Why Using Agile Helps Mobile Software Development Better?

Calendar icon February 20, 2024
Why-Using-Agile-Helps-Mobile-Software-Development-Better

Mobile Software Development has become a new trend in recent years, so more and more competition is trying to survive in this area. Business leaders are looking for every feasible option to get to the market first and outperform the competition. And using the Agile methodology, or choosing an Agile software outsourcing company is one such strategy that is widely used in the market.

What is Agile methodology?

Agile Development is a collaborative approach to Mobile software development in which requirements and solutions evolve through iterations. In contrast to the traditional Waterfall method, which specifies and plans the entire project before any development work begins, Agile software development depends on self-organizing, cross-functional teams identifying and constructing a solution through an iterative approach.

Mobile Software Development
Figure 1. The basic concept of agile methodology

The Agile software development process generally looks something like this:

  • Establish a few initial requirements
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Evaluate the resulting micro outcome (or product feature)
  • Collect feedback 
  • Establish new requirements for the next sprint based on feedback & repeat the micro outcome cycles until you achieve the final desired product

Advantages of an Agile Methodology

So, what advantages does Agile have over more traditional software development approaches such as Waterfall? 

Does it have more appeal for application development outsourcing like Wiicamp to use it?

  1. Learning is both encouraged and welcomed: Learning is an essential element of the software development process because the product is defined as the team iterates. This enables the team to learn, modify courses, and improve as the project progresses. This can be the next Vietnam outsourcing solution because it intends to obtain input from the team on how to improve to produce software more rapidly and with higher quality.
  2. Agile provides adaptability: Agile software outsourcing companies like Wiicamp need a flexible approach to Software Development, one of its core features. Priorities and requirements can be easily changed throughout the project to fit the demands of companies. This might be the best Vietnam outsourcing solution soon.
  3. Develop time can be shortened: Agile initiatives place greater emphasis on what has to be done and less emphasis on planning and paperwork. With each iteration or sprint, the team’s efforts are focused on producing the software product and delivering working software.
  4. An agile software outsourcing company can be more creative: When the product vision or features are not well defined, agile works. It allows customers to change requirements and objectives along the route to capitalize on opportunities and eventually provide a superior product to all project stakeholders.
Mobile Software Development
Figure 2. With Agile methodology, the time to create an app can be shortened

The Drawbacks of Agile Methodology

  1. The outcome and timeline are less certain: Agile employs an iterative approach to software development, allowing the product owner to be flexible with project scope and timeframe. This means that the end date and scope may not be determined at the start of the project, and scope creep is possible.
  2. Members of the team must have a trusting relationship: If your firm is delivering a product using an Agile methodology for the first time, it will take time to create trust among team members. When utilizing it, product managers and the rest of the team must collaborate closely. Therefore creating trust to deliver is critical for the whole project.
The Drawbacks of Agile methodology
Figure 3. But you cannot ensure application development outsourcing meets the deadline

What is Mobile Software Development?

The process of creating mobile applications that run on mobile devices is known as mobile software development. These programs can either come pre-installed or the user can download them and install them themselves. They work with remote computing resources by utilizing the device’s network capabilities. To access backend services for data access through APIs, create software that can be installed on the device, enable backend services, and test the application on target devices are all necessary steps in the development of mobile apps.

You must take into account screen sizes, hardware specifications, and numerous other elements of the app development process in order to create scalable mobile apps. Given the rise in employment opportunities in the mobile software development sector, it is crucial that entrepreneurs, startups, and developers, in particular, have a clear understanding of the process.

Mobile Software Development Platforms

The two most significant mobile app platforms are Android from Google and iOS from Apple Inc. The iOS mobile operating system was created exclusively for iPhones by Apple. However, Android is supported by mobile devices made by numerous OEMs, including Google.

Although the two share a lot of similarities, different software development kits (SDKs) are employed for various platforms. Apple only uses iOS for its own devices, whereas Google has made Android available to other businesses that can meet specific criteria. For both platforms, developers have created more than 1.5 million applications to date.

