Time to Develop an App

fiercedeveloper.pngFierceDeveloper has a contentious article, based on an Evans Data report (paid), on how "41% of Android developers finish their app in one month or less" while only Only 36 percent of iOS and 34 percent of Windows Phone devs said they could achieve as quickly a turnaround. This goes against the common perception that Android development takes longer (than iOS) because of the requirement to test on so many devices.

I think the clues to this contradiction lie in the phrase "one month or less". No non-trivial app can be created in "one month or less". While I have developed some apps in days and others in a few weeks, I would say the average development time of all apps I have developed would be of the order of two months. I think the "one month or less" says more about the typical complexity (and maybe quality) of apps being developed for Android than it does for the ability to develop quickly on Android.

I also believe too many people place too much emphasis on the initial development time. Today, the insightful Benedict Evans, who I recommend you also follow, tweeted…

"It’s not the revolutionary products that actually make the money – it’s the boring incremental iterations of them"

This is so true in mobile. I have previously written about the use of app analytics and responding to customer frustrations. If you want your app to be a success then you will need to iterate. If you are only allocating funding to initial development but not iteration then you should perhaps consider whether you should starting at all.