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Complete Mobile App Development Guide - 2021

Creating an app may have unexpected app development costs. Read our guide for mobile app development of 2021 to understand all of these hidden milestones.

In 2020, it was estimated that the number of downloads for all the connected users was counted at nearly 218 billion Meanwhile, 50% of the time you spent on your mobile is dedicated only to social apps. Ergo, we can make a small conclusion that mobile app development is kicking hard even by now and it does attract people to them more and more frequently.

Thus, app development companies, entrepreneurs, and freelancers are taking turns and opportunities on mobile app development. They want to achieve the same success many others have already done, like Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok. However, most business owners and founders forget about the difficulties that come around during the mobile app development processes.

To further understand what kind of hidden milestones you may encounter on your business journey, we prepared this full-fledged guide. A complete Mobile App Development Guide for 2021.

What are the types of mobile app development?

When it comes to the development of any mobile app, one of the questions that immediately comes to mind is the choice of your mobile platform. Not because the app development costs of one platform will be lower than the other (spoiler: the cost of both iOS and Android apps tend to be the same), but because that question is directly related to your business model.

You should know and understand whether your targeted audience is either using iPhones or Androids. What exactly they like in your industry and what they don’t like. And of course, where you can fill the market gap by introducing your product.

To understand all of that, you also need to understand what are the pros and cons of utilizing each mobile app platform. Since the more aware you are about the technological advantages of one platform over the other, the clearer you’ll be, when choosing your technological partner.

Android App Development

Ever since the time Google started to work on its new project called “Android OS”, the platform surprisingly was released in 2007. 4 Years later and it has become the best-selling OS platform worldwide, securing a huge portion of the mobile app market.

The core of Android source code was developed on a modified version of Linux Kernel, which is now completely free and open source. The most common way engineers do the android app development is by using the Android Studio IDE with Java and the Android SDK packages.

These are just a few highlights of how significant the impact of the Android OS was over the last 14 years. What we also want to stress out are the pros and cons that every business owner should take into consideration.

Pros of Android app development
  • Design Layout - If you don’t have much experience in designing or you need to produce a quick one, Google has specific guidelines that simplify this process and makes an excellent user interface.
  • Open-Source System - One of the coolest features of a regular Android application is that most of the system and core features are free to be changed. Even the entire operating system can be rebuilt from scratch, meaning that the developers can have more creative opportunities! Unlike the iOS apps where the creators have restricted most of the internal system.
  • Device Fragmentation - During the android app development, there is quite a huge number of different hardware. It supports the layout and design for all android devices, which can run within one responsive app.
  • Publishing - The publishing process of any android app is simple. And once you submit your mobile app to the Google Store, it will take a few hours for the Google Team to review the APK file. Then your users can download it and enjoy your work.
Cons of Android app development
  • Fragmentation - The other side of having a whole range of different devices is that there are a ton of settings that should be considered. For example, screen sizes, resolutions, aspect ratios, and even more should work according to the devices you are developing your app for. Otherwise, you are risking your entire business for collapse.
  • Testing - This one is coming from one of the advantages highlighted above. Due to a high number of available devices, the number of unit tests is increased, since each of them has its hardware settings. Therefore, it takes time to see the results of each test for the entire development team.
  • Costly - If you combine the unit testing and fragmentation cons, you’ll get the expenses that can surprisingly surpass the costs of the iOS app development.

iOS App Development

iOS or iPhone OS was created by Apple corporation in 2007 and by now the number of users who currently hold and use any iOS product by this day is 380 million worldwide. To create an iOS App, developers use Swift along with the Xcode environment. Which are the essential choices for any iOS app development.

What makes the iOS source system different from Android is that it is completely closed, available only to Apple corporation. It does pose a negative effect on the developers, however on the other hand Apple does care about the security aspect of their customers. Below, we’d like to present some pros and cons to consider for iOS app development.

In the meantime, you may be interested in checking out the most recent issue on the top app development companies that we have specifically updated for you.

