11 Simple Steps to Help you Create an App

11 Simple Steps that can Help you to Build an App banner

Today, it is almost impossible to live a life where no apps exist, doesn’t seem normal, right? Our everyday activities now initiate and also end by the click on our app screen. As per a recent survey, it was estimated that more than 65% go through their emails first thing in the morning.

There’s no denying the fact that web and mobile applications have become an integral part of our modern lifestyle. Another reason apps are ruling is because with an app we are able to optimize as well as control various business operations effectively.

The opportunity to convert an app idea into an app reality seems so surreal but now it is possible. And with this many of us are turning into app entrepreneurs and building revenue with such apps.

So, instead of memorizing a lengthy guide on ‘How to build an App’, we are providing you 14 simple go-to steps on ‘How to create an App successfully’. Below are these easy and simple steps explained:

How to Create an App : STEP 1 – Setting a Goal(s)

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The thing about goals is that they are the most initial part of the entire process and holds great importance. A mobile application’s success greatly depends on the goal or goals that you have set for it. Otherwise, there’s really not any point to move forward without any sense of direction.

Now, the goals tend to vary from person to person depending on the expectations they have for their app. Let's try to understand this with the respect of an Entrepreneur and an Individual:

As an entrepreneur, your goals from your mobile app may be:

"To aim for a good funding for your application."

"To get huge Media coverage for your company through your app."

"To get endorsements deals for your app."

While as an Individual, the goals you might set would be:

"To get some name recognition by your app."

"To try out a personal project on a new concept."

So, let's have a look at some of the generic goals expected to be achieved by everyone while building an app:
  • Creating an innovative and unique app.

  • Having a highly interactive user interface.

  • Gaining a large social media fan following.

  • Getting thousands of downloads from the app stores.

  • Earning revenue from the mobile app.

How to Create an App : STEP 2 – Doing R&D and Analysis

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Yes, it’s true that without doing any research you won’t be able to even scratch the app industry surface. You can’t just turn on your laptop screen and start to proceed with the process without any concrete R&D that’s backing it up.

Reserch

Do thorough research about the industry vertical for which you want to build an app then lookout for the main competitors in that particular field of industry. In order to get mobile app ideas that are interesting and profitable at the same time, you need to perform a ton of research.

“Remember that you always need to back up your potential app ideas by validation through extensive market research.”

Some examples of innovative and interesting app ideas that have successfully created a name for themselves in the market are –

  • WhatsApp- This app can be referred to as one of the ultimate app ideas which in the beginning did not seemed promising. But now in the year 2018, WhatsApp has crossed over 2 Billion users and that’s a number which any other social media/messenger has not received yet.

  • Art App – Google’s Art and Culture app was another app idea that becomes famous overnight. This art mobile app allows the user to find their selfie’s closest match in worldwide historian paintings.

  • Instagram- Now owned by Facebook, Instagram is a widely popular app which serves as a platform to share images as well as videos with people. Few years back when the selfie trend was at its all time high, Instagram was overflowing with large number of users. Nowadays, this app is including more new features like ‘Stories’ and ‘Highlights’ making it a users favorite.

Once the R&D portion is completed, you will now be analyzing the research done and curate it properly. The mobile app idea that you have finalized should be a completely feasible idea in the first place. Once it is clear then examine the copyright possibilities and restrictions that can put a hold on the app development process.

Analysis

After the copyright portion, come to the marketing and sales sections to analyze. Here, you will create a marketing outline keeping in mind the sales perspective for your app. Determine what will be the target audience for your app in terms of:

  • Gender
  • Age Group
  • Location
  • Culture and many other factors.

How to Create an App : STEP 3 – Stating of Ideas

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At times, we may think that we don’t need to sketch because we already have a clear idea of how we want to create an app. But in reality, it’s not that easy to build an app when ideas are locked inside our head. That's why visualizing of ideas can easily make us understand the working concept of an app via a sketch.

From small to large enterprises, every business is showing full dedication in luring the end-users from their mobile apps. This is the step where sketching of your app ideas takes place where you will give a visual representation to your thoughts.

