Tag Archives: Kids Educational Apps

Points to be Kept in Mind for Developing Apps for Children

Mobile app development companies who are into app creation for children must approach things in a different way. In order to make a kid’s app successful, the developer must look at it from a child’s perspective and cater features according to their needs. Apps for children needs to be stimulating, engaging, entertaining, creative, exploratory and at the same time it should also be informative.

Anyhow, there are certain tips and basic rules which app developers need to focus on while making an app which might make the process devoid of confusion.

Before creating an app, certain key points are to be kept in mind, they are:

1) Determination of Goal

To start up any app, the primary importance is to determine the goal which must be set by keeping in mind the specific requirements for children. There are different categories of app for children such as games app, story book apps, maths and phonics apps, educational apps, quiz apps, creative apps etc. Every company should remember that their idea must be original and unique since competition is high. Most of the renowned kids brands who are new to the app world are now focusing more on making kids apps. Companies such as Nickelodeon, Disney, Penguin, Mattel and Moshi Monsters etc. have already set foot on to the mobile app industry.

The more original your idea is, the more your app will stand out in the mobile market. It’s important to keep apps relatively simple and intuitive. Avoid unnecessary manual settings to the app that make children confused.

Be it a fun, positive engaging or educational app, ultimately parents are the ones who choose the right app for their children, so it is important that developers appeal them as well.

2) Age group must be specified

First of all, make a clear idea that for whom are you creating the app. Is it for small children, teens or for all age groups? The age group you’re aiming at can determine many things related to an app. Ineractivity, look and feel, marketing strategy, price, privacy & information, store category etc. are some of them.

To seek help in this issue you have IARC. IARC (International Age Rating Coalition) is a system of age marking which promotes relevant content ratings and this can help on improving app engagement by targeting the right audience for your content.

To upload an app to Google Play Store developers need to fill in a questionnaire for the automated-age-based rating system, which will then be reviewed by IARC members.

3) UX(User experience) and UI (User Interface) in app for children

UX and UI are a critical part of a kids app. Designers need to concentrate on specifications that can emulate the kind of experience a child gets while playing with real toys. Such apps should be able to capture the attention of children by making it easy to interact with the app. UI or UX is said to be the vital element of any mobile app because design attracts users and keeps it more user-friendly.

Points to be remembered regarding UI and UX

•  Kids app should be generally colourful, bright, engaging and sort of funny
•  It should incorporate cool 3D effects, textures, sound, fun buttons etc
•  Should have a clear menu, bigger text that is easily understandable.
•  Loud sound effects and large icons help kids to connect with the app better.
•  Actions like swipe, tap, drag and drop can be included
•  Feedback like vibration, animation or any sound effect to let the kids know that they have performed an action

4) Choose the Right Platform

Some features for a mobile app might be exclusive for iOS, however, others prefer Android platform because its more appealing to children. But finding the best platform seems to be a difficult task for developers.

The availability of different screen sizes, external hardware devices, easy monitoring etc. makes Android more beneficial when compared to iOS.

iOS prevents kids from installing, deleting and making in-app s whereas Android impose limits to mobile phone usage, block callers and testers and get reports how they use the app. UI/UX of Android and iOS app are different because there are many features that are custom build in iOS which might not be seen in Android.

Being an open source, any feature can be implemented to during Android app development but for iOS, there are several restrictions due to which developers have to think before choosing this platform.

5) Participatory Design

Participatory design or co-design is a simple method to analyze how children see the world. This can involve gathering children of different age groups, usually ranging from 6 to 12, providing them craft supplies and allow them to come up with their own creative designs for your app. This can help designers and developers to get ideas and suggestions from children and also understand the feeling a child has to a particular topic.

6) Make it Colourful

Its a known fact that kids love the colour and they expect the apps they use also to be colorful. Try to make the app bright and engaging. Experiment new things and make sure that things are made clear rather than just stuffing it up. Design should contain interactive elements such as buttons which could have a simple white outline/drop shadow, a background that should be sparkling and wiggle.

7) Content should be kept fresh

When kids get to know that new contents are being added on a regular basis, the retention will be higher, as they get more excited to return back to the app and explore new features. To increase usage, content widgets are a great idea. KIDOZ SDK, is a kid content discovery platform, where apps can be integrated in just minutes.