Pros of iOS app development
  • Larger Target Market Scale - If your primary target market is based either in the US, UK or Australia, then any iOS app will get more recognition. Since these countries are mostly focused on products from Apple, rather than Android.
  • High Security - Due to the high standards and guidelines that every developer must follow every single iOS app development consists of very strong security implementations. The main purpose is to make sure that the data inside the app will be completely private and protected against common cyberattacks (malware, data breach, SQL injections, etc)
  • Simple Testing Processes - As there are not so many devices on the Apple market (unlike Android), the process of testing your mobile app becomes really easy. And it will boost your development time to release your app.

Cons of iOS app development

  • Additional Expenses - Even though the iOS app development may sound intriguing, it requires additional expenses. Starting from paying the monthly subscription in the Apple Store to purchasing macOS for iOS app development. That is why you might underestimate the initial budgetary expenses.
  • Strict Publication Policies - Every single iOS app must fit the development policies and pass several tests to be released in the Apple Store. Otherwise, your iOS app will face a straight rejection and you’ll have to redo certain things again.
  • “Default” Customization - Due to these strict rules that Apple has incorporated, the majority of the apps are losing their initial creativity that various designers and developers were working on. Thus, turning away lots of iOS experts.

Hybrid App Development

Hybrid apps are different from iOS and Android apps since most of them are focused solely on running in a native container. All the hybrid app content is displayed in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) where any user can easily get access to your product information, make an in-browser purchase, or any other relevant actions.

The vast majority of them are considered to be just a mobile version of any website, with additional functionality and client-side APIs. Let’s take a look at the hybrid app's strong and weak points.

Pros of hybrid app development
  • Easy access: A hybrid app can be loaded and shared via a simple link on various social media channels or any communication channels. Making it much more accessible and flexible in terms of utilization.
  • Cross-platform Apps: Obviously, all the hybrid apps can be accessed from both iOS and Android phones. Your main platform is based on an Internet browser. Thus, as long as your Safari, Chrome, or any other browser is up to date, you can gain access to your app.
  • Easier Development & Testing - All the hybrid apps are based on the popular web stacks (LAMP, MERN, etc), meaning that the development time is significantly shorter compared to native app development. Just to give a comparison, a regular iOS or Android app development time is around 2 to 4 months. While the time required to build a hybrid app is kept at a maximum of 1 month in total and it can easily be published.
Cons of hybrid app development
  • Limited functionality: Yes, the power of hybrid apps in some areas may overcome the advantages of native platforms. However, the only thing that significantly leaves a white mark is the limitation of some specific hardware implementations, like AI or AR.
  • Browser Inconvenience - To run your application, a common user will need to perform a whole set of actions: open browser, search the app, login, and only then use it. For some, if not most of the people this can be a huge inconvenience that may turn their attention away.
  • Discoverability - All the native apps can easily be found via Apple or Google stores. However, for a hybrid app, it might pose a difficulty, as there are tons of various websites and platforms out there. So the discovery of your app should be easy. That’s why you have to be even more creative during your marketing campaign compared to the native marketing advertisement.

Aspects to consider before choosing a mobile app development platform

Before we continue to the app development platforms, we illustrated some important things that you should take note of. Here is a basic checklist of all the things you should consider.

Performance

Performance is an essential key that every single app should have. You should always be confident that the loading speed of your app is both smooth and fast. That the customer can immediately understand what kind of product you provide and what services are there. Otherwise, if it takes too long for him to open it up, he might just as well delete it out of frustration and anger, since it adds a negative impression on your product. Resulting in a bad product review.

Platform Distribution

The choice of the platform is also an important factor that can directly impact your business. Not only can you secure the right target market with your app platform, but also gain significant experience in developing and publishing an app on the desired platform. Some other key factors that you should keep in mind are app brand attributes, app features, and the monetization system.

User Experience

Just like a sales methodology is working, one of the app goals is to provide a user with an excellent experience during his app journey. Achieving that will make the user revisit your digital app again and again, which increases the chances of him utilizing the monetization model installed in your app. Otherwise, you will have neither this opportunity nor any users. An app is a product that gives value and shines with simplicity to your audience, so try not to make your app complicated or too confusing.

