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How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company

Last updated on
November 15, 2023



How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company


Let's be honest: choosing the right mobile app development company isn't easy. The process will require some time and effort from your side. Of course, if you want to find the best app developers or a top agency with good fit for your project's requirements.

Seems that an easy-to-follow process which consists of small steps will help, don't you think?

So let's dive in!

<span class="colorbox1" fs-test-element="box1"><p>Explore the ranking of top custom software development companies.</p></span>

How to choose a mobile app development company

Step 1. Define your requirements

  • Identify Key Features: List the essential features and functionalities you want in your app.
  • Target Audience: Understand who your app is for and what their needs are.
  • Platform Selection: Decide whether you need an iOS, Android, or cross-platform app.
  • Budget and Timeline: Determine your budget and desired timeline for project completion.

Pay attention to: Clarity and specificity in your requirements, ensuring they align with your business goals.

Step 2. Check their portfolio

  • Examine Past Projects: Look for apps they've developed in the past that are similar to yours.
  • Quality Assessment: Assess the design, user interface, and overall performance of their apps.
  • Diversity of Work: Check if they have experience in various types of app projects.

Pay attention to: Look for diversity in projects, quality of design, and any prior experience in your industry.

Step 3. Evaluate technical expertise

  • Technology Stack: Inquire about the technologies and frameworks they are proficient in.
  • Innovation: Assess their ability to work with new and emerging technologies.

Pay attention to: The team's proficiency with the latest technologies and their ability to handle the specific tech stack you require.

Step 4. Read client testimonials and reviews

  • Online Reviews: Check their ratings on platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, or Google.
  • Client Feedback: Look for comments on their collaboration, problem-solving ability, and reliability.

Pay attention to: Consistency in positive feedback and how they handle any negative reviews.

Step 5. Consider the company size

  • Resource Allocation: Understand how they allocate resources for projects.
  • Personalized Attention: Consider if a smaller company can offer more personalized service.

Pay attention to: Their ability to allocate enough resources to your project and the level of personalized attention they can provide.

Step 6. Assess communication skills

  • Language Proficiency: Ensure there are no language barriers.
  • Regular Updates: Confirm they have a process for regular project updates and check-ins.
  • Communication Channels: Identify which communication tools they use (e.g., email, Slack, Zoom).

Pay attention to: Their responsiveness, clarity in communication, and the effectiveness of their project update mechanisms.

Step 7. Look at their development process

  • Development Methodology: Understand their approach (e.g., Agile, Waterfall).
  • Project Management: Check how they plan, execute, and monitor project progress.

Pay attention to: How well their development process aligns with your project needs and flexibility.

Step 8. Inquire about post-launch support

  • Maintenance Services: Ask about their policies for app maintenance post-launch.
  • Update Policy: Understand how they handle app updates and bug fixes.

Pay attention to: The comprehensiveness of their support and maintenance plan and the associated costs.

Step 9. Understand their pricing structure

  • Quotation: Request a detailed quotation outlining all costs.
  • Hidden Costs: Clarify any potential hidden costs like additional features or maintenance.

Pay attention to: Transparency in pricing, detailed breakdown of costs, and any long-term financial commitments.

Step 10. Consider cultural fit

  • Company Values: Assess if their company values align with yours.
  • Working Style: Understand their working style and see if it matches your preferences.

Pay attention to: Alignment in work ethics, company values, and overall business philosophy.

Step 11. Evaluate their industry experience

  • Sector Knowledge: Check if they have experience in your specific industry.
  • Case Studies: Request case studies or examples of their work in your sector.

Pay attention to: Specific experience and success stories in your industry or with similar projects.

Step 12. Check data security and compliance standards

  • Security Protocols: Inquire about their data security measures.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure they comply with relevant laws and regulations (like GDPR).

Pay attention to: Their adherence to industry-standard security practices and any relevant legal compliance.

Step 13. Time zone and location considerations

  • Time Zone Differences: Assess how time zone differences will affect communication.
  • Local vs. Offshore: Weigh the pros and cons of hiring a local versus an offshore company.

Pay attention to: The practicality of collaboration across different time zones and the potential impact on communication.

Step 14. Ask about scalability and future upgrades

  • Scalability Options: Ensure they can scale the app as your user base grows.
  • Future Proofing: Discuss how they plan for future technology changes or upgrades.

Pay attention to: Their ability to support the growth of your app and accommodate future technological advancements.

