How much does it cost to develop an app in 2021?

Today, many startup businesses are mainly concerned with developing an app. Therefore, tracking expenses for design and the quality of software implementation is critical. The very first question you may ask would be, “how much does it cost to make an app?”. In this article, we will discuss factors influencing mobile app development costs.

But before viewing an app, you should consider a few key points about a mobile app design. For instance, “Is a mobile app the right choice for you?” or ” what kind of app best works for you?”.

estimating mobile app development cost

How to estimate a mobile app development cost?

In the app design, the final mobile app development cost matters. In general, the cost to develop a mobile app is determined by a variety of factors. The cost of an app for a small business or startup is different from companies like Instagram. That is to say, it is not an exact science. These benchmarks widely impact mobile app development costs:

  • User Interface (UI)
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Application’s graphics
  • Application’s features and capabilities
  • The type and complexity of the database required for the application
  • Content type

To be brief, mobile application development costs can range from $30,000 to $250,000. To understand the budget price, we offer you an initial discovery session. You can get the estimate right now.

Factors influencing the mobile app development cost 

The mobile app development cost differs from app to app. Hence, it should be assessed from various perspectives. In this section, we will introduce some of the most important factors influencing the cost of app development.

  • The features, complexity, and platform types(e.g iOS and Androids native apps platforms) all influence the cost of app development.
  • App design cost: Design means the way that something has been planned and made, including its appearance, and how it works. Steve Jobs has said: “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” When it comes to application design, UI, UX, icon, brand, and every small and big detail is substantial.
  • To make your app, you can benefit from ready templates or application builder software. For example, Pie App Builder is one of them. It is straightforward to use and has offline capabilities. Certainly, one size does not fit all. You should observe the market and customers before initiating an app development cycle. By developing an app, you just reach the halfway mark in reaching your goal. After that, deploying application marketing strategies for your new app is the other half to ultimate success.
  • App development cost fluctuates widely between freelancers and software development companies. Company services would usually cost a fortune. This could be risky as if they fail to fulfill their responsibility, it will be hard to recover.
  • The backend app design or one with an API usually costs a pretty penny.
  • Bear in mind that backups, data, server, cloud, marketing, and/or similar things will require an additional budget.

mobile app development cost in andriod and ios

Analyzing the mobile app development cost in iOS and Android

Typically, there are 3 Operating Systems (OS) for mobile apps. These are Android, iOS, and Windows. It is far more preferable to create a specific app for each OS in order to achieve the best possible results. Uploading app on Play store is simple in comparison to the other platforms. However, iOS apps necessitate Apple’s review and approval. Although codes of various apps are similar to iOS, the development cost is more expensive than other operating systems.

Does adding new features influence the mobile app development cost?

One component that affects  mobile app development cost could be the number and type of features. Based on your business type and requirements you can decide how to choose new features. At Twelfth Dream, we offer free discovery sessions to our customers. You can rely on Team As A Service (TAAS) during this journey.

Several primary principles like usability, functionality, and layout enhance user experience. While on the other hand, one of the most important things about the apps are the features. It is the features that can set it apart from other apps in the market.

When making up your mind on the main idea, scheme, and application’s colors, you must think of the customers and what they would want out of the app. If you do not satisfy your customers’ needs, your competitor will do. So, the inevitable outcome would be losing the market. Many features are not sine qua non for success however, many of them help the app look better.

Here we will address the features which could impact the cost of your app

  • Simplicity: A majority of users are impatient with the app. Therefore, if the app is hard to use, users will lose interest. Apple and Google prioritize design simplicity, which results in a better user interface.
  • Speed: Fast loading speed is another vital aspect when ordering an app. No one wants to wait, especially when the loading icon is the only thing they can see. Consequently, they may feel bored. After that, they will substitute the app with a superior one.
  • Image resolutions: While finding a balance between an app’s loading speed and usability, never forget to double-check the images that contain details. Those images are the ones users look for.
  • Security: In the world of the internet, security is crucial in every scenario. Most importantly, in an application program that saves information such as financial information and credit cards. So, maintaining security is vital.
  • Searchability: This is a popular feature. Although the usage is not essential in gaming apps, it is important in social media and trading apps.
  • Push notifications: Push notifications are more convenient to send than emails. In fact, a large number of emails are classified as spam and never make it to the users. Push notifications can contain both written and graphic content. Because push notifications are sent to specific users, they are preferable to unsolicited messages. As a result, they can be eye-catching.
  • User feedback: The first step to addressing existing issues, is to identify them. If you wish to have the best app, you can ask the users. By adding a feedback icon, users will be qualified to report problems.

Adding features like these can also be costly

  • Updates: The app will be updated on a regular basis after receiving feedback. Not only does it help to provide a top product but also, it solves some potential security problems.
  • Google map integration: In case of geographical location necessity, this feature can be added. However, geo locations can be a complex issue to tackle. And therefore, it would be costly to add.
  • Chat/messaging: It is a fundamental function of many applications. However, there are complexities involved. Messaging can be implemented in various ways. Consider the following before beginning the process:
  • Type of messaging
  • Is the messaging person to person or via groups?
  • Does the app support sending files?
  • Does the app support an offline mode?
  • Basic support for emojis
  • Notification access
  • Payment system: Is your app integrateی with a payment system such as PayPal?
  • In-app purchases: Some apps enable users to buy products or services in the app.

Hybrid mobile apps

Hybrid or cross-platform apps are compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems. They can be updated frequently, and most importantly, they are not as expensive as apps for a specific platform. They are a good fit for startups that do nخt have a high budget for app development. Gmail and Instagram are successful examples of hybrid apps.


Progressive web applications (PWA) are snowballing in the app development industry. PWAs are simple to install, efficient in size, and easy to share. Reachability and reliability are other factors. The app can function with one source code. It means they do not need coding for each platform. They support a majority of web technologies such as Google Chrome and Safari.

PWAs are less expensive than any other type of app. So, if you are low in the budget department, they are a good fit for you. In addition, PWAs are fast to build. Depending on the complexity, it takes 2 to 5 months to develop a PWA.

Wrapping up

Now you have an idea of how much the development of a mobile app would cost. Imagine your ideal application in detail, then contact a development company to discover the price. Here at Twelfthdream we offer you a discovery call session to guide you effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are applications builders other than Pie?

Here are a few other examples: AppMachine, BuildFire, and Shoutem.

What is the backend?

It is the code that runs on the server. One that users will not necessarily see, but it includes vital parts of the operation.  The database is one of these important parts.  

Do all apps require a backend?

Yes, many apps need a backend. Think of it like a car with an engine and inner parts. The engine might not be visible, but the car cannot function without it.

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