Complete Guide on Android App Development Cost in 2023
11 September 2023
"What will be the cost of my Android application development?" This is a common question from app development services seeking clients everywhere. Most app development companies offer free quote services upfront on their homepage to mitigate it.
Now, the question is how they compute the Android application development costs. They take a straightforward approach. Each team member has a special hourly rate for their services. So, they count how many hours a particular task will need. In due course, they fragmented the entire project into several logical tasks.
Well, why should we need to calculate Android app development cost? What is the significance of Android app development itself?
Significance of Android App Development
Android has almost 70% of the app market share, as shown in the graph below.
For a business, it is a whopping opportunity for marketing through an Android application. Therefore, businesses strive for an Android application on the Google Play Store to woo a vast audience. It also ensures good ROI for a business through Android applications.
However, our prime focus is to know everything regarding Android application development costs. So, let's learn which factors affect the Android app development cost.
Factors & Phases Affecting the Cost of Android App Development in 2023
In the standard cost estimation process, we rely on how many hours the app development team works on the project. Apart from these, we also need to count what we spend on buying essential third-party resources from the market, such as
- Hardware components or devices from the platform or third-party providers
- Peripheral services from third-party providers
- Maintenance services
The app development cost estimation process also involves many selections, such as platform (native or cross-platform), technology (Java or Kotlin), category, and complexities involved in the app development.
Let's learn them in detail.
Android App Complexities
We can divide Android app development complexities into three comprehensive categories such as
Simple Android Apps –
This category of apps has primary features, functionality, and user interface that an MVP (Minimum Viable Products) consists of.
Moderate Android Apps –
This app category has additional features and functionality, more than MVP. For instance,
- Data storage & processing
- Payment gateway integrations
- Third-party services integration
- Backend features, such as dashboard, analytics, etc.
Complex Android Apps –
These categories of apps have
- A lot of custom features, functions, and integrations.
- Need a bespoke UI design
- Need plenty of micro & macro animations
- Have advanced backend features and functionality
- Have complex third-party applications and service integrations
Based on the complexities involved in Android app development, some seasoned Android developers have placed the ballpark estimation in the following way:
|App Complexity||Estimated Hours of Work||Ballpark Estimation|
Android app complexity depends on the following factors:
Android App Features & Functionality
Adding a feature or functionality to an Android app demands additional effort in designing and programming tasks. Thus, it goes to additional numbers of hours. It eventually translates into higher costs and longer timelines.
Android App Integration
Android app developers need to integrate third-party hardware, software, and services to bring some features and functionality to Android apps. These integrations demand additional efforts and investment, eventually translating into increased overall development costs.
For instance, CMS, CRM, and ERP software integration in backend & front, and API & cloud services integration are known examples. Similarly, payment gateway integration is a common phenomenon in ecommerce apps.
Access to Device's Features
Many Android apps need access to additional hardware and OS features provided by the platform. For instance, Bluetooth, GPS, etc. It requires additional hours to work by designers and developers. It results in an increased cost.
We have two known options to develop the backend architecture for a complex app: BaaS or Custom.
BaaS (Backend as a Service) is a cloud-based option that provides ready-to-use features and functions that eventually save Android developers time.
However, custom backend development demands additional hours from Android programmers, which turns into additional project costs.
There are five types of Android apps prevailing in the market. Let's know their estimated costs.
- Web app - $15K-50K
- Progressive web app - $32K-$55K
- Hybrid app - $20K-$40K
- Cross-platform app - $25K-60K
- Native app - $50K-100K
Progressive Web App
It was initially developed as a website. With selective preferences, it gradually becomes a mobile web app and works offline as a potential mobile app with push notifications, access to mobile hardware, and responsive app design.
As its name suggests, it combines the capability of a web app and a native app. It uses standard web development technologies with native app containers to provide native mobile app experiences. A native container provides the device's hardware access and facilitates app distribution through App Stores.
You can create cross-platform mobile apps using frameworks like Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, etc. They share a single codebase on multiple platforms and save development time considerably. However, they give native-like UX and UIs with complex features and functionality. Therefore, they cost more than web apps or hybrid apps.
