You may have wondered at some point, ‘how much does it cost to make an app?’ If you use any of the application development estimate calculators online, you will be asked many questions and then get an estimate anywhere between $10,000 and $300,000. For many businesses, this wide range is vague and unhelpful at best.

Don’t worry; after reading this guide, you will understand how much it costs to make an app, the factors that will influence the cost, and so much more. You will also get useful examples of how much it costs to develop some famous apps you use every day, such as Uber and Instagram. You will easily be able to estimate how much it would cost you to make an app with similar specifications.

But first, let’s look at what factors influence the app creation cost.

Components that determine how much it costs to make an app for your business

how much does it cost to make an app components that determine app development cost

 

1. Project type

All apps are not created equally, and the project type varies depending on the software you choose to use. This is one of the many reasons why the average cost to create an app differs. For example, a medical facility can incorporate EHR (Electronic Health Record) into the app if its goal is to make data management of the patients’ medical records easier. A financial app, on the other hand, will require software that monitors all of the payment gateways and another that connects to integrated third-party applications.

 

2. Features and functionality

Different features make up an app. For example, some apps require login and password restoration features, file uploading and downloading, messaging functions, profile editing, etc. Additionally, some apps will need simple solutions, whereas others will need more complex solutions.

 

3. Customization of visual design

How you design your User Interface contributes significantly to the app’s chances of success, as well as the custom app development cost. You can decide if you want to create a custom UX/UI for each platform you develop (Android: Material Design elements, iOS: Cupertino design elements), or you can create one design template, common for different platforms. As a result, it simplifies the development and customization process, as well as decreases the app development cost.

 

4. Platforms

How much does it cost to build an app for Android and iOS? We will not get into the great iPhone vs. Android debate. At least not right now. I am sure you are wondering how the price to create an app in iOS costs compared to developing one in Android. Here is the answer – they’re almost equal in cost for each platform. However, the question should be whether to go for native mobile or cross-platform app development.

Native mobile development apps are more responsive. Cross-platform apps have one code for both Android and iOS, which will help decrease the price by about 30%. We’ll discuss it in detail below. Read on!

 

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5. Backend infrastructure and app administration

The backend infrastructure is responsible for the data exchange between the app and the database, content and user management, reporting, and custom marketing activities. You may use different types of backend environments and infrastructure (AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, etc), and what is more – the various services they provide.
It all goes a long way in determining the costs of creating an app.

 

6. App maintenance costs and additional services

OSs are constantly growing and evolving, security systems are constantly improving, and users encounter bugs in the app or run into problems when they are using the app.
Your development team may need to perform updates to the applications regularly. This means that you need to add an extra amount of budget for support.

 

7. In-house or outsourced development team

To develop an app, you may need to decide whether you want to use an in-house team or if you would like to outsource the task to an external development team. There are many factors to consider before making this decision.

For example, the cost of developing a mobile app using an in-house team will be higher than with an outsourced team. Especially if you decide to outsource to Ukraine, where you can find not only cheaper software development, but also a wide pool of talented developers.

 

8. Developer’s rates

The iOS app development costs will surely differ from the application development cost for Android, as well as native will differ from cross-platform mobile app development. For instance, on a site like Upwork or Toptal, mobile app development rates range from $18 to $150 per hour, depending on the skill set needed and the project requirements.

Prices in different countries are also varied. For example, average hourly rates for mobile app development in different countries are the following:

Country Cost per hour
North America $80- $150
UK $70+
Australia $70 - $150
Ukraine $40-$65
South America $45 - $55
India $30-$45
Eastern Europe $40 -$70

At DOIT Software, average hourly rates for mobile app development are about $40-$65, depending on the skill requirements and the project complexity. Contact us to understand what your app development costs.

So, now you know what factors influence the app development cost. But how to calculate how much it costs to create an app for your business? We evaluate more than a dozen apps every week, so we have the information on what to recommend here.

How much does it cost to make an app in 2021?

how much does it cost to make an app types of apps

As you have seen, asking for the cost of building an app may not get you a straightforward answer. One of the best and simplest ways to find the average cost of developing an app is to break down how much it would cost to build each feature. But what if you haven’t thought about app functionality yet? Take a look at the table below. We’ve divided all apps into these types: simple, medium, and large apps. It will help you to have an overview of how much it costs to create an app.

