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As of 2021, there were a whopping 5.29 billion unique mobile users globally, with estimates predicting that this number will grow to 7.26 billion in 2022. With so many mobile users out there, there’s no doubt that mobile app development will gain even more traction in the years to come, creating tremendous opportunities for businesses.

While not so long ago, most companies opted for native app development (e.i. building a mobile app that can run on a single platform, like Android or iOS), today, things have changed. Cross-platform frameworks like Flutter are becoming a more popular choice. Why Flutter, and how much should you expect to invest in Flutter development? We asked experts from a Flutter app development services company Otakoyi to throw some light on these questions.

Why Flutter?

Greater productivity

Due to its cross-platform nature, Flutter allows using the same code base for an iOS and Android application, saving you both time and cost.

High performance

Flutter apps are faster and deliver higher performance compared to apps built using other cross-platform technologies.

Single UI design

With Flutter, you can create a single UI design for Android and iOS apps, which also translates into time- and cost-efficiency.

Fast development

Flutter is famous for its hot reload that enables instantly viewing any modifications made to the code. The changed code is reloaded while the application is running, without the need for a restart.

What affects Flutter app development cost?

Although creating an application with Flutter is more affordable than native app development, don’t expect it to be dirt cheap. Similar to any software development project, prices can dramatically vary depending on a range of factors.

App complexity and features

As a rule of thumb, the more features your app is expected to have, the more effort and cost it will require. For instance, you aren’t supposed to invest much in a simple feature like login. On the flip side, incorporating a video chat or a map will likely increase the cost.

In general, Flutter apps can be categorized into the following four groups, app development related to each next group being more complex and consequently more costly:

1. A minimum viable product (MVP). MVP is a version of an app that has just enough features to be operated by early users. It’s aimed at collecting feedback and using it in future app development.

2. A simple Flutter app. Most typically, a simple Flutter app will include user registration, listings, and search. It usually takes up to three months to build a simple app with Flutter.

3. A medium-complexity Flutter app. Beyond the features mentioned in the previous section, a medium-complexity app may also include filters, reviews, calendars, chats, and third-party integrations. Building this kind of app typically takes three to six months.

4. A complex Flutter application. In addition to all the functionalities mentioned above, a complex app will contain more advanced features, such as video calls or payment gateways. Consequently, creating a complex app usually takes over six months.

Security

If sensitive data protection is crucial in your industry and it’s vital to incorporate multi-factor authentication in your app, expect to pay more. On the other hand, building an app that doesn’t require a user login will cost way less.

Your Flutter development team

It goes without saying that your Flutter app development cost will heavily depend upon the employment model you choose. Let’s take a look at the most popular options.

Freelance developers

This is a popular option with startups or companies willing to cut down on expenses — hiring a freelancer is the best choice if you want to go the cheapest route. However, partnering with freelancers has some obvious downsides. First, you can never be sure of a freelancer’s experience and expertise. Next, you can forget about maintenance and support — freelancers aren’t usually focused on long-term partnerships and quickly switch to a new project.

Hiring an in-house team

This option gives you absolute control over recruitment and the development process. Still, hiring an in-house team also means covering overhead expenses, increasing the total development cost.

Outsourcing your Flutter app development

Last but not least, you can outsource building a Flutter app. Although generally cheaper than in the US, the Flutter development cost varies significantly among outsourcing destinations.

App design

To provide your end-users with a rewarding user experience (UX), your app design and user interface (UI) are equally important as the functionalities. To make sure your Flutter application looks and feels right as you imagine and can fulfill the consumer’s need for smooth and intuitive app navigation, you’ll need a Flutter UI/UX designer. The designer is responsible for creating your app logo, typography, animations, and layout. Keep in mind that animations and interactivity will increase your app development cost. Given that, building a game will cost you more than, for instance, a messenger.

Maintenance and support

The cost to build a Flutter application (like any other software) also involves the costs of updates and maintenance. And you’ll definitely need updates to make sure any bugs are fixed on time, and your app runs smoothly. When discussing the price with Flutter developers, ask them to include the cost of future maintenance and bug-fixing.

Average Flutter development cost

As you can see, application development cost depends on a number of factors, making it impossible to determine the price for a Flutter project without getting familiar with all the requirements. However, here are some approximate estimates to help you better understand the costs:

  • A simple application, for example, a cooking app with recipes and a shopping list generator, will cost you around $26,000-35,000.
  • Be ready to pay somewhere between $35,000 and 50,000 for a more complex app, such as a messenger with voice calls.
  • Finally, a Flutter app jam-packed with complex features, like any social media app, will set you back from $42,000 to $56,000.