How Much Does It Cost create an App?

Clients and those involved in the industry are concerned about the question “How much does it cost to develop an app?” and this is normal. But the development of mobile applications has one feature - this is a wide range of prices in the market. There are several reasons for this: different hourly rates, different levels of clients, with which the studio works, features of positioning of developers and different sales models.

What You Should Consider

Don’t think that a company of professionals calls you the cost of a product from the ceiling. Most often, the cost depends on the number of hours that the project will take.

List of the most expensive components of the application.

  • The number of supported platforms and devices.
  • The amount of customization of interface elements and animations.
  • The number of hours for development is the most important cost factor. Studios consider it, multiplying the number of hours by the cost of an hour of work of a specialist (rate).

Therefore, the more hours of work required for a task, the more expensive it is to implement.

In addition, the final cost is affected by the composition of the project team, the cost of developing the project after the release and the costs of what is included in the work of the studio in addition to the development itself (analytics, design, development, testing, management).

The most cost-intensive components of applications

If you are looking for the complicated software development solution with cross-device sinchronisation, large DB sampling and filtering integration and non trivial approach to the flexibility and sequrity of the system, such solutions are costly tasks and large in scope of work.

Another need to clarify that a large number of hours does not always mean that the task will take a long time. The clock can be divided between the developers and they will work on the task in parallel. When, in the context of project evaluation, the number of hours is spoken of, they are primarily concerned with the cost, not the calendar time.

So, which components of the applications are most expensive by the hour and cost:

  • cl1cl1
  • cl2cl1
  • cl3cl1
  • cl4cl1
  • cl5cl1
Large Amount of Data, Screens and Actions in the Application

To display a large amount of data in the app, you need to try, because the smartphone screen is smaller than a web page. The designer has to figure out how this will look, and the developer - to plan and program. To implement this task, mobile developers need to write requirements to the API, that is, to fix what data the app will exchange with the server. When the API requirements are ready, and the backend developers have created it, the API needs to be tested.

By data we mean any numerical, graphic or text information: photos, tags, numerical characteristics of goods, etc. If the data should be displayed dynamically, the mapping process becomes more complex. These data can be presented in the app, including in the form of a tape, for example, news on the VKontakte or the catalog of goods in the IL DE BOTE application.


This is a server system that stores the databases and business logic of the project and passes them to the client side - the mobile app - in accordance with the API. Requirements for the API are formulated by mobile developers. And the back end developers create the server part.

Administrative Panel

With it, you can manage user accounts and content. What works are included in this task: design, develop and layout of the interface; creating an API and developing a backend that will store the added content and implement some logic with it.

Several Types of Users in the Application

For example, if you are making a Uber-like app, most likely you will have two kinds of users: the customer and the performer. For each of them you will need to develop your own interface: to do develop and design, to create screens and implement business logic.

Use of Hardware Components and Integration with Third-Party Devices

Modern smartphones are equipped with such hardware components as gyroscopes, accelerometers, heart rate sensors, NFC chips, Bluetooth sensors, barometers, etc. The set of components may vary depending on the device and the manufacturer, and finding the right way to work with each smartphone and testing how different hardware components interact with the code can increase the costs and development time.

In addition to the built-in hardware components, the app can use external devices. Live Typing worked with BLE Beacon beacons on the project Positive Proximity and with Lapka Breathalyzer, integrated the Bluetooth printer on the Time & Tally project and Resero Whistle on the Resero project, developed a face recognition app based on the Raspberry Pi 3 device. These devices have their own functions , and that the app can interact with them, you need to process the data that they transmit.

AR and Capture Facial Expressions

These two components can be very expensive, even if the number of screens in the app is small. For example, it could be a project in which you impose on your face one of a dozen masks and do selfies. To make such an app, you need to realize the facial expression capture in motion and correctly display the mask on it - all this is technically difficult and therefore requires a lot of time to develop and significant budget expenditures.

