How Long Does it Take to Develop an App?

Avinash Sharma September 22, 2023
How Long Does it Take to Build a Mobile App

Mobile app development is an exciting journey for every entrepreneur who is seeking to carve their own niche in the digital world. But one question that constantly keeps popping up in their minds is, “How long does it take to build a mobile app”? However, this journey involves a lot of complexities, starting from conception to release. In order to develop a fully-functional app, you need to consider several factors that overall influence the app development timeline.

Since you will be investing quite a lot on your dream app, it is essential to check all the intricacies. This includes considering the features and functionalities, choice of technology stack and frameworks, the scope of your app, and other factors which directly impact the development duration.

The reality of developing a robust mobile app thus involves a lot of complexities and challenges which can only be addressed by a top-tiered mobile app development company.

However, investing a substantial amount of time in your project can undoubtedly yield great results in the form of user satisfaction and business growth.


This blog aims to provide insight into the factors that can impact app development time, key stages of the app development process, factors that slow the development process, and how to speed up the timeline for app development. Let’s dig deeper.

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How Long Does it Take to Make an App as Per App Type And Complexity?

The complexity of the app, its features and functionality, the technology stack being utilized, the size of the development team, and the overall project scope can all have a big impact on how quickly an app is developed. The timeframe for various sorts of apps are listed below, but it’s crucial to remember that they are estimations and may change in actual use.

 Make an App as Per App Type

Simple Apps

Building a simple app with limited functionalities normally takes 2 to 4 months, such as a utility app with a single use or an app with basic information. These apps typically don’t need significant backend connectivity or functionalities, and their user interfaces are simple.

Mid-level Apps

The normal development time for mid-level apps, such as social media, productivity, or e-commerce apps with moderate functionality, is 4 to 8 months. These apps typically have more complex user interfaces and backend integrations (such as those for user authentication or payment gateways), and they could include extra features like real-time messaging or location services.

Complex Apps

Developing a complex app, such as one for a marketplace, a game, or an enterprise-level software with significant features, can take eight months to a year or longer. These apps frequently call for special features or cutting-edge functions like AI or augmented reality, as well as complex backend systems, comprehensive user interfaces, and third-party integrations.

Mobile app development guide

Factors Influencing the App Development Time

Planning, allocating sufficient resources, and maintaining open lines of communication are recommended to ensure a smooth and efficient app development process. Several factors can affect the app development timeline. Here are some of them:

Factors Influencing the App Development Time

Design and User Experience (UX)

Creating an attractive and user-friendly design takes time. The timeline for design and UX can change depending on elements like the fluidity and the adaptability of the design for multiple screen sizes, the degree of interactivity, the use of custom animations, and the requirement for user testing. Completing the design and UX can usually take a few weeks to 2-3 months.

App Complexity

The app development duration depends significantly on its complexity, including its features, functionality, and overall scope. More sophisticated apps need more time to plan, build, test, and refine. Simple apps can take a few weeks to develop, whereas more complex apps may take several months or even a year.

Backend Development

Setting up a server, developing a database, and creating APIs are all parts of a strong backend infrastructure. The complexity of the functionality and integration requirements of the app will determine how long backend development will take. It may last 5 to 10 weeks.

Frontend Development

Implementing the user interface (UI) and ensuring it is responsive across all platforms and devices is essential to develop an app. The complexity of the design and the need for bespoke animations affect the duration of front-end development. Usually, front-end development takes 5 to 10 weeks.

Third-Party Integrations

Adding third-party services, APIs, or libraries to the program might significantly lengthen app development time. The time required for third-party integrations relies on the accessibility and documentation of the APIs, the degree of integration complexity, and any unforeseen problems. It can take 30 days to a few weeks.

Testing and Quality Assurance

To guarantee a stable and bug-free app, thorough testing and quality assurance procedures are crucial. The duration of the testing process relies on several variables, including the app’s size, the features’ complexity, the variety of platforms and devices it supports, and the amount of detail needed during the testing phase. Typically, testing lasts between 6 to 10 weeks.

