How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App?
As we are a mobile and Web Development Company, among the very first questions we get asked is how much time will it take to complete the client’s app project?
Funny enough, this question comes way before we have even fully heard and understood all the requirements of the particular project.
Although it massively varies, in this post I will try to break it down as much as I can so that you can have a deeper understanding on what to expect from the team that is developing your next project and how much time it will take to develop the application.
For your first version, aim for 4 to 6 months till release get real feedback and validation from the market, then head back and iterate. I will aim to give you a breakdown of that period.
What variables can determine the length of the app development?
The number and complexity of the features involved
Other than deciding the features that will go in your app, the complexity of each feature will also play a critical part in determining the delivery time of an application. The more features the application has, the longer it could potentially take to build. For your first version, focus and narrow down on the core features that the application is meant to do. That way you will have a faster time to market and get real market feedback before you even attempt to continue with the development. For Example an ecommerce app and a gaming app both involve user interaction but the gaming app will take more time because of the details that go into development.
Most of the time the complexity of the features also does affect the length of the project. For example, a login with email and password is quicker to integrate than building out a facial recognition security feature for your application.
The experience of the team allocated to the project
The more experienced the team is, the better they are at solving development problems and it’s more likely that they’ve faced a similar challenge and can tackle it quicker than a newbie trying to figure it out.
This massively reduces the development time. (You can hire our experienced developer here
The variety in skill sets in within that team
If you only got one developer trying to develop and design the app, or you got a great designer trying to go into developing the app, it’s going to take 10 times longer than if you had hired out an experienced development team dedicated to the application.
App building requires a combination of several skill sets from designers, developers, testers etc. this is to streamline the development and make sure that they come up with a great product.
What platforms you are building it for android, iOS, web?
If you are building native apps (built specifically for the device), then it would take longer than to develop a cross-platform application (one app for all devices).
Although generally native applications are better than cross-platform apps when it comes to user experience.
In addition, if you are also building a web application to go along with it, then the development will increase.
Resources available to work on the project
At TechTIQ, once we kick off an app project, we make sure that the entire team we allocate to the project works dedicatedly until the project is released.
For example: if you need a full-time UX expert but it’s going to take you at least 3 weeks to hire one, then that can put some delays in the project.
The amount of time needed to recruit the right talent when developing custom requirements, or the remaining time needed to finish ongoing work for starting a new requirement are some of the reasons that generally could cause delay in the project deadlines Clients that are usually missing a certain skill set in their development team come to us to augment one of our developers to work efficiently with their in-house team until the end of the project (to hire on-demand developers, contact us here)
How available you are to provide feedback to the development team
Usually, we need to stay in touch with the clients for at least an hour every now and then to ask and clarify questions on the application or provide feedback on the wireframe.
If a client takes a long time to provide feedback or provide answers to questions that the team could be having it can add some time to the development and release of their app.Therefore to reduce the time it’s going to take, dedicate some time to work alongside the development (at least one hour every week) just for them to clarify any questions that they could be having
A rough estimate of a first version development process (16-24 weeks / 4-6 months)
Understanding the idea, and envisioning the concept. (2-4 weeks)
When a client first contacts us, we have to understand the concept as much as possible and finally break it down into what functionality the application could have.
We then go ahead and design a wireframe (a rough idea of what the screens and interfaces could look like.
We then have back and forth conversations, changing the different parts of the wireframe until the client accepts to move forward with what it could potentially look like.
We then design the actual user interfaces of the application and a prototype is sent to the client for approval.
This process can be reduced by being available to speak with the development team, and providing feedback and making iterations as quick as you can but without rushing the process.
Development and testing (1 to 2 months)
Once the wireframes are approved, this is when the development team kicks in to build the bones of the application.
This is purely dependent on the number of features, the experience and size of the development team can also be a determining factor.
Apps like Facebook have hundreds of developers constantly working on the application and its taken them years to build, and it’s still a work in progress.
But for your first version, it should take you roughly 6 to 8 weeks.
Release (2 Weeks)
Once the application has been finished, the team will assist the client set up their app store accounts and have them upload the app on to the various app stores.
The iTunes store does take up to 2 weeks before they will validate your application.
How to approach your first release
Not for a moment you should think that the mobile app development process ends when the app is shipped. You will keep innovating and adding on to the different features as time goes on. (Rome was not built in a day).
So many founders fail to bring their products to market because of the different ideas that keep coming up and they want to have all of them in their first version.
Among the many challenges product managers, they list time to market at the top of the pile.
Users will not use a product that is not out there yet, therefore nail down the core features of the application, get it built and released and get actual feedback from the market then go ahead and add additional features.
When you are ready to get your application built, contact TechTIQ Solutions here, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org