When you have a great mobile app idea, you typically have no clue how long does it take to make an app? It mainly depends upon the size and features of app. Generally the average time to make a small app is between 11 to 13 weeks, Medium sized app takes 24 to 30 weeks, and large sized app takes 37 to 50 weeks for full development. Mobile apps can be solving physical world problems, improving a process, or enhancing business to the new level. Entrepreneurs or small businesses develop a proof of concept or MVP to evaluate their idea while industries or established businesses develop an app to fulfill their business needs. Meanwhile, the app size is fully dependent on your organizational needs and type of app you are visioning.

We will help you to estimate how long it does it take to build a mobile app. With that information, you’ll then be able to determine estimates cost, 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:

Magical Table Showing TimeLine for Different App Size:

S.no.StageSmall AppMedium AppLarge App
1Requirements Gathering & Scoping2-3 weeks4-6 weeks 6-8 weeks
2UI/UX Design3-4 weeks 6-8 weeks 8-12 weeks
3App Development & Testing5-6 weeks 12-14 weeks 20-26 weeks
4Beta Testing & Launch1 weeks 2 weeks 3-4 weeks
5Total Time to Develop an App11-13 weeks 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, the 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?

Magical Table Showing TimeLine for Small Apps:

App TypeScreensFunctionsTimeline
Clock App5-12Perform 1-2 main functions3-4 weeks
Ebook/pdf app5-12Perform 2-3 functions2-3 weeks
Calculator app5-10Perform basic and scientific functions 5-6 weeks

Magical Table Showing TimeLine for Medium Size Apps:

App TypeScreensFunctionsTimeline
Health & Fitness 10-15Perform 8-10 main functions7-8 weeks
Lifestyle and Entertainment app12-15Perform 8-10 main functions7-8 weeks
Social media and photo app12-15Perform 8-12 main functions 8-10 weeks

Magical Table Showing TimeLine for Large Size Apps:

App TypeScreensFunctionsTimeline
Financial app 15-20Perform 18-22 main functions10-14 weeks
Tool and Utilities App20-25Perform 18-25 main functions10-14 weeks
Government apps20-25Perform 18-25 main functions 10-16 weeks

The most critical factor is the size of the app. Typically apps can be classified into three different sizes: Small, Medium , and Large. Size is defined based upon the number of screens, the complexity of the functions, and the type of design in the app. Above table help you to understand type of app with number of screen size.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App

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

The development involves various stages and it is important for you to know all the stages so that you can breakdown the time related to each stage.

Stage 1: How long does it take in requirement/scoping of an app?

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. Project scoping is also dependent on market analysis and decision making factors. Sometimes it is not time-specific and organization or entrepreneur takes time:

Table Showing TimeLine for Scoping of all app size

App SizeTimeline for Scoping
Small Size2-3 Weeks
Medium Size4-6 Weeks
Large Size6-8 Weeks

Stage 2: How long does it take to make app UI/UX design?

The UI/UX design 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.

Table Showing TimeLine for Designing of all app size

App SizeTimeline for Designing
Small Size3-4 Weeks
Medium Size6-8 Weeks
Large Size9-12 Weeks

Stage 3: How long does it take to do development and 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. 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.

Table Showing TimeLine for Development of all app size

App SizeTimeline for Development
Small Size1-2 month
Medium Size3-3.5 month
Large Size5-6 month

Stage 4: How long does it take for Beta Testing and Launching of an app?

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.

Table Showing TimeLine for Testing of all app size

App SizeTimeline for Testing
Small SizeWithin 1 week
Medium SizeWithin 2 week
Large SizeWithin 2 week

4. What Can Slow Down the App Development Process

Following factors can affect the speed of 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, 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.

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    Piyush Jain

    Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.