8 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mobile App

App appeal is obvious. The barrier to entry? So low! The upshot of producing the next Whatsapp or Instagram? So high! Heck, with just a small investment of time and cash, it’s not hard for would-be mobile moguls to turn a concept into a steady stream of cash. And thanks to today’s app stores, it’s never been easier to try your hand at becoming the next tech tycoon.

Here’s (almost) everything you need to know before you get started on your own app — and what I wish I knew before I got into the game.

 

1. What Does It Cost to Make an App?

If you’re new to the app game, prepare for some sticker shock. Making an app will cost you, at the very minimum, around $10,000. This is for a super-simple program — none of that fancy enterprise or social networking jibber-jabber. Even still, any app worth its weight in code will likely cost you closer to $15,000 – $20,000.
Unless you have some basic design skills, you’ll need to enlist the help of both a programmer and a designer. And these guys ain’t cheap — particularly programmers who, thanks to a pronounced shortage of qualified coders, can pretty much name their prices. (A suggestion for those low on funds: Find some creative way to come up with the cash…)

You can try to offload some of your costs by offering your guys equity; on the other hand, everybody tries to get free (or close to free) apps by offering developers equity. So unless you can really sell them on the strength of your idea (or bring something totally rad to the table, such as a celebrity), you better be prepared to pony up some cash. Of course, adding in some equity as a bonus is never a bad idea, so you’ll probably want to dish out some shares too.

This basic supply/demand dynamic also means that many developers ask for some pretty insane terms. Some demand deals that involve a huge upfront payment in exchange for a few weeks (or even just days) of work. And if a decent developer isn’t already working full time, it’s not unreasonable to assume he’s at least a little commitment-averse. So, if you’re serious about making something beyond a quickie cash grab, find a developer you are sure will stay with the project for updates, and not abandon it the second it hits the store.

And get it all in writing. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer, find a boilerplate contract online or get one from somebody else who’s gone through the process, and just swap in your names and numbers.

If you can, you’ll also want to work with people who are local to you — or at least with people who are willing to join you for regular Skype chats or Google Hangouts. I had weekly beer summits with my coder and designer, which proved super helpful as we continued to fine-tune our app well into its development.

One more unavoidable cost: Apple charges $100 per year to hold onto a developer’s account (which you need to publish your app). So be sure to reserve an extra Benjamin for your budget.

2. What Should You Charge for Your App?

I would consider starting one’s app at or near $1.99. It’s premium price, but it’s also immensely satisfying to get more than a buck per download after Apple takes away its 30%. And, as with most things, it’s a lot easier to lower the price later than it is to raise it.

During the holiday period, we briefly played around with a special promotion that dropped our app price to $0.99. Predictably, this spiked our downloads, but it didn’t actually raise our total revenue. Even on Christmas Day — the single biggest download day for just about everybody — our revenue was actually higher a week or so later, once we had raised the price back to $1.99.

The obvious exception: If your primary business model involves in-app purchases, ads or the like, you’ll probably want to give your app away for free. After all, a quick glance at Apple’s top grossing charts shows a whole bunch of free apps.

3. When Will You Get Paid?

Apple sends you cash one month at a time, up to 45 days after the month has ended. So, if your app goes live in January, you can expect your first kickback sometime in early March. Oh, and Apple only pays you if your earned amount totals at least $150, so you may have to wait before getting your first payment. Keep in mind, Apple only pays you through direct deposit.

4. How Do You Write Your iTunes Description?

Don’t try to rock the boat here. Take a look at a bunch of hit apps, and crib their formats. If it works for them, it’ll work for you. Typically, this involves a quickie intro statement, press blurbs and a list of your key features. Then add some screenshots (the most interesting ones first) and call it a day.

5. What’s the Best Way to Beta Test?

Getting an unreleased app onto your friends’ iPhones isn’t the easiest thing in the world. My developer and I are in total agreement that the best method is a program called TestFlight, which makes it very easy to send build updates to registered devices, over the air.

6. What Happens When You Get Featured on iTunes?

Getting featured on iTunes is obviously awesome, but what exactly does it get you? When Apple included our app on its featured lists, we enjoyed a predictable flow of downloads almost identical in volume every single day we were parked there. Especially fascinating, the “New & Notable” list gave us almost exactly twice as many daily downloads as the “What’s Hot” list. I’m assuming this is because, when you tap the “Featured” tab on the “App Store” app, “New & Notable” pops up by default.

