Mobile Application Development Life Cycle – MADLC

mobile application development

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The mobile world will continue to change, because of the many applications that are available to the public today, on their mobile devices. If you as a developer don’t learn to change with the mobile industry, you will seriously be left behind and on a limbo, looking stupid. These changes however, should not alarm you, because applications have a life cycle, and someone has to follow the steps, of the life-cycle, to be able to develop mobile device applications, so that they are made available to the people, who need it, so that they are able to use it, to change their life and make their life much better and convenient.

You need to develop applications that provide value to your customer or clients, to be able to really push them out to the market and be successful selling your technologic program. The applications which mobile devices host, have to be of value to the people that use them. When these applications don’t have any value, in people’s lives, then these applications become deprecated and forgotten quickly. In today’s article, we are going to talk about the mobile application development life cycle (MADLC). When you embark on your mobile application development journey, you need to understand that, there are some requirements, which need to be met, before you even begin to think about the development of your mobile application. Don’t just jump in and start developing your application, read the background material and do your research, beforehand; it will save you a lot of time, effort, work, and a headache. The journey though, may be an easy one, because some people, can build an application in one day, due to the fact that their application is not as complex, as you may think; these applications have no value, in real life as well and they don’t meet the certain standards that most complex and valuable applications meet today.

All they have to do, is open their integrated development environment (IDE), write a few lines of code, do some testing and submit their newly created application, to an App store. However, if you want to develop a real mobile application, that is rich in complexity, and brings real value to your users, then you must be prepared to be involved in an extremely rigorous process, which will require a lot of up front design and planning. In addition to this, quality assurance, testing on thousands of devices, usability testing, deployment in a number of different ways, and full beta life-cycle testing time are key, to you developing, a state of the art application.

Developing mobile apps, is not an easy-to-understand task if you are trying to develop something, which can really bring some real value to people, for a long time, of course, not just for a moment. You need to have a good understanding, of software development life-cycle, because this is a crucial part, of the mobile application development. It is imperative to have a dedicated framework life-cycle, for mobile applications development, due to the fact that there is an increasing necessity, for complex mobile applications around the world.

The life-cycle of a mobile application will almost always, include the following: Planning, identification, design, development, prototyping, testing, maintenance or upgrade, this is also the framework of the life cycle of your mobile application. You may not go through one of these steps, step by step, during your application development, but you will surely have to go through, some of these steps to successfully develop your mobile application, which brings value to people for a long period of time. When you follow a dedicated life-cycle, during your mobile application development, you will be able to identify and distinguish certain characteristics about your mobile application. Such characteristics, which you will be able to identify are life span, complex functionalities, the number of screens needed for interaction, battery and memory usage, maintenance and cross-platform development. When you follow a structured, Mobile Application Development Life-cycle (MADLC), it will only benefit your skills, and let others know, that you know what you are doing; when you are trying to develop robust and complex mobile applications.

Any software product can really benefit from the software development processes that are available for you to follow; because they are structured frameworks, which allow developers to professionally develop the application or software. When you decide to follow a life-cycle model, you will find that there are several styles, of approaching your application development.

Some of these models are, the prototyping model, the waterfall model and the spiral model, to name a few. All the models, have certain steps in common, such steps are planning, requirements, analysis, design and scalability. Scalability by the way, just means, that the application you develop, should be able to handle the growing amount of work, that develops through time in a capable manner. If you decide to go the spiral model route, you will be emphasizing on the risks of developing your application. The waterfall model emphasizes on the step-by-step process, which we mentioned earlier.

The prototyping model will take you through an incremental approach, in each of the steps of the mobile development life-cycle; this means that you won’t go from one step of your development to the other until it is fully functional so that you at the end have an acceptable prototype. A crucial aspect of the development process, is to design a mobile application or a software product that will fulfill the requirements of the client, while following the different standards of the development life-cycle model. It is of the essence that you have at your disposal, a predefined development process, so that the development of your mobile application, may not be impacted by the many known problems, that many developers have already faced, in the past.

