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Developing iPhone Apps

Developing iPhone Apps

Developing iPhone apps is not a simple procedure, but the rewards are very lucrative. This article includes all the information required to help you start developing your own apps.
Rahul Thadani
With the number of apps on the Apple App Store ever-increasing, the biggest beneficiaries are Apple, and the people who undertake the task of making them. Most of these applications on the store are paid ones, so there is plenty of potential for the developers to share the profits along with Apple. The overwhelming popularity of the Apple iPhone (and even the iPad and the iPod Touch for that matter) has given them a large base of people to target.
Apple has lifted several restrictions on the developers of third party applications, giving them the option to develop some new ones using Adobe Flash. This is great news for many budding programmers and it is even better for the end user, who will suddenly find a lot more applications to choose from.
If you want to learn how to start making iPhone apps, you will need to acquire an SDK (Software Development Kit) for the purpose of making iPhone applications. An SDK is a set of tools that allow the user to create applications and programs to run on a particular software platform, which in this scenario is the iOS.
Getting Started
You will first need to get your hands on Adobe Flash Professional CS5 and the AIR 2.0.5 SDK, from Apple's Developer Site. These are not cheap packages, so you must be prepared to shell out some money for this purpose. The iPhone programming language is known as Objective C, and you will also need to learn this. Be warned though that making iPhone apps is a very expensive matter. Competition is brutal as well, so you must have some solid financial backing. The estimated cost can run up to hundreds of thousands of American dollars. You will also need to get a Mac computer, running the latest version of Mac OS. Making apps for iPhone on Windows is a very complicated matter, and it should be avoided as far as possible.
Objective C is not a tough programming language to pick up, and anyone who is proficient with C or C++, can learn it easily. There are many great books in the market for beginners that will be useful, and even the Apple Developers Site has some very useful information about the language.
The next thing you need to do is sign up with Apple as a developer. This will require the payment of a $99 fee, and the signing of a contract with the company. There are a number of terms and conditions set down by Apple, that you will need to keep in mind. The advantage of signing up early is that you will get an actual iPhone to carry out software testing for your apps, and this is far better than any emulator out there. You will have to sign up sooner or later, so it is best to do it as soon as possible.
It is a process that could take a few months. You must be prepared to put in this much time. Financial matters is a different aspect altogether, and the financial package you require will totally depend on the ideas you have, and the skill set that you possess. Once you are done creating the app, you need to submit it to Apple in a specified format, and it will take them a week to get back to you. If your app has been approved, you are ready to hit the market and make some big bucks.
There is plenty of competition in this field, so you must be prepared to modify your app from time to time. Adherence to the guidelines set by Apple is a must, or your app will get canned in no time. You must figure out new strategies and modifications to make your app sell, and if all goes well you will reaping the benefits in a few weeks time.
To sum it up, here are the steps that you need to follow in order to take up the task of making apps.
  1. Get a good idea for an app, and get suitable financial backing.
  2. Get yourself Adobe Flash Professional CS5.
  3. Get the SDK from Apple's Developer Site.
  4. Learn Objective C language.
  5. Get a Mac, since developing apps for iPhone on a Windows PC is not a feasible option.
  6. Sign up with Apple as a developer, to get an iPhone to run test samples.
  7. Develop your app, keeping all the guidelines and instructions in mind.
  8. Submit your app to Apple.
  9. Market and advertise your app efficiently.
  10. Constantly update and modify the app.
  11. Be patient during the entire procedure.
Developing iPhone apps is not a simple task, but the sheer size of the market, makes this is a very lucrative software development venture. The ones that are well accepted can make you thousands of dollars in a single day, but there are many that get pushed into the background as well. This means that the idea you choose is vitally important.