There’s no denying the popularity of Android as an operating system, whether it be on a smartphone, a tablet, a netbook, or even an Android TV box. Part of what makes Android so popular as an operating system is the massive range of apps that are available, but have you ever wondered how much it costs to create an app, and what’s involved?
So, what DOES it cost to create an Android app?
Well – the short answer is “how long is a piece of string?” and the long answer is, well.. long!
Basically depending on exactly what you want your application to do, whether it’s for an internal business use only, or will be released to the masses, how much development time the application will take, what skill-level of developer you use, and where the developer is based are all contributing factors to the price, so the answer could be anything from €100 to €100,000 – quite a price range, eh?!
So it can be VERY expensive, or quite cheap – what’s involved?
The process of creating an Android app has many stages, all of which should be carefully planned an executed to ensure you get it right first time.
If you’re looking to make, or have made, an Android app, chances are you already have a concept, but have you thought about the practicalities, and whether your idea is even possible?
You don’t need to know exactly how the concept will be achieved if you’re paying someone to create an app, but you do need to make sure it’s achievable, if you ask someone to create an app which gives you unlimited money, it’s just not going to happen, but if you have a quirky game idea, then chances are a developer will be able to do it if you give them enough details, enough time (and probably enough money too!)
The concept is all on you, so shouldn’t cost you anything (apart from your own time!).
The next part of the process is to get a design on paper (and on computer) to lay out the UI (user interface) and check how user friendly it will be, making adjustments along the way, and ensuring all features are easy to find and use.
This part of the process is where you’ll brand your app, you’ll need an eye catching icon, colour scheme and matching layout that people will find simple and intuitive to use. Try to think of this as the completed app and see if it has everything you need easily accessed, if not then it’s important to sort this out before carrying on further.
The design process can cost a little, or lots depending on how big your app is – a game with hundreds or thousands of different graphics is going to cost significantly more to design than a simple app to open your website for a user.
This is where things start to come together, the programming of the app takes your concept, and your design and makes everything work – this is one of the final stages in creating an Android app.
This can also be the most expensive step – if you can use photoshop, or have a creative flair then you can likely handle the concept and perhaps a large portion of the design (even if it is first draft designs) yourself, but you’ll need to be a skilled Java developer with a strong understanding of Androids framework if you wish to create an app from scratch.
The cost of the programming is likely to be a not insignificant portion of your overall budget, just how complex it is will depend on the concept, it’s hard to set a price on this, for smaller projects you may be better paying per hour for a developer, whilst larger more involved apps might work out cheaper if you agree a fee for the full project.
You can of course test your shiny new app by yourself, but people are strange creatures, and if there’s a way of performing some obscure action which will break things, you can almost guarantee that someone will manage to do it, and they’ll complain – if you’re lucky, or they’ll release the bug onto the internet and everyone will be abusing the bug in your app.
We’d recommend that you allow your developer to run your app through their own quality assurance process if they have one, this way it’s on them to fix it if there’s a major issue.
That’s roughly the process involved, in a very simplified manner. Depending on the complexity of your project it could take anything from a day, to months or even years, and that’s just the creation of the app. Once your app is working, the distribution, marketing and advertising, the support, customer acquisition, billing etc are all things to consider, but that’s for another day – get the app ready to roll first and foremost, and then build the hype!
Creating an Android App can be a costly and time consuming process but once it’s done, it’s done – now you need to put all that hard work to good use and get people downloading, installing and using your app, but how?
There are several ways to promote a new Android app – and they need not be expensive, after all, chances are you’ve spent quite a lot on the development of the app, so if you have some spare time you can tackle some of these on your own, and hire someone to perform the rest.
Word Of Mouth
Perhaps the simplest, and most effective way to promote your app (or anything for that matter – assuming it is good enough) is to tell people about it, friends, family, colleagues – the idea is that they will download your app and use it, and hopefully love it.
If they do find it good, then hopefully they will tell their friends and family too, if you tell 10 people and only 2 people install it, and they tell 10 people each, and so on, you could have hundreds of installs in no time.
