Mobile App Development Process

Mobile App Development

Mobile apps are everywhere. From retail, healthcare, finance, transportation, and even industrial engineering – industries across the board are focusing on creating a mobile presence. As a result, mobile app revenues have skyrocketed. In 2023 alone, mobile apps are projected to reach a combined revenue of $935 billion globally.

Despite this boom, many organizations remain uninformed about mobile apps and the rich ecosystem they leverage. Mobile application development services simplify the process by providing frameworks that can be used to build apps. The wide availability of software development kits, or SDKs, has also contributed to efficient development cycles for mobile applications.

As for the mobile app development process, there are six main steps, each playing its role in the overall lifecycle. So let’s go over what to expect when a company decides to go mobile.

What Is Mobile App Development?

At its most basic, mobile app development encapsulates creating software apps that run on mobile devices. Mobile applications leverage network connections to work in tandem with remote, back-end resources. As a result, the mobile app development process involves building installable front-end software, implementing back-end services such as databases, and building communication bridges between these two layers via APIs. Additionally, testing the mobile app across devices and platforms plays an integral part in release strategies and post-release support.

The Mobile App Development Process

Mobile app development is very similar to building other software and is a collaborative effort. Several teams—developers, designers, testers, architects, business analysts—come together to form a shared vision. To make this shared vision a reality, the teams follow the mobile app development process that include: 

 

1) Strategy

Your enterprise mobility strategy can define your organization’s success story. A significant section of that strategy goes into laying out blueprints that evolve your idea into an app. The development strategy depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Identifying the app’s key user demographic
  • Researching the competition, their strong points, unique features, and what makes them popular
  • Defining the app’s goals as well as its role in your business strategy
  • Budgeting the development (a complex mobile app can cost between $100-$300 thousand
  • Deciding if the app will be platform agnostic or launched for a specific environment like iOS or Android
  • Selecting technical requirements, including the back-end server, front-end technology stack, APIs, and development milestones
 

2) Design

The world’s best mobile apps are often defined by their engaging, user-focused design. Your app should be intuitive, interactive, and user-centric. Selecting a seamless UX/UI design for your mobile app is vital. Not only do designs play a pivotal role in attracting new users, but their simplicity and easy-to-get-into features also make users engaged for a longer duration.

Top mobile app development companies hire UX/UI designers to transform functional requirements into intuitive and attractive products. The mobile app design phase continuously evolves, from initial workflow designs and wireframes to style guides, mockups, and prototypes. Mockups and prototypes can be built using apps like Figma and Invision to afford a better understanding of user flow. Additionally, implementing user testing during this phase will surface usability issues that should be addressed prior to proceeding with development.  

3) Development

The stage where the app is actually built using the styles, strategies, and features of the app that were outlined in steps one and two. To develop the app, there are numerous approaches. A few of the most popular methods are listed below, 

  • Waterfall: a traditional, rigid, and linear approach, where each phase of the software is completed before moving to the next
  • Agile: collaboration-centric, feedback-heavy, and flexible, teams develop the software in short sprints
  • Lean Startup: focuses on creating a minimal viable product to gain client feedback, which is then used to edit the software swiftly and easily
  • Spiral: a risk-driven model that is used in larger projects with more uncertain goals; it incorporates multiple other models (such as waterfall and prototyping) to mitigate the likelihood of developing the wrong end-product

4) Testing

Testing or quality assurance (QA) is perhaps the most critical phase in any mobile app development process. It ensures that an app is stable, secure, and all features work as intended. A comprehensive list of testing scenarios, dubbed test cases, is prepared during this phase to cover all the possible app uses. Testing typically occurs in tandem with development upon the completion of each sprint or milestone, not at the end of the development phase. Doing so ensures that the product meets acceptable standards for release for the target launch date.

Whether it is mobile app development for business or commercial mobile app development, testing is split into the following sub-steps:

  • Functional Testing: where app functionalities are tested.
  • Performance Testing: to test whether the app is performing on par.
  • Security Testing: for identifying any potentially exploitable loopholes and then plugging them.
  • User Acceptance Testing: to mimic all end-user scenarios.
  • Platform and Device-Based Testing: to test both native and hybrid apps.

5) Launch

Releasing a mobile app for public use requires publishing them to app platforms. Two of the world’s biggest app platforms are Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. Before launching an app on either platform, they require users to set up a developer account. In addition, both Apple and Google require an app review process that checks different aspects of your mobile app before it is released and made available for download on their respective platforms. Furthermore, App Store and Play Store have different fee structures.

6) Maintenance

Last but not least, once an app is released, it needs to be maintained. Utilize available mobile analytics platforms and key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor an app’s performance. Keep an eye on crash reports, user feedback, and other metrics to address any issues.

Unlike desktop software, native mobile apps need to be routinely updated to support newer devices and operating systems. This is on top of updates that may include additional feature sets.

 

Conclusion

In 2020, mobile apps were downloaded a staggering 86.7 billion times, and that number is increasing annually. As the market shifts towards smart devices, companies are investing more resources into their mobile presence to gain new customers, retain the existing user base, and boost revenue.

Is your company ready to take the next transformational step for your product or service-based business? Look no further than catering to your demographic via mobile apps. Quantilus can lead and collaborate with your team throughout the entire mobile app development process to create a unique and engaging app that highlights your offerings. Contact us today at info@quantilus.com, and we can set up a time to discuss your vision and goals for the project.