How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App?

There is no doubt that businesses are looking for the same attention, with 3.96 billion active mobile app users globally. Mobile apps are constantly accelerating market change by addressing customers and business operations. Indeed, demand and revenue for mobile applications in the business landscape are expected to reach 613 billion USD by 2025. As a result, it’s time to take a closer look at every possible factor influencing the mobile app development process.

Typically, enterprises and startups inquire about the app development process and cost. Still, we are moving on to another important factor: the timeline to create an app, the resources required, and all the efforts involved. You are more likely to start a mobile application for their business once you understand the benefits. As a result, the topic for today’s discussion is how long it takes to develop an app and how to create your app.

The average time to develop an app looks like the image below. However, there is no set time for developing an app because it varies from person to person and company to company. But there is no certainty. And thus, this article.

  • Key Stages of The App Development Process

The mobile app development process is divided into stages, each requiring a different amount of time. The process is interdependent from the planning stage to the application’s launch and requires proper attendance. Apps of varying sizes and features require varying amounts of time to develop.

Each stage of development is discussed below to answer the question, “How long does it take to build an app?” 

The mobile app brief is one of the most important documents that entrepreneurs and app developers frequently overlook. The better the brief, the less time it will take to comprehend the software project and its requirements. This single step can have a HUGE impact on the amount of time it takes to develop an app.

Mobile App development

You must include some things in the brief you are working with, such as company information, a detailed understanding of the project, and the mobile app development services you will need to deploy.

This stage usually ends with you having an analyzed document of the estimated app development process before moving on to different design and development phases. Let us first examine how long it takes to establish the foundation for all subsequent design and development processes.

  • Stage 1: Forming Ideas And Research

Forming ideas and conducting research are the first steps in creating an application. It’s easy to come up with great ideas, but not everyone has to agree that they’re great. The time it takes to create an app is heavily influenced by the idea generation and research phases. This stage entails beginning with an idea for an app and then researching it for further improvements.

Another aspect of this stage is identifying the right audience. The right audience for the app is targeted during this initial stage. Defining the target audience aids in the app’s post-launch promotion and in shaping the app in the right direction.

The target audience for different apps varies in size and age. For example, Facebook has users of all ages on its platform, whereas Tinder has a younger target audience. Because user targeting has contributed to the success of these apps, it is recommended that proper targeting and research be conducted.

It is also necessary to assess the market and app’s competitiveness. During the app research process, gather information about competitors and potential threats, and this will prepare the app’s owners for any problems that may arise after the app’s launch.

The entire investigation takes several weeks. By the end of the research, you should be aware of all the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, their app strategies, and defined target audience.

  • Stage 2: Planning It All Out

The planning stage is the next critical stage in developing an app. When you thoroughly understand your market, it is time to plan the app development process. Decisions about the app’s configuration are made during the planning stage. These choices include choosing between iOS app developer and Android, native or hybrid, cross-platform or not, web-based or mobile app, and so on.

When these plans are finalized, it is time to start adding features. Now, the features of an app should be such that they neither complicate nor slow it down. An app should have many basic features, such as a search bar, social media sharing buttons, profile creation, a login option, etc. These features significantly improve the usability of a basic app.

As the app size grows, the features become more focused on the type of app. Any e-commerce app, for example, will have the ‘Add to cart feature. Similarly, social media apps provide the option of media sharing and various other features to encourage app engagement.

How long does it take to develop an app? 

  • Stage 3: Design Sprints and Idea Validation 

Design sprints are the next step in the process of developing an app. Design sprint processes are used to test various aspects of an application. The entire design sprint takes about a week to complete. This stage aims to test various aspects of the idea and have them validated by a group of potential users.

Design Sprint assists businesses in determining whether users value a feature, how they use it when they would use it, how easy or difficult they believe it is to navigate the application, and so on.

  • Stage 4: Development Stage

Three elements must be built during the development stage of how to create an application: the UI, Front End, and Back End. After all the planning is completed, the developers and designers will work on building the app. How long does it take to develop an app? The development and design stages, on the other hand, take about six weeks.

