Sunday, July 06, 2014

Introduction iPhone, iPad and Android App - Part 2

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App design basics

Coming up with an idea

Everything stems from this moment of inspiration. The biggest problem you’ll have at this stage is originality. You’ll quickly discover that 99 per cent of the ideas you have for a mobile app, no matter how wacky, have already been done. It’s astounding, but go on, think of a few mobile app ideas and Google them.

An app that dares you to throw your mobile phone as high in the air as possible?
Done.

An app that encourages you to lick your mobile phone screen and watch a graphical ice cream disappear? Done.

An app that measures the speed and power of your punch? 
Done. Done. Done.

Okay, what now?

You have two options:
keep thinking up ideas until you strike a new one, or develop an app similar to an existing one, but make it better. Both options have benefits and pitfalls. If you choose to improve an existing app, you may find that you’re the underdog competing against the existing standard. But at least you know there’s a market for it. If you choose to persist with a brand-new idea, then you’re dealing with a complete unknown:

Will people like your game format?

Important first steps

The best way to develop your app is not to hire a programmer at all until the design and graphics are finalised. This will avoid unnecessary expense.

Don’t start any coding work until you know how every tiny bit of your app will look graphically. Having a clear idea from the start about what you’re building, and how you want everything to look, will help you save weeks of painful re-writing later on.

Now is also a really good time to reserve your app’s name. You can do this by going through the app-submission process, but without uploading the ‘binary’ - the name programmers give to the application code itself. This process has been likened to domain-name squatting, but it’s quickly become apparent this is the only way you can use the name you want. If you don’t register the name early enough, someone else might, and you risk losing it in a cyberspace ether from where it cannot be retrieved – there’s no way of contacting the person who’s nabbed your awesome moniker.

If you’re doing something unique or technically challenging with a mobile app, it’s worth hiring a programmer to build a crude prototype to test its feasibility.

Read Next - Introduction iPhone, iPad and Android App - Part 3
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