Designing custom mobile applications (apps) for your business has become the hot, new trend. And because of the availability of several, easy-to-use app building tools, building your own customized mobile app has never been easier. In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about building a customized mobile app. So, here goes…
There are three basic types of mobile apps. These are:
1) Native Apps: These live on the device and can be accessed through icons on the device home screen. You can install native apps through an application store, such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. These apps are developed specifically for one platform and can take advantage of all the device features, such as the camera, the GPS, and so on. These apps can use the device’s notification system and can also work offline.
2) Mobile Web Apps: These are not really apps, but are websites that look and feel like native apps. They run in a browser and are written in HTML5. You can access these apps the way you would access any web page. You can navigate to a special URL and then can “install” them on the home screen by creating a bookmark to that page.
3) Hybrid Apps: These are part native apps and part web apps. Due to this they are sometimes incorrectly called “web apps”. They live in an app store, just like native apps. However, like web apps, they rely on HTML being rendered in a browser. However, the browser is embedded within the app.
Broadly speaking, you can build either an Android, iOS or Windows mobile app. In order to build a mobile app, you need to follow this process in this order:
1) Understand your target market
2) Understand the list of tasks a user might want to get done using your app
3) Use early wireframes that are hand-drawn or otherwise
4) Set aside money for the project
5) Commit adequate time for the project
There are several excellent platforms that you can use for building mobile apps. These include Appery.io, Mobile Roadie, The AppBuilder, Good Barber, Appy Pie, AppMachine, GameSalad, BiznessApps, AppMakr, and ShoutEm.
However, simply because free tools for building a mobile app have proliferated, don’t assume that you can always build a customized mobile app for free. Serious mobile apps require a strong conceptual foundation, good planning, an excellent ecosystem, and top-notch talent in both the design and engineering phases.
Even if you are one of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) brigade, there may still be serious costs associated with building a custom mobile app. For example, a Kinsey report based on a survey of CIO and Mobile Leaders found that mobile application development is “costly, slow and frustrating”.
According to this survey conducted in November 2014, 56% of mobile leaders say it takes from 7 months to more than one year to build one app. Also, 18% say that they spend from US $500,000 to over US $1,000,000 per app, with an average of US $270,000 per app.
So, with serious amounts of both time and money having to be dedicated to building a custom mobile app, you need to either develop such an app in-house, or then, outsource it to the right vendor. Do your research and choose the right partner who will help you design your custom app tailored to your needs, schedule and costs. Here’s to building the right custom mobile app!