8) Provide a real-world experience

Children will always be intrigued by everything around them. Games that help kids to explore are quite popular among kids. Such games can also help them to learn about real life facts and experiences.

9) Include feedback options

A great user experience is attained only when the actual aim of making a particular app is accomplished. Adding options like music, rewards, timers, count-downs etc. can entertain children and push them to continue playing. A feedback mechanism is necessary because kids tend to make mistakes and learn from that.

10) Inappropriate Advertisement/ In-app s

Parents are always concerned when their kids start using mobile phones. Their main worry is about how safe it is for kids to use this technology. Children will be tempted to stuffs from app and they can be exposed to inappropriate contents. If a company wish to flourish in kid’s app creation. It would be better for them to keep away from creating this kind of things.

While creating an app, developers should keep this in mind and promote more user-friendly apps. Fortunately, almost all mobile app development companies includes built-in parental control tools that help parents to know what ads or in-app s should be provided while your child is using the phone.

•  In iOS systems there are tools that can limit the mobile functioning. Passwords can be set for     various features like switching off certain apps, installation and removal of apps
•  Android also offers parent control on apps use or a user account with chosen limits that can be created for the child
•  In Windows operating systems, there is a special feature called kid corner, activating which, a child  will get access only to chosen contents.

11)Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

If you are making an app for children under the age of 13, then there is a law that no personal information should be collected. COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, signed in 1998 ensures that those who create apps for kids cannot collect any personal data from children.

12) Usability Testing

Usability testing is the key part in the development cycle of an app. There are certain points which need to be focused on before commencing this test. They are,

•  Test mood changes of a child while using the app, whether they are having fun, are they confused or     bored while using the app
•  Go through button positioning and make sure its placed at the right place
•  Check how a child reacts when level changes or transitions occur within an app/game
•  Test different colors, layouts, widgets, buttons etc. and choose the optimal ones that can more easily relate to kids

Today’s children live in a technology driven world, where all interactions and communications happen through smart phones. A kid’s app require much more care and consideration than an app aimed at general audience. Even though the business prospects are bright there is a lot of underlying risk to it. So before getting started go through the instructions and opinions listed above and be aware of do and don’t in creating apps for children.

If you have any comment on the above, please share with us in the comment section below.

9 Questions to Ask Before Installing Kids Educational Apps

Apps selection is a task that requires patience and the right knowledge. One shouldn’t jump head first into installation of a kids educational apps that has been found interesting. At first, you should ask several questions to yourself about the particular app at hand.

Here are 9 questions to aid you in the selection process of a kids educational app.

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1. Does the app have the right content that you want students to learn?

Check whether your new app have the right information that you want your kids to learn. If you want an app that should focus on reading comprehension, installing an app that teaches grammar lessons would be inappropriate.

2. Which skills do you want your students to practice or refine by using the app?

Like the appropriate content, you may also have specific skills that you want the kids to develop. Each of the kids educational app will be designed to focus on developing single or multiple skills in the users. Select one that suits your need carefully.

3. Will the app try to sell to your students?

Many publishers try to advertise and offer in-app s through the educational app. This is a tendency that will hurt your child’s learning progress and focus. You should double check and confirm that the app does not come from vendors indulging in such practices.

4. Will the app cater to my students’ needs?

Not every student is alike. Each has their own learning pace and learning requirements. Choose an app which has an approach that suits the learning techniques of individual students, even if it means using multiple number of apps for teaching the same concepts.

5. Are there finer apps that could achieve the same purpose?

It is commonly known that an app is not developed by a single publisher alone. For example, there are hundreds of apps that teaches basic mathematical functions. When there are two apps available for fulfilling the same purpose, always go for the best.

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6. Is there any other app that is available at a cheaper price?

Some people believe that apps that cost higher are of superior quality and can meet your expectations better. Well, there is not much truth in this. Yet, you should be careful not to compromise by choosing an app that is of a deteriorated quality.

