Mobile app development has turned from a technology to a trend. Although the general definition of a trend is the popular taste at a given period of time, but the way mobile app development are extending its tentacles at different domain, it ensures long-lasting survival. Left those days, when various institutes and even laymen used to come across the general dilemma: mobile versus desktop. At some point of time, it seems desktop is still prevailing but certainly mobile apps have worked upon its attribute of convenience.
“Technological innovation has dramatically lowered the cost of computing, making it possible for large numbers of consumers to own powerful new technologies at reasonably low prices.” James Surowiecki
From custom mobile app development even enterprises are quite optimistic towards the growth of mobile app development. There are different, mobile operating system such as Apple, Android and others but mobile apps create the ultimate brand awareness with its strategy to expand the customer loyalty base by targeting on its niche. It identifies the potential customers and expect brand to have its own dedicated mobile app. At the beginning, it was somehow considered to gain a competitive edge over the business. But the way mobile apps are transforming the entire ecosystem, it has really become a necessity otherwise falling behind the competition.
But do you know biggest obstruction in the path of mobile app development, its cost. The easiest explanation is that apps are not that much expensive, it’s the utmost engineering as well as designing talents that makes the huge difference. Although paying thousands of dollars for an app may not be as big for a big corporation but this amount can be somewhat worth considerable for a startup capital. Perhaps, there are so many factors that are responsible to make this approach quite pricey. For example:
Fluper creates taxi app at the rate of $3999 with the following basic features:
- Sign up/ Login Profile
- Manage Profile
- Pickup Location/ Drop off Location
- Tracking of Real time location
- Social Login
- Map View
- Contact Driver
- Integration of wallet
- Payment Gateway
- Cancel the trip
- Sign up/Login Profile
- Manage Profile
- Accepting the ride
- Navigating to destination
- Trip completion status
- Trip Fare
- Payment received
Admin Panel Features (web)
- Trip management by tracking ongoing trips
- View details of trip ongoing and accomplished
- Manage operational geo boundary- from his web panel the admin will manage operational geo boundary.
But is this sufficient to determine the mobile app development cost? No, there are various points that ascertain this in intricate manner.
Points that adds up the mobile app development costs:
Choosing the right platform
As soon as you have ascertained that you are dedicating your investment for your future mobile app, then get ready to make couple of decisions that can really make the future of your mobile app at stake. According to Clutch Outsystem, Telerik and Alpha Anywhere are considered to be the top mobile app platform which enable one-click native deployment for iOS and Android. It also provide seamless offline functionality with high performance user experience. These platforms are as effective in developing native apps.
- Native, web or hybrid: to make this decision worthy, then the first step is to identify the target audience.
Similarly, for multi-platform mobile apps which are truly “in” where you need to find the solution in order to develop the best-formatted apps. For instance RhoMobile, PhoneGap, Appcelerator etc. These decisions are supportive enough with pair of decisions related on this.
- Monetisation: Monetisation plays a very important role. In most of the case, it is somehow considered to be secondary, but instead of making yourself perplexed with revenue generation, it would rather be a good idea to dedicate some efforts to outline monetisation at the beginning of the mobile app development.
- iOS or Android considering the peculiarities of the market, or heterogeneity of the target audience. Here comes cross-platform HTML5 app since with the broad target base, it turns quite difficult to identify the preference of a particular platform. It costs pretty less as compared to native applications for rendering multiple operating system.
But these decisions must be complied with after known their benefits and limitations in order to utilise each platform’s at the fullest potential.
Features and functionalities
The main purpose of any app is to offset the development budget by determining the accurate cost of mobile app development. But here are couple of questions that will determine the number of features and functionalities and cost of the app.
- Is the app intended for public use?
- Is it outlined for internal use only?
- Who are the internal users that will be utilising this mobile app?
- What will be the ultimate achievement after interacting with the mobile app?
Although the list of questions are quite log, but these can be somewhat fundamental as well as predictions to make.
