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The first iPhone debuted twelve years with a meager 500 apps in the App Store. Fast forward to 2020 and there are now over 2.2 million apps.
Apple has 20 million registered app developers who cater to 500 million users every week. Does that mean it’s easy to develop an iPhone or iPad app? Just learn a bit of code and hey presto?
There’s nothing simple to doing iOS app development the right way.
Building an app which will benefit your business takes more than coding skill. Even finding the right developer can be difficult. And once it’s complete how do you know it works?
This guide highlights the main steps to create the best app for your business. From building on your idea to going live on the Apple App Store, we discuss the right path to follow.
And if your company is based in Austin, Texas, we have a biased, but good, idea on who you can trust.
Finding an iOS App Development Partner
Everyone’s been telling you that you need an iPhone app. Forget Android, the App Store is the place to make the most money.
You Google iOS app development software and soon realize you can’t do this on your own. Then you search for local developers. Dozens of listings appear, each claiming to be the best.
So, which developer do you choose?
Here are some things to consider when separating the coding kiddies from the professional programmers. The best iOS developers incorporate them all.
Agile relates to the flexibility of the development cycle, not if the developer can do the splits!
It’s a process of collaboration with you as a partner throughout the process. With each unit of coding complete, you get to examine it. Feedback is essential and Agile encourages it. This means you get what you want at the end and not just what the developer had in mind.
Objective-C and Swift Expertise
The main iOS app development language is Objective-C. This traditional coding language is over 30 years old and runs many of the apps on the App Store.
Swift is the next generation. It’s easier to work with, which leads to faster development.
A good developer works with both systems. This is important if you have an existing project needing an update. If a developer only knows Swift, that’s not a good enough reason by itself to pay for a full rewrite. Do your research and make sure you fully understand your options.
All mobile apps can be developed in their native code or via a hybrid system. Hybrid combines the power and flexibility of web coding techniques, like React or Angular, with native code.
The result lets a developer create apps for several platforms using one code bank. Want an Android app alongside your iPhone one? Hybrid programming can do that at a fraction of the cost of developing for two separate platforms. The long-term goal and strategy behind your app comes into play here and will help determine the best way forward for you. Saving money up-front may not be the best option depending on what your goals are for your app.
Who to Trust?
One final thought. When searching for the best iOS app development team look for great reviews. In an internet first world, reviews are easy to come by and any development team worth their salt will have plenty of references they can point you to.
Even when you don’t have a personal recommendation you can rely on, Clutch.co is a well-known source to find information for reputable app developers and displays reviews by authenticated customers. Check out our Clutch.co profile to see our feedback. Five stars and top marks across the board – it makes us blush!
Defining Your App Idea
At Jackrabbit Mobile we understand the importance of that initial meeting.
This is the time to share your app idea so bring every doodle and scrap of paper you have. Discovery builds the foundation of what happens next.
What are your goals? Try to be specific. What exactly do you want the app to achieve? Is it:
- Brand awareness
- New market penetration
- Sales in the mobile marketplace
- Customer engagement
In terms of deliverables, it’s important to break-down each phase of development.
You’ll want to know how long each phase will last and when you’ll get to see something. Prototyping should incorporate the Agile method discussed above.
Also, whether it is with us or another developer you should always use statistical evidence to ensure your idea is a good one.
The best development partners won’t be afraid to say something won’t work. They will also give you alternatives and guide you through the various options at your disposal. Better to fix things now than spending cash on a dead duck.
Preparing Your App for Beta Testing
The goal of every developer is to create an MVP: Minimum Viable Product.
Don’t let the name put you off. This is the prototype. It has just enough features to tick your minimum goals and satisfy initial customers.
Alpha testing using the Agile method is an ongoing process but when the MVP is complete testing enters the Beta phase.
Beta testing brings your new app outside of the development circle. This means letting others take it for a test drive. Apple uses TestFlight to help with this process. Up to 10,000 Beta users can help test your app.
If it crashes into a brick wall don’t worry. Your iOS app development team will fix things then send it out for another spin. When it’s completed multiple laps then you’re ready for the next phase – Cloud testing.
Beta testing is limited to a select number of users whose feedback you can trust. Cloud testing opens things up.
When the first iPhone was released everything was simple. A 3.5″ inch screen meant an app looked the same across the board.
Then came the iPad. Then the iPhone X. Screen sizes grew bigger, pixel density became a factor. Even different versions of iOS offer challenges.
Cloud testing not only accesses a larger testing group but also more device types.
This is the last, important step before going live. By this point, you’ll be itching to take the leap. Hang on in there. Proper testing at each phase can keep bugs from reaching your audience when it is time to go live.
Deploying Your App
Uncork the champagne as you give the go-ahead to set your app live. Except the bubbles will fizz out before you get to download it.
There’s one more hurdle to overcome before seeing your hard work on the App Store.
Apple scrutinizes everything before giving you the key to their kingdom. This process usually takes two days but if there’s a problem it could knock things back by weeks.
The good news is your developer will give guidance on this. Again this is where proper testing and an experienced mobile development team pays dividends. Doing it right the first time avoids the risk of running into approval issues when you’re ready to launch. Apple’s guidelines spell out everything that is taken into consideration and its definitely important to confirm all your i’s are dotted and t’s crossed before submitting.
Once accepted, your app will be part of the Apple eco-system. Congratulations! But don’t get too comfortable. Now you have to market it. But that’s a topic for another day.
Texas-Sized iOS App Development
If your business is based in the state capital of Texas then Jackrabbit Mobile is the perfect developer for your iOS app development needs.
With over 7 years of experience, our team is trusted by multiple local Austin firms. We offer iOS and Android development as well as hybrid apps and mobile apps. View our portfolio for examples of our custom solutions.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements. Our dedicated team is eager to partner with you on your project.
Let’s Make Your Idea Reality
We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.