How much does it cost to build an app?

Post by 
Oliver Dixon
September 30, 2020
Polydelic As Apps
Polydelic AS - Apps Factory

Want to create a mobile app, website, or need experts to help deliver a product to market?

We've developed, designed, marketed, and released a diverse range of mobile apps and supported platforms with millions of active users, so when it comes to estimating the price on mobile apps, we've got it covered!

Just like most things in life, you get what you pay for. You can't expect to build a fantastic app with a low budget. But at the same time, spending a ton doesn't automatically translate to success.

Many factors go into software development that decides how much it will cost, for example;

  • Who builds your app?
  • How your app gets created, what tools do they use?
  • What you need your app to do?
  • What market are you aiming for?
  • Etc..

App Types

When building a mobile app, there isn't one set price. Each idea comes with a unique set of challenges and various technologies that need to be used.

For example;

  • A dating app like Tinder would need geo-location services that works with millions of users swiping each other, instant messaging, push notifications, and security settings.
  • A live streaming platform needs a service that can replicate a video stream to millions of users and accept payments via credit card; it would also need a website to accompany the Android and iOS mobile apps.

The two use cases above are entirely different, they have different timeframes, skills and costs. We've built them before many times over and know what to expect.

Stand out from the crowd

Quality over crap

If you want to get noticed in today's market, you need a high-quality application. This is something most consultancies we've dealt with in the past struggle with. By quality, we mean that it should look fabulous and have no bugs. If it represents your new business or existing services, users should gain a positive experience each time they use the mobile app.

How do we achieve this?

  • Hire user experience professionals before development even begins.
  • Identify what users really want from the first version.
  • Hire only the best top 5% of developers that have pride in their work.
  • Have a dedicated quality assurance team that tests each feature.

Design first

It's important to nail the design before starting development. The design and quality of the app is a reflection of your business.

We use collaborative design tools such as Figma so that we can design an epic app you'll be pleased with before starting development. With the collaborative design, we can shift the designs around and create multiple templates to pick a mood/theme you love. Once we have the platform's big picture, we can estimate much easier and decide what is essential and what isn't.

Figma is an excellent tool that allows us to collaborate over designs. With Figma we can do real-time back and forth design edits.

Techniques to save you money

If our client is successful, it makes more business for us, win-win. For our clients to be successful, we save them as much cash as possible.

How do we save the cash?

  • Using machine learning for data processing, security, and many other facets of the platform. For example, when users upload profile photos, we can automatically detect pornography or violence, rejecting those users.
  • Use managed services such as Google Cloud to host our services. Instead of having a dedicated back-end ops person, which is extremely expensive, we have a small team that handles all our clients and partner apps. Because of this, we also obtain much higher reliability & security than traditional tech companies; our up-time guarantee is 99.999%, multi-regional!
  • Don't reinvent the wheel. There are many great closed sourced and open-sourced solutions already out there; we leverage these.
  • Using the best developers means that apps are easy to extend and maintain. 1 great developer is worth at least 5-10 mediocre ones.
  • Researching the right technology solve your solution. Sometimes we host hackatons to learn.
  • Use pre-build headless CMS, no need to reinvent the wheel when it's done well already.

Using the right technology can make a huge difference. The smaller example also works on Web, iOS, Mac, Windows & Linux. The large example is doing the same with a native app. In our opinion using old frameworks is a waste of time and money!

Cost breakdown

I'll give you some rough examples. These are all apps we have created for clients before; we've created 6 Tinder clones (with their unique niches), for instance.

Tinder style dating app

Dating app with instant messaging, subscriptions, security, geo-locational swiping that supports millions of users.
Market ready version, iOS & Android.

$65,000 - 6-7 weeks

Live streaming platform

Allow any user to stream to millions of users from the device's camera on iOS, Android, TV Studio, Webcam, etc., Real-time chat, purchase donations, and much more.
Market ready version, Web, Android & iOS.

$115,000 - 14-16 weeks

Airbnb style booking app

Allow customers to book though the site/app. Allow vendors to place properties and dynamic listings.

$95,000 - 10-12 weeks

Other services to consider

Product Market Fit

For some products, it's essential to get a good product-market fit. We recently did outreach for a health and safety platform called 'Speckless'. This involved designing the app, then reaching out to the market to get feedback before starting development. The direct feedback we got helped us steer the platform into something the market will pay for and accept. Extremely valuable for any sized company, startup to corporation.

User acquisition strategy

There are a few ways to bring users onto a platform; some involve marketing, other incentives, and so on. Some examples to think about when trying to onboard users:

  • City vs. niche
  • Influencer viability
  • Direct marketing
  • Business outreach strategies

We've seen a lot of mistakes in this field; we can help you avoid them.

Have an epic idea for a mobile app or platform, or want to help you with your user acquisition? Contact us or send us a live chat message.

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