Everything About Android Mobile App Development Cost

March 9, 2018

You’re probably here to know what would be the cost of creating an Android app for your venture. Very well. It’s the way to go forward in order to offer your product(s) or service(s) to a larger audience.

65% of online consumers use mobile applications as their primary source of online engagement. Couple this with a booming economy and the rapid emergence of entrepreneurs, the need for mobile application has never been more.

Here’s another figure for you: mobile app downloads touched a record high 197 billion in 2017. This is estimated to hit more than 350 billion by the year 2021. Most of people use Android mobile phones, hence, developing an Android app is beneficial for your business.  

The blog will articulate para by para about benefits, types, platforms, design, and development and finally the cost of Android mobile app.

Android Mobile Application or Android App

What Are The Benefits of Making A Mobile App?

Set aside app development costs for now and focus on the numbers given above. These prove that the market does exist; one has to leverage to grow businesses. Naturally, every enterprise around the world is eager to have its own mobile app. But what about you? Why are you eager to get one for your venture?

Few reasons to have your very own Android app

  • Mobile apps expose you and your business to consumers because an average individual spends up to 3 hours every day on mobile
  • You get to serve your customers through discounts, promotions, rewards programs, and service information
  • Improve customer loyalty and retention
  • Customers don’t have to change devices to use your services. They can do it via an app which also elevates engagement
  • Improve sales by lowering customer acquisition costs
  • Superior customer acquisition results in increased market share
  • You get valuable insights about your venture from customer demographics and feedback

According to master marketer Jamie Turner from 60SecondMarketer.com,’’ If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry—your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.”

What Are The Types of Android Apps You Can Build?

Now comes the part where you get to know the types of Android apps that mobile application development Companies develop. There are three categories of Android App developed.

Progressive Web Applications

The Progressive app is the brainchild of Google. Yes, iOS doesn’t support it. Basically, it’s a lighter version of a mobile application which you would otherwise have to download from Playstore.

You visit the website on your browser and create a shortcut on the home screen. The cache memory stores all the content which one can view even when there’s no mobile data.

  • Cross-Platform Applications

Cross-platform applications are a blend of web and native applications (more on this later). They run on both browsers and mobile OS and are available for download on native app stores. Such applications do not integrate the features of the mobile phone. The biggest problem, however, with such apps is that they’re quite complex to build as they belong to two platforms.

  • Native Mobile Applications

This is the kind of mobile application you’re probably looking for. It’s called native because it’s crafted from the same programming language which is used to build the OS platform—Java programming language in the case of Android OS App. Such apps are better in design and functionality than the rest and have access to most of the phone’s features but they cost more to build.

Cost Parameters: Factors That Define Overall cost Of Android App Development

Now comes the crux of this post—how much does it cost to make an Android mobile application or simply an Android app?

As mentioned earlier, the cost of your Android app will depend on a number of factors which will independently affect the pricing. But the main factors that influence the quotation set by an Android app development company include:

  1. Business Plan for Android App Development

The nature of your business plan that has the sole responsibility to generate revenue is the most important factor that’ll determine the cost of building an android application.

You’re looking at: identifying your customers, financial gain from the app, in-app purchases, free downloads, 3rd party advertisements, customers’ preference with respect to functionality or design, and so on.

In a nutshell, you can determine the cost of Android applications by unraveling two riddles:

  • Problem Identification: This simply means to identify the problem faced by your customers. You’ll have to carry out extensive market research in order to single out the ultimate objective of the application.

  • Monetization Plan: In order to provide continued services to your customers, you should decide in advance how you’re going to make money from your app. You must’ve already guessed by now that your app can be either paid or free.

Paid Apps: As the name suggests, you make money from paid apps when you charge for every download. But, you have to

 keep in mind a few things while tagging your app with the appropriate value.

  • Return On Investment (ROI):

  • You should be able to make more from downloads than what you originally spent on the app.
  • Clever Pricing:

  • Meanwhile, you know that Android users don’t pay as much as iOS users so your pricing must be just the right amount to compel customers to spend for your Android App.
  • Advertising:

  • You have to consider competition with similar apps in the market and the features your Android app offers whilst marketing your app as top-notch, moderate, or below par.

Free Apps: Though you don’t make any money from downloads there are certain ways you still can. These are In-app purchases, 3rd party advertisements, and affiliate marketing, etc.

