Mobile App Development – Outsource or In-House?

Mobile App Development – Outsource or In-House?Mobile App Development – Outsource or In-House?

Outsourcing vs In-House SolutionsMobile technology has advanced leaps and bounds since its inception. I got my first mobile phone at the age of 16 and its app abilities were limited to an alarm clock and the ever-popular snake game. I spent hours playing that game! Now app stores are overflowing with applications to boost productivity, keep you socially connected, and give you games to soak up any spare time.

While many of the apps on my phone are for personal use, I have a basic expectation from companies that provide professional services. I’ll think twice before creating an account at a bank that hasn’t gone mobile yet. If I want to monitor the success of a marketing campaign or post a blog, I want to be able to do all of this from my mobile phone while I’m running to a meeting. What’s my point with all this? Basically, it’s that I’m not alone. If businesses want to keep up with their clients, they must go mobile!

So now that you’ve opted to go mobile, you need to decide if you’ll develop the app in-house or outsource. To help you make that decision, I’ve highlighted the pros and cons of each option with the help of the folks over at and DMI.

Advantages of in-house app development

  • Transparent control over the development process
  • Choice of developers that know what you want at an agreeable cost
  • Full control over the project
  • Options over technologies used

Disadvantages of in-house app development

  • High starting costs to establish infrastructure
  • Excessive fees in order to obtain all necessary licenses and certificates for software, tools, and code
  • Additional cost of bringing in external consultants if developers get stuck

Advantages of Outsourcing

  • Reduced time-to-market as resources can start instantly
  • Fixed cost for specific scope and delivery reduces risk
  • Specialized mobile developers leverage experience and resources
  • Frees company to focus on core business objectives

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

  • Loss of control and intellectual capital over services
  • Dependency on another company for something that could be core to your business
  • Small changes become more expensive and complicated
  • Increase in cost per hour

While only you can decide what is best for your organization, I hope that this article helped shed some light on how to make this important decision.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

app costI love this question. It’s somewhat akin to walking into a realtor’s office and asking, ‘how much does it cost to buy a house?’ or visiting a car dealership and inquiring about the cost of a car. Where do you want to buy a house? How many bedrooms? Do you want the luxury SUV or a little sports car? There are some approximate guidelines but the answer to this question is not as clean cut as the question requests. There are just too many variables.

To learn more about mobilizing enterprise applications download our whitepaper here

According to a guest blog on TechCrunch by former CEO of AppVee and AndroidApps, Alex Ahlund, a survey of 96 mobile app developers found that the average cost to develop an app was $6,453.  Another article reports that developing a “small app” can cost $3000 – $8000. More complex apps can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000!

I’m guessing that you are clearing your throat right now to swallow the thought of such an expense. It is a lot of money but let’s break it down. The average app developer in the US charges around $100 an hour. The more complex the app, the more time required to create it which means a higher bill at the end of the day. When you’re developer shopping, you should have a good idea of what you want to create. This may seem like a given but I’ll spell it out just in case. If you want your app to stand apart from the other 500,000 in the app store, you’ll have to consider:

  • Integration with a back-end database
  • Development on multiple platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)
  • Design and animation
  • Versions (free, paid, something in between)

Do you have an app idea and want to know how much it will cost? Contact the Astegic team to find out what is involved in bringing your idea to life.

To learn more about mobilizing enterprise applications download our whitepaper here

Mobile Applications: The Future of Enterprise

Mobile Applications: The Future of EnterpriseMobile Applications: The Future of Enterprise

enterprise-mobilityDid you know that one in every five phones sold is a smartphone? Sales of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are rising all the time and have actually passed that of laptops, notebooks, and desktop computers. The world has gone mobile and enterprises are following suit.

It has been reported that 60 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2012 and this number is expected to increase exponentially with the ever-growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. That being said, decision makers are seeing that these apps can increase productivity, reduce paperwork, and increase revenues in ways that a desktop computer simply can’t. Long story short, it’s time for the enterprise to go mobile!

According to this infographic, companies are adopting and consuming mobile technologies more and more each year. A survey by GigaOm Pro reported that 30% of businesses are using phones more than in the previous year. 43% of business report plans to incorporate more mobile technologies in the future. Let’s take a look at some statistics.

  • Half the devices on corporate networks will be mobile devices by 2015
  • 34% of workers use smartphones for work at least weekly
  • The North American market for mobile office applications is expected to surge to $6.85B in 2015, up from $1.76B in 2010.
  • 60% of employees in the US said data services are more important than voice plans when deploying cellular phones for business use.

reasons_for_using_mobile_appsThat’s all well and good but the bottom line for business is what really matters. Why should an enterprise introduce mobile apps? Businesses that choose to incorporate mobile apps into their operations aim to accomplish several goals but most importantly are productivity and revenue.

