App development in general
Developers working on developing an application program must also consider a wide range of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations that are directly linked to the different types of mobile devices. There is intense competition in mobile software and changes in each of the platforms, which place high demands on the skills and abilities regarding app development.
Mobile User Interface (UI) design is one of the crucial aspects for the successful creation of mobile apps. Mobile UI takes into consideration constraints, context, screen, input and mobility as contours for design. The user is often the focus of interaction with their device, and the UI includes components of both hardware and software. User input allows users to manipulate a system, and device output allows the system to indicate the effects of user manipulation.
Limitations in mobile UI include limited attention and form factors, such as a mobile device's screen size for a user's hand. Mobile UI contexts signal user activity, such as location and scheduling that may appear from user interactions in a mobile app. Overall, mobile UI design is primarily an understandable, user-friendly interface that plays a crucial role in functionality and navigation in app development.
The user interface for mobile apps (mobile UI) should:
- take into account the limited attention of users
- minimize keystrokes
- be task-oriented with a minimum of functions
In order for mobile UIs, or frontends, to function and interact with the system, they must rely on mobile backends that support access to business systems. The mobile backend facilitates:
- data routing
- offline work
- service-based architecture
What is an app?
A mobile application, also called a mobile app or simply an app, is a computer program or application designed to run on a mobile device, such as a phone, tablet or watch. Mobile applications are often contrasted with desktop applications, which are designed to run on desktop computers, and web applications, which run in mobile browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.
The original purpose that apps were supposed to fulfill was for productivity assistance like:
- contact databases
The general demand for apps, however, created the need for variety and allowed for rapid expansion into other areas such as:
- mobile games
- factory automation and production
- GPS and location-based services
- order-tracking and ticket purchasing
- with more
Today, there are millions of apps available on the market, covering countless use cases, which continue to evolve and enable access to more features, thus increasing user value, for better or worse. Many apps require internet access to collect and share data in real time, as well as to interact with other users. Apps are generally downloaded from app stores, which are a type of digital distribution platform, the main ones being Google Play and the Apple Store, for Android and iOS operating systems respectively.
Apps are broadly divided into three types:
- native apps
- hybrid apps
Native app development
All apps that are targeted at a specific mobile platform are called native apps, and can only run on that specific mobile platform or operating system. Therefore, an app designed for Apple devices cannot run on Android devices and vice versa. As a result of this limitation, most companies develop apps for multiple platforms.
?The main purpose of creating native apps is to ensure the best performance for a specific mobile operating system.?
The most positive aspect of native app development is that the app developers working specifically on this type of app development have become professionals who have the best user interface modules in class. This provides better performance, consistency and great user experience. Users also benefit from wider access to application programming interfaces and make unlimited use of all apps from the specific device. In addition, they have a smooth transition from one app to another.
App development for web
The performance of these apps is similar to a web application running in a web browser, which can be noticeably slower than equivalent native apps. They may also not have the same level of functionality or flexibility as native apps, which imposes significant limitations on user experience and third-party integration possibilities.
Hybrid app development
The concept of hybrid apps is also known as cross-platform app development and is a mix of native and web-based apps. Apps developed with Apache Cordova, Xamarin, React Native, Sencha Touch and other frameworks fall into this category.
These are designed to support web and native technologies on multiple platforms. In addition, these apps are easier and faster to develop. This means using a single code base that works across multiple mobile operating systems.
The above argument would suggest that hybrid app development is agile and time-saving. Despite such advantages, hybrid apps exhibit lower performance and often fail to deliver apps with the same look and feel across different mobile operating systems, which can lead to unwanted costs and wasted resources. Therefore, it is important to continuously and regularly test the solution on the different platforms during the development process, to ensure that the app works everywhere with satisfactory performance on an ongoing basis.
How app development works
The first step in developing apps for mobile devices requires considering the limitations and features of these mobile devices. For example, mobile devices run on battery power and thus have less powerful processors than personal computers. In addition, mobile devices have more features such as location detection (GPS) and cameras, and more.
The next step will be to consider a wide range of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations to which app development must be adapted. There is also intense competition in mobile software and changes in each of the platforms, which means that the range is becoming increasingly broad.
Next, specialised integrated development environments will be created to enable mobile app development. Mobile apps are first tested in the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones that developers may not have physical access to.
In the operational work of app development, mobile user interfaces (UIs) are also important. Mobile UI takes into account constraints and contexts of use, screen, input and mobility, as well as design contours. The user is often the focus of interaction with their device, and the UI includes components of both hardware and software.
If you follow these steps carefully and meet all the requirements they impose on the app development process, you can most likely succeed in developing a user-friendly and functional app, adapted to a specific operating system or several different platforms.
App developer as a career choice
Application developers, or also known as app developers, are a branch of the profession normally referred to as system developers. The system developer usually has a broader skill set, while the application developer specialises in the development of different types of apps. Application development or app development for mobile devices is a very fast evolving industry and competition among app developers is getting tougher, but the number of customers and users is also increasing and so are the opportunities.
Working in application development involves a lot of programming, but you will often be involved in the entire development process, from analysis and design to programming and testing. It's about understanding the customer's problem and having the skills to develop a solution. Strong logical thinking, creativity and the ability to solve challenges are the main qualities sought in an app developer.
Education in app development
You can read a Polytechnic education in programming, usually one to two years long, to gain a broad but basic understanding and skills in software development. There are also specific courses in more subjects, including mobile or web application development.
You can also study to become a system developer, in which case the education usually includes more economics, information technology and project management. These courses are longer, usually two to three years or more, and can be taken at college or university.
Prospects for app development
The job market for qualified application developers is very good. Employment is increasing significantly and unemployment is decreasing in the app development sector. Demand exists in several industries and activities, which means that the prospects for the industry as a whole are good and growth is strong and therefore promising.
The app industry continues to grow and there is still a shortage of app developers. Internationally, the EU has identified that five million app developers will be needed in just a few years. The job market for skilled IT professionals has been stable in recent years and there are no signs that demand will decline. App developers are definitely a profession to pursue if you want a secure and fulfilling career.
App development with Smart Developers of Strativ
In one world where smartphones are so accessible, and offer huge opportunities for interacting with individuals, organisations and businesses, where you can also manage your errands and organise your daily life, all in the palm of your hand, the importance of mobile applications has increased significantly. This means that app development is now an important aspect of system development.
App development at Strativ is time-saving and convenient. Our development team is there to ensure that your specified requirements are systematised, programmed and tested correctly, so that the application can be deployed in the normal way.
Our Smart Developers works with web and native technologies integrated with each other enabling cross platform app development, i.e. the application can run on multiple platforms. This creates the conditions for cost-effective and flexible app development.
You can read our previous customer cases Vaccina and Photon Sports and read what our challenge was, how we solved it with the help of app development and what was the result of the implemented solutions that we developed.
To discuss in more detail the possibilities of app development for your business, please contact us for a free meeting!