7. Do you already have a similar app with you?

Apps come in a variety of titles and themes. Sometimes even the descriptions may not give you a fair and accurate idea about the function that it performs. Therefore, it is easy to get confused and misled. Be sure to check the reviews on the app store thoroughly, especially when you are going for a paid app.

8. Does the app inculcate positive values in students?

Many a times, misguidance can come in the form of apps too. You should instantly dismiss apps that are going against your school’s and even your culture’s values. Apps should promote good qualities in students and not bad behaviours. An app that glorifies an act of theft or an evil character is definitely not the right one for young children.

9. Can you talk with the app creators?

You should check if you are able to contact the app’s creators directly. You might need this when your app gets stuck, crashes, or when you lose some data stored in it.

There are a lot of marketing and buzz surrounding almost every app found out there, which makes decision taking very difficult. Apps that meet the needs of teachers and students are very rare. Using this checklist you can select apps that would actually improve learning outcomes and that are not merely all flash.

10 Great Review Sites for Kids Educational Apps

Mobile devices are powerful teaching and learning tools. As hundreds of newly designed kids educational apps flood the app repositories day by day, choosing an educational app is not as easy as it may seem.

The services listed below will help you in steering through the confounded world of kids educational apps.

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1. Teachers With Apps

The vast number of educational apps released into the app stores everyday can make it difficult for teachers, therapists, and parents to find the right app to fulfill their educational goals. Teacher With Apps was found to assist you in responsibly selecting quality mobile educational apps. The team achieves this vision by participating students and teachers in the reviewing process.

2. Digital Story Time

Digital Story Time provides individual ratings for a wide range of features in educational digital reading materials such as educational value, animation, audio quality, interactivity, re-readability, bedtime etc. The site already has more than 600 reviews collected in a sortable database.

3. iMums

iMums is an initiative of four mothers, who have dedicated themselves into educating parents about the best digital contents for their children. iMums gives you awareness of the best digital stories, kids educational apps, games, and other technology products; including latest news and articles about educational apps.

4. Geekswithjuniors

Geekswithjuniors is a site for parents living in the modern age of technology. They review only the best kids educational apps, games, and workflow recipes and gives you all essential information that you would need to know about an app. All apps are tried and tested before posting reviews on them. The team behind the curtain has also developed an app for toddlers, namely akzara, which is basically an alphabet and sound learning app.

5. Children’s Technology Review (CTR)

Started as early as 1993, Children’s Technology Review provides objective reviews and ratings of commercial children’s digital media products. They cover children’s apps, games, toys, trends etc. available for newborns up to 15 years of age in the children’s interactive media. CTR can be availed as a subscription that is delivered monthly or weekly. The website serves as a great resource to parents, teachers, researchers, publishers and librarians for finding interactive media products.

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6. Graphite

Graphite is a Common Sense Education service that eases the process of making great technology choices. With Graphite, discovery of the best apps, games, and websites for your classroom use is just one step away. The popular tools that they have reviewed includes Edmodo, ClassDojo, Socrative, and Educreations.

7. Educational App Store (EAS)

Educational App Store has a different criteria of rating apps, unlike most of the services mentioned above. The EAS team focuses on curriculum alignment when they assess educational apps. EAS certified teachers sort out the best educational apps through an organised approach that stresses on educational value and learning outcomes.

8. KinderTown

KinderTown focuses on finding out the best kids educational apps for children who are 3 to 8 years old. Every app is tested by teachers, parents, and children. The key factors that are considered for rating an app includes the fun factor, navigational ease, simple design features, cost etc.

9. Balefire

Balefire gives parents and educators information about apps that focuses on skill development in children. They promote instructional apps of good quality and believes that these apps will build skills that children need as they grow up.

10. Participate Learning

Participate Learning has a collection of expert approved free kids educational apps, videos, and other resources. You will also be able to get info about the favorite educational resources of a lot of teachers who use the service.

9 Best Back-to-School Kids Educational Apps

School re-openings are a sense of relief phase for every parent. After the long days of relentless turmoil, yelling, and edification classes with your kids, you could finally recline into your favorite happinesses and necessities in life or just relax and enjoy your peaceful moments.

But, there is another set of concern that might fret some of you and will destroy your state of inner peace on the go – the concern of getting your kids back on track when the holidays are over. Fortunately, a fairly designed app can put them back into mainstream learning more easily.

