What are the different types of mobile apps?
Before you go hunting for mobile app development companies, it’s good to have some basic understanding of the various mobile apps and its types, so as to be clear about your app requirements.
The coding methodology used for native apps is such that these types of apps become platform-specific. A native iOS app developed will work on only iOS platform and the vice-versa is also true.
The app developers use some specific tools and languages to develop a native mobile app that is supported only by the respective operating system. A native app is normally much faster and has more features as compared to the other two.
You should opt for these kinds of apps only if you need to make use of the lightening processing speed in your app or a large chunk of your targeted users are using a specific Operating system.
PWAs or Progressive Web Apps are web applications that give a mobile-like experience to the user.
No requirement of storage space on the device, SEO friendliness, low cost, speed of development and versatility to work with various screen sizes and devices are the benefits that have made PWAs popular.
PWAs are ideal for businesses looking to provide a similar experience to their users across multiple devices at an economical cost.
These apps are platform-independent and they work well on both iOS as well as Android platforms.
They provide versatility to the app as a hybrid app can be easily accessible across many platforms and operating systems.
If you want to reach the maximum number of people quickly, then a hybrid app will be your go-to option.
What are the benefits of Outsourcing mobile app development services?
Although you can always choose to develop your app in-house, there are many reasons to outsource app development.
Saves you from the hassle of hiring and managing a team
If you are starting from scratch, then assembling an efficient in-house app development team can prove to be quite a task. It’s much easier to hire a professional app development firm that is already established in the market as a reputed app developer. Also the time taken to build a team can be used more effectively by using it to improve the business processes.
Gain better ROI by saving costs
By outsourcing app development services, you will save money not only on hiring an in-house team but also on the time and money required to set up the relevant infrastructure. Your mobile app development partner will already have the systems and resources required to develop a mobile app and you won’t need to break any bank installing them.
Faster time to market
As professional app development companies are proficient in their work and hence can easily ensure that your app gets to the market at a lightning-fast speed.
Round the clock support
Expert mobile app developers efficiently handle every issue that arises in the app development process right from commencing the ideation phase to the execution stage.
Access to a broad talent pool
One of the most important benefits that you gain by outsourcing is that you will have access to the best app development firms all around the world. While if you decide to hire an in-house team, then the talent at your disposal will be a limited one pertaining to the app developers you have hired as your in-house team.
Few things to consider before approaching an App Development Company
Location of the company
You can classify mobile app development companies based on their location into three categories;
Onshore companies are located in your country. The advantage of giving your work to an onshore company is that you will have the benefit of working in the same time zone, culture and language. For instance, if your business is located in USA, there is a high probability that onshore app development will cost you dearly.
Nearshore companies are those that are located near your home country. For the US, Latin American countries like Argentina and Brazil will be nearshore locations. With nearshore companies, you can have a better balance between time zone and cost for development services.
Offshore companies are located far away, often in different time zones. For a company located in USA, the offshore destinations would be Ukraine, India and the Philippines. The major benefit that these companies provide is that of cost, you can have your app development requirements taken care off at significantly lower prices.
While you are in pursuit of your ideal app development company, look for one that has previously worked in the same industry in which you wish to develop your app. This provides an assurance that the app development service provider already knows certain things about the industry and hence will be able to provide valuable inputs.
Working hours and Communication
Before you zero-in on a team of mobile app developers ensure that you and your team have the maximum number of overlapping working hours. This will help in having a direct communication on any matter and thus saving more time.
The communication protocols should be defined clearly as this leads to confusion in the later stages as the mobile app project progresses. Decide the mode and time of communication with your app development firm so that you can be clear about the expectations right from the initial stage.
Various types of app development Pricing models
Ask your app developer to give you a detailed break-up of the costs involved in the app development process. Ensure to have clarity regarding the app maintenance costs as well as the app publishing costs.
Most of the top app development companies will charge you on an hourly basis or on a monthly basis. You can also opt to make the payment on a lumpsum basis, only if the scope of the app development project is clearly defined with a clear timeframe. Otherwise we suggest that you go for an hourly/monthly based cost structure.
Let us have a look at the various app pricing models.
Fixed price model
In the fixed-price model, the cost of the entire project is fixed beforehand. To achieve this, you need to have a fixed scope of the project which includes the technical specifications and date of delivery.
This helps in getting a more precise estimation of the costs related to app development. The milestones are set along with their deadlines, and these milestones act as payment triggers.
This kind of model is suitable only when the scope of the project is set in stone because if you change the scope frequently then you will need to re-negotiate the cost & time, and this will cause hassle to both you and your developers. This model is apt when the project is small and all the technical specifications are fixed.
