How Much Does It Cost to Build and Make An App

How Much Does It Cost to Build and Make An App 01
24Nov, 2020

In the recent past technology has taken a great control over us and we are badly dependent on it. If we look around everything which we are today using is consistent of some inbuilt functionalities. Whether it’s a LED TV, a toy, machine, a normal or a most expensive game on the app store, etc  all are being operated by a  designed software .If we look around mobile phones are the major devices which we operate using applications.  Mobile phone applications can be used for every single tasks even now height, heart rate, step counts etc are being determined by using applications. In a single click we can get our desired thing being done. You can download different apps for different purpose like ordering food, shopping, grocery and travelling. Keeping in mind the importance of applications usage in our routine life lets determine how much does it cost to make an app for your business?

If you are thinking to build a simple application it can be done in few thousands. The cost increases when we increase the complexity of the application. A developer cannot tell you at once about how much does it cost to develop an app without knowing the key features which you want in your app. If you have an idea about app functionality and features which you want in your application then you can find the average cost of app development. In simple you can say that app development cost depends on app complexity. 


Last year, total revenues of app store grasped $71.3 billion and earning of developers on app sale was $20 billion.

How do you develop an app

  • Arrange a meeting with developer’s team to discuss the details of your project. Ask them cost of developing an app and the requirements for it.
  • Developer will help you out to know about the platform for which you want to get an app developed. They will provide you the estimation of cost after knowing whether it’s an android app or an iOS app.  
  • Developers and analysts will make a list of key features of your application which are required for an app. After that they will let you know How much does it cost to create an app. It will include both key and additional features.
  • Approximate your app’s main features in the meeting. Mobile app developers must tell you about the main features of your app it helps to have accurate app development cost. 


These points will be beneficial for you to roughly estimate and make idea of the steps you require to calculate the cost. 


 How much does it cost to make an app? 

Although there is no fixed cost for app development, the average price for an app can range from $40,000 to $65,000.


No API IntegrationNo Back- End

Basic UI Components

Simple Features

(Email subscription, Social Login, Calendar, Etc.)

  • Custom UI/UX Features
  • Build-In Payment Gateway
  • API Integration
  • Back-End Server
Multi-Language Support 

3rd-Party Integrations

Custom Animations 

Complicated Back-End

Custom UI/UX Design

Real-Time Features Via Database Integration


 $20 to $250 per hour            

The average cost of app development depends on the type and complexity of your app. The time required to develop an app also varies and is calculated in hours.  You can say that delivery time depends on app development team. The normal range of app development is approximately $80k – $250k+. 

  • The cost of simple app is round about $80,000 and time required  is 400+ hours  
  •  The Medium app cost approximately $10,000 – $50,000 and time required is800+ hours.
  • Complex app cost estimation is $50,000 – $150,000 and time required approximately 800-1500 hours.


Factors included in application development and cost determination.

In this document we are going to discuss in detail about the factors which are included in application development and the overall expense it’s going to cost us. App development cost includes the following main factors:

  1. Development Team 
  2. Type of Application 
  3. Platform
  4. Design Requirements
  5. Functionality
  6. Testing
  7. After services and security 


Development Team

To develop a simple application, it can take approximately in 4-5 weeks. For medium application it can be near to 3 months, 6 months for moderate or complex apps. There are four ways to get your app developed

  1. Offshore Teams
  2. Freelancers
  3. Technical Co-founder
  4. Well-known app Development Company

Offshore Teams

You can say that offshore teams are low priced than market place because these are homebased teams. You will hire a small team and started a work on low cost but it increases the product quality risk. You are not well knowing the people abilities who are working with you as compare to a complete development team including project manager, analyst, designer, QA, developer etc.


Now a days it is trendy to hire a freelancer from freelancer websites for working. Experienced developers are classy and they want to charge more than others. You can hire any person from another source but it increases the time rate because they are not experienced and slower.

Technical Co-founder

If you have a well settled business then technical co-founder is a good decision because Experienced and talented developers come towards you for better career options. Technical Co-founders will be a good asset for your business.

Established app Development Company

When you decide to choose app Development Company it’s an expensive choice because they have well known and experienced team for development. They reduce the risk of time and cost failure but it become more costly. Companies have already built in apps also they have modified them and reuse.

