Procurement 1 September 2017

Ten factors that affect the cost of developing a mobile app

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Hosting an app on Apple’s App Store costs around £69 a year

Writing for Business Advice, Mehul Rajput CEO of app developer Mindinventory, outlines the different factors that can determine the cost of developing a mobile app.

Often when a company or a startup founder plans to hire an app development company, the first query that clicks his mind is “how much do I need to pay for building the mobile application and will my budget suffice?”.

Now, if you ask this question to an app developer, the most obvious answer that you will probably receive is it will depend on what type of app you want to develop.

As such the cost of creating an app may vary from country to country and also depend upon the region. For instance, according to a survey by TechCrunch, the average price of building an app in US is approximately $6,453.

Let’s analyse some of the vital factors that influence the cost of developing a mobile app.

  1. Team of professionals developing the app

When it comes to choosing the most influential factor determining the cost of app creation, people may have different opinions. Some may give preference to the features and functionality, but you have to think about the team developing the app. Most app development firms hire experienced and proficient individuals to cater out various requirements.

The team comprises of a project manager, who literally supervises the project, one or more Android or iOS app developers depending on the size of the project, a UI or UX designer, a quality assurance engineer, and a backend developer for creating an API if needed. At times, you may also have to include an admin panel into the team.

Then you will come across app development companies that provides you with the option of hiring app builders and employ them with your team. This would also create an impact on the price.

  1. The choice of the platform and its version

You are quite aware that all Smartphones function based on their operating systems or OS. There are usually three types of Operating Systems:

  • Android OS
  • iOS OS
  • Windows OS
  • Blackberry OS

And the cost of developing the app will depend on the platform or OS for which the app is getting created. According to Statista, the average cost of developing an iOS app is £22,000, for the Android it is about £18,000, for Windows OS it’s £14,000 and for Blackberry OS it’s around £12,000.

The second important aspect is the version of the Operating System. For instance, in the case of iOS, the developer needs to decide whether to opt for the latest updated version or the slightly old version.

The story with Android OS is more or less the same – they need to decide whether to opt for Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat.

  1. Implementation of features and functionality

This is another essential criterion that will have a big influence on deciding how much you have to pay to the app developer. When it comes to incorporating the features, there is a wide spectrum out there in the middle. The developer implements them based on the requirements of the client and app. Moreover, it largely depends on what type of app you are building.

For instance, if you are developing an app for a bank, then it must include the security features, easy methods of online transaction, deposit of money, opening an account and so on.

In addition to that, you also need to add social media buttons such as Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Many apps have a geo-fencing facility and are enabled with GPS connection. The more features the app has, the more costly it will be.

  1. Testing maintenance and app updates

Well this is a procedure which is carried out post the development. After the app developer completes making the application, he needs to test its functionality and observe whether it is working well or not. It may be that he has to test the app number of times if he doesn’t find satisfied results. This will add to the budget of the app.

The cost of the app also involves its maintenance and updates. You have to keep on regularly upgrading the app to its latest version so that you can offer the best to your audiences. According to Network World, 29.6 per cent of the apps are updated on monthly basis, whereas 52.8 per cent apps are upgraded on half-yearly basis.

  1. The choice between native and web (HTML5) app

Now this is one factor, which is mostly based on the decision of the client as what he prefers. The app developer will ask whether you want to opt for native or web (HTML5) app. Native apps are developed with the help of specific languages such as JavaScript or Objective C; whereas the web based apps are built as web pages.

Taking the cost into consideration, one can say that web apps are relatively cheaper as compared to native apps. But they are not very user-friendly and harder to optimize. Finally, the pick is customers.

  1. The number of screens

The more number of screens means the more pricy it will be just because you are adding more designs and integrating more UI/UX. It also allows the user to navigate the apps in more than one way.

The cost can also hike as creating the app will take more time because the developer has to undertake more programming methods.

  1. The security of the app

As you are launching an app, you also need to take into account the security of your app especially if it is related to monetary transactions.

You need to provide security to the end user so that all his confidential data is safe and that it cannot be easily hacked, and include this expense in the app costing.

  1. Offering the database and CMS

Today apps have truly pampered the audiences with extensive features. The database and the content management system (CMS) is necessary as it drives traffic to your app.

Database is where the users can share and upload their videos, comments, images and can also provide a feedback to your app. Database is the place where the photos or the videos are stored.

CMS is something that allows you to edit your content in case you want to do so. You can also add a new image and remove the old one with the help of CMS.

  1. Designing the app icon

An app icon is often considered to be the most important part as the user identifies the app with its icon. It’s similar to the logo of the website. So, the cost of designing the icon will depend on what type of design and UI you opt for. The more complex the icon design, the costlier it would be.

  1. Licensing or copyright of the app

The app license also become crucial just before you are about to release your app in the market. You have to pay something to the App store, for launching your app. Apple charges £69 a year. On the other hand, Google Play Store charges £20.

There are many factors that affect the cost of developing a mobile app, but it difficult to determine an exact amount. You can only get a budget estimate and decide what all features and other facilities you want to provide to your customers.

The final cost can be determined only after having a thorough discussion with the app developers and experts.

Mehul Rajput is CEO of Mindinventory, a leading mobile app development company specialising in android and iOS app development

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