Alternatives for Mobile Software Development

There are four ways to approach the development of mobile applications:

  • Develop Native Mobile Apps
  • Create Native Cross-Platform Mobile Applications
  • Create Hybrid Mobile Apps
  • Create Progressive Web Apps

Whatever method you use, there are benefits and drawbacks to creating an application. You can achieve the desired user experience, make use of computing resources, and develop native features needed for your application by selecting an approach that matches your strategy.

Mobile Software Development Process

Figure 4: Mobile App Development Process

You need a step-by-step procedure to build an application so that you can create mobile apps quickly. There are three critical actions:

  • Comprehend the demand
  • Produce the Product
  • Test the item.

Build a Mobile Software Development Strategy

The first step in developing a mobile app is to formulate a strategy by specifying why. What is the goal of your application? What industry issue will your mobile application address? What business model do you employ? How much money are you willing to put into developing this app? How do you make money? How and to whom will you market your app? You’ll have a good idea of how to continue with the development of your mobile app after answering these questions.

The user persona definition is an excellent place to start. Consider the scenario where you want to create an app for online shopping. If so, you’ll define your user persona by learning about your user’s age, mobile usage habits, and preferences, as well as explicitly addressing why and how they’ll discover your mobile app users. Based on this, you can design an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Brainstorm your app idea

An app idea is the first step in developing a mobile app. To create the most comprehensive list of features you can provide your customers, you must conduct a significant amount of brainstorming. Start with the fundamental components, and as additional, less essential but still necessary, features become apparent, make a note of them. Who knows, you might astound yourself with concepts you didn’t think you could put into practice. Ask your team to brainstorm all of their ideas while you sit down together.

Market analysis, technology stack for mobile software development

Here are some queries you can pose to yourself before you begin:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • How will the application be used by your clients?
  • Exist any better options already on the market?
  • What will your application accomplish that another won’t?
  • What type of business model do your clients use?
  • What programming language, frameworks, and tools will you employ?
  • What percentage of users pay for your kind of mobile application?
  • How much can you spend?
  • How long will the development of your application take?

Establish a Minimum Viable Product

You define what your minimum viable product would look like once you are sure of all the functionalities you can include and the functionalities your users will want to use right away. A minimum viable product is a version of your app with just enough features to show it to your first users and get their feedback on the features and future development of the app.

For the following reasons, a minimum viable product is created:

  • Test the product market with the fewest resources possible
  • Encourage investors to understand the purpose of your app.
  • Learn quickly what works and what doesn’t Waste the least amount of engineering time
    and quickly get the product in front of potential customers.
  • Use it as the foundation for other products.
  • Assess the developer’s capacity to create and scale a product.

Essential components of a minimum viable product (MVP)

Functionality – give users a clear sense of value

Design – construct with the highest standards possible

Reliability – improve the production quality

Usability – Make the user experience logical and sophisticated.

You will be able to concentrate on your app development idea if you have a clear strategy in mind. You can track your development by creating a mobile app development strategy.

Plan and Analyze The Development of Your App

All project development begins with the strategy. Once you have a plan in place, you can start turning your visions into attainable objectives. Start the analysis and planning process by outlining exactly how the functionalities can be used to develop use cases while simultaneously compiling a list of functional requirements. You can use this to create a product roadmap. This strategy can be transformed into a step-by-step procedure that you can then turn into priorities and organize into delivery milestones. To reduce costs and get ready for the initial launch, you must also define your minimum viable product.

Different technology stacks are needed for various operating systems. Depending on your needs, choose your tech stack. Make a list of the technologies you’ll need whether you’re creating a native mobile app, a cross-platform mobile app, or a hybrid application. Then, start looking for developers who have experience with your preferred method of mobile app development.

Additionally, you must choose a name for your mobile application. You should think about the features of your application when selecting a name, differentiate it using wordplay, and keep it short and simple to remember, searchable, and most likely an action word. Many app developers also use immediately recognizable names, though occasionally they deviate by attempting to appeal to user opinions. Additionally, keep in mind that App Store Optimization is crucial if you want to be found by users looking for apps that are similar to yours.

