iPhone Application Development – Getting Started
It is beyond doubt that the stories of individuals turning into millionaires by hosting their apps on apps stores, have percolated down to your ears. Do find them too outrageous or too good to be true? Well, think again! We are here with a process that could set you on the right path to becoming a part of this clique club. Here, we try to open the possibilities for an iPhone development firm, or an individual who might aspire to be an iPhone app programmer in order to develop a path-breaking app. The iPhone and its tremendous potential as a platform for mobile utility, entertainment and connectivity are unparalleled. Right from its inception, Apple’s diminutive mobile communication device has captured the imagination of millions, and therefore has given burth to myriad app development and consequentially, revenue-generation possibilities. So, here goes. The simple steps to build your own iPhone app.
The Big Idea
Have you thought through your idea? Is it just a thought or is backed by substantial analysis? Your idea must cater to a gap in the user requirements that is currently not addressed by any app available in the iPhone market. Find a niche segment such as star gazers or other such sorts, and build an idea for them. Is your app supposed to genuinely humorous? Or, does it significantly improve upon the shortcomings of an existing app? Lastly, the interactivity of your app has to be fairly high to engage users. If any of these points above elicit a “yes” from you, then you are on the right track.
Here’s a list of items that you should have at your disposal before beginning:
The latest iPhone SDK
An iPhone or the iPod Touch
An Intel-based Mac computer system with Mac OS X 10.5.5
A Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA)
A notebook for reference
What are you good at? How can you yourself contribute to the development of your app? Some of the roles required for this endeavor include that of a researcher, project manager, accountant, information architect, designer, developer, marketer, and advertiser. Even though you might as well want to embark on this quest alone, it is advisable to analyze your skillset and then form a team to accomplish the task of app development. Market research, creating sitemap, sketching, GUI design, coding, and app promotion are some of the skills that would be required in the process.
Building a Base
You will need to perform quite a thorough research of the kind of apps that exist in the market. This will help you understand what mistakes you shouldn’t make when developing your apps. Analyzing the existing apps on the Apple App Store will give you an idea about the current trends and what works. Additionally, you also need to understand the iPhone and iPod touch UIs. This will enable you to decide the main theme as well as the intricacies of your app. For example, the accelerometer feature can be the USP of an entertaining car racing game. Or, the swipe, pinch, expand or rotate functions. It’s your app, take your pick.
Target Audience Analysis
Your app idea is awesome, but who is it intended for? If it’s a game, then what kind of an audience are you catering to and what is the requirement? Action, beating high scores, MMORPGs, etc… If it’s a utility app, then how can the TA relate to it; use it to find the nearest movie theatre, or a garage.
An Idea Sketch
Remember the notebook we had mentioned earlier? Break it out along with the pencils and your creativity. Take time and effort to decide and design what each screen of the app will look like and what information it will present. Decide the flow and the interactivity the app will integrate. This will definitely help you expand your creativity and highlight new areas of interest lying hidden in your app; basically expanding the possibilities of your creation.
All things said and done, now is the time to actually design your app. Considering that your skillset is design, you can download the iPhone GUI Photoshop template which contains an array of iPhone GUI elements that save substantial time and result in rapid design prototyping. If your sketching exercise went the way it was supposed to, you should have a concrete base to begin design.
What if you are not a designer? Hire a designer, and explain the design to him/her. You can obviously get the tools and try it out yourself, but it entails risk, something that you could do without. A good experienced designer who is skilled at mobile app designing should be able to analyze your design, provide suggestions and make improvements to your design.
Cracking the Code
If you are a programmer, it is your cue to begin. If not, you should hire iPhone programmers as soon as possible. This will help you determine technical feasibility as well as decide your budget. On the other hand, if you are a programmer, then join Apple Dev Forum, iPhoneSDK, iPhoneSDKForum and some other collaborative development entities that will act as your sounding boards and your pals to bail you out if you get stuck in an infinite loop, so to speak.
At this stage, your app should be ready! It’s time to compile it, publish using XCode and then submit it to iTunes Connect. Some of the things that would need to be done include creation of certificates, defining Apple IDs, creation of a distribution provisioning profile, compilation of the application and upload to iTunes Connect. The next step, of course, is the promotion of your app using social media and other sources.
So here’s your primer of developing your very own iPhone app. A word of advice not everyone makes it big at the first instance. Persevere, stick to your idea and don’t give up. We know this because we are an iPhone app development company that has been providing offshore software development services for some years. If you like what you read and want to develop an app, but don’t know where to start, get in touch with us. Hire iPhone programmers from us, and watch as they make your dream iPhone app see the light of the day!