How to Create an App from Scratch in 9 Steps

Think about this for a minute.

You have an app idea.
You know your audience.
You know the demand as well.

You even know if developed successfully, your application will make a lot of money for you.

But, how to create an app? What to do with an app idea?

Being a leading app development agency, many of our clients ask questions like,

“I want to create an app where do I start?”
“How to make your own app?”
“How to write mobile apps?”
“How to make a phone app?”
“How to create an app from scratch?”

So, we have decided to write a post on how to build an app from scratch, design it, and launch a successful mobile application. Let’s get started to know the steps to creating an application.

What Your Will Learn Along with App Development

This post is not like another post you will read on the web to know how to make apps.


Because we are writing this guide on the basis of our 10+ years of experience in developing over 4400 mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms. So we know how to make a successful application.

From this article, you will get an answer to the following 10 questions:

  • How to make an app in 9 steps
  • How to create an application successfully
  • How to start developing an app for iOS and Android?
  • How to build an app and make money
  • How to create a wireframe for your app
  • How to design an app
  • How to develop an app without glitches
  • What do you need to develop an app?
  • What goes into making an app?
  • How to test your app using tools?

According to an article by Insider Intelligence, mobile users spend 88% of their mobile time on apps. You can see in the given graph that the average time spent on mobile internet has increased from 2018 to 2022.

Estimates for Mobile App Usage

An app brings better user engagement, boosts the number of returning customers, improves communication, and helps you to increase your sales. There won’t be a better time for you to invest and invent an app to expand your brand awareness, reach, and ultimately revenue.

Want to Develop an App for Your Business?

Talk to us. We have experience designing and developing over 4400 mobile applications for startups and enterprises using the latest technologies.

However, creating an app or building an app from scratch requires considering several important things, including objectives, potential costs, project management, promotions, and other important things. Therefore, you have to consider many things before creating an app.

Follow these 9 steps to create your own successful mobile application.

How To Create a Mobile App in 9 Steps

In this section, we are sharing detailed steps to build an app. These are crucial steps for creating an app, as they will help you to understand the app development process and save you cost and time. However, by applying the right mobile app architecture, you will be able to develop mobile apps that meet exact business requirements. Additionally, get answers to the most asked question: how do you make an app? So let’s discuss the 9 steps of making an app and publishing it on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

  1. Define Why You Want to Make an Application

  2. The process to create an app takes time. You need to consider a lot of points before creating an app. Therefore, defining the right objectives is considered one of the crucial steps in developing an app.

    Companies spend a lot of money to develop and maintain their custom mobile apps. But if your objectives are not clear, you probably won’t get the desired product and benefit.

    The first step to building your own app is to figure out why you want to create an app. Famous apps like WhatsApp and Facebook serve a clear purpose.

    The best way to answer these questions is to ask yourself if you want to develop an app that satisfies users’ requirements if you want to solve a problem, want to reach more customers, or just do it for brand awareness.

    You must identify the purpose before asking how to start an app development process to make a successful app. This step will make the app development process a lot easier. In fact, it also helps you reduce the average app development timeline.

    Define your objectives

    There can be many reasons for building an app, but the most important thing is that your app should always satisfy these two goals: Your ideal users’ goal and your business goal. Make sure you invest enough time to identify your primary goal before starting an app development process.

    Let’s start with your potential users. Honestly, everyone is interested to know about the features of an app that are beneficial for them.

    However, it doesn’t matter whether your users are interacting with the businesses online or offline, regardless of the channel – the very first thing they ask themselves is – what’s in it for me? If they don’t see a benefit in a few seconds, it becomes harder for you to get your users back on the app.

    A good mobile application can help businesses in multiple ways, such as more returning customers, low expenses, increased ROI, better productivity, enriched social presence, and brand awareness as well.

    Now you’ve understood the basics of how to make an application; it’s time to ask the following questions to yourself.

    • Which section of your business needs improvement?
    • How do you create an app that solves a specific problem?
    • What is the expected result of an app that you want to build?

