Mobile App Development Process Step-By-Step Guide

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  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.

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.



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.


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 schemes, 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.


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.


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 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 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 minutes 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.


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, and 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. However, your mobile app must be tested on multiple mobile devices or device simulators to ensure the 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 on all mobile devices, ongoing support costs, and the headaches of mobile device management add to mobile app complexity. These are the 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 to distribute 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.


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 the QA and production versions of your app. This way you can continue to test future upgrades to your app before 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 reviews until the app is approved and published in the app store.


After your app becomes available in the app stores, monitor its usage through mobile analytics platforms and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure 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.


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. How long does it take to make an app? you’ll understand what goes into producing a proper timeline to deliver your 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 of overnight successes promote the notion that successful mobile apps are inexpensive and easy to build. In our experience, the average cost of mobile app development ranges from $1000 – $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. 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.


The success of your mobile app development initiative will depend on how effectively you have executed 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 their 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 teams 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.