To create an MVP app for Android first is a common choice because it is the most popular OS in the world. Moreover, with technologies like React Native for cross-platform development, you can quickly transfer it to iOS reusing up to 60% of the code. Let us see step-by-step how to create an MVP for Android with React Native.
A few words about native and cross-platform development
When you hear the word ‘MVP’ you can also often hear ‘native development’ or ‘cross-platform development’ mentioned together with it. What are those?
Native mobile development
Native mobile development means that you tailor your app to a specific platform, which is Android in this case. Different OS use different toolsets, for example, different languages: Java and Kotlin for Android, while Swift and Objective C for iOS. Native development languages allow you to explore the possibilities of the platform to the fullest. For instance, you can use some innate features for developers that another platform doesn’t offer.
Tools for cross-platform development allow you to create an MVP app for Android that is compatible with many platforms. You don’t have to compromise and be limited by just one operating system. After all, even if 87%https://www.statista.com/statistics/272307/market-share-forecast-for-smartphone-operating-systems/#:~:text=Smartphones%20running%20the%20Android%20operating,percent%20share%20of%20the%20market. of your audience have Android, making 13% of the users hang in there waiting for your product is unreasonable.
That is why many startups choose cross-platform development for their new products. React Native web applications feel and look as good as native ones, so for the end-user there is no difference. However, only a relatively small fine-tuning is needed to convert an Android app into an iOS or Windows one. This way you can save up to 80% of your budget. All the work can be done by one team; no need to hire separate teams for iOS and Android. Moreover, launching the project is much faster since the code is highly reusable.
Benefits of MVP development for Android
Before you start to create an MVP app for Android, it is nice to inform yourself of the benefits of this approach. Developing an MVP allows you to:
- Validate your business idea. As a survey https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/ by CB Insights shows, almost 50% of startups fail because of a lack of market need. MVP allows you to decrease the risks of bringing a new product to the market. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you invest a relatively small amount of money and just 3-6months of your life and see how your app is performing on the market (a fully-fledged solution can take twice as much time or more and is more expensive). You can continue developing it at your own pace if it performs well. If not, you just proceed to the next idea.
- Start small. Complex ideas take a lot of resources to realize that you might not have at the moment. It is much easier to convince business angels and venture capitalists to invest in your idea if you have a tangible product at hands. Moreover, MVP is something a flexible app version very flexible, so you can collect feedback from your sponsors and improve it much faster than if you were developing a product from scratch.
If you value flexibility and smart approach to product development, MVP will allow you to develop an Android app with maximum cost-efficiency.
Android MVP development steps
Look at an MVP development product as a version 1.0 of your Android app that can and must be fine-tuned, expanded, and improved as soon as you get that opportunity.
Every good project starts with collecting requirements. It is awesome if you have a detailed plan of action or technical documentation. But there is no problem if you don’t. Your MVP development agency can learn everything they need to know at the initial stage during a 30-60 minute call. The team will think about device parameters, programming languages, and all that techy stuff. But they can’t get to know your business without you. What is expected from the client is to know the purpose of their app and what key features you would like to implement. Be sure to communicate your ideas, answer questions, and provide references if possible.
This stage is finalized with a formalized description of customer’s requirements that can be used as a prompt for the feature mapping.
During feature mapping, MVP developers create a plan that describes project boundaries, sets functional specifications, and lists the features that need to be implemented. At this stage, it is necessary to identify both key features and additional features that can be introduced later on during project development.
A feature map is the document that the agency uses to evaluate the project, set time frames, and schedule development milestones. However, it is important to understand that this plan is very approximate. Life is always different from our plans, so after market research or client feedback, some things can change.
The specification or analysis stage describes the process of making your product’s feature map more realistic. For example, the team discussed with a customer the features they want to include. But after market research, it turned out that this feature is outdated, and the team can propose a better alternative. Analysis of existing market solutions is necessary to meet the expectations of the end-users and also create an app that looks modern and attractive. The software development team creates a software requirement specification (SRS) that needs to be approved by the client. After that, the contract is signed, and a new exciting stage of product development begins.
An app’s architecture is like a skeleton of your product: looking at it you can notice some patterns that describe how your future app will work. For example, one of the most common types of mobile architectures is multilayer:
- Presentation layer. To this layer belongs everything connected to the user interface, for example, a form that a user needs to fill in to register.
- Business layer. This layer connects UI to the ‘underlying layers’ of the app, for example, allows to save account info into the database.
- Data access layer. Finally, there is a data access layer that provides access to all the data whenever the user needs it.
Your app may have a different structure. However, to create this structure, the team will need to use various tools such as user personas and user stories. They help to define application logic and describe the iterative process of application development. What features to prioritize? How many users are going to use the app? At this stage, the team invests time and effort into finding answers to those questions.
Next, the team proceeds with implementing all the features listed in the specification to create an MVP app for Android. The UI/UX design defines how the app will function and how users will interact with it building an intuitive and seamless user flow. This includes planning out the layouts and putting navigation elements in the right places. Moreover, during this step, designers conduct target audience research to create a graphic map of the screen interaction. The result is a wireframe or a 2D illustration of how users will interact with the product. It reflects the logic but is in black and white. The client’s approval is needed at this stage before proceeding with design and coding.
Design stage of Android MVP development is a stage when the product really comes into life. Your black and white model is designed into a colorful app. Every little detail including fonts, pop-ups, buttons, main and additional screens is developed to be in accordance to the style guide. Usually, usability tests and/or A/B tests are conducted on real users before passing it to the client for feedback. That is done to improve the design and be sure that it looks its best because this is how the final product will look like. After everything is tested, now the only thing that is left is to code the application.
All the amazing features of the app are described in the code, so only on this stage your mockup becomes really functional. Writing and testing the program can take up to 3-6 months but spending enough time on quality assurance is necessary is you want your product to work seamlessly. The result of this stage is the first version of your product that can be uploaded to app stores. Your team will publish it in the store for you and you can start your marketing campaign in order to attract more users.
If you decide to make an app for iOS it will be easy to do. You have already developed GUI (graphical user interface) and business logic in code. Changes are needed but reusing the codebase, you can bring an Android app to the App Store in a reduced amount of time.
After the MVP is launched, it doesn’t mean that all work on the project is done. The app should be maintained and developed further. For example, it is necessary to update the app regularly so that it wouldn’t become outdated. Technologies develop fast, and your competitors will always have something new to offer. To keep up with the market, you need to have a long-term business development plan. But this is for the future. Right now you can enjoy your ready product.