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May 19, 2017

How Long Does it Take to Make an App?

By Special Guest
Charlie Shabe, Digital Marketing Strategist

Here is the question: how long does it take to create an app? Coding is a very complex activity and the longevity of the entire project will directly depend on the schedule composed at the preliminary stage.

But how long does it take to make an Android app or iOS app, you ask? Let us go through the elements which will make up your project timeframe.

How long does it take to develop an app?

In terms of timing of the software development project, let’s talk stages and features. In other words, for every stage of a typical mobile app project, I’ll give you approximate hours to cover one feature. So when you’re set with your own app idea, you simply multiply all the hours to the number of features.

Preliminary stage - technical documentation

Also known as a technical specification or a software documentation, this paper is a complex manual of your product, outlining requirements and business logic, and leading your specialists through all stages of the project. It’ll include everything from the intro, purpose of the app, and definitions to technologies to be used, testing to be done, timeframes, budget and even concerns or doubts. Start it before the actual build starts.

  • Five hours per feature

Project management

This is a crucial element of your successful project. A manager will become a connecting link between you as a client and a company; he will literally translate all your requirements into particular tasks and distribute them to all members of the squad to meet the deadlines and goals.

  • Ten hours per feature


Back-end scope - data composition, security and access check, setting up users accounts, authentication control, server-side logic, data assimilation, push notifications, version control.

Front-end scope - logic, caching, synchronization, wireframing or screen blueprint, UI design, development, and polishing.

  • To code an app, you’ll need 12 hours (on one platform) + 8 hours of designer per feature.

N.B.: It’s important to watch the sequence of operations. Give your back end engineer some time before the front end specialist develops functional code. If the back end is not well determined and isn’t functional, it’ll impact the productivity of your front end engineer.

Quality assurance

This activity also goes along the whole project and is basically about checking whether the product is meeting the requirements set at the start of the project. It’s important to check whether all features work properly and deliver desired outcomes.

  • Eight to 10 hours per feature.

So, how long does it take to build an app?

All mobile apps vary, that’s for sure. But happily, there is a common wireframe of how any mobile software is brought to life. So take your time and create a list of what your app should be able to do – include lists, social media integrations, geolocation, e-commerce, etc. Additionally, find out how long it will take your unique mobile app to appear on the App Store and/or Google Play.

About the Author

Charlie Shabe is a professional Digital Marketing Strategist. He has over 20 years Digital Marketing experience in helping global organizations use the Internet to drive their online visibility and generate leads. In addition to his PR and online marketing experience, Charlie is an expert in writing.


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