So you have an idea that you think would make a great app for the iPhone, an Android device, or some other type of smart phone. Maybe your idea is something simple but fun that you think will gather some attention or maybe your idea is more utilitarian, a serious tool that you think the phone will benefit from. Well, either way, there are some things you need to be thinking about and some decisions you’ll need to make before you start developing the app. There are lots of these, but we’re just going to look at some basics.
The first thing you really need to be thinking about is what platform you want to develop your app for. There are several platforms out there that welcome development, but if you’re wanting to hit a wide market then odds are you’re going to want to hit the iPhone or the Android platform. The iPhone currently has the most users, but for the past couple of years the Android platform phones have been making tremendous leaps in the market, far outselling the iPhone and promising to overtake it in the near future barring some interesting changes. Regardless, the point is that these markets are massive and are probably the ones you’re going to want to point your development towards.
Another thing to be thinking about is cost of your app. Let’s be honest, here. There are some apps out there that are just solely for fun and are good for a chuckle or two before uninstalling. Is your idea going to fall into this category? If it is, you’re definitely in the “free app” zone. Other options are to develop your app and charge according to what you think the market will support or try and generate revenue from the app in some other way. You have to keep an eye on the competition, however. For example, at any given point the Android marketplace has several Microsoft Word related apps for the reading, editing, and creating of Word documents. You want your app to be the best, the cheapest, or preferably both. A mediocre app with a mediocre price is probably just going to be passed over. You have to keep your eyes on the competition.
These are just the beginning of things you’ll need to know and think about to enter the world of apps. There’s research to do, such as finding out if your app even has a place in the market to begin with. Then there’s more research to do as you build your app and figure out the interface. It’s a long road, but you’ll get there if you stick with it.