MOBILE DEVELOPMENT:

How to Choose a Mobile App Development Company in 2022

Inspire Visual By Inspire Visual
Published February 2022
FacebookLinkedInTwitterEmail

When you are looking for an app development company capable of creating great mobile apps, there are many factors to take into consideration before you make your final choice.

For most it’s a daunting task to be in the beginning stages of looking for a qualified app development company. At first glance many mobile application development firms might seem to have a deep understanding of the entire development process, while boasting about their accomplishments, but if you scratch under the surface of their portfolio there are often red flags you can catch early on.

Mobile and Smartwatch Image

The pick for the best mobile app company simply can’t be rushed by picking the first agency you find on Google. With our insider tips, you’ll be equipped for critical decision making based on factors such as a mobile development agency’s app quality proficiency, technological skillfulness, and reasonable cost for a project.

It’s time to get down to business in this extensive article on mobile app development, so you too can take the important step and head into the exciting world of owning an app.

Consider requesting an NDA upfront to protect your app idea

You may have a great idea for a mobile app and don’t want the competition to get wind of it. If that’s the case, know that a typical app project takes 6 months or longer from the initial discussion until the app is live on the app store and it’s a long time to keep quiet for anyone. That’s where an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) is important.

Before signing the contract, make the right decision by choosing a company who will sign an NDA before you even discuss your idea with them. Having an NDA will legally keep the app agency from sharing your idea with anyone outside their team.

You can even protect your app idea further by expanding on getting a signed NDA. It’s possible to patent your app idea to protect your intellectual property.

While signing an NDA is pretty standard in the industry, patenting an app idea is very rare and does not involve the app development agency. If you choose a reputable firm, an NDA is enough to protect your idea, or you can choose legal action.

non disclosure agreement image

Do a thorough background check

For anyone not familiar with building apps it can be a daunting task having to choose the best mobile app development company for the job.

Sure, it’s possible to type “mobile app development companies” in your favorite search engine, but that just brings up a list of app developers good at getting to the top of the search engine. Being at the top isn’t an indicator of being good at making apps.

Fortunately what you need to know is available online. Let’s go over what you should look for.

Take a closer look at previous app projects completed

Looking at previously completed mobile apps is a really good indicator of how capable they are at their promise to deliver a professional looking app.

It’s common for companies to brag about having “built more than hundreds of apps”. Anyone can make that claim and usually if you take a closer look at their portfolio, you’ll find their track record may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Start by taking a closer look at the apps they have completed, usually located in the Portfolio or App Services section on their website.

Do their examples look like quality apps? Do the user interfaces give you the impression that they were hastily put together or do the apps look polished? Are the designs outdated or modern? What about the app content, does it look easy to use and understand or is it a cluttered mess?

First impressions carry a lot of weight. Often it tells the story whether an agency spends time on applying the latest app trends and technologies from Apple and Google or if they are just trying to make a quick buck by finishing apps as quickly as possible.

What can reviews of a mobile app agency tell you?

It’s recommended to check reviews from previous clients as they are often helpful in finding out their strengths and weaknesses. By looking at past review feedback you often get valuable insights in previous app project clients frustrations and accomplishments and they can act as a digital reference.

There are entire companies built around being the digital phone books of mobile app development companies. Unfortunately not all of them are legit and apply shady practices where they can be bribed to accept fake reviews praising the companies.

Reviews are good indicators, but they are not the only deciding factor for choosing your next agency partner. You should also look for thought-leadership evidence through social platforms for example.

app company review image

Look further into their social presence on professional platforms

It’s good practice to expand your research by looking into what presence your next app development partner has on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can learn a lot about a business by looking at what they are posting online.

If they post articles with valuable app development related information, it’s a sign that they keep updated on the latest app technology. Odds are you will likely benefit from that expertise when your new app is built.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR APP

Do you want an app and have questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today for a talk.

