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How to develop an app for your business

So you want to develop an app for your business! What’d you say? You don’t think you have the technological skill set for that? Well, then don’t fret because this article is just for you! When it comes to developing apps, the amount of work and building to ensure there’s no glitches or tactical errors can seem overwhelming to a non-tech-savvy individual—even making it fit the standards of your aesthetic can be difficult when first stepping foot into the world of app development. But instead of giving up on this dream of yours—one that would help expand your business and potential clientele—why not find a team to help you move forward in finding success?

WHY HIRING A TEAM EASES THE PROCESS FOR YOU

In order to build an app (and there are multiple types, but we’ll get to that in a moment), there has to be at least some degree of technical training in order to have the resulting app perform well—and while, yes, you could go to your local library and check out some books on coding, designing, marketing, and more, it’s much easier to find a team already composed of individuals who are skilled in each of those departments. With their technical capabilities, you’ll be able to develop a prototype to get a general idea of how you’d like it to look and work, then the actual app itself in no time!

FINDING THE RIGHT TEAM TO HELP YOUR APP

While it might seem simple to pick a team to develop your app—just go on the internet, search up what you want on Google, then hire at will—there is a lot of thought that should go into the hiring process, and it’s one that will require you to ask yourself a lot of questions: What kind of app do I want to have? Should it be complex or simple? What kind of audience do I want to interact with it? What if I made the font purple? How would I even do that?

These are all questions that a team—like ours at DMA—could help answer! First and foremost, however, the team you ultimately choose to work with needs to be upfront with how it operates on projects. You need a team that will be able to meet deadlines, provide high-performance material, and be transparent about any complications that may arise—a team that will be in connection with you during the entire process, rather than requiring you to send in your idea and then wait until they complete the project, handing over the final product. Although it might not be entirely necessary to know all the ins and outs of this—after all, you’re hiring a team to help you with the components you yourself are unable to provide—, it will be important to have a steady line of communication that you can depend on (and that the team can depend on from you as well).

PICKING THE TYPE OF APP BEST SUITED FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The first part of creating your dream is to describe to your team the ideal functions and components of the app itself. After all, there are several different types of apps, and knowing which one is best for your business is crucial. Overall, there’s three general types: web, native, and cross-platform.

A web app is more self explanatory than the others—it isn’t a mobile app like native or cross-platform, but rather a website that is designed especially to be able to perform well on a multitude of different devices and thus screen sizes. Have you ever clicked on a website on your phone and, while you’d never had issues accessing it on your laptop or computer, it now seems to be a mess? The text overlaps and the design elements are hidden by ads normally contained to the sides of the text, and everything disappears into a pit of featureless visuals, to the point you can’t tell what anything is? A web app, the mobile version of a website, ensures that this sort of thing doesn’t happen with your idea. So, if you don’t feel the need for a physical app for your business and instead want to make sure your website is accessible across all screen sizes (tablets; televisions; smartphones; even music players with the ability to access the internet, like an iPod), this is the best option for you to tell your team you want.

The second type of app is what is known as a native app. Now, this doesn’t mean native as in “oh, this is an American app” or “I would like mine to be an Indian app,” but rather that it is designed with a coding language native for one specific operating system instead of a multitude. Designing a native app comes with its pros and cons, much like the others—due to its being developed for a sole platform, it can result in a much higher performance than a web app or cross-platform app. However, due to its containment amongst the operating system it uses, your clients would be restricted to that system, such as iOS or Android only, thus excluding potential persons who use Windows from accessing your app.

And the final app is what is called a cross-platform app. Taking what we’ve learned about a native app, we can apply here that unlike native’s single platform interface, a cross-platform app is able to, well, perform across various platforms. While this can seem like the best option amongst the three types, it can result in a lower performance than a native app since it isn’t specialized for one only. That being said, it is arguably the best choice if you want to reach as many potential clients as possible, but just make sure you don’t trade accessible to all for bad performance levels and instead ensure you equally distribute them.

SOME THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU WHEN DEVELOPING AN APP

One of the most important components to developing an app isn’t the actual building and designing process—it’s knowing how and taking the appropriate measures to protect your app in terms of legal documents, licensing, commissions, and more. Of course, we all know the significance of protecting one’s work from theft and plagiarism, but doing so in the world of app development requires the comprehension of potentially confusing contracts, fees, and filings. What that means is also knowing when larger companies who can distribute your app are taking advantage over you, a much smaller business owner.

