What’s the Difference Between Web App & Mobile App?

The biggest difference between web apps and mobile apps is that web apps can be accessed from desktop or mobile web browsers, and mobile apps are installed natively on smartphones or tablets. 

Unlike native mobile apps, a web app does not require any installation to use. 

While this is the most obvious distinction between the two, there are plenty of other key differences and similarities between web apps and mobile apps—all which will be covered in this in-depth guide. 

I’ll break down everything you need to know about web apps and mobile apps, including the situations when it makes more sense to build a mobile app and scenarios where a web app works better. 

Understanding Web Apps

A web app is an application program that’s stored on remote servers and delivered through web browser interfaces over the internet. 

Common examples of web apps include Google Docs, Netflix, and even Facebook. You don’t need to install any software on your devices to use these tools—as all three of these can be directly accessed from any web browser. 

While using these types of apps through a web browser doesn’t necessarily deliver the optimal user experience compared to a native app (which we’ll cover later), they still work and function as intended through browsers. 

For web apps, progressive web apps, and hybrid apps to work, they simply need a web server, database, and application server powering it on the backend. 

Web apps and websites are not the same thing, even though web apps are accessed through websites, and the average user may not necessarily notice the difference. But websites are static, and web apps are dynamic—meaning web apps are more interactive and allow the user to perform more tasks. 

Web apps typically require some type of user authentication. This is not the case for websites, as anyone can visit them by just navigating to the URL. 

Understanding Mobile Apps

As the name implies, mobile apps are designed specifically for mobile devices—like smartphones and tablets. To access the app, users must first install it on their device. 

Mobile apps leverage the native features of a device, like a smartphone’s camera, Bluetooth, or GPS. This drastically improves the features, performance, and usability compared to its web app counterparts. 

Within this category, there are also native mobile apps and hybrid mobile apps. 

A native mobile app is built for a specific type of operating system, like iOS or Android. Hybrid mobile apps can run on multiple operating systems. 

Have you ever accessed Facebook or Instagram through your smartphone’s web browser? It’s possible and gives you all of the same information. But the experience is undoubtedly better when you’re accessing these platforms directly from the mobile app installed on a particular device. 

A mobile app still uses servers and databases to power it on the backend. But mobile apps can be both static and dynamic at the same time. 

A static application doesn’t need an internet connection, online server, or database to operate. They’re downloaded and can function offline, with periodic updates. Dynamic apps are in some way reliant on a server or database to operate. 

Let’s consider the mobile app version of the three examples mentioned in the previous section—Google Docs, Netflix, and Facebook. You can use each of these while offline as a static app, but the information won’t refresh or update until you’re connected to the servers. So you can access old documents and download movies or browse old photos on your timeline. But you won’t be able to see edits to new documents, stream new movies, or see an updated post until you’ve established a connection. 

Mobile App Versus Web App: Key Differences

In comparing a mobile app vs. web app, you’ll quickly notice some significant differences. Depending on your goals, these differences could definitely sway you in one direction over the other. 

Development Environment and Tools

Mobile app development requires platform-specific development environments and tools. For example, Apple has its own IDE (integrated development environment) for iOS apps. It includes an iOS SDK, development tools, and other compilers that app developers can use to write code and debug apps specifically for iOS apps. Android also has its own development software, Android Studio. 

Unlike mobile apps, web app development environments aren’t quite as strict. Web developers have a wider range of tools to choose from depending on the programming languages they’re planning to use for the build. 

Programming Languages and Frameworks

With mobile applications, the programming language depends on the type of app and platform you’re building. Swift and Objective-C are the primary programming languages for iOS apps. Android apps commonly use Java and Kotlin. Hybrid apps can be built with C#, Xamarin, React Native, Appcelerator, and Cordova/PhoneGap. 

Web apps are typically built using JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby. Generally speaking, developers have more options to choose from and tend to find web apps easier to build because they can use languages and frameworks that they’re already familiar with. If you have basic coding knowledge, you’ll likely find it easier to build a web app. 

Performance and Speed

Performance varies drastically between web apps and mobile apps—and mobile apps have the edge. First, mobile devices don’t need an internet connection for apps to work. Mobile apps are more responsive, load faster, and handle common gestures natively built into mobile devices.

Conversely, web app speed and performance are almost always tied to the strength of an internet connection. Without that connection, the app won’t work. Poor connection negatively impacts the app’s loading speed and usability. Web apps also have inconsistent performance because they’re also reliant on web browsers. 

User Experience and Engagement

Better performance and speed lead to an enhanced user experience on mobile apps. Actions performed in an app are almost instantaneous through a mobile device. There’s rarely lag or interference getting to the next stage, which can’t be said for web apps.

The app publisher also has more ways to engage with its users compared to web app developers. For example, publishers can send push notifications directly to a mobile device—prompting users to open the app or take an action. This isn’t something you can do from a web app. 

Cost and Development Timeline

Building web apps is typically cheaper and faster than building mobile apps. Mobile apps take longer because they’re more complex to build, and sometimes, two versions of the app need to be built so the app can run on multiple platforms.

However, it’s worth noting that in recent years, the cost to create a mobile app has significantly dropped. With no-code app builders, you can build a mobile app without having to write a single line of code—and you can launch on iOS and Android from a single build. This dramatically shortens the time to launch and reduces the costs associated with development.

Market Reach and Monetization Methods

Technically, web apps have a wider market research because they can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection—regardless of the device. Mobile apps are distributed via app stores, and there need to be multiple versions of the app on each store so it complies with the specific requirements of each operating system (although all popular mobile apps are available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). 

It’s generally easier to monetize mobile apps because of the native components. While both types of apps can leverage multiple monetization strategies, web apps have more friction in the checkout process. It’s also easier for mobile apps to set recurring billing and take advantage of saved mobile wallets on the device. 

Similarities Between Web Apps and Mobile Apps

While different in many ways, mobile apps and web apps do share some similarities, including:

Accessibility and Compatibility

Both mobile and web apps are accessible to the masses and compatible across multiple platforms. 

If someone has a smartphone or tablet, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to access the application, whether it’s a native mobile app or web app. 

Security

Mobile and web apps both face security vulnerabilities. As a developer and app publisher, it’s your responsibility to prioritize data protection and user privacy. 

The exact types of threats may differ between the two, but inherently, this is still something they share. 

User-Centric Design

UX design is critical for web and mobile apps alike. In fact, 90% of people say they’d stop using an app because of poor performance. The vast majority of performance issues are design-related. 

Beyond speed, design is the most important thing to an app user because it affects so much of how they experience the app. Design choices impact how attractive the app is, how well it fits the screen, and how easy it is for users to find what they’re looking for. 

Ongoing Maintenance and Updates

Mobile apps and web apps both require updates and ongoing maintenance. Whether it’s bug fixes, new feature releases, or security patches, you’ll need to continue updating your app regardless of how it’s being distributed. 

It’s worth mentioning that there’s a difference in the way updates are deployed. For web apps, they can simply be deployed on the server without any user intervention. But for mobile apps, the user must install the latest update to access the new version. 

Integration with Emerging Technologies

Thanks to APIs (application programming interfaces), it’s fairly common for multiple apps to integrate and play nice with each other. This holds true for both native and web apps. 

For example, you might integrate Slack (either the web app, desktop app, or mobile app) with your website to automatically get notified when someone subscribes to your newsletter. Or maybe you’re integrating your app with Facebook or Google to authenticate users with SSO. 

How to Choose What’s Right For You: Web App or Mobile App?

Now that you understand the key differences and similarities between web and mobile apps, it’s time to determine what’s right for you. Here’s a quick resource that you can use to find the answer.

When to Go With a Mobile App

  • Use native apps if your target audience predominantly uses smartphones.
  • Build a mobile app if you want to take advantage of device-specific features, like a smartphone’s camera, mic, GPS, accelerometer, etc.
  • Mobile apps are better if you want users to have offline access.
  • Mobile apps are better for driving user engagement.
  • If you want to monetize your app through subscriptions and in-app purchases, go with a mobile version. 
  • For improved brand loyalty and focusing on building long-term customer relationships, mobile apps have the edge. 

When to Go With a Web App

  • Web apps tend to have a wider reach than mobile apps, which is important if you don’t want owning a smartphone to be contingent on someone using your app.
  • Web apps are often more cost-effective to build and maintain.
  • It’s easier to deploy updates to web apps directly on the server without the user having to install an update. 
  • Web apps can be found in search engines—meaning they’re more SEO-friendly and help enhance a brand’s overall online presence. 

Final Thoughts

In today’s day and age, the vast majority of businesses are building for mobile. Web apps are still popular in certain use cases, and they’re often used in conjunction with a mobile app. 

But the experience of using a mobile app can’t really be replicated using a web app.

In terms of performance, speed, and reliability, mobile apps are superior. 

Historically, a business might have been swayed to build a web app compared to a mobile app because of budget constraints. But that’s really no longer a factor today.

Are web apps cheaper to build? Usually. But mobile apps aren’t as expensive as they once were—and they no longer require low-level coding from scratch.

You can build a mobile app today by signing up for a no-code app builder. This would cost you anywhere from $100 to $500 per month, which is affordable for any budget. 

With BuildFire, you get the best of both worlds. You can build an app for iOS, Android, and a progressive web app (PWA), all in a single build. The app can even be built for iPads and Android tablets. 

Sign up today to get started, and try BuildFire free for 14 days—no credit card required. 

How to Outsource App Development (Benefits + Cost)

Mobile app development isn’t quite as daunting as it used to be. New technology like no-code app builders has made app development more accessible to the masses.

With that said, many businesses still prefer to outsource mobile app development—and it’s often the best path for mid-market organizations.

If you need an app for business but don’t know where to start, this guide has you covered. I’ll explain everything you need to know about outsourcing app development, including the benefits, costs, and finding the right partner. 

What is App Development Outsourcing?

Mobile app development outsourcing means working with a third-party service provider to build an app on behalf of your business. It’s a type of software development outsourcing that specifically refers to mobile apps built by an app development company or developers who aren’t part of your in-house team. 

The company seeking app development services still owns the app. They just get someone else to build it for them. 

App development outsourcing can be used for any type of mobile app—including internal apps for HR and employee communications or customer-facing apps for your core business model. 

9 Reasons to Outsource Mobile App Development

There are dozens of benefits to app development outsourcing. But these are the top nine reasons why businesses choose to outsource app development.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Developing an app in-house can be expensive. Most companies don’t have the personnel on staff to handle app development, which forces them to hire new employees. 

US software developers make between $96,760 and $161,40, with the median sitting at $127,260. That’s just for one developer in a single year—not to mention the costs associated with benefits, payroll taxes, training, and other costs for onboarding a new employee. 

Rather than spending $300,000 on labor alone, you could outsource development for around $30,000. 

2. Faster Development Timeline

Launching your app quickly is crucial for getting a faster return on your investment. That’s why long development timelines can hurt you in multiple ways—they’re expensive, and you’re not getting anything in return during the app development process.

This holds true whether the app is customer-facing or solving internal inefficiencies. 

But app development companies already have dedicated teams and processes in place. They have the tools, skills, and knowledge to build apps quickly and more efficiently than an in-house team during this for the first time. It could take your IT team 9-12 months to create an app, whereas an app development agency can knock it out in 3-6 months. 

3. Ability to Focus on Core Business Operations

Mobile apps are supposed to improve businesses, not hinder them. 

If you’re investing 60-80+ hours per week managing this type of project on your own, then who’s going to handle your day-to-day responsibilities?

Lots of businesses don’t think they need to consider mobile application development outsourcing because they have skilled developers in-house. But what are those developers currently working on? Who is going to handle those duties if you allocate those resources to a different project?

Outsourcing app development means you can keep the wheels in motion and without compromising your core business objectives. 

4. App Developer Expertise

Developing an app is a considerable investment for any business. With the stakes high, you want to make sure that you have the best mobile app developers working on your project.

Sure, you might have one or two people on your staff who have built an app in the past. But wouldn’t you rather work with mobile app development agencies that have built thousands of apps?

It’s like anything else. The more experience you have, the better the final product will be. It’s rare for an agency to come across something they’ve never seen before. But if you’re using in-house talent, this could be a weekly or even daily occurrence. 

5. Access to the Latest Mobile App Technologies

App development is more than just writing code. The best apps leverage cutting-edge technology to ensure the app performs well and delivers the optimal user experience post-launch. 

But the latest and greatest technology comes at a cost. 

Look beyond the app itself. You have authentication servers, databases, push notification servers, integrations, and more—there’s an entire mobile app infrastructure that’s happening behind the scenes. It’s tough to replicate this on your own, and it often doesn’t make sense from a cost perspective. It’s easier and more cost-effective to get this technology included with mobile development outsourcing. 

6. Scalability and Flexibility

When you outsource mobile application development, it’s much easier to grow and scale compared to handling this on your own. 

Let’s say your app grows from 10,000 to 100,000 users. Mobile app development services can easily help accommodate this kind of growth without any downtime or user experience issues. 

Or maybe you want to add a new custom feature three months after the initial launch. It’s not as easy to do this on your own. 

7. Cost Predictability

The cost of outsourcing mobile application development is much more predictable than doing it in-house. More often than not, you’ll have a final quote from the development agency—and you know that the project won’t go over that number. 

But going over budget is practically guaranteed if you’re building an app in-house. Why? Things happen.

People get sick. Equipment goes down. Some sprints take longer than initially anticipated. 

An app agency will never come back to you and say, “Hey, one of our developers quit, so we had to hire a new one. So we’re going to add an additional $10,000 to your invoice to account for the training costs needed to onboard our new hire.” 

If something like this happens internally within your organization, the cost will come out of your pocket. And there’s really nothing you can do about it. You’ll have to pay whatever it costs because you need the app, and you’re not going to invest thousands of dollars and months of time to settle for an incomplete project. 

Pro Tip: Use our App Development Calculator to estimate how much it will take to build an app for your business. 

8. Reduced Legal and HR Burdens

As previously discussed, building a dedicated team to build your app is expensive. But beyond labor costs, your in-house team can lead to significant legal and HR burdens. 

You don’t have to worry about workers’ compensation claims or dealing with paid parental leave if you’re working with an agency. 

In some cases, in-house app developers could even try to claim ownership of the source code of your app. No business wants to deal with these types of headaches. 

9. Continuous Maintenance and Support

Building and launching a mobile app is really just the beginning of app development. Your app still needs lots of attention and care for it to continue working and be successful for the long haul.

What happens when a new iOS version comes out? Apple just changed its App Store requirements—not what? How will you address bugs, glitches, or new security threats?

If you built the app in-house, you need to allocate development resources to deal with this stuff on a regular basis. It’s not like you can just hire a team for one year and then fire them once the app goes live. That $300,000+ in annual labor sticks with you for the lifetime of your app if you’re building it in-house. 

But when you outsource mobile app development, you’ll get ongoing maintenance and support for a low monthly fee. You won’t have to worry about maintaining your app at all if you have the right partner. 

How to Evaluate the Costs of Outsourcing Mobile App Development

How much does it cost to build an app in-house compared to outsourcing app development? I’ll break that down below. 

Factors That Influence App Cost

When it comes to outsourcing app development, these are the most common factors that influence the total cost:

  • App Complexity — Advanced features that require custom code will be more expensive than basic apps that can be developed with simple, pre-built functions. 
  • Location of development team — Offshore mobile app development teams are typically cheaper than US-based app developers.
  • Supported platforms — Do you need an iOS app, Android app, or both? 
  • Backend technology — This refers to the software and servers required to power and maintain your app during development and after it goes live.
  • Development timeline — Typically, the longer it takes to build your app, the more expensive it will cost. 

This is the starting point for most people. We also have an in-depth guide that breaks down the cost of app development in granular detail, comparing costs related to app category, design costs, and even infrastructure services. 

Cost Comparison: In-House vs. Outsourced App Development

Let’s say you want to build an average app for your business. It’s nothing too fancy, but it handles all of the basics—like allowing users to create a profile and sign in, it connects to the internet, has a database on the back end, and you want it to integrate with calendars and social media. Plus, you want to build it for both iOS and Android devices. 

If you build an in-house team, you’ll likely need at least two app developers for this type of project. We’ll estimate on the low end and say their salary is $80,000 per year, each. That’s $160,000 in labor (assuming you find quality developers willing to work for that rate). 

$160,000 before a single line of code even gets written. Servers will cost another $10,000 to $12,000 per year, plus another $10,000 to account for things like APIs, push notifications, and integrations. We’re nearing $200,000 and the app is just getting started, and we haven’t even touched upon project management or quality assurance costs. 

On the flip side, you could outsource this same exact mobile app to a third-party development team for $25,000 to $40,000. That’s your out-the-door cost to launch before updates and ongoing maintenance. 

Maintenance from an app development agency will likely cost around $5,000 to $10,000 annually. This would cost at least $40,000 in-house, even if you’re using just one developer for this and allocating their resources to other projects. 

In this example, building, launching, and maintaining your app in-house would cost about $360,000 (on the low end) over five years. Outsourcing the same app would cost $65,000 to $80,000 over five years. 

While this is just one example, it highlights what you’ll see across the board—outsourcing app development is roughly 20% of the cost compared to building in-house. 

Understanding Pricing Models in Outsourcing App Development

All app development companies each have their own unique way of pricing mobile app projects. With that said, you’ll likely find one of the following three models:

  • Fixed Rate — This is the most straightforward. The company tells you the total app cost, and you pay that number. It’s the easiest way to estimate and stay within your budget, but your developer could cut corners if unexpected issues arise (although you won’t have to worry about this from a reputable development company).
  • Hourly Rate — Hourly billing is more common from freelance app developers compared to agencies. Rates can vary significantly, with rates starting around $30 per hour for developers in India, $50 per hour in Eastern Europe, and upwards of $80 per hour in the US. Some developers can give you an estimate of how many hours the project will take. But if it ends up taking longer, you could go over budget. 
  • Subscription Rate — With the subscription model, you pay a fixed monthly, quarterly, or annual fee to use app development software. This can range from $100 to $500 per month, depending on the tools and features you need. 

The subscription model is often the best route, assuming you have the right app development partner. It’s less of a financial burden than paying $20,000 or $50,000 upfront. That’s the obvious reason. 

But if you outsource your app project to a company like BuildFire, you’ll also have the option to leverage our in-house development team if you need something unique or custom. For basic app features, 80% or even 90% can be handled with our app builder. Then we can bridge the gap with that remaining 10-20% to help you save money while still getting exactly what you need.

The annual subscription could cost you $6,000, and a custom function (if you need it) might cost an additional $6,000. 

Hidden Costs and How to Avoid Them

The cost of building a mobile app goes beyond the development process and the app itself. You also need to account for:

  • Maintaining your staff
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Hosting
  • Refactoring
  • CDNs
  • Training
  • UX Design
  • UI Design
  • Security
  • Administrative Services

The easiest way to avoid these hidden fees is by outsourcing. When you outsource app development, cost is essentially set in stone. You pretty much know exactly what you’re going to pay, and you don’t have to worry about any surprises popping up along the way.

How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Outsourcing Partner

There are thousands of agencies out there that offer software development services. So how can you narrow down your search and find an app development company that meets your needs?

Keep the following considerations in mind as you’re comparing different options:

  • Look for an outsourcing company that offers strategic consulting for your app idea.
  • The best app development companies handle all aspects of project management for you.
  • They should also deal with quality assurance and testing. 
  • Pricing should be clear. If you’re not given an exact quote, you should at least be given a range with expectations.
  • Determine whether you want to work with a US-based development company or if you don’t mind sacrificing quality to save money. Language barriers should also be taken into consideration.
  • When you outsource mobile app development, make sure your partner gives you a timeline of when you can expect the app to be completed. 
  • Make sure the outsourcing company offers post-launch maintenance and support.
  • Ideally, the development agency you’re considering should have experience building apps in your industry. 

For more information, review our guide on what to look for in a mobile app developer. We also have a detailed resource on how to choose the best mobile app development company for your business. 

Managing the App Development Outsource Relationship

Once you’ve settled on an outsourcing company and started to work with their app development team, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to maintain a quality relationship with them.

First, make sure you have enough meetings before development actually starts. This ensures that everyone is on the same page so they know exactly what you’re looking for. Getting some wireframes, mockups, or even app prototypes can really help during the pre-development and design phases. 

During development, you can set some milestones and ask for updates on a regular cadence. But again, it’s best to establish this ahead of time. If you’re just going to email the outsourcing company once a week asking, “I’d like to see what my app looks like so far,” then you’re not giving them an opportunity to really work on it. 

The purpose of outsourcing is to remain hands-off. While you should still be part of the process, you don’t want to micro-manage the team. They aren’t your employees and you shouldn’t treat them as such. 

That’s why it’s so important to find the right partner from the beginning. It makes it much easier to manage the ongoing relationship when everyone is working toward the same common goal. 

Final Thoughts: What to Expect When You Outsource Mobile App Development

In short, you can expect it to be much more cost-effective and easier to outsource mobile app development compared to building an app in-house. 

Maintaining an internal development team really only makes sense if you’re planning to build multiple apps on a regular basis and use them for a variety of core business functions. But even in this scenario, outsourcing should still be taken into consideration. 

One unique aspect of using BuildFire for app development is that you have access to our pre-existing app development infrastructure. This drastically reduces the time and costs associated with traditional development—plus, you can launch an app for iOS and Android with a single build. 

You can also leverage our app development platform and app development services under one roof. Whether you’re looking for assisted setup and design services and then want to manage the app on your own, you want to build it on your own and leverage our team for something specific, or you want us to do all the heavy lifting for you, there are plenty of different options to choose from. 

Schedule a consultation today to see how BuildFire can bring your app to life. 

14 Programming Languages for Mobile App Development

Years ago, there were only options ways to create a mobile app—one code for iOS apps and one code for Android. But developers today have significantly more options for coding apps. I created this guide to help you understand the most popular programming languages and frameworks for mobile app development. You can use this information to decide which language to learn and invest in for your mobile app.

For the purposes of this resource, I’m going to skip over cookie-cutter types of mobile app builders. Technically, you don’t need to learn how to code use programming languages for that type of mobile app development platform. Check out our guide on the five ways to build apps for more information on those alternative methods.

Types of Mobile Apps

Before we continue, I just want to quickly cover the different types of app development from a coding perspective. Generally speaking, mobile app developers can build an app in one of these three categories:

Native Apps

Native app development is coded in a language that’s supported natively by the specific operating system of mobile devices. (Example: native iOS app vs. native Android app). This is used if you’re building an app specifically for the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

This is ideal for apps with a high level of customization that need to leverage native components of each device. It’s great for gaming apps, VR apps, and apps with extensive graphics. But one code won’t work on both platforms with native development.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are for cross-platform development. These are coded in a single language that can run on multiple on both iOS and Android.

This speeds up the development timeline as you’ll only have to code everything once, as opposed to twice (once for each OS). Compared to native, you’ll lose a little bit of the flexibility in terms of what you can do with hybrid apps. But this is fine for the vast majority of developers.

The most common topic you’ll hear when discussing mobile application development is the difference between native and hybrid apps. This has become the great debate for developers for quite some time now.

As I briefly mentioned above, native apps are built for a particular operating system. So if you want to develop an app for iOS and Android, you would need to build specifically for iOS and specifically for Android, separately.

There are pros and cons to this method, along with the others. We’ll take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of these app development methods as we continue through this guide.

PWA Apps

A PWA (progressive web app) is a lightweight app that runs in the URL of a device’s web browser. It looks and feels like a mobile app, but it’s not delivered natively on the device.

Developers who have experience with web development can easily create PWAs. You’ll should already be familiar with the coding languages used during the development process. So there’s not as much of a learning curve.

With that said, these apps will be a bit more limited in terms of the ability to use native device components.

Best Programming Languages for App Development

Let’s take a closer look at the top 14 coding languages for mobile applications. Each option has advantages and disadvantages depending on your skill level and intended use case. Regardless of your hardware and software, you can find coders and languages below that fit your needs.

iOS Programming Languages

The iOS platform was created by Apple. If you develop an iOS app, it will work across the Apple ecosystem like iPhones and iPads. Apps built using an iOS programming language can be made available on the Apple App Store for users to download.

In order to build an iOS app, you need to have an Apple developer account to get started. You’ll also need the Xcode IDE installed on a Mac computer (you can’t build and debug properly on a Windows computer).

Xcode comes with everything you need to create apps for all Apple devices. This development toolkit has a code editor, simulators, a debugger, and SDKs.

There are two native programming languages for iOS development—Objective-C and Swift.

Swift vs Objective C

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these Apple programming languages below.

Objective-C

Objective-C was the first programming language by Apple to support mobile applications on its platform. It’s an OO (object oriented programming language) that uses syntax from C and the object oriented aspects of SmallTalk.

The language isn’t very developer-friendly. One of the drawbacks is that the syntax feels clunky, and the square brackets can be tough to debug.

Swift

Swift was introduced in 2014 as an Apple programming language. It was eventually available for development in Xcode the following year.

This language has quickly become the developers’ preferred language when building an iOS app. If you’re getting started with iOS app development, this one of the best programming languages to consider. The usage of Objective-C has declined since Swift’s arrival. For any modern applications built on Apple, Swift is heavily encouraged.

Compared to Objective-C and other programming languages, Swift is easier and more compact. Any Apple developer who already knows how to build with Objective-C shouldn’t have any issues switching to Swift.

Programming Languages For Android App Development

Android is an open-source software development platform run by Google. While Google has its own mobile device options for phones and tablets, other manufacturers, like Samsung, Huawei, Microsoft, and more also produce phones and tablets that are powered by the Android OS.

To build an Android app, you need to get the Android development toolkit that has debuggers, emulators, and the required SDK. The best integrated development environment (IDE) for Android app development is Android Studio. This makes it easier if you’re developing mobile apps for Android. There are other options available, including cross platform app development tools (to build Android and iOS apps, and mobile apps for other operating systems) but Android Studio is definitely the most popular for Android app development.

Android IDEs can typically be run on any OS, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Android: Kotlin vs Java

Let’s take a closer look at two Android programming languages—Java and Kotlin.

Java

Since Android was officially launched in 2008, Java has been the default development language to write Android apps. This object-oriented language was initially created back in 1995.

While Java has its fair share of faults, it’s still the most popular language for Android development since it runs on a virtual machine. As an object oriented option for mobile development, Java is commonly used to develop Android apps.

Most of the other Android languages are considered a version of Java or a flavor of Java.

Kotlin

Google announced that it would start supporting the Kotlin programming language in 2017. It’s an alternative language to traditional Java for Android development, and it runs on the Java Virtual Machine. Even as a new language, it’s very popular.

Kotlin and Java are interoperable, meaning they can make use of the same information. All of your Java libraries can be accessed with Kotlin. From an execution standpoint, the Kotlin language complies with Java Bytecode. Overall, it’s considered a neater and cleaner version of Java.

Native Development App Programming Languages

As I said before, all of the programming languages for native mobile apps. have their pros and cons. Whether you’re using Objective-C or Swift for Apple or using Java or some other flavor of Java (like Kotlin) for Android, these are the benefits and drawbacks.

Native Programming Pros:

  • Most control over the device
  • Low-level coding for cutting edge technologies that are added on to the device
  • Fastest access to latest and greatest features through your language
  • Fastest in execution bottom line

Native Programming Cons:

  • Slowest to develop
  • Most costly development method
  • Takes highest skilled and specialized mobile app developers to build for iOS and Android
  • High barrier to entry

While native programming languages give you the most control over your app, they are difficult to learn and take a long time to develop. Unless you’re building a highly specialized app, you probably won’t need to go the native route.

Hybrid Programming Languages

Hybrid applications are developed once, but written with a programming language that works for multiple platforms.

Programming Languages for Hybrid Apps

Most commonly, a single development will work for both iOS and Android. Although some hybrid languages extend their functionality to other platforms, like progressive web apps (PWA) or mobile web apps. This is nice to have for those of you moving into a more web-friendly environment.

When you’re building a hybrid application or want to develop cross platform apps, you’re generally dealing with some sort of JavaScript-based language, framework, or toolkit. Hybrid apps work on varying mobile devices.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these options below.

C#

Developed by Microsoft, C# (pronounced C sharp) is another object-oriented programming language. It’s a popular programming language for game development and command line scripting for Android operating systems.

Other low-code types of alternatives like OutSystems and Kony have an SDK that can be used with different languages, not just one. There are other languages for mobile app development that use system programming language with syntax similar to C#.

Using an IDE for hybrid development, the C# code is cross-compiled to run natively on iOS and Android devices.

Xamarin

Microsoft eventually acquired the Xamarin framework, which allows app developers to program using C# against other frameworks. Technically, Xamarin isn’t a language. It’s an open-source development platform for iOS, Android, and Windows applications.

It’s a .NET platform that uses C# as its core language.

React Native

Reactive Native uses JavaScript to communicate with pre-built functionality that is native to their framework. This allows you to manipulate the UI, collect data, and retrieve data so you can present it to the user.

Basically, this means that you’re heavily relying on JavaScript to manipulate native components. Programming a mobile app this way has its pros and cons.

Appcelerator

Like Reactive Native, Appcelerator also uses JS to communicate with functions to a native framework. Appcelerator Titanium makes it possible to create native apps for iOS, Android, and Windwows.

Appcelerator Pros:

  • Using Java to manipulate something native
  • Access native functionality directly from JavaScript

Appcelerator Cons:

  • Doesn’t tap into things like HTML5 or CSS, which are technologies that are generally used with anybody developing in JavaScript to freely manipulate their own user interface

The barrier of entry to learning this programming method is around a medium level.

Cordova/PhoneGap

Cordova/PhoneGap and Ionic type frameworks are really just built on top of the Apache Cordova programming language. Hybrid mobile application development using this programming language are built by porting over a web experience into a native experience.

What does this mean?

This method allows you to build just like you would do for a website. So if you’re a web developer, you’ll feel right at home here. It uses Javascript, HTML, and CSS. That web environment is ported over natively to iOS and Android. The final software will work on multiple types of mobile devices.

Pros:

  • Low barrier to entry
  • Anyone with a web development background can easily start programming this way
  • Learning curve is easy

Cons:

  • Giving up a little bit of frame rate

If you’re developing mobile games, a machine learning native app, or augmented reality (AR) native app, this solution probably isn’t best programming language for you. Both of those require a higher frame rate.

PWA Programming Languages

Progressive web apps offer app-like functions from a mobile site. It’s a fast and reliable alternative to traditional mobile websites. Unlike a website, web applications can operate offline, and access native device capabilities (like camera, GPS, etc.).

Here are some of the programming languages you can use for PWA:

Ruby

Ruby is a general-purpose programming language that can be used for a wide range of use cases, including PWAs. Lots of developers rely on Ruby for web applications because of its simplicity.

The language has been around since 1990, and continues to be favorite in the development community today.

While shipping code with Ruby is easy, finding bugs and debugging errors is not always as simple. So just keep that in mind if you’re going this route.

Python

Python is another general-purpose coding language. It’s an object-oriented language that gives developers the flexibility for small and large-scale deployments alike.

In addition to PWAs, Python is commonly used for data analytics, data visualization, websites, task automation, and other types of software.

Most developers would agree that Python is a bit more challenging than Java. It has a steeper learning curve compared to other languages in this category.

CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a rule-based language. It helps describe the presentation of code that’s written in markup languages, like HTML.

You can’t create a PWA with CSS alone. But you’ll likely use it as an addition to your JS or HTML code.

JavaScript

If you have web development experience, using JavaScript to create a PWA might be the best option for you. You can use JS on top of HTML and alongside CSS to create your web application from scratch.

Compared to other options for PWA, this has a lower barrier to entry for those of you who have some basic technical knowledge and coding experience. But it’s not quite as flexible as a Ruby or Python for PWA.

PHP

PHP is a general scripting language that was first introduced in 1994. While it has several potential use cases, PHP can also be used to assist PWA.

With that said, it’s not necessarily the best option. You can use PHP on the backend for application, but you’d still want to serve HTML, CSS, and JS on the front end. Using PHP to just create a website wouldn’t have the same look, feel, and capability as a traditional PWA.

In short, PHP alone won’t deliver a progressive web application. But the lots of your work can still be written in PHP.

Choosing the Right Programming Language

As you can see, each programming language has its pros and cons. You can’t definitively say that one is better than another. It all depends on the app type, budget, timeline, and technical knowledge.

Native development is typically the most expensive and most challenging to learn. But it’s necessary for certain types of apps, like gaming apps.

Hybrid languages are easier to learn for users who have some technical knowledge and web development experience. You can get your app to market quickly with this method since you won’t have to use two deployments.

In addition to choosing a specific language, you’ll need to choose your approach. We have a complete guide that breaks down the differences between synchronous vs. asynchronous programming to help you decide between these two popular methods.

When to Use a Coding App

Coding apps like Grasshopper, Sololearn, and Mimo are all excellent options for beginners. So if you’re just starting your journey as a developer, you’ll definitely find these tools helpful.

Alternatively, you can use an app builder to create an app without writing a single line of coding. No-code app creators like BuildFire make it possible for anyone, regardless of technical knowledge, to create an app for iOS and Android simultaneously.

Unless you want to become a developer, using an app creator is the best option. The time it will take you to learn different programming languages probably isn’t worth the investment if you just need to create one app for your business. Even if you do learn how to code, your first app likely won’t be ready for real users.

MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service)

All of the hybrid frameworks and native programming language to build mobile apps all have two things in common—they all need to be built from scratch, and they are all missing a major component.

Anybody who has developed a mobile application in the past understands that the app itself is only a portion of the entire environment and the total solution. You’ll also need a massive mobile backend as a service—better known as MBaaS.

What do you need an MBaaS for? Here are a few examples:

  • Host your data
  • Host user profiles
  • Compile analytics
  • Send push notifications

The list goes on and on. These are all servers living in the cloud that you need to develop as well to support your application. Unless you’re building a simple app, like a calculator, you generally need some type of user authentication, database, CMS, etc.

BuildFire JS

This is where the BuildFire JS comes into play.

The BuildFire JS framework allows you to build just like you would in a Cordova Hybrid platform. You can use web technology like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. But this framework doesn’t force you to build everything from scratch.

Buildfire JS

Things like authentication and push notifications are built on top of an existing platform. That platform has all of the typical functionality that most apps need, like user logins, password reset functionality, access to databases, access to CMS platforms, and so on.

With the BuildFire JS, you only need to build what is unique to your specific application.

Analytics servers, databases, push notification servers, API gateways, and so much more are all part of the massive MBaaS provided by BuildFire.

All of this is bundled in an open-source environment that allows people to constantly add new features to the platform. You can integrate those features into your app without the worry of security problems or licensing.

Once all is said and done, and you’ve developed your app with BuildFire, there’s a backend control panel that allows you to administer your app over the air without having to deal with the hurdles of publishing and upgrades.

Since your app is built on a platform with an MBaaS, you won’t have to worry about any new policies, regulations, compliance issues, features, and more on iOS and Android. BuildFire makes sure that your app stays compliant.

Final Thoughts: Best Programming Languages

What’s the best programming language for mobile app development?

There is no right or wrong answer to what programming language you should learn or what framework you should invest in. The best programming languages for me and my mobile apps might not be the best for you and your app development scenario. All of the options listed in this guide are good and valid choices to consider. They each have pros and cons. There are even additional programming languages for mobile app development, like Python for server-side programming, and more.

You just need to find out what’s best for you, your business, and your goals.

What type of application are you building? What does the application need? Where do you want to put the most effort? Do you want to develop it once or multiple times? What mobile device will the end-user be on? Are you building for multiple platforms?

What about data access control, statistically typed programming language, or interpreted programming language?

Will you be leveraging any low-code/no-code development tools?

These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself to determine where your time, effort, and resources are best served. At the end of the day, just make sure you can go to market quickly with the best possible app.

How to Test Your App on an iPhone Using Xcode

App testing is a key part of iOS app development. If you’re using Xcode to create an iOS app, you can test your app using a real iPhone and iOS device with Xcode’s built-in simulator. 

While simulators are great, some features don’t quite work the same unless you’re using an iPhone.

For example, maybe you want to send an SMS message from your iOS application. Or maybe you want to test the app’s compatibility with an iPhone camera. You can’t do this from your Mac.

In addition to testing for functionality, running your app on an iPhone for the first time can also help with debugging. Xcode even has a built-in debugger tool that helps you identify bugs and problems directly within the source editor. 

Ready to start testing your iOS apps? This guide will show you how.

What is Xcode?

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re new to development and haven’t started building anything yet, you might have some questions about Xcode and how it works. 

We have an in-depth tutorial on how to code Xcode that’s written for complete beginners. I strongly suggest giving it a read for a full explanation of how Xcode works. But I’ll quickly summarize the key highlights below before we continue with the testing instructions.

Xcode is an integrated development environment, better known as an IDE. It’s the official IDE for Apple that’s used to create, test, and debug apps for iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV.

Xcode is also great for team collaboration. So your entire development team can work together on the app and ensure it’s ready for testers before deployment. It’s much easier to use Xcode for testing and debugging apps before they’re added to the app store.

Testing on a Simulator vs. Real Device

App development isn’t complete until the application has been fully tested. There are several different ways to test mobile apps, but these options can generally be segmented into two categories—simulators and real devices.

Simulators let you run applications that weren’t intended for your computer’s operating system. Developers can use iOS simulators to test their code on an iPhone or iPad without actually running the app on one of those devices. 

Some simulators double as emulators, which mimic the capabilities of real devices beyond a simulation. You can even find simulators that support both iOS and Android for testing multiple versions of your app.
Xcode has a built-in simulator that’s great for testing during the early stages of development. This allows you to run a simulation without having to lay out the user interface.

You just need to configure your settings and click the run button on your toolbar. 

Then select what type of device you want to simulate your app on. This can be selected from the run destination menu of the toolbar.

If you want to test the app using an older iOS version, you can click “Add Additional Simulators” at the bottom of this pop up menu.

Again, simulators are fine for certain aspects of testing—especially in the early stages. But they can’t really show you the user interface and how your app flows when it’s really being used on a device. That’s why you’re better off testing on an iPhone in the later stages of development before the app gets pushed to the App Store. 

Simply put, simulators aren’t ideal if you need to run a UI test. But they’re fine for running unit tests, which verifies that the code written will work as it’s expected to.

Setting Up to Run Xcode On a Real Device

Before you test your mobile app on an actual iOS device, you need to make sure that everything in your Xcode project is configured properly. Then you’ll be able to run the app on an iPhone without having to write any extra code.

Grab your device, and connect it to your Mac.

If you’re testing a macOS version for an iPad application, then you’ll also need to choose a scheme. Xcode app schemes are essentially settings that clarify the build configurations, targets, and executable environment. 

To choose a real device for testing, you’re going to follow the same steps you took earlier for selecting an iOS simulator. Only this time, you’re going to choose the connected iPhone from the run destination menu for device management in Xcode.

Similar to what we described earlier, you’ll just click the run button to proceed after you’ve selected the connected iPhone.

With the device connected, Xcode will automate the process, install the app, and attach the debugger. Once this happens, the app should appear on your phone. From here, you can navigate to the debug area of Xcode to test your app. This is an opportunity for you to examine variables and debug any errors.

If your build is unsuccessful, you can view any error messages or warnings in the Issue Navigator. You can do this by selecting “Navigators” from the “View” menu and choosing “Show Issue Navigator.” Any messages will appear here. 

How Do I Test My App on My iPhone?

Here’s a quick summary of the requirements for testing apps on iPhone using Xcode:

  • You need to plug the iPhone into the Mac that’s running Xcode.
  • Then you must download the app to your Mac.
  • When you select a real device in Xcode for testing, you need to add your Apple ID in the Accounts preferences of your project editor.
  • If you’re part of the Apple Developer Program, you must register the device before running the app. 
  • You can also pair Xcode with iOS and tvOS apps if that device is on the same network as Xcode. When you open Xcode, any paired devices should appear on the toolbar.

Final Thoughts on Using an Xcode Test App on iPhone

I hope you found this tutorial on testing your Xcode app on iPhone helpful. 

To bypass these steps and avoid unnecessary headaches, you can use BuildFire as an alternative solution. The BuildFire SDK is developer-friendly—allowing you to create new app features using Javascript, HTML, and CSS using your preferred framework. 

BuildFire gives developers the ability to build on top of our existing infrastructure, which saves a ton of time and money during the Apple development process. 

If you’re a complete beginner who doesn’t have any coding experience, there’s really no reason to learn Xcode and test your apps on your own. Unless you want to become an iOS developer, it’s much easier to let BuildFire create an app for you. Check out our full-service app development solution, BuildFire Plus, for more information. 

For those of you who are still early on in the development process, read our step-by-step guide on How to Make an App to learn more.

How to Distribute an iOS App Without Using App Stores

Publishing an iOS app on the Apple App Store is not mandatory. As an app developer, you actually have multiple distribution methods to consider.

The App Store is definitely the best option for mass distribution. But if you’re creating an internal mobile app for your business or custom apps for B2B purposes, you may want to keep the app private and only available for certain users.

