Estimate your app development costs

Find out how much it will cost to build an app and how long it will take to launch it. An app cost calculator built with the user in mind.

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What is an app cost calculator?

An app cost calculator is an online tool that offers you a rough estimate of your app development costs.
As in every acquisition process there are some well-known stages:
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The first one is the awareness stage, where you identify your need and the product or service you want to purchase.
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The second is the interest one, where you research different companies that cover your needs.
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The next is the consideration stage, where you start to understand the market, and you compare providers.
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And the final one is the decision stage when you know for sure with whom you want to work.
As you reach the consideration stage, in the software development industry, you want to understand how much it will cost to build an application and an app cost calculator does just that. It provides you with a full breakdown of your development costs.

How does an app cost calculator work?

An app cost calculator is a software that helps you calculate the cost of the development process. It also helps you understand what is the difference in price between the mobile app development and the web app development, how much it would cost to implement different features like a push notification, a QR code scanner, an activity feed, in app purchases, a content management system and others. The more advanced ones also include the costs of the app design, meaning the user interface and the user experience, the team structure, and the price of the technologies that might give you a competitive advantage like the internet of things (IOT), robot process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) or Virtual / Augmented Reality (VR / AR).

What are the characteristics of a good app cost calculator?

The characteristics of a good app cost calculator really depend on your needs and how custom you want your application to be. Still, from our point of view, they should contain at least the prices for the basic features, the possibility to compare the mobile app development cost vs the web development cost, and help you with valuable information regarding what each step of the development process is about. In the end, it should provide a cost breakdown so you would fully understand why the cost estimation is lower if, for example, you decide to go for a standard set of features instead of a custom one.
The advantage of using an app cost calculator to evaluate your app development costs
  • It helps you evaluate how much it will cost to build your app idea
  • You find out more details about the hourly rate of the company
  • It gives you more structure regarding what you would like to have in your application, and it provides knowledge regarding what it means for each feature to be implemented
  • It gives you an estimate of the time needed to launch your application
The disadvantage of using an app cost calculator to evaluate your app development costs
  • First of all you might not find all the features that you need in the tool. Of course, you would have the ones that are the most common, for example, the basic authentication component or the e-learning one. But if you would want something more customized like an advertising solution with certain algorithms that would allow a user to create highly targeted ads, you would need to ask for a personalized offer.
  • The cost breakdown even though it gives you an image regarding the final price it is a rough estimate. For receiving a more accurate one you would need to discuss with the sales team so they can assess each customized feature of your application and give you a personalized estimate.

Difference between an exact quote and an app cost calculator report

The software development market is highly competitive and finding the right app development company is not easy. In order to choose the one that best suits your needs, you should not only look for their price but also research what is their history, check their case studies, ask how they evaluate their quality, what methodology they use, what tools they use to prevent bugs, and what is their team consistency.
By using a price calculator you can not find out all these details. While it gives you a rough estimate, this only covers the price perspective. By choosing to ask for an exact quote, you get to know the company and their way of working, and also you will receive a personalized offer based on your custom features.

App development cost breakdown -

How to calculate the price of an app?

