The number of app downloads from the PlayStore and AppStore hit the 175 billion mark in 2018 alone. The beginning of 2019 proved promising in terms of sales and continues to surge big time. Well, you can’t just live without an apple-powered device, can you?
According to the popular web traffic stat tool, StatCounter, mobile traffic surpassed the desktop traffic the world over in 2016. Another study by comScore indicates that mobile devices account for more than 65% of the actual time spent on mobile apps. Smart Insights published another interesting study whereby 90% of the time spent digitally is app-based. Thus it comes as no surprise if we say that 62% of businesses are already having a mobile app as a result, or looking to build one in the future.
While most businesses in Singapore today already boast of being partly app-based, it is actually the local businesses that have fully deployed the potential of apps with greater interaction, traffic generation and user engagement. Easy it may sound, but app development has never been easy due to the intersection of both business and technical objectives.
Between, the prospects of hiring the best mobile application development company in Singapore may sound more than a little daunting, and in most cases eat up a lot of search time if the business involved is unsure of what factors count the most in the selection of the right mobile app team.
Developing an app requires a sound understanding of the business needs—not knowing beans may undermine the development efforts. This rings true even if you have a fantastic business idea waiting to be executed to solve the intended problem. Next, you need to choose your development partner: offshore development firm, local app maker, outsourcing partner or a freelancer. This can be the most confusing part.
This is the sole objective of this blog. It will take you through the nuances of understanding the best mobile app development practises, and what it takes to hire the right developer for your app-based dream project to kick off in style:
Is a development partner necessary?
This is a significant question in the context of how important mobile app development, as a process, is. As we had discussed earlier, creating an app is a complex process for one it is an intersection of different skill sets, tech stacks, tech platforms, functional and project management skills. Add to that the number of crucial steps one needs to go through every day until completion and delivery. Graphic artists, designers, illustrators (if required), coders, UI/UX analysts, testers, project managers, client coordinators—the list is far longer than you may anticipate. More
importantly, it is how they huddle together as a unit to create a functionally premium Android and iOS app that performs like magic.
Where can you find the best app developers?
Common sense may tell you that the best way to search for an app developer is to google it out. Either you may use general search phrase like ‘best mobile app development company’ in Singapore, or if you’re more specific you can add either ‘Android’ or ‘iOS’ before mobile in your quest for discovering the right partner.
But be reminded that actions speak louder than words. Firms or agencies that feature in the first few ranking positions of Google search results may ideally not be the best in terms of performance or even good, for that matter, though you may hope for the best. Rather, you can take an informed decision by looking at platforms online that connect the best app development teams in Singapore. It won’t cost you a dime initially. Some of these even allow you to hire them by first signing up with their website. You can read customer reviews and experience account of working with a particular firm. Problem solving, in addition to technical proficiency, is the much touted skill these days; therefore, check if they will be able to solve the problem at hand.
Most platforms allow you to filter development firms based on their overall reviews, ratings, pricing structure, location, customer served, number of views, technology skills, etc. The good thing here is that app developers may never be able to sail under false colours.
If you’re looking for individual app development freelancers, there are quite a lot of websites that offer resources that mostly work on an hourly or daily rates or project basis. Here too developers are rated according to their successful completion of projects, pricing, experience, skill sets, etc.
It all boils to individual needs at the end of the day. Do carefully weigh the pros and cons of choosing an app development company/agency and a freelance developer before you decide your course of action. General considerations include tech platform—Android, iOS or a cross-platform solution. By the way, check for misleading budget estimates.
Do you feel up to selecting a particular Mobile app developing firm? But how?
Though almost every continent has its share of mobile app development resource pool, Asia tops the list with almost 33% of software developers, followed by Europe and North America with 29.7 percent and 29.4 percent respectively.
Here are some of the critical factors that need careful consideration before deciding to work with an app development firm in Singapore:
Professional vs. Agency Freelance:
It’s often understated that Agency Freelance is no better than a well-established firm. This is because they fall short of project management skills, crucial for the development of any app or software product. Established agencies are duly equipped with the updated trends and latest tech stacks, do proper legal legwork, offer robust project management methodology and 365 degree support, and pre-sales consulting.
But freelance app developers may go with the wind, and may not treat product quality and confidentiality issues with great care. Lack of organizational skills and after-delivery support and maintenance are other issues.
Ready-made vs. Bespoke Apps:
Ready-made apps cannot be customised or tailored to specific features and hence find use only in SMEs. Bespoke apps offer personalized user experience; addition and customisation of specific features to suit business needs; highly functional UI/UX features; enhanced security levels; dedicated tech support; after-delivery maintenance and customizable features.
