Co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, mentor and startup advisor.
A startup, a small business, or a reputable corporation - whoever you are, sooner or later, you will realize the need to develop a mobile application for your company.
It is impossible to argue with the fact that having a responsive mobile app is very useful for any business. The e-commerce platform is constantly growing, so the development of mobile applications for business is almost inevitable. Developers of Android applications are becoming especially in demand since Android OS is the most popular in comparison with any other OS. In addition, companies working with the latest trends in mobile app development are working hard to meet the ever-growing demands of the market.
Choosing a reliable Android app company is not an easy task. And since mobile development is a multi-stage process that requires the participation of a whole team of experts, you will be puzzled by the question: "How to choose decent Android app development services?"
For this purpose, we've created this guide. Here you will find out some available options of services + the main pros and cons of each solution. Also, you can note some tips for conscious picking of the right custom Android app development services.
The market for needs is not static. It is changing, and customer demands are growing. New platforms for communicating with the audience appear, and business enters them. The mobile app is one such platform.
Finding programmers to develop mobile apps is not easy because you need to do a lot of interviews to ensure the qualifications and understanding of the product you want to get.
Moreover, given the undeniable popularity of the Android OS, it gives even more headaches to potential app holders.
Why not read How to Develop an Android App For Your Business? 10 Golden Rules To Follow.
Thus, you need to keep in mind a firm structure of how to find the best Android application development services.
Mainly you need to ask the next questions:
When communicating with the developer, ask about the presence in their portfolio of projects with similar functionality regarding your ideas.
To be sure, collect as much information as possible about the company. Be sure to remember that if you want to develop your own business and increase income steadily, work on promoting the mobile application, expanding its functionality will also be required on a regular basis in the future.
Finding an Android developer will lead you to either the freelance market or the IT company market. Who should you give preference to?
The word "freelance" gives us mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is an opportunity to save money and not get involved with the bureaucracy of offices, and on the other hand, there is a great risk and instability.
The freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr can find a good specialist for you, but they will not give you any guarantees on the timing, quality, and the fact that they will not start any difficulties in life and will have to look for another dev through freelance sites.
An application is a holistic product that conveys the goals and values of the business. Imagine that one freelance programmer will write the code, another will create the design, and a third will test in general. Even if you send them all the documents, give clear terms of reference, the whole product will not work because there will be no integration and unity in their work. Therefore, we believe that the freelance market is not the place to go.
If you have an office and a team of specialists matched with your product, it is quite logical that you would want to hire Android developers to join your team onsite.
This would give you direct communication, reduced costs (no need to work with a side corporation, you hire devs for a given task), and a high level of control over the working process.
On the other hand, you will face several issues that can greatly spoil the external pros of this cooperation. To start with, you will have to go through the domestic market from cover to cover. Believe us, any onsite talent pool can conquer with devs available online.
Moreover, you will have to master such a profession as an HR manager since you need to do the recruitment by yourself. Hence, we get wasted time, a bad mood, and the likelihood of the mobile app launching failure.
In a good company, a team will work on the application. It develops a product according to a certain methodology, and all participants in the process closely interact with each other. This is not one freelance programmer, but a project manager, a team leader who will always help and guide each other.
The main disadvantage the potential buyer gets here is the fact that you are limited to actual employees of the company. Thus, you can't be sure whether all members of the team are equally good in their field.
Agree, you won't be pleased with your product if, for instance, the development part was done perfectly, but the design side is lagging behind. So, it would be best if you were 100% confident that all members of the hired team well worth your product.
After mentioning all the above options, it may seem that there are no perfect solutions. All of the available ones will somehow bring several difficulties throughout the dev process or will just ruin the client's company principles (confidentiality, project terms, allocated funds).
However, we have a unique solution that will certainly please your demanding heart - turning to a hybrid model.
Ideamotive is a company that offers this option. With the help of it, you are putting together a team from scratch by an external company, who will custom-build your team from industry-matched experts and will take care of project management and all administrative stuff.
Isn't it the best workflow among all the mentioned before?
Indeed, this model takes the best advantages of all the above models and levels down the disadvantages.
Francis Bacon: "By far the best proof is experience."
It would seem an obvious question, but sometimes they forget about it. It is imperative to find out if the developer has real experience in creating applications. Today anyone who has taken the simplest online development course can call themselves a developer, but not everyone has a portfolio. If you want to get a quality product, look for people with experience. If a developer's portfolio consists of slightly modified templates or small applications on a platform other than your one, they may not be able to cope with your order.
