People today have great ideas for mobile apps, but most underestimate the development process. Developing and launching a mobile app in 2024 is a different ballgame than five years ago. The market is more crowded than ever, and users have come to expect polish and perfection right out of the gate. But that shouldn’t intimidate you! With focus, drive, and guidance, your app can cut through the noise. In this article, we show you how to launch a mobile app with the best chances for success.

And who better to walk you through the process than someone who’s been there? In this guide, you get advice from professional IT consultants who’ve launched dozens of successful apps. We share proven strategies for crafting the perfect app, generating buzz, attracting users, and turning your big idea into reality in 2024. 

Understanding Mobile Apps in 2024

In 2024, the mobile app market is bigger and more competitive than ever. As a developer or a business owner, you must stay on top of the latest trends to build a profitable and memorable app.

Dominance of 5G

It’s 2024 and the 5G network has reached over 40% of the world’s population. 5G means faster speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect many more devices at once. For app developers, 5G unlocks new possibilities like sophisticated augmented reality experiences, cloud gaming on mobile, and real-time translation apps.

Rise of foldable phones

Foldable phones are poised to go mainstream in 2024, with models from Samsung, Motorola, and others available worldwide. These devices feature flexible displays that fold open into a larger screen. App developers will need to optimise apps to work seamlessly across multiple screen sizes and aspect ratios to provide the best experience on foldables.

Cross-platform development

In 2024, cross-platform app development frameworks like React Native and Flutter are dominant, mostly because they allow developers to build iOS and Android apps using a single codebase.

These frameworks reduce development time and cost, enabling small teams to build apps for multiple platforms. As a developer, diving into one of these frameworks is a smart move if you want to launch a mobile app that will compete in the market.

The importance of app marketing

With over 6 million apps expected in major app stores in 2024, getting noticed will be the biggest challenge for new apps. App marketing, including influencer collaborations, social media ads, and app store optimisation, will all be crucial to success. Developers should start working on a marketing roadmap early to drive downloads and gain traction.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR are set to expand beyond gaming into more practical applications. We can expect more AR-driven retail, education, and healthcare apps that provide immersive experiences that enhance user interaction and engagement.

Enhanced mobile security

With the increase in mobile transactions and data sharing, security is more crucial than ever. Apps in 2024 will likely incorporate advanced security features like biometrics, encryption, and secure authentication to protect user data.

Wearable tech integration

The integration of mobile apps with wearable technology will continue to grow. Apps that connect with devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers to provide streamlined experiences and real-time health monitoring will be even more popular.

IoT-enabled mobile apps

The Internet of Things (IoT) will drive more connected experiences, with mobile apps as the hub for managing various IoT devices. This trend is particularly noticeable in smart homes, healthcare, banking, the automotive industry, etc.

Voice technology and chatbots

Voice-driven interfaces and chatbots will become more prevalent in mobile apps, improving accessibility and user-friendliness. These features allow for hands-free control and personalised customer service, enhancing user satisfaction.

Sustainability and eco-friendly apps

As global awareness of environmental issues grows, mobile apps that promote sustainability will become more popular. These apps may include features that track carbon footprints, advocate recycling, or facilitate second-hand goods trading.

With these trends in mind, developers can create innovative and relevant mobile apps that cater to users’ evolving needs and preferences in 2024.

How to Launch a Mobile App in 7 Stages

Stage #1: Developing your mobile app idea

Coming up with an idea for your app is the first step, but don’t settle on the first concept that pops into your head. Brainstorm and evaluate multiple options to land on one that you’re passionate about and has the potential for success.

Do your research

See what’s already out there. The first step is to check out major app stores to ensure your idea is unique or an improvement of existing apps. Look for gaps in the market that your app could fill. 

Define your target audience

Who will use your app? Identify your target customers and build an app tailored to their needs. Think about their technical abilities, interests, and pain points. The more specific you can get about your audience, the better.

Determine your app’s purpose

What problem does your app solve? How will it enrich your users’ lives or make their jobs easier? Whether for productivity, entertainment, or something else, define how your app will benefit your target audience. Figure out the primary features and functions required to fulfil that purpose.

