One of the most common questions we hear is, “How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?” While the answer always depends on a number of factors relating to functionality and design, the selected platform has some influence.
There are several platforms that are currently used to develop apps for smartphones and tablets. These include iOS for iPhone and iPad, Google’s Android, Windows Phone from Microsoft, and BlackBerry.
Mobile Platform Guide for Development Cost
The two most recognized and popular platforms are iOS and Android. One of the main factors that sets them apart from one another – though only slightly – is cost.
There are more Android phones on the market compared to iPhones, in more than one sense. More people around the world use Android phones, and there are also many different brands and models of Android devices. They have varying screen sizes, processing power, and hardware features, while there are only a few different iPhones on the market. Programming and testing apps for many different Android phones therefore consumes a bit more time and resources.
Less expensive iPhone and iPad apps offer less market penetration; they’re not available to as many users right away. On the other hand, because there’s only one company making iOS devices, the fan base is more unified and the media coverage more intense. An app exclusive to iPhone often gets more attention than one for Android.
BlackBerry phones may not be as popular as they once were, but they continue to be a popular choice for business efficiency, security, and workflow. The cost of developing BlackBerry apps tends to be higher compared to other platforms because they’re usually more complex and integrate with existing backend systems. Most Android apps can be adapted to run on the latest BlackBerry operating system, however, for very little cost.
Windows Phone is gaining market share and building its app library. Like Android, it runs on devices from multiple manufacturers; but like iOS, there isn’t a great amount of variation to deal with. It’s still more expensive to develop for considering the total number of users, though.
Hybrid App Development
One of the most practical ways to get the most out of your app development dollar is to build for multiple platforms simultaneously with a hybrid app. By building with common code from the start and then compiling for different operating systems, developers save time and money. Hybrid apps are also simpler and cheaper to maintain and update. The initial cost is higher than either iOS or Android development, but significantly less than native development for both combined.
Several software tools are available to make hybrid app development a cost-effective option. The Xamarin programming environment can output apps for Android and iOS as well as Mac and Windows. Titanium is similar, producing iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and HTML5 apps.
We hope this advice proves useful to you. To learn more about app development cost or speak with an expert on mobile apps, call (603) 881-9200 or email us.
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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