What Makes a First-rate Mobile App Development Company?

2018 was a blockbuster year for mobile in all kinds of ways: Global app downloads soared, consumer spend was up, and the average time spent in mobile apps also grew. In this truly mobile-first epoch, there has never been a better time to get into mobile. However, if you’re a brand looking to choose a mobile app development company, the selection process can be very confusing. What are the characteristics you should be looking for when it comes to finding a development partner you can trust?

We set out to find the answers to these questions by scouring app industry award sites, directories, online sentiment, and reviews, as well as conversations on social media.

Here’s what we found:

1) Not Just a Mobile App Development Company

Almost all award-winning app development companies describe themselves as more than a straightforward development solution. Their teams represent mobile product specialists, made up of people from all kinds of backgrounds, who are invested in the projects they’re involved in bringing to life. Each mobile app development company tended to be involved right from the start of the app ideation process, through to post-launch support, and ongoing iterative development.

2) They Know What Makes Them Unique

We also found that each leading mobile app development company we looked into had developed and communicated key aspects that make them unique. By definition, these qualities change according to the mobile app development company in question — sometimes it’s their style of working, the particular makeup of their teams, or where they place particular emphasis when it comes to approach.

9 Champion App Development Companies

To bring our discoveries to life, we’ve hand-picked 9 app development companies that we think epitomize our findings. In no particular order, we’ve dived into the individual characteristics of each mobile app development company to provide insights into their positioning, specialisms, and representative portfolio work.

1. Fueled

“We wake up in the morning to create apps that people will use, apps that make money, apps that top the charts”

Who is Fueled?

USA and London based Fueled is a full-service digital agency that covers not only apps for iOS and Android app development, but also websites, branding and blockchain development.

What’s their thing?

Fueled specializes in building custom apps for clients from scratch and focuses on building apps that do something rather than sell something. They state that a key vision for any new product is to see it become an “essential part of users’ daily lives’ which means they are selective in the projects they choose to build.

Although multi-platform, Fueled started out as an iOS-focused mobile app development company and are today considered one of the leading iPhone app development agencies. Fueled are also working with market leaders Google Home and Amazon Alexa to pair iPhone and Android apps that are already widely used.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • QuizUp’s Trivia game — Fueled created the world’s biggest Trivia game app, which continues to top the Apple & Google Play stores.
  • Afterlight photo editor — Available on the Google Play Store, this app is one of the most downloaded paid apps of all time. While the iOS version already existed, the company turned to Fueled to build their Android version.
  • KeyMe — Key copier app — A great example of Fueled’s interest in practical solutions, this product lets iphone users scan their keys then order a new one from a kiosk.

2. Fuzz

“Creating beautiful, usable products engineered to perform”

Who is Fuzz?

Fuzz is a New York-based mobile app development company that’s been around for more than 14 years. They’ve created more than 300 apps and completed over 500 projects in their time. In 2016, Forrester Research named Fuzz among the “most significant vendors” for designing and developing B2C mobile applications. This mobile app development company has been ranked among the top 5 mobile app developers in New York, and are mentioned as a key player in the Wearable Apps Market Report for 2019–2028.

What’s their thing?

Fuzz’s product teams work in a completely cross-disciplinary way and in two-week sprints. These sprints are categorized according to the discovery, product design or development stages and span the full cycle of app creation. As a client of this mobile app development company, you’ll be presented with mood boards and competitive analysis, UI design and wireframes, proof of concepts and a launch plan. Fuzz also operates a continuous build approach to mobile app development, meaning designs and prototypes are constantly refined as necessary.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • ShakeShack’s order ahead app — A mobile ordering app to save time and order ahead, rather than wait in line.
  • Forever 21’s retail shopping app — Fuzz partnered with Moovweb to create a new content management system for Forever 21, enabling them to scale and localize more effectively.
  • YMCA’s Y-MVP App — An award-winning fitness product designed to encourage youth to engage in physical exercise each day — designed to supersede the previous kiosk model, which required physical check-ins at YMCA kiosks.

3. Dot Com Infoway (DCI)

“360° Mobile & Web solutions to turn your ideas into world-class products and help you reach your target customer”

Who is Dot Com Infoway?

Established in 2000, India, USA & Australia based Dot Com Infoway has grown from 5 to 100+ full-time staff in 2019. With nearly 20 years of experience when it comes to providing outsourced IT services, the company today consists of a talented team of developers, UI and UX designers, SEO experts, marketers and more.

What’s their thing?

