In the world of technology, everything is easily approachable. All thanks to the applications. We use mobile applications on a daily basis. Be it for reading, traveling, shopping, eating, gaming, mobile applications have become an important tool of our lives.
Studies show that average American checks their mobile phone every 12 minute and 10% of people check their phones once every four minutes. We all use the phone every time, in the car, while eating, in bed.
The applications are not just tools of communication, entertainment but also a source of profit for businesses and entrepreneurs. For big and small brands, it is a channel of customer communication as well. So, the applications have become part and parcel of our lives as well as revenue making organizations.
Do you know there are over 200 billion application downloads annually? This figure is alarming and the number has doubled manifold in the past few years.
Apple store features approximately 2 million applications and the google play store has twice as many as the apple store. Now, new entrepreneurs, small scale and large scale companies are also in line to build digital platforms for their businesses.
If you are one of those trying to put together your innovative ideas to build a mobile application, let me tell you that before knowing anything else, learn about app development timeline.
This is essential because time is money and devoting all the time to just building an application can make things worse for business and affect other important functions, thereby leading to losses. So, to make things and processes easy, here is the piece of writing that covers the process and the time it takes to build a mobile application.
Based on the size of an application
The least complex application (small apps) with simple features like logging in, newsfeed, etc. will probably take the least time and effort.
A medium-sized application with advanced features like video support, camera, and phonebook or other complex features will take time more than required by the small and less complex applications.
The most complex mobile applications with additional features like video editing, algorithms, etc. would take longer to develop.
Developing an application that has advanced features might sound good and reasonable, but it would take longer to build a complex app than a simple one.
Also, it is next to impossible to determine the exact time to build a mobile application. Even if you wish to know the approximate time, you first need to know the process of creating an application.
Here it goes:
1. Thorough research:
Having an innovative idea is great but in order to turn that idea into reality, you need in-depth research. It forms one of the most important and essential steps in the process of developing a mobile application. Research is necessary because:
- It helps in testing your idea in a real, digital world
- Helps you know the target groups and nitty-gritty of the market
- The organizations, clients interested in your app/product
So, through research, you will be able to reach your target audience. For example, Facebook is used by people of all ages, Tinder has a restricted audience due to the age factor, snapchat is widely used by young people.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the above examples of the applications serve some purpose for their potential customers. So, the purpose that your app will serve is answered through wide research. The next step would be determining the size of the market, researching their products, downloading their applications and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
Finding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors gives you a clearer picture of their position and demand in the market.
So, through research, you will be able to make a stronghold in the market. As research needs to be in a detailed manner, it can take a few weeks.
Now take your idea to the next step i.e. deciding the platform on which you would like to build an application. This decision will also depend on your applications’ end-users. For example, if you want to target Apple users, you would require an application only for iOS.
As a starter, if you think of building an application on both Android and iOS platforms, it might get difficult for you to plan for both entirely different platforms. Knowing all the shortcomings and common bugs of both platforms will be an added advantage. At this step, you might get worried about the cost involved in building an application. So, if you wish to reduce the cost of development read this piece and shed off the stress.
Read here about -> Ways to reduce App development cost
At this point, you will also have to decide about the features, functionality of the application. The planning stage takes almost a month because of the number of decisions involved.
3. Its developer’s time to show some magic:
This step involves three elements i.e. The UI, Front End, and Back End. The UI (User Interface) gives an appearance to your application, which is handled by the graphic designers. Front End developers use programming language and turn the UI into an application. The Back End ties the UI and the data together. By this time your application should be functional as the developers are done working on the above three elements.
This step can take more or less than six weeks.
4. Face the reality: Test Time
This step gives you a chance to fix all the errors and bugs before releasing. In order to fix errors, you need to run Alpha and Beta tests.
Alpha testing is conducted in a closed environment. In this type, the developers break the app completely and test in an unforeseen scenario to prevent sudden crashing and any mishap.
Beta testing is done to know what can go wrong and where the application needs improvement. After conducting both the tests, there comes a final phase i.e. official launching.
This step can take long as you never know which error erupts and how long it takes to get rectified. So, this is the phase that would comparatively require more time.
5. Ready to release:
Before the final release, there are some things that you need to figure out and decide on. For example deciding the title of an application, writing description, ASO (app store optimization), using keywords for getting more downloads.
After this, your app is ready to send for approval. Apple takes just a day to approve while Google takes a few hours.
So, how long will your app take to develop? The answer is in the time you invest in the above-mentioned steps. If you invest more time in the initial phases, you would definitely save more time in the later stage. It might take three to four months to develop an app from scratch but ideally, the work on the app never stops. You tend to come up with new updates, features, and improvements day by day. So, it’s an ongoing and never-ending process.
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