OnyxTec IT Solutions

How long does it take to develop an app?

Developing an app’s time frame depends on various factors. Firstly, the app’s complexity plays a crucial role—simple apps with basic functionalities might take a few months, while complex ones requiring intricate features could span over a year or more. 

Additionally, the availability of resources such as skilled developers and designers impacts the mobile app development timeline. Therefore, understanding your app’s specific needs and goals is essential in estimating its development duration. 

But, the question is what key steps are involved in creating an app, and how do they influence the timeline? So, let’s find out. 

Stages of app development and its time

How long does it take to develop an app?

Each stage of the software development process influences the total time required to develop an app from conception to launch. From the first stages of preparation to the last deployment, there are particular jobs, difficulties, and deadlines to meet. Therefore, to help you plan as your project moves forward, we’ve broken down the average times for each stage of the app development process here.

Discovery Stage

At Onyxtec, we begin with solid research. During the discovery phase, we want to transform the notion from vague and flexible to a clearly defined field. This phase lasts between six and eight weeks.

Apart from it, It would help if you asked these questions to find out how long it takes to develop an app, what can be skipped, and how long each step takes.

Note that the research takes one to two weeks on average. The following is what we mean when we say “the research”:

How much time does it take to research App Idea?

Although some product owners and founders downplay this aspect, we want to emphasize that research is essential. Why? Let’s say you have an app idea but are still determining the next steps. Through research, we validate your idea by determining whether the market would accept it and whether there is a real need for it.

Most importantly, researching the topic can also reveal whether the market is crowded with ideas similar to yours or whether the expenses will be beyond your means. It’s a gentle prod to ensure that every concept finds the ideal home or serves as fuel for an even greater one.

This analysis is also performed to identify feature sets and prioritize the demands. Furthermore, research guarantees that your business objectives will be achieved.

Note that you can omit the research portion in just two situations. The first is when you’ve previously completed it or when you’re an industry expert fully versed in all aspects of the field. However, even with sufficient knowledge of the subject, you can still conduct a study because it will allow you to keep your data organized and in one location.

How much time does it take to verify the concept?

The validation component follows the research. Your app idea can be thoroughly validated in as soon as one week. But what’s going on at this stage?

In a nutshell, you can refine the information discovered through the study. The long answer is that you verify hypotheses, test app flow, and interview prospective clients. Thus, once more, you can solidify and lessen the concept’s elasticity.

The validation deliverables include:

Better prototypes, a market strategy, a traditional business model canvas, or, in the absence of one, a lean canvas.

Remember that, both validation and research are optional. After you’ve spoken with potential clients, verified theories, and established that people need the proposed service, there’s no need to waste time confirming the concept.

What is the duration required to develop a product strategy?

A product development plan is simply one aspect of what is meant by “product strategy.” It outlines your company’s objectives and how the product will help you achieve them. Two weeks are needed to develop the product strategy, which consists of:

  • Timeline estimation
  • Cost estimation
  • Product roadmap
  • Technical design document.

The most significant aspect of product strategy that we find appealing is its clarity to all parties engaged in the product development. There is less room for misunderstandings and delays because the entire team agrees.

Maybe you’re wondering if you can eliminate the product strategy. Sure, but only if you’ve made one.

How long does the app’s prototype take to complete?

We’ve put in a lot of work and are prepared to construct a product prototype.

This is a little reminder that the process of developing an app isn’t linear. Research does not end when it moves from the investigation to the validation phase. We continue to gradually expand the product, researching the market, keeping an eye on the competition, etc.

Now, let’s return to the prototyping process. First and foremost, software in prototype form is not finalized. A prototype should not be confused with a minimum viable product (MVP) or proof of concept (PoC): They are distinct entities.

The prototype is an early effort to see a practical fix. Although it lacks movement and complete functionality, the software appears functional. Prototyping is often done for 1-2 user roles to test important features or functionalities. Therefore, don’t focus on improving the prototype and don’t have unrealistic expectations for it.

The process of creating a clickable prototype takes around a week. But the thing is what is the duration required to validate the app prototype?

You must test your prototype on at least three to five consumers to obtain feedback and discover insights such as:

  • How much customers appreciate the features
  • How customers use the product
  • If using your product is challenging
  • If there is obvious navigation.

This kind of feedback, known as one-cycle feedback, takes one week to complete. The number of feedback cycles will determine the ultimate time.   

Design and Development Stage 

During the rapid prototyping discovery stage, you may quickly construct the first version of the app, test it with actual users, and make adjustments based on their input. This important step in the app construction process will save you time in the subsequent stages: Creation and Design.

How much time does the app’s design take?

App design, which includes both UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), can be completed in two to three sprints ahead of schedule or concurrently with development. In conjunction with development, this phase frequently embodies the most capricious and protracted aspect of the entire product development process.

Two factors contribute to this: rapidly evolving requirements and rapidly advancing technologies. Therefore, the question is not how difficult it is to build an app but rather how to make the process more consistent and less random. Implementing a lean UX Design process is one answer.

