The Real Cost of Developing a Mobile App

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app? Our sales team receives this question frequently in reference to creating apps like Facebook, Uber, Tinder and others. The truth is that depending on your app’s features and scope, your application cost can vary wildly. Many customers have yet to sit down and specify every piece of functionality that they wish to include in their app.

When it comes to apps, marketing rules still apply. When creating an app, you must think of it as a product. What is your offer? How will you be pricing your app? Your price policy should be both attractive to your users, and cover your expenses in developing the app.

A mobile app is not only a development story. It is all about reasons, resources, value and strategy. Usually, the price to develop an app splits into development costs and support costs – things like maintenance, promotion, sales and support. The average cost to develop an app, then, is only approximately 30-50% of your total cost. The other 50-70% goes into post-development support.

When you are ready to start developing your app, you have to be very specific about which features to include and how they will be developed. For example, saying “I want an app like Facebook,” there are a variety of sub-features which may or may not need to be included. Within the context of Facebook’s overall operations, the mobile app is only one part.

Want another Facebook? Great! Let’s take a look at Facebook’s timeline, with its initial funding round of $500K. Counting 30-50% from this first investment, we may get an approximate price for development of an app – $150K to $250K.

This is the approximate cost to start up a “Facebook-like” app with all of the same features. Can you afford it? And perhaps more importantly, can you afford to nurture the app through marketing, promotion and support? Do you have a long-term plan?

Let’s take a look at the Uber case for another example. This actually refers to the application bundle, including a website, the consumer app, a private driver’s app, and a manager’s app. Uber’s seed round raised $200K. If you apply the 30-50% rule, you get $60K-$100K. This may be the price to develop an app like Uber.

On the marketing side, you may have heard of safety and legal issues relating to Uber and analog services. You may also be aware of an increasing number of Uber competitors saturating the market. Are you able to face that challenge to its full extent? Do you have enough resources for that, while still having some left over to support the app?

One last case is the example of Tinder. Here numbers range from $75K to $125K for mobile application development. Most dating applications of this kind need to face creation of a matching algorithm, quite a puzzling task. From a marketing point of view, the engagement of female users is also a headache. So is your monetization strategy – Will you charge a subscription fee, or have in-app purchases? What offer will keep your users coming back after the first date?

The bottom line is, apps can be expensive. So what should you do? Don’t drop your idea. Instead, start your project, but know what to expect. Start researching early, define your goals and audience, and settle the requirements and functionality required early. You’ll even want to think over your app’s UX.

If you do decide to start development, we suggest beginning with a Minimum Viable Product, which is aimed at answering a number of vital questions: whether you are solving the real problem with your application, and if users are ready to accept your app as a solution.

After you begin, there are several core stages your app will go through during development. Your efforts will be distributed in non-equal shares during the project lifecycle. With our app development experience, we gathered the statistics on activities and created a chart for your reference. See how your efforts might be split between the various stages of development.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 5.13.15 PMTo help you plan your needs ahead of time, we have developed an online tool to provide you with rough estimates of your MVP. With our calculator, you can quote a cost of mobile app development for iOS and Android devices. Start with simple questions based on details and factors important for your product creation, such as platform selection, UX creation, business model, etc. Every answer limits the scope and narrows the target of your app by influencing initial cost of development. Now you will be able to see how much it costs to develop an app within 2 minutes or less.

No service can tell you for sure how much it will cost to develop a custom app. With the experience we have gained, we can say that a custom-developed MVP may take 3,5-4 months of development time and require a budget of $10K-20K per platform unless it is a very basic app.

We see application creation as an interactive process, where you can define the minimal set of features, release an app, test your market fit and how users receive your product. Once you gather first feedback, you can proceed with next iterations focusing on market needs. At the same time, there is always something that stands in between you and successful product — the first step, which you can make now.

Website: rozdoum.com

3 Videos To Make Your App Development Project 3 Times Easier

If you are an inspired entrepreneur who is about to launch a software project, you should remember that 9 out of 10 startups fail. This is a hard truth, which, however, can be overcome with dedication and knowledge. While you already have dedication, we would like to supply some useful knowledge – 3 videos that will make building and launching your app more efficient and painless.

If your project is going to be your first ever venture into the world of apps, your vision might be not fully developed. What if you are still in search of your Minimum Viable Product that will stand out against your competitors? What if you need to offer your target audience a superior solution, yet remain within your possible deadlines and tight budget?

The first video is here to help you shape the vision of your business, that in turn helps shape the vision of your product, then roughly define the price and delivery deadlines for your project.

The key is to find a software development partner that will help you create a product that will solve the problems of your target audience, bring them desired value, and correspond with your own business goals.

The second video is dedicated to building and launching a new app on the market.

The third video takes you further and helps choose the optimal type of contract, which actually defines the way you are going to work with your software development partner.

The choice depends on the nuances of your business. If it faces rare changes and your product requirements can be fixed easily, you should opt for fixed price. If you value flexibility and have a complex project, the optimal choice is hourly rate/dedicated team. The rest depends on the level of your personal involvement and other vital factors that are revealed here.

From these 3 videos you can learn vital insights, based on real-life experience of successfully launched projects of various complexity.

