A mobile app is an application that is designed to work on a particular mobile operating system like Android or iOS or both (hybrid apps). It is the same as a web application but designed specifically for a mobile or handheld device.
The increasing use of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, has created a remarkable growth in the demand for compatible mobile apps.
Mobile apps are today being used for almost every kind of task, from booking flight tickets to making hotel reservations to conducting business meetings, and much more. If your online business doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app, there is a good chance that you’re missing out o a lot of potential mobile customers.
When it comes to mobile app development, you have the following two options:
What You Prefer?
- Learn to code and develop the app yourself
- Hire a professional app developer/agency
Now, the first option might sound lucrative since it saves you money, but not everyone has the potential to build an app.
This is why we have professional app development services. Nevertheless, if you are truly willing to give it a try and develop the app yourself, you will first have to learn to code. That is where things get interesting.
In this blog, we will talk in detail about the above two options and will try to figure out which one is more suitable in which conditions.
Let’s get started.
Things You Need to Know About Developing an App Yourself
If you are planning to develop a mobile app yourself, you will need to have basic to advanced coding skills, depending on the kind of app you’re developing.
If you do not know how to code, things may become a little challenging for you. But worry not, you can always learn to code.
Here are some conditions in which you should go with this option.
- You have a lot of time
- You have no money to invest in your app
- You are looking to learn a new skill (coding in this case)
Whatever your reason is if you are planning to learn to code, make sure to do it right. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Developing an app is actually a simple task but it needs dedication, patience and time, especially when you are going to learn to code from scratch.
At the same time, the process might get tedious as it will require you to micro-manage a lot of things.
1. Types of Mobile Apps
It is important that you understand the various types of mobile apps and their differences to be able to develop the right app your idea needs.
Here are the common type of apps:
1. Native apps that are developed for a specific platform such as Android
2. Hybrid apps that can work on more than one platform
3. Responsive web apps that work on both desktop and mobile devices
So, first, you need to decide the type of app you want to build.
2. Define your App Objectives
Before you start developing the app, you should have a clear idea of the purpose or objectives behind creating the app.
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Whether you are creating a new app to expand your business’s reach to mobile or as a platform for your potential mobile audience or to start a new business or simply as an add-on to your mobile website.
Based on that reason, you can define the target market, the target audience & their expectations, target ROI, potential results, competitors, budget, and timeline.
3. Define The Functionality & Features of Your App
Now that you know the goals of your app, it is time to define all the functionalities and features you want in the app.
It is important to understand that you cannot possibly include all the features in the very first version of the app.
The app will evolve over time as you realize its shortcomings, so many advanced features can be added later.
For now, you should focus on including all the basic and important functionalities.
4. Create the Wireframe Design
A wireframe is a rough design that consists of lines and verticals and represents the functional elements of the app to be developed.
In other words, you need to design the sketch-based layout of your app. It will include all the functionalities and features you want your app to have, details of how a feature works, what happens when you click a particular button, size, shape & color of various elements, etc.
The next stage would be to plan things like database, data storage, the team, the development approach, the architecture you want to use, and most importantly, the backend of your app.
Besides that, you need to figure out the right language for the development of your app.
Most app developers use Java as the primary language for the coding purpose.
The benefit of Java language is that it is also used for developing web applications and is very secure.
However, it is not generally used for creating iOS apps. So, if you are planning to design an app for Apple devices, you should instead learn languages like Swift or Objective-C.
6. Learning To Code
Start with the basics. First, you need to learn to test and run the code you write.
Second, you need to find the right development environment where you can develop efficiently.
For Android development, Google’s Android IDE – Android Studio – is the best tool. For iOS coding, Xcode is a preferred option.
Also, you’ll need a method to control the versions so that you can revise a code in case of a bug or error.
Git is the most popular tool for the purpose. If you are planning to learn to code as a serious skill, consider joining the GitHub community, which is a boon for coders.
You can share and store your code here, work with teammates, and also control revisions.
The most crucial part is learning the language. You can do that either by yourself using an online/offline tutorial or can seek the help of a coding tutor.
Once you’ve learned the basics of the programming language, you can start developing the parts of your app.
Follow the tips below when developing the app.
- Learn to code in multiple stages, starting with what you need first. Instead of trying to learn all the app development features at once, focus on the ones that you need right now.
- Do some research on what knowledge and skills you’ll need for app development before you start to learn.
- Spend more time planning your app than writing the code. The more you plan and research the better your app will turn out.
- Create and follow a timetable for learning the things that you need to learn.
- Whether you are using books, online courses, or video tutorials to learn to code, make sure to use a trustable learning resource.
