how much do apps cost to build

In this blog, we’ll discuss in detail what is mobile app development and how much apps cost to build. 

The assistance these mobile apps provide has become an integral part of our lives. 

With the entry of on-demand apps, we have started living a much calmer and more comfortable life. 

Through these difficult times when the whole world is battling with a pandemic, these apps helped us a great deal to transition our lives from the old lifestyle to the new normal lifestyle. 

This blog discusses all the necessary aspects revolving around mobile app development and enlightens you with all the ongoing trends in this department. 

Let us begin. 

What is mobile app development? 

Mobile app development is creating software for smartphones and digital assistants, mainly Android and iOS. 

The software can be accessed through various platforms like

  • Downloads from a mobile app, 
  • It can be Pre-installed (Utility apps like calendars, alarm clocks, etc.)
  • It can be downloaded from a mobile web browser.

What are the benefits of installing a mobile app in today’s world? 

Well, no device is complete without applications present in them. Mobile Apps are like cells to a mobile phone. They run the device with their features.

In this world of technology, we are driven by multiple apps every day. Our day starts with an app and ends with another. 

From communication to travel, we function with the help of an app each day. 

Want to connect with someone? Drop a text on WhatsApp, and your work is done.

Can’t connect with your team members during this lockdown? Share a zoom link and discuss endless details over the call. 

Our whole lifecycle has become entirely dependent on the services these apps provide. 

With numerous trends surfacing online, these apps have become the sole pathway between the user and the service they want to avail themselves of.

For example:

If you wish to buy medicines online, download the pocket pharmacy, and your prescribed medicines will reach your doorstep. 


Are you experiencing stress and anxiety and can’t sleep because of it?

You are free to download Calm as your mindfulness app, and you can correctly battle your anxiety.

The Three Types of Mobile Apps: Native, Hybrid, and Web

In order to determine how much apps cost to build, we need to rectify the types of apps available to us. The more complex the app is, the more costly it will become to establish.

To help you understand the core of mobile app development, we have listed the three main types of mobile apps below. 

Native Mobile Apps:

Native mobile applications are designed to adhere to only one platform. It can be Apple iOS, Google Android, or Windows Phone. 

These mobile apps primarily focus on the user’s experience and look for ways to enhance them further. 

As it was developed specifically for the platform, it operates more quickly and stays “native” to its platform. 

Examples of native apps are as follows

  • Instagram,
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Shazam,
  • Twitter
  • Pokemon Go
  • Coinbase
  • Spotify 

The cost to create a native App can fall anywhere between $10,000 to $100,00 depending upon the number of months it takes.

In the case of Android / iOS development, the process will charge from $50 to $150 per hour.

If you plan to prepare the app for both iOS and Android, you will have to make two separate versions of the project.

Hybrid Mobile Apps:

As for Hybrid apps, the apps are developed through HTML5 programming language and run through web browsers. 

On the other hand, hybrid apps operate at a slower pace than traditional native apps. But they also accommodate a greater platform for streamlining the whole process. 

Because you don’t have to build and maintain apps for separate platforms, your business can save time and resources.

It’s ideal for apps that primarily deliver content.

A few types of hybrid apps are

  • Sworkit (built with PhoneGap)
  • Untappd (built with PhoneGap)
  • Giro D’Italia official app (built with Onsen UI)
  • Offcourse Golf (built with Onsen UI)
  • Tripline (built with Framework 7)

The cost of developing a hybrid mobile app depends on a number of factors. Starting from 

  • choice of development platform
  • The location of the development team 
  • The complexity of the app
  • Scalability of the app.

So on average, the cost can range from $5000-1,00,000

Web Apps:

Web apps are usually built by using the most popular programming languages. 

But these apps can’t use hardware on mobile devices or sell in any app store.

Adaptive web applications, on the other hand, have to work to fit the different screen sizes of mobile devices.

For these apps, the design doesn’t change. As for web apps, websites switch to a different design as it focuses more on mobile views. 

Web apps include apps that deal with

  • Online forms
  • Shopping carts
  • Word processors
  • Spreadsheets
  • Video and photo editing,
  • File conversion
  • File scanning and email programs

Applications such as Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL are among this list of web apps.

