How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

Coming up with an app idea is easy, figuring out what to do next or questions like ‘how much does it cost to build an app’ or ‘how much does it cost to create an app’ comes next to everyone’s mind.

In today’s tech-savvy and competitive world, it is crucial for every business owner to invest in a mobile application. But how much investment does a mobile application needs in reality? Is it $10,000 or $100,000 or even more? To be honest, there is no particular figure which can represent the development cost of a mobile application. There are several factors which affect the app development cost and therefore, it can vary from $2,000 to $100,000 and even more.

These factors vary from app to app. For instance,  a simple camera with customized filters will cost less than a camera which has advanced features such as social media integration, advanced editing options, and cloud storage. Picsart, for instance. Similarly, the development cost of a shopping portal will be higher than a simple file manager.

Therefore, in this blog post, we are going to share a list of several factors which can influence the development cost of your application. We have only added the most common factors, and there may be other factors which can increase or decrease the app development cost.

Here is a List Of Several Factors Which Influences the Development Cost of Your Application

1. Which Platform Do You Want Your App to Run On?

Choosing the platform is the first step towards deciding the development cost. Here’s an in-depth platform-wise cost comparison of app development process. For instance, whether you want a native application or a hybrid application. A native application is platform dependent and can only run on a particular platform. However, hybrid applications run on various platforms.

  • Android

Since Android is the widely used mobile operating system across the globe, many business owners prefer investing in Android development. However, the development cost of an Android can be a bit higher when compared to that of IOS. JAVA being a bulkier programming language requires more lines of codes which eventually increases the time taken to develop process. Furthermore, the testing phase in case of Android is time-consuming.

  • IOS

The programming languages, Swift and Objective C, used for building an IOS application are simpler than JAVA, which means developers can get the job done by writing fewer lines of codes only. As a result, the development time and cost decreases. However, the hourly rates for IOS app development are relatively higher than that of Android. The programming languages, Swift and Objective C, used for building an IOS application are simpler than JAVA, which means developers can get the job done by writing fewer lines of codes only. As a result, the development time and cost decreases. However, the hourly rates for IOS app development are relatively higher than that of Android.

  • Hybrid Application (Cross-Platform Apps)

One of the ways to lower the cost of app development is developing hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are cross-platform apps which can run on several platforms, which means that a single set of code will work for different platform. Even though hybrid apps lack a couple of features and functionalities, they are still better a better option for business owners with a tight budget.

2. The complexity of mobile application influences the development cost of a mobile application

Complexity is another crucial factor which influences the development cost of a mobile application. We have divided complexity into three different categories, i.e., simple, moderate and complex applications. The apps cost varies as per the complexity of the application. For instance, a simple camera application with a couple of customized filters will cost less than a camera which has cloud storage and social media integration as well. Let’s take a brief look at each complexity individually.

  • Simple apps with regular features

As the name suggests, these are simple apps having a couple of regular features. These apps usually rely on the firmware or the hardware for their working. For instance, an app which uses a mobile phone’s flashlight to work as a torch. Since there is no database integration or other advanced features, the app development cost is relatively low.

  • Moderate apps with some advanced features like payment options, UI, and more

These applications have a few advanced features such as payment options, customized user interface, database integration, customer login, cloud storage, etc. For instance, Amazon Kindle, an online ebook store which provides a plethora of ebooks sorted using user’s interests. The app also has a payment gateway using which user can purchase his favorite book. The app development cost of these type of applications is higher than a simple application.

  • Complex apps with some more advanced features that include API Integration, AR, VR, and more

These type of applications have advanced features, and therefore their development cost is higher than other apps. Third Party App Integration, Secured Payment Gateways, AR/VR Integration, Encryption, real-time chat support, multi-language support are some of the advanced features which increase the complexity as well as the development cost of a mobile application.

3. App Features you want to integrate

Now, that you have decided the platform and the complexity of your application, it is time to choose the features which you want to integrate into your application. As we mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of features which you can add into your mobile app. However, make sure to choose features which are suitable as well as have a dedicated role as per your business requirements as with every added feature, you’ll have to spend extra dollars. Here are some of the commonly used features which most of the mobile applications have.

  • Design of your app

Your app’s success rate highly depends on its UI/UX design. The more interactive and engaging the app is, more are the chances for a user to stick to it. However, to create such apps, you’ll need to add more pages, which means the developers would have to spend more hours on the development process, and eventually the app cost will increase.

