Building mobile apps has become extremely vital for all businesses. However, developing mobile applications is not as simple as it sounds. Building apps requires complex processes and procedures, making mobile development more expensive and time-consuming than one may think. In simple terms, the cost of app development can range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. And although this is a vast range, there are ways to narrow it down for your specific requirements.
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Many things affect the cost of your app development, such as:
- The app development team and project manager
- App development software
- App features and testing
- App design and functionality
- App security and hosting
- App maintenance and updates
Whether you need an iOS or Android app also determines the cost incurred. The app development company APP3null indicates that the average cost of developing simple apps is between $5,000 to $10,000.
Applications with a database will cost between $10,500 to $50,000, while mini-games cost between $10,000 to $15,000.
Besides that, additional services like in-app purchasing can cost between $2,000 and $5,500, web service costs between $5,000 to $10,000, and social sharing options start at $1,000.
The top six hidden costs for developing a mobile app include:
Security is a significant concern in mobile apps. App users should be able to trust the app with their personal and sensitive information. Therefore, businesses must have a security plan. If the app is using third-party libraries and frameworks, make sure to check its security. Your developers should test the code for as many vulnerabilities as possible. Try to reduce the number of access permissions within your app. For instance, you don’t need to access the camera if that’s not necessary. Ensure your app development team conducts code reviews regularly. Understand that these activities will take longer than expected, and the associated costs will increase, but you will have a secure mobile app that users can trust.
After your app is developed, you need a server to save all that data somewhere. This is one of the high costs of app development. All the videos, photos, and locations are saved on servers. Most mobile apps have a backend server, and many developers use cloud infrastructure for data storage. There are many storage options, including making your own cloud service, using Amazon, Microsoft, or Google clouds, or using a mobile backend as a service solution. You must consider the costs of servers while developing a mobile app. Facebook pays around $1.5 billion every year to store user data.
As discussed and demonstrated above, there are many costs associated with mobile app development. However, you can cut these costs with low-code development platforms, like Alpha Anywhere, that allow you to design, develop and test your apps for free. Therefore, you will only need to pay for app deployment.
Low-code platforms help organizations save thousands of dollars in app development and maintenance. Some low-code platforms allow you to build as many apps as you like at your own pace and allow you to pay at the time of deployment. The platforms even enable the development of offline apps and cross-platform apps.
According to a Forrester report, offline operations are the “most important and difficult feature” in modern business apps. Most mobile apps need an internet connection or a cellphone signal to function. But with offline apps, work gets done without worrying about a WiFi connection or a signal. Offline apps have numerous advantages, including –
- Moving content off the server to the phone when the user needs to access that data
- Collect large amounts of data even if the user is not connected
- Users can perform field tasks without a connection
- Loads any collected data and records changes on the server when the user is connected back
Most of the time, when developers make mobile apps, they consider the requirements of the app stores. However, not all development companies handle placing your new mobile app on the store. With regards to fees for putting the app on the app store, the cost isn’t that high. Amazon and Apple app store charge $99 per year, and Google Play charges a one-time fee of $25. However, this fee is subject to changes in requirements and additional updates. When an app is released on an app store, it must comply with that store’s requirements.
You can join the Apple Enterprise Program for $299 annually to distribute an app exclusively within your organization. Google Play does not have an additional charge for this. Remember that Google Play charges an additional 15-30% transaction fee if you sell products through your app, offer subscriptions, or make in-app purchases. The app must go through an approval process before being released online. This approval process is time-intensive and may incur additional development costs. You may have to make some changes to the app to get it accepted.
5. App Maintenance
Any website or mobile app needs regular updates, technical support, and maintenance. Therefore, you must confirm if the development company will provide maintenance services. Most developers offer maintenance to keep up with the Android and iOS system updates. However, cooperation and collaboration with app developers should not stop after the app is launched. That’s why you should discuss the price of app maintenance with your developers when you sign a contract.
Often, companies think that app development is a one-stop destination. Instead, it’s an ongoing process where they must constantly fix bugs and update and apply security fixes to keep the app working. Most apps require additional maintenance after they’re developed. Sometimes, maintenance costs exceed the app development cost.
Marketing costs for any mobile app are inevitable. Even if the product is good, people will only notice it if it’s marketed well. Marketing expenses start even before the launch of the app. The average expected cost for marketing your app could be anywhere between $4,500 and $13,000. Then, there’s cost associated with app store optimization to ensure that the app captures user attention, adjusts keywords, descriptions, and icons, and motivates users to download it.
It costs $20 to $1,400 per month for app optimization, based on the app’s complexity. Quality marketing strategies are necessary to help you popularize your app and increase your sales.
Building mobile apps is a complicated process with several costs associated with app development. As discussed above, such costs may include security, servers and hosting, offline operation, releasing on app stores, app maintenance, and marketing costs. As discussed above, low development platforms, like Alpha Anywhere, can help you cut these costs and help save thousands of dollars in app development and maintenance.