How much to Make an App?

how much does it cost to build an app

June 27, 2020

Reading time about 14 minutes

Did you know…

  • There are over 3.5 billion mobile internet users. (Source: Statista)
  • 178.1 billion mobile app downloads registered in 2017 (Source: Google Research)
  • Consumers primarily use apps to receive deals and offers (68%), for the flexibility to buy anytime (64%), and to compare products (62%) (Source: Clutch)

An Ultimate Guide to Know How Much Does It Cost to Make an App

Undoubtedly, websites offer numerous benefits to strengthen customer experiences, however, depending solely on online presence is no longer sufficient. Customers demand convenience. Instant access to information and the ability to search anything, anywhere makes them happy and satisfied. Mobile apps give you a terrific opportunity to engage, assist and influence potential customers.

The mobile revolution has completely transformed marketing strategies of many businesses. Investing in mobile strategy has become a worthwhile approach to accomplish business goals in fleeting time.
Before we initiate our discussion on app development cost, we should know “How mobile apps help your business to succeed?”

mobile app development cost

Core Features That Affect Mobile App Development Cost Estimation

As the cost of developing an app depends on several factors like business logic, features, developer’s location, etc., no mobile app development company can give exact app cost estimation. However, having an idea about app functionality can help in finding the estimated app cost needed to build your app with the features you want. The more features you need to add in your mobile app, the more time will it take by the development team to build, which will eventually add the cost.

Let’s find the list of core features and number of development hours associated to help you the get the answer of –How much to make an app will cost?

  • Login Functionality

If you are building an app, you would want your customers to register via mobile number or email. Login functionality is one of the main features of the app that helps in identifying the customer with a unique ID. For easy access to an app, customers can create a profile on the app or sign up through public data collected using social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Building this feature will need technologies like Facebook SDK, Instagram API for integration, which will take 4+ hours for UX/UI design, 8+ hours for backend development using Node JS and 8+ hours for feature integration.

  • Push Notifications

Customers today are busier than ever due to their hectic lifestyle. Building an app with push notifications enable customers to get quick real-time updates on order status, new offers, etc. The technologies needed for this feature are Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) for Android app and Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) for iOS. Talking about the average cost, the development hourly rate may take around 24+ hours to integrate this feature for Android or iOS apps.

  • Smart Navigation

Another important feature that can help customers navigate through the app features and content is navigation bar defining how the customer redirects from one screen to another or take actions. These scrolling features, icons, CTAs, etc. help in performing the task customers want through the app. It requires human interface guidelines to implement this feature and may take around 40+ hours to develop it (i.e. 24+ hours for backend development and 16+ hours for iOS and Android development)

  • Geo-location Support

Almost every app supports geo-location or location navigation support to serve customers’ needs wherever they are. If you are planning to make travel, delivery, cab booking, etc. it is important to implement a geolocation feature in your mobile app. This feature needs Google Maps API and will take around 24+ development hours including design, backend, and Android/iOS app development.

  • Media Content Sharing

When you are thinking to build an online shopping, instant messaging, or social media app, giving your customers an ability to share media files like images, audio, videos, etc., will be a driving factor to engage them. Along with the media content sharing feature, you can add editing functionalities like a filter on background, emoticons, or animated masks to make your app interesting. Using technologies like Android NDK Native APIs and Core Audio Kit, Photo Kit, etc. for iOS apps, the feature development will take 8+ hours for design, 40+ hours for backend, 16+ hours for frontend and 40+ hours to develop on iOS and Android apps.

  • In-App Messaging

As most of the customers are active in social media messaging platform like Facebook, developing an online retail store, booking, social media app needs a built-in messaging platform for your app. The developers need only the API of Facebook and around 60+ hours approximately including 40+ hours for backend development of messaging platform and 20+ hours for integration with Android and iOS apps.

  • Database Integration

Another important feature for developing database-powered apps, offline mobile capabilities, and data synchronization is the integration of the database to the app. This not only helps in keeping track of the number of products available but also helps users stay updated with fresh stocks or items. Having database integration can help in reducing the app size, memory usage, or query processing time. This feature will take 18+ hours approx. including 10+ development hours for backend and 8 hours for Android/iOS.
Ensure that you keep these features in mind while calculating the mobile app development cost of your upcoming project. Though there are other features like design, back-end architecture, QA, etc. we have listed some of the top features to help you prioritize features to plan your budget according to the estimated development cost.

