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Mobile app development companies help re-design or build your mobile application from the ground up. Creating an app that delivers tangible and measurable results requires a specific skill set, a deep understanding of the target users, and expertise on the side of the developer.
The mobile app market is growing at an unprecedented pace. And the demand for apps is soaring at an equally rapid rate:
Clearly, creating a mobile app is a necessary part of any business digital ecosystem. But how do you know which mobile app development firm is right for you? Should you outsource the mobile app development in the first place?
With thousands upon thousands of options, it can be tricky to pick a good agency to build your app. But don’t worry – that’s why we’ve curated this list of the best mobile app development companies in Chicago. Our picks are based on a meticulous rating system based on numerous key factors.
What is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is exactly what it sounds like – the process of designing, creating and deploying software applications designed to run on mobile devices like smartphones, wearables, and tablets. These applications are optimized to make the most use of mobile devices’ small screens, as well as their functionality, hardware, and features.
Mobile app development companies in Chicago can build many different types of apps, including progressive web apps (also known as HTML5 apps), hybrid apps, and native apps.
The mobile app development process starts with the strategic planning phase. In this crucial step, you determine and define your target audience, precise business goals, and development objects. Your agency partner may also help map out each detail of the app development process, from design and prototyping to development and launch, making sure they align with your strategy.
Right from the beginning, your app should be created with the target users in mind. Developers often use prototypes to generate real-world user data analytics and validate their core design features. In this way, they can help avoid costly omissions and mistakes.
Most mobile app development is broken down into various manageable steps that often include:
Due to skyrocketing popularity and demand for mobile devices, mobile app development has become an increasingly popular medium of software application development. In fact, mobile apps are now an integral element of any modern business.
In fact, mobile app market revenues are expected to reach more than $800 billion by 2022. This rapidly growing digital segment has attracted players from all industries. This is partly because consumers are looking to divorce their long-time electronic of choice —desktop computers —and all types of businesses are taking notice.
How Do I Find the Right Chicago Mobile App Development Company?
To guarantee success for your business, you want to ensure you’ve got the right team working on your app that people will love to download, share, and come back to. You must ensure that the mobile app development company is a good fit in terms of expertise and experience. Don’t forget that you will be in touch with the team regularly, so you want to team up with an agency that can communicate and get along well with you, too.
Here are top tips bound to help you land the best mobile app development company in Chicago:
– Make sure to check the company’s reviews
It’s imperative to investigate what a mobile app development firm has done in the past. Look at what past clients have to say about their experience with the company. As it’s a reasonably expensive service, most clients are willing to shout at mountain tops when wronged or misled.
You can check out review websites, such as Facebook, Yelp, Google, and portfolios of digital agency sites like UpCity, Clutch, and more. Your aim is to find as many raw details and reviews as possible on the Chicago mobile app dev companies you are considering. You may even end up finding another good candidate.
– Technology stack and skillset
What programming language skills, app development tools, and platforms are they experienced with? Ideally, you should opt for a versatile agency that can handle any app development job regardless of the platform, language, or feature set.
– Ask for fresh references
Mobile app development teams sometimes change, as some members leave and new ones enter. Ask for contacts of the most recent clients. Their results and experience with the agency are the closest you’ll get to a snapshot of how a team or agency addresses client needs.
– Dive into cases studies and portfolio
When looking to hire a mobile app development company, consider the specifics of what they’ve recently done for other clients. Perusing their case studies and portfolio will give you a general sense of quality, style, and the kind of results their customers get.
– Ask about their contracts and fees
Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. What are their fees? Are other services like mobile app design, automation, testing, and maintenance included in the cost package?
Is It Expensive to Develop A Mobile App?
No matter the type of mobile app you want to bring to life, the cost will vary from one mobile app development company to the next. The good news is that the mobile app development market is flooded with agencies, so it’s possible to get your app built cost-effectively.
When it comes to the development costs, apps can be placed into three loosely defined categories: simple, moderate-complexity, and complex app. The fundamental criterion for determining complexity is the number and intricacy of features incorporated into the app.
A simple app has basic functionality and features. These may include search function, admin dashboard, data analytics panel, profile filing/editing feature, user login/sign-up feature, and basic customer support function (often a simple chat feature). It usually takes two to three months to build one.
From our experience, a simple, non-complex mobile app for a single platform will set you back roughly between $20,000 and $50,000.
A complex app infuses an array of advanced features and functionalities into the design, driving up the cost of the product. These features include offline mode, live chatting, 3rd-party integrations (such as pay with Venmo), user experience personalization, payment gateway, video/audio streaming, ad integration, geo-location feature, push notification, and advanced analytics.
In general, a complex mobile app can be pricey, costing well over $100,000. The quality, features, and use match the hefty price tag, and it may take up to eight months to create one.
Moderate-complexity apps sit somewhere in between the two in terms of both feature list and price tag. You can expect to pay between $40,000 and $80,000 for a medium-complexity app that offers features that includes third-party integrations, in-app purchases, push notifications, and so on.
Other factors that may influence the eventual cost of mobile app development include:
What Programming Language Do Companies Use for Mobile App Development?
Chicago mobile app development companies use various programming languages depending on the platform that’s being targeted, client specifications, and team proficiency. Android app development agencies usually have the most eclectic language set.
The type of mobile app you’re gunning for will also influence the choice of programming language. That’s to say some programming languages are specific to native apps, hybrid apps, and web apps.
– Programming Languages for Android App Development
As an open-source software development platform, Android provides developers with an array of programming language options. However, the most common languages are Kotlin and JAVA.
– Programming Languages for iOS App Development
Apple has a tight grip on what tools you can use to make apps for its App Store. Most commonly developers use Swift and, to some extent, Object-C. Swift is actually an open-source programming language that was first supported by Apple in 2014. It’s a fun and expressive language.
– Programming Languages for Hybrid App Development
What Skills Are Needed To Develop Mobile Apps?
Mobile app development teams design, create, test, and deploy software applications for smartphones, tablets, and wearables. However, behind the scenes, you’ll find project managers, account managers, product testers, and other vital team members.
When searching for the best mobile app development agency in Chicago, be sure to look out for the following essential skills:
Other important skills to consider include cloud expertise, user experience, problem-solving, information security, and content creation skills.
How Long Will It Take to Create A Mobile App?
Successfully taking an app from design to ready for launch typically takes three to four months. This timeline, however, doesn’t account for several key mobile app development phases like ideation, product definition, or even design.
Nonetheless, as with the cost, how long it takes to build a mobile app depends on many factors. These include the size of the active development team, the method used to develop the app, the size/complexity of the feature set, the number of platforms, and more.
Often, mobile developers build out both the front end (what the user sees) and the back end (what’s invisible to the consumer) concurrently. However, the back-end development team usually gets a head start so they can tie up core ends like user account management, server-side logic, data storage infrastructure, push notifications, and versioning.
Once the APIs and endpoints have been firmed up, the front-end crew can get cracking. With iterative mobile app development, a good Chicago mobile app development team can pull it off in three to four months. A complex mobile application for multiple platforms, however, may take longer than that, usually up to eight months.
What Is Included in Mobile App Development Services?
The best Chicago mobile app development firms cover all the phases of taking an app idea and building it into a beautiful product. They are offered as either full-service, part of the full-cycle development, or standalone services. The common services included are: