App development plays a key role in the growth and development of a business. From effectively connecting with customers to rapid conversion rates, apps have become an integral part of businesses. As per Statista, the revenue in the app development market is projected to reach $167 billion in 2023. 

The global mobile app downloads in 2022 were 255 billion, revealing the industry's significance and impact. Businesses that do not use apps have a high risk of losing potential customers. To boost revenue and the return on investment, it is vital for companies to start using mobile apps. Using the services of one of the top mobile development companies will help businesses serve their customers in the best possible way. Offering the best app development services ensures that companies meet the needs of their clients successfully.

John Doe, the author, is a software developer with over seven years of experience in the industry. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are subjects that he shows special interest in. With many publications over the past few years, he is considered an expert in software development and related subjects. He states, "Collaboration tools help in effective and efficient work completion. They save time and enhance project outcomes ".

This article provides the necessary details for companies wondering how long it will take to build an app in 2023. Businesses will be better equipped in terms of timelines and other factors that influence the time taken to successfully complete app building

Overview of app development in 2023

App development is a digital technology that will be highly competitive in 2023. It is a rapidly evolving niche that has grown in popularity over the years. Utilization of advanced methods such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and MI (Machine Learning), augmented reality, virtual reality, and more in the apps make them highly beneficial for businesses. 

Choosing the right development company will ensure a business successfully develops a beneficial app. Our LA-based software development company helps businesses build apps tailored to their needs. 

Importance of understanding app development timelines

The development process is an elaborate method that requires time and a multi-faceted approach. A developer has to understand aspects like the problem the app intends to solve, its functionality, uses, type, and more. 

Having an effective app development timeline will ensure all facets of the process are covered fully. Based on the complexity and scope of the project, the process can take four months to 8 months.

Factors affecting app development time

Regarding the app development timeline, as much as developers want to work on a non-negotiable and static schedule, it is impossible. A timeline is after all, flexible, and several factors can derail or fast-track an app development project.

Here are a few elements you must consider when it comes to app development time.

Complexity and features of the app

Higher complexity in an app results in an extended timeline. When an app requires multiple features, screens, roles, and more, the time required is more. The complexity influences the development and design process. Here are the various types of processes based on the app's complexity.

1. Simple apps

Simple apps have minimal features and require several weeks instead of months to make a complex app. 

2. Moderate complexity apps

Apps of moderate complexity have a big user base, multiple features, and complex designs. They may need a bigger team and more resources for development.

3. Highly complex apps

A complex app supports wider and unstructured goals and has non-linear workflows. It uses bigger data sets and handles high-end tasks.

Platform and device compatibility

For companies that ask how long it takes to build an app in 2023, the choice of platform used is a crucial factor affecting the timeline. 

iOS, Android, or cross-platform development

Based on the specifications or needs of a business, an app may be developed for a single platform like iOS or Android. Or it may be developed to work on multiple platforms. The time taken for a cross-platform app differs from a single-platform app. 

Device-specific considerations

Developing a native app like an iOS or a dedicated Android app takes more development time when compared to a cross-platform app that uses specific tools like Flutter or React Native that minimize the time. Developers rely on programming languages and tools made for a single platform, like Java or Kotlin for Android devices and Swift or Objective-C for iOS.  

While a native app is necessary if it is required to do complex tasks or work on long-running tasks, cross-platform apps are ideal for simple product apps and those that connect to a server through web services, display data from a local database, or offer soft utility to users.

Team size and expertise

Even with a solid proof plan, a team that doesn't execute as expected won't be that successful. The experience of the group of developers plays a critical role in every project.

Teams with little experience in app development can't execute well, as they will find it hard to comprehend every angle of the process and provide timely solutions to possible errors and hiccups in the app. Even if, in theory, they understand, having that experience in the same or similar projects is a significant game changer.

Additionally, the lack of expertise poses a high risk because of the many consequences on a client's business and the app development industry. For example, building a healthcare app is entirely different from an online banking app, but both have unique and strict security requirements as part of the HIPPA Privacy Law.

Knowing certain guidelines for each specific industry is a must at the onset of the project. Otherwise, it will lead to a waste of time, resources, and efforts in the long run if improvements and significant changes are needed later. Practical experience can prevent misalignment early on. It can also help with problem-solving, where working and feasible solutions can be recommended based on previous projects.

