App Skinning: Everything You Need to Know About

In recent times, the demand for mobile apps from developers has been massively increasing. Because of this high demand, it compels most mobile app developers to do things quickly.

At the same time, they’ll have to provide the best and trending apps to their clients.

Hence, to deliver the apps to their clients on time, the mobile app developers have to reskin the app.

The developers use an existing source code in a unique design.

They can also make slight changes (eg update the layout) to this code or expand it a bit, but the key point is to save money on a piece of ready strings.

If you want to know what app re-skinning is, if it’s legal, how it works and if you can make money from app re-skinning, then this article is the right place for you.

Re-skinning is all about saving. It can reduce your spending of time, money and people.

According to a mobile app development survey conducted by Clutch, app development can cost between $100 and $150 per hour for a minimum of 252.75 hours and a maximum of 4850 hours.

Isn’t that amazing? Are you going to spend that much for no more than seven months? Isn’t this a substantial investment?

Let’s show you all you need to know about app reskinning, the benefits involved in it, and the steps to take to start app reskinning.

What Is App Reskinning?

App reskinning means using an already existing source code in a new design.

You can also slightly modify or develop the source code, provided that the main idea remains the same.

While this process is much more popular in gaming apps, it can be done with all types of apps.

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It’s fully legal to reskin an app as long as you make sure you don’t steal copyrighted art assets or source code that you haven’t created or purchased.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with reskinning an app and the app stores currently allow it.

If you’ve ever researched an app, you’ll notice that there are usually hundreds of more similar apps with slight differences in titles, themes, illustrations, settings, and more.

See also: How to Sell App Ideas to Google and Get Paid Heavily

How Does App Re-Skinning Work?

By working on a reskin scheme, you can reduce your expenses by converting a successful code into 10 smaller projects.

Each of them will use the same code and their expenses will be divided into ten. You can try to reapply yourself or hire a professional.

An example of this would be an endless runner game in a jungle setting.

This app could be quickly and efficiently redesigned to take place in space or underwater.

The game would not change, there would still be endless races and things to dodge and jump, but it would be considered “new” and would be listed separately from the original application.

What is the Process of App Re-Skinning?

There are three major parts of the app reskin. They are as follows:

#1. Selection of the Theme

Once a mobile app developer decides to re-skin the mobile app, the first thing to do is choose the right theme.

When selecting a theme, you need to make sure it matches the preferences of your target demography.

The initial market research should provide you with insights into the app re-skinning and its success.

One important thing in this development process is to have a consistent and well-executed design.

Hence, the developer should select a theme that can be continually changed on a regular basis.

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#2. Checking Source Code’s Images

The skinning process also involves finding and replacing your graphic resources in your development software.

An example of this is a game app. The game graphics must be in a particular folder.

You have to find it and explore each of the graphics in your source code and see what it refers to in the application.

#3. Check if the Element Match

While working with a designer, the app developer must ensure that all elements match.

This is important because at this point he is dealing with parts of the design that will then interact with each other.

Therefore, they must be consistent in terms of design and style.

What are the Benefits of App Re-Skinning vs. Creating from Scratch?

The act of building an app from scratch can be very expensive and time consuming.

Most app builders that are novices think of it as a few days process that anyone who has never coded before can learn.

However, this is not far from the truth.

The truth is, creating an app takes months and thousands of dollars.

Complex apps that have thousands of concurrent users and send / receive data will cost millions and will require teams of designers, coders, and developers to build and maintain.

So to safe yourself that cost, why not re-skin.

Hence, we can say that reskinning is all about saving. This can reduce your spending on time, money, and people.

Re-skinning is the quick and easy way to publish your own app on the App Store without having to spend a large amount of capital or create a team of specialists.

Let’s closely examine the various advantages of app reskinning.

#1. Reskinning Lowers App Development Cost

Custom apps range from approximately $37,000 to $500,000, depending on the complexity of the application and the type of application development company employed.

While the source codes for the app reskinning start between $10 and $1000 depending on the complexity and quality of most graphics.

Reskinning removes the hassle that is brought on by starting everything from scratch. You don’t only save money but also time and resources.