Step 15. Request a detailed proposal

  • Scope of Work: The proposal should clearly define the scope of work.
  • Deliverables and Milestones: Check that deliverables and milestones are clearly outlined.
  • Terms and Conditions: Understand the terms of the contract, including payment terms, IP rights, and confidentiality agreements.

Pay attention to: Clarity and detail in the proposal, ensuring all aspects of your project are covered.

Step 16. Intellectual Property (IP) rights

  • Ownership Clarity: Confirm that you will own the final product and its source code.
  • Contract Review: Ensure IP rights are clearly stated in the contract.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement: Consider signing an NDA to protect your idea and data.

Pay attention to: Explicit terms regarding IP rights and ownership in the contract.

Step 17. Check for Agile development practices

  • Flexibility: Verify their ability to adapt to changes during the development process.
  • Iterative Process: Understand how they implement iterative development and testing.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Ensure they involve you in the development process regularly.

Pay attention to: Their flexibility in handling changes and their efficiency in project delivery.

Step 18. Technical support and training

  • Technical Assistance: Determine the level of technical support offered after deployment.
  • Training for Your Team: Check if they provide training for you or your staff to manage the app.
  • Support Availability: Ask about their availability for ongoing support and the channels used.

Pay attention: The scope and availability of technical support and the quality of training provided.

Step 19. Look for a partner, not just a provider

  • Long-term Relationship: Assess their interest in a long-term partnership beyond the project.
  • Value Addition: See if they offer valuable insights and suggestions for your project.
  • Alignment with Goals: Ensure their approach aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Pay attention to: The company’s willingness to engage deeply with your project and provide strategic insights.

Step 20. Visit their office if possible

  • In-Person Meetings: Arrange a visit to their office to meet the team.
  • Work Environment Inspection: Observe their working environment and culture.
  • Direct Interaction: Use the opportunity for direct interaction with the team members who will be working on your project.

Pay attention to: The work environment, team dynamics, and overall operational efficiency.

Step 21. Understand their QA and testing processes

  • Testing Strategies: Inquire about their testing strategies and tools used.
  • Bug Fixing Policy: Understand their policy for handling and fixing bugs.
  • Performance Testing: Ensure they perform comprehensive performance testing for the app.

Pay attention to: The thoroughness of their testing process and their approach to ensuring the quality of the app.

Step 22. Seek references and case studies

  • Client References: Ask for contacts of previous clients for direct feedback.
  • Relevant Case Studies: Request case studies that are relevant to your project or industry.
  • Success Metrics: Look at the success metrics or results achieved in previous projects.

Pay attention to: Authentic feedback from past clients and relevance of their case studies to your project.

Step 23. Consider their long-term viability

  • Company Stability: Research their market presence and financial stability.
  • Future Outlook: Assess their growth potential and future outlook in the industry.
  • Commitment to the Field: Understand their commitment to the app development field and technology trends.

Pay attention to: Signs of financial stability and their commitment to staying updated with technology trends.

Step 24. Evaluate their commitment to UX/UI design

  • Design Portfolio: Review their portfolio for design quality and user experience.
  • User-Centric Approach: Check if they follow a user-centric approach to design.
  • Design Process: Understand their process for UX/UI design, including research and user testing.

Pay attention to: Their track record in creating intuitive and engaging user interfaces.

Step 25. Check their flexibility and adaptability

  • Adaptability to Changes: Assess their ability to adapt to sudden changes or requirements.
  • Technology Adaptation: Inquire about their approach to adopting new technologies.
  • Scalability of Services: Ensure they can scale their services to meet your changing needs.

Pay attention to: Their ability to adapt to new requirements or changes in the project scope.

Step 26. Assess their understanding of your audience

  • User Research: Ask about their approach to user research and understanding your audience.
  • Market Knowledge: Assess their knowledge of the market and user preferences relevant to your app.
  • Tailored Solutions: Ensure they provide solutions tailored to your audience's needs.

Pay attention to: Their approach to understanding user needs and translating that into the app design.

Step 27. Inquire about third-party integrations

  • Integration Experience: Check their experience with integrating third-party services or APIs.
  • Compatibility Issues: Ask about how they handle potential compatibility issues with integrations.
  • Security of Integrations: Ensure the security aspects are considered while integrating third-party services.

Pay attention to: Their experience with integrating external systems or APIs while maintaining app performance and security.

Step 28. Get a feel for their passion and drive

  • Team Enthusiasm: Observe the enthusiasm and commitment of the team during discussions.
  • Creative Input: Look for their willingness to provide creative input and innovative solutions.
  • Interest in Project Success: Assess their genuine interest in the success of your project.