You can either outsource your app development project or utilize your company's app or software development team. Both have pros and cons, so you have to weigh in on who to tap for a project.

Here are several of the perks and drawbacks of in-house and outsourced development teams as a resource pool:

In-house development

Confidence in working towards a streamlined and common goal from start to finish
Never-ending overhead cost

Expensive costs when it comes to financial compensation – full-time app developers get paid monthly even if there is no ongoing project
No need to provide external access and tweak levels of access to internal files and database
Getting the right people is time-consuming and risky – from posting an opening, and recruitment and interviews alone are tedious
Collaborate anytime, anywhere

Outsourced development

Access to skilled talents everywhere
Difficulty in selecting the right outsourcing app development company or individuals
Visibility to the portfolio of potential developers even before contacting them
No expected commitment to your organization; once the job is done, they’re out
It saves you plenty of effort, resources, and time
Sustainable approach because you utilize, promote, and further develop existing talent
Payment for the services only and not the actual tools, which are more cost-efficient
It takes off the pressure and accountability on the in-house team, and they can continue with their current tasks

The skill level and experience of developers

The experience of the developers and the presence of a bigger sized team helps to minimize the timeline.

App development methodology

Suppose you are keen on figuring out how long it takes to build an app. In that case, you must also familiarize yourself with the different ad development strategies that most developers follow—depending on the need, expectations, and timeline.

Today, three primary development methodologies are being followed: agile development, waterfall development, and hybrid methods.

Agile development

This approach to app development is focused on the continuous delivery of an effective and working app built in rapid iterations and with testing done throughout the entire project. Usually, this would entail breaking down the whole project into smaller tasks, with these smaller projects further broken down into more detailed approaches.

The main advantage of agile development is that progress is being made from all angles of the project, and constant collaboration with stakeholders and amongst the team is practiced for the entire duration of the work. At the same time, this method gives developers confidence that every angle, feature, and design works perfectly compared to just looking at it from an entire project perspective.

The Agile method is best for large projects that can be split into several parts. It is a flexible and iterative approach that plans in increments and adapts to changes with the progress of a project.

Waterfall development

As the name suggests, the waterfall approach is quite the opposite of Agile because it strictly adheres to a sequential development methodology like a waterfall. The team can only proceed to the next phase if the current stage has been fully developed, tested, and free of errors.

For example, the testing team can only begin working or making even the littlest dry run of the app if the development team is entirely wrapped up with their stage. Since there is no simultaneous work being done, any delay in one of the phases would already impact the entire timeline of the project.

With this app development approach, you don't need to go back and redo work because, when it begins the next phase, you are guaranteed that there are no setbacks and that any potential problems have already been resolved.

In a waterfall methodology, you would have a more versatile timeline, so how long does it take to build an app in this case? The developers would likely give you a timeframe for one specific phase rather than the entire project.

Hybrid methods

Using a hybrid method entails the use of both native and web-based applications. This is where both apps meet and work together to deliver the output and functionality required for the app.

In app development, hybrid apps usually use the programming languages common among web developers, like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, so these codes can be reused in certain parts of the app. The writing of the code is only done once, and then it can already be used in other apps with the necessary tweaking.

Using hybrid methods can speed up some parts of app development because you automatically have that segment functioning without having to start from scratch.

Average app development timelines in 2023

With more individuals and companies now skilled in ad development and having gained experience with previous projects, the timeline for building apps is now shorter than before, when it took years to complete one phase.

Today, app development still undergoes the standard planning, designing, developing, and testing stages. The time allotted for every step varies depending on the project's complexity.

Planning, for instance, is a crucial initial step where the app's purpose and features are discussed and finalized. At the same time, the planning phase directly impacts how long the subsequent phases will be, the overall timeline, the people on the project, and the discovery of the demands and expectations of the app's intended audience.

Planning can take two to four weeks—it involves developing a solid and well-detailed plan for the entire project.

So, how long does it take to build an app? Going through all the app development stages and considering the complexity and other factors that affect it, app development is a long-term project. Its timeline varies from a minimum of two months to years.

