10 Best App Development Companies in UK for 2023
Updated: March 18,2023
In 2022, consumers expect brands to provide mobile access, but this takes more than simply cloning your website. What if you want an app to form the basis of your business?
Today we look at app development companies in the UK, so you can find the best solution for your new idea or existing business.
We found the 10 best app developers in the UK and reviewed each of them based on:
- Key features
- Ease of use
- And other relevant information
Let’s get started!
Top Recommendations and Reviews
1. hedgehog lab
App and web development
Post-development growth support
All industries serviced
UK app development company hedgehog lab brings over 15 years of experience in creating high-end apps, websites, and other online services. It boasts large household brands in its portfolio, including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, E.ON Energy, and B&M Stores.
If you’re a big enterprise or medium size business, hedgehog lab is perfect for delivering you a flawless professional app for Android or iOS. Moreover, it can upgrade your website and streamline your entire digital presence.
It operates via four distinct stages. Firstly, it works with you at the idea stage, pinpointing your requirements, refining your ideas, and building a path to success. Secondly, its award-winning in-house design team will formulate intuitive and user-friendly designs, so you don’t have to bring in any separate app design agencies.
Next is building the app. Part of this process is forming a strong dialogue so you can understand what’s right for you and what technical challenges must be overcome. The firm does a good job of walking you through its technical ideas in an easily digestible way, rather than dictating what’s needed and asking you to have blind faith.
Finally, hedgehog lab is with you every step of the way. It doesn’t just disappear after launch; it works to scale your app over time for lasting success.
As an enterprise app developer company, projects start from around £60,000. The average hourly rate is around £80 to £120. Customers must negotiate directly with staff, and if the project goes ahead, you get 24/7 support.
The team is known for great communication and giving ample time for meaningful client-developer consultation.
In conclusion, if you’re a budding national brand with goals for a strong mobile and web presence, hedgehog lab is a safe bet.
2. Sonin App Development
Support for augmented reality
Competitive average price
App analytics included
Sonin focuses almost exclusively on mobile, Android, and iOS. However, you can hire web app builders too. Its aim is to expand the reach of leading businesses by giving customers the most versatile digital experience available.
To that end, your journey will start by communicating your goal or product strategy. Furthermore, discovery workshops will help tease out the fine details of what must be accomplished and what’s feasible on the developer’s end. Afterwards, Sonin will map out all the steps needed to go through discovery, design, development, and post-development success.
It splits the design phase into three key areas:
- User Experience
- User Interface
What sets Sonin apart from other mobile and web app developers is the inclusion of augmented reality functionality. It can tailor your app to AR devices like Magic Leap, Google Glass 2, and the fledgling Hololens. Furthermore, its apps can include augmented reality features for smartphones. For example, an app for an art gallery might include a 3D tour.
The application development company vigorously tests your app before labeling it as complete. The review process includes real user feedback, your own personal input, and extensive in-house analysis.
Growth is also a big aspect of the company’s post-launch support. It uses analytics to measure success and track if your agreed goals and strategy are being met while keeping you closely involved.
Depending on your industry, opting for a soft launch lets you garner feedback from select clients or customers before officially rolling out.
Sonin is a bespoke service that requires an initial consultation to obtain a quote. Projects usually start at roughly £42,000 with an average hourly rate of around £80 to £120.
Customer support is available 24/7, and Sonin aims to resolve all problems within 24 hours.
Sonin App Development is fast, communicative, and involves you throughout the process to ensure development moves along smoothly.
It’s our pick for best AR implementation.
3. 3 SIDED CUBE
Wearables and TV apps
Accepts in-app payments
3 Sided Cube is based in Bournemouth and has been creating tech solutions for “impact-based organisations” since 2009. Today, it has an 80% focus on mobile app development services and an average starting budget of about £50,000.
Unlike most app builders, Cube’s clients are charities, NGOs, and businesses that aim to leave a positive impact on the world. Its portfolio includes Global Forest Watch, the American Red Cross, and the vegetarian and cruelty-free cosmetics brand Lush.
