In 2018 alone, over 200 billion mobile apps were downloaded globally and estimated to grow to around 258 billion by 2022. Not only are mobile apps in high demand, but is exceedingly becoming a profitable mobile commerce venture. The market itself is forecasted to earn $189 billion in revenue from both app stores and in-app purchases. This demand has impacted the recruitment and market for mobile app developers, with Android web developer being amongst those highly sought after.
Here are some more interesting statistics about mobile app usage for the past years:
- The top 6 apps are Web browsing, Communication, Social, Utilities and Tools, Entertainment.
- Game apps are the most popular category of apps in Apple’s App store, while Utilities and Tools apps are the most popular Android apps.
- In 2017, it was estimated that in the US alone, people spend an average of 2 hours a day on digital media on mobiles.
- More users are visiting mobile websites but are spending more time using mobile apps. 87% of the time, mobile users are using mobile apps, while 13% is spent on using the mobile web.
Types of Mobile Apps
When the decision to invest in mobile apps is made, one of the major decisions to make is the type of mobile app to be created.
#1. Native apps
Apps developed using the programming language and environment native to the device are what we consider native apps. These apps are created and work only for a specific platform and target audience. For iOS devices, these apps are built using Objective-C or Swift, Java for Android apps, and C#/Visual Basic for Windows devices.
With native app development, development tools, such as standardized SDK, that developers may need are provided by the major platforms; Apple has XCode and Google has Android Studio. Native apps are also the fastest and most reliable apps for users, able to optimize the use of device resources. Seamless linkage to the other apps or features of the device, enhancing the features and capabilities of the native app are also evident.
Native apps require the development of a different version of the app to fit other device platforms. Native app development will cost more as developers are specialized in developing apps for specific device platforms. Developing different versions of the app to fit other device platforms adds to development cost, effort, and time.
Examples: Pokemon GO, TechCrunch, Instagram, Google Maps
#2. Hybrid apps
Hybrid apps are highly scalable and can easily be launched on other platforms. Hybrid mobile app development is more manageable and requires building and managing only one codebase, and adjustments are only needed to be made to have the app fit other platforms. Having only to build and manage a single codebase would require you to hire less number of developers.
However, with hybrid mobile apps, performance is only as good as the Webview, a tool similar to a web browser, used to launch and render the hybrid app. Adjustments to the app for cross-platform compatibility can be expensive and substantial work. Because of these, user experience may be limited by the rendering tools.
Hybrid mobile app development is usually carried out using technologies such as Cordova, Ionic Framework, Telerik Platform, or Trigger.IO.
Examples: Pacifica, FanReact, Fetchnotes
#3. Cross-platform apps
Unlike hybrid mobile apps, cross-platform apps are rendered by ‘native’ controls of the device and perform as well as any native app. Since ‘native’ controls are used to render the app, some parts of the code might require interpretation to suit the environment of the device. The user interface of the app is also dependant on the framework used the cross-platform mobile app development. Mobile apps of this type are developed using technologies such as Xamarin, React Native, NativeScript, or Appcelerator.
Examples: SmarpShare, Skulls of the Shogun, MixRadio
Considerations in Building Business Mobile Apps
Why Does My Business Need It?
Do you need it to expand your marketing channels? Reach more of your chosen target audience, even exploring more? Is it a way to match your competitors that have upgraded? Will it increase sales and revenue for the business? There are numerous reasons why businesses invest in mobile app development. What is important is there is a concrete reason and, aside from the needs and wants of your business, customers are also made a priority in this decision.
What Experience Do I Want For My Customers?
Business mobile apps are great for businesses, even better, they can improve customer service and grow customer trust. Great apps are carefully developed with a user-centric approach, prioritizing customer needs and experience and enhancing them with technology. Understanding what customer needs and using it as a guide to hone and improve the user experience of the mobile app can help ensure customer engagement and grow customer trust. This is a great opportunity to work and learn more about how to build a mobile app and marry ideas with technology.
What Do I Know of How To Build An App?
We now have the reason for building an app, and a concept of the experience we want our users to have in using our app. So how do we make it into an app? The good thing is there are developers and designers expert in developing such technology. What would ease the process is knowing the details, or at least the basics, that go into building a mobile app. Because with the right mobile development team, the right vision, and employing the right project management methodologies, this venture and investment may be a success.
Which Type of Mobile App Meets My Needs?
What is the right app for my business? Give the different types of mobile apps that have been outlined, which type meets the requirements that I have set out? It is highly recommended to have apps that work for both iOS and Android platforms, as they are the largest markets. But a good deal of consideration needs to be given to choosing because each type has its own respective mobile app development costs.
What are the Costs of Building an App?
Mobile app development costs cover a wide range of aspects – from resources, finances, time, people and others. Mobile app development typically lasts around 4 to 6 months, the more complicated it is the longer it takes. And the longer it takes the higher the costs. There are also costs to marketing and project team recruitment. And knowing how to hire a mobile app developer without compromising your budget or project ideas is a challenge in itself. However, with a variety of mobile app development company ready to provide services, this process may be alleviated.
How To Hire A Mobile App Developer?
So now that we have an idea of the entailed mobile app development costs, the next step is to go hire a mobile app developer. There are many avenues that businesses can take, the most common and easiest of which is to locally and in-house hire a mobile developer. An alternative is outsourcing the project to remote dedicated teams. Another efficient solution, and can help reduce development costs, is to collaborate with a mobile app development company that can handle the details of the project and keep you informed and up to date on the progress.
It may seem a daunting and herculean task, but nothing worth having is easy. And if there is a justified and iron-clad reason for your business to invest and venture towards building a business mobile app, then why not take the chance. With careful deliberation, planning, and coordination this can definitely be a worthwhile avenue to explore and eventually succeed at.