Mobile application development has been trending upward for years. This subcategory of software development specifically refers to applications that run on mobile devices.
Mobile apps are built for different operating systems, like iOS and Android. By leveraging the built-in features of smartphones, apps offer an enhanced user experience compared to mobile web browsing.
More than 78% of people worldwide own a smartphone. What are people doing on these devices? They’re using apps.
These apps fall into a wide range of categories, including gaming apps, music apps, calendars, communication apps, and more. I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the world’s most popular apps like WhatsApp, Spotify, HeadSpace, Facebook, and Instagram.
Creating an app is a great business decision. But first, you need to understand the mobile app development process—which is why we created this guide.
What Is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is the process used to create software for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices. The overall process includes writing code to create the software and designing the app.
App development is similar to other software development, including web apps. But the biggest difference between app development and traditional software development is the ability for mobile apps to use native features on a device.
For example, apps can leverage mobile features like GPS, Bluetooth, a camera, microphone, and other functions that are pre-built into a smartphone.
Apple and Android apps dominate the global market share for mobile apps. So while it’s possible to create apps for other platforms, most apps target these two markets.
It’s also worth noting that there are several different app development frameworks to choose from. So you’ll have lots of options to consider, which we’ll cover in greater detail throughout this guide.
Mobile App Development Process
The app development process is simple when you break it down into different steps. If you want to build apps, follow the formula below:
Refine The Idea And Strategize
Before you start any software development, you must first brainstorm your ideas. Some of you might already have a basic idea or concept. Others might be starting from scratch.
Here are some helpful starter questions that you should be asking yourself:
- What do you want your mobile app to accomplish?
- What are your app goals?
- What problem (or problems) will your app solve for customers?
- What features will your app include?
- How much money are you willing to invest?
- How will you develop the app? (In-house team, agency, app builder, etc.)
It’s easy to get carried away during the brainstorming process. But it’s really important to stick to the app’s core features. Forget about unnecessary add-ons or “nice-to-haves” that deviate from the app’s primary function.
Once your idea is finalized, you need to look at similar apps that already exist. It’s rare to have a completely new concept with zero competition.
- Who are your competitors?
- What target audience are you aiming for?
- What’s your differentiation strategy to stand out from the competition?
- What’s the best platform to launch your app on?
- How will you market and promote your app?