A well-built mobile app may serve as a full-fledged engine for your business. It can help to win new clients, increase client retention and loyalty rates, and boost your revenue. Nowadays, even small non-tech-oriented enterprises can afford one. However, many businesses still refrain from ordering a mobile application, mainly due to inertia and concerns related to the seeming complexity and prolonged duration of this process. In this article, we would like to shed some light on how much time it takes to build a mobile app. A mobile app is now a must First, some statistics can corroborate a simple truth - mobile apps are now a must for businesses, even non-tech ones. - In 2021, global mobile app revenues are expected to reach $693 billion, in comparison with $582 billion in 2020. - Right now, there are almost 15 billion mobile devices in the world, while the number of smartphone users, according to Statista, exceeds 6 billion (NB: “users” does not always mean “owners”). That’s the overwhelming majority of the world population! - In Q1 of 2021, Google Play had 3.5 million apps available, while the App Store offered 2.2 million. - On average, a typical modern smartphone now has roughly 80 apps installed on it. - As a rule, modern smartphone owners use approximately 9 apps every day and up to 30 monthly. - A typical American now spends 4 hours 23 minutes with their smartphones (time spent on talking is not taken into account). - The market share belonging to mobile devices is much more impressive than the share of PCs. And it will continue to grow. As the figures above indicate, more and more businesses are ordering mobile apps and starting to use them to perform their operations better. And there is, beyond any doubt, a good reason for that. For example, back in 2018, small business owners in the US stressed the following benefits of mobile apps for their ventures: - They are great as a payment method - They significantly contribute to “social integration” - They put business owners in a better position to communicate with their clients - Finally, they are good at keeping client loyalty rates as high as possible In other words, building a mobile app for your business is a good idea. But how much time would it take you? How long would it take to build a mobile app? On the one hand, the answer is simple. As long as your business is growing and thriving, the development process will never end. Ask yourself: how much time would it take to build a city? Well, the truth is that successful cities never stop expanding and changing. The same principle governs an app development process. There will always be new upgrades, features, and client demands to satisfy. On the other hand, for sure, there is still a typical estimate for your mobile app development project. Normally, if you plan to offer your clients a well-functioning tool with the most needed features, you should expect the process to take between six and nine months. What is the source of this estimate? Let us look at the details more closely. Briefly speaking, any mobile development project can be divided into five stages: IProject discovery, i.e. translating your rough idea into a coherent and feasible concept based on client requirements, industry trends, and prominent benchmarks. This phase may last up to one month. One of the best things a team can do at this stage is to develop a simple MVP serving as a prototype to test from all possible angles. If you do so, your chances to quickly go through the subsequent stages will be much higher. We at Andersen fully realize the importance of this step and have gained substantial experience in building cross-functional MVPs. IIDesign and tech specs, i.e. crafting the visual style of your future mobile app with the core UI/UX elements together with compiling an exact list of features, performance capabilities, and attributes. This step might take up to one month. To name a few deliverables, this phase is to provide you with: - User journey - A list of functions the app will carry out together with client needs it will match via these functions - Visual appearance and brand identity - in other words, a comprehensive style guide - Documentation covering each of the app features and the way your future app is linked to your main website - Project roadmap for the third crucial development stage IIIDevelopment, i.e. the coding process to launch your app. This is the most time-consuming phase since it creates the digital architecture of your solution. As our experience says, it may last up to six months. Basically, it encompasses two equally important aspects. The first one is your front-end covering what your future users will see after they open the app. In the modern app-driven world, one needs to be 100% sure that the app will be compatible with every popular browser, device, screen, and dimension. So nothing should be done in haste here. The second one is your back-end ensuring that your app is technically viable. As long as you have a detailed and realistic project map at your disposal, coding sprints normally achieve their goals. However, Project Managers have to regularly “scan” the code for errors and bugs. IVQA aka Testing is aimed at identifying potential issues in terms of usability, running speed, data load, etc. Your main priority at this stage should be to test your app as a whole and end-to-end. This phase may take you up to one month. VSupport, maintenance, and upgrades. As we have said, your app will never be 100% accomplished. Markets never cease to change, tech never stops evolving. As a result, even if you feel satisfied with what you are about to launch, there is no guarantee your app will stay adequate and competitive in a year. That is why this stage is indefinite as long as your business lives. Conclusion As you can see, there is nothing impossible in building a well-functioning mobile app for your business. Yes, it will take time - probably, more time than you suppose right now. However, it is still a short-term challenge you can handle. To create your mobile app, you need to carefully choose an IT outsourcing company with the requisite skills and experience. We invite you to learn what Andersen can do for you. There is a project calculator you can use to obtain an estimate and start crafting your amazing mobile app ASAP. Whether it is a simple cross-platform MVP or an extended app with vast amounts of data and high security standards, it will be delivered on time!