How Long Does it take to Make an app?

Want to make an app in 3 to 4 months? This guide by Vizteck will help you through it all!

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On-Demand App

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May 30, 2016

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Barkan Saeed

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This is one of the most asked questions by our clients. This question is usually very hard to answer because an app can be of very different types.

A simple app like a basic calculator may take 1 to 2 weeks to develop. However, a more complex app like a marketplace for buyers and sellers, Uber, something like Instagram, or Airbnb usually takes around 3 to 4 months of development time.

Please note that Airbnb, Instagram, and Uber now have a lot more that’s invisible like analytics, and business intelligence stuff and they operate on a much much larger scale and it took them years to reach the stage. When we say 3 to 4 months, we are talking about taking the app to a point where you can launch it. It’s also called MVP or minimum viable product.

The apps usually have a “product design” phase before this development phase which is usually a 3 weeks to 8 weeks process depending on the complexity of the app. Take a look here at what usually happens in the product or app design phase

All apps like Uber, Instagram, and Airbnb usually have two major components

  1. The backend of the App
  2. The frontend of the app

App Backend is the brain of the app and usually consists of

  1. Data Storage of the app
  2. User management
  3. Server Logic or the core brain of the app
  4. And all other misc stuff like push notifications, data integrations, etc.

The front of the app is mainly the user interface of the app and may have some complexities like

  1. Some local storage to make the app work offline (Like the Facebook app, it shows the last feeds fetched even without an internet connection).
  2. Some Logic to synchronize data between the app and the backend.
  3. Good animations.

So usually you required a team of one frontend and one backend developer for 3 to 4 months. If you are building for both iPhone and Android, you would need to add another frontend developer because for each platform. The front end is built from scratch for each platform.

There is also an option of using platforms like Xamarin or Flutter or react native which allows one frontend developer to use the same code base for creating apps for iPhone, android, and windows.

 

How to definitely launch in 3 to 4 months

If you are building an app using the MVP approach and you are following the SCRUM Methodology, you can launch an app in 3 to 4 months. Scrum style of development encourages development teams to have something working every 2 to 4 weeks.

If you can see something functional every 2 to 4 weeks, your development team can prioritize the features in such a way that you can have a fully functional version for launch easily in 3 to 4 months.

 

Conclusion 

Assuming that you are building from scratch and just have an idea in your head, it can take around 1 month to 5 months to have a fully functional app including the product design and the development phase.
If you are following the scrum approach and have a good development team that is good with DevOps and scrum, you have a high chance of launching earlier within this time frame.

Once you launch, you can begin to move towards “Product Market Fit” which is really what you are trying to achieve with your product.

Also, look at How much it costs to host your app’s MVP on Amazon’s AWS.