Developing a mobile application is quite a commitment and takes strategic planning to carry out. It’s a group effort that takes the expertise of a diverse set of professionals to do well. Each step of the way from ideation to the MVP stage to a final launch presents key challenges. That’s why it’s vital to rely on the experience and deep knowledge of people who have been through it before. Any pitfalls along the way can derail a project and end up costing you more than you had planned. Rushing a product to market is also not ideal. 

A methodical approach that takes these challenges and attempts to overcome them is an essential part of how we work at Applandeo. If you’re considering starting a mobile app development project, carefully consider these top 10 challenges developers and business leaders may face.

Validating and Evaluating User Needs

As a development team, your first priority is the end-user. What you build and how it’s built should put users at the center. End-users, after all, have the greatest influence on a product’s success. The IT industry is crowded and competition for users’ attention continues to grow.

To be successful in the mobile app development industry, paying keen attention to what users’ needs are and meeting those needs may be what separates you from the competition. Mobile app development is a problem-solving tool and recognizing the opportunities for solving problems is the first step in developing viable mobile applications.

Top 10 Challenges in Mobile Application Development

Defining your Target Market

Having a target market is critical. Knowing who will want to use your application is a simple, but vital first step. Conducting surveys among your target audience can help you identify the barriers of entry into the market. [MVP development] can help you test and prove your app idea much later in the development stage.

As a product owner, it’s really important that you and your development team are on the same page about your target persona. You may already have this defined, or your development team may help you decide. 

Take user interface design as an example. A learning app for children will have a very different UI than say a banking app for adults. Brighter colors or microinteractions may hold children’s attention longer and keep them learning their objectives. The banking app, meanwhile, needs a bold, predictable layout to build confidence in the security of the bank. 

You’ll want to be specific about age, gender, location, pain points, and so on. You should also ensure that your target market is large enough to generate a profit while you compete with similar apps. By monitoring market forces such as average user income, acquisition costs, and other similar structures, you can find demography that works.

Managing Resources

Resource management ranks at the top among the biggest challenges that mobile app development faces. Just because you invest in an app does not mean you’ll get a return. Transforming your application into profits is a real challenge in mobile app development.

Building an app can be an expensive venture, depending on its functions and features. So being confident that you’ll have users in the end is a must. Keeping costs low and maximizing available resources can be the difference between making a profit or incurring losses on an app development project. 

Xamarin and iOS developer Patryk Matwijczuk explains that the mobile team, he is a part of, achieves this through CI/DI such as continuous delivery and the presentation of the application to customers. 

“We don’t just receive an order, complete it and send it back to the client,” he said. “We keep adding bricks, view by view, feature by feature. The client sees progress, and if something does not meet the client’s expectations, we respond to it faster. The app may not meet the client’s expectations, not necessarily because we built something wrong. It’s just that their idea of a product seemed great on paper, and when they see it in action, it seems weak, or they want to do it differently. We don’t waste time building the entire app, just the most recently delivered part.”

Being sure your development team is staying productive can be a major challenge, especially if they run into roadblocks. Strong project management  and open communication is key to overcoming resource management issues.

An ability to maximize available resources by minimizing waste and optimizing output are the ultimate resource management strategies.

Choosing Development Technology

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One of the challenges in mobile application development is choosing a development technology. Picking the appropriate technology for an application will be a main consideration for designers from the start. It’s vital to balance innovation with a tried and tested solution to give the app its best chance of survival. 

Picking an older or obsolete technology can cause a poor client experience and can be much more costly to maintain. Some newer technologies, on the other hand, may not have enough experts to work with it.

Different Devices and Screen Sizes Compatibility

Mobile devices are as diverse as the people who use them. It’s not a good idea to limit your app’s reach to a select few devices or screen sizes. This becomes a challenge when you have to make several versions of an application. However, it’s getting much easier to develop apps that can automatically adapt to the screen it’s on. 

We write views to be responsive so when we’re designing the UI for an app screen size compatibility is already sorted out. 

Dealing with Different Operating Systems

Challenges in mobile application development do not end at varying screen size. They extend to dealing with different operating systems as well. With more than one working OS existing today, your application needs to have a version for each of the major operating systems. This is also a great way to ensure a larger user base. Android and iOS made up 98% of mobile devices in the world in 2020.

Just like advances in screen size compatibility, cross-platform frameworks are also lifting some of the challenges to do with operating systems. One cross-platform app, in Flutter, for example, works on both iOS and Android and so it cuts development time in half, allowing you to save on resources.

Security

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Security issues can be devastating. One of the real challenges in mobile app development is the presence of bugs and malware in code. It can make programming troublesome or even cause devices to malfunction which will require additional time and cash to address. With the far and wide working operating systems and gadget variations, guaranteeing security on applications can be a major challenge to create ideal security standards.

Security is a major concern for app developers and engineers. Operating systems and applications have security measures put in place to mitigate such events. 

Developers must be mindful of this malware and other security vulnerabilities and keep security measures at a high priority while developing their apps. At Applandeo, we achieve this by encrypting user data and following the platform provider’s recommendations. 

Thorough QA testing is essential to remove bugs and close vulnerabilities. Mobile testers use a variety of tools to find and remove them.

The Productivity of the Application

Productivity is another one of the major mobile app development challenges that developers deal with. As a developer, you should be mindful of the productivity of your application in tandem with things like power and storage usage. An application that drains battery life drastically can frustrate users. Mobile app development must be approached with a bit of sympathy for end-users. You don’t want an app that drains battery life too quickly, but you also want a full set of features. 

Subsequently, the designers need to test the battery execution for their application and check whether the application depletes gadget batteries rapidly. However, it is worth noting that the amount of function an application performs, the more battery it drains. So, developing a superior level of functionality in an application will cause more battery drainage than inferior applications.

Mobile App Promotion and Marketing

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Revenue cannot be generated without marketing.  Applications will not fare well in the market if enough push isn’t given to ensure users get to know the app’s existence. Applications not being easily-discoverable by potential users is one of the real challenges in mobile app development.

No matter how great an application’s design is, lack of promotion and marketing isn’t going to give users a chance to enjoy its benefits. Market research around how to make the application discoverable in each application store is necessary. How to introduce the application to the market and how to keep users invested in the application are all necessary studies to carry out to boost marketing and promotion.

App Distribution Control

Challenges in mobile application development continue even after deployment. The product or application dispersion to markets and users can be an issue for engineers as there is no immediate or shared control of the distribution. The main channels for application distribution are the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Developers must ensure that their apps work on all the major software platforms and with the most common hardware setups. And these apps must work seamlessly to avoid compatibility and functionality problems, which are part of the major mobile app development challenges.

Conclusion

If you’re developing an application, you’ll most likely run into some or all of these challenges. That’s why it’s important to work with a team you trust. The key to solving these problems and challenges is to plan and be thorough. You will go through a few blocks in your execution of application development and advancement especially where the number of competitors is significant.  As a business leader who hopes to profit from an app, you need to have a go at progress, while taking cognizance of the challenges that stand in your way. 

Overcoming the difficulties with creative mechanical understanding and an adaptable range of abilities gives application designers a solid competitive edge to construct a tremendous client base for their applications. If you can conquer every one of the application development challenges, you are several steps closer to a useful and in-demand application.

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Top 10 Challenges in Mobile App Development - marcel-100px Hi, I’m Marcin, COO of Applandeo

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