What is the Timetable for Developing an App?

Its not uncommon for established businesses as well as startups and entrepreneurs to explore their options when it comes to developing a mobile app.

With the pervasive use of mobile devices and apps, most businesses have realized that its a necessary way to reach their customers where theyre most frequently at, which is their mobile screen.

Even for entrepreneurs, developing an app independent of an existing business can become a stream of revenue, but its not just as easy as having a great idea. Theres an investment of time and money that goes into creating an app.

It can be better in many cases to work with an experienced app development agency like Buildfire so that you can avoid many of the more expensive and disastrous pitfalls, but what about the timeline?

What should you expect regarding how long it will take from concept to launch? Theres not one set answer, but there are some factors that play a role.

What Do You Need?

If you want a complete app, its going to take more than a few months for a quality product.

However, thats not necessarily the case if youre just looking to create a minimum viable product or proof of concept. With something like a minimum viable product, the period of development is going to be much shorter than it would be otherwise, with simple development and a short period of fixing bugs.

Another way you might see a relatively short development timeline is if you have a simple app without much complexity.

In these scenarios, speeding up the development timeline is possible.


Some app features take longer to develop than others, as would naturally make sense

For example, games, complex navigation, books, education, and catalogs all tend to be on the longer end of the development timeline.

Some of the things that tend to be shorter are news, utilities and newsstand categories.

Size of Your App

App developers refer to something called the size of your app when theyre determining an estimate of how long development could take. This usually includes four primary factors which are scope, features, depth, and purpose.

Weve already touched on some of these above, but one we havent is the scope.

Scope refers to the audience you hope to reach. As an example, if you want to reach people who might visit your brick and mortar business in your local community, the timeline of development is likely to be shorter than if your audience is international.


An app full of bugs and errors isnt going to work for todays discerning user, so testing is a massively important part of development.

The amount of testing required is also going to dictate much of the timetable youre looking at, as well as the cost of development.

To sum it all up, no one can concretely say how long its going to take to develop an app, but its likely to take more than a few months for something very complex and full of features, or an app designed to have a broad reach. The more you can prepare yourself for a longer timeline, the more prepared overall youll be for what it takes to develop a high-quality app.