How to Build a Mobile App: ASO 101

By now, you’ve probably heard the term “ASO” come up in workplace conversations, whether at a company meeting or from your office’s resident tech expert. We’ve written a few pieces about the topic already – but if you’re a CTO or appreneur that wants to brush up on the basics of ASO without digging through boring dev and publisher guides, you’ve come to the right place!

What is ASO?

It’s an idea that’s been around since the early 2010’s, but don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know too much about it – six years ago App Store Optimization was in its fledgling stage, and it wasn’t until recently that ASO became a necessity like other facets of digital marketing (social media, and SEO for example).

It’s an ever-evolving field, as Apple and Android have spent the past decade revamping and refurbishing their respective app stores – much I the same way Google has updated the parameters and functionality of SEO.

ASO, at it’s heart, is powered by keywords, just like SEO – except with a limited amount of available characters. Think of the difference between ASO and SEO like the difference between Twitter and Facebook; just as tweets must be short, quippy, and straight-forward, so too must be your ASO efforts.

The two fronts of an ASO campaign

User acquisition, and user retention, in that order. These can be broken down into sub-categories:

User acquisition:

  1. Keywords
  2. The app’s build and compatibility
  3. The app’s actual page on the App Store (you can think of this as your app’s storefront)

User retention:

  1. User reviews and ratings
  2. Time users actually engage with the app
  3. In-app purchases (if applicable)


Keywords are the bread-and-butter of any ASO campaign. The App Store’s search option functions in largely the same manner as a search engine like Google: users input a phrase or word, and the App Store displays apps based upon relevance and ranking.

Keywords are the foundation from which to build your ASO efforts, and effectively implementing them is crucial to your app’s success on the App Store. The most important steps you can take to ensure your keywords are working for you is to:

  • Know your competition and
  • Start with 2-3 keywords (as your campaign matures, consider utilizing up to five main keywords)

Tip: Use keywords consistently throughout your app’s title, subtitle, and description. This will help you gain ground as you launch. Don’t be afraid to borrow ideas from your competitors too; if it works, it works. Research is key to your success – consider the consequences of either using the keywords your competition is using, or finding another set of keywords to focus on. Which is more likely to get you traffic? If you believe you can compete, do that. If you’re not so sure, try to catch another segment of your target audience, and slowly build up to where your app can compete with the top performers.

For more info on keyword research, check out our piece on the topic.

The app’s build and compatibility

These are considerations that you should take into account before publishing your app to the App Store – in fact, even before development begins. This is a balancing act, as increasing the number of platforms an app will run on also increases its development cost, but simultaneously increases its potential audience.

Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Is my app compatible with the latest devices?
  • What platforms does my app belong on? (iPhone, iPad, AppleWatch, etc.)

Tip: Another big (and often overlooked) factor is your app’s footprint on a device’s storage space. According to this study by The Manifest, 25% of mobile users have deleted an app purely based on the need for extra storage space. The smaller your app is, the less likely this is to happen.

The App Store

Whystle App Store Profile

Above: An example of what an app looks like on the App Store.

This is where all of your ASO efforts come to a head. Your app’s page on the App Store is powered by metadata:

  • Title (limited to 30 characters)
  • Subtitle (limited to 30 characters)
  • Promotional text (limited to 170 characters)
  • Description
  • Up to 3 preview videos
  • Up to 20 promoted in-app purchases

Your app’s icon and preview images also effect how people interact with your app on the App Store – think of these as your app’s visual branding elements.

You app’s title, subtitle, and in-app purchases rank for keywords, while your promotional text, description, and visual elements don’t rank in searches. Every section is important to your user acquisition, however – make sure you give each section its due. This is your app’s brand, storefront, and demo space all wrapped into one – any missing or underutilized section will immediately turn off users from downloading your app.