Graphic designers are in charge of an app’s user interface, which gives the apps a look to improve the user experience. Users prefer visually appealing apps, so UI is critical for any app to thrive in the market.

Our refined UI/UX strategy for Domino’s helped increase its mobile app’s conversion rate by 23%. The frontend and backend are also critical components in developing your app. The frontend of an app is what users see and interact with, but nothing makes sense until the backend is built. The backend connects the UI to the system and allows the app to function properly. So, how can an app be created without either of these? You simply cannot.

Let us delve a little deeper to understand what both engineering processes entail to answer how long it will take to develop an app for free and how to make your app.

Backend Engineering

  • Data storage
  • Users management
  • Server-side logic 
  • Data Integration
  • Versioning 

Frontend Engineering:

  • Frontend logic
  • Caching
  • Synchronization
  • Wireframing 
  • UI Design 
  • UI development
  • Stage 5: Developer and QA Team

Choosing the best development team to create an app is never easy; even when you have the best team, you are always looking for more. To assist you in your search, you can either look for them locally, which is difficult or outsource the task to app development companies or freelancers who will form a team under your supervision. The best option for developing an app is to find a current development team with demonstrated industry experience and direct all requirements to them. There are several reasons for this:

  • Having a team means that they know each other and are strong as a group.
  • As the developers know each other thus, their work timings and pace are similar, minimizing delays.
  • A strong team with a project manager will help you place all your requests to an individual (project lead/manager).

Another fantastic advantage of hiring a ready-to-work development team is that they will deliver the finished product and handle all application development stages themselves. Furthermore, competent groups can provide you with a thorough understanding of the app development process, advise you on improving the work process, and assist you in selecting a native or hybrid app based on your objectives.

  • Stage 6: Testing

What is required to run an app? We need to test runs to see if the app will even run once development is complete. We cannot deny that the app will contain bugs that must be addressed before the final launch, and these flaws can be identified using tests.

There are numerous methods for testing the performance and functionality of a mobile app, and Applify has its testing strategies for mobile apps. The quality assurance tests are performed so that users do not encounter problems when using the app, making it more likable.

The app is subjected to Alpha and Beta testing to ensure it is error-free. The app is launched following testing. The necessary changes are made after the launch, and user feedback is gathered.

  • Stage 7: Deployment on App Stores

The time it takes to deploy the app is divided into two parts: submission and review. When you apply to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, you must follow certain guidelines, such as:

  • Screenshots
  • App Descriptions 
  • Icons
  • Video or Image demonstration 
  • App Store Optimization

The time it takes stores to deploy your applications. When comparing the time it takes to launch apps on the App Store versus publishing them on the Play Store, Apple uses a very detailed reviewing process, which increases the launch time. Google, on the other hand, uses algorithms to pre-analyze your apps, reducing app launch time.

Note the following points:

  • All the different app development processes take their development time. 
  • Although research stages take up around 2 to 3 weeks of development time, when done right, they cannot just save time on a later stage but also aid the smooth sailing of processes. 
  • Factors that slow down the mobile app development timeline are changes made mid-project to inexperienced developers and the use of complex technologies.
  • RFPs, MVPs (minimum viable products), and Cross-platform development tend to speed up the app development process.

Now, as we have discussed all the stages of creating or building an app, let’s move further to discuss what slows down the app development process. 

Application development process

  • What Slows Down The App Development Process?

As previously stated, the app development process typically takes about 2-3 months. However, some factors contribute to the overall process and answer the question of how long it takes to develop a mobile app.

  • Mid-Project Changes

App development is a continuous process in which all stages are interconnected. If there are any abrupt changes to the plan in the middle, the process will inevitably slow down. These mid-project changes can also impact the app’s performance because too many changes in an already built code base can cause this.

  • Unexperienced Developers

What does it take to build a successful app? Great ideas, a proper budget, and a good developer. Businesses, particularly startups, often make the mistake of hiring developers who aren’t up to the task. This slows down the process and produces a poor app for the business. Our app development team is highly skilled and experienced, allowing us to launch high-performing apps one after the other. We have also assisted our clients with their app ideas to achieve the best results for their businesses.

