In this age of technology, having a mobile app for your business can be beneficial. That’s because more than half of the worlds’ population has smartphones that they use all the time.
There are different types of apps you can develop. Mobile apps and web apps are two major types.
But when it comes to their development, more business owners are surprised to find out how much these cost. Mobile apps can be significantly more expensive to develop than web apps. Although that’s not always the case.
If you’re also wondering why it can cost thousands of dollars to develop just one app, then this article is for you.
But first, let’s look at how mobile apps are different from web apps.
How are web apps built?
An emerging trend, progressive web apps (PWAs) take advantage of some recent browser advancements to allow web apps to act more like mobile apps. However, operating system support and functionality is still limited when compared to true mobile apps.
Difference Between Mobile and Web Apps
Web apps are websites that are designed to be viewed on mobile screens and smartphones. These are fluid, highly responsive and more navigable as compared to a website.
These are essentially mobile apps but you operate them from a browser instead of downloading them.
Mobile apps on the other hand are designed for specific operating systems such as Android or iOS. You can download them for the App Store or Google play and these live on your device. That means mobile apps have access to your phones’ features such as camera, GPS, and storage.
Another major difference between the two is that mobile apps can work offline whereas web apps need an active internet connection.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn all have mobile apps for iOS and Android. Starbucks, Uber and BMW app are some businesses with interactive web apps.
Example of how Starbucks web app looks
These two types of apps also differ in terms of development. You can use standard software development kits for iOS or Android to develop mobile apps.
Hybrid or Native mobile app?
If your app will need access to the device’s camera or GPS, you should highly consider making a native mobile app. While a hybrid mobile app does allow you to utilize some of these features, it probably won’t be the best experience for your user. Pokémon Go is a native app, utilizing both the camera and GPS functions of the smart device, combined with augmented reality software.
While hybrid mobile apps aren’t as common as web or native apps, the list of companies using them might surprise you. In certain circumstances, web apps are converted to hybrid mobile apps in order to take have some native-like advantages, including an app marketplace listing. Twitter is a hybrid app that really has the look and feel of a native app.
There are many factors to consider when deciding which type of app is best for your business. Whether you choose to build a web app, native app, or hybrid app, it’s important to keep your users top of mind to provide the most value and best experience possible.
Why Is Mobile App Development So Expensive?
As we’ve covered above, mobile apps are developed for specific platforms. These are native apps and work only on the system that you develop them for.
And that’s the primary reason why mobile app development costs more than web app development.
Developers have to follow the rules of each system and write code accordingly. They have to restart development in terms of design and features when they switch systems. Because you can’t reuse the code of a mobile app even if you’re developing two similar apps.
Programming requires advanced skills which are not cheap. Testing mobile apps is also an expensive process if you want it done right. Creating a good app requires impressive design. That’s done by experienced designers who are also costly.
But with today’s advanced tools and programming frameworks, it’s now possible to reuse some code and save time. If you want to develop apps this way, then you should find some excellent mobile app developers in Houston to develop the app for you.
Mobile apps also have more functionalities than web apps. These are faster, more versatile and offer better features. All that comes with a big price tag.
Mobile app development has many aspects or steps. These include designing the front-end, back-end, adding content, creating graphics, testing and so on.
It’s rare to find a single app developer who’s an expert in all these aspects. That’s why you need a team and each member has to be paid – all that adds to the total cost of the project.
Custom mobile apps with distinctively unique features have to be developed from scratch. You need weeks or months for the entire process and that can add up in costs. You might also need highly experienced app developers for this job which can be expensive.
The price difference is also due to the demand. Since a lot more people prefer having mobile apps instead of web apps, mobile app developers are able to charge more simply due to the principle of supply and demand.
Some people complain about the high prices of mobile app development. But they don’t understand that programming is hard work. It requires strategy, competence and a lot of skill. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
The cost of mobile app development is justified for the most part. The functionalities, speed, performance and excellent design you get in exchange for your investment are worth it.