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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between hybrid and native apps?
Native apps are developed by coding directly on top of the officially sanctioned SDKs provided by Apple and Google for their phones. Hybrid apps leverage web-based coding languages and create a layer in between your code and the phone’s hardware. While writing hybrid code can sometimes save you money and time up front, a dependency on an intermediary layer is not a wise solution for long-lived apps, UI performance/polish, or cutting-edge implementations. Think of it like buying a mobile home versus custom build. Each type serves a specific need. At LunarLincoln, we believe in building it strong from the start with the level of polish your user’s deserve. Learn more about our thoughts on native development here and here.
How much does an app cost?
Much like buying a car or a house, the price of a mobile app is affected by the quality of the structure and the level of detail/size. To give you a ballpark, our typical projects range from $35k-75k. While you may be quoted lower prices when shopping around for a mobile team, be sure to ask what kind of code will be used (hybrid, native), what the team is like (off-shore, near-shore, freelance) as well as what percentage of their projects go over budget. At LunarLincoln, we prefer to estimate high and over deliver rather than bury clients in late-stage change-requests. Want a second opinion? We recommend this great article.
Will you sign this NDA I found online? Also known as: What if you steal my idea?
While an original idea is the foundation for a strong business, the majority of it’s success lies in the execution. We don’t have the time or desire to go around “stealing” every idea we hear (and honestly we don’t want to – we have our own great ideas waiting at home). That said, we’re always happy to sign our mutual NDA. It’s been vetted by our lawyer (not from a random website) and has friendly terms for both your concept and our role as an agency. Download it here.
How can I make money from my app?
There are four standard approaches to monetizing your app. Determining which to use depends on your app’s audience and feature set. The most straightforward monetization option is a paid app. Collect your payment up front, upon download (as long as your user thinks your app is worth the $1-$30 investment). A second option is to collect payments for specific app features after a user has had time to use the app through in-app-purchases. Third you can earn money through in-app advertising. This is a passive way of gaining income but generally requires an extremely large and active user base in order to be successful. Finally, if your app provides some sort of local service, you could potentially “white-label” it to other companies – reselling the code itself. Each of these options has positives and negatives depending on the unique features of your app and audience. We’re happy to discuss these complexities more with you in person.
How long does it take to build an app?
Similar to the cost question, this really depends on how complicated your app is and how many pieces you need help with (iOS, Android, Backend, Design, Marketing). In general, it takes between 6 and 16 weeks to build an app.
Where is your team located?
Our team is located in Nashville, TN. We do not offshore our development, and only occasionally bring in vetted, local partners to help us with a particular heavy lift. We believe that the best work gets done in person and that no one wants to spend their life on a conference call. Drop by our office anytime to see us in action.
How many team members do I need for a project?
We suggest one developer per platform (iOS & Android) and one backend developer. If time is of the essence you could perhaps double these number, but no more than that. Frequently at LunarLincoln, we use one developer for the whole shebang! It allows for a deep and comprehensive understanding of the entire codebase and still allows for a reasonable timeline. We promise you don’t need 20 people on a mobile project – they’ll just be in each other’s way. Don’t believe us? Boss thinks otherwise? Check out the mythical man month.
Would you take equity instead of payment?
Not at this time.
What sort of maintenance does an app need?
An app is a living thing. When user’s phones get new updates, your app should as well. We recommend yearly “tune-ups” to check in on the base code as well as quarterly check ins on analytics and crash reports.