The Guide to Custom Mobile App Development in 2022

The Guide to Custom Mobile App Development in 2022

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The blessing of digital growth and high proliferation of smartphones has led to a seismic shift. Individuals are deriving enormous value from custom built applications as mobile phones continue to connect and empower them.

Additionally, businesses have understood that applications tailored to meet definite needs of the audience increase customer engagement while promoting products and services at the same time. Covered in this blog are distinctive insights on developing a custom mobile application.

What is Custom App Development?

Custom app development is a process of creating robust solutions that are aligned with the requirements of individual businesses. Custom mobile apps deliver agility with customer-centric processes, pivotal for seamless end-user experience, creating brand value, and more. This segment can further be divided into:

  • Custom Mobile App
  • Custom Web App

However, in this blog, we will only be focusing on the development of a custom mobile app.

What is a Custom Mobile App?

Applications that are specifically designed and developed for mobile devices with a specific OS like iOS, Windows, or Android are known as custom mobile apps. These applications are tailored to the requirements of clients, to meet specific needs of their audience (target).

Applications that are custom-built provide a highly interactive UI to the user and can be easily downloaded from the app stores. Every custom application is built with a definite set of functions and activities to perform.

Custom Mobile App Development Types

According to Statista, mobile apps are projected to generate more than 935 billion in 2023, so developing a custom mobile app is the way forward to enhance consumer reach and gain online market presence. However, the next step of choosing the type of development for your app is crucial. Covered below are two types of custom mobile applications:

Hybrid Native Apps

Native Apps

These are software programs that provide flexibility to develop a custom mobile application and cater to specific platforms or devices. Native applications allow coding from scratch and are ideal for building lifestyle, gaming, productivity, shopping, weather apps, and more. They also provide optimized performance by incorporating the latest technology. With that said, these applications are the most expensive and can take the longest to build.

Hybrid Apps

These applications are a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to native apps. Built using Javascript, HTML, and CSS, these applications are developed once but can be deployed on multiple platforms. However, their performance is slightly below that of a native app, but due to the internet speed, difference in performance is shrinking noticeably.

Advantages of Custom Mobile Apps

Diverse and dynamic custom-built applications have offered exponential benefits to businesses across the globe. Apart from providing a competitive advantage, listed below are some other benefits of custom mobile apps.

Improves Efficiency & Productivity

Custom mobile applications are designed keeping particular requirements of clients in mind. This helps as the focus is primarily on the main functionality. This enhances productivity and performance, leading to higher efficiency.

Offers High Scalability

Custom mobile applications are developed by keeping certain parameters in mind. So, when a business starts growing, applications that are custom-built serve the purpose even when the scope (business) expands as they are scalable. On the other hand, regular applications might only be able to handle a limited load. 

Secures App Data

Custom mobile applications have in-built security features that general apps may lack. These customized security features prevent data breaches that might cost fraud, identity theft, loss of intellectual property, data tempering, and more. 

Integrates with Existing Software

A custom development app company can integrate apps and softwares as per client’s request for specific operations. For instance, an application can be integrated with WordPress to obtain better user experience.

Improves Customer Relationship

Apart from other benefits of a custom mobile application, customer engagement is the most holistic one. Customized apps allow users to give their feedback and provide businesses with an opportunity to have a one-on-one exchange with the company. It allows businesses to solve problems and develop meaningful relationships with their customers. 

Facilitates New Client Data Retrieval

In a custom-built application, client data as per requirements can be collected discreetly by adding forms and surveys to the app. It is time-saving for both employees and clients as physical document submission is not required.

Record Digital Files for Accountability

To cater better to users, information containing ideas and thoughts can be recorded and stored securely using custom mobile applications. These recordings can be accessed by authorized staff only, thereby, improving accountability and helping the business serve its customers better.

Ease in Project Management

Custom-built applications can be installed to manage the progress of projects with their deadlines. After the completion of each phase, updates can be sent to the client. These applications also help with the billing cycle for each stage of the project.

Provides Real-time Project Access

A custom business application provides information in real-time as it synchronizes all of the communication. This provides real-time access of information to every member of the team. The application helps in ensuring that everybody is aligned with the project requirements and the progress made so that deadlines are met. It also favours the clients to have complete information, post-project development.

Enter New Possibilities with Custom Mobile App Development

Industry Specific Mobile Apps

Industry Specific Mobile Apps

Several industries in today’s era are looking to elevate their brand and make profit by catering to the need of user convenience. Covered below are various industries that have embraced custom mobile applications.

