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5 Hidden App Development Costs - Do You Know These?

Learn the 5 hidden costs of app development.While every business wants to take on the unparalleled opportunities unveiled by mobile apps, the rising app development cost has been a key deterrent. Yes, mobile app development is expensive, and that prevents many businesses from building their branded apps. 

But the cost of app development should be taken under the scanner, and various cost components should be reviewed. When a mobile app development company quotes a development cost, certain cost components remain hidden and are not covered with the quoted value. These cost components can add to the development cost over time and during the project. Any business will find it extremely helpful to know the different hidden cost factors for their app projects.

 Here we are going to explain some of the hidden cost factors across mobile app projects.

Prototyping Cost 

For every app idea, it is extremely important to evaluate and test the idea before setting off with the development. Well, prototypes are built to evaluate the app idea. For every app project, it has now been an established practice to build smooth app prototypes. A prototype gives your developers a clear idea about how the app will work and how it will benefit the developers. 

But often development companies charge an additional cost for building the app prototypes. This can add to the original cost quote offered by the development company. But just by considering prototyping an additional component and source of hidden cost, don't make the mistake of dropping the prototyping from your app development project. Prototypes by allowing you to perfect several aspects of the app idea can save considerable cost fir your app project.

Third-Party Integrations

A mobile app project needs to depend on several third-party integrations to shape the features, functionalities, user interface, and overall user experience. Several integrations happen throughout the development project, starting from the default ones that come with the OS platforms such as GPS and map services, calendar, reminders, photo apps, etc.

The app project also needs to integrate some popular third-party apps like social media apps, game apps, browsers, PDF readers, some business apps, etc. Some app projects also need integrations of third-party web services such as booking services, mobile payment, mobile ordering, third-party project management tools, blogs, etc. Many of these third-party integrations can significantly add up to the development cost of the app project.  


A content delivery network (CDN) plays a crucial role in all kinds of content-rich websites. Basically, CDN services work through a network of distributed servers that, based on the user location can deliver contents from the local servers and thus can reduce the travel time of the data and ensure faster loading time and app performance significantly. 

Any app targeting global audiences spread all over the globe finds CDN services extremely crucial for the performance and speed of their apps. But integrating a CDN service for your app requires an additional cost burden that you can't avoid. With the hugely important role of CDN services for app performance, you cannot avoid them in your mobile app project.

Paid Development Tools and Libraries

Today's mobile app projects often use a lot of paid development tools for faster development and desired output. While using such tools is perfectly fine if you don't want to compromise on the app's performance and output, these paid tools are also likely to add up to the development cost significantly. There are several widely popular tools such as Appcelerator, IBM MobileFirst, Kinvey, Kony, and several others that come with different paid subscription plans.

App Maintenance and Administration Services 

Every mobile app is a solution to one or several customer problems, and this solution is offered through a very intuitive, powerful, accessible, and user-friendly app interface. For a business to manage the multitude of backend tasks and administrative duties related to the app maintenance and operation can really be time consuming and hazardous. 

To take care of all these tasks, you may need to take the help of additional tools and maintenance services to reap the benefits of your app presence without handling many hassles. These tools and services add up to the overall project cost, and they cannot be anticipated at the start of projects as they come up over time as the app hits the market and gets going. 

A content management service will help an app to stay updated on the content part. The dashboard emulator will help evaluate the changes before they become publicly available. Different services you provide through your app require further management and separate dashboards. An analytics tool to monitor app user data and derive analytical insights from the data will be tremendously important. Finally, releasing timely app updates with security patches and performance optimization needs to be maintained. All these tasks, responsibilities, and corresponding manpower, tools, and services add up more cost to the app project over time.


Since every app project needs to depend on too many separate tools and services from different sources, controlling the cost factor with a single accumulative quote often becomes difficult. But suppose you know the various factors and their cost components in detail. In that case, you can make a better assessment and accordingly can be in better control over the development and maintenance cost of the entire project. 

Author Bio:

Juned Ghanchi is a co-founder of IndianAppDevelopers, a mobile app development company based in the USA, and India specializes in IoT and game application development. Juned has decades of sales & marketing experience in the software domain.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

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About Author

Juned Ghanchi
Juned Ghanchi

Juned Ghanchi is a co-founder of IndianAppDevelopers, a mobile app development company based in the USA, and India specializes in IoT and game application development. Juned has decades of sales & marketing experience in the software domain.

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.