Developing a mobile application typically involves the following steps:
- Define how complex is the app you want to develop.
- Calculate the time that developing may take.
- Select the right technologies (programming languages, infrastructure) to develop your app.
- Start building your app, finding the right human resources you need.
Mobile applications are known as an efficient and rentable way to impact the market and automate processes in your company (like sales, logistics, customer attention and production). 70% percent of CIOs are looking to digitize their company through a mobile app according to McKinsey Survey, and 85% of fortune 500 companies have at least an app in the App Store.
Despite it´s trending having a mobile app, trying to build your app may be a bad experience if you don’t have clarity on which resources and which steps you should follow to develop with success. For that reason I’m going to show you the process that experienced development software companies are using to develop an app, time every process takes, and technologies used. Also, at the end of this post I’ll give you a method to define the budget of your mobile app.
The first step is to define the complexity level of your app idea, because the number of functionalities and the complexity of them, are directly related to the time and human resources that your mobile app needs. To define how complex is it, you can compare it with some apps that you already know, like your contacts app, calendar app, and Facebook App.
Complexity levels :
- A Simple mobile app can manage different kind of data, like photos, videos, text, etc, but just have from 2 to 5 different screens (or menus), and the way in which your info is handled is simple, you can create, edit, share and organize, but you can’t connect with other apps in real-time (An example of this kind of apps is Contacts app, it’s is basically for storing and managing your contacts). This kind of app is frequently used as an MVP by companies who want to test their ideas before launching them into the market.
- An Average mobile app will give you more possibilities, send notifications, automate information handling, allow you to login, etc. They usually have between 4 and 12 different screens (or menus) (An example of this kind of apps are your Calendar app, your camera app and your gallery app).
- A complex mobile app is another level, it is a full and respectable software project that allows you to incorporate many functionalities as your app requires. If your app requires more than 10 different features, it is definitely a complex application. These kind of app has between 13 and 50 different screens (or menus) and is equal to any Social Media app. As logic, this kind of app requires more budget than apps mentioned before.
Advice: If you’re thinking in budget optimization, I recommend including in your development only core features under your business works. You can consult with one of our specialists which is the best option for your project.
How much time does it take?
According to our main projects, the time to develop a simple and average mobile app is between 3 and 5 months. In this period we work on planning, design, coding, and testing, to ensure the mobile application works as expected. If you think your project is about a complex mobile app, the development time may be between 8 months and 1.5 years, you can know the estimated time requesting a free budget consultant.
Technologies that you need:
The technologies or languages to use may be confusing, but stay calm, there you have a list of the scalable languages used for almost any kind of app that you have thought of.
- Swift (A programming language for iOS and Android)
- Kotlin (You can make fast and awesome apps for Android devices)
- Java (an old player, you can use it to build Android apps)
- Flutter (Flutter is our favorite language, in which we have developed many apps that run in Android and iOS, with the same code)
Now you know about the programming languages you may use for your app development, it is probably you’re thinking the next step is just look for someone who knows how to code in Flutter or in some of these languages and start programming. Okay… this kind of projects are not used to be done this way, because to get a successful mobile application, other details matter, like the User Experience, Design, Development cycle, architecture design and scalability.
So, how can I do to start building my app and which human resources are necessary?
The first option is to build your own development team, the exact amount of people you may need is a fact you are going to discover by the time. There are profiles involved on most of the apps we do:
- Project Managers
- Backend Developers
- Mobile Developers
- Software testing specialists
In this industry, due to the high demand of human resources, finding qualified staff could be a difficult task. People normally take advantage of platforms like LinkedIn, freelancer.com and Upwork for doing this job.
However if you decide to take the path of hiring staff directly for your company, keep in mind having a plan B for unexpected situations like one of your members leaving your team. Depending on the role of your member, this could be a painful situation.This could sound exacerbated, but in the tech industry this is an everyday situation. That’s true, hiring staff directly on your own is cheaper, but it has its pitfalls, that’s why in this situation hiring a company for developing a project is advantageous.
Second option is a new trend that many companies are taking. It’s about hiring a near-shore in-house development team that takes care of all the little details along the process of developing your app from scratch. This may be the fast and most convenient way. Some things that you have to take care of at the moment of selecting an in-house development company are:
- They has a validated experience (verifies that they have good reviews in certificated platforms like Clutch, and has already current apps launched in the app store or play store)
- Geographic location (dealing with other countries and cultures it’s a good practice, but take care the company you’re hiring, has offices in the time zone you’re located)
- I recommend hiring with companies that doesn’t require the entire payment in advance for developing your app. My advice is pay once the job or stage is done.
Here I drop you a method so that you can calculate the value of the development of your mobile application.