Think about it—you wouldn’t want a random person to access an app built for your employees, right? In this scenario, you need more control over each mobile device that the app gets installed on. The public App Store isn’t an option.

This simple guide will show you exactly how to distribute your iOS app without using the Apple App Store. Let’s dive in.

Distribute iOS App Without App Store

Most iOS apps are made for the Apple App Store. But the App Store is public and gives anyone with an iOS device the opportunity to download. 

According to Statista, more than 43 billion apps will be downloaded from the App Store in 2025.

As you can see from the graph, the Google Play Store is projected to have more than four times the number of app downloads that same year. This is largely due to Android dominating the global market share. 

But it’s also worth noting that Apple has a much stricter approval process for developers that want to publish an app to the App Store.

This same concept holds true for private app distribution. Compared to Android, distributing apps outside of the App Store is much more complicated for iOS apps. Apple does offer a few options for specific use cases. But the direct download and installation of any iOS binary files is strictly prohibited by Apple. 

Apple’s Solutions for Alternative App Distribution

There are three ways to distribute an iOS app without the App Store:

  • Apple Developer Program — The Apple Developer program makes it possible to distribute apps for testing purposes only.
  • Apple Developer Enterprise Program — The Apple Enterprise Program is intended for organizations that want to distribute apps internally and privately to employees.
  • Volume Purchase Program for Enterprises — The VPP app deployment method allows organizations to create a private app store to manage apps in bulk, typically used for custom B2B apps and MDM (mobile device management).

We’ll discuss each of these distribution methods in greater detail below, so you can find the best alternative to Apple App Store distribution.

Beta App Distribution Using the Apple Apple Developer Program

This iOS app distribution method is designed specifically for testing. Developers can distribute a prerelease version of an app to a specific group of people for beta testing purposes. 

You must have an Apple Developer Program account to do this. The Apple Developer Program membership costs $99 per year. Nonprofits, government entities, and educational institutions might be eligible for a fee waiver.

This is the only scenario where an app intended for a mass audience can be distributed privately. But the distribution is only allowed during the testing stage and limited to a certain number of devices. Beta distributions are limited to 100 iPhones, 100 iPads, and 100 iPod touch installations. 

Releasing your app to beta testers won’t be the same as distributing a fully complete, fully functioning, ready-for-release app. 

It’s important to know that your app is protected from being copied or redistributed during the beta testing distribution. 

Ad-Hoc Deployment Using the Apple Developer Program

For private beta testing or temporary distribution, Apple allows developers to use the Ad-hoc app deployment method. In this scenario, the developer will deliver the app binary to each unique user via a download URL or email. 

To ensure the app binary works on the intended device, developers are required to register each device to the Apple Member Center and include the UDID for the device. App binaries will not run on an iOS device until the registration has been completed. This process protects your app from being duplicated or redistributed without your approval. 

You’ll see this option in Xcode when generating the IPA, open the Organizer, and navigate to Archives.

Pros of Ad-Hoc Deployment

  • No need for iOS approval process
  • App is private and cannot be installed by the public
  • Apple Developer Account profile is valid for one year

Cons of Ad-Hoc Deployment

  • Limited to 100 devices
  • Manually UDID registration is required for each device with a provisioning profile

Upgrading to the Apple Developer Enterprise Program

The Apple Developer Enterprise Program is designed for large organizations that want to distribute internal apps to employees. The Enterprise Program allows for internal distribution through secured internal systems or through MDM (mobile device management) solutions.

Unlike a regular App Store Connect account, not everyone is eligible for an enterprise account. It’s only for internal use of proprietary apps in scenarios that can’t be addressed through the public Apple App Store, Apple Business Manager, beta testing, or Ad Hoc distribution. The app must be developed by the organization and specifically for use on Apple platforms.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Minimum of 100+ employees.
  • Must be a legal entity (no DBAs, trade names, fictitious names, etc.)
  • Program must be used for internal in-house apps for employees.
  • Must have measures to ensure the app is only available for employees and all membership credentials are protected.
  • Must pass Apple’s verification process and continuous evaluations. 

Pricing for a Developer Enterprise Program account costs $299 per year for a distribution certificate. If you’re already enrolled in the Apple Developer Program for distributing apps through the public Apple App Store, you’ll need a separate Apple ID for the Enterprise Program.

In-House Deployment With the Apple Developer Enterprise Program

The in-house deployment option is great for larger organizations that want to distribute custom internal apps for employees. This can be a useful initiative for your citizen developer program. It also helps corporations get more control over app security and device security through MDM—mobile device management. 

Pros

  • No App Store approval process
  • You have full control over who can access and use the app
  • Ideal for internal distribution to employees

Cons

  • Only for larger businesses
  • Strict eligibility requirements

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for B2B App Distribution

The Volume Purchase Program, VPP, makes it possible for organizations and educational institutions to buy corporate apps in bulk and deploy them to iPhones, iPads, and Macs within the organization. 

For example, a school that provides students with Macbooks can use the VPP to pre-install different applications on those devices prior to distribution. 

The Volume Purchase Program also supports custom B2B apps that can be distributed through a private app store instead of the public Mac App Store.

Larger organizations could use this program to share apps with other businesses, vendors, and partners that work closely with the company. 

This is another scenario where you can create custom apps and distribute them privately without going through the App Store. Let’s say you create a custom business workflow app that involves vendors working with your company. You could grant them access to the app through a private app store using the VPP. It’s also common for organizations to use this distribution method for MDM. 

Note: The Volume Purchase Program is no longer available as of January 14, 2021

You can upgrade to Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager to access similar benefits offered through the VPP. See more information from Apple here.

Android App Distribution Without Google Play

While we’re on the subject of distributing apps without app stores, I wanted to quickly touch base on how the Android app development and Google Play process is different from alternative distribution methods. 

As previously mentioned, the iOS process is a bit difficult. It’s much more straightforward to distribute Android apps without going through the Google Play Store. 

You can do this through a direct webpage link or direct email for download. Android apps are also easier to distribute through a third-party app marketplace. 

Refer to this Android developers resource on alternative distribution options for more information. 

iOS App Distribution Methods in Summary

Most developers will want to use the Apple App Store for iOS app distribution. This is the best way to get your app in the hands of the widest possible audience.

But there are some scenarios that require an app to be kept private. Distributing internal employee apps or private business apps is the most common reason to avoid the App Store. 

Some apps just aren’t made for public use. If you fall into this category, you can use the Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program as a solution. The former is best for beta testing, and the latter is intended for the internal distribution of an enterprise app.

Interested in creating an internal workforce app for your business?

We can help. BuildFire’s custom app development solutions are perfect for larger organizations and enterprises. We’ve built workforce apps for compliance, employee communication, business workflows, field sales, field service workers, employee safety, HR, employee onboarding, scheduling, and more. Reach out for a free consultation and book a strategy session to learn more.

How to Publish an App to the App Store

Creating a new app is exciting. But getting that app into the hands of real users isn’t always easy.

First, you need to publish your app to the App Store so it’s available for download.

The two major app stores are the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store—one for iOS and one for Android. But each platform has its own unique guidelines, rules, and submission requirements. 

This guide is going to focus specifically on publishing an iOS app to the Apple App Store. Once the app is published here, it can be downloaded on an iPhone or iPad.

It’s worth noting that Apple is very particular with its submission guidelines. You’ll need an Apple Developer account, and the App Store listing must match the app’s functionality. There are lots of other small details that Apple takes into consideration before they’ll approve apps.

That’s because Apple wants to protect its users. Apple wants its user base to feel comfortable knowing that any app downloaded from the Apple App Store is safe and won’t break their devices.

Read on to learn how to publish an app on the App Store with ease.

Where to Start: Submitting an iOS App to the App Store

Submitting your iOS app to the App Store is the final stage of development. By now, the app should already be built, tested thoroughly, and you should have an app name that you’re confident in using. 

If your app is still in development, there’s nothing wrong with looking ahead toward the App Store submission. Just know that it’s too early to take any of these steps. Apple won’t approve any unfinished apps to the store, even if you have all of the other app information required for the listing. 

You should also consider the legal prerequisites of launching a mobile app. For example, if you’re launching an app in EU markets, the app must comply with GDPR guidelines. If you’re going to offer app purchases and collect payments through the app, you’ll need to think about things like PCI compliance as well. 

How you’re collecting, handling, and sharing user data is really important here. You should refer to the official Agreements and Guidelines for Apple Developers to ensure you’re following all of the appropriate requirements regarding user data. 

App submissions must only have content that was either created by you or that you have the proper authority to use. If you’re using content from another source without the proper legal licenses or permissions, it can be grounds for either rejecting your app from the App Store or getting it removed from the App Store.

You’ll need to have an Apple Developer account and Apple ID as well. Submitting your app from a computer running on macOS is not a requirement, but it’s definitely common considering the software and tools you’ll be using.

For example, if you’re using Xcode to create iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, you can take steps to prepare your app for publishing directly in the IDE.

App Store Submission Requirements

Before we get into the steps required for publishing, you need to understand the App Store guidelines for app submission.

You can review all of the App Store review guidelines here. These are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Developers are responsible for making sure everything in the app complies with Apple’s guidelines, including analytics services, third-party SDKs, ad networks, and more.
  • Attempting to cheat the review system or manipulate ratings is grounds to remove your app and kick you out of the developer program.
  • You must comply with Apple’s guidelines regarding apps for kids.
  • Apps may not include objectionable content (discrimination, explicit materials, etc.).
  • The app’s privacy policy must comply with all Apple guidelines. 
  • Apps must be complete and fully functional before you submit them for review.
  • Apple has certain technical requirements and software standards that must be followed.
  • You may not just copy another app and make subtle changes to pass it off as your own.
  • Apps must have minimum functionality that goes beyond a mobile website.

In total, the App Store Review Guidelines are quite lengthy. There are five major categories—safety, performance, business, design, and legal. Each section is broken down into different subsections, like this:

So give yourself ample time to review this document in detail before you go through the steps for submission.

6 Steps to Submit and Publish an iOS App

The App Store publishing process can be summarized in just six steps. 

  1. Sign up for the Apple developer program
  2. Prepare the app for submission
  3. Create a listing via App Store Connect
  4. Capture App Store screenshots
  5. Upload the app using Xcode
  6. Submit the app to be reviewed by Apple

We’ll cover each step in greater detail below:

Step 1 — Join the Apple Developer Program

You must be a member of the Apple Developer Program to submit an app to the App Store. So if you haven’t done so already, sign up for an Apple developer account

If you’re enrolling as an individual or sole proprietor, you can sign in using your Apple ID and enable two-factor authentication. Apple will ask you for some personal information, like your legal name and address.

To enroll in the developer program as an organization, you’ll also need an Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled. In addition to the Apple ID, enrollment requires:

  • D-U-N-S Number
  • Legal Entity Status
  • Legal Binding Authority
  • Website

Just click “Start Your Enrollment” on this page to get started.

The membership pricing starts at $99 per year, and it gives you access to other exclusive Apple developer tools and services. 

You can use the account to manage your apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. The membership also comes with beta software, app analytics, testing tools, and everything you need to manage your App Store listing. 

Apple developers also have access to TestFlight—a way to collect feedback from up to 10,000+ testers before submitting the app to the App Store. You can invite them with an email address or public link.

Step 2 — Prepare the App for Submission

Identifying bugs and problems with your app before submitting it to the app store is just one aspect of app development. There are other things you must do to get it ready for review.

First, you need to set the bundle ID in Xcode. This is used to uniquely identify your app in the system. Xcode will give you a default identifier when you create a project from a template, but it’s important to create one that’s unique. Just be aware that you cannot change the bundle ID after it’s been uploaded to App Store Connect. 

You can adjust these settings in the “General” menu of your project editor in Xcode.

Next, you need to configure your app version number and build string. The version number will appear in the App Store, and it’s expected to be in a format of [Major].[Minor].[Patch], such as 9.12.1.

Apple requires you to set an app category with your submission. This is designed to help users discover your app in the App Store. Options include:

  • Books
  • Business
  • Developer Tools
  • Music
  • Medical
  • Navigation
  • Education
  • News
  • Finance
  • Photo & Video
  • Productivity
  • Food & Drink
  • Reference
  • Games
  • Graphics & Design
  • Shopping
  • Social Networking
  • Lifestyle
  • Sports
  • Kids
  • Travel
  • Magazines & Newspapers
  • Utilities
  • Weather

Primary categories must match the primary purpose and function of your app. Choosing a category that doesn’t fit your app’s functionality is against Apple’s guidelines and grounds for removal. 

You need to prepare an app icon and provide a launch screen as well. The launch screen is the UI that appears when your app launches and quickly disappears when the first screen loads. The purpose of a launch screen is to enhance the UX by offering some visuals while the app is loading. 

Review all of Apple’s official guidelines to prepare your app for distribution. 

Step 3 — Create a Listing via App Store Connect

The App Store Connect is where members of the Apple Developer Program can upload apps, submit apps, and manage apps post-launch. It comes with everything from sales reports to analytics, test resources, and more. 

Here’s a quick overview of how to create a listing for App Store Connect:

  • Log into your account
  • Select the “+” button from the “My Apps” menu
  • Add the platform (iOS), primary language, bundle ID, and SKU
  • Add the app name and category
  • Provide a URL to your app’s privacy policy
  • Choose your app’s pricing

You’ll also have the option to decide how your app is released after the review information is approved. 

You can manually sign back into App Store Connect and release it when you’re ready, or set it to be published on a certain date (assuming it passes certification). Apple gives you the option to select the app to be released immediately following its approval as well. 

Note: These same steps work whether you have an App Store Connect Organization account or Individual account.

Step 4 — Capture App Store Screenshots

Now it’s time to prepare your screenshots for the App Store. There are two basic approaches here that you can follow. You can either use raw screenshots from your app or use a mockup template to showcase your app.

These screenshots are the perfect way to help showcase to the world what your app does and how it works when they find you in the App Store. 

Here’s an example of how Delta Airlines uses app screenshots to showcase its top features:

Apple does have a lot of different screenshot specifications for app previews that you must take into consideration. That’s because they have so many different devices on the market.

iPhones range from 4.7-inch screens to 6.5 inches. iPads range all the way up to 12.9 inches.

You can view all of Apple’s screenshot specifications here. I also recommend reviewing this API collection resource for app screenshots for more technical requirements.

Step 5 — Upload the App Using Xcode

Now it’s time to actually upload your app from Xcode. Do not proceed with this step until you’re confident that the app is free of bugs and it runs as intended. If the app doesn’t function, it won’t get approved for the App Store. 

For new apps, the version should be set to 1.0.0. 

Xcode 11 makes the publishing process really easy. In the past, lots of extra steps were required. But not most of the work now gets handled in a couple of clicks. 

Start by creating a full app archive. Go to your list of simulators in Xcode and select “Generic iOS Device” from the menu. 

Then select “Product” and “Archive.” This will prompt Xcode to bundle your app. Depending on the size, this could take quite a bit of time. 

Once this process is complete, just go to the “Archives” tab, and click “Distribute App” on the right side of your screen. Then select “iOS App Store” when it asks for your method of distribution.

Xcode will go through a few steps to ensure you’re not trying to upload a broken app. If something is missing or there’s a problem, Xcode will likely stop the upload and ask you to add missing assets. 

You should see some type of confirmation on the screen when the upload is successful. 

Step 6 — Submit the App for Review

By now, the archive from Xcode has been sent to App Store Connect. But you still might have to wait until App Store Connect actually processes the upload. So don’t freak out if it’s not showing up in your account right away. 

You should get an email when the archive is officially processed and ready for you. This can save you some time so you don’t have to keep manually checking.

Once it’s available, just select the archive and click the “Submit for Review” button at the top right of the page.

According to Apple, 50% of mobile apps get reviewed within 24 hours and 90% are reviewed in 48 hours. So assuming your submission is complete, there’s a good chance you’ll have an answer within two days.

The app’s status will get updated upon review, and you’ll receive a notification with the status change. 

Conclusion

Publishing an iOS app and going through the Apple review process might seem a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never done this before. But if you create an app with BuildFire, we’ll handle the publishing process on your behalf.  This is the easiest way to publish apps.

You’ll still need to create your own Google and Apple Developer accounts, but our team will handle the majority of the heavy lifting. So you won’t have to worry about most of the steps in this guide.

If you’re still in the planning stages of your app project, request a consultation to see if BuildFire is the right partner to achieve your goals. 

How to Code Xcode: A Complete Tutorial For Beginners

Learning how to code Xcode is an important skill for any Apple developer. You’ll be writing code on Mac to create applications for the App Store.

The great part about Xcode is its versatility for iOS development and building applications across different Apple devices. It supports development for iOS apps, macOS apps, tvOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. 

New to Xcode? That’s why we created this guide.

This in-depth Xcode tutorial is designed for complete beginners. It explains everything you need to know about Xcode, how it works, and how to learn Xcode.

What is Xcode?

Xcode is Apple’s official IDE (integrated development environment). It was released in 2003 specifically for building software on Apple platforms. 

IDEs are centralized environments that consolidate the different aspects of building software. Unlike other IDEs, Xcode is only available for Mac, and it’s an all-in-one solution to build and code an app. 

An Apple developer can use Xcode to create apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. It’s most commonly used for iOS app development (creating a mobile app).

Swift 5.5 and SDKs for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8 are all included with Xcode 13.

Xcode is the only official tool for creating and publishing apps on the Apple App Store. It’s designed for beginners and experienced developers alike.

Xcode comes with all of the tools and resources you need to create an app within a single source of truth—including a compiler, text editor, and name system. This makes it possible to not only write and compile but also debug an app. 

Once you’re done writing code, you can submit your app to the App Store with ease. 

Xcode contains lots of great tools that help streamline the development process, making it easy for experienced developers to push apps out quickly. But it’s also a user-friendly IDE, so the learning curve isn’t as steep for beginners.

This is the only official way to create apps by Apple. Xcode comes with excellent debugging tools that make it easy for developers to troubleshoot problems faster. The platform also comes with project management resources to help you stay organized with coding files, image assets, and everything else you need to create a great app.

Xcode Requirements

Before you start a new Xcode project or try to install Xcode, it’s important for you to understand the platform requirements. Xcode is only available for Mac users running a version of macOS 10.14.4 or later. You’ll need at least 7.6 GB of hard drive space to download Xcode as well. 

For those of you who don’t meet these requirements, there are some alternative methods you can try for writing Xcode in older Mac visions or PCs. But with that said, this is generally not something that we recommend. 

Getting a Mac is your best option here. The workarounds for other devices can be tricky and could not only impact your experience but also affect your app.

Is Xcode Good For Beginners?

To clarify, Xcode is an IDE (integrated development environment). It just provides developers with a user interface for writing code. As a programmer or developer, you still need to have a basic understanding of programming languages before you can start using this interface builder and code editor.

Xcode is a tool that helps you write code for Apple platforms, but it won’t teach beginners how to write app code. You still need to learn that on your own.

A complete beginner with no prior coding knowledge could not download Xcode and immediately start to create apps. With that said, once you have the coding knowledge, Xcode has a friendly UI that’s easy for beginners to navigate and understand. 

What’s the Best Way to Learn Xcode?

The best way for beginners to learn Xcode is through Apple’s own documentation. If you’re starting from scratch, Apple has excellent developer resources that will teach you how to code. 

It’s in your best interest to learn Swift—the official programming language to build apps for the Apple App Store and Mac App Store.  

The great part about using a Swift tutorial from Apple is that you’ll be learning to code and building a foundation for navigating Xcode simultaneously. 

Swift Playgrounds is another option to consider. This is an iPad app that teaches you how to code and create apps with Swift. You can also explore app forums, Udemy, Codetree, and other online resources that can teach you about Xcode, Swift, and source code.

How Does Xcode Work

The first thing you need to do is install Xcode. To start a new app project in Xcode, you’ll need to select a template for the platform you want the app to run on. Then choose the type of app you want to create (game, single view, document based, etc.).

Starting with the right Xcode template is a crucial step to ensure you can start creating an app as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Configuration

Before you start to develop anything, you need to provide Xcode with information related to yourself (as the developer) and your app. This includes:

  • Product Name — Your app’s name as it will appear in the Apple App Store and on devices when it’s installed. Product names must be at least two characters and less than 255 bytes. It should be similar to the name that you’ll ultimately enter in the App Store Connect.
  • Organization Identifier — This is a reverse DNS string to identify your organization. For those of you who don’t have a company identifier right now, you can use com.example. as a placeholder until you distribute your app. This must be replaced before distribution.
  • Organization Name — This is the name that will appear in all boilerplate text in your project folder. This is not the same as the name that appears in the App Store for your app.

It’s worth noting that you cannot change your App ID after it’s been uploaded to App Store Connect. Here’s the official wording from Apple:

Creating a Project

Here’s a quick overview of the steps you must follow to start a new project:

  1. Download Xcode and launch it on an Apple platform.
  2. Select “Create a new Xcode project” in the welcome window or navigate to File > New > Project.
  3. Select a template (iOS, watchOS, macOS, Cross-platform).
  4. Fill out all of the required information.
  5. Choose your language and user interface (for example, Swift and SwiftUI).

Choosing SwiftUI also gives you the option to develop for all platforms and view an interactive preview of your layout. 

Managing Files

Any time you start a new project or re-open an existing project, Xcode will open your main window. This shows all of your code files and required resources to create your app. 

You can use the project navigator as a way to quickly access different areas of the project. 

All details about the files you select will be shown in the “inspector” portion of Xcode on the right side of the screen. You can always hide this to free up space on your screen as well.

The “toolbar” is where you’ll create and run your application as a simulator or from a real device. If you’re building an iOS app, just select an app target and simulator from the toolbar menu before clicking the run button to proceed. 

You can refer to Apple’s official developer guidelines for more information about how Xcode works.

Windows

As previously mentioned, Xcode is meant for software development on macOS. With that said, there are ways for Windows users to use Xcode for app development as well.

While this isn’t really something we recommend, you can create a virtual environment on your PC. If you’re really tech-savvy, you can create a “Hackintosh”—which is essentially a PC that’s been modified to run macOS. This-party solutions like React Native, Xamarin, Appcelerator, and PhoneGap are other ways to create an app for iOS using the programming language of your choice from a Windows machine.  

Xcode Tools and Features

The latest version of Xcode offers tons of great features, including SDKs for new versions of Apple platforms. Here’s a quick overview of the noteworthy highlights:

Team Comments

Xcode has an inline team comments feature that makes team collaboration a breeze. Reviewers can quickly comment on lines of code, which will appear with their name and avatar—limiting the need for a third-party collaboration solution.

Simulators

In addition to the app simulator for iOS and Mac, Xcode now offers a CarPlay simulator as well. This makes it easy for you to test the CarPlay experience for apps across different types of cars, screen sizes, and other variables. 

Crash Reports and Feedback

You can get detailed crash log reports from TestFlight users to help you quickly identify what caused the app to crash. Testers can add feedback as well to explain what actions they were doing when the crash occurred. 

Xcode Debugging Tools

There are plenty of debugging tools built into Xcode. Piggybacking off the last point, crash logs are displayed inline so you can quickly jump to the relevant code with just a simple click.

What Programming Language Does Xcode Use?

These are the programming languages compatible with Xcode’s integrated development environment:

  • Swift
  • Objective-C
  • Objective-C++
  • C
  • C++
  • Java
  • Applescript
  • Python
  • Ruby (Ruby on Rails)

Objective-C++ can compile the source files using a combination of Objective-C and C++ syntax. 

Advantages of Using Xcode

Xcode is a robust, easy-to-use, and well-designed IDE that’s great for writing code, debugging, and simulating apps built for Apple platforms.

Other Xcode pros include:

  • Supports a wide range of programming languages
  • User-friendly interface
  • Simple navigation from the view controller
  • Supports testing and debugging
  • Allows developers to create apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and iPadOS

Disadvantages of Using Xcode

Here’s a closer look at some potential drawbacks to consider when using Xcode:

  • You must have an Apple ID and Mac
  • Doesn’t support development for Android
  • App publishing requires complex steps
  • Limited drag-and-drop functionality

Using BuildFire SDK as an Alternative to Xcode

For beginners and experienced developers alike, BuildFire SDK is a simpler alternative to learning Xcode. This is the best way to avoid the pains and drawbacks associated with Xcode.

BuildFire makes it possible for developers to create custom functionality using Javascript, HTML, and CSS with any framework. So you’re not limited to the restrictions that come with Xcode.

You can also take advantage of BuildFire’s existing infrastructure and leverage built in tools, including authentication servers, image servers, file servers, databases, and more. 

BuildFire also takes care of all the publishing for both iOS and Android. So you won’t have to go through the complex steps that would normally be required to publish an app from Xcode. 

Take full advantage of our development features like:

  • Data tracer
  • Remote debugging tool
  • Testing tools
  • Plugin IDE
  • Command-line interface (CLI)
  • Hot loader

BuildFire also has hundreds of open source-plugins that you can use and redistribute for free. Our UI components will save you countless hours on development.

Conclusion

I hope this in-depth guide answered all of your questions about Xcode and its use cases. 

Rather than learning how to code and using Xcode as an IDE, you can use BuildFire SDK as an easier alternative. Complete beginners should consider BuildFire Plus—our full-service app development solution. Instead of wasting your own time and internal resources to learn something new, let BuildFire create the app for you, so you can focus on other areas of your business.

Get a free consultation to learn more about our custom app development services.

What is Beta Testing? (Ultimate Guide)

In today’s competitive software market, the importance of delivering high-quality, user-friendly applications cannot be overstated. Beta testing plays a crucial role in the software development lifecycle, ensuring that the final product meets users’ expectations and functions seamlessly. 

As app development experts, we recognize the significance of beta testing in delivering top-notch mobile apps—which is why we’ve created this comprehensive guide. In this post, we’ll explore the concept of beta testing, its importance in mobile app development, and best practices to help you get the most out of your beta testing process.

What is Beta Testing?

Beta testing is the second phase of software testing, following alpha testing, in which a limited group of end-users tests a nearly-complete version of the software or mobile app. 

The primary goal of beta testing is to identify any remaining bugs, usability issues, or other problems that the development team may have missed during internal testing. By collecting feedback from real users, developers can gain valuable insights into how their product performs in a real-world environment and make any necessary improvements before the final release.

Alpha Testing vs. Beta Testing

Alpha testing is the first phase of software testing—conducted internally by the development team and a select group of employees within the organization. This testing phase aims to identify and fix any critical bugs or issues before the software reaches the beta testing stage. 

While alpha testing focuses on functionality and stability, beta testing emphasizes usability, compatibility, and overall user experience.

Here’s a more in-depth comparison of alpha testing vs. beta testing.

Importance of Beta Testing for Mobile App Development

Beta testing is particularly vital in mobile app development for several reasons:

  • User Experience: Mobile apps need to be intuitive, responsive, and easy to use. Beta testing allows developers to collect feedback from actual users and make adjustments to ensure the app delivers an excellent user experience.
  • Device Compatibility: With the plethora of devices, screen sizes, and operating systems, ensuring compatibility across all platforms is crucial. Beta testing helps developers identify and resolve any compatibility issues that may arise on different devices.
  • App Store Rankings: Positive user reviews and high ratings are essential for a successful app launch, as they significantly impact app store rankings. By addressing any issues during beta testing, developers can increase the likelihood of receiving favorable reviews upon release.

The Beta Testing Process

The entire beta testing process can be broken down into six simple steps:

  1. Planning and Preparation
  2. Recruitment and Selection of Beta Testers
  3. Conducting the Beta Test
  4. Collecting and Analyzing Feedback
  5. Iterating and Refining the Product
  6. Preparing for Release

We’ll cover each of these in greater detail below. 

Step 1 – Planning and Preparation

Before initiating the beta testing process, it’s essential to define clear objectives for your tests. These objectives may include identifying bugs, validating features, and assessing overall user satisfaction. Having well-defined goals will help guide the testing process and ensure that the final product meets your desired standards.

You also need to identify the target audience of your app or software. That’s because your beta testers should represent this target audience—as they’ll provide the most relevant feedback during your tests. Consider factors like demographics, technical expertise, and device usage when selecting your testers.

Make sure to provide your testers with all of the necessary resources, including the test build, user manuals, and any supporting documentation. Ensure that your materials are clear and concise to enable testers to use the app effectively.

Step 2 – Recruitment and Selection of Beta Testers

When choosing beta testers, consider their technical expertise, familiarity with similar apps, and availability. It’s essential to have a diverse group of testers, as this will help identify a wide range of issues and provide a more comprehensive understanding of the app’s performance.

To recruit a diverse group of testers, you can reach out to your existing user base, use social media platforms, or collaborate with online testing communities. Be sure to clearly communicate your testing objectives and expectations to potential testers, as this will help you attract individuals who are genuinely interested in providing valuable feedback.

Step 3 – Conducting the Beta Test

Share the beta version of your app and any necessary supporting materials with your selected testers. Depending on the platform and the type of beta test (closed or open), you may need to use specific distribution methods—such as app store beta testing programs or third-party distribution tools.

Clearly communicate the testing process, objectives, and expectations to your testers. Provide them with step-by-step instructions for installing the app, reporting issues, and submitting feedback. This will ensure that testers can effectively participate in the testing process and contribute valuable insights.

You should also set up a dedicated channel for testers to submit feedback and communicate with your team. This could be an online forum, a bug-tracking system, or an email address. Ensure that your team members are available to respond to testers’ questions and concerns in a timely manner.

Step 4 – Collecting and Analyzing Feedback

As feedback comes in, organize and categorize it based on factors such as severity, frequency, and impact on the user experience. This will help you prioritize which issues to address first and allocate resources effectively.

Then you can analyze the collected feedback to identify any patterns or trends. 

For example, if multiple testers report similar issues or suggestions, these may indicate areas where the app needs improvement. By recognizing these patterns, you can make more informed decisions about which changes to implement.

The initial feedback collected in your beta tests will help set up your feedback loop for iterations and future testing.

Step 5 – Iterating and Refining the Product

Based on the feedback analysis, make the necessary changes to your app. This may involve fixing bugs, enhancing features, or making adjustments to the user interface. Ensure that your team is aligned on the changes and that they are implemented effectively.

Once changes have been made, conduct further testing to validate that the issues have been resolved and that the app’s performance has improved. Depending on the scope of the changes, you may choose to involve the same group of testers or recruit a new group for a fresh perspective.

Step 6 – Preparing for Release

Now you can finalize your documentation and other software resources. 

Update your user manuals, help guides, and other documents to reflect any changes made during the beta testing process. This helps ensure that users have access to accurate information upon the app’s release.

It’s also in your best interest to keep all stakeholders, including your team members, testers, and investors, informed about the app’s progress and the planned release date. This will help maintain engagement and support throughout the development process.

Types of Beta Testing

Generally speaking, there are two main types of beta testing—closed and open. 

To determine which type of beta testing is best suited for your mobile app, consider factors like your testing objectives, target audience, available resources, and desired level of control over the testing process. 

Some developers opt for a hybrid approach, starting with a closed beta test and then transitioning to an open beta test to capitalize on the benefits of both methods.

Closed Beta Testing

Closed beta testing is a private testing phase where a select group of users is invited to test the app. Access to the app is restricted, and testers may be required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to maintain confidentiality.

This method allows for more controlled testing conditions—enabling developers to receive targeted feedback from a specific group of users. Closed beta testing can lead to a more focused and efficient testing process. However, the limited number of testers can result in less diverse feedback and may not uncover all potential issues.

Open Beta Testing

Open beta testing, also known as public beta testing, involves opening the app to a larger audience—often without any restrictions or invitations. 

Users can voluntarily participate in testing, providing a wider range of feedback and helping to identify issues that might have been missed during closed beta testing.

Here’s an example of an open beta test from Google:

Open beta testing provides a larger pool of testers, increasing the likelihood of identifying a wide range of issues and gathering diverse feedback. This type of testing can also generate buzz and create a sense of community around the app before its official release. However, managing the feedback from a large number of testers can be challenging, and there is a risk of receiving low-quality or irrelevant feedback.

Beta Testing Challenges and Solutions

To ensure your tests run smoothly, it’s important to understand some common roadblocks and hurdles that often result in inaccurate or ineffective tests. First, we’ll identify those challenges and then give you some key tips for preventing and overcoming them. 

Common Challenges Faced During Beta Testing

These are the three areas where software teams tend to struggle the most when they’re running beta tests:

  • Time Constraints: Limited time for testing can lead to rushed processes and insufficient feedback. Balancing the need for thorough testing with the desire to release the app quickly can be challenging.
  • Limited Resources: With finite resources, developers must prioritize which issues to address and which features to test more extensively. This can lead to difficult decision-making and potential trade-offs.
  • Managing Tester Expectations: Testers may have different levels of experience and expectations, making it challenging to ensure a consistent and productive testing process.

Solutions to Overcome Challenges

These simple yet highly effective solutions will make it easier for you to run successful beta tests:

  • Efficient Test Management: Establish clear objectives, expectations, and guidelines to streamline the testing process. Utilize tools and strategies to prioritize issues and allocate resources effectively.
  • Leveraging Tools and Automation: Use testing tools and automation to increase efficiency and minimize manual tasks, freeing up time and resources for other critical aspects of the development process.
  • Establishing Clear Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your testers to address any questions or concerns, and provide regular updates on the app’s progress. This will help manage expectations and ensure a smoother testing process.

How to Measure the Success of Beta Testing

Running the test is just one aspect of beta testing. You also need to understand what you should be looking for in the tests to see if things were done properly or if you need to go through another round of testing. 

The following KPIs are a good indication of whether or not your test was successful:

  • Bug Discovery Rate: Track the number and severity of bugs identified during testing. A lower bug discovery rate may indicate a more stable and well-developed app.
  • User Engagement: Monitor user engagement metrics such as session length, frequency of use, and feature adoption. High engagement levels can signify a positive user experience.
  • Feedback Quality and Quantity: Assess the quality and quantity of feedback received from testers. Valuable and actionable feedback can help drive meaningful improvements to your app.

Then you can analyze the collected KPIs and other data points to make informed decisions about the app’s readiness for release and any necessary adjustments. 

Be prepared to iterate on your product based on the insights gained during the beta testing process. Keep in mind that achieving success in beta testing is not about attaining perfection but rather about identifying and addressing the most critical issues and improving the overall user experience.

Leveraging Beta Testing Feedback for Future Development

Software testing is an ongoing process. So rather than looking at each test in isolation, you should also take steps to improve your testing and development process as a whole. 

Learn from Feedback

Take the time to thoroughly review and understand the feedback received from your testers. This feedback can provide valuable insights into potential improvements, feature requests, and areas of user dissatisfaction. Use this information to prioritize future development efforts and create a roadmap for ongoing enhancements.

Maintain Relationships with Testers

Your beta testers can be a valuable resource even after the testing phase has concluded. Keep the lines of communication open and maintain relationships with your most engaged and helpful testers. They can provide ongoing feedback, help generate buzz for your app, and even become early adopters or advocates for your product.

Continue to Improve and Iterate

Remember that the development process doesn’t end with the release of your app. Continually refine and iterate on your product based on user feedback, analytics, and market trends. This will help you stay competitive and ensure that your app remains relevant and appealing to users.

Final Thoughts

Beta testing is a critical component of the mobile app development process, providing valuable insights into your app’s performance and user experience. By carefully planning and executing the beta testing process, you can identify and address potential issues, validate features, and ultimately deliver a high-quality app that meets the needs of your target audience.

We hope this ultimate guide to beta testing has provided you with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively implement beta testing in your development process. 

How to Create a Bug Tracking System For Mobile Development

Having a bug tracking system is essential for any app development project to succeed. Without a system in place, tracking and fixing bugs can quickly become overwhelming and lead to costly delays. 

This ultimate guide explains how to make a bug tracking system for mobile development and explores the best practices for using one effectively. We’ll also cover the different types of bug tracking systems available, how to set up a system that fits your specific needs, and provide tips for integrating a bug finder into your mobile development process

By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to create and implement an efficient bug tracking system for your mobile development team.

Types of Bug Tracking Systems

Bug tracking systems are critical tools for developers to track issues and errors within software. There are four main types of bug tracking systems—open-source, commercial, cloud-based, and in-house. Each type has its own unique features and benefits that make them well-suited for specific use cases.

Selecting the right bug tracking system depends on the specific needs and resources of your development team. It’s important to carefully evaluate each option and choose a system that fits your team’s workflow and requirements.

Open Source Bug Tracking Systems

Open-source bug-tracking systems are free and offer a flexible and customizable approach to tracking bugs. They’re typically developed and maintained by a community of developers and offer a range of features like issue tracking, reporting, and collaboration tools. 

One advantage of open source bug tracking systems is flexibility—as they can be tailored to fit the specific needs of a development team. However, since they are community-driven, support and updates can vary, and customization may require additional technical knowledge.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Customizable to fit specific needs
  • Large community support

Cons:

  • Support and updates may vary
  • Customization may require additional technical knowledge
  • Limited customer support options

Commercial Bug Tracking Systems

Commercial bug tracking systems are paid solutions that offer advanced features and support. These systems are designed to be user-friendly and offer robust functionality, such as automated bug detection and integration with project management tools. 

Jira is a popular option that’s used by app developers and software teams. 

It’s a project management solution, but it has built-in features for bugs and issue tracking. 

While these systems can be costly, they offer reliable support and updates and may be a worthwhile investment for larger development teams.

Pros:

  • Advanced features and support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Reliable support and updates

Cons:

  • Can be costly
  • May have limited customization options
  • Limited community support

Cloud-Based Bug Tracking Systems

Cloud-based bug tracking systems are hosted on remote servers and accessed through a web browser. 

These systems offer the convenience of accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection and often come with additional features such as automatic backups and security measures. However, they can be subject to internet connectivity issues and may require ongoing subscription fees.

Pros:

  • Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Additional features like automatic backups and security measures
  • Scalable pricing options

Cons:

  • Subject to internet connectivity issues
  • Ongoing subscription fees may be required
  • Limited customization options

In-House Bug Tracking Systems

In-house bug tracking systems are created and maintained internally by a development team. These systems offer complete control and customization options but require significant technical knowledge and resources to set up and maintain. 

For example, Apple has its own internal bug tracking system called Radar.

Anyone within the Apple developer community can use it to report problems and send feedback. 

They can be a good choice for larger development teams with the necessary resources to build and maintain their own system—which a company like Apple obviously does. 

Pros:

  • Complete control and customization options
  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • Can be tailored to fit specific needs

Cons:

  • Requires significant technical knowledge and resources to set up and maintain
  • Limited support options
  • May not be scalable for larger development teams

Setting up a Bug Tracking System for Mobile Development

A bug tracking system is a vital tool for any mobile development team to manage and track software bugs effectively. However, setting up such a system can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. The following steps will guide you through the process of setting up a bug tracking system for mobile development, from defining your requirements to testing the system.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to set up a bug tracking system that meets the specific needs of your mobile development team, improves collaboration, and streamlines the bug-reporting process. 

Step 1 – Define Your Requirements

To define your requirements, you need to consider the scope of the project and identify the specific needs of your development team. Start by assessing the size of your team and the project, as this will impact the number of users that will need access to the system. If you have a large development team, you may need a bug tracking system that supports multiple users and provides collaboration tools.

It’s also important to identify the type of project you’re working on, as the requirements may vary based on this answer. Some bug tracking systems are designed for specific industries, such as healthcare or finance, while others are more general-purpose. Consider if you need a system that supports a specific programming language or integrates with other tools, such as project management software.

For example, if you’re working on a healthcare mobile app, you may need a bug tracking system that supports HIPAA compliance requirements. This would require a system with advanced security features and customizable workflows to ensure that you’re adhering to HIPAA regulations. 

You should also consider the level of customization needed for your project. Some bug tracking systems are highly customizable, while others are more rigid in their workflow. Identifying the level of customization you need is crucial to ensuring that the system fits your development team’s workflow.

By defining your requirements early on, you can narrow down the available options and choose a bug tracking system that meets your specific needs.

Step 2 – Choose a Bug Tracking System

With so many bug tracking systems available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to choose. To make an informed decision, consider factors such as cost, features, and compatibility with your existing tools and systems.

In terms of cost, some systems offer a free version with limited features, while others require a paid subscription for access to advanced features. While cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider, it’s essential to choose a system that fits within your budget.

Another factor to consider is the features of the bug tracking system. Consider which features are essential for your team’s workflow and make sure that the bug tracking system you choose offers those features. For example, some systems like Zoho Bug Tracker offer basic features such as issue tracking. Other tools offer more advanced features such as automated bug detection and integration with project management tools. 

You should also consider the bug tracking system’s compatibility with your existing tools and systems. If you’re already using project management software, make sure that the bug tracking system you choose integrates with that software to streamline your workflow.

Let’s say you’re working on a large mobile development project with a complex workflow. You may need a bug tracking system with advanced features such as automated bug detection and custom reporting. You’ll also want to make sure that the system integrates with your existing project management software to ensure a seamless workflow.

This is an important step, so don’t rush through it. The right bug tracking system can ultimately help improve team collaboration, increase productivity, and streamline your bug reporting process.

