How long does it take to create an app

How long does it take to create an app? To answer this question, we need to understand the stages of app development and the factors that can affect the final development timeline.

If we compare apps of different complexity and number of features, the average timeline will be:

  • Simple app development: 2-4 months
  • Average app development: 4-6 months
  • Complex app development: a starting from 9 months

There may be variations in time due to various reasons, including the complexity of the product, the final structure of the model, the associated application development company and many more.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these factors and reasons and define mobile app development from the ground up. Examples include the timeline.

If you prefer the visual to the text, skip ahead to the additional “Key Mobile App” infographic. development points that affect the development time?”

How long does it take to develop an application?

The development time to create a mobile application can range from 4 to 6 months and depends on the complexity of the application.

Type of application Estimated time Development of simple applications 2-4 months Development of average applications 4-6 months Development of complex applications 9+ months

Simple application example

Simple applications typically have no more than five screens, do not exchange data with other systems’ databases, do not collect analytics from user stories and actions, and register users via email.

Examples of simple applications are business cards that contain company information.

Example of an average application

Average applications can have multiple processes. They have about ten screens, a personal account, authorization through social networks, integrations with a server or a website and payment systems.

Examples include most online stores and reservation systems or applications that they are based on a builder application.

Example of a complex application

Complex applications include applications that can support real-time synchronization, interactivity, integration with any database, animation, work with downloaded data and much more but it’s not a no-coding app.

The examples are popular social media apps.

Now let’s look at some more examples of what the line affects development time.

In this image you can see the main difference between the types of application development Mobile Applications

Application Development Timeline by 3 Types of Applications

To be more specific in th Examples of mobile application development timelines, let us consider three different types of applications and the time for its development.

Example 1. Health App

It is now possible to monitor your health with the help of countless online diaries, calendars and other “smart” mobile applications that they can store and analyze data about our bodies.

Popular healthcare apps include MyFitnessPal, Happify, SleepCycle Alarm Clock, and Medisafe.

On average, app development Healthcare takes 6-9 months because it typically requires a team of healthcare experts, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance, and performance of roles such as:

  • Integration with card frequency Real-Time Heart Rate
  • Integration with Electronic Medical Records
  • EHR
  • Built-in Messaging System
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Telemedicine
  • Goal Setting
  • Daily Tips
  • Tracking Progress

Developing a healthcare app is a kind of complexity of mobile application development

Example 2. Educational application

With the growing popularity of online learning, more and more educational applications allow users of different ages to learn any course they want.

The most popular educational apps are Khan Academy, Duolingo, SoloLearn, edX, and Google Classroom.

On average, educational app development takes 4-8 months, depending on the number of of functions. and integrations that typically include:

  • Screen sharing
  • Session recording
  • In-session chats
  • Streaming
  • File Sharing
  • Chat Managers
  • Polls
  • Break Rules

The average type of complexity of mobile app development it is the development of an educational application

Example 3. Food delivery application

The competition of food delivery applications in the market is very high since the pandemic. More people prefer to order food online and reduce the time it takes to go to grocery stores and restaurants.

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The most popular food delivery apps include UberEats, Deliveroo, DoorDash, Seamless, and GrubHub.

On average, a food delivery app takes 4 months to develop. and 6 months, depending on the complexity. , advanced features and type of development platform. It usually includes such features:

  • Map integration
  • View cart
  • Push notifications and alerts
  • Map integrations Social Media
  • Delivery Tracking System
  • Order Status Tracking
  • Restaurant Filters
  • Delivery Tips

When deciding on the type, it’s time to consider other factors that can significantly affect the development timeline of your startup or business mobile app.

Food delivery app is considered a complex type of complexity of mobile app development

Factors that affect the development schedule

When developing an app and estimating your development schedule, don’t forget to consider numerous factors.

Here we collect some of the factors and calculate their impact on the timeline.

Factor 1. The complexity and of an idea

The complexity of an application is the main factor affecting its pipeline of time. It is about the number of screens, features and roles in the product.

The complexity of the application idea defines the software design and development efforts required.

Designing an application A simple application can take several weeks, while a complex one requires months. Later, back-end and front-end development and testing.

The average time to build apps like Uber is about 1100 hours, while apps like Calm can take 880 hours.

However, if you’re looking to build something unique, say SaaS, it can take 1200+ hours.

Factor 2. The precise requirements

A description of the requirements incorporates the core characteristics of an application and what it is about. Therefore, the more detailed the requirements, the less time it will take to create an application.

Functionalities, such as backend infrastructure, CMS selection, third-party service integration, may increase or decrease the time to develop an application. application.

Also, if you decide to add more features, the total cost and time will surely skyrocket. Indirect costs will also grow. For example, spending on project management or business analysis.

Here are some features founders look for solutions to:

  1. Sign up via social media or Email
  2. Chat or Messaging
  3. Push Notifications
  4. Portrait or Landscape View
  5. Payment Integration
  6. Integration of maps
  7. User login and more

There may be additional functions, depending on the type of application.

The time to create the requirements required in applications such as chat applications can take 80 hours, while applications such as Ads Manager can take more than 160 hours.

Factor 3. The accuracy of the final result

Documentation is essential to get an idea of ​​the final goal and development schedule of the application.

These documentations are used later by the design team in the machining process. metal structure brackets. The latter are digital blueprints that show what the minimum viable product will look like.

It does two things, mainly:

  1. It provides the information necessary to identify potential pitfalls.


  2. Include only essential functionality.

If the final product requirements are not clear at the beginning, it will lead to more change requests in the middle of the project. Therefore, use an agile methodology for product development.

