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The rise of mobile devices and smartphones has dramatically changed the way we interact with the world around us. In today’s fast-paced world, people are always on-the-go and need quick and easy access to information, services, and products. 

Mobile apps have become the go-to solution for providing this access which draws the attention of tech entrepreneurs and many other field experts; interested especially in knowing about how long does it take to develop an app plus all influencing factors.

Although the ultimate answer to the query is reaching out to a custom mobile app development company that can cater to your unique needs, the details below would also give you a clear understanding.

A General Overview of a Mobile App

A mobile app is a software application designed to run on a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet. Mobile apps can be downloaded and installed from various app stores, such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store

These are designed to offer a wide range of functionality and services, including communication, entertainment, education, productivity, and much more. Mobile apps can be used offline, but some may require an internet connection to function. 

Let’s further explore the types for a better understanding about how long does it take to create an app!

Types of Mobile Apps

There are three main types of mobile apps:

  • Native Apps – Native apps are built for a specific operating system, such as iOS or Android. These apps can take full advantage of the features and capabilities of the operating system and the device’s hardware. Native apps are usually faster and more responsive than other types of apps. Examples of native apps include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Web Apps – Web apps are mobile-optimized websites that can be accessed through a mobile device’s web browser. Web apps are designed to look and feel like native apps, but they are not installed on the device. Web apps require an internet connection to function. Examples of web apps include Google Maps and Twitter Lite.
  • Hybrid Apps – Hybrid apps are a combination of native and web apps. These apps are built using web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and are wrapped in a native container. Hybrid apps can access the device’s hardware and operating system features. Examples of hybrid apps include Uber and Airbnb.
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA) –  PWAs are web apps that use modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. PWAs can be installed on a user’s home screen and can work offline, and they provide a fast and engaging user experience. PWAs are gaining popularity because they offer the best of both worlds: the reach of the web and the performance of native apps.

Understanding about different apps would also clarify how many hours does it take to develop an app. Speaking of which, let’s have a look at app development!

Mobile App Development

The mobile app development process involves several stages, including ideation, design, development, testing, and deployment. The process can be complex, and it requires a team of experienced developers, designers, and project managers.

Mobile app development can be executed using various programming languages and frameworks, including:

  • Java and Kotlin for Android app development
  • Swift and Objective-C for iOS app development
  • React Native and Flutter for cross-platform app development

Specialized knowledge and skills are a must. Mobile app developers have a deep understanding of the entire mobile app ecosystem, including operating systems, app store guidelines, and user experience design principles.

Mobile App Monetization

mobile app monitization

So if you’re interested in finding out how long does it take to build a mobile app, also know that it’s indeed a lucrative business. There are several ways to monetize mobile apps, including:

  • In-App Advertising – In-app advertising is the most popular monetization method for mobile apps. Developers can earn money by displaying ads in their apps.
  • In-App Purchases – In-app purchases allow users to purchase premium content or features within the app.
  • Subscriptions – Developers can offer subscription-based access to premium content or features within the app.
  • Sponsorship – Developers can partner with brands to offer sponsored content or features within the app.

How Long Does it Take to Make an App: Technological Factors

Platform selection:

One of the most important technological factors to consider when developing a mobile app is the platform. With the rise of Android and iOS app development companies around the world, mobile app developers have to choose between developing a native app, a web app, or a hybrid app. 

Native apps are designed for a specific platform, offering better performance and user experience. Web apps, on the other hand, are web-based applications that can run on any platform with a web browser. 

Hybrid apps are a combination of both native and web apps, providing the benefits of both. The choice of platform will depend on the target audience and budget plus, app development time.

User interface and user experience (UI/UX):

Another crucial factor to consider is the user interface and user experience of the app. The design should be user-friendly, intuitive, and visually appealing. The UI/UX should be consistent across all screens and devices, ensuring a seamless user experience. The app should be optimized for different screen sizes and resolutions, taking into account the diversity of devices available in the market.

Backend infrastructure:

The backend infrastructure is the backbone of any mobile app. It includes the server, database, APIs, and other components that support the app’s functionality. The backend infrastructure should be scalable, reliable, and secure. It should be able to handle a large number of users and provide a seamless experience even during peak usage times. Developers must also ensure that the backend infrastructure complies with data protection laws and regulations.


Security is a critical factor to consider when developing a mobile app. With the increasing number of cyber-attacks, developers need to ensure that their apps are secure and protect user data. The app should use encryption to protect sensitive information and implement secure authentication methods. Developers should also perform regular security audits to identify and fix any vulnerabilities.


The performance of the app is another important factor that can impact user experience as well as development timeline. The app should load quickly, respond promptly to user actions, and not consume excessive battery or data. Developers should optimize the app’s code and minimize the use of resources to ensure optimal performance.


Finally, the app should be able to integrate with other apps and systems seamlessly. Integration with social media platforms, payment gateways, and other third-party systems can enhance the app’s functionality and user experience. Developers should ensure that the app’s APIs are well-documented and easy to use, allowing for easy integration with other systems.

