“Our business has significantly grown, even online, and we are seriously considering developing an app for some services that are popular among our customers or to acquire new ones.” It is a thought that is not easy to translate into reality, also because most of us do not have the necessary computer skills to develop an app from scratch.
There are two focal points: knowing who we are targeting and what we want to achieve. These are not trivial questions. An app cannot be considered simply as a showcase to reach the website, not in 2022. We also cannot complicate things by embarking on app development expenses if we are not clear on what we can and cannot do. That is why with this article, we will try to shed some light on how much it costs to develop an app in 2022.
Asking a developer for an App: what to consider
If we start with the classic question: “I would like to create an App for my business, how much does it cost?” we must understand that we will never have a straightforward answer to this question. Imagine walking into a furniture store and asking, “How much does it cost to furnish my house?” Or walking into a car dealership and asking how much a car costs. In all three cases, i.e., App, furniture, and car, the answer is always the same. You can use a Lamborghini worth 500 thousand euros to do the shopping just like a Panda worth 9 thousand euros. You can take your children to the beach with a 60 thousand euro SUV, but also with a 10 thousand euro car. In short, everything depends on what we want, what we want the App to do, who our target audience is, and so on.
However, one thing to know is that a few hundred euros won’t be enough. If you turn to an expert in the field and need to offer 2-3 services to customers (such as booking or purchasing products), set a budget of at least 3 or 4 thousand euros. To clarify our ideas a bit, however, we can divide Apps into two major categories: cross-platform Apps and native Apps.
Types of Apps based on device language
Let’s start with cross-platform Apps. They are created with a single development process and a universal programming language to make them work on devices that use both Android and iOS. A small premise: the big smartphone and tablet systems are divided into Android systems (all devices except iPhones and iPads) and iOS systems (iPhones and iPads). There are Apps that are distributed on both selling platforms, namely Google Play (Android) and Apple Store (iOS), but they are the same. Often, they do not have access to smartphone features and are frequently subject to bugs.
Native Apps, on the other hand, are Apps specifically written with Java language for Android applications and Swift language for those on Apple’s iOS. Essentially, this means developing two Apps even though it is the same product. However, they are significantly more reliable and powerful Apps that have access to multiple smartphone features such as contacts, camera, photo albums, allowing for the best user experience. Depending on the functionality, we can also divide Apps into four categories: simple, database, custom/business, and games.
Types of Apps based on their functions
Simple Apps have a couple of screens and basic functions, such as flashlight, calculator, and clock on your smartphone. On the other hand, Database Apps are more complex because they need to store user-entered information. Therefore, the app must present registration and data request forms, be able to synchronize archives, and interact with multiple devices, as in the case of a contact list.
Custom or business Apps are among the most complex because users can do many things, connect with other users, or with a communication center, such as social networking Apps, home automation Apps, or those that allow us to make purchases. If you have in mind to create a gaming App, i.e., a game to attract potential customers, then we are facing an even more complex application, where an engaging storyline, attractive graphics, ease of use, and interaction with other users are among the indispensable elements.
For these more complex applications, the budget also increases, often substantially, and can amount to hundreds of thousands of euros.
Other elements needed for the App
To understand the complexity of an App, let’s start with the access modes: is it an App that needs an email address as login credentials? This requires managing the user’s registration, confirmation email, etc. Therefore, the App also needs a user area where our client can review the details of their subscription.
Many Apps allow some degree of interaction with social media, for example, using social media registration for App registration or allowing users to publish App content on their social media profiles. This is very useful when you want your message to circulate on social media.
Rating system: many Apps allow users to express an opinion, which will be published in the store. Then there is the Purchases part, i.e., the possibility of buying products and services through the App, which requires, for example, having an App with e-commerce and the ability to manage online commercial transactions by interacting with users’ payment systems. Another very important element is geolocation, i.e., allowing to understand where the user’s mobile phone is physically located, which could be useful for a whole range of services.
How to create Apps
Nowadays, you can create Apps by turning to professionals for the best results, or if you want to start with something simple, you can try drag & drop portals, without expecting great results: for example, simple Apps that connect to your website and allow minimal interaction. Prices vary greatly, from around 700 euros for very simple DIY Apps to hundreds of thousands of euros for more complex but certainly impactful solutions.
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