How to Optimize App Development Budget Using a Cost Calculator?

With the increasing usage of smartphones, there is no doubt mobile apps have become a crucial part of everyone’s life. People are spending most of their time, approximately 5-6 hours, on their smartphones, excluding chatting. 

With more than 7.26 billion active smartphone users in 2022, there is no reason to let them go, given how well-liked they are and the amount of profit they might bring to you. But before all this, you need to know how much it costs to create an app. Most people with brilliant app ideas seek an answer to the above question. On average, the app costs you can forecast spending anything from $2000 to $50,000 on an app development project is no big deal. But how will you determine if the app development cost falls in this range? Worry no longer as we step in here. First, we will help you figure out what are the two options you have to know the cost of app development, which are to use an online app cost calculator tool or get an estimate from a mobile app development company.

An online app cost calculator might be successful and popular among the audience as it estimates the cost of your dream app. However, the latter can give you a specific cost breakdown based on the functions and features of your app. 

This article talks about the overall look at app development cost. We will cover all app cost calculator benefits, factors affecting the app development cost, some famous app cost calculator and our final thoughts on how to optimize the cost of your app development.


Benefits of Using an App Cost Calculator

A well-known fact is that without mobile phones, human life is incomplete. Where mobile phones are now an essential part of life so are the software or apps, and the fact that developing an app can be a costly affair. To figure out this, an app cost calculator can be an invaluable tool. Read further to know the benefits of using an app cost calculator tool:

    • Accurate Cost Estimation: One of the biggest advantages of using an app cost calculator as it offers you to know the accurate cost of developing an app. The tool is responsible for various factors such as app complexity, features, platform, and design to give you an estimated cost for your project.
  • Budget Planning: After you are aware of the cost of developing an app now you can plan the budget and adjust your requirements accordingly. With budget planning, you will be able to secure additional funding if needed later.
  • Time Management: the mobile app development cost calculator might help you plan your app development timeline effectively. With predicted app development cost and time, you will be able to set realistic deadlines and milestones for your dream project.
  • Transparency: Another benefit of using app cost calculator is it comes with complete transparency and allows an individual to understand the development process better. It is clear how much the feature costs and how it will affect the overall project budget.
  • Cost Optimization: Now you have got an estimate about your project with an app cost calculator that you can use it as leverage in negotiations with app development firms. If the company tries to charge you more than the calculated cost, you can use the estimated cost to negotiate for a lower price. 
  • No Charges: Another considerable benefit of using an online app calculator it’s free so there is no harm in trying out one for your next minimum viable project (MVP) project.

Factors that Affect App Development Cost

Having your own mobile application is, for sure, an exciting process, but consider few things before you know about the app development cost. Some of the factors that affect the app development cost are:


Validate App Idea

Validating your app idea might be alarming, but it’s an important factor that affects the app development cost. Validating an app idea can be done in three easy steps: Research, Build a Prototype and Complete Development Plan. We will study each one by one as follows:

  • Research: It’s an important part that help to determine the how the app will work, how competitive it will be and what makes it stand unique. You can start by listing the keyword that describes it to see the competition. It will be in your favor if you go through the user reviews and make notes of what they suggest for improvement in the existing apps. Use that as your edge whether it’s an addition of QR code scanning or upgrading of app design. 
  • Build a Prototype: Similar to all apps, it must have a base form first. To better understand your app idea go for the offline mode prototype. With offline mode, you will be better able to understand the potential partners or developers in the market along with getting feedback from other users who might be interested in using your app.
  • Complete Development Plan: With a development plan it will be easy for you to understand the cost and time required to bring your app to life. Make sure you include clear strategy for development, technologies used and maintenance before hand. Your plan must add potential risks and opportunities that impact the app’s success. 



Most people think about how their app will look and ignore the important functions and features which are more important as compared to the looks and feel. App features help to determine the user interface and complexity of your project. The lesser the app features, the less it will cost. The functionality and features, the integrations and the method used to determine how complex the app is. The app development cost greatly relies on the number of features and complexity involved. 

Category 1: Basic-Level Complexity: Mandatory Features Only

This category comprises of basic features with three to four screens, uncomplicated functions and no data storage. The main features of this app will be Login/Sign-up, Create/Edit Profiles, Basic search, Notifications, Messages and Admin panel/ Dashboard. The cost will be in accordance with the number of app features. Typical examples include the calculator app, time tracking app, notes app or social networks.

Category 2: Mid-Level Complexity: Database and API-based applications

The addition of features and database will definitely raise the app development cost. More features you want to add can be social media integration, in-app purchase, payment gateways, Geo-location, Location Tracking, and Superior Security—common examples are: Photo-sharing app, taxi booking app, or food-delivery apps.

Category 3: High-Level Complexity: Feature-Rich and Large-Scale App

The app for big organizations falls in this category. Basically, the companies create a custom development with no integrations or they might use custom integrations with existing apps. Complicated apps are legacy or custom software. Hence the development cost is higher. The total cost of an app development might go beyond your expectation. A few more features that will affect the app development cost are Data synchronization with more than two devices, native features, online streaming, in-app calls, messaging and video chats. Apps with such features have sophisticated development work as it involves intricate research and preparation for the product roadmap. For the dashboard creation and visualization, the development platform complexity, number of servers, databases, all the essential and different infrastructure components are needed. Note: high availability and redundancy requirements. Extensive customization is mandatory, require developers to develop code for majority of functions. Estimating the cost of app development can be challenging, particularly before engaging in lengthy meetings to determine its scope. Examples for high complexity apps are trading platforms, CRM software, ERP software and gaming apps.