#2. It can Maximize your Profit per App

How Long Does the Re-Skinning Process Take to Get Completed?

Changing the skin of an app is an open process. This allows you to keep making changes forever.

There are some factors such as the following that can influence how long the process can take:

#1. Nature of App Idea

If the application idea is complex and combines many functions, then it means the concept can be expected to take longer to complete.

#2. Source Code Quality

If the source code of the application is of poor quality; to read, understand and modify that code will take more time than well-written code.

#3. Graphic Files in the Code

Each animation that the application contains must consist of frames.

Each of these frames needs to be reskinned so that you can get what you want for the app.

#4. Sound Files in Code

The audio files in your code should be replaced with sounds that you originated or created yourself.

The maximum development time will be 3 months. But if affected by these factors above, some reskins can take as long as developing an app from scratch).

How Do Reskinning Apps Make Money?

Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store have more than 1.2 million applications and hundreds are released every day.

In such a saturated market, it can be risky to design and build an app from scratch only to collapse and get lost in the endless abyss of mobile app stores.

A key element that makes re skinning feasible is that new apps receive favorable treatment in most app stores within the first few days or weeks of their launch.

With the help of the new release lists and the favorable algorithm treatment that most apps receive when they are first launched, this initial period is crucial for a successful skin change.

A good few months can boost your app to a high rank in the store for your target keywords and help drive future downloads, but if you’re unlucky, your app can easily be replaced with more re-skins in a few moments.

Therefore, revenues and profits from reskinning are extremely inconsistent and can be used up in the blink of an eye.

Also, most designers can expect to earn a few hundred dollars at most on most of their coatings.

This would normally be considered a major failure for an app, but due to low start-up costs, most skin change apps can be profitable with only a few hundred dollars in revenue over their lifetime.

Many developers will focus on producing a few re-skins per week to try to create a viable business model with this method of creating applications.

Reusing materials such as source code or art assets in multiple applications can also contribute to profitability.

Can You Still Make Money Reskinning Apps?

Today, ads are still the most popular monetization model for mobile apps.

Ads continue to work, as do subscriptions and in-app purchases. What has changed are the strategies to implement these 3 application monetization models.

If you want to make money by reskinning apps, you should take note of these strategies:

#1. Make ads work for your app:

It is estimated that by 2020, mobile app advertising will generate total revenue of $53.4 billion per year.

This will represent around 63% of total ad revenue from mobile devices.

This means that there is no shortage of advertisers. The problem is how much each advertiser is going to spend in a month.

Are they willing to pay more or less?

Most of the time, it depends on the ad network. Don’t limit yourself to one ad network just because you’re familiar with it.

Do some research to establish how well your ad network is performing compared to others.

Also, focus on generating more downloads in your app. It doesn’t matter which ad network you use if your app isn’t constantly getting downloads.

#2. Diversify your In-app Purchases:

Creating more in-app purchases is a great app monetization strategy in hindsight.

The number does not increase the probability that the items will be purchased, but the need for the items.

Read Also: How To Make Money Creating Apps For Android/ 10 Procedures Involved In Creating Apps

Try different combinations and variations of prices and types of items.

Regularly A/B testing for in-app purchases and market your in-app items just like you would real products.

#3. Venture into a Subscription Model:

The freemium model is fine, but the subscription model is a much more reliable business model.
They say that subscription is the future of app monetization.

However, there is a big problem: your application must be the correct application type for the subscription model.

Your application must provide continuous content or service (cloud-based content and applications are prime examples).

Next, your pricing tiers must be competitive and flexible. It can offer you an upgrade after a free trial payable weekly, monthly, or annually.

Show users that they have options and that each option is to their advantage.

7 Steps to Get Started with App Reskinning

Now you’ve known all you need to know about the app reskinning. Should you start an app reskin or not?

Whatever be the case, here are seven steps to getting started in the app reskinning business.

#1. Decide if it’s for you

If you do this whole app reskinning thing as a hobby, you won’t make much money and the return on your investment will be very low.

