Rapid mobile app development requires extensive research, strategic planning, and execution to ensure you get the expected results. This kind of planning and preparation is also why the development process can get extended. It is something a business with a target to reach cannot afford in a competitive app market. According to a survey by Statista, the Google Play store now has 3.5 million apps, and the Apple App store has 2.2 million.
This number is increasing as more and more people turn to smartphones for every activity that would otherwise take time. For example, booking rides/flights or ordering food online is much easier through a user-friendly app than an in-person visit. The smartphone users count worldwide is expected to reach 6.84 billion by 2023 and 7.69 billion by 2027.
In this market, knowing how to conduct fast mobile application development while maintaining the quality of app UI/UX design and functionality can give your business a competitive advantage. For example, let’s say you are planning to create an app within 1 year that can detect and notify if there are any individuals with criminal records around or nearby you, either due to geolocation/beacons in the phones of those individuals or by scanning their face through the app.
Such an app will surely attract a lot of attention and interest from a large user base. Although, if a competitor business manages to build the same app in 6 to 8 months, that user base and revenue will go to your competitor. And by the time you create your app, the competitor app will have gained customer loyalty, feedback, and the profit to build an advanced version of the app. That is why knowing how to accelerate the app development process is crucial in the competitive market.
How to Speed Up App Development?
Learning how to conduct the rapid mobile app development process is the right approach to benefit your business and development budget. Go through the tips mentioned below and see what works for your project.
Choose Native App Development
Native apps require separate development for operating systems like Android or iOS, which need a set of core programming languages, databases, and APIs. Choosing native helps you focus on perfecting app functionality and user experience for a single operating system. It speeds up the development process significantly white ensuring a memorable user experience.
The only downside with native development is that they cost more to develop than cross-platform or hybrid apps. Accelerated development process, interactive design, and high app performance are the benefits of choosing native development.
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Choose Cross-platform Development
Like native, cross-platform development is another great choice for fast mobile application development. Cross-platform development includes a single reusable code compatible with multiple platforms like iOS, Android, and macOS. It speeds up the development process by reducing the hours it takes to build a separate native app for every platform.
Besides faster development process and early app deployment, some other benefits of cross-platform development include wider market reach, code reusability, multi-platform development, and lower development costs. Cross-platform is the best choice if you want to get your app out in the market quickly without damaging its quality or your budget.
Create an App Wireframe
A wireframe is a blueprint that shows the app structure/outline and user flow, which helps the team determine the right direction for development and design. The faster way to do this is by using low-fidelity or medium-fidelity wireframes. A low-fidelity wireframe is a basic blueprint of your app, while a medium-fidelity wireframe is a little detailed with icons, headlines, buttons, and workflows.
These are easy to make, inexpensive, and take less time to build. A high-fidelity wireframe or prototype has some benefits but takes time to build, which can further delay development. You can accelerate the development process without increasing costs by creating low or medium-fidelity wireframes.
Implement the Agile Methodology
Agile methodology in mobile app development accelerates the process significantly while improving product quality. This methodology helps a development team build the primary functionalities of the app from the beginning, speeding up the final feedback process and improving the app from its core and from the early stages of development. A similar alternative to Agile methodology is rapid application development (RAD).
The Agile methodology prevents a time-consuming scenario where you identify all the app flaws and errors after the development process is nearly complete, further delaying app deployment.
How does Agile methodology solve this problem?
The Agile methodology brings scrum in app development that can speed up the process and lower the costs. Using Scrum in the development process includes sprints, which are predetermined time periods and deadlines for delivering different elements of your app. A sprint is a period of one to three weeks focused on a particular aspect of the development process (like functionality, UI elements, or a feature like Talk to a Doctor on a healthcare app).
It has a deadline, under which the team has to complete and present such app functionality for review, approval, and improvements. It leads to better product quality, early-stage improvements, lower development costs, and faster development. The effectiveness of sprints in scrum makes the Agile methodology unique and widely recognized. A report by CA Technologies found that the teams that adopt Scrum into their projects can improve product quality by 250%.
