How much does it cost to make an app?
You have just read the number top-one question in our chart of the most frequently asked questions. So let's be honest, everything has its price tag. When it comes to creating mobile apps, the time-proven saying 'you get what you pay for' is fully justified. The response to this intriguing question is usually 'It depends', which raises more questions than answers.
You probably have two questions mind: 'How much money does it cost to make an app?' and 'What does the price depend on?' and search for the answers on the internet. On the web you may come across a few different websites aimed at estimating mobile app development costs, but they are nothing more than a marketing move to attract your attention with brief questions about your requirements. The estimation you receive will not show you the real picture.
In a nutshell, prices of a product can vary from €4,000-€250,000. Quite a significant gap, isn't it? Here we will try to identify the main drivers of mobile app development.
Learn the price right off the bat
Fill in a short contact form to get a free of charge consultation and project cost estimation.
Thousands of companies around the world claim to be the best app developers and guarantee they can deliver the best solution. Well-established or recently founded companies, experienced or ambitious, local or foreign, large or small, high-priced or cheap so many parameters to consider. No wonder that such an enormous selection may confuse not only startupers, but also experienced entrepreneurs.
How Much Does an App Cost to Create: Time and Money Issues
To answer this question we need to know that not all mobile apps are equal. And the inequality is not only in the platform that it is developed for. The lowdown of iOS application development as well as an Android one is counted with the time needed to implement certain app features. So let's create a classification based on the moderate time needs.
- A basic app an application with simple functionality that requires approximately 500-700 hours on development.
- A medium complexity app takes from 700 to 1000 hours.
- A complex time-consuming app in most cases exceeds 1200 hours on development.
What Affects Mobile Application Costs?
When you set out to develop an app, you cannot expect your software development company to inform you about the development costs right off the bat. There is no rate list for the applications' development and everything depends on various factors. Surely before you will be sent a bill, the team of developers will estimate how many hours were required to implement your specifications. Still, the most significant factors influencing average development costs are:
- Features and functionality
- Customization of visual design
- Backend infrastructure and app administration
- Location and structure of a development team
- App maintenance costs
Features and Functionality
To know the answer to the question: 'What does it cost to create an app?', you should find out how complex the application you are about to build is. Functionality, as well as number and the complexity of implemented features are the biggest cost drivers in app development. Screens, buttons, fields involved, the amount of logic required matter a lot.
Well then, it's time to discover what features influence the complexity of the whole app. As we mentioned before, implementation of some features can be significantly lengthy, while others are relatively short and simple. Depending on the complexity of solutions, developers need to use third-party API or code from scratch. Simpler solutions, in turn, require standard instruments and engage native features.
User and social involvement
User engagement may take place in any aspect of an app performing authorisation, networking, notifications and many more. User authorisation, for instance, can be either simple or complex. Adding such functionality as password recovery, storing passwords, sophisticated visual design or login via social networks results in cost increase. Involvement tools, as emails, push notifications, social sharing are commonly used in consumer apps. An app integration with social networks: commenting, sharing, liking, etc. is obviously a bonus for modern apps. So is adding such functionality as social media ons, payment features or chats, demands integration with third-party frameworks or libraries.
In-App purchases support and location based services
PayPal, Google Wallet, credit cards are extremely widespread forms of payment within apps. Every payment processing method demands extra time for implementation into an app. If you would like to use location data, simple detecting and mapping is get-at-able, but implementing emerging technology, like iBeacon and geofencing, is rather time-consuming. Anyway, integrating any or all of these options drive up the cost of an app.
Using native device features
The development of the use of device facilities is becoming more and more obscure. A few years ago, app software that reached out to device hardware was confined to dialing, network running, low energy Bluetooth, accelerometer, camera and location information. Presently we deal with multiple NFC (near field communication) chips, payment systems and innovations are moving on. Normally, for creating apps with access to mobile device features we use platform-specific APIs. With the emergence of new features, there is a need of introducing new APIs, against which the developers haven't yet developed. Thus, developing time increases, which affects the total cost.