What are the mobile app development tools?

When you start a mobile app development process, one of the things that will significantly concern you is: “What are the development tools that I can create my Android/iOS app with?”. And that is completely true since for each respective platform there exists a corresponding programming language used to develop a mobile app. Typically, nowadays most mobile apps are developed in the following languages:

  • iOS (Objective-C or Swift)
  • Android (Java or Kotlin)

And just like the mobile platforms, each programming language has its native development framework. Each has its guidelines that every professional developer should stick to. It can be graphic styles, gestures, typography, visual effects, data entry, and more.

Let’s see what kind of tools are currently popular!

1. Xcode

Xcode is a free development environment that introduces a new way to design and build software with an innovative programming language - Swift.

The process of mobile app development is a true masterpiece on Xcode since it gives you so many opportunities. For example, with the live rendering, you can write your code and observe all the changes that you make within the Interface Builder. This tool has everything you’ve ever needed to develop a modern and visually appealing application for any given Apple product out there.

2. Android Studio

Android Studio

Developed and produced by Google, Android Studio is another wonderful free app development tool, used to build modern Android apps.

The environment itself is simple and useful for every developer out there. Quick shortcuts, phone screen visualization, program rendering, all of that make it easy to use and to spend less time on coding. It also provides drag-and-drop features allowing you to design the layout of your mobile app faster.

3. AppCode

AppCode

One of the other platforms that gained popularity among developers is the AppCode, used to develop iOS/macOS apps. In addition to building Apple products, it also supports various web technologies (JavaScript, HTML, XML, CSS, and more).

In addition to such benefits as saving time on automating routine tasks and increasing overall productivity, AppCode can also be an equally valuable asset for your business. However, all the JetBrains products are based on a monthly subscription plan and AppCode is one of those products. But you can still try it free for a whole month and if you will see a potential value in it, then you can pay for the subscription plan.

4. No-Code Development Platforms

Aside from the typical code platforms that every experienced developer knows, there is a solution for those, who do have little to no technical knowledge. Several digital companies created platforms that allow a simple mobile app development process that can implement every app functionality without even writing a line of code. So let’s take a closer look at the most popular options if you are confident in implementing your app by yourself.

AppSheet

AppSheet is a platform that allows flexible and functional iOS and Android app development from its data sources and other external tools. This data can be extracted from so many sources, that it’s amazing to use it in your working environment. Just to name a few: Google Suite, Salesforce, Twilio, and even Airtable (which is another app builder).

The platform covers all basic app customization, like the creation of app logos, app name, security integration, sign-in requirements implementation, and addition of offline functionality.

Appy Pie

Another popular entry on our list since 2015 is Appy Pie. Pretty much any user with absolutely no experience in coding can create an appealing and functional application.

To create an Android or iOS app, Appy Pie provides a set of templates where almost all kinds of apps are already described. And all you need to do is add relevant features and publish them. The price plans vary from $15 to $200, depending on the type of business you are running and the goals that you wish to accomplish.

Here’s an overview of some feature that the Appy Pie service provides:

  • Push notifications
  • Integrated photos and videos
  • Social Media functionalities
  • Loyalty programs
  • Coupons
Adalo

Adalo is one of the leading platforms that provide a no-code environment anyone can use to build any kind of app they have in mind. Adalo is also focused on the drag-and-drop user experience, where one can easily choose the desired function or feature, put it in the app development process, and test it live.

You can choose to go with a free plan where you’ll be given an unlimited amount of free apps, but you can only publish it on the Adalo domain. With the paid plan, however, you can publish your app to the Apple Store & Google Play.

How does the app development process go?

Exactly this question is left unexplored most of the time when some digital agencies or companies are producing a software product. It’s not that easy, but at the same time, it does involve some common aspects that any software developer should do before, during, and after the app development.

1. Discovery Stage

Perhaps you have a vivid idea of how your application works. You might have an idea of what your app should look like, but that doesn’t mean that you can easily skip the preparation phase and dive into the creation process straight ahead. Each app development stage has its principles and goals for you to consider. And in this stage, there are at least 4 core aspects where you should do your research.

