How to develop an app – expert opinion
We asked three mobile entrepreneurs to share their wisdom. They talked about creating mobile apps without any development or design experience, hiring talented developers, or making great prototypes. While they each know both the business and the technical side of mobile app development, their expertise is quite different:
- Paul Ferro, President of 5 Nerds Software Development, a full-service design, and development agency from branding and design to application development from scratch.
- Andres Max, founder of Ideaware, an agency specializing in product strategy, UX / UI design, and front-end optimization. Before founding the studio, Max was the lead UX designer at Mashable.
- Daniel Hindi is Chief Technology Officer at BuildFire, a mobile app development platform used by over 50,000 companies. Even if you don’t know how to create mobile apps, you can still make a professional app with BuildFire’s WYSIWYG editor.
These entrepreneurs’ responses make it clear to us that building a mobile app doesn’t necessarily involve programming or getting your hands dirty at Adobe. With a great idea, a dash of business acumen, and a ton of effort, you can be at the helm of the next Uber. Let’s take a look at their opinions.
How to develop an app: Brainstorming
Paul Ferro, who, in addition to starting his own business, helps other entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life, talks about the first step on this long path:
You have a great idea for a mobile app. This is the next viral game or utility that everyone will use or the next social expression step. In any case, you know that this is great, and you want to convey your idea to everyone. Where to begin?
First, it is essential to flesh out your idea. You can sketch the basics of your application in your head, but have you thought of all the little details that separate a fantastic application from a normal one? It’s essential to sit down and think about the entire experience of using the mobile app for a few minutes.
If this is a game or something similar, you do not need to compose each level in your head, but you need to understand how the levels differ. Are there in-app purchases? Multiplayer game? Social media connection? As you answer all these questions, you begin to mentally put all the pieces together and overcome all the problems and pitfalls. If someone is making the application for you, they will want to know as much as possible before starting, which will help the development process.
Submit your idea to friends, family, and colleagues for feedback.
Everyone thinks their ideas are amazing, don’t they? How can you understand that the concept of a mobile application you have invented seems interesting to others? Transform your inner circle into a cordon sanitaire that tests ideas for viability:
Now that you have a working idea, it’s time to test it out and see if it is really as good as you think it is. There are tons of good applications that do almost the same thing, but for one reason or another, some rise to the top and become loved, while others don’t. Your app doesn’t have to be Number 1 in the store to be popular or profitable. But he needs at least some semblance.
Communicate your idea to as many people as possible to get their opinion on it. Here’s an expert’s advice: When you present your idea to others (friends or family), tell them that you know someone with the idea and want to invest in it. Then explain the idea itself. Your listeners will be much more honest, knowing that the idea is not yours and that you could lose your money by investing in a not-so-good application. Ask – will they use it? If so, why? If not, why not?
Ask them to point out flaws. Ask if they’ve seen anything similar? This approach can be much more productive for discussing an idea than simply finding out that you have many friends and family who don’t want to hurt you.
If you have done all these several times, and your idea has not met with strong opposition, then it’s time to start! This is where you have a choice. You can do it yourself or hire someone.
Even if you can’t make a mobile app: How to develop an app
Andres Max reiterates his statement about the importance of testing an idea for performance and goes further: “I have always encouraged entrepreneurs to do market research. Dig deep to assess your idea’s demand, what worked and what didn’t, then make adjustments as needed. For example, you may think you have a great idea for a photography app before you know it’s already made and sold. This does not mean that you have to stop working on the idea. It is just information for you to help you understand what you can do better.
One of the best ways to compare is, of course, to make a prototype. Max says: “After you’ve got your idea sharpened, build and test a prototype. Gather all the valuable information on its basis. ” A prototype can be just a sketch of your design, or you can create a fully functional prototype in a tool like Proto.io. It doesn’t require any programming or design skills.
Decide if you will hire a studio or a developer – or learn how to develop yourself.
