How to Build Mobile App in 2021-Comprehensive Guide

In this article, we will shed light on how to build a mobile app in 2021 to get ahead of the major competitors by surpassing them with cutting-edge technology integration to make your mobile app features-rich & an exceptional mobile experience.

“Customers don’t measure you on how hard you tried; they measure you on what you deliver” - Steves Jobs, Co-founder of Apple. 

And over the years, users have measured it correctly and ushered in success to many great apps. The mobile app industry had evolved dramatically since the time when the first app was introduced (Remember the snake game app in the Nokia phone?) What started with a basic game app is now revolutionized to numerous apps fulfilling our requirements.

Yes, it is the customers’ demands and businesses’ creativity that have revolutionized the usage of mobile applications. However, the process of mobile app development still remains the same. 

Today if you as a business owner want to make your mark online, you’ll have to go through the process of getting an app developed. Because obviously, no one wants to miss the 3.8 million smartphone users, which can be your customers. And we know you also want to be the one. 



Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

Studies even show that an American adult accessed mobile apps 7.7 times per day and spent about 5.4 hours every day on their smartphones. That’s a great benefit of building a mobile app, don’t you think?!

So, if you believe that you have an app idea all structured in your mind and that can make a huge difference in the lives of others, then we have curated ways to build a mobile app in 2021’. 

Let's shed light on how to create a successful app in 2021. The foremost thing which we suggest is reflecting on the purpose of developing a mobile app.

At Cerdonis Technologies LLC, we make our client reflect on the purpose - why you want to build a mobile app. The reason we do that is that the purpose can change the way you can develop an app. Your aim should mainly be to increase your business & get a positive return on your investments (yes, that’s very important). Is it solely that you want to add value to your brand image, or want to be a unique solution provider like an on-demand app for online laundry service or wish to offer your users entertainment like Netflix, or is it all three! Defining the purpose pilots the way to a definite goal for both you and the mobile app development company you are hiring.  

When the purpose is clearly described, we recommend creating a well-defined strategy followed by consulting mobile app development companies that can sync with your goal. 

Secondly, we will list out the best app development practices your business app can adhere to with our experience as a custom app development company.

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And last but not least, we will reveal the steps to build a mobile app that you can follow to get million-dollar funding for your app. To let you know, we also conform to the same process, and that has led us to go from 5 to 500+ projects in a matter of a few years.  

Adding to it, the article will cover the two types of mobile apps. And also the difference between iOS development & android development which comes under Native app development. 

Now that you know the fundamentals of app development. Let’s get into the comprehensive guide to building a mobile app in 2021. Our article is based on the step-by-step process. 

Let’s take a look at the first step. 

Quick recap - What is mobile app development?

Mobile app development is a procedure that involves developing software applications that basically run on mobile devices.

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Different types of mobile apps you can build.

It would be naive to lay down the mobile app development without knowing the two dominant types of app categorization.


Determining the right type of app for your business will help you strategize the app development cycle according to your business requirements and allocate the requisite budget. 

Here are the two primary app classifications.  

  • Native apps

  • Hybrid apps

First, let’s know what native apps are. 

  1. Native Apps

​​​​​Native apps are specially developed for mobile devices like Apple iOS or Android OS. So, suppose you intend to develop a native app. In that case, you should know that the difference between iOS development and Android development is the programming languages. (iOS uses ‘Objective-C or Swift’ and Android uses ‘Java or Kotlin’.)

 Quite logically, including their programming language, their technological tools are also different. According to mobile app developers - “Native apps are the most regarded app development methods”. They are known for offering high-performance levels as it is developed for a specific platform and that it is the reason Native apps take long to build. And thus it comes under an expensive development method. 

  1. Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are a cost-efficient alternative path to native apps. In mobile app developers’ terms, hybrid apps are developed through the ‘write once and run it everywhere' code, unlike native apps, which require a different code for iOS & Android platforms. 

Hybrid apps are built through JavaScript and can be deployed on both iOS and Android platforms. The flexibility of Hybrid apps is high in terms of what a hybrid app can achieve. You can either go for React Native development by Facebook or Flutter development by Google. - These two hold the leading position in Hybrid app development. By choosing hybrid apps, a great advantage you’ll get is saving on your budget and time because, as mentioned earlier, hybrid apps can be built once and be operated everywhere. 

We hope that by now, you may have selected which kind of app to go for. 

Now, you have understood two primary app classifications. Let’s advance to the best app development practices you can follow. 

  1. Don’t forget your competition.

  2. Invest in designing a user-friendly platform

  3. Make sure your app is secured. 

Now let’s move on to the A- Z steps to build mobile apps from scratch in 2021.


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7 steps to follow:

You need to make sure that the new platform you are trying to build reflects your brand image, your business website and inspires your audience to download it. 

We know it looks complicated, but it would be an easy bet once you take a shot at the below steps. 

  • Construct a clear notion for your mobile app. 

Take a pen and a paper. List down the objectives you want to see in your app. Ask yourself, will your mobile app assist you in achieving those goals? 

If yes, then your vision is excellent to achieve and will give the idea to the next move of the functionalities you want to add. 

And if not, we advise you to refine your idea and modify it into an exceptional one. Check on your business requirements again; we know you will determine the best out of your vision. 

  • Fathom out the way your app can get revenue.

You may ask why we are thinking of this at such an early stage. But as in the view of dedicated app developers - it’s necessary. Doing so will help you determine how you can adopt so that your app makes money. The way an app will get revenue will also impact your app’s user interface. Some of the usual methods can be listed below:

  1. In-app purchases

  2. In-app advertisement

  3. Upselling and cross-selling

  4. Monetizing it from the start

Pro tip: Launch your app for free in the initial stage and later introduce revenue methods. Because a free app is likely to get more downloads.