Basic

2 - 5 months

A basic application only has the core features built into it.

Some features to include in this app would be a simple login interface, standard email subscription template, and simple design elements.

The app is generally compatible with one platform.

Sometimes, the basic application is the MVP that is being tested before further development.

Medium

4 - 9 months

This app would have some of the features of the basic application plus additional features such as payment methods, data analytics, push notifications, integrations, etc.

A medium application will have a relatively more complex design than the basic application.

The app development team could face some complex and technical challenges.

It would probably be compatible with one or two platforms.

Large

9+ months

This app will require some complex app development work.

It could include the features in the medium application plus other features such as having an offline mode, data encryption, and video streaming capabilities.

This app could be compatible with two or more platforms.

So, knowing the timeline and average rates in different countries, you can easily get a ballpark estimate.

Do you know what features your app could have? Take a look at the table below, which shows some of the features you could add, the amount of money involved, and the average time to develop an app with these features.

01

Login/Registration

App users can log in to the application through email or by using a phone number.

Should have an option to restore the login credentials if misplaced.

02

Payment options and integrations

Users can use payment methods to pay for services.

Users can link their accounts to third-party payment providers.

Users can add or remove their payment options from their profiles at will.

03

Navigation

This is how the users will move from screen to screen and go back to the main screen.

Choose movement methods, e.g., scrolling, swiping, arrows, etc. Allow users to change the movement method to match their needs.

04

Media content

The app should support some media formats depending on their needs.

Social media and networking apps would need to support nearly all of these media options, from emojis to videos.

05

Customization

Allows users to alter how they view and navigate the application depending on their preferences.

Some customization options including changing the language, how they scroll, how they view files, etc.

06

Chat messaging

Allows users to communicate with one another either in groups or individually.

Some apps allow very large groups while others set limits.

Encryption is crucial as users want to feel secure to send and receive messages.

Support of media versions, file transfer, and auto-deletion are bonuses.

07

Data encryption

Encryption means that users data in the application is kept safe from unwanted parties.

Messaging apps can use end to end encryption to keep data private.

You can have offline and online mode data encryption.

08

Audio or video streaming

Allows users to stream audio or video files.

This feature is increasingly becoming common in messaging apps that allow their users to make and receive audio or video calls.

It's important that these streaming functions are encrypted, particularly if they are calls.

Radio, TV, and music streaming apps also need these capabilities.

09

Multi-language support

Allows users from different cultures and languages to use the same app by selecting their navigation language.

You can start by developing the app in one language then add languages with time.

It will help you to know how much it costs to produce an app, by counting each features’ development price.

Feature Approximate cost Average time
Login/Registration $1100 - $1700 20 hours+
Payment options and integrations $2500 - $5000 50 hours+
Navigation $250 - $500 10 hours+
Offline mode $1000 - $2000 40 hours +
Media content From $1000 20 hours+
Customization $1500 20 hours+
Chat messaging $2000 - $4000 80 hours +
Data encryption $650+ 16 hours+
Audio or video streaming $2300+ 56 hours +
Multi-language support $350 - $750 15 hours

How much does it cost to make an app like Uber, Instagram, and Whatsapp?

Data about the revenue generated by applications from the Android and iOS app stores shows that revenue collected has grown from $9.1 billion in 2016 to $31.9 billion in the last quarter of 2020. Some applications net a significant portion of this revenue.

That is why, in this section, entrepreneurs looking to understand how to start an app business will learn about the mobile app development costs of some of the most widely used apps today.

How much did the Uber app cost to develop?

01

Uber

This app raised $200,000 with seed funding and most of that money was used to create its beta version.
02

Instagram

The initial funding used to make Instagram's ios application was around $500,000.
03

Whatsapp

This application received $250,000 in seed money to improve its iOS app structure.
04

Postmates

The app needed initial funding of $120,000 to launch.
05

Snapchat

This app initially raised $485,000 to develop the application.