Tip: A powerful method for improving user acquisition is A/B testing. Don’t be afraid to play around with elements like your app’s icon or description – just make sure you analyze data before and after changes so you can study their impact on conversion rates. If you notice a dip in your numbers, you can always change them back. Subtitles, for instance, are a great place to capitalize on trending phrases. For more info about keeping up with trends, check out our piece written for The Manifest.

User reviews and ratings

Whystle Ratings and Reviews

Above: An example of user ratings and reviews.

Your app’s user reviews and ratings are the middle ground between user acquisition and retention, as they affect (or are effected by) both. If your app has good ratings and reviews, it’ll most likely have high download numbers (or at least higher than if its ratings and reviews were mediocre), and good ratings and reviews usually stem from proper user retention practices.

Apple (and the App Store, by proxy) take your app’s rating and reviews seriously, and they have a direct effect on your app’s ranking – the better reviews and ratings you have, the better of a spot your app will receive when users search for keywords your app is ranking for

Tip: Take heed of users’ reviews, and act upon them. Use updates to your advantage – you’d be surprised at the impact listening to (and implementing) a user’s suggestions can have on your app’s retention.

Time spent engaging with your app

Just as keywords are the driving force behind your app’s user acquisition, the time users spend engaging with your app is the primary factor the App Store uses to determine your user retention. There is no set of guidelines to achieve high user retention, but some determining factors are:

  • Your app’s UI/UX (for novel ideas on how to improve user acquisition through UI/UX, check out our post on the topic.)
  • The way your app was developed (Hybrid vs. Native development)
  • The implementation of retention strategies (Push-notifications and regular updates

There are a lot of different services to help keep track of how users interact with your app (we tend to use Kumulos.) These help with determining what features your users spend the most time interacting with, how they use your app, and can also be used to track crashes, or where in your app users stop their sessions (usually due to slow load times or visual errors.)

Tip: Never underestimate the power of an update. Updates, unlike most push-notifications or requests to rate an app, promote a sense of curiosity in your users; they will be drawn to open your app to see what’s new.

The long and short of it

ASO is the culmination of directly-managed deliverables. Through proper keyword research, utilization, and implementation, good UI/UX, and strategies to engage users within your app, you can turn your ASO campaign into the driving force behind your business. Don’t be afraid to play around with your app’s page on the app store, as trending topics can lead to a surge in your conversion rates, and changes that decrease your app’s performance can always be switched back.

Good luck, and happy ASOing!

iOS Development and Swift Code – What you need to know

Everyone knows the two major players on the mobile platform market – Apple and Android – but what makes these platforms tick?

If you’re an iPhone user, your phone runs on iOS, which utilizes the programming language Swift. Swift was released in October of 2014, and is currently in its fourth iteration, aptly named Swift4. As our third installment of How to Build a Mobile App: the Ultimate Guide, we’ll go over what you need to know in order to make informed decisions about iOS development, and key terminology that will help you better communicate with (and understand) Swift developers.

Disclaimer: If you’re a developer or software engineer, there might not be any new information for you to find here. For a more in-depth discussion about app development, check out our addition to the native vs. hybrid debate.

If you’re a CFO, business developer, or appreneur who’s trying to figure out what a software engineer is talking about when they say “back-end integration,” or want to know just what exactly is an API, you’ve come to the right place.

As of June 2018, iOS accounts for 44.5% of the worldwide mobile market – a growth of 15% since January of 2012. In the US, iOS boasted a market share of 63% in 2018. With over 2.1 million apps on the App Store, Swift can be used to create programs on all of Apple’s platforms – iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Swift is based on and emulates the functionality of the C family of programming languages, including Objective C and C++, with an open source community of developers at Swift’s open source code is hosted on Github, an online community of over 28 million developers for hosting and reviewing code.

Due to the open source nature of Swift, the Swift community has compiled libraries to share with other developers. These libraries are resources of generic, useful code that can run on all platforms supported by Swift, and include character sets, support for dates and times, interaction with the file system, and many more functionalities. Swift comes with a default library, but these extended libraries, named the Swift Core Libraries, are continuously updated by the open source Swift community – allowing developers to utilize the newest innovations in Swift code (without writing it themselves). This code can then be customized to fit any need.

