Finances Online reports that more than 218 billion apps were downloaded in 2020 – a 6.86% increase from 2019. With the entire world in quarantine and looking for things to do at home, it’s highly likely that the number of downloaded apps has increased in 2021. A prime example is TikTok whose downloads have skyrocketed this year.
Long story short: this is one of the best times to create a custom app from the idea floating around in your head. Since it can be challenging to figure out where to start, we’ve compiled five steps that will help you turn your app into reality.
What Makes an App Successful?
Before diving into the subject, it’s important to evaluate whether your app idea has the potential to be successful or not. Some of the most profitable apps share the following characteristics.
Solves a Problem
First things first: is your app useful? This is the main indicator of whether people will download it or not. While it doesn’t need to solve world hunger, it does need to solve a problem – even if the problem is just boredom.
In fact, research shows that mobile games are in the lead when it comes to what kind of apps people download on their phones. The mobile gaming sector even holds an impressive 42% of the global gaming industry. After games, people are most likely to download apps that help them be more productive or learn new tidbits of information.
Any custom mobile app developer worth their salt knows that great apps prioritize two things: User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). In other words, great apps are easy to look at and navigate. For example, they don’t have spammy ads that are hard to close.
Good UX/UI isn’t only for the people who download your app. It can also be the difference between your product and the products of your competitors. If your app provides a better overall experience and is easier to use, people will go for it more.
Should You Build Your App on Android or iOS?
When you’re ready to start building your app, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is which platform to build on. Even though you might want it on both platforms eventually, simultaneously building for both is not only risky – it’s expensive. So, how do you decide which platform to use?
Well, you need to consider five factors: your target audience, budget, deadlines, monetization goals, and the app’s desired features.
Android phones have a chokehold on the global market. On the other hand, Apple users spend twice as much money on apps. Additionally, some studies reveal that Apple users are more likely to work in business and hold managerial positions while more Android users work in technical and medical fields.
Budget and Deadlines
If you hire a custom mobile app development company, they might tell you that iOS apps take a shorter time to build – and they would be right. It takes approximately 30-40% less time to develop on iOS mainly because it’s written in Swift, which requires less coding than Java, which is used more often for Android.
More than that, Android is open-source, meaning that anyone can modify its software. As a result, there are a lot of variations between Android devices. This makes it much harder to create an app since it has to work the same for all Androids across the board.
This isn’t to say that you should develop for iOS only. Apple actually takes a little longer to review apps before admitting them into the App Store. They also have fewer devices on which your app can be developed.
Android having open-source software isn’t all bad. It gives custom mobile app developers wiggle-room to add features the audience wants. Since Apple is closed-source, it’s harder to crack and customize. Unfortunately, this also means that Android devices are easier to hack.
Your app will take between $15,000 and $120,000 to develop, depending on its complexity and the region of the world you’re in. Bearing this in mind, it’s completely reasonable to monetize and make a profit from it. How you’ll make your money back is reliant on the platform you choose.
If you’re developing on Android, keep in mind that users are less likely to purchase apps. Your revenue will have to be earned mostly through in-app purchases, advertisements, transaction fees, and/or selling merchandise.
You may not need to run adverts because Apple consumers are more likely to spend money on apps. The Top 200 iOS apps earn around $82,500 per day. The Top 800 rake $3,500 daily.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a brief summary of the perks and tradeoffs of building on either platform.
Pros of Building on Android:
- Dominates world market share
- Easier to customize
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
Cons of Building on Android:
- More expensive to develop
- It takes longer to develop
- Potential to earn less revenue
Pros of Building on iOS:
- Shorter time to develop
- Less expensive
- Potential to earn more revenue
Cons of Building on iOS:
- It takes a longer time to review and approve an app
- Limited audience
How to Turn Your Idea Into a Mobile App
Have an app idea? Great! The next step is to flesh it out, either with the help of a custom mobile app development company or by yourself. However, before seeking assistance, you should have a solid concept of what features you want to add.
To start off, think about the features your competitors offer. Does your app need to include standard ones? How is the audience responding to them? Additionally, what can you offer to distinguish yourself from your competitors? It could be a user-friendly platform, better deals, or fewer ads.
Next, you’ll want to design a mockup. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it can even be done using a pencil and paper. If you want to go the extra mile, however, there are free wireframing tools online that can help you create a framework.
When designing your mockup, start by deciding how many screens your app will need. For example, if you’re developing a mobile game, you could divide your screens into home page, instructions, settings, leaderboard, and gameplay. How many screens you have is dependent on the type of app you’re making. You’ll likely go through several drafts before arriving at the design you like.
Lastly, focus on onboarding new users. There are several ways you can do this, including building a landing page and pre-launch email list. The landing page will help people learn more about your app and provide a space where they can subscribe to a mailing list that will notify them when you launch.
Alternatively, leverage app store optimization (ASO) when writing your description, title, and choosing keywords. ASO, like SEO, improves your visibility online.
You might have a great idea for an app, but you aren’t sure where to start. Before you invest in your idea, identify the problem your app aims to solve. Don’t fret if there are others like it in the market. With some careful planning, like providing good UX/UI and market research, you can turn your idea into a successful reality.