It starts with a consultation about your digital strategy, where both sides collaborate on the concepts and platforms that best suit your goals. Then, app development and the GUI designer ensure everything runs smoothly and intuitively.
One particularly noteworthy offering is “Alexa Skill Development”, so your users can interact with your brand via voice commands.
Its mobile app developers cover iOS and Android devices, as well as React Native. This is a framework for Android TV, Windows, macOS, and tvOS. You can also get your app made for wearables and SaaS (software as a service) websites. You don’t have to pick one type of app. You can choose the core features and services, and Cube will include them across the whole range of mediums.
3 Sided Cube is known for making fast expert decisions based on your input. You’ll never feel like an outsider to the project. Moreover, once your product launches, there are hosting options and continued support. If you find a bug or something to improve, the 24/7 team is on hand to continuously refine for success.
Other notable features you can include in your hybrid app include alerts and push notifications, maps and tracking, loyalty programs, and ecommerce payments.
Analytics and marketing services
Hybrid mobile and web apps
Upgrades for existing apps
These popular app designers in the UK focus on mobile tech for the various services sectors. Clients include Domino’s Pizza, many online retailers, and even the National Health Service. Project pricing begins at roughly £84,000, but your needs will dictate your real-world price.
Its 5-step process starts with formulating your technology strategy. After a consultation, Apadmi ensures it understands your problems and goals and works with you to decide the best suite of technology moving forward.
This coincides with a comprehensive product strategy. Who are you targeting, how can you measure success, and what goals can be set along the way as part of a robust roadmap?
More than just a mobile app agency, Apadmi employs hundreds of multidisciplinary experts to transform your current digital infrastructure and combine it with new and innovative solutions. It involves open collaboration between both internal stakeholders and your end users. Whether you have a single app that needs upgrading or an entire corporate network of disparate tech, there’s a solution for you.
On the mobile app front, Apadmi has an advantage over many other mobile app development companies as it’s been on the market since 2009. Today, it takes a hybrid approach, combining iOS, Android, and web apps with your business systems. This results in efficient integration across the organisation. You could quickly save time and money by doing away with old hardware or clunky systems.
Its web offerings included everything from your basic corporate pages or backend portals to complex front-facing cloud software.
Its professional service staff provides ongoing support and maintenance to ensure uptime and reliability. You can even take advantage of their marketers and data scientists to crunch the numbers and put them to use for growth.
5. Netsells Group
Augmented and VR apps
Netsells is a web and mobile application development company that takes your ideas and strategies, helps define them, and creates the apps and digital products you need.
It has more than a decade in the industry, with impressive clients including Trainline, Uber, and Warburtons. However, its team regularly leads small and medium businesses to success. It has an average project cost between £50,000 and £2 million.
Depending on your requirements, Netsells can take charge of the entire development lifecycle or just the areas you choose. Moreover, cooperation is the name of the game. You’ll be kept informed at every milestone, with weekly reports too. Your input is integral to the end result.
As a foremost mobile apps agency, you can choose between Android and iOS deployment. If your strategy calls for it, the developers can also use SDK Flutter, which is an efficient codebase for creating hybrid apps across other operating systems.
Its mobile apps are highly secure, adhere to legal regulations, and have guaranteed app store inclusion. Netsells is at the forefront of modern tech, delivering apps with augmented and virtual reality experiences. Furthermore, it integrates mobile with web apps for one vibrant ecosystem.
Its web services can focus on startups or upgrading and scaling existing websites. It uses frameworks such as Laravel, raw PHP, Azure and .net, and Symfony.
Data and analytics are also a helpful part of its consultancy. It helps you identify, collect, and analyse technology-driven data points, so you can refine your strategies and grow your business.
Overall, the group is fast, experienced, and goes above and beyond to help the client.
So, whether you’re looking for emerging technologies; or a hybrid, Android, or iOS development company, Netsells is worth considering.
