Mobile app development process (Steps)

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      The process of mobile app development can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By breaking down the steps into manageable pieces, you can ensure a successful project from start to finish.

      Mobile Strategy Development

      1. Define the goals and requirements: Before you can begin development, it’s essential to define what you want to achieve with your mobile app. This includes understanding your target audience, defining the features you want to include, and outlining your budget and timeline. What platform do you want to develop on iOS or Android? What colors? What are the key features? Make sure you know what you kind of want, if you have some sketches even better, this will make the designers job much easier and make the process quicker. Get a minimum viable product (MVP) shipped and then add more features later on, this can save money and test your app in the market to see if it works. Are you going to hire developers at home or abroad (saving money)? Will you hire freelancers? Will you hire your own developers? Do you want a cross platform app?
      2. Design the app’s user interface: Once you have a clear understanding of your goals and requirements, it’s time to design the app’s user interface. This involves creating wireframes and mockups to help you visualize how the app will look and function. Designers here will first get an understanding of what you want and then continue to design your app screens, they can even prototype the app so when you press a button it can go to the intended screen. It brings your app to life, to give you an idea of how it will look and function. Take a look at these terms you should be aware of for app development.
      3. Develop the app: With the design in place, it’s time to start developing the app. This includes writing the code and integrating the necessary functionality, such as APIs, push notifications, and in-app purchases. The developers will have your designs and get ready to work on your app. They will set sprints, time intervals for achieving goals and to complete a specific features – normally 2 week intervals but can be 1 week to 1 month. There will be a front-end developer using swift (modern, simpler, most popular) or objective-c (old, before swift) for your iOS app or XML/HTML for your android app. There will also be a backend developer building the backend logic and database tables to store user information like emails, usernames, passwords (encrypted) and more.
      4. Test and refine the app: As you develop the app, it’s crucial to test it thoroughly to ensure that it functions correctly and meets your requirements. This includes testing the app’s functionality, usability, and performance. You can do test the app and have a spreadsheet for all the bugs you find, share this sheet with your developers.
      5. Launch the app: Once you’ve completed development and testing, it’s time to launch the app. This involves submitting it to the app stores, marketing it to your target audience, and monitoring its performance.
      6. Maintain and update the app: Finally, once your app is live, it’s essential to continue maintaining and updating it. This includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and responding to user feedback.

      With the right approach, you can create an app that meets your goals, engages your audience, and drives business growth.


      Front-end Development

      Front-end development is the process of creating the UI and UX of a mobile app. The front-end development team uses programming languages such as Swift (iOS), XML/HTML (Android), HTML / CSS (websites), and JavaScript to develop the visual elements of the app. They also use front-end frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, and Ionic to speed up the development process.


      Back-end Development

      Back-end development is the process of creating the server-side logic and APIs that power the app. The back-end development team uses programming languages such as Java, Kotlin,  Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python and more to develop the back-end of the app. They also use back-end frameworks such as Node.js, Django, and Flask to streamline the development process.


      Front-end and back-end development go hand in hand in the mobile app development process as they are two sides of the same coin.

      Front-end development focuses on the visual elements and user experience of the app, while back-end development focuses on the logic and functionality of the app. These two components work together to create a cohesive and functional app.

      For example, a user may click a button on the front-end of the app to perform an action, but it is the back-end that handles the logic and processing of that action. The front-end is responsible for displaying the results of the action to the user, while the back-end is responsible for making sure the action is executed correctly.

      In order for an app to work seamlessly, the front-end and back-end must communicate effectively with each other. This is achieved through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which allow the front-end and back-end to send and receive data from each other.

      Both components are equally important and rely on each other to create a successful final product. If you don’t have a backend then when a user presses a button (interacts with your app) nothing will happen on the front end.


      Cross-platform Development

      Cross-platform development is the process of creating a mobile app that works on multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. This approach saves time and resources by allowing the development team to write one codebase that works on multiple platforms. Cross-platform development can be done using various frameworks such as React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin.

      With this option you may not be able to make full use of platform specific features, like Apples 3D touch feature. If you want to get the most out of iOS or Android devices for your app then it may be worth developing for each platform separately.

      1. Limited access to device-specific features: Cross-platform frameworks aim to provide a uniform user experience across different platforms. However, this may limit access to certain device-specific features that are unique to a particular platform. Developers may need to use platform-specific APIs or plugins to access these features, which can increase development time and effort.
      2. Performance issues: May experience performance issues due to the overhead of translating code across different platforms. This can result in slower loading times, reduced responsiveness, and increased battery consumption. Modern cross-platform frameworks such as Flutter and React Native have made significant strides in addressing these performance issues.
      3. Complicated debugging: Debugging can be more complex than debugging native apps. Since the codebase is shared across different platforms, developers may need to replicate errors on multiple devices and platforms to identify and fix issues.
      4. Learning curve: Learning a new cross-platform framework can take time, especially for developers who are used to working with native platforms. Developers may need to invest time and resources in training and upskilling to effectively use cross-platform frameworks.
      5. Customization limitations: May offer limited customization options compared to native platforms. This may limit the ability of developers to create unique and differentiated user experiences for each platform.


      Frameworks for Cross-platform Development

      1. React Native – A framework developed by Facebook that uses JavaScript to build cross-platform apps.
      2. Flutter – A framework developed by Google that uses the Dart programming language to build cross-platform apps.
      3. Xamarin – A framework developed by Microsoft that uses C# to build cross-platform apps.

      Understanding the mobile app development process is essential for clients and developers to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the target audience.

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