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Busting 13 mobile app development myths

Nisha Gopinath Menon
January 23, 2020

Myths continue to be perpetuated because people continue treating mobile app development as a stand-alone project while your mobile apps should actually be a part of your enterprise-wide strategy. Companies treat them as a compartmentalized effort too often. Making mobile app development an IT initiative isn’t the right way to go about it. The company's business needs must drive development, even when IT may need to do the heavy lifting. A centralized approach is crucial when planning and developing apps instead of being driven by individual functions (such as marketing or sales) or product lines.

Below are 13 common mobile app development myths many still hold on to. Before we dive into them, let’s get real. The industry and your market are not going to wait for you to shed these inhibitions. Your customers will demand industry standard and will not hesitate to abandon you, should you fail to meet it. Today let's examine some of these myths that are keeping you from building the right mobile app for you.

  1. Custom software development costs are astronomical.
    The first quote you get accompanied with the many zeroes will tempt you to forget about custom software. Standard off-the-shelf solutions seem far cheaper. Nevertheless, many business owners forget that even ready-made software comes with a hidden price. You will have to pay for added users once you update your subscription. Often, extra features come with an added price tag. All these costs add up to form a pretty big sum. Consider how often you find yourself having to transform your business processes to fit the default set of features. And, soon you will come to realize that custom software development will save you money in the long run.
  2. Porting shouldn't be too hard.
    Porting an iOS app to Android isn't as simple as pushing a button that says, “Make App Work on Android Phones.” Porting is an intense process even though having completed the design and branding on another platform does provide an initial boost. Using different libraries, developers have to translate code into another language. Designers then will have to apply the unique design principles of the target OS. Platform-specific bugs and concerns take time to sort through. Converting a visually appealing, functional app to another platform demands the same thorough approach, building a new app does.
  3. Bug-free software should be possible.
    Tipsy engineers speak in muted voices about that perfect code they crafted around bonfires, on chilly nights. It's a bonfire tale. Nobody has ever written a program that doesn't possess a single error. Every single bug your users point out shouldn't take you aback. After all, each software is a living thing, progressing and ever-changing.
  4. Agile development allows for changes at any given development stage.
    Many stakeholders try to make changes to the pre-approved list of requirements and features after the project is already underway, without a proper understanding of software development processes. A small change does not entail merely rewriting a few lines of code. Often, even minor changes ripple through the whole architecture, causing numerous bugs and errors. And so, the costs go up as the development timeline is altered. Next time you feel you need to remake user interface or add extra features, consider whether these changes will truly be an added benefit to your business or make the final product considerably better for end-users. Else, consider making changes within future software releases and stick to your original plan for now.
  5. More hands on deck equals faster results.
    Software development doesn't work quicker with more members in a team, unlike traditional production cycles. So when the release date is pushed back, and your project’s timeline gets updated, adding new people to the team won't quicken the process. Software development is a complex endeavor. Bringing in new players will mean the project manager has to spend that much more time bringing them up to speed. New team members will have to find their places in the project after they familiarize themselves with the whole concept. Your key developers and the project manager will take time to adjust, and the release date might have to be pushed back even further.
  6. After the final release, the project is pretty much done.
    There's much work still left to be done by testers, developers and support managers. Even if the interface is streamlined and straightforward,  to entirely grasp the software’s features, your users might require training. The user feedback can then be used to provide ideas for future updates and improve the user-friendliness of your product. Ideally, compile a roadmap of your product’s growth over time and plan ahead. You might also need debugging and regular maintenance since you will soon learn that bug-free software is just another myth.
  7. App store optimization will increase the traffic significantly.
    The Android app store has over 3.8 million apps, and the iOS app store has over 2 million apps. By merely optimizing, no app will make it to the top 50 or the top 10. Even ASO can not help you build Rome within a day. It's how you display your app to the crowd that does the trick. It’s the app itself that generates traffic. Although ASO does play a part in that. Target social media, devise a marketing plan and focus on your customer segment by diverting all the channel traffic to your app.
  8. The more the features, the better.
    Populating your application with too many features will end up making it unresponsive, bloated, leading to too many memory hogs and a huge number of functional issues. So stop thinking of your mobile application as the mini version of your enterprise website. Work wisely and rather than populating the app with features that are hardly required, focus on the essential features instead.
  9. Native app development has to be made a priority for a better experience.
    A native mobile application does provide the best mobile experience. However, in some instances, the native approach for a mobile app development may prove to be a bad choice. Please take into account your target audience, when and why they utilize your application. Sometimes, the occasion won’t call for a native app. A hybrid or a web app might do.
  10. Mobile apps cannot interface with legacy systems.
    Organizations make significant investments in an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and still aren't eager to invest in developing mobile apps. They look for a seamless solution where a suite of enterprise apps may connect to multiple backend systems and APIs like Oracle, Sharepoint, SAP, and MySQL. A backend as a service (MBaaS) solution that is enterprise-grade with an API infrastructure could enable mobile devices to access legacy systems easily by assisting in seamlessly integrating with these technologies.
  11. Mobile app analytics data will tell you exactly how your app is performing.
    To gauge your app’s performance, mobile app analytics does help. But you’re most probably looking at the overall health of the app. Make sure you also look closer, look for screens with minimal engagement, locate complex engagements, measure and compare your app performance on different screens, identify the screen at which users tend to leave the app. Pointers like these are crucial to the health of your application.
  12. iOS must come first.
    While it makes sense to prioritize iOS for some apps, such as photo-editing apps since iPhones’ cameras are a major selling point, but it’s not a universal truth. In fact, the iPhone is no longer the only smartphone brand known for its camera anymore. Dig into your product’s target market. Who is going to use it? What pain points are you trying to resolve? Prioritizing iOS will only take budget and time away from your most eager users if the demographics of your market prefer Android.
  13. Quality is enough.
    Many companies assume that if they build a good app, users will eventually appear to download it and spread the word. In reality, if you don’t actually market and promote your app, the likelihood of getting any users at all is slim. Only the well-marketed apps get a break in today's app saturated market to establish a strong user base. Some people don’t account for the time it takes to market a new app, but marketing is just as crucial to the success of an app as development and design are. With so many ways to advertise apps today, there’s no excuse to go to launch without a proper marketing strategy in place.

App development doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. With realistic expectations, when done right, a mobile application will prove to be a powerful addition to any organization’s technological ecosystem.

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Nisha Gopinath Menon