Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Post - So you have an idea for an app...

Today's post is guest post from the creator/developer of the iPhone app - iCommunicate (see my review here - #AppMondayTAS - iCommunicate).

- Patrick

So you have an idea for an iPhone app. But now how do you take this idea and get it developed and distributed to the people who you know need it?

Remember the idea is the most important part. You were inspired by something you saw around you at work everyday, or something that touched you personally, or you have the next big idea waiting to explode onto the market.

You really have two options if you want to get your app published.

One, go it alone, download the necessary SDK(Software Development Kit) for $99.00 for an individual and learn how to register with Apple. Setup your development environment. Play with samples and emulators in your free time. Then start developing your app and use Google search as your guide when you get stuck. This is a very difficult way to get it done, and it will probably take more than 6 months and you may be frustrated weekly. It took me two months to get up to speed on developing for the iPhone and I have a computer science degree and 12 years experience. If you want to get some developing skills you can take an Objective-C programming class or an intro to iPhone development class.

Or two, hire someone like me who has done all this before many times. Someone who knows how to register you properly, what questions to ask before the app even starts to get developed, what information and images you will need before you can even submit the finished app, give you a beta version of what you envisioned, so you can make late tweaks to the app, and who knows the ins and outs of submitting apps and getting them approved. A developer you hire should also know how to do updates and improvements quickly and efficiently. Depending on the app you can get a finished product in as little as a month for a somewhat simple app, to many months for more complex apps.

The key to getting any software done is to have requirements written down before you even meet or contact a developer. A basic idea of how you want the screens in your app to flow and look. You can even sketch out what the screens would look like. If the app is going to have lots of graphics or images, having these done beforehand can speed things up, as otherwise a developer needs to hire a graphic designer too, and wait for that work to be compete before the app can be finished. The more prepared and well thought out your idea is, the better chance a developer will take on your project. Remember you may need to sell your idea to the developer.

Good luck with your ideas and always feel free to contact us with any questions you have about the app development process.

Here are some links that offer more info:

Lisa Brandolo Johnson, a physical therapist, and Jeffrey Johnson, a software engineer, are a married team with three children, who combined their skills along with their personal experience to found Grembe Apps. Grembe's mission is to create quality, versatile, affordable apps for parents and professionals who care for children with special needs. The use of the iPhone, iPod, and iPad has been a revolutionary new platform for assistive technology, and we look forward to expanding on what we've built and moving into other technologies and devices.

We are starting Grembe Apps Consulting, building apps that make a difference. Please email us if you have a project or idea that you want to bring to the iPhone, iPad, or Android OS. We know the excitement of turning an idea into reality and seeing how it grows. Let us bring your app to life.

Jeffrey Johnson, Developer Grembe Apps Inc.

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