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12 Things to Know When Looking for iOS App Development Services

By Q2 of 2020, there were already 18.4 billion app downloads from the iOS app store for the year. Mobile apps offer an excellent business strategy or an additional customer touchpoint for web-based businesses. 

If you’re considering developing an app, it isn’t something you can do on the fly. Your app should integrate customer data and intensive planning to make sure it looks great and works efficiently.

By investing in iOS app development services, you can hire experts who have experience in the entire process of app development. By outsourcing your app, you’ll have more time to focus on core business operations.

Before getting started, learn the top 12 things to know while you’re looking for an app developer.

1. Android vs iOS App Development Differs

Development for Android and iOS isn’t the same. You may want your app to appear across both systems, or you may be targeting one over the other. The bottom line – for iOS mobile app development, you’ll need a developer that specializes in it.

The biggest difference with both systems is the programming language that you need to develop an app. iOS apps use Objective-C or Swift, while Android apps use Java. You may run into developers that specialize in both, but you’ll get a more focused experience with a dedicated iOS developer.

If you’re deliberating between each system, know that iOS apps are usually cheaper and faster to develop. iOS developers will have experience with iOS programming languages and can offer more specific support for your goals.

2. Costs Vary Depending on Location

As you’re looking for an app developer, you may run into these terms: onshore, offshore, and nearshore. Just as they seem, these terms help describe where the developer is located. Knowing their location is beneficial for budgeting and thinking about customer service.

An onshore developer is located in the same country as you. Nearshore developers are in a country nearby, and offshore developers are in countries further away from your business.

Offshore developers tend to offer cheaper costs, but they come with fewer possibilities for communication. Since offshore developers are further away, it’s harder to create a seamless relationship that includes ongoing collaboration.

With an onshore developer, you may pay more, but you’ll get what you pay for. A nearby developer can offer more touchpoints for communication to make sure they’re producing according to your needs.

3. Project and Product Managers Are Essential

The process and flow within an app development project are just as important as the product itself. Without a set project plan, the developers may not translate all your needs into the final product. Project and product managers are essential to maintaining clear communicating and hitting timeline and budget milestones.

An experienced product manager can translate your goals and needs into every step of the development process. The project manager is there to maintain your budget and timeline and maintain clear communication.

Some app development companies don’t include product or project managers, and this can be a red flag. If you’re considering hiring a freelance developer, you’ll also need to consider a workflow without these roles.

4. App Developers Should Include Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance is an important aspect of any development project. Once your app goes live, the work doesn’t end there. There will always be initial bugs and tech issues that need to be worked out. In the early stages of your app, you’ll also need to make adjustments based on user flow and user experience. 

Even if you’re working with developers on an hourly or project basis, make sure to ask how they’ll handle ongoing maintenance. Your budget should cover their work to fix bugs and optimize the app as needed.

5. App Development Requires Proper UX Experience

As you may have guessed already, developing a proper app requires proper UX experience. You could hire the best programmer in your city, but the app will fail if it isn’t designed with your users in mind. These days, the best designers integrate human-centric and emotional design to build successful customer relationships through apps.

While you’re looking for an app developer, consider their design experience and background. When it comes to development companies, they should employ a combination of experienced designers and developers who are readily available to translate your users’ needs into a product.

6. Client Testimonials Tell the Best Story

At the end of the day, other clients’ experiences will tell the best story about what you can expect from a developer. You can spend all day reviewing their portfolio and speaking directly with the developers, but testimonials offer the big picture view.

Many freelance developers and developer companies share testimonials on their websites, but these might only include positive experiences. Search for additional reviews through Google or other sites like Glassdoor to understand the company’s internal and external processes.

Before you hire an app developer, make sure they’re credible, honest, and transparent.

7. Freelancers vs. Companies Operate Differently

As you’re searching for the best ways to outsource your app development, you may consider an iOS app development company or an individual freelance developer. Each service has its pros and cons, and the one you choose should depend on budget, needs, and preferences.

Freelancers are generally cheaper than companies. Through working with a freelancer, you may get more one-on-one communication. You can offer direct, ongoing feedback about the app development instead of filtering your communication through a project manager.

Yet, freelancers are often balancing a variety of projects. They may not always have the response time you prefer. Freelancers also tend to be more specialized than companies that employ a variety of developers and designers. If you’re creating an innovative app, the freelancer may not have as much expertise for a fully custom build.

Though app development companies tend to be more expensive, you’ll be paying for project management, product management, UX design, scalability, and more. Working with a company usually offers a better customer experience, especially if you have a solid project plan in place. When it comes to maintaining your app, companies may also offer more flexibility for long-term contracts.

8. Not All Developers Take Time for Research

Though it may seem intuitive, not all developers take the time to research before diving into a project. In this case, you’ll need to come prepared with your market research, product designs, and more.

On the other hand, the best app development companies will build in a discovery and design phase to gain as much knowledge as possible about your project. During the discovery phase, the company takes the time to understand your industry, audiences, and technical requirements.

At every step of discovery and design, team members will work with you to make sure they’re on the same page. The app developers will make sure their research aligns with your business goals and objectives.

9. Miscommunication Causes the Biggest Issues With Development

One of the biggest issues with app development isn’t poor programming, it’s miscommunication. If your developer isn’t clear on your priorities, they may take the app in a completely wrong direction.

Open communication with your developer is key. Make sure the company you’re working with builds in a review process throughout the development timeline. You should have a clear opportunity to provide your feedback and lead new design iterations.

10. Different Developers Use Different Payment Models

For most businesses, the budget will be a big factor in the development process. Not all developers are alike, and you may need to shop around to find the payment structure that works best for you.

Some developers work on an hourly basis, whereas some are project-based. Others work on retainer. For an app development project, the best structure is usually project- or retainer-based, but it all depends on your needs. 

If you’re hourly-based, you may not have enough flexibility with the developers. If your app doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, you may not have the budget to ask for updates and optimizations. With a project-based or retainer project, you know you can turn to the same developer for assistance even after the app goes live.

11. The Best App Developers Employ Proper Testing

Mobile apps are highly functional, so they should effectively meet a variety of uses. Developers should employ testing at every step of the way to make sure the programming is working as needed.

Developers may test apps using focus groups, software, and more. Regardless of the methods, the testing should include your UI, UX, features, and functions.

12. Outsourced iOS App Developers Are Usually Cheaper

While you’re looking for app development services, you may wonder if building an in-house team is more cost-effective. The truth is, an in-house team isn’t necessary unless your app is directly tied to sensitive business information. An in-house team may allow you to scale quickly, but you can also do the same with a dedicated company.

How to Find the Best iOS App Development Services

Investing in iOS app development services isn’t something to skimp on. The quality of your development can make or break the success of your app and cause a lasting effect on your business.

At Jackrabbit, we offer digital solutions that make entrepreneurship more accessible. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a consultation.

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