Mobile app downloads have soared through the roof in the past few years, with Apple reporting over 180 billion downloads and Android at 65 billion downloads. Even though it’s hard for us to really comprehend the magnitude of a billion downloads, we can all agree that it’s a very large market.
The cost of getting an app developed for these mobile app markets ultimately depends on your needs, the complexity of the app, and the number of mobile operating system platforms you wish to reach (iOS, Android, Blackberry etc). Every mobile operating system or device has its own development standards, and targeting several app markets such as the AppStore or Google Play will add to your total development cost. For example, although an application made for iPhones will run on all iPhones, it won’t necessarily run on all iPads, even though they share a similar operating system. Going from an app for phones to an app for a tablet requires developers to adapt the UI(User Interface) and other app elements to the specific device resolution, hardware, and other specifications or limitations.
Narrowing your target mobile market and extra features can greatly reduce your development costs. Contracting a development team to design one app for both iOS and Android will generally require more time and money since there are different programming languages (C and Objective-C vs JAVA) and data structures involved for each operating system. This will obviously depend on the complexity of your app, where more features will require more time to implement and test. The time required to develop a mobile web app from inception to completion can greatly vary from just a few hours to a few hundred hours. Again, it all depends on your needs. You don’t need to launch with every bell and whistle you can think of; that’s what app updates are for. Users can give you direct feed back on your app which can be used to directly address performance issues, errors, or extra features. Much like everything in life, you get what you pay for. On the other hand, you don’t need to pay for things that you don’t need. Contracting a professional development team with a proven track record may be more expensive up front, but it’ll end up saving you time and money in the long run.
Getting an app developed should be more than just getting your company name in the app market. An engaging, useful and optimized app will drive its own popularity in the mobile application market through positive reviews, ratings, and comments from users. Discuss your needs and creative ideas with the development team before you decide to make the investment towards a large scale app development project.