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App Development Software: Creating an App for Your Business

App-development-software-featured
App development software puts effective mobile experiences in the hands of small businesses. Image credit: Rami Al-Zayat

Wherever there is an audience, there is a marketing possibility. These days, people spend more time than ever on their phones. To help take advantage of this, there are countless options out there for app development software.

There are a number of reasons to use these, rather than going down the road of a fully custom app development. Business owners are always primarily concerned with their bottom lines.

App development software makes the process of launching a mobile app cheaper and faster.

Today, TV advertisements are now considered old-fashioned as the focus has moved towards internet marketing. Today, it is estimated that more than 5 billion people own a smartphone. This figure is only growing globally:

App development software: Smartphone users worldwide
Over half of the world's population use a smartphone. Image credit: Statistica

Mobile has become the main way people consume content, communicate and make purchases.

This has created a surge of businesses channelling their focus to app development, in order to capture their audience’s attention. In part, this is inspired by success stories about individual apps with millions of downloads.

For a business looking to launch and grow online, app development might sound intimidating, especially if you are worried about the costs involved. Therefore, there has been a boom in the number of app development software platforms to make this process easier.

However, before we dive into the nitty gritty of your options for app development software, let’s talk a little bit more generally about what goes into creating a mobile app.

What is App Development?

You may already have an idea for a theme for your business app that you are looking to develop. This is a good start. For absolute beginners, there are some basics that you should know before looking into mobile app development for your business.

The first thing you need to decide on is what platform you want your app to be downloaded from, or if you want it to be available across a number of platforms. Each operating system has its own platform.

For Android, there is Google Play. For Apple, there is the App Store. In addition, there are platforms for Windows and other smaller mobile operating systems. Each platform has its terms, benefits, and features.

Often, the more platforms you want to offer your app on, the more you will have to spend on development, although this can be negated with app builder different tools.

The common process of app development after the research stage can be broken down into the following stages;

  • Wireframe,
  • Technical Assessment,
  • Prototype,
  • Design,
  • Development & Testing,
  • Launch.

At least, these are the stages of a customer app development. This process is often shorted by app development software. For example, if you use a tool which is heavily based around templates, there isn’t much need for the earlier stages of the development process, as these are done in advance.

Should Your Business Get a Mobile App?

For some small businesses, looking into app development may exceed their budget. For others, it may be a priority as their business model may revolve around an app, either mobile app development and web app development.

Popular examples of businesses that revolve around mobile app development include Uber, or any number of applications made for ordering food from local restaurants.

Uber smartphone app example
Uber is one of the most popular apps on the market. Image credit: Dan Gold

The core of their business is making ordering a cab or a meal possible through a mobile application. They have done this by creating a medium through their app. But not every company can be Uber. So what are the benefits for your typical local business?

Here are some reasons why your business should invest in app development.

Brand Awareness and Customer Loyalties

One of the golden rules of modern business is helping users to interact with your customers through their preferred channels. If you want to reach your audience, you need to be where they are.

This is also important for increasing customer loyalty and maximising brand interactions.

Having an app means that your customers will see your company on different platforms for applications. It will make your business look more familiar, more serious, and trustworthy. This is your first step towards making the conversion of a sale.

Ease of Access

Most search queries are done on mobile devices and it can be extremely off-putting for a user, as business websites that are often not mobile optimised. This can cause the business to lose potential sales and customers completely.

Apps are more efficient when it comes to speed and features, they are specifically designed for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets so they are way easier to handle.

Better Customer Service

Your audience, both new and existing, feel more comfortable and secure knowing that they can reach your business anytime, anywhere.

If they know they can contact you for an inquiry, a purchase, book an appointment or a complaint, through an app, it will make them favour your business over another that didn’t consider adding app development.

When you offer an app service to your clients, you are somehow providing them with a personal assistant.

A Digital Marketing Channel

As you get closer to your customers, you can upsell them new products and services your business may be offering. Through sending reminders and notifications, you can offer your customers promotions and discounts.