Native app development requires the use of platform-specific technologies. For instance, Android apps demand using Java or Kotlin programming technologies and frameworks. It also needs various integrations of native & third-party hardware, software, and services for additional features and functionality. Therefore, native Android app development is always costlier than the web, PWA, hybrid, and cross-platform apps.
Various app categories are found in Google Play Store and other Android app marketplaces. However, we can classify them in the following ways for simplicity.
|Social Media App||1000-1200||$50K-300K|
|IoT & Hardware-based App||1200-1500||$100K-300K|
Different levels of features, functionality, and complexities determine the costs of the different categories of apps, such as:
E.g., Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, etc.
- It performs in real time.
- Handles millions of users at once.
- Have robust security arsenals.
Social Media App
E.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
- A lot of third-party integrations.
- Access to various hardware functions.
- Supports millions of users.
- Highly scalable.
E.g., Weather, Calendar, Stock, etc.
- Data determines app behavior.
- The app is more agile and adaptable to changes.
- The app is more scalable.
- The app helps collect data, process, visualize, and make decisions.
E.g., Uber, Ola, Postmates, Nimbler, etc.
- User registration and account management.
- Booking system
- Payment system
- Customer support system
E.g., Authy, Google Authenticator, McDonald's Loyalty App, etc.
- Enhanced security.
- Offers convenience.
E.g., Walmart, TripAdvisor, Google Express, etc.
- Listing management.
- Search & discovery.
- Payment integration.
- Rating & reviews.
IoT & Hardware-Based App
E.g., Amazon-dash, Beacons, Buttons, WeMo, etc.
- The setting of various sensors.
- Data collection and storage of data from various sensors.
- Data analysis and presentation.
- Establish connectivity among various devices and hardware components.
App Design & Animation
App design and animation process determine the Cost of the App. It involves research, UI design, UX design, illustration, and animation design processes.
User Research ($100-350)
It demands the involvement of a trained BA (Business Analyst) team to run
- Audience research
- User personal creation
- Competition analysis
- Strategy planning
- App development planning
UI Design ($10K-40K)
User interface or UI design determines how your app will look and provides ease in working on it. It involves graphics and layout design, and UI designers accomplish it. If you want to create a fancy app UI design with out-of-box functionality, you need to follow the following steps.
- Sketch design
- Prototypes design
- Final UI design
Of course, UI design is a creative process requiring more time to produce the expected results.
UX Design ($2K-8K)
You can't expect success without giving your app an exceptional user experience (UX). It involves the following process and a team of expert UX designers.
- Prototype design
It helps you establish a UX workflow in your app.
You need branding of your business in your app. So, logo creation and theme development are essential parts of the app design process.
Animations convey brand and business messages effectively. They could be simple, moderate, or complex; the simplicity or complexity level determines the Android app's cost. Android platform supports Material Design by Google, providing outstanding animations without affecting app performance.
App Deployment Cost
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when calculating the Cost of Android app deployment. These include:
App Store Fees:
The Android app store is known as Google Play Store. It charges $25 per app for app publication in the marketplace. So, we need to add it to the cost calculation.
Marketing and Promotion:
We must use various mobile app marketing techniques for Android apps to reach a broad audience. It includes various channels, such as app store marketing techniques, the buzz on social media, ranking on SERPs, and paid ad media. The marketing cost remains throughout the app lifecycle, and you need to include it in your app budget.
To acquire app users, we must make special efforts using various user acquisition channels, such as paid advertising, social media, and word-of-mouth. The user acquisition cost will vary depending on the target audience and the marketing strategy.
The total cost of Android app deployment can vary significantly depending on the abovementioned factors.
Selection of App Development Team/Company
The selection of the right Android application development team or company is a vital factor in app success and cost.
You will have a range of choices at hand to make a selection for Android developers. The options are:
Local Android Development Agency:
A local Android app development agency is a great choice when frequently interacting with developers as a client.
