The development of mobile applications is cheap. Designing a good application is a breeze. The users can find and download quality applications themselves. And so on. Yes, mobile application development is shrouded in numerous myths. We’ve put together a practical overview which should finally make things clear for you.
The 10 most common myths about mobile application development
1. The development of mobile applications is a cheap matter
Mobile devices are small, which might tempt one to think that development for small screens is simple and cheap. But developing mobile applications is no easier than the development of any other software. A whole team composed of many roles is usually involved in the process (developers, business analysts, UX designers, graphic designers, testers and others).
2. The application can be quickly converted to another mobile operating system (e.g. from Android to iOS) with minimal costs.
Preparing a version of an application for another operating system usually means that it’s necessary to re-write an overwhelming part of the application code, which is neither fast nor cheap. The parts of the solutions that are common (typically a backhand part of the application, if it exists), do not need to be developed again. It always depends on the architecture of a particular solution.
3. Anyone can design a high-quality application
Preparing a good application design – from the initial idea to the functionality design, user interface design and graphics – is no walk in the park. It requires a lot of knowledge and experience. In addition, development literally goes forward by leaps and bounds. It is therefore necessary to react quickly to new trends, new versions of operating systems, new hardware possibilities and new kinds of devices (smart eyewear, watches …).
4. Mobile applications reach users on their own.
Uploading an application into the application-markets (Google Play, Apple App Store, Windows Store)doesn’t mean the work is finished. The application needs to get to the phones, tablets and other devices of individual users. This is a big challenge for marketers. Since the competition is huge, getting a new application to people is a daunting task. It takes considerable effort and often a lot of money.
5. Placing an application on the market ends its development
The release of an application doesn’t mean the end of the development process. Mobile apps are software like any other. Although most mistakes should be corrected during testing, you always find bugs later that need to be repaired. Applications usually also undergo further development – new features are added, it is necessary to respond to new versions of mobile operating systems, which often entails the necessity of rewriting part of the application code, changing graphics, or even the way of controlling applications.
6. An application needs to be developed for all operating systems
Each application may not be available to users of all major operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows). Especially for internal corporate applications, it is usually a question of strategic decisions and it is usually enough even just to concentrate on a single operating system. For consumer applications, it is mostly a matter of money and strategy, it also depends on the size of the market, the definition of the target group and other factors.
7. Applications with the best graphics gain the highest user ratings
High quality graphics are necessary for the success of mobile applications. However a nice jacket does not guarantee that the application will be successful and will have a lot of downloads. Even more important is the usability (UX), simplicity and a clearly defined purpose of the application.
8. When planning the budget for a new application it is sufficient to consider only development costs
Mobile application development is not just about its programming. The process includes a whole range of other activities: preparation of the concept itself, design of the architecture solution, the user interface design and graphics, the testing and distribution of the application is essential (the vast majority through application markets), marketing, user support, and so on. All processes must be carefully planned and managed, which is taken care of by project management. For small applications, the process can take place more simply.
9. There are no good tools for developing applications for multiple operating systems at once
Cross-platform application development can significantly contribute to reducing costs and speeding up development. The key parts of the application are developed only once, even if the outcome of the application is available for Android, iOS and Windows. Specialized development tools, such as Xamarin are used. It should however be noted that such instruments carry a number of limitations with them, and therefore are not suitable for all types of applications (e.g. a game).
10. The greater the availability of functions, the better the application
The most successful applications are those that are simple and have a clearly defined purpose for which they serve. It does not matter if it is a navigation system, calendar, e-book reader or a game. Applications that want to kill many birds with one stone, very often do not properly kill any. They are slow, difficult to control and take up a lot of space in the memory of your mobile device.