In this blog, we will try to identify the various processes that distinguish how the best mobile app development services USA work. Let’s start by breaking down application development into its components and working.
Mobile Application Development
Mobile app development services is the process of producing and providing software applications that work on cellular (mobile) devices. The mobile development process consists of creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, assets, etc.) executing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices before deployment. Mobile applications run on a network connection to work with remote computing resources.
Mobile Applications and Device Platforms
The two dominant platforms in the modern smartphone market are iOS platform from Apple Inc. and Android from Google. The iOS operating system powers Apple’s iPhone smartphones. Android’s operating system is not exclusive, it is used by Google devices and many other OEMs to build their smartphones and smart devices.
Although there are similarities between these two platforms when building applications, but iOS or for Android development uses different software development kits (SDKs) and different development toolchains. Apple uses iOS exclusively for its own devices whereas Google makes Android available to other companies provided they meet specific requirements such as including certain Google applications on their devices.
Types of Mobile Apps
There are four major development approaches when building mobile applications
Native Mobile Applications
Cross-Platform Native Mobile Applications
Hybrid Mobile Applications
Progressive Web Applications
Each mobile app development approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Developers consider the desired user experience, computing resources and native features required by the app, the development budget, time targets, and resources available to maintain the app, when choosing the right development approach for their projects.
Native mobile applications are written in the programming language and frameworks provided by the platform and run directly on the operating system of the device such as iOS and Android. Native mobile application development requires a highly specialized skill set. There are many developer communities for C and Java worldwide, but there are few developers now who are knowledgeable in platform-specific versions of those languages and their respective IDEs. Skilled native app developers are in such demand, that many companies are hard-pressed to hire and retain them on staff, and instead they frequently have to resort to outside 3rd party design and development houses to build their apps for them.
Rich user experience to native device users.
Extensive range of APIs unlimited usage.
Easily accessible from their respective app store.
Can reach wider target audience.
Separate maintenance and support for seamless functionality.
Cross-platform native mobile applications can be written in variety of different programming languages and frameworks, and then compiled into a native application running directly on the operating system of the device. Most cross-platform frameworks such as – React Native and Native Script – provides native components to work with the cross-platform code, while some others such as Flutter and Xamarin compiles cross-platform code to the native code for better performance.
Faster development process
Easy availability of plug-ins
Enterprise and cloud support
Greater market reach
Sluggish code running
Multi-platform apps (can be used on more than one platform)
Relatively easy and fast to build.
Single coding base functional for different platforms
Smooth updates and cost-effective maintenance.
Extensively used APIs, such as accelerometer, gyroscope, and geo-location are available.
May lack speed, performance, and optimization, as compared to native apps.
Design flaws may fail to showcase the app in a same way on more than one platform.
Progressive Web Applications
Save device memory as they need minimum storage space.
Personal databases of web apps can be stored on a server.
Users can access app from any devices with an internet connection.
Does not offer access to numerous APIs for developers, which is possible in hybrid apps.
Performance depends on network connection and browser compatibility.
The Mobile Application Development Lifecycle
There are two interlinked core components of a mobile application making, in any iOS or Android app development company: 1) the mobile application “Front-End” that resides on the mobile device and is the visual interface of the app, and 2) the services “Back-End” that supports the mobile front-end.
Front end vs. Back end Development
In the early days of the modern smartphone applications era, mobile applications went through a similar evolution as first websites. Initially, applications and sites where wholly contained within themselves and acted like static advertisements for the brand, company, product, or service.
Then as connectivity and network capabilities improved, the applications became more connected to external data and information, and the apps grew dynamic as they were able to update their UI and content with data received over the network from queries to data sources.
Now, the mobile front-end applications rely increasingly on an integrated back-end which provides data such as product information for e-commerce apps or flight info for travel and reservation apps, for mobile games, the data may in the form of new levels or challenges and scores or avatars from other players.
Where iOS runs on asset number of Apple inc devices, Android is designed to run on many different types of devices from phones to tablets and televisions. Developers use a range of devices providing a huge potential audience for your app. For an app to be successful on all these devices, it should allow some feature changeability and create a flexible user interface that adapts to different screen configurations.
To facilitate you, Android provides a dynamic app framework in which you provide configuration-specific app resources in static files (such as different XML layouts for different screen sizes). Android loads the appropriate resources based on the current device configuration. So with planning and some additional app resources, you can publish a single application package (APK) that provides an optimized user experience on a variety of devices.
HowTop Mobile App Development CompaniesWork
Front-end Back-end Communication
The mobile front-end obtains data from the back-end via a variety of service calls such as APIs. These APIs may be owned and operated by the same entity developing the mobile application. It may in some cases be controlled by a third party and access is granted to the mobile application via a commercial arrangement.
