2020 is going to be record-breaking for mobile programming: the domain is projected to reach $189 billion with 2.2 million apps available on App Market and 2.8 million apps — on Google Play.
Young startups and mature enterprises are tempted by the profit generated by successful examples of Uber-like models.
Mobile-friendly sites are not enough any more. People spend the majority of time away from desktops, and their daily routine revolves around smartphones.
Although moving a business to the mobile realm isn’t cheap and easy, more and more companies try their luck and upload solutions to marketplaces.
Some prefer iOS over Android, others — quite the opposite, while others build products for both Operating Systems.
Here we’re talking about hybrid solutions built on React Native and ways to reduce the cost of app development.
Factors influencing mobile app development cost
Let’s say you’re searching for an onshore or offshore company engineering custom solutions for mobile operating systems. To make a decision and choose a tech partner, you should understand how much your final product will cost.
If you ask any expert about the average price for an iOS or Android app, h/she will probably hesitate to give an immediate answer.
The market is huge. Solutions vary by a category, complexity, and design. Even solid research agencies give different numbers: from $10,000 to $500,000.
The main factors influencing the price tag:
- functionality (basic toolkit vs advanced functionality). Push notifications and the login feature are easier and cheaper to implement than payment modules and admin dashboard for app management;
- team. Programmers from the US and western Europe charge more than firms from eastern European countries. Another cost-effective option is to hire freelancers;
- native vs hybrid applications. Elevating programs for the native environment requires knowledge of specific languages and environments. Hybrid mobile app development cost reduces efforts and the price tag.
- third-party integrations. Apps with API integration require more financial resources;
- cost of further maintenance and assistance;
- interactions with hardware devices (camera, microphone, etc.);
- performance and availability (online vs offline);
- security standards. Solutions for FinTech and healthcare should meet high-security standards.
A typical dev squad consists of BA, UI/UX designer, software engineer, QA engineer, PM. The budget size depends on the hourly rate of each specialist.
For instance, an average software developer hourly rate is $28, a business analyst earns $31, and project manager charges $43 for an hour of their work.
Budget cost components are divided by dev stages:
- Discovery, analysis and strategy planning. This step is about business and competitive analysis, the app goal establishment, roadmap creation.
- Wireframing and prototyping. User flows and journeys creation, lo-fi sketches and detailed visual presentations delivery.
- Production (design and development). UI design creation and implementation. Frontend and backend programming, testing.
- Final testing, launch, and post-launch maintenance. Experts believe that further support is the largest component in the costs structure of mobile solutions.
For instance, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to build and launch an MVP, however, if you plan to extend the functionality, be ready to splurge.
Post-launch maintenance includes bug fixing, updates, enhancing performance, extending the toolkit, support of the new versions of OSs and third-party products.
Some companies have a built-in cost calculator to let clients make preliminary calculations of the project cost.
For instance, if you’re planning a solution for iOS with 6-9 feature pages, basic UI, two-factor authentification, simple features (user profiles, social sharing, review), OOZOU will charge you $40,000.
We’d like you to take a sneak peek in the factual info describing the domain in 2020:
- in 2018, global revenues of companies reached $ 365B. In 2023, solutions for smartphones are projected to result in more than $935B in revenues;
- the leading non-game publishers based on profit are Google, Tinder, and Pandora;
- the average price of an iOS gaming app was 51 cents as of November 2019;
- Indonesia provides the cheapest charges, able to elevate programs for the Windows platform at a rate of $14/hour;
- solutions for iOS/Android based on machine learning and neural language processing technologies are among the most expensive categories to elevate.
Ways to reduce the cost of app development
Until 2015, the year when React Native was set in motion, app owners had to pay twice to get separate products working on Android and iOS.
Facebook intention to decrease the costs for app development was implemented in a new tool.
It has a JS library created by Facebook at its core used for building user interfaces.
Unlike the toolkit adapted for native solutions, React Native is way easier and quicker to master.