Since apps are classified as simple, moderately complex, and highly complex, how long does it take to build an app based on this factor? Here is an overview.

Simple apps

Simple apps have five or fewer screens and do not exchange info with the databases of other systems. They are not involved in analytics collection or registering users by email.

Estimated timeline

How long does it take to build an app with simple features? 

The timeline ranges from 2 months to 4 months. 

Examples and case studies

Examples of simple Apps include calculators, weight trackers, book databases, and more. These apps have fewer screens and features making it quick to build them and easy for users. They help streamline and simplify processes with their basic features. The apps are quick to get in and get out. They accomplish simple user requests like getting the weather, finding the estimated amount, a stock quote, and more. 

Moderate complexity apps

Apps with moderate complexity use multiple processes. These apps have around ten screens, authorization via social networks, servers, websites, and payment integration.

Estimated timeline

How long does it take to build an app of moderate complexity? 

The time ranges from 4 months to 6 months.

Examples and case studies

Examples include online stores, booking systems, and apps that use an app builder tool. Developing an education app like edX or Google Classroom includes adding features like screen sharing, recording sessions, sharing of files, chat admins, streaming, and more.

Highly complex apps

Highly complex apps have advanced features like synchronization in real-time, database integration, animation, and many others.

Estimated timeline

How long does it take to build an app of high complexity – More than nine months

Examples and case studies

Some examples are social media apps and geographic information system (GIS) apps. Specialized or trained users use a GIS app and help in executing unstructured and wide goals in non-linear workflows. 

Strategies to speed up app development

Having a timeline for a project is necessary, but sometimes, there are unnecessary surprises, setbacks, and revisions. With this in mind, any extended help, additional resources, and proven strategies are welcome if they speed up a stage or the entire project's completion.

Since apps require various features and aspects to make them successful, developers use special strategies that help speed up the process. Here are some of them.

Leveraging app development frameworks and tools

With the other app developments, methodologies, and tools available today, be open to using one or several that will suit your project and your proposed timeline. No app development framework is applicable for all projects, so adapt one to several that will work for you.

For example, if the team agrees to provide updates and a progress report every six weeks, you must implement an Agile approach. This would ensure that the frequency of the updates is regular and that client feedback and expectations are incorporated seamlessly.

Another framework that you can integrate as a form of guidance is the Minimal Viable Product or MVP. But don't let the word "minimal" fool you because this is a vital and straightforward principle of having minimal features on an app with maximum effort.

This follows a contract of delivering and achieving big by focusing on the small things. And this is a proven approach that led Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's founder, to success. It took him nine months to introduce his initial startup, and he even called the launch a mistake.

Popular frameworks in 2023

Some of the popular frameworks used in 2023 for Android and iOS apps are

  • React Native: It is popular as it helps quickly develop and deploy high-performance apps. Simple animations, easy native app creation with its integrated JavaScript library, and the ability to develop platform-specific changes in the components are its feature highlights.
  • Flutter: Popular for its quicker coding, this framework can cleanly transition outdated widgets to fresh ones.
  • Swiftic: This framework features an easy-to-navigate interface. It allows developers to create, publish and develop a mobile app using a single control panel.
  • Xamarin: Xamarin improves application quality with fewer defects. It reduces development time using recycling code and compatible syntaxes.
  • Ionic: Ionic is popular for its intuitive navigation menu, integrated user-interface elements, quick development time, and complete control of the app creation process.
  • Native Script: As a free, open-source framework, NativeScript enables developers to reuse a wide range of plugins. It integrates UIs with native platforms ensuring the performance and user interfaces are similar to the native platforms.

React Native is the most popular. Developed by Facebook, it is an easy-to-access framework that enables the efficient building of apps for iOS and Android devices. For cross-platform app development, frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Node, NativeScript, and Ionic Framework are ideal. 

Advantages and limitations

As with any other technology, the frameworks also have specific advantages and limitations. Here are the pros and cons:

  • They help developers work efficiently by providing access to codes quickly due to the pre-built functions.
  • High security is present, and any issue with the usage is easily resolved.
  • Frameworks help to shorten the development time.
  • Provide documentation and support systems that enable developers to work efficiently.
  • Some of the functionalities and usability are difficult to modify
  • Customization of programming strategies is limited
  • Hinders with the loading time of the website

Reusable code and components

Software development commonly uses reusable codes, software components, designs, documentation, and test suites. The method aims to reduce the time and effort needed to create a quality product. Currently, most designs rely on reusing existing components or code. 

