How can I develop an app?
Mobile app development requires significant investments of time and money but with the right development partner, it can be done quite easily. All it takes is a great app idea that solves a problem or offers some benefit, project funding and financial justification for your app. Good mobile apps either save time, cut costs, generate revenue or some combination of the three.
In order to get the development process started, you will need to do some research into your competitors, gauge what a reasonable development budget looks like for your development project and decide what the priorities are for your app. For some entrepreneurs, saving money is everything, but this focus rarely results in a quality, user-friendly application. For the majority of development projects, it’s best to find a development partner that communicates well, can operate within your budget, puts a focus on excellent UI/UX design, understands your business, and is relatively local.
For more information on hiring a developer to build your app, view the next question and download your free copy of our eBook ‘10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Developer.’
Should I make a prototype of my app?
Making an app prototype is the easiest way to communicate what you need your mobile app development team to accomplish. You can simply sketch wireframes, create digital mockups and/or build a working prototype with a program like Invision App.
“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
― Robert H. Schuller
We recommend creating detailed sketches of your app and/or a functional demo in order to produce a concrete, concise vision of your app. This vision will help your developers build a more succinct final product, reducing subsequent changes and updates that can deteriorate your project timeline and take bites out of your budget.
At SevenTablets, we walk you through the entire prototyping process by providing detailed instructions with our free app prototyping eBook and wireframe templates (accessible through the eBook).
Should I develop for iOS or Android?
Building a hybrid app, one that works on both iOS and Android, is the best option for almost every project. Even though developing for both platforms may cost more initially, it can save you thousands of dollars over time. Building an app for Android that will need to be rebuilt for iOS, later on, creates two separate, full-scale development projects that each carry their own price tag. Building a multi-platform mobile app consolidates those projects into one, decreasing the overall budget and reducing the cost of future updates.
What's the difference between B2C and B2B apps?
A business-to-business (B2B) app is used in-house as an enterprise application or to perform a particular business-related function, such as an app used by a wholesaler to track orders from various retail outlets. This type of app is not available to the public.
A business-to-customer (B2C) app is used by a business to connect with customers and the general public. An example might be a pizza shop’s app that’s used to process orders from customers or a retailer’s customer loyalty app. Some B2C apps are stand-alone apps, meaning the app is the product. An example of this would be a social networking app or a photo editing application.
SevenTablets has extensive experience in developing and maintaining a variety of both B2B and B2C apps.
Who can develop an app for me?
There are countless developers you can hire to develop an app, but it’s best to find a development partner that has experience in your industry and/or a portfolio that includes an app with similar functionality to the app you would like to build.
At SevenTablets, we specialize in multi-platform mobile app development with a business-first approach. We like to be sure that your app is sustainable, scalable and has the potential to either generate revenue or save money for your company.
Our development platform, STAX, also offers accelerated development and enhanced user testing to ensure your app makes it into the marketplace quickly and works well, right from the start. Through the STAX platform, you have access to an entire library of excellent, plug-and-play app functionality to reduce your development costs and accelerate your project’s timeline. SevenTablets also has a powerful internal messaging platform, Brigade, that can be customized to fit your business and embedded into your app or used as a stand-alone product.
Aside from choosing a development partner with a great portfolio, it’s also beneficial to hire a local company to take on your project. Even though offshore developers are often less expensive, they often complicate and lengthen your project due to language barriers, time-zone differences, and non-existent international copyright laws. These issues can end up costing your company thousands of extra dollars in the long-run.
If you need more help deciding who you should hire, download our free ebook, “10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Developer.”
What's the difference between domestic and off-shore development?
There are some significant differences between onshore development—which entails working with a US-based developer—and offshore development, which means working with a firm located outside of the United States. When working with a foreign mobile app developer, you can encounter many challenges, including but not limited to:
- Language barriers
- Legal challenges
- Delays due to time zone differences
- Confidentiality/security problems
- Obstacles in vetting the developer
When working with SevenTablets, you can sidestep these and many other obstacles, resulting in a smoother and faster mobile app development experience.
How much does it cost to develop an app? What pricing models are available?
