Sunflower Lab is top Mobile application development company in Columbus, Ohio. At Sunflower Lab, we are committed to designing elegant and innovative solutions while serving our clients and their businesses with the enthusiasm and trust they deserve. We are among the top 10 mobile application development companies in Columbus and throughout Ohio. Our relationship with our clients is based on a strong sense of transparency and open communications. What’s more, we continually strive to over-deliver on excellence and ensure that we’re meeting all of their business needs, all the time!
What is the Process of Developing a Mobile App?
With thousands of mobile apps released into the market each day, you’ll need to be crystal clear about your value proposition and what sets your mobile app apart from the pack. Here are some guidelines that are basic to any mobile application that you plan to build.
It’s important to zero-in on exactly what solution and problem you’re trying to solve and how you’re going to solve it. What core features should your app have? You’ll need to balance carefully between ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ in order to ensure you stay on track and budget.
The next step is to take your app from a list of features to a more tangible diagram or mockup. With the availability of tons of online wireframing tools available today, the goal here is to bring together your ideas and concepts into a clear roadmap of how the customer will navigate through the application. UX testing is a critical part of this stage.
3. Defining the Backend
The backend architecture will typically include an application server, web server and a database at the core. Your app may also include a number of integrations such as email notifications, push notifications and queuing services. The shape of your backend depends on your business and the type of functionality you want from the app. Flexibility should be top of mind in considering your backend technologies.
4. Coding the App
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work turning the wireframe into code. The role of your developer at this stage is to create the actual screen of your mobile app. Do you hire a mobile developer or not? Those are considerations we’ll cover more below in the cost section. If you do hire somebody, be sure to get an NDA and setup developer accounts on your chosen app stores.
5. Testing the App
A rigorous testing strategy will be key to the success of your mobile app. A buggy or poorly designed app is going to result in bad reviews, so take the time, trouble, and expense to nail this the first time. At this stage, you’ll need to carefully review the design documents, go through each feature, and observe how users (not from your team) are interacting with the app. It’s also critical to test for cross-platform compatibility on images, graphics, and overall user experience.
What’s the Cost to Build a Mobile App, should you Hire a Developer?
Building a mobile app is not an exact science. When it comes to cost, unfortunately the cliché answer “it depends” holds a lot of truth. There are tons of variables that directly impact the cost, including but not limited to:
- Design costs
- Back end development
Estimates vary for mobile app development, but one survey suggests a median price at $171,450 (based on a rate of $150/hour for 1143 development hours). A good rule of thumb is that a core set of features run close to $50,000, while costs for more complex mobile app development begin at $240,000.
When it comes to hiring a developer, don’t try to shoe-horn your approach into either Android or iOS. The lines between mobile and web development have blurred significantly over the years, and the market has moved on from siloed approaches to mobile, full-stack, or backend. Companies today are looking for versatility and for developers who can wear multiple hats – especially those comfortable crossing over from web to mobile and back again.
If hiring a mobile or web developer isn’t an option, the one “path-not-taken” is to learn to code yourself. However, the likelihood is that a busy startup owner isn’t going to have the time to learn this new skillset through one of many coding bootcamps available today (which also happen to cost thousands of dollars).
Another cheaper route could be to hire a freelance developer, but this option works best when you have very specific and detailed project specifications.
Lastly, not to be underestimated, there are plenty of low or no-code mobile app development platforms on the market. These have various pros and cons but overall provide pretty good solutions for developing functional business applications at a much lower cost.
What’s the Cost to Build a Mobile App, should you Hire a Developer?
Mobile app development is a fast-moving target. The market changes rapidly, and there are a ton of angles to approach it from. Keeping up with everything requires a well-rounded 360-degree view of the market. This includes a holistic understanding of not only the latest trends, but an awareness of some of the preferred platforms (and debates about them), as well as strategies and best practices for keeping one step ahead of the competition.
1. Latest Trends
AI, Machine Learning & Internet of Things
The integration of machine learning and AI into mobile is now a given, whether you’re speaking to Siri or Alexa, or else using UberEats to get precise ETAs on food delivery and real-time traffic conditions. And wearables are probably the best example of IoT technologies. By using connections like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it is possible to connect wristwatches, eyeglasses and even bands to your smartphones.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Pokémon Go was just the beginning. Smartphone VR is here to stay with major brands like Google and Samsung offering solutions. According to Statista, the worldwide market of AR and VR technology will skyrocket from $27 billion dollars in 2018 to about $209 billion in 2022!
Cloud integration & Mobile Analytics
Cloud is huge for mobile because of streamlined operations, reduced hosting costs, better storage and loading capacity, along with increased user retention. These are just a few of the many advantages of developing mobile apps over the cloud. Layer on top of that analytics, and you have a powerful and competitive edge. Since 70% of internet usage is now mobile, Facebook, Google, and Apple have already started using predictive analytics to enhance the customer journey across the UI/UX of their apps.
2. Different Approaches to Mobile App Development
Native App Development
Not much more can be said on this topic! Native applications have the best performance, highest security, and best user experience because they’re built for a specific operating system. Native also takes the longest to develop and is the most expensive. For many, the trade-off is worth it.
Hybrid App Development
Hybrid apps are basically websites packaged into a native wrapper. Except for a few “native purists,” users won’t care what development approach your team takes as long as the app is intuitive and responsive. Everything today is about user experience.
HTML5 App Development
HTML 5 has come a long way over the years. The best feature is that it’s write-once-run-anywhere. What’s more, since HTML5 runs from the web users don’t have to download updates to view content or use the app.
3. Strategies & Best Practices
Do Your Research
It goes without saying but needs reinforcement: identifying your target audience and knowing your customer and what their pain is are fundamentals to the research process. Nailing this down ahead of time will avoid wasting lots of time and money building an app that nobody needs or wants.