Healthcare Apps

Healthcare apps are customly designed to assist individuals in monitoring their own health conditions, allowing them to keep a track of their medication and seek consultation. These applications also allow healthcare providers to report and share patient’s personal health records remotely.

Through these applications, patients can message and schedule an appointment without any hassle. These applications have the ability to improve the experience of a patient as they are convenient and they can also reduce the costs of care.  

Eg: Generis: DNA & Nutrition

Manufacturing Apps

Manufacturing apps turn industrial workflows into data collecting, instrumented digital processes that integrate operator, machine and sensor data to achieve business goals. Ranging from real-time equipment monitoring to universal CRM software, manufacturing apps are fine tuned for tracking and recording.

Eg: Manufacturing 360

Transport and Logistics Apps

With technology acceleration, gone are the days when customers waited for several days to receive information regarding their consignment. In a data-driven world like today’s, tech-savvy customers access all the necessary information quickly on the move by using a transport and logistics application. These applications help with streamlining the processes, fleet management and providing real-time data to customers anytime and anywhere.

Eg: Veeqo 

Retail Apps

Retail business apps allow retailers to engage with their customers and provide complete information about the products virtually. Retailers can easily track and understand customer behavior so that they can develop product marketing strategies to scale their business.

Retail applications also provide an unprecedented opportunity to retailers for providing sales support, increase customer retention and provide better customer experience. These brands are effective in brand building.

Eg: Xero

e-Learning Apps

The traditional ways of teaching and learning have been changed with technological advances and the emergence of Covid-19. Students and teachers can virtually connect via e-learning applications and are not required to be physically present in a classroom.

e-Learning apps facilitate learning and students can access resources available on the application. Teachers can easily deliver lectures in an engaging way, grade and give feedback by using these apps.

Eg: Coursera

Entertainment and Media Apps

Media and entertainment are no longer untouched by the proliferation of mobile apps. By using mobile technology, entertainment and media industry avails lucrative benefits like reducing content duplicacy, providing videos, movies, songs to streamline and download either free of cost or at reasonable prices. This segment mostly covers:

  • Video streaming apps
  • Music streaming apps
  • Photo editing and sharing apps
  • Gaming apps

Eg: YouTube

Food and Hospitality Apps

The option of ordering meals from anywhere at anytime using the food delivery apps has surpassed user convenience. Food and hospitality apps also act as a one-stop solution for increasing customer engagement, ordering food conveniently, making reservations, and hassle-free payments. In the backdrop, the workforce constantly stays connected to meet the needs of the guests.

Eg: UberEats

Modern Technologies for Custom App Development

iOS from Apple Inc – Swift and XCode Android from Google – Kotlin and Android Studio
Swift- is a general purpose programming language that is used to create apps for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and more. Kotlin- is a cross platform, general-purpose programming language that supports Android Studio.
Xcode- is Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that is used to develop software for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Android Studio- Built on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA software, it is the official integrated development environment for Android operating system.

 

Frameworks - Custom Mobile App Dev

Step by Step Process of Custom App Development

1. Pre-app Development

Pre-app Development

Brainstorming

The first step before approaching a custom app development company would be brainstorming. As a starting point, one must have an idea and should research based on it before getting started with the custom app development. Thinking about an idea that either facilitates many lives or resolves an issue is important.

Identifying the Target Market 

Once an idea has been brainstormed regarding solving a problem, then understanding the target market is important towards the application’s success. Universal examples can be considered under this section.

Airbnb wanted to earn money by focusing on low/middle income travelers, while Duolingo targeted people who wanted to learn a foreign language but lacked funds. These descriptions of the target audience are excellent examples to start with marketing research. 

The following questions can be used to base the research of target audience:

  • Who are they? ( Age, Gender, Occupation, Income, Location, and more)
  • What will make the application unique?
  • What purpose will be resolved by the application?

The data can be gathered by asking the people around and finding their preferences. Collecting data will help in developing target user profiles. 

Business Strategy

Once the idea and the target audience is defined, it is time for planning. Developing a sophisticated strategy towards the success of the application that will impact customer satisfaction rate leading to revenue generation is important. The questions towards developing a business strategy include:

  • How will the end-users learn about the application? 
  • How much budget will be required to gain market traction?
  • How much will one user acquisition cost?

These questions might help more once the app is released, but they also impact the technological side of the application and are crucial for deciding deep linking, SEO optimization, slots for ads, and more. 

Specifications & Core Functionality (Tech Stack)

This step includes defining overall technical and functional specifications so that the developers can understand the vision and deliver the solution as per requirements. 

