Overview of the App Development Process for iOS and Android Platforms

Creating an app doesn’t have to be a mystery. In fact, from concept to execution, there are many resources and information available to make your app development smooth. Here is an overview of the app development process for iOS and Android platforms.

What problem are you trying to solve?

According to Apple, “Every great app starts with a concept. You don’t need a completely polished and finished concept to start developing your app. You do need an idea of where you’re going and what you need to do to get there.”

For example, are you trying to help people be more productive, aid in personal development, or entertain your user? Figuring out the goal of your app is essential for a developer. As a corollary, you have to find out if there is another app out there that already solves your problem. In turn, you need to figure out what you can provide with your app that is unique.

Who is your target user?

The target user is a factor in deciding what interface you use. For example, do you plan on a user who would like to incorporate social media via your app?

“It’s difficult to design a compelling app that’s simple and easy to use by a wide variety of people,” says Bill Tanaka, mobile application development director for the WeatherBug app from Earth Networks. “The best mobile apps are intuitive, easy, and compelling.”

It is also important to research your potential user, whether with surveys, interviews or looking at users for similar apps. There are a number of tools available to help you do market research.

What platform will you use?

Tanaka says turning to iOS is a smart move for new app developers. “It’s perhaps the easiest interface for new designers to work with.” The reason you see so many apps created for IPhones is because how easy it is to use this platform.

However, the developer requirements are stricter for Apple than with an Android. Not only do you have to have a Mac to created an iOS app, you have to get a developer account for $100. It only costs $25 for a developer account to create an app for an Android.

What tools should you use?

The Android Studio has tools for you to develop apps for Android and you can also access the SDK tools from the command line. Apple provides a programming guide to help you develop iOS apps and outlines the available tools.

Luckily, there are a number of multi-platform app development tools that allow you to only have to code the app once.

How do I test, promote and get feedback?

The three final steps for developing your app is testing, promoting and then getting feedback from users. It is important to note that Apple limits you to testing on 100 devices.

Traditionally, the lack of strict application design and implementation guidelines in creating Android apps leads to a number of bugs. However the new review process for Android apps is now available.  “We are able to do these reviews in a matter of hours,” Google Play business development director Purnima Kochikar announced. “We are catching offenders early without adding friction.”

An app developed for iOS, in order for it to be accepted, goes through basic reliability testing that allows many bugs to be worked out. There are a lot of tools out there to help you test your app.

Promoting your app doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, there is a wide range of ways to get the word out for free. Various tools can streamline the process.

There are a number of strategies to market your app. The simplest way is to share your app via social media. You can also make sure the app allows users to share it via social media. Asking online reviewers and bloggers to write about your app is another strategy. Reaching out to traditional press is another way to promote your site.

Getting feedback is important for the testing and revision process. Understanding what works and doesn’t work helps you know what updates to your app you should make. Reviews from users are also a great resource. There are tools available to get in-app reviews.

How can other app developers help me?

Finally, networking with others can be a great resource for developing your app. For example, AnDevCon allows you to mingle with Android app developers. Meetups are another way to get support from other app developers. There are iOS development meetups all over.

Although the app development process involves a lot of steps, the tools and resources available make it much easier. Now all you have to do is come up with the “next great app.”

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