Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of the business and commercial worlds. These days, if your business does not have an app, it is missing out on an easy opportunity for conversions and profits. Making a simple app can be easy, if you know where to start.
Why make an app for the iPhone? iPhones compete with Android for the majority market share among smartphone users. Every new iPhone has immediate high adoption, with compatibility for a wide range of apps. If you have an iPhone app, you are immediately available on each new iteration of technology. You also do not have to compete with existing software, if you find the right niche – unlike the PC, where you have to find a niche within four decades worth of existing software.
iPhone development is also surprisingly easy, once you know where to begin. You need to consider both the design side and the technical side of app development.
On the design side of app development, you need to decide what your app will be. What problem in the everyday lives of your customers are you solving? Is there already an existing app that solves that problem? If so, how can you make yours better than the competition? Consider the competition, particularly the complaints they receive about their software. These are places you can improve on the formula and offer a better product, enticing people to convert.
Obviously, you also need to be an iPhone user. The iPhone experience is unique among smartphones, and it takes an experienced user to bring the intuition about what feels good on the device and what does not. There are some aspects of the user experience that simply do not work properly, and we have been advised that they have a page dedicated to these issues on the Apple site.
On the technical front, you need both hardware and software. You will need an iPhone and an Apple PC of some sort. The Apple development kit only works properly on a Mac, and you will need the iPhone for testing.
You will also need to be a member of the Apple Development Center. Membership in the development center is free, while you are developing your app. Unfortunately, you will be charged a $99 fee when you upgrade your membership to allow you to publish your app on the Apple App Store. Apple keeps a monopoly over their marketplace, so there is no viable alternative if you want to reach iPhone users as broadly as possible.
Development center access gives you access to Xcode, the toolkit Apple uses to develop and publish apps. It also gives you access to tutorials, snippets of code and other tools to help you design and publish your app.
DEVELOPING AND PUBLISHING YOUR APP
The actual creation of the app comes down to an individual preference. Are you going to train in-house staff to work with the Apple development kit? Are you going to outsource your development and publish yourself? Are you going to outsource every aspect of the process, from start to finish? Consider the costs and benefits of each method before you decide.
There are some benefits to developing your app in-house. Sure, it requires specialized knowledge; what does not? However, virtually every aspect of iPhone development is documented somewhere, between the development center and third party tutorials. As an independent iPhone app developer, you will be able to find plenty of support throughout the Internet. It will require hard work and dedication, but the results are worth the effort.