From the technologies available in the market, it is important to choose the technology stack for both frontend and backend development. The main components of tech stack include:

  • Back-end Technology Stack- Includes programming languages, database and web servers, powering the application from server-side.
  • Front-end Technology Stack- Forms the visuals of the custom mobile application and comprises HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Besides, Javascript and Jquery facilitate interaction of users with the application.

Third-party integrations can also be considered for multiple payment gateways, social media plugins, and more. High-level planning like expected number of screens with button names, functional design, and more can also be included. However, at this stage of planning, gathering more information to define the specifications will ultimately generate faster development results.  

Choose your Development Method

After deciding the technology stack, a method of development can be chosen. Two distinct methodologies are prevalent in the market that can be used to develop a custom mobile application. These are:

  • Waterfall Methodology- The working takes place in a sequential method with a linear process, where going back to the previous phase is not allowed. The next phase is only pursued when the previous phase has been completed. 
  • Agile Methodology- Is flexible and works on iterations to incorporate time to time enhancements. This leads to the delivery of the working app (or a functionality) after each development span.

Finding Experts to Develop a Custom Mobile App

Once the idea, business strategy and tech specifications have been thought through, it is imperative to find and partner with reliable app developers or a leading custom app development company. The following points can be considered while finding experts to develop a custom mobile app:

Go Through Listings- Go through listing websites to assess the credibility of custom mobile app development companies and services offered by them. 

Check Portfolio- Portfolios of selected development teams can be browsed to see if they have prior experience of developing a similar application. 

Check Market Presence- This can be done to check if a company has received an award for the solutions developed. The social media presence of those applications can also be checked.

Check Customer Feedback or Referrals- A company or a team of developers who have positive feedback or referrals are easier to work with. Check for client testimonials and compare before selecting. 

Consider Location (Offshore or Onshore)- It is important to consider whether you would want an offshore development team or an onshore. The onshore development team consists of native or local individuals while the offshore is opposite. Here checking the hourly pricing of development is important before making a choice.

Sign a Contract- A contract having all the app requirements, technical specifications, deadlines, and more should be signed so that unfortunate incidents such as disputes can be handled.

2. Development

Development

Set Measurable Milestones

To keep track during the development process it is important to set milestones. These benchmarks ease the tracking progress. The idea is to divide the development project into smaller parts.

Each project segment should complete within the specified time. Based on the complexity, the completion of the task could vary from a few days to a few weeks. The progress can be measured against the timeline of milestones to make sure that the team is meeting the deadlines.

Create an MVP

Development of a custom mobile application should start with MVP (Minimum Viable Product) development. The creation of MVP focuses on the app’s most essential features, i.e. what will make the app functional? Those features are to be incorporated first. Other features can be added later.

For example, referring to the analogy of a house. The MVP would be walls and a roof, not the interiors. Considering a custom messaging application as an example, the MVP would allow two or more users to send messages to each other as the core functionality. Other features like video chat, uploading features, or adding a background to the app can be incorporated later.

Quality Assurance

Once the MVP of the application is built, it needs to be tested for any functionality errors. In the real world, unidentified bugs can create havoc if found by users, so the QA process should not be undermined.

There are many different ways an application can be tested. A quality assurance person can check on Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and more. The initial requirement is matched with the MVP, responsiveness is checked and bugs and errors are reported to the development team.

In addition to testing the app by a QA specialist, usability testing with actual test users, such as early adopters, can also be done. Once the application is fully tested and is free from functional defects, it can be deployed. 

Deploy

This is the last stage of the development process. Once the app is tested it can be deployed for the general audience to use. To get the app to the market, it needs to be submitted to different app stores. The requirements vary for Google Play Store and Apple App Store. So the submission guidelines should be well understood, otherwise, the app could get rejected.

Devise Custom Mobile App Development Strategy

3. Post Launch Preparation

Post Launch Preparation

Marketing your App

Mobile app marketing is all about increasing user interaction with the application. Even the finest app developed can go in vain if it is not well promoted. So a new custom mobile application should be marketed appropriately to garner user interest.

Having a digital presence on various platforms drives visitors to the applications. Promoting the application on social media channels like, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, can target a broader audience.

Behind the marketing strategy of the application, the idea should be to attract more users. Other marketing methods can include app demonstrations through video promotion, PPC campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, App Store Optimization, and more. Needless to say, early stages of marketing ultimately define the success of the application.

