First things first, the purpose of your app is a large factor. For example, the difference between developing a gaming app in comparison to simpler list style app can vary dramatically. In other words, the app’s functionality and features are the basis for the costing and therefore development can range from £20k to well over £100k.
Importantly, the device you decide to target can instantly change the price of development. Are you looking to make your app available on iOS and will it be accessible on iPad and iPhone? Or will the app be launched on Android or Windows? Or perhaps all of the above. Choosing which device to launch on in itself can be difficult. Android has the largest global reach but iOS has a more engaged user base, with users who tend to pay more for their apps. Due to the large number of handsets and OS versions, Android development can take a longer and therefore are can be more expensive. On the other hand, iOS has a quicker development time but often has a longer approval time when it comes to passing Apple's submission process. If you are looking to release your app on multiple platforms, a hybrid HTML5 app is a good option to reduce costs. Due to its cross platform functionality, a hybrid HTML5 app will only need a small amount of design and coding changes to release on another platform or create a web version. Read more about the differences between HTML5 and native development in a previous blog post.
Once you have settled that one, it is time to think about the features you are looking to include. This is when you need to breakdown the complexity of your app, think closely about the its functionality. For example, you need to consider whether the app will have a login feature or enable the user to create a personal profile. These features all take time and more importantly money. The technical complexity of features such as third party integrations, backend and admin panel development are all additions that can be more costly to develop. Taking payments within your app can also be complex and expensive, especially if you are considering using external payment platforms.
We recommend that the first version of any app should be stripped back to just the essential features, to ensure it is approved during the submission process and to keep costs down. This is called the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), an app with the minimum functionality possible whilst still providing the solution your app is designed for. Once you have decided on this functionality it will be possible to get a fairly good idea of how much it will cost.
Red C offer a prototype app service, which can act as a useful pre-investment. A protoype app is essentially a mockup of your app, including the designs, wireframes and basic functionality. This provides a valuable insight into what the app will look like and how it will work. More importantly, it is also a way to gauge an estimate of how much it will cost to build.
Beyond the development there are costs to take into consideration such as launching and marketing your app. At Red C this is included in the App + service. Marketing your app is essential, due to the competitive nature of the App Store. Therefore, you should set aside 30% of your total investment for marketing your app. Updates and maintenance will be required beyond development, so remember these additional costs. To summarize, the cost of developing an app will depend on a number of factors and can vary from app to app. Beyond this blog, the Red C team have a wealth of experience and are more than happy to discuss the estimation process further with you.
Get in touch with Red C, we can work with you to finalise your requirements and then provide you with an estimated cost.