Overview of Android App Development. - Cost, Process & Timeline
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Overview of Android App Development. - Cost, Process & Timeline

Sarah Scully

10 mins read

As of 2022, Android users have over 3.55 million app options, making Google Play the most preferred choice for users. The second was Apple's App Store, which had roughly 2 million iOS apps available.

Based on a research, smartphone users use their cell phone for 3–4 hours daily. They have gotten accustomed to relying on mobile apps for their daily needs, goods, and services.

Therefore, going online is essential to give your customers the necessary convenience.

But a timeline is essential to develop an app. If you decide to pursue Android development, the following timeframe is to be considered,

Strategising: 2 weeks

A product strategy encompasses a detailed plan for product development. It outlines your company's objectives and how the app helps achieve those.

It takes two weeks to create the following elements of the product strategy—

  1. Technical design documentation
  2. Product plan
  3. Estimated time frame

Designing: 4-8 weeks

Creating a mobile application design becomes easier with advanced development plans. The app design and development involve multiple phases and a relay of work. It happens due to fast-changing requirements and the rapid development of new technology.

Development: 3-12 months

Developers divide the project into sections according to their areas of expertise and begin working on each section simultaneously.

For development, backend development and frontend development are preferable options.

This lengthy phase entails fundamental tasks, aligning with design goals and adhering to coding standards. The development phase of a mobile application can take anywhere between 3 months to one year, depending on its complexity.

Test and launch: 1-3 weeks

Beta and alpha release are typically the two phases of launch preparation. The alpha testers within the company typically conduct the test of pre-release apps.

The number of end users participating in beta testing is higher than in alpha. For testing, we employ Google Play Console for Android apps and Testflight for iOS apps.

The cycle of submissions and reviews is crucial as the pre-launch phase may take two weeks or one month. The reviewing procedures for the App Store and Google Play Store vary.

Apple, for instance, has a strict review procedure. Android pre-analyses your software using an algorithm, but Apple reviews your app manually through a team of reviewers. Therefore, the submission period may take longer than 3-4 months, depending on the problem.

Let’s get into more detail, and get acquainted with what constitutes the app development time frame.

Key stages of android app development

The mobile app development process necessitates extensive planning in advance. Knowing the stages of the mobile app development process is essential for ensuring product integrity, cutting down on time to market, streamlining the app development process, and reducing app costs.

Stage 1: Idea validation

App concept validation establishes whether an investment of time, money, or effort is acceptable and suitable. Validating your app's idea ensures its profitability and makes it a market-fit product. It stops you from developing a product bound to fail.

Overall, you can attain the following three main goals by the product idea validation—

  1. Study the market
  2. Mitigate risks of failure
  3. Save time & money

Stage 2: App Strategy

Once you are done with the idea validation and understanding the market, it is time to run a comprehensive analysis phase. Utilise the information you have to conduct your plan.

Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) targets for your goals. The more specific and exact your app requirements are, the development process will ensure successful results.

Now decide the name of your app and its functionality, and allocate the necessary time, money, and resources. At this stage, a strategy for marketing, customer service, and app updates is also required to ensure its longevity.

Stage 3: Choose the right features

Be cautious and pick the features vital to your app's success. For instance, you may want to add more features after validating an app idea. Choose which of those shall begin first and then be deferred.

Depending on the team members' suggestions, you might need to adjust the project's features. This is called scope creep, which could cause the project to fail.

The product definition becomes crucial in this situation since it aids in achieving the goal and saves time.

As an illustration, incorporating social sharing functionality is desirable in connecting with users on multiple platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and others.

Stage 4: App design

This is the phase where your mobile app's appearance will take place. UX/UI designers craft your mobile app's entire look and feel that involves the following key steps —

UI design

UI design works to create the visual representation or structure of a mobile app. The UI designer works to blend different mobile app elements into the application.

They decide where you put the click button, sliders, photos, text boxes, or any other component with which the user interacts. It features animations, interface design, and every micro-interaction imaginable.

UX design

The UX design describes how a user interacts with the UI parts of your app. A UX designer connects all the UI components and provides users with easy navigation.

A thorough grasp of how a user wants to engage with the application is the sole thing a UX designer concentrates on. The list of UI design principles they adhere to is endless and includes the feedback, reuse, structure, and simplicity principles.

App wireframe

It assists in working on the ultimate design solutions. Creating wireframes is commonplace for any kind of app platform.

