What You Don’t Know About Mobile App Development CAN Hurt You: Everything You MUST Know to Build a Successful App

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Everyone seems to be under the impression that they can hire a freelance coder, build out their concept, and get rich with the next viral app.

I hate to be the one to burst so many bubbles, but the truth is very far removed from this common misperception of the mobile app development world. In fact, there are so many “behind the scenes” processes involved in the creation of a successful app that, had they been known, it would have discouraged a great deal of failed app startups from ever trying.

That said, understanding everything that is involved in the mobile app development process BEFORE you set out to create one gives you a major leg up over the majority of your competitors.

You see, while app ideas are a dime a dozen, executing a thorough and well-formulated app development strategy is extremely rare.

If you can put together all of the pieces to this intricate puzzle, you’ll have a much higher chance of developing a truly successful app.

That’s why I’ve taken the time to create this guide. It outlines everything you’ll need to know about your app BEFORE you start the mobile app development process, such as:

  • Understanding each type of app (native, hybrid, web)
  • Different app platforms (Android, iOS, etc.)
  • Important questions to ask yourself before before you begin
  • Qualities that make or break an app
  • How to develop for the ULTIMATE user experience
  • How to test and optimize to ensure longevity in the market
  • What you need to understand about effective monetization
  • The importance of developing a guiding strategy
  • And so much more…

This is the guide that every app startup wished they had before they began development. Seriously, it’s that good.

Now, without further ado, your guide…

Table of Contents

Mobile App Development

5 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Started

Before we dive head first into the logistics of the mobile app development process, it’s imperative that you ask yourself a few important questions that will help you understand whether or not you’re ready to launch an app startup.

1. Are you ready to pour your heart and soul into your app to make it successful?

To many, the app business sounds like a fun way to ride the wave of an exploding market. To those of us who live and breathe app development, we know better.

Like any business, mobile apps are hard work. They typically require a lot of equity (financial and sweat) to be poured into them before they become something that can be monetized (if they ever do). Your app idea may seem like a fun new business venture, but unless you’re prepared to give it your all, I would suggest holding back. An app startup is a business, and just like any business you’ll need to be prepared for the highs and lows that come along

2. Are you prepared to promote and market your app like you were launching a brick-and-mortar business?

As I mentioned above, an app startup is a business. The marketplace is saturated with quality applications, all fighting for a share of the limited real estate available on your phone or tablet. Your app will need extensive promotion and a thorough marketing strategy that you’ll need to implement and execute in full.

3. Are you in this for short-term gain or long-term success?

Many app owners enter the marketplace with the goal of earning an income right off the bat. It’s possible, sure, but the likelyhood of you turning a profit from your app in months, or even years, could be quite low.

Some of the biggest apps in the game went years before they ever thought about monetization. Instead, they focused on user experience, developing a loyal regular following first.

If you want to monetize more quickly, you’ll need to consider the type of app (category, more on that in a minute) you’re developing, as well as the way you’ll go about doing so (more on that later, too).

4. Have you vetted your app idea/concept?

You (and those closest to you) may love your app idea, but have you reached beyond your peers to get feedback? How do you know that your ideal user will find your app valuable?

Imagine, just for a moment, that you go through the entire mobile app development process. It fails to take hold and you realize in hindsight that it was because you had missed a few key functional concepts that your ideal user was looking for.

Now you have to go back to the drawing board, update functionality and design, optimize the user experience based on your new revelations, and spend TONS of money doing so. Or worse yet, you’re unable to raise the necessary capital and have to put the project on hold until you can do so.

I don’t wish this upon you or anyone, but I hope I’ve made my point. It’s vital that you understand what your ideal user is looking for and what they consider valuable. A concept that seems valuable and helpful to you could require a few major changes to fully appeal to your audience.

Do your due diligence BEFORE you develop your strategy and well before you start the app development process.

5. What are you waiting for?

If, after asking yourself these questions, you still feel ready to move forward with your mobile app development, it’s time to get started!

What is a Mobile App? Understanding Your Options

The first concept to clearly understand are the types of apps available. Without experience in the app development environment, very few people understand that there are different types of apps.