- Hourly Rate: $50 - $200
- Average cost: $60K - $80K
Hiring an in-house team for multiple projects is ideal if you can afford, retain, and expect talents to be available.
- Hourly Rate: Depends on the local market rate
- Average cost: $40K - $50K
Remote Freelance Developers:
Freelance Android app developers are a good selection for small projects with limited scopes.
- Hourly Rate: It depends on you.
- Average cost: $10K - $20K
Outsourcing Android Development Company:
It is the best choice if you want high quality with advanced features and functionality in your Android app. You can get on-time delivery and the best post-development services with reputed companies like Jeel Techsoft.
- Hourly Rate: $50 - $150
- Average cost: $20K - $100K
How An Individual Role in A Team Contributes to the Android App Cost
However, it is noteworthy that the size of the app development team plays a crucial role in determining the app development cost. The typical Android app development team consists of the following team members.
The cost of the business analyst team may range from $2K to $10K, depending on the size of the project.
The cost of solution architects in an Android app development project may vary from $1K to $9K.
UI & UX Designers:
The app design team can cost $4K to $15K.
The cost of Android programmers is high in a project and may vary from $30K to $100K.
The QA and testing team cost may go from $8K to $20K.
The cost of a DevOps team may vary from $2K to $10K.
The cost of a project manager may vary from $2K to $10K.
The cost of a maintenance expert may range from $5K to $10K.
The cost of a marketing team can range from $2K to $20K.
Note: The cost range is according to the app's complexity.
Android app security is vital for Android users because Android is an open-source platform. Despite stringent measures by Google Play Store, app safety and security responsibility greatly depend on how Android app developers take apt security measures.
Therefore, a number of security aspects need to be considered when calculating the Cost of Android app development. These include:
Android apps often contain crucial user data, such as personal information, financial data, and passwords. To protect these app data, developers take various measures. For instance,
- Data encryption
- Data access control
- Data validation
- Data logging and monitoring
- Data security updates
We must allocate an additional budget for app development costs to implement these data security measures.
Thanks to its open network, mobile apps are highly vulnerable to various security threats. Therefore, Android app programmers must take additional security measures to protect Android devices and servers. In due course, developers must focus on the following network security aspects.
- Secure data transport on the network.
- Network segmentation.
- Network data encryption.
- Access control.
- Logging & monitoring.
- Network Security updates.
We know the following user behavior aspects can affect app security.
- Clicking on malicious links in the Android app.
- Downloading infected files.
- Sharing critical information, including passwords, websites, email addresses, attachments, etc.
- Not following security updates.
Thus, developers must take ample steps to prevent users from making wrong decisions and creating security risks. It demands additional working hours, and that can add to the cost.
Android has acute fragmentation issues in terms of the different devices used on the platform. Therefore, developers must take additional measures to cope with various security threats arising from devices.
- Device sandboxing
- Security coding practices for device security
Therefore, the Android app must be designed to work with a variety of devices and to protect itself from attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in those devices. It can be done by testing the app on a variety of devices and by using security frameworks that can help to mitigate known vulnerabilities.
In sum, we can put an estimated amount of the cost of Android app security in the following way:
- Security consulting: $5K to $50K.
- Security testing: $10K to $100K.
- Security training: $1K to $10K.
Android app maintenance involves a variety of tasks, and they add cost to the app lifecycle. For instance,
Cost of Bug Fixing
Recently, Rolbear published a survey on bug fixing. It shows that Android app developers spend 10 hours per week on app bug fixing. It means they are spending almost 500 hours on bug fixing annually, adding costs to the Android app lifecycle budget.
Android bug fixing is the most common type of maintenance task. A variety of factors, such as coding errors, user input errors, or changes to the Android operating system, can cause bugs.
Cost of Performance Optimization
It involves making changes to the app to improve its performance. It can include
- Optimizing the code
- Reducing the size of the app
- Reducing the size of multimedia content
- Using more efficient data structures
Cost of Security Updates
The cost of security updates contains time spent on taking various security updates by developers. Security updates aim to fix security vulnerabilities in the Android app so data remains safe and none can take control of the device.
