How to Make a Phone App

By Adam Parker

Mobile phone applications are the most profitable area of software due to the explosion of smartphone adoption, beginning with Apple's iPhone in 2007. These mobile apps are still normal software applications, albeit applications designed for scaled-down operating systems. Standard software development practices still dictate how these mobile apps go from the drawing board to mobile handset.

Step 1

Define the application requirements. A good software application should fulfill previously unfulfilled user needs. Ask yourself questions such as how will the user put this application to use? What features does the user want to see? How will the user interact with the application? Software developers refer to the answers to these questions as the "application requirements." Write a document that addresses each of these areas from a functional, not technical, perspective. It should be clear what the objective of the application will be and how the finished product will function.

Step 2

Create a software design specification. Based on the application requirements, it will be possible to create a design specification that details the technical aspects of the software application. This specification will address issues related to the intended mobile platform and programming language-specific aspects of coding. For example, if the intended mobile platform has limited physical memory, the specifications document will address how the coder will handle that limitation.

Step 3

Write the code. Using the software specification as a blueprint, write the software code. At the completion of coding and compiling, the application should function at a basic, untested level.

Step 4

Test the application's functionality. Developers often refer to this step as "beta testing." The purpose here is to locate issues with the application's functionality and features. Repeat this step until you eliminate all known issues.

Step 5

Maintain the application. Once the application has gone to market, you will need to maintain it. This includes fixing bugs as found by the user community and updating the software for compatibility with any hardware changes.