Mobile App Development - Step by Step Guide for 2024

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The custom mobile app development industry is going through a transformative phase. People are now able to run mobile applications on multiple platforms thanks to advancements in microprocessing technology. For example, apps built for mobile devices can now be seamlessly run on desktops as well. Moreover, mobile apps built with Flutter or React Native can work on Android Phones, iPhones, Macs, as well as PCs. But before we get into details, let’s dig into the mobile app usage statistics to understand how users are spending their time using mobile phones, and what are the opportunities in building your own mobile application.


Mobile App Development Statistics 2024

According to Exploding Topics, almost 90% of all cellular phones worldwide are smartphones. Currently, the majority of the world’s population owns one. There are over 6.5 billion smartphones in the world – and that number is predicted to grow.

Check out the below table of forecasted data for smartphones between 2021 and 2027.

Year Number of Smartphones Number of Mobile Devices Proportion of Smartphones
2021 6.37 billion 14.91 billion 42.7%
2022 6.57 billion* 15.96 billion* 41.17%
2023 6.84 billion* 16.8 billion* 40.71%
2024 7.07 billion* 17.72 billion* 39.9%
2025 7.30 billion* 18.22 billion* 40.07%
2026 7.51 billion*
2027 7.69 billion*


Source: Ericsson, The Radicati Group

iOS and Android are the two major mobile operating systems (OS) used in smartphones. iOS is Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system built specifically for iPhones. Android, however, runs on mobile devices manufactured by various OEMs, including Google.

Smartphone OS Market Share
Sources: IDC, StatCounter

As of December 2023:

  • The Market share for Android is 70.16%
  • The market share of iOS is 29.14%
  • The market share of Samsung’s OS is 0.38%
  • The KaiOS OS has a market share of 0.12%
  • The market share of Windows OS is 0.02%
  • The Nokia Unknown OS has a market share of 0.01%
  • The Linux OS market share is 0.01%


The US market, however, is dominated by iOS with 55.85% market share. Whereas, the market share of Android is 41.89%.

Sources: IDC, StatCounter

For anyone who is considering developing a mobile app, the statistics are motivating. But before we jump to any conclusions, let’s define exactly what custom mobile app development is, its types, processes, and everything else there is to know about it.


What is Mobile App Development?

Mobile app development is a process for building mobile applications that run on mobile devices. These applications can either be pre-installed or downloaded and installed by the user later. They use the network capabilities of the device to work computing resources remotely.  Hence, the mobile app development process requires creating software that can be installed on the device, and enabling backend services for data access through APIs, and testing the application on target devices.

To develop scalable mobile apps, you also need to consider screen sizes, hardware requirements, and many other aspects of the app development process. With an increasing number of jobs in the mobile app development industry, it is essential that the process is well defined and understood by entrepreneurs, startups, and especially developers.


7 Best Mobile App Development Platforms

Businesses must stay updated with the latest trends and advancements as mobile apps have transformed how they operate.

The above statistics emphasize the importance of choosing the best mobile app development platform to create cutting-edge mobile apps, ensuring your business’s success. As technology advances, mobile application development platforms are becoming popular for developers and non-developers to build apps. With these platforms, anyone can create unique, user-friendly apps that track fitness goals, order food, and play games.

Let’s explore the five leading mobile application development platforms that continue to shape the industry.

1. Flutter

Developers can create native Android and iOS apps with a single codebase. This platform delivers reliable and unparalleled user interface (UI) frameworks tailored to smartphones, enabling the development of fast and visually appealing apps. In terms of performance, this cross-platform SDK rivals native applications thanks to its powerful features. Google’s Flutter framework includes widgets, API integrations, debugging tools, and a rendering engine. Using it, creators can deploy expertly designed mobile apps.

Key features of Flutter:

  • Create visually appealing UIs by using prebuilt components.
  • Easy integration with third-party libraries and APIs.
  • Its hot reloading features, customizable widgets, and single code base reduce development time.
  • Provides guidelines for designing user-friendly mobile applications.

2. Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform app development platform acquired by Microsoft in 2016 that allows developers to build native apps for IOS, Android, and Windows using C#. Today, Xamarin is considered one of the most popular platforms for developing mobile applications, including The Word Bank, Alaska Airlines, and the American Cancer Society.

With Xamarin, users have access to a powerful development ecosystem, including cloud-based services like Visual Studio and Azure and the .NET framework. With Xamarin, you can build high-performance cross-platform mobile apps.

Key features of Xamarin:

  • Build apps that work on iOS, Windows, and Android devices using a single codebase.
  • Provide developers with the ability to share up to 90% of their code between platforms.
  • Due to native APIs and languages, native apps run faster and more efficiently.
  • Assist customers with forums and social media while creating reusable libraries and components.
    Utilize Microsoft’s cloud services, such as push notifications and database management.