Offshore Teams Freelancer TechnicalCo-Founder Established App Development Company
Cheapest Low To Medium Cost Equity Costly
High Risk High Risk Medium Risk Low Risk


Services that an application development team should provide:

App development team should provide complete services to their customers and satisfy them. They have to in touch with their customers from starting phase to end. Following are the phases of app development process:

Explore and Analyze

First stage of development phase is exploring and analyze the customer requirement. You have to arrange meetings with your clients and gather information about their app and finalize them. In this way you know about your customer desired product and also give them your ideas.


After gathering the requirements, the next phase is documentation. All the requirements must be list down in a form of documentation. Project manager meet the customer and make a document in which write down all the project requirements and limitations. This document is called Scope of work (SOW). 


In the designing phase prototypes of project is developed according to the customer’s requirements and show them. This way helps to reduce big changes after development of app.


Development team develop the alpha and beta versions of the app then these are tested by quality assurance team. Then app is tested by clients for final delivery.

Quality Assurance 

Testing is the main part of any project lifecycle also the role of testing is important during the development & app cost. QA engineers are responsible for giving error free project. They are directly working with developers’ team for serving easy testing trials. This way helps to fix errors in application. The role of QA engineers is to make sure the error less delivery of application. QA team is divided into junior QA, Mid-level QA and Senior QA. Average cost of QA team is $45-$60 for junior QA, Mid-level QA is $60-$75 and Senior QA is $75-$90. 


This is a final phase in which team launch the app on clients required platform. Sometimes changes are required in this phase according to the client’s requirements for on time delivery. 

App development project cost is divided five different chunks for customer ease and consistency.

Stage Payment in %
Initial fee 20%
Documentation 20%
Alpha Phase 20%
Beta Phase 20%
Launching 20%


Business analysts must have meeting with clients regarding payment methods and other possibilities for long term relationship. 

How to Find the Ideal App Development Company for Your App Development Project?

There are five key factors which helps towards selecting the right app development company. These factors ensure your decision for hiring the development company.

  • Develop the app scope
  • Analyze the previous work
  • Cost Estimation
  • Communication Evaluation
  • Maintenance Services


Type of Application 

Let first consider the types of applications:

  • Data driven application
  • Device application
  • Functionality application
  • Custom utility application
  • Game application

Data Driven Applications

Data driven are the web applications in which application flow is managed by its processed data. Performance of your application may be changed by input data. Programming logic will not be changed. When performance of application is changed by input data then it effects the way of coding it depends on the input’s changes. The purpose is to support users to find out and examine suitable results from processed information. The requirement of these applications is more and more testing because of lots of data issues. Testing of these applications must be done with different data samples. Examples of data driven application are Calendar, weather, stock etc. In 2020 estimated cost of developing an app is $15,000+.

Device Application

Device applications are software applications designed for installation and use on different device like mobile phones, tablets etc. In other words, it is a device application developer product which contains the solution API therein it is useful during the contract terms and conditions. Typically, a query is how much does it cost to make an app for device you can not give a exact answer but approximately it is range between $10,000 and $50,000 Depending on the business nature.  

Functionality Applications

Functionality application is a program or a real-time system that controls all the basic and primary operations including all ongoing processes. They help their users to perform their main tasks like information searching, online shopping, tracking orders, food orders etc. 

Custom Utility Applications

These are the software applications which are designed for specific organization or group of users in an organization. Specific requirements are addressed by this custom software in the organization as compared to other traditional software’s used by mostly people. It provides customization based on user and business needs. The code of this software is owned by the specific organization. It is fully scalable and innovative.

Game Applications

These are particular applications usually recognized as electronic or video games which are on game consoles such as X-box and play stations also useable on personal computers. You can say that gaming interface is may be a virtual reality. Mobile game development cost is anywhere from $250,000 to $550,000.


Complexity of app can be a representation used for features and functionality. Which involves the following:

Simple apps: In these apps single basic function is used for two to three screens. There is no need to store data in theses apps such as calculator.

API apps: The requirement of these apps is to store date on user device then systems require more complexity. If the requirement of app to register the user and login, synchronization of data among different devices and a lot of data for use then it is in complex type. 

Multifeatured Apps: In these type of apps various features and totally modified user interface is required.

Business Apps: These are the professional apps without any single error because entrepreneurs launch their app on worldwide level. These apps are costly it depends on the project nature.

Games: Gaming apps are more complex than others in functionality so the price will be varying according to the complexity. Gaming app development requires more experienced team, storyboards and mechanism.

