With over 2.2 billion users and almost $40 billion in revenue, Apple’s App Store is a digital platform that cannot be ignored. And with new brands and trends emerging on a daily basis, a partner that will not only keep pace but also implement the best standards, values, and practices for your brand is what everyone wants and needs. That said, this is a trait mastered only by the best of the iOS app builders and before you hire, you must inquire. To help you with that, we’ve prepared a list of essential factors that define iOS app development companies and the expertise their teams should possess to build an app that will conquer the army of users out there.
Professional Portfolio & Case Studies
Most companies specializing in developing iOS apps have a dedicated website section to demonstrate their uniqueness. This is very helpful because it is the part where the company gets to present the innovative digital experiences they had created for a particular client, its features, the challenges they had faced during the development stages, and what actually made this specific iOS app development a success. If the descriptions provided there do not fully satisfy your curiosity, you can always download some of their apps and check them out. In case they do not meet your criteria, simply eliminate this company and move on to the next.
Also, going through the portfolio of the company you have targeted is vital as it will inform you about their expertise in your line of work and what special features they can add to your app. Bear in mind that to successfully build and deliver solutions for the industry that interests you, the company should have proven experience in the most advanced iOS app development services.
Positive Client Testimonials & Reviews
In reading through testimonials and reviews from previous clients you should look for answers to questions such as: How invested was the team in the success of the project? Were they communicative, responsive, and collaborative throughout the engagement? Did they manage to fit the business idea into a design that exceeded their expectations? Would they be willing to work with the same company again? Naturally, if the majority of clients give the answers you need about the iOS app development company and their team, then go ahead and seal the deal. That said, it would also be wise to not solely rely on the contacts provided on their website but search business directories such as Clutch and Yelp for additional info.
Technical Excellence & Skill Set
Making sure the company you intend to hire has the suitable skills and expertise for developing an app for iPhone or other iOS running devices is essential. This will affirm that the agency you are about to invest in has the capacity to create the features and functionalities you have in mind. Top iOS developers should meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrated experience in iOS development (iPhone, iPad and universal)
- Deep understanding of the procedures of launching apps in the App Store
- Apple philosophy knowledge
- Expertise in Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines
- Knowledge of Apple’s UI/UX design standards
- Proficient with Swift and Objective-C (Apple’s programming languages)
- Experienced in APIs such as Cocoa Touch and UIKIt
- Mastery of RESTful APIs
- Knowledgeable in OpenGL and Metal
- Proficient in iOS frameworks (Core Animation, Core Data, Core Text, and Core Graphics)
- Understanding of Git and GitHub
- Core Data framework knowledge
- Working with third-party libraries
What separates the best iOS app developers from the rest is not just an eagerness to imagine and understand their client’s idea for the iOS app creation but also the ability to visualize intent backed up with a think-outside-the-box mindset. For the app to make a breakthrough among the billions in the Apple Store, the team must be creative in transforming the idea into an original, user-captivating solution. This means going beyond pretty pixels and cool animations into building a unique and meaningful user experience while delivering a creative revenue model for the client.
Strong Analytical Skills
Finding an iOS app development agency with outstanding analytical skills to implement your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch project means the world. You may think you know what your target audience wants but a developer with an analytical mind who bases their work on science and hard data will find new, innovative ways to satisfy users’ appetites. And for you as a client, this means there will be almost no room for failure.
On the other hand, the process of developing an iOS app involves resolving troubleshooting issues and challenges which more often than not have multiple solutions and demand in-depth research and planning. Consequently, the iOS developers you are targeting should work on the principle of ‘analyze first — build later’ as the only logical way to successfully resolve high-end tasks.
Impeccable UX/UI Capabilities
With the ever-changing and evolving App Store market, quality UI and UX design is the one certain way to make it in the top iOS apps. Naturally, to get there, you would need a team of iOS app builders that excel at making world-class app design and user experience in iOS mobile app development but also understand the importance of high user engagement and what it can bring to your brand.
A company that takes on a user-driven approach to boost the performance of your app can help share your vision and passion while shaping the way success is made in your industry. After all, you are developing an iOS app to reach more users, and making it a memorable and enjoyable experience for them is what it’s all about. So, at this point, your task would be to bring insights about your customers to the potential iOS mobile app development company while their job would be to deliver on the mobile experience needed to design an excellent and intuitive UI and UX to revolutionize your product.