3. React Native

With React Native, developers can create native Android, iOS, and web apps using an open-source, accessible platform. It utilizes JavaScript and React libraries to build, test, and deploy the app. Apps can be developed and deployed quickly.

The syntax of React Native is the same as CSS, but it does not use HTML or CSS. JavaScript thread’s messages are used to take advantage of native views. Skype, Airbnb, Amazon Prime, and others use React Native to develop their applications.

Key features of React Native:

  • Provides smooth user experience.
  • Components can be reused and easy third-party integration.
  • For front-end applications, component-based GUIs can be created.
  • All platforms can use a single codebase to create multiple functionalities.
  • Provides backend services for developing applications.

4. Sencha

Sencha is a JavaScript framework that enables the development of data-intensive, cross-platform web and mobile applications. It’s already exceedingly popular due to its powerful data pack and rich user interface resources (over 115 components), ideal for data-intensive cross-platform apps. Its features include prebuilt UI components and integration with popular backend services. In addition to Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows, Kindle, and Tizen, the app is written in HTML5 and can be installed on a variety of operating systems.

Key features of Sencha:

  • Offers UI component library with many options
  • Backend integration with popular services
  • Has a visual app builder
  • Provides data-driven application support

5. Android Studio

Google’s Android Studio is the official IDE for developing Android apps. It simplifies coding, debugging, and testing for developers. It supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Kotlin, Swift, and C++. It is continuously updated by Google to meet the latest trends and requirements of developers, as well as allowing them to modify it according to their own preferences. In case you get stuck, there is a large community of Android developers you can turn to for help.

Key features of Android Studio:

  • Supports both wired and wireless connections to physical devices with virtual emulators.
  • Uses the powerful Gradle build system.
  • Integrates seamlessly with Google Play services.
  • Provides Git functionality directly within the IDE.
  • Offers a variety of tools and frameworks for testing apps efficiently.

6. Cordova

A free open-source framework called Cordova is one of the best options for mobile application development if you are looking for different platforms to accommodate your future expansion needs. Using CSS3, HTML5, and Javascript, you can create a simple mobile app and enhance its development with various integrated libraries. Mobile phone users can also extend the functionality of the app with the plugin architecture.

Key features of Cordova (Formerly Adobe Phone Gap)

  • Mobile applications and management tools are developed using a single codebase.
  • The development process is very smooth.
  • Various plugins can be built and installed using the Cordova Command Line Interface.
  • As part of Cordova, developers can implement their own logic on a variety of core components.

7. Ionic

Ionic is a cross-platform, open-source app development platform that uses Apache Cordova and Angular. Using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, developers can build robust and high-featured native apps for Android and iOS. Initially introduced in 2013, Ionic gradually gained popularity among developers due to its ease of use and flexibility.

Businesses looking for mobile apps that work seamlessly across different platforms and provide an excellent user experience will find Ionic an excellent choice because of its native-like user experience, prebuilt UI components, and fast development time.

Key features of Ionic:

  • Because it uses existing technologies, it is easy to use.
  • A variety of components can be integrated to improve the user interface, such as inputs, easy navigation, filters, views, etc.
  • Provides consistent and flexible user interfaces.
  • Using the Ionic Command Line Interface, you can build, run, and emulate apps.


Types of Mobile Apps Based on Technology

You can approach mobile app development in four different ways:

  1. Build Native Mobile Applications
  2. Build Cross-Platform Native Mobile Applications
  3. Build Hybrid Mobile Applications
  4. Build Progressive Web Applications


There are advantages and disadvantages to building an application, no matter which approach you choose. By choosing an approach that matches your strategy, you can achieve the desired user experience, avail computing resources, and build native features required for your application.


Comparison of Different Types of Mobile Apps


Native Apps Cross-Platform Apps Hybrid Apps Progressive web Apps
Native applications are built using the tools and SDKs offered by platform owners like Apple and Google. These apps run natively on the platform of your choice. Cross-platform mobile applications can be written on various programming languages and then compiled for each platform separately. Hybrid Applications are built using the latest web technologies like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and then bundled as mobile applications for the required platforms. Hybrid Apps are different from Cross-Platform Apps in the sense that they work using web containers using browser runtime. Progressive Web Apps don’t require native or cross-platform development. They skip the app store installations and also traditional app delivery channels. They work inside the browser, whether it be mobile or desktop. A link is added to the mobile in the form of an app icon. These are basically web applications that also run on mobile.
Native apps offer the best runtime performance. Single code base for multiple platforms. Codebase is shared between web and mobile apps. Apps run on the web, as well as mobile.
Directly use the platform’s data through platform-specific SDKs. A unified user experience can be offered even for different platforms. Web development tools can be used to build mobile applications. No need to install the app. Runs through a browser on URL using the network connection.
The cost of building and maintaining different codes for each platform is high. Since native libraries are not available, the dependency is on third-party open-source libraries. The performance is not native, as essentially, they are built using technologies for web development. Little or no support for native devices. Runs using browser’s capabilities.
Features have to be implemented differently based on the platform’s SDK tools. The code is not written natively. Thus, it has to be complied with and bridged. Which can be bugging. Little or no support for native devices. If the network connection is not available, interactivity is lost to a great extent.