Do try out from our list of the 9 best back to school kids educational apps.

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5 Tips to Find the Best Kids Educational Apps

5 Top Reading Apps for Kids

1. Endless Worldplay

Endless Worldplay is a very popular brand among kids, who developed a series of kids educational apps for learning language before Endless Worldplay. This app from the series deals with teaching kids spelling patterns and word building through rhyming puzzles and animated sequences. In this app a friendly Alphabot and delightful monsters help your kids learn word meanings along with its contexts, and also teach them how to count.

2. The Everything Machine

Make Everything Machine your child’s first introduction to the digital world and they will surprise you with excellent working micro-electronics models in no time. The app permits your kid to control and use a lot of your phone’s features including camera, torch, microphone, and gyroscope using a simple programming language. They can build anything from a simple electronic switch to a complex thief catcher. If you want your imagination to fly high, you can pay a visit to the maker’s YouTube channel and become inspired. They also provide a free PDF guide that explains the basic concepts along with a number of good examples.

3. Tynker

Tynker is a coding learning platform suitable for your kids to start learning programming. Tinker helps your kids to create apps, games, Minecraft mods, control external hardwares and much more. There are coding lessons that children can learn online at their own pace. They need to place blocks of codes in the right places and then run the results to understand what they perform.

4. Toca Lab

Toca Lab introduces science as magic. Children can meet and learn about all the 118 elements of the periodic table in a fun-filled way. There are interesting tools to learn cause and effect relationships and chemical experiments such as heat, wheel, freeze, waves, and blend. There is also the added advantage of safety in using this app.

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5. Hopster

Hopster exploits the educational potential of popular kid’s shows, songs, and games. There are 800 plus TV show episodes (Sesame Street, Bob the builder, Teletubbies, etc.), and 100 plus rhymes and songs that will entertain your kids even while they are offline. All contents are carefully chosen by curriculum experts.

6. Safari Tales

With Safari Tales your children can explore the African wildlife. There are five cute baby animals to play with – a leopard, a lion, an elephant, a rhino, and a crocodile. Animal orchestra, personalized adventure storybook, Berry blaster, Word wheel, etc. are activities included in this wonderful kids educational app.

7. DragonBox Algebra

DragonBox Algebra is a fun and exciting way to learn everything in algebra including solving linear equations. There are two versions; one suitable for children above the age of five and the other for those who are above twelve. DragonBox Algebra 5+ gives your child basic lessons of junior level algebra, while DragonBox Algebra 12+ includes more levels and complicated equations.
Puzzles and games

8. Cursive Writing Wizard

Cursive Writing Wizard would become your child’s best mate to work on handwriting. It covers tracing practice, Montessori based crosswords, and other related activities that would suit to your child’s early literacy education needs in the appropriate way. The app also has a customising option that will allow you to update additional words into the database. Additionally, you will be able to evaluate your child’s writing and understand if there needs to be any corrections or improvements by replaying the tracing.

9. Teach Your Monster To Read

Kids would love to use Teach Your Monster To Read app because learning to read is fun here. For children, this is an app where monsters are taught to read and not themselves. The app starts right from letter sounds and progress towards full sentences.

14 Excellent Educational Apps on iPad to Improve Students’ Creativity

Educational apps can be used to develop a variety of skills in the students. There are educational apps that help in boosting student creativity. Here are the top 14 apps in this category.

1. Educreations

Educreations is an interactive whiteboard, where the iPad will record what you scribble on it. This app allows to create short video tutorials. It includes features like adding animation and text, video editing, online storage etc.

2. Popplet

Popplet is a simple app to show your ideas visually. It is a very quick tool, which will help you in generating ideas, sorting them visually, and finding relationships between them to create new ideas. This app is widely used by professionals as well.

3. Ideament

This app helps you to instantly draw diagrams such as a flow chart and change them in text outlines and vice versa. Ideament helps you to illustrate concepts, plan presentations, share ideas etc. with ease.

4. Draw Free for iPad

Draw free app helps you to paint stunning pictures without being an artist. It’s simple interface is equally useful for professional as well as amateur painters. This app allows you to use any tool – pencil, brush, crayon, or bucket – to complete your artwork.

