It’s hard to be sure which mobile application first appeared in the world. However, there are many voices that consider the first application to be… the arcade game “Snake,” built into the Nokia 6110 in 1997. There are also many voices that consider the games Solitare and Brick, built into the first iPod, to be the precursors of the currently available products in Google and AppStore.

It’s hard to be sure which mobile application first appeared in the world. However, there are many voices that consider the first application to be… the arcade game “Snake,” built into the Nokia 6110 in 1997. There are also many voices that consider the games Solitare and Brick, built into the first iPod, to be the precursors of the currently available products in Google and AppStore.

What is a mobile application?

A mobile application is a type of software, designed to run on mobile devices such as a smartphone, tablets, or smartwatches. Typically, they are small pieces of software that have limited functionality and are intended to provide users with similar services to those that exist on PCs.

Currently, there are three, basic types of mobile applications that can be categorized based on the technology used for their coding. These are:

Native applications – created for one specific platform or operating system.

Web applications – which are responsive versions of websites, delivered via mobile browsers and capable of running on any operating system.

Hybrid applications – which combine the features of native and web applications. They give you the option of having your own icon and downloading it from the app store.

Over the past 10 years, mobile applications have had a gigantic impact not only in the areas of entertainment, culture and media, but also caused huge changes in consumers and business behavior. Today’s businessman wishing to succeed in their industry usually considers the need for a functional mobile product, which has become the standard in today’s process of winning customers and keeping relationships with them. Although it’s hard to believe – most of the apps without which we now can’t imagine everyday life, have only been around for less than a decade. In addition, recent years of pandemonium have caused a sudden increase in the number of businesses that – even if they didn’t plan it – have had to move online.

Creating a mobile app may not be a must, but it certainly brings a lot of benefits in terms of engaging customers and making it easier for them to use the services you offer, among other things.

However, we know that creating a satisfying, functional, and intuitive app is not an easy task, so we have prepared here a guide to mobile app development in 2022.

Where to start?

Before you start anything, it’s worth thinking deeply about the purpose of the application. Ask yourself basic questions – who will use the app? Why do they need it? What problems do they have? What features should the app have to make life easier and not harder? Empathize with your potential audience and think about what you would expect in their shoes.

Then prepare the SRC (Software Requirements Specifications) document. This is a big help for the future, especially when talking to developers and stakeholders. It will help you communicate the main idea of the application, as well as organize the goals that the application is supposed to meet.

What should the SRC document contain?

  1. First of all, the idea of the application. Write out the problems it has to solve. You can create an outline of the application’s software requirements specification.
  2. Define the purpose of the product. The elements you should keep in mind at this point are: the scope of the product (what are the benefits you want to achieve? What are the business objectives to be achieved? What are the risks? What can go wrong?)
  3. Describe what you are building. Is it a new product or an addition to an existing one? What kind of devices will it be for? Who will use it? Is the product dependent on any external factors?
  4. Identify your specific requirements. It could be external interface requirements, maybe you have special security or performance requirements? It’s a good idea to specify all of this in as much detail as possible.

iOS, Android, or both? Which platform to choose?

The questions you will answer when preparing your SRC document will probably already direct you on what platform you will build your product. Will it be iOS, Android, or cross-platform? To determine which will work best for your product, it’s worth considering what devices you’d like to support, what features you need, and what platforms your target audience is on.

Although there are some less popular methods of building applications remember that most are developed using several coding languages, frameworks, and libraries based on them.

We strongly recommend sticking to mainstream technology solutions because they have many significant benefits. Mainstream technologies are proven, and trusted and have very strong developer communities around them that support each other in catching bugs and making improvements.

Android (Java / Kotlin)

Java has been the official language of Android App Development for a long time. It enjoys great popularity due in part to Google’s effective support, and an extensive network of developers. Although it can be complicated when used together with the Android Software Development Kit (SDK which is Google’s constantly updated set of tools and libraries for developing Android applications), Java’s popularity is not waning.

A language that runs on the Java VM and can interact with it is Kotlin, a language that greatly simplifies Java, and since 2019 is also been the official language for Android App Development although it started as a secondary Java language. It has the advantage of being very flexible and easier to learn which has been appreciated by developers.

iOS (Objective-C / Swift)

Like Java and Kotlin, the iOS platform uses Objective-C and Swift languages.

Until the release of Swift in 2014, Objective-C was the primary default language for iOS app development. Swift, however, very quickly became the most widely used language for building iOS apps. The languages are often used in combination, and both are actively supported by Apple. However, there is no denying that Swift is currently the most strongly favored by Apple and continues to be heavily improved.

Cross-platform applications (Flutter, React Native)

Flutter and React Native is currently the dominant languages when it comes to developing hybrid applications. Flutter is a framework created by Google and uses the Dart language. It is used for SDK development and cross-platform development. It has many resources due to which it is gaining popularity among developers very quickly.

React Native, on the other hand, is a framework that was created by Facebook. It is probably the most popular language for developing mobile applications. It has made it possible to use the same UI elements as native apps, and its logic is programmed in JavaScript and TypeScript, making the app use native components for display.

How is a mobile application developed step by step?

In a nutshell, the creation of an application can be divided into the following stages:

  1. Research – that is, the point at which the idea for the app becomes more mature. At this point, you should develop your knowledge of market demands and consumer behavior and also research their real needs.
  2. Wireframing – that is, building the skeleton/map of the user interface. Its primary purpose is to focus on the space allocation of individual functionalities, prioritizing content, and predicting intended behavior.
  3. Prototyping – is an approximate version of the application to get the first feedback from users. You can create a prototype, which will show how the app will ultimately be built, or an MVP which is a minimum viable product, which will be a small version of the product that includes its key features. (Watch our last webinar about MVP!)
  4. UX/UI Design – UX Designers are responsible for designing how an application works, while UI Designers are responsible for the entire visual design of the application.
  5. Developing – this is a process that largely involves planning, designing, developing, testing, releasing, and collecting feedback.
  6. Testing – this is the part of the process that should accompany the entire app development process. Leaving testing to the last moment is never a good idea because bugs detected improperly early can generate very high costs.
  7. Implementation – the final stage, and although it might seem that it should be the most pleasant and simplest – in practice it means additional catching of bugs, collecting feedback, and final adjustment of functionality for users.

Ready for something new?

Building mobile apps can be time-consuming however it will undoubtedly bring a lot of benefits to any business! If you feel that you need an expert opinion or a technology partner to whom you could outsource your app development – contact Applover! A professional software agency will be happy to help you create the right mobile application for your business.