Let’s take a look at all three.

What Is a Native App?

Native apps are the ones that helped coin the term “app.” They are helpful little programs that we download from an app market which live on the homescreens of our mobile devices. What makes native apps “native” is that they are designed and coded for a unique platform, usually iOS or Android.

  • These apps are not cross-platform compatible, which means a completely new design and coding process needs to take place in order to reach both of the major markets.
  • On the other hand—and this is a huge deal—native apps offer the most responsive, most reliable, and fastest user experiences available.
  • Developing native means putting quality and user experience above all else (which is a great idea if you can afford it).
  • Native apps provide the added benefit of engaging with users through push notifications, which helps to keep the app at top of mind and being used more often. (We’ll go over why that’s important in a moment.)
  • Native apps can often function without an internet connection.

What Is a Web App?

Generally considered the most basic type of “app,” a web app is essentially a mobile-optimized version of full-size desktop sites.

  • Web apps are made to look and feel simple and straightforward like a native app, but require an internet connection to function, as they can only render in a browser and display what is being hosted on an offsite server.
  • The design and functionality delivers the same style of easy-to-follow user flows that a native app would (more or less), all from data that it collects from the internet.
  • In other words, web apps act as an easy-to-decipher, need-to-know version of a full-sized desktop site. Almost everything available via the desktop site is available to access via a well-designed web app, yet the information being displayed is generally distilled down to the most vital components in order to make the most of the limited real estate available on a mobile screen.
  • As they aren’t device dependant, they are less costly and require less time to build.
  • That said, they are less intuitive, slower, and generally don’t deliver the same quality user experience as a native or hybrid app.

What Is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid app falls somewhere in between a native app and a web app. They are downloaded to mobile devices and an icon lives on the homescreen, but they require an internet connection to achieve full functionality. While they seem to deliver the best of both worlds, there is a lot to consider before going hybrid.

  • Hybrid apps are typically faster and cheaper to develop, especially because they allow you to deliver on multiple platforms without starting from scratch with each development.
  • That said, the amount of work to get a complicated hybrid app to function perfectly on each platform can be extensive, bringing the development cost close to that of native.
  • Even still, updating features and functionality across a single app and having it translated to multiple platforms is a huge benefit.
  • Where a good hybrid app can get close to the functionality of a true native app, the general consensus is that you’ll never achieve a native user experience with a hybrid app, and that’s a big deal. (User experience is EVERYTHING.)

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the different types of apps you can choose from, let’s take a look at the the rest of the items you’ll need to consider before you get started with developing your app.

Planning, Preparation, and Your App Development Strategy

This section may pertain to more than just mobile app development. In fact, I know it does. One of the main reasons most businesses struggle or fail in their early years is due to lack of proper planning.

The urge to “wing it” is typically a strong one, especially considering the instant gratification most people expect out of their app startup. If there’s one thing I would advise you to put plenty of time, energy, and resources behind, it’s your preparation.

That means thorough research of:

  • Your app idea (concept)
  • Your ideal user
  • Your competition
  • Marketing tactics
  • Monetization strategies
  • Design and development options
  • Testing and optimization methods
  • Anything else you feel would help you to make better decisions during development, launch, and promotion

All of your research will help you to develop a mobile app development strategy document that you’ll use to guide your entire development process. Creating this document will allow you to formulate a strategy for every stage of the app creation process.

Taking the time to research your options and make decisions that map out your app development from concept to launch (and beyond) will make the process smoother, faster, and cheaper. That I promise.

Use the following sections to help you create your mobile app development strategy document. Make sure to research and include your strategy for each section in your document, so when you begin development you know exactly how to handle each step of the process.

Now, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to include in your development strategy.

9 Things You Need to Develop a Truly Amazing App

There are a number of details that go into an app that most app startups don’t consider until it’s too late. For that reason, I’ve compiled these items into a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to know. I know, pretty convenient, right?

