Have a world-changing app idea and wish to bring it to digital reality on Android OS? You are not alone.
Google Play store has around 3.45 million mobile applications. That’s because the startups or appreneurs who invested in these apps had long ago realized the potential of Android market and considered it a lucrative business.
But most importantly, they chose the right Android developer so their vision reflects in the app – and in turn, the app becomes successful and profitable altogether.
If you too are planning to get an app developed and still in the process of shortlisting an Android app development agency, here is a quick guide on the subject.
Know The Basics of Android Development
Before you can go head hunting, you need to have some grip on the technical part of Android development. This will help you assess your shortlisted agencies and you can put your right foot forward with a developer who has the right technical expertise.
Android Technology Stack
To develop an app for Android smartphones, developers choose between two programming languages, Java or Kotlin. Most of them pick Java and use a framework called React Native, which has a collection of ready-made code snippets, libraries, design resources and so on.
For app design, UI and UX, the choice for tool usually remains the same. Adobe XD is the go-to tool for app designers. If the Android app is an advanced one and uses AI and ML architectures, developers may integrate them with frameworks like IBM Watson and Microsoft Azure.
Android App Development Process
Most app development agencies now follow an agile methodology that comprises 5 important steps:
- App Planning
This step involves the scoping sessions, initial thought process and validation of app idea, business analysis, market research, and most importantly competitor analysis. it is during this step that appreneurs and developers decide which features they would like to add to the application, what the UI and UX of the app would be like and how the app will earn money – aka monetization model.
- App Design
This part involves the detailed designing of the app’s User Interface and User Experience. it is one of the main parts of the process because developers establish the front-end (client side) of the app on this design.
- App Development
At this step starts the actual technical development: coding the front-end, back-end and APIs. Front-end is the part of an app which interacts directly with the user, for example logging in with email id. Back-end is the server side which responds to user queries and directs the app what to do. APIs are the intermediary layers that help exchange data between front-end and back-end.
This is the part where developers utilize the technology stack we have discussed in the earlier section.
- App Testing and QA
After the technical development of apps is complete, the developers forward the app to testers and QA personnel who are supposed to battle-test it for performance, user acceptance, speed, accuracy of data, security and bugs.
Appreneurs who want to market their app before launch can also choose to distribute their apps in community groups and social network as beta version and collect feedback for improvement.
- App Launch or Deployment
Once the glitches in an app are fixed, it’s time to release it on the stores. For Android apps, developers have to buy a Google developer’s account worth $25. After submitting the app on Google Play store, appreneurs usually have to wait for approval which can take between 48 hours to 3 months depending on the type of app.
During this stage, you have to ensure you provide correct app information, package plans (in case the app is a premium one) and add keyword optimized store descriptions.
5 Tips on Finding The Right Android App Development Agency
- Check the time zone and location.
When hiring an app developer or a team, make sure to discuss the business hours they operate in so your project management gets easier. You can usually get the same business hours if you are located in the same time zone as your prospective app developer.
- Assess the review and ratings on Clutch and GoodFirms.
Both of these are independent review sites and the website owners have created certain benchmarks to rank and rate the companies. They rank on companies based on their technology stack, size of their projects, clientele and so on. You can directly get the contact of these companies after matching the technical expertise required for your app project.
- Assess the social proof and portfolio.
You can check a company’s social proof on their social media handles, LinkedIn endorsements, community groups like Reddit and Quora and so on.
Similarly, companies nowadays have dedicated sections on their websites where they showcase their portfolio, previous projects and client testimonials. You can test their previously developed apps for user interface and user experience, check the quality of design and so on.
- Discuss payment structures.
As a new appreneur or a startup, you might have allocated a budget for app development. As a norm, most startups start by releasing MVPs, gather funding and then go for full-flash products. If you believe you may have to counter budget constraints, it is ideal you hire an app development agency that has flexible payment structures divided in down payments and installments.
- Discuss innovation and monetization strategies.
Your app has to have a competitive advantage to be profitable and beat the competition in the Google Play store. To do so, many appreneurs now are investing in emerging technologies like blockchain, IoT, AR and VR, wearables, and AI and ML to set their apps apart.
Ask your development team if it has already worked on a project previously which involved working with these technologies. It’s usually the business analysis personnel in the development agencies who evaluate the app idea and come up with suitable monetization strategies.
After these, also ensure that your shortlisted Android app development agency is ready to sign a two-way Non-Disclosure Agreement, where the source code of the app, the core app idea, design assets and brand remains your intellectual property.
It can be overwhelming to start an app business as a non-techie with limited knowledge in coding and programming skills. But half of the battle can be won if you research thoroughly and partner up with an agency that does not take your new app idea as a project, but wants to change it into a success story. While making your decisions, you’ll have to strike the right balance between price, quality of services, payment structures, app development timelines and so on.