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Mobile App Development Process: Step-By-Step Guide

  • Mar 03,2023
  • Lavorg
mobile app

If there is one thing that has completely revolutionized the whole world, it is a smartphone in your palms. 

Can you imagine a day without mobile apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, Amazon, and others? 

Though there are desktop websites available to use, mobile apps offer a more personalized, convenient, and comfortable experience. It is the reason why every business and enterprise wants to have a mobile app to boost traffic, conversions, and revenues.  

A survey reveals that there are a total of 6.3 billion (Statista) smartphone owners. 

What do they do on their smartphones? Another research tells that 88% of mobile time (insider intelligence) is spent on various mobile apps. 

Furthermore, a study confirms that an average smartphone (tech jury) user uses at least 10 apps per day and 30 apps per month.

What Do These Statistics Reveal?

It simply shows how people are addicted to their smartphones. They can shop online, play games online, and communicate with their loved ones online while sipping coffee on their couches. 

New microprocessing technologies have ensured that a mobile app is not dependent on a smartphone. You can use a mobile app on your desktop or tablet as well. 

On the other hand, cross-platform apps have made it possible to develop one app and use it for Windows, iOS, and Android as well. 

Things are turning in users’ favor quickly and it is high time that you develop a mobile phone if you own a business to get a competitive edge over your rivals. 

However, you might not have any idea about how to develop a mobile app. Also, most of us don’t have any idea of the process of mobile app development.  

This blog discusses almost everything about mobile apps and the development process.

What Should You Need to Know About Mobile App Development?

mobile app development thinking

As the name suggests, mobile app development is all about building an app that runs on mobile devices. Some apps are pre-installed on the phones and others are downloaded first and then installed on the phones. 

A mobile app the smartphone’s network capabilities, various features, and functionalities to perform desired actions on the basis of inputs given by the user. 

A developer needs to design software. This software is installed on the smartphone. The software allows the smartphone device to access data through APIs. 

In addition to that, before you deploy the app on the platform’s store, quality analysts must check the app thoroughly to identify and address any errors or functionality issues. 

The whole process of mobile app development is highly complicated and challenging. You need to work on multiple parameters to develop a tailor-made, scalable, and versatile mobile app. 

Some of the things you need to consider are software requirements, tools, screen sizes, hardware requirements, and others. 

The mobile app developer must define the whole software development process in advance to avoid any mishaps during the development phase. A developer should plan first and then start the development. It is an ideal approach.

Mobile App Development Platforms

Android and iOS are the main mobile app development platforms, capturing more than 90% of the market share combined. 

iOS is from Apple Inc. and Android is from Google. Remember that iOS apps only run on Apple devices. On the other hand, Android apps can run on different operating systems. 

Both Android and iOS have many similarities, but they use separate software development kits for app development. 

Apple only uses iOS to develop apps, but Android is available for other companies to develop mobile apps if they meet specific requirements.

Types of Mobile Apps

There are a total of four types of mobile apps you can develop.
types of mobile apps
  • Native mobile apps
  • Cross-platform native mobile apps 
  • Hybrid mobile apps 
  • Progressive Web Applications

Before we discuss how to develop a mobile app and its process, let’s check out each of these four approaches. 

All of these app development approaches have their own advantages and limitations. You can choose one as per your business requirements, scope, and budget.

Native Mobile Apps

When developers build an app with the help of platform-specific tools and SDKs, it is called a native app. Native apps only run on the specific platform for which it is built. 

The best thing about native apps is that it offers the best pleasant runtime performance and unparalleled user experience as they are made specifically for particular platforms such as Android and iOS. 

However, the cost of developing a native app is very high. In case of budgetary issues, you can opt for cross-platform apps as well.

Why Go For Native Mobile App Development?

When you want native capabilities in an app, you should go for native app development. The best thing about the Native apps is that they can use smartphones’ hardware components seamlessly. Some of these components are GPS, camera, and others. Native apps offer a world-class user experience to customers.  

Furthermore, it is easy for a native app to implement and execute push notifications compared to cross-platform apps. Also, developers compile the code of the app in the native language, mitigating bugs and errors.

Cross-platform Apps

Cross-platform apps are mobile apps that are built to run on different platforms. These apps are written in different programming languages and then developers compile them for different platforms. 

Here, developers need to write a single codebase that can be used to develop another app. Let’s understand it with an example. You can use the same codebase to develop an iOS app that you had written for the Android app. 

In the absence of native libraries, developers have to rely on third-party open-source libraries. Code is also compiled with and then bridged by the developers.

Why Go For Cross-Platform App Development?

With a cross-platform app, you can reach out to your potential customers who use Android or iOS apps.  