Eventually, when your app is developed, you’ll want to find your target user base. In search of users who will find your app valuable and relevant, review the [app developer checklist] to begin your app store optimization process.

Keep these things in mind, and good luck in all of your endeavors!

oleg lolaOleg Lola, CEO at MobiDev, is a talented business manager and a skilled mobile developer who has a 10-year experience in the IT sphere. He believes in ideas of his clients and makes everything to make them tangible.

Website https://mobidev.biz/

App location: important inside and out

imac-606765_960_720As an article earlier on this blog so aptly points out, subtly tailoring your app’s listing screenshots for different geographical markets is hugely important.

Tweaks as small as re-centring any maps in screenshots or changing text and images to reflect local moods and customs work to create a subconscious feeling of trust of your app from people browsing the store – something that will hopefully convert to more downloads.

Taking location into account is vital from an app design perspective too, and the means through which it can be achieved grow increasingly sophisticated. We’ll explore a couple of them in this article.

Language – knowing your left from your right

The need to translate apps into different languages when they are launched in foreign countries is a no-brainer, but some of the considerations that accompany this may not be immediately obvious. Apple often refer to this process as Internationalisation to emphasise the need to do more than just translated the text in an app.

For example, does the language of the new country read from left to right (as with English) or right to left (as with Arabic)? In the past it was tricky to work with right to left languages, but modern phone operating systems are more forgiving. Android 4.2 has inbuilt layout mirroring capabilities, for example:

settings Image source

Language – learn to tell the time

Another consideration for foreign app translations is the format of the date and time. In the UK we’re used to the format 19/07/2016; the Danish would be more familiar with 2016-07-19. In France they’d write the time 15h38 instead of 15:38 that we’re familiar with.

In short, getting this right is another step toward making foreign users comfortable with your app. Again these functionalities are inbuilt, so resist the urge to hard-code the time in your preferred format.

Jargon – best saved for another time!

Google’s app localisation checklist includes a number of suggestions that are quite jargon heavy. This is the sort of stuff that a professional app design agency (like the one I run!) take into account when designing apps but, to casual readers, they can be off-putting!

Some examples of such tasks:

  • Move all UI strings into strings.xml
  • Follow Android guidelines for UI strings
  • Provide sufficient context for UI strings
  • Mark message parts that should not be translated

We’ll spare you the details of what each of these points mean, but it suffices to say that they refine the localised version of your apps through actions like ensuring pieces of text can remain untranslated where necessary (think of discount codes, peoples’ names, app-specific terms, and so on).

Testing – local eyes see things yours might miss

Once you’ve made the required changes to your app, the most important step is to run these past local eyes to make sure that translations are correct, everything makes sense, the formatting remains properly aligned during use, and various other factors.

This can be done to varying levels of proficiency, but we recommend investing money and effort into this step to make sure nothing slips through the net. An app with location specific issues can quickly alienate users in that locale!

Google’s checklist then goes onto explain the importance of localisation of app listings – which takes us neatly back to the start!

This primer on app localisation was written by The Distance – an app development agency in Yorkshire.

Website https://thedistance.co.uk/

Why Your App Needs To Focus On Reviews And Referrals For Better ASO

focus_socialThe app market competition is increasing by the day. Be it any industry – lifestyle, gaming, eCommerce or any other, apps are having a tough time establishing their name in the mobile sphere. Acquiring users as well as retaining them is today one of the biggest challenges for app developers and marketers. But the first and foremost thing that apps need to do for sustainable growth, is to nail their app store optimization.

In this post, we’ll be talking about how referrals and reviews play an important role in ASO today.

The importance of App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is similar to how you want your website to be ranked on the search engines with effective SEO measures. Amongst the many apps in the market, ASO helps your app become searchable for the keywords and the category you want it to be known for.

As Ryan Kelley explains in his answer on Quora, apps can’t just launch and expect themselves to become discoverable. Certain efforts, apart from marketing campaigns, need to be made to become visible in the eyes of the target market.

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The role of app reviews in ASO

We all know how important the customer’s perspective is in the development, optimization and growth of an app. This is where a first hand feedback from them comes handy. In app stores, this feedback comes in the form of app rating and reviews.

These ratings and reviews provide the developer with valuable information about the target market, and what they expect from the app. This helps create an effective roadmap or strategy for the app post launch. Be it fixing existing bugs, enhance popular features or introducing a new one on popular demand.

But apart from that, as Gummicube points out, Apple and Google both use app store reviews as well as ratings in their search ranking algorithms. The greater number of reviews and the better the ratings, the higher your app ranks in its search category.

For instance, apps that continue to remain trending or at the top of search results, make getting reviews or ratings from users a part of their app flow. Some even go beyond this to incorporate reviews from popular names in their app store description.

Kim Kardashian West’s Forbes featured app is a perfect example of the same. It includes reviews from popular names like E! Online, Marie Claire and more in its app description itself.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.51 AM

Rating and reviews are important aspects of app store optimization as:

  1. They act as metadata for search and help categorise your app better in the store. According to a post on TechCrunch, app stores are now focusing on search relevancy. In simpler words, user feedback now influences the discovery of an app.
  2. They serve as a social proof to potential users. When a user sees an app that has better reviews and ratings from another app that offers the same features, he is more likely to choose that one.

