I) WHAT IS MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT?
Mobile application development is the process of creating application software for handheld devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. Through the use of mobile applications, the user is served with various features that will allow him to meet all his needs and much more. Applications must be interactive for users. The apps can be downloaded from various platforms such as Google Play Store and iOS App Store. These are free applications as well as paid applications. Some applications can be used for free for a specified period of time or by subscribing to a premium subscription. For applications with a price, around 20% to 30% of the proceeds go to the supplier’s distribution (For example iTunes) and the rest to the creator of the mobile application. This is the distribution of the price.
For the development of applications, the constraints and functionalities of mobile devices must be taken into account. For example, mobile devices have lower processing power, run on battery, but have more features such as location detection. A wide range of screen sizes and hardware specifications should also be considered. To develop applications, specialized integrated development environments such as Android Studio or Eclipse are required. The application is first tested using devices called emulators, which is a software simulation of the actual hardware device, and finally, field tests are carried out.
II) The Mobile Design User Interface (UI)
Another essential element of the application is the creation of mobile applications, that is to say development. The user interface takes into account contexts, the mobility of inputs and outputs of screens and users. The user manipulates the application via the input, then the expected results are displayed via the output. There are constraints of the mobile user interface such as the limited screen size. The mobile user interface is considered a front end and relies on the backend to support access to enterprise systems.
III) CHALLENGES CONCERNING MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
When developing a mobile app, more emphasis should be placed on “what not to do” rather than “what to do”. Developers face several challenges when working on a new application. Here are some of them:
Mobile Application Development Competition
Due to the increase in the number of applications developed, there is also a proportional increase in competition in the sector. The mobile apps market is under constant pressure to create apps to stand out. At the end of the day, you want people to download your product. Optimizing the App Store (ASO) is a crucial step in spreading a promising app around the world. Like SEO, optimizing the ASO engine involves using keywords and phrases to direct the user to a product. The main goal is that you want your product to appear when you search for a term using search engines such as Google. You can see the competing apps in the search term, then see the items in order of ranking so that it can appear during the search. Icons and colors are another important aspect to consider. The first thing that catches the eye of any user is the icon used. Try to enhance the look and make it more attractive to entice the user to click and download your app.
Users have different hardware devices where screen sizes vary widely. Designing only for the latest platform is a bad idea. Therefore, it is necessary to create an application that runs on as many platforms as possible. In addition, you should also be concerned with the operating system – Windows, Android and iOS mainly. Each has their own design patterns and user interface. For example, a Blackberry phone could have a small screen with a physical QWERTY keyboard, like on the Blackberry Curve, or it could have a larger touch screen and a virtual keyboard like the Blackberry Storm. The Storm requires large buttons for touchscreen interaction, while the Curve requires smaller navigation elements to fit on a smaller screen. It is essential to have a responsive design. It will give more flexibility and can therefore be adjusted for different formats and screen sizes. To manage the technical problems linked to the operating system, a complete test phase is required. Publishing the beta version of the app can also help resolve the issue.
Battery life performance with the app
Application performance and battery consumption are also an important factor after design and interaction. The main challenge is to design an application free of bugs and using the minimum of battery. This is essential because mobile devices have limited processing and power because they run on energy derived from batteries. If your app is consuming too much power, chances are the user will avoid using it and will try a similar app to save battery power.
Types of mobile applications
Native application: this is an application that is developed specifically for an operating system, and requires different technical skills by technology (Android, IOS in particular);
Web application: this is an application created to be viewed from the Internet browser of a PC or a smartphone providing specific functions;
Hybrid application: this is a mobile application developed in one technology, compatible for several technologies. Company uses the IONIC language to develop IOS and Android compatible applications.
Today, there is no longer any doubt possible on the importance of having a site accessible by mobile that it is responsive or dedicated. However, do you know the advantages of a mobile application compared to a mobile version of a site?
Mobile Application Benefits
- Increase awareness of the brand or company
- Build customer loyalty
- Improve accessibility
- Send push notifications
- Create bridges between digital and physical
- Integrate phone functionality
- Disconnect the internet
- Relax consumers
- Allow easy opening
- Make money
However mobile applications are now in the most trending platform of selling and buying and yes, it have many more benefits that we will discover in our next article.
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