Software Development

The 7 Pains of Developing Mobile Apps (and How to Solve Them)

Mobile apps are on a trajectory the likes of which have yet to be charted. Digi-Capital forecasts that by 2017, the mobile app market will reach $70 Billion of global revenue, with non-game apps to double revenue share from 26% to 51%. This will be made possible by 2017’s expected 200 billion app downloads. Currently, mobile apps account for 82% of the overall time spent on daily media consumption. Needless to say, enterprises are scurrying to develop mobile apps to secure their share of this rapidly growing ecosystem. Due to haste, misguidance, and industry fragmentation, there are a number of pains plaguing the mobile app development process. Solving these problems is critical to developing apps with the potential for scalable success.

1. Teamwork and Collaboration

To create high-quality apps, we need a high-caliber team. Working with business users, designers, developers, and QA often lengthens development cycles. We often find ourselves in a conundrum: we need all of these people’s input to create an app we are proud to release to the market, but getting all of their input delays time-to-market. The solution is to use new cloud tools to collaborate in real-time. By sharing the development environment online, multiple users can view and modify concurrently. This way, we can implement all of their sage input without suffering delays.

2. Ever-changing tools and SDKs

Downloading and managing all of the required tools and software development kits is a resource-intensive pain for mobile app developers. Constantly updating to get the latest versions and making sure that all team members are working with the same version are pains that cost developers time and anguish. An added benefit of cloud-based app development is that by developing the mobile app in a browser, there is no need to invest resources in maintaining the infrastructure and managing the tools. Instead, developers can focus on building great apps.

3. Coding

Coding has become a pain for mobile app developers who are tasked with multi-platform development with tight schedules and budgets. Coding from scratch lowers productivity and speed. And in an ecosystem like the ever-growing mobile apps market, time is of the essence. This is important when first developing the app, but it is also of paramount importance later, when updating the app. Thanks to frequent updates, using visual development environments, sometimes called “low coding” platforms, provides for ongoing savings.

4. Supporting all devices, platform releases, and networks

Endless upgrades of devices and models – from smartphones to tablets and now smartwatches, frequent disruptive operating system release cycles, and diverse networks in each region create a significant pain of supporting all of these devices, platforms, and networks. To limit the need to check repeatedly to ensure continued support, using MBaaS systems with drag and drop visual UI builders exist to simplify the process. Also, opting for HTML5 and Hybrid app development in lieu of native development will produce hybrid mobile apps and responsive web apps from the same code base. Developers create the app only once, and deploy across all device types or screen sizes. JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, Angular JS, and Bootstrap make HTML5 apps look great. Devices and mobile browsers are getting faster all the time, which improves the performance of HTML5-based apps. For enterprise apps, all the benefits of HTML5 in terms of cost, time to market and portability across platforms, significantly outweigh the diminishing advantages of native development.

5. Debugging and testing

Debugging and testing every change and upgrade to your app, its design, functionality, and performance on every possible combination of device, platform, and network is an impossible mission and a serious pain for serious mobile app developers. When building an HTML5 mobile app, you can instantly test the app in the browser or on your phone. Look for a platform with a tester app, which is a very simple app that allows you to launch your native app and test any native APIs without needing to install it each time.

6. Security and compliance

Mobile apps are, by definition, vulnerable to security threats. This is a heavy burden for mobile app developers, who must ensure the security and compliance of their apps and data with protocols like encryption, hashing, and user authentication. To solve this pain, deploy apps in a secure container on the device and connect to a secure server, protecting all application artifacts such as data, code, and content with AES-256 encryption.

7. Memory and power consumption

Building best-in-class mobile apps often takes advantage of new (and emerging) technologies. Though these create spectacular apps, they may take a toll on memory and power consumption, especially on older devices or slower connections. Draining memory and battery often leads to negative reviews and lower adoption and acceptance rates. To remediate, always aim to optimize use of the CPU, radios, disk, and memory usage.

Pain-free mobile app development

Can mobile app development be a totally pain-free, smooth, and efficient process? We think it can and it should! There are tools that enable developers to accelerate their mobile development processes through a complete platform with support for the entire app lifecycle, including:

  • A cloud-based visual development environment
  • Integrated backend services
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Secure containers

For more information visit the Appery’s website.

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