As mobile app providers, we’ve heard it all. From having a member associate building a meeting app to designating a team within your internal IT staff to have an app built by next year.
But is building an app really that simple? As mobile app developers, our simple answer is no.
We’re not here to just toot our own horn on being a fully-featured, cost effective mobile solution. We have been in the business for over five years and know a thing or two about building apps.
We aren’t saying it can’t be done. It very well can. But there are a few things to consider first…
The Time it Takes
Building mobile apps takes time. About 18 weeks with a skilled development and UI/UX team. As the research points out, that’s the same amount of time it would take to drill three 3,000 foot oil wells.
By going with a mobile app provider, you can have your app built and ready in less than half the time. If you’re really short on time, check out our guide to building an app in just 28 days.
The Number of Devices to Support
Native apps, or those downloaded from app stores, are particularly popular for their added functionality.
When building your own app, you have to understand the requirements of the various platforms you will support, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Mobile devices themselves come with their own constraints. Varying in battery life, screen size, and bandwidth consumption. For example, not preparing for hundreds of devices logging into the same mobile app under a single Wi-Fi network is sure to be problematic.
The Ever-Changing Landscape
Now that your app is in app stores, you can call it good, right? Unfortunately, not at all.
Technology is ever-changing. Mobile device screen sizes change. App stores release software updates regularly. And sometimes things just break. Long story short: your mobile app won’t last very long without regular maintenance, updates, and bug fixes.
The Need for Security
Your app will hold some sensitive information, like user contact information and organizational data.
When it comes to app content, you need to ensure the right people can access the right information. Even further, you need to prevent the wrong people from accessing the wrong information on your app.
This need for securing your app means you need to set permissions and login restrictions for users. Implement data encryption where needed. Have a set procedure in place for data theft and leakage.
The Idea of Freemium
Some providers allow you to build your own mobile app with their software for free. Although this may sound like a dream come true, most of these apps come with their limitations, such as:
- Number of app users allowed
- Sponsorship and advertising options
- Number of features
- Lifetime of app and data retrieval
Find out what limitations you will be faced with before you begin building. That way, you can decide if you can do without them without committing your time and energy.
When it comes to building your own app, there are several barriers to consider.
Have your own experience building an app? Was there something unexpected you encountered that I missed? Let us know in the comments below!