6. The Distance App Developers
100% focus on mobile apps
iOS and Android
The Distance has honed its smartphone app skills since the first-generation iPhone and is now a leading developer of all apps on iOS and Android. It also serves Windows phones and tablets but not web or desktop apps.
It puts communication first, with a bare minimum of fortnightly progress reports to keep you in the loop.
Communication begins at the idea stage. You have an idea; its experts help you cement it as an actionable concept. The discovery stage maps out your future goals, the possibilities, and you’ll soon get prototypes of what the product will look like.
The Distance utilises experts in design who follow the latest trends in user interface and experience while seamlessly highlighting your business branding.
An app can look good on the surface, but bugs can be costly. That’s why the developers have a thorough testing policy, so nothing slips through the net.
This attention to detail follows through to the launch stage. The Distance “goes the distance”, gathering feedback and aiding your marketing efforts. This is true whether you intend the app to be in beta, released internally, or to a wide public audience.
The company has worked with high-profile brands like Mitsubishi, PGA golf, and Virgin Trains. However, it’s behind many well-received apps on Google Play and Apple App Store too. Pricing is determined by the project and hours required but starts at around £60,000.
This is our pick for the overall best mobile app development company in the UK. However, if you need complex web apps and auxiliary services, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Great inbuilt analytics
Utility is an NYC-based agency with a strong presence in the UK and Europe. Its philosophy is “build, launch, growth,” and it focuses primarily on the development of mobile apps. It has a very impressive portfolio, having made apps for Airbnb, leading sports media brand Bleacher Report, and hospitals in New York. However, it serves an international clientele, so any business from the UK can benefit from its services.
Utility gets it right from the beginning, carrying out an in-depth research phase involving analysing the competition, consulting with stakeholders, and using third-party user groups to further validate ideas and goals.
Before design begins, the app agency creates a detailed strategy with your input. This homes in on how the app or products are to be monetized, user growth potential, and the specific features to include in the app.
One interesting strategy Utility maps out at this stage is “user flows”. This visualises the entire user experience from downloading the app until completing the desired purchase or action. All the roadblocks and distractions along the way are accounted for.
The company uses an expert internal design team that incorporates your branding and aims for an intuitive user interface and overall experience. Before the engineers move forward, you’re presented with design modeling.
Android and iOS apps are at its core, but web app developers are also on hand to create a uniform experience on the web too with mobile-ready sites and services.
We like that bug testing is an ongoing process with a thorough check before launch. Furthermore, an analytics system is coded within your app for measuring success thereafter. Utility will get your applications on the relevant app stores and will stick by your side for maintaining and updating.
It can work with budgets starting at $50,000, roughly £42,000, and handle massive projects in the millions.
Startup market research
Mobile and web development
Guaranteed bug fixes
The Tapptitude product studio offers top-of-the-line apps for startups and large established brands alike. Its services focus strongly on both mobile apps and the web side of things. Although it’s based in Romania, it’s one of the most popular app developers UK and US businesses are hiring this year.
Tapptitude’s ethos is to follow through the idea stage, development, launch, and growth – supporting you at every step “start-to-end”.
To accomplish this, its staff will help you define the product, quickly work on a prototype, and collaborate with you on a strategy to meet your end goals.
Of course, not everyone wants to dive right into a consultation with an application development company. Tapptitude streamlines this process by offering a free “idea valuation” handbook that you can check off to see whether you’re ready for its service before a formal quote.
Once you’re on board, it sets out detailed plans before starting core development. This includes design sprints, user experience research, and a forward-looking growth plan. Then it’s time to start building.
Tapptitude aims to integrate your entire stack, including iOS, Android native, and React Native apps, as well as wearables and web apps. It can even implement AI, machine learning, and data science principles. Testing is extensive before launch, and long-term assistance is available to ensure your app is still functional after iOS and Android updates.
A single native app development cost for UK users is around £60,000, but, as always, there are many variables depending on your requirements.
