There has been a dramatic rise in the application development market in past decade. Android and iOS app development are dominating the market and you will find millions of apps in these two prominent application stores. However, in meantime, you might have thought what are the basic concepts of developing an application for a smartphone? What are the different mobile app development phases?
Mobile app development life-cycle is a mirror image of conventional SDLC (Software Development Life-cycle) but from the prospect of smartphone devices. It involves five basic phases such as planning- designing- coding- testing and deployment.
When looking for developing a new mobile app, one should make a foolproof strategy to make the app development life-cycle proficient and develop a popular mobile app. From identifying unique app concept to its successful implementation, a mobile app development company requires comprehending the recent trends, tools and technology to market an app using winning strategy.
Developers have to really make application unique in function, in its design and in its use to grab the attention of as many consumers as possible. And to achieve this benchmark, you have to be adapted right from the beginning of development process. As it is imperative for an app to be spot-on first time, developers must follow step by step procedure of application development. So, in this article, we will discuss in more details about the mobile app development life-cycle.
1. Planning and Research
The first phase is the most important because it is during this phase that you lay down the necessary groundwork for what is to follow next. It is very important to do substantial research and brainstorming before moving on to the next phase. Application developers need to do the homework and have answers to questions like –
What are the main features of an application?
Who is the target audience?
Which platform should target first?
Is the app going to be free or paid?
Once mobile app development companies have the answers to all these questions then they clearly know how much time it will take for to develop an app. Another thing which is important in this phase is the analysis of the competition. A detailed study of competitor’s app help to know what features they are offering. It also figure out the features that are absent in their app so that developers can include it in your app, to make it stand out.
2. Design for Application
Before moving to coding, developers need to design the visual presentation of working of an app. UI/UX designers create the interaction architecture of design to provide a blueprint of how the application will look and work. For that purpose, UI/UX design team need to do a prototyping of an application. It involves drawing ideas in the form of sketches either on a whiteboard or paper. It serves as the first visual representation of the ideas that are gathered in planning and research phase. It also helps to reveal usability issues of an application.
Application designing is a multi-step process and the end results are visual directions which provides abstraction of the final product. It also informs how an interaction should feel, move and flow. Another thing which needs to do in this phase is to take the feedback of relevant people to get opinions of what they think about application idea. Discussing it with them will help to figure out the loopholes and allow to find a valid solution to tackle with them.
3. Application Development with Agile Technology
The agile methodology for mobile application development follows to provide an alternative to conventional project management methods like waterfall model. This approach allows solutions and requirements to progress through the combined effort of the development team.
Agile methodology helps mobile app development companies with flexible planning, progressive development, early deployment and constant improvements. This approach can be used in complex projects where the user requirements change regularly. A large application can be broken down into smaller modules and agile methodology can be applied to each of these small parts.
4. Application Testing
It is always a great pleasure to develop an application within a given period of time. But, wait a minute! It’s not over yet. It is very important to test an application before launching it in the application store. Application testing is vast and testing team need to cover all the necessary facets of it. The application should test for usability, compatibility, security, interface checks, stress, and performance. Different tools and frameworks are used to perform these types of testing.
UAT (User Acceptance Testing), also known as beta testing in which actual end users test the application for user experience. It helps to know whether the application works well in the real time environment or not. Based on feedback from end-users, developers then note down the different issues in application and try to resolve them as early as possible.
Once application successfully went through all testing standards, it’s time to deploy it in the application store. The policies of launching an application are different for the different application store. For instance, developers can launch applications in Google PlayStore for free while for Apple’s AppStore, $99 of the annual fee is required to activate iTunes account. Also, for Android applications, it takes around three hours to get an approval from Google to make app live. On the other hand, it will take 3-4 days to become iOS app live in AppStore.
However, deploying application does not mean the job is done. Mobile app development companies require regular updates like what are the reviews of application, a total number of downloads, suggestion from users, etc. Marketing and App Store Optimization (ASO) is equally important as development. It helps to create awareness about application withing targeted audience.
The applications make more success if app development process is followed precisely as each phase has its own importance. Application development process is endless because it does not stop after the launch. App development companies need to provide regular updates and modifications according to change in user requirements.