How much does it cost to develop an app in Singapore?

May 13, 2022
What's the cost of mobile app development


No two apps are the same, they vary in structure and are dependent on the mix of features and components. Therefore no two apps are really priced the same. In this article, it is our aim to give you an overview of the types of apps you can choose from according to your requirements. We also introduce some main “structural” features that need to be regarded in the app outlining and decision-making stage.

In order to arrive at a decent cost estimation for an app development cost, at least for the cost of creating an app in Singapore, let’s jump right into the two main factors to consider: the type of app required; and its features.

Type of App

There are many ways we can create an app, depending on the business stages, strategies and timelines, there are three main options, with different strengths and weaknesses, to deliver a positive experience for users. All options are here to stay, and the choice between them should be made based on the goals of the project – mainly timeline & cost.

Progressive Web app (PWA) vs. Hybrid app vs. Native app

BriefA PWA runs on web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) like a regular web app. Despite this, it gives a user experience similar to a native mobile application
Hybrid apps are created to work on more than one operating system or platform using one codebase

Native apps are developed to work on one operating system. Native apps are built using Java, Swift, and Objective-C
Timeline
Built quickly with real-time notifications and a native-like experience on the web


Built quickly as it utilises the same codebase for both Android and iOS


Built slower because of individual and separate code bases. Differently programmed for Android and iOs


Customer Acquisition

FasterSlowerSlower

Customer Retention

SlowerFasterFaster

Development Cost

Web apps take less time and cost less money. Companies on a budget and tight schedule are recommended to opt for responsive web applications

Depending on features, the development cost sits anywhere from $10K-70K

Hybrid apps are in the middle of the scale in terms of cost, being less expensive to develop than native apps but more expensive than web apps. This type of app is also simpler to maintain, as it only requires one codebase to create multiple versions of the application

Depending on features, the development cost sits anywhere from $20K-100K

Native apps are expensive, especially when multiple operating systems are required, as these need to be built separately. These apps also require higher maintenance, factoring into the higher cost.

Depending on features, the development cost sits anywhere from $40K-200K


Use Scenario

A new app is needed to serve as a starting point for an app for your user


For frequently used apps and systems that need external integration

For company’s that want a sense of establishment.Publishing apps on app stores increases reliability – native apps have more security options

Features considerations

Content-based apps with interactive features

PWAs do not require download yet enables you to interact with users through push notifications. PWA works similarly to a website and reaches a broader audience

For frequently used apps that need more interactive and real-time features



Ideal for advanced smartphone features like geofencing and sensor/detection is essential to UX or if your product requires great computing power


User Experience

GoodBetterBest

Maintenance cost


Cheaper and easy to deploy

Expensive to maintain +
Apple store and PlayStore costs
Expensive to maintain
+ Apple store and PlayStore costs + + 2 codebases for Android and iOS

Technology used


HTML + CSS + Javascript, Objective-C or Swift

App frameworks using Flutter / React Native and other technologies

iOS applications are built with Objective-C or Swift, while Android-native apps are built with Java or Kotlin

Benefits for business

– Contributes to SEO
– Real-time notifications
– Easier to deploy
– Quick user acquisition since users don’t need to download the app
– Multiple browser compatibility
– Excellent user experience
– Greater reach in the market
– Excellent user experience
– Accuracy in features that use camera, geofencing, geolocation, accelerometers
– Supports Augmented Reality

Device Support


All modern browsers. Responsive for all devices


Android and iOS devices, both phones and tablets


Android and iOS devices, both phones and tablets

In summary, Progressive Web Apps are ideal for reaching a vast audience with simple solutions that do not require downloads. PWAs also cater best to smaller budgets and shorter timelines.

Hybrid apps are ideal for content-based requirements or requirements that aren’t too complex. Given these apps are developed with only one code source that runs on both Android and iOS, it is a two-in-one solution.

Native apps are ideal for better security, performance and user experience. Native apps also offer tailored solutions that utilise the phone’s hardware and functionalities such as its camera for a more seamless experience.

App Features

All the features needed can be strategically built-in in two ways – building the feature within the app or integrating from another product/service on a subscription or licence basis. When a company is building an app or platform, it is wise to have a mix of these two components. Building features can be strategic intellectual property, whereas looking at existing systems can be utilised for common operations.
For example;

  • Building an Email Marketing component in the backend ourselves vs using Mailchimp integration
  • Building a component with Finance capabilities vs using Zoho or Xero system
  • Building our own CRM vs using Active Campaign or Hubspot
  • Building our own blog vs using Medium.com

Feature Considerations

Target Market

The app’s market decides if we keep a single language-only approach or go for the multi-language approach. The majority of apps in the European market support multiple languages while in Australia, a single language approach in most cases is a good choice. Multiple market launches also account for having the multi-language feature. In a country like Singapore, where there are 4 major races, official apps are also usually hosted in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

In more markets we launch, the type of integrations, such as payment integrations can vary. Singapore supports GrabPay while Korea has KakaoPay, and Europe and Africa have their own payment gateways.

Number of targetted users

The number of targetted users influences how we handle the security and scalability of the systems. The infrastructure scalability (horizontal preferred) requires some strategic planning in coding from day one.

Interface required

It is important to decide on the following:

  • Number of platforms to launch whether web, Android, iOS or a combination
  • Number of screens
  • Device types, whether Mobile phone, Tablet, iPad, or computer support
  • Screen orientation modes, whether both portrait and landscape
  • Supported operating systems/browsers and their versions

Other factors

Other considerations include the:

  • Number of different types of users within the system (vendor, user, admin, third parties)
  • Security level supported
  • Special functions (such as in-app payment support, stats, Push Notifications and more)
  • Integrations like social media, marketing, and analytics tools
  • Hardware integrations
  • Type of support needed, usually managed through a Support Level Agreement
  • The number of use cases and types of user stories (for example, a food ordering app system like Grab or Deliveroo supports 3 user stories, i.e: an app for customers to order from, an app for merchants/restaurants to receive orders, and another app for the delivery personnel to track their deliveries and manage them. Depending on the complexities and the number of stakeholders involved, the cost can vary to support multiple operational points digitally)

Conclusion

App development costs and prices in Singapore can vary from S$10,000 for basic features all the way to S$70,000 for more complex features for PWAs. For hybrid apps, expect to pay up to double the amount, and for Native apps, up to 4 times the amount that you would for PWAs.
When approaching a software developer to create an app, it is important to understand the basic types and options available to you, and carefully consider the main features needed from the onset. Scalability is another factor to consider and how future versions and feature enhancements can stand on structural foundations. However, in some cases, it is perfectly fine to opt to reinvent or upgrade to a new app as the business develops and the user base increases.


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