An app stands for application and is a piece of software that is designed to run on a mobile platform. There are two primary platforms for app development that currently have a high earning potential. These are Apple's iOS and Google's Android. As of June 2011 Apple iOS hosts over 511,000 published apps with Google Android hosting over 206,000 published apps. Other platforms for app development include the Blackberry OS by research in Motion (RIM) and Windows Mobile by Microsoft. However, these platforms are lagging behind the two main rivals.
The two types of apps you will see in most app stores are FREE apps and PAID apps. Many apps available for download come free of charge which raises the obvious question of how do I make money if my app is free? There are two main streams of income for offering your apps free of charge. The first is advertising which relies on targeted ads such as Google AdSense or affiliate links which are inserted into the apps content. No one wants to have ads cluttering the content so it is important to place them in an area that will be noticed, but not so much so that they get in the way. Another option is to offer your app for free but withhold certain features or functions which would appeal to the user and entice them to consider purchasing the full version. If going down this route it is important not to put all your eggs into one basket so to speak. If you offer too much in the free version users will have no need to purchase. Although there is no rule to say you can not use both options at the same time. If you wish to charge outright for your app make sure you set a reasonable price that is realistic. Charge too much and you price yourself out of the market. Charge too little and you run the risk of devaluing your app.
Do I have to be a qualified developer to make apps? Well, this is not entirely the case as Google have launched App Inventor which allows almost anyone to create an Andoid app with little to no programming knowledge. It is great for making things such as basic games however, there are many limitations to what you can actually accomplish using this software. In order to create something a little more complex some experience of coding is needed.
What resources do I require in order to learn how to create app? There are literally thousands of books, ebooks, YouTube videos and online articles that teach and share information on this topic. Many Colleges and University courses cover the subject in detail but you do not necessarily need to go down the formal route to be a successful developer.
What is involved in developing an app? First of all you have the front end which is all the visual and audio elements such as images, movies, buttons, text, sounds and music. This is what users will see when the app is running.
Why not just hire someone else to create an app for me? If you have brainstormed and have an idea with a plausible gap in the market then this is also an option. Many freelance design and developers advertise their services online but bare in mind that paying someone else to design and develop an app is never going to be cheap so be prepared to invest in order to gain results.
How to I test my app before publishing? Take the time to go and review the back-end coding and test the front end functions. One of the best way to do this is to release a beta copy. You will want to ensure your app is working correctly and operational with all known glitches and errors corrected before general release. This brings me to the next step of getting your app vetted for approval. There is nearly always a criteria set for approval and rejection for apps submitted. The vetting rules and guidelines vary depending on the platform.
Is my app useful and does it fulfill a need or purpose? This is a key question to ask because if users see no benefit purchasing and downloading your app then nine times out of ten they simply won't bother. It is equally crucial for your app to look attractive and desirable otherwise users will become quickly put off and lose interest. Then you have the back-end which involves all the coding and functionality. Make sure the code is clean, concise and above all else WORKS.
How do I market my app? Most platforms handle a lot of the marketing side for you but it is important to get your keywords and description right as his can make or break your apps success.
What coding language are apps written in? Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile and other platforms such as Bada and Symbian are primarily written in JAVA code. C++ is commonly used for Apple's iOS. It is important to remember that Apple's iOS does not support Flash. One constraint to developing apps for iOS is the fact the developer must own a MAC to do so unlike most other platforms.
This article is written by Kevin M. Sugrue creator of InfiniMobile.net - A great resource for mobile phones with news, reviews, videos and forum. Go to http://www.infinimobile.net