Apps are a useful marketing tool for businesses and are also a great way to make a little money. There are many types of apps out there, from games to useful tools to just fun little things. If you’ve thought about making your own app, there are probably many things about it that you’ve wondered, including cost and just how long it would take you to develop an app. Well, just like cost can vary depending on just how involved of an app you’re looking to make, so too can the time to make one vary. So just how long would it take you develop that perfect app for Android or Apple iOS that you have in mind?

I’m sorry to say it’s not something that can be done overnight. The process involves many different aspects. Aside from the coding, there are also things like the product definition and design stages. In general, it can take around three to four months to successfully develop an app. In this case, “develop” means to engineer the app. It has nothing to do with the documenting and design of the app. That will take more time. And also, the three to four months is an ideal, average time. If you’re lucky, it could take less than that, or it can also take longer, up to six months or even years. Again, it all depends on how involved of an app you’re developing, as well as your budget and the team you put together to work with you on the project. You could easily develop a simple, throwaway app in a couple of weeks, but if you want a good, quality app, expect it take you a good few months.

You first need to get a team together to help you, and not just with the engineering and coding aspect. You need people to help you document and define the product you’re developing and help you design it before you can even start developing it. You will need a project manager to develop user stories for developers to follow. These will be things such as “As such and such type of user, I want (type of goal) so that (type of reason).” Also, you will want someone to handle quality assurance, to detect any bugs during the coding process. This design process can take a couple weeks to a couple of months, depending on your preferences for the development process, but having a team can help to streamline your development timeframe.

When it comes to coding and developing the app, you want to consider if you will be doing the back-end engineering and front end (the consumer part) engineering separately or at the same time. If you’re going to do them at the same time, it’d be preferable to have the team working on the back end to start first to give them a head start and get their endpoints firmed up before the front end team starts. The back end usually deals with things such as data storage, user management, server-side logic, data integration,  push, and versioning. The front end deals with things like front-end logic, caching, synchronization, wireframing, UI design, UI development, and UI polish.

There’s a lot that goes into developing an app and if you’re wanting a good, quality app, be prepared to put in a good amount of time. For more detailed information, you can check out this article and this article and take a look at a good infographic below:

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