Now that you’ve decided to make an iPhone app or game, you may probably be wondering where to start. It may seem logical to focus on technical knowledge–which, it is. Yet, it takes more than technical knowledge to start making successful iPhone apps. Of course, you have to learn how to make iOS apps. Plus, you need to understand some background information as well.
Any type of app can be a success
Each and every day, iTunes displays the most downloaded and profitable applications. If you take some time to sort through this list, you might come out surprised. While some of the apps are quite useful, some are just plain weird. Yet, you can safely assume that the top downloaded apps are raking in a good chunk of change. People like a novelty, they like something useful and they like something fun. Good things to keep in mind when creating your app.
Half of the battle is getting your app made and approved
Just because you’ve got an app on iTunes does not mean you are guaranteed fame and fortune. The reason is you must do a bit of promotional work. If you look at famous actors or musicians, they all put in a lot of effort just promoting their work.
Even if a song or movie is great, no one will hear about it unless there are interviews, tours, advertisements, photos, videos and more. The same is true of your app. It might be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you’re an unknown–you’ll have to promote it. In addition, since the iTunes store is essentially a search engine–keywords are critical for optimizing your app as well.
As soon as you can, you should join Apple’s developer program. You need a place to test your app on iTunes. You would be wasting your time if you developed the app, then joined the Apple Developer Program only to find out it is a total fail. This is why you should join the program before you even get started developing your app. Time is money, and you just can’t afford to waste it. Moreover, novices can find a lot of helpful resources.
Make the user experience a priority
First and foremost, a good user experience is what will help your brand soar up the iTunes charts. People don’t want to fiddle with an app which is difficult. Things need to be convenient and easy. Don’t make them wade through lists and tasks. When it comes to icons, they need to scale to different screen sizes. Plus, you don’t want to overload your users with information and interactions. Then, see if you can push the boundaries of what devices can do, while still being reliable and usable. Here are some questions to ask:
- Can the user easily navigate through the app?
- How fast is it?
- Are the links finger tap-friendly?
- Is the design visually pleasing?
- Does it require too much reading?
Don’t forget about memory and bandwidth constraints
Devices still struggle with battery time and memory. There are many entry-level devices which do not have a lot of memory. If you’re loading hundreds of images onto a phone, it would quickly run out of memory. What you can do is make accommodations such as smaller resolution images and/or fewer images. As a result, you must use memory and battery life as parameters for developing your app.
Make the design adaptive
Your app screen should fit different screen sizes and landscape modes. Now, there is 3D touch. You must keep up with the latest innovations in the mobile market. When it comes to iPhone apps, adaptive design is standard for the platform.
Take enough time as needed to create your app
You don’t want to rush through the process and find out later that you missed a few things. Of course, this depends on how complicated your app to be. It can take several months to completion. On the other hands, some apps have taken only a couple of weeks to get developed. Give yourself a minimum of three months to get your app developed and on iTunes.
Free apps make money
No one wants to pay for an app. Yet, if they like your app, they may pay for in-app purchases. That is where the money can start pouring in. You might also offer a lite (free) version and a paid version. The lite version can be in a limited form such as one or two levels for a game, the full version would have all levels. Free apps are downloaded more often simply because they cost nothing.
More people will be open to trying your app if they don’t have to pay for it. You might even put ads on your free app. Put it this way, Apple takes 30 percent for each sale for a paid application. If your application is $0.99, you keep $0.69 per sale and that’s it unless you have in-app purchases and/or ads.
Keep your expectations realistic
If only all we had to do was publish an app and we’d get rich. iTunes already has millions of apps; the one you create has to be amazing and novel to get noticed. You don’t want to publish your app and continue to check your earnings only to be disappointed. This isn’t to say you won’t strike goal, but it is important to be aware that your app may not become a major hit overnight.
It is important to keep a real-world perspective when developing an iPhone app. Make it useful, relevant and user-friendly. Take time to do it right. And, if you think you have a winner, get out there and promote it!