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Journal - App Development

How Long Does it Take to Develop an App? | Best Guide 2024

Written By Mashia Aftab – Last Modified On April 19, 2024

Over the past five years, app creation on platforms like iOS and Android has become much more manageable. However, developing an app is no small feat. The sheer amount of time it takes for a programmer to create an app is staggering. App developers ask many questions, such as “What does it take to run an app”.

We’ve researched and put together the answer to one of the most commonly asked questions amongst mobile application developers: How long does it take to develop an app?

Before we begin, let’s see what mobile application development is.

What is Mobile Application Development?

Mobile application development is the collection of steps and techniques for writing software for smartphones or other small portable computers and wireless computing devices. The primary goal of mobile app developers is to create an engaging, functional, and valuable product. However, they also need to ensure it’s easy to use and attractive to customers.

If we compare mobile application development with the software development of a web-based application, we can conclude that mobile applications originate from more conventional software development.

However, one significant difference that cannot be ignored is that the sole creation of mobile apps focuses on making the most of a typical mobile device’s intrinsic qualities. For example, the purpose of writing a mobile health app could be that the app could utilize the temperature sensor on a smartwatch.

Moving on to our main question, how long does it take to develop an app?

How Long Does it Take to Build any Application?

How long does it take to develop an app, or how long does it take to develop a social media app? This is the question you should ask yourself. The time required for app development depends on how complicated the app is.

It would be challenging to provide the precise amount of time needed to develop an app.

According to GoodFirms, the app development process takes an average time of 4.4 to 5.5 months. However, timing also depends on the platform and the development team. An app’s development duration may exceed six to seven months, depending on the team’s business objectives and how well it is marketed. However, there are often many ways to speed up this process. 

Read More: How to Develop an App Like Uber?

How Long Does It Take to Code the App in the App Development Process?

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Coding an app can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on the project and the developer. Generally, a more complex or feature-rich app will take longer than a simple one.

Several factors affect the time it takes to code an app:

  • The size of the app and its features.
  • The programming language(s) used in the app.
  • The developer’s experience level, i.e., how many apps have they coded before?

How Long Does It Take to Design An App?

The time it takes to design an app depends on several factors.

1) The Complexity of the App

First, the complexity of the app will affect the development process. If you’re creating a simple calculator app, for example, it may not be as complex or take as long to design as if you were creating one that tracks user data and organizes it into a database.

2) How Much Can Your Company Spend?

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It also depends on how much your company has to spend on the project. When it comes to creating apps, there are many different options in terms of software and platforms. Each platform has its costs, which can vary depending on whether they are free or paid versions and what features they offer. For example, some have more advanced features than others.

3) How Many People Are Involved?

The last factor when considering how long it will take for your app is how many people are involved in its development process. For example, if only two people are working on it, let’s say one designer and one developer, then this could speed up production time because both parties know exactly what needs to be done without having to communicate back and forth about requirements which could delay production even further due to delays in communication between parties involved.

How Long Does It Take To Launch Your App?

The answer to this question depends on several things, such as the type of app you want to develop. If you are thinking about developing a simple mobile application, it will take less time than developing a complex one. You can also decide what platform to use to develop your app, whether Android, iOS, or both.

Today, the process can be much shorter. The average time to prepare an app for launch is about 30 days.

Here’s how to make that happen for you:

1) Create A Roadmap

First, start by creating a roadmap and a budget for your project. You’d want to ensure you’re not just working on something that will work now but will work years from now as your business grows and changes. That means ensuring you don’t over-promise anything that cannot be delivered in time or under-promise anything that might require extra time and money.

2) Roadmap And Goals Should Go Hand In Hand

Then build out your product roadmap based on those goals and objectives, so everyone knows what they are working towards and when they might see results from their efforts. This helps everyone stay focused on what matters most while still keeping an eye on what’s coming next month, next quarter, or even next year.

3) Get Started With Development

Finally, get started with development. Developers must assign tasks according to priority level so nothing falls through the cracks and no one gets overwhelmed with too many things at once or with too many things that aren’t urgent. Use agile development methodology to keep things moving quickly, with daily stand-up meetings and weekly sprints to ensure everyone stays on track.

Why Is App Development So Time-Consuming?

The process of building an app is complex. It requires some technical skills to create an app. The development process is not linear and is dependent on too many factors. 