Pay attention to: The enthusiasm of the team for your project and their commitment to delivering high-quality results.

Is it always worth hiring a mobile app development company?

Hiring a mobile app development company can be worth it, depending on your project's needs, budget, and goals. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if it's worth hiring a good app development company:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Professional companies have experienced developers who are knowledgeable about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in app development.
  2. Resource Availability: They have access to a wide range of resources, tools, and technologies necessary for developing high-quality apps.
  3. Project Management: These companies often have efficient project management processes in place, ensuring that your app is delivered on time and within budget.
  4. Quality Assurance: Professional developers conduct thorough testing to ensure that the app is functional, user-friendly, and free from bugs.
  5. Ongoing Support and Maintenance: They can provide ongoing support and maintenance services, which are crucial for the long-term success of your app.
  6. Scalability: They can scale your project resources up or down based on your project's requirements.

Considerations before you hire a mobile app development company

  1. Cost: Hiring a professional company can be more expensive than using freelance developers or in-house teams. It's important to consider whether the investment aligns with your budget and expected ROI.
  2. Communication and Control: Working with an external team may sometimes lead to communication challenges and less direct control over the development process.
  3. Cultural and Time Zone Differences: If you're hiring an offshore development company, cultural and time zone differences can pose additional challenges.

Types of mobile app development companies

Mobile apps companies can be divided into:

Design companies

Mobile apps design companies are focused on the design of application User Interface (UI). UI means all contact points between the user and the application and is essential for user satisfaction.

The basis of UI is the use of the graphical user interface (GUI). That means presenting the functions of the application using visual elements – buttons, menus, appropriate fonts or graphics.

UI is interconnected with User Experience (UX), because its goal is to create an intuitive and aesthetic interface that will be simply enjoyable to use. A well-designed application should be understandable and easy to use.

App development companies

Mobile app development companies work on a “living organism” – they create the application itself. This is where the choice of application type takes place – native, semi-native, hybrid, PWA or web-adapted to mobile devices.

Depending on experience and competence of their development team, mobile app developer companies specialize in various types of applications and languages. Usually, based on previous experience, they decide what type of software best meets the needs of customers and allows the team to work most efficiently.

Design & development companies

See how to choose the right mobile apps company.

Mobile app companies of this type combine competencies and domain expertise in both designing and developing applications. The advantage of this solution may be better designer awareness of the technical application development process, which is why they propose more realistic solutions. During their work they also communicate with the development department.

When choosing a design & app development agency, you also know that one company is responsible for the entire process. Then there is no situation in which two companies share responsibility for any problems with application.

End-to-end companies

End-to-end mobile apps companies offer clients not only app design and mobile app development expertise but also product strategy and marketing (sometimes excluding this element). It is therefore a holistic approach to the issue of creating a mobile application.

The advantage of this kind of solution is that one company is able to plan and enforce its implementation through its employees. Awareness of possible technical restrictions also makes the strategy easier to implement and therefore cheaper.

When choosing a mobile app end-to-end company, however, you should take note of its capabilities in each of these areas. The wide operating spectrum requires specialized teams that also work together efficiently.

Why shouldn’t you give up mobile?

Since you are looking for a mobile apps company, you probably are aware of the potential of the market. However, if you’re thinking of letting go of mobile because you love your laptop more than a smartphone, we have a few numbers for you.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 2.5 billion people in the world have smartphones. The proportions between owners of smartphones and classic phones differ depending on the country, but it is still an impressive number. The number of smartphones is followed by another indicator – more than half of the traffic on websites comes from mobile devices.

Although we read messages and use social media on smartphones, the success of mobile is also connected to the e-commerce industry. Globally, about 40% of transactions in online stores come from mobile devices, and the number is still growing.

Power of mobile gaming

Currently, mobile games constitute about 50% of the global gaming market. The global value of the mobile gaming market in 2019 was about $70 billion, which was almost half of the entire gaming market.

What’s more, the share of mobile games in the global gaming market is showing an upward trend, so it’s definitely worth trying to get a piece of the pie. Mobile games can also be a good way to promote the brand, especially for consumer goods. By way of entertainment, you can consolidate consumer awareness of your product.

Main operating systems

Only two mobile operating systems really matter – iOS by Apple and Android made by Google. However, the market share among the giants is not equal.

On a global scale, Android definitely dominates. It is installed in 72% of devices, while competitive iOS in only 25%. However, it’s important to consider what specific market we are targeting our application for.

Despite the global advantage of Android, in the US a larger percentage of the market is occupied by Apple (57%). Interestingly, iOS also dominates in China. Europe, on the other hand, definitely belongs to Android.

