How long does it take to build an app — A time guide 2021

Have you already estimated the cost of mobile app development and are searching how long does it take to build a mobile app? Let me tell you, there is no exact answer to this question. There are millions of apps on the App Marketplace with different features, functionality, and audience. Therefore, it is almost impossible for app development companies to get a magic number on average time to build an app that goes with all mobile applications.

However, categorizing broadly, we found that a simple app takes an average of 3–4 months to develop with basic functionality and structure, while the average time to build an app with a complex structure may take up to 7 months, depending on its complexity, the technology used, the type of application, etc.

To estimate the app development timeline, we have this article that walks you through the various stages of app development with their time frame. Also, you will get some effective tips on how to create an app from scratch, and how you can reduce the time taken to build an app without compromising its quality.

Let’s get started.

How long does it take to build an app?

What do you think, how hard is it to create an app? We have divided the time estimation wrt. the stages of app development. From discovery to app launch and maintenance, here is a clear summary of how many hours does it take to build an app.

The App Development Timeline

  • Mobile App Planning (2–3 weeks)
  • App Design Sprints (2–3 weeks)
  • Prototyping and development (12–14 weeks)
  • App Testing (1–2 Weeks)
  • App Deployment (Up to 1 Week)
  1. Mobile App Planning (2–3 weeks)

It is the first step on how long does it take to create an app? It totally depends on the concept. It determines what, why, and how an application will benefit your audience. Note down, what are your objectives for developing this mobile app.

Decide whether you have an existing website, or are still building one, whether you will need server hosting, or what features you want to include in the app. Listing all these things will help you to coordinate easily with your Android app development company.

You can clearly put forward the requirements so that they can easily determine the product timeline, technical specifications and understand what you want from this mobile application and create a plan for your product launch.

2. Creating an MVP of your product (1–2 weeks)

Developing a mobile application is not an overnight task. And yes, as an entrepreneur or a startup, investing in your app idea is also challenging because you never know what will be the user response after launching your application on app stores. Here, MVP can save you from this situation.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is like a cupcake version of your wedding cake. MVP or Minimum Viable Product is the first version of your mobile application that contains the core features. You can release MVP for a small group of audience to test their reaction, and get feedback on what more they would like to add to the app or remove what’s less interesting. You can ask the app development agency to create an MVP for your application. This step takes up to 1–2 weeks and can shorten your app development time by 20–30%.

3. Design Sprints (2–4 weeks)

Ok, you’ve decided the aim and recorded audience feedback through MVP. The next step is app designing i.e., working on the look and feel of your application. Typically, designing an app takes up to 4 weeks, which involves designing a style guide or work on branding.

The UI style guide contains the design standards that involve typography schemes, responsive layouts, color palettes, and other additional UI Components that are going to be added to your application.

Design sprints involve simultaneous designing and testing of an application, which helps designers optimize the process with fewer errors. Designing an application usually involves user/market research, UX wireframing, UI design, and animation. Designers create the app’s flow and structure and make stylistic choices from colors to fonts.

To carry out this one of the important stages of app development takes up to 4 weeks. You can reduce the designing time by using UX wireframes kits that contain ready-to-use templates, or free app wireframing tools like Figma, UXPin Pencil Project, etc.

Once the design tasks are completed, designers shift the wireframe to the developer. App designing flashes the number of screens, app responsiveness, and overall app structure.

4. App Development (12–14 weeks)

Here comes the hero step — app development followed by app prototyping. So how long does it take to build an app? Well, the development and designing stage takes about six weeks. App development involves back-end development and front-end development of the applications.

The back-end side is also referred to as the server-side, which takes about 6–7 weeks. It includes developing the app server and structuring the database. The front-end is client-side, which establishes what users see. Front-end development involves data fetching, rendering, and organizing from the back-end server. It usually takes up to 6 to 7 weeks to enable functionalities.

Conventionally, for native applications, we need to develop two separate applications for Android and iOS. This not only increases the app development cost but time also. Moreover, developers utilize frameworks like Swift, Objective — C, and Java to create separate versions for the App Store and Google Play.

You can develop your app faster using React Native, which is a cross-platform app development technology that allows you to develop a mobile app once and deploy it to both Android/iOS.

5. Testing (1–2 Weeks)

Now, the app designing and development are done. Now, comes the testing part. This is the second most important stage of building an app. App testing is the process of identifying the glitches and debugging the app against functional requirements and design. In-app testing, the QA team identifies what features of the app are not working, whether all the modules are synchronized, and what’s missing from the final version of the application.

There are many ways to test an app, some app development companies perform User Acceptance testing as the final stage of any product development life cycle. This stage ensures the app is ready to handle real-world situations and perform up to development specifications.

Alpha and Beta testing are also done to make sure the app contains no errors. If an error occurs, the code is again shifted to the developers for error optimization. The whole process takes up to 2 weeks, after which the app is moved to deployment on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

6. App Deployment (2 days — 1 Week)

On average, 50% of apps are reviewed in 24 hours and over 90% are reviewed in 48 hours. (Source — Apple)

Now, you’ve built the application. It’s time to launch your application on the app stores. App deployment is the last step of the app development process. App stores have strict quality guidelines that you need to follow before submitting the app.

Make sure, you did a quality check, reviewed all the details, and fixed the last moment bugs, before submitting the app. So, if everything is in its place, it’s time to go to Google Play Developer Console, link Developer Account with Google Wallet Merchant Account, create an application, upload an APK, fix app pricing, and finally publish the application.

What’s next?

This is how to create an app from scratch and how long does it take to create an app. We hope you’ve got your answers right with this app development timeline estimation article. Typically, it takes 3–4 months to build the app from scratch. However, it depends whether you have an in-house team or you are hiring an app development agency to build the app.

For those who think how hard is it to create an app? Well, it is recommended to outsource app development with top app development companies. They will give you increased efficiency, a cost-effective approach, seamless team management, work round the clock, and consistent support and service.

So, this was all about what does it take to build an app. If you find the article worthy, do share them with your peers. If you’re interested to know how much does it cost to develop an app, you can check that. Thanks for reading.





MobileAppDaily is an unchallenged pioneer of the mobile app industry and caters to the need of the tech geeks. Visit :

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

👩‍🚀 Calling for Opynauts 👨‍🚀

Bypassing Web Application Firewall — Part 1

Creating a Transparent Material in Unity

CS373 Fall 2020: Elias Lampietti

Round 6 — January 2022 Token Burn Update

How Can Programmers Get Better At Problem Solving

Managing a multi-site Cassandra cluster on multiple Kubernetes with CassKop / MultiCassKop

Amazon SES: Basic Concepts and Spring Boot Integration

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


MobileAppDaily is an unchallenged pioneer of the mobile app industry and caters to the need of the tech geeks. Visit :

More from Medium

3 Influencing Tactics to Boost App Usage

5 Best Backend Frameworks for App Development in 2022

How to Hire Top Mobile App Developers for Your Team: Tips, Costs & More

Top Trending Niche for Your Mobile Application Development Idea

Top Trending Niche for Your Mobile Application Development Idea