Step 3 – Customize the System to Fit Your Needs

The purpose of this step is to ensure the system fits seamlessly into your team’s workflow. This may involve configuring the system’s settings, adding custom fields, or creating new workflows. 

By customizing the system, you can streamline your bug reporting process and ensure that bugs are reported consistently.

Start by identifying the specific workflows and requirements of your team. Consult with your team members to get a sense of their needs and preferences. Once you have a good understanding of your team’s requirements, you can begin configuring the system’s settings and workflows to match your team’s workflows.

One way to customize the system is by adding custom fields. This can help you track specific information related to your projects, such as the severity level of a bug or the environment in which the bug occurred. By adding custom fields, you can ensure that bugs are reported consistently and that they’re properly prioritized based on their severity.

Another way to customize the system is by creating custom workflows. This can help you match your team’s bug reporting process and ensure that bugs are being reported and tracked accurately. For example, you may want to create a workflow that involves a developer reviewing a bug report before it’s marked as “closed.”

Step 4 – Train Your Team to Use the System

Properly training your team to use the bug tracking system is crucial to ensuring that everyone is using the system correctly. This may involve creating training materials, providing hands-on training, and answering any questions your team may have. This gets everyone on the same page and ensures they’re using the system effectively.

Create training materials explaining how to use the bug tracking system, how to report bugs, and how to view and manage reported bugs. If necessary, you can also provide hands-on training to your team, walking them through the process of reporting and tracking bugs. 

It’s also important to encourage your team members to ask questions and provide feedback. This can help you identify areas where your team may be struggling with the system and make adjustments to improve the user experience.

Step 5 – Test the System

To test the system, start by creating test scenarios and simulating bug reports. 

Then you can verify that the bugs are being reported correctly and that the system is tracking them accurately. Additionally, you may want to test the system’s performance and scalability to ensure that it can handle a large number of bug reports.

For example, you can use Xcode to test your iPhone apps and deploy a debugger. 

Then you can add any bugs in the reports to your system, set up your automations, and try to move the issue through your flow. 

It’s important to involve your team members in the testing process to ensure that the system is meeting their needs. Encourage them to report any issues or bugs they encounter during the testing process. This can help you identify any issues with the system and make adjustments to improve its functionality.

Best Practices for Mobile Development Bug Tracking

Effective bug tracking is crucial to ensuring the success of a mobile development project. But simply setting up a bug tracking system isn’t enough to guarantee success. 

To track and manage bugs successfully, it’s important to follow best practices that can help ensure that bugs are being reported and fixed in a timely and efficient manner.

  • Consistent Bug Reporting — Consistency is key when it comes to bug reporting. It helps ensure that all bugs are reported in a consistent manner, with clear and detailed descriptions of the issue. This makes it easier to prioritize bugs and assign them to the right team member.
  • Prioritizing Bugs — Not all bugs are created equal. It’s important to prioritize bugs based on their severity and impact on the project. Critical bugs that impact the functionality of the app should be given top priority, while minor bugs that don’t affect the overall functionality of the app can be addressed later.
  • Assigning Bugs to the Right Team Member — It makes sense to assign bugs to team members based on their skills and expertise. For example, if a bug involves a specific feature of the app that requires knowledge of a particular programming language, it should be assigned to a team member with experience in that language.
  • Setting Deadlines for Bug Fixes — Setting deadlines for bug fixes can help ensure that bugs are fixed in a timely manner. It’s important to set realistic deadlines that take into account the complexity of the bug and the workload of the team member assigned to fix it. Deadlines can also help ensure that bugs are properly prioritized and don’t fall through the cracks.
  • Regularly Reviewing and Updating Bug Status — Someone must be held responsible for viewing the status of bugs to ensure that they’re being addressed in a timely manner. Updating the status of bugs can also help ensure that everyone on the team is aware of the progress being made and any updates to the status of the bug.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your bug tracking process is effective and efficient. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that bug tracking is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and monitoring. Regularly reviewing and updating your bug tracking process can help ensure that you’re addressing bugs appropriately—and, ultimately, delivering a high-quality mobile app.

Integrating Bug Tracking into Your Mobile Development Process

Bug tracking is an essential aspect of mobile app development that helps developers catch and address issues throughout the development process. Integrating bug tracking into your development process can help streamline workflows and improve the quality of the final product. 

First, it’s important to determine how bug tracking fits into your mobile development lifecycle. Consider when and where bugs are likely to arise and how they will be addressed throughout the development process. By doing so, you can ensure that your team is prepared to address any issues that arise during development.

Next, integrating bug tracking into your project management tools can help streamline workflows and ensure that everyone on the team is aware of the status of bugs. This can help improve collaboration and communication among team members—ultimately resulting in a better final product. Consider using project management tools that include bug tracking features or integrating your bug tracking system with your existing project management tools.

Automating bug tracking can also be beneficial for mobile development teams. Automated bug tracking tools can help detect and report bugs quickly, reducing the amount of manual work required from the development team. This can help free up time for developers to focus on other important tasks while still ensuring that bugs are being addressed in a timely manner.

Consider setting up regular bug tracking meetings to review the status of bugs and ensure that everyone on the team is aware of the progress being made. Then you can make tweaks to your process based on the team’s feedback and workflow preferences. 

Final Thoughts

A well-implemented bug tracking system can be a game-changer for mobile app development. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure that your bug tracking system is effective and efficient—ultimately resulting in a higher-quality final product.

Integrating bug tracking into your mobile development process can also help streamline workflows, improve collaboration among team members, and ultimately lead to a better final product. 

By taking the time to implement a well-designed bug tracking system, you can ensure that your team is equipped to handle any issues that arise during mobile app development.

Testing Mobile Apps – Pro Tips & Best Practices For Success (2024)

Testing mobile apps is crucial for success in today’s digital landscape. With the ever-growing number of mobile devices and platforms, ensuring that your app functions seamlessly across all of them is essential. 

As users increasingly turn to mobile apps for everything from banking to socializing, the need for thorough testing is more important than ever before. 

This in-depth guide will cover the key considerations, tips, and best practices for successful mobile app testing to help you deliver an app that meets the needs and expectations of your users. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting out, this post will provide valuable insights to help you achieve success in testing mobile apps.

Mobile App Testing: Key Considerations

When it comes to testing mobile apps, there are a number of key considerations that developers and testers need to keep in mind. From understanding the importance of mobile app testing to choosing the right testing tools and frameworks, it’s essential to take a comprehensive approach to mobile app testing.

Understanding the Importance of Testing Mobile Apps

Mobile app testing is critical for ensuring that your app functions as intended on a range of devices and operating systems. Testing can help to identify bugs, performance issues, and other potential problems before they impact the app’s usability.

In addition to ensuring that your app is free from bugs and glitches, testing can also help to improve the overall user experience. By conducting usability testing and gathering feedback from real users, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes to your app accordingly.

The Role of Mobile Testing Tools and Frameworks

There are a number of mobile testing tools and frameworks available that can help to streamline the testing process and ensure that your app functions correctly across a range of devices and operating systems. Some popular mobile testing tools include Testflight, Appium, Selenium, and TestComplete.

Mobile testing frameworks, such as the XCTest framework for iOS app testing and the Espresso framework for Android, can also be helpful in automating the testing process and identifying issues more quickly. However, it’s important to choose the right tools and frameworks for your specific needs, as not all tools are created equal.

For example, let’s say you specifically want to run beta testing for your iOS app. In this scenario, testing your app with Testflight would be a good option to consider. 

However, if you wanted to run regression testing or check for bugs on an Android app, you’d need to use a completely different tool. 

Common Challenges Associated with Testing Mobile Apps

Testing mobile apps can be challenging—particularly given the wide range of devices and platforms that apps need to be compatible with. Some of the most common challenges associated with mobile app testing include:

  • Device Fragmentation: With so many different devices and operating systems on the market, it can be difficult to ensure that your app functions correctly on all of them.
  • Testing Environment setup: Setting up a testing environment that accurately reflects real-world usage scenarios can be challenging.
  • Network Conditions: Mobile apps need to be able to function well even in areas with poor network connectivity, which can be difficult to test for.

Recognizing these challenges helps developers understand that even a passing test doesn’t always mean that the app is perfect. There will always be some gaps in the testing process that need to be accounted for.

Types of App Testing: Manual vs. Automated Testing

There are two main types of mobile app testing—manual and automated testing. 

Manual testing involves testing the app manually, typically using a physical device or emulator, to identify bugs and other issues. Conversely, automated testing for mobile apps uses software and tools to run tests and identify issues automatically.

Both manual and automated testing have benefits and drawbacks. Manual testing can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it allows testers to identify issues that may be difficult to catch with automated testing. While automated testing can be faster and more efficient, it may not catch every issue.

Tips for Effective Mobile App Testing

Effective mobile app testing requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the various factors that can impact the user experience. In this section, we’ll discuss some tips for testing your mobile app to ensure that it functions correctly and meets the needs of your users.

Test Your App on Real Devices

One of the most important tips for effective mobile app testing is to test your app on real devices. While emulators and simulators can be useful tools, they don’t always accurately reflect real-world usage scenarios. By testing your app on a range of real devices, you can identify issues that may not be apparent when testing on emulators or simulators.

Here’s a good comparison that highlights the differences between testing on a real device compared to virtual devices.

When you’re going through this process, it’s important to account for factors like screen size, network connectivity, and operating system version. For example, if your app is designed for both iOS and Android, you’ll need to test it on both types of devices to ensure that it functions correctly on both platforms.

Ensure Your App is Compatible with Multiple Operating Systems and Devices

Ensuring that your app is compatible with multiple operating systems and devices is crucial for reaching the widest possible audience. However, this can be a challenging task when you consider the wide range of devices and operating systems on the market.

To ensure compatibility, it’s important to conduct thorough testing across a range of devices and operating systems. This can help to identify issues and ensure that your app functions correctly on all technology that could be in the hands of your end-users.

Conduct Usability Testing

Usability testing helps gather feedback from real users to identify areas for improvement in your app’s user interface and user experience.

Usability testing can come in many forms—from in-person testing with real users to remote testing with online tools. It’s important to conduct usability testing throughout the development process to ensure that your app meets the needs and expectations of your users.

Some tips for conducting effective usability testing include:

  • Choose a diverse group of test participants that accurately reflects your target audience
  • Provide clear instructions and tasks for test participants to complete
  • Observe test participants closely to identify areas of confusion or frustration

These tips help ensure you get actionable data from your tests, instead of information that you don’t know what to do with. 

Prioritize Security Tests

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and data breaches, security testing is more important than ever before. Prioritizing security testing can help to identify vulnerabilities in your app and ensure that sensitive user data is protected.

Penetration testing is one of the best ways to identify potential vulnerabilities in your app.

You should also take steps in your testing process to ensure your app is compliant with all relevant data privacy regulations. This is really important if your app is available in multiple countries and regions where data privacy laws vary. 

Someone on your team should also stay up-to-date with the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. Your app might pass security tests today, but if a new form of malicious software is released in a few months, you may need to continue hardening the app to prevent all new threats. 

Conduct Regression Testing

Regression testing involves testing your app after making changes or updates to ensure that existing functionality has not been affected. This can be particularly important when making changes to critical functionality, such as payment processing or user authentication.

Beyond these steps, it’s also helpful to:

  • Create comprehensive test cases that cover all critical functionality
  • Automate regression testing where possible to save time and improve accuracy
  • Conduct regression testing regularly to ensure that new changes have not introduced unexpected issues

When it comes to regression tests, these tips can help you succeed.

Measure Performance and Stability

Measuring the performance and stability of your app is critical for ensuring that it functions correctly and meets the needs of your users. By monitoring key metrics such as load times and crash rates, you can identify performance issues and make improvements to your app accordingly.

Start by setting clear performance benchmarks and goals for your app. From there, you can use analytics tools to monitor KPIs and identify performance issues against your benchmarks.You should also conduct load testing to determine how your app performs under heavy usage. 

We have a complete guide on mobile app KPIs and metrics that you can use as a reference to help with your tests. 

Best Practices for Successful Mobile App Testing

Mobile app testing requires a strategic approach and a range of tools and techniques. Follow the best practices below to ensure your mobile app tests achieve your goals and deliver a high-quality app to your users.

Collaboration between Developers and Testers

Collaboration between developers and testers is crucial for successful mobile app testing. By working together closely, developers and testers can ensure that the app functions correctly and meets the needs of the end user.

One effective approach is to involve testers early in the development process. This can help to identify potential issues before they become more difficult and costly to fix. It’s also important to establish clear communication channels between developers and testers to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Early Testing in the Development Cycle

Piggybacking off the last point, testing early and often helps eliminate issues before they biome a bigger problem. The longer you wait, the more difficult and costly it becomes to solve problems.  

For example, if you wait to test your app a week before it launches, only to discover problems that will take a month to fix, you’re now forced to push back your launch date. But if you begin running regular tests on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, most bugs can be fixed within a day or two.

Test-Driven Development

Test-driven development (TDD) is an approach to software development that involves writing tests for each piece of functionality before writing the code. This approach can help to ensure that the code is fully tested and that any issues are caught early in the development process.

TDD can be particularly effective for mobile app testing, as it helps to ensure that each piece of functionality is fully tested before it is integrated into the app. This can help to reduce the risk of issues and ensure that the app functions correctly across a range of devices and platforms.

Continuous Integration and Delivery

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) in software development automates the testing and deployment process. This can help to ensure that changes are tested thoroughly and delivered to users quickly and efficiently.

CI/CD works really well for testing mobile apps—as it allows for continuous testing and integration throughout the development process. Not only does it find problems early, but it helps get your app in the hands of users as quickly as possible. 

Building an Effective Mobile App Testing Team

It’s important to assemble a team of testers who possess the right skills and experience to ensure that your app functions correctly and meets the needs of your users.

To do this correctly, the first thing you need to do is identify the specific skills and experience that users need for your app. For example, let’s say you’re creating a project management app. You’d want your testers to be familiar with project management concepts and, ideally, have some experience as a project manager. 

Once you’ve identified the skills required, it’s time to recruit testers who have that experience. You can also provide ongoing training and support to your testers so they’re always up to date with the latest tools and techniques related to your app’s goal and primary purpose. 

Common Pitfalls to Avoid During Mobile Testing

While effective mobile app testing is essential for success, there are a number of common pitfalls that developers and testers need to avoid. From neglecting usability and accessibility testing to relying too much on automated testing, these pitfalls can impact the user experience and lead to issues down the line.

  • Ignoring Testing Altogether — Some developers may believe that their app is functioning correctly without testing, but this approach can lead to serious issues down the line. Without proper testing, it’s difficult to identify bugs, performance issues, and other potential problems that can impact the user experience.
  • Relying Too Much on Automated Testing — While automated testing can be a powerful tool for mobile app testing, it’s important to balance it with manual testing. Relying too much on automated testing can lead to missed issues and potential problems, particularly in areas such as usability and accessibility testing.
  • Failing to Test on a Range of Devices and Platforms — With so many different devices and operating systems on the market, it’s essential to test your app on a range of devices to ensure that it functions correctly across all of them.
  • Neglecting Usability and Accessibility Testing — Usability and accessibility testing are critical components of effective mobile app testing. Neglecting these areas can lead to issues with user satisfaction and even legal problems. It’s important to ensure that your app is usable and accessible for all users, regardless of their abilities.

For example, consider the case of an ecommerce app that neglects usability testing. If the app is difficult to use or navigate, users may become frustrated and switch to a competitor’s app instead. 

Ultimately, the key to avoiding these common pitfalls is to take a comprehensive approach to mobile app testing. By balancing manual and automated testing, testing on a range of devices and platforms, and prioritizing usability and accessibility testing, you can ensure that your app functions correctly and meets the needs of your users.

Final Thoughts on Testing Mobile Apps

At the end of the day, mobile app testing is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention and effort. By staying up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques, prioritizing user feedback and testing, and working collaboratively with your team, you can deliver a mobile app that provides a great user experience and delivers real value to your users.

Take a comprehensive approach that includes manual and automated testing. Always test your app on a range of devices and platforms. Prioritize usability and accessibility testing as well, and you can increase your chances of delivering a high-quality app that stands out from the competition.

How to Use Beta Testers in Mobile App Development

Beta testers are an essential component of mobile app development. These individuals play a key role in identifying bugs and providing valuable feedback before an app is released to the public. 

The use of beta testers can help developers refine apps, create a better user experience, and ultimately increase the app’s chances of success.

This guide will help you better understand the process of using beta testers in mobile app development. You’ll learn how to plan for beta testing, recruit beta testers, conduct beta testing, manage beta testers, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned app developer or just starting, this information will provide you with the knowledge and tools to leverage the power of beta testers for your app.

Planning for Beta Testing

Planning for beta testing is critical in the mobile app development process. This stage sets the foundation for the testing phase and ensures that the app is ready for the feedback and scrutiny of beta testers. 

Read on to learn more about identifying your objectives, choosing the right beta testing strategies, and preparing your mobile app for beta testing.

Identifying Objectives for Beta Testers

Identifying objectives is a crucial first step when you’re planning for beta testing. Objectives are the goals that you want to achieve during the testing phase, and they can vary depending on the app’s purpose, target audience, and features.

When identifying objectives, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve your beta tests. Some common objectives of beta testing include identifying and fixing bugs, improving app usability, testing app performance under different conditions, gathering user feedback, and ensuring compatibility with different devices and operating systems.

By setting clear objectives, you can focus your testing efforts and ensure that you’re getting the feedback you need to improve the app. It’s also essential to establish specific and measurable objectives, which will help you track progress and evaluate the success of the beta testing phase.

Choosing Beta Testing Strategy

There are several beta testing strategies that you can consider, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the three most common approaches to beta testing:

Closed Beta Testing — With closed testing, you’ll select a limited number of testers to provide feedback. This approach is ideal when you want to keep the testing phase confidential or if you’re testing a specific feature or function that requires a highly targeted group of testers.

Open Beta Testing — This approach releases the app to a larger group of testers. It allows for a more comprehensive testing process and can generate a significant amount of feedback. However, it may also result in a larger volume of feedback that can be challenging to manage.

Staged Rollout Beta Testing — This strategy sends the app to a smaller group of testers initially and gradually increases the number of testers over time. Staged rollout beta testing offers a more controlled testing environment and helps ensure that feedback is manageable and relevant.

When choosing the right beta-testing strategy, it’s essential to consider your app’s goals, target audience, and development timeline. You may want to experiment with different beta testing strategies to find the one that works best for your app.

Preparing the App for Beta Testing

Before inviting beta testers to test your app, you should conduct extensive testing yourself to ensure that your app is stable and free of significant bugs. This step is critical as beta testers will be more likely to provide valuable feedback if your app is relatively stable.

Next, you’ll want to create a dedicated beta-testing version of your app. Your beta version should be separate from the production version of your app and should include features like crash reporting, feedback collection, and analytics tracking.

For example, let’s say you’re testing an app with Xcode. You can manage multiple builds of your app and keep the testing versions separate from the published version. 

Take the time to establish clear guidelines and expectations for beta testers. You may want to provide testers with a detailed list of tasks to complete, or maybe you want to ask for specific types of feedback. You can even outline the expected testing duration and provide as much information as possible to ensure your testers are equipped to do what you need.

Proper preparation also requires a common communication channel with your beta testers. This can include a dedicated email address or forum where testers can provide feedback, ask questions, and report bugs.

You’ll also need to figure out how and where you’re going to track and analyze feedback from your beta testers continually. This will help you identify patterns and trends in feedback and prioritize which issues to address first.

All of these steps will help ensure that your app is ready for beta testing and that you’re set up for a successful testing phase.

Recruiting Beta Testers

Once you’ve established your objectives, chosen your beta testing strategy, and prepared your app for testing, the next step is to recruit beta testers. This is a crucial step in the beta testing process, as the quality of feedback you receive will depend on the quality of your testers. 

Recruiting beta testers can be challenging. But with the right approach, you can build a group of testers who will provide valuable feedback and help you improve your app. By finding the right testers, creating an efficient application process, and building a community of testers, you can set yourself up for a successful beta testing phase.

Finding the Right Beta Testers

When it comes to recruiting beta testers, it’s essential to find testers who match your app’s target audience. This can include existing users, social media followers, or members of specific groups or communities that are relevant to your app’s purpose. Consider using social media or email marketing to reach out to potential testers and gauge their interest.

Testflight is a great option for recruiting beta testers for your iOS apps. 

You have the option to use up to 100 internal testers on your team or invite up to 10,000 beta testers through a public link or their email addresses. 

It’s also essential to ensure that your beta testers have the necessary technical knowledge and experience to provide valuable feedback. Consider conducting a brief survey or questionnaire to screen potential testers and ensure that they meet your requirements.

Creating a Beta Testing Application Process

Once you’ve identified potential beta testers, you should create a straightforward and efficient beta testing application process. This process should be clear and easy to understand. It should provide everything you need to select the best testers for your app.

Your beta testing application should include a brief overview of the testing process. Include what you expect from your testers and what they can expect from you. 

Ask your testers if they have experience using or testing similar apps. Inquire about their device and operating system. You should ask about their availability for testing during the application process. 

Building a Beta Tester Community

Building a community of beta testers can help you generate more comprehensive feedback and build a loyal user base for your app. Consider creating a dedicated forum or group where beta testers can communicate with each other and share their experiences. 

Encourage testers to share feedback and ask questions, and be sure to respond promptly to their inquiries.

You may also want to provide incentives for beta testers, such as early access to new app features or exclusive discounts. This can help motivate testers to provide more detailed feedback and can help build a sense of community around your app.

Conducting Beta Testing

Beta testing is an opportunity to get feedback from real users and make necessary improvements before launching your app to the public. So make sure that you take this seriously, and don’t rush through the process.

Establishing Clear Expectations for Beta Testers

To ensure a successful beta testing phase, it’s essential to establish clear expectations for your beta testers. Here are some things to consider:

  • Clearly outline the goals and objectives of the testing phase
  • Provide detailed instructions on how to test the app and what feedback to provide
  • Set a timeline for the testing phase and establish deadlines for feedback submission
  • Offer support and resources to help testers navigate the app
  • Communicate regularly with beta testers to ensure they understand what’s expected of them

Establishing clear expectations is critical for a successful beta testing phase. By communicating your goals, instructions, and timeline to your beta testers, you can ensure that they are providing the feedback you need to improve your app. Regular communication can help keep testers motivated and engaged throughout the testing phase.

Tracking and Analyzing Data From Beta Testers

Tracking and analyzing data during the beta testing phase is critical to improving your app’s performance and user experience. 

  • Use analytics tools to track app usage, crashes, and other data points
  • Collect feedback from beta testers through surveys, forums, or other communication channels
  • Keep track of bugs and issues reported by beta testers and prioritize them based on severity and impact
  • Use data to identify trends and patterns in feedback and prioritize improvements accordingly
  • Share data and progress updates with beta testers to keep them engaged and informed

By using analytics tools, collecting feedback, and keeping track of bugs and issues, you can identify areas for improvement and prioritize them based on their impact. Sharing data and progress updates with beta testers can really help keep your testers engaged and invested throughout the entire process.

Addressing Feedback and Bugs From Beta Testers

Beyond the testing itself, knowing what to do with the information you get from your testers is what matters the most. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make the appropriate changes to improve your app.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind as you create a simple and repeatable process for feedback and bug tracking:

  • Develop a system for prioritizing and addressing feedback and bugs
  • Assign responsibility for addressing specific issues to members of your development team
  • Communicate regularly with beta testers to keep them informed of progress on reported issues
  • Test fixes and updates thoroughly before releasing them to beta testers
  • Provide timely updates and fixes to beta testers to keep them engaged and invested in the testing process

Addressing feedback and bugs promptly is crucial. You can always make tweaks to this process to make it more effective. This will help you prioritize which feedback requires attention first and how you’ll deal with additional changes moving forward. 

Testing fixes and updates thoroughly before releasing them to beta testers is critical to ensuring that your app is stable and ready for release.

Managing Beta Testers

Managing beta testers is a critical aspect of the beta testing phase during the pre-development and post-development stages. Your beta testers are your partners in improving your app, and their role will directly impact the success and performance of your app once it’s released. 

Maintaining Communication With Beta Testers

Maintaining clear and consistent communication with your beta testers is essential to a successful beta testing phase. By communicating regularly, you can keep your testers engaged and motivated throughout the testing process.

Consider setting up a dedicated communication channel, such as a forum or email group, where testers can communicate with each other and ask questions. Encourage testers to share their experiences and feedback with each other and provide regular updates on your progress. 

It’s also essential to be responsive to questions and feedback from your testers. Responding promptly to feedback and addressing issues can help keep testers engaged and invested in the testing process.

For example, if a beta tester reports a significant issue, respond to their message as soon as possible. You can also provide regular updates on your progress in addressing the issue. This can help build trust and create a positive experience for your beta testers.

Showing Appreciation to Beta Testers

Your beta testers are volunteering their time and expertise to help you improve your app, and it’s important to recognize their contributions.

Some developers offer incentives or rewards for beta testers. This can include early access to new app features or exclusive discounts. You can also publicly acknowledge the contributions of your beta testers on your app’s website or social media channels.

BetaTesting.com is another good tool to help you conduct and manage your tests. They even help you offer incentives to your testers, either through your own method or through their own payment system.

Another way to show appreciation is to provide personalized feedback to your beta testers. Consider sending a personalized thank-you message to each tester or providing detailed feedback on their contributions to the testing process. This can help create a positive experience for your beta testers and build a loyal user base for your app.

Creating a Positive Experience for Beta Testers

Your beta testers are critical to a successful app launch, and it’s essential to create a positive experience for them.

Consider providing clear and concise instructions on how to test your app and what feedback to provide. Make sure that your testers have the resources and support they need to navigate the app and provide feedback effectively.

Be open and transparent with your beta testers. Share your progress, successes, and challenges with them regularly. This can help create a sense of trust and collaboration among your testers and build a positive experience for everyone involved.

Final Thoughts on Using Beta Testers in App Development

Leveraging the power of beta testing can significantly improve the quality of your mobile app and increase its chances of success. Beta testers can help you identify and fix bugs, improve app usability, gather user feedback, and ensure compatibility with different devices and operating systems. 

Additionally, managing beta testers effectively helps create positive experiences for your testers, which can lead to a loyal user base and improve the chances of success for your app.

It’s important to remember that beta testing is an ongoing process and should be viewed as such. Continuous feedback, iteration, and improvement are essential to ensure that your app remains relevant and useful to your target audience. 

By incorporating the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can use beta testers to create a high-quality mobile app that meets the needs of your users and maximizes its chances of success.

What is Application Integration and How Does it Work?

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, businesses rely on a multitude of applications to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and drive growth. As organizations continue to adopt a diverse range of applications, it becomes essential to ensure seamless communication and interaction between them. That’s where application integration comes into play.

Application integration enables different software applications, systems, and services to work together efficiently—providing businesses with a holistic and unified view of their data and processes. This helps eliminate data silos, streamline workflows, and improve decision-making.

This article provides an in-depth explanation of application integration, its importance, its components, as well as its various techniques and patterns. While we’ll cover application integration as a whole, we’ll also give special attention to mobile applications—as they have become indispensable for modern businesses. Continue on to explore the world of application integration and its impact on mobile apps.

What is Application Integration?

Application integration is the process of enabling separate and diverse software applications, systems, or services to communicate and interact with each other—resulting in a unified and coordinated system. It facilitates the seamless exchange of data and functionality between different applications, allowing businesses to streamline processes, eliminate data silos, and improve overall efficiency. 

By connecting disparate systems and ensuring consistent data flow, application integration helps organizations achieve a comprehensive view of their operations, leading to better decision-making and enhanced productivity.

In today’s business landscape, organizations employ a variety of applications to manage various aspects of their operations, such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resource management (HRM), and more. As these applications often come from different vendors and have distinct data structures, they can’t “talk” to each other by default. Application integration bridges this gap, ensuring that these systems can work in harmony and share information without manual intervention.

As businesses continue to adopt new applications and technologies, the need for robust application integration strategies becomes increasingly important. With the growing significance of mobile applications in modern business, integration solutions must also cater to the unique requirements of mobile apps, such as providing real-time data access, supporting multiple platforms, and ensuring scalability.

Objectives and Benefits of Application Integration

The primary objectives of application integration are to streamline business processes, enhance data sharing and collaboration, improve decision-making, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at each of these objectives and the benefits they offer.

Streamlining Business Processes

Integrating various applications allows businesses to eliminate redundant and manual tasks by automating workflows. This leads to significant time savings and reduces the risk of errors. It also frees up employees to focus on more business-critical tasks. 

Application integration can also help optimize processes, such as automating data entry, scheduling, and reporting—resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.

Furthermore, integrating apps can help organizations respond quickly to changes in the market. Examples include launching new products, entering new markets, and adapting to changing customer needs. By having a flexible and agile integration strategy, businesses can quickly connect new applications and services to their existing infrastructure to ensure they’re competitive and up-to-date.

Enhancing Data Sharing and Collaboration

Another critical objective of application integration is enhancing data sharing and collaboration. In today’s data-driven world, businesses must rely on accurate and timely information to make informed decisions. Integration helps ensure data consistency across all systems and eliminates data silos. This ultimately makes it easier for employees to access and share information.

Application integration can help businesses collaborate more effectively by providing a unified view of data and processes. This leads to improved cross-functional communication, increased transparency, and enhanced collaboration between departments. 

Organizations will be more informed and equipped to handle anything in fast-changing environments. 

Improving Decision-making

Application integration plays a vital role in improving decision-making by providing a more comprehensive and unified view of data and processes. By integrating different applications and systems, businesses can gain insights into their operations and make data-driven decisions.

Integrations help organizations consolidate data from multiple sources into a single dashboard. For example, a company can integrate application data from CRMs, ERP software, and HRM systems to provide a holistic view of the organization’s performance. This makes it much easier to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to detect. 

These types of integrations make it easier for businesses to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to gain deeper insights into their data, leading to more informed decisions.

Reducing Costs and Increasing Efficiency

Application integration also helps businesses reduce costs and increase efficiency. By automating workflows and eliminating manual tasks, businesses can save time and money—allowing them to focus on more critical tasks. 

This approach helps reduce data duplication and inconsistencies, resulting in improved data accuracy and reduced operational costs.

Moreover, integration can help businesses scale their operations more efficiently by providing a flexible and scalable infrastructure. This can help reduce IT costs and ensure that the organization can adapt quickly to changing business needs.

Types of Application Integration

As businesses continue to adopt multiple applications to manage various aspects of their operations, the need for seamless integration between them becomes increasingly important. There are many types of application integration, but they can generally be consolidated into three main categories—data integration, process integration, and presentation integration.

Each type of integration serves a unique purpose and offers distinct benefits to businesses. By choosing the appropriate integration strategy, businesses can streamline processes, enhance collaboration, and improve decision-making.

Let’s explore each of these types of application integration in greater detail below.

Data Integration

Data integration is the process of combining data from multiple sources into a unified view—ultimately making it easier for businesses to access and analyze data. This type of integration is critical for businesses that use different applications to manage data, such as CRM, ERP, and HRM systems.

Data integration can be achieved through various techniques such as extract, transform, and load (ETL), data replication, and data virtualization. ETL involves extracting data from different sources, transforming it into a unified format, and loading it into a target system. 

Data replication copies data from one system to another, while data virtualization creates a virtual layer that enables users to access data from multiple sources as if it were a single database.

By having a unified view of data, businesses can gain critical insights into their operations, identify trends, and make informed decisions.

Process Integration

Process integration connects different applications to automate business processes. This type of integration is critical for businesses that use multiple applications to manage different parts of their operations.

Process integration can be achieved through various techniques, including application programming interfaces (APIs), service-oriented architecture (SOA), and business process management (BPM). 

APIs enable applications to communicate with each other, while SOA provides a framework for creating services that can be used across different applications. BPM involves modeling, automating, and optimizing business processes.

With process automation, organizations can benefit from improved productivity, reduced errors, and greater scalability. By automating business processes, organizations can reduce manual tasks, improve efficiency, and respond quickly to changes in the market.

Presentation Integration

Presentation integration combines different user interfaces into a unified user experience. This type of integration helps businesses that use multiple applications that each have a different user interface.

This type of integration can be achieved through various techniques, including web portals, single sign-on (SSO), and web services. Web portals provide a unified interface for accessing multiple applications, while SSO enables users to access multiple applications with a single set of credentials. 

Web services allow different applications to share data and functionality through a standard interface.

By providing a unified interface, businesses can reduce the complexity of using multiple applications and enable users to focus on their tasks. Presentation integration helps improve the user experience, reduce training costs, and increase productivity. 

Components of Application Integration

Various components are used to achieve desired integration goals. Let’s explore the most common components of application integration in greater detail below. 

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

APIs are a set of protocols, routines, and tools for building software applications. They enable different applications to communicate and interact with each other—allowing businesses to integrate multiple applications and systems. 

APIs provide a standard interface for accessing data and functionality from different applications, making it easier to share data and automate workflows.

Businesses can use APIs to connect multiple applications, such as CRM, ERP, and HRM systems, and create a unified view of their operations. Overall, APIs are essential for application integration, as they provide a secure and scalable method for connecting different systems. 

Connectors and Adaptors

Connectors and adaptors are software components that enable different applications to connect and communicate with each other. Connectors provide a framework for integrating different applications, while adaptors enable different applications to connect to different data sources.

With connectors and adaptors, businesses have access to standardized methods for connecting different systems. 

Connectors provide a framework for integrating different applications, making it easier to share data and automate workflows. Adaptors enable apps to connect to different data sources—ensuring that the data can be accessed and shared across each system.

Data Transformation Tools

Data transformation tools are software components that enable businesses to transform data from one format to another. They are used to ensure that data can be shared between different applications, even if they use different data formats.

Organizations rely on data transformation tools to standardize data formats and ensure consistency across different systems. By transforming data from one format to another, businesses can share data seamlessly and automate workflows, reducing manual tasks and improving efficiency.

Integration Middleware

Integration middleware software provides a platform for integrating different applications, systems, and services. It adds a layer between different applications, enabling them to communicate and interact with each other.

Integration middleware provides a framework for connecting different applications, ensuring that data can be shared and processes can be automated. It’s a centralized platform to manage various integration components, including APIs, connectors, adaptors, and data transformation tools. 

By using integration middleware, businesses can create a unified and coordinated system, leading to improved decision-making, enhanced productivity, and reduced costs.

Application Integration Techniques and Patterns

There are various techniques and patterns used for application integration—each with its unique approach to connecting different applications and systems. 

Some of the most commonly used techniques and patterns are point-to-point integration, hub-and-spoke integration, federated integration, service-oriented architecture (SOA), and event-driven architecture.

  • Point-to-Point Integration: This technique directly connects two applications. It involves the development of custom interfaces between applications, allowing them to communicate and share data. While this approach can be effective for integrating two applications, it can become complex and difficult to maintain as the number of applications grows.
  • Hub-and-Spoke Integration: The hub-and-spoke technique involves connecting multiple applications to a central hub or middleware. This approach uses connectors and adaptors to connect applications to the hub, enabling them to communicate and share data. It’s scalable and highly flexible, allowing businesses to add or remove applications as needed.
  • Federated Integration: Federated integration is another technique that involves connecting multiple applications without a central hub or middleware. This method uses APIs to connect different applications, enabling them to share data and functionality. Federated integration is commonly used by businesses that have a large number of applications that need to be connected and managed.
  • Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): SOA is an architectural pattern that creates reusable services that can be used across different applications. This approach involves breaking down applications into modular services, enabling businesses to reuse functionality across different applications. 
  • Event-Driven Architecture: Event-driven architecture is an architectural pattern that sends and receives events between different applications. This approach uses message brokers to facilitate communication between applications, enabling them to share information in real time. It’s best for businesses that require real-time data access and processing.

Application integration techniques and patterns play a crucial role in enabling businesses to connect different applications and systems. By using the appropriate integration technique or pattern, organizations can better create a unified and coordinated system.

Final Thoughts on Application Integration

Application integration plays a critical role in today’s interconnected world—enabling businesses to streamline processes, enhance collaboration, improve decision-making, and reduce costs. By adopting a robust integration strategy, businesses can leverage the benefits of integration to remain competitive and thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

To achieve this, organizations can rely on several techniques and patterns, including point-to-point integration, hub-and-spoke integration, federated integration, SOA, and event-driven architecture. These techniques and patterns enable businesses to connect different applications and systems in a scalable and flexible way, leading to a more efficient and productive business environment.

At BuildFire, we understand the importance of application integration, especially for mobile apps. That’s why we’ve developed a platform that simplifies the integration process, enabling businesses to seamlessly integrate their mobile apps with various systems and services. With our platform, businesses can automate workflows, streamline processes, and enhance collaboration, leading to improved productivity and increased revenue.

How to Measure Mobile App Performance

In today’s digital era, mobile app performance testing is more crucial than ever for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Ensuring a seamless user experience is at the core of mobile app performance testing—and it’s one of the primary factors used to determine the success of an app. 

As consumers grow increasingly reliant on their mobile devices for various needs, app developers must prioritize app performance to create a lasting impression on users.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to measure mobile app performance using specific KPIs for apps. Understanding these KPIs can help developers, businesses, and stakeholders make informed decisions and optimize user experiences. This guide will also help you drive the growth and success of your apps. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid grasp of the various metrics that contribute to app performance. You’ll be able to leverage this knowledge to build and maintain a successful mobile app.

Identifying Your Goals For Mobile App Performance Testing

Before diving into the different KPIs used to measure mobile app performance, it’s essential to first identify your app’s goals. Defining success for your app is a critical step in determining which metrics matter the most to your business.

Here’s the best way to define success for your app performance testing:

  • Establish clear objectives for your mobile app
  • Understand your target audience and their needs
  • Determine the desired outcomes and milestones for your app
  • Align app goals with business objectives
  • Recognize that different app types (e.g., gaming, ecommerce, internal communication, productivity) may require different KPIs
  • Tailor your KPIs to your app’s specific goals and objectives
  • Avoid focusing on irrelevant or less important metrics for your app

By taking the time to identify your app’s goals and align them with your business objectives, you’ll have a better understanding of which KPIs are most relevant and critical to your app’s success. This will allow you to focus on the right metrics, optimize your app’s performance, and ultimately deliver a valuable experience to your users.

Make sure you keep these tips in mind as we continue through this guide, as they’ll help define your entire mobile app performance testing process. 

Overview Mobile App Performance Testing KPIs

After establishing your app’s goals and objectives, it’s time to delve into the KPIs (key performance indicators) that play a critical role in mobile app performance testing. We’ll quickly cover what KPIs are, their importance, and the various categories of KPIs used to evaluate mobile app performance.

What are mobile app KPIs?

KPIs are quantitative and qualitative measures of app performance. These metrics can ultimately help you track progress toward your app goals.

Tracking KPIs is crucial for app mobile app performance testing because it helps developers facilitate data-driven decision-making. These metrics will help you monitor your app performance over time and assist in allocating your resources appropriately. Mobile app performance testing is also the best way to identify areas of improvement for your app.

Common categories of KPIs for mobile app performance testing include:

  • User acquisition metrics
  • User engagement metrics
  • Conversion metrics
  • App performance metrics
  • User satisfaction metrics

Understanding these different categories of KPIs will enable you to adopt a holistic approach to mobile app performance testing. In the following sections, we’ll explore each category in greater detail—providing insights into the specific metrics that can help you optimize your app’s performance and achieve your goals.

User Acquisition Metrics

User acquisition is the foundation of your app’s growth and success. It’s essential to measure how effectively you attract and convert users into active app users. 

  • App downloads: The total number of times your app has been downloaded from app stores. This is a fundamental metric to track your app’s visibility and reach.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): The average cost spent on acquiring a new user, calculated by dividing the total marketing spend by the number of new users acquired. This metric helps you assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and allocate your budget more efficiently.
  • Organic vs. inorganic downloads: Organic downloads are those resulting from users finding your app through app store searches, word-of-mouth, or other unpaid channels. Inorganic downloads come from paid marketing campaigns. Comparing these two types of downloads can help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and the overall discoverability of your app.
  • App store rankings: Your app’s position in app store search results and category rankings. A higher ranking can lead to increased visibility and more downloads, making it essential to optimize your app store listing with relevant keywords, screenshots, and descriptions.
  • User sources: The channels and platforms through which users find and download your app. Examples include social media, search engines, and referral programs. 

By closely monitoring and analyzing user acquisition metrics, you can identify trends and patterns that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing and user acquisition strategies. This valuable insight enables you to make data-driven decisions, refine your approach, and ultimately expand your user base more effectively.

