When you have a great idea for a mobile app a how long it would take to build out your app. You are either trying to solve a problem, improve a process, or exploit an opportunity using a mobile app but not necessarily have a background in application development.

The foremost question for you always is: How long would it take to develop my app into an actual product? It really depends upon how big of an app you are trying to create.

This post is designed to give you a good sense of how long it would take to build your app. With that information, you’ll then be able to determine cost estimates, project development timelines, and an anticipated launch date.

1. Let’s Start with the Magic Table

Based on our research and interviews with other companies, we have found that various stages of app development require varying time based upon the size of the App. We came up with a table that shows how time varies depending upon the size of the app.

Stage Small App Medium App Large App
Requirement/Scoping 2-3 Weeks 4-6 Weeks 6-8 Weeks
UIUX Design 3-4 6-8 Weeks 8-12 Weeks
App Development 5-6 Weeks 12-14 Weeks 20-26
Beta Testing 1 Week 2 Weeks 3-4 Week
Total 11-13 Week 24-30 Weeks 37-50 Weeks

Once you understand the size of your app, you can use this table to estimate the time it would take for your app. In the section below I have explained how to understand the size of the app, time required for various stages and other factors affecting the time of the app.

2. First Identify the Size of Your APP: Small, Medium or Large?

The most critical factor is the size of the app. Typically Apps can be classified into three different sizes: Small App, Medium App and Large App. Size is defined based upon the number of screens in the app, the complexity of the functions, and the type of design in the app. To make it easier for you to understand the size of the app, we have selected very popular apps on iOS and Android platforms and categorized them into various size categories. Using the table below, you will be able to get an idea about the size of your app.

Table1: Showing timelines for various stages of the process depending upon the size of App

  Small App Medium App Large App
Examples Popular Apps Reminder Apps

Find My iPhone

Clock Apps

Contact App

News App

Instagram App

Uber App

WhatsUp App

YouTube App

Typical number of screens 5-12 12-24 25+
Types of Functions Perform 1-2 main functions Perform 3-4 functions Perform more than 4 functions

We have included very popular apps in this table, which you may be already familiar with. It will be easier for you to compare your app with these popular apps to identify the size of your app.

3. Understand the Time Needed for Various Stages of App Development

App development involves various stages and it is important for you to know all the various stages so that you can breakdown the time related to each stage. Make a mobile app in an easy process and it involves four key stages:

Stage 1: Requirement/Scoping:

In this stage, you will define the requirements of the app and create the scope of the project with the firm or freelancer you work with. You want to capture the features list, create detailed requirements, and then decide the scope of the app. This stage may take 2-3 weeks for small apps, 4-6 weeks for medium apps and 6-8 weeks for large apps.

Stage 2: UIUX design:

This design work is a crucial step in mobile app development. Your app may work perfectly, but if it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to use it, it will fail. The process requires the creation of wireframes that detail all of the app’s features and requirements. The wireframes often go through multiple reviews and adjustments. Once wireframes are done, the graphical UI design, including fonts, colors, themes, and images, must be completed for the app. For a simple app, you will need 3-4 weeks for this process, 6-8 weeks for a mid-sized app and 9-12 weeks and several UI and UX experts for a large app.

Stage 3: Development/Testing:

The feature list, the size, and experience of the development company will determine the actual time it will take to develop your app. In general, you should expect all development– iOS platform coding, Android platform coding, and backend development to happen in parallel. For a small app, this can be achieved in 2 months, while a mid-sized app can take around 3-3.5 months, and a large app can require 5-6 months. This will involve technical architecture, UI coding, backend setup, functional implementation, integration, and testing. You should also have 5-10 alpha tests performed during this process.

Stage 4: Beta Testing and Launch:

Once your app is fully developed, you will want to do beta testing to eliminate any possible bugs. You can spend 1-3 weeks on beta testing depending upon the size of your app. Make sure to have a list of beta testers ready to aggressively complete this important step.

4. What Can Slow Down the Process

Several factors can affect the speed of app development:

Not paying detailed attention to the design process:

If you don’t follow the process of app development properly, it can slow down your process. You always begin with requirements and design, where you reiterate on what you need and come up with the best features and functions. Many people don’t take the design seriously, they just come up with low fidelity requirements and design and start the development. In this situation, they would get hit with wrong architecture or features during the development. Trying to change the design or features during the development will slow you down more. Another factor is the development cost for the startup, you can build a mobile app under $20k. You should So make sure to have the best design done for your app so that your development and testing process becomes faster.

Not Providing Feedbacks Faster in the Process:

Whenever you get a design or app build to review, you should quickly test it and provide your comments to the developers. If you take a longer time to provide the feedback, it will slow down the process and the developer may not take you very seriously. Also, if you want to make a mobile app in turn around time, you must have to provide feedback in real-time.

Hiring Less Experienced Team/freelancer:

This is one of the biggest factors in slowing the process. You want to make sure that you have an experienced team working on the project to expedite the process. Also, if the project hits any unanticipated problems or learning curves, the inexperienced teams will take longer to solve. Consequently, for any type of project-but especially for mobile application development–experience will make the work easier, better, faster, and less costly.

Have questions about what it would take to make your great mobile application idea a reality? Give us a call or send us an email. Chances are we’ve built applications similar to yours. We’ll be glad to answer your questions.

The original source of this article is here.

Join 30,000 + other readers

To receive blog posts and new App and Web Tips.