Phone App Development Guide For Beginners

Mobile phones are necessities, so do phone apps to add value to our lives. The following report is from Oracle, which clearly shows how much we are dependent on smartphone apps.

Tasks Completed Via Smartphone App

Source: Oracle

Looking at this, many entrepreneurs have started taking an interest in phone app development. And why not when it comes with a great opportunity, like increasing customers organically and generating high revenue.

Whether you are planning to develop a mobile app for your newly opened business or a year-old business, here are some of the essential answers to developing mobile apps. Shall we start?

What is Phone Application Development?

Smartphone apps development is a process to create software applications that are intended to run on mobile devices. It is optimized in such a way that you take advantage of the particular product or service’s unique features and functionalities.

The mobile apps can be pre-installed during manufacturing platforms or delivered as mobile web applications using server-side or client-side processing to give an application-like experience within a Web browser.

There are different types in which mobile app developers can build apps, including native, hybrid, and web apps. We will discuss all these three types of phone apps in the next section. Let’s dig in to find more about them.

Types of Phone Apps

We have compared different types of mobile apps. You can go through each type to understand the differences and learn how an app type can affect the mobile app development process. Let’s check the differences based on various factors.

Programming LanguageSwift, Objective-C, Java, KotlinHTML, CSS, JavascriptHTML, CSS, JavaScript
Frameworks & ToolsXcode, Android Studio, & IntelliJ IDEAJS FrameworksReact Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic
PlatformSingle PlatformMultiple PlatformsMultiple Platforms
Code CompatibilityCode is platform-specific, the same code can’t be used for other mobile platformsNeed to take care of cross-browser compatibility and performanceA single codebase can be used across all major mobile platforms
Device AccessPlatform SDK (Software Development Kit) enables access to all mobile device capabilitiesOnly a few device API like geolocation can be accessedMany mobile device API can be accessed, depending on the tool
Development Cycle3-4 Months2-3 months2-3 months
DistributionApple Store, Google Play Store, WindowsWebApple Store, Play Store, Windows
PerformanceFaster and more reliable as they are built for the specific platformPerformance is based on browser and network connectionUsually slower than native as it depends on the processing speed of the user’s browser
Development CostBasic App – $5000-$6000Basic App – $3000-$5000Basic App – $4000-$5000
ExampleWhatsApp, PayPal, GoogleGmail, Yahoo, AOLInstagram, Baskin Robbins, Untappd

Now, we will get to know each type in detail. Let’s get started with the native applications first.

  1. Native Apps

    When you build an app for a particular platform, like iOS and Android, using the software development tool and language supported by the respective operating system, they are known as native mobile apps.

    This means, if an app is intended to work on the iOS platform using Swift language and Xcode tool, then this natively built iOS app will not work on the Android platform and vice-versa.

    In native mobile apps, you have to use a different code base for each platform. However, people consider having native applications because of the following benefits.

    Benefits of Native App Development

  2. Web Apps

    It is application software that runs only on a web server. These applications can be accessed through a web browser with an active internet connection. However, web apps cannot be installed on any device. But because of their responsive nature, they function like mobile apps.

    These are targeted to work towards web browsers, still work well on different mobile operating systems. Technologies used to develop web apps are generally HTML, CSS, Javascript, and JQuery.

  3. Hybrid Apps

    On the other hand, hybrid apps are completely different from native apps. It is a combination of native apps and web applications. Therefore, it is also known as cross-platform apps.

    Hybrid apps are popular because they allow developers to write code for a mobile app once and still accommodate multiple platforms.

    You use different app development tools for hybrid apps, such as Xamarin and React Native, which is an open-source tool. Where you use different code bases for platforms in native apps, a single code base is used for creating hybrid apps.

    Native vs Hybrid Apps

    This is also represented in the above image. Prominent companies like Skype and Walmart have also opted for hybrid app development technology. However, using this technology, you not only save time but app development costs too.

    After going through the comparison and brief information about types, you must have got the gist that each type has its own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. However, the question remains the same. How to choose just one?

    As you go through the following graph, you will find your answer based on your priorities. And you will also discover which type you have to focus on.

    Web Hybrid Native Apps

    To make the decision easier for you, we have shared the 3 most essential factors to choose the type of phone apps.

    Sr. NoDeciding FactorChooseWhy
    1.You have to develop an app immediately.Web App
    • Single codebase will drastically reduce software development time.
    2.You have limited resources (time & money).Web App or Hybrid App
    • Test the market with an MVP.
    • If it gets successful, build a full-fledged native version later to scale your revenue stream.
    3.You want your app to be fast, stable, and performance-rich.Native App
    • Native apps give you the speed, stability, high security, and customization features

Now, we know the various types of phone apps, let’s discuss the 7 steps to create mobile apps:

Mobile App Development Process

Whichever type you may choose, there are 7 essential steps to develop an app. We are breaking down the app development process into simpler steps to help you develop an app quickly and in an effective way.