The primary outputs include precise prototypes that provide a realistic sneak peek at the app’s appearance and feel, as well as thorough wireframes that outline its organizational structure.

Note that the design phase usually takes two to three months.

However, the intricacy of the design might still significantly impact the timescales. A simple approach, such as employing UI kits for a few basic displays, can reduce time and money when designing an app. 

Time to develop the app?

In terms of coding, a simple program could take two months to finish. A larger app can take up to six months to complete, but a medium-sized app might take four to five months. This section covers system integration, functional implementation, backend development, UI coding, system architecture setup, and testing.

Often, stakeholders pose the question, “What is the development time for an app if we increase our staff?” The intriguing thing is that speed is independent of development team size. We’ll tell you more: each recruit has the potential to accelerate growth. How does that come about?

Suppose two developers are working on your project, but their productivity isn’t equal to two. Because of problems with communication, knowledge sharing, etc., it is typically at the level of 1. 7. It makes sense that adding two extra developers won’t cause the process to proceed twice as quickly. It will grow longer. 

Therefore, the type of app you want to create will determine how long it takes to code, more than the number of developers. 

The Schedule for Product Launch?

We’re finally prepared for the launch. We don’t have a product ready for the market until after extensive research, idea validation, a systematic approach to product development, tested prototypes, a finished design, and an app with flawless coding.

While a product’s launch usually looks similar, it always seems unique and thrilling. Here are the events leading up to the launch and the duration of each.

Alpha and beta releases are typically the two phases of launch preparation. The app’s alpha release is an early pre-release version normally carried out by organization testers.

The number of end customers who test in beta is higher than that of alpha. A significant aspect of the pre-launch phase is the submission and review cycle. This is the exact reason why it could take two weeks to a month. The approval procedures used by the App Store and Google Play Store differ.

Apple, for instance, has a far more thorough review procedure. Android pre-analyses your program using an algorithm, whereas Apple has a staff of reviewers who review by hand. Thus, the length of the submission period may vary depending on the problem. Although it occasionally takes longer, Apple claims on its App Store Review website that most apps are assessed in less than a day.

Whereas, according to Google’s Play Console Help page, app reviews may take up to seven days or more in certain circumstances, particularly for inexperienced developers or those whose products call for more thorough reviews. However, publishing takes place one to two business days following approval on both platforms. 

Ways To speed up app development Time

Ways To speed up app development Time

We are aware that modern companies want to be the first to dominate the industry by developing a successful mobile project. Each business can use the three following opportunities to expedite its development process.

Cross-Platform App

There is a high need for cross-platform software in 2019. The number of people using mobile phones on different platforms increases exponentially yearly, and these numbers will continue to drop in the upcoming years.

Even the pickiest clients might be satisfied by cross-platform apps since they offer the following benefits:

  • Quicker time to market for mobile apps
  • Increased audience reach for both iOS and Android
  • Quicker and simpler upgrades whenever businesses require
  • Time and money savings


One of the safest methods available to modern enterprises to create comfortable load circumstances for their systems and prevent code issues is modulation. Programmers with experience can divide a mobile application’s concept into modular sections. 

Decommissioning the infrastructure and creating conducive environments for code improvement in certain areas that do not conflict with the overall application environment is beneficial.

Developers can, for instance, split a project into multiple UPM packages, also known as text packages. In this case, the application’s major components are the core and several module packages. Because of this modularization, developers might create many unity projects, each with different project testing settings, parts of the entire system, etc.

The modules will make it simpler and quicker to

  • Identify app issues
  • Create, modify, and scale the application’s components 


Modern developers use an integrated development environment (IDE ) to write code. Using built-in automated tools, this software suite enables engineers to swiftly and simply edit the source code. 

In most cases, there are clever settings that can assess code quality and examine the writing process. These incredible, worthwhile IDE opportunities make the building of mobile apps possible.

Reusing Ready-made solutions 

The market is flooded with pre-made apps that may be used to create mobile applications. They go under the name of “mobile app builders.” Using an app builder or software to develop mobile apps, a mobile application can be made without knowing any code. 

Cloud platforms will host these apps. Drag-and-drop visual editors are another feature app builder providers like Appy Pie, Shoutem, and Swiftic offer. They help create and visualize their software, which helps save time and fix faults in the app.

It’s important to remember that app developers incur ongoing expenses. Sometimes, their pricing is not equitable. Nonetheless, the application process will be created quickly.

Factors Affecting the Development Timeline

Here, we’ve compiled a list of potential influences on app development and their temporal implications.

Conceptual Intricacy

The primary determinant of app development time is its complexity. This covers components such as the number of screens, functions, and roles in the product. How complicated the app idea is will directly impact the amount of software development and design effort required.

A simple app’s design can be completed in a few weeks, whereas a sophisticated app takes months. Testing and front-end and backend development follow.

