So, you want to make your own iPhone app and be the next Angry Birds? It’s a thought many people have had, but are you really up for the task? Before you start, let’s take a look at exactly what is needed before you take your core idea and launch it into the app world for the iPhone. Graphics, programming and licensing: these are the three key components you will need to successfully produce and market an app. These may sound easy from the start (“Sure, I know how to use MSPaint!”) but real thought needs to go into exactly how you will handle these parts before putting time and money down into building an app. Follow along as we take a look at exactly what each of these components entail.
You’ll need a graphics designer or be at least semi-proficient in graphic design. Alternatively, you can purchase stock graphics through many of the graphic wharehouse-style websites. Some popular websites for these graphics include ShutterStock, iConShock, and 123RF. Of course, you can also advertise at Freelancer or on app forums that you are looking for a graphics designer if you prefer more unique and exclusive imagery. Finally, once you’ve wrapped up your app with a sweet set of graphics, be sure to produce a trailer for the app and host it on a popular video website like YouTube. This will help not only show off your work but also introduce users to your app before buying it. Making a trailer for your app isn’t too difficult, most computer users should be able to handle this on their own. Even a basic video editing program like Windows Movie Maker should suffice. However, if you aren’t confident in this, you can always add this requirement in with the graphics required when hiring an outside graphics designer.
Programming an app by yourself if you have no background in coding is no small feat. It’s possible to take computer science classes at your local community college, learning very useful programming and computer skills. You could even attempt a fast-track approach and sign up for an app design camp. However, such education takes time and money. If you want an app now and aren’t willing to wait, consider your options: you can hire a programmer though online services like Freelancer, oDesk, or Craiglist, attempt to program it yourself using online guides, use a pre-made app design program such as Google Apps Inventor, or hire a app design firm like RockSauceStudios, Saritasa, and so on. For users with a healthy grasp of tech and computer software, attempting to self-program probably isn’t a bad idea. Also, going the route of using a pre-designed app inventor-style program is also a solid option for many users. Be sure to research the various programs on the market and get one that will work best with the app platform you are interested in.
Finally, you will need to look at the licensing and fees associated with making and offering an app. Apple doesn’t let you simply post apps to it’s popular iTunes store for free. Rather, you’ll need to buy a developers license ($99) and look at the other costs associated with designing an app and selling it. Ask yourself if your app will really meet a need and will be worth it. Be sure to research whether or not similar apps already exist on the market.
Once you’ve covered these bases and are confident in taking the steps towards making your first iPhone app, go for it! The mobile app industry is truly taking off and your app just might be the next Angry Birds on the market!