CONTACT A FRIENDLY TEAM MEMBER

Other criteria to look for

Their level of professionalism

During your research to find a good agency, take a closer look at their website. Do they seem like professionals? If you see user interface on their website, maybe they don’t pay attention to details and that may carry through any of their work. What about their content? Do they offer a detailed explanation of their portfolio examples, work methods etc.? The level of effort a company puts into their website can tell you something about their general work standards.

Are they experts at mobile application development?

When you do your business analysis and look at different companies, you want to make sure that they have mobile app development expertise and that you are part of their target audience..

Various companies in this industry are specialized in only web apps, Android apps or iOS apps. Others offer full-range services across all devices and platforms. We chose to be a full-range mobile app developer for a good reason.

Even if you are certain that you only want an app for iOS or Android, we think it’s a big advantage to be able to go back to your agency after having built your app, and with them already familiar with your product, to expand further and make recommendations as the market changes and the app grows.

Landing page mobile agency

SDLC Model and methodologies (Agile/Waterfall)

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process used to design, develop and test high quality apps. It aims to produce the best mobile application possible to meet or exceed customer expectations in time and on budget.

There are different SDLC methods, the most popular being Agile, Scrum and Waterfall. Each has their advantages and disadvantages depending on the technology the app requires, how the app is released (in milestones vs. fully-featured), and the preference of the client.

Neither of them are a complex process and the mobile app developer can recommend what type will fit your app type based on your specs.

Agile, scrum and waterfall project management

The importance of a good UI/UX

If you are going to buy a product or service from a store and they offer similar prices and quality, would you choose the store with an appealing storefront, meticulous interior, and knowledgeable staff or the one with the neglected facade, confusing layout, and non-helpful employee?

Chances are you would go with the first option.

The same matters for mobile app design. Good UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) directly correlates with the success of your app.

A well-designed UI provides an effective interaction between the user and the app with a clean design, modern look, and pleasing visuals.

Likewise a good UX fosters better customer retention, higher conversion rates, and enhanced credibility.

When you look for your app development partner, keep in mind that these will play a major factor in how our app will be received.

User Interface
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR APP

Do you want an app and have questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today for a talk.

CONTACT A FRIENDLY TEAM MEMBER

Can they build the latest tech trends?

Building mobile applications based on old technology and trends is a failed venture from the onset.

When you choose a mobile partner, one of the key factors is to choose one who can apply the latest trends needed in your mobile app. You don’t want your core features to be built on old technology or principles.

The popular technologies right now embedded in many apps in various capacities are AI, IoT, GPS, Geo-targeting, and RFID.

Artificial Intelligence

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

The global AI market is forecast to reach over half a trillion U.S. dollars by 2024 and it is quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools in personalized user experiences. Uses include chat-bots, personal assistants, and customized content.

Internet of Things

IoT (Internet of Things)

As products from controlling dishwashers, thermostats and refrigerators to TVs, cars and drones are going online, so is the need to control them from a mobile device. The IoT mostly makes our lives easier by automating tasks from anywhere.

GPS

GPS

Location based GPS is becoming increasingly adopted by retail stores, shipping companies, insurance companies and every industry who needs to keep tabs on its customers, products or services.

Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting

In tandem with GPS, geo-targeting enables a fully personalized brand experience, based on location. For example, if a customer is in the parking lot of a mall, a store can send out a “welcome” message with a coupon for in-store shopping.

RFID

RFID

Radio frequency identification is part of the latest Android and iPhone devices. It enables touch-less transfer of encrypted data for payment, security access, and keep track of inventory.

Is a small or large agency preferred?

When you are looking for the best app development company, should you choose large or small? It depends on the size of your app.

If you are a fortune 500 company needing an enterprise app, a large agency with a solid app development team is likely your best option.

For anyone else with budgets under $500,000, a small to medium-sized company would be your best option. Just avoid the startups. Go with an experience mobile app development company established at least 5 years ago to minimize any risk of them shutting down during development.

Integration with your current business application

If you already have a system in place for tracking your services or products, make sure the app agency understands and confirms that they can integrate the app with your current APIs. Building a brand new back-end system is a costly affair and can easily cause problems with unforeseen consequences for your customers.

Build for iOS, Android or Both?

