If you are planning to develop an application for your business on your smartphone or tablet, then this is the right place for you. This blog will help you in developing your company projects on the smartphone based on your customers or for your personal use as well. So let’s get started in creating a great app!!!
With the advent and flooding of new brands of smartphones and tablets as well as rise in sales of smartphones and tablets, a complete new era of mobile computing is here. This has resulted in a drastic change in the business strategy.
“Mobile Computing is the future of any business.”
Before we start any project we need to formulate the basic idea about the project. For example, what kind of project you want to do? Who will be your target audience? How is it going to affect your business? In case you want to create mobile application for your business, you need to do a thorough research & analysis about your needs as well as the purpose of your business.
There are mainly three types of mobile applications that you can develop:
1. Native applications
2. Web Applications
3. Hybrid Application (Native and Web Both)
Below is a brief explanation for each:
Native Applications are stored on the device and accessed through icons on the device’s screen. They are also installed from Application Stores such as Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store, Amazon App Store etc. Common Native applications are Angry Birds, Ingress, Instagram etc.
Web Applications is a client – server software application in which the client runs in web browser. The differentiation from native applications is that here client can update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing applications on potentially thousands of client smartphones. Common web applications are webmail, online retail store, online auctions, instant messaging services etc.
Now that we are familiar with types of mobile applications let us look at some of the major benefits of mobile applications for business:
- Increase your visibility
- Increase your brand loyalty
- Increase your accessibility to customers/ consumers
- Reinforce your brand into the market
Having said that let us now look into some of the aspects that need to be answered before creating mobile application. In order to choose the appropriate app type for your business, answer these questions:
Question: What are the minimum requirements for developing any app?
There are different requirements for different platforms for the same application. So you need to first decide the platform on which you want to develop your application. Then you need to decide on the tools that you will be using as there are different tools for different platforms.
You can decide the requirement for your app based on your business prospective.
Question: What are the tools using for application development?
There are different tools used for different mobile apps platforms. Some of them are:
For Android – Android Studio, Java SDK, ADT etc.
For iOS – Mac OS X, Xcode, Simulator
For Windows – Visual Studio
There are some other tools for UI development and Testing like jUnit, etc. You can also use your real devices for test application for related platforms.
Question: Who are the target audience for your business?
It is very important to know your audience. This is an important piece of advice to entrepreneurs in every field of business. For developing any application, the accurate identification and research about target audience is more important because of the lack of face-to-face sales opportunities. You should also keep in mind about who will be using your app in future. Thus you can plan the design and functionality around their preferences, while crafting a marketing plan.
Question: How many platforms do you need to support?
Right now, there are mainly 3 smartphone platforms:
- Windows Phone 7
While the differences between them may appear minor to the user, they are really quite substantial.
So if you want to create any application that should work across on both tablet as well as smartphone platforms then you need to create min 6 different versions of each application (3 for tablet and 3 for smartphone). Even if your company needs internal mobile applications for one platform, you must still ask yourself this question. If cross-platform compatibility is a concern for your business, mobile web apps are a better choice as they are completely platform independent.
Others then the above there are few more:
- Blackberry OS
- Tizen – an Operating System based on Linux kernel and the GNU C Library using Samsung Smartphones.
- Unity – The Game Engine for mobile – One click deployment to Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Tizen.
Question: How important is security?
Mobile Devices have become an integral part of our life. We depend on them for stuffs much more than them just being a means of communication with others. The growth of popularity of mobile apps has led the hackers to see them as a new field to attack. Native mobile apps that access important data pose a serious security threat. On top of that mobile apps malware are becoming very complex and dangerous day by day. So Mobile Application Security becomes an important part for protecting the device against threats.
Let’s now discuss the requirements for the major application formats.
Requirements for designing the applications vary depending on the app format. Here are the requirements for creating both native and mobile web apps:
1. Developer(s): You’ll need a developer who is familiar with the mobile platform programming language. Most platforms use different programming languages. Here are the programming languages required to create native apps for the most popular mobile operating systems.
- Android – Java
- Blackberry – Java
- iOS – Objective-C / Swift
- Windows Phone 7 – C#
- Tizen – C++ , HTML5
If you want to create cross platform native apps, you’ll need either one developer who knows each of the programming languages or multiple developers.
2. Join the developer program: You’ll need to join the developer programs for every platform that you’re using. Learning each program will require a small entry fee.
3. Team: Going forward, you’ll need a team to maintain these native apps. Whenever a mobile platform releases a new update, you’ll need to update your application, or risk it not working with the updated OS. Each platform releases a new update very frequently sometimes alomost every month. So the application also needs to be updated keeping this in mind.
2. Web developer: If you want full web apps that connect to a back-end database and include business logic, you’ll need a web developer. Unlike native apps, you’re not limited to one development language. You can build mobile apps in whatever language you wish, like Java, PHP, Python, etc.
Having said that let us make a list of all the important factors that one should keep in mind when developing an application for your business:
1. If you want an app that works across multiple platforms then mobile web app is a better choice as it is platform independent.
2. If you want the app to access the device’s camera or microphone then native app is better choice.
3. If security is important, mobile web apps are a better choice.
4. If you want to sell your apps, native apps are a better choice.
5. If you want apps that integrate with existing systems and databases, mobile web apps are a better choice.
As we know mobile application is the future of business. Smartphones and tablet sale is on the rise these days. So if you wish to create mobile apps for your business, you can create native apps or mobile web apps.
Finally, I am not saying that a mobile application is going to save and secure your business growth but it can be the way to stay closer and being just a “fingerprint” for all your customers.
If your company plans on creating a mobile application this year then I hope that these factors will help in guiding.
Remember, mobile computing is the future of business. Don’t get left behind.