Pick a Platform: iOS Development vs. Android Development

Now that you understand the differences between native and hybrid apps, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which platform(s) to concentrate development. Your decision will be based on your budget, app category, your ideal user, and more.

iOS Development

Many credit Apple with creating the app as we now know it. They certainly were the first to make a major commercial success of the concept. For this reason, many app startups find themselves drawn to developing for iOS before Android.

iOS development is generally:

  • Easier
  • Cheaper
  • Faster

These factors make iOS a logical first step. Ultimately if you want the potential to reach all of your ideal users, you would develop for both. It’s a great goal, but it can be quite expensive, especially for smaller startups.

iOS is generally regarded as the better app market to launch first because:

  • Higher income-per-capita users (based on device cost creating barrier to entry)
  • It’s generally easier to deliver a better user experience
  • Higher percentage of paid apps being downloaded

That said, your ideal user may very well be better represented on Android. It’s important to understand who you’re targeting with your app and the demographics represented by each platform.

Take WhatsApp for example. They currently boast over 1 billion active users, but many of them are from developing nations around the world who don’t have access to Apple hardware. Take a long hard look into who your app idea is serving before you make a platform decision.

Android Development

Android development has exploded in recent years and now controls over 82% of the market share, meaning Android receives 60% more downloads by volume.

Numbers like that simply cannot be ignored. The truth is that while Android is a more cumbersome platform for development, the extra cost may very well be worth it if you determine that your ideal user is better represented there.

For example, if you’re looking to release a killer new game that will be free to download and monetized by ads and in-app purchases, the volume you have access to on Android may be your best bet.

Google Play and the Android platform represent:

  • More devices
  • More downloads
  • More volume
  • Higher ad revenue
  • Higher development cost

Android development, however, necessitates hiring a development team that knows what they’re doing. Because it is a more technical process, the skill required to deliver the ultimate user experience is harder to come by. The average freelancer won’t be able to turn out the final product you’re aiming for.

Both?

Ultimately, you should aspire to develop for both platforms. It may be a while before you’re ready to create a second native app, or you may want to launch both at the same time. It all depends on your budget, testing and optimization abilities, and willingness to manage both projects.

Native vs. Hybrid

Now you can begin to see why so many apps are going the way of the hybrid app. The process is certainly easier to manage, costs less, and takes less time to get to market.

While the final result may not be at par with a native app, if the type of app you’re developing is that of a simple tool or one that may not require the highest level of design and functionality, hybrids may be something to consider. It’s all about the the app’s purpose, the people that will be using it, and the resources you have available.

Defining Your App Category

When I talk about the “type” of app you’re creating, I’m generally referring to its category. The mobile app development process will look quite different depending on the category of app you’re launching.

For example, a simple heart-rate tracker/health app will require a much different level of input to that of an intuitive, deeply interactive game or social media application. Let’s take a look at the different app categories to determine where your app fits.

App Categories

The number of categories varies depending on who you’re asking, but the way I see it there are 6 main categories, each with their own subcategories. If you ask Apple there are 24, but let’s work on fitting your app idea into my 6 first.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle apps are those that you use to enhance the unique qualities that help to define who you are. Examples of lifestyle apps are those that have to do with:

  • Fitness
  • Dating
  • Food
  • Music
  • Travel

These apps are important because, once they are incorporated as a part of the user’s life, they use them on a regular (sometimes daily) basis to help them enhance the qualities of their lives that they consider to be self-defining.

Examples of lifestyle apps are:

  • Spotify
  • TripAdvisor
  • Uber
Social Media

We all know social media apps. From Facebook to Instagram, Snapchat to Twitter, there are so many social networks, each with their own app (or two or three).

Developing a social media network is something that most of us won’t be able to do successfully, but that doesn’t mean it’s an area that app startups should avoid. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Because social media is so thoroughly integrated into the lives of the masses, it represents an ever-expanding market to tap into.

For example, social media has opened up major opportunities for marketers, thus creating the need for apps that simplify and enhance the process. Apps like CoSchedule allow you to update and schedule content for up to 6 different accounts at the same time, saving lots of time.

Creating apps like this allows you to tap into the social networks we have all adopted and reach millions of potential users with a product that amplifies how they interact with them.

