What Is Mobile App Development?

What Is Mobile App Development?
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: March 30, 2023

What is mobile app development and why is everyone obsessed with it?  

For one, mobile apps are becoming the primary source of information for modern customers. 

Consequently, building a mobile app helps increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, improve brand recognition and visibility, and drive more engagement and revenue opportunities, ultimately elevating your business's performance.

It’s no wonder the global mobile application market size was worth $187.58 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $565.40 billion in 2030.

If you’re curious to know what goes into building an app, stick with us as we, with the expertise of a mobile app development company, explain the mobile app development process. 

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What Is Mobile App Development & Its Importance

Mobile app development is a subcategory of software development that involves the creation of software applications for smartphones or tablets. 

Mobile app developers create apps for different purposes, including entertainment, productivity, social networking, and more.

The mobile app development process typically begins with an idea or a problem that needs to be solved. 

Once the idea has been fleshed out, the developer creates a prototype of the app, which is then tested on actual mobile devices. 

Developers typically use a programming language (such as Objective-C or Swift for iOS apps) and a mobile app development platform (such as Xcode or Android Studio) to build and test their applications. 

The finished product can be published to an app store, where users can download and install it on their devices. Alternatively, the app can be distributed privately to specific users, such as employees of a company.

Mobile app development can be a complex and time-consuming process, but the end result can be extremely rewarding.

It’s because of this that mobile app development has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more businesses see the value of having a presence on mobile devices. 

In addition to the potential for increased sales and exposure, apps also offer a unique way to engage with customers and promote loyalty. 

Many retailers now offer mobile apps that allow users to shop online, view sale items, and receive notifications about special offers.

Similarly, banks and financial institutions have developed mobile apps that allow customers to check balances, transfer funds, and find nearby ATM locations. 

With the advent of new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the possibilities for mobile app development are endless. 

So, whatever your business goals may be, there's likely a mobile app that can help you achieve them.

6 Steps in the Mobile App Development Process

If you’re new to app development and you don’t know how to develop an app, these steps can greatly help you understand the process and maybe encourage you to build one on your own: 

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Research the Competition
  3. Create a Solution
  4. Build the App
  5. Test the App
  6. Launch the App
  7. Additional Step: Update

1. Define the Problem

Determine the exact thing you’re trying to solve. 

This may seem like a simple task, but it is important to take the time to really think about what your app is going to address and how it will help solve certain issues—better than any other app out there. 

2.  Research the Competition

It will help you understand what solutions are already out there and how your app can be better. 

Ensuring your app is truly unique and offers something that no other app does is a step you can’t overlook. 

3. Create a Solution

After you have defined the problem and researched the competition, it is time to come up with a winning solution. 

You’ll start designing and developing your app in this phase. Keep your target audience in mind throughout this process and create an app that they will love.

4. Build the App

Once you’ve addressed all of the above, it’s time to really put your mind to it. 

This is where you will take all your design ideas and turn them into code to create your app. 

Don’t neglect the importance of well-organized code, so your app runs smoothly. 

Embrace prototyping to create a basic demo version of the app to illustrate how it might look and function. 

Test your design too, and invest some time into making it as secure as possible.

Security is the most essential aspect of a mobile app, with 38% of users agreeing, followed by features. 

Testing ensures all elements work correctly with both internal and external testing conducted before reaching a final version ready for launch.

5. Test the App

It’s the only way to ensure your app works as intended and there are no bugs or errors. 

Test it on multiple devices and in different scenarios to make sure it works perfectly.

6. Launch the App

Submit it to the appropriate store (such as the App Store or Google Play) and make it available for download. 

And don’t forget to promote it so people know it exists.

Additional Step: Update

Even after you have launched your app, continue updating it with new features, bug fixes, and security updates. 

This will help keep your users happy and ensure they continue using your app instead of switching to a competitor’s product.

If you want to get to the nitty-gritty of the development process, check out our complete app development guide.

Native Apps vs. Hybrid Apps

Ah, the age-old question: native or hybrid app? 

Both have their pros and cons, and it all comes down to your specific needs and preferences. 

Let's take a closer look at each option.