  1. Analysis & Planning

    Analysis and Planning

    This is your first step in the mobile app development process, where you will need to analyze the market and plan to evolve your idea into a successful app.
    In this phase, you will need to:

    • Know what problems the app solves
    • Identify your target audience
    • Research the competition, if any
    • Establish the app’s goals and objectives
    • Select a platform for your app

    We have also shared the estimated cost that you invest in market research based on different locations. Please check the following table.

    LocationApprox TimelineApprox Apps Cost
    United States2-3 weeks$45 – $90/hour
    Canada2-4 weeks$40 -$80/hour
    Latin America1-3 weeks$30 – $80/hour
    Eastern Europe1-3 weeks$35 – $90/hour
    Asia1-3 weeks$30 – $50/hour
  2. Strategy


    In this phase, you will give a shape to your app concept. This means you will work on defining a road map for your project. You will have to prioritize the requirements of a typical mobile application and combine them for achieving the final delivery.

    If you have a concern regarding time, resources, or costs, then you may also opt for a minimum viable product (MVP), but make sure you prioritize this before the initial launch.

    You will also need to identify the coding skills that you will require for building mobile apps. For example, you will need different technology stacks for iOS and Android platforms, such as Swift language for an iOS app and Java for Android platform.

  3. UI/UX Design

    UI UX Design

    The purpose behind designing an app is to deliver a seamless and effortless user experience to the customers. The success of your app will majorly depend on this factor and how well users are availing of the benefits of all the features.

    The UX/UI design will help you in creating rich user experiences to make your app more interactive, intuitive, and user-friendly. The following image is a simple app designing process that you can follow. To know more about the app designing process, you can refer to this blog.

    Mobile App Designing Process

    We have mentioned the estimated timeline and cost that you invest in UX/UI design. Please check the following table and find how much this phase will cost you based on different locations.

    LocationApprox HoursApprox Apps Cost
    United States120-180$60- $110/hour
    Canada120-200$60- $110/hour
    Latin America100-170$45 – $55/hour
    Eastern Europe100 – 170$35 – $60/hour
    Asia100-150$30 – $45/hour
  4. App Development

    App Development

    Before the app development process starts, you will need to :

    • Define the technical architecture
    • Pick a technology stack
    • Define the product development milestones

    However, the app development project has 3 integral parts that you will need to cover; back-end/server technology, API(s), and the mobile application front-end.

    • Back-end: In this, you will include database and server-side objects to support various functions of the mobile apps. Moreover, you can also use an existing back-end development platform. Just make sure you are modifying it according to desired mobile functionality.
    • API: API stands for an application programming interface. It is all about the communication between the app and a back-end server/database.
    • Front-end: Front-end web development is all about converting data to a graphical interface so that users can view and interact with that data efficiently.

    Go through the app development cost and estimated timeline based on developers.

    Smartphone Applications DeveloperApprox HoursApprox Apps Cost
    Front-end160-170$80- $100/hour
    Back-end200-220$60- $90/hour
  5. Q/A Testing

    QA Testing

    QA testing is essential to make the app bug-free, usable, and secure. First, you will need to prepare test cases for app testing. Test cases will help you to perform test steps, record the test results for evaluation, and track fixes for retesting.

    Moreover, mobile app testing will include the following process:

    • User Experience Testing
    • Functional Testing
    • Performance Testing
    • Security Testing
    • Device & Platform Testing

    In the following table, we have shared the approximate timeline and cost that you invest in QA testing based on the different locations. Please find the details.

    LocationApprox HoursApprox Apps Cost
    United States40-50$70 – $90/hour
    Canada28-42$60 -$90/hour
    Latin America30-35$35 – $50/hour
    Eastern Europe30-40$35 – $55/hour
    Asia20-25$25 – $35/hour
  6. Launch App

    Launch App

    Now, this is your time to publish the app on the app stores. For this, you will need a developer account with Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

    Moreover, you must include the following things before submitting your app:

    • Title of the App
    • Description
    • Category
    • Keywords
    • Launch Icon
    • Screenshots

    The review process of the App Store may take several days, depending on the quality of your iOS app and how closely you have followed the guidelines. After that, your app will get published on the Store.

    However, the Play Store doesn’t have a review process. The app will get published on the store within hours of submission.

  7. Marketing


    If you have developed an app, then you must want people to download your app and appreciate it.

    Isn’t it?

    Therefore, create the best marketing strategy to convince the target audience to download your app. Also, you can ask the customers to give feedback. This way, you can improve the functions of your app and user engagement to reach wider audiences.

    You can implement the following methods as a part of your marketing strategy:

    • Social Media
    • Email Marketing
    • Use Teasers
    • Get More Feedback

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Mobile Application Development Cost

It is quite difficult to say the exact cost to develop an app because various factors impact the mobile app development cost.

Factors Influencing App Development Cost

However, we have taken the following data from Clutch. They have researched some of the leading mobile development companies to find the mobile app development costs.

