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Mobile Mud Pie - Intro to Building Great Mobile Apps
 

Mobile Mud Pie - Intro to Building Great Mobile Apps

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This presentation covers the basics of making great iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

This presentation covers the basics of making great iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

I presented it at the MobileSlopes conference in Ogden, Utah on March 16.

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Mobile Mud Pie - Intro to Building Great Mobile Apps Mobile Mud Pie - Intro to Building Great Mobile Apps Presentation Transcript

  • Mobile Mud Pie Mobile Slopes, March 16 2012 Dave Stevenson @dnstevenson
  • Who Am I?
  • Stevenson Software• iOS Developer for 2+ years• 40+ iPhone, iPad, and Mac Apps • No Android Programming - I have partners for that• Have a couple Top-100 and Top-10 Apps and been featured by Apple a few times• My main app: Landscaper’s Companion • Buy it, rate it 5-stars, and make me happy today!
  • Mobile Quick Stats•Hundreds of millions of devices• Over 15 million iPads Sold last Quarter• Over 700,000 new Android devices each day• Over 500,000 iOS Apps• Over 25,000,000,000 iOS Apps Downloaded• Apple has paid developers over $4 billion
  • So you’ve got the next Angry Birds idea?
  • How Much will it Cost me?•Twitterific v1.0 - $250,000 est• Obama App - $50k - $150k est• Angry Birds v1.0 - $500k+ est• Most Apps: $10k +
  • Contractors•US iOS Developers: $85+ / hour• Offshore iOS Developers: $20+ / hour
  • Partners• Qualified iOS developers rarely partner with a “biz guy” • Ideas are Cheap• Rev-Share Arrangements Can Work if you Have Content and Brand• Expect to Pay Developers a Significant Amount/ Percentage
  • How Do I Make Money?•Lots of ways, but a few basic ones: • Free with in-app advertising • Free with in-app purchases (virtual goods, etc) • Paid Downloads - $0.99+ per install See my other presentation: Monetizing Mobile Apps
  • Do Some Algebra• ($0.70 * x) - your costs = $your special number• Solve for x• Short Answer: it’s a lot of apps• I have apps that sell < 1 copy per day• I also have apps that pay my mortgage
  • Still Interested?
  • Mobile Mud Pie Recipe• 3 cups programming• 1 cup idea• 2 cups design• 1 tbsp pricing• 3 tsp marketing/advertising• 1 tsp socialness• 1 cup secret sauce
  • 3 Cups Programming•iPhone/iPad programmed in Objective-C using Xcode.• Must have Mac. • $99 yearly developer license fee to sell apps• Android programmed in Java, using Windows, Mac, Linux • $25 registration fee• Cross-Platform kits exist but I don’t recommend
  • Xcode
  • Objective-C API- (id)initWithNibName:(NSString *)nibNameOrNilbundle:(NSBundle *)nibBundleOrNil { self = [super initWithNibName:nibNameOrNilbundle:nibBundleOrNil]; if (self) { return self;}
  • Just Kidding...• You’re Smart Enough,You Don’t Need Me• Everything you need is free!
  • http://developer.apple.com
  • https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#referencelibrary/GettingStarted/RoadMapiOS/
  • Stanford iTunes U Course - http://itunes.apple.com/us/ course/ipad-iphone-app-development/id495052415
  • Android•http://developer.android.com/index.html• http://www.raywenderlich.com/5527/getting-started- with-android-development• Games: http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/ (for iOS too)
  • Cross Platform SDKs• Write Once, Run on All Devices (iOS, Android, BB, WinMobile) • A nice dream• Frameworks: Titanium, PhoneGap, Others • Often use “Easier” languages (html, javascript)• They have their place • Rhetorical Question: How many top apps use them?
  • 1 Cup Good Idea• App is just like any other software product • Market research, talk to potential customers, follow lean principles, pivot*, etc• Know the device limitations and platform restrictions • On iOS, the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) and App Store Review Guidlines are gospel• Don’t worry about being entirely unique - be better or better designed * your first release is your best chance to get noticed - so make it good
  • iOS App Store Review Tips• Apps must conform to interface guidelines (HIG)• “I’ll know it when I see it” - no violence, pornography, flame-bait, etc• No more fart apps• No Private API Access
  • 2 Cups Design
  • 2 Cups Design Lacking Design
  • Better Design
  • Better Design
  • Good Design• Simplicity is Key - resist temptation to throw in the kitchen sink• Think about when the user will use the app and make it accessible in those conditions • Does this really need to be a mobile app, or would a website be better?• Don’t Let Your Programmer do the Design• Build half a product, not a half-baked product
  • Design Tips• Follow Conventions of the Platform• Rule of 44• A nice icon is key• Instead of spending $1000 on advertising, hire a designer• Look at iStockPhoto.com for artwork to use for icons, etc• Non-Pro Tip: Use Vectored Artwork (Illustrator) so Resizing is Easier
  • 1 tbsp Pricing• Apple takes 30% cut of app sales• It takes a lot of app sales at $0.99 to make a living • One app sale = customer for life to support• Price according to category competition• Lower price = more sales, more sales = higher ranking, higher ranking = more sales • That is very generalized
  • 3 tsp Marketing/Advertising• To a developer, advertising seems easy: pay for clicks, get sales• Paying to Advertise a $0.99 app is hard to make it worthwhile • 0.25 / click, 25% conversion = $1 to make 0.70• Adwords, LinkedIn, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Banners ads == Too Expensive• Press Releases can do OK for $20, but don’t get your hopes up
  • What to do?• Rule 1: Build a great app• Rule 2: Great Apps get self-discovered• Your time is “free” • Contact blogs in your niche • Write Guest Posts • Be active in forums • Reddit, LinkedIn, Niche Social Media Sites • Email people
  • Marketing Cont’d• Keyword Optimize Your App Title, Description, and Keywords (ASO) • Memorize these tips: http://blog.appcod.es/• Answer Support Emails Quickly (avoid 1-stars)• Have a website, just don’t spent TOO much time on it• Make Your Screenshots Compelling
  • Which Would You Buy?
  • 1 tsp Socialness•How did you find out about the apps you’ve bought?• User’s love sharing their apps• Provide High Score leaderboards, Email, Facebook, and Twitter sharing• Run Contests and Giveaways - people love iTunes gift cards
  • 1 Cup Secret Sauce
  • 1 Cup Secret Sauce• Get Featured by Apple• How do you do it? Make a good app, period.
  • Parting Thoughts• It’s not a gold-mine anymore - it takes work, like any other business• Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game and was barely ranked before Apple featured it• Average app makes under $700• Be ready to throw your app out and try again
  • Good Luck•@dnstevenson• http://www.stevensonsoftware.com• dave@stevensonsoftware.com• I always appreciate 5-star reviews