Utility

Utility apps are typically the apps that come preinstalled on your device like:

  • Flashlight
  • Calculator
  • Weather

While these apps typically aren’t super exciting, that may be your opportunity to profit. If you can create a fun, exciting, well-designed way for people to get their weather or calculate the tip while they’re at dinner, you may have something that people will turn to instead of their factory integrated options.

Games/Entertainment

Games and entertainment apps represent a large percentage of the app market. People are always looking for a new way to kill time while sitting in line at the DMV, so do your best to give it to them.

Some examples of game apps are:

  • Angry Birds
  • Clash of Clans
  • Subway Surfer

Creating a game that is truly unique may be difficult, but look for a way to enhance what is available or combine the best parts of multiple games into your very own concoction.

Productivity

Productivity apps are those that help us accomplish productive (and sometimes boring) tasks in a way that is more organized, faster, and easier.

Many of the products from both Google and Apple are good examples of productivity apps, like:

  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Wallet/Pay

Not to mention apps like:

  • Evernote
  • Wunderlist

Coming up with a way to make boring or mundane tasks more enjoyable, or at least a way to get through them more efficiently is always a great way to promote an app in this less-than-sexy category.

News/Information Outlets

The final app category is that of news and information outlets. These apps are the sole providers of world events, popular culture, and local news for a large segment of the population. Especially in younger circles, fewer people are turning to traditional news outlets on TV and in print, and instead relying on an app.

Examples of different types of popular news apps are:

  • BuzzFeed
  • SmartNews
  • Google News & Weather
  • feedly
  • Flipboard
  • Yahoo News Digest
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn Pulse

Just like social media apps, developing a news source may not be in your wheelhouse. That said, if you can develop an app platform that allows news providers to reach their audience without having to invest in multiple native apps, you may have tapped into a market that is just beginning to take off.

Niches

Within each of these categories is a variety of unique niches. In such a crowded marketplace, creating a specialized app can help you stand out amongst the crowd.

Let me give you an example:
There are tons of photo editor apps available in both the iOS and Android marketplaces. Most of them deliver all sorts of cool effects that help to enhance pictures of your landscapes, portraits, selfies, and so on.

Now, say you were searching for an app that really gave your “self-portraits” a leg up on Instagram. You’d likely seek out the app best suited for the type of photos you were trying to enhance, right?

If you had developed an app that enhanced skin tone and quality automatically, supplied a wide variety of selfie-friendly filters, plus offered all sorts of amazing backdrops, text overlays, and other effects that were tailored to enhancing the ever-popular selfie, your app would certainly stand out amongst the other photo-editing apps.

This sort of hyper-specification of your app is what allows you to define such a specific ideal user and market to them accordingly. When you have a thorough understanding of your ideal user because of your app’s niche, you’ll be able to develop a highly targeted marketing message that appeals to them on a deeper level.

Broad spectrum marketing is far less effective. Trying to reach everyone at the same time simply does not work!

What Makes Your App Unique?

The way to discover your niche is to determine what makes your app unique.

  • What does it do differently than other apps in its category?
  • What does it do differently than those apps that represent your competitors?
  • What unique segment of the population are you targeting with your app?

In order to stand out and promote your app as a unique product to that of the competition, you’ll have to identify that which makes it special.

For more on defining your app category, check out this recent article.

User Interface

The user interface is the part of your app that your user sees, touches, and uses to move from screen to screen while completing user flows. It’s also what is often referred to as the design of your app.

Simple, Stunning Design

Speaking of design, your app can’t feel like a run-of-the-mill, template-style app that you build yourself. In fact, it’s becoming more and more important that your app look and feel as sharp, sleek, and stunning as possible.

Where many apps provide (essentially) the same functionality, your app may be able to blow the competition out of the water and land a spot among your ideal user’s list of favorites if it looks the part. This means that every aspect, from the welcome screen to the buttons, the menus to the social-sharing features, must look like it was painstakingly handcrafted.

