In today’s fast paced world, a smartphone has become as necessary as breathing. Users all over the world are embracing smartphones as their preferred medium for browsing, online-shopping and staying connected on social media.
Facebook reported a few years ago, that 78% of its users in the U.S. access the site from their mobile phones, every day. For Twitter, the number is 75%, with 65% of its advertisement revenues coming from smartphones.
Realizing the exponential increase in the usage of smart phones, majority of the companies are establishing mobile app development as their number one priority. Startups are no different.
But, there are several misconceptions startups and other businesses have when it comes to developing for mobile, that hinders their growth.
Misconception #1: Building native applications for every platform separately is an exercise in futility and cash.
Actuality: Want a first-rate app? Build natively.
There’s a prevalent view in the application development world that you just need to make one application and you can publish it on multiple platforms i.e. cross-platform.
Sounds straightforward, rational, even! But, it’s not!
Facebook along with LinkedIn and Southwest Airlines thought so at first, too.
It didn’t take Mark Zuckerberg long to announce the organization’s over-dependence on HTML5 once of its greatest mistakes. The truth of the matter is, creating for a cross-platform constrains your app and might undermine the objectives you set for your application.
Southwest, LinkedIn and Facebook have since re-built their applications.
Yet, cross-platform development still entices many new startups that would prefer not to contribute additional time and cash building for each OS natively.
The lesson: Rather than taking the short route and coding an app once, take the time to understand what you are developing; dive into deeper waters.
Analyze which platforms your users prefer the most and build for them. Don’t build on a hunch!
You’d be surprised to find that there are many users who still like using a Windows phone or a Blackberry instead of an Android or iPhone, and your targeted user might just be one of them!
Spend the time to develop for one platform. When and only when, you’ve nailed the app for that platform should you consider launching an app for another platform. This way not only will you be giving yourself a chance to learn from your first attempt, but you’ll be sure to sidestep all the problems and snares you got caught up on the first app – greatly reducing your delivery time.
Misconception #2: Assuming your backend structure is ready to support the mobile apps you built.
Actuality: You will need to restructure your backend support to give your users the mobile experience that you’re aiming for.
This is the next biggest mistake/misconception young startups tend to have. Now that they’ve got a mobile app, they expect it to be supported by the same backend infrastructure that supported their website.
Usually, a company sees approximately double or more the traffic when compared to their websites. Hence, your backend support system should be capable to handle the increased traffic a dedicated app is sure to send your way.
Peerbits had a client who had developed and employed the latest backend infrastructure for their website. However, when they started using the same structure to facilitate the traffic from their mobile apps, it was recorded that the server was only sending back 1.5 MB of data per request. This made it nearly impossible for the client to provide an efficient mobile experience with that kind of data being exchanged.
We advised the client to redesign and develop a custom backend solution that specifically catered to their mobile app.
Misconception #3: Outsourcing your app to a mobile development firm rids you of having to do any work.
Actuality: For efficient results, the startups should have an interactive relation with the firm that they have hired. Startups tend to believe that once they outsource the mobile app development to an outstanding app development company, their work stops there!
These startups expect the app development firms to make the same decisions they would make during the app development process, effectively handing over the whole project to the hired firm. What the startups fail to realize is the fact that the best results are an outcome of excessive interaction between the client and the firm.
In our experience, we’ve found the best apps are those that’s have 100% input from the startups that hired us to develop their apps.
Input from the clients can come in many forms: QA a session, having in-depth conversation with the client’s engineering and design teams, chats over coffee etc. In the ends, it’s always infinitely better to have concrete guidelines than to have guesswork.
The most ideal situation will be where the startup and the development firm meet every day to discuss the common solution. Not only does this make life and work easier for the development firm, it also gives the startup founders an opportunity to get firsthand experience and to branch out in to mobile technology world.
Startups tend to believe building for mobile will drop instant success into their laps. That might be true to a certain extent, considering how vital developing for mobile has become, but only if the mobile strategy is well executed and done with the help of the experts.
Majority of the startups do not have enough human resources nor the experience when it comes to developing for mobile. In this case, the ideal solution will be for you to either work with a development firm that will help you in the task of hiring the right people for the job to enhance your own mobile development team; or, a firm who specializes in implanting their own people with your company to assist communication.