guide-to-create-your-first-android-or-ios-app

Step-by-step guide to your first Android / iOS App | Guide for 2018

By kiril.papaz@v-play.net October 31, 2018

social media icons on a mobile screen

To make your own app for Android and iOS may be a tricky adventure. It may all start very confusing. You start thinking about your perfect app and countless how’s appear!

This blog post intends to clear up that cloud in your head.

You will learn the detailed process of what you need to do and how you properly prepare. Get ready and read through how to make an Android app in 2018!

How to make an Android app or iOS app:

  • Refine your idea and what you want to achieve with it

  • Define the looks and how you structure it

  • Step-by-step creation, coding from start till end

  • During this guide you will get a better idea for your app. The publishing process on the stores of Google Play and Apple App Store will be covered too.

What are your goals? What problem do you want to solve? What is your target audience?

Your goal may be to develop an app for iOS out of existing website or help yourself with some tasks, hobby etc. The app idea may come from all sorts of everyday situations. Keep in mind that it should be useful.

It should look good and have enough potential users. It is a good practice to plan ahead on the building process. You need to take care of three main areas: Product, Growth, and Profitability.

man and woman holding smartphones

The product goal | What need does your mobile app fulfill?

The goal of mobile app development is to make profits by fulfilling the needs of users. Today’s businesses are in high competition with each other. By use of Android app development software, they get into app development.

By submitting the mobile apps for Android and iOS to the stores, users can download them easily.

  • What problems will your app resolve for the users?

  •  What features will be included?

  •  What is the general demand for your app?

  •  What is the future of the app? Any improvements to be done?

 

After you answer these questions you will have a better understanding of how to make your own app.
How about the market for it? What obstacles you need to take into account, and what number of users you plan on acquiring.

Working on the strong support of the users is essentials in a way that they will guide you for all future app updates.

  • What tactics will you use to convert users from your competitors’ app to yours?

  • What will you offer to keep them engaged and interested?

  • What promotion will you use to market it to the potential users?

  • What demographics do you need to target for biggest success?

 

Now that you have a better general idea on how to create an app for Android and make money, let’s talk money. Funding for Android and iOS mobile applications takes resources. Mobile developers need to get paid, some of the best app builders cost money too. You may develop your product for your business or as a freelancer for other company.

The finances may be sourced via start-up funding, bank loan or other sources.
To have better understanding answer these questions:

  • What revenue streams are possible? Subscriptions, advertising, freemium etc.
  • Are you creating an Android app for a non-profit organization or commercial company?
  • How can you cover your costs? What funding is available?

Answering these objectives will help you answer how to make an android app. Faster development will lead to faster results and more downloads of the final software application. It is also possible that you can shift objectives along the way after you realize better options on how to create an Android app and make money.

A detailed look at the targeted users

Do you know the main reason that businesses fail?
CB Insight in their conclusion state that 14% of startups had not analyzed their client. This is common with the cross-platform mobile apps developers too. Many start with an idea, just to figure out that only a few use their app at the end.

You may come up with the best idea to code an app but that will not do. The aim of your efforts is to provide real help and value to a group of people. That is why it is fundamental to invest time in research of your target audience before spending money and time. Remember that app development and promotion do take a lot of cash.

What is your audience? How to define it?

In general, you need to define two groups of audiences, by category of the app and secondary research. For
example, if an app lists all BMW dealerships in the US we may come to a conclusion that all BMW drivers in the US are main target users.

Secondary research defines in more details about your competitors, sub-categories and pricing strategies.

To locate a target audience for your app may be easy if it is specific. That is not the case if you target large, more general audience with it.

You also need to take into account the demographics and answer for yourself:

  • What is the location of your users, do they use Android or iPhone mobile phones, what is their average age?

Behavioral patterns will help you target better. Questions like, what websites do your users regularly visit, are they willing to download and install apps etc. Gathering all such data will help you define the potential user persona.

The concept of the App

After all, research is done about the potential user and what needs are there to get fulfilled. You need to focus on the concept. The way we use a concept in here is to answer, can we monetize by charging for use or by ads inside the app?

Shareability of the app can also be a key factor. Can you make fun and good looking app that features content friends can share with each other? Can you award users for sharing your content?

An idea gets shape | Prototyping

At this step of the development process, you are drawing the structure and looks on a paper. You may use free tools to create a wireframe where you roughly define the navigation inside the app.

The sketching process of your app will provide you a solid ground for the interface. By doing this you will have a better chance to better plan and make fast changes if needed. The communication with your team as well the client will be smoother too.

sketch in a notebook

Walking the walk | Development options

After a successful wireframe design of the mobile app, you are starting to figure out how to finalize the project. Basically, there are three options to go about.