You should remember that the most common solution used by mobile apps companies is to create applications for both operating systems. Thanks to this, you won’t exclude any user group and will be able to reach the widest range of customers.

What are the different types of mobile applications?

Mobile applications can be divided into:

Native apps

Native mobile applications are created for a specific operating system. This allows for greater performance and fuller use of the device’s built-in functions (such as notifications, sensors or camera).

The advantage of the native apps is that they are created strictly according to the guidelines of operating system manufacturers and thus better use their capabilities. They can therefore be more user-friendly.

However, if you want an application to reach both Android and iOS users, the mobile apps company you choose must appoint two teams of developers. It involves high costs and extension of the application development process. The further development cost and maintenance of the application will also be more expensive - you'll need to hire developers for Android app development and iOS app development.

The programming languages in which mobile applications are created are Java, Swift or Objective-C.

Semi-native apps

Semi-native applications are the way to deal with problems resulting from creating separate native applications for iOS and Android. In the case of semi-native apps, one team of mobile apps company programmers works on an application designed for two operating systems. This makes the app development cost and process cheaper and faster.

With one cohesive team of developers, it’s easier to organize their work. In addition, the application versions for both systems will be consistent – there will be no differences in functionality or appearance.

Semi-native applications can also be as efficient as native applications. The languages which they are created in are React Native, NativeScript or Xamarin.

Hybrid apps

Hybrid applications allow you to combine the convenience and low costs of web application development and the capabilities of native applications. They are created using classic web application programming languages - HTML and JavaScript. Then they are adapted to mobile devices.

The downside of hybrid applications is that they do not work offline because they are essentially websites. Their components also need to be downloaded from the web, which is why they are usually less efficient than native and semi-native applications. This can be crucial for the user experience.

Creating one code for both iOS and Android may also result in some functions of the application not being supported on both devices. This situation can lead to a prolonged development process.

Mobile apps companies mainly use Cordova and Ionic languages to create hybrid apps.

RWD = Responsive Web Design Applications

Responsive Web Design (RWD) applications are websites that adapt their layout to the screen size of the device they are displayed on. This means they work properly on both computers and mobile devices.

Due to the very high share of smartphones in website traffic, Mobile First design direction is becoming increasingly popular. Mobile First means that designing should start with the mobile version, not the desktop version.

Part of this design method is progressive enhancement, which involves adding additional functionalities displayed to users with a higher screen resolution. Therefore, the website is not designed using the browser capabilities and the computer screen size to then “cut” the mobile version. All necessary functionalities are already in the mobile version.

Currently, Responsive Web Design is an absolute must-have, especially since Google introduced the Mobile First Index in 2018. According to this, the main version of the website is the mobile version. What’s more, with Speed Update Google made the page ranking dependent on the speed of loading its mobile version.

Many advantages of RWD applications include simple implementation and the fact that they are testing-friendly. Even popular page builders in CMS such as WordPress allow you to switch the page view between desktop and mobile. You can also test how the application will cope with smartphone display by changing the size of the browser window.

PWA = Progressive Web Apps

See how to choose the right mobile apps company.

Simply put, PWA applications are websites that behave like mobile applications. Installing a PWA application instead of using a responsive website has many advantages. This type of application uses e.g. push notifications, welcome screens and is able to work offline.

An application is also generally more convenient for the user than the website. In addition, the fact that the application is installed on the user’s device and appears on the smartphone screen and constantly reminds the user of its existence. This encourages more frequent use of the company’s services.

PWA applications are also able to work offline by storing parts of the website on the device. Additionally, PWAs are faster than responsive websites and gain full interaction in a few seconds.

Process of creating mobile applications

The application development process consists of many stages, which, however, do not necessarily follow each other closely. Mobile app companies mostly use an iterative approach of performing specific process activities to then assess their usability.

It happens that during the implementation of subsequent activities it is necessary to change the assumptions made in the previous stage. Automatic implementation of previous assumptions may prove to be too difficult from a development point of view or may not work during tests.

The main processes of mobile app development are:

Customer requirements analysis

Before a mobile apps company starts creating an app, it is necessary to agree the application concept with the client. The client should be well prepared for these consultations, equipped with their own list of requirements. It is best if the consultation is preceded by market research and analysis of the competition’s solutions.

It is important to have longer discussions about the project with the client. Thanks to this, you can brainstorm, which will allow you to refine the project requirements.


This stage, like the previous one, is carried out in close cooperation with the client. It happens that the client has already conducted the research himself, but the mobile apps company should also do it anyway.