Supports mobile games
Incorporates Blockchain DApps
Cubix is our best value for money choice. It creates apps with a minimal budget between $25,000 (£21,000) and $50,000 (£42,000), and an hourly rate of $49 (£40). Of course, you’ll need to contact the company for a true estimate, but the average cost is hard to beat.
It’s also far more than a mobile apps agency. Services cover a huge range of digital products, including iOS, Android, and associated wearables. It also has a web development team to unify your online presence.
Its mobile apps can include modern augmented reality technology, and it also develops 2D, 3D, and isometric mobile games.
However, what really sets it apart is its Blockchain DApp and NFT game development. The latter lets you harness crypto for in-game transactions and asset ownership.
First off is the discovery stage, discussing the requirements of the project. Secondly, the designers get to work creating user-friendly and professional interfaces. The engineers use incremental testing processes as they go, followed by a period of quality assurance, so you know the app works as intended for consumers. Deployment only occurs when all parties are completely happy with the results.
It’s recognised as one of the fastest app builders UK and US clients can hire, yet quality is always rated high. Some of its well-known clients include DreamWorks animation, Canon, and Walmart.
Full projects and individual services
You can hire Zudu’s app development services at any stage in the process rather than having the whole project developed from scratch. This includes digital transformation consultancy, app development or updating, and even just post-launch support.
The majority of its work revolves around mobile apps for iOS and Android, along with support for web development. However, it’s also one of the few to provide computer software prototyping and development.
It’s among the most respected mobile app development firms in London, having served clients like the Scottish Social Services Council, the NHS, and the Asahi beer brand.
After an initial consultation, Zudu’s development process begins with a discovery workshop where your business goals and app features are cemented. This helps map out the scope of the project, the time it’ll take, and its cost.
Next, you’ll be presented with a basic visual representation of how users will interact with the app. Only then will designers create visual prototypes incorporating your branding.
Zudu follows the “agile development” principle with regular progress updates and sprint stages, so you have input at every step of the app’s construction. The next stage will not commence without your say-so.
Testing and quality assurance is also an ongoing process, not an end-of-cycle step.
Finally, you can opt for a range of post-launch services like hosting, digital marketing, and analytics to measure the app’s take-up.
In comparison with other mobile app development companies, Zudu has superb pricing, with some projects estimated below £10,000.
How To Choose the Right App Development Company in the UK?
Choosing the best app developers in the UK isn’t just a case of forking out for the priciest or most well-known. You must consider your own needs. Here’s what to look out for:
If the company doesn’t proudly feature its past clients, then it may have something to hide. This doesn’t mean its claim to fame has to be inventing the entire app stack for McDonald’s. However, make sure to look out for case studies of similar businesses to your own.
If the apps it makes are available in app stores and are well-rated by users, it’s a good sign.
Size and Recognition
There are small developers that do a good job and newcomers that haven’t had their success recognised. However, to be on the safe side, aim to hire a company with lots of staff and public praise. One trick is to check their apps on app stores or third-party sites for ratings. This goes for consumers but also those that hired the developer itself.
Price and Rates
There are no set prices for a high-quality app developer company, but hourly rates are common and available online. Good app development is a bespoke process tailored to your needs. Ultimate pricing will reflect that. However, you should be able to receive a no commitment quote after an initial consultation.
It’s also common to be presented with a price range for average projects previously completed, so you have a rough idea of how much it would cost.
Factors include feature complexity, cross-platform support, onboarding, ongoing maintenance costs, and other extras like marketing and analytics.
Typically, you’ll be spending in the mid-tens of thousands at a minimum. App development cost for UK clients isn’t vastly different from what you’ll get in the United States. In fact, many companies operate internationally.
Collaboration and Strategy
No UK app builders worth their salt will take an idea and then disappear until it’s complete. That’s a sure-fire way to get a terrible product.
The process should start with a consultation and ongoing communication. While every company has its own process, often cloaked in jargon, it should involve evaluating your idea and explaining how that might look in reality.
