We have developed many mobile apps and one thing we have noticed is that mobile app development is just a blank canvas where you can add anything. Either make it beautiful and meaningful or make it worse.

If you are thinking about building a mobile app for your business, you must know exactly what it takes to execute and how. A recent study shows that mobile users are spending 87 percent of their time in apps, versus just 13 percent on the web. (comScore) and the usage grows every year.

Increasing number of mobile users is a turning point to develop more Apps according to users’ interest and activity. We are looking that desktop internet is falling and mobile internet users are increasing every day. Thousands of apps are released per day and downloaded by the users. The growth revenue chart is showing that the projected revenue to download the Android or iOS app may hit $188.0 billion by 2020. And by 2022 there will be 258 billion downloads of mobile apps. These numbers are project to increase with 45% growth rate over next 5 years.



source- https://sensortower.com/blog/top-apps-games-publishers-2018

Having a mobile app for your business is becoming more and more important for business success. Whether it be scaling the well-established business or scaling up a new business, having a right mobile app strategy is a key enabler for the business success.

Preparation before starting the Mobile App Development journey.

Consider these things before starting your mobile development journey.

  • What do you want your mobile app to achieve? The clear vision will help you keep focused.
  • Who and where is your target audience or users? For example: If majority of your users are on iOS (or vice versa) then you can prioritize one of the platforms to keep development cost within your budget.
  • How do you want or make your app user-friendly? if your target audience is teenagers then the design and interaction should reflect and appeal them. If the target audience is senior people, then the app interaction should be such that it can be intuitive for the user to use the app.
  • Did you check what your competitors are doing? Do they have apps or not? If yes, what feature or services do they offer?
  • Did you decide your overall app development budget? This will also guide you to define a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for your app.
  • What is your timeline or deadline for development? When are you planning to launch your app? Time to market is quite a critical factor for the product/app success.
  • How will you market and promote your app? With about 1500 apps release on iOS App Store and over 3000 on Google Play store, right marketing/promotion strategy is key to have your app reach to the target audience.

If you still did not do so already, put together your app development team with members from relevant departments, and hash out the information you gathered during the research and discovery phases.

How to Establish Mobile App Objectives and Goals

This is a critical step in the planning phase of your mobile app. Once you’ve decided to develop an app with advanced and important objectives, you need to figure out how your app will get you there.

  • How much is this helpful for your customers?
  • What features and mode will it include?
  • What is your app’s main appeal?

In many cases, your decision making about your app’s features and benefits must be a balancing act between your overall project budget and time to market. However, when it comes to arranging functionality, research shows that app design should be emphasized on user engagement over exclusive services.

Once you reach this stage, you should have pretty much idea about what your app will look like and what features you want to include in it. You should also have developed a scope of work (MVP) – which pieces of the process will be performed in-house and which will be contracted out. Now it’s time to start sketching out your app and creating a storyboard.

Your goal at this point is to create a clear map of how your ideas and projected features will fuse together into a functional application. You should also be careful about what point of interactions should be in your app. Keep these tasks in mind when you sketch:

  • Opportunities to incorporate your brand loyalty.
  • Focus on the user experience and user interface.
  • Know about the differences in the way people use a mobile app/mobile website.

Choosing the Right Technology

When you determine about app development, it will be good to understand what options you have. You can compare Hybrid apps Vs Native apps Vs Cross platform app development. And those approaches can be a good fit depending on the kind of app you want to develop, target audience, budget, native features etc.

Hybrid Apps

A hybrid app is developed as a single app but can be used on multiple platforms like Android, iPhone, and Windows. They are written using standard web technologies (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript) and uses webview for rendering the app. Hybrid apps talks to the underlying platform using a native wrapper and leverage the device’s browser engine (but not the browser) to render the HTML and process the JavaScript locally. Since hybrid apps are built using standard web technologies they can be developed quickly and works on all the platforms. The downside is performance and non-native look and feel.

Native Apps

Native apps are built specifically for only one platform; thus, the applied technologies will differ. In order to handle the development of Android mobile apps, the engineers can apply Java or Kotlin, Swift or Objective-C will be needed for iOS development. This process may take longer, and the app will need to be developed separately on each platform (thus almost doubling the development time). Since the app will be using the native libraries and platform, the functionality is only limited by the platform. The app will be more responsive and have better performance and native user experience.

Cross-Platform App Development

The complexities of developing native apps and developing for both the platforms has a huge cost associated with the mobile app development. Not all the apps require the native features and do not need best performance offered by the native platform. Cross platform apps gives the native look and feel of the app (which is hard to get in the hybrid app) and offers good performance (much better than hybrid apps and quite close to the native app). The cross-platform dev approach uses a native rendering engine. The codebase written in JavaScript/JSX/C# etc. connects to native components via the so-called bridges. This provides the close-to-native UX. Cross-platform apps are free of platform hook, so they offer seamless functionality, easy implementation, and cost-effective production.

Hybrid vs. Native vs. Cross-Platform Infographic

The debate surrounding which app type is best is still very relevant today as the lines between the three approaches are becoming increasingly blurred. While the discussion to differentiate the three mobile apps continues, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t choose an approach for the technology, but instead, choose based on what you want your app to do. If you choose a wrong approach that doesn’t allow your app to utilize device features, for example, then you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money when you decide to add features.

The choice between Native, Hybrid and Cross Platform App development is dependent on specific features and a number of factors, including business needs, app requirements, developer skill, and timelines. The bottom line is that each type of app offers an entirely different experience and it’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each before jumping into development.

Both ways of using technology can be helpful in certain circumstances and depending on your business needs.

In closing

In order to have a balance between features, time to market and cost of development of the mobile app, it is important to choose the right technology for your mobile app development. We at ontimedev have experience working on different mobile development technologies. Having developed many mobile apps on different technologies, our experience is that cross-platform apps (using React Native/ Xamarin) offers the best possible solution in terms of platform specific UI and close to native apps performance. Having about 70%-80% of the common code-base helps keep the cost in check for apps targeting both major iOS and android platform.

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