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Our prediction the next generation of customers and employees will be digital-native and will have greater familiarity with touch screen devices.
Regardless of the size and scope of your project, following this mobile development process will help you launch your mobile apps successfully.
Before we get to the mobile development process, let’s first review why mobile apps are key to business success.

Unleashing Business Potential: 6 Compelling Reasons to Invest in a Mobile App

1.Enhancing & boosting brand customer engagement &  loyalty

A mobile app will provide exposure for your products and services in many different ways. By providing customers a better and easier way to interact with your business, you will increase their engagement and loyalty resulting in a strong ROI on your mobile app investments.

2.      Direct additional marketing channel

With your mobile app, customers access vital business information: products, services, promotions, and updates. Through news feeds, reminders, and targeted push notifications, businesses connect directly, fostering seamless interaction and enhanced customer engagement.

3.      Improving employee experiences

Mobile apps allow employees to access work specific information and customer data in real-time regardless of their location.

4.      Data-Driven Insights for driving growth

When your customers install your mobile app on their devices, it captures data that can empower your company to understand your customers’ needs to optimize your offerings.

5.      Personalized User Experience

Tailor-made features and targeted notifications provide personalized experiences, enhancing customer satisfaction.

6.      Competitive Advantage

Investing in a mobile app sets your business apart from competitors, showcasing innovation and modernity.

7.      Revenue Growth Opportunities

Mobile apps facilitate convenient transactions, in-app purchases, and monetization avenues, driving revenue growth for your business.

Exploring Mobile Device Platforms

  1. Mobile App Development: Unveiling the process of creating software applications for mobile devices and accessing remote computing resources.
  2. iOS vs. Android: Analyzing the two leading mobile platforms—iOS by Apple Inc. and Android by Google and their unique characteristics.
  3. Software Development Kits (SDKs): Understanding the distinct SDKs and development toolchains required for iOS and Android app development.
  4. Device Compatibility: Highlighting how iOS exclusively runs on Apple devices, while Android is open to various manufacturers meeting specific requirements.
  5. Market Dominance: Exploring the widespread usage of iOS and Android platforms in today’s mobile devices market.
  6. Testing and Backend Services: Discussing the crucial aspects of testing mobile apps on target devices and implementing backend services through APIs.

Mobile App Development Process

Creating a successful mobile app for your business requires a refined development process. Our six-phase approach includes strategy, analysis & planning, design, app development, testing, and deployment. With our tested and proven methodology, we can help your company achieve success in the world of mobile app development.

1.    Strategy

Strategy in mobile app development involves careful planning, market research, and defining goals. It includes understanding the target audience, determining core features, and establishing a monetization strategy. This phase sets the direction for the entire development process, ensuring a solid foundation for success.

  • In this phase, we will:
  • Define your app’s purpose
  • Identify your app’s audience
  • Research the competition
  • Establish the app’s goals and objectives

Start-up Mobile app development cost might $5000 to $200,000 for a large enterprise in Uganda, taking 4-6 months. Strategy focuses app vision for the next development phase.

2.      Analysis and Planning

The analysis and planning phase in mobile app development involve conducting thorough research, gathering requirements, and creating a detailed project roadmap. This phase is crucial for understanding user needs, defining app functionalities, and determining the technical specifications required for development. Through careful analysis and planning, potential challenges are identified, and strategies are formulated to overcome them. The outcome of this phase provides a solid foundation for the subsequent design and development stages of the app.

3.      UI / UX Design

The UI/UX design phase in mobile app development focuses on creating an intuitive and visually appealing user interface. It involves wireframing, prototyping, and iterating on the design to ensure a seamless user experience. The UI design focuses on the aesthetics, layout, and visual elements of the app, while the UX design focuses on enhancing usability and user satisfaction. By considering user behavior, preferences, and industry best practices, a well-crafted UI/UX design ensures an engaging and user-friendly app interface.

“We will Unleash seamless user experiences with a polished app design.”


·         The main steps in UI/UX design include:

  1. Research and Analysis:

Conducting user research, competitor analysis, and understanding business goals to gather insights and define design requirements.

2.      Wireframing:

Creating a basic layout and structure of the app’s interface, outlining key elements and user flow without focusing on visual aesthetics.