If money doesn’t matter, go for it! Or better still, decide if it’s for you.

But what I know is, this app reskinning is business. In fact, this whole app building is a business.

However, it takes a lot of money and time, especially in the beginning, when you are doing everything yourself or learning to outsource.

Like other companies, this can be frustrating at times. You may want to give up. But the rewards can be as great as the frustrating process.

Go ahead and decide if it is for you.

If so, keep reading. If not, feel free to read on.

#2. Learn Xcode

Even if you plan to outsource, I suggest you at least learn how to use Xcode.

Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) and the place where people write code for iOS and Mac applications.

It is an application like Microsoft Word or Keynote. It is enough to know where all the important buttons and menu options are, how to create and test on your device, replace the ad IDs with your own, and how to archive an application to upload it to iTunes Connect.

There are a lot of resources available on the web to learn Xcode.

#3. Learn Photoshop

As with programming, you will eventually want to outsource the design unless you are an expert yourself.

Until then, it’s good to know the basics of photo editing and mobile app design so you can make the little changes yourself or even the basics.

While the third step says learn Photoshop, there are alternatives.

The other Adobe program that you may want to become familiar with is Illustrator, which is the vector-based photo editing program.

Other popular paid alternatives are Pixelmator for $30 on the Mac App Store and Sketch for $70 also on the Mac App Store.

Both are considered much easier to use than the Adobe programs.

#4. Purchase Source Code

Once you can complete all the tasks required to change the design of an app, like creating a new icon and changing ad IDs, it’s time to buy the source code.

There are a lot out there, but not all source code is the same.

A popular one in the market is

#5. Sign up for an Apple Developer account and Ad Networks

Before continuing, you need to sign up for an Apple developer account (and a Google Play account if you are also developing for Android) and the various ad networks.

Ads are most likely the way you are going to make money. These are the top three ad networks you and sign up to:

  1. Revmob
  2. Chartboost
  3. AppLovin

#6. Research and Reskin

Once you’ve your souce code, the next step is to do a market research and reskin your app or game.

Research is simple and time-consuming, but it can make or break the success of your application.
Head over to the iTunes App Store if you’re developing for iOS or the Google Play store if you’re developing for Android, and take a look at the lists of the best free, best paid, and highest grossing lists.

Take note of popular games and apps and their themes.

Once you have an idea of ​​which themes are popular, create your own version for your application or game.

Replace graphics and app IDs for different ad networks.

This is especially important because this is how you will earn money!

How to Reskin an App Successfully

Reskinning an app totally depends on the cost. If you want to know how to reskin an app successfully, you should follow this cost estimate below.

The table below gives a rough estimate of the cost of an already reskinned app based on various parameters we’ve discussed above.

Before we go to that, let’s show you what the cost is like to develop an app from scratch.

Here is an approximate cost and time of developing an app from scratch:

Project TypeTimeRate/hour ($50)Rate/hour ($150)
Simple App400 hours50×400=$20,000150×400=$60,000
Medium App700 hours50×700=$35,000150×700=$105,000
Complex App1,000 hours50×1000=$50,000150×1000=$150,000
Approximate Cost and Time of Developing an App from Scratch

Here’s a rough estimate of the cost of a reskinned app based on various parameters:

ParametersSingle License (in $)Multiple License (in $)
App Developer Program9999
Google Play Developer Program2525
2 hours labor (developers)100100
8 hours labor (designers)360360
App Source99259
 An Estimate Cost of a Reskinned App Based on Various Parameters

Although we’ve taken approximate values in the table above with various parameters, the main focus remains on the cost cutting nature of app reskinning.

Hence, an average reskinned application can earn up to $5,000 to $11,000 per month worldwide, according to most developers.


The app reskin process is a profitable endeavor. It is considered being a great way for new mobile app developers to get their hands on an app without spending a lot of time creating an app from scratch.

Most beginners prefer app reskinning because it takes less time.

So if you want to learn how to start an app reskinning business, there you go; follow these 7 Steps to Starting Your Own App Reskinning Business.

Remember that this takes a lot of time, money, and effort, so think carefully before launching into the apps race.


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