Data in the app should be updated regularly to provide an out-of-box app experience. It needs provision in the app development budget to spend designated hours on data updates.
User interface (UI) Updates
The user interface is the first thing that app users interact with. Good UI gives excellent UX; designers and developers must keep UI elements updated. Moreover, the look-n-feel of the app UI must be updated by updating UI layout, colors, fonts, etc. styling elements.
Your Android app needs to comply with standards prevailing in the industry and new regulations imposed. For instance, you need to make updates on privacy policies, remove unwanted features and functions, and change the app's user data.
To run the system smoothly, the app needs regular system maintenance, which involves data backup, app performance monitoring, and troubleshooting issues arising regularly.
It involves providing support to users who have problems with the app. You can do it through email, phone, or chat.
Some other ongoing charges are:
- Powerful servers – $20-$60/month
- Push notifications – $10/month
- Payment gateways – up to $150/month (plus a fee on each transaction)
- Third-party APIs charges
App maintenance requires regular effort. Some Android apps demand weekly or fortnightly maintenance, while most apps are good with monthly and quarterly maintenance schedules.
Simple apps may only cost a few hundred dollars to maintain, while complex apps can cost thousands of dollars or more.
Location of App Developers
The location of Android app developers can significantly impact the development cost. Developers in developed countries, such as the United States and Europe, charge higher rates than developers in developing countries, such as India and the Philippines. There are a few reasons for it:
Labor costs have a direct impact of
- Cost of living
- Cost of education
- Market demand for skilled workers
Thus, developed countries always have high labor costs for any production or service. In contrast, labor costs remain low in developing countries. It means you need to hire Android app developers from developing countries.
Developed countries have advanced education systems that yield highly skilled laborers compared to low-skilled laborers in developing countries. However, some developing countries have good education infrastructure and produce high-skilled labor at low cost. For instance, software developers in India have commendable skill sets and are ready to work at highly competitive rates.
Time Zone Differences:
For countries with acute time zone differences, paying overtime is a norm, and overtime payments add more costs to a project. For instance, Android developers in India must work at night hours for projects from North American clients.
It can add to the development cost if you are located in a different country than your developers. You may need to pay for translation services or developers to travel to your location for meetings.
When choosing a development team, it is crucial to consider the location of the developers. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider working with developers in a developing country.
How do Android App Development Costs Differ from Other Platforms?
The Cost of Android app development differs from other platforms in several ways.
Android is an open-source platform, meaning the software is freely available to anyone who wants to use it. It can help reduce the development cost, as developers do not have to pay for the software licenses required for other platforms.
Variety of Devices:
Android is available on a wide variety of devices, from smartphones and tablets to TVs and wearables. It can make developing an app that will work on all devices more challenging, as each has unique features and capabilities.
The Android market is fragmented, meaning many different Android operating system versions are in use. It can make it challenging to develop an app that will work on all versions of Android, as each version has its own set of features and capabilities.
How To Reduce Android App Development Costs?
Experts at Jeel Techsoft are giving some tips on how to reduce the Cost of Android app development:
Choose The Right Development Team:
The Android app development cost can vary significantly depending on your chosen development team. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider working with a freelance developer or a small development team. However, if you need high-quality work and you are willing to pay for it, you may want to consider working with a large development firm.
Use a No-code or Low-code Platform:
No-code and low-code platforms allow you to build Android apps without writing any code. It can save you significant money, especially if you are not technical. However, it is essential to note that no-code and low-code platforms can be limited in terms of functionality.
Outsource the Development:
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider outsourcing the development of your Android app to a development team in a developing country. It can save you a significant amount of money, but it is essential to do your research and ensure you are working with a reputable team.
Use Open-source Components:
There are a number of open-source components that you can use to build your Android app. It can save you significant money, as you will not have to pay for developing these components. However, it is essential to note that open-source components can be more challenging to integrate into your app than proprietary components.
