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How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App?


How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App?

With over 3.96 billion active mobile application users today, businesses in almost all industries are keener on venturing into the world of transforming their business operations for a more mobile environment. Moreover, this market is projected to cross a valuation of over $610 billion by 2025. Therefore, developing a mobile app for any business is one of the most fruitful ways to reach newer audiences and increase sales in the short term as well as in the long run. 


However, the question that lingers around in mid-air is how long it takes to develop a mobile app for a business. While there is no right answer to this question, there are several tested formulae based on the requirements of a business that are used to develop a mobile app today. And, the time period of each of these methods varies considerably depending on a wide range of factors. 


So before we understand the time it takes to develop an all-encompassing mobile app for businesses, let’s take a look at the type of mobile apps that a business may leverage based on the objectives of the enterprise. 

Types of Mobile Apps for a Business


Usually, the time taken to develop a mobile app for any enterprise firstly depends on the complexity of the app being developed. In this regard, three categories can be discretely defined as follows:


Simple Mobile Apps:


The time to develop a mobile app using simple processes for well-defined and well-channelized purposes ranges from anywhere between 2 to 4 months. These apps on average have no more than five or six pages and do not exchange data between different networks, collect analytics data, provide eCommerce integrations and offer multiple user access controls. Such apps usually provide business-related information for the user and allow them to subscribe to one or two services they offer via email or an in-app account. 


Average Mobile Apps:


The time taken to develop a mobile app for average business purposes ranges between 4 to 6 months. Such apps may contain more than five screens and offer one or two integrations for user login and access. These may include social media authorizations, user dashboards, and text-rich user processes. However, they may not be able to handle high volumes of data or allow smooth eCommerce integrations. A few examples of such apps include certain booking portals or payment service providers. 


Complex Mobile Apps:


Developing a mobile app that is complex in its purpose may take a tad bit longer than 6 months and can go up to a period of around a year as well. Such apps allow multiple integrations with payment portals, social media channels, and eCommerce platforms and may also exchange data between multiple databases on a variety of networks as per the needs of the enterprise. These apps may also provide downloadable text, animated and other forms of graphical content. An instance of such apps is what we know as Super Apps, eBanking platforms, and social media channels such as Instagram or Twitter. 


Factors Affecting App Development Timelines


Now that we understand the basic umbrella of the types of mobile apps that a business can develop, let’s delve into what the major factors are that influence how much time it may take to develop a mobile app. A few of these factors have been discussed in the paragraphs below:


Procedural Complexity

As stated above, developing a simple app requires way less time than developing a full-fledged app with an array of end objectives. This is one of the most crucial factors that may affect the time period for mobile app development. Unique or novel business mobile applications in this regard may take more time than conventional apps built using data pulled from code repositories and previously developed applications. 

Business Requirements

The requirements of the business and aligning the app development process with the vision, mission, and end goal of the enterprise is other important factor that impacts how long it may take to develop a mobile app for a business. For instance, if the purpose of a mobile app for the business is merely to showcase a cluster of products or list services that the consumer can avail of, it can be done with relative ease, as compared to an app that may require using geo-location data and user’s financial information. This is perhaps due to the high levels of compliance issues and security processes that need to be installed at the backend ecosystem to ensure the mobile app remains efficient over time and doesn’t breach any regulations set by the industry or government. 

Additional Integrations


While most businesses may have a clearly defined goal for their mobile app, a handful of such enterprises may request additional integrations with third-party platforms or protocols. For instance, an ECommerce app can call on the developers to build support for cryptocurrency wallets or a customer service chatbot system. Such additional integrations are complex and can add to the overall time to develop a mobile app. 


Platform Used for App Development


While most standard applications can be developed using simple no-code or low=level programming languages using the available SDKs and APIs, a few novel mobile apps may require the use of multiple programming environments with a distinct need to differentiate between the backend of the system with the front end user experience. Applications that are native to Android may not run on iOS devices in such cases. In this regard, building cross-platform apps may require higher levels of programming and incur more time to develop successfully.


The expertise of the App Development Team


There is a need for great technical expertise to develop a mobile app for businesses. With rising awareness about data breaches among consumers, security concerns for business information, IPR violations, and encryption standards, among others, opting for a high-end app development agency with domain expertise and a reputable past track record is quite essential. It is recommended that businesses thoroughly understand the app development team it is opting for and also remain transparent about its purposes and goals. A team with a wide range of technical experts and industry leaders are more likely to deliver optimal results than a team of newly recruited IT experts or freelance mobile app developers. 

Stages to Develop a Mobile App

To develop a mobile app that performs in the long run, there are several stages that the app development team must go through. The most pivotal ones have been discussed below:

Stage 1: Ideation and Research


This is the first phase in the process to develop a mobile app for any business. While this is also one of the most time-consuming stages, the dead time can be cut down by providing the app development team with an accurate brief with details of what the app is intended for and the business identity materials such as fonts, colors, logos, images, among others beforehand. Outlining the budget and delivery milestones are also a significant part of this phase.

Stage 2: Planning and Design


In this phase, to develop a mobile app, the app development team creates a basic low-level wireframe of all the pages with placeholder information that can be then presented to the business for review. The timeline for this process depends on the complexity of the final app and the time taken by the business to review and provide adequate feedback to the development team. 

Stage 3: Development

To develop a mobile app for any business, there is a considerable amount of time spent on coding the front end as well as the back end of the app. This is the phase when the idea, research, and designs take shape in the form of a finalized mobile application. This is one of the most time-consuming phases in the entire process of developing a mobile application. Usually, the time taken by a team of development experts is much less when compared to the time taken by new recruits during this step. 

Stage 4: Testing 

This is the stage when the finalized mobile app is tested under a variety of circumstances by both the business and the development teams. This phase is crucial to ensure there aren’t any redundancies or errors in the app and that all the essentials laid down during planning are met with pinpoint accuracy. While this phase has a variable timeline, requesting the addition of new features beyond the initial brief can add to the overall time to test the application as it then pushes the app development cycle back to the previous phase again. 

Stage 5: Deployment

This is the final phase in the process to develop a mobile app. It is when the finalized and tested mobile app is deployed to the marketplaces for the users to download and enjoy. This phase doesn’t usually take much time as compared to the other stages but may require a certain amount of expertise to ensure that the app runs smoothly across all platforms it supports. 

To Conclude

While all the various factors regarding how to develop a mobile app for a business have been answered above, there may be certain unforeseen impediments that can slow down the process. These may include mid-project alterations, lack of transparent communication during the app development cycle, an inexperienced team of developers, and industrial complexity, among others. To ensure that such obstacles don’t hinder the planned app development timeline, reach out to a top-tier app development team such as Focaloid Technologies to develop a mobile app for your business today. 


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