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Mobile Application Development Process Tutorial step by step guide - 2022


What is the definition of mobile application development?

The set of techniques and procedures involved in building software for small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and other hand-held devices, is known as mobile application development.

Mobile application development, like web application development, has its roots in older software development methods. Mobile apps, on the other hand, are frequently designed particularly to take advantage of the unique capabilities of a particular mobile device. For example, a game app could be created to take advantage of the iPhone's accelerometer, or a mobile health app could be written to take advantage of the temperature sensor on a smartwatch.

Apple's iOS and Google's Android are the two most popular smartphone platforms today. Apple phones and tablets come equipped with key apps, such as a full web browser and access to the Apple App Store. Similar apps come preloaded on Android devices, and you can download more from the Google Play Store.



Native Mobile Apps:

Native mobile apps are created to be "native" to a single platform, such as Apple's iOS, Google's Android, or Microsoft's Windows Phone. Because it tends to optimise the user experience, the native platform can be useful. It can work more swiftly and naturally because it was created exclusively for the platform.

Hybrid Mobile Apps:

These apps are similar to native apps in that they can be installed on devices, but they are run through web browsers. HTML5 is the programming language sed to create any hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are not as quick or as dependable as native apps, but they can streamline the development process more effectively. Your company can save time and resources by not having to develop and maintain apps for several platforms. It's perfect for apps that are mostly content-driven.

Web Apps:

When browsed from a mobile device, responsive websites transform to a different design. Adaptive web apps, on the other hand, scale to match various mobile device screen sizes. The design of these apps does not change. Web apps are created with the most common programming languages, but they cannot be used on mobile devices or sold in app stores.

1. Strategy

The plan for turning your idea into a successful app is defined in the first phase of the mobile app development process. You might want to make this a bigger part of your entire corporate mobility strategy. Because the goals of each app differ, the mobility strategy has an app-specific impact that must be addressed during the development process.

  • Identify the app users
  • Research the competition
  • Establish the app’s goals and objectives
  • Select a mobile platform for your app

Mobile apps typically cost between $150,000 and $200,000 and take four to six months to produce. Your plan aids in concentrating your vision on a clear image of your app concept. With this in mind, you're ready to move on to the next stage of the mobile app development process.

2. Designing a User Interface (UI) or User Experience (UX)

The goal of an app's design is to provide a refined user experience that is seamless and effortless.

A mobile app's success is defined by how successfully users accept and profit from all of the app's capabilities. The purpose of UI/UX design for mobile apps is to provide exceptional user experiences that make your software dynamic, intuitive, and user-friendly. While beautiful UI designs will aid in early adoption, your app's user experience must be intuitive to keep users interested.


Sketches on paper are a common starting point for mobile app designers. Wireframes are a type of digital sketch. Wireframes, also known as low-fidelity mockups, are conceptual layouts that give visual structure to your app's functional requirements.

Wireframes are more concerned with aesthetics and user experience than with colour schemes and styles. Wireframes are a simple and affordable way to build app layouts and iterate through them during the design review process. You should consider device specific design when designing wireframes. So whether your software is used on an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet, the user experience is easy and device specific.

Style Guide

Style guides are "living papers" that document an app's design standards, including anything from your company's branding guidelines to the navigation symbols.

The following are some examples of style guides:

  • What font family will your app’s text use?
  • What will the color scheme be?
  • How will your company brand be reflected in the app design?

The design strategy of an app is aided by style guides. The efficiency of your mobile app developers is improved by establishing a style guide early in the development process. At the same time, sticking to a style guide will help your app maintain a consistent look and feel. App design guidelines from Apple for iOS apps and Google for Android apps should be considered as part of your app design.


High-fidelity designs, often known as mockups, are final drawings of your app's visual design. Your style guide is applied to the app wireframes to build mockups. Expect more changes to your app's information architecture, workflow, and aesthetics as the design progresses. The most popular tool for making high-fidelity mockups is Adobe Photoshop.


