App Development 101: Make Your Idea a Reality
It's always fun to break your all-time high score in Angry Birds or save the world from the walking dead in Plants v. Zombies. But more importantly, you've probably sat and pondered why you couldn't have come up with one of those simple, yet entertaining and profitable ideas yourself while playing. There are many people out there who have a great idea for the next big app, but have no idea how to get started. Most hurdles are of the mental variety and not difficult to clear.
"I Don't Have Money to Create an App..."
Believe it or not, an app can be developed and placed in the app store for under $500, if planned carefully. You should obtain a business credit card from American Express for your start-up costs. This will not only eliminate any concerns about beginning capital, but will get you into the habit of keeping your business and personal expenses separate.
Live the Market, Know Your Market
There are good reasons why some apps are wildly successful and others sit at the bottom of the App Stores' rankings perpetually. The first investment you should make is simply downloading 80-100 of the top 200 apps and use them. Not only will this be entertaining, but will give you a broad example as to what people download regularly. You'll also be able to determine how many apps already exist, which are close to your idea. You should plan on developing a native app— one that's iOS or Google Android compatible— so that it can be easily found by potential customers at those company's respective stores.
Marketing & Money
The saying goes: "There is no such thing as bad publicity," but there is a such thing as bad marketing. It's great that you only charge a download fee of $0.59 per download, but if nobody knows about your app, it doesn't matter. The icon and title for your app are your first opportunities to make a good impression. A Facebook and Twitter page should be created, and a website which customers can go for a history and current information section. It may not be a bad idea to hire a marketing professional with experience on promotional techniques.
Hire Your Team!
Now that you have sketched your ideas on paper, obtained start-up capital and a marketing strategy, it's time to develop your app. You first want to establish a Developer Account in the App Store. If you don't, Apple will pay the developer (or whomever establishes the account) and not you. Freelance programmers and designers can be found on websites such as Elance and Odesk, and hired on a contract basis. As the creator, you will wear the hat of project manager and direct everyone as to their duties and progression.
Your app idea will be as successful as the time you put into it. You should curtail expectations, while maintaining an enthusiastic and positive outlook. You made it as far as being accepted into the App store, so enjoy the ride.