Mobile Application Development

Mobile application development

Mobile app development is the process of creating software that runs on a mobile device. This is a challenging task which requires time, skills, and a sufficient budget. However, even with an experienced team, there is no guarantee that the end product will be worthwhile. There are millions of applications available for any kind of mobile device today, and standing out from them is no easy feat. Every day developers around the world create hundreds of applications; some become popular and profitable, while many never reach beyond a narrow circle of users.

Today, the average person spends approximately 5 hours on their smartphone every day. Savvy businesses have taken advantage of this trend and monetised the habits of people who carry the internet in their pocket wherever they go. A mobile app is not just additional advertising space — it creates the image of the company and provides invaluable information on the target audience and behaviour of existing customers.

What a mobile application is

In 2022, the number of smartphone users exceeded 6 billion. Every year they spend over $400 billion on new devices. Each of them has applications that simplify life in a variety of ways, be it helping to calculate, communicate, or order a taxi.

A mobile app itself is an application software developed for smartphones and tablets with various operating systems: iOS, Android, Tizen, KaiOS, Harmony OS, and others. In most cases, it requires access to the internet if it is connected to remote resources.

Mobile operating systems

A mobile operating system (OS) is a software package that allows smartphones, tablets, and wearable gadgets to manage the resources of the device and organise direct interaction with the user. Most mobile operating systems run only on certain hardware. For example, iOS is designed for iPhones, while Android is fit for almost all other smartphones. In 2022, they continue to hold their positions:

Mobile operating system in 2022

As a rule, Samsung installs the latest versions of Android onto its smartphones. However, the company has its own OS — Tizen. It’s the successor to the discontinued projects LiMo, Bada, MeeGo. For a while, low-cost smartphones and tablets for markets in developing countries were released with Tizen. Later it was adapted for smartwatches and TVs as well.

Few people have heard of KaiOS, despite the fact that it has already become a leader among second tier operating systems. It’s a fork of Firefox OS based on Linux and designed specifically for low-cost devices. Even though Google released Android Go (an optimised version of Android) for entry-level devices, KaiOS remains the preferred OS in this area.

Categories of useful applications

Given the current diversity in the market, it is hard to define what exactly is a useful application. We can only specify those that act as helpful tools for business and everyday life. However, with proper promotion, any of these can become an independent project.

Useful mobile applications

For business

Depending on their function, there is a wide range of specific and multipurpose applications created with businesses in mind. Businessmen tend to value all-inclusive tools that help them easily manage their business on the go and optimise their work process. For example, they choose applications that can:

  • Manage files and documents;
  • Sort, store, and transfer data;
  • Provide information on taxes and laws;
  • Help with schedule planning or task management;
  • Manage personnel and accounting processes;
  • Aggregate business news and events.

For marketing

Every company needs feedback from its clients and partners. Uncover the interests of your target audience by turning them into users of your company’s mobile app. Even simple promotional applications are a great way to advertise new products. Equip your marketing team with tools that help them do the following:

  • Fill blogs and online communities with content;
  • Work with social networks;
  • Edit images and videos;
  • Collect statistics and conduct analytics;
  • Track brand mentions;
  • Send newsletters via different communication channels.

For personal use

An application tends to become popular when it helps the user to do something. Creating a free application can be a great way for companies to promote their brand. Just find something that people really need and create an application that provides it to them. Some examples include:

  • Educational apps, apps for mastering skills or learning languages;
  • Personality and psychological tests;
  • Converters, meters, counters, trackers;
  • Motivation, dietary, and fitness apps;
  • Personal finance management and home accounting systems;
  • Task and shopping planners.

Applications are created around specific needs. When looking to create an application for professional or advertising activities, the resulting product will depend on the specifics of your business. However, in recent years, it is less often the case that an application is created to supplement a business. Rather, the business is built around the application itself.

At Polygant we are very interested in projects like this, especially if they are large-scale and intended for the international market. Contact us to discuss commissioning a mobile app that will take over the world.

