More than half of the world’s population now uses a smartphone. As the price of data plans continue to decrease all over the world, web traffic coming from mobile devices increases year by year. In fact, more than half of today’s global internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
People are spending more time on their mobile devices, thereby increasing the demand for mobile apps. Recent statistics show that 52% of the time individuals spend on digital media is on mobile apps. In 2016, global mobile app revenues amounted to 88.3 billion U.S. dollars, and it’s forecasted that by 2020, global mobile app revenues from app stores and in-app advertising will reach 188.9 billion U.S. dollars.
Indeed, mobile app development is a lucrative business, given the mobile and digital revolution.
But, for every venture comes a challenge. It’s important to know the potential challenges you may face and how to address them before hiring an app developer.
Tight Market Competition
The app market is overcrowded, and it’s becoming a challenge for a mobile application to get noticed. Apple’s App Store has over 2.2 billion apps and Google’s Play Store has over 2.8 million apps as of March 2017. That doesn’t even include the apps in Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.
Solution! Define your target market and the main goal of the app. These two details are fundamental to the overall design, UI, and UX of your mobile app.
Make sure to do your market research to study the apps that already offer similar functionality. Determine your unique selling point, and make sure that your app features a beautiful design and an easy-to-use interface.
So, you’ve already come up with a solid app idea, and you’re sure that it’s going to be a hit. It’s time to get the funding to get it built.
Mobile app development can be costly, depending on the design, function, and interface of the app. Prepare the funding before you hire an app developer to avoid delays in the launch. You should also take into consideration the cost of marketing your new app.
Solution! If you can’t personally fund your mobile app idea, there are many ways to get funding. You can try crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, AppBackr, and the like. You can also ask your relatives or friends to partner up with you. If you want your mobile app to be a solo venture, then you can try for a bank loan or personal loan from people in your social circle.
Screen Size and Device Compatibility
Users have a wide variety of devices that run on different screen sizes, operating systems and platforms. Make sure that your mobile app developer understands the importance of a responsive design. Your mobile app should work for devices of all screen sizes, from the smallest smartphone to the largest tablet computer.
Solution! OS is another aspect to consider. iOS, Android and Windows has its own UI and algorithms. Be prepared to encounter bugs and errors along the way. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to release a beta version.
Interactive UI and User-Friendliness
Poor user experience is one of the top reasons why a lot of mobile apps don’t succeed simply because it turns off users. Your mobile app must be easy to use and understand. It doesn’t need to have a wide plethora of unnecessary features.
Solution! Include a tutorial that users can go back to within the app itself. Also, mobile devices nowadays include high-tech sensors and hardware that offers a range of opportunities for creating an interactive app. Explore the possibilities, but stay true to the goal and function of your mobile app.
There are numerous app development approaches that you can utilize, such as hybrid app development, cross-platform, native app development, or platform specific native app development. Also, you don’t want to waste time and additional resources in developing an app that wouldn’t work for multiple devices and platforms.
Solution! Strategize and decide on the tools and frameworks to use according to the UI and UX needs of your app. Platforms like OpenSourceSDK offers the ability to develop apps using C/C++ or HTML5. It also allows developers to incorporate single API across multiple platforms. Then, there are cross-platform developer tools that you can leverage for your mobile app venture, such as RhoMobile, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, Mosync, and WidgetPad.
Managing Mobile Content
Content is the life of a mobile app. Today’s mobile users demand rich content, image, and animation. However, you need to consider internet speed and bandwidth. Oftentimes, wireless network connection contributes to the failed delivery of mobile app content. As a result, users find it too bothersome to use mobile apps that don’t load quickly.
Solution! Choose a mobile content management system that simplifies content and optimizes bandwidth, such as AirWatch, Alfresco, and MobileIron. These tools can help you deliver rich content reliably.
Balancing Performance and Battery Life
It’s a big challenge to design a well-performing and bug-free app that contains rich media yet doesn’t consume too much battery life. Pokemon Go, for instance, is a great game with rich AR graphics and features. Users were hooked the moment they downloaded the app. But, most users are complaining that the game drains their smartphone quickly. Graphics, animation, content, and function should not compromise battery consumption.
Solution! Run tests to monitor the performance of your app.
Marketing and Promotion
Your mobile app is now among the millions of apps listed in the Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. How do users find it? Branding, marketing and promotions play a huge role in the success of your mobile app.
Solution! Platforms like AppTamin, AppScend , MobileDevHQ, and Smore can help you market your mobile apps. You can also take to social media advertisements to get the word out there. Create a data-driven strategy and consult with marketing professionals about how you can get your target market to download the new app.
It’s true that mobile apps are popping up like mushrooms in app stores. But, mobile app development isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3, launch! There are challenges that beset creators and developers. Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome with careful planning.