Identify your target audience

The very first stage in understanding and securing your product’s success is the identification of your target audience. Whether you want to start your app development or you create a new business, the audience will always be there. The consumers are the fuel of the engine that you are trying to build.

Here are some initial steps that you can use, to understand who is going to use your mobile app:

  • Think about the app benefits that you can provide. For example, if you are hosting or developing a restaurant app, then a special discounted offer during specific days of the week, might attract people. With that, you easily identify what attracts your users and what value do they get from your product.
  • Start with the 7 “Why's'' method to pinpoint your target audience. This method breaks down your problem or the subject of discussion till you’ll find a hidden meaning in it. You don’t have to stick to the number 7since the main point is to go as deep as it’s possible to draw your audience’s social profile and interests.
  • Seek popular trends that are currently running in your business industry. Pick up this wave, make it unique and change it according to your product’s main value. Perhaps it may be a thematic platform design or special offers, something that may attract your audience.
App Goal

Every single product has a target and a goal in mind. Be it a stealth startup that wants to cover its original app development process or a small business that wants to grow and scale. Markdown your main app goals that can align with your business goals.

The Timeline

A very crucial moment in your app development project is the app development time. Don’t think that your mobile app is fine with a year-long development. By the time you'll produce it, your competitors will already secure your market niche and in the end, you’ll just waste your money.

Make up your timeline according to the goals that you want to achieve. Keep in mind that on average to produce a first, raw version of your app you will need at least from 2 to 4 months of development time. So plan wisely and try to estimate every step in detail, since the timeline highly depends on how big your idea is.

Draw your Customer Journey Map

Another important step in early app development preparations is to draw a customer journey map. This one will serve as a reference for a roadmap that your clients will go through within your app.

Not only it will give you an insight on what app features are the most important ones, but it will also greatly assist your development team in producing a first app iteration! And it can also significantly boost the time required to finish your app!

App Marketing

One of the most important and yet dangerous aspects that any company faces is the advertisement and marketing process for their products. It can be both an advantageous factor if correctly implemented and a very lethal one. Be careful with it and have someone who is practically an expert in this business field.

2. Analysis Stage

As you pass through the planning and preparation stage, your next step is to implement your idea into a working prototype, aka MVP. During this stage, you need to stress out the most important and significant features that your app’s first product iteration must have.

The next step is to create a product roadmap, where you should identify what kind of stages the product development process should go through. Moreover, try to estimate how long each step will take and how much budget you need to spend, to correspond to the main business plan that you have already prepared. And finally, try to find a development team for the purposes and goals your app is trying to accomplish. Whether you are looking for a remote dev team or an IT outsourcing company, the choice is yours. If you want to know which option will suit you better, stick to our guide till the end.

In the meantime, here are some other tips and tricks that you can follow.

Make your priority feature list

Due to the product development process nature, every mobile app has to have a specific amount of features at every stage of its progression. You can’t just push all the features in one go and think that your product is going to launch successfully.

First, highlight only the most important and key features that your product is going to have. That way you can safely test whether your audience is going to like your product or not. Second, make a priority plan where you break down every implemented feature according to your budget and timeline.

In the initial stage, you need to have only the most important features, to see whether your targeted audience has an attraction towards your product. Once you start to gain more customers, that’s the time when you need to cover all the essential features, illustrated in your priority plan. The last step is to scale and grow the app features with the increased traffic of your users.

Ask questions

Try to ask around as many questions as you can. Don’t think that the development issues will disappear by themselves or that someone else will solve them for you. Search the forums for the desired solution, ask people in Quora, and reach out to your investors (if you are a startup). You are the one who is controlling the process of your mobile app development, so try to understand as much as you can. Otherwise, try to find a co-founder who is educated in the technological field.

3. Design Stage

The design of your app can demonstrate much more than a whole chunk of text or a bunch of documents describing your company's pitch presentation. And it does also answer various questions that relate to delivering a pleasant user experience.