Now that you’ve got to know everything about this pricing tool, let’s move further on with some details about how to calculate the price of an application.
PROJECT SCOPE
The first thing to take into consideration is the project scope, which means the number of features you would like your app to have. In the first instance, we advise our partners to go for an MVP (minimum viable product) in order to validate their idea in the market. An MVP contains the minimum of features needed for your app to show its purpose and can be built in four to eight weeks. After the idea is tested and feedback is gathered from potential buyers we can proceed to the next version and start scaling with more features. As the features continue to grow in demand so it will be with the cost of your app. The cost varies from $10 000 to $500 000.
UI/UX design
The second factor that affects the final cost is the UI/UX design. Nowadays having a great user interface and providing an amazing user experience is not just a fad. In order for your application to grow and be successful, you need to provide a great in-app experience for your users. With so many options available, standing out from the crowd it’s a must. From the app design perspective you can have two choices: the first one, which is the most price, is the fully custom app design and the second one, less expensive, is the standard graphic design that consists of pre-build templates and themes. The cost varies from $2 000 to $10 000.
TECHNICAL COMPLEXITY
The third factor that influences the app pricing is the technical complexity and the security measures which means that an app with basic modules would be less pricey than one with custom modules that you can not find on a regular basis. An example would be a standard authentication where you can log in with your email address and password or a social media account versus an authentication where you put your email address then receive an email with a user id and a temporary password, plus the steps needed to configure a 2 step authentication. The cost is the same as in the first point.
WEB HOSTING
The fourth factor that affects the final development cost is the hosting in case you’re thinking of building a web application. There are different types of web hosting can consider and the best one depends on your need. Among the web hosting types you can find the shared hosting, the dedicated hosting, the cloud hosting, and the reseller hosting. The hosting varies from 15 $ per month to $730 per month and can go to thousands of dollars if you have a large application hosted on AWS.
DEADLINES
Another thing you would take into consideration is the tight deadline. Usually, a product idea can be built with a minimum team consisting of one front-end developer, one back-end developer, a project manager, and a quality assurance engineer. But in case you would need the idea delivered in less time then other developers would need to join the team, so the price will increase.
CONTRACT TYPE
The sixth factor that can influence the outcome is the contract type. About this one, you can discuss more with the software company and choose the one that best suits your needs. The fixed-price contract consists of a service that needs to be delivered very specifically and has two distinctive characteristics: the idea has an extended brief describing every feature in detail and a fixed deadline. The time-and-materials contract, on the other hand, bills the client for the hours spent on the project and it has rather a flexible deadline. The project doesn’t have to have an extensive brief and the features can be detailed from sprint to sprint by following the Agile methodology. The first one is more expensive since there is a tight deadline and more risks are taken by the software provider. The first option might come with a minimum of 10% increase in pricing.
COMPANY TYPE, EXPERIENCE & LOCATION
The last factor and maybe the one that will affect the most the price is the app development company type, experience (software development enterprise, agencies or shops), and geographical location (America, Europe, Asia). The best quality-price ratio you will find in Eastern Europe. If you want to learn more about the difference in pricing you can find more details in another helpful resource we created about How much does it cost to make an app in 2020.
Taking into consideration all the factors mentioned above, the price of an app usually starts at $10 000 and can reach $500 000 depending on the complexity of it and the software provider. We hope that this development cost breakdown will help you have a clear idea of what to take into consideration when building your app idea.

Mobile development cost vs web development cost

Another factor that ads on top of the one discussed is the platform on which you want to develop your app. There is a difference between the mobile app development cost vs web app development cost of at least 15%.
Let’s start first with web development. The web applications require an internet connection to work and they can be accessed from the browser. That’s why you would need to constantly be online in order to use them. Though they are responsive and can be used from mobile devices, users usually access them from desktops. In order for them to work smoothly, they would need a hosting service about which we already discussed above.
The mobile applications can be divided into three categories based on the device: iOS mobile applications, Android mobile applications, and Hybrid applications that work on different mobile devices.
The iOS apps are built with Swift and they are used on Apple phones and iPads. These types of mobile apps, like the ones for Android, are called native apps. Usually, Apple charges $99 per year for an individual developer account, required for the distribution of the app in the app store.
The Android apps are less expensive than the iOS ones and are more common. Maybe also because in 2020 the apps in Google play reached 1.96 million. The coding language used is JAVA and the fee for uploading an app in the store is $25.
The hybrid mobile apps are usually developed with React Native and the cost to develop them is less pricey than iOS apps and Android apps combined. They work well on different mobile devices and operating systems and the delivery date is usually sooner than for the native ones.

Steps of building a software application

The product strategy workshop is very important when you want to build an app. It helps you clarify your app idea, choose the right features for each version (MVP, Scale version) and gives the app development company a better understanding of your project's scope. This translates into more accurate cost estimates and a clearer image of the final result.
The product development phase consists of the actual implementation of each of your app features and usually takes from four weeks to eight weeks. Usually, companies use the Scrum methodology, so after each sprint, you can see a different increment from the basic features to a push notification, QR codes, and other custom features.
The dedicated development teams phase comes after you validate your app idea and you would like to work with a dedicated team. to scale your product. The team usually consists of a project manager, a scrum master, developers, quality assurance specialists, and UI/UX designers.
We hope that this cost breakdown was helpful for you. We understand that estimating the cost of an application is not easy and we hope that this app cost estimator will help you take into consideration all the factors needed for a rough estimate.

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