These days, mobile apps are an integral part of our lives. We can get anything with just a few clicks of a mobile app. App industry doesn’t stop here. Mobile apps are now entered in the business world. A recent survey found that many companies are planning to build a mobile app and if so, enterprise mobile app development will outpace desktop application development. But, there are some surprises along the way. As more and more companies enter into mobile application development for the first time, many commit a crucial mistake- they go into the process with a limited knowledge of the true expenses of building up a mobile application.
Most of them believe that development cost starts and ends with the developer. But it is not true. The fact is something different from this. When building a feature rich custom mobile app to achieve your business goals- there is no such thing like cheap, app builder tools or get the app in just 2-3 days. If you’re thinking of investing in mobile app development, you must know details about it’s expenses. Having a good knowledge of required costs would be a best way to avoid financial issues later on. But before we see the details of these unexpected cost, let us differentiate between mobile app types.
Types Of Mobile Applications-
There are three types of mobile applications-
- Mobile web app- These kinds of apps are generally referred to as an “HTML5 app”. These are cross-platform apps that are accessed through a device’s web browser.
- Native app- Native apps are those apps that are installed on the device itself and distributed via platform’s app store/market.
- Hybrid app- These kinds of apps are the combinations of two apps- Native app and mobile web app. They look and feel like a native app, but are web apps in native wrapper.
Let’s get started with secret costs in mobile app development.
Types Of Secret Costs In Mobile App Development-
1. Functional Cost-
Functional cost is the cost of implementing an app’s functionality. To work a specific functionality, you need to subscribe to a service that provides a delivery mechanism. There can be a “n” number of services used by applications. As for the cost of these services, it might be hundreds or even thousands of dollars for every month. Push notifications, email, social media integrations, and also sms notification are some examples of paid services.
2. Administrative Cost-
Administrative services provide you continuous access to data so that you can update application’s content and manage users without need of the IT department. It is difficult to predict the cost of administrative services because it depends on the type of mobile app that you are developing. These costs increases, and you’ll need to pay them on an ongoing basis to keep apps alive on a platform. Dashboard emulators, functional services management, dynamic updates, access controls, data segmentation, analytics/event collectors are some of the examples of paid administrative services
3. IT Support Cost-
IT support services/Continuous technical support is important for maintenance of any kind of application. And you can’t make a high quality app without this. Just an issue is that support costs increase with time. API maintenance, bug fixing, app update submissions, ios and android updates, are examples of IT support services.
4. Infrastructure Cost-
Infrastructure costs incorporate costs for data delivery, application hosting and data storage. These services need redundancies and load balancers for security servers and backup. Data storage, image data, servers, content delivery networks, development tools, libraries and support are some of the examples of infrastructure cost.
10 Secret Costs In Mobile App Development-
1. Cost Of Application Design-
Before going in detail of app development, you should decide the level of UI/UX that you’d like to have- Bare(simple with just main functionality), stock(app like most of the apps on store), custom(good design with unique icons, buttons, backgrounds, gestures). Most of the companies assume that app developer will handle the design as well. But it is a big mistake. A good designer is necessary for a mobile app’s success. Why?
A confusing interface and poorly designed app are the main reasons of uninstalling the app by users. So must invest in a good designer. If you want to test the app idea, develop an MVP first, see the results and then go further.
Also know- Top 10 mobile app UI/UX design trends in 2020.
2. Publishing App To App Store-
Most of the companies don’t realize that publishing/ keeping an app in app store is not free. Microsoft and apple charge $99 per year whereas, google charges a one time $25 fee. Remember that before your app get published on app store, it has to go through the approval process. And this may take extra time with some extra app development cost. Why? Because, if your app doesn’t meet the app store requirements and guidelines- it will not be accepted by app store. So you need to do some changes in the app so as to get it approved. Additional changes always implies additional costs. This only applies to native and hybrid apps because mobile web apps are not distributed via app store/market.
3. Cost Due To Change In Requirement-
At the initial stage, cost estimation is given on the basis of initial specifications. But sometimes, there is possibility of change in specifications because business users want extra features or others want to change the design. And each change increases the cost. Underestimating what developer or a development company will end up costing can be a biggest mistake. Generally, they came with a reasonable estimate, but many projects take much longer because of various changes/updates that need to be done. This cost varies by the type and amount of changes in mid of the project.
