The journey from idea to app store

The Journey from Idea to App Store

At present, users have option to choose from more than 1.4 million apps available at the Apple App Store. Also, each user has option to choose from a lot of apps belonging to the same category, and offering almost similar functionality. But you can still create a hugely popular app based on an idea that is unique. Along with having an out-of-box idea, you also need to understand how to convert it into reality. To develop a popular iOS application, you have to focus on planning, development and testing as well as promotion and marketing. So it becomes essential for you as a beginner to understand the major steps involved in the iOS application’s journey from an idea to the App Store.

Steps Involved in Converting Your Idea into a Successful iOS App

Fine-tune Your Original Idea
Often raw app ideas seem vague and confusing. So your initial idea must be fine-tuned to be executed smoothly, and result in popular application for iPhone and iPad. While polishing up the idea, you must ask a number of questions like who will use the app, what the users will expect from it, and why you feel users need this particular app. When you ask and answer all these questions, it will be easier for you to convey the idea to other stakeholder clearly by creating a user story.

Prototype the App
A prototype will make it easier for you to visualize the iOS application’s features and functionality. You can further effectuate the visualization using wireframes. You can use wireframes to check how the application looks and feels on iPhone or iPad. Also, the prototype will include a storyboard that will give a comprehensive description of the app’s objectives and philosophy. You can further link the storyboard sketches to pick the best layout that your app will use. The user story and prototype will help you to identify some key problems, and decide the amount of time and effort require for developing the iOS app.

Refine the Storyboard Elements
The user story and prototype are created in the planning phase of the project, before writing code and designing graphics. But you still need to work on the appearance of various elements of the storyboard to generate an overall design for the app. The design will help you to visualize the iOS app more clearly. You can even get the design reviewed by other stakeholders, and add final touches to it before starting the development process.

Determine the Target Audience
To effectuate iOS app development and marketing, you must define the target audience from the very beginning. The target audience for the mobile applications differ based on their nature and functionality. So you must decide who will use your application. Once you identify the target audience, it will be easier for you to decide the application’s look and feel. However, you also need to decide if the app will provide solutions for specific problems or help users to accomplish specific tasks in a better and quicker way.

Become an iOS Developer
After visualizing your app clearly, you have to register as a developer. However, you can still become a registered iOS developer without being proficient in any programming language. Apple requires registered iOS developers to pay a yearly fee of $99. It will be easier for you to launch the iOS app as a developer rather than a seller. You just have to spend some time to set up the developer account. You still have option to skip the steps till you are ready to upload your iOS app for review.It is not always possible for someone to take up the app development, so its advisable to outsource iOS app development to a company with a good track record.

Set up the Development Environment
As a beginner, you have to set up the development environment properly before writing code. You have to download and install the latest version of Xcode and iOS SDK on a Mac. Xcode will act as the integrated development environment (IDE), whereas iOS SDK will come with several APIs that you can use for creating a variety of app experience. Also, you need to additionally install a dedicated text editor to write longer lines of code smoothly. Likewise, you have to install a vector graphics program to create custom designs and art for the application quickly.

Write the Code
In 2014, Apple introduced a compiled programming language called Swift for iOS app development. So you must consider writing the new iOS app in Swift instead of Objective-C. Apple has also announced Swift 2 with a faster compiler, and option to write and debug code more quickly. Also, you can Swift 2 as an open source programming language without paying any licensing fees. You can always learn the new programming language, and write the application on your own. Otherwise, you can hire an experienced Swift programmer to take care of the coding part of the project. There are also chances that you may have to hire a seasoned graphic designer to create the app’s icon and other images.

Test the iOS App Repeatedly
You must remember that the quality and performance of the app will have a direct impact on its popularity and profitability. So you must test the app thoroughly to identify and fix all defects and performance issues. At the same time, you need to check the app’s look, feel and performance across different versions of iPhone and iPad. It is also a good idea to use test automation tools and run the tests repeatedly to deliver an iOS application that is flawless.

Release and Promote the App
After testing your iOS app thoroughly, you have to submit it for review. The App Store Team will evaluate the app based on several parameters. However, they can either approve the app or reject it by highlighting a number of issues. If the team rejects your app, you have to work on the issues highlighted by them, and upload it once again. Once the team approved your iOS app, it can be downloaded by users directly from the App Store. But you still need to promote the application aggressively by targeting the most relevant customers to increase the number of downloads. It is also a good idea to implement a comprehensive strategy to get more downloads and revenue by marketing the application effectively.

There are chances that you may lack adequate expertise and resources to convert the app idea into a reality. So like other businesses you can consider hiring offshore iOS developers. The offshore developers will make it easier for you to build a robust app within a specific timeframe and budget. But you still need to ensure that the offshore programmer is following the relevant steps to convert the app idea into a reality.

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