Programming · Android App Development

Resources for development of an MVP of an app that needs to launch on Android and iOS quickly.

Kristi Shadid

October 10th, 2014

We're looking for development resources to build out an MVP version of an app that we need to launch in pretty quick succession on both android and iOS.  We're bootstrapping this and so trying to get an MVP out as inexpensively as possibly and could add more features in the future and invest more in a second phase - so trying to figure out how to get a solid, decent MVP out so we can learn what works.  We want to launch on Android first because a couple of the features won't work on iOS but want to follow it quickly after a beta launch on Android (and quick turnaround of lessons learned tweaks) with the iOS build.

We already have the spec which has been professionally developed and we already have the screens designed and in .psd.  We're getting quotes from $4k to $20k and just having a very hard time figuring out how to choose the right partner...especially without having any personal recommendations for any of them.

Suggestions and thoughts for resources?

Zvi Epner Fourtein.com

October 10th, 2014

It's definitely not about price, the reason you don't know which team to go with it that none of them gave you an idea of what you can realistically expect will be done within 1 week, 2 weeks.

You're asking for the quote of a full output. You should ask for a quote for an actual deliverable task from one team. And do the same for another team. And pay each full rate, so you can honestly assess the working relationship and keep it healthy enough to actually produce a working, valuable MVP.

Then you'll have a good comparison to work with.

Anonymous

April 15th, 2015

I am wondering what the goal of the MVP is. To get traction, to show off to investors, to test a market?
Early adopters, in particular the ones with money to spend are on iOS. Furthermore, fragmentation is way less on iOS than on Android

Apart from iOS/Android discussion, pick one of the 2 platforms and get a real solid app out there, as in in 9-12 months. Only if you have proven yourself on one platform, focus energy on the other. 
Don't go hybrid, that is a fail up front with mediocre user experience

Jeremy Callahan

October 14th, 2014

Hi Kristi, 

Sounds like you are getting a lot of advise that are sales pitches in disguise.  I just built my MVP www.shoe-swipe.com for iOSand Android for 2300 dollars.  I'm Really wondering why you cannot use the same code base for your app and PhoneGap to for the iOS and Android.  If you'd like some free advice please call me.  You can find my number at www.jeremycallahan.com


Android builds?  

Anonymous

October 15th, 2014

Kristi,
Here is the path that in some cases works really well:
- make wirframes (PPT, ...)
- make mockup of you MVP (Keynotopia, proto.io, ...)
- outsource: make mobile site implementation of youtr MVP (jQuery mobile, Bootstrap, responsive, WP, ...)
  Depending on MVP, this could be in th range of $1K
- do it yourself or outsource: make hybrid app for iOS and Android - based on your mobile site. This takes just few hours (Appcelerator, Phonegap, ...)
- with all the above you should have working iOS and Andriod apps.
- important: keep things simple and don't reinvent the wheel. Depending on your goals, try to find and use existing examples and frameworks. If you are not familiar with those - outsource this analysis too, or find a tech friend to give you advise.

Jeremy Callahan

April 15th, 2015

Again I cannot disagree with you more. Building for one device is a waste of time and money. Unless you are building a high performance game there is zero reason to build separate instances. 90% of all Apps are nothing more than glorified websites that pull API data or register user. Hybrid is the best solution 90% of the time. It saves time, money and performance is a non-issue. JavaScript is an industry wide accepted language and platform. I was at a launch for Tooz last week and they don't have an android version yet. There is nothing about their app that could not be done in JS/Hybrid. There is too much bad advice out there about building for one platform. You can have the best of both worlds... It's 2015

Karl Schulmeisters CTO ClearRoadmap

April 16th, 2015

>>MVP is an over used term and too general. For instance every startup's plan is to create an MVP and iterate. So it has to be rapid. Like having a working App in less than 6 weeks then you'd need to iterate every 4 to 6 weeks based on user feedback<<

That's not an MVP.  that's a beta.  an MVP is just what it says

  • Minimum - as in fewest features to meet the other criteria
  • Viable - as in it can actually survive in the marketplace with real customers without damaging the brand
  • Product - something you SELL to customers

Which is NOT... throw something out there in 6 weeks and then 6 weeks later surprise the customers with an upgrade.. and again in six weeks.

Sure you want customers involved early in the dev cycle to give you feedback but that's not a product yet.  nor is it viable nor has it reached its minimum feature set.


Anonymous

October 10th, 2014

How detail is your spec? We bootstrap ours in small fraction of the typical cost to build a good and scaleable mobile application, but we spent a lot of time architecting the backend to allow it to scale. I'm more than happy to help if you need it.  

Elten

Kelly McIvor Product Marketer | Mobile Strategist | Opportunity Developer

October 12th, 2014

Kristi,
My advice would be to NOT outsource your MVP. Take the time to get in-house talent. An MVP is just the start - it is 'minimum', after all. From there you will want to quickly iterate as you learn how people behave with your product/service. If you have to repeatedly go back to your vendor to do this it will a) take too long as they will need to estimate and present a bid and b) you will run out of resources (i.e. money). 

Jeremy Callahan

April 15th, 2015

MVP is an over used term and too general. For instance every startup's plan is to create an MVP and iterate. So it has to be rapid. Like having a working App in less than 6 weeks then you’d need to iterate every 4 to 6 weeks based on user feedback. But hardly anyone can do this. And if you make a bad technical decision in the beginning you are doomed. What you are saying is that startups should make an MVP with iOS and then at some point move onto Android. But how long do you iterate on iOS before you go Android? And if gaining users and installs is your goal you are only reaching 45% of the smart phone market. I have not heard a decent argument for native being better than hybrid since 2011 when performance was an issue (mainly Facebook not having a good scrolling effect). It just makes no sense to program the same thing twice. Jeremy Callahan, Callahan & Associates Inc.

Matias O'Keefe

April 15th, 2015

Sorry, but I totally disagree here. I believe MVP is not overrated. It´s not being used in the right way. When we talk about MVP we´re not talking about a clumsy minimalistic app. We have to consider a minimalistic way to prove the critical variables in a new endeavour. 

A couple of weeks ago I was in a similar discussion with a fellow member of this community. He was looking for someone to develop an MVP, a mobile App for his startup. 

I liked so much his idea that I decided to help and in two weeks we developed a minimalistic landing page/app and we´re expecting to have our AdWords campaign ready to launch next week. We shifted a 50/40K dev project into a 3K dev + 3K MKT budget that will allow us to evaluate if building an app is attractive at all.
And we´re not even thinking about VC at this point. If we get proof we won´t even look for VC for a good while.