How Long Does It Take to Develop an Application?

A great app idea is NOT enough to make an application successful.

You have to be faster on the market to disrupt it with your offered services or products, as millions of apps are already published on the app stores.

Therefore, it is essential that you know how soon you will be able to build an app and launch it into the market.

But how long does it take to develop an application?

If you are thinking the same, then here is a quick answer to it.

  • Simple Mobile App Development Timeline: 2 – 4 months
  • Mid-size App Development Timeline: 4 – 6 months
  • Complex App Development Timeline: Starting from 9 months

As one of the pioneers in offering the best mobile app development services in the USA, we have curated this guide based on our experience building over 4400 mobile apps.

So let’s get started.

How Long Does It Take To Develop an App Based on Types?

The mobile app development timeline ranges from 3 to 8 months.

types of app complexity

The following table shows the app development timeline based on its app complexity.

App TypeEstimated TimelineExample
Small App Development1 – 3 Months
  • Calculator
  • Note-taking App
  • Simple Chat App
Average App Development2 – 6 Months
  • eCommerce App
  • EHR Platform
Complex App Development4 – 8 Months
  • Telehealth Platform
  • Finance App

Above, we have discussed the app development timeline based on the app complexities. Now, we will discuss the development timeline based on the different app types. We have compared the timeframe for each app type based on their features. Have a look at the following table.

App TypeEstimated TimelineApp FeaturesExample
On-demand App1000- 1200
  • Real-time tracking
  • Push notifications
  • Search and filter
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Order history
  • Payment gateway
  • Order tracking
Social Networking App1200 – 1400
  • Content sharing options
  • Messaging system
  • Open forum
  • Dashboards
  • Real-time notifications
  • Follow and share
  • Chat and live video
eCommerce App1500 – 1700
  • Detailed product description
  • One-step registration
  • Wishlist
  • Payment gateway
  • Order history
  • Cart
  • AI-voice assistance
  • Social media integration
E-learning App1000 – 1500
  • Video-based content
  • Interactive content
  • Live sessions and tutorials
  • Offline mode lectures
  • Student dashboard
  • Quizzes & exercises
Dating App800- 1200
  • In-app chat & messaging
  • Voice and video calling
  • Push notifications
  • Tagging and search filter
  • Photo & video sharing
  • Security & privacy
  • Profile verification

In fact, being a top mobile app development company, we have experienced delivering several app development services, including 40+ on-demand app development, 30+ healthcare app development, and 20+ custom eCommerce app development. You can check our portfolio to learn more about our app development standards.

Want to Develop an App Within an Estimated Timeline?

Space-O is a leading mobile app development company to work with more than 1200 clients of different industries worldwide.

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Now, let’s check how long does it take to make an app based on the app development stages. In the section, you will find the bifurcation of stages along with the estimated timeline.

App Development Timeline During Different Stages Process

how long does it take to make an app

The mobile app development process is divided into 6 stages. We will discuss all the design and development stages and check how much time you would need to invest in each stage.

  1. How Long Does It Take to Conduct Market Research for the App?

    The first stage of developing an app is to conduct app market research to ensure that you have a unique strategy and are able to reach the right audience in the shortest time.

    The market research also involves some sub-categories that you can check in the following table, along with the estimated timeline.

    StageEstimated Timeline
    Research the App Idea1 – 2 Weeks
    Validate the App Idea1 Week
    Prepare SWOT Analysis2 Weeks
    Create the Product Strategy2 Weeks
  2. How Long Does It Take to Prototype the App?

    Once the strategy and requirements are finalized, the BA team prepares a wireframe to help you understand the processing of the app. You will get to know how your app users will perceive all the features. Then, the team will provide a prototype to test the concept.

    StageEstimated Timeline
    Wireframing2 – 4 Weeks
    Prototyping1 – 2 Months
  3. How Long Does It Take to Design the App?

    Generally, it would take 2 – 3 months to design an app.

