How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mobile App?
The most frequently asked question we receive is "How much does it cost to build an app?"
Well, it depends. Why?
Just like for many other technology development services, there is no fixed price to create a mobile app, but we can estimate a price range depending on the complexity of the app.
In this article, we guide you through the different stages of the app development process and explain how these influence the final price.
How much does it cost to build an app?
Nowadays, we use mobile apps in most areas of our lives so it is no wonder that app development is growing exponentially. Big companies spend huge amounts on developing captivating mobile apps that keep users glued to their smartphone. Innovators, entrepreneurs and SME’s can also get into the mobile app arena with much more modest budgets.
The huge interest in app development and the significant variance in spend are reasons why people ask “How much does it cost to build an app?”
Understanding the major factors influencing mobile app development costs will help you predict what funding your app project is likely to require. It will help you make the most cost-effective decisions and give you the best return on your development spend.
Factors that influence the cost of an app
One of the first steps in the app development process is to decide which platform(s) to build the app for. Do you need an Android or an iOS app? Or both? A native or a hybrid app?
- Web App - Web apps are generally the cheapest genre of applications used on smart devices. However, they are also the most limited in terms of design and functionality. They are basically just mobile friendly websites.
- Cross-platform (Hybrid) App – These are constructed using specialist mobile optimised technologies to operate on multiple platforms. Because they deploy a single code for different platforms, they are quicker and less expensive to build than native apps. There may be some performance compromises though when compared to native apps.
- Native App – Given that these are specifically developed for individual operating systems, native apps generally deliver the best user experience. However, native app development necessitates the building of a different version of the app for every mobile operating system such as Android, iOS and Windows. This is the most time consuming and expensive form of app development.
Backend, Admin Panel & APIs
Most mobile apps are dependent on things happening behind the scenes that users can’t see. This is called the backend. App owners and others with access permissions can generally view and manage what is happening in the backend through an Admin Portal. Elements of the frontend and backend need to communicate with each other using ‘Application Programming Interfaces’ (APIs).
The administration panel is very important because it allows you to manage the app and user activity. The admin panel and associated API’s almost always require customised development. They are created based on your particular needs and can be more or less complex depending on the type of application and the levels of insight and control you wish to exercise.
The backend, admin panel and APIs are major contributing factors to the overall cost of an app development project. Normally, the more complicated your frontend, the more complex will be its backend..
When we talk about app design, essentially there are three elements that need to be considered - the User Interfaces (screen designs) commonly referred to as UI, the User Flow and the User Experience (how the user interacts with the application) commonly referred to as UX. The benefits and satisfaction that the user experiences from an app are heavily dependent on the quality of the UI and UX. Consequently, design quality is critical to attracting downloads, retaining users and maximising usage levels.
As a guide, you can assume that design time and cost will be proportionate to the sophistication of the UI, the number of screens required in the application and the complexity of the User Flow. Typically, design time will represent 15% - 25% of the overall development project cost.
Features & Functions
The cost of an app largely depends on the number and type of features present in the app. Needless to say, if the app contains lots of complex features, it will likely be expensive to build.
What kind of features are complex? Well, features that are innovative tend to be time consuming. Features that are dependent on sophisticated data tend to be time consuming. Features that require emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality also tend to be time consuming.
Also consider the number of features in the application specification. Let’s, for example, consider User Registration for a mobile app. Does the user need to register as a user? If yes, is a simple email or phone number validated registration sufficient? Or do you need to add Google or Apple Account based registration and validation? Or do you further need to add facial or fingerprint validation based registration? The point is that, even something as fundamental as a User Registration system can range in development time requirement from a few days to a few weeks.
Other elements that have an impact on an application build cost include….
- Programming language used
- The infrastructural framework requirements
- User data safety requirements
- User interaction functionality such as gesturing, shaking etc
- Advertising integrations
- Subscription Payment gateways
- Variation in user access to features based upon subscription status
- Location based services
Create the best app for your business
Given the number of factors involved, it’s impossible for us to provide any kind of definitive guidance on how much it will cost to develop your app without an understanding of your requirements.
In principle, over the last three years, the average cost of Appify developed apps looks something like -
Low Complexity / Limited Features = £18,000 - £21,000 / €21,000 - €25,000 / $25,000 - $30,000
Medium Complexity / Moderate Features = £21,000 - £30,000 / €25,000 - €35,000 / $30,000 - $50,000
High Complexity / Multiple Features = £30,000+ / €35,000+ / $50,000+
Because of our unique blended services app development methodologies, our costs tend to be lower than high competency competitors.
At Appify we offer a complete app development service which consists of:
- Analysis & Planning
- App design
- App development
- Technical assistance
We can guide you through the entire app development process and provide you with an app that fully represents the value of your brand and drives your commercial objectives.
Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your project details. You will receive a detailed quote to get you a clear and complete idea of the app development plan we have designed for you.