How Long Does it Take to Develop an App

How Long Does it Take to Develop an App

Building a digital product requires more or less the same level of craftsmanship as building a physical product. However, a digital product, being an app in this case, can take up quite a lot more time to develop than a physical product. The mobile app development process itself spans various stages, and each stage can take up to months to complete. But once all is said and done, the final product is an innovative and technologically advanced app. It can boost numbers for your business and take it to the next level.

According to Criteo’s research, “Businesses see conversion rates three times higher with mobile apps than mobile websites.”

Stats don’t lie, and they back the theory of business generating more revenue with apps than without them. This is the reason why businesses are looking to hire iOS and Android app developers from a mobile app development company to build an app for their business. While an app would certainly grow their business, getting it developed in the first place is not as easy. That’s because it takes both time and money to develop an app. Businesses are ready to splash out cash to create an app, but they don’t have enough time to wait for the app to develop fully. Even choosing the fastest way can take several months to develop an app. But really, how long does it take to develop an app? Also, what are the factors that impact app development time? Therefore, we will discuss mobile app development time in this blog to find out.

Long Story Short: How Long Does It Take to Develop an App?

Let’s cut to the chase and talk about the thing you are here for in the first place: how long does it take to develop an app? The average time to develop an app can take around 5 to 7 months. However, those numbers can easily change and increase or decrease depending on the circumstances of the development lifecycle. A slight change of plans in the development project can extend or shrink the development timeline for a mobile app from the earlier planned one.

There are many factors that can cause that. Some of these are the addition or removal of features or changing UI or UX design mid-way through the development. Moreover, even changes in personnel or the size of the app development team of an app development agency can also change the development timeline. Therefore, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to creating a mobile app. Moreover, nothing can certainly be assured in terms of time it takes to develop an app.

Long Story Short: How Long Does it Take to Develop an App?

Mobile App Development Timeline By App Complexity

Turning an app idea into a fully-fledged app is truly a work of art. However, it requires time, mainly due to the complexity of the app idea. The complexity of the app is categorized into three different groups, such as:

Mobile App Development Timeline By App Complexity

Simple Apps

The easiest of all apps and the lowest of app complexities are simple apps. Much like the term suggests, simple apps are quite simple to develop. App development takes little time for these low-complex apps. They can be developed as early as two months and as late as four months. That is because most of these apps are built using pre-made app templates that require little to no coding. These templates have basic functionalities and a pretty basic user interface that works with most business settings.

However, easy, simple, and fast software development comes with its downsides. The downside of simple apps is that they do not have Application Programming Interfaces, also known as APIs. As a result, simple apps cannot integrate with other systems and likewise cannot send nor receive data from other systems. Therefore, the data is stored locally, and the app does not have synchronization with cloud storage.

Medium Complexity Apps

The other complexity app type is medium complex apps. These apps are a bit more complex and feature-rich than simple apps. While medium complex apps may take less time to develop than large-scale apps, they require more time to develop compared to simple apps. If you are wondering how long it takes to develop the app with a medium complexity, then it can take as little as four months and seven months at max. However, that development time pays off when you get an app that has a custom user interface. Moreover, this time, the app has APIs that can be integrated with other systems. Moreover, the medium complexity apps can also be synchronized with cloud services.

Large-Scale & Complex Apps

Last but not least are large-scale apps which are by far the most complex and the most difficult to make. A large-scale app project can take from as little as 7 months to all the way to a year or above to complete. But all that time is used for making the app as advanced as possible with high-end functionalities, and robust backend.

Moreover, large-scale app projects emphasize high performance and security features to make the app responsive and secure. Also, customizations are endless with high-complexity apps. Developers and stakeholders can push the boundaries to customize user interfaces, features, functionalities and just about everything. APIs have also become advanced as these apps can integrate with multiple sophisticated complex systems at once. More so, synchronization with cloud services also goes up a notch as well.

‍Factors that Determine the Time it Takes to Make an App

The complexity of the app is not the only thing that decides the time it will take to develop an application. That is because there are other factors as well that determine how much time does it take to build an app. How long does it take to develop an app varies on a few factors, some of which include:

 

‍Factors that Determine the Time it Takes to Make an App

 

App Complexity and Features

As we have already discussed above, factors like the complexity of the app determine the time it takes to build an app. However, akin to it, are features, which, depending on the type of feature, shape up the development timeline. Basic features do not take up a lot of time to develop and therefore keep the development timeline en route. However, unless the advanced features are planned, they can push forward the development time.

This will definitely extend the time it takes to complete the project. Most of the time, managers plan features during the requirements-gathering stage. During that stage project managers create the scope of your app and the development plan. Therefore if the advanced features are planned ones, they will take just as long to develop. But the developers give a development timeline to stakeholders according to that.

