Have you ever had the dream of creating your very own app, but considered it out of reach due to not possessing the relevant programming skills? Thankfully on iOS, Apple – with their Xcode 9 editing tool – has made it easier than ever for beginners to enter the realm of app development.
While producing apps is more accessible these days, there’s still plenty to contemplate before your hopeful hit lands on the App Store. Make no mistake: it might be easier, but it’s still difficult to deliver an app that is both well-designed and successful. However, the following article will hopefully point you in the right direction in learning how to develop an app for iPhone and other Apple devices.
Settle on an idea
Before doing anything, you have to decide on what your app will ultimately become. Will it be a game? A dedicated business portal? Educational tool? Whatever the reason, it is important that you settle on an idea from the very start. You don’t want to begin developing an app and then change your mind – this would understandably be harmful to efficiency, your budget and maybe even the general quality of what you produce.
As for the idea, you need to try and offer something that is new to consumers. Admittedly with how saturated the market is, this can prove to be the most difficult aspect of creating an app. However, don’t think you need to come up with something completely original – simply adding a twist or more value to an existing product can bring success.
Choose your features
Once you have that idea set in stone, it’s time to strategize how you will produce the app. This means that you will have to visualize an overall goal with your app and decide what it should supply to users.
First of all, it is imperative that you jot down every feature that will be included with your app. When doing this, avoid the temptation of loading up on too many features. Throwing too many ideas into the pot will not only muddle up the purpose of your app, but it will also result in pushing up costs and development time.
Another thing to keep in mind is what theme to go with for the app. Is it going to be a sleek business design, or maybe personable and fun? The theme will be one of the main aspects as to what customers you are planning to target.
Self-produce or hire help
This is the big one decision: turning those plans and ideas into reality.
As previously mentioned, Xcode 9 is Apple’s development tool that is available to all. A fast and responsive platform, Xcode gives you the potential to construct an app that is only limited by your imagination. Furthermore, the tool is well supported with many guides available should you hit a stumbling block during development. There will also be online forums for you to ask any questions should they arise.
However, if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself – after all, it is a steep learning curve and very much time consuming for beginners – there is always the option of enlisting the services of others. Whether it is a specialist company or skilled freelancer, outsourcing provides a healthy amount of benefits. Admittedly it might cost more (at least initially), but an expert should help to ensure the app is responsive, error-free and designed to exact specifications.
Also, remember that users will be accessing your app via several different Apple devices. With that in mind, make sure the app is optimized for all iPod, iPhone and iPad variations.
Once the app is seemingly complete, it is highly recommended that you conduct extensive testing. In fact, testing should constantly take place throughout the development process. As for why such assessment is important, it will hopefully root out any possible errors that lie under the surface. The last thing you want is a fault to ruin the user experience for those that have downloaded your app. It’s not melodramatic to say that one mistake could lead to someone deleting the app and never returning.
Along with testing the app yourself, you should look into testing it on other real users before launch. More testing = a better chance of spotting those mistakes and correcting them before they become a real problem.
Promote your app
When the app is developed, tested and up on the store, you might think that the job is finished. Really, the work has only just begun.
That’s because no matter how good or revolutionary it is, it means nothing if nobody actually downloads the app. As a result, it is vital that you get the word out and dedicate plenty of time to promoting your work.
There are, of course, various ways to advertise your app. As well as using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, you can post on forums/blogs that are related to the subject matter of your app. Another tip would also be to submit your app to review websites/YouTube channels in the hope they will feature your creation.
Provide customer support
Now that the app is receiving downloads, it is time to take on the feedback of users. While great comments are always welcome, it is the constructive criticism that is the most valuable overall. After all, this will give you an emphasis on looking at your app and seeing what improvements can be made.
In addition, you should try and be prompt in supplying customer support when needed. The faster you respond and deliver assistance, the more likely users will continue to use the app.
Don’t stick with what you have
Finally, don’t rest on your laurels!
Admittedly you might think that your app is done regarding development, but you should always have the scope for improvement once it’s released. The more you work and add, the better experience overall for those using the app. Keep updating your app so it remains functional.