Suites and packages built on React Native consist of platform components, native modules wrapped in React components:
- cross-platform components: View, Text, Image, Picker, etc;
- iOS-specific: TabBarIOS, ActionSheetIOS;
- Android-specific: BackAndroid, ToolbarAndroid.
React Native suits almost any project and even the most loyal native coders turn to its paradigm. Why?
React Native benefits reducing mobile app development costs
Today when the timing is everything, companies strive to upload solutions to marketplaces as quickly as possible. React Native offers code sharing which means that several teams have access to the codebase and are able to develop product versions for different markets.
Live Reload and Hot Reloading greatly increase the speed of iterations. Live Reload refreshes the entire app in case there are some changes in its file. Hot reloading reloads only those files that were changed, which simplifies the compile-install process. All the changes are displayed immediately in the simulator.
OS-like performance and look
Since the framework UI consists of native components, it duplicates the look of the Operation System. Rendering UI through APIs helps devs achieve the same level of performance native apps have.
Simplified unit testing with Jest
React Native apps look like native solutions on any screen size and support high-resolution graphics. No matter what device you’ve installed the app on, it will work equally well. What’s more, apps are compatible with default smartphone applications — Camera, Calculator, etc.
The tool uses native APIs to render code components in a separate thread from UI, which enhances an app performance. In addition, React has some native modules written in Objective-C and Java, which enables complex operations
More stable products
In the data-binding process, parent elements don’t depend on child elements, so main components can be altered without the influence of child elements.
It’s an open-source project with a large community contributing to engineering and the tool enhancement. In case you stuck in and need advice from peers, the community is always ready to give you a helping hand.
Despite numerous benefits, there’s always a room for improvement. Currently React has certain limitations.
Challenges of working with React Native
Since the project is under constant development, each update that is released forces app devs to make changes to their products.
Due to the open-source nature, products built on React are vulnerable in terms of data safety and security.
The framework is way easier to learn than languages for native programming but it’s not optimal for advanced functionality such as AR/VR.
Despite the technology reduces the total cost of app development, failures in its core, limitation of debugging functionality and other issues slow down the dev cycles.
Comparing with iOS/Android, React lacks integrations with third-party tools.
It’s easier to detect weak spots in native applications than to check hybrid apps for errors.
The tool isn’t a panacea. In case you need to build a platform-specific module to reflect the behaviour and look of Android or iOS solutions (e.g. Face ID), chances are you will have to enlist the help of native devs.
All this being said, native technologies work better for apps with advanced functionality and greater demands for data protection. React Native is a perfect fit for smaller projects with an average level of complexity.
How we build hybrid solutions for smartphones at JustCoded
We deploy React Native and Ionic to develop in-house hybrid solutions. Besides, we provide assistance to a company developing native solutions by working on the backend part of the app.
The Agile approach is what helps us deliver fully-fledged products on time and within an established budget.
We rely on the dedicated team model and offer app devs for hire. Dev units we provide typically consist of PM, backend/frontend devs, QA engineers. If necessary, we can allocate a BA or a designer to your project.
Speaking about the project basis, our choice is Time and Material agreements. This approach is ideal for projects with a flexible scope where changes can be done painfully.
On your demand, we can switch to the Fixed Price model. However, our practice demonstrates that it’s worth doing only if the project has a predefined scope. Otherwise, there’s a risk of exceeding the budget.
Saving costs in app development with React Native: Conclusion
Obviously, React Native is a godsend for app owners seeking a cost-efficient way to build hybrid applications with a large audience.
The framework is great in terms of the coding speed, product stability, app performance/look on different devices, and, of course, price tag.
It’s an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone and make a good product for iOS/Android audience.
Although, there are some arguments in favour of native dev tools which can influence your choice. The most essential are custom functionality, advanced features and app security.
Either you’re testing the waters or have a fully-prepared project, contact us and will provide you with a free quote.