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How Long Does it Take to Develop an App

We all use an awful lot of mobile apps on an ongoing basis. Every day we open hundreds of apps that run smoothly and allow us to perform a variety of tasks: make photos, track physical activities, edit music, play games and much more! However, you will hardly find a person who has ever thought about the question of how they are developed. Indeed, a hard work of professionals stands behind a single app. How long does it take to build an app? What is the average time to develop an app? Let’s dive into the details of this question and try to find the answers.

Average Time to Develop An App or What Stages Are the Most Time-Consuming?

It is really hard to tell the most accurate deadline because a lot depends on the company needs, the number of features and lots of other aspects that developers have to consider. However, the average timeline is 12-16 weeks. Some apps take even six or nine months to develop. You know that each stage in the whole development process takes absolutely different amounts of time to finish. Here are the most time-sapping procedures:

  • Creating a project brief. This procedure usually lasts for two weeks.

  • Developing general ideas with the development team. This development sprint usually lasts for one month.

  • Design (5-11 weeks);

  • Development (6-12 weeks);

  • Deploying to the store (up to two weeks);

  • Improvement of some features (bug fixing).

  • Support after the app is launched.

So before you sign a contract with this or that development team, you need to clarify all the aspects. Decide what stages are the most time-consuming and think of how you can reduce this time.

The Main Factors That May Influence the Overall Time of Application Development

The app development process is a complicated, and time-consuming procedure. Lots of aspects have to be considered and sometimes, it is really hard to predict the approximate deadline. So, let’s review the key factors that may influence the overall performance of the development team.

It is important to properly identify technical desires and realities

Before you sign a contract with the chosen development team, you should determine the technical wants and some real factors. The successful collaboration depends on this factor. A software development team needs to be aware of the depth of your project. They probably need to make a technical investigation before they immerse themselves in the development process.

Here are a few questions that you might consider:

  • Do you have a website?

  • How many features do you want to have?

  • Do you need server hosting?

  • What about analytics?

  • Are you going to add some peer-to-peer options?


The term “wireframes” is too broad and usually includes more aspects:

  • The scope of the project - what goal should be achieved;

  • The user experience - how your users are going to perform the tasks in your app. The app should be intuitive and user-friendly.

Wireframes are the main sketches of what your application will look like, what information each screen delivers and where the buttons will be placed.

App design

After wireframes and the application branding is discussed, there’s one more phase that takes a good deal of time. The developers should determine the main functionalities of the app screens and the whole layout of the application. The UI is developed by graphic designers. The appearance of your application depends on this stage. When designers are working on this stage, they pursue one goal - to turn the wireframe that has already been developed before into a final representation.

The development process

This is the most time-sapping phase that can take a few months. It includes a few stages:

The main difficulties of the app design have already been discussed. Now let’s move on to discovering the main aspects of front end and back end. The main goal of Front End developers is to turn the UI into a mobile app with the help of a programming language. When it comes to the programming code, you probably know that iOS and Android apps use absolutely different approaches. For example, Android is developed in Java and iOS is developed in Objective-C or Swift.

After a Front End developer does his or her job, you’ll see a full prototype of the future app. Nevertheless, it is just a prototype. This is where Back End developers do their job. Their main mission is to tie the data and UI together and finally make the application run. This procedure may take a few weeks. A lot depends on the requirements of a client and a number of features that should be added.

What about testing? How long does it last?

It goes without saying that your mobile app won’t be sent for review to the App Store or Google Play Market until it is properly tested. There are two forms of testing: automated and manual. Automated testing is performed through the use of Alpha and Beta tests. Any app has bugs so the overriding purpose of testers is to find and fix them. After this procedure is completed, it is time for the official release.

So how many hours does it take to build an app? According to the statistics data, the whole process may take up to 270 hours. However, you will hardly find a developer who will provide a precise answer to this question. Lots of meetings have to be hold and lots of aspects have to be covered until the developers and designers may start working. Moreover, a lot is contingent on a client’s requirements for this app.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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