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How to choose a mobile app developer for your startup?

Scott Belsky famously quoted “It’s about making ideas happen” when asked about entrepreneurship. With the advent of the internet, building your idea into a mobile app has become a lot cheaper, more accessible and more likely to succeed. You can come up with a great idea, hire an app developer to package it into an app, and you’re on the market!
You no longer require to know coding or serious mobile development to release an app. Hiring mobile development companies is a growing trend among entrepreneurs who go to the developers with their ideas, decide on a design and get their customized apps built. You should have a clear idea about the design and what kind of features you want in your app so that you don’t waste money in billing extra hours to the app developers and the work is done efficiently in the least time possible.
[Check out our post on Planning and developing your mobile app to get started.]

While selecting a mobile app developer, you’ll need to be sure they’re a reputable company, will stick to the proposed and affordable budget. You can find a freelance app developer on Upwork, Freelancer, Dribble, Behance (for design developers to upload their profiles, projects etc), or Github, be sure to check their credentials and any past projects they’ve undertaken. You can check out our list of Mobile development companies (click here for more app developers) and approach the company directly.

The cost of making the app will depend on:

  1. Android/iOS/Cross platform
  2. Complexity – Back-end integration (databases on a server etc), use of hardware components etc.
  3. Design and Animations
  4. Number of devices being developed for
  5. Updates and support
  6. Cloud hosting
  7. Company location


The team:

A basic team would consist of a UI/UX designer, 1-2 developers, a project manager, and a quality assurance engineer. For a more complex app, with database integration, API integration, hardware components etc the team would be extended to an admin, a panel designer,  2-4 developers including a back-end developer, and any other people required. The bigger the team is, the more hours you’ll be paying for.



Considering an average of $50 an hour,

  • A simple app – basic UI, no API integration, simple filters, a feed etc. costs around $1000 to $15,000 depending on additional features such as GPS etc
  • A mid-complexity app – custom UI, API and database integration, real time chat, payment service integration,  integration with social networking apps etc costs from $8000 to $50,000.
  • A complex app – custom animations, 3D modelling, hardware component integration, audio-video processing, real time synchronisation costs about $30,000 to $80,000.
  • Gaming apps – will cost you around $8000 to $50,000 depending on the complexity.



As iOS has fewer versions and only 9 device models, it’s around 20% cheaper to develop an app that’s compatible with all of them than to develop on Android where there are numerous software versions and devices. However, if you choose only the most popular devices for Android, the cost of development for iOS and Android will be almost the same. Keep in mind that Android can offer some features that iOS doesn’t and vice versa. Developing on cross-platform software is relatively new to the market and is less expensive to develop on. This saves you the cost of  developing your app separately for both platforms, as the app can be released on Android, iOS and any other platforms.


Location and size:

In India, the hourly rate is $10-$80 which is a lot cheaper compared to the US and Western Europe where the rate is $50-$200 on an average.
A small development company will charge less than a bigger, well known company, but make sure to check their credentials and reviews. Similarly, hiring a company to build the whole app is safer than hiring a single freelancer, whereas small freelancers are cost-effective for adding one or two features to your app.

You can compare prices of different app developers (based on their hourly rates and ratings) on clutch.co/directory/mobile-application-developers-india
 and check out the top mobile development companies in India at Top-10-mobile-app-development-companies-in-india


About the author

– Srishti is passionate about learning new things, writing and understanding the startup landscape. Currently studying computer science and interested in business and technology

About Srishti