In 2019 the total number of global mobile app downloads amounted to 204 billion and users spent over £120 billion on apps – subscriptions and in-app purchases, all in the past year according to Techcrunch. Apps have become a central piece of the user experience on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Many companies invest in customer-facing apps and internal apps to address the growing demand for mobility.
With timelines, costs, features, and platforms, there is a lot to consider when quoting a mobile app development project. Gone are the days where you could write a scope of work for a website project and then tailor that to be used to quote an app development project. As mobile apps moved to the forefront of smartphone usage, we had to adapt our methodology when it comes to quoting a mobile app.
Mobile app development has many variables and its price can range from £5000 to £500.000. It’s hard to estimate the cost of app development costs for Android and iOS apps, but no worries, we are here to help you with a mobile app estimation of essential expenses for your mobile app development – in order for you to understand how we quote app development, you must know our process.
Our mobile app development process
With over 13 years of experience and countless projects under our belt, we had the opportunity to work on a large variety of apps.
Our entire development flow is broken down into defined work phases, we use them to plan, design, build, test, and deliver the final product to our clients.
Let’s start with the first and most important step: Planning & Business Analysis
This process involves time and preparation – we need to ensure that the product will meet our client’s expectations. This thorough planning process helps to understand where you are now and how to get to the desired point.
We carry out meticulous market research to understand if there is any demand for the app idea and to see what your possible competitors are up to. We use a SWOT analysis to identify all your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses so we can make sure that we can make your app that much better.
The second step is all about the Technical Specifications
We will need you to specify the functional requirements of the app in detail to help us define the idea for your software solution – this involves determining all the project features and what kind of operating systems and devices you want in order to build the app.
The third step is letting us do all the work – Prototyping and Designing the app
What is a prototype? – you might ask
A prototype is a rudimentary working model of your app. A prototype can help with testing the viability of the idea and can help save a decent amount of time and money.
Prototyping an app involves the following process:
- Creating a sketch of the app – this sketch helps with better understanding/working out the logic of the app, showing how different screens can interact with each other
- Creating wireframes of the app – this helps with visualizing the app structure and helps our app developers with better understanding the logic and functionalities of the app
- Creating the prototype itself – the prototype helps with finding issues and solving them before the live app is coded. It allows us to see where the interaction logic breaks and gives us an understanding of how to improve it.
During this stage there are multiple sketches and wireframes done, with each step of the creative process we help to develop the idea, even more, simplifying some processes to make the app more user-friendly and easier to use.
At this stage, we divide the app into two parts: front-end and back-end.
Front-end development involves building the visual part of the app – the user interface. It usually takes about 4 weeks before we get UI that can be tested and on which we can build on.
Back-end development involves building the framework that supports all the functionalities of the app – it can be tricky sometimes as things get complicated pretty fast.
Testing and Quality Assurance
This means that we test every part of the product manually and automatically at every stage of development. There we look to see if the app meets our standards– we make sure that all the bugs are ironed out and our QA engineers check to see if the UX of the app is up to par and that users will understand how it works.
The final stage of app development involves Publishing the app
At this stage, your app is ready to be submitted to the app store by yourself – you can ask us to help you by guiding you through the steps.
The work on an app is never-ending after its release. Every app needs updates – note that post-release maintenance isn’t included in the initial cost of the mobile app estimate.
At the end of the day, the cost of app development depends on the app’s complexity, number of integrations and the platforms you want it to run on. To receive a precise price estimate we need to know all about the app’s proposed functions and business goals. Now that you know all about what quoting a mobile app development involves, it will make it easier for you to know what costs it might involve before asking a development company.