Inspired to jump in and build your first Android application? Perhaps you’ve already conceived a brilliant mobile app idea, and now you’re daydreaming about which features would be most useful or how the user interface should appear. We can relate. But while you may have fantastic ideas, they’re only the first ingredient for a successful mobile app.
Fortunately, there has never been a better time to become involved in Android app development. In 2020, research showed that internet users spend 87% of their online time using mobile applications, so bringing your app to life is an excellent way to engage audiences and reach new markets.
But where do you begin? Mobile app development is a complex process. Successfully creating your Android app requires extensive research, recruiting a knowledgeable team, and developing the strategies and prototypes for a fully functioning finished product. To handle this workload with delicacy and expertise, it may be in your best interest to work with a team of professional developers and designers. App developers can not only help with the actual coding of your application but also provide you with important industry and technical insights, starting from step one: research.
Begin with Research
Before diving in, decide whether the Android operating system (OS) is suitable for your app. There are a few considerations at play here. First of all, your target audience must use the Android platform. Is this the case, or do you just personally prefer Android? When creating your app, every decision you make should be based on factual data rather than opinion and speculation. Letting your audience’s preferences dictate decision making will help your app succeed and remain lucrative for years to come.
On the development side, Android has a lot to recommend it. Android features a less restrictive environment than iOS, which means that the app you develop will function on any Android device, regardless of brand. The Android platform also enables a much more straightforward development process due to the use of Java. The flexible nature of Android applications allows you to develop your app’s functionality to be integrated with users’ TVs, cars, and smartwatches, as well as their phones.
Over the past decade, mobile internet usage has continued to rise, and users spent nearly 90% of their mobile internet time using apps. Although iOS apps are more popular with teenagers and people living in North America or Australia, Android apps remain the best choice for people who wish to develop an audience in emerging markets across the globe. Understanding your target audience will help determine which platform aligns with your overall goals.
Establish Your Team
Once you’re sure that the Android OS is best suited for your app, it’s time to build a team that will bring your vision to life. Remember that Android is an open-source OS, meaning that making your app compatible with all devices can be a little tricky. Building an app requires in-depth technical knowledge and the budget to make it the best it can become. Due to this, you need a team of experienced professionals who specialize in mobile app development and design.
Whether this means building your app in-house or working with a dedicated design agency, your team must possess the following qualities:
- Capacity: This is especially relevant to in-house teams. Consider your developers’ current workload and whether or not they are equipped to divert their attention towards building an app. Building an app can take anywhere from three to six months to complete, which may delay other aspects of your business. If your team doesn’t have time to work on the app and complete it to perfection, outsourcing app development is likely the best option for your company.
- Capabilities: App development requires a highly specialized skill set. While your team has their areas of expertise, are they capable of handling the additional responsibilities of building an app? You will need team members knowledgeable in project management, UI/UX design, and app development. If your team is relatively small, it can be difficult to allocate your resources effectively and avoid overwhelming your employees.
- Funds: Building a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and functional app often requires a significant financial investment. On the one hand, it may be cheaper upfront to tackle the project in-house. But that budget can get stretched thin when your developers are constantly side-tracked with other daily responsibilities. And even companies with the budget to support adequate app development must also consider that this new project will divert attention away from daily tasks that may usually be necessary to generate revenue. Make sure your in-house budget accounts for all these nuances. Otherwise, it might be simpler to contract an agency who can give the project their full attention.
When it comes to in-house versus outsourcing, there are positive benefits for either strategy. Just be sure that however you proceed, your team has the insight, ability, and focus to execute your app to the highest degree.
Develop Your Strategy
Next, you will need to make a detailed plan and clearly understand what timelines are feasible for your team. It is crucial that your entire team has an in-depth understanding of who will be using your app and the needs or pain points they’re hoping to address. Your plan should be as detailed as possible, including strategies for user research, user testing, prototyping, and investor pitching.
As you develop your plan, clearly define your target audience. Is there a specific age group or demographic that you are targeting? Have you identified your niche? Next, use those insights to establish the baseline requirements for your app. For the most thorough plan, you can even host brainstorming sessions with your employees, developers, designers, and clients to assess which functionality and features will respond favorably to market needs.
Once you have assessed your target audience, consider which marketing techniques best suit your Android app. How will you launch the app when it is complete? Consider implementing a social media marketing plan, which will enable you to grow your following across social media platforms and raise awareness of your app. You may want to utilize blog posts, discussions, and user-generated content. In addition, consider leveraging social media influencers to raise awareness of your app. Influencer marketing is a highly effective method of generating attention, which has led to a 65% increase in influencer marketing budgets over the past year. Depending on your app, it can benefit your team greatly to partner with Influencers who can demonstrate your app’s functionality. You don’t have to start blasting social media or shouting from the rooftops just yet, but having a plan in place during development will make it that much faster to bring your completed app to market.
Create Your Sketches
Now that you’re making progress and your app is beginning to take form, you can start devising the visual aspects of your creation. If your app is simple, you may be content to sketch your vision by hand using a pencil and paper. More complicated app development is better suited for the use of tools like OmniGraffle or Lucidchart.
When planning your app's user interface, it may be wise to work with UX/UI designers who are familiar with the process that creating a smooth user experience requires. Once you clearly understand the flow of your app, you will begin to see any design flaws and usability issues before you start development — saving you costly changes down the road.
Create Wireframes and Begin Prototyping
Now that you have developed your basic sketches, you can create wireframes. Essentially, wireframes are outlines of your Android app, which are composed of boxes, texts, and lines. At their core, wireframes are detailed blueprints that function as the skeleton of your app. Wireframes are not the fully fleshed-out final product, but begin to illustrate what the app will be and how it will operate.
At some point, you may need to attract investors who can finance the marketing and development of your app. This is where a prototype comes in handy. Once you develop your prototype, you will have something to show potential investors. Plus, a digital prototype will allow your team to test assumptions regarding the functionality of your app and create comprehensive solutions for any glitches or bugs that appear. Prototypes are a cost-effective method of addressing issues in design and development. Without a prototype, fixing mistakes can become much more costly and time-consuming.
Start Building with CodigoDelSur
Last but not least comes the actual building of your app. Developing an Android app that is both fully functional and aesthetically pleasing can be a complex process, especially if you’re trying to compete in a saturated industry. At the beginning of 2020, there were 2.87 million apps in the Google Play Store. But as of 2021, companies have clearly realized how lucrative Android apps can be, pushing that number to almost 5 million.
Whether you dream of creating an augmented reality gaming app or an app that solves a problem for consumers, a sleek and professionally-finished app will help make space for your ideas in the current marketplace. To make sure you’re launching an app that delivers on all fronts, our team of expert designers and developers at CodigoDelSur are here to assist you.
Since 2007, CodigoDelSur has helped nearly 200 US-based startups design and develop a wide range of mobile apps and websites. Our team of software developers leverages their technical expertise and knowledge of usability, engagement, and growth hacking to scale your business exponentially. These 100+ designers and coders know how to apply their knowledge to create innovative, cutting-edge digital products and were selected for the CodigoDelSur team based on their talent, thirst for knowledge, and supreme dedication to their craft.
Through the consistent creation of stunning, functional websites and mobile applications, CodigoDelSur is rising to the forefront of our industry. We’re always ready to apply the latest developments in new, exciting technologies for your brand and create valuable, engaging user experiences that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Ready to make your Android app a reality? Contact our team today and find out how we can revolutionize your brand’s digital experience!