Top App Developers Interview: VOLO

AppFutura
Published on Mar 23, 2021 in App Development

Gayane Melkonyan is the Content Strategist at VOLO, a unique custom software development company for Enterprise and Mobile App Development, AI/ML and IoT for Mobile Apps, IT Management & DevOps.

Founded in 2006, VOLO currently has more than 250 employees and offices in Armenia and Ukraine. Here's what Gayane Melkonyan, who joined VOLO on 2019, had to say about the company and the mobile world.

Tell us a little bit about your previous work:

Most of my work experience is connected with IT. I started off as a Content Manager at a Digital Marketing Agency, then moved on to a software startup, where I was a Digital Marketing Manager, and, for the past 2+ years I’ve been working at VOLO as a Content Strategist.

What does your mobile app development company do?

VOLO is not a mobile-only company, we offer tailored development services to our clients, albeit we have a separate mobile division to cover all their needs. In mobile, we offer both native and cross-platform development services. To make our clients’ lives as easy as possible, we provide services that cover the full app development lifecycle: Business Analysis and Product Development Strategy; Wireframing and Prototyping; UI/UX and Brand Identity Development; Solution Architecture Consulting; App Development for mobile, web, and wearable IoT devices; QA, Backend and API Development; DevOps and IT Management; and Maintenance and Support.

What clients have you worked for?

We’ve worked for a wide range of clients from private entities that required complex payment systems or mobile versions of their enterprise-level applications to startups that were challenging the market with entirely fresh ideas.

If you had to choose one category, what kind of app do you think is your mobile app development company’s specialty?

While we offer both native and hybrid apps, our preference lies with native development because of the superior performance and user experience that it enables.

What is the average budget of the mobile apps you develop?

The average budget of our mobile app varies, depending not only on the scope of the project, but also on whether the client requires backend development or not. We have a blog coming up that basically reiterates this idea. Can we build an app for $10K-$20K? Sure we can, but we don’t want to. It’s impossible to deliver a quality product within that range – a product that we would be proud of and that would bring us more business down the line. Our success is dependent on our reputation, so, as an outsourcing house, even though we offer quality affordable solutions to our partners, our rates are not in the lowest percentile.

Do you develop all mobile apps in-house or do you outsource some parts of the process?

Many companies outsource parts of the process for various reasons – it could be for the sake of cutting costs by hiring freelancers instead of having in-house employees or maybe simply because they don’t have the needed resources to cover all their bases. But it’s not the route we’ve taken

As I’ve already described, one of our main selling points is guaranteeing quality and security to our partners, and a big part of achieving that has to do with the fact that we cover the entire app development lifecycle. We are our client’s single source of accountability, whether it comes to the actual development, deployment, testing, or support and maintenance.

Let’s focus on iOS and Android mobile app development. Which are the Pros and Cons of each platform?

In terms of development, the platforms are highly competitive – they are really neck and neck when it comes to adopting modern development technologies. We saw both platforms leave their older development languages, Objective-C and Java, and switch to newer ones - Swift and Kotlin. And both platforms are now adopting new UI building concepts, moving from imperative to declarative UI (SwiftUI and Jetpac Compose).

While there are some pros and cons to each platform, there isn’t something that clearly puts one over the other. But just to note a few:

Android pros

  • Great community that creates tons of libraries and helps each other
  • A lot of open source code (Well, the platform itself is an open source platform.)

Android cons

  • Many of different devices that sometimes can have different behaviors
  • Low-end devices with poor performance

iOS pros

  • High-end, good quality devices

iOS cons

  • Closed-source platform, development can be done only on Mac OS

Which one will evolve more within the next 5 years?

The short answer is both. Looking at the history on how they have evolved so far and how they’ve carved out their very generous market shares, it’s clear that both platforms are currently in high demand and it’s a safe bet that it’ll remain that way. Both are backed by tech giants like Google and Apple that have nearly unlimited resources to pump into the development of their respective platforms.

Which device is the best in the market right now? The one you feel is a must have and why.

In terms of Android, there are many good devices so it’s hard to tell which one is the best. Our development team largely prefers the One Plus series as the price/quality is very good and the Android is almost the vanilla one. Google’s Pixel series are also good. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with most of the Samsung devices.

As opposed to Android, it is not that hard to point out the best iOS device in the market. At the moment, it is iPhone 12 Pro (Max) which is Apple’s flagship product. But we consider all devices starting from iPhone X and running on the latest major iOS versions as good devices.

And which device do you feel more comfortable developing an app for? Why?

Well, for Android, it’s not a matter of being comfortable, it’s going with the market need, and the demand is usually for every Android device that targets Android 5.0 and above. But, overall, the devices that have Android versions that are closer to vanilla android are less error prone and the ones that are quite modified (like Xiaomi, etc.) are more error prone.

For iOS it’s preferable to work with the latest two major OS versions (13.*, 14.*) to be able to support Apple’s latest frameworks and features. In terms of devices, the choice may be based on the hardware (for example, not all devices support NFC, etc.) or based on the screen size. Usually UI fits best on devices with >5.85 inch screen size.

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