User Engagement Metrics

User engagement metrics help you understand how users interact with your app and identify areas that may need improvement to enhance the overall user experience. Here are the top ones you need to track to help measure your app’s performance:

  • Daily active users (DAU): The number of unique users who engage with your app on a daily basis. This is a strong indicator of your app’s stickiness and daily user engagement.
  • Monthly active users (MAU): The number of unique users who engage with your app within a given month. MAU helps you understand the broader engagement trends and user growth over time.
  • Session length: The amount of time a user spends in your app during a single session. Session length helps you identify how engaging and compelling your app’s content is for users.
  • Session frequency: The average number of times a user opens your app within a specific time period, typically daily or monthly. A higher session frequency suggests stronger user engagement.
  • Time spent in the app: The total time users spend interacting with your app, often measured as an average per user. This metric can be a good indicator of the overall value and relevance your app provides to users.
  • Screen flow and user paths: The sequence of screens and actions users take within your app. Analyzing screen flow and user paths can help you identify bottlenecks, optimize navigation, and enhance the user experience.
  • Retention rate: The percentage of users who continue to use your app over a specific period, typically measured after a week, a month, or longer. A high retention rate indicates that your app is successfully keeping users engaged over time.
  • Churn rate: The percentage of users who stop using your app within a given time frame. A high churn rate suggests that users are not finding enough value in your app, and you may need to address issues related to usability, content, or functionality.

In addition to the metrics mentioned above, it’s important to consider the specific context and goals of your app when evaluating user engagement. Different types of apps may require unique engagement strategies and KPIs—and what works for one app may not necessarily be applicable to another. 

By continuously monitoring these metrics and iterating on your app’s features and content based on user behavior, you can create a more personalized and enjoyable experience for your users.

Conversion Metrics

Conversion metrics help you measure the effectiveness of your app in driving these outcomes and identify areas that need optimization. It’s important to ensure that users complete desired actions within your app, such as making purchases, signing up for services, or reaching specific milestones. 

  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who complete a specific action or goal within your app. Making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter would both be examples. This helps you gauge the effectiveness of your app’s design, user experience, and overall value proposition.
  • In-app purchases: The number and value of transactions made by users within your app. Tracking in-app purchases can help you identify popular items, pricing strategies, and user preferences, which can be used to optimize your revenue generation.
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU): The total revenue generated by your app divided by the number of active users within a given period. ARPU helps you understand the revenue contribution of each user and can be used to inform pricing strategies and app improvements. 
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): The estimated net revenue generated by a user throughout their entire relationship with your app. CLV takes into account factors such as average revenue per user, retention rate, and churn rate, allowing you to prioritize resources and marketing efforts to attract and retain high-value users.
  • Goal completion rate: The percentage of users who achieve a predefined goal or milestone within your app, such as reaching a specific level in a game or completing a tutorial. This metric can help you assess the effectiveness of your app’s onboarding process, content, and overall user experience.
  • Funnel analysis: A method for analyzing user behavior by breaking down the steps or stages users go through to complete a specific action, like making a purchase or signing up for a service. Funnel analysis can help you identify points of friction or drop-off and optimize your app to increase conversions.

By carefully monitoring and analyzing conversion metrics, you can gain valuable insights into your app’s ability to drive desired outcomes and generate revenue. 

App Performance Metrics

Technical performance is a critical aspect of your app’s overall success—as it directly impacts user experience and satisfaction. App performance metrics help you evaluate the speed, stability, and reliability of your app, ensuring that your users have a seamless and enjoyable experience. 

  • App launch time: The amount of time it takes for your app to load and become fully functional after a user opens it. A fast app launch time is crucial for user satisfaction and retention, as users are likely to abandon apps that take too long to load.
  • Latency: The delay between user input and the corresponding response from your app. Low latency is essential for providing a smooth and responsive user experience, particularly for apps that rely heavily on real-time interactions, such as games or messaging platforms.
  • Crashes and errors: The number of times your app crashes or encounters errors during use. Tracking crashes and errors can help you identify and fix issues that impact user experience, stability, and overall app performance.
  • API response time: The time it takes for your app to communicate with external services, such as servers or third-party APIs. Monitoring API response times can help you ensure that your app is effectively interacting with these services and can provide insights into potential performance bottlenecks or areas for optimization.
  • Device and OS compatibility: The range of devices and operating systems on which your app functions correctly and optimally. Ensuring broad device and OS compatibility is essential for reaching a larger audience and providing a consistent user experience across different platforms.

These KPIs are crucial in terms of proactively identifying and addressing technical issues that may affect your app’s user experience. Addressing these issues in a timely manner can help you maintain a high-quality app that users will continue to enjoy and recommend, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your app.

User Satisfaction Metrics

These metrics help determine the overall satisfaction and loyalty of your users based on ratings, feedback, and other indicators. Continue below to discover the key user satisfaction metrics that can provide valuable insights into your app’s overall performance from the users’ perspective.

  • App store ratings and reviews: The average rating and feedback provided by users on app stores. Monitoring ratings and reviews can help you identify areas for improvement, address user concerns, and showcase your app’s strengths to potential users.
  • Net promoter score (NPS): NPS measures user satisfaction and loyalty—calculated by asking users how likely they are to recommend your app to others on a scale of 0 to 10. Users are then classified as promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), or detractors (0-6). NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. A high NPS indicates strong user satisfaction and loyalty.
  • In-app feedback and surveys: Direct feedback collected from users within your app, either through surveys, feedback forms, or other methods. In-app feedback can help you gather insights into user satisfaction, preferences, and potential areas for improvement.
  • Customer support interactions: The number and quality of interactions between users and your customer support team, such as response times, resolution rates, and user satisfaction with the support received. Monitoring customer support interactions can help you ensure that users receive timely and effective assistance, ultimately contributing to overall user satisfaction.

User satisfaction is a key determinant of your app’s long-term success and growth. Ensuring that your users are happy with your app can lead to higher retention rates, increased word-of-mouth referrals, and better app store rankings. 

How to Analyze and Interpret KPI Data in Mobile App Performance Testing

Once you’ve identified your KPIs, it’s crucial to know how to effectively analyze and interpret the data to make informed decisions and improvements. These five steps will help you successfully evaluate your app’s KPI data and drive its growth and success:

  1. Choose the right analytics tools
  2. Establish a benchmark for KPIs
  3. Periodic monitoring and reporting
  4. Identify trends and patterns
  5. Make data-driven decisions

Continue below for a deeper explanation of this five-step process.

Step 1 – Choose the right analytics tools

Selecting the right analytics tools is the first step in effectively analyzing your app’s performance data. BuildFire offers built-in analytics tools that make it easy for you to track and analyze your app’s KPIs without the need for additional third-party services. 

These tools provide comprehensive insights into your app’s performance, helping you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.

Step 2 – Establish a benchmark for KPIs

Before you can effectively analyze and interpret your app’s KPI data, it’s essential to establish benchmarks or target values for each metric. These benchmarks can be based on industry standards, competitor performance, or your app’s historical data. 

Establishing benchmarks enables you to set realistic goals and measure your app’s performance against these targets, allowing for a more focused and goal-driven approach to optimization.

Step 3 – Periodic monitoring and reporting

Consistent monitoring and reporting of your app’s KPI data are vital for tracking progress and identifying trends over time. Establish a regular schedule for monitoring your app’s performance. (like weekly or monthly). Then generate reports that highlight key insights and changes in KPIs. 

Regular reporting ensures that you stay informed about your app’s performance and can quickly identify and address issues as they arise.

Step 4 – Identify trends and patterns

As you monitor and report on your app’s KPI data, pay close attention to trends and patterns that emerge over time. Identifying trends can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your app, helping you pinpoint areas that require optimization. 

Look for patterns in user behavior, app performance, and user satisfaction to identify opportunities for improvement and capitalize on your app’s strengths.

Step 5 – Make data-driven decisions

Armed with the insights gained from analyzing your app’s KPI data, it’s time to make data-driven decisions to optimize your app’s performance. 

Use the trends and patterns identified in your analysis to inform changes to your app’s design, user experience, marketing strategy, or technical performance. Continuously iterate and refine your app based on data-driven insights to ensure that it remains relevant, engaging, and successful in the competitive mobile app market.

Final Thoughts

Understanding and effectively measuring mobile app performance is crucial for any app’s success. A data-driven approach enables you to make informed decisions based on real insights—helping you optimize various aspects of your app, including user acquisition, engagement, conversions, and satisfaction. 

By continuously monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure your app remains competitive in the fast-paced mobile app market.

As your app evolves and grows, it’s essential to adapt your KPIs to align with changing objectives and user needs. This process of continuous improvement requires regularly reevaluating your app’s performance, setting new benchmarks, and iterating on your app’s features and functionalities. 

Staying vigilant and responsive to your app’s performance data allows you to create an engaging and successful mobile app that meets the needs of your users and thrives in your industry.

How to Test an App With Testflight

Mobile app development has become a crucial component of the digital landscape in recent years. However, it’s not enough to just release an app to the public. App testing is a crucial step in the development process to ensure that your app is functional, user-friendly, and ready for distribution.

One of the most popular tools for testing iOS apps is Testflight—a free tool provided by Apple that allows developers to distribute apps to beta testers. With Testflight, developers can identify and fix issues, ensure compatibility with different devices, and improve user satisfaction.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to use Testflight for your app testing needs. From setting up a Testflight account to analyzing test results, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure your app is free of bugs and glitches before release. 

We’ll also share best practices for Testflight testing and discuss common mistakes to avoid. By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to use Testflight to make your app the best it can be.

Setting Up Testflight

Before you can start using Testflight for app testing, you need to set up an account. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Sign in to your Apple Developer account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one.
  2. Once you’re signed in, navigate to the “Testflight” section of the account dashboard.
  3. Click on the “Start Testing” button to create a new app in Testflight.
  4. Fill in the required information, including the app name, bundle ID, and primary language.
  5. Choose whether you want to upload a build of your app or create a new build using Xcode.
  6. If you’re uploading a build, drag and drop the build file into the Testflight window. If you’re creating a new build, follow the on-screen instructions to build and upload your app.
  7. Once your build is uploaded, select the “Internal Testing” option to invite testers to try out your app.
  8. Add testers by entering their email addresses or by sending them an invitation link.
  9. Choose the version of the app you want to distribute to testers, and then click “Start Testing” to send out invitations.

That’s it! You’ve set up your Testflight account and invited testers to try it out.

Testflight Roles (and How to Assign Them)

Here’s a closer look at the different roles available in Testflight:

  • App Manager – Responsible for managing the app’s builds, testers, and testing groups. Managers can upload builds, invite and manage testers, and assign build access to specific testing groups.
  • Tester – These users test the app and provide feedback. They can install and test the app, submit feedback, and report bugs to the app manager.
  • Developer – This role is responsible for building the app and managing its development. They can upload builds, view app analytics, and manage testing groups.

To assign roles in Testflight, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the “Users and Roles” section of the Testflight dashboard.
  2. Click on “Invite User” to add a new user.
  3. Select the role you want to assign to the user.
  4. Enter the user’s name and email address, and then click “Send Invitation.”
  5. The user will receive an email invitation to join your Testflight team. Once they accept the invitation, they’ll be able to access the app and start testing.

By understanding the different roles available in Testflight, you can effectively manage your team and ensure that everyone is working together towards the same goal—creating an app that’s ready for release.

Uploading Builds

In app development, a “build” refers to a version of the app that has been compiled and prepared for testing or distribution. Uploading builds to Testflight is an essential step in the app testing process, as it allows developers to share their app with beta testers for feedback and bug reporting.

Here’s what you need to know to successfully upload builds to Testflight:

  1. Archive your app in Xcode – Before you can upload a build to Testflight, you’ll need to archive your app in Xcode. To do this, select “Product” from the Xcode menu and then click “Archive.”
  1. Export the build – Select the archived build in the Organizer window. Click “Export” and then select “Export for iOS App Store Deployment.” Follow the on-screen instructions to export the build.
  1. Upload the build to Testflight – Log in to your Testflight account, select the app you want to upload the build for, and then click “Add New Build.” Drag and drop the exported build file into the Testflight window.
  1. Choose the appropriate build type – When uploading a build to Testflight, it’s important to choose the appropriate build type. Testflight offers three types of builds—development, beta, and release. Development builds are for internal testing only and should not be distributed to external testers. Beta builds are for external testing and should be used for testing new features and functionality. Release builds are the final version of the app that will be released to the public.
  1. Provide build information – Once you’ve uploaded the build, you’ll need to provide information about it, including the build version, release notes, and app store information.
  1. Submit the build for review – Now that you’ve provided all the necessary information, you can submit the build for review. Testflight will review everything to ensure that it meets Apple’s guidelines and is ready for distribution to testers.

By following these steps, you can upload your app builds to Testflight and start testing your app with beta testers.

Pro Tips and Best Practices to Ensure a Smooth Build Upload

Here are some tips and best practices for uploading builds to Testflight:

  • Test your app thoroughly before uploading to Testflight to minimize the risk of encountering issues during the build upload process.
  • Make sure that you’re using the correct version of Xcode to avoid any compatibility issues.
  • Uploading builds can take some time, so it’s important to verify that you have a stable and reliable internet connection.
  • Create a separate folder for each build to stay organized and avoid confusion. This will make it easier to manage multiple builds.
  • Provide detailed release notes to help testers understand what changes have been made in the new build and what they should focus on during testing.
  • Use descriptive version numbering to track changes and identify specific builds.
  • Keep the app size in mind. Testflight has a 200MB limit on the size of the app file, so make sure that your app is optimized for size before uploading.
  • Before submitting a build for review, make sure that your app meets Apple’s guidelines for content and functionality.
  • Use analytics to track app performance. Testflight offers built-in analytics tools that can help you track app performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Invite a diverse group of testers to help you identify issues that may not have been caught otherwise, such as device-specific issues or problems with non-native languages.
  • Make sure to respond to feedback and bug reports from testers in a timely manner. This will help to build trust and ensure that your testers remain engaged throughout the testing process.

All of these pro tips will streamline your testing process and ensure the final product functions as desired. 

Analyzing Test Results

Once the beta testers have had a chance to use your app, you’ll be able to view feedback and reports in Testflight. 

Testflight provides several metrics to help you understand how your app is performing during testing. These metrics include crash reports, app launch metrics, and user engagement metrics.

Crash reports are important for identifying the root cause of crashes and bugs in your app. Testflight provides detailed crash reports that can help you identify the cause of crashes and prioritize fixes accordingly. User engagement metrics can help you understand how users interact with your app during testing. These metrics include user retention, session length, and user flow. 

Once you’ve analyzed your test results, it’s important to take action based on the data. This may include fixing bugs, improving app performance, or making changes to the user interface.

Keep the following best practices in mind while you’re analyzing Testflight results:

  • Segment your data – Segmenting your data can help you gain a deeper understanding of how different user groups are interacting with your app. For example, you can segment your data by device type, location, or user type to gain insights into how different users are experiencing your app.
  • Compare data over time – Comparing your data over time can help you identify trends and patterns in user behavior. This can be especially helpful in identifying issues that may not be immediately apparent.
  • Use heatmaps – Heatmaps are a visual tool that can help you understand how users are interacting with your app. Heatmaps can show you where users are tapping, scrolling, and swiping, which can help you identify areas where users may be experiencing issues.
  • Use A/B testing – A/B testing is a powerful tool that allows you to test different versions of your app to see which one performs better. This can help you make data-driven decisions about how to improve your app.
  • Seek feedback from testers – Testflight provides tools for collecting feedback from testers, which can be a valuable source of information for improving your app. Make sure to encourage your testers to provide feedback and take their feedback into account when analyzing your test results.

By following these tips, you can gain a deeper understanding of how users are interacting with your app during testing and identify areas for improvement. This can help you create a better user experience and ensure the success of your app.

Best Practices For Testflight Testing

While Testflight can be a powerful tool for app testing, it’s important to use it effectively in order to get the best results. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when using Testflight for app testing:

Here are ten best practices for managing and improving your app testing process with TestFlight:

  • Create a clear and detailed test plan before beginning testing to help you stay organized and ensure that you test all of the app’s features thoroughly.
  • Use a version control system to track changes to your app’s codebase. This will make it easier to identify issues and roll back changes if necessary.
  • Always keep your app’s documentation up-to-date, including user manuals and release notes. This will help testers better understand how to use the app and provide more accurate feedback.
  • Use a bug tracking system to manage feedback and bugs reported by testers. 
  • Regularly communicate with your testers to keep them informed and engaged about the testing process and upcoming changes.
  • Provide detailed instructions for testers on how to submit feedback and bug reports. This helps ensure that you receive useful and actionable feedback from your testers.
  • Continuously monitor your app’s performance during testing using TestFlight’s analytics tools. 
  • Schedule regular testing sessions with your team and testers to review progress and identify any outstanding issues.
  • Always test your app on a variety of devices to ensure compatibility with different hardware and software configurations.
  • Maintain a positive and supportive relationship with your testers. Showing appreciation for their work and keeping them engaged will ensure that they continue to provide valuable feedback throughout the testing process.

By following these best practices, you can improve your app testing process with TestFlight and increase the chances of launching a successful app.

Final Thoughts

Testflight is an incredibly useful tool for developers who want to ensure that their apps are ready for release. By inviting beta testers to try out their apps, developers can identify issues, gather feedback, and improve the user experience before the app is released to the public.

Testflight provides several powerful tools for analyzing app performance and identifying areas for improvement, including crash reports, user engagement metrics, and heatmaps. Using these tools can help you gain valuable insights into how users are interacting with your apps while simultaneously identifying areas for improvement.

From creating descriptive release notes to segmenting your data for analysis, the best practices described in this guide can help you get the most out of Testflight to ensure that your app is the best it can be. Our proven tips can help you streamline your testing process, improve the user experience, and release an app that’s ready to take the world by storm.

How to Create a Web App

Web apps have become essential to our daily lives—powering everything from social media platforms and online marketplaces to productivity tools and online learning solutions. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to launch a new startup or a developer seeking to build the next big thing, creating a web app is an exciting and rewarding experience.

But where do you start? How do you transform your app idea into a fully functional web app that users will love? 

This comprehensive guide will take you through the step-by-step process of creating a web app from scratch. From planning and designing to developing and testing, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a successful web app that stands out in today’s crowded digital landscape.

We’ll also compare web apps to mobile apps and explain the pros and cons of each, so you can choose the best option for your project. 

What is a Web App?

A web app is an application that runs in a web browser and uses web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to provide a user interface and interact with server-side components. Unlike native mobile apps, which require installation and run directly on a mobile device, web apps can be accessed from any device with a web browser—making them accessible and convenient for users.

There are several types of web apps, including static web apps, dynamic web apps, single-page apps (SPAs), and progressive web apps (PWAs). 

Static web apps are simple and static, consisting of static web pages that display the same content for all users. Conversely, dynamic web apps are more complex and interactive. They consist of server-side components that generate dynamic content based on user input and data.

SPAs load a single HTML page and dynamically update the content based on user interaction—without requiring a full page refresh. PWAs are advanced web apps that use modern web APIs to provide a native-like experience, including offline support, push notifications, and home screen installation.

Web apps offer several advantages over native apps, including cross-platform compatibility, easy maintenance and updates, and lower development costs. Some popular examples of web apps that you might be using in your day-to-day life include Google Docs, Trello, and Asana.

How to Create a Web App in 10 Steps

Now that we have a clear understanding of what web apps are and their different types, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide for creating a web app from scratch. 

  1. Identify the problem and target audience
  2. Define the features and requirements
  3. Sketch out the user interface and user experience
  4. Choose the right programming language and framework
  5. Set up the development environment and tools
  6. Develop the front-end interface and design
  7. Develop the back-end logic and server-side components
  8. Test the web app for functionality, performance, and security
  9. Deploy the web app to a hosting service and configure the server and database
  10. Launch the web app and monitor user feedback and engagement

We’ll walk you through each stage of the process, from identifying the problem to launching and monitoring the web app. Get ready to bring your ideas to life and create a successful web app that users will love.

Step 1 – Identify the problem and target audience

The first step in creating a successful web app is to identify the problem that your app will solve and the target audience who will benefit from it. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What problem does my app solve?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are their pain points and needs?
  • How will my app provide a solution?

Answering these questions will help you define the scope and requirements of your web app, as well as the features and functionalities that you need to include. 

For example, if you’re creating a web app for a food delivery service, your target audience would likely be people who don’t have time to cook or prefer the convenience of home delivery. Your app should solve the problem of food delivery by providing a seamless and easy-to-use platform for ordering and tracking deliveries.

Make sure to conduct thorough research and gather feedback from potential users to validate your idea and ensure that there is a demand for your app.

Step 2 – Define the features and requirements

Defining the features and requirements is a critical step in creating a successful web app, as it ensures that your app meets the needs of your target audience and provides a compelling user experience. This includes both the core features that are essential for solving the problem and the additional features that enhance the user experience and differentiate your app from competitors.

Start by creating a list of features that you want your web app to have, and prioritize them based on their importance and impact on the user experience. Consider including features such as user authentication, account management, search and filtering, notifications, and payment processing.

In addition to the features, you also need to define the requirements for your web app. I’m referring to its performance, security, scalability, and compatibility with different devices and browsers. Make sure to document these requirements and use them as a guideline throughout the development process.

Step 3 – Sketch out the user interface and user experience

Now it’s time to sketch out the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. This involves creating wireframes and mockups of the app’s layout, navigation, and visual elements. You’ll also need to test these visual elements with potential users to gather feedback and improve the design.

The first thing you need to do is identify the key screens and workflows of your app. Then sketch out their layout and navigation. 

Consider the user flow and how users will interact with the app to achieve their goals. Use tools like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD to create high-fidelity mockups of the screens and add visual elements such as icons, images, and typography to enhance the design.

Once you’ve created the wireframes and mockups, test them with potential users and gather feedback on the design, usability, and functionality. Use this feedback to iterate and improve the design to ensure that it aligns with the needs and expectations of your target audience.

Sketching out the user interface and user experience helps set the foundation for the app’s design and usability. So don’t rush through this step.

Step 4 – Choose the right programming language and framework

This decision depends on several factors. You must consider the app’s complexity, scalability requirements, and availability of developers with the required skills.

Some popular programming languages for web development include JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, and Java. JavaScript is a versatile language that runs on both the client and server side, and is used for building modern web applications such as SPAs and PWAs. Python is usually a good choice for web development due to its simplicity, readability, and its vast library of frameworks and tools. 

PHP’s server-side language powers popular platforms such as WordPress and Facebook. Ruby is known for its elegant syntax and the popular web development framework Ruby on Rails. Java is another robust language that’s commonly used for building large-scale web applications.

In addition to the programming language, you also need to choose a web development framework that provides a set of tools and libraries for building web applications. Some popular frameworks include React, Angular, Vue, Django, Laravel, and Ruby on Rails.

Step 5 – Set up the development environment and tools

To build a successful web app, you need to set up the development environment and tools correctly. This means installing the necessary software and tools to build, test, and deploy your web app.

Start by selecting a code editor that suits your needs. Examples include Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, or Atom. These editors offer features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging, which help to speed up the development process.

Next, you’ll need to choose a version control system like Git, which will enable you to track changes to your code and collaborate with other developers effectively. You’ll also need to install the necessary dependencies for your chosen programming language and framework using a package manager such as npm, pip, or bundler.

By setting up the development environment and tools properly, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run. With these tools in place, you can start building your front-end interface and design, which we’ll cover in the next step.

Step 6 – Develop the front-end interface and design

This step involves creating the visual elements, layout, and interactivity of your app’s user interface (UI) using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Start by using the wireframes and mockups that you created in Step 3 as a reference for the app’s design. Use HTML to create the structure of the web pages, CSS to style the elements and layout, and JavaScript to add interactivity and dynamic behavior.

Consider using a front-end framework such as React, Angular, or Vue, which provides a set of pre-built UI components and tools that speed up the development process. These frameworks also offer features like state management, routing, and testing, which help to improve the app’s performance and user experience.

Make sure to test the front-end interface and design thoroughly. Then gather feedback from potential users to identify areas for improvement. 

Step 7 – Develop the back-end logic and server-side components

Now that you’ve created the front-end interface and design, it’s time to focus on the back-end logic and server-side components. 

This part of the development process involves creating the code and infrastructure that handles the app’s business logic, data storage, and communication with the front end.

To begin, you’ll first need to choose a server-side language and framework that suits your app’s requirements and features. Popular options include Node.js with Express, Ruby on Rails, Django, and Flask. Using the chosen language and framework, you can create the back-end code and implement the app’s business logic, database connections, and API endpoints.

Additionally, you may want to consider using a database management system (DBMS) to store and manage the app’s data. Some common DBMS options include MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Firebase. The choice of DBMS will depend on factors such as scalability, performance, and data consistency.

Step 8 – Test the web app for functionality, performance, and security

Before you deploy and host your web app, you need to test it to make sure it’s working correctly and securely. This involves checking the functionality of the app’s features, testing its performance, and ensuring that it’s protected against security threats.

Start by testing the app’s functionality by checking that all its features work as intended. Test all of your buttons, links, and other interactive elements to make sure they perform the expected action. Make sure to test the app on different devices and browsers to ensure that it works consistently across different platforms.

Next, test the app’s performance by measuring its speed and responsiveness. Use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify areas for improvement. You may need to optimize images, reduce file sizes, or minify code. This helps to ensure that the app loads quickly and provides a smooth user experience.

Finally, test the app’s security by identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats. Tools like OWASP ZAP or Nmap to scan the app for vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, or insecure authentication. Make sure to fix any issues that are identified to ensure that your app is secure and protected against potential attacks.

By testing your web app for functionality, performance, and security, you can identify and address any issues before deploying and hosting it.

Step 9 – Deploy the web app to a hosting service and configure the server and database

Now that your web app is built, you need to put it on the internet so that people can use it. This is the deployment and hosting phase of the process.

To deploy and host your web app, you need to choose a company that provides servers – computers that store your web app and make it available on the internet. Some popular options are AWS, Google Cloud, and Heroku.

Once you’ve chosen a server provider, you’ll need to upload your web app’s files to their servers. This can be done using tools like Docker and Ansible that help simplify the process.

After uploading your web app, you’ll need to make it available on the internet by registering a domain name (like www.yourapp.com) and configuring your server settings so that your app is accessible to anyone who visits your domain. This can be done through a process called DNS configuration.

Once your web app is deployed and hosted, you can make improvements to the app’s performance by monitoring how it performs and making necessary adjustments.

Step 10 – Monitor user feedback and engagement for improvements

Now that your web app is live, it’s important to gather feedback from users and monitor their engagement with the app. This helps you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that enhance the app’s user experience.

Start by setting up analytics tools such as Google Analytics. These provide data on user behavior and demographics, including the number of visitors, page views, and session duration. Use this data to identify areas where users are dropping off or spending less time. Then make changes to improve those areas.

Additionally, encourage users to provide feedback through surveys, user testing, or social media. This feedback can help you identify issues that you may not have been aware of, as well as new features that users would like to see.

Make sure to prioritize user feedback and engagement in your development process, and continuously make improvements to the app based on the data and feedback you receive. This ensures that your app stays relevant and valuable to your users.

Web Apps vs. Mobile Apps: What’s the Difference?

While web apps and mobile apps share similarities in terms of functionality, there are some key differences between the two that are worth noting. Understanding these differences can help you determine which type of app is best suited for your business needs.

Web apps are designed to run on web browsers—like Google Chrome or Safari, and they’re accessible on any device with an internet connection. Web applications are typically developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Arguably the most significant standout of web applications compared to mobile apps is that web apps do not require installation on the user’s device. This makes web apps easy to access and maintain. It also eliminates the need for users to update the app manually.

On the other hand, mobile apps are designed to run natively on a mobile device—such as an iOS or Android smartphone. They are installed directly on the user’s device from an app store. 

Mobile apps are developed using specific programming languages and frameworks, and they have the ability to access the device’s hardware and features. This includes things like the device’s camera, microphone, and GPS.

While both web apps and mobile apps have their advantages and disadvantages, the choice of which to use largely depends on the app’s purpose, functionality, and target audience. 

For example, if your app requires access to the device’s hardware or needs to work offline, a mobile app may be the best choice. However, if your app is primarily content-based or requires frequent updates, a web app may be a better fit.

At BuildFire, we offer mobile app development solutions that help businesses build mobile apps that engage their audience and drive results. Our platform allows businesses to create and deploy mobile apps quickly and easily—without the need for extensive development experience. With BuildFire, businesses can leverage the power of mobile apps to enhance their brand and reach their goals.

Final Thoughts

Building a web app requires careful planning, design, development, and deployment. By following the steps outlined in this guide and continuously monitoring and improving your app, you can create a successful and engaging web app that provides value to your users.

While web apps and mobile apps have their differences, both are valuable tools for businesses to engage with their audiences. At BuildFire, we offer mobile app development solutions that allow businesses to create mobile apps that reach and exceed their business goals.

Whether you’re building a web app or a mobile app, one constant key to success is focusing on your users. Your app must provide a valuable and engaging experience that keeps them coming back. By prioritizing user feedback and engagement and continuously making improvements to your app, you can create a successful and thriving app that helps you achieve your business objectives.

Agile Framework For Mobile App Development

Mobile app development is an ever-evolving industry that requires a flexible and adaptive approach. To keep up with the rapidly changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition, development teams need to work efficiently and effectively. One of the best methods for mobile app development is Agile Framework.

The Agile Framework is an iterative and incremental approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. It has revolutionized the way software is developed and has become a preferred methodology for mobile apps due to its ability to respond to changing customer needs and market demands.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Agile Framework and Agile project management. We’ll cover the Agile principles and values, the Agile project management process, popular Agile methodologies, and the benefits of using the Agile Framework for mobile app development. You’ll also learn more about the best practices for implementing Agile in mobile app development, common challenges that teams might face, and solutions to overcome them. 

Whether you’re new to Agile or an experienced practitioner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed in mobile app development.

Understanding the Agile Framework

The Agile Framework is a flexible and iterative approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. It enables development teams to deliver high-quality software faster and more efficiently while also adapting to changing customer needs and market demands.

The Agile Framework is based on four key values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: This value emphasizes the importance of people and communication in the software development process. It encourages teams to prioritize face-to-face communication and collaboration over rigid processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation: This value focuses on delivering working software that meets customer needs over creating extensive documentation. In short, deliver software instead of spending too much time on tasks that don’t directly contribute to deliverables.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: This encourages teams to collaborate with customers throughout the development process. Collaboration can help everyone get on the same page when it comes to identifying requirements, prioritizing tasks, and making changes as needed based on customer feedback. 
  • Responding to change over following a plan: Agile development is all about being flexible and adaptive to changing customer needs and market demands. It encourages teams to embrace change and to continuously improve their processes and software to meet changing requirements.

The Agile Framework is also based on twelve principles, which are outlined in the Agile Manifesto. These principles provide a foundation for the Agile Framework and guide teams in their approach to software development.

  1. Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
  3. Deliver working software frequently, with a preference for shorter timescales
  4. Collaboration between business stakeholders and developers throughout the project
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals and give them the support they need
  6. Use face-to-face communication as much as possible
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress
  8. Sustainable development, with a focus on maintaining a constant pace
  9. Technical excellence and good design enhances agility
  10. Simplicity is essential, which is the art of maximizing the amount of work not done
  11. Self-organizing teams make the best use of individuals’ capabilities
  12. Regularly reflect on the team’s performance and make adjustments as necessary

The four key values and twelve principles of the Agile Framework will shape everything throughout the software development process.

The Agile Project Management Process

The Agile project management process is an iterative and incremental approach to software development that’s based on the principles of the Agile Framework. It enables development teams to deliver high-quality software faster and more efficiently—adapting to changing customer needs and market demands.

The Agile project management process typically consists of the following stages:

  1. Planning Stage: The team identifies the requirements and goals for the project and creates a plan for how to achieve them. This plan is typically broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  1. Development Stage: Teams develop the software according to the plan. This step is typically handled in short iterations known as sprints, with each iteration resulting in a working piece of software.
  1. Testing Stage: The software must be tested to ensure that it meets the requirements and functions as expected. Testing is typically done throughout the development process, with each iteration being tested before moving on to the next.
  1. Review Stage: The Agile Framework emphasizes the importance the team reviews to identify areas for improvement. This review is typically done at the end of each iteration. The goal here is to continuously improve the process and the software.

The vast majority of what gets accomplished during Agile projects revolves around sprints and sprint planning. Sprints last for a few weeks, and teams aim to get as much work completed as possible during each sprint. 

The Agile project management process is typically led by a product owner, who is responsible for defining the project goals and requirements, and prioritizing the work. The development team is responsible for developing, testing, and reviewing the software.

There are several popular Agile project management methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. In the next section, we’ll explore each of these methodologies in more detail.

Within the Agile Framework, there are several Agile project management methodologies that teams can use to deliver software. Every Agile project management methodology has strengths and weaknesses. It’s important for teams to choose the methodology that best fits their needs and goals. 

It’s also worth noting that Agile project management methodologies are not the same as the Agile Framework. These methodologies are just more specific ways to implement the Agile Framework. Each method has its own set of practices, roles, and tools that are used to manage the software development process.

Here are a few examples of agile project management methodologies that are commonly used for creating mobile apps:

Scrum

Scrum is a popular Agile project management methodology that’s based on the principles of transparency, inspection, and adaptation. The framework is designed to help teams develop and deliver high-quality software in short iterations, called sprints. Scrum emphasizes the importance of collaboration, with daily stand-up meetings and regular retrospectives to identify areas for improvement.

Lean

The Lean Agile project management methodology focuses on minimizing waste, maximizing customer value, and continuous improvement. It’s structured to help teams identify and eliminate inefficiencies throughout the software development process. Lean management helps deliver value to the customer while emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement, with metrics to measure progress.

Kanban

Kanban is highly focused on principles associated with visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and managing flow. The methodology helps teams visualize and manage their work, and to improve the overall workflow throughout the project. Kanban also follows the importance of continuous improvement with retrospectives to identify where teams can get better.

Here’s an example of what a Kanban board looks like.

Benefits of Agile Framework for Mobile App Development

The Agile Framework provides a variety of benefits to mobile app development teams, including:

  • Improved collaboration and communication 
  • Enhanced flexibility and adaptability
  • Accelerated time-to-market
  • Reduced risk of project failure
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Agile methodologies emphasize team collaboration, customer involvement, and communication, resulting in a better understanding of project goals and requirements. This promotes flexibility and adaptability in software development, allowing teams to respond quickly to changing customer needs and market demands.

Agile methodologies also focus on delivering functional software in short iterations, resulting in a faster time-to-market and the ability to quickly incorporate feedback. This leads to a reduced risk of project failure and ensures that the software meets customer needs. Ultimately, Agile development places the customer at the center of the development process, resulting in software that is more likely to meet their needs and expectations, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

These benefits have made the Agile Framework the preferred methodology for mobile app development.

Implementing Agile in Mobile App Development

Using Agile in mobile app development requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to embrace change. Here are ten steps to help you implement the agile framework effectively:

  1. Clearly define the project goals and requirements of your mobile app project.
  2. Start small with a manageable project to learn Agile and adapt to the methodology.
  3. Build a cross-functional team that includes developers, designers, testers, and other stakeholders.
  4. Use Agile tools to implement your desired methodologies (like Scrum, Kanban, and Lean).
  5. Involve the customer in the development process to ensure their needs and expectations are met.
  6. Encourage communication and collaboration through frequent meetings with team members.
  7. Focus on delivering working software in short iterations.
  8. Continuously refine the backlog to ensure that it accurately reflects the project’s goals and requirements.
  9. Use metrics to measure progress and identify areas for improvement.
  10. Encourage your team to regularly reflect on their performance and determine how the next stages can be better than the previous ones.

By following these ten steps, you can effectively implement Agile in mobile app development and experience the benefits of the Agile Framework. 

Common Pitfalls of Agile Implementation and How to Avoid Them

While Agile development offers many benefits, there are also several common pitfalls that teams may encounter when implementing Agile in mobile app development. Here are some of the top reasons why Agile teams fail:

  • Lack of senior management support
  • Lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities
  • Poor communication
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to adapt to change

To avoid these pitfalls, teams must prioritize getting buy-in from senior management, ensure clarity around each team member’s roles and responsibilities, and emphasize communication and face-to-face meetings. Additionally, adequate training is necessary to ensure team members are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement Agile effectively. Teams must also be prepared to adapt and make changes to their processes and practices to better align with the Agile methodology.

By being aware of these common pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them, development teams can effectively implement Agile in mobile app development and experience the benefits of the Agile Framework.

Roles in an Agile Team for Mobile App Development

Each team member has a specific role to play in the development process, and understanding these roles is essential to the success of an Agile project. Every Agile team has a product owner and a Scrum Master.

Depending on the size of your project and the Agile management method you’re using, your team may also include additional roles. Here are some of the most common roles we see for mobile development:

  • Product Owner: The product owner is responsible for defining project goals and priorities, creating a product backlog, and ensuring that the development team has a clear understanding of customer requirements.
  • Scrum Master: Responsible for ensuring that the team follows Agile principles and practices. They facilitate team meetings and remove obstacles that may hinder progress.
  • Development Team: Developers create the software and deliver working increments of the product during each sprint.
  • Stakeholders: Anyone who has an interest in the product, including customers, users, and other team members who may not be directly involved in development.
  • Agile Coach: Experienced Agile practitioner who provides guidance and support to the development team and helps them implement Agile principles and practices effectively.
  • UX Designer: Responsible for creating wireframes and user interface designs that meet customer needs and are intuitive and easy to use.
  • Front-End Developer: Creates the user interface and user experience that the UX designer has designed.
  • Back-End Developer: Responsible for creating the server-side code that enables the application to function and connect to a database.
  • QA Engineer: Responsible for testing the application to ensure that it meets quality standards and is free from bugs.
  • Technical Writer: Creates and handles all documentation that describes the application’s features, functions, and user guides.

Each role in an Agile team for mobile app development plays a critical part in ensuring that the project is successful. By working together and collaborating effectively, Agile teams can deliver high-quality software that meets customer needs and adapts to changing market demands.

Final Thoughts on the Agile Framework For Mobile App Development

Agile development is an effective framework for mobile apps that offers a wide range of benefits. This includes improved collaboration, enhanced flexibility, accelerated time-to-market, reduced risk of project failure, and improved customer satisfaction. 

By implementing Agile in mobile app development, teams can deliver high-quality software that meets customer needs and adapts to changing market demands.

To successfully implement Agile in mobile app development, teams should follow the best practices that were covered in this guide. Examples include defining your project goals and requirements, building a cross-functional team, prioritizing communication and collaboration, and using Agile tools and methodologies. 

You should also be aware of common pitfalls we discussed. By being aware of these challenges and taking steps to avoid them, development teams can effectively implement Agile in mobile app development and experience the benefits of the Agile Framework. 

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Programming: What’s the Difference?

The demand for software development has increased in recent years. Users expect apps to be fast, responsive, and able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This has led to the rise of two key programming approaches—synchronous and asynchronous programming. While these terms may sound technical and intimidating, they’re actually essential concepts for anyone working in mobile app development to understand.

Synchronous programming refers to a traditional programming approach where tasks are executed sequentially (one after the other). In contrast, asynchronous programming allows for multiple tasks to be executed concurrently without blocking the main thread or UI.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between synchronous and asynchronous programming and discuss how these approaches impact mobile apps and software development. We’ll cover the basics of each approach, real-world examples of how they’re used in mobile apps, and best practices for using each programming method. 

Whether you’re a seasoned mobile app developer or just starting out, understanding synchronous and asynchronous programming is crucial for building efficient and high-performing apps that deliver a great user experience.

Synchronous Programming

Synchronous programming, also known as blocking programming, is a traditional programming approach that executes tasks sequentially. In other words, it executes one task at a time and waits for it to complete before moving on to the next task. This means that the program’s execution is blocked until the current task is finished, which can be inefficient for certain types of operations.

Here’s how it works.

When a synchronous function is called, the program waits for it to complete before moving on to the next line of code. This means that the program execution is blocked until the current task is finished.

An example of synchronous programming in mobile app development is a function that downloads a file from a server and then displays it to the user. The function would block the program’s execution until the file is downloaded and ready to display, which could lead to a poor user experience if the file is large or the network connection is slow.

Here’s a visual representation of what synchronous programming looks like:

Pros of Synchronous Programming:

  • Easier to understand and debug
  • Simpler control flow and fewer race conditions
  • Easier to maintain

Cons of Synchronous Programming:

  • Slower overall performance due to blocking
  • Can be inefficient for certain types of operations, such as network requests or I/O operations

Overall, synchronous programming is useful for simple, straightforward tasks that don’t require a lot of processing power. But for more complex tasks or tasks that require input and output operations, asynchronous programming may be a better approach.

Asynchronous Programming

Asynchronous programming allows multiple tasks to be executed concurrently without blocking the main thread or user interface. This approach to programming is especially useful for tasks that take a long time to complete. It’s ideal for input/output operations, network requests, file I/O, and database queries.

When an asynchronous function is called, the program does not wait for it to complete before moving on to the next line of code. Instead, it moves on to the next task while the previous task is running in the background. Once the previous task is complete, it triggers a callback function to notify the program that it has finished.

Here’s an example of asynchronous programming. Let’s say you want to program a function that retrieves data from a database and displays it to the user. By using asynchronous programming, the program can keep the UI responsive while the data is being retrieved from the database in the background. This provides a more seamless experience for the end user.

