Someday, you may have an idea to launch a next-generation mobile experience that will make you famous. You’ll need to find an app developer to build an app. But how should you do that?
You may start by searching on Google, “who can develop my app idea?” or “outsourcing mobile app development.” You will certainly want to build your app fast and keep the quality high and the costs low. But what if are you still unsure how to outsource mobile app development?
Below, you’ll find tips on how to hire a mobile app development outsourcing company and make an MVP with an outsourced software development team. In this article, we also discuss common mistakes when outsourcing the development team and how to avoid them.
Let’s dive right in!
Before you look for app development options and send “I want to develop an app” offers, prepare a complete definition of your project. This will help you specify requirements to outsource developers. Here are some questions to consider:
Next, you should figure out what type of outsourcing mobile application development team you need. Should you go for an onshore, nearshore, or offshore team? The main difference lies in the geographical distance between you and your outsourcing service vendor. Your choice will depend mainly on your requirements and definitely your budget.
Mobile app development is a long process, so look for a reliable developer. Check the developers’ track records, contact details, and technical skills.
Define the following:
Before filling in contact forms on app development companies’ websites, go through their portfolios, and look for experience related to your app development project. Verify their clients’ reviews and the duration of their experiences. You can also request a list of main clients to study their websites or apps.
Ask about the company’s development pool size and specify team members’ seniority level. Determine the amount of time the company would need to scale up the team assigned to your project.
Identify what technologies the company is specialized in. If you are not sure what technology would fit your app, review their website or read their blog to see what they recommend. Also, do not hesitate to ask. A good app development vendor will recommend the best option for your project.
To ensure that you’re hiring the best outsourcing app developer for your project, consider another vital aspect—choosing a service model. There are three main options: project-based, dedicated teams, and outstaff working models.
Choosing from among fixed price or time and material payment models can be tricky. It is crucial to consider all the benefits and drawbacks of each model.
Communication is an essential issue, especially when it comes to outsourcing app development. Strong communication enables you to efficiently maintain a smooth development process. You will also need to choose the channels through which you’re going to communicate.
Asking questions is key in offshore app development. You may ask the developer anything and everything related to your project. If a developer dodges a question, it can be a red flag.
A project timeline allows you to boost the development process by dividing it into pieces. This helps reduce mistakes and prevent missed steps. If you’re not ready to provide developers with a project plan, you may ask them for one.
There are many ways to find and hire mobile app developers. Here are the most reasonable sources for finding app developers:
Hire an iOS developer utilizing specialized sources like:
You can hire Android app developers on Upwork. Additionally, you can find developers through the following forums:
A crucial issue in app development is to identify a reliable development team in the early stages of your project. We highly recommend you run a rapid eye over the company’s portfolio and pay attention to the following points:
After the search is done, you will come up with a short list of app development companies and proceed to negotiation.
Since you’ve decided to hire an outsourcing app developer, you will need to consider many details, including the working model. So, would you rather your team focus on one thing at a time until it’s done, or each person has a different role and complete their specific task? Let’s look at the different aspects of the following working models.
A project-based business model suits start-ups that do not have their own development team or lack project management experience.
If your midsize team needs assistance implementing part of a project or complex functionality, outsourcing a dedicated team may be your choice.
The outstaff model is the best option for mid-sized companies or enterprises that need to hire a developer while staying under budget. It is ideal if your own employee can lead and monitor outstaffed programmers from a technical management position. It may seem like you will have a lot of extra responsibilities, but outstaffing is the most affordable model.
|Model||Your responsibility||Vendor responsibility|
|Outstaff /Extended team||
If you decide to outsource app developers under the outstaff model, choosing the most suitable outsourcing pricing model can be difficult. It is crucial to take a closer look at all the advantages and disadvantages of each model and how they might match your project. In this section, we will analyze the use cases and the pros and cons of the time and materials versus the fixed-price model for software projects.
The fixed-price payment model can be adopted when requirements, terms, and prices are highly predictable. In this case, you should be able to share your vision with developers to ensure appropriate outcomes.
The time and materials model involves a pay-as-you-go pricing model. You should start with a set of goals, clear specifications, and an approximate estimation. All these components can be modified during the project if required. You will pay for the time in hours spent on your project, plus the cost of materials.
Now, let’s consider how much it will cost to hire outsourcing app developers. Geographic location, app complexity, and local market conditions can affect the cost of making a mobile application. Depending on the location of your app development team and the complexity of your app, the cost to build a mobile app may range from $25k to $250k.
Another factor is the complexity of the mobile app. Below you will find out how much app costs to make approximately:
Here are some average development cost estimates for the most popular types of apps:
Please note, these are approximate figures for making a mobile app and the price cannot be accurately determined without specifications.
So, how much does app outsourcing cost? You will also need to consider the average hourly rates of iPhone and Android developers.
Now you need to narrow down the region of reliable software companies to help you grow your idea into an effective product. Google searches such as “mobile development company USA” or “outsourcing app company Europe” may come in handy at this point, but it would probably be a tiring exercise. Instead, let’s consider the following table:
|Region||iOS platform ($/hour)||Android platform ($/hour)|
Of course, you may hire one developer to build and publish your app. However, to provide a better user experience and the highest app quality, your application should be developed by a team. A development team can make the process much faster and produce higher quality work.
