Delicate balance required!
How much does it cost to have an app made? That is a tricky question. Deadlines are impossible to predict with certainty, the way coders are paid can be misleading or vague, and a host of technical jargon to make anyone's head spin leads to a novice un-friendly environment. The relationship is the most important factor and then budget. The process of mobile app development is an ongoing process and it is best to work with a development company you would work with for the next 5-10 years. Iterating the product is much quicker and much more cohesive with the same firm being utilized for all the iterations.
There is a common misconception in the general public about app development. People feel app (and software in general) development has a dedicated start and end. This idea makes sense, after all you are accustomed to needing a service, getting that service from a provider, and then being done with it. In app development, however, this is not true.
The app development process is unlike any other service you will require. App software is written by using pieces from here and pieces from there being cobbled together with custom code written by, you guessed it, coders. Development is a very community-oriented group of individuals. No one person can sit down and code everything we use. In fact, the software application market is currently a $41.1 Billion dollar industry and is projected to be a $101.1 Billion dollar industry by 2020. The need is quite clear that now, as quickly as possible, you need to get your app made, so why is app development so different?
The simple answer is that it is a journey with many twists, turns, and hurdles. You can spend hours upon hours looking through code to find the smallest of errors that made the app break and stop working. Mobile app development is so new that the code pre-written is only just being updated from older, more web-based solutions. Couple this with the fact that there are currently 617,999 open computing jobs nationwide and last year only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce, there is high demand for the coders that do the newest of the new in computing, mobile. In fact, the average hourly rate of an American coder, or firm, is from $100-$200 per hour and earn an average salary of (US national) $71,985.
When approached with a project, good firms will offer a detailed solution and offer to produce a new detailed quote if your vision was somewhat (or completely) different. The work being done is in these details and you can use this (with the help of some experts) to negotiate through the smoke and mirrors to get a fair, accurate quote for a project and see it through to MVP . You may be tempted to focus your attention on the time it will take to develop your app, but this is a common mistake that has people spending way too much for an inferior product, just because it was speedy.
Developers CAN NOT guarantee timelines if they aren't offering services like our Mission Command featuring Agility as a service (more on agile development here). Firms can take precautions to protect against going over the stated development timeline, but software development is fickle and sometimes doesn't play well with others. Writing code involves writing it, testing it, seeing how it broke, fixing it, then retesting it and (if no errors are present), adding a new piece, and repeating the process ad nauseum. The artists that code mobile apps use experience and community to find a solution that will work for particularly tricky pieces, which can take time. On top of this, mobile app development isn't a start and end process.
As previously stated, there is no traditional "end" in mobile app development. The first version you put out is called your MVP (minimum viable product). This MVP is used to gain users and get feedback so that you and your users together can create the best possible iteration of your idea. Once you are armed with these comments and suggestions, you need to develop again. Make sure to find out if the firm you are contemplating will help you integrate these needs and facilitate another developer possibly being tapped. This is where the hourly vs. work quote comes into play.
We are unique in this respect. We offer Mission Command's Agility as a Service. This blends our technical team of experts with your experts in your area. We integrate with your team giving you 24/7/365 access to our team through many services. This allows you to compete with startups that employ coders on their staff, for a fraction of the price ($495/m)
We offer membership to help you take control of your budget and work with a technical team in an agile development process. We are always around and ontop of that you get FREE development hours each month to help off-set development.