Many believe that a preliminary project assessment is a waste of time and money. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of the evaluation procedure necessity, in part because in the process of mobile application development, many new ideas and details often arise that cannot be taken into account in the preliminary assessment.

The process of preliminary evaluation of iOS or Android development project time and costs is also complicated because sometimes different evaluators can give very different estimates of both the cost of a mobile application and the timeframe of its development. This is due to the fact that everyone in evaluation relies on their personal experience, one way or another.

However, it is not worth neglecting a preliminary estimate of the timing and cost of application development.

Why is the Preliminary Assessment Necessary?

How to estimate mobile projects? Before the “how”, it is worth answering the “why.” Firstly, a competent appraisal of the application budget is the key to its success, however incredible it may sound. A lot of good ideas for mobile applications were not implemented due to a shortage of finances for their development (the result of an incorrect evaluation of required funds). Many applications were developed so long that by the release they ceased to be interesting and relevant (as the result of incorrect mobile app projects estimation). Secondly, the preliminary assessment is a great way to see the future technical and financial difficulties of the project, to schedule the work and distribute tasks. Last but not least argument: in any business, projects begin only when the bill of quantities is calculated – the costs of work, materials, assessment of difficulties and deadlines. So why the development of a successful application should start from scratch and be made blindly?


A Competent Assessment: Where to Start and What to Look at?

However trite it may sound, the best first step in assessing the cost and timing of a mobile application development would be turning to professionals. To those for whom the compilation of startup project estimates and, in particular, mobile applications, is routine daily work. This approach will allow estimating accurately the needed resources while avoiding errors as much as possible.

Any good evaluator is open about their work. Below, we offer you tips to estimate cost and time of Android/iOS project.

What is the Target of Application?

The first stage of the evaluation begins with the idea. One should clearly understand in which areas of activity the mobile application will be useful, who would be its prime audience, and what additional functions they may need. The result of the initial assessment should be a concrete understanding of what the mobile application will be like, as well as which of its elements will be the most difficult and expensive to develop.

Rough Estimate

At this stage, basic works on the mobile application design begin, and it results in numbers: approximated costs and time. In order to ensure that these figures are as real as possible, a sketch of the application (minimum viable product, MVP) is usually created with an imitation of its user part (screen). This helps to understand both the problems developers are facing and gives the ability to evaluate the additional factors affecting expenses:

– Complexity of future application’s features and their implementation;

– The need for additional technical means integration (for example, barcode scanners, light sensors, etc.);

– Target platforms (the more target platforms are intended and the more complex these platforms are, the higher the cost and the longer development time).


Detailed Estimate

Becoming acquainted with the results of the preliminary approximates, project owners decide on further development. At this stage, higher precision MVPs are created, even interactive prototypes that can be launched on mobile devices. This helps to plan the navigation in more detail and decide finally on its architecture. At this stage, a detailed study and assessment of the complications, cost, and timing of the implementation of all elements of the application, is made. Let us review the major aspects of detailed app development estimation.

Design. The cost and timing of the mobile application design depend primarily on the complexity of its elements. The presence of intricate components, interface elements inherent to other platforms, unusual functionality, custom units, etc., primarily affects the terms of project development and its price.

Read alsoHow Much Does It Cost to Build an MVP?

Functionality. In addition to the main application tasks, there are also many additional functions that affect costs and deadlines. Any supplementary capacity that is implemented in a mobile application, such as the email exchange or integration with social media accounts, bears the increased expenditures. The more complex and original the possibilities of the future product – the more expensive this product will be, and the longer it would be created.

Used methods and instruments. Certainly, an important factor upon which the development time and the cost of a mobile application depend is the choice of tools with the help of which the project will be implemented. Some ideas are easily implemented using standard frameworks and plugins, while others require developers who have specific skills and deep knowledge of high-level programming languages.


Adjustments at Different Stages of Project Development

Only the best developers can ensure that final version of the mobile application completely coincides with the original project. This happens due to many reasons: new ideas that arise in the process, unforeseen difficulties coders may face, repurposing of the project by the customer, and much more. Naturally, any changes in the project affect its overall value and the final term of its implementation. Thus, the results of the project evaluation in the early stages of development can be completely useless and inaccurate at the stage of release.

In order to keep an estimate more or less realistic and concise, it is necessary either to carry out a full recalculation every time edits to the project are made or evaluate different stages of development separately.

How to estimate project cost and duration? The second approach is more profitable, as it requires fewer resources: you just have to co-ordinate the separate budget for each development stage and evaluation specialists once, you will simply get new results in the process of working on the implementation of your project.


A proper assessment of the cost and timing of the mobile application development is a hard task that requires a systematic approach and various methods. However, a correctly conducted preliminary evaluation of the project can give the relatively accurate information about how much the creation of your application will cost and when it will be ready for release. Moreover, in the process of the assessment, possible development difficulties would be identified beforehand. Often the preliminary evaluation is instrumental in composing a clear work plan and terms of reference.

Using the services of project evaluation professionals, you not only protect yourself from many possible mistakes in development phases but also gain an understanding of how successful and demanded your product will be before the work starts.

How to Estimate Mobile Projects?
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