How long does it take to build an app?
The fact is that it depends upon the type of app, features that one needs, and even the team working on the development. Hence, it can vary from project to project.
Some can be round and running in 4 months while some can take 8 months.
If we go over some major facts then, there are around 2.8 million apps available on Google’s Play Store and around 2.2 million on Apple’s App Store. No wonder, if not thrice, the numbers will double up in the coming years.
With so many choices of applications to download, these mobile applications are all set to generate $200 billion in revenue by 2021.
And why not? Mobile apps have made themselves the most prominent tool for daily needs. They have become the most viable and easiest tool for commuting, entertainment, networking, etc. Apart from being the greatest tool, these apps are also bridging the gap between customer communication for brands and posing as a great source of profit for entrepreneurs and startups.
Thus, investing in the app development project is the best option but as an entrepreneur or a newcomer in the app development world, knowing what all it takes to develop an app from scratch is like questions out of the syllabus.
Also, if you believe that acquiring knowledge about app development from the initial stage can help you, well, it will but not to forget that on the other hand, your competitor is all set to enter the market with a great mobile app.
Before moving forward, it is essential to understand that time taken to develop an app has a huge impact on its development cost. Not only this, but it will affect the monetization methods for an app to earn money.
So, here in this article, we will be answering the most burning question – “how long does it take to build an app”?
Let’s get started-
A Rough Sketch Of The Mobile App Development Cycle
- There are a total of 5 stages in the whole app development process and each of the application development phases takes their own time.
- How many hours does it take to develop an app will be unfair to ask as Research and app ideas forming alone takes around 2-3 weeks whereas planning for an entire app takes a full month, meanwhile, the actual development takes around 6 weeks?
- App quality takes time, therefore completion of an app may vary from two weeks to a year-long masterpiece.
- Those apps that feature lots of functionality require more time to build apps.
- The budget will determine the mobile app development timeline.
- A team of cross-discipline experts results in more time-bound build time.
- Testing the mobile app after the whole app development process is done to ensure if it is working smoothly or not.
- All of these things will incur a cost that will pile up against the whole app development project.
When it comes to how long does it take to build an app, always remember that there are millions of apps that are unnecessarily complex, complicated to use, some are developed by amateurs or are just plain broken.
These apps took weeks or a couple of months to build whereas, on the other hand, some apps make us droll. These are the actual apps that we use daily, which make our life better, which are fast, which are intuitive, beautiful, appealing, and whatnot. These apps do not crash and are bug-free. These apps define the right definition of great apps.
The answer to the questions of how long does it take to build an app is here. Apps that are placed in the second category take months and months for their actual existence. Developing apps to match the level of Facebook, Uber, Snapchat, Google Maps, Tinder, or any other top game is no less than a challenge.
There are so many things that you need to keep in mind while developing the app to determine the time. This includes research time, design sprints, development, deploying, testing, maintenance, and post-launch support.
How Does The Mobile App Development Timeline Look Like In Most Cases?
Well, it looks something like this-
*Months may vary as per the app requirement.
In this blog, we will not only cover how long does it take to build an app but also the costing part and other aspects related to the topic. Without further ado, let’s get started with our topic-
1. Stages Of Mobile App Development Process
When it comes to how long does it take to create an app, one needs to first understand the stages of the whole app development process.
The app development process is divided into stages and all of these stages take different time slots. From the beginning till the end, the entire app development process is interdependent and requires equal attendance.
Stage 1- Dedicated to Idea and Research
It all starts with a revolutionary idea. But what seems like the world idea for you might be incorporated years ago and failed badly. This is the reason, Research takes the first place in the overall app development project.
Once you are done with figuring out the purpose of the app, testing the idea against reality, is the next mandate needed. The process might look tiresome or full of effort but it can become the cornerstone of your success.
So, for doing the same, start by establishing your app target group, in other words, you just need to figure out who will be using your app later. By being a laser-focused approach, draw a detailed description of it.
For example- Facebook is used by all people of any gender. Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder, on the other hand, is quite popular among youngsters. Then comes the number of those who are dedicatedly using particular goods or subscribes to certain services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Once done with who your audience will be, giving them a reason to download your app is another milestone. To pass this milestone, offer usefulness in your app features and provide a unique and easy solution to the consumer’s problem.
