Does your business need an app and how can you determine what an app might cost?  There are multiple considerations when thinking about an app and how much app development might cost your business.  I recently was introduced to a pretty nifty and free app development cost calculator that I want to talk about today.

free app development cost calculator


App development has lots of variables and many businesses don’t have a good handle on what they might be getting into when they say they need an app.  So let’s do some 101 on App Development costs using the calculator as our guide. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

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VIDEO: Free App Development Cost Calculator

Details on the Free App Development Cost Calculator

One of the most common statements I get is, “I think we need an app.” This is then followed by “How much will it cost?”  What a question!  I immediately have a list of questions I need to ask to help begin narrowing down that question but I also need to do some education because most non-tech industry business owners and marketers really don’t know what it takes to “have an app in the app stores.”

Recently, an outreach specialist got in touch with me to share about their free app development cost calculator and I was immediately intrigued upon first review!  This tool was great at asking and informing around the biggest app development questions that need to be answered.  While the cost ranges they outline are decent, I tend to find their costs high on average but again there are TONS of variables.  The key for a business is understanding the key options and decisions they need to make when looking at app development.  And what could be better than a free app development tool to help you get a handle on what to expect!

Here are the key areas where decisions need to be made:

Native / Hybrid / or Web App

Yes, there are multiple types of apps and this impacts development cost and cost over time.  One of the key things businesses don’t understand early on is that the decision to have an app in the app store is a decision for ongoing app development costs!  There is no “one and done, build and finish” for apps because the app ecosystems change and advance and your app must as well to keep up! So, back to the basics…

Native App

This is the most expensive type of app to develop but also the most powerful.  This is building in the “native language” of each app platform, essentially meaning building 2 unique (but similar) apps.  You need one for Android built in their native Java language, and one built for Apple in their native Swift language.  Big apps like Facebook, ESPN, and the Weather Channel are going to use Native Development.  You manage them separately.

Hybrid App

A hybrid app is much more economical and has nearly all the power of a native app, though maybe not quite everything a native app offers.  These apps are built using one code-base and a software eco-system that converts what was built into something that both Android and Apple will accept into their stores.  This is often the way to go for most businesses these days.

Web App

This is essentially a mobile website.  It is often the least expensive but it is not in the Android or Apple stores either.  It’s essentially a website built with the intent for mobile users to be the prime audience.  Sometimes you can build a hybrid and also use it as a web app.  Not in the Stores is the key here.

Features Needed

One of the key questions needing answered is the features you will need.  For example, Push Notifications.  If you want to use the iOS and Android push notifications to reach your users (which is often a good idea!), then you need to go with Native or Hybrid.  Also, will you want to be able to access the mobile device features like the camera or video recorder?  The more the app needs to use features from the phone/device, the more complex the app needs to be.

Geolocation (great for knowing where the user is!), Bluetooth, and things like QR Code scanning often require an app in the App Stores.

Free Calculator

So, the website takes you through the questions it feels are necessary to answer to build an app.  Along the way, based on your answers it is building a ballpark price range of the app development cost.  As I noted, I think the costs in many cases are on the higher side but better to be safe and know the high end than to see a low figure and get surprised somewhere down the line!

Here are the key areas the free app development calculator covers and allows you to make selections for:

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Data Storage
Login Features
Media Features
Utility Features
Ux Features
General Features
Third Party Services
Admin Features
Additional Features
Tablet Integration
Design LevelScreens Amount
Average Users

There are a few more options as well but they are very specific to how your team will want to interact with the development team.

free app development cost calculator

As I noted, this is a great free app development cost tool to help you get a general ballpark range.  Apps are not cheap and recognize there are only costs just to be in the app store but to keep current with the operating systems.  Remember when Apple came out with the “Max” phones with larger sizes?  Yep. that required apps to change to display well for that size as well.

So if you need a guide to help you get a rough ballpark on a app cost and help educate you a bit on app development costs and lingo, this is a great tool to get you started!

That’s a wrap on this podcast episode.  What’s the key takeaway for you and your business from these words?

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