Frequently Asked Questions

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Before You Start

What do I need to know before building an app?

This depends on whether you want to do the groundwork or whether you want to work with your app development team to put together the foundations for the project. Regardless of who does it,  it's essential to conduct thorough research, understand your target audience and their needs and identify the market trends and competition in your app's niche. 

Having a clear concept and purpose for your app is crucial; this will guide your development process. Additionally, plan your budget and allocate resources wisely, considering not just development costs but also ongoing maintenance and marketing expenses. A well-informed foundation is vital to a successful app.

How do I start developing an app?

To begin your app development journey, you will work with your chosen app development team to define your app's features and functionality. This involves creating a detailed app concept and outlining what you want to achieve with it and why. 

Next, decide on the platform(s) you want to target, whether it's iOS, Android, or both and begin building up the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). Once complete, your team will start implementing the app based on all the previous steps and information.

How difficult is it to develop an app?

The difficulty of developing an app will vary greatly depending on the complexity of your app and your prior programming experience. If you have no previous knowledge of software coding, then you will find it challenging. To produce the best results, you must have years of experience and insight into what makes the most successful apps work.

Suppose you do decide to build it yourself. In that case, creating a simple app with basic features can be manageable for beginners, especially with the abundance of online resources and tutorials available. However, developing a complex app with advanced functionalities may require more time and expertise. The learning curve can be steep for those new to programming, so be prepared to invest time in acquiring the necessary skills if you choose to do it yourself.

Can you develop an app by yourself?

Yes, it is possible to develop an app by yourself, especially for more straightforward projects; however, achieving decent results is quite tricky. If you have programming skills and are willing to learn, you can handle the entire development process. 

However, remember that complex apps or those requiring extensive design and functionality may be more efficiently developed with a team of skilled professionals, especially if you have moderate to high expectations of what you want the app to achieve in the marketplace.

How much money can I make from an app?

The potential earnings from an app can vary significantly. Some apps generate millions of pounds in revenue, while others may earn much less or even operate at a loss. The success of your app depends on various factors, including your app's niche, the size of your user base, your monetisation strategy and the overall quality of the app you build. 

To maximise your earnings, focus on solving a genuine problem for users, creating ongoing value for your users and implementing effective monetisation methods, such as in-app ads, subscriptions, or one-time purchases.

How do I get paid from my app?

To receive payments from your app, you'll get paid directly by Apple or Google (for paid or subscription-based apps) or from third-party ad networks. Standard monetisation methods include in-app ads, where you earn revenue from displaying advertisements to users, and in-app purchases, such as selling digital goods or premium features within your app. 

Subscription models provide recurring revenue. You can set up payment processing through app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, which handle transactions and pay you your share of the revenue after deducting their fees.

How much does it cost to build an app?

The cost of building an app can vary widely depending on several factors. The complexity of your app, the number of features, the platforms you target, and the results you want to achieve will all influence the cost. Simple apps may cost in the low five figures, while complex apps with extensive features can run into the millions. It's crucial to establish a clear budget and work closely with your chosen app development team to ensure you stay within your financial constraints while delivering a high-quality product that achieves your aims.

How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

The cost of hiring an app developer depends on several factors, including their experience, location, and the complexity of your project. Freelance app developers typically charge hourly rates ranging from around £30 to £50 or more, depending on their skill level and location. 

If you choose to work with a development agency like Glance, then rates may be higher but often include a team of specialists, such as designers and project managers, which can be cost-effective for complex projects. It's essential to obtain detailed quotes and compare them to find the right fit for your budget, project needs and desired outcome.

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Building Your App

How do I find a developer for my app idea?

Finding the right developer for your app idea involves various approaches. Online platforms like Upwork, Toptal, or Clutch are excellent resources for connecting with freelance developers or development agencies. Attend tech meetups, conferences, or networking events to build relationships with potential collaborators. Review portfolios, check references, and assess their previous work to ensure they have the skills and experience to bring your app idea to life.

How do I choose the right app developer?

Selecting the right app developer is a critical decision for your project's success. Review their portfolio and past work to assess their expertise and style. Look for client testimonials and check references to understand their professionalism and work ethic. 

Effective communication is critical, so evaluate their ability to understand your vision and communicate clearly. Compatibility and trust are also essential; you should feel confident in their ability to execute your app idea within your budget and timeline.

How involved will I be in the project?