The cost of web apps can range anywhere between $3000-$15000, whereas the time doesn’t take more than 1 month to complete.   

Time to build a mobile app

What are the trending genres among mobile apps in 2023? 

While we estimate how much apps cost to build, a lot depends on the genre we choose to work in. it can range anywhere from educational apps to lifestyle apps. Many mobile applications seem to overlap across various categories. 

For example, 

Many game apps made for kids also have educational content. But if you think about the app’s main function, you can usually place it into one of the following categories.

  • Educational apps 
  • Gaming apps 
  • Utility apps 
  • Entertainment Apps (Music and Video streaming apps).
  • Social Media Apps
  • Productivity Apps

To make an informative decision on “How to develop an app” or wish to know “how much apps cost to build,” we need to see the categories of apps we can invest in. Through this, we will be able to decide in which steam your interest lies. 

Let’s discuss each option one by one. 

Educational apps

Educational and informative apps have a simple plan. To educate and inform. 

While the purpose of these types of apps is pretty straightforward, we can still see a lot of variations when it comes to educational apps.

Apps like Duolingo and Sololearn are more related to news and language apps. 

As we move towards a more technologically advanced society, everything seems available to us at our fingertips.

If you plan to develop an app and stand out in this area, you’ll have to create it in a wholesome way. It means news, classes, tips, and tricks for all ages. 

This might help to boost your customer base globally. 

The cost of building a simple educational app with 

  • Basic functionality
  • Decent design
  • 5 different short modules 

Can range from $10,000 to $40,000 in the US.

Gaming apps 

This app category is pretty self-explanatory. It falls under the biggest portion of app downloads so far.

Being such an important category, it makes sense that there are a plethora of options for different target audiences. 

These game apps feature many genres, such as 

  • Arcade games
  • Brain training puzzles
  • Entertainment purpose games 

Some mobile app games can be played solo, others globally, and sometimes in-person with a group of friends.

The cost of developing a game app with minimal animation can start from $20,000. But if you are interested in a full-fledged animation-oriented game, it can take upto $50,000. 

Utility apps 

Utilities are among those types of mobile apps that are pre-installed on our phones. 

Many of these apps come already installed on your device and serve only one purpose.

Some examples of mobile apps under the utility category are:

  • Reminders
  • Calculator
  • Messages
  • Google Play (App store) etc

Entertainment Apps (music and video streaming apps)

This category has customers featuring all age groups. Video and music streaming apps have become the ultimate source of entertainment in these years. Providing top music albums, documentaries, movies, and shows that such on-demand streaming services are the only thing everyone talks about.

These apps have paved a smoother pathway for users who earlier used to wait in lines to buy DVDs, music albums, etc. 

Now with just an app like Netflix, Spotify, amazon prime, and Hulu, we can watch and listen to our favorite movies and shows with just one click.

The overall cost of developing an entertainment app like Spotify and Netflix can add upto $30,000 to $35,000. 

Social media apps

Social media apps allow users to connect with people inside or outside one’s social circles.

Most social media apps are comprehensive in nature and have a very diverse user base. These apps focus more on personal profiles and content shared among users on a global level.

Through these apps, we can share live videos, post images, facilitate conversations, and more. 

Social media apps have become a vital part of our everyday lives.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become the means to communicate with. These applications have created a whole new world of entertainment, better communication, and collaboration with people worldwide. 

The cost of developing a social media app isn’t fixed.

If we see on an hourly basis, it takes around $50 per hour cost of the developer. If we talk about the complexity, then:

  • A basic app can be developed for $15,000 or more. 
  • The medium complex app will cost anywhere between $20,000- $30,000 
  • The complex apps can go beyond $50,000 with all the updated features.

Lifestyle apps 

Lifestyle apps mainly focus on the well-being of the audiences. So the features of these apps are more health and life-related. Apps like calm, breath, and headspace have become the ultimate friend of people who want to live a mindful life.

These lifestyle apps calculate your improvement and provide you with the necessary information and classes to improve your lifestyle. 

Lifestyle apps are not restricted to only mindful living, but it takes care of many other essential things. Genres like fitness, dating, food, and travel are also covered under this section. 

The cost of developing a lifestyle app like calm or breath can range from $35,000 to $150,000, depending upon the complexity of the project. 

