Building An App From Scratch - Tech Tutorial and Introduction to Mobile App Building

by Marketing ScreamingBox
12 mins read
  1. Development
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Whether you are a Web Developer who has decided to learn how to do Mobile app development, or an Entrepreneur who wants to make his app vision come to life - building a Mobile App may not be as hard as you think. Building a simple app is a relatively easy task, depending on how you go about it. Of course, like trying to change a fuel pump in a car - it might be easy, but if you have never done it before it might seem like you are trying to build a car from scratch.

The general thought is that building mobile apps is hard and can only be learned after undergoing tough courses online or offline. While this is partly true, one thing you must know is that building a simple app is an easy task, but only when you have the necessary knowledge and tools. Interestingly, by leveraging the internet, there is so much you can get done nowadays with less initial knowledge than before.

Building an app entails numerous processes, some of which include having an idea, developing it, testing it, and releasing it. You can choose which way to build or code your app, depending on how you acquired your coding knowledge. Everyone learns differently – there is no one way to learn how to code – which is why there are many programming languages out there. Choosing the language to use for building your app is the first step in the process.

Whether you want to build the next unicorn from scratch or complete your very first pet project, here is the best guide on the internet curated just for you. Remember that building an app can take between four weeks and fifty-two weeks, depending on its complexity. Ensure you read all the way to the end to gain all the knowledge and insight you need.

You should also beware, your first apps should be relatively simple. A complex app may need an experienced team of mobile app developers such as the team at ScreamingBox, to get it to work well in a reasonable amount of time.

This article can help developers thinking about learning how to build mobile apps by building their first app, or an Entrepreneur or business person who wants to know the basics of app building to help them hire the right developers to make their mobile app dreams come true.

Steps to Building Your First App From Scratch

So, looking to build your first app from scratch? Well, here are the best steps for you as you get ready to dive into the world of app development and testing:

Determine your objectives

It doesn’t sound techy, right? Well, any task requires focus, and knowing what you want to do requires that you do your homework properly. When it comes to creating an app, you should first determine why you are doing so. Building an app from scratch takes time and motivation, and having these from the start is vital.

Every app you see on a mobile device has a function. People do not download apps for fun; rather, they download them for specific uses. So, if you want to create an app, you have to create it for a specific purpose, one that will make people use it. While this might be a pet project, it is important you understand the reason before you get into the real deal. Hence, define your goals and motivations and write them down.

How do you do this, you ask? Well, by:

  • Defining your goals.
  • Determining your target audience.
  • Determining how your app or solution can solve the problem you have highlighted.
  • Determining the approach the app will use to solve this problem.

Build on your idea

To get your app up and running, you need to expand your idea. Document your idea, highlight what features it should have, and outline how some of these features will work. Once you can get your idea(s) down to the paper realm, your dream will become clearer.

This is also where you will know which features to add to your app.

Do your market research

You must remember that many ideas have been developed into apps. What makes yours different and unique? To answer this question, you will need to do market research. Here you will:

  • Find apps similar to yours.
  • Determine what your target audience wants.
  • Check the weaknesses of the competitors’ apps.

Begin your app design

Here, you will need to know what your app will look like, which means you will have to sketch a basic skeleton called a wireframe. This will help you get a visual flow and layout of your app.

After wireframes, you go fully visual. You should look to develop high-graphic designs like mockups. This helps you visualize better, and any mistake takes you back to your wireframe. Overall, this helps you link your thoughts from the idea to the final visuals. You can use apps like Figma, Adobe Suite, and Fluid UI.

Choose your tech strategy

There are two platforms for app development: Android and iPhone. You will need to decide which platform to launch your app (you can choose both). Also, you will need to choose which language you will code in. Most times, all of this is determined by your preference and access to the app stores (Apple or Google). This is where funds become a huge factor, as you will need to fund the teams in charge and pay for the platform you want to access.

