Looking to build a custom IoT application? If you have plans to launch a custom IoT app development company in the future, here’s what you need to know to get started.
From the fitness tracker on your wrist to the smart speaker in your kitchen, the Internet of Things, or IoT, has come a long way over the past few years.
It’s estimated that over $1 trillion will be spent on the Internet of Things in 2023. With the rise of cloud computing and the 5G network, more and more people are using IoT technology and the associated smartphone apps than ever before.
If you’re considering entering the world of custom IoT application development, there are a few things you need to be aware of. We’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know when it comes to creating an IoT app.
And of course, if you need a little extra help with building your custom IoT application development company, remember we’re here to support you.
Table of Content
- What is a custom IoT app?
- The connection between a custom IoT app and smartphone applications
- custom IoT app development services: How to create an app that everyone wants to use
- In summary: Plan your IoT application development thoroughly
What is IoT?
IoT devices can connect wirelessly to a network and transmit data to other devices. Think speakers that respond to your voice, lightbulbs that switch off automatically when you leave a room, and doors that unlock when they identify your unique fingerprint.
IoT devices use machine learning to become more intelligent over time. By reviewing and analyzing audio, video, and images, they can make decisions faster and spot future trends.
The first example of IoT technology in use was in the 1980s. Programmers at a university would connect through the internet to a nearby soft drink machine to see if their favorite drink was in stock and if it was cold!
The internet of things has grown and evolved a lot since then. IoT devices are used across a wide range of different industries, including retail, healthcare, and education, as well as to power ‘smart cities’.
As they are easily accessible and cheap to buy, many people now have IoT devices in their homes. It’s estimated that the average American has over ten ‘smart’ devices in their home.
The connection between IoT and smartphone applications
As many IoT devices are small or found in impractical places (such as smart lightbulbs), a smartphone app can be a useful way to manage them.
Think of these apps as the go-between between the device and you!
Some IoT devices are managed by web apps, but smartphone apps have now overtaken them in popularity as they are more user-friendly and easier to access. With a smartphone app, IoT devices can be managed from absolutely anywhere.
Why have smartphone IoT apps become so popular with startups? Smartphones have all the technology needed to effectively manage and control IoT devices, including:
- 4G and 5G;
- Radiofrequency identification (RFID);
- Near field communication (NFC)
Not only this, but smartphones have a variety of additional sensors that can be used to enhance and interpret data, including motion sensors, position sensors, and thermometers.
Plus, the benefit to the customer is that they can store all their apps in one place. This makes it easier than ever for people to keep an eye on all their IoT devices, as well as link them together.
What does all this mean for businesses like yours? It means that if you’re looking for a way for your idea to appear in the pockets and bags of people worldwide, an internet of things app development company could be the way to go.
Custom IoT app development services: How to create an app that everyone wants to use
So far in this article, we’ve taken a look at what the IoT is and why phone app development is so important.
If you want to get into custom IoT app development and create a smartphone app, this next section will tell you what you need to know.
1. Check that there’s a problem to be solved
Before you begin, it’s essential to do your research. You want to make sure there’s a market for your app and know who your competition is.
A good starting point is proof of concept. You can use this to make sure your idea for an IoT app is practical and carry out a simple research to see if your target audience is interested.
The majority of business ideas fail because there isn’t a market for them. This means it’s crucial to make sure your app will be well-received before investing time and money into it.
2. Understand how your app will connect
Clear communication between your app and the IoT device is essential. How will your smartphone app ‘talk’ to the relevant piece of equipment?
There are many different communication protocols you can use, including:
- WiFi/cellular network
The type of tool you use will depend on the type of device you need to connect with as well as the environment it will connect to.
For example, if it’s a smart speaker in someone’s home, WiFi is probably a safe bet. If it’s a smart device that’s being used outside where the internet connection is shaky, GSM or Bluetooth is a better option.
The communication protocol you choose will play a hand in the platform you choose to use. Speaking of which…
3. Choose the right platform for Custom IoT App Development
The good news is there are many platforms out there you can use to build your custom IoT application and collect user data. It’s just a case of choosing the best one for your needs.
