If you already have an idea about how to create an app from start to finish, then you’re set. Go to the next step! How to decide app budget?

Do you want to create a mobile app within a limited budget? Well, here I’ll give you a complete step-by-step guide to understanding the factors affecting your app budget. It is not just about creating a feature-rich mobile app on a constrained budget, but it is more about shaping an app that makes sense to the users. 

Do you want to decide your app budget well in advance and take complete control of it? Follow the below-mentioned steps one by one. 

Know What You are Trying to Achieve

First and foremost, consider the usefulness of the app solution and the corresponding features required to achieve this. This also requires having a clear understanding of the target audience for the app project. 

After doing these, know what user experience attributes and features are going to make the app unique and of real value compared to the competition. This requires a thorough competitive analysis. 

Now that you have a clear vision of the app, it will keep you on the right track so that you can stick to what is relevant and do away with all the additional design elements and features that are not related to the core value proposition of the app. 

The bottom line is to bring the most essentials to the tables and eliminate unnecessary things. Apart from reducing cost, this will help you find the right skills and resources for the project. 

Create an App for iOS or Android?

Once the basic app idea and requirements are clear, you need to decide on the target OS platform for the app. You have the choices of iOS and Android, the only two platforms in the mobile app arena. Do you want to target both platforms? Well, you can then develop a cross-platform app. 

At this step, your audience and competitor research will come to your aid. You have known the platform’s maximum proportion of the target users use. When building one native app for iOS or Android, you can still ensure keeping the code and UI elements reusable for extending to the other platform in the future. 

Choose the Features Wisely

You already know your audience’s needs and how you want to stay ahead of your competition, targeting the same audience. Accordingly, choose essential features that critically play a role in shaping the user experience of an app. 

So, the question is to prioritize the features based on the core value proposition you want to offer the audience. The second consideration will be the development cost and time. You can always choose the least resource-consuming one between two similar but important features. 

It is always advisable to list core or critical features and “great to have” features. This will help you make your priorities clear. For instance, when building a travel booking app, the hotel and transport listing, search filters, checkout option, etc., are critical features, while you can keep the AR view of hotel rooms for secondary features. 

Consider How to Create an App Incrementally

In recent years, developing an app with an incremental approach such as MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has become popular. This is a practical way to reduce app development costs by keeping the essential things for the initial release and other value additions for future app updates. 

Thanks to an incremental development approach, you can build an app with the most elementary UI/UX attributes and features, delivering the basic app user experience. While the user feedback starts coming, you can add more features and bring in required UX changes by analyzing their merits and demerits. Such an approach requires rolling out several app updates. 

Incremental development, apart from helping you address user requirements better, always helps develop the basic app at a much lower cost while allowing continuous value additions and enhancements through updates. Instead of making a big investment, you can start small and, step-by-step, shape the ultimate app product your audience likes and engages with. 

Take Submission Cost into Consideration

When the whole app development is finished, the next step is submitting the app for review by the target platform. Each platform and its corresponding store has its cost burdens for submission, which need to be considered when creating the development budget. The app submission on Apple iTunes costs around $99, and the same for Android costs a $25 fee for a single time. 

Until Windows, as a platform, waned out of the market, its submission cost was the cheapest at only $12. But here, more than just cost considerations, you also need to consider the strict guidelines to make your app pass through the review process.  

This is why for every app project, it is crucial to be versed with the latest policy change for app review. The submission process is stricter and tough on Apple iTunes compared to Android and hence can take time and several corrections and submission attempts. Taking adequate preparation for app submission, release conditions, and platform guidelines can save your cost. 


Lastly, let us ensure that a small budget doesn’t always mean compromising quality regarding feature set, performance, and user experience. Sometimes, a simple app with a handful of relevant features and a clean user experience can do its job to the utter satisfaction of the target users. So, budget is never a constraint for building a winning app product. A stringent app budget sometimes works as a small text block with placeholder text in a web page design that forces the writer to remain concise and specific. The same benefits can be reaped with a small budget when you plan well in advance.