Please introduce your company and your role within the company.
Our company called “Appus Studio”. I’m owner and founder of the company. We work since 2009 and our main area is development of mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
Usually, the more screens in the application – the more time is required to build it. However, exceptions happen time to time as well, when app has just few screens but it’s functionality is unusual and complex, which increase estimate of-course.
In general, there is no specific criterias exist that would allow you to accurately measure an app by your self. Instead, I would recommend to send project specification to specialised team or company and they will do it for you. In our studio, estimate process is absolutely free and impose no obligations.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile application?
I assume that under a front end you mean mobile app and a back end is a web API, right? In such case it takes about one to a half, in average.
What is your company’s business model–in-house team or third party vendors / outsourcing
All our team members located in the same office. We never outsource development to a third party – this is our credo. It also gives us a possibility to provide a warranty for our work. Basically, when a warranty case occurs, I know exactly that developer, who worked on this project, will be available and correct it asap.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We don't ask for a pre-payment. Payment always goes after a real work demonstration. This model is safe for client because his own pocket is, technically, acts as an escrow account. All developers work in the same office which makes development process to be reliable. Finally, we use own project management system and dedicated servers for storing content, which makes our work secure.
“Android or iOS and Native or Hybrid” — which platform you think is best to built an app and why?
Honestly, I don't think I will disclose some secret saying that Android platform has bigger audience but less revenue per user. And iOS is visa versa. So, if you plan to build a payed app – it's better to pick iOS. If you plan to monetize your app using advertising – it's better to pick Android. But, actually, the best way is to pick both.
As for Native and Hybrid: the Hybrid platform is cheaper but hard to expand. And native is more expensive but it's expandable and it wins in terms of a quality.
What platform to choose is depends on your app actually. If you plan to build a simple app, with standard features set, and you don't plan to expand it in the future – then you could save some money picking Hybrid platform. But, you should be careful. Time to time I see requests like “Transfer app code from Phonegap to Obj-C”. Why? Because when you start improving your app that was built with Hybrid platform, it's similar like walking on a swamp – each next step is more complex and expensive. Hybrid platforms are meant to provide a fast development instrument to build a trivial apps, don’t try to use it in other cases.
So, to summarize, Hybrid platform is cheaper but it could became a trap. Native is more expensive but it's more reliable and qualitative.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
I could list a common questions that we ask our clients, which impact the estimate the most. The first one is – what platform should be supported. Of course, it will take twice more to develop an app for Android and iOS rather than to support iOS only. Then, we ask client if he needs an Admin panel, to control a content in the app. Then, it's important to discuss supported devices – I mean support of tablets and/or phones. Finally, evaluation process starts and technical specialist generates estimate considering app’s size and complexity.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We provide two payment models: Fixed price basis and Hourly basis. In order to understand how each of them works you could imagine that you want to get from point A to point B, and you call to a taxi service. This is a Fixed price model. An operator will calculate a price for you. And, it doesn't matter if taxi driver will stack on traffic jam or, for example, it will be an old and bearded taxi driver who knows city and will use a short path – you will still pay the price that operator told you, a fixed price. A disadvantage of this model is that you can't change a destination during your trip, you will have to call an operator who, in his turn, will have to re-calculate the path – it's a big problem.
Another model, which is more flexible, is Hourly basis. Technically, it's like to rent a car. You have a freedom to drive where you want and change destination whenever you want. But, it depends on you how much fuel you will consume. So, it's more flexible for the client but, within this model, client also bears bigger responsibility.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement?
Well, we are not fastidious in terms of a budgets. If client has a small project – we can still take it in. In such cases, it's more like a contribution to the possible profitable cooperation in the future. Some clients are very careful and they want to check your capabilities at first, giving small task. It worth to mention that we took few really big projects doing very small work on start.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2015?
I don’t think that it’s correct to compare min and max range because some projects that we work with were started more than few years ago and still going. Some others were tiny. So, the gap is too huge to make sense.
Which business model do you suggest to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
Honestly, there is no correct answer to this question. It depends on your target audience. I suggest to look at your potential customer, try to think as he thinks. This will help to choose the right way.