Build UX/UI Design

Users form strong opinions about your mobile application based on how it looks and feels. Whether it’s a complete application or an MVP, you need to ensure that the design is excellent and that the user experience is at its best. User experience and user interface are two key design concepts that must be understood when creating mobile apps.

What is User Experience Design?

What customers experience when using your products is called the user experience. When using the app, the customer should experience a particular emotional response as a result of the design. Design, accessibility, marketing, usability, system performance, ergonomics, human-computer interaction (HCI), and utility are all aspects of the user experience. Making an intuitive user experience for your mobile application is a no-brainer with so many businesses focusing on user-centered design.

What is User Interface Design?

The mobile application is designed to look slick and enjoyable. User interface design is the process of giving your app the ideal visual appearance while adhering to the newest design trends to enhance the user experience. The structure principle, the simplicity principle, the visibility principle, the feedback principle, the tolerance principle, the reuse principle, and other principles are frequently used by designers.

Mobile Software Development Design Process

Learning to use design software is just one aspect of design. You can hire someone to design your mobile application for you or learn how to do it yourself. Above all else, the design must take into account the capabilities, features, and functionalities of the product. The end-user should always be considered during design. At OpenXcell, we use the following design methodology.

  • Developing a user flow or screen diagram for each screen
  • Wireframe creation
  • Choosing patterns, colors, and components of design
  • Designing mockups
  • Make an animated prototype and testable hypotheses.
  • Finalize the mockup with user feedback.

Begin Mobile Software Development

The following three components are crucial to app development:

  • Technical architecture
  • Technology stack
  • Development milestones

Most mobile app development projects include these three crucial components:

  • Mobile Backend server technologies
  • Application Programming Interface (API)
  • Frontend development

What is Mobile Software Development Backend?

The front end is what users will see. The backend is what needs to be developed on the server’s end. Data is processed, stored, and stored securely by mobile app backends. It describes the processes that take place in the background as a user interacts with your mobile application. Creating a backend for your mobile device allows you to send data to the server for processing. The backend is where things like signups, logins, messaging, cloud storage of data, user query responses, and other similar activities take place.

Backend development is concerned with the storage of data in a remote database, the use of scripting to add logic to interactivity, and the development of an architecture that makes it simple and quick to browse the data.

Backend development is not necessary for applications like a calculator, camera, notes, compass, voice recorder, and similar ones. Without a network connection or the need to store or retrieve data from a remote server, they can be run on the mobile app. However, without a connected backend, apps like Uber, Netflix, and Amazon cannot function.

Application Programming Interface (APIs) Development

Apps for smartphones have developed to the point where they are always in communication with servers. The backend, web service, or APIs are used by the vast majority of applications for them to function without connectivity. These APIs might be offered by organizations like Amazon, Google, Facebook, or others or created in-house by the teams working on mobile app development.

RestAPI is one of the simplest options for anyone developing mobile apps and is used for the majority of mobile API development. It facilitates users’ quick communication and connection with a distant cloud data server. However if done incorrectly, sending requests over the network can have serious consequences. When creating mobile APIs, some considerations to make include:

  • Recognize the operation of web services. Although there are many different APIs available, the majority of them are based on REST and return data in JSON format.
  • Recognize how HTTP protocols operate. It is crucial to understand how HTTP URLs function, how data is transferred, and how it manages remote actions because REST relies on HTTP protocols to handle data.
  • It’s also crucial to understand how REST converts URLs into the necessary requests.

Should You Buy or Build APIs?

You can incorporate APIs into your mobile application in two different ways. Either build it yourself or purchase from an existing API provider are options.

The simplest method is to buy a ready API and integrate it yourself because it saves time and money by eliminating the need for a developer to comprehend and carry out API integration on your behalf. Building your API, however, gives you a lot more freedom and lets you include or exclude features based on your needs.

It is better to investigate your options before putting together a team and creating your unique API. Use what is already available rather than trying to invent something new, even if it means spending less time to get to the market sooner.

