A well-elaborated app will serve as a fully-fledged and powerful engine for your company. It will help you capture new prospects, enhance client retention and strengthen their commitment, and amplify turnover. Nowadays, even non-tech startups at their nascent stages can afford this kind of solution. However, some organizations are still resistant to ordering one. This conviction primarily arises from inertia and reasonings related to the apparent intricacy and protracted span of the app development timeline. In this piece, we are going to clarify some aspects regarding the general duration of various app development stages, taking into account that your goal is obtaining a stellar product without delay.
Why is having an app a must these days?
The following statistics confirm a self-evident truth — mobile development services are now a must for organizations, even non-technology ones.
- In 2023, global mobile app revenues are expected to top $526 billion.
- At the moment, there are around 15 billion handheld devices globally, while the number of smartphone users, according to Statista, exceeds 6 billion (here, it’s important to understand that “users” does not necessarily mean “owners”). That’s the vast majority of the world’s population!
- As of the end of 2022, the number of Google Play titles topped 3.5 million, while the App Store offered over 1.6 million items.
- On average, present-day touchscreen phones now have roughly 80 apps installed on them.
- As a rule, modern smartphone owners use approximately nine programs on a daily basis and up to 30 every month.
- A typical American now spends four hours and twenty-three minutes on their cell phones (hours and minutes spent on talking are not counted in).
- The market share belonging to handheld devices is much more impressive than the share of PCs. And it will continue to grow.
According to the statistics presented above, a mounting quantity of businesses is ordering apps and starting to use them to perform their operations better. Undoubtedly, there are various compelling reasons behind this trend. For instance, back in 2018, small company owners in the United States stressed the following perks of mobile development for their ventures:
- App development for small business contributes to “social integration”,
- They facilitate great payment methods,
- Entrepreneurs who leverage these capabilities are in a better position to communicate with their audiences,
- Finally, thanks to these programs, client loyalty rates are increased.
In other words, turning to a professional mobile development company is advantageous. But how extended would your IT initiative’s timeline be?
App development stages: what is the estimated timeline?
On the one hand, the answer is obvious. Provided that your company is growing and thriving, the development process will be perpetual. Ask yourself: what is the estimated timeline for building a city? Well, the truth is that successful cities never stop expanding and changing. The same principle governs an app development process. There will always be new upgrades, the desire to add state-of-the-art capabilities, and demands to satisfy.
On the other hand, there is still a typical estimate for your app development timeline. Generally, if you plan to offer your target audience a well-functioning tool with the most needed functionality, you should expect the job to take between six and nine months.
What is the logic behind this statement? Let us look at the details more closely. Briefly speaking, any app development process can be divided into five core stages.
This phase encompasses translating your rough idea into a coherent and feasible concept grounded on customer requirements, industry trends, and prominent benchmarks. It is one of the shortest stages and normally lasts up to four weeks. One of the best things a team can do at this point is to develop an uncluttered MVP serving as a prototype to test comprehensively and extensively. If you do so, your odds of quickly going through the subsequent app development stages will be much higher. We at Andersen fully realize the importance of this step and have gained substantial experience in building cross-functional MVPs.
Design and specifications
At this point, you have the visual style of your program crafted with its core UI/UX elements. Furthermore, a detailed list of features is drawn up, with performance scope and attributes. This step might take about four or five weeks.
Below are the key deliverables that are unique for this phase and aren’t provided at other stages:
- User journey,
- A list of functions together with consumer needs these functions will meet,
- Visual appearance and brand identity - in other words, a comprehensive style guide,
- Documentation covering each of the features and the way your future platform is linked to your website,
- Project roadmap, i.e. a high-level plan that outlines the major goals, timeline and stages, the needed resources, expected deliverables, possible risks and mitigation strategies, as well as the channels and procedures for communicating the results to concerned parties.
This is the coding work to launch your platform. Out of all the phases of app development, this is the most time-consuming one since it creates the digital architecture of your system. As our experience says, it may last up to six months.
In essence, it is grounded on two aspects of equal significance. The first one is your front-end covering what your future audience will see. In the contemporary tech-driven world, one needs to be totally sure that the results are compatible with every popular browser, device, screen, and dimension. Hence, any actions taken concerning this part should be deliberate and thorough.
The second one is your back-end ensuring that your idea is technically viable. As long as you have a detailed and realistic project map at your disposal, coding sprints normally achieve their goals. However, proficient PMs have to regularly “scan” the code for errors and bugs.
This step is aimed at identifying potential issues in terms of usability, running speed, data load, etc. In contrast with the rest of the stages, your core priority here is to thoroughly check your system as a whole. As with the discovery, this is one of the shortest stages with a timeline that encompasses roughly a month-long scope of work.
Support, maintenance, and upgrades
As we have previously pointed out, your solution will never be one hundred percent finalized. Markets never cease to change, technology never stops evolving. As a result, even if you feel satisfied with what you are about to launch, there is no guarantee that these deliverables will stay adequate and competitive in a year. Therefore, regular updates and professional maintenance of your product, including the incorporation of user feedback to revamp it so that it continues bringing value to consumers, are actually some of the most valuable app development tips.
Key takeaways on the app development timeline
As you can see, there is nothing impossible in obtaining a well-functioning app for your business. Yes, it will take time - probably, its timeline will be more extended than you suppose right now. However, going through all its stages is still a short-term challenge you can handle. To create your solution, you need to carefully choose an IT outsourcing company with the requisite skills and experience.
Our team of well-versed experts welcomes you to discover for yourself the potential of Andersen in custom mobile development. On our site, we offer a calculator that enables you to obtain cost and timeline estimates and start crafting your tailor-fit app ASAP. Whether it is an uncomplicated cross-platform MVP or a convoluted system with vast amounts of data and impeccable security, it will be delivered on time!
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