How much does it cost to make an app like Uber, Instagram, or Whatsapp? The price of developing similar apps will vary depending on which features you consider to be crucial to you and the development team you choose to use. Drop us a line to get an accurate estimate.

How to develop an app for your business?

If you already read the first half of this guide, now you understand how much it costs to make an app. So let’s move on to the next step and discuss how to develop an app.

When it comes to developing an app for any business, there are five general phases. These are the planning, design, development, testing, and deployment phases.

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5 steps: your involvement in the app development process

01

Step 1

Write down what you would like to accomplish with the application. This part of the planning occurs before you do any extensive research. You can ask potential users what they would expect of such an app through surveys and answer questions such as android vs ios: which platform should you choose to build your app at first?
02

Step 2

Perform a market comparison. Now you will look at all the existing apps and what they can and can't do. You will decide which aspects of the existing apps you want to adopt, improve or discard. You can use your goals from step one to decide which features you did not find that you would like to introduce.
03

Step 3

Decide if you want in-house development or if you need a dedicated development team (as an option). Interview the team you choose thoroughly to ensure that they can meet your expectations.
04

Step 4

Create a project management plan. This will help you plan out the development process, set out expectations, and measure progress towards your goals.
05

Step 5

Create an MVP. You may choose to launch one or more MVPs during the development phase to work out any kinks before the full launch.

 

Structure of a Development Team

You will need several people in your development team to make your project a success. The list below shows some of the people needed and the roles they will play.

01

Business analyst

They will help you identify the technological and business needs before estimating the closest average app development costs.

They are crucial in the planning phase of the app development process as they could be the difference between the high and low costs of getting an app developed.

02

UI/UX Designer

They will help you design interfaces that users want to use.

They could get ideas from similar apps in your field to find what is working and what isn't.

03

Mobile app engineers

You may need several developers if you opt to make native apps for each OS separately.

They build and launch your app in line with your specifications.

04

Quality Assurance Engineer

They will test the stability of the application by performing several types of testing during the whole entire process.

They will also check that the app is compliant with any regulations.

05

Project manager

They coordinate the work of all the members of your development team.

They ensure that the work is being done in line with the agreed-upon scope and that it is following the set deadlines and set budget.

Outsourcing vs. using an in-house team

One of the main advantages of using an in-house development team is proximity. Otherwise, it may make more sense to outsource in the larger scheme of things, particularly if you are not a tech company that will need the team full-time.

If you decide to outsource, you choose between outsourcing to a local development team or a team overseas. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The main thing to remember is that you get what you pay for. This means that a team that charges lower prices for particular tasks may also provide lower quality work.

How to decrease your app development budget

Using the information in the prior sections, you may find that the cost of making an application is higher than you may have expected. This section will delve into what you can do to decrease your app development budget.

how much does it cost to make an app per development phase

 

How to Build Your App on a Budget

01

Make a note of what you need

Start with the discovery phase. If you skip this step, you will start the app development process without a clear set of goals and scope. If you know what you are looking for in an application, you will not spend a lot of time deliberating with your developers. Additionally, you will not make the mistake of developing one or more features only to find that you do not need them. Instead, you will be able to give the development team concise instructions based on your requirements.
02

Choose the right mobile app development company

Decide if you want an in-house development team or to outsource. If you choose to outsource, be sure to thoroughly research the available firms so you settle on one that can complete the task at hand to your satisfaction. It's not just about reducing the cost of developing an app by hiring a cheap firm, but about getting the best value for your money.
03

Monitor the progress regularly

Once you have set out a plan for the development, you should not sit back and wait for the finished product. Interact with the team and find out how they are progressing with the app development. Find out what solutions they are thinking about for solving any problems they encounter in the development process. The goal is to stay in the loop, not to micromanage.
04

Opt for cross-platform development

Choosing cross-platform development will save you a lot of money in the long run. You need to look at the iphone app development price and compare it to the android app development cost. There are many benefits of choosing cross-platform development over native app development. They will be discussed later in the guide.
05

Build a minimum viable product first (MVP)

Before launching the full app, consider launching one or more MVPs first. This will be discussed in the next section.

