Mobile App Development 

Android or iOS? Web app or native mobile app? Let us help you figure out the best way to build your mobile app and get started! 

What type of mobile apps do you build?

We build browser-based web apps that are fully mobile-friendly. This is our recommendation to anyone looking to build their first mobile app: develop a browser-based app that is accessible on any device (desktop, tablet or mobile) and avoid native apps until you absolutely need them. While we can develop native apps, we rarely recommend it as a first step.

Why should I build a mobile web app instead of a native iOS or Android App?

Web apps are less expensive. iOS Apps and Android Apps are each developed in their own programming language, which means you have to build two separate apps to be on Apple and Android devices. You probably also need a server app to store data, which puts you at 3 different codebases. A mobile web app has a single code base that meets all functions, which is considerably less expensive to build and maintain.

Web apps support all devices. A single web app can serve all users through a browser. Desktop, phone, it doesn’t matter - users can access it.

Web apps can launch faster. You don’t have to jump through the hoops of getting your app approved on each app store, and you can deploy changes whenever they are ready. 

Web apps avoid the app stores. There are advantages to being in the app store (see below) but they also can restrict what you do, revoke your app at any time, and take a large percentage of all transactions. Ack!

When should I build a native iOS or Android app?

There are a few reasons why you would want to build native for your first app:

  • You need the distribution of the App Store and Google Play Store. For example, you want an app that needs to get into classrooms that are already using iPads. This will be significantly easier as an app that can be preloaded by school administrators.

  • You need access to device features - e.g. you want to build an app that integrates with the Apple Health app and access shared medical information on the device.

  • You need users to receive phone notifications. For example, you need an app that can show notifications and badges on a user’s phone. Web apps can send emails and SMS messages but they can’t show notifications and badges as well as a native app.

What type of customers do you work with?

We work with people solving real, proven business problems. This is cross-industry and organization types! 

What is your mobile app development process?

We have a set process: start with Discover and Plan to understand your needs and scope the work, implement with Develop and Launch, and then provide long-term sustainability with Support and Improve.

What technologies do you build your apps in?

We build our web apps in Ruby on Rails. For our mobile-friendly front-end, we use Bootstrap.

How much does mobile app development cost?

That depends. We normally see mobile app development included as a major feature on one of our web app development projects, which has a recommended minimum budget of $50,000. Read more about web app development here.

How long does it take to develop a mobile app?

How long it takes to build a mobile app depends on many factors. Discover and Plan usually runs for 6 to 8 weeks. Develop and Launch is a minimum of 12 weeks, and will depend on the size of the project. You can expect most app development projects to run for a minimum of 18 weeks.  

How do I get started?

First, check out our page on custom web app development. Then let’s have a conversation about your mobile app development needs to make sure we’re a good fit for one another.