Let's talk about how we do the magic we're well known for.
Step 1: When it comes to cross platform development, we have to consider a lot of things during this phase as there are pros & cons to this approach. Obviously it is a very appealing thought to build a hybrid application or an application ported to all mobile OS such as iOS or android, the project’s scope decides whether it is a valid approach.
Step 2: Based on the project and it’s estimated functionality market research needs to be conducted to see if other similar applications are following the hybrid approach or not. The allure of cross platform app development is that instead of investing into two native development cycles you get the output in one.
We, at switch, believe that a prototype stimulates our brains to better understand the written concept, to visualise it & play around with possibilities. This phase is all about the imagination & creativity.
Step 3: Bringing in the Big Boys i.e Developers. The development team are the technical architects of the project & they’re brought in to discuss minute details of the project. Details concerning the prototype & how will that translate over to code. They also help us in establishing a timeline for optimising the whole process.
Step 4: WireFraming- Bring out your overgrown babies aka artists. Then we make rough sketches on paper to chart out usability & the flow of the application. The first visual draft of the whole app.
The feasibility of cross platform app development depends on how heavy the application’s functionality is & how dependent it is on API calls or the access it requires to device permissions. Certain things are not accessible to hybrid applications as they do not have to native functionality in built into the operating system’s environment.
Step 5: Building Web Services- Now an application needs access to usable data & these are provided by web services, for example, showing location on a map or displaying a list of things. The webservices are very important because they have to be written for optimum performance & handle data efficiently, a lot of brainpower goes into creating & refining algorithmic logics.
Step 6: Optimization: The thing about hybrid apps is that there are several ways to achieve this, like way too many types of tools. However the most successful way as of yet has been an HTML5 code embedded into a native WebView accessing native resources from the device via foreign function interface. However there is also the approach of unique compiling that repurposes a single code and compiles it as separate packages of different native environments but only for very simple applications.
Step 7: Fine-Tune the Definition & Create Market Strategy: At this point, we’ve already refined many of the initial wireframes & improvised technical scenarios, at this stage the whole team is reviewing the wireframes before building the prototypes.
The whole point of a smart phone is touch, and interaction with an app is completely touch based, so we create a prototype to understand and evolve the user flow, navigation & user experience specifically minimalistic for the cross platform approach.
Step 8: Fast pace prototyping, at this stage we’re concerned only with the behaviour of the application, so that we understand how it’s flowing & help our team to visualise the application and build it. It is also necessary for the client to see his idea slowly transforming into a physical entity.
So we bring in the clients to interact & play with the application for reviews & feedback.
( Play dress up with the app, make it look pretty )
This is where the fun starts,
Step 9: User Experience (UX) Designing: So here the whole architecture of the design is created, such as the interaction structure, the navigation details & the Design Elements. The animations and transitions are kept minimal & basic.
User Interface (UI) Designing: For cross-platform application it is necessary for it to have a minimalistic design that relies on the “less is more” principal as lacking access to native capabilities that hybrid application gets slower when a graphics heavy design is made, the performance becomes slower. So we make a clean & neat minimal design infrastructure for hybrid apps.
This phase itself has many review stages & is a multi-layered process but upon it’s completion the final output is pushed into the most awaited phase.
Here the big boys write the code in any preferred application like ionic, angularJS, Apache Cordova or ReactJS.
Step 10: Swift & Efficient Development. Our methodology of development is swift & efficient execution of development. The project manager & lead android supervisor oversee the entire process & optimise the code’s structure & it’s writing style to create high quality applications.
It doesn’t just end at development, we are perfectionists and we have a compulsion to keep testing every little aspect of the application until we’re satisfied.
Step 11: User Acceptance Testing - Remember how we told you about the many android types, now we run a test across all device platforms & sizes to test the application.
Step 12: Intense Testing: Our testers go over the application with automated tools & manual testing together to find bugs, and create a daily list for our team to review and immediately fix, fine tune the application. At each stage we send a changelog & build, to the client and reel them in the whole process.
Step 13: It’s time to launch
After all the sweat, blood & tears, we prepare ourselves to publish the application on to the playstore for review & it’s eventual launch on all the stores.
Step 14: Maintenance After the application is launched, we commit ourselves to revise, edit & maintain the application. For example - bug fixes, improvements in performance & efficiency, etc.