Today, our smartphones are much more than just devices for making calls. With their help, we can easily solve numerous business and everyday tasks. We can work with text documents, edit photos, make online purchases, order food deliveries, track our health state, and much more. And this is possible thanks to mobile applications. In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s happening in the current market for mobile software solutions and draw attention to the key mobile app development challenges facing creators today.
The number of global mobile app downloads has now reached 255 billion. Just compare: in 2016, this figure was under 141 billion. The difference indicates the size of the growing demand for mobile solutions on the part of users, which has a strong impact on interest in custom mobile app development services from the business side.
Advantages of developing mobile apps in 2023
Quite often we hear concerns from customers about the feasibility of building mobile software products today when market competition is so high. Of course, one of the biggest challenges for businesses introducing new applications to the audience of potential users is the right positioning and marketing of their products. Potential users need to notice what you’re offering and become familiar with it.
Nevertheless, statistics show that it’s not too late to enter this game. For example, in the first quarter of 2023, total consumer spending on mobile apps worldwide was around $33.7 billion, 2% higher than the same period in 2022. According to figures demonstrated within the period starting in 2019, we can observe positive tendencies, with some insignificant fluctuations in 2022.
Mobile app development trends suggest these solutions are becoming more and more advanced, which allows users and businesses to leverage the following opportunities:
- Closer interaction between companies and clients;
- Higher loyalty and customer satisfaction;
- Possibility of providing remote services;
- 24/7 customer support;
- Access to the latest business updates;
- New revenue streams;
- Personalized communication.
Looking for seasoned mobile app developers?
At Cogniteq, we are always ready to share our knowledge and expertise to boost your business growth with an advanced mobile solution.
10 Challenges in mobile app development you need to be aware of
If you are planning to launch a software product for the needs of your business, we recommend paying attention to the most common challenges mobile app developers typically face. A good understanding of the potential pitfalls can make you better prepared for various situations and help you minimize any negative consequences.
1. Correct functionality of the app
When you’re first considering creating a mobile solution, it’s vital to ensure you’ve chosen the right set of functionalities. To make your app helpful, you should build in only those features and tools that are really required. Adding cool and innovative tools that don’t really meet users’ needs lowers the chances of a warm welcome on the market.
That’s why the planning stage is so important. You’ll want to conduct a careful business analysis, study the market, clearly identify your target audience, etc. The more you know about your users, the better product you can offer to them.
2. Native vs cross-platform mobile application development
This choice is definitely among the most serious challenges in mobile app development. Both approaches have their pluses and minuses and your decision should be based on a row of factors, including your target audience, the functionality of your product, your budget, and the time frames that you are ready to set for the app development process. Native mobile applications are usually safer and perform better than other types of mobile software. Nevertheless, cross-platform development helps you save time and money.
After you make up your mind you will need to find the correct app development team that will be able to demonstrate the best results in working with the chosen tech stack.
3. Keeping apps user-friendly
Businesses aren’t interested in launching simple apps like calculators anymore. They want to offer feature-rich solutions that will stand out from the list of similar products. Users also want up-to-date applications capable of performing numerous complex tasks. For example, if it’s a fitness app, users expect more than fitness tips or healthy diet details. The app also needs to offer the possibility of calculating calories burned, tracking physical activities, composing personalized menus, communicating with other users, etc.
Here, one of the biggest challenges is to keep everything simple. Regardless of the number of tools and features, navigation needs to remain intuitively clear and not overcomplicated.
4. Ensuring excellent security
The technologies are becoming more innovative and advanced, and developers are becoming more skillful. But hackers and fraudsters also demonstrate a higher level of “professionalism” in comparison with what we observed years ago. With more sophisticated approaches to their activities, the risks for app users are higher. This represents one of the top challenges in mobile app development.
Developers need to pay special attention to protecting their solutions and sensitive business and private data.
Though this point is relevant for absolutely any type of app you can think of, hackers primarily concentrate on applications that deal with financial transactions and, consequently, can keep data such as the banking details of their users.
