Lozen Liu | Jan 06, 2023

App development is principally completed by teams of software engineers, with input from project managers, data scientists, designers, writers and additional personnel on the content that goes into the app.


What Do App Developers Do?

App developers are responsible for the development of all the code, assets and frameworks that form an application.

App developers are software engineers who construct applications for use on the web, on operating systems like Windows and MacOS or on mobile platforms like iOS and Android. These engineers are responsible not only for writing the code and constructing the app, either individually or as part of a team, but also for brainstorming ideas, testing functionality and researching algorithms that will allow the app to function and meet its goal.

Along with working alongside other app developers as part of a team, app developers often work with graphic artists, UX designers, data scientists, senior data scientists, project managers, marketing teams, copywriters, SEOs and many other parties that all play a critical role in the creation of successful apps.

Related Reading From Built In Experts10 iOS Development Tips for Swift and Xcode


What Programming Language Is Used for Mobile App Development?

Swift and Objective-C are used when developing iOS apps while Android apps can be developed using JavaReact Native facilitates development for both.

Although Objective-C is the original programming language used for developing iOS applications, Swift is considered the best programming language for building iOS apps today. Swift offers better memory management, relaxed syntax rules and a shorter learning curve than Objective-C. All of Apple’s iOS frameworks are written in Objective-C, however, so many developers will at least maintain a portion of their app’s code in this language.

Android applications are most often constructed using Java, which is Android's official programming language. The language’s long history and reliability make it a natural choice for many developing apps for these devices. Other programming languages like the open-source Kotlin and the high-powered C/C++ are also widely used on the operating system, however.

Beyond developing applications for specific operating systems, the hybrid React Native framework allows developers to build applications that can be launched in either environment. Released by Meta in 2015, React Native incorporates several UI frameworks to facilitate functional cross-platform development using JavaScript programming, leading to widespread adoption in the app development industry.

App Development: Process Overview, From Start to Finish. | Video: Udemy and Angela Yu
Find out who's hiring.
See all Developer + Engineer jobs at top tech companies & startups
View 8297 Jobs


How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?

The high median cost to build an app is $171,450 but can range from $30k through $700k. Apps often take between three and twelve months to build.

According to a 2018 survey from Clutch, the median cost for developing an app on any platform is $171,450, with a range from $30k-$700k. There are many factors that go into this cost, including resources available to the developer, the business model the developer is targeting, the type of app being developed, the quality of competitors’ apps, how complex the app is, how much functionality is built into the app, design expenses, market share and the time it takes to develop.

Additionally, the country the app is being developed in will be a factor in its development, due to labor laws and production variables. These factors must be considered and weighed heavily when determining a budget, scope and timeline for an app’s creation.

Most apps can be built between three and 12 months, but more extreme builds can take years to complete. Ongoing development and continuous improvement mean an application will continue to be developed indefinitely.

Expert Contributors

Built In’s expert contributor network publishes thoughtful, solutions-oriented stories written by innovative tech professionals. It is the tech industry’s definitive destination for sharing compelling, first-person accounts of problem-solving on the road to innovation.

Learn More

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Recruit With Us