Mobile App Development Timeline

Mobile App Development Timeline

The field of mobile app development is transforming many industries. From healthcare to education, business, finance, travel & tourism, and agriculture, among many other industries, processes are now simpler and more seamless than before.

Many entrepreneurs are now shifting their focus to mobile apps to enhance and accelerate their business growth and scalability. With the many benefits mobile apps have to offer, the question of how long it will take to develop such an app will always come up.

Mobile app development is a process that entails several phases, which require different tech tools, resources, and expertise. As a result, understanding the accurate timeline of mobile app development is dependent on many factors. This guide explores all the insights, from phases to technologies, among other mobile app development concepts. This should give you the right idea of the ideal timeline for completing a specific mobile app. Keep reading for more information.

Mobile app development life cycle

The life cycle of mobile app development includes the stages, processes, and steps taken to accomplish the whole app development from idea generation to the final release. The phases of app development include the following:

  • Concept or discovery phase

Discovery phase -This is the very first phase of the app development process. At this stage, entrepreneurs collect valuable insights from developers, stakeholders, customers, industry experts, and salespeople to identify the common problem or missing gap that needs attention.

Understanding the type of app needed helps developers determine the ideal product with features and functionalities that will fix the existing problems while meeting user needs.

Entrepreneurs often have goals and visions for the business. Similarly, customers often have unique requirements for specific products. Yes, business people have a clear picture of how the app should be. However, it is a developer who can turn all the ideas and concepts into reality. That is why it is essential to involve the developer in this phase to help polish the ideas.

Among the key elements to figure out at this stage include the following:

  • Type of the app
  • Target user audience
  • The objective of the app
  • App’s features
  • App’s competitors
  • Tech tools and resources required
  • Planning phase

Planning phase – is the second stage of the application development process. Also known as the project requirements-gathering stage, it involves defining the target audience requirements and aligning the app processes to meet these requirements.

Other key highlights under the planning phase include recoverability, security concerns, accessibility, portability, usability, failure prevention analysis, performance objectives, and data backup. All these elements will give the app development team room to plan for a flexible and seamless working environment.

What’s more, you have to define the following components during the planning phase:

  • Deadline of the project
  • Scope and boundaries of the project
  • Procurement estimates requirements
  • Overall budget estimate costs
  • The number of teams
  • Design phase

With all the requirements of the app highlighted, it is about time to design by sketching the outlook of the projected app. It is simply a representation of how the app will look and feel; hence no need for programming knowledge at this step.

The key elements in the design phase include app architecture, app development platforms, security features, user interface, and how the app integrates with other systems. A design prototype will provide a basis of how the app can do and overall look.

Besides, gathering feedback from target users, developers, and entrepreneurs helps to identify key areas that need improvement to create a high-performing and fully functional app. Besides, the design phase is crucial in streamlining the app development process, plus minimizing a costly budget.

  • Development phase

At this point, you understand the app you need to create, including all the requirements, such as features, technologies, tools, and resources necessary to accomplish the task.

Depending on the complexity of the app and the preferred development strategy of your app development team, one person can handle the project, or different teams can work on different segments of the project.

If the project requires coding, then a team of developers will work along with other teams, including quality assurance engineers, a project manager, and designers, as they follow specific guidelines when developing a minimum viable product.

Still, you can create custom programs or apps if you are using a low-code app development platform programmed with a specific language based on the type of the app.

Under this mobile app development stage, it is significant to prioritize tasks and estimate the required timeline to accomplish the task. What’s more, it is key to figure out possible issues that might cause delays in project completion.

Of course, there are a set of challenges and issues that can arise during the app development process. That is why it is key to establish measures and protocols to review, execute, and implement strong code practices.

  • Quality assurance and testing

Once the teams are done with the development processes, it is essential to test the app to ensure all the features and components function and perform as required. The quality assurance and testing process begins immediately after coding is complete or when the app has been created on the LCNC platform. Through testing, the teams can detect potential risks, defects, and deficiencies and find possible solutions to fix them. Once all the issues are fixed, then the team can produce the final version of the app.

Through testing, the teams can verify if the app meets the highlighted requirements from the concept or discovery phase, ensuring it performs and scales the business as anticipated.

Testing applications with coding requirements helps to verify the reliability of the code, thus reducing bug issues when users are using the app. Of course, a well-performing app will attract a larger user base and enhance higher user retention.

In-depth automated testing is a viable solution to ensure the final app aligns with real-world customer requirements and detects every minor error. All these ensure the app is secure, easy to integrate with other systems, and performs impressively when released.

  • Deployment and maintenance

With the app ready, the team can now deploy or release it to the market. However, that is not final. Throughout the process, monitoring and making improvements is a key aspect of maintaining the viability of the app. The deployment process can be automated or done manually, depending on the nature and complexity of the app.

When users interact with the app, they offer valuable feedback that gives developers an easy time to update features and make improvements to satisfy the needs of customers. Again, maintaining, updating, and improving the app regularly enables businesses to adjust to the changing market trends and practices.

Mobile app development timeline

app development timeline

So, how long does it take to finish a high-performing, fully functional, and reliable mobile app? Below is a breakdown of the timelines under different stages of mobile app development.

  • Research & Planning phase: 2 to 4 weeks

As discussed in the previous section, this phase is typically defining what the app is all about and drawing an actionable plan.

