Call exact fixed cost of a mobile application without a detailed study of its features is impossible. After all, this is a complex project, the implementation of which is determined by the specific needs of each customer.
How much does mobile application development cost?
As a rule, the cost depends on the amount of time that the development process and related activities take. It is calculated by multiplying the hourly rate of each specialist for the time during which he worked on the project. Then these works are summarized.
Employees of the developer company estimate time costs based on several criteria.
1. Technical complexity of the application
2. Number of supported platforms and devices
3. Application functionality and non-standard interface elements
Let us dwell on them in more detail.
Technical complexity of the application
The most obvious point is the total number of screens, actions and data in general that will be implemented in the application. Volume applications are harder (and therefore longer) to design. For each screen, the designer must create several sketches so that all the states in which the screen will be located are visually displayed and fit into the overall concept.
Then each version of the screen of the future application needs to be laid out, the client side of the interface must be programmed and the server part, or the back-end, is assigned to it. The more data a client and server exchange, the more complex the design and, therefore, the greater the cost.
In addition, it is sometimes necessary to use hardware components and integrate applications with third-party services. Connect, for example, the functions of payment, chat or the ability to share information from the application on social networks. All this also increases the amount of work of specialists.
Number of supported operating systems and devices
Sometimes you need to develop an application for a specific operating system and device. This scenario is usually the simplest and cheapest.
But most often the application needs to support at least two operating systems and several device options. Each system uses its own development tools, and the devices may differ significantly from each other by screen resolution and capabilities.
It is also important that the application supports early versions of operating systems. For example, for the current moment for iOS it is version 9-10, and for Android – version 4.4.
It is obvious that the greater the number of devices and the earlier versions of the systems must support the application, the more expensive it will be.
Application functionality and non-standard interface elements
To ensure that applications look uniform and the user can immediately understand them, each operating system has its own rules and recommendations for developers, which are called guidelines.
Applications created on the basis of guidelines are convenient for the user, because he does not have to master a fundamentally new interface every time. It is also convenient for a designer with a developer, whose work of the guidelines significantly speeds up, and for the customer – reduces the cost.
However, quite often there is a need to implement elements in the application that are different from the standard ones. And the specialist needs to either adapt an element from the guideline for these purposes, or develop it from scratch. Naturally, this requires more time and money.
The same applies to animation: the more complicated it is, the more expensive its implementation will be.
How we count the cost and terms
We, like most developers, calculate the cost of developing an application depending on the cost per hour of each specialist’s work and the time he spent on his task.
But when we first met, we could calculate the approximate cost of developing an application. In just a few minutes to get a detailed estimate with approximate terms and cost, you need to use our calculator and answer a few simple questions.
Naturally, this estimate will not be final and approximate.
A final understanding of the timing and cost of developing a mobile application is possible only after a comprehensive study of your wishes and business characteristics, discussions in the project team and the development of a full technical task.
Such an approach may seem to someone too solid, but, in our experience, it helps to avoid many problems with an already ready application. After all, its revision or alteration is fraught for the customer with a multiple increase in the budget and development time.
Our company has developed a clear algorithm for working on the project, so all risks are minimized.
Stages of mobile application development
The development scheme used by us was far from being formed in one day. It helps to distribute labor efforts as efficiently as possible, control deadlines and prevent unjustified expenditure of the customer’s budget.
Thanks to our approach, the client constantly keeps abreast of the project and promptly makes additions or corrections. At the same time, at the later stages of development, the risk of identifying critical problems is minimized, which will require additional funds and time to fix.
The development of a mobile application in our country consists of 6 key stages.
Project design study group
This stage has two main tasks. The first is to get acquainted with the business and the wishes of the customer as fully as possible. The second is to discuss in detail all aspects of the future application with the client and the development team.
The discussion is held in the format of a round table. In addition to the customer, up to seven specialists participate in it.
1. A project manager who manages the development team and carefully monitors the fulfillment of the customer’s business goals at each development stage.
2. An information systems architect whose task is to build the logic of the future application in such a way that it solves business problems of the customer in the most efficient way.
3. Specialists in iOS and Android platforms select the optimal solution for each operating system and help to avoid errors in the design of user interfaces.
4. The designer begins to make sketches for the prototype of the future application already during the discussion. He draws a sketch by hand in a special notebook, Sketch Pad. After the discussion is complete, Sketch Pad is submitted to the customer for approval. In it you can see how the application will look, and, if necessary, immediately make your own corrections to it.
5. The backend developer helps to organize the most effective interaction of the user interface with the server part. This is especially important if the application requires instant processing and output of large amounts of data.
6. The participation of the web developer is necessary when, in addition to the application, an administrative panel will be developed or if the customer needs a website development within a single project.
7. Sometimes in the project team, the presence of a customer service manager is needed, who from the very beginning oversees your project and has important information about it.
Work in the project team helps to ensure that all the wishes of the client are heard, carefully considered and, if necessary, adjusted. Such a thorough initial project development helps to eliminate any misunderstanding between the customer and the development team.
Therefore, as a result, the customer always receives exactly what he ordered.
When the task is clear, the designer proceeds to work out a full-fledged prototype using the powerful Sketch toolkit. Thanks to him, the prototype is obtained as realistic as possible.
The designer prototypes the finished prototype on the Realtime Board. Here, the screens are grouped in such a way as to clearly demonstrate to the customer the logic of the application.
The prototype complements the technical task, the development of which we conduct in parallel.
Drawing up a technical specification A
technical specification is a detailed description of the functionality and technical requirements for an information system. For example, in what language the application should be written. When developing TK, it is important not to miss a single detail, because after coordination it becomes a part of the contract.
We also create separate TK for each work area. For example, the TOR for the authorization screen, the main screen, etc. It helps us to focus on specific tasks and not disperse efforts, and it is easier for the customer to perceive the project in stages, rather than completely.
Development of the design layout
Based on the approved prototype, a full-fledged design layout of the application is being developed. At this stage, the customer can already fully appreciate the appearance of their future application.
We also use the Sketch and Realtime Board features to create and present a design layout.
This is the longest stage of work on the application, so we divide it into smaller stages – sprints, the duration of which usually ranges from a week to two. For each sprint we prepare and approve backlog – a textual description of the tasks that will be performed in the sprint.
After each sprint, testing is required. Testing, for example, layout on various devices, computational algorithms – in a word, everything that can affect the comfortable work of the user with the application.
The final stage of application development
After completing the creation and full testing of the application, we place it on the customer’s servers.
We create selling screenshots and descriptions, and then publish the finished mobile application in the App Store and Google Play. At the same time, we take into account all the requirements of the stores and, if necessary, communicate with technical support.