Well now is the time to get it out there! The app market is booming and there has become a need for high quality functional apps. Whether it’s a marketing tool for your own business, or a game changing revolutionary idea, you can make it happen.
But with any investment, there needs to be some calculating to assure that it’s a worthwhile project.
A lot goes into making an app, but you’ll see that it’s not as complicated and expensive as you may have thought.
So you’ve got a great idea for an app?
Your main expenses to create your app will be for the design, development and publishing.
The costs for all of these vary widely depending on your needs and the complexity of the app. The information provided will not be a perfect estimate or out-the-door price of how much it would cost to develop your iOS app, but you’ll get a good idea of the general pricing.
What am I paying for?
When hiring a development team to design your iOS app the package would include: graphic design, app logo design, app icon design, app UI design and prototyping. This package will provide you with all the .png and PSD files needed for your app.
Designing the app is closely connected to the development. You must know the ins and outs of how you want your app to function in order to create the design. This would be the prototyping stage.
Remember that not every app is the same. Each is unique and you want yours to be exactly as you’ve always imagined it to be. Communication with the developer is key. Know what you want beforehand and it will save you precious time and money.
What kind of app am I designing?
There is a world of possibilities to the kinds of apps you can create. That factor is limited only to your imagination. But to generalize things, there are 3 types of apps that you can develop.
Basic table functionality apps – Think of checking your email on your iPhone. You open the app, there’s a list of all your emails, you click on one and it sends you to the page with your email on it. So it’s a page of topics that sends you to another list with information. This is a very basic app to design.
Database driven app – These are more interactive than a table based app. You have the ability to create, edit, send and save information either locally (native) or through online services (dynamic). Twitter for example is a fully dynamic app that relies completely on external information.
Game apps – These are by far the most complicated to develop. You have the game itself, but along with that comes other additional features such as integrating with the Apple Game Center, submission and publishing of players scores and creating an online community. As a result, more programming is needed for games which ups the cost. However, games are among the most popular apps to download.
How much will it cost to design?
This depends upon the compatibility of your app with other devices. The .png and PSD image files change according to the screen size of the device. Let’s break it down…
- iPhone only: This is for a base level design for iPhones. You could end up paying anywhere between $500-$10,000.
- iPhone 6 Plus: In order to be compatible with the larger screen, which is in between a regular iPhone and an iPad (2208 x 1242px in height which is more than twice the 640×1136 iPhone 5), your looking at a considerable more amount. To get an average add 25% to the above price.
- iPad: If the layout is similar to that of the iPhone, add 50% to the above price.There will however be some changes needed in order to accommodate the iPad’s size and speed which brings the price up a little bit more.
The design of your app can make a HUGE difference for your bottom line. It may cost more upfront but in the long run you’ll see that appearance is a big deal. The more attracted people are to your app (the way it’s presented, the screenshots, graphics and icons) the more willing they will be to download it. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
As we talked about before design and development are closely associated. What you see on the front-end is controlled by what goes on in the back-end.
How much will it cost?
These costs also vary depending on the device or devices you’re developing for (iPhone 4-6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad) much like for the design. So now, based off of the type of app you’re developing, how much will it be?
- Basic table functionality app: For this simple type app, around $1,000-$4,000.
- Database driven app: These cant be almost as basic as a table app or can easily enough be very complex. You’re looking at about $8,000-$50,000.
- Game apps: Of course with there being a lot more to program, it would be around $10,000-$250,000.
What about the costs of additional functions?
You may have to to add functions such as In-App Purchasing to your app. If you need them, they’ll cost you more. Here are a few with roundabout figures.
- In-App Purchasing: $1,000-$3,000. This is how they buy new content or the full version of your app.
- Game Center: $1,000. Apple’s Game Center is easy to integrate and a necessity for your game apps.
- Share Capabilities: $500-$1,500. This covers social media sharing and emailing.
- Web Services: $1,000-$5,000. This will allow you to easily update your app, and no messing around with code.
- SDKs: $50-$200. A very popular SDK, Google Analytics, helps you to track your app and the profit you are making from it.
Now that your app has successfully been designed and developed, all that’s left is to publish it!
To get your app into the iTunes store you have to create an iTunes Connect Account and pay $99/year. With that you receive analytics from them to track your app and app revenue.
To to sum it up, there are a lot of different factors are involved. Take them all into consideration, get organized, and start building! To create your shiny, new, out-of-the-box custom iOS app: $5,000-$500,000.