How Long Does It Take to Build a Mobile App?

Mobile apps have become a mainstay in the technological industry and have become an integral part of our daily lives facilitating communication, entertainment and much more. With over 150 billion downloads per year, it’s clear that mobile apps aren’t limited to customers, but are useful for business strategies for staff to communicate on. Apple’s App Store hosts over 2.5 million individual entrepreneurs including companies that range from start-ups to recognised businesses. However, as an entrepreneur, you’re not automatically an app developer, which is why it’s important that you commission an app development agency with a wealth of expertise to build your mobile app and bring your concept to life. Developing an app or digital product is a great way of ensuring that you stay ahead of your competition, who may already have a presence in the app store. In this article, we will discuss the app development process and how long you should expect each stage should take.

Well… It Depends

It’s difficult to put an exact timeframe on the build of your mobile app without taking into consideration the complexity of the design, as the greater the complexity of the app the longer it will take to develop. Below we have used the example of a social networking app to help shed light on the difference.

  • Small Sized Social Networking App

This would entail logging in, the newsfeed and an opportunity to interact with other users.

  • Medium Sized Social Networking App

This would contain the above features adding characteristics such as sharing, geo-localisation, video support and access to the camera.

  • Complex Social Networking App

This complex app would include features like multiple languages, photo editing and algorithms allowing your audience to receive content.

Step One – Writing a Brief (1-2 weeks)

The better your mobile app development brief is, the quicker the app will take to complete. There are things that you will need to include no matter the size of your app project:

  • Aims & Success Metrics
  • Budget
  • Approx. delivery date

Step Two – Idea & Research (4-5 weeks)

The whole process starts with a revolutionary idea. However, this idea may have failed years ago without you knowing. Therefore, your initial research is one of the most important parts of the process. You need to find your target audience, who will purchase and download your application? Once you have found your target audience you need to give your target audience a reason to download the app, are there competitors already on the market that offer people the same service?  The next stage is the competitor analysis, downloading their app and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses can help set you apart from your competitors.

Step Three – Design Sprints (6-12 weeks)

Design sprints are important for testing certain features of your app. Each sprint usually takes about a week to complete and is fundamental for ironing out problems and iterations to ensure the foundation of the application if full-proof. The Design sprint stage will allow you to build a draft of the app, which can be tested by users while giving you certain insights like how much the users value a feature.

Step Four – Development & Prototyping (6 -12 Weeks)

The rapid prototyping works in conjunction with design sprints by allowing you to construct quick and easy iterations of your applications. This can be tested with users and then tweaked based on their feedback. This prototyping can save you and your developer time as adaptations can be made in an effective way without having to make a variety of changes at late changes. 

Step Four – Deployment to the App Stores (2 weeks)

The deployment stage can be broken down into two areas regarding the time taken. The two areas are submission and review. When submitting the app to the App Store or Google Play Store, you will need a few things including company and contact information and descriptions.

Step Six – Post – Introduction Support (Hard to Predict)

This is difficult to predict because of the variety of updates and maintenance means that after you have launched your app, you will need to devote some time to this stage. The app development team should have an idea of how much time you want to put towards improvements and support.

Contact Appoly for Mobile Application Development Services

Finally, if you want to turn your app idea into a reality, get in touch with Appoly and one of our design and development experts will happily discuss your project with you and explore the best development options for you based on your ideas, circumstances and needs.