You can state ideas either by just jotting down the points in plain text or by creating a sketch where the flow of the entire process is showcased. . You should always favor the sketching method to be more aware of the unfolding of events and stages in your app

Many people often tend to confuse between the terms sketching and drawing. But in reality, both of these terms are quite different from one another.

  • Sketching is a means of conveying your ideas and expectations from the app by getting them out and reviewing them.
  • Drawing can be simply referred to as creating a piece of art and not elaborating ideas.

Sketching of ideas plays an essential part in creating an app because during the early stages of the process we would be taking reference from this sketch.

Setting

In simple words, this visual representation will feature the entire cycle of the whole process of creating an app but in a short version. Another great thing about sketching is that you do not require high-end pieces of equipment. All you need is a clean sheet of paper and pen to start with your sketching.

In the previous point, we discussed about setting goals and the same applies to sketching goals as well:

  • First aim is to define what you actually need to sketch for your app!
  • Secondly, whether the sketching is for your peers or for higher level executives, sketch accordingly!

Sketching of ideas plays an essential part in creating an app because during the early stages of the process we would be taking reference from this sketch.

How to Create an App : STEP 4 – Wireframes

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What do we know so far?

  • You need to set your goals and expectations for your app building process.

  • You need to perform in-depth research on your respective topic and then analyze that R&D data.

  • You need to get a visual representation to your app's idea and its flow by sketching. Now, you need to move to the next step of wireframing where wireframes can be also referred to as the blueprints of the mobile and web applications.

“You can say that wireframe is the skeleton that somehow provides shape to the finalized product.”

Who should create Wireframes?

Wireframing can be done by a number of professionals depending on their roles and requirements in the project. But as per our experience, Business Analysts are the ones who should create wireframes.

Here's why wireframing should be done by Business Analysts:

  • The Business Analysts have great knowledge of wireframe tools.
  • The BA teams also have rich experience of working of various other applications
  • Business Analysts mainly focus on the data points, the links between the items, along with attributes, and sections that are to be covered

What are the advantages of wireframing and who benefits from these wireframes?

Below are some of the advantages of Wireframing as per business perspective:

  • Providing a visual understanding of the application and its development to the customer.
  • Establishing a more accurate and clear timeline of the whole process of building an app.
  • Helps in collecting all essential Data Points regarding the project.

Benefits of Wireframing as per various roles in the project:

  • Developer - For Developers, the wireframing provides clarity on understanding the system design flow along with data items
  • Designer - With wireframes, the Designers have much more control over what and where the items are to be used.
  • Investor - For Investors, wireframes help them create interest in the app by knowing the concept behind it and its operation. So they can decide whether the app is worth investing or not. With these wireframes, the investors can also show the app’s concept to their partners and ask for suggestions.
  • Customer - With wireframes, the customers get a visual summary of the app's concept and its working.

Wireframes can be of two kinds:

  • Wireframes that can be drawn on paper – Even though drawing wireframes on paper is easier and also faster. But when it comes to sharing these paper wireframes with team members and managers they lack professionalism.
  • Wireframes that are digitally made – We know for a fact that wireframes are the stepping stones for prototypes. In order to make our work process more efficient we need to convert paper format into a digital one. Another plus point of digital wireframes, is that they can be converted into digital prototypes easily.

ayalysis

The thing to keep in mind here is arranging the UI elements to make the navigation throughout the app easier for the end-user. For making digital wireframes these top tools/software comes really handy:

  • Protoshare - It is an online tool that focuses on online collaboration and is known for its prototyping features. It consists of a library of drag-and-drop elements with a sitemap, and with this, the end-users can use custom CSS and insert their own elements in it.
  • Pencil Project - It is an open source wireframing tool which is available on Mac, Linux, and Windows for free. Some of its features are multi-page documents, z-ordering, scaling, external object import and many more.
  • Moqups- Moqups is an effective wireframe tool that takes the user through the whole process of wireframes with the help of storyboards, site maps, functional prototypes etc.

The key motive behind the making of wireframes is to visualize the structure of app’s concept by keeping in mind the business point of view as well.

How to Create an App : STEP 5 – Emphasizing App’s Look

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Now, that we have understood the importance of wireframes in creating an app. It's time we talk about what actually is the main difference between a good app and a bad app - it is User Experience!