App pricing models: App developers give you primary estimation of work process and they will charge per hour. 

Fixed Rate: This type is the most excepted type of pricing model in which estimated cost is based on agreed concepts. If the scope of project changes then fixed rate might be a changed. 

Time and Materials: Both time and material are affected on the cost of project. Pricing models must have to estimate both of these factors.


There are two types of platforms native and hybrid platforms.

Native Apps

Native apps are the applications which are written in specific programming language for specific device platform such as iOS or android. These are built for mobile device operating system. Native apps are built by using different programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, Python, Swift, Objective-C, C++ and React. The performance of these apps is faster and reliable than others because of their particular focus. The working of these apps is more efficient than others. The code of native apps is not reusable so these are expensive than other apps.

Hybrid Apps/Cross Platforms

Hybrid platforms are similar to native platforms but these are built for various platforms usually android and iOS. Development of hybrid platforms using a mixture of both web and native technologies. These apps are built for using a combination of web technologies and native APIs. Different programming language are used like HTML5, Ionic, Objective C and Swift. Development of hybrid app is faster less expensive than native apps. Also, it has more feasible and best usage with slower internet connections. But the power of these apps is less than native apps. 

Design Requirements

Visual representation of mobile application plays a vital role to user experience. Entrepreneurs must have design features to their mobile apps so they should tell about the development team. It will help to reduce cost and time. UX design tells about the working of app. Design cost includes four main factors these are visual design, UX design, icon, branding and copyrighting.

  • VISUAL DESIGN: The look of your app is very important it attracts the users. The quality of your product is judged by the visual design of the app.
  • UX DESIGN: UX design is actually tells about the working of your app you can say that it’s a logical design of the app. For the development of UX design it is necessary to read out the client requirements for their desired app delivery.
  • ICON: You should be choosy in selecting the icon for your app because it always attracts the users. So, your app must have a solid icon. 
  • LOGO: You must be select a classy logo design for your app which determines your app as a unique in market.
  • BRANDING: is also a valuable asset in the market place Like Apple is a brand and it has a huge market value. 
  • COPYRIGHT: Copyright is necessary before the launching the app in the market. When you release an app prior you have to pay a significant amount to app store. Normally google play store charges $49 per year and Apple iOS charges $99 per year.


Features and Functionality

Mobile app development is not an easy task and determine the cost to develop an app. You have to list down the desired features and functionality of your app. The role of app complexity is very important in the cost of app development. Complexity includes Simple, medium and complex app. If your app is simple it requires a basic function because there is no need to store ant data. The requirement of medium app is to store data on user device so these are complex systems. Because there is a synchronization among multiple devices is required. Mobile apps have some necessary features like user log-in, social log-in, Sync Data Across Devices, navigation bar, push notifications, media content sharing, geolocation, In-app messaging, database etc. 

    • E-MAIL LOGIN: mostly apps have this simple feature. The purpose of this feature is to assembling emails.
    • SOCIAL LOG-IN: Log in with social media is very important because it give you user data.
    • SYNC DATA ACROSS DEVICES: The purpose of this feature is to make the easy data access from different devices.
    • GEO-LOCATION: This feature helps in gathering the information about user’s location.
    • MEDIA CONTENT SHARING: You will be sharing your content on social media with the help of this feature like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc.
    • IN-APP MESSAGING: This feature helps to online contact with others like Whatsapp, IMO etc.
    • DATABASE: It is a very important feature because it stores all the information of your app.
    • PORTRAIT: Interface of app is most important so this concept is a vital part of every application. View is actually the representation of items which are available on your app for users. Every platform such as android and iOS has this feature of presenting list of items. It depends on the design developers set the view according to the client requirements.
    • NAVIGATION: This feature presents the user movement from one screen to another. How they open and close the app. In what way they go to the home, how they perform actions. Lifting, scrolling, icons, errors, press buttons. It means that user interface (UI) is the basic unit of any app development. Approximately this feature take 10+ hours and the cost to make app will be round about $250-500.


  • ADS: Now a days mobile advertising is trending. Adds are show to users during the use of apps in the form of simple box, text, banner, full screen pop-ups etc. Many external services and networks are available for adds like Google, AdMob, InMobi, Tapjoy, Flurry etc. It can be custom developed. Time required for this feature may be 20-50 hours and estimated cost to create an app is $1,000-2,500.


