Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) Blog

How Long Does it Take to Build a Mobile App?

“How long does it take to build a mobile app?” While the question isn’t as timeless as “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” (spoiler alert: 3481), it is one that’s very dear to our community of mobile app developers. And now we’ve got an answer. 18 weeks.

How long does it take to build an app infographic

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In collaboration with research firm AYTM, we surveyed 100 mobile designers to discover how long they expected it would take to build core front- and backend components of an Android or iOS app.  We averaged the responses and then teamed with the designers at Visual.ly to visualize the time required to develop each component of an MVP-quality native app.

For fun, we put app development time in context. Who knew you could drill three 3000-foot oil wells in the time it takes to launch the first version of your “drill for oil” iOS game?

Of course, there’s a subtext to this graphic. Specifically, it doesn’t have to take 18 weeks to build v1 of your app. It can take a lot less time. The backend alone is estimated to require 10 weeks, but a backend as a service like Kinvey can dramatically reduce that time. And our SDK partners, like Adobe PhoneGap, BrightCove and Trigger.io, can all help accelerate your frontend development efforts as well.

So, how long would it take you to develop a native app MVP?

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