App development is a part of the tech industry that has boomed in recent years. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to its rise in popularity. With people being stuck at home, they needed something to occupy their time. Apps like TikTok and YouTube filled that time but were just the tip of the iceberg.
Since the beginning of 2020, the number of streaming, games, health, and medical apps has skyrocketed. That increase has left many other potential app developers with questions. The main one being: How long does it really take to develop an app?
- Coming up with an idea and doing research.
- Planning out the app.
- Designing the app.
- Developing it.
- App testing.
- The release.
- Maintaining the app.
The Idea & the Research
Taking anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks, coming up with an idea for the app is the first step. The next part would be to research the idea. Not all ideas would function well as an app. Additionally, there are ideas that have been done many times. Researching the idea for daily usage, functionality, and other elements could answer the initial thought: Is my idea good enough?
This typically takes about a month. The planning stage involves things such as the target audience, structure, operating system, type of app (i.e. native, web, or hybrid), cross-platform compatibility, and more. It’s also important to consider what features and extra options the app will have. This part of development serves as the foundation for the rest of the development process.
Designing the visual aspects of the app could average between 1 to 3 weeks. Color schemes, images, logos, animations, and so on make up this stage of development. For an app, the visual elements are vital to the user’s comfortability. An app that looks boring when it should appear vibrant and fun may lead to the user deleting it.
The Development Stage
Around 6 weeks is the median amount of time for this stage. This is also the most extensive and time-consuming part of app development. It includes creating the front-end, back-end, and User Interface (UI) elements so the app can function smoothly. An app that is frustrating to navigate or that crashes is one that users won’t keep installed. Creating a working app is perhaps the most important thing.
The Big Test
There is no accurate timeframe for this phase of development. It depends on the developer and the app. However, testing the app prior to officially releasing it ensures that any issues or glitches are fixed. Also, the use of alpha and beta testers could be a good option for new developers.
Releasing the Finished Product
From a day to 2 weeks, this is where the finished app is officially released to the public. Submitting it to the App Store, Google Play, and so on may take time due to each platforms’ guidelines.
Maintaining an app has no timeline since it’s a continuous task. Keeping the app functional, adding new features, making security improvements, and more are some of the tasks associated with app maintenance. Nonetheless, the app is still out there, which is something to celebrate.