Mobile App Development Costs

Source: Clutch

App Development Cost Estimation By Categories

Note: Please know that the following data is a rough estimation. It could always vary based on the factors we have mentioned above.

CategoryApp CostDurationExamples
Basic App>$50001 monthCalculator, Camera, Local Games, SMS Apps, Local Audio/ Video Players
Data-based App>$15,0001-2 monthsCalendar, Weather, Stocks, Maps
Authentication App>$50,0003 – 5 monthsMcDonald’s Loyalty App, Google Drive
Social Networking App>$50,000-$240,0005 – 9 monthsInstagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yummi
E-commerce App$50,000 – $240,0003 – 6 monthsAmazon, eBay, Alibaba, ASOS
On-demand App$70,000 – $80,0005-7 monthsUber, UberEATS, Postmates, Nimber, Melabiz
Marketplace App>$240,000>9 monthsTripAdvisor,
IoT & Hardware App>$50,0003 – 5 monthsBeacons, Amazon Dash Buttons, WeMo, BELI Printing Service
Find The Complete Guide of App Development Cost
  • Cost to Make an Android App
  • Cost to Make an iOS App
  • Cost to Hire Mobile Developers

Technology Stack for Mobile App Development

Having an mobile application idea is not enough; you need the right technology stack to make your app successful and rewarding. The technology stack will help you to bring your application project to reality.

Also, it makes the app maintainable and committed to your requirements for features and functionalities. Moreover, the right technology stack will help you to lower costs and app development time.

Here are the most popular and advanced tech stacks that you can use to build a mobile app.

Mobile App TypeProgramming LanguageToolkit
Native iOS AppSwift & Objective-CXcode, AppCode
Native Android AppJava & KotlinAndroid Studio, IntelliJ IDEA
Cross-platform AppHTML, CSS, JavaScriptReact Native + JavaScript/TypeScript
Web AppHTML, CSS, JavascriptJS Frameworks

How to Make Money Using Mobile Apps?

Here are some of the ways that you can implement to make money using mobile apps. Let’s find out more about these strategies.


Nowadays, it is the best way to make money, and many prominent apps are using this idea, like Facebook and YouTube. These apps show various ads to their users when they scroll the news feed. For example, you must have seen various ads while watching videos on YouTube. This way, YouTube makes money from displaying advertisements.

Premium Subscriptions

An app can offer premium subscriptions to its users for advanced features. This way, you can make money through your app. Currently, many apps offer premium subscriptions, such as YouTube and LinkedIn.

In-app Purchases

This option lets app users purchase various digital items within the app. For example, purchasing an extra life for a game or any premium content. This will also enhance the gaming experience for your users and keep them engaged with the gaming app.

Selling Merchandise

Many e-commerce platforms use this strategy to make money through apps. They sell physical goods such as toys, shirts, and shoes directly through the app. Product owners can create an account on the app and upload their products to their platforms for promotions. Even it is a win-win strategy for both owners and app users.

Events and Activities

This is another strategy where you can promote events and activities through your app. In this, you just need to link the event to a ticketing platform and start selling to make money. If you have a free app, then this strategy will definitely help to make money.

Now, we will answer the most asked questions to resolve your queries and doubts. Please go through them one-by-one to find the solutions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which programming languages to use for mobile app development?

  • Swift
  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • C/C++
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Which country is the best to outsource mobile app development?

  • India
  • The USA
  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • The Philippines

How can I estimate the app development cost?

Here is the simple formula that you can use to estimate the app development cost.

Formula to Calculate App Development Cost

Which factors influence app designing cost?

  • Visual Design
  • UX Design
  • Graphic Design
  • UX Writing

Which are the best designing tools for mobile apps?

  • Adobe XD
  • Marvel
  • Sketch
  • Invision
  • Photoshop

How much does it cost to build an iOS and Android app?

Clearly, the app development cost depends on various factors, such as features, functionalities, location of the developer, and complexity.

For a rough estimation, an Android app will cost you around from $15,000 to $80,000 or beyond. Moreover, the mentioned factors can always influence the app development cost for Android.

The same goes for iOS apps. A simple and basic iOS app can cost you around $30,000 and take up to 2 months to build.

Developing a complex app will take more than 2 months and will cost you about $50,000. If you want an iOS or Android app with extensive enterprise data, it will take more than 6 months and cost you around $80,000.


Closing Note

In this blog, we have discussed many important things like types of phone apps, steps to create a mobile app, approximate cost by stages & categories, technology stack for app development, and answered the most asked questions.

Being an entrepreneur, if you have decided to develop a mobile app for your business, then get in touch with us through our contact us form.

We are one of the top mobile app development companies and have developed more than 3500 iOS and Android apps. Just share your app concept with us and we will be guiding you further.

Author Bio
Jigar Mistry
Jigar Mistry
Designation: Vice President (Technologies)

Jigar Mistry is Vice President (Technologies) at Space-O Technologies. He has 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and on-demand.