Sometimes, having a plethora of options makes choosing the best fit for your project all the more difficult. In 2019, the US alone recorded over 550 000 tech startup establishments. That number has since skyrocketed, partly due to the pandemic. In the same vein, so many mobile app development companies are out there, and identifying the perfect fit can get overwhelming. Moreover, building in-house teams just because your business needs a mobile app is also impractical.
So what are your choices?
While there are numerous software development companies, this article will show you how to choose a mobile app development company that’s the best fit for your project. Your mobile application is as good as its developers. Therefore, making the right choice is imperative to turn your idea into reality. Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- What is a mobile app development company?
- Why do you need a mobile application?
- Steps on how to choose a mobile app development company
What is a mobile app development company?
A mobile app development company designs and builds native applications for mobile platforms and operating systems. For example, games, responsive and interactive mobile websites, business and eCommerce applications, etc. The mobile app industry is quickly evolving, and everyone is getting into the mix. This is no surprise, as almost everyone uses a smartphone these days. Plus, businesses are looking to meet their audiences at their point of need.
Why do you need a mobile application?
Let’s start with a list of reasons.
- There are over 6 billion smartphone users worldwide.
- Humans spend almost 5 hours daily on mobile applications.
- Mobile app-spend is continuously increasing yearly.
While our list contains only 3, there are many reasons you should build a mobile app for your business. You can take advantage of the time spent on smartphones today. At a time when human attention is spread thin across multiple channels, businesses use mobile apps to engage consumers further.
According to Finbold, apple app-spend reached a whopping $41.5 billion in the first six months of 2021. It doesn’t end there; the combined mobile app spend is projected to reach $156 billion by 2022. With all these numbers, the real question should be: How to choose a mobile app development company?
We’ve established that choosing the right software development company is no mean fit. However, outsourcing your mobile app needs gives you easy access to all the skills needed for your application. That said, you might need to scout several options to find those developers. So, how can you avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of options?
Steps on how to choose a mobile app development company
Below are the steps to choosing the right software development company for your project.
Define your mobile app development goals
The first step towards achieving the success of any project is defining goals. It’s not advisable to embark on a journey without defining a destination. The same is the case in mobile application development. You need to answer questions like:
- What type of mobile application do you want for your project?
- What skills are necessary to build your mobile app?
- What is your time frame?
- What is your budget?
By defining what your final result should be and what to expect from a native android app development company, identifying the best fit becomes easy.
Prepare a list of companies for review.
Once you know your project needs and objectives, you must collect a list of companies for review. This list should comprise companies with the skills you need for your mobile app. There are a number of ways you may want your new app to function— for example:
- Fully native
- Cross-platform, or
Whatever your requirements, add only companies with the capability to meet them. For example, your goal is to build business applications for both Android and IOS. In this case, the mobile app development companies you add to your list should offer both Android and IOS primary programming languages. In other words, Java and Swift.
Consider company size
At this point, you have your list and want to identify the best fit for your project. Start by assessing company size. While this step is often overlooked, the size of a mobile app development company directly impacts your project. However, there’s no one size fits all rule on whether you should choose a smaller company or a big company. It all depends on your project needs.
A small company may have fewer developers compared to larger companies. This may not be bad if your project requires only a few developers. On the other hand, while more prominent companies may have more developers, they almost always have projects on their hands. This can mean that your project takes longer to complete. Again, this is OK if their timeframe aligns with yours.
The key to selecting the best fit is ensuring a company’s vision aligns with your project needs. Often, large and experienced mobile app development tools can access the latest technologies. This way, they can speed up your development process and include the latest features you need to thrive. Also, picking a larger company is the way to go if you require a large team of developers.
It’s also important to consider your budget. Large companies typically require large budgets. So if you don’t need the services of a large company, go for a smaller one. It all depends on your project needs.
Assess the mobile app development company’s experience and portfolio.
A wide range of specializations is possible for mobile development companies. Some have expertise in specific industries, while others operate across various industries. So your best bet is to look for development firms with a track record of completing projects similar to yours.
You can easily access completed projects via a company’s portfolio. Most mobile app development companies have online portfolios you can access via their website. You can also look out for references from their previous clients.
Testing some of their portfolio’s apps might also be a great move. Especially if they include the features you desire for your app. This could provide you with a wealth of information regarding your app’s potential design and functionality. You could also gain insight into a company’s development workflow and maintenance operations.
Know the companies’ average completion time for your project type.
Based on previously completed projects and portfolios, you may be able to estimate roughly how long it would take them to complete your application. Some companies include such information in portfolios. If you don’t have access to such information, ensure you enquire about it when interviewing your top options.
Timeframes may vary based on company size and level of expertise. Smaller businesses and startups could be excellent options for a simple project. This is because they often don’t work on numerous projects at once. Therefore, they can concentrate more on your project. However, if a problem arises, they might need more time to handle it themselves, particularly if their home team is small.
Companies with more industry experts know how to accelerate some phases of development without sacrificing product quality. They are also skilled at overcoming development challenges without affecting the predefined timeframe. Additionally, they can complete the job more quickly by having different teams for different areas.
Assess reviews and testimonials
You can gain actionable insight into a company by reading what its users say about them. For example, you can learn how a development firm communicates with its clients while the project is in progress. Reviews and testimonials are also useful marketing tools. So, confirm the reviews and testimonials you’re reading to avoid falling for a marketing ploy.
You may also want to check how customers rate the app in the corresponding app stores. App store and Google play store are great sources for user review. However, some reviews are bought, and not all are actual reflections of the app’s user experience. So, tread these waters with caution.
Consult with the mobile app development company to see if they are a good fit for your business
At this point, you’ve selected the top few based on the criteria mentioned above. Next is app development consulting and interviewing. While scrutinizing mobile app development companies from your company’s browser is fun, it might be challenging to determine a company’s ability to meet your project needs without speaking to them.
A great approach is to arrange a free consultation or meeting with their technical staff to alleviate any of your concerns. You can ask them their opinions on the project and discuss points such as,
- Digital strategies
- Industry experience
- Product design
Not only that, but look out for intangibles. For example, do they mind if you ask all the questions or just give you general answers? Are they paying attention to what you say, or are they attempting to influence you in a certain way?
App design agencies that listen to your requirements while providing valuable contributions to achieving success are great partners moving forward.
Having developer experience is not a prerequisite for owning a mobile app. You can employ a mobile app development company. However, you must carefully research your options to avoid a buggy end product that falls short of your expectations.
A good software development company should be accountable, possess strong communication skills, have sufficient technical knowledge, and be passionate about creating mobile apps. Therefore, follow the steps on how to choose a mobile app development company to ensure successful mobile app development.