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How Long Does It Take to Develop an Android App?

Did you know that the global mobile application market size is $154.05 billion?

Making a business website is a great way to create a digital footprint. Many businesses are also starting to produce mobile apps. A mobile app can offer your customers easier access to your products and services.

However, not many know what it takes to create a mobile app. Want to start creating a mobile app?

With this guide, you’ll learn how long does it take to develop an Android app. That way, you’ll have certain expectations to ensure you’re on schedule. Read on and find out more:

How Long Does It Take to Develop an Android App?

The amount of time it takes to develop an app can vary. Various factors could either hasten or hinder its development. However, the consensus is that it takes 4-6 months to build an app.

This doesn’t mean that your app’s first version can’t come out faster than the average time. It also won’t mean that it won’t take longer than six months. Here are some things you must think about:

1. App Scope

Your potential application’s scope includes features, screen size support, and targeted platforms. Identifying these makes it easier for you to think about the level of effort necessary.

The good news is that the platforms and screen size your app supports are easier to address. It’s even better to know that it’s not difficult to build an Android app for all screen sizes. The best part is that you already know that you’re developing an app for phones running on Android.

Your biggest challenge is to scope the features. In most cases, the problem arises when you request too many features in your app’s first launch. This is troublesome because focusing on something means your app will do much better.

If you have a long list of features, this contributes to the duration and costs. If your app’s scope goes out of control, it’s likely to fail once released. This is counterintuitive to cutting as much upfront costs as possible.

Avoid this by looking for key features that make your app unique.

2. Budget

This is a surprising addition to the list of factors that affect your app’s development duration. Take note, building an app will cost something no matter what. This applies whether you’re an individual or a business entity.

As time passes, the costs will add up, even when you build your app without help. It’s because of opportunity costs. The time you spend making the app is time lost on other endeavors.

If you think about timelines and schedules, knowing the cost of building an app helps a lot. First, you get a rough understanding of how long you can fund that app. The startup world calls this your “runway.”

After understanding your runway, you can think about your features list. If your budget can only support three months’ worth of application building, think about your options. It means becoming more aggressive in reducing the features for your app’s first version.

You must also understand that having a large budget isn’t a reason for you to let go of product discipline. Never let your deep pockets or programming skills make you complacent. You always have a runway, and it’s only a question of how long it lasts.

3. App Skills and Expertise

To become more successful, you must know about the things you’re good at. It also contributes to a more effective app-building process. If you aren’t a designer, you need not trouble yourself with the user experience or the app’s visual design.

If you aren’t a coder, this isn’t the time to start learning. Dealing with things outside your expertise may only cause your app to get delayed. That’s why you must have an app team with the right skillsets for building apps.

When you get these people, you can better build an app without taking too long. If you have no idea how to develop an app, it’s better to let experts do it for you. You can also read our guide to learn about mobile app design processes.

Remember that people have varying skills and abilities when building apps. A master application builder will finish the job much faster than a novice. That’s why you must think about your team’s expertise level when computing the duration.

4. Mentality and Approach

Some people who want to build an app think that their first one must hit big. That’s why they’re likely to invest a lot of time and money into it. However, this mentality is detrimental if you want to stick to a six-month schedule.

You must meet a delicate balance between time and quality. This means you must put enough time into an app to ensure its quality. Putting too much means time itself will be the app’s cause of failure.

With this all-in mentality, you’re also likely to suffer from founder blindness. It means you’ll obsess over features while getting distracted by fresher ideas. This can derail your development and endanger the app’s future.

The app ecosystem often shifts. An app that takes more than 6-months to develop may miss a vital marketing window. It might also pave the way for another similar app to gain more momentum.

The worst part is that this also puts your app at risk of losing touch with your intended audience. It’s a great waste if you develop an app the marketplace has no use for. Before long, your app becomes a drop lost in the ocean of 3 million apps in the Play Store.

6. App Development Process

If you don’t follow a specific app development process, you may end up putting off your deadline. The worst part is that it’s more likely for it to never finish the development process. That means your app won’t ever see the light of day.

It’s a prevalent fact if you have no creative or software experience. Take note, the process will never surpass skills, but it can improve them. It’s because they won’t need your brainpower and energy since they become more formulaic.

A good process also helps you build a great schedule. It becomes so ingrained that you need not put it on paper. You can dedicate your primary effort to building out the scope instead of the following:

  • Upfront planning
  • Beta testing
  • QA
  • Design audits

These are all small touches that make your app stand out from others in the market. If you have to spend brainpower on these tasks all the time, it means you have no definite process.

To familiarize yourself with mobile app development, check out this post. It contains all the answers to the most common questions on this topic.

How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost?

Experts agree that developing and deploying your mobile app costs between $30,000-$200,000. The development process takes about 35% of a mobile application project’s total cost.

50% of these costs go to support and maintenance or your mobile app. In most cases, a medium-sized mobile application will cost $5,000 to $10,000 to maintain each month.

It doesn’t stop there since mobile app development has hidden costs. Here are some types you must look out for:

Functional Costs

These are the costs associated with the app’s functions. It happens because making a functionality work needs a subscription to a delivery service. Some of these include SMS and Push notifications, social media integrations, and email.

Administrative Costs

Administrative services give you access to data. This allows you to update the content of your app while managing users. This allows you to do it without the IT department’s intervention.

The costs associated with this service are hard to predict. It usually depends on the type of mobile app you developed. These costs can add up since you must pay them on a regular basis.

Infrastructure Costs

These expenses are for app hosting and data storage and delivery. You also need these services to ensure redundancies and balance loads for both backup and security servers. The more complex your project is, the more expensive it is.

IT Support Costs

You can’t make a high-quality mobile app without continuous IT support. It can get problematic because the costs can increase as time passes.

Start Creating Your App Today!

To find out how long you need to develop an app, you first need to determine your budget, app scope, and the app development process. Should you need help developing your app, it’s best to consult a professional app developer.

That’s where we come in. If you’re in Austin TX, contact us today! We offer some of the best web development services in Austin.

Let’s Make Your Idea Reality

We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.