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5. Animation Creator HD

With Animation Creator you can be a director super easy. This app helps you to bring your ideas into life like animations with powerful drawing tools, brilliant color options, and simple frame management.

6. I Tell A Story

I Tell A Storyeducational app can be used for story narration and recording. You can edit and save the narrated stories in the files. There are also a collection of funny sounds like the bark of a dog and cricket sounds to make the story more interesting.

7. Storybuddy

Storybuddy is an app that can create story books, page by page, complete with paintings, photos, and texts. You can then share it with family and friends. The app comes with the option for multi-touch.

8. Explain Everything

Explain Everythingapp is an interactive whiteboard like Educreations, but more advanced and slightly different in its use and functions. It is extremely helpful in creating videos and classroom projects. It comes with real time collaboration and great drawing features.

9. ShowMe

ShowMe is a tool to add voice-records to whiteboard tutorials. It is very simple to use and comes with features such as pause and erase.

10. Strip Designer

Strip Designer, take photos and make it into your own personalized comic strip with the help of this app. There are a lot of comic page templates and balloon shapes to choose from. Add effects with a collection of comic symbols like “Boommm” “Powww” etc.

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11. Puppet Pals HD

Puppet Pals HD allows you to create animated shows in real time. You can create your actor from a photo or choose from the available characters in your app. You can also set the photo as a backdrop for your story. Zoom, rotate, flip, audio record etc. are some of the main features of this app.

12. Skitch

Skitch comes to your aid when you suddenly see something inspiring that sparks you with a new idea. You can take a photo, mark it up using stamps, shapes, texts etc. and instantly share it via social networks, email, or SMS.

13. PicCollage

PicCollage is an easy to use collage maker that lets you create grid collages within seconds. You can add stickers, backgrounds, texts, borders, cutouts and GIF images.

14. Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a presentation and slideshow app. The final presentation can be exported to PowerPoint & Keynote.

5 Tips to Find the Best Kids Educational Apps

We know that it is practically hard to achieve the right mix between entertainment and kids educational apps. It is needless to say that companies developing educational apps for kids have their own characteristic preferences and dislikes for the apps that they develop. So, it is necessary for a parent to understand what marks the best kids educational apps out from the rest and which ones would deliver the purpose well.

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Remember, there’s no greater harm you could do than putting your kids in front of a terrible app.

1. Plenty of Research

Almost all educational apps for kids available as a download comes with that bewitching tag “educational” glued into them. As a parent searching for the right kid’s app, you could instantly get bewildered when you land on an app store’s page. Well, you are not alone and there is no need to get panicked. Who would not get perplexed when you find hundreds of titles making even more claims to you?

Inorder to get out of this dilemma, parents could do a lot of research before taking their final decision. Go through a lot of app store reviews and check the rating of an app. There are even useful sites that rate popular apps or you could visit and get tips from field experts on how you could pick one that is right for your child.

2. Talk with your Child’s Teacher

Apart from online resources, there is another great resource from where you could learn what makes your kids interested and what makes them bored – your kid’s teacher. They are in a better position to know if an app you are confused about is truly educational or not. You can also get a list of recommended apps that will fit well with the curriculum and lessons that your kids learn at school.

3.Download and Test

The best thing you could do to check the worth of an app is by downloading and using it yourself; or better, give it to your kids and watch how they play with it. Even though you are not a 5 year old yourself and wouldn’t be able to accurately understand what appeals to a toddler, you can talk with them and understand if they are interested or not. There are several other benefits too in following this method.

You will be able to know if the app is trying to sell anything to your kid or whether the app gives ample security. But, this method is limited when it comes to testing apps that are d as everyone wouldn’t be willing to an app until they are convinced.

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4. Make Faults

Well, you are testing an app and that obviously means testing their behaviour while you are wrong too. It is important to check if the app makes your kid feel regretful when they make a mistake. This is dangerous and will even lead to an aversion for the subject as a whole.

The app shouldn’t make your kids feel freaked out when they fail to choose the right answers. Instead, it should incorporate mature ways of dealing with such situations by motivating them to try again. Including hints and praising them for partially correct answers are excellent ways of encouraging children.

