Focal Points When Developing an App

Mario Hachem, Contributor
Jun 30 2016
Focal Points When Developing an App
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The most common question asked from TEDMOB’s prospective customers has been “How much does it cost to build an app?” With four years of experience, and a whole new app landscape, it’s important for the Lebanese mobile applications and solutions developer to address this epic question. Building a mobile app could cost between a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You’ve got the idea, you know what you want it to look like, but how much is your app going to cost you to make? App functionalities, timeline, platforms, design complexity, and many different variables will eventually affect your mobile app cost. TEDMOB focuses on the below:

Complex, Uncertain Technology  

Does your app have features that are technically complex or include a level of technical uncertainty? If so, this will increase the cost required to build your app.  The more complex your app the higher the cost of building.

Features and Design 

For every app, there are many features you could choose to build and each feature could be built at least a hundred different ways. TEDMOB uses the best possible ways to start defining App features in order of priority.

Designing an app means creating the part of the app people will see and interact with. While design is more than just how something looks, a TEDMOB designer will mainly be responsible for creating the layout of the different pages in your app, how your app’s features will look, and deciding how the different pages in your app flow together. Depending on the level of design you aim for, your budget could vary greatly. If you’re building a basic app as a test, this will likely require a lower level of design compared to an app that you’re looking to have market ready and be featured in an app store.
Your Stage

Are you building an app to test the market or are you building an app that's market ready?  Depending on your answer, this could have a substantial impact on the cost to build your app. If you're building an app as a Minimum Viable Product then it’s likely this version of your app is a test to see if the app concept resonates with your target audience. The budget needed to make this type of app could be much less compared to if you were building an app that you wanted to be featured in Apple's App Store.

Types of Apps You Can Develop 

There are many different kinds of apps you can develop. This goes beyond the categories that Apple groups the apps into – food, lifestyle, sports, etc, and into the architecture of different types of apps.

Cost to Develop an App

To find the budget it would take to build your app idea, here are a few main stages that impact the cost to create an app:

Basic Functionality – (BASIC)

Opening screen, big topics that takes you to a set of new lists to click on, with the email in the iPhone being a good example of this. Definitely the easiest to build and design and a good option for businesses who want a “simple” app that displays basic information such as:

  • Displaying Content (Articles, News, Menu, etc.)
  • Static content (About US, Contact US, etc.)
  • Social Media Integration
  • Push Notification
  • Design included

Database Driven Custom Functionality-(Medium)

This can be done beyond the basic table format to make the app really work. Development on this gets more complex and starts to get into whether or not you want the data housed “native” (built into the app) or “dynamic” (built into an online web services).

  • Content – Sub Content – Details
  • Dynamic Content
  • CMS: Content Management system
  • Device Features: Camera and/or GPS and/or Sensor…
  • Social Media Integration
  • Tutorial/About us/ FAQs…
  • Design included

Games – (Advanced)

These have the largest range of complexity, starting with something as simple as a PONG type functionality (imagine Atari) all the way up to a 3D physics engine that does high speed air racing. Scoring points, incorporating the user experience through the physical movement of the device, and hooking into Game Center are all possible. Adding to the above:

  • Mobile Payment
  • Profile Management: Login/Logout, Register, Account Management, Picture…
  • Loyalty Program
  • 3rd Party Integration
  • Security Integration
  • Design included

While noting that numbers are highly variable and can range lower or higher depending on lots of factors. There are some apps out there that are completely unique, but the list above covers 80% of what’s in the store today.

This Is Not the End

Delivering your application is not the end of our process. There is a yearly support & maintenance for your app that includes, among others, support and maintenance, hosting on servers, and customer support. In conclusion, it’s not so easy to answer the question of how much it costs to make an app because there’s a big range depending on your unique situation. There are a handful of options that depend on how much money and time you have.

See Related Articles:

How to Launch Your App Like a Pro

6 Ingredients for Successful App Development