One of the biggest trends in the world at the moment is mobile development. Besides, tablets and smartphones are always at our reach, and creating a mobile app is the simplest way to gather a wider audience, pique its interest or provide it with a complete palette of services. It is, therefore, clear that mobile applications are a must for every business and that a great number of business owners turn to digitalization.
It looks like all you would require to come up with a quick solution is an amazing idea, a sufficient amount of money, and a capable tech team. Reality is somewhat different – the truth behind mobile development is that it is actually more complicated than you might think.
Firstly, it includes a number of processes, none of which can be skipped. The beginning of it all is the discovery phase, when you and your team start to shape your idea and when the whole project is being described in detail. The discovery phase is crucial for a mobile app’s success, and if you don’t include it, you may come across some problems (like the wrong technology stack or an imprecise list of requirements). Consequently, you will end up with budget holes and waste your precious time and costs on taking care of the problem.
Once you are done with research and discovery, you are surely ready to begin the development process. That is, unfortunately, the time when you’ll come across lots of challenges that will not always be connected to the tech takes. So, let’s jump into the topic of mobile development pitfalls straight away and find out whether the fear of facing them is justified or if they are simply a normal and inevitable part of the development process.
Wireframes and specs
When you brief the developers about your idea, you have a vision in your head. You may prefer a certain look of the app, want to have a specific feature included, or imply a monetization method you find most efficient.
Nevertheless, when you start with the mobile development, you should keep in mind that your idea and plan should be accepted by the Google Play or App Store; the restrictions these stores have might disenable the acceptance of your app. So in order to avoid that, you should consider those restrictions and criteria while creating the list. For example, the App Store has more restrictive policies than Google Play, and you must be aware of the must-have features which are essential for your app if you want it to be accepted and published.
Let’s take the App Store for an example; it focuses on the apps’ ability to implement the latest systems, including both hardware and software, so you definitely need to consider that and create your solution in a way that functions effortlessly and looks attractive on all the screens: iPhone X, iPhone 8, Super Retina and so on. Also, Apple is not fond of applications that require users to disable some core system features or apps that affect some of the device resources like the ones that cause heating or drain the battery.
Furthermore, there are development guidelines set by Google Play and App Store that are pretty strict. They include rules about privacy, payments, safety, design, and performance; professional development companies are well familiar with those requirements, and that’s precisely why their opinion is important in the discussion about your app specifications.
Pitfalls of the Design stage
When cooperating with the professional designers on your project, you can trust them in choosing the most convenient design that highlights your application’s uniqueness. The thing is, the design is much more than an eye-catching UI; it is also about user-friendly and efficient UX. So, the designers will take care of button placement, features design and navigation, the selection of color schemes, and, of course, a suitable logo.
Design challenges for Android
Nonetheless, there are obstacles even in this stage, especially if you decided to create an app for Androids. The reason lies in Android devices’ diversity; many different screen designs can make your initial idea look somewhat different once you apply it. That is an important and unfortunate pitfall (and let’s also take into account various tablets on the market right now), so iOS devices might be a simpler choice when it comes to design.
The question that arises is what to do when you find yourself surrounded by different screens and you just want your app to look nice on them? You could simply concentrate on the most popular Android smartphones/tablets and align UI and UX with them. Also, you should know that designing an app for Android devices may take more time than the ones for iOS. On the other hand, Android offers some design solutions that are not possible for iOS.
Slicing reality check-up.
When we think about design, we also need to consider slicing. Web projects require separate HTML/CSS coders used for slicing, while in mobile projects, it is developers who do it prior to functionality implementation. Consequently, even the smallest additional changes can lead to redoing of the screen and therefore take extra time and complicate the entire development process.
Development and testing peculiarities
There are more potential pitfalls on different development stages, aside from the technical ones, so let’s take a closer look at them.
We already talked about App Store and Google Play policies and restrictions that might interfere with specs creation. However, those policies can change once you’ve started the development, which may require even more changes. Let’s say a new operating system is presented at the same time your app is still in creation; your team would surely have to adjust the app to those changes.
Furthermore, you might come across some limitations if you choose certain solutions for the backend, like Firebase. Firebase might be a ready-made solution, but it’s hard to deal with microservice integrations with it; there might be some inconsistencies because of the offline operations support as well as data migration issues. You might want to avoid that if you want to complete your app on time.
Peculiarities may also appear in the testing stage, especially if you are working with an app for Android. As previously mentioned, the variety of Android devices on the market is very wide, and their custom settings might mess up your idea of how your app should function.
Developers would agree that it’s impossible to cover all of the devices, which is a big obstacle to the testing process. Therefore, you should not be surprised if bugs appear; if that happens, it doesn’t mean that developers did a lousy job but rather that they didn’t have an opportunity to test the app on specific devices. However, it is not a dead-end; it can be fixed by tech takes and some patience.
Nuances of the release
Once your app is completed, you only need to submit it to the App Store or Google Play. Not surprisingly, this step is also not as simple as it appears to be. The submission process is sometimes an important portion of work if you are doing it by yourself, but getting to know the steps might make things easier:
1. Register developers account
Before submitting the app to the stores, you need to create a developer account on App Store or Google Play and grant the developers’ team access to it.
2. Prepare the materials
3. Do the review process
Usually, it takes up to seven business days to receive the review. Also, as the stores’ policies frequently change, your app can be first rejected, but after few changes are accepted. So, if you have a release date in your calendar, you need to keep in mind the possibility of a delay.
4. Start a marketing campaign
Your app idea may be flawless and include all the necessary features, but it will despite that lack in the audience at first. In that case, you will need to start a marketing campaign that will bring you the results you want after some time, money, and effort.
5. Be prepared for negative feedback
It is not unusual to get negative reviews, and that shouldn’t worry you. People write negative comments more often than positive ones, and it is not always about the bugs – it might just be something that they don’t like. However, when you get complaints about bugs, it might be clever to have the developers team at your side to fix it or improve it quickly. That’s why the maintenance option might not be a bad idea.
What’s the conclusion?
Mobile app development surely offers new opportunities for your business, but you should have in mind that it is not an easy and quick process before starting it. You should be ready for specific challenges both before and after the development is complete. However, that is entirely normal, and it is not something where you “boldly go where no man has gone before “; by previously learning about each development stage and asking for advice, you will be better prepared and go through the process more smoothly. In the end, the only important thing is choosing a trustworthy team capable of turning your idea into a perfect solution that will be accepted by stores and become successful on the market.