Track KPIs

The only way to track the success of an application is by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as speed and uptime. But sometimes, something as simple as database performance or server utilization can be critical to the application. However, the most effective KPIs are custom to the application itself. These can be based on:

  • Are users adapting to the application?
  • How many users are downloading?
  • Are users uninstalling the application?
  • Do users reuse the application?
  • Which component of the application is generating results or requires improvement?

For example, there is a feature on the app which the majority of users are taking advantage of, but during development it wasn’t considered as the core component. In such a case, the information received from tracking can help in determining how to make the feature more accessible like adding it to the homepage or moving it up on the side menu. Basically, monitoring KPIs and reacting quickly to any potential errors can help in achieving business strategic goals.

Gather Feedback

It is important to get feedback from users once the application is launched. As soon as the application is deployed and real customers are using it, ask them for their opinion about it. Users who participate in the feedback will genuinely be invested in the success of the application.

Sometimes, feedback can be related to the cost increase or change needed. But, it is important to ask questions that give users the opportunity to be honest. Their response can help in prioritizing features that need to be incorporated, ultimately preventing churn.

Make Improvements 

As discussed in the previous step, feedback is crucial. Working on improvements and releasing a new version of the application as per feedback helps with user retention. An app that fails to improve can cause people to stop using it and push them to choose alternatives. When changes are done to an application, same steps of development as discussed above, should be followed.

Subsequent deployments can create errors that did not exist in the past, i.e. something that worked in the previous release might have stopped working due to the updates in this one. Hence, before making the app available to the public with new updates, it is important to put it through quality assurance.

Maintenance and Support

Like improvements, maintenance for an application is ongoing. If your application comes out with new versions, mobile operating systems for Android and iOS will come out with updates too. To make sure that the application is compatible with the latest versions of the operating system, retaining the development team is important.

Compliance levels and regulations are subject to change too. Keeping a custom application in sync requires ongoing maintenance. And, as the application scales, better customer support is required as users might have questions, complaints or feedback regarding it.

4. Official Release

Behind a successful application, is a team that constantly works on its updates and improvements based on the user-feedback, as discussed formerly. After following similar steps of development and quality assurance (regression testing), new version releases are made available to the public.

How to Make Money from your Custom Mobile App?

A Custom mobile app is a great way to generate revenue for your business. Listed below are various monetization methods.

Revenue Model - Custom Mobile App Dev

In-App Advertising

Advertising is the most practiced way to earn money from a custom mobile application. Partnering with businesses who are looking to build an online presence and giving them visibility on your screen in the form of advertisements/banners will make way for a constant inflow of money.

In-App Purchases

In-app purchases allow customers to make the most of the services offered by a custom mobile app. But, enhanced facilities and value additions come at an additional cost. A good example of in-app purchases would be that of a gaming application. As the users progress through the game, they can unlock levels, purchase coins or badges by paying real money through in-app purchases.

Subscription

Subscription is another way of earning money through custom mobile applications. Users are charged on a monthly or annual basis for using the application. The subscription fee covers perks consisting of free access to useful content. If it is a fitness application, then a user can interact with coaches and avail the diet plans at no additional cost. Users have the flexibility to choose the plan of subscription according to their requirements.

Paid Apps

A custom app development company can build tailor-made applications to meet specific requirements of the users at an additional cost. The price of the application depends on the market’s pricing matrix. But a demo version of the custom application can be created so that the users experience first-hand perks of the application. Once customers are aware of the sophisticated features incorporated, they are more likely to pay for a premium version of an application.

Sponsorship

Sponsorships are more exclusive than advertisements and are less random than banner ads. If a custom mobile app is built keeping a specific niche in mind and the needs of the target audience are met, then sponsors might get attracted to the app. They might exchange a prominent placement in the app if it will promote their business. Using analytics data for fact-based demographic profiles and usage patterns will be imperative to reach the right sponsors.

Scale Business Growth with Custom Mobile Applications

Why Custom Mobile App Development is a Better Choice?

With the increase in adoption of mobile devices and technology, customer expectations of having an application of their choice has increased. Mobile apps that offer more features (customized) catering to a specific purpose are increasingly becoming popular among the masses and entrepreneurs are constantly trying to capitalize on the solutions. Reasons include:

1. A Solution Provider & Problem Solver

Apps with custom requirements address a vast array of problems. Almost every business is investing in making custom applications to fulfill their business needs, boost brand awareness, enhance customer base, generate income, and more. The general audience also uses custom-built applications as a one-stop destination to make purchases online or to efficiently stay connected with friends and family via chat. 

