Apps are great tools we use on our phones. Most brands or companies have an app, hence the saying “there’s an app for that”. A few weeks ago we looked at how apps are made. (Check that out here.) In this article, we wanted to break down how an app cost is calculated and what you should expect to see along the development process.
What’s the Cost of an App?
Apps are fairly expensive. They can start out somewhere around 8-12k depending on who and where your app is being built and can go upwards of six figures. It also depends on what you need the app to do. The more complex the app is, the more it will cost.
There are several factors involved with the cost and how to get it fluctuating in price. Some cost factors could be (depending on the complexity of the app and the design team):
- Length of discovery time
- Asking for a hybrid app instead of native
- Minimal mock-ups
Not too long of a discovery time
In order to minimize the discovery time, help your app team out by providing as much info at the initial meeting of talking about the app. The more you can answer about the WHY you need this and about what the app is for and how it will be used in the industry, the more of a chance that some money could be saved in the discovery phase. The app developers have to feel like they are a part of your business as well so they can come up with a great app!
Asking for a Hybrid App instead of Native
This is a big one that can possibly save lots of development time and money. Asking for a Hybrid app means you’re asking the team to build the app once and distribute to the various app stores. This has become popular to do over the years because you don’t have to build the app twice, once in Apple’s preferred language of Swift or Objective C and once in Android’s preferred language of Java. By asking for a hybrid app you’re only having one code base to manage and that saves lots of time.
However, there are some drawbacks to hybrid development. One of them is that you may not get direct access to some native features like camera or GPS. However, frameworks like React Native or Native Script that help with this, but several years ago, that was not the case. Also, since these different libraries aren’t supported by Apple or Android, there is a slim chance that they could start denying hybrid apps. However, this will probably never happen since there are a lot of apps that have hybrid development, and both Android and Apple make a lot of money off their app stores.
Another potential way that the cost could be affected is in the mock-up stage. The more mock-ups and revisions your app require the more time and cost will be involved. If you have a few designs in mind and can share them with your app development team, they can use those as inspiration and go off what you provide. Also, if you don’t need every screen designed and approved that can cut down on how many mock-ups are needed.
Testing can involve user testing, A / B testing, and several other tests depending on your app. It can be very expensive depending on what kind of app you’re developing. However, if your app doesn’t need online connectivity, user accounts, or isn’t too complex, then your testing could be very minimal just to make sure all the screens work correctly and users understand your app.
As you can see, there are several factors that influence the price of an app. If you would like to learn more about how we do apps, feel free to contact Zach and he can help answer any other questions!