  • Check on the features: Segregate them based on the features you want and the features you need. 

Many businesses make a drastic error, including countless naive features in the first version of the app. (Doing so doesn’t do any good only adds up to the cost)

We suggest never be like one of those. Instead, we opine to check on the mobile app development features and segregate them with the functionalities you would want to see and the features you required. Believe us, after the launch of the first version of the app, your users themselves will give you an idea of the facets they want to see in the app. Isn’t it a better consideration?

Moreover going for MVP development for your app will be a better option as MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the first version of a product with only limited mobile app development features and requirements that customers can use. The rest of the functionalities are added after early users’ feedback, which avoids unnecessary waste of time and money in the development process.

  • Do your homework.

We have encountered many clients that were fooled by inexpert companies just because they lacked tech knowledge. Thus, it’s vital to take out your time for your startup concept and do detailed research on the latest technology that supports app development. Nowadays, users want fast and efficient solutions, and only the latest technologies can support that. People are also more inclined towards future & feature-rich technology. So, it’s necessary that steps of app-building in 2021 be taken seriously. 

Also, have an overall idea of the costs of app development. As we mentioned earlier, if you opt for native mobile app development, you will have to invest in two separate platforms. So that may very likely lead your overall cost to $100,000 (including marketing). And if you go for Hybrid app development, then the overall cost can go up to $50000. So, have a general idea of the costs and be up to date about the technologies.

  • Find your perfect tech partner.

Now you have reached a stage where you need to go on a hunt drive to find your perfect tech partner. As we live in the digital age, an easy trick for you is to just search on Google - ‘app developers in Chicago or USA’ and get a list of app development companies. Browse through their website, and don’t forget to check their portfolios and client testimonials. 

Checking their portfolio will give you an overall idea about the company’s rank. Scrutinize their portfolio and check if they have ever developed an app based on your business genre. If yes, then fix a quick appointment with that mobile app development company at an instant moment. A pro tip is to ask as many questions as you have, and that should mainly include COSTS, the total time of development, technology stack the development company uses, total projects covered so far, whether they're into marketing or not, and many such questions. Doing so will, at a time, give you the perception of the company. 

We advise you to consult at least 7 to 8 app development companies and then finalize your tech partner. Once you have accomplished this step, you will further move into your unique idea’s development process. 

Read More: A Complete Process of How to Hire Remote Developers

  • Development process with your tech partner

Once you have finalized your tech partner, you move into the development stage. At this stage, the work is more likely to be carried out by the mobile app development firm. 

Important point - At the very beginning only, Always, Always, tell your app development firm to keep you abreast of every development.

Once they have understood your mobile app requirements, they’ll assign you a project manager. The project manager will further assign different app development stages to the team. 


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Wireframing. The first output you'll get of your app is a black & white sketch of your app that is a wireframe that a firm’s design strategist would lay out. The process of mobile app designing will give you a basic idea of how your app might look like. Wireframing also demonstrates your users’ journey to complete your desired action. In this stage, the development firm will ask for your feedback, and here, you can suggest if you want to add or subtract something. 

Prototyping. Your approval will further open doors to prototyping the app. Prototyping an app involves creating a user interface for your app. Visuals, colors, features, buttons, designs, fonts, etc., are added to the app to give an aesthetically pleasing look. The user interface portrays your brand image to your users. User Interface is like the first impression of your app to your users. It should be simple, appealing, and clustered free. If the users don’t find the user interface interesting, they’re more likely to abandon your app. Thus, focus more on this level because this is considered a make or break period for your app.

Read More: The process of Mobile App Designing

Development. Now that your app’s interface is ready. The development process will shift from the designer’s hand to the developer’s. Coding will begin both from the front-end side to back-end development for your app to actually function. Here technologies & tools will be in use. A testing environment would also be needed. Throughout the development process, each & every function/feature of your app can be tested. 

Testing & QA (Question Analysis). By this time, your app would be almost functional and ready to use. Overall testing and quality analysis would be carried out at this phase. Testers and Quality assurance experts would be proof-checking the entire application, which will pave the way to the application’s effortless functionality. 

Suppose the testers and QAs find any bug. In that case, they will be quick to take notice and get it fixed by the corresponding developers, ensuring your app performs splendidly. 

  • The launch. 

Now comes a crucial stage- launching your app in the stores. Yes, like every step, this step is also taken care of by the app development agency. 

The agency will launch it in the pertinent app stores so that your prospective customers can download it. Google play store & apple app store are the most preferred with a large user base. 

Promoting. Usually, at our place, rather than just doing post-launch marketing, we propose clients do pre-launch marketing too. Pre-launch marketing helps create a buzz, which further helps get more downloads. 

Post-launch marketing includes photos, videos, and content that can be displayed on the app stores. Doing so will increase your app revenue and increase your app store visibility.  

A reliable and efficient app development firm will always take care of the marketing. It will make sure that an app is promoted on their social media handles. 


Image by Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay


Maintaining. Here comes a critical unwritten guideline of app development. App development is not only limited to launch, but later stages are the turning point. 

Users will add feedback, give reviews, and add new features; apps may face bugs, efficiency issues will pop up, and many more things. So, you will have to maintain the app and continuously improve it through updates. 

To wrap up.

Now that we have given you a crystal clear scenario of the app development process, your next step should be to indulge in the app development process. 

But a significant thing to know is that the idea behind the app also holds a crucial milestone more than the app development procedure. 

Put a clear idea forward to the app development company and ensure that you get in sync with the company...

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"The app was unquestionably well-designed, but we had a few inputs in the navigation. Cerdonis team was on it right from the word go. I must congratulate them on their proactive approach to develop our app. Excellent work would recommend them. Cheers! "

Betina Isted

Expert business analyst