Technology ,

Estimated app development budget bifurcated to popular app types

  • December 03, 2021

If you ask this question of how much it would cost to develop an app? To a developer, you will never get an accurate answer. You possibly will hear the words like “It depends”.

It depends on the type of your app? Size of your app? The technology you choose? Hours it takes to develop and so on.

Some websites offer “guestimate” the cost of developing an app. But they are usually marketing tools designed to hook you.

In reality, the cost depends on many factors that include the experience of the developer and the developer’s country you hire from. However, the average price of an app development varies anything between $2k to $250k.

As with any product, an app needs resources. But unlike material things, that resource is time and skills. ‘Time is money’ as the old saying goes and this is certainly true with App development.


A basic App starts at $15K, increasing to $20k – $50k for one of average size. For a more complex App, you are looking at north of $50k.

The estimated TIME of adding common features

The main cost of an App is based upon the time it takes to develop it. We need to consider the volume and complexity of an App.

Features and functionalities such as screens, buttons, fields, plus amount of logic required will dictate development time. Complex solutions may require bespoke coding and/or third-party API’s.

Standard features on the other hand, can be cut and pasted in, or adapted from common templates.


Surprised? No matter how hard mobile app development firms make you believe developing an app is no child’s play. It takes extended hours, and you must make a lot of people work together. It needs exceptional display of people’s management. I did not even include testing time.

An everyday development team works 40 hours a week. That’s 21 weeks or 5 months for just development. I did not include pre-development and post-development procedures. I assume regular should take around 8-10 months to develop.

App development rates vary from anywhere between $20/hour to $250/hour, depending upon which country you have picked. For this article, I’ll take $50/hour.

Read More: Point Affecting the Cost of Mobile App Development

Let’s take a look at the common-types apps in the market and how much it takes to develop them. For example, Uber-like apps are in great demands these days.

Cost of developing an app-based ride hailing service (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Careem, Lyft etc.)

To gain a full understanding of the pricing for development, let’s delve into its functionality. the first thing you should note is that Uber actually consists of two separate apps – Uber Driver App and Uber Passenger App.


There are tens of core features and several optional features you can integrate in the passenger app. The same goes for Driver app. A few months ago, I drafted an article on the cost of building an on-demand taxi solution. Fortunately, it covers every aspect of developing on demand taxi solution.

There is so much that goes into developing an Uber-like app. As you intend to develop an on-demand car-hailing service, you cannot do without location identification and routing. In general, GPS technology is used to determine the current location. Besides, users can find the car with maps integration and positioning. To know the distance and run the routes, you need the routing server, etc.


Cost to develop an on-demand delivery app (e.g. Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub, etc.)

So, if you are looking for opportunities to start your own food delivery business like Postmates, you must be interested how much you will have to pay for the development of Postmates-like app! And let’s discuss what must-have features it will be necessary to integrate and what business model you should apply.

As for business model. Do you know what is this? This model will help you arrange your business in the rightest way.


Business model canvas can become your assistant for that moment. The canvas has a few segments that need to be elaborated thoroughly. Moreover, it will help you succeed in your future business.

When you start your own app, it doesn’t mean you have to buy a delivery car immediately, hire a driver and so on.

If you have a limited budget for on-demand app development, it would be preferable to integrate only MVP features. The first main feature can be social sign-in. Many apps require registration.

But not so many people like to fill in long registration forms. Here where social media comes in.

Read More: How to Develop On-Demand Delivery App?

Using a profile on Facebook or Twitter, your users will be able to register for several seconds. Convenient and simple! And you can add as many social networks support as you need.

The development of sign-in feature can take up to 125 hours and the cost can be up to $6,250. The next feature is a geolocation. Hungry people are nervous people, don’t forget it.

They need always to know where their food is when they are waiting for the order. So geolocation feature allows to track all route of delivery. Development of this feature may cost you $2,850 and take 57 hours.

I wrote an article a couple of months ago on cost to develop an on-demand delivery app. It should help you find the rough estimation and the time taken and covers most essential features that an on-demand delivery app must contain.


Cost to develop instant messaging app (e.g. WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Signal, etc.)

The first feature is one you usually bump into when opening an application — signing up. For WhatsApp, the registration and address book formation are inseparable.

Once a user enters his phone number, the application sends an SMS for authorization. The Android version of the application opens and processes this SMS automatically.


If you intend to develop a messenger like WhatsApp, it’s pretty obvious that the opportunity to start a dialogue has to be provided.

Once a user presses a dedicated button, a contact list has to appear in order to choose a person. Also, there should be an option that allows you to create a group chat, where users can add a chat picture and provide the subject of conversation.

