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So You Want to Build a Mobile App

Fun fact! The Apple App Store has 1.96 million apps available for download. There are 2.87 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store. 21% of Millennials open an app 50+ times per day. (BuildFire, 2021) It’s safe to say this is a hot market and you’re reading this because you have an interest in getting in on the action.

I’m sharing my thoughts on three ways to get your app up and running. I’m also sprinkling in some opinion based on where I’ve crashed and burned in the past.

React Native...or Similar

React Native, and similar tools, allow you to build an app with a single code base that is served out to iOS and Android devices. This is a faster, and generally less expensive way to launch a new app. In fact, if you are outsourcing your app, there’s a 99.99% chance that the developer will suggest this method to you.

I’ve gone this route. We were building an app for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run about 6 or so years back, and decided to utilize React Native. The app was a nightmare and the project a complete flop. From my experience, when something worked for iOS it would break on Android, and the same goes the other way around. It created an endless cycle of updates and fixes that cost more than the original app.

Personally, I would never go this route again.

Native iOS and Android

Native iOS and Android apps take the longest to build and cost the most money. That’s generally why people and companies go with the option I mentioned above. However, I am a firm believer in developing for the platform.

If you develop native apps, you are essentially creating two different apps. One for iOS and one for Android. This is why it takes longer and costs more. The results are generally superior performance and speed as compared to an app designed to service two different operating systems.

If you’ve been listening to our recent podcasts, we’ve mentioned a secret project. Here’s a hint, it’s an app, and it’s being developed native to both platforms because we believe it’s best to ensure a great user experience.

Web Apps

Web apps are another way to save money. This isn’t really an application as much as it is a web page that has a lot more mobile optimization than a typical web page.

This is the cheapest, and truly fastest way to get your “app” up and running. However, it’s not really an app, so you are leaving a lot to be desired by your users.

If you think a web page can do what you need, then you probably don’t need an app.

There you have it. Three options. Lots of opinions. Now, go out in to the world and make your choice!

Pricing Estimator

Determining how much to budget for a mobile app can be a difficult task. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at ADC Calculator and estimate the cost of your mobile app. You’ll be guided through a quick series of questions to help you determine your app’s budget needs.

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