How Long Does It Take To Build An App?

Your online success entirely depends on the correct timing, starting your business on time, launching a great mobile app when users need it, and getting most of the market share. If you’ve ever considered mobile app development, the first and foremost question that would come into your mind is – how long does it take to build an app? 

Knowing about the average time to develop an app helps you determine the product timeline and set up a plan for your product launch. But, of course, the duration may vary based upon the choice of the project and the mobile app development process you follow.

Mobile app development has grown into a necessity for almost every business today. And every business owner is aware that in this competitive era where most people spend ample time on mobile, it is crucial to appear before them in digital form.

However, delivering an effective mobile user experience is not easy, and if you don’t understand the responsive software development process, it’s easy to lose your way. In reality, several steps are required to get your mobile product to a position where it’s all set to publish. 

The app development process includes various moving parts that can fall short of success without collaboration and communication. So that any enterprise or startup which is not aware of the app development process and is on a path of digitizing their business, this guide on how long it takes to develop an app could be beneficial for them. 

Let’s Get started! 

How Long Does it Take to Make an App?

We all know that every app is unique in its own way. Therefore, the entire mobile app development process is divided into several parts based on the requirement of the application. Additionally, there is one crucial thing you must remember that the cost of your mobile app is directly proportional to the average time taken to develop an app.

The mobile app development process involves different stages, and all of these stages need different time slots. From the planning to the launch of the application, the entire process is mutually dependent on each other and requires proper attention. It is pretty evident that apps of different sizes, features, and functionality have different app development times.

Forming Ideas And Research

The first step in the process of creating a successful mobile application is forming ideas and research. The idea creation and research part significantly affect how long it takes to build a mobile app. This phase involves starting with an idea or vision to develop an app and then exploring it for further improvements.

Another thing that includes this step is targeting the right audience. Defining the target audience helps boost the app after its launch and shapes it in the right direction. Different apps have different target audiences.

For example, Facebook has all ages on its platform, while Tinder has a younger target audience. Targeting has made these apps so successful; therefore, proper targeting, and research should be done.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the market and the application is also essential. Therefore, during the app research, one should also collect data about the competitors and potential threats, which will prepare the app owners for any complications after the app launch.

Basic research takes several weeks. However, by the end of the proper research, you should recognize all the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors, the mobile app strategies, and the well-defined target audience.

By the end of this stage, you should get these results:

    • Minimum Viable Product 
    • User Stories 
    • App Prototypes


The following critical stage to create a successful mobile application is the planning stage. Once you recognize all about your market and target audiences, it’s time to plan out the mobile app development process. The planning phase includes decisions related to the configuration of the application. These decisions involve choosing between native or hybrid, iOS or Android, Web-based app or mobile application, etc.

Once these plans are ready, it’s time to add on the features of the mobile application. Now the functionality of an application should be such that it does not complicate the application or reduce the speed. In addition, many essential features should have an application as a search bar, social media sharing buttons, access options, profile building, etc. These features make a simple application very convenient and helpful for the users.

As the size of the app grows, the functionality becomes more focused on the type of app. For example, an eCommerce application will have the “Add to cart” functionality. Similarly, social media apps have the option of media sharing and other features. So how long does it take to develop an app? All of this planning is quite complex and will take about a month. 

Design Sprints and Idea Validation

The next step while building an app is design sprints. Design sprint procedures are used to test various functionality of an application, which takes about a week to complete the entire design sprint. The idea is to test different concept components and get them authorized by a group of potential users. 

Design Sprint helps businesses recognize if users value a feature and functionality, how they use it, how easy or difficult they think it is to sail across the application, etc. 

App Development Stages

Know about the Mobile App Development Stages to determine the time taken in building an application
Mobile App Development Stages

In the development stage of the application, three elements need to be built: the UI, Front End, and Back End. Once all the planning is done, the mobile app developers and designers will work their magic and create the app. So how long does it take to build a mobile app? Well, the design and development phase takes about six weeks.

The UI of an app is taken care of by graphic designers, which gives the apps an appearance to improve the user experience. UI is essential for any app to flourish because users usually like visually appealing apps more.

Frontend and backend are also essential elements to build your application. The Front End is what users see and act on in an app, but nothing will look correct until the Back End is developed. The backend connects the user interface with the system and allows the application to function correctly. So, these are crucial things to do when the app is under development.

Let us dive a little deeper to know what both the engineering processes involve to answer the question of how long does it take to develop a mobile app:

Backend Engineering

    • Data storage
    • Users management
    • Server-side logic 
    • Data Integration
    • Versioning 

Front End Engineering:

    • Frontend logic
    • Caching
    • Synchronization
    • Wireframing 
    • UI Design 
    • UI development

Developer and QA Team

Choosing the best developers and QA team to develop an app is not a simple task. Even when you have the best team in-house, you are in continuous search of more. To help you with the search, you can either seek them locally, which is tricky or outsource the task to mobile app development companies or freelancers who will become a team under your influence. 

Apparently, the ideal alternative for creating an app is finding an existing development team with demonstrated experience in the industry and directing all the requirements. However, there are a few objects behind that:

    • Having a development team means they know each other and are strong as a group.
    • Because developers know each other, working time and speed are similar, which can minimize delays.
    • A strong development team with a project manager will help you put all your requirements on an individual (project lead/manager).

Another fantastic advantage of selecting a ready-to-work development team is that they will give you the end result and manage all the application development stages by themselves. Furthermore, skilled groups can offer you a good understanding of developing apps, guide you on refining the work process, and help you choose a native or a cross-platform app development based on your objectives.


We need to do proper testing to see whether the app will run after the development. However, we cannot deny that the app will have some bugs to fix before the final launch. These bugs can be recognized with the help of proper tests.