    Let’s have a look at each of them individually.

    Which Section of Your Business Needs Improvement?

    It’s an obvious question, and the chances are high that you already know about it. Suppose you’re running a hotel and you found that some of your customers face difficulty booking the rooms or spa services. As this option is only available on the desktop, customers prefer to look for other opportunities with easy booking options.

    On the other hand, if you are spending a lot of time providing seamless service to your existing customers, which is consuming most of your team’s resources and efforts and limiting your growth. This means you need to allocate resources to marketing your business and getting new clients.

    Identify the areas of improvement to know which features you can implement in the app.

    How Do You Create an App That Solves a Specific Problem?

    A mobile application solves many problems associated with businesses. For example, it allows your customer to book your services easily through the app. You also have an option to integrate feedback or live chat features to make the entire process more user-friendly.

    This is how an app functions, and you can solve the specific problems of your users using an app. For this, you need to ensure that your app has all the features that your end-users expect.

    What Result Do You Expect From Your App?

    For businesses, more booking means more sales and revenue. On the customer side, the app would increase customer satisfaction and boost great social proof.

    These answers are very important and will help a lot in further stages of application development. After you have answered them, we’ll talk about the next step of how to get an app made or how to create an app.

  3. Plan Functionality and Features

  4. Let’s move on to the second step to create an app. After defining the objectives, the second important thing that comes into play is planning your app’s functionality and features.

    Plan functionality & features

    Identify Top Functionalities and Features for Your App

    This is one of the creative steps to make an app where you’ll have to write down all the functionalities you want to add and features needed to achieve the solutions and get the expected results, mostly known as an MVP version of the app.

    The best way is to make sure you carry out market research to find what your competitors offer on the app stores and see what they are lacking or innovating.

    How about integrating features like real-time tracking, payment gateway integration, face detection? We have developed Veebo – a virtual party app, and integrated Augmented Reality face filters like the Snapchat app.

    This has made virtual parties more fun and attractive even during this pandemic. If it solves your users’ problems easily, try integrating these features when creating mobile applications.

    In fact, we have designed and developed Glovo, an on-demand delivery app. Glovo has received total funding of $1.2 billion from 32 investors and managed to gain over 30 million downloads in recent years.

    glovo app design

    Image Source: Glovo

    For Glovo, we have integrated features like real-time order tracking, push notifications, search orders, places, and items, and POS. So, ensure you are integrating all the essential features in your app to make it successful in the long run.

    Remove Irrelevant Features From Your List

    Just remember, adding irrelevant features won’t do any good. Ultimately, it affects the app’s performance. At the initial stage, we recommend you make sure you only list down the features that will add value to your app. Once you release the first version, then work on the remaining features.

    At first, you can create a minimal viable product (MVP) and then integrate the features into the app. This way, you can check the customer reviews and their feedback and implement features accordingly. Not only can you save costs, but also give a rich user experience.

    This will help you and your team focus entirely on the things that really matter. Then, you can use this list as a guide and get started with the app development process.


    Talking about the hotel booking app from the previous example, you can add different room details, videos of customer reviews, and filters for getting results based on timing and prices.

    You can also add the room service details, user feedback, one-click chat, and push notifications for discounts and offers.

  5. Research Your Competitors

  6. Never underestimate the value of research and finding insights before making an app. This way, you can find the scope of your app idea and also implement the required features into your app. So, ensure you do research on your competitors before building apps.

    Research your competitors

    It’s important that you should know the answers to these questions before jumping into the creation of an app.

    • What are the objectives of your app?
    • Who are the target users of your app?
    • Do app users looking for an app like yours?
    • Who are your top competitors in the marketplace?
    • What are the drawbacks of your competitors?
    • What business model do you plan to follow for better ROI?
    • How are you going to monetize your app?

    You’ll get an idea of the demand for the app you’re making and help you fill the gaps your competitors had left. You always have to grab the opportunity when it comes to creating a mobile app.

