Mobile app development timeline: A realistic perspective

The business world as we currently know it has jumped into the digitisation race. Companies across several industries are working to speed up project delivery in response to the competition and changing client demands. Clients frequently underestimate the length of time required to construct an app and give unexpected deadlines to software development firms when it comes to producing mobile applications. Despite the fact that every application is unique, the general structure and supporting architectural framework are always somewhat the same. The precise intricacies and codes that go into the crafts, the elements that make the application exceptional and unique, are what set them apart from one another. The real job starts at this point.

The length of time it takes to construct a mobile app depends on the kind of app being created. For instance, a mobile game app may need to pass stringent customer testing before receiving store approval. A mobile app for internal usage within a company, however, may go from conception to deployment in just a few weeks.

The steps involved in developing a mobile app are broken down below, along with an estimate of how long they will each take.

The phases of application development

Although every application differs in terms of design and features, the stages of development and the time required to create one are generally the same. It is crucial to comprehend what goes into each stage of the app development cycle in order to comprehend its timeline.

Idea formation and market research (2 to 3 weeks)

A want tobe entrepreneur has fifty or hundreds of ideas for new mobile applications every day. However, a short search on the Google Play or Apple App Stores turns up other apps with the same services and value offers.

The solutions to this include in-depth market research and client comprehension. Another part of this is making sure the application can be built utilising the current technology combinations. In the end, doing a market and technical validity assessment demands time and market researchers’ efforts; the procedure typically lasts two to three weeks.

UX/UI Design — (3–4 Weeks)

The user interface of the software will have a big impact on its user experience (UX) (UI). The user experience (UX) of the app refers to how it will function for the user, including the user journey, navigation, task completion flow, and engagement with the company and its products. In essence, it’s about offering the user as much control as possible to carry out actions within the app, such as accessing content or paying with a credit card. The app’s user interface (UI) consists of all the functional components that make up the user experience, including the colour scheme, font combinations, spacing, responsive design, and more. These touch points have a significant impact on how the user uses the app.

App development (3 to 6 months)

One of the most important app development milestones is application development. Frontend and backend development are the two main components of this process, which is where the appropriate technology, design, and feature sets are added to the programme.

The development of the app wireframe with the appropriate feature sets and subsequent coding to create a clickable version of the app are the first steps in this phase. The frontend of the programme is then created with a guarantee of smoothness and user-friendly navigation. To ensure that user inquiries are answered in real-time, the backend of the programme is built and connected to the frontend. The process of developing an application can be extremely complex depending on the features and the technology utilised, despite the fact that this oversimplified description of it makes it sound simple. But ultimately, this stage determines how long an app takes to develop on average. 
Depending on the complexity of the app, the development phase — which includes wireframing, frontend, and backend — can take three to six weeks to finish.

Back End Development — (6–8 Weeks)

The server-side code for the mobile app’s back end, which handles data sending and receiving, is referred to as the back end. Setting up data integration, server-side logic, user management, and push alerts are all part of back-end development. The mobile app back end will act as the building block for all future mobile application development and will allow for the eventual addition of new functionality. The functionality of your app is served by the back-end architecture, so the more complicated the functionality, the longer it will take to design the back-end.

Front End Development — (6–8 Weeks)

The components that determine the UI and UX are referred to as the front end. Setting up the app’s caching (temporary data storage), data synchronisation (which enables the app’s offline functionality), wireframing, UI design, and UI development are all included in front-end development. Internal testing is also done at this point to make sure that these components show up and work as they should on the user’s end. Once more, the timetable is greatly influenced by how complicated the app’s features and functionality are. It might take longer, though, if problems with the front end are found during testing and need to be fixed.

Testing And Launching — (3–6 Weeks)

After it is finished, an app must be carefully tested before being released. If you don’t, the UX may suffer. An app with bugs and problems, or one that doesn’t work as intended, is the last thing you need. If so, users will merely stop using the app. A number of tests, including functional testing, integration testing, and unit testing, must be carried out when the software is finished. Before launching the app, any bugs or other problems must be rectified and dealt with.

This stage will take longer to complete the more issues that are discovered. Also noteworthy is the fact that internal testing is referred to as “alpha” testing. Secondary “beta” testing may also be something you wish to run, but they will add to the project’s timetable. Real users in the target market carry out beta tests, which typically take three to four weeks to complete.

Support And Maintenance

Mobile app support and maintenance must be continuously provided during the final stage of creation. You’ll need to keep an eye on how your app is performing and pay heed to user comments. You might need to address customer issues or app problems during this period. 
If you want to improve security and add new features and capabilities, you might also need to upgrade your app. You must continue to offer support and upkeep as long as your software is in use. As this stage depends on characteristics unique to the project, there is no predicted schedule for it.

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