MVP development

how much does it cost to make an app mvp development

Launching an MVP is an excellent alternative to launching a fully developed application. The MVP product will contain limited, only necessary functions of the full app. There are several reasons why a business would consider launching an MVP first. Some benefits include:

01

To test the viability and feasibility of the app

You may be introducing some concepts to your application, but you are unsure if they will work as intended. You can test them out in the MVP to only incorporate the functional concepts in the final app.
02

To help you secure funding

You may have seen by now that it can be pretty expensive to launch a good application. If you launch an MVP and succeed, you can show it to potential investors, who can give you the money to develop the full application.
03

It can help you get feedback

Is that new UI working? How will users rate the app's UX? With an MVP, you can get feedback about the app and evolve it before launching it.
04

Verify demand

An MVP can let you know if there is a demand for the services you are offering. Just like in the previous point, it will help you quit while you are ahead or go back to the drawing board if it fails in the MVP stage.
05

It's cost-efficient

By launching an MVP before the full launch, you can spread out your development costs as you develop your application. The iterative cost of launching an app of a small magnitude and then redoing the process when you are ready can help spread out the costs. A monetized MVP can be used to fund subsequent improvements, which saves the developers money.

how much does it cost to make an app ways to measure success after building an mvp

 

Native vs. cross-platform mobile app development

A native application is built using the OS’s codebase. A cross-platform up is built on a hybrid platform that can export to the different OSs simultaneously. There are many benefits to building a cross-platform application, including:

01

You will save money.

You will only need one team versed in cross-platform development rather than developers for each OS.
02

You will save time.

It will take you less time than the cumulative time each team will take to produce the individual apps.
03

You will be able to launch both applications simultaneously.

This will give you access to a broader market.

Read more about

Take a look at this article to know more about native vs cross-platform app development.

Our approach to the cost estimation

There are only two major steps to follow.

01

Requirements.

You give us a description of your requirements and ideas for the application. We gauge how much it costs to build an app and how much time it would take to build an app meeting your requirements and fitting your description from your ideas. We will give you a rough estimate.
02

Estimation.

We make a detailed estimation if you have approved the rough estimate. This will be based on your project management plan and the time needed to build the application's features.

Conclusion

Many of the app development cost calculators online may not paint an accurate picture of the actual cost of getting an app developed. Maybe you already have a plan for what features you would like your application to have. Contact us today to get an accurate estimate at no cost to you that finally answers the question “how much does it cost to make an app for your business?”

Freequently Asked Questions

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How much does it cost to make an app for a restaurant or retail business?

Business people are often  interested in knowing how much an app costs, particularly a restaurant app. Various factors affect the mobile app cost of retail apps, such as the tech stack used and whether or not you are making a cross-platform app. It would cost you approximately $60,000 to develop an application for one platform.

How much does it cost to make an app similar to Instagram?

The average cost to build an app similar to Instagram but with basic social networking capabilities would require approximately 1200 hours of development. It would cost you roughly $60,000 to develop a similar app for a single platform.

How much does it cost to make an app like WhatsApp?

It would depend on the features you want to include, the design, and the platform. It may cost you approximately $60,000 to build a similar application for a single platform.

How much does it cost to make an app like Tinder?

It would depend on how complex the features you use are and the development company you chose. It could cost you approximately $50,000 for a single platform application like Tinder.

How much does it cost to make an app on android?

The android app development cost depends on whether you want a simple, medium, or large app. For that reason, the price could be as low as $10,000 and be as high as $300,000.

How much does it cost to make an app like Lyft?

It will depend on which features you want to include in the application, and if your wish is to develop two applications, one for the driver and one for the passengers using one operating system. It may cost you approximately $60,000.

How much does it cost to make an app for mobile?

The cost of developing a mobile application will depend on several factors, including whether it’s for one platform or multiple platforms. Additionally, the complexity of the features could make the app cheaper or more expensive to build. The price can therefore range between $10,000 and $300,000.

How much does it cost to make a fitness-app?

If you would like to develop a fitness app, the cost ranges from USD $24,500 to $175,000. The exact price depends on several factors, such as the amount of added features and their complexity.

SERHII OSADCHUK
CTO @ DOIT Software
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