    Sometimes, you may even have to leave your desk and walk in the shoes of your customers to know them better. But, ultimately, market research will save you from making many mistakes at an early stage of your app creation.

  7. Design Wireframes

  8. You’ve defined your objectives, planned functionalities and features, and done competitors’ research to get insights on creating an app.

    Now, it’s time to know how to design an app. Give it its first skeleton and combine the individual blocks together with wireframing.

    Design wireframes

    What is Wireframing?

    Wireframing is the visual representation of your app’s layout and the flow between the different screens. This is one of the best distraction-free methods where you don’t have to worry about other graphic elements.

    The wireframe will be based on the use cases, i.e., the specific tasks your users will perform on the app. A wireframe is like a bridge between your raw thoughts and the final product before you start making an app.

    Your goal should be optimizing the number and order of app screens to reach each goal. You can also create multiple app screens flows for the same task to determine which will provide the best experience to the users.

    There are basically two ways of creating wireframes:

    • Offline – You can simply use a pen and blank paper or printable sketch templates like the ones available on SneakPeekIt.
    • Online – Several wireframing tools are available online, such as NinjaMock, Fluid UI, Adobe Suite, Mockflow, and others. We, at Space-O Technologies, use Balsamiq and AdobeXD wireframe design tools for wireframing. Just select the tool or template and start sketching. Every use case should represent the full-screen flow from opening your app to achieving a goal.

    Focusing on wireframing at an earlier stage could save you hundreds of development hours later on.

    Test Wireframes

    Once you are done with designing the use cases of the app, it’s time to test them. This is also a very important step of your app-building where you can test the flow of your app to make improvements in the user experience.

    In order to test your wireframes, you can use InVision. As you know, wireframes just show the expected design of the app, but InVision can help make them interactive. Using this awesome tool, you can connect your screens and link actions to simulate a real encounter with the app.

    How to Use InVision?

    Here is one of the short video tutorials on creating an interactive prototype with InVision.

    InVision is simple and very easy to use. First, go to the official website and register for a free account. Then, click on the ‘+’ icon to create your first project and select ‘create a new prototype’.

    Once you give a name to your prototype, select its type from the available two options: sync with Sketch/Photoshop or add image files from your computer.

    Now, start uploading images of individual screens of your wireframe. You’ll see an option to link these images present at the bottom of each image.

    Once everything is done, you can share your prototype with colleagues or your customers using the ‘Share’ option present at the top-right corner of the screen. They can also test the use cases and how users can easily navigate from the home screen to reach the goal.

    You can also involve your testers at this stage; they can better answer whether accessing the main menu was easy. It is like getting user feedback from your team. Whether all the tasks are easily identifiable? Is there anything missing in the app or other queries related to your app?

    App Design Tips From Our Experienced Designers

    Also, check some of the tips shared by our designers who have experience working with top designing tools to create mobile applications.

    app design tips from designers

    Want to Hire the Best App Designers?

    Contact us to discuss your requirements. We offer a flexible hiring model to offer you the best mobile app designing services.

  9. Choose a Custom App Development Path

  10. Once you finish the wireframing for creating an app, one of the essential steps comes to build an app. In this part, you must choose the app development platform and coding language. We know it’s not easy for all people to discuss application-building platforms and programming languages. But if you are clear with your requirements, budget, and target users, this isn’t that difficult too.

    Choose a development path

    Let’s look at different platforms based on devices and what are the things you have to keep in mind while developing your app on them.

    Select Platform As Per Your Requirements And Budget

    One of the crucial steps to building an app is to choose the powerful app development platform which suits your requirements and budget. Also, if you have a question such as what are the requirements for developing an app, don’t worry, we have covered that in the following section as well.

    1. Native App Development

    This app development simply means developing an app for a particular operating system. Android devices or iPhone devices. Suppose you want to build an app to gain maximum downloads and generate revenue through ads. In this case, you can easily leverage the user base of Android.

    On the other hand, if you want to build ios apps on the iOS platform, you can develop an iOS app for Apple users.

