Native or Hybrid Mobile Application Development
From inspired ideas to uniquely custom crafted mobile applications. I can turn your idea into a functional working mobile solution. I build and supply native and web-based container mobile applications either as a standalone application or as a multi-connected application that interacts with online services and data-sources.
What is a mobile application development?
Mobile application development is the process of developing an app (application) for mobile phones or tablet-PC’s. The application is to serve a purpose, fulfil a function, or automate a process. Mobile apps assist each and everyone of us with our daily tasks, may that be a calendar, task manager, financial calculators, communication or even managing our banking in the palm of our hands.
It is changing our lives as we know it
Mobile applications make it possible for the world to connect, communicate, exchange ideas, perform investments and transactions in only mere minutes these days. Where it used to take hours or days in the past. The world is changing and becoming more effective at a daily task and smarter at managing our lives with the help of technology.
Mobile applications are available on demand, online and offline. It lets your customers interact with your product or service. It creates user engagement, brand awareness, and loyalty. Who does not want an app that can enhance their daily lifestyle to work smarter and have more free time?
Part of the project process included designing wireframes, UI/UX and presenting interactive mockups to clients. This is to make sure the app is developed to your exact requirements.
Interested in a Mobile Application?
If you have an existing app solution that you want to migrate to the cloud, website or mobile device or have a need to replace a tiresome manual operational task, for a while now, with an automated solution, Or if you just require a mobile application. Please get in contact with me and I will be happy to help and brainstorm, a solution with you. Contact Me
Types of Mobile Development
There are two types of mobile application development available in the market today. One is called native app development and the other one is web-based native container.
Native Mobile Application Development
Native mobile application development is where the applications have been natively developed for their environment. They functional natively in their respected operating system and makes use of the OS assets and features. For example, an iOS app that has been natively coded and compiled in XCode, using objective-c. Where an Android app has been natively coded and compiled in Android Studio using Java.
So why does this make a difference you may ask? You see, when an app is natively coded inside its own environment it will run quicker, but will be more stable and integrate better with the operating system features and visual elements. It also has better access to the hardware features of the mobile device. “The app will look and feel at home “in its natural habitat”.
With Native application development, you develop for each mobile operating system. Therefore , each operating system has a difference set of features and assets. So your app will look more unique and natively/natural.
Web-Based Native Container Development.
It a web-based app that looks and acts as a mobile application. Trust me you won’t notice the difference if it’s well designed, executed, and implemented.
Is it bad? Not at all. Is it slow? Not really. Again, it depends on how it was built and implemented. Yes natively coded apps are better, but they come with a price, because it requires a more technical involved and you need to cater for each environment. With web-based applications it is easier, because you make use of website based elements. Just note with web-app mobile development your mobile app would look the same for both Android and iOS. So you do not get that 100% native feel, but it does not prevent you from delivering a good UI/UX experience. If properly done, it can mimic a native app’s looks and functionality very closely. Web-based native container apps also has access to a phone’s hardware resources via the means of plugins or API’s.
File Storage, Database, External API Service & Management System
With mobile application development, you have quite a few options available in how your app can communicate with other external services and database storage solutions. There is also many existing managed platforms available that will look after the server maintenance, updates, user authentication, database and the security of the whole systems. All these ready available services allows me as a one-man-show to focus on the development and maintenance of the application only, without the need to worry about babysitting a server, worrying about the security, the user authentication and managing a database.
File Storage & Databases
Files & data can be stored on external services via API functions. It is also possible to store data and files on the device itself. To take it a step further, if you know that your users might have a bad internet reception, when working in the field, data can be stored locally on the device itself and replicated to a remote storage service once an internet connection is established.
External API & Services
Your mobile app can be coded to talk to external services via API calls and exchange data. A good example would be Google Maps.
Back-end Management System
If need to manage the user and the data then a back-end management application can be coded for you and can be connected to the mobile application(s) in real-time. So, for example, if you have reps in the field, then you will be able to manage their user profile, access restrictions and manage what data they are allowed to view or capture. All the data that they capture in the field will be sent to a central database that are connected to these mobile applications that you will be able to view and manage from your back-end management system.
If you require instant message communication features, these can be built/baked into the applications. This will be a great way to talk to employees, reps in the field or customers who is using your app and require help.
So what is possible with mobile applications?
Almost anything you can think of. A mobile application is just like an application that runs on a computer, just in the palm of your hand. Yes, that little mobile computer is just as fast as a notebook/laptop of two years ago. It just gets scaled down, so it does not melt in your hand, because it does not have the same cooling capacity of notebooks / laptops. Also, you are just limited by the screen dimensions, but even today’s age, you can connect your mobile phone to a monitor with a keyboard and mouse and perform the same tasks as on a normal computer. Mobile applications need to be planned, designed and developed differently, because you need to deliver a quick and efficient mobile experience on the go.