How to make a mobile application popular

How a mobile app is monetised depends on how it interacts with its target audience. To make your application popular and profitable, you should determine the following:

  1. What kind of users may be interested in the app and what country they are from. What purchases users will make or what kind of advertising they will respond to. What they will get in return for the time and money they spend.
  2. How difficult it is to realise the core features. This will affect the price of the mobile app development. Complexity doesn’t always equal profitability. Even simple products can turn a considerable profit.
  3. What bonuses users will get from using your app and how it differs from competitors. When drafting a model, it is worth considering the introduction of ‘killer features.’

The profitability of the application depends on the activities of the company and what they intend to achieve. Startups will be able to conveniently notify investors about current achievements, while existing companies will use applications to consolidate their brand image. Entertainment and commercial projects will be able to sell ads or products from within the application.

Mobile app development technology

The right app architecture will save time, effort, and money. There are two main approaches to mobile development: native and cross-platform. A third, ‘progressive’ approach is currently on the rise.

Native development is the creation of separate applications for each mobile platform. That is, you need to develop one application for iOS and another one for Android. Then, each application will be uploaded to its respective platform store. The advantages of native apps are:

  • Advanced design options.
  • Support for all smartphone features, including in-app purchases, access to location services or a camera, push notifications, and priority updates.
  • A fast, responsive, and reliable interface.

Illustrative examples of the native approach are Twitter, Waze, Pokémon Go.

Cross-platform development of mobile apps is the creation of a common code base for two platforms, with further translation of the code on each OS via an intermediate layer. The advantages of cross-platform apps are:

  • A single code base with correct operation on all platforms, which allows developers to simplify logic and avoid potential errors.
  • Reducing the price and time of writing the code if you don’t need to ensure a fit for each platform. The logic will be simple, and the user interface will remain minimalistic.

A progressive web application (PWA) brings together the best qualities of a mobile website and a native app. The advantages of a PWA are:

  • No need for an intermediary (a store).
  • Development costs are lower than when using classical approaches.

Development trends

Before you start developing an application for mobile devices, ask yourself several questions: what is the purpose of your application? What functions should it have to fulfil this? Who is your target audience? If you are having trouble answering these questions, a simple solution is to see what trends have formed in the development market. In 2022, the following applications are in demand:

  • Apps based on blockchain technology;
  • Apps based on artificial intelligence;
  • Apps with chatbots;
  • Instant apps;
  • Apps with augmented and virtual reality;
  • Apps for the internet of things;
  • Apps facilitating mobile payments, transfers, and money storage.

The functional side of the application may be influenced by new trends in user interface design:

  • Buttonless design;
  • Flat design;
  • Fluent design;
  • Material design;
  • Neumorphism.

After that, you can already form yourself or order the terms of reference for the application development. From here, your project will start to be created in the form you have chosen.

Mobile app stores

According to Statista predictions, revenues of all mobile apps will reach $431 billion in 2022. This amount will be made up of:

  • $220.8 billion from in-app advertising;
  • $204.9 billion from in-app purchases;
  • $5.3 billion from app sales.

Stores, or digital distribution platforms, are key to achieving such indicators. They play an essential role in any application’s promotional campaign. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at them.

Mobile application stores

Apple App Store

Apple was the first company to create an application store. At the time of its release in July 2008, it was still part of the iTunes Store. Since then, it has become the principal place for iOS users to find applications.

The App Store offers over 2.2 million apps for smartphones, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. By uploading an application to the App Store, you will not only have comfortable access to your existing customers, but you will also attract plenty of new users.

Google Play

Google launched its own store under the name of Android Market in October 2008. After rebranding in March 2012, it became Google Play, but it is still focused on Android devices.

Google Play offers over 3.5 million apps. Despite the powerful built-in search engine, some brands have found that their products aren’t being displayed in search results or can be found via unrelated searches. Regardless, uploading your application to Google Play is the most promising way to reach Android customers.


Many manufacturers of mobile devices have begun to create their own app stores, as this allows them to work more closely with their users.

Samsung Galaxy Store

In September 2009, Samsung Electronics launched the Samsung Apps service, which was renamed the Galaxy Store in March 2019. The manufacturer pre-installs the mobile version of its store on all Samsung mobile devices. The web version of the store contains products not only for Android OS but also for Bada, Tizen, Windows Mobile.

LG SmartWorld

In October 2011, LG Electronics also launched its store, SmartWorld, which is installed on all LG smartphones. The manufacturer also created a separate version for LG TVs called Content Store.