Using Common Architecture

If and when you choose to create your API, it is best to use a standard architecture. It provides a common starting point for development, which is how most developers are accustomed to working. This expedites the creation of your mobile API. Typical architecture comes in four different flavors: event-driven, pragmatic REST, web services, and hypermedia. The most popular common architectures for mobile app development are pragmatic REST and event-driven.

Documenting the Mobile API Development Process

Making an API is simple. There will always be a new person reviewing your code, though, because teams change over time. The history and the present state of API can both be seen with the aid of clear API process documentation. This facilitates future updates. Another advantage of documenting your API development procedure is that it makes your API more accessible to users. You will need thorough documentation to assist you with the code if you want other developers to use your API.

Focusing on Security

The security precautions must be maintained whether you use a pre-made API or create your own. It is constantly a crucial element for developers. Additionally, it is essential for the growth of mobile. Before calling web-based APIs, developers must access control mechanisms, privacy controls, and secret keys. Once upon a time, APIs had independent security. The API integration process is now made easier by standards like OAuth2, TLS, and Open ID.

Mobile Software Frontend Development

Your users will see the front end of your mobile app. There are many different technologies used in mobile front-end development. Some applications need APIs and backends, while others only need to use the platform’s local databases.

The backend of your mobile application can be created using nearly any web programming language. You can use technology-specific offerings when creating native applications. For instance, Objective-C, Swift, Flutter, or React Native are all programming languages that can be used to develop iOS applications. You can create Android applications in Java, Kotlin, Flutter, or React Native.

Every programming language offers a different set of capabilities depending on the platform you choose. By selecting the ideal programming language, you should be able to select a team that is knowledgeable about which essential technologies can be used most effectively.

Testing the Developed App

It is crucial to ensure that an application’s quality is top-notch after it has been successfully developed. As it determines the dependability, stability, and usability of the developed application, quality assurance is an essential step in the development of mobile applications. Several issues need to be addressed by adhering to a full testing cycle specific to each application to ensure an all-inclusive testing process.

In general, testing can be divided into two types: manual testing and automated testing. Whether an application requires manual testing or whether automated testing can produce reliable results depends on the type of application.

Any application must successfully navigate a variety of testing procedures to produce a flawless application. The following are some of the most important testing techniques that must be used for all mobile applications

Functional Testing

Using this testing technique, you can determine if your application is acting in a way that supports all the specifications. As each user will behave differently and use the app differently, functional testing is a crucial component. Therefore, you must ensure that the app works as intended for all potential test cases. Included in functional testing are

  • Application setup and initialization across all distribution channels
  • Functionality and business feature testing
  • Fields for user feedback, parameters, and testing
  • Examining any potential breaks
  • Checking the device’s resources
  • Evaluating possible updates for every distribution channel

Performance Testing

Your newly created application should accomplish its goal by performing as it was intended to. The consistency of performance can also be checked with performance testing when the load changes or there are any anomalies. It consists of

  • Testing the app’s performance under heavy data loads with volume
  • Testing with loads of various intensities to see how quickly the app responds
  • Stability testing to determine whether the application functions generally in all circumstances
  • Checking your application’s response time under all circumstances
  • Testing concurrency to see if the performance of the application changes when multiple users are logged in
  • Testing the application’s battery usage to make sure there is no memory leak or battery drain.

User Experience & Interface Testing

Ensuring the UI/UX meets the client’s requirements is essential. Additionally, users find the user interface to be accessible and simple to use. This testing’s primary objective is to determine whether the final implementation adheres to the original or suggested design. It consists of

  • Testing navigational flows, visual interaction, and other factors
  • Verifying the application’s overall design, fonts, icons, and other elements for consistency
  • Interface testing to make sure the color scheme, design, and overall appearance are consistent with the application’s theme
  • Testing the navigation’s ambiguity and speed of interaction
  • Ensuring that the design standards are adhered to strictly in the application’s final design

Documentation Testing

The process of developing a mobile application begins with the creation of a document that details the specifications, requirements, and client needs. Therefore, it can be a major issue to consider if there is any discrepancy between the document that is prepared and the developed application. Testing of documentation includes