Map out the user experience

Sketch how users will interact with your app and navigate between screens. Plan an intuitive flow that gets them to your app’s key features and content as quickly as possible. Keep your layout clean and minimal, avoiding clutter that could distract or confuse users.

Build a business model

Monetising your app is key to its long-term success. Will your app be free to download but make money through in-app purchases or advertising? Or will you charge an upfront download fee? Determine how you will generate revenue and profit to make your app venture viable and sustainable.

With a firm idea, target audience, purpose, user experience, and business model defined, you’ll have the foundation to start developing your mobile app in 2024. 

Stage #2: Building and designing your app

Once you have a solid app idea, it’s time to make it a reality. The planning and design process is crucial to launch a mobile app successfully. 

Developing an app blueprint 

A blueprint, or wireframe, maps out the structure and interface of your app. It shows how the features and functions are laid out, so you can see how users will navigate the app. Creating a blueprint helps identify issues/bugs early on and ensures all features are logically organised. You can draw app blueprints by hand or use app design software like InVision or Adobe XD.

Choosing a platform

Do you want to build an iOS-based or Android-based app, or perhaps a combination? The platform(s) you choose will depend on your target audience and budget.

Building for both iOS and Android maximises your potential reach but requires developing two separate apps, doubling the time and cost. If targeting iOS users, you’ll need a MacBook to build the app. For Android, you can build on either a Mac or PC.

Building the design

You need to determine the look and feel of your app – that’s where UI/UX design comes into play. A clean, intuitive interface is key to user experience. Choose stylistic elements that reflect your brand like colours, fonts, and icons. Focus on simplicity and consistency across all screens. The design should highlight key features and make all buttons/links easy to spot. You need to test the responsiveness of the design on multiple screen sizes. 

Developing & testing

The final step is developing your mobile app and rigorously testing it. You’ll need to code the app and work out any technical challenges. Test your app on the devices and operating systems it’s meant for. Get feedback from real users and make improvements before launching. Fixing issues at this stage is much easier and cheaper than after launch.

Launching a successful mobile app takes planning, time, and resources. But by designing an engaging, user-friendly app and properly building and testing it, you’ll have happy customers and a thriving app. Make improvements based on user feedback and your app will continuously gain loyal followers!

Stage #3: Perfecting your app with testing

Once you have a working version of your mobile app, it’s time to put it through rigorous app testing and quality assurance. Thorough testing is the only way to work out all the kinks and ensure your app is ready for launch. 

Functionality testing 

First, test that all the features and functions work as intended. Try every tap, swipe, and button to confirm that the app responds properly. Check that in-app purchases, login, and integrations function properly. You can also get friends and co-workers to test the app on their devices to identify any issues.

Compatibility testing 

Your app needs to be compatible with the latest iOS and Android versions to ensure optimal user experience. Test the app on as many mobile devices as possible, including different screen sizes. Emulation software can help fill any gaps, but physical devices are best. All elements should appear properly on all screen sizes, and the experience must be consistent for all devices.

Stress and performance testing

Put your app under pressure to see how it holds up. Test loading times for all parts of the app and see if the performance slows down.

Next, check how the app handles spotty connectivity or bandwidth constraints. Identify any memory issues that could cause the app to crash. Stress testing will allow you to resolve performance problems before launch and ensure your app can handle high volumes of users and traffic.

Beta testing

Once you’ve fixed any major issues from the other testing, it’s time for beta testing with a group of friendly outside users.

Set up a beta test using a service like TestFlight or Google Play Console and get at least 50 to 100 beta testers to run your app. Ask them to explore every part of the app and provide detailed feedback on their experience. Review all the feedback and make any final updates needed before launch.

Thorough testing requires time and patience, but it is the only way to release a mobile app that will impress users from day one. 

Stage #4: Submitting your app to app stores

When you are ready and set to launch a mobile app, it’s time to submit it to the major app stores. The two biggest players are the Apple App Store for iOS apps and the Google Play Store for Android apps. Submitting to each store involves creating an account, agreeing to their terms of service, and going through an approval process.

Apple App Store

To submit your app to Apple, you’ll need an Apple Developer account which costs $99 per year. You provide details about your app: the name, description, icon, and screenshots. Apple will then review your app to ensure it meets the guidelines before approving it to be listed in the App Store. The review process typically takes around 1 to 2 weeks.