The price may vary if you choose to outsource, hire a freelancer or give it to an agency. 

hire a freelancer or agency to develop app

What are the steps to develop a mobile application?

So as to estimate how much apps cost to build, let us take you through the journey that determines the cost of building an app. There are a series of steps that one needs to follow; let’s discuss them be by one. 

Step 1: Choose your genre 

Choosing your genre is one of the first blocks you place in creating a full-fledged app.

Decide which area you want to create an app for and what your idea is behind it.

Building a replica of some app won’t benefit you in any way.

Prepare a detailed report on how you wish you bring changes through that app. 

Your app can be an educational tool handing out news and highlights or a video streaming app. Anything that highlights your idea the best is where you should invest your resources in.

Step 2: Enlist all necessary features 

Features are the building blocks of an online platform. As a user, features are one of the primary reasons why they are driven to the app. The more, the better. 

Apart from the usual important features, try to integrate a more filtered approach where users don’t have to struggle much while operating your app. 

All essential features like the ones mentioned below should be mentioned. 

  • Log in 
  • Subscription plans
  • Payment details 
  • Filtered search option

Try to add additional features to make your app stand out from the crowd. 

Step 3: Choose a budget 

The cost of developing an application depends on four main units:

Your vision for the project, The layout your prepare, The tech unit, and The app’s promotion. 

You may either handle all sectors at your end or can also hire professionals to do the job. 

To know more about how much apps cost to build, we need to know all the possible criteria you need to fulfill. 

Here we have listed a few segments that will define the mobile app development cost structure to you.

Visionaries for your application.

  • Strategy Specialist 
  • Researcher 
  • Business Analyst 

The main design of your layout. 

  • UI and UX Designer
  • Information Architect 

The Tech unit 

  • Java (Kotlin) Developers for Android neighborhood applications 
  • Objective-C (Swift) Developers for nearby iOS things 
  • HTML (CSS, JavaScript) for cross-stage flexible applications 

Quality Assurance 

  • QA Manager 

Publicizing unit 

  • Advertiser 
  • Project supervisor 

However, By picking a professional development team, you choose better control and profitability for your project. Depending upon the Time region, language, and social connections, there can be a chance that you might miss out on certain steps in between.

Developing an app can be a tricky process, but we are here to help you guide you through the whole journey.  To get a fair idea of how much apps cost to build, we can opt for different price charts to follow. 

Though it’s impossible to figure out the exact app development price, here are some approximate ones:

  • $90,000 for a simple app with basic features on average
  • $160,000 for a medium complexity app on average
  • $240,000 and over for a complex, feature-rich app

Stage 4: Create a wireframe and storyboard 

In this stage, your thoughts and highlights meld into a more clear picture.

Through Wireframing, you make a mockup or a model to demonstrate your idea better. You can also use the help of various prototyping instruments on the web.

Creating a storyboard also helps in establishing the idea behind your app.

Dealing with mainly how it will function, which page will come after what option if some page needs more animation or content through storyboard, we can simplify that. 

Step 5: Define the back end of your app

Your wireframes and storyboard now become the establishment of your back-end structure. Once you sketch your work, APIs, and information outlines, it will become a valuable reference for the engineer and more individuals when they join the work. 

You will have a clear crystal outline for them to consider. 

Step 6: Test your prototype 

Once you have structured your wireframe and storyboard and developed a prototype, present them before your close ones or Specialists to get reviews. 

Through surveys and trials, note the response and shortcomings and change them accordingly. 

This will you get a fair idea of how your app is working and help you understand what else you need to add to your project. 

What’s new in mobile app development?

What are trends? 

Anything that the users related to the most and the increase in the popularity of that activity turns into a trend. 

We quickly gravitate towards them. 

But if we talk about mobile application trends, our experience always surpasses our expectations. 

Not only are they highly advantageous, but they also provide a whole new platform for the business to run. With a better customer base and global reach, such applications bring numerous benefits and trends among users. 

The trend of TikTok sent the whole youth around the world into a frenzy. The trend of uploading your hobbies, no matter which kind, created a wholesome platform for many influencers. 

Developers bring these trends to users via mobile apps. 

They invest in these ideas to create a unique mobile app for the users. 

