Mobile apps are being developed for a wide range of industries and businesses, both large and small. The popularity of mobile apps is due largely to the rapidly growing number of smartphone users. Smartphones have untethered users from their desks, and many routine operations are now performed on the go.
If you want your company to be noticed, you are wasting time waiting for potential clients to turn on their PCs and start placing orders in an old-fashioned way. Leading brands understand that staying close to customers in their pockets and handbags is the best way to satisfy users’ needs, provide the latest information, and make the buying process as quick and comfortable as possible.
A branded mobile app will bring you the following benefits:
- Create a comfortable shopping environment. Some apps can scan and memorize users’ habits and preferences to create individualized service patterns for each client. An app with advanced features, a responsive interface, and software that works flawlessly will prompt customers to eagerly place orders.
- Make your loyal clients feel special. Via your mobile app, you can entice account holders with discounts, premium products, free delivery, consultations with personal account managers, and other pleasant bonuses. Show your customers how much they mean to you by asking their opinions, inviting them to test new products and to participate in polls and branded events.
- Collect consumer data for use in your marketing campaigns. Once new users download your application from an app store or create an account, you will get valuable information about them. This info can be extremely helpful for analyzing the needs and preferences of your target audience and sending customized offers.
- Boost brand recognition. Accessories are key to a defined style. A mobile app is a kind of accessory that shapes the style of your brand. Just like the Michael Jackson’s shining glove or the hats of Elizabeth II, a cool and unique mobile platform will help you stand out from the crowd.
Before setting out to develop a great Android- or iOS-based mobile application, it is crucial to know about the many potential challenges and ways to overcome them. This article provides helpful tips on successful app creation.
Here are the key points:
- Create a unique and stylish concept for your app.
- Decide whether you want to focus on a single mobile platform or work with both iOS and Android.
- Assess the challenges and opportunities of mobile app development.
- Run some processes in the cloud to reduce the load on users’ devices.
- Participate in developer programs to access advanced resources and popular distribution channels.
If you have never created your own branded app, the idea may seem a bit intimidating. You must consider dozens of nuances, take into account the peculiarities and limitations of various devices, and make sure your program will be correctly displayed on their screens. But in general, it is totally possible to overcome all the barriers and create a brilliant mobile application.
Create the concept of your app
Begin by brainstorming the image of your mobile app. It should be unique and stylish. An impressive appearance is just as important as correct technical implementation. Even if developers create top-notch functionality, a dull and primitive design will keep your app from standing out from countless others, making it unlikely to attract the attention of your target audience. So turn on your imagination and come up with outstanding elements for your branded mobile platform.
The following may be sketched at this stage:
- App icon;
- Color scheme;
- Launch screen;
- App store representation.
Decide on the most suitable platform
Just as the construction of a building starts with the foundation, app development starts with choosing the most suitable platform. Most modern programmers think that it is better to create Android app due to high popularity of the platform. In general, Android programming is less demanding, while it is rather challenging to understand how to make an iOS app of high quality. In addition, if you are a PC user, you do not have to spend extra money purchasing a Mac.
But don’t make your decision based on simplicity alone. Assess your target audience and decide which OS suits them best. Despite the advantages of Android, if most of your clients are iPhone owners, it makes sense to build iOS app. In some cases, it may be necessary to develop both Android and iOS versions. This is a great way to cover a wide target audience.
If you already have a website, you can view Google Analytics reports to check which operating systems your users prefer. Just log in to your Google Analytics account, select the correct account in “All Accounts” and find the block “Reports” on the left.
Scroll the page and choose “Mobile” → “Devices”.
In the table, tick “Operating Systems”. Compare percentages for different OSs and decide which is most suitable for you.
If you need to change the time period, use the fields on the right corner of the page.
Parallel app development: native vs hybrid
There are two main ways to develop mobile apps for various platforms: native and hybrid.
Native development requires the use of APIs and programming languages specific to a particular OS, meaning you will be developing two different projects, one for Android and one for iOS. With this approach you will have to do double the work, but you will get double benefits for your efforts. Native applications are highly efficient in their niches, which is why they are often preferred by large companies that require stable traffic.
If you are planning to develop two versions of a mobile app, it is best to start with Android. You will make fewer mistakes and meet fewer obstacles on your creative journey, and it will be easier to show your project to the world. After a successful release, the code of an Android-based app can be rewritten into the iOS app code. You will also have to create a new user interface for iOS.
This strategy will save you a lot of time and financial resources because you will not have to develop a new back end from scratch. Just copy the elements that function identically, and add new code where it is unavoidable. Also, your back end can be managed on a cloud server.
Mobile platforms require lightness
Keep in mind that even the latest smartphones have weaker functionality, memory, and power than PCs. Programmers creating large complex apps may be disappointed by the slow operation of their products on mobile platforms. Even if you have brilliant ideas for large-scale projects, they may be impractical for cellular phones. So, at least for the time being, you have to accept the fact that smartphones will not do more than they can do.
To make your app mobile-friendly, look for ways to make your mobile app less resource-intensive, preserve only the most important functions, and get rid of everything that can potentially overload users’ devices. Remember that your interface should be tailored for touch. Smartphone users want to find interesting information and perform basic operations with just a few taps.
Run complex processes in the cloud
If standard mobile platforms are not powerful enough for the complex processes you want to run in your app, place them in the cloud. There is a large variety of off-site services and databases available, offering a great opportunity to implement additional functions without slowing down the app’s performance or overloading users’ devices.
Participate in a developer program
It is considered an honor to be a part of the community programming apps for Android or iOS, since only the best companies are admitted to this private club. You have to meet strict requirements to distribute your product in Google Play or the Apple App Store.
It is best to begin with Google Play, because the requirements are less rigid. Create your developer account based on your regular Google account. Your app can be submitted for consideration after paying the $25 fee. If there are no glaring violations, your product is very likely to be accepted without excessive scrutiny.
As a rule, Apple is much pickier and more demanding, so you will have to work hard to curry their favor. Participants in Apple’s developer program pay the $99 fee on an annual basis and are expected to provide apps of the highest quality. But your efforts will pay off. You will find out about the latest projects of this tech giant and get beta versions much earlier than other iPhone fans. In addition, collaboration with Apple will improve your reputation in the developer community.
Keep in mind that it is important to leverage suitable distribution channels that correspond with customer use cases and do not violate the guidelines of the preferred app store.
- Apple allows members of its developer community to promote B2B/B2E applications via Apple Private Distribution (APD), while B2C applications can be promoted in its public app store.
- Google Play allows app developers to promote B2C/B2B/B2E mobile software through various channels, depending on the particulars of each individual digital product.
Also, be sure to place links to your app on different websites for easy downloading.
We hope this article has proven useful for helping you create outstanding products that get great results!