How Long Does It Take To Build A Custom Mobile App?
With the new advancements in app building technology, the duration of building a custom mobile app along with the cost of development has been lowered. However, the duration of a custom mobile app development relies on several factors, such as app intricacy, design, features and functionalities to be included, the scope of project, and the development process to be followed.
On average, custom mobile app development requires 4-6 months. But, the same can be affected by a few external factors such as the proficiency of the project development team, stakeholders involved, and project friction like mid-project changes. Hence, it is advised to talk to your development partners before starting with the development phase.
Communicating with your custom app development company has its perks. They can take you through the process and the project stages to give you a clear indication of which phase will consume more time, leaving enough room for testing, feedback, iterations, and improvements. In this article, we have covered the various stages and the duration of building a custom mobile app.
1. Research and Planning -1 to 2 Weeks
Before getting started with the development of a custom mobile app for a business, it is paramount to research the app idea with facts, relevancy, and user usage. Planning and strategizing are the key points of this stage to meet the end goal of the custom mobile app.
Ironing out the basic details from prototyping to the launch of the app is pivotal for the concept building of a custom mobile app. Pre-planning also includes chalking out roles and responsibilities, setting goals, defining boundaries, and allocating budget, among others.
Apart from the research, it is also important to find that your idea of a custom app development is not similar to an existing application in the market. If an app similar to your idea exists, then differentiating would be pivotal.
2. Prototyping And Refinement -3 to 5 Weeks
To build a mobile app, it is important to identify the operating systems and the platform for which the custom mobile app needs to be developed. The app can be developed for iOS, Android, Windows, or it can also be a cross-platform app.
Next, the team should decide on the basic functions and functionalities that need to be implemented during custom mobile app development. This phase also includes the basic idea of how an app would look like.
A basic storyboard can be created to smoothen the next-in-line development process. During this stage, it will be beneficial to build a prototype to make sure that the plans are well thought.
Moreover, it is cost-effective to fix a design flow during prototyping, as it is the basic foundation, consisting of rough UX designs. Creating prototypes also helps the design team to iterate and reiterate what works well and benefits the testing phase as they are functional.
The UX/UI design along with rapid prototyping can take around 50-100 hours. This includes wireframing, mockup designing, creating user journey, and prototyping. Therefore, the time required will depend on the complexity of the custom app.
3.UI and UX Designing -2 to 4 Weeks
This phase is the last before the actual building of a custom mobile app. As the success of the app heavily depends on the user experience, so in this phase, the UX is designed, and later the user interface (UI). Planning out the design for both UX and UI is essential before the initiation of mobile app development.
4. Development -1 to 3 Months
This stage is the most important part and is also the most time-consuming. Here, the planning is transformed into reality by actually building the custom mobile app with codes.
Flawless coding is crucial for the mobile app’s success. To have error-free code, developers need to write short and focused functions, instead of having one big block of code.
The developer works on “Sprints” or “Milestones”, where the project is divided as per their expertise. Listed below, are the two parts in which the development phase of a custom mobile app is divided:
- Frontend Development
- Backend Development
Frontend Development (6 to 8 Weeks): This part of development includes the creation of design and interface fluency. A front-end developer is responsible for the aesthetics of the app including front-end elements, whatever a user can see and access. Enhancing the user experience is the main goal of a front-end developer.
Backend Development: Aptly named, backend development consists of developing what is not visible to the users, addresses server-side logic, and integration. Unlike front-end developers, back-end developers write a code for communication between database and mobile app which is not accessible by the user.
5. Testing -1 to 4 Weeks
After the development phase, the custom mobile app is ready for testing. This phase is essential as both the requirement and the app built are tallied and tested for any errors. The reported inconsistencies, deficiencies, and deficits are then fixed by the developers and resent for testing.
Making sure that the application is error-free or has the least bugs is important for the reputation of the app, that is why it is advisable to not scrimp on the testing time. Once the application has passed the testing phase, it can be deployed which is the next phase.
6. Launch -1 to 2 Weeks
After testing the app on a staging and testing environment, in this phase, the app is deployed. The time taken for deployment can be broken down into two areas:
When the mobile app is submitted to either Google Play Store or the App store, a few things such as descriptions, screenshots, icons, demonstrations, and company contact information are needed for launch of the app.
Between iOS and Android, Apple has a more detailed reviewing process which is done manually by a team of reviewers. Android on the other hand uses an algorithm to pre-analyze the app for any violations. Once everything is improved the app is launched for the users.
7. Other Factors
Ideally, the amount of time it takes to build a mobile app should depend on the above-mentioned factors. But, ironically this is not always the case. There are a few factors that can indirectly affect the duration of the custom mobile app development. These are:
- Project team: Understand the requirement and deliver it keeping the end goal of the mobile app in mind. Additionally, the resources available to work greatly influence the custom app development duration.
- Stakeholder management: Managing stakeholders is time-consuming as collaboration with more than one party is required. Bringing every stakeholder on the same page and incorporating different feedback from all, adds to the time.
- Project friction: Unforeseen situations like mid-project changes, new iOS releases, third-party updates can result in an increased project timeline. Hence, it is important to keep buffer time if the project is long (over 6 months).
8. Post-Launch Support and Improvement (Ongoing)
This phase is a little harder to predict as updates and maintenance continue even after the launch of an app. Improvements are ongoing and can take any length of time.
But, at the same time, the custom mobile app developers should be aware of the time and budget to be spent on improvements and support.
As we have been through the physical and the external factors that influence the timeline of custom mobile app development, the bottom line is that development never stops. It is an ongoing phenomenon that makes the app interesting and successful for the customers.
Albeit, the client who is looking to build a mobile app, steers the wheel by defining the budget and the custom mobile app requirement. It is the responsibility of the custom app development company to drive app development of the app to its destination by meeting the business goal promptly.
If you are an entrepreneur, who is looking to bring life to a business idea and is searching for a custom mobile app development company, let us help you. We at FATbit Technologies, have expertise in customized solutions development. With a team of skilled developers, we can deliver the app, tailored to your taste within a pre-decided timeline.
Author Bio- Ramesh Lal is a digital marketing executive at FATbit Technologies. He has extensive expertise in assisting businesses to streamline their business operations and launch new ventures. With in-depth knowledge of B2B marketing, Ramesh also assists B2B businesses in reaching new customers and securing conversions.