Busted! 16 Myths About Mobile App Development

By | December 1, 2014
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The popularity of mobile apps has gone up by leaps and bounds in the recent past. As the potential profitability (for developers) and benefits (for end-users) of apps have increased, several myths about them have also surfaced. We have here busted some of these myths.

 

The progress of mobile technology over the last half a decade or so has been nothing short of remarkable. The total number of app downloads from the Apple Store has gone beyond 75 billion, and the worldwide mobile app industry has hit the $25 billion mark (a rise of over 60% compared to last year) earlier in 2014. As app development companies have started sprouting in cities all across the globe, several myths and misconceptions about this line of business have also started doing the rounds. In the following piece, we will be debunking some of these myths:

 

Mobile Apps Create Their Own Demand

 

Let’s just say it’s not easy as that. If you create an Android or iPhone application, there is no guarantee that hefty revenues will start flowing from it. Both Google Play Store and Apple iTunes have more than 1.3 million apps each, and your promotional campaigns have to be robust enough – to make your products stand out in the competition. It would be too naive to expect that people will rush to get every new app that is launched at the stores.

 

Mobile App Developers Need To Know Every Programming Language

 

Greater programming knowledge is always good for developers, but it’s far from true that they need to know every coding technique that exists. For iOS app developers, in-depth knowledge of Objective-C and Swift is necessary, while Android developers need to be really proficient in Java. Having said that, most mobile app agencies prefer to hire developers with knowledge of around 8-10 languages, for creating enterprise apps.

 

App Ideas Have To Be As Unique As Possible

 

This is a tricky one. Run-of-the-mill ideas for apps are hardly of any worth, even if the technological expertise at your disposal is of the highest order. However, you should not strive to think up ideas that are too unique, bordering on weird. If no one has ever thought up the idea you intend to work on – chances are high that your target buyers won’t get the point of the app either. Your focus has to be on IMPROVING the type of apps already present, and not on making a breakthrough.

 

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Is Too Difficult

 

Far from it. Most leading mobile app companies go for the ‘configure once, run anywhere’ coding method – which does away with the need for developing separate versions of applications for each device. You will be wasting time, money and of course, a whole lot of extra man-hours – if you plan to develop customized app versions for every platform (iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc.) separately. All that is required is a proper mobility platform.

 

Native Apps Are The Way To Go, Since Making Them Is Easier

 

In the professional world of mobile technology, not having an integrated mobile app development strategy is akin to inviting technical issues in future. Using readymade manufacturer SDKs might seem more convenient to start with – but the absence of app analytics, management and back-end support will come back to haunt you later on. In fact, opting for native apps only can pose problems during the testing phase as well.

 

Mobile Apps Are Invariably Very Cheap

 

Many smartphone-owners have this misconception. Their rationale is simple (and thoroughly wrong!) enough – mobile applications are smaller in size than web applications, and hence, the former should cost less. This is, unfortunately, not true. Significant costs have to be incurred to hire the services of a mobile app agency, and get an application developed. The only things that is generally available for free are the app quotes.

 

It Takes Several Months To Create A Mobile App

 

If this were to be true, hardly any corporate firm would have been able to use dedicated apps for promotional purposes. Thanks to reusability of codes, anything between 6-8 weeks is enough for making a relatively straightforward Android or iPhone app (the time span can get extended by a week or so for complex apps). It’s all about backend integration and the efficiency/reliability of developers. If they are good at their job, there is no question of waiting half a year for an app!

 

Funds Are The First Thing Startup Companies Should Think About

 

Think about it like this – unless your app ideas are viable enough, or if you do not have capble app developers/graphic designers at your disposal, why would anyone invest in your company? A smart mobile app entrepreneur always emphasizes on coming up with apps that would bring in customers. This initial success would get venture capitalists interested, and from there on, funding won’t be a problem. If Steve Jobs had waited to become rich, Apple Inc. would have remained a pipe dream till now.

 

Making Changes To App Codes Is Not Possible

 

Nearly all sophisticated mobile app development frameworks offer real-time preview and editing options to developers (think SpriteKit or Cocoa Touch). Even experienced programmers can make errors while coding for an app – and rectifying these is extremely easy. You can tweak the code snippets as much as you want, without having to recode the entire program. Creating an app can be a real exciting assignment indeed.

 

Only The Best-Looking Apps Get Featured At Stores

 

Interesting UI/UX designs and an overall ‘nice’ appearance is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for a successful app. Focusing solely on the mobile app designing aspects (in-app navigation, color schemes, splash screen, etc.) and neglecting the functionality aspect in the process would be a grave folly. Few people would be interested in downloading a beautiful app that is not of much practical use. Even those who do would also uninstall it soon enough.

 

Having An App Development Team Is Necessary

 

Preferable, yes. Necessary, not quite. There are plenty of freelance mobile app developers plying their trade across the world – most of them having large clientele. However, it is true that many corporate clients prefer hiring the services of a full-fledged app development team. Presence of a team ensures that unforeseen delays would not crop up during the app development stage. Freelancers cannot offer this assurance.

 

Making An App Is A One-Shot Game

 

Well, it’s not. After your app has been approved and released at app stores, you have to keep track of download figures, user feedback, plan future upgrades, and perform other related tasks – on an ongoing basis. Except when working for a third-party client, a mobile app developer has to think as the ‘owner’ of the application as well. And of course, the total ownership costs are more than the one-time app development expenses.

 

Business Apps Tend To Slow Down Devices

 

It has been projected that by the end of 2017, the monthly data usage on 4G smartphones and tablets would both be well in excess of 5000 MB. That, in turn, gives rise to the suspicion that installing multiple apps (especially enterprise apps) would result in too much of mobile bandwidth consumption. However, business applications need not always be heavy. In fact, contemporary app developers make it a point to create apps that do not hamper the performance of devices in any way.

 

No Technological Expertise = Cannot Create Apps

 

Technology, programming knowledge, coding expertise – call it what you will – is only a medium for mobile app development. The focal point is always the potential and viability of your app idea. Provided that you have done your research well and have brainstormed a good app idea, you can always hire a company to convert it into an app. Anyone can make an app – technology need not be a barrier for this. After all, there are thousands of mobile app companies to take care of that.

 

Cross-Platform Apps Often Compromise On Functionality

 

At a time when developers are increasingly blending in native and hybrid app development techniques, believing this myth would be downright silly. Yes, the opportunities and challenges of developing for the Android platform differ from those on the iOS platform – but making customized multi-platform, fully functional apps is far from impossible. Cross-platform mobile app development has evolved a great deal over the last couple of years.

 

Paid Promotions Are An Absolute Must

 

Once again, paid mobile app marketing campaigns can be great – but they are certainly not the only form of promotions mobile companies are concerned about. The prime emphasis has to be on meeting the expectations (and delivering ‘wow-factors’) of the early adopters of a mobile application. This, over time, leads to positive word-of-mouth publicity – which keeps pushing up app download figures (or, if your app has a glitch, it is revealed soon). There are many app review channels on Facebook and other social media channels, where you can promote your app for free. There are many online portals as well, where apps can be submitted for appraisals.

Yet another point that clients often overlook is the importance of intellectual property rights of mobile apps. If the legal owner is not on his/her guard, a shady company can bypass the need for signing non-competing agreements – and that can lead to hassles in future. Mobile app development is arguably the most booming business in the tech domain – and it’s high time the above myths are dispelled.

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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