How Long Does it Take to Develop an App: Variation by Industries

Healthcare Industry:

Healthcare industry is one of the most dynamic and rapidly evolving industries, and mobile app development has revolutionized healthcare in many ways. Mobile apps have improved patient engagement by providing remote consultation, appointment booking, prescription management, and lab test results. 

Patients can track their health progress, access medical records, and receive real-time alerts about medication and appointment schedules. Mobile apps also allow healthcare providers to streamline their operations, track patient data, manage appointments, and improve communication between healthcare providers and patients.

Here, you might as well be interested to know about overall cost of app development which is yet another important factor.

Retail Industry:

Retail industry has undergone a significant transformation with the rise of e-commerce, and mobile app development has further revolutionized the shopping experience. Retail mobile apps enable customers to browse products, make purchases, track orders, and receive personalized offers and recommendations. 

Mobile apps also allow retailers to engage with customers, collect feedback, and track customer behavior to improve their marketing strategies. Merchants can use mobile apps to streamline inventory management, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience.

Find out about the complete cost breakdown of developing an eCommerce app in 2023!

Education Industry:

Mobile app development has also made significant inroads in the education industry. Education mobile apps offer a wide range of services, including online learning, exam preparation, and student engagement. Students can access educational content, collaborate with peers, and receive feedback from teachers. 

Mobile apps also allow teachers to track student progress, provide personalized feedback, and offer remote learning opportunities. The education industry is witnessing a shift towards mobile-first learning, and mobile apps are becoming a key tool for enhancing the educational experience.

Finance Industry:

Finance industry is another sector that has embraced mobile app development to provide convenient and secure financial services. Mobile apps offer banking, investment, and trading services to customers, allowing them to check account balances, transfer funds, and manage their finances from anywhere. 

How long does it take to create an app for the financial industry include factors such as advanced security features like biometric authentication, two-factor authentication, and fraud detection. Financial institutions can use mobile apps to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve customer engagement.

Travel Industry:

The travel industry has also experienced significant growth with the adoption of mobile app development. Travel mobile apps offer a range of services such as flight booking, hotel reservation, car rental, and travel itinerary management. 

Mobile apps also provide real-time information about travel-related services, such as flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes. Travel companies can use mobile apps to personalize the customer experience, offer targeted promotions, and improve customer engagement.

Popular Mobile App Genres

Social Networking Apps:

Social networking apps allow users to connect with others, share content, and communicate with friends and family. Some of the most popular social networking apps include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These apps have revolutionized the way people communicate and share their daily lives, making them a must-have for smartphone users.

Gaming Apps:

Gaming apps are the most popular app genre on app stores. They offer a variety of games, from simple puzzle games to complex strategy games, catering to users of all ages. Gaming apps generate a significant amount of revenue for app developers, making them a lucrative market.

Fitness and Health Apps:

Fitness and health apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are becoming more health-conscious. Features like workout routines, meal plans, and health tracking to help them achieve their fitness goals are common. Examples of popular fitness and health apps include MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, and Nike Training Club.

E-commerce Apps:

E-commerce apps have revolutionized the way people shop, allowing users to buy products and services from the comfort of their homes. These apps offer features like easy payment methods, customer support, and personalized recommendations, making online shopping a seamless experience. Examples of popular e-commerce apps include Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

Travel and Tourism Apps:

Travel and tourism apps are designed to help users plan and organize their trips, providing information about flights, hotels, local attractions, and restaurants. These apps make traveling more accessible and enjoyable, helping users make the most out of their trips. Examples of popular travel and tourism apps include TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Airbnb.

Education Apps:

Education apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are seeking alternative ways of learning. These apps offer users access to a wide range of courses, from language learning to professional development, catering to users of all ages and levels. Examples of popular education apps include Duolingo, Coursera, and Udemy.

Entertainment Apps:

Entertainment apps offer users a variety of content, from movies and TV shows to music and podcasts. These apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are seeking alternative ways of consuming media. Examples of popular entertainment apps include Netflix, Spotify, and TikTok.

Productivity Apps:

Productivity apps are designed to help users manage their time and tasks, making them more efficient and productive. These apps offer features like calendars, to-do lists, and project management tools, helping users stay organized and on track. Examples of popular productivity apps include Trello, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office.

News and Information Apps:

News and information apps provide users with up-to-date information about current events, local news, and weather forecasts. These apps offer personalized news feeds and push notifications, keeping users informed and engaged. Examples of popular news and information apps include CNN, BBC News, and The New York Times.

Finance Apps:

Finance apps offer users a variety of financial services, from budgeting and savings to investment and banking. These apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are seeking alternative ways of managing their finances. Examples of popular finance apps include Mint, Robinhood, and PayPal.