Besides, during the mobile app development, it is considered that the design is the very first thing your users are going to see and experience. So you have to make sure that the experience your customers will get is fantastic, that it matches up with your brand image and style. To achieve such results lookout for other app development companies and learn how they polished their products to perfection.

Information Architecture

Every design starts with the information that you will be putting in your mobile app. Since the logical architecture of the app should be both bold and simple. The first step of your mobile app design process is to determine the data your mobile app will display to the users, the data it will collect, user interactions with the finished product, and the user journeys within the app.

And the next preparation step is to make sure that your app has different user roles and privileges. Since each user type is responsible for his allocation actions. A sample workflow diagram can assist you in properly understanding and clarifying the types of users your app should have, while you will draw out the app’s navigation.

Wireframe

A wireframe is a technical sketch of your future app, the main goal of which is to demonstrate what functional requirements your app has. It’s more of a conceptual layout rather than a design prototype since it focuses more on the user experience and not on the colorful layout. Plus, wireframes are very easy to build; you can even create one by yourself. And it does make you think about the design layout for your chosen platform since iOS and Android layouts are different from each other.

Style Guide

A simple style guide refers to the set of data and visual documents that represent the common style rules of your company. This can include navigation icons, font family, color scheme, brand elements, guide rules, and other common elements that should keep the same across all the company works.

Style guides can significantly contribute to your app design strategy. By creating one, your team will be more productive, systematic, and collaborative with any task given to them. Because they will see the example of the company’s representation, and they will push the same spirit into your mobile app development design. Each OS, whether it’s iOS or Android has its principles of a style guide, which you can also follow. We suggest you look through some of the most impressive app development portfolios, to get some inspiration and understand how the style guide should fit your overall UI/UX design.

Mockup & Prototype

An app mockup is one of the final steps that you should create, as it will serve are the final renderings of your app’s visual design. Typically, they can be easily built by combining the style guides and the wireframes. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator will assist you during this task.

All the produced mockups can also easily be turned into dynamic and workable prototypes. By utilizing either Invision software you can easily combine all the static design models and create a simple animated demo of your product. The development process of an app prototype can be a little time-consuming but important addition. You will experience and see how your user will see this app and experience it. Thus, simulating a real-time user experience with the desired functionalities.

UI/UX Front End Development

The front-end is almost the core component of any native mobile app or a web platform that all of your customers are going to use. Most of the designing trends are constantly changing, so you have to keep your app interactive, attractive, and engaging to keep your user experience at the top levels. During the front-end implementations, you need to utilize an API and a back-end for managing data. Sometimes you might need to use the user’s local storage for your app to work without Internet access. So try to pick the right tech stack that will be suitable for your mobile app experience.

4. Backend Stage

The core stage of any application is to develop its backend system and to create your prototype. But before that you will have to define the following:

  • Technical architecture
  • Tech stack
  • Milestones

Once you have cleared out these important aspects it is time to finally start the development of your backend systems. Talk with your main project manager and discuss the identified features or specifications that you want to see in your mobile app.

The time required to finish your project will differ depending on the app’s complexity and the type of business app you want to create. For example, if you are building a hybrid app for your existing web app platform, then it will probably take a month to develop the same functionality that your website has. Other more complex apps that require AI, Machine Learning, or any other integrations or additional development processes will take from a few months to a maximum of a year of development time.

5. Testing & Polishing Stage

Functional Testing

The accuracy of your mobile app functionality is very important to overall app development success. Therefore, you need to test almost every single possible scenario that may occur when a user is trying out your app functionalities. For instance, If two users fill the same form then one of them may show some errors during the submission. So the main point here is to make sure that all of your functions are working as they should.

Performance Testing

There are many quantitative criteria to use for measuring the performance of your app. The time to respond to your user request, the screen loading time, the size of your app, drain of battery power, and even more to consider while testing your app’s core functionalities.

Another thing to test is the backend system of your app. Make sure that it can handle a specific number of users without any crashes or slowdowns. It should perform well enough, even if there is some unexpected increase of potential customers.

