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How long does app development take?

Whether you are having an app built for your startup business, a larger organization, or even as a solo side project, it is helpful to be as aware as possible of what lies ahead of you throughout the process. There are many aspects to the app development process, and they vary a lot from project to project, so any advice you might hear is always going to be a standard assumption.

One of the things that you might want to know before you get into the mobile app development process is just how long the whole process is likely to take. That, again, will depend on the specifics of the situation, but in this post we are going to attempt to answer this question by looking at the major tasks that lay ahead of you in developing an app, along with an estimation of how long it normally takes.

Let’s take a look at how long your average app development takes.

Which Part Takes The Longest?

Upfront, it can be helpful to know about which parts of the app development process tend to take the longest, as having a strong sense of this can help you to prepare for those in particular. Generally, you will expect to spend quite a lot of time on the following parts of the process.

Project Brief

The actual ideation at the start of the project tends to take a while because here is where you will tend to iron out many of the wrinkles. You want the idea to be as strong and ready to go as possible before you attempt to turn it into reality, so this generally means spending a lot of time writing and re-writing the project brief, probably with your app development team in the room. If you are outsourcing, there is a good chance that this part of the process will be highly collaborative. Generally, this part of the process may take around 2 weeks.


You’ll always need to research whatever idea you come up with, and the more time that you spend on this ensuring that you get it right, the better. With good research, the app is just so much more likely to be successful, so it really is an important thing that you need to think about here. The research of the app idea will normally take somewhere in the region of 4 to 5 weeks, so it can take a long time.

Early Design

Your early design is very important, as this is what your app will actually be based on once you start to put it together. Working with an exemplary marketing company or app development team, you will be putting your heads together to figure out the early design for your app, and in doing so you will start to get a sense of how it is actually going to look and work out. This whole process can be as quick as 6 weeks, or it can take up to around 12 or 13 weeks. Try not to get impatient, however: the more effort is put into the early design, the better the app will work out.


The actual development procedure is obviously the main part, wherein the app becomes reality, and as such it is not something that you want to rush. If you are in the thick of this part of the app development procedure, then it means you are going to be done fairly soon, so you might be getting impatient and eager to see your app out in the world. However, this development process needs to be done properly and professionally, so you should be prepared for a wait of up to 12 weeks – including prototyping the app.


Once the app is finally ready to go out into the world, next begins the deployment phase, where it is actually sent to the app stores. You might think that this was as simple as pressing a button, but there are certain legalistic reasons why this is not really the case. More often than not, this process can take anywhere up to 2 weeks, so don’t be surprised if it isn’t out in the app store straight away.

Continual Improvement

Thereafter, you will need to make sure that the app is being continually improved, and this is not something that you can really put a timeframe on, except to say that it is going to be ongoing. Be prepared for this, and make sure you have the necessary resources.

As you can see, app development can take a while – but working with a good app development company will ensure you end up with an app you love.

Zaraki Kenpachi