iOS Development #2 • Stay fresh. Publish early.

I am currently finishing my second iOS app. It’s called Pinning and is a different approach on making lists using a 2 dimensional board in instead of simple listings to capture and sort tasks and ideas. In the current state the feature set of the app is pretty much reduced to its core but I decided to publish early and iterate instead of making it “perfect” first. Here’s my thinking behind that.

Yes, publish late, of course.

The biggest argument in favour for polishing your app to the max before publishing certainly is that on the first time you hit the store your ranking gets a decent push “for free”. This effects a good chance for a decent initial sales. So you want to please these early stumblers with a solid experience as for the following buzz you need to actually work much harder on the marketing front. Many stumblers = many buyers = many happy buyers = many star ratings/comments = better ranking … infinite spiral upwards.

Yes, publish early, of course.

On the other hand. This polishing phase is maybe the most time intensive process of the development (sometimes you might even compare it to … WORK). When the time passes by it’s easy to get lost, loose interest or drift away from your initial app focus. General wisdom: Working with constraints almost always is the best way to move ahead quickly and be most efficient. For me, apps are first of all projects I do for fun and to learn about the platform, not necessarily a business, so the biggest threat really aren’t low (initial) sales and bad ratings (beware) at the launch, it’s to loose motivation to finish and publish at all. So I chose to start with the minimum approach.

Happy End

This not only enables me get the ball rolling early and get some real life usage feedback quickly but also saves me some major features to reveal after the initial launch. Rather than a one off monolith-like appearance I am trying to imagine an app life being like a movie with a plot (goal), topic (category), introduction (launch), story points (updates), drama (bugs and wrong decisions), lots of drama …. and (even if its not foreseeable) an end, sometimes happy.

Projekt 07.02.2013

iOS Development #1 • Getting started without stopping before getting started

Then

I used to be VERY picky about topics for potential sites and apps. I did a lot of research to make sure that my idea really is original. If something existed that even came close I gave up the idea and tried to find something completely new and unharvested, regardless how niche it was. In reality the probability that your basic idea is not absolutely original is extremely high and so is the potential for frustration. The good news is that the actual implementations of almost any idea are very likely to be  ugly, practically useless or both. That still leaves you a great space to fill of creating a beautiful and useful app. Hurray.

Now

If I have an idea, I do a very short initial research on the web and on the app store. If I cannot find something that is EXACTLY what I am looking for I take it as inspiration at most and try to identify its weak spots to avoid. Furthermore it’s always good to know your neighbourhood anyhow. Apps that you will be compared with, especially the big ones. That’s it.

If you find something similar, don’t get frustrated just find you’re own way and try not to mind too much. So I did a … list … making … app (!), maybe one of the most crowded, awful spaces in the app store and I just don’t care. The core features of my apps are managing list items on a 2 dimensional board instead of a linear listing plus a minimal appearance with a black background to allow usage in complete darkness without getting blinded. I couldn’t find both attributes combined on my non-thorough research, so I launched XCode.

Projekt 05.02.2013

iOS Development. Hitting walls and recover. A short series of findings and surprises.

Here’s my little series about how to become an iOS developer, get rich quick, be independent and living a happy life forever. Note: Not all of those events might come into effect simultaneously. These won’t be low level programming tips but rather some first hand experience and challenges I found surprising to hit. I am currently in the process of finishing my second App Pinning which I’ll write a little bit about later, too. Stay tuned.

Projekt 04.02.2013

Logo Evolution

Das Analogbook Icon, vom Post-It zum App Store (3 Monate).

Projekt 26.07.2012

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