Paul Hamerman, in this article from computer weekly, explains perfectly how business apps can enrich business processes in the enterprise. He says:

“With mobile technology drawing so much attention today, the question facing business process professionals is less about where we are today with mobile business applications but rather where we are going. In addition to extending enterprise applications to mobile devices, applications will evolve to encompass end-to-end business processes (for example, procure to pay, talent management and sales to delivery) and a broad range of business users.”

5 Tips for Developing a Mobile App

5 Tips for Developing a Mobile App5 Tips for Developing a Mobile App

Mobile AppsMobile devices are everywhere. As I look around the room right now I see 2 iPads, an iPhone, a Microsoft HTC and a Samsung…and that’s just for 2 people! We’re addicted to our mobile devices and the apps on every device have, for many, become a primary means of consuming information, playing games, and increasing productivity.

While these apps are very popular, from a developer’s standpoint, there are some inherent problems. Not all devices are created the same and there are some basic guidelines you should follow in order to create mobile apps that work! In this article, we’ve highlighted the 5 points you need to keep in mind when developing a mobile app.

1. Solve a problem

Functionality matters. Whether your app saves time or money, entertains or informs, make sure you are offering something that benefits the user. Perhaps even more important, however, is that you need to create something that hasn’t been seen before.

2. Don’t go feature crazy

It’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of ideas but that’s not always the best for your app. Focus on one thing but do it best. Your app should solve one clear problem. Too many features can just muddle the end product and confuse the potential user.

3. Market, Market, Market!

Just because you get a slot in the coveted app store does not mean you will be immediately overwhelmed with downloads. If you want people to discover your app, you will have to invest in promotion to get the word out.

4. Push Notifications

Notifications aren’t always appropriate but when they are, you should certainly take advantage. Push notifications remind the user of your app and bring them back again and again.

5. Don’t force the mobile version

When a user tries to visit your website on a mobile device, don’t force them into a mobile version. Give users the option to view either version but don’t limit yourself to just one. Screens are getting bigger everyday so a limited mobile version is no longer as necessary as it used to be.

Why should you listen to us? Astegic is the leading provider of custom mobile application development, and consulting services. We have mastered this domain and have extensive experience in developing custom mobile applications for Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry. Our team brings together deep product design experience, technology expertise and a passion for building world-class mobile apps. That’s why you should listen to us!

Who can unify my communications?

Who can unify my communications?

Posted by Perry Nalevka

As I start writing this blog post I find myself surrounded with devices – Smartphone, Tablet, laptop, TV and a desk phone.  This provides me with great flexibility in the way I can communicate and get my work done but I can’t help but notice that the user experience needs much improvement to allow a smoother transition between screens.

Vendors are doing a good job of making services available on multiple devices but need to spend more time and effort in the fine details. It’s great that when someone sends me a message I can receive it on all of my devices, but do I really have to see the notification in three different places AFTER I have read the message. Isn’t it a little strange when I’m chatting with someone on my iPad to receive the notifications about it on my laptop & smart phone? Shouldn’t it be easier to see all of your conversations with someone in one place.

The idea of unified communications has been around for a long time now, but it hasn’t kept up with the times. When all of the communications was clearly contained “inside the network” this was easier to control and manage but now that much of the communication is happening on top of the network and intelligence has moved into the client the problem got more complex.

It’s clearly time for some innovation here. In the short term vendors will need to respond by ensuring that their service is available in every device and through strategic partnerships and service integrations but ultimately there needs to be some true unification. The question is, will this come from one of the many software startups or will it be enabled in the network (and in which one). In short who will unify my communication?

Mobile Testing & QA Tools – Should I be using automation?

Mobile Testing & QA Tools

mobile-headerI am not going to answer the above question as there is not right answer but hope to have a conversation that will help answer for those asking. With the smartphone revolution upon us and the multitude of applications being released on a daily basis there is an increasing need for tools and automation to test all of these mobile applications. We are partnering and continuously vetting out tools for our customers.  One thing I can see now after 8 years in this space is that there is not one tool that is perfect or that can be called the best.  This is because it highly depends on the application.

Some questions are:

  • What parts of the app can be tested through automation?
  • Is location relevant?
  • 2G, 3G, Wifi, LTE or is connectivity available?
  • Does usability need to be tested?
  • Is this an enterprise or consumer app
  • How important is security
  • Does the backend need to be stress tested?

These are only some questions – please feel free to add more.

I have seen the tools fall into 3 categories with each one having a multitude of solutions:

  • Crowd Testing
  • Remote access to devices
  • Mobile QA / Test automation

Mobile Testing – Automation or Manual

Mobile Testing – Automation or Manual

Posted by Perry Nalevka on 


In previous posts we wrote that there is not enough testing being done in the mobile space but we see that the trend is changing as more outsource vendors (like us) are offering Mobile QA as a service.  The next problem I am seeing is that most testing being done today is manual which creates a lot of delay in today’s agile development world.  Although some manual testing will always be needed there is definitely room for more automation.  What’s driving more a more companies toward test automation is also the ever shrinking release cycle they’re facing for their mobile apps. Whether it’s a mobile web app which can see multiple versions per day, or a native/hybrid app which can be released any other week, the need for continuous feedback is critical.


