Building a native mobile app requires a lot of time, research, and strategic planning before the end result can see light and become visible on the market. Considering that a single app can cost thousand of dollars only to be developed (which doesn’t include support, update, and maintenance costs), it is no surprise that companies investigate every single detail to the core before making the final decision. For this reason, today we will answer some of the most popular app development questions, with the hope of helping you on your app journey.
1. Should I build an app, or having a mobile friendly website is enough?
Without any doubt, one of the most popular app development questions that companies often have is whether they actually need to have an app, or having a mobile friendly website can be enough for their goals.
Of course, this is a valid question that makes a lot of sense. However, it also has to do with the fact that many companies are worried about their budget. So, they often rely on mobile friendly websites as an alternative to mobile apps, while in many cases they should be complementing each other. Or, as in the case of progressive web apps, they can be the same thing – but more on that later.
The answer to this question isn’t particularly easy – after all, it will depend on your business objectives. If your goal is to provide a good experience for users coming from mobile (which as of 2020 is 51%, surpassing desktop traffic), having a mobile friendly website should be enough.
However, keep in mind that your audience might have high expectations when it comes to functionality and usability, and sometimes mobile-friendly websites are simply not enough. For example, if you have an ecommerce business with thousands of products and you want to provide seamless shopping, a well-built app with advanced functionalities might just be what your customers need to keep coming back to your business.
Mobile apps are a great way for engaging and communicating with your audience, and sending them direct messages through push notifications. However, for those cases in which people don’t want to download an app and keep it on their phones, having a mobile friendly website is a must for providing great experience on any device.
One way to do this is by developing a progressive web app – because PWAs are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native app, you can use them as 2-in-1.
2. Should I go with native, hybrid, or mobile app development?
Second on our list of most popular app development questions is definitely a key one when it comes to selecting the right strategy for your business.
In fact, many people don’t know that there are different types of app development. They simply browse on their phones and enjoy the experience without realizing the implications and differences behind it – the understanding of which, however, is absolutely crucial for businesses that want to choose the right type for their goals.
Having said this, let’s take a look at the main differences before answering the question:
Native mobile apps
The first type refers to software applications that are typically designed for a specific app store or an operating system in mind. They are most commonly found in places such as the Apple App Store or the Galaxy App Store, and users need to download them on their mobile device in order to use them.
The fact that native mobile apps are designed exclusively for a specific store means that they will require more budget for development and maintenance if you want to sell them on a different app store that’s not the one you initially built them for.
This has its advantages and disadvantages – such a tailored development provides great user experience and full functionality because they immediatelly integrate with the user’s device and operating system. However, this also has its disadvantages because a native mobile app of medium complexity can cost up to 50,000 dollars for a single app store – which is a budget that many companies just can’t afford.
App Development Questions: choosing an app development type
Just as the name suggests, hybrid apps combine aspects from the world of native apps and others from the world of web apps (which we will cover in a minute). They can be published and distributed on an app store just like native applications, but they don’t actually need separate development for each particular store. The reason why is because they use a single code base which makes this possible.
Some advantages of hybrid apps include lower development costs (one app for all stores!), less maintenance than native ones, and they are also easier and faster to build overall. However, they are also more limited in functionality as they are not tailored to the unique characteristics of each store). They also lack power and speed compared to their native counterparts.
The third type of app development that you can go for are the so-called web apps. They are basically applications that behave and have the look & feel of native mobile apps, but you don’t have to download them on your electronic device. You can actually access them from any device with a single URL or a QR code, bypassing app stores completely.
Progressive web apps are associated with low development costs, fast loading speed, no need for third-party distribution systems (app stores), and really light weight – with some of them barely weighting a few kilobytes. They can also work in offline mode, and are indexable by search engines.
On another hand, some disadvantages include limited mobile feature accesibility, lack of browser variation, and lack of app store access – in the sense that you are losing on one channel to gain visibility in front of your audience.
So…what type of app development should you go for?
Back to the second one of our app development questions, it is clear that the answer will be difficult since each type has something to offer – and its disadvantages, too. It will also depend on your business model, as well as your objectives.