Ferro says that the next step is to figure out who will turn your prototype into a real application. Believe it or not, you can easily create an application yourself (even without experience). Provided, of course, that it is simple enough:
“Learning how to build apps can be challenging, especially if you have no experience. But it is possible. Especially if your idea is about the uniqueness of the functions – and not the technologies themselves, take Flappy Bird, for example. The application itself is effortless. But the idea was unique and exciting. Now, look at the Apple Passbook. The idea is relatively simple, but the technologies that keep your data safe, reach out to sellers, get tied to your fingerprint, and the like are relatively complex.
Suppose you need advanced technology in an app that uses a device in a way that no one else has used it. Then building the app yourself can be difficult. It can take years to figure out how to get the most out of a mobile device; if you realize that you can build the application yourself, great! But even if you don’t have development skills, there is an opportunity to develop quite quickly. ”
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Make sure you are using the right tools to create mobile apps
But how to gain this very speed? You can either take a crash course in programming (there are many resources for that) or use tools that even beginners can use to build your mobile app. One such tool is BuildFire, explains Daniel Hindi:
“What if you have a killer idea but don’t know how to build mobile apps? This is exactly the problem we wanted to solve in our BuildFire platform. if you want to create an app you must need to know about how to develop an app? We have over 80,000 apps, and both small companies and large corporations create them. All of them are made without or with minimal programming knowledge. While this is great for simple applications, a lack of programming skills usually limits you to the range of features the platform offers. BuildFire solves this problem, and soon we will open an API to developers that can be added to existing BuildFire applications.
We see more and more startups and small companies connecting to our core platform with shallow entry barriers. After the app has proven its worth, they ask third-party developers to create the puzzle’s missing pieces, saving a lot of time and money. ”
Make sure you are hiring the right people.
Whether you’re hiring people to finish a project started on a platform like BuildFire, or building an app from scratch, finding the right developer is important, Ferro says:
“Now, if you decide to hire someone to develop your application, things will be a little easier compared to learning to program on your own. But here, of course, the question of cost arises. Hiring an office has several advantages over doing it yourself. They have experience. So, they already know all the pitfalls of development. They will make an optimized and fast application. Its design will not be terrible. I think that there is no need to explain in detail the advantages of contracting professionals.
But you need to make sure you are hiring the right professionals. First and foremost, this means finding a company that will listen to your story and fully understands it even before starting to write the code. Many people want to start developing right away and start invoicing you, but this is the wrong way. Talk to several companies to find the one that works for you. You should feel comfortable working with them, communicating, and overcoming problems with them. And believe me – there will be problems!
When you find the right company, everything will work out. They will dive into your idea and unravel the loops, fill in the gaps, offer features and functions, and provide a high level of service. The best apps come about when a great idea meets a great team that breathes life into it. ”
Development of android applications: a minimum set of knowledge
In fact, there are few requirements here, but the depth of knowledge in the required areas should constantly grow. Here’s what it really does not hurt to master:
- Java or Kotlin programming languages;
- Android Studio platform for Android development;
- The main libraries that will make your life much easier: Retrofit (for receiving data from the Internet), Glide (for downloading images)
- Android architectural components (to write clean and reliable code);
Ability to write an application in the MVP or MVVM architecture (for the application’s reliability, support, and development).
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How to develop an app: write Android apps
In principle, development requires only Android Studio, which can be downloaded for free from the official website. This is the best Android application development environment on the market. Any operating system (Mac OS, Windows, Linux) will do. As for the hardware, it is advisable to have a processor not older than five years and 8 gigabytes of RAM (+ 1.5 GB of free disk space).
Suppose you don’t know anything about programming and have only a burning desire to create. First, you need to learn at least one programming language. At the moment,if you want how to develop an app, you can write an application for Android using Java or Kotlin. The preferred language is Kotlin, but if you plan to become a professional developer. Then Java, you need to be at least able to “read” (and better write in it). These languages are very similar, work on the same principles, and have very similar syntax. At our Android development department, we start learning Java, and in the middle of our studies, we switch to Kotlin. Thus, the graduate is fully prepared for the profession of an android developer in terms of programming languages.
To learn Java with ease, install the Java development environment – IntelliJ Idea Community Edition. This is the best free software on the market. Installation instructions can be found at the end of this article in the supplementary materials.
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