We hear this question all the time: How Much Does It Cost To Develop an App?

Compared to client expectations about app development costs from three years ago, there is increasing evidence that apps are not “cheap” to develop. Perhaps this is in part due to the fact that most apps are expected to be cloud connected and social.

Asking “How much does an app cost to develop” is much like asking “how much does it cost to build a house”, there is no definitive or easy answer.

Great Expectations

But any expectations around a mobile app costing only a few thousand dollars, and being easier easier to build than a web site, have largely disappeared. For those interested in factors contributing to application build costs, this article on provides a good read and food for thought.

So What Stats Are there?

A survey of IT professionals by AnyPresence, a backend-as-a-service company, asked about the initial cost of developing a typical mobile application. Over half reported spending more than three months and over $50,000 developing a typical app. Very nearly a quarter reported spending over $100,000.
Read full story on Cost To Develop an App

Cost To Develop an App

For some additional resources and recent app cost calculators, see the following links:

KinveyKinvey’s App Cost Estimator
John RaineyHow much does it cost to develop an app?
Carter, Bluecloud SolutionsHow Much Will my Mobile App Cost to Create?
By Aaron Maxwell, MashableIs Developing a Mobile App Worth the Cost?

In Pounds Sterling:

This post provided some very detailed estimates by the CTO of 5App and his conclusion:

It’s safe to assume that using traditional development techniques to create a cross-platform enterprise app won’t come in under £100K.

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For us in the Digital Publishing and App development world, this is an
interesting week. Watch out for Adobe MAX announcement about the Adobe Digital
Publishing Suite, and catch the keynote events live. For  those of us not able to attend this week’s Adobe MAX conference in person, below  are resources to follow along in social media, as well as a daily summary of all the action. Visit the magazine I’ve set up at  “This week in Hollywood: Adobe Max


[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] See Keynotes Live[/button]

[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] AdobeMAX Social Media[/button]

[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] AdobeMAX on Twitter[/button]


[button link=”!/AdobeDigitalPub” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] Adobe Digital Publishing on Twitter[/button]

[button link=”” color=”silver” newwindow=”yes”] AdobeMAX Sessions[/button]


The tablet market is continuing to exhibit astonishing growth (17 billion in revenue forecasted for mobile applications in 2011 – source: Gartner)

It is not surprising that more platforms for digital publishing and porting content onto the tablet format are cropping up.

At this week’s O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference , one of the more intriguing announcements comes from a French company that has created a digital publishing platform which will go live in March.

From their press release today:

Aquafadas Digital Publishing Platform offers key advantages in digital publishing:

  • It enables designers to create well-designed digital content
    quickly through easy-to-use plugins for Adobe® InDesign® and
    QuarkXPress® — no coding required
  • Publications can be based on PDF or XML , enhanced by picture galleries, slide shows, videos, and sound
  • Aquafadas ’s Solution makes it easy to deploy digital publications
    to multiple devices, such as tablets and smartphones, and to multiple
    operating systems, such as iOS® and Android™ — simultaneously
  • Publications can be published as interactive PDF, custom Apps, and
    in an unique, XML-based format that supports text reflow while
    maintaining the publication’s design

Unlike other approaches Aquafadas’ provides a complete and
cost-effective end-to-end solution for digital publishing from creation
to delivery.

Leading corporate and professional publishers such as Galleries
Lafayette, Reader’s Digest, and Carlsen Verlag already selected
Aquafadas’ solution as their digital publishing tool of choice.

We will post a follow up once the pricing model becomes available.

[one_half]Anyone interested in how Ditigal Publishing for tablets is evolving should check out the Adobe Digital Publishing suite, which is the platform we have been using at Polymash for the last 1/2 year or so as alpha testers. It is now in public beta status, and is scheduled to go live sometime in Q2 of 2011.  A number of apps have been published on this platform already, and we are happy to count ourselves among them.

[box]Of course our vision is slightly beyond using such a platform for digital magazine content only: We are “repurposing” Adobe’s toolset to create interactive content for information product owners, publishers and authors who want to stand out and shine in an increasingly crowded eBook and app market. To do so we are adding  HTML5 and Javascript features to the platform, such as in-app notebooks, interactive animations and so on.[/box][/one_half]

[one_half_last]We have good company: Our app is listed  right next to Conde Nast titles created with the Adobe suite such as Martha Stewart Living and Wired Magazine, and numerous other publishers have gone live with titles such as the New Yorker, Golf Digest & Readers Digest.

So if you own an iPad, you should check out the Adobe’s full gallery of apps published with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite:


It also means that we’re going to have to horde our investment dollars for a bit longer while we wait for some of this to shake out. I’m not saying let everyone pass you by until it’s all chiseled, but maybe wait till it’s out of the sky-writing stage.


Excellent post by Laura Zavelson, and while I agree in principal, I do think that creating interactive content at a rapid pace, using industry standard tools like Adobe’s Indesign, is experience well placed. But honestly I too cannot see dropping 30+K into tools that are strictly iOS specific.At least Adobe, even though a bit slow in releasing their Indesign plug-ins, have a product roadmap that clearly targets multiple platforms, the web and devices, and adhere to the “Author once, publish across multiple channels” philosophy…

I presented a session called “InDesign to iPad” at the InDesignSecrets Print and ePublishing Conference, May 13, and have heard from a number of people that it would be useful to repeat some of this information here. The session was very short and focused on the various methods for putting content on an iPad (content from InDesign, at least). I obviously, cannot repeat the whole session, but here’s the general outline.

Where We Are Today

After talking to a number of colleagues about this topic, and reading everything I can about it, one quote stands out for me… something that Branislav Milic said to me while in Seattle:

“2010 is the year of announcements”

The point is that every company seems to be throwing their hat into the ring, coming out with something new and exciting and hoping that their idea will stick. Many announcements don’t even appear to be turning into real products, but no matter… everyone feels the need to jump out and do something.

That said, Apple did ship the iPad and sold over a million of them in a few weeks. (And estimates indicate that Apple may be selling over 200,000 per week — more iPads than Macs!) That counts for something. So because of this success, many people feel that the iPad is the target to hit — the device on which their content must appear.

Great post from David Blatner, and still true after a few months… The announcements in this space are piling up, the ePub format is NOT the holy grail of eBook publishing, and I predict that smarter app containers are under way that will allow the re purposing of content, as evidenced by yesterdays liquidpubs announcement …