It’s important to understand that the timelines given here are estimates and may change depending on the project’s particulars, the team’s size and experience, the accessibility of resources, and other special aspects. To determine a more precise estimate of the development timetable for your project idea, you may connect with our experts and get an accurate timeframe.

Now that you have studied the factors, let’s look at the key stages of the mobile app development process.

Key Stages of the App Development Process

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

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

Key Stages of the App Development Process

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. This one step can greatly impact the timeframe for app development.

You must include a few crucial pieces of information in the brief or SOW, like details about the client you are working with, such as the company information, a detailed understanding of the project, and the mobile app development services you must deploy.

The outcome of this stage is usually: you have a document of the app development process before you get to different design and development-related phases.

Let us now look into the time it takes to set the basis of all the design and development processes that follow.

Stage 1: Forming Ideas and Research


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. The idea formation and research part greatly affect how long it takes to build an app. This stage involves starting with an app idea and then researching it for more improvements.

Another thing that this stage involves is targeting the right audience. In this initial stage, the right audience is targeted for the app. Defining the target audience helps boost the app after its launch and shape it in the right direction.

For instance, Facebook has people of all ages 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.

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

Stage 2: Planning it All Out

The next important stage in creating an app is the planning stage. Once you know your market, it’s time to plan 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, 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 a search bar, social media sharing buttons, profile building, login options, etc. These features make an app much more convenient for users.

As the app size increases, the features are more and more directed toward 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.

All this planning is quite complex and will require a month or so.

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Stage 3: Design Sprints and Idea Validation

Design sprints are an invaluable five-day strategy for testing various aspects of an application. This process typically takes about a week to complete, allowing ample time to thoroughly evaluate and validate ideas with a diverse group of potential users.

By conducting design sprints, businesses gain a deeper understanding of whether users value a particular feature, how they interact with it when they are most likely to use it, and their perception of the application’s ease of use. This valuable feedback helps businesses make informed decisions and optimize their application to meet user needs.

Design Sprints and Idea Validation

Stage 4: Development Stage

When creating an application, it is crucial to build three key elements: the User Interface (UI), the front end, and the back end. The UI is responsible for the visual design and user experience, while the front end handles the logic and functionality that users interact with. The backend, on the other hand, manages the server-side processes and data storage.

By prioritizing the development of these three elements, you can ensure a seamless and efficient application that meets the needs of your users.

Let us deep dive a little to know what both the engineering processes consist of:

Backend Engineering

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

Frontend Engineering:

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

The entire development and designing stage takes about six weeks.

Stage 5: Developer and QA Team

Picking the best app development team to create an app is never simple. You need to find the right team that has the right skill set and experience The best thing to do here is to outsource the task to a top-notch app development company that will handle the task professionally and provide timely output.

The ideal alternative for creating an app is to find the right development team with demonstrated experience in the industry and direct all the requirements to them.

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 in 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? You need to run a few tests to know if the app will function seamlessly after the development process. If any bug gets detected, it should be fixed before the final launch.

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 using the app, making it more intuitive.

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 it takes to deploy the app can be divided into two sections: submission & review. When you submit an app, 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

When it comes to deploying your applications, the time it takes on app stores can vary. The App Store, has a meticulous reviewing process that can extend the launch time. In contrast, the Play Store, managed by Google, utilizes algorithms to analyze your apps beforehand, resulting in a shorter app launch time. If you’re looking for a swift and efficient deployment, consider the Play Store for a seamless experience.

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

What Slows Down the App Development Process?

As mentioned earlier, the app development process typically lasts a few months. However, various factors can cause delays and impact the development timeline for a mobile app. It is important to consider the app’s complexity, the availability of resources, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise during the development process. By carefully planning and addressing these factors, you can ensure a smooth and efficient app development journey. Here are some of the major reasons for the slowdown of the development process.

1. Mid-Project Changes

Developing apps is a continuous process where all the stages are connected. The process will get slower if there are sudden changes in the plan in the middle. 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. Inexperienced Developers

What does it take to build a successful app? Great ideas, a proper budget, and a good developer. Businesses, especially startups, often make the mistake of hiring developers who do not have enough expertise and experience. This results in slowing down the process often resulting in poor output.

