How Long Does It Take to Develop a Mobile App in the UK

September 4, 2023

As mobile app developers, there is one question we at MAD get asked the most: How long does it take to develop a mobile app? The answer, as you might expect, is not a simple one. Mobile app development involves a multitude of factors that affect the project timeline.

In this blog, MAD will provide you with a definitive answer on how long it takes for app development. We will list all the factors that come into play and provide you with time estimations so that you can calculate a rough estimate for your project.

Let’s jump right into it!

What Factors Affect Mobile App Development Time?

So, how long for app development? To answer that, we must know all the factors involved that affect the timeline of a project. Let’s look at these factors one by one, starting with the biggest one.

App Complexity & Features

The app’s complexity is perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to how long it takes to develop an app. The logic is simple, the more features you want to develop, the longer it will take. Mobile apps are broadly categorised into three types, depending on their complexity.

Simple Apps

These are basic apps with a minimal number of screens and straightforward functionality. For example, the calculator app. It has a single screen and an ultra-simplistic UI design.

Simple apps can be developed relatively quickly, often within a matter of weeks.

Moderate Complexity Apps

These are a level ahead of simple apps. They have more features and functionalities. Examples include social media platforms, weather apps, and small eCommerce apps. Depending on the specifics, they require anywhere between 3-6 months to develop.

Complex Apps

These are the most time-consuming to develop. They include ride-sharing services, online marketplaces, or gaming apps. They often involve intricate algorithms, deal with advanced technologies like AI/ML, AR/VR, IoT, NLP, etc., and require a lot of testing, resulting in increased project time. You can expect anywhere from 9 months to even 2 years to develop a complex app.

Platform Choice

Do you want to develop an app for iOS, Android, or both? In the UK, the two dominant mobile app platforms are iOS and Android, both holding almost equal market share.

iOS vs. Android App: Which One’s Faster to Develop?

Generally speaking, iOS apps are much faster to develop. This is due to the fact that there are far fewer iPhone models compared to Android phones. Developers have to create interfaces for limited screen sizes and aspect ratios. Also, the testers have to deal with a limited number of iPhones and iOS versions. After all, only four iPhone models are launched every year.

Comparatively, new Android phones are launching every week. This increases the development and testing time.

Developing for Both iOS and Android

If you want to develop for both iOS and Android, there are two options available: Native and Cross Platform.

Native App Development Time: Developing individual native apps for both iOS and Android can be executed simultaneously to use time efficiently. However, it will require twice the resources.

Cross-Platform App Development Time: With cross-platform app development, developers can build apps for both iOS and Android using a single codebase. This requires fewer resources and is much less complicated.

Design and User Experience (UX)

The design of your app is crucial for creating the vibe you want to imbibe in your users. A good design will attract users and keep them engaged. However, coming up with a creative design idea does require more time. Here’s what you need to consider:

Custom Design

If you want a completely unique design for your app, it will take a substantial amount of time to create the necessary assets and implement them within the app. This means several weeks or even months for a design that steals hearts.

Responsive Design

Making your UI design responsive is a never-ending task, as new smartphones with unique aspect ratios are constantly popping up. If you want your app to work on as many smartphones as possible, it will extend the project timeline significantly.

Remember, a well-designed app is more likely to succeed in this competitive space. So, it’s wise to invest more time in this phase.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing is an integral part of the development process, and you do not want to rush this phase for a faster time to market. The time required for testing is interconnected with the app’s complexity. Here are the different types of testing and how they affect the project timeline:

Functional Testing

This involves checking whether all of the app’s elements function as intended. Here, both manual and automated testing processes are employed by the testing team.

Compatibility Testing

Ensuring that your app runs seamlessly across different devices, screen sizes, and OS is definitely time-consuming. The time required depends on the number of devices the app is being tested on.

Performance Testing

Here, the app’s performance and load times are evaluated. The development time may increase if issues are uncovered.

Security Testing

Security testing can add days to the development timeline, but it is of utmost importance to protect user data and maintain trust.

Client Feedback and Changes

How long it takes to develop an app also depends on you. If you suggest some major changes mid-project, it will extend the project timeline substantially. This will also compromise performance as the codebase is already built, and making changes will affect performance.

To prevent this delay, have a clear idea of what you want beforehand and ensure that your developers are on the same page as you.

App Store Approval

Once the app is developed, it is submitted to the app stores for launch. This brings another aspect into question: How long to get mobile app approved?

Generally, an app is approved within a matter of days. However, the app stores can take longer in some cases. This is not a worry if the app is complying with all of the app store regulations and protocols.

At MAD, we ensure that all our apps are in compliance with the App Store’s and Google Play Store’s rules and regulations, allowing our clients to get their apps launched as soon as possible.

Mobile App Project Taking Too Long, What to Do?

Sometimes, due to the sheer scope of the project, the development process can take too long. To solve this, MAD provides MVP development services to our clients. We develop an MVP that contains only the essential features and launch it fast. This allows our clients to get their business started.

The remaining features and functionalities are released through timely updates. With this Hybrid approach, our clients do not have to wait for the entire app to be complete to start their business.

MAD’s Innovative Mobile App Development Services

If you want to get your mobile app developed, MAD is right here to guide and equip you with the right tools and technologies. Our experts know how to get your app on the market ASAP while ensuring maximum quality and functionality.

Talk with MAD to learn how we can bring your app idea to life. Our business analysts will guide you on how to enhance your app idea, what features your app will require, and suggest ways you can improve your app’s position in the market.

Let’s work together to create something mind-blowing!

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