Most important aspect of a mobile application is to engage with your users and customers. Let use a bank as an example. With mobile bank app you can perform transactions, apply for loans, manage your accounts and financial portfolios. Purchase airtime or even purchase electricity. Just think how long all of these would have taken you if you need to go to these places by car or bus? It would have take almost a full day, but now you can do it in minutes or even less than an hour. The app itself creates a memorable experience for your users, because it’s not a website that gets forgotten, it’s a physical app on their device. That is why mobile apps are a potent resource to use for brand awareness. If customers know about you and keep remembering your brand or see your brand regularly, they will subconsciously remember you and keep on supporting your business.
There is so many uses-cases for any business to have a mobile app. I will be more than happy to help and brainstorm a solution with you, since I worked with such a diversity of different business over the years. Maybe you already have en excellent concept that can be transferred to a mobile app, you might just don’t know it yet.
If you already have an idea then lets have a chat and transform that idea into a functional mobile application that is ready to be used by the masses.
The Development Process
We can’t just create a mobile application out of thin air and expect it to be a hit or to be well accepted among the masses. It needs to be treated & managed like a business if it is a new concept. If it’s bounces of an existing physical business, then it is another story as you are giving your customers an extra tool to engage with your services or products. One that would be preferred over a website. For example, I use the Amazon app 90% more than I use the physical website since it is more convenient and it give me much faster accessibility to the platform, from the palm of my hand than to go via the website route.
With that been said, to even get to the final stage of an app, there is a process we need to follow.
First, we need to plan and draft what function the app will promote or the need the app will fulfil in your business or to your customers.
Some flow charts
Depending on the complexity of the app and how it interact with external services or data-sources we would need to draft a flow chart. A visual presentation of the flow of data and functionality of the app. This is to get a clear picture of how the app will function so that you exactly know what you are paying for and getting in the end of the day.
Wireframes, Mockups, UI/UX
Once we have all the details, Wireframe would need to be drafted to get a feeling for the layout and the user interaction. A layout and flow that will work for your users and customers. That will be easy to navigate and easy to understand. Then we go over to the mockup phase. Creating the look/style for your app. Create interactive mockups that can be tested and prototyped until a final version is reached.
All the above is then translated into code, converted into a physical application that can be installed on a mobile device.
Quality and Assurance testings
This is where every feature of the application is tested to make sure everything is working as it should and delivers the experience that you want your users or customers to have. Also any bugs, flaws in the UI/UX experience are corrected
If all is good, we launched the application on the Android and iOS store ready for the public to engage with.
Since software is never a done thing, maintenance and updates would need to be required over time. This will also depend if you want to add new features and functionality to your mobile app. New features and functionality introduced to your existing app is what drives users and customers to make use of your app, because this is what will make it popular over time. You need to keep engaging with your audience to keep that awareness going else someone else is going to come along with better features which is going to make their business or offerings more attractable. That is why it is important to manage it as a business or business component to keep your audience always interested to use your app, to in return use your services or purchase your products.New features and functionality can later be added as building blocks to the existing application. In other words, Small pieces of little programs that get added to an existing mobile application to grow over time.
So how much does a Mobile Application cost?
The cost of a mobile application will depend on what you require and what your needs are. There is no single one-price-fits-all as each application is built differently. Each mobile application has a unique set off requirements and different set of technology components it uses.
It takes time too developed, test and built 100% working mobile application. If the mobile application is build using web technologies then the cost would be more affordable for a smaller business. Just note that the app would look the same for both the Android and iOS platform with some performance hits vs a natively build app.
If you require a more advanced/complex mobile application that deeply interacts with the mobile’s hardware features and other services, then it needs to be built natively. This will however means the app needs to be compile for separate platforms. One for each operating system. The time to develop for natively almost double to triple. In the long run it is much wiser to invest in a native developed mobile application, because you are not limited by the container it needs to operate in, when it was developed using web-based technology.
Time / Price – Difficult without a documented project scope.
Basic web-based applications compiled for mobile platforms requires about 120 – 160 hours of investment. From medium sized apps, with a degree of more complexity, the time can go easily beyond 200 hours.
Native developed applications requires about an average off 350 – 480 hours of investment from start to finished. Note this is for both platforms at the same time. More complex native development could require as much as 18 months of development time.
So you see there is no 100% set time or price, it all is going to depend on what exactly is required to be built. You can read more about my process over here about Software Development Cost & Time Estimates.
It is very difficult for us, as developers, to just spit out an amount. I am not even going to go, into the “suck a figure out of your thumb” here. In the end of the day I need to delivery a working, guaranteed solution to you as the client. Just estimating a random number is a huge risk not only for me, but also for you as the client. I like to do my project “the right way”, from the start and delivery a quality solution.
There is a discovery phase I follow with clients to establish an accurate estimate.
Interested in a Mobile Application?
If you have an existing app solution that you want to migrate to the cloud, website or mobile device or have a need to replace a tiresome manual operational task, for a while now, with an automated solution, Or if you just require a mobile application. Please get in contact with me and I will be happy to assist and brainstorm, a solution with you. Contact Me