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Pitfalls of Mobile App Development You Should Know About

  • Rating — 5 (1 vote)
  • by Anna - Technology Author and Strategist
  • Updated on June 19, 2020
  • Read —
    10-11 minutes

Mobile development is a huge trend right now. After all, tablets and smartphones are always at users’ hands and building a mobile app is the easiest way to reach out to a big audience, keep it engaged or offer it a full range of services. Mobile applications are must-haves for every business and no wonder that so many business owners seriously consider digitalization. 

It seems like all you need is to have a great idea in mind, enough money in your pocket and a reliable team of tech takes to create a solution in no time. However, in reality mobile development turns out to be more complicated than you’ve imagined. 

First of all it consists of numerous processes, and not even one of them can be skipped. It all starts with the discovery phase when you and your development team begin shaping your idea and formulating a detailed description of your future project. The discovery phase is the key to a successful mobile application and if you skip it you may end up with the incorrectly selected technology stack and unclear list of requirements. So as a result you’ll have budget holes and spend some additional time and costs on fixing everything that went wrong. So we would highly recommend paying special attention to the discovery phase and in such a way avoid some additional development pitfalls influencing the quality of your solution. 

When you are finished with all your research and discovery steps, you are definitely ready to initiate the development process. And that is exactly when you’ll face a number of challenges that will not always be depending on the tech takes. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic of mobile development pitfalls and discover whether you should be afraid of facing them or if they are just a normal part of the development process. 

Have a project in mind but need help with the discovery phase?

#1 Specifications and wireframes 

Of course when you come to the developers with your idea you have some expectations in your head. You may want your app to look a certain way, to have a particular feature set or include a monetization method that you find the most convenient and reasonable for your business. 

However, when it comes to mobile development you should not forget that your ready solution should be accepted by the App Store or Google Play. And these stores have some restrictions that may prevent your app from being accepted. So while creating the list of features for your app you need to remember about the stores policies and restrictions. The App Store has more restrictions than Google Play and you should be very careful about must-have features without which your app will simply not get approved and published. 

For example App Store pays special attention to apps ability to work on all latest systems (meaning both the hardware and software). So it is important to take this into account and build and design your solution in such a way so it can run smoothly and look good on the screen of iPhone 8 as well as on Super Retina display of iPhone X and 11. Apple also doesn’t like applications that tend to ask users to disable some core system features or apps that use the device resources inefficiently (i.e. make users device experience heating or cause battery draining). 

There are even strict development guidelines set by both the App Store and Google Play. There rules regarding app safety, performance, design, payment methods and privacy. All professional development companies know firsthand about all those requirements and guidelines and that is why you need to trust their opinion when you discuss your application features and design.

Keep in mind that if you want to add some features that can contradict any of the store’s rules, the development team will likely refuse to implement them and offer you another great feature set on the stage of writing specifications. Here at GBKSOFT we even have professional Business Analysts who help our clients with specification and correct selection of features that will meet the client’s particular business needs and requirements and allow us to easily submit your app to the App Markets in the end. 

Need consultation with professional Business Analyst regarding your future mobile application?

#2 Pitfalls of Designing stage 

When working upon your project with the professional designers, you can be sure that they will select the most suitable design able to highlight your application uniqueness. The design is not only about beautiful UI it is also about intuitive and efficient UX. Therefore the designers will take care about navigation, placement of buttons and menu sections, etc. They will also select the most complimentary color scheme and logo. 

However, the challenges are inevitable even on this stage especially if you build an app for Android users. Why? Simply because there are way too many Android devices with different screen types and sizes and the initial design concept may look differently on them. And that is a serious designing pitfall created by the diversity of Android devices (let’s not forget about all those tablets present on the market). Speaking about iOS devices, it is easier to create the design for them because the variety of devices is smaller. 

So what to do in a situation where there are a lot of devices with different screens and you want your app to look good on them? Just focus on the most widespread Android smartphones and tablets models and let your designer create UI and UX for them. And be prepared that designing an app for Android devices may take much longer than designing an app for iOS. However, Android allows to make some design choices that are impossible to make on iOS. 

Speaking about design challenges it is also necessary to mention slicing. While for web projects a separate HTML\CSS coder is used for slicing, in mobile projects it is done by developers right before the implementation of the functionality. So this means that sometimes even a slightest change in the app design added after the slicing is completed can lead to redoing the whole screen. This takes an additional time and may complicate the app development. 

#3 Development and testing peculiarities

Apart from some technical difficulties any developer faces while building an app, there can appear some other pitfalls on different development stages. So let’s take a quick look at them together so that you can be prepared. 

