The Cost of App Development Part 3: App Category

So we reach the final leg of our app development mini-tour. We’ve already covered the types of app you can make and have broken down the rough stages of app development, now it’s on to the scary part; the money.

Many businesses, especially larger corporations who are not as in touch with the fast moving technology world as some of their smaller, faster counterparts are shocked to learn the true costs of developing an app.

Despite the appearance of being small and simple, app development is still an expensive pursuit. For example, everyone’s favourite app Angry Birds cost somewhere in the region of $150,000 to make, which is not a sum of money to sniff at. There are a lot of factors that decide just how much an app development project is going to cost though, and one of the main ones is what category of app it is.

What It Really Costs

If we look at the list we made in the first blog of this series, we can see where the costs come in.

Basic Table – There are simple apps, and as such are usually (relatively) inexpensive to make and will sit around $1000 – $4000. The main costs from this will come from adding extra features like GPS, Social media integration etc etc.

Database driven with UI – As these apps are more visually impressive and have more complex navigation this automatically adds nearly double the costs to the development from the get go and this sort of app can easily reach over $30,000 throughout its development lifecycle but can begin at just under $10,000. The main cost comes from the front heavy nature of the app and getting all the various parts working together under the hood.

Games – These are the bad boys of app development costs, ranging from the manageable at around $10,000 all the way into major league money at over $100,000. The complexity of the game has a major influence on how expensive it is of course, but even simpler games that use any kind of physics engine or complex calculations will not be cheap. And even if you really try to keep it simple, games can still get complex very quickly when you start adding in features like leader-boards, social integration and other features for players to interact with each other. There is an advantage to all this cost though, as the highest grossing apps across all the app stores are games. Risk vs reward, as always.

Mods – Usually relatively simple, but bug fixing and testing for these apps can be especially pernickety as you’re dealing with hardware as well as software which can cause price increases, but otherwise it’s probably safe to ballpark around $1000 – $5000 for these apps.

Dynamic – These apps incur most of their costs not from the front end stuff like games and such like, but from the backend programming as they rely very heavily on the internet and information databases for most of their features, which means that the server side of these apps has to be robust. That aside, it’s mostly, as always, about how complex you want the app to be. The simpler it is, the cheaper it is and you can probably expect prices from around $3000-$15,000.

Of course, all of these prices are ballparks and they range wildly depending on whether you’re developing for a single OS or cross platform, how complex your app is and the size and speed of your team and your work.

In nearly all of these apps though, there will be some server side programming that can take a while to do, and be frustrating for a programmer who isn’t very familiar with server side work. That’s where Kumulos and our Mobile Backend as a Service come in.

We provide an easy to use, powerful Mobile Backend that means you can have a working backend for your app in no time at all and, with a killer price we can save you time and money with your app development in a way that no other service can.

So if you’re an app developer, why not give us a FREE spin today and see what Kumulos can do for you?

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