When you choose to build an app, there are several platforms to choose from. In the old days, you would have to develop an app code-base for Android and another for iOS, basically doubling the work.

Today that’s no longer the case. While building native applications for either iOS and Android still make their case, cross-platform apps with one code-base for both platforms are now commonplace.

The main advantage of still making native iOS or Android app development code-bases is that you’ll have quicker access to manufacturer features. Meaning when Apple or Google release new features, you can have them ready from day 1. With cross-platform apps there is a delay as these features will first have to be supported by the third-party development kits.

The main advantage to offering cross-platform apps is that you’ll be able to target several platforms and various types of devices with just one code-base. That means less time to market, and significant cost savings.

iOS and Android phones

How long from concept to final product?

How long it takes to build an app of course depends on its complexity, the professionalism of your chosen mobile app developers, and various other factors.

The industry average time it takes to complete an app is about 6 months. To get a better idea of how long it would take to build your app, you would have to start planning the project in tandem with the agency.

Adding the tasks and defining the project milestones, it sets up the pathway for app development progress and the cost to completion.

Is a development team all you need?

Development skills are arguably one of the most important parameters when you’re looking for the right team to create your app.

However, there’s more to it than development. Communication skills, agency size, and geographic location are just some factors you should keep in mind as well. Let’s take a more detailed view of what you should look for below.

The importance of communication

Great communication throughout the project is imperative for the success of the app. You need to be able to ask questions and get answers swiftly.

It’s common for our competitors in the app industry to make you call different people depending on if your question is design, programming, budget with the added stress and time it adds.

Our clients get one point-of-contact throughout the entire development cycle, so they know the person they are calling and will not have to call several people to get an answer to their questions.

Choose the agency size that fits your budget

If you are building a small app, you don’t want to contact one of the major mobile application development agencies. If they will even give you the time of the day, chances are they will allocate their junior staffers/interns to work on your project as you’ll be a small fish.

You have to choose the right app development company for your specific budget. Smaller agencies are more likely to get involved with senior resources as your project will likely mean more to their work input.

At Inspire Visual we only staff senior talent on all our apps and our founders are involved in every project for quality assurance and to make sure our clients are satisfied with our mobile solutions.

Another advantage to avoiding the big agencies is the cost factor. With them you usually overpay for having resources available longer than needed as well, their high facility cost, and more.

small agency vs large agency cost

Where should your mobile agency be located?

You have to make the right choice of where your app developers should be located. There are many advantages to selecting a domestic agency instead of choosing to outsource development to countries like India.

What’s the benefit and risk of outsourcing

If you have a small project or budget, you may consider outsourcing the project to China, India or Eastern Europe as their hourly rates are lower than domestic rates.

While you can find a talented app making company in these areas, it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Unless you know what you are looking for, you can easily get blinded by the cheap rates they offer up front.

One of the bigger risks outsourcing offshore is miscommunication. No matter which tools you use for communication, whether digital or verbally, mishaps are likely to happen and they can be detrimental to a project. Conveying ideas that are interpreted and implemented correctly is a very difficult task and require clear communication.

Outsourcing to offshore companies can be risky in terms of quality. The quality of your app should be top priority for you and the mobile app development firm working on it. If you work with a company in a country where quality expectations are not as high, that is going to show in your app as well.

Deciding to choose outsourcing abroad based purely on cost makes you forget the importance of accountability, professionalism and scope changes that can ultimately cost you more money-wise, stress-wise and quality-wise than hiring a U.S. based app firm from the beginning.

The perks of working with a domestic agency

When you work with a domestic agency, chances are greater that you get what you expect. Domestic agencies are generally better at offering realistic project prices, not delaying your project indefinitely, and keeping up to speed on mobile technology and trends.

You can also experience greater accountability both professionally and legally. For example, with an app agency like ours based in the U.S., you’ll be operating under U.S. law and we would be liable for upholding all contract requirements.

The United States is a global hub for technical education and distinguished innovation. Agencies taking advantage of the domestic pool of talent are able to take advantage of the immense technological know-how available in the U.S. Onshore agencies not only understand the creative and development tasks assigned to them, but also how the various types of business environments function in North America.

