The number of smartphone users keeps on increasing every day, and with an increase in users comes the need for more mobile applications. Software developers are constantly under pressure to create new apps that will cater to the needs of the users. The pressure for apps is just one of the challenges that mobile app developers face, and here are other challenges they encounter.
The technological advancements in this era are significant, unlike before where developers created applications that could fit all devices. However, this is not the case today as the screen sizes, devices, and operating systems vary from one phone to another. Nowadays, people use different devices that each feature different screen sizes, and therefore, developing a mobile app to suit a few devices is not an option. There are three main operating systems used in phones; Android, iOS, and Windows. Each operating system has a unique set of User Interface objects and patterns.
Mobile app developers have to create cross-platform apps like these from Oxagile to allow users to access the apps on whatever device they are using.
Choosing the right app to develop
Choosing the right application to develop is one of the initial challenges encountered by mobile app developers. Deciding what direction to take and the exact app to create is not a walk in the park. The mobile app industry is filled with plenty of other applications, and competition is brutal. Mobile app developers have to find a way to stand out amidst the other applications already available.
The pressure is always on app developers to come up with innovative apps that people need. To identify what app to create, developers need to ask themselves a few questions.
- The purpose that the app is meant to serve and its function.
- Is the app an original idea, and will it stand out?
- How easy can other developers copy the app?
- What’s the application’s target market or market size?
- How much will the app cost?
A crowded and competitive market
As we mentioned earlier, competition in the mobile app industry is fierce, with hundreds of thousands of mobile apps fighting for attention. Today, mobile phone users have a short attention span, and this makes it difficult for app developers to capture users’ attention.
Mobile app developers need to understand their target market triggers and what the market wants. App developers need to figure out what is most appealing to users with the highest lifetime value (CLV). These are users who are likely to take an interest in your app, spend money to purchase it, and spread the word about the app to their family and friends.
When developing an app, you need to find a way to keep your user engaged for longer so that they stick with your app in the long run. Apart from identifying their CLV users, app developers have to keep the innovation quotient of the app high. A high innovation quotient ensures that users remain engaged, and with users constantly engaged, a loyal customer base is established.
Defining the target market clearly
From the monetary perspective of app development, it is crucial to have a clearly outlined target market. However, outline the target market is often easier said than done since identifying the target market is not enough. App developers need to go the extra mile and ensure that the target market is big enough to bring in a revenue stream.
To ensure the app’s market generates a steady revenue stream, app developers need to monitor metrics like the cost requires to acquire customers, installs and downloads, average revenue per user (ARPU), the average length of sessions, among other issues. It can be challenging to find a solution that is purely analytic and manage this solution effectively.
Acquiring adequate finances and managing the finances
As a mobile app developer, you may have an innovative idea; however, converting your idea into an app that is real and marketable requires significant capital. Developing an app is not a cheap affair as it can cost you anything between $3,000 to $150,000. The nature of the app determines how much capital you need.
Since app development is an expensive affair, some developers struggle to get and manage their finances. Finding the right investor to financially back your idea is one of the ways to ease you the financial burden of app development. However, if you don’t have an investor, there are other ways to fund your idea.
You can get a loan, get angel investment from friends and family, or go the crowdfunding way. Getting the funds is the easy bit when it comes to the financial side of app development. The real challenge is the effective management of the money to extract the most out of it and develop an app that will make a return on the investment.
The main technical challenge that mobile app developers face is choosing the best development technology that is suitable for an app. Choosing the development technology determines whether the app developers create a hybrid application or a cross-platform mobile app.
Through research online, app developers can compare the pros and cons of mobile apps, development technologies. However, despite knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, it can be challenging to select the platform that is most suitable for a particular project since app developers often prefer a one-size-fits-all platform.
Making an uninformed decision on the development technology to choose can result in the poor performance of the app, over-expenditure, and mundane use experience. Therefore, app developers are advised to create apps on a flexible platform that is easily adaptable and one that prioritizes the client’s desired functionality.
Promotion of a mobile app and marketing
Designing and development of a mobile app is one thing, and its marketing is a different thing altogether. Many mobile app developers find the promotion of their app quite challenging as it doesn’t require technical knowledge to be successful but rather some market and business savvy. There are challenges and goals when it comes to app promotion that developers view as the most critical. These are:
- Organic discovery of the app – How do you make the app discoverable in an app store?
- User acquisition -How do you get users to install the app?
- Retention – The level at which users remain engaged with the app.
- Monetization – The method to use to market the app, either freemium model, in-app advertising, or in-app advertising.
Security can be a sticky issue when it comes to app development. Issues such as software/hardware fragmentation and malware may arise, and they affect the app’s functionality negatively. A lot of time and money is invested in dealing with security issues in an app.
A breach in an app’s security could result in poor user experience, minimal adoption of the app, and misuse and manipulation of information. The best approach to ensuring maximum app security is the protection of data, financial transactions, and user credentials, and creating a user space that is secure.
Users prefer to use apps that are easy to understand and manage and whose color schemes and fonts are attractive. If an app takes too much time and energy to understand and operate, most users will uninstall the app and get another. Therefore, mobile app developers need to put themselves in the users’ position and create an app that will operate seamlessly, an app that is not complicated.
The app also needs to function properly despite it being easy to use. App developers, therefore, need to find a balance between the user-friendliness of an app and the technical bit of it to cater to the users’ needs.
There you have it, the challenges that mobile app encounter on their journey to creating an application that works. What you realize is that the creation of apps is not an easy task. It’s a combination of technical skills and no-how, adequate financing, and promotion of the apps. The combination of all these requirements is what makes the launch of an app successful and its maintenance an easy task.