The non-technical factors that make mobile app development time-consuming are:

1) Research and Determine the Target Audience 

To create a fine-quality mobile application for your firm, you need to know about the market, i.e., consumer trends and needs. Obtaining insights from a market study report can be pretty beneficial. These insights will help you get acquainted with similar apps in the market and will help you adapt the competitive tactics needed to become number one. 

You may be able to improve your planning by doing research. You may ask, how? You may look at what customers like and hate by reading reviews. By doing so, you can focus on the areas where you want improvement.

Research requires time. Despite being slow, it is still extremely useful.

Now, your work will be useless if you choose the incorrect audience. For example, who will utilize my program is a question you should constantly ask yourself. Suppose the target market is compatible with your work and understands it. In that case, your app will undoubtedly become successful, and you can make significant money.

Choosing your target audience is crucial because of their contributions and opinions to the growth and development of your app.

To produce very accurate findings, this process might get prolonged.

2) Select the Appropriate Platform

We will now help you formulate another critical question you must ask yourself in the application development process: What platform should you launch your app on?

There is no need to start with multiple platforms. Start with one instead. Master it. Then proceed to the next. It would help if you kept a few things in mind while choosing the appropriate platform for your mobile application.

1. App features and brand 

2. The Target market 

3. Pricing strategy 

This is time-consuming and laborious. However, it’s worth every second if you want an excellent app.

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3) Be Acquainted With Your Budget

The first thing to consider is your budget and how much you’re willing to pay. You can probably find some pretty cheap options if you’re only looking for a simple app that does the job, but if you want something high-quality, you’ll probably pay more.

Whatever you pay for, you receive. Slow but steady. 

4) Tests Prior to the Launch of the App

If you’re a start-up company, it’s best to launch the app as soon as possible. The sooner your product is available for public consumption, the sooner you can earn money.

If you’re a more established company and your app is being developed to make money, then yes, testing before launching is necessary. You don’t want to spend months working on an app and then have it fail because it’s not what people want or need.

If you’re developing an app for fun, testing before launching isn’t necessarily required, but it might still be a good idea. If other people are interested in playing around with your app, they may find bugs or other issues that could be fixed before launch. A testing project can last for a week or so.

Read More: Usability Testing Benefits

Factors That Impact the Development Timeline

Several factors can impact the app development timeline. These include:

  • The complexity of your app, particularly in terms of features and functionality.
  • The amount of time it takes to complete each phase of the development process.
  • The number of teams working on different parts of your app, including designers, developers, and QA testers.

How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

When building an app, the cost is a significant consideration. After all, you don’t want to spend more than you must. We’ve put together a quick guide to answer the question: how much does it cost to develop an app?

The final cost of developing an app is affected by various factors. A smartphone app may cost between $4,000 and $600,000 (Those would be the figures offered by industrial analytics and research conducted by well-known websites like GoodFirms). Naturally, creating an app requires significant time and financial commitment. Several factors must be considered during the challenging process of app creation.

The cost of labor is the main factor influencing the price of developing an app. For instance, hiring offshore developers will be substantially less expensive than hiring local developers. Hence, offshore developers are always preferred for such tasks as they give the firm a more significant advantage, such as decreased prices, taxes, or stricter regulations.

There are also lots of factors that contribute to the final price tag of any project or product. For example, The type of platform or device you need for your app (iOS or Android) will affect its price because different platforms require different resources and skill sets from developers.

Can You Speed up the Process of Building a Mobile App?

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Building a mobile app can be time-consuming, and knowing where to start is not always easy. Before diving into the development process, you should know what app you want to build.

1) Automated Testing

One of the crucial stages of development that shortens the time it takes to construct a mobile app is automated testing. The ability of automated testing to execute multiple tests simultaneously is its most vital feature.

  • This cuts down on manual testing time
  • Enhances the security of the application
  • The development process accelerates at the same time that testing does.
  • If you use this testing method repeatedly, the code is error-free.

Even though automated testing seems obvious, many people ignore it.

2) Agile development

Agile app development was created primarily to avoid the difficulty of starting from scratch for organizations.

  • Its programming structure is adaptable
  • and flexible
  • It streamlines the development process
  • Guarantees that the application will be completed on schedule.