You know the type of apps I’m talking about. The ones where, when you open them you say to yourself, “Wow, this is a really great app.” You want your app to make an outstanding first impression and that requires a seriously beautiful design.

It doesn’t have to be lavish or over the top. Simple designs, when done right, can make for gorgeous apps too. Cater to your ideal users and use their preferences when coming up with your app design. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, mobile app development is all about understanding who your app is going to be used by and putting their needs/preferences first.

Easy to Navigate

One of the key components to a well-designed app is that it’s easy to navigate. That means your design should make it clear for people to get from one step of the process to the next. During testing, your design could be the variable that’s holding up an otherwise smooth user flow, so pay careful attention not to let your stunning design compromise usability.

Intuitive Buttons, Menus, Etc.

One of the best ways to make sure your app is easy to navigate is to design your interface in a way that makes navigation an intuitive process. Android development and iOS development each have their own standards.

Whether it’s a left-aligned header vs. center aligned, menus, back buttons, etc., be sure to follow the standards set up by the platform you’re developing for in order to ensure your user can find their way around without any trouble.

For more on the importance of design and how to make yours outstanding, check out this article.

User Experience

Your user interface will play a major part in creating an outstanding user experience. In case you didn’t hear me say it earlier, user experience is the most important part of any app. If your user experience isn’t on point, your app won’t be used. Apps that don’t get used get deleted, it’s as simple as that.

Intuitive Design

The best way to provide a flawless user experience is to make your app as intuitive as possible. When a user opens your app to help them accomplish something, it should feel as if it’s simply an extension of their own mind.

The less they have to think about how to get from A to B and B to C, the better. You see, apps are mainly created to help users do something, usually while on the go. The simpler the process, the faster they can get back to whatever they were doing.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to game, social, or news apps, but the same premises still hold true:

  • You want your game to be super easy to play, without cumbersome buttons or navigational issues.
  • You want your social media app to keep people happy so they use it more often and for longer periods of time.
  • Your news app needs to be intuitive so that people can find the information they’re looking for, filter the stories they don’t need to see, and generate a positive enough experience so that they come back each and every morning on their train ride to work.

Straightforward User Flows

When I say that your app needs to be easy for users to get from point A to point B, I’m talking about user flows. Often referred to as the user journey, it’s the path a user follows through your app interface to complete a task.

The process needs to be easy for a novice user to follow without little to no explanation or experience. That means the various buttons that initiate an action and get users from the home/start screen to the next page need to be present or easily accessible within a familiar-looking menu.

Once the action has been initiated, the buttons to take the next steps need to be clearly outlined in the same manner, with little to distract or interfere with the process.

Solves a Problem/Meets Need Fully and Efficiently

As I’ve already stated, apps are generally products created to solve a problem or meet a need. One thing you need to consider is whether or not your app meets those needs as comprehensively as possible.

Ask yourself these questions about your app idea:

  • Does your app just meet their needs or does it exceed it?
  • Is there a way your app idea can be delivering on more levels than just the one you were aiming for initially?
  • Is there anything your user would need to go outside of your app to accomplish before or after using it?
  • Can those features be incorporated into your app to make your product the one-stop shop to fulfill their need?

Your app should be everything your user is looking for and more. If you can meet their needs, great. If you’re able to exceed their expectations, your app has a far greater chance of being spread by word of mouth. That’s the type of attention that makes apps truly successful.

The mobile app development process is so much more than coming up with an idea and having it coded into a published product. You’re continually evaluating various aspects of your concept to optimize it pre-launch.

Testing

One of the most important parts of the mobile app development process is testing. After all, you want your app to launch with the best chances of taking hold with your users. If a new app is met with a less-than-stellar first impression, you’ll have to work that much harder to win users back (if you ever can).

Work Out Bugs Prior to Launch

There will always be small problems that need to be corrected after you launch, it’s the nature of the business. That’s one of the reasons all of your favorite apps are continually updating.

That said, you (and your development team) must work tirelessly to ensure you catch as many of these problems as possible, no matter how small they may be. Little errors and glitches add up to frustrated users, and frustrated users get fed up with new apps quickly.