Yes, the UX (User Experience) can either make your app rank among the top or make it a market flop.

But what exactly is UX Design? And why you need to find a balance between UI and UX?

  • User Experience Design - UX design can be defined as a discipline that is concerned with all the elements that together make up the whole interface, including text, layout, sound, visual design, brand, and interaction. User Interface Design - The term User Interface Design (UI) of an app can be defined as an implication of the look and feel of that app. Because UI is mainly focused on the presentation part the UI Designers highest priority is the graphic design of the application.
  • User Interface Design - The term User Interface Design (UI) of an app can be defined as an implication of the look and feel of that app. Because UI is mainly focused on the presentation part the UI Designers highest priority is the graphic design of the application.

“User Experience Design (UX) and User Interface (UI) are two terms that come up a lot while designing an app and are also used interchangeably by a majority of people.”

But what people are not aware of is that mixing these two terms can result in a huge mess and that's why it is so crucial to maintaining a balance between UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience).

As the app designing stage is one of the most important stages and needs extra guidance while implementing. As per our expertise we would recommend to hire the app designers that hold at least 5 years of designing applications.

What are the Stages of App Designing?

For UI designing, one of the best practices known as the 'Planning Methodology' and these are the few stages that methodology consists of:

  • Color Selection After functionality, color is the second crucial aspect of your application. In the first stage, explore the color scheme options for your app which can be complementary, analogous, monochromatic, or custom.

  • Logo Designing Once the color scheme is finalized then next stage is to work on designing the logo for your app. Your app logo will be the symbol by which your app will be recognized so make sure it’s simple and effective at the same time.

  • IterationsCreate at least three options of color combinations and logos for your app. Then finalize the one that suits the best app’s requirements. If not, then repeat the above two stages and keep following iterations until they are not finalized.

  • Final Design Once the iterations are stopped and you have finalized the app logo and color scheme. Now, it’s time to work on the final the selected design and add finishing touch to the screens.

Desigining

NOTE: While working on the user interface your aim should be to create a UI that’s simple yet smart for the end-user. The designing of the app should be done with respect to the targeted audience.

For example, if the target users are from the age group of 21-35 they won’t be amused by animated icons with teenage style themes.

If you look at some of the current famous and trending mobile applications you will notice that these common attributes:

  • Attractive Theme
  • Innovative Design
  • Easier to Navigate
  • No overflowing of Information

A mobile app UX design should be very user-centric, with designers focusing on its usability issues to ensure the making of a user-friendly app. So that, the users opening the mobile app should feel like they intuitively know their way in the app.

How to Create an App : STEP 6 – Development

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Now that we have completed the app designing stages, the next step is the development of the application.

Mainly, the app development into two major categories which are:

  • Native App Development
  • Hybrid App Development

To select between these approaches to app development depends on your business objectives and overall goals of the application. Let’s dive into these approaches to get a better understanding:

Native App Development

Native apps are the most common type of apps which are built for specific platforms such as iOS and Android. These applications are written in those languages that are accepted by the platforms. For example:

  • Swift: Swift is a general-purpose compiled programming language which is multi-paradigm as well. Swift and Objective C is used for developing native apps for the iOS platform.

  • Java: Java is an object-oriented general-purpose computer-programming language that is concurrent and class-based. It is one of those programming languages that are used for native app development for Android platform.

Other than Android and iOS, the Native apps are also built using the specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the specific operating systems.

Pros of Native Apps
  • Native apps are known to have the best performance
  • Native Apps are more intuitive, interactive, and smooth running in respect of user input and output
  • Internet connection is not mandatory for Native apps, only if all data is saved locally.
  • Native Apps allow the developers to access the full feature set on a given platform
  • Better User Experience as the flow is more natural with specific UI standards for each platform

Cons of Native Apps
  • Native Apps are more expensive in comparison
  • Not the best efficient option to pick for very simple apps
  • Complex languages to learn hence you need experienced developers

Hybrid App Development

Although, the hybrid apps behave like native apps and work across similar platforms. But a hybrid app is essentially a combination of a native app with a web application. Here, users can install these apps on their device like a native app but it is actually a web application.