Security Testing

The other part of testing essential for any mobile app development process is security testing. Any small opening or any unprotected code snippet that might seem like an open vulnerability can and will lead to a serious cyberattack. For that reason, lots of business companies and even outsource companies, hire QA engineers to prevent any breaches or screen the current state of their apps. Or they hire penetration testers who can seek hidden vulnerabilities inside their system.

For example, practically every single app uses the login form which authorizes you in the app. But little did the people know that you can directly overwrite your backend infrastructure just by typing specific code snippets inside the form. This is the so-called SQL-Injection Attack. Or if a person knows exactly how your app’s memory has been structured, he can manipulate the app’s original code and overflow the memory of your app, exposing your customer’s information. This is called a Buffer Overflow Attack.

There are many others, but we will just advise that either you have a very experienced developer or you should look for a professional IT outsource company who can assist you with the security testing.

Device Testing

As we mentioned before, there is a wide variety of devices for each OS platform. Unlike the web apps, where you can simply test your product easily on the browser that you are using. Therefore, it is necessary to test your app on most Android and iOS devices to guarantee a smooth performance for your users. Preferably you can do it in the native development tools where they have a virtual simulation of all available devices.

If you want to release your app for closed beta or alpha testing, there are two primary ways to do that. For iOS, it is the TestFlight, while for Android it is via APK file distribution.

6. App Deployment & Further Support

Once you’ll pass all the previous stages, conquer every milestone, you’ll be ready to finally release your app! The hybrid app release is fairly easy to be done since you just need to buy a hosting service and push your app live. As for the native apps (like iOS or Android) you need to publish to the Apple Store and Google Play respectively. To do that, you will be required to create a developer’s account first. But it doesn’t only end there, you also need to prepare the metadata of the app. Here are the details that you will need to provide in it:

  • App’s title
  • Description
  • App Category
  • App Keywords
  • Launch icon
  • App Store screenshots

Once you will successfully submit it, you probably need to wait for approval from each respective platform. For Apple Store, due to its strict development policies, it takes from a few days to a few weeks to get any kind of feedback. As for Google Play, you will wait just a few hours for your app to be either accepted or rejected after the submission.

If your app is accepted, then congratulations! You’ve done a good job and it is time to actively monitor its activity. Observe the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) via an analytics platform of your choice. Track the number of active users within the first few months and try to understand what your audience likes the most. Keep on the lookout for the crash bug reports and the feedback of your users. It can significantly improve not only your mobile app but also impact your brand image. Try the advertising and marketing campaigns along with your release, to gain more social awareness. And also, be always on top of modern technological advancements and try to upgrade your app periodically.

What is the app development cost for my project?

The question of app development cost is the one that always struck an entrepreneur’s mind in the process of managing budgetary expenses. While there is no concrete answer to it, we tried to give an approximate range that many developers are sticking to.

Average App Development Cost

It’s really easy to assume that the overall cost of the app development process depends on two main criteria: time, cost, and quality. The last two are highly affected by the location of the developer and the type of app you’d like to create. “Why is that so?” - you might ask. Well, that’s primarily because the type of the app will affect the number of functions required to be developed. And that also affects the time rate and the deadlines.

If you are looking for very basic app development, to test it and try to find out whether it’s going to work out, then generally it takes from 80 to 100 hours for full completion. The range varies from $50-$100/per hour. If you’re looking into a more specific app platform, then the prices will also differ. For example, in E-commerce application development, the rate is $100-$150, while the amount of hours varies from 170 to 220.

The cost truly depends on the type and complexity of your mobile app. On average the time investment is approximately around 80 to 600 hours with a $50 – $150 hourly rate. Although, as it happens in most cases these are not the only expenses that you will need to pay for. There are also international taxes, fees, and other unexpected expenses that you might never hear of before.

