Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Are you ready to build the next killer app ?

Mobile penetration rate stood at 110% percent in early 2015 in Malaysia, and there is no sign of slowing down. This means that for every Malaysia citizen there is 1.1 mobile phones; and smart phones that run on Android and iOS probably make up 50-60 percent of the total phone population. Many businesses see huge opportunities in the mobile space and that’s when they approach us to build mobile apps that could create new revenue streams or tap into cost saving opportunities. Most of the clients who come to us have two questions in mind :-

  •  How long would it take to build a mobile apps ? 
  •  How much would it cost to build my desire mobile apps ? 

How long would it take to build a mobile apps ? 

For the first question, nobody can really give you an accurate answer. What I can offer is a general guiding principle in mobile app development. Mobile apps should not take more than 3 months to build, for the simple reason that any apps that take more than that timeframe will very likely be “mildly” obsolete by the time it hits the market. A mobile apps can become obsolete when there is an upgrade to the mobile operating system or there are changes to the mobile technologies and change in mobile trends. So, it’s recommended that the development cycle of consumer apps or even enterprise apps to follow this guiding principle. If you really have a massive enterprise apps to build, it may be wise to have it broken down into smaller phases and the core features can be released within the first quarter and the rest could follow after that. For the second question on the cost, it would very much depend on the technology you wish to adopt. There are generally 2 different types of techniques or technologies (of course there are others that are less popular) that we can use to build mobile apps and these are:-

(i) Native Apps 

Native apps are built on the native codes of Andriod or iOS and it offers the best user experience, highest scalability and highest device compatibility. Common apps like Whatapps, GrabTaxi, Uber all built on native technology for scalability and best user experience. The downside of Native apps would be the cost and time, the native codes written in say iOS can’t be reused or recycled in Android. Hence, it requires double the time & effort to build an apps that runs on both platforms. Such technology is suitable for projects that require intensive integration with the device (such as direction pointing device, finger print and OCR etc), high performance apps (such as real-time auction, video editing) and superior user experience.

(ii) Hybrid Apps

Hybrid is defined as a web apps, primarily built on HTML5 and JavaScript, which is then wrapped inside a thin native container that provides access to native platform features. Building hybrid apps has the advantage of faster development cycle, which also means lower cost. However you may not be able to reap the benefit of what native apps have to offer. Hybrid app is generally slower in performance and at times may not be compatible with some smart phones. This is due to the fact that hybrid apps uses the built in browser on your phone to display and process information and not all browsers behave the same way – especially those of lesser known brands. Typically, hybrid apps is only compatible with 70-80% of all smart phones in the market today. Hybrid Apps approach is suitable for non-transactional apps that only require display of static information or performing minimal data processing. However I noticed that many banking apps has adopted this approach. I believe cost and speed of pushing the product to the market are the primary factors in deciding on which technology to adopt for the banks.

Stay tuned on the next part of this blog that I shall share ideas on how you could develop the next killer app.

This article is contributed by Ingenious Lab Sdn Bhd. – Leading mobile development company in Malaysia

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