5. Meeting user expectations
Thanks to the growing number of applications, user expectations are rising. Given this fact, one of the challenges for mobile app developers and businesses is to deliver an application that will fully meet industry standards in all aspects such as tech quality, design, functionality, performance, reliability, etc. If your app leaves something to be desired in at least one of these aspects, it can be rather difficult to take a leading position in the market.
To understand the most problematic points you’ll need to pay special attention to, we recommend studying your product’s competitors and reading user reviews. Thanks to this research, you’ll be able to create a shortlist of possible issues and find the best approaches to efficiently address them.
6. Low battery consumption
On the technical side of creating an app, one of the most serious mobile app development challenges is to find the right balance between app performance and battery consumption. If you have a very small app with limited functionality, it will consume significantly smaller battery resources than heavy apps with a huge number of features.
Today, when users have dozens of apps on their smartphones, it’s reasonable to try to minimize battery drain without compromising app performance. Careful testing can help developers achieve the desired results.
7. Compatibility with different devices
When you are building a mobile app, it’s necessary to make sure it will be available to all users regardless of the device. If your software product is usable on only one type of device, this will greatly limit your user base. People are looking for universal solutions that they can use on all their smartphones and tablets. And it’s a rare case today that a person has both Android and iOS devices.
Mobile devices can be different in other ways; while many have comparatively small screens, some devices have unique foldable displays. You need to take into account not only the dimensions and resolution of screens but also their shape.
It can be complicated to ensure compatibility with all the available smartphones and tablets. But a good development company will always help you find the most feasible way, based on your requirements.
Already at the stage of planning your mobile application development project, you need to think about the ways you can get profits from it. There can be different approaches to earning money on mobile applications and the main task for you will be to choose the one that will be the most suitable given the type of your solution, its functionality, and target audience.
For example, you can establish cooperation with different brands and share their ads on your app, or you can introduce in-app purchases, premium features, or subscription plans. If you are not sure which option to choose, it can be a good idea to launch an MVP and then ask end users to share their opinions regarding their readiness to pay for some functionality.
On one hand, it may seem that this point shouldn’t be included in the group of challenges in app development as it is not directly related to the app creation. On the other hand, you should initiate your marketing efforts already in parallel with the app development process. The market competition among mobile applications is rather high and your solution should really offer something unique to attract the attention of users. It can be unique functionality, breath-taking design, or absolutely new opportunities that were not available to them earlier.
Moreover, it is important to present your product in the right way. We recommend you consider promotion via social media channels, via paid ads, or via cooperation with bloggers and influencers.
10. User retention
The challenges in mobile app development also include difficulties related to user acquisition and retention. However, attracting users in only one part of all these tasks and, let’s be honest, it is easier than retaining them. To make people download your app, it should be well-promoted and well-described. But for making them use it again and again, your app should be really helpful to people.
For example, if we're talking about games, they really should enjoy the process. If we are talking about banking apps, such products should facilitate various tasks instead of making them more complicated. That’s why your app development team should care a lot about the quality and functionality of your software. We also recommend you think about bonuses and incentives that will help you motivate people to use your application.
Today, to launch a mobile app that is bound to succeed, it is vital to work with a highly professional team of programmers who are ready for all the possible challenges in mobile app development. But these hurdles should be viewed as motivation for building apps of the highest quality and continuously improving them in accordance with the changing demands and expectations of users.
We will help you not only to choose the right technologies and tools for creating your solution but also to adjust your idea to the needs of your target audience. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get more details about how we can cooperate on your project!
What is the future of mobile app development?
The mobile app development market has always been open to innovations. In the near future, it will be greatly influenced by advancements in AI technologies. AI tools can increase the level of content personalization, boost task automation, ensure high-quality data processing, and have a positive impact on user satisfaction.
How to make a custom mobile app?
Every good software product starts with an idea. As soon as you get it, you can proceed to the following steps.
- Discovery phase (market research, business analysis, gathering of requirements)
- Quality assurance
- Support and maintenance
How to choose a mobile app development company?
There are several criteria you should take into account when you are looking for mobile developers; among them are the experience of the team, its knowledge of your business domain, its tech stack, and the offered terms of cooperation. It’s also a good idea to consider the company’s portfolio and reviews written by its clients on external resources such as Clutch or GoodFirms.