Pros of Asynchronous Programming:

  • Can significantly improve performance by allowing for parallel execution of tasks
  • Can improve user experience by keeping the UI responsive and avoiding blocking
  • Can be more efficient for tasks that involve I/O operations or network requests

Cons of Asynchronous Programming:

  • More complex to understand and debug
  • Control flow can be more challenging to manage due to the use of callbacks or promises
  • Can lead to race conditions and other synchronization issues if not managed properly

Asynchronous programming is a powerful approach that can significantly improve the performance and user experience of the software. Just be aware that it does require careful management and attention to detail to avoid synchronization issues.

Comparison of Synchronous and Asynchronous Programming

Now that we’ve explored synchronous and asynchronous programming separately, let’s compare them and discuss when to use each approach.

One of the primary differences between synchronous and asynchronous programming is tied to the impact on performance and efficiency. 

Synchronous programming can be less efficient because it blocks the main thread or UI. This approach can make the program slow and unresponsive. Conversely, asynchronous programming allows for the parallel execution of tasks, which can significantly improve performance and efficiency.

To illustrate this difference, let’s consider a common scenario—you’re developing a mobile app that needs to retrieve data from a remote server. With synchronous programming, the app can block the UI until the data is retrieved. But this approach could make the app unresponsive during the retrieval process and frustrate the end-user. Asynchronous programming would allow the app to continue running while the data is being retrieved in the background, improving the user experience and making the app feel faster and more responsive.

In short, synchronous programming can negatively impact user experience because the software may feel slow and unresponsive. But asynchronous programming can improve user experience by keeping the app responsive and avoiding blocking.

It’s also worth noting that asynchronous programming can also enable features that would not be possible with synchronous programming, such as background tasks or push notifications. 

For example, a mobile app that uses asynchronous programming could download and update data in the background while the user is not actively using the app. This keeps the data up-to-date without sacrificing the user experience. 

Best Practices for Using Synchronous and Asynchronous Programming

Now that we have discussed the differences between synchronous and asynchronous programming, let’s explore some pro tips and best practices for using each approach.

Best Practices for Synchronous Programming:

  • Avoid using long-running operations that could block the main thread or UI.
  • Use synchronous programming only for simple and straightforward tasks that don’t require a lot of processing power.
  • Limit the number of synchronous calls in your code to avoid performance issues.
  • Handle errors and exceptions properly to avoid program crashes.
  • Implement caching to reduce the number of synchronous calls and improve performance.
  • Use threading to execute long-running operations on a separate thread without blocking the main thread or UI.

Best Practices for Asynchronous Programming:

  • Use asynchronous programming for tasks that could take a long time to complete or involve I/O operations or network requests.
  • Choose the right concurrency model, such as threads or event loops, to avoid synchronization issues and race conditions.
  • Use callbacks or promises to handle the results of asynchronous calls.
  • Avoid using global variables or shared resources that could lead to synchronization issues.
  • Handle errors and exceptions properly to avoid program crashes.
  • Use proper resource management techniques to prevent memory leaks and optimize performance.

Following these guidelines can help ensure that your synchronous and asynchronous programming code is efficient, reliable, and easy to maintain. Remember that choosing between synchronous and asynchronous programming depends on the specific requirements of your mobile app and the tasks you need to perform.

When to Use Synchronous Programming

While asynchronous programming is generally more efficient and can improve the user experience, there are still some scenarios where synchronous programming is the better choice. Here are some situations where synchronous programming may be the best option to consider:

  • Simple and Straightforward Tasks: If you have a simple task that doesn’t require a lot of processing power, synchronous programming may be the better choice. This could include tasks like simple calculations or string manipulation.
  • Real-Time Applications: In some cases, real-time applications like games or interactive simulations may require synchronous programming to ensure that the application is responsive and accurate.
  • Tight Control Flow: If your program requires tight control flow, synchronous programming may be the better option because it has fewer race conditions.
  • Debugging: For debugging code, synchronous programming can be easier to understand and debug than asynchronous programming.
  • Single-Threaded Environments: If you are working in a single-threaded environment, synchronous programming may be the only option.

When to Use Asynchronous Programming

Asynchronous programming is typically the superior choice for mobile app development. Here are some examples of when it makes sense to use asynchronous programming over synchronous programming. 

Long-Running Operations: If you have a task that could take a long time to complete, asynchronous programming is usually the better choice. This may include tasks like network requests, file I/O, or database queries.

User Experience: To improve the user experience of your mobile app, asynchronous programming is the better option. Asynchronous programming allows you to keep the app responsive and avoid blocking the main thread or UI.

Resource Management: If you need to manage resources like memory or CPU usage, asynchronous programming can be more efficient and reduce the risk of memory leaks or performance issues.

Scalability: If you need to scale your application to handle a large number of users or requests, asynchronous programming can be more efficient and scalable than synchronous programming.

Background Tasks: If you need to perform tasks in the background while the user is not actively using the app, asynchronous programming is the better choice. This could include tasks like downloading and updating data or sending push notifications.

By understanding the scenarios where synchronous or asynchronous programming may be the best option, you can make the right choice for your mobile app development project.

Which is Better: Synchronous or Asynchronous Programming?

When it comes to choosing between synchronous and asynchronous programming, there’s no right or wrong answer. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on the specific requirements of your project and the tasks you need to perform.

In many cases, asynchronous programming is the better choice for mobile app development. It can significantly improve performance and efficiency while keeping the app responsive and avoiding blocking. It also helps enable features like background tasks or push notifications. Asynchronous programming is particularly useful for tasks that involve I/O operations or network requests, which can take a long time to complete.

But there are still plenty of situations where synchronous programming may be the better choice. For simple and straightforward tasks that don’t require a lot of processing power, synchronous programming can be more efficient and easier to understand and debug. Synchronous programming may also be necessary for single-threaded environments or in real-time applications like games or interactive simulations.

Ultimately, the best approach is to evaluate the specific requirements of your unique situation and choose the method that best meets the requirements of the tasks you need to run. By understanding the differences between synchronous and asynchronous programming and following best practices for each approach, you can build high-performance software that runs smoothly.

Final Thoughts on Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Programming

Synchronous and asynchronous programming are two fundamental programming approaches that every developer should be familiar with. 

Synchronous programming is a traditional approach that executes tasks sequentially. Asynchronous programming allows multiple tasks to be executed concurrently without blocking the main thread or UI.

Generally speaking, asynchronous programming is the better choice for mobile app development. That’s because it can significantly improve performance, keep the app responsive, and enable background tasks and push notifications. However, there are still scenarios where synchronous programming may be more efficient, such as for simple and straightforward tasks that don’t require too much processing power.

The choice between synchronous and asynchronous programming depends on the specific requirements of your project and the tasks you need to perform. 

Whether you’re building a simple mobile app or a complex application, understanding the basics of synchronous and asynchronous programming is essential. Mastering these programming approaches will help you build apps that are efficient, scalable, and responsive—providing a seamless user experience for your customers.

How a Mobile App Can Help Your Business Thrive During a Recession

With recession fears looming, businesses across every industry are looking for ways to stay alive. 

Historically, tough economic times have disproportionately impacted small to mid-sized businesses compared to larger enterprises. In fact, roughly 1.8 million small businesses went out of business within the first two years of the 2008 market crash. 

Yet 44% of small to midsize companies still haven’t taken steps to prepare for upcoming recessions. 

If you’ve landed on this page, then you’re doing something right. Acknowledging the need to prepare is the first step in the right direction. 

Launching a mobile app can help your business not only survive a recession but also thrive during the recession and after it ends. Continue below to find out how.

Why Invest in Mobile During a Recession?

At first glance, the idea of spending money during a rescission may seem counter-productive. Many business owners and decision-makers look to cut costs, reduce spending, and increase cash reserves to prepare for downturns. 

While trimming the fat and being a bit more cautious with your capital is definitely important, it doesn’t mean you should stop spending altogether. 

Investing in a mobile app is a nominal cost when you compare it to the short-term and long-term savings you’ll benefit from. Not to mention the potential for revenue.

When you actually look at the cost of a mobile app, you’ll quickly discover that you can afford it within your budget and still keep plenty of cash in the bank. Depending on the use case, investing $500 or $5,000 per month in a mobile app can generate a positive ROI within the first month of its launch.

These are the top reasons why it’s important to go mobile during a recession:

  • Reduce employment costs
  • Lower training and development expenses
  • Boost employee retention rates
  • Increase productivity and maximize efficiencies
  • Boost customer retention
  • Increase sales and revenue
  • Future-proof your business

We’ll take a closer look at each of these benefits in greater detail below, using real numbers and examples to highlight the importance of going mobile. This might be the most important resource you read all year, as these principles can transform your business for the foreseeable future. 

Mobile Apps Reduce Employment Costs

The costs associated with employee salaries and benefits are rising. In December 2022, wages and salaries were up 5.1% year-over-year, and employee benefit costs were up 4.9%. In simple terms, your employees are getting more expensive. 

Labor is often the most expensive cost for businesses—accounting for as much as 70% of total spending. That’s why layoffs are commonly the first move for a business when recessions strike. 

However, simply cutting payroll costs alone is not an effective strategy and can have disastrous long-term implications for your company. You still need a way to replace an employee’s impact on the business, and that’s where a mobile app comes into the equation. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of an employee’s total compensation is $41.86 per hour or $87,068.80 per year. 

Let’s say you were to invest in a mobile app for $5,000 per month, plus a $7,500 one-time setup fee—for a total of $67,500 in the first 12 months. If that app’s functionality can replace just one employee, you’ve already saved over $19,500+ in the first year.

That’s over $73,000 in savings in 36 months, and that’s just if the app replaces one employee. 

The savings continue to mount if you’re able to replace more than one employee with a single app. Using this same example, you’d save over $106,500+ in the first 12 months and over $334,000+ in 36 months if your mobile app replaced two employees.

Some apps may only require a $500 monthly investment. That’s just $13,500 in the first year when you include the $7,500 one-time setup fee. If you can replace a single employee at this rate, your ROI is $73,500 in 12 months and $235,500 in 36 months. That’s nearly half a million dollars in savings over 36 months if the app replaced two salaries.

Think about the impact an extra $300,000 or $450,000+ of savings could have on your business, especially during a recession. 

Mobile Apps Help Lower Training and Development Expenses

The importance of having well-trained employees is magnified when you’re curing costs and scaling back on labor. It’s also worth noting that training isn’t just for new hires—as 58% of employees need to develop new skills to effectively perform their jobs. 

Failing to properly train your staff can cause serious problems for your business. So this isn’t an area where you can cut corners, especially when it comes to safety and compliance. For example, OSHA penalties can cost you $15,625 or even $156,259 per violation. 

But traditional employee safety and training practices are expensive and outdated. 

Using a mobile app to provide training materials to your staff is not only more affordable, but it’s often more effective. 

First, an app puts all of the training resources into a single source of truth and provides clearly defined learning recommendations. 78% of employees find this to be extremely helpful. 

Mobile learning is super accessible. It’s easy for your staff to find the training materials and put them into practice from anywhere. Your organization can also set up everything directly from the app at a self-guided pace. You can keep track of everyone’s progress on the backend as well. 

  • Training videos
  • Employee safety manuals
  • Quizzes
  • Surveys
  • Employee feedback
  • Slide shows

All of these and more can easily be added to your app. This is helpful for hiring new employees as well as ongoing training for existing employees. 

The average cost of employee training is $1,071 per employee per year. However, larger organizations bring this number down significantly. For example, companies with 10,000+ employees spend an average of $722 per employee, compared to companies with 100-999 employees spending $1,433 per employee. 

SMBs could be spending $1,600 or more annually per employee on training alone. That’s roughly $80,000 per year for businesses with 50 employees.

Starting at roughly $500 per month, you can easily build an app like this. That’s just $6,000 annually compared to $80,000 per year for a 50-employee operation using traditional training methods.

It’s easy to implement these types of features with a BuildFire workforce app

Additional Reading: Find out how BuildFire saved Praxair $480,000 on training costs just in eight months.

Mobile Apps Boost Employee Retention Rates

Keeping employee turnover low during recession periods is crucial. Research suggests that the average cost to replace an employee is 100% to 150% of that person’s salary. For executive-level positions, that number jumps to 213%.

Here’s something else to consider. 57% of employees say they would actively look for a new job if we enter a recession, and 70% of employees believe we’ll be entering a recession within six months. So there’s a good chance that half of your staff is already looking for a new job.

Let’s run through an example using conservative estimates. 

We’ll say you have a small business with 25 employees with an average salary of $80,000. The cost to replace just five members of your staff could range from $400,000 to $600,000 based on the research mentioned above. 

Now compare that to the cost of about $6,000 per month on an employee mobile app. For just over $70,000 per year, you can save around $325,000 to $525,000 or more by avoiding employee churn. 

One of the best ways to improve employee retention is by connecting employees with each other, and a mobile app is the perfect way to facilitate this initiative. According to a recent study from the Harvard Business Review, employees are 12 times as likely to feel connected to colleagues and five times more likely to be on high-performing teams when organizations help them build connections internally. 

With a mobile app, your staff can:

  • Stay connected on company-wide news
  • Get important updates delivered straight to their phones
  • Connect with each other through employee message boards
  • Quickly access employee health and wellness resources
  • Discover new opportunities for growth within your company
  • Access payroll and benefits information
  • Enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives

Providing your staff with a mobile app with a variety of these types of benefits shows that your company is tech-forward and innovative. Investing in your staff during all economic times shows that you care about them, and they’ll be less likely to leave. 

Mobile Apps Increase Productivity and Maximize Efficiencies

Throughout history, recessions have been synonymous with poor productivity and output in the workplace. Check out this graph from Deloitte that shows ten different recessions over a 65-year period:

As you can see, there’s a significant dip in hourly output during each recession, which is highlighted in gray on the chart. 

Fortunately, the graph also suggests that productivity bounces back when recessions end. But if you truly want your business to thrive during poor economic times, you must look for ways to keep productivity high at all times. 

Task automation is one of the best ways to increase both output and productivity. This is something that can easily be accomplished through a workflow app or self-service app. 

For example, try to identify a single mundane or repetitive task in your business that could be replaced with automation. Maybe it’s something like time-off requests, scheduling, approvals, or benefits administration in the HR office. 

These types of inefficiencies build on each other. If an employee is forced to pick up the phone, send an email, or otherwise visit someone in the HR department for one of these requests, it’s time spent away from their actual job—therefore, reducing output. But it’s also taking time away from another employee as they’re forced to field these calls and messages, and then handle all the subsequent correspondence. 

HR mobile apps can eliminate these types of scenarios altogether. Your staff can find what they’re looking for within a few clicks from their mobile device. This allows them to spend more time on their job, and boosts their productivity. 

It also lets your HR team focus on other tasks and may even help you eliminate one or more positions in that department. 

For around $500 to $5,000 per month invested in a mobile app, you can simultaneously increase output and potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars on labor. 

Mobile Apps Boost Customer Retention

Lots of what we’ve discussed so far has been focused internally. But beyond your internal operations and employees, mobile apps are perfect for retaining your customers during a recession. 

It’s no secret that consumers tend to scale back on spending during recessions. That’s why it’s so important to shift your focus to retention during these times. 

First of all, customer retention initiatives are significantly cheaper than acquisition methods. 

You also have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to a current customer, compared to just a 5% to 20% chance of selling to new customers. 

With a mobile app, you can:

  • Create and promote a customer loyalty program
  • Send push notifications to customers to drive engagement
  • Let your customers save billing and shipping information on their accounts
  • Optimize the shopping and checkout experience
  • Facilitate recurring payments for monthly or annual subscriptions
  • Improve your customer service with in-app support
  • Collect feedback with customer surveys
  • Create a community message board for your most loyal customers

Take a look at your upcoming marketing budget. Rather than pouring that money into Facebook Ads or expensive CPC campaigns, you can invest it into a mobile app for your customers. 

The investment will quickly start to pay for itself as your retention rates will stay high—even during a recession. 

Mobile Apps Increase Sales and Revenue

Smartphones have officially become the most popular device for buying things online. Roughly 76% of all US adults use their smartphones for this purpose.

If you don’t have a mobile app, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity in this space. Here’s why.

On average, mobile apps convert at a 157% higher rate than mobile websites

Regardless of the industry, it’s just a significantly better shopping experience when you compare a mobile app to a mobile website. Customers can save their information on file, get a personalized experience, and convert with just a few clicks. Mobile sites give shoppers too many opportunities to abandon the purchase because there are so many extra steps in the flow.

The cost to develop an ecommerce app will easily pay for itself if your conversion rates increase by 150% or higher. 

In addition to direct commerce, you can also utilize your app for other revenue streams, including advertising revenue, subscriptions, and more. This additional cash flow can be really helpful during economic downturns, and it can even supplement the revenue you’re missing from reduced consumer spending. 

Mobile Apps Are Future-Proof For Recessions and Beyond

The most successful organizations look beyond the short term when they’re making important decisions. 

Simply scaling back your spending, pausing hiring, or laying off employees are all short-term recession solutions. They might help your business keep the lights on over the next couple of years, but they won’t help you grow in the long run. In some cases, these types of strategies may even restrict your growth.

But going mobile is a future-proof strategy. Not only will it benefit your business in the short term for all of the reasons described in this guide, but it will continue working for you as the economy recovers. 

The use of mobile technology in our day-to-day lives isn’t going anywhere. This holds true for both internal employee use cases as well as consumer habits. 

So while your competitors are playing catch-up as we come out of a recession, you’ll already be poised for growth and success. All of the benefits of a mobile app during a recession will be multiplied exponentially during the economic recovery stage. 

Final Thoughts

Investing in a mobile app today could save your business during a recession. 

BuildFire can provide you with an out-of-the-box mobile app starting at $500 per month plus a $7,500 one-time setup fee. This is marginal when you weigh this cost against the benefits described in this guide. 

The ROI of your mobile app will pay for itself, potentially within the first month of its launch. 

At BuildFire, we’re more than just a mobile app development solution—we’re a dedicated partner in your success. More than 10,000+ businesses have relied on us for app development, so we know what it takes to have success in this space. 

Don’t let a recession stop your business from thriving. Request a free consultation if you’re ready to get started.

No Code Development Platform – Tips & Best Practices For Success

The demand for no-code development platforms has skyrocketed in recent years. 

These tools enable non-technical users to build mobile apps, websites, and web apps without hiring a developer. This lowers the barrier to entry of app development for business owners and entrepreneurs, and it also allows companies to build apps without relying on internal technical resources.

Not only are no-code development platforms easy to use, but they’re also really affordable. You can use no-code platforms to create an app for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development—making it a no-brainer approach to development for nearly any use case.

With that said, using a no-code development platform doesn’t automatically guarantee success. You still need to have a plan and know how to get the most out of your tool, which is why we created this guide.

Regardless of your use case or need for a no-code app development platform, you can use the proven tips and best practices below to improve your chances of success and a positive experience for your end users. 

Find the Right No Code Development Platform

The first step to successful no-code mobile app development is finding the right platform. 

There are tons of no-code development platforms on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. To find the right platform for your needs, it’s important to understand the type of app you’re trying to build. Some platforms specialize in mobile app development, while others focus on web app development or website development. 

Beyond the type of app you want to build, make sure you consider factors like the platform’s ease of use, feature availability, integrations, and the level of customization you can achieve. You should also assess the costs associated with using each platform and the level of support offered.

One of the key benefits of no-code app development is the ability to create and launch an app quickly and cost-effectively. 

However, this can only be achieved if you choose the right platform. A platform that is too complex or too limited in terms of features and customization may slow down the development process and prevent you from achieving your desired results. On the other hand, a platform that is well-suited to your needs will make the development process much smoother and more efficient.

Success with no code development starts here. So don’t rush through this process. Take the time to research and compare different platforms to find the one that best fits your needs and objectives. Check out our guide on the best app building software to help you identify the right tool for you and your specific needs. 

Utilize Templates For Design

The best no-code platforms offer pre-built templates and design elements that can be customized to meet your specific needs. By using these templates, you can save time and effort on the design process, allowing you to focus on the core functionality of your app.

When using templates, it’s important to choose one that fits the overall look and feel of your app. 

Make sure that the template you choose is mobile-friendly and visually appealing, as this will help improve the user experience and increase user engagement. Consider the available customization options and make sure that you can modify the template to meet your specific design requirements.

It’s also important to remember that templates are not set in stone. You can modify and tweak the templates as much as you need to achieve the desired results. For example, you can change the color scheme, add custom images, and rearrange elements to create a unique and personalized design.

In short, you don’t need to be a design expert or hire a designer to succeed here. Just choose a no-code platform with a wide range of templates for your specific type of app. This will save you a ton of time and money as you’re going through this process, and you can still create a visually-appealing app that’s user-friendly and stands out from the crowd.  

Leverage Pre-Built Functionality

Pre-built functionality is powerful in the no-code app development world. That’s how no-code app builders work

With the right platform, you’ll have access to a range of features that can help streamline the development process and bring your app to life. Whether you need user authentication, data storage, push notifications, or any other functionality, it’s likely that a pre-built solution exists that can be leveraged.

First, consider the available options. Different platforms offer different sets of pre-built features. So make sure to choose the one that offers the functionality you need.

You should also think about relevance, as not all pre-built features are created equal. Focus on the ones that are most relevant to your app and will be the most valuable to your users.

Just because a feature is pre-built doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Most no-code platforms allow for customization and extension of their pre-built features, so don’t be afraid to make changes as needed to better fit your app’s needs.

Here at BuildFire, our app development platform has over 150+ pre-built functions that can be added to your app with a single click. 

Let’s say you wanted to add videos to your mobile app. You could simply add the YouTube or Vimeo plugin. Or maybe you want to extend your ecommerce shop to get more mobile conversions. In this case, you can just install our Shopify plugin to add ecommerce functionality.

Pre-built functionality can be a game changer for your no-code app development process. So take the time to understand what’s available, and choose the right features for your app to succeed.

Define Your App’s Core Features and Objectives

By focusing on the core features and objectives, you can prioritize development and get to market quickly. This is important because it allows you to validate your app idea, test your assumptions, and make data-driven decisions about future development.

Consider the following when defining core objectives:

  • Identify Your Unique Value Proposition: What sets your app apart from others in the market? What problem does it solve or what need does it fulfill?
  • Define Your Target Audience: Who will use your app? What are their pain points and needs? What motivates them to use your app?
  • Prioritize Development: Focus on the core features and objectives that will deliver the most value to your users. These are the features that will define your app and make it successful.

Once you’ve defined your app’s core features and objectives, you can then focus on development and bring your app to market quickly. 

You can always expand the functionality and add additional features as needed down the road.

Always Keep The End User In Mind

As you move through the no-code mobile app development process, you must always keep the end user in mind. From choosing features to designing the interface, everything you do should be focused on providing value to your customers and end-users.

  • Create a user-centered design to ensure the app experience is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Ask users for feedback and make changes based on their suggestions.
  • Conduct user testing to validate your decision decisions and identify any areas for improvement.
  • Make sure the user experience is seamless and consistent throughout your app.
  • Focus on ways to keep your users engaged and coming back to your app. 

You can check out our guides on app testing and how to create user stories. Both of these will be extremely useful as you’re creating an app with no-code development. 

This is critical to the success of your app and the satisfaction of your customers.

Define Your Monetization Strategy

Most people create an app to make money, either directly through sales or indirectly by improving the customer experience. Regardless of your reason, the no-code platform you choose must be able to accommodate your revenue-generation method. 

Some popular app monetization methods include:

  • Paid App: Charge users for downloading and using your app.
  • In-App Purchases: Offer additional features or content for a fee within the app.
  • Advertising: Include advertisements within your app and earn revenue based on impressions or clicks.
  • Subscriptions: Charge users a recurring fee for access to premium features or content.
  • Freemium Model: Offer a free version of your app with limited functionality and charge for premium features.
  • Mobile Commerce: Sell physical or digital products through your app. 

When choosing your monetization strategy, consider your target audience, the value you are providing to your users, and the competition in your app’s marketplace.

It’s important to note that some no-code platforms may not support all monetization strategies. Make sure to choose a platform that can accommodate your chosen method of generating revenue.

Take Advantage of Self-Help Resources

Many platforms offer self-help resources to help you get started with no-code app development and troubleshoot any issues.

Here at BuildFire, we have an extensive knowledge base with tutorials using our no-code app builder. From setting up your app to customizing its design and functionality, our tutorials can help you get the most out of our platform.

Other no-code platforms offer forums where you can connect with other app builders and receive support from the community. That’s fine for some people, but it’s not quite a replacement for dedicated resources directly from the platform provider. It’s also not the most effective way to get support. 

Speaking of support, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to our team for assistance. A good no-code platform should have a dedicated support team that is ready to help you with any questions or issues you may have.

We definitely offer that here at BuildFire, but not every app development platform has the same level of support.

Focus on Your Launch Strategy

You should be thinking about your launch and go-to market-strategy from day one.

With two main mobile app stores—Apple App Store and Google Play Store—it’s important to make sure your platform supports both and makes it easy for you to publish. Your app should be available to as many users as possible, and having it available on both major app stores is a crucial part of that strategy.

At BuildFire, we understand the importance of a smooth and hassle-free launch process. That’s why we offer a one-click publishing process that makes it easy for you to publish your app to both app stores.

Our platform ensures that your app is compliant with the guidelines imposed by each store so that it meets the technical requirements for successful submissions.

Know Your Limitations

While no-code platforms offer a tremendous amount of power and flexibility, there may be times when you run into scenarios where you need help—and the no-code development tool alone just isn’t cutting it.

That’s why it’s so important to use a solution that has both a no-code development platform and services.

With BuildFire, if you need help with a feature or function beyond what you’ve built, you can rely on our in-house developers to handle it for you.

By having access to both a no-code platform and a team of experienced developers, you can be confident that you’ll be able to overcome any limitations and get the app of your dreams.

Knowing your limitations is an important aspect of using a no-code mobile app development platform. So rather than pulling your hair out over something that’s beyond your capabilities, you should consider a platform that offers development services to help you succeed.

Final Thoughts

The key to success in no-code app development starts with choosing the right platform. All the tips and best practices in this guide will be irrelevant if the platform you’re using doesn’t meet your needs.

BuildFire is the best solution for anyone looking to create a high-quality, feature-rich app without having to write a single line of code. With our easy-to-use platform, extensive self-help resources, and in-house development team, you have everything you need to succeed.

That’s why BuildFire has been used to build over 10,000+ mobile apps across every business size and industry. 

So if you’re ready to take your app development to the next level, sign up for your 14-day free trial today to start building the app of your dreams. With BuildFire, the possibilities are endless—and success is yours for the taking.

Software Development Outsourcing: The Ultimate Guide

Software development outsourcing is a common practice for organizations looking to build custom software—including mobile apps. Outsourcing mobile app development can bring a lot of benefits, such as access to specialized expertise and cost savings.

This ultimate guide covers everything from understanding what outsourcing is, to finding the right outsourcing partner and managing an outsourced mobile app development project. 

By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of what outsourcing mobile app development entails and be equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions about whether outsourcing is right for your business.

What is Software Development Outsourcing?

Software development outsourcing refers to the practice of hiring an external company, agency, or contractor to handle the software development process. This arrangement is typically used when a business lacks the internal resources or expertise to develop a custom software solution, such as a mobile app. 

By outsourcing the development process, businesses can access the specialized skills and knowledge they need to bring their software vision to life. This can include everything from conceptualization and design to coding, testing, and deployment. 

Outsourcing mobile app development can bring a variety of benefits, such as access to specialized expertise, cost savings, and increased speed to market. 

It’s worth noting that outsourcing is just one of several options for businesses looking to develop a mobile app. Other options include developing the app in-house or using a no-code/low-code development platform. The best option for your business will depend on your specific needs, goals, and budget.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing

The top benefits of outsourcing mobile app development include:

  • Access to specialized skills and expertise
  • More affordable than in-house development
  • Faster development times
  • Ability to focus on core business activities
  • Flexibility with resource allocation

It’s worth noting that certain outsourcing solutions come with some drawbacks, such as:

  • Reduced control over the development process
  • Potential language or cultural barriers
  • Concerns around data security and intellectual property
  • Challenges in communication and collaboration
  • Risk of project failure

When outsourcing mobile app development, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons to determine whether outsourcing is the right choice for your business. 

To minimize the risks associated with outsourcing, it’s crucial to choose a reputable and experienced outsourcing partner and to establish clear lines of communication and collaboration from day one. This will alleviate any concerns you have with the potential drawbacks listed above. 

When to Consider Outsourcing Software Development

There are several scenarios where outsourcing mobile app development might be a good choice for businesses. For example:

  • Outsourcing can provide access to the necessary skills and knowledge if your business lacks in-house expertise in mobile app development,
  • If your business has a tight deadline and needs to get to market quickly, outsourcing can help speed up the process.
  • Software development outsourcing can offer cost savings compared to developing a mobile app in-house—helping you keep costs low and stay under budget. 
  • If your business is looking to focus on other core business activities, outsourcing the mobile app development process can free up internal resources and allow you to focus on what you do best. 

Outsourcing is not always the best choice for every business. Some businesses may prefer to develop their mobile app in-house in order to retain greater control over the development process or to ensure that the app is developed to their specific requirements. 

When deciding whether to outsource mobile app development, it’s crucial to carefully consider your business goals and resources. By weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing, businesses can make an informed decision about whether outsourcing is the right choice for their needs.

Types of Outsourcing Arrangements

Businesses have multiple options for outsourcing mobile app development, including the following common arrangements:

  • Full-service outsourcing: An external company is responsible for handling all aspects of the mobile app development process, from design to coding, testing, and deployment.
  • Partial outsourcing: A third party just handles specific aspects of the mobile app development process, such as coding or testing.
  • Time-and-materials outsourcing: In this arrangement, an agency is paid based on the number of hours worked or the materials used during the mobile app development process.
  • Fixed-price outsourcing: As the name implies, the outsourced company is paid a fixed fee for delivering a specific set of deliverables or for completing the entire mobile app development process.

When considering outsourcing arrangements, it’s important to choose one that aligns with your business goals, budget, and timeline.

Full-service outsourcing can be a good choice for businesses that lack in-house expertise or resources, while partial outsourcing can be a good choice for businesses that need help with specific aspects of the mobile app development process. Time-and-materials outsourcing can be a good choice for businesses that need flexibility, while fixed-price outsourcing can be a good choice for businesses that need certainty and stability in their budgeting and planning.

By carefully considering their options and choosing a reputable and experienced outsourcing partner, businesses can ensure a successful outcome and achieve their mobile app development goals.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner

Choosing the right outsourcing partner is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome when outsourcing mobile app development. There are several key considerations to take into account when choosing an outsourcing partner, including:

  • Experience and expertise: It’s important to choose an outsourcing partner with a proven track record of developing high-quality mobile apps that meet the specific needs of their clients. Consider the outsourcing partner’s portfolio, case studies, and testimonials to get a sense of their expertise and experience.
  • Communication and collaboration: Good communication and collaboration are key to a successful outsourcing relationship. Choose an outsourcing partner that is responsive, transparent, and easy to work with.
  • Process and methodology: Consider the outsourcing partner’s development process and methodology to ensure that they are a good fit for your specific needs. 
  • Location and culture: Choose an outsourcing partner that is located in a time zone that is convenient for your business and that has a culture that aligns with your business values and goals.

BuildFire’s Approach to Mobile App Development

BuildFire’s approach to mobile app development is focused on delivering value to the client at each step of the way. This approach is characterized by the following elements:

  • Discovery and planning: BuildFire starts by working with the client to understand their specific needs and goals to develop a detailed plan for the mobile app development process.
  • Design and development: BuildFire then uses its expertise and experience to design and develop a high-quality mobile app that meets the client’s needs. This includes the design and deployment of the app.
  • Ongoing support and maintenance: After the mobile app is launched, BuildFire provides ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that the app continues to perform optimally and to meet the changing needs of the client.

By following this approach, BuildFire is able to deliver high-quality mobile apps that meet the specific needs of its clients. The ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that the app continues to perform optimally over time.

BuildFire takes the time to understand your business goals to ensure the app is aligned with the success of your company.

Importance of Conducting Due Diligence to Find the Right Outsourcing Partner

It is critical to conduct thorough due diligence when choosing an outsourcing partner for mobile app development. 

This involves taking the time to research and evaluate potential partners to ensure that they are a good fit for your business and your specific needs. Some key elements of conducting due diligence include:

  • Reviewing the outsourcing partner’s portfolio, case studies, and testimonials to get a sense of their expertise and experience.
  • Speaking with references or past clients to get a first-hand account of their experience working with the outsourcing partner.
  • Asking the outsourcing partner to provide detailed information about their development process and methodology, including how they approach project management, testing, and quality assurance.
  • Requesting a detailed proposal or quote from the outsourcing partner, including the scope of work, timeline, and budget.
  • Negotiating terms and conditions, including payment terms, Intellectual Property (IP) ownership, and ongoing support and maintenance.

With the right due diligence, businesses can increase the chances of a successful outcome when outsourcing mobile app development and can ensure that they choose an outsourcing partner that is a good fit for their specific needs and goals.

Preparing for Outsourced Software Development

A successful outsourcing project starts with effective preparation. There are several key steps businesses can take to prepare for outsourced mobile app development, including:

Define the Project Requirements

Before outsourcing mobile app development, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you want the end product to look like, as well as the specific features and functionality that are required. This includes defining the target audience, identifying key user personas, and outlining the user journey.

Create a Project Plan

A comprehensive project plan is an essential component of any successful outsourcing project. This includes defining the project scope, timeline, budget, and key milestones. Having a project plan in place helps to keep the project on track and enables businesses to identify and address any potential issues or risks before they arise.

Build a Strong Communication Plan

Effective communication is key to a successful outsourcing project. Establish a clear understanding of expectations, including regular check-ins and status updates, to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

Setting Expectations With The Outsourcing Partner

Setting clear and realistic expectations with the outsourcing partner is crucial for the success of the project. Some key considerations include:

  • Defining the project scope and timeline, including the specific features and functionality required and any deadlines or milestones.
  • Establishing communication protocols and processes, including regular check-ins, status updates, and reporting mechanisms.
  • Discussing and agreeing on the payment terms, including the budget, payment schedule, and any penalties for delays or changes to the scope of work.
  • Establishing the Intellectual Property (IP) ownership, including who will own the code and any other outputs of the project and how this will be managed.
  • Agreeing on the ongoing support and maintenance requirements, including any warranties, bug fixes, and other post-deployment services.

By setting clear expectations with the outsourcing partner, businesses can reduce the risk of misunderstandings, delays, or other issues, and increase the chances of a successful outcome. 

When you’re ready to start your mobile app development project, consider partnering with BuildFire. As a leader in outsourced app development, we’ll bring your vision to life.

Importance of Good Project Management

Good project management is a critical factor in ensuring the success of any outsourced mobile app development project. Here’s why:

  • Improved Visibility and Control — Good project management provides businesses with improved visibility into the progress of the project, including the status of key tasks, deadlines, and milestones. This allows businesses to make informed decisions and take corrective action if necessary to keep the project on track.
  • Increased Efficiency and Productivity — By using effective project management processes and tools, businesses can streamline workflows and reduce the risk of duplication or waste. This helps to increase efficiency and productivity and reduces the project’s overall time and cost.
  • Better Communication and Collaboration — Good project management helps to facilitate better communication and collaboration between all stakeholders, including the outsourcing partner, internal teams, and any external stakeholders. This helps to ensure that everyone is aligned on the project goals and objectives. It also helps resolve any issues or conflicts in a timely and effective manner.

By taking a proactive approach to project management, businesses can increase their chances of a successful outcome in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Best Practices for Managing an Outsourced Software Development Project

Use the following guidelines as a checklist as you’re preparing and going through your next outsourced development project:

  • Clearly define project scope and timeline, including specific features, deadlines, and milestones, to ensure that everyone is aligned on what needs to be achieved.
  • Establish regular check-ins, status updates, and reporting mechanisms to ensure that everyone is informed of the project’s progress.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities to ensure everyone involved in the project knows their role and what they are responsible for.
  • Use project management tools to streamline workflows and improve visibility into the project’s progress.
  • Set realistic expectations for the project scope, timeline, and budget, to reduce the risk of misunderstandings or disappointment.
  • Foster a culture of transparency where everyone involved in the project feels comfortable sharing information, ideas, and concerns.
  • Continuously evaluate and adjust the project plan as needed to ensure that the project stays on track and delivers the desired outcomes.
  • Celebrate successes along the way, and use failures as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future.

These best practices can help businesses increase their chances of success when outsourcing their mobile app development project—achieving desired outcomes in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Final Thoughts

Software development outsourcing is an affordable way to bring your mobile app vision to life. But it’s important to be well-informed and prepared. 

Understanding the different outsourcing models and conducting thorough due diligence on potential partners are crucial steps in the process. Good project management and communication practices can also help ensure a successful outcome.

If it sounds like software development outsourcing is right for you, consider partnering with BuildFire. With years of experience in the industry and a team of experts, BuildFire is well-equipped to bring your vision to life. 

Contact us today to see how an app from BuildFire will align with your business goals. 

Free App Builder – Pros and Cons (2024)

When it comes to building an app, one of the biggest decisions entrepreneurs and small business owners face is whether to use a paid app development service or a free app builder. 

With the rise of free app builders in recent years, more and more people are opting for the latter option. But what are the pros and cons of using a free app builder? Is a free app builder right for you?

Here’s the short answer—free app builders can be a great option for personal projects or hobby apps. But for business use, a paid app builder might be a better choice.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of using a free app builder and provide tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. The purpose of this post is to help you make an informed decision about whether a free app builder is the right choice for your app development project.

The Pros of Using a Free App Builder

These are the four main advantages of using a free app builder over paid alternatives: 

  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Ease of Use
  • Customization Options
  • No Commitment

Cost Effectiveness

One of the biggest advantages of using a free app builder is its cost-effectiveness. With a free app builder, there is no need to pay for app development. 

This can be especially beneficial for small businesses, startups, and individual entrepreneurs who may not have the budget for a paid app development service. With a free app builder, you can create a functional app without incurring any upfront costs.

However, it’s important to note that while using a free app builder may save you money on upfront development costs, it may not be completely free. Many free app builders offer a limited set of features for free but charge for additional functionality or for the removal of ads. 

You must understand the pricing structure of the app builder you choose and budget for any additional costs that may be incurred.

It’s also important to consider the long-term costs associated with using a free app builder. 

While it may be cost-effective in the short term, you may end up spending more in the long run if the app builder doesn’t have the scalability options you need or if you need to hire a developer to add features that the free app builder doesn’t offer. Always

Weigh the short-term savings against the long-term costs when considering a free app builder.

Ease of Use

Many free app builders are designed to be user-friendly and do not require coding knowledge—making them accessible to a wide range of users. This can be especially helpful for those who have limited technical skills but still want to create an app. 

Free app builders allow you to create an app by simply dragging and dropping elements or by using pre-designed templates without the need for any programming knowledge. 

This can save a lot of time and effort for those who are not familiar with coding and allow them to focus on the design and functionality of the app.

Additionally, free app builders often come with a wide range of tutorials and resources that can help users navigate the platform and create the app they want. Many of the popular free app builders have a large community and forum where you can find answers to your questions and learn tips and tricks from more experienced users. This can make it even easier to create an app, even if you’re not an expert.

While it’s true that some free app builders may have limited support and resources, it’s important to note that many offer a range of support options, such as FAQs, user guides, and video tutorials, that can help users troubleshoot any issues they may encounter. 

One example of a free app builder that boasts ease of use is BuildFire. BuildFire’s platform is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. 

In addition to its simplicity, the platform also has a support team that’s available to assist users with any questions or issues they may have. BuildFire’s ease of use, along with its range of features and customization options, makes it a great option for those looking to create a functional and professional-looking app.

Customization Options

Most free app builders allow users to create an app that is unique and tailored to their specific needs. This includes options such as different color schemes, layouts, and design elements, as well as the ability to add custom functionality and features. 

With these customization options, users can create an app that is truly unique and stands out from the competition.

For example, BuildFire lets users choose from a variety of pre-designed templates or create their own layout using the platform’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Additionally, BuildFire allows users to add custom functionality and features to their app with a single click. 

Just choose from one of the 150+ pre-built functions from the BuildFire marketplace.

It’s important to note that while many free app builders offer customization options, the degree of customization may vary from one platform to another. 

Some free app builders may have more limited options than others, so it’s important to do your research and find the app builder that best suits your needs. However, as long as you’re willing to put in some time and effort, it’s possible to create a professional-looking and fully-featured app with a free app builder.

No Commitment

Another significant advantage of using a free app builder is that it allows you to create an app without any long-term commitment. With a free app builder, you can create an app and test it out before deciding whether or not to invest in it further. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that are just starting out or are not sure if an app is the right move for them.

You can experiment with different designs, features, and functionalities without incurring any costs. This can be a great way to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t before committing to a more expensive app development process. This flexibility allows you to make informed decisions about the direction of your app and whether or not it’s worth investing more resources into.