Social Media / Website
By far the biggest reach you’re going to get to promote anything is online, whether that be through a social media network such as Facebook or Twitter, or through a website dedicated to the app, it’s certainly a resource you should NOT leave untapped.
It’s easy enough to create a Facebook page, and you can put together a basic website with very limited knowledge within a few hours – showcase your app, really sell its key points and make sure it sounds like something people MUST have.
Of course, having a Facebook page or a website doesn’t guarantee people will visit them, that’s where you might like to bring in an SEO consultant to look over your site or profile and make (or carry out) recommendations on how best to build your traffic.
Some SEO work can be expensive, however an initial consultation is often free, so you can get an idea beforehand of what would be involved in getting your presence known.
Google’s Play Store
Perhaps the most targeted market you will reach is users of Google’s Play store, but with more than 1.5 million apps to compete with, your app will need to stand out from the crowd, be interesting, or provide a solution to a problem.
To get your app onto Google’s Play store is a fairly simple process, you’ll need the completed, error free source code, or a compiled, fully working APK, at least 2 screenshots of your application (make these interesting – use them to sell your product!), a Google account, and the fee to sign up as a publisher, this is a fairly modest fee, around $25. Once you have all of these, you can upload your apk and be live within a few hours!
That’s all there is to it, if you’re wondering which of the 3 options you should use to promote your Android app, the only answer is “All 3” – each method brings it’s own audience, and it’s own PROs and CONs, you can never have too much publicity, so get out there, get known and reap the rewards from all of your hard work!
Android. We all know what it is, or at least know of it – with TV advertisements every day showing off the latest and greatest smart phones, If it’s not an iPhone then chances are it runs on Android, of course, there’s also Windows for smartphones, but Android’s market share far dominates all of the others. In 2013 almost 70% of all Smartphones were Android based. But why is Android so popular?
Google created Android operating system many years ago, some claim, to compete with iOS, although it has now far surpassed any expectations of how well it would really do.
Open Source – simple development
Android is an open source, and more importantly FREE platform, and this may be one of the major contributing factors to its success – along with Android smartphones being in general a lot more affordable than the Apple equivalent.
Android is also popular among developers – with no exotic hardware or software requirements in order to get into Android development (unlike Apple’s whereby it’s a major pain in the rear trying to get any device other than an Apple device to run their development suite).
There are several different development suites available for Android, with Android Studio being an excellent option for many, with a simple interface to download required SDKs and plugins.
Not all Android users are developers though, right? Right. In fact, the majority of Android users are NOT developers, in fact many Android users don’t even have access to a PC or laptop, nor do they understand how to work them – that brings us to Androids next big selling point;
Ease of Use
Android is very simple to use, which is helped along by the fact that it is used primarily on touchscreen devices – want to send an email? No problem, just touch the email app and off you go. Want to browse Facebook? Just touch it.
Did you know that a massive amount of Facebook users use it exclusively on an Android smartphone, and probably never log in on any other type of device?
Whether you’re a technophobe who’s not one for learning new things, a young child looking to learn and play games, or a grandparent looking to video call their grand children without having to learn a whole complicated process, then an Android smartphone has you covered.
Amount of uses
With millions of apps available, Android provides a solution to hundreds of thousands of problems. It can act as a personal assistant, a web browser, a music player, a media streamer, and much much more – if you have an issue you need to solve, chances are, there’s an app for that!
Track your fitness levels, navigate your journey, and record your cherished moments, or even review your best dashcam recordings, Android has got you covered.
Android is based on the Linux operating system, which historically has required very little resources to run in a fast, smooth manner.
What this means is, the sheer amount of devices capable of running Android, and the cost of these devices have allowed a huge market to access them. If you compare to the likes of Apple who, although they sell hundreds of thousands of Smartphone handsets, laptops and other devices every year, have a prohibitive price point, you’ll see just how easy it is to obtain an Android device.
Whether you’re looking for a new phone, a tablet PC, a netbook style laptop (such as the Chromebook) or even a TV set, chances are, Android will be running in the background of at least some of your range of choices!