    However, having the answer to this question, which is a good app design practice will also make your design process faster. You should know that the designing stage is the most unpredictable part of the app development process as there are multiple times when a designer has to go back and forth to match your design expectations.

    It also might be because of the fast-changing requirements or new technologies recently rolled out in the market. So to reduce the designing time, you can follow good design practices.

  4. How Long Does It Take to Code the App?

    This is the longest stage where you would need to invest your maximum time. So as soon as the designs are finalized, the mobile apps developers begin to code the application. Here are the 3 different sub-categories in which the coding process is divided by the estimated timeline.

    Development StageEstimated Timeline
    Front-end Development3 to 5 Months
    Back-end Development3 to 8 Months
    API Integration1 to 2 Months
  5. How Long Does It Take to Test the App?

    Once the app solution is built, the QA team checks the application’s features to ensure the app runs seamlessly and is 100% bug-free. The team will also perform manual and automated testing for the code, usability, security, and functionality to make it launch-ready.

    Testing TypeEstimated Timeline
    Manual Testing2 – 4 Months
    Automated Testing1 – 2 Months
  6. Note: The mobile app testing timeline depends upon the complexity and size of the application.

  7. How Long Does It Take to Launch an App on the Play Store and App Store?

    The release of an app goes through different stages; alpha and beta. The alpha release is an early pre-release version that is generally performed by the quality testers within the organization. On the other hand, the beta release is the final launch on the app stores. Therefore, having a clear understanding of how to launch an app will make the process easier.

    Release TypeEstimated Timeline
    Google Play Store Release Timeline3 to 6 Days
    Apple App Store Release Timeline2 to 15 Days

Now, we will discuss the app development based on the different mobile app development platforms, such as the Android app and the iOS app. So, let’s start discussing the timeline for an Android app first.

How Long Does It Take to Build an Android App?

An Android app development timeline ranges between 2 to 9 months.

As every app is unique in itself, it is difficult to predict a fixed range to estimate the app development timeline. This estimation for timeline depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the app, features that you are implementing, UX/UI design, and the usage of third-party services.

Please know that in some situations, the timeframe also could reach more than 9 months for complex Android apps or when you are looking to build 2 separate native apps, an Android app, and an iOS app, instead of cross-platform app development.

Now, after discussing the development timeline for an Android app, let’s find out how much time you need to invest in building an iOS app.

How Long Does It Take to Build an iOS App?

An iPhone app development timeline ranges between 2 to 8 months.

However, developing iOS apps are much easier compared to Android apps in terms of timeline, costs, and efforts.

It is believed that Swift is Apple’s native programming language. Therefore, it is more convenient and requires less time to code iOS applications.

On the other hand, Android developers use Java or Kotlin to develop Android apps, which is a little more complex process.

So, with Swift, you have to spend less time coding, which means you are able to develop and launch your iOS quickly compared to Android apps.

Please know that the timeframe for other app development stages would remain almost similar in both the cases, Android and iOS. Only the coding stage creates the difference between the timeframe for the two app development types.

If you are looking to build an app quickly, you must know that there are some factors that actually impact the app development timeline. Having an understanding of these factors will help you save time and, ultimately, the cost of app development. So, let’s discuss such factors.

Note: The Android or iOS app development timeline depends upon factors such as the usage and integration of different components. For example, if you develop custom components while building an Android app, the timeline may increase in comparison to iOS app development. Therefore, book a one-to-one session with app development consulting team to know the exact timeline for requirements.

Which Factors Impact the App Development Timeline?

Factors Impact the App Development Timeline

What does it take to develop an app? While estimating the app development timeline, you must consider several factors that impact the delivery period. Based on our experience, we have listed 4 different yet essential factors you must consider during the app development timeline estimation.

  1. The Complexity of the App

  2. It is one of the major factors which not only impact the app development cost but the timeline as well. Certain things involved in the mobile app development process influence the complexity of the app and impacts the timeline, such as the number of features, functionalities, and app screens.