Why Choose Native App Development?

Choosing native app development helps when you want to use native capabilities offered by the platform. Native apps can access the hardware capabilities of the devices like GPS, camera, microphone, which helps in quicker execution of features making it easier to build a rich user experience.Push notifications are much easier to implement on native development. For example, push notifications to go through iOS Server (APNS) and Google’s Cloud Messaging Platform. Native apps have fewer bugs, as the code is compiled in the native language.

Why Choose Cross-Platform App Development?

The market is divided about 50-50 between iOS and Android. Your potential customer could be on any of the platforms, and sometimes on both. Building separate apps for both platforms requires an adequate budget, and not all companies have that. Moreover, developing native platforms can make it harder to offer the same amount of speed and functionality required by your app.Choose cross-platform development if you wish to align the user experience across all the platforms; you wish to have one development team publishing for both the platforms; and you don’t have the budget and time to build and maintain two different apps separately.

Why Choose Progressive Web App Development?

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are written in traditional web languages like Javascript, HTML5, CSS, and such. These apps are only accessible through the browser of your device. So, choose to develop a PWA if your user will have uninterrupted access to network connectivity, and they can solve their issues through the browser itself, without requiring any native capabilities of the device like camera, machine learning module, GPS, gyroscope, and such.With that in mind, let’s understand the mobile app development process step by step and get to know everything you need to follow a systematic mobile app development process to build your next great app.


Mobile App Development Process

To build an application, you need a step-by-step process that can help you build mobile apps quickly. There are three important steps:

  1. Understand the requirement
  2. Develop the Product
  3. Test the product.


Build an App Development Strategy

The first step in the mobile app development process is to create a strategy by defining why? What is the objective of your app? How will your mobile app solve an industry problem? What is your business model? How much are you ready to invest in building this app? What is your revenue model? How will you market your app, and to who? Answering these questions will give you a fair idea of how you can move forward with your mobile app development process.

You can start by defining the user persona. For example, suppose you are planning to build an eCommerce app. In that case, you will define your user persona by understanding your user’s age, their mobile usage habits, their preference, and specifically answering why and how they will find your mobile app users. Based on this, you can create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with the help of a custom mobile app development company


  Further Reading → How much does it cost to build an app?


To build an effective strategy, you will have to do some of the following things:


Brainstorm your app idea

Building a mobile app starts with an app idea. However, you require an extensive amount of brainstorming to develop an ultimate list of features you can offer your customers. You can start with the essential elements and note down other lesser crucial features as they are revealed to you. Who knows, you might surprise yourself with ideas you never knew you could implement. Sit together with your team, and ask them for all the ideas they can come up with.


Mobile app development idea


Market Research

Before you start, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. How will your customers use the application?
  3. Are there any better alternatives already available?
  4. What will your application do that other applications won’t?
  5. What business model are your customers following?
  6. What language, frameworks, and technologies will you use?
  7. How many uses are paying for your type of mobile application?
  8. What is your budget?
  9. How long will it take to build your application?


Define your Minimum Viable Product

Once you are clear about all the functionalities you can include, the functionalities your users will like to use from the start, you define what your minimum viable product would look like. A minimum viable product is the version of your app that has enough features to put it in front of your early customers so that you can receive feedback on product features and further development.

You build a minimum viable product for the following reasons:

  1. Test the product market using minimum resources
  2. Get investors to see the vision behind your app
  3. Quickly learn what works and what doesn’t
  4. Waste minimum engineering hours
  5. Get the product in front of early customers fast
  6. Use it as a base to build other products
  7. Test developer’s ability to build and scale product


Key elements of a minimum viable product (MVP)

  1. Functionality – offer clear value to the users
  2. Design-build minimal but highest quality standard design
  3. Reliability – make the production quality top notch
  4. Usability – make the user experience intuitive and refined


  Read Further → How much does an MVP App Cost in 2024?

With a clear strategy in mind, you will be able to focus on your app development idea. Building a mobile app development strategy will help you analyze and plan your progress.


Analyse and Plan your App Development

The strategy is the starting point of all project development. Now, once you have a strategy in hand, start turning those visions into achievable goals. Start the analysis and planning by clearly defining how you can use the functionalities to build use cases and meanwhile, create a list of functional requirements.

This will help you build a product roadmap. You will be able to convert that strategy into a step by step process that you can turn into priorities, and then group them into delivery milestones. You must also have your minimum viable product defined, which will help you cut down on costs, and prepare for the initial launch.

Different operating systems require different technology stacks. Choose your tech stack based on your requirements. Whether you are building a native mobile application, a cross-platform mobile app, or a hybrid application, you will need to make a list of technologies required, and start hiring developers with expertise in your chosen mode of mobile app development.

