Mobile apps have taken over from websites in today’s smart phone dominated world. People today use their phones and tablets to communicate, work, watch movies and videos, listen to music and surf the internet. Mobile phones are replacing computers in every walk of life. Any business or idea that wants to be successful in today’s world has to have it’s presence on mobile phones.
If you want to be a part of this digital revolution and want your business or idea to reach maximum number of people you will have to invest your time and money in developing a mobile application. Listed below are few important points that will help you create your first application.
The most important to work upon before starting developing a mobile app is the idea. There are millions of apps on the app stores and 90% of the apps do not have substantial number of users. Before starting you have to be really sure about what you want to develop, what if your target audience, which geographical areas you want to target and which category will your app cater to. Please write everything down on paper. And discuss it with your colleagues. Be sure you know and understand your idea completely before starting development.
After finalising the idea is time to work on the features of the app. Discuss in detail what features you want in the app. Make detail documents about the flow of the application and what will each screen of the app carry. It is important that you know everything about your app before starting development.
Start working on the design of the app with your design team. Keep in mind that the design of your app have to be at par with your idea and the target audience you are developing your app for. There are two aspects of app design. One is the internal application design. The app design have to simple and attractive. A well designed app has more chances of sticking on to a users phone and being used again and again rather than a badly designed and complicated app. The second part of design is the marketing material and store material for the app. The marketing materials include icons, screenshots, banners etc. This material is very important because this will attract the user towards your app and will make him/her download it.
Choose a platform for which you want to write the app. There are few you can choose from:
IOS: iOS leverages Objective-C for creating apps, which is a flavor of C that has deep roots with Apple, going back to the days when next was acquired by Apple. One of the biggest shake-ups in the short history of mobile development happened last year with the introduction of Swift. Designed and built to sit on top of and integrate with Objective-C, Swift is a more modern language that will appeal to a much broader range of developers. Swift was many years in the making and a great new way to build native iOS apps.
Android: Android is primarily based on Java, which is one of the most common languages across developers. This will generally provide great performance and functionality when writing your app. If you’re looking to improve performance even more, you can take a look at the Android NDK. It allows you to build plugins and code in C and C++ that will run in the Android environment. While powerful, it doesn’t necessarily improve the performance of your app – so it’s not recommended unless you have a specific use case that calls for this toolset. Take a look at the Android notes on NDK to learn more.
To start, your app must perform as expected. Pull out your initial design document and go through every feature. Never assume that something works because it worked last time you tested the app. Test each feature every time, especially before the final release.
Please test with multiple, different set of users. Use your friends, co-workers, family to test your app and get their reaction before realising it. Incorporate their observations and make changes as per that.
The time you spend on testing is crucial because you will see how consumers use your product, what features are intuitive, what they don’t understand, and their patterns. They will have questions that won’t occur to you because you designed the app and everything about it is obvious to you.
When your app has been developed and tested and everything is working smoothly comes the time to upload your app to the stores. You will need a developer account for this on the stores you want to upload your app. Google Play let you create a developer account for a yearly fee of 25$ and the IOS store charges 50$ for the same. Create a developer account and study in detail the developer policies before uploading your app. Make changes in the app if you are violating any policy. This is very important because violation of store policies can result in the termination of your developer account.
Get your store material like icons, screenshots and banners ready as per the store policy and upload your app.