World Quality Report Reveals that Two-thirds of Companies Are Inadequately Testing Mobile Applications

World Quality Report Reveals that Two-thirds of Companies Are Inadequately Testing Mobile Applications
World Quality Report 2012-2013 just revealed some major factors about Mobile App Testing few days back. As mobile devices continue to transform users’ needs, demands and expectations, the report highlights the need for companies to rethink their QA strategies and priorities.The report revealed some of the important facts in Mobile Testing on the basis of responses of the respondents who participated in to this.The report is elaborated on Mobile Testing and other part of Software Testing. The report revealed that  Organizations may not be giving mobility the priority it deserves. This sector is still facing some challenges due to lack of expertise resources,best Practices, availability of devices etc. Performance of Mobile Apps emerged as the top most focus for most of the firms who participated in this survey.
Though there are many points discussed in the report about Mobile App Testing, here are some important points that came out of this report.
  • Two-thirds of companies are inadequately testing mobile applications
  • Only 31% of respondents currently test mobile applications
  • 65% of respondents conveyed that they don’t have right tools to test mobile apps.
  • 52% do not have access to required devices.
  • 34% of organizations lack the testing methodologies and processes
  • 29% of organization lacks specialist expertise  necessary to effectively certify mobile application
  • Performance of the mobile app has emerged to be primary focus for most of the organizations( 64%)
  • 37%  are Testing Mobile App in Manufacturing domain followed by Energy& Utilities and Healthcare(Each 35%)

Picture speaks louder than words so here are some quick trends that came out of this report.



 Details taken from –

Three Common Problems in the Mobile App QA Process

Three Common Problems in the Mobile App QA Process December 19, 2012

mobile-app-qa-300x214Quality assurance (QA) is an essential part of creating and maintaining reliable mobile apps that function as planned – and the need for these apps in the enterprise is increasing exponentially. Businesses of all sizes, enterprise-sized companies in particular, are developing new mobile apps as well as converting business critical Web and desktop apps into mobile apps to improve employee efficiency and productivity and provide more responsive customer service.

Coinciding with this increase in need is an even faster evolution of operating systems on computers and especially mobile devices. This presents testers of all types – including those testing native and mobile web apps – with the challenge of delivering apps that function well on multiple platforms, devices and form factors.

While the need for mobile app QA is significant, there are also many common problems that QA teams encounter that can disrupt and limit the efficient testing of enterprise apps. Here are three common problems that enterprise testers may encounter.

Problem #1: Mobile App Testing is Not Thorough – or Not Completed at All

QA has become an increasingly important part of software development. However, a recent survey conducted by Cap Gemini, Sogeti and HP shows that QA for mobile apps is not enjoying the same prominence. In fact, the survey shows that only 31 percent of organizations today currently test their mobile applications. This means that many enterprises are risking the release of apps that don’t function properly, are unreliable, unstable and potentially damaging to their business functions and their brand’s reputation.

Companies all over the world are trying to save time, increase profits and decrease risk. The process of testing native and mobile web apps may decrease risk, but it also takes time to complete – time that many companies are not willing to spend if it means extending app deployment deadlines. It’s a delicate balance that too often ends up with mobile app testing being pushed to the side as apps are rushed to be released.

Problem #2 – Lags in Development Can Lead to Shorter Testing Time

QA is one of the final steps in the development process before an app is released. Before an app makes it to QA for functional and regression testing – not to mention usability, performance and security testing – there are several steps that must first take place, including all phases of development, such as technical design, wireframe development and mobile app development for each mobile platform. As such, if there are lags in the development of an app, testers will have to deal with a shorter than average test time, often resulting in rushed functional testing and running out of time to regression test.

The testing cycle for mobile apps normally takes three-to-six weeks depending on the size and complexity of the application. Due to expedited enterprise app rollouts, this is now being condensed to just one-to-two days, which hardly leaves time for proper testing.

Problem #3 – Lack of Requirements Can Inhibit QA Capabilities

Good requirements from the beginning – even before development starts – can help with the development and subsequent testing processes. Unfortunately, in many cases, mobile app testers aren’t receiving these requirements. This is a critical misstep since providing testers with the requirements can help them effectively define what they should test and how they should develop the testing framework. Without the requirements, it’s like testing in the dark. The key to efficient and accurate test results is to enable testers to plan and test better – and they need requirements to do so.

Visibility to app requirements can also help testers determine whether parts of the testing process can be automated. When automation makes sense, testing cycles can be significantly reduced, freeing up testers to focus on more complicated test cases that either cannot be automated or require more detailed scripting at the outset. Enterprise QA processes are undergoing a major re-evaluation and re-invention thanks to the mobile revolution. By planning ahead, using a mobile app test automation tool and emphasizing the importance of QA to the overall effectiveness of an app, QA teams can avoid these problems and improve overall app quality and reliability.

This article, Three Common Problems in the Mobile App QA Process, was based on an article on MobileLabs