DCI’s mobile and web solutions are truly 360° in scope. The agency offers comprehensive web and native app development services, as well as server management, app marketing strategy and delivery, in addition to blockchain development and wallet integration services. DCI are unique in their offer of 24/7 support as well as for their specific experience in providing school management software and providing marketing for the mobile games sector. When it comes to app development and methodology, DCI openly declares a UI-focused design process — starting with a clear definition of business goals, and an understanding of the product’s target users and competition. DCI also stresses the importance of gathering user feedback early in the prototype process so as to inform the design and development process.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • Barotta’s food delivery app — DCI helped to deliver this pre-paid food delivery app, which offers users up to 100 different healthy Barotta combinations and range of convenient online payment options.
  • Media Voice Magazine’s content app — DCI was brought onboard to create the ipad version of this popular Indian publication which covers a range of topics, from business and politics to the arts.
  • Jumbo’s club privilegesDCI worked with The Jump and Spar Privilege Club to create an app that would be easy to use and replace the need for a physical rewards card.

4. Yeti

“We’re dreamers and solution architects with the heart, know-how, and experience to be a true partner on your product development journey”

Who is Yeti?

Yeti is a San-Francisco based software company offering services for rapid application development services as well as software product strategy. They specialize in the areas of IoT, mobile app development, Web & UX.

What’s their thing?

Yeti brands it’s own unique product development methodology as ‘Applied Agile ™ — the team have pioneered this approach for the last 7 years as a way to empower both development teams and executive sponsors. They specialize in working with small teams looking to scale and improve their user experience. In conjunction, they position themselves as a true development partner for businesses looking to deliver striking and standout products. In addition to building data-driven web and mobile apps, Yeti’s experience also encompasses conversational interfaces, interactive kiosks and integrations between devices and apps.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • National Fitness Campaign’s mobile app — Yeti teamed up with the campaign to help promote free fitness and healthy living across 4,000 US based cities and abroad. The app was designed to enable users to engage with their local fitness courts in new ways.
  • PlayStation’s future engagement app — Yeti worked with PlayStation to concept a future product release as a new way to connect gamers with content they care about, while simultaneously rewarding in-game action.
  • Chelsea Handler’s excuse generator appThe ‘Gotta Go’ app was built to supplement comedian Chelsea Handler’s Netflix series. In three taps, the app sends real calls and texts to your phone, providing an excuse for exiting awkward social moments!

5. Citrus Bits

“Pragmatists and idealists; right brains and left brains; minimalists and kitchen sink throwers — we’ve got them all!

Who is Citrus Bits?

San Francisco and Los Angeles based Citrus Bits describe themselves as at the intersection of user-focused design, app development, digital strategy, and emerging technology. This mobile app development company specializes in helping brands maximize the benefits to be had from mobile technology, and have delivered more than 300 successful apps across a range of verticals.

What’s their thing?

CitrusBits emphasizes the diversity of its team and their backgrounds, claiming this helps to foster their in-house freshness regarding ideas, approach, and product development. When it comes to mobile development, CitrusBits specializes both in iOS and Android apps — they also have specific experience in helping enterprises boost productivity through custom solutions for their workforce.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • Fully Raw’s award winning vegan app — Vegan influencer Kristina Carrillo-Bucuram turned to Citrus Bits to create an easy-to-use, clutter-free content app for her followers, featuring recipes, videos, shopping lists & more.
  • Leef’s mobile storage app — Leef’s mobile provides a means for users to transfer, view, edit and share files from their wearable devices and drones, directly to their smartphone.
  • Quicksilver’s inventory management iPad app — Citrus Bit created an order processing and inventory management platform for Quicksilver’s extensive product range — it was designed to integrate with both their POS and SAP.

6. Usemobile

“Think, plan, develop!”

Who is Usemobile?

Usemobile is a Brazilian mobile app development company dedicated to creating state of the art mobile apps that stand out from the rest. The company offers Portuguese and English language capabilities and state their mission as simply to ‘make the best apps’ they can.

What’s their thing?

