The process to develop an iPhone app is not as hard as one might think. The entry into the app store has been opened up to many new types of developers. I am not a programmer, but wanted toseeifIcould teach myself how to develop an iPhone app and submit to the app store.
Here I’ve outlined general steps necessary to get it from your head and into iTunes.
Creating an app isn’t entirely free, so it is important to know up front that, at some point in this process, you will be shelling out $99 (USD) for an iOS developer account. Also, it is important to know up front that you would be best suited to develop your app on a Mac, although new methods for developing iphone apps on windows now exist.
Now that we have all seen the fine print, here are the exciting steps to app happiness!
Step 1: Need an App Idea
Have a unique idea for an app? This is often the hardest part of the process. So what makes an app different from the competitors that exist? Why would anyone want to use your app? Why would they pay money for it if you are going to charge?
Be sure to check that there aren’t other apps that do the same thing that you are proposing. Or if you want to create something better than an app that already exists, think about how your idea will be better. Draw it out on paper. You’ll want to think of details on how your users will interact with the app and how it will flow. This information will be critical to developing a user friendly app.
Step 2: Get A Mac (Optional, but recommended).
The iPhone is an Apple product and uses a variation of the Mac OS. Currently, the iPhone development tools are only available for Mac users (even though there is evidence of designing in jail break mode on a PC), but in order to get it up in the App Store quickly your better off developing on the Mac. Options do currently exist for developers who want to use a PC to develop iphone apps.
Step 3: Register As An Apple Developer
To work with the Mac tools, you will need to become an official Apple Developer. Registration is free so you simply have to give them your information and agree to their terms. You only need to register once, and you are able to use the same username and password used for your iTunes account. Once you are an Apple Developer, you can develop iPhone apps for any of the Mac products.
Step 4: Download The Software Development Kit For iPhone (SDK)
Once you are an official developer, you can download the SDK for iPhone. The version you need depends on the OS you are currently running. This download is HUGE because it comes with all sorts of documentation, sample codes, and all sorts of things you will be glad to have later on. It could take a few hours, so you might want to start the download, put in a good movie, and wait. This download is now available via the Mac App Store for free.
Step 5: Download XCode
If you don’t already have it, download XCode. According to Apple, “Xcode is a complete, full-featured IDE built around a smooth workflow that integrates the editing of source code, with the build and compile steps, through to a graphical debugging experience – all without leaving the view of your source code.” XCode is by far the best way to develop iphone, ipad, or even Mac apps.
Step 6: Develop Your iPhone App With The Templates In The SDK
Once you have your app drawn out on paper or in Photoshop, you can start designing it with the templates provided in the SDK. There are also numerous open source or free xcode projects of apps that are already in the app store. You can use these to see how the apps were developed and get ideas you can incorporate into your app.
Step 7: Learn Objective-C For Cocoa or hire a developers
If you love programming languages, you will love Objective-C. If you don’t know how to program, this is the part that can get pretty sticky, so you might want to find a programmer friend or hire someone. It really does help to get a book, too, for reference.
Step 8: Program Your App In Objective-C
Once you at least understand the basics of Objective-C (or at least know how to find answers to programming questions), you are ready to program your app. It helps to take screenshots as you go along so you can remember what you tried. Some apps can take just a few hours to program while other Apps can take months. Only you know how much detail you want out there for its maiden voyage in the App Store!
Step 9: Test The App In The iPhone Simulator
The SDK comes with iPhone/iPad Simulator. You will need to load up your app and do your own testing. You should try to work out as many bugs as possible and think about all the ways someone might use your app.
Step 10: Have Others Test Your App
Once you pay your fee, you will be able to have others in the app community test your app and help you work out final bugs. This is a great community, and testing new stuff is lots of fun.
Step 12: Submit Your App For Approval
After testing your app in the community and working out all the bumps, you can submit the app to iTunes for approval. You will be able to upload it right from the community. The process of approval can take some time. My first app took about 3 weeks to finally get approved. We had to fix a couple of minor issues before it was ready to be listed.
Step 13: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing!
Just because you have an app in the app store doesn’t mean anyone will notice. Most apps don’t make much or any money. Most of the revenue generated is concentrated in a relatively few successful apps. To get noticed you’ll want to budget for a large marketing campaign.
Step 14: Develop an Exit Strategy
As with any business you should have an exit strategy in case you need to move on to different projects or the app is not performing as well as you thought it would. You could look into selling you new app business to another developer or entrepreneur who has a budget to improve marketing or development efforts. Often developers like to build a portfolio of apps to generate enough revenue to sustain new efforts. Sites like sellmyapplication.com allow developer to list their app for sale. Developers can either license parts of their app, or sell full rights and all code to a new business to generate additional revenue.
Sellmyapplication.com (SMA) was founded in 2010 by a small group of app developers based out of Boston, MA USA. We were first to market with the idea of creating a mobile app marketplace for mobile app businesses. Our site is focused on connecting developers interested in buying, selling, trading, or licensing apps they’ve written. SMA has quickly become the leading marketplace with thousands of registered developers and millions of visitors every year.
With SellMyApplication.com you’ll be able to reach a highly targeted audience of app developers, entrepreneurs, and users interested in purchasing code to improve existing projects or expand their reach across to new customers. Read our FAQ to get started.
Want to sell your app business?
There’s a place for that!