How Long Does It Take To Make An App?

Published On: April 2, 2020
Last Updated: May 16, 2023
How Long Does It Take To Make An App?

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily lives, and as a result, the demand for mobile app development in various industries has skyrocketed in recent years.

Currently, more than 7 million apps are available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. However, when it comes to mobile app development, one of the most common questions is, “How long does it take to make an app?”

The answer to this question can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the app’s complexity, the features required, the platform on which the app will run, and the development team’s expertise.

In this blog, we will understand the different stages of the mobile app development process and provide an estimated timeline for each stage. We will also discuss the factors that can affect the timeline and provide tips on speeding up the development process.

Whether you are a business owner who wants to build a mobile app or an entrepreneur with an innovative app idea, this blog will help you know how long it takes to make an app.

So, let’s dive in.

How Long Does It Take To Develop An App?

The average time to develop an app takes 2 to 6 months or more. However it can vary as it depends on the complexity of the app, number of features & functionality, platform, and application size.

Also each stage of development needs different amount of time such as:

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development process and timeline.

Now, we will explain to you all the stages in detail.

Mobile App Development Timeline & Process

Here, we are first providing you with a brief overview of the different stages of mobile app development along with their timeline.

Timeline

1. Researching your App Idea

The first stage of developing an app is to conduct market research which takes around 1-3 weeks. It will ensure that you have unique ideas and are able to reach the right audience in a short period.

Also Read: Best Mobile App Ideas

Start with researching competitors to understand what they offer in the app and how you can stand out. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses users feel in the app and use that information to create a USP for your app.

Now, identify your target audience and their needs to create an app that should resonate with them. However, remember that different apps have different target audiences.

For instance, LinkedIn is a platform that connects professionals of various fields with each other, while the Facebook app is for people of all age groups.

After this, ensure you have a clear goal about why users should download your mobile app, as it should resolve some of their problems.

Also Read: I have an app idea what to do next?

2. Validation of App Idea

This step involves testing the app’s concept with potential audiences and gathering feedback to determine whether there is a market for your app. It takes upto 2 weeks to fully validate your idea.

You can validate your app idea by creating a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP) and sharing it with your potential audience. Collect feedback on your app idea through surveys, focus groups and user testing sessions.

Testing your app idea with real users helps you refine the idea, improve the user’s experience and increase the chance of success in the market.

3. Planning your App Idea

Planning your app idea starts with creating a detailed plan that defines your app requirements, including the app functionality, features and user experience. This process is crucial and usually takes around 1-2 weeks.

Start by choosing a development approach, whether you will use a native or hybrid approach, and decide on the platform you want to launch your mobile app. The decision is based on your target audience, app complexity, vision, and financial situations.

For instance, if you choose to develop an Android app, select the appropriate technology stack and determine the app’s infrastructure requirement, including server, database, and third-party integrations.

After that, define all features and functionality of the app. Some primary features to include are a search tab, log-in, social media sharing, profile creation, etc.

Finally, plan about the app’s user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). This includes designing wireframes, creating mockups, and developing the visual design.

Overall, it allows you to set realistic goals and create a solid foundation for the development process.

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4. UI/UX Designing

First and foremost, the UX design of the app is being carried out depending on the total number of screens, fields, navigation, button positions, etc. It requires around 3 to 6 weeks to design.

It mainly states how different things will work and how different parts are connected. Here, the designer decides the screen layout and position of all the buttons in the app design.

An effective UX design takes care of what users require along with the business needs. Moreover, UX designers have to keep engaging & straightforward navigation as per the user’s needs.

Primarily, UX design consists of a series of actions that are required to be performed from the user’s side. This includes carrying out one or the other task and providing them needed controls to get the desired output like finishing order or adding profile or payment details.

After this, designers will switch over to the UI part. Here, designers will carry out different tasks such as visual appearance, color schema, effects, transitions, animations, and some other things.

Moreover, they have to make sure that all the parts are connected, such as the colors, fonts, buttons, and much more. Lastly, they are looking forward to providing ideal functionality on multiple platforms using the benefits of all the platforms.