Some of the most popular frameworks out there include:
- Azure IoT Hub
- Google Cloud IoT Solutions
- IBM Watson
- Kaa IoT
- Oracle Internet of Things
The right platform will depend on the industry you are working in, your budget, and your requirements. For example, Thingworx specializes in building industrial IoT applications.
You can create your own platform to develop your IoT app if you have the skills and expertise but, in our experience, it’s easier to use one that is already live. Plus, it means you can launch more quickly, in line with lean startup methodology – more about that later in the article.
4. Consider speed and reaction time
One of the unique selling points of a custom IoT device is its speed in making decisions.
For example, if you’re in a self-driving car, a few milliseconds can make all the difference between reaching your destination safely and ending up in a collision.
When working on a custom IoT app development, you not only need to consider the communication protocols you use but the speed and reliability too.
You could have the fastest IoT device in the world, but it’s all for nothing if your app can’t keep up with it.
5. Hire the right developers
Whether you hire in-house, use an agency or recruit freelancers, it’s important to bring people on board who know what they’re doing.
The good news is that more and more developers are getting to grips with IoT than ever before. In 2019, 65% of application developers were either working on IoT projects or were planning to in the next 18 months. This means you have a broader pool of internet of things software developers to recruit from.
See if your network has any recommendations, always ask to see portfolios, and most importantly, ask lots of questions. With IoT apps, it’s vital to hire for experience rather than cost.
6. Make sure your custom IoT application is secure
It’s essential to make sure your app is safe from online threats. The increased number of custom IoT devices means there are more network entry points than ever before, making it easy for hackers to access people’s most sensitive data.
Even custom IoT devices that you might not think need to be secure, like coffee machines, can be vulnerable.
This means you need to ensure your app is not a weak link in the chain.
To ensure security in custom IoT app development, you need to:
- Use reliable and dependable third-party systems. The hardware and platforms you use need to be secure as well as regularly patched for vulnerabilities
- Look at how data, especially sensitive personal details like passwords, biometrics, and bank account information, will be protected. Also, be aware of who will have access to this information at your startup as well as any third parties you use
- Think about physical attacks as well as cyberattacks. How will you protect the data on your app if someone’s phone is stolen? A strong password policy and two-factor authentication can be useful
- Consider futureproofing your app. Older apps and IoT devices are more vulnerable to attack – how will you mitigate against this? You also need to be mindful of any future government guidelines and how they might affect what you do
7. Create an MVP version of your Custom IoT app
As the IoT marketplace is so competitive, it’s important to launch as quickly as possible. A minimum viable product, or MVP, means you can go live sooner, getting an advantage over your competitors.
What’s an MVP? An MVP is a no-frills version of your app, launched with only the most critical features. This allows you to introduce your application to the general public sooner and get valuable feedback you can use to develop your app in the future.
The world of IoT is still hard to comprehend for many users – while lots of people own devices, less than one in four people fully understand what IoT is all about.
This means that you need to ensure your app is as easy to use and understand as possible. By creating the simplest version of your app as you can, you’ll make it a lot more appealing to prospective customers.
8. Keep it maintained
Even when your app has been launched, you need to keep it up to date.
As well as keeping an eye on security patches as mentioned above, you need to closely monitor the marketplace. That way, you can take advantage of the latest technologies and enhance the user experience that your app provides.
In summary: Plan your Custom IoT app development thoroughly
Only 25% of IoT startups are viable. This means that if your dream is to launch a high-quality IOT mobile application, you need to plan ahead to ensure success.
We hope this article has given you lots of valuable advice when it comes to planning and launching a custom IoT app development service. In conclusion:
- Do your research and make sure there is demand for your idea
- Determine how your app will connect with the relevant devices
- Pick the platform that is best suited to your requirements
- Spend time on ensuring your app is responsive
- Focus on getting the right development team in place
- Pay special attention to app security
- Get your app to market as soon as possible with an MVP
- Don’t forget to keep your app up to date
Still, looking for extra help with IoT software development? Read on to see how we can help you…
Need some support with your IoT app development? You can rely on You are launched
We specialize in mobile app development. This means that no matter what industry you’re working in, our team of experts can help you create a custom IoT application that truly stands out.
Whether you need help with viability planning, creating an MVP, or getting that all-important funding, we’re with you every step of the way.
Contact us today and see how we can help you with a custom IoT app development that makes a difference in the world.