Customization of Visual Design
Creating a unique user interface design is a complicated deed that provides additional expenses to your project. The cheaper variant suggests using OS-supplied items and building screens of standard elements. The quantity of screens is also a determining factor.
Are you thinking of creating an iOS app? Maybe your app is meant to work on Android OS as well? So, you should know the cost to create an Android and iPhone apps. Making a decision on which platform to start from, app owners try to take into consideration such factors as iOS and Android market share, device fragmentation and prevalence, but the most meaningful is that developing mobile applications for these platforms differs greatly. These platforms take over different programming languages, have different SDKs and utilize different development tools.
The question comes up: is there any price difference in developing apps for iOS or Android? Actually, no. In case you are creating an app for a single platform, there is no significant price discrepancy in the costs of creating Android and iOS apps. But if you want your application to support two or more platforms, get ready to pay more money for development.
However, if your aim is to have both iOS and Android apps, cross-platform or a hybrid app development is a good choice. The problem is that usually you need to have a separate team for any particular platform and the app creation cost is doubled. If an app is hybrid, you have one team working on it.
Now, let’s find out who are the members of the development team.
If you work with an agency, business analysis is an essential step to identify tech and business requirements before proceeding with development costs.
A Business Analyst is a person responsible for the following:
- Gathering requirements
- Identifying tech and business problems
- Analyzing competitors
- Defining project value
- Writing project specification
All this is a frame of the planning phase. Thorough planning is key to avoiding costly changes to the scope and misunderstandings during the development.
In other words, the work of Business Analysts influences the cost of developing an app.
Beautiful design is everything to users these days. And it’s barely possible to build a great product without an experienced designer who’d offer UI/UX design services.
The designer’s responsibilities include:
- Analysis of similar applications
- Analysis of user preferences and pains
- Creation of wireframes
- Creation of final design
So, you should also include rates of UI/UX designers in the app cost breakdown.
Mobile app engineer
Depending on what platforms you’re going to release the app on, you’ll need from one to several iOS and/or Android developers. Their main task is to build and publish the application considering all the tech and business peculiarities described in the specification.
Quality Assurance engineers check the application’s stability performing regression, load, smoke, and other types of tests. They also check the UI and other app components for compliance with the specification.
Project Managers coordinate the work of the entire team and make sure the product will be ready in time and comply with all the requirements. In turn, the right management approach has a great impact on mobile application development costs.
Cost of Maintaining an App
One of the last points to consider is how much does it cost to maintain an app. In many cases, the app maintenance cost may account for 15% to 20% of the original price of development.
App maintenance is a must-have service even if you have no plans scaling up and adding new features into the application.
Maintenance includes the following:
- Continuous bug fixing
- Improving stability and performance
- Code optimization
- Adding support for latest OS versions
- Developing new features
- Supporting the latest versions of third-party services
That’s why the cooperation with your tech partner or development team doesn’t stop right after the product readiness. It’s a continuous process, and every software development company has its terms of post-release support.
How Much Does It Cost to Create an App: Total Cost
How much do apps cost to make at Berg Media Group? We provide full-cycle development services. Therefore, the process of mobile apps development follows through these stages:
Depending on the requirements for any specific project, the development stage may include implementing features, customized app infrastructure and app administration mechanisms. Additionally, post-release services, like app promoting and maintenance, can also be provided. Check out our average time share estimate of each development stage.
According to the complexity of your project, the team structure can also vary. The number of developers and designers, the presence of admin panel designers and backend developers is very flexible and negotiable. However, a project manager to coordinate the workflow and perform smooth communication is essential.
When we start our cooperation, we make a rough estimate according to your requirements and the description of your idea. We determine the approximate number of hours required to develop the application. Having received your approval we move on to detailed estimation, building app logic, wireframes and creating detailed project documentation.