Here is a list of benefits of building a mobile app

  • Give a Delightful Experience to Customers

    From a brand’s perspective, a custom-built app is more than just a catalog of your products. Through apps, you can smartly communicate with customers through push notifications, in-app messaging, and SMS. By leveraging artificial intelligence, the mobile apps offer 24*7 assistance to customers which make them feel valued.

  • Improve Brand Visibility

    If your customers can see your app on their phone, the probability of getting noticed increases by 3x times. It helps you strengthen customer-brand relationship through promotional advertisement of your brand with personalized offers, special discount and much more.

  • Additional Medium to Generate Revenue

    Every business is looking for extra profits. Mobile apps can become a great medium to influence customers and retain them in the long run. Moreover, in-app advertising can help you in generating revenue on a frequent basis.

  • Stay Ahead of the Competitive Curve

    Building an app is a smart solution to beat your competition. When you provide a solution to customer’s problems, the chances of your gaining brand visibility become high in the competitive marketplace. Depending on the requirements, you can add features like GPS technology for real-time tracking or third-party payment options for secure transactions makes your app a more useful tool for your customers.

Key Ingredients for a Successful Mobile app

With over 1 million apps registered in the major app stores, why would people download your app? To compete with the top-tier apps, it is imperative to understand the key components of a successful mobile app. Although, mobile app success is a journey, not a one-step process. However, it must satisfy the end user’s needs, to leave a significant impact on the industry.

  • Must Deliver Solution to a Problem

    While creating a mobile strategy, it is important to know the purpose of the app. Do a thorough research to recognize the customer’s pain points or barriers to purchase. It will not only provide you with deeper insights about the types of problems a mobile app can solve but also save your hard-earned investment in unproductive mobile app development.

  • Delivers Real Value

    How is your idea unique from other apps? Users don’t have enough time, all they want is speed and convenience. This value is accounted at different parameters, for instance, utility, convenience, entertainment, information and a wide range of other areas. With thorough research about your app idea, you can successfully ensure the value you intend to share with your users.

  • Keep it Simple

    User Experience plays a significant role when it comes to the success of your app. Users crave for efficiency, thus app should be as decluttered as possible. Along with a convenient user interface, if you provide users with proper directions to use the app then the chances of being liked increases by a significant number.

  • Provide Offline Functionality

    Most apps rely on internet connection. Although we have internet everywhere, offline functionality gives your app an upper hand over others. If users can access the features or information offline, then it fosters a positive user experience which is an essential component for app success.

  • Sustain High Performance

    Performance is critical for mobile app success. It is found that users only attempt to use a problematic or a poor functioning app for not more than 2 to 3 times (source: Dimensional Research). To deliver consistent performance, your app must be tested to avoid any bugs, troubleshooting problems or slow performance. Continually testing the app or upgrading the app with new features ensure that it performs well in the marketplace.

There is no magic formula to determine how much does it cost to make an app but there are a few significant factors that affect the figures.

Factors that influence mobile app development cost are-

  • Platform
  • Features and Functionalities 
  • Location

1. Platform: Native or Hybrid or Progressive Web Apps?

  • Progressive Web Apps

Unlike traditional web apps, progressive web app uses modern and advanced capabilities to deliver app-like experiences to smartphone users.  These apps are deployed to servers and are accessible through URLs. The apps are just like websites thus supports multiple devices and run glitch-free for every user, regardless of browser choice.
Advantages of building Progressive Web Apps are –

  • Cheaper than native and hybrid apps
  • Easy to build and maintain for the long run
  • Low space required on the device
  • Fast loading times thus increase conversion rates

Average Cost of Progressive Web App Development ranges from $2000 to $3000.

  • Hybrid Apps

These apps are deployed in a native container, however, uses a mobile WebView Object. It means the application is developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and wrapped in a native container using Cordova thus the apps can be easily deployed across multiple platforms.

Advantages of building Hybrid Apps are –

  • Enhanced User Experience
  • Reduced Development Costs
  • Easy Integration
  • Offline Support
  • Simplified Maintenance

Average Cost of Hybrid App Development ranges from $10,000 to $100,000.

  • Native Apps

The Native mobile app development involves developing apps for a mobile operating system and users access them from a dedicated app store (App Store or Google Play). It can use device-specific hardware and software and offers optimized performance to users.

