App Developers FAQ
Our answers to the most frequently asked questions about finding, choosing and engaging with an app development company or agency.
How much does it cost to develop an app?
It depends on a wide variety of factors, from the type of app and it’s features and the developer you choose. The lowest price point hovers around $3000, while larger apps can cost as much as $250,000. Some estimates for an Uber-like app go up to $300,000. In this guide, we break down the cost of app development to show you where the money goes.
A good tool to estimate an approximate cost for your app idea can be found here.
How long does it take to make an app?
According to Kinvey, it can take 18 weeks to create an app, while our own estimates put it at 24 weeks. Once again this greatly depends on the type of app and your developer, but this range includes the majority of development times for medium-sized apps.
How can I find an app developer?
There are a large number of resources online. You can start by looking through Business of App’s directory.
Another strong online directory is found on Clutch.co.
There are also dozens of app developer events around the world yearly, which you can find in our event directory.
Where can I find a developer partner for a startup app?
How many app developers are there?
A lot. In October 2016, the most recent estimates put the number of app developers at 12 million globally, of which around half develop for Android, and 2.8 million focus on iOS.
In 2014 , Asia held the highest number of app developers with 760,000 (32.9% of total app developers at the time), swiftly followed by Europe and North America with 29.7% and 29.4% of devs. Keep in mind however that since then around 800,000 new developers have entered the market per year.
How should I choose an app developer?
There’s a number of criteria to keep in mind when choosing your app developer. The first one is, of course, your budget, but beyond that you should:
This is a standard procedure, and most companies will make proudly show their app development portfolio on their websites. Keep in mind that while app building is a skill unto itself, development for particular sectors (for example healthcare or games) can be very specific. Check to see if the developer specialises in your industry, and especially if they cover the specific platform (iOS, Android or Cross-platform) that you’re targeting.
Ask for References
Digging a little deeper, you can always contact the companies the studio has developed apps for and find out what their experience was like. If a development studio is trusted time and again by operators in a certain industry, then they must be doing something right. Which leads on to:
Check their app’s reviews on the App Store or Google Play.
It may not be obvious at first, but you can always read user reviews for published apps on their app stores to see what people think of the studio’s work. Just remember the negativity bias: people have more incentive to write a review when they dislike something than when they like it. One hundred bad reviews isn’t so bad if the app has tens of thousands of active users.
Questions you should ask an app developer
1. What platforms do you develop for natively? Do you develop cross-platform apps?
You want to make things clear right from the start: for which devices can your chosen studio develop an application for? Do they specialise in iOS, Android or crossplatform (apps that work on both and other platforms by using “generic” coding as opposed to platform-specific coding). How will the apps be converted from one platform to another? If the app is linked to a website, will the website be optimised for mobile phones? Keep in mind as wide an audience as reasonable for potential users of your app, both in terms of demographics and in devices used to access it.
2. Do you cover every stage in the development cycle?
Some studios only offer user-experience or user-interface design. Others do the development and coding, but post-launch maintenance is considered to be an additional cost. If your app requires a back-end (servers and software), not all studio developers include that in their services. It vastly depends on the kind of app you are designing, but make sure the studio you go with covers all the steps of the app development cycle, or can point you to companies whose services integrate well with the ones they offer.
3. How can my app make money?
This should be part of your business plan as well as the conversation with your chosen development studio. Will your app make money via advertising? If so, it needs to be optimised for that purpose. If your app is a storefront, or just driving traffic to your website where the money is made, how will it engage users to come back after their first visit or first transaction? This is the kind of conversation that you need to hold with your app developer and make sure you are absolutely on the same page. It will also be one of the first questions a serious app developer will ask you.
4. How do you communicate during the development process?
A key part of the development process is keeping the client in the loop about how the process is going. The best studios make this really transparent, with constant (sometimes even daily) updates. Ensure your chosen app developer communicates as often and in ways which you are comfortable with.
5. What kind of testing will you do?
This is sort-of the opposite of the question above: it’s the nitty-gritty, the necessary whittling process which turns a good idea into a streamlined app. There are many types, from stress to AB-testing, and while not all of them will be relevant to all apps, some will be necessary for yours. Ask your developer what testing methods they use, what they’re for and how they help your app improve.
6. Is submission to app stores included?
Submitting an app to the store isn’t too hard, if you know what you’re doing. Only subscribed developers can submit an app to the Apple’s iTunes app store, and the Cupertino company has strict guidelines on what can and cannot be published. Android is more liberal in its guidelines, but it also requires a registration and a fee. Some developer studios do this, others do not: make sure you find out first, and whether the submission fee is part of the price you’re paying.
7. What’s the latest tech you’re using?
Beacons, GPS, deep linking, Wifi-Bluetooth integration: the great thing about the app development world is there’s always something new being developed or a groundbreaking idea being explored. If you want your app to be cutting edge and really set the standard for those that follow, ask your developer what ideas or technology they’re playing with right now. The development process includes a lot of experimentation, and an exchange of ideas with your devs could lead to the next big thing or a memorable app.