How To Create An App Philippines (without breaking your budget) - The Thrifty Pinay

How To Create An App In The Philippines (without breaking your budget)

Did you know that 66% of the world’s mobile phone owners used an app at one point in their life during the past year? And Filipinos even go over that average at a whopping 76%. We’re talking about millions of users and the average Juan can only dream of tapping into that huge market with soaring prices for app development and the technical knowledge needed to make app ideas into a reality.

But, good news! As a Thrifty Pinay writer, I am here to tell you otherwise. It is possible to create an app in the Philippines without breaking the bank or having any software development skills.

I know you might be skeptical but read until the end because in this article I’ll answer the following questions:

  • Is it possible to build an app on my own?
  • How much does it cost to build an app in the Philippines?
  • How long does it take to build an app in the Philippines?
  • How much can an app make in the Philippines?
  • What are the PROS and CONS of mobile app development in the Philippines?
  • What are the best mobile app ideas in the Philippines?

How to Build A Mobile App In The Philippines?

There are two ways you can go about creating an app in the Philippines:

1. Hire An App Developer

To hire an app development company you must be ready to dish out at least P150,000 (but I’ll show you a more affordable option of this later on). The price can rocket to upwards of a million depending on the complexity of its features.

Here’s a short list of reputable app development companies based in the Philippines:

You can find freelance app developers online at lower prices, too. Make sure to ask for portfolios and proof of past transactions. The whole process can take a couple of months or more to cover all stages and processes needed to launch the app.

2. Build It Yourself

You can learn how to code and build it yourself. It will be much cheaper than outsourcing but learning how to code takes months and money on its own. You’ll also need to take into account the time and resources for actually building the app from scratch. 

So, how do you build an app on your own fast and without breaking the budget?

The answer is to use an online app builder tool!

Using an app builder lets you create an app without coding. It does not require complicated tools and cuts off your budget by a lot, too. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. If you’re ready, then let’s go build your app!

How To Create An App In The Philippines Using An App Builder Tool

1. Choose Your App Builder

App builders to create an app Philippines

There are tons of app builders that you can search online but these are the more popular choices:

Most of the app builders in this list give a free trial or access to a free version where. Get a feel of the app features to understand how each works. You’ll also have a gist of how much it’ll cost to use a full version.

I used Appsgeyser to create this unpublished app for Thrifty Pinay.

How To Create An App In The Philippines (without breaking your budget)

Important Note: From here onwards, I’ll be sharing the steps I took using Appsgeyser’s app builder platform.

2. Conceptualize Your App

Now that you have an idea of how app builders work, you can plan the kind of app to produce. It’s important to assess whether your app is something you can build using the available options.

My advice is to target a niche. Big companies will have the advantage of launching customized and fancy features, so you have to get creative on targeting users and picking your content.

PRO TIP: Steer away from government, news, and kid-targeted apps as the app builder does not support such apps and you might encounter technicalities along the way.

3. Build Your App

App builders have click-and-display features so you can customize your content without coding. It’s just a matter of choosing the options and going to the next steps. Most of the other resources you will need will be images and links to the sources you want to be used or displayed. 

I needed pdf files for this simple Tagalog Picture Book I made for my kid.

How To Create An App In The Philippines (without breaking your budget)

4. Test Your App

After finishing the steps indicated by the App builder, you will be given APK files you can download on your phone to know how it’ll look when published. Look for possible gaps in content and design or changes you want to implement. 

The app builder does not allow editing for free trials so if you don’t want to start from scratch every time, purchase one of their plans.

The builder app will guide you all the way to publishing the app in Google Store but I’ll mention the important milestones in the process.

5. Create A Google Developer Account 

When you are confident in your app and ready to publish, you now have to create a Google Developer Account which will cost you a one-time fee of $25. You can do the registration and have it fully verified in up to 48 hours but mine only took a day.

6. Publish Your App

Once your developer account is processed, log in to your Google Play Console account and follow the steps in creating an app.