Pick Your Platform
Part of your research will reveal which platform your target audience uses the most. If you have money to invest on native, then the choice is simply between iOS or Android development. Your market will determine the path. For example, Instagram started on iOS and released Android two years later, after significant user adoption.
Many startups today build an elaborate mobile app only to view security as a late add-on. This is the wrong approach. Most apps today must manage tons of sensitive user data, including payment information. Security breaches are all too common and are very damaging to a company brand. So, it is incumbent for companies to protect their user’s data. Start by putting security first!
Test, Test, and Test Again
If you wait until the end of your development cycle to start testing, it’s too late. Testing must be an integral part of your development process. If not, issues will be much harder to identify and fix later in the game. One of the best ways to test your app is with beta testers.
Our Collection of Resources on Mobile Apps
As we’ve seen, the field of Mobile App development is wide, diverse, and open to massive opportunities. Below, we want to share some additional resources and key info related to mobile app development.
Why Mobile App Development?
A mobile app comes with all the features that customers know and love – like accessibility, GPS, location services, augmented or virtual reality, and more.
Statistics show that the average American spends over two hours daily on his or her device, and this daily usage is increasing with each passing day.
Therefore, we make it our priority to offer elegant end-user mobile apps with all the same functionalities that you would expect on the web as well as other platforms.
How do we bring you value?
Based in Columbus, Ohio and New Jersey, Sunflower Lab is a full-service mobile application development company comprised of a premier team of experienced designers and developers. Our goal is to help clients just like you convert your ideas into elegant, user-friendly mobile apps deployed to your favorite platform. No matter whether your preference is iOS, Androids, or a Windows, we have you covered!
What services can you expect from our mobile app development process?
Designing and Prototyping
We kick things off by meeting with you to understand your exact business needs and requirements. The next step is to brainstorm with our team of developers and create a prototype mobile app that brings your business vision to life.
Building and Testing
Once the prototype design has been finalized, our team will begin building your mobile app. Once the application is fully developed, we test it on targeted mobile iOS versions and hardware to ensure that everything is working properly.
After successful testing, your app is now ready for distribution! We deploy it to Google Play store and/or the Apple store to get as many eyes on it as possible.
Measuring and Marketing
Once your mobile application is deployed, we begin to measure the customer experience, usage, market penetration, and application performance by using a variety of analytical tools. During this phase, we collect a range of KPIs and metrics so we can advise you on a set of best practices for successfully marketing your application to your target audience.
Questions to Consider When Working with a Mobile App Development Agency Like Sunflower Lab
People often reminisce about a “golden age” to mean that a certain feature or characteristic of society was then at its peak. To say we’re in the “golden era” of mobile technology doesn’t really do it justice. Perhaps it is more applicable to call this the “platinum era” because there has never been a better time for a company like yours to design, develop, and deploy mobile apps to consumers. This is truly the “mobile age”!
Push Notifications are critical for any company using mobile apps. They allow you to keep in touch with your users in a non-intrusive way about updates, new promotions, and other features. Push notifications are one of the best marketing tools you can leverage for your mobile app. In fact, not using them is simply leaving money on the table!
We can sit back and count the many ways data storage and management are not working these days for the manufacturing sector. Because of the way digital transformation is impacting the enterprise today, it’s high time we extend a hand towards the manufacturing sector to make their work and output more seamless and easier to manage. Today, there is certainly a significant opportunity for using mobile applications to increase productivity and revenue in the manufacturing sector.
According to the latest data from The Economist, by the year 2020 there will be nearly 20 billion mobile devices in use worldwide. And, currently, there are almost 2 million apps on Google Play and iTunes store. So, it is already high time businesses start to consider hiring a mobile app development agency or else to develop a mobile app by themselves.
When an execution environment is created to perform automated tests, it is known as a testing framework. This framework may be defined as a set of concepts, best practices, common tools, libraries, and assumptions which are composed of a work platform or an environment for automated testing. These tools be used across your teams to increase efficiency and productivity.
Xamarin is a software company founded in 2011 and acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Xamarin provides tools for building build cross-platform mobile applications that have all the features of native apps and a common codebase as well.
Is Native App Development Beneficial For Your Business? Read This To Know How Native Apps Can Benefit Your Business.
Native apps are software programs developed to use for specific platforms or devices. Unlike web or mobile cloud apps, Native apps are developed for specific OS or devices. Native applications use a specific programming language such as Java or Objective C, and perform more optimally because they’re built to take full advantage of the features provided by that specific OS.
There’s no denying that having a mobile strategy is vital for any company today, no matter what your industry may be – food, fashion, finance, you name it! Those who think they can survive without a mobile application need to urgently rethink their entire business model, and consider how to enlist the help of any number of top-tier mobile app development companies to get them aligned with the latest digital business strategies. If you’re stuck, just Google app development companies near me and you’ll see that Sunflower Lab is a top-ranked mobile app development company right in Columbus, Ohio.
Design thinking is a method used by designers during the ideation phase, when they’re brainstorming and prototyping. It is used to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions for clients to ensure their business vision gets across to their target audience in a compelling and user-friendly way.
How much will it cost to create a mobile application in Ohio? There is more than one way to create business mobile apps, and the method depends on the budget. It is tempting think that just because your application can be downloaded free from the Google App store, you can build an app for the price of a cell phone. According to current reports, the cost of mobile app development in Columbus, Ohio ranges from $100,000 to $500,000.
Finding the right mobile app development team requires a keen knowledge of the industry as well as awareness across a spectrum of disciplines. People who are looking to hire mobile application development services should know the essentials that are required to help them achieve their business goals. Mobile app development is not cheap, and so it’s very important for businesses to have a strategy that will help them to get the most ROI out of their application.