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Posted on May 8, 2024 | All

Building Apps for the App Store

Having a mobile app has become increasingly crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. Mobile apps provide a direct and convenient avenue for businesses to engage with customers, boost interaction, and enhance sales.

The Challenges Faced by Brands

Despite the benefits, many businesses still lack a mobile app due to various obstacles. One common hurdle is the perceived cost and complexity of app development. It is believed that mobile app development is expensive and time-consuming, leading them to prioritize other marketing strategies. Some businesses may also lack the technical expertise or resources to develop and maintain a mobile app.

However, the benefits of mobile app development far outweigh the obstacles. A well-designed mobile app can enhance customer loyalty by ensuring a customized and seamless user experience. It can also gather valuable data about their customer’s behavior and preferences, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and customize marketing strategies accordingly.

Building User-Friendly Apps for Diverse Platforms

To meet the needs of customers using a variety of devices, mobile apps should be designed to be responsive and compatible with various platforms and screen sizes. For example, apps should adapt their layout and user interface elements to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience on both smartphones and tablets.

Apps should also leverage platform-specific features and capabilities to enhance the user experience. For example, on iOS devices, developers can use features like 3D Touch or Siri integration to provide unique and innovative functionalities. On Android devices, developers can leverage features like widgets or deep linking to improve user engagement and accessibility.

Let’s take a look at building apps for different stores and the rules for each.

Overview of the App Store and Google Play Store:

The App Store and Google Play Store are the two largest distribution platforms for mobile applications, hosting millions of apps across various categories. The App Store is owned and operated by Apple and is exclusive to iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads. On the other hand, Google Play Store is owned by Google and is the primary app store for Android devices.

Benefits of Developing Apps for Both Platforms:

Developing apps for both the App Store and Google Play Store offers several benefits, including:

  • Access to a large user base: Both platforms have millions of active users, providing app developers with a significant opportunity to reach a broad audience.
  • Revenue potential: Both platforms offer monetization options, such as in-app purchases, ads, and subscriptions, allowing developers to generate revenue from their apps.
  • Brand visibility: Publishing an app on both platforms can boost brand visibility and credibility, as users perceive apps available on multiple platforms as more reliable.
  • Platform-specific features: Every platform offers unique features and capabilities that developers can leverage to create engaging and innovative apps.

Introduction to iOS and Android App Development Tools and Technologies:

iOS app development is primarily done using Apple’s official programming language, Swift, and the Xcode IDE. You may also use Ad Hoc distribution, which is available to Apple Developer Program members. On the other hand, Android app development is typically done using Java or Kotlin and the Android Studio IDE. Both platforms offer SDKs and APIs, enabling developers to access device features and develop native apps. Additionally, developers can save time by utilizing cross-platform development frameworks like Flutter or React Native to create apps that run on both iOS and Android devices.

Key Considerations for Choosing the Right App Idea:

When selecting an app concept, developers should take into account numerous factors such as market demand, competition, target audience, monetization potential, and technical feasibility. Market research and validating the app idea are crucial to ensure it meets the target audience’s needs and has the potential for success.

Steps Involved in the App Development Process for Both Platforms:

  • Ideation: Define the app concept, target audience, and core features.
  • Design: Build wireframes and prototypes to visualize the app’s interface and user experience.
  • Development: Write code to implement the app’s features and functionality using platform-specific tools and technologies.
  • Testing: Test the app for bugs, usability, and performance issues.
  • Deployment: Prepare the app for release and submit it.
  • Maintenance: Monitor the app’s performance, gather user feedback, and release updates to improve the app over time.

App Submission Norms and Approval Processes for Both Platforms:

Both the App Store and Google Play Store have strict guidelines for app submission to ensure quality, security, and compliance with their policies. Developers need to adhere to these guidelines and follow the submission process, which includes providing app details, screenshots, and descriptions, as well as complying with app store policies regarding content, permissions, and monetization.

App Store (iOS):

App Submission Guidelines:

The apps must:

  • Be functional and free of bugs.
  • Comply with Apple’s content guidelines, including no offensive or inappropriate content.
  • Not violate any copyright or intellectual property rights.
  • Use public APIs and follow Apple’s design and user interface guidelines.
  • Provide a privacy policy if they collect user data.
  • Declare whether or not they contain ads.

Approval Process:

  • Developers submit their apps for review through the App Store Connect portal.
  • Apple’s App Review team evaluates the app based on the guidelines and may test its functionality.
  • If the app meets all requirements, it is approved, and developers can set a release date.
  • If the app is rejected, developers receive feedback and can resubmit after addressing the issues.

Google Play Store (Android):

App Submission Guidelines:

The app must:

  • Comply with Google Play’s Developer Program Policies, including no malicious behavior, no copyright infringement, and no deceptive practices.
  • Target a broader potential user base and not contain restricted content.
  • Use the latest APIs and follow Google’s design and user interface guidelines.
  • Use public APIs and follow Apple’s design and user interface guidelines.
  • Provide a privacy policy if they collect user data.

Approval Process:

  • Developers upload their app’s APK file to the Google Play Console.
  • Google’s review process checks for policy compliance, security vulnerabilities, and overall quality.
  • If the app meets all requirements, it is published on the Play Store.
  • If the app is rejected, developers receive feedback and can make necessary changes before resubmitting.

Both platforms also have specific guidelines for app metadata, such as app titles, descriptions, screenshots, and promotional images, which must accurately represent the app’s content and functionality.

CI Global: Your App Specialist

Developing mobile apps for both the App Store and Google Play Store requires careful consideration of platform-specific requirements and guidelines. CI Global has demonstrated its expertise in navigating these challenges, offering tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each platform. Our cross-platform development approach using Flutter allows us to create apps for Android, iOS, and the web simultaneously, ensuring a seamless and consistent user experience across different platforms.

Here’s an example of a unique situation where different platforms had different norms.

Platform-Specific Customization: Implementing Delete Functionality

CIG implemented a delete functionality in the app, a requirement specific to the Google Play Store but not mandated by Apple’s App Store guidelines. This customization showcased CIG’s expertise in platform-specific requirements and their ability to adapt to different norms, highlighting their experience in developing apps for multiple platforms.

Brands looking to build apps can rely on CIG’s experience and knowledge to overcome hurdles in app ideation, creation, approval, and launch on multiple platforms, ultimately helping them achieve their business goals.