So you have an idea for an app and have decided to give it a go on the iOS market. You're probably wondering about the specifics that make an iOS project a success or failure. Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Read on to find out more about the essential iOS development success factors for bringing an idea to reality.
Ask yourself: Why do I want to build a mobile app in the first place?
The first step you need to take is analyzing your business idea closely. During this stage, aim to come up with the following:
The Unique Value Proposition of your mobile app – what's unique about your product and why the consumer should choose it over your competitors.
Key functionalities of your app – you'll need this list to make the first steps toward developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that will help you test the validity of your idea on the market.
Your target audience – you need to have a clear idea about the prospective users of your app. Only then will you know how to create a product that matches their needs and reach them through your marketing efforts.
Main revenue channels – it's essential that you consider how you'll monetise your app at this stage of the planning process.
To help you do all that, here's a business model canvas you can use as a reference. Consider running a scoping session to check the real scope of your project - this will serve as the foundation for your initial estimations.
Choose the technology and toolkit
Next, you need to choose the technology stack for your iOS app. You can develop an iOS app using different languages like Swift, Objective-C, or React Native.
Each of these has different pros and cons. Swift is faster and safer than Objective-C. Supported by Apple, the Swift community is continually growing, whereas Objective-C is hard to learn and fewer developers are learning it nowadays. According to a 2017 StackOverflow Developers Survey, Swift is one of the most popular programming languages today, so you'll be able to find a team of experts easily.
Another interesting option is React Native, which promises to help developers build apps for multiple platforms. Have a look at our case study to see React Native in action.
Find the right people
When developing an iOS app, you can either hire a team of developers who will be a part of your team or outsource app development to another company.
Building an app in-house is a popular option among larger organisations that plan to make mobile a central element of their strategy. When building in-house, the advantage is that you have total control of the process, get results quickly, and enjoy its flexibility, since the scope or number of revisions are no longer a constraint.
Outsourcing development is an excellent option for smaller organisations or startup founders who simply can't afford the high setup costs that come with internal development teams. Outsourcing works for projects where time-to-market is crucial because it focuses on reducing the time between client brief and project start. Moreover, this model is less risky and makes sticking to a budget much easier.
By teaming up with a consultancy, you also gain access to extensive app expertise and a team with an established process, which helps deliver the app faster and more cost-effectively. App agencies provide their clients with end-to-end services - from the idea, through development and launch, to maintenance and support.
Build an excellent development process
When crafting the development process for your team, or when partnering with a software development agency, it's a good idea to stick to battle-tested practices, such as agile project management. Agile development provides all stakeholders with means of contributing to the project, ensuring high collaboration between the client and the project team.
The transparency that comes as a part of agile development helps teams predict costs and schedule accurately to ensure predictable delivery. This kind of process is also very flexible, giving teams an opportunity to continually refine the product backlog and change priorities, improving the app's business value and quality.
Test your app – and then test it again
Developers are often pressured to deliver apps as quickly as possible. That's why testing your app before it hits the market is so important – it not only helps to identify potential errors or bugs that will impact the user experience, but also discover possible ways of improving your app's performance.
It's vital to test early – fixing bugs during the development process is much less costly. User testing is key to boosting the overall usability and user experience of your app as well.
Prepare for App Store release
You don't want to spend time and money on an app that Apple won't allow in its store. Apple's App Store Review Guidelines are very detailed – Apple has a particular view of apps it allows in its store, so it's a good idea to study these rules before you start developing your app.
Launching an iOS app development project can be challenging, but keeping these things in mind will set you on the path to success.
If you have any questions about developing iOS apps, be sure to browse our blog, which is full of fantastic resources for those looking to launch their first development project. Or just get in touch with our consultants – we're always happy to help entrepreneurs and organisations take advantage of mobile technologies.