    Something you should remember while you create native apps from scratch is – you’ll need to create two separate apps for the Play Store and App Store. But before going ahead, check the advantages of building a native app.

    Benefits of Native App Development

    There’s no doubt that such an app provides robust and reliable performance. Though many Android developers are available out there, developing a ‘quality app’ needs a significant budget.

    Also, you may need to have two separate development teams to create your own app for iPhone and Android, one for each. As you manage two codebases, it becomes difficult to find a way to streamline any update.

    However, if you are looking for performance, rich user experience, security, then going ahead with the native app development process is the right choice. Also, you must check the advantages and disadvantages of building a native app to ensure you make the right decision.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Native App Development

    2. Mobile App Frameworks

    The second path allows you to create hybrid apps that can run on both Android and iOS platforms. Several frameworks are available, such as React Native, Framework 7, PhoneGap, which lets you create a single app and deploy it on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. As a result, there’s no need to spend a hefty amount on two development teams and maintain two code bases.

    If you are an individual developer or a start-up with a limited budget, just go for hybrid apps. Though their performance may lag compared to a native Android or iPhone app, the situation is improving over time. Talking about the current time, something truly applicable at the gaming level.

    Lastly, you’ll also have to consider something like extra features that you may want to add in the future. These additional requirements sometimes cause too much trouble later. It couldn’t only delay your launch but also strain your budget somehow.

    3. Drag and Drop Mobile App Builder

    If your budget is extremely limited or you are just not comfortable with the above two ways, let’s check out one more way to develop mobile apps. This method is called low code app development.

    Many different app-building platforms like Appy Pie, AppSheet, and BuildFire allow you to develop mobile apps with zero coding knowledge. You just have to choose a template or drag and drop elements, and your Android or iPhone app will be ready in no time.

    On these, you have the freedom to design your app in the same way you want. Whether you want a landing page or not, it is up to you. There’s no need to wait for several months or spend thousands of dollars on apps development. However, you must not forget some limitations associated with these platforms.

    We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of low code app development. Please check the following image.

    advantages and disadvantages of low code app development

    We do not suggest you go for free Android or iPhone app builders because they have a lot of limitations. First and foremost, the security of confidential information is not up to the mark as you involve a third party in the process.

    You can’t access the new and latest technologies, tools, and techniques that hinder the performance of your app. You can’t customize your app properly and get advanced features.

    Just to know them better, we tried and tested one of the popular free application building platforms a few days ago. We wanted to create a simple WebView app. So, we just added our website’s URL and exported the APK, and the size of the APK is 67.31MB. Unfortunately, the app was not only lagging but also showing watermarks at various places.

    We are not against app builders, but we’d suggest you choose them wisely. Select a plan that provides most of the freedom so that you can customize and optimize your app in any manner you want. Using these best app builders, you can save up to 75% of your mobile apps and web apps development budget.

    Select the Right Programming Language

    When you have decided on the development path, it won’t take time to select the right programming language.

    Starting with the Android app, the first thing you’ll need is Android Studio. After that, you can design the interface of your app using XML and write all the logic using any language like Kotlin, Java, and C++. According to Google, more than 50% of developers are now using Kotlin to develop their apps, so if you’re just starting out, go with Kotlin.

    For the iOS app, you’ll need XCode IDE and knowledge of Swift language (Swift 5 is the latest version). Though you can still use Objective-C, Apple itself seems to be moving away from C-based languages. Swift is supposedly much easier to use and work with.

    Other than native app development, the advantage is that you don’t really have to think about the programming languages in other development paths. If you have planned to build a hybrid app, just follow the framework’s documentation, and you’ll be good to go.

  11. Develop Your Mobile App

  12. Building a quality mobile application considering all the requirements and following the guidelines takes time.

    Build your mobile app

    Being the best mobile app development company, we have highlighted some important points you should keep in mind.