Plus, you will need to finalize a name for your mobile application. To find the perfect name, you might want to contemplate your application’s features, differentiate the name using wordplay, keep it short and easily memorable, searchable, and probably an action word. Many app developers also go with obvious names, and sometimes they differ by trying to connect with consumers’ opinions. You should also keep in mind the process of App Store Optimization, which is important if you want to be found by users searching for apps similar to yours.


Hire experienced app developer


Build UX/UI Design

How your mobile application looks and feels makes a great deal of impression on the minds of your users. Whether it be a full-fledged application of an MVP, you have to make sure that the design is top-notch and that it offers the highest level of user experience. Designing mobile apps requires an understanding of the two important concepts of design:  User experience and user interface.


What is User Experience Design?

User experience is what customers feel when they use your products. In our case, the design should be such that it creates a specific emotional response from the customer after using the app. User experiences include factors like design, accessibility, marketing, usability, system performance, ergonomics, HCI, and also utility. With an increasing number of companies focusing on user-centered design, creating an intuitive user experience for your mobile application is a no-brainer.


  Further Reading → Mobile User Experience Design


What is User Interface Design?

Designers make sure that the mobile application looks crips and pleasurable. User Interface Design is the process of making your app look perfect, following the latest design trends, so that it complements the user experience. Designers often use principles like the structure principle, the simplicity principle, the visibility principle, the feedback principle, the tolerance principle, the reuse principle, and more.


  Further Reading → Mobile App Design Trends


Mobile App Design Process

Designing is much more than learning how to use design software. You can learn to design your mobile application yourself or ask someone to help you. But above everything else, the design is about understanding the product inside out, and its capabilities, features, and functionalities. The design should always keep the end-user in mind. The design process we follow at OpenXcell is as follows.

  1. Building User Flow / Diagram for each screen
  2. Creating Wireframes
  3. Choosing Design patterns, palettes, and elements
  4. Creating mockups
  5. Creating an animated prototype and asking testable questions
  6. Give final touches to the mockup based on user feedback


  Further Reading → Simplified Mobile App Design Process



Most designers start by making rough sketches on paper. To simplify, wireframes are digital sketches, done using a wireframing tool, which you can also do using pen and paper. Wireframes are concepts, not finished designs. They simply help you understand the visual structure of your app’s features using low-fidelity mockups.


Mobile app wireframe


When you are designing wireframes, the focus has to be made on aesthetics and how the user will experience it. Color palettes and design elements are not required now. Wireframes are used to quickly understand what you want to be designed. It is important that you design that is specific to the product. No matter which device you are on, it should be intuitive and user-friendly.


  Further Reading → How to build good wireframes 


Style Guides

A style guide is a set of rules for the design. User interfaces can get tricky. Wireframes can be misunderstood. But if you have a style guide, your mobile app UI designer will understand what fonts have to be used, what color palette has been chosen, which icons are to be placed where, and many other important questions they might ask before designing.

Style guides create a base for the process of long-term evolution, switching design and development between parties, and developing for differences in the platform. It also helps in sharing topics. Some of the elements you can consider for mobile app style guides are as follows:

  1. Fonts
  2. Colors
  3. Layouts
  4. Graphics
  5. Components
  6. Menus and Bars
  7. Dialogs and Alerts


Eventually, you will move past the prototype phase, and build the final version of your mobile app development. These designs are called mockups, or high-fidelity designs. Mockups combine the wireframe and the style guide to build the final version, which can be sent for prototyping. You will expect further modifications in the structure, workflow, and even aesthetics at this stage to make it look and feel exactly like you want it to.

Some of the popular tools for building mockups are Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, and Adobe XD.


Wireframes are good. But you will need interactivity to test the features so that you can receive feedback. Prototyping is about turning low-fidelity wireframes into ready designs that can be shared with your teams, friends, and everyone who can use it to offer their quality suggestions and feedback.

Most teams use products like InvisionApp to prototype their app. However, some companies also use Xcode to prototype their apps directly into the development environment.

Prototyping is essential if you are looking to pitch your app to investors. You can include all the functionalities without going through development. For testers, it helps by offering a real feel for what it would be like to use the application.


  Further Reading → Mobile App Prototyping Guide


Begin App Development

There are three important aspects of app development:

  1. Technical architecture
  2. Technology stack
  3. Development milestones


Most mobile app development projects have three integral parts:

  1. Mobile Backend server technologies
  2. Application Programming Interface (APIs)
  3. Frontend development


What is Mobile App Backend Development?


Mobile App Backend Development


What your users will see is the front end. The development that is required from the side of the server is the backend. Mobile app backends are used to store, secure, and process data. It refers to the activities that will happen behind the scenes when a user is interacting with your mobile application. Developing a backend for your mobile is used for sending information for processing on the server. Signups, logins, messaging, storing data on the cloud, answering user queries, and such other things happen in the backend.

