Everything You Need to Know About App Development
11 Nov 2018
Before embarking on a journey, it’s essential to know where you are going and how to get to the destination. Equally, it is important is to know the best path to take. The same concept applies when you embark on an App Development project. Your destination, in this case, is your objective. What do you want to achieve by creating the app? Having a clear roadmap on how to create your app is equally crucial if you are to come up with an app that meets your goals and expectations. It is thus essential to be equipped with information before venturing into an App development project. Furthermore, if you are considering outsourcing the project, you need to find a firm that will equip you with the right information on App Development before commencing your project and to guide you in making informed decisions and on every step of the way.
What is App Development?
App Development refers to the process of designing and creating applications to run on mobile gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and smart-watches. We all love mobile devices, and the ever-increasing number of mobile users is a testament of our love for the gadget. Applications are an integral part of all mobile devices and currently they are not only developed for primary roles in the gadgets but also secondary roles such as entertainment and businesses customer support.
Apps have proven helpful and essential to many businesses and their market demand has been on the rise. They not only improve efficiency in the delivery of services, but also brings significant improvement to different aspects of a business such as connection with its product consumers, and enhancement of employee’s productivity. However, before you flag off your app development project, you need to know the A-Z about app development:
Types of Applications
Basically, there are three types of mobile apps; native, web and hybrids apps.
Native apps are mobile applications developed for a platform such as the Blackberry apps that cannot run on any other OS other than Blackberry OS. A native application helps your business optimize user experience. It has high performance, vast functionalities, and is quick and intuitive due to its specific design. Native Apps can be in different languages but meant for specific OS such as:
~ Android on Java
~ iOS on Object C or Swift
~ Windows Phone on Net
~ Blackberry on Blackberry JDE or Blackberry Widget SDK
~ Other mobile OS platforms such as Symbian, Bada, Palm OS, Palm WebOS, Maemo OS, and MeeGo OS among others.
Web apps, on the other hand, are web applications for businesses that do not need entire downloadable applications. These applications are written in HTML5 and are more like websites running within a devices’ web-browser. They largely rely on the device connected to the internet and browsers capabilities.
Native apps or Web-based apps?
Native app or web-based app, which is better? Well, your need probably dictates your choice but a comparison of the two would be a great starting point to help you make an informed decision.
Comparison of Web-based Apps and Native Apps (Source: HowtoTech)
Native apps are infamous for their ability to utilize the device features giving a better user experience. However, on the downside, one must create the same app multiple times to cater for the different platforms and devices. Native apps are a choice of many businesses seeking to capitalize on the device’s features or those whose target market is dominated by a specific device.
By now you may have an idea of which of the two may work for you, but before you make up your mind, there is the other option for you to choose from i.e. Hybrid apps.
Hybrid applications are a composite of native and web applications which leverage multi-platform web technologies. Their multi-platform development reduces costs as the apps run on different platforms making them popular among businesses. They support both app-based and web-based content thus suitable for companies that require a native wrapper for their current websites.
Mobile app development platforms
By now you have seen how apps relate to the different types of mobile OSs and even how they may influence your choice of the app. But on what are the apps developed? Apps are built on mobile app development platforms. Apps platforms are very crucial in the app development process whether developing the front-end, back-end or security add-on layers. There are numerous mobile app development platforms that include:
Front-end app development platform:
- iOS SDK platform - developed by Apple uses Objective-C or Swift programming languages. It’s primarily for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps.
- iOS SDK that uses the Object Pascal programming language for Apple products’ Apps.
- Android app development platform- uses Java programming language but portions of code can be in C, C++ or Kotlin and only deploys on Android only.
- Basic 4android platform that uses visual basic similar syntax deploying only on Android.
- App Inventor for Android - another Android OS App development platform.
- Blackberry platform – that uses the Java programming language.
- Others - there are numerous other front-end app Development Platforms including GeneXus for Mobile and Smart Devices, Mobile Together, Accelerator, Appcelerator, Corona SDK, Codename One, DragonRAD, Java ME, Intel XDK, Lazarus, LiveCode, LambdaNative, Meme IDE, Marmalade, Mendix, Macromedia Flash Lite, NetBeans, Mo Sync, Protogrid, Mono For Android, Monaca, Mono Touch, OpenPlug, Rhomobile, OutSystems, Qt SDK, PhoneGap, RubyMotion, Unity, Verivo AppStudio, Telerik Platform & AppBuilder, Stencyl, Smartface, Sencha Touch, Xojo, Xamarin, ViziApps, and V-Play Engine.
Platforms for Back-end Apps Development:
These are platforms used to develop features invisible to users such as the database and app management features. They include platforms such as:
- Altova Mobile Together Server – a browser-based interface for multi-OSs deployment on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Verivo Akula platform – is a Java programming language-based platform deployable on Android, iOS(iPhone & iPad) & Windows Phone 7.
Platforms for both Front-end and Back-end Apps Development
These are platforms that can be used for both front-end and back-end app development and include:
Usually, your App Developer will guide you on the web development platform to use in line with your objective.
App Development Process
App Development is a gradual process that must be approached systemically and tactfully to come up with an app that meets your objectives and expectations. The process entails idea conception, designing the app, developing the prototype, testing the prototype, rectifying the app, launching the app to the public, monitoring and evaluating the app performance and upgrading the app in line with the new needs and consumer feedback.