The number of applications downloaded to Google Play and the Apple Store has reached 5.7 million in 2021. And this is only the number of mobile apps. With so many applications available on the market, it becomes harder to differentiate your product from the competition. Therefore, companies of all industries and sizes must invest in custom app development to draw customers’ attention and stand out from the competitors.
But, how to create custom software that will succeed? In this article, we’ll discuss all the peculiarities of custom application development: from app types to development stages and cost. You’ll also learn why personalized software benefits from ready-made one.
Why Should You Develop a Custom App?
According to the research, the application development software market is expected to reach $1039.89 billion by 2027. If you are running a business and looking to build an app, the below statistics will highlight the appropriateness of an investment in custom mobile app development.
The Statista and Leftronic.com research indicates the following:
- There are more than 5.13 billion mobile phone users globally.
- The number of app downloads is projected to reach 15.2 billion in 2023.
- The mobile apps are expected to generate $935 billion in revenue by 2023.
- About 90% of mobile time is spent on apps.
- On average, every user has 11-20 apps installed on their smartphones.
- Around 60,000 new mobile apps are released every month through the Google Play Store and 25,000 apps in the Apple App Store.
These statistics encourage brands towards mobile app development. In turn, adopting custom software solutions will help companies of all sizes and domains to address their exclusive needs, solve business-specific problems, and make their workflow faster and efficient by providing a unique customer experience.
Now, let’s look at some dominant trends that impact the creation of a custom mobile app:
For the last few years, the industry has been shifting towards cross-platform technology. Tech giants like Alibaba, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., have already experienced the benefits of cross-platform solutions like speedy development and high performance.
On-demand services apps are widely used across the globe. Be it a taxi service or laundry app, this trend offers an excellent experience to all stakeholders. It’s pushing almost every business to establish a strong position in the market.
Enterprise mobile apps:
These apps are increasing in popularity by providing robust mobile solutions to enterprise-level businesses. They move companies to digital transformation and help them to optimize complex business processes. Apart from streamlining the business operations, they aim to deliver user-oriented software to boost ROI, enhance employees’ productivity, and improve communication across business units.
Custom Development Vs. Off-the-Shelf Apps
If you run a small business or startup and Google Spreadsheets or a ready-made CRM do a great job for you, there may be little sense in custom app development. But as your business scales, you’ll experience restrictions set by the software creators, slowing down the business growth.
Below, we outline the main characteristics of a custom approach to help you understand why personalized software is better than ready-to-use one.
Many businesses have individual requirements that template solutions can’t address. Even though some service providers enable a certain level of customization, you may find it impossible to implement with your web or mobile app. Making a custom product means creating whatever app you like with your corporate colors, icons, and unique features. Moreover, custom applications can adapt to changing business goals and requirements, while off-the-shelf ones only cover short-term needs.
Unique User Experience
The user interface is a leading factor influencing the user experience (UX) and usability. While out-of-the-box apps submit generic UI, custom-built apps provide flexibility in design and can be entirely tailored to specific user needs. For example, if you plan to build a healthcare app for people with color blindness, the custom, inclusive UI/UX design is a must-have.
Since each IT company is focused on long-term relationships with customers, they pay close attention to app security and data safety. Programmers can implement any security features required (e.g., two-factor authentication, blockchain, ciphered data, etc.). This leads to reducing security risks and increasing customer loyalty. In contrast, not many corporate software providers can brag about highly secure products. So there is always a possibility for hacker attacks.
Bespoke applications are specifically designed to connect to your existing programs and databases, and even with legacy systems. Off-the-shelf solutions are hard to integrate with the existing systems, particularly when programming languages or codes don’t match.
Custom apps vs. ready-made
|Update||Flexible to upgrade||Can be difficult|
|Maintenance||Ongoing support||Dependence on the server provider|
|Ownership||Totall||Own by server creator|
|Costs||High initial costs||Hidden costs|
Custom Application Types
Being an entrepreneur, you consider numerous factors to make a powerful and cost-effective mobile solution. And the development method is among those factors, and many business owners wonder what the best possible one is. So let’s figure it out.
Native development means that an application is designed for a specific device platform, either iOS or Android. The choice between both platforms is often affected by your target audience.
Native mobile platforms are fast, easy to navigate, and tend to streamline a user experience. Clear design assists users in making the most of their experience, while sustainable architecture enables them to benefit from app’s features fully. The complete set of native built-in features, which contains GPS and access to the device’s camera and movement detector, is a substantial advantage of native development.