Furthermore, the large number of pages will also require easy navigation, which is again a time-consuming process for the developers. Therefore, every single element of the designing process is just adding extra dollars to the final price of app development

  • Third Party App Integration

Third-party app integration means navigating users to another app’s interface, without making him exit the current app. For instance, you want to create a shopping portal which requires the user to login with either a Google or Facebook account. Now, rather than making him switch between the apps, the developers can integrate both Gmail and Facebook’s API, allowing the user to sign in directly.

While the feature is quite handy, it requires the owner to spend extra bucks for the development process as integrating third-party app APIs increases the development hours.

  • AR/VR support

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are dominating every other technology in the field of entertainment. Whether you want to build a mobile game with AR/VR support or a streaming app which allows the users to watch their favorite movies using a VR headset, you’ll have to pay extra dollars to the developers for integrating these technologies.

However, the AR/VR experience is not only limited to the entertainment industry. For instance, IKEA has allowed its customers to make better shopping decisions by integrating AR support to its IOS application. The users can virtually place IKEA’s products in their apartment using the IKEA app. However, the development cost of developing such applications can go as high as $70,000.

  • Database Connectivity

There are two types of database connectivities used for mobile application development, i.e., static and dynamic database. Static database means all the data is stored locally on the user’s device, and the user can access it without an active internet connection. Developers can create a static database using simple database engines, SQLite, for instance. It requires fewer development hours to develop static applications, and therefore the development cost is lower.

The dynamic database, on the other hand, is stored on an external server, and the user will need an internet connection to fetch the data. Applications such as e-commerce stores commonly use the dynamic database to store user information. In such cases, developers have to spend extra hours to maintain a smooth flow of data between the app and the external server. As a result, the app development cost increases as well.

  • App Security

While developing an app, it is essential to provide a security mechanism to secure user’s information, mainly if it involves financial transactions. If you want to build a healthy relationship with your customers, it is crucial that you invest in integrating a security tool.  For instance, if your app involves in-app purchases, then you must provide a secured transactional process. User’s personal information, bank details, location, address are some of the stats which are extremely vulnerable to threats, if not secured properly.

Encryption is another security technique used to secure user’s information from hackers. Encryption is quite a handy feature for chat messengers which involves an end-to-end conversation. Once the data would be encrypted only authorized users can access it.

Furthermore, If your mobile app has a user login system, it will require a user authorization system which checks if the user is authorized to access the information or not.

The cost of integrating all these security tools is high, and therefore the cost of developing the mobile application also increases.

  • Payment Gateway Integration

Let us say you want to launch an e-commerce store with an option of online payment. Now, rather than designing a payment gateway from scratch, it is wise to integrate third-party payment gateways which are already available and provide a secured transactional process. There are several payment gateways available worldwide, and you choose anyone as per your business requirements.

However, integrating a payment gateway will also increase the app development cost as the developers would have to spend extra hours designing a format in which the app sends and receives requests from the payment gateway.  In a conversation with a group of developers, they explained how integrating payment gateways add 40-50 more development hours.

  • Push Notifications

Today almost 90% of businesses utilize push notifications to tell the customers about their latest updates. For instance, a seller has added a new product to your e-commerce store, and you want to update the customer. However, there are several types of push notifications, i.e., text notifications, image notifications, and notifications with action buttons. Furthermore, an analysis is involved in deciding when and whom to send notifications. These all factors can affect the entire app development cost.

  • Access to Smartphone’s Firmware

Many apps rely on the smartphone’s sensor for their functionality. A food delivery app, for instance, needs to access GPS to detect user’s current location to search nearby restaurants. The development and testing phase of such an application can take longer than a regular app as the type of sensors varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and the developers have to test the app for each sensor individually.

  • Multi-Language Support

If an app needs to support various languages, a lot of work needs to be done by the developers. For instance, while adding multi-language support,  the user interface needs to be readjusted for each language individually. It can take about 10-15 development hours to adjust and refine the app interface for a single language. So, if you want your app to support multi-languages, be ready to spend extra dollars on the development process.

