How to Build a Photo-Sharing App for Android?

Who doesn’t like to capture a memorable or significant moment of his life by making a photo or a funny collage? Which retailer these days are able to refuse using a digital service that allows posting attractive pictures of the goods that are being sold to impress the customers?

Well, I suppose, I don’t even need a statistics to tell your how many mobile users are taking their time with photo-sharing applications like Instagram (500 million people approximately), Tumblr, Flickr, Swipe, Layout (not to mention the social network giants Facebook and Twitter). And why?

Let’s say, we like our whole life to be mobile and there isn’t always a camera at hand, so this is where such apps help us to save and share the most important seconds of your lives. We can take or upload any photos we like, mixing them with our thoughts and video clips.

Share the most important moment

Yeah, a custom photo sharing application development industry is like a hot pie – everyone is here, and the crowd is only growing. But let me assure you, if your concept for a startup centers around this field, don’t let anything stop you from achieving the dream because there plenty of opportunities presented to you.

No matter how many others are there, any app has its users and you have all the chances to become one of those mountain conquerors who’ll reach a top 10 of the App Store or Google Play Market. But where to start? No worries, TecSynt are here to help. Let’s see what it takes to create a photo sharing app like Instagram.

Guide on how to build a photo-sharing app for Android platform

Why not iOS, you would ask? For starters, the development process will take less time than in iOS case, think about 500 hours. Then, the cost of the product will be a little lower while the target audience is wider, therefore, more chances for you to gain many users and monetize the app.

If you’re a newbie and don’t have a clue about the platform, I would suggest searching for some ‘How to build an Android app’ tutorials to see how it works, which techniques to choose and take some lessons about code writing. And once you’re done with this, time to dive deeper – let your project begin and may the force be with you! 

Stage 1. Pre-coding, learning, shaping the concept

First of all, any startup needs a research and resources gathering. When you decided how your app should look like and what functions it would perform, move to the part where you polish all your ideas. Write them down in the notepad – the most important on the top. It’s always easier to proceed when you have a visualized concept, so I advise to sketch your app’s screens on a paper, every version you have in mind, all the buttons, seekbars, features, etc.  

Then, let’s get some intelligence! You don’t need a product that no one wants, like an exact clone of the existing famous app? Sure, you have to make something new, refreshing and enhanced with unique details. To accomplish this, study the other enemies present on the market, discover their strong and weak sides. Check out the negative reviews and see, what you must do to please the customers and pursue them to abandon other applications in your benefit.

What can you do to develop a better app? How are you going to avoid the failures of your competitors? See, a lot of work to do even before you start coding. There are many informative digests, like 14 Best free photo sharing apps for iPhone & Android, for your consideration. They’ll help you navigate through the sea of those products.  

The sea of social networks

Stage 2. First baby steps on the technical playground

We already did choose the mobile platform that your application will work on – Android. About time to set up a mind on which programming languages will you be using along with useful tools and which app development approach you’re gonna pick.

  1. Get yourself familiar with Javascript (Java Development Kit with included options “Source code” and “Public JRE”), HTML5 (this coding is really easy!), and CSS. Here is a code example for UI Layout in HTML of the existing application, check it out. And there is also an Android tutorial on building apps with content sharing. Those lessons help to learn how to create apps that share data between themselves and various devices.
  2. Also, in order to build an app for sharing photos, you’ll need an Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and Integrated Development Environment (IDE), like Eclipse app from Google. And Android Virtual Device (AVD) paring with an Android Developer tools plugin will give you a way to test the beta version of your app.
  3. The native approach is more stable and reliable, in fact, but a little more expensive than a hybrid one. Still, your choice should be based on the technical requirements of the future app and the functions you want to implement.   

Stage 3. Marketing strategy, Revenue model, Metrics

All professional are aware that coding is just a part of the development process, what matters as much is the business plan. A strong marketing campaign is a must-do if one wants a product to be successful and moneymaking – a well-structured revenue model has to represent all the key performance indicators (KPIs). How will you measure the profit? In which way do you plan to engage the users and make them stay with your app?