The release of the official AR-kit together with iOS 11 made working with AR components easier, and the release of the iPhone X with Face ID technology accelerated the work with capturing facial expressions, but so far for only one device and one operating system. In this sense, the golden times for most smartphones have not yet arrived, which means that work on such tasks remains difficult and expensive.

Integration of third-party services

Some functions in mobile applications require integration with third-party libraries, frameworks and services. For example, the function of payment on the card. For it, we can connect Stripe and Braintree, Uniteller, Yandex.Cassu, Alfa Bank, Paypal, etc. Chats can be implemented with the help of services such as Layer, Intercom and Smooch. Add the ability to share app content on social networks by accessing the Facebook API, Twitter and Google+, VKontakte.

Adding a single third-party service is not a very long process, but if the project is large and integrations need a lot, this work can take several hundreds of hours of developer.

In addition, the app may need to integrate with specific services, for example, with the CRM-system Pipedrive, as it was on our project Travalet. This is more complicated and requires more hours to develop.

The Number of Supported Devices and Operating Systems

If you need to develop an app for both iOS and Android, having a second platform almost always doubles the development cost. Given the fragmentation in the Android market, the cost of the app for this platform can exceed the cost of the app under iOS by an average of 20%. But often the assessment for the two systems is the same - it all depends on the project.

iOS-applications should be compatible with the latest version of the iPhone and several of its popular predecessors.

Adapting the app for tablets can add up to 75% of the cost, and support for older versions of iOS and Android can increase the development cost by one and a half times - old versions have performance limitations, are not updated and do not develop. To avoid expenses that may be superfluous, we recommend starting development with the above versions of platforms and the most popular devices.

The Amount of Interface Elements and Animations Customisation

To understand what affects the cost of developing mobile applications, it is worth a little understanding of how this process works.

Designers of mobile applications use the operating system's manuals. These are such guidelines for the design of the app interface on iOS or Android. Guidelines help not only designers, but also developers. When the developer needs to implement standard interface elements (those that are fixed in the guidelines), the UI-kit platform helps him.

What happens if we want to make an element different from what it usually looks like in this OS?

For example, the app should have the option of selecting a date. In iOS, a drum is used in the standard case, and in Android - a card. To change the element, the developer will need to either customize the element from the "native" UI-kit, or create something new from scratch. And this is longer and more expensive. There are a lot of such things in the app and in the sum they will affect the cost of the project. All these changes will require more time for the designer and developer.

What is Included in the Final cost of the Project Besides the Development

The final cost of the app includes specification of requirements and analytics, design and design, development, testing and management. This circle repeats iteration after iteration until the project is considered complete. Release - this is not the final point of work on the application, but only its beginning. It should be ready for a long cooperation with the development team.

loyal clients

How do we Estimate the Cost of an App?

At the stage of acquaintance with the client, we give an approximate evaluation of the project, based on experience with similar projects. If the it coincides with the expectations of the client, we go to make a detailed estimate and specify the cost.

Further, the evaluation can go according to one of three scenarios:

  • The customer fully understands what the project will be like. He has a ready business strategy, design and budget for marketing. If we find that the design does not require improvements, we call the client an accurate evaluation of the development.
  • The customer came to us with a good functional description of the project, but without design. He knows what types of users will be in the app, what problems it solves. Before you can accurately assess such a project, you need to conduct pre-project analytics and prototyping. Before that, we can give an evaluation of the development with an error of 10%.
  • The customer came with an approximate description. He does not have an understanding of who will use the app, business hypotheses are not checked. For this project, we can assess only the first stage of work - pre-project analytics and prototyping. They will help to make an accurate assessment. Before that, we can only give an approximate estimate of the large blocks of the project.

Get Your Cost Estimation

This article gives only approximate benchmarks for the prices of app development. Each client task is unique and requires careful study and evaluation. Sign up for a free consultation with our experts, and we will help you to more accurately determine what will be the cost of developing your application.