  • STREAMING: Streaming is feature in which data is sent to the server on real time it will process there and then give a response. Apps like Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, Twitch etc. Processing is depending on various factors. There are two steps in streaming first is app logic and process of data through record and send option. Second is What format is needed and supported for users’ mobile cameras and networks. Required time may be 30 hours and minimum costing app $1,500.



  • PHONE SENSOR USAGE: Mobile phone ability is most important for apps so you can say that apps are directly dependent on mobile capability. Here is an example of gyroscope the purpose of this sensor is to measure the degree of rotation and give three standards like pitch, roll and azimuth. 

A lot of sensors are available like:

  • Accelerometer: It detects the phone alignment.
  • Digital compass: is used to alignment for magnetic field.
  • GPS: Alignment of exact satellite.
  • Barometer: It is used for supporting GPS to take altitude data.
  • Light Sensor: In mobiles it is used to set robotically screen brightness.
  • Proximity Sensor: Its purpose is to avoid touch instructions via ear.
  • Pedometer: This sensor calculates the user steps on app.
  • Fingerprint Sensor: This sensor provides the security.

Average app costs for integrate with these sensors is $250 to $500 and time is for 10 developers working per hour.


  • STANDBY MODE OPTIMIZATION: Standby mode saves the battery when mobile is not connected to the charger. During the maintenance apps access the internet. It is related to many thing and social media apps like Facebook, twitter, google notifications, alarms chat messages etc. It is all about to the adjustment of app running such as its working, synchronization with internet. Developers spend 50 hours on this feature development and the app costs range is $1,250 to $2,500.


  • CUSTOMIZATION: Customization is a feature which help users to control app specification on their own side. For example, if user wants to change the icon style. Also, language change is on user end. To perform this task developers, spend 20 to 25 hours per screen and starting cost is $1,500. If you want to add extra feature like reuse it in future then working time and app marketing cost varies according to it.


  • SEARCH: All platforms have their own search features but you have to modify them according to your app. It will help to make unique your app. What type of search is required cost and time is depends on it. Starting estimate app costs is $250 to 5$00 and time is 10 hours per day.
  • DATA ENCRYPTION: It is compulsory to secure your data from unauthorize access. Data encryption is necessary for all type of apps. We can say that data is travelling from sender to receiver in the form of code they can decrypt it by using private key or keyword. For example, in WhatsApp end-to-end encryption is used it means that every message uses its unique lock and key. Data encryption in mobile depends on two things first is data type and second is compatibility. Data type mean which type of data is required to send and receive like plain text, images, audio or video files etc. Compatibility among sender and receiver devices is necessary. Estimated time is 20 hours per day and starting develop an app cost is $500 to $1,000.

There is a huge list of features we can list down but these are the most important features which are required in android and iOS. Cost does not only depend on app features it also includes many other things.


Testing is necessary to make sure the flawless delivery of mobile app. For this purpose, multiple test sessions are held by quality assurance engineers. Every feature and function of mobile app is separately tested for error detection. Testing should be held before launching an app it will help to reduce the app development cost. Also, it enhances the success rate of app. 


In a single click you can download your desired app from app store. Various apps are easily available on app store and should be protected from hackers. You have to use gadgets for the development of secure apps. These are helpful to identify the weakness. Security of business app is difficult than other apps. 

Cost of Maintaining an App

The main focus of app development is how to maintain the development cost. On maintenance companies annually spent 15% to 20% from cost development budget. It involves the error fixing, adding and updating features, equipped for new versions of operating system etc. It also includes the per year addition and complexity of features. App maintenance also deal with working factors when you have no plans to updating app. Maintenance and complexity depends on each other with the increase in complexity cost will be increase. It includes the following steps:

  • Constant error fixing
  • Enlightening steadiness and performance
  • Code optimization
  • up-to-date for new OS versions
  • Developing new features
  • Support for new versions of third-party services

All these are the reason to always cooperate with development team members and technology holder. Maintenance is nonstop process and all the development companies have their own term and conditions for after the product launch.

                              App Maintenance Cost ( 15%-20%)


What things to keep in mind when you hire a development team?

Estimation of cost development is necessary because it help to developers to give a clients desired app and gain their satisfaction. Also, they attain the customer long term relation and trust for further projects. 

On the other hand, lack of cost estimation is not a good for both customers and developers. It increases the rate of cost and failure risk.