With a wireframe, you seek to solve all customer pain points while creating a unique user experience for them. Here’s what happens during the process:

  1. As a team, you can use a digital wireframe tool to first create a wireframe.
  2. Then you present it to the stakeholders for feedback and possible deficiencies.
  3. Make changes based on suggestions.
  4. Repeat the process until you get the desired result.

Keep in mind that depending on the scope of the project, wireframes for a simple app like a meme generator can take 2-3 days to complete.

Factor 4. The business experience

If you are someone who is an expert in coding, then you just need assistance on product strategy and design. But if you’re a new entrepreneur, you’ll need help from start to finish.

Besides, there are other aspects as well. For example, if hiring an internal team is part of your business model, then consider the time to hire and train the team for the project.

If you already have a team, then just the design and development time will be counted.

But if you have less time, hire a developer or product development company and share your mobile app development time. You will save a lot of time in this case.

In this image, you can see the key factors that affect the estimation of mobile app development time

Timeline and stages of app development

Each stage of application development determines the scope of a project and the process you need to follow.

That’s why you need to consider the amount of time for each stage from planning of your application.

Planning stage

This is the key stage for estimating the development deadlines for an application. . It focuses on both the development team and the customers.

This stage helps determine and set expectations to create a project roadmap. It takes 2-3 weeks.

At this stage of app development, you collect and analyze information about the project, the market, the competitors, and the audience.

The time to performing the discovery stage varies. Here are some things to focus on:

1. Requirements and specifications

Writing and managing specifications can take up to two weeks. To give you an initial idea, here are some things to add to the report:

  • Project goal and success metrics
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Budget range
  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • Approximate delivery date

2. Design Lo-Fi Wireframes

Lo-fi wireframes are the initial visual representations of the product. It helps designers and clients get a clear picture of the product’s design and functionalities.

They are highly flexible and speed up the process while keeping up-front costs low and helping to reduce average development time for the product. application.


3. Define the Technology Stack

You also need to discuss the technology stack you will need to develop an MVP.

There are three main types of mobile app development projects: web , native, and hybrid.

A native app is an app developed for a mobile operating system (Objective-C, Swift for the iOS app, and Java, Kotlin for the Android app), while a hybrid app is a web app built using Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, and others.

The entire discovery process can take anywhere from 40-80 hours of the app development timeline. For example, at Spdload we worked on an app, MyWishApp, and the discovery phase took us about 72 hours.

In this image, you can see the key aspects that affect the planning stage of mobile app development

Design Stage

In the design stage, you conceive and iterate on the user interface and user experience design of the product. This process leads to a plan being delivered to the application developers to start building the product.

1. Create high-fidelity wireframes

Hi-fi is a computer-based representation of the product and is the closest version to the final product.

Hi-fi wireframes give testers the ability to final representation of the product. First, start with low-fidelity wireframes to match your storytelling to your content strategy. It then creates high-fidelity wireframes for the layout and hierarchy of the app.

You can check out the wireframes made by Spdload for the dating app, SwiDate.

2. Create UI Kit

The UI Kit’s UI components provide functionality to users. Application elements such as buttons, navigation buttons, check boxes, widgets, and progress bars are all included in a UI kit.

Most importantly, UI kits they incorporate all the UI design elements, so you don’t have to design them yourself. They imply strict adherence to the mobile application development schedule.

The design stage lasts between 40 and 80 hours in total. However, both the planning and design stages can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month.

For the SwiDate project, the UI/UX design process took us 150 hours.

This image shows the two aspects that make up the second phase of mobile application development: the design phase

Development phase

The development phase is the central part of the application development process. It mainly focuses on frontend and backend development. Also, it includes beta testing and upload process to app stores.

1. Backend Development

Backend is the hidden part of an application responsible for storing data and providing security. It serves the same purpose as the server.

You can access it over the Internet using the API (public application interface). Some commonly used alternatives for backend servers are a custom server, cloud server, and MBaaS.

The backend includes the following components:

  1. Data storage
  2. Server-side logic
  3. User management
  4. Versioning
  5. Data Integration

Storage capacity provided by the backend can also be taken from a third-party company. You can also hire an in-house back-end app development team. But remember, not all applications require a backend.

In our practice, we experienced an interesting case. The founder of Videonext contacted us because he wanted to move his website to the cloud.

The biggest challenge was creating a back-end integration for existing platform functionality.

But our team managed to overcome it with the API made by the client team. You can read the full case study here.

2. Front-end development

The front-end of an application is everything that a user can see.

From the structure to the design and from the behavior to the content, everything that a user sees is selected by front-end. final developers. It uses elements such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

In addition, it is responsible for the responsiveness and performance of the application.

Take a look below, as the interface includes the following :

  1. Frontend logic
  2. Synchronization
  3. Cache
  4. Wireframing
  5. Design and development of user interface

Generally, the average time to develop an application varies from 3 months to launch an MVP and up to 9 months to scale it to a great product.

3 . Testing

Testing is one of the final and critical phases of the application development process. It can take 4-6 weeks.

For the SwiDate project, QA testing took us 340 hours.

In this image, you can see three key aspects of the development phase which is the third phase of mobile app development

Moving Forward

If you want to know how long it takes to create a successful app, share your list of requirements with us, and we’ll provide the average time to develop your app.

If you’d like to explore our work, see our guides on app design costs and app development costs for more details on our approach.

You can also contact us here!

Additional Infographic

Here you will find a summary of our step-by-step guide. Learn about the highlights of the mobile app development timeline.

This is an infographic that describes all the steps necessary to calculate the development time of a mobile application.

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