Food Delivery App:

Food delivery apps cater to users who wish to order food from restaurants and have it delivered to their doorstep. These apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are seeking alternative ways of ordering food and avoiding long wait times at restaurants. Here’s all about food delivery app development services!

Some popular food delivery apps include UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Seamless. These apps have revolutionized the way people order food, making it more accessible and convenient than ever before. 

How Long Does it Take to Build an App: Process and Phase-wise Breakdown

The process of app development is not as simple as it may seem, and requires careful planning, resources, and time. Let’s understand approximately how long it takes to build an app!

Type of App

The type of app you want to develop is one of the most significant factors in determining the time it will take. For instance, a simple utility app that performs a specific function, such as a calculator, can take a few weeks to develop. However, a complex app with several features, such as a social media app or an e-commerce app, can take several months to a year or more to develop.


Another significant factor that determines the development time is the platform for which the app is being developed. Developing an app for a single platform, such as iOS or Android, can be quicker than developing a cross-platform app that works on both platforms. This is because developing a cross-platform app requires additional time for testing, debugging, and ensuring compatibility across multiple platforms.


The features of the app play a significant role in determining the development time. A simple app with limited features, such as a to-do list app, can be developed relatively quickly. However, an app with several features, such as an e-commerce app with product browsing, payment processing, and user accounts, can take much longer to develop.


The design of the app is another factor that can affect the development time. A simple design that follows standard user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) principles can be developed relatively quickly. However, a custom design that requires more attention to detail and user testing can take much longer.

Team Size and Expertise

The size and expertise of the development team can also affect the development time. A small team with limited expertise may take longer to develop an app than a larger team with more experience. Additionally, a team that is familiar with the specific type of app being developed can work more efficiently, reducing the overall development time.

Testing and Debugging

Testing and debugging are essential parts of the app development process and can take a significant amount of time. Ensuring that the app works correctly across all platforms, devices, and scenarios requires thorough testing and debugging. The complexity of the app can also affect the testing and debugging time.

App Store Approval

The final factor that can affect the development time is the app store approval process. The approval process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the platform and the complexity of the app. This process can add to the overall development time, so it’s essential to plan for it in advance.

Integration with Third-Party Services

If your app needs to integrate with third-party services, such as payment gateways, social media platforms, or analytics tools, it can add to the development time. This is because the developers need to understand and work with the APIs of these services, which can be complex and require additional testing and debugging.

Security and Compliance

If your app handles sensitive user data or financial information, it needs to be secure and compliant with relevant regulations. Ensuring the app’s security and compliance can take additional time and resources, as it involves implementing security features, conducting security audits, and complying with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS.

Maintenance and Updates

App development is not a one-time process; once the app is launched, it requires regular maintenance and updates to keep it functioning correctly and up-to-date with the latest technologies and user expectations. The time required for maintenance and updates can vary depending on the app’s complexity, the number of features, and the frequency of updates.

Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration among the development team, stakeholders, and clients can also affect the development time. Clear communication and collaboration are essential to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and that the app is developed according to the client’s requirements and expectations. Lack of communication or miscommunication can result in delays and errors that can add to the development time.

Budget and Resources

The budget and resources available for app development can also affect the development time. Developing a high-quality app requires adequate resources, including skilled developers, designers, testers, and project managers. A limited budget or resources can result in delays or compromises in quality, which can add to the overall development time.

Challenges to Mobile App Development

mobile app development challenges

Fragmentation of Devices and Operating Systems

One of the biggest challenges in mobile app development is the fragmentation of devices and operating systems. There are hundreds of different types of devices running on various operating systems and versions, making it difficult to ensure that an app works seamlessly on all devices. Developers need to test their app on multiple devices and operating systems to ensure that it works well on all of them which directly influences how long it takes to develop an app.

Continuous Updates and Maintenance

Mobile apps need to be updated and maintained regularly to ensure that they work seamlessly and provide a great user experience. However, updating and maintaining an app can be challenging, as developers need to ensure that the updates do not affect the user experience and that the app works well on all devices and operating systems.

Limited Resources and Budget

Developing a mobile app can be expensive, and many developers have limited resources and budget. Therefore, developers need to prioritize the most critical features and functionalities and ensure that the app meets the requirements of the users within the available resources and budget.

The time it takes to develop an app can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Complexity of the app, the development team’s skill level, platform on which it will be built, and features that will be included are just a few of the factors that can impact development time. It’s important to remember that developing an app is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that requires continuous updates and maintenance. With careful planning and execution, however, an app can be developed efficiently and effectively, delivering value to its users and achieving the desired business outcomes.

About The Author

blog author
Ahsan Shahid

Meet Ahsan, the wordsmith behind some of the most electrifying pieces on app development. Armed with a keyboard, a cup of coffee, and an insatiable curiosity, Ahsan has spent years exploring the wild and wonderful world of app development and currently working at Trango Tech. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, we won't judge), and get ready to dive headfirst into the exciting and ever-changing world of app development with Ahsan as your guide.

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