Worthy Product

You have to understand that it is not important how much you spend on product it’s all about the worth of product. We take Instagram as an example it is sold for 1 billion dollars in a year and they spent round about $250,000 for developing a prototype. So, one thing is must realize here it is important to develop an effective product. If you save the money but your product is not successful it is a loss. You can say that cost matters but the worth and success of product comes first.

Real Cost Design

People thinks that design means look of the app actually it also means how it works. Design of your app must be attractive technology doesn’t matter rather than design. First of all, people want the design of app then they see the technology.   

There is a misconception technology is important, there is a need to understand that design is most significant than technology. Design is all about what’s going on with your app. What is shown on your app and users interact with. What is the basic idea of app and what’s the selling product? 

Design plays a vital role towards the client’s problem solving. Entrepreneur’s app should be focus on design phase for increase the market value of app and it will help to compete their competitors.  

Backend Infrastructure and App Administration

In the mobile application development, backend is all about the data exchange among application and database. Backend means an operating system (OS) which provides developers APIs for the data exchange. Analytics is used to determine the user’s activities on your app and calculate the performance of app. Determination and tracking of activities is depends on the parameters, so cost is also varying on it. 

Administration is a key element of app development. Responsibilities of administration is to manage and deal with users, content and statistics. A lot of templates are available for admin panel but it is hard to choose a good and perfect one. So, you have to logically choose admin panel according to your business needs.

Cost of developer team to create an app

When you want to build an app there is a need of team it doesn’t matter what type of application it is small or business level app. When you hire a team always keep in mind all the members of team should be experienced and cooperative. Every team member knows the complexity and importance of work and accept their responsibilities this approach leads to the more qualitative results. Quantity of people depends on the project nature if app is simple or moderate then team size is small. In the development of complex apps involves large number of people.

Development team include different people like Business analyst, project manager, Mobile app engineer, programmer, UI/UX designer, QA engineer etc.

  • Business Analyst

Entrepreneurs are always conscious about their business success and app development costs so they hire a business analyst. Analysis of business is an initial step of any business. Business analyst is responsible find out the business requirements and technology before going towards the development process cost. Following are the main responsibilities of business analysts.

  • Gather Requirements
  • Recognizing technology and business problems
  • Evaluating competitors
  • Defining project value
  • Write down project requirement

All these activities are done in the planning phase because of any inconvenience due to the change in project scope and errors during the development phase because it increases the risk of cost. You can say that the role of business analyst effects the app development cost.

UI/UX designer

Attractive and good design of app attracts the users so you have to hire a professional designer for app design. Because it is hard to develop design without experience and app design cost. Designer is responsible for:

  • Analysis of comparable applications
  • Analysis of user priorities 
  • Development of wireframes
  • Development of final design

The role of designer is also important in the development so you have to include cost of designer in the cost breakdown structure. 

Mobile app engineer

You have to tell about your app platform requirements to mobile app engineers. In which platform you want to release your app like android, iOS or both. Mobile app engineer role is to develop the application according to the chosen technology and business particularities which are mentioned in the specification document.

QA engineer

Quality assurance engineers test the application consistency from all perspectives like load, lapse, performance etc. Testing also includes the checking of user interface (UI) and different app gears to meet the client’s requirements. 

Project Manager

Project manager is responsible for all the working and coordination among team. It is the duty of project manager to make sure the timely production of app and timely delivery. Intelligent management always leads to the project success and it has excessive impact on app development cost.


The duty of programmer is also difficult. During the development of gaming apps, it will be a more difficult because there is a need to code complex systems.


How cost estimation is beneficial?

App development cost estimate process focuses on how much time and determination is required for the app development activities. Cost estimation defines each activity cost and how much time and effort are required to perform each activity. Cost estimation reduce the risk of money wastage and ensures the timely app development. App builder can fix the marketing price of app before its launching. It helps users to know that its economical or not also it is easy to find out material and tools according to the budget.

How do I validate my app idea?

For the success of your app you need a deeply market research. This research involves to find out your competitors. Target your app audience like their age group, interests, estimated income and work. Technically your practicable or not. For validation use keywords and google trends. Also, it is necessary to search out user demands about platform like you have to build android or iOS systems. Through crudely estimation 1.6 billion people in the world using smart phones so it is not easy to focus on your target audience but you have to do before your app development for the success of app.