We all use apps every day on our mobile and many people come up with ideas of applications that they would like to create. Hostens can provide the best hosting platform for your website. You can see more information about Hostens and their hosting packages to make an informed decision.
But how much does it cost to make a mobile application? Let me ask you a question now. How much does a car cost?
You can find cars, such as a Seat Ibiza from $6,000, to a Ferrari for $1,000,000. Don’t worry; it’s a powerful way of looking at it. I don’t think the idea you have in mind costs millions of euros, or so I guess…
Through this article, I will try to turn that “it depends” into something more concrete. I will list some of the points that can make the price of an app vary from thousands of euros to tens of thousands.
Is it expensive to create a mobile app?
If you are thinking of creating an application, the best way to know how much it costs is to ask for some estimates. If you have started to get any, you will surely ask yourself two questions. First, how can they cost so much compared to, for example, websites? And second, how can there be so much difference in budgets for the same application?
Yes, compared to webs, mobile applications have a higher price. This price difference has its reason. In short, mobile applications are a relatively new technology, and their development is more complicated. Also, the fragmentation of devices and systems makes it more challenging to achieve a quality application that works perfectly on any mobile.
Regarding the second question, some variables can alter the price of development. As I said before, we are going to look at those variables.
NOTE: It isn’t easy to give exact amounts of an application without knowing what is required, but since this article is intended to guide the cost of an app, I will give those approximate amounts from my point of view as a freelance developer.
1. Static or dynamic application
What is a static application? I mean by static application an application that does not need content from a server. Let me explain better; the application does its job without needing the internet.
What is a dynamic application? By active application, I mean the opposite. The application needs to be connected to the internet to display certain content.
Better to see it practically. Imagine an application that acts as an alarm clock. This application does not need the internet at all. It could have a screen to view alarms, another to configure them, and little else. At no time would you need to connect to the network and request content. It would work by placing alarms on the mobile and ringing when it is your turn.
Now imagine an application for buying and selling second-hand products. Some users would have to upload their products, and others would have to see those products available. To communicate to all users, the data must be stored on a server on the internet to summarise it. The application will therefore need to connect to the server to request the data.
This graphic indicates more or less what a dynamic application would look like. When the user wanted to see the products, the application would have to ask him, using the internet connection, for the server’s products. Upon receiving the request, the server would respond to the application with the dynamic content.
A static and straightforward application can perhaps be developed from $2,000, while an application that needs to serve its content from a server could start from $5,000.
2. Complex features
Agree, the first variable was not very indicative. The vast majority of applications need the internet to function and display their content. Now, within the applications that require the internet, there are many types.
Think about whether your application needs complex features. What are complex features? A chat between users in real-time augmented reality or streaming video is example of features that can skyrocket the application’s budget by itself.
An excellent example of an application packed with complex features and that this year has been a “boom” is Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go is simply a work of art at the development level. Use your location in real-time, position you on your area’s map, and use augmented reality to show you the Pokemon if you wanted to develop an application of this type, achieving good quality.
But leaving the extreme of Pokemon Go aside, certain functionalities can greatly increase a budget. Today, for example, many applications include a messaging chat so that their users can communicate directly. To give you an idea, a simple conversation could start to develop for around $3,000.
3. Number of platforms
As you know, there are several mobile operating systems. This means that you will have to develop a version of your application for each of the platforms you want to present. Each of these versions is a further development, and therefore, the number of systems you wish to support will affect your budget.
The cost of developing an application on one or another platform is more or less similar. To get a quick idea, imagine that your Android application is budgeted at around $10,000. If you wanted to make the application for iOS, you would have to add approximately another $10,000 and so continuously with each platform, you want to add.
Keep in mind that it will be the price that will double and the development time. A good option would be to start creating the application for a single platform and avoid doubling the initial cost and time.
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4. Content manager
Imagine that you commission a mobile application development that allows you to buy and sell second-hand products. Users who want to sell can upload their products and those who want to buy can contact the sellers.