A free app builder can be a great way to prototype your app idea or get started with a minimum viable product. You can create a basic version of your app and test it out with a small group of users to see how it performs and gather feedback. This can help you identify any issues or areas for improvement.

Overall, the no-commitment aspect of free app builders is a great opportunity for businesses and individuals to test the waters and see if an app is the right fit for them before making any big decisions. 

The Cons of Using a Free App Builder

While there are plenty of perks to using a free app builder, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited Features and Functionality
  • Limited Scalability
  • Limited Customer Support
  • Limited Design Options

Limited Features and Functionality

It’s common for free app builders to have a more limited range of features and functionalities compared to paid app builders. This can ultimately limit the overall capabilities of your app.

For example, free app builders may not offer advanced features such as e-commerce functionality, social media integration, or the ability to send push notifications. 

These features can be essential for businesses looking to create a fully-featured and functional app. Additionally, free app builders may not offer the same level of support and resources as paid app builders, which can make it more difficult to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Another issue with free app builders is that they often come with limitations on the number of users or downloads that can be supported. This can be problematic for businesses looking to create an app that will be used by a large number of users. You may also encounter limitations on the amount of data that can be stored or the number of pages that can be created.

So while free app builders can be a great option for small-scale projects or personal use, they may not be the best choice for businesses looking to create a fully-featured and functional app. The limited features and functionality of free app builders can be a significant drawback, and it’s important to consider this before deciding to use a free app builder for your app development needs.

Limited Scalability

While free app builders may be suitable for small-scale projects or personal use, they may not be able to handle the demands of a growing business or a large user base.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to generate tens of thousands or millions of downloads using a free app builder. This can be a problem for businesses looking to expand their user base or for apps that require a significant amount of data storage. 

You’ll likely need to upgrade to a higher tier for more data.

Free app builders may not be able to handle the increased traffic and usage that comes with a growing user base, which can lead to poor app performance and user dissatisfaction.

As a business grows, it may require new features and functionalities that are not available on a free app builder. This can make it difficult to keep up with the demands and may require the business to invest in a more expensive app development process.

Limited Customer Support

Some free app builders do offer a certain level of customer support. But it’s often more limited compared to paid app builders. 

With that said, the level of customer support offered by different free app builders can vary greatly, so it’s important to research the support options available before deciding to use a specific app builder.

For example, some free app builders may only offer basic customer support, such as a FAQ page or a community forum. While these resources can be helpful, they may not be able to provide the same level of support as a dedicated customer service team.

For example, if you upgrade your service with BuildFire, you can connect with a dedicated account manager for app strategy sessions. This type of service won’t be available with a free app builder.

You may not find the same level of support for customizations and integrations. For businesses looking to create a fully-featured and functional app, it is essential to have access to support for customizations and integrations. Without this, it can be more difficult to make the necessary changes to the app to keep up with the demands of a growing business.

This can be a significant drawback, especially for businesses looking to create an app for real users.

Limited Design Options

When it comes to creating an app, the design is just as important as the functionality. However, with a free app builder, the design options available can be quite limited. 

The templates and customization options offered by free app builders tend to be more basic compared to paid app builders. As a result, it can be more challenging to create an app that stands out and looks professional.

Additionally, the design elements offered by free app builders may not be as flexible as those offered by paid app builders. For example, some free app builders may only offer a limited number of color schemes or font options. This can make it difficult to create an app that aligns with a specific brand or style.

A lot of free app builders don’t offer advanced design features such as animations, interactive elements, and other design elements that can make your app more engaging and enjoyable to use. This can be a significant drawback, especially for businesses looking to create an app that stands out in the crowded mobile market.

Choosing the Right Free App Builder

Choosing the right free app builder is crucial for creating a successful app. There are many free app builders available on the market, each with its own unique set of features and limitations. It can be overwhelming to choose the right one, especially for those who are new to app building.

One free app builder that stands out from the rest is BuildFire. BuildFire is a powerful and user-friendly app builder that offers a wide range of features and customization options. 

With BuildFire, you can create an app that looks professional and functions seamlessly. The best part is that you can try BuildFire for free for 14 days, allowing you to test its features and see if it’s the right fit for your app.

One of the major advantages of BuildFire is its cost-effectiveness—you can create an app without breaking the bank. 

BuildFire has affordable plans that are suitable for businesses of all budgets. Even though you can use the app builder for free, to have a live app with real users, you will have to pay. But the plans are still affordable.

Another advantage of BuildFire is its ease of use. The app builder is designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to create an app, regardless of their technical skills. BuildFire also offers excellent customer support, which is another plus.

Final Thoughts

Using a free app builder can be a great option for many app creators, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. 

The cost-effectiveness of using a free app builder can be a major advantage, as it allows app creators to create an app without breaking the bank. Additionally, most free app builders are user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to create an app, regardless of their technical skills.

But there are also limitations to using a free app builder. Limited functionality, limited scalability, and limited design options are some of the cons that app creators should consider. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the app creator to decide whether a free app builder is the right choice for their app. By considering the pros and cons and taking the time to choose the right app builder, app creators can be sure that they’re making the best decision for their app.

How to Make Your Own App in 2024

The growth of mobile technology has made it easier than ever for anyone to make their own app. Developing your own app can be a great way to make money, build a portfolio, or simply create something you’re passionate about.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the process involved in creating your own app in 2024—from start to finish. We’ll discuss everything from the initial idea and planning to designs and submissions for approval. With this step-by-step guide, you can make your own app with confidence and make a real impact in the mobile space. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Making an App in 2024 

Making your own app offers a number of unique advantages. With the latest tools and technologies, building an app is easier than ever before. 

This means you can make your own apps with minimal effort and cost. Additionally, there’s a large market for mobile applications, so developing an app can be a great way to make money for your existing business or new venture.

Flexibility 

Modern app development is highly flexible. You have the ability to make the app as simple or complex as you like and add features or make tweaks to make it more functional. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about coding from scratch—there are plenty of tools and services available that make building an app easy for non-technical users. If you do need help with any aspect of the development process, there are professionals available who can provide assistance when needed.

Low Investment

For those who are just starting out, the cost of making an app in 2024 is relatively low. 

You don’t need to make any large investments, as most of the tools you need are available for a reasonable price. Just make sure you steer clear of free app development tools. While these might sound appealing, they’re extremely limited and not viable for anyone who wants to make an app for real users. They’re fine if you’re just creating an app for fun or as a hobby, but for business use, you’ll need a premium solution. 

Note: Use our app cost calculator to see how much money you’ll save by building an app on your own.

Tools for App Creation 

When it comes to making your own app, there is a wide selection of tools available. 

Popular development tools such as Xcode and Android Studio make the coding experience much more enjoyable than years ago. With that said, these tools are designed specifically for developers. If you don’t know how to write code, these won’t work for you. 

Fortunately, you can use no-code platforms like BuildFire to make your own app. These types of solutions use plug-and-play functionality on a drag-and-drop interface to fully customize the look, feel, and use of your app. 

Virtually anyone can create their own app using this method without writing a single line of code.

Access to Large Markets 

Once you’ve created your app, you can make it available to real users across the globe. 

There are millions of users worldwide browsing for apps and downloading apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For existing businesses, you can use this to expand your reach while simultaneously appeasing your existing customer base.

Reasons You Should Make Your Own App

If you’re on the fence about making your own app this year, here are some of the top reasons that you should take into consideration:

  • Increased Visibility: Creating your own app gives you a chance to boost your visibility among customers and potential clients. By having an app, people will be able to access your services or products more quickly and conveniently. 
  • Establish Your Brand: An app provides you with a platform to showcase what makes you unique and stands out from the competition. You can customize your app with features and content that reflect your brand’s mission and values. 
  • Develop a Loyal User Base: Your app gives you the opportunity to create an ongoing relationship with users and build loyalty among them. By offering exclusive deals, discounts, or other benefits through the app only available to users, you can reward customers and foster a sense of community. 
  • Reach More Customers: Developing an app can help you reach a larger number of customers than you would if you relied on traditional methods such as television commercials or print ads. It also allows you to target specific demographics to make your efforts more effective. 
  • Create Unique Experiences: Apps allow you to offer a unique experience that customers can’t get anywhere else. You can create interactive content, participate in virtual events, or even design an app-exclusive mini-game—anything to keep your customers engaged and entertained while they use your service. 
  • Monetize Your App: If you design the right kind of app or utilize mobile ads, you can monetize your app and generate income. This makes investing in an app a much more attractive proposition for businesses who want to make money as well as grow their brand.

Creating your own app can be a great way to establish your brand and build a loyal customer base. With an app, you can reach more customers than ever before and create unique experiences that keep them coming back. Additionally, apps can be monetized to generate income. Investing in an app now could be the best decision you make for your business.

The Basics of Making an App

Before you dive into the build, it’s important that you have a firm grasp of what this process will look like at a higher level.

Step 1 – Identify a Problem and Create a Solution 

The first thing you need to do is identify what problem your app will solve and how it will benefit users. You should also consider whether or not there are similar apps already available on the market that could offer a better solution.

Step 2 – Identify Your Audience

Before you start designing your app, identify who your target audience is and what features they want. Knowing this information will help you make decisions about the type of design and functionality that will be most attractive to them. 

Step 3 – Choose Your Development Platform

Deciding how you want to make your app depends largely on your existing technical skills. Rather than learning how to code, you can simply use a no-code app builder and do everything on your own. 

Make sure your development supports the operating system or systems you want to launch on. The two main options for mobile apps are iOS (Apple) and Android (Google). Depending on your target audience, you may want to focus on one or both of these. 

Step 4 – Develop Your Design and Start Building

Once you know who your target audience is and what platform they use, it’s time to start designing the look and feel of your app. Consider any additional features that might be useful for users as well. 

Don’t worry about building all of your features at once. Focus on the features that our app needs for its primary purpose. This concept will help you get to market quicker, and you can always add new features down the road. 

Step 6 – Test and Launch

Before launching your app, test it on different devices to make sure it works properly. Once you’ve ironed out any issues, you can submit your app to the App Store or Google Play Store for approval.

What Platforms to Use for Creating an App 

When it comes to creating an app, there are a few different options available. You can use coding languages like JavaScript and HTML/CSS, or you can make use of platforms such as React Native or Flutter.

With that said, the easiest way to make an app on your own is by using a no-code app builder. 

No-code app builders are excellent alternatives for those who don’t have the coding knowledge to create their own apps. This type of platform allows you to quickly and easily create an app using drag-and-drop tools, customizable templates, and other features. Additionally, many no-code app builders allow you to monetize your app and generate income.

BuildFire: The Best Way to Make Your Own App

BuildFire is an app development platform that enables businesses to quickly and easily create their own custom mobile apps. The platform provides a comprehensive set of tools, allowing users to design, develop, and deploy their very own mobile applications faster than traditional development. 

The software offers a variety of options for creating an app. This allows users to create an app that meets their specific needs and accommodates their user base.

BuildFire also provides a host of features ranging from push notifications to third-party integrations and more. These make it easier for companies to manage engagement with their customer base. You can use the platform to create an in-app shopping experience, allowing for both digital and physical goods to be purchased. This facilitates a wide range of customization opportunities, from selling products directly from within the app itself to providing membership services or loyalty programs.

In addition to the simplicity of the build, you’ll also have access to a powerful analytics suite to help track user engagement and overall usage of the app. This data can be used to inform product and feature development, as well as provide feedback on how your target audience is using the app. It also helps businesses identify areas for improvement and focus their efforts accordingly for maximum returns.

Overall, BuildFire makes it easy for companies to create their own custom mobile apps, providing a variety of features and customization options. The platform’s analytics suite helps businesses track user engagement and identify areas for improvement, enabling them to create a better overall experience for their users. With BuildFire, companies can quickly and easily create an app that meets the specific needs of their customer base.

Design Considerations to Take Into Account During Development 

Design is an integral part of any development process. Here are some important design considerations that should be taken into account when developing any mobile app or piece of software in 2024:

  • Usability: Is the app easy to use? Does it require a steep learning curve? Are the controls intuitive? Are the menus easy to navigate? 
  • User Experience: How do the app and interface affect the overall user experience? Is it a pleasant and rewarding experience, or is it cluttered and cumbersome?  
  • Design Aesthetics: Does the design of your app have an aesthetic appeal that will draw users in? Or is it messy and unattractive? 
  • Device Compatibility: Is the product compatible with all different types of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets for iOS and Android? 
  • Accessibility: Is the product easily accessible to all users, including those with disabilities or impairments? 
  • Security: How secure is the app from data breaches and other malicious attacks? 
  • Branding: Does the app reflect the brand in a positive way? Are there any elements that could be improved to better represent the company’s ideals? 

By taking the time to consider each of these design considerations, you can ensure that your mobile app is well-designed and accessible to all types of users. This will help you make an app that benefits everyone involved.

Final Thoughts on Making Your Own App

Creating an app doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the right tools and resources, anyone can create their own app with minimal effort. Whether you choose to use code or a no-code app builder, you can create an app that will help your business reach more customers and generate income.

Making your own app in 2024 can be a great way to make money, build a portfolio of accomplishments, or simply make something you’re passionate about. With this guide, you should now have the knowledge necessary to make an impact in the mobile space. So dive into the process and make your dreams come true! Good luck!

Developing Phone Apps vs. Tablet Apps: What’s the Difference?

In today’s digital age, it’s hard to imagine life without our smartphones and tablets. These devices have become an integral part of our daily routine—allowing us to stay connected, communicate with others, and access information on the go.

As a result, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are turning to mobile app development as a way to reach and engage with their customers. But when it comes to developing apps, there’s a crucial decision to be made—should you focus on developing phone apps or tablet apps?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between developing phone apps and tablet apps and help you determine which option is the best fit for your business. We’ll also introduce BuildFire, a leading platform for building and managing mobile apps, and show you how it can streamline the app development process for your business.

Differences Between Phone Apps and Tablet Apps

First, let’s start with the key differences between phone apps and tablet apps. 

Display size and screen resolution

The most obvious difference is the size of their display screens. 

Phones typically have a smaller display than tablets, often measuring between 4 to 6 inches on the diagonal compared to 7 inches or larger displays on tablets. This means that elements such as buttons, text, and images will appear larger on tablets than they would on phones. Some of those elements may need to be rearranged to fit the larger screen space.

The resolution of phone and tablet displays also differs greatly. 

Phones generally have a higher pixel density than tablets, meaning that images and text will appear sharper on phones than they would on tablets. This can make it difficult to design an app that looks great on both types of displays without sacrificing usability.

User interface and navigation

Another key difference between phone and tablet apps is the user interface and navigation. 

On phones, it’s generally accepted that users should be able to reach all of the app’s features within one or two taps, as these devices are designed for quick access to information. 

Tablets, on the other hand, are designed with a focus on larger screens and more detailed information. This means that features may be spread out across multiple screens or displayed in a sidebar, allowing for a richer user experience.

Hardware capabilities and performance

The hardware capabilities of phones and tablets can also vary greatly, as phones generally have less powerful processors than tablets. 

This can affect how quickly an app is able to perform tasks, as well as the types of features that can be included in an app. 

For example, a phone may not have enough processing power to support certain features such as augmented reality or advanced graphics.

Development considerations and cost

It’s also important to consider the cost associated with developing apps for phones and tablets. As phones generally require more coding and optimization than tablets, the cost of developing phone apps might be higher. 

Additionally, since phones have a wider range of screen sizes and resolutions, developers may need to create separate versions of an app for specific devices in order to ensure its usability.

Fortunately, with the right platform, app development can be streamlined and made more efficient. BuildFire is a leading platform for building and managing mobile apps that allows developers to create high-quality apps for both phones and tablets quickly and cost-effectively. With its powerful tools, developers can build engaging experiences on any device without sacrificing performance or user experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Phone Apps

Phone apps offer a wide range of advantages compared to other types of software. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the convenience and portability of phones, as they can be used almost anywhere and anytime. 

This makes them ideal for those who are always on the go or need access to information quickly. Additionally, there’s a larger market for phone apps, making them a great tool for reaching potential customers.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider when developing phone apps. The most significant limitation is the small screen size, which can make it difficult to design an app with a rich user experience and display all of the features that users may expect from larger devices. 

Furthermore, phones tend to have limited hardware capabilities compared to tablets and computers, which may limit the types of features that can be included in an app. Due to the wide range of phone models available, developers may need to create separate versions of an app for specific devices in order to ensure its usability.

Pros

  • Convenience
  • Portability
  • Larger market share

Cons

  • Smaller screen size
  • Limited hardware capabilities

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tablet Apps

One major benefit of tablet apps is the larger screen size. This allows developers to create more immersive and interactive user experiences. 

Tablets often have superior hardware capabilities compared to phones—meaning they can support more complex features and functionality in an app.

With that said, there are some drawbacks to consider when developing tablet apps. Perhaps the most significant limitation is the smaller market for apps, as tablets are not as popular as phones. 

More than 83% of the global population has a smartphone. 

But just 2.4% of people own tablets globally. Furthermore, the global market share of tablets dropped by 50% worldwide between 2017 and 2022. 

This means that there are fewer potential customers for a tablet app, it can take longer to gain traction in the app store. 

Additionally, due to their larger screen size and increased hardware capabilities, developing a tablet app can often be more expensive and time-consuming than developing a phone app.

Pros

  • Larger screen size
  • Ability to support complex features
  • Better user experience

Cons

  • Not portable
  • Small tablet market share

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Phone Apps and Tablet Apps

When deciding between developing phone apps and tablet apps, there are a few key factors to consider. 

Target audience and usage habits

First, it is important to understand the target audience and their usage habits when determining which platform is best suited for the desired user experience. 

For example, if most users will be accessing the app on their phones while they are on the go, then a phone app may be the best option. But a recent survey suggests that 86% of tablet owners use their devices when they’re at home.

So if you’re targeting people who are more likely to consume content at home, then developing a tablet app may make sense.

Business goals and desired user experience

It is also important to consider goals and desired user experience when making this decision. 

Each platform has its own design considerations that should be taken into account to ensure that the user experience is tailored for specific devices. 

For example, a tablet app may require more features and functionality due to its larger screen size, while a phone app may need to focus on usability and speed.

Available resources and budget

You must also consider the available resources and budget when deciding between developing phone apps and tablet apps. 

Developing an app for a new platform can be costly and time-consuming, and it is important to ensure that the necessary resources are available before starting the project. Additionally, developing a tablet app may require additional hardware capabilities and design considerations that could increase development costs. 

Using BuildFire For Developing Phone Apps and Tablet Apps

BuildFire makes it possible for you to develop a phone app and a tablet app at the same time—helping to keep your costs low and launch faster on both platforms. 

This is the best way to save time, reduce costs, and ensure a high-quality experience across all devices. The platform offers an array of features that simplify the development process and provide developers with powerful customization options. 

One of the key benefits of using BuildFire is its simplified app development process. BuildFire is an all-in-one platform that offers a variety of tools and services to help anyone create powerful mobile apps quickly and easily. 

With intuitive drag-and-drop features, automated version management, and comprehensive analytics tools, developing apps with BuildFire is simple and straightforward.

BuildFire also provides complete customization options to help businesses create tailored experiences for each device. 

With specific design considerations for both phone apps and tablet apps, you can rest easy knowing that your app is optimized for all users—regardless of the device they are using. 

BuildFire also offers powerful analytics tools to track user engagement and make informed decisions about how to best optimize the app experience for maximum impact. This is a surefire way to maximize user engagement and make the most of your investment. 

You don’t have to choose between developing phone apps or tablet apps. With BuildFire, you’ll get both from a single build. 

Final Thoughts

Developing phone apps and tablet apps can be a great way to reach a wider audience and maximize engagement. With the right platform and development approach, developers can create high-quality experiences quickly and cost-effectively that are tailored for different devices.

BuildFire is an excellent choice for developers looking to create powerful mobile apps with minimal effort. With its simplified development process, comprehensive analytics tools, and powerful customization options, BuildFire provides an all-in-one platform for developing phone apps and tablet apps that is sure to maximize user engagement. With BuildFire, you can ensure that your app is ready to launch in no time, and each app is tailored for its respective platform. 

Thanks for reading! I hope this article has helped you learn more about the differences between developing phone apps and tablet apps. 

How to Create a Real Estate Agent App

Real estate apps are an essential part of the home-buying process. In fact, research from the National Association of Realtors indicates that 76% of buyers found a property from their mobile device. 

As a real estate professional, you need to recognize this trend and adapt accordingly. The best real estate apps not only help people find homes but also help connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents. 

If you’re ready to take your real estate career to the next level, this guide is for you. You’ll learn more about the benefits of real estate apps and key features for success, in addition to the step-by-step instructions for creating a real estate app. 

Why Real Estate Agents Need Mobile Apps

Having a website alone is no longer enough to market yourself to buyers and sellers. It’s also not sufficient for showcasing homes for sale and for rent. 

73% of people prefer using apps to search for homes, as it’s the easiest and most convenient way to browse from a mobile device. 

This is an excellent opportunity for you to stand out from your competitors. 75% of home buyers go with the first real estate agent that they interview. So if you can connect with a buyer through an app, there’s a good chance you’ll secure them as a client. 

Additionally, you need to look at the trends of who’s buying houses today. According to Bankrate, 43% of homebuyers are Millennials—representing the highest share of all generations. 

Millennials and younger generations are always looking for the best apps to solve their problems and make their lives easier. They use apps for banking, food delivery, and nearly every other aspect of their life. You can’t expect them to break that trend when it comes to something as important as buying a home. 

Mobile apps are faster than mobile websites and provide a better overall experience for the user. They can also utilize device-specific features, such as push notifications for communication, that otherwise wouldn’t be possible from a website. 

6 Steps to Make a Real Estate App

Creating a real estate app might sound intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, the entire process can be simplified into just six simple steps.

Step #1: Validate the “Why” For Real Estate Business

Before you get ahead of yourself, you need to identify your app’s main purpose. Make sure you’re developing your app for the right reasons, as opposed to creating an app just for the sake of having one.

Without a clear reason for development, your app won’t have any direction or purpose. This lack of direction will be clear in your final product and won’t actually accommodate the needs of your audience. 

You can turn to some of the best real estate apps as a resource as you’re coming up with ideas. Look at the Zillow Premier Agent app if you want CRM features, or look to apps like Trulia for listings management. 

Examples might include better marketing, improved communication, or more control of your listings. Some of you might create a real estate app specifically to improve the way you manage client relationships.

While your final product might end up with lots of different features, the first version of your app should be released with your primary purpose as the focal point. Additional features can always be added down the road. 

Step #2: Identify Your Budget and Desired Launch Timeline

How much does it cost to create a real estate app? Depending on your development method and desired features, it can range anywhere from $10,000 or $20,000 to upwards of $250,000 or more. 

For those of you planning to hire developers, the location of your development team will also impact your cost. 

With that said, most of you can develop a great app without having to break the bank.

For example, using an app maker to create a real estate app is going to be the most cost-effective method for most of you. With platforms like BuildFire, you can create a real estate app on your own without any coding knowledge or technical expertise. You’ll also be backed by the team of development experts at BuildFire, who have facilitated the development of more than 10,000+ apps. 

This will also help you get your app to market faster than traditional development—ideal for those of you who want to launch your real estate apps in a few weeks or months, as opposed to six months or upwards of a year. 

If you want every feature under the sun, it’s going to add to your total cost of development. For example, if you’re looking for an augmented reality feature with virtual tours and complex integrations that need to be coded from scratch, it will be expensive. 

But if you just want to use a YouTube plugin to add video walkthroughs of properties to the app, it will be much more cost-effective. 

For real estate agents that want to create an app that’s affordable but still provides value, app builders like BuildFire can be used as a subscription for just a few hundred dollars per month.

Step #3: Choose Your Real Estate App Development Method

Now you need to determine how you’re going to create a real estate app. Your responses in step #2 can help you decide. But generally speaking, there are three options to consider:

  • Use a DIY app maker to create a real estate app on your own
  • Outsource the project to an app development company
  • Hire developers to build it for you

Technically, you could also learn how to code and create the app yourself that way. But this method isn’t really practical or necessary for real estate professionals. You’re much better off relying on DIY software, as it’s the most cost-effective option and fastest path to launch.

Choosing your app development method is something that we’ve covered extensively here at BuildFire over the years. So if you’re unsure which option is right for you, refer to these resources for more information:

Step #4: Select Your Real Estate App Features

Next, you need to determine which features to include in your app. It’s important to keep things simple in the early stages and only focus on the features you need for your app to function the way it’s supposed to.

Refer back to what we discussed in the first step. What’s your primary focus for creating a real estate app? Narrow your efforts to that reason, and ask yourself which features you need to make that happen.

You can look at some of the top real estate apps on the market for inspiration if you’re unsure what to include. But again, simplicity is key in the early stages.

It’s easy to get lost during the development process and add new features you think of. But this creates delays in your timeline and often adds to your expenses. 

You can always add more features months or years down the road. Later on, we’ll cover more features that are typically included in the best real estate apps.

Step #5: Design and Build Your Real Estate App

Now you’re ready to start building the app. With your timeline, budget, and features already accounted for, this process will be much easier than if you started development without a clear plan.

The exact steps here will look different for everyone, and the development you selected will have a big impact on what needs to happen.

But regardless of your method, it’s in your best interest to break down the project into simple and attainable steps. You can use basic project management software to keep track of what needs to happen and ensure you’re meeting deadlines that align with your timeline. 

If you’re using an app maker like BuildFire to create your app, this process will be extremely easy.

To get started, BuildFire will ask you what type of app you want to create. Just select the real estate industry option to continue.

Based on your response to this question, you’ll be presented with different template options that are specifically designed for real estate apps.

These templates are the perfect starting point, as you won’t be working from a blank slate.

From here, it’s just a matter of customizing the content to align with your brand and goals. Adding features is easy too. You can just install plugins with a single click from BuildFire’s marketplace of 150+ features.

If you want something unique that can’t be found on the feature marketplace, that’s not a problem. Just reach out to the BuildFire team for help, and we’ll create that feature for you. This is not a service that you’ll find from other app makers on the market, which is one of the many reasons why BuildFire truly stands out from the crowd in the app development space. 

Step #6: Market and Launch Your Real Estate Agent App

As a successful real estate agent, you know the importance of effective marketing. You could have one of the best apps on the planet, but it’s useless if nobody knows about it.

You can even start promoting your app prior to launch, so people will be ready for it when it’s finally released. 

Make sure to leverage all of your marketing channels to drive downloads. Share the app on social media, promote it on your blog, blast it out to your email subscribers, and add a download link to your website. 

If you’re using BuildFire to create your app, you won’t have to worry about getting your app live on the app stores. 

You can let us know your app is done with a single click, and our team will get it live for you on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

Key Features Every Real Estate App Needs to Have

Below we’ll take a look at some features to consider for your real estate app. These are inspired by the best apps in the real estate industry.

User Onboarding

There should always be a free version of your app that you don’t need to register or sign up for. But the best apps also have some form of user registration. 

This allows you to collect more information about your app users that can ultimately improve their experience. You can also use the onboarding details to help with customer relationship management.

Rather than forcing people to provide all of their information to sign up, you can integrate with social media apps to facilitate the onboarding process. Then users can create an account with a single click, simply by logging in with an existing social account. 

Registering an account gives users more flexibility and personalization with what they see within the app. They can also “favorite” or “like” homes that they want to view later or keep an eye on.

Real Estate Listings

Obviously, your app needs to highlight properties that are for sale and for rent. Rather than adding this information manually, you can set up an integration through multiple listing services.

This will automatically bring the details of each property into your app, simplifying the backend management for you and your team. 

Listing should include photos, videos, price history, tax information, property type—everything a buyer would need to make an informed decision on whether the property is right for them.

Agent Profiles

Potential buyers use mobile apps to network with agents. This is your opportunity to tell people about yourself and what you do. 

If you have a real estate company, then each agent should have their own dedicated profile.

Include a photo, brief bio, and details about how that agent can be contacted. 

Search and Filter Capabilities

It can be overwhelming for people who are browsing for homes, especially if there are hundreds of different properties in the area. To make things easier for your users, you must give them the ability to search and filter properties based on what they’re looking for.

You can set up filters for:

  • Price
  • Distance
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Property Type
  • Max HOA
  • For Sale vs. For Rent vs. For Lease

Users should even be able to search for specific terms, such as “pool” or “backyard.”

Maps Integrations

Adding a Google Maps integration to your app is a great way to showcase properties. This gives users the ability to navigate through listings on a map view as opposed to just a list. 

Your maps integration can also support geofenced property details—only highlighting listings in a specific area.

Mortgage and Payment Calculators

Price is obviously an important factor for home buyers. But the sale price can be very different from a monthly payment. This is especially true when you’re factoring in additional details like property taxes, mortgage insurance, HOAs, and other fees beyond the mortgage itself.

While the calculators in your app should just be used for estimates, they’re still helpful in giving users a better understanding of the actual costs they’ll incur if they buy the property in question. 

Appointment Scheduling

If a prospective buyer likes a property, they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to schedule a viewing. Yes, you can still include your phone number and email address with each listing. But people should be able to book a tour without having to leave the app.

This feature can also help you with your lead generation strategy, as the user will be asked to submit their name, email, and phone number to schedule the appointment. 

Push Notifications

Your real estate app should definitely have push notifications to communicate with users. 

For active buyers, this is an excellent option for you to notify them of new properties for sale that fit within their desired search criteria. It also gives you an advantage over other agents who might be sending them new properties via email. The push messages will be seen immediately, as they’re delivered straight to the user’s screen. 

Final Thoughts on Mobile Apps For Real Estate Agents

The real estate market is extremely competitive. As an agent, you need every advantage possible to stand out from the crowd.

A mobile app will give you an edge over other agents who are competing for the same clients.

It can be the reason why a seller chooses you to represent them, as they’ll think the app gives them a better chance to sell quickly. Apps are also highly beneficial for buyers and renters who are looking for a simple way to find properties from their smartphones. 

There are lots of different paths to launch when you’re creating a real estate agent app. But using a platform like BuildFire is definitely the easiest.

Start your 14-day free trial to get started, or request a consultation with one of our app development experts for more information. 

How to Become a Citizen Developer

The modern business landscape is constantly changing. Now, more than ever before, organizations are relying on citizen developers to address business challenges and improve internal processes. 

If you want to make a big impact on your career and help your company succeed without searching for a new job or switching roles, citizen development can help you thrive.

This in-depth guide will explain everything you need to know about citizen development, including what it is and why you should become a citizen developer. We’ll also walk you through the step-by-step process of becoming a citizen developer and highlight the skills you need for success. 

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

What is Citizen Development?

Citizen development allows non-technical employees to create business applications using no-code or low-code software development tools. 

Citizen developers have the freedom and flexibility to improve operational efficiencies within an organization by addressing problems or pain points in processes. They can take the initiative to create applications for business workflows or automations without having to rely on professional developers or IT departments for assistance. 

Organizations use citizen development to reduce IT backlogs—bridging the gap between software needs and the availability of skilled professional developers. 

Simply put, many organizations don’t have enough software developers on staff to address every need for new technology. Fortunately, most business apps can be created without any coding or technical knowledge. It’s just a matter of using the right tools for success, and that’s where citizen development comes into play.

Any employee who understands how to use approved no-code/low-code software can be part of the citizen development movement. 

Why Should You Become a Citizen Developer?

Becoming a citizen developer helps put your career on a fast track to success. It shows your current employer and prospective employers that you’re willing and able to learn new skills and have the initiative to improve the business beyond your day-to-day responsibilities. 

Citizen developers can use technology to create their own solutions that solve business problems. A simple workflow improvement or new automation can save the organization hundreds or thousands of hours over time.

These improvements not only make your current workload easier but it gives you the opportunity to focus on other big-picture initiatives. 

While a citizen developer isn’t technically a job title or role, it’s still viewed as a badge of honor and prestige in the workplace. It’s something that stands out to management when it comes time to make promotions or hand out bonuses. For those of you who are constantly looking for new opportunities in new companies, citizen development experience will give you a leg up over other candidates applying for the same positions.

Furthermore, the act of learning how to use no-code/low-code software in today’s modern world is invaluable. It’s a highly useful skill that can be used in both your personal and professional life, opening doors that you never thought were possible. 

How to Become a Citizen Developer in 5 Simple Steps

The citizen development journey is exciting. If you’re ready to become a citizen developer, just follow the five easy steps below, and you’ll be on the path to success in no time. 

Step 1 – Review Your Company’s Citizen Development Program

People don’t become citizen developers overnight. The first thing you need to do is make sure your organization has a citizen development program. If they don’t, it’s definitely something you can propose. But all of these steps assume that your employer has a program. 

Learn the ins and outs of the program to understand how it works. The policies and procedures vary greatly from company to company.

For example, some companies have active citizen development initiatives that employees can pull from to start a project. Other organizations give you total freedom to create your own solution.

While the IT department won’t be directly helping citizen developers with the application creation process, they typically need to sign off on the tools and development environment for projects in the program. Again, this involvement varies from company to company. 

Step 2 – Reach Out to the Program’s Leader to Express Interest

Once you have a firm grasp of how the program works, you’ll probably need to apply. Depending on your employer, this process might be very official or somewhat lax. 

It’s safe to assume that any organization that has embraced citizen development will be happy to see employees who are eager to assist. 

With that said, some companies may require your direct manager’s approval or something along those lines before you can work on any new projects. Identifying the program’s leader and scheduling a meeting to make sure you’re checking off all the boxes is the best way to ensure you’re following protocol. 

Step 3 – Get Familiar With Your Organization’s Citizen Development Tools

Before you can start officially working on citizen development projects, you need to learn how to use the program’s approved software. 

Most organizations have a handful of tools that have been previously sanctioned by the IT team. You can’t go out and just start building apps using anything. That could be a security risk for your organization. 

Take a look at the list of approved citizen development platforms and start practicing with test projects. 

There will likely be some type of tutorial or training video to assist you with this process. Some organizations may even offer in-person or online training for citizen developers in the program. 

Step 4 – Look For Opportunities That Align With Business Objectives

Next, you need to look for your first citizen development initiative. 

For some of you, this will be easier than for others. Many employees express interest in becoming citizen developers after they’ve already identified a need for new technology in the workplace. But the rest of you will need to look for new opportunities in your day-to-day workflow.

To help with this process, ask yourself this one question whenever you’re working on a task. “Could this be improved with automation or new technology?”

If the answer is yes, then it could be a valid option for you to pursue. But it’s important to choose projects that align with big-picture business objectives. Business leaders will be happy to see you working on anything that improves a workflow or process. But it’s definitely better when those applications can contribute at a higher level. 

Step 5 – Create Your First Automation or Application

Once you’ve identified an opportunity, it’s time to put your skills to the test. 

Start by creating a sketch or outline of the requirements. Break everything down into logical steps. You can use a flow chart to visualize the process.

Then use a no-code or low-code tool to create an application or automation. For example, if you’re using BuildFire’s workflow app builder, you can integrate with Zapier to automate processes with thousands of third-party apps. 

This is just one of the countless ways you can use BuildFire to make your life easier as a citizen developer. 

What’s the Difference Between Citizen Developers and Professional Developers?

Citizen developers are regular employees. They’re non-technical and don’t have any coding knowledge or development experience. 

Professional developers will work on more technically complex projects, while citizen developers work on applications and automations that don’t require custom coding. 

A professional developer will also have to focus more on the backend requirements to run and power apps, including servers, updates, and maintenance requirements. Citizens developers just have to know how to use a tool, and everything on the backend gets handled for them. 

Key Skills For Citizen Developers

Success as a citizen developer is heavily reliant on certain skills and abilities. If you possess any of the skills below, you’re a great candidate for citizen development. 

Deep Understanding of Business Processes and Operations

Citizen developers understand the business and operations at a higher level. They use logical thinking to go beyond what’s required of them on a day-to-day basis.

Some employees simply push papers and do their jobs without asking questions. But great employees understand the reason why they’re being asked to do certain tasks and how those tasks contribute to the team’s success or bigger initiative. 

If you’re someone who understands how and why operations are running a certain way in your organization, it will be much easier for you to spot opportunities for citizen development initiatives. 

Tech-Savvy Digital Skills

You do not need any coding knowledge or programming experience to become a citizen developer. But you need to be somewhat tech-savvy and be comfortable using new software.

If you’re the type of person who hates working on a computer and struggles to find files or convert documents to different formats, citizen development probably isn’t for you.

Citizen developers don’t get flustered or upset when their company decides to use a new project management tool or switches graphical building tools. If you’re comfortable using your company’s existing applications for work-related tasks, there’s a good chance you’ll be comfortable building new applications too.

Self-Motivation

Many organizations do whatever they can to empower citizen developers. But at the end of the day, taking the initiative will fall on your shoulders. 

You must have the motivation to step away from your day-to-day responsibilities to work on automations and workflow improvements. 

Managers won’t be breathing down your neck or checking in to make sure you’re meeting deadlines for the applications you’re building. They care more about your actual job-related tasks. 

But self-motivated workers who are willing to go above and beyond their duties to be successful are usually the best citizen developers. 

Ability to Collaborate With Other Business Users

Citizen development projects don’t always happen in a vacuum. Sure, there are definitely times when you can create your own solution that helps improve a task or workflow that’s only related to your job. But most citizen development projects impact more than one person, and in some cases, they can impact an entire team.

You must be able to clearly articulate how your automation or workflow improves a process. Be prepared to explain how things work to your team as the workflow is being rolled out.

Sometimes a team member might give you some pushback or resistance. You must be able to communicate well and make sure your solution isn’t a burden on anyone else. 

In some cases, this requires some clear communication and collaboration before you begin creating any new applications. You might even need to reach out to another department or team member for assistance. 

Working well with others is an important skill for citizen developers. 

Ability to Follow Instructions

Application development is a sequential and detail-oriented process, even if you’re using a no-code app builder

You’ll come across situations where you don’t know exactly how to complete a certain function or task on the tool you’re using. That’s 100% normal and to be expected. 

In these situations, you need to rely on self-help articles and tutorials that walk you through the steps for your desired action. Maybe you want to set up an integration using a third-party API. Or maybe you want the output of your automation to be put in a different format. 

Whatever the end result might be, the ability to follow directions on your own is crucial. This is something you’ll be doing often as a citizen developer. 

Final Thoughts

Becoming a citizen developer is exciting. It’s a great way to expand your skills and contribute to your organization at a higher level. You can make a big impact on your company and also make yourself more appealing for a promotion or new job opportunity. 

If it sounds like becoming a citizen developer is right for you, just follow the five simple steps explained in this guide. 

For employers and managers looking for new tools to empower citizen development teams, check out BuildFire’s workflow app builder. You can try it for free with a 14-day trial.

What is a Citizen Developer?

There’s an increased demand for software development in the business world. But not every organization is staffed with developers who have the skills to create applications from scratch.

That’s why so many organizations are embracing citizen development to meet demands.

Citizen developers help expand software development initiatives by broadening the pool of skilled employees who are capable of assisting with these projects. 

This in-depth guide is perfect for business executives considering launching a citizen development program within their organization. It’s also helpful for employees who are interested in becoming citizen developers. Continue below to learn more about citizen development and how it can improve your business or career. 

What is a Citizen Developer?

Citizen developers are non-technical business employees who create custom software applications with minimal or no coding skills. These business users are willing and able to solve business problems using modern technology to build applications.

Citizen development programs leverage no-code or low-code software to create apps without the assistance of IT teams. 

As long as the development methods and development environments have been approved by the IT department, citizen developers have the freedom to create apps that streamline business processes, automate tasks, and improve internal efficiencies. 

Citizen developers are not full-time developers. The term “citizen developer” is not a position, role, or title. Citizen development programs empower any employee outside of the IT department to take the initiative to solve problems with application development. 

What Do Citizen Developers Do?

Citizen developers create applications that can be used by themselves or other business users within the organization. They use software that’s previously been sanctioned by IT teams to create apps that improve operations. 

For example, an employee within the HR department can create an application that automates tasks. The software could automate approvals, forms, and notifications based on pre-configured triggers that would save time, money, and reduce the human error associated with manual approvals. 

A citizen developer can create their own app with little or no coding knowledge. They simply identify problems within their day-to-day workflow and take steps to improve those processes through software development. 

The apps built by citizen developers can be used by themselves or by an entire team. 

Generally speaking, the average day in the life of a citizen developer mostly involves doing their regular jobs. But the application development can be considered a small side project, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of their job duties. 

6 Reasons Why Businesses Should Invest in Citizen Development

According to a recent study, 80% of enterprise organizations will have citizen development policies in place by 2024. It’s also estimated that there will be four times as many citizen developers as professional developers at larger enterprises within two years. 

If you’re thinking about creating a citizen development program, it’s definitely something you should consider to keep pace with modern business movements. Below we’ll take a closer look at the top reasons why your business should leverage the power of citizen developers. 

1. Reduce Costs

Active citizen development initiatives may initially seem like they distract from work-related tasks. But allowing citizen developers to work on software development projects will ultimately save your business money in the long run. 

The apps created by citizen developers are great for cost reduction on multiple levels.