There are several ways and techniques to test a mobile app’s performance and functioning. The quality assurance tests are run so that users don’t get any issues when they first use the application, making it more user-friendly.

Alpha and Beta testing are performed on the application to make the error-free app. After the testing is completed, the app is launched. Post-launch, whatever feedback is collected from the users, the essential modifications are made.

Read about the benefits of mobile app for businesses

and Why to Invest in Mobile App Development

Deployment on Stores

The time it takes to submit a mobile app on Google Play Store or Apple app store can be divided into two segments: submission & review. When you deploy a mobile application, either on the Apple App Store or on the Google Play Store, there are some rules and guidelines you need to follow, like:

    • Screenshots
    • Video or Image demonstration 
    • Icons
    • App Store Optimization
    • App Descriptions 

The time app stores take for deploying your mobile applications. 

When you compare the time it takes to launch apps on the App Store to publishing them on Play Store, Apple follows a very comprehensive reviewing procedure, which increases the launch time. On the other hand, Google uses algorithms to pre-analyze your application, reducing the app launch time.

Additionally, you need to note the following important points:

    • All the different app development processes take their particular development time. 
    • Even though research stages take up about 2 to 3 weeks of development time, when done right, they can save time on a later stage and help the smooth navigation of processes. 
    • Elements that delay the mobile app development are changes made in mid-project by inexperienced developers and the use of complex technologies
    • RFPs, MVPs (minimum viable products), and Cross-platform development are inclined to accelerate the mobile app development process.

Now that we have discussed all the stages of building an application, let’s discuss how to speed up the app development process. 

How to Speed Up The Mobile Application Development Process?

Learn how to accelerate The Mobile Application Development Process
How to Speed Up Mobile App Development Process?

With the swift evolution of mobile apps, one cannot afford to delay the development process. Therefore, businesses seek mobile app developers who can build apps faster without compromising the app’s quality, whether startups or enterprises.

There are no problems without resolutions, and the same goes for the average time to develop an app. However, when it comes to startups, gathering a huge crowd is a survival objective, and mobile applications are the solution.

By now, you know how much time it takes to develop an app and what it takes to make an app? We have also learned what aspects affect the time to build an app. So, it’s time to see how we can decrease the app development time.

MVPs and Prototyping

So, how can we create a mobile application while saving time? MVPs or prototypes are an excellent way to save time. They can be built quickly and look like the original app idea. Once the MVPs are out in public, the app can be created by adding features and improving.  Many industries, such as AirBnB, MailChimp, etc., start as MVPs before the actual execution.

Go for cross-platform development

Android vs. iOS is the most extensive debate of all time, and sometimes people get so puzzled that they don’t know which one to choose. The timeline and app development costs of both platforms are relatively high. But cross-platform app development is an answer for this. With app development tools like React Native and PhoneGap, excellent multi-platform apps can be built, which take less time also.

Hire a professional developer

Hiring a professional mobile app development company to build your application is the best you can do. The app will have a fantastic UI/UX design and will take less time to develop. The hours will only be lower if you opt to outsource. When you choose a professional mobile app development company off-shore, you’ll not only get a good experience but also make your work stress-free.

Agile development

Numerous app development organizations follow agile development as it speeds up the development cycle. The primary purpose of agile app development is that businesses can’t face the challenge of starting again. In addition, it has a flexible programming structure that is perfect for open-ended communication between app owners and developers. In short, it accelerates the development process and guarantees that the application is developed promptly.

White label solutions

White label solutions are products created by one company and then rebranded and appeared like other companies. This process saves time when developing an application since there will be no need to build from scratch. However, this will not give rise to an outstanding application or generate huge traffic or sales.

Automated testing

Automated testing, although it appears a pretty obvious thing, is ignored by many. However, this type of testing is one of the significant stages of development that lessens the mobile app development cycle. The best thing about automated testing is that it can run a whole set of tests all at once, which reduces the time spent on manual testing and helps in enhancing the mobile application’s security.

Automated testing includes various testing approaches that are applied to save time. As the testing process becomes quicker, the development process also aces its speed. In addition, executing more than one testing approach can provide error-free code.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Long Does It Take To Build An App For Beginners?

On average, it takes somewhere between three and nine months to develop an application, depending on the app’s complexity and structure of your project. Each stage in the procedure takes different amounts of time to complete, but the most time-consuming of these tend to involve: Writing a project brief which takes about one or two weeks. 

How Long Does It Take To Make An App By Yourself?

You will need to develop the mobile app and also the backend for the mobile application. Therefore, all development should occur in parallel, including iOS App or Android App, and the backend. Although it can be achieved in 2 months for the smaller version, a mid-sized app can take around 3-4 months while a big-sized app might take approximately 5-6 months.

Can One Person Develop An App?

Yes, one person can build an app. However, there is no guarantee whether or not that app will be successful. Amidst all this, hiring a team of app development professionals will give you a cutting edge over others and cover the way for your app’s success.


The average time to develop an app depends on the project’s requirement and complexity, the development approach you choose, the proficiency of your team, and many other significant elements. Being responsive to all the stages contributing to app development time can optimize them and reach superior performance. 

Using the best strategies to reduce mobile app development time, you can launch a product quicker than your competitors. Thus, you get a more significant part of the market share. Hopefully, now you must have a better idea of what to expect when developing an Android app or iOS app regarding procedure and timelines.

It’s essential to remember that the more accurate the idea and objectives behind the app are before starting development, the greater are the chances of successful and timely delivery. It is also helpful to have a partner that offers continuing maintenance and support services as apps work is always in progress, whether upgrades, feature improvements, app store changes, or anything else.

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