The reason why developers encountered many problems and obstacles in the past and even today, is because they don’t use the tools and resources that are available to them today. Many developers and programmers also don’t know that a mobile development life-cycle framework, could possibly make their job a lot easier. Some other developers don’t use these resources, because they are complex to understand and master, however once you master these tools, you’ll be very skillful at the art of programming.

Many developers today, still jump right into their development journey, without having the smallest clue that they would be facing very thick walls, which could destroy them and stop them from developing a professionally well put together mobile application. We didn’t have the tool, we have today, very early in the application development cycle, which caused many to believe that they could never develop a well put together application.

In today’s mobile technology, however, there are many tools and resources that can help you develop a mobile application, which can bring value to your users. Mobile applications are classified into five categories of mobile applications: Leisure based, personal productivity based, transaction-based, content dimension-based and social networking based. The application that you are planning on developing will fall under one of these categories; once you know the category of your application, it will be a lot easier for you, to develop your application, that is of course if you follow a development life-cycle model. When mobile devices, were able to increase their networking bandwidth, going from 2G to 3G and finally to what we all use, in the twenty-first century 4G, mobile applications received a boost in speed and became more appealing to the public.

Mobile devices also enhanced their hardware, with larger screens, more memory, and more speed processing capabilities, which enhanced mobile applications. Java, .NET, Objective C and many other mobile development frameworks, resource, programming languages, and tools are used to develop mobile applications today, which are used to provide many, one or a few limited functionalities. The life-cycle of a mobile application, is very low though, because there is an increasingly large amount of mobile application developers, and the competition is fears, because there is a lot of money involved and many developers are always, using their skills, to develop the next big thing, in mobile application, so people become disinterested in mobile applications, which are considered to be valuable and complex, because other applications are developed and replace them.

Don’t be discouraged though, continue developing your mobile application, you may be one of the lucky ones that hit the jackpot and develops a state of the art application, which changes the world. However, your mobile application has to be able to interface with the many mobile device gadgets, present in mobile devices today, such gadgets are telephony, camera, GPS, battery life, etc… You also have to keep in mind that, many mobile devices are now developed on different platforms, and each of these platforms, share the market equally; therefore, you have to design your application, to be useful in all mobile device platforms, if you want to reach as many users as possible, and take advantage of the open market.

When you develop your mobile application device, remember to pick the brains of your customers, because most people today use a mobile device, and they are more than likely, to have an idea for a mobile application. Remember that refining and defining the idea, for your mobile application, is as important as the development of that mobile application itself. You need to ask some important questions, that would answer questions surrounding the competitive advantage of your mobile application, the infrastructure integration that your mobile application needs, the value that your application would bring to users, and how your application will add value to the mobile industry, yourself and the current web space world that exists today.

Once you have the idea in place, and you have collected data from your customers, and many other friends; it is now time to go into the designing phase of your application development. During this phase, what you’ll want to do is to create visuals, which would give you an idea of how your application would look. There are many tools available to you online, for you to create your wire-frames or mock-ups, so don’t think that you have to be an expert designer, if you are not one already.

You do, however, have to know a programming language, very well if you are planning on, developing the mobile application, yourselves. I am sure most of you are experts at the designing skill, and won’t spend too much time during the designing phase, but you do need to pick up a programming language. You don’t have to have a final design, in order to start on the development stage of your application either; as a matter of fact, if you want to have an understanding, of the scope of the work the mobile application you are developing would take, you may want to start developing the code for your mobile application, very early during the game.

Developing your mobile application could prove to be very difficult, so you may want to get this process started, very early, during your mobile application development process. Don’t forget to pick a development cycle model and follow that first, because this is as important, as coding your application. Once you are done with the development of your app, then you need to beta test your app, for all the platforms that exist today. You also need to let other people test your mobile application and gain feedback from your testers. The feedback you receive from your testers will be very important, because it will guide your idea, on how you should build your next mobile application, or it will give you insights, as to how you should go about upgrading your current application.

The journey to having a completed mobile application that is in your mobile device, can be long and difficult, but it is up to you, to not give up, use all the tools and resources available to you, and most importantly you have to endure to the end.

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