Backend development focuses on storing information in a remote database, scripting to add logic to the interactivity, and creating architecture that makes it quick and easy to sort through the information.

Applications like a calculator, camera, notes, compass, voice recorder, and such don’t require a backend development. They run on the mobile app without any network connectivity, or the requirement to store or retrieve data from a remote server. However, apps like Amazon, Netflix, and Uber can’t run without a connected backend.


  Further Reading → Everything you need to know about mobile app backend


Application Programming Interface (APIs) Development

Mobile apps have evolved into a state where they are constantly communicating with servers. Very few applications operate without connectivity, which means they use the backend, web service, or APIs. These APIs could be provided by companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, or others, or developed internally by the mobile app development teams.

Most of the mobile API Development is done using RestAPI, which is also one of the simplest choices for anyone building mobile apps. It helps users quickly interact and connect with a remote cloud data server. However, making requests through the network can create major problems if not done right. Some things to take care of when building mobile APIs are:


APIs Development


  1. Understand how web services work. There is a wide variety of APIs available, however, most of them are based on REST, which returns data in JSON format.
  2. Understand how HTTP protocols work. REST relies on HTTP protocols to handle data, so it is important to get familiar with the workings of HTTP URLs, the process of data transfer, and how it handles remote actions.
  3. It is also important to learn how REST maps URLs to make the required requests.


Should you buy or build APIs?

There are two ways to integrate APIs into your mobile application. You can either build it yourself or you can buy from an existing API provider.

Purchasing a ready API and integrating it is the easiest because it saves time and money in the sense that you don’t need a developer to understand and implement API integration for you. However, building your own API gives you much more freedom and allows you to include or exclude features as per your requirement.

Before assembling a team and building your own custom API, it is better to explore the available options. Instead of reinventing the wheel, simply use what is already available even if that comes at a cost of saving your time to help you reach the market faster.


Using Common Architecture

When and if you decide to build your own API, it is best to go with a common architecture. It offers a general baseline for development which most developers are used to developing. This speeds up your mobile API development process. There are four different types of common architecture, which include pragmatic REST, web services, event-driven, and hypermedia. For mobile app development, the most preferred common architectures are pragmatic REST and event-driven.


Documenting the Mobile API Development Process

Developing an API is easy. However, teams evolve, and there is always going to be someone new looking at your code. Having clear API process documentation can help you see the history, as well as the current state of API. This makes future updates easier. Another benefit of documenting your API development process is that it allows others to use your API. If you want other developers to use your API, you will need solid documentation to help you with the code.


Focusing on Security

Whether you use a readymade API or build your own, it is important that you keep the security measures in check. It is always an important component for developers. Moreover, it is crucial for mobile development. Developers have access control mechanisms, privacy control, and secret keys before invoking web-based APIs. There was a time when APIs had their own security. However, today, there are API standards like OAuth2, TLS, and Open ID to make API integration simpler.


authorization code flow


  Further Reading → API for Mobile Apps Guide


Mobile App Frontend Development

Mobile App Frontend is what your users will see. Mobile frontend development includes a mixed bag of technologies. Some applications require APIs and backends, while others only need to work only with local databases offered by the platform.

Almost all web programming languages can be used to build the backend of your mobile application. If you are building native applications, you can use technology-specific offerings. For example, iOS applications can be developed using Objective-C, Swift Programming Language, Flutter, or React Native. Android Applications can be developed using Java, Kotlin, Flutter, or React Native.

Every programming language offers its own unique capabilities with your desired platform. If you want to develop the best mobile app possible, you should hire professional custom mobile app development services that can help you choose the perfect programming language in order to leverage the right technologies.


  Further Reading → Mobile Frontend Development Guide


Testing the Developed App

After successfully developing an application, it is necessary that the quality of the application is ensured to be on-point. Quality assurance is a crucial phase in the mobile application development process as it determines the reliability, stability, and usability of the developed application. In order to ensure an all-inclusive testing process, there are a number of aspects that need to be addressed by following a complete testing cycle subjective to each application.

Testing can be broadly classified into two categories, manual testing, and automated testing. It depends on the type of application whether it needs manual testing or automated testing can give accurate results.

Any application must pass through a myriad of testing methods to come up with a perfect application. Some of the major testing methods that are a must-do for all the mobile applications are:


Functional Testing

With this testing method, you can check whether your application is behaving as it should justify all the specifications. Functionality testing is an important part as each user will behave differently and use the app in a different way. So, you need to make sure that the app functions as desired for all the possible test cases. Functional testing includes,

  • Installation & initialization of the application on all the distribution channels
  • Business features and functionality testing
  • Testing fields, parameters, and user feedback fields
  • Testing any possible interruptions
  • Testing necessary device resources
  • Testing possible updates for each distribution channel


  Further Reading → Guide to Functional Testing


Performance Testing

The application that you have developed should serve its purpose by giving the performance that it is designed for. Moreover, with performance testing, one can check the consistency in performance when the load varies or there are any exceptions. It includes,

  • Volume testing to check the app’s performance under a high volume of data
  • Load testing to check the speed of the app when subjected to normal and extreme load
  • Stability testing to see whether the app behaves normally under all conditions
  • Testing the response time of your application in all conditions
  • Concurrency testing to see whether the app’s performance changes if multiple users are logged in
  • Testing the battery usage of the application to ensure there’s no battery drain or memory leak.