There are specialized people whose job is to identify problems and to come up with solutions that are later developed for customers, clients, or users. As long as the perspective is clear with defined goals, problems big or small can be solved by customized apps.

2. Adding Value

A custom mobile application is a great way to interact with your customers. Considering food delivery applications where customer engagement plays a vital role, businesses can add value by running promotions that are accessible 24×7. 

They are the most credible and reliable ways for a business to:

  • Collaborate
  • Deliver a personalized user experience
  • Garner reliable customer data
  • Get honest customer feedback
  • Create additional revenue streams

All this information allows entrepreneurs or startups to run successful campaigns that have a huge impact in creating brand awareness and adding value with ease. 

3. Customer Loyalty

Custom mobile apps cater to user specific needs efficiently and effectively. As customers prefer personalized experiences, to best suit their needs, features that are custom built can be incorporated into an application. Furthermore, loyalty programs can be run to retain and reward customers for loyalty.

4. Branding

Branding is a way of creating an image with a set of distinguishing features to promote recognizability and brand awareness among the audience. By interacting with the app, users can perceive and form a visual image that is important in formulating the reputation of the brand. A few core elements essential for branding are:

  • Logo and App Icon
  • Graphics 
  • Keywords 
  • Landing Page 
  • Product Videos

By building an interactive custom mobile app, you are painting the picture of your company. It is important to stick to your brand’s colors, fonts so that the brand can be easily recognized.

5. Increased Sales

Building a custom mobile application requires in-depth research. This helps in impressively meeting the needs of the audience as in every phase of development enough brainstorming is done by the company’s skilled professionals. This results in a high end custom built product that seamlessly provides exceptional user experience, reduces churn and increases the chances of sale. Additionally, these applications prevent customers from purchasing products from other players in the market because 46% of consumers like to shop using the purpose built app of the company which can eventually increase sales.

Recent Projects Completed by FATbit

FATbit Technologies has crafted cutting-edge experiences for its clients by orchestrating user-centric products. Further, by incorporating agile methodologies, the company has built intuitive mobile and web applications, thereby, making businesses scalable and profitable. Recent projects architected by FATbit Technologies include:

Uni Diamonds – Exclusive B2B Diamond Trading Platform

Based in Israel, UNI Diamonds is the world’s first online business-to-business Diamond Trading Marketplace. Launched as a common trading platform for diamond sellers and buyers to search, compare, buy, sell or bid diamonds post verifying the information as per available market data.

With the following domain-specific features the team of FATbit Technologies delivered front-end web and mobile applications (Android and iOS). These are:

  • Smart search
  • 360 Degree vision view
  • Stone view analytics
  • Diamond price negotiation
  • Time-bound diamond rental
  • Bidding module
  • Direct purchase
  • Multi-user role
  • Full logistical solution
  • Google tag manager
  • Price synchronization

SpinTel – Telecommunication Company

A telecommunication company based in Australia required Android and iOS applications for its customers. The requirements were well understood and for further enhancements, the team of FATbit shared their inputs to accentuate user experience.

By using the application of SpinTel users can:

  • Monitor their service usage
  • Receive important alerts about their accounts and services
  • Chat with the support team
  • Quickly access full features of ‘My Account’ that include:
    • Manage account and services
    • Buy data-blocks
    • Change plan 
    • Move the broadband service to another address

The deliverables of the project required integration of custom mobile apps with existing infrastructure of SpinTel. Both android and iOS mobile applications were delivered with strict adherence to guidelines for scalability and security.

Elapso – Automatic Wallpaper Changer App

Elapso is an automatic wallpaper-changing mobile app that was designed and developed from scratch by FATbit Technologies. Wallpapers are a reflection of the user’s mood so the application was designed with a beautiful interface and was custom built as per the client’s requirements. Other features of Elapso include:

  • App content can be viewed in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Italian)
  • A practical and beautiful way to break the pattern of monotonous thoughts
  • Phrases and quotes can be changed every hour or every day
  • Offers trial period, subscription plans, and auto invoice generation
  • Easy to use

The deliverables of the project-centered around user experience design and the majority of work were done in the development phase. The application was highly personalized to meet the finalized requirements from the client.

Get an Omnichannel Custom Mobile App

Conclusion

The mobile app industry has reached a new equilibrium by radically changing, redefining the market and reconditioning users. Keeping in purview, user convenience, the demand for custom built applications has risen exponentially.

Organizations are continuously evolving for operational efficiency and to meet user needs (deep rooted in their choices). Addressing the requirements, a custom mobile app development company can craft a best-in-suite solution for businesses to do more.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.


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