What Is App Development?
App development is the process of creating an application that performs specific functions. It’s carried out by software developers and relies on a variety of tools and approaches. Read on for a deeper explanation of what is app development and the main steps involved.
What is App Development – History
The history of app development goes back to 1983, when Steve Jobs had the idea of a basic version of what we today know as the App Store. However, according to most sources, the first mobile app was the arcade game Snake that was included with the Nokia 6110 phone in 1997.
App development didn’t take off until the launch of the first iPhone and the widespread adoption of smartphones. Today, there are over 3.4 million apps on Google Play and over 2.2 million apps in the App Store.
What is App Development – The Process
While apps come in different shapes and sizes, most of them follow a similar development process. Let’s take a closer look at this process.
1. Planning & Research
Most app development today begins not with coding but with business analysis and market research. This stage helps to determine the purpose of the app, core app features, and target platforms.
After the technical details of the app are written down, a UX/UI designer begins prototyping the app. This stage involves sketches of the app as well as a wireframe, a 2D digital sketch that illustrates how the app works. Graphic sketches of the app’s design are often also part of this stage, which may involve back-and-forth communication between the app development company and the client.
Next, developers begin coding the app including the front-end part of the app end-users see as well as any server-side code the app needs to run. This process may take anywhere from weeks to months depending on the complexity of the app.
4. Quality Testing
To ensure that the app works as intended and has no bugs, the code is tested, and any errors are fixed. Quality testing may involve both an internal team and external beta testers.
5. Release and Maintenance
The app is released in one or multiple app stores. But app development doesn’t end here. A team of developers continue to update the app, implement new features, and fix bugs.
Types of App Development
In native app development, apps are built for a specific platform such as iOS or Android. They are optimized to take full advantage of that platform’s capabilities. However, to release the app on different platforms, developers have to write the app code for each platform, a process that increases development costs and time.
Cross-platform app development involves developing an app for multiple platforms at the same time from the same base code. Because code can be reused, cross-platform app development lowers development costs and time to launch across platforms.
App developers can create a variety of apps for different operating systems and devices. While some apps work offline, complex apps usually require computing resources stored on a web server that they access over the internet. This involves server-side or back-end app development in addition to front-end or client-side app development.
Apps that stored on a web server are known as web apps. Users can access them through a web browser. These apps work on any device that has the supported web browser.
Hybrid apps fall somewhere in between web apps and native apps. They have native app elements and can be installed on mobile, but they are not fully native apps.
Choosing an App Development Company
Building an app today has become in many ways easier than ever before. However, app saturate app stores. For your app to stand out, it needs not only to provide value but to be carefully developed and well-polished.
When choosing an app development company, take into account the company’s experience in your app category, their resources, and their ability to provide long-term support.
Do you have a need for a business application, or just have more questions on what is app development. We’re here to help you out! Please feel free to contact us using our contact form.