Take the recent court case between Epic Games and Apple recently for example. Epic Games—perhaps known best for the game app Fortnite—first filed their lawsuit earlier this summer, July 2021, claiming that Apple’s App Store’s policies took advantage of smaller developers and took part in anti-competition practices. Another addendum to the lawsuit led to U. S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ ruling that Apple needed to cease its prohibition of letting smaller developers promote third-party payment options within their own apps.

You see, Apple’s App Store policies state that all in-app purchases must give Apple a 30% cut of the commission and previously (until this case) that no apps must direct the customer to other websites in order to pay for add-ons and such: all transactions must happen in the App Store and must pay the 30% commission. In an attempt to work around paying such a substantial amount of earnings to the global conglomerate, Epic Games released an update which contained a code that allowed it to direct all in-app purchases’ revenue to the company itself rather than split it. As a result of this revelation, however, Apple ceased Epic Games’s developer account and withdrew Fortnite from the App Store.

The result of this course case wasn’t in favor of Epic Games, however, allowing Apple to decide themselves whether to reinstate the developer account and also keep its policy of a 30% commission, but Judge Rogers did ultimately decide that Apple has no legal right to prohibit developers from redirecting customers outside of Apple and the App Store in order to make in-app purchases and transactions.

Although this is an example of an extreme legal case between a developer and a much larger distributing company, it’s important to talk with your team about what legal and licensing fees you should embark upon in order to protect your valuable work from potential loopholes and thieves. This court case also brings up the importance of distribution/publishing fees—while a 30% commission fee isn’t exactly an anomaly amongst companies (Apple’s App Store does this, but so does the Google Play Store), there can be rigorous approval processes, some of which can end up rejecting your app. Apple is much stricter than Google in this situation, perhaps to maintain a certain reputation amongst the apps it releases, but where the former charges an annual $99 fee in order for your app to remain in the store, Google simply charges a one-time charge of $25.

In order to determine which app stores to publish your app, talking with your team about future costs and liability might seem like a heavy conversation, but it is one of absolute importance so as to avoid distribution drama and lawsuits.

WHY DMA COULD BE THE RIGHT TEAM TO FIT YOUR DREAM

DMA is a Woodlands, Texas, based business that provides various skill sets in order to create the products you’ve always wanted to, whether that’s a custom website, software, or even a set for filming! The possibilities are endless as DMA works with a network of global connections and keeps an open dialogue with you at the same time. Developing and maintaining a personal relationship with each client is important to DMA as a company because it allows for each project to be carefully customized per the client’s needs and wants. You want an app that orders a specific model of a miniature bus each time you press the giant red button? We’ve got you! No matter how outlandish you might think your idea is, DMA is always open to any requests. We are eager to progress even further as a team while working on each project, providing our clients with insight into our small and tight-knit community of creatives.

Contact us to get started with your own app!

office@dma.company

800-828-2624

 

REFERENCES

Gallagher, William. “Developers of free apps seek $200 billion damages, claim Apple restrains trade.” Apple Insider, 21 July 2021, https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/07/21/developers-of-free-apps-seek-200-billion-damages-claim-apple- restrains-trade

Peterson, Mike. “Apple rejecting apps is unfair competition, declare rejected app developers.” Apple Insider, 24 September 2021, https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/09/24/apple-rejecting-apps-is-unfair-competition-declares-rejected-ap p-developers

Reuters. “Apple can no longer force developers to use in-app purchasing, judge rules.” NBC News, 10 September 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/apple/apple-app-store-decision-judge-rules-epic-fortnite-rcna1969

Ricketts, Dusty. “‘Fortnite’ blacklisted from Apple App Store | Play Life, Live Games.” Northwest Florida Daily News, 25 September 2021, https://www.nwfdailynews.com/story/opinion/2021/09/25/fortnite-blacklisted-apple-app-store-after-lawsu it/5827372001/

Valentine, Angelica. “How Hard is it to Make an App?” Proto.io, 22 May 2018,

https://blog.proto.io/how-hard-is-it-to-make-an-app/

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