App Type

Mainly there are three types of mobile apps: native, web and hybrid. It’s important to understand all these as they impact the mobile app development costs and time. Read further to know them in detail and understand well:

Native: This is an application that is especially designed for a particular platform such as Android or iOS. With the right use of platform language that enables them to fully use the features of the device. Native apps offer better user experience as they are focused on each device’s specifications.

Web: Contrary to common belief, a Progressive Web Application is not an actual application but rather a web-based app that may resemble a native application in specific ways. They are coded in HTML 5 and can run on any browser. One of the core advantages of web apps is that they are cost-effective and consume less time to develop than native apps; hence they are popular. 

Hybrid: Mostly complex projects are developed using native and web technologies and hybrid app frameworks. A web application is developed using HTML, CSS, and Javascript and then wrapped in a hybrid framework container. Hybrid here indicate that the application will either run on Android or iOS devices. The benefit of cross-platform application is easy-fit and smooth operation and the use of platform-specific features. Another advantage of hybrid application is cost-effectiveness as it has a flexible user interface because it will be used on multiple types of devices. 


Hidden App Development Cost of which You are Unaware

Installation and Maintenance Cost: A well-known fact that developing a app is a time-consuming job and it is mistake to assume the developers work ends once the app is created. Whereas in reality, there is significant amount of work that follows the development stage. After the installation stage, the app requires constant maintenance which involves consideration such as improving functionality, updating security features and ensuring compatibility with both Android and iOS latest version. Maintaining the app during these periods can be costly hence increasing the overall cost of developing the app. 

Marketing and Promotion Cost: Success of app largely depends on marketing and advertising efforts but this important aspect is often overlooked by app publishers. It’s common misconception that once an app is created and available on app stores the work is done. Rather it’s not, you need to make efforts to make sure it is getting visibility and attract potential customers, a well-executed marketing strategy is important. The ideal marketing cost for app development should be X2 -X3 of the initial development cost. The money will be spent on various campaigns such as social media ads, search engine ads, sales funnel, PRs, and email marketing costs. 

Quality and Troubleshooting: Many mobile app developers tend to view testing as a mere formality and prioritize the app’s looks and feel over functionality. However, make sure that the app runs flawlessly, it must undergo several rounds of testing. When you test the app rigorously, you will be prepared well to handle any issues that may arise. Investing in testing is a wise decision as it can aid you with future problems and save money in the long run. 

Change of Plans: Mobile app developer use MVP or initial requirements to offer an estimate but as the project progresses, the original specifications often change. Upgrading existing features or adding new ones can increase the cost of app development. Many a times developers don’t have a clear big picture of what purpose the app is fulfilling. To avoid any deviation from the project plan it’s important to recheck the app’s goal and conduct concurrent testing via development process. Therefore be prepared with the hidden costs whether your app is designing , development, testing, or installation phase. 


Some Famous App Development Cost Calculators

Agicent App Cost Calculator: The online tool consisting of 9 Steps help individuals and businesses to get an estimate on the cost of developing a mobile app. From step 1st to till step 9th you will be asked to input various parameters which are important to calculate the app cost. With the Agicent app cost calculator, you will get the estimation of app cost effectively and easily.


Buildfire- Step-by-step Calculator: The interactive web app cost calculator offer a rough estimate in six steps. For tech entrepreneurs and start-up business owners, this tool is your friend when you are thinking of building a new software product. With the Buildfire cost calculator you will be able to estimate the budget for setting the app, developing it and its monthly maintenance. 


VenturePact- Get Offshore Cost: In case you are looking to build your app with an offshore development team but not aware of the cost? VenturePact is the app cost calculator that will give you rough estimates of different geographical locations such as USA, Europe and Asia. We will also recommend consulting the offshore agency with whom you want to connect to get an accurate estimate. 


Digitalya-Know your spending limit: Aside from offering the estimation development costs, individuals will also know what price to negotiate with your PWA team when you are using Digitalya. The 5 step cost estimation calculator will give you the best and worst case scenario of costs and hours of work in developing app.


Estimate My App-Simple and Easy to Use: This is for those who are first timers pickers those who want to build an app. It’s easiest and most intuitive design will help you quickly by giving you a rough idea of the app cost. The 10-step easy guide which says you only have to click on icons and proceed further to get an estimation of cost app.

Final Thoughts on Optimizing App Development Cost Calculator


With the constant technology evolving and the rise of IT services cost, developing a mobile app can be a tedious job. Optimization of app development cost is an crucial factor in achieving success in the highly competitive mobile app market. By using the app development cost calculator you will be getting an estimate of the costs app and identify the areas where you will be able to save money. Cost Calculators make sure to give you an informed decision about the features, technologies, and platforms to be used during app development. Moreover, the calculator will help you avoid cost overruns and optimize their budget, ensuring that they receive the best return on investment. Thus, by using a cost calculator, you will be able to reach efficient budget planning for your app development high-quality at a reasonable cost. 

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    Abelino Silva. Seeker of the truth. Purveyor of facts. Mongrel to the deceitful. All that, and mostly a blogger who enjoys acknowledging others that publish great content. Say hello 🙂

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