The uprising of mobile applications has created somewhat of a new standard for business logistics – gone are the days of one-source, over-the-phone customer service, and behind us are the times when we needed to be at the office to access data or do a manual count to double-check product stock on the shelves. This easy access is what has put the mobile app development market on track to be worth $25 billion by the time 2015 rolls around.
But rather than making a cookie-cutter app just for the sake of making one, let’s take a look at some advisable ways to make a custom app that meets your business needs.
Though making your app multi-platform compatible is the best option, the iPhone remains the standard bearer in the mobile software market, making iPhone-specific developers – arguably – the most talented and experienced with their development skill, if only because the system has been around longer. When hiring an iPhone app developer, be on the lookout for someone with substantial experience and references for coding in Objective C, the native iPhone language. Someone with familiarity using Objective C is more than likely an expert in going through the development process and the sometimes cumbersome experience of gaining approval by Apple’s App Store, saving you both time and money in the long run.
When looking to hire, consider these crucial aspects of your prospective app:
- Will it use the accelerometer?
- Will it need access to the GPS?
- Is camera functionality necessary?
- How much power will your app consume?
- Will it use social media tools?
- Will you be making business transactions through this app?
- How much security will your app need? Do you need to conceal privy information?
- Is this app meant for a customer or an employee?
Being able to answer the above questions will not only make the search for a developer that much easier, but will give you a better idea of who to hire and how to direct them. The last thing you want is to hire a developer only to end up with a product you’re not satisfied with. Upon hiring your developer, be sure to draft a confidentiality agreement, as well as register yourself as an Apple Developer to give your app legs in the event your developer bails on you.
The Do-It-Yourself Alternative
The cost of an app development project can range from $3,000 to $8,000, making it a more costly endeavor than some business owners may be willing to invest in. But all the same, custom mobile business apps have become more of a necessity than a business perk in today’s climate, providing a level of portability that had previously been unthinkable.
Though you certainly get what you pay for, there are do-it-yourself options like Mobile Roadie, which allows you to produce a custom-built app in a more streamlined process for less than $1,000 that also conveniently leaves many of the logistics – like the App Store submission process – to the company you’re working through.
For those incredibly illiterate with coding, development apps like Bizness Apps and Mobiflex could prove to be a more painless option, with both being compatible with iOS and Android. The former is ideal for creating a restaurant- or shop-oriented application, implementing menu information and incorporating social media/RSS features with a template, while the latter is the best option for any app that involves GPS or speech recognition –if having a bit of a steeper learning curve to use. Apps like AppMakr, meanwhile, are great for basic content-distributing apps. Or, if you’re looking for an even simpler app-creation process, Swebapps allows for app development through your computer with a seven-step “drag and drop” process, costing a one-time fee of $50 per button on top of a $25 hosting fee per month.
If you consider yourself skilled enough with coding to develop an app, the advisable alternative is Adobe ActionScript, which allows for iPhone app development and optimal app system performance, supporting Android, iOS and Blackberry. The process is a bit more complicated, requiring familiarity with Flash and how to fine-tune an app so that it’s functional – let alone perfect.
All the same, developing your customized app is a key to long-term success in an environment that increasingly demands portability and a slashing of the middle man. In the end, it’s up to you to determine just how you want your new mobile representative to portray your business.
Author Bio:- Jen Potter is a freelancer and tech junkie who oversees Conestoga Bank’s online banking mobile app development.