First, these applications will likely improve or speed up a business task. So right away, you’ll save costs on labor. But citizen development also clears up free time for your skilled developers and IT teams. 

Keeping a large number of full-time developers off your payroll will save you money. Rather than spending more money on your IT budget, you can allow other employees to create apps.

2. Improve Workflows

Citizen developers work on projects to improve business processes. 

Workflow optimization is a common citizen development initiative that can easily be accomplished with a no-code development tool. 

Citizen development tools like BuildFire make it easy for anyone to create a business workflow app.

For example, you could create an app that streamlines purchase orders. Just add our purchase order plugin to your app, and it manages the entire process for you—including invoices. 

Or maybe you want to create an app that simplifies workplace safety initiatives. You can use the app to facilitate workplace safety surveys and give your staff access to safety documentation. The app is also an easy way to send out time-sensitive messages via push notifications. 

One of the most popular ways to improve workflows with an application is by automating approvals. With BuildFire’s approval plugin, you can set rules to manage automated submissions at scale and eliminate the time spent on manual approvals.

These types of solutions are extremely versatile. They can be used in various departments for a wide range of use cases. 

3. Create Apps Faster

Citizen development projects can speed up the development of business applications by 50% to 90% when compared to traditional development that relies on coding. 

That’s why 63% of organizations using citizen development platforms value the speed associated with the initiative. 

Citizen developers can create their own solutions using drag-and-drop app builders and no-code tools. The reason why this process is so fast is because 90% of the work is already done. All of the technical aspects are handled by the no-code development tools, and the project doesn’t need to go through the IT department. 

The citizen developer simply needs to identify a plugin or pre-built tool, add it to the application, and then configure it based on their unique needs. But this process doesn’t require any coding or development skills—meaning the time to launch is significantly faster.

4. Increase Productivity

Citizen developers improve productivity on multiple levels. 

First, the applications they’re creating typically have a direct impact on productivity once the software is launched. The applications free up their time or their team’s time, letting them focus on other business-related tasks. 

With something as simple as automating manual or tedious tasks, you can potentially save hundreds or thousands of hours per year.

Second, citizen developers free up IT departments. If every application request had to go through the IT team, then the IT backlog would be enormous. 

Instead, you can give more technically complex projects to a professional developer. Those employees can focus efforts on big projects without having to worry about the citizen development journey.

5. Bridge the Gap Between Business Users and Professional Developers

Citizen developers bridge the gap between technology demands and skilled developers. In simple terms, most organizations don’t have the internal resources to create software that’s needed in day-to-day operations.

But thanks to no-code citizen development tools, anybody within the company can become a citizen developer.

There’s no specialized training or prerequisites to get started. Once the approved software has been defined, citizen developers have the green light to work on projects—as long as they fall within the scope of the program. 

Additional Reading: How Does a No-Code App Builder Work?

6. Meet App Demands

The average team uses 40 to 60 business apps. Beyond the apps used by individual teams, the average business app portfolio contains 254 apps. 

99% of IT leaders surveyed say that day-to-day operations are dependent on these operations. 

The modern business world requires employees to rely on a large number of apps for their jobs. This trend isn’t changing anytime in the foreseeable future. Citizen development tools allow you to create apps that eliminate manual management. 

One of the easiest ways to help people do their jobs better is by using more applications—especially when those applications can simplify projects and increase visibility. 

Organizations must do something to increase the growing demand for business applications, and enabling citizen development is the easiest solution. 

Tips and Best Practices for Citizen Developers and Citizen Development Programs

If you’re just getting started with citizen development, here are some pro tips that you should keep in mind for success:

  • Find ways to empower citizen developers and give them the freedom to try new things
  • Embrace the citizen development movement so you don’t fall behind
  • Identify citizen development tools that make it easy for your team to create apps
  • Get familiar with the no-code platform to see how it works
  • Provide citizen developer training and take advantage of any tutorials
  • Create citizen development policies to outline what’s allowed and expected of your team
  • Make sure your citizen development solutions align with overall business objectives
  • Always test new changes made to applications
  • Document all of the steps and work done in the project
  • Make sure the IT department has final approval over the tools you’re using

Final Thoughts

Citizen development has already penetrated the enterprise business world. All signs point to this trend continuing upward for the foreseeable future, which makes sense when you consider all of the benefits and advantages that we covered in this guide. 

Success with citizen development programs all starts with identifying the right software for success.

BuildFire’s no-code app development platform is an excellent solution to accommodate citizen development needs. Start your 14-day free trial today, or request a demo to get started

How to Make a Food Delivery App

Food delivery apps are skyrocketing in popularity.

Recent studies suggest that 86% of Americans have used a food delivery app. An additional 53% of people say that food delivery and takeout are essential to their lifestyles. That number jumps to 64% when you look strictly at Millennials in the survey.

Research from Statista suggests that revenue generated from online food delivery will hit $96.5 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 8.9% in the next five years. 

In short, there’s plenty of money to be made in the food delivery app market. Whether you want to create a food delivery app for your restaurant, set up a food delivery app for a grocery store, or build a food delivery app like Uber Eats or Grubhub, you’ve come to the right place.

Continue reading to learn more about our methodology, including the benefits of food delivery apps, costs, and key features for success.

How to Make a Food Delivery App in 6 Simple Steps

Want to make your own food delivery app? Just follow the simple step-by-step process outlined below.

Step #1 — Validate Your Food Delivery App Idea

The first thing you need to do is conduct market research. While the numbers show that there are billions of dollars to be made in this industry, you need to understand that just a handful of players control the vast majority of the food delivery market share.

As of Q1 2022, 97% of the food delivery market is controlled by three companies—DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub.

Less than 1% of deliveries go to brands that aren’t household names. 

I’m not saying this to discourage you. But you need to set some realistic expectations for yourself. If you want your food delivery app to rival big names like DoorDash and Uber Eats, you definitely have your work cut out for you.

Fortunately, there’s still plenty of money to be made on a smaller scale in this space. 

For example, it’s a great idea to set up a food delivery app for your existing restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store. Even smaller businesses, like ice cream shops, can benefit from food delivery apps. 

This is an excellent way to expand your business and meet customer expectations. 

Creating a food delivery app for your restaurant also cuts out the middleman and helps you eliminate the third-party fees associated with other food delivery apps fulfilling your orders. 

Step #2 — Choose Your Food Delivery App Development Method

Once you’ve determined that there’s a real market need for your food delivery mobile app, it’s time for you to start the development process. 

Generally speaking, these are your options:

  • Hire an app developer
  • Build it yourself using a DIY app builder
  • Use internal resources for development
  • Outsource to an app development agency

Most restaurants and grocery stores likely don’t have an internal IT team. So you can quickly rule out the third option. Hiring a developer and outsourcing your project to an agency are both expensive. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, neither of those will work well for you.

That leaves us with the second bullet on the list above—creating it yourself using an app maker. An app builder will be the best option for the vast majority of you reading this guide right now.

It’s a simple and affordable way to create food delivery apps without writing a single line of code. Platforms like BuildFire make it easy for anyone to make a restaurant app by installing simple plug-and-play functionality. 

For additional resources to help you find the best app development method for your food delivery app, use the following links:

Step #3 — Identify Your Food Delivery Business Model

Food delivery apps work in different ways, and there are several models that you can monetize your app idea. 

  • Delivery services — You create an app and business that handles all deliveries between restaurants and customers. These models charge restaurants fees for using the platform and take a cut of each order.
  • Third-party facilitator — Similar to the first model, the app connects restaurants and consumers. But all of the deliveries are handled by a third party. You’re just running an app as a service, but you don’t actually touch the food. 
  • Direct food delivery apps — This is when a restaurant or grocery store has its own app for food delivery. They run the software internally and handle the order fulfillment internally as well. 

The first two models typically make money by charging restaurants to be featured. They also can make money through delivery fees or charging a percentage of every order. Some even charge premium subscriptions to consumers for loyalty perks. 

The third model works simply by charging customers for the food provided in each order. In some cases, you may upcharge items for delivery or include a fixed delivery fee for each order. 

Alternatively, you can charge a monthly subscription to eliminate delivery fees. This is a great way to encourage customer loyalty and increase order frequencies.

Step #4 — Select Your Features

Every food ordering app will have similar features. Some of you may want to go create a custom food delivery app with unique features for your business model.

We’re going to cover the key features of a successful food delivery app later on in this guide. 

But it’s important for you to have a firm grasp on the features you want before you dive into the development process. Here’s why.

Your features will drive the entire app development lifecycle. It’s easy to get carried away while you’re developing an app and add features that sound cool—even if they don’t have anything to do with the primary purpose and goal of your food delivery app.

So stick to your primary purpose and business model. What features must be developed to make this goal possible?

For example, let’s say you want to create a food delivery app for your restaurant. With BuildFire, you can add the Menu Order System plugin to create different menu categories:

Then you can add specific food items to each menu.

Here’s an example of some items that might be on your breakfast delivery list:

Having a menu is definitely on the must-have list of features for food delivery services. Things like social media integration and message boards probably don’t need to be a top priority right now. 

Create your must-have feature list first, and stick to those during the development process.

Step #5 — Design and Development

This step will be the bulk of your work for a food delivery app. It will look a bit different for everyone, depending on the development model you selected back in step #2.

If you decide to go with a DIY app maker, the design process will be super easy. 

For example, if you start your project with BuildFire, you can begin with a ready-made restaurant template. 

This takes care of 90% of the design work for you. Then it’s just a matter of customizing the text and buttons to fit your branding.

You easily add plugins for things like reservations and other key features to go along with your food delivery services. 

Step #6 — Marketing and Launch

The final step is launching your food delivery app. You’ll want to get it live on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store to maximize your reach with potential users.

Then it’s just a matter of marketing your app and getting people to download it.

For local restaurants and grocery stores, you may want to provide an incentive for users to try the app early on. Offering something like a 20% discount on a first order could convince someone to try it out. Even if you’re not making a huge profit on that order, it’s a small price to pay for user acquisition. 

Push your food delivery app on your website. Print flyers and put them in your restaurant or storefront. Send out email blasts to your subscriber list. Promote the app on social media. 

Do whatever you can to drive downloads. Even before your app launches, you can start to create a buzz around the app, so people are ready to download it once it goes live.

If you’re using BuildFire to create your app, you won’t have to worry about the publishing process. Just let us know when your app is done, and we’ll get it live on the app stores for you. 

Benefits of Food Delivery Apps

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of making a food delivery app for your business. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to proceed, these perks can help with your decision-making process.

Market Demand

We talked about the food delivery market earlier. But even looking beyond the statistics, you can see that there’s a grim outlook for restaurants and grocery stores that can’t adapt to the times.

Our society has already reached a point where consumers expect products delivered to their doorstep. Just look at what happened to retailers who couldn’t adjust to the Amazon era.

This same concept can be applied to food delivery apps and services. If you can’t offer mobile delivery to your customers, they’ll simply look elsewhere for food.

Saves Time For Your Customers

Driving to pickup takeout is time-consuming. This is especially true in metro areas where parking is tough to come by. 

It could take 30 minutes round trip to travel a mile or two in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and other major cities. For some people, this time just isn’t worth the hassle. 

A recent survey suggests that 70% of consumers are willing to pay more money to save time and effort on food delivery services. 

Easy to Use and Order Food

Using a mobile food delivery platform is easy for consumers and businesses alike.

There’s no waiting on hold, struggling to understand thick accents, or trying to hear customers over kitchen noises. 

It’s as simple as selecting food options from a digital menu or grocery list. Items are added to a cart, and payments are processed ahead of time. Businesses get paid immediately, and consumers benefit from convenience. 

With a smartphone, anyone can order food from an app. There’s virtually no learning curve, and your business can reach people of all ages. 

Increased ROI

Food delivery apps are money-making machines. So you can quickly generate a return on your initial budget for development. 

If you’re using an app maker, you’ll only have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the service. This typically ranges anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the service and features you need. 

Based on the cost of your subscription, you know what your monthly breakeven point on the food delivery app needs to be. 

Expand Your Business

Creating a food delivery app helps you generate another form of revenue for your business. 

Food delivery services aren’t going anywhere. So you can either adapt with the times or risk becoming irrelevant to your customer base. 

This is a logical expansion for any restaurant or grocery store. Other apps on the market are going to offer food and grocery delivery anyways. Why not handle this internally with your own app? 

Key Features of a Great Food Delivery App

To create a food delivery app that succeeds, you need to ensure it has the right features. While the actual features of your app will vary based on your business type and monetization model, these are some proven ideas to steer you in the right direction:

User Registration and Profile Management

Every great food delivery app has user profiles. But there are several different types of users, and you need to make sure each profile and user interface is designed appropriately.

  • Customer — The customer app is where users will browse for food items and add them to a cart. They must be able to search for nearby restaurants or food categories in a way that provides a seamless browsing experience. Customers should also be able to save their payment information and delivery address on file to speed up the checkout process.
  • Admin — Admin profiles will be used by authorized people at a restaurant or grocery store. This allows them to see orders coming in and manage how they’re being fulfilled. Admins also need access to pricing information and the ability to update menu items. 
  • Delivery Driver — If you’re providing a service that uses third-party drivers, you need to have a completely separate interface for the drivers. This allows them to accept new orders and gives them instructions for pick-ups. Drivers should also have turn-by-turn GPS instructions with a maps integration so they can get items to customers quickly and efficiently. 

If you’re creating an app for your grocery store or restaurant and handling all of the fulfillment and delivery in-house, you could potentially combine the administrative and delivery driver interfaces. But it’s generally better to keep those users separate for security reasons, as a driver shouldn’t have access to pricing changes or things of that nature. 

Search Functionality

Food delivery app users must have a way to quickly find what they’re looking for without scanning through an entire menu.

Think of how many items are available at your local grocery store. Imagine having to scroll through thousands of items to find a single product. That’s not realistic.

If customers don’t know exactly what they want, you should have items categorized in a way that makes sense so they can narrow down their options. For a restaurant, categories might include:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Dessert
  • Gluten-Free

For a grocery store, the options might look a little different:

  • Bakery
  • Deli
  • Produce
  • Milk and Eggs
  • Canned Foods
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Household Products and Cleaning Supplies

Payment Integration

An integrated payment solution is crucial for a food delivery app. 

Customers must be able to save their preferred payment methods to their profile. This allows them to checkout with a single click, and they’re not forced to manually enter card details for each purchase. 

Setting up payments through the app also ensures that you’re always getting paid for the service. Relying on cash payments upon delivery or taking payments over the phone after an order is placed just adds complexity to the process. 

This also makes it easy for customers to pay using digital wallets that are already stored on their smartphones.

Coupons and Loyalty Rewards

Customer loyalty is the key to success in any business, and it’s no different with a food delivery service. Having a food delivery app actually gives you an edge in this space compared to other business types. 

That’s because customers must use the app for service. So it’s really easy for them to track their loyalty and redeem rewards from their phones.

There are tons of different approaches to this strategy. For example, you can offer blanket deals like free delivery on orders of $25 or more. Or you can have more specific rewards to encourage customer spending. 

Maybe each $1 spent is worth five points, and points can be redeemed for free food. Every Tuesday and Wednesday is a triple points day. This can encourage people to buy on days that would normally be slower for business. 

BuildFire has customer loyalty plugins that can be added to your app in a single click. They’re really versatile, and you can set them up to create a loyalty program that fits your business model.

Push Notifications

Push notifications can remind customers about upcoming specials and promotions. Examples of messages might include:

  • Order now for FREE delivery!
  • Take 30% off your next two orders
  • Buy one pizza and get a free side
  • New restaurant in your area!
  • Craving ice cream?

All of these notifications would encourage someone to open your food delivery app. You can also use push notifications as a way to remind customers when a driver has arrived with their order.

The great part about push notifications is that you can set them up based on triggers and activity. For example, you can send promotions around dinner time, when customers are more likely to order something.

Or you can send a notification specific to something that a customer has ordered in the past. This ensures that you’re not sending notifications to vegetarians about your steak dinner specials. 

Delivery Tracking

Your food delivery application should make it easy for customers to track orders. This will prevent them from calling and wondering what’s taking so long. 

Existing apps on the market have a pretty standard flow for the status:

  • Preparing order
  • Order ready
  • Driver picking up order
  • Driver en route

In some cases, customers might be able to track the exact location of a driver on a map. Although this may not be necessary for everyone. 

How Much Does Food Delivery App Development Cost?

Food delivery apps can cost anywhere from $500 per month to $50,000+ upfront. Your features and development method will have the largest impact on this price.

A DIY app builder is going to be the most cost-effective option. Rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars upfront to an app development company, you can create the app on your own for a low monthly subscription fee.

Alternatively, if you want to create an app like UberEats that integrates with thousands of restaurants and has real-time GPS tracking, it could cost you millions of dollars. 

For a local restaurant or grocery store that wants to create a food delivery app, you can likely get away with spending $10,000 or $25,000 if you keep it simple. Simplicity doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice features and functionality. It just means you need to eliminate the bells and whistles and only develop what’s necessary for the app to work as needed. 

You can use our app cost calculator to estimate your costs on development. Make sure you keep some money in your budget for post-launch app maintenance as well. This is another reason why it makes more sense to stick with an app builder platform, as all of the maintenance and updates will be handled for you.

Develop Food Delivery App — Final Thoughts 

Food delivery apps can be extremely lucrative. They’re great for local restaurants and grocery stores that want to offer customers a modern way to order food. 

You can also create a food delivery app that connects customers with local restaurants and grocery stores in your area. So you don’t need to be an existing business owner to make an app for food delivery services. 

If you’re ready to create a food delivery app, just follow the simple steps outlined in this guide. Pay close attention to the key features for success that we covered as well. This is where your focus should be during the development process. 

Beginner’s Guide to No Code Development

No-code development is one of the hottest buzzwords in tech right now. No-code platforms are rising in popularity, and the use cases for no-code development are continuously mounting. 

With that said, there’s still a lot of confusion about no-code development—especially for beginners who are new to the concept. 

Some of you might be evaluating a particular no-code platform. Others might be comparing no-code development to other software development options. Whatever the case might be, you’ve come to the right place. 

This in-depth guide will explain everything you need to know about no-code development, answering all of your questions once and for all. You’ll find out what it is, how it works, the advantages of no-code platforms, and use cases for no-code application development. 

What is No Code Development?

As the name implies, no-code development is a software development method that doesn’t require any coding. No-code development is made possible with the help of no-code solutions for rapid application development.

By eliminating code from development, it drastically changes the entire development process. You don’t need to hire developers or outsource your project to an agency. Anyone can use a no-code platform to create an app without any technical skills, programming languages, or technical knowledge. 

No code development is commonly used for mobile app development, web app development, website builders, business process management, backend automation, and more. 

How Does No Code Development Work?

While every no-code platform has slight variations, the basic concept remains constant across this space. 

The entire development process is made possible through visual building blocks and graphical user interfaces. Rather than writing code for functionality, you’re simply telling the platform what you want to accomplish through a drag-and-drop interface or WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor.

All of the elements have already been pre-coded by the platform, and the technical components are handled behind the scenes. Then it’s just a matter of saying, “I want an image here” or “let’s change the color on this screen.”

For mobile app development, you can easily add functionality to your app by installing or enabling plugins or extensions. For example, let’s say you want to add videos to your app. You can simply install a YouTube or Vimeo plugin. Or maybe you want the app to give users directions to your business. This can be accomplished by adding a maps plugin. 

No-code platforms focus on getting critical inputs from the user through visual builders. 

As you make changes through your no-code platform, you’ll be able to see those changes in real time through an emulator. So you know exactly what you’re building and how your software will look from an end-user perspective. 

Benefits of No Code Development Platforms

No-code platforms have significant advantages compared to traditional development. We’ll take a closer look at the top benefits below.

No Code Tools Simplify App Development

No code dev eliminates the complexities associated with creating mobile and web applications. 

Traditional app development requires coding skills to build apps. But there are so many redundant tasks that developers need to follow for every app. 

When you think about it, the vast majority of mobile apps share so many of the same core functionality on the backend. There are just slight variations and functionality differences that make the app unique. For example, refer to all of the ecommerce apps you’ve used in your life. They’re virtually identical, except for different products and branding. 

No-code tools have all of those similar components pre-built on the backend. You just have to enable which functions and advanced features you want in your app. Then you can customize everything else based on how you want the app to look or feel. 

Anyone Can Use a No Code Development Platform

Since you don’t need to write code, anyone can use no-code software to create an app.

This empowers citizen development in the business world, and it offers DIY entrepreneurs a simpler path to launch. No code software bridges the gap between non-technical users and software development. 

You don’t need any coding skills, technical knowledge, or specialized training to get started. Everything is very straightforward, and you can figure it out within an hour or two of basic trial and error. The only learning curve is getting used to the interface of the platform you’re using. 

Hiring developers and designers to build your app is no longer necessary. You can start with a pre-built template and just move things around to your liking. All of the heavy lifting is done for you. 

Additional Reading: How to Make an App — The Ultimate Guide

No Code Development Platforms Are Affordable

No-code app development is a cheap alternative to traditional development. 

If you’re going to hire developers or an agency to create your software, you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 per month in labor costs alone. These high price points historically made app development only accessible to larger businesses with big budgets. 

But no code development platforms are affordable for any budget. For just a few hundred dollars per month, you can build a high-quality app for your business—and nobody will know the difference. 

The final product is still a fully functional app. Only you’re getting it for a fraction of the cost. Here’s an example of some app builder pricing so you can see what I mean:

You’re just paying for a software subscription—and that’s it!

It’s also much easier to budget for your app development project if you’re paying in quarterly or annual installments. So you won’t have to come up with $20,000 or $50,000 upfront like you might if you’re going the traditional dev route. 

Check out our guide on the hidden costs of software development. You’ll be able to avoid these fees if you use a no-code app builder instead of hiring developers. 

No Code Platforms Speed Up the App Development Process

With a no-code development platform, you can launch your app in days or weeks instead of months or years. 

That’s because all of the core components are built for you. You’re just deciding what you want to include and customizing the app with your own content and branding. 

For example, let’s say you’re a gym owner that wants to create a mobile app for personal training subscriptions. Your development timeline is solely based on your content creation. It’s not like you’re creating backend functionality components for home screens, user registration, and design. All of this is already done for you.

You’re simply uploading the videos and training programs to the app, and deciding who can see them based on their subscription level. 

Getting paid through your app is as easy as enabling a payment feature. You don’t have to manually write code for a custom gateway or anything like that. 

If you want to launch an app fast, no-code development is your best bet. 

Who is No Code Development For?

There are so many different use cases for no-code application development. No code tools are used for mobile apps, web apps, websites, business process automation, internal communication apps, integration apps, and more. 

To see if this software development method is right for you, we’ll take a closer look at the types of people who can benefit the most from no-code platforms. 

Small Businesses

Small business users can use no-code platforms to modernize their businesses. We’re living in a world where everything is trending mobile, and consumers expect all businesses—even small businesses—to have a mobile app. 

But most smaller companies don’t have an extra $50,000 or $100,000+ laying around for app development. 

No-code platforms offer a simple and cost-effective alternative to anyone who falls into this category. For just a few hundred dollars per month, small businesses can have apps that compete with Fortune 500s—for a fraction of the cost. 

Citizen Developers

Citizen development is at an all-time high, with no signs of slowing down. These are internal apps used for business processes and similar functions.

Historically, internal business apps required an IT department with specialized skill sets. But now, any mid-size business can empower its employees to create an app without having to code from the ground up. 

This is a cost-effective solution for businesses, and it’s an easier development method for citizen developers. 

Enterprise Grade Applications

No-code and low-code development platforms can also be used by larger organizations that want to create enterprise-grade applications. 

You may not be signing up for the same subscription as a small business user. But you can still get advanced features from a no-code tool without having to code everything from scratch.

For example, enterprise users may want domain-restricted login access, custom terms and conditions, and SSO (single sign-on) capabilities. They might also want advanced analytics related to app performance and users. Some may even require industry-specific compliance features or advanced integrations.

All of this can be accomplished through a no-code app builder. 

Entrepreneurs

Anyone with an app idea can use a no-code platform to bring their idea to life. 

You can do this without having to hire developers or raise capital from investors. All you need is a no-code platform that fits your needs, and you can create the entire app on your own without any help.

This is also a great opportunity for people who already have a brand identity or online presence. For example, if you’re an influencer, YouTuber, or have a podcast, you can easily expand your presence by creating your own channel for content distribution. 

Your mobile app can be a way to share exclusive content with your audience by charging a subscription fee for access. 

Professional Developers

Even professional developers who have the coding skills and programming knowledge to create apps from scratch can use no-code platforms to simplify the development process. 

Rather than coding all of the redundant lines for each project, you can get a huge head start by leveraging the power of an app builder. 

If you find a no-code platform that’s also developer friendly—like BuildFire—then you can also create custom functionality that can’t be found through the plugin marketplace. 

80% of the app will already be built for you. Then you just need to code that extra 20% to make it unique for your clients. 

You can also rely on BuildFire’s backend infrastructure and servers to maintain the app. So you won’t have to go out and configure all of this on your own. Custom features can be added on top of our existing platform and ecosystem. 

Agencies and Resellers

No code development is the best way to make money selling apps—even if you have zero coding skills. 

There are two main ways to go about this process.

First, you can offer app development services to your clients. This is great for existing agencies that want to expand their service offerings or anyone that wants to start a new app development business from scratch. 

Then you can create the apps for your clients using no-code software and maintain them post-launch. 

Alternatively, you can simply white-label an existing no-code tool and pass it off as your own. All of your branding will be on the platform, and your customers will never know the difference. You’re basically giving them the power of an existing app builder and charging a subscription to use the service. 

You can learn more about BuildFire’s reseller program here

What’s the Difference Between No Code and Low Code Platforms?

Low-code development platforms are intended for professional developers. They require coding experience and technical knowledge to create apps, but they drastically speed up the development process. 

Many low-code platforms come with a pre-built architecture and backend development infrastructure. So repetitive features that you’ll find across most apps are already built for you. All you need to do is enable or disable those functions before building the custom features.

No-code platforms are made for non-technical users and don’t require any technical expertise or specialized training. They bridge the gap between software development and the average user. 

Most no-code platforms operate on closed systems, meaning you’re relying strictly on pre-built plugs or extensions. Low-code platforms are open source, meaning you can reuse code from other systems or projects. 

Getting Started With No Code Development For Mobile Apps

The first thing you need to do is find the right no-code solution for your specific development needs. Check out our list of the best app building software as a starting point. 

BuildFire is the ultimate no-code solution for iOS and Android mobile app development. 

It’s the most powerful app builder on the market today due to its limitless customization and scalability. The platform is easy enough for anyone to use but powerful enough for developers to create custom features and plugins. 

You can use BuildFire to create an app quickly and for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development. Best of all, you’ll have the full support of BuildFire’s team at your disposal if you need any help or assistance throughout the project. 

We’ll even help get your app live on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store once it’s done, and manage updates for you post-launch. 

Use this guide on how to build an app without coding for step-by-step instructions on getting started and launching your app. 

You can also sign up for a 14-day free trial of BuildFire to try it out and get your feet wet with no-code development. 

Final Thoughts

No-code development is the future. 

It’s a simple way for anyone to create apps on a tight budget. No code solutions make it easy to get your app to market quickly and don’t require any technical skills or coding knowledge. 

The vast majority of apps can be built using a no-code tool—so there’s a good chance it’s right for you.

If you have any more questions about how this works or specific questions related to your app idea, reach out to our team here at BuildFire for more information. We’re happy to help!

How to Choose the Best Mobile App Development Company

You want to make an app. That’s great! But now what?

If you’re not comfortable building mobile apps on your own, hiring a mobile app development company is the obvious choice. 

But with hundreds, if not thousands, of app development companies to choose from, this can feel like an overwhelming task for anyone going through the process. 

Fortunately, narrowing down the best app development company for your app is much easier when you have a blueprint to follow, which is exactly why we created this guide.

You can use our evaluation criteria below to eliminate options and find an app development company that fits your specific needs. Ready? Let’s dive in!

11 Tips to Find the Best App Development Companies

Use these tips and best practices as a buying guide for mobile app development companies. As you go through each step, your list of qualified candidates will get shorter and shorter, until you’re left with one or two options that can accommodate app ideas.

1. Compare Mobile App Development Companies

Starting from scratch is arguably the hardest part of this entire process. You might start with a Google search for “best mobile app development companies” or “top app developers”—something along those lines. 

The initial search will yield a lot of hits for web apps, mobile apps, hybrid mobile app development, cross-platform app development, and more. But this isn’t enough information to start hiring mobile app developers just yet. 

You need to start with a clear picture of what type of mobile app you want. 

Are you creating a gaming app? A business app for employee communication? An app for your restaurant? The list goes on and on.

Do you need mobile and web apps built by the same custom software development company? Do you need project management assistance? Do you need Android app development, iOS app development, or both?

As you start to answer these questions, you’ll immediately be able to eliminate options from your list. 

You’ll find that some mobile app development companies specialize in niche-specific builds, such as internal apps for business processes. Some are great for AR/VR and gaming apps. Others offer a wider range of custom app development solutions. 

If you need a starting point to work with, check out our complete guide of the top ten best custom software development companies. You can reference this list as you continue through the steps below and eliminate options as you’re qualifying candidates. 

2. Look at Their App Development Portfolio

Now that you have a shorter list of contenders, go through each one to see what types of apps they’ve built for their clients.

You’ll likely see different options like:

  • Ecommerce apps
  • Gym and fitness apps
  • Educational apps
  • Apps for events
  • Restaurant apps
  • Podcast apps
  • Religious apps
  • Employee communication apps
  • Business workflow apps
  • Gaming apps

The best app development companies should be able to build anything. But it’s definitely in your best interest to find a company that has experience with the type of app you need. 

You won’t want your project to be an experiment for the company. So this is definitely an important consideration. 

3. Evaluate the App Design Process

App design and development go hand-in-hand. 

The best app development companies work with you through each stage of the design process. This includes wireframing, design concepts, storyboards, prototyping, and more. 

You should be looking for a development company that understands the importance of UX (user experience) design and UI (user interface design). 

Even a highly functional app is useless if the design stinks. That’s the first thing your users will notice when they download and open your app. 

So if the app development company you hire falls short with design, your final product will suffer. 

4. Consider the Experience of Mobile App Developers

App development companies come in all different shapes and sizes. 

You might find smaller boutique firms with one or two developers on staff. There are also large agencies that employ dozens of developers. But most fall somewhere in between. 

Ask questions about who will be working on your app. How long have they been building apps? What types of apps have they built?

An app developer with a history in web development doesn’t always translate to success in mobile app development. The longer they’ve been building apps, the better it is for you. 

For example, BuildFire has built more than 10,000+ apps. That’s a long history of experience that comes with knowledge that can’t be replicated by taking a development course online. Working with a company like this ensures that your developers have seen it all, and they won’t be surprised if something unexpected or tricky comes up along the way. 

FREE Ebook Download: The Definitive Guide to Building an Expert App Development Team

5. Find a Software Development Company That Can Bring Your Mobile App Idea to Life

You need to find a mobile app developer that believes in your vision. 

Some mobile application development services just put out what you tell them to. They listen to your instructions and do their best to create features based on what you want.

But features and vision aren’t the same things. 

It’s really important for your mobile app development company to truly understand your idea. Where do you want your app to be in the short term? What will your app look like in five or ten years? How does your app solve problems for your customers?

If they understand the problem that you’re trying to solve, they can use that information to enhance the app and its features. 

Otherwise, your app will just be a series of different functions that don’t make any sense towards your greater goal or mission. 

For example, look at an app like Uber.

Let’s pretend you came up with this concept and brought the idea to a mobile app development company. You tell them that you need an app for users to book car transportation. The output likely wouldn’t be the Uber we know today.

Instead, you’d have to explain your vision. You want an on-demand ridesharing service that’s a quick and convenient way for anyone to book a ride from their phone. The app connects drivers with riders in real time and offers a safe experience for both parties. In five years, you want the app to expand, giving people the option to order food and groceries from those same drivers.

If the mobile app development company doesn’t have a firm understanding of your vision, then you’re likely going to be unhappy with the final result. 

6. Look for a Consultative Approach

Understanding your idea is just one part of the equation. But you need to look beyond the basic mobile app development services and find an app development company that offers consultancy as well. 

A consultative approach might challenge your ideas. They could make suggestions or improvements to shape the app based on their experience. 

You can even find a mobile app development company that assists with app market research to validate your idea before the build.

Here’s a somewhat extreme example to showcase my point. Let’s pretend you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade and approach an app development company with an idea for a social media platform. But your idea is basically describing exactly what Facebook does.

A good app development company will tell you it’s probably not the best idea to move forward, as there’s no market demand for this idea. 

Instead, you need a way to differentiate yourself—such as an unfiltered social media platform where users don’t have a chance to edit photos before posting or have public comments. This idea describes the Daylyy mobile app, created by BuildFire. 

Your app consultants should also be able to tell you which features to add and which ideas can be eliminated—at least for the initial release. You can always expand and grow your app down the road, and the best app developers understand this. 

7. Assess Your Budget

How much are you willing to spend on app development?

Some agencies might charge upwards of $250,000 and others might charge $25,000 for the exact same app. 

Cheaper isn’t always better. But with that said, paying the highest price doesn’t automatically mean you’re working with a top mobile app development company. 

Instead of looking at the bottom line price, think about the value you’re getting with the service. 

Sure, you could save $50,000 or $100,000 by outsourcing your project to a developer in Eastern Europe. But then you’ll have to deal with time zone changes, language barriers, and other challenges. The final product likely won’t be on par with an app built by a US-based development company. 

But before you hire mobile app developers, you should have a rough idea of your budget. This will give you a chance to automatically qualify or disqualify options based on the total cost. 

We have a complete guide on how much it costs to make an app that can help you with your budget. You can also use our app cost calculator to get a quick estimate based on what you’re looking for. 

If you’re on a really tight budget, an app development company may not be your best option. Instead, you can use a mobile app development platform to create an app on your own without writing code. 

8. Look For Limitless Customization

Custom software development needs to be a priority. Unless, of course, you’re just looking for something basic—like turning your website into an app

What limitations are restrictions you have? Is there anything that the company can’t build?

The best mobile app developers should be honest and transparent about this. 

In some cases, this won’t be a dealbreaker. For example, let’s say you come across a quality app development company that doesn’t create games or virtual reality apps. 

If you’re just building an ecommerce app or an app for your barbershop, those limitations won’t make a difference in your development project. 

So while it’s ok to vet app developers with some scrutiny, you don’t automatically need to disqualify candidates if they can’t do one or two things that are unrelated to your idea. 

9. Find Out if They Offer Post-Launch Maintenance and Support

The interaction with your app developer shouldn’t end once your app is built. If the company is simply going to hand you an app, then disappear into the horizon, you’re going to be stuck with a big problem.

You should only be considering mobile app development services that offer post-launch maintenance and support. Here’s why.

Mobile apps are a never-ending project. 

What happens when Apple comes out with a new iPhone in six months, and your app no longer meets the compatibility requirements of a new device or iOS version? Do you have the ability to make those changes?

What will you do if your users discover a bug in the app? Can you fix this on your own?

Apps also require tons of backend infrastructure components to operate smoothly. They need push notification servers, web servers, databases, and security patching—the list is never-ending. 

Unless you have the capacity and internal resources to handle this stuff on your own, it’s much easier to just lean on your app development company.

When you’re ready to expand, add new features, and scale your app in the future, they’ll just be a phone call away and can implement those changes with ease. 

10. Read Customer Reviews and Consider the Company’s Reputation

App development services are like anything else. If you’re going to read online reviews before you buy a $20 razor or a backpack, then you should definitely be reading reviews before you spend tens of thousands of dollars on app development.

Take your time to see what real clients are saying about the company you’re considering. 

Don’t let one or two bad reviews throw you off. There will always be some unhappy customers out there, and if you’re a business owner, this is something you’re already familiar with.

Instead, look for consistency. Are the majority of customers happy?

If you’re looking through reviews and you see dozens of people complaining about the same shortcomings in the service, then it’s obviously going to be a red flag. This is a situation where you should proceed with caution and maybe eliminate that option from your list. 

11. Request a Consultation to Get a Feel for How it Works

Once you have a shortlist of two or three companies that fit what you’re looking for, it’s time to move forward and reach out for more information. 

Don’t rush through the buying process. 

Hopping on a call to talk about your idea and see what types of services can be provided for you will make your decision much easier. You should have a pretty good gut feeling by the end of the call if the app development company is a good fit for your project.

If you don’t know what to ask them, you can use this guide as a reference. 

You can schedule your free consultation with BuildFire here. Our team will provide you with a detailed roadmap of how we’ll bring your idea to life. You’ll also get a price estimate that shows how BuildFire can save you thousands of dollars compared to other agencies on the market. 

Final Thoughts

Comparing the top mobile app development companies can be tough if you don’t know what to look for. My hope is that this guide helped steer you in the right direction, so you can narrow down quality options based on your specific needs. 

Depending on your project, some of these tips will hold more weight than others. But they’re all important to consider as you’re shopping around and exploring your options. 

If you’re ready to move forward, check out BuildFire Plus—our all-inclusive app development service. From strategy sessions through design, development, and post-launch support, we’ve got you covered. 

BuildFire is more than just an app development company. We’re a partner in your success. 

What’s the Difference Between iOS and Android Development?

iOS and Android are the two most popular smartphone operating systems worldwide. So if you’re making mobile apps, you need to decide if you’re going to build for iOS, Android, or both.

Most people understand this concept at a basic level—iOS and Android are different. But exactly how are they different?

That’s why we created this guide. 

Whether you’re a prospective developer, entrepreneur, or just a tech-savvy business user that wants to further your knowledge, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover everything you need to know about iOS and Android, including a clear explanation of each platform and the key differences between them.

What is iOS Mobile App Development?

iOS app development refers to mobile apps for Apple’s mobile operating system. iOS apps run on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. 

Apple has various operating systems for its devices. For example, applications built for Mac computers run on macOS. There is even an iOS variant, iPodOS, that’s specifically for iPads.

iOS development caters specifically to the unique device specifications and security requirements of Apple’s mobile operating system. 

What is Android App Development?

Android app development is the process of making mobile applications that run on the Android operating system. 

Android (developed by Google), has a wide range of devices that run using this OS. The list of brands includes Samsung, Google, Motorola, OnePlus, Sony, and thousands more.

In fact, there are more than 24,000 different types of devices that use the Android operating system, distributed by roughly 1,300 companies. 

11 Key Differences Between iOS and Android Apps

Android and iOS are different in many ways. Below we’ll cover the top 11 key differences between the two mobile operating systems dominating the global market share.

1. Programming Languages

iOS and Android are powered by different backend tech stacks. 

Swift and Objective-C are the two main programming languages used to code iOS apps. Swift is designed specifically for Apple products and is typically not used for anything beyond iOS development. 

Android apps generally rely on Java and Kotlin programming languages. But Java also has use cases that work beyond Android devices. So if you’re a developer that’s familiar with Java, there’s an easier bridge to coding for Android. 

Check out our guide on the best programming languages for mobile app development to learn more about all of these languages and more. 

2. Design Strategy

When comparing iOS vs. Android, you’ll also notice some crucial differences between the way apps are designed. 

Apple favors app content over design. So you’ll see more white space used to highlight app-specific features and clarity. iOS developers should refer to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for best practices.

When designing for Android devices, you’ll have a bit more flexibility with color changes, motion, and light. The design guidelines aren’t quite as strict. 
Android developers can refer to the Material Design for Android to learn more about the interaction design and motion between Android devices.

3. Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Android and Apple both have different IDEs—integrated development environments. 

Android developers can create an Android app using Android Studio, which was initially developed by Google back in 2013.  

This is the official IDE for Android app development. It’s built on IntelliJ IDEA software from JetBrains and available to download on Linux, Windows, Chrome and macOS operating systems. 

iOS developers rely on Xcode.

Xcode is Apple’s official IDE for all Apple software, including iOS. You can use Xcode to build apps for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Unlike Android Studio, Xcode is only compatible with macOS. So you can’t download it on your Linux or Windows machine. 

We have a complete Xcode tutorial that explains how it works and how to get started with iOS app development

So which IDE is better—Android Studio or Xcode?

Each software has its pros and cons. Android Studio is a bit more versatile for developers who already have experience creating apps for other operating systems. But Xcode is easier to set up for beginners.

Both platforms have excellent debugging features, although Xcode might have the edge in this category. Android studio’s advanced code editor and layout design features might be more popular, although some users complain that it takes up too much memory on their devices. 

4. Devices

When it comes to iOS devices, you’re basically just talking about different versions of the iPhone. You can put iPads and iPod Touch devices into this category as well. 

But the list of Android devices is significantly larger.

As mentioned earlier, there are more than 24,000 different Android devices. Since the first iPhone launched back in 2007, there have been less than 40 different versions of this device for iOS.  

5. App Distribution

Each platform has its own app store for distribution.

iOS apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and Android Apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. 

For more information, check out our step-by-step guide on publishing your app to the app store. 