The 2 to 4 weeks timeline will help you gather the following details:

  • Research about the target audience
  • Review your immediate competitors
  • Define what the target users need that is missing in the market
  • Highlight the features needed for the app
  • Create prototypes or wireframes
  • Plan how to execute the mobile app development phases
  • Determine the ideal timeline to accomplish the project
  • Estimate the budget.

Note: proper planning at this phase creates a streamlined working environment and minimizes the wastage of resources and efforts in the later stages.

  • Design & pre-development: 5 to 7 weeks

Before the real app development begins, it is crucial to map the design and pre-development stage, which will help you come up with a solid concept and basis for your mobile app elements, such as color schemes, UI, and design, among many others.

Within the 5-to-7-week timeline, you need to do the following:

  • Design a captivating UI
  • Determine the key functionalities and features of the app
  • Plan the work scope (milestones and tasks)
  • Choose a reliable platform – (web, hybrid, or native)

Ideally, this phase is all about creating all the visual elements of the app, including the graphics, fonts, colors, etc. The icon and logo are also done at this stage.

Mockups and wireframes help to visualize the general design and user interface of the app.

  • App architecture: 6 to 7 weeks

This is a crucial step that requires proper execution of processes. It is all about choosing the best technologies and platforms for the app. App architecture defines the structure and layout of the app. Below are the key processes under app architecture:

  • Code organization
  • Pattern and framework execution
  • Simplicity, maintainability, and scalability of the app

Within the 6- and 7-week timeline, you need to do the following activities:

  • Choose the appropriate technologies
  • Determine the tech requirements
  • Create a reliable tech design
  • Design the database
  • App development: 3 to 6 months

This is where the actual coding and development of the app happens following the design and app architecture. During the period, the teams ensure the following processes are implemented:

  • Code writing using frameworks and programming languages selected during the app architecture stage.
  • UI implementation using components from the design phase
  • Backend integration, including APIs and database connection
  • Pre-launch plans – 1 to 2 months

With a compete app, the teams now start planning on the release of the app. The activities that take place during this period include the following:

  • Finalizing marketing campaigns and assets
  • Creating a pre-launch buzz on social media platforms
  • Submitting the app to stores.
  • Post-release monitoring and improving the app.

Mobile app development timeline summary

In a nutshell, it takes about 1 to 2 months to plan, 3 to 6 months to develop the app, 1 to 2 months to pre-launch, and some extra timeline for pre-launch maintenance and improvement of the app.

Factors Influencing Mobile App Development Timeline

A simple app may take between 6 to 9 months to complete the development process. A complex app, on the other hand, has a lot of work and may take more time, between 9 and 12 months, or even more to accomplish the development and launch processes. Other than that, the following factors impact the app development timeline significantly.

  • Experience level of the development teams

The mobile app development process entails several phases, and this requires a high level of expertise and experience in the industry.

Of course, a less experienced app development team will take more time due to a lack of familiarity with specific technologies, tools, and resource implementation. An experienced team like Aalpha Information Systems, on the other hand, will plan and execute all the processes professionally, ensuring timely delivery of high-quality mobile apps.

  • Regulatory compliance

Different mobile apps have different compliance and regulatory guidelines to follow. For instance, GDPR and HIPAA, among other regulatory guidelines, might impact the mobile app development timeline in different ways.

  • The platform you are using

We have two major platforms for developing mobile apps: iOS and Android. Each platform has a set of tools and technologies required to complete the mobile app development process.

If you want to target an audience for both platforms, it means developing two separate apps, which will lengthen the app development timeline. Luckily, you can solve this by developing native apps for all the platforms to enhance the app’s functionality and user experience.

  • Features and functionalities of the app

The functionality and features of an app impact the development timeline significantly. Therefore, the more features and functionalities an app requires, the more development timeline it takes.

A simple app with basic functionalities & features will take less timeline to complete the processes.

  • Security

Every entrepreneur wants an app that won’t interfere with their personal data or client’s confidential details. Users, on the other hand, only want reliable and stable apps that will safeguard their information.

Of course, creating an app with robust security measures will require more time to execute the necessary security processes and steps.

Proven ways to reduce mobile app development timeline

Do you want to accelerate your mobile app development project? Then do the following:

  • Communication is key

From the beginning of the mobile app development process, ensure you have a reliable and streamlined way of communication among all the parties involved. Clear communication will eliminate the back-and-forth processes that can lengthen the development timeline. Besides, clear and effective communication strategies and channels give developers room to focus on the development processes without stopping in the middle, waiting for clarity.

  • Create an MVP

Building a minimum viable product will accelerate the app development timeline, enabling you to release the product and implement improvements with regular feedback from users.

  • Automate the testing process

Although automated testing doesn’t have a huge significant impact on the app development timeline, it shortens the development process because you can execute the process within hours and make the required changes in a timely manner, enabling you to t release the app faster.

  • Hybrid mobile app development

Hybrid app development ensures you reach a wider market audience seamlessly since a single code can operate on different systems.


Mobile apps are now shaping our lifestyles significantly. As a result, developers have the task of developing competitive apps that will scale and grow businesses faster. That is why the question of the mobile app development timeline will always be of concern.

Depending on your app’s requirements, functionalities, and budget, you can get in contact with the best mobile app development company for all the processes and, most importantly, an accurate app development timeline.


Written by:

Stuti Dhruv

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.