Who doesn’t use mobile phones today? Rarely you will find someone is not using any mobile phone.
And this is not surprising that people spend most of their time on the mobile application.
We can see kids as young as four years using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It proves that demand for mobile applications is at an all-time high, and if you are someone who owns a business, it’s time to get one for yourself.
Developing a mobile app for your business is the best way to reach out to people and grow your online presence.
First, we will discuss the basics of mobile applications: their uses, pros, and cons, and in the end, we will discuss how you can get your bug-free mobile application.
What Are Mobile Applications?
Mobile applications are programs designed to run on your mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
They don’t just tend to be lighter than comparable programs for desktops; the UIs of apps are optimized for smaller screens and touchscreen-style controls.
If you’ve tried searching about mobile apps on the internet, you would’ve come up with lots of websites explaining mobile apps as an umbrella term; that’s because there are many things called mobile apps.
Today there are around 3.8 billion smartphone users, and in the graph below, you can see the expected revenue of around $581 billion by the end of 2020.
Here are some important types of mobile apps you must know before starting development.
Native apps are those that are developed for use on a platform. It means that they will work separately on iOS or Android, requiring development or both platforms. It is the reason that a native app can take full advantage of the device hardware and software.
For example, iPhone users’ applications will require app development on objective C and published on the iOS app store. It means that users of Android devices cannot use your app.
Similarly, if you’re developing an app for android users, you’ll be using Java, which means iOS devices cannot use your app designed and developed for Android.
The word “native” name comes from the fact that the app is Native to only one platform or an operating system. It is typically the kind of app people think of when you say mobile apps.
Web applications are the responsive version of a website flawlessly runs on both Android and iOS operating systems. Most of the web applications are written in HTML5 and seamlessly run in the users’ mobile browser.
If you are trying to install a web app, users will be navigated to a specific URL; then, you need to agree to “install” the app and then access the app using an icon located on your home screen.
As web technologies improve, the thin line between a web app and a well-designed mobile site becomes harder to distinguish.
As the name suggests, hybrid apps are a mix of native and web apps. The specific mix of features varies – some hybrid apps reply more on web-based technologies, while others rely more on native features.
Evolution of Mobile Apps
Mobile apps have already surpassed desktop usage and are estimated to generate revenues worth more than $100 billion.
In the year 2019, 204 billion mobile apps were downloaded, and it is estimated by 2020, the number could cross 350 billion. (Statista, 2020)
With less than half of the world’s population own a mobile device, the growth potential for mobile apps is undoubtedly there, significantly as those in developing countries gain access to technologies that get cheaper and cheaper.
In the infographic below, you can see the benefits of mobile apps for business.
What Are The Factors Behind a Successful App?
You may not find this surprising that many apps fail miserable, and developers claim that an app’s success in the app store is like “striking it rich.”
Do you know why most of the mobile apps fail and can’t survive more over the web? Here’s a theory that you can explore to know the reason behind the app failure concept.
But, accepting the idea of luck means nothing you can do to make your app successful?
It is not true! There are tons of things you could do to make or build a successful app.
Check out the below factors that are best and can help you get a quality-certified mobile app.
1. The Idea Itself
To build a great app, you need to have a good idea first. Without a good idea, you can’t continue with app development. You might come on to the conclusion that your idea is the best thing in the world; before you conclude, you need to do a little market research and proper testing ahead of time.
It will allow you to pursue an idea that no one else finds it attractive or a ton of apps with the same idea. You should be able to describe your app in a single sentence.
Apps are disposable – if there is something that does not meet a user’s needs, they have no regrets about deleting your app from their phone or tablet.
When someone goes on to the app store or the play store, they look at your title and the short description, or if the user is specific, they might check your app’s screenshots before they decide to install the app.
So, making the content attractive is essential; it acts as a forcing function to ensure that your idea conveys your app’s benefits to your audience.
2. Identify Your Audience
Determining your target audience is very important because it will help you narrow your features and content, which you will have to add to your app.