Your wireframes' foundation comprises the sketches created for your mobile app development. The main goal of Product wireframing is to identify potential solutions for app design. A schematic design for the app project serves as a skeleton to accurately represent an app idea.

Style guides

A style guide is a comprehensive collection of UI design guidelines for UI components and how they interact with various app products. It ensures that the numerous design teams and businesses retain uniformity.

Fonts, colours, layouts, design patterns, component libraries, visuals, dialogues, changes, buttons etc., are the elements of the UI style guide covers.

Using UI style guides in your app design is advantageous for the following reasons.

  1. Improves communication between designers and developers.
  2. It creates consistency throughout the entire app design for the UI and UX.
  3. UI designs make it simple for new designers to join the project.
  4. The app development process lets you easily keep up with UI design changes.

Mockups

Mockups, or high-fidelity designs, are the final iterations of an app's aesthetics. The style guide and wireframe are combined in these mockups to create the finished app. You can choose from a range of mock-up tools to make high-fidelity mockups.

Stage 5: App Development

App development involves three main processes.

The three fundamental elements of a mobile app are frontend development, APIs (application programming interfaces), and backend server technologies.

The components of an application that users view and interact with are referred to as the frontend, the backend is responsible for server-side programming, and the API links one application to another.

The initial step is downloading the required SDKs, tools, and other files. You can utilise a macOS, Windows, or Linux platform to set up the environment for Android development.

One of the well-known and effective app development tools is the Android SDK. It functions on the Java Development Kit. Download SDK configurations that are correct for your system.

Alternatively, using Google's Android Studio includes the Android SDK — an official IDE for creating Android applications.

Stage 6: App testing

Mobile app testing is necessary to create smooth apps without glitches and offer a better user experience. Testing not only aids in issue discovery but also highlights fresh opportunities.

It determines whether the new features are correctly accessed. A QA (Quality Analyst) Team is involved in the various testing executions. Testing has no time limit because it aims to precisely identify every problem resolved during the app development process.

Test cases cover all of the app's crucial testing stages.

There are five sections to these tests —

  1. User experience testing
  2. Functional testing
  3. Performance testing
  4. Security testing
  5. Device and platform testing

Use technology and tools for developing Android apps that can speed up the development process. The ultimate framework for an Android project will depend on the tools you select and help fulfil project requirements.

Some of the common app testing tools are as follows —

Ionic

This cross-platform tool is built on the Sass CSS language.

Native Script

A native app specifically for a given platform that lets you develop, test, and publish a mobile app.

Flutter Framework

It is written in the Dart programming language and streamlines the process of cross-platform development.

IntelliJ

It enables users to create Android apps quickly and effectively.

Factors affecting the time period of android app development

Flexible and Accessible

Often, predicting deadlines for region-specific mobile applications takes time. Especially, ecommerce and banking applications are commonly released internationally, further extending their reach. This involves modifying mobile applications that comply with the country’s legal requirements. Therefore, any bottlenecks in compliance may delay the release of mobile applications.

Decision making & information availability

Your android app development team may need collaboration at various stages, creating co-dependencies. For instance, the marketing team provides high-resolution images, the IT department provides documentation for their API, and the project management team must provide their approval stamp. This can delay decision-making due to a lack of clarity or information. This is a crucial factor in deciding the app development time.

Unexpected risks

Unanticipated project delays are often categorised as either "known" or "unknown." While the former may be managed, the latter is out of hand. As the project progresses, they are almost inevitable.

Unanticipated dangers may arise from a variety of sources, like shifts in the market or government regulation. You’d need to anticipate such a problem and plan mobile app project timelines accordingly.

Features

The more features, the more time it will take to launch. Your mobile app development team will deal with functional complexity and delayed deliverables. Integrating the QR feature or adding a secured payment gateway can consume more time. A comprehensive ecommerce application can extend the timeline.

Third-party integrations

Technological integration with outside parties might sometimes hit a snag due to unforeseen complications. Be cautious while adopting any new tool and technology as its integration might be difficult when developing bespoke applications.

Therefore, it is best to consider the challenges of adopting third-party, cutting-edge plugins, tools and other integrations. Inappropriate technology use and faulty interfacing with hardware or operating systems can create issues.

Such issues require well-experienced project managers and system analysts to find the best possible solution. You can also consult the software development team to know about the possible risks with your choice of technologies.

Losing out team members

The project will be delayed if a key member leaves in the middle of its completion. If you recruit someone, it will take time for them to learn about the project and develop a working relationship with the rest of the team. Also, productivity may fall.

