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How to develop your app for iOS, Android and WP

A small guide for those who want to launch into the world of apps: what to choose, how to find the right idea and what needs to be known about programming

(Photo: iMore)(Photo: iMore)

The apps are constantly growing, a business that potentially set you up for life, if you take the right one. But except for sensational blows of luck, making it difficult, indeed, an authentic undertaking, considering then the frantic competition that awaits you in the stores. Here are some tips for find the winning idea, understand which operating system is most suitable and acquire the skills to develop your app from A to Z. Good luck!

Study the platformBeyond your personal preferences, you need to think about how successful your app is and the effort / result ratio. First, it carefully analyzes the stores of the various mobile operating systems to identify whether there is any "hole": an app that lacks, in short, a niche discovery, a need that has yet to be met.

It is also important to evaluate the size of the market with which one is going to compare. Some data on the last quarter related to the two most popular os: – for number of Android downloads increased by 60%, iOS by 45% – iOS revenues increased by 45%, Android revenues by 30% – in total, the Android store hosts about 150 million apps, that of iOS 100 million.

A targeted analysis can therefore help you make the right choice: if you think of an interactive story for children, for example, perhaps avoid iOS and Android and focus on Windows Phone, where competition is less tight. If you have something that can match Ruzzle, go instead to the first two: if you can do a bang here, the profits and visibility can become considerable. And also keep an eye on BlackBerry-Amazon: a smaller market share than the others, but not for this to be overlooked.

Evaluate the possible revenuesThere is no doubt that with the green robot you can reach more users, but with Apple you will receive more: in the last quarter the Cupertino store apps gained 80% more than those of Google Play. And in comparison to a few years ago, when the offer to leave to Brin and Page was lower than that due to Jobs and Cook, now the commission applied by Google, Apple and Microsoft for the sale on their marketplaces the same: 30 %.

Measure your strengthsYou don't have to invent a mobile social network that kills Twitter or the new Angry Birds. The scary offer and the cake if they really share it in a few: if you are alone or you don't have a team with counter-eyes to support the development of a large app, then it is better to focus on something very specific.

Look for the ideaNot true that everything has already been done and said in terms of the app (who used Whatsapp three years ago?), But if you have an idea in your head that you think is brilliant (or immoral, the same), first of all try to understand if someone else has already developed it, and how. Always remembering this rule: if it still does not exist in the stores, or the right intuition or bullshit.

Find the nicheThe motto act globally, think locally it also has its meaning in the app world: think of something related to the territory, and not necessarily worldwide. It does not mean thinking small, but moving in an environment that you know, in which it is easier to understand the needs of the public. That maybe they're your own: Zuckerberg basically just wanted to pick up the girls from his college.

Sell!We all know that it is not necessary to make a paid app to earn. Publish it for free and it will be easier to spread (in the case read here), or consider a freemium model, which has worked great for many developers, especially video games. But certainly not over here: we must face the colossal problem of marketing and visibility, which has nothing to do with the quality of the idea and development and which must be set up immediately, especially if you are not Tom Hanks. And of Flappy Bird, which become a viral phenomenon practically only with word of mouth, very few happen.

Know the languageNow that you've found the right idea, all you have to do is get to work. And here we start to get serious: even if there are several tools that make the job easier, you can't ignore the knowledge of the development languages ??of the single platforms (which you can also study yourself, if you know how to apply yourself with patience).

For iOS apps the most used language so far was Objective-C, but Apple has recently launched a completely new one, Swift, safer and with a simpler syntax. The integrated development environment instead Xcode (downloadable from the Store), equipped with a series of tools that simplify the processing, for example in the design of the interface. Apple provides a tutorial that covers all the steps of the realization of an app (this can also be useful); sites full of ideas and suggestions are AppCoda and Code with Chris, but there are many on the Net.

The apps for Android instead they are based on Java; then generally the Android Sdk (Software Development Kit) is used, which contains all the useful tools and api. Eclipse the officially supported integrated development environment. However, it is also possible to use other tools created by external parties or other development environments. Google has published a guide for creating apps online. Here you will find a series of video tutorials.

The reference language for Windows Phone C # (old C ++ is losing ground). All you need to devote yourself to development is found in Visual Studio Express 2013, which includes the Windows Phone Sdk, the code editor, debugger, templates, emulators and everything you need. If you start from scratch or nearly so, take a look at the video tutorials for beginners. For basic apps, Windows App Studio is also available, which guides creation step by step and does not require programming skills.

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