Android apps are better if you want to distribute your app to the widest possible audience. But iOS has some cool developer programs for app testing and distributing private apps. 

Additional Reading: How to Distribute an iOS App Without Using App Stores

6. User Base

Android users and iOS users are different.

In the United States, there’s about an even split between the two operating systems. As of January 2022, iOS has a slight edge—controlling 51.2% of the US mobile OS market share

But with a whopping 87% market share, Android dominates globally. 

So if you’re on the fence about developing for iOS or Android, one of the first things you need to do is assess your target market. If you’re developing it for people in the US, you’ll likely need to build for both platforms. But if you’re developing for an international audience, excluding the US, you can stick with Android. 

7. Monetization Strategy

Studies suggest that iPhone users earn more money than Android users. In fact, the median household income of an iPhone user is $85,000, compared to $61,000 for Android.

This is important information to consider when you’re looking for ways to monetize your app

Since iPhone users may have more buying power, you can factor in things like in-app purchases with iOS development. 

But Android developers may need to focus more on other ways to make money, such as in-app advertising. 

8. App Store Rules and Submission Guidelines

Apple and Android have different processes for vetting apps.

Generally speaking, the Apple App Store is much stricter than the Google Play Store. 

Poor quality apps and apps that aren’t very creative can still be published on Google Play. But Apple prioritizes quality and security. 

For example, you can’t just take the mobile version of your website and turn it into an app for the Apple App Store. Apple requires the app to have distinct features and differences from your website. 

Make sure you check out the App Store Review Guidelines before you submit your app to Apple. It’s a long document, but it clearly outlines all of the rules you need to follow. 

Aside from the rules, your app will appear differently in both stores. This means you may need to have a different app name, description, visuals, and other marketing promos for each store.

We have a guide on app store optimization that explains this in greater detail. 

It’s also worth noting that the Apple App Store approval process typically takes a few days, while Google Play only takes a few hours. 

9. App Security

The Apple App Store is generally safer than the Google Play Store. This is directly tied to Apple’s strict standards for submission and scrutiny of apps that don’t meet the standards. 

There are significantly more apps with malware on the Play Store vs. the App Store. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a secure app development method. This will not only protect your business, but also your users. If you create your app with BuildFire, you can rest easy knowing that everything is secure on the backend—regardless of the app store it’s on.

10. App Development Timeline

Generally speaking, Android development is more complex than iOS development. This has a direct correlation with the total development timeline.

Android developers need to account for a wider range of devices and screen sizes. Whereas Apple is much more limited.

Aside from having to adjust the graphics for more devices, Android developers also have to run tests and catch bugs on more devices. This is a time-consuming process.

While it obviously varies based on the type of app you’re building and the features you want, most Android apps take about 30% to 40% longer to launch than iOS apps.

Additional Reading: How to Launch an App Fast

11. Total Cost of Development

Longer timelines generally translate to higher costs. 

That’s why it usually costs more money to create an Android app vs. iOS app.

But again, there are lots of factors at play when you’re thinking about your app budget and total cost of development. 

As you can see from the graph above, the average cost of a complex app using developers in Eastern Europe would be cheaper than creating a basic app using developers in North America.

The average cost of iOS developers in North America is about $150 compared to $168 for Android. Both of those numbers drop to about $35 per hour when outsourced overseas. 

Using BuildFire for iOS and Android App Development

BuildFire is the ultimate solution for cross-platform apps. Rather than developing two separate apps for iOS and Android, you can use BuildFire to create both with a single build.

As a no-code app builder, BuildFire makes it possible for anyone to create an app without any technical skills or programming knowledge.

This helps you get your app to market as quickly as possible and for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development. 

Unlike other app builders on the market, BuildFire is developer-friendly. This means you can create custom functionality and scale limitlessly, so you’ll never outgrow the platform.

BuildFire also offers in-house development services. So if you want to outsource the project completely or just outsource a few custom features, we can handle whatever you need.

Final Thoughts on iOS Apps and Android Mobile Apps

Android and iOS development are very different. 

But most of you need to have an app available on both platforms. Rather than learning how to write code in multiple languages and navigate the difficult waters of platform-specific IDEs, you can just use a no-code app maker like BuildFire to simplify your project.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial to get started today, or reach out to our team for more information. 

App Maker Buying Guide (2024)

If you want to create mobile apps without writing code, an app maker is your best option. 

An app builder makes it easy for business owners and entrepreneurs to create apps at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development. You can also get your app to market quickly, in days or weeks, as opposed to months or years. 

There’s just one problem—the marketplace is flooded with different app makers. Finding the best app maker for your and your unique situation can be challenging, especially if you’ve never gone through this process. 

That’s why we created this guide. You can use the criteria below to evaluate the best app builders by weeding out the bad options and narrowing down the serious contenders. 

What is an App Maker?

App maker software is designed to create mobile apps without any code. Anyone can use an app builder to create their own app for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Historically, mobile app development required specialized skills and developers. Only those who were fluent in writing code in specific programming languages could create an application. Those who didn’t possess these skills either had to learn them or hire people to create the app. 

But app makers bridge the gap to app development for non-technical users. 

All of the technical specifications of the app are handled on the backend of the software. You just need to tell the app builder what features and functions you want included in the app using drag-and-drop technology or plugins.

Some of you reading this right now are already familiar with how this works. Lots of small business owners and entrepreneurs use website builders to power their sites. App makers use the exact same concept, except the end result is a mobile app instead of a website. 

Check out our list of the best app building software to see some examples. 

Benefits of Using an App Maker to Create Mobile Apps

Why should you use an app maker? 

There are significant advantages to using an app builder compared to traditional development. Examples include:

  • No coding or technical skills required
  • You don’t need to hire and manage a development team
  • Faster path to app launch
  • It’s much cheaper to use an app maker
  • There’s virtually no learning curve
  • You can work on your app from anywhere without downloading software
  • It’s easier to make changes and update the app
  • All of the backend infrastructure is managed for you
  • Build for iOS and Android at the same time

Overall, app makers provide a faster and stress-free development experience—saving you tens of thousands of dollars.

Just be aware that if you’re planning to build a gaming app, VR/AR app, or app that’s highly graphics intensive, an app maker might not be the best option to consider. But for any other type of mobile app, app builders get the job done great and your end-users won’t know the difference. 

What to Look For in an App Builder

There are certain factors you should be using to evaluate app makers and compare them side-by-side. Use the criteria below as a buying guide to help you determine if a prospective app builder meets the specifications for your project and needs:

Simplicity

The first thing you need to consider is the ease of use. That’s one of the main reasons you’re considering this method for your mobile app.

If it’s going to take you weeks or months just to learn how the app development platform works, then the software is likely too complicated.

Don’t get me wrong. An app maker is like any other piece of software. There’s going to be a slight learning curve the first few times you’re using it. Even Facebook or Instagram took a few sessions for you to learn where everything was on the app.

Finding an intuitive app builder with a user-friendly interface needs to be a priority. So take advantage of any free trials offered by the platform to get a feel for how it works. You’ll know within a week or two if the software can accommodate your needs or if it’s just too complex for your skill level.

Cost

There will obviously be a cost variation between the platforms you’re considering. Even within a specific platform, you’ll likely see different subscription options—each with more features and functions at different tiers.

Don’t like price alone drive your decision. Instead, look at the value you’re getting.

For example, you might find an app builder on the market for $200 per month and another one for $350. But if the $200 plan only lets you create an Android app and you want to build for iOS and Android, then that’s useless for your project. 

The best app makers let you create a mobile app for iOS, Android, tablets, and PWA (progressive web apps). They also come with app analytics, built-in security, access to premium plugins, push notifications, and more. 

You should also consider the level of service and support you’re getting if you need some help or want something customized. You’re probably not going to get that from a free app builder. So spending a little bit more today can actually help you out tremendously in the long run. 

Features and Functionality

What type of app are you building? What do you want your app to do?

You need to know the answer to these questions as you’re comparing platforms. 

Let’s say you want to create a mobile app to manage memberships for your gym. Or maybe you’re creating an app for internal employee communication. Does the no-code app builder you’re considering have the functionality you need to make this possible?

Don’t just look at what your app will be when it launches. You also need to make sure the app builder offers the functionality you need as your app grows down the road.

BuildFire has more than 150+ plugins that you can use to easily add features to your app with a single click. From appointment scheduling to videos, maps, push notifications, and more, we have you covered.

The best part about BuildFire, compared to other app makers, is its limitless functionality.

If you have a unique or custom feature idea that isn’t available in our plugin marketplace, it’s no problem—our in-house development team can create it for you. So you’ll never outgrow the platform. 

Compatible Platforms

Where do you want to launch your native mobile apps?

With traditional development, you need to code separate versions of your app for each operating system. Your iOS app and Android app are essentially two different projects, both requiring different developers to complete the job.

But app builders let you create multiple apps for each platform with a single build. So just make sure the software you’re considering has that option.

At a minimum, it should offer iOS and Android versions. But the best tools provide you with iPad versions and PWA as well. This helps get your app into the hands of the widest possible audience.

Design Tools

There are lots of makers on the market that really lack design options. Even though you’re using an app creator, it should still feel like your very own mobile app—not a cookie-cutter version that looks exactly like every other app created on the same platform. 

Starting with an industry-specific template is always a plus.

For example, the homepage of an educational app probably shouldn’t be too similar to the homepage for a religious app. An ecommerce app should have a different design from an event planning app.

You should have full control over color schemes, buttons, menus, fonts, and every other visual component of the app and user interface. 

For more information, download a free copy of our ebook—The Definitive Guide to Mobile App Design.

Support

This is a huge factor in the app creation process that’s often overlooked.

No matter how easy it might be to use different app makers, there’s a good chance you’re going to have a question at some point or another. It might not be today or next week, but it could be next month or next year.

When that happens, will the support team be there for you?

Support is more than just a chatbot sending you to a knowledge base article. It’s someone who can offer you real advice and suggestions to get an answer. 

I strongly recommend that you use an app maker from a company that also offers app development services. This will give you the best possible support compared to standalone app development tools. 

In a year or two, you might want a completely customized feature or function to accommodate market demands or a shift in your business model. When this situation arises, you want the ability to lean on your support options without being forced to move your app elsewhere. 

If you’re going to outgrow the platform in a couple of years because the support options are limited, then it’s probably not the best app maker for your project. 

App Performance

At the end of the day, the mobile apps you’re building need to perform at a high level. 

Your customers and user base don’t care what platform you used to build the app or how much you spent. They just want something that works as it’s intended to do.

Downtime, crashing, bugs—all of this spells disaster for your app. 

Instead, you want an app that’s bug-free and loads quickly. You should be able to monitor all of the app analytics from your admin panel to see if users are experiencing problems and how they can be improved. 

Look through some of the apps that were built on the platform you’re considering. Read the reviews and download them to see how well they’re performing. This will give you a good indication of how well your app will perform if you build it with the same platform. 

Why BuildFire is the Best App Maker to Create an App

BuildFire is unlike any other app maker on the market today. It’s a simple yet powerful way to create an app for iOS, Android, and PWA—without any coding experience or technical knowledge. 

You can get started in minutes and choose a stunning template from a unique selection of industry-specific categories. From there, it’s just a matter of adding functions by installing plugins from our marketplace. You have full control over the design, and it’s easy to make changes to your app from anywhere.

But where BuildFire really stands out from the crowd is its limitless customization. 

We also offer full-service app development. So our in-house team is fully capable of creating custom features and functions on top of the platform. 

With other app builders on the market, you’re limited to what your app can do based on the feature list. If a feature isn’t available, then you’re out of luck. 

If you want a custom feature and don’t want to use our developers, that’s fine too. The BuildFire SDK makes it possible for you to use your own developers to create that functionality. All of which can be built on top of our existing infrastructure. 

We also offer exceptional support through each step of the development project. So you can always reach out to our team for assistance and guidance. 

Once your app is done, we’ll even help you get it live on the app stores. All of the security, maintenance, and backend requirements are handled for you. 

BuildFire has been used to create more than 10,000+ mobile apps. So you know that it’s a reputable and reliable solution. 

Start your 14-day free trial to see if BuildFire is right for you.

Final Thoughts

Using an app maker is the best path to development for the vast majority of mobile apps. 

Make sure you use this guide as you’re shopping around and comparing options. If you use the criteria and buying considerations mentioned above, you’ll easily find the best platform for your app development needs. 

Low-Code/No-Code App Development: What’s the Difference?

The terms low-code and no-code are often confused with each other. While both low-code and no-code have some similarities, they’re actually two completely different solutions for app development.

With that said, some low-code development platforms also offer no-code capabilities. Other platforms that are branded as no-code tools have some low-code options built in. (It’s no wonder that even savvy business users confuse these terms).

If you need help distinguishing the difference between low-code and no-code platforms, you’ve come to the right place. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about low-code vs. no-code, including a clear definition of each, the differences between them, the pros and cons of no-code/low-code, and the best no-code/low-code platforms for development. Let’s dive right in. 

What is Low Code?

Low-code makes it possible for professional developers of varying skill levels to quickly build applications with minimal hard-coding efforts. 

Using no code to create software can best be compared to traditional development. The only difference is that no-code platforms offer different shortcuts that streamline the process. Rather than spending time coding repetitive tasks from scratch, low-code platforms have basic software elements and infrastructure already built. 

Low-code platforms follow a rapid app development (RAD) approach that includes things like automated code generation through drag-and-drop interfaces, pull-down interfaces, and other visual building blocks. 

Developers can focus the majority of their efforts on writing code for the smaller parts of the application that make it unique compared to other apps on the market. But all the boilerplate and repetitive code is handled by the platform. 

As a developer, you can still write custom code over the automated code provided by a low-code tool. 

What is No Code?

No-code is exactly what it sounds like. It enables anyone, regardless of technical knowledge or programming experience, to create applications without writing a single line of code. 

The possibilities of no-code development stretch far and wide. They’re trusted by citizen developers to create apps for business processes, entrepreneurs launching new websites, and business owners building mobile apps to expand.

Similar to low-code, no-code development also uses a RAD approach. But it’s completely hands-off when it comes to coding and programming.

No-code platforms are 100% dependent on using visual tools, plugins, modules, and drag-and-drop builders to create an app. 

In simple terms, anyone can use no-code platforms without any specialized skills or training. If you know how to browse the web, you can create an application using a no-code app builder

Some of you might have experience building websites with platforms like Wix or Squarespace. Both of those tools fall into the no-code category. 

What’s the Difference Between Low Code and No Code?

There are definitely some similarities between low-code development platforms and no-code app makers. But at a granular level, you’ll see that there are major differences between low-code and no-code when you look at the details.

Let’s take a closer look at these differences below:

End-User

Low-code solutions are made for professional developers. These users need to have a background of programming and development to use a no-code tool. But they’re just looking for a shortcut that doesn’t require 100% custom code from scratch.

Anyone can use a no-code platform, including average business users who don’t have any development experience. While professional developers could technically use a no-code tool, most would prefer a low-code system—as it allows them to use their unique skills.

Open vs. Closed System

Low-code leverages open systems that allow users to add functionality to an application by writing code. For example, developers can create a custom plugin or feature on an open system and then re-use that code later for another project. 

Traditional no-code platforms are closed. This means that you’d need to rely on pre-built plugins and templates for functionality. There’s no manual code written that can customize anything beyond the platform’s capability.

With that said, there are some no-code platforms that do offer custom extensibility through an open system. 

For example, BuildFire is a no-code app development tool that’s also developer friendly. So if you want to create a custom feature for an app that isn’t available through a plugin, you can have a developer make it for you with the BuildFire SDK. 

Other no-code platforms don’t offer this type of flexibility and customization, which is why BuildFire is the best app building software on the market today. 

Speed

Low-code requires more time, training, and onboarding to get a project through development and deployment. It’s still significantly faster than traditional development, but the specialized skill requirements won’t get the application to market as fast as no-code.

No-code tools are all about plug-and-play. 90% of the work is already done—it’s just a matter of customizing a few details to make the app your own. 

You won’t have to worry about too much time testing your app either since there are fewer chances of errors that would traditionally be introduced into an app through manual coding. 

If speed is your top priority, check out this guide on how to launch an app fast

Use Cases

Both low-code and no-code development can be used to create a wide range of different software and applications. 

With that in mind, low-code is often the preferred choice for apps related to business process management, business workflows, internal business apps, and software for custom integrations. It’s a reliable choice for professional developers working on creating custom solutions for their employers.

No-code development can be used to create almost anything. It’s great for education apps, health and fitness apps, internal communication apps, event apps, ecommerce apps—the list goes on and on.

The main idea with no-code is that you’re taking advantage of as much pre-built functionality as possible. For example, every ecommerce app is going to offer the same basic features. The app will have products, a shopping cart, a payment portal, and some type of user profile. Making the app your own is just about adding your specific products and customizing the content and design to match your branding. 

It’s also worth noting that neither low-code nor no-code tools are ideal for graphics-intensive apps, AR/VR apps, or games. If you’re looking to create the next Facebook or YouTube, low-code and no-code probably won’t get the job done either. These situations are better suited for traditional development. 

What is a Low Code Development Platform?

A low-code development platform relies on visual tools and process modeling techniques to define different parts of the software, including rules, workflows, and user interfaces. 

All of these visuals are converted to code on the backend thanks to the low-code system. 

Developers seek out a low-code platform when they want to automate the basic and generic elements of coding, so they spend the bulk of their time on customization. 

Low-code platforms provide the architecture and infrastructure required for development. Certain databases and repetitive features that are common across all apps are included already—it’s just a matter of enabling or disabling them to your liking. 

90% of the code can be generated automatically using the tool. Then low-level code can be written from scratch to customize the remaining 10%.

How Do No Code Development Platforms Work?

Unlike low-code platforms, the no-code development process does not require any coding skills. A no-code platform relies solely on visual building on the front end. 

You’ll start with a template, and then you can add content in plain text, change the colors, add videos, and control your design from a visual editor. 

Adding functionality is simple. You just need to install a plugin or enable a function. 

For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer and using a no-code app builder to provide mobile training to your clients. 

There’s a good chance you’ll want to add videos to the app that demonstrate how to properly do various workouts. You can add these with ease by installing a YouTube or Vimeo plugin to your app. Then it’s just a matter of selecting which videos you want to include and where you want them.

Maybe you want the app to have a booking feature for clients to schedule appointments. There’s a plugin for that too. 

Or maybe you want an interactive map that shows clients how to get to a nearby gym where you work. That’s just a click away.

The functionality for all of these scenarios is already pre-built. While those functions aren’t included in the app when you’re first getting started, they’re already available on the no-code platform. You just need to add the ones you want to make your app unique. 

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to build an app without coding for more information on how this works. 

Pros and Cons of Low Cow Code Development Platforms

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of using low-code tools for app development:

Low-Code Pros

  • No-code solutions make it possible to build apps simultaneously for multiple platforms.
  • For large projects, you won’t have to wait for other developers to finish building parts of the app since most of the basics are already coded for you.
  • There’s less risk involved with low-code development because they don’t require as many resources.
  • Fewer risks mean less money, which both translate to a higher ROI.

Low-Code Cons

  • You need to have development knowledge to use a low-code platform.
  • Scalability for enterprise apps isn’t always possible.
  • Making major changes within the platform itself may not be easy.

Pros and Cons of No Code Platforms

No-code software development is growing in popularity for varying use cases. But keep the following considerations in mind before you get started:

No-Code Pros

  • Low barrier to entry into the world of app development.
  • Anyone can use a no-code platform, and no coding skills are required.
  • No-code is the fastest and easiest way to create an app.
  • No-code development is the most cost-effective way to make an app.
  • You don’t have to hire a development team.
  • No-code apps can be built for both iOS and Android.
  • You can deploy your app to both App Stores with a single click.

No-Code Cons

  • Depending on the platform you’re using, some no-code tools restrict your growth.
  • Complete customization isn’t always possible with low-grade app builders.
  • Not ideal for games, AR, VR, or unicorn apps (like Facebook, Tinder, or Uber).

Best Low-Code/No-Code Development Platform For Mobile Apps

BuildFire is the best low-code/no-code development platform for iOS and Android. It’s the most powerful no-code development tool on the market today, but it also provides developers with the tools they need to code custom functionality from scratch.

Where traditional no-code app builders fall short, BuildFire fills the gaps with its truly unlimited scale and customization options. 

With BuildFire, all of your app infrastructure and backend services are handled for you. You won’t have to worry about securing servers or managing databases on the backend to manage your app.

Just use the no-code visual editor to customize your app and see the changes in real-time through our app emulator. 

The platform is completely web-based. So you don’t have to install anything to your computer to make an app with BuildFire. Adding features is simple. Just choose from one of the 150+ pre-built plugins from the BuildFire marketplace.

Need something that you don’t see in the form of a plugin? No problem.

BuildFire’s SDK empowers your developers to create custom plugins and features using low-code technology. If you don’t have developers and don’t want to hire any, that’s not a problem either. You can just reach out to BuildFire, and our in-house development team will create it for you.

When it comes to no-code/low-code app development, there’s truly nothing else like BuildFire on the market today. 

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days when you needed to rely on hard coding from scratch to create software.

Low-code/no-code app development solutions make it easier for professional developers, citizen developers, and the average person to create an app with ease. There’s no need to spend a fortune, and it won’t take a year to deploy your app either.

These tools allow you to launch an app in weeks or months and for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development. 

With all of this in mind, it’s worth noting that low-code and no-code development aren’t the same. The technology does have some similarities, but they’re both very different at the end of the day.

If you’re unsure whether no-code or low-code is right for you, try BuildFire. BuildFire is the best of both worlds, and it’s trusted by business users with no coding experience and professional developers alike.

Sign up today to start your 14-day free trial

Getting Started With iOS App Development

iOS app development can be a lucrative venture. It allows you to reach the one billion people who use iPhones globally. 

Existing businesses and new entrepreneurs alike recognize the opportunities associated with iOS mobile app development. But getting started is often the biggest hurdle, and that’s why we created this guide. 

Continue below to find out everything you need to get started with iOS app development. We’ll even show you a shortcut to success. 

What is iOS App Development?

iOS app development is the process of making software to run on Apple iPhone, iPad, and iTouch hardware. Like any software project, the iOS app development process has unique requirements to ensure the application is compatible and meets the specifications for Apple devices.

iOS applications can be deployed on the Apple App Store for users to download. 

Apple has specific developer guidelines for iOS apps. These guidelines contain the rules and best practices for iOS app development, including what it takes to get your app published to the Apple App Store

Prerequisites to Develop iOS Apps

There are certain requirements you need to have in place before you start developing iOS apps. 

Most of these are technical requirements that provide you with the tools and resources for development. We’ll take a closer look at each one below and link out to some other helpful resources that you can use to learn more about the topics. 

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

The first thing you need for any mobile app development project is an integrated development environment—better known as an IDE. 

An IDE is essentially software that enables developers to build applications. IDEs combine a range of developer tools into one GUI (graphical user interface). 

Xcode is Apple’s official IDE, and it requires a Mac computer to operate. 

There are some workarounds out there to use Xcode on a Windows-based PC. But generally speaking, it’s not in your best interest to go this route. If you’re serious about being an iOS developer, you should have the right hardware. 

With Xcode, you can do more than just create apps for iPhones and iPads. You can also use this tool to create, test, and distribute apps for all Apple devices across every Apple platform. 

This includes applications for Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. You’ll have a compiler, text editor, and name system all in one place. 

The software offers a wide range of debugging tools, project management resources, and asset management features. Overall, it’s a great way to keep all of your coding files organized when you’re developing and deploying apps on the Apple App Store and Mac App Store. 

We have a full tutorial on Xcode that you can use as a reference to get started. The tutorial covers all of Xcode’s requirements, how Xcode works, Xcode features, and how to use it for your iOS development project. 

iOS Programming Language

You also need to decide what programming language you’re going to use to create an iOS app. 

The Swift programming language has become the new go-to option for iOS development. It’s commonly used and encouraged if you’re using Xcode. Objective-C is another popular option to consider. 

With that said, you can also use a general-purpose programming language or object-oriented programming language to develop an iOS app. It all depends on your current programming skills and the type of app you want to create. 

In addition to Swift and Objective-C, Xcode is also compatible with Objective-C++, C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and Python. Check out our guide on the best programming languages for iOS apps to learn more about your options. 

Swift has become so popular due to its flexibility and simplicity. The concise syntax makes it easy to learn, even for beginner iOS app developers. 

The language is clean, easy to read, and easy to maintain. This is great for making changes and updates down the road. Having clean code also makes it easier to spot mistakes while you’re building an app. 

Designed for safety, Swift also eliminates certain classes of historically unsafe code. These built-in safety features make it an easy choice for many developers. 

iOS Software Development Kit

An iOS SDK (software development kit) is different from an IDE. By definition, an IDE only provides an interface for development. But an SDK offers all of the tools required for programming. 

SDKs provide the software programs you need to create applications using specific programming languages. 

One cool part about using Xcode is that it comes with different SDKs. These come in the form of libraries that you can use to develop iOS apps. 

We have a complete list of iOS development tools that you can use as a reference as you’re trying to find the best iOS SDK for your application. 

Active Apple Developer Account

You need an active Apple developer account to get your app in the hands of real users via the App Store. Without a developer account, you cannot submit and distribute your application. 

To get started, simply join the Apple Developer Program. Aside from being a requirement, the membership comes with lots of different perks that you can use to your advantage. 

One cool part of the program is access to the latest betas. This allows you to leverage Apple’s latest technologies and integrate them into your applications for iOS apps, iPadOS apps, macOS apps, watchOS apps, and tvOS applications. 

The program also gives you access to TestFlight, which is a great way to test your apps before a release. You can invite up to 10,000 external users to try your new builds before deployment. All you need to do is send it to their email address or share a public link.  

You can enroll in the developer program as an individual or as an organization. Both options require an Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled. 

Organizations must be registered as a legal entity and have a D-U-N-S number to verify the entity status. Apple does not accept trade names, DBAs, or fictitious business names. You also need to have a publicly available website with a domain that’s associated with the organization.

Keep in mind, there is a small fee to join. A developer program membership costs $99 per year. Some organizations may be eligible for nonprofit, education, or government discounts. 

iOS Developer

If you’re not going to build the app on your own, you need iOS app developers to do the work for you. 

But you don’t always need a developer in the traditional sense of the term. As you’ll see later on, we’ll show you a trick to creating iOS apps without writing a single line of code. So if you’re not very technical and you don’t want to hire a development team, you can still create an app on your own.

We have lots of different resources that you can use as a reference as you’re making this decision. First, check out our guide on how to hire an app developer. You can also review our guide on how much it costs to hire a developer

It’s also worth noting that there are different types of developers. Most fall into either one of two categories—freelancers and development agencies. We have an in-depth guide that compares the pros and cons of hiring an app development company vs. freelance developers

You can also download our free ebook on building an expert mobile app development team. This goes beyond app developers and includes tips for hiring designers, contractors, project managers, QAs, and other key players in a successful iOS app project team. 

Other Requirements For iOS Mobile Apps

Beyond the technical requirements specific to iOS apps, there are other things you need to have in place before you can create an app. These requirements apply to any type of mobile application, including iOS apps. 

Clearly Defined Goals

Your iOS app needs a purpose. You can’t just build an app because it sounds cool or because everyone else has one. 

Every successful app must have a goal. This goal will become your north star throughout the development process.

Ask yourself some basic questions to steer the ship in the right direction:

  • Why are you building an iOS app?
  • How will the app meet the needs of your target audience?
  • What problems or pain points will your app solve for users?
  • Does your app have any unique features to stand out from similar apps on the market?

If you can’t answer these questions, you’re probably not ready to start building just yet. 

Defining your goals early and sticking to the plan helps keep your development timeline on track and your project within budget. Otherwise, you can easily get distracted throughout the process and become tempted to add extra features along the way. But this is often expensive and detracts from the app’s main goals. 

Market Research

Market research might be the most commonly overlooked step in pre-app development. But it’s also the key to success when you’re creating iOS apps.

Mobile app market research forces you to understand market trends, industry trends, your target audience, and your competition. This research will ultimately help validate your idea—ensuring the iOS application you want to build will actually address a current market need. 

It’s much better to conduct your research early on. Failing to do so could prove to be a costly mistake. 

You don’t want to spend six months of your life and thousands of dollars on a project only to discover that nobody wants it. But your market research can also help you tweak your idea or adjust your target audience based on your findings. 

The process involves lots of data collection and data analysis. You can use existing resources to learn more about general market trends. You can also conduct your own research through polls, surveys, and focus groups. 

But the best market research uses both methods. It’s thorough and gives you the confidence you need to move forward with your iOS development project—knowing you’re creating the app for the right reasons. 

iOS Version Compatibility

You need to make sure that your app is compatible with the latest version of iOS. 

As Apple releases new iOS versions and updates for each version, some apps might experience bugs or problems with features. This is also common as new devices are released. 

Apps that were built using iOS 6.0 that shipped with the iPhone 5 back in 2012 wouldn’t be compatible with the latest iOS 15.6 version that’s being used a decade later. 

So first, you need to make sure the tools you’re using are updated, and the libraries support new versions. But you also need to have a plan for updates in the future. Otherwise, your app can become obsolete if it’s not constantly being updated to keep up with new iOS releases. 

Using BuildFire For iOS App Development

BuildFire is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective method for iOS development. 

It’s a no-code app builder for both iOS and Android. So you can use it to create the Apple and Android versions of a mobile application—all from a single build. 

BuildFire provides non-technical users with the tools required to create an app without having to hire a developer or learn how to code. The entire process can be managed from an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. It’s 100% web-based, which means you won’t have to download any software to get started.

Start by selecting a professionally-designed template. From there, it’s just a matter of customizing the content to match your app’s goal.

You have complete control over the colors, branding, and the look and feel of your app. 

Adding features is simple. With just a few clicks, you can add functionality in the form of a plugin from the BuildFire marketplace.

Unlike other app builders on the market, BuildFire is developer-friendly. This means that if you don’t see a feature that does exactly what you want it to, a custom feature can be built using the BuildFire SDK. 

You can either have your own developers create the function or reach out to BuildFire’s custom development team to build it for you.

Best of all, you won’t have to worry about maintaining your infrastructure or ensuring compatibility with iOS updates. BuildFire takes care of everything, and we’ll even get your app published to the App Store. 

Final Thoughts

Having a blueprint to follow when you’re getting started with iOS development is crucial. 

You can use this guide as a resource to ensure you have everything in place before you start building. Once you have everything organized, building the app will be much easier.

iOS app development shouldn’t be intimidating. Even if you don’t have any coding knowledge or technical experience, you can still create an app using an app maker like BuildFire. 

Sign up now and try it for free with a 14-day trial.

How Does a No Code App Builder Work?

No-code development bridges the gap between non-technical users and app development. Something that historically required tech skills and programming knowledge can now be achieved with a no-code app builder. 

If you want to make an app but don’t know how to code, this guide is for you. 

You’ll learn everything there is to know about no-code development, how it works, and how to use no-code app builders for your next project. 

What is a No Code App Builder?

As the name implies, a no-code app builder allows users to create applications without having to write code. If you know how to navigate the web, you can use a no-code platform to create an app from scratch.

No-code app builders rely on simple visual editors and drag-and-drop tools. 

You simply tell the software what to do, where you want things, and how you want it to look. Everything else is handled for you on the backend. 

In traditional software development, the code represents instructions that tell the platform how to execute various functions. But no-code development uses an app maker to define what the app should do, as opposed to how it’s done. 

For example, rather than having to write code for specific screens, button text, menus, and colors, you can use a no-code app builder to customize everything from a visual editor. 

Benefits of Using a No Code Platform For Your App Idea

There are significant advantages of no-code development in creating mobile apps. In many scenarios, no-code will be the ideal method for any development project. 

We’ll take a closer look at the benefits of no-code below:

No Technical Knowledge Required

No-code app builders make it easy for anyone to create native apps. You don’t need to have any coding skills, technical knowledge, or programming experience to bring your app idea to life. 

In short, this means that the average person can develop applications with ease. There’s no need to hire a developer or learn how to code. No-code tools are very straightforward and don’t have much of a learning curve.

Get to Market Faster

Using traditional development to create mobile apps is time-consuming. The average project can take anywhere from six months to 18+ months between the time you start developing and the time you launch.

But no-code development can easily cut that timeline in half. In most cases, you should be able to launch your app within a few months. 

This helps you stay competitive, improve the customer experience, and bring innovation to your business. 

Launch on Both App Stores

There are two main app stores—the Apple App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android. Traditional development requires two different versions of the app—one for each store.

That’s because each platform uses different programming languages.

But with no-code development solutions like BuildFire, you can create an app for iOS and Android in a single build. Just build your app using the visual editor, and let us know when you’re done. BuildFire will get your app live on both stores with just a single click on your end.

Lower Development Costs

No-code lets you create apps for a fraction of the cost compared to low-level coding. 

That’s because the development timeline is shortened, and you don’t need to hire a team of developers. Labor alone associated with hiring an iOS developer, Android developer, web developer, project manager, and quality assurance agent is costly. 

But no-code does not require a team of developers. You can build the app on your own, and your only cost is the subscription fee to use the software. 

The cost of a quality app development platform typically starts around $350 to $500 per month. 

Increased ROI

Lower costs and faster development timelines translate to more money in your pocket. 

You have an opportunity to get your mobile app in the hands of real users quickly, making it easy to see a faster return on your investment. You can break even within months instead of years. 

Check out our app monetization guide for ideas on how to make money with your app.

No Code Platforms vs. Low Code App Builders

The terms “no code” and “low code” often go hand-in-hand. But low-code options are not always synonymous with no-code development tools. 

While it’s true that some platforms incorporate no-code and low-code technology to create mobile and web apps, there are some important differences that you need to understand between these technologies. 

No-code platforms are built for everyone, including users who don’t have any prior experience with programming or app development. Low-code development does require some technical knowledge, and it typically requires trained developers to complete projects. 

Low-code is still cheaper than traditional development, but it’s slightly more expensive than no-code options. Low-code tends to offer a bit more flexibility and customization options than no-code tools, as developers can create custom functions outside of the platform’s limitations.

BuildFire is the best of both worlds. It’s a no-code app builder that anyone can use, and it’s also developer-friendly.

This means that anyone with technical knowledge can use BuildFire to create custom functionality for mobile apps. The no-code platform and low-code capabilities can be used jointly to create a truly customized mobile app.

You can take advantage of BuildFire’s backend technology, including authentication servers, file servers, image servers, analytics servers, push notification servers, databases, CMS, and more. Everything can be built on top of our existing infrastructure. 

How No Code App Builders Work

No code app builders work by giving creators the ability to control where everything goes. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping images or using a visual editor to change the text or colors on a screen. 

As you make changes within the editor, you’ll see the changes in real-time on an emulator. This lets you see exactly how your changes are impacting the design choices and functions of your final product.

Everything is already pre-configured on the backend. So you won’t have to worry about maintaining the infrastructure, paying for servers, or maintaining updates. Your no-code tool will do all of this for you.

Many of the best no-code app builders rely on integrations, data connections, and plugins to support functionality. Adding a function to your app can be as simple as installing a plugin.

Want to add videos to your app? Simply install a YouTube or Vimeo plugin. 

Do you need a way to manage bookings or events? There are plugins for that too.

The plugins can integrate with other tools like Zapier, Google Sheets, maps, and even leverage existing technology on the end-user’s device, like their camera or Bluetooth. 

Types of Mobile Apps You Can Build With No Code Platforms

In most cases, you won’t be restricted by the type of app you can build with no code. You use this technology to create anything from a dating app to a web app and everything in between. 

The only time where no-code isn’t ideal for native mobile apps is when you need to create something that’s highly graphics-intensive or extremely unique. For example, you probably wouldn’t use a no-code solution to build a gaming app or create the next Facebook. 

With that said, you can still use no-code technology to create fully functional apps across dozens of categories. We’ll look at some examples below.

Ecommerce App

If you currently have an ecommerce website and want to turn it into an app, you can easily do so without any technical skills or coding knowledge. 

All you need to do is find a no-code tool that you can sync with your online store. Then you can start selling immediately and increase mobile conversions with an ecommerce app

Events App

You can create an app for one-time events and recurring events as well. Event apps are great for concerts, business expos, networking events, wedding planning, and so much more.

The app can be a one-stop shop to manage attendees, showcase sponsors, highlight exhibitors, share videos, and provide more detailed information about the location.

Apps For Business Processes and Employee Communication

No-code has really skyrocketed in popularity when it comes to building mobile applications for business use. Internal business solutions typically need to launch quickly, and most organizations are very cost-sensitive when they’re investing in this type of venture.

Businesses rely on no-code apps for HR, employee communication, employee self-service, business workflows, company announcements, schedule changes, staff directories, and more.

Fitness and Wellness Apps

No-code app makers allow gym owners, personal trainers, yoga instructors, dietitians, and anyone else in the fitness and wellness space to easily create an app.

This is a great way to expand your business and reach new clients. You can use the app to manage memberships, sell premium workouts, create meal plan videos, book classes at the gym, and so much more. You can even use a fitness app for virtual personal training sessions without ever having to meet clients in person. 

Education Apps

There are tons of use cases for education apps in today’s day and age. Schools and universities are using them to share events, provide a staff directory, create a campus map, and engage with students.

These apps can also be used to facilitate quizzes, tests, surveys, polls, and more. They can be a resource for study materials, document sharing, and even showcase videos of pre-recorded classes. Check out our tips and best practices for creating educational apps to learn more. 

Nonprofit and Religious Organization Apps

Nonprofits and churches may not have the budget or resources to develop an app from scratch. But a no-code app builder breaks down these barriers, allowing these types of organizations to go mobile.

Religious apps are great for sharing sermons, providing a digital bible, collecting donations, and creating a sense of community. Your members can take advantage of social media-like features to connect with each other and manage upcoming events. 

Content and Entertainment Apps

Social media influencers and people with a podcast or YouTube channel can use no-code app builders to expand their reach. It’s just another channel where you can repurpose existing content or potentially create exclusive content that’s just for app users.

This is a great way to make money from your content. No-code app makers allow you to lock premium content and sell subscriptions to your fans. So you can easily earn recurring revenue and drive engagement from app users. 

Best No Code App Builder For iOS and Android

BuildFire is the best tool on the market today for no-code development. It’s a simple and powerful way to create apps for iOS and Android—all for a fraction of the cost compared to traditional development.

The software is easy to use, and you can get started building the app of your dreams in a matter of seconds.

All you need to do is sign up, select a template, and you can start customizing everything you need from our visual editor and see the changes in real-time through an interactive app emulator. 

Where BuildFire really shines is its limitless functionality. There are hundreds of plugins on the BuildFire marketplace that you can use to seamlessly add features to your app in a single click.

But unlike other app builders on the market, BuildFire also supports custom development. 

Let’s say there’s a unique feature that you want to include on your app, but you can’t find it in the form of a plugin. No problem. With BuildFire, you can have your own developer create that functionality for you and add it to the app. Or reach out to our team of in-house developers to build it.

Other no-code app builders restrict functionality and limit your growth. But the opportunities are endless with BuildFire, and our platform is built to scale. 

No matter what you want your app to be or how many users download the app, you’ll never outgrow our platform.

You can sign up right now and try BuildFire for free with our 14-day free trial.

Final Thoughts

No-code app development is the future, and the future is now. 

Gone are the days when you need to hire an entire development team and wait a year to launch your app. No-code technology lets you build apps quickly, get to market fast, and save money on development. 

If you’re just an average business user that doesn’t have the time, patience, or resources to learn code or outsource development, no-code is the solution. 

You can use a no-code app builder to expand your existing business or start a new venture from scratch. The opportunities are limitless. 

Launch App Guide: How to Launch an App Fast

Most businesses recognize the importance of app development. But waiting a year or more for your mobile app launch isn’t realistic for everyone.

Sometimes a business needs to launch an app quickly to capitalize on an opportunity.

Maybe you need the app ready for an upcoming event. Or perhaps you’re releasing a new product or service that must coincide with the app launch. It’s possible that you’re creating an app to stay one step ahead of your competition or keep pace with other competitors launching mobile apps.

There are dozens of reasons why launching an app quickly is crucial for so many organizations. 

The average app development timeline before launch is at least six months. But this guide will teach you how to cut that timeline in half. Some of you will be able to create and launch an app in just one to three months by following the blueprint and tips for success outlined below.

Why a Successful Mobile App Launch is So Important

Your mobile app launch can make or break the short and long-term success of your application. 

If you wait too long to launch the app, you could miss out on some time-sensitive opportunities that have a direct impact on app downloads and usage. Conversely, rushing through development and putting out a sub-par product could cause people to stop using the app altogether because of a bad experience. 

A smooth launch with an app that’s bug-free and delivers a seamless user experience is the best way to ensure your app is successful for years to come. Prioritizing the user will keep them coming back to use the app, allowing you to maximize the lifetime value of each person who downloads the app. 

Launching your app in weeks instead of months is useless if the app itself doesn’t work the way it’s intended. So you need to find that balance between a fast launch and a high-quality product.