    • Get rid of any unnecessary elements that don’t support users’ tasks. Remember, content is your interface. A landing page is extremely important.
    • Use a single input field whenever possible. Multiple fields and making users switch between different modes creates a bad user experience, and the pushes user instantly leave your app.
    • Overusing push notifications is another bad practice. This annoys the user and gives them a major reason to uninstall your app.
    • Consider future-proofing your app. Today, you might want just to fulfill the demands of your target users. But you should also make sure that the application can bring you profit for further development. The more efficiently you market your app, the earliest you receive profit, and the faster you add more features and grow your app.
    • Choosing the right and fast database also plays a vital role in the success of your mobile apps and web apps. So always consider these factors while selecting a database: required size, data structure, speed and scalability, and safety and security of the user data.

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    Want free consultation from our tech professionals? Get your free consultation now.

  13. Test Your Mobile App

  14. After the app-making process is done, it’s time to test your mobile application to ensure there are no bugs and the user experience is as intuitive as you created and tested your wireframes. While there are various kinds of testing available, we recommend you go for at least two tests: Internal Test and the External Test.

    Test your mobile app

    Internal testing means testing your app by the development team as if you were the end-user. On the other hand, external testing requires you to give the app to people who are not familiar with using your mobile application.

    Testing your app aims to fix bugs and user interface issues. Tools like TestFairy, UserTesting, and Ubertesters help in external testing and to give a rich user experience.

    There are two types of testing for every software. First, Whitebox testing tests the internal structures or workings of an app. Test cases are designed using an internal perspective of the system and programming skills.

    Blackbox testing examines the functionality of the application without viewing the internal workings or structures of an app.

  15. Launch Your Mobile App On the App Stores

  16. As your app is now completely developed and tested, it’s time to let the world know about it.

    Launch your mobile app

    First, submit your app to the respective app store. Whether it’s Play Store or App Store, make sure you strictly follow the guidelines of both app stores. There are also videos and tutorials available online that explain this stage in detail. You can check the videos to know everything in detail. This will improve your app store optimization score and help you make the most out of your app.

    However, this is not as easy as it sounds. According to a report by CNBC, Apple’s App Store rejects over 40% of app submissions every year. At the same time, Play Store rejected at least 55% of app submissions. This rejection has various reasons like crashes, bugs, privacy policies, software compatibility, and minimum usability.

    An app development company understands all the guidelines and policies required to publish an app. In fact, we have published over 2800 iOS apps and 1800 Android apps on App Store and Play Store, respectively.

    We research the specific permissions and requirements that our client’s app needs to fulfill and guide them accordingly. If you want to get more information regarding this, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to tell you about the documentation and process of launching an app. You can smoothen the process to publish the app on App Stores.

  17. Promote and Market Your Application

  18. It is a common myth that good products don’t need marketing, but that’s not true. Marketing is the voice that tells users who you are, what you stand for, and how you’re different from others.

    Promotion and marketing

    Companies usually have a huge budget for promotion and marketing these days. However, if you are a beginner, you can start by simply asking three questions to yourself.

    • What problem does your app solve?
    • Who is your target audience?
    • How can you reach those users?

    Whether you have published the app on the app store or not, you can start promoting it. Some of the common ways to promote your app are: use a banner on your website, publish a dedicated blog post about the app, send emails to your existing customers, promote it on social media like Facebook by making interactive videos, publish photos or videos on YouTube and tweeting on Twitter.

    Apart from this, you can also ask influencers to promote your mobile app on their social network via photos or videos if you want to reach more users.

    Now, what next? What to do once your app is launched? Check the next section where we have addressed this concern.

What to Do After Developing Your App?

Developed the app, marketed it, people have started using it, what next? The app’s life cycle has just begun.

There are two important things you need to do after you are done with the development part of the app.

  1. User Feedback

  2. The first-hand feedback of users plays a vital role when it comes to improving your app performance. After you publish the app, it doesn’t mean you can’t make any changes. In fact, after people have started using your app, you can understand what they feel about it.