To help you sort this out we prepared an article about the most valuable and common mobile metrics. Also, think ahead about the ways to monetize your photo-sharing app. there some cool options like various ads, premium app features, in-app purchases, selling of the stock photos, exclusive offers for a period of time and more.

Stage 4. Security Practices

To develop private photo sharing app means to create a fully secure mobile product, so no thief could get access to user’s personal photo storage, information, etc. The basics you should learn is to protect the code from reverse engineering and tampering by obfuscation techniques, and do not store the code and the encryption keys in one place, more so, in the app itself.

Choose only a trustworthy third-party API that would protect the data on its servers, and use certified SSL transportation protocols. To minimize the risks of information exposure, find out more about how to increase the mobile app security.

Stage 5. Wireframe, Prototype, MVP – Three Musketeers

Now, it’s time to build the first working prototype of your product. Keeping in mind that you have to provide a super catchy and easy-to-use UI/UX interface with a cool name, user-friendly icon high-quality inner design (minimum clicks – maximum value). Simple, comfy, attractive – these are your three wales when you’re doing the wireframing. Where to start?

You can train yourself and play a little with the help of the online services like Appy Pie’s Photo Sharing App Builder, etc. But the one thing should be defined beforehand – the app’s features and functions that are gonna represent its purpose. And you have to offer something unique and different so that the customers would leave other applications in your benefit. What can it be? Well, anything from new social integrations to sophisticated editing instruments, customization etc.

The must-have features for the photo-sharing app are:  

  • Registration and Logging in (the ability to log in via profiles on Facebook, Twitter, email etc.)
  • User’s Profile (nickname, picture, general information)
  • Easy integration with other Social Media networks
  • Options to take or upload pictures and post them with short description, tags and people mentioning
  • Digital tools and filters for editing
  • Comfy image sharing with individuals and with groups / chats
  • Commenting, Messaging, Liking, Reposting and Following options
  • Search option by parameters like usernames, tags or locations
  • Geolocation
  • News Feed for a user to catch up with other friends
  • Push notifications

It’s just a sketch, as you see, there is a place for new ideas and creativity, all is up to you. But don’t forget, that each feature – is a “plus” to the final price of the app, so pick only those that are gonna result in a money flow for your profit.

When you’re done choosing the needed features it’s wise to build and run an MVP, so that you can test the working abilities of your app and gather some feedback. Only the customers could say what is good and what is definitely wrong in your product, which will navigate you towards necessary improvements or concept altering.

Stage 6. Press Kit, Marketplace, Promotion

Like with any other application, you should start promoting the product long before its launch day (3-6 months), engaging users in the development process and testing the prototype. Use the social media marketing which is the fastest and totally free way to reach out a huge number of your potential customers and show them the advantages of the new app. Pursue them to talk about your creation and spread the word among their acquaintances. Our article about mobile app development will tell you more regarding listening to your audience and making regular updates post-launch.

As for that day when you pass the final version of the product to the Marketplace, it’s recommended to make a nice and visually informative press kit. Gathering all needed data in one place, you’ll be confident and prepared to answer any questions while presenting your stylish application to Google Play Market.

Final Thought

Surely, the price of the described product highly depends on the complexity of the project and the app design in general. And the service of the qualified mobile development company is costly, but also it’s an insurance that, in the end, you’ll get a fully functional, thoroughly tested and reliable product. This way, you’ll save yourself a huge amount of time and avoid the unpleasant failures during the development process. So, it’s a wise decision to hand the job over to professionals.

What can we say about the expenses in this case? If you’re determined to develop a photo-sharing app, based on all of these stages we discussed above, and the complexity of your project along with the hourly rate of the mobile developers you hire, photo sharing app development cost can waver between $30,000 for the simplest app and up to $100,000-150,000 for more advanced and sophisticated one.

Just share with us your idea, the rest is the responsibility of our qualified team, while you’ll be able to follow every stage of the development process and make whatever changes you want.

Tecsynt mobile development company

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