The ideal developer for you should have experience building complex applications on the platform you need.
If you can't find your potential developer's work in any mobile app store, ask them to show you the apps they've created. A good developer should do this with pleasure and pride. If not, you should think about it. Of course, some work may be confidential, but this is unlikely to apply to absolutely all applications created by one person. However, if this is the case, have the developer personally show you the created product so that you can evaluate the quality of the work.
After gaining access to the portfolio, do not just look at the screenshots and read the description, but install 2-3 applications on your device, evaluate the usability, carefully study several screens. Determine for yourself what you like and dislike about the work you see, whether you want to see a similar style in your application.
No matter how talented and experienced the developer is if your views do not coincide in many ways or you do not like their work, look for another. So you will save yourself from possible conflicts and dissatisfaction with the finished product.
There are a number of third-party application development frameworks that allow developers to write code once and then deploy it to other platforms. The resulting applications are called cross-platform and have a number of limitations.
Native apps - when native code is written for the iOS and Android platforms - look and perform much better. If your budget allows, look for a native developer. This way, you will get a product with a convenient and beautiful user interface that will use the device's operating system and hardware, making the application more functional.
If you want to create an app for only one of the platforms, find a developer with extensive experience with the platform you need. iOS and Android are not related to each other in development, so a developer can do a great job of developing an iOS product without even knowing about Android development and vice versa.
This factor is not decisive when choosing a developer, but it's still worth asking. If a developer has already created applications in your industry, they most likely faced some of the same challenges that your product will have to solve, knows the industry's key features, and will be able to get the job done faster.
"Cheap is an illusion of economy" (Sophie Kinsella)
Having studied the market a little, you realized that the range of prices is very large. For the design and wireframing studios, ask for amounts that sometimes differ by 10 times. Why is that?
There are many different companies in the Android mobile app development market. There are companies from New York, and there are from CEE regions. There are large studios with a staff of 200 employees, and there are small teams of 8-10 people. Some teams specialize in medical and insurance applications, while others specialize in taxi and restaurant projects. But the main criterion for choosing a company is the devs with whom it works. The prices directly depend on this.
Most often, these are eminent companies that have been on the market for many years and constantly occupy the first lines of profile ratings, and their portfolio includes the logos of giants.
They don't take on small and quick projects, as it is not profitable for them. They win large and long-term tenders. Therefore, if you really want to work with such a company, but you still have a small business, and you are ready to pay several hundred thousand dollars for development, then you should not even waste time on negotiations.
Such guys are also in the ratings, though not in the first positions. And they also work with clients who are heard by everyone. But for some reason, they are not yet able to shape the mobile dev market by themselves. That's why they charge a little less for projects than their colleagues. It is advisable to choose such a dev shop as a contractor if your company already has a name and has a large amount of money on its account.
These are young teams of promising developers who have recently entered the market, but are constantly growing, improving their qualifications, studying, replenishing their portfolio, and flickering in the ratings. They are interested in taking on different projects, and it does not matter for them whether everyone on the market knows about the customer - these guys perfectly understand that they need to start small. Usually, there are only a few people in such companies, but together they close the entire cycle of creating a mobile application - from design to development. Going to such a company is the best option for those who want to get a working product for adequate money quickly.
There is no secret that guys from LA charge more than the same devs based in India. However, the latter isn't our recommendation. Consider hiring remote app developers from the CEE region. Here you can find:
The hourly rate of hiring an application developer in Poland is about $30-50 per hour, which means that an application project's average price will start at about $50,000. Now compare this rate with your local one.
At first, it may seem like a daunting and even impossible task. But in reality, everything turns out to be much simpler. Ask several companies for a price list for the same services. Study the firms and the services they provide, their experience. And after getting the data, just compare them. This way, you can form a general idea of the average cost of the services you need in the market.
Don't just look at the development price: choosing a contractor based on this principle will bring more problems than benefits. Your task is to get a working product.
Don't put your entire budget on the first version of the app. Be prepared for new tasks, alterations, changes to appear in the course of the project. Add funds for additional expenses, including the purchase of accounts in stores.
This is a reason to be on your guard if the developer company accepts all your suggestions. Almost automatically, this means a lack of ideas about the technologies used, so do not be surprised if later you find yourself to blame for a product that does not work as you expected.