3.      Prototyping:

Developing interactive prototypes to simulate user interactions and test the app’s functionality and usability.

4.      Visual Design:

Applying visual elements, such as color schemes, typography, and imagery, to create an appealing and cohesive visual design that aligns with the brand and enhances the user experience.

5.      Usability Testing:

Conducting user testing sessions to gather feedback on the design, identify pain points, and make necessary improvements to enhance usability.

6.      Iteration and Refinement:

Iterating on the design based on user feedback and refining the interface to optimize user experience, usability, and visual appeal.

7.      Handoff to Development:

Collaborating with developers to ensure a smooth transition of the design, providing design assets and specifications for implementation.

4.      App Development

App development typically takes place after the UI/UX design phase. Once the design has been finalized, including wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, the development phase begins.

Before actual development/programming efforts start, you will have to:

  • Define the technical architecture,
  • Pick a technology stack, and
  • Define the development milestones.

In addition to the points above, if the scope of your mobile app development includes technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), you will need to verify that your app development team has the capabilities to design and implement them. Taking such a technological approach will enable your app to provide atypical, rich user experiences. Thus, greatly differentiating your app from those existing in the market and your company from its competitors.

A typical mobile app project is made up of three integral parts: back-end/server technology, API(s) and the mobile app front-end.

Back-End/Server Technology

This includes database and server-side objects needed to support mobile app functionality. If you are using an existing back-end platform, you might require modifications for your new mobile product.


An Application Programming Interface (API) is a method of communication between the app and a back-end server/database. Leveraging microservice-based architecture with proper encryption standards allows companies to create a scalable and secured interface for data exchange between the front-end and back-end of mobile apps.

Mobile App Front-End

The front-end is the native mobile app an end-user installs and interacts with on their mobile devices. In most cases, mobile apps consist of interactive user experiences that rely on real-time data and require network connectivity between app’s front-end and back-end. In some cases, app’s might require to work offline and utilize data storage on the mobile device.

There are four major development approaches when building mobile applications.

Native mobile applications are written in the platform’s programming language and frameworks and run directly on the operating system of the device such as iOS and Android. Native mobile apps provide best performance and user experience.

Cross-platform native mobile applications

For Cross-platform native mobile applications can be written in a range of programming languages and frameworks, and then compiled into a native application that runs on the device’s operating system. Cross-platform mobile apps are a good fit for simpler mobile applications that don’t require native device features and apps don’t have to be updated as soon as new OS frameworks are released.

Hybrid mobile applications

Also Hybrid mobile applications are built with standard web technologies, including JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5, and then bundled as app installation packages. A web container offers a browser runtime and a bridge for native device APIs using Apache Cordova. Hybrid mobile applications are a good option for companies that want to repurpose existing web applications and have a moderate budget.

Progressive web applications(PWAs)

Additionally, Progressive web applications provide an alternative approach to traditional mobile app development that sidesteps app store delivery and app installations. They are web applications that use browser capabilities including working offline, running a background process, and adding a link to the device home screen. This creates an ‘app like’ user experience. PWAs are a good option for apps that have limited functionality and require working offline.

Mobile app development

Mobile app development can require integration with external APIs, allowing them to rapidly integrate, use, and consume the most common capabilities into their application.

These include:

  • Single and Multi-factor authentication services for user sign-up / sign-in
  • Push notifications
  • Payment processing
  • Location tracking
  • Analytics for tracking user engagement
  • Social media integration
  • Media access
  • Cloud data storage
  • Chat integration
  • CRM connectivity
  • Voice and conversational bots

Mobile technologies advance much faster with new versions of mobile platforms. Furthermore, new mobile devices are released every few months. With platforms and devices rapidly changing, agility is essential to launch mobile apps within timelines and budgets. Defining development milestones as part of the agile development plan supports developing your mobile application in iteration. If time-to-market is a priority, use an agile development approach.

During the development stage, mobile app developers can use version control solutions like GitHub to manage and share source code with other app developers on the team. Prior to starting mobile development, your team can establish a procedure for managing source code and generating app development builds for app QA testing.

After each development milestone, the mobile app is passed on to the app testing team for validation. Include crash tracking and log reporting through programs like Sentry and Crashlytics. This will benefit in troubleshooting technical errors generated while using your app.

