More than 200 billion apps were downloaded in 2018.  By 2022, that number is expected to grow to 258 billion.  It’s an app world these days.

How Much Will An App Cost To Build?

There’s no way to accurately estimate the costs to build an app without making some decisions about your app features.  There is going to be a significant difference in price for a custom-built app with shopping carts and credit card processing versus a calculator app.

A basic app might cost you $20-$30k.  Apps with medium complexity are more in the $50-$75k range while complex apps can easily exceed $100k.  It’s not unusual for sophisticated apps to cost between $250,000 and $750,000.

If you know how many hours it will take, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the number of hours by an average of $50 an hour.  That works if you know how many hours you’ll need, but you probably won’t know that until you design it out. It also makes a big difference where your app is developed.  U.S. based rates will be the highest. Offshore rates are typically the lowest.

Fortunately, several online cost calculators can make the process easier and give you a much more accurate estimate.  Before you try them out, however, you’re going to need to think through what you’re going to need.

  1. Features and Functions
  2. Design and Customization
  3. Platforms
  4. Infrastructure, Data Handling
  5. App Administration

If you’re handling sensitive data, health data, or credit card data, there are also compliance considerations which will play a role.

App Building Cost Calculators

Content Marketing Strategic Tools

Here are four estimator tools we like:

The App Development Cost Calculator

The App Development Cost Calculator takes only a few seconds to see an estimate.

It walks you through these categories in a simple point-and-click interface:

  1. Platform (Android, iOS, Web, or Hybrid)
  2. Icon Needs
  3. Security and Encryption
  4. Data Storage
  5. Login Features (Email, Social)
  6. Media Features (Audio, Video, Camera, Live Streaming, etc.)
  7. Utility Features (Geolocation, Messaging, Bluetooth, QR Codes, Maps, Search, Phone Sensors)
  8. UX (User Experience) Features (Push notifications, Feeds, Ratings, SMS, Shopping Cart, Booking)
  9. Other Features (Ads, Forms, In-App Purchases, Referrals)
  10. Third-Party Services/Integration
  11. Admin
  12. Tablet Version
  13. Design-Build
  14. Number of Screens
  15. Number of Users

You can also add Two-Factor authentication, Offline modes, and Multi-Language support.

One advantage over other calculators is that you aren’t asked to signup or provide your email before seeing results.  You can select multiple platforms and view costs for iOS, Android, Web, or Hybrid / Cross-Platform at the same time. Unlike other calculators, it will factor in your experience level and whether you’ll need project management services – which can make a big difference in cost.

It also gives you the option of choosing Top quality, Medium quality, or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for launch.

You can ask for competing bids from multiple app development companies once you’ve made your selections.  You can also download the specs to shop around if you’d like to compare your estimate to others.

Build Fire Mobile App Project Calculator

Build a Fire’s mobile app project calculator takes a different approach.  It claims to compare the costs for having them build your app versus using an outside developer as you build your features with a slider or clicking on choices in 14 categories, including:

  1. App quality based on location (off-shore, near-shore, local, or Silicon Valley)
  2. Platform (iOS, Android, or Progressive Web App / PWA)
  3. Login (Email, Social, Single Sign-On / SSO)
  4. User Data Points
  5. Engagement
  6. Advanced Features (Audio, Video, e-Commerce, Maps, Geo-Fences, Bluetooth, etc)
  7. Revenue sources
  8. Third-party and backend integrations
  9. Infrastructure and Security
  10. Maintenance

It does allow you to compare costs across platforms, but you’ll have to start over each time and price them out separately for each platform.  Note that you will need to enter your email to get the detailed report.

Venture Pact App Estimator

Venture Pact’s app estimator can price out apps for Android, iOS, Windows, or Hybrid apps that work cross-platform using HTML5.  One nice touch is that you can select multiple platforms and price them out altogether.

Here is what you fill out:

  1. UI theme and Screens
  2. Security, Identity Management, and Encryption
  3. Third-Party Integrations
  4. Data Management
  5. Admin Features
  6. Additional Features

Be aware that you will have to provide an email to get the report, but once you provide it, you can view the estimate.  One unique feature is that you can view costs by development zones. This can be helpful since where your app is developed will have an impact on your costs.

Estimate My App

Estimate My App from OOZOU allows you to break out cost estimates for web apps, back-end to mobile apps, iOS apps, or Android apps.  Click on choices in 10 categories and you’ll get an estimate of the number of designer and developer days, a rough timetable, and total cost.

  1. How big is your app
  2. What level of UI you would like
  3. Users and Account management, including social and domains
  4. User-Generated Content (UGC)
  5. Calendar and Bookings
  6. Location Services and Mapping
  7. Social & Engagement
  8. Shopping, Billing, and eCommerce
  9. APIs and Integrations
  10. Security

There are a couple of downsides to Estimate My App.  It does not include any back-end infrastructure, which may significantly increase costs.  While you can find out pricing for different platforms, it doesn’t save your choices, so you have to fill out your selections over again when you want to price out iOS versus Android versus Web App.

LITSLINK App Calculator

LITSLINK app calculator will help you get your app estimate in a matter of minutes. It has twenty-seven multiple-choice questions related to five key areas of application development. 

  1. Product design (your industry, platform, etc.) 
  2. Key features (login options, languages, etc.)
  3. Communication features (feed, notifications, geolocation, scheduling, etc.)
  4. Interactivity (integration with 3rd party APIs, gratification and gamification, etc.)
  5. Security & ownership (a type of security, analytics, compliance, etc.)
  6. Promotion 

The LITSLINK app calculator is intuitive and user-friendly. Suppose you have no experience with application development. In that case, each option of a question has a hint or a definition to make an educated choice—free estimation with no tedious calls from sales representatives. 

Calculating Your App Development Costs

Ultimately, it’s your choice when it comes to picking an app developer.  Make sure you compare multiple vendors and provide the same specs and features for each of them.

You’ll want a firm understanding of what vendors will provide and what you will be responsible for handling.  Don’t forget to add in costs for maintenance, bug fixes, updates, and patches. Some app developers will handle product launches and publicity.  If not, that part will be up to you.

Use these calculators to estimate your costs.  This can help prepare your budgets and weigh your options.