Minimize the Features:
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to minimize the features of your Android app. It can save you significant money, as you will not have to pay to develop these features. However, it is vital to ensure that the features you do include are essential to the functionality of your app.
Use a Maintenance Plan:
Once your Android app is developed, you will need to maintain it. It includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and updating the app for new Android operating system versions. You can save money on maintenance by using a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan will typically include a set of services that will be performed on your app on a regular basis.
Understanding the Android App Development Process
Typical Android Application Development Lifecycle:
A typical Android app development lifecycle consists of the following key phases.
- Your Android app idea should be unique.
- Your app should have a meaningful purpose.
- Your app should add value to the life of its users.
- Market research
- Competitive analysis
- Technical feasibility
Android app development planning and strategies
- You must define the app's features and functionality.
- You must carry out detailed research on app users and prepare user persona.
- You must define tasks for each stage of app development with clear goals.
UI & UX Design Stages:
Below are the UI design stages.
It is a design stage where you prepare a rough sketch of app features and functionality and define user flow or app workflow. It is mainly done on paper or with the help of digital sketching software.
It displays how the app will function and various interactions among each app UI component. Modern days, Android app developers use wireframe software to create interactive wireframes quickly.
It provides options for app features and functionality. Thanks to modern interactive prototyping software in the market for Android developers, you can visualize how the final app will be.
UX Design Testing:
Below are some standard procedures for the Android app UX testing process.
- Moderate UX testing
- User feedback
- Card sorting
- Aesthetic appeal
- A/B testing
- App availability & accessibility testing
- Brand consistency testing
- Android developers select either Java or Kotlin programming technology.
- Developers select appropriate development frameworks, IDE, libraries, and tools for Android programming.
- Perform unit testing and debugging continuously with programming.
Testing & QA:
- Perform functional testing.
- Perform usability testing.
- Perform performance testing.
- Perform security testing.
- Recognize bugs or errors and mitigate them.
- Perform compatibility testing for a range of Android devices and OS versions.
- Perform remaining UX testing.
- Follow the Google Play Store guidelines for designing and programming the Android app.
- Create a Google Play Store account and submit the app.
- Make amendments to the app to get final approval.
- Gather feedback in the app store and update the app accordingly.
Distribution & Release:
- Publish the app on Google Play Store.
- Define distribution strategy and pricing.
- App promotion to get maximum users.
- Obtain good reviews and ratings.
- Watch user feedback and complaints.
- Make essential changes in the app, debug the app, and update missing features or functionality.
- Incorporate platform updates.
- Plan for the subsequent updates and upgrade the app.
- Promote the app within the app store through free and paid ads options.
- Promote the app on social media and other marketing channels.
Cost Breakdown in Android App Development
Research & Planning Phase
- Market research: It ranges from $1,000 to $5,000
- Competitor analysis: It ranges from $1,000 to $5,000
- Technical feasibility: It ranges from $1,000 to $5,000
- Wireframing: It ranges from $1,000 to $5,000
- Prototype/Mockup: It ranges from $5,000 to $10,000
- Overall UI & UX design cost: It ranges from $10,000 to $20,000
- Programming: It ranges from $10,000 to $50,000
- Testing: It ranges from $5,000 to $10,000
- Deployment: It ranges from $1,000 to $5,000
- Server setup and hosting range from $50 to $500 monthly.
- Database management: It ranges from $500 to $2,000
- APIs and integrations: These range from $500 to $2,000
- Maintenance and support: Initially, it ranges from $250 to $500 per month.
- Hosting and server expenses range from $70 to $250 per month.
- Updates and feature enhancements: It ranges from $70 to $320 monthly.
Cost Estimation Approaches
Time and Materials (T&M)
T&M is a cost estimation approach where you need to consider the hourly rate of each team member working on the tasks and multiply it by the estimated hours to accomplish those tasks. Moreover, you must include the cost of resources used in the development process, such as buying third-party APIs, applications, and services.
Advantages: It has flexibility. You can make changes when the project scopes get changed. It also is accurate because you can know the final cost of the Android app development once the project is finished.
