Research findings conducted by StatCounter, a web analytics company found that Android has overtaken Microsoft Windows to become the most popular OS for internet use for the first time. The findings are a remarkable achievement considering that Windows has been the market leader since the 1980s. More importantly, Android only had 2.4% of global internet use just 5 years ago.
This incredible growth in mobile is not just for Android. More precisely, in 2017, iOS users are 3X more active online than OSX users, their desktop counterparts. With regards to revenue from mobile apps and games, iOS accounts for most of the app revenue paid to publishers of both Android and iOS apps even though iOS accounted for just about a third of all app downloads for 2016.
To encourage Android developers, this trend is expected to reverse in 2017 as Android is predicted to overtake iOS app revenue later in 2017. With all these rapid changes in the mobile industry, it only is logical that you should get your mobile app into app stores faster than ever before to cash-in on the action. You, of course, want to ensure that you publish a good quality app or game as well. Below are some useful suggestions to assist you fast track development.
Work with strict timelines
You cannot overemphasize to your development team just how crucial it will be for you to meet a specific date when your app will need to be published in the app store. Once you have set this date, work backwards and set milestones accordingly, with an understanding of the effort that you will be put in to achieve the milestones.
If you find that certain ideas cannot be implemented on schedule, then those features can be moved to future releases. Furthermore, constant monitoring of milestones and adjusting wrong estimates is good practice. Additionally, starting off with the more challenging tasks before the easier ones, is a more efficient approach.
Working with strict timelines, or more specifically, weekly build schedules, is not just useful for accountability and time-efficiency but also for cost-efficiency.
Use a wire framework in the ideation phase
Before starting most of the coding, it is better to start off with low fidelity wireframes, and then iterate extensively using these wireframes to visualize what your final product should look like. This process is efficient because it prevents having to rewrite code or create code that you may not use in your final product as ideas change and as concepts get fine-tuned.
Use prototyping tools like InVision, Axure RP, Concept.ly and Balsamiq Mockups to help you tweak and rearrange ideas, feedback and to map out user experience before actually doing any substantial coding.
Start of by fragmenting
There are currently two dominant platforms that you should be developing for. However, if speed and efficiency are your priority, you should only develop for one. At least at first instance. In as much as learning android mobile app development is not as difficult as it used to be, it still takes time and effort to do so. If you still feel compelled to develop for both platforms, then leverage the use of cross platform tools like PhoneGap and Xamarin.
Furthermore, it will also be more efficient if you fragment beyond the platform choice. In essence, if you fragment according to device as well, then your efficiency will definitely increase because it will reduce the number of adjustments and tweaks that you have to make to suit each device manufacturer. For example, you will have to consider screen resolutions, device shape and sizes etc.
Choose the most efficient development approach
There are 3 basic app and game development approaches to choose from today:
Native apps: These are apps that use the device’s inbuilt features and can be accessed in the device after installation.
Web apps: These websites that are designed to feel and look like native apps. There are 3 types of web apps including traditional, adaptive and responsive web apps.
Hybrid apps: These are a combination of native and web apps since they are installed on the device and yet often have an inbuilt browser and therefore act like a web app.
Based on your app or game idea and needs, you need to choose the best development approach based on factors such as; development cost, distribution, performance, UX, code portability, monetization, trends, features, maintenance and updates and so on.
With all the 3 app development choices, using the right SDK or IDE can make a huge difference in terms of speed and efficiency in fast tracking the development of your app or game.
Dev teams need to be tried and tested
Every member of the app development team needs to be a part of a well-oiled app/game development machine. The team needs to know how to work together, complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and do all this with high turnaround and quality in mind.
To get such a team, you need to vet them carefully and ensure that they can work well together before actually putting them together for the project that you have in mind.
With tighter, more integrated and inclusive planning and by keeping in mind the factors mentioned above, you will be able to develop your app much faster. It is useful to also consider the scale of the project and how realistic your timelines are, based on what has to be done. At the end of the day, no one wants to delay their app, things get to that point because planning and implementation was not carefully thought out or adhered to.