If you ask any human being about 5 belongings they absolutely cannot live without, most of them would include a phone in their list. That is how essential mobile phones have become in our lives. Started as means of communication, they had an evolution curve that made them into fun interactive devices and with the rising connectivity infrastructure mobile devices are the biggest stream of business today.
Android owns an overwhelming three fourth of the total number of mobile users in the world with over 71% devices powered by Google owned platform. Being an open-source platform, it provides developers across the world to host their custom user interface on it. Along with wider hardware compatibility and faster approvals from the headquarters, having a large number of consumer base is the biggest attraction for companies to hire mobile app developers and businesses to opt for an android app to reach out to their potential buyers.
If you are a current user then the contrasting number in terms of total users should answer most of your questions. Having an app on a platform that has a quarter of the total mobile phone users is an easy and obvious choice.
If you are a pro and you are providing android app development services and wondering how it all started and how it still continues to be a one sided battle, let us dive deep into looking at why android is still the preferred destination for both developers as well as businesses.
The annual cost of hosting an app on apple’s App Store is four times more than a lifetime registration cost of that on android. Yes, that is how contrasting the economics are for developers and businesses. This gap does not seem to be narrowing anytime soon in the future and because of that, android will remain unchallenged as the most preferred platform for developers across the world.
As mentioned earlier, android rules the market in terms of having users. The number of downloads on android’s play store is also overwhelmingly larger compared to that of its peers. Having a consumer base that big makes it an obvious choice for developers and businesses to use android as their preferred platform for their app.
Along with mobile devices, android has penetrated into many smart devices like watches, TVs, cars & speakers. This gives users a wide range of accessibility and helps developers use the same functionality for different platforms. You can choose your devices based on your application.
All said and done, it may be a cost savvy thing to opt for android for businesses but how much does it actually cost to a developer? Well, let’s have a close look at that.
Since the tools you need to build an android app are absolutely free, all it takes for you to develop an app is your time and knowledge. While we cannot put a price tag to our knowledge, we can surely consider the time factor when we offer a quote. The standard hourly rates for developing an android app vary from $40 to $150 depending on various factors.
Based on the latest trends, the cost estimation of an android app can majorly depend on the following factors:
The very first thing you must consider before quoting is the category your app falls into. Measure the size and scale of the app i.e. the number of pages and the expected traffic on the app. Overall the apps can be divided into 2 main categories – simple and dynamic. If the functionality of the app is simple and static, you can chose predefined deployment architectures to save cost and time. This will have less customization but it will serve the purpose and make a sizable impact on the cost of the app. If it has more dynamism like third party apps integration or payment gateway integration then you will need to build all the functionalities from the scratch which will require more time.
This can pretty much define the time you will have to spend on the development of the app. It is very important to document the total required list of features. You can get a clearer idea of what features do you need from the recent mobile app development trends like integration of APIs and payment gateways, selection between custom UI or templates, integration of instant messaging and chatbots, media processing, single admin vs multi admins & many more.
This process requires continuous dialogue with the client and a thorough understanding of both the business use case and the technology to be used. After careful due considerations, you can come up with a list of curated features that the client might need and based on that you can measure the time it will take for you to incorporate all those features.
After carefully curating the features, you need to further classify the number of pages each feature will require. Although the basic look and feel of the entire app remains the same, there are some dimensional changes in each page.
The design might remain uniform throughout but the application of each page is different hence each page requires special attention. Sometimes similar pages can take days and weeks to get designed and if not done right, your app can come across as cluttered. Designing the finest user interface is just the first step. The real deal is to make the user experience as lean as possible.
Platform complexity can be of two different types – hardware and software. The hardware complexity includes the app to integrate some hardware features like GPS for navigation & gyroscope for augmented or virtual reality functions. Some apps require biometric or face recognition 2-factor authentication as well. So it is important to outline the hardware your app is going to use and the amount of time you will have to put to integrate it all into the app.
The software platform complexity involves all the dynamic features your app is going to use on various different platforms. Your app can have features like multiple admins, search engine integration, third party APIs like payment gateways etc. All this needs a very fine attention to detail and multiple platforms cost a certain amount for your apps to use them.
Apart from the design and development aspects, there are some miscellaneous costs that are almost hidden from our attention. Some key contingency costs include apt market research and analysis, support and maintenance, costs of version updates, bug elimination and continuous UX/UI enhancement.
The inconsistency of licensing fees of some third party apps plays a major role in defining the cost of the app. Sometimes it’s the testing phase that takes longer than expected. Sometimes it’s the UI that needs betterment. The reasons can be endless. If you have a clear percentage of contingency costs then it always pays off in case of any abnormality.
The cost of support and maintenance does not technically qualify as the cost of developing the app but it makes sense to consider the after sales costs like maintenance, renewal of hosting and licensing, publishing new content & regular version updates as well.
There can never be a same formula for everyone in defining the cost of development of an android app as the world of web is too big for any kind of generalization. However, there is enough data out there that suggests a range of costing if not the exact cost for android app development. Proper documentation, dialogue and timely deployment can optimize your costing.
While a basic static & informative app could take 45 to 60 days, and any android app development company in USA will quote the user anything less than $10,000. Any app that requires multiple admin panels & APIs will take at least 90 days to finish & will cost the user somewhere around $30,000 to $50,000. Any large enterprise app that has a large product and services list and a huge traffic management can cost more than $50,000 as well.
The hourly rates differ based on geographical location of the developers as well. South east asia and specially India is the preferred choice among businesses to get lowest quotes and best products. The world of communication has made it possible for people to share knowledge from anywhere to anywhere in the world for instance mobile application development services in texas can cater to their clients by promising bespoke solutions and get them done remotely from developers in the subcontinent.
There are some recurring costs that you must also consider like the transaction commission that the payment gateways take can be anything from 2% to 4% per transaction depending on the gateway. APIs like Facebook & Google too have their own share on the usage of their functionalities from your app.