How Long Does it Take to Build a Mobile App?

Avinash Sharma April 21, 2022
How Long Does it Take to Build a Mobile App

There is no doubt about the fact that with 3.96 billion active mobile app users worldwide, businesses are looking to get the same attention. Mobile apps constantly accelerate change in the marketplace, addressing customers and business operations. In fact, the demand and revenue for mobile applications in the business landscape is soon projected to reach 613 billion USD by the year 2025. Therefore, it’s high time to take a closer look at every possible factor that impacts a mobile app development process.

Usually enterprises and startups inquire about the app development process and the app development cost, but we are now moving to another significant factor: the timeline to create an app, the resources required and all the efforts involved. As soon as you learn the benefits of having a mobile application for their business, you are more likely to get on with it. Hence, the question for today’s discussion: how long does it take to develop an app and how to create your own app?

{Also read our article on – How much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Careem & Uber}

Average app development Time before launch

Now, usually, the average time to develop an app looks like the below image. But there is no definite time to create an app as it depends on person to person and company to company. But there is no definitive-ness. And thus this article.

Key Stages of The App Development Process

The mobile app development process has different stages and all of these stages require different time slots. From the planning process until the launch of the application, the entire process is interdependent on each other and requires proper attendance. It is quite obvious that apps with different sizes and different features have different app development time.

Each development stage is discussed below to answer the question ‘how much time does it take to build an app?’ In addition, we will also discuss how long does it take to build an iOS app and how long does it take to build an Android app?

How long does it take to make an app in each development stage

Mobile app brief is one of the main documents that entrepreneurs and app developers often miss out on. Ideally, the better the brief the lesser time it would take to understand the software project and the requirements. In fact, this one step can have a HUGE impact on the time required to develop an app.

There are some things that you have to include in the brief which you are working with such as the company information such as a detailed understanding of the project and the mobile app development services you will have to deploy.

The outcome of this stage is usually :  you have an analyzed document of the estimated app development process before you get to different design and development related phases. Let us first look into the time it takes to set the basis of all the design and development processes that follow.

Project 

  • Project goals and the success metrics
  • RFP
  • NDA
  • The budget range 
  • Delivery date

Stage 1: Forming ideas and research

Average cost of app development - Discovery stage

The first step in the process of how to create an application is forming ideas and research. It’s easy to get great ideas but it’s not necessary that everyone will agree to it being great. The idea formation and research part very much affect how long it takes to build an app. This stage involves starting with an idea to make an app and then researching it for more improvements.

Another thing that this stage involves is targeting the right audience. It is in this initial stage that the right audience is targeted for the app. Defining the target audience not only helps in boosting the app after its launch but also in shaping the app in the right direction.

Different apps have different sizes and ages of the target audience. For instance, Facebook has all ages of people on its platform whereas Tinder has a younger target audience. Targeting has made these apps so successful therefore it is suggested that proper targeting and research should be done.

Analyzing the competitiveness of the market and the app is also necessary. During the research about the app, one should also gather information about the competitors and potential threats. This will prepare the app owners for any difficulties after the app launch.

The entire research takes several weeks. By the end of the research, you should know all the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors, the app strategies and defined target audience.

By the end of this stage, you should get these outcomes:

Stage 2: Planning it all out

The next important stage to create an app is the planning stage. Once you know all about your market, it’s time to plan out the app development process. The planning stage involves decisions regarding the configuration of the app. These decisions include making a choice between iOS and Android, native or hybrid, cross-platform or not, web-based app or mobile app, etc.

Once these plans are made, it’s time to add on the features. Now the features of an app should be such that neither does it complicate the app nor slows it down. There are many basic features that an app should have such as search bar, social media sharing buttons, profile building, login option, etc. These features make a basic app much more convenient for users.

As the app size increases, the features are more and more directed towards the type of app. For instance, any e-commerce app will have the ‘Add to cart’ feature. Similarly, social media apps have the option of media sharing and various other features for engagement on the app.