Application Testing

Performing thorough quality assurance (QA) testing during the mobile app development process makes applications stable, usable and secure. To ensure comprehensive QA testing of your mobile apps, you first need to prepare test cases that address all aspects of app testing.

Similar to how use cases drive the process of mobile app development, test cases drive mobile app testing. Test cases guide your team to perform test steps, record test results for software quality evaluation, and track fixes for retesting. A best practice approach is involving your QA team in the Analysis and Design stages. Their familiarity with your app’s functional requirements and objectives will help produce accurate test cases. Many companies also prefer test driven development and test automation. This requires additional efforts in developing and maintaining tests, and your engineering team will have to weigh in on the pros and cons of implementing testing automation. Your app should undergo the testing methods below to deliver a quality solution.

User Experience Testing

A critical step in mobile app testing is to confirm that the final implementation matches the user experience as created by the app design team. Visuals, workflow and interactivity are what will give end users a first-hand impression of your app. Make sure that your app employs consistent fonts, style treatments, color scheme and padding between data, icon design and navigation. Ensuring that your app matches the original design guidelines will have a direct impact on its user adoption.

Functional Testing

The accuracy of your mobile app functionality is essential to its success. While it’s difficult to predict every end user’s behavior and usage scenario, functional (or function) testing allows you to establish that nearly every possible behavior has been proven to work.

The functionality of your app should be tested by many users to cover as many potential testing conditions as possible. You might be surprised to catch bugs when two different users test the same feature, but get different outcomes. For example, both users can fill out the same form, but both might enter different data – which could lead to discovering a defect.

The purpose of functional testing is to ensure that users can use your app’s features and functionality without any issues. It can be broken down further into system testing (the app working as a whole), and unit testing (individual functions of the app operating correctly).

If you are building an app for both iOS and Android mobile platforms, then your functional testing should include a feature comparison between both versions of your mobile app.

Performance Testing

There are many quantitative criteria available to measure your app’s performance.

  • Is the size of your app bigger than it should be?
  • How well is your app responding to the user requests?
  • How fast are the app’s screens loading?
  • Is your app draining the phone battery, or causing memory leaks?
  • Does your app leverage network bandwidth efficiently?

Even when your app passes basic performance criteria, test the app, API and backend for load by simulating the maximum number of concurrent users. Your app should be able to handle the load and perform well even when usage spikes.

Security Testing

Security is of utmost concern for enterprise mobile apps. Any potential vulnerability can lead to a hack. Many companies hire outside agencies to perform thorough security testing on their applications. However, your QA and development teams can take a few simple measures to help secure your app.

Any APIs used by your app for interfacing with the backend must use the “HTTPS” protocol and include additional authentication for API access. This is a standard way to secure communication between your app and its backend. Note: you must have an SSL certificate installed on your backend for this to work correctly.

If your app requires users to log in, these log in sessions should be tracked on the device and the backend. User sessions should be terminated by the system when a user has remained idle for an extended time (typically ten mins or less on a mobile app). If your app stores user credentials on the device to make it convenient for them to re-login, then you must ensure it’s using a trusted service. For example, iOS provides the Keychain feature that can be used for storing a user’s account details for a specific app.

Data entry forms within your mobile app should be tested to ensure there is no data leakage.

Device and Platform Testing

On average, new mobile devices enter the market every 12 months with new hardware, firmware and design. Mobile operating systems are updated every few months.

Multiple mobile device manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola use the open source Android platform, but they customize the platform for their mobile devices, which come in different sizes and form factors.

Compare that to Apple, which has a more controlled environment, since they own and manage both the hardware and the OS. However, there are multiple iPhone & iPad (Apple iOS) devices on the market.

This is where testing during the mobile app development process differs significantly from web app testing. You can get away by testing your web app just on the Chrome browser in a Windows environment or using a service like BrowserStack to test across multiple browsers and different resolutions. But your mobile app must be tested on multiple mobile devices or device simulators to ensure smooth working of your app for all users. You can also leverage test farm services to test your app across multiple devices, OS versions, and simulating concurrent users.

If you are building mobile apps with features requiring augmented reality and AI capabilities, you will require devices that support these technologies. That calls for specific test conditions and environments to validate these functions.