Choose Automated App Testing
The repetition of manual/human testing can lead to mistakes in identifying potential bugs, design issues, or coding errors. Another downside is that manual testing takes too much time that automated testing can save if you use such methods from the early stages of app development. Automated testing includes various frameworks that can automatically test your app and ensure it is ready for use by the target users.
Using such frameworks to test multiple aspects of your app can accelerate the testing process significantly, especially compared to manual testing. Some benefits of automated testing are high return on investment (ROI), improved accuracy, faster feedback and improvements, 24/7 testing, and faster deployment. Appium is a test automation framework compatible with Android and iOS app testing. Detox, XCTest, XCUITest, Espresso, and Calabash are other automated rapid mobile app development tools for testing.
Conduct Manual Testing/QA (as well)
Automation testing removes the need for human efforts and time by conducting much faster and more accurate testing, while manual testing helps identify any errors/bugs missed by the automated testing frameworks. It is an unlikely scenario, but manual testing helps confirm it. The first impression of your app can be a crucial factor behind its reach and success. You cannot risk deploying an app with a bad user experience or bugs/errors that can cause crashes/downtimes. It can lead target users toward your competitors, giving your brand an unreliable reputation.
Manual quality assurance (QA) and testing help prevent such situations with functionality and design testing from the end-user perspective. This process may also include user acceptance testing (UAT) for better results. Since automated testing does most of the heavy lifting, manual testing can be done quickly and gives an app the final touch it needs to be ready for deployment and use.
Build an MVP App
Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) is another way to conduct rapid mobile app development while saving costs. An MVP version of your app will only include core features and basic design (UI/UX), which takes less time and money to build. You can make an MVP app and deploy it on the app store quickly for feedback and improvements. It accelerates every development stage of your app from the beginning.
Choosing the MVP approach gets your app ready in no time, brings valuable customer feedback for improvements, and generates revenue. However, if your business has competitors with advanced apps for the same products/services, an MVP may not be the best option for you.
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Go with a Minimalist Design
Extensive research on the target market is necessary to determine whether a minimalist app design can work for your app. Most experienced UI/UX designers today believe minimalism is the fastest way to make a creative and simple app design. This app design approach removes all the unnecessary elements and color schemes from your app and keeps/highlights only those that provide real value to users. A minimalist design significantly reduces the hours required to create and test the app design, which also lowers development costs.
Hire an All-in-one Development Team
Building an in-house team where you hire every member (like Android/iOS developers, backend developers, QA testers, and UI/UX designers) can take time. Such development teams can also require a workspace, resources (For example, internet and desktops), and frequent management. All of it increases the development hours and costs significantly. You can avoid such a scenario by hiring an offshore mobile app development company that can manage every process, including planning, development and design, testing, launch marketing, app deployment, and maintenance/support.
Offshore development teams from India or Ukraine charge less while providing similar solutions as the expensive onshore developers. Hiring such a team also saves time as you get every expert you need in one place, including team leaders that will remove the need for management from your side. Choosing an offshore team will speed up development as they have experience working under tight deadlines without damaging the product quality.
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The right way to accelerate app development is by ensuring you do not compromise the quality of your app in the process. The early delivery and deployment will not mean anything if your app does not provide value to end users. It will not survive in highly competitive app stores like Google Play and Apple app. You should plan the process in a way that removes unnecessary elements, fast-tracks deliveries with Agile, gets valuable feedback, and leads to faster deployment.
How to make that happen? Know/determine your priorities with the app, never underestimate your competitors, and hire a reliable mobile app development team, and timely/quick product delivery will not be a matter of concern.
Frequently Asked Questions
Follow the tips mentioned in the article above to speed up the app development process without damaging product quality.
Rapid application development (RAD) is focused on frequent deliveries and feedback to speed up the process while improving its quality, preventing errors/bugs, and reducing app development costs. This method can also include user acceptance testing (UAT) from the early stages of development to guide the development process toward a user-centric direction.