If you build a separate native app for both Android and iOS platforms, it might be a costly affair. Instead, you can develop one app and then use the same codebase to build another. It reduces the app-to-market time. 

Furthermore, cross-platform apps, when built excellently, look and feel like native apps. 

Also, you don’t have to hire a big development team for cross-platform apps. With a small team of developers, you can easily build a cross-platform app.

Hybrid Apps

Developers build hybrid apps with the latest tools and technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and others. Then, they are bundled as mobile apps for specific platforms. 

The main difference between hybrid apps and cross-platform apps is that hybrid apps work with web containers with the help of browser runtime. Here, web and mobile apps, both share the codebase. 

In hybrid app development, web components and development tools are used to build mobile apps. The main drawback of a hybrid app is that it does not get any support from native devices. Also, the hybrid app does not perform similarly to a native app.

Why Go For Hybrid App Development?

If you want to reach out to your audience via mobile and web, you should go for a hybrid app. Hybrid apps don’t take much time to develop and are cost-effective too. 

Furthermore, the app-to-market time is also very low. You can easily launch your app at a pre-determined time.

Progressive Web Apps

Users don’t have to install progressive web apps like native or cross-platform apps. Moreover, it also does not follow traditional app delivery channels. 

You can access Progressive Web Apps through a web browser. You can make an icon that is attached to the mobile screen. 

PWAs are apparently web applications that can run on mobile devices and desktops. You can simply use the URL of the app to run the app through a browser. 

Here, the browser’s capabilities are responsible to run PWAs seamlessly. They don’t get any support from native devices. Also, PWAs require a strong internet connection.

Why to Opt For Progressive Web App Development?

Developers use traditional web languages such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and others to develop PWAs. you can access it through your browser. 

If your users will have uninterrupted internet access, you can go for PWAs. Also, PWAs don’t have access to native device capabilities such as microphones, cameras, sensors, and GPS. Hence, you have to think thrice before choosing a PWA.

Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process

Now, let’s come to the main subject: how to develop mobile app. Here is the step-by-step guide to building a mobile app. Stay tuned for the process of the software development life cycle!

mobile app development process

Step 1: Build a Development Strategy

Having a development strategy for a mobile app in advance can make the whole development process easier and seamless.

You need to start with a few questions such as:

⮕Why do you want to develop a mobile app? 

⮕What is the goal and purpose of developing the app?

⮕What problems your app will solve? 

⮕How does the mobile app solve the problems?

⮕What is the business model? 

⮕What is your estimated budget to build the app? 

⮕What is the revenue model for the app?

Brainstorm with your team on these questions and answer them. 

Once you get all these answers, you can start developing a mobile app. 

The next part of the step is to know your target audience. For example, if you are planning to develop a gaming app, what would be your target audience? What would the age range be? What are their mobile usage practices and patterns? What kind of features do they look for in an app? 

The next thing is to think over your idea. What is your app idea? Does it feasible? What is the number of features you want to offer in the app? 

Do you want to develop a cross-platform app or a native app? Brainstorm to get enough ideas and features to make a brilliant app. Sit with your team of developers, managers, designers, and other stakeholders to brainstorm your idea. 

The next step is to conduct some market research to ensure that people are looking for your app. Some of the tips to do the research are listed below:

⮕Define your target audience

⮕List down the ways your customers will use the app

⮕What are the main competitive apps in the market?

⮕Define the business model for your app. 

⮕Define the scope of the app development project

⮕Define the budget

⮕Find the service or product gap that you can penetrate

⮕The app-to-market time for the app 

Now, you need to make an MVP for your app. Here, you need to sit with the developers and make a list of features and functionalities your users would be interested in. 

Define how your MVP will look like. You can offer the MVP to your early customers and record their experiences. A minimum viable product has a few basic features to receive feedback from the users. This list of feedback can help you make necessary modifications to the final app version. 

Also, when you spend some time developing an MVP, you will save a lot of time during the actual product development process as you are clear about features and functionalities. 

Also, you will come to know what your target audience is looking for. Also, you can show the MVP to your investors. 

When you have a clear strategy, you can be prepared for the app development phase in a better manner.

Step 2: Creating Project Documentation

The second step is all about creating a complete project requirement document to define the size and scope of the project. 

The document will help designers, developers, testers, and marketing managers to have a better understanding of the requirements. 

The app development document will have the following things answered:

  • The cost of the app
  • Tools and technologies needed to develop the app
  • What would be the design convection to follow?
  • Team strength to be required to complete the project
  • Your target audience
  • Business objective
  • Value propositions
  • Frontend and backend technologies
  • Third-party tools and technologies you want to use
  • Project timeline and the launch date

Step 3: Analysis and Planning

Now you know more about the project, its scope, size, technologies, target audience, and other key things.

