Top 4 Mobile App Development Challenges and Solutions

27 November 2020

Mobile apps are projected to generate $189 billion in revenues in 2020, with Android and iOS developers taking most of the money. That is at least $50 billion above what developers earned in 2019 and twice the 2017 revenue. What’s even more impressive is that all this is happening despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

Woman using mobile smart phone in the night light colorful background

The high revenues are mainly due to smartphone proliferation, plenty of time spent on apps, and the consistent increase in apps numbers. We saw an estimated 71.5 billion first-time app installs from January to June 2020, up 26.1% year-over-year. 

In terms of new apps, over 100,000 enter the Google Play Store alone monthly (111,000 in August 2020, according to Statista). The Apple App Store recorded about 37,000 new apps in the same month. 

It shows the level of effort developers put into the development process and the app market’s enormous profit opportunities.

Concerns Abound

Unfortunately, many developers still face endless challenges at every stage of the development process and deployment. According to, about two-thirds of all app development projects fail. Of those that reach the market, users abandon 80-90% within a few days.

Top Challenges and Solutions

Below, we round up some of the common challenges in mobile development and potential solutions to help you create profitable apps that people love.

Challenge: Highly competitive market 

The app market is woefully crowded, making it exceedingly hard for new applications to shine through.

For instance, the Apple and Google App Stores have over 2.2 million and 2.8 million apps, respectively. That’s already about 5.0 million apps before you mention the Windows Phone Store, which has about 700,000 apps, the Amazon App Store with just over 600,000 apps, and Blackberry App World. Getting the spotlight in such a vast pool is tough.


  • Define your market 

Don’t try to impress everyone. It doesn’t work. Instead, define your target audience and focus on creating apps to meet this specific group’s needs and desires.

  • Promote your App

App developers must understand that building the app is just the first step. Once the app hits the market, you must continually promote it to drive downloads and engage users.

Challenge: Screen size and device compatibility 

Today’s consumers have a wide variety of devices that use different screen sizes, operating systems, and software. Developers need to build apps that render nicely on as many of these screens as possible.

More importantly, the app must be able to run on multiple OS platforms. Indeed, it’s a huge ask given that each operating system has its set of UI objectives and patterns. 

Even the three main OS systems alone – iOS, Android, and Windows – are so different that you need to put in a lot of effort to build an app that runs flawlessly on all three.


  • Response design

For screen size and device compatibility, responsive design is vital. It results in apps that self-adjust to fit the different screen sizes.

  • Alternative layout

Even though your responsive design will work pretty well with different screen sizes, it might not offer the best user experience across every screen size. For instance, your phone UI might not blend with a tablet. So, to optimize your apps UI for different screen sizes, it should provide alternative layout resources.

  • Deploy your app in independent packages

For OS systems and platform compatibility, prepare with a marked testing phase to ensure your apps are platform agnostic. Additionally, consider beta releases with regular updates.  

Challenge: Development technology challenges

There’s currently no unified approach to app development. While most people are now on the cross-platform hype train, a significant number still prefer native apps. Many others also feel that platform-specific development guarantees the best outcome. You also have a few people who choose hybrid app platforms and those who swear by native app development.

This lack of a unified approach or formula is suitable for meeting different user tastes. But, it also creates a chaotic development environment prone to poor app performance and over-expenditure.


  • Strategize with your target audience in mind. 

Decide on the tools and frameworks to use based on the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) needs of your target customers.

Particularly, a clear strategy is vital. Devise an overarching 360-degree vision of the mobile app so that the final product matches your consumers’ needs.

Challenge: Mobile app security 

Finally, nearly every app developer is always worried about security issues in the industry. During our discussion on best practices, we touched on the importance of safeguarding user data, especially in high-risk areas like offshore sports betting. Malware problems may arise, and software/hardware fragmentation only adds fuel to the fire.

There’s the ever-present risk of picking up code written by hackers, which creates a massive loophole once you deploy the app. Not to mention the risk of accessing apps via cache information.

Insecure data storage, authentication challenges, and session management issues are other notable hurdles. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to information misuse and manipulation, poor user experience, and low app adoption.


  • Adhere to platform-specific guidelines

Many app stores are taking measures to ensure maximum app security in the app store. Apple, for example, now provides developers with strict guidelines for iOS app development. Google has also developed various protections. Meeting these basic standards set by app stores can help you control and distribute your app safely.

  • Utilize the Latest Cryptography Techniques

Developers must ensure good use of modern cryptography tools and techniques like AES 256 bit and SHA-256. 

  • Perform Thorough Security Check

Most importantly, there’s a greater need to test repeatedly. Instead, continue testing to reveal new issues and consistently provide patches to fix any loopholes.

Now You Know What to Do

Developing and promoting mobile apps is a lot of work but worth the effort. As we’ve seen, the app development industry is now close to a $200 billion industry and growing. Therefore, you should strategize to wade through the challenges and take the appropriate measures to mitigate risks.

Contact NIX Solutions now if you would like to discuss your persistent mobile app development challenges.