This is an excellent way to keep in touch with your clients.

Types of Apps

Apps can be created using a number of different tools or protocols. Most business owners don’t need to have such an in-depth knowledge of these that they could build their own app from scratch.

Rather, it’s important to have enough knowledge that you could have an informed conversation with a specialist.

There are several types of apps:

  • Native,
  • HTML5,
  • Hybrid.

Native apps are created for a specific platform (iOS or Android) using the software development tools and languages supported by those operating systems. iOS app development uses Xcode and Objective-C, whereas Android app development uses Eclipse and Java.

HTML5 apps take a write-once-run-anywhere approach to mobile development. Apps developed in this framework are cross-platform compatible and require only minimal changes to ensure complete functionality in each operating system.

Hybrid apps are a mixture of both. They are rather native apps which allow an HTML5 app to be embedded within them.

App Development Software

If you aren’t in the technology field, strange terms and tech-talk can be confusing and overwhelming. You can still develop an app without knowing any coding. If you are experienced with different technology, developing an app may not be a tough mission for you at all.

There are different types of app development tools out there, which are suitable for different users, depending on their skill levels and goals. For instance, some are simply code editors, used by software developers.

Other app building tools use a drag and drop interface, so that non-coders can build an app without any technical know-how. In fact, there are several app development software programmes that can help you establish a successful app without a technical background.

There are also app development companies, or you could take an app development course.

Here are a couple of common app development software platforms:

Mobile Roadie

Mobile Roadie is one of the most popular mobile app builders. It requires no coding, and you can build an Android or an iOS app. Having created successful apps for celebrities with some apps reaching millions of downloads, they are very well recognized.

The tool gives the clients the opportunity to customize their own apps. There are initial setup costs with his software.

AppyPie

AppyPie is another well-established service that allows users to customize and build their own apps. All different platforms are supported. In addition, they have different payment options, starting from building your app for free up to pay per app. Prices vary according to features.

What Should You Watch Out For?

Whichever app development strategy you decide on, there are a number of common factors you should keep in mind.

The research aspect of app development for your business is one of the key elements of the process. With the research, you should be able to highlight realistic goals for the apps and a plan for how it should work however there are issues that can still arise.

These are:

Choosing The Wrong Platform for Your App

If you are aiming to create a paid app, you should go for an iOS app. Although Android has a larger number of users and apps, more iOS users are willing to pay for an app than Android users.

However, it’s unlikely to be a case of choosing one or the other, unless you have a very tight budget. It is safe to say that it would be much better if you can have both. At the same time, if you have to prioritise in the short term, it’s probably worth going with iOS.

Forgetting to Set Up a Plan

Do not forget that this is a digital marketing channel, so the same rules apply. Creating valuable content is the principal. Engaging your audience is what will keep them coming back to your app.

Think of the problems your audience are facing and create an app that will solve that problem for them. Make the audience need your app. If they need it, they will definitely download it.

App Development Software Key Takeaways.

App development software makes creating a professional app easier and more flexible for those who lack a technical background. Therefore, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider if your business will benefit from an app.

Additionally, these tools take much of the time and effort out of building a business app.

App development makes your start-up look better and gives you credibility. If you have an established business already, then building an app will take you one step further and help you develop a new communication method with your existing customers, as well as your potential ones.

Ignoring the Design

The great Steve Jobs says “Design is everything.” There are thousands of apps on all platforms which completely fail to take this into account. The main reason for poor usage figures is often poor design.

Make sure your app is interesting and appealing to the eyes of your audience. This boosts the length of their average session, as well as your user retention rate.

Ignoring Distribution

How would people know about your app if you do not promote it?

If you have the best app out there and no one knows about it, there is no point. Let your customers know that you offer an app that will make things easier for them. Encourage them to download it and rate it if they love it. Good reviews are always a plus.

Your audience’s feedback about your app is key to improve future app development on your existing app and when planning further apps. Add any missing features through an update and remove anything that annoys your users.

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