How to Code an App A Guide to Mobile App Development for Beginners

How to Code an App: A Guide to Mobile App Development for Beginners

Nowadays, there are tons of ways to create an app without having to learn to code. You can use a coding app or outsource the work to the community of developers available for hire online. However, learning to code is valuable in today’s tech-heavy world, and you don’t need advanced coding skills to succeed.

If you do want to code an app from scratch, you will need to learn programming languages, decide on an app development platform, and think about which devices you want your app to be available on. You don’t need to be an app developer to create the next great mobile trend. Read below to learn how to code an app.

How to Code an App: Choosing the Right Programming Language to Learn

Learning how to code is the first step to creating your own app. If you’re looking to become an app developer for a major tech company like Facebook or Google, you need to make sure you’re well-versed in as many programming languages as possible. Your education and personal projects will play a large role in your career. 

You should learn programming languages that align with your interests. If you’re interested in developing iPhone apps, you’ll need to have a firm grasp on Swift and Swift Playgrounds. If you’re more interested in Android development, make sure you’re familiar with Java and Android Studio. Below are the best app development programming languages.

Java

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages today. You can use Java to build Android apps, but many companies also use Java frameworks to create websites. Java is notorious for its complexity, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard to learn. 

Java enforces a set of rules known as a type system, which is designed to help you distinguish between the different kinds of data. The programming process involves translating the app idea into Java code before sending that code onto a compiler that detects bugs. 

Python

Python is an extremely popular coding language because it can be applied to several disciplines. Python also closely resembles English, making it one of the easier languages to learn. Programmers usually use the Kivy framework to develop mobile apps with Python. 

If your app idea involves creating a mobile game, Python is likely going to be the coding language you use. If you want an app with a sleek user interface and lots of interaction options for your target users, you’ll also probably use Python. Pinterest, Instagram, and Spotify are three popular apps that were coded using this language. 

Swift

Swift is the primary language used when coding apps for iPhones and iPads. If you have Swift programming skills, your employability will likely improve because so many companies want to build iOS apps. Another compelling feature of Swift is that it is a fairly simple programming language to learn.

Swift code is highly specialized, which is something that will need to factor into your thinking when considering which programming language you should learn. The one major off-putting factor about Swift is that it is not a cross-platform technology. If you want to create an iOS app with Swift, it will be difficult to do without a Mac.

Ruby

Ruby is a programming language from Japan, which became popular through the success of the Rails framework. Ruby on Rails was recently among the most compelling frameworks available for building a website. Many companies use Ruby on Rails today because it is simple and good for beginners.

Ruby on Rails can be used to develop iOS and Android mobile apps. Ruby is used most often for backend programming, which deals with server-side development. You can organize your code with helpers to streamline the process.

JavaScript

JavaScript used to be a language that only ran on your browser. In recent years, it has been used for backend programming of mobile app servers. JavaScript is a great language to learn if you are seeking employment because it is so common. If you are just getting started with programming, the best places to start would be either with Python or JavaScript. 

If you are interested in focusing on user interface and user experience design, then JavaScript is the programming language that you should opt for in the short term. However, if you are more interested in logic, machine learning, and science in general then you should consider another language like Python. 

How to Code an App for Android and iPhone

If you want to code an app for both Android and iPhone, you’ll need to use cross-platform technology. Xamarin is an outstanding option for your app projects because it helps you design code for both platforms. It uses the .NET framework to help organize the app development process.

Coding with Xamarin allows you to build native applications that are suitable for both Android and iOS using a single shared codebase. That enhances the app-making process significantly, giving you more time to devote to things like UX/UI design, target users, and app publishing.

How to Code an App: A Guide 

Five people around a table collaborating on their laptops How to Code an App
You can start your app development journey today.

There is a wide range of considerations to make before you begin coding your app. You will need to decide what your app will do and where it will fit in the market, along with how you’re going to create it. Read below to follow the steps to code an app in 2021.

Come Up With an Idea

Sometimes, ideas are the product of sheer inspiration. However, coming up with a great idea can take a long time, and it’s important to consider its feasibility. Take a look at who the actual users are going to be and research apps that might be similar so you can see what they did right. 

Determining whether or not an idea is really is an important part of the process, which involves some extensive brainstorming. Statista reports that there are four million apps already available in 2021, which might seem daunting. However, with research and perseverance, you can create something new and innovative.

Create a Design 

The key considerations when creating a design mockup are ease of use, graphics, and aesthetics. Part of the design process should include the provisional drafting of potential features for your app. You could consider learning graphic design or hiring a user experience expert to create your app designs.

A major part of this process will be drawing a rough draft. Get a pencil and a piece of paper and start testing your artistic ability with a rough sketch of your app. Then you can move onto design tools like Sketch, Figma, or ProCreate. You should balance style and functionality.

List Out Your App’s Features

Your app’s features will constantly evolve as it becomes more advanced. That is why the design process will often overlap with the development process. Much of the evolution of your features will have to do with user feedback and testing over time. You can create an app with user feedback within its features.

When drafting your features, you need to consider things like your main screen and your main navigation. How do you make your app stand out from others? How do you make sure your features are clear and easy for your user to navigate? How will you collect actual user feedback?

Code Your App

Everything that you have learned in computing courses, coding boot camps, and even degree programs will be put to the test in this step. The key component is your competency and comfort with using some of the best app development programming languages. User testing also plays an important role in active development.

The coding process can be long and difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Learn through trial and error and have friends and family test the app for you if you don’t have your own team. You can also find app development communities and forums online that can help you when you hit roadblocks.

How to Submit Your App to the App Store and Market It

Many independent app developers create an app for iOS or Android first, then expand to other operating systems if the app is successful. You can choose to use an app publisher like the App Store or the Google Play Store. You have to decide the default language, title, and information about your app that will be displayed in the store. 

You’ll also get to decide if your app will be free or cost a fee. You could include a 30-day trial for free to attract more people to the competitive market. Most free apps work with advertisers or use in-app purchases. Regardless of the price of your app, it’s extremely important to market your app so that your target audience can find and use it. 

You can choose to purchase ads on websites or other mobile apps to market your app. Many apps also choose to advertise with social media influencers on YouTube and Instagram. Once you market your app to real users, you can take a deep breath, relax, and see your hard work turn into a reward.

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