This phase includes different aspects such as:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Request for Proposal (RFP)
- Delivery Date
- Budget Range
- Success Metrics
- Project Aims
Coming to this level is a daunting task, no doubt, Now that you have reached here, check out the market size too. See if there are other apps like yours in the market, how many people are using it, their age, etc. Moving in this direction is a dicey task as you need to figure out if you need to stick to your idea or start again from the very beginning.
If you believe in your idea and strategies you will be using, in such a situation, you need to devote a good amount of time to researching the apps of your competitors. By doing so, you will be able to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.
These are the major aspects that give you a detailed insight into the world of mobile app development. It is essential to form an RFP that can have the information to make an app stand out from the crowd and just another addition to it. It should explore and challenge the market standards that are already set.
Once you are done with all these things, you are ready to enter the second stage of how long does it take to build an app without failing.
Stage 2- It Is All About Planning
After completing the first stage which is all about figuring the primary purpose of the app, finalizing the target audience, and knowing competitors, it’s time to jump to the next level- developing the idea.
You can start with planning by deciding what platform you want for your application. Sometimes this decision is driven by the target group.
For example- if you are willing to go ahead with making an app for Apple Watch users, in such a situation, you have to make an app for iOS only. In most cases, choosing a platform is solely a business decision.
Thus you need to figure out what to choose first, Android apps or iOS apps, native or hybrid, native or cross-platform, web-based app or mobile app, PWAs. After finalizing which platform to board, next comes the task of finalizing the app’s functionalities. These are the features that you want to include in your applications.
Once the planning is done then comes the aspects like:
- User Stories – It is essential to know why the app will be used by the users. List down the users that will use them, reasons, end-goals, navigation, pages, etc. that can help in achieving the business goals.
- Minimum Viable Products – Once the features and everything is listed down then comes the point of developing an app with the necessary features and launching it in the market soon. After this, the additional features can be included and updated with time slowly and gradually.
- App Prototype – It is not a fully functional app but a glimpse of what the app will look like and how it will work. This can be around a specific function or feature that helps in getting final validation and testing before diving into the development phase.
Planning is a vigorous task and takes months. Meanwhile, if you are done with all this, you are all set for actual coding.
Stage 3- The Power of Designing & Developing
This is the stage that is all about building three significant elements- UI, Front End, and Back End. Depending upon the complex features and functionality in the app, the actual app development takes somewhere between six weeks or more.
The UI or better say the actual face of the app is created by graphic designers. UI is the mirror of your idea and the ideology of your organization, thus, it should be easy yet creative, full of features yet mild with complexities. In short, visually appealing things do attract several users as compared to plain things.
The design of the mobile app depends upon the sprints that include its problems and changes that can be listed easily. This can be a bit complicated if not navigated properly in terms of features and functionalities.
The design sprints followed by development can help in streamlining the whole process. It is essential to know when to challenge the app if it is not going in the flow that it should be as per the real user’s feedback.
Both the Front end and Back end are the souls of the app. Front End developers turn the UI into an app by using top programming language whereas Back End is the “system” behind the app that makes the app function as designed.
This stage includes developing the prototype of the app and then maintaining it to offer a stable ground. It helps in setting up the app flow and knowing what to change and where. It will help developers in realizing the aspects that they need to work upon.
After completing all these steps, you are all set for stage 4.
Stage 4- Testing To Make It Best
No matter how advanced technology you have used in your app, there is always space for finding bugs and fixing them before releasing them. These bugs can be identified by conducting Alpha and Beta testing.
Also, different kinds of testing can be made for testing the app. Meanwhile, here at Appventurez, we follow our own set of testing processes for making the app outstanding and just flawless.
Once the app is launched, necessary changes are made as per the users’ feedback and reviews.
Stage 5- Releasing The Release
After completing all 4 stages, there is one last stage that needs to be completed in a precise way. This is the stage where you will be submitting your app to the marketplace.
To submit your app to the marketplace, make sure to figure out a catchy app’s title along with its basic description and promotional images are no choice but a priority.
Consider the use of App Store Optimization tricks, use relevant keywords in the description you will be writing for increasing the app downloads count.
The final step is all about submitting, so stick to the guidelines of Apple App Store/Play Store, as Apple’s app approval takes one day whereas Google takes a few hours.
Congratulations, you are done, or maybe not. It is often advisable to keep updating the app, fixing the bugs as per users’ feedback and reviews for making them happy.
Final Stage – Post-Launch Maintenance
This is something that not everyone includes stages but it is there.