Team Size and Experience

The next factor that determines the time needed to build an app is the size of the development team. It is not only size but also the experience and expertise of the team members that play a great role in determining how much time it takes to develop a mobile app. A development firm that has an app design and development team of many skilled developers and designers. They can complete the development project much quicker than a firm with a smaller development team.

Therefore, it is the size as well as skills, experience, and expertise of the development team that accounts for the duration in which the application development is done. The bigger the team size is, the faster the app develops . It is as simple as that.

App’s Operating System Platform

Another key aspect that influences how long does it take to develop an app is the platform for which the app is developed. Both iOS and Android operating systems are more or less the same when it comes to the time it takes to develop apps for them. However, choosing the type of development can certainly differentiate the time it takes to complete the project. For instance, native apps take longer to develop than if you were to build a cross-platform app in 2024. That is because, with cross-platform development, developers have to write code once only and can deploy the app for multiple platforms.

This means they only have to maintain a single codebase, which is much easier and faster to do. On the other hand, if you go the native route and were to develop an Android app or need to build an iOS app, it would take much longer to develop an app for those platforms. That is because native apps for iOS and Android are focused on better performance and tighter integration with the platform’s features. Therefore, developing a native app can take more time and resources. So, all in all, if time-to-market is a vital factor, cross-platform apps can be developed much faster than native apps.

Design Complexity

The design stage eats a huge chunk of time besides the development stage during the development process. It can take longer to design the app if the designs you have chosen to go for are highly customized. Moreover, making sure that those designs are optimized and aligned with your brand image can take a lot of time. If you were to throw animations and transitions into the mix, then it would all but extend the development timeline. Perfection with designs is obtained through time and precision. When invested, a good design can make your app stand apart from the rest.

Testing For Polish and Refinement

Any app can be built faster if it weren’t for the polishing bit. Developing an app is one thing, but making an app useful and optimized so that it ends up becoming a successful app is an entirely different thing. If a product is not polished enough, it won’t shine. The same goes for apps, as they require extensive testing to ensure the app is free of all bugs and errors. This will allow the app to reach its maximum potential. Refining an app can prolong the development timeline. But doing it is necessary, and it is certainly worth the wait.

Five Stages of the App Development Process

While we have discussed the factors that impact the development time, it is mainly the stages in the development process that take up time. There are five stages of app development process, and each stage deals with certain parts of the app. The app creation is done through these stages:

Five Stages of the App Development Process

Planning and Requirements Gathering

The app development process kicks off with the project’s discovery, analysis, planning, gathering requirements and conducting market research. Senior developers and project managers gather requirements to identify your specific app needs, target audience, and business goals. Moreover, the managers conduct a deep market research. It helps them identify pain points and get a better idea on the market landscape and your competitor.

This allows managers to design a development plan that will help create an app that would make your business stand out and gain a competitive advantage. Conducting research and gathering requirements can take somewhere from 1 to 2 weeks. On the other hand, validating an app idea, creating a product strategy, prototyping, and validating a prototype can take more than a month. So overall, this stage alone can take almost two months to get all things in check.

UI and  UX Designing

Next comes the designing stage in the development process which is the designing of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Designing the app’s UX and UI is not easy and it certainly takes a lot of time to achieve perfection. Moreover, with complicated animations and transitions, designers are often left in solving riddles to add those. They ensure that the design remains intuitive and appealing.

The key points of this stage are creating wireframes. These lay out the app’s structural framework. Moreover, it accurates prototypes which in turn allow designers and developers to get an authentic preview of how the app is going to look and feel. The entire UI and UX designing stage can take as little as 2 months and as high as 3 months to complete.

App Development Stage

Now it comes to the main stage; which is the coding bit. As we discussed earlier, the coding of the app depends on the app’s complexity. An easy and small app takes around 2 months to develop whereas a large and bit more complex app can take somewhere from 4 to 7 months to complete. This stage takes care of most of the aspects of the app such as coding the app’s frontend and backend using the latest frameworks.

Moreover, it includes creating technical architecture implementing features and functionality alongside integrating systems. Developers thoroughly check the coding over and over again. They try to find any flaws and fix them during the development stage. All of this ensures that the app is being built in the best way possible without any coding faults.

Testing

Once the app is fully developed, it is passed on to the testing team, which comprises quality assurance testers and senior developers. The QA testers extensively test the app on multiple devices and operating system versions to see how the app performs under various conditions. Developers look to find if the app has any bugs or errors in its coding and solve them right away when found. This stage can take from 2 weeks to a whole month to complete.