Swift can also be used on a Linux distro to build both libraries and applications, and the open source community is currently working together to bring Swift to other computer platforms.

The tools available to developers

While coding, Swift developers use XCode to write, and can use playgrounds to view their code’s outcome in real time. While working collaboratively, developers will use organizational tools such as beanstalk, which are used to keep track of code and current projects. These organizational tools are especially important when collaborating on a project, as any difference in a line of code between two workspaces will result in a merge conflict. When this happens, both lines of code must be compared in order to identify the merge conflict, adding extra time to the debugging process.

Coding best practices dictate it’s always better for a software engineer to work in an isolated branch to avoid merge conflicts altogether.

Developers can use a git client such as Sourcetree to check code in and out of collaborative databases. Think of it like Google Drive – it’s a shared workspace for multiple developers to remotely access code from the same database.

The Swift process

Android Pie and iPhone 12.1.2

The overarching structure of a simplistic app designed in Swift is:

  • View Controller –Think of this as the frame of a painting. The view controller, which is aptly named, controls what you see on the screen of your mobile device.
  • View – Within the view controller is the view. Think of this as the canvas of a painting – the view makes up the sum of all visual aspects of the app. Each screen of an app is a different view.
  • Subview –Subviews are the individual sections that collectively make up the view. Think of a subview as specific sections of a painting, such as how the subject matter is distinguishable from the background. More specifically, a subview would be the keyboard section of iMessage, or the section where text messages display.
  • Buttons –Buttons are… well, buttons. Within subviews, buttons are the interactive elements of apps. Think of the individual letters of the keyboard section of iMessage.
  • Images – Also within subviews, images are used to display specific pieces of visual information, and range from photos to logos and icons. An image can function as a button.

In order to do this, developers:

  • Start with building the basic UI (user interface)
  • Connect the UI to their code
  • Work within the view controllers (different screens will have different views)
  • Define the data model (the structure of information in the app)

First, a software engineer will layout the screens of an app in a storyboard. This acts as the roadmap for what the completed app should look like, and individual elements on the screen are then connected to code. These elements are referred to as classes, and the code inside these classes controls everything that element does, and how it behaves. For example, a class could be set to darken whenever an element is interacted with by the user, or set to cycle through images at specific time intervals. Classes can be coded to act in almost any way the software engineer can imagine. As classes are built, the UI is connected to the code.

Next, the de-bugging process starts. This is where pull requests come into play. When individual software engineers write code, they work on a branch (a section of the apps’ code) separate from the master branch, in order to minimize the risk of depleting the robustness of the app’s original code. Before implementing the code they are working on into the master branch, a software engineer will make a pull request based on their individual branch versus the master branch. This pull request is in essence a review process – having a second pair of eyes look over code is a great way to catch bugs before they are implemented. The branch is tested, and after its final iteration, is implemented into the master branch.

Developers will repeat this process for every view controller until the app is completed.

The next step in development is beta testing, which we will cover in detail later down the road. After the app is thoroughly tested, the app is submitted to the App Store for review by Apple. During this step, you set your app’s availability (what regions it is available for purchase in) and pricing, and then after approval from Apple, the app goes to the marketplace.

Adding an app to the App Store costs $99 per year, and Apple keeps 30% of each sale. For more information about how much it costs to build an app, check out our blog post on this topic.

Down the line, we’ll go over Android development, so if you’re looking forward to that, don’t worry.

