So, you’ve decided to start making iOS apps and games? It’s rather simple now, and in this article you can learn the basics and find out more about the available tools and about how you should use them. But the technical knowledge alone isn’t enough to start making successful apps – there are also other things you should keep in mind.
When I made by first iOS game, I stumbled upon a number of problems I couldn’t have imagined before. Here are the most important things I learned back then – I hope reading the tips below will help you avoid the mistakes I made:
1. Join Apple’s Developer Program as soon as you can
When I was trying to develop my first iOS game, I thought there was no need to join Apple’s Developer Program and spend $100 on it – I could test my future app on my netbook with the help of a small yet very cool utility. When the game was almost finished, I finally joined the Program and found out that it was a total fail: the game was OK on the netbook, but it was almost impossible to play on the iPhone. If I joined the Program earlier, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on that app – I had to completely change and fix it. Besides, Apple’s Developer Program has many useful resources that can help beginners a lot. So joining the program as soon as possible is a must.
2. Practice, practice, practice!
If you’re going to start developing games for iOS, you’ll have to start learning Xcode and Objective-C – those are the languages used by iOS, and there’s no other way around it. Reading books and blog posts or watching video tutorials won’t be enough, so if you want to really learn iOS, you’ll have to practice as much as you can and try to implement every trick you read about. While you’re practicing you can use a PC or a netbook, but once you start working on your first project you’ll have to test it on your phone as well.
3. Consult with others
If you think you have a great idea, don’t hurry to develop an app based on it. First of all, consult with your friends and find out what they think about it. Would they download such an app? Are there things they’d like to change? You can start working on your idea and implementing it only if most of your friends say your idea is great. Otherwise, you run the danger of no one being interested in your app when you finally make it and get it into the App Store (and that’s what happened when I made my first app).
4. Get ready – there’s much paperwork!
Developing apps for iOS can be easy, but also time consuming. When you have finally finished your first app, don’t hurry to think that the most difficult part is already behind – you’ll need even more time to get your app into the App Store. Apple has lots of rules and restrictions (and some are really strange!), and there’ll be a lot paperwork before you can see your precious app available on the App Store.
5. Don’t expect too much or you’ll be disappointed
Many beginners think that they can develop a couple of iOS apps, publish them and get rich. If only everything was that easy! Actually, the App Store holds thousands of apps, and the one created by you has to be really, really great to get noticed.
When I made my first iOS game and managed to put it on the App Store, I thought everybody would hurry and download it. But of course it didn’t happen, and for a long time I couldn’t understand why. So you should be aware that your app may not become super-popular overnight.
I hope that this article gave you some real-world advice on what to expect when developing for the iPhone. There are many tutorials out there, but few seem to be realistic about what to expect and the tasks, paperwork, and processes that are needed to get your app on the App Store and to guide you to ultimate iOS success.
So go forth and create great apps and let us know how it goes!