Hybrid vs. Native Mobile Apps:
For large businesses Native apps work wonders. It can impart enhanced user experience (calendar, shake, location, GPS, etc) and are easy to find in app stores (Apple’s App Store & Google’s PlayStore). Native UI is highly intuitive and requires minimal training. But if you’re a small business, go for Hybrid app development as it features higher portability (lightweight and flexibility when deployed on multiple platforms)
Even demographics play a vital role in selecting the right app platform. For instance, if you are in the US or UK region, iOS becomes the default choice, whereas in Asia, Android is the DeFacto app platform owing to its high market share.
Perhaps no other factor can dictate terms as much as budget: it decides the fate of the development process in question, whether app or software product. If you’re rolling in money, then choosing an established app development firm with dedicated technical support shouldn’t be an issue after all. If pre-defined budget is pulling your strings, then it’s better to stick to your guns and look for a freelance app developer.
How much does Mobile App Development cost in Singapore?
This is very much subjective and, needless to say, will differ on exactly what you expect out of the app you propose to design. There are also other factors that come into play such as geo location, team structure (coders, designers, UI/UX, testers, project managers, analysts, etc.), number of resources; build time; tech platform or stack and third-party applications. Therefore, taking a call at this point would either be overplaying or underplaying cost estimates.
Finding the right Mobile App Development Company in Singapore.
As we had mentioned earlier, finding the right app development firm in Singapore can be a challenge in itself because of the sheer range of options. But here are some quick pointers:
Size & international presence:
The size of the company is strongly linked to its reputation and how good a presence it enjoys globally. Check if the company you choose offers basic resources to support design, coding, development, testing, UI/UX, QA, business analysis and project management.
The app development company you’ve earmarked should stand in good stead in terms of successfully delivering app projects in different industrial verticals. Find out its success percentage, talk to its customers—both existing and old, explore previous projects if relevant to your current needs, know about its financial status and talk to the right people online (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) and offline before you take the call.
This is another salient criteria without which you can’t come to a decision. Try to capture the individual and combined experience of the app development team in contention. Ask about the number of similar projects successfully delivered as that experience can be invaluable for building your app. Never go by the company’s track record alone; there are many start-ups with experienced and talented developers in their ranks.
Client references: Never go by a company’s customer testimonials and interviews; they can be fabricated in most cases. The best way is to draw out the client and vendor details and connect with them directly to know firsthand about a particular service provider.
Developing first contact:
The company you propose to associate should be in a position to understand your business as well as market needs, of course, in addition to technical features. An open discussion can help the development team capture the actual app requirements, unique and in-depth features and how it can go about in delivering the expected outcome.
Many a projects, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI), fails not due to lack of technical expertise or experience, but development team’s failure to communicate the right way…you heard it right! Effective communication not only guarantees 100% project success but minimises, if not prevents, risks at all levels.
Project team hiring models:
There are different hiring models when it comes to engaging teams, the choice of which depends on the actual needs and planned budget.
When a project’s needs, scope and timeline are well defined and documented, the fixed price model is the best option. It is recommended for low-risks and faster time-to-market.
This can be a relatively expensive model but dedicated developers can keep the project running on time in-house with a fixed monthly pay for each resource in the team. The major advantage of this model is that you can hire highly skilled resources, retain them for the future, if you want, and may be even build your own knowledge repository.
Time & Material (T & M) Hiring Model:
This method involves estimating project efforts based on the development time and resources utilized. If you want to win the race slow and steady by continuously investing in product development, then this one is for you. Different companies use different terms for this methodology; don’t let their definitions throw you by surprise.
Price & Contract docs:
Generally, the overall price scheme of mobile app development is decided by features, scope, complexity and scalability. Not to mention the number and type of resources that can change the price equation. By all intents and purposes, prefer to choose quality over low-rate, inferior mobile app releases.
A contractual agreement is part and parcel of a professionally robust mobile app development process. It should be straight-forward and help you get a fix on the compliance with terms and conditions. And if you’re unsure of what all a contract document should cover, do talk to an IT consultant beforehand. A contract statement should mandate action with the necessary provisions, NDA, security, estimated release time, payment structure or breakup, details of deliverables,
Quality Assurance (QA):
The app development cycle is incomplete without the app development firm offering timely maintenance, updates, bug fixing, integration of new features and functionalities and ongoing maintenance charges; it shouldn’t simply stop with the app’s release in the app store.
Singapore is an advanced economy in Asia, and owes its remarkable development to the growth of the IT sector. Selecting a mobile app development company in Singapore should be a well-thought process as detailed out in the blog. Hang on to the fact that a robust app development process can either make or break a successful app business.