Glossary of developer jargon:

  • Adaptive interface:An app that adapts to the available screen resolution. Essentially the same idea as a responsive web page.
  • API: An Application Programming Interface is a set of functions, classes, and protocols that define how pieces of software interact with each other. They facilitate code creation by providing tools and building blocks that help companies connect their software with another set of software, or even other companies’ code.
  • API calls:Sometimes referred to as an API request, an API call is essentially a piece of software in an app connecting to a server, and requesting a data transfer.
  • Back end development:This forms the logic and data structure of the app.
  • Back end integration:This allows an enterprise system to connect to an app – for example, connecting the database of a website to an app, in order for users to access the database through the app rather than the website. The information is hosted on the website’s server, but is still accessible through the app itself.
  • Control:This is a type of view that responds to a user’s input, like our example of a button turning dark after interaction.
  • Enumeration:Referred to by developers as “enums,” an enumeration defines a common type for a group of related values, and allows you to work on these values in a safe way within the code.
  • Front end:This is the layer of the app that users interact with.
  • Adaptive interface: An app that adapts to the available screen resolution. Essentially the same idea as a responsive web page.
  • Function:A function is a reusable (and named) piece of code that can be referenced from many places in a program.
  • Iterate:To perform a certain task or function repeatedly.
  • Method:Like a function, a method is a reusable, named piece of code that’s associated with a particular class, structure, or enumeration.
  • On demand app:These are apps that allow users to find, connect with, and book a professional service.
  • SDK:A Software Development Kit is a pre-made software tool that can be used for a variety of functions. Some SDKs help with analytics, others provide debugging and maintenance utilities, and a whole host of other functions.
  • Structure:When written in Swift, structures are designated by the keyword “struct.” Structs allow developers to store data in the form of properties and functions.
  • Tokens:A token is a software based security tag that produces a single-use login password or PIN.
  • UI/UX:User Interface and User Experience are intrinsically tied to each other. UI is the layout and design of the front end of an app. UX is how the app flows, functions, and responds to the user’s inputs.

How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide

It’s no secret that smartphones are quickly becoming intrinsic multi-tools that enhance our productivity, our access to information, and pretty much everything else in our daily lives. The meteoric rise of mobile devices is indeed a shake-up to an already volatile and new industry itself; it’s almost difficult to believe that mobile devices account for 63% of all internet traffic, a 6% rise from 2017.

Out of that 63% of mobile internet traffic, a whopping 90% was spent using apps. Just like the total increase of mobile traffic, app usage grew by 6% from 2017 to 2018 – a dip from the 11% between 2016 to 2017 – but still a significant amount of growth nonetheless, especially when accounting for certain app genres, like games, which are seeing users spending both more time and money on their interactions.

This is a trend that isn’t expected to stop any time soon, and if you’re an entrepreneur, or the CEO of a fortune 500 company, and you don’t have an app to enhance your business (or engage your customers), it’s time to get one.

Chapter 1: Native vs. Hybrid Development

Chapter 2: iOS Development and Swift Code

Chapter 3: How to find the perfect mobile app developer

Chapter 4: ASO 101

So, how do you go about making an app?

Building an app

Before we get into the intricacies of app creation, let’s go over what we’re going to cover in our How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide.

  • The platforms available to you, and the code that makes them work
  • How to properly design your app
  • How to find and communicate with developers
  • Different types of development
  • App Store Optimization and how users engage with the App Store
  • Usage, keyword, and design trends
  • How to measure, grow, and ensure your app’s chance of success over its lifetime

For the next 22 weeks we’re going to dive deep into every facet of app development, from the very basics and first steps, to user retention and acquisition strategies. This is the How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide after all, so strap yourself in for a five-month-long ride down the app creation highway.

For now, here’s an introduction to each topic:

The platforms available to you, and the code that makes them work

Mobile Platforms

When it comes to platforms, there are two main players; iOS and Android. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks when comparing the two – iOS provides greater stability and Android allows for more customization.

Apps that run on iOS are programmed using Swift, the most current iteration of the language being Swift 4. Swift can be used to code for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. This is handy, as it gives you the ability to code for all Apple products while only requiring the knowledge of one language, but it limits your potential audience.

When programming for Android, there are many languages available to you: Java, C and C++, Go, and Kotlin – the most popular being Java. Android is open source, which gives you free reign to modify and distribute Android’s code at no charge. Android is used on a wide variety of mobile devices, which gives you the potential to open up a greater range of revenue streams, but this can also slow down your app’s development.