There should be checks and balances with regular room for feedback and refinements.
When most people think of apps, they probably think of mobile. However, apps are now synonymous with computer software, especially web-based or cloud-based services. I.e., websites that perform a function and aren’t just static pages.
Before you hire an app developer in the UK, check what platforms they serve. Android, iOS, and web are the most common. The latter might range from standard web design to advanced web apps and web software as a service. But what about lesser used OSes like Windows phone or emerging technologies like Blockchain DApps or augmented reality?
Moreover, do you need a hybrid or cross-platform solution? Do you want your app on every platform or simply integration with your current IT infrastructure?
After Launch Support
All top app developers provide some kind of ongoing support. If you don’t have the expertise within your company, even the most stable app will go wrong, become outdated for the business, or lag behind OS updates.
You need a developer that’s willing to provide maintenance, updates, and changes at a reasonable rate.
Unless you’re in a hurry, it’s always wise to shop around. Not just to compare prices and services but to also gauge enthusiasm. You’ll have a much better experience with a developer that shows a keen interest in your app idea and business as a whole. Those that seem to be working from the salesman’s angle might not provide the best results.
Must-Ask Questions for the App Development Company Before You Sign the Contract
Before choosing from our list of app development companies in the UK, here are some of the things you can ask to tease out the above points and learn more about the service:
What is your Experience?
Even if an app maker looks good on paper, it’s always worth posing a few questions to gauge staff expertise. That’s especially true if the website isn’t forthcoming.
What apps has it previously made, and are they available on app stores to look at? Are there references from past clients, and can you verify them?
Why do I need these Features?
It’s one thing to be told that you need a cross-platform app with X features. However, it wouldn’t be the first time a company has oversold to make more money. So, if the developer says you need an Android and an iOS app, be sure to ask why!
If the answer doesn’t make sense to you, then you probably don’t need it.
What does it Cost?
An initial quote is always an estimate. Remember to ask about the costs of each individual service, hourly rates, and any extras. You should also ask what the developer needs from you to give an accurate quote and what happens if the timescale is exceeded.
What is your Turnaround Time?
App development services take anywhere from a few months to over a year for a launchable product. In the beginning stages, you should be given an estimated turnaround time. Once goals are set and a plan is in place, you must also ask how long it’ll take to reach each milestone.
What if I don’t like something?
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to ask about the developer’s policy on tweaks and changes. You’re well within your rights to expect flexibility as long as the changes fall within your agreed goals. It’s supposed to be a collaborative process.
Who Owns the Code?
You’ll always own the completed app, but it’s not unheard of for the developer to own the source code that developed it. In other words, it might be a breach of terms if you take the app and give it to somebody else to tweak.
In most cases, the developer may only own the programming code until the final payment is made. I.e., you can’t take a partially completed app elsewhere to finish.
Do you provide Bug Fixing?
Even a top app developer is going to leave minor bugs. That’s just the nature of developing technology. The real question to ask is, will the company fix those bugs, and is there a set debugging period?
Do you provide Ongoing Support?
No matter what platform your app is on, the underlying operating system is going to evolve over time. Therefore, an important question to ask is whether the company provides ongoing support and maintenance, for how long, and at what cost.
Failure to keep your app up to date will eventually hit your bottom line.
What do I need to Provide?
Developing an app is a two-way street. You must provide enough information for the developers to carry out adequate work. Most app makers have a basic checklist of what they need from you, but it’s worth asking what else you can offer to ensure things run smoothly.
A lack of input and feedback from you can result in shoddy work and disappointment from all sides.
