How App Development is Done

Application development UI illustration in flat design. Mobile app building concept banner with industrial crane and team of workers developing and constructing applications. App development company.

There is a constant need for apps to help employees and everyday people complete tasks. Developing an app of your own can be both helpful for the general workforce and lucrative for yourself. The following is a step by step approach for how app development is done.

Illustration of people brainstorming with a giant brain and lightbulb above them. App development company.

1. Brainstorm

The first step in developing an app is to decide which kind you should make. Take note of the different tasks you do at work or at home and see if any of them can be automated. Write down all the ideas that come to mind, even the bad ones. In my experience, bad ideas that don’t get ignored lead to good ideas, so write them down. Take a look at other apps on the market and determine if they are lacking anything, or if there are ways they could be better. All of this will help you pinpoint what sort of app you should develop.

Man pointing to a document with a signature and seal on it.

2. The Design Document

Once you know what kind of app you want to build, the next step is to put it into words in the form of the design document. The purpose of this document is to keep the development project on track. The design document outlines all of the features and abilities you want your app to have. For more information on writing a design document click here.

Young designers doing presentation or preparing a new project. Creative team of web designers prototyping a new web site, landing page or mobile application. Teamwork concept. Vector illustration

3. The Prototype

Now you’re ready to actually build the app. You’ll start by creating the prototype. This will be a rudimentary version of your app. At this point, the main concern is to get all of the functionality in place. The prototype doesn’t need to be beautiful, the art and design of the app (while important) will be one of the last things to work on.

Illustration of a man and a woman testing an app with a giant magnifying glass held up by a crane. App development company.

4. Testing the App

There will be a plethora of bugs to work out. The bugs come from mistakes in the code, weird usage the app’s design didn’t account for and other reasons. Testing will help you find the mistakes so you can fix them before your end users find them. Try to throw every conceivable scenario at your app to make sure it can handle them properly. When you’re working so close to an app, it can be hard to step back and spot problems that fresh eyes could find. For this reason, you’ll want to have friends and family test your app to further uncover any bugs.

Flat cleaning items with spray, napkins, sponge, bucket with detergent. Concept isolated service equipment for washing up. Vector illustration. App development step crossword.

5. Polishing the App

Now that you’ve finish testing and fixed all the bugs you were able to find, you’re ready to polish your prototype into a finished app. This includes choosing attractive color schemes, borders, buttons and art that you want to include in your app, as well as organizing your menus in a way that has a logical flow. Typically a skilled UI designer would work on this part, but that would add significantly to the cost of your app. If a UI designer is not within your budget then at the very least make sure your app is both easy to use and pleasing to look at.

App development company.

6. Distribution

Now your app is finished and ready for distribution. There’s a few ways you can get your app to the masses. If you designed your app for a particular operating system, there are online digital stores you’ll be able to sell it in. For example, if you designed your app for Android devices, you’d be able to sell it on the Google Play Store or even on your own website. Document your apps features and include tutorials and screenshots. If you distribute and sell the app through your own personal website you’ll need both a server and a decent digital payment system, respectively.

If you have an idea for an app and would like our team of developers to build it for you, contact us by clicking here and get started with a free one hour consultation.

How Do Apps Work?

View from above of swapping application icons

What powers an app? Where are apps stored?

So you’ve scrolled through the app store and finally found an app that you want to download. You hit the download button and square with rounded corners appears on your phone’s homepage. You tap the app icon and your app loads. How does this happen? What allows the app to even load? Where is all of the information stored and how does it get updated? These are some of the questions we will try to answer in this blog article, but as always in a way that anyone will be able to understand!

app icon

Apps are more than a fancy icon.

If you go into your phone’s settings>storage> It should show you how much space each individual app requires or is using. For example check out this screenshot.

app on Iphone screen shot showing application storage

All of the megabytes on the right side of the image are how much storage those apps are using on your device.

You’re probably thinking wow that’s a lot. Actually, no it isn’t. Think about Facebook and consider the fact that there are nearly 3 Billion users. How many videos and pictures do you think there are with that many users? Your little app with 300-400MB of data being used has access to all of that info. But how?

Applications Use Servers to Communicate

Have you heard of AWS? The Cloud? These are tools that enable information to be stored without overloading devices. Let’s start with servers.

Servers are individual computers that can be connected to the internet all day every day.

The Cloud is multiple interconnected computers that talk to eachother remotely.

You’ve probably heard “it’s ran on AWS”. This is essentially Amazon’s Servers. It actually stands for Amazon Web Services. It’s a pay to use cloud computing service.

How Do Apps Talk to Servers?

The answer is API’s, or Application Programming Interfaces. Generally there are four different types of API’s.

  1. Public- available to anyone to use
  2. Partner- accessible only when given access by the developer most likely for a client to use
  3. Internal- a company will use this for their work processes for example a budgeting software the company built
  4. Composite- a combination of two or more of the above

Put simply API’s allow a computer to operate your app.

Where Do Apps Store All of the Data?

Facebook database rows of servers. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/inside-facebooks-lulea-data-center

Take a guess as to what database this is.

If you guessed Facebook’s database you are correct! It turns out that all of these macines process 4 Petabytes of data per day (that’s 1,000,000 Gigabytes!)

We’re not going to say that every app out there uses a database like this. However, a lot of apps are powered by AWS. You can find some images of thier database through a Google Search and it is impressive!

Breaking It Down

We know this is a lot of information and it is all very complex. In a nutshell, Programmers (this si to mean developers, coders, app builders, etc.) develop an app and code it to speak to a server. That server then stores information in a database.

If you can learn API’s you will be well on your way to understanding how applications even work. As always we like to keep our information simple and easy to grasp. If you find yourself needing more information about how apps work, feel free to give us a call at 208 344 1115. We’d love to get you in touch with a developer that can explain how all of this works.

If you have more questions about apps be sure to check out our other blog posts where we answer other questions people like you have had about apps and application development!

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