  • The development of test plans, requirements, and test cases
  • Plans and an analysis of the test cases
  • Checking the documentation for any discrepancies
  • Creating and analyzing screen layouts, navigation flows, etc.
  • Examining the design’s completeness and similarity to the specifications listed in the documentation

Security Testing

When creating an application, security is a top priority because even a tiny error can result in significant data leak vulnerabilities. Checking for any risk to sensitive data, threats from hackers, and other issues are among the critical areas covered by security testing. There are numerous ways to conduct security testing, including

  • Threat analysis and testing for login credential authentication
  • Vulnerability assessment to look for any application flaws
  • A platform’s suitability and secure server-side controls are tested
  • Examining any potential vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit
  • Checking for any potential threats from any application permissions that will be granted

Configuration Testing

The configuration must be checked in advance and the application must be fully compatible with the device for which it is intended. In configuration testing, the application’s actual usability across a range of platforms is examined to identify any missing features. Testing configurations include

  • All device configurations are being tested.
  • Checking the compatibility and configuration of the browser
  • Ensuring secure database setup
  • A network’s connectivity and configuration are tested.
  • Examining each device’s operating system configuration

Platform Testing

Platform testing must be a part of the mobile application development process because there are so many new devices entering the market every day, each with unique hardware and features. Platform testing’s components include,

  • Testing client-side browsers and operating systems for platform compatibility
  • To ensure device compatibility across multiple devices, mobile applications are tested on a variety of platforms.
  • Platform testing is carried out in the case of cross-platform mobile applications to ensure compatibility with each of the platforms.
  • Checking the developed mobile application for cross-browser compatibility

Recovery Testing

The capacity of your mobile application to bounce back from failure or error of any kind. The application may experience any type of failure, including hardware, software, or even communication problems with the device. Therefore, it is crucial to perform recovery testing prior to deploying an application. It consists of

  • In case of software problems, testing the application’s failure mechanisms
  • When the hardware malfunctions or fails, checking the response time and procedures
  • When communication is lost, test the lagging or response time to determine how recovery is handled.
  • Examining the response time and methods if the application experiences any of the aforementioned failures

Beta Testing

It is time for the application to be tested by actual users once it is finished and passes nearly all of the tests. Beta testing is the term for this testing. To test the overall performance in terms of dependability, security, functionality, and compatibility, beta testing is a comprehensive approach. It consists of

  • Checking the application’s dependability and behavior by testing it with a large number of users
  • Evaluating how quickly the application responds to the various test users.
  • Testing the application with users from a wide range of demographics to look for any gaps
  • Checking the app for any improper behavior in the event of any in-app purchases or application fees

Certification Testing

It is necessary to carry out certification testing to determine whether the application complies with the requirements of different play stores and app stores. This testing, which is the crucial final step in the testing process, includes

  • Examining the terms of service for the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, etc.
  • Determining whether the development of the application complies with all of the terms of use of the different app stores
  • Examining any potential breaches of the terms and conditions set forth by the app stores, play stores, etc.

Testing Phases

The testing phase, which is an essential step in developing mobile applications, consists of various steps for evaluating the caliber of the finished product. Here is a step-by-step explanation of the entire mobile application testing process.

Test Scope

The parameters, features, or functionalities that you will test are defined in this crucial first step of the testing procedure. Whether you want to test the entire mobile application or just a few specific functionalities. It may be simpler to decide which testing techniques should be used in the development of mobile applications once the testing scope has been reduced. Whether the mobile app needs to undergo only functional testing, performance testing, security testing, or a combination of different testing techniques.