You should also note, the more complex your application will be, the more people will be involved in the development process.
In the table below, you will discover the duties and rates of development team members.
|Team member||Duties||United States||Latin America||Eastern Europe||Asia|
|Business Analyst||Assists by identifying tech and business requirements before proceeding with development costs.||$110 – $205||$45 – $55||$25 – $30||$15 – $25|
|Project manager||Responsible for the successful initiation, planning, design, fulfillment, monitoring, controlling, and closure of a project. Clears up misunderstandings within the team to avoid pitfalls and ensure that deadlines are met.||$135 – $240||$55 – $70||$30 – $40||$15 – $35|
|UI/UX designer||Responsible for the design and implementation of all user digital experiences.||$80 – $165||$40 – $50||$25- $30||$10 – $25|
|Mobile app engineer||Develops and publishes mobile applications, adhering to all the peculiarities described in the specification.||$100 – $165||$35 – $65||$21 – $49||$15 – $35|
|Back-end developer||Responsible for server-side app logic as well as the integration of the front-end elements.||$120 – $155||$60 – $80||$21 – $49||$15 – $35|
|QA engineer||Monitors the application’s stability. Performs regression, load, smoke, and other types of tests. Ensures that UI and app components comply with the specification.||$80 – $170||$30 – $50||$21 – $35||$10 – $20|
Mobile app design includes visual design, UI, UX, logos, icons, branding, wireframes, etc. But what factors influence the app design cost? Let’s take a closer look.
Outsystems, a low-code platform, released a report titled “State of Application Development 2019/2020.” Outsystems concluded that 55% of mobile apps require only 4 months for development. However, it is increasingly evident that mobile application development typically takes 5 months or longer.
Why, you may ask? There is a simple reason: it essentially depends on the features set and mobile app design.
We have analyzed common app features in terms of time and cost. For estimations, we have used hourly rates varying from $25 to $50. Let’s take a closer look at the following table, which provides a summary of these features.
|Feature||Dev. timeline (man-hours)||Cost ($)|
|Push notifications||20 – 200||1,000 – 10,000|
|Portrait / Landscape view||20||500-1,000|
|Google Maps integration||20+||1,000+|
|Chat / Messaging||80+||2,000-4,000+|
|Payments integration||50+||2,500 – 5,000|
|Synchronization between devices||50+||1,250-2,500|
|Multi-language support||15 hours||350-750|
|Offline mode||40+ hours||1,000-2,000|
|Phone sensors usage||10 + hours||250-500|
|Doze / Standby mode optimizing||50+ hours||1,250-2,500|
|Data encryption||20+ hours||500-1,000|
Now we will identify the cost of maintaining an app. Generally, app maintenance costs vary from 15% to 20% of the development price. For instance, if your app development cost is $200k, then app maintenance will cost approximately $40k per year.
App maintenance and post-release support involve:
Usually, the application development outsourcing process includes the following stages:
When you begin app development outsourcing, we recommend identifying outsource app development risks, technical details, bids, vendors, need for an NDA, overseeing terms, and a list of features.
Note, one of the factors that go into outsourcing app development costs has to do with app quality. That’s why you should control and monitor the process. Regularly check the code and try features out for yourself. Feel free to speak up if something is bothering you. It’s your money, isn’t it?
Perhaps you have researched many topics on Quora or Reddit to find best practices regarding outsourcing app development. However, to help you make the best decision, we have collected lists of best practices and ways to prevent mistakes.
Now it’s time to consider how not to outsource mobile app development. To help you build a flawless mobile app, we’ve reviewed the most common mistakes people make when hiring offshore developers.
You may ask developers to sign non-disclosure agreements before you reveal your business ideas to them. You may think that an NDA will prevent app developers from using or publishing your ideas. However, NDAs aren’t a silver bullet.
So, make sure that the NDA you prepare is safe and reliable, and includes all the following elements:
When used correctly, an NDA will definitely provide protection for your ideas. It can be a good option for protecting valuable information and intellectual property. However, note that the law specifically differentiates between an idea in your head and a concept that has been represented in a tangible form.
Eastern Europe is one of the most beneficial destinations for outsourcing, with an average hourly rate of $30 to $70. In comparison to Asia, there are only slight cultural differences from the US. Countries like Belarus, Poland, and Bulgaria can provide you with a large pool of tech experts for projects of any complexity.
Although Latin America offers services at low prices, the region has only just started to build a pool of tech-savvy experts. The most popular Latin American countries for outsourcing are Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.
IT giants like Google or Microsoft prefer to outsource software development to Asia. However, note that big tech companies hire in-house managers and other experts from Asian cultures, but mid-size companies often encounter cultural differences that can be difficult to overcome. The main outsourcing countries in Asia are India and China.
Many notable tech hubs in the US provide high-level IT services. However, extremely high prices for education and a lack of software developers make outsourcing to the US too expensive for many.
Convenient time zones and similar cultural practices make Canada an attractive outsourcing option for US companies. However, outsourcing app development to Canada is very expensive.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “Should I outsource my app development?” Well, let’s see. Whether you are a start-up, mid-, or large-sized business, outsourcing app development allows you to decrease costs, boost your team efficiency, and release the project on time and budget. However, to gain all the benefits of outsourcing app development, you need to choose a reliable team. Below, we provide a short checklist: