How much does a mobile app cost?
At some point of your life, you have certainly thought about designing an app that would become globally successful or simply improve processes at your work.
If you have come to a stage where the idea is becoming a real need, you have surely started to think about the fundamental question and that is how much will the development of such mobile application cost?
The answer to this question, unfortunately, is not so simple, and it is mainly because the whole process depends on many factors that we will explain. The goal of this article is not to give you the exact price of the mobile application but, above all, to explain why we cannot accurately estimate the total cost of the project at the beginning.
What are the factors affecting the cost of the app?
For iOS, it is enough to choose whether you want your app to work on the latest iPhone models and their operating system (for example iPhone 12 + iOS 14) or add support for older models. When choosing to support older devices, it is important to note that over 70% of users always upgrade to the latest version of OS in about a month after its release.
On the other hand, there are many manufacturers and versions of the operating system Android. Therefore, the supplier should help you choose the most appropriate combination to ensure functionality for your target segment so that you do not have to spend extra money on support of unnecessary versions. That's why your app's development can be unpleasantly overpriced, and widespread support and testing will make Android development more expensive than iOS.
Size of the development team
Based on your requirements a size of the development team can vary affecting total costs:
- The basic team consists of a project manager, a UI / UX designer, a mobile developer, a tester, and to handle data you also need backend developers.
- The extended team includes web developers as well as 2-4 Android or iOS developers (based on your requirements).
Complexity and functionality of the application
The complexity and functionality of the app have a great impact on its cost. The most common features that extend the core application features include:
- web administration interface for data in your application,
- backend infrastructure for linking databases,
- in-app purchases,
- integration of third-party features such as social sharing,
- using hardware components of phones such as GPS, gyroscope and more,
- separate tablet user interface.
- integration of payment systems, offline mode, notifications, camera usage, and other improving features can also raise the price of the app.
Adding these features can make it harder to work on the development of the application, and thus making it more expensive.
Design of the mobile app
The money spent on the application design is always a very good investment. It is best to choose a designer who has experience with the design of mobile apps and understands what such a project requires. You can choose an external designer who appeals to the price, but it is definitely a better choice to choose a designer directly in the development company, because thanks to collaboration with developers he can quickly respond to changes and requirements. Design can be expensive because all screens, icons and buttons require a number of elements that need to be designed separately
Testing of the mobile app
The next step you cannot miss is testing your mobile app. You can deploy the application without testing it first, but we do not recommend it, as you certainly do not want users to find bugs. Testing can be divided into user (manual) and automated.
- Manual - tester's task is to check functionality, design, language discrepancies as well as application testing in special conditions, and testing on different devices.
- Automated - testing is based on creating automated tests to verify individual functionalities.
For quite some time, successful software development does not depend solely on the developer's expertise. The need to develop more extensive applications and systems has brought many different requirements. Good management at each stage of the project life cycle is one of the main determinants of the success of the whole app development. A competent project manager builds a good, motivated team and facilitates communication between the developers and the customer. Be sure not to underestimate the role of project manager during team building, especially in larger projects.
Support and update
The last factor that affects total cost is support and updates of your app. These costs are not included in the initial budget. Each application requires continuous care after its release: support for new versions of the operating system, maintenance of backend infrastructure and clouds or regular updates.
Marketing of the mobile application
Have you ever considered the possibility of creating a genius app, but the user who would like to pay for it does not know about its existence? That's exactly why you need to think about marketing (see the article on mobile app marketing). In spite of the fact, that marketing is not a direct cost for the development of a mobile app, it is a cost that definitely should be considered.
Choice of the development company
The app development pricing also varies considerably depending on whether you order the service from a freelancer, group of developers, or agency. To be sure and if you have a sufficient budget, the agency is (usually) the best choice.
On the other hand, if you want to save a little bit, you can choose the freelancer because the high price is not always equal to the quality and success of the market. It also depends on the country where you order your app - in the US, the developer will ask for between $60 to $150 per hour, about £60- £80 in the UK, or about 20€-50€ in Slovakia.
So how much does a mobile app for iOS / Android cost?
This can never be estimated accurately without prior negotiation with the developer. What can you expect from such negotiations? In simpler projects, the total price can be determined by input analysis. This, however, is not easy in the case of more demanding assignments, where certainly you cannot expect an exact estimate after the first meeting. Such projects are usually solved in parts, so the prices of the various phases are different.
The total cost of your application is based on the time spent developing and implementing all the functions, and this time is then multiplied by an hourly rate. The time spent on development depends on the factors that were described above.