  • Assimilate followers to whom you can sell services to when the right times comes
  • Improve brand equity and value of a pre-existing commodity
  1. Platform

Every product or service has its pros and cons. The suitability of a mobile application for a business depends on individual requirements, budget, scalability, customizability. Therefore, it’s essential that you weigh the positives and negatives before you jump the gun and make the final decision.

Having said that, if you possess enough money you can always release your apps on all platforms—there’s no one who can stop you from doing that.

More about Platforms: Pros and cons of cross-platform mobile development!

Advantages of Android OS

  • Far lesser update bundles than iOS
  • Android controls a major share of the mobile traffic
  • As a result of more dominance in traffic, Android has better market reach and penetration
  • The CPI (Cost Per Install) for Android is considerably lesser than that of iOS

Disadvantages of Android OS

  • Phones by different manufacturers that integrate Android OS have issues regarding resolution and screen size which raise costs
  • Android users spend far less money on app purchases
  • Android applications take 2-3 times longer duration of time as compared to the same app for iOS
  • 3. Android Programming Type

The next parameter which defines the bill is the type of Android application and it’s functionality.

Again, you should keep in mind that intricacies, complexities, additional features, and dynamism will further add to the overall Android App development cost. That said, here’s a breakdown of the four types of apps an Android developer can build for you:

  • Android Game Development

Building An Android Game

Image Credit: flickr.com

These types of apps are the most downloaded on all platforms. It’s important to note that games can be simple or complex.

The former is cheaper to build than the later, but collectively they’re still the most expensive apps that can be built as compared to other entries in this list. You can expect the price to go even higher if your game requires a 3D environment and physics engines.

  • Database

The app development cost for this type is more expensive than the list-type. This type of Android app syncs with websites or online web services to store data. The data is then sorted, searched, and displayed as per the user’s requirements.

  • Simple List-Based

Such type of apps are simple, and function similar to mobile-optimized websites. A Google Android developer organizes and stores information in list-based or table style. One can access this information clicking (or tapping) on it. It will, then, redirect the user to more information on the subject.

  • Dynamic Apps With API

Dynamic apps are similar to database apps, except that they use 3rd party APIs—instead of redirecting the user to online websites and resources—to retrieve information.

For example, if you’re building a news app which assimilates news from Washington Post and Huffington Post, you’ll have to integrate Washington Post and Huffington Post APIs into your app.

Integrating such APIs is simply custom mobile app development which can downsize or hike the costs.

  1. Design

You just can’t splurge on the functionality and ignore app design because users get to see the visuals before they taste the functionality.

Come to think of it, the budget split between functionality and design should be equal or should be slightly biased towards either one. Android app design can be categorized into two subsets:

  • User Experience and Interface

The best mobile app development companies and the designers they house can surely create great visuals for you. But, you see, they need to come together and form a solid unit that appeals to a user’s eyes. A person using the app must feel comfortable and must have a great time playing around with it. And ‘playing around’ refers to the interaction, conversations, and engagement with an app. This is what User Experience(UX) and User Interface(UI) is all about.

  • Graphics and Visuals

UX and UI aren’t possible without the pieces it works with—visuals and graphics.

It’s no secret that a lot of people fall in love with an app instantly due to its design. They want to keep using the app continuously because every design is perfectly laid out. These are the icons, tabs, sidebars, logos…basically anything. This engages users and is also a treat for the eyes.

Now that you understand what’s required, you’d want to get in touch with mobile app development services who know the details about how to make an Android app.

You must also understand your target audience. If they’re more into the design and UX/UI, you should divert a chunk of the funds reserved for functionality towards the former. And even if you don’t want to, always try to keep the design aspect competitive.

  1. Developer Variants

The price of app development also depends on the developer you want to hire. They can be categorized into 4 types:

  • Freelancers

You can hire Freelancers on freelancing websites. They can even be your friend or colleague who works on independent projects. The problem with freelancers is that progress will be slow and the really good freelancers will be expensive to hire.

  • Offshore Developers

Offshore developers are a team that handles projects outside your country/state borders. They can be Indian app developers or from any other country working remotely.

The cost of hiring them will be lower but the quality may or may not be satisfactory. You have to be careful about it.  Remember, the majority of apps that are doing really well today work only with quality offshore developers.

