It’s a painstaking work when it comes to estimating the cost of developing a mobile app versus a mobile site. An OSX Daily’s report recently informed that a mobile app development dedicated to enterprise processes may cost from $50,000 – $150,000. The same was affirmed in another survey by AnyPresense in 2013. Almost half of the all IT professionals participated in this survey said that $50,000 is the typical spending for a mobile app development project. 25 out of 100 of them reported that spending on the app development project was over $100,000.
Because people nowadays prefer their mobile devices for most of the general computing operations, the use of mobile apps in business operations is too increasing. Many app developers now have more business app development projects in comparison of entertainment or gaming app development projects.
But developing a mobile app also adds significant cost to the bottom line, and it is further increased by the fragmented nature of the mobile market. The mobile market is rather fragmented in comparison of PC market. A normal PC is supposed to run all sorts of software but it just doesn’t happen with mobile devices. First, mobile developers have to deal with many operating systems. They have to develop different code of a single app for different platforms. Porting and cross-platform frameworks sound helping but they do not always deliver satisfying results. The ported code may need manual corrections at many places.
Second, having different hardware specs of different devices running on the same OS’ is also an issue. Android, for example has been quite infamous for fragmentation since its beginning. It has been licensed as open-source software that means anyone can customize the code of the OS to match it with hardware environment of a particular device. It may have low-end or high-end hardware. It may have a completely different size of display that mobile app developers have never customize an app for. It may have some specs cut because the mobile manufacturer wants to introduce a device in low-cost market. The overall conclusion is that fragmentation affects the cost of mobile app development project.
It’s true that developing, managing and maintaining a mobile app, particularly native app, can be an expensive move. The complex and fragmented nature of mobile devices of course increase the cost of an enterprise app. Other forms of mobile technology such as wearable and convertible devices as well as offering an app at least for three platforms also increase the final cost of an app.
Small-medium organizations and organizations with tight budgets may go mobile with web or hybrid app development. Hybrid apps can almost replicate the features and functions of native apps, particularly when launched with platform-specific containers. These containers are developed and deployed separately for separate platform. This approach is less expensive as key application is actually a web application but is accessed via tiny platform-specific native application. The tiny native application uses the browser engine of a device to show up the key application.
Adobe has shared an easy and useful at-a-glance comparison between mobile app and mobile web. Here it is:
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