7 Pitfalls Every Mobile App Developer Should Avoid
With emerging trends in business companies are fast adopting different strategies to stay on top of their game. One of the latest trends that have captured the business world is the development of business apps.
As times progress, we are witnessing an increasing number of mobile app success stories. VMZINC, an international supplier of rolled zinc products recently introduced a mobile app in the market that lets its customers view its products. The application further possesses different features such as filter searches and even lets users search for nearby VMZINC projects and then directs them to the project location.
‘In this technology driven age, it is more important than ever to effectively reach consumers, and it is imperative for companies to stay up to date with technology trends to remain competitive.’ Explains Daniel Nicely, Managing Director at Umicore Building products USA, Inc. and VMZINC ‘our new mobile app gives us the ability to display our products where our clients are, as well as be in touch with tools that architects are using on daily basis.’
According to stats, smartphone and tablets totaled up to 70% of all devices sold in 2012. These stats give us a pretty clear idea about the growing importance of apps. As businesses start to witness the immense importance of cell phone apps for their companies, many will begin building their own apps and this trend will be on the rise.
Due to the unlimited possibilities of success when you have a mobile app, many businesses just dive into mobile app developing without considering the risks associated with it.
If you’re one of those businesses that is considering the idea of developing an app, here are the 7 pitfalls you should avoid.
1. Developing an app that the target audiences don’t want.
The process of app development could cost thousands of dollars and several months of time in certain instances.
This could all go down in the bin, if the business does not develop an app that caters to the specific needs of its target audience, if customers don’t find the app useful.
This usually happens when you approach cell phone development from the wrong angle and fail to understand what the customer really wants.
”Many organizations fall into the trap of making an application from their own point of view, and not the viewpoint of the client,” says Arash Zafarnia, Director of Business Development at Handsome. “It is a decent propensity to look for contribution from clients and comprehend what kind of highlight and usefulness they would be searching for in a versatile affair. What’s more, it will be useful to comprehend what sort of cell phones the vast majority of a business’ clients have.”
Another mobile app developer, Airg uses different strategies to eliminate the possibility of developing an app that is not desired by the customers. They used beta versions to evaluated the likelihood of new app and if the score is great and has positive reviews from the users end then the app is launched on full scales version. The company management takes reviews from workers in an open house of how work is going and feedback from employees are taken as they are the ones usually in direct contact with customers.
2. Security issues
Since millions of apps hit the app store each week, thousands of hackers work really hard to get a hold of user information and hence, it may be illogical to ignore the concept of security issues when developing applications.
Application developers have to put in twice the effort to protect user’s safety. One of the main mistakes made by application developers is trusting built-in platform security. Of course you can choose from myriad app development programs, but they’re almost always prone to security issues.
Apple’s iOS platform has been declared the most secure of all, since all its apps go through a rigorous screening process before being approved. But this still should not allow app developers to only depend on existing platforms but must take all measures required to secure their own apps.
Android however, has a different approach when it comes to security. It lets users sort the good and bad ones through reviews.
Either way, both the systems have their flaws. Being an app developer means you are the last line of defense. If you don’t ensure your app is secure, you put all your apps at a risk. Hence, an app developer must never forego security testing.
3. Choosing the wrong development partner
In most cases, businesses can not afford to develop their mobile apps in house, due to the financial costs associated with them.
In such cases, outsourcing is done, and with outside help another layer of risk with app development is added on. After all, choosing the wrong development partner can actually ruin your long-term business plans by not being available when you decide to launch app updates etc. There might not be a single solution to this problem; but different factors can be taken into consideration.
“Low-cost outsourcing can be one of the nastiest traps of mobile app development,” says Joseph Pigato, Managing Director at . “I’ve had numerous colleagues who just couldn’t pass up the low bids of overseas operations. They almost invariably encounter delays, hidden costs and lapses in quality. Occasionally, they’re forced to scrap their low-cost code and start all over.”
4. Pitfall of investing in a platform that you cannot control
The risk of investing in a platform that the business cannot control should not be taken lightly, as this is one of the biggest risks associated with developing an app
The chances of the prospect of app development failing badly usually occur in this scenario. It is therefore advisable that the business carry out a cost/benefit analysis before choosing a platform to invest in.
Blackberry can be the best example here, the company that practically invented the smart phone market has been losing its own market share over the past few years, simply because it invested in a platform that the company could not control.
5. Risk of unsustainable user growth
When you develop a business app, you are less likely to consider the prospect of users exceeding the number that you expected.
As in most cases the numbers usually don’t exceed the predicted amount. However, the possibility of users reaching a considerable amount should still not be eliminated.
There are still chances that the application takes off faster than expected, the growth rate is twice or more than was originally planned.
The business could end up supporting thousands of users, which in most cases, businesses are not prepared to do.
This point should definitely be kept in mind when businesses start out to develop their app.
6. Tying your business to a single platform
Being an app developer, you ask yourself different questions, one of which could be, should you invest in a single platform or support two or more?
It definitely involves lower risk if a single platform is supported.
However, that may come with its own drawbacks, as that specific platform will be your only support. This could limit your company’s future options. Also if that specific platform crashes, your business is down for good.
For instance, suppose your business created an iOS app for your sales team, who happen to currently use iPhones.
However, after the new launch of a Samsung phone, the team decided to switch to android in a couple of years. Unless you recreate the app on multiple platforms, you might end up facing serious challenges in later years. So make sure you have accounted for this point as you decide to develop your app.
7. Getting denied
One of the most important factors to remember as an app developer is to play by the rules, or else the business could run the risk of getting their app denied by Android and iOS (or other platforms), because after all, you are playing in some else’s field.
And to make things worse, these rules are subject to change every now and then, since the owners (Google/Apple/Microsoft) have full control over their app stores.
This is why it is crucial to comply with those rules or else run the risk of getting your app wiped out from the app store completely.
“Each mobile platform has its own ever changing rules and requirements for app submission,” says Diane Hamilton, Managing Partner at . “There is always a risk that one or more of your features, though passed originally, may be rejected because a new rule or requirement has been introduced. This is an ongoing cost that is often not considered. Sometimes these App Store changes can be significant (Apple sandboxing for Mac OS X).”
The above are the 7 most common pitfalls that businesses don’t take into consideration when developing an app. All of these can make a big positive or negative difference to how well your app performs and how much it costs, not just in its developmental phase, but later on as well.
ABOUT Audrey Throne
Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Birmingham. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. Currently, she is associate brain test with Team.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.