Moreover, building an app like Uber takes an average of 1100 hours, whereas creating an app like Calm might take up to 880 hours.

However, creating something special, like a SaaS, can require over 1,200 hours of work.

Specific Conditions

A set of requirements describes an application’s primary functions and goals. The quicker the software is developed, the more thorough this list must be.

The development duration of an app might vary depending on variables like configuring the back end, selecting a content management system (CMS), and incorporating third-party services.

The time and cost of development will increase with the addition of new features, as well as incidentals like project management or business analysis.

Here are a few features for which founders search for solutions:

  • Register using email or social media.
  • Messaging or conversation
  • Notifications via push
  • Either a landscape or portrait view
  • Integration of payments and maps
  • User sign-in and further features
  • Added functionality could exist depending on the kind of application.

Building the requirements for programs like chat apps can take 80 hours, and for apps like Ads Manager, more than 160 hours.

Accuracy of Results

Documentation is crucial to understanding the ultimate objective and the app development timetable.

The design team later uses this material to create wireframe mockups and virtual schematics that show the design of the minimal viable product.

Project documentation serves two purposes:

  • It gives the details needed to recognize possible dangers.
  • It just has the bare minimum of features.

If the ultimate product requirements are unclear from the start, there will be more change requests during the project. As a result, use the agile technique for product development.

It is crucial to address customer pain points and offer a distinctive user experience while developing a wireframe.

What takes place in the procedure is as follows:

  • You can develop a wireframe as a team using a digital wireframe tool.
  • After that, you show it to the relevant parties and ask for their input on potential issues.
  • You adjust based on the recommendations.

Continue doing this until you achieve the intended result.

Be aware that, depending on the scale of the project, wireframes for a straightforward app like a meme generator could take two to three days to produce.

Business Proficiency

You only need help with product and design strategy if you are an exceptional coder. As a novice business owner, you will require direction throughout.

There are further factors. For example, if hiring an internal team is a component of your business plan, account for the time required to choose and onboard the team members.

Only the time spent on design and development will be considered if you already have a team.

However, if you’re short on time, communicate your mobile app development timeline with a product development business or developers. This will save you a lot of time.

Team encounter

The degree of experience on your development team has a big impact on the project’s duration. 

Highly experienced teams are frequently able to handle challenging assignments more quickly, which can greatly shorten development times.

Platform selection

An app’s development time may rise if it is made natively for each platform, such as iOS, Android, and the web. Tools for cross-platform development can shorten this time, but they may also have drawbacks.

For example, our customer gave us a two-month deadline to build an iOS app as part of a project to create an intelligent investment platform. Because of this limitation, we relied on our three years of experience with the framework to recommend React Native. 

Compared to native methods, React Native may typically cut the feature development time by 20–40%. Because of this knowledge, we were able to reach the deadline without sacrificing functionality.

To determine which choice is ideal for you, read our dedicated post on native vs. cross-platform development.

Complexity of design

One of the most time-consuming stages of app development is the design process. The schedule lengthens if you go with highly personalized and detailed designs. 

We refer to designs that enhance the user experience with animations, transitions, and captivating interactive components. 

While all of these details make you stand out, they require extra work and consideration during the development phase.

QA and testing

Testing the app on various platforms, devices, and use cases to ensure it functions as intended can also greatly impact the duration of the entire development process. 

The lengthier the development cycle, the more thorough the testing process is, especially in the event that serious defects are discovered that necessitate redesigning certain areas of the application.


With this understanding, you can ask, “How long does it take to develop an application?” when you visit an outsourcing company for assistance with app development. You are aware of what to anticipate. An app’s discovery, design and development, and pre-launch phases typically take seven to twelve months.

You learned what steps are involved in creating apps at various levels of complexity and that having a larger team doesn’t always translate into a quicker app development timeframe.

But there’s always a way to make things go more quickly. If you have sufficient market knowledge or have already conducted research, we can omit the sections on validation and study. Design and development are crucial components, and improved communication is linked to most time-saving strategies.

The three main drivers of the app development process are responsibility sharing, prompt replies, and well-defined requirements. So, contact us if you would like a thorough project estimate. We will be pleased to assist you. Who knows, perhaps this will mark the start of our partnership.


How long does it typically take to develop a mobile app?

A basic to-do list app will typically take 2-4 months to develop, a medium-complexity app like a fitness tracker would take 4–7 months, and a complex app like a social networking platform or a mobile banking app will take 7–12 months.

How much time does it take to create an Android application?

It usually takes one to three months to develop a simple Android app, three to six months to build a moderately complicated app, and six months to a year or longer to create a highly sophisticated app. The development methodology, team experience, and app features all significantly impact the time it takes. 

Should I create an iOS or Android application?

Even if iOS continues to be the most popular platform for businesses to create apps, cross-platform solutions for modern mobile platforms are still needed if companies want to create amazing apps and reach a larger audience of people using Android and iOS.

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