This is although one of the common mistake committed by mobile app developer of thinking designs what it really looks like. Apps that are more often designed in order to comply with the trend rather than solving a problem on the niche. Fluper suggests to avoid the mobile app design without summary. This practice will somehow beneficial not only for the branding purpose but makes the marketing of an app quite convenient.
Coming back to the concept again mobile app designs comprise of broad range of tasks. According to Yalantis, it includes:
- User Research
- Competitive audit
- User experience design
- Mobile app interface design
- Graphic design
- App icon
- Logo design
Apart from that app design cost is usually calculated according to the project intricateness, level of expertise possessed by mobile app designers as well as number of platforms that are likely designed by the appreneur. The app designs also varies from country to country. Countries like US-based development team charge $50-$150. The same app can be delivered by Indian development team with $30-$50 per hour with great assurance of mobile app designs.
Analytics is quite essential while developing a mobile app. Here it is quite essential to know how many of the users have downloaded the app yet. Analytics are sufficient in case you demand an explanation, how much money the app is actually be making in future. It is as essential to analyse the user behaviour. This step is as effective to identify in case the users are facing any bottlenecks in your mobile app.
It captivates an essential proportion in the cost of mobile app development on the level of details you are basically seeking.
You must have understood till this point that app features are not the ultimate cost drivers but infrastructure also plays an essential in order to get the app of the ground. There are further components which subdivides the concept of infrastructure, as elucidated by Cubes:
- Fundamental controls
- Data storage
- 3rd Party integration
- Data encryption
- Access to enterprise data
The cost of infrastructure vary from project to project. But here the infrastructure can be considered as a game changer since it looks to scale the app in an appropriate manner and land it to market.
Although this is somehow considered to be one of the hidden costs of mobile app development and is regarded as a sneaky cost which is more likely be underestimated.
But it is also one of the components that makes the matter more complicated due to the wide variety of accessible devices. This goes far beyond the testing. Testing encompasses from test on different device types, screen sizes, network speed, OS versions, and many more. So, the cost is positively related to the level of intricacy you want.
Another key factor as far as cost determination is concerned. According to Fluper, the best way to control the project within the budget is to work within the stipulated time period. In case you have set an unrealistic expectation, here unnecessary rush charges come into the picture which can impact the cost considerably.
Is your app linked with one database or multiple database depends upon data combined from separate sources converted into meaningful yet the valuable one.
What drives the cost includes the discovery, monitoring, transforming as well as deployment of data from a wide variety of sources.
According to Kony, commercial channel like Google Play and iTunes charge approximately $100 for developer’s license cost. But there are distinct distribution channels in order to deploy the mobile app.
This attribute cannot be overlooked while ascertaining mobile app development cost since it ensures security as well as assures standards to be met.
Cost Increasing App Elements
These are some of the cost which are somewhat furtive which are categorised under the hidden cost of most app. These are some of the points elucidated by Erminesoft.
- Admin Panel
- Project Urgency
- Server Backend
- Social media Integration
- Optional Hardware Usage
- Integration with 3rd Party services
But there are some other costs which can enhance the cost of app elements.
Please have a look: Mobile app development hidden cost
Post Production and Maintenance
Don’t know why post production and maintenance expenses are not regarded as the actual programming activities. There are various expenses post production and maintenance such as:
- Regular updates
- Customer support
- Cloud hosting
- Expenses related to backend server maintenance
- Legal support
- App marketing and promotion
These are some of the attributes which really make a huge impact. Along with these, there are some additional costs like feedback reviews, issues and errors. What makes Fluper, one of the top mobile app development company is the robust strategy in order to create the affordable and flawless mobile app development. It tries to retain the development team for some period of time in order to deal with such issues.
Just on the basis of features and functionalities of mobile app, cost of mobile app development cannot be easily determined. It involves with an elaborate process where it looks for experienced mobile app designers and developers to understand the intricacy of mobile apps and determine the most acute mobile app development cost. Although there are various other attributes but the points discussed above are fundamental and can give 98% approximation.
And rest of 2% depends on the unforeseen situation which is quite difficult to evaluate.