With the development of progress, mobile devices continue to receive more and more popularity in the modern world. They have become almost essential gadgets for every person, without them it is simply impossible to imagine a normal, fulfilling life. Due to the widespread use of mobile phones, applications for these devices are also very relevant.
Features of modern phone apps
Modern mobile applications are presented in a wide variety, and every day the list of these products is becoming more extensive and diverse. Each of the applications has its own unique priority assignment features. As a result, this or that software will be the best option in each specific situation. Currently, applications allow you to solve a whole range of tasks. The main directions of their actions include:
games and entertainment;
multimedia and various information editors;
communication at a distance;
solving business and work issues.
Due to the relevance of these programs, the development of mobile applications is also in high demand. As a rule, it is almost impossible to develop and run this or that application on your own. The procedure will require certain knowledge and skills. First of all, the developer should know several required programming languages, as well as clearly define for himself the future format of the application and the direction of its activity.
To give you a broader view of the mobile app scene today, here are the most important statistics that show you the current mobile landscape and its future.
- An average mobile app user in the United States has over 100 apps installed on their device.
- A typical mobile user will check their smartphone 63 times a day.
- 87% of users check their phone at least one hour before sleep. Out of those, 69% will check their phone at least five minutes before sleep.
- 79% of users will abandon a digital product after only one day of use.
- Mobile apps today account for more than 57% of all digital media usage.
- By 2021, almost 7 billion people worldwide will be using mobile devices.
- By 2022, the mobile app downloads number or year will reach 258 million. This is a great increase from 2017 when that number reached 168 million.
- By the same year, the app store consumer spending will increase by 92% to reach a smashing $157 billion all over the world.
What is mobile app development?
Mobile app development is a process that draws a lot from traditional software development. However, it’s focused on creating software that takes advantage of the unique features of mobile device hardware.
The most straightforward scenario for building a mobile app is taking a desktop-based application and importing it to a mobile device. However, as the app becomes more robust, this technique can become problematic.
A better approach involves developing specifically for the mobile environment. It’s a technique that takes advantage of all the benefits mobile devices offer. The process takes into account their limitations and helps business owners balance cost with functionality.
For example, applications that use location-based features such as maps are always built from the ground up with mobile in mind. Location-based services delivered on a desktop app make less sense because desktop users aren’t moving around.
Modern smartphones and tablets are equipped with features such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), GPS, gyroscopic sensors, cameras, and many more.
Developers can use these features to create apps with technologies such as Virtual or Augmented Reality, barcode scanning, location-based services, and many more. The most successful and popular mobile applications use smartphone features in the best possible way.
The issue of hardware in mobile devices introduces another complication:
While developers building apps for iOS can only expect the apps to be run on two types of devices (iPhones and iPads), Android developers can’t say the same. In fact, for them, every smartphone and tablet may be running on different hardware and various versions of the operating system.
How to build a mobile app?
If you’re planning to build a mobile application, you can basically choose from three different options:
- Build an in-house development team,
- Hire specialized software development agency,
- Rely on the expertise of freelancers.
Here’s a short overview of each of the options with its respective pros and cons to help you make the best decision for your mobile development project.
Building an in-house team
If you decide to create an in-house development team for your project, you will have full control over the direction developers take in building your mobile app. However, this will come at a high cost.
After all, you will not only have to pay for developers’ salaries but also a range of overhead costs such as workspace, benefits and perks, hardware, software licenses, and many others. This can be especially difficult if you’re located in a region where hiring mobile developers is expensive.
If you choose this option, expect a very high price tag on your app. The risk of your project will increase as well because you will be responsible for the work of your team.
Hiring a freelancer
This option is definitely the cheapest one of all three. By hiring a single freelancer to build your mobile app, you will enjoy a simplified development process. Communication might be easier, and you’ll face no collaboration issues because only one person will be responsible for building your app.
However, finding a reliable and trustworthy freelancer is a challenge. You will be better the entire success of your project on a single person’s skills and expertise. Even if you hire a talented mobile developer, they might be really talented in backend development and have limited knowledge of frontend development. If you create an app that works well but has an unattractive user interface, your product will suffer.
Hiring a freelancer is a cost-effective option, but it comes with many different risks that may compromise the process of building your app at every single stage.
Hiring a software development company
There are many software development agencies that specialize in mobile development today. By teaming up with such companies, you will be delegating the task of building your app to a group of professionals who can provide you with a broad range of services such as:
- UX/UI design,
- product development,
- backend and frontend development,
- quality assurance (QA),
- and project management.
The main benefit of this option is that you can take advantage of the collective expertise and knowledge the team has acquired through realizing projects that are similar to yours. You can confirm their experience and skills through the portfolio and ask for client recommendations as well.
We recommend you to check out more tips on how to choose the best app development company for your project.
This option offers an excellent cost and quality balance, especially if you decide to outsource your project to a team located in a region where the development rates are lower than locally. You can estimate your project with different software houses to compare their offers and learn mobile app development cost in 2021.
So, that is all when it comes to comparison of the 3 above models. For a more in-depth comparison of an in-house and outsourced team, read our guides:
- In-house vs. outsourced software development – comparison
- Outsourcing software development – benefits & risks every app owner should know