Functional and Non-Functional Requirements

Define functional and non-functional requirements for the app. For example, if you are developing an e-commerce app, you will need to create features such as a search bar, product management categories, new signups, authentication, and payment gateways.

These are your functional requirements. You will now have a clear idea about the features you want to develop for the app.

These are the non-functional software requirements such as the quality of the system performance, user experience enhancements, and others.

Make a Product Roadmap

This is like a traditional goal sheet that you develop in your routine life.

Here, you need to make a detailed plan for the app and make goals with a deadline for each step.

Gather all the feedback you received from your early customers for an MVP and note down important things. Which features were appreciated by them? Which features they did not like? It will help you to plan the app in advance including its features and functionalities.

Technology Stack

Defining the technology stack is all about choosing the right personnel for your project. For example, if you are developing a Flutter app, you will need experienced Flutter developers. You will also need someone who is skilled in relevant technologies and tools.

Define your technology stack in advance to gather the required professionals for the project.

Step 4: UI/UX Design

The success of your app will be determined by the UI/UX design. You have to be careful while creating the app design. Users prefer apps that are easy to use, easy to navigate, intuitive, and visually pleasing.

With the right UI/UX design, you can get more user engagement and retention, increase conversations, and facilitate users with a seamless and pleasant experience.

Keep in mind your target audience while designing the app. They are the ones who will use the app and make it a successful one. Hence, ensure that the app design serves their interests in the best possible manner.

User Experience Design

It is the process to develop an app that offers the best meaningful and highly satisfying experiences to your target audience. It includes branding, design, usability, functions, and other design aspects.

The whole purpose of the UX design is to ensure that users can easily and seamlessly take desired actions when they are on the app.

To achieve it, you need to create the right prototypes and gain feedback from the actual users. Now, use these reviews and feedback to modify the design and refine content to develop the end product that satisfies users.

User Interface Design

User interface design is all about creating user-friendly, intuitive, and visually compelling digital interfaces to lure your users at a first glance.

UI includes the app’s look and feels with its visual design elements like colors, fonts, layouts, design, etc. Ensure that users love the interface instantly. Once you achieve it, you will be able to boost your conversions and traffic.

Mobile App Design Process

The mobile app design process is all about using software to design an app. While designing, the designers must know the scope, size, and purposes of developing an app including its features, capabilities, and functionalities.

Keep your potential users in mind while designing the app. It will make things easy and seamless for you.


Wireframes are similar to rough sketches that designers make on paper. The only difference is that wireframes are designed digitally. There are dedicated wireframing tools you can use to design wireframes. However, you need to remember that wireframes are just mere concepts and not the final designs.

Designing wireframes offers you a basic understanding and the visual structure of the app and its features.

Designers must emphasize designing the aesthetics of the app. They don’t need to think of colors and design elements. Designing product-specific wireframes can help you get the first rough glimpse of the app.

Style Guides

Sometimes, wireframes might confuse you, but having a style guide will help the designer to have a real understanding of colors, fonts, icons, and other design concepts. In short, the style guide has all the questions answered in a perfect and accurate manner. A designer can determine fonts, colors, layouts, graphics, components, menus, bars, and alerts of the app.


Prototyping is all about converting ready wireframes into ready designs so that you can share them with your teams, users, and other stakeholders. You can gather feedback, suggestions, and inputs from them and modify the design accordingly.

Some of the prototyping tools are InvisionApp, Xcode, and others. If you have to pitch your app to any potential investor, you have to create an app prototype with all the features and functionalities. A prototype gives a close resemblance to an app.

Step 5: Mobile App Development

Here, the actual coding work starts. Now, the app’s features and functionalities will be developed by the developers with the help of tools and technologies.

Now you have a clear vision of the app, its features, design, and other elements. You can now begin the development process by using mobile app development software. You can also hire a mobile app development company in the absence of in-house mobile app development capabilities.

There are two vital aspects to consider for mobile app development:

⮕Technical Architecture

⮕Technology Stack

Technical Architecture

It covers all the technical components and frameworks that will be used to create an app. Some of the components of the technical architecture are programming languages, networking protocols, databases, data storage, and others.

Furthermore, technical architecture also covers user experience, design, and architecture. The primary purpose of designing the technical architecture is to ensure that the app runs efficiently and smoothly on all devices.

Technology Stack

The technology stack is all about backend development, front-end development, DevOps components, tools, frameworks, and libraries needed to build an app.

It includes frameworks such as Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, databases, web servers, and other mobile app development tools.

