Mobile apps have evolved from a ‘good to have’ feature to a ‘must have’ functionality for most businesses. Users spend 90% of their time in apps compared to mobile web as per research by Flurry. Mobile apps not only engage customers but often simplify operations too. Building a mobile app typically takes more time and effort than a website or web platform. Here are six ways to speed up the process so that you have a timely entry into your market:
Minimal Viable Product is a concept that is very helpful in app development. MVP is releasing the app with bare minimal features or the very essential functionality. Chasing perfection in a mobile app delays the release. Besides, the definition of perfect keeps changing in the fast paced technological world. You can instead make a minimalistic functional app that addresses the user’s core issues and add the layers to your app on the go. This also helps in getting real time feedback for the next release.
Bear in mind that this concept advocates minimal essential features and not minimal effort. The feature you release must be fully functional and complete. Half made features will not address any of the user’s issues and leave them frustrated.
Agile is a philosophy similar to that of MVP. Agile are principles and practices where the bare minimum product is released first and the additional features are released in phases usually within two to four weeks. MVP is the first step to go agile. However, agile extends to much more of the project. It involves prioritizing between time, budget and features. The milestones set after this are flexible and takes real time feedback into consideration. Advantages of Agile method include early entry into the market, flexibility, more visibility and real time testing.
The technical word for app blueprint is Wireframe. Wireframes let you answer essential questions like- what is the app required to do? Who will use this? What is the basic function and what are the add ons? They help in communication and get all the stakeholders on the same page. It also helps in early detection of roadblocks that may arise.
Aim for a rough wireframe that is more abstract to allow all teams to understand it and have flexibility.
If time is of essence in your app release it makes sense to outsource certain features of the app. Sometimes your team may not be efficient in all the platforms. For example, if your team is expert in iOS then you might want to consider outsourcing Android development to someone who is an expert in that.
Using applets for non-core functions will give you add on features at no extra coding.
SendGrid for email functionality is a great example.
Hybrid apps are web apps that can run smoothly on any mobile operating system (OS). They save a lot of time since you do not need to write a separate code for each OS such as Android or iOS. Unlike native apps, it is not developed for a specific operating system. Hybrid apps are great because they are faster, cheaper and portable. Do make sure that your hybrid app has an easy UI just like the native apps.
6. Use Automation
Use automation to your advantage in order to get your app faster to market. You can automate mobile application testing. Automated testing software like Appium allows developers to simultaneously run tests that would take lot of time to run manually.