Open-source libraries and components

Open-source libraries make it easy for developers to create dynamic interfaces. They provide configuration, data, message templates, code, classes, and other resources that can be used in multiple and unlinked programs. Some of the commonly used libraries are:

JavaScript Libraries

Easier development of websites and applications is enabled with JavaScript libraries. It has dynamic, engaging, and flexible features. Some commonly used frameworks and libraries here are:

  • D3.js
  • jQuery
  • Three.js
C libraries

Comprising a collection of headers and functions, the C library has functions for memory allocation, time or date operations, math operations, and more. The most common C libraries are

  • Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library
  • GNU C Library (glibc)
Python libraries

Python libraries have precise syntax, tokens, and semantics of Python. The integrated modules in the library provide access to essential system functionalities. Some common libraries are:

  • TensorFlow
  • Pandas
  • Matplotlib

Benefits of using pre-built solutions

Many benefits are possible with the application of pre-built solutions. 

  1. Due to reused code, that is proven and tested for quality, there is minimal chance of errors in the program.
  2. Reuse of code helps save the time and effort needed to create a program from scratch. The time can be spent on creating new functions or features in the app.
  3. The overall complexity of the process is minimized due to code reuse.
  4. Using a pre-built system makes it easier to maintain and make changes to than a newly created code. 
  5. Reused code is less expensive than creating a fresh code.
  6. A properly structured code enhances system organization by allowing the reuse of different project parts resulting in the reuse of whole modules.

However, there are some risks like vulnerability to security attacks, management difficulty, and loss of control when using an open-source code of a third party.

Effective project management

Effective project management is a key factor for businesses that ponder over the question of how long it takes to build an app. Good management ensures the entire team is in alignment with the goals and objectives and knows how to proceed with the project. 

Another factor to note regarding the question of how long it takes to build an app is that proper management boost communication between the client, designers, programmers, and other related teams. With proper communication, no stone is left unturned. It also improves resource utilization.

Task prioritization and scheduling

Prioritization is an integral part of effective management and execution of tasks. Prioritization helps in the seamless workflow of the development process, including features, bugs, epics, or user stories. Attaching importance to specific items will help understand their value and make the team focus on the right aspects.

Scheduling is another factor that affects the timeline. The project management team should concentrate on ensuring all assignments are done promptly. The EDD (Earliest Due Date) or the Shortest Processing Time (SPT) is used by project managers to organize and assign responsibility.

Collaboration tools and techniques

Collaboration tools help in effective and efficient work completion. They save time and enhance project outcomes. Team members can share data and work together. 

Improved communication and coordination are possible, resulting in easy progress tracking and meeting deadlines. The progress is recorded, keeping all members informed at any given time. Further, the tools and techniques help to spot possible problems and hurdles and circumvent them.


So, how long does it take to build an app in 2023? As elaborated above, the timeline is dependent on several factors, like complexity, device compatibility, team size, skill level, and more. Strategies like leveraging app development frameworks, reusable code, and effective project management can help minimize the timeline. 

Key takeaways about app development timelines in 2023

  1. The complexity of an app is a crucial influencing factor
  2. Defining the precise needs of a business helps in better incorporation and speedy achievement of the intended result.
  3. Using app development frameworks, reusable codes and components, and streamlined management help minimize the time needed for completion.

Final thoughts on managing app development projects

With the timeline ranging from a few weeks to 9 months or more, businesses can consider strategies like clear goals and requirement setting for the app and picking the right methodology and tools. Prioritizing tasks and using collaborative tools and expert developers ensures better results. 

The use of a reputed company ensures quick and effective results. Our LA-based software development company is dedicated to providing speedy and top-quality results for businesses needing effective and efficient app development. 

David Malan
Account Manager
A specialist in the field of market analysis in such areas as software development, web applications, mobile applications and the selection of potential vendors. Creator of analytical articles that have been praised by their readers. Highly qualified author and compiler of companies ratings.

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