Time and material model
In this model, the app development firms charge you according to the number of hours that are spent on developing your app along with the cost of materials that they spend to develop your app.
The model is nimble and allows you to change the scope of work quickly. If you want to add a new feature that was not in the scope earlier, then you can pay an additional amount for developing this new feature. Another benefit that this model accords to you is that the development team will be assigned with the continuous delivery of the project. This will ensure that you are always informed about the cost of app development.
This model is recommended when the project is complex as you will have a great level of flexibility with this model and the mobile app development cost won’t escalate without you noticing about it.
In this pricing model, you hire dedicated resources like UI/UX designers, developers, and testers for your project. The billing is normally on the basis of the number of hours that these resources work on your project. The major advantage of this model is that you retain control over the team and can decide on choosing the team members according to their expertise level. This way you will have a greater control over managing the cost related to developing a mobile app.
This model is especially helpful when you are doing a project for which the scope is dynamic.
Factors affecting the app development cost
The cost of your project depends on a lot of factors, some of the most important ones are included below
Type of Platform
The cost varies according to the platform on which you want to develop your app. For instance, ios development is costlier as compared to Android and Hybrid development.
Level of complexity
The higher the level of complexity, the more will be the requirement of complex backend functionalities like large databases, more storage space. While a simple app costs $3000-8000 a more complex app will cost around $50,000-$150,000 and a gaming app can cost anywhere between $10,000-$250,000.
Level of security
The level of encryption that you choose will have an overbearing effect on the costs incurred. The nature of the information that you gather and the number of users you intend to reach decides the level of security required. For instance, a banking app will require more robust security as opposed to other types of apps as sensitive financial information will be managed through the app.
Number of plugins & integration
To boost the capabilities of their apps, many businesses need to use third-party plugins. Social media plugins are the most common type of plugins used in many apps. The top mobile app developers need to code APIs to ensure that these plugins work seamlessly with all the intended devices. The more the number of plugins and integrations, the higher will be the cost.
The costs of developing an app fluctuate depending on the geographical location of your service provider. The average hourly rate of developing an app in North America is $70, in Eastern Europe it is $35 while the Indian app developers will take $30 to develop the app.
The Cost and Time taken to develop an app
The time taken to develop an app and the cost involved with developing a mobile app depends on various factors and hence varies from app-to-app. But every app development follows a definite process and what changes is the number of iterations of the development cycle.
Every app development cycle has these 5 basis steps:
Research and Analysis
Coding and Implementation
App Launch and maintenance
We can further bifurcate mobile apps on the basis of time and cost factor;
- Simple Apps: These apps will cost you anything from $ 5,000-$50,000 and take 30-90 days to develop.
- Complex Apps: A complex app with more features will cost $55,000-$110,000 and take 100-180 days to develop.
There are apps for which the time and cost go even higher than complex apps with respect to the technologies to be embedded, complexity of the app, app features and functionalities to be integrated act the major deciding factors.
Questions to ask to your mobile app development service provider
While selecting from a list of top app development companies with varying expertise, development skill, and productivity, you need to ask the following questions to the firms to have a better insight with refining the list further.
Can you please show me your work previous work?
Have a look at the previously completed projects of the app development solutions provider to have an idea about their expertise level. Talk to a few clients if possible, this way you will get to know how the mobile app development firms execute that particular project.
What are the credentials of your app development team?
The team for a project generally consists of a team of UI/UX designers, developers (frontend and backend), QA testers, and a project manager. Make it a point to know the credentials of the team, the mobile app development projects that they have worked on. Ask for a dedicated project manager, this way you will have only one contact point with whom you shall discuss your requirements.
What technologies can you work on?
It is always good to keep an eye on the future while working with mobile app development companies that are well versed with a wide range of technologies like big data, virtual reality, and augmented reality. This is important because if the need arises in the future, then you do not need to go looking for another team of app developers.
What app development methodology do you follow in your company? And based on the methodology can you provide a definite app development timeline for my project?
Your app service providers should be able to give you a definite process, which they will be following while developing your mobile app. An expert agency well-versed with the nitty-gritty of app development will be able to give you a concrete plan with well-defined time-frames for each stage in the app development process.
The Balancing Act
Before going forward, consider whether the mobile app developer you select is really the best fit for your project? Will they take an interest in the project beyond their business interests? Will they just be contractors or be app development partners in real sense?
Always weigh in the costs not only in terms of money but also in terms of time. For instance, if a company bids the lowest but can’t deliver before a couple of months past the timeline decided, then you will need to consider the lost business due to extended time.
The lure of low cost is tempting at first sight, but understand that looking at a good feature to cost ratio will benefit you while selecting the right app development company.