Guide to choosing the best mobile app development company

25 November 2021
Adam Gontarz
Adam Gontarz
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  • Intro

Choosing the best mobile app development company for your new project can really be a challenging task. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can now outsource your app project not only to companies from your own country but other even continents. 

The number of choices you have right now might feel pretty exciting – and overwhelming too. With so many companies claiming they can build your perfect app, who should you choose?

You could technically hire the first company you see or the cheapest one providing mobile app development services you find. But the risk here is that you might end up with a poorly designed mobile app that costs far more than you thought it would. That’s why, before making your decision, you should carefully research all your options.

If you are looking for a mobile app development company but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will give you some tips on choosing the best mobile app development company among a variety of different options.

Also, we’ll specify some qualities that the right companies will have, so you’ll be able to tell right away whether you’ve found the right partner.

What is a mobile app development company?

Mobile app development companies design all kinds of apps for mobile platforms like games, business apps, or mobile websites. With more than 6 billion smartphones on the planet and app store spending growing every year, it is no surprise that the mobile app industry is growing rapidly. 

Based on Finbold research, consumers spent $41.5 billion on Apple apps during the first six months of 2021. That is almost double what Android users spent on their apps at the same time!

But that’s just the beginning – in 2022, consumers are expected to spend over $156 billion on mobile apps. Looking at those stats, should anyone even be surprised that so many businesses want to have their own mobile apps as well?

Choosing the right mobile application development company to build your own app isn’t exactly the easiest thing though. On one hand, since you can now work with companies and developers from all over the world, you could find a team with exactly the skills and experience you want for your app, not only in San Francisco or New York.

But to find those exceptional developers, you will have to go through thousands of websites belonging to various companies first. So what can you do to not get overwhelmed by options and choose wisely?

Different qualities of app development companies

Reading about and comparing each mobile application development company might sound like a lot of work, but it will be worth it. By taking the time to thoroughly research the experience, portfolio, and skills of each company before reaching out to them, you can save a great deal of time on scheduling meetings with companies that don’t even match your requirements.

By screening your future mobile app development agency, you can also prevent many problems that might arise during the mobile app development process from happening – like missed deadlines, requirement misunderstandings, or budget overruns.

What should you especially pay attention to while searching for that ideal custom software development company?

  • The company’s size and specialization in developing quality products
  • How long they are in business
  • Their mobile app development portfolio and list of their former clients (range of industries, active users, business services)
  • Are there any reviews, case studies, or testimonials coming from their former key clients
  • What tools or methodologies the developers are familiar with (e.g. agile development, machine learning, blockchain solutions, custom software solutions, business strategy)
  • How often and in what way they will be communicating with you on your mobile app development project.
  • Their pricing and cooperation methods (fixed price or time and material)

Let’s now explore those elements in detail.

How to choose the best mobile app development company

Before getting down to searching for your ideal mobile app development partner, you should prepare a few things first:

  • The type of mobile app solutions you want to create
  • Your main goals and business requirements for custom app development services
  • What features for your digital products do you have in mind
  • What kind of software development technology might be needed for your custom solution  
  • What is roughly the budget you can spend on the app
  • Any other necessary requirements for the company to meet, such as being familiar with a given niche, customer experiences, 

Believe us: when you know how your app should work and what you expect from a mobile app development company, searching for one becomes much easier. Once you have your expectations clear and noted down,  you can start the actual hunt for your next app development partner.

Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.

Qualities of app development companies
Different qualities of app development companies

Consider the size of a company

If you compare different mobile app development companies, you’ll find that they come in different sizes. Some might have just a few employees, while others have dozens of developers as part of their staff. Why is it an important thing to check?

When it comes to the quality of their work, small companies can deliver just as good results as their more experienced competitors and for a lower price. In addition, since they usually don’t have as many clients, they will have more time for your mobile solution project and can complete it faster.

Yet, they may not have enough mobile experience or resources to tackle longer or more complicated projects. In that case, you might want to look for more experienced development companies that already have several projects for mobile phones under their belt, as it will be easier to find developers with specific skills that match your requirements there.

What’s more, those companies typically have access to more advanced tools and know exactly how to use the newest technologies to speed up the mobile app development platform process. 

If your project has a lot of unclear parts that may change during development, picking a larger company might be a better choice here as well. In this way, multiple teams can work together on various areas of the app at the same time – so you get your app completed faster.

Know what type of app you want to be developed

We already mentioned that you should write down a rough idea of your app before searching for a cross-platform app development team – but why is that important?

Before they decide whether they will take your project or not, most android app development companies will ask you a few questions to help them understand your objectives better. The more information a mobile application development company has about a project, the easier it will be for them to suggest how the project can be successful, without unnecessary risks or delays. 

If you provide them with a list of your ideas and requirements right away, they will be able to figure out how much time and resources they will need for your project and which people should be involved, all to make sure that it can be successfully completed. 

But having a list of requirements for mobile app development platform can help you in one thing – crossing out the app development agencies that don’t match your requirements. So rather than spend time scheduling several meetings with development teams that don’t have the technology or skills required,  you can just focus on a short list of companies that seem like the best fit.

Read about Top 7 Mobile App Development Trends.

Make the most of your mobile app development company’s experience and portfolio

Mobile development companies can have a wide range of specializations. Some work only for specific sectors or create only one type of application, while others work for multiple industries. So If you want to build an app for a given niche or want to add specific features into the app, then your best bet is to look for development companies that have already completed a project similar to yours. 

To prove their experience, those businesses should be able to provide you with a list of the projects they completed for a given area and ideally, show you some references coming from their previous customers.  

It would also be a good idea to test some of the apps from their portfolio – especially if they have the features you want in your app as well. 