The Hybrid app development can essentially do everything HTML5 does, except the incorporation of the native app features.

Similar to the websites over the internet, these mobile apps are also built with a combination of web technologies like:

  • JavaScript - JavaScript also known as JS is a widely recognized full-fledged dynamic programming language that, when applied to an HTML document, can offer high dynamic interactivity on the websites.
  • CSS - CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language that is used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language like HTML.

Pros of Hybrid Apps
  • It is much easier to build a Hybrid App
  • Hybrid Apps are cheaper than Native Apps
  • You do not require a browser for Hybrid App
  • Hybrid App is faster to develop as you only have one code base

Cons of Hybrid Apps
  • Hybrid Apps are slower than native apps
  • Hybrid Apps are less interactive than native apps
  • High customization will take you far away from the original hybrid model.

Tools for Hybrid App Development
  • Xamarin: It is a great tool as it saves your time in re-utilizing several abilities, tools, teams and the also the significant code part.

  • PhoneGap: PhoneGap is one of the most popular frameworks for hybrid app development and is an open source distribution of Cordova framework.

  • Framework7:Framework7: It is an open source mobile HTML framework to develop hybrid mobile apps as well as web apps with iOS & Android platforms and is also free.

The difference between Native Apps and Hybrid Apps is not ground-shattering. But as per our expertise, you should opt for native app development as they are better for projects in business perspective.

Now, we have talked about the pros as well as cons of the Native and Hybrid apps. It’s time we move ahead with one of the main segment i.e. Frontend and Backend Development.

App-Development
Frontend Development

The front end development is also called the 'client-side' programming, i.e. what happens on the browser. It is basically everything the users sees and interacts with.

In other words, front-end web development can be defined as the practice of converting the data into a graphical interface for the user. This graphical interface can be viewed as well as interacted with the user through the digital interaction using Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

Below is the general flow of the frontend development:

  • A site is loaded in a browser from the server.
  • Then the client-side scripts run in the browser and processes requests without any call-backs to the server.
  • When a call is required to the database, then AJAX and JavaScript send the requests to the back-end.
  • The backend server-side scripts the processes the request and pull what they need from the database to send it back.
  • Finally, the server-side scripts processes the data then update the site accordingly. Like populating the drop-down menus, loading products to a page, updating the user profile etc.

"What is the main Role of a Front-end Developer?"

Frontend Developers play a vital role in creating interactivity and the user experience, they also check how the client-side scripts are working in terms of providing better user experience.

Backend Development

Backend Development, in other words, it is also known as CMS that stands for Content Management System. This back-end part of the mobile or web app remains hidden from the customers and is only visible to the developers.

Why do we need backend and what’s it use?

  • To access the data and information that users require through the app.
  • Combining and transforming that information.
  • And returning that information in its new form to the requester.

Also, the backend requires the ‘Translators’ with which developers are able to translate a pure code into a human-understanding language. And for this translating purpose APIs i.e. Application Programming Interfaces are used.

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Some of the main keywords that play a major role in Back-end Development are:

  • Frameworks – Frameworks are the libraries of the server-side programming languages that construct the back-end structure of an app.

  • Stack – The term stack comprises of the server-side framework, database, and the OS (Operating System).

  • Server-Side Scripts - These server-side scripts process the requests and gather what they require from the database.

The Backend Developers require to have a different skill set than a Frontend Developers as per technologies. Like, a frontend developer’s focused areas might be JavaScript and HTML.

  • JavaScript – JavaScript also known as JS, is a high-level, interpreted programming language that can be also characterized as dynamic, prototype-based, and multi-paradigm language.

  • HTML – HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard markup language for creating web pages as well as web applications with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Whereas, for a backend developer ASP.NET MVC and PHP web frameworks hold much more value, as they are used in building/designing architecture of the app.

  • ASP.NET MVC – It is an open-source web application framework which was developed by Microsoft, which implements the MVC pattern i.e. model–view–controller.

  • PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor/PHP is a server-side scripting language that is designed for the Web development but is also used as a general-purpose programming language.