App Development Cost in the United States

If you decide to hire a full-time developer in the US, you would have to pay somewhere around $82k and $180k each year. But of course, it all depends on the skill category you’ve chosen. Including some additional taxes and charges:

  • Supplementary payments - 3.2% of the net salary — $2,000 for junior, $3,400 for middle, and $4,400 for senior
  • Insurance - 8% — $5,100 for junior, $8,500 for middle, and $11,100 for senior
  • Annual paid leave - 7.1% — $4,500 for junior, $7,600 for middle, and $9,900 for senior
  • Retirement and savings fund - 3.8% — $2,400, $4,000, and $5,300 respectively
  • Benefits, required by legal regulations: 7.6% — $4,800, $8,100, and $10,500 respectively

If you combine all the presented taxes, you’ll get a total cost for each developer:

  1. Junior Developer - $82,000/year
  2. Middle Developer - $140,000/year
  3. Senior Developer - $180,000/year

And just approximately ⅓ of all the payment will go directly to paying all the US relevant taxes.

App Development Cost in the United Kingdom

Unlike USA employees, UK ones have a tax-free Personal Allowance excluded from their salaries. Additionally, the employer of a UK developer has to pay the income tax, the national insurance, and the auto-enrolment pension. However, even though there are few taxes that you have to pay for, UK taxes are much higher compared to the US.

For example, the income tax for people who earn between £11,800 and £46,300 is 20%. While those who earn above £50,000 it is 40%. The taxes of developers who are based in Scotland and the Northern Islands are calculated differently.

All in all, it’s a bit cheaper to hire mobile app developers in the UK for the following reasons:

  • Taxable sum - salary minus the tax-free Personal Allowance of £12,500/year
  • Income tax - £4,600 for junior, £8,600 for middle, and £11,200 for senior respectively.
  • Auto-enrolment pension - £700 for juniors, £1,300 for middle, £1,700 for senior.

By adding it all up, the price ranges are almost the same as the US ones, with a very slight difference. So technically speaking, you can say that it is a little cheaper to hire a developer from the UK rather than the US.

Where can I find the right app developer?

There are a few options that you can consider: Freelancers, remote employees, and IT outsourcing companies. Whether you just want a prototype version of your app or a fully functional one, each is suited for different case scenarios. We'll cover each option, explain what mobile app developer might work best for you, and explain how you can benefit from each type.

Freelancers

If you are a small business owner and require a marketplace or a WordPress Platform, in that case, your first choice is freelancers. There are tons of web developers, UI Designers, QA Testers, and other professions that you can easily find on the following web platforms.

Platforms

First, you have Upwork and Freelancer platforms, which by far are considered to be one of the most popular websites, who have lots of freelance app developers. Both platforms have secure methods of payment and hiring for your given project. Which reduces the possibility of any potential frauds or scams.

Another website worth mentioning is a Codementor. This is an IT tutoring platform that has thousands of mentors and their students. It is designed specifically for searching and matching up with independent contractors that can assist your small business project.

Pros & Cons

Cost reduction

One of the obvious advantages of hiring a freelance app developer is that his work will be much cheaper compared to remote employees or outsource companies. If you need a very fast and rapid development of your app with only core functions, then a freelance app developer might just be your case. However, don’t expect that the quality of your final product will be high. The cheaper the price, the lower the quality of your product will be. So think whether it is worth your budget or you can find a better alternative.

Experienced Development

The wide variety of skilled freelancers all over the platforms is truly astonishing. You can choose a developer who is solely specialized in one technical field. And that may benefit you from hiring a local developer who might have experience in different technical fields all at once.

No Consistent Communication

To tell you the truth, there are several points hidden in this con. First, the lack of a communication structure, since talking physically is not an option, while a personal relationship may harm your business. Second, whenever you will want to discuss some urgent but important app questions, a freelancer may not always be there when you need him the most. And last, a freelancer may not always understand what the company’s goals or values are, so he may make mistakes during the development process.

Remote employees

If your business project consists of a bigger digital product like an app, that requires skills and knowledge in a narrow business field consider hiring remote employees. These workers are more like an extra addition to your current team, which communicates with you more frequently and openly.

Platforms

There is no doubt that there is at least one platform that everyone knows about and has an opportunity for hiring remote developers, which is LinkedIn. However, try also to look for other web platforms that specialize in providing remote developers for small or medium companies.