7. How Do You Get Press?

As a longtime tech writer, the main advice I can give you in your pursuit for press is that less is more. If you think a site or publication would be into your app, don’t email the entire staff or the big boss — just find the writer who covers your category, briefly summarize your app in an email, and attach a download code (Apple gives you 50 for every update). Smaller sites may be more responsive than the big guys, and if you build up enough buzz, you can rest assured that the majors will come knocking.

If a journalist doesn’t get back to you, move on. And don’t even touch that phone or personal email address (unless that person is a freelancer) — writers hate nothing more than phone or personal inbox press pitches.

Consider also producing an embeddable YouTube or Vimeo ad of some sort. Not only does this provide one more avenue for people to stumble upon your app, but it also gives bloggers something alive and colorful to toss into posts, which could increase the chances that they’ll write about you. Keep it simple, and preferably, well under two minutes. And don’t forget to promote over Twitter, Facebook, etc.

8. How Do You Avoid the Spam?

Within days of hitting the App Store, expect whichever email you linked to your iTunes developer’s account to be pounded with spam. Most try to lure you into ponying over money in exchange for positive reviews, under the guise of “mobile marketing.” Let’s put it this way: If you don’t regularly buy Viagra pills online, then you probably shouldn’t give cash to these guys. Of course, if you’re smart enough to make an app, you’re smart enough to know this already.

What other tips do you have for app development and promotion? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

– Read more at: http://www.mobaires.com/blog/

 

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, svariophoto, Flickr, Andres Rueda

Article via (mashable.com)

Infographic: HTML5 vs Native mobile apps

Many times our clients ask if it would be better to go on HTML5 before going Native. Or if it would be better to develop the app first in HTML5 to boost the time to market and spend less money from the begging.

Is HTML5 development right for your mobile strategy? Check out this shiny new infographic below to find out.

Did you like the post? If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help you!

[ImageCredit: TheNextWeb]

[Vía Kony] 

Best World Cup apps for Brazil 2014: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry

You only need turn on the TV and you’re are inundated at the moments by advert after advert featuring a football or Brazilian flavour, or both. Yep, it’s almost time for the 2014 World Cup to start and what better way to get in the mood than to fill your smartphone or tablet with a bunch of dedicated or football themed applications.

Some are official, some help you track the progress of your favourite team or teams, but we love more the ones that says that Argentina is gonna be the next 2014 World Cup Champion! 🙂

Enjoy them!

ESPN FC Football & World Cup

iPhone, iPadAndroid
Free

ESPN has recently redesigned and relaunched its football website in time for the World Cup and its football specific application has been rejigged to include the tournament. You can set your favourite team or teams to get curated news and there is reaction and analysis from Brazil by the ESPN team out there.

Exhaustive details on each team is available, with a score centre, the current group tables and fixtures and ESPN’s Now service, which presents related tweets about the event, also easily selected via a simple tag system.

Best of all, of course, is that it’s free.

FIFA 14

iPhone, iPadAndroidWindows Phone
Free

Although the mobile version of the latest in EA’s footy franchise has been around for a while, the free-to-play game has received an officially licensed World Cup update that adds the ability to play as any of World Cup teams and their up-to-date squads.

The final kits to be used during the tournament have also been added, as is the official Adidas Brazuca ball that will be used in Brazil. However, it isn’t as wide an update as the next-generation console versions as there is currently no dedicated Ultimate Team mode.

Brazinglish

iPhone
Free

An app more for the England fans actually travelling to the tournament. Brazinglish is a themed (sort-of) tranlastion app for the iPhone that is pre-loaded with a number of spoken phrases in Portuguese and English. The phrases are all fairly relevant to the sort of situations in which a fan might find him or herself.

To be honest, while some are useful, the app is more designed to be a bit of a giggle, with phrases such as “Group of Death” (“Grupo Da Morte”) and some that are genuinely laugh out load funny.

BBC iPlayer

iPhone, iPadAndroid, Windows PhoneBlackBerry
Free

If you want to watch the tournament when out and about and are based in the UK, BBC iPlayer is a must. Half the matches leading up to final and the final itself will be shown by the BBC and they will therefore be available to view live through iPlayer.