Because every mobile app is different, there is no set price for mobile app development. In fact, prices can range from a few thousand dollars to $1,000,000+. Extremely low-cost apps often lack quality and support, so it’s best to find a partner who can offer quality development and updates for a reasonable price. Your budget should also account for app hosting, marketing, and future application updates.
The cost of developing an app is determined by factors such as the size and complexity of the app, the timeframe of the build, the amount of development expertise and the hours required to build the app.
At SevenTablets, we have a few different pricing options, so we can provide assistance regardless of your budget. We offer by-the-project pricing for larger projects and hourly pricing for smaller projects. Our team is also happy to create a custom price quote, whether you want to update an existing app, develop a mobile app from the ground up or add a new component or feature to your current application.
How often should mobile apps be updated?
App update frequency will vary depending on factors such as the app type and whether it’s a native or hybrid app. At a minimum, you can expect at least 3 to 6 updates per year in response to operating system updates. But there are certainly cases where more frequent updates may be necessary, as in the case where a mobile app interacts with other apps or device hardware. Additionally, you’ll want to plan for periodic updates to correct bugs. You may also opt to add or refine features and functionalities in response to the analytics.
With this in mind, plan to update your app 6 to 12 times per year. The standard recommendation is to budget around 20% of the initial build cost to cover annual updates. So if your app cost $100,000 to develop, then you should plan for a maintenance budget of $20,000 per year. SevenTablets offers assistance with one-time updates or we can develop a routine maintenance plan for your application.
How do mobile apps make money?
When developing a mobile app, it’s important to choose a monetization model that will sustain your app through updates and support, and hopefully, generate a profit for you and your team. Fortunately, there are several ways to monetize mobile apps that result in recurring revenue. Some of these models include:
- Paid apps
- Free apps with in-app purchases
- Freemium apps (free with a paid option)
- Subscription apps
- and more
To learn more about the most common and reliable ways to monetize your mobile out check out our blog. To dive even deeper into monetization options, download your free copy of our eBook ‘Marketing Your Mobile App.’
How do mobile app analytics work? Are they different from web analytics?
At SevenTablets, we include a mobile app analytics interface in each app, allowing you to track user behaviors in order to identify your app’s strengths and pain points. This data can be leveraged to improve and grow your app in the future.
Mobile app analytics are different than website analytics in terms of the actual data that’s collected. Mobile applications tend to be more feature-rich, and they’re far more interactive with the actual device, its hardware and even other apps. Therefore, app analytics feature more comprehensive device-specific data, along with greater insight into the various functionalities and features. In cases where you have in-app purchases or pay-to-download apps, you can also receive revenue-related data. At SevenTablets, we outfit our apps with the analytics tools required to collect this essential information.
Why do I need to choose between native vs. hybrid?
When building a mobile app, you’ll need to decide whether the app will be built on a native platform that’s exclusive to one operating system (such as iOS or Android) or whether you’ll develop a hybrid app that works on a wide variety of different devices. Key considerations include your budget, the type of app (and its functionalities), your target audience and their preferred device type. When deciding between native vs. hybrid, there are a number of technical issues that must be explored as well, such as the degree to which the app will interact with the device’s hardware.
Why should I hire SevenTablets?
SevenTablets is one of the fastest growing mobile app development firms in Dallas-Fort Worth serving Austin, Houston, San Antonio and the greater United States. We specialize in developing enterprise-level apps but offer a range of mobile app solutions for companies including start-ups, small to medium-size businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.
Some of the benefits of partnering with SevenTablets include:
- Domestic, in-house development
- Reduced time-to-market and development costs by up to 40%
- Business first approach to ensure a positive ROI
- Comprehensive capabilities including mobile app analytics, UI/UX design, mobile app testing, mobile analytics, military-grade security, cloud hosting and more
- Our own, open-source development platform, STAX, which provides your company with enhanced development options for less
- Excellent support before, during and after your app’s launch date
- Other services, such as predictive analytics
In addition to these offerings, our company is lead by industry veterans Shane Long and Kishore Khandavalli. Shane and Kishore are engineers and entrepreneurs with decades of experience in the tech space, including both software and hardware development. Their guidance provides the extra peace-of-mind entrepreneurs need when embarking on a mobile project.
I have more questions. Who can I speak to?
Want to learn more about mobile app development? Fill out the form and one of SevenTablets’ development experts will contact you shortly!