  Further Reading → Performance Testing Guide 


User Experience & Interface Testing

It is necessary to ensure that the UI/UX is as per the client’s needs and specifications. Also, the user interface is such that the users find it easy to use and accessible. The main aim of this testing is to check whether the final implementation matches the envisioned or proposed design.  It includes,

  • Testing flows, visual interaction, and ease of navigation
  • Checking on the consistency in design, fonts, icons, etc. across the application
  • Interface testing to ensure that the color scheme, design, and the entire look is in synergy with the theme of the application
  • Testing the interaction speed and navigation ambiguity
  • Ensuring that the design guidelines are strictly followed in the final design of the application


  Further Reading → UI Testing Guidelines


Documentation Testing

The mobile application development process is embarked on the creation of a document that mentions the requirements, screen layouts, specifications, and client needs. Hence, if there is any mismatch between the document that is prepared and the developed application then it can be a big thing to ponder upon. Documentation testing includes,

  • Creation of test cases, requirements, and testing plans
  • Analysis of the test cases, and plans
  • Testing for any discrepancies in the documentation
  • Creation and analysis of navigation flow, screen layouts, etc.
  • Checking the wholeness of the design and resemblance with the requirements mentioned in the documentation


  Further Reading → Documentation Testing


Security Testing

Security is a major concern when you are developing an application as even a minor mistake can lead to major vulnerabilities to data leaks. The major aspects covered in security testing are checking for any risk to sensitive data, threats from hackers, etc. Security testing is done in many ways which include,

  • Threat analysis and testing for authentication of login credentials
  • Vulnerability analysis to check for any loopholes in the application
  • Testing for the proper platform and secure server-side controls
  • Checking for any potential aspects that hackers could possibly attack
  • Testing for any potential threats from any permissions to be given to applications


  Further Reading → Security Testing Guidelines


Configuration Testing

The application that is developed needs to be completely compatible with whatever device it is designed for and the configuration needs to be checked beforehand. In configuration testing, the actual performance of the application is checked on various devices and detects any missing features. Configuration testing comprises of,

  • Testing device configuration for all the devices
  • Checking browser configuration and compatibility
  • Ensuring secure database configuration
  • Testing network connectivity and configuration
  • Checking for operating system configuration for all the devices


Platform Testing

With new devices coming into the market daily, and each one with different hardware and features, it becomes inevitable for the mobile application development process to include platform testing. The aspects covered under platform testing are,

  • Testing platform compatibility for different operating systems, and client-side browsers
  • Mobile application testing on various devices to ensure device compatibility across multiple devices
  • In the case of cross-platform mobile applications, platform testing is done for checking compatibility with each of the platforms
  • Checking for cross-browser compatibility of the mobile application that is developed


Recovery Testing

The ability of your mobile application to recover from any kind of error or failure. The application may face any kind of failure, whether it is hardware or software, or even any issues in the communication of the app with the device. So, it becomes important to conduct recovery testing before deploying an application. It includes,

  • Testing the application’s failure mechanisms in case of software issues
  • Checking the response time and methods when the hardware misbehaves or fails
  • Testing the lagging or checking the response time if communication is lost and how recovery is done
  • Checking the recovery time and ways in case of any of the above failures encountered by the application


Beta Testing

Once the application is ready and passes almost all the tests, then it is time for the application to be tested by real users. This testing is known as beta testing. Beta testing is a holistic approach to test the overall performance in terms of reliability, security, functionality, and compatibility. It includes,

  • Testing the application with a number of users for checking the reliability and behavior of the application
  • Checking the response time of the application for the different test users.
  • Testing the application for users over a large demographic coverage for any loopholes
  • Testing the application for any misbehavior in case of any in-app purchases or any application cost


Certification Testing

In order to check whether the application meets the standards of various play stores and app stores, it is necessary to conduct certification testing. This testing is the final and important testing step and it includes,

  • Checking the licensing agreements of Google Playstore, Apple App Store, etc.
  • Testing whether the application development follows all the terms of use of the various app stores
  • Checking for any violations of the terms and conditions stated by the play store, app stores, etc.


Testing Phases

Being a crucial part of the mobile application development process, the testing phase is made up of different steps to measure the quality of the developed application. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the complete mobile application development testing process.


