Lifecycle of App Development- for Those of Us Not Technologically Advanced

App Development

In 2010, Apple trademarked their iconic iPhone app phrase from 2009, “There’s an app for that.” While it’s original meaning was simply an expression, the phrase has grown to become more of an expectation. Smartphone apps have grown to such a gargantuan proportion that people commonly will download a specific app for specific instances. Simply put, smartphones have truly changed the way people communicate and access data.

While the list of apps will continue to grow, it may seem that creating and developing apps is an easy process. Contrary to popular belief, every app includes hours of painstaking development and effort to render the finished product. But in the beginning there is only a problem, which eventually becomes a problem statement that is integral in the each of the following steps of app development.


The first phase in the development of iphone apps is to discover everything possible about the app. At the end of the discovery phase, the primary questions of who, what, when, and why should be addressed and implemented into the problem statement.

  • This phase includes arduous amounts of brainstorming and research to discover unique ideas.
  • Once the generation of ideas and brainstorming is complete, developers then work with the ideas that are actually feasible and promising. Only realistic notions move forward in the development process.
  • A finalized concept of the app is usually reached at this point by the developers, which is necessary to move forward in the development.
  • After the concept has been finalized, the functions and requirements of the app should begin to be documented. Considering the feasibility of the app, developers have to keep in mind that not all of the functions will actually make it through to the finished product.


Once the research, scope, and requirements of the app have been set, developers can then move forward to actually developing the app.

  • At this point, a team of technical experts who have in-depth knowledge about the project requirements is assembled.
  • Some type of chart, workflow, or visual correspondence that clearly expresses each person’s responsibilities, functions, and roles on the team should be documented and clearly communicated by the flow chart. This type of visual correspondence has proven to be instrumental as a cost and time saving measure as the project progresses.
  • In this stage, it is vital that developers create a test module of the app to test whether the actual functionality exists.
    • The compatibility of the existing technology with the proposed app is a major factor that is examined in this stage. The prototype app will ensure the technology is compatible.
  • Once all parties involved agree and clearly understand each department and individual’s role, the development can move forward to the next phase.

Development and Testing Phase

Once the design phase is complete, the actual development of the app begins by the team of developers. This process is very cyclical and happens in many different iterations.

  • While developing the app, testing happens simultaneously to ensure that bugs and errors are detected as early as possible. The sooner the bugs are detected, the sooner they can be fixed; and the less likely those minor bugs will become larger problems later on as more components are added.
  • This phase also entails regular reviews to ensure the timeliness of the project.
  • Development and testing can only be considered to be complete when the app has been tested to ensure all of the parts work succinctly and without problems.

Deployment Phase

Deploying the app is similar to sending a child off to kindergarten. Because first impressions are vital, parents are meticulous about ensuring their child is prepared and well dressed on the child’s first day.
The same goes with an app; it must be prepared and dressed for the best possible public reception, which is handled by the marketing and advertising department. If the marketing and advertising of the app is faulty or lack luster, the app will most likely fail.

Maintaining and Updating

Although the product is in the hands of the user, the job is not over.

  • No matter how much testing has been conducted, when the app is in the hands of users, problems almost certainly arise. Whether the app has compatibility issues or several other problematic possibilities, maintenance and updates to the app are necessary.
  • Even if no problems arise, updating the app is good practice to ensure the retention rate of the app doesn’t drop.

From start to finish, the process of developing an app is tiresome and full of minor details. To effectively produce a successful app, you must promote seamless teamwork and have experience with the technical aspects as well as the process of app development.

Learn more about different types of application development frameworks and programming languages, on this website: