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8 Steps To Ace App Development

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, June 15, 2012
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Bangalore: Ever heard of any rags to riches stories of app developers? Ever heard of iShoot? Written by a programmer at Sun Microsystems in his spare time, this game rocketed to the top of the App Store charts earlier this year and earned its creator enough money to pursue a career as a professional developer.

Keith Stuart on charts the steps that any app/ game developer could adopt to follow suit:

1.    Buy a Mac:

You don’t need a top of the range model; just one that has an Intel-based processor
and runs the Leopard version of MacOS X. Any machine offering a degree of maneuverability should be preferred.

Peter Scott, CTO at Connect2Media recommends Mac Minis, "They are more than powerful enough, small, easy on desk space when you already have PCs, three LCD monitors and a bunch of devices. They are also easy to move round, developers can take them home at the weekend if they want to continue work."

2.    Getting the SDK( Software Development Kit):

Apple provides the free SDK for iPhone development from their Developer site. Stuart Varrall, Creative Director at Fluid Pixel says, "This includes everything you need to get going, including the development environment Xcode, the iPhone Simulator for testing, performance analyzers, interface builders and the full documentation reference library."

3.    Read up on Objective C:

This is the primary programming language for development on iPhone. "It's an extension of C to include object-orientated principles," says Varrall. "It has scripting elements to it, so is easier to pick up than some languages and anyone with programming experience should be able to transfer their skills."

4.    Just start writing:

Give yourself a project and start working. If you can't face starting out on an original project, Varrall suggests a couple of modification tasks. "The SDK actually comes with a whole host of sample projects that cover most aspects of development. So the best place to start would be to take one of those and reverse engineer it and work out how it has been constructed. You can then build on these by adding new features and create your very own game very quickly."

5.    Sign-up as an official developer

If you plan to release your app, you'll have to sign up with the iPhone Developer Program. The standard cost is $99, and you will have to agree to Apple's terms and conditions, and sign and return the contract. It’s important you know that you'll need to sign up in order to test your code on an actual iPhone instead of an onscreen emulator. Once you're on the Developer Program you will receive a certificate, which allows you to pair up with an iPhone device.

6.    Gear up for a few months of hard work:

Depending on how much time you can devote to it and how many resources you have, developing a game or app could take weeks or months. You also need to face the possibility of dealing with crashes and debugging.

7.    Submitting your app to Apple:

Using an interface which is similar to the one used by music producers to submit albums, a finished app will have to be submitted. The process is straightforward enough- zip your file, upload it with a description, large and small icons and screenshots. If your app is good to go, Apple will take a week to approve the content and it will be made available in the store. If your app has bugs, it may take longer time to review and it may be rejected. In such a scenario, you can fix the issue and resubmit it.

8.    Market and adapt to survive:

Things don’t get simpler once your app makes it to the App store. It is a possibility that your app has some design issues or a few bugs which is an issue that you will only know about when many users try out your app. In this case, you can submit your modifications.

To garner recognition for your app, you need to stand out in the crowd of over 20,000 apps. You need to have your marketing strategy in place from the inception of the developing process. Blog about your programming procedure, produce screenshots, stay in touch with developing communities, and send out press releases to iPhone news sites. You could always use social networking websites as well.

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