You can certainly be well versed in programming languages, frameworks, and everything else, but watch how the company approaches the selection of technologies and how they build their interactions with you. It would be best if you could get a very detailed explanation of why this will work better with the technologies they offer, rather than the ones you want to use initially.
To properly assess this criterion, you need to be aware of technological innovation. For example, applications are becoming progressive now, which is a good sign if they suggest that you try this approach when it is appropriate for your project development.
During the dev process, it is always easier to follow a pattern than to do something personalized. A professional developer will insist on a custom solution, not because they want to complicate their life and inflate your budget, but because each project is specific, and this should be taken into account when developing.
It is essential that the chosen technology stack can fulfill your particular application's needs and functionality. And those who chose this stack should be able to justify in simple terms why this choice will meet your expectations regarding the development of functionality.
This is especially important if you want to create an e-commerce application or any other solution that involves implementing payment systems. This automatically means increased security requirements. Thus, find out in advance how they are going to implement them.
This is partly about the question of whether they want to just make money from you. It's always easy to let go of everything, and it's much more difficult to meet the budget without sacrificing quality. If your product budget is strictly limited, a loyal developer will still look for an opportunity to offer you the best approach to development without spending even an extra penny on it at the start.
Namely: it will help to determine the minimum list of necessary functionality with which you can enter the market (MVP).
You can have your own vision of the functional development process, which may well turn out to be correct, but it can also be wrong. Hear what the experts have to say. Experts who know what they are talking about will always be loyal to your suggestions, but if a better solution exists, company employees will tell you about it, backed up with expertise and examples. This is loyalty and concern for your business, budget, and further profit.
A developer who knows what they will do with your application will describe each stage of development for you. Moreover, the dev will ask you to participate. They will keep you informed and will insist on your assessment of the intermediate result and your full involvement in the process at every stage of the application creation. And if you hear something like "unfinished work is not shown," this is not the best approach to development. Even if you, as a customer, do not want to go deep into the programming process and control everything, you should still be able to do it at any time.
A professional firm will do everything to know at least as much about your business as you do, if not more than that. And it will do it in a relatively short time. A good result can only be achieved with full immersion in business processes, and it will not be hard for you, as a business owner, to assess how deep this immersion was.
Make sure that the team you hire will not only focus on building a product but also will help you validate the idea from the business side. Also, check whether all the features you have planned are actually needed (or maybe something is missing) and will cover the $$$ side of the business.
Companies in which employees work on the same territory, communicate personally, and complement each other's solutions are effective. Make sure that the company has front-end designers, application profile programmers, testers. Remote employees are not focused on the final result of the development but on the execution of a piece of work. A weak interaction between development participants leads to the accumulation of errors at the intersection of responsibility areas.
Pay attention to the methodology by which the projects are implemented. Chaos and confusion will not make the app cost-effective.
We advise you to pay attention to Scrum. If the development company works according to this methodology, then you will be aware of the progress of the work. You will be able to regularly attend (at least virtually) work meetings and update the requirements. As a bonus, you get a workpiece of the product at the end of each sprint.
Thus, make sure you will get onboard a skilled Project Manager, Scrum Master, great designers, etc.
If there are even the slightest doubts about the chosen company, do not rush to transfer your project to them and sign a cooperation agreement. You can provide them with a pilot project and assess whether it meets the tasks. This will help in several questions at once:
It often happens that the executing company fully meets the requirements of the customer, but interpersonal relations do not develop between them. Experience shows that without mutual understanding, even with the best professionals, the result of work can be nullified.
Ideamotive is the industry leader in bespoke mobile app development. We employ the most talented and experienced Remote Developers. The combination of innovations and proven modern technologies guarantees efficiency in solving complex problems of any complexity. Take advantage of our experience and knowledge to create exclusive, high-quality software products.
Looking for experts to develop your Android app? Reach out to our Android Developers. We have dozens of mobile app development experts in our talent network to support you at every stage of the process, from business validation and ideation to design, development, and release.
We will provide you with business expertise and build for you a product team from scratch composed of experts perfectly matched with your technology, industry, company culture, and team dynamics.
With us, you will increase the number of sales and the loyalty of the target audience.
Hire top talent perfectly fitted for your company - we will help you in all matters of development and market entry.
Robert is a co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, who with passion spreads digital revolution all around the internet. Mentor and advisor at startup accelerators. Loves to learn and discover new business models.View all author posts
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