Project managers and businesses may prevent this problem by ensuring the existing team member stays on board to completion. Hiring a replacement should be a high priority if an employee is departing. More importantly, the business has to be prepared for when this inevitably occurs.

Latest android app development tools & technologies to fasten up the development time

A highly competitive android app development market demands speedier deliverables and uncompromised quality. Therefore, adopting some highly powerful android app development tools and technologies is inevitable. You can surely instruct your partnered Android app development company to use these helpful resources and speed up the whole app development process.

Here are some key tools to consider for speedier android app development.

Butterknife

This is a robust resource to make your repetitive code more efficient and readable. This technology is helpful for businesses looking to speed up the app development process.

Appcelerator

This is free and open-source software to speed up android app development that helps create an app which interacts with hardware. Its framework allows you to build native applications for iOS, Android easily, and Windows UWP simply by using JavaScript, PHP, and HTML.

MoSync

Use MoSync since it offers a free, cross-platform toolkit for building mobile applications in Ruby, Python, JavaScript, and PHP. It's compatible with Eclipse, a popular IDE, and enables writing native mobile apps in C/C++ for various platforms.

Hierarchy Viewer

App developers can adopt Hierarchy Viewer to discover the application tree and find bugs in preparation for testing and debugging. This tool, included in the Android SDK, enables consolidating and eliminating unnecessary code. In all, it speeds up the app development process.

PhoneGap

Open-source mobile application development framework PhoneGap (formerly Apache Cordova) employs HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to craft native apps for Android. This framework helps you write apps that share characteristics with both native mobile apps and web-based apps.

Android app development cost

You may determine the price of building a mobile app by looking at the rates of your developers. An app would cost €25,000 for a project that requires 500 developer hours at a rate of €50/hour.

Determining developing hours is tough as it varies depending on your app's complexity and type of features. The price of creating a mobile app can be determined as follows;

Basic app

A basic app might not need a backend or a network connection and could be simple with five to six pages.

Development Cost: around €10,000

Timeline - 1-2 months

Data-Driven Apps

Data-driven apps require a robust backend database, like calendars, weather updates, stock information, and maps. Due to its capacity to interface with third-party services and the requirement to manage and monitor the database, the cost of it would be higher than the basic ones.

Cost: between €15000 to €20000

Timeline: 2 to 2.5 months

Social Network App

Social networking websites with social interactions, newsfeeds, and networking features may require ongoing assistance from a backend infrastructure. Such apps begin with a minimal viable product (MVP) that contains a few key features.

Cost of the app: €55000 to €150000

Timeline - 4 to 7 months

Authentication app

Google Drive and McDonald's Loyalty App are the top authentication apps. You must log in to use the program's full functionality. A professional development team can finish the project with authentication and login functionality, enhancing the cost of the application.

Cost of the app: Around €60000

Timeline: 3 to 4 months

On-demand apps

On-demand services like Uber and Grubhub connect customers with service providers and meet their immediate needs. Such apps need financing, combining aspects of eCommerce applications and social network services.

Cost: between €75000 to €100000

Timeline: 6 to 7 months

FAQs

Q.1 How long does it take to develop a mobile app?

You can assume that your app will be up and ready within 4-6 months if you adopt the Lean Startup methodology and release an MVP to market.

Q.2 What distinguishes native app development from cross-platform development?

We use the standard language and IDE for iOS and Android when developing native apps, namely Objective C/Swift with xCode for iOS and Java/Kotlin with Android studio for Android.

Cross-platform technology offers a framework that allows for only one round of writing, but it also enables the deployment of iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps.

Q.3 How much does it cost to build an Android application?

The complexity of the app is a crucial factor. Variables like the number of screens, the need for APIs, user profiles etc., can impact mobile app development costs.

Which kind of application, native, cross-platform, or hybrid, do you wish to create? The location and costs of your partner firm will also determine the cost.

Wrapping up

User feedback can serve a great purpose once you launch the android application. However, if you are creating an app for the first time, it is best to hire a dedicated mobile app developer to work on your app idea.

In any case, it is ideal to hire a well-known Android application development company in Ireland and discuss the app idea. An experienced team of android app developers can share a reasonable timeline that follows a standard process and leaves a scope for improvement at each phase.

Want to create a customised Android app for your business? Talk to us

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Betina Isted

Expert business analyst

Betina Isted