4 min read

The A to Z of developing a mobile app

mobile app development strategy

Do you want to create a mobile app but you don't know how to start? Here you have a guide with the keys to know the variables that affect your configuration and tips to develop a  successful mobile application . It can be very useful if you are an entrepreneur or want to add more services to your company. We will also briefly cover the costs to develop a mobile app.

There are currently many mobile applications to facilitate work in many sectors and have also changed the habits of life and consumption of the population. This has generated a growing market, in which a good idea can mean a business that, depending on its success, can be a great success or an absolute failure.

Many entrepreneurs have focused their business idea through these platforms and the online media, as well as companies with more tradition, but in many cases they do not have specialized technical knowledge in this field, and you have to resort to the services of a specialist.

This is a guide to help you with the options you have when developing an App and the most important variables so you can get an idea of ​​what parameters you should hire based on:

1. Developer cost

Cost/Budget is one of the most important factors and can vary anywhere from $20/hour to around $120/hour for different roles - consultants, developers, multi-platform developers. Try and stay away from developers who offer a very low cost. If they are not meeting their costs with what they charge from you, there is a high probability that the project might fail

2. Access to user data

Does your app need to save user data in any way or pull data from a server based on user inputs? Does it perform real time searches and filtering? If yes, a server component will be involved in the development of the app along with probably the development of an API (unless you are using third-party APIs for getting this information). Make sure the development team you hire is aware of this

3. App complexity

Depending on your app's use case, there are simple applications that can be developed in a few hours and complex applications such as games or social networks, which require many hours of work and multiple team members on board (consultant, UI/UX designers, app developers, QA testers, backend developers). You should have an idea of the components involved in your app and how complex or easy it would be to develop.

4. Special integrations

Augmented reality, geo-fencing, does your app need these? An experienced developer and consultant will ask you these questions and ensure they are aware of all the possible user journeys possible in the app so there are no surprises later on.

5. Payment gateway

The application in many cases may require a payment gateway to sell products through the App. This will depend on the various payment options offered by the application, if you need to integrate payment through App stores or other payment gateways, etc.

6. User engagement - push notifications

It is interesting to include the possibility of sending personalized messages to users through the application they have downloaded. If this is the case of the application you want to create, you will have to take into account the type of notifications, if it is necessary to create a notification management interface or if it must be integrated with an existing system, etc.

7. User Interface and User Experience

Logically it is not the same a simple design with menus and tabs as an information sheet based on a template, that applications that include interaction options for more advanced and complex users. This improvement in the design of the application entails an extra cost in the development of the application that you must anticipate within your budget.

8. Target platforms

The platforms on which the application is going to be implemented and the number of them on which it should work are decisive to calculate the cost. Usually, it is normal to create your App for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, which are the operating systems for mobile devices currently predominant.

9. Integration with other systems

The development can be significantly complicated in the case of having to integrate the application with existing systems in the company (databases, user management, content manager, sending notifications, etc.). Generally, a system implementation for an application is usually a very technical and expensive process that usually involves a significant cost in the development of the App.

Types of apps and price range

Taking these variables into account, we can now estimate the total investment and current price ranges for the development of Apps:

Native vs Hybrid applications

The native applications are developed for a specific platform or operating system. For this reason, these types of applications offer higher quality, performance and performance, but of course, at a higher cost . This range is an approximation of the price it could have for  300 hours of development by the programmer. These types of applications require greater involvement in their design and development, since they need a solid base and designs that are expandable with a view to the future.

The hybrid applications are designed and developed to be compatible with different platforms and operating systems for mobile devices. They offer lower quality, performance and performance than native applications, and the cost is noticeably lower. In general, the price for the development of a hybrid application usually ranges between 65% and 80% less than the cost of developing a native application for Android or iOS.

The price of this type of applications will depend on the functionalities and features that can be programmed hybrid and which have to be programmed natively specifically for each operating system.

Depending on the budget allocated to the App development, it may have back-end (data access layer) or not, apart from the front-end (or presentation layer).

Native applications with a server component, push notifications, customizable content, and possibly a store, can cost anywhere between $6000 - $20,000. The cost may go upwards if the functionality includes more complex features as well as support for multiple platforms.

Hybrid applications with the same functionality may cost anywhere between $2000 - $10,000.

Pro applications

When it comes to games (2D or 3D) with complex graphics, multiple levels, excellent performance OR social networks which can handle many users without slowing down, the cost for developing them can well exceed $30,000. Giving an approximate cost for such apps can be difficult since it all depends on the features that the app offers.

Applications for advertising

These types of applications aim to promote and advertise a specific campaign for a specific duration of products and services of a company. Having a short lifetime, they are usually not expensive or complex applications for their development, but will depend on your needs and requirements.

Data-based applications

If you want to create an App of this type, you have to keep in mind that taking care of all aspects related to the design and basis of the App is paramount. They can include all kinds of content: text, image editing, sound, video, etc. These types of applications require an absolute involvement of professionals with specific experience in the different platforms for mobile devices and advanced programming, design and layout  (back-end and front-end).

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