Mobile is taking the world over, the app economy is booming, and entrepreneurship has never been more popular than it is today.
According to the latest study by comScore, mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, while the desktop has become a “secondary touch point.”
The total revenues in the App Store reached $28 billion last year, while developers earned over $20 billion on app sales.
Nothing more needs to be said about the sky-high revenue potential for building a successful app. The question, then, becomes: what can you expect for app development costs?
Developing an app is like buying a car – it’s impossible to say how much it costs unless you know the details (e.g. design, performance, features, speed, etc.). The car you’re looking for can be a Hyundai, BMW, or Ferrari.
WHAT FACTORS GO INTO APP DEVELOPMENT COST?
It is very important that you have an idea of the type of app you want developed (e.g. eCommerce, Gaming, Business App, etc.) It will help the process move faster and lower the risks of making mistakes or redesigns. Then there are different kinds of technologies, features and platforms (e.g. iOS and/or Android). Let’s have a detailed look at available technologies, to understand the difference:
- Native mobile app: means the app was written in the same programming language as the platform for which the app is designed. For example, for iOS it’s Swift and for Android it’s Java. These apps are typically faster and more reliable. They have access to a phone’s features, such as its camera and address book. They’re usually more expensive than other apps.
- Cross-platform apps: Cross-platform are like native apps, but they’re built using a combination of the web and native technologies that are distributed via a native app store. They run on both platforms — iOS and Android — but don’t have access to phone features and can be quite problematic to design, as both platforms have different conventions.
- Progressive web-apps: This is the latest technology by Google. It’s a web app that you can access through the browser but has most of the features and the feel of a native app. They’re extremely easy to install; you just visit the website and add it to the home screen. That fixes the leaky funnel of native apps which lose about 20% of new users in the process.
As noted earlier, features are a key factor in determining the final cost. In general, mobile app development can be broken into four major groups, depending on the amount of work involved in building them.
- Simple apps: This would be an app with three or four screens that serve one basic function and don’t store any data. An example would be a calculator or a timer.
- Database / API apps: If your app needs to store some data on the user’s device or a remote server, then you’ll need something more complex. If it requires users to register and sign in, sync data between multiple devices, or you have a lot of content to utilize, your app falls into this category.
- Multi-Featured/Enterprise Apps: If you’re looking to offer several key features and a completely bespoke user interface design tailored to users’ needs, this is your category. The timeframe and price can range based on the scope of the project.
- Games: As it is with other apps, games vary in complexity and functionality and the price changes accordingly. In addition to app development, games require a high-quality user experience, storyboards, and mechanics that hook the user, which adds to the total cost.
Then there are additional features that come into play when determine the total cost of developing an app. On top of the basic functionality, you may require some other features like email login or geolocation tracking. Here are some examples and their pricing:
- Email Login: A very simple feature most apps have. The reason for it is that collecting emails is incredibly useful for your marketing efforts.
- Social Login: Login with, for example, Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Again, very important from the marketing point of view, as social logins provide you with important user data.
- Social Integration: A feature that allows apps to post on a user’s social media. It can be leveraged to boost your app’s growth through “word-of-mouth” and “viral” marketing.
- Rating System: Thumbs up/down or rating of content and so on. This would be useful for something like a Restaurant review app or recipe app where there’s a lot of user generated content.
- User Profiles: If you want to allow users to create their own user profiles. For example, for a social app or a ride-sharing app.
- In-App Purchases: To charge users for additional features, downloads, and services from within the app using “In-App Purchases.”
- Geo-Location: Locate users or collect data about their geographic location. This can help you make their experience more relevant to them and collect valuable data.
- Sync Data Across Devices: In case you’re building something like a task management app that your customers will use on both desktop and mobile.
This is an overview of some key factors that go into app development. The actual cost of developing an app is most often based on the number of hours that a project may take, and the more difficult the functionality, the longer it supposedly takes to implement it.
If you are ready to take the next step toward developing your app, our team is waiting to chat. We’re ready to discuss the unique requirements of your project and provide you an actual cost estimation — please use this contact form to say hello.