Why Is Mobile App Development Important?

““70% of all access to business systems will be done via mobile devices.” - Gartner

Mobile phones have become as essential to people as a purse or wallet.  They now drive our retail purchases, guide our travel and capture images of important memories. This essential consumer tool is now driving business activity as well.

According to Gartner, 70% of all access to business systems will be done via mobile devices.
As more employees use smartphones and tablets, companies must build mobile apps that access corporate systems, enable business tasks, deliver information or collect data. As a result, mobile app development is now a corporate priority.

While some companies use web apps to deliver information to mobile devices, web applications are not the same as mobile apps. They deliver information through a web browser, but cannot take advantage of the full mobile phone or tablet hardware capabilities.

Is Developing a Mobile App Different from
Developing a Desktop App?

Mobile app development is very different from traditional desktop application development. In addition to app security and integration, mobile apps must also consider:

  • delivering an excellent user interface on smaller screens
  • including new smartphone and tablet features -- leveraging photos, audio, video, GPS, QR and bar codes, and more
  • combatting spotty WIFI or cell connections
  • enabling rapid data entry without a large keyboard
  • adapting to reduced hardware storage.
Developing mobile apps for business users

A range of smartphone and tablet screen sizes, plus the  complexity of iOS and Android systems, only adds complexity to mobile app development

Read Why Mobile Apps are Different

Should You Develop iOS Apps or Android Apps?

Developing iOS Apps and Android Apps

People tend to love their iPhones and Android phones, and have loyalty to their platform of choice.  With more companies allowing a BYOB policy, developers must be sure to develop apps that serve each operating system, and all size devices. Unless companies are supplying the devices to users, it's not possible to choose one mobile operating system over the other. That said, Android development tends to be the most costly, according to data.

Read Why Android Development Typically Costs 30% More 

What are Cross-Platform Mobile Apps?

Cross-platform mobile apps can run on any iOS or Android device like a native mobile app. Cross-platform app development uses a single code base (usually using low-code software) to build apps. As a result, the time to create mobile apps that run on multiple mobile platforms is dramatically reduced.

Less development time speeds time to market while saving companies significant development costs. Some low code vendors build cross-platform apps at least 10 times faster than traditional methods.

In addition, less experience is required to use low-code software to build these apps. As a result, companies won't need to hire mobile developers or outsource mobile app development to build apps. The apps can be built by current company employees.

Watch: How to Develop a Cross-Platform Mobile App in 1 Hour

Cross-platform mobile app development offers:

  • Faster ways to develop mobile apps
  • Lower mobile app development costs
  • Less mobile app development experience required
  • More development flexibility.

Read How Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Allows More People to Build Mobile Apps

What Do Mobile Apps Cost to Develop?

What it costs to develop a mobile app

Utility, a project management company, estimates mobile apps to cost between $80k - $250k. Fortunately, some vendors offer software for free.

In addition to actual hours spent on coding and development, some other factors that can affect the cost of development are:

  • the complexity of the app
  • the amount of time it takes to collect business requirements
  • user testing and bug fixes
  • the method of deploying the app or hosting the app
  • ongoing app updates and maintenance.

Read: What Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App and How to Estimate the Cost of Your App

Utility estimates that the costs for building apps can range from $80K – $250K+:

  • Simple apps can cost up to $80,000.
  • A basic database app can cost between $100,000 – $150,000.
  • Advanced apps with many features cost between $150,000 – $250,000.
  • Game apps can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000+, based on quality and detail.

These numbers make sense for large enterprises with multi-million dollar IT budgets that can afford developers and software development kits. But how are SMBs supposed to afford to build these high costs? New app development technologies and development approaches have dramatically brought down the cost of apps.

How Can You Lower Mobile App Development Costs?

Companies are lowering development costs down by using low-code app development software to produce cross-platform mobile apps.

Native app development takes significant time to build an app, because it requires coding. Free open source products are also available, but you will likely need a developer to write code. Low code app development, from vendors such as Mendix, Outsystems, Appypie and others, does routine coding for developers, significantly reducing the time required to build apps. Alpha Software even offers a low-code mobile app development platform you can use for free.

Another way companies are lowering development costs is by enabling less specialized developers to build apps.

Lower the cost of mobile app development

Companies can lower the cost of mobile app development by using innovative software and allowing more employees to build mobile apps.

Who Can Develop Mobile Apps?

To develop mobile apps, you once needed experience in programming languages to build apps for iOS or Android. In recent years, low-code software has emerged that allow developers without mobile experience to craft enterprise mobile apps. No-code software tools, which typically employ drag-and-drop interfaces, allow business workers to build basic apps to collect data and do simple business tasks.  

Many companies realize they don't have enough developers to build all the mobile apps they need. As a result, they're finding methods and tools that allow business users to become more involved in the development process. 

Citizen developer developing mobile app
More people across your organization, often called citizen developers, are now able to use low-code and no-code software to build mobile apps.

How Do You Publish Mobile Apps?

An example of how one low-code solution, Alpha Anywhere, takes the worry out of mobile app deployment.

One overlooked area of mobile app development happens after you build the apps: deployment. Mobile Apps can be self-hosted using an on-premise server or hosted by third-party ISPs and cloud services.

To make your app available on the Apple Store or Google Play Store, steps typically include:

  • Sign up for the store as a developer.
  • Prepare your mobile app, mobile app description and mobile app screenshots for submission.
  • Create an app store listing
  • Submit your mobile app listing, including description and screenshots.
  • Upload and submit your app for review by store editors.

The app stores can take days to review your app and publish it to the stores. Also, updating your app and resubmitting it to the stores requires another review.Some app development software companies offer solutions for deploying your mobile applications. These solutions don't require you to go re-submit applications to the app stores for review to publish them.

Read Why More Companies are Taking App Deployment to the Cloud

Low-Cost Mobile App Development

Get free mobile app development software and learn to develop mobile apps.
Click below for your license to the mobile app builder, pre-built app templates, training material, and more.

Mobile Application Development Examples

Here are some examples of modern mobile apps for business that have excellent user experience. These apps can share information, collect data, capture images and GPS information, and do on-device calculations.

mobile app development login screen
mobile optimized app
mobile app that does calculations
mobile app with digital signatures
mobile app for customer information
develop a mobile app with analytics and reporting
mobile app for data collection
mobile app with mapping

We're available to answer your questions about mobile app development.
Email sales@alphasoftware.com or Call 781-229-4500