Disadvantages: You can't know the actual cost of the app until the project is finished. It is risky because the cost changes with the project scope.
In the fixed price costing approach, the client and Android app development service provider team agree on a fixed cost. It works best with projects with known outcome/s and no changes in scope. Moreover, there are defined milestones and deliverables. It also gives a fixed timeline. Clients must pay additional charges if they request additional changes out of defined project scopes.
Dedicated Development Team
- It provides complete control over development affairs.
- The client will pay the hourly rate of each team member based on the hours they worked on the app.
- You will have a ballpark estimate of project cost and timeline if the scope is well defined.
- There is enough room for creativity and innovation
- Of course, this pricing model is comparatively expensive but offers complete freedom to the client and development team to incorporate required changes.
Q: 1 – What is the cost of leading third-party APIs for Android applications?
The cost of leading third-party APIs is:
- Google map: $800
- Facebook APIs: $600
- Skyscanner APIs: $600
- Movie database APIs: $500
- Booking APIs: $700
Q: 2 – Would you summarize Android app development cost stepwise?
It is the following ways.
- Strategy - $160 to $240
- Analysis & planning - $320 to $960
- UI & UX design - $240 to $880
- Style guide - $150 to $250
- Prototype - $320 to $480
- Mockup - $170 to $330
- Mobile backend - $1K to $2K
- APIs - $1.5K to $2.5K
- Mobile frontend - $3K to $4K
- UX testing - $600 to $700
- Functional testing - $660 to $1.5K
- Performance testing - $400 to $600
- Security testing - $400 to $600
- Platform & device testing - $300 to $500
- Deployment and support - $150 to $250
Q: 3 – What are the hourly rates of Android app development team members?
The following is the list of hourly rates of team members.
- Business analysts - $45 to $150
- Designers - $15 to $100
- Scrum master - $50 to $200
- Project manager - $75 to $125
- Android app developers - $20 to $130
- QA team - $15 to $120
Q: 4 – What are the hidden costs in Android application development?
The following are hidden costs in Android app development.
- Hosting - $70 to $ 320 per month.
- Monitoring & maintenance - $5K to $10K
- Updates - $1K to $50K
- Licensing - $25 once
- Notification - $20 per month
- Email integration - $50 per month
Q: 5 – What are the hourly rates of Android developers in different regions of the world?
The following are the hourly rates of Android developers in different regions of the globe.
- America - $120 to $150
- North America & Canada - $45 to $55
- Australia - $100 to $120
- UK - $100 to $120
- Western Europe - $80 to $100
- Eastern Europe - $30 to $50
- India - $20 to $30
Q: 6 – What information should your product requirement document include?
It must have the following information in PRD.
- Company/business background.
- Business objectives & app objectives
- Android app features
- Targeted devices and OS version
- Expected timeline
- UI & UX requirements
- Budget limit
Q: 7 – What is the cost of leading payment gateway integration for your Android app?
The following leading payment gateways are common scenarios in the Android ecosystem.
- PayPal – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
- Square – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
- Braintree – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. (No fee for first 5K processes)
- Strip – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Q: 8 – Which factors affect the cost of Android app development?
The following Factors & Phases Affect the Cost of Android App Development
- Android app complexities
- App type
- App category
- App design & Animation
- App deployment
- Selection of development team
- App security
- App maintenance
Q: 9 – How to reduce the Android app development cost?
The following are useful tips to reduce the Android application development cost.
- Selection of the right Android app development team
- Use of no-code & low-code platforms
- Outsource the development
- Use open-source components
- Minimize the features
- Should have a maintenance plan
Q: 10 – Which security measures should you take in your Android application?
The following are important security measures in Android apps.
- Data encryption
- Data access control
- Data validation
- Data logging and monitoring
- Data security updates
By following these tips, you can reduce the Cost of Android app development without sacrificing the quality of your app. If you need more help, feel free to consult our Android experts at Jeel Techsoft. Moreover, please check our Android development portfolio app to gauge our capability.