Mockups use static designs to show the functionality of your mobile app; with tools like Invision and Figma, these can be turned into click-through prototypes. Prototypes are extremely beneficial for modelling the user experience and app operations that will be present in the final product. While prototype creation might be time-consuming, it is well worth the effort because it allows you to test the design and functionality of your app at an early stage. Prototypes are frequently used to identify changes to the app's proposed functionality.

When an app's functional requirements aren't thoroughly thought out, some organisations choose to do prototypes during the wireframing stage. Alternatively, a focus group may be required to examine the app's planned functionality.

3. Analysis and Planning

At this point, your app concept begins to take shape and develop into a working product. Defining use cases and recording precise functional requirements are the first steps in the analysis and planning process.

Prepare a product plan when you've defined your app's requirements. This includes prioritising and arranging mobile app needs into delivery milestones. If you're short on time, resources, or money, identify your minimum viable product (MVP) and prioritise it for the initial launch.

Identifying the talents required for your app development initiative is a part of the planning step. The mobile platforms iOS and Android, for example, have separate development technology stacks. If you want to create a mobile app that works on both iOS and Android, your mobile development team should comprise both iOS and Android developers.

Have you decided on a name for your app? Like domain names, mobile app names must be unique inside each app store. Check each app store to make sure your app's name isn't already taken!

4. App Development

The planning step of the mobile app development process is still quite important. Before you begin any development/programming work, you must:

Define the technological architecture, choose a technology stack, and set development goals.
Back-end/server technology, API(s), and the mobile app front-end are the three main components of a typical mobile app project.


This section contains the database and server-side objects required for your mobile app's supporting functionalities. If you're using an existing back-end platform, you may need to make some changes to accommodate the desired mobile capabilities.


An Application Programming Interface (API) is a way for an app to communicate with a back-end server or database.

Front-End of a Mobile App

The end-user will use the front-end, which is a native mobile app. Mobile apps are typically interactive user experiences that leverage an API and a back-end for data management. When an app has to allow users to work without access to the internet, it may employ local data storage.

For the backend, you can use practically any web programming language and databases. You must choose a technology stack for native mobile apps that is required by each mobile OS platform. Objective-C or Swift are two programming languages that can be used to create iOS apps. Java or Kotlin are the most common programming languages used to create Android apps.

For developing mobile apps, there are a variety of programming languages and technology stacks to choose from; the key is to select the technology stack that is most suited for your app.

With new versions of mobile platforms, mobile technology advances at a much faster rate. Furthermore, every few months, new mobile gadgets are released. Agility is critical for developing mobile apps within timeframes and budgets, especially since platforms and devices change frequently. Use an agile development method if speed-to-market is a top objective. This method allows for frequent software releases with fully functional applications. Setting development milestones as part of an agile development plan allows you to iterate on your mobile app.

Each development milestone is sent over to the app testing team for review and approval.

5. Mobile application testing

Quality assurance (QA) testing is an important part of the mobile app development process since it ensures that the app is stable, functional, and secure. You must first build test cases that cover all elements of app testing in order to assure thorough QA testing of your app.

Test cases drive mobile app testing in the same way that use cases do for mobile app development. Test cases are used to run test processes, track fixes for retesting, and document testing outcomes for software quality evaluation. Involving your QA team in the Analysis and Design stages is a best practise technique. Knowing your app's functional requirements and objectives will aid in the creation of accurate test cases.

To deliver a great mobility solution, your app should go through the following testing procedures.

User Experience Testing

The final implementation must match the user experience defined by the app design team, which is a vital phase in mobile app testing. Your app's visuals, workflow, and interactivity are what will offer your end consumers their initial impression of it. Make that your app's typefaces, style treatments, colour palette, and padding between data, icon design, and navigation are all consistent. Making sure your software adheres to the original design principles will have a significant impact on user adoption!
Testing of Functionality
The functioning of your mobile app must be accurate in order for it to be successful. It's tough to forecast the behaviour and usage scenarios of every end user.