That could give you a lot of insight into how the app might look and work as a finished product, but also let you know how the team handles updates or app maintenance.

Know how long it will take them to complete a project.

Based on the requirements you gave them earlier, each mobile application development company should be able to estimate roughly how long it would take them to complete your app and pinpoint any places when delays might happen. But the timeline they give you can vary wildly, depending on the number of people they have in the company and their experience.

For a simpler project, smaller companies and startups might be a good choice as they typically aren’t working on multiple projects at the same time, so they can focus more on your project. But in case there’s an issue, they might need more time to solve it on their own, especially if their house team is smaller. This means the project might be significantly delayed if, for example, they have to find another specialist to tackle the problem.  

Meanwhile, companies with more experience in the industry often know how to speed up certain stages of development without compromising the quality of the final product. They also know how to deal with various obstacles that may appear during the development process without putting the project on hold. Plus, by creating several teams working on the project, they can bring out the finished product faster.

Decide on a budget for your mobile application

Before contacting potential mobile app development partners, it is a good idea to have a rough estimation of how much you can pay for your app’s development. Based on this information, the mobile app development companies can then determine if your budget is realistic and give you an accurate quote based on this information.

As a starting point for how much budget you should set aside, you can research online how much an app similar to yours might cost – but this will only give you a very rough estimation, though. In order to learn more, you might want to send your quote to a few development companies and compare their offers. Also, if a mobile application development company provides a free estimate, you should reach out to them for one.

In addition, you should check the company’s website to see what pricing model they offer and how much you might have to pay for app maintenance in the future to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Check reviews and testimonials about a particular mobile app development company

You can learn a lot about a given company just by reading the online comments and reviews left by their previous clients. Reviews and testimonials can give you some insight into how a development company keeps in touch with its clients while the project is underway, so that way, you can find out how the communication with them would go. But not only – you can find out how the development team reacts to any changes or issues that might happen during the project development and whether you can rely on them to keep the deadlines.

To know more about their apps, you might also want to see how the users rated the app in the app stores where it is published and read the user reviews there. However, you should be cautious as not all reviews are coming from actual users – so take them with a grain of salt.

Ask for a consultation with the potential mobile app development company to see if they are a good fit for your business

It might be hard for you to decide whether the company you are considering hiring understands your goals and expectations without meeting with them first. To clear some of your doubts, a great idea is to schedule a free consultation or meeting with their technical team. During this time, you can discuss your requirements, goals, digital strategies, industry experience, product design, and budget with them and ask them how they see the project. 

But not only that – you can also learn quite a lot about the company looking at how they are talking with you. Are they okay with answering all your questions or only giving you vague sentences? Are they listening to what you say, or are trying to steer you in one direction?

If you feel they aren’t interested in your project or the opposite, they want to change everything in it, then you might want to consider seeking out another mobile application development company.

Make sure there is an established process in place to make sure deadlines are met, and quality is maintained throughout the project

Whatever the length of time it takes to build your app (just a few weeks or perhaps several months), all development companies worth their salty should provide you with a way to track its progress. How will you be informed about risks, issues, delays, and the progress of the project? What management tools is the house team using for developing innovative solutions?

Additionally, you should be able to clarify with the company in what order they will work on your app, what the primary milestones and business goals will be and how long each stage should take.

Of course, you don’t want to keep looking over their shoulder as they work. But to ensure that everything goes according to the plan, you should have a way of regularly monitoring the team and the project progress.

Check if they have the mobile app development skills you need

You can develop your new app in various ways – as a native, cross-platform app, or hybrid app. If you want to ensure that the technical team can develop your solution in the most efficient way and solve any problems along the way, you should find out whether they have exactly the technical skills to make it work.

For example, let’s say you plan to build both a native Android and iOS app for your business. Here, you should look for developers who can program in each platform’s primary programming language (Java for Android and Swift for iOS). Additionally, they need to know various programming tools for each system (such as Android Studio and Android SDK for Android apps and Xcode and Cocoa for iOS).

Meanwhile, for cross-platform applications, you should seek out developers familiar with cross-platform mobile apps and tools such as Flutter, Xamarin or React Native. When you want the latest technology features in your apps, such as Augmented Reality or Artificial Intelligence, it’s best to hire developers who have already designed such apps as well.

Find out how many projects they have done similar to yours, as well as their success rate

When creating a shortlist of companies you may want to work with, your primary focus should be on their experience and the number of similar projects they have completed. A portfolio that includes big, ambitious, and well-designed projects is the best indicator that the dedicated team can handle larger projects since they have the skills and resources to take them.

It is also a good sign if they have previously created successful projects for businesses coming from similar areas as you, as this means they know exactly what to focus on when building your app.

The importance of hiring the right technical team of mobile app developers cannot be stressed enough

You don’t have to be an expert developer yourself to get your own mobile app – you can ask for help from a mobile app development company. But if you don’t want to end up with a buggy application that completely fails to meet your expectations, you need to make a thorough search of your options.

A good software development company should have adequate technical expertise, good communication skills, accountability, a proven track record of successful projects, and a passion for mobile app development. So before signing a contract with one of them, look into the companies’ experience and skills, compare the design costs for different mobile applications and check how many similar projects to yours they have completed in the past.

If your project is a particularly complex one, then you should be especially careful about choosing the company with which you will be working on mobile app development. The best course of action here would be to reach out to larger and more experienced companies as they will have the skills, technology, and other resources required to meet all of your requirements for digital products.

Don’t be afraid of outsourcing your mobile app development services. There is no need to keep all your processes in e.g. San Francisco when you can find an app development partner for even a few times more than e.g. in Central Europe. 

So do your homework, check all the mobile app development aspects we discussed in the article carefully, schedule a few meetings, and after thoughtful consideration, make your decision.

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