4. Cost For App Accessibility On Multiple Platforms-
Each mobile platform needs its own programming language. Native ios app will not work on Android and vice versa. If you opt for native development , you need both ios and android developers, so the mobile app development cost will increase. This is applied to only native applications. Hybrid applications are built with web technologies and run on various platforms.
5. Cost For Hosting And Backend-
Once your application is ready, you have to store and deal with its data somewhere. This will be another cost of app development. Generally all data (including videos, photos, locations etc) is stored on servers. Servers run software which takes requests, processes them and returns a response. Mostly each mobile app has a backend server. For data storage, developers prefer to use cloud services. You can use mobile backend as a service (mBaaS)solutions or Amazon web services. But if you plan more hosted content and operations going through the server, it is good to build your own independent backend. The price of dedicated hosting varies from $77 up to $112 monthly.
6. Testing Cost-
Testing is an important phase of every app development. Without appropriate testing you are at risk of launching app with low quality and it will affect the app’s performance and UX. You must text an app to ensure that application is working properly on multiple operating systems, devices and screen resolutions. Thorough testing with lots of people, ensures that people are finding the app valuable. Many companies think that they can spend less time on testing and let just a couple of users to go through app and ensure that everything is working fine. But, proper testing includes a lots of users testing the app for bugs and usability. And surely it will cost more money but helpful to avoid upcoming problems.
Know the effective considerations for mobile app testing at- Important Considerations For Mobile App Testing.
7. Cost Of App Maintenance-
Any app or a website needs regular updates, maintenance, and technical support. However, not all app development organizations give support services. So prior to making an agreement for application development, confirm that an organization will deal with the application after its launch. App maintenance is necessary to fix the bugs and issues that show up over the time or the issues that weren’t found before the app launch. Also it is necessary to set up your app for the next operating system versions. According to statistics, cost of app maintenance takes up to 20% of an application’s total budget yearly.
8. Marketing Cost-
Only good development and testing of app is not enough to succeed. Even though a product is well built, it still needs to beat its competitors. A recent survey states that, 25% of mobile apps are only opened once. Generally it is due to poor marketing. You must ensure that the target audience can see, try and like your app. Planning of campaigns and marketing strategies is important to increase your app downloads. One can use app store optimization for a free marketing approach. It is one of the simple way to generate organic traffic. ASO uses a set of keywords with product name, text description and visual design components to grab the attention of the target audience. Basic PR and marketing support costs nearly $5000 to $10,000 a month.
9. App Security-
It is one of the most important concern of application. Users have to trust your app with their personal information. So you must plan a proper security plan. Let’s have a look at things that you must know before making a security plan with your team-
- Minimize the access permissions in your app. Don’t offer access to contacts or camera unnecessarily.
- Ensure the security third party frameworks and libraries that your development team want to use.
- Make sure that the development team reviews code regularly.
If you include these important activities in the development process, it will surely give you a secured app and the cost will also go up.
Know an amazing best practices for mobile app security at- Best Practices For Mobile App Security in 2020.
10. Cost Of Software License-
Your app developers may need to use various SDKs and libraries. Most of them are free and open source, but some are paid. Such software lets developers reduce the time they need to implement features. For example, your app requires flexible search, a feature that allows users to search anything they need by various parameters like name and location. Development team can build such functionality from scratch but will take more time, nearly 100 hours. And a developer’s rate depends on the region and company. So to save some money and time, it’s common to use paid solutions. By paying a software license cost, you can reduce the development cost. Before making any decision consult with experts.
Mobile app development is not an easy task as it seems. It’s complexity varies as per your requirement, features, design and app size. From the above points you came to know the important parameters that might increase your app cost. So before contracting with an app development company, you need to discuss all these costs. It might help you to plan expenses more accurately.
If you are planning to develop an app for your business, consult with solace experts. We have a dedicated team of android developers, ios developers and flutter developers to help you through development with latest features. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for cost effective app development with latest features. We will be happy to help you.