The one thing to remember here, though, is that the ratings and reviews should not look forced. Make it like a task that is required to be completed to use a feature of the app, or make it a point to suggest dropping a review only after the user has moved along his lifecycle.

The role of referrals in app growth and ASO

Continuing on the point above, offering a great user experience should be the primary goal of app developers and marketers. The happier a user is with the app and what it offers, the more likely he is to recommend the same in his circles.

According to Nielsen, almost 84% of people completely trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products. Word-of-mouth boosts the app marketing effectiveness by almost 54%!

Knowing that millennials are more likely to respond on recommendations than outreach, app marketers need to make referral campaigns a part of their marketing and growth strategies.

The more your app is able to leverage from word-of-mouth marketing, the stronger is your user acquisition. The greater the number of users, the better the app store optimization. Think about it, which app are you more likely to download – one with millions of users or the other that barely has a few hundreds?

Apart from that, you’re more likely to get more ratings and reviews as well, that will boost your search optimization. The only things you need to ensure is that it is easy for users to invite their friends to the app and you continue to optimize as well as deliver a great user experience.

Having an in-app referral campaign helps you:

  • Boost the app’s brand awareness in the target market.
  • Greater the app’s awareness, the more is the user acquisition at lower costs and the more optimized are the marketing budgets.
  • Helps create personalized campaigns and experiences for users, increasing the retention rate of your app.
  • All in all, it improves your app store rankings while growing you in the mobile market!

But it doesn’t have to be difficult for the app developers to tap into the potential of referral marketing. Companies like GetSocial offer tools like Smart Invites, that enable a user to invite his friends to the app using popular chat apps and social media – all without having to switch multiple apps for the same.

For instance, games like Ruzzle Adventure have integrated the tool into the app to make it easy for players to invite their circle without having to leave the game. A few clicks and they are ready to have their own social circle on the app!

invitefriends

Over to you

A great in-app experience isn’t just important to keep the users engaged and hooked to your app. With the app stores making relevancy of prime importance for discoverability, it is also important to make what your users are saying about your app an integral part of its app store optimization.

VanhishikhaDisclaimer: This is a guest blog post by Vanhishikha Bhargava, Content Marketer at GetSocial.im. Vanhishikha has 4+ years experience as a digital and content marketer, and her focus is to create educational content that informs about the importance of user acquisition, retention and monetization.

Website https://www.getsocial.im

Quick and Easy Steps to Becoming a Successful App Maker Today

iphone

Mobile app development is booming these days. According to Statista, this February, the number of available apps in the Google Play Store was 2 million, while in the Apple App Store it surpassed 1.5 million apps. The demand is continuously growing, creating significant app backlogs. Fortunately, codeless mobile app development platforms solve this problem by allowing anyone – even with little or no programming background – to become a successful app maker provided that he/she follows these 4 steps.

Work out an Idea and Plan

Over 25% of apps are used once and then never opened again. That is why you as a mobile app developer should start by talking to potential users, conducting surveys, and thinking through in detail the functionality of your app and the features it will support. Making sure the UI is user friendly and intuitive is also of paramount importance.

Build Your App on a Codeless Platform

Since codeless platforms like Snappii’s have brought self-service mobile app creation to a vast audience, this step is significantly easier and faster than originally thought. With a “What You See Is What You Get” editor and ready-made templates, you can add necessary tabs, drag and drop elements and buttons, modify the design, and instantly see all the changes on your mobile device. As a result, mobile forms with multiple features and fields can be created and added into the app in just a matter of minutes.

Test Your Work

Quality Assurance (QA) or simply testing plays a vital role in the app creation process. QA should be involved at all stages, from concept creation to product release. While building mobile apps on the Snappii platform, app builders have an opportunity to immediately see the app in action on their mobile devices with our special Preview App, thereby timely identifying potential problems and fully debugging the application.

Optimize Your App in the App Stores

Getting a ready-made product and submitting it to the app stores marks the beginning of a new stage – App Store Optimization (ASO). Now your task is to ensure that your app gets easily found and downloaded by thousands of users, thus boosting search rankings and leading to new downloads and reviews. You can optimize your app yourself or entrust it to professionals, such as Gummicube. Gummicube is a real expert in all ASO solutions and your tour guide on the path to the success your app deserves.

Gartner, a leading technology research and advisory company, coined the phenomenon called a “citizen developer” to describe any user building apps without programming skills. The main benefits of this approach are high development speed, agility, and lower costs. In a word, today anyone can join this solution and make thousands of dollars.

alex bakmandisclaimer: Alex Bakman is a successful tech entrepreneur and innovator. Since 1994 Alex has founded and grown 3 companies to $10+ million in sales. Now he is CEO and Founder of Snappii, a mobile business app development company, which was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Rochester New Hampshire. Snappii has created a platform for developing sophisticated, feature rich mobile business apps without writing any code. Moreover, Snappii offers a wide selection of ready-made industry specific apps that can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Website https://www.snappii.com/