The innovation makes the lives of users easier and more comfortable. Inevitably more users are bound to jump on the trend. 

Thereby businesses strengthen their user base through online platforms. That is exactly what these mobile app development trends promise.

To give you a clear insight into the latest trends in mobile app development, we have shortlisted the top 7 most favorable trends below. 

Internet of Things 

Nobody would have thought that the internet would crawl its way into our livelihood to this extent.

When we felt the internet couldn’t control our rooms and security, there came the Internet of Things!

For instance, you are running late for your office, and amidst all the rush, you forget to lock your door. The return home will only leave you late for your office and another episode with your boss. 

What if I tell you that you can lock the main door through an app? 

All you need is 

  • An IoT-powered lock system
  • An IoT app
  • Internet connection.

Not only our home or office, but we can also control almost everything that comes under this sector.

IoT products like

  • Amazon Dash button
  • Philips lighting system
  • August doorbell cam
  • August smart lock etc. 

 These are a few technologies already garnering users’ attention.

Many business organizations are shifting their gear into the world of IoT app development. 

So in 2023, these devices will be as common and trendy as smartphones.

5G Network

The much anticipated 5G network has finally entered the market by 2023. It is said that 2023 will witness a 5G connections boom from between 20 million to 100 million.  

In the recent release of the Iphone 12, Apple made certain provisions for implementing the 5G network. It indicates the incoming of the most awaited mobile app trends creating a significant role in everyone’s life. 

If compared to its predecessors, 4G, this network claims to be 100 times faster and more efficient. When we combine this high speed with low latency and more stability, the 5G network is bound to do wonders. You can see why everybody is looking forward to this network so much.

5G is set to bring revolutionary changes in streaming services as well. The 4k streaming without buffering and glitches will finally stop being a mere imagination. 

With its wider bandwidth, it can also handle VR and AR 3D objects became possible.

 It also aims to improve IoT services with better connectivity. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

What do you think when you hear artificial intelligence on smartphones?

The first thing that comes to our mind is Virtual assistants (Siri, Google Assistants, Replica, etc.) and chatbots.

 Or more recently, AI-based photo editing apps like Face App, Prisma, etc., also became the talk of the town. 

But in the coming years, AI will also play a more active role in our lives.

Besides enhancing existing applications, many other tools as mentioned below, will find a new home in smartphones.

They are:

  • AI-based cameras
  • Voice translations
  • User predictions

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

AR and VR have always been a significant part of the gaming and video arena. 

But with the technology change, we now see AR &VR in every possible sector.

For instance, the incoming of digital avatars in the retail business. 

Activities as simple as shopping in malls and complexes were shut down because of the pandemic in these past two years.

As the whole world was hit with lockdowns and restrictions, businesses were going into a considerable loss. 

That’s when people started incorporating online websites and applications to reach out to their customers.

Virtual reality offers a more realistic approach when it comes to analyzing something. 

With the help of VR, brands like Gucci and Vero Moda created a platform where the digital avatars of the customers can take a stroll across the entire shop. 

They can try, change and develop looks all by sitting at home. 

Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARcore are just the beginning of the inevitable mixed reality revolution. 

They provide many features like 

  • Motion tracking
  • People occlusion
  • Environmental understanding
  • Light estimation.

So in upcoming years, we can expect many AR-based apps transition to turn into fully functional mobile apps. 

It’ll be immensely beneficial for sectors like

 Industries like healthcare, tourism, education, retail, marketing, etc.

Mixed reality is set to revolutionize our social media experience as well. 

For example, 

Facebook has already introduced Facebook spaces to interact with our friends through VR. Whereas Instagram now allows us to create our augmented reality filters. 

Folding Display

One mobile app development trend that will revolutionize the smartphone industry in 2023 is folding displays. 

The first set of models has already arrived in the market, with big brands like 

  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 
  •  Huawei Mate X

These trends are expected to conquer smartphones in 2023 and 2024. 

This development might bring a few challenges to mobile app creators.

A folding display indicates looking at an instantaneous change in screen sizes depending on user actions. 

Sure, it will bring more complexity to mobile app development, But it will also open many opportunities for mobile app developers. 

Folding displays will bring a change in how traditional apps are made. Such a display means an instantaneous change.