The builder app will provide you with the technical data you need including:

  • Privacy Policy URL
  • Data Safety
  • AAB (Android App Bundle) FIle 

There will also be guides on how to answer questionnaires. You can expect to have your app published in the next few days. Mine was published the next week but it was not yet searchable in Play Store. I waited for a few more days for it to be to appear when I type the app name.

7. Monetize Your App

Sign up for an Admob Account and link it to your app. Don’t worry, the app builder will also guide you through this step by step. Linking your account to your mobile app is literally just copying and pasting.

8. Promote Your App

Your mobile app has to be promoted. Building an app and forgetting about it is one sure way to fail.

Although your app is searchable, it can be buried under similarly-named apps that have thousands of downloads already. Share it with your friends or on targeted social media groups. You can do blogs or a video to explain how it works and how it adds value to users.

9. Update And Improve Your App

Updates for the app’s codes are available via the app builder. They fix bugs and update features as required by Google policies. You can improve your app content by editing the app online and uploading it again to your Google Play Console account.

How much does it cost to make an app by yourself?

I was able to build and publish a monetizable app for P 2,029.91. 

Mobile App development cost breakdown Philippines:

You only have to pay for the app builder and the Google developer registration. The prices are in USD so I converted it to PHP for everyone’s convenience.

    658.35 App Builder Starter Plan

1,371.56 Google Developer Account 

P 2,029.91 Total

Mobile app development in the Philippines PROS AND CONS (of building it on your own)

PROS

  • You can create, publish and monetize an app in a week
  • No need for upskilling
  • Budget-friendly

CONS

  • Limited template features
  • Limited technical support
  • Your app is not fully yours

FAQs

Who can build an app?

Practically anyone. App builder platforms make it possible for newbies to create apps with clicks and drag options. You may be a teen looking for ways to earn pocket money, a work-from-home mom wanting to secure an emergency fund faster, or just someone with a brilliant app idea but lacks the skills to back it up.

How much does it cost to create an app in the Philippines?

The cost will vary greatly depending on how you want to do it. The steps detailed in this article will only cost a little over 2,000 pesos. Hiring professionals will be starting at least 50,000.

What are the best mobile app ideas in the Philippines?

The best mobile app ideas in the Philippines are those related to the most popular app categories:

  • Games
  • Education
  • Business
  • Tools
  • Entertainment
  • Music and Video Streaming 
  • Lifestyle
  • Shopping
  • Productivity
  • Food & Drink

On top of these categories, bear in mind that a breakthrough app’s inspiration can come from the user’s simple needs so as a user, make use of your relatability to those needs.

How much can an app make Philippines?

There are different monetization strategies you can use but to give you an idea, the app builder I used calculates an average of USD0.002 or .11PHP per usage and an average of 2 usages for 1 app download. 

If your app has 1,000 downloads and uses it daily, that’s roughly 200 PHP per day. That’s an average count but a decent app can build your emergency funds or savings funds in the long run. 

How long does it take to build an app in the Philippines?

Using an app builder can take as short as a few days. Hiring app developers will need months as they need to build it from scratch. A freelance app developer focused mainly on your app can take shorter than a corporate one.

Is It Worth Building An App In The Philippines On Your Own?

It’s worth it if the templates suit the app you envision if you can settle for minimal functionality, or if you want to test an idea for future app development without spending much.

When the Tipid Tips are not enough to survive the inflation, a monetized app can be an attractive income source. You may be eyeing profit-driven ventures like an Imported Chocolate Shop or Ramen Business but do not have the time or resources to put up a brick-and-mortar store so you try passive income earners like Investments in the Philippines and a Vending Machine Business.

If that still doesn’t cut it out for you, building a mobile app in the Philippines is one creative and pocket-friendly alternative.


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How To Create An App In The Philippines (without breaking your budget)

By Rhea Trillanes

Rhea Trillanes is a writer of The Thrifty Pinay, an entrepreneur, and a proud mother & wife to a family of three in the Philippines. Her background in business and accounting makes her the perfect pro-bono business consultant for family and friends. She spent 10 years in corporate before discovering the world of freelancing. She writes articles and business proposals in the wee hours of the night. When not absorbed in writing, Rhea enjoys reading mangas and exploring money-making breakthroughs.