Mobile apps ensure the best individual user experience and are proven extremely effective in nurturing strong and longstanding customer relationships. Businesses the world over give prime importance to making their services available on the hand-held devices of their customers and consequently, there is phenomenal demand for mobile app development services. Many factors can influence the cost of developing mobile apps. The perfect method to work out the real cost of developing a mobile app is to separately work out the cost of each factor and arrive at the grand total. There are several distinct phases for the app development process and each phase may cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Mobile apps require various features and app with more robust features becomes popular very quickly. When you plan to develop a mobile app with more functionality, your budget also goes higher.
Let us discuss the factors one by one and finally, we will get the answer to the question ” How much does a Mobile App Cost to Develop”?.
The types and number of features in a mobile app and the time and various resources that are required to add each feature vary widely and basically, the following factors are to be considered to determine the cost of mobile app development.
1. Rate per hour of the app developer and his experience
2. Android or iOS?
3. The technologies to be used
4. App features
5. Additional requirements
1. Rate of an app developer and his experience
Experience and expertise decide the rate of the mobile app developer. The developers are broadly classified into 3 categories – beginners, experienced developers, and stalwarts.
Beginners: They are just above the novice developers and are able to provide your proposed app with simple features. They can also undertake code documentation, debugging, and maintenance of the app. They normally charge $30 – $40 per hour.
Experienced Developers: Developers of this category are hired to include additional features to the app and thereby complete the app development task. Their charges will be within the range of $60 – $70 per hour.
Stalwarts: You will require their service mainly to implement innovative features and their average cost varies within the range of $120 – $130 per hour.
2. Rate of Android/iOS developer
Android developers will have fundamental skills such as Java, Android SDK, and Android Studio IDE. They are able to manage with different platforms viz. Corona, Iconic and Material Foundation. They will be familiar with the popular bug-tracking systems, tools for dependency management, and version control. Android developers charge in the range of $ 30 – $ 90 per hour.
iOS developers will have basic skills like Xcode IDE, Objective C, and Objective Swift. They will be familiar with multiple frameworks and also APIs such as Cocoa, Foundation, and UIKit. They will be experts in handling Bugzilla and similar bug-tracking systems, dependency management tools such as CocoPods, and version control with GitHub. Their hourly rates will be within the range of $45 – $80.
3. Technologies used
While selecting the mobile app developer, you must consider the basic techniques that you will be using for your mobile app development project. In other words, the technology will also have an impact on the project cost.
Small businesses go for the Web app which is the cheapest option. In fact, this is a mobile-friendly website. Its responsive design makes it user-friendly across multiple devices including Tablets and Smartphones.
An app that is built in the native language of the operating system of a particular device is considered a Native app. Java or Kotlin is used for Android and Objctive-C or Swift is used for iOS. Though Native apps give better performance, the same app will not work on different platforms. For each platform, you need to develop separate apps and consequently, development costs will be more.
Frameworks like Xamarin and Phone Gap are used for developing cross-platform apps. These frameworks allow the creation of the app in one language and there will be a single source of code subsequently the code will be changed to native code across various platforms as per requirement.
4. App features
The cost of mobile app development will go up with the complexity of adding various features to the application.
Log In and Sign In
While developing a mobile app one has to decide the method for users to sign into the app. When the user profiles are to be accommodated in the app, the functionality for accommodating user profiles must be added in the app. Depending on the complexity of the user accounts the project duration may go up by 15 – 20 hours and consequently the project cost will increase.
5. Additional requirements
Besides the integration of hardware and the addition of various features, the following factors are also to be considered to determine the total mobile app development cost.
(i) Integration of the app with private APIs or public third-party APIs may lead to a cost increase.
(ii) Infrastructure requirements like databases, network security, and cloud storage will directly impact the cost of app development.
(iii) Ongoing maintenance activities like security updates, debugging, and regular patches will require more budget allocation.
(iv) Mobile app development will require the following additional manpower:
a. Project Manager for liaison between team members and tracking deadlines. Hourly rate will vary between $50 – $125.
b. UI/UX Designer for designing the application. Hourly rate will vary within the range of $40 – $80.
c. Mobile Developer for translating wireframes, mockups, and storyboards into front-end code. Hourly rate varies between $30 and $ 120.
d. Back-end Developer for developing data layer managing interactions between the app, database, and server. Hourly rate: $35 – $130
e. Quality Assurance Manager for managing code and checking the quality of the final product against project goals. The hourly rate may vary between $30 and $60.
Obviously, developer hours will account for the major portion of the mobile app development cost. Apart from the above factors, costs pertaining to project management and QA Testing are also to be included in the budget.
App Development Companies Vs Freelance Developers
Those who want to develop a mobile app quickly and in the most economic way can opt for professional app builder sites. Those who need to develop simple apps with minimum functionality can hire app makers who offer tiered subscription plans.
Those who want to develop feature-rich mobile apps with full customizability have to assign the task to reliable mobile app development companies. Estimates of such companies for mobile app development will vary within the range of $100000 – $1000000.
Estimates for mobile app development by Freelancers:
Assuming that the project will be completed in 6 months, Freelancers will quote the rates as given below:-
Native apps (Android iOS) – $34000 – $145000
Cross Platform apps – $15500 – $53000
React Native – $19300 – $144,500.
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