Your app's functionality should be evaluated by as many users as feasible to cover as many possible testing scenarios as possible. When two separate users try the same functionality but get different results, you could be startled to find issues. Both users can complete out the identical form, but they may submit different data, which could lead to a fault being discovered.

The goal of functional testing is to guarantee that your app's features and functioning are working properly for users. It's further divided into system testing (how well the programme works as a whole) and unit testing (how well each particular feature works) (individual functions of the app operating correctly).

If you're developing a mobile app for both iOS and Android, your functional testing should include a feature comparison between the two versions of your app.

Security Testing

For enterprise mobile apps, security is paramount. A hack can be caused by any conceivable vulnerability. Many businesses pay independent firms to conduct extensive security testing on their software. To secure your software, your QA and development teams can take a few basic steps.

If your app requires users to log in, both the device and the backend should keep track of these sessions. When a user's session has been idle for an extended period of time, the system should terminate it (typically ten mins or less on a mobile app). If your app saves user credentials on the device to make it easier for them to re-login, you'll need to be sure you're utilising a reliable provider. For example, the Keychain functionality in the iOS app development platform can be used to save a user's account data for a single app.

Data entry forms within your mobile app should be tested to ensure there is no data leakage.

Device and Platform Testing

Every 12 months, new mobile devices with new hardware, firmware, and design hit the market. Every few months, mobile operating systems are updated.

Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola are among the mobile device makers that use the Android platform, but they tweak it for their devices (since Android is open source). The gadgets are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Compare this to Apple, which has a far more tightly controlled environment because they own both the hardware and the operating system. However, there are a variety of iPhone and iPad (Apple iOS) devices available.

This is where testing in the mobile app development process differs from testing in the web app development process. You can get away with testing your web app in a Windows environment using only the Chrome browser. However, to ensure that your mobile app runs smoothly for all users, it must be tested on multiple mobile devices or device simulators.

Companies choose to design corporate mobile apps for a single mobile platform due to the complexity of testing on all mobile devices, continuous support costs, and difficulties of mobile device management (and often provide mobile devices to their users). Most firms, in our experience, design their corporate mobile app first for Apple's iOS platform, and then construct an app for the Android platform only when necessary.

Testing is critical to an app's long-term performance, and it takes up a significant portion of our overall mobile app development process. A well-thought-out mobile testing plan is essential for producing a high-quality mobile app.

There are several options for sharing your app development builds to testers throughout the testing phase. For iOS apps, the most frequent method is to use Testflight, while for Android apps, email or Over The Air (OTA) instals are the most typical methods.

6. Deployment and Support

To release a native mobile app, you must first submit it to the app shops, which are the Apple App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. Before you can launch your mobile app, you'll need an Apple App Store and Google Play Store developer account.

The metadata for an app's publication in the app store must include the following:

  • Your app’s title
  • Description
  • Category
  • Keywords
  • Launch icon
  • App store screenshots

iOS apps go through a review process once they've been submitted to the Apple App Store, which can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the quality of the app and how closely it meets Apple's iOS development requirements. If your software requires users to log in, you must offer a test user account to Apple as part of the release process.

Android apps do not go through a review procedure and are available in the app store within a few hours after submission.

After your app is published in the app stores, use mobile analytics services to track usage and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to determine its performance. Check crash reports or other user-reported concerns on a regular basis.

Encourage users to submit feedback and suggestions for your app to your firm. End-user support and frequent app updating with enhancements will be critical to keeping users engaged. Unlike web apps, where patch releases can be made immediately available to app users, mobile app updates must go through the same submission and review process as the initial submission. Furthermore, with native mobile apps, you must keep up with technological advances and regularly upgrade your app for new mobile devices and OS platforms.

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