Huawei AppGallery

Huawei Technologies opened its app store in 2011. It was initially targeted at the Chinese market but has since become available worldwide. While the landing page and dashboard are localised in 9 languages, the name and description of most applications are only in Chinese.

Amazon Appstore

E-commerce giant Amazon is keeping up with its direct and indirect competitors. In 2011, the company created its own store as an application for Android and Fire OS, and in 2014, it became available for BlackBerry 10. This solution helped to save loyal customers from searching for digital products in third-party stores.

App Store and Google Play application rankings

The Apple App Store and Google Play are the two largest app distribution channels for iOS and Android that can enable your company to reach a global audience. However, as competition grows inside the stores, it becomes increasingly difficult for developers to ensure the visibility of products hosted there.

Launching a product across different digital distribution platforms may be an effective market entry strategy if you want to reach a specific audience. Knowing the target audience of the store will allow you to upload the created new product with confidence that your application will find its users.

Analysts from compiled the 2022 ranking of the most downloaded, most profitable, and most widely used applications. Statistics for both stores are taken into account here.

Rank By downloads By consumer spend By monthly active users
1 Instagram TikTok Facebook
2 TikTok YouTube WhatsApp
3 Facebook Tinder Instagram
4 WhatsApp Disney+ Facebook Messenger
5 Snapchat HBO Max TikTok

Where to order a mobile application

If you can’t write the code on your own, find a professional who specialises in creating applications for mobile phones. However, when doing this, there are a few things to consider: which specialist should you choose? Do you need to hire staff? Is it better to hire individual freelancers who work remotely? Or is it better to entrust this task to a turnkey mobile app development studio?

Forming an entire development department on your own may be overkill. However, searching for qualified freelancers on marketplaces and monitoring their work is also a tedious process. If you are looking for a solution that is serious, efficient, and high quality, then look no further than Polygant, a mobile app development company.

Cost of developing a mobile application

Only a qualified team can tackle the complex app development process without breaking deadlines. As experienced professionals, we will create a custom business model and friendly user interface for your new application. We will also help with placing the application in stores and sourcing customers according to a unique marketing strategy.

Developing a mobile app from scratch consists of the following stages:

  1. Writing terms of reference (if you don’t already have them) — from 18 hours.
  2. Business analysis and specification — from 20 hours.
  3. UI + UX design — about 35 hours.
  4. Back-end development — over 40 hours, depending on the required functionality of the application and the number of platforms (OS).
  5. Front-end development — over 30 hours.
  6. Testing — about 20 hours, depending on the number of platforms and functionality.

Based on these estimates, the approximate cost of an MVP starts at $20,000. Further expense will depend on the complicating factor. Please note that after the development is completed, the application must be maintained, and this service isn’t included in the initial development cost.

Further support after release

It’s impossible to create the perfect mobile app in one go. Therefore, developers often use feature-driven development (or another Agile methodology) to quickly provide core functionality. Agile dramatically speeds up the release, helping companies adapt to a changing market.

After the launch, if the product is successful, you need to track reviews, collect information about errors, and analyse problems. Later, you should work on new functions that respond to the data you have collected. After the official launch, maintenance and support are all your application needs.

If you got your initial results with Agile, maintenance costs may be higher than the cost of prototyping. Specialists prefer this methodology when it is necessary to develop a product by proving or refuting the marketing hypothesis and start turning profit immediately.

If you choose the traditional Waterfall methodology, you can calculate the estimated annual maintenance costs as a fixed percentage, which is approximately 15–20% of the cost of developing a mobile app. Large companies tend to prefer Waterfall because their business processes are documented and their management team can develop marketing, management, and production plans.

We are experienced developers

Here at Polygant we have been professionally creating mobile apps for 10 years. We can develop a mobile app that will help customers find you.

iOS mobile application developmentMore about the development for iOS…


Android mobile application developmentMore about the development for Android…


Mobile game development for iOS and AndroidWe can also develop mobile games…


Development of secure messaging appsAs well as secure messaging apps…


No matter the circumstances of your project, we always try our best. Make a request via the contact form, and we will give you a quote for your mobile app development project.

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