21.11.2018 / 18:59
Questions to ask when hiring a software development company for a mobile project
Here are the main points to consider before hiring an engineer (software development company) for a mobile project.
What platform to choose for mobile project development?
We often meet clients who already know what platform they want for their mobile app. The choice depends on the needs of a business, target audience and so on. But if you are still not sure, then an IT company can tell you. One of the possible options is the development of a cross-platform application available on several platforms like Android plus iOS, but with a single source code.
These articles can help you when choosing a platform for your application:
- What's the difference between Hybrid and Native apps?
- Сase studies: why and where iOS app development is more effective?
- Why and where Android app development is more effective?
Can you create a design for a mobile app?
Sometimes software development companies receive orders not only with ready-made requirements, but also with mocaps / design for an application (possibly prepared by another contractor) and implements the app on the received artifacts. In case when no mocaps are provided, development company offers its designer.
P. S. Not all outsourcing companies offer full-cycle services, including quality assurance, design, DevOps, and so on. It is more profitable and convenient from the communication point of view, when one company provides all needed services.
Where can I find examples of mobile apps you've developed?
Unfortunately, in the world of IT outsourcing companies, partners often sign strict NDAs. These documents don't allow to mention clients, project's details and so on in any marketing materials (demo, links to App Store or Google Play, etc.). And that's normal. But this does not apply to all projects. So, ask the potential partner for a portfolio and which of their previous apps you can touch. If their portfolio shows good results, then it’s a reliable agency.
Besides, ask about references or reviews of their clients from the same field of activity as your business. It can be reviews on clutch.co, signed references, or previous customers' contacts, whom you can ask about this company. Asking the agency what ranks do apps they've built have in the App Store, or if they've been featured, is a wise move.
What kind of special features can you create?
Features can become special for each individual platform. It depends on the needs of the client, his project, budget and skills of technicians. But in fact, it is possible to improve any platform from both the client and the backend side.
Some special features examples:
- Our clients often ask how do we solve security issues (especially for mobile applications with payment options).
- In case you have a video streaming platform broadcasting to a large audience, a special feature can be interaction with users in live-chats, sharing in social media.
- For the retail sector, we can add functionality for location determination by iBeacons, on the basis of which the user receives advertising.
- Apps a la Uber should have features for location determination, the possibility of ordering / booking, payment through the application. AI-driven matchmaking of objects with users under certain criteria can also be implemented.
How will you test my app?
Testing of an application (devices and testing conditions) depends on the requirements, the project and the target audience. Outsourcing company requests a list of devices used by the target audience for whom this application is designed. In cases where a specific list of devices is not provided, we, for example, test on the latest models of devices of a particular platform.
To ensure that everything has been implemented successfully, we use end-to-end testing, regression testing, performance testing, compatibility testing, and everything in between.
Will you submit my mobile app to app stores?
This issue is always discussed. There are two ways that the software development company can offer:
- It can give the source code to the client and he will publish the app in stores;
- Or the development company can do it itself, but it will cost extra efforts as it takes several hours.
We also offer our help in publishing the application after development. But there is one very important point: there are cases when App Store or Google Play do not allow applications to be published (they have lists of requirements, for example, already published analogues or prohibiting materials, etc.). In case the application was not allowed to be published, there may be such a way out - to make a hybrid app or try to load the application later.
Detailed requirements for publishing applications find by following the links:
Will you maintain my app post-launch?
After the app is launched and published in the app marketplace, such release updates are often needed:
- Fix bugs;
- Add new features and functionality;
Software development agency should offer you an app support program. It can be an hourly rate for one-off updates or a monthly fee for continuous support. Be sure you determine what their policies are for:
- The cost per each new release;
- How they handle bug fixes;
- The attentiveness and reliability of their post-launch support.