We have already mentioned that  during specifications creation you need to remember about the App Store and Google Play policies, guidelines and restrictions. But what is more important, the stores’ policy can change after you’ve initiated app development and this will mean that even more changes will be required. For example a new version of an operating system (iOS or Android) may be presented while your app is still in development. So your team will have to take this into account and adapt your app to new requirements.  

Also you may face some development limitations if you use a ready-made solution for the backend (for example, Firebase). With Firebase it is harder to perform microservice integrations, there can be some inconsistencies due to offline operations support, there may also be issues with data migration, etc. All this may prolong the development of your application.

Now as to the testing, it also has some peculiarities that can influence your app development especially if you are dealing with Android. As we have already pointed, there is a huge variety of Android devices on the market and they can have some custom settings making your app work differently. From the developers’ side it is impossible to cover all existing devices and this is a big bottleneck of the testing process. Thus, you need to be ready that sometimes bugs will appear. And this can happen not because the code is bad or the developers did a bad job, but rather because they did not have a chance to see the app’s behaviour on a certain device.  It’s not a catastrophe and it can be fixed by tech takes. 

Are you still looking for a reliable team of developers to turn your idea into a mobile app?

#4 Release nuances 

When your app is ready the only thing that is left to do is to submit it to the App Store or Google Play. And even this step is not as easy as it sounds. The submission can be a real headache if you start doing everything by yourself. Here is what steps you will have to accomplish:

  1. Register the developer account in the App Store or Google Play and provide the developers team with the access to it. 
  2. Prepare all necessary materials requested by stores in order to place your app. For example, the App Store will ask you for a unique app name, screenshots, app description, keywords, support and marketing URLs, test account for reviewing team, contact information, etc. Google Play will require the same things and also full description, content rating, well defined Privacy Policy, icons and graphics of a certain size. So as you understand it may take a while to complete this step and your app placement now will depend on the stores decision. 
  3. Wait till the end of the review period. On average it may take up to 7 business days and unfortunately the developers team can’t speed this up. Moreover, the App Store and Google Play policies may change quite often, so your app may be rejected at first and you’ll need to make some changes in accordance with the stores recommendations. So if you plan a release date, you need to remember about the risk of its delay and publish the app at least 2 weeks in advance. 
  4. Run marketing campaign after the app submission. Your solution may be perfect and have all essential features the users can only dream about, but still it will not get a large audience at once. Therefore you will need some more effort, time and money on promoting your solution and attracting users. 
  5. Deal with negative reviews. Yes, your application may have them after the release. It is not always about the bugs, the users might just don’t like something in your app. You need to remember that it’s okay, usually people write negative reviews more often than positive ones. If a user likes the app he will just use it without writing a review. If you want to have all bugs fixed quickly and implement the changes requested by your users, it’s better to have a developers team that will continue working on your app improvements. That is why we would recommend you consider discussing maintenance options with your team. 
Yes, unfortunately the pitfalls inevitably appear on various development stages. And not all of them depend on the team you are working with. However, the team can help you to deal with all those pitfalls and end up releasing a well functioning app.
Developers team tend to have more overall experience when it comes to app development and release. They know how to handle all development pitfalls because they've released a lot of projects. They are aware of all current devlopment trends and they always follow all required guidelines to let your app be accepted by stores. The freelancers may just not have such versatile expertise and knowledge.
Technically, you can do this. But we would recommend you delegating this task to your developers team. Submitting an app can be quite time consuming and sometimes stores reject it if you wrote something wrong in the description, or added a screenshot of incorrect size. So to make your app published it is better to let professionals handle the submitting procedure.

To sum it up 

Mobile app development can really provide new growth opportunities for your business but initiating it you should understand that it will not be a very fast and easy process. You will definitely face some challenges during the development and even when your app is released and it is absolutely normal. 

By knowing what to expect from each development stage you can be better prepared and resolve issues thoughtfully. The only thing that really matters is selection of the most experienced and reliable team able to take good care of your idea and make it a perfect solution accepted by mobile stores. 

Need a professional advice regarding your mobile app development? We can help you in no time!

Anna - Technology Author and Strategist I am mainly focused on enterprise mobility (Apple, Android), and digital transformation, highly curious about all emerging tech trends, always pay close attention to crucial details and try to find answers to a lot of questions before writing about something.
Lena Lena is an outgoing and friendly project manager with experience in delivering successful projects. She oversees each step with the software developers and ensures that your idea is designed and coded the way you envision it to be.

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