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How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Mobile App

Thursday, 22 August, 2019, POSTED BY Massive Infinity

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Mobile App

The above is one of the most frequently asked questions of the industry that probably doesn’t get answered much until recently. For the longest time, there seemed to be some ‘secrecy’ or ‘taboo’ around this mainly because it is really tough for companies to give a generalised, all-encompassing costing when it comes to app development. At least for Massive Infinity, our mobile apps are all made different and customised to fit the needs of every business or user. While we can’t reveal an accurate numerical figure, we can paint a full picture of what goes on behind the scenes that contribute to the cost of various types of app development. So yes, the team is finally answering this million dollar question! And fret not, the average mobile application will not cost a million dollars..

The cost of developing a mobile app depends on a variety of factors, with the type and complexity of features most likely being the main driving force:


Type (& Features) of Mobile App


The type of app and number of features determines the complexity of the app, which in turn determines the time taken to develop the app. There are different types of mobile apps for  different purposes, such as mobile training and learning, marketing, gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, productivity and more. These determine the types of features necessary and if a backend content management system(CMS) is essential in the development. For example, a training and learning app for a Food & Beverage joint may require a CMS to manage the various tutorials for different levels of staff in the organisation. Also, the same type of features may have different extents of complexities - how comprehensive do you want your in-app calendar to be? These factors affect the time taken for development variably. 

Businesses typically work with a budget in mind, but a budget may narrow the possibilities or full potential of the mobile app at times. More often than not, the full list of features may not be necessary on your new app especially when working on a budget. Our team of tech consultants are always ready to provide guidance in prioritising app features that are the most useful and value-adding to the business and target app users. To gain some insights, you may read our article here on tips for prioritising mobile app features.


Number of Systems/Platforms


Most businesses would like their apps to be developed on both Android and iOS since these are the top smartphone operating systems used by mobile app users in Singapore. Definitely, developing on both platforms will take more hours and hence increases the cost of development. There are also various options for product owners to consider if the app is going to be native(pure mobile application), web-based or hybrid(app + web-app) and these changes the costs of development as well.

A native application definitely gives the best user experience as the mobile app is able to support more comprehensive in features such as location-based tracking, or voice and camera functions. A native app allows the direct access to these smart phone functions, resulting in an optimally smooth user experience. There are also less dependencies for bugs to occur because there is no reliance on a cross-platform tools which hybrid apps are likely to require. 

A web-based application, on the other hand, will undoubtedly help to drive down costs considerably but there are downsides to that - full reliance on internet connection(cannot have offline functions) and reduced speed of the app as compared to one that is hosted locally.

If you’re curious to learn more and would like more information before coming to a decision before you develop a mobile app, you may click here to read our in-depth article on Native, Web or Hybrid Apps.


Design Costs


A full functioning mobile app that is ready to be uploaded to the app store requires both development and design. A clean and intuitive UI/UX design is all the rage now and the work behind it should not be taken lightly. 

And what exactly is UI/UX design? Our team has broken down this term so you can have a better understanding in no more than 3 minutes - click here to read.

UI/UX designers put in the time to create moodboards for clients before going ahead with the mobile app wireframes, mock-ups and prototypes. This is to help clients envision the app they are developing before it is built. Typically, clients are charged based on unique design templates. Therefore, depending on how dynamic or interactive the interface is, design costs would increase and drive up the cost of developing an app to cater to the complexity of supporting images, videos and functions. 

Design costs for mobile app development can be set aside if you have a ready team of designers that are experienced in UI/UX design. Speak to us if there is a need for us to rope in our in-house designers for the mobile app development process. Being a part of The Corridor allows us to be a one-stop solution for our clients and we would love to help!


The Team


The expertise and experience of the team you are working with plays a vital role as well as it affects the time taken for development. The more hours the team spends on research or programming, the higher the cost of development. Other than the number of hours, the size of the team matters too. To speed things up, more developers can be put to work on a project and that can drive up the costs. 

Also, developing a mobile app does not just involve developers, a bigger team is at play to seamlessly make things happen. Account managers and project managers are heavily involved at every step of the process to lead the project to completion, each playing an important role to move things along and to ensure that all requirements are met exceedingly.


Support & Maintenance


Lastly, additional costs may have to be set aside for the post-launch period. Most of the time, more refinements and enhancements are needed to be made and these could be in terms of new app features, or updates to keep up with system updates that do happen quite often. These, again, take up development hours and affect costs. 

At Massive Infinity, there is a one-time development fee and a recurring fee monthly or annually for maintenance and hosting that is not mandatory. We do not earn from hosting but we provide the service to ensure that our clients experience with us is seamless and fuss-free. 



Hopefully this listicle of non-exhaustive items of what could be factored in to the cost of development would give you a better understanding of how mobile app development is costed. The burning industry question has been answered in the most transparent way possible and we hope this gives you more confidence and insights for your next mobile app development project. Leave us a message below to speak to us or call us directly at our number 6270 0991.




Native apps, Web Apps and Offline Apps: Which Do You Need?

4 Useful Tips for Prioritising The Best Features For Your Mobile Application

3-Minute TECH TALK: I See The Term UI/UX Design Being Thrown Around A Lot So I Use It Too, But What Exactly Is It?


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