Primarily, there are a total of three integral parts of development:

⮕Mobile Backend Development

⮕Front-end Development

⮕API Development

Mobile App Backend Development

Developers need to build various server-side components that actually run mobile apps. Some of these components are databases, logic, APIs, and others.

These backends and server-side components allow the app to store data, perform various functions on the app, authenticate users to log in, and other crucial functions. Also, it is the server-side components that make synchronization between devices possible. Users can easily interact with the app due to server-side components. Developing these components is called back-end development.

What is Mobile App Frontend Development?

As the name suggests, the front end of the mobile app is what users see while interacting with the app. Developing the front end of the app requires APIs, backends, and some platform-specific local databases.

Developers can use a large number of programming languages to build the front-end and back-end of the app. For example, if you are developing an iOS app, they will choose either Objective-C or Swift. If you are developing an android app, they can use Java, Kotlin, Flutter, or React Native frameworks for development.

It is the team that needs to decide the frameworks and languages to be used for app development. They should need to brainstorm and pick the right language and framework for a particular app development project.

What is Application Programming Interface (API) Development?

Application Programming Interface enables communication between two or more applications. It is software that is developed by app developers to integrate the app with various systems, services, and third-party apps. Also, developers can quickly add new features and functionalities by developing APIs.

However, it is the developers who will decide whether the app needs APIs or not. If not, there is no need to develop any new APIs from scratch.

Step 6: Testing

Testing the app is the last and final part of the process. Here, a team of quality analysts will test all the features of the app before it is sent for deployment. Each feature of the app is thoroughly tested by the analysts to ensure no bugs and functional issues with the software testing Life cycle.

In addition to that, the app’s code is also reviewed.

There are various types of testing procedures QAs follow. We will check some of them in brief:

types of testing

Documentation Testing

Documentation-testing ensures that all the aspects of the projects are tested thoroughly. Here, the main aim is to identify and address any major issues or anomalies in the documentation for the app. If an issue is identified, it will be addressed immediately to move on.

Performance Testing

This testing procedure is performed to ensure that your app is operating excellently and offers a brilliant user experience. Some of the tests performed in this procedure are stress tests and concurrency testing.

Functional Testing

The main aim of the functional testing procedure is to test the behavior of the app when some external input is added.

Business-specific Functions

business -specific functions are functions that are responsible for revenue generation. Now, you need to test these functions independently. Some of the functions are shopping carts, payment gateways, social networking buttons, etc.

Usability Testing

This procedure checks whether the app runs smoothly on all devices and platforms or not. It includes different aspects such as screen sizes and others.

UI Testing

This procedure ensures that the app’s user interfaces perfectly and accurately satisfied all the design standards and design criteria.

Compatibility Testing

It is crucial to know that the app performs excellently on almost all devices. That is why compatibility testing is performed.

Performance Testing

The app’s performance testing ensures that the app performs excellently even if heavy user volume, networking issues, and jobs. In this procedure, stress testing, loading testing, concurrent testing, stability testing, etc. are tested thoroughly.

Security Testing

It is a very crucial testing procedure as the app must pass through all security measures. Here, quality analysts analyze the app when someone attacks or hacks the app.

Certification Testing

This testing ensures that the app follows all the rules, guidelines, and requirements of the operating system.

There are various testing tools available for quality analysts such as BrowserStack, Selendroid, Loop, Apteligent, Google Nogotofail, Coded UI, and others.

Once the app passes through all the testing procedures, the app is ready for deployment and release.

Step 7: Deployment and Release

The deployment phase is the last stop of the app development process. Before you deploy the app to the operating system’s store, you need to name the app and submit one short and long description of the app. Also, you need to add a few marketing and promotional images. Also, you need to use relevant keywords in the content for app store optimization purposes.

Once you submit the app for deployment, the platform will take some time to review the app before it is deployed on it. Google Play Store takes a few hours to review the app. On the other hand, the Apple iStore takes more time.

In the last phase of the mobile app development, you also come across various feedback and reviews from the users. You need to work on bugs, crash reports, and other functional or technical issues. Ensure that the QA team monitors the performance and reviews of the app.


Do you know how to develop mobile app? This blog is a detailed answer to your question. Developing an app is complex and tricky and you will need a good team of designers, developers, quality analysts, and project managers.

Hire a dedicated team of developers or a company that has successfully delivered similar mobile app development projects. Ensure that you become an integral part of the team throughout the app development process to offer your valuable suggestions and inputs.

Lavorg is a name to remember when you are looking for the best skilled and experienced mobile app developers. We have a large database of developers in Germany who will dedicatedly work for you and give you the best tailor-made, scalable, and secure mobile app solutions.