They develop the application for you and upload it to the application stores. How are you going to manage the contents of the application? How are you going to moderate what users upload?
Sometimes it is necessary to create a content manager. A web system, for example, allows for moderating and modifying the content of the application.
The content manager can vary greatly depending on the project, obviously, its development will depend on all the characteristics that need to be carried out. To make an approximation, we could talk about an extra cost that would start from $2,000.
5. Technology used
There are several ways to create a mobile application. To summarize, you can create native apps and hybrid apps.
Native applications are designed for a specific operating system, with its language and tools. This means that several versions need to be created for each course. A native version for Android does not work for iOS and a native version for iOS does not work for Android.
Hybrid applications use a combination of technologies that allows them to develop one version for all systems. In other words, a single development can be valid for several platforms.
However, native applications offer much higher quality, performance and a better user experience than hybrid applications. The big problem is that having to make a version for each platform, costs more to develop in terms of time and price.
We are going to put an example to see it more clearly. Imagine an app that is budgeted at $5,000 for Android in the native version—possibly making the version of that application in hybrid format could cost around $5,000 as well. But in case you wanted to add an iOS version as well, making them native would raise the price to $10,000 while making the hybrid version would perhaps only raise the price to $6,000.
We are going to put an example to see it more clearly. Imagine that you want to make an application for iOS and Android. If you choose a native development, it could cost you $5,000 for the Android version and $5,000 for the iOS version because you want to seek the highest quality. In the opposite case, if you decide to go fast and make the hybrid application, it could cost you $7,000 a version that would be valid for both iOS and Android.
This point will depend a lot on the quality you want to obtain and the budget you have. In any case, I recommend you read this article on native and hybrid applications to see their differences in depth.
5. Freelance or company
Who do you need to make the app? Without a doubt, a topic that would give for a whole article. But for now, I am only going to address the issue that matters in this article, which is how much it costs to make an app.
From a price point of view, it is clear that a company will always play at a disadvantage compared to a freelancer. A company has high fixed expenses that a freelancer usually does not have: office rent, team member salaries, and the company’s profit. All these expenses have to be supported by the clients.
All this does not mean that on some occasions, a freelancer can budget more than a company. Many other variables influence a budget beyond the expenses that are borne. Now, it is true that a company has many more fees and therefore, is forced to make higher budgets to cover these costs and thus obtain a profit.
An application that a freelancer could develop for $10,000 may increase to $15,000-$20,000.
6. Development region
In addition to what was said in the previous point, one more point will depend on the developer or company you choose to carry out your application—the region where it is located.
Not all places on the planet are the same. There are different standards of living and this is reflected in the salaries that people earn. Therefore, a variable that can mark a development’s price is the place where your developer or company is located.
It indicates the average price per hour for the development of applications in iOS. As you can see, India’s average hourly fee is $ 30, while in North America it is $ 150.
Anyway, it is not a variable by which you should get carried away. I am not saying that hiring in countries with a lower average hourly rate equates to poor quality. To choose a company or a freelancer, you would have to be guided by other more important variables such as experience and trust.
The updates of an application will not be reflected in an initial budget, but you will have to consider them in the future.
Quality mobile apps receive updates weekly or at most monthly. It is a necessary aspect due to the constant change experienced by the mobile world.
This chart shows the Netflix iOS app updates in the last 90 days. As you can see in the box below, there have been 11 updates in the last 3 months, almost one update per week. Whether it’s to fix bugs or introduce new features, Netflix keeps its app up-to-date and up-to-date.
This is just one example of many that could be put. You should keep in mind that the cost of an application is not only the initial budget. You will have to have more resources to be able to keep it up to date.
In summary, it is tough to answer how much an app costs without having information about its functionalities. Still, without a doubt, these variables can make the difference between a high or a low budget.
The best way to determine a budget for your application is to contact companies or freelance developers, and they can guide you. From there, you can compare all aspects of the budgets and decide.
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