Guest Post: The what, when and how of developing app

by Eugene Rudenko, a senior online marketing manager with Apptraction

Business people really need smartphones or tablets because they help them to solve a lot of problems on the go and out of office. That’s why almost one third out of ten incoming requests for the mobile app development repeat the same old story: – “I want to get a working mobile app in a week.” After that a lot of time is spent in order to find out what type of mobile app the customer wants and how long will it take to develop it. In this article, I’ll try to give you the overview of the development process that is required for building a mobile app.

The absolute majority of the customers have only a vague idea of what app they need.

Today, it’s possible to create a mobile version of nearly everything, from a client iOS app to a seriously complex cross-platform solution with a server component.

Apart from the idea for the app, a customer doubtlessly has some requirements and the desire to get a quality app.

What we as development company need to understand is the difficulty of the work, the number of people that should be involved and how much time will the project take.

More than a week

The very first thing customers thinking about having their own app should understand is that it takes more than one week to develop a great application.

The most basic type of a mobile app can be called a web app optimized for mobile devices.

Such adaptation of a web app for mobile view will really take around a week.

But this variant is mostly appropriate for creating a mobile version of a site with simple functionality.

Hybrid app

Creating a hybrid app will take more time. For those who may not know what a hybrid app is, it is an application which combines features of native and web apps.

In order to realise such a project, a developer with the help of JavaScript creates a web app which later on is wrapped into a native mobile app with the help of a certain frameworks.

These frameworks allow creating mobile applications using JS, HTML5 and CSS3 for all types of mobile operating systems. Such project will require around a month.

Native app

The development of a basic native app which can be later downloaded from the official app stores will be more difficult than variants mentioned above because of the bigger mobile developer workload.

This variant will always be more time consuming and expensive, but the quality of the app will be higher, accordingly.

The development of a native app for one operating system, e.g. Android, will take something like a month.

Multi-OS apps

If any app development company sees an email with the following request – “I’d like to have a functional app for all platforms in a week or two”, they’ll have to reject the customer or do some explanatory work first.

Such a project will take at least a month on condition that several developers work simultaneously on different operating systems.


The last and most difficult variant of app development is a complex solution of a ‘server-client’ type.

Such a solution requires time and efforts for developing both client’s part and server’s one.

It may take around four months to finish such project, if we’re speaking about a relatively small solution for 100-1000 users.

If the user database is larger, then it will take even more time, because a lot of work with hardware will be required.

Mobile games

Another project worth noting regards a popular request such as one for mobile games.

Such projects involve not only developers themselves, but also designers, concept-makers, sometimes even musicians.

So you see that mobile game can be a pretty large and long project and it’s impossible to expect delivery next week after sending a quote.

Author biog

Eugene is a senior online marketing manager for Apptraction, a mobile app development company with its focus on tablet app design and development. Apptraction delivers enterprise-level apps.

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