You will be working with a team but you won’t have any idea about their caliber. Hence, have due diligence and assure quality development for your Android App. Moreover, the team you hire must not be devoid of a product manager and the right mix of developers and designers.

  • Technical Officers

This applies to individuals who are reputed and have an established business. The way this works is that your reputation will attract developers who are the cream of the lot.

You pitch your idea and ask them to develop your product in exchange for equity. They’re exceptionally good at what they do and also chip in with valuable insights which you might otherwise fail to identify.

  • Android Mobile Application Development Firms

This group of developers has an excellent track record and portfolio containing some of the best performing apps in the industry. Their importance to the development of an app and business is equivalent to that of a technical officer.

They lease the best think tanks, product managers, developers, and designers within their ranks to you. What you get is guaranteed quality, but the cost of hiring application development firms will be high.

Moreover, not all firms will deliver as promised so you must research them thoroughly before the initial approach.

Additional Costs Of Building An Android App

In addition to the design, functionality, and developer type, there are additional costs and hidden charges that escalate the Android mobile application or simply Android App development costs.

Additional costs in Android App development

  • Email Feature: Extremely important feature for customer engagement
  • Social Media Integration and Login/Sign up: Feature to splash your brand on social media platforms via marketing. Feature to allow customers to sign up or login using their social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Instagram, and the like. This helps in gathering information about customers
  • Geo-Location: Important in getting customer information and preferences based on geographical location
  • Rating System: Excellent for user-generated content through reviews. Moreover, you get feedback that can help you improve your app
  • User Profiles: Feature to enable customers to create and edit their personal profiles
  • Data Sync: Instant information processing and updating across several devices. Useful for apps like task managers, contacts, emails, and the like
  • Conversations: Additional feature to initiate dialogues with others
  • Search: Helps users to freely navigate the app and improve engagement
  • Payment Gateways: Integration with 3rd party payment providers for secure and fast payments
  • Customizability: Allows freedom to change the look and feel of the app according to personal preferences
  • Push Notifications: Power to the users in knowing what’s happening within the app without opening the app

The list above was the additional features that add to the cost of the Android App development. Besides these there are hidden costs as listed below:

Hidden costs in Android App development

  • App Testing: Standard testing protocols that need to be run so that your app is free of bugs and glitches
  • Copyright Charges: Extra security to prevent code, images, icons, design from being stolen or copied
  • Patent: A legal procedure to prevent your app idea from being copied or used illegally by outsiders to make money
  • Trademark: This will add a few extra bucks but it will be totally worth it because getting it will prevent others from copying your brand’s name or identity or coming up with something similar
  • Support and Maintenance: Bug fixes, customer support, and app updates
  • Advertising: No product ever shied away from marketing just because it costs money. Want your app to be recognized? You should do the same

Basic Charges: Per Hour Android App Development costs From Around The World

With everything mentioned above that compounds the cost of building an app, you’d now want to know which country would be right to handle the project.

But before you jump into that, you must know how many hours might be required for the development. Here’s a look:

  • Android App with basic complexity: 100 to 400 hours approximately
  • App with medium complexity: 500 to 800 hours approximately
  • The App with high complexity: 800 to 1200 hours

That said, not all developers charge per hour; some deal in packages. For instance, the cost of making an app in India with simple complexity lies somewhere between 5000 to 8000 US Dollars. This figure can hit as high as $20,000 USD for high-end applications.

Here’s a look at geographical regions/countries and their app development rates per hour according to 2017 reports:

  • Indonesia: $20 USD per hour
  • India: Anything between $10 to $75 USD per hour
  • Hire Mobile Application Developer India
  • South America: Anything between $25 to $120 USD per hour
  • Australia: Anything between $35 to $150 USD per hour
  • North America (US/Canada): Anything between $20 to $250 USD per hour
  • United Kingdom: Anything between $35 to $175 USD per hour
  • Eastern Europe: Anything between $20 to $110 USD per hour

When it comes to the quality of work, the US and the UK stands in the merit. However, Indian developers also provide very good quality in a much lesser cost. You, therefore, get the highest ROI on your Android mobile application if you get it developed in India. Indian Android app developers are the best when it comes to a mixture of quality and cost.


Building an Android App is just like building a car. You should know for whom you’re building it. Are you building it for those who prefer the design, for those who prefer performance, or for those who prefer the right balance between both? 

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Written by Shekhar Prasad

March 9, 2018


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