During research, it is necessary to analyze the characteristics of potential users. Demographic data, motivations and patterns to keep the target matter. For this purpose, many times so-called personas are used, who are fictional characters of our potential clients, defined by specific features (like demographics, behavior, etc.).

It is also necessary to examine what kind of mobile apps have been introduced by competing companies. Their applications should be also tested, paying attention to any program deficiencies. It could help to find new features that your own application might be equipped with.

Information architecture design

Information architecture is the basic scheme of the application’s operation. The design goal is to create an architecture that is understandable to the user and provides simple navigation in the application. The application should also have an open structure in order to add further functionalities to it.

User flow

See how to choose the right mobile apps company.

The user flow means the path that the user follows, i.e. the way it moves between its elements. The purpose of user flow research is to create the shape of the application so that the user can easily navigate it and not encounter unnecessary barriers when performing tasks.


The wireframe is a visual representation of the project assumptions that allows mobile apps company to present the application structure. It defines the structure, hierarchy and relationships between elements.

The mockup is a very simplified diagram, without any unnecessary graphic elements. Its task is to show how the application will work, not how it will look. However, thanks to the model, later work on design is made possible. This is the basis for creating the interface because it defines the assumptions of the project and most important functionalities.

Technical feasibility study

Plans are one thing, their implementation is another. The project still needs to be made within the available technologies. However, the technical evaluation criteria and feasibility assessment not only determines whether the project is feasible.

It is equally important to assess whether the design of the application does not pose too serious challenges for software developers. This could result in a prolonged development period and thus a larger budget. That is why it is often worth modifying the plan so that the entire project pays off.

Creating a prototype

The prototype is an interactive mockup of the application that presents the features of the actual project and its functions. However, it is still not a working application.

Prototypes give mobile apps company a chance to present the client insight into how the application will look and work. Using the prototype, the customer can assess whether its assumptions will be properly implemented in the target application. Above all, a team’s action plans can be modified as needed before the work begins for good.

At this stage, the client must be fully involved in the team’s work because they decide to accept the prototype or not. They should report their comments on the prototype so that the development company may update it to their satisfaction.

At this stage, introducing any changes into the design solutions does not involve high costs. It is much better to do it at this moment rather than during development when implementing a functionality requires time and work. In this way, we can better meet the needs of potential customers.

Creating a graphic interface design (UI)

The user interface is of basic importance for the comfort of using the application. UI project is designed to present the future shape of the application in a form with which the user will have real contact.

The project created by the mobile apps company should, obviously, be presented to the client. This allows you to more fully imagine what the finished application will look like. When assessing a project, however, you should avoid relying on your own taste and trust UI specialists.

Other than that, cooperation with the client is also very important for the final success of the application. The company should talk to the client about the solutions it proposes and in case of doubts be able to justify them.


See how to choose the right mobile apps company.

App developers are already working on the living body of the application code. Initially, the basic functionalities of the application are created and it is checked that they work properly, making corrections if necessary. Then, further functionalities are added and the correctness of the code gets tested again.

These tests usually take place within a development company and the client is not yet involved. There is time for the proper testing of the application in the next stage.


Tests of an already running application are easier the more thoroughly it has been tested in the development process. Thanks to this, errors can be avoided and, as a result, the costs of tests can be reduced.

As part of the tests, the UI values of the application are checked, as well as security, interface and performance issues. Once the team is satisfied that the application is technically working properly, it can be passed for testing to selected end users and the client.

The client’s task during the tests is to check whether the use of the application is suitably comfortable and whether it meets their expectations. It is good to involve many people in testing the application to get as many opinions as possible about its operation. The layman’s point of view is most valuable here because the target user is just that.

Ready for the app creation? – Summary

In this article, we wrote about various types of mobile apps, different profiles of development companies, and steps of the development process. This basic information on creating mobile applications will help you talk competently with your potential contractor and contribute to the success of your cooperation and product.

Remember that depending on the profile of your development partner, once you start the whole process of creating the application, you will have to get involved in at least some extent. If you won’t do it, the application might not meet your expectations and have trouble succeeding in the market.

However, before you decide whom to work with ask your connections for recommendations and opinions, look at the company’s project portfolio to see if it has experience with products similar to yours, and don’t forget to ask your potential contractor the right questions.

If you want to save some searching time, need advice, or have any questions related to developing your product – don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Matt Warcholinski
Chief Growth Officer

A serial entrepreneur, passionate R&D engineer, with 15 years of experience in the tech industry.

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