Mobile App Development

Find out the difference between iOS and Android apps and how apps can improve your business.

In order to succeed as a business, you need a reliable app. In 2021, it is difficult for a business to operate without an app. Previously, apps were recommended because it was a great way to reach new customers and gave you an edge over businesses without an app. After 2020, it practically became a necessity for businesses to develop an app. This was largely due to Covid-19, which greatly redefined how businesses operate. Apps provided customers a way to access a business from the safety of their home. For many businesses, the only way to interact with customers was through the app.

Another reason so many businesses are using apps is due to the development process. Thanks to technological advancements, there are many more features available through apps. In some cases, you may be able to develop your own app in house. For more complex apps, you must hire an app developer.

Benefits of Developing an App for your Business

There are numerous benefits to using an app for your business. For many companies, the biggest advantage of developing an app is the ability to directly communicate with customers. From a customer standpoint, using an app is much more convenient than going out to a physical store or office. An app allows the customer to search for exactly what items or services they need without navigating through a store. Additionally, it is much easier for your business to advertise new items and services to the customer through an app.

Another way businesses are able to reach customers through an app is offering special promotions. Many companies offer a small discount when you first sign up with the app. Other companies offer small bonuses to customers who get additional users to download the app.

Customers using your app also provides you with valuable information. Thanks to information tracked through the app, you get a much better idea of what items and services are most popular, where your shoppers live and other common demographics to help marketing. In the past, companies paid thousands of dollars to conduct surveys and studies to get this information.

Apps are also an excellent way to develop customer loyalty. In addition to running reward programs on the app, it is naturally easier for customers to repeat service if it involves using an app. Customers are comforted by ordering goods and services through an app, since they can book appointments or purchase items no matter where they are. It also helps with brand awareness, since customers constantly see your app whenever they glance down at their phone, even if they are not actively using it.

Android vs. iOS App Development

As of writing, the two biggest platforms for app development are Android and iOS, which is used in Apple products. Both of these platforms use a different programming language. There are different advantages and disadvantages associated with each platform. In terms of learning the programming language, experts agree learning iOS is easier to learn.

Android based apps use Java, which requires much more coding. Learning how to create your own Android app is much harder without a coding background. Some Android apps are made with Kotlin coding instead. Kotlin was designed to speed up Java based coding, but the two coding languages are not compatible with one another, and Kotlin is even harder to learn without extensive training.

While developing apps may be easier for iOS, this does not always mean it is the correct choice for your business. On the market, Android apps have several advantages. Apps sold on the Android marketplace are considered open system, which means there are less restrictions on features. For a simple app, this does not matter, but if you have a complex app, it is easier to publish on the Android marketplace. Apps sold on the Android marketplace are also compatible with a larger number of devices, while iOS apps are limited to iPhones and other Apple products.

While Android apps are available on more products, this makes development harder. iOS apps are designed with specific products in mind, while Android apps must be built to adjust for different screen sizes, aspect ratios and resolutions. Android products are typically updated more, which can potentially cause compatibility issues with your app. As a result, upkeep is more expensive.

iOS apps are easier to test, since it is used on a smaller number of devices. However, the device limitation also applies to programing. There are many more programs and devices available for programing Android apps, while iOS apps must be created through Xcode IDE, which is only available on Macs.

Budgeting for App Development

The costs of developing an app greatly vary depending on the complexity of the app. Apps normally have three different classifications, simple, basic and complex. Simple apps offer the fewest services and are most commonly used by businesses with a small inventory. These apps are limited to purchasing items and basic customer support. Basic apps offer a few more features, such as rewards and loyalty programs and greater scheduling options. Complex apps offer the widest range of options, including live customer support and managing an account. If your app involves customers uploading data or accessing streaming features, it is considered complex.

Developing a simple app is fairly inexpensive, costing around $5,000 to $15,000. This process normally takes a few weeks to complete. Basic apps take on average between two and three months, but cost much more, on average between $30,000 and $80,000. Complex apps often take six months to a year to complete and cost around $100,000 to $150,000.

Skills to Develop an App

Even building a simple app requires a significant amount of training. The key to building any sort of app is understanding how to code. Coding allows the app to function, but there are other important skills involved in app development. You must have basic design experience to create an easy-to-understand user interface. This applies to customers, as well as the business. The company must be able to easily apply updates and access data from the app.

A good app developer also has knowledge about the app marketplace. Many businesses look for a developer who knows what app features are most popular and can advise on whether it makes sense to create either an Android or iOS app, based on what the business does and customer demographics.