Consider these factors when defining the testing’s parameters:

  • Native or hybrid apps are available.
  • Do other apps and this one interact?
  • Network compatibility testing’s importance
  • Testing on the front end, the back end, or both
  • The device, operating system, and version coverage verification
  • Deciding on the testing locations to cover

Planning

Once the test’s parameters are understood, it’s time to develop a strategy for moving forward. In this planning stage, you are putting the finishing touches on your testing strategy by classifying or dividing the entire procedure into manageable parts. The decision between manual testing and automated testing will come up first when you are creating the plan of action. In this stage, test cases and scripts are also created if an automated testing method is selected. The planning phase includes the following items:

  • Determining the testing strategy that is compatible with the requirements for mobile applications
  • Creating and selecting test cases that are specific to the developed mobile application
  • Choosing whether internal testing will be done manually or with any software
  • If you are not conducting the testing internally, choosing the testers is crucial.

Execution

The entire testing process must now be carried out after the testing scope has been determined, the strategy has been planned, test cases have been written, and the testing methods have been decided upon. Only when the scope and testing methodologies are clearly defined can the execution phase be carried out successfully. The details of the hardware, software or operating systems that will be used to test the application are the main focus of testing execution. Once more, there are a few things to take into account

  • Utilizing different testing techniques based on the scope and priority
  • Determining the areas that require improvement and setting new testing objectives
  • Sending test results regularly to quickly deploy changes
  • Testing continuously throughout the entire development and deployment process

Tracking

Once the testing procedure has been completed, it is time to analyze and record the outcomes and errors. Prioritizing test results based on their seriousness and demand for immediate corrective action should be your first step when tracking test results. Defects that are extremely risky and non-negotiable must be fixed first. There is a wide variety of software available that can be used to track test results. The most crucial elements for tracking test results are

  • Defects are either prioritized as Low, Medium, High, or Blockers.
  • Priority-based defect resolution, as opposed to avoiding even the most elementary defect, like a spelling error
  • Keeping track of flaws so they can be fixed as soon as possible
  • Selecting a trustworthy associate to monitor test results

Review

The review process begins after the test run is finished and all defects have been either fixed or recorded. To better understand the errors and behavior of the mobile application during the review process, you must first create a report that summarizes the entire testing process. Even the smallest or lowest priority detail should be included in the documentation, and nothing should be left out. What should be in the review document:

  • A complete list of all the hardware, software, and version numbers used to test the mobile application is provided, along with the results.
  • Total number of tests performed using the necessary software, along with their outcomes
  • Final thoughts on whether the mobile application is ready for release or still needs work

Deployment and Maintenance

It’s time to deploy and maintain the mobile application for future development after you’ve built and tested it.

Mobile App Deployment

The mobile app launch is another name for mobile app deployment. The process of deploying mobile applications can be time-consuming, especially if the application is complex and involves extensive testing. Here is a quick guide to assist you in launching.

  • Verify that it passes each deployment test. Make sure to verify the output of any end-to-end unit and integration tests you write. Anyhow, make them work.
  • Rebuild your program. When obfuscating code on Android, developers occasionally use ProGuard, which occasionally removes code and causes app crashes. Make sure you don’t sacrifice usability to shrink the code.
  • Set up your CI flow using Jerkins, Bitrise, CircleCI, Travis, or Bitbucket Pipelines if you already have a server.
  • A static code analysis tool such as Lint, ktlint, pmd, checkstyle, findbugs, detekt, gradle-static-analysis-plugin, OCLint, tailor, Swiftlint, Clang Static Analyzer, Infer, Swift Format, Swimat, or FauxPas is also necessary.
  • Your mobile app should be ready for internal testing when you release the product version. Use crash reporting software like Instabug or Fabric, if possible.
  • Build preparation can also be automated. You can automate screenshots, beta deployment, App Store / Google Play deployment, and code signing, for instance, using tools like Fastlane.
  • Discovering user insights will be made easier with engagement monitoring. To find active users, session intervals, time spent using the app, ScreenFlow, retention, conversion, and lifetime value, you can integrate tools like Google Analytics, Fabric, Amazon Pinpoint, and Mixpanel.

Sum up

Application development outsourcing used to be cumbersome and not so efficient, but now with agile methodology, Vietnam outsourced solutions have more potential. And this is a golden time for an agile software outsourcing company like Wiicamp to achieve great success.

Sources: Internet