Read more about: UI/UX Design Tips to Create Best Mobile App Design

5. Front-end & Back-end Development

After proper UI/UX design, the development of an application is started. The front-end and back-end development are the main aspects of the mobile app development process.

The basic job of mobile app developers is to build an interface of the application. After getting the visual design, developers try to maintain the app’s appearance, just like the initial idea. This is by far the most crucial stage of the development process.

In short, front-end means what a user views on their screen and how it functions, but it will not work unless the back-end is made correctly.

The back-end developers have to create back-end architecture, which includes the app server and database. All the dynamic apps need synchronization of data, storage capacity, and capability to manage different HTTP methods. This entirely depends on the task of the back-end developer.

Development Stage Estimated Timeline
Front-end Development 2 to 4 months
Back-end Development 4 to 6 months

6. App Testing

Before you release an app on the market, developers will conduct different kinds of tests which usually takes around 1 to 2 weeks. It includes functional testing, usability testing, performance testing, and security testing.

These tests consist of manual and automated QA tests and also collecting feedback from the users. By performing testing, they will identify and fix bugs to ensure the app runs seamlessly and meet all the requirements defined in the planning stage.

This stage may involve multiple rounds of testing until the app functions properly, provides a great user experience and is free of security risks or vulnerabilities.

7. App Ready to Launch

After appropriate testing, the app is deployed on the respective app store. Here, the deployment process can be further broken down into two key areas: submission and review. This is why it consumes around 2 to 3 weeks.

At the time of submitting the app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you can consider some of the essential things:

  • Screenshots
  • Icons
  • Descriptions
  • Demonstrations
  • Company and Contact details

Also, Checkout, To-Do List before Publishing an App on the App Stores

In general, iOS takes more time to deploy because Apple undergoes an extensive review process.

Moreover, Android utilizes an algorithm to initially check the app for violations, while Apple manually carries out the entire review from an expert team of reviewers.

8. Post-Launch Support and Maintenance

This stage requires support and proper monitoring from the outsourcing company to handle various things in the app. You shouldn’t neglect mobile app maintenance if you want to provide next-level user-experience and build strong relationships with your target audience.

It is a fact that quality requires more time. Moreover, every app must offer exceptional performance. However, it is somewhat difficult to determine the time needed for this step.

Updates and maintenance will consume a lot of time even after the launch of the app on the relevant store.

Also Read: Guidelines to hire best Mobile App Development Company

How Long Does It Take To Build An App Based On Types

The average time to develop a mobile application ultimately depends on complexity. However, the complexity depends on the platform you develop an app and the features you want to include in the app.

Here, we will provide time to develop simple, medium, and complex apps by taking examples of some of the most popular apps in the mobile industry.

A simple app is quick to develop and consists of fewer features. These kinds of apps can be built within a time duration of 2-3 months. For instance, notes apps like Color Note and built-in Calculator apps present on Android or iOS devices.

A medium app includes a somewhat higher number of apps as compared to simple apps. These kinds of apps have custom UI/UX features, Payment Gateway, API integration, and real-time messaging. To develop these kinds of apps, one requires 6-9 months.

For example, creating an app like Bumble or any IoT/Hardware app like June Oven.

A complex app consists of highly-advanced features and technologies. To build complex apps, modern technologies like machine learning, AR/VR are being utilized. To develop these kinds of apps, it requires 9-12 months or more.

Examples of complex apps include eCommerce marketplaces like AliExpress or a travel management app like TripAdvisor. All these apps in the initial phase were released with basic features. After this, more and more features were introduced in the latest iterations of the app.

Also Read: How much does it cost to develop an app?

Types of App Estimated Timeline
Simple App 2-3 months
Medium App 6-9 months
Complex App 9-12 months or more

Things That Slow Down the App Development Process

As mentioned above, the mobile app development process will consume 4 to 6 months or more. However, some of the things that slow down the app development process are as follows:

Mid-Project Updates

Mobile app development is an ongoing process where different stages are linked with each other in different ways. Any unexpected updates in the middle of the project can slow down the entire process.

