How much does it cost to build a mobile app?

Often one of the first questions we get from potential clients looking to build an app is "How much will it cost to develop my mobile app?".

This is always a difficult question to answer due to the variables and complexities involved.

The cost of building a mobile app will vary due to the app's features, complexity and the type of company who's developing it.

A small, simple app with minimal features will cost around £10,000. A larger, more complex app with deep integrations could cost more than £100,000.

How can I get a more accurate price for my app?

Getting a more accurate price starts with creating a mobile app requirements brief. 

The requirements brief details the features and specifications for your app and allows the developer to provide an accurate quote.

Now don't worry, most app development agencies will provide a simple means to create your brief. This might be a simple form, a phone call or a document template to get you started.

At this stage, your project might be too complicated for you to scope out. It's common for developers to provide "Discovery workshops" where they can help you document your app in detail. 

These are often paid sessions, but at the end of the workshop, you'll have a detailed brief. With this, you can approach agencies for a quote. This can often reduce the cost of the project because your app is documented in detail.

What increases the price of my app?

The platform

Platform choices can have a significant impact on the total price of your app. Native apps, on iOS and Android, use different programming languages, so it means creating two versions of your app. 

An alternative to Native apps are Hybrid apps, developed using HTML5. We explain later how you can use Hybrid apps to keep the cost of your project down.

Complex features

Apps which us complex, native features will cost more. Using features such as Bluetooth, push notifications and GPS will push your price up.

Your app might require an API (Application programming interface). An API might be used to show information from a third party. Your API might store data into your database to use later. Having an API will increase the cost of your app depending on what's needed.

You may need a Content Management System (CMS) to manage the content within your app. This will allow you to change wording within the app without submitting a new version to the app stores.

Design

Design can play a big part in the cost of your app. Complicated designs which use non-standard components will increase the cost. 

Apps often feature bespoke graphics and animations which will also require the time of a specialist designer and animator to create.

Keeping the design of your app simple will save you money.

The team involved in building your app

The experience and skill of the team building your app will impact the price. 

A college graduate with little to no experience will command less of a fee than an experienced award-winning International agency.

Programmers without experience often won't understand your requirements, costing you both time and money. It's important to find a balance between price and expertise to ensure you get what you want.

How can I keep the cost of my app down?

Develop an MVP

When we shop for cars, sometimes we can't afford the model we want with all the bells and whistles. So, we usually adjust our requirements and get something cheaper. But it's still a car!

Developing an app is similar. We recommend limiting the scope of your project by focusing on an MVP (Minimum viable product). Your MVP has the minimum functionality possible to provide a robust solution to your users. Not only does it keep costs down and speed up the development process, but it also allows you to develop your app with real user feedback when launched. You might find your users want something different to your ideas.

Build an HTML5/Hybrid app

Another way of saving money is to build a "Hybrid " app. Often Hybrid apps are built with HTML5 which works cross-platform. This means you develop one app and it works on iOS and Android. This means you save the cost of making a specific iOS and Android version.

Hybrid apps often don't feel as good as Native apps and have limited access to some features. If you're developing an app which requires these features you might be better looking at developing your app natively.

Build just one version

If you decide you need a Native app, you can keep costs down by developing it solely for one platform. Either iOS or Android.

You launch one version of the app to prove an idea, gain feedback or raise funds before building the other version.

How we can help

We're an experienced mobile app development agency focusing on Native iOS and Android applications. 

We're small enough to care but big enough to help you deliver your app project. We believe we offer the perfect balance between cost and experience.

If you'd like any help scoping out your project, developing your apps or require some advice, get in touch, and we'll be delighted to help you.