  • Use your app to complete every possible user flow, then retrace your steps back to where you began.
  • Try everything you can think of to throw your app for a loop or overload it.
  • If you feel like you’ve caught everything, it’s time to think again.

After you’ve tested until you simply can’t test any longer, test again. Then reach out to others for help.

App-Testing Communities

Lucky for you, the job of testing your app will never fall solely on your shoulders. Your development team should be largely responsible for this job and one way they achieve thorough testing is through the various testing communities that exist.

The following are examples of places you can get “nerd level” testing and feedback on your app before it goes live:

Beta Family
Applause
Global App Testing

These communities allow you to get some serious insight into the usability and overall experience your app provides from experts and professional testers. Remember, you want to launch with the ultimate version of your product, so investing in some quality testing will be worth your while in the long run.

Network Emulation

A common oversight, especially in first-time app startups, is network emulation. You may be testing from an office with an exceptional network (internet) connection, but you have to consider that a large majority of your app’s use could be on less-than-perfect mobile connections.

You could be accessing a local file when testing that would otherwise be stored on a server…the variables go on and on. The important thing to consider is that your users may want to use your app outside of the ideal conditions of the office or even outside the network security of a major metropolitan area.

Make an effort to emulate the conditions of real-world use, especially those that your ideal user would most likely encounter most often. If you determine that cloud storage of a particular file causes too much lag, you may need to move that file into the contents downloaded with the application.

The point is to test in real-world conditions in order to make choices that benefit your real-world user.

Optimization

Now that we’ve had a chance to cover testing, it’s time to get into the post-launch side of the development process. After your app goes live you’ll still have plenty of work to do.

One of the things you’ll be doing throughout the life of your app is optimization. Mobile app development is an ongoing process. Even if you’ve tested until you’re blue in the face, there will be things that you want to change about your app once it goes live.

Mobile App Analytics

You, your development team, and your peers may love your app, but what counts is what your users think. For this reason, it’s vital that you include app analytics when developing your app. There are a variety of options (here’s one) to choose from, but they all work to help you understand user behavior so that you can work to optimize your app based on user wants and needs.

If there are places your users are getting stuck and leaving your app, that’s a big indicator that your interface needs an update. If there are important functionalities that are being ignored, you might need to make them more obvious to grab user attention. If they’re still being ignored, you may decide to change out those functionalities altogether.

App analytics give you tons of valuable insight into what your users are looking for from your app, so be sure to include them in your mobile app development

Always Be Testing/Optimizing/Improving

I’m going to lay something out for you here that you’ll need to keep with you as long as you’re in the mobile app industry: NEVER get complacent. Never accept that your app is good enough, or that it’s “done.”

The app market is an incredibly competitive place to do business, so the moment you get lazy is the moment your competition gets ahead. For this reason you should always be testing, optimizing, and improving your app.

Always be looking for new ways for your app to do what it does better. Constantly ensure that you’re delivering the total package to your users, because if you don’t, someone else will. Essentially, the whole section boils down to the following statement:

“Always be looking for ways to put yourself out of business.”

If you are the one looking to exploit your weaknesses or give your users the next thing they didn’t know they wanted, you’ll be running the show. If you get lazy, there will be always be someone who is happy to take your place.

Mobile App Marketing

In such a competitive industry, you can imagine that marketing will play a vital role in your app’s success.

Creating a Marketing Strategy

Just like your mobile app development strategy, you’ll need to create a strategy for just how you’ll promote your app once it’s ready. Another similarity between your marketing strategy and development strategy is that they will both be built around your ideal user.

To create a marketing strategy you’ll need to:

Create Buyer Personas

Based on the information you gather on your ideal user, create a buyer persona (or 2) that covers the important qualities you’ll need to steer your marketing efforts.

Determine the Most Effective Tactics

Where do your ideal users hang out? What marketing tactics can you use to reach them most effectively? For example, if you’re designing an amazing game, consider running ads in similar games in order to reach your ideal users where you know they’ll be watching.

Are Facebook Ads going to reach your ideal user most effectively? For example, if you’re creating an accounting app (productivity), consider running Facebook video ads that show your app in action and target small business owners that would make the best use of your product.