Test Scope

This is the first and most important step of the testing process in which you define the parameters, features, or functionalities that you are going to test. Whether you want to test only a few functionalities or carry out testing of the entire mobile application. In the mobile application development process, once the scope of testing is narrowed down, then it can be easier to determine which test methods need to be deployed. Whether the mobile application requires only functional testing, performance testing, security testing, or it requires a mix of various testing methods.

Parameters to consider while defining the scope of testing:

  • Type of app: Native or Hybrid
  • Is the app interacting with other apps?
  • The necessity of network compatibility testing
  • Front-end testing, back-end testing or both
  • Checking Device, operating system, and version coverage
  • Deciding on the coverage of locations for testing



Once the test scope is clear, it’s time for the creation of a plan to move forward. In this planning stage, you are finalizing the strategy of testing by categorizing or breakdown the entire process into chunks for ease. When you are creating the plan of action, the first thing you will stumble upon is the choice between manual testing or automated testing. Another thing that comes in this stage is the creation of test cases and scripts in case an automated testing method is chosen. Things included in the planning stage are,

  • Identifying the testing methodology that matches the mobile application requirements
  • Writing and choosing test cases tailored to the mobile application that is developed
  • Choosing whether testing is to be done in-house manually or use of any software
  • Selecting the testers if you are not doing it in-house is quite important



After defining the scope of testing and planning the strategy, writing test cases, and settling upon the methods of testing, it’s time for executing the entire testing process. The execution phase can be successfully carried out only if the scope and testing methodologies are clearly defined. Testing execution focuses on the specifications of the devices, platforms, or operating systems on which the application is to be tested. Again, there are a few things that need consideration,

  • Execution of various testing methodologies depending on the scope and priority
  • Identifying the areas of improvement and resetting the testing goals
  • Sending test results periodically in order to deploy changes asap
  • Continuously testing right from the development stage to the deployment stage



Once the testing process is executed, it’s now time for analyzing and logging in the results and errors. When you are tracking the results of testing, the first thing you need to do is prioritize the results based on their severity and need for immediate corrective action. Highly non-negotiable and risky defects need to be addressed first. There is much software that can be used for tracking testing results. The major factors important in tracking test results are,

  • The decision of prioritization of the defects: Low, Medium, High, or Blocker
  • Resolution of defects based on priority and not avoiding even the simplest defect such as a spelling mistake
  • Logging defects in order to make sure that they are corrected in time
  • Choice of a reliable partner for tracking testing results



Once the test run is completed and all the defects are either corrected or logged it is time for the review process. In the review process, you need to create a summarized report of the entire testing process and then review it in order to get a better understanding of the errors and behavior of the mobile application. The documentation should include even the simplest or lowest priority detail and not missing out on anything. Things to be included in the review document:

  • Details of all the devices, operating systems, and versions on which the mobile application was tested
  • Complete summary of all the tests conducted along with results
  • Total number of tests conducted with relevant software used and results
  • A final word on whether the mobile application is ready to hit the market or needs more improvement


Deployment and Maintenance

Once you have built and tested the mobile application, it is time to deploy it, and maintain it for further development.


Mobile App Deployment

Mobile app deployment is also known as mobile app launch. Deploying mobile applications can be a tiring task, especially if the application is multifaceted, and required lots of testing. Here’s a short guide to help you launch.

  1. Make sure it passes all the deployment tests. If you write an end-to-end unit and integration tests, make sure to check their output. Make them work anyhow.
  2. Rebuild your application – Sometimes when obfuscating code on Android, developers use ProGuard, which can sometimes remove code, leading to app crash. Make sure you don’t shrink the code at the cost of usability.
  3. If you already own a server, set up your CI flow using Jerkins, Bitrise, CircleCI, Travis, or Bitbucket Pipelines.
  4. It is also essential that you perform static code analysis using Lint, ktlint, pmd, checkstyle, findbugs, detekt, gradle-static-analysis-plugin, OCLint, tailor, Swiftlint, Clang Static Analyzer, Infer, Swift Format, Swimat, or FauxPas.
  5. Prepare a product version of your mobile app and release it for internal testing. Try to use crash reporting tools like Instabug or Fabric.
  6. Preparing builds can be automated as well. For example, tools like Fastlane can help you automate screenshots, beta deployment, App Store / Google Play deployment, and code signing.
  7. Monitoring engagement will help you discover user insights. You can integrate tools like Google Analytics, Fabric, Amazon Pinpoint, Mixpanel to discover active users, session intervals, time spent using the app, ScreenFlow, retention, conversion, and lifetime value.


  Further Reading → mobile app launch checklist


Best Practices for Mobile App Deployment

Once the user installs the application, you should work on minimizing uninstalls, deliver the best user experience, keep up with the competition, and achieve maximum financial benefits in the long run. Regularly maintaining your mobile application to create a sustainable brand image in the minds of the users. Here’s a list of best practices for long-term app development.

#1 Monitor the performance of your mobile application. Keep an eye on loading types, if there are any lags, or if there are any responsiveness issues. This will help you stay ready with your analytics report. Analyze your retention rates, churn rates, and try to understand usage patterns.


