CreatingiOS Apps Top 12 Things You Need to Know
1. A Good Idea is Not Enough!Everyone has a million dollar idea, or so they think!So what research have you done?Whos going to buy your App? Why do they need it?How much will you charge? How will you market your App?Do you have the skills needed to develop the App, if not, howdo you find someone who does?How much will it cost. How long will it take?Having a good idea is only a very small part of the process.
2. Great Apps Need Great People!If you are looking to produce a world class App, youll needto find and retain world class people. This may includeexceptional artists, developers, audio engineers, user Interfaceexperts, marketers and more.Shopping around craigslist for bargain basement help is notwhere youre going to find this kind of expertise. Youre also notgoing to find these people by contracting work offshore to thelowest bidder.These people are not easy to find and they are usually verybusy, so if you managed to connect with one of them, treatthem with the respect they deserve and fortune may smileupon you.
3. Real Expertise Costs Real MoneyReal experts have spent years if not decades developing andperfecting their skills.They have gained hands on experience learning what worksand what doesnt by working on a variety of real world projects.These people are not just programmers and artists anymorethen Leonardo da Vinci was just a painter.Experts command a premium price, but will most likely end upsaving you a great deal of time and help you avoid making bigmistakes. Dont be shocked when these people are charging$150, $200 or more an hour for their services, theyre worthevery penny!
4. World Class Apps Take TimeNo, youre not going to get a truly exceptional App built in 2months unless you have massive resources invested.Realistically your App will take between 3 months forsomething relatively straight forward to up to 6 months to ayear for something complex.This is not web development, it requires a great deal ofthought, and a great deal of effort and specialized skills to getit right. If youre thinking about your App like developing awebsite youre definitely on the wrong track. Mobiledevelopment is a different beast, so youll need to learn toadapt to a new way of thinking and cast off your old webcentric thought process.
5. Apps are Never Really DoneMany people think that once their App has been submittedand approved in the App store, that the work is all done.Much like owning a car, your App will require constantupdates and improvement and this will really never stop.Your App is a living, breathing entity and just like a child itneeds to learn and grow throughout its life.Dont forget to budget and factor in maintenance and updatesto your business plan and dont burn your bridges with yourdevelopers and artists, youre going to need them again atsome point.
6. You Need to Understand MobileIf you dont understand the mobile space, then youll need tofind someone who does and do it quickly.Id like to play in the NHL, but the fact of the matter is, I dontskate very well, so my odds of success are pretty bleak.The same priciple applies to the mobile space. You need toknow whats going on, understand how its changing and beable to predict where its heading.Time and time again, I see people with an idea and a bit offunding decide to try and create and App with no realunderstanding of the mobile marketplace. Dont let this beyou.
7. Focus on One Platform at a TimeTrying to build for iOS, Android and whatever flavor of themonth comes along is a recipe for disaster unless you havean already established and proven App.More often then not, what ends up happening in situationslike these is that a lacklustre App ends up being created thattechnically runs on several platforms by never really shineson any one of them.In addition, expert iOS developers dont do Android, theydont have time for it and it distracts them from their area ofcore expertise. If you find someone claiming to have reallydeep expertise in multiple platforms, you should be be onguard.
8. You Need to Develop IterativelyThe old school way of developing software went somethinglike this. You fully specked out an entire project ahead of timeand they simply sat down and built it. This wont work now,and didnt really work back then either.You need to get a minimum shipping feature set up andgoing as quickly as possible and the best way to do this is bystarting of with something simple and then rapidly evolving itas you go. This is called interactive development.Nobody in the history of the App store nailed their Appperfectly on the very first try and most likely neither will you.Dont strive to be perfect, strive to constantly evolve your Appinstead.
9. Great Apps Cost MoneyIm continually amazed when clients glaze over when theyhear how much Apps really cost. I think part of the blame forthis arises from the Web. Because many people dont reallyunderstand the mobile space at this point in time, they fall backto the closest thing they do know, which is usually the web.The problem is the web has been in a constant race to thebottom as far as costs go for the past decade. Some of youmay remember the golden age of web sites when budgets$100,000 to over a million for a website were not uncommon.This is more inline with the current state of mobile.Expect to pay at least $20,000 - $30,000 for a simple App,between $50,000 - $75,000 for a mid level App and well over$100,000 to a million for a complex App.
10. You Need to Promote Your AppMarketing and promotion are not an afterthought, they are acrucial part of all successful Apps.You should be thinking about marketing and promotion rightfrom the very start.The best way to guarantee your App will fail is to build andsubmit your App to the App store and then sit back and donothing.Not everyone understands the complexities involved insuccessfully marketing and promoting an App, so if this is notyour area of expertise, you should try and connect withsomeone with expertise and focus in this area.
11. Use the Raw Native iOS SDKUnless you are making a game, you really should be using thenative iOS SDK to build your Apps.There are dozens of 3rd party frameworks that try tosupposedly simplify the complexity of iOS development, but inmy experience they all run into issues at one point or another.These tools are not unlike the WYSIWYG editors thatprevented people from actually knowing anything about how toproperly code HTML in the good old days.You need to have a deep understanding of the iOS platformand the Apple frameworks. Tools like these cheat this processand are often just wrappers for the native API anyway, so whynot just use it directly in the first place.
12. Be Willing to Admit IgnoranceIgnorance does not mean youre dump. Ignorance means thatyou simply dont know or understand something currently.There are going to be many occasions throughout the designand development of your App that you will encounter things thatyou and your team simply dont know or understand quite yet.The quickest way to overcome ignorance is to admit that itsthere and research, think and find ways to overcome it.When you start any significant project, check your ego at thedoor. Get used to the fact that you dont know everything andthat your are going to make mistakes. Youre not always goingto be in control and youre going to need your experts to adviseyou and help overcome the many obstacles that will presentthemselves.
This Presentation was Prepared By Richard Hart (iOS Architect/Project Consultant) rhart[@]richardhart.ca richardhart.cahttp://www.linkedin.com/in/dadgoesgreeen