One of the very first Google results will give you Remote.com, which is a platform for finding full-time and part-time remote contractors worldwide. There you can search your desired candidates in two ways: manually or by providing specific details about your project (duration, business field, skills, payment, etc).

The second by popularity is the Hired website. This platform is very specific in choosing the right location and industry where you want to hire full-time mobile app developers. What makes this website so unique is that only the most talented candidates who have outstanding working experience (Google, Amazon, etc.) are getting accepted on this platform.

One of the other optimal choices is the YouTeam, which connects various digital agencies and clients in one big pool of remote app developers. It is very strict in terms of acceptance since all the developers have to go through a specific set of screening processes. Because, if they don’t meet the standard criteria, then they won’t stand a chance to be accepted there.

Pros & Cons

Budgetary cuts

Hiring a remote team of developers will indeed be much cheaper than having your own (at least at the start of your company). More than that, you don’t even need to invest any funds or capital for creating an infrastructure for hiring a local development team.

Tasks Delegation

The mobile app development process is a complicated one and requires a lot of time and attention. But every business doesn't simply wait. You have other important tasks that also require your presence. And for that reason, remote employees can delegate the development tasks along with your or their project manager. Thus, significantly cutting your time, which you can spend on focusing on other business tasks.

Cultural & Communication Gap

At the very start of hiring remote employees, you won’t be able to know how they are going to fit in your team. There may be cultural differences and even communication issues due to some personal or professional issues. So you can’t predict how exactly remote employees are going to impact your business and team too.

Outsourcing companies and agencies

In case you have a massive and huge project that requires much more attention, then you probably need assistance from IT outsourcing app development companies. Compared to the other options you have on this list, a digital agency can confidently guarantee the quality of their work, fulfill the project completion on deadlines, and at the very least half of your stress will be relieved from your shoulders!

Platforms

Clutch is one of the most popular and trending platforms for searching professional and experienced digital companies. It is also recognized for its unique review feature, which allows any entrepreneur to leave very detailed feedback for an outsource company he was working with. By analyzing the submitted reviews, the Clutch system will form a concrete grade for each given review.

GoodFirms is another good choice for finding excellent software firms out there. It can help you not only search for the right technology provider but can also boost your conversion rates and brand awareness if you submit your own company for a review. Since it serves as one of the startup company directories out there.

Pros & Cons

Fresh Point of View

It might be considered a good practice to involve your company with IT digital agencies, as they can give you a new perspective on your product. They are also professionals and experts in both business and technological fields, so you might need a review of your business and your product. As it can help you discover some company strengths and weaknesses that you have never seen.

Large access to the Talent Pool

Almost all the digital companies have a wide range of experienced talents that they can provide with those who have the right skills to complete your project. Compared to the local hiring option, your choice will be limited, while the search for the right developers may take a long time.

Narrow Tech Stacks Specialization

There are tons of different digital companies that assist entrepreneurs and build various projects. However, what differs them from each one of them is that they specialize in one of only two technical stacks. Since it is easy to focus attention and be an expert in 1 or 2 tech stacks, rather than having a little experience in other stacks. So, it can be both an advantage and disadvantage for you. In the first case, you may focus on one programming language and solve most of the issues together with your team. In other cases, if you suddenly decide to change your mind and switch to another stack, then it might pose a lot of issues.

Final Words

Every mobile app requires a systematic and definite approach. Especially, when you are establishing the first step of your app development. Depending on the type of app you are going to build, both the required timeline and the cost will change accordingly.

The guide described above illustrates the correct path that any business owner should follow. Although it may change from one company to another, depending on the goals that they have set. But the flow of all stated points and your mobile app development process should stay at least on a similar road.

We will keep this article updated and try to constantly add more details to it, to provide more recently available data. We hope that you will find this mobile app development guide valuable and informative for your future or current project development.

If you have any questions left or you want to leave your project inquiry, we suggest you go through our app development page. There we describe how we approach our projects and what we do to make them successful.