How to Make an iOS App For Your Business? [CHECKLIST]
Jul 85 min read
Co-founder at Ideamotive. Technological advisor and software consultant.
Over the last decade, the way all of us consume and interact with online content has radically changed. Two-thirds of the world’s population is now connected to mobile, with over 5 billion unique mobile users globally.
While Android continues to dominate the international mobile market, Apple is catching up quickly. iOS beats Android in several critical locales, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Finland, and Japan. If you have an eye on these markets, developing an iPhone app might be precisely what you need to put your business into high gear.
To help you accomplish this task, we have prepared a comprehensive checklist of 19 action items to perform. Following them will allow you to build your iOS mobile app fast and hassle-free.
iOS App Development: Research and Plan
The research stage is essential before any development work commences. Here, you lay down the vital foundations for the entire project that will ease and speed up further execution.
Solidify Your Idea
All genius products start from a brilliant idea. What is yours? Sit down with a notebook, and crystallise your vision. What problem will your iOS application solve? How will it make people’s life easier? How will it differ from other available solutions? Move on to the next step only when you have clearly and explicitly stated the underlying goal and distinctiveness of your app.
Picture The Ideal User
Refine your idea by pinning down the target audience for your iOS app. Whether your goal is to build an e-commerce mobile storefront and improve the bottom line or create an internal business app to streamline operations, you need to keep the user in mind throughout the entire development process. Build a detailed profile of your app users, comprising their goals, motivations, and expectations. Understand how they will use your solution and identify obstacles that could prevent them from engaging with it.
Conduct Market Research
The planning stage isn’t over yet. Now, it’s time to gather some evidence that will support (or quash) the assumptions you made in the previous two steps. Do your bit of research to analyze the competing solutions, evaluate the feasibility of your concept, and examine global trends in the niche of your interest. If the budget allows, validate your idea by interviewing potential users to find out what they think. At this stage, you should also think of a beta name for your app that you can fine-tune later, before the release date.
Set Up The Budget
The cost of developing an iOS application can range anywhere between $5,000 for a simple app to $150,000 in the case of enterprise applications. How much you are going to spend depends on a myriad of factors. The total sum is determined by the scope of your app, the goal to be accomplished, the technologies involved, and the type and intricacy of available features. If you are not sure how to evaluate that cost, send us a message specifying your idea and requirements, and we will get back to you with a quick estimate. One thing is sure, before going any further with your iOS app development, you must understand how much you are willing to spend.
Choose iOS App Developers
To build a tantalising, highly-performant iPhone application, you need a team of skilled and experienced iOS app developers. Together, they will have to fulfil multiple roles, including UX/UI design, iOS architecture, or Quality Assurance. Unless you already have a dedicated in-house team with these competencies, consider hiring skilled mobile developers who possess knowledge and experience in your industry and will mesh well with your company culture. (And if you’re not sure where to look for them, give us a shout and we will find vetted talent matching your needs).
Conceive the Development Approach and Technology Stack
User-centric, scalable mobile apps require a robust and stable technology stack. Native mobile development tools for iOS provide excellent outcomes, but they can be labor-intensive, which adds to the project cost and time. What’s more, if at any point you decide to release your app on Android, you’ll need to do all the design and coding again. Cross-platform development frameworks like React Native are equally powerful as native tools, yet they are usually easier and faster to implement. They cover a vast range of platforms and devices while providing native-like, seamless user experience.
iOS App Development: Design
Now that you have a solid picture of what you are aiming to achieve with your iOS application, it’s time to put those thoughts into action with design.
Now it’s time to create a quick prototype that reflects the app’s main concepts. Start with wireframes, so schematic blueprints that illustrate how to use the solution, covering key use cases. They consist of elements such as main GUI elements, object categories, and rough navigation schemes, to help you to layout the functionality of each app screen.
Build a Prototype
While developing the wireframes, your mobile app designers will closely collaborate with UX/UI architects to enhance the interactions between all GUI elements for enjoyable and consistent user experience. The UI experts also work on the visual layer for the app to be aesthetically pleasing and reflect your branding. All of this work results in the delivery of a prototype, an advanced mock-up demonstrating your iOS app’s design and function.
iOS App Development: Coding
While your iOS developers dive into programming, it’s worth remembering a few vital considerations.
Leverage Libraries and Open Source Tools
iOS offers a significant number of third-party libraries and frameworks that can make developers’ lives a whole lot easier. From custom animations to advanced networking, they can be used to quickly implement various functionalities and reduce development time.
Adhere to Coding and Naming Conventions
For clean, concise, and high-performance code, your iOS app developers should follow Apple’s official naming conventions and keep naming consistent throughout the entire project.
Secure Your iOS App
iOS has a good name for its airtight security. However, in the context of quickly-evolving cyber threats, you’re obliged to ensure that your user data is safe. The potential security risks for iPhone or iPad users may involve, among others, data leaks or man-in-the-middle attacks. To overcome them, arm your app with security features such as keychain API, custom encryption, or SSL pinning.
Localize Your Product
If you are going to ship your app internationally, you might think of localizing its content for a global audience. The same applies to enterprise apps, which address multilingual users. Separate your locale settings from the rest of the app’s interface, export the user-facing content, translate it, and import it back with multi-language support. Apple provides a handful of recommendations.
Reduce Your App’s Size
Like in many other areas, in iPhone app development, size matters. Users are more inclined to download applications that are smaller in size. What’s more, to protect its customers’ wallets, Apple restricts the size of apps that can be installed via a mobile connection. There are lots of tried-and-tested ways to reduce bulky apps. Experienced iOS developers will know what to do ;)
iOS App Development: QA and Testing
In modern software development, testing is not a one-off task to perform at the end of the project but a complex process that runs in parallel with development. Application testing is a vast topic, but we would like to bring your attention to some key areas:
Check Device Compatibility
iOS applications can run on various device types and versions. To avoid the pitfall of user complaints and grievances, make sure your app supports all of them, not only the latest iPhone release.
Perform Feature Check
Focus on the business requirements for your application. Validate whether all the planned features have been implemented and correspond with the assumptions.
Sluggish performance can kill your app and coerce users to remove it from their devices. To avoid that, check how your iOS app behaves under various loads. Also, measure the start-up and reboot times, gauge memory consumption, and see how using your app affects battery life.
iOS App Development: Launch
You are almost good to go, just a few final touches:
Package up your project, go to App Store Connect, and submit your application to be reviewed by Apple. Don’t forget to add a short yet enticing description along with 2-3 screenshots demonstrating your app’s superpowers.
Promote Your Release
Marketing a mobile app is a topic of its own. But here are a few easy-peasy ways to help your iOS app gain exposure and drive more downloads: spread the word via your email distribution list, social media channels, and company blog; create a demo video and post it on your website; build a stunning landing page; feature your app on mobile app review sites such as Mashable, Tech Crunch, or Gizmodo.
How to Make an iOS App? It’s Not Exactly a Child’s Play
With over 2 million apps available in the Apple Store, developing an iOS app that will stand out and win the hearts of users is easier said than done. However, sticking to the above points should increase your chances of success. If you need a hand at turning your concept into a sleek iOS app, get in touch with our stellar iOS mobile development team. We will help you bring your unique idea to fruition!