    You can ask your users to give you some feedback on your app. For example, send everyone an email asking what they like in the app and which areas can be improved, just a line or two. Further, you can see what the users have rated and what sort of reviews everyone has given. You can also interact with people on Instagram or Facebook pages and provide them with an opportunity to say what they want. Users’ feedback always helps clients to improve and grow for the better.

    Another method is using App analytics. You can see how popular your app has become and check details about the user information, like what is the age group, what is location, or the place of most of the target users. You can see the expectations of your audience.

  3. Maintenance

  4. The point of getting user feedback is that you need to maintain your app. There are mainly three ways that you can plan on updating your app.

    • Feature Requests: If your audience has expressed the issues or further requirements in an app, you can address them in future feature updates. You can also integrate new features in the app if your users demand them.
    • Bug Fixes: After you have published your app, it will be used by a large number of people. You might find out that there are some issues with the app. For example, some screen takes a little longer time to load. In upcoming updates, you can fix these bugs and anything else and maintain the app.
    • Major Software Updates: Whenever Apple or Google launches a new software update, you need to update your app along with it. So here, you will need to maintain your app.

Let’s now see answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding app development.

FAQ About How To Create An App

How much does it cost to build an app?

Generally, mobile app development costs between $10,000 to $3,00,000. It depends on what kind of app you want to build, app building platform, operating system – iOS or Android or hybrid app, features you need in the app, developer’s coding skills, and charge, among other factors.

app development cost

If you have some great app ideas and need to get a price estimate for them, feel free to contact us. We’ll discuss your requirements and provide a free consultation and a free quote.

How long does it take to build an app?

The time required to develop an app can vary in a range of anything from 2-3 weeks to 9+ months. Simple apps are made in a short duration, while complex apps or mobile app building software systems require a longer time. Multiple factors need to be considered while estimating the app development timeline, like the number and complexity of features, uniqueness of the app design or interface, development complications, use of third-party libraries, and so on.

How do free apps make money?

There are various strategies for monetizing your app that you can use to earn money from it. Here are a few of them:

  • Advertisements
  • Subscriptions
  • Paid-features
  • In-app purchases
  • Collecting and selling data

How to find app developers?

You can find and hire app developers on various websites like Clutch or Upwork. In fact, Space-O also offers a flexible hiring model. You can take interviews before hiring our developers and designers for your dedicated project. We have 99% job success on Upwork and maintain an average rating of 4.8 on Clutch.

You can check the developer’s work profile as well as see what their previous clients are saying about them. This helps you in making informed decisions based on it. Further, you should also check out the portfolio of developers to see the kind of work they’ve done before. If an app developer or development company has developed a similar app like yours for anyone, this will benefit your project.

How much does it cost to publish an app?

Apple App Store: A developer needs to pay $99 per year to get an approved developer’s account on App Store. The App Store also charges a 15% transaction fee for every purchase. In simple words, if downloading your app, subscribing to it, or making an in-app purchase costs $10 for your app, you need to $1.5.

Google Play Store: The developer needs to pay a one-time lifetime registration fee of $25 to become a registered developer on it. For the first year after the app is published, It charges 30% for every purchase, which decreases to 15% for subscription apps after a year.

Amazon Appstore: There is no charge to register and publish your app as a developer. They charge a fee of 30% for every purchase.

Let’s Build an App For Your Business

We hope you found the article helpful and got an answer to your question – about how to create an app. As your brand-new app has just started gaining traction, it’s time to figure out where your skills stand in this app development process steps and do your best to improve it.

However, suppose you need any guidance from a professional mobile app development agency or want to get the answer to a question such as how to create apps. In that case, you can get in touch with us as we have already developed over 4400 mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms. In fact, we do have over 200 mobile app developers who are constantly praised and appreciated by our clients. Proof? Here it is:

Reviews about Mobile App Development

In any case, if you have any query like how much does it cost to develop an app, what is the procedure to create an app and make money, why to develop an MVP before we create an app, and app developer cost to hire, feel free to discuss all your queries with our sales representative. Just fill out the contact us form, and we will assign our best resource who can help you out.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.