App Development

App development cost estimate

How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?  July 8, 2017 – 02:01 pm
How much does it cost to build an app


Let’s be straightforward — customers always wonder how much it will cost to make an app. Relatively low prices and high quality are what everybody is looking for, whether you’re from the UK, the USA, India, or Ukraine. We know this very well, because we develop iOS and Android applications for startups and established companies all over the world.

Needless to say, mobile app development cost varies widely. Nevertheless, let’s try to figure out how much you might expect to give away for your fancy new iPhone, iPad, or Android application, and what that money is actually paying for.

I. What influences the cost of the app development?

App development cost estimate doesn't only hinge on development time and hourly rates. The price depends on a number of factors that are needed to successfully implement an idea, and include needed talent, the type and complexity of the product, and post-release support.

App development team

Depending on project requirements, a development team can be basic or extended. A basic app team includes a project manager, a UI/UX designer, at least two programmers, and a quality assurance engineer. If the app requires a backend infrastructure to develop an API, then a backend developer should also join the team.

An extended team usually requires an admin panel designer, 2-4 iOS or Android developers (per platform), and the rest of the players already mentioned in the basic team including a backend developer.

Costly app elements

Obviously, complexity of a product is the main factor when it comes to counting app development costs. The following three factors affect the final cost:

  1. Technical complexity
  2. The number of devices and OS
  3. Custom designs and animations.

1. Technical complexity

There can be millions of features that add to technical complexity to a project. Some of the most common examples include:

Some functionality in mobile apps requires integration with third party libraries, frameworks, and services. For example, to implement payment features we can integrate with such services as Stripe, or Braintree. Real-time chats can be easily implemented with the help of Layer, Pubnub, or Actor. Adding social media sharing capabilities into an app can be accomplished with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social network APIs.

A backend is typically an operating system that provides APIs to enable the exchange of data between a mobile application and a database. The backend implements app’s business logic.

An admin panel is a very useful tool that makes it easier to operate apps, manage users and content, view stats, and more. However, finding a high quality and flexible admin template can be very difficult. On the other hand, building a custom solution unique to your business needs might be much more efficient.

From virtual goods to additional functionality there are various forms of in-app purchases that we can implement. There are a wide range of tasks that can go into the implementation of in-app purchases, and therefore they often add technical complexity to a project.

  • Use of hardware components

Moderns smartphones are packed with different hardware components such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, heart rate sensors, NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, barometers, and others. But the hardware set may vary depending on the device type and manufacturer. Finding the right approach for each device and testing how different hardware components communicate with software may increase development costs and time.

Read also: Move your app from iOS to Android easily

2. Number of devices and OS

When it comes to an iOS app, it should ideally be compatible with the latest and the previous versions of iPhone (e.g. iPhone 6, 6S, 5C, 5S), and support the latest and previous iOS versions (e.g. iOS 9 and iOS 8).

But for the Android apps the world looks much more diverse. When we decide which devices to support, there are three factors that influence our decision:

  • the size of the market share for each Android device manufacturer
  • devices specific to a given market
  • client’s preferences

This also applies to the Android OS versions. We currently support versions from Jelly Bean 4.1 to Marshmallow 6.0. on the majority of our projects.

Obviously, more devices will mean more time spent on adapting the application for various screen sizes, resolutions, hardware specifications, and testing. However, if you choose to support only the most popular Android devices, this won’t affect the app creation cost as much.

Read also: Diversification of iOS and Android platforms

Given the fragmentation of the Android market, an Android app development cost may exceed the cost of creating an iOS app.

3. Custom designs and animations

Custom user interfaces are rather complex to implement, so the cost would be higher than the price of building from standard components. You can check out our case study that explains three approaches to UI design, and suggests where you can choose custom and standard UI components.

When it comes to custom animations, you can use one of ours. Seriously. We've got some open source projects that can fit different types of apps. For example, one of latest animations is called Eat Fit and it’s designed for activity tracking apps. You can check out our GitHub repository for the full list of projects.


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