When it comes to choosing a platform for your app, there isn’t a right or wrong option – and frequently, the best answer is both. In the future, we’ll be looking more into the intricacies of developing for both iOS and Android.

How to properly design your app

App Design

App design is like butter on toast; not enough, and you’re in for a bland experience – too much, and you’re not sure whether you should eat it or throw it out to give your arteries a break. Due to user experience (UX) being so entwined with user retention and acquisition rates (as well as user ratings) an app’s design can make or break its chances of success.

Design trends are changing all the time, so it’s important to update your app to not only keep it secure, but to also ensure it stays relevant. User reviews are a great source to pay attention to when planning your app’s design – but always err on the side of caution when designing your app – if you can scrape some butter off of that toast without sacrificing flavor, get rid of the unneeded butter.

In the future, we’re going to cover app design principles from the ground up.

How to find and communicate with developers

Finding App Developers

There’s a multitude of developers out there, so how do you figure out which one is the best for you?

Rather than searching Google, it’s best to start with Clutch. Clutch is a website dedicated to providing a platform for entrepreneurs and businesses to search for developers that fit their specific needs, and is a great resource for vetting teams when deciding on a development partner.

As we cover development pitfalls and best practices, we’ll go into detail about how to ensure time spent building your app is never wasted, as well as tips on how to communicate effectively with your development team.

Different types of development

App Development

There’s plenty of fish in the sea, just as there’s a myriad of methods to structuring and planning your app’s development. The most common are Skyscraper, Agile, and Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

In short, the Skyscraper method relies on heavy planning and market research, Agile focuses on utilizing an adaptive, responsive method of development, and MVPs are used to quickly and efficiently produce a bear-bones, but workable app, intended to be enhanced upon after being brought to market.

In the future, we’ll cover how to figure out which development style will work best for you.

App Store Optimization and how users engage with the App Store

App Store

App Store Optimization (ASO) is crucial to your app’s chance of success. Just like SEO, ASO relies on utilizing keywords that users regularly search for, which are then paired with your app’s total downloads, user retention, user ratings, and user reviews, which culminate to form your app’s ranking in the App Store or Google Play. Apps with higher scores in these categories will be listed above lower-scoring apps during searches, giving them access to a wider audience.

Most app downloads come directly from the App Store’s search function. The two largest discovery channels in the App Store are the search function, coming in at 20%, and word-of-mouth, coming in at 15%. This exemplifies the importance of both keywords and UX, as users are much more likely to recommend an app to a friend if their experiences using the app are positive, as opposed to negative or even mediocre. Interestingly enough, negative word-of-mouth spreads much faster than positive, doubling the importance of your app’s UX.

In our How to Build a Mobile App: The Ultimate Guide, we’ll spend a lot of time covering ASO best practices, pitfalls, and proven user acquisition and retention strategies.

Usage, keyword, and design trends

User trends

Your app’s ranking, design, and user experience aren’t set in stone. Trends can make or break your app’s growth, so knowing the resources and options available to you in order to stay at the crest of these trends is crucial to your app’s success.

Your customer’s usage patterns will morph based on a plethora of factors, from simply-recognized time-of-day patterns to seasonal usage patterns influenced by weather, or even geographical differences. For example, productivity apps are used more during the day, while mobile games are used more during the evening. An app that tracks waves for surfers to catch will perform well in costal areas, while a snow-plow service app would perform better in cold regions during the winter.

ASO is ever changing – for example, certain keywords (especially those that are holiday related) can perform better during certain seasons, and should be implemented only at particular times. Keyword trends are forever changing, and it’s imperative to keep up with those trends to maintain your audience’s engagement and growth.

Even the design of your app is expected to change over time – mobile devices are constantly improving and changing, and your design must follow suit to compensate with larger screen resolutions and more powerful processors. There are trends in mobile design as well, which evolve frequently, and paying attention to the UX innovations of your competitors can give you an edge on how to do it better (simpler is always better), and stay up to date.