There is much better intellectual property protection hiring a U.S. agency. While outsourcing offshore can be a risk for unlawful distribution or theft of the IP, it’s typically not an issue with a signed NDA and the trusted legal framework of the U.S. Should a leak occur, there are strong legal institutions who will enforce intellectual property protection.

Where the mobile firm should be located
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR APP

Do you want an app and have questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today for a talk.

CONTACT A FRIENDLY TEAM MEMBER

The DNA of a development team

When you pay for an app, you’re not only paying for the software but also for the expertise, dedication and professionalism it takes to design, develop and support a spectacular product that will bring you success.

Creating a world-class app is no small feat. It requires a highly proficient team that understands your business, can deliver high-quality work on time and budget, and apply the latest technologies. Each individual team member must have their unique skills to end up with an astonishing product.

A typical team consists of a project manager, one or more UI/UX designers, one or more front- and back-end developers, and typically more than one quality assurance engineer to test on any targeted device, whether that be on Android, iOS, mobile, tablet, TV or Smartwatch.

How many is needed for your app depends on the complexity and scale of your project.

Is app and data security important?

When you offer an app to your audience, it’s always a priority to keep any data they provide secure. Hackers are constantly on the lookout for weaknesses to exploit data that they can sell on the black market.

How secure your app needs to be depends on its function. A financial app will require tighter security than a fitness based app for example.

There are best practices for front- and back-end developers.

If you need to contain account information, you should of course always require a username and strong password from your customers. Multi-factor authentication is taking security a step further by asking to authorize the log-in after the password screen, either by sending a code to the phone, emailing a code, or using an authentication app to confirm the login. Biometrics are also becoming more popular as an easy but secure way to replace the manual password input part.

For eCommerce apps, encrypting any data transfer especially in the purchase process is a necessity. As a minimum a secure SSL authentication between the device and the back-end server should be used.

Using outdated third-party plug-ins for development is also a big no-no, as they can contain vulnerabilities used by hackers to get in through a backdoor. Reputable agencies would never consider using these plug-ins, but shoddy overnight agencies wouldn’t bat an eye at the practice. Remember that when you look at cost comparisons. You often get what you pay for.

Quality assurance with thorough testing

The purpose of quality assurance (QA) is to avoid a sluggish app with bugs, UI/UX mistakes, or other errors that will make users abandon the app rapidly.

The app store is a competitive place, so your app needs to present itself at its best. A good company knows this and will stress test it against a variety of devices, orientations and user scenarios.

The QA team is your advocate for a flawless app. They should be involved throughout the entire process, so they can work in tandem with the developers to eliminate any bugs right away.

Good quality assurance should not be underestimated, as nothing will make users uninstall an app faster than sporadic bugs.

Help with app submission to the app stores

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you don’t have experience launching an app to the app store. Working with the right company makes sure you never will have to gain that experience.

Make sure your next app development company will offer to help launch your app to the app stores. It’s really a shame to get a brand spanking new app and not be able to get it on the app store or not display it at its best.

The most popular app stores are Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iOS. They each have specific requirements to the size of the imagery, icon, video previews, word count of headlines, sub-headlines, content, teasers etc.

As there is heavy competition in the app store, it’s critical that your app presents itself at its absolutely best. Potential users should immediately be attracted to your visual and copy and since you have very little time to do it, it has to be perfect.

By default, all our clients are offered to let us help them get the app to the app store in a way that is sure to impress. We don’t just upload the app with standard content, but use sophisticated App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques to help put your app to the top of the rankings in the app store.

The benefit of well-executed ASO is that the app gets the potential to be seen by millions of users every day. It’s completely free exposure that will minimize cost on otherwise expensive marketing.

App Store Launch
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR APP

Do you want an app and have questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today for a talk.

CONTACT A FRIENDLY TEAM MEMBER

Should you go with the cheapest mobile app firm?

It’s certainly tempting to choose the cheapest provider and hope they are the right fit, because we all like to save on cost. But the likelihood of the cheapest estimate ending up being the cheapest offer is close to zero.