Read case study

So how long does it take to build an app? All this planning is quite complex and will require a month or so.

Stage 3: Design Sprints and Idea Validation 

The next step in how to develop an app is design sprints. Design sprints processes are being used for testing different aspects of an application. It takes around a week to complete the whole design sprint. The idea of the stage is to test different aspects of the idea and get them validated by a pool of prospective users. 

Design Sprint helps businesses understand if users value a feature, how they use it, when they would be using it, how easy or difficult they think it is to navigate the application, etc.

Design Sprints and Idea Validation

Stage 4: Development stage

In the development stage of how to create an application, there are three elements that need to be built: the UI, Front End and Back End. Once all the planning is done, the developers and designers will work their magic and start building the app. So how long does it take to build an app? Well, the development and designing stage takes about six weeks.

The UI of an app is taken care of by graphic designers. This gives the apps an appearance to enhance the user experience. UI is important for any app to flourish in the market because the users seem to like visually appealing apps more.

Evidence for this can be seen in our refined UI/UX strategy for Domino’s that helped increase its mobile app’s conversion rate by 23%. 

The frontend and the backend are also very important components to create your own app. The frontend is what users see and how they act in an app but nothing will make sense until the backend is developed. The backend connects the UI with the system and allows the proper functioning of the app. So, how to make an app without either of these? Well, you cannot.

Let us deep dive a little to know what both the engineering processes consist of to answer the question how long will it take to develop an app for free and how to make your own app:

Backend Engineering

  • Data storage
  • Users management
  • Server-side logic 
  • Data Integration
  • Versioning 

Frontend Engineering:

  • Frontend logic
  • Caching
  • Synchronization
  • Wireframing 
  • UI Design 
  • UI development

Stage 5: Developer and QA Team

Picking the best development team to create an app is never simple, even when you have the best team you are in constant search of more. To help you with the hunt, you can either look for them locally, which is quite difficult or outsource the task to either app development companies or to freelancers that will turn into a team under your influence.  Obviously, the most ideal alternative for creating an app is to find a current development team with demonstrated experience in the industry and direct all the requirements to them. There are a few reasons behind that:

  • Having a team means that they know each other and are strong as a group.
  • As the developers know each other thus, their work timings and pace are similar minimizing any sort of delays.
  • Having a strong team with a project manager will help you to place all your requests to an individual (project lead/manager).

Another incredible benefit of selecting a ready-to-work development team is that they will give you the end result and will handle all the application development stages themselves. In addition, proficient groups can provide you with a good understanding of the process of developing apps, guide on improving the work process, and assist you with picking a native or a hybrid app, based on your objectives.

Stage 6: Testing

What does it take to run an app? To know whether the app is even going to run after the development is finished, we need to do test runs. We cannot deny the fact that the app will have some or the other bugs that need to be fixed before the final launch. These bugs can be identified with the help of tests.

There are many ways to test a mobile app’s performance and functioning. We, at Appinventiv, have our own strategies for testing mobile apps. The quality assurance tests are run so that users don’t find any issues when they first use the app making the app more likable.

Alpha and Beta testing are done on the app to make the app error-free. After the testing, the app is launched. Post-launch whatever feedback is gathered from the users, the necessary changes are made.

Stage 7: Deployment on Stores

The time that it takes to deploy the app can be divided in two sections: submission & review. When you submit an application, either on the Apple App Store or on the Google Play Store, there are some guidelines you will have to follow, such as:

  • Screenshots
  • App Descriptions 
  • Icons
  • Video or Image demonstration 
  • App Store Optimization

The time stores take for deploying your applications. 

When you compare the time it takes to launch apps on the App Store compared to publishing them on Play Store, Apple follows a very detailed reviewing process – which increases the launch time to some extent. On the other hand, Google makes use of algorithms for pre-analyzing your apps, thus lowering the app launch time.

