Choosing a Mobile App Development Company: 8 Realities No One Talks About

Headshot of Richie Harris, Chief Technology Officer of SingleMind UX Design and Software Development firm

Written by Richie Harris

Choosing the Best Mobile App Development Company: 8 Realities No One Talks About, SingleMind Blog, software design and development agency

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In 2019, worldwide mobile app revenues reached $461.7 billion. By 2023, they are projected to double. The mobile app world is vast and varied. With a little over 200 billion mobile app downloads in 2019 (expected to reach 300 billion downloads by 2023), no one anticipates the development of mobile applications to slow down soon.

With so much competition, finding the right mobile app development agency to invest in is critical to the initial launch and long term success of your mobile app. It is important that you choose a company that has the expertise, talent, and passion, to bring your app idea to the next level.

How To Choose The Best Mobile App Development Company: 8 Tips

1

Define Your Project Criteria

Define Your Project Criteria: You’re searching for the “best” mobile app agency: what does “best” mean to you?

Are you looking for something quick and cheap? Or high end and bug free? Does your app need to have high security? Do you simply need a working MVP by a specific deadline? Should it be fast but not highly functional? Your answer to each of those questions leads to a different end result. 

    Clearly define your project goals before seeking out any potential mobile app development candidates.

2

Find A Matching Niche

To choose the right app development company for your project, you must first figure out what category your project fits in. Are you building something in eCommerce or eLearning, a subscription based app, a game? If you are building an app for a particular vertical – company, service, game; you should be looking for a company that has a foundation in that vertical. If you are building a storefront you should look for a company that does eCommerce.  If you want to build a highly complex system that is new and handles a lot of integrations, you want to look for an enterprise integration company.  If you’re building a game, you should be looking for a company that has experience in building games. It doesn’t matter how many web apps or mobile apps a company has built, if they don’t develop products in your niche, it’s not going to make a difference.

    Find a mobile app development company that has plenty of knowledge in the space that you are in.

3

Judge Their Approach

What is the candidate’s initial pitch? What is their approach? Do they propose implementing every feature from the very beginning? 

  • For example; Assume that your latest app idea includes a subscription service. That service could be as simple or as complex as desired. You could offer monthly and/or annual billing and you could allow members to invite others and earn points towards their subscription. You could even develop the app to implement affiliate systems where current users can earn back their subscription by signing up new users. There are a plethora of subscription system models available to invest in. However, the issue still remains; until your business actually converts and you get users to sign up for your service, fancy features don’t matter.

App development companies that encourage you to build a feature complete app from the start (requiring full payment up front) aren’t invested in the success of your business. A “take your money and build it” approach leaves no room for evaluating and iterating on your product idea.

A key criteria in evaluating whether or not a company cares about the success of your product is to ask their team something like; Do you have a notion of a support and maintenance plan for the app after its launch? Your app will need a detailed plan in place and if their team does not provide one, you might be better off finding a team who can. 

If the company has considered the entire mobile app strategy, from ideation through launch and beyond, it is a likely indicator that they’ve done this before (and they are anticipating your project to be a success!).

Note: It’s a great idea to ask about who will be owning the app’s launch into the app/play store. Is it your responsibility? Will they provide you with documentation and training? Or will their team own the launch process?

    Avoid a mobile app development company that doesn’t consider post launch support and maintenance; they aren’t looking out for your best interests.

4

Portfolio & Reviews

To find the right app development agency, it is important that you look extensively at their past projects and clients. If intelligent user experience design is a vital part of your mobile app design, then scouring an agency’s portfolio for examples that their UI UX designers have implemented is extremely valuable to you. Consider the following;

    How many years has the company been in business? Are they established in the industry?
    How many projects has the company completed successfully?
    Do they typically take on large or small projects?
    What clients have they worked for? Are they trusted by large companies or do they mostly work with startups?
    Are they listed on trusted review sites?
    Do they have thorough client reviews with honest feedback?

5

Budget

In software development, the “value triangle” speaks to; price, quality, & time. You can only ever choose two of the three. Some companies have well defined processes with rigid testing expectations, they can get moving quickly on your project and produce a high quality end product, but it won’t be cheap. Other agencies can be more flexible, sacrificing quality for speed and cost. Ultimately you have to ask yourself; 

    Are you trying to get your app launched ASAP, or does it matter more that it is received well when it is launched?
    Are you simply trying to release an MVP so that you can evaluate the premise of your idea, service or product? 

Remember; you get what you pay for. If you get multiple estimates on a project (you should), several are pretty close and one is an outlier (very cheap or expensive), get to know more about the outlier. You should understand why it’s an outlier. Don’t simply ignore it. Go talk to that company again, maybe their team is seeing something that the others aren’t.

6

Roles and Expectations

What are the expected team roles? What role do you want to play in the project? Does that fit with the contractor’s expectations? Our team here at SingleMind partners with clients. We believe that when the client is sufficiently involved in a project and acts as Product Owner, we can better understand the business needs/goals not just the technology requirements and budget. Be wary of any development company that exhibits malicious obedience (prolonging the problem as long as they are part of the solution). A quality development company will drill down exactly what the client is trying to accomplish with the product and find the most efficient way to implement it.

    Seek out an agency that is opinionated and willing to evaluate business needs and be invested in business outcomes.

7

Technologies

Considering the technologies a company works with can be useful for selection criteria. Ask;

    Do they specialize in a market?
    Are they an Android or iPhone shop?
    Are they agnostic? Do they work on both?

8

Testing & Review

It is important to consider a company’s testing process. Ask;

    How do they do testing and review?
    Do they use physical devices? Virtual machines?
    What level of cross device testing do they do?

Wrap Up

Choosing the right mobile app development company can be a challenge, we encourage you to use the above criteria to evaluate several different companies before making your final decision.

To get a better idea of how partner with clients here at SingleMind, check out our Mobile App Development process, Recent Projects, and Customer Reviews!

SingleMind is honored to be included by DesignRush as a Top Mobile-First Design Company. 

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Headquarters

More Offices

Portland, OR
Bend, OR
San Francisco, CA
Bozeman, MT