Application Development 101: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you know that there are more than 8.9 million apps on the market?

Considering the market’s bottomless demand for more apps, this number can be considered a lower estimation. Especially when it comes to the apps currently in development. 

However, that doesn’t mean that all application development is equal in quality and substance. After all, an application is a piece of software to solve a problem or provide something of value to the user. 

Whether an application is actually successful or not is directly tied to the application development processes. If this is your first foray into the world of app development, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. 

Keep reading for our full breakdown of all things app development, how to develop an app, and the different types of applications on the market. 

What is Application Development?

Before we start our deep dive into the intricacies of the different types of applications, let’s wait a moment.

We’ll want to learn the different development mythologies. And, make sure that we have a solid foundation regarding application development. 

In the simplest of terms, application development is the process of creating software that can perform different tasks. It’s a program that can take in inputs from the user. Followed by synthesizing them, then produce the appropriate output. 

An application can print out your sales reports on time. As well as automate your business processes, and even calculate your expenses. 

Regardless of its result parameters, every app will follow the same procedure. You’ll start with gathering the requirements. Followed by designing the prototypes, and testing them. Then, you’ll be implementing your new app and integrating it into your existing workflow. 

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The Different Types of Applications

Now you understand what an application is and what the development process could look like. It’s time to let you know that your app development will depend mainly on your type of application. 

So, let’s explore the different categories of applications. 

Based on Platform

Depending on the targeted platform that the application will be executed on, you can have your applications divided into desktop applications, web applications, mobile applications, and cloud applications.

Desktop Applications

These are applications that run on desktops, PCs, laptops, or other similar devices. Generally speaking, these applications can only run on those devices that they’ve been originally installed on. 

Think of applications like Microsoft Office, and a PDF reader. 

Web Applications

Instead of installing those applications, these are programs that are hosted on a web server. And, you can only access them through an internet connection. 

Great examples of web applications would be all the different social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

Mobile Applications

Whether it’s iOS or Android, mobile applications are intended to run on any mobile device. 

Some applications were originally aimed for mobile, and it shows. Think about the difference between using your Instagram app, and using Instagram’s web application version. 

There’s a big difference in quality and ease of use. The mobile app is superior to the web application by far.

Cloud Applications

Those are considered a more evolved version of the web applications. Basically, those don’t even need any browsers to run. They’re at the very cutting edge of scalable technology, as well as flexibility. 

You should learn more about the development process of cloud applications. Like how cloud foundry vs Kubernetes fares when it comes to deploying cloud-native apps. 

Based on Devices

Alright, what about applications that are mobile-native or desktop-native?

Similar to how developers keep in mind whether their application is a mobile application or it’s meant for desktop users. There’s the native category. 

Native Applications

Those are applications that are device-specific only.

Therefore, if the same developer wants to enter a new market, like the web application market. They will need to develop a whole new version of the application. 

Device Agnostic Applications

On the other end of the development spectrum, you have device-agnostic applications. 

Those are applications that have been designed to run on a wide range of devices. Of course, you’ll find this type of application is rather high in demand in comparison to native applications. 

After all, the majority of businesses don’t want to limit their products or services to one type of device and completely ignore others, and their users. 

How To Develop an App 101: The Types of Development

Now that we’ve covered the different kinds of applications, it’s time to explore the different methodologies of development. 

You’ll find that once you’ve chosen your application type, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve chosen the appropriate development methodology to achieve the best results possible. 

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Rapid Application Development

Developers have created the Rapid Application Development (RAD) model. So that they can enable faster delivery of the final product, without the app quality taking a hit. 

It’s an incremental approach. It asks for the development of individual modules of the application to work simultaneously. 

Low-Code Application Development

Those are applications that focus on using intuitive visual interfaces, ones that would make it easy to build and launch apps in no time at all. 

It’s a great methodology that’s suitable for non-programmers, as it requires minimal code to have a viable product. By dragging and dropping bits and snippets of code and modifying them, you’ll be able to have a working product with minimal effort. 

Database Application Development

This is a specialized type of application that comes with its own development methodology. Database applications are software that targets the collection, organization, and management of information. The trick is doing all of the above in the most efficient way possible. 

Therefore, they’ll have a development process that emphasizes sharing information with team members. Also, the creation of reports, and the performance of different calculations. 

Ready to Explore the World of App Development?

We know how overwhelming it can be to jump right into the application development field. And, figure out what your business actually needs.

Especially in the midst of the oversaturated market. 

Hopefully, our explainer has shed some light on how app development works, and its different categories. Just remember to do your research before finalizing your shortlist of app developers or app development providers. 

And, if you liked our article, make sure to check out additional tips and strategies, all available to you in our technology section. 

FAQ Related to Application Development

What is the process of application development?

The process of application development typically involves several stages, including: gathering requirements, designing the application, developing the application, testing and debugging, and deploying and maintaining the application.

How long does it typically take to develop an application?

The time it takes to develop an application can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the application and the size of the development team. A simple application can take several weeks to develop, while a more complex application can take several months or even a year or more.

What are the different types of applications that can be developed?

There are many different types of applications that can be developed, including: web applications, mobile applications, desktop applications, and gaming applications.

How much does it cost to develop an application?

The cost of developing an application can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the application, the size of the development team, and the technologies and tools used. On average, a basic application can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, while more complex applications can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

What are the key considerations when designing and developing an application?

Key considerations when designing and developing an application include:
User experience and usability
Security and privacy
Scalability and performance
Cross-platform compatibility
Integration with other systems or services
Design and visual appeal

How can I ensure the security and privacy of users’ data in my application?

To ensure the security and privacy of users’ data in your application, you should use secure protocols for data transmission, encrypt sensitive data, implement robust authentication and authorization mechanisms, and conduct regular security audits and testing.

How do I test and debug my application?

To test and debug an application, you can use various testing methods such as unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing. You can also use debugging tools such as console logs, breakpoints, and debugging software to identify and fix any bugs or issues in the application.

How can I market and promote my application to increase its visibility and user base?

To market and promote your application, you can use various methods such as:
Social media marketing
Influencer marketing
App store optimization
Email marketing
Paid advertising
Content marketing
PR and press outreach

How can I get feedback and improve my application based on user feedback?

To get feedback and improve your application, you can use various methods such as:
Surveys and questionnaires
User testing and focus groups
App store reviews and ratings
Analytics and usage data
Customer support and feedback channels

What are the tools and resources available for application development?

There are many tools and resources available for application development, including:
Development environments such as Android Studio, Xcode, Visual Studio Code
Programming languages and frameworks such as Java, Swift, React Native
Development libraries and APIs such as Firebase, Google Maps, and AWS
Testing and debugging tools such as JUnit, XCTest, and Charles
Design and prototyping tools such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD

How can I maintain and update my application over time?

To maintain and update your application over time, you should regularly release updates and bug fixes, monitor and address any issues or crashes reported by users, and continuously gather and incorporate feedback from users to improve the overall user experience.

How do I monetize my application?

There are several ways to monetize an application, including:
In-app purchases
Subscriptions
Advertising
Sponsorship
Paid downloads
Freemium model
Selling data to third-party companies
It’s important to choose the right monetization strategy that aligns with your target audience, the type of app and its usage.

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