mobile app development?

User experience (also known as UX) is very important when building a mobile app. If you skip right to development, your app will not be user-friendly, causing your adoption rate to plummet. If you want an app that users will actually use, you need to focus on design. 

What should my mobile app development goals and metrics be?

Your goals and metrics should be something that is easily measurable; they should be connected directly to the app. If your goal is increased sales, will you be able to measure exactly how much your sales increased due to the app? If not, you should look for different metrics and goals. 

What should I look for in a mobile app development company?

You’ll want people who are honest with you and a company with a healthy portfolio of experience. Some companies will build whatever you ask for without asking if it’s truly necessary. If you want an app that only has what it needs to be successful (saving you time and money), you’ll want someone who has integrity as a core value. You’ll also want to see extensive examples from the company of apps they’ve done before.

Does my mobile app need to be cross-platform?

Cross-platform can save you money by offering one code-base for both major operating systems. If you want to offer your app to as many people as possible, you’ll want it in both the iOS app store and the Google Play store. While going “native” instead of cross-platform also allows you to publish to both app stores, it is more expensive.

Should my mobile app be in the cloud?

Most mobile apps interact with some kind of database that has to exist outside the local phone storage and in the cloud.  If your app doesn’t need a central database, then the cloud may not be necessary. Self hosting, while also an option, should only be considered if there is a strong justification for it.

Conclusion

Now you can say you learned something new today! You gained an understanding of mobile app development, what’s best for your app, and if a mobile app is right for you. 

Mobile app development can be very complex and costly, or it can be simple and straightforward. It all comes down to what your problem is and how it needs to be solved.

If you have more questions, you can visit our mobile app development page

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