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How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App?

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Mobile apps take time to develop. The process consists of several stages that also take time to accomplish. In general, simpler apps take less time than more complex ones. However, the total time will depend on how quickly and efficiently your dev team goes through the stages. Let’s take a closer look at each of these stage.

Ideation and Research (One Month)

The ideation and research stage takes at least one month even for simpler apps. More complex apps take a longer time. And this process is more than just checking whether your idea will work.

The ideation and research stage is about gaining a full understanding of the market, audience, their pain points, and how the app’s success should look like.

By the end of this stage, you should be clear about three things:

  • Minimum Viable Product – the most basic functions/tasks your app will do.
  • User Stories – how your audience will use the apps and what for.
  • App prototype – an app designed around the most important features and functions.

You can’t move to the next stage without having a clear definition of these three things.

Design Sprints and Idea Validation (Three Months)

Design sprints test different aspects of your application. Together with validation, the process can take six weeks to three months.

If you skip sprints and validation, you’ll most like encounter problems and issues down the road.

If you want to add a certain feature, you can do so in this stage, where users can also provide feedback and insights. They can tell you if the feature is helpful or unnecessary, or if it’s easy to use, etc.

Development and Prototyping (Three Months)

Rapid prototyping can be done alongside design sprints as you build different versions of the apps. The development and prototyping stage can last up to three months for simpler apps.

Mobile app development teams need prototyping to save them time. They wouldn’t submit a final build and then learn they need to make any changes. Instead, they develop and make changes in the most efficient way.

Store Deployment (Two Weeks)

The deployment process consists of two steps: submitting your app to either the App Store or Google Play Store and awaiting review.

Upon submission, you must provide the following:

  • Company and contact info
  • Screenshots
  • Descriptions
  • Icons
  • Demonstrations

The review process is longer in the App Store. Apple performs the review using a team of reviewers, whereas the Google Play Store uses algorithms to review the apps for obvious violations.

App Support and Improvement (Ongoing)

App support and improvement are ongoing processes. Because at this stage, actual users are using the app and are likely going to discover issues, bugs, and technical problems your team has missed.

You will also add, remove, update, or upgrade features on the app as more users use it. Continuous improvements will proceed based on app ideas and features, which could take any length of time and money to develop.

Overall, the development process is thorough and meticulous. You can’t skip stages and you can’t rush through them if you want to achieve the best form of success for your mobile app.

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