How long does it take to build a custom mobile app?

Whenever you are planning to build an app, the first and foremost question that would come to your mind is the time it takes to build an app. You want to know as it helps you determine the product timeline and set up a plan for your product launch. The duration may vary based upon the scope of the project and the process you follow.

A smaller app will take shorter time compared to a bigger app.  I will take an example of three apps with varying size and then will show you typically how long it takes to complete those apps. This will give you an idea of how long your app might take.

I am taking the example of Instagram App, I have listed all the features in existing App and grouped features to make a small sized, mid sized and large sized Instagram app.

This table will help you determine in which category your app falls.

Features Small Version Mid Size Version Large Version
Login/Signup with Email, Facebook, Forgot Pswd, Change Password
Yes
Yes
Yes
Newsfeed with activities
Yes
Yes
Yes
Access Phone Camera, Take Photo, Add/Upload Photo from Gallery, post in the app.
Yes
Yes
Yes
Follow/Following Other Users
Yes
Yes
Yes
Share Photo Facebook
Yes
Yes
Yes
Search Users, View User Profiles, Edit Profile
Yes
Yes
Yes
Connect to Facebook Friends, Invite Facebook Friends
Yes
Yes
Yes
Like & Comment
Yes
Yes
Yes
Login/Signup with Phone No, Phonebook Access, Invite phone contacts to the app.
No
Yes
Yes
Share to Followers or Direct (While sharing photo/video, user can select whether they want to share with their followers or Direct with their friends)
No
Yes
Yes
Add Story in the app (It is listed on Top of the Homepage. It is basically photo/video added with story/description. When you click on any user profile photo, it will open photo/video and story added by the user. App will run user Story in a slider.)
No
Yes
Yes
Add Emoticons with Photo and Video
No
Yes
Yes
Capture Video, Add/Upload video in the post. Video Playing.
No
Yes
Yes
Push Notifications
No
Yes
Yes
Add Locations, Tag People in Photo/Video
No
Yes
Yes
Share on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr
No
Yes
Yes
Messaging/Chatting
No
No
Yes
Apply Filters & Photo Editing
No
No
Yes
See Following Activity
No
No
Yes
Advanced Upload Settings
No
No
Yes
Suggestions by App for users and content
No
No
Yes
Multilingual App
No
No
Yes

How Long it takes to do scoping and the requirements

You want to capture the feature list, create detailed requirements and scope of the app. If you are good at it, you can do it in 1-2 weeks for a smaller app, 2-3 weeks for a mid-sized app and 3-4 weeks for a bigger app. You will have to look at other apps in the market and decide what features are important for your mobile app

Small App Mid Size App Big Size App
1-2 weeks
2-3 weeks
3-4 weeks

How long it takes to do UI/UX Design is needed?

The process requires creating the wireframes for the mobile application based on the requirements and review/adjust them. Once wireframes are done, the graphical UI design needs to be completed which includes font, color, theme, and images for the App.

Small App Mid Size App Big Size App
2-3 weeks
5-6 weeks
9-10 weeks

How long it takes to do development and testing?

Most of startups and individuals want to build apps with lots of features imaginable.  Based on the feature list and type of company, will determine the time it takes to develop the app. You will need to build the mobile app and also the backend for the mobile app. All development: iOS App, Android App, and the backend should happen in parallel. For the smaller version, it can be achieved in 2 months, a mid-sized app can take around 3-3.5 months while a big sized app might take around 5-6 months. This will involve technical architecture, UI coding, backend setup, functional implementation, integration, and testing.

Small App Mid Size App Big Size App
6-7 weeks
14-15 Weeks
20-22 Weeks

How much time to do beta testing and deployment?

Once your app is fully developed, you want to do beta testing to find out additional possible bugs. You can spend 1-3 weeks on beta testing depending on the size of your app.

Small App Mid Size App Big Size App
1 week
2 weeks
3 weeks

As you can see that time for each step will depend upon the size of the app. At a high level, you want to keep around 10-12 weeks for a small app, 23-25 weeks for a mid-sized app and 35-38 weeks for a large sized app.

You’re having an idea about a new app, just tell us and we can create amazing things together.

14 Comments

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    • Hazel Nguyen

      Thanks for paying attention to our blog. Our consultation is free so you can leave your questions here and we will try to answer them asap

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