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How Long Does It Take to Create an App?

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It’s no longer up for debate — the world has gone mobile. We now live in an era where our smartphones are always within arm’s reach. The Apple App Store and Google Play Store are a haven for millions of fitness, social media, communication, banking apps, and a whole lot more. You’ll find an app for pretty much anything you can imagine. 

People use these applications 24 hours a day to seek information, conduct business, and stay entertained. So it’s no surprise that business owners often want to create apps to engage with their prospective and existing customers. Whether you’re looking to learn how to develop an app yourself or you want to pay a mobile developer to do it for you, you likely have a lot of pressing questions. How long does it take to create an app, how much money do I need, what tools are required, and can I do it on my own?

Typically, most apps can be developed in about 3-6 months. More complex and feature-rich apps may require a year or more to develop, depending on how custom the code needs to be. The time it takes to create an app varies greatly, depending on a wide range of factors. Your budget, the size of the development team, their level of expertise, needing customized algorithms, and many more factors all contribute to the overall timeline. Complex apps will naturally take longer to create. Something simple, like a calculator or flashlight app, for example, may take less than a week to complete. If you’re trying to build the next PUBG, Facebook, or Uber, on the other hand, it might take years. This article will take you through an app’s development process and shed more light on how you can speed things up. 

The App Creation Process

Before you start creating an app, you have to answer basic questions that justify its existence. How will it contribute to your business and solve your target audience’s pain points? You then have to scout the market for similar apps and look for ways to create a better product. Brainstorming these initial questions may take more than a week, but it’s vital to ensuring that you create an app that provides value to your business and your customers. 

After justifying your app’s existence, you then need to clarify its proposed features. How do you want your app to operate and what tasks do you want it to be able to do? Most business owners also want to collect individual user data, such as email addresses, phone numbers, and location, from their app users. 

In the “storyboarding” stage, you have to develop a visual representation of how you want each sequence in your app to look. This stage focuses on your app’s user experience, the interface and it’s navigability. Ideally, your customers don’t have to tap through more than 2-3 screens to reach any feature within the app. You’ll also need to decide whether your app will run on multiple operating systems or only one OS. This stage can take at least a month when creating an iOS app. Creating an Android app typically takes around 25% more time. That’s because there are thousands of Android devices running on more versions of the operating system. 

After determining your proposed app attributes, you need to confirm that it’s technically possible to develop and make these features work. You or your technical team should ensure that their programming can accomplish the functionality and interactive design you’re looking for. Once everything is in place, the actual app development process typically takes a few months to complete. The final stage involves piloting and refining your app. Alpha testing occurs within your organization, while Beta testing happens in the real world. Testing reveals problems that you may not have anticipated and generates suggestions for features that can make your app better. 

How to Create Your App Faster

As explained in the previous sections, creating a basic commercial app typically takes between three to six months. However, as with any business process, a wide range of factors can slow down the project completion. For example, inadequately clarifying your app’s features can result in the need for mid-project alterations. A great idea and a solid budget are only some of the basic requirements for the development of a successful app. If the developers’ skills aren’t up to mark for what’s required, it may take much longer to come up with a decent app, and the potential expense of outsourcing an app developer. Integrating complex technologies like Augmented Reality into your app may make for an exceptional user experience, but it’ll undoubtedly require more time to perfect. How then, can businesses create competitive apps more quickly?

By far, the best way to speed up your app creation process is to hire a professional development team. Having an experienced team ensures that each step in the development process takes less time to complete. You’ll also be able to anticipate and avoid any challenges. Instead of creating separate iOS and Android apps, going for cross-platform solutions can save a lot of time. Automated testing, agile development, and prototyping systems ensure that you can adapt your app to any mid-project alterations and not need to start from scratch. 


As most people now spend a significant amount of time on their smartphones, businesses are keen on developing apps to engage with their prospective and existing customers. Due to a range of factors, companies are typically not sure how long the app creation process should take. Most commercial apps can be up and running in between three and six months. As unforeseen circumstances may delay your app launch, you may need to allow for a buffer period rather than set firm deadlines.

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