In the future, we’ll go into more detail about the methods and resources available to help you stay on top of upcoming keyword and design trends.

How to measure, grow, and ensure your app’s chance of success over its lifetime

App Growth

There’s never a fool-proof method to ensure a 100% success rate with any app, let alone any facet of life, but there are tools and options available to you to help ensure your app is successful in the marketplace.

There are tons of analytical services to choose from, ranging from touchscreen heat mapping and user session tracking and recording, to crash monitoring and realtime alerts.

If you’re keeping up with your ASO, and providing users with regular updates to stay on top of trends, you’re already headed in the right direction. Partnering with the right developer can spell either the success or failure of your app as well, so knowing how to shop for and speak with development teams is a crucial step in providing yourself with a stable foundation to build upon.

Over the next few months, we’ll dive deep into all of these topics, covering app creation from start to finish. Next week, we’ll cover tips on how to be a successful appreneur.

Getting Funded For Mobile App Development

Creating a mobile app is a challenging process. It consists of many complex phases, including design, development, testing and deployment.

It can also be expensive, especially if you don’t have a reputation for delivering quality apps.

Developers with adequate funding have a great advantage over those who don’t. They can devote all resources towards developing the app rather than obtaining funding.

This post focuses on the first round of funding, where the app doesn’t yet exist.

The primary goal here is to raise enough money to build the app and have money left over to perform some targeted marketing.

Other funding rounds are often necessary as the project progresses, especially if the app is succeeding. Common sources for funding a mobile app include the following:

  • Friends and family
  • Crowdfunding
  • Investors
  • Business partners
  • Colleagues
  • Bank loans

Funding Mobile App Development Via Friends and Family

This type of funding solicits investments from your social network rather than your business network. It doesn’t have to be people you know – it may include friends of friends, according toEvus.

Your social network is a great way to spread the word about your business opportunity. Word-of-mouth is helpful because you’ll need to dig deep into your network if you’re going to develop your app.

Another advantage of asking friends and family is that they won’t hold you to the strict terms of a bank loan.

Asking friends and family for money can be tough. But it becomes easier when you provide a detailed business plan explaining your plan.

You should also ensure that none of your friends and family are giving you money they can’t afford to lose.

A formal agreement is still necessary, even when borrowing money from a member of your social network. This agreement should make it clear that there is a chance your investors may never see the money.

Making this possibility clear from the beginning can help protect you, your lenders and your relationship with them. The last thing you want in this situation is angry loved ones demanding their money back.

Even though these investors aren’t business-oriented, they will still expect their money back. Friends and family may also expect to play a role in your business in exchange for their investment.

An agreement that makes the lender a shareholder can be an effective way to address this issue, since it also offers tax advantages for the lenders. Furthermore, their investment will pay a return when your mobile app become a hit.

Crowdfunding Your Mobile App Development

Crowdfunding is one of the most recent methods of funding a business venture, according toLifewire.

Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter specialize in raising small amounts of capital. These sites have also raised millions of dollars for a venture in some cases.

This approach involves asking the general public to invest in your venture, which entitles them to a share of profits.

You’ll also need to provide a fundraising goal for the campaign. If your crowdfunding campaign meets its goal, then you get the money which you can use to develop your app.

If not, the investors keep their money. Crowdfunding platforms also charge a fee, typically around 5% of the total donations.

The primary advantage of crowdfunding is that you can find more investors than with other methods. It also doesn’t require a working product, which you won’t have in the first round of funding.

The only thing you need for crowdfunding is an idea and a plan. This typically includes a story with photos and video. You also get to keep the equity in your business.

Crowdfunding also means publishing your business plans to many people without an NDA. This is something you will normally have in the case of a private investor.

The lack of an NDA will leave you without recourse should someone else decide to develop your app. Keep this in mind before proceeding with this route.