The main challenges in creating such custom mobile applications are the need to adjust app design for multiple devices. Besides, building and maintaining apps for two platforms requires more time and effort.
Tech stack for native app development:
- Programming language: Java, Kotlin
- Toolkit: Android Studio, Android SDK
- Programming language: Java, Kotlin
- Toolkit: Android Studio, Android SDK
Tech stack for hybrid application:
- Programming language: HTML, CSS, Java
- Frameworks: Apache Cordova, Ionic
Cross-platform apps are developed to operate on multiple platforms. It’s a good approach for businesses making custom apps that don’t heavily depend on native functionality. It not only speeds launch to market and cuts the development time, but also makes the application easier to maintain and upgrade.
Cross-platform solutions accelerate custom mobile app development and reduce cost by up to 30 percent. The thing is, native mobile app development time is estimated for both platforms, while the Flutter framework enables software developers to come with a single codebase for iOS and Android.
Cross-platform application development tech stack:
- Programming language: React, Dart
Flutter app development services will allow you to shorten time to market and get high-performance, scalable mobile solutions within your budget.
Progressive Web App
You can also create a Progressive Web App (PWA) that delivers a website browsing experience closer to native mobile applications, thus, more user-friendly.
PWAs apply modern web APIs enabling them to provide a native-like experience. They run such features as push notifications, offline access, hardware access, custom splash screens, and home screen icons. Progressive web apps are also a great choice to target users with older devices and unstable internet connections, as they load fast and require no installation.
Tech stack to build a PWA:
- Programming languages: Angular, React, Polymer
Commonly, progressive web app development requires 4x less time than creating a native mobile app.
As for the area of use, there are a number of industries that can benefit from custom mobile app development. Here are the top industries which are hugely benefited by the use of digital solutions:
Telemedicine software development aims to deliver seamless healthcare service to users worldwide. For example, they allow people to track their physical conditions, schedule appointments, or get drug prescriptions online.
Social Networks: Businesses should have a social presence to increase brand recognition and reach more customers. With the growing number of active social media users, the idea of building a social network is profitable.
Elearning platforms exceed the traditional learning methods. They allow students to take courses independently, according to their preferences and topics they are interested in.
Travel planning apps assist travelers in planning trips. They are able to book tickets, reserve hotel rooms, plan routes, check for famous places, restaurants, and much more.
Most people prefer purchasing online. E-commerce platforms enable retailers to promote their brands and products globally. There is no reason to organize manufacturing or be concerned about delivery.
There are a lot of use cases of mobile solutions in logistics. For instance, with the help of freight management solution for freight and transportation companies can improve cargo planning, simplify RFP process with carriers, automate document workflow, and much more.
Customers migrate to payment apps from cash and cards due to their usability. Modern financial software enables the automation of invoicing, cash-flow management, the processing of online payments, generating reports, visualization of financial data, and so on.
What to Think About in Advance
So, you’ve decided to build your own software. But before diving into custom app development, here are some points that should be considered beforehand.
Explore the Market
Firstly, you need to determine what type of app you’d like to develop and start studying the market and your main competitors. Without thorough research, you may end up delivering a solution clients don’t care about. Secondly, check existing solutions to determine how unique your idea is and which way to keep going. For example, let’s say you want to make a hotel booking app . Thus, you’ll need to study the most famous hotel platforms, what they offer, and what they lack. By analyzing your market leaders, you can see their strengths and weaknesses and receive more ideas about what features can be improved.
Think of Security
Security is crucial for any type of application. Whether you’re planning to build a telemedicine app or social media platform like Instagram, privacy laws must be met. You have to protect your platform from any unwanted intrusions from 3rd parties, so you should think about network security, payments security, token security, domain restriction, SSL encryption, and much more.
Find a Vendor
Finally, you need to find a reliable vendor who will help you create a custom software solution. When selecting a tech partner, look for the best quality-price ratio and pay attention to the company’s experience. You can assemble an in-house team or outsource the custom application development to other countries.
An in-house team is a perfect option if you want to be highly involved in the process. However, this approach requires additional expenses (rent, software, equipment, sufficient salary, etc.) and a time-consuming hiring process.
The best way is to outsource software development to popular outsourcing destinations like Central Europe. This region becomes more and more demanded due to affordable prices, a vast talent pool, low taxes, high quality, and government support of the IT sphere. Moreover, hiring globally allows you to find specialists with the required skillset and expertise in your niche.