Determining the audience will open the door to many other things like your revenue streams you’re planning on monetizing and earning revenue with app sales.
There are four types of revenue-earning apps:
• The Apps which are doing great are the ones that attract almost everyone. Though you would charge significantly less amount per download, your revenue streams are high due to the popularity and the number of people using your app.
• But some apps have a higher price that targets only a specific group or community of users; even though they might not make numbers in downloads, they make profits through each download.
• Few apps are known for high profit and also a high number of downloads. But these apps are rare; for example, Asphalt or clash of clans, for that matter, are addictive, which are downloaded in millions, and they are also charging premium prices for extra options or features that will help the user in the game.
• And finally, we have the apps which have everything in a small number both the revenue and the downloads are low, these apps are the ones that die out in a month or their release, and they are the most common type of apps out there.
It’s good if your app falls into this category; however, you could avoid it from being one of these.
How Can You Make a Perfect App Even If Your App Doesn’t Fall into the Trending Categories?
• By doing some proper planning and research ahead of time, you can move your app into any of the above three categories, which will generate positive revenues.
• By determining your audience, you’ll pinpoint which of the three successful categories your app might belong to. But then, as you will make many decisions during the app development cycle, you’ll have additional information to help inform your choices.
3. Create a Great Design
App design is the most critical factor for mobile app development, and UI/UX are used in the design and development of current generation apps. It is indeed the most critical component, which will determine whether your app will succeed or not.
Mobile Design is the reason why the most popular and successful apps are well-designed.
The design should have a single purpose, which gives a unique user experience. The guidelines provided are agreements for a reason but don’t get distracted from the norm unless you have a valid reason.
You might have to compromise due to programming limitations, resulting in missing out on several audiences who could be your customers.
For example, if your app requires users to use their camera or maps or geo services, do not force users to limit what their device could potentially do. Allow them to use their device to the full potential.
Moreover, users would be more interested or will continue to use the app that they don’t have to work hard for using the app. Make it easy and give a better experience while using it.
• Ensure the options and features are how they would expect it to be, don’t make it complicated.
• Don’t make the user search for options or features that make them available right there or provide suggestions.
• If you want to add something new in your app, make sure the user understands why things are like that.
• Finally, the visuals must be spectacular; don’t make your user feel like it’s a compromised app.
We know it sounds a bit intimidating, but it isn’t that hard to achieve all this because there are the best apps that are already setting examples.
The best way to examine if your design works for users is to:
• See if they could figure out how to use the app?
• Check what part of the app is hard to navigate or the user faced difficulties.
• How do your expectations of what the user does compare to what a user does when using your app?
When you do this in the testing stage, it helps you make changes before it gets live and gets probable bad feedback; you will see a significant improvement in your product.
4. Include What Is Most Essential
It’s always great to have bells and whistles in your app but make sure you have something for everyone; it’s not that easy when your app targets a wide range of audiences.
Each option or feature you include adds up to the development time, costs and increases the app’s complexity and size. On top of that, if the app is not executed correctly, you can be in big trouble.
So, you need to make up your mind on what’s needed and what’s not.
5. Prototyping or Wireframe Your App
Wireframing your app is the best practice, and it is strongly recommended.
It helps you map your flow, keeps your project in check, and helps you achieve what you’ve planned.
Prototyping plays a significant role in the development and cutting of high costs overall.
It helps coordinate between teams and clients, maintains the original plan, and acts as a standard communication helping the developers focus more on what they need to do.
Do you want to know how mobile app wireframes can be created and why wireframing is important for app development?
6. Plan Your Development Cycle
Planning your development cycle will not just finish your project on time but also cuts extra costs, which may occur due to a lack of proper planning.
The first step determines what type of app you will be building and the ecosystem you’re going to support.
Then it would be best if you determine which platform you’re going to launch your app. Most businesses start with an iOS app since it’s faster and much cheaper to start with than an Android app, and then move on to Android once they see some results. But it’s always your call.
You will need to consider many things when making this decision, and we defer to smashing magazine when it comes to comparing the pros and cons.
