The truth is, there is no way to place a general figure on the cost of developing an app. Several factors influence the bottom line, including the type of platform the app is built for, design, functionality and the standards of the platform.
Presently, developers build apps for a number of platforms including iOS, which is the operating system for iPad and iPhone, Microsoft, which powers the Windows phone, Android by Google and the Blackberry platform as well.
How mobile platforms impact the cost of development
Whether you are building a gaming app, an app for social dating or one for financial management, the platform really affects the bottom line of the application development.
Today, iOS and Android are the most popular platforms for smartphones and tablet devices. Cost is just one factor that differentiates these two platforms.
If one were to look at the numbers, you would find that a larger majority of the world’s Smartphone owners use Android phones. In this sense, there are more Android phones available globally compared to iOS phones. While the iPhone and iPad are really the only iOS devices in the market, there are different types of Android phones and mobile devices. Android devices also come with varying processing power, features and screen sizes.
Developing apps and testing them for the different Android devices can be quite resource intensive. Interestingly, the fact that iOS devices do not come in many different models and are only available to a few people means that developing and testing apps for iOS is less costly than developing for Android.
In addition, because Apple is the only company building iOS devices, the brand tends to have a more loyal customer base. In this way, it is likely that an iPhone app will attract more attention compared to an Android app.
Other than the well-known Android and iOS devices, Blackberry mobile devices are fast gaining traction in the competitive market. There was a time when Blackberry phones did not have any significant standing in the market. However, these devices are increasingly becoming popular among business users looking for security and workflow efficiency.
When it comes to developing applications for the BlackBerry, the costs are typically higher. Apps for this particular platform are usually more complicated to develop and to integrate with other features of the phone. However, many Android apps can cost effectively be adjusted to function well on the most current Blackberry OS.
Like the Blackberry, the Windows phone is fast growing its market share and making more apps available for its customer base. Due to the limited number of users, developing for Windows could, however, be expensive.
Building apps for multiple platforms
Developing apps that can run on multiple platforms is one of the most cost effective ways to get bang for bucks. Also known as hybrid apps, applications that are built for various platform are developed from a similar code and then compiled for different platforms. This approach not only saves money but time too.
Developers use various tools to develop cross-platform apps. Titanium and Xamarin are just some of the most popular software tools used for iOS, Windows, Mac, Blackberry and even apps for the HTML platform. Although the cost of developing multi-platform apps could initially be higher, it is easier and more cost-effective to update a hybrid app.