Several mobile app development companies use agile because it shortens the development cycle.

3) Go for Cross-Platform

Both the timeline and expense of developing an app for the Android and iOS platforms separately are quite expensive. Cross-platform software development, however, offers a remedy for this.

  • Great cross-platform applications can be created.
  • It takes less time.
  • Tools like PhoneGap and Xamarin should be considered.

Android vs. iOS is, without a doubt, the most contentious issue of all time, and occasionally consumers are so perplexed that they cannot make a decision. Cross Platform can be the solution for that.

4) White Label Solutions

White-label solutions are goods made by one business and then rebranded to reflect the products of the other.

  • It saves a lot of time.
  • Nothing will need to be constructed from the ground up.

But this won’t produce a good application, especially not one that brings in a lot of visitors or sales.

5) Employ A Qualified Developer

One of the main justifications for outsourcing is that hiring an offshore app development agency will give you a pleasant experience and simplify your job.

  • The UI/UX of the app will be great.
  • It wouldn’t take long to create an app.
  • If you decide to outsource, the hours will decrease.

The greatest thing you can do is hire an experienced app developer to build your app. Hapy‘s team services the UX/UI design and has successfully developed a long line of loyal customers.

6) Prototyping and MVPs

Many companies, including MailChimp, Airbnb, and others, began as MVPs before becoming live.

  • Time can be effectively saved by using MVPs or prototypes.
  • After the MVPs are released to the public, the app can be developed by incorporating new features and adjusting.
  • They are simple to construct and are similar to the application’s initial concept.

If you want to save time and create a mobile app, prototyping or MVPs are just the right decision.

Will Hiring More People Speed up the Process of App Development?

One of the most common questions we get from our clients is, “Will hiring more people speed up the process of app development?” It’s a good question; we understand why many people ask it. After all, when you’re looking to build an app, many things can slow down the process: finding a developer who’s a good fit for your project, waiting for approvals from stakeholders or legal teams, dealing with technical issues during development, etcetera.

But let’s get back to your question. Will hiring more people speed up the process of app development? The answer is NO. Hiring more people will almost always slow down the process of app development because it requires more time for communication and coordination among team members.

If you have a small team working on your app, say a designer, developer, and project manager, you can expect that each person will be able to work quickly and efficiently on their portion of the project without needing much communication from other team members. With this kind of structure in place, everyone gets their job done quickly and efficiently without too much lag between tasks completed by different parties involved in creating an app.

If We Speed Up App Development Process, Will It Compromise Quality?

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It’s a question we’ve all asked at some point: if we speed up the app development process, will it compromise quality?

In our experience, one of the best ways to ensure quality is to create an environment where your team feels empowered to speak up when they have concerns about a project. You can do this by encouraging open communication and setting clear expectations on addressing issues.

Bottom Line

Creating an application is not a one-day hit; it requires many stages of development and debugging of the code. The length of time varies greatly depending on the complexity of the software and the resources available for the development team. While the numbers vary based on the type of application, the average app development process usually lasts between four and seven months. That’s not a very long time, and if you’re considering whether or not to spend that amount of time developing an app that won’t find much success, perhaps you should reconsider.

In summary, it takes a team to develop an application independently or with the client. It takes experience; knowledge to become a development company or outsource. Time consumption is based on each process and the features that the client requests. If fully developed, then it depends if testing is required and any bug fixes that may come up during deployment and operating system requirements (iOS and Android are the usual choices).

It’s been an exciting journey and lots of hard work to make all this happen. We’d love to hear what you think on our blog “How long does it take to develop an app”! Look around, give us feedback, and stay tuned for more.


How Long Does It Take To Develop an App?

It takes time and experience to learn how to create an app. On average, professional developers can develop a high-quality app within six months if they work full-time. The exact time it will take will depend on the complexity of your project. So, the answer to how long it takes to develop an app depends on many factors.

How Do You Come Up With the Idea of an App?

There are two main ways to come up with an idea for a mobile app: the conventional way, which is to think of a problem that you want to solve, and the more creative approach, which is to think of something that inspires you.

How Long Does It Take To Turn a Concept Into a Prototype?

It depends. Some projects are simple and can be prototyped in hours, while others require weeks or months of work. If you want to move fast with your prototyping projects, look no further than Hapy. The team is ready to help today!

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