    So when you develop a simple app with fewer complexities, you quickly build it within a few weeks. But when you are up to creating a complex app, which might take months to complete. For example, as simple as a PDF Scanner app will take 4 – 6 weeks to get completed, but a SaaS-based app like Uber may take more than 4 months to 6 months.

  3. Your App Development Requirements

  4. Your requirements also decide the estimation of the app development timeline. The features and functionalities that you want to incorporate will result in increasing or decreasing the time to build an app. Functionalities could include backend infrastructure, selecting CMS, or maybe opting for third-party API integration.

    Here are the features that entrepreneurs generally opt to incorporate into their apps.

    • Sign up through social media or email
    • Chat or messaging
    • Push notifications
    • Portrait or landscape view
    • Payment integration
    • Maps Integration
    • User login and more

    In addition, you also need to know that adding too many features to the app will surely shoot up the app development cost. Therefore, you need to know which features you exactly want to integrate so that you can convey the same to the mobile app development team to save on time as well as cost.

  5. UX/UI Design

  6. To ensure you save app development time, you must focus on applying a simple UI design. Otherwise, complicated designs will take longer because of the attractive design elements.

    As UX/UI designing involves a lot of planning, strategies, and testing, having a complicated design will increase your development time. Also, it makes it difficult for the users to navigate the app efficiently.

    Now, let’s discuss how you can develop an app within the pre-defined timeline. We are going to discuss the tips in the following section.

6 Tips to Develop an App in Decided Timeline

Here are the ways that you can implement to reduce your app development timeline by speeding up the overall app development process.

  • Develop a minimum viable product (MVP) that has only essential features and takes less time
  • Opt for a cross-platform app development approach so that you do not need to build 2 separate apps for Android and iOS platforms
  • Follow an agile app development methodology so that you can break down the development process into several processes and can involve constant feedback
  • Choose to outsource your app development requirements as experienced outsourcing companies are well-versed in delivering app solutions on time
  • Opt for a ready-to-go-solution (white label solution), such as clone apps like an on-demand app like Uber, an eCommerce app like Amazon, and a dating app like Tinder
  • Choose the automation testing process to accelerate the development lifecycle and save time

Want to Discuss Your App Idea to Get a Timeline Estimation?

Talk to us. Our technical consultants will review your requirements and help you with a roadmap, along with cost and average time to develop an app.

If you are still looking for more answers on the app development timeline, check the next FAQ section.

FAQ About App Development Timeline

How many mobile app developers are needed to make an app?

Generally, a team of 5-6 mobile apps developers is enough to build a feature-rich application within an estimated timeline.

You will need backend developers to handle the backend part of the app and frontend developers to deal with the frontend part of the app. However, you also have a choice to hire full-stack developers instead of separate developers for handling the backend and frontend parts of the app.

How much time does it take to get your app approved on the Google Play Store?

Usually, it takes 3 to 6 days to review your app for the authorities of the Google Play Store. This is because your app, by default, uses standard publishing, which is why your app will be published as soon as possible. But certain apps are subjected to extended review, resulting in reviewing and publishing your app for up to 7 days or more in some cases.

How much time does it take to get your app approved on the Apple App Store?

If you are submitting your app to the Apple App Store, then it typically takes 2 to 7 days to pass through the Apple App Store’s detailed reviewing process and guidelines. However, it can also be extended up to 4 weeks, so you must be very patient while your app goes through the review process.

How much time does it usually take to get your first 1,000 app users?

Getting your first 1000 app users could take as less as 1 to 6 months or more. It entirely depends on your marketing strategies and efforts and the quality of the offered services.

Ready to Develop a Mobile App for Your Business?

Through this guide, you get to know the average app development time based on different app types, app complexities, app development stages, and app development platforms. You also know which factors influence the app development timeline and tips to reduce it. So, we can say that it takes around 6 to 12 months on average to create an app.

Now, it would be easy for you to develop an app and quickly launch it within your estimated timeline. Get in touch with us if you are facing challenges in developing your app or want to discuss your app requirements. We will evaluate your requirements, devise a custom strategy, and suggest the best possible situation within your timeline.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.