Note these following points:

  • All the different app development processes take their individual development time. 
  • Although research stages take up around 2 to 3 weeks of development time, when done right, they cannot just save time on a later stage but also aid the smooth sailing of processes. 
  • Factors that slow down the mobile app development timeline are changes made mid-project inexperienced developers and  use of complex technologies
  • RFPs, MVPs (minimum viable products), and Cross-platform development tend to speed up the app development process.

Now as we have discussed all the stages of how to create an app or how to build an app, let’s move further to discuss what slows down the app development process. 

What Slows Down The App Development Process?

As seen in the section before, the app development process usually takes about 2-3 months. But there are some things that delay the overall process and the answer of how long it takes to develop a mobile app.

1. Mid-project changes

Developing apps is a continuous process where all the stages are connected to each other in some ways. If there are sudden changes in the plan in the middle then the process is bound to get slower. These mid-project changes can also affect the app’s performance since too many changes in an already built code base can do that to the app.

2. Unexperienced developers

What does it take to build an app that is successful? Great ideas, proper budget and a good developer, for sure. Often businesses, especially start-ups make the mistake of hiring developers that aren’t up to the mark with the work. This results in slowing down the process as well as a poor app for the business. Our team of app developers is highly skilled with good experience at hand which has allowed us to launch high performing apps one after another. We also have helped our clients with their app ideas so that they get the best outcome for their business.

3. Complex technologies

Technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, etc. cause the slow down of the mobile app development process. There’s no doubt that these technologies make the app a better experience but everything good comes at a price. And the price of using the latest technology is that they might slow down the app development process.

The reason why this happens is that the technologies are a bit complex and take time to fit in the app.

4. Industry-wise difference

The industry for which the app is being built also plays an important role in the average app development time. The answer to the question of how long does it take to make a social media app is 1-2 month(s). Whereas on-demand apps take more time to be developed. Therefore, the industry is another factor that affects the time required to make an app.

Now we know how to make apps and what factors delay the app development process, let’s see how we can speed up the process.

How to Speed Up The Time of Application Development?

With the fast growth of mobile apps, one cannot afford to slow down in the development process. Businesses, be it startups or enterprises, are looking for mobile app developers who can develop apps faster without compromising the quality of the app.

There are no problems without solutions and the same goes with time required to develop an app. When it comes to startups, then gathering a massive crowd is a survival goal and for that mobile apps are the solution.

By now we know how to make an app and what it takes to make an app. We have also known what factors affect the time to make an app. It’s time to see how we can reduce the time of application development.

Speed up the time of apllication management

1. MVPs and prototyping

So, how to create a mobile app and save time at the same time? MVPs or prototypes are a great way to save time. They can be built easily and resemble the original idea of the application. Once the MVPs are out in public, the actual app can be built by adding features and making improvements.  Many businesses like Airbnb, MailChimp, etc. started as MVPs before the actual implementation.

2. Go for cross-platform

Android vs iOS is the biggest debate of all times and sometimes people get so confused that they don’t know which to choose. The timeline and cost of app development of both the platforms individually are relatively high. But cross-platform app development is a solution for this. With tools like Xamarin and PhoneGap, great multi-platform apps can be built which take less time.

Discuss Your Expectations

3. Hire a professional developer

A professional app developer to create your own app is the best you can do. Not only will the app have amazing UI/UX design but also will take less time to develop. In fact, the hours will only lower if you choose to outsource. Being one of the top reasons why you should outsource, when you choose a professional app development company off-shore, you’ll not just get a good experience but will basically make your work easier. 

Appinventiv is also a professional app development company that has developed several successful apps for clients. We will guide you through the entire process of ‘how do you make an app’ and ‘how to create a mobile app.

4. Agile development

There are numerous app development organizations that follow agile development as it accelerates the development cycle. The main purpose behind agile app development is that the organizations can’t face the challenge of starting all over again. It has a flexible and adaptable programming structure that is ideal for open-ended communication between app owners and developers. To put it plainly, it speeds up the development process and guarantees that the application is developed on time.