Implement and Test

Now that you’ve decided which tactics will reach ideal users most effectively, it’s time to deploy them and test various versions of ads with various marketing messages to see which hit home and which flop.

Optimize and Repeat

After you’ve run your tests, analyze the feedback and use it to optimize your strategy from the top down. Revise your personas and tactics, modify your marketing, then implement and test again. Repeat the process continually in order to maintain an effective marketing message.

Now let’s look at how you turn a profit from your app.

Mobile App Monetization

Monetization of mobile applications is a funny thing. Not unlike other things in life, when looking for instant gratification you often sell yourself short and leave a money on the table. Let’s look at both the short-term and long-term monetization game to see which best suits your app idea.

Short Term

The short-term monetization game is the most popular/common way to earn from an app. It involves two different tactics used to generate income upon release or shortly after.

Paid Downloads

Paid downloads are very common, especially in the utility and productivity categories. As you can imagine, you earn your income by charging for each download. Usually a free limited version of the app is available to download or a full version can be downloaded for a trial period. These free versions usually contain ads, which can be removed by upgrading to the paid version.

Ads

The second short-term monetization tactic commonly used today is ads. The download of the app is free, but users are subject to an ad banner in various areas of the app or full-screen ads running from time to time.

Both of these monetization tactics are dependant upon having enough downloads or active users to capitalize on them. Once again, it all comes back to creating an exceptional user experience that people are either willing to pay for or put up with ads to use.

Long Term

The long-term mobile app monetization strategy is far less common, but it’s how nearly every one of the top apps has garnered such success.

Long-term monetization (when super-simplified) generally looks like this:

  • Launch your app
  • Promote your app
  • Optimize your app
  • Repeat this process while growing a loyal following of users (often for years)
  • Utilize your influence to generate a profit or sell your influence machine to the highest bidder

As you can imagine, the patience and resources necessary to monetize this way aren’t as common. However, if you can manage to create an app with an active user base in the millions, the profit potential generated is exponentially higher.

Development Team

The final thing you need to know about the mobile app development process is that it’s something best done by a team of experts, not by a solo developer. Sure, a super-simple app idea may be safe in the hands of a single person, but that’s not the kind of app we’re talking about in this guide. These are the apps that people use, love, and share with their peers. The kind of apps that have an impact on people’s lives. For that you need a team behind you to support your concept and create the best version possible.

Creative Collaboration of Expert Individuals

As you can now see, the mobile app development process is something that requires countless hours of input from multiple individuals. In a proper team development setting, you’ll have an individual that is responsible for design, another for coding, a third for testing, and so on.

You may even have multiple people working on a single aspect of your app’s development, especially if your app idea requires more complex functionality. For that reason, it’s almost foolish to expect a single developer to deliver anywhere near the quality that’s required for a truly outstanding app.

Ready to Get Started With Your Mobile App Development?

Now that you know more about mobile app development than the majority of the population, are you ready to get started?

DuckMa is a world-class team of experts that can help you with every part of the process. We love what we do and we take app development very seriously. We’ve been creating apps since 2009, or in other words, since the dawning of the app era.

We think outside of the box and work with our clients on a level rarely seen in the industry. We love working with startups because of the potential they represent.

We’d love to hear from you, help answer your questions, or simply talk shop. Get in touch today to tell us how we can help you build the app of your dreams!

Why Partner With DuckMa?

You have a lot on your plate at the moment, so I’m going to make this simple. We only want to work with you if both parties agree that it’s a good fit. At DuckMa, we love what we do. We’re a team of highly skilled, highly passionate individuals that enjoy every day in our office.

These are the 3 pillars of our success:

Experience: We have been providing app development services since 2009, the dawning of the app age.

Flexibility: We like to call our office the, “laboratory of excellence,” a specialized boutique for clients who demand the best for their own solutions, meaning we can think outside the box and work within client constraints.

Attention: Our passion for everything hi-tech is considerable, but first and foremost we are professionals that specialize in the mobile environment.

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