When this is about the stages of developing the application, mobile app development companies generally fight with the things that slow down the entire app development process. To safeguard your process, here are the things that are a barrier to the process of app development.
2. Things that Slows Down the Process of App Development
#1 Changes In The Middle Of The App Development Process
All the stages of the app development process are interconnected to each other. Even the slightest change in the middle can hamper the app development process while slowing it down too. These changes in the middle can also affect the overall performance of the app since such changes make it necessary to rearrange the built code base once again.
#2 Not So Experienced Developers
Sure, your app idea is your brainchild whereas budget, resources, and experienced developers are the engine. But in most cases, start-ups hire developers who do not hold the experience required for certain kinds of applications.
Here at Appventurez, we have a team of experienced developers who with their skills and experience has made us deliver high-quality applications one after another.
#3 Complicated Technologies Makes the Process Complex
Change is constant, so does changes and innovations in technologies. Emerging technologies like machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, iBeacon, etc make the process a bit complicated and thus slows down the app development process.
Adding these technologies no doubt enhanced the overall appearance of the app and download count but adding them in the app required great budget handy. Using these technologies correctly is a complex task and thus it slows down the app development process.
#4 Differences In Different Industry
The old set of app parameters do not apply to every industry. The app development for the industry also plays an important role in the overall mobile app development timeline.
On one side, social media apps take 1-2 months whereas on-demand apps require more time to develop an app.
Well, this is how the app development process slows down and there are antidotes as a cure for the same. Let’s check them out-
3. How To Accelerate The App Development Process
The only tortoise won the race against rabbits in the story and reality is exactly the opposite.
As mentioned earlier, there are millions of applications available in the app store, and failing to offer your app to the users on time will make your competitor win the hearts. Be it startups, old hat enterprises, lagging is not an option.
We have strengthened our knowledge from the basics of the mobile app, stages to factors slowing down the app development process. Now, let us know how to accelerate the whole app development process which we at Appventurez strictly follow as per the project requirement.
#1 Prototyping and MVP Can Rescue
As mentioned above, these two practices can save a lot of time and effort for mobile app designers and developers. Both of these practices are the best way to speed up the task. They can be made easily while replicating the original idea of the application.
With MVP, based on the user’s feedback and required features, the actual app can be made with improvements in it.
#2 How About Choosing Cross-Platform
What to choose and what not to choose is the biggest dilemma of the owner of the app. To choose Android or iOS will remain the most fierce and debatable topic but choosing the safest path of Cross-Platform can become the actual solution.
#3 Hire Experienced Mobile App Developers
What a professional developer can do with your app can never be done by the less experienced or novice app developer.
Through their skills and updated knowledge about market trends, they can create amazing UI/UX while taking less time to develop the whole app. Before hiring the app development company, make sure to ask a few questions. At our place, we have made great apps and successfully delivered them too.
#4 White Labels Solutions
By using White Label Solutions, products are generally produced by one company and then rebranded and made to look like other companies. The practice is good as there will be no need to build anything from scratch. Well, the practice is good for building things from scratch but not friendly for the application that generates good traffic and great download count.
So, these are the points showing how long does it take to build an app, now let us check out the costing segment without waiting-
A Quick View of How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App
- Complexity and complex features in the app will increase the time and thus will result in the additional cost of the app.
- Using the latest technology comes with their own cost and integrating them into the app will call for an additional cost.
- Experienced developers are the ones who can change the face of the app and will cost more as compared to novice or amateur developers.
- Sometimes, mobile app development companies need to look for particular domain experts and experienced developers, thus outsourcing them will come under the shade of the overall cost of the app.
- Compared to the cross-platform app budget, choosing an individual app platform is still costly.
- Developing your app matching the status of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram is a time-consuming and costly affair.
- Testing the app at various levels is nothing but a priority.
- Research or reiki about the market trends, the app idea is again a costly affair, here at Appventurez, we do not ask for the reiki and research phase.
- Developing, launching, and marketing your app is not enough, viral it along with constantly updating it and cutting the bugs will cost you.
- MVP though is the best way of knowing what your users are looking for but at the same time, it will also cost you.
Your app will cost you for sure but neglecting quality over quantity is just not a wise decision. If you want users to follow, download, and like your app, make it worthy, make it appealing and engaging.
So if you have a revolutionary idea, why wait any longer? Contact us and we’ll develop your app for you!
A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.
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