5. White label solutions

White label solutions are products that were produced by one company and then are rebranded and made to look like other company’s. This will save a lot of time when creating an app since there will be no need to build anything from scratch. However, this will not result in a good application, especially not the one that generates huge traffic or sales.

6. Automated testing

Automated testing, although it sounds a quite obvious thing but this is ignored by many. This type of testing is one of the significant periods of development that reduces the mobile app development cycle. The best thing about automated testing is that it can run a whole set of tests all at once. This decreases the time spent on manual testing and helps in improving the security of the application. Automated testing involves several testing methods that are applied to save time. As the testing process becomes quicker, the development process also aces its speed. Executing more than one testing strategy can offer error free code.

Read case study

How can Appinventiv help you with iOS or Android app development? 

Appinventiv is one of the leading mobile app development companies that architects, designs and develops application ideas. We are known to craft innovative solutions and deliver unparalleled results. We offer a comprehensive suite of iOS and Android app development services ranging from consultancy to full stack development. You demand and we deliver, that’s what we specialize in. 

With about a decade of experience, we have served many startups and global brands belonging to different industries. We helped Adidas expand its mobile presence globally with our design, development and deployment process. We also helped Pizza Hut increase its mobile app’s conversion rate by 30% through our transformative UI/UX strategy. Check our complete portfolio of clients.

Questions you can ask your mobile app development company

Q. Should I get an Android or an iOS business app?

A. The answer to which platform you should prefer for your business app development relies on three major factors: device, users and development. Every decision you make depends on where your major users are, how they use mobile apps in their day-to-day routine and what is your business looking to achieve through the mobile app. It is always recommended to conduct a thorough market analysis before drawing the final decision.

Q. How will the project be managed?

A. One of the most significant questions you need to ask from your mobile app development company is the project management process. Managing the entire application lifecycle is down to your developers, however, ensure that you ask how much involvement is required from your side. The important criteria is communication here. The project manager is usually responsible for maintaining the communication between the development team and you. Moreover,it’s important to discuss the following points in the project:

  • Research and briefing 
  • Design and development
  • Staging 
  • Continuous testing 
  • Post deployment process

Q. How often should the app development team update your business application?

A. The most popular applications with the maximum number of users require quick updates ( one update every 4-5 months). However, this also depends on the type of update and maintenance your business application requires. For example- new feature updates, continuous improvement plans, bug fixing updates etc.

Q. How should I measure the success of the business application?

A. Engagement, behavior and retention are the common metrics to measure the success of your application. But to use these metrics, make sure you discuss the KPIs with your outsourced development team. You can also understand the process of in-app purchases and other success metrics before the actual development process.

Conclusion

This was our take on the mobile application development process timelines and some ways to reduce app development timeframe. We hope that this blog answers some of the most important questions like how to develop an app, how to create your own app, and how long does it take to develop an application. In case you still have any query regarding how you make an app or how to make a phone app, feel free to contact our app developers at Appinventiv.

THE AUTHOR
Avinash Sharma
VP- R&D
Prev PostNext Post
Read more blogs
Gaming app success

How to create a successful gaming app?

Making a gaming app has become the latest trend in the mobile app development space. In the 2 years when people were confined to their homes because of the COVID-driven quarantine, gaming apps saw an unprecedented rise.  A number of gaming app statistics came into the picture highlighting the importance of making a game app. …

Avinash Sharma
android app development company

What Are the Top 10 Android App Development Trends?

Are you an entrepreneur who is looking forward to making or getting their Android mobile app developed? Let’s dig into some trends & stats. When it comes to developing mobile apps, no doubt the Android operating system gets all the attention, an attention that is well deserved.  Are you an entrepreneur who is looking forward…

Avinash Sharma
android app development company

8 Reasons Why Businesses Should Use Android App Bundles

Did you know that the Android App Bundle has become the gold standard for publishing on Google Play? Dig into its benefits. When I first heard about this new upload format known as the App Bundle, I was very excited! Many of the issues that we developers faced like building APKs to target different API…

Avinash Sharma