This also has a significant effect on the performance of the app because too many updates in an already developed codebase will have a high impact on the app.

Inexperienced Team of Developers

What does it take to build an app? To make any successful app, you will require a new-age idea, an appropriate budget, and an excellent development team.

The majority of times, startups and businesses make the mistake of hiring developers who are not thorough about the app development process.

By doing this, the app development process timeline increases, and you will not receive a quality app as per your business needs. To avoid this, you should be familiar with all the ins and outs of a developer or a company.

New-Age Technologies

Latest technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, and much more, can slow down the development process of an app.

It is evident that these technologies help to provide excellent user experience, however anything great requires more money & time.

The main reason why these technologies slow down the mobile app development process is that they are somewhat complicated and require more time while integrating into the mobile app.

Third-Party Dependencies

When relying on third-party services, libraries or APIs it will slow down the development if there are issues with integration, compatibility, or documentation. Troubleshooting these dependencies can consume valuable time and resources.

Effective Ways to Speed up the App Development Process

With new apps releasing in the market every day, all are looking forward to releasing the app as quickly as possible. In short, entrepreneurs and businesses are always looking for developers who can build quality apps in less time.

Until now, we have gone through the entire process of how long does it take to develop a mobile app and factors that slow down the app development process. Now, we will provide some great ways to reduce the time of app development.

MVPs and Prototyping

MVPs or Prototyping are some of the most crucial ways to save time in the app development process. MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, which is considered as an early product release. An MVP or Prototype can be developed quickly, and it matches with the main idea of the application.

After releasing an MVP, a full-fledged app can be developed with ease by collecting feedback from the audience and integrating essential features into the next versions of the app.

Various leading companies around the world, such as Amazon, Dropbox, Groupon, and many more, have first released their MVP and then made modifications as per the customer’s feedback.

Also Read: MVP App Development

Choose Cross-Platform Over Native

Majority of the time, businesses and startups are not able to decide whether to go with Android or iOS. Moreover, both these platforms require more app development time and cost. A simple yet effective solution of this is to go with Cross-Platform App Development.

As of now, there are a wide number of Cross-Platform App Frameworks such as Ionic, React Native, Flutter, etc which help to develop apps that run on multiple platforms in less time.

Hire a Professional Company

Hiring a professional app development company can considerably streamline the app development process and reduce the workload. They have an experienced team of mobile app developers who have built applications for a wide number of industries.

They understand app development’s intricacies and can leverage their expertise to deliver high-quality results. Moreover, they have access to pre-built frameworks, libraries, and tools to accelerate development.

By leveraging their expertise, experience, and resources, you can shorten the time required to make an app compared to a less-experienced team.

Interested in Seeing Our Past App Development Projects? View Portfolio

Conclusion

From the above stages, you might have understood that the app development timeline differs for every application, even though it can be estimated quickly. Anytime you want to determine how long does it takes to make an app, consider result-oriented strategies.

Here, you must follow all the stages mentioned in the post, which include Researching, Planning, UI/UX Designing, Development, Testing & Deployment, Post-launch, and maintenance.

Guru TechnoLabs follows a result-oriented process to launch anything in the online world.

If you are looking forward to developing a mobile app or want any consultation about your mobile app idea, then you can contact us.

We are an award-winning mobile app development company with years of experience in building innovative and next-gen mobile apps for various industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average time it takes to build an Android app is around 3 - 5 months. However, it can vary depending on the several stages involved in the development process, the app's complexity, the functionality required and many more.

The average time it takes to develop an iOS app is around 4 to 6 months. However, a simple iOS app with essential features can be developed in a few months, while complex apps with advanced functionalities may take several months or even a year to develop.

On average, a team of 2 to 4 mobile app developers is required to develop a small to medium-sized project. However, the number of developers required depends on the developers' skills, the development platform and the project timeline.

The average time to build complex apps with multiple advanced functionalities may take anywhere from 1000 to 2000 hours or more, while basic apps with minimal functionality may take anywhere from 150 to 200 hours.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.