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Mobile App Development Timeline: A Realistic Approach

Mobile App Development Timeline

The business world as we know it has entered the race towards digitalization. Companies, across multiple categories, are striving to increase the speed of project delivery in response to constantly changing customer needs and competition levels.

Amidst this need to follow a lean model where software is delivered faster while keeping the quality intact, businesses have started looking at ways to lower the app development timeline. However, in order to do that it is important to know the time it takes a mobile app development company to create digital products.

In this article, we will be diving into the details of the mobile app development timeline and ways it can be shortened.

The phases of application development

While it’s true that every application is different in terms of design, features, the phases of application development and the time it takes to develop one is more or less the same. In order to understand its timeline, it is critical to understand what goes into the individual phases of app development cycle.

phases of application development


The phases of application development

Activity – time

Market research – 1m

UI/UX design – 2m

App development – 3 to 6m

App testing – 7m


Idea formation and market research (2 to 3 weeks)

Everyday a wantrepreneur comes up with fifties or hundreds of mobile application ideas. However, a quick search on the play store or app stores comes back with multiple apps offering the same services/value offerings.

The solution to this lies in extensive market research and customers’ understanding. Another aspect of this lies in ensuring that the application can be built with the existing technology combinations. Ultimately, running a market and technical validity check takes time and market researchers’ efforts – something that typically ranges from two to three weeks.

UI/UX design (2 to 4 weeks)

When it comes to application development, nothing defines the success as well as the app design does. To get the stage right, app designers typically answers a series of questions, like:

  • What are the users requirements?
  • Does the app align with any existing software?
  • How does the app solve users’ challenges?
  • Will more features get added to the app later?
  • How will the users move in the app – this will vary according to different user stories

Typically, the creation of user stories and a well-strategized immersive design takes somewhere around four weeks to complete.

App development (3 to 6 months)

Application development is one of the most critical stages of the app development milestones. Typically made up of two parts – frontend and backend development – this is where application is filled with the right design, technology, and feature sets.

This phase starts with preparing the app wireframe with all the right feature sets and then coding them to make a clickable version of the app. Next, the frontend of the application is made with a guarantee of seamlessness, easy user movement. Lastly, the backend of the application is made where the frontend is connected to ensure that the user queries are addressed in real-time.

While this is an overly simplified description of application development, in reality the process can be very complex depending on the features and the technology used in the application. However, in the end, this phase decides the average app development time.

The development phase – wireframing, frontend, and backend takes anywhere from three to six weeks to complete, depending on the app complexity.

App testing and finalization (3 to 6 weeks)

This is the phase where the QA team tests every element of the application. Here it is ensured that the app functions in line with the user requirements and expectations in a glitch-free and hack-proof environment.

The QA team typically uses a range of testing approaches like automated, manual, alpha, and beta testing to make sure that every click and scroll works as expected.

It is in the app testing phase where security is brought into the center of the app development cycle – a criticality that defines the long term success of an application.

Once the app is tested thoroughly, it gets deployed to the intended platform – Android, iOS, enterprise software etc. This entire process usually takes somewhere around three to six weeks to complete.

So here was the phase wise answer to how long does it take to code an app and deploy it. Now while this helps an entrepreneur know what to expect when they invest in application development, what is important in today’s era of digitalization is to know how to lower the development time.

Let us look into that as we conclude the article.

How to cut down the mobile app development timeline

  • Invest in MVP development. Instead of building a full-fledged app, build an application with must-have features and launch it in the market to test the users’ acceptance.
  • Build cross-platform applications. Businesses tend to invest in cross-platform apps where a single codebase is used to build apps for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, desktop, etc. This leads to lower resource requirements, which in turn cuts down the development timeline.
  • Use APIs. Third-party frameworks and APIs cut down the time to build processes from scratch. For example, you can use login APIs to prevent developers’ time behind creating multi login options from scratch.

Parting notes

The dependency on app development for business transformation has become crucial. Achieving this to its best efficiency, however, requires understanding the intricacies of the development process and how to bring the timeline down. We hope that this article got you the understanding you require to gain a competitive advantage at the back of faster go-to-market time.


What do you think?


Written by Abhishek Chauhan


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