Our team of highly skilled and experienced app developers consistently launches high-performing apps. We collaborate with our clients to ensure their app ideas yield the best outcomes for their business.

3. Complex Technologies

In software development, you might encounter various technical challenges that can impede the progress of a project. These challenges can manifest in complex technical requirements, integration with third-party systems, scalability considerations, or the daunting task of dealing with legacy code.

This engages the team in additional research, testing, and modifications to meet the desired functionality and performance standards.

Complex technical requirements demand a thorough understanding of the problem and the ability to devise appropriate solutions. This may involve delving into intricate algorithms, designing architectures, or implementing intricate data structures. The complexity of these requirements can often lead to a longer development timeline.

4. Industry-Wise Difference

The industry for which the app is being built is also important in the average app development time. For instance, a social media app takes 1-2 months to develop, 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 timeline for app development.

How to Speed Up The Time of Application Development?

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

When it comes to startups, gathering a massive crowd is a survival goal; 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 understood factors affecting app development time. It’s time to see how we can reduce the timeline for app development and speed up the process for faster project delivery.

How to Speed Up The Time of Application Development

1. MVPs and Prototyping

MVPs or prototypes are a great way to bolster the timeline for app development. They can be built easily and resemble the original idea of the application. Once the MVP is out, the app can be built by adding features and improving. Many businesses, like Airbnb, MailChimp, etc., started as MVPs before implementation.

2. Go for Cross-Platform

Android vs iOS is the biggest debate of all time, and sometimes people get so confused that they don’t know which to choose. The timeline and cost of both platforms’ app development 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 takes less time.

3. Hire a Professional Developer

Outsourcing app development to a professional company is highly recommended for several reasons. Firstly, a professional app developer will ensure your app has a visually appealing and user-friendly UI/UX design. This is crucial for attracting and retaining users.

Additionally, a professional developer will have the expertise and experience to develop the app efficiently, resulting in less time spent on development. In fact, if you choose to outsource, the development hours can be further reduced.

One of the top reasons to outsource app development is the opportunity to work with a professional app development company located offshore. By doing so, you not only gain access to a talented team of developers, but you also make your work easier.

Appinventiv, have a track record of successfully developing client apps. We can guide you through the entire app development process, from the initial concept to the final product. Our experts will provide complete support and assistance through the product lifecycle stage.

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 it offers flexibility, adaptability, and, most importantly, better time to market.

It has a flexible and adaptable programming structure that is ideal for open-ended communication between app owners and developers. Simply put, it speeds up the mobile app development process and guarantees the application is developed on time.

5. White-Label Solutions

White-label solutions effectively allow businesses to expand their offerings without diverting resources from their core competencies. By partnering with a white-label provider, companies can quickly launch new products or services under their brand, benefiting from the existing infrastructure and capabilities of the provider.

This approach allows for faster market entry and provides customers with a comprehensive solution.

6. Automated testing

Although automated testing sounds quite an obvious thing, 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 improve the application’s security.

Automated testing involves several testing methods that are applied to save time. As the testing process becomes quicker, the development process also increases speed. Executing more than one testing strategy can offer error-free code.

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Let Appinventiv Be Your Go-To Partner for Successful Mobile App Development

Appinventiv, a globally renowned mobile app development company, architects, designs, and develops innovative mobile and web application solutions, delivering unparalleled results. We offer a comprehensive suite of iOS and Android app development services ranging from consultancy to full-stack development.

With about a decade of experience, we have served many startups and global brands in 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 the top brands we have partnered with and helped them boost and scale their business.

You demand, and we deliver; that’s what we specialize in.

Have an app idea in mind, or do you want to know how long does it take to develop an app? Keep all your questions listed and connect with our app development experts for detailed discussion.


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 your business is looking to achieve through the mobile app. Conducting a thorough market analysis before drawing the final decision is always recommended.

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 you ask how much involvement is required from your side.

The important criterion 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, discuss the KPIs with your outsourced development team. You can also understand the monetization strategies like in-app purchases and other success metrics before the development process.

Avinash Sharma
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