The demand for mobile apps has never been higher as enterprises are adopting mobile technologies at an extraordinary rate. In addition, many startups are built around an app as their key product and only source of income. So developing the right, functional application users can connect with is a must.
But developing such an app can be tough going. Organizations, startups, and mobile development teams strive to keep themselves informed of the latest tech trends to keep their app relevant. A few years ago, deadlines for updating apps were 1-3 months but are now 1-to-2 weeks tops. If you don’t react quick, your app could turn dysfunctional.
Based on my experience as a developer, when you’re planning on developing an app, your focus should be on what not to do. In order to find out more about main challenges developers are facing, we talked to developers from Cometdocs, who have successfully launched and maintained 30 successful apps, including PDF Converter Ultimate.
Below are the main difficulties they said developers should prepare as part of their plan.
1. Building the Right Team
This one is a no-brainer. It’s crucial you hire the right team that can meet and execute your requirements. Competencies among developers can be quite different so you should know exactly what you need, what you expect from them, and how they will make your vision a reality. Your team should consist of developers who understand the mobile space as well as the vision of the business.
Finding such a team is not an easy task and you need to be picky. For one, they don’t recommend outsourcing complete app development to an external developer, especially if they’re a startup. While outsourcing reduces costs, there are more benefits to developing your app in-house. They usually include:
- Better app performance and speed
- Improved UX balance and UI uniqueness
- Better integration of new features, faster correction of mistakes and app updates.
2. Funding the App
Generally speaking, startups are faced with this problem. After having a great idea, the next step is funding its realization. This is where most developers get stuck. Depending on the nature of the app, the cost of developing may vary anywhere from $2,000- $200,000. And the big question is how and where can you get that kind of money.
Before meeting the right investors, there are many ways you can get your idea funded. You can apply for loans, ask your family and friends for help or look for joint venture companies that invest in such apps. Furthermore, there are plenty of online crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter that can help you get funds.
3. Device Compatibility
Every year, flagship smartphones tend to break boundaries of screen sizes and shapes, like this year’s iPhone X. The big challenge on the part of app developers is creating an app that will run across as many devices as possible of different screen sizes and shapes.
This means paying attention to numerous limitations beyond just sizes. It means developing for pixel intensities, OS requirements, embedded technologies and much more. Both iOS and Android have different requirements that will, every now and then, cause you bug fixing issues. In order to deal with this, you should focus on responsive designing, where your app will be able to adjust itself to different formats and various screen sizes. It is also worth mentioning developers can’t use the newest features SDK’s are offering on all devices, only on supported ones.
Last but not least, having a market testing phase and beta versions of the app is needed. This way you’ll have external opinions from potential users and nontechnical people that can help improve your app even more.
4. Battery Life vs. Performance
Apart from focusing on design, interaction, and the usual aesthetics of the app, mobile app developers should also focus on performance and battery consumption. In essence, this means finding the sweet spot between performance and battery consumption in which way the app will run without any bugs or crashes and will consume as little battery power as possible.
It is the recommendation from the developers that performance should be dealt later in the design stages since it is considered to be a development feature and the app design can greatly affect it, especially on older devices which still in usage. Too many visual effects and images could disrupt performance on those devices. The only solution is beta testing the app many times.
5. Promoting and Marketing the App
You’ve probably heard that developers don’t care about marketing their apps. Well, that would be completely wrong. There are various challenges they are faced with during this process like harsh competition or lack of knowledge in this field. It is a popular belief that successful app is about 90% marketing and 10% development so if you are not familiar with marketing, our advice is to hire an experienced professional who will deal with that on your behalf.
Another option to juice up your promotional game is to use well-known tools and platforms like AppTamin, AppScend, Tune, and Smore which will help you simplify the process. Either way you choose, it is important not to leave marketing neglected.
Developing pleasing, functional and useful apps comes with a never-ending line of challenges. All of the mentioned problems are only the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good starting point. The best way to surpass challenges is to stay informed about them and constantly track all the changes that are happening around you. The comforting thing should be that even the biggest companies are facing these problems. It’s the way you react to them that is the key to a successful app.
Luckily, having your own working knowledge of creating apps is a huge benefit to each of these challenges. If you want to learn yourself, check out more about App Academy’s bootcamp programs and course offerings.