Developers may also obtain social media or advertising content by contacting media or advertising company services. In such cases too, developers would sign a contract to obtain credentials and API access keys. The contract would define governs how developers can use information, its cost and frequency of use, or how much data can be requested over what time period.
For most applications, mobile developers create and manage the back-end services for their application. For this, the mobile developer does not need to be an expert or even particularly skilled in spinning up and running a back-end infrastructure.
Developers may use a cloud services provider to handle all the back-end capabilities, so that they can maintain their focus entirely on the features and functionality of their app, without having to worry about scalability, security, and reliability.
The Mobile Application Front-End
The mobile front-end is the visual and interactive part of the application the user experiences. It usually resides on the device, or has an icon representing it that is visible on the home screen or is pinned in the menu screens of the device. The application can be downloaded from the platform app store, side-loaded directly onto the device, or can be reached through the device’s browser, as in the case for PWAs.
Front-end Development Workflow
When a developer says they are a mobile application programmer, they are mostly referring to this front-end part of the application, and are skilled in the languages and technologies that are used to create this front-end application.
Depending on the app size and team size producing the app, there may be many different people involved in the design and development of the front-end mobile app. The team size can range from a single developer who does everything, to tens and hundreds of people with specialized skills.
There may be dedicated creative/graphics designers who are responsible for creating visual elements of applications like icons, backgrounds, colors, themes and other parts of the app. The team may also have user experience and user interface designs who work on the layout of the components, how they interact with each other and the user. For specialized games, a team may include motion graphics developers and even engineers who develop engines that govern the physics of how components move in the app, like a car in a racing game.
Mobile Apps Backend Integration
Regardless of the size of the team, a critical element of the development effort is building the app logic that is responsible for making network calls to the back-end services, retrieve data and update the data in the back-end systems with new information generated from the app.
These back-end services are typically accessed through a variety of application programming interfaces, most commonly known as APIs. There are different types of APIs, such as REST and GraphQL, and there are also a wide variety of means and styles of accessing them. While some back-end service APIs are available directly to the application through calls in the platform itself, many of the specialized services have to be integrated into the app via a software development kit, commonly known as an SDK. Once the SDK has been added to the app via the development environment, then the application can make use of the APIs defined in the SDK.
Backend Data Compilation
An example of a back-end service for a mobile front-end could be a database that contains information used in the app. To access the database directly, the mobile developer would require the network location of the database, the protocol for accessing the database, the credentials for authenticating and authorizing the data access, and the specific database commands needed to extract the needed data.
Alternatively, the developer can utilize a specialized API when interacting with the database; and may only know the parameters needed in a method call to get or update specific information. Sometimes mobile developers craft APIs themselves or use the API definition provided to them by the owner/operator of the back-end resource.
Typically, a REST API is used to interact with data sources on the cloud, such as a cloud database. A GraphQL API is also another option for developers, as it makes easy to work with backend data in a mobile application. GraphQL provides querying support through a single API endpoint, and a data schema that can be used to build and easily extend data models that are used in the app.
Back-End Architectural Design Strategies
Regardless of what front-end platform or development methodology is being used, delivering engaging, successful, high-quality mobile apps requires reliable back-end services.
Back-end services are critically important for the success of the mobile application, in web and mobile app development companies, developers have several important architectural decisions that they must consider. These decisions include which services should they build themselves and which third party services they should leverage, and if they should run and maintain their own services. In smaller organizations they may take advantage of 3rd party services.
The answer is increasingly clear; to improve developer productivity and efficiency, mobile app programmers should only build their own services if they are highly specific to the domain of the application and embody unique intellectual property. Also, even for the services they build themselves, they should almost always leverage cloud-based services to build and maintain their backend infrastructure.
Key Mobile Application Services
There are hundreds of cloud and 3rd party services that mobile application developers can leverage to speed up the development and delivery of their applications. By using a cloud service, locations no longer matter, as a business owner or solutions hopeful it won’t matter if there are any app development companies near me or far.
What is looked for is the services provided best. Note that only developers working in top ranking organizations like Appedology will be able to become an expert in each of these individual services because of the exposure they receive.
Hence good mobile developers look for a development environment that makes it easier for them to integrate, use, and consume the most commonly required capabilities into their application quickly and easily, while still preserving the freedom to take advantage of the many individual services available.
Let’s just list crucials in identifying if the company you have chosen can deliver as per your expectations, the more ticks the better:
User Sign-up/Sign-in and Management
Social login (Facebook sign-in, Twitter sign-in, etc.)
Analytics and User Engagement
Real Device Testing
Real-time and Offline Data
Application Logic/Cloud Functions
Image and Video Recognition
As one of the fastest growing application development services, Appedology has the skills, the teams, and the resources to provide you all of the above and more. Call us to get a free assessment done and if we determine we can help your app dreams come true, you will be on the fast track to getting a solid, engaging application made that gives you ROIs even better than you planned.