However, for companies on a limited budget that don’t want to spend months developing an app, progressive web apps are typically the best choice. They are cheap, fast to build – you can create and launch your app in a single day with Beezer – and you can promote them everywhere since they only require an URL. As opposed to sending people to the app store.
3. How can I monetize my app?
Of course, one of the most important app development questions that companies usually ask is how they can make money with their app. Building a good monetization strategy is key for any business that wants to maximize revenue and get the best out of their application, independently from the type of development chosen.
Some of the ways in which you can monetize your app include:
- In-app advertising;
- In-app purchases;
- Subscription payments;
- Paid app models;
- Freemium models;
And so on! You can read more on that in our article Top 6 Ways to Increase App Revenue for Your Business.
Selecting your app model and monetization strategy will depend on multiple factors, but you need to have a clear strategy before actually launching your app. After all, you don’t want to invest in a product that doesn’t have a practical model in place for generating revenue.
4. How long does it take to develop an app?
Our list of app development questions continues with the time for app development, something that many companies are worried about when working on their mobile app strategy.
The time to complete a project like this will strongly depend on the type of app development that you’ve chosen for your business strategy. For example, building native apps usually takes about 9 months on average, including:
- 1-2 weeks for writing and refining the project brief;
- 4-5 weeks to research ideas and confirm project viability;
- 6-12 weeks for design sprints and prototyping;
- 6-12 weeks for the development process itself;
On top of that, you should add about 2 weeks to get approved by an app store. If you don’t get approved, it might take even longer until you fix the reasons why you were rejected, and apply again. All of this doesn’t include the time needed for continuous improvement and ongoing support and maintenance.
Progressive web apps, however, are typically much faster to build – especially if you use a Drag & Drop builder like Beezer. With Beezer, you can get your app up and running in a single day!
5. How much does it cost to develop an app?
Another popular one on our list of app development questions is about the costs associated with app development. Answering this question comes down to one thing: how complex is your app idea?
The rule of thumb is pretty simple: the more complex your app idea is, the more difficult it will be to build it, which will also have a repercussion on your costs.
App development questions: how much does an app cost?
For example, if you want to add more advanced features such as payments processing, social media integration, access to third-party data, user profiles and so on, you can expect a higher cost for your app development.
To sum it up, the average prices in the US for building an app look like this:
- Minimum app development project – between $5,000 and $10,000;
- Medium app development – can reach up to $171,450;
- Complex, multi-feature app – starting from $230,000;
In fact, if you use an app cost calculator, you might get prices from $267,000 up to $360,000 for more advanced, multi-featured apps. Needless to say, these prices are probably out of budget for many small and medium sized companies.
Fortunately, there are cheaper options as well. For example, if you go with a Drag and Drop app builder, you can actually build your app quickly by simply adding pre-built features that don’t have to be developed any further. These app builders tend to be cheaper, and they are designed to help companies create apps without any coding. For example, prices for an app built with Beezer start from 15 dollars per month, or up to 50 dollars for a fully functional app.
So, the prices will really depend on the type of app that you want to develop, and how complex and customized you want it to be.
6. Should I invest in an Android or an iOs app?
Our list of app development questions continue with the operating system that you want to build an app for. As we mentioned previously, native apps usually require separate development for each app store and OS. Because building native applications is also very expensive, many companies cannot afford building one app for the Samsung Galaxy store, and another one for Apple’s app store.
App development questions: Android vs iOS?
So naturally, if your budget is limited and you only want to focus on one operating system, you would want to know which one.
Of course, there isn’t a single answer – it will depend on your business model and objectives. So, if you are planning to build your app with a developer or an agency, they should carefully evaluate which one would be more suitable for your needs and goals.
For example, if you want to reach a wider audience across multiple regions and areas, you should go with Android (there are more far more devices running Android than iOS). However, if you want to reach a higher-paying audience, iOS can often be the better choice – on average, iOS users spend more money than Android users, including things like memberships and in-app purchases.
This is when it comes to native app development – however, with progressive web app development it’s a little bit different. With PWAs, your app will be automatically suitable for both Android and iOS without the need for separate development. Because PWAs are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native, they are accessible with any browser, with a single URL.
And this was all from today when it comes to popular app development questions! Thank you for taking the time to read the article, and stay tuned for more!