Using Angel Investor Funds For Mobile App Development

Most venture capitalists will expect you to have a working product before investing in your mobile app, according toAll Top Startups.

You may be able to get funding from these sources with a working prototype. But business investors usually require your product to show some commercial success.

Angel investors are an exception to this rule. They’re willing to invest in startups in exchange for equity in the company rather than a direct ROI.

In some cases, they may offer to fund your entire project. But, most angel investors will only fund some of your mobile app’s development costs.

Like others, angel investors are more likely to provide funding if you have a detailed business plan.

They will often remain anonymous, so they’re more difficult to find than other investors. However, a single angel investor can end your short-term funding problems.

Adding Business Partners For Mobile App Development Funding

Many small business ventures are founded by two partners. The dormant partner – or silent partner – provides capital to bring the product to market.

This partner doesn’t play any type of active role in the business. The active partner runs the business, including daily operations and product development.

It’s essential to ensure that a silent partner can supply the capital needed since they’ll own part of your company. You’ll also need to be confident that this partner is a good fit for your business.

Make sure you have a written agreement about the terms and conditions of your arrangement. This should include the amount of the investment and profit-sharing percentage.

Using Bank Loans For Mobile App Development Funding

It’s possible to fund your mobile app with a traditional business loan. A loan officer will require a detailed business plan, often in a standardized format.

You need to provide the reasons you want the loan and what you plan to do with the money. The return on the bank’s investment will usually be in the form of interest on the loan.

Loan approval is often a procedure driven process. This means the loan officer may have little real discretion improving the loan.

In many cases, the loan officer’s only job is to determine if your application meets the set of criteria established by the bank.

The loan officer will then inform you of these criteria and identify the ones you still need to meet.

Getting Mobile App Development Funding From Colleagues

Mobile app developers often look to business colleagues for funding. This is known as buddy funding.

These colleagues typically provide funding for a share of the profits, often in the form of a percentage of sales.

One advantage of buddy funding is that a colleague will often understand the risks and potential rewards of funding a mobile app.

It may also be possible to create a network of developers from your business contacts to invest in your app.

Differences Between iOS & Android App Development

Many mobile devices can launch applications (apps), including mobile phones, digital assistants, and tablets. These apps can be installed during the manufacturing process or downloaded by the user from an application platform, typically within a web browser.

Developers must consider the wide range of display sizes when creating mobile apps in addition to other hardware specifications and configurations. iOS and Android are the two most popular mobile operating systems (OSs) in the world, so mobile app developers often must choose which OS to develop an app for first.

Critical differences between iOS and Android include the following:

  • Environment
  • UX design
  • Language
  • APIs

An Overview Of iOS & Android

Google developed Android from the Lennox kernel, specifically designing it for devices with touch screens. User commands to Android’s user interface (UI) are primarily based on gestures that resemble real-world actions, including tapping, swiping and pinching.

A virtual keyboard also allows users to enter text. Google has developed Android for other electronic devices as well, such as televisions, cars and wristwatches. Currently, Android is the world’s most popular mobile OS.

Apple created iOS exclusively for its mobile devices, including iPad, iPhone and iPod. The iOS UI is also based on direct manipulation of the touch screen, including multi-touch gestures. It can also make use of a device’s internal accelerometer, which allows the user to enter commands by shaking or rotating the device.

Apple has also incorporated accessibility into iOS, allowing disabled users to operate its mobile devices. iOS is the world’s second most popular mobile OS.

iOS & Android App Environments

iOS clearly leads Android on development environment. It’s still possible to write iOS apps with command lines and text files, although professional developers typically use an integrated development environment (IDE).

Apple’s IDE is Xcode, which is fast and powerful without intruding on the creative aspect of app development. Xcode is particularly effective at isolating the developer from the complex compilation and certification process that Apple requires to maintain control over iOS apps. iOS also has an efficient debugger and responsive simulator.

Android Studio is currently the standard IDE for the Android platform and was specifically designed for Android app development.

