So a striking idea has just crossed your mind. You’re bursting with emotions and ready to develop a winning mobile app. Maybe it’s a game or a health application or even a credit calculator that will create buzz on the Web.
Did you know that daily nearly 100K apps are uploaded to the App Store? I was really shocked when I discovered that. But nearly 95% of them will never bring any revenue. So the chances to develop a truly unique app are next to none especially when it comes to games or ever-popular social widgets.
Wonders happen but very seldom. Dong Nguyen, an Asian developer, developed a simple but eye-catching game “Flappy Bird” and he became a millionaire.
This is rather an exception than a rule. Most apps become popular and bring some money a couple of months down the line. And if you have an app idea, I can gently walk you through all app development stages.
Research your idea
You can distinguish two types of the mobile apps:
Mobile apps improving the existing apps
Mobile apps offering brand new features
For example, there are a great many of calendar apps, but only the sky’s the limit. Study the similar app if any to find out the merits and flaws. Thanks to that, you can develop an app exceeding the old apps. By providing additional value to the app, you get more chances for success. If you’re going to develop an app that has lots of counterparts, you have to make your app stand out of the crowd.
Mind app categories since their popularity varies greatly. For example, a calendar app belongs to Productivity. And productivity apps stand for around 3% of total downloads. So it’s unlikely that a calendar app will bring you whopping millions.
Games are the most frequently downloaded apps accounting for 25% of total downloads. Despite the fact that they are expensive to build, games can make a pot of dough for you.
Make a sketch
You don’t have to be an artist to sketch out important features of your future app. All you need is to take a pen and some paper and you’re ready to make your worded idea a visual one. Think of every detail and make notes (never stop doing that even if you’re sleeping). When you have a visual representation of your future app as well as its structure, it’s high time to move to the next stage.
Hire a developer
Consider who you’re going to hire (or outsource) – freelance developers vs. software development agencies. Each of the options has its own pros and cons.
The budget is usually limited (and you wish it’d be larger) but we are where we are. Don’t get fooled by the price while you know that low hourly rates, especially for development and design, mean low-grade apps.
Working with freelancers requires great management skills. Unless you’re a Management Guru or a Code Genius, consider hiring an app development company. Yeah, it’ll cost more than hiring freelancers, but you can put your feet up waiting for a fully-functioning app (or an MVP).
Test your app
Once an MVP (a prototype) is ready, test it. Don’t be afraid to show it to the real users. Ask your family, friend, and potential customers to try it and leave constructive feedback.
Doing so, you can detect all the flaws and fine-tune your app long before its launch.
Market your app
Don’t wait until all the testing process is finished, start marketing your app as early as possible. Make a website and write blog posts to whet the appetite and pump up your target audience.
Once your MVP is ready, sign up for the stores – Google Play, App Store, Amazon Appstore, etc. And don’t wait until the last moment, the approval may take a couple of days (up to ten working days when it comes to iOS apps).
Fix the bugs and test it again
Make it available for beta testing. At this stage, testers install and interact with your app, providing critical feedback.
There are a great many of online tools available to run beta testing of your app:
TestFlight for iOS apps
HockeyApp for a great range of platforms
Applivery for iOS and Android
Testfairy for iOS/Android and hybrid apps
Hurray, it’s time for three Ms – Maintain, Market, and Monetize
Your nearest and dearest know your app (they’ve even test it) but the rest of the world have no clue what a striking app you’ve built. Pass it to the world! Shout about your app from all housetops (of course, it’s a joke or not)
Use as many market channels as possible – social media, paid ads, responsive website, email, and others. At this stage, your primary concern is to make your app stand out of the crowd.
Finger crossed for your app! Develop your first app and share your experience in comments below.