Folks aim to publish their apps in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store because they have billions of users. Downloading an app from the app store is super convenient, as users can easily find and download any app they want in just a few seconds. 

Unfortunately, publishing to the app stores can be a little confusing because iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) have different procedures, affecting overall costs. Moreover, some apps are charged more than others. These differences can lead to confusion and frustration. 

If you’re among the confused and frustrated, put your mind at ease because you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll put to rest the question of “How much does it cost to put an app on the app store?”

How Much Does It Cost to Put an App on The Apple App Store?

It is considerably more expensive to publish an app on the Apple App Store than on the Google Play Store. Each year, Apple requires you to pay an annual $99 fee to keep your app published. 

Apple also has a pricing tier for publishing enterprise-level apps. Large businesses with over 100 employees can opt to publish their apps under the Apple Developer Enterprise Program

While doing this costs $299/year, it comes with a few big-business-specific advantages: 

  • Internal App Distribution and Flexible Deployment: Apple lets you send your enterprise-level native mobile apps directly to your employee’s devices, letting them bypass downloading your app through the Apple App Store. 
  • Enterprise-Grade Security: Apple provides top security measures for its enterprise users, such as high-level encryption and secure data transfer.  
  • Support: Enterprise Level Developers will get access to specialized developer tools, priority support, and other resources that aren’t available to normal app-store publishers. 
  • Custom Deployment: Subscribers to the Enterprise Developer Program get full control over who can download their apps. 

iOS Fees for In-App Purchases, Commissions, and Subscriptions 

Apple takes a 30% commission from your app’s revenue from in-app purchases during the first year, then only 15% yearly.

An in-app purchase happens when your users buy a digital good or service offered in your app.

Digital goods your users purchase within your app include tokens for an online game, a copy of a webbook, or an ongoing subscription to your weekly periodical.

Notably, the buying of physical goods doesn’t count as in-app purchases. So, if you have an e-commerce app, you won’t need to pay iOS any commission on the physical items you sell. These include clothing, electronics, supplements, or any physical item that is delivered.   

How Much Does It Cost to Put an App on The Google Play Store?

You’ll be happy to hear that publishing to Android is less expensive than iOS, clocking in with a one-time $25 fee. This is the only publishing fee you’ll have to pay Android to get your app into the Google Play Store. 

Android Fees for In-App Purchases, Commissions, and Subscriptions  

Android’s commission rates are structured like a progressive tax, as it takes 15% from every $1 under $1 million in revenue your app earns. Once you start making more than $1 million in revenue per year, Android takes 30% of each dollar you earn over $1 million. 

Like iOS, Android charges a commission on in-app purchases, commissions, and subscriptions, but you can keep all the revenue you earn from selling physical goods.

The Determining Factors that Influence App Publishing Costs

The platform you select (iOS or Android) and whether or not you’ll offer in-app purchases are just a few of your total app-store publishing costs. However, there are a few other factors that can add a few extra digits to your bill:

  • Development Costs: If you hire a developer to make your app, they’ll (most likely) charge a fee to publish to the app store. Developers might also choose to privately test your app on third-party platforms, which can cost in the $1,000s.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Your app will require regular updates after you launch. These will add in new features, fix bugs, and comply with the latest operating system updates. If you hire a developer, they’ll either charge you maintenance costs upfront as part of their app development package (i.e., covering app updates for a number of years) or just charge you per fix. 

    Expect these fees to be in the $1,000s per update. 
  • Marketing and Promotion: To ensure users find your app on the app stores, you’ll want to execute an effective marketing strategy. This includes social media advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization, in-app promotions, and more. 

    Costs for marketing and promotion can run from a few $100s to well into the $1,000s.  
  • Server Costs and Backend Infrastructure: Some apps may require server-side logic and data storage services or cloud services and backend infrastructure management. Depending on your app’s size, these costs can start at under $20/month, but they can run you an eye-watering amount in the $100s/month.

While these factors vary from case to case, expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars in additional fees. If you hire a developer to build your app, budget in several thousand dollars. 

Which Platform is Right for Me? 

Ideally, we recommend that you publish your app to both platforms. 

Having your app on the iOS and Android ecosystems gives you a large audience: Over 600 million people visit the Apple App Store weekly, and over 2 billion monthly users flock to the Google Play Store.

So, you’d be literally missing out on billions of potential viewers if you don’t publish to both app stores. While publishing to each app store is a goal you’ll want to accomplish, you’ll need to have a plan. 

Because the Apple App Store is the most difficult one to publish to, you’ll likely spend more time jumping through iOS hoops — especially if you aren’t an Apple user. Even if you’ve been an Apple user for decades, we suggest publishing your app to the Google Play Store first. 

Statistically, you’re more likely to get your app approved quickly when you publish to Android. Once you get approved on Android, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with having an app in an app store. 