Usemobile utilizes Java programming for Android native apps and Swift for iOS — they state user experience as a key focus for their developers and ensure friendly layouts throughout their designs. This mobile app development company has specific experience with a range of IOT products, including smartwatch app development and beacon development for stores and events. In order to ensure companies are paying attention to the right metrics, Usemobile uniquely offers a ‘management panel’ which summarizes the main usage statistics of any app they develop.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • 12 Min Book Summary App: Usemobile’s 12min-Book Summary App is available across a number of iOS platforms and won the Editor’s Choice award from Apple. The app works by extracting the greatest ideas from bestselling non-fiction books to create a unique micro-book which can be digested in audio or text form in just 12 minutes. Usemobile also created a Smartwatch app version of this product which you can see here.
  • Kumon Audiobook App: This app was developed for the Latin American branch of Kumon, designed to assist learners of Japanese and English. The app helps users develop their reading, listening, and audio-repetition of these languages by associating the sounds with meaning in a clever way.
  • Gerencianet: Usemobile created this app for one of the biggest payment intermediaries in Brazil — it enables the issuing of tickets without registration fee payment. Vendors using the app only pay a few after they receive a payment from a client and the app enables balance transfers between Gerencianet accounts as well as bank accounts.

7. Savvy Apps

“We’re dreamers, creators, designers, builders. But more than that, we’re mothers, fathers, advocates, friends, travelers, foodies, tech snobs, geeks, artists, athletes, musicians, adventurers, and wild at heart”

Who is Savvy Apps?

Founded in 2009, Virginia-based,mobile app development company Savvy Apps have been producing apps since the early days of the app stores. (They’ve told us they’ve even got the skeuomorphic designs to prove it. A number of guiding principles underpins Savvy App’s approach — among other things, they aim to ‘inspire emotion’, ‘fight for users’ and be ‘frontier dwellers’.

What’s their thing?

Savvy Apps offer the full range of services necessary for designing, creating and maintaining a successful app product. On the development side, they highlight their experience across both iOS and Android development platforms, in addition to web, Vue.js., backend, Firebase, and Estimote Beacon development.

Savvy Apps is really a one-stop shop — if you’re in the ideation stage, their ‘investor kickstart’ model will help you to communicate your app’s story to investors and their ‘concept testing’ will confirm the viability of your product. Once the build process is complete, the AppSavvy team can continue to assist with your marketing strategy, providing guidance on ASO tactics, deep linking, push notifications execution and more.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • Sprynt’s Ride Sharing app — App Savvy worked with on-demand and eco-friendly ridesharing company Sprynt to deliver their iOS app experience, This included support on the branding, analytics and push notification side in addition to development.
  • Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry appShare Our Strength turned to App Savvy for help with the early ideation and Android development of their No Kid Hungry’s ‘Cooking Matters’ app — all part of a wider initiative to help end childhood hunger, by inspiring families to make both healthy and affordable food choices.
  • Optimizing the Motley Fool’s finance app — The Motley Fool enlisted the help of App Savvy to boost engagement among certain segments of its membership base. App Savvy came on board as a dedicated iterative design and development partner.

8. The App Solutions

“We build scalable intelligent web & mobile applications that simplify people’s lives”

Who is The App Solutions?

The App Solutions started as a small but ambitious team of 5 developers in 2014. Since then, they’ve established a number of strategic partnerships as well the high-profile acquisition of Grossum software development which enabled the agency’s expansion into web. Today they house a team of 30+ engineers and offices in two countries (Ukraine and USA).

What’s their thing?

The App Solutions highlights their interest in working with funded startups and enterprises, and companies that are similarly focused on transforming the way people use and interact with technological products and services. They also emphasize their intention to build lifelong relationships with clients, as opposed to delivering one-off development projects. The App Solutions focuses on building intelligence into the products they create. Their team of business analysts is on hand to undertake detailed analysis of the competition and industry landscape, delivering a detailed technical specification of requirements, and their software engineers make use of Big Data analytics, AI and cloud platforms for the building of scalable intelligent products.

Lastly, The App Solutions offers ongoing support to their startup customers, following the lean startup approach of constant iteration — they even guarantee a bug-free app within three months of launching a new product. Their on-site app calculator is quite a neat little tool, check it out here.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • Ernst & Young’s money app — The App Solutions worked with Ernst & Young’s employment team to create this game-changing recruitment app. The product allows existing employees and trainees to find details regarding job openings and recruitment events, as well as communicate directly with the company’s in-house HR representatives.
  • Nioxin’s hairstyle consultancy app — Nioxin approached The App Solutions for help in creating a tool for their salon staff — the android and iOS app takes salon visitors through a series of questions to identify the best fitting product for them.
  • Conectric’s energy usage app — A truly intelligent solution for reducing building energy consumption, The App Solutions provides the software ecosystem required for Conectric’s energy management app. The back-end gathers data from sensors like weather conditions, while the front-end provides features such as thermostat control.

9. Netguru

“Yes, we can build that”

Who is Netguru?