The BBC Sport app would be a great companion app to download too, as it will have a dedicated World Cup zone that keeps track of the matches in content rich ways.

ITV Player

iPhone, iPadAndroid, Windows Phone
Free

After you’ve downloaded BBC iPlayer ensure you also have the ITV Player app too. The other half the matches up to the final and the final itself will be shown on ITV in the UK, so they will be available through the broadcasters own on demand service.

Sadly, BlackBerry phone owners will miss the opportunity as, unlike BBC iPlayer, there is no ITV Player app for their devices.

Perfect Kick

iPhone, iPadAndroid
Free

Ah, the dreaded penalty shoot-out. If England manage to scrape through their grupo da morte it’s a safe bet that one of the knockout matches will see them back on the plane home after yet another gruelling penalty shoot-out.

Perfect Kick is one of the better games to emulate the practice, with Facebook integration and the ability to take on real-world players. It has recently been updated to include World Cup teams and a bit of Brazilian flare.

Football Manager 2014 Handheld

iPhone, iPadAndroid
£6.99

Football Manager has never needed a World Cup update as the game has always offered the ability to take on international management and therefore get the opportunity to guide the nation to World Cup glory.

Although it’s a bit more basic and more geared to the casual gamer than the full PC version of FM 2014, this is quite simply the most involving and in-depth football management game available on mobile devices at present (unless you have the recently released equivalent for PS Vita, which adds the 3D match engine for good measure). It’s pricey, but it’s a game you’ll come back more often than most that currently clog up your homescreens.

Brazil – World Football Finals

iPhone, iPad
69p

Like ESPN’s application, Brazil – World Cup Finals is essentially a statistic and data centre for the tournament. However, this particular app goes even further with the amount of information available.

You can find out about the venues the games will be played in, see top scorer tables, get information on cities in Brazil and much, much more. The app also has information about all the qualification matches that preceded the World Cup Finals.

It’s really nicely presented too, with a clean, simple interface.

 

[via pocket-lint]

Leave your job and don’t complain about it

Making the transition from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur has to be one of the toughest decisions you will ever face. You need to plan this strategy carefully and time it correctly because it will have a huge impact on your startup. If you transition at the wrong time – or without enough leeway – you could run out of time or money before your startup has had a chance to succeed.

I faced this very choice about 3 years ago. I had been working the typical career path but had also been growing my own company – mobaires.com – on the side. Although my business was growing, it was not producing enough income to replace my salary. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to grow a company if you can only work after 6pm. And meeting with clients and investors becomes a real challenge. In other words, I was stuck. I liked the safety of a salary, but I wanted to grow my company.

After lots of soul-searching, I decided to make the jump and become an entrepreneur full time. It took eight months from the time I decided to leave my job to the time I finally jumped ship. I planned everything carefully.

Step 1: Budget Your Expenses

My first step was to examine my expenses and create a budget. The easiest way to do this is to track and categorize your expenses for a month or two. Fortunately, I’ve always been a big fan of Quicken and pay most of my bills with a credit or debit card. Thanks to this setup, it was very easy for me to download all my spending data and have Quicken categorize it.

Once you have this information, look at your expenses and determine how much you will need to cover things like food, clothing, and rent.

Entrepreneurs are often tempted to forgo expensive items like health insurance. I had to wrestle with this temptation myself. If you are young, why should you spend a lot of money paying for something that you may not need?  The answer is simple: if you develop a serious health problem and don’t have health insurance, you’ll go bankrupt. A major health expense can put you out of business.

Step 2: Build a Reserve – Six Months to a Year

Initially, I had assumed that I’d be able to replace my income in about three to six months. Being conservative, however, I decided to build a reserve sufficient to last one year. I am fortunate to have taken this approach because it took me a little over a year to replace my salary. I had been overly optimistic in my assumptions – a critical mistake most entrepreneurs make.

I was also fortunate to have a working spouse. She certainly deserves a lot of credit for keeping the household afloat while I pursued my entrepreneurial dream. In fact, I know other entrepreneurs who also relied on their spouses when launching their ventures.

Step 3: Determine if You are Ready to Make the Jump

You have created a realistic budget and built a reserve. Now you are ready to give your business your full attention. Are you ready to jump? The choice is personal. In my case, I made the jump once everything was lined up correctly and the business was producing revenue.