- Learn everything you need to learn before you start to write the code. If you learn as you build the app, the chances are that you’ll make a lot of mistakes and will have to erase/update the code multiple times. A better idea is to learn first with a sample or existing projects and start the actual project once you know everything.
The Alternative – Hire an App Developer
Hiring an app developer or agency is a preferred choice for many reasons – it saves you time and the need to hire a salary-based team.
In some cases, it also saves money. So, if you prefer to spend your time growing your business rather than developing an app, outsourcing the job to a professional app development company would be your best bet.
Thankfully, there are hundreds of companies willing to take the job. However, finding and hiring the right developer or company for your app development project is crucial to ensure the success of the application.
Here’s all you need to know about hiring an app developer.
1. The Basics of Mobile App Development
Before you move on to hiring a mobile development agency, it would be nice to understand the basics of app development, so that you can ask all the right questions from a potential app developer.
You need not to learn to code but things like how an app works, how it is developed, what app development tools and technologies are currently in the trend, how an app is optimized and ranked in respective app stores, etc. All this and more you can find easily on the internet.
2. Who is A Mobile App Developer?
An app developer is a professional person who writes the code and develops mobile applications for Android, iOS and other platforms.
They must have good coding skills and have some experience in the development of apps.
You can choose from freelance app developers or full-time salaried mobile app developers for hire.
3. Roles of A Mobile App Developer
The basic role of a mobile app developer is to write the source code. Besides that, he/she –
- Tests a code for validity
- Implements it in the design to make it functional
- Maintain security of the code
- Designs prototype for the app
- Helps with the planning part
4. Mobile App Developer Vs App Development Company
When you are out looking for an app developer for your project, you have two options – hire a freelance developer or hire an app development firm.
Each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For instance, an individual developer might cost you less than an agency.
However, there is a major difference between these two options.
- When going with a mobile developer, you’ll be hiring only one person. So, you’ll have to hire separately a designer, a manager (if you have no time to manage the team), and other people on the team. Basically, you will have to manage most of the task yourself. Also, there will be a lack of discipline and responsibility, and you can almost never expect them to deliver on time.
- On the other hand, with an agency, you can hire a complete app development team, including developers, designers, testing people and tech support guys, along with a dedicated manager. So, you won’t have to do anything except for tracking the development progress and sharing occasional feedbacks. It will save you time and ensure reliability and productivity. And the best of all, you can always expect a professional app development company to deliver the work on time.
5. Finding a Good Mobile App Developer
This part is somewhat tricky. There are questions like what makes a good developer or how you will identify a good app developer from a bad one.
Well, Google has all the answers you need. Research as much as you can for ideas for finding a trustworthy and reliable app developer.
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Or like I said before, go with a reputed app development company so that you do not have to worry about quality or reliability.
6. Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer or Company
Once you’ve made a list of all the potential developers or agencies, the best way to find out the right one is asking the following questions:
- How much experience do you have in app development?
- What kind of apps you have worked on?
- What is your technical background?
- Can you provide a list of all your clients and projects?
- How will manage the security of my app and data?
- How do you test an app during and after the development?
- Can you develop my app in my given budget?
- How long do you need to develop the app?
- How can you make my app competitive?
- What all features you can add to my app?
- Who will own the source code of the app?
- Will you also submit my app to the Play Store (or App Store)?
- How can you optimize the app for better performance?
These questions will help you filter the right person/company out of the crowd.
Conclusion – Learn To Code or Hire A Mobile Developer?
As you can see from the above illustration, developing a mobile app yourself by learning to code is not going to be an easy thing.
It will involve a lot of planning and even more doing. There is a good chance that you may leave the task halfway if it gets too hectic for you.
So, the option is recommended only when you have enough time to invest and have the passion to learn to code.
And if you are stuck with the coding part or any other thing during the app development process, feel free to hire the help of a professional app developer like SAG IPL.
On the other hand, outsourcing your app development project to an expert app developer is recommended in many cases.
It has many benefits, such as specialized knowledge, dedicated team, time-saving, availability, dedicated project manager, no need to hire a staff, less burden, fixed contract, peace of mind, advanced technology & tools, etc.
So, if you can afford it, hiring a mobile app developer or development company is the best option in any case.
Which option would you prefer for your app – hiring a developer or doing it yourself? Share your response in the comments.
Use the ideas and tips above to find the best app development company for your project.
SAG IPL is a well-known web & app development agency based in Jaipur, India. Through a team of 30+ dedicated mobile app developers and designers, we are able to take care of all your app development needs. Call us Now!
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