Mobile app testing

Mobile app testing on all mobile devices, ongoing support costs and the headaches of mobile device management add to mobile app complexity. These are primary reasons why many companies build their enterprise mobile apps for a single mobile platform and often provide mobile devices to their employees. In our experience, most companies tend to develop their enterprise mobile apps first with Apple’s iOS mobile platform. Android platform version is more often a secondary concern.

Testing is imperative to an app’s success. It encompasses a substantial section of our overall mobile app development process. Possessing and implementing a comprehensive mobile testing strategy is a must for delivering quality mobile apps.

During the testing phase, there are many ways for distributing your app development builds to the testers. The most common approach with iOS apps is using the Test flight and for Android apps Over the Air (OTA) installs or through Google Play.

  1. Deployment & Support

To release your native mobile app you must submit it to the appropriate app store, Apple App Store for iOS apps and Google Play for Android apps. However, you will need a developer account with Apple App Store and Google Play Store before launching your mobile app.

While packaging your app for app store submission, use a name and bundle identifier that is different from the QA version of your app. This will help you separate QA and production versions of your app. This way you can continue to test future upgrades to your app prior to releasing them.

An app’s release in the app store requires preparing metadata including:

  • Your app’s title
  • App store screenshots
  • Short description
  • Description
  • Category
  • Keywords
  • Launch icon
  • Banner graphic
  • Promotional video

If your app requires users to log in, then you will need to provide a test user account as part of the submission process. Once submitted, apps go through the app store review process. This may take a few days, depending on the quality of your app and how closely it follows the app store’s guidelines. If rejected, you will be notified with a reason for rejection. After correcting the issues, you can resubmit the app and go through additional review until the app is approved and published in the app store.

How to ensure success of your app after launch

After your app becomes available in the app stores, monitor its usage through mobile analytics platforms and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring your app’s success. Frequently check crash reports, or other user reported issues.

Encourage users to provide your company with feedback and suggestions for your app. Prompt support for end-users and, if necessary, frequently patching the app with improvements will be vital to keeping users engaged.

Unlike web apps where patch releases can be available to app users instantly, mobile app updates will have to go through the same submission and review process as the initial submission. Moreover, with native mobile apps, you have to continually stay on top of technology advancements and routinely update your app for new mobile devices and OS platforms.

How long does it take to make an app?

The answer depends on functionality and other aspects, just as the time needed to build a mass-produced economy car is not the same as a handmade luxury vehicle. The project scope is vastly different for a low complexity mobile app, or one that is moderate complexity or high.

On the low end, a strong development team can produce an app in eight to ten weeks. The same team could deliver a moderate complexity app in four to six months. And that same team would need the better part of a year to build a high complexity app along the lines of Facebook, Uber, Netflix, TikTok, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor or Duolingo. In How long does it take to make an app? you’ll understand what goes into producing a proper timeline to deliver your app.

How much does it cost to make a mobile app?

Again, the answer depends on functionality and a host of other conditions. With that in mind – along with what you’ve read in this article so far – you can see that even a low complexity mobile app requires an experienced team and a systematic process.

You may also now see how the idea that mobile apps are built in a week and cost under $5,000 is a myth. Unfortunately, the gig economy and news coverage on overnight successes promote a notion that successful mobile apps are inexpensive and easy to build. In our experience, average cost of mobile app development ranges in $5000 – $200,000 and might cost even more for advanced mobile applications. For example, costs for creating pilot/MVP versions of popular apps like Instagram, Uber, and Airbnb have ranged from $200,000 to $615,000. In How much does it cost to make an app? you’ll get a better sense of when a developer is providing you with an honest estimate and when a developer is offering one that’s too good to be true.


Success of your mobile app development initiative will depend on how effectively you have executed on this mobile development process. Much like any other software program, app development is an ongoing process and supporting your mobile products after launch will help maintain its usage and reward you with a multifold return on your investment.

At Trophy Developers we have provided mobile application development support to companies across Education, finance, healthcare, construction, retail, consumer products, logistics, industrial engineering, and entertainment. We have both 100% Uganda-based & US-based engineering team with expertise in mobile, cloud, AR, VR, AI, and IoT. After reviewing our mobile application development process, what questions do you have about making your idea into a successful app? How can we be of further help? Contact us if you would like to consult with our team regarding your mobile development or other digital initiatives.