Poland based Netguru began in 2008. Back then, they quickly set a precedent for things to come with the acquisition of their first client, Agora S.A., the biggest publisher in Poland. In 2015 they were named Forbes’ Diamond and have since received positive and comprehensive coverage by the Entrepreneur, The Next Web, TechCrunch, and more.

What’s their thing?

On the mobile app side, Netguru boasts a team of 500+ (UX designers, full-stack developers, QAs, BAs and more). They specialize in providing optimized custom mobile app development solutions for both iOS and Android and highlight their experience with delivering personalized UX for their clients. In addition to the deployment of native technology like Swift, Java, Kotlin and more. Netguru’s development team also has extensive experience with cross-platform hybrid applications using React Native for iOS and Android, or PWAs.

Netguru’s provides an interactive chart of their development process here, a real-life example of their innovative approach to delivering information. By playing with this tool, you’ll see how detailed QA testing is essential to their process — they also emphasise the importance of transparency, security, speed, and building trust with their clients.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • Shine’s self-care app — This unique product offers users motivational text messages and articles which they can choose to share, ‘positive thinking’ audio tracks, and a ‘check-in’ function for users to actively reflect on the positive moments of their day.
  • Countr’s social shopping app — Netguru worked with Manon Roux to deliver a new kind of social shopping platform through Countr. Features implemented include Machine Learning for product discovery and a personalized experience for users based on a well-thought-out recommendation system
  • ShiftWear’s smartsneaker — Netguru was contracted to develop software for the ‘world’s first app-driven ‘smartsneaker’. This fun product offers real-time sneaker customization and a marketplace for these sneaker designs

10. Dom & Tom

“Led by our twin Co-Founders, we are driven by passion, innovation, and the successful collaboration of our team, clients, and users”

Who is Dom & Tom?

Dom & Tom started their mobile app development company in 2009 after identifying a gap in the market when it came to iOS apps. With the twins’ combined experience of software development, finance, and project management, they were perfectly positioned to establish their successful Queens, New York based app development agency.

What’s their thing?

Today Dom & Tom offer web, iPhone and Android development services to Fortune 500 companies as well as innovative startups. They’ve received a plethora of awards from the likes of Inc. 5000 for their rapid growth and strong workplace culture, and they place particular emphasis on pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. In addition to comprehensive app development services, Dom & Tom offer a suite of broader product strategy and planning services to ensure that the end result is a well-crafted mobile app. During the discovery services, they’ll perform competitive analysis, user research and create roadmaps. During the development stage, they emphasize their focus on ‘outcome’ rather than ‘output’, highlighting the support they provide for UX and QA testing. Once the app’s been built and tested, Dom & Tom’s product team will be on hand for any post-launch hosting and maintenance support as well as for product iteration planning.

Which mobile apps did they create?

  • NBA’s Stats-in-A-Box — Dom & Tom worked with the NBA to create a native mobile widget for use on Android & iOS. The product showcases real-time scores and stats for use across partner apps for fans to ensure they’re always up to date.
  • Seventeen Magazine App — Dom & Tom worked closely with America’s popular teenage audience targeted magazine to build a well-thought iOS experience for the brand’s young audience.
  • Smart office Employee app — Designed to increase in-house employee collaboration and foster better productivity, Dom & Tom helped create this inhouse ‘smart office’ app for a global management consulting brand.

Top App Development Resources

In addition to choosing a top-notch mobile app development company, you can build an even better mobile brand for yourself by embracing some of the below additional resources:

Appfutura is a great tool for finding suitable app developers, software development companies and digital marketing agencies wherever you are in the world. Appfutura works closely with all the active firms listed, independently certifying them, and verifying any reviews left for a particular company.

If you’re interested in chatting, networking and swapping ideas with fellow mobile app product specialists, marketers, geeks and growth hackers, we highly recommend the Growmance Slack community. Established by a software company, it’s free to sign up, and you’ll find channels for growth, tech, getting feedback, and more. Further, you can discuss the experiences with particular agencies directly with the community.

Steve P Young’s App Masters Youtube channel is a great place for learning more about mobile app growth hacking — you’ll find info on Advance ASO strategies, vetting app ideas, monetization, and more.


Hopefully, you’ll find this mobile app development company deep-dive insightful. Once you’ve made the crucial decisions regarding your app development, you’ll want to get the right analytics in early and start tracking user behavior and performance. Read this blog next for a run-through of the industry’s top app analytics.

Qualitative app analytics lets you watch user session recordings and touch heatmaps for every screen, for a deep understanding of UX + user behavior. Appsee.com

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