The summary of mobile app development in 2019
According to a study by Statista, mobile users are able to choose between >5.4 million apps in 4 leading app stores as of 3rd quarter 2019, making demand on mobile app development services in 2020 grow even stronger and faster. The challenge for many companies today is to incorporate new features into current apps. Uber Eats is a prime example that has been successfully building upon an existing brand rather than developing an entirely different app has clear benefits.
What is affecting the mobile app development landscape in 2019?
The boom in smartwatches and other wearables is a relatively new phenomenon, but as the number of connected devices grows, so do consumer expectations over both their capabilities and performance.
There is such a little point in wearing a smartwatch if it is unresponsive and your phone can do the same job in a shorter time-frame. As a result, there is a growing demand for responsive mobile app development services across an increasing number of devices and sectors.
Alexa and Siri, the rival virtual assistants, are creeping into people’s lives through a range of mediums, as their popularity grows we are also seeing chatbot becoming more prevalent, not only within mobile apps but also as stand-alone apps assuming the role of a customer service agent.
Chatbots are easily integrated into mobile app development solutions and are a relatively low-cost way to make an app more interactive. When compared to the cost of building and integrating a custom IM app, chatbots are a cheaper alternative that offers similar levels of engagement.
Today, most consumers have knowledge of what cloud technology is, with most businesses employing it in some form or other as a lightweight method for storing and sharing data. It is these same properties that have had a significant effect on mobile application development, as the technology allows apps to take up a lot less storage space.
The Android App Bundle is an excellent example of how cloud technology is changing the capabilities of mobile app development in 2019. The bundle’s dynamic delivery system allows users to choose which features they need to download, eliminating code that is unnecessary for their Android device.
The future of mobile app development in 2020
Innovation is continuing to drive mobile app development further and faster than ever before; let’s take a look at what we can expect to see over the next few years!
Internet of Things (IoTs)
IoTs describes all the various devices that are internet connected and can interact with each other. This technology is part of an ecosystem that is only going to grow in number and variety.
Devices will need to ‘speak’ to each other through lightweight cloud technology that will enable them to share data quickly and effectively, those that do not communicate well with others will soon become obsolete. IoT app solutions will solve a diverse range of business needs, especially in improved customer service and automation; this will all be driven by mobile app development.
A new type of development that promises lower costs and fewer bugs is growing in popularity. Low-code development uses a graphical interface editor and a language configuration tool, rather than traditional programming methods.
This drag and drop approach to development makes it accessible to people from non-tech backgrounds, while it also increases the need for app developers to be highly competent with data science and cloud technology, which is the foundation of these cloud-based solutions.
Decentralised mobile apps or the DApps are open-source apps without ownership, downtime or a shut-off button. They have a built-in cryptocurrency incentive and a coin generating function that fuels the app and allows it to express value in a way traditional apps do not.
Currently, the user experience with these types of applications is not always as frictionless as it should be, due to the relative infancy of blockchain technology and its adoption by the general public. As adoption increases and understanding of the technology develops, expect a new generation of DApps with more of a focus placed on design and user experience.
What to focus on mobile app development in 2020?
In order to be successful, decisions need taking regarding the choice of programming language and platform, as well as which framework to use during the development process.
Native vs hybrid app development?
Native apps incur more costs and require a longer development process, but typically result in more responsive applications that use machine code to deliver a high-performance end product. IOS apps built using Swift or their Android counterparts built using Java, are native to their platforms and available through their app stores.
Python – 1st choice for mobile app development
Python is a high-level programming language that is used for a wide array of purposes across desktop, website and mobile applications. It is all-pervasive across the internet, perhaps most notably used in little-known video hosting channel, YouTube.
One of Python’s biggest draws is its readability that allows developers to read and translate code relatively easily, this has a knock-on effect of reduced maintenance and overall development costs.
The life cycle of mobile application development
Today, the market is so crowded that a carefully considered approach to the development process and each of its various stages is the only way to build a successful application.
It is important to determine exactly what problem the app is going to solve and establish early on what the project’s goals are going to be. What tangible benefits will it deliver to the user? How many similar applications are there and what sets this one apart?
It is also important to carry out extensive market research to ensure that there is a demand for the product and who exactly those potential customers are. Questions need to be clearly answered over which platform is being targeted, what the budget is and crucially how revenue will be generated.
A storyboard puts the idea for an app onto paper, often via a simple sketch. It shows the layout of the application and how the user journey will unfold. Showing how the App should look and operate is not only useful for informing the developers, but is also a great way to succinctly showcase your vision to potential investors.
It is at the stage that it will become clear if your vision can become a reality, meaning that some features may be deemed unfeasibly due to budgetary or technical limitations identified by the developers. The final plan will be made before development starts, turning the storyboard into a blueprint for the framework of the app, known as wireframing.
Defining the back-end
Apps need data storage capabilities and the ability to integrate different services such as email or other push notifications, this is facilitated by the back-end architecture. The web server, app server and database form the core of the app and will play a key role in saving crucial user data. If these components are not of the highest standard, quality will suffer and users will move on to the next app.
Cloud computing plays a key role in the back-end of apps today, providing scalable, distributed architecture that will allow the app and its user base to grow smoothly. Security is of the utmost importance here, with SSL certificates and API authentication requiring particular attention.
After carrying out the necessary research and technical consultations with the developers, it is time to build a prototype. An app with the basic functionality of your idea is developed, allowing you to ‘play around’ with the features looking for any tweaks that may be needed.
A prototype is also a very useful visual tool for showing potential investors or stakeholders how the application will work rather than just giving them an outline of the idea. There are several software tools available that can be used quickly and easily create a prototype mirroring the app’s expected look and functionality.
Developing the app
Mobile app development is becoming more accessible to people from non-tech backgrounds due to an array of drag and drop app builders that are easy to use. However, if the idea is complex it may be best to employ professional developers to bring it to life.
Choosing a reputable mobile app development company can provide access to not only high-level programming skills but full turn-key mobile app development services, bringing vital design, marketing and branding expertise to the table throughout the entire lifecycle of the app. They will handle testing, ensure the UX design is consistent, debug, iterate and test again and again.
It is estimated that less than 0.01% of apps are commercially successful and there certainly seems to be a lot more ways to fail than succeed in the development journey. Every aspect of the development process needs to be approached carefully and the launch is no different. A schedule of release is needed and a plan for how to use the press and other marketing avenues.
A deployment manager will take the responsibility for going and staying live, but this is only the beginning. Now, crucial user data can be collected and analysed, enabling updates and improvements to be made over time.
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