When you plan to develop an app, you have to make several important decisions. One of them is choosing the right tools for the job. With numerous platforms available for mobile app building today, it can be tough to find the best one for your needs.
Do you want a native app or a cross-platform solution? What is your budget? Do you want to build an app for iOS and Android only? Or will you deal with Blackberry and Windows as well? Even if you’ve got these questions answered, you need to focus on selecting the best platform for your needs, skill level, and budget.
Let’s take a closer look at what to consider when choosing mobile app development tools.
1. Target Audience
To decide which operating system you want your app to work on, you need to figure out what your target audience needs. Designing an app for just one OS is often cheaper than going for cross-platform solutions. That’s why if your audience is primarily Android or iOS users, you can save a substantial amount of money.
Once you decide which system is the best for your audience then you can choose a platform, which can cater to a particular OS.
Budget is the most important part of app development planning. The size of your budget dictates which features you can add to your app and which platforms it will be running on. Depending on your budget, you can choose a tool to develop your application on.
While many tools are reasonably priced, you don’t want to overpay for a complex solution if all you need is a straightforward app.
Meanwhile, with a substantial budget, you can opt for proprietary tools that have wide functionality while reaping the benefits of custom software development.
When choosing an app development solution, you need to know where to call if something doesn’t go quite right. Open-source platforms usually have wide support from an online community. However, you may not get your questions answered timely.
Proprietary tools are more expensive. However, they usually have excellent support options. Take the time to browse reviews for each solution to find out how well support operates.
A mobile development tool should be easy to use. An intuitive interface can save you a tremendous amount of time. If you are buying a solution, make sure to test it before purchase.
The majority of providers is ready to offer a free trial or show you a demo. If you aren’t comfortable with the interface or usability, consider another option.
5. Lifecycle Management
Once you develop and deploy the app, you will need to manage it for the rest of its lifecycle. Make sure the tools you choose have sufficient functionality to give you the ability to support your application.
Long-term capabilities and long-term costs are especially important to consider. You could end up paying large amounts for managing your app, thus making it much less profitable.
6. Vendor Expertise
To make sure you are getting a high-quality product, you can check the vendor’s expertise. What sample apps and professional training does the vendor provide?
Additionally, you should take a look at the engagement of the user community. How active is it? What do users have to say about their experience with the tool?
7. Company Size
You should consider your company’s size when selecting a mobile development solution. It may be too expensive to develop an app for a small collection of needs. Small businesses often opt for off-the-shelf solutions. However, if you still want a custom app, consider giving it a limited functionality in order to save on development and maintenance.
Larger companies often need apps for internal use. They can take advantage of cross-platform app builders for small teams. However, native tools may be required for customer-facing apps.
7 Tools to Consider When Choosing the Best Solution for Mobile App Development
To help you make a decision, we handpicked seven mobile app development solutions, all of which can become excellent tools for your needs.
- Phone Gap (by Adobe) – an open-source framework for building app-store ready software
- Xamarin (by Microsoft) – free open-source cross-platform native app builder
- Sencha Cmd – an excellent solution for quick and simple native mobile app development
- Corona SDK (by Corona Labs) – a free cross-platform framework for mobile app development in Lua scripting language.
- Appcelerator – fast cross-platform app builder with an open mobile marketplace. Suitable for newbies.
- Kobiton – a great tool for continuous mobile app testing.
All of these tools are designed to simplify your mobile app development process. Several of them are free.
Before choosing your mobile app development tools, you need to answer several questions for yourself and figure out what type of app your team really needs. Then you need to set the budget and start browsing the available options.
Pay close attention to the user interface and usability of the solution. Many tools on the market don’t focus on user experience sufficiently, banking on experience and professionalism.