  • App Maintenance Cost

Your investment does not end with uploading your application on the play/app store. If anything, it’s just the end of a phase. From here onwards, you need to invest in maintaining the app. Maintenance involves several factors such as removing existing bugs, adding new pages, updating UI, etc. According to professional developers, the maintenance cost can be the 20% of what you have paid for the app development per year.

4. Who do You Hire Matters?

When it comes to hiring developers, you have two options, either freelance developers or professional app development agencies. Always remember your decision will not only affect the app development cost, but it’s success rate as well.

While hiring freelance developers can be inexpensive, the work of professional agencies is much reliable. Reason being, unlike freelance developers, app development agencies have a dedicated team of developers, designers, and testers.

Each team has expertise and experience in their field, and therefore you can expect quality work from them. Even though freelance developers can get the job done, but you’ll have to hire developers, designers, and testers separately which is nothing but a time-consuming process. Furthermore, app development agencies will guide you with the best features as per your business requirements. Therefore, if budget is not an issue for you, we recommend hiring professional app development agencies.

Furthermore, app development agencies will guide you with the best features as per your business requirements. Therefore, if budget is not an issue for you, we recommend hiring professional app development agencies.

Cost Breakdown for Native App Development: Android and iPhone

Project Small MVP Small Enterprise Medium MVP Medium Enterprise Large MVP Large Enterprise
Discovery and Wireframing $1,500 $2,500 $2,500 $3,500 $5,000 $9,000
App Screen Designs $2,000 $3,000 $3,500 $5,000 $5,000 $9,000
iOS native development $9,000 $11,000 $37,000 $45,000 $60,000 $90,000
Android native development $9,000 $11,000 $37,000 $45,000 $60,000 $90,000
Back-end Programing, Database and APIs $5,000 $7,000 $9,000 $10,000 $12,000 $12,000
Application Administration N/A $7,500 $9,000 $15,000 $10,000 $20,000
Quality Assurance and Refinements iOS $2,000 $2,500 $5,000 $6,500 $7,000 $9,000
Quality Assurance and Refinements Android $2,000 $2,500 $5,000 $6,500 $7,000 $9,000
Deployment and Cloud $1,500 $2,000 $2,000 $3,000 $2,000 $3,000
Total (One Platform) $21,000 $35,500 $68,000 $81,000 $101,000 $152,000
Total (Android and iPhone) $32,000 $49,000 $110,000 $125,500 $168,000 $251,000

 

Cost Breakdown for Hybrid App Development: Android & iPhone

Project Small MVP Small Enterprise Medium MVP Medium Enterprise Large MVP Large Enterprise
Discovery and Wireframing $1,500 $2,500 $2,500 $3,500 $5,000 $7,500
App Screen Designs $2,000 $3,000 $3,500 $6,000 $5,000 $9,000
Hybrid App Development using PhoneGap technology $10,000 $12,000 $38,000 $45,000 $65,000 $100,000
Back-end Programing, Database and APIs $5,000 $7,000 $9,000 $10,000 $12,000 $12,000
Application Administration N/A $7,500 $9,000 $15,000 $10,000 $20,000
Quality Assurance and Refinements $2,000 $4,000 $5,000 $7,000 $9,000 $11,000
Deployment and Cloud $1,500 $2,500 $2,000 $3,000 $2,000 $3,000
Total (Android & iPhone) $22,000 $38,500 $69,000 $89,500 $108,000 $162,500

 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire Mobile App Developers

iPhone/iOS App Developers Cost – Hourly Rate

Region Platform Hourly Rate
North America iOS $150
Australia iOS $110
United Kingdom iOS $70
South America iOS $50
Eastern Europe iOS $35

Android App Developers – Hourly Rate

Region Platform Hourly Rate
North America Android $170
Australia Android $110
United Kingdom Android $70
South America Android $40
Eastern Europe Android $35

How Much Does it Cost to Hire Mobile App Developers India

 

iPhone/iOS App Developers India Cost – Hourly Rate

Region Platform Hourly Rate
India iOS $20

Android App Developers India Cost – Hourly Rate

Region Platform Hourly Rate
India Android $25

  

Conclusion – How much does it exactly cost to build an app

So, how much does it exactly cost to build an app? As we mentioned earlier, there is no exact figure which can describe the app development cost. However, by analyzing the above factors and country you choose to hire the developers as per your business requirements, you can calculate an approximation cost for your app.

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