You have a great idea for your product or service. Your business plan is written and you’re ready to execute. But when it comes to building your app, do mobile app development tools deliver a viable alternative to building in-house or using an agency?
This is a good question. There are many mobile app development tools available. Depending on what you are looking to create, they can be used to build your MVP or your end product. These online tools take you through the steps of building your app, giving you choices for how the app will look and feel, and put it together as a finished product.
A Fast Route From Idea to Market
Lucas Bornert, Co-founder of Canard Influencers, used GoodBarber to build an MVP for his startup idea. He was pleased at the speed this gave them to get to market and their MVP built on the platform gave them their first 3000 downloads. As he says, with a mobile app development tool, ‘it’s easy and fast to get a full app on the tracks to validate a concept.’
His advice for those looking to do the same is to get ‘creative.’ ‘Use the features available (think about connecting the app with Zapier, Typeform etc.)’ He notes that there are limitations to what you can do with an app development tool, so it’s best to think of how you might get around these in order to give your customers the best experience from your app.
Robin James, Head of Development at Fusion Experience, agrees about time to market. They’ve used force.com to create small bespoke apps as well as larger enterprise-scale apps which they sell directly.
Speed is crucial and Robin notes ‘the platform enables us to build our applications in a fraction of the time a conventional approach.’
Ask Questions, And Evaluate What You Are Looking For
When you are starting your project, it is key to ask questions. If you know what you want to achieve then picking a mobile app development tool will be easier.
Good questions to think about before you choose a tool could include:
- Will using this tool make us faster to market?
- What is the pricing structure? Does it depend on what features you want?
- Could we get more knowledge from it for our developers or our in-house team?
It is also crucial to think about who owns the finished app. Will you have the app and its code to be able to give to another developer or to make changes yourself further down the line.
Building an app is a continuous process, as you can tell from the many updates you receive on your smartphone for the apps you have installed. It’s crucial to think about how you might change the app in the future to keep up with your customers needs and your changing business.
Once you’ve asked your questions choosing a tool is all about finding one that fits your needs. There are a range of tools available on a scale, depending on your requirements.
A lot of mobile app development platforms are simply an integrated development environment that your existing developer can use. Others help those who are less technical deliver a product by using drop down menus and drag and drop to build the features in your app. A word of caution though, some of these platforms don’t have as much functionality as you might think at first. These are more along the lines of platforms which allow you to make a limited mock-up to test your business model.
Think about what you need from project, as well as from the app, to make sure you choose the right tool for you.
Tools that can work with your existing developers
Using a mobile app development tool alongside an existing developer or team can add skills to your startup, as well as make the best use of your team’s time.
Knowing exactly how using a mobile app development tool will work alongside, or even replace, having the skills within your team gives you a framework for choosing what tools is right for you and your app project.
Robin agrees. One of the advantages of the tool that they use is that ‘we are able to use a much smaller team as well as we don’t need all the skills that a conventional product developer would have as we don’t manage any infrastructure, performance tuning etc.’
Mobile app development tools can be used when you have no developer skills in-house. But they are also a great way to bring in new skills to your existing team without adding to your headcount.
Development tools backed by trusted developers
Another option for developing your app is to use a developer marketplace. Rather than scrolling through options and building your app when you’re not always sure what different buttons or design features do, you can work directly with a developer on a project that you’ve devised.
After his experience with various mobile development tools, Jamie feels that this is a route that he would choose in the future.
‘I would also suggest using an agency that uses a platform. That combination would provide a trusted, qualified resource and, assuming the right platform, would also bring faster delivery time.’
That expertise is what can take your project to the next level and start your business with a splash. Trusted, qualified developers can take a look at what you are hoping to build and not just build it, but also give you advice and tips on how you might be able to make it even better.
Here at Yeeply we have a marketplace of top developers. We certify our developers ourselves and only 5% of applications make it through. This makes our marketplace for developers high-quality and trusted to deliver great projects every time.