It was first released in December 2014 and officially replaced Eclipse Android Development Tools (ADT) in late 2015, when ADT was deprecated. Studio is a significant improvement over ADT, although many developers still consider it to be counterintuitive and overly complex compared to Xcode.

Studio’s debugger is also clumsy to use, causing many developers to use log files to debug code. Furthermore, the Android emulator is slow to load and often fails to connect to the Android Debug Bridge (ADB).

UX Design For iOS & Android Apps

Developers often expect Apple’s Interface Builder to make iOS the clear winner on the issue of User Experience (UX) design, but this comparison is a tougher call than that.

Interface Builder does allow developers to build slick interfaces quickly, but it also adds another layer of complexity to app development. The storyboards that iOS developers use to create an interface require multiple screens that can become cumbersome. Developers also use Auto Layout to design interfaces for different display sizes.

Overall, this approach to UX design is most effective for simple interfaces, but its complexity makes interfaces more difficult to build as an app evolves.

Android also has a visual tool for developing interfaces, although many developers choose to write XML manually. This approach requires developers to specify guidelines for the display layouts, which should allow the app to display properly on a range of display sizes.

Android also provides developers with an icon pack, whereas iOS developers must obtain icons from third parties or create their own.

The best mobile OS for UX design often comes down to a matter of developer preference, although iOS probably has the edge. iOS developers only need to consider three display sizes and two screen densities, while Android developers theoretically must consider every possible combination of display size and density.

Furthermore, developers typically consider iOS’s visual elements to be more appealing than those of Android.

iOS App Language vs. Android App Language

In general, iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift the latest iOS language, while Android apps are written in Java.

However, a number of exceptions exist such as Apache Cordova, which is an open-source mobile app development framework. Some developers may also Xamarin tools to develop native iOS and Android apps, but these cases are relatively rare.

Developers who are already proficient in Java will find Objective–C to be a verbose programming language. Java also creates better stack traces, allowing developers to locate intermittent bugs more easily.

On the other hand, Objective-C is cleaner than Java, primarily due to Objective-C’s use of blocks and categories. Furthermore, Objective-C doesn’t require the developer to wrap code within exception-handling boilerplate as Java does.

Android had superior garbage collection until iOS implemented automatic reference counting in 2011. While Android’s garbage collection is still better, the difference is no longer significant. iOS therefore has the edge over Android on language.

APIs For iOS & Android

Both iOS and Android have many Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) available to developers. APIs provide features and functions for mobile apps such as network access and View objects that are essentially full-fledged browsers.

The controllers that perform most of the work of implementing these APIs are generally comparable between IOS and Android. However, iOS has Core Data, a powerful framework for which Android has no equivalent.

Core Data allows developers to organize data by entity, attribute and value, so they can manipulate it with high-level objects. iOS’s API system is also generally cleaner than Android’s, which makes class declarations shorter in iOS. Developers generally prefer to work with iOS classes than Android classes.

App Development For iOS & Android

A mobile app wifor typically be developed for both iOS and Android to maximize the app’s user base, so the more important issue is which OS to develop the app for first.

iOS is usually the best choice, since it’s generally easier to write apps in iOS. Furthermore, iOS users are typically willing to pay more for their apps. Developers may then port a mobile app to Android once it succeeds on iOS.

For more information on the development of mobile apps for iOS and Android, contact NS804 at 804-793-8682.

Mobile App Development Lessons

Being new to mobile app development and thinking I had it all figured out I have learned several valuable lessons. First you need to be flexible when it comes to technology sometimes things do not work the way you want them to. In that case you better have back up plans and lots of patience.

Second is listen to people who have been where you are. Many I have met in the development world are
Very cool and down to earth and willing to talk and share ideas.

Lastly ask for help when needed contrary to what we all believe we cannot do it all..

The funny thing about this whole process is we went from 1 game in development to 2 now to 6. I think we have a solid working strategy that only took 8 months to figure out and we move
Forward with Morads, Naval Defense, Battle For The Whitehouse and 3 others to be named later.