iOS developer Steve Dryall shares tips on what it takes to shine when developing for the mobile platform.
The requirements for getting into iOS development are modest. With a decent Mac available, you can start trial developing iOS apps for free, and if you want to take part in the global marketplace, for $99 you're in. This is a stunning opportunity for independent developers and development houses. Although the resources available to a developer may affect the type of project they undertake, beyond that, there is a lot of level field for software creators to play on and profits to be gathered in the process. (In an upcoming column, I'll explain why I think iOS is the greatest OS ever created.)
To achieve success with your iOS app, you need to keep in mind these points and tips:
- Be original: Before you decide to create the next big app, make sure you search the App Store to see if it's already been done. Find a problem and solve it with your app or entertain people in a way that they haven't seen before.
- Be pretty: iOS is about ability and aesthetics. iOS devices have sufficient graphics handling capabilities, and you should take advantage of what is available. People get excited about shiny objects and sparkly things as much or more so than they do about specs and features.
- Be resourceful: Don't reinvent the wheel. The numbers of code sources and repositories for iOS development have been increasing dramatically, so you may be able to accelerate your development by building on existing code or finding external help elsewhere.
- Be efficient: Objective-C was designed with reusability in mind from the ground up. You will want to make use of these capabilities as much as possible, and this will enable you to create better apps, faster.
- Be creative: Originality and creativity are different. There are countless examples of ideas that are mere extensions of existing ideas. Sometimes extending or changing something can be just as rewarding as creating something new.
- Content compels: Content is everything and without content the Internet serves no purpose. People are drawn to quality content and the ability to create content.
- Compatibility conquers: Your potential user base is directly related to the number of devices your app is compatible with. If your app is backwards compatible, then your potential base is even larger. Most importantly, your app has to work as promised on the devices for which it was made.
- Conversions count: People measure the ultimate success of an app based on users, and those users need to generate revenue.
There is already a waiting group of credit-card-using, hardware owners who are eager to spend their money on your iOS apps, so start developing.