Google Play Store

Submitting to the Google Play Store is free. You’ll sign in with a Google account and provide the same details as for Apple. Google also reviews apps before publishing but their process is usually faster, around 1 to 3 days.

Once approved and live in the stores, you’ll want to monitor reviews and ratings, respond to user feedback, and push out updates as needed. Having a popular, highly-rated app requires constant improvement and engagement with your users. 

Even after approval, it can take time to gain downloads and traction. Don’t get discouraged if you only have a few downloads per day after launching the app. With regular updates, positive reviews, and some promotions, you can build momentum and significantly increase installs over time. If you’ve built an app that solves a real problem for users, staying passionate and dedicated to its success will pay off. This is where a tailored marketing strategy comes into play.

Stage #5: Advertising your app pre-launch

To build excitement for your app launch in 2024, start marketing it at least 2-3 months before the release date. This will help you gain valuable feedback and build buzz. Here are some tips to market your app pre-launch:

With several months of marketing and promotion leading up to your launch, you build demand and have a group of eager first users and customers as soon as your app goes live. Their support and word-of-mouth marketing will then help propel your app to even greater success.

Stage #6: Launching your mobile app

Once you’ve finished the planning and development stages, the next step is to launch the app. And here’s how to go about that in an organised and low-risk manner:

Choose a launch date

Pick a target launch date and work backwards, outlining all the tasks that need to be completed. Leave 2-3 months for beta testing, setting up advertising channels, and optimising your app. 

You want everything in place for a successful first day, so don’t rush the process. Once you’ve set a date, announce it on your website and social media so people can get ready to download it.

Drive downloads

Once launch day comes, make sure to:

*Make it easy for people to find your app by using targeted keywords in your title, description, and hashtags.

A successful launch requires the right preparation and marketing to get your app in front of users. With some buzz built, an engaging app store listing, and the right promotional push on launch day, you’ll have the best chance of connecting with your initial users and beyond. 

#7: Post-launch monitoring and iteration

Once your app is live, the real work begins. Now is the time to closely monitor how users engage with your app and make improvements based on their behaviour and feedback.

The key is to treat your app as a work in progress, not a finished product. Keep optimizing, enhancing, and improving based on how real users engage with your app in the wild. Their behaviours and opinions should drive your roadmap. With constant monitoring and fast iteration, you’ll build an app that better serves your customers’ needs. And they’ll thank you with their loyalty.

FAQs

Do I need to code the app myself?

Unless you have experience building mobile apps, your best option is to hire a developer or team to code the app for you. They can help bring your vision to life and work with you each step of the way. Focus on designing the app experience and user flow. Let the tech experts handle the actual coding.

Which platform should I launch on first, iOS or Android?

Where you decide to launch a mobile app depends on your target audience. iOS users tend to spend more on apps, so if you have a paid app, launching on iOS first may be better. However, Android has a much larger user base, so if you want maximum downloads, start there. Ideally, you’ll want to launch on both platforms, but if you have to choose one to launch on first, evaluate your target customers. You can always launch on the other platform a few months later.

How much does it cost to build an app?

App development costs can range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more, depending on complexity. A simple app with limited functionality may cost between $10,000 to $50,000. A mid-level app with a good user experience and backend may cost $50,000 to $100,000. A complex app with advanced features like social media integration, geolocation, gaming elements or e-commerce can cost $100,000 and up.

How do I market my new mobile app?

Start marketing your app well before it launches.
Build a website to generate interest and collect email addresses.
Create social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and start engaging with your target audience.
Pitch your app to app reviews and news sites.
Launch an email marketing campaign to spread the word.
Submit your app to the iOS App Store and Google Play Store and optimize your listing with keywords, screenshots, and a compelling description. Consider running app store ads to increase visibility.
Offer promotions and discounts when you first launch to drive lots of downloads.

Final Thoughts

With some planning and persistence, you can successfully launch a mobile app. It is best to focus on the details – designing an engaging user experience, finding a reliable developer to build the app, determining a launch platform, budgeting properly and executing a marketing plan to get the word out. If you build it (well) and promote it, the users will come!