Whilst Apple’s team is (most likely) taking its time approving your app, you’ll already have Google Play Store users downloading, using, and rating your app. It’s possible that you could gather a large contingent of Android users while you’re waiting for iOS approval.   

Android vs. iOS Head to Head: Pros and Cons  

The Apple App Store and the Google Play Store have unique features and selling points. Here’s a quick list of their pros and cons:

Android (Google Play Store) 

Pros

  • Your app can be published to the Google Play Store in just a few hours. 
  • You can copy your app if it already exists on a smaller app store and publish it to the Google Play Store without much fuss. 
  • When you update your app, Android generally recognizes the update in a shorter timeframe than iOS. 

Cons

  • There is a higher incidence of malware, which most likely slips through the cracks due to Android's rapid approval process. 
  • Your app might not perform equally well across all devices. This is because Android’s ecosystem includes such a wider range of devices.
  • Because of the quick approval process, there’s a greater chance that someone may pirate or copy your app and release it without consequence. 

iOS (Apple App Store)

Pros

  • iOS comes with Fort Knox-level security. 
  • Because Apple App Store users have iOS devices made for the Apple ecosystem, your app will appear and function consistently with almost no errors.
  • Apple’s stringent review process results in only the best apps making it to the app store. You can rest assured that your app will run like a well-oiled machine once you pass the review process. And the long wait will have been worth it! 

Cons

  • Exhaustingly lengthy approval process. 
  • Apple’s verbose approval process also applies to updates. Your latest app update may take more time than expected to approve.
  • Apple has the highest cost, at $99/year. You’ll need to pay this yearly instead of Android’s one-time fee of $25. 

iOS vs. Android: The Differences in Publishing

Now that we know how iOS and Android differ in pricing, let's take a closer look at each one’s publishing procedures. As you can imagine, they both require different steps and have differing time horizons from application to publishing. 

How To Publish Your App to the Google Play Store 

  1. Navigate to the Google Play Console page, create a developer account, and pay the $25 fee. 
  1. Ensure your app follows Google’s Material Design requirements. If it doesn’t, make the necessary changes. 
  1. Leverage the testing opportunities available through your Google Play Console account. Just like with Apple, incorporate user feedback. 
  1. Create a Google Play listing by providing your app’s icon, title, meta description, and screenshots. Fill out all necessary information about your app, such as regions of availability, if users will pay to download it, and more.  
  1. Generate an APK (Android Packet Kit) or AAB (Android App Bundle) file using Android Studio
  1. Upload your APK or AAB file to Google Play Console.  
  1. Just like with Apple, you’ll be given feedback if your app is rejected from publishing. 

Android has a reputation for being a more accessible platform for publishing your app than iOS. Sometimes, approval can take just a matter of hours, allowing you to publish your Android app fast. Usually, however, publishing to the Google Play Store takes a few days to a couple of weeks.  

How To Publish Your App to the Apple App Store

  1. Head on over to Apple’s developer page, and create a developer account. This is where you’ll pay that $99/year fee. 
  1. Follow the directions and fill out all the required information. Then, create a Bundle ID. 
  1. Ensure that your app follows Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines. If your app doesn’t, iOS might reject it from being published. 
  1. Test your app using Testflight, which lets thousands of iOS users try out your app for free. You’ll be able to access Testflight on your developer page. 
  1. Address any issues that users identify. 
  1. Now, log into App Store Connect using your Apple ID. Provide Apple with your app’s title, icon, meta description, and a few screenshots. Then, fill out all other information in App Store Connect. 
  1. Use X-code to submit your app to iOS. Apple will review your app and wait for approval. 
  1. If Apple’s team rejects your app, you’ll receive feedback about where to make changes. 
  1. Make your changes, cross your fingers, and re-submit. It may take a while for Apple to accept your app. 

It’s not uncommon for Apple’s team to reject apps. They do this to ensure that every app in the iOS Store functions appropriately and provides a pleasant user experience. 

So, if you get rejected, don’t let it get you down: Sometimes, getting an app approved to the Apple App Store can take several months. 

Build Your Own App and Publish To Both App Stores With Adalo 

Got a one-of-a-kind idea for an app that you want to publish to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but you don’t have any coding or technical experience? 

Worry not, because Adalo is your ticket to the app store

Adalo is a no-code native mobile app-building platform that provides the freedom, flexibility, and power to bring any app idea you have to life. And here’s the cool part: You won’t need any programming or technical knowledge. If you can create a social media account, you can make your own app with Adalo. 

Leveraging an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Adalo lets you craft and cobble together your very own app with the push of a button. It's so easy to use that you can start building your app right after you sign up. 

After you finish making your app, Adalo lets you publish it to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store with just a few mouse clicks. You won’t need to worry about dealing with an APK, AAB, or figuring out X-code. 

 

Sign up for Adalo for free and publish your own app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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