You are a coder | Develop it yourself

This way to go is if you have basic or advanced knowledge in programming. If you wish for the app to work on Android, iOS, Windows platforms you have two options. You can develop native for each platform, then you will need good experience with several programming languages.
The other option is using a cross-platform development framework, to write your code only once and share it across platforms. You will get a closer explanation about the differences shortly.

There are many frameworks to choose from. If you need help to choose one, 2188 developers shared their experience to rank those tools based on many factors. V-Play is leading at this largest evaluation of 40 leading cross-platform app development tools, in terms of easiness to learn, biggest time savings and best support.

accelerate your app development process

V-Play uses QML + Javascript and it is based on the Qt framework. With this technology, your app will save you up to 90% of code when compared to other programming languages and frameworks. By using V-Play Engine you will not need to adjust it for each platform but your app will work with iOS, Android and Desktop platforms too.

Download V-Play

You are no coder | App builder solutions

There are many mobile app builder services available online as Appy Pie and Buildfire, that let you create apps with drag-and-drop interfaces. The trade-off is often that the features are very limited, or not customizable to really fit your use-case. Also it’s often very hard to create great UI experiences, based on the templates provided by the services. Overall, while this is an easy way to start, you’ll most likely hit the hard limits of this approach very fast.

Outsource it | Hire a developer

You may choose an independent developer or agency to make your app. Many options will show up if you do Google search for this but pay attention that they hugely vary in cost. Picking independent developer may be a good choice if you don’t want to develop the app yourself, but likely also the most expensive way to get a customized application.

V-Play also offers app development services to create your app for you. Contact us to get your free quote!

Get Your Free Quote

Technology of choice

The main technologies to pick from are Platform Native, Cross-Platform Native, Hybrid and Web. Each has pros and cons. Let’s see for each:

Key Pros and Cons of Platform Native Apps

Platform Native apps are created for a single platform only, using the platform specific development language and tools. If you want to release your app for iOS and Android, you will have to create two completely independent apps.

Pros:

pros symbol

Full access to native device features

Great Performance

Platform specific UI/UX

Cons:

cons symbol

Multiple languages and tools required to build apps for different platforms
Native apps development is more costly since they are more complex

High effort to create custom designs

Key Pros and Cons of Cross-Platform Native Apps

These are apps that are created with cross-platform frameworks that output native apps. This means that you can share one source code for all platforms, and the framework takes care of translating the code for each individual platform.

Apps that are created this way can have full access to native device features and very good performance. It is worth taking some time to choose the framework that fits your needs the best.

V-Play uses this approach to offer top performance and easy access to native device features like camera, sensors and much more. It also offers native platform UI/UX out of the box, to create stunning iOS and Android apps in less time.

Pros:

pros symbol

Access to native device features

Run native, thus also very good performance

Less code because it’s shared across platforms

Cons:
cons symbolDepending on the framework, platform specific UI/UX may require a bit more effort

 

Key Pros and Cons of Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps try to bridge the gap between native apps and web apps. They use web technologies to create the user interface and offer ways to also access native device features, which is not possible from a web app running in the browser.

Pros:
pros symbolIf you are familiar with web technologies like HTML, CSS and JS, it will be easy to learn the basics

 

Cons:
cons symbolPerformance is nowhere close to native apps

Creating platform specific UI/UX can be tedious, but this can be essential for users to like your app

Limited access to native device features

Key Pros and Cons of Web Apps

Web apps are basically websites, that mimic the UI/UX of native apps. Users visit such apps with their browser, instead of downloading and installing it through the app stores.

Pros:
pros symbolTraditional web technologies can be used
Web apps are not submitted to iOS and Android app store, they can be updated at any time and do not rely on users installing updates

Cons:
cons symbolWeb apps have no access to native device features, as they just run in the browser

There can be major differences how various browsers display your web app, which can make it very tedious to deliver an equal experience to all users and devices

The publishing process on Google Play and App Store

You may open the champagne! It is the moment every developer waits for: publishing the app!
At first, you need to open a developer account with both iOS $99 per year and Android $25 one time fee. The app submission process is independent for both stores.

Your Application on iOS App Store

iTunes Connect is used for your App publication and management. Apple is strict with the developers and what applications are published. Normally it takes three days in average for Apple team to review your submission. If everything is fine, you can make it available and downloadable.

Your application on Android Google Play

You will use Google Play Developer Console to upload the binary APK file. Pricing and description are next to where you define the details. There is no review process by Google so you can upload it fast but you are obliged to follow their guidelines. Apps not following the rules will get removed from the Google Play store.

Publishing Web App

This one is easy to do since you just need to host it on a server, just like a website. There are no regulations and guidelines to follow.

Congrats! You should now have basic understanding on how to make an android app for free, and which steps are involved in the process, from start to end.

 

 

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