If you want to outsource, you have some really cheap options.

In Asia the hourly rate is $20-$45, in Eastern Europe it’s $30-$65, in Africa it’s $25-$35.

Compare that to North America’s rates at $100-$200, why wouldn’t you go with one of the cheaper options?

Ask yourself if you want a great app or a cheap app?

The risks of ending up with an unusable app that you can’t launch or are ridden with bugs is incredibly high when you use low-cost labor. And you’ll probably lose all your hair during the development process as you’ll soon find out that over-promised and under-delivered goes hand in hand in the cheaper regions.

With less accountability comes less responsibility. A business based half-around the world will not feel the same commitment to your project. It’s common practice for especially the Asian and African region to bid low to get a project for their in-house team and then either raise the price during development, or not finish the project satisfactory or at all.

After all, you can’t really do anything legally if the company doesn’t live up to their part of the deal and they know that. What it means for your budget is that you’ll have to pay a second time for your app to be developed.

Picking an agency with a U.S. address will give you the peace of mind of being legally bound by the contract you both sign, and a U.S. agency is more likely to deliver a constant workflow, an accurate scope, great customer services, skilled development team, and overall quality laden app.

If you do want to keep things domestic, pay attention to a very common practice for app companies based in India. They will usually display a U.S. address on their website, so it seems like they are U.S. based while they are actually an Indian company. If they have an Indian address listed below the U.S. address, it’s a good indicator of them being based in India.

Realistic Bid vs Lowest Bid Result

Fees and payment terms

Payment terms differ between app developers. Freelancers and agencies all have their own preferred payment terms.

With freelancers you are sometimes able to pay per hour instead of receiving a project price, whereas with mobile app agencies it’s common practice to either give a fixed project price for the entire project or to split the app up in modules where you pay for each module completed.

It’s typical for agencies to require a down payment before starting on a project. The percentage of the project price varies and is often higher if you are a new client with no prior work relationship.

As the app development project progresses, you can expect to pay further percentages (15-20%) of the project price at agreed upon milestones.

All this will (or should!) be clearly written into the contract before you start working together.

Services after the app has been uploaded to the app store

You’ve probably seen it before. Regular updates announced on your phone for apps you are already using. Updates are sometimes expansions on features, and more commonly bug fix maintenance of the app.

It’s very important to keep maintenance going on the app after it has been released for continued user satisfaction and to minimize risk of user abandonment.

Bug fixes after the fact the app has been launched doesn’t mean your app wasn’t developed correctly. Think of it like a house. You need to keep maintaining it to keep it up to shape.

Additionally, new features are introduced by device manufacturers, which can be used to improve your app if you decide to implement them.

It’s recommended to work with a reliable company to secure ongoing support for your app after it has been launched.

Post launch service

Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed reading about the app development process.

Apps are a lucrative market and an exciting one to be in. The number of app users in the world keeps breaking new records year after year, so your potential audience just keeps on growing.

Working with a trusted agency can make the difference between success or failure, so make sure you make the right decision.

Our basis for writing this article is that we are an app development agency.

Our U.S. based company has been building apps for a long time and have extensive experience in building the highest-quality apps you will find. We put effort into apps that run smoothly and amaze both our clients and their app users.

Based on customer satisfaction, we only use senior developers on our projects. It guarantees better efficiency, and apps get to market quicker.

We provide effective solutions for every app project by assigning a highly customized team based exactly on our clients needs. That means our clients don’t pay for resources they don’t need, passing on significant cost-savings our competitors can’t match.

We’d love to chat with you about your next project, so give us a call at 407.476.1950 or use our email form.

We are an mobile app development agency and can help with your Android / iOS app.
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR APP

Do you want an app and have questions? We can help!

Get in touch with us today for a talk.

CONTACT A FRIENDLY TEAM MEMBER

FAQ

To make an informed decision, you have to know what to look for.

