Building a Mobile App: Here’s Your Blueprint to Success

NEW bmaapp

Mobile Apps are a powerful new way of doing business, getting more users and enhancing the consumer experience. A number of businesses, across all sectors, have either developed mobile applications, or are in the process of doing so. Yet the business outcome of App development is not always up to expectations, and there are challenges related to adoption of the App by users, or retention of users.

To ensure that your App delivers real business value, we’ve put together the 5 most important steps that you should carefully consider and manage during your mobile App development.

1. Mobile App Strategy

Right at the start, you need to craft your App strategy. This requires you to see the business context in which this App fits in. The various aspects you should consider are:
• How does this mobile App fit in with the overall business strategy and plan?
• What exactly will it do?
• What user numbers do you estimate and what impact on your revenues?
• What are the associated application development costs?
• Will there be any specific marketing initiatives required for the mobile App, and if yes, what budget is required?

Careful consideration of each of these questions will help you define your a mobile App strategy that is aligned with your overall business plan.

2. Mobile App Design

Now that you have clarity on what the mobile App is supposed to achieve, and what it will do, your mobile application developers can start on the design of the App. Wireframes and product prototypes can be made using tools for mobile application design. Some of the popular tools are Sketch, Adobe Experience Design (XD), Axure RP, Marvel, Proto.io, Origami Studio, and there are many more.
With the help of these tools, you can create the framework of the mobile App design.

3. Selecting the Right Platform

You’ve now come to the stage when you need to decide whether you will develop for a particular platform – iOS or Android or Windows, or will the App be available on all platforms? If all platforms, then will you develop native apps for each platform? Or will you use hybrid app development and maintain only one App across all platforms?

You need to consider your users and which platform is most important for them, as well as your own technology strategy, to make this choice. The choice of platforms will also flow from the business strategy you have defined at the start.
Assuming that you want your mobile App to be available on all platforms, let’s look at the two ways to develop it – native and hybrid.
A native app is developed specifically for a particular operating system such as Objective-C or Swift for iOS or Java for Android app development.
A hybrid app on the other hand, is a website packaged into a native wrapper, built using HTML5 and JavaScript, wrapped in a native container which loads most of the information on the page. It is platform agnostic and can be used by users of different operating systems.
A native App usually delivers a better user experience, and also has better security and performance. Choosing to go with hybrid development, however, gives you the advantage of faster time-to-market and lower cost of development. It is also easier to push updates on a hybrid App.
You will need to balance out each of these pros and cons, and select the option that works for you.

4. Ensuring Security of the App

A sound QA process needs to be in place to ensure that the mobile App performs as expected and is fully secure. The QA process should include-

• Automated testing of apps for multiple devices across multiple platforms over diverse networks
• Cloud-based mobile Testing Lab to upload locations or the apps for testing
• Automated security tests to identify embedded spywares, viruses, Trojans, data privacy, data leakage, unsolicited network connections, etc.
• Lab to verify security issues such as insecure file system, insecure data transmission, unsafe data storage, privilege access violations, etc.
• Analyses of results.
• Assessment of automated code to secure mobile apps in agile environments. Inspection of all features of the apps in real-time in controlled environments
• Assessment of the apps using binary static analysis that expose malicious capabilities and vulnerabilities such as leakage of information.
• Industry and regulatory compliance
• Checking for new security threats

Plan for each of these steps to ensure the performance and security of your mobile App.

5. Integration of 3rd Party Features for Push Notifications

Push Notifications, for example, announcements about deals or discounts, are a way to enhance user engagement. While these may be sent based on the demographic of the user, the current trend is to send notifications that are more personalized. Data-driven marketing, algorithms and recommendation engines are now being used to analyze the user’s behaviour and send relevant notifications. iOS and Android both give you the technology platforms to integrate push notifications into your mobile App.

iOS

For iOS mobile Application development, there are two types of iOS app notifications you can use to communicate with your users: local and remote notifications. The User Notifications Framework allows you to add the necessary code added into your app and API configurations to support scheduling and sending notifications. Remote notifications are pushed by one of your own servers, by pushing data to the user’s device via the Apple Push Notification (APN) service. You will need to provide that server environment to both receive data from users’ devices and to send data back to the APN. Remote notifications are supported on iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS.
Android
For Android mobile Application development, Firebase Cloud Messaging is the newest version of Google Cloud Messaging, and it allows apps to push notifications to user devices.

Drawing on our experience with mobility application development, we believe that an App that’s developed through these 5 stages will work well for your users and help you achieve your business goals. These are insights gained by our mobile phone app developers in the course of custom mobile application development for businesses across sectors. Do you have any specific challenges related to web and mobile App development? Do reach out and we will be happy to help.