These are the basics for beginners that every back-end developer should be aware of – to know how to create a User Interface, In-depth knowledge of Frameworks etc.

In order to execute an application, we also need to select a methodology to move ahead. There are several other methodologies available in the market for the purpose of app development.

But many leading companies of the IT industry suggest selecting agile methodology for your application development process.

Agile Methodology

The Agile Methodology is a practice that promotes the continuous iteration of development as well as testing throughout the software development lifecycle of a project. But in agile methodology, both development and testing activities are concurrent unlike in the Waterfall model.

Core values on which Agile Methodology focuses:

  • Emphasizing on the customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to changes over following a certain plan.
  • The individual as well as team interactions over processes and tools.
  • Accentuating on working software over comprehensive documentation.

How to Create an App : STEP 7 – Testing

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After the development stage, our next step is testing which is an end-to-end process to test the app development process so far. Testing stage refines in on the quality as well as performance of the end product.

We at ChromeInfotech, recommend using the agile methodology testing methods over other testing methods. Below are mentioned some of the best agile testing methods to test your app development process:

Agile Testing Methods

  • Scrum - It is an agile development method which mainly concentrates specifically on how to manage tasks within a team-based app development environment.
  • Extreme Programming (XP) - The Extreme Programming technique is one of the most helpful testing methods as it supports frequent 'product releases' in short development cycles, which further improves the process productivity.

Another other agile testing method is DSDM that stands for Dynamic Software Development Method and is a RAD (Rapid Application Development) approach to software development that also provides an agile project delivery framework.

Now that we have covered the methods of testing let’s have a look at types of testing. Here are the two key testing types that are to be performed in a project:

  • Internal Testing
  • Beta Testing

Internal Testing

As the name suggests, the internal testing is the type of testing that is performed internally i.e. within the team. The QA team is responsible for testing the app internally and creating a detailed report on the bug analysis.

Here several iterations are being performed to make sure the bugs and other issues have been resolved from the app.

In this internal testing, the testing is done in respect to various sprints that are divided by the team itself. Testing with sprints is much simpler and it is easier to track the issues in sections.

Beta Testing

The beta testing is another type of testing where the monitoring of the app’s performance takes place. Once the app is completed tested by the testing team, the sprints are combined. And the final output is sent to the clients for the testing purpose.

Beta testing plays a crucial role as the app is tested by the clients themselves and then their feedback is shared by the team. This feedback is quite valuable as further client-side app modifications are based on it.

What tools should be used for testing?

The phase of testing is incomplete without the usage of testing tools. Below are the top bug-tracking tools that are available in the market:

  • Bugzilla - Bugzilla is an open source tool which offers some powerful features like search capabilities, time tracking, duplicate bug detection, and a patch reviewer to makes it easier to read the code.
  • Backlog - Backlog is an online project management solution that is basically made for developers, that also includes bug tracking. With backlog, you can see where all of your bugs are into your overall app workflow.
  • Redmine - This tool is more than just a bug tracker and that's why we recommend it. Redmine has been available in the market for more than a decade and is compatible with Microsoft SQL, MySQL, and SQLite.

As a top-notch app development company, we know how much importance the testing tools hold during the testing stage. That’s why we highly suggest using the best testing tools for your app.

How to Create an App : STEP 8 – Beta Version

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Nowadays, it has become an essential step to release a beta version before the final release of a product and the same rule applies to apps as well.

What actually is a beta version?

A beta version of a mobile or web app is released before the final application release to perform beta testing on it. And in beta testing, a specific group of users is selected who act as beta testers for that app.

The job of beta testers is to report any issues or bugs that are encountered while operating the mobile app. And afterwards, provide feedback collecting during the usage of the app and their experience with it.

There are two types of beta versions:

  • Closed Beta Versions
  • Open Beta Versions.
  • Closed Beta Versions - In closed beta versions, the app is released to a selected group of individuals allowed by invitation only.

  • Open Beta Versions - Whereas, the open beta version is for a larger group or the general audience who is interested. Beta testing is an extremely preferred method to gain feedback from the real-time user.

How to Create an App : STEP 9 – App Launch

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Now we have reached on the most exciting step of the entire process of building an app. This is the part that holds extreme importance for the person who is developing the application.