Your level of involvement in the app development project can vary based on your preferences and project scope. In general, you should be actively engaged throughout the process. Your input and feedback are crucial, especially during the planning, design, and testing phases. Collaboration with your development team is vital to ensuring that your app aligns with your vision and meets your goals, especially if you have deep insight into the target market for the app you are building.

What are the different roles involved in my project?

Several roles are typically involved in an app development project. These include developers responsible for coding the app, designers who create the user interface and visual elements, project managers who oversee the development process and timelines, quality assurance (QA) testers who identify and report issues, and potentially other specialists like marketing professionals or business analysts. The specific roles required will vary depending on the complexity and size of your project.

What are the different types of mobile platforms?

The two primary mobile platforms are iOS and Android. iOS is the operating system used on Apple devices like iPhones and iPads. In contrast, Android is used on a wide range of smartphones and tablets from various manufacturers. Both platforms have unique characteristics, development environments, and user bases, so it's essential to consider your target audience when deciding which platform(s) to develop for.

Should I make an Android or iOS app?

The decision to develop for Android, iOS, or both depends on your target audience and business goals. To reach a broader user base, consider developing for both platforms. However, if you have limited resources, start by analysing your target audience's preferences and market share for each platform to make an informed decision. A good app development partner can help you with this decision.

What is meant by a 'native' app?

A 'native' app is designed and developed specifically for a single platform, such as iOS or Android. Native apps are built using platform-specific programming languages and tools. While they offer excellent performance and access to platform-specific features, they require separate development efforts for each platform. For the best results, native apps are the correct choice. They provide a natural experience for users on each platform and are how the different platforms (Apple and Google) want you to build apps.

What is meant by a 'cross-platform' app?

A 'cross-platform' app can run on multiple platforms (e.g., iOS, Android) using a shared codebase. These apps are typically developed with frameworks like React Native or Flutter, which allow developers to write code once and deploy it on various platforms. 

Cross-platform development can save time and resources compared to building separate native apps for each platform; however, they provide a more generic experience across all platforms, which can be offputting for users. Cross-platform apps are not usually as fast or fluid as native apps and are only used where low cost is a primary factor.

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Growth and Engagement

How do you get approved for the Apple App Store?

To get your app approved for the Apple App Store, you must adhere to Apple's guidelines for app content, design, and functionality. Thoroughly test your app to ensure it meets these guidelines, and provide all the necessary information during the app submission process. Be prepared to respond to any feedback or requests for revisions from Apple's review team to increase your chances of approval. You can find the latest Apple guidelines here.

How do you get approved for the Google Play Store?

Getting your app approved for the Google Play Store involves meeting Google's content and quality guidelines. Conduct rigorous testing to ensure your app functions correctly and doesn't violate any of these guidelines. Provide accurate and complete information during the app submission process. Be responsive to any feedback or requests for changes from the Google Play review team. You can find the latest Google Play Store guidelines here.

How can I promote an app?

App promotion involves a multi-faceted approach. Use social media platforms to create a presence for your app and engage with potential users. Implement app store optimisation (ASO) techniques to improve your app's visibility in app stores. Consider influencer marketing, paid advertising, and content marketing to reach a wider audience. Tailor your promotion strategy

What keeps people engaged in an app?

Several factors often drive user engagement in an app. Regular updates that introduce new features or improvements can keep users interested as well as provide ongoing value which is both timely and relevant. A user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and responsive customer support create a positive user experience. Additionally, offering valuable content, rewards, or incentives within the app can encourage users to return and stay engaged.

What is user retention in apps?

User retention in apps refers to the percentage of users who continue to use an app over time after their initial download or registration. It measures the ability of an app to retain its user base and is a crucial metric for app success. Higher user retention indicates that users find value in the app and continue to use it regularly.

How can you increase the retention rate?

To increase user retention improve the overall user experience by addressing usability issues, bugs, or performance problems. Implement personalised notifications to remind users about your app or offer incentives for returning. Gathering user feedback and continuously enhancing your app based on user preferences can also increase retention rates.

What are push notifications?

Push notifications are messages sent to users' mobile devices from a server or app to engage or inform them about various events, updates, promotions, or news related to the app. These notifications appear on the device's screen, even if the app is not currently in use, helping to re-engage users and keep them informed about app activities.

What are in-app notifications?

In-app notifications are messages or alerts displayed within the app itself. These notifications are typically used to communicate with users while using the app. In-app notifications can provide information, updates, or prompts for specific actions, enhancing the user experience and interaction within the app.

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