In short, keep these 5 essential points in mind:

  1. Look for a company with an impressive website, it shows professionalism and attention to detail, which will likely carry through to your app.
  2. Check their case study examples. Do they demonstrate how they got to the end result and does it look great?
  3. Are they capable of delivering apps for different platforms?
  4. Make sure their design is impressive. They are going to design what your users will be looking at, so they need to show they have the capabilities.
  5. Don’t choose a company based on cost. It can end up being more expensive once your app is done – if it ever is completed.

For more information about what to look for, our article above includes great tips.

Your first step when you’re searching for “how to find an app developer” is to make a short-list of reliable companies.

Check out each business by looking at online reviews, past client examples, expertise areas, and where they are located (domestic or abroad).

Give the companies you are thinking of awarding your business a call to get a feel for if you are compatible. If you like them, tell them about your project, request an estimate and pick your favorite.

The cost to build an iOS app varies according to complexity and how rich the feature set has to be. To get an accurate amount for your project, you’re welcome to contact us.

An average app takes 6 months to complete, with simpler apps closer to 3 months and complex apps 9 months or more.

The domestic industry average rate is $150 – $200 / hr. Note that these are industry averages and that we at Inspire Visual build highly customized teams based using in-house and network resources, so we are able to offer more efficient and lower cost than our competitors. We do this without sacrificing quality by using only senior developers. We pay our senior resources more than junior resources, but our experience is that the development time is less, with less bugs to fix by the QA team, and it makes for a superior app result.

Reputable agencies should possess the ability of good design skills, be able to support a wide range of platforms and devices, stay up to date on the latest technology features available, knowledgeable about front- and back-end development, and provide friendly customer support preferably with one point of contact throughout the entire project for easy communication.

Cross-platform or hybrid apps are a great cost-saver if you want to launch on Android and iOS at the same time. Native apps are preferable in some aspects though.

With native development it’s possible to take full advantage of all the hardware features of the device. Due to tight security from Apple and Google it’s not possible to access all features with cross-platform development. A native environment will allow faster access to the camera, RFID, GPS, microphone etc. and create a quick responding app and better user experience.

Share This Story


Inspire Visual publishes new articles with information about upcoming trends, technologies and other relevant news. Why not sign up for our blog? We don’t send email to our subscribers more than a few times a month, and we’ll never share your email address or use it for other purposes.
That’s a promise.


About Inspire Visual
At Inspire Visual, we believe that compelling design, functionality and content help drive effective results. That’s why we work hard to provide innovative, visually inspiring and functionally sound solutions to address your marketing challenges and extend your brand’s reach.

We offer decades of experience helping brands worldwide with websites, mobile app development, email marketing, direct mail campaigns, brand identity design, UI/UX, graphic design, print design, tradeshow design and more. We feel privileged to be allowed into our clients’ businesses, and we strive to provide personal service and close collaboration throughout your project.

Call 407.476.1950 or email [email protected] to contact us, so we can meet you, learn more about your business and answer any questions you have. We’d love to connect with you!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

  • How to Create a Restaurant Delivery App Like DoorDash, Uber Eats or Grubhub

How to Create a Restaurant Delivery App like DoorDash, Uber Eats or Grubhub?

Android App Development, iOS Development, Mobile App Development|

The online food delivery market is thriving and the popularity of using restaurant delivery apps keeps growing. Today, at-home restaurant ordering already accounts for 12 billion U.S. dollars spread across 50 million hungry app users. Restaurant owners are flocking to stick with the times and offer the food online. For good reason, the mobile app food delivery market is experiencing rapid growth and showing no signs of slowing down. The best time to get started was yesterday, the second-best time is today.

  • App Owners take note of iOS 16 feature list to add to your app.

The New iOS 16 Features for App Owners and Users

Augmented Reality, iOS Development, Mobile App Development|

The latest iOS 16 packs a slew of new features that app owners want to pack into their offerings to stay on the competitive edge. Notably fitness and health-related mHealth apps should take note as there are some major health tracking options added to the smartphone, smartwatch and tablet devices. Apps targeting the navigational/car segment, streaming entertainment and AR/VR apps are also up for some great opportunities to transform their apps to meet the demands of the next generation.

Leave A Comment