Application Testing Knowledge
The iOS operating system is popular for its user-friendliness, fluidity in operations, and crash-free apps but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t need testing. There are many Apple devices and their versions that run on iOS so if, for example, your goal is the app to be for iPhone or iPad the iPhone app development company must have top-notch testing strategies and bug-fixing solutions in place for these devices. And although iOS is a closed system, meaning testing is less time-consuming, if you are planning on making it a cross-platform app, iOS can be a bit more difficult to handle. In any case, you must make sure the app you are building is projected to engage users for a long time. At the end of the day, doing all the tests on errors in usability, consistency, and functionality means your investment will last longer.
When it comes to building an iOS app, setting a reasonable timeline with the iOS development company is vital. As the app market is buzzing with new ideas and trends are shifting within days if not hours, any respectable company is bound to incorporate several timeline-related procedures to ensure that you as their client will not miss the window for promoting your idea.
The first thing to discuss is how soon you need the app to be ready. Second comes establishing whether what you look for in the iOS app creation or iOS software development is feasible within the timeframe you have in mind and if not what can be done about it. This process of negotiating could take up to a week but it is highly recommendable that it is done right as it will serve as a basis to avoid future misunderstandings. Then comes the mock design or draft which is when you should give all the essential guidelines to your iOS app developer or iPhone app developer, depending on the project, so that they can complete the tasks related to your custom iOS app development without any issues.
Effective Communication & Collaboration
As with any project in any line of work, there must be smooth and collaborative communication flow between the client and the designated project manager on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. And communication starts from the very first meeting with the iOS app developer. Before the team begins working on the app, the right questions should be asked so as to gain an understanding of why the client is venturing on this project. Moreover, the developer must effectively communicate these intentions to the rest of the team of iOS programmers and designers.
Another thing that is closely related to communication is collaboration but not just within the team but with the client too. When the project starts the client should not be a silent observer but rather a collaborator. This will eliminate redundancy and confusion but also make it possible for the client to remain involved in the app development process which will ultimately pave the way to a long-lasting relationship.
Reliable Post-Launch Support
Once the iOS app company has built you the powerful and progressive app you were hoping for, the post-launch support plan comes into play. And for this part, we strongly recommend that you opt for a company with a continuous delivery approach. This approach goes beyond a traditional partnership, to reliable support and maintenance in regards to releasing updates, solving bugs, errors, or adding new features after the app has been launched in the App Store. It is like having a designated GP for your app but in this case, it is an iOS app development company.
Another good thing about this model is that it gives a clear strategy and product direction so you don’t waste money and align your app with future business objectives from the very start. Remember — before you embrace this new alliance, inquire how much they charge for post-release support, app updates, bug fixes, extra features, etc.
Highest Level of Data Security
With 11.6 million devices affected by malicious code, data security is a major concern in the app development industry. So what are the best practices iOS app developers should apply to keep your data secure? To avoid reverse engineering, developers must first and foremost write secure code and encrypt their data. They should also be cautious when using libraries and always authorize APIs in the app code. High-level authentication and tamper detection techniques as a method of getting alerts when the code is being modified or changed are also highly recommendable. And last but not least, a proficient iOS app developer must rely on good cryptography tools and techniques and only give code access to only those involved in the project.
Ability to Support All Platforms
At the moment your objective is to find an iOS application development company and reach App Store users. But have you considered what would happen if you decided to move to other major platforms and target more users? With the ongoing revolution of mobile app development, once you see the benefits of creating an iOS app, you will most definitely want to expand your investment and make it available on other platforms. You must, therefore, look for partners who are knowledgeable and experienced in making your product available on other major platforms like Android, Blackberry, Windows, etc.
Tips for Hiring the Right iOS App Development Company For Your Project
The quality and functionalities of your iOS app will be determined by the capabilities of the firm you decide to team up with. In order to assist you in your pursuit of the most fitting iOS development team and make sure you do not miss out on a golden opportunity for new revenue streams, we have outlined several factors for you to consider.
Identify Your Requirements
Do you have an idea of how your iOS app should look like? What are your iOS app development requirements? Are you interested only in building an iPhone app or do you want it compatible with other Apple devices? Start by answering these questions and make a checklist of any problems your target audience has which could be resolved with the app you are hoping to build.
List the ‘special’ features or functionalities you would want in your app. Research the top-rated apps in your industry, be it real estate, healthcare, finance, or other and explore the functionalities that work well for you as a user but also what the iOS developer company can do to improve them. And finally, define what you are hoping to accomplish. Whether it is satisfying business requirements, user needs, revenue boost, or all three and more, it is crucial for the iPhone application makers to have a clear understanding of your vision so both parties can see the same picture of the future and set the sails to reach the destination.