The first time you submit your app to the App Store is exciting but also nerve-racking at the same time. Even for experienced app developers, the task to submit an app to a platform-specific App Store is often stressful.

That’s the reason why some points should be taken into consideration before launching your application on the respective app store.

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Things to consider before launching an app from User’s Perspective

  • Icon – This icon will act as a symbolic representation for your app on the app store and also over the internet. So, make sure it represents your app’s theme appropriately.
  • Description – The description on your app should be a summary of the app’s concept, its usage, and benefits. It should be written in a short and to the point manner.
  • Screenshots – We are aware of the fact that pictures are more impactful than plain text. That’s why you should add those app screenshots that are attractive and display the app’s services clearly.
  • Video – Although it is not a mandatory rule to add the video for your app but we highly recommend doing so as it provides more value to your app.
  • Updates – This is not an initial step but as per user’s perspective, they favor the app’s that get updates at a faster pace. So, once you release an update for your app make sure to mention its updating factors in bullet points in the app’s description.

Steps to launch your app on Google Play Store

The very first thing that you need to do is going through the Google’s App Store guidelines. And then these are the steps that you need to follow in order to launch your Android app on the Google Play Store.

Steps to launch your app on Apple’s App Store

The initial step in submitting your app in the iOS app store is to register on the app store. Once registered, you can further follow these steps that are required to launch your iOS app on the Apple’s App Store.

How to Create an App : STEP 10 – App Marketing

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Once your app has hit the app stores, then focus on app promotion on social media platforms to engage a much broader spectrum of users. In order to remain in the top charts, you have to constantly update your apps with upgrades and new features.

Keep a constant eye on your app’s statistics and accordingly make improvements. This won’t allow your mobile application to lose its usability in the long run. Another thing to regularly check for is the app store’s guidelines which get updated from time to time.

App-Promotion

Do you want to know how to make your app visible in app stores?

To make your app visible in the app store is not just a step but an entire process of optimizing your app to rank higher in an app store's search results.

So, the higher your app ranks in the app store's search results, the more visible it is to the potential customers.

The marketing techniques you use can make or break your app’s chances of being successful. Choose those marketing tactics that are latest and trending for your mobile app to avoid it getting lost in the pool of millions of other apps.

If you have a doubt or a question regarding the app development procedure, feel free to contact our team of experts to have a free consultation session.

How to Create an App : STEP 11 – Maintenance

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Generally, people think that the app maintenance phase only comes into action when they come across an issue with their app. But that’s not true!

Also after spending a significant amount of time and money on designing, testing, and developing your app, you won't be much keen in investing some more money.

This is one of the reasons majority of people tend to skip this stage. As per our expertise, we would recommend not going ahead with app maintenance step until and unless you are not completely aware of your app’s targeted audience behavior.

Maintainance

However, people are unaware of the fact that app maintenance plays an important contribution in your app's success.

Let us mention some of the few things that should be considered in the app maintenance stage:

Why do we need App Maintenance?

  • Without app maintenance, your app's functionality won't be enhanced.
  • The app maintenance can lead your app towards an increased lifespan.
  • You will surely notice better productivity of your app's business operations.
  • Also, the continuous maintenance of your app will result in high and improved app quality.

There is also a misconception that app maintenance is not a cheap process and requires a great deal of money. Even if you have a strict budget to follow for your app development process, you can still include maintenance phase in it.

Here’s how you can do it – Start by creating a list of features that you want to get looked upon first. Then once those high-priority features are updated and move to the next list of features to want to get updated.

Also, the application that is frequently maintained and gets updated regularly is more trusted by the users hence getting more recognition.


Final Conclusion

As a leading Mobile and Web App Development Company, ChromeInfotech, with years of rich experience in designing and developing apps, we tried to provide valuable information with this content on how to create an app.

We hope this content can help you answer your questions regarding the whole process of app development. And if you have a doubt or any queries regarding the above-mentioned steps of building an app, feel free to reach us out at sales@chromeinfotech.com.

We would be happy to help you resolve your doubts regarding app building process and its stages!

How To Build An App – Infographic

Create an App
How to Create an App