Advantages of building Native Apps are –

  • Great UI/UX User Experience
  • More Secure and Reliable
  • Access All Features of Devices
  • Superior Performance
  • Easier to Add New Features

Average cost to develop an iOS app is about $28k and an Android app may cost you around $23k.
With no second thoughts, the world is becoming increasingly mobile. According to Business of Apps, the global mobile app revenue forecast for 2020 is $189 billion and top mobile app development companies are experiencing all the advantages of this rapid growth.

2. Features and Functionalities that makes a Whole Difference

Since we have a wide variety of choices, customer engagement is the key. With growing consumer demands, business apps should be useful, intuitive and easy-to-use. So, to beat the best in the marketplace, few features that your app must include are –

  • Convenient Search Mode

    Search functionality gives robust experiences to customers and encourages them to get engaged smartly when required. With this, users can locate content quickly by adding key phrases in the input section and locate the content they are looking for within seconds.

  • Pixels, Sizes, and Resolutions

    It is no longer enough to just create your apps for Android or Apple devices. The app developers need to focus on a range of screen sizes between compact smartphone and large-sized tablets. A responsive design into your app development reduces the chances of uninstalling by thousands of users.

  • Customer Support Availability

    It is one of the prime features in any mobile app. There are a lot of chances users find it difficult to use the app or get stuck somewhere, instant customer support services make them feel happy with their choices.

There are a lot of features that your app must incorporate, however, rest of them can be decided on the type of app development. To advance your mobile app you can also integrate the latest technologies into them.

1. Blockchain Apps

Blockchain technology was originally developed for Bitcoin currency, however, holds a tremendous potential for apps that require ledger-type functionalities or huge data storage. The major benefit of using technology is to access large volumes of information in a secure and reliable way. There are two types of blockchain app development platforms – Permissioned and Public.
The average cost of Blockchain app development ranges from $30,000 to $1,80,000.

2. AR-VR Apps

All the tech-giants including Apple, Facebook or Samsung pour billions into AR-VR app development. AR enables entrepreneurs to give an enhanced visual experience to its customers and VR promotes the products and services by using a blend of photography and technology.
Average AR-VR app development cost lies between $15,000 – $ 25,000.

3. Location of Mobile App Development Company

Locality plays a prime role in deciding the cost to create a mobile app. You can witness drastic changes when you move across West to East across the globe.

  • In North America, it lies between $100 to $150
  • In South America, it lies between $30 to $50
  • In Asia, it lies between $18 to $40
  • In Australia & Europe, it lies between $60 to $95
  • In Russia, it lies between $25 to $45

Outsourcing Mobile App Development

Do you want to develop an app, cost-effective and innovative? If yes, it recommended outsourcing services to a reliable mobile app development company. Hiring a company can affect the cost to build an application, however, it has various benefits that make it worth the investment.

Quick Turnaround Time
As you have given the responsibility of creating the app to the certified team, your mobile app development journey is like a bullet train, highly punctual and satisfying. Following the best principles, many renowned mobile app development companies tend to deliver projects on time.

Cost-Effective Option
How much mobile app cost? While outsourcing you can significantly decrease the development cost as you need not maintain an entire unit of both iOS and Android developers, designers, and other experts need for the mobile app development of your business.

Different Technology Experts Under One Roof
The best app development companies employ full-time experts in different technologies including Objective C, Swift, Kotlin, React Js, HTML, and Core PHP thus, able to deliver what exactly you require. You can hire guaranteed expertise with proven track records who enhances the work quality and deliver exceptional results.

No Need for Support and Training
Many times, in house resources need training and support to complete the project. However, if you have outsourced services to other reliable and certified app development companies you receive support and service even after the development is over.
From designers to developers, how many resources you hire have a direct impact on the total cost of the app development process. The consensus is that outsourcing an app development company can cost the least since they are charged based on hours worked. Also, while wondering how much to make an app, you cannot compromise on quality. Thus, you need to make a smart choice among all app development company to achieve remarkable results within budget.

How to know the cost of your app without communicating your idea to anyone?

In the era of mobile development, app cost calculators are a free tool that gives you a ballpark of your Android or iOS apps. We have built a robust app cost calculator that calculates the estimates under a minute, have a look :- App Cost Calculator 
Once you approve with the rough estimate, we draft a detailed cost breakdown structure that consists of your requirements, frameworks and other necessary project-related documentation. Connect with us, we will provide you with an end-to-end strategic approach from application development to its maintenance and launch.