How much does an app cost? The answer: it depends. That’s right. It’s going to be one of those answers. The kind that made you incredibly frustrated as a kid. But just hear us out. Everything will become clear by the time we’re done. We’ve spoken at great length about this before, but there’s more that goes into making an app then you probably think. What may seem like a simple finished product is actually hundreds of hours of hard work and dedication that has been shaped and polished into something both useful and valuable.

In all reality, there are no set numbers when it comes to how much it costs to make an app. Sure, one could say that lower ranged projects tend to hover between 50-100 thousand dollars, medium around 100-200 thousand, and high-end anywhere up to 500 thousand and beyond. But really, those are pretty big margins.

You may think that your project is “simple” so will “most definitely” fit into the lower spectrum of the pay scale, but that’s simply not true. Sometimes the simplest of apps can be the most expensive to build, and the reverse can be true for complex ideas.

So how can you go about figuring out how much your app will cost? Well, you can start just like we do. Ask yourself a series of questions to begin the conceptualization phase so that you can start to understand all of the assets that your app will need. Here are just a few of the questions that we ask our clients before we start building an app.

1. What type of app do you want to build?

We’re not talking about what you want the app to do, we’ll get to that later, but what type of app do you want? For this question, we’re talking about platforms. Do you want to build an iOS app, and Andriod app, a web-based app, or a combination of all three?

2. Are you looking for a mobile or web-based app?

Web-based App: A web-based app is an application that is accessed via a network connection. A mobile app can function using a device’s internal memory; the same is not so much true for web-based apps. While small parts of your web-based app can be downloaded to a personal desktop, the bulk of the app’s processing will need to be conducted over the internet on an external server. What this means in general terms is that you could have specific functions that could work off the grid, like calculators or directories, but if you want to enjoy the full berth of your app, you’ll need to go somewhere with wifi. Working lakeside probably isn’t going to be an option.

Examples of web-based apps include: Google Docs, Microsoft Silverlight, and Selenium

Examples of Myriad web-based apps include: School Project

Mobile App: Mobile apps, unlike web-based apps, don’t always require network connections to run. Mobile apps can be run on mobile devices and smart tablets. Typically, mobile apps are viewed as individual software units, and these units can perform nearly any function. Larger reaching apps that need to perform a variety of capabilities typically require a network connection. A mobile app can be programmed to do just about anything a web-based app does. In fact, most popular web-based apps have corresponding mobile apps. Additionally, many stores and companies that have an online presence also have mobile-only apps.

Examples of mobile apps include: Pandora, Spotify, and Facebook Messenger.

Examples of Myriad mobile apps include: MPR, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Sprouter

3. Will Users Be Creating Profiles or Will They be Logging in With an Email Address?

For some apps, having users be able to maintain profiles where they can enter job specific details is vital. But this capability is one that will take time and consideration. Using an authorization system helps keep data secure and keep tabs on where information is going. Today’s user is more concerned with digital security than ever before, so you’ll most likely want to be implementing a login system for your app.

4. Will Your App Utilize In-App Purchases?

If you have children, in-app purchases may be the bane of your existence, but in a business setting these pesky add-ons can be a major money maker. There are many ways in which in-app purchases can be used in your app; in-app purchases could let suppliers order more stock, they could allow for users to buy and sell product in an open market, or anything else you can dream of.

5. Will You Need an API?

At some point do you want a user to be able to click a button and be taken out of your app and into a web browser to view your website? If so, you’ll need a custom API, which stands for application programming interface. An API is what allows apps and other technologies to “talk” with one another.

  1. How much emphasis do you want to put on design?
  2. When do you need your app completed by?
  3. Will any proprietary technologies need to be implemented into the final product?
  4. Will you need pitch decks created to help sell your product to investors or stakeholders?
  5. Who will provide your hosting?

We could go on and on, but we think you get the point. There’s a lot that goes into making an app. Your best bet when trying to find out how much it will cost to make your app is to contact an app development company, like Myriad Mobile, and request a quote.


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