If you have a small budget, your best bet is a hybrid application (one that runs on both platforms). This eliminates the need for two development teams. If you have no coding experience, you can utilize an app-building platform. All you need to do on these platforms is to select a template and then drag and drop your preferred features. You should also look to avoid free app builders as they do not always come with comprehensive features.

Selecting the Right Tech Strategy for Mobile App Development

When it comes to mobile app development, you have a variety of options to choose from, and the decision largely hinges on your goals, budget, and preferences. Traditionally, the two primary platforms for app development have been Android and iOS. Each platform has its own unique ecosystem, and it's crucial to decide where to launch your app or whether to target both.

The choice of which programming language to use is often influenced by your familiarity with the language and your access to the respective app stores (Apple's App Store and Google Play). Your budget is a significant factor, as it impacts the resources you can allocate to your development teams and the platform licenses.


Apple devices use an operating system called iOS. To develop apps for this OS, developers have to learn how to use a coding language called Objective-C, which is a C-variant. Other languages you can learn to build an iOS app are:

  • Swift (LinkedIn)
  • C# (Trustpilot)
  • Java (Netflix)
  • C++ (Meta)
  • HTML5 (YouTube)


The official language for Android development is Java. This is an old and established object-oriented language and it has the largest community where you can find out the possibilities of using the language.

However, there are many other languages to pick from for Android app development; Python, Kotlin, and Lua. Other languages are C++, C#, HTML, Basic, and Dart. Note that the language you choose will be influenced by how well you know how to code. Hence, you should look to find out which languages are wide-ranging in application and make a series of choices on which to pick.


For those with limited financial resources, a cross-platform mobile app development approach might be the ideal choice. Cross-platform development enables you to create an app that can run on both Android and iOS, reducing the need for separate development teams and streamlining the process. Two popular frameworks for cross-platform development are React Native and Flutter, and they have gained popularity for several reasons.

React Native

React Native, developed by Facebook, allows you to build mobile apps using JavaScript and React. One of the key advantages is that you can write code once and deploy it on both Android and iOS, saving time and effort. It's particularly attractive for web developers as they can leverage their JavaScript knowledge.


Flutter, on the other hand, is an open-source framework by Google that employs the Dart programming language. It provides a rich set of pre-designed widgets and offers a consistent, high-quality user experience across both platforms. Flutter is known for its beautiful UIs and the ability to compile natively, which results in excellent performance.

No-Code/Low-Code Tools

If you have no coding experience, you can explore app-building platforms, where you can select a template and customize your app by dragging and dropping desired features. However, it's advisable to avoid free app builders, as they may not offer the comprehensive features or customization capabilities you require.

In summary, the choice of mobile app development strategy depends on factors such as your budget, coding experience, and platform preferences. React Native and Flutter offer cross-platform development advantages, while native development on Android and iOS allows for deeper integration with the respective ecosystems. Ultimately, your decision should align with your project's unique needs and you or your team's skill set.

Design the app

There are two parts to every app: frontend and backend. Frontend refers to the app’s appearance, and what the app will look like when people use it, while backend refers to the settings or algorithm that makes all of that possible.

When building your app, complete a feature before moving to the next one. Work on everything that concerns a feature before moving to the next feature. A checklist will be of much help here.

Test the app

Testing your app is vital; you will surely get bugs when coding, and testing is a good way to eliminate them. No one wants to release bug codes or apps to the mainstream media. To stop this, you should do much Test-Driven Development, especially for a new app. Testing tools include Karma (JavaScript), and PHPUnit (PHP).

Market and launch your app

Marketing in this age is very important if you want your app to reach a large target audience. Social media is a very vital factor in getting your product to your target audience. Without it, you stress, and the people who need it may not be aware of it. A landing page will be of much help, and you will need to inform users that they can access it. This comes immediately after launching it in the store you have chosen (Google or Apple app store).


Building an app from scratch has surely become easier with this article. Launching your dream app is always a boon, no matter the cost, and using the knowledge gained from this article will get you closer to your dream. Do not forget to get user feedback and make the appropriate changes. Good luck in creating the next Uber!

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