You may also want to add some spice to your message exchange functionality, like Stickers, for example. A sticker is worth a thousand words.


On WhatsApp, a user is usually informed about two things, when he/she is invited to join a group conversation or when a new message arrives. That’s performed by way of pop-ups or push notifications if the device screen is locked.

WhatsApp users can send short voice messages, pictures, and videos. If you want your application to have the same functionality, you can include a multimedia file transmission feature.

Another very cool thing you may want to consider. You can integrate a geolocation feature into your app, because it can be really helpful for users.

You can integrate another feature into the app. Users can exchange contacts and save them to their address books.

To be up to date and to attract more users, WhatsApp added free voice calling in January last year, (for different platforms the date varied). But it will take more time and money to integrate it.


We can conclude that the development process can take up to 606 hours (+ 2 weeks for deployment). Given this, the approximate cost of a WhatsApp-like messenger can be calculated as 606 hours x $50, which comes out to approximately $30K for a single platform. Double this sum if you want to develop an app for both for iOS and Android.

The more versions of your application you want to release, the more money you will need.

Cost of developing search-and-discovery app (e.g. Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, etc.)

It allows you to find quickly on the map all establishments you need. And it doesn’t matter what you are looking for – whether for the most luxurious city restaurant or for the gas station.

Furthermore, you can read reviews and see the rating of every pizzeria, hotel, shop and any other place to choose the best one.


Yelp clone app should have 4 following main features: activity stream, geolocation-based search, user profile, and reviews and ratings. But if you want to build a really powerful and multipurpose app that should draw potential users, you must add some functions like:

  • Social sign-in
  • Reservation
  • Pictures and video uploading
  • Filters integration
  • In-app purchases.

Development costs depend on many factors, but we can define an average market price – $50 per hour – for calculation of this hard-working and inspiring process. So, the final price may vary from USD 25,000 till USD 55,000 both for iOS and Android platforms depending on the number of features

Cost of developing an online marketplace and hospitality app (e.g. Airbnb, Trivago, Vacasa, etc.)

Airbnb is a travel App designed for booking hosts all over the world. It provides services in more than 190 countries. Using the service, not only can you book a room, but also rent out your room or house.


Let’s find out what features it has and the cost of their implementation. I’ve included the time for business logic, UI (User Interface) and testing in our figures.


Now we can calculate the total. Having summed up all the time required for development we get a figure of 1130 hour. For the blog, we have considered $50 per hour. Thus, we can calculate how much money you need to develop an Airbnb-like product. Are you ready? If we multiply the number of hours required by $50, we get $55K.

This is just a rough estimate for an application of this type. To get an exact price for your particular case, you need to estimate how much the functions you choose will cost.

Besides, even the implementation of the same functions may take different amounts of time, due to the fact that in combination with other features they can work differently.

Cost of developing a photo sharing app (e.g. Instagram)

We are going to consider how much it costs to create an app like Instagram. What is Instagram and why did it gain such stunning popularity? In my opinion, the secret of its success lies in the set of interesting features, the simplicity of the interface, and a great app performance.


But let’s not go into too much detail, or consider everything one by one. To start a development process, you should be clear about which options your app is going to include.


As with the rest of the blog, we have taken $50/ hour rate of development, which makes it around $50, 000.

We recommend that you create a native application, since this is a sure way to provide the best user experience. In view of this, consider multiplying the time of development depending on the number of operating systems you want to cover. As a minimum, you should double the cost, to create both iOS and Android platforms.

Cost of developing a photo editing app (e.g. Aviary, Photoshop, Fotor, etc.)

Can you imagine the modern world without Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so forth? When something unusual happens, the first thought of many people is to take a picture of it and post it to Instagram or some similar App.


Let’s be honest – people do that even if there is nothing unusual going on. In a time of really cool cameras on mobile devices, we want to make our photos creative and exceptional.

That’s what the photo editor by Aviary was created for. As you remember, time is money, so the time required for the development of an App like this needs to be converted into the price you’ll pay for it. Aviary has a lot of different functions. Let’s find out just how much time it is needed to implement each of them.


If we now multiply this by $50, the average cost for an hours’ worth of development, we calculate that that kind of app should cost $21, 000 in total.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that this is the average cost of developing an app that can become a flagship product. Your set of features can be completely different. So, the price may differ significantly.



Shahid Mansuri

co-founded Peerbits, one of the leading app development company USA, in 2011. His visionary leadership and flamboyant management style have yield fruitful results for the company. He believes in sharing his strong knowledge base with a leaned concentration on entrepreneurship and business.


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