App Store Deployment

The final stage in the app development process is the launching bit. This includes preparing the app for launch on the platform’s app store. In order to successfully launch the app, developers have to make sure that the app is optimized and complies with the app store’s regulations and guidelines. After going through all four stages, the app is finally ready to go out in the world and meet its users. The app is launched in two parts, with the first one being the alpha release. The alpha release is only available to a small group of people as it is an early pre-release version of the app. The group of people who use the app are testers who monitor the app’s performance and see how it looks and feels. Also, beta testing tests the app.

Before releasing the beta to the masses, it goes through the cycle of submissions and reviews. This pre-launch process can take from 2 weeks to 1 month. Even then, the app is not ready for release yet. That’s because the platform’s app store reviews the app after submission. Apple App Store and Google Play have different reviewing processes. The Apple App Store can take 1 day to review the app. But at times, it can take longer than that. Google Play, on the other hand, takes around seven days to review the apps. But it can take longer, depending on certain cases. Once the app stores for both platforms approve the app, the app is then published after 1 to 2 working days. So, all in all, the entire deployment stage can take around 1 to 2 months to successfully launch the app on the platform’s app store.

Tips to Speed Up the App Development Time

Time is of the essence, and unfortunately, it is a luxury that businesses cannot afford to lose. That is why there are a few ways that you can save time by speeding up the development process. Businesses always want to know how long it will take to build an app, but most of them do not know that they can cut down the time needed to build an app by following a few tips. We have listed some of those tips below. Whether you want to build an app like a social media app or an enterprise app for your app, you can follow these tips, as they will help you save a lot of time during development.

Tips to Speed Up the App Development

 

Choose Agile Methodology and Stick to Plan

Stakeholders are always wondering,” Let’s see how long it takes to build a mobile app using this development methodology or that methodology.” But the thing is, most of the development methodologies out there are time-consuming. However, there are a few methodologies that deliver on the promise of quick development, and one of them is agile methodology. It is the best way to save time during development. That is why we always suggest that stakeholders use this methodology, which focuses on iteration.

This allows stakeholders to get involved with the development process. Vice versa, it enables developers to work closely with stakeholders. Stakeholders can ensure the app is made according to their business objectives and requirements. This methodology ensures that the app is developed fully and tested quickly. It ensures that the development plan stays on track. Also, this methodology ensures that the app passes each stage successfully. This way, developers do not have to waste time on backtracking and making unnecessary revisions.

Prioritize Main Features and Start With MVP

Eyes on the goal is what allows a person to achieve it. Likewise, the goals in this instance are the essential core features of an app that stakeholders and developers must target. Other than that, it is all white noise as unnecessary features can cause hindrance and disruption as far as development time is concerned.

Therefore, stakeholders must start off with a minimum viable product, also known as (MVP). It will make sure the app delivers on basic functionalities and has just about enough features to get on with the users. This will complete the development much more quickly. The app will have must-have features, and you can always improve it by adding more features later on.

Stay in the Loop and Keep the Communication Tight

Staying in touch is probably one of the most underrated tips you can get, but it is perhaps the most important of all. Moreover, you will need to stay in the loop to be a part of the development. However, that can only happen if you maintain consistent communication through different channels. Most often, stakeholders do not have such channels to track real-time progress on their development projects.

Some blame is also on the stakeholder’s side. Most stakeholders do not stay in coordination with the development team due to their business and time constraints. However, it is of utmost importance to keep communication tight and stay in frequent contact to know what’s going on with the development project. Doing so can allow you to make direct inputs and changes in the development requirements. This will make the final product according to your preferences and requirements.

 

Embark on Your App Adventure with Our Expert App Development Services!

 

Target Business Goals and Avoid Unnecessary Hurdles

Last but not least is the tip that leads business to prosperity, which is that business and its goals come first, above everything. When carrying out development for a business app, stakeholders must target features and functionalities that are relevant to their business and industry. Moreover, they must design and develop the app with the objectives of their business in mind. Also, they must look for ways to improve their business with the app. The app will provide customers with a digital platform that can enhance their experience and increase customer loyalty.

Stakeholders will set the stage for their brand to grow when they target business objectives and highlight them during development. Moreover, it will achieve business success as well. However, in order to do so, they must avoid all sorts of hurdles that can prolong the development time. Also, they would need to avoid any hindrance or distractions that can divert their attention. They need to focus on business goals and create an app that benefits their business and targets their audience.

Wrapping It Up

That is all there is to discuss in this blog, and we will now bring it to a close. We hope you got an idea of how long does it take to develop an app as well as the factors that impact the development. The tips we have mentioned in this blog will surely help you save a lot of time. It will allow you to develop your app much more quickly. If you are looking for a firm to partner for your app development project, consider choosing Linkitsoft. We hope you liked reading this blog. If that is the case, we suggest you read more of our blogs from our website.

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