5. Did Your Child have Fun?

You should honestly answer this question. Even though you just want to get your kids to learn things, they won’t be going hand in hand with the same idea as yours. A well designed app will only be effective when they have the right amount of fun. Otherwise, it will be just another crappy app.

How much does it Cost to Build an Educational App for Kids?

Educational apps are gaining prominence day by day, and a lot of schools are now seriously into developing kids educational apps.

Before moving directly into the cost estimate of an average educational app, it is important to get acquainted with the factors that affect cost of a project.

E-learning App Cost

Is Every App Educational as it is Claimed?

Not really. Educational apps are not meant to be just a showy display or a mere kid’s mobile game with a lot of entertainment extravaganza. Though the fun element is something crucial to the success of an kids educational apps the people behind its development should know where exactly they should draw the line. The objective of the app should not be obscured by the overflow of non educational stuffs that go into the app.
An ideal educational app for kids will be a balanced amalgam of fun with education, a treat to the kids hiding the learning burden.

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How to be Successful at Educational App Development?

Educational app should contribute to all areas of a child’s development including creative, analytical, physical, social, and emotional development. All the phases in the app’s development should be continued taking advice from specialists such as a child psychologist, a child interaction specialist, a creative designer, a teacher and so on, when necessary. Each of the app elements should be designed taking into consideration the psychology of how kids learn.

Important Features of a Good Educational App

All beneficial educational app for kids will have several indispensable characters. Some are:

  • Short and simple apps.
  • No unnecessary distractions such as ads, pop-ups, links, social media, etc.
  • Adults control the levels in the app/ Locked menus and settings.
  • Speech included in aid of kids who are not yet fluent readers.
  • Music with a mute button.
  • Minimum number of buttons to reduce unintended actions.
  • Advancement should be flowing and mostly linear. It shouldn’t require kids to jump to and fro between pages. If that’s the case, they may lose focus easier.
  • Appropriate feedback should be given. Proper encouragement for incorrect answers is as important as positive feedbacks for achievements.

 

Importance of UX in a Kid’s App

When making an kids educational app, it is not enough that you focus on the graphics, sounds, and story. The picture is a whole lot bigger.

Designing a kid-friendly user interface that will not distract the kid’s attention, but keep them interested in the app is of prime importance. As it is mentioned earlier, the number of buttons made available on the screen should be limited and distraction elements such as social plugin, banners etc. should be avoided. This is because generally, kid’s are of the habit of touching everywhere on the screen. Accessibility of the buttons that are not strictly part of the app can be restricted to adults alone, by using specific unlock gestures or the double-tap-unlock method.

The Cost Factor

The cost of developing any kind of mobile app is just the same as developing for the web. There is nothing easy or cost saving about building a mobile app as some may believe.

The most basic apps with standard UI components and custom graphics such as a calculator or a small utility app can cost you between $ 1K to 10K.

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What determines the cost factor greatly is the amount of time and effort that is invested in building the app.
If you want the same app to be attractive and more functional with interactive design, innovative methods of task completion, cloud services and customization features, the cost could shoot up to $2K to $25K. This means, the more complex the app is, the more you will be required to invest.

Other than complexity and app design, three important aspects that may affect the overall cost of production are the following:

  • Platform: Cost can vary depending on the platform you choose to use i.e., whether you want single platform (iOS, Android, Windows) or cross-platform app development.
  • The app development company or individual developer (Freelancer) whom you choose to work with: Based on this aspect, the costs may vary widely. So it is important to choose the right application development company for your development needs. The problem with hiring freelance service is that you should have a decent knowledge about the technology used and the workflow. Otherwise, you will be risking the success of your project.
  • Geography of your app development partner: The location of the developing company/developer has a dramatic effect on the cost of your project. Outsourcing is a common strategy taken in countries of the first world to drop app development expenditure. In hourly rates, development cost in a country like India or Pakistan can be $10-20/hour, whereas the US development companies charge between 120 to 160 dollars per hour. In the case of freelancing, cost in India and Pakistan usually range between $5 to $15 per hour and US at $150 per hour.