Step 4: Resign with Grace and Elegance

Entrepreneurs tend to quit their jobs by telling their bosses exactly how they feel about them. Some go as far as expressing anger or resentment towards their now-former boss.  The bottom line: it’s a bad move, it’s unprofessional, and it burns bridges. So don’t do it.

Instead, write a letter of resignation in which you thank your boss for the opportunity and wish them well. Help minimize the impact of your resignation and do your best to leave on good terms. This strategy may be very helpful if you need a job in the future or if you need your former boss to write a recommendation letter.

My Last Suggestion: Keep it Private

There was a time when I was working and running a business simultaneously. I did my best to keep both activities separate. And as far as I can tell, not a single person from my prior company knew I had been running a business when I resigned. Actually, most did not find out I was an entrepreneur until years later when they saw my LinkedIn profile.

While it may feel good to tell your boss and co-workers you are leaving to start a company, it can also backfire. Some may resent you, feeling that you did not give your job 100% of your focus. It’s best to keep your business to yourself. If they find out, let them do so by their own means.

 

via [under30ceo.com]

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

In the past two years, the app market has exploded. In under 9 months the Apple store reported over a billion downloads, and then doubled that number in half the time. The app craze has spread to Android, Blackberry, and every other mobile market under the sun.

And for good reason. Having an app for your business or promotion or whatever it may be can be a game changingmarketing tool to drive traffic and revenue. On the highest end of the spectrum, you see Angry Birds making $50M off a simple game. Then you also see people who put out basic free apps and still get thousands of downloads for doing nothing. A lot of conversations I’ve had in the past year don’t even talk about apps because the client thinks it’s clearly going to be too expensive and they have no idea where to even start.

The good news? It’s not as expensive as you think and it’s really not hard to start.

Let’s talk about what goes into getting an app developed.

At mobaires, we’re in the business of connecting people with ideas for mobile apps and make them real.  In the process, we get lots of questions about app development.  Probably the number one question we get is “how much does it cost to develop a mobile app?”  If I had a nickel for every time we’ve had that question … well, I wouldn’t quit my day job, but I would probably make the baristas at my local coffee shop at lot happier.

So, what does it cost to develop a mobile app?  That’s a lot like asking how much does it cost to buy a car or build a house – it depends on what kind of car you’re buying or house you’re building.  That cool-looking Cube costs a lot less than an Italian sports car.  A modest house in the Midwest costs a lot less to build than a modest house in Palo Alto.  Still, it is possible to give some rough guidelines on app development costs.

Alex Ahlund, former CEO of AppVee, and later an advisor to Appolicious, wrote a guest blog article about app sales.  According to that article, a survey of 96 mobile app developers showed the average cost to develop an app was $6,453.  An article on OS X Daily about iPhone Development Costs reported that the development cost range for “small apps” is $3,000 to $8,000 and that “more complex or recognized brand apps” can cost $50,000 to $150,000.  A well-written article on PadGadget.com explored The Cost of Building an iPad App and suggested the development costs (as compared to design and other costs) range from $12,000 to $150,000 or more.

That sounds like a lot.  And it is.  But if you consider that the average app developer in the US charges around $100 per hour, the time required to code even a “simple” app quickly pushes the cost up.  Could you go offshore and get a developer for a much lower hourly rate?  Sure you can and you should for early stages of your business or just to complement what your US-based developers do. But be careful not every software offshoring company in the world could make an outstanding mobile app just for a couple of coins. Not. You have to be very specific with the provider and ask for him the proper credentials.

We in mobaires are ready to give success stories, credentials, testimonials from other US clients and every little thing you could need to evaluate an outsourced software provider. We’ve been working for startups and mid size business since 2010 and we are sure that’s not the price we have to create a mobile app.

If you want to know how much does it cost to develop a mobile app just fill out our quote request form.

The only sure way to find out what it will cost to get your app idea developed is to get some quotes from experienced app developers.  They can discuss the details of your idea with you and give you a pretty good idea of what it will cost.  Getting three quotes is helpful as it will give you an idea if a quote is too high (or too low, which can be just as bad).  Whatever you do, Don’t Pay to Train an App Developer.

 

Article via (appmuse)