An app developer adds the necessary features into the app that an app needs to function. How to decide what features needs to be added & how long will it take to develop an app?

Let’s study the App Development Cycle below, it will lead to all the answers.

The Mobile App Development Cycle for iOS & Android

 Source: JudoBites.

Discovery Phase

Formulate a Goal You are Developing an App for

Firstly, you need to analyze the 5 Ws, i.e. –

  • ‘Who’ you want to serve;
  • ‘What’ you want to serve;
  • ‘Where’ you want to serve;
  • ‘When’ you want to serve; &
  • ‘Why’ you want to serve.

It will provide clarity of ‘what’ you want to serve & what all features you need to add in your app to provide the services. After you decide what you want to serve (which is the ultimate goal of app development) you need to ensure that no existing app is providing the similar function. If it does, add uniqueness to your app.

Decide the Functions Your App will Perform

After you are clear with the goal for app development, the next step is to decide the functions you will be adding in your app. In order to find out what all functions need to be added, you can use ‘App MockUp’ which will help you to create an outlay of services you want your app to deliver & based on that, you can add the functions.

In order to give the technical structure to your app, you need to hire app developers (like us) who will use their software’s knowledge to develop your mobile app.

We will talk about that in the later part of the post.

Monetize Options

The next step is to research what all Monetization options you want to give in your app.

There are 3 ways to Monetize –

  1. Advertising
  2. Freemium &
  3. In-App purchases.

Once you have decided the Monetization option you look for the sources that can design them in the app.

Software Methodologies

After deciding the 2 crucial elements of an app, next step is to move on to discover the software methodologies to be used to design an app.

Technically, there are 4 methods –

  1. MEAP
  2. SCRUM
  3. LEAN

Tasks involved are –

  • Requirement Analysis
  • System Definition
  • Prototyping

Why Analysis? How’s It Helpful

The above analysis about the 5 Ws & the monetization options will help you to stay focused on what you NEED & will prevent digression.

In short, it provides the following benefits –

  • Prototyping your projects
  • Creating Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Defining constraints
  • Improving user buy-in
  • Estimate cost & size of the product.

Design Phase

After all the strategies are planned, resources are discovered, this is the time to put all the plans together & give shape to your idea.

Firstly, Develop Statement of Work (SOW)

Tasks Involved

  1. Define User Personas
  2. Define Use Cases
  3. Prioritize Features
  4. System Design
  5. Database Designs
  6. Wireframes (UX)
  7. User Testing (Real Users)
  8. User Interface Design

Tools Involved

  1. POP
  2. Blasmiq
  3. AppsGeyser
  4. AppGyver
  5. PhoneGap


  • Deciding Deployment Platform/Interface
  • Normalizing Database Design
  • Framework Driven Process
  • Get Early Feedback on User Interface

Once an App is designed, it is sent for development to an App developer.

App Development Phase

While the app is under a development phase, an app developer should send the app for testing to its real users. It provides the clarity of if the app is working well with the users & they are not facing any technical glitches.

Tools Used

  1. MoneyTalk
  2. EggPlant
  3. Saasta

Tasks Involved to Develop an App

  • Develop Systems
  • Create Prototypes
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • System & Performance Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Deployment


  • Just in time deployment
  • Framework driven development process
  • Multi-Tier, Real-time testing & tracking
  • Improving user experience.

Once the app is developed the app is then sent to the project manager(s) & the stakeholders to ensure that the plan is being delivered.

The review of the project manager(s), stakeholders & the target user will decide if the app is ready for deployment or not.

Is App Ready for Deployment?

If the App is Ready for Deployment –

Shout about it.

  • Create buzz about it through social media advertising & PR
  • Call for Sign Ups.

Tasks Involved

  1. Plan a Beta Release
  2. Countries of Distribution
  3. Check screen compatibility ranges
  4. Define app keywords
  5. Create platform specific images & screenshots
  6. Get user feedback
  7. Promote App


Have a Release plan. Don’t pack all your features of the app in the first release itself.

Create curiosity amongst the users.

Wait for their feedback.

In Case you’re Releasing the App on iOS

Don’t forget to factor in time for app store approval.

If the App is Not Ready for Deployment –

Further, ask for reviews for improvement from the project manager(s) & the stakeholders.

Moreover, even after the release of the app, get periodic updates from the project manager(s) & stakeholders.

Get back to the design phase for further improvements & innovations.

Get Updates

  1. Add new features periodically to your app
  2. Create Periodic Maintenance Release Windows
  3. Go back to the Design Phase periodically to make the necessary updates.

Doing so will help to –

  1. Do Gap Analysis
  2. Promotes centralized/reusable business processes.


In Conclusion, Development of an app goes through 4 phases –

  1. Discovery
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Release.

Without the former, later is of no use.

I hope this helps to understand to understand in detail how an app is developed.

In case of any query or you feel like adding something, feel free to drop a comment.