One of the most common questions asked when it comes too mobile app development is how long does it take to make an app? Experienced developers can answer this question by providing a rough estimate that accounts for the average development timeframe for a typical app project similar to yours. It can be difficult to perfectly estimate the time required for creating a mobile app, as this differs from project to project and depends on the app’s specific technical requirements. In this article, we’re going to examine the major factors that determine how long it takes to create a fully functioning mobile app.

how long does it take to develop an app

Mobile App Features

As we’ve successfully completed numerous app projects, we’ve seen apps which have more features require more time and effort to design, develop, and test in each of the app development phases. Say, a mobile app that requires complex algorithms and sensor data integration like GPS and accelerometer definitely will take more time to create it. At the same time, it is reasonable to expect a shorter development time if yours is a quite simple app that doesn’t need complex coding and extensive features. Moreover, development time may increase with the number of additional features and changes in the current features and functionalities.

complex apps increase development time

Application Complexity

The complexity of an app is mainly determined by the nature of features to be integrated into the app. For example, straightforward apps with no web service integration or CRM can be done in short time. On the other hand, apps that require high-end graphics, a huge volume of data, and social media integration will take longer to develop. Let’s compare a simple e-commerce app with a mobile game application. Though both apps primarily entail user interaction, the latter takes more time to create, as it requires intricate detail and user experience.


Creating an effective user interface and experience is critical for mobile apps because they determine how users interact with an app, and how you achieve your business goals. If you want to create a graphics-intensive app, like 3D games, it takes longer to develop compared to a 2D game. Games require a lot of time to concept, design, and test to get the best UI/UX that suits your target audience. Similarly, the UI design time will be longer if your app needs custom UI/UX controls. Development time can be reduced to a certain extent if your app is using default UI controls systems provided by the OS it launches on.

Third-Party Integration

Many apps require the integration of third-party software or APIs. In this case, apps need to be connected with outside services such as payment processing companies, social media platforms, or other such services. Integration with external third-party systems takes additional time, as this involves learning the third-party’s SDK and workflow, as well as the complexities of implementing them smoothly into the app. Furthermore, your app may have to go through a lengthy process to get approval from the involved third-party services. For example, with Facebook integration, developers must submit the app to Facebook for approval and the review process may take weeks to complete.

multiple devices and operating systems testing

Devices and Operating Systems

Running apps on multiple platforms and devices is a common strategy many businesses adopt these days, as this helps them acquire the widest possible range of users. However, designing, developing, testing, and launching apps for different platforms requires extra effort on the part of the developers. In most cases, the testing process composes a major part of the timeline, especially if your app is using geo-locational services. The additional testing is to ensure the quality of the app and help your app work well across different screen resolutions. The time required for this process depends on the number of features, complexity, and third-party integration within your app.

While most mobile app developers consider these factors as the major determinants of the development timeline, expert developers can efficiently manage this with innovative time management strategy. Zco’s dedicated team of developers use agile software development methodologies in our software projects, which helps us optimize our apps to finish on time and on-budget, without compromising an app’s quality. Get in touch with one of our account executives today to find out how Zco can help make your idea for an app into a reality.