Native apps are written in the language of the platform they're being built for.

Objective-C and Swift are the most popular ones for iOS, while Java and Kotlin remain the undisputed favorites for Android.

This can make them more difficult (and costly) to develop, but it also tends to result in a higher-quality product. 

The downside is that you have to build and maintain separate versions of your app for each platform you want to support.

Hybrid apps are essentially web apps that are wrapped in a native container. 

They're usually developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which makes them more portable and easier (and cheaper) to develop than native apps.

However, they often don't perform as well as native apps and can be more difficult to customize for each platform.

So, which should you choose?

Hybrid mobile apps possess many advantages: they offer faster development time, lower cost, and portability across multiple platforms. 

On the other hand, native mobile apps provide greater access to device-level features such as touch gestures, geolocation, and more that can’t be implemented in hybrid applications. 

Native apps appear better in page speed tests than their hybrid counterparts. 

However, due to their diverse capabilities, hybrid applications offer more flexibility when it comes to integration of different services such as push notifications or payments.

We’ll let you decide which one is the right choice for you. 

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App?

A mobile app for your business gives customers a better understanding of, and access to, your brand and services. In turn, it leads to escalated customer engagement and boosted sales. 

It provides a great opportunity for business owners to increase visibility, expand market presence, and drive customer engagement. 

Enabling customers to access your business 24/7 from anywhere and providing opportunities to offer exclusive discounts, offers, rewards, and loyalty programs, mobile apps have become a must in today’s mobile-first world. 

Having a mobile app allows companies to track customers’ activities and interests so they can deliver customized content tailored to their users’ needs. 

Moreover, a mobile app provides businesses with an effective marketing platform through which they can share news or updates with their customers and reach out directly. 

With this in mind, it is clear that building a mobile app for your business can help you increase engagement with customers while simultaneously expanding your reach and strengthening your brand image.

Mobile App Statistics 

If all of the above isn’t proof enough of how paramount mobile apps have become, let’s see what the numbers say: 

  • There are over 6.5 billion smartphone users 
  • Mobile users in the U.S. check their mobile phones 256 times a day
  • There were 2 million new apps and games released in 2021 alone and users downloaded 230 billion mobile apps
  • Back in 2021, 92.5% of the time Android users spent on mobile was on mobile apps and gaming 
  • In addition to time, users spend tons of money on mobile apps too—$33 billion to be exact 
  • Compared to regular mobile browsing, smartphone users spend 7x more time in native apps 
  • Mobile apps bring 3x higher conversions than websites

It’s clear that businesses that build their own mobile apps can gain competitive advantages over those that rely solely on websites or web-based applications, thanks to increased brand visibility and powerful analytics capabilities that enable data-driven decisions for improved ROI.

What Makes a Great App?

A great mobile app is one that makes use of intuitive design, offers a great user experience, provides value to its users, and works reliably and quickly. 

It should have an attractive interface, be easy to navigate with features that make tasks easier to accomplish, include high-quality visuals and sounds when appropriate, and be compatible with various phone models and operating systems. 

Additionally, it should:

  • Feature bug-free code
  • Provide personalized recommendations
  • Respond quickly to user input
  • Offer regular updates
  • Integrate easily with existing services
  • Utilize smart caching that preserves the network bandwidth
  • Include social media integration options
  • Leverage analytics tools for better insights into user behavior
  • Support accessibility features

Remember, your app should bring value—whether it’s entertainment, utility, or something in between. 

As long as it offers users something they need or want, you can have peace of mind knowing your mobile app is a hit with users!

What Is Mobile App Development: Key Takeaways 

Mobile app development is an important and growing sector of the tech industry. 

It has become necessary to have a presence in the mobile space to reach customers and stay competitive. 

With advances in technology, businesses can develop apps that are more versatile and robust than ever before. 

Mobile app development can give your business a powerful tool to improve customer experience and engagement, productivity, and drive revenue gains.

Final piece of advice: if you’re not a pro at building apps, app development outsourcing is your best move to ensure your mobile application ticks all the right boxes. 

We’ll find qualified app development agencies for your project, for free.
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