Look for Someone That Has Expertise and Experience in Your Industry
You are looking for someone who has everything that matters to you-from industry expertise to user experience and coding skills, to the rapid growth of the apps the iOS development company has created. Always keep this in mind when selecting the most suitable team. There are many advantages to having a partner that specializes in your line of work. First, they already have a solid understanding of the typical business processes and requirements meaning they will be better sensitized to your industry and your user’s needs. But they will also be able to offer insightful advice and move through the development stages faster which will ultimately save you time and valuable resources.
Secure Your App Ownership with a Contract
Most iOS application development companies will sign a non-disclosure agreement to avoid any legal misunderstandings. Before you proceed to sign any papers, however, make sure the rights to all the data integrated into the app belongs to you as the investor. Do this before you share any more details about your wonderful app idea. It would also be wise if the contract guarantees data confidentiality or the licensing of any innovations and the rights to them. And finally, to protect your idea and intellectual property, and avoid confusion, stay away from iOS app developers who delay the signing of NDAs, or don’t even mention them as part of the bargain.
Choose Value, Not Cost
Cost plays a key role in building mobile apps. But it is also a significant investment in precious time and money. Compliance and security requirements, app features, maintenance, and support, along with post-launch services are all part of the budget. Deciding between a robust feature set or simplicity lowers the risks of redesign and rework in later stages of the app development. While iPhone application development services are costly, to offer the added value your business and customers deserve, you must always prioritize quality. So, look to hire someone who relies on a planned strategy and methods, knows how to be innovative in the use of technology and yet, meets your budget and quality standards. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you spend but rather, getting your money’s worth.
Helpful Questions to Ask Before Hiring iOS Developers
The first meeting with a prospective iOS development team will help you learn more about their work strategy, projects they’ve completed, and are of interest to you but most importantly, it will familiarize you with the details of the development process. To help you prepare, we’ve selected a few topics to discuss:
Can you share the apps that you have developed and listed on the App Store?
Anyone who believes their work is awesome would be more than willing to provide you with the links to the apps they personally helped develop. And not only this, top iOS app development companies will be happy to give you hands-on experience in the development process. If they have not worked on a project that is similar to yours, now would be a good time to ask what approach they would take in developing yours.
How many app development projects have you delivered so far?
Everyone knows experience in iPhone app development matters and the higher the number of projects, the better the outcome. That said, keeping an open mind and considering iPhone app developers who have worked on some of the best iPhone apps is also a good idea even if their experience is not extensive per se. The industry craves fresh ideas and innovative approaches, so in this case, choosing quality over quantity might not be a bad idea.
What iPhone app development process do you follow while developing the application?
In general, regardless of whether it is an iPhone or Android app, respectable app development companies must have an established development process. Being informed upfront about the various stages of the process or any challenges or problems the company had faced with projects similar as yours, but most importantly what plans the iPhone applications development company had in place to resolve them, will empower you as a client to determine the type of partner you will be working with.
How many developers work on an iOS development project?
While the number of developers working on your app depends on the code’s complexity, the app’s special features, and functionalities, in general, you would need an average of 5 developers. One lead developer, two senior developers, one in charge of the security, and one for maintenance.
How long does it take them to build an app?
Each stage of the app development process takes different amounts of time. The project brief alone could take up to two weeks. Ideally, iPhone app development companies might need anywhere between three to nine months to complete the app. Complex iPhone app programming could take up to a year.
What platform are iOS apps developed on?
Developing an app for iPhone, iPad, or other iOS running devices, requires expertise in Objective C or Swift languages using the Xcode IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This runs on Mac which is the platform used for building an iOS app.
Which app development tools, framework, and third-party applications do you use for developing the app design?
Asking the iOS developers that will be working on your project to tell you of their past experience with third-party applications and whether they had used any, and to convey you the details of the tools and frameworks involved will help you test the knowledge of the development team. It will also tell you whether or not they are inclined to work with the latest tools and technology which might actually save you some money in the process.
What is your experience in testing iOS apps?
Ideally, after the app is developed, iOS app development companies should have it tested on the platform it is intended for. The beta version testing phase will tell you if the app has any bugs which naturally should be fixed. Keep in mind to consider how much time the iOS app developer needed to fix it — there will always be bugs but to maintain your users engaged and happy, fixing them promptly is crucial. It will also help you keep your app updated with the latest iOS versions at all times.