As smartphones become more and more ubiquitous, the use of apps have increased significantly as well. In 2013, Apple’s App Store passed fifty billion app downloads and Google’s Google Play (previously called the Android Market) surpassed that figure soon afterwards. In that same year, Apple App store users spent more than $10 billion on apps.

It is clear that the mobile software business is booming. It is an attractive market place for app developers. However, this means that it is also extremely competitive. There are over 1.3 million apps available in the Apple App Store and also in Google Play. That is a lot of competition.

Any app developer that hopes to make a splash in this pool will need more than just a clever app idea. They will need to have a solid understanding of the complete development life cycle of mobile software.

mobile app development

Research and conceptualization

  • Study and analyse the market. What works and what doesn’t work?
  • Learn about similar apps to your idea.
  • Figure out who your target customers might be.
  • Talk to potential customers to get their input and thoughts on your concept.
  • How will your app be paid for? It could be a paid app, or it could have in-app purchases, or in-app advertisements.

Planning

  • You’ll need to set concrete and realistic goals for the remainder of your development process.
  • Figure out what you will need to do to meet your deadlines and start budgeting for the cost.

Design

  • Start developing a wireframe of your app. This is where you can start to get a concrete feel of what the app will look like
  • Lay out all of the intended features
  • Pay close attention to the user interface to make sure that it will feel natural on the devices that the app will be used on. Tablets and smartphones pose different opportunities and constraints.
  • Keep in touch with potential customers to get their continued feedback and revise your plan as necessary.

Coding

Testing

  • Now you need to start putting your app through the paces. Test it out in as many situations and on as many devices as possible.
  • You are looking for any scenario where the app might break or stop functioning properly, so that you can revise the code as needed.
  • Don’t just run simulations. Load the app onto actual smartphones or tablets to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Launch

  • Submit your app to the appropriate app stores.
  • Marketing is also important to the launch. Your app store page should have enticing copy, images, and all the appropriate keywords.

Review and Update

  • Keep tabs on user reviews and feedback, especially after launch.
  • Even after your thorough testing, users may discover new bugs or scenarios where the app doesn’t perform.
  • Users may also suggest interesting or useful features that are not yet supported.
  • Take advantage of this feedback, and incorporate it into your next updates.
  • Plan to provide customer support. Without support and regular updates, apps can seem abandoned and may frustrate potential customers.

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