  • Complex Technologies

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and other technologies slow mobile app development. Undoubtedly, these technologies improve the app’s experience, but everything good has a cost. The average cost of developing an app could differ on a lot of factors.

This is because the technologies are complex and take time to integrate into the app.

  • Industry-Wise Difference

The average app development time is also affected by the industry for which the app is being developed. How long does it take to create a social media app? The answer is 1-2 months (s). On-demand apps, on the other hand, take longer to develop. As a result, the industry is another factor influencing the time required to develop an app.

Now that we know how to make apps and what factors slow the app development process, let’s look at how we can speed things up.

  • How to Speed Up The Time of Application Development?

With the rapid growth of mobile apps, there is no time to waste in the development process. Businesses, whether startups or enterprises are looking for mobile app developers who can create apps quickly without sacrificing quality. There are no problems without solutions, and the time required to develop an app is no exception. Regarding startups, gathering a large crowd is a survival goal, and mobile apps are the answer.

We now understand how to create an app and what it takes to create an app. We also know what factors influence the time it takes to create an app. It’s time to figure out how to cut application development time in half.

  • MVPs and Prototyping

So, how do you create a mobile app while saving time? MVPs and prototypes are excellent ways to save time, and they are simple to construct and closely resemble the application’s original concept. Once the MVPs are available to the public, the actual app can be built by adding features and improving upon them. Many businesses, such as Airbnb and MailChimp, began as MVPs before going live.

  • Go for Cross-Platform

The biggest debate of all time is Android app developers vs. iOS, and sometimes people are so confused that they don’t know which to choose. Both platforms’ app development timelines and costs are relatively high. However, cross-platform app development is a solution to this problem. Great multi-platform apps can be built in less time with tools like Xamarin and PhoneGap.

  • Hire a Professional Developer

The best thing you can do is hire a professional app developer to create your app. The app will not only have an amazing UI/UX design, but it will also take less time to develop. If you choose to outsource, your hours will only be reduced. One of the top reasons to outsource is that when you choose an off-shore professional app development company, you will get a good experience and make your work easier.

Applify is a professional app development company that has created several successful apps for its clients. We will walk you through the entire ‘how to make an app’ and ‘how to create a mobile app’ process.

  • Agile Development

Many app development companies use agile development because it shortens the development cycle. The main reason for agile app development is that organizations cannot face the challenge of starting from scratch. It has a programming structure that is flexible and adaptable, making it ideal for open-ended communication between app owners and developers. Simply put, it accelerates the development process and ensures that the application is completed on time.

  • White Label Solutions

White label solutions are products manufactured by one company and then rebranded to look like another. This will save a lot of time when developing an app because nothing will have to be built from scratch. This, however, will not result in a good application, especially one that generates a lot of traffic or sales.

  • Automated Testing

Although automated testing appears to be a no-brainer, many people overlook it. This type of testing is one of the significant development periods that shortens the mobile app development cycle. The best thing about automated testing is that it can run many tests simultaneously, reducing the time spent on manual testing and contributing to the application’s security. Several testing methods are used in automated testing to save time. The development process accelerates as the testing process accelerates, and using more than one testing strategy can result in error-free code.

App development

  • Conclusion

This was our take on the timelines for mobile app development and some methods for shortening the app development timeframe. We hope this blog helps answer some of the most frequently asked questions, such as how to develop an app, how to create your own app, and how long it takes to develop an app. If you still have questions about how to make an app or a phone app, please contact our app developers at Applify.

As artists sketch thoughts, we create digitally empowered products. Applify delivers hands-on experience across multiple technologies for mobile apps, gaming apps, TV, and wearable apps. We have been recognized by Clutch as one of the top industry leaders in the global B2B market for 2021. Our team has reached new heights and we’ve worked together with Cashify, Coca-Cola, Mixpanel, SiteDrop, Show to Stream, TA, and more.