We will advise you to pick your platform based on your design. In the infographic below, you can compare both the Android and iOS platform base on UI.
Cost of App Development
Costs Don’t End with Development.
App development costs are not a one-time thing mentioned above, they are the tip of an iceberg, and there is a lot in store after the development.
An app can’t be the same forever; it needs regular updates, added features, and regular bug fixes, all of which don’t come for free.
According to what I’ve seen in mobile app development, the development costs are only about 30-40% of the overall costs spent on an app for two years.
Create a Strategy
People aren’t waiting for you to create an app and install it readily unless you already have an online presence.
This means you need to go to the users, and for that, you need a perfect strategy.
Optimizing your app gives you an intense exposure to the users; optimizing is nothing but making your app rank higher in the app stores.
How you do that?
Simple, you can do this by following the best app store optimization practices.
Also, once your app is installed, it needs to perform. Your app’s performance will bring in more and more people.
Ask your users for regular feedbacks and reviews and work on them; improvise your app according to the customer reviews.
Improving the app’s performance should be taken as a priority, and this means creating a Bug-Free mobile app.
So How Do You Ensure Bug-Free Mobile App Development?
Ensuring a complete bug-free mobile app is not 100% possible.
However, a developer can take steps to minimize the bugs in a mobile application.
Here are the steps by which you can ensure a bug-free mobile app development:
Reviewing code from another or a group of developers will bring out many faults, like proofreading an article.
Let’s agree no human is perfect; if a developer skips something in the middle or misses out on some code, the other developer could identify it.
Many mobile app development companies depend on pair programming, which means that two developers write code simultaneously. The use of code reviews is immensely crucial in those apps where security-related code comes to usage—resulting in fewer bugs in an app.
Go for Beta Tests
This is the most common practice, a new company always opts for releasing a beta version first, and it is the most common way of testing the acceptance of your mobile apps by a user.
The benefit is that you can test the application multiple times to find out more relevant bugs; your users might find the issues with different versions of operating systems, which eases a mobile app developer’s work in finding bugs.
Also, make sure your app has all the functionalities before you give it for the final testing.
Rely on Automated Tests
If you want to test app programming interfaces, user interfaces, and application modules, automated tests will go-to option.
You don’t have to be an expert tester to make the best use of automated tests; for a matter of fact, you can use unit testing to develop the app’s essential parts.
Handling Error Reports
Even before you start fixing the issues, determine the kind of problems your users are experiencing.
If you have an application that runs on the trial version, don’t forget that users won’t get in touch with you.
It would help if you used automated error and reporting techniques to make the testing more accessible.
And while preparing error reports, you need to identify the problem, include log files and version numbers.
Dedicate QA Testers
Quality assurance is essential in mobile app development, no matter where you are on the planet.
It would help if you had numerous testers mainly dedicated to a single project. Moreover, applications are too complicated and require the competency of experienced testers.
It may get a bit expensive to hire testers in some situations. In this case, the development team can test each other’s code.
Use Virtual Machines
To make a robust app, you need to test it in numerous conditions because not every user has the same device.
Besides testing the app, you will get plenty of time to test it in various virtual machines.
If your app is for various platforms, it is good to make images of standard sizes, test them, and finally upload them on the server.
Whenever you feel like testing, you can use the base images without even installing the operating system.
The process of making a mobile app needs a lot of useful strategies and immense patience, and if you are aiming at a bug-free app, it’s quite hectic.
Yes, bugs come up no matter how careful you are. Try to build an app you’ve determined and then try fixing the bugs rather than being cautious throughout the process, which might distract you from reaching the desired design.
You can always reduce the bugs and bring your mobile app to stability.
Hope you like this article; please send your valuable feedback and queries in the comment box.
Author’s Bio: Mohit Maheshwari is Chief Strategist at NMG Technologies, a full service IT Company offering mobile app development services for android and IOS. He has been in the industry since 2000 and focuses on long-term strategies, intuitive user experience, and successful customer acquisition. Follow Mohit on Twitter and LinkedIn.