  • In screen sizes
  • Different layouts 
  • Different user experience. 

From an app development perspective, every app will have to be altered accordingly to be compatible with this trend. 

As foldable display phones become prominent, we might see an increased demand for apps that support this setup in particular. 

Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are quickly garnering the attention of many users. 

Through these applications, people feel safer and more comfortable while dealing with all kinds of transactions.

Transactions as small as buying candy from the store to wiring big amounts to your vendor, everything is possible. 

We need to link our account details to the mobile wallet app. We can easily transfer money to anyone. 

By incorporating payment gateways with mobile wallets, the payment process can become smoother and quicker.

Many mobile wallet applications like 

  • Amazon Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay
  • Xoom

 are already gaining immense popularity. 

 Wearable Devices

Wearable Devices are already making huge waves among users. This department covers almost every aspect of our health and well-being. 

Features like the ones mentioned below are among the reasons why Wearable devices have become so popular. 

  • Steps count
  • Calorie intake cunt
  • Sleep Cycle
  • Blood oxygen level 

 Many people already use them in smartwatches, smart jewelry, display devices (Google Glass), body sensors, and so on.

But with the use of IoT, we can control these devices even from different locations using the internet.


What is the ongoing market share of mobile apps?

To give you a clearer view of the mobile application scene today, we have streamlined a few statistics to highlight the current progress made by the apps:

  • A typical mobile application client in the United States has more than 100 applications introduced on their gadget. 
  • A regular versatile client will check their cell phone 63 times each day. 
  • 87% of clients check their telephone, at any rate, one hour before rest. Out of those, 69% will check their telephone, at any rate, five minutes before rest. 
  • 79% of clients will desert a computerized item after only one day of utilization. 
  • Versatile applications today represent over 57% of all computerized media use. 
  • According to Statista, In 2021, the number of mobile users worldwide stood at 7.1 billion, with forecasts suggesting this is likely to rise to 7.26 billion by 2022. In 2025, the number of mobile users worldwide is projected to reach 7.49 billion
  • In 2026, consumers are projected to download 143 billion mobile apps from the Google Play Store, up by almost 30 percent from 111 billion apps downloaded in 2021.
  • By that same year, the application store shopper spending will increment by 92% to arrive at a crushing $157 billion everywhere in the world.

Choosing Idea Usher as your Mobile App Developer

On the road to learning how much apps cost to build and what all goes into developing an app, you need to follow a couple of things. 

The need for a good strategy to increase your customer base, a good interface, layout, promotion, etc. We can’t manage every step on our own.

To simplify your process, Idea usher is here to help you throughout your journey of developing an app. 

We at Idea usher provide you with a series of economical, affordable, and viable solutions starting from $4000. These solutions take care of all your concerns regarding how to build an app and how much do apps cost to build.

With the help of professionals, you can easily present your Idea in front of a wider audience and promote it better. 


On the road to learning how much apps cost to build and function successfully is a meticulous process to follow. But if you have a business that can be shifted online, why don’t you try it?

In the above article, we have listed all the necessary information you might need to transform your business into a successful online platform. 

Not only will it increase your customer base and interaction, but it will give your business a whole new dimension to showcase. 

If you feel the same, why don’t you start sharing your journey through an app?

If you are interested in learning more about making an app like mealime or how much apps cost to build to develop an app, we can provide you with the platform for you. 

Contact idea ushers for more information. 

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Q: How much does it cost to build an app?

A: The cost of building an app varies based on several factors, including the app’s complexity, functionality, platform, and location of the development team. Generally, simple apps can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, while complex apps can cost upwards of $500,000.

Q: What are the main factors that impact the cost of app development?

A: The main factors that impact the cost of app development include the app’s features and functionality, design complexity, platform (iOS, Android, web), development team’s location and experience, and ongoing maintenance and updates.

Q: What should I consider when hiring an app development team?

A: When hiring an app development team, you should consider their experience, portfolio, pricing, communication skills, and ability to meet deadlines.

Q: What is the difference between native and hybrid apps?

A: Native apps are built for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, using platform-specific programming languages. Hybrid apps are built using web technologies and run on multiple platforms with a single codebase. Native apps offer better performance and user experience, while hybrid apps are more cost-effective and easier to maintain.

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