Suddenly as if you were struck by lightning you have a great idea for an app. You rush to Google to see if someone else has had the same idea as you, it must be out there somewhere, this is such a great idea, why hasn’t anyone thought of it before, and nothing.

At this point excitement rolls through your body as you realize the money making potential this app idea has for you. There is only one problem, you do not know the first thing about developing a mobile app. Now begins the search to find a company to create your mobile app.

For the purpose of this blog, I will assume that you need to develop an app for iPhone. If you are looking to have an app developed for Android, just switch out the name Android for iPhone, and apply the same concept.

Finding the right company to develop your mobile app for iPhone is daunting and very time consuming, but it is as critical to the project as the idea itself. You do not want to pay a company to learn how to create a mobile app, so it is very important to find an experienced mobile application development company.

Not hiring the right mobile app company to create your app can result in:

  • extra development costs
  • an app with poor quality, full of bugs, not functioning
  • little or no communication throughout the process
  • extended delivery or launch dates
  • app being rejected by iTunes
  • total investment lost and receiving nothing at all.

When you are looking to hire a company to develop your iPhone mobile app, there is no better tell way to weed out the bad ones than to inspect their portfolio. You’ve heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words” right, when it comes to a mobile app company’s portfolio, what better evidence is there for their ability to develop an app for iPhone?

Download the apps the company has developed for iPhone. Examine the quality of their user interface designs to make sure that they are clean and professional. Check the quality of their programming and the experience you have using the app. Ask yourself if you would be happy to claim these apps as your own.

Set up a meeting or conference call with the companies that have good examples of iPhone apps they have developed. During that meeting you are on a fact finding mission to discover:

What experience do you have with developing a mobile app for iPhone?

Although your idea may be something unique or proprietary, chances are the technology driving them is not. Good developers should have experience with many of the features or technology that your app will require. GPS is a good example of a feature that is used in a lot of mobile apps. If your app utilizes GPS, you should ask your perspective mobile app company to present some examples of apps they have developed with GPS.

Focus on one or two mobile apps the company says are similar in size and technology that they are proud to have developed.  These will tell you a lot about the mobile app development experience you will have with with them. Was the mobile app design and development completed at their location, or were aspects of the project outsourced? Discuss some of the challenges they faced when creating this app and how they overcame them. Was the mobile app developed native  for iPhone, or was it an HTML5 cross-platform compatible mobile app and also available for Android phones?

What is your iPhone mobile application design process?

You want to discuss their mobile app design and development process, and how your app will go from concept to creation. Ask what their process is for designing an application’s user interface. Was the mobile app designed and developed for iPhones or iPads? See if the company will show you the mobile app’s wireframes and mockups they designed prior to development.  You want to find a company capable of fulfilling your needs. If you need to have your app professionally designed for iPad, you want to make sure that the app company is experienced in user interface designs for iPads.

How much does it cost to develop an app for iPhone?
How long will it take to develop my mobile app?

A mobile app company may not want to come directly out and tell you how much it will cost to develop your app for iPhone or how long it will take to develop your app. By focusing on a specific app in the company’s portfolio, you will also be able to determine these 2 very important decision factors without having to ask them directly. You want to ask when they started creating the app and when it was deployed to the iTunes App Store. If you are really good, uncover what the total number of hours on the project were, and then it is easy math to determine what the total costs and hourly rate of building an iPhone app will be.

If you have an event coming up or a target date you want to deploy your app to the iTunes App Store, make sure that the mobile app company can deliver before that date. Be fair to the mobile app development company and give them plenty of time to meet your deadlines.

If you have hired a developer to create your mobile app, please share your story below. What was your process for choosing the right app development company? Did you have a good or bad experience? What lessons did you learn or what would you do differently?