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Mobile apps – breaking down the jargon – what you need to know!

One common theme we often encounter, is software development companies and agencies hiding behind technical jargon by confusing their customers and delivering a project not fit for purpose, late and over budget.

We do not hide behind technical jargon and ensure our customers understand our solutions.

Here’s some things you need to be aware of before taking on a mobile app project (in plain English of course):

Android, Apple or both?

In the UK and USA, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have over 95% of the market share. Both mobile operating systems make “apps” available for download via Play Store on Android or App Store on iOS.

That’s where the similarities end though. Both Android and iOS use different technologies to support their platforms. This means that you need to design, build and release a separate version for each platform – essentially two mobile apps, one for each platform.

Unless you want your target audience to be exclusively on a Android or Apple device then this doubles your costs, as you have to develop your app on both platforms. In addition both versions will need to be supported and maintained going forward which is likely to increase your operating costs.

Fortunately, there are frameworks available like Ionic which allow you to develop and maintain your mobile app once (using popular web development languages) and publish them to both platforms.

There are some trade-offs to using this approach such as performance and reliance on a third-party framework but for most mobile app projects this approach makes sense.

What is an API, and why’s that important?

An API (Application Program Interface) enables your mobile app to interact with other services such as reading data from another source or writing data to a database.

An API becomes the brain of your application and should contain code which supports the business functions of your application.

For example, if the function of your app is to manage contact details then requests should be made from your mobile app to create, read, update and delete contacts. These requests will be made to an API who’s role is to perform these functions then feedback to your mobile app i.e. contact has been added, deleted, updated etc.

A well designed API should be able to scale (support more users/traffic and features) as your application grows. If it isn’t well designed it can incur additional costs in the future if you want to add new features or encounter issues with data security.

We use the latest cloud technologies such as Google’s Firebase and AWS Amplify to ensure that our mobile app APIs are robust, secure and scalable.

Watch out for hidden charges!

There are many ways to build mobile applications and the choices aren’t always straightforward.

We are always upfront in helping our customers adopt the right choice for their project, not what is easier for us to implement.

Our aim is always to build a business relationship based on trust with our customers, but we won’t tie you into proprietary technologies that will prevent you from working with other developers in the future.

Be aware that some companies may not allow you to do this which could cost you in the future. Ownership of the project should always remain with your company.

Be careful of hidden charges such as cost to publish to Apple Store and Play Store. There may also be additional costs incurred for any hosting requirements going forward.

We pride ourselves in being upfront and honest, with no hidden charges or nasty surprises.

Our commitment is to deliver on time and to the agreed budget without excuses. We guarantee customer satisfaction by offering a cooling off period once your product is live to ensure we delivered as promised!

If you have any questions or would like to know more then get in touch here.