mobile app development

How much does it cost to build an app like Dropbox?

In this article, we will discuss the cost of building an app like Dropbox, along with its key features and factors that impact the overall cost of building a Dropbox-like app.

dropbox like app development cost

There was a time when transferring data from one device to another was a hefty task. People used to spend an enormous amount on buying, managing, and exchanging storage spaces for data sharing. 

But then the cloud storage platforms entered the market. These platforms offer a convenient way to store a heap of data in the same place, replacing external memory space. 

They also made it easier to share and access all of the data anytime and anywhere - and that too in a cost-effective manner. Additionally, cloud storage platforms are scalable and flexible. 

The global cloud storage market is projected to reach $183.7 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 18.5%. 

cost of dropbox like app development

These stats indicate that investing in cloud app development is the right choice for entrepreneurs and business owners. However, when investing in app development, the first thing that crosses our mind is - How much does it cost to develop a cloud storage platform? 

In this article, we will mainly discuss one of the popular cloud storage platforms - Dropbox, and the cost to develop such applications. The average cost to develop this type of application can range from $15,000 to $200,000. 

However, the cost may increase or decrease depending on several factors such as the complexity of the app, the type of platform used, the location of an app development company, and more. 

Factors affecting the cost of Dropbox-like app development

There are several essential elements that decide the cost of developing apps like Dropbox. Let’s take a quick look at them:

features of dropbox

1. App features and functionalities

The answer to how much does it cost to create an app like Dropbox greatly depends on the features and functionalities you integrate into your application. The base mobile app development price will keep increasing with the addition of new features. 

Therefore, it’s advisable to concentrate only on the core features of Dropbox in the initial version of the app. The best option is to get an MVP developed. It is the first version of the product with a basic set of features. MVP will save time and money and help you garner valuable user feedback. 

Let’s look at a few basic features that affect cloud storage app cost estimate when developing apps like Dropbox - 

create dropbox app

  • Create a document/folder

One of the primary features of Dropbox-like app is to help users store their data and documents in an organized manner by letting them create folders where they can save all their files in a structured manner on the cloud. 

  • Taking photos

With this feature, users get an opportunity to click a photo and upload it to the cloud in real time. You can also enable the sync feature so that this upload happens automatically without you having to do it manually. 

  • Scan a document

Dropbox-like apps give you the option to scan any particular document and get it saved on the cloud anytime. 

  • Offline access

Another prominent feature of Dropbox is that it allows users to access the app when there’s a poor or no internet connection. 

  • Notifications

The push notification feature of Dropbox keeps users informed about the status of every activity performed on the platform and more. 

  • Dropbox paper

Dropbox Paper is a collaborative workspace that aids coworkers to create and share ideas while working on the same/different project.

  • Preview and download

With this feature, Dropbox offers the functionality of viewing and downloading any document/file uploaded by you or shared by others on the platform.

  • Export

This functionality lets users export files on the local device memory or other applications. 

2. App design and animation

The next factor that adds to the cost of Dropbox-like app development is app design. Ensuring that your users invest time in your app calls for a specific focus on design. An aesthetically pleasing design has the capability to promote user engagement while retaining users on the app. 

Since a seamless UI/UX design needs to go through multiple testing procedures, the overall Dropbox clone app development cost can vary according to the number of testing stages it goes through. 

Also, it is important to understand that cloud storage app development should be done in a way that is intuitive and user-friendly, encouraging users to keep using it. 

3. Type of platform

In order to create an app like Dropbox, the overall cost may vary depending on the platform on which it is built. For instance, building an iOS app may cost comparatively less than an Android app due to the different technical specifications and design guidelines. 

It is advisable to start with Android app development, considering the huge user base of the platform. Later on, as the app progresses in the market, you can switch to a cross-platform app. 

4. Location of the app development company

Another factor that affects the Dropbox clone app development cost is the location of the app development company. For instance, if the hired organization is located in regions like Asia or Africa, the overall cost of cloud storage app development is comparatively less compared to the organizations located in the US or UK.

However, it is essential to remember that the cost is not the only factor to consider when choosing mobile app development companies. The quality of the company’s work and its ability to meet your specific needs should also be considered.

Here are the estimated hourly rate of developers as per multiple geographic areas:

Region Average Hourly Rate of Developers
Asia $20-$40
Eastern Europe $30-$40
Latin America $40-$60
Africa $20-$40

5. Tech stack

The cost of creating an app like Dropbox also depends on the tech stack that powers it. A modern tech stack is capable of putting your app at the forefront of innovation. Thus, the more complex technologies integrated into the app, the more will be the Dropbox-like app development cost.

Here is the tech stack used to make apps like Dropbox:

benefits of dropbox app

6. App maintenance

Maintenance is a continuous process that you need to be prepared for. Once you have launched the app, it’s important to maintain it. This includes fixing bugs and glitches, keeping the app up-to-date with the latest operating systems, and adding new features. This will, in turn, impact the overall Dropbox like app development cost. 

The average cost of developing an app like Dropbox

As we have already seen, the cost to develop an app like Dropbox is not fixed. It is dependent on several factors such as the type of platform used, complexity of the app, location of app developers, technology stack used, and more. 

However, the average cost to build the best Dropbox alternative apps can range from $15,000 to $200,000. To get a rough estimate, you can contact a reputable app development company and discuss your app idea. 

How to develop a Dropbox-like app?

If you have an excellent app idea for your Dropbox-like app, then you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to develop a Dropbox-like app:

1. Market research and competitive analysis

When you create a Dropbox app, it’s important to check what your competitors are doing. It would be best if you see who else is out there in this space so you can learn from them. You should also use all your research and findings to create something better and unique. 

2. Defining budget

When you create a Dropbox app, it costs you money, therefore, it’s prudent to know how much you are willing to spend before starting the project. This will help you stay within the budget and not overspend on something which isn’t necessary. 

3. Hiring a dedicated team

Hire a professional mobile app development company to create an MVP (minimum viable product) if you wish to make an app like Dropbox. This version of the app will include all the core features and functionalities but will not include extensive features. 

The MVP will help you get user feedback so that you can make changes to the app and improve the app before you release the full version. 

4. Testing 

Once you have an MVP, it’s time to test your app. This is a critical step as it will help you identify bugs and issues within the app. Test everything from app’s performance and user experience to content. 

5. Submitting the app to app stores 

Now that testing is over, it’s time to submit your app on Google Play Store or App Store. This means the app is ready for public release. Make sure that you meet the required guidelines for each app store. 

Wrapping up!

So how much does it cost to create an app like Dropbox or how much does drop box cost? Well, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Considering all the influencing factors should help you arrive at a nearly accurate cost to turn your app idea into a reality. 

In case you still feel that calculating the final cost of mobile application development is strenuous or you want to know more about how to build a Dropbox-like app, you can consult a reliable mobile app development company for top-notch mobile app development services.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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