1. hedgehog lab
The team at hedgehog lab brings decades of experience to mobile app development. Its clients include household brands like Deliveroo and NatWest bank, while its services cover everything from the idea stage to full app and web development. Full review
- •App and web development
- •Post-development growth support
- •All industries serviced
2. Sonin App Development
Sonin App Development is a highly respected mobile app agency with over a decade of experience. Its award-winning iOS and Android apps now accompany an equally powerful web app service. With the British Museum and Schwartz as clients, you can be sure they’ll work with you at every step. Full review
- •Support for augmented reality
- •Competitive average price
- •App analytics included
3. 3 SIDED CUBE
3 Sided Cube takes class-leading app development in the UK and applies it to organisations that want to make positive changes in the world. If you’re a philanthropist, charity, or environmentally conscious business, their hybrid mobile, TV, and web apps are a game changer! Full review
- •Wearables and TV apps
- •Post-launch improvements
- •Accepts in-app payments
Apadmi is your one-stop solution for streamlining your digital infrastructure via mobile, web, and other complex systems. From pizza delivery chains to the UK’s National Health Service, no project is too big for this decade-old developer. Full review
- •Analytics and marketing services
- •Hybrid mobile and web apps
- •Upgrades for existing apps
5. Netsells Group
Netsells delivers high-quality mobile and web apps with a unified design across platforms. Moreover, it uses cutting-edge technology like augmented and virtual reality. Netsells has a fast and efficient turnaround and takes the time to foster long-term client relationships. One of the leading mobile app developers for UK businesses needing analytics services. Full review
- •Augmented and VR apps
- •Cross-platform support
- •Analytics services
6. The Distance App Developers
Mobile app development in the UK wouldn’t be the same without The Distance App Developers. It traces its roots back to the first iPhone and has been creating mobile apps for leading brands ever since. Since it doesn’t get bogged down in other areas, its mobile apps are hard to beat. Full review
- •100% focus on mobile apps
- •iOS and Android
- •Straightforward process
The big player from New York City, Utility, has a who’s who list of clients, and you could be next. From preliminary research to post-launch maintenance, Utility is one of the most thorough mobile app developers, and its results speak for themselves. Full review
- •Competitor analysis
- •Extensive prototyping
- •Great inbuilt analytics
This company burst onto the scene in 2013 and has set the bar for native and cross-platform Android, iOS, and web apps. Whether it’s analysing the market before starting or scaling once your app has launched, Tapptitude is the start-to-end app development agency. Full review
- •Startup market research
- •Mobile and web development
- •Guaranteed bug fixes
Cubix is one of the most comprehensive yet affordable application developer companies on the market. From standard mobile and web apps to Blockchain and NFT integration, it uses cutting-edge technology to put your brand ahead of the competition. Full review
- •Supports mobile games
- •Incorporates Blockchain DApps
- •Fast turnaround
Zudu is a cutting-edge digital developer based in London and Scotland. Its skill for mobile and web applications has drawn the attention of international brands and government departments. What’s more, it boasts a comprehensive range of services, including digital transformation and software prototyping. Full review
- •Full projects and individual services
- •Software engineering
- •Post-launch marketing
Today we evaluated the leading app developers UK businesses are clambering for in 2022. Whether you need mobile, web development, or a whole digital suite, our reviews and guides will point you in the right direction.
We hope you now have the knowledge to pick the best app development service to take your business to the next level or get your startup off the ground.
How much does an app cost to build in the UK?
The price to hire an app developer in the UK depends entirely on your requirements. It can range from a few thousand for a basic app to hundreds of thousands for a complex app for a large corporate brand. Some can even reach millions.
Fortunately, most developers also use an average hourly rate to give you a better idea of how much your app will cost.
Which is the top mobile app development company in the UK?
In terms of high-quality service with good pricing and support, our pick for the UK’s top app developer for mobile is The Distance App Developers. Its focus has always been mobile, and this has resulted in superior apps.
Which is the best app development company?
After analysing many app development companies UK brands rely on, our pick for large enterprises is hedgehog lab. At the midmarket, we advise looking at Zudu, while Tapptitude is excellent for startups.
How much do app development companies charge?
Top app developers charge in the range of £40 to over £100 an hour. Average project costs from start to finish range from roughly £10,000 to hundreds of thousands. This is based on man hours and the complexity of the app.
A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.
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