#2 Keeping your user interface updated is also one of the ways to maintain your mobile application. Customers align themselves with changing styles, trends, habits, and other essential features of the apps that need constant updating. If you keep your app interface the same, your customers might gradually start preferring other competing apps with similar features.


#3 Ensure that your app supports the latest software updates and hardware updates. A new version of the mobile operating systems is released every year. Think about how many mobile devices can be upgraded to the latest version of that os, and thus your app?


#4 Fixing bugs can win customers. No software application is ever published with proper testing. However, bugs are an integral part of mobile app development. Fixing bugs can display your faith and dedication towards your users and also towards your mobile phones.


#5 Regularly add new features to your app. You can do this by observing how users are interacting with your app. With the help of insights received, you can discover what’s working for your user, and what isn’t.


  Further Reading → Mobile App Maintenance


Choose OpenXcell - Your Preferred Mobile App Development Partner

  • OpenXcell is a highly regarded software and mobile app development company with a proven track record of delivering reliable, enterprise-grade solutions. With over 14 years of experience in the industry and a team of 500+ skilled software engineers, we are considered among the top 1% of IT firms.
  • We have built our presence across all the major countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, and are proud to have over 700+ satisfied customers.
  • OpenXcell has delivered over 1000+ solutions in its 14 years of journey, combining 15+ successful SaaS products that are faring well in the market. 
  • We follow a holistic approach when it comes to serving our clients. Our comprehensive mobile app development services ensure 360-degree support right from the initial idea to post-launch maintenance. 
  • We have a strong track record of serving a wide range of industries, including healthcare, sports, education, media and entertainment,  logistics and shipping, software and utility, and blockchain.
  • Our engagement model allows customers to enhance their development capabilities by hiring our dedicated remote staff. We offer a free 7-day trial to all customers to test, verify, and select their remote resources. Our strict hiring process ensures that only the most talented and experienced professionals join our team.


So, nurture your mobile app idea with us and leverage our customized services for out of the box application development. Our experts will help you realize your dream project with the best tech in the market!

FAQs on Mobile App development

  • What is mobile app development?

    Mobile app development refers to all software development intended for mobile phones, tablets, digital assistants for different OS, like Android and iOS. In mobile app development, the software product created is either preinstalled on the device or downloaded onto a mobile. Many programming languages such as Java, C++, Python etc are used to develop such apps.
    Mobile App Development is experiencing exponential growth and adoption in almost all industries. These include e-commerce, healthcare, governmental institutions and many more. One reason for this sudden popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is the easiest way for businesses and customers to connect with each other, i.e over the internet.

  • What are the benefits of mobile app development for businesses?

    Some advantages of investing in mobile app development include:
    – Enhanced customer engagement
    –  Redefined customer experience
    –  Competitive advantage
    – Increased Sales and revenue
    – Better reach of target audience
    – Data collection and analysis

  • How long does it take to develop a mobile app?

    Developing a mobile app constitutes many phases namely – planning, developing, design, development and testing. All these phases, combined, can easily take up to 8-12 months. However, time taken to develop an app can vary depending on multiple factors such as complexity of the app, features and functionalities, etc.

  • How much does it cost to develop a mobile application?

    A mobile application can cost anywhere between $5000 – $50000. This is because, time taken to develop a mobile application and the cost of development also vary on multitudes of factors such as number of features, complexity of app and design, user profile facility, dashboard and administration features, etc.

  • What are the different types of mobile app development services?

    Software development firms providing mobile app development services also provide the following services:

    – Native and cross-platform solutions
    – Custom iOS and Android apps development
    – User Interface and User Experience(UI/UX) Design
    – Consulting and Prototyping Services
    – Automated Quality Assurance and Testing services
    – Power management, notification and geofencing
    – Embedded Android & AOSP customizations
    – Maintenance and post-warranty support amongst others

  • What is the difference between native and hybrid app development?

    Native apps are a type of mobile applications built specifically for a mobile platform which is compatible with its native programming languages and tools. Hybrid apps, on other hand, use web-based languages such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to code apps which are then executed in a native shell with an embedded web browser. Taking this approach, developers can share backend code, enabling them to create apps quickly and cost-effectively for multiple platforms.

  • What is the difference between cross-platform and native app development?

    Cross Platform App development is a type of mobile app development process in which the mobile application built can be capable of running on multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. The biggest benefit of cross platform app development is code reusability since the code developed can be used iteratively. Native App development, on the other hand, focuses on building an application which can run on a single operating system and is meant to support features on only that system.

  • How do I choose the right mobile app development service provider?

    Any business looking for the right mobile app development service provider should look for the following:

    – Qualification and experience of the development company
    – Projects Portfolio and testimonials
    – Expected App Development Cost
    – A development company’s Communication Process
    – Client requirements of technical skill sets