Have an excellent idea and wondering how much does a mobile app cost?

If you are a client who is looking for an app to be developed for his organization or an entrepreneur who has an excellent idea but still figuring out how much it would cost to turn that idea into reality. I think you are at the right place to know all the information you need before jumping on to this adventurous ride of App development.

In this article, you would learn about both dark and clear aspects of app development. We would be covering some usual questions and answers which we have in mind before investing in an app venture.

Categorizing the application

With the increasing affordability of smartphones across the world, the app industry has absolutely exploded in the last 10 years. This has lead to the development of many different types of apps. You can categorize your app under any one category.

  1. Utilities
  2. Entertainment
  3. Games
  4. News
  5. Productivity
  6. Lifestyle
  7. Social Networking
  8. Health and Fitness

App Platform Selection: Native or Hybrid

This is the first barrier which we need to pass once we have a clear understanding of our requirements and project specifics. We have two options mainly

Native apps: These are specific to any one platform either iOS, Android, or Windows. The developer needs to write code based on one platform for iOS it is usually Swift for Android it is Java.

Hybrid apps: As the name suggests, these are a combination of both the platforms i.e iOS and Android. Recently web is also included in this so common options under this category are React Native and Flutter. The most important advantage Hybrid has over Native is that the same codebase can be used to run on multiple platforms which reduces the overall cost and time.

If you have a tight budget and want to get your application build fast on both platforms. Hybrid is the best approach. But if you are certain of the user base and have more time and budget overall you can go for native. I know this is debatable but when you are an owner this is the most important decision you need to make before investing your hard-earned money. The best advice is to consult with your team about what should be the best platform based on user base and timeline. Make sure the end call is yours as each potter will praise its pot until it leaks.

Going for MVP

Users these days are BRUTAL!! when it comes to reviews. Nobody loves a bloated product, so it is only right that you go all in to ensure the development of an app that provides a seamless user experience.

MVP is the version of the new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort.

The perfect successful example of the MVP is WhatsApp. It started with just the chat feature using the contact number. Soon it moved on to video calls, calls, media uploads, and many more. The latest being the payment gateway. Now you must be wondering how they were able to do that?

The answer is simple, there is a power you hold when you are developing an app, called Version. It enables you to add the core features to your app and then push them to the stores, get feedback from the user, make enhancements and improve. This is called the progressive approach. God forbids, In case you create a blunder you can easily switch back to the previous version and get hold of the error.

Advantage: This is the best approach if you have a tight budget and timeline and want to test how the idea is in reality. It will give you a clear idea of how the user reacts to your app or website.

Now we are clear of all the pre-development barriers. It is time to know what exactly it will cost you to get it developed. We are going to discuss some of the bullet points or sections of app development and know the options we have and discuss the average cost involved in these areas.

About the cost details, it can vary from individual to individual to organization. These days we have freelancers who can do that very cheap in comparison to big tech giants. But the question of quality and timeline is there along with professionalism. So that is totally upto you and your decision to choose.

Wireframing

Wireframes are the backbone of any project. Wireframes serve as a middle ground between low-fidelity sketches and first interactive prototypes. The actual process of wireframing for mobile varies drastically. Better the clarity of wireframes better is the code and ultimately better is the app.

Cost: 10% of the overall budget

User Management

User Access Management, also known as identity and access management, is the administration of giving individual users within the system access to the tools they need at the right time. For businesses, this usually includes access to external applications, permissions, and security requirements.

Today, challenges can arise as companies grow, and employees with varying roles and responsibilities increasingly use external enterprise solutions to do their jobs. An identity and access management solution helps manage this by providing a seamless way to manage user identities and access all in one place. There are many ways usually it is authentication. You can go for social login or normal login. Depends on the options Social Media Login / Username-Email Login, if your app is pretty simple and needs no social media go for normal login and signup.

Cost: 5% of the overall budget

Features

Once you have your basic idea, the layout, and color scheme right, you need to start thinking about what the customer actually wants, because if you don’t meet their needs, a competitor might, and as a result, you could lose significant business. There are a few features which are nice to have and some which are must-haves, but many will make your app really stand out. Email Notification, Push notification, Cloud computing, Real-time tracking the list is endless. So decide and select based on budget and requirements.

Cost: 25% of the overall budget

Third-party plugins

Depending on the features you decide the third-party plugins will be the next requirement, more the plugins more will be the cost. Third-party plugins are basically software or libraries which help your feature to work, suppose you want a tracking system in case of getting the real-time feedback you need to integrate libraries like Pusher or Pubnub. All the third-party plugins usually have pricing plans based on users. You can review those

Cost: 10-15% of the overall budget based on users

Frontend Development & Backend development

It stands to reason that app development per se makes the biggest impact on the app cost. Seasoned developers, who have successfully delivered multiple projects, are still scarce resources. That’s why coding an app usually accounts for 50–70 percent of the total cost of app development, and the coding times vary depending on the type of app. The frontend is the View part of the app, Backend is something that can withstand huge loads and work smoothly under any conditions, which will entail more time spent on designing and building a complex app architecture. Moreover, you’ll require multiple programming languages to create your app’s backend, which means you’ll need to pay for a more diverse team of professionals.

Cost: 10–15% of the overall budget based on users

Server and Network Maintenance

Most apps nowadays run their back ends on cloud service providers like AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure, which (depending on the scale required) can cost pennies or thousands of dollars each month. Besides, many third-party services (such as payment systems) that an app might use operate under a SaaS model, requiring subscription costs. As an app gains popularity, its throughput needs in both these areas are likely to grow, which in turn racks up the costs of its upkeep. Once an app has been battle-tested in the real world with real users, bugs are bound to crop up and need addressing continually.

Cost: Pricing plans based on app users

Money earning

Mobile apps are critical for any business, not just for smooth business operations and functioning, but also as a separate channel for revenue generation. As a mobile app development company, one of the most commonly asked questions that we hear is — how do apps make money.

  1. Paid App: You can put a certain charge on the app to be paid by the user to install the application. A percentage is charged by the stores on that payment.
  2. Free App: Most of the apps on stores lie in this category the only source of revenue is either ads or a large number of users. If your app is doing great stores and business agencies pay you to host their ads.
  3. In-App purchase: This is a process in which you provide for free to the end-user but charge a subsequent amount for some parts of the app. To access those areas they have to pay a subscription fee.

This should be the last thing on your mind as it usually takes time for the app to be a hit in the market. So that is not going to be that quick. If the focus is on the app and you are sure that the idea is unique and will attract users, you can expect a better future.

Overall Cost

The cost of making a mobile app is most often based on the number of hours the project may take, and the more difficult the functionality, the longer it will take to implement. Let me divide these into three categories:

  1. Average: These apps include some basic functionality, don’t require integration with any third-party APIs, and may not need a backend infrastructure. Features of such applications may include standard UI components, a feed list, simple filters, and map markers. Developing a simple app like this usually takes about 250–400 hours and starts at $15000.
  2. Medium: These apps may include custom UI features, real-time chat, payment functionality, tablet and handset adaptation, integration with APIs, and a simple backend server. It takes around 1,000 hours to build such an app, and the price starts at $50,000
  3. Complex: Highly complex apps include advanced functionality such as audio/video processing, real-time synchronization, custom animations, integrations with third-party services, complex backends with several types of database relationships, and more. The timeframe for building complex apps is 2,400+ hours, and the price starts at $80,000. A full-fledged social media application, dating app, data collection, and a video streaming app may all fall into this category.

Conclusion:

You’re nearly ready to get started with the development process. If you have any questions or just want to run your idea past a panel of experts, we’re here to talk. Thanks for reading.