Before deciding to jump on the bandwagon, here are a few things you need to know before developing a mobile app:
No one really likes a budget but it’s necessary to the project planning so you don’t break your business’ bank. By knowing what you have to spend, you can prioritize features and functionalities, one or more platforms and how you are going to build the app(s).
Platform and Development
When you think about building a mobile app, you probably think of Android, iPhone, Windows or Blackberry. What you probably don’t think of are the ways you can develop an app until someone asks do you want to build a native or web app. Then you might give a huh. Well there are various ways to build apps and you need to determine which will be the best for your project and budget. An app for a single operating platform can cost anywhere from $1000 to $100,000. Obviously, native apps are the most costly.
Native apps, built on specific operating systems such as Android or iOS. These mobile applications are fast, reliable, and powerful but are tied to a specific mobile platform. That means you must build one for each platform. Nearly all games are native apps.
Hybrid apps, rely on development frameworks like PhoneGap. These mobile apps offer a very interesting compromise because they ensure cross-platform compatibility and can access the phone’s hardware (camera, GPS, user’s contacts).
Web app, which is a mobile web site tailored to a specific platform, like the LinkedIn web app which was designed for Android and iOS, but not for other smartphones or feature phones.
Now you need to define the business case for your app. Is it to generate sales, strengthen loyalty, provide entertainment, or increase brand exposure?
Guidelines & Approval
For some platform operators, you must receive approval before an app can be posted to their store, so know their guidelines prior to building your app.
Invest time in the design process. Remember, its what people interact with and see, so if they don’t like it they won’t use it.
Prior to submitting for approval or posting to an app store, test all the functionality to ensure everything is working properly because you don’t want your app to be rejected by the platform operator or users.
At this point, you have tested your app and received approval. Since there are over 400,000 Android apps and 500,000 iPhone apps, it is critical that you promote your mobile app on your website, in broadcast, digital and print media, on business cards and any other place that our audience will see that you have one.